The Friday Column: Portuguese documentary overshadows Governing Body visit
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Portuguese journalist Ana Leal outside the branch office in Alcabideche

Portuguese journalist Ana Leal outside the branch office in Alcabideche

David Splane, of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, visited the branch office (Bethel) in Portugal at the beginning of November 2015.

The purpose of such a cyclical visit is usually to gather information and to check on whether the Branch is operating in compliance with Governing Body guidelines.

David Splane brought news of changes in the organizational structure. He confirmed the rumors of cuts in personnel at Bethel and the removal of special pioneers, both in Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries.

The numbers of those being “released” – sacked, or made redundant – as a result of downsizing is significant. About 30% of Bethelites will have to leave the Portuguese Bethel family and return to ‘serve’ in their former congregations. Similarly, many special pioneers scattered within Portugal and the Islands will be surplus to requirements. The Islands include Madeira, The Azores, Cape Verde and São Tomé e Príncipe.

It must be disheartening to lose a “lifetime career” having complied with the demand to put first the kingdom of God. No doubt many felt safe under the protective wing of the parent organization, recently re-branded as JW dot org.

David Splane made the announcements on Sunday, 1st November 2015 (via internet streaming from Bethel in Carnaxide), to almost 50,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the Portuguese territory and African countries where Portuguese is the official language.

Splane’s visit to Portugal and speech coincided with a major documentary entitled “In the Shadow of Sin” broadcast on the Portuguese Reporter TVI channel by the investigative journalist Ana Leal.

The documentary shown on the 18th October explored, for the first time on Portuguese TV, the impact of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ damaging child abuse policies, their response to domestic violence and other harmful practices.

The documentary prompted many watching Jehovah’s Witnesses who immediately felt betrayed to call Bethel asking questions. They were told the documentary was apostate lies.

Here is the documentary, now for the first time with English subtitles…

Early on in Splane’s speech, he mentioned reports that “speak evil” of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Clearly the purpose of this warning was to calm the fears of his audience who had been disturbed by the documentary shown at prime time on Portuguese TV.

In an attempt at deflecting attention away from the issues of child molestation and other abuses raised in the documentary, David Splane suggested that it is bad journalism to seek only one side of the story.

His comments appeared to be a direct reference to the TVI Reporter documentary and the main investigative journalist Ana Leal.

Splane said, “after all, there are always two sides to the story and a journalist who does not seek to check the facts, hearing only one side is not a professional. A journalist that operates in that way just wants to get a sensational story and, therefore, it will be a bad story, not a factual story.”

Of course, good journalistic practice and ethics demand that both sides of a story should be presented, so that the reader, watcher or curious lurker can draw their conclusions.

What David Splane omitted to tell the almost 50,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses who were listening in, is that the documentary was the responsibility of the well-known and award-winning journalist Ana Leal. He failed to inform his audience not only that the journalist sought the help of Jehovah’s Witnesses by contacting Bethel so that a counter view could be made to the gathered content. He also neglected to mention that she had made videos and transcripts available for comment before the broadcast, and also contacted various congregations inviting them to participate.

She was keen to share positive experiences of what it means to be a Jehovah’s Witness.

David Splane’s speech was disingenuous in attempting to raise doubts as to the credibility of the journalist. But his intentions were clear from his statement “… and so we usually leave things as they are, and let the story die.”

Bethel in Portugal did not provide any statements or offer any comment “contradicting or confirming,” the testimonies or stories within the documentary. All Jehovah’s Witnesses contacted refused to speak or take part.

This fact was made clear at the end of the documentary. TVI’s commentator, Judith de Sousa, stated:

“TVI tried to speak to the Jehovah’s Witness organization about all these charges, but they declined the invitation to take part.”

The journalist Ana Leal was not pleased at David Splane’s shabby attempt at undermining her journalistic integrity.

After listening to Splane’s speech, she had this to say:

“It is easy to see the impressive manipulation of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the hands of their leadership. Mr Splane blatantly tried to suggest that a report is partial and biased if both sides of the story are not shared.”

After listening to Splane’s speech and the comments directly related to her report, she returned to Bethel with a film crew ready to record a Watchtower rebuttal. She was determined to put on record that it was Bethel that had refused to give an interview. Ana Leal filmed outside Bethel and asked again for a response. She was invited into Bethel and waited 30 minutes in a room for the Watchtower to comment. Eventually, Branch Office Committee head, Pedro Candeias, appeared and said: “We have nothing else to add.” (see video below)

The journalist Ana Leal and the documentary team now fully comprehend why the leadership tried to undermine her credibility. The Governing Body’s tactic is clear: they want the documentary to “die.”

But this strategy, on this occasion, has been publicly called out on Portuguese TV.

Now with English subtitles, this documentary with testimonies and survivor stories can be shared more widely. The Governing Body will have to think up a new tactic to silence abuse survivors and journalists who are willing to document Watchtower’s policy failures.

 

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Documentary Translation by Susanna, and subtitles by Carlos Fernandes (TJ Curioso)

For more information on this and other stories in Portuguese, please visit extj.net

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189 Responses to The Friday Column: Portuguese documentary overshadows Governing Body visit

  1. anonymous4 says:

    @ Drew

    Come on, man. Something takes place on EVERY date in history!

