In a video clip from the 2015 convention series, Robert and Brenda Sutton are praised for shunning their child
In a video clip from the 2015 convention series, Robert and Brenda Sutton are praised for shunning their child

It is a predicament that all too many visitors to this website, myself included, find themselves in: believing Jehovah’s Witness relatives cutting off all contact in the belief they must do so in order to show loyalty to God.

And there appears to be no sign of Watchtower relaxing its cruel shunning policy, which it has repeatedly denied even having – especially if a video from the 2015 regional convention series is anything to go by.

In the video, which has just started to be circulated on Facebook, a JW couple identified as Robert and Brenda Sutton are interviewed about their experience raising three children. It emerges that one of their children was disfellowshipped not long after getting a new job where there was “questionable association with coworkers.”

The Suttons, who are now working at the Watchtower bethel facilities in Warwick, unashamedly talk about how they “cut off all association” with their child after he or she was disciplined by elders. They describe how the shunning eventually led to him or her returning to the organization.

After they give their experience, the speaker praises the couple for their “excellent example” as they exit the stage to applause from the audience.

What makes this video especially difficult to watch is how the parents who did the shunning are quick to portray themselves as victims in this scenario, with seemingly no thought for the trauma of ostracism inflicted on their child.

“It was one of the hardest things that I ever had to face,” relates Brenda Sutton. “I had many sleepless nights praying to Jehovah, but I came to realize that we needed to trust in what Proverbs 22 and verse 6 says: ‘train a boy in the way he should go, even when he grows old he will not depart from it.'”

In other words: train up a boy to believe what you believe without question, and if he grows up and walks away from it of his own free will you can bank on him returning if you are prepared to emotionally blackmail him.

“We began to question ourselves as parents,” says Robert Sutton. “Where did we go wrong? Were we too strict? Were we too lenient? Just what did we do that was wrong?”

Guilt and self-loathing are typical by-products of cult indoctrination, and few things induce these toxic feelings quite as well as an adult son or daughter walking away from the faith despite the best efforts of believing parents to super-impose their beliefs on him or her.

“But one thing we did for sure, and that’s in addition to multiple times with praying to Jehovah,” added Robert Sutton. “We made sure that we cling to our spiritual routine.”

Yes – staying busy, busy, busy in “Jehovah’s service” helps keep those feelings of guilt at bay. You may have let the Creator down by failing to calibrate your child’s brain to his specifications, but at least you can put in extra ministry time to compensate.

“What was it that moved your child to return to Jehovah?” asks the speaker.

“Well it was the missed association with the family,” says Brenda Sutton proudly and unflinchingly. “And here’s why, I had always told our kids… ‘I would die for you, I love you, would die for you, but if you ever leave Jehovah I wouldn’t be there’. And they knew that we wouldn’t waver on this. But sad to say, and as hard as it was, we had to cut off all association.”

Speaking for myself, those who are being shunned by JW relatives don’t want their relatives to die for them. They want them to live with them and be in their lives.

A person could easily find himself or herself in a situation where they choose to die for a complete stranger, perhaps a small child on a road as a car approaches, but that doesn’t mean they have full love for the person they are saving. They are merely showing basic human solidarity for a vulnerable person in peril.

Real love is when you stand by your child no matter what, through good times and bad, and sadly JW parents who capitulate to the cruel and baseless rules about shunning can never lay claim to such love. Their love is conditional – based on their offspring sharing the beliefs they have been indoctrinated to accept, usually by their own parents.

Speaking as someone who has recently become a father, I know that wild horses couldn’t pull me away from my baby daughter – especially not something as frivolous and petty as ideological differences.

It saddens me to think my father once felt his own love for me was unbreakable, perhaps when he once cradled me in his arms when I was a baby. The fact that a cult can erode such strong parental bonds only underscores for me how corrosive Watchtower ideology is, and how important it is that it be combated, refuted and dismantled wherever possible.

 

 

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Further reading…

206 thoughts on “2015 convention interviewer praises parents who shunned their kid

  • June 10, 2015 at 2:02 am
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    Hi ,
    Have got the following books :-
    1) Captives of a concept
    2) Raymond Franz’s (Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom)
    3) The Gentile Times Reconsidered
    4) Steve Hassan’s (Freedom of Mind and Combatting Mind Control)

    Is there any other books which is required reading for helping our loved ones get out of this evil cult. Please suggest.

    • June 10, 2015 at 2:54 am
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      @RC, another good one is “The Armageddon Cult” by Daniel LeEarl Hall and I liked “The Four Presidents of the Watchtower Society” by Edmond C. Gruss and also “Apocalypse Delayed” by M. James Penton.

      Crisis of Conscience was my favorite followed by In Search of Christian Freedom but The Gentile Times Reconsidered is really good too. The thing that I like about The Gentile Reconsidered is how he shows from 17 different ways, how 607 can be disproved and that the Society even admits in one the Society’s own publications that there is no evidence for 607 but they are waiting for it to happen some day to prove that they were right after all. Also, it shows how unchristian and dishonest the Society is when they disfellowshipped Mr. Jonsson when he proved the Society wrong about 607 to keep him quiet. Doing that to that man, was the lowest of the low and it shows that they will resort to throwing even the most honest and sincere Witness under the bus and destroy their reputation to save their own skins and their publishing and real estate empire. Doing that alone to that man, should be enough of a reason why any honest Witness should take a stand against the Society and never attend another meeting until those men on the Governing Body grovel at the feet of 8 million Witnesses, begging for their forgiveness for what they have done to them.

      • June 12, 2015 at 10:30 pm
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        Hi anonymous,
        Thanks . Will check out the new books as well.

    • June 12, 2015 at 7:47 pm
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      Nice summary of books.

    • January 8, 2016 at 2:23 pm
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      My husband’s kids are third generation witnesses. Over 20 years of marriage he never “joined”, but when we got together I could not understand why he could not see through her manipulations with his kids. He would just repeat how she “could not” do certain things, the bible says so. He did not join, but it certainly had it’s effect on him. Lots of reading and lots of counseling before either of us had enough of a clue about his life. Too little, too late for him and his children though. He slowly became evil incarnate and he has not seen either since 2011. :( I’ve read and study quite a bit, “Awaking of a Witness” is really a less volatile book. The author sheds light on both sides without completely bashing all those still as JWs.

