Goodbye Jehovah, Hello Courtroom – Watchtower Brings Lawsuit Against Publishing Company
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On December 29th, 2017, Watchtower attorney Armin Pikl filed a lawsuit against Rowohlt Publishing Company, the highly regarded publishing house in Germany which produced the acclaimed book Goodbye Jehovah!, authored by former Jehovah’s Witness Misha Verollet. The autobiographical novel is subtitled “How I left the world’s most notorious cult.”

Goodbye Jehovah!

Goodbye Jehovah!

The suit followed a December cease and desist order from Watchtower which demanded the redaction of numerous passages along with the destruction of all current editions of the book in circulation. Rowohlt ignored Watchtower’s plea, resulting in legal action.

Goodbye Jehovah! was published in 2014 under the author’s pen name Misha Anouk, and was well received in Germany, reaching #22 on the German best-sellers list.  Media attention was widespread across Germany, Switzerland and Austria, resulting in numerous television appearances, articles and radio interviews. While it was a clear winner in Europe, more than three years later the Jehovah’s Witness organization has opted to take issue with a book which is apparently having an effect on its German-speaking members.

While Jehovah’s Witnesses are not permitted to read “apostate” books or any materials critical of their religion, Verollet believes some German-speaking JWs are reading his book. During an interview with JW Survey he stated:

The average E-book share of book sales is 5 percent. With my book, over 20 percent were sold as E-books. This is an absolute outlier for the industry

Because hardcopy books are easily found and confiscated, Verollet believes a number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are reading his book by downloading it to their tablets and phones. Witnesses are less likely to be caught with the electronic version of a book.

Why the Lawsuit?

Given the hundreds – perhaps thousands – of books written by former Jehovah’s Witnesses, and readily available online, the question is raised as to why the JW legal department in Germany has suddenly launched an attack on this one book, more than three years after its release.

The Watchtower organization failed to take any action when it was first published, but according to German publishing laws, they could have stopped the circulation of the book with a temporary injunction. However, the statute of limitations on the injunction expired, leaving Watchtower with just two options: Let the book run its course, or file a lawsuit.

Crisis of Conscience

Crisis of Conscience

In an unprecedented move, Watchtower has taken legal action. This might seem surprising to some, given the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses were virtually silent when Governing Body member Raymond Franz wrote an epic exposé of the inner workings of Watchtower, titled Crisis of Conscience.

Franz published his book in 1983, just three years after being formally disfellowshipped by the organization he helped build. At the time, Jehovah’s Witnesses were largely controlled by a very tight network of Governing Body members, District and Circuit Overseers, and local elders who, in the end, were the men that ejected Franz from the religion.

While an armful of books written by ex-members had been written and published prior to Franz’ excommunication, few Witnesses dared to read such apostate material for fear of being caught with these books and disfellowshipped themselves. For most, the risk was simply too great.

It seems that the passage of thirty years, coupled with the internet and the availability of volumes of reading material produced by former Jehovah’s Witnesses has threatened to stem the growth of the organization which used to call itself the fastest growing religion in the world. According to the research site jwfacts.com, Germany is among the countries where Witnesses have been experiencing a steady decline in recent years. In an updated report, the site stated:

On the other hand, developed countries with the highest level of wealth, education and internet access to information regarding Watchtower have little to no growth. In 2016, many of these countries reported less publishers than previous year peaks, including Britain, Australia, Germany, Italy, USA, Canada and Japan.

Despite the declining number of Witnesses in Germany, their organization gained a notable victory in January of 2017, when they were granted Public Law Status as a major religion, after 26 years of legal wrangling. This decision allows Jehovah’s Witnesses in all 16 states to function as a single religious entity – reducing tax filings, government fees, and paperwork.

But, according to the organization itself, there was an additional reason to celebrate

In October 2017, the JW.org website postulated that the granting of Public Law Status in Germany had stemmed the tide of “defamatory” statements about the religion.

. Armin Pikl, an attorney for the national headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany, observed: “During the more than 26 years of legal efforts to obtain the status as a corporation of public law, the media published hundreds of untrue and defamatory statements about our religion, sometimes almost weekly. Now the flood of untrue and defamatory statements has subsided.”

 

It is noteworthy that less than 2 months after this article was released, Watchtower attorney Armin Pikl launched an attack on the publisher of Goodbye Jehova!

Pikl suggests that the January 2017 ruling which consolidated Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany has led to reduced defamatory statements about Jehovah’s Witnesses in the media. But according to Misha Verollet, there was no significant reduction in media reports related to the Witnesses in the months leading up to the change. Pikl’s comments appear to be an attempt to attribute reduced media attention to Watchtower’s changed status.

Watchtower’s Demands and Charges

The lawsuit, filed in the State Court of Hamburg Germany seeks to mimic the demands made in Watchtower’s cease and desist order, namely the redaction of all statements found defamatory to Jehovah’s Witnesses and the addition of an errata page with all Watchtower-approved corrections. Lastly, Watchtower is demanding the removal and destruction of all copies of Goodbye Jehova! from circulation.