    • minion says:

      @ a4,

      @Drew,

      Damn man, . . . ok,
      here’s the deal. Another task for you:

      You believe or repeat Watchtower Corporation statements.
      re: after 1914 things are worse.

      Correct answer, this depends where you live. Would you not agree.?
      Research American history;

      1.) The first time ever a foul – bad word used on a national movie, ‘Gone with the wind’, movie release Jan.17, 1940.

      2.) American classic movies from 1900 to 1970s, have men in suits, Stacey Adams shoes, hats, long sleeves and ties, and No saggying pants – this trend started 2010.
      And the Beautiful Ladies, all were nice dresses covered from head to toe. Very nice indeed!

      3.) Schools from 1900 to 2000, teachers gave a damn, Clark Gables favorite word in the movie, gone with the wind, ‘Who gives a damn’. Right?

      4.). TV networks before the 10:00 pm news, would announce, ‘its 10:00 pm, do you know we’re your children are’? This announcement was from 1950 to 1970s.

      5.) Heres a hot topic – Civil Rights Act of 1964.

      6.) My favorite hot topic – Equal Pay Act of 1963.

      7.) Watchtower Corporation looks away from this hot topic – 2000, 42 US Code – Prohibition against discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation.
      This sounds lmore of a kingdom Hall.

      8.) No wars on America territory not since the 1800s.

      9.) MTV gain “International status” when they aired ‘Thriller’ by Brother Michael Jackson, no relation to G.Jackson (GB)
      Release date November 30, 1982.

      10.). MTV imposed ‘what time this could be aired’ Why, you ask? Because TV viewing still had standards to live by. Triller was release on November 30, 1982.

      11.) And for the record, please read Matt.28:18, this authority Jesus speaks about, is the same as a President, Commander in Chief, at the Royal Palace. The Kingship or Kingdom power and sovereignty.
      The year was 33ce. Forty days after Jesus was ressurected.

      I’m sure others can add more to the list.
      But, you should understand our perspective.
      1914 really has no meaning what’s so ‘Ever’.

      JWSurvey = “Unity in Freedom for Thruth”

      Peace out,

      • minion says:

        @ Drew,

        My comment on #8, no attacks on USA territory. USA school bombings, Sept. 9, 2001, NY attacks on twin towers, Oklahoma bombing. These attacks fall under ‘classified’ – don’t ask don’t tell.
        These attacks don’t count.
        We love our US government. Really. We do!

        JWSurvey = “Unity in Freedom for Truth”

        Peace out,

  2. Garrett says:

    Thanks for your hard work on this Sussanah! So glad to have you on board.
    G

  3. JB Reezner says:

    I did a job for a man a few days ago, and it came up in conversation that he was holding off on getting married again. Before I could even ask why, he went off on a rant about how his last wife left him because he wouldn’t become a Jehovah’s Witness, and that her JW mother hated him. The whole experience had really damaged him– emotionally, financially, etc. I was too embarrassed to tell him that I had been one for decades. All I could say was (sincerely), “Well, that doesn’t sound very Christian”. He looked at me and emphatically said, “No, they’re not Christians. They’re not Christian at all.”

    It made me think of the time when I told a non-Witness acquaintance that I was getting baptized. He was happy for me, until I told him it was as a JW. He said, “I wish you would’ve told me ANYTHING but that”.

    All the times that non-witnesses judged my religion adversely, I felt sorry for THEM. It’s such a strange feeling to know that they all knew something I didn’t. Sure, many of them likely had flaws in their own belief systems, but the serious problems with the Org are frequently OBVIOUS to outsiders. I wish they would’ve been obvious to me.

    I’m encouraged to know that things are happening more publicly now, like the ARC, and like this In the Shadow of Sin documentary (and brilliant follow-up piece). One day, the flaws with this cult will be obvious to almost everyone. Thank you, to everybody working to make that happen.

    • anonymous4 says:

      WHY didn’t we LISTEN??? LOL
      P.S. No regrets…The past is DEAD.

    • Grace says:

      JB,

      I had surprising reactions from my non-jw friends & family when I opened up to them once I left. All this time, they were just being polite & not saying anything to me when I would go on about my faith to them. When I announced that I don’t practice the religion anymore they were really supportive & started to to tell me how they really felt about it but still in the nicest possible way.

      • JB Reezner says:

        I remember back when you mentioned your desire to reconnect with them, Grace. I’m so glad that’s been your experience. It’s great news, and very revealing.

        It’s just further proof that–dare I say–MORE than .1% of human beings on Earth are good people? Believing that 99.9% of humanity deserved to be showered with fireballs was a bummer. Knowledge is a wonderful thing, albeit a little embarrassing sometimes.

      • Meredith J says:

        So nice for you Grace.

  4. anonymous4 says:

    @ minion

    Re: Your hypothetical “gift card” scenario.

    Answer: The KH servant would accept the $50, then SAY he DIDN’T. This behavior would also further qualify him to be promoted to ELDER.

    P.S. I think you mean “Unity in Freedom for Truth” — U threw an extra “h” in there Bud.

  5. anonymous4 says:

    The GB talk about an overlapping generation. But no one talks about the overlapping BOREDOM one is subjected to in JW meetings, by the constant (seemingly ENDLESS) droning of uneducated mimbos (male Bimbos). Once again, I’m glad I’m OUT!