  • June 10, 2015 at 9:33 am
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    I never realized that the WTBTS was soo secretive about its shunning practices. After an episode of JWPodcast where it was mentioned how they deny it I dug around the jw.org site and noticed how they mention things like “people are free to leave” and are very vague about something that every rank in file JW knows is hanging over them like a guillotine should they stray away and break the rules.

    Even the way its presented in this video, the speaker as the representative of the Society did not specifically make any mention of the shunning, the parents are directed to express what “helped” bring their child back into the fold. The mom finally says that she told them “I will not be there”, and all I can see is the reactions in the crowds of people nodding their heads in agreement and approval.

    They don’t have to outright say it anymore because its been soo ingrained that every JW knows what she is saying. Its incredibly insidious and evil.

    • June 10, 2015 at 12:55 pm
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      @Fedup, they could sell 90% of all the Kingdom Halls and the rest still in the cult would still believe it’s the “truth” because, after all, didn’t the Society predict that “the love of the greater number would cool off?” The Society are experts at cult mind control and it’s so sad. If 90% of all the Witnesses fell away, the 10% would be prouder than ever of themselves.

      I am glad I am not one of those fools who may experience the downfall last when all those around them could see the writing on the wall and got out when when the gettin’ was good. Right now, they are all still riding on an arrogant high.

      Someday, they will look back and remember how stupid they were. That is what I am doing right now.

      • June 12, 2015 at 12:58 pm
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        Anonymous, I very much enjoy reading your comments. You present cohesive thought out arguments. Sometimes I have noticed that you look back at the years spent in service to the organization as a waste. I can understand as I feel I have lost valuable time myself. But your life experience gives you a great amount of credibility, you really know the inner workings and subtleties of this organization. I thank you for your valuable insight. There are some excellent comments on this post, thanks to all the contributors and to Lloyd for providing this service.

        • June 13, 2015 at 4:46 am
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          @Mac, thank you for saying that!!

  • June 10, 2015 at 12:29 pm
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    I was raised a Jw along with my two sisters in the 70s. I have proof from long ago up until now they shun family members of all ages . This is very sad. My mother is the only one still a Jw. My dad never was he died in Jan and mom just won’t let go of this cult that has controlled her for 50 years.

  • June 10, 2015 at 3:57 pm
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    Wasn’t this a youtube video? Looks like the original was taken down in only two days. Amazing!

  • June 11, 2015 at 2:09 am
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    Anonymous….AMEN.

  • June 11, 2015 at 2:54 am
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    I’ll bet “Family Fun Night” at their house sucked big-time. These people are robotic. As Cedars said, it’s all about them and their suffering.

    One thing that intrigues me, over and over, is that they feel this discipline is DIRECT from Jehovah and don’t accept that it’s often slanted/ignorant/biased/bored/hateful elders that dole out this punishment. Yikes.

    • June 11, 2015 at 7:24 am
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      Barb, I can’t imagine how much fun that “fun” night was with those parents. They did everything “right” in their eyes by going to all the meetings together, having their weekly Bible study with the kids and going in service together and then they “scheduled” a family night together that was supposed to be fun. Their life sounds like it was so structured like it was a blue print they were following.

      The mom also says she kept up her pioneering so that basically was a full-time job for her. With any full time job for a woman, means that when she gets home, she’s got another 3 hours of homework to get done every night. So, what time did these people have for a close relationship with their kids?

      To them, scheduling a “fun” night with their kids was supposed to keep this kid protected from outside “bad” influence for the rest of his lie and from getting a job that “led” to his getting disfellowshipped.

      What did his getting a job have to do with their training anyway? Obviously, the kid was out of the house by that time because they said they didn’t have anything to do with him anymore and that wouldn’t have been possible if he still lived in the same house, or else they kicked him out of the house when he got disfellowshipped.

      If they kicked him out of the house, that would have looked ever more cruel than how they treated him in the demonstration and I have a sneaking suspicion that is what happened but they had to leave it out just in case “apostates” would have taken that and run with it.

      If the kid was out of the house and living on his own, then why in the world, would they have wondered what they did “wrong”. Once a kid is out and on his own, their job is done. They can’t be responsible for what he does once he leaves the house.

      Are these parents so arrogant to think that what they did as parents is going to keep him “protected” from outside influence the rest of his life? What parents can watch their kid every minute of every day for the rest of their lives? People need to realize that once a kid leaves the nest that they are now responsible for themselves and can’t blame the parents for their mistakes (if it was a mistake so then why would the parents ask themselves where they went wrong?)

      If the kid was out on his own and did something to get himself disfellowshipped, then the parents could have said something like: “We hated to do it, but we followed orders from the Society so as to make him see the bad course he was following so he’d come back to the “truth” and save his life. It was really hard for us to do, but all we cared about was him living through Armageddon so we had to be strong.” That would have made more sense than the only explanation of why he came back was because he missed the family.

      I have a feeling that the kid couldn’t survive on his own and that they kicked him out of the house and he came groveling back because he was starving to death or something like that and he had no choice but to come back and follow their rules to get back in their good graces.

      You can tell by the look on the mother’s face that there is a whole lot more to the story than that little 3 minute skit.

      All the Society was trying to accomplish with that story is that if parents want their kids to come back into the “fold” that they have to shun their kids. But for every one kid that works on (which they will never talk about), there’s probably 30 it does just the opposite and makes them more sure than ever that no loving Christian religion would treat an erring child like that and make them more determined than ever to never have anything to do with it.

      I can only think of maybe 2 or 3 out of at least 20 kids that I personally know of that got disfellowshipped and never came back. I am glad for those kids that they saw it for what it really is, even if they don’t have anything to do with the parents anymore. The kids are better off.

      Some parents who really do love their kids cry when they talk about those kids but others are arrogant and could care less about those kids now. The parents who really do love those kids and do shun them, are miserable. I think that contributes to so many in the congregations being on anti-depressants.

