Watchtower claims divorce rate is “skyrocketing” – but is it?
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Watchtower makes a strange claim in its latest issue

Watchtower makes a strange claim in its latest issue

When glancing through the latest March 15th Watchtower Study Edition, I was struck by an arresting statement that would previously have escaped my attention.

The final magazine article, entitled “Your Speech – ‘Yes’ and yet ‘No’?” discusses instances in which breaking promises may or may not be acceptable for Witnesses. On the final page, the bold claim is made that the divorce rate is “skyrocketing,” and 2 Timothy 3:1,2 is immediately cited to suggest that this is further evidence that we are living in the “last days.”

The paragraph as it appears on page 32 of the March 15 2013 Watchtower

The paragraph as it appears on page 32 of the March 15 2013 Watchtower

 

Only a few years ago I would have swallowed this statement as truthful without a second thought. Now, however, I have learned to be a little more skeptical when it comes to Watchtower publications.

I decided to do some research on what is actually happening with the divorce rate in certain countries. What I found was that, if anything, the divorce rate is decreasing in the countries of a considerable number of Watchtower readers.

Take, for example, the United States of America – home to 1.15 million Witnesses, and the place where this magazine is written. According to the website PublicNewsService.org, “The divorce rate in America peaked at around 50 percent in the 1980s and slowly has been trending downward. It is now slightly more than 40 percent.”

A similar state of affairs is observable in my home country of Great Britain. A 2012 Guardian article begins thus: “Divorce rates have fallen – as shown by the latest figures out today from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that the number of couples getting divorced has decreased.”

Already, the use of the word “skyrocketing” was looking more applicable to Watchtower’s propensity for exaggeration than anything to do with divorce.

Intrigued, I decided to do a more detailed study to see whether Watchtower’s “skyrocketing” claims had any substance in other lands. I decided to look at the UN divorce rate figures for the 20 countries with the most Jehovah’s Witnesses (according to 2013 yearbook figures), which account for 5.4 million publishers combined – a decent majority.

Here is what I found…

 

Country 2012 Av. Pubs 2002 C.D.R. Latest C.D.R. Latest avail. stats Notes
USA 1,156,150 3.9 3.6 2011
Mexico 749,585 0.6 0.8 2009
Nigeria 312,251 *
Italy 245,326 1.0 0.9 2010
Japan 216,692 2.3 2.0 2010
Philippines 178,467 Divorce illegal.
Congo, Dem. Rep. of 163,349 *
Russia 162,748 5.9 4.8 2011
Germany 162,705 2.5 2.3 2010
Zambia 156,898 *
Colombia 152,280 *
Ukraine 149,199 3.8 2.8 2010
Argentina 142,435 *
Britain 131,629 2.7 2.0 2009
Venezuela 124,670 *
Poland 124,292 1.2 1.6 2010
France 121,331 2.1 2.1 2010
Canada 112,710 2.3 2.1 2008
Peru 110,651 *

* = no complete data available | C.D.R. = Crude Divorce Rate (no. divorces per 1,000 population) | Source = United Nations

Though it was frustratingly difficult to get UN divorce figures for certain African and South American countries, the above table shows that only Mexico and Poland were exceptions among 11 countries reporting divorce rate decreases or inertia over the past decade. And increases in divorce rates in these two lands could hardly be described as “skyrocketing” in nature by any but the most alarmist.

Splitting hairs?

Likely many Witnesses will think I am nitpicking in pointing out this discrepancy, but I do so for two reasons.

Firstly, as already mentioned, Watchtower here uses its “skyrocketing” claim as evidence that 2 Timothy 3:1,2 is finding fulfilment where it says, “But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.” In other words, what happens to the divorce rate supposedly has some bearing on how imminent Armageddon is. That Watchtower would stoop so low as to invent a piece of ‘evidence’ to scare its readers into believing the end is nigh is extremely telling.

Secondly, such fabrication of evidence stands in direct contradiction to the claims Watchtower makes about its honesty and commitment to being factual. Page 13 of the 2011 Yearbook assures Witnesses that “the Writing Department insists on using only material that is accurate and truthful, even regarding seemingly insignificant details.”

Then there is Watchtower’s recent December 2013 Awake! magazine, which launched an extraordinary attack on the media. It bemoaned the “false assumptions” in modern reporting before warning: “Facts may not be carefully checked. Numbers too can easily trip up a journalist who, in the scramble to meet a deadline, might easily type 10,000 instead of 100,000.”

After this blatant false assumption about divorce, it seems as though the authors of the December Awake! were writing from experience.

 

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59 Responses to Watchtower claims divorce rate is “skyrocketing” – but is it?

