At last! The results of the 2013 Global Survey are finally published
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The silent majority are slowly finding their voice

The silent majority are slowly finding their voice

Nearly three years ago this website was launched with the aim of gathering the opinions of the “silent majority” – the multitudes of current and former Witnesses whose lives are profoundly impacted by the Governing Body but who have no say in how these men devise and implement their policies.

Since then our “Global Survey” has gone from strength to strength, with 1,751 making their voices heard in last year’s Survey, and already more than 3,000 voting in the new improved 2014 Global Survey with over four months to go!

But surveys are meaningless unless you get to see the results, and due to various factors (including the birth of my daughter) it has been more difficult than I anticipated to sit down and make some sense of the data that was received last year.

Thankfully, after a major push over the last few days, I’ve managed to get the results formatted into a handy PDF document, which you can download on the link below…

Download the 2013 Global Survey results

Rather than repeat what I have already written in the results PDF, here is a rundown of some of the most eye-catching statistics from last year’s poll…

  • As mentioned, 1,751 voted on the 2013 Global Survey – an 18% increase on the previous year
  • 67% of voters were from North America, 18 voted from Asia and 2 from the Middle East
  • 63% of voters had been baptized for between 10 and 40 years
  • 292 active Jehovah’s Witnesses (16.7% of voters) participated (although this figure is already as high as 588 for the 2014 Survey)
  • 28 serving elders voted
  • 17 professed “anointed” voted
  • 3 active bethelites voted (already 12 have voted in the 2014 Survey)
  • 1 voter claims to have previously served on a branch committee
  • 78% of inactive voters say they can “no longer preach about something that [they] do not believe in [their] heart”
  • 63% of DF’d/DA’d voters say they left due to disagreeing with JW teachings (only 28% say they transgressed the moral code)
  • 81% of unbaptized voters say they have JW family (up from 61% the year before)
  • 18 unbaptized voters say they are romantically involved with a JW
  • 77% of unbaptized voters say Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult, only 1% (three individuals) aspire to be a JW
  • 35% of the professed-anointed voters “just know” that they are heaven-bound
  • Only 11.5% across all voter categories think of the 144,000 as a literal number
  • Two thirds of voters across all voter categories agree that the “new light” on the faithful and discreet slave was a “cynical attempt at consolidating control of the organization” by the Governing Body
  • Two-thirds of self-avowed apostates say the Governing Body “should be held to account for their actions”
  • 44.5% of all self-avowed apostates say they love Jehovah’s Witnesses and are concerned about them being misled
  • 44.6% of active Witness voters would accept a blood transfusion, either secretly or openly
  • 77.6% across all voter categories don’t think JWs should have charitable or non-profit status
  • 79% of DF’d/DA’d voters say they are shunned by JW family members (up from 76% the previous year)
  • 59% of inactive voters say they are remaining inactive through fear of being shunned (75% would leave if shunning were abolished)
  • 64% of inactive voters experience “pre-emptive shunning” as so-called bad associates
  • 44% of elder voters say elders are motivated by a desire for prominence
  • 93.2% of voters across all categories say elders are NOT appointed by holy spirit
  • 88.7% of voters across all categories say there is no freedom to express a difference of opinion among JWs
  • 48.9% of voters across all categories say they have been the subject of a judicial committee hearing
  • 76% of elder voters say they have regretted a decision they arrived at on a judicial committee
  • 71% of inactive voters say they no longer attend the memorial
  • 58.4% of inactive, DF’d/DA’d and non-baptized voters are atheist, agnostic, or have no religious beliefs
  • Only 6.5% of inactive, DF’d/DA’d and non-baptized voters believe they will be resurrected on Earth after they die
  • 95% of DF’d/DA’d voters say they are happier since leaving
  • 2% of DF’d DA’d voters say they could recommend becoming a JW
  • 86.3% of voters across all categories say Jehovah’s Witnesses are NOT God’s spirit-directed organization
  • 52.6% of voters across all categories say the organization should be abolished rather than reformed
  • 209 individuals say they have been reinstated purely to have access to family members
  • 85.8% of voters across all categories say they have heard of a Jehovah’s Witness committing or attempting suicide
  • 62% of inactive voters say they have experienced family/marital problems due to their inactivity
  • Higher education remains the most contentious of all Watchtower teachings and practices for the third successive year, with 96.2% of voters objecting
  • 16.9% of voters (266 individuals out of 1,573) ticked to say they agree with all Watchtower beliefs and practices

Taken as a whole, the survey results will not make enjoyable reading for the Governing Body!

That said, the Governing Body are arguably the least likely to be interested in examining the results, as previous surveys have shown. Indeed, the indifference these men have shown to what we are trying to do on this website has led to a “Message to the Governing Body” on page 4 of the results PDF that is far more terse and to-the-point than in previous years!

But irrespective of the Governing Body’s apathy regarding the opinions and concerns of those they rule over, it is encouraging to note that this has in no way hampered the growing popularity of our Global Survey, as the following graph demonstrates…

Total number of Global Survey voters

survey-progressIt seems like only yesterday when the only voice I had as a Witness was the ‘privilege’ of putting my hand up at meetings, or occasionally standing on the platform at meetings and assemblies, to parrot words that Watchtower had put in my mouth over years of indoctrination.

Now I consider it a pleasure and an honor to be joining my voice with the growing numbers both inside and outside the organization who feel “enough is enough,” and who aren’t afraid to say so.

 

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93 Responses to At last! The results of the 2013 Global Survey are finally published

  1. anonymous says:

    Hi Another anonymous. I would never say that Jehovah is the only true God, the creator of the universe if you are a Bible believer. You should look up the meaning of the word Jehovah in your Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and you will see that the Jewish rendition of that name means God of Mischief which is really fitting for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society’s God. Also in the 1980 February 1, page 11, it says that the name was invented by a Spanish Monk in 1270 C.E. so the name Jehovah was never in the original manuscripts but an invented name over 700 years ago. So the name of Jehovah works great for the Watchtower. Not going to argue with you there.

