Watching the Watchtower over 2013 – the year in review
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2013 has been an eventful year for Watchtower and Jehovah's Witnesses

2013 has been an eventful year for Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses

As 2013 winds to a close, we can now pause to reflect on what has proved an eventful year for Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society.

In preparing my notes for this review, it struck me how some months of 2013 were far busier than others. There were times last year when nothing seemed to be happening, punctuated by periods of relentless news reports, filing of lawsuits and controversial Watchtower articles when it was difficult to keep up.

Of course, Watchtower has no such concerns when it comes to keeping its followers abreast of events. No stories showing the organization in a less-than-flattering light receive any coverage whatsoever on JW.org, or in the publications.

It is for good reason that in September 2013 an Awake! was released warning skepticism of the media. Watchtower is beginning to get far too much bad press, and they are desperate to insulate Jehovah’s Witnesses from this as much as possible. All must be seen as rosy and blissful in Watchtower’s spiritual utopia.

Here at JWsurvey we are committed to keeping track of what’s REALLY going on with Watchtower, whether it flatters the organization and its doctrine or not. We hope you will enjoy our whistle-stop review of the events of 2013.

January

2013-jan

January saw millions of Witnesses receiving their copies of the 2013 Yearbook with its review of the previous year’s activity. One story on pages 29 and 30 reported that a Witness family in Lagos, Nigeria, had survived a devastating plane crash that claimed the lives of 153 passengers. They had been in attendance at a meeting when the plane hit their apartment block. “Jehovah’s hand” was thus suggested as having played a role.

Elsewhere, on page 138 of the Yearbook, the experience was given of a couple in Myanmar who abandoned their livestock in favor of attending a District Convention, resulting in the deaths of 19 chickens. The next year, it was reported that their flock had increased dramatically, while chickens of others in their village perished due to disease. Governing Body member Anthony Morris III would later recount this story in a talk at the summer Special Convention to illustrate how Witnesses are “never disadvantaged” when attending conventions.

January also saw the Watchtower threaten legal action against this website for publishing a copy of the now infamous October 1st 2012 body of elders letter regarding child abuse (download link here). On January 3rd, JWsurvey was taken offline by our hosting service for 24 hours after lawyers from Patterson threatened legal action and we were unable to remove the letter from our server in time.

This heavy-handed approach backfired dramatically, because it clearly demonstrated to Witnesses that Watchtower is prepared to go to extreme measures to withhold any embarrassing information. A YouTube video was made explaining the incident which, at the time of writing, has been viewed over 25,000 times. The letter has also since entered the public domain after being cited as evidence in an Australian lawsuit.

February

2013-feb

Many current and former Witness parents were shocked and dismayed in February after JW.org released a number of highly inappropriate images in its children’s section. “Connect the dots” puzzles and cartoons depicted a terrified Lot’s wife being consumed by salt. Another child’s puzzle showed one of Solomon’s soldiers holding a baby aloft, preparing to kill it.

March

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In March an extraordinary article was published in Australia’s The Age, in which Psychologist Raphael Aron (above left) described Watchtower as a “cruel cult” for its shunning of former members. In drawing attention to the shunning issue, Aron added his voice to that of Senator Nick Xenophon (center) who has called for more scrutiny of religious organizations in Australia.

Perhaps one of the most unexpected developments of 2013 was the unprecedented leaking of the July 15th Watchtower (with its explanation of the “new light” regarding the “faithful slave”) nearly three weeks before its usual release.

A source of mine within the organization was able to email me a scanned copy without being discovered. It thus fell to me to get the word out, but first I needed to try to untangle the twisted logic and bizarre reasoning with which the Governing Body had attempted to justify their new authority. The resulting article was a big hit with JWsurvey readers. It received nearly 5,000 unique visits in the first 48 hours, and was later translated into several languages.

March also saw the launch of the 2013 Global Survey of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which has now gathered over 1,700 votes!

April

2013-apr

April witnessed the birth of a new officially registered corporation whose stated aim is to raise awareness of Watchtower abuses. AAWA (Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses) has since been joined by committed volunteers from numerous countries. It has so far succeeded in releasing a number of high quality videos, getting op-ed pieces published in several newspapers, setting up a support forum, and forging a partnership with SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests).

