Superstar Prince Pronounced Dead: World in Shock Over Passing of Celebrity Jehovah’s Witness

April 22nd, 2016

Seldom does the death of one individual captivate the news so completely as when a superbly talented, musically gifted, and internationally beloved icon such as Prince loses his life. What would be a routine day of reporting of the U.S. Presidential race, international conflicts, and earthquake relief work has become a media spectacle, cornering all of the major news outlets including CNN and BBC.

For Jehovah’s Witnesses, the death of Prince comes with a mixed bag of emotions due to the controversial and mysterious nature of the converted JW pop star. While many Witnesses embrace the fact that such a gifted individual would accept their fundamentalist faith, other Witnesses despise his behavior and view his entire body of work as evidence of Satan’s influence in the entertainment industry.

This polarization of attitudes towards the few Jehovah’s Witnesses who have achieved worldwide fame reveals that the Watchtower organization is not really quite sure what to make of these individuals. While Scientology openly embraces and heaps accolades on its well-known celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Jehovah’s Witnesses take a more subdued approach to fame, preferring to name-drop B-rated scientists who support creationism.

larrygrahamawake
February 22nd 1989 Awake! Magazine

There are some exceptions to this, most notably Watchtower’s 1989 life story of Larry Graham, the
man responsible for Prince’s conversion to the JW religion. Larry Graham’s life journey in becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses was featured in the February 22nd 1989 issue of the Awake! magazine, published by the Watchtower organization.

While Witness publications almost never feature persons of fame, Larry Graham was an exception to this policy, primarily due to his extraordinary devotion to the faith, and the fact that he became a full-time “pioneer” minister for Jehovah’s Witnesses as well as an elder in the congregation. As a result of his evangelical nature, coupled with his connection to many prominent musicians, he was able to get the attention of Prince Rogers Nelson, or as we know him, Prince.

larrygrahamfamily
Larry Graham and Family at the Kingdom Hall

By the year 2001, Prince had accepted the faith of his close friend Graham, replacing his prior beliefs which included membership in the Seventh Day Adventist church. As Graham’s spiritual protegé, he publicly cast off the celebration of birthdays, voting, and embraced Jehovah’s Witnesses’ bizarre ban on life-saving blood transfusions. He even accompanied Graham in the public ministry, knocking on doors, counting his time. But make no mistake, Prince was not about to throw away the only thing which made Prince Prince, his explosive imagination, creativity and genius musical talent which could not be contained inside the stagnant four walls of a Kingdom Hall.

His career continued, mildly subdued by the religion, but never irreversibly stifled by the rigid rules of Watchtower’s invasive Governing Body. And this was in fact the reason Prince was such a controversial figure among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Just as with one-time Jehovah’s Witness Michael Jackson, the musical products of Prince divided Witnesses into two camps: one which admired his music and bragged about his affiliation with the organization, and the other which labeled him as a despicable hypocrite whose sexually permissive appearance and lyrics disgraced the holy and conservative beliefs of the JW organization.

By the time Prince had become a Witness, Michael Jackson had already left the religion, but not before being coerced into a public apology for his music video Thriller, which the Awake! magazine connected with spiritism. In the May 1984 Awake! publication, Jackson was quoted as saying:

“I would never do it again”.

While Jackson died in complete disgrace among Witnesses as a disassociated member, Prince somehow managed to avoid judicial punishment and ostracism for his questionable lifestyle, as his music, associates, and actions were the polar opposite of the ultra-conservative JW beliefs.

Prince died at a terribly young age. Speculations as to the cause of his death are spreading like gangrene, and are useless in the face of the reality that we have lost yet another entertainment genius, and we won’t get him back. The intersection of his life with that of the Jehovah’s Witness religion raises many questions which might not be answered for quite some time. Until then, we can only comment on what we know, and what Prince said.

For a brilliant and thoughtful review of the passing of Prince Rogers Nelson, please view the following video produced by Lloyd Evans, senior editor for JW Survey:

 

John Redwood

Mark O'Donnell

Mark O'Donnell is a former Jehovah's Witness turned whistleblower after discovering the disturbing child abuse epidemic within the religion. His story, along with the revelation of a secret database of child molesters were featured in the March 2019 online issue of the Atlantic Magazine: https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/03/the-secret-jehovahs-witness-database-of-child-molesters/584311/ O'Donnell continues to investigate allegations of child abuse within the Witness organization, and works with law enforcement, attorneys, and survivors of abuse, writing about his findings on jwsurvey.org and other outlets.

265 thoughts on “Superstar Prince Pronounced Dead: World in Shock Over Passing of Celebrity Jehovah’s Witness

  • April 23, 2016 at 9:05 pm
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    Markie,

    No one is bashing the JWs because Prince died. They are simply speculating as to what may have been the cause of his death and what the aftermath might be. I am amazed at how quickly you want to pass judgement on the folks on this site and call them pathetic. As Christ said ‘are you seeking to remove the straw from your brother’s eye?’

    WS

  • April 23, 2016 at 9:11 pm
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    I’m not sure where everyone is right now but the latest from here in North America is that Prince has been cremated and a private service held by his family and friends.

  • April 24, 2016 at 1:53 am
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    Jehovah’s witness may have played into the under-treatment and neglect of needed treatment that could have prevented the death of Prince. Faith is all good and well but when it supersedes medical care it’s questionable who really benefits.

    Even stranger still is a Church releasing a statement regarding a members passing. There are multiple articles and cases where people have refused blood transfusions or other preventative medical procedures because of this religion.

    • April 24, 2016 at 2:02 am
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      Book review in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), 1997-FEB-5 Vol. 277, No.5, page 425
      Awake! magazine for 1994-MAY-22, Page 2. The issue’s cover showed photographs of 26 Jehovah’s Witness children who refused a blood transfusion and subsequently died.
      Michael Smith, “Jehovah’s Witness Bleeds To Death After Giving Birth”, The Daily Telegraph (London, UK), 1993-FEB-5. See:http://www.rickross.com/reference/Art64.html
      Charnicia E. Huggins, “Childbirth Death Risk High in Jehovah’s Witnesses,” Reuters, at: http://news.excite.com/news/r/011108/17/health-childbirthBased on a report in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2001;185:893-895.
      M Khadra, “A criterion audit of women’s awareness of blood transfusion in pregnancy,” 1Women & Children’s Division, North Staffordshire Maternity Unit, Newcastle Road, Stoke on Trent, Staffs, ST4 6QG, UK, at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/ This is a PDF file. You may require software to read it. Software can be obtained free from:
      Marvin Shilmer, “Deaths Due To Blood Refusal,” Jehovahs-Witness.com, 2007-JAN-08, at: http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/
      “Bethany Hughes: Dad given OK to sue over death,” Calgary Sun, 2006-FEB-27.

  • April 24, 2016 at 4:40 am
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    Was Prince a baptized JW? Or was he just a sympathizer, sharing beliefs and faith with his old friend, Larry Graham?

    • April 25, 2016 at 3:51 pm
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      Here is your answer:

      http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-prince-jehovah-20160424-story.html

      At a Jehovah’s Witness hall, congregants remember Prince as ‘Brother Nelson’

      This may have been the plainest room Prince spent time in as an adult.
      Auditorium A in the Kingdom Hall of the St. Louis Park Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses doesn’t have a dance club or a recording studio. The Jehovah’s Witnesses who meet in this small complex outside Minneapolis don’t even have any musical instruments except for a piano hidden in a closet that no one uses. The walls are various shades of beige. Nothing shines, and nothing is purple. Nothing about it says “Prince.”
      That’s because in Auditorium A, Prince Rogers Nelson was not known as Prince, the music megastar, but as Brother Nelson, the Jehovah’s Witness. Here, one of America’s greatest sex symbols didn’t arrive in spandex and stilettos but in conservative suits and ties. He was often hard to spot among the congregation of dozens unless you were looking right at him. And that wasn’t the only way he blended in.
      Over the final decade of his life, Prince worshiped here because he was a fellow believer in the Jehovah’s Witness tenets: that Jesus was a savior but was lesser to God, that these are the final days of civilization, that the dead will be resurrected, and that the world will live under a global government lead by Jehovah, a Hebrew name for God. Among the St. Louis Park congregation, Prince wasn’t a celebrity but an equal in faith.
      “He was accepted as our brother,” said congregant Josephine Parker, 74, on Sunday as the congregation gathered for its first meeting since Prince’s death. “He wasn’t treated as maybe the world would treat him.”

      Hundreds of students, participating in the 27th annual High School Choir Festival at Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, honor Prince with a rendition of “Purple Rain.”
      Parker fondly remembered Prince as a gentle soul and a “mild spirit,” and his death last week at age 57 broke her heart. But, Parker said, “I look forward to the time we can welcome him back on the Earth.”
      Prince was one of America’s most notoriously private celebrities, and few facts about his life were more beguiling than his conversion in 2001 to Jehovah’s Witnesses, a faith not recognized as Christian by Catholics and Protestants largely because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in the Holy Trinity.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses call themselves Christians, and they admire Jesus, but they don’t venerate the cross and don’t celebrate Christmas or Easter — or birthdays. They don’t gather in churches but in Kingdom Halls. They avoid political involvement and refuse to fight in wars.
      Over the last week, some fans and acquaintances have wondered whether Prince’s religious beliefs may have even contributed to his death, because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in taking blood transfusions for scriptural reasons. They do accept other medical treatments, however, and officials and people close to Prince have not released enough information about the singer’s health to substantiate any of those suspicions.
      Prince, who was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist, was converted — or at least helped along — by Larry Graham, the former bass player for Sly and the Family Stone.
      “I don’t see it really as a conversion,” Prince told the New Yorker magazine in 2008. “More, you know, it’s a realization. It’s like Morpheus and Neo in ‘The Matrix.’”
      Prince embraced the faith and even proselytized his neighbors around his Paisley Park estate in the Minneapolis suburbs, who were sometimes shocked to find the star on their doorsteps.

      In Minneapolis, everyone has a story about Prince
      On the afternoon of Yom Kippur in 2003, a Jewish couple in Eden Prairie opened their door to discover the 5-foot-2 singer standing in front of them. Even though a Vikings football game was on, they invited him in.
      “My first thought is, ‘Cool, cool, cool. He wants to use my house as a set. I’m glad! Demolish the whole thing! Start over!’” a woman who only gave her name as Rochelle told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
      But Prince was there to proselytize them to become Jehovah’s Witnesses. “I said, ‘You know what? You’ve walked into a Jewish household, and this is not something I’m interested in,’” Rochelle told the newspaper.
      Prince reportedly replied to her, “Can I finish?” He stayed for 25 minutes and left a pamphlet.
      Prince’s adherence to the particularly conservative faith — which opposes same-sex marriage and premarital sex — also seemed paradoxical given his history as a gender-bending sex icon.
      When asked about his views on same-sex marriage and abortion in 2008, Prince tapped his Bible and told the New Yorker, “God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough.’”
      No contradiction seemed to exist for the Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Kingdom Hall in Minnetonka on Sunday. Steve Smedberg, 63, said in an interview, “He believed the same thing the rest of us believed. I guess he was willing to let the Bible be his authority.”
      And in Auditorium A, Prince also seemed to have found a space in America where he might not be treated as some kind of deity. He arrived and left without fanfare at the group’s gatherings, which are called “meetings.” He contributed to discussion but never put himself at the center of attention. He never performed for the congregation, but he sang along with the prerecorded religious hymns like everyone else.
      “Jehovah’s Witnesses want to be average, normal people. That’s my goal in life, to be normal,” Smedberg said. “He seemed to want to be a normal person.”

