The Opposite of Shunning – A message to my newborn daughter

The arrival of our baby daughter is a reason for joy and reflection

The arrival of our baby daughter is a reason for joy and reflection

Those who have been following my story will know that it was only as recently as last November that I decided to reveal myself and officially sever all ties with the Watch Tower Society, which happened a month later at my apostasy trial.

The breaking point that led to this life-changing decision was the news that my wife was pregnant.

We both agreed that it was inconceivable for us to raise our child as a Jehovah’s Witness, and we knew that if we stayed as Witnesses in name only (inactive) this would give our believing family some leverage to try to indoctrinate our child themselves.

As a consequence of taking our stand so emphatically, my wife and I have undergone tremendous emotional turmoil from our believing family members. Tears have been shed as we saw Watchtower forcing rifts in our family before our very eyes.

It must be gratefully acknowledged that some in our family have adjusted better than others, much to our relief. Even so, to be shunned by ANY loved ones who you once considered inseparable is a devastating experience – especially when it is over nothing more than a difference of beliefs.

Watchtower claims that shunning has spiritual healing benefits. It assures Witnesses through talks and literature that shunned family members will be more likely to realize the error of their ways and return to the arms of the organization. But I can testify that such emotional blackmail has the exact opposite effect on me.

Certain loved ones may hold out hope that I will “see the light” and come running back as a result of their cold shoulder treatment, but in actuality by demonstrating their mindless loyalty to Watchtower they are only strengthening my resolve.

The more I see clear evidence of the organization’s cruel unflinching tyranny in my own family, the more determined I am to insulate future generations from it. If my wife and I need to go through this pain so that our offspring never have to, it is a sacrifice worth making.

A reason for joy

It was because of this sacrifice that we decided our child would be named Jessica Liberty – the middle name serving as a reminder of the gift of free thought we have fought so hard to give her.

You can imagine our joy when, on May 7th at 11pm local time, Jessica Liberty finally arrived into the world. The magnitude of the event was such that I was inspired to make the following video by way of a tribute to our precious daughter.

I don’t know whether my family will ever see this video, but if they do I hope it will help them to at least partially understand why I have taken this stand. As much as my father professes to love me (and I am sure he does in his own way), his expressions remain valueless so long as they are not demonstrated.

True parental love is standing by your child no matter what they think, say, or do. It means acknowledging that we are all entitled to see the world differently and base our beliefs on evidence, and that the time and affection we show our children is not predicated on whether they share our religious views or organizational allegiances.

This is the opposite of shunning. It is unconditional love – the very least any child deserves, and something our daughter will always have from her parents.

 

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86 Responses to The Opposite of Shunning – A message to my newborn daughter

  1. MsD says:

    Congratulations to both you and your wife Mr Cedars!!!
    You both are so courageous to have made the choices you have regardless of what your JW believing family may do in return.
    Shunning is such a terrible thing and I do not understand how this organization can justify it as a “loving arrangement”

    I spent 10 years on and off studying with this organization.
    I remember bringing my 2 children to Kingdom Halls along with my husband for a long period of time.
    My children made many friends that were in the Hall along with those whom I studied with.
    I made and lost all these friends, which makes me sad but at the same time I feel pity for them and their continuous doubt of what is really going on in this Organization.

    When I decided to cease studying with my regular group I was shunned (ignored is probably a better word since I was never baptized as a JW)!!!

    I had decided to stop thanks to the further research I had done in 2012.
    I had done some minimal research back in 2005 believe it or not but still decided to continue my studies in 2007.

    I am not saying I had wasted my time but I am so grateful for all that I have learned both positive and negative.

    By 2012 after having our 3rd child I had decided that this was not the path I wanted my children to go down.
    I will never regret studying and having involved myself so much into this Organization
    I believe, at the end of the day I have gained a great deal of knowledge and I continue to do so thanks to all the resources out there. It is so important for me to stay educated about what is going on.

