An open offer to all workers at Brooklyn, Patterson and Wallkill
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JWsurvey seeks to build a mutually beneficial dialogue with those working inside the Watchtower organization

A few months ago, during my time working with AAWA, I wrote an “open offer” on behalf of that organization that still features on their official website.

The purpose of the offer was to let members of the Governing Body know that, if they chose to meet with us, they could expect a “calm and respectful tone” to any meeting.

Not long after AAWA was launched, I was reminded by one person of how unlikely it was that such an offer would ever be accepted. In reply, I told that person that there was nothing to be lost in trying, and it at least told the outside world that AAWA was willing to take the initiative in helping the organization resolve its issues rather than simply criticizing them.

Since then I have left AAWA and, to my knowledge, no response to the open offer has been forthcoming from the Governing Body. What’s more, even in that brief period, Watchtower’s situation has worsened. Lawyer Irwin Zalkin has launched his third child abuse lawsuit against the organization, and he has told reporters that he has at least ten cases at various stages. The Candace Conti appeal also remains in progress, and I am led to believe it isn’t looking good for Watchtower’s legal team.

Even the fiercest of rivals can find a truce if there is desire by both sides

Within a couple of years Watchtower could conceivably be in a position where they are hemorrhaging legal payouts at an unsustainable rate. Despite this potential cataclysm, there is no sign of any substantial changes to their child abuse policies that would genuinely protect children and silence their critics.

It would therefore make sense for Watchtower to be making tentative steps towards establishing a dialogue with those like myself and others who are willing to help guide the organization towards a state where it is no longer harming people in multiple ways and causing so much controversy.

For this reason I am once again extending the open offer I first made with AAWA. Only this time, there is a difference. I am not only interested in speaking with the Governing Body. I am interested in speaking with ANY brother or sister who works at Watchtower’s facilities in New York, whether at Patterson, Wallkill, Brooklyn, or (in future) at Warwick.

Before I go any further, I would just like to make it absolutely clear that my aim is not to conspire to cause any legal or financial harm to the organization, or to cause any criminal damage. If anything, my proposals would benefit Watchtower by working towards eliminating any justifiable criticism. They offer the potential of helping the organization survive the 21st Century in one piece – something which presently is looking increasingly unlikely.

My intentions are solely to help guide decision-makers into better understanding the concerns of many hundreds of Witnesses, as expressed through our global survey.

Ultimately it is in the interests of everyone, from so-called “apostates” to Governing Body members, for Watchtower to be in a position where it is doing only good, and no harm to anyone anymore. And yes, I believe that with just a few modifications in a few key but non-essential doctrinal and procedural areas, Watchtower can realistically achieve this objective.

Yes, I am an outspoken critic of the organization, and I will remain so for as long as nobody on the inside is making any effort to open a dialogue and listen to the concerns of others. Despite this, I am willing to make sacrifices and act as a go-between if I can see a readiness to listen. And it cannot be said of every Watchtower activist that they are willing to calmly correspond with bethel workers or those at senior levels in the organization without immediately trying to exploit the situation to their advantage.

I should point out that I am not trying or presuming to speak on behalf of the entire online JW community. Yes, I am in contact with a number of people who run other JW websites, but I am just one voice in a large crowd of people calling for change. There are many in the community (some running websites, some not) who have been doing this for much longer than me, and who are far more knowledgeable and experienced than I am. I realize this and I would be delighted if every JW website could extend the offer I am now making, or one similar to it.

I don’t believe it is overly important WHO opens a dialogue with the organization – merely that a dialogue is opened so that the harm being caused can be brought to an end sooner rather than later. This is my chief and overriding concern, and my motive for throwing my hat in the ring and reaching out to the organization in this rather unorthodox way.

The recent article about the JW.org store in France prompted a visit from Watchtower

If any bethel worker responds to my offer, I can assure him or her that I will not divulge any information or leak any details without their express agreement.

Any email correspondence will be carried out in the strictest confidence and with utmost concern for the person’s privacy and predicament.

True, it may take a while to establish a level of trust on both sides, but I am willing to take those first tentative steps if someone on the inside is similarly willing.

There are probably some reading this, barely containing their laughter, who are saying, “surely you don’t expect anyone at Watchtower to even read this offer, let alone respond to it.”

Well you might be surprised to know that bethel workers have visited JWsurvey as recently as June this year (which was the last time I checked). At that time I did a brief search of my web stats and discovered that I had been visited by the “Watchtower Bible And Tract Society Of New York.” Someone in Watchtower apparently took an interest in my article on the JW.org store.

It is therefore not unreasonable to suggest that bethel workers check up on JWsurvey from time to time. When they do, I want them to know that this offer exists and that I am ready and eager to open a line of communication with them without placing them at any risk. It certainly costs me nothing to offer the hand of friendship, and the potential gains could be unimaginable.