      Anna Barry, who holds the title of “regular pioneer” in the congregation, remembered when Prince began arriving for worship meetings in the 2000s and participating in the study sessions where congregants discuss Scripture together.
      When discussing the importance of spiritual harmony during one of his early meetings, Prince remarked to the congregation that “if you were in a band and one of the instruments was out of tune, you’d stick out like a sore thumb,” Barry recalled.
      When Barry complimented Prince for his contribution after the meeting, Prince responded, “Thank you, Sister Barry,” and she was impressed he had learned her name.
      “He felt like it was a safe place here,” Barry said.

      Here are the artists Prince brought into the spotlight
      Prince often vanished from the congregation for long periods, apparently while he was traveling, and his fellow congregants didn’t seem to begrudge him, acknowledging the effect his musical gifts had on the broader world. They also said he apparently visited other Kingdom Halls when he was on the road.
      The last time Prince was seen in Auditorium A was on the evening of March 23 for an annual memorial held to mark Jesus’ death. Prince was wearing a suit and tie and had his Bible and songbook like everyone else, but he looked “pale and tired,” said Brian Steffen, a 69-year-old ministerial servant, the title given to selected men who undertake various operational duties in a Kingdom Hall.
      Eighty-two congregants, plus a few journalists, attended Sunday’s meeting after Prince’s death, where the primary topic of discussion was forgiveness and love. The group sang prerecorded songs with titles including “Loyally Submitting to Theocratic Order.” They also took turns reading from and discussing “The Watchtower,” the faith’s official magazine.
      Although Prince’s death had sent shock waves around the world, he was only briefly mentioned once at a gathering of people who actually knew him.
      See the most-read stories this hour >>
      “Our brother, Prince Rogers Nelson, fell asleep in death last Thursday,” said an elder, Sean Barry. And that was it.
      He was just another faithful congregant, said Karla Mack, 54. “If he was here, he would be talking to you about the Bible and talking about Jehovah.”
      But after the gathering broke up, Steffen, the ministerial servant, acknowledged the loss.
      “I knew he was a genius at what he did,” Steffen said. “One time somebody came up to me after a meeting and said, ‘Brian, now you can say you sang with Prince.’”
      Follow @mattdpearce for the latest national news.
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  • April 24, 2016 at 4:41 am
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    So far, suicide has been ruled out and it will take some time before the cause of Prince’s death will be learned but he had cancelled two concerts because of health reasons and just before his death, he made up at least one of those concerts and on his way home to Minnesota, the plane made an emergency stop in Chicago and he was taken to the hospital but released in a few hours and went back to his home in Minneapolis and then just a couple days later, he threw a big party and supposedly said something like “you don’t have to pray for me in two days” which people are trying to figure out what that meant but then two days later, he was found dead.

    Since Prince was so famous, I always felt that, if he ever learned the truth about the truth, that that would have held a very high price for the Society to pay if he were ever let the cat out of the bag.

    Is it possible that he could have been done away with by the Society to keep him quiet, since, if the truth about the Society’s lie, that would have literally destroyed the lives of eight million Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    Probably the real truth is that he had a medical condition and he knew he was going to die soon and that is what he found out during his emergency stop in Chicago that night on his way back to Minneapolis after that last concert and why he threw that party on Monday night, but the thought did cross my mind.

    • April 25, 2016 at 10:16 pm
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      You are all just a bunch of loser’s without religion and god. Prince was a baptized Jehovah’s Witness in2003 and people respect that or at least tolerate his believes.Cheap internet haters,medieval way of thinking,a’la kkk.Big mouth,small brain.

      • April 26, 2016 at 3:02 pm
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        ohh it is evidently you are a Jehova witness but hello what aggressive you are and the language that you use..

      • October 2, 2016 at 5:11 pm
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        Now the Facts are Confirmed…..He was addicted to painkillers and was doing many illegal actions to obtain such! Sorry but its true! Are they going to Disfellowship his ashes?????? Lol

  • April 24, 2016 at 4:53 am
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    @Tracy, Your reasoning is very vague and inconsistent.
    You talk about the need to “Be united in the faith”, but
    by commenting here you have strayed from the flock,
    your a rebel setting your own independent standards.
    Why are you going against WT directions?—-

    What is involved in avoiding false teachers? We do not receive them into our homes or greet them. We also refuse to read their literature, watch TV programs that feature them, examine their Web sites, or add our comments to their blogs. WT 11,7/15 p15

    Also, why have you avoided answering my question regarding
    accepting fractions from donated blood?

    • April 24, 2016 at 6:13 am
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      Twmack
      Think back to when we were first waking up. We still held certain teachings dear and still thought we had to defend Watchtower to some extent. The period of coming awake can be a tumultuous one with much back and forth. We are programmed to give certain answers, but we also know something is just not right. That could be Tracey’s case.

      Or he/she could be a watchtower troll and counting their time when on this site. But let’s give the benefit of the doubt for now.

      WS

      • April 24, 2016 at 6:28 am
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        I agree on this. We have a number of ‘new faces’ who have been brave enough to join us. I also went through a phase, when waking up, of still trying to justify the beliefs that had been indoctrinated into me. When I was baptised I stopped studying ‘worldly’ literature because only the WT had it right. It has been an illuminating and refreshing journey in the last couple of years to seek out independent thoughts on taboo subjects.

        I hope those who have joined us glean something to think about as they sit at the meetings, read the literature, watch the broadcasting’s etc. Please also go look at JW Facts.

        You must have questions if you are on this site. Know the truth and the truth will set you free :)

  • April 24, 2016 at 7:23 am
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    @Tracey:

    “Does not the bible itself says the end is near?”
    – Where does the Bible state this?

    “You don’t have to be a JW to know we living in the last days.”
    – What proof do you have that we are living in the last days?

    “Many people I know believe this and they not witnesses. It is inevitable.”
    – There are also many people who believe that we are NOT living in the last days, this includes Christians who believe in Preterism.

    • April 24, 2016 at 7:27 am
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      ******………this includes Christians who believe in Preterism AND NO MILLENNIALISM.

  • April 24, 2016 at 11:05 am
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    The last days are experienced by thousands every time
    the Earth makes a full turn on its axis, some will be famous
    but the majority will be obscure.

    The apostle John in his old age was still expecting the end
    1 Joh, 2:18. Not the end of the Jewish system, for
    that had happened over a quarter of a century before the
    writing of this particular letter.

    like every other mortal, John came to his end, and sadly
    without seeing his hopes fulfilled. What prospects are there
    of the predictions of the self appointed F&DS being any more
    successful than those of the apostle ? Zero !

    I’ve accepted my own mortality, and enjoyed the life I’ve had.
    And I’m glad I saw through the delusion and didn’t waste
    “All” my life chasing the JW mirage, A mere illusion.

  • April 24, 2016 at 12:05 pm
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    I wonder if he left any of his fortune to the WTS. I bet he did.

  • April 24, 2016 at 10:12 pm
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    Now that the riffraff have all posted—

    It is probably stunning to many JW’s and non-JW’s that Prince conducted multiple and numerous charitable activities throughout his lifetime, even after his conversion to JW [sidebar: long ago in an interview far, far back when, Prince noted that he pursued this conversion as a promise to his dying mother]. Thus, most probable that some of those fortunes are endowments to that activity.

    (57 is young? Redwood must be as ancient as that tortoise in the Watchtower’s “evolution” literature…)

    Like many “superstars” and local ‘icons’ the path laid out for his spiritual journey is different from the average r/f member. Envious much? Keep in mind that the physical toll on this young “fella” had nudged him toward using a cane–albeit stylish–to walk. But, what I admire most about his life is a living example of the “cup running over”. Blessings flowing to him were showered back into the world and community not only as musical gifts but in charitable and edifying methods we are yet to learn and discover.

    But as Redwood and others note, the polarization among hardcore conservative JW’s and more moderate “live and let live” JW’s reflects conservative insecurities about being an “odd” duck in the pond of religious beliefs. A consuming obsession with being, or appearing, to be normal to the point of being bland and lukewarm as the myth goes so as not to detract from the ministry. Prince, Michael Jackson and other geniuses and savants take this “myth” and flip it upside down by placing their shiny bauble at hilltop. Further, it busts this myth from those who prescribe a one-size-fits-all ministry (service) to God. Even Watchtower HQ has given up on this myth, as it scrambles to record tv and videos of its “star” presenters while shoving aside attempts to shape pig ears into silky speakers and presenters of its message.

    • April 25, 2016 at 7:11 am
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      “57 is young? Redwood must be as ancient as that tortoise in the Watchtower’s “evolution” literature…”

      You’re considered a senior at age 55 and up in some societies, and a youth if you are in the 13 to 35 age group……… maybe Redwood has other ideas……….you’re as young as you feel?

    • April 26, 2016 at 2:19 am
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      And who are these “more moderate ‘live and let live’ JW’s” of whom you speak? :D

      • April 26, 2016 at 5:55 pm
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        :D – yes, moderate–or progressives–maybe not throwing all rules out but loosening the collars and leashes a tad.

  • April 25, 2016 at 3:59 am
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    Colossians 2:8 A lier and dangerious man you are.Bible gives you an answer…”poor man”

  • April 25, 2016 at 4:47 am
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    I’m currently reading Ray Franz’s “Crisis Of Conscience” at long last. It’s heavy going at times and a lot of the letters and references I skim over (I realise they are there to prove what he is saying is true but I take him at his word anyway) but what he describes is amazing and totally different to the organisation I thought I belonged to.
    The double standards of the Governing Body are shocking, especially when they more-or-less caused the needless atrocities in Malawi by not allowing the bothers there to possess a political party ID card (even though Malawi was a one-party state anyway) whilst allowing the brothers in Mexico to not only have an army allegiance card but even paying bribes to get fake ones. I’m all in favour of the brothers doing what’s humanely possible to live a trouble free life (especially from religious oppression) but having double standards and then washing your hands of those that do (like in Mexico) saying that they would not be helped by the WTS if they got into trouble because of their actions (although approved then condoned by the WTS) really beggars belief.
    All of the 1914 teachings came from Adventists, as early Watchtower literature even admits. That’s the point I’ve just read in his book and am now at the stage where he is wanting to resign from the GB.
    What a fascinating book and life story. Whilst I won’t be going the way Lloyd & many others have gone by denying existence in God, my faith in the JW org is crumbling quickly. Thanks to Lloyd for putting me on to this book (despite the childish controversy surrounding it on the part of over-zealous ex-JW evangelists) as it truly is a work of art and more honest than any life story that you’ll see in a WT.

    • April 25, 2016 at 8:12 am
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      Hope you’ll also get around to reading ex-GB member Raymond Franz’s follow up book: IN SEARCH OF CHRISTIAN FREEDOM. It exposes key JW doctrines & pactrices regarding for eg.
      – the faithful & discreet slave
      – the origin & validity of shunning
      – the misuse of disfellowshipping
      – the use of the name Jehovah & Jehovah’s Witnesses
      – the insistence on going from house to house
      – the WT’s version of what constitutes the “good news”
      – the ban on blood transfusions
      – etc.