  2. anonymous says:

    Hi Veronica. I have been watching comments on this web-site for quite some time now and I don’t remember anybody implying that Jehovah’s Witnesses as a whole, are evil. Also, nobody is going to argue that there aren’t some good aspects to being a JW either. I do think the Governing Body though are evil.

  3. Excelsior says:

    JW4EVER,

    Thank you for acknowledging that child abuse is a major problem in the WTBTS. The first step to solving this disgusting situation is to recognise that it exists. You are a Christian, and so I will leave it to you to decide what you shall do about it, in line with your Christian conscience.

    I honour the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom over the centuries. I recognise your right to be a pacifist, but you should respect the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for your freedom. They have given the same sacrifice as the one you call Lord and Saviour, namely their lives.

    You need to think about what you have found out. You need to pray about it. You need to remember that you are a human being, and that the billions of other human beings have as much right as you to a happy life.

    By all means, be a JW forever, but be a righteous one. Do not pass on by when you see injustice and suffering. Do what is right, not what is easy.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  4. Papaguy says:

    No he is not.he is a made up God.

  5. Veronica b. says:

    Rowland, I will admit you are right to a certain extent. However, most organized Christian religions have a set creed, or doctrine, e.g. The Catholic Church, the orthodox, Presbyterian etc. Most believe their doctrine to be truth. The only difference between them and witnesses is that they don’t shove their doctrines or beliefs down their members’ throats. So you will find a catholic who chooses not to believe in purgatory or the saints, however, the Catholic Church regards those teachings as truth. They just do not disfellowshipped individual members for disagreeing.
    I personally believe that one of the biggest problems with Jehovah’s Witnesses is their insistence on forcing doctrine down people’s throats. I believe more people would stay in the organization if they were allowed to disagree. That is why I personally choose not to go back. I will attend a meeting once in a blue moon, and still have family (my parents and one sister) and friends in the organization who want me to go back, but I cannot, since I no longer agree with everything that is taught.

  6. micaiah says:

    Is a sanitized version of the raw data available?

  7. Samuel Clemente says:

    I was born and raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was baptized when I was ten years old. Pioneer for a good number of years. I was a member of Brooklyn Bethel family for many years. It was in Bethel where I lost my faith and zeal in the organization. I started having second thoughts about the Watchtower as being “God’s visible organization on earth.” I left the organization and fade it into the night. Some thirty years later, I still believe in God, the Bible and believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and savoiur. I have no desire whatsoever to belong to any organized religion. The book of Romans says that salvation is based on your personal relationship with God and so no religion or any other mortal like myself can grant me salvation, only God through his mediator Jesus Christ can do that. Whether it would be in the heavens or in the earth doesn’t matter. The Bible tell us that God will open his hand and will satisfy the desire of any human being. I do not hate anybody. We are all God’s creatures. He who does not love his fellow men doesn’t love God for God’s way is love.

  8. GEM says:

    @ Samuel: Well said! My sentiments entirely.

    My favourite scripture, Psalm 145:16 summed up in one comment.

    Thank you

  9. anonymous says:

    Hi Veronica b. I have family and many friends who are Witnesses, who I am not at liberty to tell why I haven’t been going to meetings for the last few months and not in service. If I told them why, I’d be disfellowshipped for apostasy and I am quite sure they’d think I was fit for destruction at Armageddon for doing it.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are brainwashed to believe that they are God’s spokesmen on earth to warn the “wicked”. They force it down people’s throats unwittingly because they are convinced that the Society is telling them the truth and the whole truth. They don’t realize they are being fed lie upon lie because they are forbidden to look at so-called “apostate” web sites so they are kept in the dark. They are deceived deceivers and are wasting their precious lives on an organization that taking advantage of them.

    The Governing Body are responsible for the lies and they owe it to the rest of the “flock” to tell them the truth about the real history of the organization and that they are not “chosen” by God to be their rulers (i.e. Governing Body).

    I for one can’t teach lies as truth such as teaching that Jerusalem fell in 607 when thousands of cuneiform tables prove that Jerusalem fell in 586 B.C.E. All of our literature is based on Jerusalem having had to fall in 607 B.C.E. and if a person disproves that to the elders, using our own literature such as the 1965 Watchtower Jan. 1, we will probably be shunned and marked as bad association or possibly disfellowshipped for apostasy such as what happened to Carl Olaf Johnson. How can you possibly think that God would chose an organization that insists on people teaching lies as truth and if they don’t do it, disfellowship them for arguing with the fact that they can’t teach that myth as a fact and have the good conscience to tell anybody else what you found?

    Even if you go to one meeting once in a while, you are giving off the impression to the rest of the congregation that you support it. We all need to take a stand and show that we can’t support such a system that has no respect for God or the Bible.

  10. Rosie says:

    @JW-4EVER

    You stated, “I feel a tremendous sense of relief from NOT, I repeat NOT having to celebrate any worldly non-Xtian festivals (birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, New Years, etc, etc). It has been like taking a massive weight off my back.”

    When I was a child being strictly brought up as a JW, I DREADED Christmas, Easter etc. These times weighed heavy with me because of Watchtower Rules.

    As a little girl aged 7yrs old I was picked to play a flower in the school play at Easter time. Once word about the play reached my JW parents, to my embarrassment, a visit to the school ensued and the teacher was told in no uncertain terms that I “as one of JWs” WOULD NOT be appearing in the Easter Play. So to her delight and my great disappointment, another little girl got to wear my pretty flower costume and appear in the play.

    The lead up to Christmas was always awful – I had to refuse in front of my classmates to take part in anything to do with Christmas. I was made fun of because of this and missed out on many activities that I would like to have been involved in.