It seems Watchtower is now in the business of editing apostate books.

While Goodbye Jehova! was written from the perspective of its author, Misha Verollet, Watchtower has taken issue with his autobiographical novel and wants to make sure the public is treated to a sanitized revisionist version of the experiences and events which characterized Misha’s life as a Jehovah’s Witness.

For example, in the seven distinct charges levied against the book, two deal directly with privacy issues involving the collection of information about Witnesses and non-Witnesses. Misha describes the process by which Witnesses recorded personal information about bible students on a printed form until the year 1990 in Germany.  The form included the full name and address of the non-JW Bible student, and was turned in to congregation elders at the end of each month, without the knowledge of the Bible student.

Study Report Form

Study Report Form

Watchtower likewise takes issue with the portrayal of the data collection methods used on Witnesses themselves, specifically the mandatory requirement of each Witness to turn in their “hours” spent in the ministry every month, along with the numbers of books and magazines “placed” with non-Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Watchtower claims that contrary to Misha’s statements, these hours, placements and other data are not monitored and used by their representatives. However, twice a year Circuit Overseers, who are representatives of the Governing Body, review such statistics with congregation elders to determine the condition of the “flock” and use them as one of the criteria for appointing men as ministerial servants and elders.

Another claim strongly opposed by Watchtower is the book’s portrayal of the Governing Body as having control over the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and other affiliated corporations. The lawsuit claims that there is no connection between the Governing Body and its corporations, despite the fact that every single member of any Watchtower entity is a baptized Jehovah’s Witness, and is bound by the dogma, decisions and determinations of the eight members of this Governing Body. Watchtower’s argument has been used in an effort to shield governing body members from giving depositions or testimony in child abuse and other court cases worldwide.

One particularly volatile item in the lawsuit is Misha’s reference to the research by Marvin Shilmer that suggests that at least 50,000 people have died as a direct result of Watchtower’s ban on the transfusion of blood or whole blood components. The book holds the Governing Body responsible for such policies and the resultant deaths.

I find it interesting that Watchtower’s attorneys are suing the publisher for statements made regarding the Governing Body, when Watchtower itself has stated that the Governing Body has no connection to these corporations. If the Governing Body is really not connected to Watchtower’s legal corporations, why should Watchtower file a lawsuit such as this one on their behalf?

 

Misha Verollet, Author of Goodbye Jehova!

Misha Verollet, Author of Goodbye Jehova!

The German Watchtower legal department has also attacked statements made suggesting that Jehovah’s Witnesses control the kind of music which is approved for Christians. While there is no officially published “blacklist” of banned music and songs, for years Watchtower has singled out songs and artists in the pages of their magazines, and employ a very strict censorship policy within all worldwide Branch Office locations. Housekeepers at these locations are instructed to alert headquarters staff the moment any “questionable” music is found among the belongings of Watchtower workers.

Watchtower is strongly objecting to one of the more satirical parts of Goodbye Jehova!, a chapter which includes a humorous description of the anonymous testimonials used in Watchtower literature. These testimonials are usually called “experiences” and are impossible to fact-check. Witnesses are expected to believe every word without question, and relate these to others as fact. The truth is, embellishment of stories in Watchtower literature and during public assemblies is a commonplace occurrence.

I can recall many cases of this from my own Witness upbringing. One JW friend was forced to delete and re-phrase part of her assembly testimonial, eliminating all reference to the fact that she attended a University and received a degree. The Circuit Overseer wanted to quash any mention of higher education to be sure the youths in attendance would not be influenced to advance their schooling.

 

Watchtower Selective in Claims

According to Verollet, Watchtower has been extremely careful in its selection of the seven deadly “sins” of Goodbye Jehova! There is an abundance of material in his book which deals with subject matter that might be considered even more damaging to Watchtower, but which their legal team chooses not to address.

For example, the book chronicles rampant sexism and homophobia within the Witness religion, but those claims are left undisputed. Further unchallenged is Misha’s explanation of how the organization fosters fear through the spectre of Satan, the demons and the occult. Also included is the subject of undue influence, and cult expert Steven Hassan’s BITE model, which explains how organizations like Jehovah’s Witnesses control the Behavior, Information, Thoughts, and Emotions of members.

As Verollet told JWsurvey, Watchtower passed over some of the most damning information about the Jehovah’s Witness organization – what he calls the “juicy bits” – and settled for seemingly mundane details they feel will give them the best chance for winning their case.

The privacy concerns are foremost among those statements which Watchtower feels should be addressed, and suppressed. The reason for this is quickly becoming clear. Jehovah’s Witnesses in Europe are fighting for the right to record data obtained by members who are preaching to the public.

