Upcoming 2017 JW Assembly Encourages Witness Youths to Lie About Homosexuality
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Youths required to enforce Jehovah’s Witness Doctrine – it’s a conflict which leaves them confused and cross-eyed

Theocratic Warfare has long been a controversial aspect of Watchtower theology. Often dressed up in with euphemisms and wordplay to try to downplay the teaching, the doctrine of theocratic Warfare essentially comes down to this:

It is considered acceptable to lie to non-Witnesses if the end result will benefit the Watchtower organization, or protect it from any perceived harm.

Up until recently, this practice of giving Witnesses a “license to lie” has mostly been confined to courtroom battles. A recent and rather infamous example of this took place during the Australian Royal Commission, where Watchtower’s Senior Australian Branch member Terrence O’Brien was caught red-handed lying about the role of Governing Body Member Geoffrey Jackson in order to protect Jackson from having to testify.

However, it seems that this practice is seeping more and more into regular Witness life. In fact, one speech outline for the upcoming 2017 Circuit Assembly appears to directly encourage Witnesses to lie to the general public about Watchtower’s teachings on homosexuality.

A Tale of Two Demonstrations

The full line of 2017 Circuit Assembly talk outlines have been leaked, and are available on the excellent website www.avoidjw.org under the tab  “2016 Regional Convention.” There is a treasure trove of talks there to comment upon, but the one we are discussing here is the outline for talk#9 of the first one-day assembly for 2017 entitled Young Ones: Prove that Jehovah Is Your Best Friend. The talk starts off by instructing JW youths to show their love for Jehovah by following Watchtower’s vast multitude of behavioral dictates to the letter, and then moves on to informing them that another way to show love for God is by standing up for “His righteous standards” when they are called into question.

We then see a demonstration of how this is done.

It’s actually two demos, both based around the same situation: A Witness youth named Hannah is explaining Watchtower’s stance on homosexuality to a non-Witness, Emily. The first demo is supposed to be an example of what not to do, the second is the “correct” way of handling the situation.

Hannah’s behavior in the first demo is pretty awful.

Yet her behavior in the second one is even worse.

Version 1: The intolerant Witness

The first demonstration is pretty short.

Emily: I think it’s so cool that Ashley and Jessica have come out as being Lesbian, don’t you?

Hannah: (Grimaces) Actually, I think they’re disgusting.

Emily:Wow, Hannah that sounds so prejudiced. Is that you talking or just your religion?

Hannah: (Abruptly) It’s what the Bible says, Emily. Lesbians ARE disgusting.

Emily: (Sarcastic) Whatever.

So, Hannah is not especially tactful here, but essentially she has described Watchtower doctrine as regards the LBGTQ community accurately. If anyone is in any doubt, just check out the words of Anthony Morris III, a member of Watchtower’s Governing Body and a person Witnesses are required to obey without question.

And to prove that ATM III is not just some crazy weirdo who doesn’t represent Watchtower teaching as a whole, check out Paul Grundy’s extensive article on JWFacts.com, which goes into extensive detail as to how Watchtower have spoken about the issue of LBGTQ rights. In one point, Grundy gives us the following, hard hitting list.

Watchtower describes homosexuality as:

  • abhorrent, sexually degrading, unnatural, sordid – Watchtower 2012 Mar 15 p.31

  • an unnatural sexual perversion – Awake! 1997 Dec 8 pp.14-15

  • sick and perverted – Awake! 1995 Feb 8 p.16

  • gruesome, violent, and downright sadistic.” Awake! 1995 Feb 22 p.14

  • disgraceful sexual appetites, obscene – True Peace p.150

  • worthy of the death penalty – Awake! 1982 Jun 22 p.10

  • perverted desires – Awake! 1989 Jul 8 p.27

  • detestable to Jehovah, vile, repulsive – Watchtower 1979 Mar 15 pp.10,11

So no wonder that Hannah, a Witness raised in such an environment, would react with angry, abusive dismissal to news of two other women embracing their true sexual identity.

However, the narrator of the drama cuts in at this point and asks:

Could Hannah have done a better job of expressing God’s standards, doing so in a way that made them clearer and more appealing to Emily? Let’s give her another chance.

Clearer? I think Hannah was perfectly clear, given what we know of Watchtower’s teachings on the subject. More appealing? Well…given that Emily appears to believe that a person’s sexuality is not a subject for scorn or hate, it might be difficult to make Watchtower’s message on the subject more appealing without diluting the clarity.

Unless…

Wait.

Hannah isn’t going to lie, is she?

Yes she is.

She is going to lie though her teeth.

Version 2: The intolerant Witness who lies about it

Emily: I think it’s so cool that Ashley and Jessica have come out as being Lesbian, don’t you?

Hannah: (Calmly) Well, I respect Ashley and Jessica but I can’t say I approve of what they’re doing.

Emily:Wow, Hannah that sounds so prejudiced. Is that you talking or just your religion?

Hannah: It’s my view Emily, but it’s based on the Bible. You know, some people think that the Bible says things about how homosexuals should be treated that aren’t actually in there.

Emily: What do you mean?

Hannah: For example, the Bible says that we should respect ALL people, regardless of their sexual preference.

Wait WHAT?

Where?

Where does it say that, Hannah?

Where does the Bible explicitly say that we should respect all peoples, regardless of their sexual preference? Show me the scripture, Hannah. I’ll wait…

…okay you’ve not found one. That’s because it doesn’t exist. And you KNOW it doesn’t exist. However, I CAN show you scriptures in the Bible explicitly stating that homosexuals should be killed. For the sake of fairness, I’ll even use the Witnesses’ own New World Translation of the Bible, as found on their own website, JW.Org.

Leviticus 18:22 “‘You must not lie down with a male in the same way that you lie down with a woman. It is a detestable act.”

Leviticus 20: 13 “‘If a man lies down with a male the same as one lies down with a woman, both of them have done a detestable thing.They should be put to death without fail. Their own blood is upon them.”

The above two verses form part of the law code for ancient Israel. The law here is very clear: Homosexuals get killed. No if’s. No buts. Gays die.

It doesn’t get much better after Christ turns up either. While Jesus himself never broaches the subject, the Apostle Paul has no hesitation in commenting on the subject:

1st Corinthians 6: 9-10   “Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom?  Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom.”

According to Watchtower’s theology, not inheriting God’s kingdom means that God will exterminate you at the battle of Armageddon. In other words, as far as Hannah understands it, Paul here is saying that gays again deserve to die, although Christians are commanded to leave the killing to God and his heavenly armies. And if you’re in any doubt as to whether Paul’s overall stance on gays had softened since the days of ancient Israel, here he is discussing past events in Jewish history that came before the arrival of Christ, and the “fulfillment and lifting of the Mosaic law”, as Watchtower teaches it.

Romans 1:26 – 27: ” That is why God gave them over to uncontrolled sexual passion, for their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; likewise also the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full penalty, which was due for their error.”

 

Now, the point of this is not to get into an extended debate as to how these verses should be applied to Judaism and Christianity as practiced today. The point is simply that these verses exist, and for Hannah to deny they exist, whilst claiming existence for a mythical, unseen scripture that teaches respect for all sexual orientations is simply outright, barefaced, calculated deceit.

Yet Hannah is only just warming up with her “tactical truth camouflage.” The demo continues.

Emily: But I thought you were prejudiced against gays and lesbians.

Hannah: Not at all-I reject homosexual conduct, not people.

Another barefaced lie.

 

Jehovah's Witness youths are encouraged to lie and misrepresent their intolerance for gay persons

Jehovah’s Witness youths are encouraged to lie and misrepresent their intolerance for gay persons

 

As a Jehovah’s Witness, Hannah is absolutely required to reject homosexual people. If one of her Witness friends or family came out as an active homosexual, Hannah would be required to shun them as if they were dead. That’s a pretty big rejection. More to the point, even if she met a homosexual who was not a baptized Jehovah’s Witness, she would be expected to refrain from any close association with them. If she made the non-JW lesbian a social friend, or even someone she spent more than the minimum possible time required with, she would soon find herself in the back room of the Kingdom Hall being lectured by stern faced elders.

Hannah knows this. Hannah is lying.

Emily: I don’t get it

Hannah: Well… (pauses) I also choose not to smoke. In fact, I find the thought of it sickening. But suppose you were a smoker. I wouldn’t be prejudiced against you for your view, just as your wouldn’t be prejudiced against me for my view, right?

That’s a really bad analogy. Firstly, there is the whole issue of smoking being something you do, whereas sexual identity being something you are, a part of your biology that you are born with. A better analogy would be to compare sexuality to skin color.

Emily: I don’t get it

Hannah: Well… (pauses) I also choose not to have brown skin. In fact, I find the thought of brown skin sickening. But suppose you had brown skin. I wouldn’t be prejudiced against you for your view, just as your wouldn’t be prejudiced against me for my view, right?

Notice how the whole analogy comes collapsing down both logically and morally when presented in that manner.

