Reclaimed Voices: The Making Of a Documentary
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I have made hundreds of videos in my nine years of activism, but I consider none as important as the documentary film I have been privileged to produce on behalf of Reclaimed Voices – a group of remarkable individuals in the Netherlands who have made stunning progress in advocating for abuse victims. If you haven’t yet seen Reclaimed Voices: Abuse Survivors Speak Out, here it is…

I don’t plan on spoiling the film for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but I thought I would write this “behind the scenes” article to explain how the project happened. To help tell the story, I have put this slideshow together of stills from four of the five days of filming.

It all began in July of last year when I was racking my brains trying to decide on a project worthy of a documentary. The year before, I had managed to create a film out of a trip to Watchtower’s World Headquarters at Warwick, NY. I had also promised my Patrons that I would commit to making a documentary film each year if they could help me reach a certain level of funding – a level that was soon to be surpassed. The question was: what film should I make?

“Why don’t you make a film about Reclaimed Voices in the Netherlands?” said my wife Dijana casually.

It was so obvious! I immediately wanted to kick myself for not thinking of it. I had assumed that shooting a documentary would involve returning to America, Watchtower’s heartland, or perhaps Australia to investigate the aftermath of the Australian Royal Commission. And yet a compelling story was staring at me from right under my nose on my own continent. A group of activists had enjoyed such incredible success in standing up for child abuse victims that the government had announced an independent investigation into Jehovah’s Witnesses. How could I not cover this?

Very soon thereafter I sent a WhatsApp message to Reclaimed Voices. Here is what I said:

The reply was swift and positive. I was thrilled to hear that Reclaimed Voices were eager to collaborate in making it happen! But successfully pitching the idea still left a mountain of work ahead. We needed to identify contributors, arrange locations, recruit some kind of volunteer film crew that could help me condense everything into a week of filming.

In the weeks that followed, a flurry of emails and messages went to and fro. By the time October 2018 arrived, everything was in place so that I could get in the car with Dijana and Jessica and begin the 800-mile drive, stopping the night at a roadside hotel in Germany en route.

Rather than get lost in a blow-by-blow account of what happened next, I want to focus on some of the key people involved – a sampling of the unsung heroes behind the camera who were instrumental in the film being what it is.

Ruben Looij‘s impact on the project cannot be overstated. When I was in need of a central location that could be used for interviews, Ruben not only generously volunteered his beautiful, spacious home in Rotterdam (with a living room ceiling high enough to fly a drone!), but he also let Dijana, Jessica and I stay there, provided us with meals, and involved himself with the production. His insights from behind the camera were extremely valuable, not to mention his practical help with filming and handling the equipment.

Ruben’s son Phillip also came to the rescue when, after I had been struggling with faulty audio on the first morning of filming (for Hadassah’s interview and the Reclaimed Voices “sofa interview”) he kindly volunteered to take care of the audio for me. There was an immediate improvement in quality. Buzzing microphones were one less thing I needed to worry about.

Priscilla Smith was similarly invaluable in handling the sound, picking up where Phillip left off. Together with myself and Ruben we formed a tight-knit, efficient three-piece film crew for one especially arduous Thursday of filming that involved a four-and-a-half hour round-trip taking in five different locations: two in Utrecht (Victor Jammers, Marinde & Rianne), one in windswept Zwolle (a gamble at being able to interview Nico Meijering during one of his courtroom battles that thankfully paid off), and two in Emmen (the visit to the Dutch branch, followed by interviewing “Sarah”).

The drive from Rotterdam to Emmen, via Utrecht and Zwolle

Both Ruben and Priscilla had been understandably nervous for the visit to the Dutch branch, but their professionalism was outstanding. They never wavered for a moment during the long wait at Watchtower’s diminutive gates. (This was, after all, their local bethel, so any anxiety was understandable.) In the impossible scenario that PR-guy Michel van Hilten’s cowardice had relented and he had invited us inside, I am sure they would have followed me through the doors without a second thought.

That evening, somewhat surprised that we had pulled off what, on paper, had seemed an impossible schedule, we celebrated with beers and delicious Chinese food back in Rotterdam. It was an unforgettable experience.

Enjoying a well-deserved beer with Ruben and Priscilla as we wait for our Chinese at the end of a long day of filming

Two days earlier, on the second day of filming, another unlikely partnership had been forged at The Hague, where I met Frank Jepsen and Gyles Hawkins (together with Ruben, Dijana, Jessica and our interview subject Hadassah) at a coffee shop opposite the Binnenhof (the Dutch parliament buildings).

Frank had driven all the way from Denmark after hearing about the project during one of my Patreon hangouts. He was already supporting my work as a patron, but didn’t flinch at the thought of jumping in his car and driving hundreds of miles to lend practical assistance to help make the film a reality.

The Rotterdam/Hilversum crew outside the Binnenhof (From left: Frank Jepsen, Ruben Looij, yours truly, Gyles Hawkins and Hadassah Wiersma)

While Frank took care of the sound on his iPhone, Gyles was my trusty cameraman for the day. I will never forget his self-sacrifice in getting down on his knees on the sidewalk at Hadassah’s kingdom hall to get the optimum camera angle (I wanted the JW.org logo in the background while Hadassah was talking, and Gyles went through discomfort to make it happen).

Gyles (a fellow Brit!) had learned about my project on Facebook and arranged his work schedule to be involved. Thanks to Gyles and Frank, together with Ruben, we managed to get excellent footage at three different locations: The Binnenhof, Hadassah’s old kingdom hall, and Koen’s interview at the RTL studios in Hilversum.

Only with the help of all these selfless individuals, not to mention the excellent planning of Reclaimed Voices who had lined up the contributors for me to begin with, was I able to pull off interviewing 12 contributors at 11 different locations in 2 countries over 5 days.

But there was still work to do.

