Following the “Return to Jehovah” release, is the net closing on inactive ones?

Tony Morris releases a brochure aimed at bringing back inactive ones, who now appear to be under closer scrutiny
Tony Morris releases a brochure aimed at bringing back inactive ones, who now appear to be under closer scrutiny

A leaked Watchtower letter in Polish addressed to all elders in Poland has asked for details of Witnesses who have become inactive since September 2014.

The letter gives instructions for congregations to send in the “S-10” form – an annual document that asks elders for basic figures regarding the number of active/inactive/reactivated publishers, the amount of unworked territory, and the number of those who are deaf or blind.

But the leaked letter, dated September 1, 2015, makes an additional request for the particulars of anyone who has ceased to be an active publisher over the last 12 months. It is so far unclear as to whether the same letter has been sent out in other countries or languages.

A translation of the pertinent sentence in the letter reads: “Given the special care we are giving to our inactive ones, we ask your secretary to prepare an additional letter about witnesses who became inactive in the 2015 service year. Please specify their names, surnames, age and a short summary about what you think was the cause for their current situation.”

It goes on to say: “We are confident that the information they choose to divulge will assist you in better caring for the needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the territory. (1 Peter 5:2)”

Especially if similar instructions are issued throughout the world, the letter would seem to indicate that Watchtower is starting to bring inactive ones, and especially their motives, under closer scrutiny.

The “Return to Jehovah” brochure released at this year’s convention series (which the letter seems to allude to) indicates that there is a clear disparity between Watchtower’s notion of why people become inactive, and the reality of the situation.

The brochure suggests that Witnesses become inactive due to “anxiety,” “hurt feelings,” or “guilt.” But the most popular responses for 1,614 inactive/faders who took part in last year’s 2014 Global Survey of Jehovah’s Witnesses (the full results of which are soon to be published) indicated reasons involving intellectual honesty.

(Click on the image below to enlarge)

inactive-ones-2014Though there will always be a percentage of inactive ones who remain indoctrinated and blame themselves for being too “spiritually weak,” the reality is that often inactive ones simply grow tired of lending their support to a religion they no longer believe in.

Watchtower must understand this at some level, despite their fanciful treatment of the subject in the “Return to Jehovah” brochure. It is, after all, their shunning policy that makes Jehovah’s Witnesses a “captive organization” (to borrow the words of Angus Stewart at the Australian Royal Commission) from which it is impossible to leave gracefully.

If you are fortunate enough to wake up from your Witness indoctrination and seek to maintain contact with believing family members, turning inactive or “fading” on the understanding that you will not speak out against the organization is the only option available to you.

Perhaps Watchtower is already observing the signs of a mass exodus now that 100 years of “God’s Kingdom” have rolled by with no sign of Armageddon, thus rendering the cherished 1914 teaching increasingly obsolete. Or perhaps this new letter to elders in Poland is simply a genuine attempt at reaching out to “spiritually weak” ones in the wake of the new brochure.

Either way one thing is certain: if Watchtower wants to keep abusing its members through shunning, the mishandling of child abuse, the deadly prohibition on blood and the stigmatization of higher learning, they had better get used to Witnesses finding their way to the exit one way or the other.

 

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*Thanks to WifiBandit and the exJW Reddit community for bringing my attention to this letter.

To have your say in the 2015 Global Survey of Jehovah’s Witnesses, click here!

Related video…

132 thoughts on “Following the “Return to Jehovah” release, is the net closing on inactive ones?

  • September 4, 2015 at 2:20 am
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    Still haven’t read the brochure but I received it from a concerned parent. When I heard about the brochure from them by phone, it sent shivers down my spine. I just felt like we’d be having “the conversation”, which I have been avoiding.
    Thankfully it just got left at my house and I’ll get around to reading its propaganda when I’ve the stomach for it.
    I wish they’d leave us alone, we left for a reason, and have no intention of every going back to that prison…

    • September 5, 2015 at 7:59 am
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      I have been out 30 plus years now and its the same old same old when you read anything they publish. I suggest reading Combating Cult mind control. https://freedomofmind.com/Media/bookCombatting.php
      This is a excellent read weather your a past present or soon to be member of this destructive cult.
      I hear the words of both Ray Franz’s books ringing in my ears as I see the “Truth” of his words unfold in this society’s actions more and more.
      I am happy for all who have broken free from the chains of this Cult.

      • September 5, 2015 at 1:12 pm
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        I support John Baptist’s comment.

        Andrea, you have every right not to read that brochure.

        Respect to you.

  • September 4, 2015 at 2:48 am
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    My father told me that when they released this brochure, or when they made the comment at the Regional Convention that they would like all of these inactive ones to come back, he thought to himself, “They are never coming back!”
    I’m sure there are many others sitting through these meetings thinking to themselves that it is a ‘pipe dream’ to ever get the old JWs back! We hate it! What would go back to?!? You can’t make yourself believe this crap again and why would you want to???
    I’m just so happy that my family has come back to me and that my wife has really softened her stance that was so pro-JW! The last thing I need is to get involved in that cult that tried to split up my family! I am slowly trying to pry them away, gently but persistently.

  • September 4, 2015 at 3:01 am
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    I don’t know. It seems a bit speculative but if you think back on what has happened over the last year it would seem that there is a good possibility that they have seen a big uptick in the number of people going inactive. If that is the case it will be interesting to see how it is handled given the heavy-handed way that they have historically dealt with problems. I guess they will decide what to do depending on the number they get back, if it is big they might consider releasing some new light which would be a laughable response, if it is small they try to squash the dissent. It’s a no win situation for them either way.

    • September 4, 2015 at 3:30 am
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      It would be interesting to know if this letter was unique to Poland, in which case it might be relevant to something that happened there or if it was something that was sent out universally. This past year has been a publicity nightmare for the WTS. If you happen to come across that please let us know. Thanks for your good work Lloyd!

      • September 4, 2015 at 7:01 am
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        Poland had 1,756 congregations in 2000. The number dropped to 1,350 in 2014. This means 406 congregations dissolved in 15 years. Average every year 27 congregations less and less. Question for JWs: How is Isaiah 2:3 being fulfilled in Poland for last 15 years?

        • September 5, 2015 at 3:31 pm
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          I think the same is happening in Japan. I know that here in Australia the jw growth hasn’t even kept up with our population growth the whole time I’ve been in and out of jws, which is 20 years now. The census data for my city of 500 thousand people shows that in 5 years, there was an increase of only 96 jws. Considering heaps are moving to my city and the jw kids are getting baptised, that means more are leaving than joining, in my city

        • September 7, 2015 at 11:34 pm
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          Acually a warning for those living in the lords day (our day) from Jesus about the congragations (called lampstands).He said they would desolve or be taken away if the leaders (or angels/elders) are not doing what they are supposed to. (Rev. 1:20 ;2:5)

          In Jude 11-13 it says of Elders: “Stars with no set course” and “sheperds who feed themselves without fear” saying about them “These are the rocks hidden below water at your love feast.”
          They are those who are supposed to be leading good but are no longer righteous due to the unrighteousness that was found in them by God Almighty.