Also, there is the fact that Hannah would indeed be prejudiced against the smoker. As a Jehovah’s Witness Hannah is required to shun any smoking Witnesses as if they were dead. Smoking is just as bad as homosexuality in the Watchtower’s view.

Yet we are not quite finished. Hannah has one more lie in her, and it’s a whopper.

Emily: I guess so

Hannah: It’s the same with out differing views of homosexuality. Everybody has the right to choose. Based on what I’ve learned from the Bible, I’ve made a lifestyle choice to reject homosexuality, and I appreciate those who respect my right to make that choice.

Hannah believes everyone has the right to chose. Except that if a fellow Witnesses choose something different to her, she will punish them with shunning. That’s like saying: “I totally respect your right to choose whether you cross this bridge or not. By the way, if you cross it, I’m going to shoot you in the head. But you totally have the right to cross that bridge.” To say nothing of the fact that Hannah believes all practicing homosexuals deserve to die, and will be killed at Armageddon by the likes of Anthony Morris, acting under orders from Jehovah.

In other words, Hannah does not believe everyone has the right to choose. You choose her way, or you choose to be worm food.

Additionally Hannah appreciates those who respect her choice to reject homosexuality, but she will not extend that same respect in return. If a fellow Witness decides to live in harmony with their same-sex orientation, Hannah will shun them as if they were dead. But she thinks it’s only civil for her own intolerance to be treated with kid gloves and not called out for what it is.

The demo ends with Emily saying:

Emily: I never thought about it that way.

That’s because Hannah has used a mixture of lies and doublespeak to bamboozle you, Emily. In the first demo, when Hannah told you what her religion really teaches, you were furious.

Basically what comes out in this version of the demo is nothing but a cavalcade of bare faced lies designed to mislead the non-Witness into thinking that Watchtower Policy towards the LBGTQ community is far more tolerant and accepting than it actually is.

Is Watchtower feeling the pressure?

This isn’t the first time Watchtower has blatantly lied to try and make its teachings on homosexuality more acceptable to the general public. The recent “Harness your Habits” issue of the Awake magazine contained an article that employed similar tactics, such as comparing homosexuality to smoking, and trying to pretend that the Bible does not contain scriptures commanding the killing and mistreatment of homosexuals. For a full analysis of this article see the video below by JW Survey founder Lloyd Evans.

 

So what are we to make of this?

Well, it’s clear that these articles and demonstrations are a response to increasing critical scrutiny from more liberal nations and cultures as to what religions are actually teaching in this regard. Clearly, a number of Jehovah’s Witnesses, (perhaps especially Witness youths, whose schoolmates will increasingly be showing strong support for LBGTQ rights) have been getting into awkward, difficult situations when confronted on this issue and are not sure how to deal with it. Hence this demonstration to help them out of the sticky situation…not by making a stand for what they really believe the Bible to teach, but by misleading and lying to the questioner to leave them with a positive and false impression of those teachings.

I also think that Watchtower might be searching for ways to make its policies feel more humane to its own members. I’m in my 30’s, and I personally knew a number of Witnesses in my generation who struggled to reconcile the teachings on homosexuality with their own more liberal impulses and the real life positive experiences they’d had with gay people in the workplace and in other aspects of life. Thus, this might also be a campaign aimed at my generation of Witnesses and younger; trying to spin the teachings so that a generation increasingly aware that homosexuals are just normal people might be able to reconcile their cognitive dissonance.

Either way, the result is ironic: A talk that commands youths to make a firm stand for Jehovah’s standards…by lying about them and pretending that they’re softer and kinder than Watchtower teaches they actually are!

Theocratic Warfare at its finest.

Update: YouTube Activist JWAwake has also covered this issue, and along with his analysis as included footage of this demonstration actually being given at a Watchtower Assembly.

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192 Responses to Upcoming 2017 JW Assembly Encourages Witness Youths to Lie About Homosexuality

  1. Twmack says:

    Richard Oliver, Hi Richard, not to dispute your account
    of the liberal attitude of some in your cong, toward
    homosexuality, among these even including elders and
    COs.

    But it seems some of us are having difficulty recognising
    and reconciling this with the org, that governed our lives
    for so long. Due to WTs, stress on keeping the cong,
    clean and not losing JHVHs spirit, anything perceived as
    violating Bible standards was rooted out, individuals
    would be confronted and special talks given condemning
    the sin.

    You say “I think the organisation is trying to be better at
    showing people in the congregations not to be so
    homophobic”. But the Bible is homophobic, it’s very
    stark in its condemnation of the practice in both the
    Hebrew and Greek scriptures and pronounces the death
    sentence on all practicing homosexuals. (Not that I
    agree with such barbarism)

    So is the org, who claim exclusive ownership of the
    Bible, now ignoring its uncompromising and
    unmistakeable language? And softening its stance
    toward homosexuality? I have strong doubts about it.
    Best wishes T.

    • ANTONINVS says:

      If one believes in God, and believes he is almighty, all knowing, and has the right to dispense his own justice then nothing he does is barbarous. As the ultimate authority on all things who can argue with God as to what is right and wrong for humans? Will the clay say to the potter, what right have you to make me this way?

  2. Twmack says:

    Take me as I am, or watch me as I go.

  3. Imgonaburn says:

    Richard Oliver.
    Hi Richard. After reading your comments I can’t help but wonder why you went back to the religion. You say you’ve lived as a gay man and had a boyfriend etc but that you weren’t happy. Could that be because you just haven’t met the right man?
    If you recognise that you were born gay and havent ‘chosen’ to be gay do you believe that you being gay is a birth defect brought about by adamic sinfulness?
    I’m not quite sure how you can accept that the Bible condemns you for being who you are.
    My own son is gay. I used to wonder if he was going to tell me that he wanted to change gender at some point but he’s outgrown his femininity now. We found out he’s gay when he was around age 15. He was never baptised but it was still a very difficult time for him. It didn’t take long for me to leave the religion and support my son. He’s 21 now and his coming out was a turning point for me.
    Some members of the congregation were kind to him but you could number them on one hand. My son has Aspergers and ultimately my love for him was greater than my love for the religion.
    I tried to get my older children to imagine how they would feel if the scriptures said that it was wrong for a man to be with a woman, and to ask themselves how they would feel if they couldn’t be with their spouses because it’s wrong in Jehovah’s eyes for them to be together. Could they live a life without intimacy, without the comfort of a close physical bond with someone they were in love with?
    It’s a huge sacrifice to make. It’s a cruel and unusual punishment in my opinion. How long are you going to wait? (I wonder how old you are now?)
    Just because you sound a little disillusioned with ‘the world’ please don’t feel like ‘the truth’ is your only other option.

    • John Redwood says:

      Response to Imgonaburn to Richard Oliver:

      “I am not going to go into a philosophical discussion about Adamic sin and it’s influence on our lives. Everyone on this site has their own opinion on this and it is just a waste of energy one way or another. But I do feel that we have things that we are either born with or develop that is either good or bad for us. I also come from a family with a long line of alcoholism, which again mental health professionals agree can make future generations more susceptible to becoming an alcoholic, and I am not comparing being an alcoholic to being gay. But I do know that getting drunk doesn’t make me happy personally so I avoid drinking at all because of my family history and my personal experience of not knowing when to stop. Same thing with the partners that I had, I truly loved and still love one more than anyone will ever know, but being with him did not make me happy. Yes, I could keep looking but that doesn’t mean that I will ever find happiness with a boyfriend. What I know is right now being back as a witness is giving me a measurement of more happiness. And like I said before doesn’t mean it always will but right now it is giving me happiness.
      I am glad that your son has found happiness with whatever partner(s) he may have now or in the future, but there is no right or wrong way of being a gay man. I have spoken to my gay psychiatrist about this before and gay friends and the one thing that they have all told me is that as a gay man you have to do what you feel will give you happiness. And I too have a degree of Aspergers, and, honestly I have a harder time being a witness with that than being a gay witness sometimes.
      As far as your other children I know the struggle, I will never tell my brother that I am gay because he will not take it well. My dad, on the other hand, wasn’t the most excited guy when I told him it but he told me that he still loved me.
      I have also been hurt by past comments of elders giving comments or even by GB members and some of their statements but I also recognize their proper place and how I view them. Would I want to come out to them, no chance in hell, but do I think that they are speaking from their own either ignorance or personal prejudice, absolutely. During these police shootings I have heard psychologists talk about how we all have prejudices, it is not right to lie and deny that we don’t, it is about honest communication. Do I think that Anthony Morris may not like gays, sure, do I think that it is exclusively because he is a JW, absolutely not. I think it comes from his experiences in the Army where prejudice for homosexuals was common and at times expected.
      And you asked am I ready to live my life without intimacy or a close physical bond. Right now I am, in the future I am not sure. There are many that believe sexuality is fluid and that bisexuality is a real thing. Maybe one day I will grow to find females attractive, maybe I won’t. I don’t find it as tough as you may think. I am 31 and haven’t had that intimacy for years. I have known gay brothers in their late 60s who haven’t had the intimacy in 40 years. Do we like it, I would say no, but do we accept it for the measure of happiness that we are finding now and more happiness than what we experienced before while living as a gay man with a boyfriend, yes. “

      • Caroline says:

        To Richard Oliver.

