My response to the haters (and why I can’t always shake it off)

Abuse from fanatical Cedars-bashers like Tony Balchen (pictured) is beginning to take its toll
Abuse from fanatical Cedars-bashers like Tony Balchen (pictured) is beginning to take its toll

I suffer from depression, but even at my darkest moments, when my mind has briefly flirted with notions of suicide, I’ve always thought what a bad choice that would be.

There are just so many different ways a person’s life could be configured. So whenever it feels like there is no way out, I’ve always found myself able to reason that surely there MUST be another way of living that is less soul-destroying – even if the journey to that change of circumstances might be difficult.

Many of you will remember I was attacked towards the end of last year for voicing an opinion on “aggressive activism,” which is my definition for the goading, taunting and confronting of bewildered cult victims – either at places of worship or during their public preaching work – by indignant, vengeful exJWs.

In response to simply offering my opinion on this issue (doing so without naming any names), I was accused of being a stalker, a wife beater, a cult leader, a cyber-bully, and even a potential pedophile – with my baby daughter seemingly at risk from me.

As hurtful as this torrent of abuse has been, what has been even more alarming is the ease with which the ringleaders behind these accusations have managed to recruit a group of sympathizers, and manipulated these into believing that THEY are the true victims in this whole scenario – not me.

Also troubling is the complete lack of restraint and basic human decency from this mob, many of whom claim to be Christian. For example, two particularly vocal critics of mine called Mike and Kim are so passionate about bringing Jehovah’s Witnesses to Christ that they have apparently set up their own state-registered ministry.

These same people have sat in front of a camera to deliver a 90-minute tirade featuring all of the aforementioned accusations, apparently seeing no conflict with their Holy Book’s calls to “suffer evil” and “be peaceable with all men.”

Though I expect proponents of evangelical activism (“leave Watchtower and embrace our, correct version of Christianity”) to take issue with my openness about my agnosticism/atheism, I find it troubling that the likes of Mike and Kim have been so successful in exploiting the aggressive activism controversy as a smokescreen to pursue their agenda of trying to silence my agnostic views – to the point of hoodwinking even non-religious exJWs into flocking to their anti-Cedars banner.

When the backlash reached its zenith just before Christmas, I seriously considered breaking some of the tension with a light-hearted video in which I would sing a parody song aimed at debunking Mike and Kim’s accusation that I am obsessed with their daughter, who previously helped me with my work. I envisioned a video in which I would be seated at a piano, Gary Barlow-style, singing plaintively to a framed picture of her, delivering a mock confession of my love for her, and mourning that it was unrequited.

But thankfully I snapped out of doing this video when I remembered that the person in question has been known to suffer from depression. However funny the video might have been to some, and however successful it might have been at rubbishing the claims that I was fixated with this girl, how would I have felt if she had committed suicide soon after it was circulated? I would have felt utterly devastated, and responsible for her loss.

All about the money?

Since all of that, there has been a fresh wave of attacks. Apparently my already-long list of fabricated/embellished crimes has been added to, with claims that I am profiteering from my work as an activist (to the tune of over $10,000 per year), that I live in a “hole” of a country, that I make my wife work while I do nothing, that I “disfellowship” people who disagree with me, that I am fat and ugly (well, maybe that’s true), and that I have been too ready to defend myself in conversations with trolls on Facebook and YouTube.

I’ve mostly been able to shrug off all this mud-slinging, knowing full well I have nothing to hide.

As far as my finances are concerned – yes I have Google ads on my website, but so does JWfacts. Yes I have a PayPal button for donations, but so does JWstruggle (and a LOT of other exJW websites, none of which seem to be under siege for the heresy of accepting money). And I also plead guilty to having a Patreon button at the end of my videos for people who want to donate to my work – but nobody is forced to click through and pledge donations.

My articles and videos are available to people entirely free of charge, and will remain so.

Any proceeds from Google Ad impressions* ($125 per month), YouTube ad impressions ($110 per month), or regular donations ($63 per month) get ploughed straight into my business to help pay for new equipment and justify the considerable time spent away from my regular job (translating and proofreading) while doing research and producing content. (For example, my 2-hour rebuttal video to the Gerrit Losch JW broadcasting episode took three days to put together, which would be hard to justify if it wasn’t part of my job.)