          Sad to say but they are the reason so many leave .They put on a mask for their circut over seers fooling them, however the people with no power or the weak are the witness God will use against them and by them they will be jugded.
          GOD SAYS in Malachi 3:5 about His people who are bad -“I will come near to you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who take false oaths, against those who defraud the hired worker, the widow, and the fatherless child, and against those who refuse to help a foreigner.
          These have not feared me,” Says Jehovah of armies.

  • September 4, 2015 at 3:20 am
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    They are trying to cover all exits and draw the prison bonds even tighter….why do they want people who dont believe and who dont financially contribute to stay in this organization?… why do they want to make our existence even more miserable by containing us in a prison of fear when they must know we hate them?…. I cannot understand thier mentality….Geoffrey Jackson said plainly at the ARC…’no we dont believe we are the only channel God is using’…. so why dont they just leave us non believers alone.

    • September 4, 2015 at 2:25 pm
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      Because the GB are so brainwashed by their own self importance that they could not possibly conceive that the exodus is because people hate the Watchtower so much. Average brainwashed Witnesses just cannot conceive that kind of thinking either. They think what they have is so good, why would anyone want to throw it away unless they were just spiritually weak? If only they knew the real truth. I have found that most Witnesses don’t want to know the real reasons. I’m saying this from my own memory of being in that hypnotic state. They shirk to hear anything ‘negative’.

      When we left we ran for our lives like we were climbing over the Berlin Wall. Why would we want to climb back over the top again and return to that pack of wild dogs?

  • September 4, 2015 at 3:39 am
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    hi folks ive read the wt and awake for 35 years cover to cover since my baptism i decided a couple of months ago to just read the bible but this brochure return blah blah was the last thing i read and it has become my natural conclusion to a long drawn out loveless affair now im just a plain ol Bible reader and so happy. why oh why would they want us back, we are not and have never been loved i dont even feel im in the wilderness just waiting for my family to carry out their exit plan .how long if ever that will be i do not know but i tell you one thing all my doubts and dissappointments and failed hopes, the one thing i am sure of is this, the org do not have the truth. i am fraudulent at this moment in time, but i have divorced this organization in my head and heart i just need a little time to sign the get out clause i dont even find these people attractive anymore its is a facade so brochure or not how can a liberated soul go back to mental chains and false doctrine i would rather be one tiny voice in the wilderness saying all this is wrong and a lie than and blow out like a candle than spend eternity in a void that is supposed to be paradise and eternal with these melancholy holy terrors. This site is snowballing now as we all awaken isnt it great so thanks but no thanks my head and heart are not with the JWs anymore ruth lee

  • September 4, 2015 at 4:03 am
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    It may be dawning on them that their methods of control are no longer working. The playing field has changed and the Internet is a far bigger force than the Governing Body. Tactics that worked in the past to scare and silence people are no longer as effective.

    It will be interesting to see what they come up with to protect their bottom line. They could mainstream, which they seem to be moving towards. Who knows? One day it might dawn on them that around the world there are many churches that aren’t as controlling and that manage to their retain their members.

    When you have flawed theology, the only way you can perpetrate it is to keep your members ignorant and psychologically separated from the world, and try to prevent them from accessing outside sources of information. The World Wide Web is closing that gap.

    • September 4, 2015 at 4:33 am
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      I personally find it creepy they want our names. If you are just looking for stats and reasons people left you don’t need names anymore than Lloyd would need names of individuals for his survey. I wonder if a game called “Witch Hunt” is starting.

      • September 4, 2015 at 4:45 am
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        I think your right…they love the power over peoples lives…and the rule through fear…the likeness between the Nazis and them is frightening…now they are keeping records of names…Im not sure if they could do it here In GB.data protection etc…does anyone know?

      • September 4, 2015 at 8:10 am
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        I think Garrett is hitting on a great point; to the administrative types, the curse of no-growth means J* is “frowning on them” and its time to purge the unrighteousness from their midst, again. The dramatic fall in growth after the Great Disappointment of 1975 resulted in the “Witch Hunt of the 80’s” which cast out Ray Franz and hordes of other adherents to Watchtower who had discovered the joys of reading God’s Word daily.

        1 Kings 18:21 – a long abused stereotype. How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him, blah, blah, blah. The Baal vs. the LORD prototype, etc will be used to bring down fire from heaven, as it were.

        Even the administrative types don’t realize where they get this compulsion to make themselves separate and “the only truth” which stems from a long series of trailblazers in adventist beliefs. “Get out of her my people” a rallying cry used by adventist of 7th and First varieties since Charles Fitch’s 1843 sermon on Babylon. And, picked up on by Rutherford to instigate growth during World War II confrontational Bible Student court cases over the flag, blood use, vaccinations and other issues.

        This period was where Witnesses behaved like the folks following David Koresh or Warren Jeffs–rather die than compromise, and every government encroachment was a sign of the end-time. Anyone still think this “charming” bunch isn’t a controlling and all-consuming? Some of this behavior is echoed in the continual bizarre statements from “Tight-pants” because some Witnesses are doggedly determined to return to this strong conservative and confrontational mode of believing.

      • September 4, 2015 at 8:16 am
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        This asking for names is very suspicious. Several years ago I moved to a new cong. The secretary asked to see my drivers licence. I asked why he needed to see it. Reply, for our records. My word was not good enough for identification. They keep records, and I often thought it was illegal.
        The idea of a witch hunt sounds about right. They will probably be arriving to my home soon. Asking why I faded away.

        • September 4, 2015 at 10:20 am
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          Not to worry. As former witnesses, we’ve seen many methods to avoid a doorstep conversation.

        • September 4, 2015 at 11:01 am
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          Please record it, I assure you they’ll be recording you.

    • September 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm
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      Well said. Especially the last paragraph.

  • September 4, 2015 at 5:11 am
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    The witchhunt is not new. The elders constantly demand that any knowledge of “serious” wrongdoing be reported. They want to gather info on everyone and turn the members into spies, to feed their FBI-style databases, I have no doubt. This additional reporting will probably assist them in purging pawns whose hypnosis is wearing off.

  • September 4, 2015 at 5:20 am
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    They have never cared two hoots for the inactive so why now?
    I take nothing they say on face value anymore. Geoffrey Jackson stated at his appearance at the Australian Royal Commission that they “don’t run a spy network…” to check up on people. So why the need for a list of names and details on inactive ones?

  • September 4, 2015 at 5:25 am
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    They want names and the suspected reasons why these ones are inactive. Yes, sounds like a witch hunt. They are very aware of apostates and are looking for those ones among the congregation. Either they will leave them alone (unlikely) or they will do a full-on search for them to determine who they can nail for apostasy (if that is what they suspect). It will be interesting to see where this will go, and if it will be a worldwide effort. Thanks for the heads-up, as always, Lloyd!

