More than 6,000 had their say in the 2015 Global Survey of Jehovah's Witnesses
More than 6,000 had their say in the 2015 Global Survey of Jehovah’s Witnesses

You will all be pleased to know that the 2016 Global Survey of Jehovah’s Witnesses was launched this weekend, and already has 124 responses.

To add your voice to the new survey, simply click on the “have your say” graphic at the top of the right-hand column (or click here).

Last year’s survey attracted a record 6,083 respondents, including 1,022 active Jehovah’s Witnesses, 145 serving elders (including 25 coordinators), 772 inactive ones, 1,706 faders, 1,461 disfellowshipped/disassociated ones, and 949 non-baptized voters (including 597 with JW relatives).

The data yielded from such impressive numbers was tremendous, and I will do my very best to get the results published earlier this time round – hopefully in the Spring.

A few quick stats for you:

  • 67% of inactive voters said they would leave the organization if shunning were abolished
  • 90% of disfellowshipped/disassociated ones say they are happier since leaving
  • 66% of inactive/faded/former JWs were baptized at 17 or younger
  • Only 19% of inactive/faded/former JWs became Witnesses through the preaching work
  • 27 elders say they are aware of pedophiles in their congregation
  • 46% of active JW voters would either secretly or openly accept blood
  • 13% of JW voters would allow their child to die for want of a blood transfusion
  • 152 JW voters know of a fellow believer, or child of Witness parents, who has died from refusing blood
  • 46 memorial partakers took our survey
  • 77% of JW voters do not believe elders are appointed by holy spirit
  • 58% of JW voters say they have never assisted anyone to baptism
  • Geoffrey Jackson is the most likeable GB member among JW voters
  • Anthony Morris is the least likeable GB member among JW voters
  • Sam Herd is considered the least controversial GB member among JW voters
  • Anthony Morris is considered the most controversial GB member by JW voters
  • 50% of JW voters do not donate any money to Watchtower
  • 10% of JW voters are happy for their donations to be spent in legal costs arising from sex abuse cases
  • 22% of JW voters say that even if their religion were proven untrue, they would stick with it
  • 78% of all voters have known or heard of a JW committing suicide
  • 47% of all voters suffer from depression
  • 766 say they suffer from depression but haven’t yet obtained professional help
  • 1,123 voters say they have contemplated or attempted suicide as a result of their JW beliefs, or the prospect of shunning
  • 907 voters say they have self-harmed as a JW
  • 13.5% of voters were home-schooled as JWs
  • 54% of voters say they were bullied at school as a result of their beliefs
  • 55% of voters say they have experienced financial disadvantage as a result of JW teachings on higher education
  • 113 voters say they are victims of child sex abuse within Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • 58% of the 4,265 polled on their current beliefs expressed varying degrees of unbelief
  • The stigmatization of higher education continues to be the most-disliked Watchtower teaching
  • Only 136 out of 6,083 voters say they agree with all Watchtower teachings

I am sure, like me, you would consider some of those statistics as headlines in themselves, worthy of considerable press exposure. The fact that 27 out of 145 polled elders are aware of pedophiles within their congregation is nothing short of scandalous, as is the fact that our survey of over 6,000 current and former Witnesses yielded 113 professed victims of child sex abuse.

As shocking as these numbers are, I can only be grateful that we have this information at our disposal, and I am confident that our recently-expanded team at JWsurvey, temporarily under new management, will find time and opportunity to give these figures the exposure they deserve.

Meanwhile, I would like to thank each and every one of you who participated in last year’s survey, and I would urge all of you to do the same in 2016. By combining our voices on the harm being inflicted by Watchtower, we are no longer the silent majority.

 

 

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Please note: a new feature of the new 2016 survey is the possibility of seeing the results at a glance once you’ve finished. However, I have already started getting feedback from people who are confused because they are seeing questions they weren’t asked. Please bear in mind that not every voter answers every question. For example, someone who is not an elder will not be asked questions for serving elders, and someone who has never been disfellowshipped will not be asked questions for those who are disfellowshipped, and so on. I may withdraw this feature if it ends up causing too much confusion, but for now I trust that many of you prefer to see how the survey is shaping up after you have taken it.

188 thoughts on “The 2016 Global Survey of Jehovah’s Witnesses is launched!

  • February 8, 2016 at 4:39 am
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    I think Q6 for disfellowshipped people needs an N\A option.

    Cheers!

  • February 8, 2016 at 4:45 am
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    I can’t find the ‘have your say’ option to enable me to participate in survey…

    • February 8, 2016 at 4:47 am
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      Do you see the image of the person in the field with outstretched arms?

      • February 8, 2016 at 4:49 am
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        I found it now. I was just viewing email (on phone) and it wasn’t there but when I viewed on full site the option appeared. Thanks

  • February 8, 2016 at 4:47 am
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    Amazing work you did…..but it is difficult to reach you or how we can support you?

    • February 8, 2016 at 4:56 am
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      Thank you very much! Yes, I’m afraid I’ve had to make myself deliberately hard to reach so that I can focus on my activism work. People are supporting JWsurvey in numerous ways, either through sharing our articles on social media, or translating them into non-English blogs, or donating to our work via PayPal, or spreading the word about our survey among friends. Any means by which you can advance our work is greatly appreciated!

  • February 8, 2016 at 5:36 am
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    The figures are remarkable. I was shocked that 22% would stay even if proven untrue. Crazy.

    • February 8, 2016 at 5:12 pm
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      That just goes to show you how brain washed these people are. I was one for 20 years.

      • February 10, 2016 at 1:06 pm
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        Consider yourself lucky (fortunate)! I was raised as a J.W. and was baptized in 1969. I started my fade around 2011. That amounts to over 40 years of work for no compensation what so ever.

        I wish I had a $1.00 for every hour I spent preaching their “doomsday” message as I wouldn’t be so cash strapped now on Social Security.

        Oh well, to late to smart but free none the less.

    • February 9, 2016 at 5:42 am
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      @Ron. I think the 22% mentioned that would stay are like any other religion of people. If you are raised Catholic or Protestant and you find out your church has some bad history or unscriptural teachings many if not most stay with the church. The difference with the JW”s is “WE” are taught from the moment we become indoctrinated that we are the ONLY true religion on earth and everyone else is false etc. Most other people are not taught that their Church is the absolute only one true religion so it isn’t a big deal with them if something is shown to be wrong or not true. With the JW’s it is almost a epiphany or an entire emotional depressing moment if they are found out to be not true and to MOST JW’s they have other things to think about if they decide to leave the church. Their families, shunning, no friends,their whole mental health, it is much deeper reality I think for a JW. In my case when I began to awake I went through many months and years of realization and I was in fear my family would not talk with me.

      The WT is a cruel religion overall. It isn’t like if you are Catholic and not attending mass that the Priest will come knocking on your door with a bunch of Elders questioning you.Or if you go to a movie that is rated R you will get the minister of your church giving you a phone call or brought before a judicial committee etc.

    • February 9, 2016 at 6:26 am
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      Many Witnesses cannot conceptualize that the religion ever could be proven untrue. For them it is simply an impossibility due to thier cult conditioning.

      WS

  • February 8, 2016 at 5:50 am
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    Those statistics are absolutely fascinating. So many which surprised me, but one that stood out for me is that 50% of JW voters don’t donate to the organisation. It seems to me that not to do so (and so many who don’t) shows an indifference to, and possibly a disbelief in, an organisation that’s supposedly directed by their god. Quite an eye-opener.

    • February 11, 2016 at 11:00 am
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      @ForestDaughter,
      This was the point statistically which was significant to me. 50% do not donate! I can tell you personally, I stopped my donations to Watchtower when I no longer believed it was the truth. And I would not want my money going to defend abuse law suits. Time will tell if this lack of funding will effect the operation even more so.
      Peggy

    • February 11, 2016 at 11:00 am
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      @ForestDaughter,
      This was the point statistically which was significant to me. 50% do not donate! I can tell you personally, I stopped my donations to Watchtower when I no longer believed it was the truth. And I would not want my money going to defend abuse law suits. Time will tell if this lack of funding will effect the operation even more so.
      Peggy

  • February 8, 2016 at 5:53 am
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    something very important is missing, the comparisons with previous years. That will offer a view into important trends.

