Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christmas, and the Grinch
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In 1957, the acclaimed children’s author Dr. Seuss penned a beloved classic, the tale of a grumpy green monster whose shoes and heart were too small or too tight to tolerate the evil holiday known as Christmas. Oh the commercialism, the singing, the stockings, the gifts…it was just too much, and he had to stop it.

The Grinch was his name; ending Christmas was his game.

As the story unfolds, the Grinch schemes to impersonate Santa Claus, dresses his dog as a reindeer, then sets off with his sled on a mission to take back all the presents that Santa worked so hard to distribute. Just like that, Christmas was gone. Or was it?

While hauling all the gifts to the top of a nearby mountain, the Grinch heard something he was not expecting – singing! He heard the sound of joy and happiness, despite the fact that he had stolen everything – the stockings, the bicycles, the popcorn, the drums, even the Christmas tree!

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so? It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! – “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!”

In the end, the Grinch had an awakening, a revelation that enlarged his heart and enabled him to see that the holiday he once hated so badly was not so bad after all, and he finally understood what it meant to the community. He gave back all the stolen gifts, rejoined his community, and even carved the Christmas meal with his new friends.

It is sometimes said that life imitates art, and for millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses past and present, there was a modern-day Grinch who stole Christmas from their lives. Only this time the Grinch stayed the Grinch.

If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you are among a unique group of people who have transitioned greatly over the past century. Within your own lifetime you might not have seen radical change. But viewed historically, the organization has morphed into a highly controlling religious hierarchy that has banned every celebration commonly accepted in our civilized world. The penalty for celebrating Christmas or any other holiday is severe: complete banishment from association with all other Jehovah’s Witnesses. Celebrate Christmas, and you will be shunned.

This may not seem significant to the great majority of mankind, but if most of your family and friends are Witnesses, let me assure you the punishment is devastating.

Why did this happen?

In the late 1800s, a man by the name of Charles Taze Russell initiated a religious movement that was based on an ultra-literal interpretation of the Bible. Despite the fact that “Pastor” Russell had no advanced schooling, no theological training, and no education in Hebrew or Greek, he was able to parlay his business earnings into the printing and distribution of an endless stream of books and magazines focusing on the invisible, apocalyptic return of Jesus Christ. Once initiated, this “Bible Student” movement became self-perpetuating – collecting dollars, real estate and members as the years progressed.

One of those members was a man by the name of Robert H. Barber.

ROBERT H. BARBER – THE GRINCH

For matters of clarification, Barber is not to be confused with Nelson Barbour (the Adventist once associated with Russell) or Carey Barber (deceased member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.)

There is limited information available regarding R.H. Barber, but we do know that he became a loyal follower of Charles Taze Russell by the turn of the 20th century, writing glowing reviews of Russell’s books. These letters to Russell were published in the pages of the Watchtower.

Barber apparently made quite an impression on Russell, and just before Russell’s death in 1916 he was listed among key public speakers at the July 1916 Newport Rhode Island convention of Bible Students. He shared the platform with A.H. Macmillan, C.J. Woodworth, R.J. Martin, W.E. Van Amburgh and other well-known Bible Student speakers and writers.

Barber managed to survive the turmoil that erupted following Russell’s death in 1916 and the subsequent takeover by attorney Joseph F. Rutherford. In fact, at the annual meeting held January 4th 1919, R.H. Barber received the 3rd highest number of votes for an elected officer of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract society, eclipsed only by C.A. Wise and the Watchtower president himself, J.F. Rutherford. Clearly Barber was becoming an influential presence within the organization.

On October 1st 1919, two of Barber’s colleagues (mentioned earlier), Clayton J. Woodworth and Robert J. Martin began publishing a new magazine called The Golden Age (now titled Awake!). This journal served to supplement The Watchtower, examining both current events and politics along with doctrinal opinions.

The Golden Age became an added platform for Barber, who was already touring the United States, gaining steam as the organization continued to grow. In 1924, the Watchtower organization added a radio station to its list of assets, and R.H. Barber became a regular preacher, delivering broadcast sermons such as “Why is the World Still Unconverted and Who is to Blame?” and “The Real Christian and the Hypocrite.”

By 1928, Joseph Rutherford had become nearly as prolific a writer as Charles Taze Russell, but he was not satisfied with just publishing his doctrinal and political opinions; he became obsessed with organizational allegiance and separating the Bible Students from the mainstream religions of Christendom. If C. T. Russell had been thought of as a religious cult leader, J.F. Rutherford took it to a whole new level. And his right hand man R.H. Barber was about to change the lives of every person ever associated with, or descended from, the Jehovah’s Witness organization.

As written in the Jehovah’s Witness organization’s most recent history summary titled “God’s Kingdom Rules!,” R.H. Barber delivered a speech in December 1928 that officially condemned the celebration of Christmas as an unchristian, pagan celebration inspired by Satan, and used as a tool to dishonor God and his Son. From this point forward it would no longer be considered acceptable to take part in this celebration or any related festivities. In fact, page 102 of this 2014 JW history book displays a photo of the final Christmas celebration at Brooklyn headquarters.

Seated prominently at the end of one of the long tables is the Grinch himself, R.H. Barber (circled, by Watchtower, in the image below from the God’s Kingdom Rules book.)

 

Further embedding the ban on Christmas permanently into Jehovah’s Witness theology was The Golden Age article published on December 12th 1928. The article was titled “Christmas, Its Origin and Purpose.”

 

R.H. Barber denounces Christmas in the December 1928 Golden Age magazine

 

THE INFLUENCE OF ALEXANDER HISLOP

Much has been said about the differences in belief between Charles Taze Russell and his successor J. F. Rutherford, but one quality they shared was a singular hatred for the Catholic Church.

12431341_1746487675570153_2044291449_nThe origin of much of this disdain for the Catholic Church and its practices stemmed from the writings of a man by the name of Alexander Hislop (1807-1865). Hislop was a Scottish minister known for his denunciation of the Catholic Church, and whose most notable work was the book titled The Two Babylons, The Papal Worship Proved to Be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife.

The Two Babylons was originally published as a pamphlet; then by 1919 it had emerged as a 330-page book, complete with illustrations. This book served as the touchstone for a multitude of Jehovah’s Witness teachings, including the elimination of the cross and the ban on holidays such as Christmas and Easter. It was considered so important to Jehovah’s Witnesses that the organization bought thousands of copies and received permission to sell and distribute the book.  Watchtower sold this book to Jehovah’s Witnesses all the way through to 1986.

 

 

The JW connection to Hislop has not gone unnoticed by the religious community at large. In 2014 the website steadfastlutherans.com criticized the exaggerated claims of Hislop, pointing the finger at Jehovah’s Witnesses for adopting his questionable research:

The 40 day fast does not come from the so-called “weeping of Tammuz” as claimed by the radical anti-Roman Catholic writer Alexander Hislop in his book The Two Babylons. Hislop made up myths and connections out of thin air because of his hatred for Roman Catholicism. Hislop’s views were adopted whole cloth by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who continued to republish Hislop’s book until 1987. Hislop’s book was cited in 22 different issues of the Jehovah’s Witnesses periodical The Watchtower from 1950 to 1978, and several times in the 1980s. From 1989 the Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped referring to Hilsop’s book, but they have kept Hislop’s teaching and use other sources.

 

CHRISTMAS AND YOU

The history of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christmas might seem interesting to some, yet completely useless to others. The background only matters if it matters to you.

It matters to me, but not by choice. In the mid 1960s my parents had just married, and by 1967, the year of my birth, they had been converted to the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This meant that I never experienced a Christmas tree, Christmas gifts, or any of the holiday traditions associated with December 25th. I was instructed as a child to declare that the celebration of Christmas was “against my religion.” This, along with the complete abstinence from all other holidays including Easter, Halloween, even Thanksgiving, rendered me an instant outcast from my classmates. I was different, thanks to R.H. Barber, Alexander Hislop, and Joseph “Judge” Rutherford.

By the time I reached middle and high school, I was expected to deliver a well-rehearsed explanation for why I would not engage in any holiday celebrations, not even politely wishing my classmates a Merry Christmas or Seasons Greetings. Driving home this indoctrination were the yearly issues of the Watchtower and Awake magazines, which reminded all Jehovah’s Witnesses that Christmas (and other holidays) were offensive to God. Cards and gifts were not to be given or received. Gifts could not be exchanged. Any participation in such “pagan” holidays would result in a judicial meeting, disfellowshipping, and subsequent shunning by all family members and friends.

 

I was baptized in 1984, the year Jehovah’s Witnesses declared (yet again) that “this generation” would not pass away until all Bible prophecies about “the last days” were fulfilled. By the end of that year the Watchtower had driven yet another spike into Christmas, declaring it a “dangerous” holiday.

In retrospect, I never really thought of Christmas as dangerous. In fact, I secretly admired the ritual nature of this holiday, as it seemed somewhat joyful and positive, and not god-dishonoring at all. To the extent that I was able, I secretly enjoyed Christmas music and Christmas-themed movies. Was this a secret sin? I suppose it was, according to the Grinch.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE GRINCH?

Next year will officially mark 90 years since Jehovah’s Witnesses banned Christmas. The Grinch, Mr. Barber, is long gone, along with all the men who drafted the holiday bans on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Hanukkah, Mother’s Day and Father’s day, and so on.

Yet the inertia of this belief continues. In the final issue of the 2017 Watchtower, the question is raised once again “Is Christmas for Christians?”

After all these years, we must ask ourselves if readers are really writing into the Watchtower magazine and asking this question? Obviously, they are not. Everyone knows Jehovah’s Witnesses are barred from celebrating this or any other national holiday, yet Watchtower presents this issue as if there is some ongoing debate. The reality is, they need to repetitively recycle the same articles and arguments year after year to maintain their tenuous beliefs, which exist within the realm of the absurd.

How many times will Watchtower attempt to tell us that Jesus was not born on December 25th? Does the Watchtower organization really think that anyone believes this is the birth date of Christ, and that their arguments to the contrary have any value whatsoever? The truth is, if they wish to debate dates and years, they have a far greater task in attempting to reconcile the Biblical timeline of history against the actual history of mankind. Stay tuned to JW Survey for more on that subject.

 

 

So, what about you? Do you condemn Christmas as a “pagan” holiday, with Satan pulling the strings? Or do you view it for what it is – a yearly secular celebration among so many other holidays?  For those who are believers, there is no evidence that Christmas is hated by God. And for those who are non-believers, the holiday is enjoyed without any religious significance. it is simply there to be enjoyed.

Dr. Seuss might just have the final word.  When the Grinch was about to destroy all of the Christmas gifts, he paused for just a second and listened to the distant sound of singing coming from the townspeople of Who-Ville. He had stopped and used his critical thinking just long enough to understand that Christmas was not evil, and it was not about the gifts. It was about life, and family, and the common bond of humanity.

He was cured.

From everyone at JW Survey, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

 

John Redwood

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112 Responses to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christmas, and the Grinch

  1. Maurice says:

    Now they blame us for Christmas….oh GOSSSHHH…..you can’t create these idiots

  2. Shannon says:

    Could you imagine being a child ( or anyone for that matter) in the audience December 1928 when Barber delivered that speech..The poor kids must have gasped with such disappointment.
    I hated Christmastime being a witness. I hated explaining that I won’t be participating in anything, all the while stating “we give gifts all year long and when they are not expected” blah blah blah
    so happy to be out
    Merry Christmas all of my fellow ex J DUBS !

    • Fooledmeonce says:

      Oh yeah, the old “we give gifts all year long” routine! That was another lie.
      I’m positive that my cheap and lazy parents joined this cult just because they didn’t celebrate Christmas or Birthdays. And we didn’t get any gifts at any other time either. Lots of verbal and physical abuse and tons of humiliation by being forced to wear a business suit while peddling cult propaganda to my school mates.
      I did love Christmas time because at least then I could wear a winter coat to cover up my ‘door-knocking attaire’.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Shannon, I loved Christmastime as a witness child because my grandparents were not Witnesses. They gave us presents every Christmas and at birthdays. Man, did I love Christmas! I got presents when the other Witness kids got none.

      I never got any presents from my parents during the rest of the year, though. Do Witness parents even do that?

    • Dave says:

      And honestly how many times did you get nicely packed gift? Me – never. Those few toys, my parent bought me (we was poor because of organization) they give my just like here it is. Nothing about it.