I returned to Croatia with 200 gigabytes of footage and audio. Four of my interview subjects (Nico, “Sarah,” Frank and Siem) requested to be interviewed in Dutch, so I needed to get their footage synced and then sent off to be subtitled before I could even know what they’d said. (Yes, I was conducting some of the interviews by asking questions and just hoping I was getting the right answers!)

Having already been on hand for the production, Priscilla again volunteered to do the subtitling, and was assisted in this by Raymond and Aswin.

Though I had initially been optimistic about a quick turnaround (in the trailer I had promised the release for Christmas!) the more work I did on the project the more I realized what a beast it was. Just getting to the point where I could mentally organize the interviews into a logical sequence with a coherent narrative was a huge milestone that took months to reach.

When I was at my most desperate at the beginning of January, honestly wondering how I would ever finish the project, I received an email from a fellow ex-JW named Jim MacLaren.

“The main reason for contacting you though is to offer my services to you as a video editor,” Jim said, after introducing himself and briefly sharing his story. Jim went on to cite his credentials, including a link to an impressive demo reel.

I was reminded of how, back in the summer of 2015, a guy who came to call himself “Covert Fade” had emailed when I was on a trip and unable to respond to the goings-on at the Australian Royal Commission. Covert, who was following the Commission avidly and clearly had a gift for writing, had submitted articles on the proceedings having noticed I was too busy. We began working together and the rest, as they say, is history.

Once again, in my hour of need, just the right person with just the right skillset had come to my rescue. I took Jim up on his kind offer, and despite balancing a family and a career he sacrificed his weekends to “burn” Priscilla’s subtitles on to the Dutch interview footage, enabling me to move forward with editing in leaps and bounds. Without his intervention, I believe the film would have been delayed by at least another month.

There are more people I really need to thank for making this project happen. Hopefully they know how grateful I am. I would need to write a book to do them all justice. But in my closing words, let me right an enormous wrong by correcting the one mistake I made while editing the film for which I am still kicking myself.

In the final, frantic days before uploading, with large swathes of the film nowhere near finished, I hastily put together some end credits and passed them on to Jim for him to create the closing reel. In writing the list of names, my mind was racing around the globe identifying all the people who had played a key role in making the project a reality. But stupidly, just as I had missed the Netherlands when first trying to think of a worthwhile documentary project, I somehow missed a name that was right under my nose.

Let me rectify that now.

Dijana and Jessica during a trip to the zoo during filming

Dijana, this project would not have happened without you. Not only was it your idea, without which I very likely would never have approached Reclaimed Voices to begin with, but you also gave me your unswerving support in making the 800-mile trip to the Netherlands without a second thought, putting up with my long absences while I was away filming, and keeping Jessica entertained and cared for. You did it all because you believed in this project and wanted to see the survivors represented and their voices heard.

You have been and always will be a crucial component in my activism. You provide my life with the love and joy that helps offset the stress and challenges, and I will forever be grateful. Please forgive my oversight. Thank you so much for your inspiration. I love you.

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48 Responses to Reclaimed Voices: The Making Of a Documentary

  1. JWIntellect says:

    So great to have the honor of reading another article by you, Mr. Evans! And it is even greater to know that these abuse survivors have a platform and a wide audience to share their stories with, thanks to your filming and your lovely wife for the idea. All the best to the survivors, everyone who participated in the project, you and your family.

  2. Dijana Evans says:

    You left me a bit speechless. I love you too and I’m very proud of what you have done with this.

  3. KTMmadBrit says:

    A very professional, calm, yet moving documentary. As always Mr Evans your dry humour and excellent vocabulary together with your devastating logic expose the JW.ORG without sounding sensationalist nor bitter and twisted. Patrick’s concluding comments about the Gov Bod cheered me up no end.
    To the survivors, well done and we all wish you find relief and happiness and true friends.

  4. composer11 says:

    Hello,

    I attempted to contact you via your support address but was unable. I am a professional musician and a university trained composer. If you need original music composed for future videos or films send me an email and I’ll send you back some samples of my work.

  5. Andrea says:

    “Once again, in my hour of need, just the right person with just the right skillset had come to my rescue.” – you could almost say that Jehovah’s hand was in it 😛
    Really excited about the upcoming film and looking forward to watching it. Thank you and all your contributors for your valuable work in exposing the JW org for what it is.

  6. So many great people doing wonderful work for the best reason in the world, which is to help children (including ones who have grown up) and protect them. It is very much appreciated.

  7. Ricardo says:

    Very impressive documentary, Lloyd. Your calmness and peaceful spirit makes your message even more compelling. The sequencing of the story you told was right on. It was a pleasure to watch.

    When you come to Australia and need volunteers to help, please just give the word.

  8. Peggy says:

    I want to thank you for doing this very important work Lloyd. Reclaimed voices will prevail over the abuses in Watchtower. My heart aches for all the survivors. Your message of gratitude to Dijana was beautiful. And speaking of beautiful, there is your wife and daughter. Keep up the good work. I can not believe all you have accomplished .

  9. Ricardo says:

    Have you heard that Belgium is the latest country to investigate the JW’s? So we have had the Australian royal commission, the USA $35 million fine, the Canadian $66 million class action case, the police raiding the Netherlands branch and now Belgium. Makes a person want to vomit.

    https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/en/2019/03/28/jehovah-witnesses-scandal-state-intelligence-to-home-in-on-sec/

  10. outandabout says:

    Help is at hand, Ricardo as there are many drugs available for the management of nausea.

    I couldn’t help but notice the public outpouring of love and compassion shown to Muslims in New Zealand following the mosque shooting. Would the opposite happen if a KH was the target? Absolutely not. Witnesses would receive the same public reaction as shown the Muslims and this would fly straight in the face of Watchtowers successful efforts to convince Witnesses they are hated and so are therefore the one true religion. But don’t expect a Witness to notice that but if they did, the thought would quickly be shut down.

    Witnesses will grab onto anything to convince themselves they are persecuted and therefore ‘right’. Russia has banned a handful of JW’s but China has reportedly detained around 1.5 million Muslims for re-education. Six million or so Jews died in the holocaust as opposed to 1500 Witnesses but still JW’s want to make the Holocaust all about them and how ‘right’ they are and that the Holocaust persecution is ‘another sign’ and “what the hell is wrong with you for not seeing the obvious”.

