New JW.org “store” opens in Rouen, France – but what is it selling?
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A new JW.org “store” has launched in France – but what precisely is it selling?

The Watch Tower Society has set up a “store” in Rouen, France – not far from the French Bethel – aimed at promoting its official website, JW.org.

The store is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, and is the next phase of Watchtower’s “Manhattan Project” – which so far has seen bookstands with Society literature pop up on sidewalks in major cities.

This new store is understood to have been financed by the French Bethel, but if successful in attracting new converts, it could be rolled out globally.

In addition to a web article featuring photos of the store being posted anonymously online, a video has been uploaded to YouTube featuring images of the store set to music from the Society’s Kingdom Melodies.

The interior of the store is reminiscent of “Ideal Organizations” of Scientology, which also feature a welcoming front desk and an abundance of literature aimed at promoting the religion to those who stop by. Here, for comparison, is a video of the German “Ideal Org” with its “Public Information Center” (skip to 0:45 for the relevant part)….

Watchtower is therefore following down a well-trodden path in pursuing this new venture. As publisher numbers stagnate and the organization downsizes, it makes sense to adopt a more commercial approach (already successfully used by smaller religions such as Scientology) and entice members of the public through sleek and welcoming interiors that give no immediate hint to the more bizarre or troubling elements of the religion, such as shunning.

Of course, there is one notable difference between the “Ideal Orgs” of Scientology and this new JW.org store, and this lies in the branding. When you approach an Ideal Org, it is clear from the exterior signage that you are entering a building connected with Scientology. Watchtower, however, is adopting a more insidious approach by hiding behind the URL “www.jw.org” rather than emblazoning the front with the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” One has to ask, if Jehovah’s Witnesses are so proud of bearing the divine name, then why aren’t they using it openly on the front of this store?

The store has internet, but you will not be allowed to access JWsurvey.org

And then there is the fact that the interior is laid out in a manner that implies that it is selling something. It certainly is selling something, but what? None of the computers will be for sale – they will be merely for accessing JW.org and no other JW-related websites, certainly not this one! It can hardly, therefore, be some kind of web cafe.

What the store is actually selling is allegiance to the Governing Body. Smiling representatives will give answers to questions and, eventually, you will receive a feeling of purpose and uniformity once you join. In return, Watchtower gets new publishers who can donate money to assist in defraying its operating expenses, which include defending the organization against costly child abuse lawsuits. In my view, just as with any retail business, it will ultimately be the seller who benefits more.

 

 

 

 

 

To read my analysis of the content of the JW.org website, please click here.

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58 Responses to New JW.org “store” opens in Rouen, France – but what is it selling?

  1. Thankyouall! says:

    I find it hard to believe you’re not a witness Linda & Jw’s do shun. Maybe you should do some more looking as you obviously came here for some reason known to yourself.

  2. anonymous says:

    @Linda. Nobody commenting on this web site needs to hear what Jehovah’s Witnesses are saying because we have all been Jehovah’s Witnesses for many many years and we were the ones who were preaching the same message that you are talking about, ie. Armageddon and getting on the “ark” of the organization. I have been one since 1966 and until last year and when I went in service, I was convinced of Armageddon and afraid of Armageddon.

    I believed that what I was telling people was from the Bible and I agree with you that Jehovah’s Witnesses are some of the most honest and nicest people you will ever know. If I didn’t have so much affection for my “brothers and sisters” at the Kingdom Hall, I wouldn’t be on this web site. I’d just go my way out of the Organization and let everyone at the Kingdom Hall enjoy their life being a Witness. But last year by accident, I happened on Wikipedia and saw that the Watchtower had joined up with the U.N. from 1992 until 2002 and I was shocked and did some research because I know that according to Watchtower literature, the U.N. is the wild beast and I couldn’t believe that the Society would be such a hypocrite to join up with the U.N. To my shock and horror, I found documents, proving that it was true! That led me to do further research about the Society and even though I was “afraid” that the Witnesses might be right about Armageddon, I did more and more research about the Society and it’s history and came to the conclusion that the Organization isn’t a Christian religion at all but is a publishing company out to make money off it’s religious pretense of being a real Christian religion. Whether Armageddon comes or not, has absolutely nothing to do with the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society’s warnings. There are so many things about the Watchtower’s teachings that prove that a loving and just God would not be supporting it or backing it, that there is nothing at all that would make me believe in it anymore. According to the Bible in Revelation, if anybody either takes away from the Bible or adds to it, God would bring all the plagues that are reserved for the devil.

