Banning Witnesses: Making a bad situation worse.
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Shunning.

The refusal of blood transfusions.

The deliberate refusal to report child abuse to the authorities.

These are probably the three most harmful practices that the Watchtower organisation is guilty of. The Unholy Trinity, if you will.

Granted, there are many more problems in Watchtower, but few are of quite the same magnitude. Telling people they can’t wear tight pants? Stupid but not something that warrants an FBI investigation. Not turning a known child abuser over to law enforcement as a matter of policy, however? That’s something the FBI should be very interested in.

These three things: shunning, blood, and child abuse, are the ones that most activists feel warrant a Governmental response due to the massive level of emotional and physical harm they can inflict, up to and including the loss of life.

I completely agree with them.

But should that legal response be a ban on the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Some would say so, and on the surface this might seem sensible. After all, things that are very harmful should automatically be illegal, right?

Well not always.

History has many examples of things that are harmful becoming even more so when placed under ban; take a look at Prohibition America. Or take another example: cheating on a spouse is clearly harmful, and unethical, but most people would not want the Government to imprison you for it, and would be terrified of a Government that wanted the power do so.

The most obvious answers to problems are not always the right ones, and the recent actions by the Russian Government, which looks set to ban the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, are sadly just going to make a bad situation worse.

Why do I say this? As someone who is very aware of the awful damage Watchtower’s teachings can inflict, and who agrees that something urgent needs to be done at the Governmental and legal level, why on earth would I oppose a ban?

For two reasons.

Firstly such a ban is deeply unethical, for reasons well articulated by JW Survey founder Lloyd Evans here,

Secondly it won’t work. In fact, it will actively make worse the very issues that cause most people to want the religion banned.

I recognise that some who read this article will not agree with me on this, and so I am going to present a detailed argument to showcase why I have arrived at this conclusion. It’s my hope that by the end I will have convinced you, or at the very least you will better understand my position and that this will enable discussion going forward.

Banning belief does not stop belief.

Jehovah’s Witnesses endured the living hell of the concentration camps rather than renounce their faith in Nazi Germany

Lets begin with the obvious. If Jehovah’s Witnesses are banned, they don’t suddenly stop being Jehovah’s Witnesses. This might seem like an obvious point to make but it rests at the very core of understanding why a ban will fail in the real world:

Just because people are no longer allowed to believe a thing does not mean that they will stop believing that thing.

History teaches us this time and time again. Indeed, one can look at the Witnesses themselves for proof. This group has been repeatedly subject to bans in the past, and continues to be banned in a number of countries today. Has this ban resulted in the cessation of Witness activity in these places?

Of course not.

Rather, we see that Witnesses still believe what they believe. Historically they have even chosen to undergo horrific abuse and persecution, up to and including torture and execution, rather than renounce their faith after a ban. And eventually, when the ban is lifted, the JW’s are still there and are often some of the most energised and faithful JW’s on the planet.

Thus all one has to show for the weeping mountain of human torment and blood soaked misery caused by a ban is the same JW organisation, right back where it was, often stronger and more faithful than before.

So that’s the first thing to understand. Enacting a ban is not a magic “make-cult-go-away” wand. Now that we’ve established this key point, lets move on the “Unholy Trinity” and I will lay out my case for why the ban won’t stop these things but will make them even worse.

Shunning: Why a ban will make it worse.

As we have discussed, banning a belief does not stop people believing it. Thus, Witnesses who believed in shunning before the ban will also believe in shunning after the ban. In fact, it will get worse.

Why?

Because now, for a JW, cutting off and avoiding those who leave the faith isn’t just a matter of their spiritual life and death. It’s a matter of their physical life and death as well, and the life and death of the fellow Witnesses around them.

Imagine that you are a JW, part of this forbidden group. Your congregation has gone to ground, your worship, your study, your preaching work is done in secret. If the details or even the existence of any of this got out, you risk arrest and imprisonment. Now, ask yourself:

If you were a JW, are you more likely or less likely to associate with those you consider hostile to your faith in this situation?

If you think your JW family is shunning you now, just wait until a ban hits and they vanish off the face of the Earth. Additionally, for the many faded ones who’ve struck a certain equilibrium with their JW family and still have a measure of contact, such a ban could result in even that limited contact being frozen and cut off as Witnesses begin to fear for their freedom and their lives, and become even more insular to protect their group.

Also: If you think a ban gives you some leverage to force your family to associate with you, you might want to think again. I mean, how exactly is this supposed to play out? You demand that your mother associate with you again, as her religion and its shunning policy are now illegal. She refuses as she still believes the shunning teaching, as history proves that she will.

So you call the police…and send her to prison? Or maybe get the police to force your mother at gunpoint to sit at a table with you and have a meal? I bet that’ll be a fun time.

See the problem here?

Lloyd Evans made this very point in his recent BBC interview: imprisonment is not a proportionate response to shunning.

Refusal of Blood Transfusions: Why a ban will make it worse.

Let’s be direct here: The blood teaching has cost lives across the decades and will continue to cost them for as long as non-blood alternatives remain second best in certain medical scenarios, or until Watchtower abandons its discredited blood policy, which ever comes first.

And a ban is just going to make that situation even worse.

How so?

Well, as we have said, people do not stop believing a thing just because it is banned. After a ban, Witness will still believe that it is far better to die than get a blood transfusion. After all, if you die you get resurrected in the blink of an eye to a wonderful paradise Earth full of your loved ones. If you take blood, no paradise for you (and possibly no friends or family in this old world either as the shunning takes affect.)

So how will this play out under ban? Well, JW’s now know that if they go to hospital and refuse blood, they have instantly identified themselves as part of a banned religion. Remember, membership of a banned religion is illegal. So what will happen is firstly that they will be probably be given blood against their will (governments that don’t respect freedom of religion usually also fail to respect a person’s rights to decide their own medical treatment) and then they risk being handed over to the police for interrogation and possibly prison.

If you are a JW who belives that death is the doorway to paradise, are you more or less likely to seek out medical help in this situation? 

After all, if you die, you get resurrected in the blink of an eye to a wonderful paradise Earth full of all your loved ones, free from this nightmare world that wants to imprison you alongside rapists and killers. Sadly, one can even imagine that ones might be pressured into this by the JW community, who fear that a hospitalised and interrogated JW might give up others in the congregation.

A ban isn’t going to save lives. It’s going to cost them. That’s before we even touch on the issue of JW’s who might die in police custody, or be beaten or stabbed to death in prison.

Not reporting Child Abuse: Why a ban will make it worse.

The findings of The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse make for gruesome reading. The Commission found that since the 1950’s Watchtower, as a matter of explicit policy, has not reported over 1006 child abusers in its congregations to the police.

Full details can be reviewed here but essentially the ARC found that Watchtower would take no internal action over an accusation of child abuse unless there were two witnesses to the abuse, and even if internal disciplinary action over the abuse did take place, the Watchtower organisation would not report the abuser to the police unless legally required to do so by law.

Sounds like a quick ban on the religion will sort this one out right?

Nope.

It will make it worse.

Firstly, as any former Jehovah’s Witness knows, and as was confirmed during the ARC hearings, Watchtower fosters in the Witness community a distrust of secular authorities. In fact, this was cited as one of the reasons as to why the Witnesses (in some cases even the victims themselves) seemed reluctant to involve law enforcement in the instances of child sex abuse. Keep in mind that the JW culture studied at the ARC existed in a liberal democracy where the police existed to protect and serve the public, and by extension the Witnesses.

Imagine what will happen when the police no longer protect and serve, but hunt and arrest JW’s as a matter of policy.

For Witnesses under a ban, the police and state become the enemy. They no longer protect and serve, they are no longer a safe haven. They arrest and imprison. Witnesses who are already wary of approaching the police will be even less inclined to do so. An abuse victim now knows that his or her going to the police might expose many Witnesses that they still love who were not part of the abuse. The victim themselves might still believe the religion is true, and not want to harm it by contacting authorities who are directly opposed.

How much better to not seek one’s own advantage but the advantage of others.

And how much better to wait on Jehovah and let him resolve matters.

Additionally consider the leverage that this gives a molester. The elders now know that if they take any action against him, his response could be to go right to the police, tell them that he has escaped the banned religious cult known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, but can give them the names and locations of many active members.

Do you think elders are more or less likely to take effective action against abusers in this situation, especially in situations where they have only one witnesses and an element of doubt in their mind? And are the elders more or less likely in this situation to apply pressure to the survivor to let them handle things in-house, and not bring in the jackbooted police-thugs of Satan’s world?

 Support solutions that work.

At the end of the day, the simple fact is that if you are concerned about the worst abusive practices of Watchtower, you will want solutions that effectively tackle them, not solutions that will make them worse.

Bans make these abuses worse.

There are solutions that can tackle these abuses effectively. Take for example the issue of Watchtower failing to report child abuse. Governments should introduce mandatory abuse reporting laws, and then criminally prosecute any elders who ignore those laws and those in the Watchtower hierarchy who instructed them to do so. This would either force Watchtower to report each accusation to the police, or if they refused would decimate Watchtower’s power structure and hold the Governing Body directly to account. It would also directly target those involved in covering up the abuse without needing to destroy the lives of the 90% of Witnesses who don’t even know the child abuse issue exists, let alone the details of the two witness rule.

Or take for example, the policy of shunning. We’ve discussed how one cannot “ban” shunning in any real sense, unless you want your relatives to eat with you at gunpoint, but Watchtower can certainly be stripped of any charitable status and tax breaks unless it agrees to renounce the policy. The resulting financial blow would be crippling to the organisation, pressuring them to either relax the shunning policy or to vastly hasten their own financial meltdown if they refuse.

Targeted solutions can make a genuine difference. Bans will just create even more misery.

I’ve not even touched here on the issue of how Watchtower membership numbers rot away in the free world but tend to hold steady under ban.

I’ve not even touched here on how bans make it far harder for JW’s to wake up and leave, or how they effectively trap the young born-in’s within the mental walls of a cult under siege, whilst doing very little to stop the organisation preying on the weak and vulnerable with covert informal witnessing.

And I’ve not even touched on how Governments that ban JW’s tend also to be the Governments that rack up human rights abuses on the rest of the population as well. The price of removing the human rights from one group is often watching those same rights get ripped away from everyone else.

In fact, I’d like to end on that point, with a poem written by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller. It was written to reflect events that took place in Germany’s Third Reich, and highlights the dangers of passively accepting (or even welcoming) the persecution and abuse of groups other than your own by the Government.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

This poem is inscribed on the United States Holocaust Memorial in Washington.

I urge you to learn from history.

 Follow me on twitter @covertfade

Follow JW Survey on Twitter @jwsurveyorg

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647 Responses to Banning Witnesses: Making a bad situation worse.

  1. Doc Obvious says:

    Appreciate Lloyd’s video with Steven Hassan. Member or Members of the Governing Body should be in Russia to support their 100,000+ members and should not be in the United States in their resort near the lake (Warwick HQ) creating broadcast messages. Russian JWs need to know that their leadership is standing right by them. Video conferencing does not count.

    Watchtower should send Anthony Morris III to the Russian Federation so that he can explain to Putin that he is a king and that he will punish Putin severely if he does not cooperate and free JWs.

  2. Doc Obvious says:

    When Watchtower states that their people should remove their rights, what is it that they are actually saying? It means that Watchtower’s rights are more important than individual rights. Does it not?

    The United States Constitution Bill of Rights were instituted to protect people from institutions and people who were trying to take advantage of people. If you remove your rights, you are susceptible to various injustices. Also, personal boundaries are also violated and anger is often used to re-establish those boundaries.

    When Watchtower establishes a judicial committee on an individual for doing an act, what they are doing is to remove your rights as an individual. As an individual, you have a right to establish your Bill of Rights and tell Watchtower that they have violated your rights under the United States Constitution.

    The Bill of Rights are guaranteed for every United States citizen. It is not something you can turn on and off. Watchtower has no business telling people to remove your rights. Or, tell Watchtower to remove their rights and you will remove your rights. Watchtower will never remove their rights. Watchtower wants full control.

    When certain religious institutions (Watchtower, Scientology, and Mormons) try to override peoples rights that are guaranteed, they are doing illegal activities. These activities need to be reported to the authorities, lawyers, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the American Bar Association (ABA).

    When Watchtower was directly questioned about the right to Freedom of Religion, Angus Stewart effectively saw that people’s rights to Freedom of Religion was infringed by the Watchtower Society and continued to press Watchtower on why they do not respect people’s rights.

    Be proactive. Write letters to the ACLU and ABA explaining how Watchtower is trying to remove people’s rights by encouraging people to stop using their rights. Quote their leaders. Tell Governing Body names. Tell representatives of the ACLU and ABA that this type of activity must be stopped.

  3. dee2 says:

    @Eyesopened

    You are correct and so are the denominations that teach that salvation is by works only, since the Bible teaches more than one method by which a person can be saved:

    – Salvation is by faith only, or

    – Salvation is by works and faith, or

    – Salvation is by works only, or

    – Salvation is by faith motivated by love.

    The different salvation theologies are evident when you compare the teachings of:
    – Jesus/the synoptic Gospels
    – John
    – Paul
    – Other passages scattered throughout the New Testament

  4. Golden Rule says:

    I was raised non-denominational protestant until I stopped attending around age 15-16 just due to my age and my parents not making me. College (17-22) I would say I became agnostic. I believed their was a higher power, but I didn’t participate in organized religion and honestly only prayed in desperation.

    It wasn’t until my late 40s that I started thinking there has to be something more, and I started studying. Buddhism, Scientology, Baptist, Methodist, Hinduism, New Age, etc. I think I’ve been there, done that.

    I settled in Catholicism. Not so much for every belief, but because it fit me. I have OCD and the very structured Mass fit who I am. The fact that every member of my congregation didn’t sit and chit chat every Sunday (about me or anyone else) fit who I am. Most Catholic congregations probably couldn’t name over 10 people or families who belong to their congregation. I like that. I’m accountable to myself and God. Period.

    If I decided to not be Catholic tomorrow, no one would care. I’m sure they would hope I still pray and believe in the Trinity, but they certainly would not shun me. My protestant family didn’t shun me when I became Catholic. They were elated to see me back in church.

    I can see so many parallels between mainstream religion and cults/new age and sometimes wonder why that is.
    Is it because cult/new age structured themselves after mainstream religion? Or is it because mainstream religions have become so fallible?

    Religions are made up of people. Good, bad, ugly, indifferent.

    I believe if you try to do good, help others, love others, be kind, you are of God. Everything else is just dogma created by men trying to control you.

  5. Whip It says:

    Is it me or does anyone else believe the special talk was weak, so much hype, world wide, but very weak, i guess its like a lot going on at the moment, everything being dumbed down

    • Shibboleth says:

      @Whip It
      While listening to the special talk I was wondering what theme it had since it was not very coherent. It felt like just another Sunday meeting talk. But they did manage to start it off talking about the Bros and sisters in Russia, etc. And it was stated by the bro giving it that while he was going over it, he really felt that all were being prepared for what is to come. I also heard that at the memorial they really played up the Russian situation during the talk. Very odd. Oh well, what’s new?

    • Ricardo says:

      @Whip It,
      Isn’t amazing that you and I sit in the meetings (like Messenger does also) and think of how dumbed down and nonsense everything has become? Even if only 1 person in the congregation of 100 was thinking this, that would be 1% of 8 million witnesses, that is 80,000 of us witnesses sitting there thinking, “This is nonsense.” And that is just 1 witness in 100. What if, like in the congregation in Asia where I was, out of a cong of 50, 10 are sitting there thinking what a load of nonsense, and then after the meeting enjoying laughing about it in the coffee shop?

      How can this organization survive?

      • Big B says:

        @ Ricardo;

        Very good question, Ricardo; “How can this organization survive?” In a couple of words ‘it can’t’. People of the generations now coming into their own (post baby boomers) are not the same gullible, innocent, unenlightened, children as my generation of ‘Mickey Mouse Club’, ‘Howdy Doody’ watchers.

        The youth that now operate a computer almost from Kindergarten and have access to the world-wide web are far to sophisticated to just take anyone’s word for anything. The youth, at the Kingdom Halls, are just leaving in droves and are not being replaced. Soon the assemblies will be seating septuagenarians and octogenarians only as those seniors will be the only ones left in the organization.

        Why? They are to old and set in their ways to leave. Not wanting to learn the computer and surf the web they remain blissfully ignorant and cannot understand why there is no growth.

        There is just to much material (read:bad press) out there uncovering the abuses of the WTBTS (including this site) that turns the average person off. So their door-to-door ministry is stymied right from the start and is in vain.
        Again, Jehovah’s Witnesses are selling dreams and nobody is buying their apocalyptic message.

        If it continues this way (continued worldwide decreases) I predict, (my opinion only), this cult will die of implosion, not being able to sustain itself on limited contributions from elderly adherents on a fixed income. With limited income, and thus limited contributions even those with non-professional occupations will find it difficult to continue contributing with increases in health-care, etc.

        Soon (within 25 years, again my prediction) congregations will be forced to combine and Kingdom Halls will be sold to become clinics or dental offices, etc. with the elderly brothers/sisters having to drive miles out of their way to attend meetings.

        • Ricardo says:

          @Big B,
          That 25 years is generous. I was thinking the implosion will occur in half that time. Should be good to see. I want to be there to point out to these b###### what is the result of all their years of bullying.

          • outandabout says:

            One way they could survive is to have ‘new light’ and tithe the pants off those who remain.

          • outandabout says:

            I’ve noticed though, my JW family are sending each other birthday greetings on Facebook and also two young nieces are being sent to gymnastics and ballet. It’s been about 18mths since I alerted them to the hypocrisy of the child abuse which at the time was met with absolute denial.
            Maybe……..

        • Big B says:

          @ Ricardo;

          Maybe 25 years was generous but I would like to see it in my lifetime as I am 65 now. This prediction would at least last until I’m 90 but we’ll see. Stranger things have happened.

          @ Outandabout;

          Well aren’t the friends doing a ‘back door’ tithing now? With the Society paying off all Kingdom Hall indebtedness due to construction and improvement costs all monies still continue unabated as if the loans were still in place.

          With the demise of the elderly ones and with no monies coming in the Halls will be sold, as they belong to the WTBTS anyway, because the friends left will not be able to make the back door tithe.

          The result of this will be a further strain on the elderly as they will be forced on limited income and poor eyesight to drive in darkened evening hours to Kingdom Halls miles and miles away. This will cause at least two things:
          1. brothers stay home and not venture out;
          2. meetings changed to early afternoons to accommodate elderly to keep them coming.

