grinchIn 1957, the acclaimed children’s author Dr. Seuss penned an instant classic, a beloved tale of a grumpy green monster whose shoes and heart were too small or too tight to tolerate the evil holiday known as Christmas. Oh the commercialism, the singing, the stockings, the gifts…it was just too much, and he had to stop it.

The Grinch was his name; ending Christmas was his game.

As the story unfolds, Mr Grinch schemes to impersonate Santa Claus, dresses his dog as a reindeer, then sets off with his sled on a mission to take back all the presents that Santa worked so hard to distribute. Just like that, Christmas was gone. Or was it?

While hauling all the gifts to the top of a nearby mountain, the Grinch heard something he was not expecting – singing! He heard the sound of joy and happiness, despite the fact that he had stolen everything – the stockings, the bicycles, the popcorn, the drums, even the Christmas tree!

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so? It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! – “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!”

In the end, the Grinch had an awakening, a revelation that enlarged his heart and enabled him to see that the holiday he once hated so badly was not so bad after all, and he finally understood what it meant to the community. He gave back all the stolen gifts, rejoined his community, and even carved the Christmas meal with his new friends.

It is sometimes said that life imitates art, and for millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses past and present, there was a modern-day Grinch who stole Christmas from their lives. Only this time the Grinch stayed the Grinch.

If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you are among a unique group of people who have transitioned greatly over the past century. Within your own lifetime you might not have seen radical change. But viewed historically, the organization has morphed into a highly controlling religious hierarchy that has banned nearly every celebration commonly accepted in our civilized world. The penalty for celebrating Christmas or any other holiday is severe: complete banishment from association and friendship with all other Jehovah’s Witnesses.

This may not seem significant to the great majority of mankind, but if most of your family and friends are Witnesses, let me assure you the punishment is devastating.

Why did this happen?

In the late 1800s, a man by the name of Charles Taze Russell initiated a religious movement that was based on an ultra-literal interpretation of the Bible. Despite the fact that “Pastor” Russell had no advanced schooling, no theological training, and no education in Hebrew or Greek, he was able to parlay his business earnings into the printing and distribution of an endless stream of books and magazines focusing on the return of Jesus to invisible authority over the Earth. Once initiated, this “Bible Student” movement became self-perpetuating – collecting dollars, real estate and admirers as the years progressed.

One of those admirers was a man by the name of Robert H. Barber.

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ROBERT H. BARBER – THE GRINCH

For matters of clarification, Barber is not to be confused with Nelson Barbour (the Adventist once associated with Russell) or Carey Barber (deceased member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses)

There is limited information available regarding R.H. Barber, but we do know that he became a loyal follower of Charles Taze Russell by the turn of the 20th century, writing glowing reviews of Russell’s books. These letters to Russell were published in the pages of the Watchtower.

Barber apparently made quite an impression on Russell, and just before Russell’s death in 1916 he was listed among key public speakers at the July 1916 Newport Rhode Island convention of Bible Students. He shared the platform with A.H. Macmillan, C.J. Woodworth, R.J. Martin, W.E. Van Amburgh and other well-known Bible Student speakers and writers.

Barber managed to survive the turmoil that ensued following Russell’s death in 1916 and the subsequent takeover by attorney Joseph F. Rutherford. In fact, at the annual meeting held January 4th 1919, R.H. Barber received the 3rd highest number of votes for an elected officer of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract society, eclipsed only by C.A. Wise and the Watchtower president himself, J.F. Rutherford. Clearly Barber was becoming an influential presence within the organization.

On October 1st 1919, two of Barber’s colleagues (mentioned earlier), Clayton J. Woodworth and Robert J. Martin began publishing a new magazine called The Golden Age (now titled Awake!). This journal served to supplement The Watchtower, examining both current events and politics along with doctrinal opinions.

The Golden Age magazine became an added platform for Barber, who was already touring the United States, gaining steam as the organization continued to grow. In 1924, the Watchtower organization added a radio station to its list of assets, and R.H. Barber became a regular preacher, delivering broadcast sermons such as “Why is the World Still Unconverted and Who is to Blame?” and “The Real Christian and the Hypocrite.”

