Fear plays a powerful role in cult indoctrination
Fear plays a powerful role in cult indoctrination

If I lay a plank across two overturned buckets, it should be simple to walk across it unharmed. If I take that same plank, however, and suspend it across an extremely deep and narrow chasm the walk across would be an entirely different experience. Even through both walks would be the same physical demonstration, mentally and emotionally they are dramatically different.

This is because of the way fear works in the brain. It has a tendency to overpower our logical faculties and, at times, create the very circumstances we are so fearfully avoiding.

When walking across a bridge over a deep chasm, for example, it’s best to avoid even looking down. Simply looking down could induce paranoia and compromise your ability to balance. Looking straight ahead and focusing on the task at hand is the best way to get safely across.

Jehovah’s Witnesses exist in an environment where fear is a prime motivator. In their world view 1914 marked the year when the earth was invaded by wicked spirit creatures cast down from heaven in huge numbers. They see the entire world population as deceived by those powerful spirit beings and on the path to a painful death that will bring about eternal destruction. Many do not challenge this narrative because doing so would immediately induce a state of fear and mental pain.

They claim that the only means of survival from these superhuman foes is in the protective arms of “God’s organization.” Only by listening to and obeying the information that comes out of “God’s channel” can you defeat the invisible demon hordes that allegedly riddle the planet.

Fear supply and demand

When attempting to market a product it is highly effective to convince customers it will save them from some looming catastrophe. Once you do that it is much easier to get them to make a commitment. Fear sells.

In the May 2015 JW Broadcasting episode hosted by Stephen Lett, a JW man recounted his experience as a child when he encountered one of the Watchtower’s books:

“When I was six years old my aunt, who’d just become a witness, she showed me this book. And there is a picture inside I remember so well: it’s of Armageddon. That scares a little kid, I thought, ‘I don’t want to be there.’ But a few pages later there’s a picture of a paradise. I never forgot it and I wanted to be there someday. So I thought, maybe my aunt has something. What have I got to lose? So I called them and said, ‘send over some witnesses.’”

This man’s experience aptly shows how Jehovah’s Witnesses successfully use fear to market to young and impressionable minds. First, he was subjected to a grizzly image of a child falling to her death. Then, once he is genuinely terrified of a painful divine execution, he’s shown a paradise earth. The fear-based marketing strategy was a total success and resulted in a life-long member.

Details from page 209 of the 1958 book "From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained"
Details from page 209 of the 1958 book “From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained”

 

The May Watchtower “study edition” has a duo of articles that follow the same exact pattern. The first article is all about how Satan and his demons are extremely powerful, cruel and malicious. They have the entire world in their hands and it’s impossible to face them alone. The very next article then quells the fear by asserting that success is possible by following it’s guidance.

The boogeymen

The May Watchtower mentioned above begins with the statement: “At one point in time, he [Satan] enjoyed a fine standing with Jehovah.” The statement alludes to a concept often repeated by Jehovah’s Witnesses on the podium and in their literature. They tell the story of how apostates come to be, and it often begins with someone who was a model religious figure; someone who was well respected.

The next sentence goes on to say that, at some point, Satan began to desire the worship of humans which sent him down the path of evil and enmity with God. It’s common for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accuse ex members who are activists as seeking glory for themselves. The way they describe the personality of apostates is reminiscent of the way they describe God’s greatest foe: Satan the Devil. They are clearly drawing a parallel.

Activists who expose the Watchtower have to deal with a constant stream of slander and disinformation. They are consistently misconstrued as power-hungry maniacs who are seduced by the Devil into campaigning against the faith of “God’s people.” Apostates are the boogeymen and are to be avoided at all costs.

The May article makes sure to tell readers that, without divine help, there is only failure in the fight against the Devil and his minions:

“Never underestimate the power of such wicked angels or that of ‘the ruler of the demons.’ Without help from Jehovah, we could never win our fight against Satan.”

This narrative helps retain membership, because it uses the idea that if you ever leave you’re basically demon fodder. In the world of the Watchtower, if you ever leave your peers will consider you someone who has willingly embarked on a suicide mission.

Phobia Induction

Destructive cults use phobias to control people and create dependency.

It’s similar to the way substance abuse works. Once addicted, a person will not be able to see themselves in a substance-free life. The very prospect is just too terrifying, because they have developed a severe dependency. Similarly, members of cults are guided into believing that without the aid of the cult only failure and misery await. This makes the first steps of leaving extremely difficult, which ensures that many will simply give up and stay.

In the beginning of my awakening, about 6 years ago, I sat down at my computer and used a search engine to research Jehovah’s Witnesses. I remember experiencing intense fear when I read through the results, because many of them were obviously critical of the religion. I distinctly remember my hand trembling as I moved my mouse and clicked on a link.

This is a perfect example of how my past religion induces phobias in its membership. I was extremely afraid of a website written by someone critical of the Watchtower. I had been conditioned to believe that anything critical was written by evil, power-hungry drones of Satan. It was quite some time before I was able to get past that entrenched fear and really start looking into the religion honestly.

Frankly, leaving was the best thing that ever happened to me. It enabled me to start a whole new life unencumbered by past irrational fears. Life is difficult enough without adding on unnecessary anxiety brought on by fears not based in reason or evidence. Looking back, I can safely say that nothing Watchtower predicted took place. It was all just a bunch of fears that were put into me instead of originating within me.

If you or someone you love suffers from irrational fears brought on by cult indoctrination, there are resources available to help. There are also many people out there going through the same experience in various stages. We are not alone and the feelings we experience are a natural occurrence of the undue influence we were subjected to.

Recovering from cult indoctrination is an incremental process and involves a sizable amount of perseverance. Let’s walk across this chasm safely and together. Just try not to look down!

 

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151 thoughts on “Inducing phobias: How the Watchtower uses irrational fears to solidify membership

  • September 5, 2015 at 1:43 am
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    Good article. Ruling by “INDUCING FEAR” is evident in their own publications. Here you are! In Rwanda, the waves of fear are still pushing the cult forward…

    *** w95 1/1 pp. 6-7 Triumphing Over Satan and His Works ***
    In Strife-Torn Rwanda
    10 In 1993, Rwanda, with 2,080 Kingdom publishers, had 4,075 attend the “Divine Teaching” District Convention, and 230 were baptized. Of these, 142 immediately applied for auxiliary pioneer service. Home Bible studies being conducted climbed to 7,655 in 1994—evidently too many for Satan’s liking! Though the great majority of the populace profess to be Christian, intertribal massacres were launched. The Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano admitted: “This is an out-and-out genocide, for which unfortunately even Catholics are responsible.” An estimated half million men, women, and children died, and some two million were made homeless or forced to flee. Maintaining their nonviolent Christian neutrality, Jehovah’s Witnesses tried to stay together. Hundreds of our brothers and sisters were killed. But in one congregation of 65 Kingdom publishers, where 13 were killed, meeting attendance increased to 170 by August 1994. Relief supplies from Witnesses in other lands were among the first to arrive. Our prayers ascend in behalf of the survivors.—Romans 12:12; 2 Thessalonians 3:1, 2; Hebrews 10:23-25.
    11 Amid all the horror, the three missionaries who were in Rwanda escaped. They write: “We realize that our brothers throughout the world have had to face up to similar situations or worse, and we know that it is all part of the sign of the last days of this wicked system. Still, when one is personally involved, it brings home the reality of things and makes one appreciate how precious life is. Certain scriptures have taken on new meaning for us, and we look forward to the time when the former things will no longer come to mind. In the meantime we want to keep busy in Jehovah’s service.”