  3. JM says:

    As a former (from birth) J-Dub that has only celebrated Christmas for the last 9 years, I want to wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    If your idea of god cares more about whether or not you celebrate a holiday than he does about the children that starve to death every day, then maybe you need a better idea.

  4. bobdowns says:

    I sent my official Letter of Disassociation to my local congregation and sent a copy to Bethel as well for good measure this year (2017). (It’s a good thing I sent to both, I think because the one sent to my local congregation was returned to sender.)

    I’ve been “faded” for… probably a good ten years at least. I don’t remember the last time I “regularly attended meetings”.

    This year, though, when my now-estranged father and brother began shunning my wife and I because my brother visited our house one day around this time of the year and saw a Christmas tree in our Living Room, my wife and I decided we’d had enough and there was nothing left to keep us from officially severing ties with the CULT of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    I wish I’d done it sooner. It cleared the uncertainty away, even in my own mind. I feel freer. I feel more at ease with what is becoming my own true identity.

    Yet, I find myself feeling only melancholy when it comes to any of the holidays or birthdays. I just can’t seem to get into “the Christmas Spirit”, so to speak. I mean, yeah, it’s nice to see the pretty lights and it’s nice to give and receive presents. But, all of our family are current or former Jehovah’s Witnesses. Even when our exjw family began celebrating Christmas with us, it was… awkward. All we ever do is give each other gift cards – which, if you ask me to be truthful about, I have to admit feels to me like just shifting cash back and forth between us. They give us a $20 gift card; we give them a $20 gift card. It’s all a wash in the end to me.

    After reading the attached article from JWsurvey, I have to wonder – is it just me? Is it just exjw’s? Or, does everyone just give each other gift cards each Christmas? Does everyone feel like the holidays are all lack-luster? If nothing else, I think I’m starting to understand where all the “holiday depression” you hear about might come from….

    • JM says:

      Good for you. What you did was bold and a strong move toward your freedom from their religion.

      Christmas took me some time. Like you said it’s almost a cash exchange. I definitely do not have any religious connection to the holiday.

      I have grown to appreciate the feeling of being normal and deciding for myself whether or not celebrating a holiday is wrong or right. Additionally it’s a good time to focus on family and true friends who won’t cut you off the second you don’t agree with their masters in New York.

      I wish you the best in your journey.

  5. messenger says:

    Among Christian theologians there is a label often used in reference to WT’s teachings. The label I hear most often used by Christian theologians is cult, because most of WT’s teachings are foreign to other Christian denominations. Why is that? Is it because of the reasons WT claims, among those its strict interpretation of Bible scriptures, or is it because of other reasons? There are other labels used by Christian theologians that I believe more accurately define WT’s teachings. Those labels are legalist, and false prophet.

    Although WT professes to teach according to an accurate and strict interpretation of Bible scriptures, it certainly does not. Claiming to do so, and getting us to believe it does is one way it fooled most of us. But please consider most of the things you have been taught by WT as to whether those things are what WT taught you, or what the Bible scriptures actually say. If you look at those teachings objectively you’ll might first notice that most of the scriptures that WT applies to that group it teaches are the modern day anointed class are nothing more than scriptures WT claims apply to that group. A claim made only by WT, so how can we understand that to be a strict or literal interpretation of Bible scripture?

    Many of the scriptures in its older publications, such as, Man’s Salvation Out of World Distress At Hand, literally applied to the ancient Jewish nation. So, that type of interpretation surely is anything but a literal one when applying it to modern JWs (or a sub-group of JWS). Back when I was coming into the “Truth” it seemed about half WT’s teachings was of that type, that is applying scriptures to the modern “anointed Christian class” which literally apply to the ancient Jewish nation.

    Let me regress and explain the words I feel most accurately define WT teachings. One of those words is legalist. A legalist believes and teaches that salvation is earned through works carried out by individual followers of God. Legalists believe this list of works that must be followed are as necessary for salvation as the free gift of grace God gives to those believing in his son. Many legalists do not merely follow the intent of God’s law, as Christ did on Earth-e.g., not siding with stoning the adulterous woman, or Christ overlooking David’s men breaking God’s law by eating the temple showbread). Instead many legalist believe it is always necessary to follow the letter of the law, e.g. – all persons should bleed to death before accepting blood transfusions.

    WT sometimes teaches JWs are not following rules but rather principles, in essence claiming the law’s intent like Christ not its letter like the Pharisees. But that’s not true. Some legalists, like WT or the Pharisees go further and add their own rules to God’s rules. And they require Christians to follow their rules. They claim their man-made rules are as important as God’s rules, often claiming those are God’s rules. But you cannot find those in the Bible. Because you can’t find very many of WT’s teachings in the Bible I believe its claim that it practices a strict interpretation of the Bible is a false claim.

    According to the Bible making that type of claim identifies WT as a false prophet. WT claims all JWs prophesy in the sense of explaining prophesies to come. Therefore, according to its own interpretation of a modern prophet it is a false prophet, having admitted to sharing many inaccurate interpretations of prophecy.

    The sin of celebrating Christmas is an example of one of WT’s man made rules. I recently watched the first half of a video teaching the wrongs of celebrating holidays on the JW.org site. It started by discouraging young JWs from celebrating birthdays. Nowhere in the Bible is celebrating birthdays discouraged. As a matter of fact people and angels were brought by God before Christ to celebrate his birthday (the first Christmas) when Christ was a babe. It appears Job’s sons celebrated their birthdays yearly (see Job chpt 1-2).

    Merry Christmas!!!

    • Ricardo says:

      @Messenger, your comments always resonate truthfulness and reasoning. I enjoy reading what you have to say.

      • outandabout says:

        messenger…..you appear to be defending WT against the charge of being a cult. You forgot to mention a cult will have an elitist view about itself in relation to others, they are the only ones right, will have a unique cause and will be the only ones doing god’s will.
        They will promote their cause actively, and in doing so, abuse personal rights and freedoms. This abuse can be theological, spiritual, social or psychological.
        It’s clear that WT is an abusive cult and I understand if that makes you uncomfortable but trying to deny that to satisfy yourself is unwittingly giving WT some leeway in it’s cruel and dangerous activities.

        • messenger says:

          [“they are the only ones right, will have a unique cause and will be the only ones doing god’s will.They will promote their cause actively”] outandabout

          Christ didn’t teach pluralism; ” no none comes to the father except through me” (Christ). That part of your cult definition I quoted above fits Christ’s teaching, hence all of Christianity’s teaching. In my comment I stated that “Christian theologians” often refer to WT (and Mormonism) as a cult, but not for the reasons you mentioned. The reason I hear given (by theologians) is because WT does not support the divinity of Christ. Other Christians denominations do. There may be other reasons, but that’s the only one I’ve heard them express.

          The Bible supports Christ’s divinity. For when God had Isaiah write he (Christ) will be called “Mighty God” in chp 9 and John write “the only-begotten god” in chpt 1 it verifies Christ’s father’s belief on the matter. Also, see Colossians 1:16 “All things were created through him and for him” (Christ).

          Oh, by the way, I was not attempting to defend anything about WT in that comment above.

    • fallingangel75 says:

      Agreed. Aside from the obvious parallels to the Pharisees and the egregious misapplication of scripture, I take great issue with the way they’ve conflated loyalty to God with loyalty to the organization.

      That makes it so that honest-hearted people are genuinely afraid to question or leave and others of us do so at the peril of losing lifelong friends and family.

      There is real fear that He will punish them for attempting to shine a light on all of these lies.

      • Ricardo says:

        @fallingangel, I am so glad to see that there are others who are aware of this. But how do we win? My opinion is that the ways of this organization should be exposed. But if we try to expose anything we are targeted as trouble makers and eventually d’fed.

        So what do we do with our opinions? I just hate sitting in the meetings listening to the propaganda which I know is not true. So what do we do?

        • fallingangel75 says:

          @ricardo: your guess is as good as mine. As proven by the actual JW survey there are clearly many doubters and dissenters and that’s just individuals who know about the survey AND chose to participate. I’m sure it represents only a fraction of those who feel this way.

  6. I Foster says:

    At Christmas time millions of people around the world sing songs in praise of Christ, happy and joyful for his arrival to give us salvation. How can celebrating Christmas be pagan or the work of Satan when it is in praise of our redeemer? Satan is the one who stops people celebrating Christmas.

  7. Vieux says:

    Thanks for sharing your personal experiences and feelings regarding Christmas and WT false teachings. I share your views on Christmas and destructive WT teachings.

    As a former member I lived in constant confusion and internal conflict. Trying to internally reconcile the teachings of the WT using the common sense built into our brain. It is obvious they cannot be reconciled.

    Think of this absurdity: There are very few religious organisations on this earth that impose as many rigid rules on their members as the WT does on Jehovah’s witnesses worldwide. Yet what does the WT teach them? “We’re are being guided by bible principles and not by man’s made rules”.

    Using the power of REPETITION, members of WT (including own myself for good 14 years of my live!) come to believe such contradictions and repeat them unconsciously to whoever criticises their religious beliefs falsely thinking they are bible based.

    One fitting comparison to me is a slave owner who REPEATEDLY teaches his slaves “You’re free and you’re being my slaves out of your own free will”. This is as absurd as a child molester telling his victim “It is your fault that I abused you”.

    Think of the following absurdity: What did the WT do when they realised the “1914 Generation that will not pass away” false prophecy will soon blow them to the face. The solution: “Generation is not be understood literally but it is instead a Generation of characteristics”. Please don’t try to understand the above or you’ll get depressed. So many depressed among the JWs!

    The WT leaders are reaping huge financials gains for sowing such confusions and contradictions as confused members lack the clarity of thought to help them realised they are being fooled by their leaders!

    Until they are awakened by sites such as jwsurvey.org. Keep up the good work!

    The WT doesn’t care about the personal welfare of its members. Not even of their children.
    Just think about how far they are ready to go to bury evidence in cases the children of JWs are abused by appointed paedophiles! “It is the fault of the children and their families”!

    Merry Christmas and happy new year!

  8. Tinkerbell says:

    I am still so confused. Reading articles such as this helps clarify things a great deal but, a few years after my last meeting, I still feel an outcast at Christmas with my non JW friends and family. Having been trained for so long to isolate myself from “wordly” people and their “wordly” ways my social circle is virtually non existant. I cant make friends. I find myself constantly observing and judging. I am neither hot nor cold but luke warm. Am I STILL hedging my bets for Armageddon? I dont know but wish you all a happy, loving time with your families and thank you for producing these articles xx

    • I Foster says:

      Hi Tinkerbell, Those seven warlocks at Warwick have their own agenda which holds JW’s hostage to their false theology. They hold JW’s in fear of everything “worldly”, classing everything as pagan. Yet those same seven warlocks take advantage of everything that “worldly people” have produced for their own material gain.
      Where is the charity to the poor and needy of this world coming from? Certainly not from Watchtower. How many soup kitchens has Watchtower provided for the cold and hungry?
      Concerning Christmas, it is a celebration of Christ who conquered all things pagan, He has vanquished Zeus, Odin and other false gods that pagans worshipped. Christ has sent us free to be happy and sing silly songs like Jingle Bells. We have been set free to have fun, just as the Jews were set free to eat all kinds of food once prohibited. We are no longer under the law because Christ has fulfilled it. We can enjoy Santa and his reindeers because it is part of the silliness that our freedom in Christ allows. Peace on Earth and goodwill to all Mankind is the Christmas message. Whilst those at Warwick will be saying, “Christmas? Humbug !”, you have some fun and enjoy the fellowship of your “worldly” friends. A Merry Christmas to one and all. God bless us, every one.

    • fallingangel75 says:

      I wish I didn’t have the fear of consequences that makes me guard my anonymity so closely. I’m sure myself and others are probably close enough geographically that we could form actual friendships and support groups in real life, but I know to do so and be found out would result in complete banishment and I’m not ready for that.

      • Ricardo says:

        @fallingangel, we need people like you to keep on this site, share ideas with us as we try to work things out too. You’re not the only one in your situation.

  9. JBob says:

    I think anyone born to JW parents should get a free pass to walk away based on deception and a lack of the full details.

    Merry Christmas to the Christians; Happy Holidays to all the rest!