By 1928, Joseph Rutherford had become nearly as prolific a writer as Charles Taze Russell, but he was not satisfied with just publishing his doctrinal and political opinions; he became obsessed with organizational allegiance and separating the Bible Students/Watchtower adherents from the mainstream religions of Christendom. If C. T. Russell had been thought of as a religious cult leader, J.F. Rutherford took it to a whole new level. And his right hand man R.H. Barber was about to change the lives of every person ever associated with, or descended from, the Jehovah’s Witness organization.

As declared in the Jehovah’s Witness organization’s most recent history summary titled “God’s Kingdom Rules!,” R.H. Barber delivered a speech in December 1928 that officially condemned the celebration of Christmas as an unchristian, pagan celebration inspired by Satan, and used as a tool to dishonor God and his Son. From this point forward it would no longer be considered acceptable to take part in this celebration or any related festivities. In fact, page 102 of this 2014 JW history book displays a photo of the final Christmas celebration at Brooklyn headquarters.

Seated prominently at the end of one of the long tables is the Grinch himself, R.H. Barber (circled, by Watchtower, in the image below from the God’s Kingdom Rules book).

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Further embedding the ban on Christmas permanently into Jehovah’s Witness theology was The Golden Age article published on December 12th 1928. The article was titled “Christmas, Its Origin and Purpose.”

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R.H. Barber denounces Christmas in the December 1928 Golden Age magazine

 

THE INFLUENCE OF ALEXANDER HISLOP

Much has been said about the differences in belief between Charles Taze Russell and his successor J. F. Rutherford, but one quality they shared was a singular hatred for the teachings of the Catholic Church.

12431341_1746487675570153_2044291449_nThe origin of much of this disdain for the Catholic Church and its practices stemmed from the writings of a man by the name of Alexander Hislop (1807-1865). Hislop was a Scottish minister known for his denunciation of the Catholic Church, and whose most notable work was the book titled The Two Babylons, The Papal Worship Proved to Be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife.

The Two Babylons was originally published as a pamphlet; then by 1919 it had emerged as a 330-page book, complete with illustrations. This book served as the touchstone for a multitude of Jehovah’s Witness teachings, including the elimination of the cross and the ban on holidays such as Christmas and Easter. It was considered so important to Jehovah’s Witnesses that the organization bought thousands of copies and received permission to sell and distribute the book, which they did all the way through to 1986.

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The JW connection to Hislop has not gone unnoticed by the religious community at large. In 2014 the website steadfastlutherans.com criticized the exaggerated claims of Hislop, pointing the finger at Jehovah’s Witnesses for adopting his questionable research:

The 40 day fast does not come from the so-called “weeping of Tammuz” as claimed by the radical anti-Roman Catholic writer Alexander Hislop in his book The Two Babylons. Hislop made up myths and connections out of thin air because of his hatred for Roman Catholicism. Hislop’s views were adopted whole cloth by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who continued to republish Hislop’s book until 1987. Hislop’s book was cited in 22 different issues of the Jehovah’s Witnesses periodical The Watchtower from 1950 to 1978, and several times in the 1980s. From 1989 the Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped referring to Hilsop’s book, but they have kept Hislop’s teaching and use other sources.

 

CHRISTMAS AND YOU

The history of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christmas might seem interesting to some, yet completely useless to others. The background only matters if it matters to you.

It matters to me, but not by choice. In the mid 1960s my parents had just married, and by 1967, the year of my birth, they had been converted to the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This meant that I never experienced a Christmas tree, Christmas gifts, or any of the holiday traditions associated with December 25th. I was instructed as a child to declare that the celebration of Christmas was “against my religion.” This, along with the complete abstinence from all other holidays including Easter, Halloween, and the innocuous Thanksgiving Day rendered me an instant outcast from my classmates. I was different, and R.H. Barber was to blame. And Hislop. And Rutherford.

By the time I reached middle and high school, I was expected to deliver a well-rehearsed explanation for why I would not engage in any holiday celebrations, not even politely wishing my classmates a Merry Christmas or Seasons Greetings, as this would compromise the faith that was delivered to me every year in the form of a Watchtower or Awake! article condemning every notable and enjoyable annual holiday.

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I was baptized in 1984, the year Jehovah’s Witnesses declared (yet again) that “this generation” would not pass away until all Bible prophecies about “the end” were fulfilled. By the end of that year the Watchtower had driven yet another spike into Christmas, declaring it a “dangerous” holiday.

