Though visually appealing, the Society’s new DVD for children has hidden dangers that parents must carefully consider

The 2012 “Safeguard Your Heart” District Convention has already generated controversy among thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses with the release of a new animated children’s DVD entitled “Become Jehovah’s Friend: Listen, Obey, and Be Blessed”. The wave of criticism aimed at the film has already received media attention in Norway and Denmark.

The DVD, which is introduced by Governing Body member Anthony Morris III, features two short animated films centering around the exploits of a fictional young boy named Caleb. Though short, the films are made to a very high standard of animation, not unlike those standards found in the well-known “Toy Story” movies. However, it is sad to note that, though visually impressive, this new DVD seems determined to undermine and weaken a young child’s critical thinking and reasoning skills. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than a story depicting young Caleb being coerced with false reasoning by his mother into throwing away a toy wizard that has been given to him as a gift by a friend. The explanation? Because, apparently, “Jehovah hates it”.

Anthony Morris III acknowledged that animated films can have a profound impact on impressionable young minds

The film is introduced by Anthony Morris III, who was apparently chosen to represent the Governing Body in introducing this film because he is one of the few members who actually has parental experience. Morris hails the medium of animated movies as “a powerful teaching tool” in capturing the imagination of little ones. Indeed, there is very little attempt made to conceal the fact that this film is intended, first and foremost, to sculpt the minds of young Witness children into those of compliant followers of the future. As Morris remarks, “Children can learn so much during their formative years. Lessons they learn at a very young age can make an impression that lasts a lifetime.” It would be nice to think that the “lessons” conveyed in this film would be solely wholesome and beneficial ones. However, in the second film in particular, entitled “Lesson 2 – Obey Jehovah”, the underlying lesson is far from positive.

I understand that many reading this article would be appreciative of the opportunity to see the movies for themselves before forming any opinions, and I would urge you to do this. When this article was first published on jwsurvey.org, both animated lessons were freely available on YouTube. A few days after being posted, all video clips associated with the DVD were removed from the Google-owned website at the request of the Watch Tower Society on the grounds of copyright infringement. This development surprised many, since the back cover of the DVD features the following declaration:

This publication is not for sale. It is provided as part of a worldwide Bible educational work supported by voluntary donations.

If the DVD (and the material contained therein) is truly free and intended for educational purposes, then it is difficult to comprehend why the Society would wish to remove their videos from YouTube, particularly since their appearance on that website fell under the remit of “fair use”, and was therefore not strictly in breach of copyright rules. Furthermore, if the videos are truly educational, surely the Society would wish them to reach as broad an audience as possible? Is that not the entire purpose of our preaching work, to reach people with our message via publications produced by the Slave Class?

However, remove them they did. Since this development, the videos have re-emerged with wary “YouTubers” expressly drawing attention to the above-quoted statement on the back cover. One such video containing Lesson 2 (which forms the focus of this article) is embedded below. Provided it has not yet been removed by the Society, I would encourage you to watch the video if you haven’t done so already.

(If this video has been removed, please notify us and we will try to embed another link of the same movie, perhaps from an alternative website)

Obviously, whether the above embedded video works or not, if you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you should be receiving your own copy of this DVD at your next convention. If for any reason you are unable to view the DVD and would appreciate a brief overview of the contents, a transcript of “Lesson 2 – Obey Jehovah” (from the moment when Caleb’s mother discovers him with the toy) is below:

  • Mom: Caleb, what toy is that?
  • Caleb: It’s Sparlock, the warrior wizard!
  • Mom: Woah! A warrior wizard?!
  • Caleb: Yeh, my friend gave it to me. All the kids are going to see the movie. Can I see it too?
  • “Oh your friend gave this to you… hmmm…”

    Mom: Oh, your friend gave this to you… hm. You look pretty excited about this. Why don’t you come over here and get your snack, okay? (sighs)

  • (Caleb sits down to have his snack.)
  • Mom: Is this toy magical?
  • Caleb: Uh-huh.
  • Mom: Caleb, who likes Magic? Jehovah? Or Satan?!
  • Caleb: Satan.
  • Mom: Right. Magic is bad. That’s why Jehovah hates it. Do you REALLY wanna play with something that Jehovah hates?
  • (Caleb looks at his toy sorrowfully.)
  • Mom: Do you remember who we learned about at family worship? Who is this? (shows Caleb a picture from page 50 of the Great Teacher book)
  • Caleb: Adam and Eve.
  • Mom: Right! Did they obey Jehovah?
  • Caleb: No. They disobeyed Jehovah, and he got very sad.
  • Mom: So what if YOU disobey Jehovah, and play with toys he doesn’t like?
  • (Caleb scratches his head)
  • Mom: Do you think Jehovah will be happy? Or sad?
  • (Caleb imagines a snake hanging down from a tree next to him, clutching his toy suggestively)
  • Caleb: Sad.
  • Mom: Yeh. Do you want Jehovah to be sad?
  • Caleb: No! (slaps the imaginary snake away with his hand) I don’t want Jehovah to be sad with me!
  • “So what do YOU think you should do with this toy?”

    Mom: No, I don’t want Jehovah to be sad with you either! So what do YOU think you should do with this toy?