    • Ricardo says:

      @JBob, none of us had the full details when we got baptized. How many of us knew the full list of reasons we could get d’fed? We know now because it is so easy to download the Shepherd the Flock book from the internet. It is really unfair that we got baptized without knowing we were entering a trap we could not escape from.

      My friend just got d’fed for being critical of the elders. The elders were able to dig up things he had said to brothers from years ago (brothers he considered friends) so repentance was not possible as a pattern of behaviour was established. So this guy who had served as a missionary and sacrificed family time as an elder is suddenly kicked out, to be shunned by family and friends.

      How many of us knew, when we got baptized, that we could get kicked out for talking critical things about elders to friends? If I had known this I would have stayed an unbaptized publisher and never gotten baptized.

      But now I am stuck: elders are banging on my door trying to meet me to counsel me. I have put a ‘For Rent ‘ sign on my door, darkened the windows so people cannot see the lights on, I dry my clothes inside (so the elders don’t see them on the line) and I park my car in a secret place. Hopefully the elders will think I have moved away.

      • Big B says:

        For Jesus Christ’s sake Ricardo, why don’t you just walk away from this cult and be free to do what you want when you want to do it? Are you scared, what for? Are those elders going to kill you? It’s time to man up and take hold of Christian freedom. Is cowardice towards imperfect men the appropriate action that you want to teach your son?

        My family and I don’t care one pinch of owl dung for what the elders or anyone else thinks about our new found freedoms. Tell those stupid elders you don’t want anything more to do with them or their religious nonsense, don’t bother you and don’t bother looking for you at the meetings because you and your son won’t be there! I guarantee you they will do just that! I said exactly that, several years ago, and I’m not disfellowshipped and don’t care if they go through with their “proceedures” or not. They are (as are all Jehovah’s Witnesses) totally irrelevant!

        I’ve been free and celebrate all holidays since 2014 and my family and I don’t regret our decision to leave this fear mongering, doomsday cult not one bit!

        What’s truly humorous is watching the former “friends” run for cover when they see you coming, now that my friend is true power. They fear me and my family not the other way around. When you realize that pleasing God does not result from pleasing an organization of imperfect men, that can’t get their doctrines straight since their inception, then you will be on the road to freedom; not cowering under your bed hiding in fear.

        Excellent article on the Christmas holidays, John!
        Merry Christmas to all and may everyone have a healthy, happy Jehovah’s Witness free, New Year!

        Big B

        • Shibboleth says:

          @Big B
          Love your comment, it’s awesome! True, you realize your power when you turn the tables on them, they avoid you like the plague and will never deal with you again. And one has to acknowledge…one is not of their sort! And gratefully so!

        • Ricardo says:

          @ Big B, I’ve been missing you. I thought you would have something to say on my current situation. I like your advice. We are carrying out a guerilla type battle with the elders here at the moment. It is soon going to get much much worse. A team of brothers have gone to the immigration dept and also the religious dept to try to get the foreign elders kicked out. If that bears fruit we will all be happy. If not, things get personal. Really personal. Much worse than letting down the elders’ tyres.

          A few of us have already told off some of the elders’ pets publicly in the hall. But the elders don’t like us doing that.

          Walking away like you suggest would be easy. But I want to get even.

          One of these nights I’m going to bang on the elders’ front door just like they’ve done to me.

          But for now, keeping quiet until our plans are worked out, keeping the elders guessing so they don’t know what is going on or what will happen next, playing with their minds, that is our way.

          • Big B says:

            Ricardo; I truly believe that your former elders have contacted your new body of elders and have marked you for “possible apostate in the making” keep an eye on him. They are poised to crush you at the least sign of resistance or opposition.

            You wanting to get “even with the elders” is ludicrous and borders on fantasy. You can’t fight with these people. Forgive my saying this however, brutality speaking, you can’t f— a f—-er. You are going to get disfellowshipped and, by so doing, you have allowed the elders to have full control over you! Yes, you have surrendered your Christian free will by doing nothing! To show who really has control over you is to fade or quit. Getting even is a pipe dream, with nothing at the end of a pipe but excrement.

            They will disfellowship you in absencia if you don’t appear to their star chamber trial and make an example of you.

            Then your so called “friends” will do one of two things; circle the wagons around you and support you or, more than likely, abandon you to suffer your fate alone. They will treat you just like a leper. Better to leave on your own terms than give imperfect men the satisfaction of throwing you out and making an example of you.

            Now as to moving your car to a secret spot and darkening the house, to avoid the numb nut elders, are you kidding me? Is this how you want to live your life? Does this make any logical sense or is it delaying the inevitable? Namely, your removal as a Jehovah’s Witness by either your resignation or their disfellowshipment; the choice is entirely yours, for now.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Big B, your advice sounds sensible. The elders in the locality I am now have requested my publisher cards from the congregation in Australia, without my consent. Obviously the elders here are readying to take action, like they did to my friend they just d’fed.

            However, in 3 months I am out of this country. My cards will be here but I am elsewhere. If I can avoid the mongrel elders for those 3 months I can then float around in any congregation I like. I can live to fight another day.

            As to getting even: let’s see. It’s not just me looking for satisfaction.

            You might be right. I might be right. Let’s see at the end of these 3 months. I will keep you informed.

          • Shibboleth says:

            @Ricardo,
            Big B has ideas that are worth pondering…your current situation shows who is in control of your life, and it certainly is not YOU! You have allowed WT henchmen (elders) to control your comings and goings, even how you hang your clothes! They have hedged you in, and you really think you are on top of this! Its an illusion dear sir, they’ve managed to control your mind to the point that you think you are in control when that is not the case. Take back your power! Take back your life! You were willing to die for the “truth” in times past, then be STRONG and courageous enough to lose it ALL, friends, family, etc., to stand up for the TRUTH about the “truth” . Let this year of 2018 be the year you take back your life and live it to the full with the people who really do care and accept you for who you are. We were in the org because it served a purpose for us, no matter how absurd that purpose was, but it no longer serves a purpose for many of us, and its time to let go of that which no longer serves our highest good. Remember, you cannot awaken those who do wish to awaken.

      • HolyConnoli says:

        @Ricardo. Ricardo I have enjoyed reading your comments over the last few years but your latest comment about living in fear and hiding from the elders etc seem like you are running scared from the Mafia! These elders are nothing Ricardo. They are just men, fear them not.I am surprised you are that fearful of these puppets. You don’t have to hide from them just tell them to Go away and you don’t want tot talk with them anymore or just stop going to meetings and pretending to be a JW. Rememebr they don’t control your life. I understand the difficulty of breaking away but you don’t have to fear them or the WT. They are nothing. LIke Big B says what are elders going to do to you? kill you? Freedom is not free if you are in fear of these nothing people. Ricardo you would feel better about yourself and your son if you told them how you feel and to go away.

  10. Jeff Canning says:

    Great stuff as we have come to expect…. Cheers from down under…

  11. Sonja Talkington says:

    So grateful to have you in our corner! Please never stop writing for us!
    Thankfully yours Sonja Talkington

  12. Fooledmeonce says:

    Fantastic article, as usual! Thank you very much!
    I especially enjoyed your point that the Watchtower pretends it is answering questions about Christmas, or any other subject that it has made up, to an imaginary audience.
    No one is asking this question, no one believes that Jesus was born on this date and no one goes to the JW literature for any answers.
    It’s like telling people that the Tooth Fairy really doesn’t put money under kid’s pillows. “Really?!? No way?!? Well we will stop putting teeth under pillows right away, then.”

  13. smmcroberts says:

    Thanks for those historical facts, John!

    When I was a Witness I told people that I didn’t celebrate Christmas because I wasn’t a pagan. Now I tell them I don’t celebrate it because I’m not a Christian. I understand why non-Christians celebrate it, but none of their reasons resonate with me.

    There are reasons not to celebrate Christmas other than the irrelevant ones the Watchtower drags out each year.

    I do get together with family, but I think that the exaggerated, seemingly expected, gift-giving is mostly just a trap set by Madison Avenue, which I refuse to play along with. All of the energy used in growing and then chopping down trees just to decorate them and then dispose of them rankles the environmentalist in me, while the typical turkey or ham dinner does the same for the animal activist in me. It also seems wrong to me for parents to deceive their children about Santa Claus being real. (Tell them it’s a fairy-tale or a fun story, but don’t confuse their still-developing grasp on reality by presenting it as true.)

    And if I ever have to listen to The Little Drummer Boy again I shall surely wretch. 😉

  14. Peter the Digger says:

    The JW’s used to say (re Xmas, birthdays) “we don’t need to have a special day to meet up, socialise, give presents – because we can do that any day”. Now this reminds me of a little story a JW once wrote about 4 characters, Somebody, Anybody, Everybody and Nobody. In short it went “Now Somebody could have [supported the elderly/inform, socialised, been generous, opened their house, given meals] but in fact Nobody did, because Anybody could have but in fact Everybody decided they were too busy….”. The JWs now seem to be saying (re Xmas, birthdays) ‘we don’t need to have special day to meet up, give presents, at all, because there’s never a day in the calendar for this”. In short, they neglect the old, infirm, anybody who isn’t in some inner social circle of pioneers/elders, and you can paddle your own canoe, especially if you’re single/widowed/ or, oooh-err, in a divided household (partner =not a JW). Makes a great ‘witnesss’ for your partner, sorry, ‘unbelieving mate’, by the way.

  15. Doc Obvious says:

    We need to learn to leave Watchtower’s donations in Jehovah’s hands. If Jehovah has chosen the Watchtower, he will surely pull them out.

    This requires faith in Jehovah God.

  16. Peter Kahan says:

    I hope you had a very happy Christmas and may I wish you a very good New Year. Please keep up the good work.

  17. fallingangel75 says:

    I’m probably in the extreme minority here, but one thing I continue to appreciate about my parents is this: I really did get presents all year long – at random and just because they loved me. Indeed to genuinely make up for not celebrating Xmas and birthdays.

    I quite literally got presents monthly. Good presents too, like a bike or dollhouse or ez-bake oven, stuffed animals, etc. All the kinds of things children ask Santa for, distributed pretty evenly throughout the year.

    I never had to wait for Christmas and this was a plus in my book. Some of my ‘worldly’ friends were actually a little jealous in this respect.

    But I was still an outcast. I couldn’t sing the songs or participate in parties at school. I had to leave and sit in the principal’s office during the annual plays and pageants. I had to explain to classmates and well-meaning neighbors why I couldn’t accept the gifts they bought for me and why I had nothing for them.

    It was still awful.

    And continued to be awful into adulthood. For the same reasons. I had good friends and family who still exchanged good gifts year-round. But having to decline well-intentioned invitations from co-workers to holiday parties was never not awkward.

    Christmas does have pagan origins. It’s a well-known fact, but for years I had a hard time believing it’s God-dishonoring and hated by Christ himself.

    I’m against lying to children about Santa, spending loads of money for gifts of obligation to people you barely know or actively dislike. I personally don’t have the desire, money or energy to go all out on decorations only to expend more time and effort taking it all down a few weeks later.

    I do believe Christmas is over-commercialized and I see a lot of people who really don’t enjoy it and go along only because of social pressure.

    However on the flip side many people really love it. And there is a lot of extra kindness and goodwill and charity that people display only at Xmas. I would love to see more of the Christmas spirit year-round.

    I don’t feel like it is my place as an individual or Watchtower’s place as an organization to tell people that God hates it and it should be avoided at the peril of their eternal salvation. The Bible does not seem to support that claim.

    So no tree for me but I do say Merry Christmas and I do exchange gifts quietly with a few of my closest non-JW friends.

    It was my daughter’s first Xmas and she’s too young to care one way or the other. I’m not sure what I will do next year. No tree or obvious gift-giving and activities as my husband who claims to be anointed would lose his $#*! but if friends want to give her gifts and she wants to look at public trees and lights and sing songs, I won’t discourage her.

    Christmas is fun and happy and I don’t want to teach her it’s wrong and evil. I will make sure she knows it isn’t Jesus birthday nor should it be only about the gifts. And I will continue my family tradition of year-round presents just because she’s loved and appreciated.

    • messenger says:

      Hello fallingangel75,

      I believe I asked this question several months back, but I don’t remember reading your response. If your husband has shared with you the reason(s) why he believes he is “anointed” would you be kind enough to share that with me.