  1. Rowland Nelken says:

    By definition JWdom has to imagine and/or invent a world which is consumed by more and more wars, earthquakes, riots and other horrors. Statistics on most aspects of life, like crime, nutrition, medical care, ability to predict and cope with natural disasters, show a steady improvement. JWs have painted themselves into a corner where the whole world has to be seen as going to the dogs,as beyond redemption and a place which can only be put right by the great Armageddon purge. The divorce lies are par for their misery making course.

  2. Christian Sparlock Freedom says:

    In my experience of 50+ yrs as a JW .
    I continue to see a alarming percentage of JW marriages
    are ending in divorce. Typical hypocrisy for these
    blatant charlatans.

  3. alexjamesisnotmyrealname says:

    I caught a statement they made in an issue a few months back, quoting some newspaper. I looked up the newspaper and it was this little local rag, like the equivalent of a pennysaver. Another source I looked up was a paper written by a professor, but not peer-reviewed or published anywhere; in other words, they quoted some guy’s thesis they found online. How desperate are they for support that they pull random quotes from garbage sources or just make up “facts” when they can’t even find those?

  4. alanv says:

    Over the years I have learnt that very often if the Watchtower make a statement about the state of the world you may depend it is the opposite. As Cedars has shown this applies to the divorce rate.
    For years they said earthquakes were increasing at an unprecedented rate This has now been proved false. While witnesses in the UK go round telling people about the increase in crime in our country the facts actually show that crime is at a 30 year low.

  5. Vincent Deporter says:

    “Already, the use of the word “skyrocketing” was looking more applicable to Watchtower’s propensity for exaggeration than anything to do with divorce.”

    Hahaha! So true!

    In any case, why would the WTS be expected to tell any truth jeopardizing their stupid claims — since they never presented evolution the way it really was, and they even LIE on their OWN history.

    I have but swear words to describe these criminals.

  6. Susan says:

    The only divorce rate I see skyrocketing is the one within the JWs! Comparing the Witnesses I grew up with and my peers from highschool, I can honestly say that the majority of Witnesses are divorced and my highschool mates marriages are still intact with happy families.

  7. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    I’m surprised they haven’t tried a different tack!

    Dimly I recall the world declaring peace and security and then the end comes.

    So maybe things getting better, not worse, is the sign of the end? After all, Satan’s governments are going to ban/remove religion and so they’d better have some good news to replace it. Being able to declare peace and security, without God, would probably help stem any reprisals.

    This is the kind of spin that these imbeciles are reduced to. Making up assertions that are patently wrong is a sign that the world is awkwardly moving slowly to a position that is contrary to the bible’s predictions.

    Well done for a textbook example of how to tackle the WTBTS. The figures, available for all on the internet, just don’t back up their claims!

    Excellent article, Cedars!

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

    • alanv says:

      This is the problem for Watchtower now days Excelsior. Bloggers like Cedars know that to get JWs to listen they must produce solid evidence. Much of that evidence is available to all on the internet.
      Regarding the peace and security, they think they can win both ways on this. If there is relative peace in the world, they say that shows the end is imminent, and if the world is in a bad mess they say the same.
      Unfortunately for them many people know about this trick of there’s so it does not work any more.

      • I remember a C.O(circuit overseer) telling us at a recent circuit assembly that higher education was pointless and that it was like taking your house-hold valuables to a burning house. He insisted on high school as the last academic level for a JW.The most interesting thing is that he has university papers! LOL. He also talked about “self-sacrifice”. Its interesting to know that he bought a 2013 car model! Hahah “self-sacrifice”. He mentioned how the JW’s are rocking the nations and how the nations are feeling the “Rocking”. I did not see any “nations” complaining about any “Rocking”. Totally misapplied scripture! These JW’s can go as far as editing the Bible to prove their stupid points. Bad thing is they have messed up people’s careers…with no appology! They then reward u with a ‘Cleansing’ by disfellowshipping u over a trivial matter…with no regard of your “self-sacrifice”.

  8. Gayle McCurdy says:

    No doubt divorce is skyrocketing starting within the WT organization. More and more members are leaving the organization. When this happens within marriages there, the organization only makes everything worse. The ones leaving are labeled “apostates”, “mentally diseased,” and a half-dozen other negative terms. When the marriage partner is honest in their real quest for “the truth about the truth,” the other JW partner is instructed to report to the elders. Then, disfellowshipping happens. What havoc to a marriage! The leaving JW is ‘always’ the total bad guy/gal. Now, it is even condoned for the remaining JW to divorce for the sake of their “spirituality”/organizationality.

    The organization always points to the “world” as so much worse no matter what.