    Here are a few of the teachings of the Watchtower that Jehovah’s Witnesses preach from door to door that aren’t in the Bible but they think with all their heart that they are:

    Paradise earth – not in the Bible
    commission to preach door to door – not in the Bible
    144,000 literal number going to heaven – not in the Bible
    Governing Body in 1st century – not in the Bible
    607 Jerusalem destroyed by Babylon – not in the Bible
    Further fulfillment of Daniels’ prophecy – not in the Bible
    Jesus died on a stake – not in the Bible
    Other sheep being an earthly class – not in the Bible
    Jehovah’s name – not in the Bible
    Calling the Organization our mother – not in the Bible
    Jehovah have an earthly organization – not in the Bible
    1914 Jesus began his rule – not in the Bible
    Jesus & Jehovah chose JW’s in 1919 – no proof
    Jesus mediator only for the 144,000 – not in the Bible
    Jesus is Michael the archangel – not in the Bible
    Jesus not being resurrected bodily – not in the Bible
    Jesus riding the white horse in Rev. – not in the Bible

  3. linda says:

    To anonymous
    I am not a jw but have had a bible study and can see a lot of what you say is not correct. The name jehovah appears more than any other name in the scrolls that were translated into the bible. jesus became king in 1914, see daniels prophesy. All christians are told to preach, the apostles went travelling and preached form place to place. We do not know what jesus died on but the cross is an egyptian symbol and was not used by the Romans. the organisation is not called our mother, it is called the bride of christ and is relevant to the 144,000 only. I am not sure what bible you read or maybe you translate it differently to other witnesses. Also whatever documents you have found concerning the society and the Un, you need to give proof, Lets have the full details on your next reply so all jws can find out too if it is true. I have never been asked for any money in the meetings or assemblies, no one is paid for their time, all mags and books are free. There is none of this ten percent demanded as the Mormons do. If you really do not believe then you should walk away and stop spending you precious time writing about the witnesses. Join another religion or start your own, Another thing is that no one has ever added anything to the bible apart from Roman Catholics and they are about as far from how God wanted Christianity to be as possible.

    • Mel says:

      I appreciate your reply and applaud you for it, bcause everything that person said can be easily refuted. It’s so utterly rediculous, it has to be a person other than what they claim, someone just wanting to try to make JW’s look bad. But do’nt waste time casting your pearls before swine, as the bible says. People like that just want to argue and we have no time for that. We only want to talk to honest, humble people. THANKS

  4. doug says:

    U we’re never a jw u need to take ur losing self and read the bible PS.83:18 ,

  5. doug says:

    Ur not a witness if u read the bible ull no the truth ps83:18

  6. anonymous says:

    @Linda, you say that you are not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I was one for 48 years so I have one up on you. I know what I am talking about. I am going to try and tackle some of the things you said I was wrong about.
    1) The name Jehovah was an invention by a Spanish Monk in 1270 C.E. (Watchtower Feb. 1, 1980)
    2) Early Christians stayed in people’s homes and preached in the synagogs and Jesus told his followers not to be transferring from house to house (Luke 10:7)
    3) John 20:25 says that Thomas wanted to see where the print of the “nails” were in Jesus’ hands, not “nail” like the Watchtower likes to show him.
    4) May 1, 1957 Watchtower article (“Show Respect for Jehovah’s Organization) on page 273 identifies Jehovah’s Organization as the “mother” organization. Ask any of Jehovah’s Witnesses and they will agree with that.
    5) Check out jwfacts to prove that Jehovah’s Witnesses didn’t joint the U.N. from 1992-2002. Prove they didn’t join, okay? We are all waiting to find out what you find out.
    6) Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t pass the plate but they ask for money at every assembly and in Watchtower after Watchtower. They just don’t pass the plate. But Watchtower is among the richest corporations in New York. That is easy to find out as well.
    7) I use the New World Translation
    8) I don’t believe and I did walk away.
    9) You said Jehovah Witnesses don’t add to the Bible and they don’t take away from the Bible. Where in the Bible do you see that the earth will be turned into a paradise? They made it look like that by putting a comma after today, when Jesus was talking to the evil-doer alongside him when he died. Where do you see in the Bible that Jesus is only mediator for the 144,000? Where do you see that the “other sheep” are the great crowd and not the gentiles? Where in the Bible do you see that Jesus had 2 kingdoms? Where in the Bible do you see that Jesus is Michael the Archangel? Where in the Bible do you see that Jesus began ruling “invisibly” in heaven in 1914 and that only Jehovah’s Witnesses would “see an invisible” return when the Bible says that every person would see him, especially when he’s ruling in heaven and Satan is ruling the earth when Matthew 28:18 says that Jesus was given all authority at his death? What kind of proof do you have that Jesus began ruling in heaven in 1914? How can you prove that Jerusalem fell in 607 and not 586/587 like every encyclopedia says it happened?
    Where in the Bible do you see that Jesus is mediator only for the 144,000?

  7. Excelsior! says:

    Linda,

    You are a JW, so don’t lie to us about that! Remember, liars will burn in the lake of fire forever, ouch!

    Linda, the cross was used extensively by the Romans as a suitably cruel and intimidating form of execution for a very long time. It was only turned into a religious symbol after JESUS was executed on a cross. Your argument is completely wrong, sorry. You are putting the cart before the horse on that one.