  • (Caleb looks at his toy again. The next scene shows him throwing it in the trash can outside while his Mom holds the lid open for him.)
  • Mom: Caleb, I am so proud of you! You made mommy very happy! And you know who else is happy?
  • Caleb: Jehovah!
  • Mom: Yes! Jehovah loves you very much for obeying him Caleb. Hey, you know what I wanna do?
  • Caleb: What?
  • Mom: I wanna go ride bikes!
  • Caleb: Yay!
  • Mom: Let’s go!

 

Of course, I appreciate that many will dismiss these films as nothing more than fictional children’s animations. However, despite being fictional, Anthony Morris has himself admitted in his opening remarks to the DVD that the films are intended to have an impact on impressionable young minds. I believe this impact will be extremely negative, and I will explain why.

Owning a wizard = being a wizard?

As previously mentioned, in the second of the two videos, or “lessons”, young Caleb returns home from school with a plastic toy wizard that one of this friends has given to him. His mother finds him playing with the toy, and though expressing initial excitement, she wastes little time in sitting Caleb down and explaining that the toy wizard is “something that Jehovah hates”. Without reading a single scripture in support of her arguments, she manages to convince Caleb that the toy wizard makes Jehovah “sad”. She impresses upon him that, if he were to choose to keep it, this would be an act of disobedience to Jehovah akin to Adam and Eve’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden. Caleb even imagines a snake tempting him with the toy, as though it is somehow satanic in origin.

A plastic toy wizard – the object of Jehovah’s anger towards a child

Of course, in reality there is absolutely nothing harmful or satanic about children playing with plastic toy wizards. These can hardly be described as “something that Jehovah hates” since they are lifeless figurines. They are not objects of worship – merely the focal point of a child’s imagination.

True, under the Mosaic Law covenant, Israelites were strongly dissuaded from becoming “practicers of magic” or “sorcerers”. (Deuteronomy 18:10-13) Such practices were described in the bible as “detestable to Jehovah”, as was eating pig meat. (Deu. 14:3-8) As Christians, we are no longer under the Mosaic Law covenant, nor are we bound by its idiosyncracies such as circumcision and abstaining from pork. Obviously, the practice of witchcraft and sorcery still runs in direct violation of Christianity, but this is not what was depicted in the film. The film merely showed a child playing with a toy in the shape of a wizard, which is not something that the bible condemns, indirectly or otherwise, in any of its many pages.

Jesus denounced the pharisees for their excessive rule-making

I am certainly not suggesting that there is nothing harmful or dangerous as regards practicing sorcery, or that we should all go out and become witches and wizards. However, the scribes and pharisees were criticized by Jesus for overstepping boundaries of reason when it came to their rigid application of the Mosaic Law. (Matt 23:2-4,23,24; Luke 11:46) Such ones were so harsh with Jehovah’s people that they effectively built a “fence around the law” through their oral traditions, banning anything that might bring people even close to a situation in which they might sin. It is disturbing to note the parallels between the way the Scribes would have approached these matters, and the way the Governing Body is now clamping down on anything that is even indirectly associated with something that was “detestable to Jehovah” under the Mosaic Law.

Anyone can see that there is a huge gulf between playing with a toy wizard and actually becoming one. Even so, the Governing Body now evidently feels that owning such an item is tantamount to actually BEING a wizard, even if the owner is a mere child with no knowledge of magic, wizardry or witchcraft. It is alarming to think that a small group of men with such power could arrive at such a conclusion. As I write, the Governing Body are making extremely sensitive, profound and far-reaching decisions on matters of doctrine and scriptural justice that influence the lives of millions of adherents around the world. If they can get it so badly wrong with toy wizards, what does this say about their judgment on far more serious and weighty matters? – Matthew 23:23,24

I personally find the apparent shift in policy deeply disturbing. It is true that the organization has long voiced concern in its publications over the prevalence of the occult in movies and literature. However, traditionally the Society has always kept its distance in allowing parents to decide for themselves how far these principles and views should be applied or enforced in their own homes. As an example, note the following quote from a 1994 Awake! article:

“What about toys based on popular fairy-tale or science-fiction characters? Such stories generally deal with the triumph of good over evil. Some parents thus view the ‘magical elements’ in these tales as simple flights of a childish imagination and see no harm in letting their children enjoy them. Others may fear that the stories could stimulate an interest in the occult. (Deuteronomy 18:10-13) Without judging others, parents must make their own decisions in this regard, considering the effects such stories—and any toys based on them—have on their children.” – September 8th, 1994 Awake!, page 9.

The above quote sets out a far more balanced approach to this issue that allows parents the flexibility to choose for themselves what toys are appropriate for their children – without being judgmental of those who view things differently. However, the release of this DVD marks an end to those times of patience and latitude on the part of the Governing Body. They evidently feel it is now time to intervene, and lay down some ground rules.

Yes, the Governing Body now seeks to step into the shoes of parents around the world, and decide for them what toys their children may or may not play with. I never thought I would see the day when parents began to receive instructions from the Governing Body on how to police their children’s toy chests. However, this harsh and invasive new strategy of the Society is a mere footnote when it comes to the real reason for my dismay as regards this DVD. Unquestionably, the worst thing about it is the fact that the Society is now unashamedly producing films that seem specifically designed to rob a new generation of its reasoning ability.