  9. JohnnyRotten says:

    Hello Cedars,

    I’m yet to see the article; did they not provide a source for this claim?

    Thanks for this brilliant site.

    Johnny

  10. I would have to agree with some of the previous comments and say that in reality it is divorces of Jehovah’s Witnesses that have been on the increase. Take Candace Conti’s father Neal Conti who is serving as a Ministerial Servant in good standing in his current congregation. He has married and divorced twice since 1996 to two different Jehovah’s Witness women. He is now married for a “fourth” time to yet another Jehovah’s Witness sister. His worldly family members who have never been divorced from their spouses attend his weddings and ask themselves how long they wonder this marriage is going to last. This is the exemplar example the Watchtower endorses by rewarding Candace’s father with a position in the congregation and to a man who has nothing to do with his own daughter. This is the true reality of what happens to many families with in the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion.

  11. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    Nelson MANDELA divorced his first wife Evelyn Mandela MASE who became a Jehovah Witness after they had married.
    In his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” he wrote “Evelyn could not understand my meetings in the evening, and when I returned home late suspected I was seeing other women. Time after time, I would explain what meeting I was at, why I was there, and what was discussed. But she was not convinced. In 1955, she gave me an ultimatum: I had to choose between her and the ANC.”

    What do you think of this?
    1) *** w86 11/1 p. 26 par. 1 Family Problems Solved by Bible Counsel ***
    “WIVES [choose] to be divorced, children to be disinherited, . . . rather than be unfaithful to Christ,” wrote Arnobius, a professed Christian of the fourth century. Yes, even then, bitter religious opposition by unbelievers split up families. Jesus stated that those who had “greater affection” for family members than for him would not be worthy of him. Hence, there would be “a sword” causing division in some households, because of the believer’s showing less love for his family, “yes, and even his own soul.” (Matthew 10:34-37; Luke 14:26) Such divisions in families continue to our day.

    2) Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Break Up Marriages? (http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2008805)

    BEWARE OF WATCHTOWER!!!!

  12. P.S. It’s also good to remember that divorce alone is not the sole indicator of an unhappy, unsuccessful marriage. A couple can be married and miserable, even abusive to one another, which was the case I saw with lots of JWs when I was in. But, the GB seems to think that if you’re still married, the marriage is a success and if you’re divorced, you’re unhappy and miserable. The Feb. 15 2007 Watchtower, cracking down on evil, evil women’s lib:

    “Despite that fine beginning, a movement called women’s liberation—an attempt by women to break free from male domination—began in the early 1960’s in the United States. … So are women happier? No. In some countries, about half of the people who marry eventually divorce. … Has the effort by some women to improve their marital situation made matters better or worse?”

    So apparently if you’re exercising your evil, evil rights to get a divorce, you’re not happier than when you were in a relationship marked by “male domination” (their words, not mine) and somehow that makes your situation “worse.”

    http://questionsforjehovahswitnesses.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/women-dont-like-being-dominated-you-should-have-thought-of-that-before-you-got-married/

  13. John Baptist says:

    At Kathleen, as usual your so spot on. In my case one of my own son’s doesn’t talk to me because I don’t agree with the watchtower teachings. His Mother is a devout supporter who came from long line of devotees. They worship a organization over God and his really true principles. Think for a moment how selfish these individuals are at the cost of blood relationships. They have been brainwashed beyond reason and always think of themselves with their self pity attitude. This comes from their indoctrination from the Governing Body NOT Gods word. After all wasn’t it their founding father who declared through his “Studies in the Scriptures” where we find many blasphemous statements up to including “one could read the studies in the scriptures and in 2 years you would we in spiritual light but if you read the bible alone then you would be in spiritual darkness in 2 years” There is nothing more Blasphemous that I have read then this statement. This founding father and the continuance of his ideas re-mixed just show how they put themselves above God!!!
    So after reviewing the stats John has posted it really doesn’t surprise me even if you did a seasonal adjustment on it if you will regarding the numbers by perhaps figuring in the fact many more people are living together without actually being married. You know if you were in a discussion with a JW they just might try to throw that in your face. In any event my son who is a data scientist in finance and has a masters degree in Psychology often speaks about the higher then usual divorce rates as well among the JW community. I’m happy at least this Son and my Daughter have seen the reality and devastating effects of being involved with this religion based on ideas of falsehoods and hope.
    As I always say they resort to Drama and exaggerate to try and drive home their false ideas.
    Then when confronted with real facts and figures they resort to Ad Hominem tactics.
    You could write a Psychological text book on those folks and use their tactics for examples.
    Again Cedars thanks for speaking the Real Truth! and sharing it with all.