    Did you know that the Tetragrammaton does not appear in the Christian Greek scriptures? It doesn’t you know. So why did your nameless translators add it in their translation?

    Linda, as an atheist, there is nothing I would like more than to walk away from all this religious claptrap and get on with my life. Indeed, I had done so for the past 20 years! Do you know what brought me back, Linda? I shall tell you. It was the child abuse cover ups. I could not walk away from the victims in your religion. Do your research!

    DO YOUR RESEARCH! There is really no excuse for your terrible knowledge of your religion.

    Peace be with you,

    Excelsior!

  8. MM NISSAR says:

    Sir,
    please send me a deaf language sighn text.
    thanking you.

    my contact
    MM NISSAR
    ALKA, TC 48/590-1,
    AMBALATHARA, WE ONE NAGAR,
    TRIVANDRUM DISTRICT, KERALA STATE,
    SOUTH INDIA, PIN-695026

  9. JB Reezner says:

    I had to drive by my old Kingdom Hall the other day. They’d taken the old sign down and replaced it with one that had the JW.ORG logo prominently on top -even above “Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses”.

    It was strange.

  10. Sylviane Bloss says:

    I’ve been a witness for fourth years,,and will die ad one,,shame on those who slander and defame,,I am from France and was raised Catholic, and yessssss was involved with, Baptist, mormans,and many other religions, but the truth was not found in them,there are sooooo many sweet people in all the religions but haven’t done their proper research, shame on you for bashing those that are kind and educated in giving waters of truth, it’s that people that God loves,and it’s what they practice that he hates,can’t you just keep your nasty cruel comments to yourself and just be happy to see someone content with what they’ve found,which brings them joy,my mother was 87,just passed away, she was Catholic, but before she died, she said to me, Sylviane!!!! You know that when I was a little girl, in our village in Bordeaux France,, almost every ones home had Jehovah’s name engraved on top of their doors,, and in our Cathedrals on the windows, Jehovah’s name was also there,,thank you for helping my memory:-),,,,so you see in the end of all arguments,,it’s God who will judge your, life,and restore you to where he thinks you should be,, on a beautiful cleansed earth,or non existent forever,,,,,, Jeremiah 29:11,12

    • Caroline says:

      @Sylviane Bloss, I was a Witness for fifty years and you are right in that there are many sweet people in all religions that have not their proper research into their religion. You said that about other religions but you implied that Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to research their own religion and that is just not true.

      I know that you know that we are told that we do not need to do any research because the Society does that for us. You know as well as I do, that Witnesses trust that the Society would never lie to them and so they don’t research to back up what the Society might be telling them as facts.

      I trusted that they would never lie to me but when I found out that the Society has known for decades that Jerusalem was destroyed in 586/687 B.C.E. and not 607 B.C.E., I realized that I was being lied to and that is when I started doing my own research into what I also thought was the “truth” all those years and found out that the Society was lying about a multitude of things, not just 607.

      You also need to do some research and not assume that people on this web site are bashing anybody. We might be bashing the Society at Brooklyn, but not individual Witnesses.

      Nobody is bashing ordinary Witnesses on this site. We were all Witnesses at one time or friends or family of Witnesses and that is the last thing that we would do. We were deceived into believing the Society had been appointed by God but we never asked for any evidence that they had been appointed by God.

      That is what you need to do. Find out if there is any evidence that God is really backing the Society. Find out what the evidence is. Just producing literature isn’t any kind of proof.

      As to the kind of God that the Watchtower and you profess to worship, I have some comments about that God:

      If you read your Bible and pay attention to what you are reading, you will see that the god of the Bible, Jehovah, takes delights or revels in the slaughter of babies such as the Psalm 137:8.9 “O daughter of Babylon, who are to be despoiled, Happy will he be that rewards you With your own treatment with which you treated us. Happy will he be that grabs ahold and does dash to pieces Your children against the craig.”

      In this psalm, Jehovah is telling his people to enjoy torturing and murdering babies. This song was meant to be sung during worship. Jehovah wasn’t implying that babies might be killed during collateral damage during a time of war, he was saying that they and you should be glad and happy to do that to babies.

      What kind of God are you worshiping anyway? That sounds like the worst of a psychopath to me and not one that I would not be proud to say that I worshiped.

      I also worshiped that God for fifty years but once I started actually paying attention to what the Bible really does say about Jehovah, I was appalled. What most people do when they read the Bible and I was the same, is to gloss over all the disturbing stuff. I didn’t think. I let the Society do my thinking for me.

      When you read the Bible, you need to think about what you are reading and then come back here and defend that scripture at Psalm 137:9.

      Also, come back here and tell us how you can prove that Jehovah appointed the Watchtower Society as his one and only spokesman to man in 1919. Even Geoffrey Jackson said it would be presumptuous to say something like that to the Australian Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in the Watchtower Society with over 1,000 sexual predators not being reported to the police in the last 60 years that the Watchtower Society protected during all that time and are still protecting.

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