The Worst Convention Ever – Part 2: The Bunker
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worst2articleBy now, you may have already seen what have become known as the “Bunker” videos shown during the 2016 Regional convention. The films are centred around a small group of Witnesses huddled in a basement converted into a makeshift bunker, during the period of worldwide turmoil that Watchtower teaches will take place just before the battle of Armageddon, known as the Great Tribulation.

The narrative moves between the characters as they each flashback to a moment that occurred before the Great Tribulation broke out.

The videos are intended as teaching aids to help Jehovah’s Witnesses take to heart the lessons that the Governing Body wants them to learn.

But what are these lessons? Follow me into the Bunker and lets take a detailed tour though events that Watchtower teaches will happen in the very near future, and the actions and attitudes it believes Witnesses will need to show in order to survive them.

Bunker Video 1 – Pride

Screenshot 2016-06-02 21.16.18Bunker 1 claims to be a video about the dangers of pride, and features an Elder recounting an example of when the sin of pride almost got the better of him. He explains how another elder at his hall, presumably the School Overseer, gave him some feedback on mistakes he made whilst giving a public talk.

How does his wife react to this? Does she say; “do you think what he said was valid?” or “Did he have a point?” No. She says;

Please tell me you didn’t argue with him.

The wife is not concerned about whether the feedback is valid or not. Her only concern is that he might not have unquestioningly accepted it. The husband replies;

No of course not.

It is as if the very idea would be absurd.

What becomes clear is that the “right” attitude the elder is expected to display here is to unquestioningly accept whatever direction is given to him. No evaluation. No pushback.

It’s healthy to accept constructive criticism, yes, but one should always be ready to push back and challenge criticism or instructions if one does not believe them to be valid after careful consideration. To be a well rounded individual, it is vital to strike this balance between open mindedness and self confidence.

The kind of behaviour being presented here is not that of a well rounded individual capable of evaluating and accepting constructive criticism, rather it is that of an intellectual doormat, who will blindly accept any command from authority and say “thank you” at the end of it. Indeed the dangerous sin as presented here is not even that he argued the point, it’s that he felt resentment even though he blindly accepted it. 

Essentially, what had been presented at the outset as a discussion of the dangers of “pride” morphs into a lesson about unquestioningly accepting orders from Watchtower authority with a smile.

Keep that in mind. It won’t be the last time we see this theme of blind unquestioning loyalty sneaking around in the shadows during the Bunker series.

Bunker Video 2 – Improper entertainment

Screenshot 2016-06-02 21.29.03Bunker 2 deals with a young man watching pornography on his phone.

Sort of.

It’s actually quite hard to work out what he is supposed to have done. He specifically states that he is NOT watching pornography, but states that the material he is watching is giving him immoral thoughts. Thus it’s hard to work out exactly what the material was supposed to have been. Steamy movies? Artwork featuring attractive people? Catalogue photographs? In any case, the man gives us the comment that:

Anything that stirs up unclean thoughts is worthless, and I should turn my eyes away.

That’s quite a broad and vague command. One cannot simply drop out of sensory experience, closing one’s eyes every time an attractive person passes you on the street.

Much of how you feel about this video might depend on your view of sexual morality as presented by Jehovah’s Witnesses or by faiths with similar teachings on sex. If you share this viewpoint, you may find little to criticise here, and feel the advice well captures a spiritually clean view of sex. Others may consider this view of sex to be repressive and unhealthy. Much will depend on your subjective view.

However, one might also suggest that Watchtower is trying to make Witnesses a little bit afraid of their internet phones, because there is something on that phone even more dangerous to a Witness than pornography.

That thing is: Google.

On the privacy of their smartphone, all a Witness has to do is type a few words into a search engine, say “Jehovah’s Witnesses child abuse,” or “Jehovah’s Witnesses shunning” or even just “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” and of the many sites that will spring up in response, only one will be jw.org. I remember sitting in a meeting, reading JW Survey articles during one of the more boring talks on my trusty smartphone. A free flow of information is not something Watchtower is in favour of for its followers, and today’s smartphones are portals to all the information in the world…

Bunker Video 3 – Bad associations

Screenshot 2016-06-02 21.48.19Bunker 3 deals with the wife of the elder we met in the first video, relating an experience of how she almost fell into “bad association” at work when her workmates invited her to grab a coffee with them in the break area.

The people in the office appear to be offering genuine friendship, but the friendship the Witness is offering in return comes with an ulterior motive. She apparently has no interest in them as people, just as potential recruits for her religion. As she states;

I still thought I could give a witness and actually teach them something about Jehovah.

At one point we see her try to share a scripture, only to be horrified when the people she is talking to offer an opinion different to hers, as if they had no right to interrupt her attempts at preaching. She closes her bible in shock. One of the co-workers smiles knowingly and states…

Too much information, right?

While most intellectually healthy people would consider the sharing of viewpoints and information to be a good thing, here it is presented as something that is damaging to the faithful. Additionally, the video seems to infer that her friends talking about families and husbands, a perfectly normal topic for most people, was somehow a bad thing. The Witness laments…

In reality, I was the one being taught, and I was a quick learner

This video casts the sister as if she is some weak creature with no agency, blown hither and thither by the opinions of those around her. No thought is given to the fact that a mature, rational person should be able to evaluate new viewpoints, decide if they are valid, and reject or adopt them accordingly.

No, she is presented being as doe eyed and impressionable as a small child. I can imagine that many Witnesses might feel uncomfortable and even a little insulted by the assumption from the Governing Body that they are all this impressionable and intellectually feeble.

Bunker Video 4 – Fear of Man

Screenshot 2016-06-02 22.16.40Bunker 4 tells us the saga of Kevin.

Kevin is a witness who isn’t in the bunker. The narrative implies that he was always a bit of a spiritually weak Christian, but apparently the final straw for poor Kevin was, according to one of the Bunker folk:

When our message changed form good news to judgement, he was telling everyone that it would make problems for us, and that he was done.

It is inferred that one of the reasons that the Witnesses might be in hiding is that their “message of judgement” helped trigger the Great Tribulation and caused the population and the governments of the world to rise up against them and hunt them down.

Let’s set aside the acknowledged cases of repressive regimes (such as Vladimir Putin’s Russia) persecuting Jehovah’s Witnesses, because often those regimes persecute other religious groups just as badly, and instead focus on the idea that all democratic, liberal governments will turn specifically on Watchtower because Watchtower will begin to proclaim “judgement.”

The problem with this delusion of grandeur is that the Governing Body have clearly never heard of the Westboro baptist church.

For those who don’t know, Westboro is an infamous fundamentalist church known for antagonising the population of United States with its own messages of “judgement”, picketing the funerals of US Servicemen with signs saying “Thank God for dead solders,” and turning up at Gay Pride events with “God hates fags” banners.

The Church sets out to be as antagonistic and fractious as possible with its “judgement messages” going far beyond the limits of any message that Watchtower would ever contemplate carrying. Yet as of 2016, the church members of Westboro have not been hunted down into bunkers by Government goons. Most citizens just dismiss them as unpleasant idiots.

I humbly propose that the Witnesses can, in most free countries, make their message as judgemental as they like, and the very worst that will happen is that people will simply consider them to be a bunch of jerks.

If Governments in liberal democracies DO ever come for Watchtower, it will be because of things like failure to report child abuse, or the enforcement of cruel and abusive practices like shunning, and not because Witnesses started walking around with signs saying “Jehovah will trample you in the wine-press of his anger.”

Bunker Video 5 – Appreciation

Screenshot 2016-06-02 22.19.52Bunker 5 is very interesting, especially if one is aware of the recent problems Watchtower has experienced worldwide with news coverage of its child abuse scandal, and with difficulties concerning its “New Light” teaching of the “Overlapping Generations.”

The video begins with the bunker crew reading Psalm 116:12:

“With what will I repay Jehovah, for all the good he has done for me?”

When asked for suggested applications of the scripture, one of the Bunker dwellers says:

What really makes a difference is how we respond to that goodness. For some in the congregation, those good things became a test of their loyalty.

Hmm. Where are they going with this? What are the “good things?” Are they talking about the ransom sacrifice? The hope for the paradise earth? The Bible?

No.

