2016: The Year In Review – Part One: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Child Abuse
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As we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome a new year, we reflect on the events which captured our attention during the past 12 months – both good and bad – and ponder what might become of the year 2017.

For many, 2016 will go down as a year of tragedy, uncertainty, and change. One thing which has not changed is the love that we have at JW Survey for our former friends and family members who are still chained inside the walls of the Jehovah’s Witness organization. While our resolve to awaken and educate Jehovah’s Witnesses and the public to the dangers of unduly influential religions, we feel only compassion for individual members of our former faith. We recognize the difference between those who direct the activities of Witnesses worldwide, and those who follow their lead.

The events which affected the lives of millions of JWs worldwide in 2016 would fill a sizable book, so we will condense the past year into a two-part synopsis of headlines which were covered by the editorial team of JW Survey.

Child Abuse – a 2016 Summary

 

Regrettably, the subject of child abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness organization has continued to grab international headlines, forcing JW Survey to give attention to a grotesquely unpleasant subject. On January 3rd 2016, JW Survey contributor Karen Morgan reported on the well publicized case of Ian Pheasey of Warwick UK. Pheasey sexually abused and choked at least 3 Witness girls, some of the offenses occurring in the Kingdom Hall library. As is typical with Witness child abuse cases, the organization publicly denounced the abuse itself, but failed to mention that elders and parents are discouraged from immediately reporting abuse allegations to the police and child protection authorities, which obstructs justice and facilitates the abuse of additional victims. Pheasey escaped law enforcement for more than 25 years due to Watchtower policies.

On January 7th, JW Survey highlighted the importance of covering child abuse issues with a brief article showcasing the brilliant Oscar-winning film Spotlight. This film raised awareness of the incredible investigative work by the Boston Globe in exposing the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. The film received so much critical acclaim that its accolades have their own Wikipedia article.

Just 5 days  later, Survey reported on the legal stall-tactics of Watchtower in the case of Stephanie Fessler, a former Witness who was abused while attending the Spring Grove Pennsylvania congregation. This story caught the attention of investigative reporter Trey Bundy of Reveal News, who has been covering Watchtower’s abuse scandals and the accompanying legal strategies designed to delay court proceedings as long as possible.

In the wake of the 2015 Australian Royal Commission which identified Jehovah’s Witnesses as the worst offender in prevention and reporting of child abuse, JW Survey reported on February 29th that the UK Charity Commission has launched a similar investigation into the practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who have fought a bitter battle in court to prevent this inquiry, which challenges their status as a charitable organization. Fearing the loss of millions of dollars (or more) due to potential taxation, Watchtower has focused its efforts on its legal defense, having already paid immense sums of money in child abuse settlements.

In the midst of this troubling scandal within the Jehovah’s Witness organization, JW Survey activist and writer Lloyd Evans produced a comprehensive feature length documentary titled: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Child Abuse – Is there a Problem?

 

 

Just when it seemed that the intense notoriety of the JW Child Abuse scandals had reached its peak, on March 7th, Survey reported on yet another groundbreaking court ruling, this time in the state of Delaware. Perpetrator Katheryn Harris Carmean White stood trial for repeated sexual encounters with a 14 year old Witness boy, but Watchtower elders William Perkins and Joel Mulchansingh covered up the abuse the moment they were informed, and never contacted the authorities. Watchtower attorney Francis McNamara defended the congregation and its elders, attempting to claim clergy privilege in a state where elders and clergy are fully exempt from any restrictions on the reporting of child abuse to police or CPA.  To make matters worse, the 14 year old victim was disfellowshipped by the congregation, further torturing a young man who had been seduced by Ms. White. White has been sentenced to a six year prison sentence, while Watchtower attorneys suffered defeat at the hands of Justice Mary M. Johnston, who denied Watchtower’s motion to dismiss this case.

Meanwhile, back in the UK, the BBC reported on yet another related scandal, this time involving the destruction of sensitive documents which were needed to establish evidence of the untold numbers of abuse cases in the UK which have been hushed up by Watchtower authorities. To this day, reports by abused Witnesses continue to pour into the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse.  Only time will tell just how devastating this will be to Watchtower.

Watchtower attempted to appeal the investigation by the UK Charity Commission, but as JW Survey reported on March 15th, Watchtower lost its appeal, allowing the commission to continue with the inquiry.

An even greater thorn in the side of Watchtower has been the massive California scandal involving former Witness elder Gonzalo Campos, who molested multiple Witness children following extreme incompetence by the Jehovah’s Witness organization and local elders, who promoted Campos to the position of elder while being aware of his sexual predatory nature. Campos has since fled the United States and is presumed hiding in Mexico following his admission of guilt, and Watchtower attorneys are scrambling to minimize the damages caused by their notorious two-witness policy, which prevents elders from ousting pedophiles from the organization on the premise that they lack a second “witness” to the crime.  (Watchtower has more recently employed a “two-victim” rule in establishing guilt, but this has done nothing to prevent recurring cases of abuse, and in fact it could be argued  that at the very minimum, it doubles the number of victims of a single perpetrator before congregation action is taken.)

The California Campos case is quite complex, involving multiple victims and cases, and has resulted in the subpoena of Governing Body Member Gerrit Lösch, as well as ALL Watchtower child abuse records, which are kept closely guarded by Watchtower’s legal defense department. While Watchtower admitted that Lösch does control policies affecting Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, their legal team scripted him a get-out-of-court statement where he declared that “I am not, and have never been a corporate officer, director, managing agent, member, or employee of Watchtower…I do not answer to Watchtower.” 

 

Gerrit Lösch denies legal connection to Watchtower to evade subpoena

 

Similar tactics were used in 2015 to prevent Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson from testifying before the Australian Royal Commission, but due to some timely inside information provided to the Commission, Jackson found himself summonsed to court to answer for Watchtower’s mishandling of sexual abuse allegations.

In the United States, Attorney Irwin Zalkin of the Zalkin Law Firm has been working tirelessly for years in bringing litigation against Watchtower and the congregations responsible for failing to protect children. The most recent victim of Gonzalo Campos to file is Osbaldo Padron, whose case has resulted in a lengthy court battle to obtain the secret Watchtower child abuse files, as reported by JW Survey on April 25th 2016.

The Padron case mirrors the Jose Lopez case, where the Justice presiding was so incensed that Watchtower failed to produce Governing  Body member Lösch or the requested documents, that she issued terminating sanctions in the amount of $13,000,000 against Watchtower, which is known in the legal world as a default judgment.  Naturally Watchtower appealed this verdict, and by the time the Osbaldo Padron case was heard, attorneys for the plaintiff and the court agreed that lesser sanctions should be attempted before issuing multi-million dollar terminating judgments.

As reported by JW Survey on 6-25-16, this is exactly what happened. The Superior Court of California, county of San Diego made the final decision to issue what they call “lesser sanctions” in an attempt to convince Watchtower to produce the requested documents from its New York Headquarters. The fine imposed was a total of $4,000 per day, for each day Watchtower failed to produce, or attempt to produce the critical documents.

As expected, Watchtower has appealed this ruling, which will further delay the penalties, possibly well into 2018. Irwin Zalkin explained to JW Survey that the appellate court briefing may not take place until May or June of 2017, which will be followed by oral arguments up to 3 months later. At that point it may be another 90 days before the court issues its opinion.

One thing we have learned during this process is that the wheels of justice turn very slowly at times, but we wish to assure our readers that justice will prevail, as society is chipping away at the undue influence and damaging control yielded by religious organizations who take the stance that their doctrines are higher than the law of the land.

Watchtower Versus Watchtower

One of the more revealing aspects of the child abuse litigation in the Jehovah’s Witness organization has been the legal trickery and maneuvering used to defend the organization against legitimate claims of mishandling abuse reports. We have already mentioned the stall tactics, but Watchtower reached a new low this year when it went so far as to pit its own hired attorneys against one another in an attempt to prevent the uncovering of critical child abuse documents concealed by Watchtower’s legal department.

On July 2nd 2016, the law firm representing Watchtower in California wrote a letter to the CCJW (Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses) in New York, requesting the documents demanded by the Superior Court of California.

 

Watchtower attorney requests documents from CCJW (Jehovah’s Witness)

 

in response, on July 11th 2016, the East Coast JW-hired law firm representing CCJW replied, stating “Since CCJW is not a party to the above litigation and is under no legal duty to provide any documents to Watchtower, my client declines your request.” 

 

CCJW (JWs) decline document production to their own organization

 

If you can wrap your head around this, you will understand exactly why Jehovah’s Witnesses formed the CCJW back in the year 2000, while removing all governing body members from their JW legal corporations, including the Watchtower Bible and Tract Societies of New York and Pennsylvania. While the governing body is responsible for ALL of the activities and direction of their religious organization, they have cleverly removed their names from all public records in an attempt to insulate themselves from subpoenas and prosecution. In JW terms, this is considered “theocratic warfare” – a Witness term which denotes crossing legal and ethical boundaries when the interests of their organization are threatened.

Gerrit Lösch – the Dalai Lama

 

Most Witnesses would find it repulsive to compare one of their governing body members to a well known leader of another religious movement, but for purposes of legal tactics, this is exactly what Watchtower attorneys have done. During the proceedings of the Jose Lopez child abuse case, Watchtower attorneys went so far to insulate Gerrit Lösch, that in open court they compared him to the well known Tibetan guru, the Dalai Lama.

 

Watchtower compares Lösch to the Dalai Lama

 

Back in the UK, JW Survey reported on 7-25-16 that Watchtower’s attempt to block the Charity Commission’s inquiry into Jehovah’s Witnesses was denied. Commissioner Jonathan Sanders stated in a public letter:

 

We opened this inquiry in 2014. Watch Tower then initiated what turned out to be protracted litigation against us. We have robustly defended our position. We were right to open the inquiry. We have won our case in every court that has heard the matter, most recently in the Court of Appeal. Watch Tower then decided to try to appeal to the Supreme Court. I am pleased to tell you that I have learned today that the Supreme Court has rejected their application. This means that there are no more domestic routes of appeal open to Watch Tower. We are therefore going to be doing what we have been doing since 2014, which is continuing with our inquiries.

 

Less than 2 weeks after this announcement by the UK Commission, Watchtower, under intense media pressure and scrutiny, released an updated letter to elders detailing their procedures in handling child abuse accusations. This letter contained very minor revisions to their 2012 letter to elders, leaving most thinking persons wondering whether the Governing Body has any remorse or regret over their woefully inadequate child protection policies. A summary of the 2016 letter can be found here on JW Survey in our August 4th Article. 

Shocking Discoveries

 

In the midst of the legal wranglings, media coverage, and Watchtower damage control, the situation worsened when a JW Survey reader witnessed a convicted child molester marching from door to door in his own neighborhood near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The incident and associated video immediately went viral, leading many to wonder just how many JW rapists or child molesters are knocking on doors, wearing a suit, but hiding a sinister and dangerous secret.

Adding to Watchtower’s ongoing list of negative publicity is yet another case of rape of an underage Utah girl, who was forced by Jehovah’s Witness elders to sit through hours of audio recordings made by the perpetrator during the commission of this crime. As is the case with nearly all sexual abuse allegations, the congregation elders decided to take matters into their own hands rather than contact the police and child protection authorities. This case is still under investigation, and a civil lawsuit against Watchtower and its congregation elders has been filed.

Australian Royal Commission to Reconvene

The significance of the 2015 Australian investigation into the child abuse policies of Jehovah’s Witnesses and other organizations continues to make headlines worldwide.

On November 28th 2016, the Royal Commission released its findings on the Jehovah’s Witness religion, and the results were deeply embarrassing and critical of the JW organization

In a scathing summary, one point made in this report stated:

The Royal Commission found children are not adequately protected from the risk of child sexual abuse in the Jehovah’s Witness organisation and does not believe the organisation responds adequately to allegations of child sexual abuse.

For those who wish to read the entire report – click here

For JW Survey analysis of this report, please review our article on the subject.

Because of the extreme nature of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ woefully inadequate child protection policies (compared to other organizations) – the JW organization has been singled out for yet another in-depth examination of their procedures and rules in 2017. As reported by JW Survey, there will be a new Australian Commission on March 20th 2017, in which the focus will center on the organization itself, and whether it will reform its child protection procedures to fall in line with modern standards of care and safeguarding of children.

When I began writing this article, I had hoped to summarize the events of 2016 into one tidy article, documenting the wide variety of subjects covered by JW Survey during the past year. But when I counted the number of articles dealing with the horrors and subsequent litigation related to all manner of child abuse, I soberly concluded that this subject dominates all others, and has taken center stage as the most critical issue facing the Jehovah’s Witness organization.

The sad part about this is that it is completely unnecessary. While all organizations have abusers who take advantage of our children, the Jehovah’s Witness religion exacerbates an already unpleasant subject, and obstructs justice under the guise of interpreting the Bible in a way no rational person would ever agree with. Further adding to the confusion for Witnesses is the Governing Body’s statement that such accusations against the organization are “apostate driven lies”.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Jehovah’s Witnesses are by and large genuine people who for the most part are not pedophiles or abusers. They do not advocate child abuse in any way. The issue we face is not that Witnesses are inherently criminal, but that their spiritual advisers guide them down a destructive path which has led to the protection of pedophiles while ignoring the very “superior authorities” who are trained to help and protect children during periods of crisis.

This summary of 2016 does not begin to pay our respects to the thousands of abuse victims within the Witness organization, not to mention the elders who have been deleted and cast aside by the organization for doing the right thing – contacting the authorities to report accusations of child abuse. Conversely, I know of men who have gone to their grave after abusing dozens of Witness children, with elders having full knowledge of these crimes, but who have swept these matters under the theocratic rug of Jehovah’s Organization.

JW Survey is committed to lifting this carpet of secrecy and cleaning the filth and obstruction of justice which prevails in such an unhealthy environment. To those who have reached out to us to share their stories, I wish to thank you, and remind you that we will do everything possible in 2017 to bring an end to this immoral and unscriptural travesty.

From the entire team at JW Survey, I wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year. Stay tuned for part 2 of of the year in review, where I will recap some of the other significant events from the past year.

John Redwood

 

John Redwood

 

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152 Responses to 2016: The Year In Review – Part One: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Child Abuse

  1. Summer says:

    BRILL EDITORIAL
    THANKYOU
    EAGERLY WAITING FOR PART 2

  2. twistedsister69 says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR
    Thank you, JR, for another informative, insightful article, the first of 2017. Two thumbs up. I especially liked the part about Watchtower ‘losing its appeal’ – my own double entendre there. 🙂
    I personally would like to review the seemingly innumerable talents and skills of the “Governing Body” of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as their “Elder” class … Let’s seeeee…..
    1. skilled LITIGATORS & experts on criminal law and the constitution (of course, THEIR constitution is the BIBLE!!! – “worldly” constitutions are only good for toilet paper)
    2. expert THERAPISTS
    3. qualified PSYCHOLOGISTS
    4. professional LIFE COACHES
    5. STATESMEN & administrators (after all, will the “elders” not be “PRINCES” in the “New World”?)
    6. astute BUSINESSMEN (well, we all know that! LOL)
    7. all-round in-the-know SHAMANS, GURUS, and SAGES whose bible-based “wisdom” and unbreakable faith in their desert god “yahweh” have helped them craft a veritable “spiritual paradise”, an enclave of peace & security right in the midst of a troubled world
    The list goes on…
    PS… I heard Donald Trump is being considered for a seat on the GB. 😀 Ironically, probably not that far from the truth – I bet they really admire the guy – the quintessential “Alpha Male” 😀

  3. messenger says:

    Please try to get Leah Remini to do a television story on the Watchtower organization. I just tweeted her and suggested that she contact you for information.
    Thank you.

    • Erik says:

      She’s gotta have her hands full, but there are so many things in common…

      • messenger says:

        I signed up on twitter for the sole purpose of sending Leah Remini an email asking her to do a show on Jehovah’s witness policies concerning shunning, disassociation, disfellowshipping, sexual child abuse, blood, and education. I sent another email listing places she could find info-JW Struggle,JW Facts,JW Survey, Silent Lambs, Australian Royal Commission, Britain’s Charity Commission, and Zalklin Law. The emails I sent her are the only ones I’ve ever sent. Because of that I wasn’t sure I was sending them correctly. So, after I sent them I checked Leah Remini’s page and saw them there. However, I went back to her page latter and those emails were not there. Maybe she deleted them unanswered.

        • messenger says:

          I mean those twitter messages were not there…I mistakenly said emails above, because I haven’t otherwise used twitter.

  4. Caroline says:

    The problem with our religion (JW) is that there aren’t any famous Witnesses who have been mistreated like Leah Remini was mistreated where she finally woke up from her indoctrination and is brave enough to come out publicly like she has done but we do have a weapon now that maybe, just maybe, will be the thing that can bring awareness to the public about the dangers of becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and that is Lloyd’s book, “The Reluctant Apostate”.