        What it boils down to me isn’t so much as sexual attraction as love.

        What I miss about being married was when my husband and I held each other at night in bed. He had prostrate cancer when he was about 60 and so we couldn’t have sex anymore but as a woman, that didn’t bother me at all. I miss that closeness. When I come home at night, he isn’t there anymore and I am now alone. I had that for 49 years and now I am all alone and it’s lonely for me.

        For a person not to have the closeness of another person (whether of the same sex or not) means a life of being alone and not having somebody to come home to and not having another person to talk to about the things that bother you and what happened during the day, pros and cons of things etc. Now that I am alone, every day seems so long.

        If I was still in the “truth”, I could be going to meetings and field service but still I would be coming home to an empty house and nobody to hold me close at night in bed.

        If it wasn’t for religion and people simply believed in evolution, they wouldn’t feel guilty about having a loving mate of the same sex. It’s religion that makes people feel guilty about having a mate of the same sex. What they did in their sex lives would not make them feel guilty. It’s religion that makes them feel guilty.

        It’s religion that makes people feel guilty about having sex before marriage too.

        People are made to feel that there is a god watching their every move and if they haven’t signed and legalized a marriage license, they are committing a terrible sin but in Bible times, all they did was go into a tent and they were married.

        In Bible times, men could have as many wives and concubines as they wanted. Even Judah went to what he thought was a prostitute and there is nothing in the Bible to indicate that he was judged as being a bad person because of it. Women on the other hand were murdered if they were prostitutes and if they committed adultery.

        Do you get the point?

        You are happier now because your religion has made you feel that you are sinning against God if you have a “boyfriend” or a “husband”, regardless if you had sex with that person or not and so as long as you are celibate, you feel as if you have a clean conscience towards God and the congregation and that is why you feel happier being celibate.

        Dogs make great companions but they are not great conversationalists and they aren’t that much fun to take to a movie or go out to eat with.

      • Imgonaburn says:

        Richard. It’s clear to me that you have given this a great deal of thought. I understand that you are happy with your life at present. I hope that you continue to be happy and find contentment in whatever comes your way. Nobody else knows better about what is right for you than you yourself.
        My son is a completely different person now than he was just 6 years ago. Maybe you, like him, are one of life’s deep thinkers.
        I hear what you are saying about the fluidity of sexuality and I agree with you on that.
        If you were my son I would respect and support you in any decision that you make if it’s what makes you happy. I hope that the friends that you have confided in continue to treat you with kindness and look out for you.
        Living alone doesn’t necessarily make you feel lonely. If you have people in your life that demonstrate their love and affection towards you so that you feel valued and appreciated then that can be enough. Having Aspergers can be isolating at times, but being at peace with yourself enables you to enjoy your own company.
        I’ve been married for nearly 30 years and I believe that part of this achievement has been down to having friends to talk to -apart from my husband-about my husband! He is still a JW as are my 2 older children. The eldest is 28 so not much younger than you. My younger 2 were not baptised and, like myself, no longer attend meetings. We are a 50:50 split, but we are all happier in our current states.
        I think it was brave of you to post on this forum and I admire the fact that you have posted replies to people’s comments. You must be exhausted! 🙂
        I’m sooo glad that you didn’t want to go into adamic sin! Lol i really don’t like to talk about stuff like that! 😉

      • Caroline says:

        Richard Oliver, something else I’d like to add to my comment below. In the older versions of the New World Translation at Luke 17:34 says:

        “I tell you, In that night two MEN will be in one bed; the one will be taken along, but the other will be abandoned.” but in the newest “silver sword” it reads: “I tell you, in that night two PEOPLE will be in one bed; he one will be taken along, bu the other will be abandoned.”

        Why did the Society change men to people in that scripture? They had to change it to people instead of men because of what the Bible says at Leviticus 20:13 says: “If a man lies down with a male the same as one lies down with a woman, both of them have done a detestable thing. They should be put to death without fail. Their own blood is upon them.”

        The Watchtower has an agenda when they come out with new and “improved” versions of the Bible. They wouldn’t want anybody to get the wrong impression that Jesus was okay with two men in the same bed, now would they?

        • Tobias says:

          Actually, I just checked the online version on their website and over their it still says “two [men]”. Can you proof that this is different in the printed version?

          • Caroline says:

            and I just checked on jw.org online version and I saw “people” not two men. Check again Tobias, okay.

  4. Dazi says:

    So the new policy is stay in “the closet” and you can sit with us? What a joke! Sure, there may be a brother or sister (few & far between) that have been kind towards closeted homosexuals in their congregation but that is extremely rare. The truth is gay people do not have the same rights (privileges) in the congregation. I’ve been around long enough, connected to high-ups in the org and have witnessed first hand the private feelings and arrogance of these men in power. Visiting bethel, attending the annual meetings…ugg…it was full of pomp and “who knows who”. The sad truth is the men in charge have no regard for sinners and Homosexuals are at the top of the list! Visiting bethel and seeing behind the curtain was very influential in my waking up.
    Richard- I feel for you and wish you all the best!

  5. outandabout says:

    So lets stop beating about the bush here….there is NO way the WT has suddenly gained a conscience on this issue. Why would they suddenly decide that being gay is all fine and dandy when the Bible clearly say’s it’s not. They literally hate gay’s!
    Since the big ‘A’ is, without any doubt whatsoever, going to be here by lunchtime Tuesday, they should be digging their heels in about gay people. Judgement day is upon us!
    But no, they know full well that the big ‘A’ is not coming and they’re looking to the future. Another 100yrs of ripping gullible people off and they’ll chew up and spit out whoever they need to in order to achieve that goal.

    Gay people!, listen up! You are being used to further the WT’s agenda.

    Your choice.

  6. Caroline says:

    I think certain elders might know of a person being homosexual like in the case of Richard Oliver but that is only because he was either “outed” by his homosexual behavior or he confessed, but in general, a homosexual would be forced to stay in the “closet” and I will say the reason why:

    If it was generally known that a person was “gay”, he would be closely watched to make sure he or she wasn’t being around people of the same sex by himself, much like if a person was married and yet was doing things alone with another person of the opposite sex by themselves. The elders would be forced to look at his situation in an entirely different light than what is a “normal” situation with people of the opposite sex.

    The elders and those in the congregation would be suspicious if they saw a “gay” person out and about with a same sex person and if that person was out and about doing things and being alone with a person of the opposite sex, they would have to take the same precautions (chaperones) to make sure they didn’t do anything unclean and then wondering if he or she wasn’t bisexual.

    I can’t see that happening anytime soon that the elders would be comfortable with a person who came out as homosexual. I think their only option is to remain a “loner”, single and closeted or marry somebody of the opposite sex just for the company and to look “normal”. Just my opinion.

  7. Sana_b78 says:

    Why are witnesses always given some kind of cliches or ready made answers to people’s questions? So much meaningless bla bla bla in the second demo, why couldn’t Hannah just say: “Well, i disapprove their actions, but i am civilized enough to tolerate them and not to point a finger at them.” No further questionsa and if they arise, the simple answer will follow:”I am entitled to my opinion just as you are entitled to yours”.

    • Winston Smith says:

      Growing up a JW, I used to try to use the lines they gave us in the demos in real world situations. Needless to say they never worked. If engaged with other youth, it would often just result in ridicule. If engaged with adults, often the introduction of logical reasoning would derail the preplanned conversation path.

      Eventually I realized that wanted us all to say the same thing, all the time, like a bunch of machines. They’d program us with new lines of code every now and then, like this latest one with “Hannah.” Any signs of individuality had to be squashed.

      “We are Borg. You will be assimilated.”

      WS

  8. Twmack says:

    Richard Oliver, Its obvious that your acceptance in
    the JW community depends on denying who you
    really are by actually living a lie. Is that truly loving?
    You can be my friend so long as you agree with me!

    I wondered why you had contacted this site in the first
    place, surely you know your freedom to do so has been
    curtailed by arbitrary rules from those in control, and it
    would not improve your standing in the eyes of your
    elders were it known.

    “There are non so hopelessly enslaved as those who
    falsely believe they are free”– Goethe.

    I don’t think anyone here has been judgemental of
    your nature, you are accepted just as you are,
    Bronze Age prejudices are rarely to be found here,
    please return again.

  9. Twmack says:

    “Arbitrary rules from those in control” refer to
    the JW hierarchy- the governing body.

  10. Twmack says:

    A young bro, in our cong, started a study with
    another young man who turned out to be gay,
    and the gay guy fell in love with the bro, who
    didn’t encourage or want this situation.

    So on the orders of the elders the study was
    stopped, but also it was announced that the
    gay man was bad association.

    I don’t think the announcement was justified,
    but apart from maybe handing the study over
    to a sister, what alternative was there but to
    put a stop to it?