May

2013-may

On May 2nd Governing Body member David Splane (above left) addressed an audience in Malmo, Sweden, and effectively told them that child baptism was NOT optional. Splane responded to parents who might urge caution in forcing their children into a lifelong commitment with an organization by asking, “is that really wise?” He went on to compare the need to force children to engage in worship with the need to force a teenager to get out of bed for his summer job at MacDonald’s.

JWsurvey also revealed in May that Indian nationals living in the United States would be asked to return to their homeland to help supplement the floundering preaching efforts there. The May 11th letter to bodies of elders, marked “strictly confidential,” represented further evidence that Witnesses are struggling to make headway in the sub-continent, not to mention other parts of Asia where Witnesses are almost non-existent.

May also saw the release of an Awake! magazine offering advice to parents of teenagers who self harm. Instead of urging the involvement of mental health professionals in all cases where a teenager is discovered self-harming, Awake! simply advised parents: “tell them to pray.”

The article was released only days before a suicide attempt by Paris Jackson, whose grandmother Katherine is a Jehovah’s Witness.

June

2013-june2

June is the month when the District Convention program of Jehovah’s Witnesses normally gets into full swing. The program for 2013, entitled “God’s Word Is Truth,” was found to contain some quite alarming material, at least as far as former Witnesses are concerned.

One talk warned against “human apostates,” employing strong rhetoric that contravened Watchtower’s own condemnation of “name-calling” propaganda tactics. Witnesses were also urged to shun family members who leave the religion. A recording of the latter talk was uploaded to YouTube, and has so far been viewed more than 34,000 times.

June also witnessed the unveiling of a “JW.org store” in France, not far from the French bethel. With large graphics and laptops on which only JW.org can be accessed, the store represented a new strategy on the part of Watchtower in attracting interested ones by avoiding direct use of the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

And in a JWsurvey exclusive article by author Joanna Foreman, Nestor Kuilan came forward for the first time and told the story of his involvement in the 1980 “purge” that also saw Governing Body member Raymond Franz ousted from the organization.

July

2013-july

The Ex-JW community was shocked and angered when a glut of child abuse cases came to light in July, further highlighting Watchtower’s mishandling in this area.

Gordon Leighton (above left), Massimo Capazzo (above center) and Gonzalo Campos (above right) were all revealed as pedophiles whose crimes were not reported to the authorities by investigating elders. The latter, Campos, is understood to have abused upwards of seven children, some during his tenure as an elder in San Diego. At the time of writing, the full extent of Campos’ crimes has yet to come to light.

None of the above cases were reported on JW.org, but Watchtower was pleased to report the official commencement of building work on its new World Headquarters in Warwick on July 29th. This development came in the same month that the organization netted a windfall of $375 million from the sale of its remaining Brooklyn factory buildings. Together with other deals, this took the proceeds from Watchtower’s Brooklyn portfolio comfortably beyond the Billion-dollar mark.

By comparison, the new Warwick headquarters, which is being built predominantly using volunteer labor, looks set to cost Watchtower a mere $11.5 million according to one source.

August

2013-aug

If anyone was hoping reports of JW child abuse would drop off in August, they were in for a bitter disappointment.

Lawyer Irwin Zalkin introduced two new clients to the media, both of whom had been molested as Witness children but had their abuse concealed by the elders. Elizabeth McFarland (above left) was between the ages of 9 and 14 when she alleges to have been molested, and Monica Jaramillo (above right) claims to have been raped by an elder when she was only eight years old.

In a telephone interview the following month, Zalkin would tell JWsurvey that he was representing no less than 11 child abuse lawsuits against Watchtower across six US States. Rick Simons’ claim that child abuse is “rampant” among Jehovah’s Witnesses, made during a JWsurvey interview together with Candace Conti earlier the same year, was already proving to be only too accurate.

Meanwhile, Watchtower continued pursuing its Warwick headquarters project. A special talk was given by elders in America to request volunteers. What was essentially a case of real estate “flipping” was compared by the Governing Body to the building of the walls of Jerusalem under the supervision of Nehemiah. Back in Brooklyn, bethelites gathered to observe the Watchtower signs being removed from the old factory buildings.

Also in August, Watchtower shocked the Ex-JW community with arguably one of its most radicalized and cult-like articles to date, urging Witnesses to “close ranks against Satan.” In an article clearly designed to bypass critical thinking and impose the unquestioned authority of the Governing Body, the following astonishing direction was issued: “All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.”

Koolaid, anyone?

September

2013-sep

More than a year on from her remarkable victory against Watchtower in a California courtroom, Candace Conti (above right) thrilled her supporters by speaking at the RNA 2013 conference in Austin, Texas.

