The Friday Column: The Plight of the Watchtower Whistleblower
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When I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses I was presented with some “options”: keep quiet or suffer a character assassination along with total ostracism. It didn’t really feel like a choice, because I was compelled to speak out due to the things I experienced. But in the Watchtower world the cardinal sin isn’t just leaving them behind, but getting vocal after your exit.

The situation is very reminiscent of a common occurrence within any organization called whistleblowing. There are laws that have been enacted in many countries to protect whistleblowers. This is because they are often met with brutal hostility. Whistleblowers are often made examples of by way of termination, suspension, demotion or simply harsh mistreatment – all because they had the guts to expose wrongdoing within their organization.

If you leave the Watchtower, and you remain quiet, they will still shun you, but you will retain some of their respect. Because, from their perspective at least you didn’t speak out against them and “moved on with your life.”

A perfect example of this is when a man named Montague Baker took the stand on the 151st day of the Australian Royal Commission. Notice what he had to say when asked to explain his experience of being shunned by Jehovah’s Witnesses:

“Well, I fully expected it and it wasn’t really a problem for me.”

The Watchtower used Baker’s testimony in an attempt to refute Angus Stewart’s findings that the practice of shunning made it extremely hard to leave the religion:

“One of the persons who gave evidence before the Commission, Mr Baker, formerly one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and called by Counsel Assisting, did not suggest he had a problem in leaving the organisation. Mr. Baker was frank in his reasons for leaving (emphasis added):

“He sought to pursue a lifestyle that was incompatible with the way of life of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Notwithstanding, Mr Baker expressed no hostility towards Jehovah’s Witnesses, he did not seek to denigrate their beliefs, nor did he seek to belittle the faith. On the contrary, he expressed his disbelief at the number of and basis for the allegations.”

The Watchtower doesn’t believe they ever do anything overtly wrong and therefore never require anyone within their organization to blow a whistle. When anyone does, they are accused as “being hostile”, “denigrating their beliefs” and “belittling their faith.” Never do they even entertain the idea that maybe their policies and practices really are worthy of people speaking out against them and raising awareness.

If you do speak out against their harmful policies and practices you can expect to immediately become their enemy. Perhaps that’s why Mr. Baker didn’t rock the boat.

Shooting the messenger

Whistleblowers generally act on a principle they believe is higher than the authority they are challenging. It could be a sense of truth, justice, for the public good or even religious beliefs. I know this was the case with me and many other ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses I have encountered all throughout the world.

Contrary to what the Watchtower prints, people who speak out against them are mostly people operating on what they believe to be right. Unfortunately, going after a religion for persecuting whistleblowers isn’t as easy as non-religious corporations. Otherwise, the Watchtower would have been indicted long ago. They have a long history of slander against those who wish to enact change in their practices and policies that are demonstrably harmful.

Jean Lennane, a psychiatrist, and former president of Whistleblowers of Australia had this to say on how they are treated (emphasis added):

“The aims of the organisation’s response are to isolate the whistleblower by removal from the accepted “in group” (one of us) to “out group” status, by representing the whistleblower as: incompetent; disloyal; a ratbag; mentally unbalanced/ill…”

If you are a former Jehovah’s Witness you will no doubt see the clear parallel in what Lennane is stating and how the Watchtower deals with vocal ex-members. They inundate them with a barrage of slander that meets all the criteria she spells out.

Notably, however, is her reference to mental illness.

In 2011 the Watchtower published an article that had this to say on so-called “apostates” (emphasis added):

“…apostates are ‘mentally diseased,’ and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings. (1 Tim. 6:3, 4) Jehovah, the Great Physician, tells us to avoid contact with them. We know what he means, but are we determined to heed his warning in all respects?”

July 15th 2011 Watchtower declares whistleblowers as "mentally diseased"

July 15th 2011 Watchtower declares whistleblowers as “mentally diseased”

 

It’s crystal clear that the way the Watchtower responds to vocal ex-members is akin to how other organizations often respond to whistleblowers. “Apostates” are not people with an axe to grind; they are largely people in a dramatic moral dilemma and the Watchtower is putting them in a precarious situation. Notice what Lennane says about the purpose of the slander:

“…to frighten others who might otherwise support the whistleblower…to avoid examining or remedying the issue the whistleblower is complaining about…”

The destructive manner in which the Watchtower responds to dissidents is because they want to frighten the membership as well as avoid the issue. Both of these aims have been accomplished. Simply put, punishing whistleblowers is highly effective at protecting the organization. But we live in a different world now, one where accountability has a greater value.