    • February 8, 2016 at 5:55 am
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      The full results will be published at a later date, and past results are available for those who want to do comparisons. :)

  • February 8, 2016 at 6:02 am
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    Exelente information, the discontent against the watchtower organization among Active and inactive Jahova witness is evident in this survey

  • February 8, 2016 at 6:29 am
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    Have you wondered why Anthony Morris is considered the most controversial GB member? It is in harmony with the Bible…

    (Exodus 23:26, 27) . . .The women in your land will not suffer a miscarriage or be barren, and I will give you a full life span. 27 “I will send the fear of me ahead of you, and I will throw into confusion all the people you encounter, and I will cause all your enemies to flee from you in defeat.

    I believe Controversy to create confusion is still their main weapon!!!

  • February 8, 2016 at 6:40 am
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    Very interesting survey! I too noticed that only 50% of respondents contribute financially to organisation. However, it’s worth noting that the people doing the survey that don’t contribute financially are a small representation within this group. The majority of voters don’t go to the meetings any longer, and those that do still attend meetings but come on here are a tiny minority.
    Having said that, my husband contributed his regularly monthly deed of covenant for the whole year that he missed meetings. He continues to do so now that he’s back in the fold. The money is paid from our joint bank account and I’m sooo tempted to just go online and cancel it but it’s an account that I don’t use don’t pay into.

    • February 8, 2016 at 7:45 am
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      The 50% figure was for active JW voters. :)

      • February 8, 2016 at 8:01 am
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        Doh! I misunderstood that then…you may have noticed that I’m a bit scatterbrained at times lol

      • February 8, 2016 at 10:21 am
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        That’s amazing.

        • February 8, 2016 at 10:27 am
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          The fact 50% of active witnesses in the survey don’t contribute shows their unhappiness with the org. My sister who is fully indoctrinated grumbles about the org. The funny thing is it’s o.k. when she grumbles about the org but she doesn’t like it when I do.

    • February 9, 2016 at 5:50 am
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      @imagonnaburn. What is this new monthly donation I am hearing about? Is everyone encouraged to donate now on a monthly scale or some kind of official pledge? Do they actually sign up for it?

      What if you do not do it or want to do it? How long has this been going on? Please share.I am worried about my wifr giving money I never approved of. One time maybe 19 years ago I found out she “loaned” the WT $40k from my account without even consulting me. I found out bc a letter was on her desk that thanked her for the loan from the WT! I demanded it back and wrote the WT telling them of my disapproval etc. They did send it back but to her after about 1 month. She is a JW fanatic more than most JW’s. I was a former long time Elder and 20 years ago woke up and it caused a lot of pain bc she thought I was an apostate and we could not talk about religion freely if anything EVER was said negative about the WT.

      • February 9, 2016 at 8:30 am
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        For about five years, I don’t remember exactly, they have been asking for a pledge. Every May they pass out pieces of paper to each family and we are supposed to put down how much we “have determined in our heart” to give to the congregation. If you happen to be in a hall about to get a remodel or new kh, they say it is about the upcoming project. However, anyone that remembers that it happens every year knows that is bs. I don’t know the exact year it started. I do know that the elders take that figure, and divide it by two because they only get about half! :) They stress not to put your name the piece of paper, it is meant to be anonymous.

      • February 9, 2016 at 9:07 am
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        @Holy Connoli, two years ago this summer, at the district convention (the first one I did not go to), my husband charged $200 on our charge account as a donation towards the “world wide work”.

        I had no idea what he had done until I got the charge bill and I couldn’t figure out where that $200 had been charged to and I asked him about it and he told me. I was so angry that I thought that my head would almost explode. The Society had some talk on the program and it made him cry and that’s why he did it.

        The Society knows exactly what they doing when they give those kinds of talks.

        All those fifty years, I was also generous towards the Society, because I thought that the Society was “poor” and I wanted to help out where the need was great but in the back of my mind, the thought was always there: How could they afford all those branches and all those buildings in New York and how could they afford to house and feed all those Bethelites etc. if they were really all that poor but I didn’t let that stop me from thinking that what I had was the “truth”.

        Now I realize that the Society is just like any other religion that are really good con artists in taking advantage of gullible old ladies and dumb kids, stringing them along like the Society really cares and loves them. All those people are to the Watchtower Society is dollar bills.

        There is a name for that kind of cunning cheaters and scam artists who con lonely old women out of their money and an inheritance that might have been left to their children.

        It’s called “Catfishing”.

        • February 9, 2016 at 12:20 pm
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          @Caroline
          When you have time, see if you can find the Marjoe Gortner documentary on YouTube. This guy was pushed into being a revivalist preacher (swindler) by his parents, but got out of it and revealed all the money making scams in the process.

          In one interview he stated: “There’s one guy that gets into it so heavy that he prophesies and he told me how he did it. I mean he sat…he looked right across the table back and forth at me and he told me how he confiscates money. He says he’s on this station that has over 40 states and uh, he’ll go on and he get on the radio and he’ll say, “I know listening in my little voice tonite that there’s some lady out there and you got $10 dollars put away in a cookie jar, now God spoke to my heart and told me to go and tell you to get that $10 dollars and get it in the mail and send it to me and God will bless you. God will give you a reward as you have never known before” Then he comes back to me and tells me if you’re on the radio and you’re going on over 40 states and you’re on at prime time and have thousands of people listening. Chances are that there are at least two or three hundred little old ladies who got a $10 dollar bill in a cookie jar and so even if you get a couple hundred go ahead and get it and send it to you that’s two grand you’ve made just like that. And so, you know, if you’re going to get into big time religion this is the games you gotta play. Things like that. Going into it like a business and work it as a business”

          The Organization knows how to ‘work it as a business” too!

          WS

          • February 9, 2016 at 2:54 pm
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            @Winston, I watched three of those Youtube videos about Marjoe Gortner and I saw the one that you were talking about.

            I would say that the Society really knows how to “work” an audience, judging by how generous my husband was that day. Normally, he only put about $40 in the contribution boxes at the end of the district assemblies, which I already thought was way too much.

            When it comes to jwbroadcasting, the Governing Body could take some acting lessons from Jimmy Swaggart when it comes to pulling off some crocodile tears if they want to make some really big bucks from their audience because even having a captive audience of eight million that they can “work”, their acting skills lack beliveability.

        • February 10, 2016 at 12:44 am
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          @Caroline. I thought it was called stealing! lol. I am a night owl so sometimes at 2-3am in the morning I watch these TV evangelsits and they are always begging for money. Especially this one guy with weird hair and a brown beard. He keeps pushing every listener to put in a “SEED” for $1000 dollars. Seems like that is all he talk s about. The WT is more subtle about it but the end result is the same.They are all beggars for themselves. The WT is one of the wealthiest corporations in NYC and you know there is a lot of wealth there. Caroline? are you the former Anonymous? I notice there is also a anonymous4.Is there a connection between all of you?

          • February 10, 2016 at 12:55 am
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            Not as far as I’m concerned. “anonymous4” is my only handle. :)

          • February 10, 2016 at 2:56 pm
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            Hi Holy Connoli. I was anonymous for quite a while. There was somebody else that was Anonymous too but I had a small a starting anonymous.

            I have also seen that guy who is always asking for “seed” money. He seem really creepy but he must be making money or he wouldn’t keep his show going.

            One thing the Watchtower Society taught me anyway, was to make me wary of con artists like that. I just wished I hadn’t been so blind to the Watchtower also being con artists.

          • February 11, 2016 at 1:14 pm
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            50,000£ we were asked to raise for a new KH and theGB said they would match it with the same sum. A lot of hard work was done to raise this money, it took 5yrs then guess what, they took the money and renaged on the plan and kept the money and no new hall. Really really sickening. Really ungodly people.

      • February 10, 2016 at 1:24 pm
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        Good God, 40K! and didn’t consult you.