          Unfortunately, the elderly will pass away leaving the Hall vacant and making the building a prime doctors office or ‘elderly daycare’ center as the Society unloads these properties.

          Thus the cookie cutter pseudo business architectural designs as places of worship.

          • outandabout says:

            Big B, I guess those factors are in the mix as well. It’s not a rosy picture.

          • Eyes opened says:

            Some of your words are coming true even now. A nearby KH was recently “dissolved”. Attendees are being assigned to another hall with a distance of about 20 miles for the furthest out in the territory. It takes affect next month. It’s an older congregation with very limited means and it will be a burden for them. Some already concerned about the night drive, the cost of gas and so on. Of course there will be ride sharing for sure, but all are very spread out and it will be difficult for them. And then there are mid week meetings for service. Because of the distance some will have to travel and trying to figure out where to have meetings locally, if they do, is going to be a real challenge. This is real, this is now.

            Regards

          • messenger says:

            The average JWs are not going to give more money in donations than they are currently giving. WT’s asking or even stating paying 10% of income is biblical won’t matter. Only a small percentage of them will cough up more dough. First of all, they don’t have it. Second, they won’t give it up even if they have it, not most of them. WT might last because of being asset rich. If it owns kingdom halls and stocks, I see no big problem. JWs will pay for standard expenses on their own hall, but no one else’s. So, WT should be able to make that work. If they sell halls it will be because those halls are not used, due to low attendance.

            I see WT going on. That’s why they built their dream home by the lake. Numbers may decrease, but I believe they can get enough donations to keep halls that will still be used going. They already started to cover their butts with printing costs. Eventually all articles might be online…no printing costs at all. WT will pay for its branches and employees by collecting rent from its buildings (k halls and assembly halls).

            My guess is before WT goes down Tony Morris will be reading from this site, sitting up in his bedroom late at night. Probably Slammin Sammy also.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Messenger,
            I question whether WT will still go on. There must be a tipping point where it just falls over.

            I know the Worldwide Church of God is still going, in its New Testament form, because my uncle was a member, but he is no longer a member. And basically the WCG is a spent force, a shadow of its past identity.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if the same happens to WT: breaking up into parts and becoming a ghost organization. I can’t see how it won’t happen. WT might have funds, but when there is a flood of people leaving, which I predict, there just won’t be enough $.

  6. Whip It says:

    Shibboleth, Can’t recall any Russia stuff, maybe thats when i nodded of, i thought it wasnt even PT standard, 2 many scriptures, followed by another lack lustre WT, a congo of maybe 80 in attendence & they struggle to get answers, i havnt answered for 4 years now, no encouragment for anybody to try to answer, i served for 20 years aand nothing, strange.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Whip It,
      Sorry, I didn’t think the talk was worth listening to. Every year the special talk is not very special, and is not even linked to the ransom or the Memorial, even though it is advertised on the Memorial invitation. What a bogus arrangement! Invite someone based on the Memorial invitation, to a talk which has no connection. I found an excuse not to go.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Whip It,
      Do you do any field service?

  7. Ricardo says:

    @Messenger,
    I want to check that I understand your thinking on a matter. Seeing how WT has become so pharisaic, we can copy Jesus in bringing out the faults of the org. However, we should be very careful when it comes to individuals like Silas, because the individual is not at fault, but rather the organization.

    So, while bringing out the faults of the org, wouldn’t we also need to be careful that we don’t destroy people’s trust in the Bible?

    I remember a sister once answering that if we have a problem, go to the elders because they have more wisdom than us. At the next meeting I told her about my experience and explained that if you ask the elders for wisdom then be prepared for your life to be messed up. The poor sister looked so distressed, as if her faith had been ripped from her. I felt sad to see her suddenly become aware of reality.

    Unfortunately some of us have been so badly treated by this organization we want to yell about our treatment from the rooftops for everyone to hear. Some have been so badly treated by the elders that they have lost their faith in the Bible, and these are brothers who have been missionaries and elders but who are no longer of use to the congregation and treated like roadkill.

    I appreciate what you have said about the wheat and weeds still not being separated, so the wheat are still in various churches, and our leaders are acting like pharisees. But I want to see our organization fall, I want to be there to see the elders looking around wondering where the sheep have gone, wondering why they haven’t stuck around to be kicked in the guts some more. So my reason for commenting on this site is to let others know the org is not God’s organization, rather it is acting like the evil slave. However, as you have said before, salvation does not depend on knowing the truth about the truth.

    What comments do you have about this? Is it a case of distraction for those like myself to want to expose the suffering being caused by the org?

    • Caroline says:

      Ricardo, if you want the organization to fall, then why do you drag your son to the meetings?

      • Ricardo says:

        @Caroline,
        That’s interesting language, Caroline. The word ‘drag’ gives a connotation that something unfair is happening, that he is coming against his will.

        I hope that isn’t the impression I am giving in my posts, that I am a person who forces others to do something which they don’t want to do.

        I wonder why my son comes to meetings? Wait on, he is here now. I will ask him.

        He says he comes to the meetings because it teaches about God, it teaches about what we need to do and it teaches us not to do what is bad.

        That’s what he says.

        I guess it is similar to me, then. Go there and try to pick up something to help me become a better Christian, while differentiating this from becoming a better witness.

        In conclusion, I don’t drag him to meetings. I bring him along with me. He seems to enjoy being there. And he has seen so much nonsense in his young years that he is able to separate the Bible principles from the nonsense quite well.

        • Caroline says:

          Ricardo, how old is your son?

        • Caroline says:

          Ricardo, your comments about why you continue to attend meetings don’t make any sense if you believe the Watchtower is not God’s organization and it makes even less sense that you are happy for your son to be indoctrinated by it.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline,
            My son is 11. So nice for you to be so concerned for my son and me.

            I can’t see the problem myself. If there is no organization directed by God, then I am in a group, the witnesses, that has tight hold on everyone together with their minds, but not on mine. And not on the brothers and sisters I meet with after the meeting and discuss the nonsense we learnt tonight.

            It’s a nice group of dissenters, infidels and heretics.

            And I am just waiting for the elders to talk to me so I can figuratively hit them between the eyes.

            So, not much different from you, really. Except I have a group for support, and I go to meetings. And I get to talk to the elders and CO’s and tell them they are speaking nonsense. And then get away with it because I am imperfect as well as traumatized by elders.

            I doubt that my son is being indoctrinated. How could he be when all around him are people talking about the nonsense, but also with me helping him to see the info for Christians? I admit it is like walking a tightrope, but if he grows up with my mindset, as a team we can play with the elders’ minds something tragic.

            Play with their minds, Caroline.

          • Caroline says:

            Ricardo, the way you got treated by all the elders in all those different congregations, would not you be a lot happier just walking away from it?

            Do you think you can wake up your group of dissenters and still belong to and consider yourselves Jehovah’s Witnesses?

            Do you really believe that your god Jehovah is directing the Organization even though Watchtower openly admits and has always openly admitted they are not inspired by any god and you even said earlier that your god Jehovah was not directing the organization and you want it to fall?

            I want it to fall too, but in a big way where it all comes crumbling down in a big heap with the lies being openly exposed for all to see and all of us who are being shunned will be vindicated but every time you attend a meeting, you are giving those in your congregation that you and your son actually do think that your god Jehovah is actually directing the religion. Your comments don’t make any sense to me at all no matter how you explain it.

            I love my former brothers and sisters and my children too much to give off any impression that I support an organization that is playing them all for fools by not going to any meetings at all. What exactly do you think you will accomplish by complaining about the organization? Are you hoping to take a bunch out with you in the hopes of waking them all up? If that is your goal, then I have to hand it to you because for me, I couldn’t stand to pretend like that.

            The first thing the elders ask anybody who stops going to meetings is if they think Jehovah is directing the organization and if you say no, the elders will give a marking talk on you (like what happened to me) and you will be shunned.

            Is that an organization you want to belong to or are you working undercover to help others escape?

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline,
            If I were to leave outright, I may be happier, maybe not. My whole life has been tied up with this, like so many other of us at this site. However, there are so many victims in this org, it is not hard to find others who are hurt, others who have been badly treated and who are complaining, others who are confused and wondering why this is happening to them.

            Once these ones find someone who understands and can explain things (that this isn’t God’s org) and shows compassion, they become good friends and call by at our homes for a coffee and at Coffee Club, because, like in Jesus’ time, they have been kicked around like sheep without a shepherd.

            Once they find out about Condace Conti and ‘Amelia’ and the involvement of Watchtower with the UN, their mouths hang open. The victims group together for protection, producing a happy bunch of oddbods.

            What comes of it, who knows? What will the end result be, whether we all leave together, or we stay in as a group of enlightened ones? But the main message is getting through: it is more important to be a good Christian rather than a good witness.

            Some of us in our group of dissenters believe that Jehovah is leading us, and that he will fix things up. Some have no such belief. But whatever we believe, we are all victims, and we can all see the nonsense going on.

            The elders have not asked me if I believe Jehovah is leading the org. They have asked some friends. One answered that he is having doubts, but he hopes that the way the elders fix up his problem that this will reassure him (they couldn’t fix his problem, so the subject didn’t come up again). Another friend said he believes everything he reads in the Bible and that Jesus taught, and the elders seemed satisfied with this.

            I do not have a noble plan. I do feel very sorry for victims, however, and find a lot of victims are lonely and really don’t like the elders. These characteristics seem to bond us. I find it amusing that many of us are attending meetings but feel no loyalty to this group.

            But as time goes by and the cosmetic efforts are made to treat the sickness of bullying in the org rather than cure it, there will be more and more victims being added.

          • Caroline says:

            Ricardo, do you go in service and contribute to the contribution box? Do you try and start studies and get them to come to the meetings? Being a Witness means you have to “witness” to people for Jehovah and get them to go to the same “church” you go to, doesn’t it and if you don’t “witness” to people then, technically you are not a Jehovah’s Witness.

            If you don’t “witness” to people, then why be called a Witness as it’s just a name only?

            Do you want to form your own little group of disgruntled Witnesses? What exactly do you think you will accomplish?

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline,
            Good point, Caroline. It made me do some thinking.

            Yes, I do go witnessing. But I like Messenger’s suggestion of directing people to the Bible rather than to the org. So I carry out my Christian responsibility. If I found someone who was interested, what would I do? Just the thought of finding someone interested makes me laugh.

            I did a little nostalgic probing into my background and thought I would share it with you. Grab a coffee and read the story below. It was too long to add here.

        • Caroline says:

          Ricardo, you go witnessing and you point your studies to to the Bible and not to go to the Hall and to get baptized into the JW religion? Would you take a blood transfusion or allow your son to take one?

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline,
            It is only of late that I have come to the conundrum I am in. It was with the act of betrayal towards my friend by elders who had also hassled me, that is by producing a forged letter by the GB so as to keep him quiet, that was the straw which broke the camel’s back.

            Before that I was also separating nonsense from truth, but with that action, well, why would we want to bring anyone in to this org? The elders are out of control. No effort is made to rein them in. And we are told to just put up with it, get over it, don’t let it stumble you. (But it is okay to get stumbled over tight pants.)

            So, of late I haven’t had much motivation to preach. My time has been talking to my uncle who is a believer in the Worldwide Church of God before it imploded. He and I can see similarities in our organizations and the future for WT. He is an independent worshipper, so I like to know his experience and how he has coped.

            So, until Messenger said to just direct people to the Bible, I hadn’t actually had much motivation to go out. I don’t have any Bible studies at the moment, besides my son, and don’t plan on getting any. If I do I will make sure they are fully aware of the choices they are making.

            What would I do about blood? I really don’t know. I guess I would have to be in that situation to really know. In some situations it is obviously better not to have blood, for better results. Whatever the case, I would want to have full knowledge of the situation to make a reasonable decision.

    • messenger says:

      Ricardo

      We all believed what the governing body said like Silas Thompson. If not those JWs that didn’t lied when we got baptized. If Silas is a Christian, that’s all that’s important to me. It means I have a chance to meet him in the future. And yes, I plan on looking him up.

      For Christians it’s important to keep our focus on the central issue between God and Satan (the issue of accepting God’s rule or not). Side issues distract our minds from that one, and like you said might even destroy a person’s faith in God. Some churches teach and understand the Bible better than others, but no church saves anybody. Christ saves people depending on their response to him, not their church. Silas can be saved, and so can a Christian in another church. So, why attack him because he believes something different that doesn’t affect his relationship with God and Christ? Hating a church that contains Christians is a mistake in my opinion. Who is happier with accusations, arguments, dissensions, and hate between Christian denominations and individuals, God/Christ or Satan? What did Christ tell angels to do about Christians and their organizations that he will accept, and those Christ will reject? He said leave them alone. Christ will deal with Christians on an individual basis, when he chooses to do that. During his ministry Christ did speak against apostasy, so there’s nothing wrong with that. But it wasn’t his central message and purpose.

      Christ warned about the persecutions you suffer. His answer was, “Whoever endures to the end is the one that will be saved.” That implies those who don’t will not receive salvation. That warning was not just for you and me, it was given to all Christians. Silas is a Christian. Christ expects Silas’ faith to be tested as ours will and is.

      Best to trust in God and Christ. They know what they’re doing. Everything is going according to plan. There never was an original purpose that was sidetracked, so that God had to change his plans. God always is and was in control, and he always knows what will happen.

      Look up what scientists believe about string theory. Look up the possibilities scientists believe exists for beings living in multiple dimensions, especially what beings can do living inside the tenth dimension, according to that scientific theory. Now imagine God and Christ existing outside of all that, not being bound by even those perimeters. According to the Bible, that’s who we’re following. Now think, how much do you believe those two are concerned about Watchtower?

      No worries mate.

      • Ricardo says:

        @Messenger,
        I know what you are saying, Messenger, but Jesus and his disciples also pointed out the faults of the pharisees and the Jewish religion.

        That this organization (WT) claims to be the truth and yet is acting in an unchristian way is something that should be exposed. If we have the opportunity to do that, shouldn’t we do it? So when the Silas-class come popping their heads up, isn’t that an opportunity?

        I’m not trying to stir you up, please understand, but some of us are mighty hot under the collar and want to bring out the faults of this org just as Jesus and the disciples did to the Pharisees.

        • messenger says:

          I’ve posted counter arguments at Silas and posted counter points to his comments myself. To refrain from doing that is not what I meant. My point of view is not hold it against him for having different beliefs. We all thought like Silas, that are or were baptized JWs.

          WT has always had apostate teachings, look at the pyramid. WT’s holding apostate thoughts is nothing new. But, let’s compare it with the Jewish faith in Christ’s day, or before. That religion was apostate also. Take the whole history of Judaism from Moses through all Bible writers. During much of that history, the religion was apostate, from God’s point of view. But inside that religion there were still friends of God, practicing it, though it was apostate. One was Christ.

          The same has happened to Christianity, not just WT. Still inside Christianity are Christians, friends of Christ. Christ said even the “gates of hades would not overthrow” his church. And nothing has, not even apostasy. WT is just part of that apostasy. Still there are Christians inside WT like other denominations.

          I didn’t say there was anything wrong with bringing out the apostate teachings. What am I doing here? The same thing. I don’t think we can change the mind of someone who decides to keep believing in wrong Bible teachings . I repeat, we all did that.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Messenger,
            Thank you for your patience in explaining that. I wanted to get your understanding right in my head. I believe I have it now. Many thanks.

          • messenger says:

            @Ricardo

            Have a great weekend buddy!

      • outandabout says:

        messenger…..I think you forgot to add the cult-ish ‘whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not’ somewhere in your talk.

    • David TODD says:

      I stopped believing in the Bible as “the Word of God” because it clearly isn’t! This had nothing to do with a bad experience as a JW. Those who still believe are entitled to their beliefs, but I feel that most blame Watchtower for the non belief of those who leave and become atheists. We are not damaged goods who can’t see the light because we have been hurt. We have simply “seen the light”

      • messenger says:

        Populations of people exist in various emotional states. Some here profess to be emotionally damaged, and it makes sense to accept they are not lying about it. What reason do they have to lie about it?

        From personal experiences over 42 years I know for a fact there are a lot of pricks running WT and running Kingdom Halls. And they’ve always been there, as I’ve been around WT. Some of the biggest jerks I’ve ever met were/are appointees of WT.

        And Todd, the Bible is clearly not God’s word to you. Do you remember the scriptures that claim that about you? Or did you get that far in your Bible studies? Anyway, if you got that far you know scriptures claim that (that is that you wouldn’t believe). I wonder how those writers knew? Was it a statistical guess, due to historical observations, or was it something else? According to scripture an individual’s belief, and not only belief but also understanding of scriptures only comes as it is allowed by God. So, if the Bible is correct, your disbelief could be for that reason. But if true, you could never know that, could you?

        • David TODD says:

          Sorry….this is non sensical and you also seem to assume I know little about the Bible. That would be an error.
          Your point in no way responds to the message I left and in fact is gobbledegook.

          • messenger says:

            @ David Todd

            Here David. The ideas in these scriptures are some of the thoughts I was pointing to. Most JWs learn these points early on, by attending their Kingdom Hall, as these scrips or similar ones are repeated frequently in K. Hall meetings:

            Proverbs 2:6
            Luke 10:21-22
            1 Cor 1:18-23

            Take care David.

          • David TODD says:

            So God is only interested in the stupid…..and yet Paul is a philosopher of the first order for his time and place and within his Jewish culture.

          • David TODD says:

            Also Psalms 14:1 – which is it? Are believers or non believers fools?

          • messenger says:

            @David Todd

            What those scriptures and similar ones refer to are people accepting or not accepting God. From God’s point of view, yes, people are stupid not to accept him. Those scriptures merely mean atheists’ worldly knowledge didn’t help them to know God. And those also state God did not allow them to know him because of their attitude towards him. The focus is not on their education as much as their choice and reasons for that choice which goes beyond knowledge, but include it.

            Christ used an illustration once where he referred to two debtors. The one who had a larger debt appreciated it being forgiven more than the lesser debtor did. Christ was talking about sinners there, but the same idea applies to poor people vs more well off people. More educated and well off people are more satisfied with their current positions, and so, as a group, they do not appreciate God’s promises or establishing a relationship with him as much as the poor do.

            People who really follow God, do it because they appreciate him. People who don’t follow him, lack appreciation for God. No one would follow forever without that appreciation. That’s why from a logical point of view, those are condemned by God that do not appreciate him. They will eventually rebel against him, or they have already not accepted him, and in doing so have already rebelled.