    Jews are by far the most persecuted in history and Witnesses can only look on in envy.

    “Earth to Witnesses…..Earth to Witnesses…….come in Witnesses. Houston, we have a problem”.

    • Proud Pastafarian says:

      lol
      With all these religions being persecuted, it’s difficult to determine which is the “true” faith. I guess I’ll have to stick with the Flying Spaghetti Monster for the time being. I don’t mind wearing my religious headgear (collander) and carrying my ceremonial strainer. It’s my religious right anyway.

  11. messenger says:

    Following is a quote from Revelation It’s Grand Climax At Hand! :

    “a great crowd…. out of all nations” has come to “bow down” to the anointed slave. (end quote) From page 64, paragraph 19

    That quote demonstrates just how brain washed which resulted in brain dead all Jehovah’s Witnesses are, due to WT teaching. We studied this publication in the book study two or three times at least. And who among the millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses recognized this as an admission of IDOLATRY? And an admission by the governing body members they want to be worshiped?

  12. Proud Pastafarian says:

    I have noticed that Christians seem to be the only ones who try to defend the “divinity” of their holy scroll, the Bible, by citing the simple fact that it EXISTS. “After all, could the Bible still be around after 3000 years if it was not the true word of God?” What about the Hindu Vedas, going back to 1800 BC? The Quran, written in the 7th Century CE? I’ve never heard a Hindu say “I know my Vedas are divinely inspired because they’re still around after 3800 years.” Or a Buddhist, “My Gangharan texts are surely the truth because they have survived for 2000 years.” And that’s not even touching on the many, many, many non-religious writings that have survived through the ages. Do Christians take the rest of us for fools? Or are they simply mentally deficient? By their criteria for “truth,” we should all still be worshipping the sun god Ra. After all, the religious writings of ancient Egypt are literally CARVED IN STONE. lol
    Sorry Watchtower, you are going to have to do better than that.
    It may be time to chug down some more of those “holy spirits.”

    • messenger says:

      Proud Pastafarian,

      Have you ever heard any Christian attempt to defend the divinity, or the inspiration of the Bible based simply on the fact the writings exist? If so I am quite sure you only heard from a very few Christians who have done so. But tell us who those are.

      I base my assumption about your findings on the FACT I have been teaching the Bible to tens of thousands of people over a forty four year timespan, and I NEVER EVER heard one Christian do what you just claimed Christians do. Furthermore, I have heard hundreds of other Christian teachers teach the Bible. And not one of them believe that.

      Could you tell us your experience, and from where you get that information you just posted? Your assertion was that Christians declare the divinity of the Bible based solely on the book’s existence. Who told you they do?

      Also, my assertion is your statement is false. But if you think you can prove it, show us the proof in writing, so we know you are not just MAKING THINGS UP?

      • outandabout says:

        None of it matters, messenger. The thing about life, this existence, is that we have never done it before. We are doing our apprenticeship and we learn, make mistakes and correct as we go along. It hasn’t and never will be easy especially now in a rapidly changing and advancing world. Advancement brings unanticipated problems and we deal with them at the time depending on the threat these unanticipated changes present. We’re doing our best . Things never have and never will be perfect. We can either accept that or scream and jump of a cliff.

        If we look at the bible from a long way off, we can clearly see it’s divided into two parts and those two parts represent Mans nature. God is the terrible part and Jesus the good. Mans fingerprints are all over the bible in both the micro and macro. We are animals with brains but didn’t know it back then. We knew nothing. The bible shows us the norms and attitudes of the day and they were terrible and rather nasty and revolved around survival, mans ego and his penis. We’re trying to change the ego and penis part but we’re met with fierce resistance to keep things ‘normal’.

        Everyone is born is atheist. Thats our natural organic state. What say we try that one out and see how it goes.

        • messenger says:

          Outandabout

          Well some people care about what is taught. Especially subjects they care about. Those people ask for accuracy.

          But to address your point that “none of it matters”. Try pulling down your shorts and taking a crap in the street. If done often enough you will find somethings do matter to people.

          So, isn’t this true? Some things matter to everyone. Some things only matter to some. But there is probably nothing that doesn’t matter to anyone.

          • outandabout says:

            I’m pretty sure Christians declare the Bible’s divinity based solely on it’s existence, messenger. As a test, try taking it away and see what happens. Burn every bible and the belief will whittle away and never return in that form again but do the same to scientific findings and they will eventually return in the exact same form because they are true.

          • messenger says:

            Prove it.

        • Holy Connoli says:

          To out and about. Atheism has been tried and is being tried. Communism was and is about Atheism right? Much of Science is about Atheism right? So how did Communism work out? And Science is the system that has created the Nuclear bomb and massive amounts of weapons, that can obliterate the human species and all life on this planet at anytime. Also science has created the Industrial revolution that pollutes the planet with Poison every day we are alive. Science also spends more money on Military research nd weapons of mass Destruction than they do for feeding mankind. Look, I am not saying Religion or the Bible have done a great thing I am just saying if you put your hope and belief in Science it is as bad as Religion in many if not most bc it holds the key to self destruction and it also has the Funds from governments to continue their ways to destruction. Science has done good of course and does amazing things but also does HORRIBLE things and hideous things. Like Religion it is a mixed bag of good and Evil and Just as bad or worse than what religion has done. If you think they will solve our problems you will be disappointed beyond means. They are part of the Problem bc they also are very divided.

          • outandabout says:

            you’re right, science is both good and bad and it’s seems that sometimes we are too smart for our own good. Intelligent design for example is going to open up a whole new level of understanding but that understanding may give us more information than we can handle. Too much too soon. Is it a race to the top or a race to the bottom. We have to be very careful.