      • April 25, 2016 at 9:19 am
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        All in good time Dee! ;)
        Thanks for the tip.
        x

  • April 25, 2016 at 7:00 am
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    JBob makes some interesting points. The Society cannot really tolerate having superstars in their midst (unlike the Mormons) because individuality is squeezed out in favour of the corporate image (sorry about the jargon). As the GB are taking on celebrity status under the JW.org logo, the average Witness is being made to bow down before them rather like Daniel and his companions at the time of the Babylonian exile.

    • April 25, 2016 at 9:40 am
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      Sounds spot on. Also the two Ray Franz books are must reads. Excellent information, well documented. The info contained in these books is absolutely need to know. I have great respect for the man.

      Regards

  • April 25, 2016 at 11:11 am
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    As someone who was bought up as a JW then disfellowshipped then looked at other religions and so called bible followers with a view of disproving the JW’s beyond doubt all I found was nothing but hypocrisy, or they kept saying give me some money. I went to one Church it was a very old building looking grand in all its glory and within the first 5 minutes the Vicar mentioned the collection plate at least 3 times. No mention of the bible in and way after 30 minutes I walked out in disgust. I went to another where I was sitting in a nice little Congregation listening to the speaker and getting engrossed in his good delivery when all of a sudden a big lady sat at the side of me stood up & shouted at the top of her voice “Hallelujah Praise the Lord” needless to say I about wet myself & didn’t go there again. I got involved in many things that were illegal and turned my back on all I had been taught. Needless to say that I suffered. After a few VERY near misses with death I decided I ought to get my life in order. So I stopped doing the illegal things etc, cut down the drinking etc, and thought right where do I go from here. During all the time that I was away from the witnesses I honestly believed they were to blame for all my problems along with Jehovah for allowing things to happen to me like cruelly being disfellowshipped. Little did I realise that it wasn’t what I had done wrong it was my attitude that got me disfellowshipped. Many times during the years I was away from them I would perhaps come across a witness who would ask if I’d ever thought of gong back. My reply was “I could never live up to the standards”. To cut a long story short I am now back as a witness I am very regretful I ever left, when I see others my age who have stayed in the truth and have successfull families and business and are Elders etc. You see I understand you people that have been JW’s & how you must justify your actions to yourselves because you don’t want to admit that your wrong and that is why you twist and manipulate things to make us look bad and you look big brave and clever for denying us and trying to make us look bad. Who are usually the first rescue team on the scene in natural disasters who don’t get paid who don’t solicit donations who don’t go round bragging they are usually the first who not only help our own but help others as well. Might I respectfully ask that you stop being so nastily dogmatic in your views, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but do you see jw people posting things on here about the lies and the low morals of many of today’s churches and naming and shaming them. The answer is NO. Try live and let live instead of trying to stir hatred.

    • April 25, 2016 at 2:26 pm
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      David,

      You mustn’t read your Watchtowers because it’s full of criticism towards other religions. How dare you put all other religions down when you only visited a couple. Just because you didn’t make a good life for yourself outside of the organisation doesn’t mean that others haven’t. You obviously need the controlling element in the organisation in your life to behave. If so, then I’m not here to take that away from you. That’s your decision but please don’t paint the Watchtower with your fairytale version of it. Go back & read the literature.

      One of my favourites sayings is: “I would rather be around people who are good & need God then people who need God to be good”.

      I have many friends who are not involved with religion that have been the kindest & most understanding people. That are decent family orientated people.

      As for being the first on scene for a natural disaster. You’re buying into the propaganda that is being fed to you that is total bs.

      You don’t know me or anyone else here to accuse us of justifying our actions. My husband & I have not done anything to be shunned except to be shocked & outspoken over the utter madness of the child abuse policies. The Australian Royal Commission who simply started looking at the Catholic Church were bombarded by many JW victims here in Australia that came forward asking for help so the ARC looked into it. They were absolutely shocked by their findings. I can tell you this first hand as I have had contact with them.

    • April 25, 2016 at 2:32 pm
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      David….who are usually the first rescue team on the scene? Well, I’ve never heard of a self funding quick response JW rescue team who are always at the ready to turn up like the Thunderbirds and unselfishly be the heroes of the day. Any aid administered by the JW’s is no more special than all the other ‘haughty’ organisations. It’s only natural for human beings from all backgrounds to help out in a crisis. It’s called ‘being human’
      Who don’t solicit funds? Are you kidding???????
      Lets not waste any time on that one.
      Who don’t brag? Again….you must be joking. Maybe they don’t brag openly to the outside world, but the message from the Awakes is loud and clear and that’s all about exaggerating reality in order to make JW’s feel special about themselves. In other words… lie to you. When did you last see a JW soup kitchen? Charity shop? The Watchtower is a self serving organisation with the unwritten motto: ‘Self Preservation at all Cost’.
      JW’s posting lies about other religions? The Watchtower totally slanders other religions in it’s publications and particularly hates the Catholics and has been doing so for decades and decades.
      I myself do not hate JW’s and have never met anyone who does. An elder came to my door a while back and he was one of the very few people I’ve ever met that I’ve taken an instant liking to. He could be my friend no worries. I did a job for a woman the other week and came away thinking how nice she was. I later found out she was a witness. I have JW family. The hatred you are experiencing is directed at the Watchtower itself and not the followers, but that message gets blurred by bad communication.
      While you were out of the faith, it’s a shame you didn’t seek help from a professional therapist and explain to them that you’re coming out of a long term abusive relationship and need some help.

    • April 25, 2016 at 5:39 pm
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      David

      We appreciate your comments and your viewpoint. I would like to point out that this is not a site intended to stir up any hate, not by any means

      I would like to address a few things for your benefit -the first is your comment to “live and let live”. Personally, we all agree with this concept. However I must point out that there is a problem with this. Allowing an organization which violates core civil rights to continue its practices unobstructed is not an option for us. Someone must speak out against harmful policies of any organization, educating the public to the serious dangers of influential cults. To summarize key issues which violate a person’s right to a free and happy life, note the following

      1) The Watchtower organization practices shunning and disfellowshipping, which tears families to pieces due to the requirement of strict obedience to the Governing Body’s rules
      2) Jehovah’s Witnesses encourage baptism at very young ages, where the youths are still minors and really have no understanding of the consequences of leaving the organization should they change their minds and choose another path.
      3) The organization practices a ban on blood transfusions, which has cost tens of thousands of lives, including many children who never had the chance to mature and make an informed decision about their life path

      All of these 3 items are a serious violation of human rights, and we will not stop reporting on these issues until we have won the battle against undue influence.

      So – if you want to live and let live – we are fine with however you wish to practice your faith. But if you wish to associate with Jehovah’s Witnesses, know that you are not part of any kind of humanitarian organization whatsoever.

      As for your comment on JW being first on the scene in a disaster – this is not the case. I spent many years in RBC and relief work, and while I greatly enjoyed this, we were not doing the general public any service at all. Witnesses love to tell those stories, but they are exaggerations of the truth. The only times we ever helped any “wordly” people was when it served our own interests, such as when we repaired the home of an official in Antigua in exchange for the release of construction items held up in the local port. Individual Witnesses might help their non-JW neighbors, but the organization does absolutely nothing unless it benefits their own interests.

      Now that I have left, I have seen how “worldly” persons with no agenda freely give to everyone, with no strings attached, regardless of their religious affiliation. There are good and bad people everywhere, and JWs are no exception. But as a whole, the organization does absolutely nothing to contribute money or aid to the world in general – the only help the “brotherhood”. And often they do it in exchange for money from various insurance companies. During hurricane Sandy on the East Coast, JWs received extensive help from the RBC, but ONLY with the understanding that when they received their insurance payout, the funds were to be handed over to Watchtower. And Watchtower paid for NONE of the labor – it was all volunteer JWs who did this work. I know this for a fact, as I was involved

      Give some thought to these things, they are absolutely true, and they are based on factual information, not on “nasty” or “dogmatic” assertions.

      Sincerely,

      JR

    • April 25, 2016 at 9:07 pm
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      David:

      “…… looked at other religions and so called bible followers with a view of disproving the JW’s beyond doubt all I found was nothing but hypocrisy, or they kept saying give me some money.”

      The WT is also saying give me some money:

      Stephen Lett admits income/expenditure shortfall as he reminds Witnesses to donate “valuable things”:
      http://jwsurvey.org/cedars-blog/stephen-lett-admits-incomeexpenditure-shortfall-as-he-reminds-witnesses-to-donate-valuable-things

      Watchtower has created a child’s game where the whole object of the game is to donate money to them:
      http://jwsurvey.org/child-abuse-2/the-friday-column-watchtower-facing-financial-stormwaters

      In every monthly internet broadcast from jw dot org, at least one part of the program involves a request for financial assistance, and this is from an organization that has a history of denigrating other religious entities for passing a collection plate during church services.

    • April 25, 2016 at 9:11 pm
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      David:

      The aging JWs are asked to hand over their estates, their valuables, their life insurance and investments. The young among the JWs are encouraged to demonstrate their love for Jehovah by depositing their ice cream money in the contribution boxes at the Kingdom Halls:
      http://jwsurvey.org/cedars-blog/cough-up-kids-watchtower-needs-your-ice-cream-money

      There are ATM machines at conventions and assemblies in various locations and credit cards are accepted as well. Letters have been sent by the GB to the congregations asking JWs to commit to donating a set contribution every month. Any funds in excess of what is required to maintain a Kingdom Hall are to be sent to the WT.

      Perhaps you are not aware of these things. If you have been led to believe that by not passing a collection plate JWs are identified as the true religion……….think again.

      “Try live and let live instead of trying to stir hatred.”
      It is interesting that you should state this when the WT’s famous strategy to attract new converts is by denouncing other religions.

      • April 25, 2016 at 9:48 pm
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        Watchtower’s attempts to redirect the assets of elderly and infirm members to the Society’s coffers to the detriment of biological heirs.

    • April 26, 2016 at 6:12 pm
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      YMMV, David. I found your posting intriguing as it is a contradictory posting–here you post a diatribe about the failings found within a small sampling of church groups you visited and explored yet a few sentences later it states JW’s don’t post negative views and comments about churches.

      Also, when I have sat listening to d/f notices being read, rarely do I recall hearing, “Brother Nomore is disfellowshipped for attitude unbecoming of a good JW” it usually reads “for conduct unbecoming”. Perhaps I had too many Jack Daniels or Jim Beam’s that night, but I think that’s what I heard?

      And, regarding the missing solicitation of donations…I suppose the power of suggesting one donate their entire estate or pitiful life insurance proceeds to the Watchtower (not the local congregation, even), sell sentimental jewelry items, etc and donate the proceeds is not solicitation?

      You can take the whore out of Babylon, but you can’t get Babylon out of the whore, meaning, the Watchtower practices are at the cutting edge, the bleeding edge, of getting blood from turnips.

    • April 28, 2016 at 7:04 pm
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      David:

      It seems you didn’t get a copy of the November 2015 Watchtower:
      https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/w20151115/donations-worldwide-work/:

      “It is also possible for you to send donations directly to a legal entity that is used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in your country. To learn the name of the primary legal entity used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in your country, please contact the branch office. The address can be found on http://www.jw.org. The types of donations that you can send directly are the following:

      OUTRIGHT DONATIONS

      Donations via electronic bank transfer, debit card, or credit card. In some branches this is also possible using jw.org or another designated website.

      Donations of cash, jewelry, or other valuable personal property. Include a letter indicating that the cash or the item is an outright donation.

      CONDITIONAL DONATION ARRANGEMENT

      Donations of cash with the condition that it can be returned if needed by the donor.