    • September 4, 2015 at 8:22 am
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      I agree with you Sarah, as I suspect they will try to scare everyone into staying. They may pick out some inactive ones and judge them apostates. Instruct everyone to avoid them and never speak to them again. This really could back fire. Some JW’s are not going to just stop talking to faded family members because their status with the borg has changed.

  • September 4, 2015 at 5:39 am
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    “A translation of the pertinent sentence in the letter reads: “Given the special care we are giving to our inactive ones, we ask your secretary to prepare an additional letter about witnesses who became inactive in the 2015 service year. Please specify their names, surnames, age and a short summary about what you think was the cause for their current situation.””

    What is so interesting about this question to the secretary is that they don’t tell the secretary to go and simply “ask” them why they aren’t coming anymore? Why would that be?????

  • September 4, 2015 at 5:45 am
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    Great article…..they must realise while they themselves are trolling the apostate websites just how many are ‘getting away’ with fading….I feel certain it’s a clamp down. The thumb screws are going on

  • September 4, 2015 at 5:58 am
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    Another very encouraging sign of desperation. None of the bosses’ remedies will work. If you dunk them young, they will leave soon enough. JWs already are record breakers in the leaving the parental religion stakes.

    Warnings about avoiding apostate websites clearly do not work. There are even active and believing JWs who contribute to this site.

    Shunning can be avoided via fading, so here, in this Polish, and maybe global brochure, is a doomed attempt to staunch that flow.

    This can only be good news.

    • September 6, 2015 at 5:11 am
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      They probably came up with some new light in their diluted minds and said hey let’s do a test case in Poland. Lol. They are absolutely completely delusional in every sense of the word.

  • September 4, 2015 at 6:25 am
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    I will probably be in the back room soon. After listening to Lloyd’s 10 tips I already broke a few of them and it is costing me. I spoke to my closest friend about the child abuse issue and she repeated Lett’s words “apostate lies”. My family wouldn’t listen to the any of the hearing saying worldly people are attaching Jehovah’s people. So now my friend hardly speaks to me and my family is on edge. I have been inactive for 6 months now and the elders have been attentive….so far only small talk but I can feel the anxiety. I’m sure this letter if legal in the US will surface soon and I’m also sure that the motive behind it isn’t love. The inactive ones also kept their money in their pockets and they desperately need our donations. So now thanks to Lloyd’s ten tips and graphical survey I am preparing mentally what my comments will be when I receive my “shepherding visit”

    • September 4, 2015 at 11:12 am
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      Good on you, remember to record your shepherding visit. Every amicable question will be designed for you to drop your guard and relax. Do not lie to them, but follow the example of the gb and omit anything that is non of their business. Change the subject as often as possible. Set an alarm on your phone to go off after a fixed time, thank them for their consern (interrogation) and say your good byes. Remember the collective experiences on here, it is definitely a witch hunt, not a shepherding visit. Anything and everything you say will be misconstrued and used against you under prayer by these false shepherds.

    • September 4, 2015 at 3:08 pm
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      But when you see the brainwashing, doesn’t that make you realise how fortunate you are that you woke up? If they come by MimiLove, you can either not answer the door. This is a very common response from non Witnesses. Or just tell them you don’t want to talk to them right now or you can go into the full reason for leaving but that could land you in some trouble.

      It’s up to you but I just act like the way I used to see people act when they weren’t interested. Believe me, Witnesses don’t want to hang around inactive people for too long. Germs might be catching. I just avoid them when they come knocking and make it clear if I talk to them that I am not interested in anything they have to say. They know full well who I am.

      If it was an elder trying to round me up then I guess I would just stand my ground and tell him the bitter truth. That has not happened yet in all the years I have been out but granted there may be a first time.

    • September 17, 2015 at 8:08 pm
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      I’ve been inactive for 3 months now and fading for 18. I’ve had a ‘we would like to come chat to you sister’. comment from our head honcho but fobbed him off with a ‘not this month’ comment. Maybe I am paranoid but I have noticed the elders glance my way and whisper to each other. They smile as I walk past and ask how I am. I smile back and leave as quickly as possible. I have also noticed how quickly they leave their seats and head towards the door to catch those who try to bolt for it. It’s quite comical really.

  • September 4, 2015 at 7:02 am
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    @Lloyd

    Thank you for the research data. I look forward to plugin-in some other values from the survey*. It all this brings fond memories of my days(being sarcastic) in manufacturing & some market research days applying statistical thinking while removing emotional knee-jerk reactions. BTW, there are predictive models that stretch into the foreseeable future, like weather predictions. Unfortunately, there are still way too many unknowns (versus knowns) that cannot be incorporated into the models yet.

    * https://www.checkmarket.com/market-research-resources/sample-size-calculator/

    I do agree with the other posters that personal information of the Respondents has no bearing on the random data collection, unless its the weak argument of establishing verification.

    IMHO

    dogstar

  • September 4, 2015 at 7:03 am
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    I got this brochure mailed to me back in June along with a lengthy letter sprinkled with guilt in the form of concern about my spiritual well being…and of course out of love that I should go back to that prison, from my JW mother. I guess she got it from her district convention as it was mentioned in this post that “Return to Jehovah” is a new release by the WT. Anyway I skimmed through it and just felt so much anxiety building up within me about the WT having interest in those who quietly walked away like myself. And the reasons they listed for leaving were truly laughable! However…What really got me upset was the conditions they listed to go back to full active status. Why would I ever go back to living a lie?! It has been five years since I faded. Five glorious years of being free. Sorry mom I am never going back.

  • September 4, 2015 at 7:38 am
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    The problem with the elders filling out a questionaire about why someone has left is they will most likely just repeat the sentiments of Watchtower, and say it’s because they want the world, or don’t want to humble themselves enough to be obedient. I took the slow and respectful road out so as not to lose my daughter. I’m still shunned, and despite my consistent explanation that I cannot come back until I get answers to legitimate questions, my daughter believes that I’ve fallen under the control of the devil. She came to this conclusion for no other reason than I don’t believe as she does. I think my experience is unfortunately a common one. If Watchtower really wants to know, why don’t they go to the ones who have left and ask? We’d be happy to tell them. :)

    • September 4, 2015 at 11:15 am
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      Crisis of Consience- They know very well why you left.

  • September 4, 2015 at 7:40 am
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    When I was fading, someone told me that the elders would pay a visit and ask if I still believed the Organization was spirit-directed. I was warned that if I answered in the negative, I could face disfellowshipping. I was skeptical.

    Sure enough, during their visit, they asked me that very question. I answered (in all honesty) that I believed the Organization was spirit-directed (I didn’t reveal that I thought by a demonic spirit). Their faces relaxed and they smiled, and all was well, for the time being.