  6. Grace says:

    What an excellent article, Susannah.

    Isn’t funny how the same problems are being felt around the world & the same silencing coming from the leaders of the WT. They truly do treat their members like idiots. The more that they try to act like spiritual leaders, the more they out themselves as cult leaders.

    I don’t know if anyone saw my link a few articles ago to the latest Brad Zook video called Jim Jones & Jehovah’s Witnesses or something like that but I thought that it was a powerful piece. I showed it to my hubby & he was speechless & said that it is the best one that he has watched. Anyway, I instantly thought of that video when Splane criticised (I should say insulted) the journalist. What a stupid man to do that, he is just asking for more questions to be answered by journalists.

  7. Grace says:

    I have to say that it is so good to see other writers contributing here. I really like the way this site is evolving.

  8. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    Somebody somewhere know where the Society is heading:

    *** w01 8/1 p. 3 Your Right to Believe ***
    Some beliefs are not only different but also dangerous. Early in the 20th century, for example, some people came to believe that Jews and Freemasons had plans to “disrupt Christian civilization and erect a world state under their joint rule.” One source of this belief was an anti-Semitic tract entitled Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. The tract alleged that the plans included advocating excessive taxation, promoting armament production, encouraging giant monopolies so that ‘Gentile wealth could be destroyed in one blow.’ Allegations also included manipulating the education system so as to ‘turn Gentiles into unthinking beasts,’ and even constructing underground railways to join capital cities so that the Jewish elders could ‘quell any opposers by blowing them sky-high.’

    Hhhhh!! Are Jehovah’s Witnesses saying: “Some beliefs are not only different but also dangerous”! I am afraid they are not? ( http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=w01+8%2F1+p.+3 )!!!!

  9. anonymous4 says:

    When I was in, I noticed that in addition to mental / emotional ailments among Witnesses, there seemed to be an increase in PHYSICAL issues. I have no way of comparing the number of incidences to the general population, and I don’t want to appear insensitive, but my point is — as most are aware, it has been scientifically and medically proven that the mind and body are “connected”, and especially that mental and / or emotional STRESS is a contributing factor in many PHYSICAL ailments, if not a direct cause. In the ex-Witness community (& perhaps even WITHIN) illnesses such as depression and fibromyalgia are becoming known as “Witness Diseases”. Yet another drawback to being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. There comes a time in everyone’s life when one must ask oneself the question, “What do I REALLY believe?”

  10. minion says:

    @ G.Jackson (GB) limited education – 8th grade level.

    The word used by a4 – ‘Fibromyalgia’, this means:

    Syndrome affects the muscle and soft tissue. Symptoms include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points.

    Imagine that, I have these ailments.

    G.Jackson, here at JWSurvey is user friendly and for all levels of comphrension. Not a simplied version as you put out at Sunday worship. Some of your friends have even called it, a dumb down version. Imagine that!

    Please remember, JWSurvey = “Unity in Freedom for Truth”

    Peace out,

  11. anonymous4 says:

    A man is strolling down a beach when he notices a bottle washed up on shore. He picks it up and starts rubbing it, and (of course) a 10,000 year-old Genie pops out. The Genie says, “For releasing me, I shall grant you 1 wish.” The man says, “Well, I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii, but I’m afraid to fly. Could you extend the Golden Gate Bridge to Hawaii so I can drive there?” The Genie says, “Are you kidding? Do you know how much of my power it would take to build a bridge halfway across the Pacific Ocean? Can you come up with something else?” The man considers for a minute, then says, “Well, I’ve always wondered which religion teaches the Truth.” The Genie replies, “About that bridge, 2 lanes or 4?”

  12. Hadriel says:

    It’s interesting that Pope Francis said that he felt he had to offer a personal apology. He recently said:

    “I would like to ask for forgiveness in the name of the church for the scandals that have happened”. “I am profoundly sorry”.

    Conversely the Governing Body has shown no such humility. Although neither can repair the damage done you would think an organization that condemns the Catholic church at every turn would show humility the same or better than it itself. Instead as indicated in this story, the plan is to ignore or not address the issue.

    Likely the thought is that any acknowledgment would indicate that the organization/Governing Body are fallible. This fear of losing control is so great that it out weighs common decency in the form of compassion of those victimized. A simple sorry motivated by humility, along with acceptance of culpability, could at least help those effected have some measure relief albeit never a replacement for the damage done to them.

    • Holy Connoli says:

      @Hadriel. Is it any wonder they have not offered a sincere apology? They have never domne that with regard to all their fals prophesying either and encouraging people to quit their jobs and Pioneer before 1975 or not going to college and getting an education etc or for DF spouses who may had forbidden “BEDROOM SEX” with their mate! Their are so MANY examples of them being wrong and never admitting it. There is No reason to expect they will now or ever. At least Harold Camping and the World Wide Church of God admitted their error on prophesying and apologized publicly for it and admitted they were wrong. THE WT never will.

  13. MDM says:

    I am in a country that blocks youtube so I cannot watch most of the videos posted here. I have tried VPNs but the government here is obsessed with blocking all Google products. Is it possible for someone to upload “In the Shadow of Sin” to youku.com?

    • Susannah says:

      Hi MDM, TJ Curioso has tried to register on the site you suggested without any success. He is willing to let you have access to the video. Do you have any other ideas how this could be shared?

