Doubts over organizational solidarity as disturbing video on handling suicide is leaked

Two more instructional videos have been leaked to JWsurvey by a Watchtower insider

Two more instructional videos have been leaked to JWsurvey by a Watchtower insider

A week ago this website covered the leaking of several videos that were used during a recent “Kingdom Ministry School” – a special training event to which only elders are invited. The videos were apparently leaked by Spanish-speaking elders.

Two of the videos showed Governing Body members Anthony Morris and Stephen Lett reminding elders to be “obedient” and “decisive” in carrying out their duties.

The other 42-minute video was a dramatization showing a young man coming forward and confessing fornication to his elders before finally being disfellowshipped.

The trouble was, the disfellowshipping video had been completely dubbed over in Spanish, making it difficult for non-Spanish speakers to get a proper grasp of what was happening. As a result, a few days ago two friends of mine set to work on creating an English transcript with a view to releasing a subtitled version of the video on JWsurvey.

As much as their efforts were appreciated, you can imagine my surprise and delight when, completely out of the blue, I received an email from a Watchtower insider offering to send me the English version of the film. This person didn’t like the thought of us exerting efforts making subtitles when we could have the original.

An interesting email dialogue ensued resulting in my contact sending not just the English disfellowshipping video but also a previously unknown video instructing elders on how to go about “shepherding” a suicidal widow.

To view an ASL version of the above video, click here.

Spurred on by hypocrisy

The main reason given by my source for sending the judicial committee video was his indignation at the hypocrisy shown by the Governing Body through its judicial policies.

The Governing Body expects Witnesses to face punishment for wrongdoing while accepting no responsibility for its own failings

The Governing Body expects Witnesses to face punishment for wrongdoing while accepting no responsibility for its own failings

As my source pointed out, the Governing Body has been allowed to repeatedly make all manner of mistakes over the decades, many of which have far-reaching consequences. But they always shield themselves from the fall-out from their own errors, or from taking responsibility for their actions.

Meanwhile, if a Witness comes forward honestly confessing some indiscretion he is leapt upon and potentially given the worst possible punishment – estrangement from his family.

In the case of the disfellowshipping video, a young man named Robbie confesses to fornication in a one-night stand, blaming a “worldly” girl for having “seduced” him using, erm… her aquarium (don’t ask!).

Robbie initially covers up the fact that he has been having sex on numerous occasions with the same girl over the past two months, but this detail is later revealed following persistent questioning from the elders. It becomes obvious that the main motivation for Robbie in his concealment of the full extent of his actions is his intense fear of Watchtower’s shunning policy and its consequences on his family and friends.

The video also goes to great lengths to remind elders that any elders who can be identified as being friends with the wrongdoer are not to be considered suitable for serving on the judicial committee. The reason? Elders need to be “objective.” The idea is that if an elder is good friends with the accused he could be biased, and would likely not reach the correct decision EVEN if he is not a relative.

Watchtower doesn’t want too much mercy being shown in these situations.

It is also painfully obvious when watching the video that Watchtower values its elitist “eyes only” approach to disseminating information. Elders are shown consulting their Shepherd books while Robbie is not in the room in order to decide on his fate. Moments before Robbie is due to walk in the room they put their books away – books containing rules that he is not privy to, but which affect him profoundly.

As I pointed out in my previous article – how can secret information affecting all but available to only a privileged elite be biblically justified?

Disfellowshipping video – Part 1

Disfellowshipping video – Part 2

The above videos are likely to be removed by Watchtower, so you are welcome to download them if you wish… Judicial 1 | Judicial 2 | Shepherding

Dangerously negligent instructions

But perhaps more disturbing was another video sent to me, also utilized during the Kingdom Ministry School and replete with similarly horrendous acting. This second video depicts the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way of shepherding a woman in the congregation who has been recently widowed.

Unfortunately, though the latter depiction is supposed to be the correct approach, thinking viewers will be horrified at the negligent way the woman is handled by her elders using the “Watchtower-approved” technique.

The advice being given to elders on how to handle suicidal individuals is alarming

The advice being given to elders on how to handle suicidal individuals is alarming

Two elders arrange to visit the woman named Mary after she tearfully approaches one of them at the end of the meeting. Before the visit, the elders meet together to strategize over what they will say.

The older of the two decides that the visit will be all about convincing Mary to be an “integrity keeper” (a loyal Witness), and this is exactly how the resulting discussion pans out.

At the start of the visit Mary reveals that she is so desperate following the loss of her husband, Don, that she has been contemplating suicide. She even has a plan involving asphyxiating herself in her garage using exhaust fumes.