    I tried to discreetly fade but still was shunned by my family, still in. No leaving this organization without being punished. So much for their claim to “champion” religious freedom.

  • September 4, 2015 at 7:43 am
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    Thanks Cedars for this article, I would like to advocate for the JWs stuck in WT who truly care. I feel there are many Elders and othe JWs who want their loved ones to survive Armageddon. My loved ones have remained in touch with me now and again to encourage me to return in spite of the fact I am Df’d.

    These individuals truly love me and care about me and they are unconditional friends as they still contact me against WT rules.

    Sadly these JWs are emotionally blackmailing us without realising it. So this brochure is doing emotional harm to those that have woken up and those that care about their loved ones who have left.

    The GB are not beyond reproach in producing this brochure. They are being manipulative by controlling JWs emotions and using their vulnerabilities to increase their membership.

    I find this destructive, dangerous and abusive.

    Kate (Sam)

  • September 4, 2015 at 7:48 am
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    Of course the GB/WT not to be outdone, the Catholics have had an outreach program to bring back their own for sometime. From catholicscomehome.org

    Welcome Home

    Faith should touch every corner of our lives. We know it can be intimidating to walk through those doors, but we’ve been expecting you. Welcome home.

    Interesting the similarities on both sites … and copycat?

    IMHO

    dogstar

    • September 4, 2015 at 8:22 am
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      Not just JW’s and Catholics, all corners of the Christian empire are grasping at desperate measures to attract former believers or turned-off once-believers; including berating themselves for over-reaching and attempting to make their core beliefs the law for non-Christians or judging those who never professed Christian beliefs. And, with migration of more Islam and other world religions into the once Christian-dominated civilizations, just a general panic.

      • September 4, 2015 at 9:19 am
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        >>>And, with migration of more Islam and other world religions into the once Christian-dominated civilizations, just a general panic

        An attractant to islam is that former sins are whipped clean, a reset! Prisons are a good source for converts to islam. Also, the hard pressed belief by islamist(believers) that it’s the only “true religion” and they are willing to enforce it! (fatwas on the apostate – to – honor killings such as adultery). Prayer requirements of 5x aday in the direction of the Kaaba plus non assimilation (sharia laws) in non-islamic society. Jesus or as muslims like to push Issa per their koran is only a mere prophet and their allah has no partners, meaning God has no SON or angel!

        To the lost or ignorant this looks like a higher/harder bar above all others faiths!

        IMHO

        dogstar

        • September 4, 2015 at 11:47 am
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          Irrelevant to site and topic

          • September 6, 2015 at 5:23 am
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            He’s got nothing better to do. He needs some deprograming after his escape. He will get it in time.

  • September 4, 2015 at 8:18 am
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    After watching Geoffrey Jackson’s testimony in Australia, it dawned on me that I was being counted among the ’20 million associated’ with the WTBS that he referred. My wife and I promptly sent letters of disassociation. We left many years prior, but I never saw the need to make it formal, even though we have no family involved.
    They are basically bragging about 20 mil who have left the org.! I’d like to see that number drop dramatically.

    • September 4, 2015 at 10:19 pm
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      This is a tremendous point! I am sending a letter as well.

    • September 5, 2015 at 2:19 am
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      I believe he is also alluding to people who they have met on the doors. Who go to the memorial but who don’t go to meetings and may have started studying. Someone who is not committed but who might be interested.

    • September 6, 2015 at 5:26 am
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      Corporations fluff numbers all the time. Angus Stewart shut them down on their fluffing with his sharp eye for sure.

  • September 4, 2015 at 9:16 am
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    I feel for all of you responding here. I am sad that all of you have to bear the brunt of these evil and now lying (i.e. Mr. Potato Head Jackson’s testimony) control freaks. They ARE on a witch hunt now. Why would the leaders ask for names instead of data from the elders of each congregation. Why would they publish such a ‘loving’ publication to bring all the faders back to sheep-like fold. Big data is a two-way street. The internet and education is the WTS biggest enemy, but they can employ big data to twist the screws on you too.

    My best advice is to BE PREPARED! Be prepared for family and friends shunning, back-stabbing, the little-old-lady elder wives spreading rumors, tattle-tails, etc., etc., etc…. It will HURT and bad!!! We have a saying in America, “Freedom isn’t free!” You may have to make a tough choice for your own conscience and dignity. Be brave people! My love and thoughts are with you all.

    • September 4, 2015 at 11:22 am
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      At least in my neck of the woods many, many rank and file faithful watchtower pushers are beginning to see shunning for what it is. The harder watchtower pushes this practice the less members can stomach it.

      • September 17, 2015 at 8:18 pm
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        The more you tighten your grip, GB (Tarkin), the more publishers (star systems) will slip through your fingers. … always was partial to a bit of Star Wars.

  • September 4, 2015 at 9:22 am
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    It is interesting that the letter didn’t simply tell the elders to go and ask those people who faded, why they faded. It has to be because they don’t want those secretaries to go and ask because those people will tell those elders the real truth behind the truth and then those elder’s eyes might be opened too. So, it is obvious that “faders” are to be shunned and not helped back into the “fold” unlike the lost sheep Jesus said they were supposed to go after.

    It is so cowardly of the Society to have the secretaries “guess” why those people stopped attending meetings. If the elders were doing the job that the Society says they are supposed to be doing, they’d be out there looking for that one lost sheep out of the one hundred that got lost.

    If they weren’t trying to find that lost sheep and and trying to bring them back into the “fold” then they weren’t doing their job. If those elders did go to those lost “sheep” and the fader told them how they really feel about the “truth” about the “truth” and it wasn’t pretty, then the elders are in the position of telling the Society the real reason why that person faded and it could be that then the Society will tell the elders that those people have turned apostate and they should be giving talks “marking” those people who have faded.

    My husband said that he thinks they may have done that about me now but since he misses so many meetings, he isn’t sure about it. My husband said though that if those elders are following orders correctly, that “marking” just means that you wouldn’t associate with them socially but I definitely get the feeling that I am being shunned for fading. But then when the elders did show up here to talk to me, they asked me if I thought that Jehovah was directing the Organization and I said no. I even told them that I thought that the Governing Body should be put in prison. So, even though they haven’t disfellowshipped me and I haven’t disassociated myself, they have their ways of getting me shunned anyway.

    • September 4, 2015 at 11:25 am
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      The overseer will have gathered all ms and elders and instructed them and their families to keep clear of you. They in turn will have spread the word on your pariah status, per design.

  • September 4, 2015 at 9:25 am
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    Has anyone noticed just how Big Brother-like this is? How absolutely suspicious and scheming that Tight-Pants Tony looks when holding the brochure in the picture above? Taking names? This is very similar to the “Ministry Of Love” looking to find your misdirected allegiances. George Orwell described this type of society to a tee. If these goons are going to run ‘Paradise Earth’ from above, then I don’t want to be a part of that ‘Paradise’.