The more the merrier

Does this mean Jehovah’s Witnesses should be afraid to speak out? As long as the number of people who do remains low, then the Watchtower will continue to bully them. But if an influx of members start to stand up to them, they will crumble and real change can be brought to the organization. It’s really all about the numbers.

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness who has had first-hand experience of the corruption within the organization I urge you to bring your story to the limelight. Speak to anyone you can, write blogs, make videos and go to your local news outlets. There are people out there willing to listen and to help you create the change Jehovah’s Witnesses so desperately need.

Because, in the end, that’s what whistleblowing is all about:

Change.

new-james-signature

 

 

Editors Note:

In the year 2013, Jehovah’s Witness leadership in Victoria Australia was called to testify on the matter of child abuse reporting. During questioning, the matter of whistleblowing was addressed. Specifically, the following question was raised by barrister David O’Brien:

What is the situation in relation to what I might call whistleblowers or people who wish to report on any deficiencies or systemic practices in your church, including people who wish to depart from the church? How are they treated?

The response from Watchtower came from acting Australian Branch overseer Terry O’Brien, who stated:

People are free to be Jehovah’s Witnesses, or if at any time they wish to discontinue for whatever reason, that is a personal choice. If the person simply decides to become inactive and no longer associate with Jehovah’s Witnesses, then they are just viewed as they were before they became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In the very animated exchange which followed, Watchtower representative O’Brien evaded the line of questioning with the intent to confuse and mislead the elected representatives of this hearing. As every Jehovah’s Witness is aware, speaking out publicly (or privately to another JW) against the teachings or policies of the organization will result in disfellowshipping on the grounds of apostasy, which causes the immediate banning of all communication and association with the offending person. All family members and friends are to cease any contact with the individual, and face punishment themselves should they fail to shun the guilty party.

Thus, the statement from Watchtower overseer O’Brien was completely false and misleading. There is absolutely no way to reverse the clock and return to a time when a person was a non-Witness, or a “worldly” person. Once baptized, there  is no turning back. Whistleblowing is banned.

The complete transcript of the 2013 Victorian commission can be viewed here

John Redwood

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68 Responses to The Friday Column: The Plight of the Watchtower Whistleblower

  1. Caroline says:

    As if calling anybody who speaks up against Watchtower is labeled mentally diseased isn’t bad enough, now they are considered “garbage” according to the latest JW February broadcasting episode. The brother didn’t come right out and say anybody who leaves is the one that’s garbage, but you can better believe that is what the Governing Body is hoping that the rank and file take away from it.

    https://youtu.be/I0VIvdV2nw0

    I came across this video which hits the nail right on the head when it comes to Watchtower tyranny.

    • Victor says:

      What you’re describing are the tactics of socialpaths. Socialpaths fear two things: Losing control and fear of exposure. To keep control in the face of exposure they will retaliate with lies, smear campaigns and isolation to keep you from causing them to lose control of others. The judicial process is the perfect control mechanism as they can lie about you, isolate you and spark fear into the rest they control, that they don’t want to end up like you. They will do anything to destroy you to stop exposure and lose control of the rest. If you look in the Insight book about the judicial process, it admits that it is taken from the jewish law. It definitely is not from the first century christian congregation. Paul said that being to harsh with this type of discipline is being overreached by Satan. It does not reflect the love of the Christ. Being socialpaths they of course lie about the judicial system being about showing love through discipline because they don’t operate it this way. They use it for control and to stop any exposure, the exact traits of socialpaths. They can commit these atrocities with the judicial system because socialpaths have no conscience. In fact, the more pain they can inflict, the happier they are. If they can’t control you, they want to destroy you. These are the real traits of socialpaths.

      • Grace says:

        Victor,

        Yes very true. I also think that it reminds me of the schoolyard bully mentality. Where the ringleader bully makes his followers exclude this person from their group. Then the group follow along with it without knowing anything more than what the ringleader has told them out of fear of being excluded as well.

        • Ricardo says:

          I have a friend who exposed the lies of an elder. After many meetings to try to get justice, my friend appealed to the governing body. The elders soon had a meeting with him, saying they had a reply from the GB which they read to him. Holding the letter in front of them but not letting my friend see it, the elders said the GB had instructed him to make peace with the elder and not to say anything further about this matter to anyone else. My friend could not accept this and continued his search for justice. The CO has recently investigated the matter and found out the letter the elders claimed came from the GB was a fraud. The elders had manufactured it themselves to keep my friend quiet. What bullies these elders are!

          • Winston Smith says:

            @Richardo
            Such practices are commonplace throughout the org. I have seen not only elder bodies that pull shams like you describe, but Circuit Overseers as well.