    When anyone wished me “Happy Christmas” or “Happy Birthday”, I had to inform them (in that superior manner of JWs thinking they know more than anyone else), that I did not believe in Christmas, Birthdays etc, and it was wrong to celebrate these Pagan festivals.

    Oh the relief when I left the Org and these restrictions were no longer forced upon me!

    The first year after I left and former friends and family had turned their backs upon me, I was invited by a friend to spend Christmas with her family at their home in Cornwall. Her close-knit family circle warmly made me welcome. I was asked if I wanted to attend midnight mass with them at Truro Cathedral, but I was in no way under any obligation. I had a wonderful time that Christmas, with no guilt whatsoever.

    In subsequent years if I feel like partaking in any holiday festivities I do, if I don’t then I don’t. (Quite often I don’t bother). I am not pressurised and don’t feel the need to get immersed in the commercialism of these holidays and whether I believe in the holiday or not is irrelevant, because here’s the point JW-4Ever;

    I AM FREE TO CHOOSE!

  11. GEM says:

    My good ‘ol Mum defied my Father (an Elder) and would always put up the Christmas bunting. We always had traditional Christmas Day fare.

    It was very hard in a “divided” household… with Dad refusing to engage in the actual celebrating of the event. In our case, being grateful to Mum for her kindness at this time (and through the Year)… but, being made to feel guilty and unable to say Merry Christmas or Happy birthday ( I had double blow as my birthday is January 3rd)

    And, yet though I read here about the strict adherence to WT in “United” JW homes… my Father developed a balanced approach over the years. In field service at that time of the year, he would often be offered a Xmas drink by householders. After field service he would go back and have a drink with them… he would never toast or wish them Seasons Greetings… but, say “All the best, I hope You and Your family have a wonderful time together.”

    I guess it was that lack of reasonableness that got to me when I made it to the “the house of God”… Bethel… where I was invited to the home of a new Greek family at Christmas. A Hindu family had given them a Turkey, which had been given to them. They, of course were Vegetarians.

    There we were with another couple from Bethel and a few others, when the wife, Elizabeth… walked in proudly with a Handsome looking huge Turkey. The Bethel couple declined to eat and walked out on account of their conscience. It belittled everyone else.

    I stayed… it was bloody delicious!

  12. Ted says:

    Active witnesses, some with 40 or more years service in the Org,
    taking part in the survey. As you rightly say Cedars, it shows
    defiance of instructions and possibly opinions that conflict with
    the G,B.

    Then why do they keep associating.? Some time ago I had
    discussions with an elder, ( who is also a relative) we talked about
    the numerous false predictions in view of Deuteronomy, 18/22,
    He openly admitted, that they were false prophets and could not
    be directed by Holy Spirit, yet he keeps going to meetings and
    what’s even less understandable, keeps preaching in the field.

    This particular elder has spent 58 years as a J,W, and probably
    the thought of having thrown away most of his life, is something
    too difficult to face up to.

    Also there’s the pressure of the shunning issue. His children,
    in laws, and grandchildren, are all witnesses.

    Could it be he feels people depend on him, or is there an element
    of prestige involved, being looked up to by the family and
    Congregation.

    And too he’s had business connections with other J,W,s for
    many years.

    Personally I cannot see reason in pursuing a goal that’s perceived
    to be futile. But everyone has their own decision to make.

  13. gary says:

    I’m well dressed waiting on the last train. You can’t win with a losing hand.

  14. Robin says:

    Then why do they keep associating.?

    Fear of being shunned, lose all your friends, family. Get lost after so many years of daily routine.

    One does not simply begin a new life after leaving the organization.

  15. dek says:

    its just to keep your family (children, g-children) that the clear majority do what we have to do, even if we don’t believe. Isnt it partly our fault, after all , I raised my children to believe this way and now that they do and I don’t , I cant expect them (children & g-children) to except me. I have four(4) children , 3 will associate with me, one (1) definitely not since 2005. so if and when I decide to be reinstated, what kind of relationship will we have ? that remains to be seen , after all , didn’t I teach her to be this way ? More startling though , are the figures: 44% of elders seek prominence (thank you for your honesty) its much, much higher than that, they just haven’t been surveyed . 93 % believe elders not appointed by holy spirit – also over the top , since I was an elders daughter and wife – I can tell you it was mostly who you know. by the way – this also was an issue with elders chumming up to the CO,s , one reason why I believe appointments by CO will be an epic fail

    • alanv says:

      Just on the point of elders being appointed by holy spirit, I was told by an elder once that because elders have to reach the bible requirement that Paul laid down in his letters, that means they were appointed by holy spirit because the bible is inspired by holy spirit.
      Of course in reality, that means nothing as elders can be hiding things from their past and they still get appointed.

      • Gareth says:

        Yeah, I would imagine all Christian denominations base their criteria for servants and elders (or the equivalent role) to be on the bible; does that mean they are appointed by holy spirit as well?

  16. Ted says:

    Robin,

    You make a very fair point. After many years of
    a structured routine it’s difficult to change.
    Also there’s a loss of identity as one of the favoured
    few, as well as a loss of purpose, even though it’s
    led to disappointment. I left after 24 years and at
    first there was a void.

    Giving most of my free time was not a problem.
    It was when they demanded my mind even my
    private thoughts had to be in line with the F,A,D,S,
    otherwise I was like Satan, proud, rebellious, etc,
    (In other words don’t bother to think we’ll do it for
    you.)

    Getting free isn’t made easy but the alternative is
    submission .

    Best wishes.

  17. Rowland Nelken says:

    Jw.org to continue forever? But Armageddon is just around the corner, as it has been since 1879. When the earth is populated solely by immortal JWs and resurrected JW thinkalikes from previous centuries, what need will ther be for the mags, conventions, door knockings, Kingdom Halls and websites? Seems you do not believe in the prime JW doctrine, the central sick and obscene obsession, the imminence of Armageddon and Jehovah’s mass orgy of destruction and punshment of your fellow humans.