      In that video, the guy introducing those parents made a comment like “perhaps” there are some in the audience going through this very thing…I can guarantee you that probably most of those people in that audience are experiencing having to shun a loved family member or a close friend. It has to be the most depressed group of people on the face of the earth because of the shunning policy.

      Also, the kid’s job isn’t want caused him to get disfellowshipped. It’s like the leaked elder’s video. It wasn’t the girl that forced that kid to commit fornication. He did it on his own. That girl didn’t rape him.

      • June 11, 2015 at 2:21 pm
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        What sort of brainwashing techniques teach parents that totally cutting off a child is normal and appropriate. As a parent I can’t ever imagine how I could do that to my Kids, not ever.
        There is nothing more conditional than the unconditional love of the JW’s.

  • June 11, 2015 at 11:10 am
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    Blackmail is criminal in the part of the world I live.
    How possible is it to get hold of this book elders use for judging others? I need a lawyer to check this out.

    • June 12, 2015 at 10:36 am
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      Shepherd the flock of God, the elder manual, is available as a PDF on line.

      According to the lawyer for the WTBTS in Australia, they can get away with this because the baptism question 2 acts as a verbal contract.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • June 11, 2015 at 11:22 am
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    “Their life sounds like it was so structured like it was a blue print they were following.”
    Nicely summed up Anonymous. We were instructed to make out a schedule
    for all our activities. The CO would ask, are we sticking to our schedule?
    He would then counsel to let relatives know when we would be at meetings
    or out in f, service, so they wouldn’t turn up and interfere with the blueprint.
    ( There was no time allotted for “Worldly” flesh and blood.)

    “Family fun night” AH ! at last, a rest from the Bible, Sorry! No competitive
    games, no worldly video games, no card games. Heaven forbid !

    Let’s make it charades, identifying Bible characters. — When I used to get
    together with other JWs for a social evening ( After the meeting)
    it always ended up with that kind of “Entertainment”.
    No wonder they have a problem with youths leaving.

  • June 12, 2015 at 6:07 pm
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    David Splane gave the weirdest talk on jwbroadcasting called “There was no 1900 year old Faithful and Discreet Slave”. I listened to it over and over again and as far as I can tell, even though the name of the talk is that there was no Faithful and Discreet slave for 1900 years, the closest description that he could come up with is the Catholic Church. He talks about the Catholic Church being the first of preaching the Bible all over the world and he doesn’t say anything bad about them after that and then he gets to the end an just ends it with “and so there was no 1900 year old faithful and discreet slave. That talk even though it was interesting, seemed really pointless to me.

    I take back my earlier description of agony and worry written all over his face. I don’t know what to think of his personality, whether he’s deluded or dumb.

    • June 13, 2015 at 5:39 am
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      Anonymous,

      Dear lady, may I echo the sentiments of previous contributors and say thank you for your comments.

      I think that Stephen Lett has some problem with stammering, poor chap. That is why he overemphasises all his words. I pity anyone with any impediment, no matter how I hate their choices.

      His over the top gestures….I have no explanation for those!

      I have no idea if he believes the balderdash or not. I think that there’s evidence that he is deluded, and I think that some of the others on the governing body members too.

      I try to hate the actions and decisions, while having some regard for their humanity. I don’t always succeed!

      One thing is certain. These “gentlemen” are continuing flat out to teach and enforce shunning. It’s a disgusting betrayal of peoples’ very humanity, and we all need to help eradicate it.

      I am always educated by your comments, anonymous. Thanks for being kind enough to help others through challenging times.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

      • June 13, 2015 at 7:36 am
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        @Excelsior, thank you so much for your kind words. It helps me too to get my inward thoughts about the Organization out and written down instead of just rolling around and around in my head all night long. Writing down a person’s thoughts is good therapy, at least it works for me. Peace be with you also!!!

  • June 13, 2015 at 1:48 am
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    Splane said Catholics did more missionary work than Protestants, but still failed to qualify as faithful and discreet.

    Splane and his GB associates claim the title for themselves, but that is presumptuous. Only the master can reward his slaves with authority over all the master’s belongings. And the master, Jesus, has not given that reward yet.

    Given WT’s flip flops on the faithful and discreet slave doctrine, starting with Russell in 1881, I don’t see how a thinking person could believe the position they have taken now.

    It’s a big lie, and voids their claim of authority from God. Once you understand they lack authority, the other flaws in their teaching can be dismissed as doctrines of men, not even worth arguing about.

    • June 13, 2015 at 2:58 am
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      @Simon, I know that Splane claimed faithful and discreet slave for themselves (didn’t explain why though) but he didn’t explain why the Catholic Church didn’t fill that description or did I miss something? He credited the Catholic Church with missionary work etc. and how the other religions didn’t do that but didn’t explain clearly why the Catholic Church didn’t fit that description. He went on and on why the protestants didn’t qualify but I didn’t catch why the Catholics don’t.

    • June 13, 2015 at 5:46 am
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      Simon,

      Good biblical points, sir. Thank you for reminding us that this slave has yet to be appointed.

      Further, since when does a slave get to boss people around?

      Jesus spent a lot of time teaching about humility. He ministered to his disciples, thus setting an example.

      I think that the FADS is a parable, but if there is a FADS, or a class that is the FADS, then they should be humble and serving the Christian congregations selflessly.

      The WTBTS is a cult, and is as far from humble Christianity as it is possible to be. They have no claim to being appointed by anyone.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • June 13, 2015 at 2:16 am
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    I can’t stop thinking about the demonstration with Mr. and Mrs. Sutton and how carefully it was all scripted.

    Mrs. Sutton made a mistake when she started out by saying “I always….” and then she said “well, I said”…. So, she made a mistake and went off the script. If the video has been removed that would be the reason I think when she started off by saying “I always”…. It was like she really goofed because it made it sound like she said it over and over again to the kids that she brainwashing them into following the religion or else she wasn’t going to be there for them. That seems like a threat more than anything.