    • September 5, 2015 at 12:30 pm
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      How ironic that the Watchtower Society, with all of its millions (perhaps even being worth a billion dollars at this point), failed to even consider sending assistance to get all of the Rwandan Jehovah’s Witnesses out of the area of conflict – or the country – to a refuge center until the dangers had passed.

      I guess that would be left to the “worldly” agencies under “Satan’s” direction via the United Nations – now that the Watchtower Society’s Brooklyn headquarters are no longer registered as an NGO with the United Nations…

      • September 5, 2015 at 4:42 pm
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        Excellent point.

      • September 7, 2015 at 5:32 pm
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        “worldly” agencies? you mean like the United Nations NGO’s?

  • September 5, 2015 at 2:01 am
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    This is one of the best eye opener articles I have read and made me feel as though I should comment on it.

    Having been raised as a JW along with my 4 brothers since I was about 5 years old all of this really makes sense. All of us were repeatedly told fear inspiring and scary supposed truths/facts that caused nightmares, confusion (thought God was the epitome of love) and definitely put serious doubt in our minds about life.

    So far two of my brothers and myself, as well as our families, have taken a stand against these lies. Unless someone has been indoctrinated it would be easy for them to say – just leave – but the ramifications are daunting – at first anyway.

    I was always a sort of rebel, asking questions that I knew there were answers to. The elders (and our parents) always seemed to circumvent answering them or gave us a shallow and incomplete answer that they hoped would suffice. They said that IF these questions were important to our lives the GB would make sure we had the answers or a similar line of reasoning. Also would use the old and worn out phrase – J will give us clarification or answers in the proper time.

    On their death beds both of our parents expressed confusion and doubt about what they had believed. My dad actually said ‘I hope I didn’t just waste 50 years of my life’ (he was an elder for most of that time). He also admitted that he should have pursued the answers to my questions when I asked them as now he had the same doubts.

    We are so very disgusted that the GB will not and have never accepted responsibility for their statements written and verbally stated that terrified people into becoming unthinking followers. In our opinion, they are totally bloodguilty and only continue to put more and more heavy burdens on everyone – making laws of their own and using scriptures out of context to support them.

    Thanks for posting this very enlightening and hopefully life-saving article.

    • September 5, 2015 at 2:39 am
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      I agree with you 100% about the responsibility of the GB who now place themselves above Christ. They are really blood guilty and total idiots as JW TV is now proudly showing the whole world.

      • September 5, 2015 at 9:39 am
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        and whatever happened to the discreet part?

  • September 5, 2015 at 2:36 am
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    Thanks James,
    A very clear and concise explanation of how WT uses fear to control people. I too trembled when first searching the Internet. I downloaded Ray Franz book, and felt terribly guilty just doing that! I expected to read a demonic rant from a deranged bitter person and half expected that I would not get very far into the book before confirming this.
    The truth was totally the opposite – what a modest, mild and cari g person he proved to be! Never once speaking harshly of those that treated him so badly. His book changed our lives. We went to just 1 meeting after that book, and during that meeting I was reading his second book on my iPad!
    We have not been to a meeting since and we are so much happier as a couple and in ourselves, it is amazing… Hard to get over 60+ years of indoctrination, but so great to be free from fear and guilt.

    • September 5, 2015 at 6:18 am
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      Hi Paul, I always find it so encouraging to find others who have taken the course I have after so long a time! The witnesses found me when I was 17 and I finally left last year at the age of 59, so 42 years I was in ‘the organization’. I also remember being afraid to research opposing views, but once I started I couldn’t stop! Ray’s books were a real tipping point. Such a dear and wise man. Wish he was still with us, but in a way, he is, the pages of his wonderful books. I was thinking of the passage in the Bible that says of some people, ‘For fear of death they were held captive all their lives.’ Sounds like what has held many, many people captive by WT for so many years!
      Take Care,
      Mara

    • September 5, 2015 at 9:45 am
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      Just remember all of this discredits them not God or his son. There is only one mediator between men and God. You know who that is and he doesn’t live in New York. Letter to the Colossians reminds us where true north is, if we ever get disorientated.

    • September 5, 2015 at 9:32 pm
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      Wow, and a huge congratulations and well wishes to the two of you!

      • September 5, 2015 at 9:39 pm
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        My grandparents became witnesses when they were new young immigrants to the US. They had many children and of course became very busy raising them. I believe had my grandmother been able to study in her native language, and had time to pause and access her beliefs would not be a jw today. All of their children and all grandchildren are deep into jw society. I want to ask her, but i am anxious about it, and she is in her 80s. Anyway, really its wonderful to hear a couple able to leave after so long indoctrinated, i know it took a great amount of strength and humility.

        • September 7, 2015 at 5:32 am
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          Hi Vivian,
          Thanks so much for the well wishes!
          Just wanted to say, don’t give up hope on Grandma. No one ever thought I would take the stand I have, not even myself. People I have known in the organization all these years are totally bewildered. But there was a little, faint voice deep inside of me all these years that told me something was wrong, but because of the indoctrination, I kept stifling it. Then one day, and it seemed kind of miraculous, I just knew I had to trust myself and listen to my inner voice in order to be true to myself. I knew I just couldn’t live any other way any longer.
          As JWs, we are taught NOT to trust our own perceptions-to only trust in God. ‘Do not lean on your own understanding’, as it says in Proverbs. But the thing is, JWs are taught by the governing body that listening to their spin on the Bible equals listening to God. But once I decided to trust myself and just go with it, I saw that God was not speaking through the GB, that they were very, very wrong in a lot of what they were putting out there-that I was just being manipulated. Here’s to hoping your grandma and many like her will come to the same conclusion!
          Best Wishes to you also,
          Mara

  • September 5, 2015 at 3:06 am
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    Excellent article.

    When I left the org 24 yrs ago I still had those mental time-bomb fears for a very long time, with all the attendant problems of C-PTSD that went with it. It took a good 5 yrs or so to work through everything, but now that I’m free and mentally healthy I’m so incredibly glad that I’m able to say ‘better late than never’.