        That’s not being a submissive Christian wife. :) If my wife “borrowed” monies out of our account without my consent (which she wouldn’t dare) I believe my next discussion with her would be to show her all of the child molestation judgments running into the 10’s of millions of dollars, which is where her (your) 40K would have probably ended up.

        That’s just my two cents worth. I am so glad you recovered your funds.

        • February 11, 2016 at 5:19 am
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          @ BIB B. My wife is so fanatical about the WT you cannot hold a normal conversation with her. She is aware of the molestation case and her only answer is oh all religions have sin but we DF them! The WT religion has destroyed many lives and families including my own to a large degree.

          When I was a JW I was like most other brainwashed JW’s but to a lesser extent. My NON JW parents always taught me to recognize hucksters and my mon would say that if you are wrong you are wrong and admit it. Those words always lingered with me even when I was a JW and when I saw Things not being right I finally could not hide behind the “WE HAVE THE TRUTH” belief.

          To many things were not right but the fear of being DF is always there and losing your family etc. It is a religion of fear.

        • February 11, 2016 at 5:28 am
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          Big B. Oh she was never “submissive “believe me!Tons of arguments and wastin g money etc. She never worked only “pioneered” bc the end was so near! Did not want to be materialistic but yet would spend enormous amounts of money on nonsense, eating out,new car, new clothes etc. How much she gave away to the WT I will never know. Her WT thinking caused a lot of problems for us. Then she pressured my 11 year old kid at the time to get Baptized and I told him to wait she did not like that. He is a grown happy adult now and he cannot stand the WT religion. He said to me Dad, I had a tough time growing up in that religion and so glad we are no longer part of it.His Mother thinks I influenced him to leave and I said he made up his oen min=d based on his experiences.I guess that is one main reason among many others the wife and I are not living together these days! Sad but true.

  • February 8, 2016 at 8:04 am
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    It bears out, in grotesques fashion, all the great achievemnets of this registered charity.

    Unnecessary deaths through refusal of blood; rate of depressive illness well above average; loads of folk compelled to go through the motions of believing the nonsense purely to keep from isolation and family breakup; a known culture of paedophile protection and a pathetically tiny percentagevwho actually believe that JW TRUTH is true.

  • February 8, 2016 at 9:17 am
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    Fascinating so far what an incite into the trend of what is really going on in jw land.org rot is showing. ruthlee

  • February 8, 2016 at 9:53 am
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    It is disturbing to know that 13% responding JW’s would let their child die for not taking blood. Before becoming a Witness, I thought it was barbaric that Witnesses would let their child die for not taking blood and then I was talked into thinking it was what God demanded, to let your child die.

    Now that I see the Watchtower for what it really is, I am not afraid to tell people how I really feel about blood to save the life of your child.

    Last week, two brothers came by to see my husband and the topic of blood came up and one was talking about how people live with saline to increase volume and I came right out and told him that saline won’t help when a person has low platelets like my daughter did when she had her c-section for her twins.

    There is no way that saline would have saved her life and I told those two brothers that and the one asked me what did my daughter to then and I told them that she took platelets and I am not sorry that I was the one that told her to take the platelets and I told them that my husband thought that would have been better for her to die than to transgress God’s laws and then I looked at both of them and said that I am not sorry that I told her to take the platelets and if they wanted to disfellowship me for doing that, then go right ahead.

    I am not afraid to speak up anymore and I don’t care what they think of me either. Maybe others think the same as I do but they are afraid to speak up because they think that nobody else feels the same as they do.

    If we all spoke up as to how we “really” feel about all the man-made laws and regulations that the Society imposes on the Witnesses, maybe then the Society would be forced to change it’s ways.

    As it is, we are forced to keep quiet on the threat of being expelled and shunned and that threat of being shunned is what keeps everybody else around us scared to speak up too about how we or they “really” feel about being in that religion. No wonder so many of the respondents have thought about suicide or committed suicide and harmed themselves and are depressed.

    Thank you so much Lloyd for giving us the opportunity to come out of the prison of our own minds and express how we really feel about this religion through your survey. It has to be a tremendous amount of work for you and we all appreciate it so much!

    • February 8, 2016 at 2:13 pm
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      Meat can never be completely rid/cleaned of its blood. Meat purchased from the supermarket still has blood in it, thus everybody who eats meat eats some blood. JWs should therefore be vegetarians since they shouldn’t consume blood.

      I am sure the JWs, especially the females eat meat as a source of iron – the irony being that meat is a good source of iron because it has blood in it but nevertheless, JWs are forbidden from getting a blood transfusion.
      I am sure there are also JWs who eat liver, which is blood-rich, and onions or chew on chicken bones which contain bone marrow (red blood cells).

      Blood can also be passed on from mother to child via breast milk (Google this).

    • February 8, 2016 at 7:08 pm
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      @ Caroline

      Absolutely. Do not fear to speak up / speak out. Do not fear the b*st*rds. Tyrants fear words & ideas. Make THEM fear US!!!

    • February 8, 2016 at 10:17 pm
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      @Caroline
      The positive side is that while 13% would let their children die, that means that 87%, like you and I would not do that.

      Yes, don’t be afraid to speak your mind to those Pharisees. Deep down they are cowards! Only when they think you’ll let them push you around do they show any backbone. Much like the schoolyard bullies.

      WS

    • February 9, 2016 at 7:05 am
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      Caroline, I would love to know what the reaction was from those brothers and if there were any repercussions that you suffered. I admire your boldness and am bracing myself for my “shepherding call”.

      • February 9, 2016 at 7:23 am
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        @MimiLove, I am wondering too if there will be repercussions from what I said to them. If so, I can’t wait for it.

        • February 9, 2016 at 7:32 am
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          Well done you, Caroline! Much respect.

          • February 9, 2016 at 10:35 am
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            Thank you all for your kind remarks. It’s amazing how easy it is to speak up, when you are 100% sure that those elders don’t have a leg to stand on anymore.

          • February 10, 2016 at 12:58 am
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            Kick ass!

    • February 11, 2016 at 5:32 am
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      @Caroline. I think I remember you had mentioned your husband was sick and had an operation? Is he doing ok? I hope he is feeling better these days. Do the JW’s come over to visit him?

  • February 8, 2016 at 10:43 am
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    Thanks for info, I find myself, more and more, trying to figure out what my fellow witnesses are thinking. I know of a couple of individuals who must have visited sites and seem to “know” information, a few seem to be asking the hard questions “usually resulting in shock and disgust “, but most, seem to be content with the same view that Roman Catholics have that is, we must be the true church, but it’s not for me to think about. So I’ll just repeat empty comments like “it’s never been this bad”, and everything from the price of gas to the dead spot in my lawn is a sign of the impending day of Jah. AND I concur the threat of disfellowshipping is the only thing that keeps this boat afloat.

    • February 8, 2016 at 10:11 pm
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      @Pow
      “I find myself, more and more, trying to figure out what my fellow witnesses are thinking”

      That’s exactly the issue: they fail to engage in any rational, logical thought. More to the point the thought-stopping techniques of this cult cause their powers of perception to fail.

      WS

      • February 10, 2016 at 12:47 am
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        @ Winston Smith. Are you still officially attending meetings and considered an active JW? If so how do you handle being there when you have awoken and know that it is not true and a cult? Just wondering how you handle it.

        • February 10, 2016 at 9:20 am
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          @Holy Cannoli
          No, I haven’t regularly attended for a few years now. I still attend the memorial to appease my JW relatives – I absolutely dread it.

          When I first started waking up (as I have probably shared on other posts previously) I used to try to mentally remove myself from the meetings; just sit there and replay some favorite movie or book in my head. My JW wife eventually caught on and confronted me, which in the long run aided me in fading more quickly as I did not any longer have to keep up appearances at home.

          Since then, there has been much marital tension, but we have minor children at home still. Plus financially, i am the bread winner, so I am sure that influences her decision to stay.

          WS

    • February 9, 2016 at 5:56 am
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      @POW. The price of gas is actually pretty good right now! lol The dead spot on my lawn is a sign though bc I live in drought striken California. The end is near.

      • February 9, 2016 at 9:12 am
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        Every doomsday movie has ARMAGETTON starting in new York city, but, we all know it’s really gonna be L.A.
        So, thats why the droughts and earthquakes, I would suggest at least moving to where the need is great, East of San Andrews fault. Lol.