    I truly hope that your family will come to their senses but at the same I understand that it’s something “they believe must do in order to survive Armageddon”

    Being a parent is both fulfilling but also a challenging job.
    Hoping all the best for you! Babies are just beautiful and amazing!! Toddlers not so much 😉

  2. John Baptist says:

    I just got a chance to watch your video. What a beautiful baby girl!!! Awesome!!!

  3. Julia Orwell says:

    Well done Cedars, I’m so proud of you for standing up for your daughter. You are already one hell of a dad!!!

  4. Roberto Avon says:

    Hi John,

    many congrats to you and your wife dor your child’s birth.

    I wish you a wonder ” real ” life with Jessica.

  5. Rock lover says:

    If the NBA can ban Donald Sterling for life from any association with NBA staff and games etc for conduct contrary to its ideals..and everyone applauds them..i don’t see why some or any other private organization can make any arbitrary rules of membership and ask for members to adhere to them.

    Try joining the US Marines at 18 yrs old (still too young for true rational reasoning) then violating any of the various archaic and parochial terms and see the repercussions. Yet no few whine and kick about for their adherence to their standards.

    All the driveling about some organization having rules it desires members to adhere to is exhausting. Get after the people that are nonsensical for ridged adherence that, if they traveled to other parts of the world they see how ones in Ireland and ones in southern California view form vs function they may lighten up a little.

    Private organizations are not the problem it’s nieve people.

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      The JW outfit traps people, via baptism, at an early age.

      It is not only conduct in JWdom that leads to ostracism; it is mere questioning of the TRUTH of any of the idiotic pronouncements (and are there any that are not plain stupid?) of the JW bosses that can lead to shunning.

      I was taken to a Kingdom Hall at the age of five. I had neither the info., nor the powers of critical thinking that would have enabled me to see straightway, that Kingdom Hall talks, the Watchtower and Awake, the Theocratic Ministry School; indeed the entire JW package was a shedload of shit.

      It is great that Jessica Liberty will not be subjected to the same cruelty and stupidity as were her parents.

    • Lesley Mitchell says:

      Sir, nobody is complaining about an organisation making up rules for members. It’s the way the leaders manipulate the members by punishing them if they dare to question or challenge anything. To shun your own husband, wife or children simply because they decide to leave the organisation is wicked. What’s more, it isn’t biblical and it gives Christianity a bad name.

      Shunning destroys lives and ruins families. This is not what being a Christian is about. The leaders of this organisation are manipulative and abusive. The article in the link below describes how decent people can be controlled by men who should know better.

      http://www.gotquestions.org/spiritual-manipulation.html

      The Governing Body and the Elders of this organisation are guilty before God for abusing their position of trust.

    • Chuck Turner says:

      On Thursday, Sudan sentenced an eight-month pregnant woman to death for “apostasy” because she is Muslim and married a Christian man. Meriam Ibrahim is also to be given 100 lashes for committing zena, which means illegitimate sex in Arabic. Ibrhaim, 26, has been married to her husband since 2011, and they also have a son together. When she was convicted on Sunday of apostasy, she was given a four-day grace period to recant her religion and repent. After that period expired, she was sentenced to death, but she as the potential to appeal the punishment. While women are not allowed to marry outside the faith in Sudan, Muslim men are allowed to do so. The is in keeping with the values of the Sudanese people.”
      ….and you think it doesn’t matter as long as you belong to the religion? What about those that didn’t have a choice??

  6. GEM says:

    Unfettered Joy to all three of you, John.

    Greetings from the English Cotswolds, where the full moon shone and the stars were so bright last night… Welcome to the Universe, Jessica…. may its love and purpose embrace You. Mum and Dad will guide you with Unconditional love, as You find your place and purpose amongst the Beauty, that life should really be.

    Sweet dreams

  7. Brenda says:

    Our “higher power” whether you call it “God” “Jehovah” etc. is all about LOVE and acceptance . If you are involved in fellowship where LOVE is not overpowering and complete then I hope and pray you will look further. Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter and the birth of a desire to know the love God has for you! I will keep your little family in prayer!

  8. AFRICAINE says:

    She is gorgeous ! Enjoy her !! Love her unconditionally !! Take lots of pics !! Enjoy especially those many unpredictable spontaneous moments.
    From:Cape Town – South Africa

  9. SunshineBlueSkies18 says:

    Congrats! Loved the video. God Bless you and your family.

