Spotlight: The movie every Jehovah’s Witness simply MUST watch
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The film "Spotlight" tells the story of Boston Globe journalists who uncovered widespread child abuse in the Catholic Church

The film “Spotlight” tells the story of Boston Globe journalists who uncovered widespread child abuse in the Catholic Church

Last night my wife and I were able to watch an exceptional movie – one of those rare cinematic experiences that combines gripping performances with a compelling story-line and a powerful message.

And it is a message that ALL Jehovah’s Witnesses must hear sooner or later.

Directed by Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight” tells the story of a group of reporters at the Boston Globe whose exceptional Pullitzer prize-winning journalism blew the lid off the widespread abuse of children by priests in the Boston area, leading to a wave of similar exposés across America and the world.

The dedication, conscientiousness and tenacity of those journalists back in 2001, when little was known about institutional child abuse, is perfectly portrayed by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber, who all put in riveting performances.

Stanley Tucci also excels in the role of a lawyer who is fiercely protective of his clients who are victims of abuse – a role reminiscent of Irwin Zalkin or Rick Simons, both of whom were tasked with representing abuse victims from an equally-negligent religious hierarchy: the Watch Tower Society.

Indeed, the similarities to Watchtower’s lies, subterfuge and cover-ups regarding child molestation come thick and fast. Those like me who are familiar with the torrent of cases that have come to light since the 2012 Candace Conti verdict will easily register the parallels – especially the tangible distress of those whose lives are forever scarred by sadistic predators in positions of trust.

It could be that a film this brilliant will one day tell the story of Watchtower’s mishandling of child molestation. But in a way, I think Spotlight would still be a more powerful tool for alerting believing Jehovah’s Witnesses to the scourge of molestation within their faith, because it delivers its message without referencing Watchtower once.

Of course, I would never expect an indoctrinated Witness family member to immediately notice the similarities, or leap out of their chair yelling “eureka” because they finally understand the ease with which child abuse can be hidden, and the difficulty in uncovering it.

But the beauty of films like Spotlight, Alex Gibney’s multiple Emmy Award-winning Going Clear, Meet the Mormons and Louis Theroux’s two excellent documentaries on the Westboro Baptist Church (available on iTunes) is that they hold the promise of clearing some of the fog in the cult victim’s mind.

The effect might not be immediate. It may take many years for the penny to drop. But these compelling films ask all the right questions, and can forge cerebral connections where previously there were none.

There is no magic bullet when it comes to dissolving years, or even decades, of layered cult indoctrination. But movies like Spotlight offer a unique and subtle means of planting seeds that might just ease the process of awakening your indoctrinated loved one further down the line.

There’s certainly nothing to lose by trying.

 

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You will have to check what your local options are for watching Spotlight either at the cinema or using an “on demand” service. But you can pre-order a copy of the DVD by clicking here.

Further reading…

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74 Responses to Spotlight: The movie every Jehovah’s Witness simply MUST watch

  1. GEM says:

    If only some investigative journalist could link up with a film maker to expose the hypocritical attitude of the Watchtower in this gut-wrenching and sickening crime.

    Personally, I believe that one of the best ways to get over a message is via Satire….

    One of those films that has you clenching your buttocks with uneasy embarrassment whilst the laugh results from the sheer awkwardness of the subject material.

    The information would stick for a long time as it eats its way through the apathetic chancre of Superciliousness, (Heb: looking down at the nose at), that exists in the brains of religiously self-righteous.

    Thank you for the thought provoking article, Lloyd

  2. ruthlee says:

    Hope to see this soon but I know it will trawl up trauma. Nevertheless all these corrupt institutions need to be exposed. its just a matter of time and taking turns. Bring it on and everyone shall see how rotten this organisation is and contains to be. We put our name to this cowboy outfit for many years which was foolish and shameful, at least we woke up and hope to help others. This dirty organisation WILL reap what they have sown. You may want to block my next comment but its just an observation. I think it’s good that they hardly refer to jesus much anymore because he would not associate with liars, he associated with sinners and ones who could say sorry. Also they don’t believe in heaven , good they don’t qualify, they can keep their organisation and leave heaven to those who want it.(just to be clear I am talking about the watchtower babbleand squeak society) ruthlee

  3. Shorty Hawkins says:

    It’s r rated. That will be a tough sell indeed. I however had never heard of this movie, as I didn’t know there were any other movies in 2015 that didn’t begin with “star”. Looking forward to watching it.