      Include a letter stating that the donation is conditional.

      CHARITABLE PLANNING

      In addition to gifts of money and valuable personal property, there are other methods of giving to benefit Kingdom service worldwide. These are listed below. Regardless of the method or methods you would like to use, please first contact the branch officethat serves your country to see which methods are available. Since legal requirements and tax laws vary, it is important to consult qualified tax and legal advisers before choosing the best way to donate.

      Insurance: A donation made by specifying an entity used by Jehovah’s Witnesses as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement/pension plan.

      Bank Accounts: Bank accounts, certificates of deposit, or individual retirement accounts set up as a trust or made payable on death to an entity used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in accord with local bank requirements.

      Stocks and Bonds: Stocks and bonds donated to an entity used by Jehovah’s Witnesses as an outright gift or by means of a written agreement to transfer on death.

      Real Estate: Salable real estate donated to an entity used by Jehovah’s Witnesses, either by making an outright gift or, in the case of residential property, by reserving a life estate to the donor, who can continue to live in the residence during his or her lifetime.

      Gift Annuity: Money or securities donated to an entity used by Jehovah’s Witnesses under an arrangement where the donor receives a specified annuity payment every year for life. The donor may receive an income-tax deduction for the year in which the gift annuity is established.

      Wills and Trusts: Property or money may be bequeathed to an entity used by Jehovah’s Witnesses by means of a legally executed will or by specifying the entity as the beneficiary of a trust agreement. This arrangement may provide certain tax advantages.

      As the term “charitable planning” implies, these types of donations typically require some planning on the part of the donor. To assist individuals desiring to benefit the worldwide work of Jehovah’s Witnesses through some form of charitable giving, a brochure entitled Charitable Planning to Benefit Kingdom Service Worldwide has been prepared in English and Spanish. The brochure was written to provide information on a variety of ways that gifts may be made now or later, such as through a bequest at death. The information covered in this brochure may not apply fully to your situation because of tax laws or other laws in your country. Hence, after reading the brochure, you should confer with your own legal or tax adviser. By using such methods of charitable giving, many have helped to support our religious and humanitarian activities worldwide and maximize tax benefits. If available in your country, the brochure may be obtained by requesting a copy from the secretary of the local congregation.

      For more information, you may contact the branch office.”

      https://www.reddit.com/r/exjw/comments/3f9mte/once_again_jehovahs_witnesses_are_asked_to_donate/?

    • April 29, 2016 at 8:22 am
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      David,

      While appreciating that religion is a firm anchor in today’s turbulent seas of troubles, does the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society truly provide that stabilizing influence?

      All of the Watchtower’s woes come from their flawed doctrines and practices namely:

      1. the 144,000 are a literal number and only those that are of this class can partake of the Memorial emblems;
      2. the doctrine or mention of “Paradise Earth” is no where mentioned in either the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures;
      3. the monthly counting of time on a publishers record card is absolutely indefensible and no where mentioned in the Bible;
      4. J.W.’s as a whole have absolutely no secular education and as a result have to take many underpaying jobs in order to make ends meet;
      5. although begging poverty the Watchtower just purchased property in Florida worth millions of dollars http://gotoby.com/news/article/2245/Watchtower-Buys-Former-FAA-Training-Facility-in-Palm-Coast-for-$7025000;
      6. the Watchtower has so many child molestation cases ruled against it world wide, for its flawed two witness policy, that they run into the 10’s of millions of dollars. Although the Australian Royal Commission vs Jehovah’s Witnesses (ARC on YouTube) prosecutor used Deut. 22:26,27 concerning the rape of a woman without witness was brought up in court, the elders and Brother Jackson (one of the Governing Body members) were made to look stupid in the eyes of the whole world for their pig-headed refusal to apply common sense to child molestation, and because of their stupidity not only are the congregations not informed of the child molester in their midst but the molester goes unreported to authorities as well thus placing the entire community at risk;
      7. and what finally did it for me, (after 55 years of involvement with Jehovah’s Witnesses) was their membership for over 10 years as part of the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) as reported by the Guardian Newspaper (Oct. 8, 2001 & Oct. 15, 2001). As soon as the Watchtower found out that this article was being released they tendered they resignation from the U.N.! Just like a child with their hand caught in the cookie jar.

      That should be more than enough proof that God is not backing this cult and has never backed it. Their throwing their founder Charles Taze Russell and his followers under the bus in the July 15, 2003 Watchtower study issue proves as much. The Watchtower is an AMWAY religion and a throwback to the Millerite Movement and the ‘Great Disappointment’ in the mid-19th century. The constant changing of “Truth” (the light keeps getting brighter and brighter) shows me that they are not supported by the infallible Holy Spirit emanating from the infallible God Jehovah.

      David, following a delusional, doomsday cult that calls all religious organizations that support the U.N. a harlot (Babylon the Great) as far back as 1963, then joining it themselves for over 10 years; what does that make them? What does that make the rank and file that continues to support this “organization”? Does this show faith in Jehovah’s Kingdom and prove this is His spirit directed organization that the Governing Body claim at every opportunity?

      Because of all of this, my friend, they are suffering the consequences of their bad judgement and lack of Jehovah’s favor, namely: lack of baptismal candidates, lack of money, an unexplained increase in partakers at the Memorial coupled with a lack of attendance at the same event, reduction of production in magazines as well as other literature and child abuse judgments world wide running into millions of dollars.

      David please use your reasoning powers. Do your research and as Revelation 18:4,5 says:
      ” I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.…

      David, you are not attached to an anchor of stability in a safe harbor but a millstone in a raging sea. The Watchtower is going down, faster than the Titanic, in an floundering that I would have never believed possible twenty years ago.

      Remember, finding true Christian freedom truly makes you free; not serving some cult that has interposed itself between you and your FREE gift in Christ’s ransom sacrifice.

      Continue to check us out, those in search of Truth are always welcome. :)

      • May 1, 2016 at 8:40 am
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        OOPS my bad: The article that shows Charles Taze Russell and his followers not having or being the instrument Jehovah used as a channel of spiritual food is in the July 15, 2013 Watchtower.

        This also disseminated “New Light” in the form of a ‘time line’ showing what Christendom calls the “Rapture” where those who will rule with Christ will be taken to heaven before Armageddon starts. There will be NO members of the “little flock” around to help the “Great Crowd” survivors clean up the mess as they will be in heaven to complete the number of “144,000” ‘viceroys’ to help govern with Christ.

        Because of their insistence of marking the correct answers in the study lesson, many of the friends, including the elders, missed the time line and the ‘New Light’ altogether. Why? The study article questions did not reference the time line once. I call that hiding the “Truth” in plain sight. A very Neat Trick, indeed! :)

        • May 1, 2016 at 10:59 am
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          “Rapture”? What rapture?
          JWs vehemently deny that they believe in the rapture theology expounded by Christendom yet according to the July 2013 Watchtower which you cited:

          “The gathering will be complete when the anointed who are alive at the end of this system of things receive their final sealing and then are taken to heaven.”
          Rapture? What rapture?

          • May 1, 2016 at 3:30 pm
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            Hi Dee2:

            I always look forward to reading your comments. That silly time line definitely shows the final sealing and “removal” of the Anointed ones before Armageddon strikes. Then there is a ‘pregnant pause’ of unlimited duration before the separation of the sheep and goats. Then the big show (Armageddon)!

            We used to make fun of those in Christendom who believed in people leaving the earth to go to heaven (they called it the Rapture).

            Now, it occurs to me, that it looks like J.W.’s are now invested in the same sort of doctrine that they once vehemently renounced. Interesting, very interesting. :)

  • April 25, 2016 at 11:55 am
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    @DAVID. Being an active JW myself and an elder, I must admit that on the whole I have not come against hatred against JWs, quite the opposite in fact. I’ve always been brought up to believe that apostates hate our guts and, quite frankly, this is what I experienced first hand as a kid in the 70s with the activists outside our hall. However, as a reasoning adult and a thirst for justice, I’ve asked many questions here, voiced my concerns and almost always been answered in a kind, frank, understanding way.
    I doubt I will be convinced NOT to believe in God or to go over to the evolution camp like Lloyd, but the gaping flaws in the JW org just can’t be ignored, neither can the hypocrisy. Seeing very unchristian qualities manifested from fellow elders and what boils down to heartless disregard for anyone who doesn’t live up to WTS standards (or worse still, their own) makes me even more sure that God has removed his spirit from the WTS, if it was ever there at all. I’m at a stage in my life like Ray Franz was, as I’m coming to realise by reading his first book. I’m still active as an elder because I want to defend my friends against cretins who act like glorified policemen instead of loving shepherds. I have a very zealous wife who just brushes the inconsistencies away so there’s no reasoning with her and basically I don’t want to put my a strain on the marriage so that’s a sacrifice I make.
    I think you’ve missed the who point of this site if you think it’s purpose is to stir hatred. Might I suggest you watch the video of a number of apostates confirming the exact opposite.

    • April 25, 2016 at 12:28 pm
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      Average Joe,
      Just a note – evolution does not equal atheism as some may think, they are not one and the same.

      • April 26, 2016 at 6:16 pm
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        Thanks, dee2–I concur.

    • April 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm
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      David I am intrigued how you can be an elder in the congregation but yet believe it does not have God’s spirit? That just does not sound right.

      • April 25, 2016 at 12:50 pm
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        Sorry David I ment Joe

        • April 25, 2016 at 2:38 pm
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          I’m really impressed with your stickability, Tracey. Standing up and defending your view in such a controlled way. You’re going to make a fine Atheist. You go girl!!

      • April 25, 2016 at 3:18 pm
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        Believe me Tracey I have been in several where that fact has been evident. The one I am in now is a lot better but there are still self-righteous individuals who seek to impose a higher morality than God’s own standards.
        I was referring to the org as a whole. Even Geoff Jackson admitted in the ARC hearings that he didn’t believe they were God’s only spokesmen on earth.
        The more hypocrisy I see in the organisation makes it more difficult for me to reconcile my duties as an elder. The WTS GB refers to us as the rank & file, whilst they don’t put into practice anything they preach. Look at how the majority aren’t good speakers (yet ordinary individuals applying the counsel from the old TMS are much more accomplished speakers), they warn about showy display of ones means of life yet wear expensive jewellery and watches on the JW Broadcasts, they blatantly lie about winning awards when they themselves have PAID to enter a COMPETITION and PAID to engrave then receive the supposed awards (check the Telly Awards site for their T&C and you’ll see they class it as a competition), how’s that being no part of the world.
        As I previously stated, when having to justify my position to other visitors on this site, awakening affects people in different ways and I like the social aspect of my congregation. You don’t like that? Sorry. At least I don’t hide child abusers or support the WTS and their horrendous policy on child abuse. They may well take away my privileges if they find out what I really think but that’s a small price to pay for being a decent human being and having a clean conscience. The GB can’t say the same!

        • April 25, 2016 at 10:06 pm
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          Perhaps it’s time for you to step down as an elder. It sounds too hypocritical for you to be doing what you doing. Surely doing what u doing will not have God’s favour either way. You need to then go be true to yourself some where else. I have been exactly where David was and it will take a lot more than these texts to actually bring our reasoning across. You have to start with yourself, what are your motives, what is in your heart? Are we doing things for the right reasons? No organisation is perfect. No one on earth is perfect. Even in Jesus day the disciples had to be corrected. We living in a disfunctionall world. As for the shunning of a brother the Scriptures says one should not even eat at the same table as someone who calls themselves a brother….. read the Scripture 1 Corinthians 5:11 it goes as far as to say remove the wicked person among yourself. It is specifically talking about a person who calls himself a brother. I agree it does sound harsh and un loving but are we to ignore this council because it upsets people. Remember the Scriptures are there to reprove to set matters straight.