  • February 8, 2016 at 10:51 am
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    I still feel that we need a different approach. Perhaps we need to campaign just for the shunning policy. How it is against basic human rights. We should work together and find a why of making people know about this injustice. New web site > donation > legal team created > public distribution of leaflets > bring the case in courts. But thanks for the big efforts Cedars.

    • February 9, 2016 at 1:32 am
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      I agree. It would be great if certain “religious” doctrines & practices could be legislated away. Unfortunately, we still have constitutional “Freedom of Religion” as an obstacle. Some beliefs/practices I would like to see abolished include: JW shunning; the dogma in Judaism that Jews are God’s “chosen nation”, nothing short of racism; & this little snippet from the Quran: (9:5) “And when the forbidden months have passed, kill the idolaters wherever you find them and take them prisoners, and beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent and observe Prayer and pay the Zakat, then leave their way free. Surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.”
      I for one, do not want to be skulking around, trying not to get ‘ambushed’ because I’m not observing Prayer or paying the Zakat (whatever that is; probably couldn’t afford one anyway – I can’t even afford a Passat). lol
      This is the sort of thing that needs to go all the way up to the Congressional/Parliamentary level. I don’t agree with messing with the constitution, but I personally would make an exception in this case. After all, every constitution does, or should, guarantee Rights like Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness. These kinds of dogmas interfere with those Rights!!!!!!!

    • February 9, 2016 at 4:13 am
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      Not sure if my last reply was removed or just didn’t do through. David, check out AAWA linked on the JWSurvey home page. They are trying to make the public aware of these damaging policies of the Watchtower Org.

      WS

    • February 10, 2016 at 1:35 pm
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      Maybe a letter writing campaign to U.S. congressional people or to state delegates? Asking them to investigate this cult, especially the pedophile protection that is going on.

  • February 8, 2016 at 11:09 am
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    Completed the survey for the first time. One of the questions was: Are you happier having left the JW religion? Emphatic yes! Watchtower propaganda long told me I would be very unhappy if I left. That has been as far from the truth as possible.

  • February 8, 2016 at 2:06 pm
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    This is astonishing. It needs to go very public with the press and any other means! Expose WT for wolves they are.

  • February 8, 2016 at 3:28 pm
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    Glad to see you here Cedars. We have all missed your level head and calm heart greatly! For me, survey completed for 2016 and happy to do so. Hope you can come by and visit more often! Really enjoyed your article and waiting for your next input, whenever you can get to it.

  • February 8, 2016 at 7:23 pm
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    Great work, Lloyd!
    Some shocking results: -almost half of all respondents are experiencing depression -77% of JWs don’t even believe elders are appointed by “holy spirit” -27 of 145 elders know of pedophiles in their ranks-that’s almost 20%!!!!!!!
    Like I said, shocking.
    Just like to repeat a comment I made earlier: Let’s not be afraid to speak up / speak out. Tyrants fear words & ideas. Make THEM afraid of US!!!
    Thanx again.

  • February 8, 2016 at 10:03 pm
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    The growing number of participants in the survey and the high percentage that express disagreement with the Watchtower’s teachings, is indicative of the overall disillusionment among the members of this organization.

    WS

  • February 9, 2016 at 2:12 am
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    I’m not a psychiatric professional, but I know the causes of depression & anxiety are often difficult to ascertain. Obviously, biochemical factors are involved. But there are also ‘life’ factors. Has religion or cultism ever been found to be the culprit? Literally millions of JW’s could be experiencing depression without having any idea that it could be linked to their ‘religion’. & mental illness, like cancer, is more profitable when it’s treated, rather than cured. How many psychiatric professionals are willing to bore down deep enough to the root cause, especially if it’s faith-related? Talk about opening up a can of worms!!! Can u imagine a psychiatrist grabbing someone by the collar, yelling, “It’s your Goddamned religion!!! That crazy cult of yours! Get out of it! That’s what’s screwing you up. Screwing your brain & your emotions. Get out of it now!!!”
    Yeah, right. Bye bye lucrative psychiatric practice, Hello car wash – Wax on, Wax off. “Freedom of Worship” ‘laws’ go a long way.
    Here’s an interesting clip of another dystopian society, George Lucas’ THX 1138:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=thx+1138+opening+scene

    • February 9, 2016 at 2:30 am
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      I know no psychiatrist would actually grab someone’s collar & start yelling. But I myself have never even heard of a psychiatrist gradually, gently, & sensitively weaning someone off a religion or cult.

      • February 9, 2016 at 2:35 am
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        …unless it was part of a Deprogramming regimen, but of course, that’s not what I’m talking about.

        • February 9, 2016 at 3:41 am
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          anonymous4, it is almost for certain that very few witnesses will go to a psychiatrist for help with depression because we were all brainwashed right from the beginning, that anybody who would encourage us to stop studying are from Satan the devil and want us to get off of the “road to everlasting life” and that even includes our families and friends. The Society makes all Witnesses paranoid of anybody who isn’t a Witness.

          A friend of my husband and me encouraged me to get in touch with a Witness psychiatrist a couple of years ago and she was supposed to help me with my depression. This friend said that even brothers that he knew in the “truth” had gone to her and I couldn’t believe what he was telling me because for one thing, this psychiatrist was a woman and men in the Organization are not to be “taught” by women and secondly, why would this psychiatrist be listening to people who are being depressed by the very religion that she is a part of and stay a Witness?

          Witnesses are never encouraged to seek professional help when it comes to mental problems. They are encouraged to talk to the elders and pray and read the Bible and take pills and that’s it, and if the Society tells Witnesses that they can go to a professional, they are told not to divulge “confidential” things, like for instance that they might be being beat up by their elder husbands or have been molested by another Witness or they are afraid of Armageddon or they have doubts about the religious teachings and they have no way of escaping the religion without being shunned.

          What psychiatrist can help a Witness cope with all the problems that are involved in finding out that they have been duped by their religion and have no way of getting out of it by either being shunned by all their family and friends or living a lie for the rest of their life?

          • February 9, 2016 at 3:57 am
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            An elder made the comment to me that brothers are suffering from depression because of this old system and its pressures….what a joke….its because they were stopped from acheiving their true potential as human beings and are now confused and lost because we are still here and the terrible end has not arrived and we are not sitting under our own fig tree petting a lion…and our parents who brought us up to beleive this was going to happen are passing away and we are in the Autumn of our lives…aaarrrggghhh…so frustrating…why doesn’t everyone see whats happening!

          • February 9, 2016 at 6:06 am
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            @Caroline. Just curious was the JW Lady Psychiatrist from Colorado? My wife use to spend a lot of time with a JW Psyke on the phone as the lady was in Colorado and we were in California. Just wondering bc it is rare to find a JW Doctor anywhere bc of the ANTI_EDUCATION position the WT takes. Of course they could have become a JW after their education. I knew of a Medical Doctor who was A JW and also a Super smart Former CIA agent who was a JW. They were almost worshipped by other JW’s every time they came around. It was amazing . The JW’s would all gather around nd ask them questions like little kids.Of course their careers were stared before they were JW’s but just shows you how unbalance the WT is.

          • February 9, 2016 at 6:13 am
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            @Holy Connoli, yes, if I remember right, that lady psychiatrist was in Colorado because that is where our friend is from.

          • February 9, 2016 at 6:12 pm
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            I ended up in the hospital for over a month and had Psychiatric counseling. Not one elder came to visit me. Not one. I had one of their wives pop by and a couple of friends. One was a false friend and another sister – who, by the way is df`d now, found me crying in the corner of my room after the `false friend`had given me the whole `pull your self together`talk. Although I wouldn`t say this incident was wholly cong. instigated it was certainly part of it. However, even now I suffer from anxiety on meeting nights and days…. even though i no longer go. It`s like being weened off a drug. I feel so much better not going to the hall but I have to leave the house on a Saturday mornings just in case they `pop`round. Or I lock my door and retreat into a room where they can`t look through the windows. Yes, I suffer from PTSD and the WT adds to it.