This should set off major alarm bells for most thinking persons with one iota of common sense. If a person has sunk to such desperation that they have planned the manner of their death, surely they are urgently in need of help that only professionals can provide?

So, what advice do the elders offer?

First, the older elder lectures Mary about Job and how this bible figure set the example as an integrity keeper. The elder insists that Job had just as many reasons to be “messed up” as Mary, and gives a perplexing illustration involving a needle going “into the red” to show the difficulty of Job’s situation.

Mary is then told to repeatedly chant “I am an integrity keeper, I am an integrity keeper” next time her suicidal thoughts surface. She is also advised to “read a little from the Psalms,” and equate suicidal ideas with immoral thoughts.

Finally the other elder bizarrely gives Mary a homework assignment, as though she is some kind of errant school child. She is told to memorize a certain verse in Jeremiah as yet another form of incantation for the next time she is feeling suicidal.

Armed with this outrageous pseudo-psychiatry, Mary excuses herself from the conversation to get some cookies for the elders. The older elder seemingly takes this as a sign that they have done their jobs well and mouths “thank you Jehovah” heavenward as the other elder looks on.

I realise the above sounds too ludicrous to be true, but this is really how the video plays out. The Governing Body seriously expects its elders to handle such delicate life-or-death matters in this way.

Elders are not to give out numbers for suicide hotlines or encourage a suicidal person to seek professional help. Instead they are to give bible-based lectures, urge the uttering of incantations, and hand out homework assignments.

These videos show only too clearly why Watchtower, so hopelessly out of touch, is having an increasing problem maintaining its organizational solidarity. As mentioned in my previous article on this matter, the Governing Body cannot claim the total loyalty and respect of elders and bethelites while a small number continue to defy them by leaking their nonsense for the world to see.

I sincerely thank my contact within the organization for following his instincts and realizing that this material needs a wider audience. Hopefully, as more damaging material seeps out of Watchtower’s porous walls, more thinking Witnesses will realize just how unworthy the Governing Body are of their blind loyalty and obedience.









Special thanks to my contact, as well as to Daniel Ward and Adriana Wolmers-Petty even though their hard work eventually wasn’t needed.

UPDATE:- As expected, on Feb 21 2014 Watchtower had its leaked instructional videos removed from this page through a complaint to Vimeo. The videos have since been re-embedded from a different third-party host. Below is a screenshot of the email received by JWsurvey for one of the videos to prove that Watchtower does NOT want the above “spiritual food” to be viewed by all Witnesses.


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218 Responses to Doubts over organizational solidarity as disturbing video on handling suicide is leaked

  1. Jae says:

    Having seen both videos all the way through, I’m quite incensed about stuff here and need to let off some steam.

    Yes, there were gaping wholes in both videos. But I can see where they were going with the first one about the disfellowshipping. The young guy, Robbie, incriminated himself from the start.

    As in a court of law (since the elder made that comparison) if you don’t tell the whole truth from the outset, you’re likely to get a guilty verdict. If Robbie had told the whole story, rather than holding back, then he might have gotten a more lenient ruling from the JD. That being said, I’ve never been before a JD, so I don’t really know what it’s like to be in such a situation. I have confessed stuff to elders before, but it’s never gone as far as a JD.

    As for the second video about the suicidal sister, the whole thing shows that WT have not the slightest understanding of what’s going through someone’s mind when they’re that low they want to end their life!

    I’ve had thoughts of suicide myself – considered throwing myself out of the window, hanging myself, throwing myself under a speeding train and taking a whole pack of Cocodamol with a bottle of whisky.

    I’ve also had to console friends who were suicidal.

    To compare suicide with an immoral thought is the most insensitive thing I’ve heard. When I heard that, I was like, “WHAT!!!?????”

    As for the “self-murder” thing and suicide being a sin, WT always seem to forget that when someone actually goes through with suicide, they are so far gone, feeling in such excruciating pain – emotionally, mentally, spiritually and perhaps even physically – that death is a release to them. So, a suicidal person who’s about to end their life would not be in a place of thinking, “I must be an integrity keeper!

    And, anyhow, even if it is a sin, it does say in Romans that when someone dies they are “acquitted of their sins.” WT have conveniently overlooked that scripture. And if Jehovah is really that compassionate and merciful and really does see all, then surely He’d not be so heartless as to condemn someone to everlasting cutting off because they sought a means of release from the excruciating agony they were going through!

    And, in real life, if the woman was having such thoughts, she would’ve been a hell of a lot more distraught – inconsolably so! The last thing she’d be concerned about is what The Bible says, or what some guy who lived 1000’s of years ago went through!