            As for religion versus atheism as a force for good, it seems to depend on who is running the show that matters. Scandinavia is largely atheist but is also a democracy and runs quite well. Russia was communist and run by tyrants. Bhutan I think is Buddhist and is touted as the happiest country on earth.

            On the face of it I would say that atheism with decent people running the show works better. Religious fundamentalism by it’s very nature fosters nastiness disguised as love.

    • gruntled, but with way too much attitude for my own good says:

      Anthony Morris at the door: “I’ll swap you these magazines for a shot of rum.”
      Geoffrey Jackson: “Yeah mate, me too. But make it whiskey and make it a double.”

      • Peter the Digger says:

        What’s odd is that 1) there is actual scientific proof that God exists, yet 2) the organisation that bears his name has gone to the bad, making Him look, well ‘strange’. To explain, 1) the odds against there NOT being a God are tiny. Forget evolution vs creation, lets go back to the Big Bang. For any life to come out of that you need a 4-bond element to make the complex compounds that life needs for all its functions in an entropic (disorderly) universe, like repair, reproduction, feeding, sensory, etc. Now if we had just hydrogen and helium, and then some more stellar fusion, we’d get a universe with just some extra Lithium and Berylllium and not much else, However 2 Helium nuclei stick together just long enough for a third to hit and creats Carbon. Carbon plus helium gives oxygen, so we have a universe where, not Lithium and Beryllium, but oxygen and carbon, along with hydrogen and helium in stars, predominates. Coincidencs? If the forces of gravity, the weak and strong nuclear forces weren’t in just the right ratio, we’d have no stars, no planets, no atomic fusion to make that Carbon. We could have a universe where no light and sound exist. Not good.

        It’s like I gve you a coin to toss and swear it’s a ‘fair’ coin. You toss it 10x and get 10 heads in a row, OK, could be fair, the odds of that are 1 in 1,000. You toss it another 10x, 10 more heads. Now you’re doubtful; odds of 1 in 1 million on that. You toss it 60x and get 60 heads, odds of 1 in a million, million, million. OK now you KNOW the coin must be biased. Likewise the Universe is far too organised and coincidental in how it’s set up for life to be just a random occurrence. Need an intelligent directing mind tk be the way it is.

        Now 2) If there is a God, does he want us to worship him, if so how? The JWs have co-opted his name, but are looking increasingly un-god-like. Does God want us all to worshipm him individually, but then we humans would all go our own way and that could be chaotic, a billion different concepts of what God is and what He wants?

        I really can’t answer this paradox – a Universe that needs a god to exist but doesn’t seem to have a clear religion ?????

        • outandabout says:

          The universe is both ordered and chaotic, Peter. If the universe has been since forever, it’s had since forever for all those coincidences to occur. It’s also too large and possibly infinite for it to have been created just for you and me. Our arrogance has run away with us if we believe it’s all about us and we’ve gone and created a god that looks like us when the reality is, if triangles had gods they would surely be triangular in shape. Jesus was a Palestinian but somehow he has blond hair and blue eyes. What we believe we see.

          We’re still stuck with who created God.

        • messenger says:

          Peter,

          Per the Bible’s statements the clear religion of God’s acceptance is Christianity. But this depends on how one defines religion.

          Although I have never seen it discussed that name designated YHWH could represent more than one individual. Because the Bible represents that more than one individual created everything, and that everything was created for Christ yet he said and others, scriptural authors, stated things were created because of a purpose from the one he called his Father. Also, scriptures call Christ God and his Father God. Furthermore, Genesis claims God spoke creation into existence, and Christ is labeled the Word of God, thus the one who could have done that.

          It could be that name is like the name of a government, representing its chief officials. That would explain, or at least provide a reason for YHWH not being discovered in the oldest copies of Greek extanct manuscripts of the New Testament. Instead those centered on Christ, who might represent that name. Why is it Christ referred to God as God or Father not YHWH? If that idea is correct or flawed the New Testament makes it clear that following Christ is the only way to please God. So if you call that a religion the Bible identifies it.

          Also Christians are only separated by Christ, as individuals from a group they were in prior to that separation. It is not belonging to ANY religious group that pleases God. It is belonging to Christ. The teaching by Watchtower that it is necessary to belong to Jehovah’s Witnesses is in contravention to this clear Bible idea, and it is one of the things that identifies WT as an apostate organization, claiming to be Christian.

          Christians can be in WT, only because Christians are individuals chosen by God out of what is now called Christianity. But the organization WT, and all its related corporations are apostate Christian organizations. WT’s teachings give that away. Also WT’s behavior gives that away.

  13. outandabout says:

    Messenger….I think common sense can prove it.

    If both the bible and science were both swept away, it would only be a matter of time before someone sitting under and apple tree is struck with the idea of gravity and the result would be exactly the same as today. It would only be a matter of time before someone sitting in a bathtub of water yells “eureka!”. Someone will discover penicillin and on it goes unstoppable and all the answers would be exactly as they are today. But there would never be another talking snake or a burning bush or a Noah’s Ark. But we would still wonder how we got here and gods are the obvious choice as has been shown worldwide and in all cultures. We may even still come up with a virgin birth because if we are going to invent an immaculate deity, we need to deal with the problem of infinite regression and a virgin birth is one of the ways to go for that as has been shown in other belief systems.

    Let me ask you this; if Christs remains had been kept and the idea was put forward to do a DNA test on his bones, would you agree to it? Shouldn’t testing show that Jesus has no father, only a mother and thereby proving the existence of God? It would certainly convince me. You might agree to a test but I’ll guarantee those higher up wouldn’t. A test has the potential to send the house of cards tumbling down just like Trumps tax returns he doesn’t want released. So what the higher up’s would do is protest and claim that taking samples off Jesus would be desecration or something like that.

    Religions biggest success is not convincing people the bible is true. It’s biggest success is making it illegal to challenge it and it worked up until now.

    The only constant is change, messenger, and you can take that one to the bank.

    • messenger says:

      As I reply to your comment outandabout I am going to elaborate on another misconception that I have seen expressed here in the past by other posters. Because why address one person’s errors when in the same time I can address the erroneous thinking of many.