          • February 10, 2016 at 11:27 am
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            @Tara
            Ah the pop ’round (or we call it the pop-in). First time they pulled it with me was on a Sunday after the meeting. I got some perspective on how rude it was to just show up at someone’s house unannounced. As Witnesses, we used to do that all the time. Now I typically find somewhere to be on Sat and Sun or I just don’t answer the door if I’m not expecting anyone.

            WS

          • February 10, 2016 at 12:03 pm
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            Tara, I lived in constant dread of meetings and service. It never left me. Finally I don’t have that terrible feeling of dread come over me anymore but even just listening to jwbroadcasting or going onto jw.org and listening to one of their magazine readings or reading articles out of my husbands magazines or looking at the new version of the kingdom ministry, I get those same feelings of dread and doom and gloom back again but I refuse to feel any guilt, no matter how much those articles are designed to do that to people.

            I never had that feeling of doom and gloom before becoming a Witness, but once I got involved, that depression of dreading of having to go to meetings and service was always there, 24-7.

            I wished more than anything I could have gone to a psychiatrist and unloaded on him or her. Living like that doesn’t only affect our lives, but our children too. I don’t know how any child can grow up “normal” in the JW religion.

          • February 11, 2016 at 7:51 pm
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            Arrived home today to a note left in the door jam. ‘Just popped around to see if you were in’. signed by two elders…. hmm.

          • February 11, 2016 at 8:49 pm
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            @Tara
            Maybe your elders were reading the comments on JWSurvey and got inspired. LOL

            WS

          • February 11, 2016 at 9:32 pm
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            Turns out the ‘popped round’ to see my daughter as well… neither of us were in. But it sent my anxiety up. I am on my own. I think it is wrong that two men can turn up on a single sisters door without an invite. In a way I view it as entrapment… I spoke to a non witness friend about this same subject the other day and he said that some hierarchy from his church tried that on him once…. he told them in no uncertain terms never to do it again. I now dread being in my own home in case I get more visits. It almost feels like stalking.

          • February 12, 2016 at 5:39 am
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            @Tara
            Sorry. Didn’t mean to make light of a situation causing you anxiety. I believe you have said in other posts that you don’t DA because of family. If you were DA’d they’d leave you alone and if not you could simply get a restraining or cease and desist order from a court. But as a fader that’s tough. I have found that all you can do is wait it out until they eventually give up on catching you. Could be ’cause we are coming up on the memorial season and there is some mandate to contact inactive ones. I am a fader too, but because I don’t go to any meetings (other than memorial for relatives) they pretty well leave me alone as a lost cause. I think you said you go to occasional meetings for appearances. As such they see you as a weak sister needing assistance rather than a lost cause. Sorry I don’t have any better suggestions. Perhaps others in the community will have better ideas.

            WS

          • February 12, 2016 at 7:56 am
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            No worries WS :) yes I think you are probably right… weak sister syndrome….. ha ha.

  • February 9, 2016 at 6:17 am
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    Very interesting statistics regarding the number of Elders knowing an abuser (approx 37%) and the number abused (appox 8%), that’s a cause for real concern.

  • February 9, 2016 at 6:57 am
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    About the 90% responding, saying they are happier since leaving the Organization, I am one of those, even though most of the people that I knew as an active Witness either don’t talk to me and ignore me when they see me out and about and that is after being a faithful Witness for fifty years. I am still happier.

    As a Witness, I felt always depressed as if there was a dark cloud over my head all the time. The fear of Armageddon and the guilt of never feeling as if I was doing enough was always there, bringing me down. I would go to a meeting and the meeting would make me depressed for several days and then the next meeting would bring on that dark cloud again and the same for service. I always felt down and depressed but since leaving, I don’t have that dark cloud over my head any longer and it feels great. If I missed a meeting, then that would make me depressed too. I couldn’t win.

    When a Witness is having doubts and suffers from depression, you are not allowed to confide even in your closest friends or even your family and even to those on the “outside” because anything you say will send up red flags to those people and it will be held against you and taken to the elders. Witnesses are so afraid of losing their own that they will fear that that person is falling “out of the truth” and the sad thing is that any friends or family will think that the elders will “help” that loved one, but the opposite is what happens.

    Any time a Witness expresses doubts over either losing faith in the Bible or God or the Organization to the elders, the elders will sense an apostasy and instead of helping that person by answering their questions and helping them with their doubts, will chastise them and either disfellowship them for apostasy or give a marking talk about that person to the congregation, without even giving that person a hearing ear, and once that happens, the person has absolutely nobody to confide in because those who had been their friends and family will refuse to talk to them or listen to them. There is no help coming from the elders and nobody to confide in, without being “turned in” to the elders for one reason or another.

    It is an Organization of fear and intimidation. It is no wonder that each and every Witness doesn’t suffer from depression. If it’s not because of the constant threat of doom and gloom or the battle of Armageddon, then it’s the guilt over not doing enough for Jehovah and then there’s the thought that one or more of their family members is either disfellowshipped or doesn’t want anything to do with the “truth” and those people will be killed at Armageddon.

    It doesn’t matter to the elders what it does emotionally to the disfellowshiped one or the marked one, because the elders are brainwashed to put the Organization’s “cleanness” above anything else. That person who they had formerly treated as a friend and even family member will be looked as if they are working for the devil and are then “unclean” and bad association and deserving of death at Armageddon.

    Even knowing all that, I am still much happier after I stopped going to the meetings because I realize now that all of the remaining Jehovah’s Witnesses who are still active in the cult are wasting their precious lives away on lies.

    Even though I learned it the hard way that I had been duped for those fifty years of the best years of my life, at least I still have some life to live and I will make the most of the remaining time I have left on this earth, and for that I am grateful.

    • February 9, 2016 at 7:42 am
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      And your valuable experience is inspiring others to find their own way out of an inauthentic lifestyle, Caroline.

    • February 9, 2016 at 8:54 am
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      Thank you Caroline for that brilliant testimony.

    • February 10, 2016 at 1:10 am
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      @Caroline. Sometimes I notice after a comment there is NO REPLY link respond to a comment.Does it happen to any of you also and f so I wonder why?

      Caroline It maybe the same Psych JW lady in Colorado bc how man JW doctors can there be since the JW’s are very low on the totem pole for education. I guess it would not be proper to mention name on here if I found it .Well, I will just describe the city she is from and then we can check

      • February 10, 2016 at 6:23 am
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        @Holy Connoli, when I see there is no reply link, I go up the comments until I see where I can reply and then the reply usually posts under the very last one. I don’t know if that is what you are talking about though.

        I would bet that the lady Witness psychiatrist is the same one also. I don’t think there are that many Witness lady psychiatrists in Colorado, if anywhere else in the U.S. for that matter.

        I guess what my husband’s friend was saying about her is true then. It seemed so weird to me that it was hard to believe it. If I remember right, my husband’s friend even said that circuit overseers have gone to her for help.

      • February 10, 2016 at 9:33 am
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        After a comment is replied to, the text indents and you can reply to either the original comment or to the last reply. I think the system allows you to reply at one more level in, but after that it does not allow more replies, I think because it would indent too far over to read. At that point you can simply reply to the previous comment and your new reply will be placed below.

        At least that’s how it works on my smart phone.

        WS

      • February 10, 2016 at 8:34 am
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        I followed your link from the JWSurvey 2016 post AJ. This is disgusting. I wish your friend well and hope he can come to terms with it. I hope he doesn’t go to the JC meeting.

        I have noticed that late last month and just this week, two of the elders wives have tried to contact me via texts. Both have said how much they miss me at meetings. I politely told them I miss them too. Which is true from a human point of view but from a logical view on the matter, I believe they are being used by the elders to ‘contact me’ to see what is going on.

        Please can you let me know what is in these letters that ask you to go to a JC meeting. I have heard about them and I recal one elder gloating how he and another elder literally camped outside a witness house until he came home and then forced the letter into his hand telling him, he was going to be df’d. He told those in the car group about this with such pride it made me feel sick, even back then. I think I would be taking it to a lawyer if I was ever given/sent one.