            Not every CO or elder is corrupt of course. Some genuinely want to help the members, however the way the organization is structured lends itself to such abuses of power.

            WS

  2. Paul says:

    We left by doing a rapid cold turkey fade.
    We did not have any JC or other meetings with elders, but did express our doubts to several close “friends” – ones whom we had known for up to 45 years.

    The result was pre-emptive shunning by all.

    We then heard that many rumours were circulating about us – that we were starting up our own “group” and trying to draw others away to follow us. These lies continue to be spread about us and grow worse, when all we want is to forget the 60 years we wasted in a high control cult.

    They really do not act like rational, loving people let alone those who profess to follow Christ.

    • Jeffreycanning says:

      Me too… Shunned by my loving j w family members, when i knocked their door they didn’t answer… I knock no more…

      • Tracy says:

        I knock no more would be a perfect title for your life story. Ps. …I knock no more as well. Many of us can relate.

      • James says:

        This is what JW.org says on ‘shunning’:
        ….”If, however, a baptized Witness makes a practice of breaking the Bible’s moral code and does not repent, he or she will be shunned or disfellowshipped. The Bible clearly states: “”Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.””—1 Corinthians 5:13.

        What of a man who is disfellowshipped but whose wife and children are still Jehovah’s Witnesses? The religious ties he had with his family change, but blood ties remain. The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings continue.

        I, therefore, interpret the above in a positive way: the disfellowship ones can still deal with their family members, provided they do not discuss religious affairs. Obviously they do not mention any dealing with “your friends”, so if it was really a friend he/she wouyld be still interested in seeing you ….secretly, of course!

        • Ricardo says:

          I think the last regional convention changed all that. The Loyalty to Jehovah convention taught us not to even talk to disfellowshipped family members on the phone even. And we have to kick them out the house.

  3. Pow says:

    It’s ironic that an organization that ever day of the week, month and year is sending out members (which is absolutely required to be considered an active member ). To call on individuals, uninvited, demanding that they listen to a message that in essence is your religion is wrong, you need to investigate, in fact God requires that of you. Or else you and your family deserve to die…however, No need to apply that to ourselves. .Since were already the one and only approved religion, Any Mistakes, changes, cover ups, blunders and half truths we disseminate are “A ok” in fact don’t even mention them….kinda like the prophets of old, they knew when to keep there mouth shut..

  4. Pow says:

    Here’s a big part of the problem. ..
    Have you ever came up to a intersection and had the green light, yet someone from another direction drives right on thru? Your indignant, furious, how could that person be so brazen, where’s the cops when you need them, they shouldn’t be driving at all, probably drunk…then you realize, opps what I thought was a green light for me, wasn’t. .now do you feel the same way about yourself as you did when you thought it was somebody’s fault.
    Of course, your a good driver, it was just a mistake ,everybody makes mistakes, right?
    The organization has reinforced that they have the green light…..but, later say oops I guess we didn’t, but that’s ok,,,let’s not talk about…we keep that on the DL.

  5. Big B says:

    Great article James, concise and well written;

    Personally I don’t feel that the Watchtower will change, ever! These “faithful and discrete” (read unfaithful and indiscreet) morons have had it go their way for much to long, even though the internet exposes them daily for the sham that they truly are.

    Do you suppose they will ever admit to their die-hard adherent sheeple of their involvement with the United Nations as a N.G.O.? They have had over 10 years to come clean and so far not one word of explanation from them. Well after all they are answerable to nobody for what they decide on (or so they think)!

    Personally, I would like to see the Watchtower Corporation disbanded and their properties confiscated by the government. Oh, it wouldn’t surprise me if the “slave class” doesn’t abscond the monies in an off-shore account before that happens. Wouldn’t that be a hoot? What would the die-hard sheeple say or do then?

    • Chiafade says:

      Very true about the U.N. NGO thing. One thing I also try to remind people about is the fact that they are still at present NGO’S with the OSCE. The London branch, the Russian branch, and the US branch as well. All listed as separate yet the same.

      Check out the OSCE website. They’ve been members since 2010. No doubt for the purposes of political lobbying.

    • Jaime says:

      Yes! Regarding absconding with monies: I think they must have what are called “golden parachutes”. It is the norm for corporations to give them to “governing bodies”.

  6. Big B says:

    Follow the advice of the angel in mid-heaven who states, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”. Rev. 19:4

    Funny how they are quick to judge Christendom as a great part of the whore of Babylon for its support of the scarlet colored wild beast but what does that make them for their ten year participation but a dirty little whore as well?

  7. Big B says:

    Excuse me, Revelation 18:4 KJ version.

  8. Twmack says:

    Christian religions which castigate former believers who
    have genuine doubts, are merely following the example
    of their own textbook.