      • MDM says:

        Hello Susannah,

        Thank you for your reply and attempting to use another site not blocked in China. I have come up with a more circuitous method of watching the video. I may look for a more permanent fix if needed.

        Thank you again for taking time to assist me.

      • MDM says:

        FYI, After trying 20 sites I found one in English and is not blocked in China. So far, I am able to watch videos on Vimeo.

        Might be worth a shot in the future.

  14. anonymous4 says:

    To any current JW’s checking out this site, first of all, GOOD FOR YOU!! Secondly, if any of you are still planning a lifetime of blissful “full-time service”, I would ask myself, How has that worked out for all the Bethelites being canned? Are they all getting a “Golden Parachute”? Not bloody likely! No doubt you have also come across some comments by older apostates who pursued such “service” and are now living hand-to-mouth, with no retirement package or formal education. Is that the future you seek? A wise person learns, not only from his or her own experience, but the experience of others as well. What’s that you say? “But the End really is near this time”? Sure, provided there is not ANOTHER “overlapping” generation. I mean, if there could be 2, couldn’t there be 3, or 4, or 5000 “overlapping” gen’s? What if some other “twist” comes along. I mean, “New Light” is always shining forth, isn’t it? Who can say?
    One of the keys to detaching from the Borg is to slowly build contacts on the Outside, so you won’t be left high and dry when you decide to make your break. Yes, there is a world out there, with real people, not all good, but not all bad. Strategize. Plan. Educate yourself. Remember, your fellow JW’s will show you no sympathy, so don’t give them any. Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained to play on “the better angels of our nature”, soft emotions like sympathy, pity, self-doubt, guilt, sentiment, even love. Buck up and refuse to be manipulated! Someone once said “When life becomes a battlefield, your mind is your best weapon.” (Well, either that or an Apache attack helicopter) 😉 BTW, I believe it was L. Ron Hubbard (founder of Scientology) who said that. FYI I am not a Scientologist, nor am I advocating Scientology (or any other religion, for that matter). I just think that’s a really neat “proverb”. So, what’s YOUR state of mind? Is your mind like a revolving door, with no control over what comes in or goes out? Or is it like a fortress? Like I said, JW’s know where to attack — the weak points. So remember the Boy Scout motto: BE PREPARED.

    • Chiafade says:

      This is great advice especially considering the fact that the JW leadership have mastered redirecting anything negative onto the person. Our softer nature will tell us that perhaps we ARE being too negative and maybe we SHOULD do more personal study.

      When I became critical of the organization the attention immediately was focused on what I was doing or not doing. “Have you been visiting apostate websites?” “Do you see how negative information can affect you?”. All of these questions are designed to guilt trip a witness into thinking that something is wrong with THEM. The focus is taken away from the org and conveniently they don’t have to answer any hard questions.

      After years of indoctrination we were trained to accept it all. Otherwise we wouldn’t be ” sheeplike”. A true Christian wouldn’t want to exercise his independent thought right? Utter BS! Your mind is a gift unique to you. Use it to better your life and that of your family. Not to the benefit of a parasitic organization.

      • Tara says:

        Making friends ‘in the world’ is hard to do after being cocooned for so long. I was talking to a client and broke down because of this. He hugged me and told me he and his wife were my friends and would be there for me. Another client is offering to ‘hang out’ for coffee, wine etc and to take me to a carol concert etc etc. What I am saying is you have to let people know. They don’t realise half the time just how captive it is being a JW. I have watched a few jaws hit the ground as I have told them what we go through. I’ve not said they are bad people just controlled.

        • Holy Connoli says:

          @tara

          Hi Tara. I know hoiw difficult it is to make new friends after being in the BORG for so long. One thing you will likely find out is there are SO MANY nice and good people who are not JW’s and their friendship is not conditional on you believing an ever changing doctrine and loyalty to 7 men in Brooklyn. When I expl;ained some of the things a typical JW had to endure they could not believe it. Shunning your own family, no celebration’s, no sports, no beards, no blood transfusions, ( except the JW Now take “BLOOD fractions” but won’t give Blood fractions”? ) I have made many NON JW friends and they are good honest people and in many ways better than a Conditional JW friend who will drop you in a NYC minute if you decide to not Believe the nonsense they teach. It takes Time tara even if you are older there are choices you can make and places to meet new people and create friendships. It takes time but you can doo it. I know BC I have done it. JW’s are VERY CONDITIONAL. Some JW’s would want to be your friend if you left but the BORG will not allow them to be.

        • Meredith J says:

          Tara, go to the carol concert. I would like to go to one this year. The traditional Christmas carols are beautiful. I used to sing them before I was a Witness. They are extremely accurate with the Bible’s description of the events surrounding the birth of Christ. They are not to be feared as we were trained to by the Watchtower.

          Remember how we told our children that the star was created by Satan. I never believed that statment. I didn’t like my children being told that because I always thought that assumption was inaccurate and totally misleads one from benefiting from the birth of Jesus. Well, they are my thoughts anyway.

          • Baby says:

            A star its more great than the earth, how could a star been in the top of human hause?
            why such star bein seen by only 3 men?

            all stars has been created by Jehovah not by satan. JW has never say that the stars was created by satan. This was your own opinion. In this case, Every thinking personne can see that that particular”star” was not a real star. it was an element sparking or shining using by the devil to delude that tree men.