    • I am so glad that both of your grown children have made the right choice after realizing the real truth about this Organization. I would like to bring out that Candace’s father has another child from his first wife a son who is now 32 years old and he is getting married in February of 2014. His son was never a Jehovah’s Witness and yet he is also shunned by his father. Neal was not invited his own sons wedding because of the lack of any relationship with his father for years. Candace was invited and will be attending. This Jehovah’s Witness father was invited to both of his kids high school graduations and he never showed up. I remember when Neal and I were married and attending the Fremont North congregation years ago, I went to the then PO Elder and asked him if he could speak to Neal about his lack of parenting over his son and I will never forget what this PO said to me I quote “I am the wrong person to ask Kathleen because I don’t see my kids either” I just gave up at that point.

  14. April Smith says:

    This is certainly not the first time the Watchtower organization has exagerated or outrightly lied to promote their point of view. They are Famous for partially quoting from “experts,” so it Appears that they agree with the Watchtowers view…when in reality, they don’t. Thats the problem with so many of the followers of the Watchtowers teachings, they believe without question. They are even told that by looking at other points of view, theyre being disloyal to God.

  15. April Smith says:

    You couldnt be more right! I was married to an alcoholic, abusive “elder” for 27 years. I finally had had enough. The reason I stayed so long, was the reprecussions I knew would come if I did leave. You wouldnt believe what 1 elder told me. To this day, Im SO sorry I didnt leave years earlier. My children would have not had such a horrible example of what a marriage should be about, its not about role playing, its about love and respect for each other. I, like you, saw a lot of…this is what the man does…this is what the woman is supposed to do. I saw very few truly happy marriages in that organization, and everyone was on depression meds.

  16. Gymbob says:

    Gayle~ You hit the nail on the head here. How is a marriage suppose to last after one marriage mate has left the JW’s and all in the congregation view him/her as, “apostate, untrustworthy, mentally-sick, etc.”?? That religion CAUSES divorces!

  17. luv2hugapug says:

    This fear mongering is really working for the JWs in my family. They all believe this world and this life is just unbearable and they have to suffer through it… I keep on thinking how unhappy they must feel all the time.

    I keep on praying the GB will set another date for Armageddon, so then it can come and go and that will make them realize the lie they are living. (I know, the previous predictions haven’t wavered their faith, but I don’t know what else will work).

    It seems like recently the GB has really increased their fear talk and has been focusing more and more on the UN and how the end will come. It seems they are leading up to setting a date. Does anyone else get that impression?

    • alanv says:

      Really cant see them setting a date again. There are just too many people around now that know of their past date cock ups. They would be an absolute laughing stock when it didn’t happen. But they will certainly use the fear factor and continue lying about how terrible this world is now we are deep into the last days

  18. Greg says:

    I agree. I wish they would pick a date. Even tho they haven’t picked a date, in the January 2014 study edition watchtower there claiming that the “2nd group” of the “1914 generation” is getting older….so they have put a time cap on the end. Which if i remember correctly that this time cap is around 2030. If it goes beyond then, they will Truly have egg on their face AGIAN with this 1914 crap. My guess in 10yrs you’ll start to see them really really pushing the end like they did in the 60′s.

  19. chris says:

    I had a high school teacher (years ago) who helped me think critically by telling us, “Never take anything at face value.”

    The WTBTS rarely cites their sources for claims such as these. And they love to just throw around random statistics and claims without evidence. You would be a fool to just accept what they say. But that is exactly how they prey on gullible adherents. Once they earn your implicit trust, you will be expected to entrust your life to them.

  20. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    And why did Charles Taze Russell (Founder of the Cult) and Maria Frances Ackley (his wife) DIVORCED? This time, not because of “Sings of the end…” but “Objects of Hatred by All the Nations”!!

    Please, take time to read about that “famous” or “infamous” depending on how you read. :