    He has done such a wonderful job on that book that I can’t see any other book ever taking it’s place in uncovering what the religion is all about. It is a very long book (almost 800 pages) but that is because he did not leave anything out that people should know about the religion before becoming one.

    In order for the public to be aware of our little religion, they need to see it in their faces like on the Time’s best seller’s list and then the media would want to hear what Lloyd has to say about the religion and he would be on different programs talking about the abuses within our religion and Witnesses might be brave enough to pick up a copy, even just to prove he is wrong about our religion.

    The Watchtower can’t sue him for what he has said, just as they couldn’t sue Ray Franz. Since Lloyd is already disassociated, they can’t hurt him anymore than he has already been hurt so he has the freedom to expose them for the snake oil salesmen that the are.

    Every one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and those who know Jehovah’s Witnesses and are related to Jehovah’s Witnesses and those contemplating being a JW, should read this book.

    We know most JW’s won’t read it but if they see that book being promoted, they might just get up enough courage to read it.

    There is nothing in that book that they can point to and say he’s lying because everything he put in that book is backed up by Watchtower literature.

    It is scholarly and brilliant. We can do it (bring the Watchtower down) by purchasing that book when it comes out on Amazon.

    If we can make his book a best seller, it will get publisher’s and the media’s attention and hopefully it will have an impact just as Leah Remini’s shows are doing for Scientology. All it takes is one brave person to come out publicly to make the public aware of what is really going on in that religion but in our own small way, we can help bring it down by our support of Lloyd’s work.

    • Ready 4 to Fade says:

      I agree the book is stunning and really well done. I think cedars has really found his niche in writing. I wonder if there would be any way to start a campaign to buy enough copies to have them shipped en masse to every kingdom Hall in the developed world. Do you think it would have any impact? Or just be in bad taste?

      • Caroline says:

        I think once everybody reads it that have pre-ordered it, word will spread about what a wonderful work it is and hopefully it will take off all by itself.

        Rarely have I ever read a book with nearly 800 pages and couldn’t put it down like that book and you are right. Lloyd has found his niche in writing and hopefully his book will continue to be published where anybody can get a copy, not like Crisis of Conscience which has gone out of print.

        We have needed a book like this for a long time to give to people to wake them up, like Crisis of Conscience has done in the past.

        I am hoping that those other people that are making Youtube videos will read his book and help encourage their subscribers to order his book too so it gets a lot of deserved attention.

        The more attention it gets, the better chance more and more people will read it and word will spread until the real ugly truth about the Watchtower Organization comes into the light and Watchtower comes to it’s knees when it loses all it’s support. That is my hope.

        There are going to be plenty of people in the Organization and those ex-jw’s who are going to accuse him of trying to profit off of being an ex-jw activist but what is more important? Ray Franz put a lot of work into his books and he deserved to be paid for his work and all the work that Lloyd put into his book, he deserves to be paid for it as well.

        The most important thing is the bringing down of the Watchtower, not being jealous of the fact that Lloyd is being paid for his work.

        It took so much work for him to put that book together and who else was willing to do it? We need to be grateful to him and his family for his sacrifice and their sacrifice of him during that time for our benefit.

        If the Society is brought to nothing, we can all finally get our families back and I will do anything to support anybody who is willing to put in the work such as Lloyd has done and be very grateful for something that he accomplished that I know I could never do in a hundred years!!!

        • Ready 4 to Fade says:

          My wife had a good suggestion: to gift copies of “The Reluctant Apostate” to news personalities along with a personal letter imploring them to give this issue the press it deserves. Scientology has what 40,000 active members and look at all of the buzz around it. Just the mere fact that there are 8 million JW’s and that they now have a separate study version of the WT meant to stay out of direct public circulation, which keeps the rank and file in rank and file should raise some serious suspicions as to the levels of coercion which exist in this organization. I’m starting with CNN reporter, Anderson Cooper and NY Times journalist, Nicholas Kristoff.

          • Caroline says:

            @Ready 4 to Fade, I think your wife has a very good idea. It infuriates me that JW’s remain under the radar. All of us that have been in it for so long and finally came out, know that probably if we felt scared to death all the time that we were Witnesses that we’d die for want of blood, probably they all have that fear also but are too scared to say anything about it.

            We all know that we were coerced into taking the blood card. None of us would have voluntarily put that card in our purses or wallets unless we were coerced into it by the Society with the threat of shunning if we took blood.

            I’d bet my life on the fact that all the Witnesses that carry that card, are terrified every day of their life of having to die in case of an accident or leukemia either for themselves or their children or grandchildren and the world thinks that all Witnesses want to have that card in their wallets or purses and that could not be further from the truth.

            I so much wished I was a famous ex-JW so I could go on television and expose that religion as Leah Remini is doing. Lloyd is young enough to keep his book in the public eye for a long time and hopefully sooner or later, he and his book will get some needed attention.

            Even if his book saves the life of one child, how much is that worth????

    • Ready 4 to Fade says:

      I agree the book is stunning and really well done. I think cedars has really found his niche in writing. I wonder if there would be any way to start a campaign to buy enough copies to have them shipped en masse to every kingdom Hall in the developed world. Do you think it would have any impact? Or just be in bad taste? Seeing this review really helped me to realize how much has really happened. It’s easy to get disheartened when change doesn’t come as quickly as you hoped.

  5. Vox Populi says:

    Thank you, JR, for another excellent article. As long as the WTBTS continue to deny that they have serious problems and flawed policies which are in urgent need of addressing, peoples’ and organisations will continue to judge them in a negative light.

    A fine witness they’re giving; I think NOT.

  6. ruthlee says:

    Lies Lies Lies it’s all apostate lies!!!! Isn’t it funny all this distraction just does not further their panda kingdom one step. The plot is thick and well and truly missed. Mr Redwood you did a great job reviewing the madness that is watchtower. The matter of corporate pride seems to be the overriding factor not truth or honour or love of god. I had an interesting conversation with a full in jdub over xmas. The point being is that this organisation was set up for the sole purpose of advertising the king and his kingdom. What a pity they got side tracked by real estate and legal wrangles with wicked kiddie fiddlers. They are so off beam with their advertising campaign that even with the best of intentions the scheme has been a dismal failure. I do not see the hordes and masses flocking to jdub kingdom paradise or whatever new buzz word they come up with. As a social experiment the lab rats did not perform well.2017 will have it’s moments no doubt, I just hope there will be more disclosure. As I have said before surely someone at HQ who has access to the list should “do the right thing” and publish it either because of their legal conscience or their godgiven one. My first public Happy New Year to all who read this cheers Ruthlee.

  7. Robyn Bass says:

    Thank you JW survey for your continued efforts to alert people about watchtower’s horrendous child sex abuse policies. I faded many many years ago & live in the UK, all my family & many extended family are JW’s & live in Australia & I have always maintained a good relationship with them. Although I have wanted to say things to them over the years I never have because I have always been frightened of the religion. All that changed in Feb.16 when I stumbled across the Aust. royal com. by chance after seeing the movie “Spotlight”. I watched the whole inquiry on u tube & was shocked and sickened. I decided to ask my parents about it & they told me it was just rubbish off the internet & the “Shepherd” book was a apostate lie & the phone was put down on me. A week later I phoned again telling them that the book was used at the A.R.C along with many letters from Bethal in New York & is the Jeffery Jackson at the A.R.C who is a governing body member the same kid I remember in our small congregation in western Queensland, this time I was told I was possessed by Satan & the phone slammed down on me.
    At this point I was forced to do intensive research into this religion I had faded out of by the age of 26. (He was the same kid) I have been struck dumb to not only discover the undisputabld facts of the child sexual abuse cover up around the world, but that it’s a cult.
    Everyone in my family have completely cut me off despite my now 102 e mails. I have been wiped from their Skype & the phone is on answer, no reply to my cards & letters.
    I was coerced into baptism at 15, yes did the pioneering thing & hoped to marry a special pioneer & have never been disfellowshipped.
    My bro.in law is a high up elder in the Sydney branch with my sister.
    When lloyd Evans was talking about the summer 16 convention & the shunning vidoes I was skeptical (as even then my brain washed mind kicked in and thought – he must be an apostate.) how very very wrong I was.
    I got myself to a convention (the first in 30 years) to see and hear it for myself. I was appalled & sickened again.
    I made myself seek out 5 different separate elders to ask about the A.R.C & was shocked by their aggressive attitude. I must say except one, who appeared to be in charge of the high vis. men in the walkie talkie room. He sat with me and listened & said he was aware of the A.R.C & the Charity Com. here in the UK, with his head down he just said very sadly that he couldn’t make a comment. I realize now that quite possibly he could be one of the elders who knows the score but are too frightened to say anything, because as you all know “speak out of turn & your disfellowshipped & then your shunned by everyone and you loose your family. And a rank & file member would tell you they are not a cult.
    So a big thank-you lloyd & again all the team at JW survey as your vidoes were initially the catalyst to my being able to say “I am now absolutely fully awake” after years of being out of the religion but still being frightened of it.
    After 10 months of solid research (also from many other u tube channels) including JW literature & best of all JW.org & my old black bible, plus the new grey one, I know all the facts and tell as many people as I can.
    I read something the other day from the Reveal web site, “the truth will not tell itself”, that struck a chord with me, so,I would encourage anyone who feels strongly or has been affected by this religion (or cult as I call it now) to tell as many people as you can, every small voice like mine is another chip in the mighty watchtower organization. Be empowered like I have been & contact the A.R.C or the charity com.& tell your story, because without us the will of the people, the law enforcers hands are tied. Children’s innocent lives are at stake.

    Although my family have no idea of my now strong feelings, I can see the future for me & them is pretty bleak, not only from the JW literature but from the hundreds of experiences documented on line
    where families have had the guts riped out of them by this cult.
    I swing from being very sad to extremely angry.
    Is my younger sister & bro.in law that I have never been able to contact to personally talk about this, really prepared to go down this route for the rest of our lives.
    My parents are elderly, are they really choosing to toe the party line & treat me as dead & perhaps die soon without ever allowing me to have contact with them again, because my only crime was to ask them about the A.R.C.

    • Chris Monk says:

      I wish you good courage. It must be incredibly shocking to witness your family close down like that. But there is always the possibility that one or more of them will waken from their cognitive dissonance, which is the technical term for their behaviour of denial. I really do believe that the results of the ARC will be profound. I also believe/expect/hope that Watchtower Britain will lose its charitable status. I was reading another UK Charity Commission report on a different organisation which implied that ALL cases relating to child sexual abuse among any UK charity have to be reported directly to the CC. Clearly this hasn’t happened with either Watctower Britain or the individual congregations themselves. I think the way Watchtower Britain has behaved has angered the CC, as evidently Watctower Australia has the ARC. I think that Watctower’s arrogance and non-cooperation will eventually come back to haunt it.

      • Robyn Bass says:

        Thanks for your reply Chris, people’s support helps me no end. To now know and understand that this inhuman shunning is happening all over the world and see how spectacularly evil it is from people who claim to be soooo loving has shown me what a tremendous capacity the JW’s have for hate. Even though I was out for many years I still thought it was the one & only true religion & that I would die at armageddon.
        Why ? because I was born in & told that. The ARC & my families treatment focused my mind to do research for the very first time in my life. Roll on March 2017.

        • Winston Smith says:

          Ah yes, Armageddon. They love to drill that one into you and hold it over your head. Remember all the chilling pictures of Armageddon in the various literature?

          It’s no different than the hellfire doctrine for nominal Christians. Either do what we say or else! It’s a form of control and undue influence. And according to JW doctrine everyone who is not an active member, 99.9% of the world’s population, will be destroyed. My friend once pointed out that by this doctrine, God has a really poor success rate. Less than 0.1% of his creation meets his design criteria?

          Although I was born in, I no longer carry any fear about Armageddon. Some awful things may happen in this world, but it won’t be divine execution because you happened to choose the “wrong” religious group to belong to (or you were born into the “wrong” one).

          WS

          • outandabout says:

            Spot on, Winston.

            The WT is showing us that by taking the bible literally will create a society no better than the one it condemns. Thank you, Watchtower, for that lesson.

            The same with Islam.

            But is anybody willing to listen.

          • Winston Smith says:

            It is claimed by the Watchtower that their message is one of peace, but it is really violence disguised to look like peace.

            Thus:
            War is peace.
            Freedom is slavery.
            Ignorance is strength.

            WS

          • Andrew Haas says:

            I agree. The God of the Witnesses is quite unsuccessful. Adam condemned all men to sin and death and the best God can do is save 0.1% of the worlds population. That means that Satan is stronger than Christ who died for the sins of the world. Satan wins – God fails. This goes against 1 Corinthians 15:22 which states, ” For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made
            alive.” I am an ex Witness who now believes in universal reconciliation. I’ve come to this theological position after much study. It speaks of a God who loves all, not just 8 million.

          • messenger says:

            outandabout if you analyze the WT preaching messages you might conclude that the WT does not teach the scriptures literally at all. I’ve listened to some preachers on the radio and they all teach a much more literal interpretation of scripture. Think about those hundreds of scriptures the WT applied to themselves in books like ‘Man’s Salvation Out Of World Distress At Hand’ that literally applied to the ancient Jews. They did that same thing in hundreds , maybe thousands of their publications when you count their magazines and books. They’re experts at con, because they claim over and over to do things one way-like interpret the scriptures literally-or let the Bible interpret itself, but they do the exact opposite. How about how they always claim Christians don’t live by rules but by principles? Well what happens if a JW lights up a cigarette in a Kingdom Hall parking lot. Are they DFd over a principle or a rule? I’ve never heard any other preacher take as many liberties with scriptural interpretations as the WT does. That’s why they always have to revise their interpretations, because they make them up. It’s like Moses leading the Isrealites looking for a promise land and can’t find it and saying, “ah looky here, ah looky there, ah looky everywhere.’ But God told me (the gb) to looky and you to follow.”

  8. Chris Monk says:

    Great overview. Thanks for your hard work.

  9. david reece says:

    To who does one make a report to about child abuse by JH
    Every time I try to make a report its ignored

    • Ready 4 to Fade says:

      I would start with your local police. It would seem that they would at least take your statement for the record, even if the statute of limitations is invoked. If it is a case of ongoing abuse, it is imperative to get the victim to a hospital emergency room as soon as possible so that evidence can be gathered in a timely fashion which could be used to bring the perpetrator to justice.

    • John Redwood says:

      David

      Feel free to email us at contact@jwsurvey.org with details of your location and any other pertinent information. As mentioned by Ready 4 to Fade, the police are a valuable resource and can connect you with investigators and child protection authorities. There are limitations in some areas for how long you can file since an abuse event occurred, but these professionals can direct you in this regard. We wish you the very best and hope to end the atmosphere of indifference and self-policing in the JW Organization which has led to so many additional cases of abuse which should never have happened.

      JR

    • messenger says:

      google child protective services

    • Robyn Bass says:

      David, I’d like to encourage you to go with the other contributors comments. Especially if the sex abuse is current & if it’s a historic case of child sex abuse it may bring some sort of closure for you. If you are looking to help the ARC or the Charity com. here in the UK they have been encouraging people to get in touch & tell their story. Log on to their web sites and get their e mails, postal address or phone number’s. Again it may help you personally to tell your story with the assurance of being believed. Kind regards.

  10. Private says:

    I too had unfair dealings with elders blaming me and sweeping things that happened to me under the rug and leaving a blame card on me. It’s been five years and I still can’t let go. I pray to feel whole at times but this scar was big

    • Erik says:

      write it out and share it~good therapy

    • Ricardo says:

      Private, please understand that it is the policy to blame the victim. Many, many of us who love Jehovah have been bullied mercilessly by the elders, and we still go to the meetings and are still bullied. And it is always our fault. The elders are untouchables. They say to let go of the past and look to the future. But they haven’t changed, they are still bullies. In the past, present and future they will be bullies. Should we let go? Did the Greek-speaking widows in the first century simply let go? No, they made a noise about it and looked for a solution. And Jehovah blessed their efforts. Is Jehovah happy with the culture of bullying he can see in the organization? I am sure he is very disturbed by it. We need someone to make a noise, to genuinely care about the victims of elder abuse and give them compassion. Jehovah will support such an effort. Can all us victims of elder abuse join our voices together to be that voice of complaint? Yes, I believe we can. How? I have no idea. But keeping quiet is not good for our mental health, not good for the victims and not good for the organization as a whole. Does anyone have any idea how we can make our experiences of mental and emotional abuse, especially by the elders, known so as to create change in this organization?

      • Caroline says:

        Ricardo, do you believe that Jehovah is directing the Watchtower Society? Do you believe that Jehovah God is using the Watchtower Society as his one and only spokesman on earth?

        I don’t think so because the Society lies about a whole slew of things and all the time that I was a Witness, I was taught that God hates liars.