    The plain fact is, like oil and water, homosexuality
    and Jehovahs Witnesses do not mix. A friend of
    the gay man said “We were heartless people
    without any understanding”

    • Winston Smith says:

      @Twmack
      If I may tie two of your comments together:
      “Heartless people without any understanding…” following “arbitrary rules from those in control.”

      Love is hate – war is peace – freedom is slavery – ignorance is strength

      The JWs are told to love their neighbors and one another and their meetings and gatherings can seem overwhelming with love and other positive emotions. That is the case until it comes time to follow some arbitrary rule from above (could be from the elders, the CO, the GB, etc.). Then you can observe some of he most callous and hateful behavior known to man

      Love your neighbor as yourself, that is, until Watchtower tells you to stop.

      WS

      • outandabout says:

        Winston.. your ‘love your neighbor as yourself, that is, until the Watchtower tells you to stop’ points out a large part of what gets up my nose about WT’s ‘Hug a Homo’ nonsense.
        Most Witnesses will get on board with it I guess, and I dare say some will be relieved even. The way that most Witnesses just accept whatever gets fed to them reminds me of when I was a small child who believed in Santa. I couldn’t figure out why there was a Santa in every dept. store, but I didn’t dwell on that for any length of time because, hey!, nobody is gonna take Santa and Xmas away from me, and besides, Mum told me Santa was true and that was the end of it.

        Mum became a JW at 37 and went back to believing in Santa.

  11. Twmack says:

    History has demonstrated how propaganda can
    cause normally good and rational people to hate
    and commit atrocities against targeted groups.

    I clearly remember a WT, discussing the
    abominable treatment of the Jews that occurred
    in recent history, and the article cited Matt,27:25-
    At that,all the people said in answer, “His blood
    be on us and on our children”

    Was the article saying, They got what they asked
    for? I know what I think!

    • Aril says:

      NO religion is ever perfect, the more in tuned with what is actually true, are at best still but another stepping stone toward ‘when that which is perfect has come’; then that which [remains] imperfectly set and mired in their own old ways, will be eclipsed and thereby eventually ‘done away with’. Thus do dispensational progressions move ever onward toward that which is already perfect’.

  12. No Body says:

    What might one conclude about Jehovah’s organization given that Satan’s world is being granted access to our spiritual food before we are?

  13. JWIntellect says:

    To Richard Oliver:

    Along the lines of what Winston Smith has stated, I have not come across any recent articles from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society that would suggest it has an alternative view regarding the cause(s) of homosexuality other than what was presented in the aforementioned 1976 Youth Book. Perhaps I am mistaken, or possibly overlooked it. Would you be able to present to me an article that articulates anything contrary to what was already quoted?

    • John Redwood says:

      To JW Intellect

      This is the response from Richard Oliver:

      “From the February 2007 Awake pages 28-29

      “Some say that homosexuality is rooted in the genes. Others say it is a learned behavior. It is not the purpose of this article to delve into the “nature-versus-nurture” debate. Indeed, it seems that it would be a gross oversimplification to attribute homosexuality to a single cause. Homosexuality—much like other forms of behavior—appears to be far more complex than that.”

      So the organization is recognizing that there is a debate between nature and nurture and that it is a complex issue. And there is still debate in the scientific community because it is impossible to run scientific experiments on these theories. “

      • JWIntellect says:

        To Richard Oliver:

        This article does not say much on precisely where the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society stands on the issue.

        What is the organization’s official stance on homosexuality? Does Watchtower believe that homosexuality is “rooted in the genes” or that it is “learned behavior”? To what causes (i.e. biological, environmental, etc) does the Watchtower attribute to homosexuality?

        If homosexuality is not a learned behavior and is, in fact, biological, would homosexuals still be worthy of death, as commanded by the Bible?

  14. Anonymus says:

    The creec letters is written to the saints, and only saints is part of the Christian congregation , so you can’t use standard for saints on NON saints. But you can tell them what the bible standard is, and hope They want follow bible standard.

  15. Anonymus says:

    Because a saint can have a NON saint as spouse, and the NON saint spouse not follow bible standard, but the NON saint spouse is holy and go paradise.

    1 chorintian 7

  16. Anonymus says:

    The connection to a saint for a NON saint spouse and children make them holy. This is wisdom of God!

  17. smacks says:

    1 Peter 2:17 says to show honor to men of all sorts. Some translate honor to respect. I think this scripture is applicable for the girls point in the demo

    • outandabout says:

      Well in that case, you have another perfect example of the Bible making a total ass of itself.

      Want to start your own religion? Easy. Just pore through the Bible, cherry pick want you need and, hey presto!
      For example, if you require scripture that says ‘look before you leap’, it’ll be there. If ‘he who hesitates is lost’ is more your bag, you’ll find that too but just be careful not to slip up and include them both. Doing that would expose your writing as a fraud and may lead to you being accused of hoisting onto mankind the biggest fraud in his entire history. A retrograde force that hinders development of the species by trying to forever keep him locked in the dark ages.
      So make sure you proof read your creation very carefully.

      • Smacks says:

        He said that there is no scripture that supports that all people deserve respect. He is wrong

        • Winston Smith says:

          The exact quote was “the Bible says that we should respect ALL people, regardless of their sexual preference.”

          The Bible makes no such statement with the qualification about “sexual preference” (BTW, that phrasing supports the idea that homosexuality is a choice, aka a preference).

          Any reference to try make the bible say this is putting a certain spin on the scriptures, in effect manipulating them to say what you want. It’s certainly not handling the “word of God aright”

          WS

  18. Bill Thinker says:

    Look at http://www.jw2017.org/ … travelling with JW.org to experience the brotherhood…

  19. Dazi says:

    Hi Lloyd
    Regarding your video comments – it seems to me that in fact WT comments alongside the lines of “unlike animals humans can control their urges” is saying that if you don’t or can’t control your urges you are likened to an animal. So respectfully, I understand her point.

    Thank you for all your efforts, I look forward to future articles from you and your team!

  20. Kurt Hennig says:

    “The following comment was received by JW Survey from reader Richard Oliver, an active Witness who was unable to post using his account. If you wish to reply, mention “Reply to Richard Oliver” at the beginning of your reply.”

    “Richard Oliver” is almost surely a pseudonym for an online Watchtower Operative…

    Kurt Hennig-
    Who really is the “Faithful and Discrete Slave or Servant” and what does that mean?
    http://www.watchtowercriminals.blogspot.com

  21. ANTONINVS says:

    To be fair, most if not all conservative Christian denominations (of which there are many) and some mainstream Christian denominations (notably catholic, at least in theory if not in practice) condemn homosexuality/ sodomy outright. This is not a phenomena peculiar to JW’s.

    Again, to be fair, when Hannah is referring to respecting one’s choice to practice homosexuality/ sodomy, this is in keeping with numerous GENERAL principles that can be gleaned from scripture and can therefore, rightly be applied to most situations in a “general” way.

    The point being that ultimately God has everything under control and it is his place to put things right when and how he wishes. As humans we leave everything to him. This too is nothing more than a basic Christian belief common to most Christian denominations, if not all.

    So while, Hannah may be obfuscating to avoid an ultimately unnecessary and fruitless arguement, she is hardly a bare faced liar. In a broad general sense the principles are there in scripture to support her response.

    I think on this occasion you are making too much out of it.

    • ANTONINVS says:

      I would add that personally, I believe there is no doubt that sodomy/ homosexuality is condemned in scripture.

      It is both unnatural and immoral. It is NOT what one is, it is rather what he or she does. A behavioural practice.

      If this is being homophobic, then in reality we are calling God a homophobe, because for those who believe and accept the bible as God’s word there is no choice but to condemn what God condemns. What God detests a true Christian must also detest. This is a fundamental Christian teaching, again, not peculiar to JW’s.

      W

      • ANTONINVS says:

        Why single out JW’s on this point. You may as well condemn all Christians as homophobic who take the bible at its word regarding homosexuals/ sodomites.

        • factsnotfiction says:

          @ANTONINVS

          You are absolutely correct. Most Christian based religions condemn Homosexuals as a result of their literal interpretation of the bible and adherence to its teachings.
          The point of the article is that Jehovah’s witnesses in this case are trying to ‘pretend’ that they don’t, in order to make themselves more acceptable to the world. They are encouraging young ones to deceive (Lie to) their school friends so that they can maintain their ‘friendship’ with the world! And be more appealing to worldly people. Hmmm.

          • ANTONINVS says:

            If you know anything about JW’s then you know this, namely, that JW’s are never encouraged to pursue friendship with any non JW’s. But they are encouraged to be friendly to everyone. There is a huge difference between being friends and being friendly or civil and neighbourly, if you wish to put it another way.

            So yes, we should keep the peace with our acquaintances at school, work etc, and avoid ultimately unnecessary and fruitless debates that accomplish absolutely nothing, while having every confidence that God has everything well in hand. I would have thought that pursuing peace in our various relationships is the true mark of a Christian. That is not to say that one should compromise clear principles.