In Finland, the Data Protection Commission has found Witnesses in violation of data privacy laws after it was discovered that members were recording personal information about non-Witnesses without their permission. Watchtower filed a lawsuit in its defense, but the suit was rejected. The organization is now appealing to the European Union, which maintains a strict privacy directive. Verollet’s book strikes a tender nerve with Watchtower and offers a very plausible explanation for why Goodbye Jehova! is the subject of such an aggressive lawsuit.

Rowohlt Publishing and Verollet are preparing to submit their defense to the Hamburg Court by the end of February. Watchtower will respond to the defense, and both sides will be given the opportunity to reach a mutual settlement. If an agreement is not made, the case will proceed to trial before a judge. It may be several months before a decision is reached.

Meanwhile, according to Verollet, the response from German-speaking former Jehovah’s Witnesses has been overwhelming. He said: “I am really touched, actually, how they’ve all rallied to my side and are offering moral support.”

 

John Redwood

 

 

 

Notes: JW Survey contributor Libby Partridge reviewed Goodbye Jehova! in January 2015

The Book Corner – “Goodbye, Jehova!” by Misha Anouk

 

Click Here For Misha’s own blog – in German – describing the saga of Goodbye Jehova!

 

Related Story:

http://www.sektenausstieg.net/sekten/27-zeugen-jehovas/staat/politik/4345-einschuechterungsversuch-der-wachtturm-gesellschaft

 

 

 

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63 Responses to Goodbye Jehovah, Hello Courtroom – Watchtower Brings Lawsuit Against Publishing Company

  1. Graeme Hammond says:

    Funny that Watchtower would take offence at suggestions that some “experiences” are fictional. I heard an urban myth related at assemblies in both Australia and New Zealand, with placenames and car details changed (the “$50 Porsche” story, check it out at Snopes.com) and another urban myth (the “grateful millionaire”, also on Snopes) related by an elder at the close of a Watchtower meeting. From that point I became highly sceptical of any “experience”.

    • Covert Fade says:

      I’ve had similar experiences; urban myths about AIDS and organ harvesting (getting drunk with a worldly woman and waking up in a bath of ice with no kidneys) related by CO’s and at conventions. It got me furious at the time as I knew these were urban myths and hearing them related as experiences was disgusting to me, even as a JW.

    • ruthlee says:

      when my husband had an assembly part , he had to change everything and he challenged the co and asked if he wanted it completely fabricated.Sharp intake of breath fromall of us. Needless to say he was never used again. And may I say he was one of the best teachers of jw doctrine. God has an odd sense of humour. Cheers Ruthlee

  2. Jason Evans says:

    Maybe Watchtower should redact it’s own literature – everything that is critical of all other religions, demonising them and labelling them all as “Babylon the Great” (a fictional concept based on the ramblings of a raving lunatic), as well as their denunciation of all world governments as satanic, and their condemnation of every non-jw for being human. They take the moral high ground on everything and presume the right to judge and condemn everybody else, but decry any legitimate criticism or feedback. They also seem to think they own the patent on every individual JWs life and personal experiences. What a joke they are.

    • JWIntellect says:

      Could not have said this any better!

    • Pascal says:

      Jason, What a brilliant and great expose. The watchtower should be challenged in court to retract prior published statements in their Awake! Magazine referring to Ex- Jehovah’s Witnesses as “Mentally Diseased”. In my opinion, this is the greatest mother of all insults from a cult group.

  3. Chiafade says:

    A lawsuit that will go nowhere and be added to their list of scandals. It also exposes where their priorities lie. Take legal action against pedophiles? “Woah now we don’t want to be hasty when involving the law”. Someone showing a publisher record card to the unsuspecting public? “RELEASE THE HOUNDS!”

  4. Fooledmeonce says:

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win!”
    We all know how the JWs used to ignore ‘apostates’, whatever they said and the books they would print. Then they scoffed that “it was nothing but apostate lies” and now they are actively fighting back. The end is near, but not the end of some mythical, world-wide system against Jehovah, no, it’s the end of the Watchtower!

  5. Garrett says:

    The translation is wrong. Bekanntiste is not notorious, its “the most known”….. notorious in German is “verruffen” ….. it should read… “how I left the most known cult “…

    • Garrett says:

      And I didn’t reread …. but sekte is sect…..not cult……. doing this on a small phone is murder

    • John Redwood says:

      Thank you Garret – the translation is from the original JW Survey review of the book. We will check with the author to confirm how he wishes to convey the subtitle in English -JR

      • Garrett says:

        I lived in Munich many years and am fluent in German and worked periodically at that bethel doing construction …. I probably have met him at one point … it’s s small world over there .

      • hnohf says:

        If “Sekte” is used in German in the same way we use “sekt” in Norwegian, the word does carry many of the same associations that are often expressed with the word “cult” in English, though technically the corresponding English word is of course “sect.” I believe Norwegian Watchtower literature has used the word “sekt” where the English originals had “cult” (as in denying that the JWs are such), and quite likely the German version had “Sekte.”