There have been occasions where large, one-off donations have been made either to help our family (most notably when we had Jessica’s baby shower) or to assist with my activism (i.e. when two large donations were received to help fund our trip to London for the conference on undue influence) – but this money has never come with strings attached, i.e. that I must endorse Christianity and stay silent about my unbelief. My supporters have simply been willing to help out as the need arises, and they have been placed under no compulsion to do so.

Unlike many of the people who are styling me as a rich cult leader sponging off gormless followers and abuse victims, I don’t yet have a fridge, a TV, a sofa or a kitchen. I REALLY AM doing my activism because I want to free people both now and in the future from cult indoctrination. My work is offered freely, and I don’t see why I should be made to turn down acts of kindness when these are extended simply to appease my critics.

The only work I ever intend to charge for will be my book, which I will aim to price as reasonably as possible once it is finally finished and published. No doubt once it goes on sale I will receive a fresh wave of abuse from people who will quickly forget how much they paid to read the words of Steven Hassan, Jim Penton, Carl Olof Jonsson or Ray Franz and paint me as a greedy profiteer all over again – but it is pointless trying to keep such people happy.

Is blocking someone on Facebook “shunning?”

I have also come under fire for my practice of blocking people on Facebook who are either critical of my activism, or abusive towards me, or supportive/defensive of those who are abusive towards me. I fail to understand why I am obliged to use Facebook, not as a tool for keeping in touch with my friends and readers, but as an implement of ritual self-flagellation that I must use to entertain the scathing rants and banal sniping of my mostly-anonymous, mostly-evangelical critics on a daily basis.

Telling me I’m not allowed to block or unfriend people on Facebook who are nasty is like telling me I MUST stand and listen to random people shout at and berate me if I encounter them while out shopping. I am perfectly within my rights to walk away from any such situation and get on with whatever it was I was doing. I don’t HAVE to punish myself with nonsense just for the sake of it.

It’s worth remembering that nobody is forcing anyone to watch my videos OR read my blog articles. If you hate me and my work so much I have excellent news – you don’t HAVE to follow me or read/watch my work. You can do activism the way YOU want to do it, or find an activist whose videos and blogs are more to your liking. Or you can avoid taking in “apostate” material altogether, if that’s your problem.

And no, I am not in the business of “shunning” people who disagree with me. I am merely choosy about who my friends are. I have plenty of people on my Facebook friends list with whom I don’t see eye to eye on a range of issues, but I find they are able to put their points across without evangelizing or resorting to ad hominem insults and accusations, so I am only too happy to keep them in my circle and benefit from their perspective.

And frankly, I find the use of the word “shunning” in describing any situation other than estrangement from family or close friends to be an insult – especially by people who should know the difference between being prevented from commenting on a blog or Facebook page and having all contact with family terminated forever.

Taking its toll

Usually I am able to shrug off all the above silliness, content with the fact that I am doing the best I can for all the right motives, and making some modest headway in waking people up (if my email inbox is to be believed).

But today I was out mingling with some of my friends who live in my village, and something fairly innocuous happened that sent me spiraling into the realization that the level of abuse being directed at me from self-righteous keyboard warriors on the other side of the Atlantic really is starting to take its toll.

I didn’t feel suicidal, but I definitely felt a huge wave of sadness and futility.

I went home and talked to my wife Dijana about what I was feeling, and she told me she was feeling pressured by the situation too. Whenever I am talked about, or our family is talked about, by obsessive lunatics who are more fixated with me than they are with Watchtower, Dijana finds herself worrying and fretting over what effect this will have on me, and whether we are safe from these clearly disturbed individuals (bearing in mind we have already received two menacing cards through the post from an individual in America calling himself/herself “John Smith”).

john-smith-cards

What upsets Dijana most is that, amidst all this hatred and vitriol, she feels forced to put on a brave face for our daughter Jessica, because she is worried that if she lets her sadness show when spending time with our baby this might subconsciously rub off on her, or make her feel that she is somehow not living up to expectations.

Dijana also can’t help but feel enraged when she sees her picture (taken from our translation company website), being shared around on Facebook “hate Cedars” groups, the members of whom then speculate that she is the victim of an oppressive, abusive husband. If she were herself an outspoken activist, or vocal about anything beyond whale conservation, she could perhaps understand all the scrutiny – but she is content to let me get on with my activism and focus on being a mother, and thus finds it all very intrusive.

This conversation with Dijana, and the realization that the fanatical obsessions of a few troubled individuals in America are having a tangible impact on our family has led to my writing this article by way of pleading with any exJWs out there who might have been swayed by my attackers to apply some logic and reason, and show some compassion.