      • Winston Smith says:

        The mention of bullies resonated with me. If you consider the unabridged, unbiased history of this organization, you will find that JF Rutherford originally used bullying to usurp control of the organization and to keep dissenters in line. It’s no surprise his successors continue using such methods.

        WS

        • Big B says:

          @ Winston Smith:

          Bingo! They (J.W’s) can call themselves whatever they want, as far as I am concerned most of their contrived doctrines come from that bullying, drunken sot the so called “Judge” Rutherford.

          Their places of worship (Kingdom Hall’s), the door to door ministry (“Advertise, Advertise, Advertise the King and His Kingdom”), their political neutrality, their name (Jehovah’s Witnesses) and most of their doctrine can all be traced back to J.F. Rutherford.

          They’d do well dropping the label Jehovah’s Witnesses and call themselves what they truly are Adventists or “Rutherfordites”.

      • messenger says:

        Ricardo the society is well aware of what goes on-elder abuse in congregations. Letters from publishers have been sent to them, which they’ve responded to, reports have been made to other elders and circuit overseers, some of them accepted the reports as truth and responded to them to some degree. Many of the elders who are dirty so to speak stick together, and they are afraid of getting in trouble from the WT society. I suggest you talk to the ones giving you trouble individually and be very straight forward with them. You might even let them know you’ll notify the WT if their inappropriate actions continue. Make sure to talk to them separately, even if they have ganged up in a group against you. Speak to each one privately. That’s the society’s way. And remember even a sister can challenge inappropriate actions from an elder; the society just does not want that done in public. If inappropriate actions against you or your household continue after those steps speak privately to the circuit overseer about it, or write a letter to the WT and name the offenders and what they did. The WT will answer you, and also send a copy of your letter to the elder body who they will ask to meet with you in an attempt to resolve the conflict.

        If you attempt to spread stories about the elders to others and do not follow these steps you take a chance of them attacking you for slander. Expect the elders to deny any accusation you will make against them. Most won’t admit to any wrong doing when they know it’s just your word against theirs. And expect them to stick together in their denials if the body has been working together for a long time. However, occasionally elders are sent in to congregations that have this sort of trouble, and if so that sort of elder will probably believe you because he has been informed by the CO to look for problems. DO NOT under any circumstance try to gather a group against them or let them know that you even read from this site. If you let them know you read from this site expect that they will investigate you for apostasy which could lead to you being expelled from the church. They might also kick you out for communicating with others that have disassociated themselves or have been disfellowshipped. No matter what happens don’t loose your faith. Consider yourself spiritually persecuted when what you mentioned happens, so don’t weaken and loose your faith. Also, beware, the WT has spies. So be careful as a serpent (that might get stepped on).

        • Ricardo says:

          @Messenger, I appreciate your advice. I have spoken to COs about a particular elder, but because he is well thought of by the branch nothing gets done about him. Let me give you a run down of what this particular elder has done to me (others have followed a similar pattern, leading me to believe it is a culture in the organization for the elders to be bullies): he was involved in disciplining me judicially, but had to apologize to me when I appealled the decision and was cleared of any wrongdoing. Then, when the Kingdom Hall was being dedicated and I was an RP he refused to invite me or my family to the dedication. The reason he gave when I confronted him with the CO: he doesn’t like me so didn’t invite me. (Another apology from him). When my wife and I separated he was involved in disfellowshipping my wife but didn’t inform me. After a letter from me to the CO, he gave another apology. At the meeting to give me the apology, I said it would be good to put all our bad feelings behind us and try to be friends and let’s have a coffee together. His reply: “I don’t like having coffee with you. See this brother to my left, I have coffee with him because I like to have coffee with him. The same with the brother on my right. But I don’t like to have a coffee with you.” Although the other two elders at that meeting had coffee with me to mend matters, he left. Of course there are other minor things he has done also: not giving me privileges, criticizing me in front of my son. The best of it all was, when I said to him that if he had handled things properly with my wife at the start, things didn’t need to finish like this, he shrugged his shoulders and said: “As elders we aren’t trained to deal with people like your wife.” As incompetant as he is, nothing I do can get him to stand down or stop him from bullying me.

          This is where teamwork is needed, I believe, by victims getting together to play mind games with elders like this and make their lives a misery. And for our own sanity there needs to be the opportunity to talk these things out with other sympathetic ones. Most brothers who have not been victims of this type of abuse by elders don’t like to hear about it as we are taught this is negative thinking. And we shouldn’t complain about the elders. And so these elders get away with it, bully others, and the new victims blame themselves and think there must be something wrong with them.

          Messenger, this type of constant abuse has got to be exposed and stopped, and as it is widespread in the organization something besides just talking to the elders individually needs to be done. Just what is the best way to expose this bullying I don’t know. But victims must get together to protect themselves, stick up for themselves and advise one another. If this could be done in an international fashion, then great.

          Personally, I prefer my righteous indignation to be displayed like Jesus did with the money changers or like Nehemiah did with the Jewish leaders who allowed their sons to marry pagans. I believe if more brothers displayed their righteous indignation in this way there would be very few problems with the elders.

          • messenger says:

            Ricardo,
            My opinion is that you should stay away from this brother, he won’t work with you in a Christian (loving) way, and he’ll probably marginalize you as long as you share the same congregation. The only proactive course I see you taking is sending off a letter to the WT, because the CO probably didn’t reported those incidents. If the WT receives enough negative reports about him they might do something; they’ll probably counsel him if you send in a letter. The most important thing a letter might do for you though is to scare him. Most elders fear getting in trouble from their superiors at WT. The letter also may prevent other elders from joining him in directing insults at you, if they become otherwise inclined to do so. If they join him they to will marginalize you-that’s a typical MO. And don’t be afraid of him, for unless he catches you at something the WT can prosecute he could only try to intimidate you and marginalize you. I personally wouldn’t have anything to do with him.

            Remember the WT has spies. I’ve known some of them. Some probably read sights like this one, JW dating sights, and I even heard elders were given instructions to check friend’s facebook accounts a few years back. If they catch you here that guy will probably DF you.

            No matter what happens know you’re loved, I love you, and so do a lot of other people, as do Christ and God. You can make it into the New World as a Witness despite the problems the organization has. Salvation does not come from an organization. People will be judged individually by Christ. So don’t let those that cause stumbling cause you to stumble. The weeds will be with the wheat until the harvest, and that hasn’t happened yet.

            I wish you the best!
            Your Brother.

          • messenger says:

            Ricardo, you make a lot of good points. At one level I agree with you. But remember, they killed Jesus. You’re in the same situation. The sort of folks that killed Jesus surround you. The Pharisees were not inherently evil, they were regular people with strict religious views about keeping their congregations pure in worship.

            Where you are, the leaders around you enforce rules upon people more strictly than the Pharisees did. And if they perceive you as a threat they’ll kill you as they did Christ. Is it worth it?

            If you complain by doing so according to their rules they won’t attempt to kill you. Complaining to their highest authorities about individuals is accepted within their policies. Complaining about their interpretations is not. Neither is revolting against their authority figures. I suggested the steps I did above in hopes if followed those steps would lead to your most peaceful outcome. For people like you and I we can never be at complete peace around Pharisees.

          • Ricardo says:

            @messenger, I do understand what you are saying. I try to avoid any elders every time I attend meetings cos I am traumatized by their treatment of me. But it has become more than simply talking to the CO about single elders. It is the culture. I changed congs: the elders in the new cong after a couple of years want to take me off RP because I got 839 hours that year, not 840. When I said I wanted to appeal, the COBE and secretary came to my door and raised their voices at me. My family was inside and could hear the elders yell at me. Another case: my friend already stood down as an elder, so now that he has no priveleges the elders in the cong target his son, they have the son taken out of the drama, don’t tell my friend why. He fronts the elders with the CO. The elders lie to cover themselves. Back and forth, back and forth, CO after CO, until the elders present my friend with a letter from the GB saying for my friend to make peace with the elders and get over it and stop talking about it. My friend continued to seek justice. The latest CO investigated and found the elders didn’t actually get a letter from the GB, they falsely made one up themselves to stop my friend seeking justice.

            So, once they finish with us, they start on our family. Why should people who love Jehovah be treated like dung by our leaders. That is why we need some sort of forum where we can record the injustices, so we know the problem is not with us, it’s with the elders but the elders always blame us. Something must be done to help the victims and stop these bullies attacking us and our families. The sheep must defend themselves and help themselves and let these bullies know we are not dung! We are sheep, not dung. We are lovers of Jehovah, not dung. And the spiritual paradise which is always talked about is not a paradise all of us enjoy, if we are constantly bullied.

          • Caroline says:

            Ricardo, the hardest thing I ever did in my life was to walk away from the Kingdom Hall and my elders are very nice.

            I walked away because in my heart of hearts, I had to admit to myself that there is no evidence at all that any God would back the Watchtower Society because of all their lies and cover-ups.

            The elders are not appointed by “Holy Spirit”. Even the Governing Body admit they are not backed up by Holy Spirit or they wouldn’t admit in the February 2017 study Watchtower that they make mistakes.

            If they actually were backed up by Holy Spirit, then they wouldn’t make mistakes. They just want you to think that Jehovah is directing the Organization so they can dupe you into putting in those 840 hours in field service every month. They don’t want 10 hour publishers. They want pioneers.

            If they don’t want you as a pioneer, then why in the world would you even want to support them at all? Can you imagine how they would treat you if you only got 3 or 4 hours in service every month or God forbid, you broke a leg and couldn’t get out at all?

            We are all judged by others in the congregation by our looks, our hours in field service, our money, our education, our house and cars, our jobs, our age, our marriages, whether or not we have a position in the congregation and on and on. They want the public to think that is not the case, but we all know that that is the case.

            What makes it even worse is that Witnesses are forbidden to read any literature that is critical of Watchtower or look at anything on TV that is critical of Watchtower or talk to anybody who is critical of the Watchtower and if we find something out about Watchtower that shows Watchtower is lying about anything and we tell anybody about it, that person will go to the elders and we will be called before a committee meeting and disfellowshipped for apostasy.

            What kind of organization is it that we are told that when we study with people that they need to examine their religion against the Bible but we as a people are forbidden to do the same thing with our religion?

            The Society knows exactly what they are doing when it comes to disfellowshipping us for telling anybody anything that we find out that is bad about the Organization.

            Disfellowshipping us to keep us quiet is their goal.

            You can leave but you had better never tell anybody why you left or you will be shunned. It’s an evil organization and could never be backed up by any god.

            You should ask your elders if there is any proof that God is directing the Organization and then point them to the February 2017 study article and have them explain how God could be directing the organization if the organization makes mistakes in doctrine? Have them explain the difference between being directed by Holy Spirit and not being inspired. If you do anything like what I am suggesting, you will be kicked out on your heels.

            What does that tell you about your religion?

            The Society wants you to think they are inspired. That is why they say if you leave the Organization, you are leaving Jehovah but if they are not inspired, then they can’t be directed by Holy Spirit either and they are nothing but a corporation pretending to be a religion to acquire real estate.

            That is what you are involved in and like I said, it was the hardest thing I ever did but I walked away from it after serving it for 50 years of my life and I lost all those so-called “friends” at the hall.

            Their love is totally conditional and you will find that out the moment you question anything like how can they be “spirit” directed and not be inspired.

            Also ask the elders how to prove that Jesus began ruling in heaven in 1914 when Matthew 28:18 clearly says that all authority had been given to Jesus on his resurrection. You ask them a simple question like that and you will be accused of apostasy. Do it and see what happens.

            Nobody should be AFRAID to question their religion against the Bible.

            If you lose that kind of friends, then what are you losing? You are losing an illusion of friendship. It is so hard to come to that realization but do you want to live your life with the illusion of friendship?

            There must be people in the world who love you for who you are, not for the fake person you would have to be to be serving those people if you can’t question your own teachings and be kicked out for it.

    • messenger says:

      @private
      I’ve known elders in different locales that admitted to me that not just alone but also working in concert with their bodies of elders, or at least with some combination of members from those groups, they practiced marginalizing and bullying brothers and sister. Because the problem is so wide spread is it possible that the practice originated from an old Bethel policy? The Watchtower has claimed that back in the 1920s or early 30s some Bible Students, including some elected elders, did not want to go door to door or turn in field service reports to Bethel. The WT claims many of them left the ‘Truth’ over that issue. But why would they leave over that? Why didn’t they just stay and not go door to door, and/or not turn in the slip if they didn’t want to?

      An author of the book ‘I Was A Watchtower Slave’ claimed that in 1919 or shortly thereafter as a teenager he served at Bethel in Germany. He said that was before the WT asked all Bible Students to turn in field service report slips. The author stated congregations back then were more like independent churches, that only subscribed to the WT, and used it in their services. There was no centralized authority controlling the churches.

      He said when some of the church members refused to go door to door and/or turn in report slips Bethel Germany sent representatives from Bethel to take authority away from the elected church elders. The author claims when he was just in his early 20’s he went to one of those German churches, listened to the service for a bit, then stood up and said, “Who is for the Watchtower, follow me.” Then he claimed to have marched a number of members out the door, and report to Bethel that the members remaining were the ‘evil slave.’

      He believed that Bethel US instituted this take over policy first in Germany to see if it worked before enforcing a similar policy in the US. The Writer claimed the Germans back then were more compliant by nature than Americans, who he considered more independent like cowboys. So, the Bethel US did not take control of the United States churches until after he had migrated to the US, while he was serving at Bethel in the US. Because Americans were more independent Bethel US was a bit more tactful here. They sent in more mature brothers that were titled company servant. Bethel would assign authority to theses company servants who were instructed to take authority away from the elected elders. They would marginalize those that were elders before their arrival, if they would not follow directions like turning in a field service slip and going door to door. He claimed the policy was very effective. The original elders were marginalized to the point most or all of those marginalized elders left their churches. This brother claims to have gone on to become a zone overseer, which at that time served the same function as a modern circuit overseer.

      So, could this bullying/marginalization tactic, that is practiced by elders today have had its origin back in 1920s, directed as a policy from Bethel? Could those original company servants have passed that idea on to the congregation the leaders that followed? And could generations of leaders that came after have seen it carried out and joined in the bullying fun when ever they chose to do so? If so, that would explain why the marginalization/bullying tactics are so wide spread.

      • messenger says:

        @ private
        But, they’ll never admit that they picked on you, even if you confront front them with evidence. They won’t admit to it. The WT phrase is, “it must be a MISUNDERSTANDING.” Yet when targeted they’ll make you know the abuse is directed at you, or their actions would serve no purpose. The reasons are always for pitifully petty reasons. If it were not for petty reasons the elders would probably counsel you about something, that is unless their gutless, but that’s probably not the case. Their probably just jerks who have no strong reason to move against you, or even to counsel you.

        Best wishes and stay strong. The same kind of jerks killed your Lord.

      • Caroline says:

        @messenger, I am surprised you had elders who admitted to you that they practiced bullying brothers and sisters.

        I have heard so many stories about bullying brothers and sisters from the elders but it was from friends who are of the rank and file who told me what their elders were like. Some of their stories were so unbelievable that I’d have given anything to be in their congregations for just a few weeks so I could tell them off myself if I saw what they were doing to the rank and file Witnesses. When I saw abuses, I was never afraid to say anything or write to the Society, even when it was a Witness who would tell me what was going on in their congregation. One time a sister was telling me about what was going on in her congregation and I couldn’t believe it so I approached an elder in her congregation after a circuit assembly and I wouldn’t let him go until he admitted what they were doing in that congregation and I wrote to the Society and within a year, almost all those elders were removed.

        Every congregation has it’s own personality but the head of the snake is Bethel. The Organization is supposed to be one organized unit, i.e. the elder’s secret book.

        Power goes to people’s heads and some are so anal that they think it’s up to them to keep their congregation “clean” and you have others that don’t have strong enough personalities to stand up to what they think is bullying. Eventually if most of the elders have a power hungry attitude and personality that they have to keep the congregation “clean”, they won’t stand up to the bullying and that congregation will stagnate. If the elders are really nice and take a real interest in the rank and file, I think the congregation would thrive. It’s all a mind game with them. I have been in congregations where the elders were wonderful. I believe that when the elders decided to give the marking talk on me, it wasn’t because they were bullying me but they felt they were doing what God wanted in order to keep the congregation clean. I believe that they loved me and still do but they are obeying the “slave” because they really think they are doing the right thing and are brainwashed.

        It does all go back to the origins and Rutherford. The Society can’t go too far away from the original Rutherford religion as “new light”. There are too many older Witnesses from the 40’s and 50’s yet to get away with that if they want to be organized.

        We were always told that the thing that made us the “truth” was the fact that no matter where you go in the world, we all believe the same thing so it goes on and on and the Society can’t go to far away from the original teachings, at least not to fast. They have to go very slowly and wait for the older generation to die off first but each congregation has it’s own “personality”.