          • factsnotfiction says:

            @ANTONINVS

            You can be both friendly and Civil without being dishonest. In my opinion honesty is the most important of all traits.
            Hannah is trying to mislead Emily by encouraging her to believe that the Bible and therefore JW’s do not condemn Homosexuals. She makes the statement—
            ‘ For example, the Bible says that we should respect ALL people, regardless of their sexual preference.’ We all know that is not true. The bible is very clear on its view of Homosexuals and that view is found in both New and Old testaments. JW’s take the same view, they have to. Hannah is being dishonest in the second scene. True she could have handled it more tactfully in the first scene, but at least she was honest.

  22. Twmack says:

    @Antoninvs, Great thought stopping analogy.
    ‘The clay unable to question the potter’

    Often used by WT, to squeeze the impressionable
    into their current desired mould and force unquestioning
    cooperation.

    People are not unthinking, unfeeling lumps of clay,
    and whether homosexuality is genetic or not,
    I have at least enough moral sense to know that
    stoning such ones to death or throwing them from
    buildings ( as Isis does) is cruel and ‘Barbaric’.

    Would you cast the first stone?

    • ANTONINVS says:

      Hi

      You may not like the analogy of the potter and the clay, but it is what it is. Word it any way you like, it still doesn’t change anything. Can an inferior, a created being say to its vastly superior creator, I am not happy with what you have made me? Seriously, the whole suggestion is laughable. You are clutching at straws.

      As for divine retribution, it is precisely as the term denotes. It is God’s place to administer his justice not ours. I would never be presumptuous enough to cast the first stone. It’s not our place to do so, for we may well be on the wrong end of a proverbial stoning for other wrongs we have committed. We all fall short of God’s perfect standards for one reason or another. I may not be in line for a stoning because I’m a sodomite, but I could well be in line for a stoning for a different sin. That is the point. No human can judge another human apart from the clear standards God reveals in scripture. But even then the sanction for such sins is always God’s to administer not man’s.

  23. Twmack says:

    Your reply is based not on fact, but on your personal
    belief that the mythical child killer Jehovah is the supreme
    ruler of the universe. An idea which debases the concept
    of a just and all wise God. As for the provenance of the
    Bible, good luck with that one.

    Regarding stoning. ( Lapidation) it was not always a quick
    end, but more often than not, it was death by torture.
    hardly devised by a merciful judge would you say?
    I don’t blame you for ducking the question, when I asked
    if you’d be prepared to cast the first stone.

    Many thanks for taking the trouble to reply.

    • ANTONINVS says:

      I did not avoid answering your question. Did you miss the part where I clearly stated:”I would not be presumptuous enough to cast the first stone”?

      As for God being a killer of innocents, innocent by whose standards? Yours? Mine? The bible is full of accounts where God sanctioned the lawful execution of entire populations. So what bother to debate something that is clearly repeated and demonstrated in scripture over and over again.

      As for accepting the bible as the Word of God, that is purely personal. I cannot prove to you that the bible is God’s word, just as you cannot prove to me that it isn’t. One either believes it or he doesn’t. In my case I believe it. This would be a fruitless tangent to pursue.

  24. John W Wirtanen says:

    While I agree that Jehovah’s Witnesses officially follow the condemnatory approach of conservative “Christian” religions, the thought that the Bible actually teaches the hate is not that clear. Example, in the book What the Bible Really Teaches About Homosexuality by Daniel Helminiak, all the verses used against homosexuals are carefully analyzed going back to the original Hebrew and Greek words. It blows to pieces the arguments used by Bible thumpers against homosexuals. Of course, fundamentalist type religions will refuse to accept this even though it is clearly and factually presented. I used it at first when I had trouble reconciling my orientation with the Bible. Now, it’s a moot point. I look at all religions as being of man made nature. But, I just wanted to point this out should others want to see the message of hate the JWs promote is not universal. Also, many more progressive churches do not use the Bible sledge hammer literal approach.

    • ANTONINVS says:

      Let me put it simply. Sodomites have nothing to fear or worry about if there is no God, except maybe a painful slow death via AIDS or the like.

      But if there is a God and the bible is in fact an accurate reflection of his standards, then a sodomite has everything to fear. Ultimately it will cost one his life. Unless of course one doesn’t fear death either. Then by all means do as you like. Make the most of it while you can, as it were.

      Either way, a true Christian is not fazed or threatened by how others choose to live their lives. At the end of the day if there is a God we all stand before him as individuals. In effect I can’t save you, and you can’t save me.

      • factsnotfiction says:

        @ANTONINVS

        You see ANTON, it is much better when you are honest. Now everyone is clear about your point of view! Unlike Hannah you leave no ambiguity. You make it very clear how you feel about Homosexuals, and you also make it clear how Jehovah’s Witnesses use FEAR and THREATS of DEATH and PAIN to get people to agree with them! Not much respect being shown there, is there, but you are being honest! That is how you feel. Unfortunately you are a bit wrong though. True, if God does not exist then it does not matter. But if God does exist it still does not matter. As history has shown us, we will all be dead and buried of old age, just like the generation that saw the events of 1914 are now. None of us will see Armageddon, and because JW’s got rid of Fiery Hell! (Thanks for that one) there is nothing to fear at all for anyone. People die just as they have always done and always will, it is natural.

      • Caroline says:

        ANTONINVS, It is interesting that you feel the Bible is an “accurate reflection of his (God’s) standards”.

        You must realize that there are no original manuscripts of the Bible books and all those writings were done by hand because the printing press wasn’t invented for over a thousand years later so since all those books were written by the the hands of imperfect people with an agenda in view when they copied those writings. We have no way of knowing what was originally written down in those writings at all. All man has is what they think God would have written if there actually was a God that had those men write down his “word”.

        The Watchtower likes to convince people that since the Dead Sea Scrolls had similar writings than what we have today, then what we have today has to be an accurate representation of God’s moral standards.

        But is the Bible really an accurate reflection of God’s moral standards?

        If the Bible is an accurate reflection of God’s moral standards, then you would worship a god that sanctions slavery, child sacrifice, genocide and rewards beliefs over deeds.

        That god of the Bible said it was okay to kill and own people as slaves and even had the right to kill them because they were nothing but “property” and could own those people forever, passing them down to their future generations. The God of the Bible said if you needed money, all you had to do was sell your children into slavery.

        The God of the Bible said that if a girl couldn’t prove that she was a virgin on her wedding night that that girl was to be stoned to death but the men in the Bible could own as many concubines as they wanted and as many wives as they wanted but if a woman committed adultery with a man not married, she was to be stoned to death but if she wasn’t married or engaged and raped, she was forced to marry her rapist. If a girl was caught being a prostitute, she was to be burned.

        The God that you worship said it was perfectly okay for Judah to go to a prostitute but his own daughter-in-law was to be burned for committing adultery when it was Judah’s own fault that she wasn’t married and Judah is proudly displayed in assembly parts as a good person because he fathered a child by Tamar who was good.

        Think about what you read. The Bible says that Judah went to a “temple” prostitute. The “temple” wasn’t instituted until hundreds of years later. What “temple” did Judah go to? Think about it.

        A god who endorses slavery and genocide and child sacrifice is morally inferior and that god punishes billions of people for the fact that Adam and Eve ate fruit from a tree they weren’t supposed to eat from.

        Think about what would have happened if Adam and Eve hadn’t eaten from that tree. Do you honestly think that not eating from that fruit was the one and only moral requirement God would have had for all their billions of offspring?

        Do you think that he would have had other requirements for their offspring? If not eating fruit from a certain tree would have been the only moral requirement, then where would homosexuality have fit into that requirement or do you think God would have made sure that there were no tendencies for “perfect” people to be attracted to people of the same sex? It was that same God who said men could kill their wives for committing adultery and could kill their new bride if she couldn’t prove she was a virgin on her wedding night but could have as many wives and concubines as he wanted.

        If God created humans knowing they would not be able to live up to his “perfect” standards and killed them anyway, then that God is morally inferior and his “standards” are morally inferior unless you think it’s okay for men to have as many “concubines” and prostitutes and wives as he wants but it’s not okay for women to have the same privileges and you think it’s okay to own slaves and consider them property.

        If God is capable of getting rid of Satan and lets Satan continually screw up everyone’s life, then why doesn’t God get rid of Satan?

        Using the excuse that God is letting people decide if they want to serve him or not is just an excuse for his laziness or indifference or maybe he doesn’t really exist in the first place, is what I chose to believe.

        I would rather not believe in the Bible as coming from the God Jehovah than to believe in the hideous and morally degenerate Jehovah God of the Bible.

        • Winston Smith says:

          To follow up your point on the Dead Sea Scrolls, while Watchtower is happy to use them as “proof” that the Bible is accurate, they reject entire sections as being non-canonical. More evidence of their picking and choosing what they want to be “true.”

          WS

    • outandabout says:

      Thank you, John. Of course you realize that what you’ve said falls on deaf ears if it’s not in accordance with what the listener wants to hear.

      Some people’s prejudices’s run so deep that it’s literally impossible for them to adapt. They have invested far too much of themselves in a particular angle of belief to be able to change and they will die hanging onto it.