I am not a cult leader. I am not a leader of any sort, and would repudiate any attempts to make me one. I am an ordinary man with a wife and daughter who just happens to be an activist against a cruel cult. And yes, I happen to not be religious.

Of course I have made mistakes, and perhaps gone too far at times when confronting trolls and critics on Facebook and YouTube – but nothing I have said or done has even remotely warranted the tsunami of hatred and vitriol that has been directed against me and my family over the past few months.

A plea for decency

All I ask of my fellow ex cult-members is some basic human decency – the same instincts of solidarity and compassion that made me pull back from making a stupid piano video that I would have almost certainly regretted.

I am not a suicide threat, and my depression is manageable, but I do have a wife and baby daughter – and when you attack me with completely unfounded and specious allegations, you attack them as well. Dijana in particular really does feel the reverberations, to the point of wanting to write to some of the ringleaders herself.

It has long been a notable irony that the majority of opposition to my activism work comes, not from Watchtower or Jehovah’s Witnesses, but from my fellow ex-JWs. I’ve noticed from conversations with activists against other cults that this is not an isolated phenomenon. People who have exited other high-control groups have also been known to turn on each other, and make each other scapegoats for their issues and frustrations.

If it were only me who was taking the heat for having an opinion, and not being afraid to voice it, I think I could handle much of what I’ve been subjected to – content to simply block persistent trolls and fanatics who are hell-bent on character-assassinating me.

But when it starts to affect my family, I do feel a need to draw the line. This abuse has to stop. If you happen to be involved in any way, I implore you to please find something or someone else who is worthy of your frustrations. There are seven men in Brooklyn who export truckloads of pain and misery on a daily basis that I can strongly recommend.

 

***UPDATE October 2015***

Not long after this article was published, JWsurvey received a “cease and desist” letter from lawyers representing Mike and Kim Brooks. The letter, dated April 20th 2015, insisted that this page be removed and that “no further mention of the Brooks family be made by [Lloyd Evans] on his websites, Facebook, Podcast, YouTube, Vimeo, Patreon, or others.”

After discussions between myself and the webmaster, John Hoyle, it was decided that this article would not be taken down, because I had every right to respond to misinformation that was being circulated about me online by this couple in particular.

However, after discussions with someone acting as something of a go-between with Mike and Kim, it was decided as a gesture of goodwill to remove a link showing the registration of their “Mike Kim Ministries Inc” organization, on the understanding that if I would at least refrain from further talking about the couple online they would reciprocate. I readily agreed to this since I have no interest in talking about Mike and Kim Brooks or their exploits on this website or on my YouTube channel. I was also increasingly concerned that posting a link to an internet page where the couple had made their address public might undermine their safety.

A few months passed with very little being said by my community of “haters.” Eventually the hour-long rant by the Brooks family was removed from Mike, Kim and Shyla’s channels – I assume out of embarrassment over the blow-back from their thoroughly-discredited accusations that I am a stalker, wife-beater, and potential sex offender. I allowed myself to think my haters had found more productive uses of their time than to follow my every move, question my motives and fantasize about my private life.

Then, when I announced my plans for a special “JWsurvey Day” video featuring a montage of different exJWs, one of my most fixated online critics Joel Martz, AKA “The UnWitness,” uploaded a video criticizing me for planning a video in which exJWs would be shown as happy, because apparently this lived up to the stereotype of apostates as being selfish.

Around this time, there was an unfortunate incident on Facebook one evening when I was tired and irritated. A post was put up in the mostly-secular JW Podcast group, for which I am an admin, that was nothing more than a scripture with no comment or explanation. Assuming it to be an attempt at trolling by a Watchtower-apologist, I posted a meme with text that read: “Who left the gate open at the cunt farm?” I then checked to find out who the poster was, and discovered it wasn’t a JW but someone on my friends list who happened to be a Christian. I immediately deleted the post, made another post to the effect that it would be appreciated if people could refrain from putting up scripture-only posts, and thought nothing more of it.

A few days passed and I was directed to a video by Alun Williams – an evangelical Christian fanatic who had already made a number of videos ranting against me because I am an unbeliever. Alun had apparently been contacted by a lady, whose name he didn’t immediately divulge, who was upset at how I had treated her on Facebook. Though I was perplexed as to why this person had approached Alun with her grievances and not me, I contacted her on Facebook as soon as I learned of her identity and gave her a personal apology. I also issued the following public apology on the group where Sharon had been aggrieved…

 public-apology

Despite the apology, Alun Williams continued to issue a stream of videos vilifying me for my mistake including such titles as “John Cedars – You don’t feed us,” “John Cedars – Parasites,” and “John Cedars – Narcissist.”