      In the past I have seen quite a few comments about critical thinking , and the link between critical thinking and higher education. How much university education did those folks likely have, and how much college or university training did WT managers likely have. Probably very little from both groups. The comments that so-called higher education encourages critical thinking were bull crap. Higher education does the opposite. I went to four separate colleges or universities and none of them did that. In college and universities you are taught to accept and believe what they teach, not to critique what you are taught and only accept it after such a critique. And if you don’t accept what you are taught you’re answers are marked incorrect. With enough of those incorrect answers students DO DOT GRADUATE. There is no critical thinking except in some philosophy classes, and very little even in those. If they ask for your opinion on abortion or a similar subject you may give it. If they don’t ask your opinion you may not, unless you want to risk writing an incorrect answer. The correct answers are always what students are taught. And that includes answers about controversial subjects like homosexuality, or Darwin’s theories of evolution and natural selection.

      The reason for the stupid actions of university students you see on television, e.g. that they need a safe spaces to cry in when someone makes a political decision they disagree with, is not because they are taught to have critical thinking skill in college. Those people are followers of CNN, MSNBC, and others organized groups of people who have an agenda, and are carrying out their agenda of gaining followers to help them. These college students follow like the whimpering children they are. They are not critical thinkers. Because if they were they would not act so foolishly. Could you imaging a thinker needing a safe space because they don’t agree with a political decision? I can’t, unless I consider the critical examination of morons.

      Now, to the point of your comments outandabout. If I as a teacher, if any teacher, or any manager of any business taught or managed like you comment we would be fired. There is no it could be this, or I think it might be that, in the REAL WORLD that works. On a social website anyone can give out any idea. And so ideas flow. Ones that have no part of what actually is, or what works. And with them comments about let’s debate these hypothetical ideas.

      Hey buddy, I only comment on that type of thing to alert others to the foolishness of it. So they won’t follow it like these college kids follow the REAL thinkers that are behind the agendas they participate in carrying out.There is no point in debating because YOU, on the other side of such a debate, will always come up with another WHAT IF.

      So, here is reality hitting you in the face, as it addresses comments you previously made. Your comments concerning the 100,000 illegal aliens that you want to accept, that were let into the United States last month. Send the White House a letter stating you want them in your neighborhood, and you will welcome them there. Also, contact your congressman stating the same thing. Or, better yet, get a bunch of college kids from your area and as many other local citizens you can stir up to help in that mission. Get at least a 100,000 illegal aliens delivered to your local community AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Please no retort about what Christ would do with them, or what some other part of the United States should do with them, if you are not happy to work on getting them to your own neighborhood. Put as much effort into that as you do here, and you might have some success. And that success might give you a degree of humanitarian dignity. You might even show up on CNN. Go for it!!!

  14. messenger says:

    One quick comment.

    Some folks try to make this big divide between science and God. There is no divide. Science just discovers things, and with the things it discovers men invent other things that we use. That’s all it does. People attempt to claim there is a divide because God does not communicate with most scientists. And because of that they cannot discover God. Other people have discovered God. Since scientists cannot verify this they are forced to come up with alternative explanations for the experiences of those people. e.g. Daniel was written way after the prophesies in it were fulfilled. Same with Isaiah. All the people claiming supernatural contact are mentally diseased (exactly what WT says about apostate JWs).

    That’s why outandabout talks about some man in another country who carries a cross on his back saying he is Christ. The implication being that everyone who has discovered God, or that God has directly communicated with, is like that fellow.

    See here’s the real fact. I only comment on this site because I choose to. If I send someone an email it’s because I choose to, or if I called someone on the phone I chose to do that. If I never called a scientist, and if it was impossible for a scientist to discover my communications with the people I choose to speak to, what are they to believe? That I didn’t communicate? That those persons who claim I did metaphorically carry crosses on their backs saying they are Jesus? But, nevertheless, despite what they believe I communicate only with the ones I choose to. Because of reasons I have, and not reasons someone else has. And I don’t care what someone else can prove. My reasons for communicating with those I choose to have nothing to do with whether someone else likes me or claims they cannot prove I communicated. Would it be any different with God?

    If you want to believe there is something wrong with all of the thousands of people God has communicated with, go right ahead. Maybe, that is God’s purpose. I believe it is. My belief is that he has placed all people in a situation where, and so that, we will believe what we want to believe. If we want to believe in God, he gives us certain information to confirm our belief. If we don’t want to believe in him, he with holds such information. And because he with holds it from some while he is God, no one can help them to believe. No matter what they say or do. Only God can show them. And he only does if he chooses to so. Matthew 13:11

    • gruntled, but with way too much attitude for my own good says:

      Messenger, do you ever shut up?

      • gruntled, but with way too much attitude for my own good says:

        P.S. How the Hell can 100,000 people fit into ONE community?
        Put on your magical tin foil hat and ask God about urban planning.

    • outandabout says:

      Your answer, or non answer, tells me I am correct in what I’ve pointed out, messenger, and it sent you into a rage. Sorry about that.

      • gruntled, but with.............. says:

        I wouldn’t worry about hurting the feelings of someone like “messenger”. He claims to speak for God. He claims to believe in “Jesus”. Yet, living in one of the richest countries on Earth, he would wilfully turn his back on people in need, including innocent, helpless children. I mean, what’s 100,000 poor wretched slobs compared to 300,000,000 spoiled brats? A drop in the ocean. No true Christian would EVER support a leader who fornicates with porn whores. No true Christian would EVER support a leader who made his fortune off of casino profits. Our friend “messenger” does NOT speak for God. Nor is he a true Christian. He is simply a plain old-fashioned HYPOCRITE. A Pharisee. Either that, or worse, a Watchtower shill. And not a very good one.
        Messenger, I know how you can better serve the Mad Emperor. Submit a job application to the White House. I hear positions are opening up all the time. At least you’ll get your 15 minutes of fame, if only among the other Mad Hatters, before President Psycho throws you under the bus as well. XD
        Or, you can prove your loyalty by attending one of the fake-President’s millionaire-sponsored fundraising events and forking out $15,000 for a personal photo with President Fudpucker.
        Good luck with that.