      • fallingangel75 says:

        Messenger: I didn’t give a response. No good answer. We were in dire straits. He’d lost a high-paying job and was completely unemployed for almost 2 years. We had to move in with family so as not to be homeless. We burned through all our savings and had absolutely no income.

        You can cut back and budget when you have little income, but it’s a different kind of desperate when you’re earning zero dollars.

        We were both praying constantly for a change in our circumstances and looking to Jehovah for directions and guidance on what to do next.

        We couldn’t even pioneer or focus on the ministry like some suggested because we didn’t have gas money, our dress clothes were falling apart and we were generally getting advice to ‘go and be well-fed’.

        Then there came a stretch of about 6 weeks where he was physically ill and thought he was dying. More prayer for him not to die.

        He emerged from the experience with a new belief that Jehovah’s spirit had born witness with his. Jehovah communicated through holy spirit that the illness wouldn’t kill him and also he was now called to heaven to rule with Christ.

        Personally, I think he did have something of a psychotic break due to the stress of being broke and nearly homeless and also extremely ill.

        He kept asking me why this was happening to us. After Jehovah revealed to him the heavenly calling, he felt like that explained it.

        Satan had made him a target because Satan knew before he did that he was one of Christ’s brothers.

        At the time I was like: really Jehovah? I gotta deal with all of these other problems and now my husband’s off his rocker too?

        It’s been years and we’ve gotten over that hump though we have still not recovered financially and have continued to have terrible setbacks, but he has persisted in his belief and partakes at every memorial.

        I went to one more after that but have boycotted ever since. Everything about the talk seemed newly hollow and false and absurd to me. Just convoluted and distasteful.

        And, also, unimaginably sad.

        I married him wanting to spend forever with him. And whenever he speaks with conviction and joy about going to heaven without me, it always feels like he doesn’t love me anymore.

        He always says he does, but that he loves Jehovah and Jesus so much more and that is as it should be and I shouldn’t be resentful. In fact, I should also take comfort and joy in his hope.

        The hell if I do….

    • John Redwood says:

      Thank you for the comment – I think this is a fair and balanced response which represents the way many JWs felt about their Christmas experience. Naturally, when one is denied something because of a belief system which is non-negotiable, then as humans we try to look for the positive side of what is largely a negative and constricting teaching. We didn’t really have much choice as children, so we came up with every justification we could to reduce the embarrassment we faced at every holiday season. I believe this kind of justification is really damaging to children, from a mental health perspective.

      I found your comment about your husband being a partaker very interesting. I would love to hear more about this, since the whole process of being “anointed” is a bit of an enigma with the JW religion. The numbers of anointed keep rising, contrary to the long held JW expectations. As as you may know, the JW organization is quick to attribute most of those newly anointed individuals to the category of mentally unstable. How do you feel about this? How old is your husband?

      JR

      • Shannon says:

        Your comment regarding “witness kids trying to justify their stance” was very well stated

      • fallingangel75 says:

        I always enjoy your posts, JR. I identify strongly with many of your ideas and conclusions and experiences. I was born in the late 70s and unlike many of my peers I have clear memories of the doctrines from the late 70s and early 80s even though I was very young.

        I’ve tracked the changes that have occurred in my lifetime. And I’m always baffled that people don’t notice the inconsistencies. *gaping plot holes – so to speak*

        Both of my parents were baptized in ’74 with the idea the end was coming in ’75 but were not deterred when it didn’t – largely because they kept living their normal lives. They didn’t lose anything. And merely shifted expectations like many others.

        To your point about justification – two things.

        1) I’ve had many conversations with individuals of different faiths and backgrounds who had absolutely terrible childhoods full of violence and abuse and weird indoctrination. JWs don’t have the corner on that market by any means.

        So many people were warped in childhood and adolescence and now struggle as adults, I don’t think it’s fair to harbor special resentment towards my parents for raising me as a witness. They really were doing the best they knew how.

        I can’t be angry with them for it as some are. We were financially stable and prosperous. I was well cared for and well loved which is more than many adults can say regardless of religion.

        2) But also I have soooo much ambivalence. On the one hand I have a resilience and ability to put myself in uncomfortable situations I think I would not have developed. Because of the ministry and ministry school and pioneering I have public speaking skills and an ability to develop instant rapport with strangers I don’t think I would have had otherwise.

        Many good things came from my upbringing. But there’s a very long list of things I was forced to abandon and sacrifice because the goals were unworthy or the end was too near to waste time in vain pursuits.

        I often wonder how different I would be and if I’d be better or happier. Maybe, maybe not. It really might just be different problems and hang-ups. Generally speaking life sucks for a lot of people who aren’t JWs and never were.

        It’s easy to compare ourselves to people who seem happier and feel certain that could have been us – something was stolen. But we forget it could have been worse as well.

        I feel like many opportunities for growth and happiness WERE stolen and denied. I feel like all I can do now is try not to make the same mistakes with my daughter. I want to give her the opportunities and experiences I was denied.

        It will be SO hard because I’m still finding my own way and my husband is still all-in. I don’t know if I will have to leave him or if I will be able to influence my daughter the way I want.

        He’s lamented that I’m not teaching her it’s ‘the truth’, but not fighting me about it. He’s actually letting me take the lead. I don’t know if this will change.

        But back to justification about my own upbringing – parts were very bad and I’m still dealing with the fallout and resentment. I’m still trying to free my mind. I will be for the rest of my life. I’m hurting and sad over it. I have a baseline melancholy and heartache that I know will never go away.

        I feel isolated ideologically from everyone. Spiritually and emotionally in no man’s land. My beliefs don’t line up with JWs, non-JWs, or ex-JWs.

        But it’s important and necessary for me to acknowledge that my upbringing wasn’t all bad. My parents did love me and tried to give me a good life. They fell short but I have to give some credit for the effort even while I deduct points for poor execution.

        *My husband is late 30s. He was 35 when his hope changed from earthly to heavenly – more than 5 years into our marriage. My God! Something I never in a million years thought I’d have to deal with on any level.

        It’s been years and I still don’t have the emotional tools to comprehend or deal with it. It’s a testament to our love for each other that our marriage hasn’t totally imploded. But we’re young enough that I don’t really think we can last another 10 or 20 years with such divergent thinking and beliefs.

        Formal advice from elders and friends and family has been not to question his calling. It’s between him and Jehovah and I can’t know for sure that he’s not (even though there are myriad reasons within their own mythology I could prove that he’s not….!)

        Keep my head down. Don’t disrespect him. Maintain and safeguard my own relationship with Jehovah so I don’t miss out on my reward.

        K. Thanks for nothing….

        • tranquillo says:

          Hi FallenAngel,
          I read all of your posts when you just landed on this site, I think early this year. I’m so happy to read you’re doing fairly well. It is fine that your thoughts do not line up with anybody, they are yours. It takes certainly a fair amount of time to get rid of WT.
          I could relate to your experience as my wife is still in, very active, pioneering, indoctrinated to the bones. You are right in saying that is a tough challenge for any marriage to live together with such divergent thinking and beliefs. My marriage didn’t survive. 23 years of marriage, but living together without being able to partage our lives, sharing experiences and thoughts in the end took its toll. I wish you all the best, just know that you are not the only one in such a bad fix. You are called for hard decisions and for sure there is a good deal of soffering involved in any decision you will take. Keep in mind your well being.

        • John Redwood says:

          Thanks for your response – again, fair and balanced. I think many who were raised JW can objectively say that there were both good things and bad things which happened. Positive people focus on the good, Negative people focus on the bad. This is true with any childhood, within any religion. I certainly had plenty of good times, including traveling the world and being successful in my work. However I would not attribute too much to the JW lifestyle.

          I do get how many people feel they were benefited because of public speaking, or speaking to strangers in the ministry. However I am quite certain that I would have experienced the same or better training if I had been allowed to participate in school activities and extra-curricular activities which were banned by the organization – or strongly discouraged. For example, I would have been a much more well rounded person if I had been allowed to play team sports. Unfortunately, I was barred from this for various reasons – among them that they would interfere with “meetings” or “field service.” I would have gained so much more on a personal level if I had been permitted to join a drama club, or the school newspaper, or team sports – or all of the above. Whatever abilities I have were severely restricted by the JW organization, which only allowed me to participate in approved “spiritual” activities. There is no question I would have gone much further apart from this religion. This is just my opinion, and I can only answer for myself.

          As for your husband – this is quite interesting. Growing up, it was unheard of for anyone in their 20s, 30s, or 40s to proclaim they were anointed – unless they were seriously mentally ill. At least that was the prevailing opinion at the time – and this has been backed up even recently by Watchtower articles. I find it fascinating that there are so many more “anointed” now than there were when I was a child. Just the opposite of what we were told to expect.

          JR

          • fallingangel75 says:

            Exactly! Increasing numbers and MOST of them young – and not obviously kooky. In addition to my husband I know quite a few brothers and sisters who seem otherwise normal. I’m not with them 24/7 or at home but they don’t seem unstable. However, whenever I mention the numbers and the youth, absolutely no one wants to talk about it. I get instantly shut down or completely ignored.

          • fallingangel75 says:

            Hi Tranquilo, I’ve followed your comments as well and I’m very sorry about your marriage. Losing a marriage to someone you otherwise love and admire due to the demands of this religion is a somewhat unique and terrible experience.

            If there is a God, the men at HQ certainly have a lot to answer for in terms of the families they’ve destroyed. Sometimes I wish I did believe in Hell…

            Even now with all that has come between us and all of my shattered hopes for a future together in paradise earth, I love him and would like nothing more than to enjoy what’s left of our life together now. Raising our daughter. Making happy family memories.

            But that probably won’t happen.

            I often think that if I do ever divorce my husband and get remarried, I would still likely look for an ex-JW. There’s so much of the trauma of the whole experience that I think someone who hadn’t been through it would never understand.

            I have a secret fear that I will leave him and THEN he will come to his senses after one or both of us has moved on and remarried and it will be too late for us to experience happiness as a couple.

  18. WildMangoEater says:

    Perfect Solution = Apache Attack Helicopter + HELLFIRE missile + Watchtower Headquarters

  19. Enough was Enough says:

    Hi Fallen Angel
    What a warm, loving, honest, human viewpoint you hold and share on this site. I’m very moved by your comments. I have been D’fed and divorced for about four years. This marriage lasted 22 years and the previous one 7 years both “wed in the truth so to say”. I accept all my responsibility for the failure of both marriages but did not want either divorce. I became inactive (spending more time at secular money making pursuits) and my last wife became more involved in special pioneer work, I didn’t know we had a problem but in hindsight feel my exwife had a pretty extensive coaching staff.

    I feel sorry for those trapped by the burden placed on them by an organization that has lost its way .
    I’m so impressed with your positive honest outlook. When I was called to my “judicial commette ” I was on the cell phone to the presiding elder at 30 mins before I was to arrive. We agreed on a time and I arrived 10 mins early. I waited 45 mins for the elders to arrive, they told me they stopped to grab some lunch. From a secular HR perspective I found this somewhat un professional. Then thought to myself one wouldn’t want to send another off into eternal damming on an empty stomach.

    I know alot of good people trapped in a lie, I feel for them. This site is excepitional, thanks everyone.

    I’m a 62 year old ex wittness. Enough was Enough

    • fallingangel75 says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Enough.

      I’m hanging in with my marriage because I do love my husband and we now have a child – the most beautiful, unexpected blessing (and complication) ever.

      I mean she is really physically very beautiful and happy and we love her so much. I’m hoping and praying that he will see how trapped and oppressed he is.

      He’s very unhappy even though he believes he’s a chosen one. There’s a definite disconnect and I’m waiting for him to see what I see and catch up to me and realize this is not the life to make for our daughter.

      But I also know that wishing won’t make it so and we may have to part ways eventually. Time will tell.

  20. Doc Obvious says:

    Or, from the infamous milk commercials, comes the Anthony the Stupid One bumper sticker image

  21. fallingangel75 says:

    Understood, JR. Hence my own personal ambivalence. I had lots of support from teachers and community to participate in drama club, school politics, dance recitals, talent shows etc., and was not allowed to participate for the various reasons you mentioned.

    Stellar grades, valedictorian and could have honestly had my pick of colleges. But, you know. Satan’s system was going down and it’s just as foolish to go to a 4 year college as to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic….