Caleb is confronted with this picture of elderley Adam and Eve as sole basis for his Mom’s argument against his toy

In the film, no logical or scripturally-based argument is offered to Caleb as to precisely why Jehovah “hates” toy wizards, or why they make him “sad”, or why owning one would be an act of disobedience against God. Caleb is shown a picture from the Learn From The Great Teacher book (page 50) depicting Adam and Eve as a withered and miserable old man and woman following their sin. This somewhat scary and morose picture is shown as the consequences of disobeying Jehovah, but no explanation is given as to WHY owning a toy wizard constitutes an act of disobedience that would leave Caleb in a similar predicament to the first human pair. Caleb is merely informed that Jehovah doesn’t like the toy when his mother says: “So what if YOU disobey Jehovah, and play with toys he doesn’t like?” The key question of WHY Jehovah “doesn’t like” Caleb’s toy is by-passed as almost irrelevant.

Caleb’s Mom even neglects to read the scripture from Deuteronomy 18 that I mentioned above. Some would argue that Caleb might be too young to be confronted with scriptural arguments from the bible, but this doesn’t stop his Dad from pulling out a bible in Lesson 1 when Caleb treads dirt on his Mom’s clean floor. Surely if Caleb’s toy is so offensive to God, this warrants a similar appeal to the scriptures for guidance? But this doesn’t happen. Evidently what the scriptures have to say on the matter is of no consequence. Instead, Caleb is merely pummeled with baseless implications about his toy to which, faced with no alternative, he eventually yields.

The over-riding tone of this particular short story is “don’t ask, just obey”. This is precisely what the Society has always asked us to do in their publications, especially by means of spurious teachings such as “increasing light” and “waiting on Jehovah”. However, it is one thing to suppress the critical thinking skills of adults, but it strikes me as wrong and profoundly damaging to inflict such backwards ideology on young and impressionable minds from early childhood. Such thinking sets children up for the worst possible start in life, and robs them of valuable cognitive tools.

Hidden Messages

It genuinely distresses me to think of the many thousands (potentially millions) of young children who will be played this video and taught that, when it comes to making decisions, reason and logic come a poor second when others are asking you to conform to their own weak consciences. Both films strike me as a not-so thinly veiled attempt on the part of the Governing Body to mold a new generation of mindless automatons who will follow all of their commands no matter how unreasonable these may be, or how little scriptural explanation is offered on their part.

In the trash: Caleb must return empty-handed to school the next day to appease his mother’s conscience

Ignorance and unquestioned loyalty aren’t the only messages to young minds in this movie. There are other more subtle messages regarding showing lack of appreciation, and fearing everything from the outside world. After all, Caleb is given his toy wizard by a friend at school. The toy’s character, “Sparlock”, is evidently the lead character of a forthcoming movie, and we all know that toys connected with children’s movies are hardly ever cheap. This was therefore a generous gift from a virtual stranger, yet nowhere is gratitude expressed to this person for their kind gesture, neither is any thought given as to what will be said to this friend when Caleb turns up at school the next day empty-handed. Put simply, whoever this friend is, his feelings are of no consequence whatever to Caleb’s mother, because this person is a “worldling”, and therefore a destructive influence on her young boy and a threat to his ongoing indoctrination.

Although there are many such hidden messages, certainly the overriding theme of Lesson 2 of this DVD is that of showing mindless loyalty to an organization, even if no reasons or explanatory scriptures are presented. Obedience comes first, and any questions are irrelevant. This is precisely the lesson that the Governing Body wants young children to learn and absorb.

I have nothing in particular against the overall message of Lesson 1, in which Caleb is taught the value of respecting his parents and being obedient to them. Yes, I found certain facets of this first film slightly disturbing and backward. For example, it is Caleb’s mother who is initially portrayed (rather stereotypically) as cleaning the home rather than his Dad, and she is down on her hands and knees with a sponge rather than using a simple floor mop to clean the floor. It seems a little draconian to pull a bible on a young child for what was essentially an accident rather than a deliberate “act of disobedience”. It’s also curious that Caleb’s Mom feels compelled to change from trousers into a skirt for the “family worship” evening. This seems fairly “over the top”, but evidently this is what the Governing Body now wants mothers to do. Finally, towards the end of the film when Caleb has tidied up his mess and is ready to join his family, his mother tells him: “Thank you! I’m so proud of you for obeying!” This seems like quite loaded language for a mother to use, especially to a young boy.

A Stifled Generation

Lesson Two and Caleb’s courting of divine wrath over a simple toy wizard is certainly the most disturbing and intellectually stifling of the two videos. I personally think the Governing Body knew exactly what they were doing in commissioning this film to be made. Regardless of their reasoning, I still find it frankly inexcusable that they can push their agenda on impressionable young minds in such an overt manner.

Paranoia: Caleb imagines being tempted by the serpent with his toy

I readily admit to anyone that I am not a parent at this stage in my life, nor is it my business to tell parents what they should or should not show to their children. However, I feel deeply moved to draw the attention of discerning Jehovah’s Witness parents around the world to what I consider to be a very damaging film.

Irrespective of their own beliefs and upbringing, conscientious mothers and fathers need to have the opportunity to think long and hard about what they want for their children, and how they want their children to develop intellectually in the long-term. If you are a parent, and you still feel comfortable sharing “Lesson 2 – Obey Jehovah” from this DVD with your little ones, then I cannot stand in your way. However, it would be remiss of me not to warn you against potentially compromising your child’s development if I have the means to do so. I hope you can respect my motive for this article, if nothing else.

If the Governing Body would like to have followers two decades from now who are mindless, spineless, easily offended and paranoid of displeasing others, then this is their business. What they CANNOT do is inflict these wishes on a whole new generation of little ones, and in so doing recklessly compromise their intellectual and emotional development. To embark down such a selfish and damaging path with young minds is, in my opinion, unforgiveable.