After telling journalists her story and outlining the reasons for Watchtower’s mishandling of child abuse at the event on September 27, Candace told journalists: “Through your diligence in getting these bad and inadequate policies in the public eye, you force these organizations and institutions to make changes, so please go out and continue to make a difference.”

Candace’s appearance came only a few weeks after Watchtower filed their reply brief in their appeal against the June 2012 verdict. Among the more crazy arguments made in the brief was the assertion that because Candace’s abuse was said to have happened after ministry arrangements, it therefore had nothing to do with the ministry arrangements themselves. Watchtower’s lawyers also tried to exempt the organization from responsibility by claiming that Candace wasn’t a full member of her congregation at the time of the abuse. The appeal is ongoing.

The number of Watchtower branches was reported to have taken a further dip in September, as the organization continued its “consolidation” initiative. The Estonian and Latvian branches proved to be among the latest casualties of Watchtower downsizing, even though both branch offices received dedication ceremonies as recently as 2010.

And September also saw Watchtower’s release of a new article showing characteristics of apostate paranoia. Witnesses were urged to “be on guard against those who speculate.” In addition to avoiding “personal speculations and critical conversations,” Witnesses were reminded to curtail “time wasting pursuits” such as “keeping in contact through social networks, reading and answering electronic messages, avidly pursuing hobbies, or constantly keeping abreast of sports events.”

Finally, in September it was reported that a teenager in Sydney had been ordered to accept a blood transfusion, despite being only a few months away from maturity in the eyes of the law. The case highlighted the role played by parental coercion in cases where minors need life-saving treatment with blood.

October

2013-oct

For most Witnesses, the real highlight of 2013 came on October 5th at the Stanley Theater in New Jersey, when Geoffrey Jackson (above, in yellow jacket) released the new revised New World Translation, later nicknamed the “silver sword.” Jackson and other Governing Body members teased the audience over the shortage of English bibles in the months leading up to the release without offering any explanation as to why rank and file Witnesses had been kept in the dark.

Eyebrows were also raised when Jackson quipped that the new bible was developed to be “sister proof,” causing some (myself included) to wonder whether this was some sort of sexist joke. Jackson also revealed that the printing press at Wallkill had enjoyed an unusually mild summer, thus enabling more bibles to be printed. This change in the weather, he suggested, was evidence of “Jehovah’s hand.”

Only a month later, Super Typhoon Haiyan would plough through the Philippines, claiming the lives of 27 Witnesses.

Also during the Annual Meeting, chairman Guy Pierce announced that a new video would shortly be released showing the progress on the new headquarters at Warwick.

Sure enough, a week later a 13-minute video was released in which all 8 members of the Governing Body featured prominently. Jehovah’s hand was again credited, this time with expediting the project amid concerns over planning permission. “When the approval came through, we knew it was only by Jehovah’s spirit that that happened,” said Richard Devine of the Construction Project Committee.

October also yielded a surprising news report from Arkansas, where 35-year-old homeowner John Baldwin (above, right) was taken into police custody after allegedly firing 19 rounds at a group of Witnesses who called on his property. Mercifully nobody was injured, but the incident did highlight the risks Witnesses take when calling on homes unannounced.

Governor Jerry Brown was to deal a blow to Kathleen Conti and her fellow campaigners in October after vetoing SB 131 – a bill that would have seen the Statute of Limitation extended for victims of childhood sexual abuse in California. In his comments to the press, lawyer Irwin Zalkin hinted that the decision was likely due in no small measure to heavy lobbying by the Catholic Church – an unlikely ally of Watchtower over this issue.

One pedophile who could not escape justice over any such technicality was Jonathan Rose (above left). On October 30th, Manchester Crown Court sentenced the former elder to nine months in jail for molesting two young girls, one of whom was only five years old when first assaulted. As later revealed by JWsurvey, Rose succeeded in getting his congregation to support him throughout the trial, with the judge being inundated with letters from local Witnesses. Despite having been removed as an elder, Rose continues (at the time of writing) to escape disfellowshipping for his crimes.

November

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Three Witness-related stories were covered by the media during November, but none received any mention in the “newsroom” of JW.org.

On November 5th the Tampa Bay Times reported that a Florida teacher had been suspended for forcing a Jehovah’s Witness child to salute the flag, in clear violation of its rights to free speech and freedom of religion.