  4. Chris Higgins says:

    Brilliant film to watch is Worlds Apart by the same director who directed Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In Danish but with subtitles if you buy the English version covers forbidden love with a worldly boy and shunning. Very well made film and emotionally gripping. Perfect for a JW. Set completely around a JW family.

  5. EverydayExplorer says:

    “Movies like Spotlight offer a unique and subtle means of planting seeds that might just ease the process of awakening your indoctrinated loved one further down the line.

    There’s certainly nothing to lose by trying.”

    Absolutely! Looking forward to watching the film and then passing it on to JW family members. Some of whom, I’m glad to say, now know they cannot convince us that the systemic cover up of sex abuse within Watchtower is ‘all lies/apostate-manufactured/etc, etc’. Thanks to the internet, the proof we have and can share with them is non-negotiable.

    We love those family members and it is so much more sane and healthy for us and for them to be able to talk openly about the tragic injustices still being suffered by children and vulnerable people in Watchtower. But it’s been a long journey — bumpy to the point of bruising — and no doubt further relationship jolts and shocks will erupt as we continue to assert our right to state and prove the facts about the Watchtower’s heinous lack of safeguarding of children.

    So thanks for the heads-up on Spotlight. And I will also source the Danish film Worlds Apart mentioned by Chris Higgins. We’ve got some demanding screen time coming up, I see!

  6. John Baptist says:

    Just this past weekend I was with friends who are x JW’S as well. A discussion ensured about the 1914 Doctrine and I was trying to help a friend who was thinking about going back since she is under the watchtowers radar for recruitment through their “return to Jehovah” (really the watchtower for further re-recruiting of former members to counteract their diminishing ranks).
    I made quotes from Steve Hassan’s book “Combating cult mind control”

    “Perhaps the biggest problem faced by people who have left destructive cults is the disruption of their own authentic identity. There is a very good reason: they have lived for years inside an “artificial” identity given to them by the cult. While cult mind control can be talked about and defined in many different ways, I believe it is best understood as a system that disrupts an individual’s healthy identity development. An identity is made up of elements such as beliefs, behavior, thought processes and emotions that constitute a definite pattern. Under the influence of mind control, a person’s authentic identity given at birth, and as later formed by family, education, friendships, and most importantly that person’s own free choices, becomes replaced with another identity, often one that they would not have chosen for themself without tremendous social pressure”

    So I asked are you ready to once again give away your own true Authenticy only to be replaced by this false religions mind control mindset?
    Is it worth giving yourself away to think that what their saying is true?
    Hasn’t the record shown through the years that they are truly a false prophet in sheeps clothing?
    Clear valid questions that can be put to the test and yeild real and true evidence as to what the true answers are.

    • Will says:

      OMG, I highlighted that on Kindle. That is a great quote!!!

    • Holy Connoli says:

      @ John the Baptist. Good job on reasoning with her. I am surprised she is hanging out with you X JW’s and thinking of going back? I have a friend who is A JW and agrees with me on most of the
      things I bring out about the WT and how it is like a Cult and, dictator and child abuse and shunning etc. She tells me YES, but Jehovah knows all and will straighten it all out and you need to have a relationship with Jehovah. I tell her Yes, Any human can have a relationship with Jehovah and Jesus Christ but you do not have to be a JW or believe in the certain ever changing flip flopping doctrines of theirs.

      Just a side question? In reading the history of JW and the WT over the years do you guys think the WT was a cult say back in the 1940’s and 1950’s?

      It seems to me as time went on they became more and more cultish and controlling and especially in the last 10-15 years. My JW wife used to tell me like 10 years ago we are no longer against Higher education? it is an individual choice etc? I almost fell for it and I think they let up on it a little bit and then maybe a lot of JW started going to college and thinking for themselves and then they put the hammer down again on it. What do you think?

      • Will says:

        @ Holy Connoli

        The Org is still very much against higher education. I do think some witness parents are letting their kids do college, because they know the Society’s position is unreasonable, but I’m sure that will be a “local,circuit or district needs” part, if it hasn’t already. I hope you don’t mind me putting my 2 cents in.