    If you want your kid to follow your religion, it should be for the right reasons, not out of threats of excommunication. You do it or else I will disown you. That doesn’t sound very loving at all.

    Then when the father says “We kept asking ourselves, were we too strict or weren’t we strict enough”. That was also so very scripted. They read every word the way the Society wanted them to read it.

    That was also very scripted because the Society wanted all those people in the audience not to blame themselves if their kid got disfellowshipped and haven’t come back and got reinstated so that all those parents in the audience can wipe their hands of it and not blame themselves as long as they followed the Society’s instructions with meeting attendance, field service, reading the Bible and their “fun” nights and their weekly Bible study.

    The Society was telling parents, to make sure you do all these things too and if you can pioneer too, well, that’s even better. You need to do everything the Society tells you to do as parents and if the kid goes astray, well, you can wipe your hands of their death at Armageddon because none of it was your “fault”.

    And that works for a lot of people. They will wipe their hands of their kid, thinking it’s all the kids’ fault whatever the kid does now that they have moved out of the house or even if the kid is living at home and does something “wrong”, the parents can wipe their hands of it and not blame themselves for whatever the kids do.

    It was intended to keep parents from being depressed at the thought of their kids dying at Armageddon if they keep that attitude and follow the instructions from the Society. It is intended to keep parents of disfellowshipped kids from thinking too hard about what they might have done wrong.

    The problem is that if their lives are so structured like that, that when a kid gets out on their own, they are like a spring that is let loose. No parent can do everything “right” and sometimes the parents can be too strict or not strict enough.

    It’s not to say that parents should blame themselves for when their kid does something “wrong” but the parents should ask the kids “what did I do wrong?” They should ask the kid that but instead the kid is disfellowshipped and the kid isn’t even allowed to tell the parents what they did wrong. They are not to listen to the kid even before the kid does something “wrong”. These people didn’t have time to listen to these three kids. Having three kids to raise and having full time jobs leaves very little time to know their kids when they have all that extra stuff the have to do when they are Witnesses.

    What if the kid didn’t like all that stuff they had to do like meetings and Bible reading and not being able to celebrate birthdays or Christmas or whatever? What if they believe in evolution and not the Bible? Is the child free to express themselves? No. That is the whole problem with this religion. Everyone has to follow the script and nobody is allowed to go off the script and be themselves. If you don’t follow the script, you will be ostracized so in order not to be ostracized, you follow the script. If a child has a brain in his head and doesn’t want to be controlled like that, they will lead a double life.

    If you compare that demonstration with the Suttons with demonstrations on other television shows with personal experiences with other religions, it is far different. In those other television shows, the parents are out their happy and singing but in this demonstration, the wife seemed scared and the father seemed under mind control. Those other people in other religious television shows are under cult mind control too, but at least they all seem to be in a real “happy place”. It’s not the forced “happy face” that Witnesses are told to put on.

    • June 13, 2015 at 5:54 am
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      anonymous,

      I totally agree. She looks frightened and she does have cards in her hands that she keeps referring to throughout.

      I found this video disturbing and desperately sad.

      So many lives diminished.

      Great comment!

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • June 13, 2015 at 2:03 pm
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      I agree with alot of the things you say…it is discouraging to me and it hurts..because iam a babtized JW…but i have my own feeling and views about matters similar to yours.

    • June 18, 2015 at 10:44 pm
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      The interesting part for me was when the mother said, and i’m paraphrasing, “if you ever leave Jehovah i will not be there”. What makes her think she can deny her children their 1st amendment rights? The Freedom of Religion clause states: The First Amendment’s free exercise clause allows a person to hold whatever religious beliefs he or she wants, and to exercise that belief by attending religious services, praying in public or in private, proselytizing or wearing religious clothing, such as yarmulkes or headscarves. Also included in the free exercise clause is the right not to believe in any religion, and the right not to participate in religious activities.

      • June 19, 2015 at 4:31 am
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        @NoJesus4Me, unfortunately, freedom of religion allows people to join mind-controlling cults who prey on people with little or knowledge of the Bible and those cults are able to control them to the extent that they will abandon their own flesh and blood in favor of eight ordinary men in New York and even when they do learn what is in the Bible, dismiss everything they see in that Bible that shows them that they are in a mind-controlling cult, in favor of those eight ordinary men who couldn’t punch their way out of a paper bag without somebody there to tell them how to do it.

  • June 13, 2015 at 6:47 am
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    Very sad. After being out of the Watchtower for about a year now, sometimes I forget how completely delusional this way of thinking is.

  • June 13, 2015 at 7:44 am
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    Our watchtower or the jw org (I actually have never known what exactly it is referred to even when I grew up in this thing), always convinced us how being a pioneer always brought happiness, I personally became one & tried being happy but I realized I was forcing it. The family in the video was forcing it because that is what they’re supposed to do.
    The society (by the way what’s their right description?), teaches how they’re the most loving religion the earth should proud of, yet they treat their family inhumanly for the crime of simply disagreeing on religion. We were actually told how we should never feel bad when our good Jehovah kills our relatives who are non jws at Armageddon, we should actually throw a party & invite all neighbors. I was wondering why the Jehovah I love so much can be so bad.
    I am not surprised because its a jw thing, they’re simply unloving.
    By the way, anonymous, I wish to be your bible study! I think your could conduct progressive bible studies.

  • June 13, 2015 at 8:37 am
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    Splane’s argument against the Catholics goes like this:

    a) without spiritual food to dispense, there is no faithful and discreet slave
    b) without a Bible, there is no spiritual food
    c) before the printing press circa 1440, Bibles were hand copied and rare
    d) the Bible was written in Latin, only priests had easy access to Bibles
    e) some priests even faked the words of their mass when they forgot the Latin!

    Fakery? His whole argument is fake. It’s a red herring that serves to confuse and distract. They don’t want people to focus on the real issue: the GB’s claim to the title of faithful and discreet slave is a lie; their authority is fake.

    Once we understand that, their other lies melt like ice on a hot day.