    This is very disturbing to me.

    • September 4, 2015 at 9:47 am
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      @Searcher . I Agree TOTALLY with your comments that this REALLY Is SO CREEPY & ORWELLIAN in its Nature!! I studied Animal Farm & 1984 by George Orwell for English Literature at School before I became a JEHOVAHs Witness as an Adult. The Similarities are FRIGHTENING!!
      When an ORGANISATION tells Families to SHUN Each Other because one Might have GENUINE QUESTIONS about say the ‘ Generation’ or 1914 or F&D Slave then IT IS A CULT because at 1 John 4v1,2 it says test every ‘ INSPIRED STATEMENT ‘ & Even more so if it isn’t inspired!!
      So Why are the 7 MEN of the GB SCARED of QUESTIONS????
      I TRUST JESUS Not 7 Men in Brooklyn who CHOP & CHANGE INTERPRETATIONS every Few Years !!!!

      • September 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm
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        Not to mention actually changing, redefining obscure words (such as ‘pornea’), or deleting the scriptures as they need to fit their crazy-headed philosophies and prophetic statements.

      • September 17, 2015 at 8:23 pm
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        “A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy, and its ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible. But since, in practice, no one is infallible, it is frequently necessary to rearrange past events in order to show that this or that mistake was not made, or that this or that imaginary triumph actually happened.” – George Orwell.

        I think Lloyd mentioned this.

  • September 4, 2015 at 9:50 am
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    In my opinion asking the elders to provide the reason for the individual becoming inactive is extremely subjective and could be or will be self serving for the organization. I would not for one second believe that they would ever put the real reason why many leave – which is that the individual has found out that this religion is not directed by God and has many many flaws.

    Instead, they will probably say that the individual left because they were spiritually weak or would not take direction or were depressed or some other reason that puts the entire blame on the individual.

    The society will look at the results and foolishly believe that they are doing nothing wrong and will tell the rank and file that based upon our surveys most people who leave, are not truly spiritual people and need help.

    I left the witness religion. I am a spiritual person. I like reading the Bible. Problem is that the witness religion does not want to acknowledge the real reasons why people leave. They want to continue to live in a utopian world of make believe and solid control.

    • September 4, 2015 at 1:28 pm
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      Unfortunately, deluded people believe what they want to believe instead of facing he facts. The facts are people are no longer buying their scam. The leadership is alarmed and angry. They want to root out the disease that is infecting their empire.

    • September 6, 2015 at 5:54 am
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      When my Dad passed away(a faded elder) 6 years ago his request before he died was no service and cremation. Well he got the latter honored but my brother in law talked my mom into a manuscripted funeral talk which due to her extreme emotional and mental condition at the time and conceded to a talk. Well what ensued was unbelievable! These programed suit and tie folks showed up on behalf of my brother a then Elder who didn’t even talk to both my parents before his death to put on the funeral show for their own recruitment opportunities.
      I being my fathers namesake son as well as my son the III were completely blind sighted by it all. During the talk my brother in law stated the reason my father faded was because he was depressed. WTF are you kidding me! Just 2 months prior my Dad was telling me just how happy he was that he was without that destructive religion. Well I can tell you after he was done giving his talk my son imediately went up there and spoke about his grandpa and destroyed that theory and other statements in a heartbeat. It just so happens my son has a Masters Degree and is a Psychologist. That audience of programed believers had no clue what hit them. His first words out of my sons mouth was after introducing himself was “My Grandfather was by no means DEPRESSED” what was said after that was priceless!!

  • September 4, 2015 at 11:42 am
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    JW.org is a marketing company, the product is religion,
    the request for personal details is purely, Market Research
    to determine why the brand is losing its appeal.
    Which age groups have been mostly turned off and why,
    what change of direction they need to make and who to
    target.

    Concern and care for inactive brothers is “Sounding Brass
    and Tinkling Cymbals”. Like all commercial enterprises
    they’ll do what they need to do to survive, regardless of the
    effect on people. This was evidenced in the closure of
    19 branches when staff were no longer required, and were
    sent on their way with instructions to go pioneer.

    Brothers in Poland and elsewhere are waking up and seeing
    the true face of JW.org.

    • September 5, 2015 at 7:13 pm
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      Exactly.

  • September 4, 2015 at 11:53 am
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    At the end of the day it all comes down to non pereformance within the company. What are we expecting if claiming to be members, but not meeting any quotas on moving the product. Your love for God, his son or his word are all irrelevant. Start moving merchandise, get out into service more often whether your really qualified to teach or not and blessings in promotions and privileges will come down on you, per the Shepperding the flock (business manual) book.

  • September 4, 2015 at 12:24 pm
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    This is very bad news because I have not reported field service time for two months now. I guess I have to start lying to remain under the radar. I hate to lie but now I have no choice. I guess I am going to have to consider this “spiritual warfare”. If the organization can lie to protect itself then I guess I am forced to protect myself from the damage they can do to me and my family if they change their policy on inactive faders.

    • September 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm
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      Do like the pioneers do, report, say five hours and just make it up next month. It’s the old pioneer method.

    • September 5, 2015 at 2:36 am
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      For the last six months I liked on my report. I showed up on Sunday for 30 mins of service then counted two hours. It keeps them off your back whilst you mentally prepare.

    • September 6, 2015 at 6:05 am
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      Hey you only need 15 minutes to qualify a month now vs 1 hour. Just talk about the bible to someone for 15 minutes or break it up in 5 min. Increments. It still qualify’s for preaching. Just talk about the bible alone and nothing else and presto your still counted. Lol After all your playing by their rules anyway.

  • September 4, 2015 at 12:41 pm
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    Matthew 19:29 says, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”

    I don’t know if you all are Christians or not, but if you are, I believe the above scripture explains what needs to be done for the sake of Christ/to inherit eternal life. It’s hard to leave loved ones behind (as you all are well aware), however, this is what needs to be done. The most powerful tool we have is “prayer.” Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit will direct our loved ones from this demonic cult and its tactics. Trust God to do it. I just needed to share this with you. I have fam members who are in this WATCHTOWER prison.

    • September 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm
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      @AF . As always please READ the CONTEXT. Math. 19v27-29 . Peter said to Christ ‘ we have left all things to follow you’ & then Jesus said in v.29 anyone who leaves fathers & mothers will receive 100 fold in the Recreation in heaven.
      Now In CONTEXT Peter did not Literally CUT OFF FAMILY to follow Christ ,He had a mother in law so he was Married . He just Put Christ first in his life ,but PETER DID NOT CUT OFF FAMILY RELATIONSHIPs or STOP TALKING to them or SHUN THEM !!!
      The 7 Men of the Governing Body Mis -Apply & Lift one Scripture & TWIST IT . The GB ARE UNKIND & CRUEL in Encouraging SHUNNING of Family!!!