 

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33 Responses to An open offer to all workers at Brooklyn, Patterson and Wallkill

  1. Sabastious says:

    I too believe that the organization CAN be reformed into a respectable 21st century religion. However, what you will find, my friend, is that the Watchtower isn’t interested in being respectable. They are here to wage theological war and they intend to win. The endgame is total control over the human mind, body and spirit. To them there are only two classes: us and them. I appreciate your optimism, Cedars, and I wish your offer all the best, but I don’t see it panning out.

    • Cedars says:

      Thanks Sabastious. I understand your reasons for pessimism and share them to some degree. However, I have to go back to my original reasoning, which is “there’s no harm in trying.” As fun as it is to take pot shots at the Society week in, week out, I would much rather see an end to the harm. If the Society snubs my efforts, that’s up to them. At least I can look at myself and know I’ve tried everything.

  2. Sabastious says:

    Cedars, there certainly isn’t any harm in trying. I grew up in a household where parents vehemently debated silly subjects such as whether or not there would be meat in the new system. Or whether or not we were all going to live in the nude like Adam and Eve. In my early adult life I fretted over the fate of my relationship with my wife should one of us die before Armageddon. I was very frightened and there were no answers. This all came at a shock to me because I was supposedly born into a religion that had all the answers. What luck! 😉

    All throughout my Watchtower experience I wanted nothing but to change everything I saw. I wanted to tweak the system, but was met with strong negative reaction whenever I attempted. I always saw potential, but never the ability to change. Now I am on the outside looking in like so many others. On a life boat watching the ship sink to the bottom of the sea.

    That’s why the Tower fell, because it wasn’t about change. It was about setting up a big latter and watching others climb, fall and sometimes succeed.

  3. I am ready and eager to open a line of communication with them without placing them at any risk. Sooner or later Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to start feeling the effects of there beloved Organization falling apart at the seams as the old adage goes! There is more risk to Jehovah’s Witnesses by not taking the first steps to right the wrongs that the Watchtower is finding it’s self up against, and these problems will only get worse in the near future. This invitation is coming from a person who genuinely wants to help make positive changes for all Jehovah’s Witnesses whether you are serving in a Congregation or at Bethel. You may not respond today but I can assure you that that one “critical event” that will make it impossible for you to ignore is coming sooner then you think, please remember that we just want to help because we have been exactly where you are now.

  4. john says:

    Cedars i commend you for trying and i hope they do take up your offer, but if they don’t then we really know where they come from as they are unwilling to follow bible admonition by being open minded and not unduly reasonable. It has been said its hard to reason facts with facts when it comes to the JW mentality. In my opinion those of the Governing body should be held personally liable for their blatant disregard for secular law as regards reporting of such matters. They are just as much a accomplice to the abuser by allowing these individuals to remain among their ranks where the potential is great for them to repeat the offense again. Being isolated from the real world they really don’t understand the long term harm their causing these helpless trusting young victims. In a sense they are allowing further damage to the victim long term that causes them to suffer in many ways. We know the bible tells us “you will reap what you sow” and for the WTBS it is harvest time for their defiant stand of assuming the ultimate authority. They deserve whatever comes their way and i have no pity for them. I know all to well with my family tree and other relatives who are still JW’S the devastating effects of child abuse first hand and its long term effects upon the victims of child abuse. It outright disgusts me that they allow the non reporting of such offenses only for the reason of keeping face. After all what kind of apathy could we expect from the Governing body when most if not all have no Children. Jesus said to be like children, well wasn’t he saying how we should be innocent as they are? But yet they can’t follow bible counsel in many ways and end up not protecting the innocence of these children. They are a authority unto themselves in everything they do. They try to be unique because of their being the professed channel from God himself. I have one question for the whole Governing body and that’s DO YOU THINK GOD WOULD ALLOW YOU TO ALLOW SUCH INJUSTICES TOWARDS HIS CHILDREN IF YOU ARE HIS APPOINTED CHANNEL FOR MANKIND?

  5. john says:

    On a personal note my heart goes out to you on behalf of Candice and your whole Family. Thank that young lady for me as i have a 26 yr old daughter myself and have always made her aware of what could happen to her from child abusers. I love her with my whole heart and don’t know what i would do if that was ever to occur to her while she was young. I feel for you as a parent and commend your efforts to expose such a flawed policy on reporting that will hopefully protect children in the future. Again Thank You