    In the apostle Johns time, some were having problems
    believing all the claims made about Jesus. John acted
    quickly to stop others being influenced, He heaped
    reproach on the questioners.

    They were Anti Christ’s, Lovers of the World, Not of our
    Sort. they are in the Dark. In contrast, you other brothers
    are in the Light. How often have these words been read
    in the JW cong’s when someone has woken up from their
    indoctrination. 1 Joh, 2 / 19

    As a further point, all of Johns writings, his Gospel,
    3 letters and Revelations were all written between 96 and
    98 CE long after Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 CE.

    If John had believed that event in 70 CE to be an initial
    fulfilment of Jesus prophecy about the end coming within
    one generation. Wouldn’t he have bellowed it out in his
    writings ? But he did Not. Wouldn’t it have been the best
    way to silence the doubters ? But he doesn’t even refer to it.

    To the contrary, the context of his letter shows he was still
    expecting Jesus prophecy to be fulfilled in Joh, 2 / 18.
    he states this is the last hour, the antichrist ( The doubters )
    are here, this is how we know it is the Last Hour.

    Well we know the fulfilment didn’t come John’s lifetime
    ( Reputed to be the last surviving apostle) and is
    still being waited upon, many many generations later.

    Conclusion Jesus gave a False Prophecy.

  9. Bad Penny says:

    Nice write-up James –
    However, I do disagree on your last point about bringing about change in the Watchtower. Personally speaking, I feel the time for change is well past. I just want them gone. The hurt they have caused to so many by their doctrinal lies and shunning policies has destroyed and continues to destroy hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.
    Unfortunately, for those of us who want justice, it appears that they are just going on and on and on …. It seems the old adage is true, the Devil looks after his own.

    • Robert67 says:

      Completely agree with you. The rabbit hole we’ve all traveled in our quest to regain a sense of well being has completely pulled the masks off of these oppressive wolves. They are literally a Cult disguised as a religion that destroys entire lives and families in pursuit of their financial gains.

      This Cult must be exposed to all humanity for what it is. All those poor victims who were driven to check out of this life before their time by this Cults evil and inhumane practices must have Justice. We the survivors are their voices. We can still show love to these fallen brothers and sisters.

  10. Jarred Booth says:

    “The Whistleblower” (2010) was a good movie, a true story. A cop becomes a U.N. peacekeeper in Bosnia and discovers a number of peacekeepers’ involvement in sex trafficking. Then gets punished for speaking out. Not unlike with Watchtower.

  11. Eric Arthur Blair says:

    Another insightful article James, thank you.

    It describes exactly the plight I am facing now. When we chose to leave, in my case as a matter of conscience (like most), we are either silenced or vilified, sometimes both, but never neither.

    Watchtower exploits the fact that family connections make leaving a difficult and delicate process. Many, out of consideration of those still in, (including spouses), choose not to rock the boat, as much for their own sanity as anything, but they are effectively silenced in the process and still lose all their friends and much more anyway. Watchtower then has the gall to deny and lie about their most successful strategy.

    And all this from the religion which claims love to be its identifying mark, and knocks on other peoples doors uninvited demanding they examine their own religion and its failings, whilst claiming the patent on truth.

    • Eric Arthur Blair says:

      I think the latest Watchtower is quite illuminating when it comes to this subject, especially with regards to Watchtower’s responses at the aforementioned commissions:

      “Lying: WHAT IS IT? Saying something false to someone who is entitled to know the truth. Lying can include misrepresenting or distorting facts in order to mislead a person, omitting key information to deceive someone, and exaggerating the truth in order to give a false impression.

      WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: “Jehovah detests a devious person, but His close friendship is with the upright.” (Proverbs 3:32) “Now that you have put away deceit, each one of you speak truth with his neighbor.”—Ephesians 4:25.”

      Of course the key phrase here is “to someone who is entitled to know the truth” which is Watchtower’s own convenient definition of lying, but implicates them nonetheless – condemned by their own words (again!)

      And it gets worse:

      “Slander: WHAT IS IT? Uttering false and malicious statements that injure a person’s reputation.

      WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: “A troublemaker causes dissension, and a slanderer separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28) “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out, and where there is no slanderer, quarreling ceases.”—Proverbs 26:20.”

      https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/watchtower-no1-2016-january/consequences-of-dishonesty/

  12. Gordi says:

    Perfect analysis. Excellent. Very well written and so, so true.