  18. Interrogative? says:

    Hi Cedars,

    Your message to the governing body of JW is very statistical. Why not ?

    A business religious company should be addressed as a “drawing up columns of figures company”, shouldn’t they ?

    They surely prefer numbers, as all they need above all to survive are cash contributors. Love is not a top priority to them.

    So much work you have done Cedars. I am sure you are keeping time to cradle your newborn child.

    All the best and take care !

  19. JW-4EVER!!! says:

    TED-Active witnesses, some with 40 or more years service in the Org, taking part in the survey. As you rightly say Cedars, it shows defiance of instructions and possibly opinions that conflict with the G,B.

    ME-I would say a difference of opinions but not defiance. I differ on some points but I do not defy them.

    TED-Then why do they keep associating.? Some time ago I had discussions with an elder, ( who is also a relative) we talked about the numerous false predictions in view of Deuteronomy, 18/22,
    He openly admitted, that they were false prophets and could not be directed by Holy Spirit, yet he keeps going to meetings and what’s even less understandable, keeps preaching in the field.

    ME-I keep associating because I enjoy it. I like the meetings. I believe what I have learned, most of it, and that keeps me going. I enjoy the strictness with which we live.

    TED-This particular elder has spent 58 years as a J,W, and probably the thought of having thrown away most of his life, is something too difficult to face up to.
    ME-I don’t feel my life has been thrown away at all. In fact, my life has purpose and meaning because of it. I truly enjoy being a JW.

    TED-Also there’s the pressure of the shunning issue. His children, in laws, and grandchildren, are all witnesses.
    ME-I just saw a video where the Amish shun too. I thought we were the only ones. For the record, I agree with shunning.

    TED- I cannot see reason in pursuing a goal that’s perceived to be futile. But everyone has their own decision to make.
    ME-I don’t see it as futile. I was born and raised in the Truth. I had a choice as an adult to stay or leave. When I saw the world around me and I saw what I had in this spiritual paradise, I decided never to leave.

  20. Abigail Parker says:

    How bizarre that 125 responded that they agree with every WTS doctrine, yet this is in direct contradiction to being on your site, which is clearly off-limits to active JWs. That level of cognitive dissonance is astounding. It is at once , the very thing that makes one able to function as a JW and what can nearly destroy you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Very telling. Good work on the survey–thanks for all your efforts. It does make a difference for so many and it is greatly appreciated.

  21. Art Fern says:

    Kat, thank you so much for your kind words. If they were part of a eulogy when I passed away, I would consider my life to have been a success. I have a great love for the ex-witness’s who are suffering, together we can offer them love that is without condition. Thanks again, I am humbled and touched.

  22. Excelsior says:

    JW4EVER!

    If you differ from what the FADS currently believes then you are an apostate. It’s that simple. There is no room for differences of opinion in your religion.

    You have visited and commented on this site, that makes you an apostate, too.

    If you love being a JW, then you need to stop posting here. If word gets out that you have been visiting and posting on apostate sites, then you will be facing a judicial committee.

    If they don’t believe that you are obedient to EVERY utterance from the GB, then they will disfellowship you and they will shun you.

    I have been shunned and it’s tough to take. I hope you are prepared for the psychological damage that ensues. If not, then too bad because you think it’s the right thing to do!

    I find your stance very difficult to understand. You acknowledge that there are serious problems with your religion, and yet you want to stay a fully signed up member and support it financially and through your labour.

    Hey, it’s your choice and you are always welcome here. You have the freedom to decide what you will do with your life. If you want to spend it in a high control cult and believe utter nonsense then that’s up to you. Just don’t expect any of us to join you!

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  23. Abigail Parker says:

    Exactly!

    To visit this site is forbidden.
    To differ from even one belief as outlined in stone (until it changes again) by the Governing Body, make JWForever an apostate by WTS definition.

  24. JW-4EVER!!! says:

    E-If you differ from what the FADS currently believes then you are an apostate. It’s that simple. There is no room for differences of opinion in your religion.You have visited and commented on this site, that makes you an apostate, too.
    ME-I have heard from some within that there is a slow movement within the JW ORG to take it back to Russell’s times. They want to return to some aspects of the ways by which Russell organized this whole movement. If you have noticed the GB is being less critical of the Bible Students and less critical of Russell. These contacts that I have, have also told me that big changes are coming.

    There is also a decentralizing movement in the works. There will be greater autonomy with the congregations to make many of their own decisions. This is a definite return to the times of Russell. Of course, all of this information at this point is speculative and mostly hearsay but at other times I have been given information along these lines and it turned out to be accurate.

    So, big changes are coming. The JW ORG may become less critical of those it deems as apostates in the future. As the old adage goes, the only constant is change. I look forward to these changes. I am a JW-4EVER but I never liked Rutherford and the changes he made. I am more of a Russellite in terms of his decentralized form by which the churches operated and functioned.

    Most of the pro-Rutherford GB members have died or all have died I believe. This new bunch of GB members are more flexible and open to change in ways that no other GB group has been. At least this is what my contacts have told me. Time will tell but decentralization is in the works. You’ll remember me what I have written here once the wheels of change start spinning.

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      Too right JW4ever. Once a JW/Bible Student TRUTH, it’s always a JW/Bible student TRUTH. That holds even when the God issued TRUTH changes.

      So, the 1914 Rapture, Jesus’ 1879 and 1914 returns as well as the Masonic Cross and Christmas celebrations are fine, unless you pull a Christmas cracker and then Jehovah will execute you at his 1925 Armageddon. Jehovah does not care about blood transfusions but will execute you if you have one. You can have blood fractions but be executed and not executed but definitely executed or not if you donate blood.