          • Meredith J says:

            @Baby Baby Baby, something tells me you are a troll that many speak of. What on earth are you doing on this site. You could be disfellowshipped for such things. Why you have come here, I have no idea but really if you come to make trouble for those on here then you have come to the wrong place.

            Those who are on here are recovering from the peverse treatment at the hands of the Watchtower policy makers. So unless you have something to add, in line with the purpose of this website, please refrain from any further comments. We do not appreciate the Scroogelike attitude that permeates from this cult.

  15. anonymous4 says:

    If the GB, overseers, and elders saw Jesus charging down out of heaven, they would run away like little sissies.

  16. anonymous4 says:

    Dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago. Apostate lie!!
    Human civilization is older than 6000 years. Apostate lie!!
    J.F. Rutherford was an alcoholic bully. Apostate lie!!
    E=MC2. Apostate lie!!
    2+2=4. Apostate lie!!
    The sky is blue. Apostate lie!!
    LMAO. Apostate lie!!

    • Baby says:

      the Apostate are always lying. Even when he is telling the truth for a moment, the purpose is to turn those who are inside the truth by subtle form

      • anonymous4 says:

        Seems like you have it all figured out!

      • Covert Fade says:

        Hi Baby. You seem very convinced that apostates are lying. I have a little challenge for you.

        Pop on over to the articles we’ve just published on the Royal Commission report and tell me in the comments exactly which parts of that report are lies, and give me your detailed reasons as to why.

        If you do that, we might actually take you seriously.

        • Baby says:

          One more victim is one victim too. Our heart hurts to see the victims suffer. But who can prove that the elders is contrary to Scripture.

          Even in israel there were abuses among the disciples (no apostles) of Jesus there were villains.

          Yes truths about the fact that they have applied the principles of the Bible as they understand them. If not tell me with biblical evidence they needed to do otherwise.

          • Susannah says:

            Hi Baby,
            Do you think the elders should report child abuse and allow the child to get counselling? Do you think the child should have to bring along two witnesses to say they saw the rape or abuse?

            Why would an organisation supposedly led by your God not want to help the children get justice?

            Please read how your Governing Body responds to child abuse accusations.

            It is “no comment,” denial and blame the journalist investigating the crime.

            https://www.revealnews.org/blog/how-jehovahs-witness-leaders-are-responding-to-child-abuse-scrutiny/

            You sound as though you could do with researching more and reading more. It will help you understand the full picture. You are not being told the facts by listening to this organisation.

          • Covert Fade says:

            Certainly, happy to supply evidence that the elders and your organisation did not act in harmony with the scriptures.

            For example, as you will be aware if you have watched the ARC teaching, that your organisation demands that two witnesses must be witnesses to a child rape in order for anything to be done. They use this by citing Deuteronomy 19:15.

            However, if you put this scripture in context,
            Deuteronomy 22:23‐27 specifically indicate a situation where a woman is sexually assaulted in a field (with her being the only witness) and the attacker is nonetheless found guilty on the basis of her testimony alone.

            In other words, ancient judges DID have leeway in the bible to act on the evidence of one witness if they believed that evidence to be compelling.

            Thus, Watchtower POLICY (not the actions of one or two elders but the POLICY laid down by your governing body) of doing nothing about child rape accusations unless two witnesses are present is arguably not in harmony with the scriptures.

  17. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    More apostate lies!
    *** w50 3/15 pp. 95-96 Letters ***
    Letters
    ABSENCE OF PRAYER AT PUBLIC MEETINGS!
    November 17, 1949
    Dear Brother:
    Answering your query of the 9th instant regarding the absence of prayer in opening and closing our public meetings:
    It is certain that the public does not come to our public lectures in our Kingdom Hall or elsewhere to hear us pray, but do come to hear the advertised subject spoken upon by the speaker announced as competent to handle it. Our Exemplar Jesus held many public lectures, but there is no record that he opened or closed any of them with prayer. There is no Bible record that he opened up the sermon on the mount with prayer, or those open-air lectures after which he fed the multitude, first the 5,000 and then the 4,000. But there is a record that when he thus fed the multitudes he did offer prayer of thanksgiving to God before breaking the bread and fish and distributing the pieces to the hungry crowds. And these lectures, mind you, were public gatherings of practically all Jews who already believed in Jehovah God. But in our case today we advertise our public lectures as open to all peoples, whether nominally Catholic, Protestant, Jew, skeptic, atheist, or of the many pagan religions. Surely those of the public who are not of the Christian faith do not turn out to our meetings in order to join with us in prayer to our God, but solely to hear the speech which is the drawing feature. So we give them that and do not think to impose upon them by attaching something else to the lecture which might offend or stumble them before they hear the speech they came for. The apostle Paul, at 1 Corinthians, chapter 14, says Christians should offer prayer at their own meetings in a language to be understood in order that the hearers might be able to say Amen! at its close. But we should not expect any non-Christian public to join in any prayer if offered at a public meeting and then say Amen! with us at the close. Our brethren are offering public lectures in many pagan lands, and if it would be imposing upon the pagan public to offer our prayers before we let them hear our public message, then the same rule ought to apply even in Christendom. Because the message is for the public to tune in on, prayer is likewise not offered over the Society’s radio station WBBR. But this does not mean prayer is never offered in behalf of all such public meetings. It is, privately, by those promoting and supporting the public lecture campaign. That suffices.