    Articles such as this, along with all the resources we have at our disposal today can be such a lifeline and an eye-opener. Well done. :)

  • September 5, 2015 at 3:10 am
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    I’m a Cuurent Witness and yes I agree they work on the old premise of Fear just like the church has done.
    If you sin , you will go to Hell!
    If you do not serve Jehovah whole heartedly , you will not go through To the new system!
    Sisters you must be in subjection to your husband along with all the other Bull Crap you read in the Insight book under Women.
    Well I’m not going to conform to the 1940’s version they have of the ideal Wife. Next meeting, I’m wearing Pants!

    • September 5, 2015 at 3:42 am
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      Great idea, or is it? You are going to attract a lot of negative attention. I hope you are getting ready to fade, because these people don’t like their medieval views to be challenged.

    • September 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm
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      Well done, Chrissy!

      Respect to you.

    • September 6, 2015 at 12:37 am
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      I’m also still attending meetings out of necessity. I hate the entire mysoginistic crap that goes on. I feel rebellious eveytime I hear the word ‘subjugation’.

    • September 6, 2015 at 4:43 am
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      Why not instead just don’t go anymore and wear your pants all the time without any fear?

  • September 5, 2015 at 3:18 am
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    Thank you James for such a good article! I also was so scared when I first started researching on the internet and I had to hide the fact that I was researching from my husband because I was so scared of him finding out what I was doing.

    The first thing I saw on Wikipedia was that the Society had joined itself to the United Nations from 1992 to 2002 and I thought it had to be a lie and it led me to jwfacts and other websites and youtube videos etc. and finally I realized it was all true. That led me to ordering Crisis of Conscience and I only went to one more meeting after reading that book.

    Now I can look on the internet and I don’t care if my husband is sitting right next to me at his computer and my hands no longer shake. It took me several months before the fear of Armageddon went away. For a long time the thought went through my mind “what if the Society is right about Armageddon?” but after a few months even that fear left me. Lloyd has a good video about that very subject.

    I remember as a child when my mother tried studying with me and my two brothers in the Paradise book. She had been studying with a neighbor lady who was a Witness and she tried studying with us then. She never came into the “truth” but she always took the magazines and she was always a “go to” person they could use as she was way out in the country and they could count their time going to her house. That is how I see it now but she always “led” them along, making them think that if they said just the right thing that she’d come into the “truth” but she never did. She just liked the company when they’d stop.

    But when I grew up, that fear was instilled in me from young on and so I took up the “truth” when I moved away from home. It was the worst mistake I ever made (not to say my three children are a mistake). I should have tested what they were saying to me but I didn’t know anything about the Bible and I was led down the path just like everyone else is led down the path.

    Questions I should have asked and didn’t were:
    1) Show me just one place in the Bible where the earth is going to turn into a paradise.
    2) Show me in the Bible where Christ is only the mediator for the 144,000.
    3) Show me in the Bible that in 1935 nobody else was going to go to heaven (they taught that until the 1990’s).
    4)Show me in the Bible that when Jesus said “I have other sheep and they are not of this fold” that it meant the 144,000 and not the gentiles.
    5) Prove to me that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C.E. and not 586/587 as my Encyclopaedia Britannica says.
    6) Prove to me that the name Jehovah was in the original manuscripts and not an invention of the Catholic church in the thirteenth century C.E.
    7) Prove to me that God chose the Watchtower Organization in 1919 when they were still believing in the cross and Christmas and they were wrong in all their predictions (especially 1975).
    8) Prove to me that “increasing light” meant that God was going to make the truth more clear when if the information was coming from God that it should have been right in the first place.
    9)Prove to me that the New World Translation is “inspired” when the Kingdom Interlinear Translation (1985) says in the foreword “No translation of these sacred writings into another language, except by the original writers, is inspired. In copying the inspired originals by hand, the element of human frailty entered in, and so none of the thousands of copies in existence today in the original language are perfect duplicates.” So then it begs the question: How can anybody trust anything that is in any Bible?
    10) Prove to me that if the Society isn’t “inspired” that they are “spirit directed” instead. What would be the difference?

    Just a few of those questions would have shown to me that God could not be directing the Organization because those questions could not have been answered, but I was ignorant of the Bible and the Organization’s history and that is why I got sucked into the lies and paranoia just as all the rest of us did.

    Now that I am “on to” all the lies from the Society and am free, I feel so much happier than I ever did all those fifty years I was trapped.

    I know that those former “friends” are lost to me but the way I look at is this: You can’t lose something you never had in the first place.

  • September 5, 2015 at 3:28 am
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    Watchtower are Bible-Based terrorists and this can be seen throughout their teachings and publications!!

    Consider the Watchtower magazine of 2/15 p. 17 “Stay in Jehovah’s Valley of Protection”! In that publication, they say “Jehovah will . . . war against those nations as in the day of his warring, in the day of fight.”—ZECH. 14:3…. The Bible also foretells a “day of Jehovah” when he will ‘war against all the nations.’ (Zechariah 14:1-3) Under inspiration, the apostle Paul associated that day with Christ’s presence, which began with Jesus’ enthronement as heavenly King in 1914.”

    Imagine, Zechariah 14:1-3 according to JWs refers to RAPES AND LOOTING during the day of Jehovah which starts from 1914.!

  • September 5, 2015 at 3:38 am
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    Grizzly bears are scary as hell, but the word grizzly refers to the color of their hair. I think you meant to use “grisly” instead. Great article. Thank you.

  • September 5, 2015 at 4:05 am
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    Publicar en español , ayudaría a más de 3 millones.

    • September 5, 2015 at 9:52 am
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      Tiene que ser alguien como Lloyd, que se a capasitado a razonar con gente de mente cerrada sin ofender o llamar la atencion asimimo.

  • September 5, 2015 at 4:25 am
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    My brother, sister and both parents are still in the cult.
    I was never baptised so they can speak to me.

    If I try to awake them and speak about the things I learned here and on other sites, they really look hurting.
    After it I always feel bad and tell to myself that I can not do this anymore, it is all they have…

    My brother wants to quit his job and start pioneering, so all I was telling him was instructed by Satan.
    Thank God he will not avoid me.

  • September 5, 2015 at 4:27 am
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    Great piece. It could be very effective. We know that active JWs read this site. It could reassure them and encourage them to junk the old money grabbing cult without fear.

  • September 5, 2015 at 5:47 am
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    Great article! As a child I too remember, “From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained” and its pictures of lions lying down with lambs in the restored earth-wide Garden of Eden. Ahhhh, how sweet…. how manipulative…. how deceitful!

    Of course, at that time, Armageddon was coming “before the generation that witnessed the year 1914 passes away” so it was easy to be motivated and certain about how soon it would come. But now, thanks to Jehovah’s “increased light” we know that it’s coming before the generation that overlaps the generation that witnessed the year 1914 passes away! (I never did understand how this change in doctrine was an “increase” in “light”!)