    And they gave her lots of false hope – that she’ll see her late husband, Don, again and be able to remarry him. That’s not what they teach about remarrying in the New World. So, why put it in a video?

    The first video, I could see where they were going and the young guy did just incriminate himself by what he said and did not say. It was clear that he was more cut up about losing his family and friends (which is very understandable) but he might as well have held up a sign saying, “disfellowship me!” as he clearly wasn’t sorry for shagging the girl (and neither should he have been!)

    The second video has really gotten me incensed. Suicide is something I feel strongly about, having been close to it several times myself and also having seen others who’ve been there – and one even going through with it!

    WTS have not got the slightest clue and are, therefore, unqualified to be dealing with the subject – certainly not the way they have portrayed in this video!

    • John says:

      I’ve been before a judicial committee twice. I was baptized as a witness when I was 9. I was a regular pioneer, bethelite, and ministerial servant. Long story short, when I messed up the first time at 31 years old, I called the coordinator/presiding overseer 30 minutes after I messed up. I told them every single thing and minute detail. I even told them I took one puff off a cigar I found in my grandpa’s house when I was 11 in order to fully clear my conscience. They even laughed at me during the meeting talking about I told them to much. I’m reinstated now ,but I still got disfellowshipped then. So all that about forgiveness if you tell them everything is a bunch of BS.

  2. Jae says:

    Oh! And what was the elder looking up to the sky and mouthing, “Thank you Jehovah!” for??

    Was it because they’d helped her? Clearly, their reasoning was way to feeble to have helped a woman who was seriously contemplating suicide!

    Or was he saying “Thank you Jehovah!” because she’d remembered to go fetch the cookies???

  3. seunex says:

    U’re mentally sick!

  4. Simon says:

    I’ve worked you out. Basically you have a problem with authority and being disciplined. Anyone on your blogs who takes a different view from you, or tries to offer advice, is mocked or insulted. Once you have grown up you will see that you are just barking down an empty tunnel. You can tell you don’t beleive half of what you say as you never look into the camera for more than a micro second. Shifty eyes ?!?

    • Cedars says:

      Simon – I won’t lie, I DO have a problem with authority – authority that is self-proclaimed and imposed upon me without any supporting evidence or justification at all. And so should you.

      You sound very sure of yourself, so if you can handle my “shifty eyes” for more than a couple of minutes, please watch the following video and by all means take up my “Cedars Challenge” by giving everyone on this website evidence that the 7 blokes in New York deserve to dictate what you do with your genitals and with whom, to what extent you acknowledge your own date of birth, and to what length you should allow your facial hair to protrude…

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      Simon – you appear not to understand the purpose of authority. In some areas of life it is benign, indeed essential. The authority that compels those of us who drive cars to keep them in safe and roadworthy condition, to pass a test of competence before driving them unaccompanied, and thereafter to obey speed limits, one way systems and to remain sober. That sort of authority helps prevent deaths and injuries on the roads getting even worse than they are at the moment.

      If you sell food, practice medicine, or any number of trades there are authorities which endeavour to make sure the specific tasks are carried out in a safe and satisfactory manner. I have not read, on any piece by Cedars, that he has a problem with authority of that type.

      Indeed his every post has focused on one source of authority only; the authority of the Jehovah’s Witness leaders, the Watchtower Governing Body. Their authority is thoroughly malign and needs to be held to account. The only results of their authority, quite unlike the types listed above, are negative.

      Here are afew: Nightmares about an imminent Armageddon – always predicted but never arrives. Deaths through the blood transfusion ban. Split families through shunning. Paedophile protection through the two witness rule. Stunted lives through the frowning on education beyond the level required to read JW lit. and parrot its contents on the doorstep or at the mag. stand.

      And on what is the JW leadership’s destructive and murderous authority based? A claim that the Gov. Bod. are the Faithful and Discreet Slave as referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24.

      I have asked countless Jehovah’s WItnesses to provide evidence to support this claim, the claim upon which the entire authority of JWdom is based. None has supplied any.

      There is a reason for this.

      There is no evidence. The claim is bogus.

      Do you, Simon, accept the authority of the JW Gov. Bod, to dictate every aspect of your life?

      If so, why? Please explain. A comprehensive answer to Cedar’s challenge would help.

    • Greg Jones says:

      I would also like to add that he has entire YouTube channels taken down that refute his twisted logic and is very selective as to what posts he allows onto this site. He knows he is insincere.