  6. Juan Viejo says:

    Cedars – excellent article. As you are well aware, you would have scores of supporters that would contribute in any number of ways if setting up a meeting with the GB or their representatives was possible. The problem you and the rest of us face is that we are just tiny little voices crying out in the wilderness. The Watchtower doesn’t care who we are or even how many of us stand against them. The Watchtower is so tiny compared to the general population, that so far no government (except for possibly the Russians) has felt the need to act against them in spite of their gross crimes and misdemeanors. We – even those of us who have banded together and organized in some way – are even more insignificant in the grand scheme of things. The Watchtower will never come to the table until they are facing dozens of lawsuits for child abuse, wrongful death, theft of assets, and the breaking of contracts and realize that they will be paying out more money than can possibly be donated. We’ve got to make every civil authority aware of what they are up to and we have to encourage every JW to stop donating funds – not even a dollar. Only when their bank accounts are empty and the local sheriffs arrive to arrest them and sieze their assets will they realize they have been beaten. That’s when they will be willing to sit down with someone to work out a compromise. I doubt that I will live to see that ever happen, but am happy to work with you on laying the groundwork.

  7. Erik says:

    I am happy you are making this offer again Cedars. Let’s “keep on knocking, keep on asking”…those of us who believe in a higher power know that he is watching and waiting to see what each of us do individually. The “cowards are to be thrown into the lake of fire”; showing that we need to be brave and stay brave.
    Kathleen Conti; You stand for every mother who tried to protect her child, and was assured that she was safe among Jehovah’s Witnesses, for every mother who has seen her child hurt!! “Do not despise the day of small things”; the acts and the words we each do and write today are preserved for future readers. Amen!

  8. JimmyG says:

    Hi Cedars. You may not want to answer this question, but why did you leave AAWA?

  9. gary says:

    We shall see. I tend to be openminded. I came in from the outside. It was everything.some call it ellenore rigby:-) however somthing woke me up. So many sad and unhappy stories. What ever happens its beginning.

  10. gary says:

    I could tell you quite few. nite.

  11. former elder says:

    I dont believe that a religious organization can find the favour of god. Already Rutherford in the book “Enemies” declared that organized religion stems from Satan. And so we see – they repeat all what Rutherford had condemned. at least they are “church” now, where I was told that a church accepted by CEsar pays gods things to Cesar

  12. JF0911 says:

    Ecclésiaste 1:15. There is no objective reason to allow WT to survive. She does not deserve it.

    • David Martin says:

      Yet…. it lives and thrives. wonder why that is? No, actually you wouldn’t, You’re just hard hearted cause you got the boot. It’s okay, we understand. It’s tough hating an organization, because you wish it were one person you could direct your hate to. It’s okay, again we understand.

  13. WT Critic says:

    Cedars, How many times did you see visits from Watchtower visitors?

  14. george says:

    A noble act, Cedars. Mrs. Conti, I would like to add my sincere sympathy to those of the other posters. I cannot imagine the horror you and your daughter have been through. I am hopeful that your brave stand will aid so many more to seek justice.

    I cannot see Jehovah’s Witnesses surviving the end of the 21st century in its current form. They must see that. I hope that they will change their immoral attitude to reporting abuse to the authorities. I am telling everyone I know about this disgusting policy. Best wishes George

  15. george says:

    One further thing. At no time in the bible was wrong doing covered up by God to avoid shame and a bad witness to the nations. God always uncovered sin, in public and solutions were expressed unambiguously. The GB have no right to cover up horrific crimes, solely to keep a good name. It’s completely unscriptural

  16. 70wksofyrs says:

    I agree with your motives Cedars, the olive branch approach is the most sensible and loving. If open dialogue is what you are seeking and the GB always recognise this if reading articles on your site, you are beyond reproach with hundreds of witnesses. If members of the GB are visiting your site with bad motives, to try and close you down or write articles about apostate websites, that is their problem….at least you are extending the olive branch and each visit you get from them…they will see. So keep on writing articles that offer open dialogue, well done.

  17. Alden says:

    Hi Juan, a stunningly good contribution! We think along similar lines.

  18. Alden says:

    Cedars, good showing! Your intentions are good and that’s what counts before God the most. It’s bigger than we are and takes someone “Bigger” to handle it. It’s good for us that we love our enemies, while hating the bad inside them. Cheers Mate!

  19. Thinking of leaving says:

    The day they call you for a meeting will be same day I put my full name and address on here and ask them to disfellowship me, and we both know that there is more chance of pigs flying. I did however find your sincerity amusing.

  20. george says:

    This is not just an amusing sign of sincerity. It is part of a long term strategy. Eventually the GB will mess up spectacularly. They already have. By offering to talk, by providing the survey, Cedars is demonstrating that the GB WERE warned. They will not be able to say that they were unaware of the many problems. Well done, Cedars!