  10. Rosie says:

    Mr and Mrs Cedars

    Many congratulations to you both on the arrival of your gorgeous baby daughter. I am truly happy for you.

    John you said it all so well; every word was said from the heart and everything you said was so right!

    Life is all about Unconditional Love, not love bound up with stipulations; fear and mind-control!
    x

  11. JWIntellect says:

    It brings so much joy and warmth to my heart to know that this beautiful little girl has been born free–free from the propaganda and religious dogma of a totalitarian, evangelical pseudo-religious organization.

    All the best to you all, John, Jane, and Jessica Liberty Cedars.

  12. Whytebyrd says:

    Congratulations To you and your lady and your beautiful little daughter!!

    I am not going to look at another thing on line this night because I want your beautiful video to be what I sleep on and dream on. I sincerely hope that at least some in your family sees this. A brand new little life is a powerful message in itself and the fact that she is part of them…it should shake up even the most stalwart of JW’s.

    Happy birthday (well…a few days late but whatever)
    Jessica LIBERTY Cedars!!!

  13. Aletheia says:

    Congratulations!!!

  14. Tornapart says:

    Although I read all your blogs John I have never written anything yet but I just want to say how happy I am for you and Mrs. C! Your little daughter is beautiful and adorable! I wish the three of you every happiness now and in your future.
    Welcome to the world little Jessica Liberty!!

  15. Scrubmaster says:

    Rock Lover you miss the point. Sterling can still talk with play and been seen with his NBA buddies. He just will not have his team and have a lot of money for his alleged being banned so where is the punishment exactly by the way. He will not be shunned by family and friends heck Tommy Lasorda even took up for him. Huge difference. I have also said this before and will say it from the mountain top. Things change with the GB over what a person can be shun and dis-fellowship for, like at one point taking any type of blood, organ transplant and other things, which are now no longer a sin. The light brighter thing is tiring so don’t us that one. Only God can determine sin. So you have not come up with an apple to apple comparison with the Sterling thing.

  16. cowboy says:

    cedars, you say your happy. but I never see or hear you use Jehovah’s name or talk about the only true god

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      Cowboy – the most miserable aspect of my life by far was the association with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their ghastly notion that God (and why do they get in such a tzzy about giving him a mediaeval English name? Jehovah is merely a corruption of Yahweh) was due to execute the bulk of the human race before the end of the 20th century.

      And why was this Jehovah determined to carry out this mass execution? Becuase not eveyone in the world was prepared to attend the Kingdom Hall 3 times a week to listen to some boring talks and to spend all their free time knocking on doors distributing a load of awful old mags.

      Had I not broken free of the Jehovah, Kingdom Hall, Watchtower business with all its cruel and crazy nonsense, my life could only have only been miserable.

      Why, Cowboy, do you imagine that happiness depends upon being an unpaid mag distributor for a corrupt global publishing and property corporation, whose bosses claim, with zero evidence that they are God’s (sorry Jehovah god’s) exclusive earthly rep.?

    • Cedars says:

      cowboy – I’m not sure how old you are, whether you’re just a kid or not, but hopefully you don’t need me to tell you that the above comment is a complete non sequitur. It presupposes that “using Jehovah’s name” and talking about the “only true god” is the only way to be happy. If that is truly so, then why are so many Jehovah’s Witnesses on anti-depressants (1 in 5 in my old congregation, by the estimation of a friend who is an elder), and why are suicide rates the same if not higher among Witnesses? What you call “using Jehovah’s name” I call preaching loyalty to seven men in New York, and choosing loyalty to them over loyalty to your family – which is by no means a recipe for happiness. Quite the opposite.

  17. GEM says:

    Jessica… I hope you will look back when you are “of age” and read some of these messages with wisdom and understanding.

    I am sorry that a few here will use every opportunity to destroy a happy moment with religious hatred and bigotry.

    But, that is what Mom and Dad are trying to combat… protecting you and giving the full life you deserve.