    • September 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm
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      @AF . As always please READ the CONTEXT. Math. 19v27-29 . Peter said to Christ ‘ we have left all things to follow you’ & then Jesus said in v.29 anyone who leaves fathers & mothers will receive 100 fold in the Recreation in heaven.
      Now In CONTEXT Peter did not Literally CUT OFF FAMILY to follow Christ ,He had a mother in law so he was Married . He just Put Christ first in his life ,but PETER DID NOT CUT OFF FAMILY RELATIONSHIPs or STOP TALKING to them or SHUN THEM !!!
      The 7 Men of the Governing Body Mis -Apply & Lift one Scripture & TWIST IT . The GB ARE UNKIND & CRUEL in Encouraging SHUNNING of Family!!!

    • September 4, 2015 at 9:35 pm
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      AF. You mentioned Matthew 19:29. I have to back you up on this one. When we initially left the ‘world’ with our own young family, we lived in a house we had built ourselves. My husband and I were studying. A travelling overseer, heard that we were studying and told the people who were studying with us that we had to move in order to be closer to the kingdom hall.

      We had to take a leap of faith, so we sold our house and moved. It was a bad time to sell and we got very little for our house so that we could not afford to buy another one. But the words of Jesus in Matthew 19 kept pushing us on. We believed His words. I can honestly say that we were never let down even though we rented for many years, we always managed to put a roof over our heads even if we didn’t own it. Then later we did end up owning our own house again. Jesus words are true, even if the Watchtower’s are not, as I can attest to that from our own experience. He will not forsake you.

    • September 4, 2015 at 9:45 pm
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      Jesus does not forsake his words. I can attest to that from my own personal experience which I won’t go into just now but the words in Matthew 19 I have found to be absolutely true. Jesus is the one to listen to right now and his words are so precious and appealing to the Christian ear. As our world changes, his words don’t. How dare the Watchtower have called us JW’s when we were trying to be Christians?

  • September 4, 2015 at 1:24 pm
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    Lloyd- Is there anyway that we can find out what the specific jobs of the GB children are and wether we’re looking at major uncomming nepotism within the GB in the near future? Would really love to know how many of them live off of the world wide contribution. Locally we just had a completely autistic and incoherent young man named ms( his dads one of the elders). Nothing against people with disabilities, but in 40 years I’ve never seen the like. Meanwhile spiritually strong youths are placed on questionable list for attending university. I keep my mouth shut and remember that technically I did promise God I’d be his witness to all these things.

    • September 4, 2015 at 3:42 pm
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      hi i want to reply to robert perez i agree with your last point about promising God that you would be his witness to all these things i think that is exactly what we are doing on this site all of us have something to say and want the truth out this is testimony to what is going on and how we are being affected. this rotten org has the audacity to say we are not God fearing or love scripture or even Christian. yes i know some choose not to follow anymore thats ok but some of us have shed many tears and its not lightly that we voice our thoughts but when those floodgates open there is no stopping us. so too right i am proud to say i will be a witness to God about all the rot and nastiness ive seen in my life and all the more so as we gain confidence and vigor., as for fading if they do go after these ones, well usually faders are gentle souls who dont need a beating they need nurture and friendship and love if the ones are shunned then this org is not only corrupt over money and sexual sin but out and out wicked who would return to such a lurking place ….. fill in gap. oops sorry the rant has gone on my pants must be to tight! ruthlee

    • September 6, 2015 at 6:18 am
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      I work with Autistic adults everyday and while everyone is different and most are of high intelligence beyond our realm that situation of someone becoming a MS may not play out so well for the individual as well to those he may be ministering. Believe me I clearly know what I am talking about in this regard. If anything I feel sorry for this individual as his father for his own reasons may have pushed him into it. And those reasons MAY be entirely self serving.

  • September 4, 2015 at 1:35 pm
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    I would love to say to the WTS leadership and GB: You cannot fight with lies and threats anymore! People are finding out your lies and deceptions now. The internet and education are your worst enemy! When what you call “Truth” is found to be a pack of lies and false prophecy, when your ugly history is truly reviewed, then it’s very hard to reclaim any real credibility to a thinking person. Good luck trying to stuff that internet genie back in the bottle.

    Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin!!! Too late, too late!!!

  • September 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm
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    [silly off-topic conspiracy theorist comment removed]

    John Chapman – any more such comments and you will be blocked. Final warning.

    • September 4, 2015 at 6:26 pm
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      Damn it Chapman! I warned you!

      Popcorn?
      Peanuts ?
      Beer here…!
      Cold beer!

      (Doesn’t it some how seem fitting that we should have a 7th inning stretch here? I always wanted to wear candy stripes and sell consessions at the Minnesota Twins Game)

      Ok… It’s the top of the 8th…
      Play Ball!

  • September 4, 2015 at 10:54 pm
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    I think they realise that those inactive are mostly faders and just want to keep their family ties going by not being DF for not believing, I think they are in fear of the inactive faders and what they know, and my bad feeling about this is they may want to ask question such as ” do you still believe this is Gods org and that the FDS are God channel”

    Any no would be put down as DA or DF and that breaks the family ties, no talking to them anymore.

    I just don’t trust this, as I think so many are becoming inactive faders and the GB deep down know its not a guilt but they have lost all faith in the org and the GB, they just may want to get rid of them.

    I don’t trust this a being a loving thing at all, though the R/F will see it as the GB being loving in trying to bring back the lost sheep.

    • September 5, 2015 at 8:32 pm
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      You may be right to be apprehensive. The organization is built on control of information, and active members are allowed to speak with inactive ones. The GB may well want to conduct another purge like the early 1980s. Formally disfellowshipping inactive members would at least serve to limit communication with active witnesses.

    • September 6, 2015 at 3:41 pm
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      ……., and my bad feeling about this is they may want to ask question such as ” do you still believe this is Gods org and that the FDS are God channel”

      Regardless of your personal view why answer? Consider Matthew 24 v 23,25 & 26 if you act in accord with it, you will not answer that question or endorse that thought either way.

      Its often on the same page as FDS v45. So many dont’ check context nowadays!

  • September 4, 2015 at 11:03 pm
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    PS, Poland may have more problem than other countries, however the brochure is for all congregations, so elders will be encouraged to seek out all inactive/or faders, as brought out in the ARC forget which elder may have been O’Brian that said we they can just fade that wont break the family ties, something to that effect, when questioned.

    They would hate faders I am sure they would rather get rid of them completely as they are not contributing, and the GB cannot be 100% sure why and realise that the internet has played a huge part in many at the very least becoming doubtful.

    They don’t want the faders or inactive ones giving any information to family relatives that could start doubts and research.