        • February 10, 2016 at 9:18 pm
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          @Tara
          The last part about the DF letter reminds of an elder I got to know a bit just before I faded (in fact his negative impact helped speed the process along). About 25 years older than me and a long time elder, he used to brag about all the people he had the pleasure to disfellowship. Seriously, he was like a serial killer or rapist who got off on reliving the details of each of his crimes. There was no other way to describe him other than a fat, pompous, egotistical, maniacal a$$hole.

          Sometime after I faded, he led the judicial committee that disfellowshipped a friend of mine. At the end of their meeting, she had already been informed she would be disfellowshipped (even though she had approached the elders to confess her “sin”), and she asked if they were going to close with prayer. Fat-ass responded “we don’t say prayers for disfellowshipped people!”

          Really? What did Jesus say about praying for your enemies? What a tool!

          WS

          • February 11, 2016 at 3:27 am
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            Sadly Winston, elders like that are not an exception. I know of one who still brags about the same thing. Funny thing is, that it’s all supposed to be done by Holy Spirit yet when it comes to disfellowshipping, it’s the elders themselves who do it. Curious. These types of individuals on a power trip deserve everything that’s coming to them.

          • February 11, 2016 at 8:12 am
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            How can individuals put faith in these men to look after them and pray for them. when they ‘popped over’ to have an encouraging talk with me and then interrogated me on going to my sons wedding I saw the other side. I haven’t been to a meeting or out in service for months now but I am seeing the effects. So called ‘friends’ no longer post on my fb page. text messages have stopped, friendly waves as they pass me in the car have stopped. I guess they will be keeping a close eye on me though, waiting for me to make a slip up so they can pronounce judgement. The thing is I am no longer concerned… the only thing that worries me is my granddaughter who’s mother and family are strong witnesses. I am sure they will try to stop her from seeing me.

          • February 12, 2016 at 12:20 pm
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            When you read the few scriptures that support the idea of disfellowshipping, there is no provision made for a judicial committee. The rebuke came from the congregation in general. The whole judicial committee idea is manmade.

            WS

          • February 12, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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            @Tara
            As far as the conditional friendships from the various congregation members, my opinion is: who needs ’em? I have no use for such people as friends. But I understand the real danger you face in regard to the threat to the relationship with your granddaughter.

            WS

  • February 9, 2016 at 7:38 am
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    Elders are NOT mental health professionals. All they have is their ‘Dr. Seuss’ advice from the bible & WT BS society literature. The WT Corporation puffs up their heads into believing they are qualified to deal with such things, but they are not.
    Anyone experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, suicidal thoughts, etc, should seek PROFESSIONAL help. At least start out by talking to your family doctor, or getting an evaluation at a hospital. If cost is an issue, get advice from such people; there may also be government-sponsored programs or government assistance.
    Even if you have to do it ‘on the sly’.

    • February 13, 2016 at 8:42 am
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      The amount of JWs with mental health problems is disturbing –
      About fifteen years ago (whilst still a JW) I was getting anxiety attacks and went to my GP, who referred me for counselling.
      I attended one session and felt so guilty – after all I was a JW, I should not have these problems! I should be a happy bunny! I ended up in floods of tears and decided not to attend again. On leaving the session, I bumped into a ‘sister’ on her way in!
      There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of witnesses having these problems, who keep it secret. The root of the problem is the control the WT have on our minds, it seems our brains can’t always take it and they rebel! I’m sure it also effects ones physically. After all, how many able bodied witnesses have we known who seem to let themselves go and end up obese, disabled and in wheel chairs? Perhaps another question for the Survey?

  • February 9, 2016 at 8:51 am
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    Lloyd, thank you for the survey which makes challenging reading. It is how we use those statistics that will be important over the coming months. Clearly the issue of paedophilia is paramount but so is shunning, education, mental health and the Governing Body. It is useful to time them in with current Watchtower literature. For example, the recent Watchtower is given over to ‘Honesty’ and the recent Awake! is about ‘Attitude’. Asking relevant and penetrating questions with Witnesses is sometimes a more useful tool than bombarding them with cold statistics, as helpful as they may be to those of us outside.

  • February 9, 2016 at 9:00 am
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    Good on ya Caroline, Your an inspiration, you tell it like it
    is. You’ve lost some shallow “friends” but made many
    genuine ones here.

    I’ve been ignored on the the street by people, pioneers,
    who for 12 years, spent every Wednesday evening at my
    home having meals, watching TV etc. My crime, I was no
    longer interested in their religion, but I’m much happier
    without such conditional association.

    I still have some affection for them, but I pity them. Such
    Narrow mindedness.

  • February 9, 2016 at 9:04 am
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    Thank you for all your hard work Lloyd; I appreciate it greatly. The kindness and gentleness you show to us who are newly coming out is outstanding. Best Regards, Jaime

  • February 9, 2016 at 10:37 am
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    The fact that 766 people in the 2015 survey say they suffer from depression but haven’t yet obtained professional help shows the society manipulates people into ignoring their own healthy boundaries. Unhappiness results because people feel powerless. When you’re awake and you have JW family they will affect you because you can’t control them. I’m awake but my sister isn’t. I deal with her as an ill person. I know when to back off and show restraint. I reason with her every day. She ignores the JW hypocrisy. I know she has to wake up on her own. She knows how I feel.

    • February 9, 2016 at 6:14 pm
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      Dealing with JW relatives as when with a mentally ill person (I am assuming you meant mentally and not physically ill) – that’s a good way to handle it.

      WS

      • February 10, 2016 at 1:08 am
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        …or more precisely, “mentally diseased” – sound familiar btw? ;)

  • February 9, 2016 at 10:48 am
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    Can someone help me with this?
    Some of these stats are scary indeed but I have a dilemma of sorts. In almost all cults or when we look at certain preachers who live in incredible luxury on behalf of everyone giving their money, we don’t really see this with WT. Therein lives a small part of my dilemma. I don’t see or know of incredible wealth nor luxury. Yes the GB appear to live a comfortable life but not luxurious in that same way. So then what is the modus operandi other then exercise control? part of me says the GB know their 1914 teachings are false and so status
    quo has to be upheld at all cost. But for what? what is their ultimate goal? Like with previously mentioned preachers, cults etc its almost always money for themselves.

    • February 9, 2016 at 12:14 pm
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      @Bright Lightbulb, these are my thoughts about what you are saying:

      I don’t believe that the Governing Body are deliberately deceitful. I believe they are deluded with the idea that they really are preaching the end of the world and so feel they really are the “guardians of doctrine” for Jehovah’s organization and don’t think about the real estate empire they are building up as “money in their pockets” but as belonging to Jehovah.

      The problem is that they don’t really read the Bible for what it really says, but they rely on the writing committees to come up with the articles and then they approve of them or go over them for any mistakes.

      I feel they really do think that God has appointed them over all “His” belongings and they really do feel they have to keep the Organization going because if they don’t do everything they can to make sure all the world has heard the “good news of the kingdom” before Jehovah destroys the world of mankind at Armageddon.

      I feel the Governing Body and all those in New York have not allowed themselves to “think” any more than the rest of the rank and file have allowed themselves to think and to question their “faith”.

      In my opinion, if the Governing Body or any of those in the Bethels or the writing committees or any of the rest of the active JW’s who are running the whole thing come to the realization that the whole thing is nothing but an illusion or a delusion, they would have a “Crisis of Conscience” just as Ray Franz had what happened to him and it would be devastating for them, just as it has been for the rest of us who have wakened up from our delusional sleep.

      Unless at least one of them (the Governing Body) “wakes” up and comes out like Ray Franz did and exposes them as deluded, it will keep going on just as it has been all these years.

      If that doesn’t happen, then I am hoping that one by one, people start waking up and it implodes from the inside.

      The whole thing depends on the Bethelites doing all the hard work. If they start waking up and realize they are being “used” and refuse to work for them for nothing, maybe then it might crumble too.

      I am in the hopes that at least one of he Governing Body has a working conscience and starts to actually read his Bible for what it really says and his brain wakes up and he decides not to rely on the “converted” Bible that he reads now and has the courage to be another Ray Franz.