  5. Mike says:

    AS a former Jdub that is faded away now BUT was one for over 40 years and a Ms and almost an elder before I faded . I at the time would have found this completly ok and normal way of living…….NOW i see it for the mind control and wacked life it really is

  6. JOVIN KAJUNA says:

    The video was just an ART WORK made with the aim of running a school in between JWs! All other salty ideas are useless LOL! This website will soon be reported of breaking INTERNATIONAL RELATION Rules! (Just wait)

  7. Rowland Nelken says:

    Please explain yourself, Jovin Kajuna. Your comment makes no sense.

    It may be better if you write in your native language. What is meant by ‘running a school in between JWs’?

    Dangerous advice by the unqualified to the suicidal is a bad idea in any circumstances.

    What ‘International Relation Rules’ are being broken?

    When is an idea ‘salty’?

    Where is there any artistic merit in the vids. under discussion?

    If you can answer those questions in a language of your choice, readers may begin to grasp what you are trying to say.

  8. JOVIN KAJUNA says:

    The Book KS never hidden!! Only that it is scheduled to Run a school!! All its content are found in another Book called OD!! If you had ever been a W then you will actually agree with this or Go on posting blasphemy!! (Read Roman 12:19)

  9. JOVIN KAJUNA says:

    It seems you dont poses the Meaning of International Relation Parse! If you are a journalist Then you must investigate the issue before you publish it! If you are an apostate then Read ROMAN 12:19 … Good day!

    • Faithful Witness says:

      Jovin: Thanks for taking time to comment. I don’t understand your statements and accusations, but it is good to see JW’s who dare to explore both sides of a very important issue. Do you have information to share, in defense of Watchtower policies on this issue?

      What personal knowledge or experience can you share, to shed light on what appears to be a heartless and cruel way of counseling a sincere and broken hearted servant of Jehovah’s organization?

      Cedars, your website is doing good work. It would be refreshing to have someone share some facts, that would actually show that the Watchtower Society is doing more good, than harm.

      :Jovin:Aside from name-calling and accusations, what evidence do you have? The video speaks loud and clear, and it is only one of many incriminating shreds of truth about “The Truth.”

      When they get backed into a corner, the society’s only defense seems to be to deny their own words, and accuse anyone who doubts. Anyone who insists that you trust them with your life, should not be afraid of examination.

      Jovin, I hope you will continue your search for facts about Jehovah’s organization. I wish you only the best.

  10. Average Joe says:

    I can confirm that these videos are part of last year’s training course we received when the CO visited us. In fact, even with the disfellowshipping videos (not shown here) there was a how NOT to handle the situation in each instance (like the first part of the suicide video). We had to watch them and say what was wrong. They are both made up situations, although I can imagine that they occur regularly.
    I mentioned that the elders should have called an external professional body when the sister expressed her suicidal thoughts but my comment was brushed aside.
    What surprised me is how the brother was still disfellowshipped even though he said he was repentant. That’s not for the elders to decide but at least it goes to show how much pain the shunning process causes.

  11. Mary says:

    The video about suicide made me want to puke. These guys have absolutely no idea how to deal with suicidal people simply because they’re not trained professionals.

    A good friend of mine who had been molested by her grandfather when she was a kid, was so depressed at one point that she was planning on OD’ing with 3 bottles of pills. 2 sisters out in Serve-Us dropped in to see her and when she told them how depressed she was, their answer was simply to “pray more and go out in service more”. Ya. That’ll make everything okay.

    More recently, I worry about my JW sister a lot. My brother in law has been gone for 6 years now (due largely to the ban on blood transfusions) and she simply doesn’t care about anything anymore. She drinks her face off every single day and will end up in an early grave. Since he died, I’ve tried encouraging her to join a bereavement group but she won’t do it. Probably because these are “worldly people” and you’re not supposed to become friendly with them at all.

    And of course, the Organization’s views on professional counselling, psychiatry and psychology is notoriously negative. The view is “why would you—one of Jehovah’s chosen ones—need guidance from Satan’s world? As a result, a lot of JWs are depressed as hell with virtually no help whatsoever from inside or outside the congregation.

    I have a lot of international students and some of them can get very depressed over various issues and I know of one in another dept. that committed suicide. I am not a trained professional so if someone comes to me asking for advice, I immediately put them in touch with our student counsellor. I also give them a card that we have for a ‘suicide hot-line’ that’s available 24-7. I could never live with myself if I did not do all I could to help someone who was suicidal, and they actually ended up killing themselves. How many JWs has this happened to?