    • September 5, 2015 at 6:28 am
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      The only people that will need the Internet are those that never truly studied the Bible in its entirety. The avid students within the organization will never be able to clip with the current regime. The Bibles closing words make very clear what Jesus already back in heaven thought about the twisting of scripture to push an anti love agenda. Rev 22:18-20
      ““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; 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.” There’s nothing in there about a group of men in the “end times” being deputized to disregard Jesus example of unfailing love and mercy in order to grow a publishing company. For the record I NEVER voted to dissfellowship a child and toss them out into the cold, reading Gods word( not that of publishers) showed me how inconseavable such a notion would be to Christ. They have sowed a sence of hatred, futility, suspicion and arrogance in the average brain dead member. It is time to reap what you sowed. Gods word itself damns you

    • September 6, 2015 at 6:25 am
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      Bravo it’s the exact reason why any Cult would as they mandate no outside reading or ideas. Cult 101

  • September 5, 2015 at 7:48 am
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    Friends,
    Many of you have commented on visits from elders so for any sisters out there if the elders wish to speak to you, it should only be with your husband present if you have one. (And if you want it that way) It doesn’t matter if he is a witness or not. The elders should not be allowed to usurp the headship of your husband and thus they would be disregarding a scriptural arrangement. They won’t like it but that’s how it is. You don’t need to feel intimidated or let yourself be bullied. I hope this helps avoid another form of abuse.

    Best Regards

  • September 5, 2015 at 8:04 am
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    Well I know that our good organization is not really honest and actually never follows its own publications (bible teach says on the subject of bible that “its writers were honest even to write about their mistakes) say for example when they change doctrine why do they shift the blame to the spirit to have given then some out of date light only to later give them new truth (which actually woke me). But why does it still want to prison everyone? what do they stand to gain or benefit?

  • September 5, 2015 at 4:51 pm
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    “short summary about what you think was the cause for their current situation.”

    As if they’d know! Likely they don’t know their flocks at all, and assume inactivity is based on trivial matters (“Oh, they didn’t like how they weren’t always called on at the WT study”) when the real issues are never discerned because they never gave a damn in the first place. I expect their responses to the survey to range from “they didn’t like the instructions on modest clothing” to “they were independent minded” or “materialistic” or “too close to the world”. Because these men don’t know the reality.
    “I don’t attend because the known pedophile likes to sit behind me and breathe down my neck”, or “my WT conductor ripped me off in a business arrangement and told me I’d never be able to prove it”, or “I have issues with doctrine and the lies we are told”. Or ultimately, “I feel I’ve wasted my life with this cult and it’s mind-control and attention hungry overseers”.

    No one has ever asked why I became inactive, but the rumors have been delightedly random and of course, wrong.

    • September 5, 2015 at 7:44 pm
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      @Barb moor . I REALLY LIKE ALL YOUR POINTS you make about the REAL REASONS WHY People start to fade ! EXCELLENT REASONINGS!!

  • September 5, 2015 at 6:07 pm
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    As much as I would like to see this terrible organisation dissapear I do think this is a step in the right direction. I always found it puzzling how an organisation would spend billions of dollars and countless man hours seeking a new member and yet do virtually nothing to stop (or find out why) members were walking out the back door. Not that I am complaining but from my own situation I was in the org for just under 4 decades and although I never openly gave my reasons for leaving, I never had one follow up call from the elders, and only 3 members from the cong could be bothered to come around and see how I was (mind you they were on FS at the time so go figure). Thankfully my case is not an isolated one.
    If little polish atheist figures are correct the org in Poland has been loosing just over 1 congregation every 14 days for the last 15 years so it’s no wonder they are trying to figure out what is going on, and it would be interesting to see if those been disfellowship was in line with the congregations been dissolved. I’m guessing that they wouldn’t which would suggest that people are just opting to say nothing and fade. I have generally found as a good gauge of how happy the members of Wt are is to take a look at the activity on apostate sights. I was stunned the other day when listening to a pod cast from the man from JwFacts when he said he got a million unique visits to his web site a year. So you could say that out of every 8 publishers, 1 publisher could of just visited JWFacts alone.
    I’m also just wondering when they do get the reports back of inactive ones just how accurate the information would be, as openly telling the elders the truth can very quickly get you shunned. I know in my case although the main reason I left was the information I was getting from the Internet, as far as the congregation members know the reason I left was because of materialism. Although to a point this is correct and this is what would be sent to the society as a reason this is a far cry from the truth. How can they rely on been given the correct information when every one is to scared to give it for fear of been shunned. I would absolutely love to come out to them and tell them why I chose to fade, and probably would also also DA at the same time but under the present situation with immediate and extended family that just isn’t an option.
    But good on you Wt for stepping up to the mark and I do think it show a level of maturity to admit there is a problem.

    • September 5, 2015 at 7:57 pm
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      @Thinkingofleaving. There are many like you who have Spent Decades serving The Organisation & now feel DISILLUSIONED!!!’ Why? Because WE HAVE A BRAIN & CAN REASON!!!
      YOU ARE SO RIGHT the inactive ones if asked by Elders will not give the Real Reasons for FEAR of SHUNNING & LOSING CONTACT With FAMILY!!

  • September 5, 2015 at 7:06 pm
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    I doubt that Watchtower move a genuine interest in helping anyone. The reality is that they need more money for cumbersome trials from their victims that they must to pay and the luxury shameless life of their leaders.

    • September 5, 2015 at 8:13 pm
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      @Sofia . I am from England but I think a Many JWs from Many Different countries if they have Access to the INTERNET will SEE Right through the FACADE of these 7 PHONY FALSE PROPHETS in BROOKLYN soon to be housed in their LUXURIOUS LAKESIDE BUILDINGS in WARWICK!!
      Stephen Lett was so BLATANT in his Monthly GB BROADCAST about not being SHY in BEGGING for MONEY!!!! Oh Yes Stephen you are Sooooo CHRISTLIKE in SHAMELESSLY Screwing MONEY from CHILDRENs ICE CREAM MONEY!!!
      Ermmmm ! Jesus Had Nowhere to Lay his Head !
      Paul was a TENTMAKER so as Not to be a Burden on the Brothers!!’ SO STEPHEN ME OLD BUDDY….. GO & GET A JOB & MAKE SOME LOVELY GORGEOUS LUXURY TENTS or at Least GET A JOB IN WALMART so as not to be a burden on the brothers!!!!

  • September 5, 2015 at 8:29 pm
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    Good afternoon to all:

    If WT Corp plans to gather intel on inactive, faders, or whatever category you want to give it, then You have the right to abstain information provided under the Privacy Policy act.

    You have the right to request information or start an investigation on a group or business – example WT Corp. This agency is hear to protect us – The FBI, the reference material or excerpt is provided for personal and informational purposes.

    We can all write emails and I suggest hard copy’s, the US government loves paper work – lots of paper work.

    We can place a stop and disite order to the WT Corp over night, but the FBI will not know to due this without your letters and input.