      When I look at the internet and the avalanche of the Youtube videos exposing the Watchtower, I think that sooner or later, the Society has to realize it can’t win, no matter how hard they try to suppress the real truth about the Organization and because of the avalanche of those videos, they will have to change it’s policies and suffer the shame of having misled millions of people and suffer the shame and guilty consciences for being responsible for the deaths of thousands of people due to not taking blood,including many innocent babies and children.

      • February 9, 2016 at 4:44 pm
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        Thanks. That makes sense. Although I doubt that last part will ever happen.

        • February 9, 2016 at 6:20 pm
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          The organization can only grow so much with its current structure. It’s choices will be to either reform and go mainstream or to dwindle. It could also splinter off.

          WS

      • February 9, 2016 at 6:28 pm
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        Although the GB does not enjoy the opulence of some of those televangelists, they do enjoy privileges and prestige well beyond the means of most of the rank and file.

        Ray Franz wrote of his time on the GB: “If security and comfort were my aim, I certainly would have opted for staying where I was, for all our physical needs would have been provided us as part of the headquarters staff. Our long years of “seniority” would give us the choice of some of the better rooms that periodically became available in the Society’s many large buildings. Our vacation time would increase to the equivalent of some six weeks a year and, because of being a Governing Body member, it would always be possible to combine this with speaking engagements that cartied one to points all over the United States and Canada, or with zone visits that took one to points all over the earth. (Governing Body members can regularly take their vacations in places the average person could only afford
        to dream about.) In 1978, my wife and I found ourselves boarding planes over fifty times in that one year, and over the years we had traveled to Central and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
        If prestige or prominence were what was sought, I could not reasonably have asked for more. I was already declining, on a monthly basis, about three or four invitations for speaking engage- ments for every one that
        I accepted. Internation-
        ally, if traveling to Paris,
        Athens, Madrid, Lisbon,
        Mexico City, Sao Paulo,
        or almost any other major
        city, it was only neces-
        sary to advise the Branch
        Office and a meeting
        would be arranged to
        which thousands of
        Jehovah’s Witnesses
        would flock. It became al-
        most commonplace to address audiences ranging in size anywhere from five thousand up to thirty thousand persons. Practically anywhere a Governing Body member goes he is the guest of honor among his fellow Witnesses.”

        WS

      • February 10, 2016 at 1:19 am
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        A Bethelite strike. Now THAT would be something! Unfortunately, there may not be 2 sets of b*lls among the lot of them. lol

        • February 10, 2016 at 1:33 am
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          @ WS

          Thanx 4 that eye-opening info. I didn’t realize the GB had such opulent lifestyles. WOW!!! Must be nice!!!
          Power is also a motive. Power & control, not to mention the adulation & worship that come from being man-gods walking the Earth.
          Televangelists may enjoy more opulence, but that’s related to power. Money is a form of power. Most of the enjoyment simply comes from flaunting it.
          Personally, I honestly believe the GB down to the vast majority of elders are fully aware of what they’re doing. How else do they invent & spread all the fairy tales. It’s obvious there is no “holy spirit” telling them what to write. Where does it all come from? & how about all the cult manipulation & mind-control. The GB r deluded? Not in my view. I think they know exactly what they’re doing, & why.

          • February 10, 2016 at 3:49 am
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            @A4
            You hit the nail on the head: Power is the key motivation.

            But I think that as far as being deluded, the GB and at least part of the local elder bodies live in two worlds as it were. On the one hand they do have a sense of what they are doing – maintaining their power, controlling others, etc. But they keep that sense buried beneath their delusion that they really are being led by God. They may have moments of clarity, where they know exactly what the real deal is, but then their psyche buries it beneath all the fairy tale wonder. And when you have thousands of people worshiping and adulating you, it’s easy to convince yourself that all the lies are true.

            At the same time, I think there are a number of local elders who genuinely think that they are doing God’s will, and they just blindly follow the leadership. Their own cognitive dissonance keeps them under the spell.

            WS

          • February 10, 2016 at 5:54 am
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            @Winston Smith & @Anonymous4
            Joseph Rutherford being the main man (Top GB Member) had a very opulent lifestyle with 2 Cadillacs & Luxury homes in Manhattan, Germany (the Real reason he opposed Hitler )& obviously Beth Sarim (massive mansion .
            I used to visit a friend in Mill Hill Bethel in the 1970s & he took me on a tour of the million pound homes around Mill Hill which the society owned & still own which certain district overseers & branch members & their wives lived in rent free plus free cars,food, clothes all paid for by ordinary brothers donations & as the Watchtower is a registered charity no one pays any tax.
            So it is a very fine line and difficult to know whether present day GB Members have their own private homes & what wealth they have as the GB print no Financial Accounts just very hazy videos about donations going to build Kingdom Halls in third world countries with ice cream money .
            I hope I am wrong because it would sadden me if ordinary rank & file JWs donations are being misused in any way. The only way to prove otherwise is to print public financial records like the Church of England does. I just googled it & their accounts are very very detailed so come on GB if Babylon the Great can do it surely Gods Organisation ?? Can.

          • February 10, 2016 at 9:48 pm
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            @Winston Churchill,
            Very good points. Rutherford was probably the worst of the whole lot. Much of the cult control can also be traced back to his presidency.

            But that lends itself to another good point. And that is this: the GB members are each individuals with their own level of delusion and there own level of reality. We tend to think of them as a united front, but there is not the level of unity we imagine (Crisis of Conscience helped bring this out). So some are more under the delusion of being God’s directed servants, while others are more enticed by the overwhelming power they wield. But they are all seduced by the absolute power to some extent.

            WS

          • February 13, 2016 at 8:55 am
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            Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely!
            (Lord Acton, British historian)

  • February 9, 2016 at 10:53 am
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    AS SCHOCKING AS IT IS. Will this survey ever lead to serious reform IN THE WATCHTOWER? We can only hope the participants come out of the Schell.

  • February 9, 2016 at 11:10 am
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    Just a thought concerning “Elders appointed by holy Spirit ” evidently the 23% didn’t get the memo from the org..the idea that Elders are directly appointed by h.s. has been modified. The current doctrine is h.s. directed paul to record the qualifications of an older man, and to the degree that body’s of elders today appoint in harmony with those directions then it is said to be “in agreement with holy Spirit ” thus when it turns out that a rapist, pedophile, wife beater, adulterer ,ect is appointed it’s because of failure of the local body. It should have been more evident in his publisher record cards.

  • February 9, 2016 at 1:16 pm
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    I’m not surprised that 22% would stick to the religion
    even if it were proved to be untrue.

    One sister in our circuit stated, “if the society told her
    to jump off Blackpool Tower she would do it”

    They’ve become Zombies, everything but the masters
    voice is blocked out.

  • February 9, 2016 at 2:50 pm
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    Remaind that the Watchtower are one of the powerfully institutions of in this world. They have one of the biggest influence and have everywhere agents. Brooklyn is more than 7 GB members for me. They never give up like Kaddaffi in Libia, they start to be mad even.

    • February 10, 2016 at 1:39 am
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      They have lots of power.

  • February 9, 2016 at 6:24 pm
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    My family are JWs. They don’t realize they are using self deception as a way of hiding the truth from themselves and for hiding it more deeply from others. A person is susceptible to self-deception when they have emotional attachments to beliefs, which in some cases may be irrational. Self-deception enables someone to believe her or his own distortions. Self-deception can be used both to act greater or lesser than one actually is. Self-deception lowers cognitive cost; that is to say, it is less complicated for one to behave or think in a certain manner that implies something is true, if one has convinced oneself that that very thing is indeed true. Simple instances of self-deception include common occurrences such as: the alcoholic who is self-deceived in believing that his drinking is under control. JWs have a difficult life and suffer from depression because they lie to themselves.