    Be glad for them… respect John’s message… but for goodness sake leave the conflict at the door for once!

    We wish you great Joy…. John, Jane and Jessica. May you grow in peace and live long and happy lives.

  18. skywalker says:

    Congratulations John and Mrs Cedars on the birth of your beautiful daughter.Thanks for having the courage to share your story with us all and for putting your time and effort into this website. Just keep being yourself and you can’t go wrong.
    warmest regards

  19. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    Cedars, this cute baby girl Jessica Liberty has come in the right time when a Christian in Sudan has been sentenced to death for faith.

    “The fact that a woman could be sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion, is abhorrent and should never be even considered,” Manar Idriss, Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher, said in a statement.
    (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/15/world/africa/sudan-christian-woman-apostasy/).

    Remind me what happens when a Jehovah Witness(a BELIEVER) marries a non-Jehovah Witness (an UNBELIEVER). Jessica Liberty comes in the right time.

  20. JB says:

    Rowland, Cedars,

    Just for the sake of the argument at hand, I’m not sure if cowboy’s comments can be interpreted as something in support of the JW organization. He or She just talked about Jehovah’s name.

    I’m not giving support in cowboy’s comment per se – actually my own opinion doesn’t matter in this context – but I thought that the comment doesn’t drive towards the JW organization direction unless I’m misreading it. JW’s are not the only ones using Yahve, or Jehovah as God’s name. It may be about the organization itself, but merely by reading the comment I myself couldn’t come to that conclusion.

    Cheers

  21. Whyaniscared says:

    John, this is absolutely beautiful. It mirrors the situation and timeline of my husband and I’s situation exactly. I just can’t tell you how beautiful this is. We have made the sacrifice, so they don’t have too. And you will help many more to do the same. Congratulations, she is SO cute!

  22. Rock lover says:

    Apples for apples is always going to be an argument that will be valid since it’s abstract and broad. I could get closer with the military reference to vague archaic and life threatening ..but no point in trying to force a gestalt shift on anyone. A little critical thinking exercise will show how many of those here are on the other end of the swing of the same pendulum. Those who are the most alike often find themselves in the deepest quarrel.

  23. Jeannette says:

    Congratulations, and thank you for sharing with your new family-us. Can we be honorary aunts, uncles, and cousins?

  24. SDL says:

    Beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing that.

  25. Art Fern says:

    John, you have given your daughter a wonderful gift to take the place of the curse most of those born into a devotedly religious family are branded with. This curse teaches us to believe we are superior because we have a truth all other churches don’t. Taken to the sickening JW extreme, those outside the faith are not just missing the truth, they are evil, worldly, immoral, even if they are living a life obeying the Christian rules of morality, and following the 10 Commandments as best they can. When the rules seen petty and irrational, it doesn’t matter in the least you must believe blindly of suffer a fate considered the greatest threat to a person short of death.
    I wish my own circumstances had been similar to those you gave your beautiful and incredibly sweet baby. It has taken years of wasted time and money following irrational, manmade doctrines, along with the interpersonal battles fought against my rational self; the resultant emotional damage and deep hurt, to see the truth that is true. May your family enjoy peace and happiness lived without barriers to your thinking.

  26. Awesome! Congratulations Cedars! What an inspiring article. I fell the love your heart, and I am sure your angel will stay as an angel. Please take good care of her, and wishes you both a good health.

  27. A recent event sent me looking for support online (most notably your article about the Awake statement about df family members that I think was the impetus for said event).
    Thank you for this post and for helping me to see that I’m not alone, that there are people out there who understand what I’m going through.
    Just wanted to share the post I made to Facebook a couple of days ago: https://www.facebook.com/alisha.referda/posts/10202832198231328?notif_t=comment_mention

  28. Richard says:

    not sure “cowboy” knows what a non-sequitur is ( thank ‘Yahweh’ for Google ;-). but I’m guessing that his comment refers to the love that Witnesses feel toward “Jehovah God”. A love that has helped many confront fears and demons that seemed too strong, too ingrained to ever conquer by themselves.
    You love your newborn child,and profess loyalty to her, but Time will tell how real those feelings are, and how you will manifest that Love. I’m sure she will inspire you to do things that you otherwise would not.
    We are all just people, a little good and a little bad. Each trait can be encouraged or stifled. To discount the effect that faith/belief can have on a person is to be blind to history. To wish it were not belief in something we do not believe in is…somewhat selfish.