  6. ThePenthouseExperience says:

    The irony is about 70=80 years ago, the same sort of action was taken against the Watchtower’s literature. A demand for heavy edits and redaction of offensive passages, and ultimately confiscation and burning of the offensive volumes of Watchtower (Bible Student) literature. How times changes….As long as the author has his reference material in order and proofs, this lawsuit will go down in flames–flames which will light up the scandal scared faces of Watchtower leadership.

  7. Darlene Alexander says:

    Watchtower has such a knack for biting itself in the ass – more people are just going to read the book now. If it doesn’t affect individual more JWs, it will certainly affect the public (to which JWs are trying to preach). Way to go, Watchtower!

    • ruthlee says:

      Darlene its a superhuman feat to bite their own ass when the snake head is up there already. Mental and physical gymnastics. I’m feeling rather sarcastic today.Very happy to know our fellow deutch bro apostates are fighting back. Cheers ruthlee

    • Shibboleth says:

      So so true Darlene…just like in Mexico, when the Catholic church banned the movie Padre Amado, thats when everone found a way to see it, heck i even got a pirated version of it to see what all the noise was about! And the movie did cast the church in a very bad light, we got to see what they were hiding and it wasn’t pretty.

  8. Pascal says:

    In a surprisingly and unlikely way, the Watchtower lawsuit may end up exposing it to additional public scrutiny and increased public readership of this book under question. Curious individuals are going to ask: “what is all about this book that we do not know?”,

  9. Anthony says:

    It is troubling that the Watchtower seems to be dabbling in the Scientology “fair game” tactic of suing critics into silence. This author is fortunate to have a publisher with resources willing to stand behind him. Independent writers, YouTubers, and filmmakers do not have this luxury.

    On the positive side, it shows that apostate activists are having a negative effect on the Watchtower. In my view, the organization is shooting themselves in the foot by airing their dirty laundry in open court. In the end it will bring even more media attention that they wish to avoid.

    • Will says:

      I was scrolling down to see if someone commented on this being very much like Scientology. Good point: this will only bring more negative attention.

    • Shibboleth says:

      I thought the same thing when i read this. Before WT would not even acknowlege articles in newspapers that were critical of JW’s, but now they are resorting to Scientolgy tactics by bringing more attention to themselves. I hope they realize it is going to backfire in their faces and they will be exposed for who they really are, just as Scientology is being revealed for how toxic they truly are!

    • Pascal says:

      Look at it this way! The presiding judges in this case may be compiled to read a copy of this book as part of fact finding mission. So the judges may end up educating themselves on the watchwater way of inside work.I think, this is a good thing if it happens.

  10. Is this book from German available in English?I would love to purchase it.Thank you for the response.

  11. messenger says:

    In related news: Here in southern CA, USA, there are now favorable Scientology produced commercials coming on television about Scientology. I don’t remember seeing those before, but I have seen one repeatedly aired recently on TV. These possibly were aired as a response to Leah Remini’s TV mini series about that org.

    With respect to this lawsuit, it could be the illegality of recording householders’ personal information, and this author’s writing about that process in his book prompted this suit, but I doubt it. Like Scientology WT is probably making its attempt to fight back against this one defector who wrote against it. This could be a sign of similar things to come.

    With regard to WT’s actions: Other than hearing about the Islamic extremists who label all other religionists as infidels WT puts down competing religions more than any other religion I know of. For instance, many years ago WT published a little tan publication. A WT rep at an assembly claimed WT dyed that book tan because WT believed the book was tanning the hide of the Catholic church and other Christian denominations.

    John, you brought up Crisis Of Conscience again. Except for the fact some people are mentally slow it’s hard for me to comprehend how a Witness could read that book and not believe WT has forever existed as an apostate sect inside Christianity. Out of all the governing body members I’ve read about Ray Franz, that book’s author, is the only one I believe could possibly have been born again, which is a relationship with Christ and God WT and a few Bible scriptures label as anointed. My reasoning is that Christ said his sheep know his voice, and Christ said his sheep will flee from other shepherds. Those other GB members stuck with WT. WT is their shepherd, or at least those past WT gods are like Russell, Rutherford, and Fred Franz. What those gods wrote is what WT teaches, until its present gods make changes.

    Oh, WT, any new rules for your adherents? Any new policies they should obey to please God?

  12. The same happened to a book earlier in 17 by German author Konja Simon Rohde, which was published by a small regional publishing company .Konja Simon Rohde also got widespread media coverage and presence on German TV.. still got this recently…

    the claims of the WTS towards the publishing company were also mentioned by the regional section of a big newspaper and a tabloid.

    Same happened to an other author in the 1990s when the WTS took offence in her writing about the ban of vaccinations which went to court.

  13. Resister says:

    Watchtower may as well start calling themselves The Ministry of Truth, a la “1984”.

  14. Steve says:

    its really great to hear about this book and how successful it has been in selling and exposing Watchtower.Same old question though isn’t it If Watchtower are telling the truth and have all the truth why are they in so much fear and panic.
    Thanks John for letting us know about this and thanks again for your relentless work in exposing this awful cult its much appreciated Thanks

  15. Penny_Love says:

    Funny, how many times have people been told “Leave it in Jehovah’s hands” when facing injustice?? Seems like even they don’t buy their own advice!