        • M says:

          From what I remember having been a Jehovahs witness for most of my life, but am currently not one, is that they tell you that you shouldn’t pursue higher education if it is going to interfere with being a witness. For instance, if going to college is going to make you miss meetings and keep you from going door to door and what not, then you shouldn’t do it.

          • Winston Smith says:

            I was told by a circuit overseer that it was okay to get a 2 year degree or technical certification, but if you pursue a higher level degree you are pursuing the things of the world. If a brother or his children did this your qualifications for “privileges” could be called into question.

            But from the platform they seriously dump on college in general. They still say things like Armageddon is right around the corner, so why waste your time getting a college education? They also claim people that get a university education are no better off than those who don’t: they can’t find work and have all that debt from college.

            I got my university degree about 10 years ago and it was the best decision I ever made. I have never had an issue finding work and that work has always been very lucrative.

            As is typical with the Watchtower’s manner, they make sweeping generalizations which often do not hold true. Many of their members struggle financially by applying their advice about college.

            WS

      • Pow says:

        I would add to that, and only in an anadotal way…that in the 60s, that probably 99.9% were absolutely convinced. ..starting with the committee that gathered information for the aid to bible understanding nagging questions started to be quietly asked. By 1980 the organization was being divided at the top, but r &f had no idea,,indeed in the years since we have seen the rise of our own mini inquisition. .

      • anonymous4 says:

        I would say it probably fit most of the criteria of a cult back then, but if not, they were definitely laying the foundation.

      • Bad Penny says:

        Holy Connoli – Re: the cult question –
        The JWs have always been a cult. I think the difference now is that the GB have come to the fore. Years ago we would not know the names or faces of most of them. These days however, they have become like the Pope and other religious leaders, basking in the limelight. This has led to a certain amount of adoration from the masses. They have become ‘gods’. The minions hang onto their every word and do ‘just so’. A very dangerous situation has developed in that witnesses are now discouraged from thinking for themselves. This cultish mindset means that they will stand up for their leaders and could even be prepared to die for them.

      • Winston Smith says:

        @Holy Connoli
        I’d say the cult-behavior started with Rutherford and his ultra-high control doctrines in the 1920’s and 30’s. Knorr continued the cult indoctrination and it has not improved any since that time (probably has gotten worse).

        From the mid 90’s to the mid 2000’s they did ease up on bashing a college education, but returned to their prior course shortly thereafter. Probably thought they were loosing too many publishers due to their newly acquired critical thinking skills.

        WS

      • Robert67 says:

        They hit Cult status as soon as they went back on their teachings on shunning as pagan, evil and cruel in the early 50’s, before that they were just another bunch of false prophets . Even though they did teach avoiding people who rejects Christ since the 1890’s , no black balling of their own friends and family took place. By 1952 they needed a way to shut the mouth of members who knew about the scam and cover ups on false WT doctrine. The truth about the WT “truth” was leaking out and it escalated from there and slowly, but surely shunning was applied to just about anything that constitutes disobedience to the “Elders”.

        Yes, it keeps getting worse with time. It has gotten to the point where they will shun a rape victim before they shun the rapist, lest word gets out that there is absolutely no “spiritual paradise” amongst the witnesses.

    • Bright Lightbulb says:

      What was her reply to you?

    • anonymous4 says:

      @ John Baptist

      Yes, that Hassan quote is awesome.

    • James Broughton says:

      Thank you JB for that helpful information. Happy New Year to those of you on the other side of the pond.