  29. Rowland Nelken says:

    What are you on about Richard?

    Faith is certainly a powerful motivator. History clearly demonstrates that. It can be the driver of good deeds, but equally of the horrendous.

    Faith in the Watchtower Jehovah monster drives parents to reject their children. It drove hundreds of thousands in Europe to cause murder and mayhem in the Middle East during the Crusades and to glory in all the destruction. The 9/11 bombers were men of perfect faith.

    Faith, belief without evidence, should not be envouraged.

    • Richard says:

      without getting into every example of blind faith run amok my comments were more directed to a bias I sense here and that runs thru us all..We like the people who believe what we believe…good or bad. Of course, we like to think what we believe is right…
      Witnesses are being brought up on charges here…motives questioned, innuendo and sarcasm abound.
      Cowboy’s comment unleashed a torrent from you and along with John Cedars critique , to me, revealed a strong bias. JB made an innocent appraisal, ” I’m not sure if cowboy’s comments can be interpreted as something in support of the JW organization. He or She just talked about Jehovah’s name. ”
      My experience with Jehovah’s Witnesses was not nearly so negative.
      At the end of the day, who of us is so smart to know what is good for others as well as ourselves ?
      It was a miserable experience for you…OK…but not everyone feels that way. For many, it was and is, just what they need to feel safe and function in a world that is full of confusion and chaos.

      • Cedars says:

        Richard, for most who frequent this site, myself included, it all boils down to this – either the Jehovah’s Witness faith is true, or it isn’t.

        If it is true, then it should be relatively straightforward for you or one of your JW colleagues to furnish us with evidence that (1) Jesus Christ invisibly visited Earth in 1914, (2) that he waited for Charles Russell to die in 1916 before selecting Joseph Rutherford as one of his inaugural “faithful and discreet slaves” – a man who history testifies as being a bully, a racist (including an anti-Semite) and quite possibly an alcoholic, (3) that Jesus left in 1919, as invisibly as he came, his “cleansing” work complete (but not QUITE complete) and (4) that even though that original “faithful and discreet slave” that Jesus chose have all since died long long ago, they have conveniently passed their mantle of power on to subsequent leaders of the Watchtower movement through some form of apostolic succession – a catholic teaching denounced in both the Reasoning Book and Insight volumes.

        Furnish me with evidence to support all of the above, and I will not only recant my heresy – I will take down this website and my YouTube channel.

        But WITHOUT such evidence you have just another religion whose leaders make wild claims about themselves that cannot be supported.

        Worse still, you have a religion that demands that people lay down their lives (blood transfusions) or dismantle their families (shunning) as a demonstration of loyalty towards said leaders. No amount of feeling “safe” and allowing one to “function in a world that is full of confusion and chaos” can justify this.

      • Rowland Nelken says:

        Do you, Richard, feel safe in the ‘knowledge’ that God is on the point of executing the bulk of humanity for the capital crime of refusing to live life according to the diktats of a group of self appointed men in New York?

        As a child Jehovah’s Witness I had nightmares about the prospect of Armageddon killing all my non JW friends and family. Please ask yourself, not only whether there is any truth in JW TRUTH. (i.e. answer John Cedar’s questions and furnish him with the appropriate evidence) but also why the prospect of an imminent orgy of mass execution and destruction makes you feel so safe and secure.