    • Garrett says:

      Brilliant point!!! Others have to just suffer injustice with a smile but Watchtower doesn’t turn the other cheek or “wait on Jehovah ” … rank hypocrites…

    • Shibboleth says:

      Right? Yep, leave it in Jehovah’s hands instead of reporting and prosecuting child molesters, but use the legal system to teach an ex JW a lesson they will not forget…” You cannot mock gods one true org” guess they are taking that she bear story too literally

  16. Doc Obvious says:

    The more a book is under scrutiny, the more people are curious as to what the book contains. Therefore, let Watchtower do what they want. More people will buy this book than ever before.

    Just look at Fire and Fury, the book that Trump downgraded. The book is now in Amazon is the #1 Most Read book on the Amazon Charts. It is one of the New York Times best sellers. In large part due to Trump advertising.

    Let’s make Goodbye, Jehova! a best seller due to Watchtower advertising it in the court system.

    • Doc Obvious says:

      “Goodbye, Jehova!: Wie ich die bekannteste Sekte der Welt verließ” (German Edition) by Misha Anouk can be found on Amazon Kindle. Here is a link to the Amazon web site for the book.

    • M. Ellis says:

      Fire and Fury is pure trash. Just for the record.

      • Doc Obvious says:

        Yep. It may be pure trash. But, it is the curios person who bought the book to make that judgment for themselves. If Trump never made any statement regarding the book, the book would probably not be a best seller. But, he made negative references to the book that drew people’s attention and curiosity.

  17. Robyn Bass says:

    Thank you once again for this information. Ha- rah Watchtower continues to be their own worst enemy, obviously by pressing ahead with a legal case is only going to alert the public to watchtower madness, alert JW’s to find out what the law suit is all about, make money for the publishing house & the author because the demand for the book will increase, much more will come to light about the organisation’s disgusting practices when they get into a court room (similar to what happened at the ARC). Watchtower’s arrogance continues to be breath taking, when will they learn that people outside of their bubble don’t say – “how high” when they say – “jump”. Their control only works on sheep with no independent thinking. I say being on the law suit watchtower, becasue your secretive activities will be further exploded for the world to see. Here’s hoping the book will be printed in English in the future.

  18. Bruce Wayne says:

    This a good information! I hope all goes well for Misha. People need to know the truth.

  19. outandabout says:

    So Armageddon is always coming next Tuesday but they spend 26 yrs on a trying to be recognized as a major religion. For who? Why build Resort Warwick if the big ‘A’ is right around the corner and they can choose any building they want afterwards. Why bother suing anybody at all. These guy’s are definitely thinking long term and intend to stash as much cash as they can. Anybody who can’t spot the scam is completely blind, mostly because they’ve given WT the power of life and death over their lives and are too scared to think properly or raise questions.
    Witnesses are decent enough people but every day a person is a Jehovah’s Witness is another day the WT have made a complete fool of them. JW’s may as well be knocking on doors and saying ‘hi, my name is so and so and I’m an idiot’.
    They’re also trying to sell a product that nobody wants or needs anymore. They may as well be trying to sell butter churns and wooden wagon wheels.

    • Big B says:

      @ outandabout;

      Absolutely correct, outandabout! If “Armageddon” is just around the corner, as they have been preaching since this cults inception, wouldn’t it make since to print more literature not less? Obviously they can’t or won’t because they just don’t have the monies as they ‘surrender’ by settling their child abuse cases out of court rather then let the courts have a peak into their precious publisher files.

      The ‘sheeple’ are truly being led to their own destruction by these ‘Judas goats’ posing as shepherds of the flock of God. Too scared to think on their own or act like the Boreans and check out things for themselves, they are placed in the perfect position of being duped. What’s truly sorry is the ‘sheeple’ have only themselves to blame for their own hardheadedness, stupidity and ignorance. Thus they will die unfulfilled, as so many of my friends and family have; disgruntled, disgusted, disappointed, discouraged and disillusioned. Waiting. in vain, for an event that did not occur in their lifetimes. How perfectly, pathetically sad.

      Even the Watchtower July 15, 2013 study article showing the ‘Rapture’ in the timeline has escaped the attention, not only of the publishers, but the elders as well. The Witnesses can’t even tell you what their current doctrines are as they change every 20 years!

      Announcing a message nobody believes, selling a product that nobody wants, and doing it on their own dime. Jesus have pity. If someone told me that they have a product that would change the world and wanted me to go from door to door advertising it on my own dime and not receive any compensation for my efforts I would tell that person to “go pound sand”. However, because the work is for Jehovah and the Kingdom well that’s different! “Jehovah promises everlasting life on a paradise earth”, (so they say). Find that promise or the phrase ‘paradise earth’ mentioned anywhere in the Bible; its as specious as the rest of Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrine and their arguments. Even the “other sheep” mentioned by Jesus that he HAS already in the first century not some group that he WILL HAVE 1900 years later has been misinterpreted. We can thank that drunken sot, Judge Rutherford, for that bit of NEW LIGHT!