Then it emerged that on Sunday November 17th a Mexican family of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including three children, had been brutally murdered by a gang in their own home over unpaid debts. The bodies of all eight victims were discovered after they failed to show up for their meeting.

Also in November, 76-year-old Witness elder Ronald Lawrence (above right) was arrested in Oklahoma on 19 counts of sexual abuse of children he is said to have molested more than thirty years ago. Media coverage suggested that police were investigating whether elders in his congregation bore responsibility for failing to report him after his alleged confession to them.

Despite missing all of the above stories, JW.org did at least have something to shout about – the Annual Meeting the month before. A video was released by Watchtower showing a carefully manicured depiction of the event. Gone were Geoffrey Jackson’s “sister proof” and “Jehovah’s hand” comments. Instead, the onus was on gushing appreciation for the new bible. Witnesses were shown embracing their Bibles and waving them in the air, ala Tiananmen Square.

This website also reported in November of how the MTS school (later known as the Bible School for Single Brothers) was effectively scrapped – to be replaced by a ministry-oriented “School for Kingdom Evangelizers” available to both genders.

And, lest we forget, November also saw the release of a Watchtower study article warning that the “carnage will be earthwide” when Armageddon strikes. The Hitchcock-esque article told of how birds would be summoned to dispose of the remains of non-Witnesses who perish.

December

2013-dec

December was a mostly quiet month at the end of a busy year.

One interesting development was the release of a Watchtower magazine claiming that the divorce rate is “skyrocketing.” When comparing the actual United Nations divorce statistics, it turned out this claim could not be further from the truth. In most countries, including the United States, divorce rates have actually fallen over the last ten years. This lends further doubt to Watchtower’s claim that “the Writing Department insists on using only material that is accurate and truthful, even regarding seemingly insignificant details.”

Also in December, the Ex-JW community gave its reaction to videos uploaded to YouTube by Jehovah’s Witnesses without Watchtower’s endorsement. In one video, a Witness mother of four revealed that her husband would be walking out of his job, without another job to go to, at least partly due to a desire to attend more meetings. This decision was apparently reached moments after the couple attended the Annual Meeting.

And in another “unapproved” video uploaded the month before, a YouTube channel called “JW Defense” took aim at “Apostates of Jehovah’s Organization” using material taken straight from the 2013 District Convention “Human Apostates” talk. A series of video rebuttals from yours truly ensued.

On a personal note…

2013 has proved to be a tumultuous year for my wife and I. In November we finally decided to sever our ties with Watchtower after learning of the impending birth of our first child. This decision led to me telling my story and showing my face for the first time, and I have since enjoyed making personal videos on my YouTube channel and being interviewed on the David Pakman Show.

So far this activity has gone mostly unnoticed by my local elders. Thus, as of this moment we are “unofficially” disassociated, meaning that we consider ourselves disassociated but local Witnesses who don’t know this are still being friendly with us. There is therefore unease and uncertainty within our family as to how they will respond once things become official, but we are trying to take things in our stride – confident that whatever happens we have made the right decision both for ourselves and future generations.

Throughout this personal turmoil I continue to be grateful to JWsurvey readers for supporting this website in so many ways. Likely 2014 will be just as eventful as 2013. Whatever developments the new year has in store, I look forward to sharing these with those of you who join me in my belief that “independent thinking” is no bad thing.

It’s good to be free!

 

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34 Responses to Watching the Watchtower over 2013 – the year in review

  1. Christian Sparlock Freedom says:

    Thanks for summing up the year all in one article.
    I’m sure as you are that there will be more wacky
    stuff to write about.

    I am worried about what Watchtower has planned since
    I have many family still in the cult . Children and grandchildren .

  2. Jeannette says:

    Thank you Cedars for all you do. I loved the synopsis.

  3. There were 3 things that really hit home with me this year:

    1. The abuse lawsuits and more info coming to light. I think not since the Dateline interviews have we seen so much press, although of course there could be more.

    2. The governing body elevating themselves and giving themselves special privilege and authority. When I was growing up a JW I couldn’t even name their names but now their ugly mugs are everywhere. Do I understand correctly that they are my mediator now, not Jesus, and not the 144,000 as they had said before? They will be in charge of the Messianic kingdom? Then why is it called the Messianic (from “messiah”) kingdom and not the Governing Body kingdom? Is this supported somewhere in Revelation? I see in there a great crowd, then 144,000, but no tiny group of self-appointed white-men-and-one-token-guy-of-color ever mentioned. My head hurts.