    My! How many fights I had with my parents over those issues. I never wanted to leave on account of drinking, smoking, or premarital sex. I grew up in a conservative community and most of the kids I went to school with were pretty ‘square’. And focused on education and careers.

    I did want to leave to lead a normal life. By the time my husband professed to be of the anointed, I never wished I’d done so more. Because everything I’d deferred in pursuit of spiritual goals – I delayed marriage, children, abandoned secular goals entirely – it really suddenly seemed like for what?

    An imaginary future that was never going to be a reality.

    Everyone thinks the thing I’m most upset about is the thought of being separated from my husband. And it would be if I believed.

    But the truth is, his profession was the final event that brought down the house of cards for me. And shattered my belief in the new world, paradise, heaven.

    So now I find myself at mid-life with the new belief that anything I don’t do, learn or experience on earth with this life won’t happen for me at all. Because this life is all we get. And I am mourning the lost time.

    When I wanted to participate in extra curricular activities and pursue a higher education, it was a hard sell to convince me that those pursuits were bad. In the end, I never accepted that they were but having been indoctrinated from birth, I did believe the end was near.

    When I did the math, I was certain the end would have to come by the time I was 25, so why not sacrifice the years from 16 until then, warning othes, attempting to save lives, if I must? Up to ten years in exchange for eternal youth and health and a chance to pursue all my goals and dreams then? Why not?

    So many regrets surrounding that line of thinking. And even as the system kept chugging along with no end in sight, the next best thing I focused on was my relationships. My true friends.

    People grow apart due to life changes. I was late getting married so I lost closeness with many simply because they married and had kids and we simply had different routines and priorities.

    But as I developed more and more doubts – the kind of which get you banned from the congregation – that became the biggest wedge of all. Just not being able to agree with the doctrines or speak freely about my dissent was a problem.

    Like: does anyone remember the convention talk from 2014 where the speaker went on for what seemed like an hour (but it was probably only 10 or 15 minutes) about how we’d return to the pure language? So this meant that all other languages would die out and cease to be spoken?

    I was like: what the hell? Why would that be? Even if we all learned a universal language to communicate with people from any part of the world, why would other languages need to go away?

    And all of my friends were just like: yeah. Makes sense.

    No! No it doesn’t. If Jehovah gave us the ability to learn languages and write books and poetry and song in all of these languages and we can learn multiple languages and become fluent now as imperfect humans, why would he take that away when we’re perfect?

    Who wrote the outline for that talk? And why did everyone I know look at me like I had 2 heads when I asked those questions? Like I was the one not making sense?

    That was a ‘soft’ doubt. That wasn’t even expressing my thoughts on prophecy or chronology or whether elders are chosen by holy spirit, or why numbers of anointed are increasing, etc.

    And that was actually distressing to me even before my husband joined the club.

    I made no secret of the fact that my husband’s change was the last doctrinal plot point I could not accept or support and most of my friends put distance between me and them after that.

    I’m not df’d but blatantly inactive and unapologetic about it, soooo, bad association. My friends have self-selected away from me and me from them so it’s effectively the same as being df’d, only they do still speak to me if they see me in public, we still occasionally communicate through social media, but we never hang out.

    No more lunches and vacations and visits to each others homes, or friendly phone calls for girl talk. All in the past.

    So, yeah, the last thing I felt really good about – true friends I could love and trust – is gone.

    This doesn’t diminish or tarnish my memories and experiences. It’s like a break-up.

    I dated several brothers before my husband and we had some amazing experiences and exchanged gifts and had lots of fun. But eventually parted ways, sometimes painfully.

    The painful endings don’t mean the good times weren’t good or the love wasn’t true and real at the time.

    I’m an optimist at heart and being positive/ staying positive is my coping mechanism. Some other people power through with angry determination and that’s what they feel like they need to survive, but that’s not me.

    I definitely look back over the last 25 years and wish I’d been allowed and encouraged to make different choices. Other times I wish I’d owned my future more and bucked the system, followed my instincts. But it is what it is and the only thing is to carry the good and learn from and discard the bad.

    • Ricardo says:

      @fallingangel, I find your life story amazing. If only we could write all our experiences up in a book!

      I find your thought process very similar to mine. Except I have a group of about a dozen brothers who get together and discuss the same frustrations you mention. Several of them enjoy this site.

      I worry about your mental health in the long run because having no one to talk to about this is not good. From the comments you have received here so far you can see we appreciate your thoughts. But have you tried connecting with any victims or others who have cooled off in your congregation? Going for a coffee with them can be enjoyable, especially if they enjoy your comments as much as we do.

      To add to your frustrations, I want to add something from my life. My father was the presiding overseer in our cong, and he said he wanted his sons to be educated. So both my brother and I went to university. No one criticized my father because he was the PO. I loved uni. I went back and got two master degrees. Both my brother and I pioneered. My brother eventually became the COBE in the same cong my father was PO in. I went overseas and got a job based on my degree and had a very successful pioneer ministry. Four of my studies became elders.

      Now I am wondering why did I ever make such a sacrifice to pioneer, when in the long run my efforts are not appreciated by our abusive organization. But at least I am educated.

      • messenger says:

        Ricardo,

        The organization is only important to those who consider it is important.I don’t think Big B is among that group. How important do you think it is to God? How the organization views you is of no real consequence except in the minds’ of the people that matters to. Does it really matter how WT views you to Christ? What do you think?

        One time I was working in field service with a brother elder and my grown son. He told us he believes a lot of men get in our organization for the sake of getting promoted (to elder), because they don’t think they’d be in that position in another Christian church where they might have to go to seminary school first. His implication was so that they could be somebody. Is that important?

        One hypocritical teaching I’ve heard as long as I’ve been around WT is that our service to God should be done not just in a humble manner but also for the sake of others, first God and then mankind. And yet every time the WT encourages publishers to reach out to pioneer or some other special service like Bethel (and implying elder or MS also) it talks about the benefits the publishers will get from doing that-self benefits. The WT’s carrots are positions of special service like pioneer or elder. My advice is not to fall for those positions. You’ll be expected to teach WT DOGMA!!! Oh, I’m sorry; I forgot brother Anthony Morris said WT doesn’t teach dogma. Ruff, ruff!!! Who let the dogs out? You are what you teach. If you eat WT carrots you’ll have to teach WT dogma. Or, are you willing to go up on the stage and teach the truth? For that reason I won’t give any talks in the Hall anymore. If I taught the truth there they’d df be for apostasy, and I’m not going to teach WT’s misrepresentation of scripture.

        This bit about JWs being anointed is a puzzling one. These are some of the issues: Except for God’s voice being heard by the nation of Israel before Mt Sinai I can’t remember God contacting large numbers of people in the scriptures in other accounts. His contacts were usually with select individuals, and so those contacts were the exception rather than the norm among his people. Therefore, I don’t believe God contacts all Christians either today, or at any time in past history.

        But to me a problem arises with JWs that claim they are anointed therefore and different than other Christians in some way. What experiences do they have to make them feel that way?

        There was a pioneer sister that I used to work with on her studies and my studies. She claimed to be anointed. She is about old enough to be my mom. One day at a party I believe her daughter began to tell me of some experience her mom had, but then we were interrupted and it never got said.

        I told this so called anointed friend of mine of my supernatural experiences years later, and she said God doesn’t contact people today like that. So, this is very puzzling! WT and this anointed pioneer sister teach that God does not contact people today, and yet they believe they are anointed in some special way by God, making them a different class from other Christians. Kind of sounds like double talk. Who told them they have a special anointing if it wasn’t God? And if God doesn’t contact people how could he tell them that? How can anyone tell anybody anything without some type of contact?

        It gets even more interesting when the scripture they most often refer to in making their claim states, “his (God’s) spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are his sons.” Please don’t fault me for misquotes as I don’t like taking time to look up exact quotes. And I don’t like editing.

        Take care buddy!

  22. Mike says:

    I am married to a Witness with 2 Witness boys being raised in the ‘faith’. We get round it by having a ‘Present Day’ one day before Christmas Eve.

    • Ricardo says:

      Why bother? That is so much like the celebration you are trying to avoid; you may as well celebrate Christmas and get over the pretence.

  23. King Cobra says:

    @Doc Obvious
    You are absolutely right. Watchtower/JW.org/CCJW or whatever infernal “corporate” name they currently operate under, have got more Stupid than they can ever handle. No legal tricks can save them from themselves.

  24. Sardaukar says:

    @ WildMangoEater, Nice sentiment, but death is too good for them.

  25. Lion of Judah says:

    Happy New Year JW.org…and to all a good night.

  26. eyes opened says:

    Greetings,

    There have been a few remarks about being anointed so here’s my 2 cents worth. I may need to do further research, however, I believe according to scripture, whenever someone was anointed with Holy Spirit it was accompanied by something audible or visible. Some scrips site a rushing stiff breeze, some speaking in tongues, and even flames of fire as at Pentecost. I’m pretty sure one of the apostles was present also. The gifts of tongues and power to heal etc, were evidence of this gift of HS.

    Today we have no such evidence, visible or audible, and no such gifts as these were done away with, with the death of the apostles, per the scrips. Even the gift of knowledge was done away with which means there are no new teachings. The only teachings I concern myself with are those of Jesus and his apostles, certainly not the contrivances of men today.

    But back to the heavenly calling, while it is not my place to say who goes to heaven and who doesn’t, according to the scriptures there is no evidence today that anyone has that calling. People may make the claim, but it’s just their word and it does not obligate me to put their thoughts and teachings above anyone else’s including my own thoughts. Besides God made it very clear that he approved his son and it is his teachings we are to listen to.

    Interesting that Jesus teachings didn’t really include doctrine so much, but rather being good, kind, loving, hospitable, etc. And while I am on a roll, the scrips say there is no law against displaying the fruitage of the spirit, that means it is never wrong and therefore such qualities should be acceptable to display toward the disfellowshiped, (as if that’s a real thing but in the org it is). What we see displayed toward those being shunned are some of the qualities listed in the works of the flesh, and a denial of natural affection, ie, not answering phone when df’d child calls. The rules and restrictions inflicted by the org are shameful, unchristian and certainly unholy.

    I have yet to read Lloyd’s book, (sorry), but to anyone struggling with their own “Crisis of Conscience “, I highly recommend Ray Franz book. It is noteworthy that his book is very well documented with references and resources about all things Watchtower. He was able to put words to so many of the feelings and struggles of awakening, and he did it with understanding and with kindness.

    Peace and goodwill to all

    • messenger says:

      [ I believe according to scripture, whenever someone was anointed with Holy Spirit it was accompanied by something audible or visible. Some scrips cite a rushing stiff breeze, some speaking in tongues, and even flames of fire as at Pentecost. I’m pretty sure one of the apostles was present also. The gifts of tongues and power to heal etc, were evidence of this gift of HS. Today we have no such evidence, visible or audible, and no such gifts as these were done away with, with the death of the apostles, per the scrips. Even the gift of knowledge was done away… But back to the heavenly calling, while it is not my place to say who goes to heaven and who doesn’t, according to the scriptures there is no evidence today that anyone has that calling.”] an eyes open quotation

      Very interesting comment, but saturated with WT dogma, for some of your beliefs were incorporated into WT from other Christian theologians, and there is also part of your comment that no Christian church teaches, not even WT. Rather than point out the obvious flaws myself, I’d rather you cite the exact scriptures that explicitly make your points, since you say those points are shown in the scriptures.

      If you do accept this challenge it is a guarantee that you will demonstrate just how people arrive at false interpretations which are then passed on to others as Bible truths and eventually accepted, but which are really nothing more than church dogma or lies that are stated as Bible facts. WT’s chief means of teaching is and always has been by doing that (extending the meaning of what scriptures say or just misinterpreting them to fit the false concepts they’ve previously accepted from others-both things you have also done in your comment above this paragraph).

      Good luck in your trial if you take it on, since you won’t be able to prove your points using the scriptures. But have a go at if you feel so inclined. It will demonstrate just how dogma is invented.