Chillingly, it seems that this is merely the first in a long line of similar animated films targeting youngsters, as Morris explains in his introductory remarks: “This is just a preview of what we have in store for you in the future.”

 

 

 

 

 

Further reading…

Related videos…

95 thoughts on “Watchtower’s New “Toy Story” – What Parents Need To Know

  • October 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm
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    there was no need for this video, the GB again has show just how much regard they have for parents, I think they treat the parents in the same context as Caleb, surely JW parents know already that this is a no, no without having to have a video to send out signals to little minds, and little minds would be very curious even more so now, and would probably rebel.

    they must think there are plenty of slack JW parents out there.

  • October 24, 2012 at 3:31 am
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    They needed to make this video…well, about as much as they need to make a video telling deaf people not to masturbate! Yeah… Now there’s a winning Idea…It will really go over great!

  • October 26, 2012 at 7:12 am
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    I loved all those magical fairy tales, Bewitched, Smurfs and many more when I was a child. As an adult I love Harry Potter movies, movies about vampires, werewolves etc…but guess what I don’t think they are real and I don’t believe in magic.

  • October 27, 2012 at 7:42 am
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    Skimming thru this thread, I couldn’t believe John Lennox’s name came up. I don’t think there is a more dishonest man.

    Here’s a rather funny debunking of Lennox’s blatant quote-mining by the victim himself; Richard Dawkins. Enjoy the dishonesty.

    http://youtu.be/24vWUeMnXBg

  • October 29, 2012 at 10:36 am
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    I was raised a JW, when I was 7 my parents got it into their heads somehow (I wonder who put this thought into their heads mm) But tv was a bad influence, so they threw the tv out. Pretty much from then onwards throughout my childhood and mid teens we had no tv. No more wizard of oz for me then. That angered me as a child. I often paused for thought, why me, why did I have to have the MS dad and the Elder Uncle who were so strict to the line, never faltering from the rule book. As I got older the pain intensified. The more I tried to make my parents proud of me, I just could not. I left and almost immediately I joined a Wiccan coven. I can tell anyone here who may wish to know, Wiccans do not worship Satan, that is a Christian concept one which was made up by them. Wiccans do practice Magick (proper way it is spelled) but it’s no where near as glitzy, fabby, fiery or icey and sparkly the way tv produces. It’s more about positive thinking and using nature to her fullest for health and healing. My point being I thought I was going the different route from the constant rules of no magic, no wizards nothing to do with the stuff whatsoever, the controlling environment that the GB imposes on each and everyone of it’s members. It’s up to the members to do what they will with that information as I found out that many JW children were still allowed to go to certain events which I was not allowed. I wondered yeah why were they allowed and I was not. It is full of hypocrisy. This whole video from what I seen of it, made my stomach lurch. I could not believe that they were still going on about something so trivial, that could essentially remove children from the organisation. Do you see Calebs little face ? When he makes the decision that he should bin this toy ? Yes it was one which made my heart bleed, reminded me of myself as a JW kid and not allowed to do such things, even although I knew at the time that wizards like that were not real, Santa was not real, Unicorns were not real, they were all fake. This put me steadily on a path of leaving the organisation, it made me rebel.

    Someone go dig out your My Book of Bible Stories and tell me why a story about RAPE and pictures of horror, people dying and little babies (the flood) being innocently killed by flood waters which it says Jehovah God created because there was so much badness in the world, that he decided to wipe it all clean. Ask yourselves “Innocent Babies” Why would a LOVING God want to destroy something so innocent, not tainted in anyway ? It is something I quarrelled with in my own mind for years after leaving, and have come to my own conclusion that if he/she really was so loving, he/she would not destroy something so innocent. Maybe instead of listening to everything that the GB spoon feeds you, go look at your bible with no other literature at all and come to your own conclusions on the matter. I feel that every single religion out there, big and small are all out for one single purpose and have always done so because of that one single purpose. GREED which is one of the 7 deadly sins. Each and every one of them takes money from your donation boxes, and yes they do have nice houses high up in the Organisation for their own personal gain. SELFISH is what I see them as, using the little sheep as puppets to gain more members, brainwash the parents, control the children, take their imaginations away whilst raking in the cash. I don’t believe in any religion anymore, I come to my own conclusions with my own free will. This is one dvd that should be thrown in the trash, not some stupid toy which is a figment of someone’s imagination NOT REAL.

  • December 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm
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    As a former witness i would like to say one thing to those who are still blinded and mentally ill enough to be in this horrible cult; Go out get yourself some weed and smoke it ( may help pry open your extremely closed minds) and go listen to or read anything on the subject of “god” by Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens.