      But take heart because they are dying out. Literally. Every single day the number of them decreases and are being replaced by kinder and more understanding people.

      I’ve noticed one truth in the Bible though and that is Mark 16: 17-18. Given that the Bible is God’s infallible word and he never makes mistakes…. what’s being said here must certainly be true.
      To put what He said in a nutshell: He says that true believers can take poison and suffer no ill effects.
      It’s all quite clear on that. No need for thousands of holy men to debate it for 2000yrs, just ask a child instead.

      So there you have it, Believers. The acid test. Let’s sort out the Sheep from the Goats, right here, right now.

      So let’s face it guy’s. You don’t honestly believe at all. It’s just a lifestyle you’ve chosen and you’ve placed a dollar each way… just in case.

      And that’s all ok so long as nobody gets hurt but in the case of the JW’s, people are actually dying for the most flimsiest of reasons and for that and a host of other damnable reasons, they most certainly deserve to be ‘picked’ on wherever and whenever possible.

    • factsnotfiction says:

      @John W Wirtanen

      I agree totally with your analysis. I would add only that the confusion caused is due to the Bibles continuous contradictions BECAUSE it is MANMADE. For example it tells us to ‘Love our Enemies’ ‘Love our neighbors as ourselves’ ‘forgive our brother 77 times’ ‘remove the rafter etc’ it also says that God wants ‘Love not Law’. Then in another part it condemns everyone to death who disagrees with it no matter what!.
      These two attitudes are obviously in complete contradiction to each other and show clearly that they are ‘man made’ and dependent on ‘When and by who they where written’. In other words the bible shows the viewpoint of the ‘writer’ not any Supernatural being. Unless of course God is schizophrenic in nature and suffers multiple personalities. Always a possibility I guess.

  25. outandabout says:

    I’ll never forget what a senior college student said to Richard Dawkins.

    The student said that even is Islam was proven to be totally false, he would still continue to believe it.

    A demonstration of indoctrination and how an unwavering belief can make a fool of an otherwise intelligent person.

  26. Twmack says:

    Absolutely agree Caroline. No perfect being is involved
    in the production of the Bible, its exclusively man made.

    It’s filled with with the basest traits and excesses of
    human nature, with an invented God who sanctions
    their actions. They always claim that, don’t they?

    Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions. – Pascal.

    • outandabout says:

      Imagine ancient man who at that time understands absolutely nothing about himself or the world surrounding him. A crack of thunder booms overhead and lightning splits a tree in half in front of the terrified Man.
      Enter God number One in order to explain that away.
      And so it grows.

      It’s just so simple.

    • Winston Smith says:

      Here is a related quote that recently came to my attention: “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” – Steven Weinberg

      WS

      • Dazi says:

        WS- This is one of my favorite quotes! – I heard it a few years ago and thought it was so true! It resonated with me so much that I added it to my “words of wisdom” area in my office 🙂

  27. Mj says:

    SPIN DOCTORS at their finest however JW’s are not the only ones who still continue to use the bible to persecute (and yes it is persecution) homosexuals. Im shocked fundamentalists dont still own slaves and encourage incest as that is ok in the bible. Pathetic. Repulsive.

  28. John says:

    JW’s have never been homophobic. Only the practice is wrong. Some are born predisposed to alcohol for instance but do not drink for fear of becoming alcoholic. Some are born predisposed to desiring the same sex but do not put themselves in a vulnerable position, they stay celebrate. Many even stay celibate as straight people unless they find a suitable marriage partner. JW’s preach to all without prejudice.

    • Covert Fade says:

      So let me put a scenario to you.

      A young child is born to JW parents. At just 10 years old he is baptised, as is increasingly the custom for JW children. Later he hits puberty and realises he is gay. At 18 years old he decides to live in harmony with his sexuality and enters a same sex relationship

      What happens? Do the JW’s accept his choice, or do they teach that his family and friends must all shun him as if he was dead?

      If the latter, how can you claim that JW’s respect those of the LBGTQ community? Do you respect people by persecuting them?

      • John Redwood says:

        Covert- this is the response from Richard Oliver directed to you:

        “Covert Fade:

        I understand that you honestly view shunning as a form of persecution, and that is your right to feel that way and to express your displeasure for that. But as a gay Jehovah’s Witnesses I have never felt persecuted. I was baptized as an early teen and came to accept my sexuality at an older age. Granted,I also think I was fortunate in a few ways when I got baptized. First, on both sides of my parents family were a lot of DF family members, so I fully understood what being DF’d meant and the implications of it, and went into baptism with my eyes fully open. Second, I wasn’t pressured by anyone to get baptized, I chose it for myself. And, actually, I do believe that Watchtower is trying to encourage parents and others not to force children into baptism until they feel that they are ready themselves. I saw that in the Regional Convention of the disfellowshiped women, the video really highlighted that people shouldn’t pressure young ones to get baptized till they are fully ready.
        Do I know people who are homophobic and don’t like gay people, yes I do. But that is not unusual not just due to religion but also race and culture. I have had boyfriends who have not been accepted by their family, not just because of religions but because of their culture. I had a Hispanic boyfriend who’s non-religious family members did not accept that he was gay because they felt that it made him weak and powerless. He had to either hide his homosexuality from them or in reality they never spoke with him. In fact some of his family would try and set him up with women while we were dating. It got so bad of them pressuring him that he went out on dates with women just to make his family members happy, while we were dating. That put a ton of pressure on our relationship.
        Another boyfriend of mine is Chinese and his culture being gay is very taboo and his family has no religious background at all. He is terrified that his family will find out that he is gay. That also put a lot of pressure on our relationship. I could never go home with him to China and when he would go we couldn’t talk to each other that much because he was afraid someone would find out.
        In the news of true persecution of gay people due to societal pressure and not religious you can look at Russia, Cuba, Nigeria and Uganda. These countries their hatred and persecution of gay people is caused by a belief that it is a Western thing and that they don’t want Western culture to infect their culture. In Russia mobs of people beat up not just gay adults but even gay teenagers. And at one time there was a proposed law to prevent any gay couple to adopt children and those that have already adopted children they would be taken away from their families. In Uganda having gay sex can land someone in prison for 14 years to life.
        Here in the United States, when California was voting on Prop 8 the Mormon Church officially spent millions of dollars promoting, that doesn’t include all the other millions of dollars that individuals spent on supporting the bill. Whereas Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses did not contribute or support it.
        I have told people that I am gay, and I have chosen not to tell others that I am gay, that is my choice. But those that I have told that I am gay who are witnesses, have given me support and haven’t changed the way they have treated me. This is even after I was judicially disciplined within the congregation.
        I know that my experiences as a gay witness is just that, my experiences. I know that everyone has and will have their own experiences when it comes to being a gay witness. But I cannot accept, when you categorically compare what Witnesses do when someone is gay as calling it persecution. You have your right to your opinion but, I am an example of someone that is not being persecuted. “

        • Caroline says:

          Dear Richard Oliver, I am not Covert Fade, but I think the point is how can the Watchtower claim to “respect” gays and lesbians when they disfellowship anybody who practices that lifestyle?

          I have been associated with many congregations through the years and I think most Witnesses would be respectful and loving to somebody who is “gay” as long as they don’t practice the gay lifestyle.

          Most of the Witnesses I have known are kind and loving.

          I don’t think anybody who gets baptized has fully examined the real history of the Organization or examined any real proof that any god is directing the Organization or looked at any of the literature the Society was publishing when any God supposedly chose the Watchtower Organization as his one and only spokesman to mankind in 1919.

          Have you ever read a book by the name of Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz or is that book banned? If you really have the “truth” you should not be afraid to read it to see if what you have been taught is really the “truth” or not.

          • Caroline says:

            Richard, I wanted to add to my comment because it reminded of an experience that happened to me many years ago.

            Many years ago, I was out in service with a pioneer brother/elder and the car group was talking about gays and the conversation reminded me of a brother in the first congregation I came from and he was a very flamboyant hair dresser and I said I thought he was gay and I said that out loud and I was instantly shot down and said not to say such a thing about a brother.

            Now days in the world, the politically correct thing to says is SO???

            In other words, in the world, it is not supposed to be an insult.

            If I were to say the same thing today, the same thing would have happened to me if I were to suggest that somebody in the congregation was gay. If somebody says SO???, you would be the one corrected. In other words, it would be incorrect to suggest “it’s no big deal” because it still is a big deal and a terrible insult to suggest somebody might be “gay” if you are an active Witness.

            If your congregation knows you are gay and you aren’t afraid to say so but they all know you are not practicing the gay lifestyle, then good for you but I think your situation is unique to the Organization.

            I don’t know if you are for real, but I have my doubts, being associated as long as I have been.