  13. Tara says:

    I received a text today from one of our elders. He told me that they were all concerned about me and wanted me to know that the assembly was this weekend and I could listen to it via blaa blaa blaa. I was shaking as soon as I saw the name. I haven’t replied…. this goes against the grain as I am by nature a polite person. I want to reply and tell them that my conscience will not allow me to attend the hall because of among other things the child abuse has upset me and the fact I was a victim of ‘non witness’ abuse will not let me condone what is going on within the congregations. But, I was fearful. I backed away because I know once I spill the can of worms there will be no going back. I will have to face the barrage of questions and the shunning…. which is already happening. I just want them to leave me and mine alone.

    • Grace says:

      Tara,

      Don’t forget it’s coming up to the memorial & Elders are contacting inactive ones. The campaign should be starting at the beginning of the month so that’s why he’s texting you.

      I’m waiting for someone to have the courage to call on us because I have my responses ready.

      • Tracy says:

        My mother said last year that last year’s memorial will most likely be their last and that was what they were all told. Reminds me of the birds in the ice age movie.

        • Grace says:

          Tracy,

          Funny that cause that’s what was alluded at the memorial the year before which was the last one my hubby had gone to.

          The boy that cried wolf comes to my mind so many times.

    • Jarred Booth says:

      Just tell him you are busy, because you’ve officially converted to Darwinism and are going to an atheist convention this weekend. That should silence (and slightly confuse) him.

    • Winston Smith says:

      @Tara,
      When I was first fading, they finally tried to pin me down. The COBE emailed me and said he’d like to meet with me. He also asked if anyone on the BOE had done or said anything to offend me – they HAD done some stuff that I certainly could have taken offense to, but at that point, with all the other information coming to light, I really just didn’t care. I told him no, i hadn’t been offended by anyone. I said I was just in a dark place spiritually speaking and I needed time on my own to sort things out. I asked that he respect my space. After that they pretty well left me alone.

      WS

      • Tara says:

        that sounds like a respectful way to tell them to push off. I like it. Today is our assembly day and I am not going. My daughter is being pressured into going by members of her spouses family. Ironically, he isn’t a witness and would prefer her to stay home.

        Is it normal to have feeling of guilt for not being there. Like meeting nights, I still feel guilty, to a lesser degree now but it’s there. The anxiety and stress sometimes is overwhelming but it’s getting better. My son is being a great support and my son in law actually wants to plan a birthday for me this year lol.

        I have spoken to so many people outside the org. about what is actually going on behind the scenes and they are horrified. I hope they in turn spread the word. It’s a small ‘town’ mentality here so everyone knows everyone who knows someone who is a witness. That is all I can do right now as regards ‘whistle blowing’.

        • Winston Smith says:

          “Is it normal to have a feelings of guilt” –

          I haven’t had any guilt for a long time. My guilt stemmed more from what my family must think and be going through knowing I have chosen not to be there. I still avoid places where I know the majority of folks will be JWs – e.g. picnics and witness thrown parties, mostly because I want to avoid the confrontations over why I don’t go to meetings or assemblies. I have made a fairly clean break – so I have little sense of guilt, if any left.

          Tara, you have shared that due to family connections you are unable to make a clean break. That keeps you sort of with one foot in and one foot out, which may make it take longer to get over their conditioning.

          One things that I found helpful early on was to find something positive to do on meeting nights. For instance, volunteer at a community center or help out older folks. Sitting at home with the shades drawn (not to assume that is necessarily what you do) will not help the healing. We were so conditioned for that weekly schedule by the watchtower, that there is a sense of loss or emptiness associated with discontinuing it. As humans we need social interaction and there are so many good causes out there. Find something you are passionate about and start investing time in it. And it doesn’t need to be ex-JW activism. There are many good causes that will not put you at direct odds with the watchtower folks. Gradually any feelings of guilt will subside.

          That was my experience at any rate.

          WS

          • Tara says:

            Sound advice WS. In fact yesterday I was on an art course. It was a whole day thing and I came away feeling refreshed and with a sense of accomplishment. I made some new friends and was even mentioned in dispatches on the teachers website. Did I think about the service group once – nope. Today I was so busy I didn’t give the assembly I avoided a passing thought lol. thank you for your words of wisdom 🙂

      • Tara says:

        I replied to the elder today in a text. Told him yes, I was aware of the assembly but right now I need my own space. I thanked him for his concern but that I was fine.

        • Winston Smith says:

          Good for you Tara!
          Both on having the courage to ask for your space (an inalienable right, of course) and on getting involved with an outside activity/group.

          Make the most of those new friendships. Once I learned that “worldly” people were not all evil and perverse, and I saw that most folks were decent and trying to do the best they can, I was able to make a lot of new friendships. It took a while to get over my programmed answer of saying “no” when invited to do something with them, but once I did I found some wonderful friends. So much so, that I don’t even miss any of the JW friendships; they were conditional anyway. When you start making connections with others and see that really we are all the same, I think any residual guilt left over from JW programming begins to subside.