  • December 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm
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    this dvd disturbed me.i will not be showing it to my grandchildren.i would like my grandkids to obey jehovahs commandments out of love for him,not because they are scared to death of him.this is not the way jesus taught…

  • January 9, 2013 at 2:42 am
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    Sorry for this messy, English isn’t my mother tongue:
    My whole family is JW. I was born in it. When I was 6 the Power Rangers were very famous, they were on the top. I had all the Rangers’ action figures (took a time to get the six). One day a “sister” saw me playing with them. She conviced my parents to take my toys away. My mom so called me and told me what the “sister” said. “These toys are from Satan and he is with them. Jehovah is very sad with you”. You don’t know how horrified I was when I heard this (THE DEMON IS HERE WITH ME). The “sister” took my toys and placed them in a bag. Then, while I was watching, she picked a hammer and smashed my only friends. I cried a lot. They were my only friends because I wasn’t allowed to play with the children of neighborhood (“wordly children”) and I had no many toys.
    This “religion” hit me hard so many times in so may ways in my childhood and adolescence that I’m not confortable to talk about here. When I was 17 I quit without regret. It was hell cause all my family… You know the story. It was like living in a fictional series, in a bubble. When you go out you are alone and have to learn fast. You have no prepare cause they took everything of you. It’s shocking. You can figure out my age now. Today I’m seeing a therapist, trying to defeat the f*cking depression, my social fobia and other problems. I barely can work, get out of my home, talk with people, etc. It’s harsh and frustating, but I’m fighting. Rediscovering the life. The bright side of the life.

    (About Sparlock, the same talk occurred with Harry Potter, Lord fo the Rings, etc. They try to extinguish criativity, imagination, education, because it’s easier to handle with brainless sheeps. It’s easier manipulate them.)

  • January 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm
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    Well the new DVD didn’t seem to have had much of an impact on the entire row of Jehovah’s Witnesses, seated directly in front of me, who were all being throughly entertained by the magic practising wizards, demons and ghouls in the movie – The Hobbit.

    What I find most intriguing is, the Sparlock DVD allows no room for a Witness to make a “conscience decision” about the matter. It clearly lays down the laws, stating that being entertained by anything that is “magical”, even a toy, is tantamount to disobedience to Jehovah…

    However, the reality is, while most JWs will publicly defend this DVD, privately they will still choose to disobey Jehovah and continue to watch the “magical” movies and buy the “magical” toys.

  • January 29, 2013 at 2:08 am
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    This was a very disturbing video on manipulation it brought back memories for me too on the so called rumors of the smurfs running down the isles of the Kingdom Halls. It is interesting to see some of the comments from JW parents here who say they are teaching their kids to obey Jehovah, they should then stop using the U.S. money as they have the all seeing eye and pyramid. Use common sense when it comes to parenting kids. It’s good to teach kids values but it is also good to let children have their imaginations.

  • January 31, 2013 at 8:52 am
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    As i am not a JW but my wife is, i did watch the dvd with my wife and my 3 year old daughter…i dont think that it was a bad movie but i can see how being the one looking outside in it could be a lil harsh…I know that as parents we are to shield and protect our children from things that are against God. Having a toy that is a wizard doesnt mean that the child will get involved in withcraft later on, but remember this, if as parents we dont watch what our children see and hear we are not protecting them…it is our responsibility to protect them from Satan who is constantly trying to get to them…I do believe that saying Jehovah hates this and hates that to children is a little harsh, but showing children that playing with certain toys that depict sorcery or magic is wrong not because God “hates” it but letting them know that the spirit behind the toy is wrong and we should surround our selves with things that push us away from evil…I think the dvd was harmless and to say that is was protraying a bad message to children is reaching too much.

    • February 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm
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      Strongisland34
      …I think the dvd was harmless and to say that is was protraying a bad message to children is reaching too much.

      The Governing Body’s main message in the DVD is simply this…

      Owning a plastic toy wizard incapable of performing “magic”, is a wilful act of disobedience against God. According to Caleb’s mother, if the boy keeps the toy, then like Adam and Event he cannot be Jehovah’s friend.

      I think any self respecting parent capable of thinking for themselves would see this DVD as complete garbage.

  • February 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm
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    @ Biblecheck;
    well any self respecting parent capable of thinking for them selves is most likely not a JW or a Christian….Using Adam and Eve was wrong for the example that was trying to be portrayed…The spirit behind the wizard is really what can be harmful. Maybe what should have happened is Caleb should have given the toy back since in his home playing with those kind of toys is not allowed because of the spirit behind it…Yes we know that the toy is incapabal of performing magic…but it does lead to other things down the line if he was to continue to have those kind of toys…the movie that was coming out that the toy was promoting most likely would be promoting some type of magic and allowing Caleb to have the toy would only cause him to want to see the movie, therefore letting him see magic and of course the movie is going to make it seem harmless…that would be harmful to Caleb because he would think that magic is ok

  • February 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm
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    hmmm more jw childhood memories: also reminds me of when i burned a “magic” board game with wizards on it from my grandmother. i “had to make the choice”. my mother was so proud of me when i told her what i’d done. looking back, its like i was being ripped away from my grandmother in a certain way, by denying that frequent intimacy that a child should haave with grandparents.. also had “magic” wands (the glass thingies where the little moons and sparkles move up and down) intercepted from same grandmother. right in the trash as if they were an after school special doobie. life’s tough as a little dude when you think all of your classmates are gonna be eaten by a giant multiheaded beast of satan the next time theres a war on the news!! guess thats why i could never keep friends as a kid, huh? operation desert storm was a tough year for me. (5th grade)
    *any shrinks out there that read this please comment/ give free diagnosis/cure besides copious mj smokking. genesis chapter one something: and god gave man all the herbs bearing seed. bam. 420 420 baba bouie baba bouie eatmyrect elders