We soon see that this video is yet another example of bait and switch.

The “good things” in the context of this film are basically whatever the Organisation decides to do or say. We see a montage of announcements being made from the platform and of “new light” being given as teachings are changed. We see a couple of brothers looking unhappy about it in the audience. A stern voiceover warns us that these brothers…

…found fault with what the organisation was doing, or not doing

I find that specific wording very interesting.

One thing that the organisation is not doing right now is reporting child abusers to the police, and I know from my own experiences that more and more witnesses are being exposed to this fact. Many Witness often deny this practice exists out of genuine ignorance, and you can sometimes tell it has upset them when they see proof of the claims.

It’s impossible that they are not talking to the elders about it, and it’s impossible that reports of this disquiet won’t have reached the Governing Body. Given the context of the video, it seems clear Watchtower is saying that any criticism of what it “isn’t doing” is disloyal, and fails to show appreciation to God.

I can’t see a loving God appreciating anyone who helps a child molester evade justice. I can’t see how anyone can possibly class this as a “good thing”

Additionally, it is implied that the frowning brothers do not like the “New Light” being taught. Now, there is only really one major “new light teaching in recent years that could ruffle the feathers (although the 2016 shunning clampdown might give it a close run for its money), and that is the teaching of the Overlapping Generations.

As explained here in a previous JW Survey article by the site’s founder Lloyd Evans:

For decades Watchtower publications insisted that Armageddon was imminent because, they argued, the generation of anointed Witnesses (who believed they were going to heaven) who witnessed and understood the events of 1914 would not die out before Armageddon arrived.

This claim was based on Matthew 24:34, where Jesus told his followers that the generation that witnessed various apocalyptic signs would not die out until all his words, including the “great tribulation” (the prelude to Armageddon), came true.

Sounds great. Until you realise that this generation of people are now basically all dead. Lloyd continues:

The most recent solution, as proposed by Watchtower in 2010… is to essentially embellish Jesus’ words by suggesting that “this generation” doesn’t have to be just one generation, but can be two.

The first “group” of “this generation” would witness and understand the events of 1914, and the second group would be those who were born before the last individuals in the first group died (hence an “overlapping” generation).

If you don’t understand this, it is not due to any failure on your part. It is because it doesn’t make sense. The teaching rides roughshod over the English language, redefining what “generation” means, and relying on the audience to willfully bypass their logical thinking skills by asserting the incomprehensible as indisputable truth.

After all, if you can arbitrarily insist that a generation can be composed of two groups, why not have three, four, five – on into infinity? The word “generation” quickly loses all meaning.

This teaching came into force shortly before I left, but even at the time I knew from my own discussions with Witnesses that no-one could really explain it, no-one liked discussing it, and on my way out of the faith I pointedly asked one elder if he really believed it and could prove it to me just using the Bible.

He looked a little awkward and suggested the teaching would be “further refined.”

My experience clearly isn’t an isolated one. The problem is apparently so bad that JW Broadcasting had to devote an entire episode to trying to explain it, as seen below, again with analysis from Lloyd Evans.

So, in summary, we see yet another video that claims to be about one thing, appreciation, but actually ends up being about something else, namely: “Stop asking embarrassing questions, stop pointing out flaws in our policies and doctrines, just do what we tell you to do and think what we tell you to think.”

Bunker Video 6 – Self Control

Screenshot 2016-06-02 22.23.47Bunker 6 deals with a Sister who admits that the struggle she had to overcome was that of “negative thinking.”

What does she mean by negative thinking?

It’s never expressly stated exactly what this means. Feeling of unworthiness? Low self esteem? I can’t be 100% certain, but listen to the way she describes her emotions:

I would pray, but at times the feelings were so strong, I didn’t know what to do.

Will I ever stop feeling like this?

To me, that sounds like she’s describing depression. I should know: I’ve struggled with depression, as have people close to me. What is the response of the older sister that this apparently seriously depressed person turns to?

The scriptures tell us as Christens we pray for self control in our actions, but we need the same self control for our thoughts.

This sister is essentially told that her depression is her fault. She lacks self control, and needs to read more scriptures and pray harder to control her depression. No mention is made of seeking professional medical help. The sister is simply expected to study the bible, pray about it, and overcome her sinful lack of self control. It’s implied that if she cannot do this, she is disloyal to God. 1 Corinthians 9:25 is invoked to back this up.

Now everyone competing in a contest exercises self-control in all things. Of course, they do it to receive a crown that can perish, but we, one that does not perish.

I will be honest, this video made my blood boil.

As I have said, I have direct experience with how serious an issue depression can be. In the worst case scenario, people can take their own lives. Serious cases of depression often require professional help and sometimes medication, and with such assistance a real improvement in the life of the depressed person can indeed be possible.

But the idea that you should tell a person with depression that they simply need to develop “self control” to cope with the issue is insulting and downright dangerous. You can’t “fix” depression by reading scriptures and implying to the person that their feelings are “their fault” for not having self control.

I don’t really know what else to say here. This video will be like a slap in the face to any Witness genuinely suffering from depression and will only make them feel worse for their “sin” of being depressed.

It could make their fellow witnesses even less understanding, might cause them to view the depressed one as someone lacking self control and loyalty, and thus “bad association,” causing them to withdraw from the depressed Witness. Add into the mix the fact that the need for skilled professional help is totally ignored in the video, and I shudder to think what impact this video may have on vulnerable Witnesses.

Bunker Video 7 – Love

Screenshot 2016-06-02 22.29.30The basic theme of Bunker 7 is: “you all have too much stuff.”

It features a pioneer couple, in flashback, describing how they apparently once had a comfortable life, despite both being pioneers. It’s made clear that having a comfortable life is a bad thing. They couple sell up, move to a much smaller home, and get rid of most of their possessions.

Granted, it would nice if Watchtower didn’t try shaming those who work hard and choose to live comfortably within their means, but some people do find that slimming down their life gives them the chance to focus on other life-goals that matter to them. Each to their own.

The problem is, this pioneer couple then decide to attend the School for Kingdom Evangelisers and move to serve where the “need is greater.” I’m sure they feel that Jehovah and his Organisation will care for them….

…the same organisation that is currently slimming down its Bethel staff, getting rid of the older travelling overseers, and generally tossing full time servants out on their ear due to budget cuts. But we’re coming to the end of the video series because in Bunker 8, the police break down the door.

Bunker Video 8 – Faith

Screenshot 2016-06-02 22.34.08There is actually not that much that I found noteworthy about Bunker 8. The Bunker Buddies basically review the previous videos, read a bunch of scriptures to strengthen their faith, the police finally work out that maybe the Witnesses are hiding behind the big white door (what are these, the Keystone Cops?) and the scene fades to black as the armoured thugs close in on our Bunker Brotherhood.

It has to be said though, the overall theme of the series is indeed fascinating. The videos return time and again to the same themes. Stop asking awkward questions. Stop being depressed. Stop questioning New Light. Stop listening to people who have different opinions. Do whatever we tell you and smile when when you say yes sir.

Watchtower convention programs are not written at random. The talks are often a response to issues and trends currently concerning Watchtower’s leaderships. So what can we learn about current trends in the worldwide congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses from this video?

Witnesses are asking awkward questions. Witnesses are depressed. Witnesses are questioning “new light.” Witnesses are listening to other opinions. Not enough Witnesses are doing what they are told – or if they are, they are grumbling.

I don’t think all is well in the land of Watchtower.

I think the Governing Body has a problem. It might not just be the rank and file Witnesses for whom this ends up being the #worstconventionever.

For further analysis of this video, including many points not covered here, please check out the video from JW Survey’s Lloyd Evans below. Believe it or not, this article has not even scratched the surface of how disturbing this video is. Click, if you dare, and Lloyd will take you even further into this crazy bunker shaped rabbit hole.

 

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191 Responses to The Worst Convention Ever – Part 2: The Bunker

  1. Checker says:

    I’m looking forward to, in 10 years or so, seeing the little children grown up and having left the org, relating in a youtube video: Ha ha, I was the kid with big classes in the 2016 great tribulation videos LOL.

  2. Sam says:

    Why is the “Great Tribulation” necessary? According to the JW organisation Jehovah can see into our hearts, why create all this fear. Why not just step in and kill off all the wicked people like flicking a light switch?