Then today, on October 10 2015, I woke up to discover a fresh YouTube diatribe by Mike Brooks, who (together with his wife) I understood had moved on from his agenda against me. Having learned about the Facebook issue, Mike had taken it upon himself to be the judge and jury for something I had already issued a public apology for. The fact that it took me nine days to apologize to Sharon (simply because I didn’t keep a record of who it was I needed to apologize to, and had to wait for the name to appear in Alun Williams’ video) was shown as further evidence of my depravity. And once again, my wife Dijana was declared to be in an abusive relationship – warned that both her and my baby daughter Jessica are at risk from me.

Even more astonishingly, I was threatened with physical violence if I ever find myself in New Mexico, with Mike saying he would risk going to jail to give me my comeuppance. Apparently threats of physical violence as retribution for something someone has already apologized for can be considered perfectly Christlike behavior.

I am now getting used to the fact that the slightest slip-up, real or imagined, will be gleefully leapt upon by Mike and Kim, Alun Williams and others from the further reaches of the evangelical wing of the exJW community. What I struggle to fathom is how they can justify lambasting someone for a fairly innocuous error of judgment, who has since apologized publicly, while calling themselves Christian. Didn’t Jesus supposedly tell Peter to forgive his brother up to seventy-seven times? Why can I not be forgiven for calling someone a cunt for a few seconds before the post is deleted, and later apologizing publicly?

For the record, Mike and Kim and I were originally on quite friendly terms, but our relationship quickly deteriorated after a series of Facebook exchanges in which it became obvious that any disagreement between us, however friendly, was interpreted by them as an “attack” and “bullying.” They have since pursued activism against me with almost as much energy as they pursue it against Watchtower, seemingly for no other reason than jealousy and the fact that I do not share their religious beliefs.

I understand this update will make for uncomfortable reading, especially for those who like to think of the Ex-JW community as a tranquil haven where former Witnesses unite against a common foe. But the truth is, the “community” is nothing more than a loose-knit group of vastly different people who happen to have shared the same devastating experience.

Some try to use that experience to help others. Some channel the anger and frustration against their fellow cult-survivors. Still others go to the extreme of fixating against those who are perceived to have a bigger audience than they do, and will stop at nothing to drag them down – including inventing accusations. Such behavior highlights just how corrosive Watchtower’s undue influence can be, and makes me more determined than ever to pursue my activism, and answer my critics in the best way possible – by pursuing effective, non-aggressive, non-evangelical activism against Watchtower.

 

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224 thoughts on “My response to the haters (and why I can’t always shake it off)

  • May 7, 2015 at 8:12 am
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    The irony is amazing to me. You have been deceived, not only because you allowed yourself to be, but because you invited it. Most activists have a mission and will stop at nothing in their attempt to see it through. You see, just because someone claims to be something online does not mean they are. Oh, BTW, I am an astronaut (see how easy that is). You allowed yourself to be used by fundies who want to take down JW for their own selfish (and often quite destructive purpose). The enemy of your enemy is NOT your friend. Funny, JW (regardless of what some people claim) do not take part in these false smear campaigns. Here’s an idea – leave people alone. “You knew it was a crocodile when you were offered a ride across the river”. It is hard to imagine you are truly this surprised. I do wish you healing for your depression and peace for your family. God can help with that.

    • May 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm
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      No one claiming to be perfect or without flaws is telling the truth. The truth of the Bible is being taught in the Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I do not go there looking for flaws in others as I am not flawless myself. We are all just a “Piece of dust” and many may not even be a whole piece. Jesus Christ left us a model to follow his steps closely NOT perfectly. I tell many people to search the Bible for the truth that sets men free. If one is searching for flaws in others, they are probably not searching for the Truth of God’s word, the Bible. They are finding what they are searching for. When I search for the knowledge of the Bible, I find it. I am not on a hunt to find the imperfections of others. We should continue to search for what really matters and that is not finding the faults of others. We must answer for our selves and not for the actions of others. The people are not perfect or without flaws, but the word of God, is perfect without flaws. Lets get the rafter out of our own eye, so that we can see clearly to get it out of others. The ONLY true God’s qualities are love, justice, wisdom and power and the GREATEST IS LOVE. Let’s focus on that.