            But going back to the education/knowledge part of those scrips. Those state man/woman did not find God, because God did not allow himself to be found because of their knowledge. He allows himself to be found because of a person’s heart (desire and appreciation). And again, logically that’s the only thing that makes God’s plan work. Or, do you believe differently? If so, would you think you could live forever with your Earthly father, if you hated him? Not likely, you see.

            What I find interesting is you guys think you talk a good game, but you back up your positions with nothing but words. You furnish absolutely no proof for your side on any issue you raise. Whether its nonbelief in the Bible, God, or any doubts you raise about the Bible. All we see from doubters on this site are recommendations to read what this guy says, or that guy’s book. If those guys that support your arguments had any convincing evidence, and you folks are half way articulate, let’s see what you’ve found. In other words shit or get off the pot. That is unless you’ve just got opinion, which is what’s most probable. But you make great assertions (boasts), as if you’ve got proof of your beliefs. That’s what God considers stupid, according to Bible scriptures. Do you understand? From reading comments here, I would agree with him. I could understand doubts, or not knowing. But wild assertions of nonbelief as they are facts is stupid from where I sit. But naturally we’re not sitting in the same seat, are we?

          • David TODD says:

            Your humility bleeds through every word.
            I can’t prove god doesn’t exist. I can’t prove that god doesn’t exist. There. I said it twice. It is not up to me to do so.
            I have made no grandiose claims of special knowledge. That appears to be your thing.
            I have also not pointed you to a book; but for those who do, so what?
            I have taken recommendations for books from believers and non believers both. I am not an expert like you so I am happy to read recommended books.

          • FactsNotFiction says:

            I have read comments so many times where people claim that you cannot prove God does not exist and it is irritating.
            And also how people keep referring to the Bible as Gods word and just expect others to accept this!

            I would like to point out that I CAN prove that God does NOT exist and it is very easy to do so.
            For example: The JW god “Jehovah” is perfect and makes NO mistakes. He directs his earthly organisation (Watchtower) with his holy spirit and tells them what to believe and what to teach. JW’s teach that Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon in 607BCE. However, irrefutable evidence tells us that Jerusalem was destroyed in 586/587 BCE. Therefore JW’s are wrong. Therefore their God Jehovah can not exist as they say he does. See easy!! There are many many more examples I could pick just for this one God, and you can do that for all Gods if you wish. All you need to do is find evidence that contradicts the claims being made. This is what evidence means. This is what proof means!
            As for the Bible, modern versions are produced by men in factories that you can visit if you like. They come off printing machines. The text that they print comes from translations taken from parchments, scrolls, codex’s etc that have been found in churches, monasteries, temples, caves etc. ALL of them have been made and written by MEN using natural materials. Simply claiming it is Gods word because you want it to be, does not make it so! Every scrap of parchment that contains Bible texts that have ever been discovered have all been MAN MADE objects and the text has been written by humans. It must therefore be the word of MAN.
            I am truly sorry but: “if it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck……. its a duck!!!”. You can choose to “worship it” as a Cow, and “believe” it to be a Cow if you wish, but it will still be a DUCK.

            Proof requires evidence and evidence needs rational people to see it.

          • messenger says:

            @ David Todd

            Thank you for recognizing my humble demeanor. But I don’t value commendations very much. Nevertheless thank you very much.

            True, I don’t remember seeing any of your posts in which you claimed some sort of proof that the Bible isn’t inspired, or that you could prove anything about the Bible at all. You got confronted for making the statement “it clearly isn’t” inspired. Why would you do that without proof? Your opinion only? The trouble with that is opinions are not necessarily sharing factual information. So, for a minute consider, if the Bible is in fact inspired, your opinion about it is a dangerous one. If God does exist, and God inspired the Bible, you should expect your publically shared view to be challenged. Might that be because of me, or God, if he actually does exist?

            As far as others recommending books, you’re right, who cares? Not you or I. But those recommending books have publically shared views like your own, so if they are articulate enough to share some of the actual knowledge they’ve discovered that proves their assertions about the Bible, let’s see it. For example, what proof do they have Revelation was written before 70AD? My guess, but it’s only a guess, is they have none. These others suggest we should read this or that, or this important fellow (that teaches at a really important school, or is really famous) thinks such and such. Who cares what he thinks, if he just thinks. What’s his proof? And if they’ve seen the proof why don’t they share it?

            Now David I hope we don’t get a flood of rhetoric and quotations that prove nothing because of my request. My guess is, if we get anything at all, that’s what we’ll get.

            @ FactsNotFiction

            You can prove the JW god Jehovah does not exist, because of what WT believes and the way WT acts? Interesting. I never realized WT had that much control over God. I knew WT always claimed it is really Something. But I never realized it was above the Bible’s God. Thanks for the info, I’ll consider that.

          • Ricardo says:

            @FactsNotFiction,

            As to God’s existence or not, it is a simple thing. Look at the creations around us and ask yourself whether they show evidence of wisdom and design. If so, some wisdom or design must have been involved in their being, in their creation.

            Doesn’t need any philosophical thought. Just a realization of a higher wisdom.

        • Ricardo says:

          @Messenger,
          I understood that. That was quite a masterful way of explaining things.

          I can also see why David would find that confusing.

          As you have said before, some posts here are a real pick-me-up and make us smile.

  8. Ricardo says:

    The CO visited my cong tonight. He said the GB are about to inform us that the great tribulation is about to begin (his words). The elders and ministerial servants are to be given instructions this visit on what to do when the great tribulation begins.

    He spoke on the subject of 2Cor 6, and he used verse 3: “In no way are we giving any cause of stumbling…” He said we wouldn’t be wearing types of clothes that would stumble others. Interestingly, I just received the April 2017 study Watchtower today which says, on page 19, paragraph 5, that “faithful Christians are not surprised or stumbled when injustices do occur” in the congregation.

    So, if you are sexually assaulted and the case isn’t handled properly by the elders, there is no reason to be stumbled and leave. But if someone wears tight pants, it is okay to be stumbled? Can anybody see anything wrong with that?

    Then, based on 2 Cor 6:8: “through bad report and good report” he talked about the Australian Royal Commission, and said how bad it is that some brothers are hearing the bad report there and leaving. “But there were good things said about the way the witnesses have handled things compared to other religions handling things,” he said.

    So I met him after the meeting and asked him what good things he heard come out of the RC because I didn’t hear anything. He asked me didn’t I read what the Canadian reporter wrote in the Courier Mail. I said I didn’t read this, but I read the conclusions of the RC and they were quite damning of the way the witnesses dealt with child abuse, saying our children were at risk in the meetings. He said he hadn’t seen this (I said I would give him a copy).

    He said he did see something that was positive, and that was Geoffrey Jackson’s part. I said I wasn’t impressed when Jackson said the GB does not approve of us hitting our children, because as a child at the meetings I got belted quite often. So we had a silly discussion, where he was trying to say that Jesus never said we could hit our children with me saying that the Insight Volume and the Family Happiness book said that it was okay. It became quite heated.

    And then I spoke about the Condace Conti case that Watchtower lost and had to pay $3 million compensation, and he said he had no knowledge about that, nor the ‘Amelia’ case in the UK. He asked where did I hear about these cases, and I said it is in the newspapers.

    No doubt he will have a word to the elders and they will be on my back after this, and I’ll be explaining to them that I am just an imperfect man (the excuse they like to give for any wrongdoing).

    Does anybody have any quick references to newspapers about the Candace Conti case, or ‘Amelia’ case so I can help educate the CO?

    • Eyes opened says:

      Ricardo your best bet may be to do a google search. No doubt there will be numerous articles and references to choose from.

      Regards

    • Big B says:

      @ Ricardo;

      That just figures doesn’t it? The traveling company man (C.O.)is sent out just as gullible to Watchtower foul-ups as the congregational elders and ‘sheeple’ he is meant to help and strengthen.

      What a miserable joke! The WTBTS is giving everyone the ‘mushroom treatment’; namely:keep them in the dark, feed them manure and if their heads get to big, lop them off. 🙂 Too funny and quite pitiful as well.

    • messenger says:

      @ Ricardo,

      Since your CO made that statement about the gb getting ready to tell you the tribulation is about to begin, how about asking the CO if God or his angel speaks to the governing body, and tells them such things. If the CO says yes, ask where that’s printed in their literature, because they claim it is uninspired. If he says no, ask how would the gb know such information if not told by God. If you get to ask him please let me know his answer.

      Thanks Ricardo

      • Ricardo says:

        @Messenger,
        I hope to meet him again, but I doubt he would be lookind forward to any such meeting. When I said that I found Jackson’s delivery at the ARC quite upsetting by what Jackson said about the discipline of children, the CO asked me which side am I on, the world’s side or the GB’s side. I said I was on the side of the Bible and Christianity. This CO was twisting this way and that way, like the witnesses did at the RC, and I kept pulling him up and keeping him honest. At the end he said, “I find I have to really guard my words when I talk to you. I have to keep apologizing. Forgive me for breathing.” And I said, “It’s hard to be Christian, isn’t it?” He looked upset by that reply.

        So I doubt he would want to allow me to ask him further questions. But, of course, if the opportunity is there (he may arrange a meeting with me and the elders before he has gone) I will ask him.

        I would think his reply to your question would be that the GB has their finger on the pulse and watch world affairs very closely, so we can have confidence in their understanding.

        But actually, what I saw was an old man about to retire as a CO, hoping like blazes that he’ll see the end of this system in his lifetime, getting very excited about some unremarkable information from the GB (kind of like Silas, really).

        • Big B says:

          @ Ricardo;

          “But actually, what I saw was an old man about to retire as a CO, hoping like blazes that he’ll see the end of this system in his lifetime, getting very excited about some unremarkable information from the GB (kind of like Silas, really)”.

          That’s the absolute truth of the matter. None of these C.O.’s know anymore than their ignorant masters at Warwick!

          They want good (read:ignorant, pliable, uninformed) Jehovah’s Witnesses NOT thinking, strong, informed, Christians. Thus his discomfiture when talking with you.

          And this business of ‘the tribulation is soon upon us’ is nonsense according to the 2013 July study issue of the Watchtower (see timeline). The events that have to happen before any tribulation/Armaggedon event occurs is mind boggling. Including the, what I jokingly refer to as, the Rapture. With the remnant being whisked away to heaven similar to Jesus at the Mount of Olives.

          I believe an announcement like this will be another 1975 moment and will again backfire if the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ is silly (read: stupid) enough to make such a claim.

          This failure of prophecy would cause even the most stubborn headstrong of ‘sheeple’ to sit up and take notice. Two failed major ‘end of the world prophecies’ in less than 45 years, holy mackerel! Questions will be raised and answers will not be forth coming (typical of the faithful and discreet slave) and just maybe the remaining ones will ‘vote with their feet’ leaving this rouge Adventism for good.

          • outandabout says:

            Those are pretty much my thoughts as well…..1975 all over again. I bet they’d love to declare the GT right now as a welcome distraction from their troubles, but once that’s done, there’s no turning back without serious and damaging egg on faces. Anyway, the UN has to start attacking the churches yet, so we’re fairly safe. Plenty of time for a few more whiskey’s.

        • Eyes opened says:

          Wouldn’t it have been interesting to get the CO’s take on Jackson’s comment that it would be “presumptuous to think we are God’s only spokespersons”. Now that might just be a Kodak moment.

          Regards

          • Big B says:

            @ Eyes opened;

            Did he really say that and if so, which I have no doubt, where can I find this wonderful tidbit of information?

            It’s almost as bad as Gerrit Lösch and his “I do not answer to Watchtower” moment. What a joke! For all intents and purposes he is Watchtower!

            Boneheaded morons, all!

          • Ricardo says:

            @Eyes opened,
            I did bring this up in the conversation, but the CO just talked over me. I do have it in the number of documents I wish to hand to him, however.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Big B,
            Jackson gave a very strange answer to that question. When Bro. Jackson was asked if the governing body see themselves as Jehovah God’s spokespeople on earth, he replied: “That I think would seem to be quite presumptuous to say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using.”

            He then went on to add that he thought someone coming to the spiritual aid of a spiritually sick person may also be being used by God to say the right things.

            I think we need the other spokespeople to interpret what Jackson was saying, how he could mess up a simple question, because although he was speaking English, he may as well have been speaking in tongues.

          • Eyes opened says:

            Big B and Ricardo, The book of Luke says God will teach you what to speak in that very hour…I suppose Witnesses will have to assume that is the answer God wanted him to give.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline,
            You misunderstand me, Caroline. I don’t think the org will ever come right. I think it will fall over, like the Worldwide Church of God. The problem is within the culture of the org itself. Without new ones coming in it cannot replenish itself, and with abused ones leaving there can only be decreases. The elder problem is a visible symptom of a much larger problem.

            If there were no elders around me, though, my life would be pretty much abuse-free. Until the org dives, I can make use of it. Unless Jesus separates the wheat from the weeds before that and we can see a replacement.

    • Caroline says:

      Ricardo, you said in another post that your Circuit Overseer’s brother studied with you when you were young and so that means that your circuit overseer came from your congregation, right? That is odd that your circuit overseer is serving your congregation.

      Were you ever an elder?

      Elders are not paid and they put in very long hours. Some are pricks but most of the ones that I have known over the many years that I have been in the “truth” were hard working and not pricks. Most were wonderful men who did whatever they could to help those in the congregation and please remember they don’t get paid for all they do. Most of their families put up with the fact that their elder fathers and husbands are doing their best to shepherd the congregations. I know because my husband was an elder for ten years and during those ten years, I did everything when it came to our children but I understood and did not hold it against him for devoting all his time (aside from working in a factory 40 hours a week too) to the ministry of being a shepherd for the Watchtower.

      You tell about how your father was a policeman even though we all know that policemen are not allowed to be in good standing in the congregation because Witnesses are not allowed to have a job where they have to use a gun. We have known that for probably 40 years already.

      We know that your wife left you and that you were cut off from being a regular pioneer for being one hour short of the hour requirement for a year which doesn’t make any sense at all.

      We know you were deliberately left off from being invited to a dedication of a kingdom hall even though I never heard of how only certain ones are invited to dedications but I don’t know so I am taking your word for that but it’s odd since you were regular pioneering at the time but you said it’s because the elder who was in charge said it’s because he didn’t like you.

      You say you are a Witness and yet you say that God is not with the Organization but you go in service and you take your 11 year old to the meetings but you think the meetings aren’t affecting him because you complain about the elders etc. and when you go in service you don’t direct anybody to the Hall but you direct them to the Bible only.

      You say you went to college while pioneering and you have two master degrees. What do you do for a living? Were you ever an elder? How is it that you were able to go to college and get two master degrees and your father was dead? How were you able to do that? We would all like to know, especially when you say you pioneered at the same time? Where did you find the time to do that, work at a job and pioneer at the same time?

      We don’t know anything about you except you hate the elders and you complain to a bunch of others at the Kingdom Hall and you are able to talk to your Circuit Overseer and tell him stuff that the rest of us would be called into the back room and disfellowshiped for for apostasy. You think it’s odd that your circuit overseer didn’t know his brother studied with you but if he studied with you, then that means that the C.O. came from your congregation, so why wouldn’t he know his brother studied with you? That doesn’t make any sense.

      What exactly is your history? We know nothing about you except you live in Australia. We know you know a lot about being a Witness so were you ever an elder? If you were, then you have to know how hard a job it is to be an elder and they don’t get paid and they have families to take care of and you get what you pay for, which is nothing.

      Watchtower gets to have their congregations run by janitors who have no education in taking care of people in the congregations like what worldly ministers to. Worldly ministers get paid from their congregations but they are schooled in how to counsel those in their congregations.

      The Society gets to keep all the money that those congregations earn by paying for the Kingdom Halls themselves and the Society even collected interest on the loans that the Society forced them to take out when the Society told those congregations that they needed to update their halls.

      Those Kingdom Halls belong to the Society and the Society is taking advantage of the ignorance of all the dumb Witnesses all over the world by using the Scriptures that you and messenger mentioned about how it’s the ignorant and stupid that God is using.

      Those scriptures makes janitors think that they are the only “smart” ones that God has revealed the Scriptures to. Don’t you get that? You and messenger are always on the same line of thought, which makes me think you and messenger are the same person.

      We don’t know anything about you. Tell us. Were you an elder or not and if not, why not? Your story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

      • Ricardo says:

        @Caroline,
        I spent quite some time answering this, and then the computer jammed and it didn’t get sent. Unbelievable. Let me try again, I’ll make it shorter.

        I thank you for the amount of interest you have shown in my life. You will know about me quite well by the end of this.

        It often happens that when people get married, they go off pioneering, and their parents find that they have more freedom to move congs, perhaps with their single son. Thus, the MS moved into my cong and later studied with me when his parents moved, and I knew nothing about his brother who later became our CO. Also, the cong I grew up in is not the cong I am in now. Thus, the CO knew nothing about his brother studying with me, and was not in my cong ever.

        As to my father using a gun, he wrote to Brooklyn asking for clarification as to his standing in the cong, and the GB replied that if holding a gun was not compulsory, then the job was okay. My father sent this clarification to the branch. Thus, if you have any problem about my father using his gun, take it up with the GB. There have been several witnesses in Australia who have worked as policemen.

        You ask if I have ever been an elder. No, I have never needed to ruin someone’s life by giving them the wrong advice or bully them into submission.

        You may not be aware that the uni system in Australia is different to the US. When I first went to uni, it was free to go (Australia had free education even for uni then). Now, and on my subsequent times at uni, the government has set up a system where the course fees can be paid by the government and the student pays back the fees when they work and earn over A$50,000, by paying a higher tax rate year by year until paid back (it’s called FEE/HELP). The government also pays support to those going to uni who qualify, and the uni’s have a number of scholarships which I also qualified for. So, staying at home with my mother, working part-time, and with the government and scholarship support, I could easily get by.

        Add to this that the two semesters at uni run for 13 weeks each, making a total of 26 weeks, then there are 24 weeks totally empty to pioneer in, while working part-time. I work for the government as a relief, I get a call in the morning telling me where to work, and I get paid A$370 for a day’s work. So I have enough income and time to pioneer and go to uni.

        As to being asked to stop pioneering because I only got 839 hours, it was because I appealed that decision that I didn’t need to stop; I won the appeal, probably because it was so ridiculous. But like I said in an earlier post, the elders are out of control. While the elders were at my front door yelling at me to stop pioneering, my wife and son were inside the house hearing this unchristian conduct. Maybe this was one of the reasons that made my wife want to stop being a witness some years later.