    • JK says:

      exactly

    • Man from the lions pit says:

      Maybe because there is somebody who wants or need it.I do believe its not a God. I would tent to look for the culprit on opposite side of the spectrum.If Devil would be the one than you would have to believe at least in universal concept of existence of “Good and Bad”represented by already mention entities.best regards Sam,

    • fallingangel75 says:

      Sam, first let me say that I absolutely agree with you, but I believe the human thinking behind it is this: then they will know.

      Self-righteous humans want the wicked (in their eyes, whoever they may be) to suffer and be afraid. There’s an ‘I told you so’ aspect as well.

      There are many JWs and other fundamentalists who want to see the godless destroyed. These individuals imagine they will watch the carnage and destruction with glee.

      I also believe the vast majority of people who think that have never experienced war or intense violence, or even a natural disaster first hand.

      But they want there to be a contrast. They want that moment when the wicked will realize that what they have been preaching – the message of judgment – is true. They want the wicked to simultaneously be aware of their own destruction side by side with the salvation of the God-fearing.

      They want the wicked to acknowledge the were wrong and to feel regret and fear.

      If God made it clean, swift, clinical, and relatively painless, this could not happen. It must be global and traumatic.

      If we read the bible we can see that God has always had a flair for theatrical spectacles.*

      The Red sea, Sodom and Gomorrah, Noah’s flood….

      *and yes, that is sarcasm.

      • Mark W says:

        Excellent points…thank you so much for making them. I really enjoy all your comments

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the god of Watchtower in Old Testament is portrayed as an egotistical deity who brooks no god before Him and also insists that any one opposing his “chosen people” must “know that I am the Lord [and according to the Pewter Blade, “Jehovah”]. It’s a very over-the-top phrasing too (Ezekiel 33:29; 20:44; and no I’m not referring to 25:17–nerds!)

      Furthermore, this Great Trials and/or Tribulation thingy is also a fixture in most evangelical religions that look forward to a Time of Judgement and/or Rapture of the Good prior to Judgement of the Wicked.

      But, your focus should really be on why has this cult decided it needs to push the hand of Jehovah toward doomsday midnight. And, I say has decided to push the hand, because their other videos such as the one with Sophia being instructed to tell the implied lesbian couple of their doom would indicate they have taken steps toward issuing “judgement” messages, now.

      The theology was always present that before the Great Trib, a judgement message would be issued which was stronger in tone than the publications they always issued, but a review of these since 1874 indicates they’ve always been acerbic in tone. In fact, the “Finished Mystery” book which was compromised later, originally named governments and openly defied legal authorities. If anything, the current group message had become “watered down” since they avoid confrontations, even compromising on letting individuals registered with Selective Service rather than violate law of the land in USA.

      Given the signs that hardliners have taken up majority of leadership, I would say we can expect to see some bumping of heads in the coming year or two which may well end up with a siege of the compounds at Tuxedo Park, Palm Coast, Walkill, Paterson, and elsewhere ending in them being the only blistering wieners roasting as though the Lord’s own fire came down and consumed them.

  3. Eric Arthur Blair says:

    OMG. Just watched the videos. Watchtower productions have always been cheesy, but these are just horrific. Not sure if this has been covered, but has anybody noticed that this seems to be the JW equivalent of the 7 deadly sins?

    • Ejecting to Sanity says:

      ‘Horrific’ nails it…have been trying to find the right words..revolting, shameful, Satanic, disgusting all rolled into one. Shame on this fake religion. I’ll never look back. I’m so appalled..please bear with my repetitive comments tonight.

  4. Searcher says:

    Great article and conclusion! This is exactly my thoughts when I reviewed the videos. The one thing I noticed is how the police tromped around the upstairs floor yelling, “Are there any WITNESSES here?” As if there is nothing more on their minds than a maddening extermination of all JW’s (Nazi SS?). I cannot think of a more text book example of cult propaganda than this series of vids.

    • Minion says:

      Greetings to all,

      The Watchtower Corporation have figured out, if they push the issue against LGBT, then they can claim you see “persecution we told you so”.

      In the states theirs a new agenda to widen out understanding about LGBT in our school districts known as ‘Family Values’, its real. Sad thing about it The Watchtower Corporation is right on this one ‘Family Values’ been introduced at school at an early age – 5 year’s young. (Sofia’s video).

      What else does The Watchtower Corporation know about?

      The pitched nerve at Warwick is swollen. In pain of pins and needles.

      Peace out,

  5. ligniappe says:

    Here is a short explanation about the English word “the” used for translating the Greek word “ho” (definite article). Since the WT chooses to tell us that “The Great Tribulation” is nearly here they make a basic mistake. The Greek word for “the” is not used in the Greek text at Matt 24:21.

    So when quoting the verse the word “the” cannot be used and the verse must be read as there will be “great tribulation” (non capitalised). Why? Because the word “the” is not in that verse of the Greek text.

    It can be hard to explain the effect the definite article has but to illustrate, everyone knows what the term “The Great War” means (1914-18). A specific event in time.

    But if I said “great war” began in 1914 (see also Dan 12:1) , most people would understand, (because it is non capitalised) that I would be talking about an undefined period of time that would be characterised by terrible wars. Which was what Christ meant when he spoke of “great tribulation”.

    So when does/did “great tribulation” begin? Most historians agree that the world has been in turmoil since 1914 and horrific wars have marked the last century right up until now. So, we have been in “great tribulation” since that time in line with Christ’s forecast.

    Just to illustrate, I saw news footage of an incident a year or so, in Syria, where Assad’s regime used Sarin gas on his own citizens and a young child died in hideous agony, while a grief stricken mother cradled her dead son in her arms. That image hurt and remains with me.

    Try telling that woman to stop crying, because “she aint seen nothing yet”, because the WT is spinning the line that we haven’t had “The Great Tribulation” yet. What worse could you do to that woman? Even death wouldn’t hurt as much as what she has seen. We have had tribulation of some kind all over the Earth since the 1914 War began.

    • Winston Smith says:

      @Ligniappe
      I agree with your assessment of the definite article “the”, especially since the JWs put so much emphasis on it for their interpretation of John 1:1.

      However, I disagree with your assessment that great tribulation has been here since 1914. There have been periods of tribulation in many different periods of time as well as periods of prosperity. The Black Plague, the inquisition, and the crusades were certainly times of great tribulation. The American Civil War was one of the bloodiest conflicts ever fought (more Americans died in this war than either of the world wars). In fact the American Civil War was seen as support for the Bible students original interpretation of the last days having begun in 1799 and culminating in Christ’s presence in 1874.

      The point is that you can argue for a period of great tribulation for any number of time periods, not just 1914. And to parallel the time period of Jerusalem’s destruction, the great tribulation at the time lasted for about 4 years, from 66 to 70. Over the last 102 years since 1914, we have had both times of trouble and times of prosperity. It is over generalizing to classify the entire 102 years as a time of great tribulation.

      WS

      • Sarah says:

        Both interesting points of view. I have recently looked up global warming again due to local celebrities stating that a 2 degree of warming would be catastrophic.

        Just looking at Florida’s problems as an example, I was horrified at the millions being spent on defences already. Soon their main source of water could be contaminated by sea water and islands could disappear. The resulting homelessness will cause untold hardships.

        The future does not look too good for our children.

        • Sarah says:

          PS. In Revelation 7:14 the Greek does use ‘the’ with regard to the great tribulation. But then the Greek language uses the definite article differently from English. It would put ‘the’ before God or Paul where English would not.

        • Winston Smith says:

          Sarah,
          There have been various untold hardships for the human family throughout history. But we are survivors; we find ways to make it work. The issues with global warming and water supply are just more of the same and I am confident we will find ways to address them. I’d rather be alive in the 21st century with the advancements we have made than in some other time period in the past. Our problems are not insurmountable and as a human family we can work together to find solutions.

          WS

          • mandaley says:

            How arrogant of man to think that mere humans can affect the climate. This psych op was invented for carbon trading and taxation and to control who and what energy industries develop. Temperatures have been constant for decades and, if anything, a period of cooling is more likely ahead of us like the Maunder Minimum of 1645-1710.