  12. Deborah Frances-White says:

    The end of this ludicrous video on ‘helping’ a bereaved, suicidal woman is outrageous. ‘I must be losing my mind. I meant to set out some cookies to go with your coffee.’ I must be losing my mind?! All it needs is the sound of a gun shot from the kitchen to finish it off to make it a piece of satire.

  13. Get a Life says:

    Cedar- . Do you live off the government to dedicate yourself to this BS. As a professional – who manages a trillion dollar organization, I’m sure your living off my tax dollars. Since apparently your GOD- why don’t you make up your own religion. Cause apparently you have all the answers.

    • anonymous says:

      @Get a Life, I am curious as to what trillion dollar organization you manage. Maybe you can hire Cedars so you can give him a decent income so he doesn’t have to start up his own religion like J.F. Rutherford did.

  14. Megan says:

    Does anyone know where I can find the Spanish dubbed videos?

  15. Ericka says:

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really
    enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing
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  16. Anybody says:

    “Its been a year now … You shouldn’t be this upset still. We have a hope.”

    OMG!!!!! OMG!!!!!

    Hope or not, you still grieve for your loved ones. Didn’t Jesus grieve for Lazarus?

    Anyone with good sense knows that you can’t put a timetable on grief. In some sense, you never stop grieving and anything could trigger you if you’ve lost a close loved one. Even I still find that song difficult.

    How heartless, uniformed, and uncompassionate! I can’t believe this is sanctioned by HQ.

    Not to mention the “doing my taxes” body language of the elder in that scene. I could not bear to watch beyond that scene it upset me so.

  17. Gamle Stan says:

    Horrified at the opening words to the widow that it’s been a year, etc….grief must never be put into time frames. If someone is stuck at a stage they need lots of help, support, LOVE and anyone this level of suicidal planning must be referred on to professional services. If someone came to you with a excruciating physical pain you’d refer them on to a doctor – this is the same. WITH medical intervention spiritual support can make all the difference but it must never be done with judgment, only respect.
    The person just ‘is’ wherever they are with their grief and there is no right or wrong to it.

    My fiance had served at Bethel, served abroad….and it all went wrong. Yes, he acted wrongly but instead of meeting forgiveness and understanding he received judgment and punishment. He was mentally so ill it was heartbreaking. He needed his old friends but could not see them anymore. He tried but was so broken. The guilt he felt was extreme. After 3 very, very serious suicide attempts, which it was a miracle he survived, he finally succeeded. It wasn’t ALL down to JWs but had they shown compassion, understanding, love, forgiveness, humanity perhaps he would have survived.

    There seems to be little time in some congregations for people who are mentally and/or physically suffering. When you’re an outsider who they want to come into the fold then there’s lots of going round to homes and helping, etc…once you’re ‘in’ it’s complaints you haven’t done enough hours work, or attended enough meetings, etc.

    Misery/depression/etc can be seen as a lack of faith when it can be any number of things: genetics, chemical imbalance, life realities.

    There is only one thing that heals spiritual pain and eases and that’s love…the proper spiritual type. Waving books around and following man’s rules and issuing judgments isn’t love.

  18. Chad says:

    I have a feeling since this is a training video, the first half of the video must of been a “what not to do” example. First of all im not on the society’s side in my life at this time. But the points of like #1 The elder brought her into the library at the kingdom hall -by himself- which the second time was obviously not done 2 brothers were sent, as well as with the df video, it is and should always be at least 2 people, this is a common practice in any organization for liability reasons. #2 Anyone with common sense and also following what the watchtower says you never tell someone dealing with distress or depression that “you should be over this by now” #3 He left this woman with a clear suicide plan alone in a dark room by herself. #4 he did not set up a follow up of any kind. Maybe he did but if he did i missed it. The second part of the video was completely different from all 4 points. So i think the first half was a -What not to do portion- I do personally believe in the bible and it can help us, i am a medical professional dealing a lot in psych patients. But i also have read the awake magazine about suicide and it does say depressed people may need extra assistance from professionals. This i know to be true. The error i think is that this woman was “according to my training in psych” by all means going to commit suicide. She needed to be directed to every assistance available including scriptural help. Its worthy to note even people who are not JWs who do go to all outside assistance are successful in committing suicide. My problem is i feel the culture and stigma of being depressed an suicidal is usually looked over and judged negatively with people withdrawing from you in the organization. I know because this happened to me. I ended up dating a woman who was bad news and this led me to being DFd. But im fixed the underlying problem of my depression and PTSD and went into my judicial comittee stress and depressed free. Unfortunatly I believe they read that as being unrepentant, and they DFd me which has caused me to again struggle with depression and anxiety. But i built my own tools to deal with this using my knowledge from mental health recovery, self help books, and some very good awake and watchtower articles. So my experience is the resources are there, but the elders hearts ( at least in my case) were all about finding fault and disciplining (supposedly a loving action) If i had beleived what they told me at my Judical Comittee and also had loved ones strictly follow the shunning practice i no doubt would have fallen into a deep deep depression and im almost certain would have at least attempted suicide. Id like to think im stronger than that, but depression and PTSD in its truist form (not just frustration and the occasional blues) is not joke, and elders are waaaay out of their depth in helping those ones.