  18. Simon Kestral says:

    @Chiafade

    Yes they presume something is wrong with YOU. That’s the idea of the return to Jehovah brochure.

    When I left WT, I retained Christian belief. To me, jumping to atheism would be like scrapping my car because the thermostat is overheating. I replace what’s broken and keep the working parts.

    I believe the world as we know it will end, but I keep in mind Jesus words: we cannot know the day or hour, in advance. Soon maybe, but not knowing when, we must plan for retirement in this old world. Don’t be caught without enough oil in your lamp, as the parable says.

    • Baby says:

      “I believe the world as we know it will end, but I keep in mind Jesus words: we cannot know the day or hour, in advance.”
      VERY GOOD

      In his first letter to the congregation in Thessalonica, Paul called attention to the coming of “Jehovah’s day.” He did not want his brothers to be in darkness and unprepared. Instead, he urged them as “sons of light” to ‘stay awake and keep their senses.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6.) Today, we await the destruction of Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion. This will mark the beginning of the great day of Jehovah. Thankfully, we have an increased understanding of the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose. Also, through the congregation, we regularly receive timely reminders that help us to keep our senses. Taking note of these repeated warnings can strengthen our resolve to render to God ‘sacred service with our power of reason.’ Rom. 12:1.
      Shortly after sending his first letter to the Thessalonian Christians, Paul sent them a second letter. In this he called attention to the coming tribulation when the Lord Jesus will carry out divine judgment on “those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news.” (2 Thess. 1:6-8) What is now chapter 2 of this letter reveals that some in that congregation had become “excited” about Jehovah’s day to the point that they believed that its arrival was then imminent. (2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2.) Those early Christians had only a limited understanding of the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose, even as Paul later acknowledged regarding prophecy: “We have partial knowledge and we prophesy partially; but when that which is complete arrives, that which is partial will be done away with.” (1 Cor. 13:9, 10) But the inspired warnings penned by Paul, the apostle Peter, and other faithful anointed brothers of that time could equip them to maintain their faith.
      when i look i see thah,
      It is not possible to maintain your faith being outside the congrégation.

      • Simon Kestral says:

        WT is not the congregation of God. WT is a pretender, falsely claiming the title of “faithful and discreet slave” for itself.

        Only the master can make that judgment. Any slave claiming it before Jesus has spoken, is running ahead.

        Thus WT has no authority; WT is not “the truth.”

        • Baby says:

          Since 100 years the WT is the only organisation giving Bible explanation about yhe truth all around the world, exacly as the “faithful and discreet slave” of Christ must do. Giving Food for the people. Do you know those who are doing this in 850 languages? more 750 languages available in jw.org.
          If you think you can find, show me. If not stop working agains God’s people

  19. Bandit says:

    Here’s my plan:

    1). Buy a car and find another hall

    2). After I change, I will not go to another meeting

    3). Hopefully getting my career together I will enjoy my life, not following some false idea by a group of men who care about nothing.

    These 3rd and 4th world countries need real peace, not some false fantasy lie about a paradise from people who don’t even truly understand the boble but just give the same hand-me-down ideas to other people. First it was apostates, now the reporters lol, who knows what’s next. Get out while you can and enjoy your life. Don’t die with the idea you will be resurrected, no one knows what will happen.

  20. Publisher says:

    hi , im active jw and i wanna leave , they did many good things for me , i know is not truth but idk is good idea to leave because of all good things they did for me , i need your help 🙁

    • Caroline says:

      Hi Publisher. That is what we all would like to know is how to leave without being shunned. Being in the position of knowing it’s not the “truth” after all and trying to get out without being shunned has to be the hardest thing in the world to do.

      I stopped going to meetings about a year and half ago and am being shunned by mnost all the people I thought were my friends for fifty years.

      If you can move away, that is the best solution. What I saw was a lot of people did, was to fake being too sick to go to meetings and service but then you will always have those who are going to “encourage” you until you make a stand one way or the other and if you fake being too sick to go to meetings, then you are a prisoner in your own home.

      I wished there was a good way to get out, but I can’t think of any.

      One guy that I know of, got himself drowned by a kayak in the Pacific ocean. At least, that is the way the news said but they never did find his body. My theory is that he “disappeared” himself permanently and took up a new identity some place else where nobody would know him. That “accident” happened right after his father came to visit him and he was living in Hawaii.

    • Tara says:

      Hey Publisher. Many of us on here are in the same boat. Remember most of the witnesses are nice people. Many have done very nice things for me too but I know that one false step and the ‘nice’ will not be so nice anymore. My daughter was df’d but I was also shunned because of circumstances… I went to her wedding to a non witness to whom she got pregnant. Only a handful of them talk to me now. I’m afraid the friendship is conditional. I am slowly fading. I was involved in a accident a few months ago so use the chronic pain I am in as a reason not to be at meetings. I haven’t been in service or put in a report for months…. Just remember, no one should feel beholden to anyone or feel under pressure to conform if they feel uncomfortable. A true Christian should be nice without excepting stuff back in return.

    • Garrett says:

      Run Forest! Run!