      • Big B says:

        @ Winston Smith;

        I seem to recall that the Watchtower may have backed down on 1914 being the start of the Great Tribulation. I think I may have read 1914 was the beginnings of the “pangs of distress” not the beginnings of the Great Tribulation.

        I do agree with you that during the period in Europe of the Hundred Years War conflict, famine and pestilence swept the European continent. The ‘Black Death’ destroyed entire communities and the people at that time thought it was the end of the world (and in their minds rightfully so).

        Pulitzer Prize winning Historian Barbara Tuchman describes the riding of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in her book “A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century”. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978. ISBN 0394400267. She was famous for Tuchman’s Law “The fact of being reported multiplies the apparent extent of any deplorable development by five- to tenfold” (or any figure the reader would care to supply). Tuchman’s Law has been defined as a psychological principle of “perceptual readiness” or “subjective probability”.

        Who can say whether there will be another catastrophe in this century that will define the “end times” as 1914 did for the 20th century.

        • Minion says:

          Greetings to all,

          @B,

          Your right on about 1914, I’ve been reading The Golden Age 1922, January 4, article only for entertainment purposes, on page 213, J.Rutherford has made a second appearance in NYs Hippodrome, big crowd over 1,000. article mentions very clear standing room only and only men. That’s weird.
          It’s states, “for more than 40 years the International Bible students called 1914 the beginning of trouble and distress for man.”

          We now know, who spined and added the, ‘the beginning of the great tribulation’ your modern day Watchtower Corporation.

          Peace out,

  6. Trapped says:

    So I never really comment but after attending this last convention and seeing the videos and more importantly the reaction on those in attendance I have to say something.

    First off I have been a witness for over 40 years and did the full gambit Pioneered, Bethel , Internation Construction, Elder Ect . I always had doubts but the last 5 or so years I have no doubt this is a cult and it is getting worse . I am married and have 4 kids and I struggle every day because I know if I full on leave then it will utterly destroy my family. My wife is semi into the religion she is mostly there for the social aspect and is not a critical thinker at all and does not want to see the religion for what it is .

    I have done the reasearch and showed her everythign – but the I think the loss of her social circule is too much to bare and she would ratrher not think about it then take ant action. Recently my feeling have come to light and I have recived multiple visits from the elders along with phone calls from my life long friends who are devout elders and JW’s .

    My “friends” do not want to hear anything have to say they just want me to get back in line . I can also tell that if I push the line too much the friendships that have spanned 20 years will be gone. The funny thing is when I was younger most of my family left the truth and I cut them off saying to myself my spiritual brothers are all I need they will never leave me . Nowhere 20 years later my family that I treated like garbage are there for me unconditional, and my spiritual brothers will drop me if I don’t get in line .

    The change in conversation is incredible before they knew how I felt we were close and could talk about everything – after they found out I was having doubts ( And I did not make it public my wife contacted them and they asked me and I told them how I felt that is it ) our conversation are now very metered and awkward .

    As far as this convention and these videos I see many people thinking the witnesses will see this for what it is and rebel or at least question what is being taught. The exact opposite is what I see happening – They saying this is the best convention ever . The videos are created to hit people emotionally so they react without thinking . The society knows how powerful movies are and they are doing their best to get people inline .

    My wife left the convention even more convinced than ever . And everyone I talked to felt that this was the best convention ever because it made them cry it hit them emotionally and it scared them that if they strayed they could lose their life . I so wish that people would see through what they were showing but they will not . Throughout history religion has suppressed and controlled and the JW’s do this better than anyone .

    As far as my family I have some tough choices , I know once I leave I will no longer be welcome in my home and my kids will be told I have been overtaken by Satan. I can stay and keep my family together, but that comes at a cost of me condoning what they are learning and at the same time being looked at as inefficient or lacking for not being a spiritual head . Its really seems to be a pay now or pay later scenario . There is one thing I do know this organization will not let me leave with my family without a fight and it is a fight that is stacked against me .

    • Dwc says:

      Love you post and I so feel for you. I truly believe that it isn’t a cult in its truist form. These people genuinely believe they are serving God. Yes they won’t make any leaps of faith without the “faithful slave” (which is the wrong application of that scripture) And we all know that it is more the concept and the promises laid in the bible that has 8 million plus absolutely hooked.

      I spoke with my mother in law this morning and asked her to call my wife as she’s quite distraught at my choice. She was really pleasant and genuine. The argument we always get is “well how else is the preaching work getting done” to which I replied, does it matter if there is no love?

      Anyways loved your post and would love to chat brother! Glad to hear you are once again having a relationship with your family.

      • Winston Smith says:

        Dwc,
        By definition, it is a cult. It has nothing to do with whether people really believe they are serving God. The people who drank the kool aid in heavens gate really believed they were serving God too. It comes down to the indoctrination process and the BITE model to determine whether a belief system is a cult.

        WS

      • Holy Connoli says:

        To DWC: My wife always says the same thing to me also… ” We are the only ones preaching the kingdom worldwide! Nobody else is doing it. We have 8 Million people doing it in 400 languages etc”. I say to her yes, you are preaching but preaching the wrong Kingdom bc you teach that the Kingdom was established in 1914 and that Jesus came that same year.

        We all know the Kingdom was not established that year and therefore the Kingdom you are preaching about is the wrong one. She has admitted 607 BCE is not an accurate year and other things but always goes back to the “only ones” preaching the Kingdom. Well, they have an ever changing and convoluted kingdom message from 8 million people.

        No different than any other religious group
        that thinks they are unique and preaching a different convoluted message.

        • Dwc says:

          @holyconnli: I hear what you’re saying. I personally still believe in the bible. That’s my choice. But the preaching work is always going to be that argument, and they will take that.

          What I find interesting about all religion but specifically this one is it gives people purpose and focus. Now they believe they are doing this for Jehovah and Jesus. They all really do. We know they in reality do not but here is the point.

          Here’s what’s fascinating… As wrong as it is, if it is working for them they won’t leave. It is why they don’t see really huge success as well. It is why any person who finds their niche in work and they just kill it at work… Because they have found that little slice of what works for their lives.

          A lot of people come on here and are resentful and rightly so. Me personally, I am happy so many can see this work for their life. It has never fully worked for my life. It was always something I couldn’t just go all hung ho on. I do believe we are about to see a mass exodus from the faith to which they’ll claim a new understanding of Matt. 24 and the “love of the greater number cooling off”. But for the hard core ones be happy it works for them. They at least live good lives.

          If anyone can find something that makes them a better person good on them.

      • Called OUT of WBTS says:

        Reading all of these comments of those that are feeling trapped have brought back a knot in my stomach. I know this is probably highly unusual but my husband and myself both walked out at the same time in 1999 with our 3 children. Both pioneers and my husband was an elder that gave talks on the convention programs but we walked and faded for the first 13 years.

        The judgmental attitude toward the youth at this particular congregation was just over the top cruel. Judgment was everywhere…Judging outsiders and insiders. We also had a case of molestation in the congregation that my husband was a part of the body of elders handling. The family pressed charges on the offender which really through everything into a tailspin, which now we see it all being revealed to the public of how the JW’s handle these type cases. The Organizations legal department called my husband and wanted him to gather all the information on this particular person in the files and send it to them…you see he the offender, had been involved in the same type thing back in his past congregation. So it was the organization covering their you know whats. It was then we decided to walk.

        My husband had been raised a JW and left at the age of 39, but I had not…converted after we married. My family was very happy that we left. My husbands was not. I must say they really didn’t shun us at first but like so many in the past years it has been ramping up. Family members and friends no longer look or speak…almost freakishly looking down.

        Witnesses always looked at us kind of funny because we have been married for 37 years and we are law abiding citizens and in the world of leaving the Organization there is usually an underlying reason. (Smoking, cheating, the holidays, blood) There wasn’t one that was outward. The turning point of them shunning us was…We started attending at a local church! :-0 At the time I couldn’t tell you how but we just felt the need to start attending somewhere and it wasn’t going to be the Kingdom Hall. We heard a talk on “Has Religion beat you UP” we learned about Grace and also that it is a free gift that Jesus gives…it’s not by works or anything that we can do. “The Truth will set you FREE”.