        • messenger says:

          Grumpy Gruntle,

          Since Mexico let many of those people traveling up here into its country from its southern border, let Mexico take care of them. I guess you are not smart enough to consider that possibility. And also, there isn’t anyone in those groups who is coming exclusively from Mexico that is seeking political asylum. You probably haven’t figured that out either.

          But since you talk about others not being humanitarians because they claim people have no legal right to invade a country then why don’t you tell all the readers here how much of your money, your time, or any other resource you had that you have already donated to help those poor people who have been traveling through Mexico, on their way to the United States. Or what have you done for the ones already that entered illegally?

          Now, are you going to lie, or refuse to answer that? Because I know you are all mouth. I know you not only have done nothing yourself, but you won’t do anything significant about it in the future. Maybe you might contribute a few bucks, and that’s only because you have been accused of being all mouth by me right now. My guess is you won’t even send a few bucks, or even seek to find a way to help them.

          Now, what’s the reason for your WT hatred? Did its elders DF you? Also, you sound like one or two others who have commented on this site with different psydonyms. The last one claimed they were going to abandon the site because he or she felt they didn’t get support from other commenters for his/her side of an issue or argument that another commenter confronted them with. Was that you? And if so, are you now emotionally prepared to leave your safe space of isolation? Or, are you still in that emotional state where you can be easily offended? If so, don’t let your mouth write the proverbial check that you cannot cash.

      • messenger says:

        Outandabout,

        You couldn’t send me into a rage if someone paid you a million dollars to try. So is that comment about it, which is not your first, another diversionary tactic? One to side-step my question about what you will now do for the illegals yourself, to bring them to your neighborhood? I didn’t answer your question because I didn’t think you valued my answers that much. But I don’t have an opinion as to whether DNA tests should be done to Christ’s bones if they had his bones. I really wouldn’t care either way. But I believe your assumption that any result from such a test would prove anything that you believe it would prove. God could do anything he wants. Since he created DNA he could put it anywhere he wants, and any kind anywhere he wants.

        Grumpy gruntle:

        Why do you hate WT? Did it disfellowship you? You seem to be a follower. Because the thinkers often get the stinkers to believe their hype, and then they sometimes get mad about it. I never said I support Trump. Even if I do, that remains to be revealed, or not revealed. What I said is there are a ton of people that follow the agenda of democrats that are making accusations against him. Allegations that are not based in facts, but opinion.

        My personal belief is that most of the prominent people making those accusations are intelligent enough to know those have no basis in fact, but that the majority of people who follow their ideas are not intelligent enough to know that. In other words they are ignorant people. I then compared the ignorance of that group with the biblical ignorance Jehovah’s Witnesses had before they were Jehovah’s Witnesses, but were studying the Bible with them. I could call you too slow to comprehend what I previously wrote about it, but I won’t. I essentially wrote what I just said. I don’t know if you’ll understand still, after reading it again.

        The difference between those groups, I believe, is that those who are studying the Bible just were just not previously informed-that type of ignorance. But I believe there is somewhat of a stupid-mind with the other group. Because unless they are children they should be able to compare accusations against someone to the persons reported actions, and then come to a reasonable conclusion. I’d hate to have you Trump haters on a jury if I was the defendant, because of your illogical thinking. (And as I wrote above, a university education wouldn’t help you with that). As examples of just two of these stupid assertions I offer:

        1. Trump is a racist because he wants to build a wall on the southern border to keep out illegal aliens.
        2. Trump is a Russian spy, or at least colluding with the Russian government against the American government.

        If a person really believes those things that person is below the intelligence level of the adults I wish to deal with. Not that I can always choose who I deal with. But the stupider the person the more likely they are to do something that can cause a problem for the people who deal with them. One thing I found out a long time ago. You can never estimate how smart someone is, nor can you estimate how stupid someone is until you deal with them. And dealing with stupid people can cost you.

        • messenger says:

          I disbelieve your assumption is how it should read outy.

        • gruntled says:

          Wow.
          Yeah messyjerk, that’s right. Watchtower really really hurt my feelings, and now I’m lashing out from my “safe space”. You’re such a little snowflake to even use that term. You’d really like to know exactly who I am and where I’m at, wouldn’t you? Well, I’m not giving you that satisfaction. Perhaps one day we’ll meet in the REAL world, and you’ll see whether I’m “all mouth” or not. I’ve developed a pretty solid reputation of being able to cash any cheque I write, thank you very much. But until then, it would be very enlightening if someone performed a DNA test on your bones to see exactly what bizarre, deranged planet you are from. That would really interest me. And by the way, if you do not wish to deal with people whom you view as being below a certain intelligence level, why do visit this site? You can control that. By the way, this is an anti-cult, anti-Watchtower site. Not a forum for your personal theories on Jesus’ DNA or migrants or Mexico’s responsibilities toward refugees or any of the other ridiculous drivel the outward flow of which you cannot seem to control.
          Have a nice day.

          • messenger says:

            I visit this website grunted because I perceive most of the posters have an intelligence level quite superior to your own. Accept that I only address you in the process of pointing your ignorance out to others, so that the ill informed who might otherwise follow your ignorant positions have reasons not to. Which is the main reason I write on any website. That is to address mass audiences, not individuals. To address you, as an individual, I would consider a waste of my time. I would never do it.

            And right. I think you came out of hiding again from a safe space of isolation, that you previously crawled into after getting your feelings hurt here when you didn’t perceive posters encouraged your position as it was challenged by someone else, not by me. I merely read you crying about it on this site. How many names have you used now? Is it just the two, or is it the three that I suspect?

          • gruntled says:

            Messyjerk, you’re a hoot. The only “ignorant” position I hold here is that I f*cking hate the Watchtower Boggle & Traps Society. Deal with it Snowflake or Watchtower lawyer shill or whatever in hell you are.