      Beware of Satanic aluminium!

      But don’t worry about it.

      YOu are so right JW 4 Ever. I think all followers of this blog are now converted by virtue of your inside knowledge and wisdom and will be ordering our Pyramid shaped gravestones and applying to join our local Masonic Lodges.

      SO long as we hurry and get baptised before the 1915 Armageddon we may yet have a place reserved in Paradise Earth!

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      There is at least one group of Russellite Bible Students still practising. Maybe you should join them. What aspects of RUssellism do you want? Helping black guys to turn white? Masonic symbols? Pyramidology? A 1914 Armageddon? The Rapture?

      In all your lengthy posts, JW4ever, you have not given one piece of evidence to suggest that the JW bosses, today, in Russell’s day, or at any time, are or were God’s exclusive earthly reps. You have given no evidence to suggest that the rambling collection of writings known as the Bible is of divine inspiration and thus infallible.

      You have simply paraded yourself as, in JW terms, an apostate and thus ripe for Armageddon execution on account of interacting on apostate websites.

      You have also demonstrated the tragic and imprisoned mindset of a victim of cult mind control.

      It is clear; you have written so yourself, that you are not thoroughly at ease with the current state of JWdom; henece this ridiculous ‘RUssell tendency’ wishful thinking.

      YOu are unable, as yet, to realise that the whole JW caboodle, Russell, Rutherford, Knorr, Gov. Bod. or whatever, is a ghastly phenomeneon, serving only to boost the egos of the control freaks at the top and to exploit deluded followers like you.

      Here’s to your awakening and escape!

  25. Abigail Parker says:

    Other cults shun, so it is okay?

  26. Excelsior! says:

    JW4EVER!,

    If what you say comes to pass, then that will be a welcome change. However, I shall have to remain skeptical. I will believe it when it happens.

    How will these rumoured changes affect the WTBTS’ policy on child abuse? Will they come clean about the cover ups? Will they compensate the victims?

    I’m afraid that I do not share your optimistic appraisal of the situation. I see some cosmetic changes, but I do not see the fundamental policies change.

    Your argument that “others shun so it is ok” is very difficult to understand from a rational point of view. If you discuss shunning with any psychologist then they will tell you that shunning is traumatic and damaging. Would your God of Love want to cause his creation mental anguish and trauma? Would Jesus think this was right? Please direct me to a verse in the Gospels where Jesus shunned someone? When i was disfellowshipped and shunned I went into a bout of depression and it was extremely difficult for me for about 3 years. I hope that you do not have to suffer that. I hope that you will not shun others. It is a cruel, viscous tool that has no place in Christian worship.

    I came back to this religion because I found out about the child abuse cover ups and other morally outrageous crimes. My motive is to help others and protect children and women from WTBTS abuse. That’s why I’m here. It is, in my opinion, a fitting act of respect for Jesus and it is the right thing to do.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  27. Abigail Parker says:

    Going back to the church of Russell? Measuring pyramids and miles between American cities to predict Christ’s Second Coming? Miracle Wheat and others money making schemes? Illicit dealings with servant girls? People of dark skin made light in the perfection on Paradise? Have you done any reading into the reality of the Charles Taze Russell and the beginnings of his publishing company? He and Joseph Smith and other Millerites were quite the characters, but not ones I would be inclined to believe inspired by God to interpret scriptures.

  28. Big Jim says:

    Aw, big deal. I feel motivated to preach all the more. I care about people and feel concerned about encouraging them spiritually. I do not wish to belabor the point that I was ready to be ordained as a Lutheran Pastor when I dug into a deeper study of God’s Word. My point is, I want to minister to my fellow man. I never had holy spirit while at the seminary, but I was still motivated. Christian religions today are still the “household of God.” They merely have gone off course, like the nation of Israel in Jesus’ day. The early Christians preached only to Jews until 36 CE, when Cornelias was converted, even though the Jews murdered Jesus. Then Christianity went off the deep end. Too bad. But they still are the household of God, only apostate. I learned to be a self starter and be one on one with God. Whatever goes on inside religion does not concern me. That is God’s problem. If He tolerates it, fine. I am here to minister to my fellow man. In fact, I am currently visiting clergymen and discussing scriptures. They and I have a common cause, we all went to seminaries. If a religion suffers from botchulism as in bothching up lives, it is because self righteous men wanting power. Let them have it. If we cannot stand the heat in the congregation, move on and minister alone. Do not sit at home and throw stones at the religion. Get up and show ’em what’s right by example. Then perhaps they will listen to us and finally “get it.” Right now, it “ain’t working this way.” No more patting each other on the back. Now it is time to join hands and minister to the world who know nothing about the goings on in the congregation.

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      Ahem! Big Jim – Crucifixion was a Roman, not a Jewish punishment. The Romans executed Jesus, but the blame was later put on the Jews. At the time of the Crucifixion, Jesus’ little band was but one of many potentially subversive groups of Jewish Apocalyptists.

      Sorry for going off topic, but we cannot have this oft repeated slander, the root of so much anti Semitism down the centuries, pass without comment and correction.

  29. Excelsior! says:

    Big Jim,

    I do not sit at home and throw rocks. I do not pat people on the back. What do you think we want to achieve?

    Your assumption that we are all Christians here is erroneous.

    I applaud all the work that is done by all of us, regardless of whether we are religious or not. Why can’t you?

    I have no desire to go and preach to anyone about anything. I want to help expose and change the policies of a corrupt and cruel religion. That is what I do, and I don’t need praise or rebuke from you.

    If you want to help us, then welcome! If you think that what I and others are doing is not right, then do something different! I do not believe that preaching is the only solution as you do.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  30. JW-4EVER!!! says:

    E-If what you say comes to pass, then that will be a welcome change. However, I shall have to remain skeptical. I will believe it when it happens.