          • John Redwood says:

            Response from Richard Oliver to Caroline:

            “Caroline:
            I am sorry to say this and I don’t mean to offend you. But I think in your second post to my comments where you spoke about a flamboyant hairdresser who was a brother as saying he is gay, but I feel like you were being the prejudicial one and stereotyping a lot. I have known hair-dressers and even flamboyant ones who were both witnesses and non-witnesses who were straight, in fact I work with one that used to be a hairdresser and he is very straight. And just because someone is flamboyant doesn’t mean that they are gay. Some one’s personal mannerisms doesn’t determine one’s sexuality. There are very tough and strong gay men and some very soft and dainty straight men. And yes just assuming some one’s sexuality just on their action is offensive, and I personally appreciate. And I disagree with you, if you said that in this day and age to a group of non-witnesses I am sure you would get the same exact response. You say the politically correct thing is to say “SO?” if you had said that, If the person came out and said “hey I am gay” then yes the politically correct thing would be is to say “so”, but that is not what you presented in your post. “

          • John Redwood says:

            2nd Response from Richard Oliver to Caroline:

            “Caroline:

            I know from personal experience that the brothers do not watch my interactions with people of the same sex and scrutinize it or requiring me to have a chaperone. I regularly are alone with single and married brothers either socially or because I am doing service with them or am working on something for the congregation. I know that the elders that know that I am gay are aware of these situations and not one has raised any kind of question about it. I think that most people, including elders, know two major things about this. First, a gay guy may think a straight guy is cute, but most gay guys don’t want to or will ever try and have intercourse with a straight guy. Gay guys know that just because you want something doesn’t mean you always get it. Second, they realize that it takes two to tango, that it would require consent from the other brother in order to anything to happen. I have even been alone with another gay brother without a chaperone. “

          • Caroline says:

            Richard, that hairdresser was in my congregation and worked in the same place where I got my hair done every week so that is why I knew him when he was at work and not at the Kingdom Hall and I really liked him a lot so it wasn’t an insult coming from me. I just thought he might have been gay, nothing else insinuated but the elder/brother shot me down so quick because to him it was a terrible thing to insinuate and terrible gossip and I could have been brought up before the elders for spreading such “terrible” gossip.

            I am pretty sure that that is the normal response to anybody in the Society who would suggest somebody is gay now too.

            I do think there are gay brothers and sisters in the congregations but I don’t believe they are brave enough to “come out” to the brothers and sisters.

            I think either they live double lives or they marry to give the impression they are straight or they don’t marry or like in the case of the sister of our presiding overseer, she had a “room” mate all her life. She is very butch and was married at one time but the whole community here (not the Witnesses though) consider them to be a “gay couple”.

            The one roommate died a couple years ago but out in service, the whole community thought that Witnesses were okay with “gays” because the talk around here was that they were gay.

            I know they didn’t sleep together as in having sex so they did not live the gay life style but at least they had companionship and the congregation closed their eyes to the gossip because we all knew that at least one was not “gay” (the one that died).

            Whether or not our presiding overseer’s sister is gay or not, I don’t even care but that is and still is the gossip in my community.

            People could care less about her, in or out of the congregation because they all just love her for the nice person she is.

            People can be so afraid of people of color but once they have a friend of color who moves into their congregation and they get to know them, they won’t be afraid of somebody with color anymore and the same thing can be true of a “gay” person but it’s the Watchtower Society and the Bible and many religions who consider it a “sin” to be gay.

            It’s the world and younger people who are turning it around that just because a person is gay, doesn’t make them a sick individual because that is the way the were born.

            It’s the older generation who were brought up to believe that it’s a choice and so therefore sick.

            I have never disliked somebody for either their skin color or if they are gay. I don’t dislike somebody for their looks. I only dislike somebody if they treat me with disrespect.

        • Winston Smith says:

          There are people in abusive relationships who insist they are not being abused. Some women stay with abusive men and insist that while the relationship may be less than ideal, it’s the best they can hope for or that it works for them.

          I have also heard told of black slaves during the American Civil War who sided with the South and agreed that they should be as kept as slaves.

          And we have all heard of Stockholm Syndrome where captives develop feelings of affection for their captors.

          As I have observed the back and forth with Mr. Oliver, and engaged in some Q&A directly, I cannot help but to conclude that this is the situation we are seeing. I would suggest an assessment of this situation by more typical members of the LBGT community would result in much of the same conclusion.

          WS

  29. Twmack says:

    Richard Oliver, You say you have been disciplined by
    the cong, If this was for your sexual orientation, then
    you are being discriminated against, victimised,
    persecuted.

    If all hetero’s were taken into the back room and given
    a scriptural ear bashing on their sinful nature and told
    to cease practicing it, then it would be a level playing
    field. But as it is, only such as you are being singled out
    and forced to deny who they are.

    Your story seems inconsistent on one or two points.

    • John Redwood says:

      Response from Richard Oliver to Twmack:

      “Twmack:
      I was disciplined because of having homosexual intercourse. It was not because I have a tendency toward homosexuality or want to have homosexual intercourse. And again I chose to get baptized and I knew what the rules and responsibilities were. I hold no grudge against those that gave me discipline. I don’t feel like they singled me out. They didn’t force me to do what I did, nor were they overly harsh to me, in fact they tried to assist me and find the least painful discipline. Again the people I have told that I am gay have been very supportive of me and have not had any issues. “

  30. outandabout says:

    Richard Oliver….. I’m beginning to doubt your existence. The words I’ve heard used by even moderate JW’s when referring to gay people are: “faggots!”, homo’s!, and then backed up with “ugh!” and such like and with facial expressions to match. They have been taught to hate gay people. You just can’t deny that but if your particular situation is genuine, well good for you but it’s definitely not the norm based on my experience, JW literature and hate speech.
    If the WT have changed their minds overnight, they have moved from what has always been their supposedly immovable Truth. According to them, religions that modify are exhibiting the signs of a false religion. Is there anything more important to a JW than immovable Truth?
    You have to see this for what it is. They are trying to become more palatable to the world they so desperately need, but condemn. They need converts and tax free dollars to survive and keep the scam going. They are willing to compromise anything for that, including your life.
    Good luck with that Richard, but leave your dignity at the door.

    • John Redwood says:

      Reply from Richard Oliver to outandabout:

      “Outandabout:
      If you don’t believe that I am real or my experiences are real, there is not much that I can do about it. All I have been saying is that these are my experiences, and I have shown that there are some witnesses that are very accepting of me and some that I have not told because I know that the won’t accept me. I have experienced both kind words and hurtful expressions. But, I know plenty of gay witnesses and I have gay friends who are not witnesses. Some of my gay friends know that I am a witness because I don’t feel ashamed telling them that because they have had positive experiences with witnesses and some even have kind witness family members who are kind to them even though they are gay. Everyone has their own experiences either gay or straight. All I have been trying to do is express that there are two sides to this and that not everyone has the same experiences as me. Some may have positive experiences like me and some may have negative experiences. I was trying not to paint everyone and every situation with a broad brush. “

      • outandabout says:

        Richard Oliver…..Ok then, lets say you and your experiences as a gay JW are real and leave it at that.
        Now, if you value truth, you should be asking yourself why the WT are coming out and suddenly embracing Gay’s. That is the big question here. Why are they moving away from their long held truth? The answer is in these pages.
        Among the comments expressed on these pages are experiences by real and caring people and collectively they have quite a number of lifetimes worth of experience in the Truth. They can fast forward your learning. Some have been born in and others have been converted at some stage but they’ve all woken up and smelt the scam. They are not apostates with diseased minds at all. They are urging you to not make the same mistake they did. To dismiss them as irrelevant and of not being understanding of the true workings of the WT and the game they are playing while using you as a pawn is pure delusion and an unwillingness to confront the truth.
        I tell you what, I wish that when I was younger I had sought the counsel of older and wiser people. They are a terrific resource and I can see that now. But too late.

  31. Twmack says:

    Richard, With respect, you are one strange guy.
    You admit to being gay yet you knowingly committed
    to the most anti gay religion in Christendom. It’s akin
    to turkeys voting for Christmas, and with a predictable
    outcome, you’ve already had one roasting, one more
    and your goose is cooked. ( excuse the mixed metaphors)

    Your cong, may not be unique but it is certainly off the
    beaten track in its attitude toward homosexuality,
    although from your comments it seems you are wary
    and selective in who you confide in.

    I wish you well and sincerely hope no hurt or bitter
    disappointment comes to you.

  32. Kurt Hennig says:

    I just went through a barrage of “Page must shut down” and “Internet explorer has stopped working” to get here but “Caroline” acting has his agent has just confirmed for me from years of experience without any doubt whatsoever!
    You man Richard is a Watchtower plant…Are you all catching on now?

    Kurt Hennig-

    What really is…a “Faithful and Discrete Slave or Servant” and what does that mean?
    http://www.watchtowercriminals.blogspot.com

  33. Rick W. says:

    I think everyone is getting way to caught up with this…..everyone who is/was knows EXACTLY what the Societys position has always been on the Bibles crystal clear scriptures on Men Lying Down With Men and so on and so on…..
    I read all your long dissertations (as if you were still giving a friggin talk in the Hall)……………
    I am starting to wonder if 60% of this blog is “Trumped Up” as this “Secret Gay Brother” noted above……etc……is too detailed and of course his name and identity are probably secret? Move on and talk about something more relevent….and uplifting LIKE HOW HAPPY WE ARE TO BE GONE FROM THE SHAKLES OF THE WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY AND HOW WE CAN NOW LIFE WONDERFUL AND FRIUTFULL LIVES!