In retrospect, I never really thought of Christmas as dangerous. In fact, I secretly admired the ritual nature of Christmas, as it seemed somewhat joyful and positive, and not god-dishonoring at all. To the extent that I was able, I enjoyed Christmas music and Christmas themed movies. Was this a secret sin? I suppose it was, according to the Grinch.

When I had moved into my first apartment, I discovered Frank Capra’s classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which I watched with no remorse. And music? Well I admit I liked Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” and Elmo N’ Patsy’s comical “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.”

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE GRINCH?

It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly 90 years since Jehovah’s Witnesses banned Christmas from the list of approved activities. The Grinch, Mr. Barber is long gone, along with all the men who agreed to this travesty and perversion of normal behavior. Yet the inertia of this belief continues, and in its December 15th 2015 issue, the Watchtower magazine has once again slung its arrows at Santa Claus and the Catholic Church. It does not appear that the Governing Body will be erecting a Christmas tree at the new Warwick compound anytime soon.

So, what is the solution? Dr. Seuss might just be able to provide the answer. When the Grinch was about to destroy all of the Christmas gifts, he paused for just a second and listened to the distant sound of singing coming from the townspeople of Who-Ville. He had stopped and used his mind just long enough to understand that Christmas was not evil, and it was not about the gifts. It was about life, and family, and the common bond of humanity.

He was cured.

From everyone at JW Survey, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

 

 

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This article was slated to be posted much earlier, but unfortunately we had to do some important maintenance work to JWsurvey over the holiday period, which took longer than expected. I’d like to thank you all for your patience during the “downtime” while we worked to get JWsurvey back up and running, and I heartily join John in wishing all our readers every happiness for 2016! – Lloyd

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.

142 thoughts on “How the Watchtower Stole Christmas

  • December 31, 2015 at 1:17 pm
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    I have this year enjoyed having my first ever Christmas as an adult. I spent 30 years not celebrating as a jw. Left org about 4 years ago to support my autistic gay son. This year I decided to ‘make a stand’ for freedom!! My jw family were unimpressed but tolerated it. I think they decided not to tell anyone in cong to keep me out of trouble. My son is a mini servant, reg pioneer and active on volunteer building program. My daughter is married to a min servant, reg pio etc etc my husband attends meetings occasionally. It seems like they’ve listened when I’ve said I just want to get on with my life. I think they remember how we struggled for all those years trying to measure up yet not receiving any support.
    What’s not to like about pretty twinkling lights, half a ton of chocolate and presents for loved ones? I’ve loved every minute and think my husband has too on the quiet! Happy 2016!!

    • December 31, 2015 at 2:43 pm
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      Good stuff…

    • December 31, 2015 at 2:53 pm
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      I read your comment and I couldn’t stop myself from telling you how happy I am to hear you accepted your son for who he is. For a while there, some were trying to label me autistic too, but they concluded I was just out of the ordinary and left me alone. However, after going through many struggles, I emmerged happier than I have ever been. So blessings from my behalf.

  • December 31, 2015 at 1:41 pm
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    The truth comes out! Thanks for this piece John!

    I too grew up a JW kid and can relate completely. I spent a large portion of my childhood sitting in the hallway while my classmates enjoyed themselves during holiday activities. It was a miserable experience for me and I still resent Watchtower when I think about it. At least I can give my daughter the holiday fun I missed out on.

  • December 31, 2015 at 2:03 pm
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    In fairness, Christmas is pagan. But its real sin is being very silly. Grown adults wearing paper crowns at dinner pretending to have ‘fun’ is embarrassing. Its an excuse for ‘retail therapy’ and shopping and excesses. Yet most people seem to go for it. Each to his own.
    Taking a self-righteous ‘stand’ against it is just attention-seeking and by ostracising each JW child it serves to drive kids deeper into the organisation. Once out of the cult what do you do now? You know that Christmas is all just about selling you more junk that you don’t need.
    One can always quietly ignore it.

    • January 1, 2016 at 5:18 am
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      I must say I’ve never liked Christmas and that part of the cult identity closely aligned with my authentic self.

      However now I’m out of the cult, I don’t have to be a nob to my family about it. It’s good to see people who do like Christmas enjoy themselves and know their kids are having fun.

    • January 1, 2016 at 9:32 am
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      Totally agree with you. I can see how it is great for the kids, but grown up people really should understand it is just a very commercial money making time for the shops. After all a good time can be had any time during the year. I certainly dont wait till xmas to have friends round for a get together or party.