    The truly, “Good news” here is that by giving this latest Armageddon prophecy the stamp of “increased light” authority the Governing Body has signed its own death warrant. When this “overlapping” generation begins to pass away, as it most surely will, what then Jehovah’s Witnesses? I’ll tell you: either Jehovah lied, or the Governing Body lied – there will be no other possible conclusion – and either way, the religion will be finished… and the whole world will cry out in unison.. “Good Riddance”!!

    • September 6, 2015 at 3:03 pm
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      I don’t see it. People remained after the failed prophesies of 1914 and 1925. I left after the 1975 debacle, but many remained. No matter the extent of the lies leading up to it, an indoctrinated core will always accept ‘new light’ from the GB. This seems pessimistic, but it has been my experience.

      • September 9, 2015 at 11:04 am
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        RE: I don’t see it. People remained after the failed prophesies of 1914 and 1925.

        The Governing Body appears to be composed of two distinct personality types: Those who are delusional, such as Anthony Morris III, and those who are compulsive liars, such as Stephen Lett and Geoffrey Jackson.

        Cult members who are delusional remain because they actually believe what the Governing Body says. Other cult members remain because they are afraid of being left alone when they lose association with their family and all other cult members.

        The result is a religion of the deluded and fearful obeying every whim of their deluded and lying leaders, despite a mountain of evidence that contradicts what they are being taught.

      • May 30, 2016 at 8:48 pm
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        No, this time it’s different…. very different. All those previous failed Armageddon prophesies were explained away by re-writing their history or blaming “over enthusiasm” by Watchtower writers and “speculation” by Watchtower readers… but “increased light” is direct communication between Jehovah and the GB (see the Feb 15, 2006 Watchtower). When the 1914 overlapping generation increased light is proven to be false either Jehovah lied or the GB lied – there are no other explanations. And if the GB says “sorry, we misinterpreted the light” then they’re still f***ed because if they got this bit of light wrong how do we know they didn’t get other previous bits of light wrong? What about the July 1st 1945 light banning blood transfusions? How do we know they didn’t misinterpret that?! The truth is, we don’t. Their credibility will be shot. Their religion will be finished!

  • September 5, 2015 at 6:33 am
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    Well written James! So glad to have you on the team. I loved the illustrations in The Paradise Book as a child. They do make you laugh now though because you see the 1950s mentality.
    Men in the streets getting ready to rumble in suits! You know there must be conflict because their Bryll-Cream hair is coming un done.
    Caption- “Why I outa give you a knuckle sandwich pal!” …”oh yeah! Well dat serves ya right Mac! POW! Right in da kisser!”

  • September 5, 2015 at 8:20 am
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    Thanks for this well written article, James.
    I had to laugh when you wrote about your hand shaking as you clicked on a link. My first experience with “apostate” websites took place at the library, on my laptop, with my back in a corner so no one could see what I was viewing, and yes, my hand was shaking as I clicked on the website. Overcoming this fear has been incremental, but not passive. I’ve had to work at it. When I was out in the ministry one day, a man at the door asked me if I had read the Bhagavad Gita, or the Quaran. I had to admit I hadn’t. He then asked me how it was that I knew these other beliefs were wrong when I didn’t know anything about them. This conversation stayed with me for years, until the logic of it pushed me into obtaining copies of both the Gita and the Quaran. I’ll never forget the first night they were in the house. I was scared to death, due to the unholy literature I had brought into the house, that the demons would show up at any minute, even though I had already admitted to myself that I no longer believed what Watchtower was peddling. Throughout the night I had to keep telling myself I was safe; there were no demons. When at last morning came and there had been no visitors in the night, I laughed with such relief and yelled, “I knew it wasn’t true, I knew it wasn’t true!” LOL
    I relate this story because it has always impressed on me how entrenched fear can be. It even seems to override head knowledge. If there is anyone reading this who fears information of ANY kind, sometimes that fear will never go away unless you turn into, just like a ship heads into a wave to keep from capsizing. Sometimes you just have to take fear on, and prove to yourself that the only thing to fear is fear of knowledge.

    • September 5, 2015 at 11:22 am
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      Hi Renae,

      I really appreciate your illustration of a ship heading into the wave. Paints a good picture and makes the point.

  • September 5, 2015 at 8:56 am
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    dear james a good article very well written .fear really runs most of the sisters i encounter in fact i wonder if i stay because they need words of love and kindness this guilt trip is so damaging and i suspect some will never recover meanwhile when us longtime jws wake up its so daunting because time is so precious and we have this one life. funny thing jws so paralized with fear they dont do anything at all so they fear life now life and in the future and need bottle feeding to live. it really is a human tragedy i hope i live long enough to see the liberation of the innocent rl

  • September 5, 2015 at 9:56 am
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    Nice article, good insight into the phobias that religious cults such as this thrive on. I gave up my beliefs in all this superstitious nonsense quite a while ago so I never really made the connection with the demon haunted world caused by hoards of demon being ousted from heaven and the fear that that induces. However I do remember growing up and being told that unless I was good I would be DESTROYED at Armageddon, the word ‘destroyed’ always spoken with an intensity that made it obvious that a simple death would be inadequate for anyone judged as wicked by god. Those pictures from the orange ‘Paradise’ book bring back fond memories :)

  • September 5, 2015 at 9:58 am
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    Superb article!

    “Life is difficult enough without adding on unnecessary anxiety brought on by fears not based in reason or evidence.”

    You can say that again.

  • September 5, 2015 at 11:44 am
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    Hi James
    This article really hit the nail on the head for me, as I
    Was a pre-schooler when I learned to read out of that
    Very book. I also grew up in fear of almost everything
    Worldly, and as a result became very withdrawn. When
    I finally did grow out of that, I turned to alcohol to calm
    My insecurities that grew out of knowing that things
    Were not right. I have been out for some time now,
    But I still am haunted by fears and guilt that I am
    Some awful person, while I know that is not really the
    Case. Keep sending your message because it helps even
    Us oldie Goldie’s who have been damaged emotionally
    One way or another by this org.

  • September 5, 2015 at 1:18 pm
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    Good article. Some might be interested in reading “Fear inspiring faith, a 2009 thesis by Giovanna Muir, a former Witness, as part of her MA in Woman’s Studies at Oregon State University. You can read the abstract here, http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/11397?show=full, but the full text is not yet available. May be able to get it with the aid of Susan Shaw, her advisor. If anyone wants it and has a drop box, I can upload a copy – about 260 kb in size

  • September 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm
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    Drug dependency is a good analogy to describe the Satan phobia
    James. Both are extremely difficult to get out of the system.

    Many get clear of drugs in rehab only to succumb to the powerful
    craving again when they go out into the real world.