    • June 13, 2015 at 10:35 am
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      @Simon, I might be “only” a woman and and an old one at that, but I swear that I could have come up a whole lot better talk than that one of Splane’s to try and prove that the Governing Body is the faithful and discreet slave, even if I had to make up a whole bunch of stuff. He just gets to the end of his talk and says “so there was no faithful and discreet slave for 1900 years” and that was supposed to be good enough for this make believe sister who would ask that question since now the Society says that even though for many years they said there was a faithful and discreet slave during those 1900 years and now there really wasn’t a faithful and discreet slave for 1900 years.

      I think these men think that if they just keep talking with words and more words, that the one asking the question will just give up, expecting an explanation that actually does make sense.

      I don’t believe that any one of the men on the Governing Body can actually explain all that “new light” in the July 2013 Watchtower. According to that July 2013 Watchtower, the faithful and discreet hasn’t been appointed yet so at the end of Splane’s talk, he should have added “and there isn’t a faithful and discreet slave now either”. Just being the producer of religious literature doesn’t make them the faithful and discreet slave.

      The funny thing is that at the beginning of his talk, he talks about how there has always been “anointed” but there hasn’t always been the faithful and discreet slave so my question is: How could there be anointed if they didn’t have Bibles and couldn’t read it if they did have a Bible until the invention of the printing press in the 1400’s ? Why didn’t God help those people along during all that time so they’d come up with a printing press to make the Bible available to everyone? Why did God have to wait until puny men came up with the printing press?

      Splane as much as said that the only ones who could have been anointed would have been the clergy since they were the only ones that had Bibles and could read, right? What about the rest of the people? Why just only owners of Bibles who could read those Bibles would have that privilege of being anointed of God???? So God “anointed” those people during those times before the printing press, just by virtue of having and reading a Bible?

      I don’t know what women he is referring to when they supposedly come up with those questions to the Governing Body, but I would not be satisfied with his answer to that question. Those men obviously think that we women are stupid to fall for such a simple and pointless answer. That goes to show just how stupid THEY are.

  • June 13, 2015 at 11:12 am
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    I have more questions about David Splanes talk. He said that for 1900 years there wasn’t a faithful and discreet slave.

    The Society says that there was a Governing Body in Jerusalem during the first century until the end of the first century when the “apostasy” set in. In Acts, it says that there were thousands baptized as Christians. Since there was supposedly a Governing Body in Jerusalem during that time, why didn’t the Governing Body organize all those Christians to do the preaching work? Somewhere in the Greek scriptures (I think it was Paul) said that Christianity had been preached throughout the entire earth. So, then since there was supposedly a Governing Body directing the preaching work, then that Governing Body should have made sure that the message about God, spread instead of letting it die out at the end of the first century. Why would God let it die out like that, especially since there was a supposed Governing Body in Jerusalem? That Governing Body must not have been doing their job very well or maybe it was because the printing press hadn’t been invented yet so they’d have Watchtowers to sell that explains the Bible because after all, the Bible is so hard to understand, that they’d have to have people to interpret it for those people. But then, why would God come up with something that was so important for mankind but they wouldn’t be able to understand it without somebody to explain it to them? That doesn’t make any sense.

    Also, since there was supposedly a Governing Body in Jerusalem until the end of the first century A.D. and you count forward 1900 years from 100 C.E., you come up with the year 2000 A.D. Is that when Splane was talking about now having a supposed Faithful and discreet slave, in the year 2000? I think Splane left out 100 years in his calculation because I think he was meaning at the beginning of the 19th century is when the Faithful and Discreet slave first showed up.

    • June 13, 2015 at 11:15 am
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      I should have said that I think Splane added a hundred years, not left out 100 years.

  • June 13, 2015 at 11:47 am
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    @anonymous, it’s impossible to resolve all the contradictions and inconsistencies of WT doctrine.

    Jesus said there will be two men in the field; one taken, another abandoned. So his followers need not huddle together in one place to survive. Jesus will choose and take people according to their individual merit.

    So I feel no need to labor over the conflicting details of WT’s flawed teaching.

    • June 13, 2015 at 1:38 pm
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      Simon, it is too hard for me not to labor over all the contradictions and inconsistencies. If I could do that, my brain would be a lot happier. What helps for me to put it down in writing then my head can go on to other stuff less confusing.

  • June 13, 2015 at 11:59 pm
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    We all know how confused and confusing those guys can get. Ask any random jw now what the latest stand on the generation & the F&DS teaching is, you will be surprised.
    Tomorrow Tony will wakeup & tell all how the FS has always been there starting with Abel through to Moses & Jesus appointed a new spiritual FS, since the first never put faith in him(Jesus). Then the FS continued through history since there were sincere Bible students who even sacrificed their lives trying to preserve & translate the Bible.
    Then CT.Russell happened to continue from where the rest stopped till now.
    clap clap clap.

    • June 14, 2015 at 2:47 am
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      I would give my eye teeth to confront them directly.

      • June 14, 2015 at 4:12 am
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        And I would give mine to be there to watch! I think you would run rings around them, if they were men enough to debate with you. Your knowledge and critical thinking skills are just so good.

        • June 14, 2015 at 5:26 am
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          And the sad thing is that Anthony Morris’ son Paul married a girl from our congregation (Raquell) and before they got married, he visited and even gave a talk or two in our hall. If I only knew then what I know now!!

        • June 14, 2015 at 5:37 am
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          @Wanderer, I forgot to say “thank you” for saying that.

          • June 15, 2015 at 12:22 am
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            @anonymous thank you for your well written, knowledgable comments. Even though I faded a long time ago, I get a lot of pressure from my family to return. This website and comments from people like you really make me realise what a good desicion we made in leaving and what a dishonest organisation the JW’s are.

        • June 15, 2015 at 3:31 am
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          @Wanderer, thank you again for such a nice comment. That really makes my day.

          As long as your relatives are still trying to get you to come back, I have something you might ask them sometime and I bet they can’t answer it for you. It goes like this:

          In Genesis 12:1-3, Abraham is told to leave his own people and country (Ur) to go to Canaan and that God was going to make a great nation out of him and all the families of the earth would bless themselves by means of Abraham. At Genesis 12:6, it says that when they got to Canaan, the Canaanites were already living in the land.