          • April 26, 2016 at 2:42 am
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            1 Cor 5:11 states: “But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a FORNICATOR or a GREEDY person or an IDOLATER or a REVILER or a DRUNKARD or an EXTORTIONER, not even eating with such a man”

            so…. one becomes wicked simply for not believing the changing interpretations of the bible of the governing body?

            do not you realize that is the indoctrination that takes you to equate those who do not believe in the Governing Body to bad people?

          • April 26, 2016 at 12:00 pm
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            @TRACEY. Sorry but I draw the line at you becoming my judge and jury saying that I lack God’s favour. Maybe you should call the GB and let them know he is communicating with you too. Oh I forgot, you’re a woman, so they wouldn’t let you on the body! :)
            Seeing as you brought that wonderful scriptural gem up, tell me what you think it means “anyone calling himself a brother”. In what context was this? The congregation or in the family circle? If one is then removed from the congregation, how is he still called a brother, especially if that one has disassociated himself from the organisation first?
            I suggest you have a look at the Watchtower 1st August 1974, pages 466-473 “Maintaining a balanced view of disfellowshipped ones”. It points out that an individual who was once disfellowshipped for immorality, then gets marries and raises a family with the woman so how can he still be considered disfellowshipped if he no longer is committing the sin he was disfellowshipped for?
            If you were referring to me, then once again I ask you to get down from your self-appointed seat at God’s right hand and stop judging me as wicked. You don’t know what’s in my heart. I can assure you that if I didn’t care deeply for my friends and family in the organisation then I would have left a long time ago. Plus as John said, I don’t really fancy all the hassle it would put my family through if I did leave. So which do you think is the more loving course for me to take?
            There have been numerous occasions where Jehovah removed his spirit from his people (Acan’s light fingers spring to mind) which resulted in many dying so are you surprised that this can happen to day in JW congregations? If you’re in denial, I can remember two entire congregations being disbanded in my lifetime for corruption. Plus the Italian Bethel Branch Overseer was stripped of his position last year and sent home packing with no privileges for much the same thing. Many Irish COs have been removed from their positions and brothers from the mainland and overseas brought in to replace them.
            And if you’re excuse is that these are isolated incidents and that such a thing would happen in Bethel, especially not within the GB, then we have nothing more to say. Oh and I have very good friends who used to be in NY Bethel who are now travelling servants and they told me about numerous cases of homosexuality within just NY Bethel and that’s supposedly the house of God that children are supposed to visit instead of Disneyland according to HRH Tony Morris III ;)
            Awakening is not a nice position to be in, especially if you are a genuine Christian with a desire to help others but my dedication was to God and not the WTS and I promised to read his word the Bible, not the Watchtower publications with ever changing doctrines and procedures.
            I can understand I may have hit a nerve but that doesn’t give you the right to judge. I can quote Jesus’ words at you here if you doubt I’m right!

        • April 26, 2016 at 12:14 pm
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          I would love to ask old tight pants boy Geoffrey Jackson if he felt like he compromised when he said it would be presumptuous to assume they were the sole spokesmen of God on earth today. I would assume I would be branded the apostate just for asking that question.

          • April 26, 2016 at 11:08 pm
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            Joe
            I was not judging you. I was simply making a statement. We should be serving God not fellow man. It comes across that you doing things to please your family and friends instead of taking a stand for what you believe. I know that a congregation can lose God’s spirit. But if I knew a congregation did not have Jehovah’s spirit I would not want to be there.

          • April 28, 2016 at 9:31 am
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            You probably would, I think Anthony Morris III was the tight-panter, pinky ringer.
            Good old Geoffroid would never squeeze into a pair.

      • April 25, 2016 at 4:54 pm
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        Tracey

        There are quite a few readers of our site who are awakened Jehovah’s Witnesses, but who maintain their responsibilities as elders in the congregation. There are also Bethel brothers in the same position.

        The reason for this has much to do with the fact that leaving the organization means walking away from your family, your friends, everything you have known your entire life. So while it might seem difficult to believe for you, it represents the lesser of two evils for these persons. They struggle with knowing this is not an organization sanctioned by God, but they follow a course which disrupts their lives and family the least.

        In a perfect world, they could just walk away from the religion with no consequences and move on with their life – but as you know, rejection from family, friends and the organization is a stiff penalty, and is a severe violation of human rights. Jesus never sanctioned such behavior (of the organization) and certainly did not sanction the many transgressions of the organization, such as policies which cause harm to children when the police are not immediately notified in cases of child abuse. Jesus never sanctioned child baptism or indoctrination, and if you believe in the Bible, you know that he was not baptized until the age of 30, a fully mature adult.

        Please give this some thought, and try to separate your personal feelings from fact and evidence. It took me 46 years to wake up – a lifetime inside this organization. Your thoughts and comments are welcome here, and I hope we can help you establish a better understanding of our viewpoint, while listening to yours.

        Sincerely

        JR

        • April 26, 2016 at 6:46 pm
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          @JR – there are always effects, if not consequences, for any actions. Specifically, if the Watchtower lifted the consequence, or possible penalty, of family isolation, more persons would feel the freedom that is afforded by most governments to freely choose your spiritual beliefs.

          Prior to the many “exit” support groups arising, many mental health treatment providers did not understand why leaving JW’s or other high-control groups was such a stress factor. In their view, persons were free to join a church, walk in on a Sunday, have a fat lady jump up and shout enough to scare the demon out of them, run to another church the next week and no severe consequences of shunning.

          I’ve heard JW’s suggest try another congregation if one doesn’t “fit”–but that option is non-existent because the elder body ensures a paper-trail of recommendation letters and responses to inquiries of status goes answered with all the vindictive mess or “perceived flaws”.

          I experienced a very jealous and vindictive set of elders send letters and statements resulting in staining my reputation although there was no evidence, no private/public discipline proceedings, and no public knowledge misconduct on my part. The sinister part is these elders never approached me to ask, or investigate, the validity of the charges.

          It increasingly became like the man who suspects his wife is having an affair because he can smell the familiar scent of cologne of the other man on her, yet he can’t quite understand why the scent is familiar until he discovers it is his best friend with whom the wife has been trysting. In this case, diligent study of the Watchtower literature, meditation, prayer, field service, etc meant nothing, because the new congregation leadership would consistently snub me and never answered why or were available to be asked why. [as someone else posted, usually, the leadership would take me into empty territory when I did field service/ministry]

          For the sake of my sanity, I stepped away and I shall remain away. It was/is a colossal waste of time and energy–resulting in frustration and stress.

          And, frankly, every time I encounter JW’s I become disgustingly aware of deceptive practices and manipulation–emotional or facts. A prime example would be the statements of the leader in front of the ARC.

          Do they think they’re the prime spokesperson for God–in print, yes; in lectures, yes; in court, no. And, this lie–this perjuring–falls under the “it’s okay” heading “theological warfare”. It’s okay to lie for the Watchtower, Inc, but don’t you kids dare lie to parents or elders.

          This is definitely NOT the moral foundation I want for my household.

  • April 25, 2016 at 12:23 pm
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    Prince will be greatly missed. I was a fan of his music and was thrilled that he accepted the faith of the JW religion when I was an indoctrinated member. I bought and listened to his album 3121 and was strengthened and fortified in my faith in the religion by his songs “The Word” and “Get On The Boat”. You could really see the affect the religion was having upon him through these two songs. I strongly encourage anyone to listen to this album if they haven’t already. On the other hand, there was also some questionable music (from a JW viewpoint) on the album like “Black Sweat” which he won an award for. The song “Planet Earth” from his album Planet Earth is also a faith inspired song by him. But it was great music nonetheless.

  • April 25, 2016 at 9:44 pm
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    Wonder why Prince didn’t marry a JW?

    • April 27, 2016 at 5:44 am
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      The host is a mamby pamby bioch.

  • April 26, 2016 at 10:19 am
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    Prince was an amazing talented man. I questioned very early in my youthful jw days how if men wrote the bible could it be considered divine. I was told that Jehovah inspired them if this is the case and Jehovah (a god who cannot create hands for itself) did not write anything down then is inspiration not from god/divine? If yes then prince was very blessed with divinity and the spirit of god. But im sure you’ll argue its satan’s. Whats wrong with jehovah that it cant accept responsibility for anything?

    • April 26, 2016 at 1:01 pm
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      In the end of all of this does it really matter? He was a very talented man and the qualities he had as an individual shined. Whatever he learned from the Jehovah’s witness faith was his own business. Why waste all this emotional energy on the subject ? He has passed away, show some respect and dignity and stop wasting your time and energy arguing about all of this. I myself was raised as a JW but I’m not “indoctrinated” or “controlled” we are all born with a free will according to the scriptures. I have struggled through the years to make the truth my “own” and it hasn’t been easy. I myself have seen alot of hypocrisy but in the end all will have to answer for their actions. Things do get exposed and come to light eventually. I do despise people who profess to be ” Christians ” but there are alot out there who do, love is proved rightoues by its works and from that aspect we can draw our conclusions from there. Spiritually and religion are two separate things and that is what I myself have cultivated throughout the years and that has helped me keep a balance in my life but that was because of the scriptures if it was men I was serving forget it! Yes there are flaws even huge ones but yet the scriptures do say not to put your trust in ” men” or nobles to whom no salvation belongs. That is very plain and simple and Jehovahs Witness will tell you the same. I’ve observed alot througout my lifetime but I have to say that as a whole this brotherhood or association if you will is very candid, open and transparent. These are imperfect people who try the best to follow the scriptures closey, those who do not then goodbye. I really see valid points from both sides but overall because I’ve made the truth my own I’m not stumbled by the actions of this “Organization” that is the beauty of it all. Jeses said do not be overrightouess in much he condoned that type of attitude. So all Jehovah’s Witnesses need to reexamine their faith and what motivates them as professed Christians and hopefully their conduct as individuals will show that they have. I just stick close to the scriptures and that proves to be a safeguard and it has gone pretty well for me personally regardless of others. If it was men that I serve then I wouldnt be able to express myself in this manner, thank God because that has removed a huge burden for me and others who strive to imitate Jesus’s faith. Jehovah’s Witness or not be respectful and let the subject rest in peace as Prince is now.

      • April 26, 2016 at 1:33 pm
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        Hi Lara:

        “….. I’ve made the truth my own….”

        What is this “truth” which you have made your own? Please tell us so that we can understand what you mean.

        Thanks.

        • April 26, 2016 at 2:27 pm
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          Lara,

          I don’t think anyone here has disrespected Prince like you are accusing everyone of & yes you are right, his faith was his own business. Have you thought of that when you go out Witnessing? That you are interfering with someone else’s business when it comes to their faith?

      • April 26, 2016 at 11:23 pm
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        Thank you Lara. You couldn’t have put that any better.

      • April 26, 2016 at 11:23 pm
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        Thank you Lara. You couldn’t have put that any better.

  • April 26, 2016 at 1:57 pm
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    A thorough and systematic study of the scriptures and striving to apply all of the Bible principles I’ve come to know. I’ve come to see how the Bible is vindicated through many decades and associate with people who do the same.