          WS

          • Tara says:

            More love bombing. This time however the text told me not to distance myself that being in the org was my survival. Now they are going after my daughter again.

    • Julien says:

      Why do you need to answer them at all? No Tara you dont need to submit to their inquisitions at all. You have a right to choose what is right for you. Abuse must never be condoned. Victims must never be silenced.

  14. The WTS shall be go down, many of innocent people who join the organisation ,with good conscience, shall be in a further shock. The governing body are layers and acting as Cult leaders(John 8:44).The WTS is in a condition of the Communisms around 1989, no more any power and bankrupt.

    • Ricardo says:

      Johannes, I hope something will happen. I talked to an open minded CO the other day who said he thought this organization is set for a fall. But how? I know some witnesses are awakened, as I am, but most are simply zombies who just follow along. If there is a resolution proposed they all put up their hands to support it, and anyone who doesn’t is looked at funny. For the organization to fall these people will need to wake up. I am in Australia and most of the brothers I have talked to about the Royal Commission know nothing about it because they are worried that looking into it will disturb their faith. Even if the Watchtower goes bankrupt, which I can’t see happening with all the halls it owns, there will still be these zombies. So how? I simply don’t think it’s possible.

  15. Gary says:

    Pertinent points indeed and accurate.
    Induced paranoia followed by shunning, gossip, innuendo, slander all justified by an honest examination. Perhaps (referring to a previous comment) John was talking to us about them.

  16. m aljen says:

    The Watchtower does no justice to the supposed love of a God. Tho the God they worship is the warmongering, Narcissistic, Psychopathic God. And when you tell them that Jehovah was a name for God made up by a 14th century monk they totally do not believe you. And yet it’s verified by their book, ‘Aid to Bible Understanding. Average JW, totally ignorant of the Watchtowers actions.

  17. Susan Gaskin says:

    EXCELLENT article, James, and so true! As long as you go away quietly, there’s “hope” for you, but once you speak out, they’ll say you “have an axe to grind”, are “angry and bitter”, and need to “get on with your life”. I’ve told these ones that I will stop making videos and speaking out when they change their harmful practices (e.g. shunning and covering up pedophiles in their midst, etc.), and stop preaching their message of hate. I liked what you’d said about Mr. Baker’s testimony too. I was greatly disappointed in the way he defended the JWs. Some ex JWs are almost worse than active JWs in their judgemental attitude and condemnation of others.

  18. Twmack says:

    Excellent article James . Freedom of speech is a basic
    human right. If we allow ourselves to be muzzled all
    sorts of oppressive wrongs are allowed to flourish.

    We are then like silent and dumb sheep being led to
    the slaughter. — ( George Washington )

    As you point out, once you are dunked under the water
    there’s no turning back, your freedom of speech is
    curtailed, criticism absolutely not tolerated. You are
    owned, mind controlled.

    As a parent, if you follow orders and inculcate your
    children to the point of baptism, ( As I have done )
    and maybe influenced other relatives to take that step.
    You are actually becoming more entangled in their web.

    When in the company of your relatives you’ll find for the
    sake of maintaining a normal loving relationship, you’ll
    often have to bite your tongue when you are longing to
    speak out.

    Should you express your true thoughts, and it becomes
    known. Then your own flesh and blood will be coerced
    into avoiding your company, and there’s no winners from
    that scenario.

    To anyone who feels the need of religion in their life, it’s
    maybe best to choose one that’s comfortable with a
    variety of opinions, but avoid demanding cult outfits.
    Perhaps the best way is to work out your own philosophy
    instead of relying on other mortals to do it for you.

  19. Victoria says:

    Excellent writeup. As an active jw for 35 yrs, I can ouch for accuracy here, every word. I am our for 9 yrs and breathing free alas. I’m but one of many thousands, most eager to see WT come crumbling down. Its a very destructive high mind control cult that breaks up families.

  20. Twmack says:

    @Grace. Your mention of having your response ready
    in the event of a memorial invite, prompted me to think
    of what mine would be.

    I thought of asking, what’s the point? It’s like a good
    friend inviting you to a meal then refusing to eat the food
    they’d prepared. The emblems are just passed around,
    and unless there happens to be any of the “Elite Christians ”
    present the food just goes to waste.

    ( Although, after the meeting our presiding overseer would
    knock back the glass of wine.)

    Then maybe I’d refer to Eph, 4/4-5, which rules out the
    us and them Christians. the first and the second class.–
    One Faith, One Hope, One Baptism for all.