    • Baby says:

      Hi publisher I dont know your real difficulties so that i may help you trought this site or outide, but maintain the small faith, continu reading the scriptures a maditade on it, call jehovah for aid. An aposta “once said that there is no life outside the organization” stop asking to the apostate remember this Bible verses (Proverbs 13:20; 1 Corinthians 15:33)

    • Baby says:

      You can receive help trought the elders of your congragation.

  21. Tara says:

    Not sure how many of you use fb but I have a little rant…. I post pictures as we all do and I have found that of all my ‘friends’ it is the non witness friends that comment and encourage and ‘like’ etc. Most of these are from across the pond where I used to live. Those ‘so called’ friends who are JW’s never comment, encourage etc. I find this sad, because it really shows how wrapped up in themselves they really are. For example, the flooding in the UK, the horrors around the world.. non witness’ comment and grieve and show empathy…. not so my JW ‘friends’. They post pictures of food and handing out mags etc. They live in their own little insular world and seem disconnected to the plight of millions of people. Of course this shouldn’t surprise me… what do they have to do with worldly people who are going to die anyway… I’m not angry. Just sad.

  22. Clay says:

    Here’s what gets me D Splain says the things in the video are lies, yet G Goffery admitted to the Royle Commission they had a sex abuse problem. So you Goffery telling the court one thing while Splain telling the jw something different makes me so upset.

  23. RetiredLE says:

    “You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police … yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home — all the more powerful because forbidden — terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill, Blood, Sweat and Tears

  24. minion says:

    Susannah, (a must read to active JWs)

    remember the movie – Avatar? What is Jake doing with his eyes – beginning and at the end of the movie? The camera has a close up of his face, why? He’s opening up his Eyes and awaken.

    Active JWs its time to open up your Eyes and awaken!

    Great documentary.
    I have concluded with my colleagues, Watchtower Corporation is down sizing as quickly as possible, selling real estate (assembly Halls, KH, fleet trucks and cars) as quickly as possible, crabbing the surplus funds from Kingdom Halls, reducing the obligations to special pioneers, bethelites, district overseers.

    Stop all new construction, with the exception at Warwick, NY (the 250 acres has been identified as a toxic waste land).
    WT Corp is expecting major law$uit$ from hired contractors, volunteers, and bethelites. Due to health risk exposurer.

    WT also recognizes the internet is not a place for the unskilled, and to have a facade and have it shredded. This is not a battle they can win. (or you mikey & kimmie).

    JWSurvey. = “Unity in Freedom for Truth”

    Peace out,

    • enuffsenuff says:

      Hi minion, do you have any confirmable details of the extent of the sell off that you refer to? If you don’t it doesn’t matter. My understanding is that they have built on a toxic dump, anyone know if it has been cleaned up at all? If it hasn’t been cleaned up, then occupation would be hazardous, which makes little sense (they haven’t shown much sense for sometime now) but the building continues?
      Just a few good tid bits, the strong rumour is that the WT is selling the Australian Bethel property and no longer keeping a branch there, supposedly happening 2016, but I have no more details than that. The WT has been setting up some sort of Company/Corporation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as some sort of holding company- speculation being that KH titles may be transferred to some obscure Company there with no links to WT and therefore possibly out of reach by the RC, if the WT defaults on any proposed compensation package to victims of child abuse. Malaysia is not WT friendly so the move definitely seems to be strategic and not much info has emerged yet. The last piece I can confirm because I have seen the letter, the WT in Australia wants to know if the BOE’s know of any qualified barristers, solicitors, chartered accountants or CP accountants who are in good standing, married, whether they have children or not and could the BOE’s quietly notify the Branch without revealing this to the congregations at large. Again sounds like they are wanting to fight (someone or something) possibly the RC and its yet to be delivered findings as to what the WT has done to help child victims. They certainly are fighting on a lot of fronts and I notice that 3 other Brooklyn properties have been put on the market. Where is all the money going? They have looted the KH funds. How much do they need?

  25. anonymous4 says:

    @ Tara

    I totally agree with your idea of letting “worldly” people know who you are, where you come from, and what you’ve been through. Most people with any sense of decency will be sympathetic, even supportive, if only emotionally. Of course, I wouldn’t “gush”. One cannot expect new acquaintances to step into the role of one’s personal therapist. But by introducing the information in a timely, gradual, and discreet way, this can lead to new friendships. And from there, further connections leading to more “material” benefits, such as employment opportunities, further education or training, even romantic relationships. Sometimes sharing things like the JW Experience, in a balanced way, can garner sympathy and even lead to friendships. “Don’t be ashamed of who you were.”

    • Tara says:

      I’m not ashamed. I find it a bit like going to therapy… Hi my name is…. I am a recovering JW. Phew… see that wasn’t so hard.