  • May 7, 2015 at 8:44 am
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    One thing all mankind is certain of is death. Life is so short. It makes hardly any difference when one dies before their “intended time”. Who decides what is/is – not a higher purpose for death before one’s time? It is a matter of conscience, so differs for each individual. The blood issue is IMO no more an issue than the fact that we have countless illnesses with no cure. People die all the time at all ages.

    As far as where an estate is left, same as above. Assets belong to s/he who has earned them and as such, where they are left after death is of individual choosing. No one else has an honest say in the matter.

    Fair disclosure – I am also “The irony” below. As an adult who chooses to agree (based on bible research) with what JW believe, I would love to see an honest debate from ex JW on the topic, based on scripture, rather than opinion. Blood, assets, disfellowshipping, etc are not a good basis for declaring JW a cult (as they are either bible requirements, or prohibitions). This IMHO is where your problems arise when aligning with fundamentalists. They disagree with the doctrine and that is all. It is shameless and dishonest self promotion. Sadly I have frequently seen page after page of misinformation and smear published by certain fundamental denominations against JW. If the information is untrue, of what value is it? Nothing but a hateful tool.

    I disagree with atheists (obviously, I believe in God) however, I do respect individual rights to personal choices in life. I also very much respect this writer for allowing the comment section to be opened to the public. I always hope to see ex brothers and sisters happily return. But also respect their choice to not. There is no hatred, or judgment, and no elevation of self. I would love to see a conversation based in honesty. Again I wish for you to find peace and a happy family life.

    • May 15, 2015 at 12:23 pm
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      Get a hold of the REAL life! Life is everlasting.

      • May 15, 2015 at 12:30 pm
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        By the way, keep studying, my friend!

  • May 9, 2015 at 10:30 am
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    Unbaptised JW,

    Oh dear! I found your opening comments so breathtakingly offensive that I am astonished that you would write them!

    Do you have proof that your God exists? So there is no proof for any “afterlife” that you choose to believe.

    Therefore, when someone, like my father, dies “before his time” due to late diagnosis, most people are extremely upset about it.

    Bible research just is not enough, sir. You need to research the sciences, and secular history, if you want to get to the bottom of just what the bible really is.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult because they practice cultish techniques. I would suggest reading Mr Hassan’s excellent works on the subject. There are others available too.

    I would be genuinely interested in your opinion of the child sexual abuse cover ups, and the advice and restrictions attached to domestic violence.

    If you are a Christian, then your duty is clear. You need to help us hold the WTBTS to account for its policies that have damaged so many people.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • May 15, 2015 at 12:28 pm
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      Why do we continue to slurr and talk against one another with no one being “Perfect”? When we do such things, it is as though, we think that we are ourselves are indeed perfect and that is sad. People will believe what they will and that is entirely their right. Talking against others is not doing anyone any good.

      • May 21, 2015 at 5:40 am
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        Madam,

        Pointing out criminal or immoral behaviour in a religion does not imply that the one exposing these things is perfect!

        Do police constables have to be perfect to arrest a criminal suspect?

        Do a Judge and Jury have to be perfect to try a criminal case?

        Speaking against the WTBTS is entirely proper, as it has on many occasions, acted in ways that are wrong.

        I hope that this comment helps you to see the problem with your argument.

        Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • May 15, 2015 at 12:36 pm
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      May I ask, “What do you mean”? Before his time? When would you say, his time should have been? Until he lived to be 90, 100, 103, etc? Do you think that you will ever see him again? Or can see him again? My mom and dad and other loved ones are not presently breathing at this time as well. My mom was 94 when she stopped breathing and my dad was 88. I am just “Curious” about your feelings on “Before his time”.

      • May 20, 2015 at 6:25 am
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        Madam,

        I use the term “before his time” to refer to the expected age of people here in England. My father could have expected to live for a further decade, I should imagine. Especially as my uncle, his older brother, is now 80.

        That’s one more decade to see his grandchildren grow up and enjoy his retirement.

        He did not get to have that.

        I hope this clarifies my comment.

        Peace be with you, Excelsior!

      • May 20, 2015 at 6:49 am
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        Madam,

        I shall never see my father again. He is dead.

        To refer to dead people as not currently breathing tells me you believe that they will appear again somewhere.

        You choose to believe that, as is your right. However, you have no proof whatsoever for your beliefs.

        We know that all life on this planet is born, lives and then dies. That is the reality that we can all prove and believe as fact.

        I do not expect to see or be with my father again, because once we die, then that is it!

        Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • May 15, 2015 at 12:37 pm
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      May I ask, “What is a cultish technique”? Its just that I have never heard of the term. Just wondering.

      • May 20, 2015 at 6:28 am
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        Madam,

        This term refers to the techniques that cults use to control their members.

        These include the “BITE model” as coined by Steve Hassan.

        Behaviour control

        Information control

        Thought control

        Emotional control

        These are referred also as undue influence.

        I hope this clarifies my comment.

        Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • May 9, 2015 at 1:13 pm
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    I’m so sorry you are getting such hateful responses, John; thank you for your very insightful comments & insights! I, too, have unfriended some from FB just because I cannot allow all the unasked for negativity. It takes a tremendous toll, when I’m just trying to move forward.

    • May 15, 2015 at 12:41 pm
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      All, please know that my comments here are directed to those who BELIEVE that there is a God. My questions and comments, of course would not be for those who do not believe in a Creator as being a powerful God.

    • May 15, 2015 at 12:43 pm
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      Karen, the hate that he is experiencing shows that he MUST be doing something right! Jesus stated, this “My sheep will be persecuted as I was”, if they hated me they will hate you. The hate that he is experiencing was already told to the followers! If I was not being hated(Without cause, as Jesus was) then I would wonder if I REALLY belonged to him!

  • May 12, 2015 at 8:43 am
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    I suffered from depression for the longest time… it’s a bitch.

    There comes a time when a person has to make a decision for themselves and not care what the fuck anyone else thinks. Sometimes the most important thing in life is to let go of the past. To do that completely though is the tough part.

    I haven’t visited this site or any other activist site for a while now. Mostly because I’ve been exploring and discovering the world around me. Something I couldn’t do while a JW. I’m grateful that I have. I’ve met some amazing people and it has completely changed my outlook on life.

    Depression is no longer an issue for me. Don’t get me wrong. There are things that still make me sad from time to time. However, now that I no longer have to prove anything to anyone else, I feel truly happy and free.

    Activism is understandable. People do it for different reasons. Some cause they’re angry, some because they think they have the right answers and some because they want to help others wake up.

    Whatever the reason… things are the way they are. The likelihood of seeing any significant change in that arena during our lifetime is slim to none. That doesn’t mean things wouldn’t change though. It may be all we needed to do was make our small contribution to the matter and let the seed grow. Perhaps our children will reap the benefits.

    Enjoy your life… there is so much out there. We really are wasting it away debating about issues that cannot be resolved in this point in time. Even from an agnostic point of view, which I share… you can find the “magic” in life. It can lead to some astonishingly blissful emotions, if you let it.

    As for family and friends still trapped… simply express your love for them, then let go. Their choice is theirs alone. There is still much more wonderful human connection to be had in this life. We just need to choose whom to surround ourselves with.

    Question… with whom are you surrounding yourself with, being an activist against a cult?

  • May 15, 2015 at 12:46 pm
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    Well, if we are disagreeing with the words stated in the Bible, then we could not really be believers, this is why my comments and such are for those who first of all, “Believe”, and if not, it is for those who do not believe but who are seeking for something to help them to believe.(Not closed ears) Let me put it like that.

  • May 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm
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    Oh well, I am leaving the site for now, but will be checking my e-mails to see if anyone wants a serious and mature conversation with me. I am not going to argue or say bad things about people though. That’s just NOT my makeup! Have a great day.

  • May 16, 2015 at 1:24 am
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    I realized there is unimaginable pain and rage when a person is abandoned by their family and betrayed by their faith. I hope they find peace.

    Lloyd, stay in grace and keep doing what you were born to do! Many thank you.

  • May 16, 2015 at 7:15 am
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    Hey John,

    Don’t stop.
    Keep pushing
    Those people a lot of them either simply are jealous of your ability to speak put so freely and well or are offended too easily by uncomfortable truths.

    I have sat in the shadows reading all of it. Jaw on table and stunned by their hypocrisy. All truth is necessary every view is important and valid if this corporation is to be exposed for what it is

    Like water off a ducks back
    Let it be

    You are right
    It’s a terrible fight
    A massive tug of war.

    The only way
    to win the fight
    Is hide the truth no more!

  • May 17, 2015 at 12:22 pm
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    As Aristotle once said (and no one will argue his competency) “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” Being criticised means you’re something, so congrats – you can be proud of yourself!