      Numbers don’t lie, worldwide figures provided by the Witnesses prove that they are on the downward slope into Adventist oblivion just like the Millerite movement and their “Great Disappointment’. Watch as they continue to twist in the wind blown about by the gusts of world opinion. They ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

  20. Pascal says:

    Amen, well said Big B. Trickery of this cult and its diehard members is sophisticated. Up to this time,I cannot an explanation how and why I was dumped in the first place. The so called “Live Forever in Paradise Earth'” promise is like a carrot stick.

    • Big B says:

      Yes indeed it is Pascal;

      With the carrot on one end (reward of paradise earth) enticingly close but held always out of reach (Jehovah knows the day and hour); and the stick (counseling or punishment of shunning or even disfellowshipment) on the other end just in case you don’t keep ‘your eyes on the prize’. Can’t have the friends figure any of this scam out. Must keep them busy (read:in the dark) learning more trivial nonsense like ‘Type and Anti-type’ or more lifestyle prohibitions like ‘tight pants’, pants suits for the sisters, or the ‘sins of masturbation and self-abuse’ videos.

      Thus the reason for meetings 5 hours a week and preparation for those meetings not counting field service or assemblies, etc. etc. With no time to do personal research is it any wonder why Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t know what’s going on in their beloved organization? Every waking moment is under scrutiny by a congregation of snitches or completely taken up with ‘religious’ Bible study, mind purification, worship, field service or singing about worship, field service, the gifts in men etc. ad nauseum.

      Is it any wonder why the young people are leaving this cult in droves? Is it any wonder why Jehovah’s Witnesses are among some of the largest religious groups suffering from depression? Is it any wonder why there are decreases in new recruits but, at the same time, rises in the number of partakers at the Memorial? Is it any wonder why sites, similar to this one, are growing in number on the internet?

      It is my sincere hope that anyone of Jehovah’s Witnesses, that stumble onto this site, will find a refreshing break from the nauseating fumes of dogma and fake ‘loving bombing’ that is prevalent at their local Kingdom Halls. By doing so they will find true Christian freedom of expression, that is currently being withheld from them, without judgement, fear of exposure or shunning.

  21. wi2d says:

    soon this website will be sued as well

    • outandabout says:

      bring it on.

    • sirius says:

      >>>soon this website will be sued as well

      Always soon, Always soon! I am reminded of the enept loser stuck in a revolving door at the local Casino. Soon just doesn’t come!

      dogstar

    • messenger says:

      Here’s an imaginary hypothetical which would be bust a gut funny if it actually was to happen:

      WT traces each and every one of us down and sues us, along with every person that ever said one nasty thing about WT on the internet. News of the many lawsuits reach the ears of the hundreds of thousands that have left WT. Out of spite those ex-JWs publish their own unfavorable comments about WT on the internet. WT attacks so many of us and these new posters with law suits, with average cost to WT of $30,000 USA dollars per suit, that out of spite WT overspends.

      Most of the ex-members that lose their suits file bankruptcy and don’t pay their court ordered fines to WT. WT has spent too much money on law suits and files bankruptcy, thereby becoming an object for news reports in every country, which hurts its credibility with the general public and leads to negative growth in its organization.

      So, wi2d how many people do you feel WT will sue? On forums like this the owners of such sites are not liable for the comments their public commenters make unless they get involved in the discussions themselves. And, you’ve probably noticed with a surface read that comments from these commenters are much more stinging and actually legally defamatory than the articles written are. A winning defense against libel is truth. If comments can be proved true libel cannot be proved, and a counter suit might be brought against WT for malicious prosecution. And if a malicious prosecution suit is won punitive damages can be awarded which are customarily high. Check out comments on other sites against WT and you’ll see the same is true on most of those. The mud, covers the pig so to speak. If WT wants to sue us all that might start the avalanche. Just a hypothetical.

      For everyone else. This is how the libel and slander laws work in the USA, and probably in your countries also, but I don’t live there so I’d advise checking it out. Also, I’m not an attorney and it is against the law to practice law without a license, so I’m not offering this info to you as a practice of law, just passing on personal info.

      In the USA we can legally give our opinions no matter what those opinions are. For instance, I can legally publish in writing that I think you, or anyone else, or any organization, is a dick.

      What is libel is to publish those thoughts, if false, as statements of fact (e.g.You are a dick), not as my opinions. The same rules hold true for slander which is saying someone is a dick verbally. If I made the statement as an opinion, that’s not against the law where I live. But if I stated it as a fact, that’s slander, unless it can be proven. So, can WT sue a lot of people, possibly with valid claims? Probably so. Will it chose to sue a lot of people? I doubt it. Suits cost money. And those type of suits would generate bad publicity, and possibly the avalanche described in my hypothetical.