    • April 26, 2016 at 2:14 pm
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      Hi Lara,

      “I’ve come to see how the Bible is vindicated through many decades…..”

      Could you please give us some specific examples of this?

      Thanks.

  • April 26, 2016 at 3:43 pm
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    Wow so much to say my experiences are varied I wouldn’t know where to start. I’m not shy to share my story and it would take some time to reply.

    • April 26, 2016 at 4:19 pm
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      Hi Lara,
      “……it would take some time to reply.”

      I hope this won’t be a deterrent for you to share your experiences as doing so will help us understand what the “truth” is which you have made your own and how/why you have come to see how the Bible is vindicated through many decades.

  • April 26, 2016 at 5:06 pm
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    I respect people’s boundaries and find it mortifying when people are intrusive and pushy and I don’t believe in forcing my beliefs on others. I’m very careful an sensitive to others viewpoints and religious backgrounds. I just simply share very tactfully when appropriate how I have benefited in my study ot the scriptures. l truly care about people. I have battled with bouts of severe anxiety and depression myself so Im very sympathetic to others. I’ve been in the depths of despair and have experienced many tragedies in my life time so if I see an opportunity to comfort someone by just talking without bringing religion into the picture fine, If the situation is appropriate then I introduce scriptures that have helped me in times of crisis. We all need to keep in mind that religion is a very sensitive topic to alot people and that is where discetion is a must. I have no interest in one upping anyone I talk to, I truly care about others and if I can help them somehow with a word or an act of kindness then I’m very happy at the end of the day. i guess I consider myself a person who just loves people and what I saw in Prince was his generosity and true love for others as well. He really helped many people throughout his life and that is what made him truly shine. It is about humanity and the common struggle we all experience together. I’m sorry grammar is not my best subject but I hope you can understand what I’m trying to say.

    • April 26, 2016 at 6:12 pm
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      Good for you Lara, that your acts of kindness are motivated by love for people and not by your wanting to convert them to the JW religion despite your referring to it as “the truth”.

      • April 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm
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        I too would just LOVE to see where the Bible has been vindicated through many decades. It’s oh so easy to say it has, but nobody can show anybody where. Is it too much to ask? I’ve counted 135 end of the world predictions so far and among the first was made in 375CE when it was stated that their was “no doubt the Antichrist has already been born”. The people making these predictions no doubt when out on a limb and were TOTALY convinced. All this coming from the Bible, so……please tell me and in language we can all understand and then, hey presto!, everyone’s a believer.

    • April 26, 2016 at 6:40 pm
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      Hi Lara,
      Didn’t Jesus talk to people out of love. He had fellow feeling for others. I hope you can keep doing that. It is a wonderful thing to care for people and thats what Christ wanted.

  • April 26, 2016 at 7:05 pm
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    I’ve come in a bit late to the response by average Joe to Tracey. Top stuff in your reply. Every has their own reasons for doing things and you have the right approach, different to mine, but yours alone and good for you. Your experiences are priceless as are all the contributors for the most part. This site is to express views on a common problem the behaviour of the Corporation Watchtower and its effect on so many people albeit far too many that are horrific. It is a common problem that we often get here, shoot the messenger, rather than look at the message and understand what is being said. Reading motives of others from what are emails, is very very hard. So keep contributing Average Joe I like what you are saying.

    • April 27, 2016 at 11:28 am
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      Why thank you kind sir! Glad somebody got something from my comment.
      Take care.
      AJ

      • April 27, 2016 at 3:40 pm
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        Hi AJ I do wish you were an elder in my cong or even my circuit. The problem is that we don’t know awakened ones who stay to do us good. Actually it gives people like me, hope that there are bros in positions of care who stay and may help in the longrun.best wishes Mrs Doyle aka Ruthlee

        • April 28, 2016 at 12:12 am
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          Thanks so much Ruthlee. If you make make some cookies like Mrs Doyle with regular cups of tea, I might just have to change circuit! :)
          I’m sure there are plenty of chaps like me, scattered amongst the congregations. It’s hard work, swimming against the tide but the solid friendships you make and knowing that you can help defend others makes it worthwhile.
          It’s the easiest thing in the world God asks us: to show love to one another. It might sound corny but it’s true. It doesn’t cost anything and it makes you feel better. Some people just seem focused on criticising others or making sure they live up to what THEY think God’s standards are. They can’t be really happy with themselves.
          Although we only know each other via this site Ruthlee, please accept a big virtual hug and know that you ARE appreciated and valued as a person and for your contributions on here too.
          AJ
          PS. Do those cookies have cociane in them? I mean chocolate! (That’s a reference to “Father Ted” in case anyone doesn’t know and starts freaking out!)

          • April 28, 2016 at 3:15 am
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            go on go on go on! ruthlee

  • April 26, 2016 at 7:38 pm
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    Dear Outandabout, the Bible comments “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father”. So there is your answer- no one, no one except Jehovah knows the time not even Christ. So if you have seen claims or read alleged endings, then you have have been seeing claims that come from sometimes sincere, often smart arsed men/ women who don’t know what they are talking about. But no such claim from the Bible. All it does is give features to look for (let the reader use discernment) meaning, if you don’t think it’s coming good for you. You’re about as right as everybody else who think they know a date. I had a friend who wanted to know why God made mosquito’s. He wouldn’t accept that a God would do that so he just drifted off with illicit affairs and heavy drinking and life went downhill. My brain boggles at it all I just keeping killing the sods and hoping for the best.

    • April 26, 2016 at 10:41 pm
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      Hi enuffsenuf…yyeeah…..this day and hour stuff….pretty vague and ‘get out of jail free’ type of statement, isn’t it. Right up there with “the lord moves in mysterious way’s” and “you have to have faith”. If the Bible is such truth…well, try presenting any of it in a court of law as evidence.
      But anyway, no matter. If that’s what you believe, then that’s ok. Y’know, even when I become boss of the world I won’t outlaw religion as long as it’s the harmless variety. Who would want to take it away from that dear little old lady who has lost everyone she ever had and turns up to church every sunday and is greeted warmly by the vicar who takes her hand and is genuinely interested in how she’s doing. The highlight of her week. Not me.

      • April 28, 2016 at 7:47 am
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        Dear Outandabout, you wanted an answer I gave you one, you didn’t offer any refutation, just a bit of grumble that it was all get out of gaol stuff. Reminds me of the experience of students one time in a university lecture room while waiting for the professor of philosophy to rock up and give his lecture. The student/s wrote on the the blackboard “question authority”. Just a fun little joke. The students all sat there very quietly and looked on when the old Prof walked in and he stood there for 3 minutes or so, staring at the words. They wondered what he would do or say. He said nothing, but wrote underneath: When authority answers will you listen?
        The truth seems to be that some folk like to ask all the questions but never really want an answer. Kinda reminds me of the dog that chases cars, he always hopes to hell he never catches one. If he does what will he do with it?

        • April 29, 2016 at 1:29 am
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          Hi enuffisenuf. My original question was ‘how has the bible been vindicated in the last few decades’? I wanted to be told exactly where in the bible that is, but I doubt whether anybody can do that.
          Well, here’s something to ponder on…given that the distance of a light year is 10 trillion km’s and we can currently view the universe for a distance of 13 billion light years (phew!) why has god placed all that infrastructure out their in order to support what would amount to a microscopic speck ( the earth) in the scheme of all that? We eventually found out the earth is not flat, then that it wasn’t at the centre of our galaxy, and now are we on our way to finding out the earth and us mean naf all? It kinda looks that way, but hey…all I’m asking for is a simple crack of thunder and a hand pointing down from the sky.

    • April 27, 2016 at 9:55 am
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      I responded to Tracy in an earlier post on this thread concerning doomsdayers, but I just feel like saying it again. It needs to be said, so here goes.

      There are a lot of people out there that believe they see little green men, Sasquatch, and the end of the world. Bless their little heart. I hope it makes them feel OK. Just don’t include me in on that party. I’ve got a life to live and enjoy.

      Me? I go by a this: The sun will rise in the east, it will set in the west, and the wheels on the bus will keep going around and around. Count on that as a fact! The world/earth will end sometime, but I don’t think it will be anytime soon. IF (big IF) the world comes to an end anytime during my life, then there’s basically nothing I can do about it, so I don’t let it worry me to a point of aching obsession. I’ll deal with it, if it happens. Otherwise, I will live and enjoy the remainder of my life’s ups and downs, not letting some crazy organization like the Watchtower take over what little was blessed to me.

      • April 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm
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        Beautiful sentiments, Searcher. Well put. I agree. That’s why I can’t understand so many here who are fed up with the WT org but still stay in.

        Family? Anyone who would shun you for leaving is not your family. You will make new friends on the outside who are loyal even if you have different beliefs!

        Life is too short to stay bound in an organization you can’t stand. Too short to pretend to be someone you are not.

    • April 27, 2016 at 4:51 am
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      For the GB to take ANY money bestowed upon the organisation would be a stellar personification of their money-hungry hypocrisy. He made his fortune through ways that would never be condoned by the GB. They would abhor his lyrics, his sexual overtness and his “tight pants” amongst many other worldly traits. His entire career is soaked to the core with the ways of those deemed “worldly” – so if they took any of his money, no matter what their reasoning or way of explaining it is….I would be absolutely lost for words. I mean the child abuse cases are one thing, but this would be blatant, in your face and completely open hypocrisy that would stumble many. They couldn’t possibly accept any of it without a legitimate explanation and even then, it would be a major stumbling block for many. That’s not faithful OR discreet. That’s just hypocrisy to the tenth degree and there’s no possible way to dissect that into something palatable or acceptable for the R and F.

      • April 27, 2016 at 9:31 am
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        You said it! Praise Jehovah and give us the money! Don’t ask any questions.

    • April 27, 2016 at 1:33 pm
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      Relax, Retro. They won’t get anything. Prince left no will and so by the laws of the state, the money goes to nearest blood relatives.

    • April 27, 2016 at 2:54 pm
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      RetroFusion

      This is nothing more than unfounded speculation. The website offers this statement:

      “While it is unclear whether he arranged a will, Prince has few living family members, leaving many to speculate that he may have left some of his estate to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

      Obviously this site knows absolutely nothing about Prince’s finances or will, and has no documentation to back up the admitted speculation. Let’s find the facts, not the fiction

      JR

  • April 27, 2016 at 4:38 am
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    Completley OT comment incoming, but I had to put it out there to get it off my chest:

    The week starting Sept 19 the new congregation study book will be “God’s Kingdom Rules! “where we will all be able to gain a deeper appreciation for our spiritual heritage.”

    The fact that the book is misleading through the smoke and mirror changes to JW history is bad enough but to hear that being read, knowing all other congregations would get the same line made my stomach churn.

    Sorry for going OT…

    • April 28, 2016 at 8:46 am
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      The GB and WTS writers are masters of revisionist history. They control the documents and presses, as well as, what the rank and file can and cannot read through threat and fear. Doesn’t surprise me in the least. And they call it “The Truth”? My big butt on fire!