    • Siempreviva says:

      To John Baptist: Well, ‘artficial identity’ I wouldn’t be able to express it more accurately. I was disfellowshipped about 28 years ago (no social media at that time, how I wished…) so I have to scrub and flush out the brainwash all by myself, step by step, because believe it or not, although I had a good idea that this was a sect an all the information was manipulated and even the stories told in the regional meetings were not exactly as there were told, it takes time to get them out of your system. I remember better (vividly I would say) the moment I heard that ‘even if a JW is right about something, but his conclusions are going against the CG, HE IS WRONG’ than the moment years later when I was disfellowshipped. I still remember hearing shocking things about what to think about almost anything, which was basically what the WT told you so. I remember the misogyny, the fact that as a young woman, you were at the bottom of the pit. So there I was, no future, nothing to look forwards to until Armagedon comes. I didn’t show any interest in any men there, because I thought they were dull and by no means I was NOT going to marry one that was going to boss me around! So what was a girl to do? Well, there is only one way to it: LYING THROUGH YOUR TEETH!. So I lied and I lied and I lied some more until i figured my way out. Honestly, I would much rather to have left with my head up high, giving them a piece of my mind than what actually happened. I fell in love with a guy I knew it wasn’t going to be the love of my life, but the tsunami of lies couldn’t be contained by then, so when finally caught, I thought for myself, ‘well this will do’ so I was quite appeased by the time I was expelled from it. Don’t get me wrong, before the final courtain, my best friends came to my rescue and that has to be the single thing in my life, it hurt me the most. Not lying to the JW as a organisation, I didn’t give a toss about that, BUT lying to my friends, that is a different kettle of fish. That guilt followed me for years. But sorry, I was fighting for survival. I didn’t even liked myself on the worst years in there (my whole teenage years ladies and gentleman) a double personality takes a heavy toll. I felt Confused, lost, uncomfortable with myself, very unhappy, even desperate sometimes ah! and a bloody liar. SO when at 19 I was booted out the Kingdom Hall I started the detoxification programme. By then I was living in Spain. At 23 I left to work in another part of the country (best thing to do for anybody but specially the young) and at 24 I came to the UK where I still reside. For many years I didn’t want to talk about it but after a talking therapy I did for something else, all this wounds came up, I felt liberated and when I read about other ex JW experiences, I feel vindicated. No more lies for me. As JW you hear a lot this quote: ‘the truth will set you free’. Well, that is true bu in reverse of how they use it, for all the rest, spot on!

      • M says:

        I was disfellowshipped just over two years ago. I should never have gotten baptised in the religion. (I got baptised at age 14) I am now 24, almost 25, and living with my boyfriend (who was never a JW.) My entire family, (parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins…all jehovahs witnesses.) I was shunned by them all. It’s seriously heartbreaking….even still.

    • S says:

      JOHN BAPTIST. NOT EVEN CLOSE. CHANGE YOUR NAME. HE WOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOUR BASHING OF GOD’S PEOPLE.

  7. Lesley says:
    Jan 7th 20.20

    I have just woken up these last few weeks and have
    the huge problem of my only child being married to
    a very devout brother, I have no blood relatives to
    speak of, I mentioned today the toxic dump in London
    and the mess the GB have made, and she jumped down my throat and we ended up in an argument, we are not speaking at present. I have a very dark childhood and am sickened by the cover up and lies on the lives of young children being ruined by sexual abuse. These people are loathsome liars and I pray that at least some end up in prison. I have asked several sisters not to give anymore donations to these people, citing that it is only going to pay towards court costs and damages etc. As far as I know one sister has reduced her payments so far. Being a witness has been amongst the loneliest of my life which is saying something considering the life I had to endure before becoming a witness 20yrs ago. I am currently being treated for PTSD and have received no help off the elders and despite being missing at the meetings, I am offered no visits. I find very little Christianity at the halls, and much gossip and nastiness, which I have always detested, the elders wives are amongst the worse. The emotional abuse from certain elders has been soul destroying at the very least. I unfortunately married an abusive and violent brother and was encouraged to stay and work at my marriage to the detriment of
    my daughter and myself I eventually left with the help of the Domestic Violence unit, out of a congregation of over a 100 only one sister came to my aid. I have never know such self centred shallow people in my life. They go out preaching to people but don’t treat the ones they have already got in a kind way, I have been inactive for a couple of years now and have no desire to lie to people about how lovely it is in “the truth” because it has been horrendous. This enforced lonelyness is going to end for me as I explore my options, but sadly I will be frowned upon and judged by my daughter and others as I quietly fade away. Thank’s for reading this. Much love from Les

    • MimiLove says:

      I feel such pain reading your story….I thought I had it bad. Hopefully you can find some things in your life now that bring you joy and surely you daughter will come around.