        It was when my wife left that I had to stop pioneering because I had to look after my son.

        I find that you are very supportive of the elders, Caroline. You say that you have met some who are hardworking and who are not pricks (Messenger says the same). I tell you honestly, all the elders I have met in the 8 or 9 congs I have been in have all been pricks. They may be hardworking, but they are incompetent. Your statements sound like what one CO said to me once: if you don’t expect too much from the elders you won’t be disappointed. That’s a cop out. So is: you get what you paid for, and you paid nothing. These guys have all the power in their hands, the power to ruin our lives, and when they do ruin our lives and they say, “We are imperfect men. We aren’t trained to deal with situations like your wife.” well, that is just not good enough. If they can’t do the job properly, don’t do the job. Don’t give bad advice; just don’t be an elder.

        Do you know that the kingdom halls in Asia are not as big as the halls in Australia (and, I suppose, the US)? Here the halls can fit around 250 people. Where I was in Asia, about 100 people. So, with three language congs, not everyone could be invited. Who gave out the invitations? The COBE’s of the three congs. Who were involved in the faulty judicial committee meeting-which-wasn’t which I underwent? The three COBE’s of the three language congs. What a surprise I didn’t get an invite!

        As to why I don’t get dragged into a back room for what I say to the elders, I don’t know why they don’t. Maybe my message about being Christians gets through. But I stand up and have my say when these gifts in men are being porkchops and I think they are speaking nonsense, as do you. I wish more sheep had the bravery to stand up to them.

        Maybe it is your history of service and the fond memories of your husband which makes the elders in your cong take lenient action against you.

        So, do you know me better, Caroline? I must say, however, that after being walloped so much in the cong, I think I am the wrong victim for your frustrations. Something the elders have never tried has been a word of commendation, a pat on the back. How pleasant that would be.

      • Ricardo says:

        @Caroline,
        So, in short, after I finished school I went to uni. While at uni my dad died. When I finished uni I went to Asia. I pioneered.

        After 10 years I returned to Oz and got teaching qualifications at uni, during which I pioneered. I returned to Asia, got married, had a judicial committee which was cancelled but was stood down as a pioneer, after appeal I returned as a pioneer.

        I came back to Oz as a pioneer but the elders refused to appoint me. I went to uni and did a masters, qualified as a pioneer and did another masters while pioneering, had an argument with the elders cos I only got 839 hours. I changed congs as a pioneer and continued pioneering.

        Then as a family we returned to Asia and I was still a pioneer. Back in Asia we were not invited to the dedication of the halls. Then my wife left, I stopped pioneering to look after my son. When the spouse visa ran out I returned to Oz with my son, then my wife got disfellowshipped and I wasn’t informed.

        That’s my life. What’s so hard to understand about it?

        Now I no longer want to pioneer in any form nor do I want to reach out. I just want the elders to leave me alone.

        • Caroline says:

          Ricardo, thank you for filling me in on your life. Now it all makes sense to me.

          My husband was an elder for ten years and quit being an elder because the stress was just too much for him because the kids were all getting bigger and we were losing control over them and when the Circuit Overseer told the other two elders to let him quit without complaining about it, one elder stood up at the Sunday Watchtower meeting and announced that he was no longer an elder and that the book study would no longer be held in our home.

          You can imagine what that did to him and our family. Nobody in the congregation knew what happened, but they must have assumed something terrible happened and the kids lost all their friends and hardly anybody would even talk to us and so he decided he didn’t want to go to any meetings inside our circuit anymore and we ended up driving 45 miles away to another congregation that was out of our circuit. That was in 1988.

          After 3 years of driving so far to go to meetings, our home town congregation decided to build a new Kingdom Hall and my husband was getting tired of going to those meetings 45 miles away and it was just me and the kids going and I decided on my own that the kids and I would attend the meetings here and it took him another 10 years before he’d start going to meetings again, except for going to the Memorial every year.

          After some time, he became active again and he’d still complain bitterly about all of the elders in our congregation and all the time about how lazy they were and I’d tell him that they work hard and they do the best they can with the time they have etc. and not to expect so much from them since they don’t get paid etc. and he had the exact same complaints that you expressed about all the elders that you have experienced.

          All the time, I’d say that he was expecting too much and that the Society was “perfect and from Jehovah” and not to blame Jehovah for any of his feelings and the elder’s and he never did blame Jehovah but he sure did hate the elders.

          What he didn’t remember is that one time I was in service with another sister in our Hall and we were working with the Circuit Overseer’s wife and one sister from our hall in our car group made a comment about how lazy the elders were and I told my husband (who was an elder at the time) and he told the Circuit Overseer and the elders had a talk with her and her husband and the C.O’s wife confirmed what I had told him that the sister had said about the elders.

          I will never forget how my husband felt about what that sister had said about how the elders were so lazy and I’d remind him when he’d tell about how lazy the elders were in our congregation many years later but it never fazed him. It was terrible when a sister said that about him but it was perfectly fine for him to say that about other elders.

          I know that a lot of elders are pricks. Looking back, I’d like to have told them that but like I said before, you get what you pay for. If you don’t pay for for “ministers” and they work for free, you are very likely to get squat.

          My experience is that there are many elders who work their asses off for the congregation, simply because they think they are working for Jehovah and Jesus.

          They don’t do it for the glory but yes, there’s a lot who don’t get any attention in the “world” and that is the only attention they get and the congregation looks up to them as “something” and then they think they really are “something” but in reality, they are not “something”. It’s only in the eyes of the congregation who are forced to look up to them as “something” and that is the only reason and then again you have a lot of people in the congregation who do appreciate that they work for free and don’t expect too much out of them and are grateful for any work they do for the congregation.

          I don’t believe that Jehovah is directing the organization and I no longer believe in the god of the Bible because I actually pay attention to what the Bible actually says about the god of the Hebrew Scriptures.

          The only reason I believed it before is because I didn’t actually read it as a whole. I only read the scriptures that the Society would have us read that were cited in the paragraphs in our study material.

          • Caroline says:

            To add to my last comment about my reading the Bible.

            Actually I did read all the scriptures in the Bible describing Jehovah as a horrible, blood thirsty god but I wracked it up to the Israelites having the same attitude as all peoples today having and that is that they thought God is on their side when they go into war.

            Jews today don’t even believe those scriptures anyway which is telling, isn’t it, but Christians do believe it as fact. Go figure.

            When people would complain about the god of the Hebrew Scriptures to me, I’d tell them that I thought that the Hebrew Scriptures esd simply a history of the Jews and that they thought that God was on their side when they went into those lands and killed all those people for no reason at all and they sacrificed their children to their gods that and they put that in the Bible that their god told them to do it, just as people today do the same thing and it wasn’t that Jehovah actually did tell those people to do those horrible things.

            That explanation satisfied people when I told them when they would explain why they weren’t believers in the Bible and it made perfect sense to me but once I said that to my husband and he thought it was terrible that I said that about Jehovah because he insisted that everything in the Bible that talked about Jehovah made sense to him because those people were so wicked and that is why Jehovah killed all those people but I never agreed to that.

            The only way I could love Jehovah was to have that explanation of Jehovah in that Jehovah did not tell those people to do all those horrible things but they put that in the Bible that Jehovah did tell them to do those things etc. etc.

            Once I said that in front of my pioneer daughter to my son-in-law, my other daughter and her two kids and my pioneer daughter was horrified by what I had said and made me promise to tell the elders how I felt about the Hebrew Scriptures so I did tell the presiding overseer.

            I gave him some scriptures that were clear contradictions and he wracked it up to scribal errors so I said why not those accounts where the Jews said that Jehovah told the Jews to do this and that too? What is the difference?

            If there were scribal errors that accounted for all the contradictions, who is to say that the Bible is perfect when it comes to the Jews saying Jehovah was telling them to go and kill all those people and he had no answer for that and he let me go with no problem.

            That is still my counter argument. Nobody can argue with that point, which makes the Bible completely unreliable but it also gives the God of the Bible a way out of being a horrible god.

            If the Bible is not inspired, then you don’t have to adhere to it either. It’s just another book. That’s all and I will not die for what that book says, like die from not having a blood transfusion.

            That is the only way that I could ever “love” Jehovah. I had to make excuses for the god Jehovah in the Hebrew Scriptures but now I know the real history of the god of the Israelites and how they adopted the god of the Canaanites and Jehovah was just a volcano god that they sacrificed their children to.

            I am not afraid to tell anybody that because I have over 30 pages of typed out scriptures that describe Jehovah as a volcano god and I have those scriptures printed out and sitting on my coffee table but when the elders came a couple weeks ago, they don’t want to know the real truth about Jehovah and that is why they won’t call me in for an apostasy trial because I have told them that they are worshipping Moloch and still they won’t call me in for apostasy. They just want to think of me as a crazy old lady but I think they are afraid I have the scriptures on my side because I think they think I am smart and they don’t want to wrangle with me and have their world turned upside down, which is what would happen if they found out that I was right and they were wrong. I can’t blame them for that because like I told them, I don’t have any friends left here and being where I am is a horrible place to be. I told the elders a long time ago when they first came over that they had a lot more to lose than I did by walking away from it and they do. Being an elder and 3rd and 4th generation Witnesses and elders they have a lot more to lose by walking away then I do since I am the first one in my immediate family who became a Witness and all I did was lose all the “friends” I had as a Witness for the last 50 years. At least I still have my family (other than my other 2 kids who are still strong in the religion left who still love and talk to me. Most of those elders would have nobody else left to talk to them, since they are 3rd and 4th generation Witnesses.

            I would ask anybody to describe Jehovah from the Bible and the only scripture they can come up with is Jehovah is “love” but I have 33 pages describing a volcano god and I can come up with even more scriptures because there’s more scriptures that describe Jehovah as a dark cloud, which I didn’t even include in that pack of scriptures. Wouldn’t god be described as light and not dark?

            Anybody can do the same thing if they have a concordance book from the Society. Do you think maybe that’s why the Society won’t print that book anymore?

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline,

            If I was living somewhere near you I would love to hear you explain all this. I would bring a packet of biscuits and some tea bags, and you could make me a cup of tea and yourself a cup of coffee, and we could chat for hours. I think you really need someone who is willing to listen to you sincerely.

            Maybe your husband used to be your sounding board. You must miss having him around to hear what you want to say.

            You are living in the USA, right? You aren’t anywhere here in Australia, are you? I wish I was there for you. You’ll be hard put trying to find any elder who is willing to listen to you. Not because they are too busy. Because they don’t care.

        • Ricardo says:

          @Caroline,

          Your late husband sounds like an interesting guy. I think I would have enjoyed meeting him.

          My friend who is a CO describes the elders as being like mechanics. Imagine, you are told that if you have a problem with your car, take it to this mechanic. You take it, but you notice the mechanic hasn’t fixed the car but made it worse. But you see the advertisements saying that this mechanic is really good, so you take it back to him and you notice he makes it even worse. You take the car back to him, and he scolds you for wrecking your car. When you drive it away, the car breaks down. And not just your car this happens to, but also your friends’ cars and your family’s cars. The mechanic breaks them all. Are you so silly you are going to go back to that mechanic?

          So, too, with the elders. We are told that if we have a problem, go see an elder. We see an elder, but the advice he gives messes up our life. We go back to see him, because the WT study tells us to, the elder will help us it says, and the elder buggers up our life a bit more. He buggers up our lives, our friends’ lives and our family’s lives. He blames us, he says he’s not trained, he says he is imperfect.

          The question for the mechanic is : If you are so lousy a mechanic, why are you a mechanic? Why doesn’t modesty tell you to go get another job?

          The question for the elders is: If you are so useless you are buggering up other people’s lives, why are you still an elder? Doesn’t modesty tell you to step down?

          So, Caroline, you say again and again that the elders are working hard, using so many hours to do their work.

          If the mechanic uses so many hours to do his work, but still manages to bugger up people’s cars, should we be impressed?

          But as you say, the GB is mainly at fault, because the GB tells us to keep taking our cars back to these useless spiritual mechanics.

          • Caroline says:

            Ricardo, it all does go back to the Watchtower Society. Churches are run by paid ministers who are paid to do a job and they are trained for that job through university training.

            If the congregations don’t like him, they will hire somebody else. The Society has always berated Christendom because their ministers are paid and it’s a paid job to them and they are supposed to be shepherding the congregation out of love and not money.

            The Society berates them (paid ministers) by saying that they go to college where they learn the “business” of being a minister etc. but the Bible says that it’s only to the lowly and poor people who are given the gift of the knowledge of the Bible and nobody is supposed to be elevated in that way so it’s only Witnesses who follow the Bible by not hiring paid ministers. The Society trusts that all elders are going to be like Jesus.

            I remember Stephen Lett. He was our Circuit Overseer for 3 years and even though a lot of people like to make fun of him, I remember him as one of the sweetest and nicest and warmest “Christians” that anybody could ever think of. If all elders were like him, I think all congregations would flourish and grow but not everybody is going to be another Stephen Lett. I also remember Circuit Overseers who were overbearing an arrogant too.

            When you have 8 million Witnesses, there is no way that every Witness brother is going to be like Jesus or Stephen Lett. Some will be like brother Lett and then some will be like Sanderson (who I just can’t stand for some reason). I can’t stand overbearing and arrogant and self-righteous people and Sanderson seems arrogant to me.

            As much as the Watchtower thinks that once a person becomes a Witness, that they will change their personalities and watch over the sheep like Jesus would but the Society has no control over that but we get what we get and every congregation needs brothers who will do the work of overseeing the congregation willingly and there’s tons and tons of work when it comes to taking care of a congregation’s needs.

            Those men have families to take care of, houses to take care of, jobs to do, wives to take care of and they have to go in service and prepare for meetings and taking care of talks etc. etc. etc.

            They have impossible lives to live when they are elders (if they want to do it all well) and I appreciate what all those men have on their plates and there is no way that they can take care of all of their duties and be good at all of them. Somebody or something has to suffer.

            My husband used to say that they were doing it for the glory and they are lazy but I don’t believe that. I believe that they are expected to do it from young on and they don’t have any way of getting out of it and some do it willingly and others do it out of duty and when they do it out of duty, it’s not out of love.

            I don’t believe they don’t love us but most are doing what they can within their means. They don’t mean to be uncaring but they can only handle so much without going crazy and punishing themselves when they can’t do it all and then again there’s people in the congregation who are just plain unlikable too. We are told to love everybody. Do the elders have to “love” everybody even though some are jerks? I don’t believe that but the Society is a perfect place for jerks because no matter how much a jerk some people are, in the Witness Organization, those people are supposed to be welcomed with open arms.

            I have been associated with at least 5 congregations over the years and I would have to say that most of the elders that I know and have known were very caring and doing the best they could.

            We were all led to believe that God was directing the Society and that Armageddon was coming any minute and the elders are all in the same mindset too. I believe that most of them believe in the Society and that God is directing the Society and Armageddon at any minute.

            I don’t believe that they are doing their work as elders for the glory but they are doing their duty as far as taking care of the sheep the way they think Jesus would want them too.

            I don’t blame them for not knowing what to say and do for the rank and file. They are not paid and not schooled in knowing how to take care of so many people psychologically. They may love all in the congregation but having love in their hearts for those in the congregation isn’t enough for the congregation to feel “loved”. Those in the congregation need to feel that love too. They don’t want fake love. They can tell when that “love” is forced.

            Elders have lives to live and I think most are doing the best they can do. One time, my oldest daughter was sad because there was a person in the congregation who had died and she didn’t see any real sadness at the meeting when they announced it and I told her that it’s the same when our pet dies and how much we miss that pet but when somebody else’s pet dies, it doesn’t affect us the same. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s that we didn’t live with that person and so that’s why it doesn’t affect us the same.

            When it’s us that is suffering, we can’t expect that the elders can understand the pain that we are going through. That is why a person being able to go to a therapist can help or having a very close friend can help but others can’t feel what we feel and neither can the elders know what we are going through. I am sure they would like to help us deal with our pain but in the end, it will be up to us to get better because they aren’t living in our skins and it’s only us who knows and understands what we are going through.

            Have you ever asked somebody how they are and they will make you stand there and listen to them for hours telling about how they are?

            It’s the selfish person who will make you stand there and listen to their aches and pains for hours. That is why when most people are asked how they are, they will say “fine” even though they feel like crap. Most people realize that people really only care about their own aches and pains and we are boring them, telling them about all our troubles and a smart person realizes that about the elders as well.

            Even though it’s their unpaid “job” to listen to us and help us with our problems, we know it’s really only a “job” to them in the end and it’s the sensitive person who will try and solve their own problems without taking up an elder’s precious time boring them with all their mundane problems.

            It’s the Society who is coming out ahead on the whole deal because they get unpaid “slave” labor in the elders, making the congregation think it’s great because the congregation doesn’t have to “pay” for a minister. The elders are being taken advantage of and the rank and file should realize that those men are not being paid to do a “job”.

            I think most are doing it out of love for their god Jehovah and Jesus and I believe that they are doing the best unpaid “job” that they can do with the time that they have.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline,
            But once again I must say, a mechanic who buggers up our car is doing the best job he can, and his family may be suffering because they don’t see much of him. But if he doesn’t see the need for some modesty and humility to realize he isn’t up to the task, then he needs a good swift kick in the pants.

            So, too, our elders. Most of them need a great big kick in the pants. Why don’t they have the modesty and humility to stand aside rather than wreck people’s lives? They interfere with our worship of Jehovah rather than help it. Better 1 good elder than 20 useless ones.

            There is an easy way for the GB to fix this shocking situation. Scrutinise the elders. Get rid of the useless ones. But the GB won’t do that because the GB relies on the elders to support the GB. So the sheep bow to the abuse of the elders, and the elders bow to the abuse of the GB. What a bunch of morons.

            An organization like this, run by uncaring incompetents, cannot survive. The sheep reach the limit of their patience and leave.

          • Caroline says:

            Ricardo, why are you taking your car to a mechanic who doesn’t know anything about cars and expect him to fix it and for free yet and then take your car to him again and again and not be surprised that he doesn’t know how to fix your car?

            That is what you are doing when you go to the elders?

            Do you understand, that is exactly why the Society has such a good thing going when it comes to “hiring” elders to do the job of being ministers to a congregation?

            The Society gets to keep all the donations that go to it by just convincing the congregations that Jehovah is running the organization through the elders and the congregations are grieving Jehovah’s Holy Spirit by not cooperating with the elders and by making their jobs harder.