    • David Martin says:

      …what do you mean the Governing Body was warned? The GB as you call them, did what the “law” instructed them to do. Why is that only ONE case has been adjudged. Whereas the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church and several others have literally thousands of lawsuits on the books. Jehovahs Witnesses were and are still one of the strictest religions ever on earth. What makes you think they would EVER comply with, or be complicate with the rape or molestation, of CHILDREN? Every sect of human beings, has abhorrent people within it. There are, Criminal people everywhere. It’s called imperfection. And as strict a religion as everyone says they are, what makes you think they would knowingly protect some who take such gross advantage of children! You single them out, because you feel they singled you out. You were unjustly criticized, or even removed. But we all know, that was really your choice. So hate who you may, hate even me. But chances are, you’re hating in your own small world. It’s lonely place to be. Hate just scribbles your world up!

      • Nancy says:

        There is no other organization on Earth which calls itself “The Truth” and whose leaders say everything they decide is by The Holy Spirit and say nobody but them are God approved. Are you not aware that if you disagree with any decisions of the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, come the war of “the great day of God the Almighty” (Revelation 16:14), you will be executed by Jesus Christ The Prince of Peace, according to JW dogma? Is that not what they teach?

        Is there nothing wrong with allowing elder or ministerial privileges to a man accused of child abuse? The Bible says a man with an accusation against him should not serve. (1 Timothy 3:7) But the governing body have said an accusation needs to come with proof. The Bible says nothing about proof.

        I think they have let people go about their JW business even after testimony that they have been abusive. Testimony, true or false, should be enough for the taking away of sacred privileges which includes going door to door with good news. If someone is allowed in the ministry it must be assumed that he or she is irreprehensible.

        Do you see the difference between JW treatment of the problem and other churches?

  21. Nancy says:

    I agree with JF0911. There are so many things wrong with their teachings, they cannot possibly be acquited. If they were to “become white like snow” (Isaiah 1:18) they wouldn’t be the Watchtower anymore. Can they deny themselves? I am sure it is possible, it is not likely though.
    I also agree with Sab. They will win this or die trying. What will they win? They want to win the Earth.
    They have been left to save face, but only according to their own opinion of themselves. It is very sad.

  22. Les Hoy says:

    Cedars, your attempt is commendable !
    …. however we are dealing with an antichrist here and it’s complete evil control and bad indoctrination.
    Pride is the face of it all but i pray that good will come even in it’s destruction.

  23. JW-4EVER!!! says:

    You are unique Cedar. No other non-believers or apostates (harsher word) would offer such a deal. I for one who will be a JW-4EVER applaud your desire to help the organization salvage these difficult times. I am equally perplexed by the organizations rock hard stance concerning child abuse. They need to change that policy and throw the child molesters to the dogs (the police) before alerting the elders. I also applaud your desire to open a dialogue with the Governing Body on those terms.

    I, as stated, will be a JW-4EVER because I was born into this and I like it. I feel good on the inside. I also like your desire for reform. I trust your honesty and feel that you have no ulterior motive. Hopefully, some on the inside will listen to you and begin some dialogue. The Governing Body means well. I truly believe this having met some many, many years ago. I love the structure of the organization, the simplicity with which we live our lives (no holidays, etc) and the assemblies where we sing and listen in brotherhood and fellowship. These things I love and will continue to do.

    I am not pessimistic about your efforts. Given time and chance as Ecclesiastes states you may be rewarded in your attempts. Also as the parable that Jesus used about the old lady and her demands for justice, persistence pays off. So keep it up and there may be a turnaround. Here’s to you and your efforts. Keep up the good work.

    By the way more articles on the financial structure of the organization will be appreciated. I am a Nosey Nellie and just like knowing. I love numbers and math so all this information is just like a juicy fruit to my palate.

  24. skally says:

    Cedars,

    Please do not tell me you are setting up a meeting with the gb, on your lil’ vacation. Just what are yiu doing and why have you deleted most of my posts from your site here? Surely, I do not pose any threat to you and your organization(s). Surely.

    Just what are you up to? And is Vince your new sidekick these days?

  25. Peter Bartley says:

    Yes well good luck with any dialogue you may have with them. It’s not going to happen of course, they are way too arrogant to even consider talking to you. Good on you for trying though. Keep up the good work.

  26. Average Joe says:

    Surely the subtitle to this article and its icon to the right of each page should be:
    “Do you STILL work at Bethel…?!”
    Given all the recent cutbacks ha ha

  27. Franko says:

    Dear Cedars, of all the misguided attepts at reconciliation, no one mentions the importance of spiritual guidance. You see, nothing can be achieved without the Divine intervention of the one and only true God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, through his son Yeshua( Jesus). If an organisation is built on a foundation of deceit and falsehood, what is there to ‘rebuild’ by man. You cannot have the answer for this organization, you are longingly reaching out, but if it is not The will of God, you can only pray for them. You will not be their saviour. Go back and research the foundation of this false religion and if it is not revealed to you , then I am afraid for you. Your longing to get back is a sign that you still believe in a false god whose name was created by the Roman Catholics.

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