    3. More confidential info than ever before is coming out. I have a copy of the “Shepherd the Flock of God” book (oh, it’s been tainted with estrogen! burn it!) and more and more letters are being printed online, which tells me more and more elders are getting twinges of conscience. Couple that with their stronger urging against news media and apostates and you know they’re feeling the heat.

  4. saltygal says:

    yes cedars..its so good to be free!
    thank you for your help in getting me there. unfortunately, all my immediate family is still in so i’m hoping and praying they will wake up soon. please don’t stop your investigation into this horrible cult.

  5. Rhonda says:

    Thanks so much for all the work that you do in keeping us informed and up to date with what is going on.

  6. You do an excellent job so don’t stop please. For some strange reason the society can’t get their heads around the fact that the truth is about being honest and open and humans instead of being repelled by honesty and openness are attracted to it,instead we find the society covering all mistakes they make which are many and we find out things through the media and sticking heads in sand pretending all is well is not honest and is always counter productive and I don’t think the society will ever learn because they totally lack humility. Thank you again. Regards Terry

  7. mainone says:

    The pics of people at the conventions look so creepy to me now. The elders at the podium, the people kissing the new “revised” translation…… CREEPY!

  8. deen says:

    Cedars! I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee or lunch! You deserve it! :-) Send me your address and I will send you a giftcard!

  9. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    Bravo, Sir! Cedars, all the best for 2014 for you and your family.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  10. Julia Orwell says:

    Hey Cedars, hate to nitpick, but wasn’t the chicken story from Myanmar? That’s where the international was and the 2013 year book was about.

  11. Max says:

    Hey Cedars! Great recap and it was a wonderful thing that David Pakman had you on his show, this is great exposure…there are other progressive internet news youtube channels that might be interested in reporting JW inhumaneness, and cult behavior namely The Young Turks (TYT) on youtube, as well as TheLipTV possibly. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get hundreds or thousands together to demonstrate in front of Bethel in Brooklyn, NY! Keep up the super reporting and cheers to a FREE 2014.

  12. zeebo says:

    What would happen if all the governing body members were to die in a freak accident? Now that only they alone are the slave, would that mean no slave? How would they go about finding a replacement?

    I’m not wishing anything bad on these poor old boys, Its just that now all the spiritual lead is in this multi-headed beast, how could they possibly find a replacement?

    Other religions with centralized power have larger sub-bodies where the members are elected from (eg college of cardinals elect a new pope). But i don’t see that in the JW cult.

  13. Sue says:

    Well done Cedars! So glad you are doing this! I am just watching David Attenborough’s “Africa” and then I plan to watch “Flight over the Earth”. I really appreciate the wonders of this Earth now. Its a fabulous place and nothing like we were led to believe. Freedom creates appreciation, real love and tolerance. I hope 2014 brings you more of your dreams xxx

  14. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    Sue,
    I do not want to think what would have happened if Sir David Attenborough had been raised in a JW family! what a loss for humanity that would have been? When I was still in the cult, I could watch him to appreciate, wonders of our planet, and my wife and elders could even attack me on that! Doing research in their publications underling stupid answers from stupid writings of the GB was what they wanted me to do. Freedom is priceless.

  15. John ben Wilhelm says:

    Kudos to you for your ongoing efforts to spread truth to those led by blind guides, Keep up the good work, it is appreciated by those who have a love for truth. (2 Thess.2:10, 12.

    2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.:12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    John ben Wilhelm, author “WHAT IS TRUTH”
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/117871853/WHAT-IS-TRUTH-

  16. Rob says:

    Well, to let you know, you must write a letter of disassociation. Afterward you will be treated the same as DF. And then JWs can’t visit your site because it is apostate.

    • Cedars says:

      Rob, as I have repeatedly explained… ANYTHING that doesn’t agree with Watchtower is apostate by their definition. Do you think this website agrees with Watchtower? I hope not. It has been apostate all along by Watchtower’s definition. Whether I am disfellowshipped or disassociated makes no difference in that regard. If people want a reason not to visit this site they will find it whether I remain a Witness or not.

      And I notice you have yet to come up with a date for the email of yours I supposedly spurned.

      Allow me to remind you of the great injustice you were dealt by me…

      “But I tried to respond to Cedar’s objections in email but he stopped replying. If JW’s were afraid of objections, why do they go door-to-door? We meet people of all types of religious objections. Surely we would want to protect our gullible members. But that is not the case.”