    *** jv chap. 29 pp. 645-647 “Objects of Hatred by All the Nations” ***
    In order to impugn his reputation, some of the clergy preached and published gross falsehoods about him. One that they frequently employed—and still do—involves the marital situation of Brother Russell. The impression that they have sought to convey is that Russell was immoral. What are the facts?
    In 1879, Charles Taze Russell married Maria Frances Ackley. They had a good relationship for 13 years. Then flattery of Maria and appeals to pride on her part by others began to undermine that relationship; but when their objective became clear, she seemed to regain her balance. After a former associate had spread falsehoods about Brother Russell, she even asked her husband’s permission to visit a number of congregations to answer the charges, since it had been alleged that he mistreated her. However, the fine reception she was given on that trip in 1894 evidently contributed to a gradual change in her opinion of herself. She sought to secure for herself a stronger voice in directing what would appear in the Watch Tower. When she realized that nothing that she wrote would be published unless her husband, the editor of the magazine, agreed with its contents (on the basis of its consistency with the Scriptures), she became greatly disturbed. He put forth earnest effort to help her, but in November 1897 she left him. Nevertheless, he provided her with a place to live and means of maintenance. Years later, after court proceedings that had been initiated by her in 1903, she was awarded, in 1908, a judgment, not of absolute divorce, but of divorce from bed and board, with alimony.
    Having failed to force her husband to acquiesce to her demands, she put forth great effort after she left him to bring his name into disrepute. In 1903 she published a tract filled, not with Scriptural truths, but with gross misrepresentations of Brother Russell. She sought to enlist ministers of various denominations to distribute them where the Bible Students were holding special meetings. To their credit not many at that time were willing to be used in that way. However, other clergymen since then have shown a different spirit.
    Earlier, Maria Russell had condemned, verbally and in writing, those who charged Brother Russell with the sort of misconduct that she herself now alleged. Using certain unsubstantiated statements made during court proceedings in 1906 (and which statements were struck from the record by order of the court), some religious opposers of Brother Russell have published charges designed to make it appear that he was an immoral man and hence unfit to be a minister of God. However, the court record is clear that such charges are false. Her own lawyer asked Mrs. Russell whether she believed her husband was guilty of adultery. She answered: “No.” It is also noteworthy that when a committee of Christian elders listened to Mrs. Russell’s charges against her husband in 1897, she made no mention of the things that she later stated in court in order to persuade the jury that a divorce should be granted, though these alleged incidents occurred prior to that meeting.
    Nine years after Mrs. Russell first brought the case to court, Judge James Macfarlane wrote a letter of reply to a man who was seeking a copy of the court record so that one of his associates could expose Russell. The judge frankly told him that what he wanted would be a waste of time and money. His letter stated: “The ground for her application and of the decree entered upon the verdict of the jury was ‘indignities’ and not adultery and the testimony, as I understand, does not show that Russell was living ‘an adulterous life with a co-respondent.’ In fact there was no co-respondent.”
    Maria Russell’s own belated acknowledgment came at the time of Brother Russell’s funeral at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh in 1916. Wearing a veil, she walked down the aisle to the casket and laid there a bunch of lilies of the valley. Attached to them was a ribbon bearing the words, “To My Beloved Husband.”
    It is evident that the clergy have used the same sort of tactics that were employed by their first-century counterparts. Back then, they endeavored to kill Jesus’ reputation by charging that he ate with sinners and that he himself was a sinner and a blasphemer. (Matt. 9:11; John 9:16-24; 10:33-37) Such charges did not change the truth about Jesus, but they did expose those who resorted to such slander—and they expose those who resort to like tactics today—as having as their spiritual father the Devil, which name means “Slanderer.”—John 8:44.

    DO YOU FIND IT “FAMOUS” OR “INFAMOUS”?

  21. Doublegame says:

    All these words are one side of the coin. There is the other side. Why don’t you do the research ?
    It’s a real eye opener!
    And, there were other charges against Russell where he was condemned. You could look into those too.

    Regarding the skyrocketing divorces it is absolutely
    True WITNIN their ranks.

    Regarding the end being imminent it is also true: for them. They will not last much longer. Everything seems to be closing in, thanks to blogs like Cedar’s and to the continuous mistakes they keep making.

    Also, who can deny that things are getting worse
    Worldwide within their ranks?

    I think that in a very funny way, and without even trying, they are truthful!

  22. Doublegame says:

    All these words are one side of the coin. There is the other side. Why don’t you do the research ?
    It’s a real eye opener!
    And, there were other charges against Russell where he was condemned. You could look into those too.

    Regarding the skyrocketing divorces it is absolutely
    True WITNIN their ranks.

    Regarding the end being imminent it is also true: for them. They will not last much longer. Everything seems to be closing in, thanks to blogs like Cedar’s and to the continuous mistakes they keep making.

    Also, who can deny that things are getting worse
    Worldwide within their ranks?

    I think that in a very funny way, and without even trying, they are truthful!

  23. Christopher kayebeta says:

    You seem very lost now that you have reliased there is no future in what you are doing

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      Who is lost, Christopher Kayebata? And in what activity is there no future? Please explain. Your comment is meaningless as it stands.

  24. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    Reading Kathleen Conti’s fascinating comments reminds me of the folks who were divorced while I was a JW.

    On every occasion, it was the spouse who left who took 100% of the blame.

    I can think of one elder whose wife left the witnesses. He is now married to a much younger woman and has a child with her, with no limit to his promotion.