    Some who have left the demon obsessed cult have been drawn
    back by some incident that they ascribe to these imaginary
    entities. Maybe a picture falling off the wall or a realistic
    nightmare.

    A brother in our cong, faded for about two years, then he saw this
    guy on TV bending spoons just by rubbing them, it scared the cr-p
    out of him and he came scurrying back full of contrition for leaving.

    As you indicate, there are plenty of real issues that demand our time
    and attention without our lives being taken over by a superstition
    riddled cult.

  • September 5, 2015 at 5:50 pm
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    Great article, James. It shows yet another dark facet of the Watchtower control machine. Preaching earthly paradise and worldwide unity and love on one hand, with destruction, death, and torture on the other. Life long indoctrination literally leaves one feeling as is a hydrogen bomb is going off in your future and soon!

  • September 5, 2015 at 9:47 pm
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    Nicely written keep up the fine work you do. It is appreciated by many. It’s good to know the real “Truth” about things.

  • September 5, 2015 at 9:52 pm
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    They talk about “freeing” the African and whatever other cultures they say are entrenched in “spiritistic” religions/beliefs when the sect itself is propelled along by its own version of spiritistim. Really, so much power, recognition, and authority is allotted to ‘satan’ and his ‘demons’. When i heard a noise in the dark as a child i always firmly yelled , “Jehovah!” just as i had been taught. LOL a lot to that!!!! Well, it did help me get to sleep tho. Like counting sheep but better.

  • September 5, 2015 at 10:05 pm
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    it’s interesting, this kind of fear mongering doesn’t stop with religion…. Governments all over the world use imaginary boogieman (terrorists are one example), when most people in the western world are more likely to be suppressed by their governments (or killed in the US), than by “terrorists”. Obviously those dealing in violence on either side are wrong, unless it’s self-defense, or in defense of the undefenable.

  • September 6, 2015 at 1:35 am
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    Well said James, I always enjoy your essays. So many of us who grew up in the cult had logical fallacies thrown at us and were not taught critical thinking. Do a search on the WT library for ‘critical thinking’. What do you think the result will be? http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/s/r1/lp-e?q=critical+thinking&p=par

  • September 6, 2015 at 3:06 am
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    What a well written article for such a young man. I hope this might help those who are trembling to open the door and walk outside. Opening the door knob is the scariest part but once you are outside it’s not as bad as you thought and you haven’t been struck down. Life still goes on minus the Watchtower without all that personal study and all those meetings and all that witnessing. You can do the stuff that you always wanted to do. You become a normal person. You walked out the door to freedom. And the more knowledge you get about this cult, the more convinced you are that you did the right thing.

  • September 6, 2015 at 3:39 am
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    Thank you James for such a good article! I also was so scared when I first started researching on the internet and I had to hide the fact that I was researching from my husband because I was so scared of him finding out what I was doing.

    The first thing I saw on Wikipedia was that the Society had joined itself to the United Nations from 1992 to 2002 and I thought it had to be a lie and it led me to jwfacts and other websites and youtube videos etc. and finally I realized it was all true. That led me to ordering Crisis of Conscience and I only went to one more meeting after reading that book.

    Now I can look on the internet and I don’t care if my husband is sitting right next to me at his computer and my hands no longer shake. It took me several months before the fear of Armageddon went away. For a long time the thought went through my mind “what if the Society is right about Armageddon?” but after a few months even that fear left me. Lloyd has a good video about that very subject.

    • September 6, 2015 at 6:57 am
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      Anonymous.
      I’ve often wondered like yourself if Armageddon could be true (lots of scientific evidence for the global flood) or if there is a God etc. When people ask me what I believe I simply don’t know . I only know what I don’t believe , starting with all the WT garbage.
      I’ve traveled 50 countries and have many of the worlds religions up close. From the Baha’i in Haifa, the Jain on the streets of Katmandu, the Muslims at prayer in Zanzibar to the Buddhists in Bankok. I don’t believe ANY religion out there has the truth. I’ve not seen it anywhere. So I say to myself that I have done all I can do to search for truth and still come up empty handed. If there is a God out there, then he knows what Bars I hang out in. If he wishes to give me a tap on the shoulder while I’m drinking my creamy Blue Moon and buffalo wings and tell me what is really going on, then I will wipe chin and listen to what he has to say. Until then however, I have to say, God is quieter than Helen Keller with Boxing gloves on. I just don’t know . I’ll sit and watch and wait…..for another beer.

      • September 6, 2015 at 7:31 am
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        Garrett, a really good movie to watch is Bill Maher’s movie Rigligulous where he traveled all over the world examining up close most of the world’s religions. If anybody reading this hasn’t seen that movie, I very much encourage you to rent it if you can.

          • September 6, 2015 at 7:27 pm
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            Garrett, I loved the video of George Carlin’s take on religion and I also think he’s great. Thanks for posting!!

      • September 6, 2015 at 11:02 am
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        So much taught by wbts is said to apply to our day and because of that many fulfilled prophecies have been missed. And of course some are still looking for Jesus or waiting for him to receive full authority. I suspect Armageddon is one of those prophecies. There is no clear evidence when revelation was written, it is simply excepted that it was after 70 ce. There is scriptural support that the destruction of Jerusalem was likely Armageddon. The support also exists in the “works of Josephus” . Who could have been more babylonish than God’s chosen people who demanded the death of their own messiah. I don’t wish to be preachy, teachy so I’ll say no more. Anyone can research it if so inclined. If Armageddon has already happened then a lot of fear goes away, something wbts probably wouldn’t like.

      • September 6, 2015 at 8:25 pm
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        Really? Troll much?

      • September 7, 2015 at 12:31 am
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        Try searching for Him within yourself. Who knows , you might find Him there.

      • September 7, 2015 at 4:26 am
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        Garrett,

        Please can you direct me to the scientific evidence for a world wide flood, circa 5000BC?

        Is this a world-wide flood that covered every land mass?

        Thanks

        Peace be with you, Excelsior!

        • September 7, 2015 at 5:21 am
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          Excelsior,
          Yes. I can.
          The following are all well documented.
          1 Palm trees sheared off at the stump and flash frozen in the Antarctic.

          2 Wooly mammoths flash frozen with vegetation in their mouths and their flesh is fresh enough to cut off, grill and eat.
          3 An excavator who I know does digging in Alaska on projects. He said ” I can’t even tell you how many times I have dug up palm tree leaves.”
          4 there is even a layer that geologists call the “flood layer by all the animalies they see there”
          5 groups of non compatable animals in the same area in massive amounts as if they all sought shelter together from a common threat and died together.