    • messenger says:

      The concept of life after death, the concepts of heaven, hell, sanctification, salvation, the kingdom of God, the need to be born again by holy spirit, Christ being the only way for people to receive the father, grace, the reality of angels, the Devil and demons, the existence of supernatural miracles on Earth including raising people from the grave, a future resurrection for humanity, men/women going to heaven, the concept of following the Hebrew law’s meaning while he was on Earth rather than only its strict letter, the doctrine that Christ fulfilled the Hebrew law, new concepts for forgiveness, mercy and love, the idea to preach Jesus and God’s kingdom to both Jews and gentiles, the judgment, the separating of people by angels to be saved or judged, the holy spirit, God the father, trusting in the Hebrew scriptures, and the concept of not following misdirected leaders or their ways, the concept of breaking God’s laws not just in actions but with desires. One of the most important doctrines Christ taught is that he had finished the work he and God did for saving humanity. He said, “It is finished” (or complete). God’s work for salvation was completed by Christ, a very important doctrine accepted by all real Christians.

      Those are a few of the doctrines Jesus taught. If you think about it I’m sure you can add to this list. Jesus taught all the fundamental Christian doctrines. What Jesus taught is what real Christianity is. Extensions on his teachings are apostasy. WT is and always has been an apostate Christian church.

      ” I am the….truth,” Jesus Christ said. If Christ is the truth then there is no other spiritual truth but him. He would have to embody it all and share all we are to know of that truth with us. Wouldn’t that have to be so for him to truthfully make that statement?

      Note, Christ also spoke of the thieves whose purpose in coming is to steal Christ’s sheep. Those thieves do so by bringing into Christianity ideas they claim are truth, and by doing so getting people to follow their so-called truths rather than Christ.

  27. I Foster says:

    In 2012 the Governing Body announced that collectively they are the Faithful and Discreet Slave, and as individuals they are domestics. Also, the 144,000 (or remnant still alive on Earth) are no longer considered to be the FDS and never have been. They are, and always have been, domestics only. This was the new light coming from the GB in 2012.
    Previous to this, the remnant of the 144,000 was considered to be the FDS and the GB were their representatives.
    The GB didn’t exist until 1976, so who were representing the remnant before this? Freddy Franz, Nathan Knoor and Judge Rutherford all said that the FDS was the remnant of the 144,000 and that they were just their representatives.
    Even before it was claimed that Jesus chose the FDS in 1919, Charles Taze Russell was undecided if he himself was the FDS or it was the anointed remnant on Earth.
    However, we now undestand that they were all in error because we now know from the present GB that the remnant of the 144,000 alive on Earth never were the FDS.
    So, who does the Watchtower now claim that Jesus chose to be the FDS in 1919?
    By process of elimination, there was no FDS between 1919 and 2012. It was not until 2012 that the FDS was finally indentified as the present GB, who claimed the title for themselves.
    Also, it could be said that the ‘spiritual food’ that is provided for Jehovah’s Witnesses comes from the Watchtower writing department and that the Governing Body just approves what comes from the writing department for publication.
    Using these observations I have asked JW’s, “Who did Jesus choose to be FDS in 1919?”. And, “How can the present GB be the FDS when it is the writing department who provides the ‘spiritual food’?”.
    I end up going on a merry dance (or wild goose chase) with JW’s over these two questions.
    Maybe someone here can give answers.

    • messenger says:

      The problem with attempting to convince a WT believing JW is the they will believe anything WT says including any change it makes. What’s actually in the Bible is not considered by those folks although they claim it is. What they will believe is what WT says the Bible means, and only that.

      What I’ve been arguing on this site for quite some time is that’s what’s going on. But, until a JW can see that and see what’s actually taking place they are blinded to it. The same scriptures and scriptural reasons in those scriptures that we used to, and believing JWs still do, apply to you, actually apply to JWs-blinded by the Devil.

      Objectively you can look at the conflicting beliefs that WT has entertained about the anointed, the heavenly class, the “faithful and discreet slave”, and the “144,000 and see WT does not know what its talking about. It’s had too many changes about those important issues to be God directed. Believing those false stories would be bad enough, but WT has forced people to accept those or get kicked out their church or never get baptized by it.

      You might ask the Witnesses you talk to what the Bible advises Christians to do about people who spread false Christian stories. If they don’t know ask them to look it up and come back and tell you. If they do that ask them why has WT kicked people out of their church or refused to baptize them for not accepting false WT teachings while they did accept Christ. Is accepting WT more important than accepting Christ?

    • messenger says:

      [“Who did Jesus choose to be FDS in 1919?”. And, “How can the present GB be the FDS when it is the writing department who provides the ‘spiritual food’?”]

      The real meaning of that scripture, dispensing with WT dogma, is that the whole of the scriptures do not teach Jesus chose that “faithful and discreet slave” in 1919. Christ did so right before he left Earth. Remember he told Peter, “feed my little sheep.” Therefore Peter was one among that group. He was asked to feed Christ’s household, his sheep.That parable about the “faithful and discreet slave” is sandwiched inbetween three other parables: the homeowner and the thief, the 10 virgins, and the talents parable. All four parables are warnings to all true Christians to be ready for Christ’s second coming, and those also include some ways to do that. All four parables could be viewed as applying to the whole Christian congregation. Some theologians view vs45 as only applying to pastors, but it too can be applied to all Christians because Christ assigned all his followers the job of sharing the truth about him which leads his sheep into his household through the door which is Christ.

      A few years ago the WT adopted a different view which it adopted from those other Christian denominations it always labels as apostate . That new WT belief is in that the part of scripture where Christ states he will place the faithful slave “over all his belongings” (vs 47). Now WT believes that only occurs after his second coming and the faithful have been taken to heaven. Before that change WT taught the faithful and discreet slave are already placed over all Christ’s belongings per vs 47. Thus, another interesting point: WT learns from what it considers apostate religionists. It always has. Not so strange since most of us learned some truths from the apostate WT.

      What we should ask you is, if you find a way to convince a WT believing JW to accept any Bible truth that contradicts WT what is that way?

      Take care brother!

  28. xx says:

    The JWs haven’t got everything wrong and they are quite right about Christmas. It wasn’t celebrated for the first 300 years of christanity until Constantine decided to adopt Christianity as the state religion. I don’t like ANY religion and so I don’t celebrate Christmas, becuase I don’t celebrate any religious festival. If I was a christian I wouldn’t celebrate Christmas, because I would want to practice it in it’s purest form, when it was the religon of the poor and dispossessed. It’s a no brainer and it doesn’t help your cause to try to argue that black is white. It’s all explained here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018g26v

    • messenger says:

      Before Dec 25th was decided upon Christians were celebrating Christ’s birth on different dates in different months that different theologian argued were the true months and dates Christ was born in. Therefore the celebration of a pagan god by the Romans is not the reason the celebration of Christ’s birth was adopted by Christians.

      One possible reason that there is no record that the first Christians celebrated Christ’s birthday is because most of the very early Christians were Hebrews, and Judaism had adopted all sorts of superstitious beliefs about what should and should not be done to please God, beliefs that were not in their Hebrew Bibles. Not celebrating birthdays was one of those beliefs because the pagans did that. Yes the pagans gave each other gifts on their birthdays, so the Jews adopted a belief that it is forgiven by God to do that. Quite unreasonable since those folks were very selective in deciding what actions they can do that pagans did, and what actions they should not do because pagans did those.

      And that’s the irrationality about insisting one is Biblically incorrect in celebrating Christmas. The Bible does comment on some who did celebrate Christ’s birth: the shepherds, the angels, and the magi. (And remember Daniel was head of the magi in his position inside Babylon. So all magi referred to in scripture were not pagans. It’s not a buzz word for pagan). A cursory reading of scripture indicates that at least two of those groups celebrated with God’s approval, and possibly the third also.

      People who add to Bible prohibitions when those prohibitions are not actually in the Bible can always come up with some rationale to do so. But there is a scripture often quoted by WT that all JWs know. It goes something like this: Do not lean upon your own understanding, in all your ways take notice of him (God), and he will make your paths straight. According to scriptures do Christians take notice of God by learning what his written directions are for them, or by deciding what his direction is for them by refraining from doing what the pagans do? Christ told Christians he would have to remove them from the world if they are to be no part of the world in a complete sense. Therefore like Christ did himself we as Christians do some things the pagans do, and without regret that we are not pleasing God.

      If it is so important to God for us not to celebrate birthdays, don’t you think that would be addressed somewhere in scripture since the ancient pagans did that? And if it’s not against God’s will to celebrate birthdays do you seriously believe he would forbid Christians from celebrating Christ’s birthday when God said every knee will bow down to Christ, and God claims Christ has a name that is above all other names?

      John came fasting and preaching repentance and many people spoke against him. Christ came drinking, singing and dancing, and preaching forgiveness, and many people spoke against him. There will always be a reason to do that, a made up one. Because the pagans did it is about as good a made up reason as any, and better than many. But it’s not scriptural.

      • messenger says:

        My mistake! The Jews developed the belief celebrating birthdays should be or actually were forbidden by God, not the belief that celebrating birthdays was forgiven by God. My word mistake.

      • xx says:

        You appear to have no understanding of Constantine’s wishes when he adopted christianity as the state religion – you need to listen to the BBC broadcast, if you can get hold of a copy.

        As far as what christians should do, I would have thought that the bible was the only place to look. I don’t have a problem with celebrating birthdays, but the Christmas we have now would seem to be very different to that portrayed in the scriptures and therefore what was intended. Anyone who wants to be a christian now must weed out all the nonsense that has crept in over the years. Materialism would have been anathema to a first century christian, but it is all about commercialism now. Charles Dickens, Prince Albert and Coke Cola have all had an affect – are they sources that the almighty is behind? I wouldn’t have thought so.

        • messenger says:

          You know I don’t care to read any more about Constantine’s actions, so no I haven’t looked at your recommended web site. I read that stuff over 40 years ago and even taught that false knowledge to hundreds of people. Just because something is in print does not make it gospel. Look at all the conflicting beliefs in print on this site. The same thing happens with books, people’s opinions are in books.

          Do you really think that Constantine or any other individual controls what all Christians think? If that were true I’d being flopping for that nonsense, but I don’t because Constantine has no control over my life.

          And Christianity is not a religion of material poverty. Every king in the old testament was rich, and so were some of the prophets like Joseph and Daniel and Abraham and his kids. And first century Christians were taught to live like those men of faith, Abraham even being labeled in the New Testament as the father of those possessing faith. Christianity is a religion developed to transform people who are spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually lacking so that they can make a choice. The choice is simply whether they want to follow God or not, nothing more-no Constantine, no Dickens, nothing more.

          Christ, the head of Christianity didn’t get hung up on labels when he was here. That’s who Christians follow, not Constantine or Charles Dickens, or a Dicken’s character. All Christians only follow Christ while observing others who set an example like his. What do you think Christ would say if told him to read about Constantine? Setting labels is a bag that apostasy got hung up in not real Christianity. True Christianity does not wrap itself up in such nonsense. Religious Christians in name only do that in ignorance, and that’s what Christianty’s fight is against, ignorance. God’s fight with Satan is one over an idea. And that idea has nothing to do with how much money some humans have, or what Constantine did, or how they celebrate Christ’s birthday. Rather it is simply this idea: will people choose to follow God through Christ. Constantine has nothing to do with that, so why should I spend my time reading what some book says about Constantine? That’s a waste of time to me.

        • Ricardo says:

          @xx, why does the Governing Body go to all the trouble of helping us to develop the mental powers to differentiate right from wrong but then not allow us to exercise our conscience on things like celebrating Christmas or birthdays? We are told what we can or cannot do to the point of being micromanaged. Can’t we just use our conscience? My conscience sees nothing wrong with having a birthday cake or having presents. Luckily my father was an elder and he saw nothing wrong with birthday cakes, so I had a beautiful birthday cake every year. It felt wonderful. Because my grandparents were not Witnesses I also received birthday presents every year, and that was wonderful. And I got Christmas presents from the grandparents each year and that was wonderful. And we would go to the neighbour’s each year on New Year’s eve and sing in the new year. And that was wonderful. Why must all the wonderful things be taken away when we have a conscience to decide what is right or wrong for us individually?

          • xx says:

            It’s a matter of simple logic. You can do and think what you like, but if you are to be a christian then you are commited to what the New Testament says. Why are you unable to grasp that simple piece of logic?

          • Ricardo says:

            @xx,
            I was trying to be logical. Is seems illogical to teach us how to differentiate right from wrong, and then not give us the opportunity to exercise that ability. If so many actions are already spelled out for us, we never get to choose ourselves. We are forced to comply because otherwise we are d’fed. This leads to a double standard in the congregations, where the elders are able to get away with breaking the rules which the rank-and-file must obey or they will be kicked out.