  15. gruntled says:

    @Peter the Digger
    The solution is simple. God and Religion are two different entities. If there is a God, He created everything and only He knows why. Religion is an invention of Man. It is Man who makes the ASSUMPTION that God “requires” something(s) of us, needs us to stroke His ego by singing hymns about how super-terrific He is, etc. Religion is also an expedient way for elitists to control the masses. If anything originates with God, it is the Universe, not Religion. Religions/Cults were conceived, created, and packaged by Man.

  16. Whip It says:

    Just discovered a site which looks great, Beroean Pickets, good you tube stuff to

  17. outandabout says:

    messenger, of course I value your answers. Don’t be silly. You’re a top bloke.

    What would I do with those immigrants? Well I wouldn’t want them walking into my home so I’m not too keen on them just walking into the country either. But here’s the thing…..I’m a selfish christian hating atheist who goes around raping and pillaging with no checks or balances and controlled by the devil so it’s expected of me to not want to help these people. I’m just doing the devils work.

    You on the other hand are a god fearing christian under surveillance 24/7 and even your thoughts and dreams are not your own. You live in a virtual divine North Korea and this current existence is only a prelude to greater glory and everything you do in the here and now is a test. So really, why dont you sell up and head for the border and start looking after your fellow human beings in their hour of need. They are, after all, your brothers and sisters so lovingly created by God. In fact, their should be millions of christians down there walking the talk. But no, that will never happen for two reasons; tribalism and hypocrisy. It’s ok messsenger, you can’t help it. I’m not judging you too harshly at all. I know the score. The bible sets you an impossible task thats unworkable in the real world and the lack of action by christians proves it beyond doubt. Achieving maximum servility and maximum solpsism at the same time is impossible and somewhere along that continuum, a compromise has to be reached and it varies with the individual. But what this compromise amounts to is whats called ‘lying to oneself to a level one is comfortable with’. Or to put it another way, ‘hypocrisy’.

    When the bible says ‘thou shalt not kill’, it’s not talking about the whole human race. It’s talking about ones own tribe. It’s ok to kill another tribe if it wants to take your land. So, you don’t want other tribes walking into your country because of your tribalism. Thats why you don’t go to the border but you’re in a jam because Jesus would. So what do you do? You say you want to emulate Jesus and here is your chance but your selfishness wins out and God is watching. No wonder some christians go crazy.

    The Democrats want open borders, so you could say they’re being more like Jesus but you’re saying to hell with that.

    ‘What a tangled web we weave when first we set out to deceive’

    • messenger says:

      Well Outandabout you and I have completely different ideas about what the scriptures say. I don’t feel that I am being tested. I merely feel I was offered a choice, and that I already made my choice. One thing that we do have in common is that I too like you as an individual. Despite that I speak against your ideology. I hope you make the cut once you realize the truth.

      The people who are leading the Democratic party don’t want open borders because they are humanitarians. You can tell as you have already seen them start to complain once Trump said he is bussing illegals to their sanctuary cities. They are attempting to flood certain states with Hispanics to make it easier to elect a Democratic presidential candidate in the future.

      Texas typically votes Republican in presidential elections. And it is among five states with the highest populations in the USA. The leaders of the Democratic party know that every county in Texas that has a majority Hespanic population votes Democratic. If open borders can flood Texas with Hespanics, then lawmakers down the road could nationalize them, and flip Texas to the Democratic party. Thus making it almost impossible for a Republican candidate to attain the presidency. That’s the sort of thing they are attempting to do. And it’s for political reasons not humanitarian ones. Cheap labor is the economic reason.

      Of course they won’t come out and say that when they can get a lot of stinkers and not thinkers to follow their humanitarian and brotherly love false stories, coupled with the hate Trump because he’s a racist.

      Gruntled:

      Do you realize that you just stated the only ignorant position you take here is that you hate the Watchtower Society? And that not too long ago you were reminding me that this is an activist site against WT?

      Slow down brother, before you blow a fuse. Maybe you should tell some of the WT elders to bring some soothing balm to heal you. That’s if you are still a Jehovah’s Witness.

      There is life after being a Jehovah’s Witness. But what good do you do yourself if you hate so much? WT is apostate. Most active Witnesses do not know that. While any leader in a position that does know it, and yet carries out disgusting WT policy should be chastised, why be mad at the others who are ignorant?

      Remember Christ said the time would come when the people who turn against his disciples would honestly believe they did so in service to God. That time has been here for a long time. Just like death. It’s an unpleasant situation we cannot change, even if we’re mad. I hope you feel better soon.

      • gruntled says:

        @Peter the Digger
        One could even say that all religions/cults were designed, manufactured, and packaged by Man, since they all produce ideology & protocols on an industrial scale.

      • outandabout says:

        messenger……immigrants are not a problem for Trump……they are an opportunity. Once you allow yourself to see that, you’ll see the man. Straight from the Handbook for Tyrants he creates an enemy to fire up the base.

        So we’re in the last days you say? Hmmm, I’m trying to think of a time in history where I ‘d rather be living and nothing comes to mind. Any good in the past is evened out by the bad so I guess we could say nothing has changed. Those walled towns and castles that dot Europe…..were they constructed because the world was a dangerous place or a safe place? But, for the last 2000 yrs the ‘time’ has been present and always in their lifetime you notice. Why is that I wonder. Could it be that churches are constantly making sure they have bums on seats by scaring the flock. Or do believers convince themselves that now is the time because they are alive at this particular time and therefore now is the most special time ever. To everybody ever alive, no time is more special or important than when they are alive and so therefore, great things must be afoot and they convince themselves they are not going to actually die, but die anyway and the next generation repeats the same thoughts and interpret the scriptures to mean ‘now’. It never plays out in real life. Witnesses go door to door with their children in ‘an extremely dangerous world’ but do so in a feeling of safety yet they are incapable of joining the dots. Jesus said he would return before his disciples died. A never ending game for fools.