          We as Witnesses were always told that while the Isrealites were in Egypt that those people (Canaanites) came into Canaan and took over the land but Genesis 12:6 clearly says that when Abraham arrived, the Canaanites were already living there.

          Now in Exodus chapter 6:5, God is telling Moses that the reason God is bringing the Israelites out of Egypt is because of the Covenant that God established with Abraham that God was going to give Abraham the land where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had been alien residents.

          So, the Society lied to us when they say that God had every right to kill off all those people because they took over the land that belonged to the Israelites. That land never belonged to the Israelites. They were alien residents in the land when they were asked to move to Canaan and the land was already inhabited.

          Also, in Genesis 25:1-4, it says that after Sarah died, Abraham married Keturah and it tells about all the children that Abraham had with her and one of his boys was called Midian. So, if you take the nations that came out of Jacob and Esau and Keturah with her children, the land of Canaan was already filled with Abraham’s children by the time of the Exodus and yet those Israelites leaving Egypt were to go to the land of Canaan and kill off all those people who were descendents of Abraham including the Midianites (Numbers 31).

          When Moses left Egypt the first time, he went to Midian and married a Midianite woman and had Midianite children and here he was told to kill off all of Abraham’s offspring, including the Midianites. Does that make any sense?

          At that time, all those people, including the Midianites had already made a great nation out of Abraham. So, why was Moses told to kill them all off????

          The Society lies when they say that those Canaanite people moved into that country and so that is why he had every right to kill them all off because they didn’t want to leave.

          • June 15, 2015 at 4:47 am
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            @anonymous thank you for the fantastic reply. I have to be very careful as to what I say, my elder brother (older and an elder) would try to disfellowship us for being apostate at any opportunity. I think he sees us not going anymore as a “shame” on the good standing the rest of the family have. My parents are not getting any younger and are such good grandparents, I wouldn’t want to jeapordize their relationship with my kids or us. It is not a fair situation as I can’t speak my mind for fear of being cut off from my parents, it’s like a religious peer pressure!

          • August 16, 2015 at 8:08 am
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            @anonymous
            Yes, Midian, Canaan, and other semitic tribes were already in the land.
            The reason the Genesis account
            is contradictory is because the Old Testament is plagiarized text artistically rendered into Israelite supremacist propaganda. In between the exodus and final form there’s about a century that goes by of
            haphazard editing, contradictions, sloppy duplications, and non-sequiters.

            In 1922, Howard Carter, the discoverer of King Tut’s tomb, threatened explosive exposures that would overturn key elements in the Bible. It was only after meeting Carter eight years later that Freud put forth the thesis in Moses and Monotheism (1939), in which he postulates Moses was probably a renegade Egyptian priests or Pharoah Akhenaton himself. And it was more than a hunch.

          • August 18, 2015 at 3:03 am
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            @Mandalay, and the funny thing is that the Bible even says that it is not to be trusted at Jeremiah 8:8 where it says in the NWT that the Bible is full of lies because of the lying scribes. Witnesses don’t pay attention and neither does anybody else who reads their Bible.

        • June 15, 2015 at 5:02 am
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          My family are like that too. Even if I bring up anything, they refuse to listen or comprehend. At least you still have a good relationship with your family.

          • August 16, 2015 at 10:21 am
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            Mandalay, if Witnesses read the Bible and think about what they are reading, it makes it clear that when the angel appeared to Moses in the thorn bush, that the voice that Moses heard was the angel’s voice and the Society gave that angel the name of Jehovah. Acts Chapter 7:42 says that during the forty years that the Israelites were in the wilderness that they were worshipping Moloch. That is why the Israelites did all the despicable things they did when they went into those lands and killed off all those people like they did.

          • August 17, 2015 at 9:25 pm
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            @anonymous
            Moses was evidently an adherent of monotheism (remember monotheism was of Egyptian origin, like circumcision). He and the Levites were trying to persuade Israel to accept the new religion. Levites were cruel enforcers of the new religion. And yes, Israelite people practiced human sacrifice. One has only to consider Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac or Solomon’s willingness to butcher a baby to see what kind of people these were. Eventually this is what split up the united kingdom of Israel. Ten tribes went north and continued human sacrifices. History tells us that the people who came out of Egypt were Hyksos, cruel and barbarous Asiatic invaders. They were rulers in Egypt for 300 hundred years, not slaves. After their expulsion from Egypt, they were called Israel and reorganized in the desert with other semitic tribes. They did despicable things because that is what they were, the vilest of people. Even the Talmud and Zohar condones human sacrifice. The accounts in the Bible are given a religious gloss; when you strip that away, you really see why the Egyptians wanted them out of their country. This is all documented.

  • June 14, 2015 at 10:46 am
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    The July 15 / 2011, WT, stated. “The message is clear. Our love for
    Jehovah must be stronger than our love for unfaithful family members”.
    That statement came, after recounting the tale of JHVH striking “Dead”
    the sons of Aaron.

    This is typical of the way that WT org, uses the Bible. — To threaten
    and intimidate. Is it possible to truly love someone, when in effect
    they’ve got a gun pointed at your head? And threaten to kill you,
    unless your love for them is not stronger than your love for anyone
    else?

    And who are the “Unfaithful Relatives” that we must shun in order to
    demonstrate our love for JHVH ? In many cases they are people
    to whom truth matters. But they have not found it in the WT, org,!

    The so called unfaithful ones. Cannot accept, that One Generation
    lasts 115 years, and still counting. Or the shape shifting F & D,S
    nonsense. –Russell– All anointed remnant– GB, currently 7 members.
    Slave appointed in apostolic times? – Wrong, now changed to 1919

    Also unacceptable to reasoning people. Is the the switcheroo on the
    1935 cut off point for anointed qualification. Under which most, if not
    all GB present members would “Not Qualify”. So now that has flipped
    and the date left open ended. Now anointed GB, can be produced
    ad infinitum

    I’m delighted to be numbered among the unfaithful, which in their view
    means a rejection of WT, org, teachings. But in reality it’s clearing the
    the mind of all the see sawing rubbish. The Bible says, “God does not
    change”. That alone tells us they’re not getting their info, from him.