    • January 2, 2016 at 8:20 pm
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      “Christmas is pagan” is a facile and superlicious statement with no value in today’s world, outside of evangelical oppression.

      Each of us has our own opinion about Christmas, and each of us chooses if and how we will observe the holiday. Whatever one chooses is simply a personal preference; a choice that is on par with whether or not one would like a scoop of ice cream with one’s pie. :)

    • January 5, 2016 at 8:09 am
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      Yes, one can choose to quietly ignore it. Or choose to go whole-hog. Or choose something in the middle. Or choose to treat it as a religious occasion, or choose to treat it as a pagan one. The key is the word ‘choose’. Choice & the freedom to live how suits you best. That’s the beauty & joy of being human.

      Choice – the cult hates that. So they dig around for & scrape up some scriptures to suit their agenda of denying their minions the basic freedom of choice, which is all that the JW cult is about: control, to bring in money to the corporation. Nothing more. Just another sleazy, money-grubbing, high-control cult.

  • December 31, 2015 at 2:04 pm
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    Well done!

  • December 31, 2015 at 2:04 pm
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    From a contemporary review of ‘The Two Babylons’ (‘The Saturday Review’ September 17th, 1859):

    “In the first place, his whole superstructure is raised upon nothing. Our earliest authority for the history of Semiramis wrote about the commencement of the Christian era, and the historian from whom he drew his information lived from fifteen hundred to two thousand years after the date which Mr. Hislop assigns to the great Assyrian Queen. The most lying legend which the Vatican has ever endorsed stands on better authority than the history which is now made the ground of a charge against it.
    “Secondly, the whole argument proceeds upon the assumption that all heathenism has a common origin.  Accidental resemblance in mythological details are taken as evidence of this, and nothing is allowed for the natural working of the human mind.
    “Thirdly, Mr. Hislop’s reasoning would make anything of anything.  By the aid of obscure passages in third-rate historians, groundless assumptions of identity, and etymological torturing of roots, all that we know, and all that we believe, may be converted … into something totally different.
    “Fourthly, Mr. Hislop’s argument proves too much.  He finds not only the corruptions of Popery, but the fundamental articles of the Christian Faith, in his hypothetical Babylonian system…
    “We take leave of Mr. Hislop and his work with the remark that we never before quite knew the folly of which ignorant or half-learned bigotry is capable.”

    • January 2, 2016 at 8:12 am
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      I have the book ‘The two Babylons’. Never even opened it’s pages… my ex bought it me when I first started to study. Maybe I will take a look at it now… could do with a good giggle.

    • January 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm
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      All you have to do is replace “Mr. Hislop” with “WTS”, “GB”, “Tight Pants Tony” or whatever in reference to the JW destructive cult, and it will come out the same. Try it!

  • December 31, 2015 at 2:24 pm
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    I grew up as a Catholic and loved Christmas. When my husband and I were studying, I had to tell my little daughter of 5 who believed in Santa Claus that he did not exist and that Christmas was a lie. That absolutely broke my heart and to this day was one of the hardest things I have had to partake in.

    It immediately alienated us from our worldly families. Yes, it truly was a Grinch, the Watchtower Society. I never really fell for all that pagan stuff anyway. The Feast of Saturnalia, so what? Why was our calendar so set up by the birth of Jesus if the event was so unimportant and not to be remembered?

    I knew in my heart that Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem under very unusual circumstances so that I believe it would never be forgotten. And that night the shepherds saw the night sky of angels singing and directing them to the child. What a blessed sight!

    How important that the Savior of all mankind was born to fix all mankind wrongs with God. What is so wrong with that? Watchtower turned it into a miserable suspicious event. It had been shown in the Bible as an extremely joyous occasion and yet they minimised it’s beauty and played it down. How disgusting. How would God have felt about that? And that is why we never felt right about ignoring it. All the other churches did. Jehovah’s Witnesses were the only ones who didn’t. So not very Christian! Actually, very unChristian. There is nothing wrong with remembering Jesus and bringing family together to celebrate it. Notice in those countries where it is not celebrated there is strife.

    • January 1, 2016 at 7:30 am
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      @Meredith J
      Great points and thanks for sharing your personal experience.