        • messenger says:

          @ Hi Caroline
          I agree with what you wrote here. I have been in appointed positions in various congregations before. Servants who know other servants will say things to them that they wouldn’t dare tell publishers or say to a congregation. They would be afraid of getting counseled for sowing seeds of disunity. Also, I’ve confronted elders in the past about such actions, and they admitted to me that they did them in concert with other elders, only because we were having private conversations. Other elders I know were abused themselves, and some related seeing elders in congregations I didn’t attend abuse friends. As Christ said the weeds are with the wheat…the stumbling stones are there.
          Best wishes!

        • Big B says:

          @ Caroline;

          “Every congregation has it’s own personality but the head of the snake is Bethel. The Organization is supposed to be one organized unit, i.e. the elder’s secret book”.

          Quite right Caroline; the head of the snake is Bethel.

          For example, today as I sit here in Tidewater Virginia with between 5″-12″ of snow and the state police have warnings against travel; I am reminded of the “heat” we received from the C.O. for not driving over 100 miles to attend a Circuit Assembly in Richmond, VA. after the state police issued warnings against travelling northwestward.

          Where did he get his authority to jump in our faces to disobey the superior authorities against travel? Would the Society have paid for the damages occurred while traveling during hazardous conditions? Bethel H.Q. jumped in the C.O.’s face why?The society missed out on collecting moneys from charging the friends in the circuit for their seminar. Yes they (G.B.) charge “by the head” a number of $’s for these assemblies before the first light switch is thrown, the first toilet flushed or the first door is opened.

          “There are too many older Witnesses from the 40’s and 50’s yet to get away with that if they want to be organized”. On that point those friends would have to have been youngsters as most of them have passed away now, especially those who remember the Rutherford dictatorship. I grew up during Nathan Knorr’s presidency (1959) and I am now turning 65.

          You can believe that if there are any free thinkers in Bethel they are indeed waiting for the older ones to die off so they can get their 3/5 majority to change things. Yep, NEW LIGHT guaranteed to be revealed every 20 years, ad nauseum. 🙂

  11. Peggy says:

    Thank you all at jwsurvey, I appreciate your work so much. As the new year is here, I expect most jw’s have the new yearbook with the grand report from the world. I try to get a look at it while at my dads. I will look for a loss in the numbers in many places. Especially the USA. You can’t get the line by line country totals and % over the previous year at jw.org(they must not want public viewing) Any one out there have a copy? I just want that report for review.

    • Ricardo says:

      Usually we don’t get the yearbook for months yet. In 2016 we got it in about April. Sorry to dampen your spirit of optimism.

    • Ricardo says:

      You may notice in your parusal of the statistics that most of the increase comes from three places: Brazil, Mexico and the USA. A little bit comes from places like Nigeria, Ecuador and Angola. If there is ever going to be a decrease overall then Brazil needs to have had a bad year. Mexico looks to be slowing down, but the USA still powers ahead steadily, probably due to the Hispanics. I don’t think Mexico or Brazil will be affected by the Royal Commission much. But looking at the number of Youtube videos from ex-JWs in the USA, the increase may not be so great this year.

      • Gameisover says:

        Just one little detail: they “fix” and lie about
        The statistics. The truth is completely different. They are spiraling down!!

  12. Whip It says:

    During the last year, our local paper here in our town ran a story on a JW cover up in the case of a minor being raped, the elders handling the case did the normal thing and didn’t report it, the victim now grown up went to the police & reported it, the Prep got jail time & the paper ran the story, one Elder said to me that he really wanted the SOC to sue for defamation, huh, the story is true, well guess what, the same paper printed the worst head lines from 2016, we are in it again.

    • messenger says:

      A legal defense against slander and libel is TRUTH…if the story printed is true the plaintiff (WT) will have no case that they can win, and they may stand a chance of getting a counter suit against them for malicious prosecution if TRUTH is obviously on the defendant’s side, which it would be if the reporting was on a court case or someone’s arrest. As a side issue in the United States people are also free to express their opinions. If I say I THINK he’s a SOB then the SOB has no case, but if I go around saying he IS a SOB then the SOB might have a slander case; but I’m no lawyer, although I did take some paralegal courses. This information was covered in those courses.

  13. Sharon Christensen says:

    Thankyou to all for everything! Lotsa love from me, my husband and daughter here in Manitoba, Canada. Continue the good work…please! Nice to know…even if no blood connections…we have a ” family” out there when our fleshly family turns their backs on us…”apostates”… yeah…Apostates! 😉

  14. Caroline says:

    At the very end of January’s jwbroadcasting, they talk about the country of Mali with 300 publishers for the whole country which they say is about the size of France doubled.

    They come right out and say it’s one publisher to 59,000 people!!!

    Does anybody watching that video not put together that if Armageddon comes soon that all those people are going to be slaughtered by Jehovah who those publishers can’t get to to talk them into becoming a publisher?

    If Jehovah is going to kill all those people because they didn’t become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, then what kind of God is he?????

    If Jehovah is going to hold off Armageddon until there are enough Witnesses there to sound the word, then how far in the future would that be?

    Why doesn’t the Society send thousands of Witnesses to that country so they can be witnessed to so Jehovah doesn’t kill them? After all, doesn’t the Bible say that Jehovah doesn’t want to kill them and he wants them all to be saved?

    Maybe it’s because the Society wants to spend all it’s money at Warwick and fancy digs and tennis courts and swimming pools instead? If that’s true, then how could it be the one and only true Christian religion?

    I wonder if there’s “Christian” churches in Mali and if so, how many?

    • Ricardo says:

      Caroline, I often ask myself the same questions with regard to these countries, so years ago I did move to one of these countries, a Muslim one, had a great field service there, helped many come to the truth. Stayed 20 years. But the typical witness doesn’t ask themselves those questions. I am disappointed by what I see as conditional love. We are to love our neighbour. But most witnesses just want the end to come asap so they will be saved and who cares about the billions who will perish. Is that really love? They remind me of Jonah. They are doing the preaching work but have forgotten to love.
      Google the internet and you will find that Mali is 98% Muslim and 10% Christian. How will the good hear the message? How will they be saved? We don’t know, but just as Jehovah answered Abraham about Sodom and Gomorrah, he will not allow the good ones to be destroyed.

    • Ricardo says:

      Sorry, I meant to say Mali is 98% Muslim, 2% Christian.

  15. Ricardo says:

    On the subject of child sexual abuse, please see a superb documentary done by Radio-Canada entitled Enquete: The Kingdom’s Dirty Secrets (Jehovah’s witnesses). It is on Youtube. It is quite professionally made and God help the witnesses with this type of thing being shown.

  16. Sharon Christensen says:

    Been abused by elders, ministerial servants, and Circuit overseers! Verbally and otherwise… Myself and many other Wts I know…there are many bullies leading the orgy, right from the top! My Dad would tell the elders back in the little country cong. in Sask. we attended…What is wrong with you guys, give you a title and you proceed to ride the sheep and even dig your spurs in! Is Jehovah or Jesus like that? Just listen to an old Rutherford talk on a gramma phone or graphonolah…He was a very big bully…but was content to live with sustenance and covering! Bahhahahhah! Right? Much like the bullies in Warwick right now, another similarity to Scientologists! Been followed and threatened to say nothing about what they are doing…uh they are talking to the wrong person…even a mouse tries to stick up for itself! The more mice that fight back…perhaps the fat and lazy cats will think twice about how they are trying to attack. They encourage their faithful to be bullies to, my Mom and my cousin are fine examples of being…”good Wts” with the threats they make and have made as to me and my brothers returning to the orgy. But since the threats of beating on or doing away with us did not succeed in convincing us to return…they shun us! What a joke! But peaceful, sweet peace. I found it very interesting, a video I watched done up by a fellow who’se wife is a W, he is not…how he in a round about way tried to show her the corruptness in Wt…and she is…as my Mom and cousin are…obviously…”Nose Blind” to the stink that is rising from the filth that is going on in JW.org.! Keep on exposing her, so people can get out…and the general public do not get suckered into this foney baloney group. Hopefully, more government leaders can examine and stop them like Mr. Puttin from Russia. They cry oh my we are Gods people getting persecuted…and what do they do to their people? Hopefully govts clamp down hard on them…call them on all their acts of injustice. One example that came just niw to my mind…and I have thought about puzzled for many times…a fellow, totally confined to a whk chair all his life, not sure if still alive or not, could not speak, had a instrument attached to his head that he could use to poke to a computer to talk something or spell out, faithfully at mntgs and conventions…they dfed him! For what! What could this poor guy ever be guilty of, that would merit his being dfed! Wheres is your mercy and fellow feeling??? May Jehovah render to them their due! Allz I can say!!!!

  17. Caroline says:

    Last night was Leah Remini’s 5th installment on her series about Scientology’s abuses and I think a lot of Witnesses are watching it because they are curious about Scientology. My pioneer daughter has been watching it so I think a lot of Witnesses are also watching it.

    Last night’s episode could not be more clear that Scientology is a destructive cult and the similarities between that cult and Watchtower is so easy to see that you would have to have blinders on, not to see it.

    Leah doesn’t dwell on the teachings at all. She is dwelling on the shunning and the and the reasons for it are exactly identical to why Watchtower encourages all Witnesses to shun, i.e.: It will help bring the erring person to their senses back into the fold and save their life and to keep the organization clean. They said in the show that if Scientology did away with shunning, that the religion would come to it’s end. Those people also are kept so busy that they can’t look at anything that is critical of the religion and if they do look at anything critical, they will be kicked out if they tell anybody about what they saw. They can leave quietly, but they can’t tell anybody about why they left and if anybody even talks to anybody that left, those people are also kicked out and will lose their families. They are also encouraged to rat out anybody who even hints that their leaders would lie to them and so they are all convinced that they are not being lied to. The similarities go on and on and a Witness has to be blind not to see that the reasons for the shunning in the Watchtower are exactly the same as Scientology and how evil that cult is. She uses the word brainwashed because it fits so well.

    Last night’s episode had such a ridiculous example of shunning that it made you laugh but this is one example of the shunning:

    The man they interviewed (ex-Scientologist), lived across the street from a fellow believing Scientologist and before the ex-Scientologist family left the “church”, their dog would run across the street and the Scientologists across the street loved their dog so much that they made a doggie door so that their dog could go into their house. When the man and his wife and children left the church, they were to be shunned and the woman explained to the wife that even though the wife and husband and children would understand why they would have to shun them, their dog wouldn’t understand and so they decided that they would not shun their dog and their dog was still welcome to come into their house.

    I think the fact that Leah Remini is not talking about any old religion that is a cult (like the Witnesses), is better because in the end, Witnesses have to see that because of the shunning, they are exactly the same as the Scientologists and if her show was about Witnesses, Witnesses would not watch it as I am sure that Scientologists are not watching her show out of fear and loyalty to their church.

  18. Caroline says:

    I was wrong about which episode the dog experience was in. It is episode #6. I don’t know if this will work or not but I brought it up on Youtube and clicked on share.

    https://youtu.be/xmNxBvfj8uc?list=PLk14Rrl-xjm1B6G9USrdGkCVAv2CuqFcR

  19. Doc Obvious says:

    The more exposure that Scientology, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Mormons receive, the more people realize how absurd and untruthful they truly are to God.

    The practice of shunning magnifies how troublesome these 3 religions are. This practice causes more harm than it helps. You can understand why people do not answer their doors to these religions. No sensible person wants any part of it.

    In fact, these 3 religions are bad news, not good news. These three religions are born in the United States. I believe that there needs to be more checks and balances to the recognition of a religion.

    These groups are cults, not religions. There needs to be a more thorough religious process to be made and more investigation of the religious practices of any religion. The Government needs to set standards of conduct for these religions.

    • outandabout says:

      Thats right, Doc. Outlaw shunning and the whole lot will blow away.

    • Rodger Goode says:

      Well said Doc, in the deep part of their soul EVERY JW knows that shunning is wrong, I felt this way and many have told me the same. This is blatant mind control and social blackmail not LOVE.

      • Wideawake says:

        If there was no shunning edict…. in the end JWs would divide into factions and disintegrate… it’s holding them together out of fear and the gb know it.

    • Holy Connoli says:

      @ Doc Obvious. There are other religions besides these 3 that SHUN. The Amish are known for it and Worldwide Church of God ( formerly Ted Armstrong ) and its splinter groups practice shunning. Muslims just Kill you in many cases if you leave the religion or convert to another religion. “The “BIG 3” ,Mormons JW’s and Scientologists probably shun the most and cause the most harm except for the Muslims bc they kill you if you leave or talk bad about Islam or Muhammed. I don’t think the Mormons are as bad as the JW’s or Scientologists when it comes to shunning. Does anyone know of any other Christian Religions that SHUN besides the ones mentioned or any other religions that are not Christian?

  20. outandabout says:

    What keeps many a Witness going in the face of all this scandal is the ‘proof’ in the bible that we are living in the last days.

    What they don’t realise is that if they were to jump into a time machine and go back to various times in history and start applying those same scriptures to what they see around them, they will be witnessing ‘the last days’. There would be ‘signs’ everywhere. We only need our history books to know that as a fact.

    If they then happened to shoot forward in time and witness the state of the world in, say, 500 yrs time, back to 200 yrs time and then 1000 yrs time, it would be the same thing whether or not we had improved as a society or gotten worse. Life has never been and nor will it ever be perfect. There will always be room for improvement no matter how refined we become and it will never be a paradise for everybody at the same time. For it to be otherwise, we would all have to be exactly the same and for that to happen means we just wouldn’t be human. We would be zombies. Which do you want?

    We have always been and will forever be living in what the bible describes as the last day’s. Waiting, waiting, waiting and all the time allowing cults like the Watchtower to steal our lives for their personal gain and thanking them profusely for it.

    When those ‘signs’ yet again don’t come to pass, the bible gets re-interpreted yet again and all the faithful sigh with relief, safe in the knowledge that 99% of the worlds population will soon be destroyed, just for them.

    That sort of thinking is hideous and evil, but Watchtower have disguised it as something beautiful and Witnesses swallow it hook, line and sinker.

    Witnesses have the wool well and truly pulled over their eye’s and that’s the way they like it. It makes them feel safe. They are the children and Watchtower is their Mother.

    Some people just lack the courage to face the real world and are vulnerable to exploitation (abuse of trust) because of that.

    • messenger says:

      Though Witnesses and some others interpret the scriptures you allude to be signs of the so called ‘last days’ not everyone understands them that way. For instance, if I told you, “I’m going to be a professional baseball player, for I’m a really good pitcher.” Then wouldn’t those thoughts be connected in the same way that Christ said, “You are going to hear of wars and reports of wars, but see that you are not terrified for the end is not yet. FOR nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…” To me those thoughts speak about the same occurrences not different ones. The word FOR, like in the baseball example, connects the thoughts…like saying the word ‘because,’ it doesn’t separate them. The WT is famous for putting thoughts into scriptural teachings that aren’t in the scriptures, like they say, “nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom” means a different kind of war, a world war. Well I ask, where is that thought stated in the text? It’s not. Also, when Luke recorded the same incident of Jesus’ response at Luke21 he includes Jesus adding at Luke 21:8-9, “Look out that you are not misled; for many will come on the BASIS OF MY NAME, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘the due time has approached. DO NOT GO AFTER THEM. Furthermore, when you hear of wars and DISORDERS, do not be terrified. For THESE THINGS must occur, but the end does not occur immediately.” Note that Luke included the word disorders as occurring that would also not to be part of a sign that the end was imminent. And since Jesus said not to go after people who claimed the end is imminent, then why and during what time period should that counsel by CHRIST not be followed. As a matter of fact according to all the apostles’ writings they were in the last days when they lived. So, according to scripture a person or church would be scripturally correct to teach people that their day was the last days, the apostle did it. But a church would go against scriptural direction to teach that because of world conditions they know the end is imminent. Christ did speak of a sign to signal his imminent return-see Luke 21:25-27.

      • Eyes opened says:

        Hi Messenger,
        Yes Jesus did say the end is not yet when speaking with his apostles. However, in Matt. 24:34 he did reassure them that their generation would see the things he spoke of. Luke 21:22 reminded them “because these are the days for meting out justice that all the things written may be fulfilled”. It seems the last days Jesus referred to were the days leading to the destruction of Jerusalem.

        Regards

        • messenger says:

          In a sense Jesus spoke of a ‘last days,’ but he was not really asked a question about a ‘last day.’ Since all three accounts Mat, Mark, and Luke speak of the same incident its best to read each to get the best picture of what was said. Mat 24 records that Christ was asked two questions not just the one question Luke and Mark recorded. Mark and Luke record the question Jesus was asked about the temple being destroyed. His statement about its destruction prompted that question. But Matthew includes a second question that was off topic, “What will be the sign of your presence,” and then he added, “and the conclusion of the system of things.” Luke and Mark both only record the question that was on topic, “Teacher tell us when will these things actually be, and what will be the sign when these things are destined to occur.” So, I would agree with you, the conclusion of the system of things that Matthew spoke of was the destruction of the temple. We know Bible commentators never point to increased earthquakes, food shortages, wars etc being a sign that led to the temples destruction.