          6 flood legend is a common take in cultures around the world.
          7 shells and marine life skeletons at the tops of mountains.
          8 many reported sightings of the ark on Arafat and wood that was taken supposedly from it dates to the biblical date of the flood. Even the United States military through use of satellite imagery acknowledge that there is an “Arrarat Phenomenon” that they stop short of calling an ark.
          And that is just off the top of my head Excelsior while laying in bed.
          Worst part is that my George Carlin video link of him bashing religion got taken down. Sigh ….

          • September 7, 2015 at 8:50 am
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            Garrett, according to Genesis 7:20, the flood waters covered the mountains with only fifteen cubits (22.5 feet) of water. Does that make sense to anyone? How could such a huge ark that the Bible describes possibly float in that little of water and how high were mountains when the water was only 22.5 feet deep?

            All the things that you brought up that supposedly prove an earth wide flood are the things that I remember being told to us in the “Did Man Get Here by Evolution or By Creation?” published by the Society in 1967.

            I believed all that stuff in that book and all those things sound just like they came out of a Watchtower publication but all of the things that you brought up don’t prove an earth wide flood to me. Floods happen in areas that is true, but was it an earth wide flood as the Bible says? That is the evidence I am looking for.

            Nobody has found the ark yet. When somebody actually produces the ark, then I will believe it.

          • September 7, 2015 at 12:05 pm
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            Garrett, I encourage you to look at the flood story a bit more critically. Radiometric dates obtained from frozen mammoth carcasses indicate these deaths took place over a wide span of time. This does not correlate to a single flood event. I don’t know a single credible geologist who describes a worldwide flood layer, and I study geology so I pay attention to things like that. If you can provide a reference, I would appreciate it. The flood account itself poses many questions. I’ll provide a link that discusses some of them:http://ncse.com/cej/4/1/impossible-voyage-noahs-ark
            To my knowledge, there is not enough water in the oceans, glaciers, underground aquifers, and the atmosphere combined to raise sea levels more than 400 feet above their current level. The biblical story of the flood is, at best, implausible.

          • September 8, 2015 at 5:33 am
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            Garrett,

            None of these is proof of a worldwide flood.

            Peace be with you, Excelsior!

        • September 7, 2015 at 1:50 pm
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          Actually,
          I will challenge you ALL on these flood points. And No, I do not have an agenda religious or otherwise. I don’t have stock in seawater or a boat building company. You’ve not refuted one point I made here. As to the 15 civics the bible mentioned it was over the highest point. Everest if it was accurate. I’m sure you did study geology but I’ve seen numerous programs where the flood layer is discussed.
          I’m still waiting for explanations from any one of you to explain how animal and vegetation can be killed and instantly frozen and preserved to this day. And not just in one area of the world but in Siberia, Alaska and Antarctica like I referenced.
          Sorry… I wish there WASNT evidence of a flood but I have to be honest and say… Yeah…. It does have a fair amount of backing….
          I’m waiting for your counter arguments….

          • September 7, 2015 at 1:56 pm
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            Al etheridge…
            I’ll read that link you sent … It looks interesting .
            Keep in mind that radio carbon dating would be drastically influenced by pre and post flood conditions .
            The laying bare of the sun wound complete squew those readings during that time. I’m very cautious and suspicious of radio carbon dating as it requires “all things being equal” it’s a rough tool at best .

          • September 7, 2015 at 3:22 pm
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            Al
            Just read the logic behind the points mentioned in your link. Pretty amazing. I’ve not heard most of those arguments ever. I don’t agree with all of them of course, especially in light of the Adjenda of the site “defending evolution” but there are too many arguments for them all to be wrong. Even as a witness I had many questions on the genetic aspects. According to the “kinds” and how we could today have so many varieties so quickly from a single pair. Didn’t jive.
            There are many arguments that could be dismissed if one believes there was God behind it all orchestrating things that would otherwise be impossible.
            It is an import point. Because if their assertations are true then you can throw away Jesus who believed that story, the bible and many other things.
            I can see myself reading this again many times and researching counter arguments.
            Thanks for sharing

          • September 8, 2015 at 5:16 am
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            I was watching a program recently called First Footprint and it was about the early aborigines in Australia. I was surprised that in their family history they speak about the Flood as a real event. They believe the evidence is clear.

          • September 8, 2015 at 6:23 pm
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            Hello Garrett, thanks for the reply. Please don’t think I consider myself an expert on this issue, I am only a college student studying geology. There is a lot of information online written by people with various agendas. Look through it with some discernment and form your own conclusions. I also do not object to the Bible’s account except when taken as completely literal. Different Christian denominations have different interpretations. One I recently came across was that the flood story was a metaphor illustrating the benefits of obedience for the Hebrews. Who knows? But it’s a thought.

      • September 7, 2015 at 2:33 pm
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        Well said. Couldn’t have articulated my feelings better than what you wrote

  • September 6, 2015 at 6:33 am
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    Adam, God’s crowning earthly creation, whose genes have
    been passed on to the worlds greatest scientists, philosophers
    and intellects. Yet he didn’t have the nous to figure out that
    snakes have neither a larynx or vocal chords.

    Of course his genes have also been passed on to a lot of
    idiots. To which group do those belong, who believe that
    that fable has any connection to reality?

    • September 6, 2015 at 8:27 pm
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      You can’t see the forest because the trees are in your way. Is that really your dismissal of scripture?

      • September 7, 2015 at 4:30 am
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        Robertperez, for myself, my dismissal of scripture is that I actually think about what I am reading when I read it. When people read the Bible they read it believing God wrote it, so when you read it, ask yourself if there should be any contradictions in it if it was written by a perfect God.

        There are no original manuscripts. All we have are translations of translations and copies of copies, which go back thousands of years. There is no way that anybody can prove that any Bible scripture is inspired of God. If you can do that, I am all ears.

  • September 6, 2015 at 11:02 am
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    I am not interested in seeing this message displayed. I only want to suggest to you to correct “grizzly”. You meant “grisly”. An error free article will give you even greater credibility.

    “First, he was subjected to a grizzly image of a child falling to her death.”

    As I said before, this was a great article. Just don’t allow the reader to get distracted by misspellings. Or worse, don’t allow readers the slightest chance to use minor errors as an excuse to detract from the content.

    • September 6, 2015 at 8:29 pm
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      Yur abslutly rite bout dat. Signed, grammar Nazi.

  • September 6, 2015 at 1:20 pm
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    James Strait, I like the point you made when you wrote apostates are consistently misconstrued as power-hungry maniacs who are seduced by the Devil into campaigning against the faith of “God’s people.” My father was an elder and he used to say to me, “let me do your thinking for you” when I asked questions he couldn’t answer. I was born in the ‘truth’ and I was inactive for 21 years. My brother told me he didn’t speak to me during that time because I wasn’t going to meetings. Now that I attend meetings I’m accepted by my family. The funny thing is I don’t like my family anymore. Now that they are talking to me and my eyes are open I see how manipulative and two faced they are. My sister uses JW literature to discourage her daughters from having children saying the end is near. I can’t resist, I give her a hard time. I asked her why she had kids. I remind her my parents used that same fear on her. Religion is based on fear to control it’s members. The members become two faced in order to do whatever they want. I don’t like them any longer.