            You really don’t get how the organization works.

            It’s all about money and mind control and the Organization is genius at mind control when they get people to think that Jehovah is running the Organization and they need to obey and be blessed.

            When you figure that all out, you will see that you are butting your head up against a brick wall and the brick wall will win every time.

            That is why I take my car to a licensed mechanic who knows how to fix my car.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline,
            You just said something I can agree with 100%. That’s why I just want to be left alone by the elders. One day I will find a cong in Asia which doesn’t have any elders in it and retire in comfort.

          • Caroline says:

            Ricardo, dream on if you think you will ever find the “perfect” congregation with the perfect set of elders.

            Retiring in comfort is realizing that Watchtower is not and never has been the real “truth” and you stop wasting the only life you will ever own, going to meetings and service and preparing for meetings and going to assemblies and spending your vacation time going to where the need is great and on and on.

            Life is too precious to waste it on the “hope” of a perfect world in the new earth by following a very flawed publishing company that is passing itself as a life-saving religion by spending all your time hoping that religion will come around to what you think is the perfect “Christian” religion that is following the example of Jesus Christ, thinking that the problem lies only with imperfect and lazy elders.

  9. Eyes opened says:

    I read in an earlier comment someone mentioned ISIS and it reminded me of a conversation I had last year. Since we are discussing religious extremism I thought I would share. The conversation dealt with the atrocities ISIS doles out toward Christians and others who don’t support them. I mentioned that those among ISIS themselves who are found in disagreement with their leaders are killed. My associate said, at least the Witnesses aren’t like that. My immediate response was what do you mean? The Witnesses are exactly like that. I got a look of shock… I asked what happens if you don’t believe, accept, go along with the GB supporting them as God’s chosen channel? While ISIS literally kills, the WBTS spiritually kills. You are ousted from the org. to die with all other non-believers. Your family and friends are to treat you as dead not even accepting a phone call. I asked where’s the difference? While this did take my associate by surprise they could see my point. And yet the GB would tell us this is such a loving thing to do. Extremely cruel is what it is. This is a religion that lacks humility and modesty.

    Regards

    • Yeezy Season 4 says:

      Wait…

      Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait… Please tell me you’re joking. Are you, like Russia, comparing this stupid religion to ISIS????? Seriously? I right now haven’t been to a meeting in almost 10 years. I haven’t been to a memorial in eight. I am the very definition of “faded”. Not because of blood. Not because of the “shunning”. Not because of the abuse policies. All of that is bad, but i’ve left because i wised up. ALL religion is bad. ALL of it. Yet i don’t want ANY religion banned. If one religion is banned, BAN ALL OF IT.

  10. Agree with your comment Eyes Opened for a certainty! …Anyone have info on…EPO…? Extremely expensive! Does JW.Org have shares in? Could be why they recommend it….just a thought….

  11. Isis…..is nothing…I was married to someone who as a Wt…acted like an Isis and worse…and my Mother, younger brother, friend and my cousin…say I need to go to get mental help, that I should not say disrespectful things against…JW.orgy….let the nightmares I have be something that they and anyone else who has their ideas of me….be something that they can enjoy many a night! I know what it is like to be afraid for ones life…I know what it is like to as a young kid be sexually abused…while standing up for Jehovah…as a wife…being in fear of not seeing a next moment…Jehovah helps…yeah perhaps…but there is many a time…like my Dad told me…do what you have to…you have only you to depend on and figure out what to do best…Give me Isis….can not be any worse than JW. Ogres…and any who continue to blindly support them and think of them as a …”god send”…they are…but which god?…let the evidence be the answer! My second husband, my daughter, his sister and her daughter and I did have a quiet remembrance of the Passover as Jesus instructed at home…not amoung a group who are worse than Isis…Turnip greens…Big B…:). we wondered about the bitter greens…anything like radish tops? We do not have turnip greens available here this time of yr…

  12. Go Ricardo! :). Glad you have a support group…keep twisting with the elders and Co’s minds…and poking them with the …”truth” they pretend they do not see…Good work!

  13. Liberated says:

    Tell me Mr Coward Fade, don’t you ever get tired of all this virtue-signalling and all the pretend academic guff?

    I would really like to know what it is you do with all your (much championed) glorious freedom, apart from obsess over the organization you claim to be liberated from.

    What skills have you developed, what credentials do you have, what is your life experience outside of the whole Witness bubble?

    My perception of you is that of a little posh boy, someone who is likely to have had a fairly privileged background, and certainly someone who has been well insulated from the harsher realities of life. (And as for your audio presentations, you have one of the most pompous sounding voices I have ever had the misfortune of hearing. A little humility wouldn’t go amiss. Really.)

    Please prove me wrong and enlighten me on the reality of your multi-dimensional being (there must be more to you than just being Cedars’ sidekick and a wannabe journalist/noted activist).

    PS. I’m not interested in the canned laughter critiques of the contributors on this site, who are clearly very easily pleased, and will no doubt rally to your defense.

    • Caroline says:

      @Liberated, what is your real name? Are you afraid to say?

    • Covert Fade says:

      I’ll get back you on that as soon as my butler’s finished preparing the foie gras. Tally ho, old chap.

    • David Calcutt says:

      My instincts lead me to agree with the general thrust of this comment: Covert Fade does come across as somewhat self-righteous and condescending, and although I don’t know his background, it wouldn’t surprise me if your general impression was fairly accurate.

      There’s something about his character that evokes these words from the DH Lawrence poem, How Beastly the Bourgeois Is:

      Oh, but wait!
      Let him meet a new emotion, let him be faced with another man’s need,
      let him come home to a bit of moral difficulty, let life face him with a new demand on his understanding
      and then watch him go soggy,
      like a wet meringue.
      Watch him turn into a mess, either a fool or a bully.
      Just watch the display of him, confronted with a new demand on his intelligence,
      a new life-demand.

      I don’t know for certain, but I’d say the keyboard warrior role is about the limit of Mr Fade’s ‘bravery’ when it comes to campaigning for human rights…just like Cedars.

  14. Ricardo says:

    I wish I was as totally wrapped up in myself as Liberated is. Man, it must be great to write something like that and sit back and watch the responses pour in.

    Must be a Millenial. Those are the guys who are growing up as Narcissists, aren’t they?

    • Ricardo says:

      Before you answer to him, DON’T. Thus his only attention is this response. He desperately wants attention, but is defeated by our higher wisdom and reverse psychiatry. And we become the victors! Yes, ones such as Liberated, starved of attention, fade away.

  15. Ricardo says:

    @Caroline,
    That’s an interesting thought, Caroline. Am I a witness in name only?

    I don’t contribute. I don’t raise my hand for resolutions. (I don’t even clap at the meetings.) I buy a birthday cake every year for my son and tell him how happy I am that he is still with us, I go to other people’s birthday parties, I eat hot cross buns and easter eggs, and chocolate Santas, I talk to disfellowshipped people, think higher education is terrific, once had a beard, and although in earlier posts I said the Jack in the Beanstalk book was going into the rubbish (because of the magic beans; we know magic comes from Satan) I was only joking; I still have it. I read the book about Watchtower Slave in my teenage years and have never had a problem about reading apostate literature or sites.

    So, am I a witness?

    I became nostalgic and started to think of my upbringing. Please read, it’s not boring.

    My father was an elder and presiding overseer. He was also a policeman. Sometimes he carried a gun and shot it (into the air, of course). He was able to be a policeman because carrying a gun wasn’t compulsory (all cleared by Brooklyn, don’t worry). My parents bought me a birthday cake every year until I was about 12. At Christmas we always went to Dad’s mother’s house for family lunch or dinner, where we would receive Christmas presents (Grandma wasn’t a witness). That was the best! Being a witness but getting Christmas presents! At new year’s eve we went next door for festivities and sang Auld Lang Sine with the neighbours. Dad could not make sense of why the society (the name we used for the org then) didn’t like beards, and would argue with different ones about it. He was very proud of the MS in the cong who had a beard. Another thing he couldn’t understand was why the society didn’t want the children to go to higher education. He said he wanted educated children, so both my brother and I went to uni. He out and out rejected the 1975 thought strongly being promoted by the org. He couldn’t understand how anyone could be silly enough to believe it. One sister recently said respectfully about my dad, “He didn’t put up with any crap.”

    So, was he a witness?

    Mum was a bit stricter; she wouldn’t let us watch Bewitched or I Dream of Jeanie, or The Brady Bunch, and for a short time we couldn’t watch Happy Days.When I ask my mother about the way we were brought up, she says, “Isn’t it the same for all witnesses? The GB tells us what we must believe, but we choose what we really believe.”

    Is she a witness?

    I think it was this background, where the silly things being taught were pointed out to us, which makes me the witness I am today. Where the beliefs intersect with Christianity, that’s what I accept. If any of my Bible studies asked me or brought up any of these things, I had no trouble telling them what I believe and practise.

    I would like my son to have this same way of thinking. Work out what is real and what is crap in this organization. Work out the reasoning behind not standing for the national anthem, and then acting on that; not acting on that and then trying to work out the reasoning. Knowing why we do what we do. I doubt he will be getting baptized as a teenager. I have told him he can get baptized at whatever age he wants, be it 30 or never, as long as he understands what he is doing.

    • Caroline says:

      Ricardo, your parents sound like interesting people. Are they still alive? The presiding elder arrangement did not come into existence until the 1970’s and if you were only a child then, I would think they are still alive and if so, do you discuss with them that the Society is lying about when Jerusalem was destroyed so they can come up with the year 1914 when Jesus supposedly began to rule in heaven even though the Bible clearly says that at Jesus’ death that all authority had already been given to him? How do they (and you) feel about belonging to a religion that tells lies about that and other lies as well because on April 7th, in one of your comments you said you are a Witness?

      Would you read Gentile Times Reconsidered and tell your elders in your congregation about it and be brave enough to tell others in your congregation about it? If you do, you will be disfellowshipped for apostasy. How do you feel about belonging to a religion that openly bans you from and your son and anybody else in that religion from even reading simply history books that tell the real truth about when Jerusalem was really destroyed? You say you are a Witness (April 7th comment), so you must be proud to be one.

      Are you like a lot of us who know it really isn’t the truth after all but are trapped into not disassociating ourselves because we will lose our family (that still talk to us) just because we can’t support that religion any more that lied to us? If so, I sympathize with you but the difference between you and me is that I no longer will call myself a Witness and you do and I won’t go to meetings because I love those people too much to pretend it’s the truth so I can keep those “pretend” friends.

      I don’t need friends like that and neither do you and your son.

      • Ricardo says:

        @Caroline,
        I appreciate your forthrightness, and your questions certainly help me think about things. Thank you for taking the time to do that.

        Unfortunately my father passed away very early on, from cancer. I was still a teenager. I wonder what things would be like and what he would say about the ARC if he were still alive. I’m sure he would be upset, but his attitude always was that Jehovah will work it out, and until he does we need the hide of a rhinoceros (meaning a thick skin) to put up with the attacks from our brothers and sisters, so just remember our position and remember we are not elders. A good company man. That’s where he and I differ.

        You mention I must be proud to be a witness. Because I say I am a witness. Well, I haven’t been disfellowshipped yet, so I guess I am still a witness. Proud to be? Not after the Royal Commission. That really knocked me around. Which I think is more of an issue than when Jerusalem was destroyed.

        Dad would explain that both the witnesses and secular history agree that Babylon was taken over by the Medes and Persians in 539 BCE. If the Jews were in exile for 70 years (Jer 25: 11 and 12), then that makes 607 BCE the year the Jews started their exile and Jerusalem was destroyed. But historians don’t agree about 607 BCE. So who are we going to believe, the Bible or historians? That’s what Dad would say.

        I would say, from the evidence I have seen here and in Lloyd’s book, that there is a lot of evidence stacked up against 607 BCE, evidence it is very hard to argue against. And I don’t have an answer.

        Which means, did Jesus’ kingdom start ruling later than 1914 then? Instead of 607 BCE should we start counting from 587 BCE, meaning 2,520 years later, in 1934, Jesus started reigning? Or is the whole 2,520 years a misunderstanding of the illustration in Daniel, an illustration which is difficult to see having a meaning other than the one for King Nebuchadnezer? Has WT got form for misunderstanding illustrations? I think the gold medal for misunderstanding illustrations goes to WT.

        So, this may be a great misunderstanding. Which means this may not be the last days.

        My thoughts are: I always had trouble understanding how the illustration of the tree getting cut down had any meaning about Jesus. Obviously the early Christians had no idea, as they never mentioned it. And as 1914 was the only year WT ever got right, it may be by complete coincidence. However, my faith in Jesus does not rest on a misunderstood illustration. If these aren’t the last days, I don’t really care. If I don’t live to see Armageddon I don’t care (which seems to be the attitude of most of my generation of witnesses).

        But your questions are good. How do I feel about the lies and lies and lies this org tells? I really have a hard time understanding why the GB don’t just say they don’t know rather than give an answer which later they will change or reject. It is really maddening. I was teaching a Bible study years ago who asked, “If they don’t know, why don’t they say they don’t know?”

        The same can be said on many issues: Why isn’t celebrating birthdays a conscience matter? In the same way, why can’t the GB suggest a meaning to the illustration and then leave it up to us to choose what we believe? Why is it compulsory for us to believe their ever-changing explanations? I said that to my mother the other day, and she said, “We choose what we want to believe anyway.”

        Which I think sums up my attitude to our belief system. The GB can tell us what we must believe, but we believe what we want to believe. The GB cannot make us believe anything, and if we don’t go around influencing others they let us be. Which answers why I wouldn’t go to pick a fight with the elders about this.

        And which may also explain why the elders are taking it so easy on you.

        As to not allowing us to read the book Gentile Times Reconsidered, how to stop us? I am part of a group of witnesses who have read both of Ray Franz’s books. No one has stopped us. But we don’t go around advertising it. How do I feel about that? I love it. If an individual is so lacking in mental ability that they feel they can’t read a book because the GB tells them they can’t, they deserve to be so dumb.

        These reasons do not make me doubt the truth, as I never considered them to be part of the truth. What makes me doubt the truth is the terrible way child abuse has been handled, and the lack of love and compassion shown to the victims. I find this unexplainable and completely shocking. I am embarrassed to be a witness, and I don’t know how anybody except the company men can feel proud of being a witness when they know the details. Which is why I am speaking up about it in the meetings, to my witness relatives, to my witness friends, to the elders and to the CO. It is tragic and must stop. But many of the elders and CO’s don’t seem to care very much.

        My continuation to call myself a witness is not due to any fear of the consequences of disassociating myself. I call myself a witness because technically I still am, but I am a witness with great flexibility of belief, connecting with a group of other witnesses who have a great flexibility of belief. We see the flaws, we see the lies, we see the nonsense and reject it, dodge it, object to it. But we are allowed to. Because the GB do not yet have the ability to control our thoughts. For a long time I thought everyone knew that, and thought like that. That’s what I like about this site: people talk here the same way as my groups of witness friends talk.

        Of course, each of us has a different tolerance threshhold for lies, flaws and misdeeds. You seem to have reached your tolerance level recently. My tolerance level is nearly reached with regards to misdeeds. If I had experienced what you have, or know what you have, I may react the same way you have. Who knows, in a few months I may be where you are.

        This has been like a therapy session for me. Sorry if I have bored you. I have not tried to prove any points here, just tried to explain myself. I hope you have the patience to not get too frustrated with my explanations. Thank you for your consideration.

        • Caroline says:

          Ricardo, when I first learned that the Society joined with the United Nations and remained a member for 10 years before being openly exposed and they withdrew membership the next day after it was exposed in a newspaper, I didn’t believe it and that is when I started my research to find out if that was true or not and found out that it was true and that made me want to find out if there were any other lies that I had been being fed for the 50 years that I was in the “truth” and it opened up a huge rabbit hole and even then it took me a good 3 months before being fully convinced that the Society was willfully lying to all of us and it was then, that I had no fear at all of the Society or the elders in my congregation and I spoke up and they gave a marking talk on me then and that marking talk was the nail in the coffin for me.

          I am in no fear of the Society or the elders because they are totally brainwashed and ignorant (just as I had been all those years). I completely understand mind control because I was under mind control all those years but once I realized that there was no way that Watchtower could possibly be the truth (according to the Bible) is because according to the Bible God hates liars and lying.

          You want the Society to change but they will never admit they are lying about anything. How can you support an organization that has no fear of it’s god and lies openly? Every time you go to a meeting, you are showing your support of that religion (at least that is the impression you are giving to the rest of the congregation).

          According to the Bible in Leviticus, any prophet who prophecies in God’s name and those prophecies do not come true, those prophets are to be killed. That is how serious it is to make prophecies in God’s name and the Society did not get 1914 right at all. They prophesied that by 1914, all gentile nations would come to an end and that would be armageddon and they were made fun of and even Rutherford admitted in his books of the 1930’s that not even one of their prophecies came true for 1914. You are believing lies if you believe that that is the one thing they got right and even the Proclaimers book admits that little fact if you want to look that up in that book for yourself.

          You can get those Rutherford books off of Ebay (like I did) and prove it for yourself if you don’t believe what all of us here are saying to you.

          Also, the Jews were in exile for 15 years in Babylon before Babylon came back and destroyed Jerusalem in 586/587 B.C.E. There is not even one historian who agrees that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C.E. and even the 2011 Watchtower articles admit that little fact. Why not get a copy of Gentile Times Reconsidered for yourself where Olaf Jonnson has clearly outlined 17 ways that it can be proved that Jerusalem was destroyed in 586/587 and what happened to Jonnson when he tried to have Watchtower reconsider it’s standing on 607? He was disfellowshipped for all his years of research where he was actually trying to help the Society.

          That is the religion that you are standing by and nobody should be afraid to put their religion to the test, because the Bible even says that every Christian should put their beliefs to the test but Watchtower will not allow you to test your own religion, does it?

          The Bible is clear that nobody knows the day or the hour but Watchtower thinks it’s so smart that they know even though the Bible says that nobody knows the day or hour, not even the son so that is also presumptuous which the Bible also says is something Jehovah hates.

          There is a list of probably 20 lies that I can list here that the Society lies about but this is just the start.

          Why would you support an organization that continues to lie in God’s name and protects pedophiles and dishonors women when the Bible comes right out and says that Jehovah hates liars and the Bible treats women as possessions and the Society has always treated women as under the control of either fathers or husbands or Jezebels if they stand up for themselves and speak out against abuse.