  • February 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm
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    overthinking it. the toys like he man, smurfs, eben gi joe (because hes military and military forces will be no more in the new system) have been outlawed in witness households for a long time. or have they? i remember a lot of kids that i grew up with who were witnesses totally had toys i wasnt allowed to have. and they were allowed to be there and call themselves witnesses. but it seems to me that the “whiter” a family is the more important these issues become. indcating that minority based households hold a looser view of what acceptable is in the sense of whats allowed for the kids to have. and they do go off their rockers. seen it, been there. unless being from african based or latina merican based ancestry is just wrong because they arent as anal about the cartoons their kids watch. which in the end is whats gonna erip us all aprt!!! what cartoons our kids watch bc its what we are indoctrinating them with!! also makes a strong point for those working families that cant monitor what the kids watch all the time. maybe thats how satan gets in so much! LOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOL seriously should do a term paper on that if it were allowed

  • February 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm
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    @ Bill Melater,
    The race concerns are serious ones and run very deep in that organization…far deeper than meet the eye. I have found through my experiences that very little is left to chance and that people are more controlled than they even realize and there is agenda behind most things. Also, that there is a co occurring dichotomy of incompetence and lack of control over anything that takes place (???) Some of those concerns being that we all have seen black and Hispanic brother who are permitted to wear the outlandish pimp purple and multi colored suits and 3 toned shoes on a regular basis but for a middle aged white man it would mean an immediate counsel or committee! I mentioned before about the overwhelming number of older black men who seek out young white sisters with no opposition and who come into the organization on the tacit invitation to “Come get your snow bunnies” because the getting is easy and good! It meets the agenda of The Society to look “culturally diverse”.
    I can attest that if a young sister shows a perfectly healthy and normal interest in an older white brother it can be a devastating event for all parties! It is quashed and squashed quickly! Crimes and Rights violations can and do ensue which I will also attest to! The Society has been through this event and is criminally liable for much including coercion, undue influence and moving young sisters around the country to avoid relationships with full documented knowledge…These are matters that are yet to be dealt with…

  • February 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm
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    Strongisland34
    Yes we know that the toy is incapabal of performing magic…but it does lead to other things down the line if he was to continue to have those kind of toys…

    Oooh what could happen down the line I wonder. The child could become a follower of Sparlock? He could become a wizard, or a Satanist?

    LOL where does it end?

    I think parents are too often the source of paranoia in children through instilling fears based on unprovable theories and unfounded beliefs – such as “magical” hocus pocus. Most of these beliefs are based on the “testimonies” and miraculous reports of magic from other believers (e.g. satanic books that won’t burn, talking smurfs, floating furniture).
    This conditioning increases the chances of producing young adults who are capable of dramatic self-deception to ease cognitive discomfort. No wonder so many going through the process of unlearning this crap require professional counselling to deal with the emotional pain as they break free from erroneous beliefs.

    My god I am so glad I left all this behind.

  • February 10, 2013 at 10:51 am
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    Psalms 83:18
    We all have our own personal desires and we start dreaming at a very young age. Hence, Caleb playing with a Wizard toy sparks the imagination and sorcery becomes a fun, harmless game. Why not try a wigi board next?
    You know ouija boards are just a toy that didn’t even exist until the late 1800’s don’t you? They have nothing to do with spiritualism or the occult, they are just a silly game played by silly people.

  • April 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm
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    “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

    “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

    “It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.”

    “He who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the course of wisdom.”

    “Courage will now be your best defense against the storm that is at hand-—that and such hope as I bring.”

    “I will not say, ‘do not weep,’ for not all tears are an evil.”

    -All these quotes are from the character Gandalf the Wizard in the book The Lord of the Rings. He is a wise, gentle, sometimes playful/sometimes serious leader who devotes his life to the cause of ridding the world of evil. How can anyone say that God would hate someone like that? What better role model could a child have?

    PS If I had a dollar for every time I heard the story about the smurf walking down the aisle, I’d be a rich man. It’s as if everyone has an uncle whose friend was in the congregation that that happened to. Haha.

  • April 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm
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    I also want to say I’m glad I had a normal, wholesome JW upbringing where I was shown pictures of people burning alive at Armageddon, made to think it’s natural to live forever without getting old, and told stories about harlots riding around on seven-headed beasts while drinking goblets of blood.

    If I had been allowed to play with Sparlock, I could have gotten really messed up….

  • May 21, 2013 at 4:52 am
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    I am a Baptist married to a JW. My husband recently put on that DVD for my kids, aged 3 and 4, to watch. I hung around and watched it along with them. I must say the DVD looked spooky, and gloomy! Infact, the next day I threw it away. Didn’t want them to have to watch that movie another day and reinforce whatever negativity that they had been exposed to in the first place. The Christian faith and walk is supposed to be one of joy, I didn’t get to see that in the movie.

  • June 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm
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    ¿Qué piensa Dios de la magia? (Deuteronomio 18:10-12.)

    10 No debería hallarse en ti nadie que haga pasar por el fuego a su hijo o a su hija, nadie que emplee adivinación, practicante de magia ni nadie que busque agüeros ni hechicero, 11 ni uno que ate a otros con maleficio ni nadie que consulte a un médium espiritista o a un pronosticador profesional de sucesos ni nadie que pregunte a los muertos. 12 Porque todo el que hace estas cosas es algo detestable a Jehová, y a causa de estas cosas detestables Jehová tu Dios va a expulsarlas de delante de ti. 13 Debes resultar exento de falta con Jehová tu Dios.

  • June 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm
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    Le has preguntado a un psiquiatra que pasaría si dejas que tu hijo juegue a matar a otras personas y le regalas un arma de juguete?