      • outandabout says:

        now, messenger…stop using your imagination like that! Next minute you’ll be into irony and parody and who know’s what. All dangerous ground for you. Reason is the devil’s harlot, right? So no thinking! Only following allowed.

    • Big B says:

      @ wi2d;

      Soon? How soon is “soon” ? As in Armageddon is a commin’ “soon”?

  22. Jennifer Burlock says:

    Great article, if it ever comes out in English I would love to read it from his perspective of being in the cult. So do keep me informed, since I have your YouTube page and this one too!

  23. Free Thinker says:

    History repeats itself – just read the Penton-Books, and you’ll find out about the “Olin Moyle” case brought against Mr. Moyle by a fuming “Judge” Rutherford hell-bent to shoot him into the fiery pits of Gehenna. All Moyle did was listing UNDENIABLE FACTS to “Da Jugde” IN PRIVATE, but “Da Jugde” set out on a vengeful crusade to utterly ruin him IN PUBLIC. Moyle won, and the WTS had to shell out $15000 to him for libel, after having his rep and his standing among JW thoroughly and irreparably ruined – friendships destroyed, his business damaged. And what about the “Walter Salter”-affair, as well as Prof. Penton himself who faced the unbridled wrath of this machiavellian org after having expounded nothing but SHEER FACTS? When you pique the right nerve of THE ORG, the beast is unleashed and all hell brakes loose. Wisely admonishes THE ORG its bots to “show their works in the meekness of wisdom”, to be “peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits”, but it itself turns into a stark raving mad monster if it feels its “dignity” being mewssed with. So much as to “You who teach others – do you teach yourself”?

    “Da Judge” may be dead for a couple of decades by now, but his pathologically belligerent, notoriously bellicose, abnormally cantankerous, highly maleficent, viciously aggressive and vitriolic spirit lives on, it has permeated and wafts through this narcissistic, obnoxious org and drives it – not only with regard to its constant berating and scolding of its “faithful”, “obedient” and “submissive” memebrs, showing them their “proper place” of “obedient submission” to its “headship”, but also in its stark raving mad & vitriolic gushings against “critical thinkers” and “apostates” who exercise one of their fundamental human rights of “free thought and speech.”

    Duplicitous hypocrites. There’s no trace – not the least – of any “direction by Holy Spirit”. The only spirit that “directs” this org is one of “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition” that comes “not from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.” How disgusting!

    • Pascal says:

      @Free Thinkers,

      You stated in part ““Da Judge” may be dead for a couple of decades by now, but his pathologically belligerent, notoriously bellicose, abnormally cantankerous, highly maleficent, viciously aggressive and vitriolic spirit lives on…”

      OMG! What a forceful and powerful expose! That so called Judge Rutherford should be appropriately and better referred to as ‘Judge RutherFraud.’ A smart guy at that time, he was the mastercraftsman who gave birth to modern day mentally and socially destructive cult of the Watchtower Jehovah’s Witnesses we know it today.

      Does anyone know how much alcohol he was drinking prior to his famous radio sermons?

      • Free Thinker says:

        Not exactly, but there is this famous statement about JFR by Walter Salter who at one time was a close acquaintance of him (so he should have known):

        “And oh Lord he is so courageous and his faith in Thee so great that he gets behind four walls, or surrounds himself liberally with an armed bodyguard and bellows away his dreams … and sends us out from door to door to face the enemy while he goes from ‘drink to drink’ and tells us if we don’t we are going to be destroyed.”

        JFRs alcohol consumption must have been considerable, based on the information that is available. Looky here:

        https://books.google.com/books?id=zNfTBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA98&lpg=PA98&dq=rutherford+%22personal+life+and+last+days%22&source=bl&ots=XRHOZlCISZ&sig=wE1L_p5KdXcWU_hWtIMe_HYHt0Y&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwio547dupbZAhUNSq0KHbZdAzUQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=rutherford%20%22personal%20life%20and%20last%20days%22&f=false

        • Big B says:

          @ Free Thinker,

          What’s truly amazing is how much nonsense of ‘the Judge’ is still being followed by the cult today. The name Jehovah’s Witnesses, changed from International Bible Students Association, falls under his tenure. Also the places of worship, Kingdom Halls and the door to door work, which is a 20th century phenomenon, can be attributed to ‘da Judge’.

          Many of the teachings, such as ‘other sheep’ being the same class as ‘the great crowd’ is definitely Judge Rutherford inspired drunken nonsense. Which is probably a secondary reason he had two homes, Beth Sarim on the West Coast in San Diego, California and another home near New York City for the purposes of either ‘tieing one-on’ or ‘drying out’ removed from view of the prying eyes of the Bethel family. (As a disclaimer I must admit that the above is my opinion only which can’t be proven as all who remember or served in his administration are now deceased and their secrets died with them.)