      It seems that the Watchtower picks and chooses which pagan things to ban and which are okay – wedding rings, piñatas, and even the days of the week come to mind. They once stated that a pagan origin was only an issue if it was still regarded as such by the world around us. No one thinks of Saturnalia on Dec 25. Nearly everyone thinks of the birth of Christ.

      To your point, most of the teachings about Christmas are accurate from scripture. Is it really a major issue of the date is not exact or precise? God’s angels celebrated the birth of the Savior, why shouldn’t it be commemorated?

      As the article and your comment bring out: the ban on Christmas only served to further isolate JWs from their families and friends giving the Organization tighter control.

      WS

  • December 31, 2015 at 2:26 pm
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    I hope one of these day’s God bans the JW’s right to breathe. What an annoying bunch of bores they are, them along with the muzzies.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and a great 4th of July celebrating Old Glory. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

    • December 31, 2015 at 8:05 pm
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      LOL

      • January 1, 2016 at 1:58 am
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        LOL too — How true — Rules & Regulations up the ‘wazoo’. Religious Freedom? — More like living in a Straight-Jacket!

  • December 31, 2015 at 2:35 pm
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    I think Christmas should be made to include the birthday of Isaac Newton, the father of modern science. Born December 25, 1642. And people can include science-related gifts. To me that’s a holiday worth celebrating ;)

    • January 1, 2016 at 2:02 am
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      Totally agree. & people might actually learn something useful.

    • January 1, 2016 at 6:17 pm
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      It,s mine too, so feel free to celebrate,hihi

  • December 31, 2015 at 2:39 pm
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    So that was the reason for the problems on this site. Just some maintenance. Oh well, it has to be done. Thanks for the article John Redwood and the care and attention you take with keeping this site going Cedars, er I mean Lloyd.

  • December 31, 2015 at 2:50 pm
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    Great article John and very informative.

    I was robbed of all Holidays by this counterfeit religion when my parents were baptized back in 1959 and 1960 respectively.

    All of the mocking and abuse small children suffer by their peers for not joining in the festivities can be heartrending but can not compared to the blank stares one receives when they are forced to excuse themselves from the office Christmas party where your clients expect you to be there. But it will make “Jehovah’s heart glad”, as I was reminded by my parents. Yeah, right. I wonder how much advancement in my career was lost, along with significant increases in salary, that this Grinch like position cost me.

    Since leaving this “time bandit” cult several years ago, along with my wife and son, we have celebrated all the holidays. We have even purchased a pre-lit Christmas tree and decorated the house, both inside and out. And guess what; I don’t feel guilty or ashamed at all. I’m just sorry I missed out on all my other friends and family who I managed to take no notice of during this joyous time of the year.

    So like the Grinch and Ebeneezer Scrooge I say to everyone, “a Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!”

    • January 1, 2016 at 1:49 am
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      If the Grinch & Scrooge could come around, what the h*** is the WT Corp waiting for?

  • December 31, 2015 at 3:20 pm
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    nada nos persigue en este camino libre desde que mi pareja y yo salimos de alli
    se esfumaron todos los mitos despues de casi dos años de aire puro
    la realidad de la humanidad asi patas para arriba como esta es mas pasable que ese campo de concentracion
    nos ocupamos de curarnos nos tenemos mucha paciencia los rayones en el alma sangran aun
    tenemos casi entera la familia dentro aun eso nos mantiene equilibrados son niños y adolescentes adultos debemos poder ser de ayuda
    nunca habiamos disfrutado tanto de desearle un feliz año a nuestros vecinos abrazarse en la navidad con amigos
    feliz navidad feliz año nuevo Lloyd!!! que el 2016 sea lo que mas deseamos
    millones de agradecimientos de los dos has sido una gran compañia este año!!!
    FELICIDADES PARA TODOSSS!!

  • December 31, 2015 at 3:49 pm
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    Great article, John! Oh, let’s not forget that Jesus supposedly arrived invisible up to 10 years before the grand revelation of “pagan” xmas – gee, if Jesus thought it was ok, what was their problem? So stupid….

    • December 31, 2015 at 4:25 pm
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      @ Darlene. I think in 1928 when the WT was still celebrating Christmas they still believe Jesus had arrived in 1874 so that would mean for 54 years prior to that Jesus was OK with the WY celebrating Christmas at Bethel despite the fact that he had come “INVISIBLY”? I guess it wasn’t important enough for Jesus to care enough to straighten them all out! Happy New year from SF California!