    Lo que veo yo que se enseña en este video es que si quieres ser amigo de Dios tienes que agradarle plenamente, y si a el no le agrada la magia es lógico que a nosotros tampoco nos debería de agradar todo lo que este relacionado con ella. ¿Como quieres ser amigo de alguien cuando tienes de amigos a sus enemigos?

  • June 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm
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    In the film, no logical or scripturally-based argument is offered to Caleb as to precisely why Jehovah “hates” toy wizards, or why they make him “sad”, or why owning one would be an act of disobedience against God. Caleb is shown a picture from the Learn From The Great Teacher book (page 50) depicting Adam and Eve as a withered and miserable old man and woman following their sin. This somewhat scary and morose picture is shown as the consequences of disobeying Jehovah, but no explanation is given as to WHY owning a toy wizard constitutes an act of disobedience that would leave Caleb in a similar predicament to the first human pair. Caleb is merely informed that Jehovah doesn’t like the toy when his mother says: “So what if YOU disobey Jehovah, and play with toys he doesn’t like?” The key question of WHY Jehovah “doesn’t like” Caleb’s toy is by-passed as almost irrelevant.

    El enfoque a que no se muestra por que razón Jehová odia la magia, es por que si no los notaste, en estos videos se hace referencia a la adoración en familia (estudio de familia) la cual Todos los JW se reúnen en familia para estudiar esta clase de temas bíblicos; es por eso que se enfoca mas el punto hacia la obediencia. Y sobre Adán y Eva, ¿acaso no envejecemos y morimos por causa de la desobediencia de ellos?

  • August 19, 2013 at 10:21 am
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    Jehovah hates magic, anyone that practices magic, fortune or future tellers and so on.
    Leviticus 19:26 – “‘YOU must not look for omens,+ and YOU must not practice magic;
    Deuteronomy 18:9-14 – There should not be found in you anyone […] anyone who employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer, or one who binds others with a spell+ or anyone who consults a spirit medium or a professional foreteller of events or anyone who inquires of the dead. For everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah, and on account of these detestable things Jehovah your God is driving them away from before you. You should prove yourself faultless with Jehovah your God.
    Acts 19:18, 19 – And many of those who had become believers would come and confess+ and report their practices openly. 19 Indeed, quite a number of those who practiced magical+ arts brought their books together and burned them up before everybody.
    Isa 47:12-15 just to mention a few. Everything taught by the Bible is what we follow as Jehovah Witness, nothing above that. We do not have excessive rules, that will be saying God has excessive rules which He doesn’t.

    • August 19, 2013 at 10:27 am
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      Hello Jay, welcome to the site! If I may ask, what prompted you to visit us?

      Also, since you are a student of Deuteronomy 18, I would love to know what you make of the final verses – namely verses 20 to 22…

      “‘However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: “How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?”  when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him.’”

      Thoughts?

  • August 20, 2013 at 7:02 am
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    Nathan Stanley
    Yes, Dubunkum, you can’t argue with a fossel. But, just like it took a lot of people a long time to understand that the earth was round, not flat,so it shall be with evolution. In a hundred years or so evolution will be as obvious to most people as the earth being round. In the mean time some of us have to attend to small skirmises on the front, as wars are often won.

    I don’t want to stir up the evolution pot, because that’s not what this article is about, but I have to make one comment, just because I cringe every time I read something like this – no educated person since at least the time of ancient Greece has believed the Earth to be flat. Outside of a few indigenous cultures and some fanciful works of art, there are no depictions from the middle ages of a flat Earth. That is a myth stemming from a Protestant campaign in the 17th century against Catholics, which was later adopted by agnostics and atheists to be used as propaganda against religion in general.

    “Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment” -Rumi

  • August 20, 2013 at 11:00 am
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    Oh dear! What on earth was that tripe? What an appalling way to force children to OBEY without question. Even my dear old Mum said that the little boy should have given the toy back to the kid at school. It would have been a witness, and it would show politeness.

    When I was a nipper we had some garish pink book, that was quite tame. I really pity the children the most. They have absolutely no say in how they live. Good for you, Cedars!

  • September 11, 2013 at 11:50 pm
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    Hahaha! You could as well have been an equally dramatic Caleb’s mother. You knew about your the elder instructing your mother to spank you at SIX MONTHS!!! Wow… You were one very smart SIX month old I must say

  • September 12, 2013 at 6:34 am
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    A God who created the Universe can be reduced to sadness by the play of a child.

    A mass produced plastic plaything can lead a child to become a practicioner of magic.

    Can anyone point me to some evidence that magic exists?

    I have played with wizard toys, and I can honestly say that I have not been persuaded to believe in magic. I have not tried to conjure the devil.

    Isn’t it time to stop frightening children with high control cartoons like this?

    Happily, the latest Caleb videos are about a minute long, and are far less controversial.

    The scathing reviews on this site, and on you tube may have forced a rethink.

  • March 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm
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    This video is funny because in the watchtower articles they say you cant be friends with the world but then this little Jehovahs witness boy is friends with a worldly boy . Lol I think the Governing Body is real dizzy and their way is catching up with them; its now the obvious.