      So, are you going to give me a date for this email so I can check my inbox and reply to it, or was that just intended as a cheap hit-and-run?

  17. Rob says:

    The one about specific Bible accounts of destruction … will try to get the time.

  18. Darrin Hart says:

    You’re an inspiration and a brave man and woman. Your videos are outstanding, as is this site. Thank you for all you do to help others avoid this cult.

  19. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    Rob, I am disappointed with you.

    I thought that you’d really started to look at your religion and ask honest questions of it. It looks like I was wrong.

    It’s a shame for you, but not for me.

    We can discuss Biblical descriptions of destruction, but what’s the point? You just don’t get it yet, that’s all.

    I am no longer a Christian, so I can look dispassionately at Jesus’ teachings.

    I retain tremendous respect for Jesus because his message was one of hope. It was one of love. It was having faith that others would love in return, and the courage to deal with the pain when it was not.

    Jesus wants mercy, not sacrifice.

    You sacrifice your time and effort defending an American Biblical tract publishing company from all forms of criticism. Wouldn’t your time be better spent searching your spirituality for a way on?

    We all want what is best for this world. We need to work together, not label ourselves as publishers, apostates, Annointed, little flock – the list goes on and on.

    We are all human beings and we all matter. That’s how your God feels and it is how all right thinking people feel too.

    Cedars doesn’t have to conform to your thinking on this or any other matter.

    If there is a God then God will judge us, not a group of unaccountable and unappointed men in Brooklyn.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  20. Jess says:

    Cedars, have you seen the 2013 December study artical…”Do not be quickly shaken from your reasoning”? It may be another interesting topic to add to this years list! :)

  21. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    Excelsior, …

    I am afraid JWs themselves are confused about Jesus. Just a look in their own publications:

    1)*** my story 102 Jesus Is Alive ***
    Do you know what happened to Jesus’ body? God caused it to disappear. God did not raise Jesus to life in the fleshly body in which he died. He gave Jesus a new spirit body, as the angels in heaven have. But to show his disciples he is alive, Jesus can take on a body that people can see, as we will learn.
    2) bh chap. 7 pp. 73-74 par. 22
    After Jesus was put to death as a human, Jehovah did not allow His faithful Son to remain in the grave[...] God resurrected Jesus, but not as a human [...] Jesus was alive again as a mighty spirit person!

    Here is a point to stress in the above JWs teachings about Jesus: Jehovah caused Jesus’ body to disappear and finally resurrected him a mighty spirit person!
    This contradicts their own Bible where you read:
    (Luke 24:37-39) . . .they were imagining they beheld a spirit. 38 So he said to them: “Why are YOU troubled, and why is it doubts come up in YOUR hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; feel me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as YOU behold that I have.”
    Jesus said “a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as YOU behold that I have.” and the GOVERNING BODY says “God resurrected Jesus, as a mighty spirit person!”! The question is: WHO IS APOSTATE? JESUS or the GOVERNING BODY!!
    “Do not argue with the fool…”

  22. Pam says:

    After 17 years as a witness with ongoing questions, doubts and no solid answers except “Jehovah will reveal all in due time”, I got wise and quietly slipped out taking my children with me after being told not to leave my abusive husband who had cheated on me (but I lacked two witnesses to see it actually happen). I’ve told this story before here, but mainly I wanted to say, I am neither formally disassociated (in the congregation’s eyes) nor disfellowshipped, yet I am still shunned in my hometown by those from my past congregation.

    Those of you who are still Witnesses with doubts eating at you, ask yourselves if conditional love seems Christian. How about discouraging you from thinking for yourself? Will you jump off the cliff if the Governing Body says to? And why does “The Truth” keep changing when prophecies don’t come true? Hmmm… something to think about.

    Thank you Cedars for shining a light on this darkness and exposing the lie. Sadly, more lies to come in 2014.

    Pam

  23. tiger says:

    The bad news. There will always be those who white wash and try to repaint history and their actions as pure and right. The good news is few will ever be allowed the opportunity to bring the harm that the G.B. has to so many.

    As for you Cedars, in time your anxiety will leave as you will find new friends who like you want what is best for others.