  19. Chad says:

    i would add and clarify i dated this woman because it made me feel better and loved, and all i wanted to do was feel better. Similarly why many cope with distress with sex, drugs, and alcohol. So as king david wrote when a man is stressed his power is weak. All the elders looked at was my sin and not the underlying reason, even if this is worthy of DFing, which would not be according the the watchtower article about DFing-where one must of have committed a wrongdoing and been unrepentent-and the side reason still doing the wrongdoing, which i was completely not doing. In fact she was in the hospital a week before my JC, and i had not spoke to her for a week before my JC, and i met with her with chaperones mind you, to see how she is and if she still wanted to continue a relationship, which we did not, but the JC stated this was me being Adam choosing Eve over Jehovah and putting myself in a tempting situation. ” I was never even alone with her once” Then the brother showed me a scripture that said i was a sexual predator and a danger to the sisters in the congregation. (because i was intimate with my then -girlfriend-) I was 33 and a virgin, and still am btw. So I left feeling this is what Jehovah must think of me. With my faith in pieces. I only cared about my relationship with Jehovah and repairing it when i went in, and they said that because every other word was not “i care about my relationship with Jehovah” they concluded i didn’t care about Jehovah, even though i admitted it was wrong what i did and would never ever do it again, not saying this for there sake, but that came from my heart for in the truest sense of the word and i still have no desire to do things like that only because its just not me. Yet in was deemed unrepentant and all my friends and family were taken away. Its hard to see how this was loving to me with all that i had been dealing with. It felt more like i was thrown away like a rotton apple so i don’t stain other people. Which was the first time i ever felt unloved by the organization, like me and anyone else who is imperfect is one action away from being thrown away.

  20. Chad says:

    The last thing ill say, is i still believe in Jehovah, though to me nothing is absolute. Nothing in the organization is absolute either. I am not angry about what happened, but it did raise issues to me that essentially stemmed from, “i was completely repentant” but they literally said “Jehovah wants this to happen” So i asked myself, #1 If Jehovah knows my heart, why did i get dfd. #2 The Elders and GB of the WTBTS can be wrong and have been wrong, according to the scriptures that outlines their responsibilty shows Jehovah warning them against making bad decisions. Yet there have been soooo many. So they could have been wrong in my case, as a possibility. So they are not speaking for Jehovah, Jehovah gives them the “authority to make decisions” (speaking from observation) big difference. #3 Jehovah does not make mistakes, and Jehovah is love. I felt like i wanted to live and life was going to be good, i was going to be an Uber witness from now on before i walked into that JC, after my faith was crushed, dessimated, and i just wanted to jump off a bridge. I was severely depressed for two weeks before i realized if i want to be happy that is my choice no matter the circumstances in life. Something i learned from the watchtower articles. I don’t need their stamp of approval for who i am, and Jehovah still loves me, i am still the same person, no a better person. I struggle here and there with depression and ive set new goals for my life. The only time i majorly get depressed or super anxious is on meeting days, or when i know ill be shunned that day. The hardest day was when my best friend shunned me. Even though the week before i told her everything that happened before my JC committee. And she hugged me and said she loved me. Which went a lonnnnnggg way for me being sooo much better now. But now she is shunning me, (loving) and it makes me more and more depressed to where i have decided to leave my town and sell my house and start over. And that’s the reality, that is not shown in these videos. Based on the fact…..that it happened to me.

    • Winston Smith says:

      I am not a mental health professional, but it seems to me that you are trapped between two worlds. Based on the fact that you are 33 and still a virgin, I would guess you were born into this religion (or got involved at a very young age). You seem to understand that much of what goes on in this organization is wrong, but at the same time you are afraid to really leave. You seem afraid to let go of your perception of God, right, and wrong as defined by this religion. And yes, to your point, sometimes the advice from the watchtower and awake is good. However at other times it is not. And based on the attitudes you saw from the elders on your JC, you can see that the bad undermines whatever good there is. Remember the scripture “by their fruits you will know them” (Matt 7:20).