  30. Richard says:

    ok, John and Rowland, just a little background on me, to clear the field…not born a witness, raised in a “protestant religion”, bored to tears, became a hippie-that idealism didn’t play out so well, started studying the Bible in earnest, baptized at 21, lived at Bethel, left – got married, elder – 25 years as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but no longer…I agree with you that this organization is not the sole channel to _what_ ?…here is where we start to get in a lot of trouble. People are lost and confused, with no small amount of struggling..not everybody, not all the time, but enough that sometimes..anything other than what we have starts to look good, better.
    Was it not Paul who said to the Corinthian congregation, ” God has chosen the foolish..and weak things. if Paul is not your kind of guy, Jesus reportedly said, “Those who are strong do not need a physician…I came to call, not righteous people, but sinners.” To a lot of people, this is foolishness, pure and simple, a bunch of losers – end of story…but to me, it was His- story that made all the difference.
    I can’t say that what I learned thru the Witnesses could not have been learned in another way, was “the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”, and it was not an easy transition to life outside of that bubble. But do you remember the story of the boy who had to live in a bubble because his immune system wasn’t strong enough?
    Did we denigrate the boy’s life, his parents and doctors’ efforts to protect him, or did we hope that one day he could live outside, on his own, no longer needing that bubble?

    • Cedars says:

      Firstly, the evidence I asked for is notable by its absence. The point I made about the JW faith being just as unfounded as any other faith and therefore deeply harmful due to its teachings on blood, child abuse, shunning etc therefore holds.

      Secondly…

      “I agree with you that this organization is not the sole channel to _what_ ?…”I can’t say that what I learned thru the Witnesses could not have been learned in another way”

      You must feel very brave saying all that anonymously on the comments section of a website, but I dare you to say it to your local elders and see what happens.

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      ‘But no longer’ wrote Richard. Does this mean that you have junked that awful cult?

      Your bubble analogy does not work. JWdom certainly attracts the lost, confused and inadequate. My mother was a shining (or rather, exceptionally shabby) example. Being exploited as an unpaid sales person and scared into cutting yourself from the wider society, from certain medical treatments, from non JW socialising, does nobody, strong or feeble, any good.

      Not only have you failed, as John Cedars remarked, to provide any evidence to support the notion that there might be any truth in JWdom.

      You have failed to present any reason to suppose that JWdom provides anything positive or constructive for anybody.

  31. anonymous says:

    @Richard. I am trying to understand your position. I think the Watchtower is a place where a lot of people feel they have a purpose in life and a hope they will live forever and never grow old and they fulfill what they think are God’s commands to Witness about Armageddon so they can live forever and then they will have a good conscience because they feel they are fulfilling their God given commission to preach. Then too, a lot of people really enjoy going to the meetings and out in service and love spending long hours studying for the meetings and commenting. I hear comments all the time, like “it’s such a good thing that we have the Truth because we know why conditions are so bad etc. etc. but we know that Jehovah’s going to fix it soon and on and on. If they are experiencing health problems or loved ones in poor health, it can fill them with hope for a better life in the “new order”. It can be a social club for a lot of people where they feel they belong and have an extended “family” because a lot of these people wouldn’t be accepted otherwise. In the Witnesses, we have to accept all personalities, no matter how annoying they can be, right?

    My problem is that unless we can have some kind of proof that God actually chose the Watchtower as his sole spokesman on earth, we could be wasting our lives on lies. The Watchtower made us all think that God gave the Watchtower this special “insight” into world events and how it’s all tied to Armageddon. We all bought into that theory without a shred of proof, only claims. Then we find out that the Watchtower lied about 607 and lied about early Watchtower history and early teachings and joined up with the U.N. and disfellowships people who find out about the lies and that person loses faith in the Governing Body but are forbidden to tell anybody about the lies. If it’s really the truth, the Society doesn’t need to lie about anything. They lie because they can’t go too far from what Rutherford set down as basic Watchtower doctrines in the 1930’s such as Jesus died on a stake (not a cross that the Society taught in 1919 and Jesus must have agreed with or why did he chose the Watchtower then?) or that it was proper to celebrate birthdays and Christmas in 1919. They have to lie about 607 because all the other Watchtower teachings would be called into question then.

    Basic Watchtower doctrines, trump anything the Bible has to say and or proven history and if you disagree with any Watchtower doctrine, no matter how cruel and out of harmony they are with Bible principles, you can be disfellowshipped for apostasy. You are not even allowed freedom of thought to disagree in this social club. You don’t even have to tell anybody what you think that might not be in total agreement with the Society. This is cult control. Jesus and Jehovah do not need to resort to cults and intimidation and fear to keep it’s followers. Jesus said his load was light and God was love.