          But when we look at everything Christ said after those two questions were put to him then we see he did also answer the question, “what will be the SIGN of YOUR PRESENCE.”
          Analyzing what he said I see two possible answers, maybe three. I don’t believe an acceptance of either answer is a salvation issue; I believe just faith in Christ is a salvation issue. I wrote about one possible answer above, so no need to duplicate that here. But let’s suppose the sign of his presence does include the wars, earthquakes, etc that he spoke of before he said, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. AND THEN THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN WILL APPEAR IN THE HEAVEN__and they will see the Son of man appearing on the clouds,” Mat 24:29,30. Now as I stated previously it could be that Christ meant the sign of his presence was given in just those two verses. But in vs 33 he goes on to say,”when you see ALL these things, know that he is near at the doors.” So, the ‘all these things’ could include the wars, etc. The all these things could even include the tribulation itself, since he also spoke of the tribulation occurring before people would see the ‘sign of the Son of man.” And of course if ‘All these thing,’ does include the tribulation, then Christ was letting disciples know that after people went through that he would return, “this generation will not pass away until all these things occur.” The tribulation itself could be a part of the sign because the 2nd question Christ was asked had to do with when his presence would occur, so he could have said in essence, look out for this great tribulation, its a sign that I’m coming. Both you and I believe that first question had to do with the temples destruction, not the end of the world.

          Now, do you think Christ would kill people for accepting one of these interpretations of over another? I don’t know which is correct, I just have an opinion; so naturally with just an opinion I wouldn’t bet my life on it. The GB wants us to believe we bet our life, so to speak, on such interpretations. They try to convince people that they are spiritually dead-which leads to physical death- if they choose the wrong interpretations; and they will kill us if we don’t make the choice about scriptures like these that they did. If they showed absolute proof that only they had God’s backing-like if they could raise people from the dead-then they might have a LOGICAL POINT. But they have no proof they that they have God’s backing. That’s why they sin. Not because they have wrong beliefs, but because they kill others that don’t believe everything THEIR way.

      • outandabout says:

        Does god exist and if he did, would we want a relationship with him based on what we understand about him.

        Consider this; When we read about yet another estranged man who just couldn’t handle the rejection of his former partner and so murders her for ‘not loving him’, who in their right mind would want to form a relationship with a person like that?

        And yet when god murders 99% of the worlds population for the exact same thing, that is all ok, thumbs up etc.

        God is a hideous and capricious creature and humans are suckers of the highest order.

        If gods biggest desire is for us to love and believe in him, then all he has to to is produce a crack of thunder and a hand pointing down from the sky and everyone would believe in an instant.

        Why inspire a document of riddles?

        Children can and do see straight through the bible. That’s why they ask those questions and so we teach them to turn off their BS radar and not trust their instincts.

        Child abuse!

        Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

        • Caroline says:

          This morning I was watching one of Dan Barker’s debates about whether the god of the Bible exists or not and Dan asked the other guy why doesn’t God produce miracles like he did in the Hebrew Scriptures and the guy said the same thing the Society says about how we need to show faith in him etc. and God doesn’t do the miracles like he did in the Bible anymore like why doesn’t God heal amputees and resurrect the dead?

          Dan came up with the perfect answer: Why do you pray then if you know that he isn’t going to perform miracles like that now?

          I think it’s in Matthew that when Jesus died, tombs opened up and zombies (dead bones) started walking all over Jerusalem preaching. Doesn’t that tell a person anything?

          • messenger says:

            @ Caroline
            Hi Caroline. The WT never said the Bible is not inspired, they always claimed it was. However, they’ve always claimed their own writings were not inspired of God. All Bibles are translation from archaic (out dated)languages. There are no original copies of any of the Bible books. Maybe that’s what you read from a WT. But they always claimed the original writings of those Bible scrolls were inspired and then translated to other languages.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline, our time now could be compared to the time when the Jews returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. They rebuilt the temple but there was no longer the manifestation of Jehovah in it: no miraculous cloud, no Shikinah light, no Urim or Thumin, very few prophets. But obviously they had Jehovah’s approval because God used them to produce the Messiah. Even when the Greeks descecrated the temple with pig’s blood in the time of the Maccabees, the Jews had no instructions from God to tell them what to do, just the pattern in the scriptures. They believed they were doing what God wanted them to do.

            Through much of history, God has not revealed himself much. Like, when those Jews returned, there was no demonstration of God’s approval until 500 years later when Jesus appeared, and boom, there was an incredible outpouring of interaction between God and man.

            We are in times like those Jews, 500 years before Jesus. We know what God wants us to do, and there is no demonstated approval by God: no gifts of the spirit, no prophets, no miracles.

            Obviously, God wants us to do what we should be doing: living a Godly life, a Christian life. We need to be good Christians, not good Witnesses. But God is not necessarily answering prayers, just like he didn’t talk to the Macabees.

            What is wrong with living a Godly life, a Christian life? I can’t see it as a problem. And give God our respect as our creator.

            So whether we get to see the boom! again of God stepping in or not, we know we are trying our best.

        • Ricardo says:

          @outandabout, I guess it’s a bit like mosquitoes and flies. We kill them because they are pests. If we put ourselves in God’s position and try to understand what he is thinking, then we see the considerations he might go through: “I gave you life, I have given you the intelligence to know I am here even if you don’t have a Bible. But you not only disregard me, you hate me. You refuse to listen, and, in fact on purpose do the things I have told you not to do. What do you think I am, some kind of slave to you, some kind of abused dog you can kick whenever you like? I am not a dog, I am God and I don’t need to put up with this disrespect again and again and again. When my patience ends I am going to reward the good and clean away the pests.”

          From small, as a young child I could see the practicalness of this.

          What I appreciate from my mother’s explanation is that God will not destroy anyone who is good. I believe the organization teaches that only the incorrigibly wicked will be destroyed.

          I’m glad that flies get swatted and mosquitoes get sprayed. And what’s the problem in living a good life, a godly life, a Christian life?

          I’d rather be on my knees doing the right thing and feeling content than dead on my feet cos I was doing something disgusting.

          • Winston Smith says:

            @Ricardo
            Your statement: “I believe the organization teaches that only the incorrigibly wicked will be destroyed.”

            YOU may believe that only the incorrigibly wicked will be destroyed, but that is NOT what the Watchtower teaches.

            w89 9/1 p. 19 par. 7 Remaining Organized for Survival Into the Millennium ***
            “7 Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the “great crowd,” as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil.”

            On JW.org they try to tone down this message by making statements like “many now living may yet begin to serve God, and they too will gain salvation.” But those of us associated with the Watchtower for any reasonable period of time know that what they mean by “may yet begin to serve God” is conversion to the JW religion.

            The facts show that Watchtower teaches that only active members will survive destruction, thus 99.9% of the world’s population is slated for execution at the rapidly approaching “end of the system of things.”

            WS

          • outandabout says:

            Ricardo….what happens if a person is truly a wonderful, kind loving, generous, giving, thoughtful person in every single way except for just one thing…..he can see straight through the hypocrisy of the Bible? Does that person get slaughtered by your loving, forgiving god, and I mean not killed mercifully in his sleep or anything, but slaughtered in the most terrible fashion, while a mass murderer and cheat who does believe in god gets a first class ticket to paradise?

            I think your idea of justice is way off mark.

            I’m not feeling any love from god, but what I do feel is submission and slavery to a tyrant.

            It’s a shame that you need the fear of god over your head to stop you from doing something disgusting, Ricardo.

            There’s nothing wrong with living a life fearing a god so long and it’s not causing anybody harm. Some people just need that and I know plenty of Christians and they are fine people.

            I’m not without feeling. I know if I went to Jerusalem, it would be hard for me not to get swept up in the feeling there, but if I also went to India, I would probably get swept up in the feeling of their belief as well. Going to church and getting swept up in the feeling….I understand that too, but having that feeling doesn’t necessarily mean you have the truth.

            Humanity is bigger than your narrow personal thoughts.

            Have a look at Mark 16, 17-18. It says that true believers can take poison and be fine. What is a statement like that doing in what is supposed to be a most deadly serious and the most important document EVER! Is it a joke? We can’t just cherry pick the nice bits and ignore the rest. That is not TRUTH.

            Good luck, Ricardo. I dare say you’re a decent person.

          • messenger says:

            @WS and outandabout

            What if God does exists and the Bible was purposely written in a way that causes people who desire to find fault with it to do so? That’s the reason Christ said he taught in parables. So, what if the whole Bible is designed to serve that purpose? If God exists you may think, why would he have it written that way?

            There are some facts about the Bible, and facts about reality in general that the WT has taught us. One is that mankind will never create a utopia, and on our own we will all eventually die. If God does exist he is making a way out of that condition.

            You state some people need that. I’ve heard many say that before, but there’s no logic to that statement, that Bible believers emotionally are different than non-believers and therefore need that as some comfort to function in reality. Understanding that people are different yet also very similar suggests some people just believe that, not that they need it. Which leads us to a possible reason a god could have provided ideas in a way that causes some to , according to their belief, easily reject them. It could be written to separate people.

            Some here do a lot of research into things like when the Bible books were really written and by whom. Without me looking into the work of those scholars can you tell me, with all the research you’ve done, do those scholars have definite proof, not assumptions, that the Bible books were not written by whom they declare and when the Bible claims? Or are you basing your faith in scholars’ works on their assumptions? Seems to me if they have absolute proof of what you speak it would be big news and most people would know it as common knowledge.

            The scripture that reads, “God’s spirit bears witness with our spirit,” speaks of the miraculous contact between God and some humans. If God communicates with a person it is a miracle. That still happens today though I’m not suggesting you believe it.

  21. Ted says:

    It seems the disciples were expecting a much greater
    consummation of Jesus teachings than just the destruction
    of the temple etc in 70 CE.

    The Apostle John, writing a quarter of a century after that
    event, encourages the faithful to remain steadfast and not
    be loving the world, because says he. “The signs indicate
    that this is the LAST HOUR”. 1, John 2:18.

    Similar expressions occur in Revelations, “Things that must
    SHORTLY take place”. “The appointed time is NEAR”.
    “Yes I am coming QUICKLY”.

    John died and it appears that whatever he was expecting
    to come QUICKLY, didn’t come at all. And has not yet come.
    All of which does little for ones confidence in the Bible, or for
    the prophecies of Jesus.

    • Eyes opened says:

      Hi Ted,
      We do go on the assumption that Revelation was written after 70CE. If its a subject that interests you, you might be surprised by the compelling evidence that it was actually written before 70CE. No one can say for sure but the evidence is very note worthy. I don’t want to write a book here, but some things I found thought provoking was the descriptive language describing water to blood, the world leaders standing back and saying too bad, just as General Titus did at Jerusalem’s destruction and so on. Much of the description in Revelation matches what happened at Jerusalem’s destruction. And as vicious as Nero was, he could have been the one to exile John. It’s really interesting to research.

      Regards

      • Eyes opened says:

        Another thought…Revelation says get out of Babylon the Great, Jesus told his followers to get out of Jerusalem. Now I ask what could be more Babylonish that killing your own Messiah…

      • Winston Smith says:

        I agree. When you consider the possibility of a pre-70 C.E. writing for Revelation, a lot of stuff seems to fit better. As I recall, the idea that it was written later is based on church tradition from the 3rd century. It would not be impossible for there to be a 25 year discrepancy in dating of the writing for something from that period.

        Also as some higher critics suggest about Daniel it could have been written about the destruction of Jerusalem after the fact.

        WS

        • Big B says:

          @ Winston Smith et als;

          I agree with all of your hypothesis.

          Since the 70 men gathered what became the Septuagint as to what ‘they’ felt was inspired or not and the Holy Spirit was not passed on after the death of the last apostle, anything we have now, almost 2000 years after the incidents is, and should be, open to question.

          Certainly, a lot of “inspired writings” (Daniel, etc.) many believe to be written after the events and passed off as prophecy and who can prove otherwise as we only have copies of copies of the original writings, which could of been changed by men with an agenda as the older copies decay and are destroyed by time (or men).

          As far as getting out of ‘Babylon the Great’ who is found riding the U.N. scarlet colored beast, according to the Watchtower, who has also identified the whore as false religion.

          Does anyone find it odd that they, after identifying the principal actors of Revelation, were a NGO (non governmental organization) for ten years? Don’t you think that people now in this organization, if they found this out, and were of honest heart would flee as the angel in mid-heaven warns? Or are they to wrapped up in the cult social network to care? It certainly looks like the pot calling the kettle ‘black’. What hypocrisy!

          My family and I left over three years ago and like Lot we haven’t looked back.

          • Caroline says:

            @Big B, the final nail in the coffin for me was joining up with the United Nations but it took me months before the fear of Armageddon went away from me. Even now when I listen to jwbroadcasting, those fears are there in the back of my head.

            Nobody should stick around when they find out the Society is lying about 607 B.C.E. either, especially when they find out that if you say anything to anybody, like read “Gentile Times Reconsidered”, you will be disfellowshipped for apostasy.

            What kind of religion is it, when you have to be afraid to question your own religion’s telling the truth or not?

        • messenger says:

          @ Caroline
          You asked. “What kind of religion is it when you have to be AFRAID to question if your own religion is telling the truth or not.”

          Caroline I believe the WT’s opinion about first century Judaism, that Jesus practiced but questioned, then had to run and hide from after doing so, is that the religion was apostate. So, a simple answer to your question is that type of religion would be an apostate one, especially lacking any definitive evidence that they had God’s favor and were following his command to attack people who question their teachings.

          Though our belief is no longer shaped by the WT, you and I probably agree with their opinion about first century Judaism, which fit a shoe the WT appear to have stepped into.

          • Caroline says:

            @messenger, I believe the Bible is man made. All we have is just small fragments of those original manuscripts and whole manuscripts are hundreds of years after Jesus died.

            All Bible books were hand printed until about 500 years ago and all those thousands and thousands of hand printed manuscripts from about 400 years after Jesus died, have thousands of variations from one manuscript to the next manuscript.

            There is absolutely no way to know what was in those original manuscripts from before the first century.

            Even the Watchtower Society has to admit that there is not even one single Bible that is “inspired” of God.

            I don’t have any respect for the God of the Hebrew Scriptures because I believe the God of the Hebrew Scriptures was man made by the ancient Jews.

            I also believe that if the God of the Hebrew Scriptures is man made, then that makes the miracles of Jesus also a myth.

            I am not disputing that there was a man by the name of Jesus who was killed for preaching. I am disputing the miracles in the Bible. I am also disputing the miracle birth. One thing I agree with the Watchtower is how could God make himself into a fertilized egg inside of Mary?

            I believe the Society and all “Christian” religions take the Bible and try and make sense of it and try and turn an evil entity into a God of love.

            That is my belief about the Bible and Jesus.

            Also, if you pay attention to the Bible, there was another person in the gospels called Jesus who wasn’t the Christ.

            Many years ago when the Society had on their calendar all the scriptures we were supposed to read about how Jesus died in the Gospels and I did read all those scriptures and I knew even then that every single one of those scriptures differed about how Jesus died.

            Now I realize that all those gospel accounts were written years after Jesus died.

            They were not first hand accounts like Watchtower tries to tell the rank and file.

            The Society always explained the differences away by telling us that if you have 4 eye witnesses to an accident, that every one of those eye witnesses would tell a different story according to their own perspective but none of the gospels were eye-witness accounts. That is just another big lie from Watchtower.

            Watchtower depends on the Bible being “inspired” and if the Bible is not inspired, then all “Christian” religions fall flat on their faces, but like I said before, even the Watchtower has to admit that there is not even one Bible today that is truly “inspired”.

            So what does that make our Bibles if they aren’t inspired?

          • Ricardo says:

            @messenger, with regard to questioning your own religion, have you ever thought about how Jesus at 12 years old questioned the Pharisees (he would have had some curly questions for them I would think) and yet the Pharisees patiently answered his questions and were amazed by them. I don’t think the elders of today will react like this. They will get very upset and start to target the young guy’s family.

  22. Ted says:

    I get the impression that the gb are just 7 stooges, puppets,
    answerable to a business corporation. From their background
    and the way they present themselves they don’t appear to have
    either the experience or the acumen to manage a global org,
    (Some even less than others).

    It’s a hard nosed mercenary set up. Protecting their assets takes
    precedence over the protection of children, they claim to be
    committed to child welfare but their policies prove their claim is
    mere obfuscation.

    For business reasons hundreds of Bethel workers were cast adrift
    without a lifeline. Redundancy is a fact of life these days, but what
    company would just dismiss employees without any severance pay
    as a cushion, as “Watchtower Bible and Tract Society” did.