      Let’s hope this year many more will “AWAKEN” to the real Cold Hearted mean, hateful WT org.

    • December 31, 2015 at 11:16 pm
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      Great article!
      I’m reminded of Romans 14:5, 6: “One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind. Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, yet he thanks God.”

      As per scripture, if someone wants to observe Dec 25 as a day to commemorate Christ that’s there choice and if not that’s their choice too. We are not to judge anyone for their choice in this regard.

      WS

      • January 1, 2016 at 3:15 pm
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        Nice reasoning.

    • January 1, 2016 at 7:40 am
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      @Darlene,
      Great point. If Christmas is so evil why wouldn’t it have been necessary for the Wathtower to reject it BEFORE Jesus supposedly chose them as his special organization?
      WS

  • December 31, 2015 at 4:08 pm
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    Christmas can be a complexed time.
    There can be no doubt that it is based on a pagan festival, some people genuinely feel uncomfortable with those aspects and not nessersery (ly) because of Watchtower, others do.
    Is it right for a so called Christian religion to point out the pagan origins of Christmas, yes I believe it is right to do so, should it have a big stick?, no.
    Regardless of the religious aspects of Christmas I personally still feel uncomfortable with the celebration of Christmas because of the peer pressure, the manipulation from the retail sector and what basically, in many cases, is forced giving which in my opinion is another form of indoctrination.
    However, though I do not celebrate Christmas I can still see the joy it brings to certain people and out of respect for another’s beliefs I’m quite happy to buy them gifts:-) put simply who gives a shit?
    If you do you do and if you don’t you don’t but for God sake don’t be controlled X

  • December 31, 2015 at 5:58 pm
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    Did not particularly enjoy this article. Why would someone care when getting out of one religion they thought the truth, to jump into the relics of another? Seems irrelevant to the purpose of this website. Shall we talk about how JWs took away birthdays and so forth too? The article was noble in its history lesson, but lacking in appeal and purpose.

    • December 31, 2015 at 6:55 pm
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      Freddy, thank you for being honest. I am sure this article is not for everyone. The history might seem sleepy and dated. However we believe that knowledge of how Jehovah’s Witnesses came to incorporate such beliefs into their religion is vitally important. Most JWs skim over their own history and attribute their beliefs to “new light”.

      This article was aimed at demonstrating how influential a few core JW leaders were, and how they themselves were influenced by books and materials which the governing body has now abandoned completely. It is important for current JWs to understand this; it is a critical part of the awakening process.

      The chief editor of this website would not have published the article had it not been in sync with the goals of JW Survey.

      Remember, when engaging critical thinking skills, we must always ask WHY. I hope that some active JWs read this and ask themselves the real reasons they are banned from the celebration of so many holidays, including Christmas.

      If one person wakes up, its appeal and purpose will be evident.

      JR

      • December 31, 2015 at 11:43 pm
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        I enjoyed this article immensely and I found the history of the Watchtower particularly interesting!
        First, I do feel totally ‘ripped off’, just like the author of the article. I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and I missed so much association with my “Worldly relatives” as well as school mates and friends because of this stupid prohibition on a wonderful and happy celebration. Not to mention my own family did nothing special on Christmas so we all have no particular memories of those times (except for me sneaking in a few Christmas shows that I loved)
        The history was very interesting and eye-opening to me as well! I had never really thought about the little minions trying to get prominence and prestige inside of that twisted cult. It was just some small-minded, loud-mouth who came up with an idea that Christmas was bad. He probably went to his lonely grave, smug with the thought that he destroyed a huge holiday for all of the little JW children. He is totally forgotten by everyone except that now we know who to blame for this travesty.
        If this information could be brought out to practicing JWs, I’m sure that it would be a real wake-up call for them!
        Thank you for this great and applicable article! I really enjoyed it!

  • December 31, 2015 at 8:14 pm
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    I have never been a Witness, though I have been accused many times of having been one for various reasons, not the least of which is the sight of two shelves full of Watchtower literature, or that I adopt the lingo when discussing matters with them, so I cannot really relate to having Christmas stolen from me. But, I have something to share on the subject after considerable study of the issue.

    One other argument against Christmas I have seen was that Jesus wasn’t born on that day, or even in December at all. But, as a result of my research I came to learn that the claims about a December birth for Jesus may not have been wrong after all!