            As the son of a presiding overseer I grew up with a birthday cake each year, hot cross buns at easter, Christmas dinner with my worldly grandparents and my parents together with receiving Christmas presents from the grandparents, and New Year’s Eve celebrations with our neighbours.

            If I now did the same things my family did when I was growing up, and the elders got to hear of it, I would be in big trouble.

            But my father was the presiding overseer, so who was going to challenge him?

            Funny, the same situation seems to happen today with regards to elders lying or with child sex abuse: the elders get away with it but the rank-and-file get d’fed for it, or get d’fed if they publicize the elders’ sins and the fact that the elders have got away with it.

            Is that logical? Is it Christian? Or does it have the strong smell of corruption, xx? And when the organization gets this corrupt, and nobody is allowed to say anything about it publicly (which is why we are talking about it here) what is the future of that org, xx? When an org is full of a leadership who are shadowplayers and bullies and full of nonsense, where do the decent witnesses who want to be Christians go? Out!

  29. fallingangel75 says:

    There are many different opinions on this site in the comments about where to go and what to believe – who has the truth if not the JWs.

    I read the arguments about the divinity of Christ and/or the contrast of the cruelty of Jehovah in the old testament. I understand more readily the individuals who come to the conclusion that there is no God, or there is no God who cares about us as individuals or as a race than those who still embrace Christianity.

    I have not enough strength of conviction or certainty in my own beliefs to argue with anyone that I’m right and they’re wrong.

    But @messenger: I wholeheartedly agree with you about one thing and I’ve continued to butt heads with my husband about it.

    Knowing absolutely nothing else about God and if he exists and how we should worship him, I do believe I can say with complete confidence and certainty that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have the truth because they’ve gotten too many of the important things wrong – quite literally from the very beginning!

    Like: all of it!

    It stands to reason that if God was going to have a single representative organization on earth and everyone’s eternal salvation was dependent on knowing the truth and serving him accordingly – said organization would get it right the first time.

    The issues are too important and too many lives are at stake to keep having sweeping doctrinal changes. These are not minor footnotes or spelling errors we’re taking about.

    A truly loving God would never require us all to bind ourselves in allegiance to a religion and lifestyle that requires so much cognitive dissonance.

    I’ve had this argument with others as well. They say my faith has eroded due to the passage of time. And I was wrong for serving with a date in view. For me it’s not about the time, it’s the changes.

    Even if the end was not to come in my lifetime but the doctrine had been reasonable, constant and coherent for the last 150 years I would feel differently.

    • messenger says:

      [ The issues are too important and too many lives are at stake to keep having sweeping doctrinal changes. These are not minor footnotes or spelling errors we’re taking about.]

      As a believer, and as a person believing that part of your comment I quoted I find it does not side with your decision not to take a stand for truth, even though you understand the beliefs and the why for many here have different beliefs. The way I see it if it’s right by God for a Christian teacher to correct false beliefs about academic disciplines in schools and beliefs about any other subject in a variety of situations eg, a work environment, then it’s even better in God’s sight to at least attempt to correct false concepts about God presented on a public forum, or even a private one. Isn’t that what Christ did that eventually lead to his death? And isn’t it what the scriptures teach? Yet I realize not all have the same strengths, and what does not bother me and others like me might make some other people uncomfortable. Christ is your judge, I accept I’m not, as I am not the judge of any person on this site.

      Here, let me share with you one idea that WT and some other Christian theologians got wrong, that I asked you to prove. The scriptures you alluded to when stating God no longer contacts people were written by Paul at 1Cor chpt 13. There are two lines of reasoning I can use. The first is bringing out that God contacting people has nothing to do with the miraculous gifts of the spirit Paul refers to there. For instance, God also contacted Nebuchadnezzar, a non-Christians. Also, the Christians who received those gifts were able to channel God’s spirit to accomplish certain works like healing, like Samson was also able to and for the same reason, God’s spirit. On the other hand if God contacts someone the contacted person does not make that happen (God does), and a contact is no Christian gift of God’s spirit per-se, though God’s spirit might make the contact, or an angel, or Christ. Therefore, Paul was not writing about God contacting people in those scriptures you alluded to that speak of gifts of the spirit. Secondly, as you accurately stated Paul wrote even knowledge would be done away with when that which is complete arrives. Some say that statement about complete means Christ’s arrival. You implied it meant after the apostles died, and the WT adds to your belief has always their belief “that which is complete means the completion of the scriptures.” Some theologians agree with you and WT.

      The Hebrew word that is translated complete in that scripture is more correctly translated as “perfect,” which is used there in some Bibles. In my word for word Greek to English translation “perfect’ is used there, not complete. But using either word, complete or perfect, Paul applied the idea of that time and everything he spoke of there to his own personal life-see vs 12 “Now I know in part; but then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Therefore that perfect or complete thing Paul spoke of could not be the completion of the Bible or the deaths of all the apostles, because Paul died before either one of those two things happened, and yet he applied that time and the fulfillment of what he said would occur at that time to his own life. He had to be speaking of something different, and some other time. His presence before Christ would remove all of the partial knowledge he possessed. It would be done away with and circumvented by a more complete knowledge about Christ and his father. Just as even now you would have a more complete knowledge of God contacting people if you experienced it yourself and not just read about it. Also, when Paul and experienced Christ in heaven then the gifts of the spirit he possessed would pale in comparison to those bestowed on Paul in heaven. But now he wrote, we have hope and faith all of those promises about our life with God will come true.

      I take it your husband has not fully expressed to you why he now believes he is anointed. JWs are taught not to inquire about that. I pray your marriage works out for you.

      Best wishes to you!

      • Deborah Rush says:

        Thank You Messenger..so well put and gives me a way to reason on this,to others…For how can one truly explain the things of the Spirit;yet’not examined by any man’… Have you(and others here)know of”Beroean Pickets” site? Fellow believers there;in depth essays on the Scriptures..Very affirming.

  30. fallingangel75 says:

    I have to admit that it was genius (albeit evil genius) to get everyone to buy in to the belief that JWs are God’s only channel. Once individuals are convinced of that the organization can say whatever it wants on any topic. Flimsy proof and twisted logic can be presented as divine truth even when it contradicts facts and history and common sense – and what they used to uphold as unassailable dogma.

  31. fallingangel75 says:

    I don’t care about the organization as an entity or the elder body as an abstract, but I do care about my former friends and current family members. I have zero respect for the GB.

    But I do care about the individuals I know and love. I do see the damage in their lives and families and mental health and financial security as they follow bad advice in shunning loved ones or putting the kingdom first by quitting jobs and selling homes because the end is so near.

  32. fallingangel75 says:

    A lot of individuals on this site continue to say: walk away from the organization. Don’t let the elders or GB or judgy members of the congregation have power over you.

    But for many of us it isn’t and will never be that simple.

    Family ties can be strong even if you’re fighting and estranged and you hurt each other.

    I feel this every day with my husband. He was really the love of my life and there was a time when I thought that finding him was an answer to a prayer.

    I believed that he was my reward for being faithful and never dating outside the organization and maintaining my virginity into my thirties – no small feat in today’s world.

    I still love him deeply. We have a lot of good history and happy memories and now a child who is so much like both of us it’s incredible!

    I’m not still with him because I lack the strength or confidence to leave or because I’m afraid to be alone. I was single longer than I’ve been married and in some ways I feel like that’s my default setting and it would be easier.

    I’m with him because I still have hope (although diminishing) that we may be able to love each other again the way we did in the beginning. I still have hope that he might wake up and come to his senses.

    • Deborah Rush says:

      Dear fallen angel,love between 2 people over the course of life..may ebb;hopefully flow,change and progress;deepen..as the ones in it evolve in their growing makeup..their own foundations may be tested!as 1 of the 2’coasts’along..(only for example).This may be due to the mindset as per a ‘simplified’version of marriage, due to WT teachings.(It’s why so many marriages ‘in’ it are/have been in trouble).Yet I understand your genuine expressions of true Love for your husband…Beautiful.A goal could be,growth in true-open communications (from both one’s mind and heart),revealed to the other..
      essential…but,watch out for “Fear”!remember the Verse,perfect love casts it out;it’s a restraint..Life requires love’s courage..moving past the fear..facing the unknown in our lives,we ask”what will happen?where will I be?will I survive?what-if”…I do know this:YHWH is there,and His Son..Holy Spirit..the Holy ones..and we,in the brotherhood..we,in a bonded Love..Not hate,destruction,lies,disarray.
      You are beginning a Process,so painfully now,but take heart..we’ve been there.Peace is on the other side.Much Love,D.

  33. fallingangel75 says:

    I keep reading how people say: those who would shun you are not your friends, don’t be sad over losing them.

    That’s not how emotions work. Not for everyone. I guess it must be for some because people keep posting about feeling so much better after making a clean break and never looking back.

    I don’t know what makes the difference between the people who can do that and the people who can’t.

    I could leave and move on and make new friends. I don’t doubt it. But I would also always mourn the loss of all of my former friends. It would be deeply painful for me to be df’d even though I totally reject everything about the religion and it’s belief system.

    I have absolutely no attachments to the organization, but deep attachments to individuals – even those I have admittedly grown apart from. And I know that sounds like a contradiction, but I had such love for my friends that even with the distance between us at present I cannot bear to sever all ties.

    • Deborah Rush says:

      Also,before and during my own’fade’ I felt all the same youre going through..because YOU CARE,AS A GOOD HUMAN..such agony distress grief over”losing”friends;some family too, to the Org…(but-within,they’re being trained more & more to be’dumbed down’,also’love-Ability-downed’!)All your feelings are Verified.. 100% Understandable. For me?it was 3 years of active fading,little by little;2 moves to another area,tel.#changes..first,I proactively called 2 elders:”PTSD diagnosis and too stressed/on meds to make most of the meetings”.Their wives Im sure spread the word.Personal inquiries were met with”I’m staying busy putting God’s Kingdom first,but of course we all realize that none of us can see what each one of us is fully doing,right”.Fast forward to the past year..trying to awaken others..my own relative little by little is realizing..we can have Hope others will awake and come out too..if its happened to/for us,then while theres still time,others will also”come out of her,my people”.

  34. fallingangel75 says:

    Sometimes I have a hard time keeping track of commenters’ status: faded, inactive, df’d, disassociated…

    @messenger: I thought you had left the organization until I read your comment about not giving talks anymore and if you spoke truth you’d be df’d.

    So do you still attend meetings? How do you classify yourself?

    • messenger says:

      I don’t often go to the Hall, and as a WT classification I would be considered an inactive publisher as I have not presented the Bible with Witnesses for several months. I won’t say I’ll never go. But I consider myself too enlightened to believe in WT as you can tell by my comments.

      There’s one comment I just prepared especially for you that is awaiting moderation. Most of mine don’t go through that process, but I don’t duplicate any of the info when those do.

      Best wishes to you fallingangel75. I pray your marriage works out and is a happy one for you and your husband. Keep your head up. We’re going to live forever. All things will be made new. All humans going to heaven will be able to come back to Earth. No doubt that will be required, so don’t fret about a possibility you will be separated from your husband, you won’t be.

      • Deborah Rush says:

        Greetings All..Devora,here.Been following comments on here a year.I can recommend:Werner Bible Commentary(Site),to help the average JW in need of fortifying their faith..’a new start in the spiritual journey’ essay proved most soothing,affirming, beneficial..validating.Strong,prayerful personal study and research is absolutely Vital to fortifying one’s Faith!Fallen Angel,also there can be benefits from using short term professional health guides;the goal to help you(as it also helped me)to reclaim your own,Godgiven,sacred power..fresh insights on us,as healthy!! spiritual Human Beings-apart from cultic influences.You can grow in knowledge that will empower you and help you cope..flourish,even..now,another point Christ had posed:’nevertheless when(he)arrives will He find the(true)Faith on the earth?’This is one’s personal faith.With it you will survive.There are quite a few Scriptures(as Messenger’s,my own,many other’s solid base)for saying about a Christian’s Hope and destiny..heaven and earth in a new creation..dimension..For starters,reread in Rev.about the Heavenly Jerusalem..where does she come down,to Be?why are those in the final war,surrounded, being on Earth? Dear ones, and especially’fallen angel’,may You be on the journey of fresh discovery,in The Book(we were told by other’s,”what it contains”)that leads to our Life in the Christ..Peace..Much Love,D.