    They are shameless, and whether the 7 stooges are just figureheads
    or not, they are still compliant in all the worldly murkiness.

    • Winston Smith says:

      This seems applicable: “They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.”

      WS

    • Big B says:

      @ Ted:

      Yep! Not much outside work for packing magazines and books into containers by hand these days.

      The workers that devoted their lives to this ‘organization’ have been ‘played’ just as the rest of us have; maybe ever worse.

      The Watchtower, on finding out how much money it would take to basically start up senior citizen communities for their workers with doctors, nurses, etc., decided to dump them on to their home congregations to care for them. How about that? No benefits, left with little to no marketable skills, no severance pay, no gold watch and no Social Security because charities don’t pay into Social Security. So unless they work their 70 quarters, as here in the United States, they have no retirement; period.

      But look at all the monies the Society saves by doing this to their work force. They can expand the kings interests here on earth with more advanced printing presses and bigger more glamorous headquarters! Yeah, right. I personally don’t think that they are getting away with anything. Soon they will be letting tour groups in to see this highfalutin’ H.Q. and then watch the proverbial fecal matter hit the rotary cooling device! Watch their funds dry up as the ‘sheeple’ wake up from their purple fog induced comma seeing with their own eyes where and what their hard earned monies have contributed to. I wouldn’t want to be the G.B. No sir.

      • messenger says:

        You brought up some good points that I never thought of Big B. Could it be possible the WT got rid of a lot of Bethel workers because they don’t want to take care of them in their old age and decided to send them home while they are at least young enough to build a minimal retirement? If that’s so it shows they don’t believe the end is soon.

  23. Ted says:

    @Eyes opened, Thanks for your interesting reply. I agree
    with you, much of the text in The Revelation could be
    describing what happened to Jerusalem. Also the description
    of Babylon the Great is a dead ringer for Jerusalem.

    As you know there’s much disputing about The Revelation,
    (As is the case with much of the Bible ) who is the writer?
    when was it written? what has been added after the event?

    Everyone has to decide for themselves where they stand.
    As you see I’m not a believer, my previous comment was termed
    in the way I would reason with someone who believes the Bible
    is the inerrant Word of God, and accepts the dates etc given by
    the WT org,. Best wishes T.

    • Rodger Goode says:

      Very informative info on the book of Revelation, it certainly puts things in perspective. Does anyone know the official line from the WBTS as to why the Revelation Book was pulled out of circulation? I seem to remember quite a few mind numbing loops through this book at the good old weekly book study, tea and cake was a welcome relief.

      • messenger says:

        If the WT’s reason for pulling something from the printing machines is not because it contains wrong info-presented as “we received new light,” I wouldn’t accept another as necessarily their real reason, because how many times would you like to repeat you were wrong? They could start looking like the bumbling Key Stone Cops if they keep giving that excuse over a short time span. “We got it wrong, we got it wrong, we got it wrong.” Also, since they duplicate their teachings in multiple publication then once they change an interpretation they have to eliminate all the publications containing the old belief. This will continue, because their members that have enough authority to interpret scriptures are always changing beliefs on interpretations.

  24. Logan 5 says:

    Hello,
    First time I comment here.
    A question nags at me : the book of Isaiah is the one that got the more prophecies about Jesus. The fact is it was indeed written before his birth (it was the main scroll discovered in Qumran in 1947 – Dead Sea scrolls). How to explain that ?

    • messenger says:

      Hello Logan,
      Some of us (like me) on this site believe the Bible to be inspired, others don’t. But you may have noticed that we don’t condemn or insult each other’s beliefs. I don’t know your beliefs, but my answer would be as written even if I did. It seems to me, and it’s only my opinion, that many who don’t accept the Bible as inspired will put forth any possible explanation to answer questions, like the one you asked. That’s okay, it shows they’re thinking, and possible alternative explanations are all they sometimes have.

      However, I’ve found out, through teaching others, that when people choose possible answers-in other words they guess- then they guess wrong close to 100% of the time.
      Look up Ephesians 4:14

      • FactsNotFiction says:

        I would need to do some research on this to be sure, but I believe the issue over the Messiah prophecy is not with the scroll of Isaiah but with the Gospel of Matthew. Despite its name the Earliest manuscripts of the Gospel of Matthew are neither signed or dated, nor does it give any references as to how the writer obtained his information about the early life of Jesus. A major issue is with the hole traveling to Bethlehem thing. Isaiah says that the Messiah would come out of Bethlehem, but Jesus was from Nazareth. Josephs traveling to Bethlehem for a census is only stated in Mathew and there are NO secular records of any census or the requirement to travel back to place of birth. It doesn’t actually make sense anyway, why would the Romans want to know where you used to be. So it appears that the anonymous writer of Matthew may have fiddled the facts to fit the prophecy. (Like the Watchtower does) Isaiah isn’t the issue it is authenticity of the Gospel accounts that are the problem.
        Its a while since I researched bible history and it is a fascinating subject. I was stunned when I discovered that none of the Gospel authors are actually known, they are written anonymously. The names Mathew Mark Luke and John where added much later in about the 2nd/3rd century AD. No one knows who actually wrote them or when. Most of what is in them can not be clarified from any other sources. There are thousands of copies of the new testament manuscripts and tens of thousands of differences between them. Unfortunately there are NO originals and no other sources to authenticate them. Hope this helps, I suggest you do research yourself as its a big subject.

        • Logan 5 says:

          Thank you for your detailed answer FactsNoFiction. In fact, the book of Isaiah is one of the Bible books where prophecies about Jesus are the most numerous… The item about Bethleem is one among many, many others.

          • factsnotfiction says:

            I think you misunderstand me. Jesus coming from Bethlehem is mentioned in Luke and Matthew. I believe it is the prophecy in Micah that they use. Not Isaiah. The point I was making is that Jesus didn’t come from Bethlehem instead he came from Nazareth and everyone knew this. So it appears that the author’s of Matthew and Luke may have altered the facts to fit the prophecy. The Bethlehem story being added. They provide no source for this story and there are NO secular records to back it up. How can you be sure that the anonymous Authors of the Gospels did not just add details to make their new “Messiah” Jesus, fit the prophecies. Unfortunately you cant. Many have tried but the information is not there. The most complete extant manuscripts of the modern bible date from about 1100AD. Everything earlier are just parts and fragments. There is much evidence of alterations and adjustments being made especially in the New Testament. They wanted a Messiah so they created one. Another interesting research project is the account of “Bar-Abbas”. If you want evidence that the faith based understanding of the scriptures is not all it is cracked up to be. The account of “Bar-Abbas” is worth looking into. Most Christians will treat this as actual event that took place. That Bar-Abbas was a real person and the Jews chose him over Jesus. However just a little research will give you a very different outlook.

          • Winston Smith says:

            I concur with factsnotfiction. In order to PROVE anything, especially historically, it must be corroborated by several sources. Using the Bible (a single source) to corroborate itself is flawed reasoning and circular argumentation. If you want to accept on faith that Jesus was the foretold messiah, then that’s your personal choice, but let’s not confuse faith with facts.

            WS

          • Logan 5 says:

            Sorry if I wasn’t very clear, factsnofiction. Yes, the Bethleem item comes from Micah 5:2. What I was trying to explain is : that’s only a detail, as the scroll of Isaiah found in Qumran wasn’t at all fragmental ; it was almost complete and, like these scrolls, dated before Christ. Nevertheless, this is one of the Bible books that contains most of the prophecies about Jesus.
            As for the debate about the books of the New Testament having being altered, it’s your opinion as there are other numerous facts that contradict what you write.
            I’m not here to debate (as I told before, do your own research if you want) ; I only wanted to know what were the arguments against Isaiah and your point of view is interesting.

    • messenger says:

      Logan I’d like to point out that you probably won’t see people here condemning the WT for their (WTs) BELIEFS either. But most here condemn the WT’s actions that stem from their beliefs. People here condemn that because we believe WT’s actions harm others, for one thing those actions kill faith in GOD.

      So our condemnation is different from theirs (WTs) in that the WT will themselves condemn people for mere beliefs. They not only wait for Christ to do that, they do it, and in that way set themselves up as the Christ.

      • Logan5 says:

        Thank you for your answer, messenger ; I gather that you think this Isaiah Qumran scroll is a proof of the Bible inspiration. I’m OK with it, too. I’d just like to know how non-believers explain it (I’m an open-minded guy).
        Tschuss !

        • Winston Smith says:

          The Qumran scroll is reference to the more commonly named Dead Sea scrolls. Since many believers look to this archeological discovery as giving credibility to divine inspiration, I have always wondered what their thoughts are on the fact that many so-called noncannonical books are included – e.g. Book of Enoch, etc.

          WS

          • Logan 5 says:

            Yes, but the book of Isaiah is canonical

          • Winston Smith says:

            Logan 5,
            Who decides what’s canonical and not canonical. Seems a bit arbitrary to me. One could argue that since these books were stored together that the people of that time viewed them all as canonical.

            WS

          • Logan 5 says:

            The canon began to be established at the end of the 1st century and its construction was not arbitrary. It’s a complex matter and this is not the place to argue about such matters.
            If you think it’s arbitrary, it’s OK with me, no problem.

          • Logan 5 says:

            The fact these books were stored together doesn’t mean they were canonical: the Dead Scrolls contained not only biblical books…

          • dee2 says:

            Hi Logan:

            Some Bible Canon factoids to consider:

            There is no universally accepted Bible Canon:

            Roman Catholics claim that the Bible contains 73 canonical (authentic) books, while most Protestants accept only 66 because they reject the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books.
            The Orthodox Christians accept 76 books.
            The Ethiopian church, which traces its roots to the fourth-century church, claims a Canon of some 81 books.

            Several ancient biblical manuscripts include non-canonical Christian writings.

            It is commonly held by Bible scholars in recent centuries that mistakes were made with the selection of books for the New Testament (NT) Canon.

            The writers of the New Testament (NT) did not consider the Hebrew Canon closed or aligned with today’s 39 books. They freely cited Hebrew texts that are today considered NON-CANONICAL. The most influential of the Hebrew books was that of Enoch. It exercised a greater influence on the NT than all the other non-canonical books put together.
            It was eventually rejected by the Jews and subsequently Christians, yet quotations from the book of Enoch can be found in Jude and verbal echoes if it can be found in Matthew, Luke, John, Hebrews, Thessalonians, 1 Peter and Revelation and probably in other books.

          • dee2 says:

            Hi Logan:

            Some Bible Canon factoids to consider:

            There is no universally accepted Bible Canon:

            Roman Catholics claim that the Bible contains 73 canonical (authentic) books, while most Protestants accept only 66 because they reject the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books.
            The Orthodox Christians accept 76 books.
            The Ethiopian church, which traces its roots to the fourth-century church, claims a Canon of some 81 books.

            Several ancient biblical manuscripts include non-canonical Christian writings.

            It is commonly held by Bible scholars in recent centuries that mistakes were made with the selection of books for the New Testament Canon.

            The writers of the New Testament did not consider the Hebrew Canon closed or aligned with today’s 39 books. They freely cited Hebrew texts that are today considered NON-CANONICAL. The most influential of the Hebrew books was that of Enoch. It exercised a greater influence on the New Testament than all the other non-canonical books put together.
            It was eventually rejected by the Jews and subsequently Christians, yet quotations from the book of Enoch can be found in Jude and verbal echoes if it can be found in Matthew, Luke, John, Hebrews, Thessalonians, 1 Peter and Revelation and probably in other books.

            http://www.jwstudies.com/Why_Does_WTS_Accept_Christendoms_Scriptures.pdf

          • Logan 5 says:

            Thanks for this piece of information, dee2 ; it’s interesting.

          • dee2 says:

            Logan,

            Regarding the book of Isaiah:

            Isaiah 13 written circa 700BC, prophesied that Babylon was soon to be destroyed, nomads will never live there. But Babylon kept going – it was the governmental seat of Alexander the great circa 330BC and the Babylonian Talmud was written there 300 AD – 1000AD, years later.

            American troops had a base there living right in the midst of Babylon known as Camp Alpha (Google it).

            Also, Isaiah prophesied that certain heavenly signs would accompany the destruction of Babylon – the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars – but none of these things happened.

            Regarding Jesus & Isaiah: note that the Old Testament prophets never believed that the Messiah would come and then come again at a future date – the Messiah was to come only once.

          • Logan 5 says:

            The Isaiah 13 prophecy about Babylon seems to have been fulfilled : what remains of Babylon today ? Almost nothing. This huge city ceased to be about the early centuries AD. The term “soon” used in this chapter was an image (and that happens quite often in the Bible).
            If you think otherwise, that’s your opinion and I fully respect it.
            As for the Messiah, true : the Old Testament was most about the 1st coming of Jesus (hence its mention in the book of Isaiah).
            Have a good day !

          • dee2 says:

            Logan,

            >>>>>”As for the Messiah, true : the Old Testament was most about the 1st coming of Jesus (hence its mention in the book of Isaiah).”

            Could you please clarify/expand on this?

          • dee2 says:

            Logan,

            Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the destruction of Babylon:

            Isaiah 13: 1, 17-22:
            “A prophecy against Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw…….
            See, I will stir up against them the MEDES, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold. Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants, nor will they look with compassion on children. Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the pride and glory of the Babylonians, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; there no nomads will pitch their tents, there no shepherds will rest their flocks. But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about. Hyenas will inhabit her strongholds, jackals her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.”

            Isaiah (written circa 700BC) prophesied that the MEDES would raze Babylon. Yet the Medes and Persians actually settled there, and until Alexander the Great destroyed it in 320BC, it was the largest city in the world. Alexander died in Babylon. Even then, people still lived there fora at least a century.

            Peter I & II were written in the 1st century AD from Babylon. Ancient Greek, Hebrew and Roman writings are full of reference to Babylon as an important center. Alexander the Great entered it in 331 BC and eventually died there from fever caught on campaigns. He meant to make it his Capital.

            In recent times, Babylon is not a place for jackals and uninhabited. In 1983, Saddam rebuilt parts of Babylon on top of the old ruins, including a 600 room palace, and another for himself adjacent to it, also on top of the ruins, which had his servants permanently living there.

            During the Iraq war in 2003, the US set up a base camp directly above the ruins, and came under criticism for destroying valuable archaeological remains.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon ;;

            http://architecture.about.com/cs/countriescultures/a/saddamspalace.htm

          • dee2 says:

            Logan,

            Isaiah also prophesied regarding the destruction of Babylon:
            Isaiah 13:9-10:

            “See, the day of the Lord is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
            The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.”

            Isaiah prophesied that certain heavenly signs would accompany the destruction of Babylon – the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars – but none of these things happened.

          • dee2 says:

            Logan,

            Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the destruction of Damascus:

            Isaiah 17:1-4:
            “See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid. The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus; the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites, declares the Lord Almighty.”

            Isaiah 17 says that God would utterly destroy Damascus and it will be a desolate ruin for all time.

            Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It has never once been completely ruined.

            Despite these predictions of ruin, Damascus still stands as “one of the paradises of the earth,” as one writer styles it, with a population, according to Burckhardt, Swiss historian, 1818 -1897, of not less than two hundred and fifty thousand, and being one of the most magnificent and prosperous commercial cities on the globe.
            Damascus’ population is 1.711 million as at 2009.

            Instead of being blotted out of existence, as the Jewish prophets prayed and predicted, it has suffered less by ravages of war and the scythe of time than almost any other city of the east. It has stood nearly three thousand years without becoming a “heap of ruins”.

          • dee2 says:

            Logan,

            Some more on the history of Babylon which shows that it was never destroyed by the Medes as Isaiah prophecied:

            https://www.historvius.com/babylon-219/:

            The ancient metropolis of Babylon is one of the most famous cities of the ancient world and today can be found near the town of Al-Hillah in modern-day Iraq.

            Founded almost five thousand years ago, the city on the Euphrates has seen empires rise and fall and has been the centre of the highest forms of culture and the most brutal wars and devastation.

            It is likely that Babylon was founded in the third millennium BC and rose to prominence over the next thousand years. By the 18th century BC the city was the centre of the empire of Hammurabi. However, the changing political and military nature of the region saw Babylon fought over countless times over the following centuries, with one empire or dynasty after another securing Babylon as their home.

            A resurgence of an independent Babylonian empire briefly flourished towards the end of the 7th century BC under king Nebuchadnezzar II – famous for building great wonders within the city, including the renowned Hanging Gardens of Babylon – yet even this dynasty failed to last, with Babylon falling to Cyrus the Great, king of the Persian Empire.

            In 331 BC Alexander the Great captured Babylon, and it was here he died in 323 BC. After the fall of Alexander’s fledgling empire, Babylon was fought over by his surviving generals and was slowly abandoned over the following centuries.