          Also, the Society claims that Jesus came to the earth invisibly in 1914 and inspected all the religions and picked the Watchtower Society as his one and only spokesman on earth in 1919 and they were using the cross on the Watchtower and celebrating Christmas and birthdays so if Jesus chose a religion that was doing those things, then that should be acceptable today too or the Society is making up a totally different religion than the one that Jesus chose in 1919 so how could it be the true religion today since it’s different than the one that Jesus chose in 1919?

          According to early videos of Charles Taze Russell, Job and his family were celebrating birthdays and wasn’t Job a good man and Russell was the founder of the JW religion so what made Rutherford such a genius that he was so smart that he was the only one that figured out that Jehovah hates birthday parties?

          You are worshipping a Rutherford cult that has been passed on from generation to generation and he was not a Bible scholar and no smarter than the average person on the street who had a Bible and you are willing to die for that religion if you or your son needs a blood transfusion.

          Do you trust Rutherford that much? I don’t and I will not die for Rutherford’s reasoning. I’d need a lot of of evidence first that there is a God that is backing that religion first and I’d need tons of evidence that that god even exists and I’d need lots of evidence to explain to me how a god of love would have accepted the human sacrifice of Jephthah’s daughter so that Jephthah could kill hundreds of thousands of people just because God wanted the Jews to take over a land that already was inhabited by perfectly good people by slaughtering millions of their own relatives by Abraham.

          There is no evidence that those people deserved to die in the Bible because it was the Jews who were offering up their children in the fire to Moloch, not the nations like what Watchtower would like you to believe. According to the Bible, the nations were better people than the Israelites.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline,
            Thank you for bearing with me. I can see that you are a person who values truth. From what you have said, I think you and I are on the same page. The difference that I can see is that I have been aware of a lot of the nonsense for a long time, I didn’t suddenly find it out. Before getting baptized I read quite a number of apostate books and so knew of a lot of nonsense the org was involved with.

            If I could just clarify something, when I said the one year the org got right was 1914, I meant that the Bible Students said to watch out for 1914, and then the war started that year. But I guess if one was to guess as many years as the WT, something big must happen one of those years.

            For me it is not so much the beliefs which shocked me, but the actions. Like you mentioned, finding out WT was an NGO associated with the UN was a big shock. I love telling other brothers and sisters about that.

            Again, I can only explain that you and I have a different BS threshhold. You are further along your journey of discovery than I am. I don’t feel that by attending meetings I am supporting the org. I do learn some points about Christian qualities there. Sometimes.

            I am not worshipping a cult. I am worshipping in a cult.

            That was an interesting point you mentioned about Moloch. I followed your conversation with Messenger and some points have me thinking.

            I have to go to work now. But please be assured I am thinking about what you have said and I can understand your opinions and feelings.

          • Big B says:

            @ Ricardo & Caroline;

            So many of your comments and life experiences inside the ‘Society’ parallel my own as do a great many of your comments agree with my thinking as well. For example:

            “So, this may be a great misunderstanding. Which means this may not be the last days”.
            “My thoughts are: I always had trouble understanding how the illustration of the tree getting cut down had any meaning about Jesus. Obviously the early Christians had no idea, as they never mentioned it. And as 1914 was the only year WT ever got right, it may be by complete coincidence. However, my faith in Jesus does not rest on a misunderstood illustration. If these aren’t the last days, I don’t really care. If I don’t live to see Armageddon I don’t care (which seems to be the attitude of most of my generation of witnesses)”.

            My attitude exactly, I don’t care. Why? Because like the weather and so many other things to numerous to mention, I don’t have control over when or if Armageddon comes. The tree dream is just what it says it is a dream for Nebuchadnezzar and nothing else. No type/anti-type nonsense just a plain old dream. Only wacko Adventists take this dream to mean something other than what it is. Do mainstream religions believe this dream to mean something else; how about Bible scholars? Nope not one that I can find, only wacko Adventists.

            I agree with this thought namely; 1914 is indeed a fluke, although the Watchtower thinks they are the only ones believing something would happen at that time the Kaiser said that since Russia would finish rearming soon that war should start over some pretext before they rearmed. Thus, the reason of Germany giving a ‘blank check’ of support to Austria-Hungary when they wanted a war against Serbia. They knew full good and well Russia was honor bound to protect a brother Slavic nation. Better to fight Russia in 1914 while she was reaming and catch her on the wrong foot then latter on.

            “If they don’t know, why don’t they say they don’t know?” Another good point, the answer is power over others, plain and simple. Once ‘sheeple’ realize that they can guess for themselves (and be just as wrong) then who needs those dunderheads at Warwick? If they are inspired by Holy Spirit they wouldn’t be wrong at all would they? The Holy Spirit imitating from God, who is infallible, this means the Holy Spirit is infallible as well, does it not? I can’t think of any inspired writings or prophecies that have been wrong as consistently as the Watchtower has been; can you?

            “I am embarrassed to be a witness, and I don’t know how anybody except the company men can feel proud of being a witness when they know the details. Which is why I am speaking up about it in the meetings, to my witness relatives, to my witness friends, to the elders and to the CO. It is tragic and must stop. But many of the elders and CO’s don’t seem to care very much”.

            The elders can’t show, or speak of caring and remain elders, period. They have to tow the company (Watchtower) line. If the society said, ‘JUMP’ the elders would ask, “How high?” This organization patterns itself on the Catholic hierarchy as one of their attorneys mentioned. Most Protestant churches (not so much the Anglican, Episcopalians read: Catholic Light) gain their power through the congregation (from the bottom up) from members to the deacons to the minister; definitely not the top down.

            However, agreeing with Caroline’s comments below the U.N. involvement convinced me that Jehovah’s Witnesses (at least to what they have become) are a fraud and not worthy of my attendance, field service support or monetary contribution. Where do you find the whore Babylon the Great? Riding the Scarlet Colored Wild Beast? Even the Society, who identifies the players in this drama, cannot follow their own counsel can they? Are they not a part of Babylon the Great? The only reason they quit their association with the U.N. is because they were outed by the Guardian newspaper. The society couldn’t run fast enough to get to the U.N. and resign before the news hit the street. Just like a kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. The angel in mid-heaven does not mince any words when he says “come out of her my people that you have no participation in her sins and that you do not receive of her plagues”. Thus the reason for my leaving, as I fully believe that Jehovah’s Witnesses (Watchtower) are being punished and God is washing his hands of them. The very last place I would run for refuge would be the Kingdom Hall that is where the ‘smashing of heads’ will first occur.

            Bad press, no growth, short on funds, reduced printing, child abuse problems, youth leaving in droves, closing of branch offices worldwide, persecution in Russia and elsewhere; etc. A pertinent question to all; does this sound like Jehovah is blessing this organization or punishing it? The WTBTS is a lost cause and we are seeing the beginning of their ignominious demise. Get out while you can!

          • Caroline says:

            Ricardo, the Society was completely wrong about 1914. They weren’t just saying something important was going to happen. They said that by 1914, Armageddon was going to be over and they were all going to heaven. They were a laughing stock and Rutherford admitted that in the 1930’s in his books.

            What you are learning when you go to the Kingdom Hall is to learn how to lie and try and trick other victims of Watchtower into thinking Armageddon is coming any minute and to become baptized Witnesses so they won’t destroyed at Armageddon and by you going to meetings, you are encouraging more victims of Watchtower abuse.

            Even you said a couple days ago that Watchtower is not being backed by Jehovah.

            You need to research the god you are worshipping and study the Hebrew Scriptures and pay attention to what you are reading to know the God you are worshipping.

            https://youtu.be/zk5Mat_7J0w

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline,
            Sorry I had to rush off earlier. I got so engrossed in what you said I almost forgot to go to work.

            There is just too much that has been said for me to answer it all, which would be pointless as then more would be said, and then more again.

            I can see many of your points, and the clear urgings to get out and not even meet with the witnesses is almost becoming deafening.

            Who knows, I might be treated like Bad Penny and the witnesses might start treating me like a plague victim. But in a few months I am out of here, back to Asia for a couple of years, so I don’t care much.

            However, surely I have the ability to make a choice myself, which is based on where I am at. I am not at the place of you people. I don’t have to react the same as you people, because I am not you. But I appreciate your concern because obviously I am not happy where I am or with what I see happening in the org. I am not happy, but due to the friends I have, I can stand it.

            Like John Cedars mentions in his JW Broadcasting 23, the rank and file witnesses are quite pleasant people, and if you meet some open minded ones then you can have some good friendships. It’s a nice club. The problem is with the leadership. Even if my friends are told by the elders to watch their association with me, I am quite confident my friends will tell the elders to go jump.

            As I have said, I can see the nonsense, I can understand you people’s responses. I agree that the nonsense should be exposed. We shall have to agree to disagree with the view that by attending meetings I am supporting this org. I believe Jehovah can see my heart, and he can see my reasons. I don’t see how a group of people, even a large group, attending meetings and differentiating what is Biblical from what is organizational is a problem. Well, a problem, but more for WT than anyone else.

            What I appreciate is that we have all seen the flaws in the org, the belief flaws and the behavioural flaws. We are not the nodding zombies we see in our halls. This in itself is a success. Let’s be supportive of what we have in common.

        • Eyes opened says:

          Point for thought… upon Jesus resurrection he said “all” authority has been given me. So how much is the word all? The apostles also wrote about Jesus having authority over angels, governments, things in heaven and on earth. That is first century, after Jesus returned to heaven and proved his authority with the destruction of Jerusalem. Even General Titus threw up his hands and told the Jews…your God is doing this to you. (Look it up in Works of Josephus”). So really where did 1914 come from? Does the word all mean all? Or must the dictionary be rewritten like it has been for the word “this”? The society fudged the numbers to get to 1914. The scriptures say the 70 yrs. ended when the royalty of Persia began to rule. That happened when Babylon was overthrown in 539 BCE. Instead the society starts their countdown from the order to return to their homeland. But that’s not what the scriptures say to do. The scriptures don’t even tell us to try and make something out of those dates for our times.

          Just so we’re clear, I enjoy your comments and I’m on your side…this isn’t an attack. These are the very things I have had to research myself and these are conclusions I’ve come to. There are other conclusions that are drawn as a matter of course with this line of reasoning as I’m sure you will figure out if you choose to go down this road.

          Regards

          • Eyes opened says:

            Sorry forgot to put that I was addressing Ricardo…

          • Bad Penny says:

            Ricardo – I have read your many posts with interest. When I was first ‘waking up’ I started to question some doctrinal points. I spoke with elders, ministerial servants and the C.O. on different things. I noticed the elders wives starting to distance themselves from me, and at the last meeting I attended, it seemed that the majority of the congregation avoided me! Goodness, I was only asking some questions! The ‘Red flag’ went up and I knew something was seriously wrong with the religion that I had spent the last 30 years defending!
            Main questionings arose from 607 – this date had been embedded in our minds from practically day one. I had always assumed it was correct, till one day, after reading a book on biblical archaeology, I decided to do research on the date to see whether it really was historically accurate as Watchtower claimed. I found out that, despite Watchtower claims to the contrary, no historical evidence could be found. However, the year 586/7, the historical date for the destruction of Jerusalem CAN BE PROVED
            SCRIPTURALLY- I have done it!
            I also discovered that the date 1914 was established originally from the measurements of passages in the Great Pyramid in Egypt – (Russell believed it was God’s stone witness). The dates for the destruction of Jerusalem were manipulated to fit this date – thus 1914 still stands as a fundamental witness belief. Remove this foundation and the whole deck of cards falls.
            Of course, you all know that Russell is buried next to a granite pyramid in Rosemont Cemetery, Pennsylvania. Look it up on google earth … fascinating stuff. Getting into the history of JWs shows that they stemmed from the Millerites, along with Mormons, 7th Day Adventists and Christian Scientists.
            The New World Translation was also based on the Greek text by Westcott and Hort who were spiritualists! Check it out.
            When you find out the ‘freemasonry’ links, the rabbit hole goes even deeper. Do dig deep, protect yourself and your beloved son from this mind controlling cult. Don’t waste his life on a worthless thing.
            I do not discourage you from Bible study, but do make sure you use a better translation than the ‘silver sword’. It has been corrupted to suit Watchtower doctrine!

          • Ricardo says:

            @Bad Penny, Big B,
            I enjoy sharing points with you, and you both bring up extra details I hadn’t taken note of, and I am thankful for that. I am also thankful for your concern for me and my son.

            I believe in making informed choices, and have tried to inform myself of most things to do with the org. So, as I said to Caroline above, I may not respond the same way as you, because I am not you. I do however appreciate your concern. As far as leaving the org or stop going to meetings, well, this is not my choice at the moment. I have worked up a good friendship with other victims and have educated them about many of the things which concern me. I want to expose this organization from the inside wherever possible.

    • messenger says:

      Christ claimed “all authority has been given me in heaven and on Earth,” shortly after his resurrection. Paul wrote, “all things were created for him, and by him.” And Christ said those who believe in him will never die.

      The scriptures also speak of Christ as sitting at God’s right hand, until God puts his enemies under his feet. But that thought doesn’t nullify those previous ideas. God has allowed time for his means of salvation to be spread Earth wide, and time for people to repent. Christ has been ruling since he left, which is what he claimed in his quote in my first paragraph. Christ left his church, and commanded them to spread his message. And he said he would be with them to assure that was done. Christ’s oversight of that is part of his kingdom rule. That’s why he used the term kingdom in many of his parables, “The kingdom of the heavens is like (X,Y, & Z))”

      After the time of the nations runs out, Christ and his kingdom will come down to Earth. But Christ’s kingdom existed since Christ left. It was not set up in 1914 or any recent year. And he’s been resurrecting people since he left, or shortly thereafter, just as he claimed, “Those who believe in me will never die.”

      Those are Christ’s words not mine. So we can take his words for what he said, we can believe him. Or we can twist his thoughts to fit different beliefs. A third possibility, we can view him as a fraud, or deluded. It’s our choice.

  16. Just learned lately of all working of Narcisistic people…a good many of Jws are such…Coward, Covert?… No such thing! When in Rome….;). Perhaps Liberated is just jealous of the “Fun and informative side of the Mountain”…this site provides us, thanx to all the folks who work so hard on it. Liberated may be just having a “cloudy day”…No one needs to provide answers to his questions…he can…”Google it”..he is not interested in our…” canned laughter critics”….. Wez not interested in his being “liberated” on this site…make his own “flash in the pan” somewheres else. If he is sooo happy being liberated…why is he trying to “reign” on this parade! Booooo…fizal…pssstttt….pooof…and on with the…marchin to the freedom parade! No worries Covert, John Cedars, Redwood and all….thanx for this site and all the hard work that goes into it. Liberated sounds exactly like my cuz who is still a gung hoe Wt…and yeah, he is crotchity to…big deal. Betcha a tuff and ruff day in service….bad cell service or sun shining on ipad, duh! I did not know what a Millenium was til watched last seasons episodes of…”Canadas worst drivers”…Man that girl! Boot! (Heck if I still was a Wt….I would feel crotchity to…Thanx to …”Freedom” from such…a lot less so….so theres hope for all including…..;)).

  17. Becky Smith says:

    I am studying to become a Jehovah’s witness. I stand for Jehovah. Number one this organization is well orchestrated and educated in bible teachings. Unlike other Christian dominations that teach HELL fire and heaven trinity and most pagan holidays JW tries to be truthful to scripture. Is the organization perfect? No it’s not it’s human so there has been many bumps and challenges. There are other Christian denominations that agree with these teachings also. Church of God. The fact that there are many apostate web sites indicates or shows the prophecy of the bible are being fulfilled. So put out stories on the Australian commission Johannes Burges the spiritism who “aided in the translation of the New world bible version. The fact is you left JW org you found it boring judgemental and over the top. Jesus Christ was executed for his teachings and his followers are still being persecuted today. Keep putting out your information because in the long run we as humans are responsible to Yawhew or Jehovah God.

    • Eyes opened says:

      Hi Becky, many of us here stand for Jehovah and you’re right I believe we will answer to him. Bear in mind the Bible verse at Galatians 1:8,9. Teachings from any Christian religion including Witnesses must be able to meet these qualifiers. That’s why the Bible tells each of us to prove to ourselves the good and exceptlble and perfect will of God. A word of caution, it is judgmental and over the top for you to pass judgment on why many of us are here. You have not walked in our shoes. Please be careful not to mimic the judgmental words of others.

      Regards

    • Ricardo says:

      @Becky,
      Some of us are being persecuted within the organization, by the organization, mentally and emotionally. From where you are standing, everything looks rosy and lovely. We have been there. We have zealously defended the truth. But when things go wrong, we find nobody cares whether we live or die. Then we see what the org is really like.

      That’s why we urge you to know what you are getting into before making a life-changing decision. If you were going to marry someone who on the surface looked lovely, but deep in the heart he rejoiced when you suffered, wouldn’t you want someone to tell you? Believe us who are still witnesses, this is exactly the situation you are in. The org is not what you are seeing.

      Try seeing the difference between being a Christian and being a witness while you are studying. The Australian Royal Commission is also worth knowing more about.

    • Bad Penny says:

      Dear Becky – So you have taken the carrot and started a study …. but who the hell is Yawhew? Come on girl, you must get these little details right if you are to succeed as a witness!
      To set the record straight, most of us ex JWs did not leave because we found the org boring, judgemental and over the top! Everyone has their reasons; some have been abused, some disfellowshipped for disobedience or dissent, some have disassociated, and cruelly shunned. For me, personally, it was because I did not appreciate being LIED TO!
      Please be aware that the whole study programme is very, very clever at inculcating Watchtower doctrines into you – I do know, I was a dedicated and convinced witness for 30 years!
      I would beg you to check the fundamentals of the religion – so easy nowadays with technology at our fingertips – not so easy years ago when one had to trawl libraries for the answers. (No doubt the reason why so many never found out the real truth).
      If it is the truth, you should have no fear of investigating it. Truth should be truth.
      I suggest you check out the date 607 BC and determine the facts from British Museum and Encyclopaedia Britannica as to the destruction of Jerusalem. Find out why the Insight Book has changed the historical date for the Battle of Carchemish. Ask yourself why? See if anyone can answer that one for you in the Kingdom Hall. I would be very surprised if they can. Find out why Charles Taze Russell is buried next to a pyramid. Ask at the Kingdom Hall, see if they really know.
      Never be afraid to question everything. Why has child abuse been covered up and the offenders allowed to remain in the congregations? Why has ‘Jehovah’ answered the prayers of the governing body to build new headquarters in Warwick and England and yet ignored the cries of hundreds of abused children who call out for help?
      Ask where Jesus Christ comes in terms of our worship, i.e. after Jehovah, after the Governing Body? Just a few suggestions …. see how you go.