  • February 9, 2016 at 8:34 pm
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    Good to hear some points on donating money, this of which i stopped years ago, mainly due to being in Elders meetings at the circuit assemblies & one days when they would read the financial report, even though at that time early nineties to say 2012 they had 3/4 of a million in kitti, they then would extort more from the congo, so i guess all that money has been taken by the WT, i recently heard through an active elder that they had disbanded the RBC, so what about our refurb, well we did get some new concrete, he also told me of a KH being sold of & a fairly flush congo that had a million dollars, at least we only had $50k, what about all the years we gave to the world wide work???, i hate to think how munch money the society has taken of us, some say oh its an equalizing & their is a new KH being built every day, show me the proof, the money/greed thing is one of my big turn offs.

    • February 10, 2016 at 1:40 am
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      They’re glorified con men.

      • February 10, 2016 at 1:42 am
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        Do you think you could limit the number of one-line off-topic comments? It would be much better if you treat each comment as an actual comment rather than a new line in a private message exchange.

        • February 10, 2016 at 2:45 am
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          How exactly was I being off-topic?

          • February 10, 2016 at 2:51 am
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            As I scroll down your latest comments, I see a list of one-liners…
            “Funky Cold Medina.”
            “They’re glorified con men.”
            “They have lots of power.”
            “Kick ass!”
            “Potato – PoTAHto.”
            Some of those comments may be relevant to the post, but I doubt all of them are.
            I am just asking that you treat the comments section as a comments section rather than a PM exchange. That’s all.

          • February 10, 2016 at 7:04 am
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            ALL those comments were relevant to the current discussion. U don’t seem to have a problem with other folks’ replies. Why r u singling ME out?!

          • February 10, 2016 at 8:04 am
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            I’m not singling you out. I don’t know anything about you, so I have no reason to discriminate. This is my website, and I am making a polite request for you to stop the one-liner off-topic comments. If you check our posting guidelines you will see that they are non-negotiable. Rather than wave the flag of persecution, it would be easier if you just took it on board.

  • February 10, 2016 at 2:29 am
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    Hopefully this is not too off topic but I have a point to make. Yesterday the UK news reported for the first time a Catholic mass was heard at Hampton court palace since the break with the church in Henry 8th’s time. This is a big deal in England because of the schism in this country is all pervasive. I dropped into the conversation with hubby “do you think god maybe allowing this because of the churches repentance and financial recompense and the public apology they have made over the child abuse within their ranks?” Its a bit of a long shot but the point i’m making is that the catholic church have stepped up to the plate and said so publically so they can actually move forward whereas the Jehovah’s Witnesses deny all such claims and call such accusations “ridiculous” If god is not using any particular religion, but individuals, then if a religion cleans house he could motivate a positive response for worship whereas us who cry out for justice see our form of worship invalidated by the diseased head ie the Gb . Not until the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses publically, verbally. and in writing accept their Christian responsibility for their mistakes, errors and lies on the issue of child abuse, they will never be approved by God .God will never bless or validate any act of worship they direct. You cannot mock God.Ruthlee

    • February 11, 2016 at 12:48 am
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      ruthlee: The only defence the Governing Body has for not reporting child abuse is the “two witness” rule. Admitting this so called scriptural defence is wrong would be an admission that they protect pedophiles. I seriously doubt that they will ever back down on this doctrine.

      However, some courts are not happy with the Watchtower’s Pedophile Protection Policies (PPP). Here’s a story of two elders who failed to report child abuse in their congregation: “They, and the congregation, now face a lawsuit from the Delaware attorney general accusing them of violating the state’s mandated (child sex abuse) reporting laws.” https://www.revealnews.org/blog/jehovahs-fight-law-requiring-child-sex-abuse-be-reported-to-police/

      The defendants also claim the elders were protected from having to report the abuse by a legal exemption for clergy. The court isn’t buying that defence either. The most interesting aspect of the case is that two elders and their congregation (not the Governing Body) are being prosecuted by a state agency.

      • February 11, 2016 at 4:16 am
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        The Watchtower has never been one to apologize. When the various dates predicted for Armageddon failed, they turned around and blamed it on the rank on file members. So no surprise that they won’t apologize for their policies that have protected pedophiles and led to more child abuse.

        WS

        • February 11, 2016 at 5:33 am
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          @Winston Smith. I was thinking along similar lines in regard to the organ transplants fiasco when from 1966 to 1980 it was regarded as cannibalism so no JW would dare to have one . Then 1980 it was suddenly alright . But no apologies to those who might have died for refusing a transplant & very upsetting for those family members who might have lost a beloved mother,father,son or daughter due to refusal of a kidney,heart,lung,etc
          This is what I find disturbing in the 2016 Survey that 22% would stay with the religion even if it was untrue! Quite frightening especially when Jesus said ‘ The Truth will set you free’ so if those 22% found out the organisation was not the Truth then they cannot be set Free from false religion because those JWs are part of it.Absolutely crazy logic .

          • February 11, 2016 at 9:25 am
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            @Winston Smith. & thank you for your commendation & acknowledgement on my point about Rutherfords opulent wealth.
            Much appreciated your comments.

          • February 12, 2016 at 12:31 pm
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            Good points on organ transplants. That’s why when it comes to life or death decisions, each person must make up their own mind. They must not defer to another entity. Of course the organization would not have it that way. They must have complete control. Thus they have a lot of blood on their hands.

            WS

  • February 10, 2016 at 8:44 am
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    Hey Cedars, theres an issue on the first slide where you have to pick your Country. There is no Other button, so to be able to write on the Other space provided you have to select one of the other countries in order to write yours down. Im from the Caribbean, P.R. to be exact, so the options provided dont quite fit. I hope it can be fixed.

    • February 10, 2016 at 9:25 am
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      I’ve just checked, and there is a text box below the options – “Other, please specify.”

  • February 10, 2016 at 9:31 am
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    @Cedars. It is encouraging only 50% are making donations which is good news & may go even lower next year with more investigations into the way the GB handle child abuse .

  • February 10, 2016 at 10:40 am
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    In the Survey the statistics that state 78% have known or heard of a JW involved in a suicide attempt is very disturbing. Maybe shunning has caused this by family members or never ending pressure to do more or The Paradise kept being postponed? Who Knows?

  • February 10, 2016 at 9:25 pm
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    Re: 55% of voters say they have experienced financial disadvantage as a result of JW teachings on higher education

    Keeping ‘em ignorant is a great tool and to me it’s a form of slavery. Sadly, a higher education could provide a higher level of critical thinking and assist in identifying flawed WT reasoning! My real concern is… are any GB family members or any of the hierarchy (i.e. Elders) sending their kids to college/university either to private or public institutions? The reasoning, “do as I say and not as I do”!

    Any flies on the wall?

    IMHO

    dogstar

    • February 11, 2016 at 10:27 am
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      Hi Sirius,
      I went to Uni. It was never discouraged in our congregation but most of our elders, when I was growing up, all had higher education. Great quality of assignments too, especially on the school. The large majority of us kids at least benefited from that training.
      I realise that our cong was the exception that proves the rule. However, as a cong we didn’t take the literature as gospel, especially with all the American grammar and ideas. By the way, 3 out of the 5 elders had beards too (though they never got to give talks at the assemblies or in other congs).

      • February 11, 2016 at 2:02 pm
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        @Average Joe, Thank you for your comments!

        Interesting! Were you born to JW parents or a convert? Are you holding a position of authority within the congregation? And would you comment on the following?

        You have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to young children.—Matt. 11:25.

        Of course, Jesus did not mean that his disciples were children in a literal sense. Rather, he knew that they seemed to be children compared to the intellectual and highly educated ones in the land, who were wise in their own eyes. More important, Jesus taught his followers to be like children, remaining humble and teachable. (Matt. 18:1-4) How did they benefit from being humble? By means of holy spirit, Jehovah helped them to grasp vital spiritual truths while the wise and intellectual ones, who scorned them, remained blinded by Satan and by their own pride. No wonder Jesus was so pleased! It made him happy to see the way Jehovah revealed deep spiritual truths to humble people of all sorts, regardless of their education or intellectual gifts. He was delighted that his Father approved of this way of teaching. w15 3/15 1:2, 3

        An university degree is Satan’s blindness & the sin of pride?!!? How did the GB get “intellectual ones” to mean university educated?

        BTW, I am no JW or will I ever be… my interest is purely research based (comparative) analysis.

        IMHO

        dogstar

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