            The ruins of Babylon have suffered greatly due to looting and destructive policies, leaving little behind that captures the glory of the once-great city.

            Saddam Hussein also built a ‘new’ version of ancient Babylon over the site.

          • Logan 5 says:

            Hello Dee2

            Thanks for your research.

            Babylon : this city really ceased to be in the early centuries AD, as I told before : Pline the Elder (Ist century) already wrote the city was a ruin, although some people still leaved there. Its main temple was still active until the IIIrd century and the “city” losed its remaining people during the Sassanid era.

            We can’t tell a US camp in 2003 and S Hussein buildings were a revival of Babylon, a HUGE city in its time. Simply put, in the XXIst century, it was no more for a very, very long time…

            As for the heavenly signs you say didn’t occur in Isaiah 13, you are right, but they were symbolic, not literal as happens often in the Bible.

            You may notice that the prophecy about Damas was not as definitive as the one about Babylon (compare both chapters 13 and 17). As foretold, Damas was indeed conquered by the Assyrians in the VIII century BC and its people exiled. Its reconstruction was not a contradiction (other Bible books mention it again).

            Sorry if I’m a bit concise, but got not very much free time. I encourage you to do your own research (it’s really worth the effort and rewarding !)

            Have a good day !

          • dee2 says:

            Logan 5,

            Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the destruction of Damascus:

            Damascus has never ceased to be a city, become a heap of ruins and be no more as Isaiah 17 prophesied.

            Damascus is one of the oldest CONTINUOUSLY inhabited cities in the world to date:

            SEE:
            Eldredge, Niles & Horenstein, Sidney (2014). Concrete Jungle: New York City and Our Last Best Hope for a Sustainable Future. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 21.ISBN 978-0-520-27015-2.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus

          • dee2 says:

            Logan 5,

            Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the destruction of Babylon:

            *** Isaiah 13:17 stated that the Medes would destroy Babylon.
            Did this happen? Can you provide documented evidence for this?
            If so, when did the Medes destroy Babylon? Can you provide documented evidence for this?

            *** Isaiah 13:19 stated that God would destroy Babylon “like Sodom and Gomorrah”.
            Did God personally destroy Babylon in the Sodom-and-Gomorrah fashion, that is, with fire and brimstone?

            *** You sated:
            >>>>”As for the heavenly signs you say didn’t occur in Isaiah 13, you are right, but they were symbolic, not literal as happens often in the Bible.”

            – What proof do you have that the heavenly signs were symbolic?

            – If Isaiah didn’t mean that the stars would literally “not give their light,” then what did he mean?

            – If Isaiah didn’t mean that the sun would be literally darkened, then what did he mean?

            – If Isaiah didn’t mean that the moon “shall not cause her light to shine,” then what did he mean?

            – If such language as this was not literal, how did those who heard or read the prophecies know what to expect? How would they know that fulfillment was taking place?

          • Logan 5 says:

            Hello Dee2,

            Sorry for this delay.

            Here are answers to your questions :

            DAMASCUS – I already answered to this question : if you read carefully both chapters 17 (about Damascus) and 13 (about Babylon) of Isaiah, you’ll notice that the one about Babylon was more adamant than the former. Chapter 17 refers to 732 BC where Damascus was severely stricken by the Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser III. It ceased to be a threat to Israel from this year on. As I told before (and to prove that the prophecy in chapter 17 was not definitive), other Bible books refer to Damascus after 732 BC where it gained again a commercial power, although the political one was diminished (ex : Ez 27:18 and Jer 49:23-27)

            THE MEDES AND ISAIAH 13:17 : Be careful, be careful, this text doesn’t state that the Medes would destroy Babylon. It simply says :”See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold.” This happened in 539 BC (the source is History), when the Medes and the Persians, akin people, conquered Babylon. This was simply the beginning of the end.
            Yes, the definitive fall is evoked by ISAIAH 13:19 : it was as definitive as the fall of Sodome and Gomorrhe (note that Medes are not mentioned in this precise verse). Where are these cities todays ? Where is Babylon ? I already mentioned this in a former message. This text refers to such an event, not a direct destruction by God;it’s an image.

            ISAIAH 13:10 (which refers, to the stars, the moon and the sun): one common point of these celestial bodies is that they give light. This text only says that by they becoming darker, prospects would be gloomier : it’s a metaphor. How do I know it ? You can find this kind of image in other parts of the Bible. I encourage you to do your own research, as I told before.
            As for the people of that era, how would they take such prophecies ? Like today. They would understand its GLOBAL meaning (a tragedy was to fall upon them), but not all details until they became a reality. The main goal of a prophecy is to warn, and this was done.

            Hope this will enlighten you. I can’t expand too much on these subjects (although I’d like to) for 1) a matter of time (as I said before, too) and 2) the goal of this forum isn’t to know who is right or who is wrong, only to exchange points of view. I found yours interesting – I like to know what others lines of reasoning.

            Thanks and have a good day !

        • Logan 5 says:

          ERRATUM : I like to know others lines of reasoning (sorry !)

  25. GEM says:

    @ Messenger:

    I would like to ask you what Paul meant when he wrote to Timothy: “All Scripture is Inspired of God and Beneficial…”

    Was he referring to his own writings or just the Hebrew Scriptures? And, since the Maccabees are probably the most accurate of Hebrew texts.. why is it not contained in the 66 books today?

    Since the Catholic church was behind the compilation of the Bible as we know it today, and accepts the Apocrypha… do You?

    Many thanks

    GEM

    • messenger says:

      Hello Gem. I don’t claim know all the answers. I have studied the Bible for many years, yet I only have opinions about many aspects of it, just like everyone else. Paul said that he only had partial knowledge, and his understanding was more like looking through a hazy mirror than seeing the complete and clear truth about God. Also, like most of us at this site the beginning and much of my Biblical beliefs were tainted by the teachings of the Watchtower Society. Today they are not so tainted. For instance, I once believed if you are a Catholic, you would need to become a JW to be saved. I no longer believe that.

      In direct answer to your question, “I don’t know.” Most people believe Paul’s reference to “all scriptures” includes what is now the Christian scriptures. But at the time those were written most of those were letters; and my belief is that they may have been viewed as letters and not scriptures from the people who received them.

      But I also believe that God that communicates with mankind would protect communications that he wanted others to know it. If that’s the case then the common Bible, the one the whole world excepts as that book, would be the most logical one
      that God has communicated to humans.

      Christ’s example, I believe, shows us what’s necessary for salvation. And his example was one of drawing people into a believe in him. Following his teachings is part of that. Christ didn’t say anything else was necessary. So my belief is that you believing like me is not necessary for your salvation; just believe in Christ and his words.

      I never read the book of Maccabees. The PEOPLE who decided on the most generally accepted Bible canon didn’t include it. I believe the other Bible books relate Christ’s story sufficiently to let us know God’s expectations from us. Also, I side with people who believe that the Christian Greek scriptures are inspired, regardless of how the first century Christians viewed them. Those scriptures contain the gospels, and the beliefs about Christ from those actual associates of his, and they were his friends. The Hebrew scriptures don’t give us nearly as much info about Christ, so that we should put faith in him. It makes no sense that God would tell about a messiah that was to come, but after his arrival not tell us his story through people he associated with.
      Best wishes!

      • Rodger Goode says:

        Well said Messenger, I have come to the same conclusion after many years as a JW and many as a free agent. The Bible and other holy books teach the tried and trusted principles of life, however your conscience is the main guiding force in your life. We learn right and wrong by listening or not listening to our conscience or applying or not applying these learnt life principles. In my opinion Jesus and the other prophets of old reinforced a persons desire to do good to others, animals and our home the earth. There is no need for a human organisation to intervene or be some sort of middle man, this would insult the Creator and Jesus or “The Big Man in the sky” as some may call Him.

  26. Doc Obvious says:

    Serena Williams, a Jehovah’s Witness, is engaged to a worldly man.

    Web Site: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/06/entertainment/serena-williams-engagement-ring/

    I cannot believe the Jehovah’s Witnesses are promoting this activity. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot date or marry worldly people without being reprimanded by the Jehovah’s Witnesses Elders in the local congregation.

    Watchtower’s double standard is widely shown in this regard. Is money being the deciding factor as to whether to discipline Serena Williams or not?

    • Never a JW again says:

      Serena Williams was never baptized. She is one of those “in between” people who learned a little but never took that last step.

  27. Ted says:

    @Gem, Excellent questions regarding which really are to be accepted as
    the inspired scriptures. The text you cite from 2 Timothy –“All
    scripture is inspired of God and is beneficial for training in
    righteousness “, got me wondering.

    For instance, what valuable life’s lesson do we learn from Lots incest
    with his daughters, or from the God approved slaughter of women
    and children in the evicting of Canaanites from their land, (Hardly
    in keeping with the command, not to covet what belongs to your
    neighbour).

    And how about Saul’s demand of 100 philistine foreskins as bride
    price for his daughter, and David doubling the number, returning
    with 200 foreskins. What a great foundation for a happy marriage!

    Sure there’s lots of good principles in the Bible but these are often
    contradicted by word and deed. So I find it very hard to accept
    that “ALL” scripture is good for training in righteousness.

    • messenger says:

      Ted I could see the logic in you disagreeing with God when he commanded something that repulses you. But I don’t see the logic in your claim that the decisions and actions of the men you mentioned, Saul, David, and Lot could not teach people important lessons. Much of the Bible teaches lessons by letting its readers learn through experiencing the lives of others. The Bible doesn’t claim God influenced the behaviors of those men you spoke of. And disgusting as they may be, even a disgusting behavior can teach the lesson not to imitate it.
      best wishes!

  28. Eyes opened says:

    Greetings,

    Caroline you mentioned fear of Armageddon, yes definitely a real fear. As someone else commented Armageddon is held over us just like hell is used as a fear tactic. Here’s a conclusion my husband and I have come to: the society teaches that Armageddon is the culmination of the great tribulation and that is reasonable in light of what Jesus said in Matt 24, Jesus also said that generation would see it. The only place in the Bible that mentions Armageddon is Revelation. This too suggests a pre 70 writing.

    Big B you mentioned the society belonging to the NGO branch of the UN, yes and add to that the letter Rutherford wrote to Hitler as found in the 1934 yearbook. A shameful attempt to try and crawl in bed with a powerful political figure. The blatant hypocrisy of the organization is shameful.

    As already mentioned, the Bible as we have it was put together by men. I do believe in a Creator and Jesus but I do not believe everything in the Bible and that starts with Genesis creation account. Science has already unraveled that one. In one of their brochures on how life got here the org acknowledge the existence of Neanderthal. Surely they recognize man has been around way longer than Adam and Eve.

    The more the witnesses are kept in the dark or kept in fear the more they will remain easy to manipulate. Knowledge is power, knowledge is freedom. My thoughts kind of dashed from topic to topic but definitely enjoying all the comments being made,

    Regards

    • Caroline says:

      @Eyes opened, where has the Society acknowledged the existence of Neanderthal? I don’t remember ever seeing that from Society’s literature. Thanks

      • Eyes opened says:

        Hi Caroline,
        There are only a couple brief remarks that can be found in the Awake! 11/11 p. 29 Watching the World “Were Neanderthals Like Us?” and the brochure “The Origin of Life-Five Questions Worth Asking”, question 4 p. 28. It’s a dimmly lit acknowledgment at best but they aren’t denying it. I hope this helps.

        Regards

        • Caroline says:

          I have the November 2011 Awake on page 29 and you are right! I will quote it here:

          “Were Neanderthals Like Us? “The long-held view that Neanderthals were inferior to Homo Sapiens is changing as, one by one, capabilities thought unique to us have been linked to them,” says New Scientist. Recent discoveries indicate that Neanderthals built shelters and hearths, controlled fire, wore clothes, cooked food, made tools, and created glue to attach spear points to their shafts. There is also evidence that they cared for sick individuals, wore symbolic ornaments, and buried their dead. According to Erik Trinkaus, professor of physical anthropology at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., “Neanderthals were people, and they probably had the same range of mental abilities we do.””

          I don’t get it. I always thought that the Neanderthal was proof of the evolution of the human species. Didn’t Jehovah create Adam and Eve to look just like us, only naked?

          Why would the Society acknowledge the Neanderthal?????

          • Eyes opened says:

            Perhaps to pacify the masses. They cannot argue this point on a scientific basis and school kids are being taught these things. And then again sometimes the truth just comes out. Whatever their intention they still hold to mankinds 6000 yr. existence starting with Adam and Eve.

          • Holy Connoli says:

            @Caroline. We would have to read the entire article to understand what they are saying. They may have been talking in the 3rd person and only quoting what a scientist said.
            I doubt very much the WT is saying we are part of an evolutionary chain.

          • Caroline says:

            Holy Connoli, it was not an article. It was Watching the world and I quoted the whole thing.

      • Winston Smith says:

        I just tried searching for Neanderthal on jw.org and get zero results. So if they did acknowledge it, they sure don’t want to admit it.

        WS

  29. Ted says:

    Caroline, The Awake quote about Neanderthals is just
    a snippet, it appears along with a selection of brief extracts
    from various publications under the heading “Watching the
    World”.

    They make no comment either way about it but are probably
    trying to give the impression that what are believed to be
    Neanderthals are just modern man.

    • Caroline says:

      I know the Society makes no comment but why did they put it in there? It is just to make the public think they are open-minded I think.

      • Winston Smith says:

        Caroline,
        I have a couple theories why the Awake mentions Neanderthal.
        1.) The organization wants to give the appearance to the public of accepting modern science, even though we know the facts are otherwise. Much like the way they try to posture for political correctness in regard to LBGT issues, child abuse, and human rights issues.
        2.) The Awake has a number of contributing writers. A small percentage of contributors (or even a single one) may want to see the organization become more open to modern scientific discovery and was able to sneak this little factoid in there.
        3.)Most JWs rationalize the evidence for Neanderthal as simply another offshoot of humans that lived after Adam and Eve. This was likely the intent behind the article.

        WS

  30. smd123 says:

    Hello everyone,

    First of all, thank you Lloyd for your article on 2016 and, in particular, Jehovah’s Witnesses and child sexual abuse. I am, I hardly know what to call myself as I’m still coming to terms with it all, but I suppose, I am a former witness. There, I said it, and the sky didn’t cave in.

    I’m here in Sydney, Australia and I can’t tell you how moved I am by reading all of your comments. So moved that I am replying to your article and the collective comments of your readers (and that is saying something as you’re not supposed to reply to apostate comments let alone read them!). I have been watching with horror and disgust the progress of the ARC. The 110 page findings report released 29th Nov 16 finally opened my eyes to the religion that I had given my life to (baptized at 15 – and regular pioneered for ten years 16-26). I feel so betrayed and heart sore but somehow comforted that I am not alone. My wonderful husband opened his eyes some time before me and has been exceedingly gentle in bringing Watchtower “discrepancies” to my attention. He too was raised in the “truth” and spent five years in the Australia branch. I cannot begin to express how fortunate and grateful I am that we travel this journey of “enlightenment” and freedom from oppression together – I am truly lucky (and yes, I appreciate the irony of stating that I am lucky as one cannot say that without committing idolatry by worshippping the god of good luck!).
    I am still very young in this journey and at the moment I feel such anger that I hardly know what to do with it. And I feel hamstrung that I cannot, or should not, share my outrage with fellow family (who are JW) or those that I thought were “true friends” but who now shun me (and hubby) simply because we no longer attend meetings or go out in field service. What an awakening.
    So I find myself reaching out to a group of people I’ve never met and yet seem to me to understand way better than I do where I am at and what I am experiencing. I’m still in shock over the video transcripts on you tube of the ARC – seeing people I knew either straight out lie or defend indefensible interpretation of scripture and for what. To not bring Jehovah’s into reproach? His name is more in reproach now by their inability (or refusal?) to protect children than ever! They are to blame for that, not “the world”. All the world did was expose something rotten and hidden. There, maybe I’m further along than I thought.
    So I reach out to you all, hungry for a kinship and a friendship that is cruelly denied here……
    PS – I’m now motivated to get my hands on “The Reluctant Apostate”….. sounds like a good and challenging read.
    Love and light to all.