    Apologies if I’m going of at a tangent here, but maybe it
    could come under the heading of. Whistle blowing on,
    Christian customs perverted.

    • Bad Penny says:

      Twmack – On your point of ‘Christian customs perverted’. Just thinking about the memorial ritual and the rejection of the wine, which represents Christ’s shed blood ….. This is taking the ‘abstain from blood’ doctrine just a bit too far …. Just a thought.

    • Grace says:

      Twmack,

      You are right, what would be the point of them inviting any of us who have woken up? We can see the farce, so what are we going to do there? Pretend that we agree with every thing & then flutter around the room saying how wonderful it is to be there just so that it makes them feel better about themselves.

      Besides that, I would like to ask them how it would feel if someone came to there door uninvited from another faith (especially if it was a muslim) trying to convert them to Islam. They would be outraged.

    • dee2 says:

      Twmack,

      How about this response when the JWs come a calling to invite you to the memorial:

      1Corinthians 11:25-26:
      ‘He did the same with the cup also, after they had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood. Keep doing this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
      For whenever you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, UNTIL HE COMES.’ (NWT)

      Since Jesus Christ already came in 1914 when his kingdom officially took power and he began active rulership toward all the world, then you no longer see a need to continue celebrating the memorial.

      http://mmoutreachinc.com/jehovahs_witnesses/1914.html

      • SIRIUS says:

        @dee2

        Great analysis. Couple thoughts come to mind. (Bit off-topic)

        1) Quite a role for the archangel Michael again, is it not? Returning (but this time invisible) as earthly Jesus, seated throned and heavenly. Waiting since 1914 among JW’s perceived benchmark of worldly chaos.

        2) How many reboots of man’s free-will with Jehovah’s divine intervention will this be, 20 plus? Based on past history we (humans) can’t seem to get it right. Yet again another kicking the can down road. My point, we never seem to see free-will play out in its entirety, given some sort of mystery intervention.

        IMHO

        dogstar

  21. Gary says:

    The changing of the guards Bob Dylan:-).

  22. Alexandria R says:

    James Strait, your thinking is straight. I remember a few months ago during the book study part of the meeting at the Kingdom Hall In the Draw Close To Jehovah Book in chapter 20 under How Jehovah Proves to Be Humble the study article reads Jehovah, who is “wise in heart,” is also humble and it uses Job 9:4 to prove what they say. Job 9:4 reads: He is wise in heart and mighty in power. Who can resist him and come off uninjured? That doesn’t say Jehovah is humble. People are crazy to believe what the society writes. My mom used to say “Don’t argue with ignorance, because you’ll get frustrated, feel emotionally tired and get no place.”If I’m shunned then I wont get to see my sister wake up and she is waking up. I plan to stay in her life. I know when to speak up and when to wait. I’m inactive because that’s what I want to do. My sister and I when we get on a subject either one of us doesn’t want to talk about any more, our safe word is ‘stratacaster, stratacaster, stratacaster’ and we change the subject! It may work for some people to be DF’d but that doesn’t work for me. And if anyone wants to argue with that I say, Then I’ll say ‘stratacaster, stratacaster, stratacaster’ “:) A lot of times my sister agrees with me.

  23. Willows says:

    By their fruits they are identified.
    Interestingly the fruitage of God’s Spirit excludes hatred. Or hate speech. Galations 5:19-21. Mentions hatred as a work of the flesh….. “they that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” On the other hand the fruitage of God’s Spirit is seen in the qualities expresses in word ,thought and deed. Namely Galations 5:22 ……… ” the fruitage of of the Spirit is love, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.” ( no hatred or hate speech. ) When will the Watchtower realize what their hateful attitude towards others is doing to their image, as workers for the Spirit or workers for the Flesh!

    • Willows says:

      Workers of the Spirit require a different mind set compared to workers of the flesh.
      So that refreshing winds of change can occur hatred and hate speech needs to be blown away.
      Ones mind set needs to be responsive to reproof.
      To reprove the way of Christ. Is the Watchtower up to it. Or will they go on calling others mentally diseased, but not themselves. Perhaps they need to read some of their publications over 100 years of printing and realize the so-called mentally diseased include others, themselves included.
      Numerous examples abound in their printed publications. That were taught for years upon years. If Jesus took the attitude about shunning as the Watchtower does, he would not have helped those he did in his earthly ministry. Thank God he followed his Father’s instructions. When will the Watchtower learn.

  24. Someone says:

    I was in Montague Baker’s congregation when he was disfellowshipped. He was the presiding overseer of the Beenleigh congregation in Brisbane.