        My husband is now taking some biblical courses because all his life and most of mine we have had errant teaching. We read the Bible now with Literal, Historical and Grammatical interpretation. We do not read just one scripture or “Proof texts” we read the context of the scriptures and wow has that made a difference.

        We have come also to the conclusion that we were part of a CULT. You know that is a hard pill to swallow isn’t it!!! We will read scripture and just shake our heads on how did we believe that and go preach that to everyone…We have also had mentors along our journey that have shown us some very powerful things in the Bible that have pulled the scriptures together very nicely and we can actually understand things that we couldn’t before. The Holy Spirit has been working in our lives and we share now with any witnesses that have questions. I really feel like the Holy Spirit is calling people so listen. All we need is the Holy Spirit we don’t need an earthly organization. And folks there isn’t one religion that has it all covered and is the path to salvation…IT IS CHRIST, he comes and lives in us and we in him. He is the way, the truth and the life!

        Saying prayers for all that are struggling with the prospect of leaving and what is next for them…All I can say is pray for help and you will receive it. Don’t be bitter but be thankful that you have been called out.

        • Grace says:

          Really enjoyed your comment. It’s good to hear your family is doing well.

          • Called OUT of WBTS says:

            Thank you Grace…it took us a while though…13 years to get over the witnesses and the hold they had on our minds. You know when you are told that JW’s are the only ones that have the “Truth” you just don’t feel like there is anything out there. You feel like you really studied the bible before and know what it teaches so you don’t try anymore. But they are wrong on so many levels in their biblical teachings. The 144,000 teaching which takes away nearly the whole New Testament (Greek or New Covenant) writings. They take away the hope that Christ came to give everyone. The 144,000 is only mentioned in the book of Revelation in the 7th and the 14th chapters, Revelation was written in and around A.D. 95 and the Witnesses say that the sealing began in A.D. 33 for these 144,000. How can that even be possible? They take the 144,000 number literally and then dismiss all the rest of the scriptures about them being men and also virgins and from the 12 tribes of Israel.

            Great Crowd they (JW’s) say are the earthly class but the bible says ” They will come out of the Great Tribulation and be in heaven. Revelation 7:9 says “After this I saw and there was a great crowd, that no one could count, out of every race and tribe and people and language, standing before the throne and before the lamb, clad in white robes and with palms in their hands, and they cried loudly “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the lamb.”

            Another point with this 144,000 group…they are the only ones that can take the emblems during the memorial. I cry now when I think of all the times that I rejected the bread and the wine that he commanded his followers to take in remembrance of what he did for all of mankind.

            Jesus being Michael the Archangel is blasphemy if you ask me. Hebrews 1 (the whole chapter) goes into great detail in saying that he isn’t an angel. JW’s say he isn’t to be worshipped so they change their bible to obedience instead of “worship”! There are so many places in the Bible where he was worshipped.

            I could go on and on of what the Holy Spirit has revealed to us the past couple of years about the errant teaching of Jehovahs Witnesses. Like I said before we just shake our heads in unbelief that we were so blinded. Well the blinders have been removed now. I feel so bad that for many XJW’s they are no longer believers in the Bible. I just pray that many will not let them continue to have a hold on them and keep them from finding out the “Truth” Pray for help from the Holy Spirit and start by reading the Bible in a Literal, Grammatical and Historical way. Lord knows that the JW’s took nearly the whole bible and allegorized it and teach that they are fulfilling all of scripture. Very sad indeed!!!

            I hope this helps someone out there that are feeling trapped and scared and not knowing what to do. 🙁

      • ARJAY1954 says:

        Once you FINALLY get out and away from the madness….you can take time to understand that you were “Trapped” just like all of us ex-witesses were. Trust me that you will find Peach and Happiness and Contentment like never before! The former Threats and Subtle Actions Against You will cease….as they will get worn out and move on…..they always do……..do whats in your heart and nothing else!

    • Idontknowhatodo says:

      Unfortunately in our situation…mine is nearly the same…there is no really dignified way to leave… we are trapped…I absolutely feel for you…Im fading but Im starting to feel the pressure ramping up.

    • fallingangel75 says:

      @Trapped. I’m in a similar situation. Even with perfectly good critical thinking skills it is painful knowing the rift there will be when I eventually tell people how I really feel and it is enough to keep me silent.

      I know no one will listen to me or change course as a result of anything I could possibly say.

      I have no delusions that most JWs in attendance will see through the lies. But I do think it will be a significant number. Because there is definitely a large group of individuals like ourselves who already have doubts and misgivings.

      There are enough witnesses in developed lands with access to the Internet and sites like this one, that even 5% of those in attendance would be a significant number.

      It will be hard to know how many are affected because simultaneously there is the crackdown on shunning. So as much as some will feel inclined to leave after this convention program, they will also know in their hearts that being true to their convictions will mean banishment.

      I don’t think you can attend and listen and pay attention and not be moved one way or the other. As I said before, I think some will double down. Probably most will, but others will be awakened.

      But then what? Of that number what percentage feel trapped like us by their family ties and friendships?

      How many will truly have the courage to make a swift, clean break!

      I’m not judging anyone for that. I have repeatedly said that I don’t.

      Terrible choices! Sometimes it makes me wish there was an end in sight, just for the resolution.

    • Winston Smith says:

      @Trapped
      You seem to be in the same situation I was in about 4 years ago when I first started waking up. My wife is like yours: not a critical thinker, just in it for the social aspect. I went through the phases that you are going through. First confronting the wife, then all my JW “friends” – we are friends no longer.

      You do get past all those things. Take advantage of friends you make outside of the religion. Reconnect with family members that you left behind – believe it or not they will forgive you. Try to make it work with your wife – agree to disagree. At least try to make it work long enough until your kids are grown.

      I am now awake 4 years. Have not been to a meeting in almost 3 years. I have my freedom. I feel a sense of relief. My wife is still in and we are still together. There’s tension at times but not unbearably so. I am still able to be there for my kids. What I am getting at is that there is light at the end of the tunnel and you don’t necessarily have to loose everything. In fact that feeling is part of your cult indoctrination kicking in. I cannot promise that your situation will work out like mine – no two are the same. But rest assured that there is life after Watchtower. They cannot take everything from you.

      WS

    • John ship says:

      Am in similar situation as you .been in 50 years am now 72 been awake over ayear but aware that things not right since the “new” GB .took over wife wont listen to anything i say negative..she knows something is wrong at GB level but jehovah will sort it out .am taking her to fri and sun assem .ir will be my last.. like you i am stuck .

  7. M Saurus says:

    I agree with Trapped. I will not attend the convention so will miss out on the reactions. But all the witnesses I know bar none (most especially my Mother) will react as Trapped described.

    They will NOT see it for what it is. These ridiculous videos will have the opposite reaction. They will dig their heels in even further, knowing “what’s going to happen”.

    I hate to say it, but all the witnesses I know will think this is the best, not the worst convention ever.

  8. KimJones says:

    @Trapped, take your time, don’t feel pushed. So many of us here understand what you are going through. I’m a survivor. I can give some good advice actions I’ve used that helped me make it through what you are going through now. Keep your patience. You need to set healthy boundaries around yourself. This is done by being careful who you talk to, Information is used like a weapon. Your wife is still indoctrinated so you need to let her know she is crossing a healthy boundary by talking about you to a friend or an elder or a family member. Let her know You need to be able to trust her and you can’t when she complains about you to an elder in the congregation. Let her know she undermines her relationship with you that way because it makes it so you can’t trust her. Remind her of the old saying, ‘Trust is a must or the game is a bust.’ You’ll have to put your foot down about this. This will help stop outside influences from sabotaging you and your marriage. Set these healthy boundaries so life will be easier for you as you fade. The JW religion isn’t based on respect, it’s based on control and manipulation. I hope the best for you.

    • M Saurus says:

      I find it so interesting/funny that people who left this religion call themselves “survivors”,(Melodramatic to the extreme) and talk about watching who they talk to and what they say and where they go…

      How are you “free” if you have to sneak around and watch your back? Even though it’s hard to do, you owe it to yourself to make a clean break and let the chips fall where they may. Then you ARE free to live and speak and act – HOWEVER YOU WANT!!