    ME-The changes will not be sudden. They will be extremely slow and steady but there is allegedly from what I have been told a great shake-up coming in the fall meeting of the corporations. I know very little about these corporations so we shall have to wait on that one. Of course, all of this is highly speculative.

    E-How will these rumoured changes affect the WTBTS’ policy on child abuse? Will they come clean about the cover ups? Will they compensate the victims?

    ME-This is where it gets interesting. I believe, I have not been told this, that the changes coming are because of the child abuse policy. A movement towards the times of Russell is a decentralizing move. In Russell’s time per what BS have told me, each church was truly independent. They had fellowship with one another based on a common creed and set core belief system which are the main points we share with them. It is the most basic teachings.

    All the churches or ecclesias as they called and call them today them share(d) a common core set of beliefs but they could differ on everything else with no problem. Russell was not their leader and is not today. They wanted to make him their leader but he refused back in the day. The current BS have told me this. As a result, no central body was responsible for all the churches. In fact, Russell’s own personal views regarding pyramids was not even accepted by all BS back then or now. Variance regarding those issues is allowed.

    I feel to a certain degree the GB will want to move in this direction in order to defer to each congregation the responsibility of dealing with child molesters in their midst. It is either that or they maybe envisioning a collapse scenario where the GB is unable to direct the organization at large and what to do under such an event. The congregations acting independently as they did during Russell’s time but adhering to a core set of beliefs maybe an alternative they are looking into.

    The GB has never, at least as far as I know, prepared for such a scenario. In the event of the GB being cutoff from the JW’s worldwide, what would happen? I personally would continue being a JW in word and deed and would work within my own congregation to maintain things going but with modifications. There is a core set of beliefs which are of course non-negotiable. This maybe what they are looking into.

    E-Your argument that “others shun so it is ok” is very difficult to understand from a rational point of view. If you discuss shunning with any psychologist then they will tell you that shunning is traumatic and damaging.
    ME-I agree with shunning. I feel it is useful to maintain the purity and cleanliness of the Xtian congregation. I have certain beliefs grounded in the Bible which as a JW are non-negotiable. This is one those issues where we will agree to disagree.

    E-Would your God of Love want to cause his creation mental anguish and trauma? Would Jesus think this was right? Please direct me to a verse in the Gospels where Jesus shunned someone?
    ME-Jesus said those who are not with me are against me. Paul stated that those who practice the works of the flesh as stated in Galatians are to be treated as one of the nations. I agree with the GB interpretation on this.

    If you practice works of the flesh, are unrepentant and are a member of the Xtian congregation then I see it as Xtian duty for such a member to be disfellowshipped, excommunicated, expelled (whichever term you wish to use) and shunned. That is treatment that correlates with being treated as one of the nations. Another agree to disagree point.

    E-When i was disfellowshipped and shunned I went into a bout of depression and it was extremely difficult for me for about 3 years. I hope that you do not have to suffer that. I hope that you will not shun others. It is a cruel, viscous tool that has no place in Christian worship.

    ME-I am sorry you suffered such a bout of depression. I do not wish depression on anyone but as stated my beliefs that come from the Bible as I see it and as a JW have led me to believe that shunning is a Xtian duty when the conditions merit it. So, I do shun as most practicing JW’s.

  31. anonymous says:

    @JW-4Ever. I asked my husband a while back if he thought it was the right thing to do to shun somebody who decided they didn’t want to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses anymore and he said yes. I asked him why but he didn’t give me a reason that made any sense to me.

    We all understand shunning of somebody who commits gross sins such as molesting children and rape and murder and lying, stealing and other detestable things that, understandably would be protecting the congregation from but in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a person can commit these gross sins and as long as they can convince the elders on the committee meeting that they are “repentant” for these sins or crimes, they can get away with not getting disfellowshipped, whereas if a person decided that they were “tricked” into getting baptized without having full knowledge of the depth of how the Society lies about basic doctrines such as just one example among many, such as lying about 607 B.C.E. when supposedly Jerusalem was destroyed and that person found out later, that it was all a lie to make the 1914 doctrine work, and then decided that they could no longer support the liars that they found out that Governing Body had turned out to be and then disassociated themselves from that organization, then that person would be shunned. It only points to a sadistic cult that will stop at nothing to keep dissenters quiet, using the only “family” they were ever allowed to have all the time they were a JW.

    I for one, can no longer support that evil organization by going to meetings or out in service. Once I knew the real history of this organization and what it’s capable of, I can only hope for it’s demise as quickly as possible. To try and fix that ugly pig of a religion is to put ribbons on a pig. It’s still a pig. I think pigs make good bacon but I wouldn’t want it roaming around in my house.

  32. sally says:

    It is indeed sad, that so many are actually being disfellowshipped for objecting, either to the teachings which they do not agree with (Ray Franz) or with the way the people are acting, that is in not showing the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the way they act (see Moyle vs Rutherford). Most Jehovah’s Witnesses do not know this, as the Watchtower Makes Sure They Never Know, as they oust those who disagree and silence them, name calling (mentally diseased) and using scare tactics to prevent the members from even listening to the ones who have left. This is information control. Jehovah’s Witnesses are encouraged not to believe news stories, threatened not to speak to former members under threat of being disfellowshipped themselves. The truth is, they have NO idea of what the watchtower has done to deceive them, and defend it to their last breath, all the while, not knowing what is truly going on. In this day and age, with the internet available, truly ignorance is a choice.