    • John Redwood says:

      Rick W

      We are sorry, but we can’t ignore the issues at hand which involve indoctrination of young people into a religious belief system which advocates hate for homosexuality as the result of an antiquated system of beliefs which are not connected with reality. The JW organization has only in recent years acknowledged that some persons may have an inherent attraction to the same sex. They are forced to make this acknowledgment, not because of any divine revelation, but because they are in danger of losing even more credibility, just as they did when they were young earth creationists for so many years. They are reactive rather than proactive, which in itself proves they are in no way divinely inspired. While we try our best to remain religiously neutral, we will not support the condemnation of gay persons, which as you know is based on religious beliefs. You may claim you know what God’s position is on the subject, but this assumes that there is any merit to the Bible and it’s teachings, which are subject to thousands of different interpretations and translations.

      In the end, our article accurately demonstrates that JW youths are encouraged to misrepresent what Witnesses truly believe, attempting to make them appear reasonable, when in fact they are completely dismissive of a gay persons feelings, and the reality that we are born either gay or straight. Piecing together the facts should allow you to draw the appropriate conclusions on this subject, assuming you have done your research and cast aside any bias or prejudice you have towards gay persons. It’s no longer acceptable to simply claim that you believe what you believe because your personal God said it is so. It’s time to move past indoctrination, not just in the JW religion, but religion as a whole.

      JW

  34. MikeB says:

    1 Peter 2:17 might be what Hanna is alluding to. Variously translated as ‘Honour all sorts of men’, ‘respect all men’, and so on.
    That’s just one possibility and I think they avoid using a particular scripture since that would entail the unlikely scenario of the Watchtower youth carrying a Bible around with them in case of such impromptu discussions.

  35. Mike says:

    Nothing wrong with opposing homosexuality as all Christians are obligated to do so. And there is nothing wrong with “limiting’ ones association with a practicing homosexual. This is no different than limiting ones association with an admitted prostitute, or drug-addict, or An Aryan white supremacist. Having said that,we would still be happy to converse with them about the Bible and life.

    • John Redwood says:

      Mike

      While I certainly respect your right to free speech and your view of Christianity, I think it is important to note that there is research from many Christians to indicate that the sections of the bible referring to homosexuality are not part of the bible canon. As humans we tend to pick and choose what we want to believe, and this is true of many religions including the development of the JW religion. Naturally you will argue that the bible canon you respect is the one used by many Christians today – but the study of the canon reveals that there are really many variations of this group of books and they were not assembled and written as most persons believe them to be. The question we really have to honestly ask ourselves is whether we really believe homosexuality is wrong in the eyes of the God many believe to have written the Bible, or if this is really just our personal opinion and find being gay offensive. This is something to think about,

      JR

  36. Ja says:

    What I don’t understand is why it is forcing.

    They came at my door said something I didn’t agree with, and I just said. Thank you for sharing your view, but I don’t have the time nor the emotinal resource to converse with you. So if you could just leave, that would be nice. Thank you.

  37. Bekanne says:

    Went to a lot of trouble to spin this issue. Using words such as ‘disgusting’ which might be a word haters use. The bible is your target for your anger, which would use a translated word meaning ‘wrong’.
    By spinning the wording you are misrepresentating Jehovah’s Witness, which suggests you have a personal hatred rather than a credible viewpoint.
    Quoting the bible reveals your hatred is of the bible. Slandering any one requires a bit of deceit. You could retitled your commentary, I Want to Be Popular so I’ll Attack a Already Unpopular Religion & Everyone Will Love Me.

    • Caroline says:

      @Bekanne, the point of the article is that Witnesses are taught to be evasive when it comes to their stand on homosexuals. Nobody is arguing that the Bible condemns homosexual acts (not the person but the acts).

      If one wants to live completely by Bible standards, then they must condemn homosexual acts, plain and simple. But why do you think you have the right to condemn anybody who doesn’t believe in your Bible?

      People who believe in the Bible and their god, have the idea that only they are right about morals and so have the right to decide what is right and wrong for all mankind and can stand on their moral high ground and look down as bad anybody who doesn’t subscribe to their morals.

      What give them the right to decide what is moral or not? Can they prove that their god actually inspired any Bible today and has that right? That is very arrogant of them unless they can prove that that god exists and is in control of the world, which we all know the Watchtower Society has said that Jehovah handed over control of the world to Satan. Watchtower isn’t the only religion that is arrogant about their stand on morals based on their holy book.

      There are many other religions that also think that only their god is the real god and so they also think they are the only ones to decide what is moral and what is not moral and even take it upon themselves to kill anybody who doesn’t see morals the way they see morals, according to their religion.

      If any god really cares that much about homosexuals, then why doesn’t that god take over control of the world and do away with them?

      Can you prove that your god made the heavens and the earth and has the right to decide what is right for people who don’t believe in the god of the Bible?

      The god of the Bible killed millions of people just because they lived in cities that the Israelites decided they wanted. Those people were killed with swords. Where did all those Israelites get all those swords when they left Egypt as slaves? If they were slaves, how did they own all those animals and houses and swords with which to kill all those people with? Why would God supply the Israelites with knee deep dead quail when they took all those animals out of Egypt?

      Just read the Bible and pay attention to what you read. The whole story is made up. It’s a work of fiction and just because you happen to believe it, doesn’t give you the right to decide what is normal and what is not normal according to your work of fiction.

      If you can prove that out of absolutely nothing in complete darkness, an invisible god came along and created the heavens and the earth, I am all ears and if you can prove that your god wrote the Bible, then I have no respect for that god because of all the laws that he gave to the Israelites.

      People who read their Bibles and actually pay attention to what it actually says, have to ask themselves: How can I prove that the Bible is actually inspired of God (just because it says it’s inspired, doesn’t make it so) and if it is inspired of God, how can I explain away all the horrible things that that god told the Israelites to and blessed them for doing those things and all the millions of people that that god killed all by himself.

      Think about it. How many people did Satan kill?

      Who is more evil?

    • Covert Fade says:

      Hi Bekanne

      Can you point out exactly where this article is spinning and misrepresenting Jehovah’s Witnesses please?

      Many Thanks

      Covert Fade

    • Winston Smith says:

      Not sure of the motives behind what you have commented Bekanne, whether you are a JW apologist or simply one who is ignorant to what this group is all about. This cult is built on hatred, lies, and extreme control over its members. It tries to put on a kind and compassionate face to the rest of the world, while internally abusing its members. The organization argues for human rights when it comes to protecting its own bizarre teachings and practices, but denies these same rights to its members and fosters hatred of other groups.

      I grew up in and was involved in this cult for over 30 years and was always taught that homosexuals were disgusting perverts who God would destroy. For them to now try to put a politically correct mask over these teachings is hypocrisy at its highest level.

      WS

  38. Calvin tillis says:

    I’m an ex jw. Still not a fan of homosexuality but now have more of a hey, come on it absolutely is sexual not just a lifestyle, keep all sex were it belongs. Some gays were born hermaphrodites, some abused, some flamboyantally confused. My gay female neighbour is a better parents than any JW I knew in half a century living as a Jw. The bible says what it says. The prince on the white horse rides up, slays the dragon, kills non-witnesses & they die happily ever after resurrection with the 7 faithful little men and the anointed 144k who are sure the think they’re sure, they think, heavenly princes…

    The bible says what it says. Your “shoot in the head analogy was your best point. It’s the whole point of their message. You can choose to jump off a cliff but the bottom is waiting foryou

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  40. Coby Preimesberger, baptized jehovah's witness says:

    plus you are a liar as gee why don’t you include 1 cor. 6:11, which oh wait a minute kills your whole arguement about all gays being killed as it’s funny how this blogger failed to mention the verse 11 and only cherry picked 6:9 and 10, as here’s what 11 says and pay close attention as it contardicts the authors blog 1 cor 6:11, and yet that is what some you were. But you have been washed clean, you have been sanctifed;you have been declared righteous in the name of the lord jesus christ and with the spirit of your god. Oh and also this author leaves out the whole part of jesus dieing created a new covenant and wiped out the old mosaic law and you can see that in acts, when the people following the old mosaic law said only circumisied people could learn about god, when jesus died he provided a new covenant with everyone, as if you want to know what a jehovah’s witness believes just ask us, and don’t rely on random bloggers as they will print half truths such as with the death of prince one year later being in the news and him being a baptized witness and them saying he refused getting a hip surgery because the only type of hip surgery required blood tranfusions, so any surgery regarding blood was not allowed. simply not true, he could’ve had a bloodless surgery that is done by 95 % of doctors today that is approved, as since 1990 we have accepted alterntenative methods of blood transfusions, considering we created the alterntaives that are cleaner and require less recovery time and are safer for both doctor and paitent

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