  26. anonymous4 says:

    To any current JW’s: I’d like to talk about “Apostate Lies”. Ask yourself one simple question: What do apostates have to gain by telling lies about the Watchtower? Look at history. People who wanted CONTROL and POWER over others ALWAYS organized. The Nazis were ORGANIZED. The Soviet Union was ORGANIZED. Global religions are ORGANIZED. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is ORGANIZED. There is, however, NO apostate ORGANIZATION. There is NO Global Apostate Movement. LOL Also, again HISTORY (not ME) shows us that the 2 most effective ways to CONTROL people are: FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) and PROPAGANDA (Belief). What PROPAGANDA (or Belief System) are apostates spreading?? I have yet to hear it!! What are their doctrines, teachings, rules, taboos? Where are all their books, magazines, tracts, pamphlets, broadcasts, conventions, and publicists? What about fearmongering? How do apostates try to scare you? By saying that if you don’t join them, Anti-Jehovah will destroy you? LOL I like helping people, but I visit this site primarily for ME. It’s cathartic. It’s an opportunity to express myself and share. I’m no martyr. I’m not about to climb up on a cross or a stake or whatever. I don’t pretend to be anything more or less than what I am. I don’t get Pinkie Points for every “convert” I make. Is there an Organization you know of that aggressively spreads its beliefs, holds its members in tight check, and threatens them with eternal destruction if they stray? THINK about this: Apostates have NOTHING to gain by discrediting Watchtower. Watchtower has EVERYTHING to gain by discrediting apostates, and by dismissing all scandals within their ranks as “apostate lies”.

    • RetiredLE says:

      anonymous4 – Well said, thank you for that informative information. You get a “G” on your TMS Speech Counsel Slip for “36-Theme developed-37-Main points made to stand out- 38 -Interest-arousing introduction- 39- Effective conclusion- 40- Accuracy of statement- 41- Understandable to others-42 Informative to your audience- 44- Effective use of questions – 45 -Illustrations/examples that teach – 48 Reasoning manner – 49 Sound arguments given-52 Effective exhortation………ACTUALLY…. you know have FINALLY graduated from the TMS! -(Pause for audience applause). Now, the TMSO comments – ” Those of us who are students of history and are deeply assimilated by our loving Borg should genuinely appreciate Bro. A-4’s analogies and observations. Also, ‘hand in hand’ (like the Public Talk and WTS are always 😉 a special announcement from the “Christian Congregation” – Current imminent events and ‘new light’ show us that the only cognitive difference between the GB and “Dear Leader” and Publishers and North Koreans are our clothing and geography. Caleb and Sophia shall henceforth be called, Ji-Hoon and Ji-Won, with the additional appropriate change to authentic DPRK attire for all J.W.’s worldwide. No doubt you friends will be eager to listen obey and be blessed, in this matter. May your COOPERATION continue to unify the Brotherhood, maintain our Purity of Essence and avoid the ever present, ‘Evil tight pantaloons’ Sincerely, your “Dear Leaders” (BTW – “We Love You!”) …….. of course if we actually were, the direct channel, speaking for God, shouldn’t we say “God loves You?” ……oh, sorry, strike that last bit….

  27. RunFromTheTower says:

    Thank you for writing this article, and for exposing the WT corporation.

  28. anonymous4 says:

    Here’s some more “ammunition” against WT (and other assorted kooks). Besides the scientific evidence that human civilization is older than 6000 years, you can see some very interesting archeological, geological, and even astronomical evidence put forward in a fascinating documentary miniseries on Youtube and Netflix called The Pyramid Code (particularly the 5th (final) episode “A New Chronology”). This blows away the “old chronology” put forward by WT, other Christian Fundamentalists, and other religions (which I shall not name for safety’s sake ;)).

  29. Jake says:

    Let it die. There’s the response of a right wing government and the answer you’ll receive. No question please.

  30. Jake says:

    The final solution.

  31. Jake says:

    Welcome to ‘The Fletcher Memorial Home’ X

  32. Jake says:

    ‘Not now John’

  33. Alexandria R says:

    The documentary is an eye opener. I feel “new light” is nothing more than excusing wrong teachings. The JWs are not drawing closer to the teachings of Jesus. Further away in fact. Crisis of Conscience is a good read. I recoil when I see anyone open a bible to try and indoctrinate me. I walk away from that because I’m burned out with that. I like the brother who wrote Crisis of Conscience. He was right when he said “Don’t attack an active JW because it doesn’t work. Waking is a gradual process. Wait and use tact. He’s right. His views are pretty good. I’m agnostic. That’s my choice. I’m happy with that. I’ve been agnostic for a very long time now. It feels good to be open about it.

  34. Meredith J says:

    I think I’ve missed something here. Everyone’s saying @ this and @ that and I cannot see them or their comments. Humm. Makes me think that they have disappeared from here. Sounds like it was a good thing. Thanks JWSurvey.

  35. Susannah says:

    The second video of Ana Leal outside Bethel has now been translated and added to this report. It is well worth watching and sharing.

    • JB Reezner says:

      “This is the truth then, someone refuses to see what they do not want to see.” Did Ana know she was summing up the ENTIRE JW EXPERIENCE with those words?

      Thanks again for your efforts, Susannah, Carlos, and Ana! This was an excellent post.

  36. Doc Obvious says:

    Don’t you just love when a Governing Body member explains Journalism Integrity to an award winning journalist in Portugal. Especially when Watchtower Babble and Tract Society does not include the names of the writers who write in their magazines. Nor, do they cite their sources for any publication they write. Isn’t writing your name on your paper the first requirement of Journalism 101. And, the second requirement is to cite your sources. Please David, don’t give an award winning journalist a lesson in journalism when your own people can’t put their name on their paper. A lesson I learned in first grade.