    • Caroline says:

      Becky, a really good book for you to read is “Captives of a Concept” before getting baptized.

      Once you get baptized, you will have no way of getting out without being shunned and your hands will be tied to try and warn anybody about all the lies and cover ups that you will find out. Your name will be slandered as well if you find out that you have been deceived and try and warn anybody else.

      It is so easy to believe Watchtower’s rendition of the Bible is you don’t know anything about the Bible when they study with you and Witnesses only know about 200 scriptures and with those 200 scriptures that they know, they can run circles around even college graduate preachers from Christendom and that is because if you want to believe in hell fire, it’s in there and if you want to believe in the trinity, it’s in there and if you don’t believe Jehovah and Jesus are the same person, it’s also in there.

      The Bible has a lot of scriptures and you can use it to prove whatever you want to use it to prove but you have to know a lot about the Bible to see that for yourself.

      If you were going to buy a new car, wouldn’t you shop around and find out both the good points and the bad points of that car and isn’t your life more than a car?

      Nobody should be banned when it comes to investigating your religion but you will find that baptized Witnesses are forbidden to read anything that is critical of Watchtower and Watchtower and Jehovah are considered the same god.

      If you only hear one side of the story, you will believe it and that is why Watchtower forbids Witness children’s parents to let their children see anything critical of Watchtower and Witness parents are so convinced that anything that is critical of Watchtower if from the devil that it is next to impossible for them to believe that they are being lied to so you are in a very unique situation since you have not been baptized yet. You are free to examine books and websites that tell about the bad things in that religion that you will never see on jw.org. and you can determine for yourself what is the truth and what is not the real truth.

      When people say they love Jehovah, they mean Watchtower corporation. Please come back to visit. It can’t hurt you if you really have the real truth, can it? Truth will stand up to lies.

    • Big B says:

      @ Becky Smith;

      “JW tries to be truthful to scripture. Is the organization perfect? No it’s not its human so there has been many bumps and challenges”.

      This delusional thought of “JW’s trying to be truthful to scripture” is so wrong on so many levels its laughable. It’s not derisive laughter, its laughter at you thinking and saying what I would have thought and said about seven years ago.

      You obviously did not read my older post so let me, for the sake of repetition and perhaps saving you from a lifetime of regret, repeat myself;

      Can anyone tell me of any religious organization that requires its members to do the following:
      turn in time on a time sheet for no enumeration,
      shun family members, friends or others if they leave the church,
      decide what or what cannot be used in your own/family medical procedures,
      whether one can hold public office,
      whether one should vote,
      whether one should salute the flag or sing the national anthem,
      join the military or take optional service,
      have or use firearms on their job,
      what kind of employment you can have,
      decide how much education you can obtain,
      who you can marry,
      where you can get married,
      who is in your wedding party,
      and what kind of sex two consenting adults can have in the privacy of their own home?

      Yet, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society does all of these things and a whole lot more, mostly unscriptural or twisted interpretation at best. What’s truly incredible is Jehovah’s Witnesses (sheeple) allow this to happen! However, they will swear on a stack of Bibles that their religious interpretation is the correct one and they are not in a ‘cult’?! This Adventism gone rogue is the epitome of a cult.

      Now to address this point;
      “Number one this organization is well orchestrated and educated in bible teachings”.
      Can you find one true Biblical scholar, just one educated intellectual of the Bible that agrees that Jehovah’s Witnesses are educated in Biblical teaching? No, I don’t believe you can if you searched for a thousand years. The Watchtower has taken so many quotes from professors out of context it is laughable when it is caught do so. Please feel free to look that up. http://www.inquisitr.com/1766536/biology-professor-creationist-magazine/

      “No it’s not; its human so there has been many bumps and challenges”. Not to many years ago the “faithful and discreet slave” thought that they were inspired by Holy Spirit until just recently.

      However, it does not excuse them from spitting out false “end time” prophecies of ‘Armageddon is a commin’ by the mid 1970’s back in 1966. And when it did not come in 1975 who did the society blame? Nobody other than the membership, their followers, for this thinking. But who put the idea of 1975 into their heads but the ‘faithful and discreet slave’?

      Then they said that the ‘superior authorities’ mentioned in Paul’s epistle of Romans 13:1 referred to Jehovah and Jesus, everyone else in Christendom said it was the governments. Low and behold another burst of ‘NEW LIGHT’ (read:doctrinal change) and voilà; the superior authorities are in fact governmental earthly authorities! How many Witnesses died needlessly opposing governments for that misguided misunderstanding of scripture?
      https://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/superior-authorities.php

      I could go on ad nausum, but a quick reading of the comments on this site and others would certainly dissuade anyone studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses from Baptism. Maybe, they will perhaps do more research on their own, rather than take Watchtower’s word or anyone’s word on any subject; especially the Bible.

      Finally, a word of caution from a Watchtower slave for over 50 years; Jehovah’s Witnesses are the epitome of a cult. When the ‘love bombing’ stops after you are baptized then you will realize to late the dystopian cult you are shackled to for life. The snitching and spying and reporting of your activities or lack of activities both good or bad. Then you will see with opened eyes the ‘true’ sadness that Jehovah’s Witnesses reap day after day, week after week, year after year, etc. namely their lives passing away waiting for a paradise earth (find that expression in your Bible) that never, ever comes.

      Do the research before committing yourself, I’ve already posted a couple of sites. You will not regret looking for yourself. I’m glad I did.

    • I Foster says:

      Becky Smith.If you don’t believe in the teachings of most Christian denominations then you are better studying with the Seventh Day Adventists rather than the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The SDA do not believe in the concept of Hell either.
      At least you will not be trapped inside an Organisation that has you toiling for the rest of your life for the benefit of Watchtower. Once you are baptised as a Jehovah’s Witness, you will be held hostage by the Organisation. You will not be able to leave without being shunned by the very people who welcomed you with open arms. You will not be able to have a blood transfusion to save your life. You will not be able to partake of the emblems at the memorial, in other words, you will be rejecting Christ. Read John 6: 48 to 60 where Jesus welcomes EVERYONE to partake of him and not just the anointed. The disciples were not anointed at the Last Supper, yet Jesus told these UNANOINTED men to partake of him. Do independent study of Watchtower theology and its history rather than gulp down everything the snake-oil salesmen offer you.
      They have their own Bible, the New World Translation, in which they have added too and subtracted from original scripture. So, unless you are Biblically savvy, they can easily pull the wool over your eyes. In the NWT, they even make God out to be a liar. Compare Exodus 6: 3 to Genesis 28: 13 concerning Jacob and the name of Jehovah. They miss out John 8: 1 to 11, saying that it is not in the original Greek scriptures. But it is. They miss out this text because it shows that Jesus forgives sins; they say that only Jehovah can forgive sins. This missing text in the NWT shows that Jesus is equal to Jehovah, something that goes against WT theology.
      Keep searching the internet for experiences of ex-JW’s and sites that will tell you the truth about ‘the truth’. Once you are baptised as a JW, you will be frowned upon and could even be brought before a Judicial Committee of JW Elders if it is found out that you have been using the internet to investigate Watchtower.

      • David Todd says:

        I know this is off thread….but please be careful that you give accurate information to people who are thinking about joining this cult. Your info on so called “missing scripture” is inaccurate. Don’t make mistakes when dealing with people who believe in absolute truth. One mistake can see the balance if your information ignored. Remember absolutist thinking?

        • I Foster says:

          David Todd, could you please enlighten me on the omission of John 8: 1 to 11 in the NWT? I am grateful for correction to any misinformation I have given. Thank you.

          • David Todd says:

            I know that This is a pernicious cult but the NWT is not the only Bible to omit or place this section of John in parentheses. This is because these verses are not well attested in the oldest manuscripts.
            Talk about the ridiculous inclusion of the hybrid Jehovah 237 times in the NT or the completely erroneous “torture stake” as a translation for stauros.

            These are demonstrably and easily verifiable errors without doubt.
            Do some research on the texts.

        • outandabout says:

          ‘Absolute thinking’. Hmm…there’s a can of worms for messenger. I’d better not say anything. He’d only end up in corner.

      • messenger says:

        A good point that you brought out, that apostles were not anointed when they first took the emblems.

  18. Jado says:

    It is my first time I have heard this from JWs:

    *** g77 10/8 p. 22 One Human Race ***
    The first human pair had within their genetic makeup the multiple factors for all the racial differences that we see today. Possibly they themselves were neither white nor black, but mulattoes, or a combination of the colors now found in the various races. An early historical report about humankind says: “They are all a single people with a single language!” (Gen. 11:6, in The Jerusalem Bible) But this abruptly changed.

    Religion is insult to human dignity…. (http://www.quotesvalley.com/images/33/religion-is-an-insult-to-human-dignity.jpg) !

  19. Thanx Ricardo for your comments…same kinda way I believe and our Father viewed things pretty well, sadly he is gone for a while now…I sure wish he was around to give his take on all the info comming out, and the way Jw.org is operating now….Mother on the other hand….more to believe as the Gb sez…even if they do not do in real life…all interesting…it is nice to share and see how all have come to various conclusions etc….I appreciate this site for the way it brings us together although in different parts of the earth…Kinda like…”one big happy family!”. ;)…. On here we have freedom to share, in the org…..you form the conclusions in your head…but can not always discuss it with others without being looked at funny and tuned up for developing a ” wicked heart”….yeah…

  20. Chiafade says:

    Whether you think banning is good or bad one thing that we all can agree on is that Watchtower should NOT have 501c3 tax exempt status. Please sign this petition on change.org to help move this along. You can’t say “you shouldn’t ban them” and then not support an alternative means to punish this abusive organization. Please sign up https://www.change.org/p/internal-revenue-service-revoke-501-c-3-status-of-the-watchtower-bible-tract-society?utm_medium=email&utm_source=notification&utm_campaign=petition_signer_receipt_rmp

    If you think this can’t work think again. The LGBT community has been using change.org for years. Look at the changes that have taken place for them on a human rights level in the US as a result.

  21. Eyes opened says:

    Hi Big B,
    Yes he did, amazing right? If you download the transcripts from his interview with the ARC you will find his response to Angus Stewart when asked if the GB are God’s spokespersons. I’m sorry I can’t tell you exactly how far into the transcript it is, but you’ll find it. Happy hunting. BTW aol.com just featured a news report that JW’S have been ruled against in Russia as extremist.

    Regards

    • Big B says:

      Thanks Eyes Opened.

      I just heard about the ban being enforced in Russia today on local radio WNIS 790 AM here in Tidewater, VA. It was mentioned on the ‎Macrini’s Morning News Team.

      So it begins. Let’s see how this plays out; shall we?

  22. ScotWm says:

    It’s over: “NEW YORK—After six days of hearings over the last two weeks, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation today upheld the claim submitted by the Ministry of Justice to liquidate the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and 395 Local Religious Organizations (LROs) used by Witnesses throughout Russia. The ruling goes into effect immediately.” Of course Watchtower cult leaders will appeal, but a reversal of this decision seems unlikely. https://www.jw.org/en/news/releases/by-region/russia/supreme-court-rules-against-jehovahs-witnesses/

  23. Whip It says:

    Ricardo, what is the CO’s name, also the scriptures are quite clear on who knows, his comment will spread like wild fire & all the drones will love it, false prophet on the platform, they can’t be that stupid, really

    • Ricardo says:

      @Whip It,
      It’s a bit hard to give you that information while keeping anonymous to any spies from the org. I will give you that information at a later time, in a way you will understand.

      • Caroline says:

        Rucardio, I would also like to know the name of the C.O. and giving us his name should not “out” you unless they are on jwsurvey (which they should not be).

        • Caroline says:

          Sorry Ricardo. I am trying to get used to a different keyboard.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Caroline,
            I want to inform you that one brother in my group of heretics has that book you mentioned about Gentile Times Reconsidered and has sent it to me.

            What use would it be for you to know the name of the CO? He’s in Australia. Aren’t you in the US?

  24. Whip It says:

    Supreme court in Russia has just banned JW’s

    • Alone in MD says:

      Wait a minute. I thought that Babylon the great would fall first. Hmm seems that JW was Babylon the great after all.

      • Big B says:

        @ Alone in MD;

        With the joining and support of the U.N. as an Non-Governmental Organization (like the Catholic Church is) the Watchtower has become its own enemy. It has become the “pot calling the kettle black”, thus a part of the whore ‘Babylon the Great’. Rank hypocrisy to the utmost extreme.

        This brings me back to my young manhood when reading the comic pages of the Washington Post. One of my favorite cartoons was “Pogo” who is the title and central character of a long-running daily American comic strip, created by cartoonist Walt Kelly (1913–1973) and distributed by the Post-Hall Syndicate. Set in the Okefenokee Swamp of the southeastern United States, the strip often engaged in social and political satire through the adventures of its anthropomorphic funny animal characters.

        One of its most famous lines on Earth Day, 1971 was “we have met the enemy and he is us”. This reminds me of this egregious lack of common sense displayed by our, so called, self-appointed, “faithful and discreet slave”. (I almost choked writing this). Won’t the friends (sheeple) be surprised when the ‘bunker drama’ of Witnesses being hunted down occurs BEFORE any other religions are attacked?

        I write this with this proviso: If the Watchtowers Biblical end-times interpretations are indeed correct. That is a big IF because they are batting in the negative column to date.

  25. Ricardo says:

    @Messenger,
    I did get the chance to speak to the CO again. On the subject of the GB shortly telling us the great tribulation is going to start and how would the GB knows, he said that he mentioned in his talk that we are on the brink of a nuclear war, so it is obvious that conditions are rushing like never before towards the end.

    I also had a copy of the Conclusions of the Royal Commission together with the newspaper reports about the court cases WT had lost. I wanted to give them to him. I asked very politely if he would like a copy, but he said he had it all worked out in his mind, and this information would be adding negative elements which would eat into his positive thoughts. I said that at least he would be informed about these things, and the next time he was asked if he had seen the Conclusions he could say he had. But he said we needed to beware against dwelling on the negative things, and that the Royal Commission was actually a satanic attack.

    So, close your eyes and yell out, “The king’s clothes look beautiful!”

    If it wasn’t for the guys at this site, I would feel like I am going mental. Why do the witnesses have no compassion?

    We can’t read anything negative about our org, even if it is true? How absolutely pathetic. How does anything get fixed up if we just say, “Well, Jehovah will fix it”?

    Is the CO’s faith really that fragile that a statement about child abuse will destroy his positive thinking?

    Messenger, how can an organization survive when it closes its eyes to reality? Has there ever been any organization which has done this which has lasted long term?

  26. Whip It says:

    Ricardo, is the CO David? early 50’s, to answer an earlier question, i do not door knock anymore, i just have a handful of calls which are like social calls now, because i care for people in general, i asked another Elder about the GT comment & letter, he had heard nothing, maybe a couple of crazies going of on their own tangent, a lot of chatter in the local cong here of impending doom, i chuckle at a lot of it, oh yes Putin is going after all churches, they don’t know that.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Whip It,
      I just saw your post. Our CO isn’t named David.

      And on Sunday he gave a talk ‘Jehovah looks for the good in us’. If Jehovah is looking for the good in us, why do the elders give us such a hard time? Why can’t they imitate Jehovah and see the good?

      As to the GT coming, I guess the witnesses are so desperate for any proof that they aren’t hoping on empty promises that they get excited about any little thing. But what gets me is how the CO, GB, anybody in leadership show such little compassion for the victims of child abuse. I tried to get this CO interested in the victims and he was as callous as they come. It really makes me sick and I can’t wait for these guys to see the falling publisher figures and worry about the future of the org. I hope it all just falls apart around them.

      I go out for field service with my son. We always get put together. Nobody knows what we say, so like Messenger suggested, we can direct people’s attention to the Bible rather than the organization.

      When I was a teenager I asked an MS named Rodney Spaulding to study with me. Nice guy. He married Karen and now he’s moved to Spain to serve in the English speaking field there. Little does the CO know that his brother Rodney studied with me.

      The Spauldings were a pleasant family. 2 sons and one daughter. The daughter passed away a few years ago, sadly. Left the parents disraught. That leaves just the two sons, Rodney and Gary.

      And that should just about have answered your question the other day. Hope you took notice of divergent facts.

      • Gwen Little says:

        Gary Spaulding. He used to be the DO when we were in. I always thought that he was okay, a little serious though.

        One of the nicest CO’s was Paul Grundy’s Dad. He was very genuine & kind.

  27. JohnnyQuest says:

    More reading, more weeping, more gnashing of teeth

    http://ed5015.tripod.com/JwBooksCirculation.htm

  28. JohnnyQuest says:

    Just in case there are any more tears left and if there is enough teeth out there for more gnashing read this

    http://gazettereview.com/2016/08/top-10-best-selling-magazines-world/

    Dream on!!

    • Ricardo says:

      JohnnyQuest,

      I dreamt on. I dreamt that I was in an organization which was saturated with the love Christ showed, where leaders gave a damn and were willing to give their all to check on my physical and spiritual welfare. Where members called at my house or rang me on the phone to show encouragement. Where commendation was given rather than criticism. An organization where elders did not yell at me, but instead patted me on the back.

      Then I woke up and realised I was still a Jehovah’s Witness. And no matter how many books we print, or magazines, if we don’t show love, we are clanging bits of metal.

      And the clanging bits of metal did not allow me to go back to my dream, where I saw true Christianity. I was stuck as a witness. With clangs of child abuse as well as mental and emotional abuse ringing in my ears.

      An organization that not only printed stuff but also showed love! JohnnyQuest, go dream!

      • Caroline says:

        Ricardo, can you reply to my last comment about you?

        • Ricardo says:

          @Caroline,
          I am trying. My computer froze up, I don’t know why. Maybe my answer is too long. It’s on it’s way after the technology problem is fixed.

  29. Johnny Quest says:

    In the words of Matthew 13 vs 49 and 50. ” there is where the weeping and gnashing of teeth will be”
    Read on for more weeping and gnashing:-

    Guinness Book of Records are looking into the Jehovahs Witnesses letter writing campaign to Russia to see how much it surpassed the previous record, it may well number millions of letters, which will no doubt be more than the 900,000 current record.

    JW.ORG has set a record as the most translated website ever.

    How about the Bible in over 750 different languages.!!!