    These are the people whose leaders are convinced that a loving God will exterminate billions of human beings at Armageddon. What should they care if marriages fail? Just
    Marry the next poor soul and keep the money coming in.

    Yet another example of why I am overjoyed at not being part of this cult anymore.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  25. Let’s be real about this, though. I heard the “yes-yes/no-no” reasoning about marriage and how “many no longer view marriage” as something serious in the MID NINETIES. Divorce was at a ‘all-time high’ and people were living together ‘without the benefits of marriage.’ And that was copied from the 1970s when the world went hippie.

    It’s just repeated rhetoric without any content. Numbers are unimportant, unlike the fear-mongering and desperation of the state of the world as its ‘mentality’ degrades. The horror of possible infection of foreign thinking and logic causes panic and urgency.

    The fact that foreign thinking and logic has been there for decades is irreverent, of course.

    “Many view…”, “Some experts claim…”, “It is popular to believe…”, etc. are all just magic trigger words used to ignite blanketed IMPENDING THREAT when there is no actual threat exists.

  26. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    DOWE NEED TO ARGUE ON THAT. In 1986, Watchtower (“Jehovah”)wrote about “a sword” causing division in some households and gave reasons:

    *** w86 11/1 p. 26 par. 1 Family Problems Solved by Bible Counsel ***

    “WIVES [choose] to be divorced, children to be disinherited, . . . rather than be unfaithful to Christ,” wrote Arnobius, a professed Christian of the fourth century. Yes, even then, bitter religious opposition by unbelievers split up families. Jesus stated that those who had “greater affection” for family members than for him would not be worthy of him. Hence, there would be “a sword” causing division in some households, because of the believer’s showing less love for his family, “yes, and even his own soul.” (Matthew 10:34-37; Luke 14:26) Such divisions in families continue to our day.

  27. Thank you so much Cedars for ALWAYS giving us the FACTS! That chart you provided was so eye opening for me. I have been living in absolute FEAR for the past two years, since I left the organization. I’ve been fearful of : Will my husband divorce me now that I’ve left the org.?
    Will the elders label me an apostate and disfellowship me?
    Will my children be forced back into the cult and be turned against me by the teachings of the watchtower society?
    Well, when I saw your chart and noticed that in Canada, where I am from, the Av. pubs. for 2012 is 112, 710 , I was SHOCKED!!!! I always thought that Jehovah Witnesses were numbered in the Millions in Canada, not just a pewny 112, 710 publishers. I then quickly googled what the population is in Canada. I nearly fell over when I found out that Canada’s current population as of this year, 2013, is a staggering 35 Million Strong.
    The Watchtower Society are MASTERS at exaggerating their numbers and making their members quiver in ABSOLUTE FEAR of them, when in actuality, they are nothing more than a DIRTY SPECK OF DUST. They are merely a school yard BULLY, beating up and taking advantage of the weak and gullible.
    Thank you so much John Cedars for helping me “Break Free” from my fear of the Watchtower Society and the mind control that they’ve had over me these past two years. I see them now for what they truly are, a tiny cockroach worth squashing. (Oops, I think I just insulted the cockroach. Lol.)

  28. KateWild says:

    My JW ex in good standing divorced me for exposing domestic violence.

    It’s harder in the UK than it used to be he had to aplly twice and he lied on his 2nd application. Yes JWs lie to get an unscriptural divorce for unreasonable behaviour.

    You have to laugh though, he can’t remarry. I have not commited adultery, he is stitched up now, especially if I get a boyfriend and deny adultery. Two witness rule. He bit off his nose to spite his face. Hahaha

    Kate xx

    • If he’s a good little JW he’ll get married anyway, take his 6 months of reproof, and be right back in. I knew an elder whose wife divorced him for punching her; he remarried, was reproved for 6 months, then an elder again after another 6 months. Like nothing had happened. And my mother has the gall to wonder why I don’t love “the truth.”

  29. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    Kate,
    Read this you will lough

    *** w74 11/15 pp. 703-704 Questions From Readers ***
    Do lewd practices on the part of a married person toward that one’s own mate constitute a Scriptural basis for the offended mate to get a divorce?

    You will read somewhere:
    circumstances could arise that would make lewd practices of a married person toward that one’s marriage mate a Scriptural basis for divorce. For example, a wife may do what she reasonably can to prevent her husband from forcing upon her perversions such as are carried on in a brothel. Yet, due to his greater strength, he might overpower her and use her for perverted sex. So as not to be prostituted in this way at another time, a Christian wife may decide to get a divorce. She could establish with the congregation that the real reason for this is por•nei′a and then proceed to get a legal divorce on any truthful grounds acceptable to the courts of the land.