    He pushed a brother out of the “truth” for starting a massage business, he tried to make out he somehow had an ulterior motive (wanted to touch women) and the guy went from being a MS to out of the religion today.

    The only reason Monty Baker left the religion was shame… because he got his 19 year old secretary pregnant, and he knew it was all going to hit the fan.

    He abandoned his wife and daughter for the younger women.

    Just a bit of history for those who want to know. Im no longer a JW myself in case you wonder… and i don’t want to look like im persecuting monty… but none of the skeletons in his closet came out in the court case.

    • Grace says:

      Someone,

      That makes more sense to his strange performance at the ARC. I have to admit I was a little disappointed with him & was expecting a different response from him. I sensed that he wasn’t willing to say anything negative against the Watchtower. it seems he was protecting his own little shameful history & didn’t want that to be outed. I got the impression that he seemed regretful about the way things panned out for the victim though. I may be wrong as I don’t know him personally.

      This is the way that I see it, we all have things that we feel ashamed of & we have all hurt someone else be it minor or major. Sometimes just being honest & admitting that we made a mistake & apologising to the person we hurt is what makes it easier to forgive. WT refuse to acknowledge their mistakes & refuse to apologise for them. Haughty men.

  25. Twmack says:

    @Bad Penny, Grace, dee2. Thanks to your comments
    I feel well prepared to turn down any memorial invitation
    and perhaps help the one who delivers it to think a bit more
    deeply on the subject. Thanks for the link dee2, some
    some useful points in there.

    • dee2 says:

      @Twmack

      Some more memorial ammunition:

      *****What is Truth? (1932) p.48*****
      “The prophecy of the Bible, fully supported by the physical facts in fulfilment thereof, shows that the SECOND COMING of Christ dates from the fall of the year 1914.”

      *****Watchtower 1933 Dec 1 p.362*****
      “The year 1914, therefore, marks the SECOND COMING of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of glory.”

      http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/failed-1914-predictions.php

      So since Jesus Christ already came in 1914, no need to continue commemorating the memorial of his death (1 Corinthians 11:26).

  26. Bandit says:

    Who was Montague Baker that name sounds so familiar? Also in agreement with @Alexandria R , I don’t want to be DF’d i plan to change halls, move with my cousin nd we both will be inactive. I’m close to people in the religion i love them like family we just follow different paths.

  27. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    I think it is their time for vengeance!

    *** w01 6/15 pp. 29-30 The Hasmonaeans and Their Legacy ***
    Alexander Jannaeus broke with previous policy and freely declared himself both high priest and king. The conflicts between the Hasmonaeans and the Pharisees intensified, even leading to a civil war in which 50,000 Jews perished. After the rebellion was quelled, in an act reminiscent of pagan kings, Jannaeus had 800 of the rebels impaled. In their dying moments, their wives and children were slaughtered before their eyes, while Jannaeus feasted openly with his concubines

  28. dee2 says:

    Some more memorial tit bits:
    1 Corinthians 11:26:

    – New World Translation (NWT) wording prior to 2013 revision:

    “AS OFTEN AS you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he ARRIVES.”

    http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2003123

    – New World Translation (NWT) wording since 2013 revision:

    “For WHENEVER you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he COMES.”

    https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/1-corinthians/11/

    Wonder what’s the reason for the changes in wording?

    • Winston Smith says:

      Some other translations:

      1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. (Holman Christian Study Bible)

      1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come. (American Standard Version)

      1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. (King James Version)

      1 Corinthians 11:26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you are retelling the message of the Lord’s death, that he has died for you. Do this until he comes again. (The Living Bible)

      1 Corinthians 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (NIV)

      It sounds like either way is accepted, although only the new NWT uses “ARRIVES”. However, the first three translations above are more direct versions, whereas the last two are more paraphrase translations (although HCSB is considered a blend between literal and paraphrase). So it sounds like NWT is moving away from the more literal wording.

      WS

  29. James Broughton says:

    James, another superb article with a helpful comment from John. I had a visit from a JW lady just this morning and she offered me an invitation to the Memorial service at the local kingdom hall. In return I offered her a Christian booklet which I always keep by the front door. She declined to receive it so I returned her leaflet. The smile disappeared from her face and she just walked away.

    • Winston Smith says:

      Amazing how they are so conditioned by the watchtower. They ask non members to give serious examination to their religion, however ask the JW to do the same in regard to their own and they go into defense mode. They are programmed that way. I recall that I always felt that if this was the truth then it should stand up to the most rigorous inspection. Hence why I am no longer active in it.

      WS

  30. In their book Reasoning from the Scriptures, they say an apostate is someone who abandons the Organisation. Obviously is not true.