    • Shibboleth says:

      1 Cor. 13:1-3…
      It doesn’t matter how many Guinness world records are broken on letter writing, or how many translations are made of the Bible, or languages an Internet site has been translated into, if Love (in the truest sense of the word) is not shown, it is all worth NOTHING in the eyes of the Creator.
      Shalom

    • Ricardo says:

      @JohnnyQuest,

      How about some love, compassion, caring and empathy?

      Dream on, Johnny.

    • Caroline says:

      Johnny Quest, all those letters and prayers and Jehovah didn’t listen to it and idiot Watchtower called Russia Satan in the latest video. Will they never learn? I would say the weeping and gnashing of teeth is on Watchtower this time. I think the exJW’s think it’s funny that all those prayers and letters fell on deaf ears because now attention might and should be drawn to the fact that JW’s practice shunning and the killing of their children through not getting blood transfusions.

      Most people are shocked to find out that JW’s practice shunning you know. They know that Witnesses will let their kids die by not taking blood but the world in general was ignorant to the fact that Witnesses practice shunning.

  30. Johnny Quest says:

    More Weeping & Gnashing

    MEXICO
    Between 1999 and 2015, Jehovah’s Witnesses built over 5,000 Kingdom Halls in Central America * and Mexico. And to accommodate the one million Witnesses and others who attend our meetings in this region, over 700 additional Kingdom Halls are needed.

    NIGERIA
    On Saturday, March 1, 2014, a joyous crowd of 823 people gathered at the Benin City Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses to mark a milestone in Nigeria. Since 1999, when the arrangement to build Kingdom Halls in lands with limited resources began, Jehovah’s Witnesses have built 3,000 Kingdom Halls in that country.

    PHILIPPINES
    In August 2013, Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines reached a milestone when a unique construction program completed its thousandth Kingdom Hall there. As is the case in many lands, congregations in the Philippines have often not had the money or the construction experience to build their own permanent Kingdom Hall without help. For years, some met in private homes, while others gathered in small structures built of bamboo.

    New UK Branch Office Construction
    http://jw-branchoffices.blogspot.co.uk/p/branch-expansion-britain.html

    THANKFULLY ITS ALL BEING DONE WITHOUT YOUR HELP
    YOUR HELP IS NOT REQUIRED.

  31. Johnny Quest says:

    More weeping & gnashing for you all;
    Worldwide Memorial Attendance in 2016 was 20,085,142

    I’ll update you ASAP with 2017 Memorial Attendance
    I know you all can’t wait.

    Dream on!!!!

    • Covert Fade says:

      Not sure quite what your point is. Size? The catholic church gets way more to mass than JW’s do to Memorial. Number of Kingdom halls constructed? You might want to compare yourself to other religions on that. Number of languages you translate into? Means nothing if what you’re teaching is wrong in all those languages. Nothing you’ve listed is proof that JW’s are the true religion. Other faiths achieve the same, or more in pretty much every aspect you listed. As do commercial or non religious groups.

      Anyway, this will just go in one ear and out the other, but hey, just know that I find you very cute and endearing. Have at it Johnny Quest! Post away! Give us the stats! 😀

    • Ricardo says:

      @Johnny,

      I’m more interested in the memorial partakers. I hope this year we may have had a 4,000 increase (better than last year) to make 22,000 worldwide. Please don’t forget to mention this figure.

    • factsnotfiction says:

      @Johnny Quest

      If you like numbers and stats I have some for you to ponder upon:
      Current population of JW’s approx. 8 million with a growth rate of about 1.6% per year. Thats about 130,000 new Witnesses each year. Sounds good huh!

      However current population of the planet is approx 7.3 billion with a growth rate of approx 1.8% which means about 130 million more people each year being added to the population.

      So population growth is out stripping JW growth by an order of magnitude. JW’s cannot hope to keep up. So what is Jehovah waiting for: if it is to make sure everyone gets their chance you guy’s need to work a lot faster!! I think 250 hours a month each to begin with and then you can ramp up from there!

      Unless of-course Jehovah just likes to kill as many people as possible! Then it makes sense. The longer he waits the more he can murder at Armageddon.

      What do you think?

      Anyway, look forward to your Worldwide Memorial Attendance stats. Hopefully you will heed my advice and increase your efforts.

      • outandabout says:

        Here’s some stats – Australia has about 3.6 million Anglicans and have been found guilty of about 1000 unreported child abuse cases. Jehovah Witnesses have about 60,000 members and have been found to have 1000 unreported child abuse cases. That makes Gods visible organisation,’ the only true religion while all others are in apostasy’, sixty times worse than those ‘hideous’ Anglicans on the issue of child abuse. Can’t wait to join – the exodus.

  32. outandabout says:

    What I really can’t wait for is the JW paradise. Gosh, imagine living forever. Last time I checked, forever meant, well, forever! So let’s see – I’ve been in paradise for, say, four and a half billion trillion years and I haven’t even had breakfast yet! Same old faces, no childbirth, no sex, no advancement, nothing new and stimulating to look forward to. The only way I could see paradise working is if god gave everybody a full frontal lobotomy which caused every day to be like Groundhog Day, otherwise anybody with any sort of intellect would soon slash their wrists. Everybody would be there for god’s sick pleasure. Like a zoo. Cruelty to dumb animals.
    Dream on, then. Just continue to drive those square pegs into those round holes, stepping back, giving the chin a bit of a rub and saying “looks pretty good to me”. Lying to oneself.

    • I Foster says:

      outandabout. Good comment; also there would be no fun. Unlike those Watchtower illustrations, people will not be wearing clothes. Everyone will be like Adam and Eve in a renewed Eden and unaware that they are in the nude. At least we’d all get to see each other naked, but we would have no desire; no chicks getting horny and no guys getting an erection. We’d all be like those Pod People in the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

      • factsnotfiction says:

        I think we should place armed guards, who hate fruit and only eat meat in the centre with a shoot on sight order !

        We dont want to go through all that again !!!

  33. Johnny Quest says:

    Just to whet your appetites until I update you with the Memorial attendance figures and other exciting news, here’s a few items, that I know you’ll enjoy, even though weeping and gnashing will result to you. There are numerous other areas throughout the world where the Witnesses have spearheaded disaster relief aid, but they don’t make a song and dance about.
    So once again read on and weep and gnash your teeth.

    https://www.pressadvantage.com/story/2112-jehovah-s-witnesses-coordinate-international-efforts-to-aid-nepal-earthquake-victims

    http://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/jehovahs-witnesses-volunteers-help-rebuild-damaged-homes/.

    http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/84196-jehovah-s-witnesses-build-re-build-homes-for-typhoon-victims

    • Covert Fade says:

      I love the idea that you think people are gnashing their teeth about this. 😀

    • Ricardo says:

      @Johnny,

      This time you’ve got us stumped. There is no greater proof of the true religion than witnesses fixing up people’s houses.

      We better stop dreaming and get in there and give them a hand.

      • Shibboleth says:

        There’s an inspiring channel on YouTube for ABC news called WWYD…What Would You Do? A scenario is set up and hidden cameras follow to see what people would do when someone was in need of assistance or a subject of mistreatment. Really opened up my eyes to see how many loving, compassionate people are in the “world”. This is being human, not religious. Amazing to watch humanity in action. Even brings tears to the eyes. Next teeth gnashing comment?

      • outandabout says:

        Also, Ricardo, according to Jehovah Witnesses, there is no greater proof of truth than 8 million people saying they have the truth. Interesting, that, because in 1933, Germany had around 67 million people and most of them soon ended up in the ‘truth’ of Nazism.
        ‘A lie told once remains a lie. A lie told a thousand times becomes the truth’ – Goebbels – Minister of Propaganda for the Nazi’s.
        Thinking, is not for Witnesses. If a Witness starts having negative thoughts about the WT, they’re taught that that’s the devil trying to drag them away, when really, it’s their common sense and reasoning screaming out to them. To succumb to their common sense in such a way, to a Witness, is the same as committing suicide, thus, the cult keeps a hold. Forever trapped.

  34. GEM says:

    Jean-Luc Picard would never entertain such Apostasy! Whilst we are boldly going where No Man has gone before, we won’t be regulated by GMT and Swiss Watch precision.

    Life will be in abundance in an ever expanding Universe, and there will be billions of jobs Terra firming.

    Nah! I will never cease being a Trekkie… Atheism would cripple my puny mind… it only functions as 10 to the -?, as it is!

    If I truly get bored, I would reserve the right of termination to put my little mind to rest.

    From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained…thank you….Mr Rodenberry.

    GEM

    • Ricardo says:

      @GEM,

      Are you related to Jado?

    • messenger says:

      My guess is-though you know how I view guesses- that we (all people) have not been told the half of what’s really going down, or how long its been happening. For instance, I don’t remember the Bible saying how the angels were made, or if they lived as some other creators before they were angels. Do you? The WT society claims angels were created only as angels, but did you ever see that in the Bible, anybody? If not, maybe they were, maybe they weren’t.

      Also, it doesn’t make sense rebellion centered around our tiny planet when there exists an infinite universe, and the Bible doesn’t claim rebellion started on Earth. That’s another WT teaching (assumption). I definitely believe there are beings living in other dimensions that do exist in multiple time dimensions also. And one of those beings we call God. But I think our knowledge is extremely limited about what’s really happening in those dimensions we can’t see.

      I believe because of our limited knowledge people have assumed a lot of things that Bible scriptures are not clear about, and don’t even comment on, such as the origin of sin. The Bible only speaks about many things, like sin, as those relate to how Earth is affected, especially the people on Earth.

      Also, there are scriptures, if taken literally, that speak of the material universe that we know as being rolled up, and put away (ending). We don’t know how many times that could have happened before, or, of the relationship defunct universes might have to intelligent beings presently living in other dimensions we can’t see. Most of what can be known is not known by us.

  35. GEM says:

    @Ricardo:

    He was in Star Wars, I think. Not my idea of Paradise there. But, I will check Ancestry.com, yer never know!

    • GEM says:

      @ Ricardo:

      Sorry, I was thinking of Jabba the Hutt…and nah, fighting Atheism and obnoxious creatures that just evolved out of nothing limits my curious mind.

      Just waiting for the appearance from Vulcan and Zed Cochrane.

      Then watch this planet go into overdrive!

      • Ricardo says:

        @GEM,

        I think Scientology is the religion for you. They have all those characters and more.

        • GEM says:

          No…I am done with Religion Ricardo…but not with the basic notion of Design, Purpose and Exploration.

          Equally I find it hard to grasp the Emptiness of Atheism. I agree that there is a Creator that we should respect and live in harmony with but not a Religious “God” that demands ritualistic devotions.

          I think Putin is wrong to stifle freedom of thought and expression. Astonished that the JW could be put in the same category as the real Extremist.

          I do believe that WT has entered a dark “Extreme” phase of its existence and there should be complete overhaul of its doctrine.

          WT doctrine is no crazier than most “Religious” tenets.

          None of the above shifts my belief in a Plan and Purpose for this Universe.

          Star Trek is an entertaining series simply offering explanation, through story, of the possibilities that exist out there…whether we mock and label them ridiculous or we pause and thing…”well…just maybe”.

          The Bible is a book written for its age, attempting to explain much of the inexplicable. It should be a guide from which all the principles of life can be drawn and considered.

          Sorry to disappoint but I think Cedars is correct. As repugnant as some WT doctrines have become, it is wrong to suppress Freedom of Belief.

          Here in the UK we are moderated by the Law and if that Law feels that our core beliefs are not in our best interests…it will step in. Perhaps Russia should step back and consider the same stance. Thankfully the UK government has already lodged its protest against the Ban with Moscow.

          Best wishes GEM

  36. Kay aka Tara. says:

    Noticed this flying around on fb and thought some of you may want to listen to it.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p050zhpv#play

    • GEM says:

      @ Kay aka Tara:

      Thank you Kay.A.T.: I normally listen to Radio between 7.30am and 8.00am on my way into work…Thought for the day is always “thought” provoking
      .
      I sincerely hope there are more reasoning people like Dr Reverend Giles Fraser out there. He sounds he might become the moderate voice replacing Rabbi Blue who recently died.

      Even as a JW I admired that man. He reminded me so much of the Spokesman of the Sanhedrin in the 1st who simply said….”leave these men alone…”

      Do we have a Rabbi Blue/Dr Rev. Fraser on the JW Survey team that is strong enough, even in dissent to speak up for the Freedom of Thought?

      For God sake and our Ex Brothers and Sisters, keep going in the name of Reform! not, ban and dissolution.

      GEM

  37. Whip It says:

    Ricardo, thanks for that, i know, we call him the showman, he seems quite an intelligent man, but still the fear mongering is not right, i watched a doco the other nite on disasters from the 80’s, & recall back then we thought the end was comming, we simply forget & hear we are 30 years down the track, yes it does seem worse but also we are being swamped by the media & it gets blown out of proportion, sorry to take so long to reply, my work takes me out a fair bit, so no computer access, all the best my brother

    • Ricardo says:

      @Whip It,
      He can be a showman if he so wishes. What gets my goat is his complete lack of compassion for the victims. I said there were some shocking things that happened with the child abuse. He responded by saying there are terrible things that happen: murders, beatings, child abuse. All these things happen in witness families. He painted the org as pearly white and pure. Everyone else was at fault (the commissioner, Mr Stewart, the apostates helping Mr Stewart, the Catholic church). He and the GB are unwilling to take any responsibility. He criticises the Catholic church by saying they move their priests around, and the priests then continue their abuse in their new areas, and he said witnesses don’t do that. But what do witnesses do? They keep everything quiet, hidden, covered over, not to be talked about.

      I met a faded witness at Coffee Club this week who was told by my heretic friends to talk to me. He was distressed because he had tried to talk to some brothers about the Royal Commission and they had told him to just keep quiet about it, that talking about it could lead to apostasy. He was very glad to hear my opinion on the ARC, and he was very interested to learn more about Candace Conti and ‘Amelia’. So, another new member to the group of heretics. An informed member. The more the merrier.

  38. Johnny Quest says:

    Ricardo
    The more you taint yourself with the apostates and antichrists on this forum the more you’ll be a lost cause not just a lost sheep.
    I never associated true religion with fixing people’s houses or with disaster relief work, you’re making things up in your messed up mind.
    Genuine Jehovah Witnesses obey the 2 greatest commandments in the Bible, simple.!!!
    Notice I say GENUINE.
    I do not have to provide you with any proof that Jehovahs Witnesses are the true religion. According to the Bible there can only be One true God, One Son of God and One true religion.
    There’s no one on this forum that has any worthwhile knowledge of the Bible. There’s no one on this forum that can provide any insight into the Bible and religion in order to disprove Jehovahs Witnesses as far as knowledge of Bible is concerned and making a stand for Bible Truth.
    But I’ll tell you what, if you are so enlightened, give us the benefit of it , why don’t you give me just one evidence backed reason why you think they’re not the true religion. Evidence Ricardo, Evidence.

    • Caroline says:

      Johnny Quest, what kind of evidence do you have that Watchtower is the one true religion? During the Australian Royal Commission trials into the cover up of over 1,006 pedophiles in the Watchtower organization in Australia, governing body Jackson said that it would be presumptuous to say that Watchtower was the one true religion. Don’t you remember that? It’s on Youtube for everybody to see and he said that under oath.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Johnny.
      Let me get this right: You are a witness on an apostate site, telling me I am mixing with the wrong people by being on this site?

      That is classic, man.

      Oh, I just noticed you asked me for one evidence backed reason why I think we are not the true religion. As I explained above, the true religion is more than having some beliefs right, witnessing and printing magazines. One of the most important things, which is love for neighbour has been ignored in this way: the bullying culture from our elders, our leadership. It is a culture in our religion for our elders to treat us like dung, like the evil slave in Jesus’ illustration right after the illustration about the faithful and discreet slave. The evil slave beats the servants, just as the elders cause us mental and emotional trauma. Paul said that if we do wonderful things for God and yet didn’t have love, then the efforts we have put in are useless. Thus, all the preaching we are doing has been negated by the culture of bullying of which the GB, although knowing about it, has turned a blind eye to.

    • messenger says:

      Johnny Quest

      WT never had its beliefs in harmony with scripture. Today those beliefs are just as far away as in past decades. Or do you really believe Christ would kill a follower of his forever because that person voted? Do you seriously believe Christ would kill some of his followers forever, because they smoke? Do you seriously believe Christ would kill one of his followers forever, because he takes Christ’s own words literally about hell fire? Do you feel Christ would kill a follower forever for celebrating Christ’s own birth, though angels celebrated it?

      Now, would Johnny Quest kill people forever for doing those things? If so, that judgmental attitude of yours will be judged by Christ. But if you answered you would not do that killing, then you should understand what’s presently wrong with WT. WT’s teachings have never been Biblical. Some are/were, but many still are not. Its (WT’s) teachings are just different today, but still not correct. Holy Spirit has not led you to see that yet. Actually WT teachings are demonic, because like Satan, WT set’s itself in the position of Christ/God in WT’s relation to other intelligent creators (people).

      Those running WT are not who they claim to be. They don’t even know God still contacts individuals. And denying that shows their scriptural ignorance and how God works. How can WT governing body members be anointed while claiming God’s spirit bore witness with theirs when they claim God does not contact people today? I tell you what, with that gb belief you should be able to count your field service witnessing time without going out and talking to people. Why not do that and tell the elders why you’re doing so. You can start a new ministry; call it witnessing without bearing witness.

      • messenger says:

        opps I made a boo boo. Call it bearing witness without witnessing. Don’t contact anyone, just count your time.

    • David TODD says:

      Please explain “overlapping generations”, how 607BCE is the correct date for the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, how you can possibly believe Jesus died on a stake or that the Hybrid Jehovah belongs in the NT. Please explain where the Bible speaks about blood transfusions or allows some blood fractions but not others. OMG. This is truth? Nonsense

      • Ricardo says:

        @David,
        Do you not understand the overlapping generation? See, when Jesus was telling his disciples about when Jerusalem would be destroyed, he told them it would happen within an overlapping generation. Thus, the disciples thought it could have happened somewhere in the next 150 or so years.

        Then, the disciples had their socks shocked off them when it happened within 40 years (another meaning of generation, but not the one Jesus was meaning, apparently).

        See, makes sense, right? I don’t know why the GB never brings out in their articles how much the disciples must have been surprised. (Please read that last paragraph with a large degree of cynicism).

        P.S. I don’t think Johnny will be back. He has probably found his exposure to reality at this site too destructive to his positivity.