    • September 6, 2015 at 8:49 pm
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      At the end of the day the problem is not with faith itself, but rather with the WT and your family. The behavior you described could only be practiced by people who claim faith, but have truly never read the Bible for themselves. They’ve read 100, 000 pages of literature about the Bible, but the Bible itself is a no zone for them, only to be ingested when cited in a magazine. Who needs to read and meditatibly study it, when you get the Idiots version in large dozes week after week. “Please tell me what I should think” is the dominant attitude. A direct result of no investment in education, from early childhood on. Why invest yourself in edumacation if college is a no no anyway. How can their ministry be of any use if critical thinking skills are never developed, the same that will cement their faith in Gods word after thuroughly studying it with a developed brain. The same that will keep people from wanting to jump out of windows during excruciatingly dull, read talks. The very thing that raises every red flag surrounding the organization when viewing it in the full light of Gods word. Sadly many people on here will show that they gave up on the organization because of what they’ve heard about it, which in the end makes them no better than the people they left behind. They’ll leave the organization as broken as it is, only to become willing sheep to idiotic athiest arguments that the source doesn’t even fully understand.

      • September 7, 2015 at 2:46 am
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        Robertperez.. You seem to be a person of Faith in the bible…I am not…and you seem to be very Judgmental of us who have now rejected it…using our critical thinking abilities…and accepted other beliefs…including atheism…I accept your right to believe what you want without belittling your ideals…I think you should show us all that same respect…many of us have gone through painfull experiences to reach our conclusions and come to this site to see we are not alone.

      • September 7, 2015 at 4:34 am
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        Robertperez,

        Oh dear! Here we go again!

        Can you let me know what are the “idiotic atheist arguements” that have upset you?

        Can you please explain this statement:

        “Sadly many people on here will show that they gave up on the organisation because of what they’ve heard about it, which in the end makes them no better than the people they left behind”

        I have interpreted this comment as stating that people who have left the Jehovah’s Witnesses because they have learnt about the many scandals and crimes, are no better than those still inside who perpetrate those scandals and crimes.

        How is that the case? What do you think these people should be doing? What would be your solution?

        I hope that you will be able to clarify your statement and answer my questions.

        Peace be with you, Excelsior!

        • September 7, 2015 at 8:58 am
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          I apologize if your offended, but those are loaded words. Neither those in or out are superior, the only difference is those of us out here have awakened, not from slavery to God, but mental slavery to ursurpers of Christ position as mediator between us and God and their cruel, twisted methods of keeping Christ(not their) sheep in line.

          • September 8, 2015 at 5:27 am
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            Robert Perez,

            You are entitled to your beliefs, sir. I am not going to try to change your mind.

            I am an atheist, and that is how it is goi g to stay. I have plenty of evidence for my stance, just as you have for yours, sir.

            We shall agree to disagree.

            Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • September 6, 2015 at 11:18 pm
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    1 John 4:18… Perfect Love throws fear outside

    Watchtower, like all “Religion”, feeds fear and dread to its adherents.

    My own philosophy is the K.I.S.S. principle…..

    Keep It Simple Stupid

    Don’t throw Faith into touch because You fear men.

  • September 7, 2015 at 4:31 am
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    Robertperez,
    Great to get your viewpoint, of which I support 100% your right
    to believe in and to express. Your comments show that you
    endorse reading the Bible and also the use of critical thinking.

    Again I’m with you all the way, I left the JW org, 34 Years ago
    and since then have read and meditated on that book over and
    over, and in my desire to believe have bent over backwards to
    give it the benefit of the doubt. Had I not read it I would probably
    have still been a believer.

    If only Adam had been endowed with critical thinking skills.
    Think of all the cruelty, misery and pain that we could have all
    been spared, God himself would have been spared the murder
    of his own son, Satan would have been thwarted right there.

    Robert, give me a sound reason to believe other than the crutch
    of blind faith, which all religions rely on, and I’ll be eternally
    grateful. Best wishes Ted.

    • September 7, 2015 at 8:44 am
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      My study of the Bible has gone beyond the Bible itself. Sitting in with numerous churches and studying diligently, not only two walls of books on faith( not a single WT amongst), but the origins of many of the worlds faiths and their common denominators amongst them. Thousands of written testimonies of contact with spirits, shared ancient stories of the great flood and the reset of humanity. The archeological evidence that backs up scripture. The working of God himself in those of faith regardless of what brand they push. I’m just waking up and groggy, but the list goes on and on. The point is I’ve also read a lot of the antithesis and there is a lot of undeniable and reasonable theories in evolution. Just as our understanding of our true origins is clouded, though we have a vague picture, there are missing links between everyone’s brain farts on the subject. As it stands there is a book whose explanation is much more reasonable and describes man perfectly, a book that has helped me have a happy, moral and full life. One that has made it abundantly clear to the vast majority leaving the WT (as people with faith) that it in itself guides us through our 70-80 years on Earth. As this is a site visited by people freeing themselves of those who make up the answers as they go along, we are sensitive to people who come on here to push recovering ex witnesses even further away from scripture.

    • September 7, 2015 at 10:38 am
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      Ted, I feel the same as you. I also wanted to believe in the Bible being from God, but it’s the reading of it is what convinced me it wasn’t.

  • September 7, 2015 at 6:47 am
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    Ted,if Adam & Eve hadn’t sinned,you & I probably wouldn’t have been born.

  • September 7, 2015 at 7:04 am
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    Children brought up to be an atheist/agnostic will find very little incentive/reason to follow all the good teachings of God/Jesus in the Bible.I shudder to imagine the kind of society we will have….

    • September 7, 2015 at 8:51 am
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      It is the only thing keeping the absolute vast majority of humanity from living a survival of the fittest life on Earth. The small and weak would absolutely live under the thumb of not the richest or brightest, but the fiercest and bloodiest. Any doubters of that need only study human history or read up on the real history of nations. The powerful would always exploite the weak, but on a global scale touching all corners of society.

  • September 7, 2015 at 9:23 am
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    Sin and redemption. Another religious scam that’s enabled
    them to coil in billions and control the masses by fear.

    Given religions record of intolerance and slaughter it can’t be
    taken seriously as a model to follow in the matter of morals.

    Obedience extracted under the threat of eternal torment or a
    fiery death at Armageddon has little or no merit. Gentle Jesus
    himself issued this uncompromising gun to head choice.

    Are we facing near anarchy without belief in God ? Not at all,
    Sweden is 85% atheist yet has one of the smallest homicide
    rates in the world. Poverty, inequality, not lack of religious
    belief are the causes of crime.