      You are leaving a religion, for God’s sake (pun intended) – no one is going to shoot you as you cross the border.

      • KimJones says:

        His wife might.

        • KimJones says:

          It isn’t about sneaking around. People use information like a weapon. The JWs don’t have to know his business. M Saurus, That’s why his wife needs to stop being a tattle tail. Now is the time he has to speak up for himself. And yes, I survived, and I don’t care what you think about that. You are as judgemental as a JW. You are showing the kind of person you are and it isn’t good. I’m staying away from you. You’re no good.

          • M Saurus says:

            I am judgemental? You have judged me to be “no good” – and you don’t even know me.

            As far as the wife being a tattle tail, you can only control your own actions, not those of anyone else. If he had made a clean break, then he wouldn’t care who “tattled”.

            Also, I am sorry I struck a nerve with my survivor comment. When I hear the term “survivor” -I think of survivors of Nazi death camps, cancer survivors, or survivors of a tornado or an earthquake. Not someone who decided not to belong to a religious group. Not nearly as big of a deal to have “survived” changing your beliefs.

      • Winston Smith says:

        M Saurus,
        As I recall from previous posts, you were lucky enough to have your spouse and your child leave with you. Can you show empathy toward those who do not have that situation? Would you have Trapped leave his wife and his children to the mercy of this cult and go off and start life over again?

        WS

      • Holy Connoli says:

        To M Saurus: I think the word Survivor is appropriate bc many people feel they were mentally and emotionally enslaved and they to this point are now out of it and have survived to see things differently and b free free from those chains. Maybe they are not 100% as free mentally as you have become but they are getting there. one BIG THING to remember is that many JW’s have family members, wife’s, husbands, children, extended and in laws still in and many close friends. It isn’t easy to be shunned by them and the WT forces that fear on their fellow members. I am glad your family and children left with you guys but not everyone will do that.The fact that the JW’s have a high % of mental illness and higher % of suicide shows the negative effect mentally that this Cult has ad on people. we all move forward at different paces. Be merciful toward those moving at different paces, Help them with your experience to be more free.

        • fallingangel75 says:

          Also, let’s not forget: PEOPLE HAVE DIED as a result of following Watchtower doctrines. Individuals have refused life-saving medical treatment.

          Even if you factor that some of these were gravely ill and might have died anyway, some have died needlessly.

          Also, some have died as a result of taking a stand for their beliefs: not voting, refusal of military service, etc.

          Not to mention countless people who were depressed out of their minds by unreasonable expectations of godly devotion and moral uprightness and stayed in until they couldn’t deal with it anymore and took their own lives.

          Or those who left and couldn’t bear to be shunned, but also couldn’t bear to return. So, again, suicide.

          So, no. It is not melodramatic to call oneself a ‘survivor’.

          You can survive a single incident in life like a car accident or a holdup, and that gives you the right to refer to it for life.

          Does it compare to the Holocaust? No. But it could have killed you and it didn’t.

          The mind control and emotional manipulation people endure while in and the trauma they endure when leaving is a real human reaction that is not unique to Witnesses. It is predictable and measured and documented.

          It should not be belittled just because some don’t experience it. I think the comments are evidence that most do.

          • M Saurus says:

            Agreed that we all, including me, need to be more compassionate to those trying to fade.

            But again, Fallingangel, those people you mentioned that have died for not taking blood, not voting etc. They were not held prisoner and forced to do (or not do anything). They made a choice. The religion did not kill them. The GB did not kill them. Their own choices killed them.

            I feel like quite a few people who were duped by this cult want total absolution from all personal responsibility.

            I know it sounds better to them than saying “I was fooled all these years and made some really poor choices.”

          • Winston Smith says:

            Undue influence is just that: influence beyond that which is ethical or normal. You can’t say that people who have lost their lives because of this religion bear all the responsibility themselves. They were being influenced by a deceptive entity. They were given flawed information on which to base their decisions.

            Back in the 1950s women were given thalidomide for morning sickness. No one forced them to take it. The result was children born with severe birth defects. Are the mothers to blame because they took thalidomide? Or Is it the result of doctors and drug companies releasing a drug without sufficient testing? The information provided was flawed. ‘This won’t hurt you or your child’ was implied. Based on that misinformation, thousands of children were born with defects. Who really bears the heavier blame? Is it not those responsible for the misinformation?

            WS

    • ARJAY1954 says:

      Kim……great advice!

  9. rob says:

    When I was a witness year after year after every convention I would hear the same words, “That was the best convention ever. ”

    Not sure if the witnesses are simply saying that to show that they were loyal and appreciative or if they said it simply to be a crowd pleaser.

    But still very disturbing to hear the same words this year even after the watchtower is ramping up the rules and making sure that everyone toes the line on shunning and also instilling more and more fear with the videos.

    I do have to give the GB and their advisors credit – they do know how to prey on people’s emotions, they know how to capture and imprison the victim without the victim realizing they are being held captive.

  10. JustMakinObservation says:

    I have a theory about the so called Bunker videos. Again, I repeat, it is just a theory not a confirmed truth! So please go easy on me.

    For you to assimilate my point I have to model it from the Eastern Europe perspective. As you well know that during the days of the USSR, JW’s used to congregate figuratively “underground” in secret in their apartments in smaller groups of maximum 7 people in casual clothes for fear the neighbors would alert the authorities. I know this because my wife comes from Slovakia. She likes joking about how she was baptized in a bathtub, and at that time there were 5 people in attendance. Anyway, they also met in basements, they called pivnica. So, that was underground meetings in a literal sense.

    So, at present in Slovakia, meeting attendance is not going so well, congregations are shrinking, e.g most towns used to have 3 congregations, but for the past 5 years, attendance is so atrocious that individuals from the 3 groups get to be lumped into one or two congregations. This effect is starting to be visible on convention levels and assemblies. Slovak JW’s have to travel to near by Czech Republic to fill in with their numbers, just to hide the embarrassment of poor attendance. And my wife still reports that no one is non-the-wiser : JW numbers are shrinking, they can’t see the illusion being maintained.

    Bearing this mind game in mind, I think the ORG is playing the so called Bunker Videos to psychologically acclimate the JW minds to their next move. Which is: they are preparing to drop new light; The authorities are about to hunt down JW’S and all witnesses must revert to the Underground method of meeting in small groups. This will help the Brooklyn Gods dodge the bullet and give a reasonable explanation to the rank and file that the JW numbers are growing strong. Its all a lie that there is a massive hemorrhaging going on. Also, the ORG can conveniently claim all proceeds from the sales of all Watchtower estates such as kingdom halls, assembly halls etc…
    It all fits in nicely when you consider that meetings can be conducted via Skype or satellite link. Also the Brooklyn Gods have their own Broadcasting Channel. Everyone has tablets. So you do not have to go to meetings anymore, the meetings will come to you. In the comfort of your own home with a cup of coffee and biscuits. The Brooklyn Gods will self grandiose over this and claim that they have reviewed the situation and sympathize with brothers who have to travel miles and miles to get to Jehovah’s banquet. And all the sheep will admire them more and see them as progressive shepherds. I think the ORG is going to be more of a virtual Organization, and things like ministry will still have to be done in the real world. And your donations can still roll in by postal order and credit card. That is the future of the Watchtower, at least in the developed world. I have come to learn a very important lesson about the Governing Body, they evolve their agenda at snail’s pace, by the time you wake up, they would become an entirely new species of an ORG. They are senile old coots but meticulous. Make no mistake about their deceit, It is not in-vane that they have implemented all the changes you have been observing for the past years.

    • rob says:

      Very interesting theory. But in my opinion, once you eliminate the social gathering aspect of this religion, which is the reason many of the people stay in – and if the witness religion were to become a “virtual religion” I believe this would be the end of the religion.

      I do believe that in the western world, many stay in the religion because their friends are there and it is the social club aspect that keeps them going to meetings and conventions.

      Also, the meetings and conventions are the tools that the GB use to indoctrinate and by having everyone attend meetings everyone keeps a close eye on everyone else and this keeps the rank and file in line.

      I believe, no actual meetings, no mind numbing routine, = no more witness religion.