    I have heard hundreds of comments by Witnesses over the years to the effect that they would love to have to time to have a fun hobby, such as painting or learning an instrument or something else like that but there just isn’t enough time, but in the “new world” when they have thousands of years, then they will have time to do this or that. I think it’s such a pity that if we don’t really have the truth, like the Watchtower claims to be, then we are wasting our one and only precious life on a fantasy. We only get one chance at life. That’s it.

    Yes, Witnesses have a sense of family and purpose and fulfillment, but they had better not think about it too hard because if they give it a lot of thought, they might think too hard and that is what will get them into trouble. They need to stay in their little bubble their entire lives and if not, they will find themselves on the outside, looking in and will be abandoned by everyone who they thought was family and friends. That is why is is safer to let an elderly person who is frail to not tell them the real truth and let them live in their little bubble with their “hope” of everlasting life when they die. Why put them through that “hell” at that age of finding out that their entire life was wasted, supporting a lie.

    It’s the Watchtower Society who is to blame for all this misery. If it was really the “truth” they would not be telling lies. The two don’t go together in any way. Either it’s the Truth or it’s a lie. Can’t have it both ways. Can the Watchtower provide any proof that God actually chose them in 1919? The only thing going for the Watchtower is that WW1 started in 1914. That’s it and even then, the Watchtower said years in advance, that in the fall of 1914 Armageddon was going to be over and done with but WW1 started in the spring of 1914, not the fall of that year, but nobody today knows any of that. They think it’s the “Truth” because WW1 started in 1914 and that’s enough for all of them. Don’t think about it too hard.

  32. Excelsior says:

    Richard,

    John said very clearly in his article that he will support his beloved daughter no matter what she decides to do with her life. It is really clutching at straws to call him out on that. Of course nobody knows how the future will turn out. That does not negate John’s sincerity and it does not call in to question his personal integrity.

    If we follow your “logic” then every marriage vow is a lie, every contract is a lie, every loan application is a lie etc etc etc.

    Just because we can’t jump ahead and see if we actually carry out our vows does not invalidate them.

    Personally, I am convinced of John’s integrity. He has selflessly set up this site, produced many YouTube videos, organised a survey and taken time personally to respond to your comments.

    All of these acts have earned him shunning from his family and former friends. They have not made his life easier, rather, they have presented him with choices that no one should have to make; namely being shunned and having folks like you question his love for his daughter. Yet he made them and he continues to provide information and support to us all.

    I don’t care how fuzzy and happy and safe the WTBTS make people feel. The costs to John and many others of us is too high. It is not Christian to expect families to shun, withhold treatment, cover up child abuse and domestic abuse and misquote many people. It’s that simple.

    You are entitled to your opinion, Richard, but you will not find anyone here who agrees with you.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  33. Richard says:

    I do not demean John’s sincerity or his love for his newborn daughter. I have 3 girls, all of which I love.
    Perhaps you will agree that sincerity and integrity are proven by time. In some ways, his battle has just begun.
    I mean no disrespect by my comments here, and I applaud his efforts

  34. Richard says:

    so, I have learned a bit more about your passion, Lloyd. Is that Irish I hear? I watched a video you presented to clarify your opposition to the Witnesses’ practice of ‘shunning’ wherein if one decides to stop being a witness, their family members (Father and Sister for example) who remain Witnesses are “coerced” into ceasing all contact, not even “e-mail”. Hence when witnesses appealed on behalf of an Armenian witness who refused service as a “conscientious objector” and won, based on the list of basic Human Rights, It seemed especially hypocritical to you that this organization would use your own family members to “punish” you for refusing ‘as a conscientious objector’ to remain being a member of “Jehovah’s witnesses”.
    It was really well done.
    It also helped me to understand a little better your “dare” that I say the same things to a local body of elders as I did in comments on this website and, in essence, see what happens. It sounded a bit dramatic at the time, but I think i see your point of view a little clearer now. Thank you

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