    • September 7, 2015 at 10:37 am
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      “From the Protestant Reformation in the 1530s until 2000, the Lutheran Church of Sweden (Swedish: Svenska kyrkan) was the state church. As of 2014, 64,6%[1] of Swedish citizens are members of the Church of Sweden, compared to over 95% in 1970, and 83% in 2000.[4]” and that isn’t counting all the other faiths. A simple fact check proved your numbers false. An agnostic is absolutely not the same thing as Athiest.

      • September 7, 2015 at 10:58 am
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        Robertperez, I believe most atheists are agnostic in that they would believe in God if they saw actual miracles like what was described in the Bible. Religion has to depend on pure faith to exist and that means no real evidence. There probably is good in all religions but is it from God, that is what needs evidence.

        I was brought up with no religion and I was not a rabid animal, which is what you seem to describe those brought up without any religion. I was a very normal human being child. As a matter of fact, I don’t think the average person could tell the difference between what I looked like and the next kid who went to a church. I didn’t steal and I didn’t kill and I didn’t covet my neighbor’s kid’s bike. My parents didn’t go to a church and they didn’t break the law either and were excellent parents.

        To try and figure out how the earth and the universe came into existence seems to me to be a stupid endeavor and the reason I don’t believe in the Bible anymore is because I did read it finally.

  • September 7, 2015 at 11:02 am
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    A great read, and so true. When our 1st stint of my young JW years , those pictures affected me age 7 in 1974. It works so well. The mind control and fear phobias are now so well known about more than ever. Even Clinical hypnosis. Rutherford was a Psychology student who used the model introduced my Freud from Charot in 1914. He stipulated that the meeting format should never be changed. Self reasoning and critical thinking no longer exist after a short while. Fear induced suggestion as well as loaded language works amazingly. I WT know this which makes the existence of this cult ever so much more sickening.

  • September 7, 2015 at 11:27 am
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    RobertPerez, Lawrence L.
    Thanks for your comments. I’m sure you’ll agree it’s great
    to have Cedars site, where we can engage with each other
    without rancour.

    Sometimes we agree and sometimes not, but our thoughts
    are our own, as it should be, and not someone else’s, as in
    the mental straitjacket method of, answering from a paragraph.

    The fine articles presented here and the comments of everyone
    help us to refine or even revise our opinions and beliefs.
    Best wishes, Ted.

    • September 7, 2015 at 12:35 pm
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      Hi Ted,

      I agree it’s great to have this site. My beliefs have undergone a lot of revisions. Some are not exactly mainstream either. This is a place I feel safe expressing myself.

      Best Regards

    • September 7, 2015 at 12:48 pm
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      Agreed

    • September 8, 2015 at 7:32 am
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      Ted,

      Great comment! I couldn’t agree more. It’s so refreshing to be able to agree to disagree.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • September 7, 2015 at 11:44 am
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    it is the Bible that speaks of the destruction of ungodly men. it is not an imagination of WT

    • September 7, 2015 at 1:59 pm
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      Baby, yes you are right and religions can use either the threat of being burned in hell or being killed at Armageddon to make people conform and support that particular religion. They all think they have the “truth”. That is because they only hear their side of the story.

      Armageddon or hell fire are great tools tools, used by an awful lot of “Christian” religions. The thing is though, do people really need an organization or just the Bible?

      Every church can interpret the Bible however they want to make the people afraid of not going to heaven when they die (or being destroyed by God at Armageddon) and the Watchtower is just like all the rest.

      The only difference between those other religions and the Watchtower is that the Watchtower is organized to accomplish the work with eight million followers and so to all Witnesses, to them that proves it’s the only one true religion, doesn’t it?

      They brag about it and that is supposed to prove to them that it’s the “truth”. But, that doesn’t prove anything, the fact that they are organized.

      The proof in the pudding is, is what they are preaching really in the Bible or not? That is the most important thing. Not that they all preach the same message.

      The message has to be from the Bible and if it’s from the Bible, then it wouldn’t be changing every time the wind blows in a different direction. God might work in mysterious ways, but that isn’t one of them.

      • September 7, 2015 at 3:04 pm
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        The Bible is pretty clear in Chapter 18 of Deutoronomy on how to go about identifying false prophets.
        “‘If any prophet presumptuously speaks a word in my name that I did not command him to speak or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. 21 However, you may say in your heart: “How will we know that Jehovah has not spoken the word?”22 When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word is not fulfilled or does not come true, then Jehovah did not speak that word. The prophet spoke it presumptuously. You should not fear him.’
        And we don’t fear them, time after time after time, they have given false prophecies and then twisted scripture in order to intimidate the not completely brain dead. Those were the closing words of the law in Moses time, but Christ himself in Revelations 22:18-20 in
        the closing words of the Greek scriptures gives a more serious warning to people who presume to amend to what is written in the bible or dent what is written in it.
        “I am bearing witness to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; 19 and if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things that are written about in this scroll. 20 “The one who bears witness of these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’” “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.”

      • September 7, 2015 at 4:52 pm
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        I am not saying that the Bible is something I believe in but what I am saying is that if the Watchtower uses as it’s “constitution” as Geoffrey Jackson said at that hearing, then the religion should be backed up by the Bible. If not, then it’s claim to be a “Christian” religion is bogus.

    • September 8, 2015 at 7:36 am
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      Baby,

      Welcome back!

      The bible does indeed speak of the destruction of ungodly men.

      The difficulty is that people disagree as to what being “ungodly” is!

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • September 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm
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    Robert Perez thank you. I needed to hear that. I agree with you, my family’s critical thinking skills are lacking. You guys are awesome. I’m so glad I found JW survey. It’s taking me a long time to get my mind unscrambled. Sometimes I don’t know what to think so I need people like you guys. Thank you. My brother used to be an elder. He stepped down after his daughter confessed to adultery. She remarried. She is in good standing. My brother and his family aren’t speaking to me and I’m not welcomed around them because I reported my niece to CPS (children’s protective services) because she gives her nine month old baby alcohol to drink every day. She gives him beer from a beer bottle and red wine undiluted, Every day. After I got into an argument with her I went to the elders for help. The two elders told me it was up to her because she is ultimately responsible when it comes to raising her children. I don’t go door to door. I don’t want to bring anyone into this religion. My brother compares my niece to King David and to Moses. He says during bible times the ground would have opened up and swallowed people who wouldn’t have accept and associated with her. For 21 years I wanted my family back in my life. But now I don’t like them. I’m having bad nightmares because of all this. I’m upset.

  • September 7, 2015 at 3:46 pm
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    The nice thing abou this article is that it can help more than just Jehovah’s Witnesses, it can also help those from other religions who use fear doctrines i.e. Hell fire, end of the world, so on and so forth. All religions use fear phobias to control the masses because quite frankly there is no other way to control and that’s exactly what man likes to do “Control”.

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