    Claims that Jesus would have been born in summer or fall I learned could not be right because before modern times the area where the shepherds were had little to no pasturage for sheep during those times. That means there would have been no shepherds in the fields at night, watching over their flocks. They would have been in the towns where they actually could care for the sheep due to lack of pasturage.

    The only times when shepherds could have been in the fields by night would have been when there was pasturage, and that was during the winter and spring months. So, it comes down to being between spring or winter. Any claims for a fall or summer birth I found to be false.

    Now, that being said, I also learned that there were two times a year when the course of Abia would be engaging in temple service, and one of the times is unimportant and needn’t be mentioned because it would have led to a birth in fall.

    The one that seems to fit the bill for the anticipation of Zacharias’s delay in coming out of the temple would have been the week of the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur. That was in the equivalent of the last week of September at the time, and was the other time when the course of Abia served in the temple.

    We find that the sixth month of pregnancy for Elizabeth is mentioned when Gabriel is said to have appeared to Mary. Six months from the last week of September is the last week of March. If we add nine months to that, we get the last weeks of December! That means that Jesus was actually born in the last part of the month of December.

    I also leaned that the objection that it would have been too cold also falls flat. The region where the shepherds were in the fields was warmer than the hill country, there would have been pasturage for the sheep and the shepherds would have been in the fields at night, and there was a climatic phenomenon that was occurring during that same period of time, and a fortuitous situation at that time, referred to as the Roman Warm Period or Roman Climate Anomaly. It would have been much warmer at that time than most people have thought in the past about the region.

    So, whether one believes in Christ or not, it is more likely than not that he was born on or around the day it has long been said in early Christian tradition that he was born. Merry Christmas, all!

    • January 1, 2016 at 7:56 am
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      @D. Charles Pyle,
      Thanks for that well thought out explanation. Could you share some of the sources of your data with us?

      As a side point I once recall someone from the platform saying that “we know Jesus was 33-1/2 when he died and he died in the spring, so if we count back 6 months he must have been born in the fall.”

      Even at that time when I was still fully indoctrinated I recall thinking the logic was flawed. The Bible does not tell us Jesus exact age at the time of his death. It only tells us his age when he started his ministry stating “about 30.” About 30 doesn’t mean on his 30th birthday. In reality it means he could have been 29 or 31. No exact number is given.

      WS

      • January 3, 2016 at 8:44 pm
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        Oh, gosh! That would be a lot of sources, many of which I can no longer recall the names of, it has been so long. I remember searching through and reading many Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedias for whatever information I could find.

        That said, one source that caught my eye some time ago was written by a man who explored the region of Palestine in the 1800s. Back then, the shepherds in the region of Bethlehem were still doing things the way their ancestors were doing them thousands of years ago. In that source, the man mentioned that there was no pasturage enough in the fields in the region during the summer and fall months for the shepherds to be out with their flocks by night. I have since learned that the source I read now is online. You can read that here (about midway down the page or so):

        https://archive.org/stream/picturesquepales01wils#page/124/mode/2up

        No pasturage; no shepherds in the fields at night with their flocks. So, a summer and fall birth are out by default. Spring and Winter are the only viable candidates.

        For the information regarding the Roman Warm Period (others refer to it as the Roman Climate Anomaly), this information is readily available in Climate Science texts both in print and on the Internet. While there is considerable debate about how much warmer it was back then, it still was a period of warmer weather that typical between that time and now.

        Another source I used was the Bible itself. Luke 1:26 and 1:36 provided the six month timeline between the annunciation of the conception of Christ and the conception of John.

        In addition, the Bible also mentions that Zacharias was of the course of Abia, and that it was his lot to offer incense in the temple. According to the Bible, the people were waiting with anticipation for him to come back out, particularly when he was delayed in coming out after offering the incense. The course of Abia functioned two times a year in the temple, one of which was during the week of the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur. There wasn’t a lot of anticipation for the return of the priest offering incense except on that day.

        So, John would have been conceived not long after the week of the day of atonement. This would have been on or the last week of September at that time. Add six months to that and you get the last week of March for the announcement of the conception of Jesus. Add nine months to that and you get the last weeks of December.

        I also seem to remember discussion in a Kingdom Hall I visited that was along similar lines as you describe as to trying to figure out the timeline. At the time I recall questioning similarly as you regarding the logic of the age quotation in the Bible and how it was being used, but at that time I leaned more toward a Spring birth for Jesus. But, that was more because I had read in a commentary that sheep lamb in the fields during the Spring.