    • anonymous4 says:

      Many have gone down the path u’re now on, SUCCESSFULLY. Hang in there. It’s great that u realize u DO have options to explore. More than u know. Most of all, every minute, relish ur Freedom. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Bad Penny says:

      Dear Lesley – My heart goes out to you, I wish I could give you a big hug.
      The hurt that you feel now has been felt by many of us on this site. We are all ‘spiritual lepers’.
      I stopped associating back in 2013, six months after my husband. The last few meetings I attended were very difficult. I was being shunned by most ‘brothers’ even then because I was becoming a little outspoken on matters.
      I have had no ‘shepherding calls’. No loving kindness shown by any sisters except two who called to try and find out what was going on.
      I was a witness for 30 years, but once I found out about the lies and deception there was no going back.
      Our only son, baptised but inactive, has been somewhat sceptical as to our actions, but has finally come to the conclusion that we were right and has nothing to do with them anymore. He had to make his own mind up. We did not want to push him away by being too dogmatic. The same may work for your daughter – Leave her be. If you become confrontational it will make matters worse. I would say to try and keep the lines of communication open. She will probably not want to discuss ‘spiritual’ things with you. Bide your time, build your relationship back up with her as a loved daughter. One day she may be agreeable to your reasoning. Maybe take her to see this movie!
      Meanwhile you have friends here. Lol.

    • Tara says:

      Hey Les.
      You are not alone hun. You have many, many friends on here. I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that the love on here is real. I too have PTSD and the basic answer to it from our ‘loving spiritual family’ is ‘get over it’. I haven’t been to a meeting now since before Christmas. I have had three people from the hall contact me… one to say the annual christmas day even was on, another to say she missed me at that event and another to make arrangements to go see Star Wars…… Nothing spiritual lol. I haven’t been in service for months now… can’t remember the last time I went out. I have constant scenarios going through my head as to what I will say to anyone who asks me questions or confronts me… since the last time the elders paid me a shepherding call…. that was a ruse to ask why I went to my df’d sons wedding. No one has asked me anything. However, non witness friends have been kind and loving showing compassion and support as I fade.

      • Wanderer says:

        One of the hardest things I can remember are the emotions I had when I started fading. I didn’t consider myself “worldly” yet, but as soon as my meeting attendance and field service dropped off, my “friends” in the congregation stopped associating with me. The feeling that my friends in the “truth” were so conditional, that they would drop me like a hot potato, and that I had no worldly friends was a very depressing and scary thought.
        When I thought about it though, it shows how conditional and judgemental JW’s are.
        Looking back leaving is the best thing we have ever done, we have real unconditional friends and I am so glad our children won’t be raised by that deluded life.

    • Caroline says:

      Dear Lesley, I also feel your pain and can relate 100% to your story about how your life was in the religion. As long as we don’t say anything back when we hear abusive speech either to ourselves or ugly gossip about others, we “get along” with them. There are probably nice people in every congregation but even “nice” people will say ugly things when they are in a bunch of ugly gossipers when left on their own would never say such things.

      It takes a really strong person to stand up against such speech and then when a person like that does say something against speech like that, it’s the person who spoke up, is the one left feeling bad about themselves because we were always told how we are all imperfect and if we can’t forgive others’ imperfections, than how could God forgive us our imperfections?

      As long as we don’t rock the boat, we will probably fit in with those so-called “friends” but once we stand up to them, we will be shunned.

      The Society makes us outcasts among our former friends and relatives right away when we start studying (if we came in as adults) by telling us that the only ones we can associate with are other Witnesses so the Watchtower has it’s ducks all in a row when it comes to our trying to leave because if we try and get out, we won’t have any support outside the Organization.

      The Society knows exactly what they are doing when they put in the study books right away in the first few chapters about how all our friends and relatives will try and turn us away from studying and the world is “Satanic” and against God and Satan will try and use our friends and relatives to not study. It worked on me and it works on most studies and children.

      The religion is set up so that anybody and everybody (no matter how mean they are) is acceptable as long as they put money in the contribution boxes and answer at the meetings and go in service so people who would not fit in in regular association out in the “world” will have “friends” in the Kingdom Hall because of that doctrine of “forgiving” our “imperfections”, no matter whether the religion is built upon lies or not.