    • June 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm
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      @ Ted your comments NAILED the GB to the STAKE or should I say CROSS??!

  • June 15, 2015 at 4:58 am
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    To all those Game of Thrones fans out there;

    Have you noticed how the High Sparrow acts like a pious Jehovah’s Witness elder??? (Probably a Branch Committee Member or some other ‘high rank from the Society) Isn’t it funny how he refers all of his decisions to his Holy Book and his fellows on the Body of Septums???

    How the “trial” is going to be much like a Judical Committee in some Kingdom Hall basement???

    It seems that the TV shows producers and the writers understand authoritarian religion much better than the regular guy-on-the-street! Although this show is fantasy and fictional, it is based on facts and historical narratives and the scenes dealing with the different religions and their inner workings would make for intelligent discussions among people.

  • June 17, 2015 at 1:24 am
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    what interesting comments and valid no doubt we are all feeling the pinch are we not has it occurred to anyone that all the prophecies with reguards to judgement is going to start at the top of the pyramid there is a smashing instrument coming and lo and behold those who should shepherd Jesus dear sheep are first after all they claim to be so responsible for those sheep i remember as a child asking my dad what it meant when 1 got lost and the shepherd went looking for the sheep he didnt smack it and rough housed it back into the fold or threatened it that poor sheep was put in the bosom position for safe keeping my dad had no answer just vague waffle it is very clear to me our Lord will be the judge of mankind not us our job is to be human and act in a humane way with all the attributes of a human not a machine just a few thoughts for today

  • June 17, 2015 at 2:00 am
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    post script has it occured to any of you out there that we are feeding each other and getting stronger because we have been so starved and we have such faith as not to be abandoned just when we need the help having these thought provoking comments and a collective consciousness reguardless of belief or what conclusions we come to the overriding thing that comes through is not hatred or getting even but genuine love for damaged people so keep the comments coming i need them so much and just to know we are not alone and isolated because some of us really could not cope at all on a lighter note i have requested my husband to not ever accept any assignment at the assembly where we are held up as shining examples what pressure on my kids he is rather bemused but how can i run with the hare and hunt with the hounds the thought of being scrutinzed by genuine people and me having to lie in front of thousands of people would feel like an ultimate betrayal of honesty

  • June 17, 2015 at 7:09 am
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    As someone who was raised in the organization but, have been ‘inactive’ for the past 4 years…I have questions for this group. If it is a ‘man made’ religion and rubbish…What do you all believe? Are you athiest, like Cedars? Are you Christian, and attend a non-denominational church? I’m curious as to where most of us ‘land’ after being a JW.

    • July 28, 2015 at 12:24 am
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      I left seven years ago, and I became a Jew. Converted with a Reform (Progressive) rabbi. We accept homosexuals, we vote, you can be an agnostic, whatever. It is the best thing I have ever been a part of.

  • June 17, 2015 at 11:18 am
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    All witnesses are convinced that “there is nowhere to go”
    If they leave the organization(besides loosing their families). Those two thoughts are a deterrant.
    They’ve had pounded in their brains the words of Peter:
    “Lord, where shall we go, YOU have words of everlasting life”. Talk about twisting the scriptures! The “you”, they say is the Watchtower Society! But we all know it’s Jesus Christ.
    So for those who are religious and want to continue being Christians, they have plenty of choices.
    Where I live, most are either becoming atheist or Catholics. They reason it is apostolic.
    I know I’ve never been so happy, in spite of the shunning.
    What a breath of fresh air to be free from them!!!

  • June 17, 2015 at 8:04 pm
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    Hearing it spoken out loud like this clip makes me squirm to think once I would not have thought twice about it. Then, when it happened to me when I sent in my disassociation letter I experienced the reality of shunning even to the point where my mother on her deathbed refused to see me.

  • June 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm
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    I have not read all the other comments yet, so perhaps someone has already said this, but – Why don’t they interview all the parents shunning their children with no ‘success’ ? Those whose children have not returned to the fold.
    These JW’s love to spout their rubbish, how cutting off their own family members is for everyone’s own good.
    All it does is cause hurt. Being shunned myself, it has only cemented further into me that I was part of a bogus man made religion, and no way do I want to return.

    • June 23, 2015 at 10:05 am
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      Ocma,

      An excellent question and observation.

      Many people respond to shunning by being even more determined to stay away!

      How many lives are lived this way? People denied a loving, close relationship with their kin and absolutely convinced that Jehovah’s Witnesses are totally wrong.

      The general public are beginning to comprehend that the kooky, goofy Jdubs are in fact a cult. Their squeeky clean image is an illusion that is fast losing its effectiveness.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • June 23, 2015 at 1:45 am
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    None of my children or grandchildren remained witnesses, and we did not shun them as we did not agree with this stance. Now we have faded out as we finally see the hypocrisy & lack of truth in the Org. It is amazing how clear things are without the continual WT programming !

  • June 29, 2015 at 8:44 pm
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    Well said. When the elders told me my son was marked because of his questionable associations, I could not believe how scummy that treatment was. I remembered thinking if people in the congregation mark him and then I did too, what hope has he got? And how could that possibly be good for him? It made no sense. It was just plain cruel to do to a young person and I couldn’t help thinking about the young ones who had been disowned by their parents to be left to fend for themselves. What a cruel and stupid act to do to a teenager. Never, never could I do that. One of the many reasons why I left. The Watchtower Society was cruel with no heart for the weak and vulnerable. Not a Christian bone in their body.