      Don’t be afraid to let go and find your own way. It may be hard, but it is also liberating. Once you get them out of your head and start thinking for yourself again (or for many of us born-ins, for the first time), you find a sense of peace and confidence you have never known. Your self discovery will lead to a sense of purpose that you have seldom felt before. At least that was my experience.


      • Confused Chick says:

        Winston Smith,
        I totally get what you mean by “trapped between two worlds,” as that is what baffles the heck out of me. Raised a Witness, I feel that I have a love for Jehovah and the lessons taught in the KH, but yet I disagree with most of the “rules” so to say. My sister was DFed for fornication although she was 14 and the man was 18. Even though she was an under aged girl, her punishment was harsh and lasted way longer than the punishment of the “man” who took advantage of her. I was publicly reproved and how humiliating was that! They had me sit with my father and go over in minute detail every instance. My father has never looked at me the same, I feel as if I stopped being his little girl that day. I think I hold onto the religion because my parents and my grandparents are Witnesses (although I wish I could go to the KH just for Sunday talks but we all know you can’t just go for that). I haven’t been to meetings in a couple years, I recently married my husband who got baptized basically just so we could date and get married- you know how that goes- so he was my escape and has been my savior and my sanity. I have gotten closer to my unbelieving family who was always so distant and I see what I’ve sadly missed out on. Sometimes I miss the religion, but then I wonder is it really my Witness family that I miss? Because ever since I stopped going to the KH, my relationship with my parents is strained and when I DO see them all they do is harp on me to go back to meetings. My question is, how do I stop being torn and pick one world? I see the flaws obviously. Do I stop my beliefs in Jehovah completely? What is my “religion” and my “belief” now? I can’t just pick and choose which parts to believe and which parts to ignore because they contradict what I feel in my heart. I would love to know more about your path to self discovery as it sounds from your comment that you are a born-in. Any advice or guidance is much appreciated.

  21. James says:

    Hi john
    I have been involved in the jw organisation since the death of a close family member.
    They are very nice people on face value especially the none elder members.
    I have been having bible lessons from home.
    Im very strong minded and dont agree with all the point they make.
    Im under pressure to be baptised
    I am very concerned about quotes they make.
    Blood transfusions etc
    Are they not convincing people to take their own lifes which is suicide.
    Self murder ????.
    Shuning this cant be found anywhere in the bible ???.
    They dont agree with further education of any kind even self studies if you question anything at all your a apostite ???.
    Whats you few on immoral sexual activity.
    If you in a loving relationship outside marriage intending to marry are you hurting god ????.
    Please can you advise me how to break free from them in a nice freindly way.
    I cant believe the stuff I see on the net

    • Caroline says:

      Hi James. I am not John but I have a suggestion for you since you are not baptized yet. Next time you study with them, ask them if you are free to read literature that is critical of the Watchtower Society like for instance the book “Crisis of Conscience” by Ray Franz. Explain to them that he was on the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses for 9 years and he was expelled for eating with a disfellowshipped person who just happened to be his boss. Explain to the people studying with you that Ray Franz left Bethel because he found out that when a person by the name of Carl Olaf Jonsson, who was an elder did research and found out that there are thousands of cuniform tablets that prove that Jerusalem was not destroyed in 607 but instead 587 BCE that the Society disfellowshipped him because he dared to tell other people about what he had found out but any encyclopedia confirms that Jerusalem was not destroyed in 607 B.C.E. Ask them how they feel about the Society not telling the truth about something like that.

      Ask the person that is studying with you if they think that was right? Ask them if they are free to read literature that is critical of the Watchtower Society and if they did that and told anybody about what they had read, if they would be disfellowshipped for apostasy?

      They might tell you that the Society doesn’t ban Witnesses from reading stuff like that but ask them if they are willing to read anything critical of the Society and if they did, what would happen to them if they told anybody what they had read.

      Nobody should be afraid to examine their own religion. All Witnesses encourage their Bible students to examine their religion but when it comes to Witnesses, they can not do the same thing and are actually banned from doing so. If they do read anything critical of the Society, they have to keep what they learn to themselves and if they don’t, they are kicked out and disfellowshipped.

      If they were brought up in that religion, they won’t have any other friends outside the Witnesses because they are forbidden to have outside friends, which makes it extremely difficult to break free from the chains of the Society, once they have been baptized.

      The Society wants new students to be ignorant of the Bible. Anybody who knows anything about the Bible, the teacher will not want to touch with a ten foot pole. They think they are the only ones who can interpret the Bible and everybody else is stupid but when it comes right down to it, Witnesses are trained in only a few scriptures and when somebody comes along who knows more than then they do, they won’t come back.