      That is one of the reasons nobody is allowed to speak out against the lies of the Society because even if the Society makes “mistakes” in Bible teachings, they are only “imperfect” men after all and we can’t hold that against them. That is how all Witnesses are taught to believe.

      The problem is that it isn’t honest “mistakes” that the Society is pulling on the rank and file. It’s outright lies and the Society knows it and I can’t support such a system either and promote it to others either.

      You are not alone. We all support you, even if it’s unseen.

      • M says:

        All I miss is my entire family….I’m not allowed to see or talk to any of them because I got disfellowshipped just over 2 years ago….I miss them all =/

    • Idontknowhatodo says:

      We are with you Lesley…all my close family…grown up children included are deeply entrenched in this cult…I blame myself…I woke up just over 2 years ago after a lifetime of pushing doubts aside and believing lies… its a hard mental and emotional challenge… my only advice to you is that alongside your fading build a life outside this organization..its not easy…you go through so many conflicting feelings..I still am…I have not attended meetings for 6 months and recently stopped reporting… even that took courage… but I will say the reward is mental freedom and the slow discovery at 57 of my true authentic self… Im fading because I cant face shunning from my kids so we have very much the same reasons…keep going…you are not alone….happy fading.

    • Robert67 says:

      Very sorry to hear about your situation. I would advice keeping a cool head at all times around your child and show that you only improved in Christian behavior by leaving the Cult, live your life free of the extra biblical teachings of the WT Cult, volunteer more, help the poor; all the things the supposed “Christians” in the cult never do in imitation of Christ. Help contribute to exposing the WT Cult even if your doing it anonymously, eventually the whole thing will go the way of Scientology and we will get our loved ones back.

    • Aj Newman says:

      Hi Les, take heart. There are many like you here.
      Our heart goes to you

  8. anonymous4 says:

    Great article!
    There is hope!
    The time has come to shine the SPOTLIGHT on the cockroaches!

  9. Meredith J says:

    That movie looks very powerful and the actors look very convincing in their roles. I wish I could get my Witness family to see it. My last efforts at speaking to them about this has caused my son to never be able to speak to me without the presence of his wife. At least that is what I have figured out. Anyway, my appetite has been whet to see more of it. Thanks for the article Cedars.

  10. Alexandria R says:

    Fully indoctrinated people wont get the connection between this movie and their own JW religion. They will apply it to every other religion but there own. They choose to be blind. There’s an old saying; don’t argue with ignorance, it will make you feel like standing on your head, you’ll go bald and hurt your brain out of frustration. I remember my sister’s friend called her one time and during the conversation she said to my sister “You know they were lieing to us the whole time.” My sister said “who was lieing?” Her friend said “the society.” My sister hung up on her.

  11. Arlis Scott says:

    Glad that movies like this are being made. Yes the cover-ups and lies about child abuse are being exposed. It’s about time.

    Who will go to see this movie? Those who are concerned about children, those who want to see justice served, and those who want to see great actors portray actual events that has happened. But those who have been abused, not too sure. Those with PTSD, this might be a challenge to see.

    Great movie to recommend to anyone who will listen. Especially witness families that you know. Just remember that more than likely any witness family that you know of has experienced some sort of child abuse, as it has in my family, or knows of some sort of abuse. And if there is any amount of thinking on the Society’s part that this is a persecution on them, they will recommend their followers not to watch it, like they did with the Royal Commision Child Abuse trials in Australia
    .

  12. James Broughton says:

    Lloyd, thank you for the article. Yes, there are some great films about which are quite heart-breaking. Happy New Year to you and the family.

  13. Jarred Booth says:

    Can’t believe it’s been 14 years now. I was 18 and at a friends house when the story broke on the news. The first words from my friend’s mom were: “I wonder if this will lead to the attack on Babylon the Great.” Of course I and many others thought the same thing.

    Imagine if the Boston Globe team had believed that religion was going to be brought down by the United Nations. They may never have done all the work they did, because God was going to take care of it soon anyway. So: “Unbelievers” who saw a problem in the world and did something about it, point one. “Believers” who sat around waiting for some prophecy to be fulfilled and did nothing except talk about some vague concept of God’s Kingdom, point zero. (I include myself in that, as I did it for years.)