    Lying in divorce cases is OK!!

  30. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    They are describing what is happening amoung themselves. The Governing body is fooling its followers. This is part of what they are learning this week: (Ref: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102012163)

    “Governing Body entrusts the operation of each branch office to a Branch Committee made up of three or more well-qualified elders. The committee keeps the Governing Body informed of the progress of the activity in each land under that committee’s jurisdiction and of any problems that may arise. Such reports help the Governing Body to decide what subjects should be considered in future publications and at meetings and assemblies.”

    These are wolves in sheep’s skin. Will they fool us again and tell us they communicate with Jehovah? By no means!

  31. KateWild says:

    Hakizimana Jean de Dieu,
    Thank you, very interesting article.
    Kate xx

  32. Badshah says:

    I’m not defending WTFBS, so please don’t think I am. But I have a question. Could the use of the word “Skyrocketing” be applicable if you broaden the time-frame? If you consider the CDR from, say 1914 to today, would it not be true then? I’m sure that is the approach they would take. In other words, compared to 100 years ago, 40% could be called “skyrocketing.” Just a thought…

  33. alanv says:

    Interesting question Badshah. We have actually been having a discussion about it on the ‘Topix’ forum.
    Witnesses are trying to say that it rocketed from 1914 the so called beginning of last days. But in fact it was in the 1950s that it shot up as women started to realize they no longer had to put up with their husbands cruel behaviour in their marriage. However in the last 20 years or so it has stayed at the same level and in some countries has gone down.
    The example was given about if your bank manager had you in for a chat about your finances and he said that your expenses seem to be skyrocketing. Is he referring to your expenses shooting up 50 years ago? Maybe 10 years ago? No quite obviously he is talking about now.
    That is the impression the Watchtower are trying to give to bolster their claim that we are living deep into the last days so that is just one more proof that the end is imminent.
    http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/jehovahs-witness/T0I668QV6OSSDV6JR

  34. Badshah says:

    That’s true, alanv. It must be assumed that the article is talking about present day matters. I am guessing they would use my line of reasoning as a defense, but most JWs reading the article would conclude that they are referring to the current state of affairs. Thanks for pointing this out.

  35. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    I find some stupidity in JWs mind about the end… that bad end when Jehovah battles his creatures as a “manslaughter” not a “murderer”!!
    By the way, pointing to that infamous end, did Jesus refer anywhere to the rate of “DIVORCE”? the “Sister Proof Bible” says “For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage,…” (http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=Matthew+24%3A38)

    Jesus did not foretell “marriage break ups” but marriages, only marriages!! “Breaking up marriages” is an invention of the Watchtower reported in their own publications (http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2008805?q=break+up+marriages&p=par)

    The game JWs are palying on lives of people is really a dirty one!!

  36. Thinking of leaving says:

    Yes I agree (badshah), that although in the last couple of decades the divorce rate has leveled off, I do believe over the greater period of time the divorce rate has skyrocket (and trust me I will be the last person sticking up for WT). It depends from which angle the writer was looking at it.

  37. isabella botticelli says:

    Agreed! In addition, many, many JW couples can’t stand each other, but won’t get divorced because of how it ‘looks.’

  38. george_CT says:

    About the quality of publication.

    Just a comment on today’s WT lesson Dec 1st.
    “a sub-co mention his money is only enough for an one-way trip for visiting a congregation, he decide to make the visit, then a sister gave them some fund.
    It was the exact amount of money
    they needed to complete the trip.”

    I just feel the experience is so fake.
    How can you know the exact amount they needed to complete the trip? It would be much more real if it is like
    “It was what we need to complete the trip.”
    But then the “EXACT” flavor is lost so no divine intervention?
    Just some personal feelings about the advocate for Jw to pioneering.
    I wonder in Cedar’s pioneer experience, do you have something similar you can share with us?of course from a very objective point of view now.

    Thanks very much.
    Reply

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      This ‘we were broke but God provided the cash’ has a Biblical precedent, and such silly stories are heard in many areas of Christendom. Here is the root story, cut and pasted from Wikipedia: Coin in the fish’s mouth is one of the miracles of Jesus, told in the Gospel of Matthew 17:24-27[1][2][3][4]

      According to the Gospel, after Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Apostle Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” And Peter replied: “Yes, he does”.

      When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak and said:

      “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”

      “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him, implying that as the son of God, he is exempt from paying God’s tax. Then Jesus said:

      “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

      The four-drachma coin would be exactly enough to pay the temple tax (two-drachma coin) for two people.[5]

      The Bible does not name the fish, but Tilapia is sometimes referred to as St. Peter’s fish.’