  • July 23, 2015 at 1:17 am
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    I have been disfellowshipped three times. Third times a charm–hey. I have been reproved twice. I was advised to not leave my abusive cheating husband. The one elder that came to my defense, they took him off my committee saying he was too close to the situation. My mother is a witness and my dad was disfellowshipped growing up. My sister just recently got baptized. My mother has stopped talking to me this go round of me being disfellowshipped. My sister talks to me, not often, but just to say hi, how are you. I started researching when I was DFed, because things did not add up what they teach and how cruel they were. They turn their back on the “spiritually” sick people and cast them into “satan’s world.” I had a sister tell me two weeks after my dad die that I am sorry you won’t get to see your dad in the new system. I had an elder say to his daughter about a skirt I was wearing, I wonder how much she charges. My mother is in a deep depression because she lives her life waiting for Armageddon and each passing day it does not come she sinks further and further away. The last time I got DFed, it was for fornication and I was asked by the brother if I had a porno problem. How did fornication go to porn problem. I directed the question back to him. He told me this is about you. Now I was not told on by anyone about my action, I went to them. But yet, they said I was unrepentant. If I wasn’t I would have never said anything to them. They decide who they want to keep and who they put out. They are to the core bigoted hypocrites. I am still in shock that everything I was taught as a child was a lie. The elders did me a favor that day.

  • July 24, 2015 at 11:16 pm
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    I just discovered John Cedars video insightful commentary on recent Jehovah’s Witness activity and Governing Body discourses. I was born and raised in the original cult that parented the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I.e. The Bible Students. If John knows anything about Watchtower history ( which is fascinating) he’d know that they stilll exist. There seems to be a misconception with ex-witnesses that Bible Students are a softer kinder organization. Not so!!! Where do you think the Watchtower learned its tricks! Yes Bible Students still exist but unlike the Witnesses are truly on the brink of extinction. More to say…later. But my family traces its association with the Bible Students to Charles Russell founder of the Watchtower. My grandmother met in the NY Temple when Russell headed things up. She sat on his lap as a little girl being interviewed as to whether she was old enough to consecrate. When the split came after Rutherford assumed leadership, my ancestors went with the Bible Students… Which can be thought of as orthodox Wathtower/Russellites.

  • July 25, 2015 at 2:05 am
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    I grew up a witness and I am disfellowshipped third time. You know they say, third times a charm. I always in the back of my mind had doubts on things. You don’t question, you believe. My mom is one. My dad was disfellowshipped ( he is passed now) My mom does not talk to me. She did talk to me when I was DFed the last two times. She says I just do not want you to die. I tell her you are not God. I say to her I do not want to be part of a religion that turns their back on somone that is “spiritually” sick. The way they do things makes no sense at all. I went to the elders and repented and they said I was not sorry. I told them if I was not I would not be sitting in this room. How does an act of fornication go to Sister do you have a problem with porn? They were invasive. I bet he had a prob with porn and was getting off on my confession so to speak. I had never felt more humiliated in my entire life. Shortly after my dad died, I had one sister tell me that it is ashame that I will not see my dad in paradise. These are the most bigoted people I know. They play God themselves.

  • September 15, 2015 at 6:55 pm
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    This mother looks so depressed. She says that if her son ever left Jehovah then that would be it. The truth of the matter the child left the watchtower, not Jehovah. They hate to admit it. They really mean to say the child left Jehovah but we know better. She is guilty for telling a lie. No wonder she looks so depressed. That religion would make anyone depressed. It would even depress Jesus. AQll this nonsense on account of 7 old men called the governing body. No one can tell me one thing that what makes these 7 men so great. plz- someone tell me why? I would say that if these 7 men ordered kool ade to be drank this Sunday at 10 oclock that most would be there. It would be strawberry flavor. A Jim Jones could be down the road.

  • September 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm
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    I had a conservation with a black brother that is so brain washed it isn’t funny. I told him that is the governing body told him that he would turn white 2 weeks from now that he would believe it. And as you guessed he said certainly he would believe it. And that he would be waiting for the governing body to say when.And he was serious. And he also said he cant wait to become white. A mind is a sad thing to lose to a cult- So sad.

  • September 29, 2015 at 10:11 am
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    A fellow cult-escapee sent your FB page to me….. I am certainly glad to know that my wife and I are not alone. Having both been raised in the indoctrination camp of the WT Society, we , naturally have strained relations with our families. After not setting foot in a Hall for several years, my brother invited us to see his talk last Saturday, as our parents were up from Fla. for the week. Kill two birds with one stone, etc….. Well, suffice to say that after our class in mythology, and the excruciatingly long visit with the folks, we had to go out that evening and see a rock band and roll around in some “worldliness” to get all the “holiness” off…..

  • January 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm
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    I am slowly fading, dating a (wordly) Latina and I would be very curious if there are any posters here who are of Hispanic origin and if so what they feel about this very weird and intolerant shunning policy especially since they are so family oriented. Not saying others are not, but in my experience they are typically very very close knitted.

  • January 30, 2016 at 1:59 pm
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    Hello After I read ur post I wanted your opinion about a bible account on how God removed the woman and their child from their husband/father from his holy land because this woman were from other cities that did not worship God, pagan city.
    The account is found on Ezra 10 see what verse 3, 10, 16-17 say.

    Answer this question, If you think the witnesses religion is horrible for shunning a person who committed a sin and don’t show signs of repentance so that they can keep the congregation clean from people who wants to go against God’s words, just like Satan, an angel, that was shunned by God from the heaven to dwell in the earth for being evil and satanic
    what do you of God’s action of removing the woman and their children from their husband and father and send away to their land to live as single parent and during that time it was the man who was the main supporthing of the family. I’m sure all of those woman went thru hardships.

    So what do you think of God doing that? And compare of why this family actions is no different from what God did.

  • June 17, 2016 at 12:48 am
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    I got married three years ago, and then it was sweet’ in the beginning after a year and few months, I gave birth to a male child, at that moment I started facing spiritual falsies in my life along the process automatically my husband changed his attitude coming home lately and all sort of meaningless things. After a while he said he can’t live under the same roof with me and he left the home. my life was in hell starting from the day my man left home, he stopped picking my calls he blocked me on his Facebook account. And i had no other option than to seek for spiritual assistance. because sometimes i use to watched some magical things on movies. Finally i found a restoration centre were I seek for help! After getting to one week, I seek help! from restoration home my husband found way back home peacefully. I’m so much grateful everything has finally settled. i sheared my testimony to everyone whom needed assistance to restore marriage, here is Dr obodu email,, [email protected]

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