    I give the movie 5 stars.

  14. ruthlee says:

    hi things I noticed that Spotlight is up for a BAFTA in feb, I think its the “sleeper” film. I do hope it gets the recognition it deserves and we need because some will join the dots. 2ndly Welcome Lesley we are in various states of waking up but generally there is great mutual respect on this site that you will find reassuring. If you have not read earlier articles , if you have time they give great points and the comments, insightful and entertaining. The regulars here have watched some of us grow out of the chaos and anger and have given many helpful points of view. We all think differently and will come to our own conclusions about belief and choices. We all are the walking wounded from watchtower but not zombies of it. I hope you find your path. I’m a fence sitter right now but my friends here have been so kind and understanding so that gives me hope that when I jump or d/a at least there are some humans out there who would have kind words for me. Blessings Lesley welcome to the ride peace ruthlee.

  15. Thank you for all your lovely comments above, no going back now, not that I would want to.using imperfection as an excuse is the biggest cop out of them all, it allows nasty sisters and bro’s to try and excuse their behaviour, well no it doesn’t and never will.

  16. Doc Obvious says:

    Spotlight sounds like a great movie to see. Hopefully the lawmakers of every country should see this movie and introduce laws that protect children from heinous institutions. Regardless if they are commercial or religious institutions.

    Regarding the practice of shunning. Shunning of family members is against my religion. I wish Watchtower would stop offending my religious rights that are afforded to me by the United States Constitution.

    • anonymous4 says:

      Amen! In regard to religious persecution, with the JWs, it’s a 1-Way Street. Persecuting THEM is a NO-NO. But they have the freedom to persecute whoever they want, whenever they want, however they want.

    • M says:

      My entire family shunned me because of the religion… 🙁

  17. Thanks, I am an older sister too.The thought of going into older age feeling so lonely was scary but that fear is fading as the possibilities are endless now. Take care. Xx

  18. Justin says:

    The Washington Post, one of the largest and most well respected news agencies of the USA, wrote a great article on the JW’s with the Australian Commission.

    Myself and many others on John Cedar’s Facebook page wrote the editor of the Post and his response at the time (to me via email) was that he “would look into it”…and he did…a few weeks later this article came out and it’s fantastic. His team of investigative journalists did a great job.

    Millions of subscribers, both in print and online read this article. I wonder how many JW’s saw it…or those at Bethel or Warwick? lol

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/jehovahs-witnesses-face-child-sex-abuse-investigation-in-australia/2015/08/14/d8a58eda-406e-11e5-9561-4b3dc93e3b9a_story.html

  19. Garrett says:

    I don’t understand why the Watchtower society isn’t getting slammed by the American media for all its sins and molestation coverup a. Can someone explain this to me ?
    The Catholic scandal was massive. When do the Governing Body cockroaches get them time under the spot light?

    • Justin says:

      Unfortunately it’s a matter of size…the Roman Catholics have over 1.2 Billion members world-wide and the JW’s have 8 million world-wide.

      People should start an email or letter writing campaign to the American media outlets. If enough people start drawing attention to the WBTS then maybe that will result in more news coverage.

      • Double game says:

        Justin: is it a matter of SIZE or a matter of
        PERCENTAGES? I think the Watchtower amply beats the Catholic Church regarding child abuse.

  20. dee says:

    @Holi Connoli:

    Apparently there was a reason behind the org’s temporary let up regarding the pursuit of higher education. I have read comments were persons felt that the temporary let up was because the Society needed computer and tech-competent Bethelites and had very few because, of course, postsecondary education had been virtually forbidden up until that time.

    Apparently the temporary let up was more about the org’s needs than the welfare of the rank & file JWs.

    • Tara says:

      The CO at his last meeting in our hall actually said that higher education meant university degrees and that college courses that were not 4 years in length were ok. I found it quite funny because an elder and his wife who were sat in front of me came from ‘the world’. he is a teacher and she was a lawyer of some kind…. their daughter once confided in me that she wanted to go to University to study Anthropology. Sorry little Miss but Daddy would loose his position if he encouraged you to follow your dream career. How about becoming a nice submissive pioneer?