      Here we have Jesus the top of the bill conjurer!

    • Cedars says:

      Sorry for the delay in replying George.

      While in the organization I was always wary of attributing good fortune or acts of kindness to divine intervention. This was more due to the premature death of my mother than anything else. I always found the idea that a loving God could let my mother die of cancer but then render assistance regarding some trivial problem quite distasteful.

  39. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    @Rowland Nelken and george_CT,
    And… “I needed $66 to pay my rent, which was due the next day…”
    It is painful to read this, but if you want to read the whole STUPIDITY, just click http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=w13+6%2F15+p.+13+par.+7

  40. george_CT says:

    Interesting.
    Never thought about that.
    Thank you both.

  41. Badshah says:

    The story about Nancy the waitress raises several questions. For instance, how did she get herself into such a predicament? It doesn’t seem very responsible, and yet, in my own experience, there always seemed to be JWs with their hands out. Secondly, if this story is meant to provide evidence of Jehovah’s love and generosity, what does it tell us, when thousands of similar prayers, offered my zealous JWs, go unanswered? Is that evidence of Jehovah’s like of love and stinginess?

  42. Badshah says:

    I meant to say, “Is that evidence of Jehovah’s lack of love and stinginess?”

  43. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    This is even more interesting…
    Cin Khan Dal lost 19 chickens the WATCHTOWER describes serious economic blow… and then…
    Read that from http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=yb13+p.+138+par.+3

  44. Mandelay says:

    Cedars,

    I’m so glad your wife stuck with you and supports your work here.

  45. Rob says:

    I’m going to call balderdash on this one. Everyone knows statistics are a lying science.

    So first, there are fewer marriages today (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/22/marriage-rate_n_3625222.html), so of course the divorce rate is lower – per population! And same sex marriages aren’t registered. Yet divorce does continue to rise according to US census (http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0131.pdf).

    Second, skyrocketing is just a colloquial term and used by other authors, look at https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/skyrocket

    In an era of skyrocketing federal debt, budget deficits, legislative impasse and sequestration, all signs point to fiscal constraints in 2014.
    Washington Post Dec 22, 2013
    There seems to be a growing shortage of buildable land, and what’s available has skyrocketed in price.
    New York Times Dec 17, 2013
    So instead of the tech boom leading to broadly based prosperity, it leads to private buses and skyrocketing house prices.
    Slate Dec 17, 2013
    Released into the atmosphere, it caused temperatures to skyrocket further.
    Salon

    • alanv says:

      Rob, firstly I would say your figures seem to be based on what is happening in the USA. The USA population is under 5% of the world population. If you took the stats from a Muslim country I suspect you would get a different result.
      The Watchtower writer wrote skyrocketing in the present tense. He did not say divorce has skyrocketed during the 20th century, he said divorce is skyrocketing which is a totally untrue statement.
      If someone says wages are skyrocketing, they are not talking about something that happened 50 years ago. They would be talking about what is happening at the present time.
      It is no surprise the writer wrote this, as any spike in anything negative in the last 100 years, to them proves the end is imminent. Most JWs will always parrot what they read in the societies literature, and never check the facts for themselves.

  46. ATS says:

    Funny the first bit of good news in this vlogbros video :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUhA6fjgnLY

  47. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    Rob,

    “Everyone knows that statistics are a lying science”

    Statistics do not lie, Rob. Now, you can interpret statistics in a lying way, or you can only use statistics that support your argument, but statistics do not lie.

    Statistics are a collection of data. Data does not lie.

    The writer of the article used the term skyrocketing in the present tense. The statistics for the world do not back this statement.

    Your tiny sample of the USA is invalid as a defence of the writer’s statement.

    Really, Rob! When are you going to accept that you have been wrong on everything you have posted on this site?

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  48. JBob says:

    Some Witness couples were not sharing the same bed–his room, her room, or, in extreme, his house, her house. Footnote, only a naive pacifist would advice to remain in domestic abuse situation as secular journals and statistics show, it generally ends very badly with one domestic partner injured physically, psychologically or deceased. However, as some one posted on another article, there had been a history of domestic abuse–generally husbands physically abusive to their “cherished” wives.

    This “air” still permeates the Watchtower as witnessed in the video comments regarding a “sister-proof bible”; a general disrespect at such a high-level in such a “moral” enterprise should have zero-tolerance as it sets a bad role model; it sets the tone for young men to assume women are “less-than” not in spiritual rank but in general. And, yet the leadership concerns itself with policing “pants” rather than tackling the heavy-duty issues of the day.

    Footnote: the plans for Warwick (photo-op on Google Earth) does show a female arm at the design table presumably participating in design, if not serving as a scribe.

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