    You have made the right choice to leave. First off, because it is your choice, but also because your child will have the opportunity to get an education. To live a whole life and perhaps even be able to make a difference for him/herself and maybe even others. When you are rejected by local witnesses and you will be by many. You will also find there are those who will leave with you. When I left, my wife went with me. Now my 3 closest friends and their wives and families have left as well (1 elder, 1 M.S.) While those are personal victories, my mother who has stage IV cancer is still very devout. As a result I moved to the other side of the country and I stay on top of articles so I can seem as if I am reactivated. I know this may seem wrong to some, but I see no value in taking away her dream before she dies. Sometimes the line between what is truthful and what is best may conflict and all of us will have to choose what we believe to best. No matter what you choose when you come to those cross roads, I wish you the very best.

    So for you Sir, I wish the 2 of you and your little the very best in 2014! When others question you or wish to leave you out in the “cold” I would like to offer you our friendship. You will never be alone and maybe you too will see some from the WT that you care about join you in your quest for truth.

    Best wishes to you and all who read your fine articles!

  24. tiger says:

    There will always be those who white wash and try to repaint history and their actions as pure and right. The good news is few will ever be allowed the opportunity to bring the harm that the G.B. has to so many.

    As for you Cedars, in time your anxiety will leave as you will find new friends who like you want what is best for others.

    You have made the right choice to leave. First off, because it is your choice, but also because your child will have the opportunity to get an education. To live a whole life and perhaps even be able to make a difference for him/herself and maybe even others. When you are rejected by local witnesses and you will be by many. You will also find there are those who will leave with you. When I left, my wife went with me. Now my 3 closest friends and their wives and families have left as well (1 elder, 1 M.S.) While those are personal victories, my mother who has stage IV cancer is still very devout. As a result I moved to the other side of the country and I stay on top of articles so I can seem as if I am reactivated. I know this may seem wrong to some, but I see no value in taking away her dream before she dies. Sometimes the line between what is truthful and what is best may conflict and all of us will have to choose what we believe to best. No matter what you choose when you come to those cross roads, I wish you the very best.

    So for you Sir, I wish the 2 of you and your little the very best in 2014! When others question you or wish to leave you out in the “cold” I would like to offer you our friendship. You will never be alone and maybe you too will see some from the WT that you care about join you in your quest for truth.

    Best wishes to you and all who read your fine articles!

  25. John Baptist says:

    Congrats on another year and coming out of the woodwork as they say. For the holidays I visited my Children and grand children and enjoyed my family time immensely. My Children are former JW’S raised by their Mom in that religion. I was proud to see them enjoying their Lives and the Happiness a newborn child can bring.
    They are well balanced independent thinkers who follow their God given conscience’s for the betterment of society while providing love and Care to their Children. It makes my heart overjoyed to know they have put that former upbringing behind them and embraced a future life of happiness.
    Peace,Love and Good Luck to you in 2014!

  26. wooooooow!!!!!!!!! thats all i can say for all the superb articles you’ve written. thanx CEDARS and i look forward to more exposee’s on this cruel cult.

  27. Kat says:

    Thank you cedars for all your time and hard work you have volunteered to give to many through your web site.
    It is so hard when one reaches the cross road, and they have family in the org, I hope you do realise just how many of us out there you have helped, your courage and love of truth is inspiring. thank you.
    Enjoy your new year mate!

  28. Kat says:

    Much appreciated, excellent work. You have helped many I am sure, thanks and have a great new year!!

  29. Vincent Deporter says:

    John, I don’t think any of us can thank you enough for your hard work. I will make you smile — my best friend has been on this site, and has now left the Borg.

    You can be proud of yourself, bro!

    Much love and thanks.

  30. Vincent Deporter says:

    Bookmarked. Fantastic job at this recap.
    I am curious as to what 2014 will bring. they have lost so much credibility… my hope is that the WTS steering the R&F to the internet for their site will encourage the JWs to do some fact checking…

  31. Achille says:

    We translated in italian this page in the forum Infotdgeova:

    http://forum.infotdgeova.it/viewtopic.php?style=10&f=17&t=17233 .

    Very interesting.

    Thank you for your excellent work.

    Achille

  32. unbaptized says:

    Cedars, Continue to expose the wtbts, people need to know that they should not follow an organization of men, men who live a life of luxury while others suffer. Warwick has underground tunnels and their own farms. They think only of themselves. They (GB) don’t associate with anyone. They don’t go door to door, they want the loyal JWs to support them. No education. 30+ hours of door to door. They want poverty for their followers, they learned from Rufford, didn’t they?

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