      • anonymous4 says:

        There goes the Watchtower Corp. splitting hairs again. lol

      • Jarred Booth says:

        2-year college good, 4-year college bad. I could hardly think of a more arbitrary and un-Scriptural rule. What’s wrong with a 4- or 8-year college anyway? Aren’t JW’s all going to live forever? 4 years is like a drop in the bucket. (Insert tone of mockery.)

        With all the lawsuits the organization is facing, I sense “new light” will magically arrive on the issue: It’s ok to go to an Ivy League college as long as you plan to be a lawyer and go directly to Bethel upon graduation and show no mercy when defending Watchtower against apostates (aka child sexual abuse victims).

      • Winston Smith says:

        @Tara
        I heard exactly the same thing from a CO several years ago. It must be one of those unwritten rules they don’t want to put into writing. I had already gotten my four year degree and was thinking about grad school at the time.

        The Watchtower points out the in Jesus’ time the Pharisees had gone beyond the scriptures in making a number of traditional rules – called the oral law, I believe – and thus Jesus condemned them. Yet they turn around and do the same thing!

        WS

      • Robert67 says:

        That is definitely not what the Great and Powerful Tony Morris of the governing body said on the matter. He made it clear what happened to poor witness kids who went off to college. The filthy and ignorant university professors with their evil phd’s rob them of their love for God. This CO is asking for the boot, going to university refines your critical thinking skills and will significantly improve the odds of these young witnesses learning the truth about this Cult.

        • Lager says:

          This reply isn’t about JW’s, but about your comment that university refines critical thinking skills. What you said is absolutely false. With all these college students crying about wanting “safe spaces” and preventing speakers with views they oppose from speaking at the college they attend, it just shows college does not help with critical thinking skills, but actually does the opposite. Many college graduates are dumber and more intolerant after graduating than they were before going to college. Universities are now nothing more than Marxist indoctrination centers.

  21. JWIntellect says:

    I’ll have to try to watch this film.

  22. ruthlee says:

    hi just picking up on the thread of spotlight. I heard an short interview with Mark Ruffalo today, he said something that really rang true so i had to comment. It was that investigative journalism really does have to uphold this sort of information and get the story out there because the legal system and other institutions are suseptable to corruption. Of course i’m not quoting his exact words but it was such a valid point and such valuable words. It gave me hope that the brave souls who will stand up for the child rape that really happened within the Watchtower organisation, will be exposed. Also our supporting and giving a voice of support shows that we were not silent and on the sidelines. I tried to spotlight a dodgy Jehovah’s Witness in a Kingdom Hall but they closed ranks and he smirks knowing he got away with bad behaviour. The above remark about not staying silent gave me the needed reassurance that in God’s eyes I did what was right ,hang the ones with no b*lls who sat on the sidelines. So my point is that we need to keep supporting the exposure of historic child abuse and child rape among Jehovah’s Witnessess however long it takes and no matter the cost because each child that sees justice IS a worthy reason and it is the right thing to do.ruthlee

  23. Redtube says:

    “OH horrible”

  24. Caroline says:

    Last night at the Oscars, Spotlight won for best picture but around here, we will have to wait until it comes out on DVD as the Catholic Church must have influenced the theaters not to play it anywhere around here because the closest theater that played it was 75 miles away from here. I am so glad it at least won for best picture and I am so anxious to see it on DVD at least.

  25. aLTACater says:

    Why only sycophants and those who protest write here, where others are not allowed due to your draconian rules interpreted by only you! 🙂
    A once-upon-a-time violent opposer of JW, who was a victim of apostate propaganda told a group of philosophy post graduate students of how easily one can become perpetually hateful, hypocritical and unreasonable (paranoia) if that one continues to listen to messages of hate and destructive-criticism.
    His perfect reference were two websites: yours was on top of the list. I guess you are now over thirty and a mature adult. In thirty years time…..

  26. Dan says:

    “It could be that a film this brilliant will one day tell the story of Watchtower’s mishandling of child molestation.”

    We can hope, Lloyd…we can hope.
    If one still believes in a God, perhaps he is lifting the lid on those who besmirch his name. Starting with Catholics, moving to the dubs already with Aussie Commission and U K Charity Commission probe.
    Oh happy day!