          The list for some of his nonsense that was believed as ‘the truth’ is unending. A quick look at some of his teachings for example, God’ throne being in the constellation of Pleiades, the seven sisters ( I believe), also getting immunization vaccines were a waste of time, and 1925 was a jubilee year possibly the coming of the great tribulation (?) was also bandied about. Jesus being executed on a stake instead of a cross, the flag salute ban, turning in of field service time, the sermon “Millions now living will never die”, all of the aforementioned can be verified with some quick research.

          And, as a Witness, you had better believe all of it as inspired Truth or face the consequences. Which is why this religious fanaticism is a cult; it follows the understandings of uninspired, imperfect men with their own personal opinions and agenda that change when one administration dies out and is replaced by another. TRUTH does not change with so called NEW LIGHT. New Light supports existing truth however, doctrines, falsehoods and misconceptions based on imperfect opinions change.

          Big B

  24. Gwen says:

    They must have money coming out of there you-no-whats it seems, to pursue this. I hope they have enough money to pay the victims out at the ARC as well as the child abuse lawsuits stacked up against them globally.

    Like someone said above, these are manoeuvres of a business that’s looking at its long term interests.

  25. messenger says:

    To Misha Verollet:

    “Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand people who remain silent.” (Napoleon Bonaparte)

  26. Resister says:

    You know, it’s funny. Watchtower now with their lawsuit or cease-&-desist order or whatever the f— it is – I’m not up on all this fancy legal jargon. Mr. Trump who sues people for saying things he doesn’t like – there was talk of a cease-&-desist order against “Fire & Fury”. Funny though, isn’t it, how……..the TRUTH still manages to worm its way out. I think there was an old Star Trek episode entitled “That Which Survives”. The “That” was beauty. Beauty survives. The same can be said for truth. Truth is resilient. Truth survives. Truth survives all manner of attack, suppression, and oppression.

  27. Doc Obvious says:

    Sehr gut geschrieben, Misha. Ich hoffe alles läuft gut.

  28. Doc Obvious says:

    Once again, the priorities of Watchtower is one of cover ups. The trend continues with Watchtower’s legal departments of deflection, incompetence, and asinine behavior.

    • Big B says:

      @ Doc Obvious;

      However. the Legal Department gets their ‘marching orders’ from someone. They cannot take action without permission. They must give several scenarios of what happens if this approach or that approach is taken. So who do they answer to? Who directs the Watchtower attorneys procedures after all scenarios and the ramifications of a certain course of action are given?

      Is it the ‘hateful eight’, the writing department, or who? Who is “behind the curtain” maneuvering the so called ‘spirit directed’ Governing body? Definitely not the Holy Spirit! Who really is the puppet master pulling the strings? Not one of those 7 mental midgets of Biblical knowledge strike me as having the intelligence to reason anything out. (Not one Freddy Franz in this group, not even by a long shot). So who is the main knucklehead (head of the snake) running this asinine organization into oblivion? Is it a composite group or a single individual?

      • messenger says:

        Consider that symbols in Revelation depict ideas and entities existing as long as the Christian church has, e.g. the Harlot representing worldly seduction; the Beast, governmental oppressive acts against Christianity; the False Prophet, heresies inside the Christian church, while the “Revelation” describes, among other things, their ending. Viewing the symbols that way, not as entities arising in the future, but as those present in the first century (e.g Nero) existing until now, and up to Armageddon, we might consider which one might best describe WT and the puppet master pulling its strings.

  29. Honest Counselor says:

    Oh what these men will due to try to appear relavent and potent…”ready at the helm” as it were when the reality is very sad and bleak for them indeed! http://www.watchtowercriminals.blogspot.com:

    “Even people close to them will be no refuge so that they will have to hide in plain site while claiming to be merely working class (John 12:25). However, they won’t be able to fool those who are seeking them out for their crimes:

    Zechariah 13: (3), 4-6

    4. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, (which painfully miserably failed and with deadly effect) when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

    5. But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman (Farmer); for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.

    6. And one shall say unto him, What are these (fresh, from lack of calluses) wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, those I received (Playing about) in the house of my close friends.”

    And:
    “It is already clearly stated prophetically that “The Light of Truth” or “Spiritual Food” supply would fade, become obscure and convoluted in the very end times in harmony with Matthew 24:45-47 which merely asks the question with a promise, “Who really is the faithful and discrete slave?” (And it is only a question. The prophetic part is here: Matthew 24:48-51):

    Zechariah 14:5d, 6

    5d. and the Lord my God shall come and all the saints with thee.

    6. And it shall come to pass in that day that the light shall not be clear, nor dark.

    In fact, it goes on further to state in another context of “light and dark” that at the” Evening Time”, of man when “The light of salvation” or “Light of the World” (John 12:46) would be manifested to him, mankind while on the verge of self extermination, “The Eve of Destruction”.

    Since Adam and Eve were the dawn of mankind, man is presently facing the virtual extinction by various means from the face of the earth at his own hand (Rev 11:18e)”

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