      • April 30, 2016 at 8:40 am
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        That they are Searcher! Unfortunately, it will take a lot more diligence and scrutiny to ascertain what subtle changes are being made from now on. With everyone being coerced into electronic mediums and using the JW Library app, they can make updates and changes at any time and no one is any wiser to the changes made. They just update their app or download their electronic copies and go on their merry way. The JW Library app is constantly being updated – not just major version updates in the app stores, but in the app itself it has a cloud symbol which is an indication to users to download the latest minor version update to that publication.
        It’s such a sly way to get changes pushed out without anyone truly knowing what the updates are.
        Back in the day, with hard copies, you could do a reprint, but that was a costly exercise. Now, it is easier, cheaper, simpler and much more inconspicuous to the R and F just what ‘changes’ are being made. The GKR “history book” has had multiple updates in the app since its release. The only way I’d know for sure what changes were made would be to compare word for word the hard copy version from the convention release against the electronic app/ebook versions.
        I don’t have the time or inclination to be bothered with that and I highly doubt someone deep in the org would bother either as they would simply take it at face value.
        GB = Velociraptor claws

  • April 27, 2016 at 9:29 am
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    Read IBT article. It doesnt say anything about WT taking money. If he didnt leave a will including the WT I don’t see how they’ll stand to benefit from any of Prince’s money. Prince has extensive blood relations. There’s no way WT is going to see a penny of that money without their name in a will.

  • April 27, 2016 at 10:24 pm
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    Here in Australia they are reporting that prince left no will and his entire estate will go to his sister.

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-27/prince-sister-says-pop-icon-died-without-a-will/7361568

    I believe she is a “devout Christian” but not JW, so I hope she feels about the watchtower the same as we do and they don’t sweet talk her into handing some money over.

    Of course they would find a way to justify taking his dosh – making “wise use of unrighteous riches” or some other twisted scriptural reasoning. They wouldn’t hesitate. And of course the R and F would be oblivious (like their membership to the UN) or think that prince’s timely death is spirit directed – bailing out the Borg from the “apostate lies” of child abuse victims, whilst simultaneously proclaiming that the same governments are eating the flesh of Babylon the Great and stripping her of her material wealth in fulfilment of bible prophecy! If prince was a regular contributor this actually might be one revenue stream which suddenly dries up for them (no pun intended.)

    When it’s JWs in the dock it’s a satanic attack, when everybody else is in the dock it’s Jehovah’s divine judgement. I hope they don’t get a cent.

  • April 28, 2016 at 7:50 am
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    Dear Outandabout, you wanted an answer I gave you one, you didn’t offer any refutation, just a bit of grumble that it was all get out of gaol stuff. Reminds me of the experience of students one time in a university lecture room while waiting for the professor of philosophy to rock up and give his lecture. The student/s wrote on the the blackboard “question authority”. Just a fun little joke. The students all sat there very quietly and looked on when the old Prof walked in and he stood there for 3 minutes or so, staring at the words. They wondered what he would do or say. He said nothing, but wrote underneath: When authority answers will you listen?
    The truth seems to be that some folk like to ask all the questions but never really want an answer. Kinda reminds me of the dog that chases cars, he always hopes to hell he never catches one. If he does what will he do with it?

  • April 28, 2016 at 8:52 pm
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    @Average Joe

    I know How hard it is to keep serving while awakening. I also serve in the congregation and it’s hard and I wished I could step down but it would be hard on my family. Fortunately my wife sees through and is aware of the none sense that our organization has reached. The good think about having a “position” in the congregation is that it gives you a credibility and allows you to raise questions for reflection without shocking anyone. Questions that the brothers would never consider if there were coming from someone who was a “simple” publisher or an “apostate”. When I have parts at meetings, I always turn everything around compassion, mercy, empathy and the message of Christ. I Never talk about loyalty, obedience and threat of destruction at Armageddon and certainly not stimulate the friends sense of guilt for never doing enough. Some of my friends could not take it anymore and decided to step down. I begged them not to as so many brothers and sisters are silently suffering and they could be a comfort to them…..especially intellectually considering our last understanding on the term generation which is an insult to our intelligence. Stay strong and let’s keep helping our friends within our congregations. I feel sorry for what will happen in 30 years from now when the vast majority will have no choice but to come to the realization of how wrong we were.

    • April 29, 2016 at 12:05 am
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      @Ream
      I concur. Very good points. After all, Jesus’ message was about love and compassion. He didn’t go guilt tripping his followers that they weren’t doing enough.
      In 30 years? There will be “new light” on the generation to say that it applies to people who lived 100 years after the Kingdom was established in 1914 or something along those lines I bet!
      Thanks for your comment.
      AJ

    • April 29, 2016 at 1:02 pm
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      If you and your wife both see through the nonsense, why don’t you stop the charade and leave?

      • April 29, 2016 at 1:21 pm
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        M Saurus

        I think Ream explained why he is still there fairly precisely. While it is not ideal, the alternative is extremely painful and likely something they are not ready to tackle. Sort of the lesser of two evils.

        I completely understand his viewpoint. There are many more who are faders, which is the next step down, or away from the organization, as it were. This is also a very difficult situation, as you are not disfellowshipped, but you have still lost your entire friendship network.

        No matter how you slice it, it’s a bad position to be in, and is one of the reasons why we write about such things, to raise awareness of the dangers of high-control organizations like Watchtower

        JR

  • April 29, 2016 at 1:07 am
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    @Enuffsenuff:

    “I had a friend who wanted to know why God made mosquito’s. He wouldn’t accept that a God would do that so he just drifted off with illicit affairs and heavy drinking and life went downhill.”

    Aren’t there also persons who believe in god who also “drift off with illicit affairs and heavy drinking”? Aren’t there JWs who believe in god who get disfellowshipped for these very things?

    “So there is your answer- no one, no one except Jehovah knows the time not even Christ.”

    Which is why Jesus made the following false predictions:

    Mark 14:53-62:
    “And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes…………. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said, “I am. AND YOU WILL SEE THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE POWER, AND COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” (emphasis mine).

    Who was Jesus speaking to when he spoke these words?
    The high priest, (chief priests, elders and scribes) did not see this happen as Jesus said they would.

    Jesus promised that those “standing here” listening to him would not taste death:
    Mark 8:34 to 9:1:
    “And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them…………For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. And Jesus was saying to them,“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are STANDING HERE WHO WILL NOT TASTE DEATH UNTIL THEY SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD AFTER IT HAS COME WITH POWER.” ”

    Who was Jesus speaking to when he spoke these words?
    Jesus was referring to the “adulterous and sinful generation” who were alive in the early 1st century CE when these words were spoken. Jesus expected that some of his audience would be alive when the “kingdom of God” came with power.

    Matthew 24:3,4, 34:
    “As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately……….And Jesus answered and said to them……. Truly I SAY TO YOU, THIS GENERATION will not pass away until all these things take place.”

    Who was Jesus speaking to when he spoke these words?
    Jesus was referring to persons who were alive at the time he spoke those words. He is recorded as referring to specific individuals who were alive and listening to his words.

  • April 29, 2016 at 1:10 am
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    If Jesus words and deeds are taken at face value in their correct historical perspective rather than in the light of what some people choose to believe about him it is clear that Jesus was expecting the world to end during his generation.

    Almost 2000 years ago Jesus came with an urgent message at the beginning of his ministry because he believed the world was going to end during his generation:

    Mark 1:14 – 15:
    “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” ”
    Jesus was urging people in his day to accept the message of the gospel that now, very soon, God was going to intervene in history and bring in his Kingdom.

    Jesus was not the only one expecting the imminent end of his age. There were teachers, prophets, and just regular ole folk who thought similarly. Among these persons was John the Baptist who baptized Jesus. Mark portrays John as a prophet in the wilderness, proclaiming the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah that God would again bring his people from the wilderness into the Promised Land (Mark 1:2-8). When this happened the first time, according to the Hebrew Scriptures, it meant destruction for the nations already inhabiting the land. In preparation for this imminent event, John baptized those who repented of their sins, that is, those who were ready to enter into this coming Kingdom. According to Luke 3:1-20 and Matthew 3:1-12, almost 2000 years ago, John preached a clear message of apocalyptic judgment to the crowds that came out to see him.

    All of this apocalyptic/end of the world preaching by Jesus and other Jews had to do with the Jews’ history. The destruction of Jerusalem and the Exile meant the disruption of life and the breaking up of institutions whose original form was never fully restored. Much of post-biblical Jewish theology and literature was influenced and sometimes governed by a hope for such a restoration: a return of the dispersed; the appearance of a Davidic heir to throw off the shackles of foreign domination and restore Israel’s sovereignty; the gathering of one people around a new and glorified Temple.

    In 539 B.C., Cyrus the Persian, the new ruler of the world, permitted the Jews to return to their land. Many thought the long-awaited restoration had arrived, but such a hope was soon dashed. … Foreign nations continued to run roughshod over the land ofIsrael: Greece, Egypt, Syria and Rome. A strange and foreboding reality therefore set in. Israel, though now returned to the Promised Land, was still in exile.

    Jews in Palestine had been under direct foreign domination for most of the eight centuries prior to the time it is said Jesus was born. The Promised Land was conquered in succession by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Syrians, and the Romans. Jews resented the idea that they were answerable to a foreign power. They were, after all, the chosen people of the one true God of Israel, the God who had agreed to protect and defend them in exchange for their devotion. This was the land that he had promised them, and for many of them it must have been more than a little distressing, both politically and religiously, to know that ultimately someone else was in charge.

    There was the belief that there would be an imminent intervention of God on behalf of his people, an intervention to be modelled on earlier acts of salvation as recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures. Quite soon, God would reassert himself and bring this world back to himself, destroying the forces of evil and establishing his people as rulers over the earth. When this new Kingdom came, God would fulfil his promises to his people. This point of view, commonly called “apocalypticism”, was an ideology that tried to make sense of the oppression of the people of God. Jewish apocalyptic thought was evident in a number of writings both in the Hebrew Bible (e.g. book of Daniel) and from other sources (e.g. Dead Sea Scrolls).

    This has been a long off-topic post, there is certainly more which I could state. I encourage you to research the history of the Jews, in particular, how Jewish apocalyptic thinking influenced the end of the world prophecies in the Bible – you may find the following resources to be useful:

    https://ad1914.com/2015/10/27/the-babylonian-exile-shaped-the-future-of-prophetic-speculation-doug-mason/

    http://www.preteristarchive.com/Books/pdf/1999_ehrman_jesus-apocalyptic-prophet.pdf

  • April 29, 2016 at 8:25 am
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    @Tracey – if you are so gung-ho for the “truth” then please explain to all of us what you are doing on a website such as this one, not only reading but commenting as well. You know very well that even though your comments are positive and are defending the Witnesses, you are in complete violation of the rules for being here.

    What congregation are you in? Do your elders know you are frequenting a well known “apostate” website and are participating in a discussion with disfellowshipped and disassociated people? You are not even supposed to speak to us.

    You have a lot of nerve coming here to “defend” the “truth” – you are a total hypocrite for being on this site – if you are still a “devout” witness.

    • April 29, 2016 at 9:10 am
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      M Saurus

      While I agree with you that Tracey is breaking the JW rules, isn’t that what we really want? Of course, we are not interested in trolls, but I believe (so far) that Tracey is sincere, and this might be the first step in the waking up process. Many of us have been there, trying to defend the indefensible. My hope is that something will click one day and she will begin to understand the control she is under, and she can make a decision to make her way from the indoctrinating influence which have affected so many. It is not easy, with so many family and friends to consider, and this is indeed the real glue that keeps so many attached to the organization.

      We continue to welcome Tracey and many others who are still inside the organization, and will keep an open dialogue with such persons.