  33. anonymous says:

    @Sally. If a person is living alone, ignorance is a choice but if you are living with another person who truly believes in the “truth”, then if you start exploring websites that might tell a different story than what the Watchtower is telling that person, they would have to do it secretly for fear of being “found out” and turned in to the elders for browsing “apostate” web sites. That is what happened to me. Then the believer thinks that unless they step in and help you, you are being overtaken by Satan and will be destroyed at Armageddon. If you can’t convince that other person that it’s they who are on the wrong track and not you yourself, you are in for a very long battle and possible disfellowshipping. The Watchtower has all it’s bases covered and unless everyone in that house is on the same page, it’s an almost impossible situation. Even when you try and talk some sense into that other person in your house, most likely everything you say, goes right over their head, so you are all alone. Still, I am glad I found out the real truth now. At first, I was hiding my browsing the internet at “apostate” websites, but now I am so sure of my knowledge that I am not afraid to look at these web sites, even when my husband is present. If he wants to discuss what I am looking at, I am happy to do it, but he won’t ask. He already turned me in but it’s the elders who will have to disfellowship me. I didn’t go to them. They came to me so technically, they can’t disfellowship me for trying to spread disunity but I do feel the shunning in that they changed the password for calling in to the meetings and didn’t tell me. I don’t care in that I only listened in to the meetings to see what kind of brainwashing they were doing that week anyway for laughs. I can’t think how talks could be more boring than the Watchtower talks.

  34. Excelsior says:

    JW4EVER,

    Decentralising the control of Congregations is a savvy move if you don’t want to be hit by multi million dollar fines for covering up child abuse! The GB can throw up their hands and say that it was the individual Congregation’s fault! So, NO change to the child protection policy. Looks like these changes are more about avoiding prosecution than protecting children. How Christian!

    How does that square up with the GB being the SOLE mouthpiece of God?

    You failed to answer my question about a verse showing Jesus shunning! That’s because there isn’t one! If Jesus did not practice shunning, why would you? The verses in Paul’s letters do not, in my opinion, apply to family members. Why do I believe that? Because we are given a parable BY JESUS that does not demonstrate shunning. It’s called the Prodigal Son. The son has not repented, he’s simply run out of money! The family bond was, according to your beliefs, designed by God. It is not to be broken because someone no longer believes a set of beliefs. Jesus may have said that those who aren’t for me are against me, but he also COMMANDED you to love your enemies! How is it loving to cause trauma and anguish to a fellow human being?

    Lastly, let’s discuss your use of “Xian” instead of Christian! Do you realise that the “X” is representing the cross? I thought JWs didn’t believe that Christ was executed on a cross? He was, but you don’t believe that! Is it so hard to type a few letters to represent your saviour? Be careful! If an Elder saw that, you would get some councel on it!

    I enjoy our discussions. It is good for all of us to discuss and explain what we believe. It helps us all to get along better.

    We shall have to continue to agree to disagree, with mutual respect.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      Poor old JW4ever has answered no questions. The JW cult is indefensible. He had not reckoned on being confronted with ex JWs who have been through the same malign mind control mill as he has, at the Theocratic Ministry School.

      It is, however, encouraging that he is prepared to look beyond WT issued texts, and even express his dissatisfaction with this travesty of TRUTH that is JWdom.

      He is beginning to think. Thinking and JW membership are utterly incompatible. The strain will become unbearable; a break is inevitable.

  35. Abigail Parker says:

    I agree.

  36. JW-4EVER!!! says:

    RN-Poor old JW4ever has answered no questions. The JW cult is indefensible. He had not reckoned on being confronted with ex JWs who have been through the same malign mind control mill as he has, at the Theocratic Ministry School.

    ME-What questions have I not answered?? I knew upon coming to this site that I would be confronted by ex-JW’s. So nothing new there. I understand the pain many of you have experienced because I can imagine what shunning does to a person.

    RN-It is, however, encouraging that he is prepared to look beyond WT issued texts, and even express his dissatisfaction with this travesty of TRUTH that is JWdom.
    ME-I agree with the vast majority of the teachings. I do not see it as a travesty of truth. I believe it is The Truth. I just don’t accept their solution to the child molesting problem.

    RN-He is beginning to think. Thinking and JW membership are utterly incompatible. The strain will become unbearable; a break is inevitable.
    ME-I have been thinking on these things for 25 years. I’m not going anywhere. I love being a JW. Just call me a stubborn mule. I am a long time JW born in The Truth belonging to an old time JW family. It has already become tradition with us. Can’t change tradition. The only break that could occur is if the ORG orders a mass suicide along the lines of Jim Jones and I don’t see that ever happening. But these other issues are resolvable such as the child policy and a few minor others.

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      JW4 ever. The entire legitimacy and veracity of anything connected with JWs depends upon the claim made by the JW bosses that they are God’s exclusive earthly reps, that they are the Faithful and discreet Slave as referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24. You have been asked to provide evidence to support this claim. You have failed.

      If you do provide convincing evidence, could you then go on to explain why, in 1918, Jesus chose for his exclusiove earthly organisation, a sect whose doctrine has been utterly transformed. 1918 Bible student TRUTH bears very little relation to 2014 JW TRUTH. Please explain why Jesus chose an organisation that no longer recognises as true the TRUTHS that Jesus recognised in 1918. IN 1918 Bible students had no issue with blood transfusions, nor with crucifixes and Christmas celebrations. Presumably Jesus did not either.

      You accept that God has chosen an organisation that is publicly in denial about its paedophile protection. That is utterly illogical. You also, presumably accept that Jesus chose an organisation that has a reputation only for duff prophecy, deaths through its flip flopping blood transfuion edicts and split families through its shunning policies.

      You have failed utterly to explain or justify why an organisation whose ‘achievements’ in its 135 year history have been uniformly negative can be considered as sole bearers of God’s truth.

      Stop imaging that you have explained anything. Stop imagining that you have answered questions. You have failed.

      I realise it is difficult to change your whole identity. You are smugly satisfied with your delusion that, as an unpiad mag. pusher for a global property publishing and corporation, you are in possession of some unique and God issued TRUTH.