    Think of it as we did with the Royal Commission, they heard our voices, and I quote Angus Stewart, “do you understand G.Jackson”

    FYI:
    Requesting FBI Records

    FBI records can be requested through both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act. Please read this page carefully to ensure you are making the correct request.

    Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request

    The Freedom of Information Act allows any person—except fugitives, federal agencies, and foreign intelligence agencies—to request information about organizations, businesses, investigations, historical events, incidents, groups, or deceased persons.

    To submit a Freedom of Information Act request, use one of the following options:

    Option 1: Submit your request using the Sample FOIA Request Letter. The form includes instructions.

    Note: you cannot use the eFOIA Form to submit a Privacy Act Request about yourself or another living person. Please use the U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Identity Form DOJ-361. If you have any questions about this process before submitting your FOIA request, please e-mail [email protected].

    Option 2: Mail, fax, or e-mail your submission to:

    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Attn: FOI/PA Request
    Record/Information Dissemination Section
    170 Marcel Drive
    Winchester, VA 22602-4843
    Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Letter and e-mail format:

    Provide your complete name and mailing address. Telephone, fax, and e-mail addresses are optional.
    Provide any identifying data that will help us locate information—for example, the subject’s complete name, aliases, date and place of birth, social security number, former addresses, or localities.
    If you are interested in records pertaining to a particular incident, please describe it in detail.
    Another living person:

    If your request is for information about another living person, that information is usually not disclosed unless you have obtained the person’s written consent or unless public disclosure is authorized by law. Requests for information about another living person should be accompanied by evidence of the subject’s consent. Please use U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Identity Form DOJ-361 and complete the section identified as: Authorization to Release Information to Another Person. You may submit an attachment listing additional information that may aid in locating responsive records. Please place your name and contact information on the attachment.
    A deceased individual:

    If your request is for information concerning a deceased individual, you must provide proof of death. Acceptable forms of proof of death include: obituaries, death certificates, recognized sources that can be documented, written media, Who’s Who in America, an FBI file that indicates a person is deceased, date of birth is 100 years or greater, or Social Security Death Index page.
    State how much you are willing to pay for duplication fees if any are assessed. Refer to the U.S. Department of Justice FOIA Reference Guide.

    For more information:

    Overview of the Freedom of Information Act
    Freedom of Information Act Exemptions
    Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Terms
    Privacy Act Request

    The Privacy Act allows U.S. citizens and lawfully admitted aliens to request information on themselves or another living person.

    If you are requesting information about yourself, you must use one of the following options:

    Option 1: Use the U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Identity Form DOJ-361. You may submit an attachment listing additional information that may aid in locating responsive records. Please place your name and contact information on the attachment.

    Option 2: Following the instructions in U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Identity Form DOJ-361, submit a letter to the FBI, sign your request, and have it notarized or state, “Under penalty of perjury, I hereby declare that I am the person named above and I understand that any falsification of this statement is punishable under the provisions of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 1001 by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment of not more than five years, or both; and that requesting or obtaining any record(s) under false pretenses is punishable under the provisions of Title 5, U. S. C., Section 552a(i)(3) as a misdemeanor and by a fine of not more than $5,000.” If you have any questions about this process before submitting your FOIPA request, please e-mail [email protected].

    Mail, fax, or e-mail this letter to the following:

    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Attn: FOI/PA Request
    Record/Information Dissemination Section
    170 Marcel Drive
    Winchester, VA 22602-4843
    Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
    E-mail (scanned copy): [email protected]

    For more information:

    Overviews of the Privacy Act
    Privacy Act Exemptions
    Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Terms
    Identity History Summary Check

    If you are requesting a copy, want to challenge, or are just checking on the status of a request regarding an Identity History Summary Check, please contact the FBI’s Criminal Justice Services Division (CJIS), Clarksburg, West Virginia at 304-625-5590 or 2000.

    (Note: Please do not submit a Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Request to the FBI’s Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS) if you are requesting an Identity History Summary Check. Access the CJIS link below and follow the instructions to request an Identity History Summary Check.)

    An Identity History Summary Check—often referred to as a criminal history record, a police background clearance, police/good conduct certificate, or a “rap sheet”—is a listing of certain information taken from fingerprint submissions retained by the FBI in connection with arrests and, in some instances, federal employment, naturalization, or military service. It can also be used to satisfy a requirement to live, work, or travel in a foreign country, for employment or licensing within the U.S., or adopting a child in the U.S. or internationally. It may relate to a denial of a firearms purchase. The process of responding to an Identity History Summary Check is generally known as a criminal background check.

    Requesters may access the application instructions and necessary forms at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks. When writing to CJIS please use the following address:

    FBI CJIS Division – Summary Request
    1000 Custer Hollow Road
    Clarksburg, WV 26306

    What Happens Next

    To learn what information you will receive, how long it takes, and how to file an appeal, see What Happens After Making a Request.

    Cross References

    To make a request for cross-references—defined as a mention of a subject in the main file of another person, place, or event—you need to provide information in your request that is sufficient to enable the FBI to ensure with certainty that the cross-references are identifiable to the subject of your request. This information may include the following:

    The specific circumstances in which the subject of your request had contact with the FBI;
    The date(s) of such contact;
    The location(s) of such contact;
    The full name (first, middle, and last name) as well as any prior names or aliases used by the subject of your request;
    Social Security number, date of birth, place of birth, and home address of the subject of your request;
    Names of associates of the subject of your request the mention of whom might aid in the identification of responsive records; and
    Other references of the subject of your request in media, such as books, articles, websites, etc.
    Please note that the FBI may not be able to identify responsive cross-references despite the additional information you provide.

    For more information:

    If you have any questions about preparing or submitting FOIA or Privacy Act requests, call our FOIA Requestor Service Center at (540) 868-1535 to hear helpful recorded information. For information on expedited processing and fee waivers, see the U.S. Department of Justice FOIA Reference Guide.

    Also see the following websites:

    U.S. Department of Justice FOIA website
    U.S. Department of Justice Privacy and Civil Liberties website
    A Citizen’s Guide on Using the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974 to Request Government Records (pdf)

  • September 6, 2015 at 12:58 am
    Permalink

    I have been inactive for 2 years so would not be a person of interest if a similar letter was sent to elders in the UK. However, upon receiving a ‘Return to Jehovah’ brochure, I decided to write an anonymous letter to the Society expressing my disappointment that I could not find a section in the brochure covering my reason for departure! I explained that whilst I do suffer from anxiety, guilt and hurt feelings, none of these caused me to leave. Rather, these are qualities I have cultivated as a result of being a JW for 30 years. I went on to talk about the real cause for my leaving the organisation; doctrinal conflict. Of course, the title of the brochure is rather misleading. It should be ‘Return to Jehovah’s Organisation’. It is rather an insult to suggest all inactive people have abandoned God and have need to return to him. I’m not at all sure I have left God. Perhaps if all faders wrote a similar letter directly to their Branch, there would be no need for them to ponder and speculate the reasons for the exodus!

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