    • ruthlee says:

      Hi smd welcome to your baby steps to freedom. This is the best site for up to date info and a great dialogue with us aposties. We are all at various stages of deprogramming and every one helps each other. If you get a chance to review some of the older articles it will blow your mind how much that has gone on behind the scenes. Amongst this little band are some great writers and very informative people who have a finger on the pulse of jw lala land. I have learned so much and it is a kind of therapy too. I do think one day we will all meet up and have much to say to one another. keep researching and I am so glad you are united with your husband .That always makes me happy when couples support each other out of this terrible cult. We look forward to your Aussie take on things. Cheers Ruthlee

      • smd123 says:

        Hi Ruthlee,

        Thanks so much for your kind words, it is very nice to hear from you. I have been reviewing some of the older articles and I am learning that there is a limit to what I can take in each day, so I am pacing myself. My mind is indeed “blown”. When you are trained and told how to think and feel all of your life, it is extraordinarily difficult to challenge an established pattern of functioning. But, I am enjoying challenging all of my previously strongly held concepts and tearing down a few of them.
        I will keep reading and researching and like you, I hope that one day we meet too. Until then, I am very grateful for this forum, my first foray into a different type of “new world”! Ha, couldn’t resist.
        Love smd

    • Winston Smith says:

      @smd123
      Greetings from the USA and welcome to our band of independent thinkers. I was a fifth generation, born-in JW, so my awakening resulted in the loss of most of my family members and I can appreciate your sense of loss (although I am faded and not DF’d or DA’d I am still treated as if I were). My wife is still a fully indoctrinated JW and I have little hope she will wake up, so I envy you in that at least have your mate awake with you.

      Awakening is definitely a process that can take quite a while. It took me a number of years to fully cleanse my thinking of JW propaganda and even now there are still a few residual issues. However for the most part I think I now truly know my authentic self. Not sure what additional resources you have already considered, but here are some I found helpful: the website, jwfacts.com; both Ray Franz books (I have read multiple times): Crisis of Conscience & In Search of Christian Freedom; and the book Combating Cult Mind Control by Steve Hassan.

      I look forward to seeing your future comments on the various articles on this site.

      Best,

      WS

    • messenger says:

      Hello smd123 You may not feel too guilty about speaking to us if you realize that some here still are JWs. Also, if you recognize that the WT is actually an apostate Christian religion that may help.

      What religion that really applies Bible rules and principles that is not apostate would kick its members out for merely voting. Uhhh, God all but placed Joseph and Daniel in the second highest political positions in their gentile nations, every ancient Isrealite king-some of them revered by the WT-were in political offices, Paul wrote that all governments were put in their respective positions by God. So, I ask, what type of Christian religion would throw its members out for voting except an apostate one?

      The world=politics…no the world means the whole world and Christ said we’re all stuck in it, so only authoritarian figures in a rogue religion would throw out its members for ethically behaving in the world. And voting is not unethical. This is no pitch to support politics…its just one line of thought that shows how far our religion is from scriptural teachings. So don’t feel too bad about speaking to us, you spoke to apostates before you got out.

    • Ricardo says:

      Welcome to the group smd123. The more the merrier. As messenger explained, some of us here are still witnesses, perhaps independent witnesses is a better way to explain it. We love Jehovah and see that there are good principles in the Bible to help live a life of decency, but like you we are disgusted by what came out at the Royal Commission, and we too are angry. Unfortunately there is much to be angry about in our organization.

      I also am from Australia, and felt embarrassed and disgusted at what I saw at the RC. I have friends who are elders, my brother is a COBE, but when I bring up about the RC they don’t wish to discuss it, or they say something positive about it, like they saw Bro. Jackson defend the witnesses and they thought he did a good job. So I have made up a list with unusual observations from the RC which I give to them for them to see how ridiculous he was. Now I think they are scared of me.’Jehovah will fix it in his time,’ my sister-in-law said. I bet she wouldn’t be saying that if it was her child that was molested.

      The Reluctant Apostate is a fantastic book. Be sure to read Chapter 10: Suffer the Little Children. You will find out about child abuse cases which the organization have recently lost (the Candace Conti case in the US where Watchtower had to pay $2.8 million in compensation, and the case against Peter Stewart in the UK where Watchtower has to pay 275,000 pounds compensation). This will really make your blood boil, and explain where our donations (if we give any) are going.

      However, until you get the book look at some of the things on jwsurvey site. Look up about how Watchtower was an NGO associated with the UN, promoting UN tenets from 1992-2000. That is mind blowing, and we’ll never get an explanation for that from the GB.

      And have a laugh at the John Cedars ‘My thoughts on JW broadcasting’ # 1 – 22. Cedars does a quality job of pointing out the ridiculous things said which you may have noticed (and so feel happy you are not the only one thinking this way) or which you haven’t noticed and so are happy someone brought it to your attention.

      If you want to fade out easily from your congregation, I suggest switching to another congregation (maybe a language group) and then never turning up. It’s good if at the same time you move house. The elders in the new cong aren’t going to come looking for you, and the people from your old congregation are probably glad to see the back of you and glad some other elders in the new cong have to look after you. There are legitimate loopholes in our organization so that you don’t need to be pestered by elders, nor disfellowshipped nor disassociated. And if any elders do call by to try to solve your problems, tell them you are having doubts. Never accuse the organization of wrongdoing. Just say you are having doubts, and if they want to help, then great.

      Then ask them about why Watchtower joined the UN. If they ask you how you come to know about that, tell them a new brother you came across named Ricardo brought it up to you. Ask them about why the GB in the March 1 1981 Watchtower page 25 said: the idea that the GB is the faithful and discreet slave is ‘self-deception’ and ‘spiritually damaging’ ; and yet this is our current belief.

      But be careful to call these doubts. Never criticize the organization in front of the elders. They are very sensitive about this.

  31. smd123 says:

    Hi Winston, Messenger & Ricardo,
    Thank you so much for your posts and kind words – it is nice to from you, wherever you may be! I do indeed feel welcomed and I can’t say how that makes me feel, very grateful!
    Winston, I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for you over the years. Not having the support of my husband would make the trauma of realising I’ve been involved in a cult so much more distressing. Not been able to talk about each new thing/issue/revelation I learn and analyse in depth with him – ugh, I couldn’t bear the thought. For me, I think it would compound the guilt of “I’m doing something wrong” even more. And I imagine there would be so many more factors that I’m not even scratching the surface of. I do very much feel for all those who cannot share their doubts and questions with the closest person to them. Warm hugs and thoughts to you all.
    I have been busy reading – just today I read an article on jwfacts.com that kinda rocked my world, entitled: “Misquotes, Deception and Lies”. (For anyone else that would like to read this: http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/misquotes-deception-lies.php) I think I’ll be processing that little gem for a while. Some of what has been written by Paul resonated with me already – I love reading about history and particularly the ancient Roman civilisation, in the years pre the emperors, i.e. circa 100 BC and up to Julius Caesar. Crucifixion was common practice and no matter where or how I researched, I could find no where that indicated that the ancient Romans used impalement instead and that it was standard practice in Jesus’ time. It was somewhat refreshing (while still disturbing to know that WT deliberately misquoted) to read what Paul had to share on that subject. And there were so many other subjects!! My mind reels.
    Winston, I have been searching for Ray Franz’s, Crisis of Conscience, but have thus far been unsuccessful. So far, I can only find that it is now out of print and not available. Could you point in the right direction as I am very interested in getting my hands on a copy? I would appreciate any help you can give me.
    Messenger – you crack me up! I loved your post! That is indeed a very helpful way for me to view the organisation. I did discern from some of the posts that some may still be active JWs. I confess (and I certainly don’t mean to offend anyone!) but I struggle to understand how anyone can remain active while knowing the deceptions that are being fed to all. I have a bit of a passionate and a tad exacting personality (probably why I was an ideal candidate for being raised in the truth and drinking the Kool-Aid without questioning for so long) so for me, I can’t imagine sitting at a Kingdom Hall again and listening to the tripe that gets served up, now that I know better. I know, it’s not all bad – but right now I’m struggling to see the good! Indeed, I struggle with not disassociating as I feel so passionately about the ARC and don’t want to be affiliated with such an organisation as WT and what they have done (or not done) about child abuse that I want to be as removed as possible! I somehow feel complicit. It is only the consequences that hold me back. Although, since I haven’t attended a meeting for 18 months (didn’t attend the Memorial for the first time last year, nor the Regional Convention) I am “shunned” as if I was disassociated. Don’t see much difference right now, it is only my husband that restrains me, even though he understands how I feel.
    Ricardo – good on you for discussing the RC with your elders and brother. I have been very careful about what I say and to whom. My father (who served as an elder for over 20 years) has been one of only two family members to ask what I am upset about. I gave him a careful version (before the Nov 29th report was released – I certainly couldn’t have been so guarded if he had asked after that!) and told him about the 1,006 cases where not one had been reported to authorities by the organisation – what possible reason could there be for that? He was quiet at that. I also asked him to justify the two-witness rule in cases of child abuse. To my dad’s credit, he did listen to all that I said. He didn’t have a response but he did listen and he didn’t try to give me false platitudes. He said he didn’t know enough about it and he would research it. Ha! So there is the problem. My dad is not computer literate so what did he do? He asked an elder to help him research! Who gave him the washed version and told him that an ARC lawyer had said that JWs had the best child-protection policies of all religions! What rot! Of course, when the findings report came out, I learned that that comment came from the organisation-arranged/bought star-witness, Dr Applewhite, whose credentials to give an opinion were suitably discredited by the ARC. Blah. I see little point in enlightening my father. My mother left him 18 months ago, he is on his on now, he is unwell mentally and physically – the congregation is his sole support, and that under sufferance of the congregation. It would not be loving of me to tear down his foundations so I have not pursued it.
    Ricardo, I couldn’t agree with you more. If WT had more empathy for child abuse survivors (I did like how the ARC focused on survivors not victims – we should take that on don’t you think? JW survivors?) and less paranoia about protecting the organisation, I would hope that things would be seen in a totally new light. There have been two cases of child abuse in our local cong that I know of – both handled appallingly. One of the cases that the ARC used as evidence, I now realise that I knew the individuals involved. Horrific to realise and to now know what happened…. I’m not a vengeful type but bring on March 2017 and what the ARC next does in relation to WT.
    I think I’m over my word limit, I’ll bore you if I ramble on too long – but I think you can discern that I have been “fading” for a while. Seeing how my wonderful husband was treated two years ago when he was removed as a servant (for no sin mind you) by a bully CO and complicit elders did much to sever me. Then there was another episode to follow that absolutely appalled me (involving an invasion of privacy and a witch hunt). The ARC just finished it off.
    Still, there is a lot of deprogramming to do and I have a lot of anger to work through. I will read all that you suggest. I’m treading the line of not becoming obsessed with it all, I need to keep some balance somehow. It’s back to work tomorrow which will help keep me adjusted. Isn’t that funny! Work in the world to keep you adjusted! I crack myself up.
    Thank you again for your posts. It is incredibly comforting to hear from each of you and I look forward to contributing my little bits and pieces over time.
    Love and light – smd123

    • Ricardo says:

      smd123, an awakened CO (still is a CO actually) said to me, “It is more important to be a good Christian than a good JW. The elders you have come across are good JW’s but very poor Christians. Unfortunately, our organization is producing a lot of JW’s, but should be trying to produce good Christians.”

      I love this thought. Be a good Christian, not a good JW. Sometimes I put it into my answers at the Kingdom Hall. But isn’t it true? You’ve probably found it to be true in your own dealings with the elders.

      So, while you are grapling with what to do as to being a witness, don’t forget it is more important to be a good Christian.

      When Peter said, “Whom shall we go away to?” he wasn’t refering to who else besides the JW’s, he was meaning who else besides Jesus. In the end, when Amageddon comes, it’s going to be between us and Jehovah, whether we are with Jesus as good Christians or not, not this religion, which saves us. (If you still believe).

      All the best, Ricardo.

    • messenger says:

      Hello smd123,
      I totally concur with Ricardo, I think that’s about the best advice anyone could accept. I’ve always kept going because I remembered that Jesus worshipped inside his abusive religious system, and he kept going. Just like Ricardo I’ve been targeted for abuse by groups of elders in the past, more than once. Until fairly recently though I didn’t understand the full apostasy of our organization. But I realize Christ worshipped inside of an apostate one also. I still attend the Kingdom Hall. Though I no longer participate like I use to…and you could not pay me any amount of money to reach out for or accept an appointed position from WT again. I’ve never been disfellowshipped or disassociated, and I left my last position by choice, so I’m not bitter as the WT likes to imply we are; I just don’t agree with many of their teachings or their Third Reich tactics. I agree with you that it is difficult to sit there and hear the teachings I know are untrue. I guess I fit in somewhere between where you are and where Ricardo is, because I attend but decide not to comment. I don’t feel I can support falsehoods by doing that.

      You’ll find sites where you can download ‘Crisis of Conscious’ on line, just google to find it. I read it on line. It’s an amazing book. Ray Franz was very intelligent, he wrote that book at a higher intellectual level than his WT contributions. And he was more than thorough in documenting everything he commented about; he’s redundant that way. I’ve found that everything that I’ve ever seen on sites like this one about the WT, except for the child molestation is contained in that book. His other book ‘In Search Of Christian Freedom’ can also be found online. I read about 200pgs of that. It’s a very good book also.

      Well the thing about this site is we get to express ourselves to all sorts of people. The hardest ones to talk to are some JWs who fully support the org. but that’s understandable, we use to be like them. And yes every now and then you see a post that will make you chuckle. I’ve seen two, one from WS that I read the other day, and another but I can’t remember who wrote it.

      Make sure to keep your faith in Christ..he and his father are real, I know that for a fact, so don’t give that up, and we will meet when we live forever. And God still does contact people in our day, it’s true!!!

      • Ricardo says:

        If I could clarify about commenting at meetings, when I comment and say something like: “This article is showing it is not enough to be a good Jehovah’s Witness. The more important thing is to be a good Christian….”, or when I explain about the feelings of victims of mishandling by elders, I am hoping to knock some of the zombies into thinking about things. I hope to also signal other like-minded brothers to me.

        There are more or less a dozen of us now, like-minded brothers who are aware that something horribly wrong is happening with our organization. Most of the group don’t comment either, but I can’t help myself. I don’t know how on earth I get away with some of the comments I make. I don’t know why the elders haven’t counselled me yet.

        If you are wondering why I still attend, it is because if I stop coming, the elders will be able to point to me and say: “I thought that guy was no good.” The elders win.

        If I keep attending, every time the elders see me there, every time I make one of my famous comments, it is a victory to me.

  32. Logan 5 says:

    Hello Dee2,

    Sorry for this delay.

    Here are answers to your questions :

    DAMASCUS – I already answered to this question : if you read carefully both chapters 17 (about Damascus) and 13 (about Babylon) of Isaiah, you’ll notice that the one about Babylon was more adamant than the former. Chapter 17 refers to 732 BC where Damascus was severely stricken by the Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser III. It ceased to be a threat to Israel from this year on. As I told before (and to prove that the prophecy in chapter 17 was not definitive), other Bible books refer to Damascus after 732 BC where it gained again a commercial power, although the political one was diminished (ex : Ez 27:18 and Jer 49:23-27)

    THE MEDES AND ISAIAH 13:17 : Be careful, be careful, this text doesn’t state that the Medes would destroy Babylon. It simply says :”See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold.” This happened in 539 BC (the source is History), when the Medes and the Persians, akin people, conquered Babylon. This was simply the beginning of the end.
    Yes, the definitive fall is evoked by ISAIAH 13:19 : it was as definitive as the fall of Sodome and Gomorrhe (note that Medes are not mentioned in this precise verse). Where are these cities todays ? Where is Babylon ? I already mentioned this in a former message. This text refers to such an event, not a direct destruction by God;it’s an image.

    ISAIAH 13:10 (which refers, to the stars, the moon and the sun): one common point of these celestial bodies is that they give light. This text only says that by they becoming darker, prospects would be gloomier : it’s a metaphor. How do I know it ? You can find this kind of image in other parts of the Bible. I encourage you to do your own research, as I told before.
    As for the people of that era, how would they take such prophecies ? Like today. They would understand its GLOBAL meaning (a tragedy was to fall upon them), but not all details until they became a reality. The main goal of a prophecy is to warn, and this was done.

    Hope this will enlighten you. I can’t expand too much on these subjects (although I’d like to) for 1) a matter of time (as I said before, too) and 2) the goal of this forum isn’t to know who is right or who is wrong, only to exchange points of view. I found yours interesting – I like to know what others lines of reasoning.

    Thanks and have a good day !

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  • RELIGIOUS NEUTRALITY - Do not post comments that are evangelical in nature or may be construed as imposing one person's religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over those of another
  • LANGUAGE - Visitors from all countries and language groups are welcome. You may post comments in languages other than English, but we would appreciate if you could make any such comments brief. We would also be grateful if you could run any such comments through Google Translate and convert these to English, but this is not an absolute requirement.
  • LINKS - You may post links to third party websites, so long as (1) you limit these to 2 links per comment, and (2) the content on these links doesn't contravene ANY of the first four points. Specifically, you may not post URLs to websites that are evangelical in nature. Our links page has an extensive list of such sites for any who are curious about Christian beliefs in the context of Jehovah's Witnesses.

JWSurvey.org thanks all visitors in advance for respectfully observing these guidelines. Any who persistently fail to do so, despite warnings, may find themselves blocked from making further comments at the discretion of the site moderators, whose decision will be final and not open for debate.