        • fallingangel75 says:

          @Deborah – thanks but no thanks. I’m pretty well done with religion and searching for God and truth about him. I feel like it’s a complete waste of my time. I absolutely don’t find fault with anyone else for needing and wanting religion in their lives, but for me it represents pain and suffering and loss. God is not my friend and I no longer look to the bible for answers.

          • Deborah Rush says:

            Fallen Angel,good morning.I see you as a most! intelligent,sensitive,ccaring human being..in very much pain..so much it screams.But I did not mean’return to religion’…its a vast inner difference between a Spiritual person,and a Religious one..in many cases?(apology to those who may be offended by this as they truly’believe’their religious system is ‘them’).And many JW’s in your situation have indeed lost their “Faith”–which was actually a “Belief system”.Shockingly-so Big,key difference. Empathically I feel your pain,but repect your current decisions;your boundaries.On here are (again as-revealed) people in various degrees of decisions of ‘how’ to best cope, even advance;to actively help others to realize TTATT,as this essays Excellent writer,JR. All make their own choices..closing doors on some choices are Life-saving..some,are not…please though,don’t close the door to a better, Beautiful,healthy Life…open ended to possibilities,new understandings..insights…Related to this,Abraham Maslow wrote a book’Towards a Psychology of Being’.long ago a bestseller..

      • outandabout says:

        Hi messenger. I wasn’t satisfied with your reply to my observation of you continually skirting the issue of whether or not WT is a cult. My guess is that you have trouble admitting having been taken in by a cult, especially since you still have dealings with one.

        Look at it this way…..more than 900 people died at Jonestown and 76 at Waco. The nearest estimate of JW deaths because of WT’s blood policy is around 41,000 since 1961. Even if that figure is 90% too much, that’s 4000 people too many who lost their lives as a direct result of belonging to the Jehovah’s Witness Cult. By having their minds distorted by a controlling cult, they gave up their lives and were championed by the cult leaders for doing so. Lovely!

        How many people die as a direct result of being Presbyterian, Anglican, etc etc. Do these churches insists on death as the only answer in any given situation at all? Are these people free to come and go as they please without any repercussions? Are there any rules at all in these churches. Any shunning or judicial committees? Any impinging on individual rights and freedoms?

        If this number of blood deaths was caused by a communicable disease, the cause would be stamped on immediately. This crap must change. Jehovah’s Witnesses are a group of cultists who walk around our communities seeking out vulnerable people to love bomb as per their training and who are also trained to lie by omission and suck victims in by increments until they get to the stage where they believe that leaving the cult is the same as committing suicide and in fact, if they ever need a blood transfusion, they’ll do just that.
        If you really cared for your fellow man as much as you say you do, you would be pointing this atrocity out every chance you get.

        Happy New Year.

        • messenger says:

          Woooo you make it sound like I’m the demons’ seed because in every other sentence I don’t proclaim WT is a cult. That’s not my purpose, truth is, and exposing WT’s many flaws is not the paradigm of truth, information about Christ is.

          Did you ever look into the encrypted Bible code written into the last verses of chpt 52 and first 12 verses of chpt 53 in Isaiah? Chuck Missler wrote one of several books or articles on that subject. You can’t claim with any authority there is no proof of divine inspiration if you don’t look for it. Not looking is taking the ostrich approach, isn’t it?

          But if you look and discover divine inspiration then wouldn’t you agree screaming about anything else here or elsewhere, as you suggest I should, is not as important? That’s where I am now. I’ve seen the proof of divine inspiration and therefore I know for a fact those like you who have not base your beliefs on a guess. You guess God does not exist.

          Previously I referred to my current occupation as a teacher and how I’ve personally observed that most of the time when people guess they are wrong. I suggest you look for the proof and stop your guessing.

          If you answer those questions then for me to see your answers please do so on the most current JWSurvey article. I don’t often go back to the older articles (like this one), so I’d not likely see anything else you’d write here.

  35. fallingangel75 says:

    @ricardo: you and this group of brothers – are girls allowed and what region of the country are you in?

    • Ricardo says:

      @fallingangel, our group has brothers and sisters, married and single, the flotsam and jetsam of this sad organization. Two of the brothers just got d’fed last year for being critical of the organization and the elders, but we all meet together weekly. We just had a couple more down-and-outers join us so we number around 16 individuals now. We call ourselves the Underlapping Generation.

      Unfortunately for you we are in Asia; the actual country I don’t want to mention because it would be too obvious who I am, plus we may cause the work here to be banned if our plans work out.

      Falling angel, you are not alone. So many of us are trying to work out what we should do and what is happening with our org. It used to all make sense but now it has all become nonsense. We used to urgently be getting the preaching work done to help separate the sheep from the goats, and the end was near and the number of anointed was falling. Now it has become meaningless.

      • fallingangel75 says:

        I understand. I always wonder if I’m revealing too much. I’m part of a well-known family and if anyone who knows me reads any of my posts – ever – they will instantly know who I am.

        I only hope it’s an individual or individuals who are also part of the movement away from the organization and therefore sympathetic to my situation.

        If it’s ever anyone on here to monitor and report, I’m toast!

        I don’t think I’d ever want to be part of an effort to get the work banned. Doesn’t it seem like that will be much more harmful to the already oppressed rank-and-file than the leadership?

        Have you all considered unintended consequences to the honest hearted brothers and sisters who are being misled?

        Maybe I don’t understand, but I don’t see how a ban will help and it might actually make things worse.

        I’m all for exposing lies, contradiction, hypocrisy and double-standards so that individuals can choose not to join in the first place and so that others may have the courage to leave, but a ban sounds extreme. It may do more harm than good and still solidify the base.

        • Ricardo says:

          @fallingangel, we aren’t trying to get the work banned, but that may well be the collateral damage. We want to get the foreign elders kicked out the country. But the authorities may feel we are too extremist to allow the religion to continue here freely.

          Either way, it will be harder for elders to come here, impose their will for a couple of years, then go away with the glory that they served where the need is greater ( but actually left the congregation in confusion as another elder comes in and imposes his will). It is better for the brothers if such glory seekers were not here.

          • fallingangel75 says:

            I see. So many problems. Not specifically with your goals, just in general. Everywhere.

            Irreparable damage has been done to individuals and families. There’s really no fixing most of it even if attempts are made by outside forces to bring the leadership to justice.

            “Makes me sad’ is an understatement.

  36. fallingangel75 says:

    @messenger: thank you for taking the time to craft such a detailed response, but somehow, somewhere you misunderstood me and I’m not sure where. I don’t believe I ever said I don’t believe God contacts or communicates with people simply because he has not done so to me.

    He may very well do so. I have no personal proof and I don’t believe based on my own experiences.

    I kind of feel the same way about near-death experiences and people saying they’ve had contact with angels. It’s really easy to be dismissive of it hasn’t happened to you, but there’s a lot of people who are otherwise credible who have stories.

    What I meant (and thought I said) is: I don’t know what to make of it all.

    And I mean all: Life. Death. Heaven. Paradise. Resurrection. Is there an afterlife? Is there not?

    I don’t know anymore. What I feel certain of is this – it’s not what Witnesses have been teaching. They may have elements of truth. But the whole kit and caboodle is a convoluted pack of lies.

    For example, I do feel certain there isn’t a burning hell. I don’t think their explanation of who goes to heaven and when and why and how is remotely correct or plausible.

    I’d like to think there is some reward for being a good person, but I no longer have enough confidence in the bible itself or anyone’s interpretation of the scriptures to feel like it can be proven or disproven.

    I believe my only option is to continue to live a moral life as a good person (if not an actual God-fearing one) and hope that is enough.

  37. fallingangel75 says:

    @messenger: For all I know maybe my husband is going to heaven. As for details, I have no more information than what I have said here.

    He has only described it to me in terms of before and after. Quite literally as if one day he had an earthly hope and he desired to live forever with me and pursue the shared goals we always aspired to and then one day that changed for him and he knew he was bound for heaven instead.

    He didn’t say it like he had a vision or God spoke to him or anything supernatural. Is it possible there are details he withheld from me because he thought I wouldn’t comprehend them or just not believe him? Absolutely.

    But for me the details are actually unimportant. There are no details he could provide that would make me feel any better or worse about it all.

    There is no proof he could offer me or any proof I want. I did say at the time that I thought it would be cruel for God to choose him and give him the peace and joy that he seemed to feel over it and leave me with only heartache and bitterness and resentment.

    We had recently been through a different trial in our marriage and I had cried and been hurting over it daily for no less than 3 years and I was just getting to a point where I didn’t awake every day with heaviness in my heart and sorrow in my spirit and then this happened.

    And I felt like a rug was pulled from under me all over again. On timing alone, I could not believe a loving God would rob me of the one thing that was helping me cope with all the crap we were having to endure at the time. The sanctuary of our love and bond and the hope that we would have eternity together to make up for all the current struggles and hardship.

    He would have to know that would break me and shatter my faith for good.

    I still believe that. And it leaves me with one conclusion. God doesn’t care about me. Maybe he cares about others. Maybe he really does want my husband in heaven. But he doesn’t care about me.

    I prayed daily for years that if this was true and real and I would have to accept it, let me find comfort somewhere. In life. In nature. In the scriptures. In good works and helping others. Could holy spirit do anything for me to make me feel better?

    No response from God or the universe.

    In the void I have decided that God doesn’t care about me as an individual or God as we have defined him in our religious texts does not exist.

    I don’t know this person that others worship and he has chosen not to make himself known to me in anything other than the abstract.

    • messenger says:

      I thought I read you stated your husband claimed to have been contacted by God who told him he had a heavenly calling in a previous post. My computer is moving too slow to allow me to find that, since I’m piping in weak power through the air from my son’s bedroom about 80 ft away from mine, and I can’t even send most messages now.

      Hey outandabout, if that other post isn’t there maybe I read it in a parallel universe or its proof I have a deranged mind.

      Anyway, God contacts people he chooses to for his reasons. No doubt one of those reasons is usually how they respond to him, not just in our present time but also in our future time. It’s possible your husband was contacted.

      If this message gets through with my weak computer power that’s been preventing the sending I’ll attach here my response to that comment I thought I read, either with a deranged mind on in a parallel universe. Here was my response to that:

      Thank you for your response. It answered what I wanted to find out. You say your husband claims he was contacted by God, and that God told him something. As far as him retaining a belief that he would leave you, even if you keep your faith, remember his beliefs have been shaped by modern WT beliefs.
      The Bible teaches all Christians who are considered Christians by Christ are the same, with the same hope. The other sheep Christ told his apostles about were the future gentile Christians, not an Earthly class of Christians that would arise shortly before the great tribulation. The crowd coming out of the great trib were not considered by Christ to have accepted him prior to that event. See Rev 3:10. I’ve brought up this point here a couple times before. Believers will be spared that hour of test, the great tribulation.

      I don’t believe there are any Christians who believe what WT believes about its proclaimed two classes of Christians except JWs, and you already know WT is incorrect about many things. Its claims about that is one of its mistakes. Sometimes WT has to adopt positions to make its theology make sense once part of it falls apart due to the passage of time. WT teaching on those two groups of sheep is just one of those instances.

      It’s possible your husband was contacted by God. If so that initial contact would not cause him to instantly give up his wrong beliefs. That would take time along with exposure to new information and along with God’s spirit and his own reasoning ability. The chances of him being mentally ill are slim unless there have been additional signs of mental illness. Usually mental illness can be diagnosed by experts. If there are no reasons t cause him to see that type of doctor to be diagnosed he’s probably not mentally ill. Even a lay person can usually spot a mentally ill person if they are around one for long periods. It doesn’t sound like you have seen any evidence of that type of sickness.

  38. Whip It says:

    Just had a lovely xmas break at home, started to grow a beard & missed all the meetings & again failed to put in a report, didnt make the new year in, fell asleep as usual, all the best to every one for Down Under, i don’t miss xmas but believe its just commercialism, a lot of people say they hate it, but whatever, our family have a little celebration on Birthdays, these days are very important as watching a child come into the world is one of lives greatest gifts, my son is now debating various things with his group where he lives, cracks are appearing more & more, the Australian Royal Commission finally finished up, so awaiting more on that, 2018 will be interesting for the Borg.