      Cheers
      JR

      • April 29, 2016 at 10:51 am
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        Excellent point John Redwood. “Trying to defend the indefensible.” That’s almost a necessary requirement in order to wake up. Once we realize it cannot be done (unless you completely ignore reason and logic) then we are ready to start looking at the truth about the “truth” with an open mind.

        WS

        • April 29, 2016 at 11:02 am
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          JR – yes, if she is having doubts, looking for kindred spirits, etc here then of course she is welcome. Even if she is not, she’s still welcome, I’m sure.

          She is defending it, though – and in not such a nice way in some of her posts. Maybe she is defending it to herself subconsciously.

          I am just asking her to explain why, if she is really still a devout JW, she thinks it’s ok to come here. Most others here who are still “in” are in for their own reasons but still agree that it’s BS. Tracey seems to still really be in and is still drinking the Kool Aid.

          No offense to anyone. Just would like her justification.

          • April 29, 2016 at 11:55 am
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            M Saurus,

            Waking up from JW indoctrination (and we know just how brutal JW indoctrination can be) is a process with a time span that varies from person to person – for some persons it takes years for them to deprogram themselves, for others it takes months.

            The first step in the process is
            trying to defend the indefensible a.k.a. Cognitive Dissonance:

            People try to defend the indefensible when they are cornered and the fear of being proved wrong starts to well up inside them. People get confused with facts, as it unsettles them and creates extreme cognitive dissonance. This cognitive dissonance then needs to be settled. Most people end up using confirmation bias to reaffirm their original view. We hold onto our cherished beliefs for dear life, because the thought that we might have been wrong can be too much to bear.

  • April 29, 2016 at 11:16 am
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    @Lara West – you said “If it was men that I serve then I wouldnt be able to express myself in this manner…”

    You do know, don’t you, that you are NOT free to express yourself? That you would be in real trouble in your congregation if your beloved spirit-inspired elders knew you were on this site? Do you know how quickly they would turn on you if they heard you express the views you have here – never mind that it’s a site they absolutely forbid you to be on?

  • April 30, 2016 at 9:13 pm
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    This article from Examiner appears heavily skewed, almost to the point where I’d easily believe (based on the way it’s written) that someone from the Writing Committee in Bethel had a hand in composing it. How many writers/journos use scriptures to defend their article? Almost every major news site has been hyperlinked to show the “false rumours, lies, heated debates” argument.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/prince-s-religious-beliefs-false-rumors-lies-heated-debates

    Does anyone know if Ruth Houston is a witness, or is associated with them in some way?

  • May 1, 2016 at 4:14 pm
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    Each time I see the words ‘why don’t you be true to yourself’ I roll my eyes and I cringe. What one person calls being true to oneself isn’t the way another person will call being true to oneself. Some times I get the feeling the person saying ‘why don’t you be true to yourself’ is very selfish and might as well say, “oh, why don’t you just go and get a divorce and seperate from family and friends?” “Be true to yourself.” That can be the reasoning of a me monster.

    • May 2, 2016 at 9:06 am
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      Sometimes you are better off in the long run without the so-called “family and friends” – what type of family and friends are they that are only family and friends if you are a JW? They would never speak to you again if you express any doubts about the truth or decide to leave the org. Again, not worth keeping.

      • May 3, 2016 at 9:56 am
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        The only family I have.

        • May 3, 2016 at 10:14 am
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          I meant to say, – what kind of family are they? You ask. My answer – The only family I have and I accept them for the way they are. I’m not willing to lose them over a stupid religion. I can agree to disagree. I understand I don’t need to be upset. I understand they have their limitations because they aren’t awake. I don’t hate them. I understand them. I’m on this web site because it makes me feel better. It feels good to be normal. I really don’t have any complaints and I’m not mad. I’m really not. People on this web site are AWESOME. I have received much help by being here. I don’t feel hate but it is an interesting experience for me now that I am awake. I feel relieved. I’m so glad, thankful, happy I’m not alone. This is an interesting, fulfilling journey for me now. I feel like we have become adults and they are children because they are indoctrinated. I love them I don’t resent them or hate them. I am sorry I didn’t mean to be so negative in my first post. It felt good to express myself but I meant so much more than what I wrote. I find insightful people on this site. I enjoy it so much I felt like making a comment. That’s awesome.

    • May 2, 2016 at 10:13 am
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      You are correct ClosetApostate. The expression, “why don’t you be true to yourself” seems to be a little flippant considering what could happen to you. Breaking from this religion is like a divorce from family if a person were brought up in this religion. I truly feel for those who are in that situation. It must be like not waking up from a nightmare. I wasn’t raised in this religion, but it cost me a great deal of pain in the form of divorce from my ex-wife.

      However, in America we say, “Freedom isn’t free!” Freedom may cost someone life itself. Just read up on what happened to the heretics of the middle ages. They spoke their mind and got burned at the stake for breaking from the central church dogma of that time. Freedom of religion (and maybe from a mind-control cult in this case) may cost someone a great deal of pain. It’s what you are willing to bear to have that freedom. It takes a lot of bravery to stand up against tyranny like the GB and local Kingdom Hall leaders.

  • May 1, 2016 at 8:09 pm
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    Prince was baptized in 2003. Could you see any of us not being disfellowshipped for a proformance like this? At least taken to the spiritual woodshed…(Purple Rain)Superbowl Halftime Performance – Prince – Veoh
    http://www.veoh.com/…XGYhx25k?h1=(Purple+Rain)Superbowl

  • May 10, 2016 at 7:27 am
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    Figini Andrea Bustos · Monday, May 9, 2016
    Religious suffering is, on the one hand, the expression of real misery and, on the other hand, the protest against real misery. Religion is the sigh of the beleaguered creature, the soul of a heartless world state, because it is the spirit of the states of soul devoid of spirit. Religion is the opium of the people.
    Karl Marx
    Really I embarrassed by a story that I wanted to investigate to corroborate if it really was true. very prestigious newspapers around the world talk about this issue and certainly it made me think even more where was standing in the religious organization to which I belonged for 42 years Jehovah’s Witnesses. No offense to anyone because I recognize that there are very good people who really have a noble spirit and I still consider them as my friends and I remember with great affection there in that religion, but to see and understand certain things that happen in there you have to have a very open mind and realize what really happens, and when you realize the things you do wrong and often one is reprimanded by point them, they tell you you’re not good mentally and you do notice in the cruelest way, ie: use your faith and the Bible to mistreat and so take away the so-called “privileges” that they give you, (if you got a good economic move the privilege you will be in line to). It goes without saying the psychological harassment to which you can become a victim, since the tildarte well, friends and family you have in religion deviate from one or take away, because of course there is one who is wrong “spiritually “and always note the inconsistencies which is persuaded to believe that he is guilty before God and frowned. thus leaving indelible imprints and emotional wounds. Many who read this will say that I am an apostate as stated within the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but in reality they have and conceal more serious things I write this text and to cover use mental and emotional manipulation both as to the degree of maneuver information provided to its followers and choose which things you say and what not; thus being silent under a joint pact silence. I wonder and personally knowing and having lived the customs and moral demands strict and conservative as Jehovah’s Witness, what is this? Knowing how people live in the world of music and entertainment, life that takes is not at all according to what I was taught as a Jehovah’s Witness because it is full of excesses, then why are you allowed this person? Jehovah’s Witnesses are very strict about dress, manners, ways of speaking and that the only way to socialize for a Witness is only with those who share their faith alone. And Prince being Jehovah’s Witness was giving recitals and appearance in them at all followed the rules or standards taught in this religion, it is to be made to identify with a symbol that saves a lot of resemblance to the community “transsexual” (something totally disowned by them, although they say they are not homophobic) then I ask again, why the Lord Rogers Nelson (Prince), had these inducements not be censured or expelled from the Jehovah’s Witness religion? He Did Coronita for being a person of fame and money? Whoever reads this may be a Jehovah’s Witness and try to justify by all means it is not so, because here and where I happened to meet being Jehovah’s Witnesses in my hometown Rosario, Santa Fe, saw and palpated very close as there is within the congregations certain families in the style of mafias, which have economic and social spending high, they make their shenanigans and money plugged ALL and are untouchable, so using INFLUENCES within the Congregation to tilt the balance always in your favor, not those rebukes are required punctiliously or anything, but the ordinary publisher would make good step and at the slightest slip or expel you decry and quickly. And unfortunately many in the congregation know a lot of those Elders and Fear not speak, keep quiet or inculcate the catchphrase: NOT YOUR PROBLEM. I have witnessed how influential people have their shady business, have abused physically and verbally their wives and children, have divorced and justified for no apparent reason your wife / husband, and then you saw them and see today discoursing in the Assemblies as Great Lords and cynically spoke and continue to speak of Love, honesty, loyalty and have the nerve to go out and preach from house to house etc. They even provide an excuse that God is Loveand forgive all and therefore restore them again as great people within the congregation. I ask again: Prince was not ashamed go out and preach knowing that his conduct was not entirely honorable or rather did not conform to the dogmas of religion? Or rather not you guilty conscience? There are some issues that Jehovah’s Witnesses Insist Much: The Moral Life, The Rich overmuch be, ostentation of livelihood, and not acquire Fame (as these things are considered by them as acts of Idolatry) as well as care to make another stumble by your conduct. And in the case of Singer Prince his life locked up all this: dubious moral life, covert addictions, an ostentatious life and riddled with known excesses by all means show, parties and social gatherings luxurious, then again I wonder: why was accepted as JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES?
    Evidently the fame and money gave the renowned singer many more freedoms and permissions within that faith. Something for the Jehovah’s Witness but ordinary faithful always be forbidden.
    For my bad lived experience as a Jehovah’s Witness, I stopped believing in God rather than make an effort and do not believe in what the Bible says, some people who surrounded me showed me the worst side of religion and suffered much disappointment which I believe will never recover.
    BE FREE AND BE IN PEACE WITH SELF IS THE BEST CHOICE
    The fact of the matter is: Biblical Statements Rules and are only applicable to those followers who do not think much fanaticism?
    My conclusion Coherent is: “That in the end everyone has their own truth, the lives and adapts as you like, as in this particular case, and once again, the money given to those who have it in their power how to use it to go unpunished and well regarded. ”
    … Christianity teaches men a double life and provides the imaginary joys of heaven as a solace for real miseries of this life.
    Karl Marx
    Article by: Andrea Fabiana Bustos FiginiNewspaper Links attest on the life of Prince Rogers Nelson and linking as Jehovah’s Witness

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3557897/Pictured-Prince-Jehovah-s-Witness-conference-guitar-star-brought-faith-sitting-side.html

    http://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/christianity/vatican-and-jehovahs-witness-hall-mourn-princes-death

    http://www.nytimes.com/es/2016/05/06/el-ultimo-secreto-de-prince-su-adiccion-a-los-analgesicos/ http://time.com/4303703/prince- dead-jehovahs-witness /

    http://www.inquisitr.com/3023366/jehovahs-witness-church-releases-statement-about-princes-death-plus-a-retrospective-on-the-history-between-the-church-and-its-most-famous-witness/

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-prince-jehovah-20160424-story.html

  • May 16, 2016 at 6:26 am
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    I read that a memorial service was held at the KH for Prince this weekend. Some members of his band attended as did hundreds of Witnesses….. It was closed to media and public.

  • May 16, 2016 at 8:42 am
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    LOVEONEANOTHER 4 THE TRUE AND LIVING ONE IS LOVE…..
    How can we say we love oneanother when out of our mouths come words to attack???

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