  • May 20, 2014 at 11:18 pm
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    Thank you for posting this latest travesty from Jehovah’s Witnesses. I thought it was bad enough back in the 1980’s with the Smurf’s, (kids couldn’t have them, stories of them coming to life and smothering babies in their cribs!). It truly is alarming to see the level of control that these men in brooklyn are now stooping to! Parents can’t even decide what is acceptable for their children to play with? Now the gov body is going to tell them what they can and can’t do as parents? And seriously? I haven’t seen the latest literature, but the pic of Adam & Eve as very old was downright creepy! I was shocked and appalled by this whole thing. Had no idea how bad things had gotten on the ‘inside’. Keep up the good work! Hopefully some more people will have their eyes opened. ~best wishes~sally

  • June 18, 2014 at 10:35 pm
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    You’re an idiot…

  • June 19, 2014 at 6:45 am
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    My former JW MIL was paranoid about demons and Satan. She would never buy an antique, estate jewellery, or anything from a garage sale or thrift shop, and would try to convince us not to either. She was convinced that any of these things might be possessed and bring Satan into our house-What a bunch of baloney!

  • August 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm
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    The sacred secrets of the scriptures is hid from those who are not Jehovah’s humble people….it doesn’t surprise me at all that worldly people don’t understand. “When there is a turning to Jehovah the veil is removed.”

  • August 16, 2014 at 2:41 am
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    Patricia,

    The basic tenets of Christianity consist of two rules. Love God and your neighbour as yourself. In what way are these difficult to understand?

    We are all “Jehovah’s people” not just you, Patricia! We were, according to your beliefs, all created by Jehovah, weren’t we?

    Just who are “worldly people”? Do Jehovah’s Witnesses live on a different “world”? We are all God’s children and I find your division of people into different groups UnChristian and unworthy of someone who claims to be “humble”.

    This video was awful. Why didn’t young Caleb return the toy? He could have said that he was very moved by the little boy’s kindness, and then go on to witness to him, explaining why he couldn’t keep it. But no! The mum throws the toy away. What if the boy’s mother wanted that toy back?

    Young Caleb was not shown one scripture to back up these ridiculous claims, was he? Why not?

    Patricia, stop judging other people as “worldly”. It just makes you and all the other Witnesses look like a bunch of judgemental and egotistical people. We are all God’s children and we are all deserving of respect.

    This video is nothing less than an attempt by the GB to indoctrinate attitudes like yours in young Witness children. Stop judging others! Jesus told you not to do that!

    I suggest you re read the Gospels and dispel this judgemental and egotistical attitude that you have expressed here.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  • September 1, 2014 at 3:25 pm
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    OMG, everybody! Check out “Caleb & Sophia Visit Bethel” on jw.org.
    1. How many kids get to eat at Bethel when they visit and sit on a Governing Body’s lap? (no child molestation references intended)
    2. And check out the grooming-them-young-recruits reference at the end: “I want to go to Bethel when I grow up!”

  • October 22, 2014 at 7:06 am
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    Your post is hilarious! That was exactly my childhood

  • October 28, 2014 at 10:52 am
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    When I turned away, that’s when the veil lifted for me. Most people here know the cult type language you are using “worldly” “kingdom smile” “144,000” to name but only a few. I am no longer Christian, because of the JW’s, in fact I believe in God no more. Where was he/she when my father was molesting me ? Answer that one. You profess to have the truth, but yet your GB members deliberately instruct Elders to keep any allegations of abuse secret. It’s a massive worldwide cover up and paedophiles are protected in JW’s. The only ones who are no longer protected, are the ones who have been ousted to the world in public, as that brought shame on the JW’s name. If any are secret amongst you, just be careful. You might be sitting next to a person who you call “brother” and has a sick perverted and twisted mind, desiring the flesh of young children. If he has been reproved for his actions, that does not stop him from having these thoughts, and it does not protect the children in your congregation. Only by reporting to the authorities which god placed on the earth is the correct way to go. Romans 13:1-7. Peace be with you and blessed be.

  • October 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm
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    Silent lamb silent no more,

    Your comment has moved me deeply. This is what is so awful about that cult mind. That ordinary people will deliberately ignore the suffering of a little girl at the hands of this disgusting person, all in the name of “God’s spirit- directed Organisation”. That sickens me to my very soul. And yet they are so consumed by their cult mentality that they can fool themselves into thinking that is the Righteous thing to do. You have my deepest sympathy for your suffering.

    I really believe that the real depths of deparavity that this cult perpetrates is becoming ever more widely known and acted upon. The truth is being told and believed.

    I will do all I can to help you and the many other victims of child abuse. I promise you that. It is the least I can do and call myself a man.

    I, too, am an atheist, in some ways for the same reasons as you. We do not need God to be moral and compassionate human beings. We are proof of that.

    I know that all the other posters here are on your side, and will help you in any way they can. There are very decent people on this site. We atheists are treated with respect by the regular posters. I have grown to respect the genuine Christian Faith of many folks out there and on you tube sites. It is a comfort that there is a compassionate ex JW community out there on the Internet who really are a great help to us all.

    Thanks for your very moving post. It was a stark reminder of why my first visit to this site to look up the governing body in a bet with my Mum, to being quite a regular poster here, was the correct decision.

    Peace be with you,

    Excelsior!

  • October 29, 2014 at 5:47 am
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    Folks,

    I have already complained the the Charity Commission about JW child protection policy and other grave issues.

    I have just written to my MP about including the WTBTS in any investigation into historic child abuse and supporting mandatory reporting of child abuse to include the WTBTS or ISBA in the UK.

    I urge any in the UK who have not contacted their MP to do so. We need to bring this disgusting crime out in the open so that victims receive justice

    Peace be with you,

    Excelsior!

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