      They love bomb you for a reason. They want you to feel real guilty and lonely and like you did something wrong when you quit so the best way is to scare them off (before baptism) with pinning them down on such things as shunning for wanting to disassociate if you find out that that the “truth” isn’t the “truth” after all.

      Another good thing to ask them is if they know what was being printed by the Society in 1919 when Jesus and Jehovah supposedly chose the Watchtower Society as their only spokesman on earth. Are the teachings today the same as when Jesus chose them? If not, why not? If they say they are not the same teachings because the light keeps getting brighter, then ask them wasn’t it the “truth” back then? When did it become the “truth”? If it wasn’t the truth back then, then it had to be lies and not the truth or it would be the same today as when Jesus and Jehovah chose them. Jehovah wouldn’t have been feeding them lies back then. That doesn’t make any sense. Either it was the truth back then or it wasn’t and if not when did it become the truth? If they keep getting “new light” then that means they still don’t have the truth.

    • Faithful Witness says:

      Hello James,
      I was also a bible student for a few years, but never was baptized. The friends we made while attending the Kingdom Hall were very nice and seemed like sincere and honest believers in their religion. We also have 2 young children, so we were love bombed and everyone was always so happy to see us. I admit that it was very nice to have friends that came to visit me every week, and that was part of the draw for me… Feeling like I was part of something that was good and righteous. This is something I realize now, that I’ve been away from the KH for a few years.

      My husband and I were both studying, and like you, we had many questions. There were so many doubts and unresolved questions for us, that it turned into quite a pile of evidence against their version of the truth.

      For instance, have you been told about the faithful and discreet slave, that they serve and obey? When I asked a JW what the message of the bible is, she paused before telling me that it was about vindicating the name of Jehovah. They do not talk about salvation through the blood of Christ, but that you have to work to prove your faithfulness to the organization. Listen carefully at the meetings. They talk a lot about serving the purpose their organization, but not about helping poor or hungry people (as Jesus commanded).
      They are judged by men. (Through a judicial committee, which is a group of imperfect men in the congregation). If you are disfellowshipped by these same men, you are considered to be dead. Where in the bible do you find Jesus shunning anyone? Who does Jesus chastise and get angry with, more than anyone else? The priests, the Pharisees.

      Anyway, there is a mountain of evidence against their teachings. That wasn’t what got us to finally quit. When we stumbled upon a video from an old talk show, interviewing some prominent former JW’s, I was devastated. We found out about Beth Sharim, false predictions of the end of the world several times, especially 1975, and heard very strange and shocking stories of the way these people had been ousted or had quit the organization. With punishment.

      Saddened by what we’d found, we showed our teacher the video. He was 77 years old, born in the truth. He was immediately transformed into someone we’d never seen before. He accused us of listening to apostates. That was the first time we’d heard that word.

      Now here is a good argument you will hear, if you haven’t yet. When confronted with evidence that goes against their current teachings, they might tell you to consider the source. “If I wanted to know what kind of parent you are, and how you treat your kids and your dogs, would it be better to go around and ask your neighbors what they think, or would it be better if I just came here and saw for myself? In other words, if you want to know what it’s like to be a JW, ask a JW. Right?”
      Well… Use the same analogy, and pretend that I’m going to be providing child care, or even if you’re just buying a car… Wouldn’t you check my references?

      There have been some pretty damning news stories lately, where the organization itself has lost battles in courts around the globe. These cases involve their policies for dealing with child sexual abuse. Ask your friends about this. See what they say. Then go to reliable news sites, and find out the facts. There have been prominent cases in USA, Australia, UK and more. NBC, BBC, CBS, etc. These are not apostate websites.

      I don’t know if anything I’ve said is useful to you, but you’re probably going to just have to get tough with them. I told my good friend that I was concerned and felt that they were being deceived by their organization. It didn’t change her mind, but she knew that I wasn’t going to come around to the decision that the watchtower knows better than me, how to read the bible. Read Matthew chapter 6:1-6.
      Jesus tells them NOT to report their good deeds to men. But they keep track of every hour and house and magazine they place, etc. they turn in a time report each month, to men, so they can record it.

      So many things they do and teach, go directly against what Jesus says in just this one chapter of Matthew.

      I wish you well. There are great friends to be had outside the Kingdom Hall. Just walk away, and tell them you’ve discovered too much evidence against their organization and beliefs.

      You have to believe in their truth 100%, or you can’t be baptized. Do you believe 100% of what they teach is true? If not… Then what?

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