      It is difficult, I realise, to come to terms with the fact that you are a pathetic dupe of an outfit that cares nothing for you beyond your ability to augment its capital value. Your whole persona is based, it appears, on a cruel and disgusting lie.

      Many others have faced up to this sad situation and left the JWs. Your failure to answer questions; your very presence on this site is a clear indication that your declarations of JW fidelity are mere bluster, and an unconvincing attempt to kid yourself that JW TRUTH is true.

      You will be much happier when you face reality and junk these unsustainable delusions.

  37. anonymous says:

    JW-4EVER!!!, you said you come from an old time JW family and it’s a family tradition. I have been around a long time in the organization and I see family after family that goes back 3 or 4 generations that go back to the 20’s and 30’s. This “tradition” goes back in every congregation around the world. If you were to subtract all the families that go way back, you probably wouldn’t have many people left in the organization, judging from what I have seen for many years around here in the U.S. I know that in some countries, there may be a lot of people who become JW’s through the field ministry, but not in the U.S.

    What puzzles me is, what makes the JW religion, not a cult? It started out with one person, C.T. Russel and his followers and then went to Rutherford and his followers, then Knor, then Franz and I forget who after that. Now it’s run by 7 men. What determines if it’s a cult is that usually there’s one person who supposedly gets some revelations from God (Russel) and people believe his revelations and the cult following begins. When Russel died, many people were really grieved by that and then by hook and by crook, Rutherford got control of the organization and most of the people fell away and continued as Russelites.

    Rutherford completely redid what Russel had started and then named it Jehovah’s Witnesses and most of the basic teachings he started have continued to this day such as going from door to door and neutrality and getting rid of the cross, not having an immortal soul but it was still run by this one person who supposedly got revelations from God and he started his own cult following.

    It was Ray Franz who was doing research on the Aid to Bible Understanding who came to the understanding that instead of having just one overseer in each congregation, that in the first century, they would have had a body of elders and so it was his research and that is why now we have bodies of elders in each congregation instead of just one overseer.

    The Society says on their web site that they don’t ban literature but we all know that if you were to read anything other than Watchtower literature, that you could be called before a committee for apostasy, just by reading any literature that is not favorable to the Watchtower and others found out about it, even looking at JW survey, like what you are doing. It doesn’t even have to be apostate literature such as Ray Franz’s book, Crisis of Conscience. It can be anything such as an archaelological book or encyclopaedias that disprove the Watchtower theory that Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon in 607. You are not allowed to question the Watchtower and I think your reasoning is that Jehovah will correct it in his due time, right? We have all heard that over and over again so my question is: Why did the Watchtower disfellowship Carl Olaf Johnson for writing a book called The Gentiles Reconsidered? You should do some research on that subject before defending your beloved Governing Body. Also, if you found out that the Governing Body is deliberately covering up the fact that they absolutely know that Jerusalem fell to Babylon in 586/587, how can you justify that? The Governing Body has known for over 30 years that there is positive proof that 607 is incorrect but they stubbornly refuse to change their doctrine. Why is that? How can you go from door to door with a good conscience, preaching that the Watchtower has the “truth” when they have been deliberately lying to all of us for many many years about 607? Can they really use the excuse that it’s only in Jehovah’s due time that he gives us “new light” and that he only give us what we can handle? Or is it that they can’t handle what would happen if they admitted they are wrong about that date and wrong about a whole bunch of other things, besides their hideous history of covering up child abuse and that then all of us would come to the realization that this whole religion is only a social club where you enjoy fellowship and has no relation to the “truth” of the Bible at all?

  38. anonymous says:

    @JW-4EVER. You mentioned that you can imagine how how it would be to be shunned? Actually, no you don’t. Being shunned because of disassociating yourself is worse than being disfellowshipped for committing some kind of sin, such as fornication or smoking. These people still might have faith that the Org. is God’s organization and most likely will try and get reinstated but when you disassociate yourself because of apostasy, you will probably never want to return because what you see is vomit. Why go back to vomit? It’s disgusting. You are more angry than anything that you see your friends and family being taken advantage of and if you returned, you’d be giving all those people the idea that you still support vomit. You can’t go back once you see what the organization is really all about. So, unless your friends and family are allowed to ask you any questions why you left and won’t look at you as if “taken over by Satan”, you are on your own for the rest of your life, possibly.

    This situation can be so terrible for some people, that they’d rather die than live like that the rest of their lives and they realize because they were in that place for such a long time, that most likely, those people still in the org. will never come to your understanding and come on your side.

    To be suicidal, you have to be in the state of mind that there is nobody in the whole world who cares about you. You feel unloved and if you were to die, nobody would miss you. It only takes about 20 minutes of thinking like this that a person can come back to their senses and come out of that terrible suicidal thinking but in that 20 minutes, many people will commit suicide.

    To shun your family and friends because they don’t want to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, is to put those people in that precarious suicidal position. Like I said, if a person gets in that really sad state of mind where they think nobody would miss them if they died, they are very likely to kill themselves. The Society absolutely knows what they are doing when they disfellowship somebody for apostasy and they have no compassion for that person at all, even if they committed suicide. When that person kills themselves, the family will suffer. They will look back and think about what they did and what they could have done differently. The person that commits suicide wants their family and friends to know what they did to cause that feeling of abandonment and they are willing to die for it because they want their family and friends to suffer for what they did to them, but the price is too high. Their lives are too precious but it’s only after they are gone, that their families will come to their senses but it’s too late.

    The Society needs to change it’s shunning policy on disassociation and to apologize for all the pain they have caused. If they don’t it only shows that there is no Godliness in the organization at all. It’s all about dollars and pride.

    You said you’d realize there was something wrong if they had all of you take the Kool Aide like Jim Jones did? People are already drinking the Kool Aide when they shun their family and friends. They are “killing” those people, whether they realize it or not. They are pawns of the Society’s killing machine.

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