  • May 24, 2015 at 7:52 pm
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    For these reasons I am an atheist & an anti-theist. Cedars, I see your distress; may you have my best wishes for a successful future void of hate and ignorance of people whose lives are too unfulfilled and who are too insecure to find their own way without attempting to destroy yours — stay positive and remember: nothing matters except your family. Hate is what you make of it, for in reality it has no construction except opinion; learn to laugh at it.

  • June 22, 2015 at 7:40 am
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    “I am not a suicide threat, and my depression is manageable, but I do have a wife and baby daughter”

    That is what you and people say now in a cogent and sound state of mind but the mere conversation of suicide is not to be taken lightly. It demonstrates a presence of mind that can change at any moment.
    I take it seriously and the vitriol between all of us needs to stop!
    The lives of many people are involved with these issues and we all, myself included need to remember that when we send and post messages both privately and publicly…
    We should be above the opposition we seek to expose and their tactics…that’s my position at least.

  • September 13, 2015 at 4:03 pm
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    I am staying neutral. It’s obvious that both parties felt hurt and felt that their reputation and ability to do the activism they’re dedicated to was compromised. Both responded by saying things that compromised the others reputation and ability to fight the cult. I am sorry that so many people here just took sides.

    Its impossible to grow up in a cult, get freedom, and have the emotional health you would have had you grown up cult free. Both parties have been harmed by the cult and are recovering. You both could use someone who has never been a Jehovah’s Witness to help you respond to situations like this.

  • September 20, 2015 at 9:31 am
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    John//Lloyd … Of all the YouTube activists I enjoy yours the best. I resonate with your reasoning, enjoy you dry Brit wit and think you hit the key points hammer head dead on the nail. I confess I saw the Mike and Kim criticism and was disappointed in an apparent lack of cohesion between activists who’s work I think is important. After discussing with my wife she made some points to me that caused me to rethink some things. After all I am not in favor of drawing people out of a cult and into religion of any sort because I think all religion is misbased. I have mentioned from time to time getting on YouTube and speaking out against the harm I believe JWs, Bible Students …any Watchtower product, causes to individuals. My wife reminded me of the danger and repercussions of doing so. I must respect her feelings of being safe. When one puts themselves out into the world via such media, they can expect vitriol and maybe worse. It takes courage to do what you have done and I know you must feel conflicted when the danger can hit close despite the fact there is an ocean between continents. I do appreciate your efforts and agree with your agnosticism . Hang in strongly and know that while your convictions have laid you bare as a target, the important thing is the greater harm caused by that evil organization that from the very outset of its existence has ruined many millions of lives for generation after generation. ( knowing this best since some of my family were culled in by Watchtower’s wiles since even before the turn of the 20th century… And the impacts passed on for generation after generation) For whatever little this may be worth, I enjoy your work and hope you continue with your crusade. The more I learn about the earliest history of Watchtower the more I realize how much was deliberately hidden from me by my parents, grandparents, and all those Bible Students teachers influential in bringing me up in the faith. The indoctrinational bombardment growing up was unrelenting. Keep up the good work John.

  • September 20, 2015 at 9:37 am
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    John//Lloyd … Of all the YouTube activists I enjoy yours the best. I resonate with your reasoning, enjoy your dry Brit wit and think you hit the key points hammer head dead on the nail. I confess I saw the Mike and Kim criticism and was disappointed in an apparent lack of cohesion between activists who’s work I think is important. After discussing with my wife she made some points to me that caused me to rethink some things. After all I am not in favor of drawing people out of a cult and into religion of any sort because I think all religion is misbased. I have mentioned from time to time getting on YouTube and speaking out against the harm I believe JWs, Bible Students …any Watchtower product, causes to individuals. My wife reminded me of the danger and repercussions of doing so. I must respect her feelings of being safe. When one puts themselves out into the world via such media, they can expect vitriol and maybe worse. It takes courage to do what you have done and I know you must feel conflicted when the danger can hit close despite the fact there is an ocean between continents. I do appreciate your efforts and agree with your agnosticism . Hang in strongly and know that while your convictions have laid you bare as a target, the important thing is the greater harm caused by that evil organization that from the very outset of its existence has ruined many millions of lives for generation after generation. ( knowing this best since some of my family were culled in by Watchtower’s wiles since even before the turn of the 20th century… And the impacts passed on for generation after generation) For whatever little this may be worth, I enjoy your work and hope you continue with your crusade. The more I learn about the earliest history of Watchtower the more I realize how much was deliberately hidden from me by my parents, grandparents, and all those Bible Students teachers influential in bringing me up in the faith. The indoctrinational bombardment growing up was unrelenting. Keep up the good work John.