      • JustMakinObservation says:

        True, absolutely true about the social neediness and opportunity for indoctrination. I suppose I did not consider that point much because, I always got the sense that JW are looking forward to darker days of persecution, and actually regard that as badge of honer. So, being social under hush conditions, incognito(virtual or otherwise) would be a non-matter. I just wonder then, how would the Brooklyn Gods explain the consolidation of the various congregations to maintain the illusion of greater numbers. Do you have an idea?

        • Man from the lions pit says:

          JMO to your question ,They don’t have to explain it.This is the point majority of bros will still accept it without explanation 🙂

    • Dwc says:

      Have to be honest, I would welcome that vs the current format.

      The JW.org on all the KH is so a cross it isn’t funny. And the teaching is so basic and stupid now. At least in a basement group you can talk scripture and more importantly use the truths of the bible. Maybe even Holy Spirit will actually lead people to question the crap.

      • rob says:

        But isn’t that one of the reasons why they got rid of the book study groups?

        • Dwc says:

          Yes and ever since then it’s been this garbage. I never missed a book study because I could freely dig deep, use other scriptures. At then end of the day it’s still an organized religion.

        • JBob says:

          One reason they kept the personal homes book study nights leading up to 1975 was constant reminder that during WW II and other persecuted countries, the private home book study meetings were “excellent subterfuge” from prying eyes of the “big brother” governments. When that was abolished (due to legal & insurance liabilities issues), it was noted on many of dissenter forums this past justification for maintaining those private home meetings.

          The bunker videos may be glitzier and more self-aggrandizing but the message is nothing new. JW’s and Watchtower pubs have ALWAYS taught that governments would hunt down Christendom first, then JW’s explicitly because they would be “last man standing” in terms of being the last holdouts clinging to religious beliefs.

          The conspiracy theoris which paint some “invisible hand” (usually the Illuminati using Amtrak “maintenance sheds” as concentration camps) as compelling atheism and driving Christians underground are on par with JW, Adventist, Assemblies of God, and other evangelical end-time aware groups doomsday scenarios.

    • Man from the lions pit says:

      JMO tell your wife she has a buddy who knows and been in pivnica as well 🙂

      • JustMakinObservation says:

        Man from the lions pit. What a name! and I think it says it all about your days in pivnica. Keep strong. You have gained a friend too!

        • Man from the lions pit says:

          Thanks JMO,once we can exchange contacts here I will do it ! big hugs for both

    • Josie Whale says:

      Good observations.

      Net Profit=5 BILLION DOLLARS, Liquidations and increased begging success.

  11. M. says:

    Time
    is running out
    The end
    is near
    …….
    For the Watchtower:

  12. Quendi says:

    The news about this summer’s convention cycle has convinced me more than ever that with respect to my more than thirty years’ association with Jehovah’s Witnesses, being disfellowshipped was the best thing that could have happened to me. I must say, however, that I am deeply saddened, but not surprised, to learn that the reaction of most rank-and-file Witnesses is that the convention was the “best ever” and proof of God’s loving care. That only lends added credence to the saying, “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

    Despite this, I also believe in the old truism ‘you reap what you sow.’ The Watchtower’s bad fruitage is becoming increasingly abundant and I really believe that a harvest is inevitable. I may not be around when “the End” finally comes, but I take satisfaction in my conviction that the End will be that of the Watchtower, and deservedly so.

  13. Man from the lions pit says:

    Thanks for your article well written as always CF.
    I can say I can relate to many things mention in your article on personal level as someone who came from also was JW in “Eastern block” and know what is the life as JW “under the ban” to some extend.best regards,

  14. Eric Arthur Blair says:

    I don’t know whether it’s just me, but when I got to the end of these videos and the heavies burst in I wanted to jump and scream out “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our two weapons are fear and surprise, and….an almost fanatical devotion to the pope….oh, I’ll come in again. (Or maybe that should read “nobody expects the Australian royal commission”…because while the first 28 cases were exposing Babylonian filth, case 29 was a satanic attack on gods people….. oh give me a break )

  15. ruthlee says:

    Isnt it strange that only jdubs have to go through so much and devote all their money, lifeblood, time,etc to get their prize of everlasting battery life and if they slip on the soap at the end nope too bad you can’t come in. What a booby prize it is. It really is not worth the effort or the time slip it is written on. They really are daft and so was I to be so scared for so long. Still not going to this convention. There isn’t another religion who preaches an earthly hoop jumping hope no wonder we could not get the worldly people to flocked to us in their droves it was all too good to be true. Just think now you have to live in a bunker before paradise. I did not sign up for that. It was not in my baptism clause. Witnesses do not think for themselves for one minute they are very silly and the gb are piping a merry tune to watch their puppets dance. Ruthlee

  16. A Patient Man says:

    I was baptized in 1966, even at the tender age of 14 I did not really understand fully what I was doing. Do I understand now what that decision did to my life? You better believe I do! All of the youngsters in our hall were doing it, some as young as 9. My parents were right in there with the rest of the parents pushing for myself and my four sisters to excel along with the other unsuspecting children. What was that motivation that made us conform? It really was fear. That pressure from the parents along with repeated meetings, assemblies, ministry, and then there were those in powerful positions who put added pressure by telling us we were going to miss out on something wonderful in the end. That was 64 years ago for me, and they are still doing it! I remember a person who considered himself one of the special class along with his wife. He was anything but special, he would sit in the back of the hall and watch all of us kids and take notes. Then he would tell the parents of those children, including my mom and dad who was misbehaving. If my dad thought that it was serious enough it would require the hand or the belt to bring me back into line, all with the blessing of the organization. I was one messed up little kid. On the one hand I did not want to displease my parents, and on the other I did not want to lay in wait for that life eternal that may or may not be granted to me. As all of you know this theme of correction and discipline is still alive and well, it is at what seems to be a new level now though. To be able to put a video in front of you on a very large screen designed to scare the crap out of you works for many to keep them conforming, and sad to say it really frightens the youngsters in attendance. I am here to tell you like many of the ones who comment here, I am not that frightened little boy anymore. I see past the the terrible hypocritical special people, and the ones who believe they can meddle in my life. I cannot wait for the day when this powerful hold the organization has on the lives of people will be gone. For now I am taking my time, being very careful what I say and for the most part keeping my mouth shut, (except for comments here!). Thanks to all of you for speaking your mind and helping those who want help. I am reminded of going to AA meetings where you learn that, “I am here to listen and to speak If I so desire. I am also here to take what everybody says and If it applies to me, use it to benefit myself to continue on my path to sobriety. And whatever I feel does not apply to me, I know in my heart that it will help someone else.”

  17. william says:

    Dear all ; I am not of any Religion. I have no doctrine/s except the Truth of the Word of God.
    I am not even Christian ; but simply a disciple of Christ.
    Please allow me to share the following with you in love ; and each one can then make up his or her mind for themselves.
    I was a JW for 37 years and therefore believe myself to be more qualified than most to deliver truthful and realistic commentary on this Organisation.
    What I am about to share with you ; is not merely my opinion/s ; but candidly only the Truth.
    The JW are a people that do not keep the Holy Law and Commandments of love of God; claiming that the Holy Law of the very God they claim to worship is nailed to the Cross in shame with Christ. They are the very ones Jesus also warned about such like ones at Matt 5 : 17 to 19 … that teach others that the Law is no more (abolished) ; and will as a result therefore cause themselves to be” the least in the Kingdom of God.”
    Yes ; they appear to follow Jesus’s Commission to go preach this Good News of the Kingdom ; but are they truly doing what Jesus Commanded them ; or more so what their Organisation tells them and trains them to do …??? ( As false prophets )

    Jesus simply said ” And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world …” Matt 24:14
    But then in Matt 28:19 & 20 Jesus clarifies and specifies His Command” Go ye therefore …and (teach) all nations ; baptizing them etc……. and then in verse 20 — (teach) them what ..? :”All things whatsoever ever I commanded you …..” ( Read John 15:10 ; what this simple Command is and was )
    Now that is what Jesus said (Commanded ) isn’t it ..?
    But now lets look at what Jesus did NOT say ….
    Go teach them your Opinion of what is right or wrong/ your faith or Religion ……

    This is unfortunately precisely what they do …. I know ; I used to be one of them ( and hated every moment of it ) knowing in my heart that this was wrong …. but never could you say anything for fear that you will be castigated as either apostate or an infidel.