        • messenger says:

          outandabout

          What you are referring to is not what I believe. So when you wrote, “You say” which means I say, that was incorrect. I dismantled that Watchtower belief on a couple other websites. One was Borean Pickets.net. I think I commented under the article about the Last Days, Armageddon, or the 6th and final article about salvation when doing that. I can’t remember which to be sure.Without going into some length about taking that apart here, like I did there, look up one scripture that might help, Luke 21:8

          Also, I see that you again want to argue Christ’s comment about “this generation” recorded in chapter 24, as well as Mark and Luke. If I remember correctly I previously gave you my opinion, which happens to be the correct biblical thought. I also addressed it again at Borean Pickets.net under one of their articles, taking exception to the author’s view, but mine was correct.

          The gist of it brings out that Christ made the statement that “this generation” would (also) see all the things he previously spoke of (Matthew 24:33), including the worst time of trouble ever to be visited on Earth. Also, he stated miraculous signs in heaven would be seen first before he said “this generation” would see “ALL THESE THINGS” OCCUR. And if no one yet saw those things “this generation” could not be identified.

          The earthquakes, food shortages, and troubles you refer to Christ really said ain’t no sign. Say it, they ain’t no sign. Matthew 24:6. Instead those are mentioned as an elaboration to his comment that troubles like wars would come, but the end is not yet. Those things are an elaboration on the wars, and disorders Luke penned would come at Luke 21:9, which Christ explicitly stated do not lead to the end. Furthermore, in none of those gospel accounts of this conversation are the words “Last Days” even used. That’s a Watchtower myth. And I keep telling you WT is apostate. Remember WT also claims after 2000 of Christian preaching and the huge growth of the church, as CHRIST SAID IT WOULD, then the 8 men at WT are the only ones with God’s blessing to interpret the Bible, and share their authorized interpretation with the world. That’s their Santa Clause. It’s a myth. So don’t claim I believe WT teaching.

          Look, back to the point about “THIS generation”. I could be speaking of this, and while I am speaking of this I can call this that. Or I could be speaking of that, and I could call that which I speak of this, because it is this that I speak of. Christ didn’t grammatically need to say that generation to identify a generation at some very distant future. Since he was talking about an identifiable generation as his subject, then say to THIS is a clear communication, because it’s what he was talking about. It is plenty clear to me.

          As for those other scriptures about Christ telling the priests they would see him at God’s right hand, or coming in the clouds,or some similar statement. You fail to factor in what is claimed in other scriptures. Scriptures state that everyone, including those that are dead, will one day be forced to acknowledge the Supremacy of Christ. They say that those that are dead will be brought back to life to do that, even if their resurrection serves no other purpose but to acknowledge that. All people will be made to know who Christ really is. If you knew the scriptures claim that you could not have honestly stated, because Christ told priests they would see him again, and all those priests died without seeing him, then your point is proven. So, I take it you were not aware scriptures state that. And since you are also stuck on the “this generation” statement not necessitating a first century generation, then it looks like you are stuck in check-mate. I see no way for you to prove your point.

        • messenger says:

          Outandabout,

          The Jews in Christ’s day definitely didn’t want him preaching his message. That’s evident by the events that happened right before his death. I have never heard those events disputed.

          So, even without the Bible record it makes sense the Jewish leaders did not want his apostles preaching his resurrection either. Which is what the apostles started to do. And it’s how they gained a following that became the church.

          So, why didn’t the Jews go to Christ’s burial place and exhume his body, or roll away the stone, if scriptures are correct that he was buried in a tomb? That would have snuffed out the preaching of those apostles as soon as they started to spread a message of his resurrection, if they could have produced his dead body.

          So, according to your beliefs, not only did numerous people invent a hoax to preach, also numerous people who claim contact are delusional. And here is the new point I propose you must suggest. The Jews and the Romans back then were too stupid to show Christ’s body to the community around where he was buried, after multiple people began preaching he was resurrected, a message they didn’t want preached.

  18. gruntled, but starting to get a little pissed off says:

    Well, sports fans, chalk up another VICTORY for RELIGIOUS HYPOCRISY. Millions of dollars in donations from wealthy benefactors are flooding in to help restore that archaic eyesore in France. Money that could be used to help the truly needy is going to be applied to the restoration of a building. A BUILDING. Millions around the world are actually MOURNING … a building. I seem to recall from my intensive bible studies, there’s a name for that behavior. Let’s see … adultery? No. Idealism? No, that’s not it. IDOLATRY!!! Yesss, that’s it by Jove! IDOLATRY. Can’t wait to see the Pope flying overhead in the Popecopter, waving a dead chicken and spewing out some benedictions in Latin. Can’t help wondering, would Jesus, who ‘had no place to rest his head’, be proud of this behavior? Hmmmmm. And anyway, why would the Vatican’t accept private donations? After all, the Vatican’t has Mucho Dinero – enough to build well over 1000 of those hideous monstrosities from the ground up. Such resources could be better spent helping the hungry, the homeless, and others in need, or hey, even fixing the child abuse problem within the Catheter Church.
    Gee, Watchtower and the Vatican’t have a lot more in common than we were led to believe. They are both disproportionately wealthy. They both continue to accept, and solicit, donations from their sheep. And they both apply those funds to satisfying their own personal, ego- and pleasure-driven ambitions, while continuing to ignore the systemic ROT in their organization that lead to the abuse of the most vulnerable members of their “flock”.
    Well hey, as long as that cathedral gets restored. That’s the important thing.

  19. Ricardo says:

    Has everybody seen the YouTube video about 51 congregations in Australia closing in the past 4 years? I have been comparing the annual service reports for 2015 and 2018. Not only Australia has closed down congregations. The USA, which actually has had an increase of 3,000 publishers over the past 4 years, has closed over 1,000 congregations.

    Spain, similarly with an increase of 3,000 publishers, has closed 50 congregations.

    For the first time in decades, the number of congregations worldwide fell last year compared to 2017.

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