  • September 20, 2015 at 10:49 am
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    I just had to re-read your post. The pressure on you must be daunting. I certainly empathize with your circumstances and whole heartedly understand your need to insulate yourself from vicious attacks. I just learned something about my grandparents, who I felt very close to all my life, even closer than my own parents, that just sent me whirling. After the Rutherford purge of fanatical Russelites from Watchtower during the 1920s my family, some of those Russelites, joined the Dawn Bible Students formed by Norman Woodworth, cousin of CJ Woodworth, a key Watchtower king pin in Russell’s and Rutherford’s tenure. My grandfather became the Dawn’s Teasurer ( he was a NYC banker by profession) and my grandmother Woodworth’s secretary. In 1947 the Dawn was brought to court by the City of East Rutherford for not paying their property taxes ($27,000 in 1947 currency) the Dawn claimed tax exempt status as a non-profit religious organization. The initial court ruling favored the Dawn, but on appeal the Superior court reversed the lower court decision based on some loose and potentially dubious accounting practices in which both my grandparents were involved. The practice was questionable enough for the court to conclude that there was enough questions about the not for profit motives of the Dawn to reverse an initial court decision confirming tax exempt status. In the appeal both my grandparents were called to witness over a deposit of $16,000 into their personal account from the Dawn’s bank account under a pseudonym, i.e. My grandmother’s maiden name. I was shocked And let down, hugely let down when I saw the court transcript myself for the first time last week. Having researched a little on Watchtower’s history, I learned about such things as the Solon Society, which definitely seemed to be a Watchtower Backdoor way to glean indirectly profit from its subscribers list. It seems as though Dawn learned from previous Watchtower practices and was not necessarily beyond doing financial dealings wholly on the up and up. People need to know that such organizations have and always had ulterior objectives that they did not want their membership to know about. And it always seemed to involve some kind of grey/ shady financial dealings. It hit me hard to think my beloved grandparents who I idolized growing up could put themselves in such a situation. This is one danger associated with organizations such as Watchtower and the Dawn. Good hoodwinked by organizations such as Watchtower and Dawn can and do compromise their principals and do things for the organization that they know they shouldn’t do but because they believe in the organization they can and will do things they shouldn’t . These types of things MUST be made known, because cults like Watchtower thrive and survive on the fact that people will do just about anything if they are made to think the organization is sanctioned by God. I know this is a bit off topic, but you are doing such an important work I’d hate to see you lose heart in the good work you are doing for active JWs, exJWs, and all people by your efforts to expose the corrupt and evil organization Wat grower is. Please do not lose heart.

  • October 6, 2015 at 9:46 pm
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    Don’t worry about them mate, there are always crazy people (especially if you put yourself out there as activists do). It is obvious your method is more effective. PS you should make money doing what you do. Activists make money doing what they do. We all need money to live.

  • October 16, 2015 at 10:54 am
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    Hi Lloyd, Thank you for this wonderful article. I follow many You Tube channels for the information needed to expose this cult. I UNsubscribed from Mike and Kim’s channel a couple of days ago as I happened upon the particular video you mentioned. It was completely outrageous and it left me with such a bad taste in my mouth. I know many will no longer be following that channel and several have already unsubscribed. Many of the comments on that video are from people who were left feeling disgusted by Mike’s belligerent display. I don’t have time for that craziness as I’m sure you don’t. You have so many supporters out there and I am one of them. You’ve helped me more than I could ever say and I enjoy every video you produce. I appreciate your humor so much also.You’re in the public eye and that unfortunately also attracts vultures. These vultures will eventually go away when everyone sees them for what they are. Keep up the great work and don’t let them get to you. You are a great asset to this cause.

  • October 25, 2015 at 2:20 pm
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    Hi, for what it’s worth, from someone whose opinion means nothing.
    I can understand how you would have assumed the scripture-only posting was from a troll. What did surprise me though was the tasteless meme. I feel you’re better than that.
    But hey, we all get tired, we all make mistakes, we all post things at times we later regret. At the end of the day that’s all this was an overreaction made whilst tired.
    I do appreciate all the different voices in ex-JW land, including yours.
    Thanks for all the hard work.
    Someone who cares.
    Pearls

  • December 22, 2016 at 11:03 am
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    Wow so sad this reminds me whots its like in the kingdom hall brothers against brothers no love ..

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