    I love the Lord my God and Worship Him with all I am ; I keep all of His Law and Commandments of Love and the Testimony of Christ ; and by this faith I am Justified without having to buckle down to the commandments of men … Not any of you ; nor I was ever commanded to follow anyone else but Christ … hence my decision to be no part of “Christianity ” and especially a SECT = JW that is also a false Prophet against whom Jesus warned ; that many will come in my name ( Gods Holy name in this instance = Yahweh ) and then nogal calling themselves the ” Truth ” ; when clearly there is only one TRUTH ; which is Christ !!! ( John 14:6 ) ” I am the Way ; the Truth and the Life ; no one comes unto my Father but by me …”
    Not any Organisation ; church or institution ….. but only by CHRIST !!

    Not only are they a Mind Control Organisation shaping your thoughts according to their own self – righteousness ( Since they decline Gods Holy Law = Only standard of Righteousness ); but also are false prophets ; having come out of the Seventh day Adventists and both of them from another false prophet ; the Millerites ( William Miller ) their founder in the Mid and latter 1800’s .

    In Conclusion : Jesus’s Words at Matt 24:4 to His disciples on the Mount of Olive was : Beware that no man deceives you …”
    Deception my dear friends ; is our Biggest enemy ; it already started at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil ….

    The JW are an Organisation driven impulsively by their own standard/s of Self – Righteousness ….

    How can you claim to Worship a God that has no Law /s … the very same God that created all of the Universe with Laws of Order and even disorder ( The Laws of Thermodynamics – in particular the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which deals with entropy ; chaos and disorder ) The very Law that explains why we grow old ; diseased and die ….. all because of our sinful nature.

    I am so free and Soar as an eagle ; no longer bound to the commandments of men ( just as Jesus spoke of the Scribes and Pharisees ) ; but drinking of lifes water free every day ; free from Organisations and Religiosity ; free of mind control ; lies and deceit.

    May you all have been blessed by this Testimony in this post of Commentary today …..
    We are no longer in bondage ; when we are free in Christ.
    William

  18. Bearwoody says:

    The Good News: Apparently the elder’s eyesight has been healed, since he’s not wearing glasses at the beach fruit festival.

    The Bad News: Apparently, the Kingdom’s healing powers don’t extend to receding hairlines.

    Drat! I was hoping to get a full head of hair again.

  19. Doc Obvious says:

    Missing Scene in Watchtower movie between militant men and paradise fruit scene.

    How can Watchtower forget the Great Tribulation Holocaust scene.

  20. JBob says:

    I think this reference in either the initial or quote of the article needs expansion,

    “If you don’t understand this, it is not due to any failure on your part. It is because it doesn’t make sense. The teaching rides roughshod over the English language, redefining what “generation” means, and relying on the audience to willfully bypass their logical thinking skills by asserting the incomprehensible as indisputable truth.”

    One, it highlights another game of Watchtower, Inc–“semantic gymnastics”–of playing games with English words translated from Hebrew. The blog also falls victim to this game by playing along. To comprehend what “generation” means, one would need to dive deep into Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and in this case Greek languages, paleontology AND culture to fully understand what import the writers meant.

    The general consensus is that genea is considered to have several definitions:

    1) fathered, birth, nativity
    2) that which has been begotten, men of the same stock, a family
    2a) the several ranks of natural descent, the successive members of a genealogy
    2b) metaph. a race of men very like each other in endowments, pursuits, character
    2b1) esp. in a bad sense, a perverse race
    3) the whole multitude of men living at the same time
    4) an age (i.e. the time ordinarily occupied be each successive generation), a space of 30 – 33 years

    The Watchtower thus “prayerfully” picked 2a–the lesser of four or five evils. I mean, can you imagine 1914+33 = 1944-1947 and Watchtower projecting the end-time?

    Oh wait, there was some speculation on that, too.

    So, “2a” which means the “sword of Damacles” or “the Judgement D” hanging over your heads until death do you part. Ye are sinners in the hands of an angry God! Feel the fear, yet?

    Yes, this will work out rather nicely–we have a rolling doomsday prophecy and no need to pin the definitive date on the donkey, and we can ratchet up the sense of urgency [often being likened to that “dance” rushing to the restroom] until everyone feels compelled to come to KHall wearing adult diapers and will open up their coffers to alleviate the guilt of being a wayward sinner and slacker.

  21. Vidiot says:

    “…I shudder to think what impact this video may have on vulnerable Witnesses.”

    That’s easy. It’ll make ’em wanna leave.

    Which is cool with the WTS, since they don’t really want ’em.

  22. KinseyScale6 says:

    Will the Watchtower be dismissing Jehovah and Holy Spirit soon?

    Here’s why–Holy Spirit sired Jesus through “virgin” Mary. Yet, Jesus constantly refers to the Father entity which scripture indicates begot Him. Thus, Jesus has two dads. If two moms are a cause for ejection and rejection from Paradise, surely two dads (men being the “dominant” gender) is more than sufficient reason.

  23. Josie Whale says:

    So what big events are coming to crush the WTBTS to toss all JWs into the bunkers? Interesting how no one covers the core of this “Self fulfilling prophecy”.

  24. JBob says:

    The social aspects is a key role today, but there are “secret organizations” which maintain their enclaves with small, private gatherings but maintain numbers through fostering a sense of elitism–Lodges, Masons, and KKK.

    One of the aspects of the early Bible Students was a sense of being “chosen,” “set apart,” and “elect” even though you were only one reading Russell’s monthly journal in a small city or rural area. Another aspect of early Bible Students was their resembling small lodges, even using the availability of available Masonic venues to put on conventions and events.

  25. Doc Obvious says:

    Instead of helping people like Jesus Christ, Watchtower is quick to condemn people. This is exactly how the Pharisees acted. The act of labeling people is what the Pharisees did to the common people. The bubble boys at Watchtower Babble and Tract Society should not be telling their people to be negative to their fellow man. If I were in a “bunker” talking about negative things, I would want to get out. No wonder there is a high level of anti-depressant drug use in the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion.

    • Josie Whale says:

      Reminds of a pal of mine and an AA-like sponsor, well they both ended up gettign high one night and having sex and so on and so forth. Made it tough to show up to the meetings.

      Jws are like this but their molesting sponsor is the GB and they got them strung out which occurs at the meeting, not in a rendevous.

      But it is a codependent relationship, except you can’t tell who is the bigger junkie, but you can tell who the primary dealer is, the guys with the cash and castle.

      The subject of the “Kingdom” has been relegated to a sideline, the need for the next fix is all JWs are about now, the “diversion program” is now completed, and that from the very CEOs of this organized crime unit.

  26. James Broughton says:

    I thought Trapped’s comments were superb. I notice he still writes about those who “leave the truth”. It is only when you finally make the break, however costly it may be, that you appreciate what the truth really is.

  27. krista says:

    These bunker videos actually shocked me. I can’t beleive they put out something so ridiculous! I’m thinking of all my family that are sitting at the convention watching that video today. I hope they can see through it. But I’m also concerned about the shunning videos, will my mother pick up the phone tomorrow when I call to ask how her trip to the convention went this weekend? What a horrible influence this religion is on families. It saddens me to the bottom of my heart.

    • Josie Whale says:

      I agree. I wondered why more people can’t see how truly red this flag is. I guess everyone is to worn smooth by the WTBTS scandal sandpaper to let this tooth bite them properly.

      IT IS OMINOUS, A HAIR STANDING TRUE BAD MOON RISING. JUST WAIT AND SEE WHAT THIS TURNS INTO: DISASTER…

  28. Stev says:

    Good article. I like what this guy has done with the WT bunker video, its hilarious (starts at 12:22)

    https://youtu.be/neLT0ZhL2og

    • Renee says:

      This is a wonderful video. I had his same thought – You’re in a bunker, wearing a TIE? And I also laughed when he talked about discrediting WT teachings using only WT publications – when I was in junior high (I think), I came across a copy of Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave in our small public library, snuck it into a corner and scanned it furtively. What did I think? The elders would send thought police squads to the library? I’d become possessed by the demons no doubt living in the book?