        It was later that I learned that the kind of sheep bred in the days of Jesus in the Middle East lamb during the winter months rather than during the Spring. The writer of the commentary was using English Sheep as the reference point in trying to narrow down the season when Jesus was born. But, the shepherds in the ancient Middle East did not tend English sheep, so that was where the writer of the commentary went wrong.

  • December 31, 2015 at 8:34 pm
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    My uncle says he wants to kill Santa Claus because he sucks at giving gifts. This year he bought everyone socks. I was happy. He wrapped them. I knew there were socks because the gift wrap didn’t hide it. Happy new year everyone.

  • January 1, 2016 at 1:41 am
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    I left the organisation some years ago but I still do not celebrate Christmas. I can’t see any connection between eating tons of chocolate and/or drinking too much with the birth of Christ.
    Consider the stress put on parents to give children what they want, and they want a lot these days. Many go into debt for many months afterwards putting enormous pressure on families. It’s not a happy thing.
    There is a group of people in the States who stop people celebrating Christmas and stop the singing of carols, stating that Christians stole Christmas from the pagan Saturnalia. They are not Witnesses and I don’t agree with what they are doing either.
    If you want to have a family meal, give presents and do something nice for your children, then do it. Why do you need Christmas as an excuse to do it? Spread the cost of giving to your children over a year and limit it to what you can afford. Play with them, read books to them, take them to the beach or the park – it’s free.
    And above all, please stop grumbling that an organisation tried to make you approved by God. You have free will – do what you want.

    • January 1, 2016 at 3:17 am
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      Leaving it up to people to give each other gifts and they will not do it. Remind them with a certain day and they will. Simple as that. I was in the truth for 17 years and got out of the habit of giving gifts to my family very quickly when Christmas was stopped for us. Wedding anniversary. shmuck. What kind of a celebration is that to give gifts? It’s rubbish.

      • January 2, 2016 at 1:04 am
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        Good point. Giving should be from the heart, though.

        • January 2, 2016 at 4:37 am
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          Yes, totally. Sorry, I was a bit loud before. I just had some memories and got emotional about it.

  • January 1, 2016 at 2:20 am
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    Nice article. Illustrates the WT Corp’s obsession with irrelevant, insignificant details, leading to yet more nit-picky, useless rules.
    I, too, remember not being allowed to participate in school Holiday-related activities. Once a girl even asked me if I would be her Valentine, and I had to refuse. What a joke. But perhaps the worst was, EVERY DAY, having to leave the room or remain seated, during the playing of the national anthem. All these things, in my opinion, amount to a mild form of child abuse. I mean, I’m not a big believer in peer pressure and mindless conformity, but really, the last thing any kid wants is to stick out like a sore thumb. Not to mention going door-to-door and being terrified you might run into a classmate. lol Looking back, the whole episode was an exercise in embarrassment. And utterly futile.

    • January 1, 2016 at 8:14 am
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      @A4
      Growing up a JW, I can definitely relate. You are made to feel like a complete outsider around non-JWs. A major part of my awakening entailed learning that so-called “worldly” people were kind, decent, and good-natured. In fact, many had better motives than a lot of JWs I knew.

      I rebelled against their control in a small way a few months ago. I happened to be at the open-house at school for one of my children – Without my JW wife I might add. So when it came time for the pledge of allegiance to our nation’s flag, I said it right along with the other parents. It felt so liberating.

      WS

      • January 1, 2016 at 11:41 am
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        Good for you.
        Being a loyal JW is like trying to be Amish in the middle of the city. lol

        • January 1, 2016 at 11:57 am
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          Speaking of which, if the Watchtower Corporation REALLY wants to be “no part of the world”, why don’t they do like the Amish and live away from the city on their own separate lands, and stop bothering folks? Maybe ’cause it would be too hard going door-to-door with a horse and buggy?

          • January 2, 2016 at 8:21 am
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            The irony of that is, that is just what many want to do in the ‘new system’.

      • January 1, 2016 at 6:34 pm
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        You showed that “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still”

  • January 1, 2016 at 2:28 am
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    I can relate so much to this article. A JW kid secretly enjoying singing Christmas songs in school, the holiday movies, my favorite of all time being A Christmas Story.

    I only ever received one Christmas celebration in my own home, complete with a tree and wrapped presents as a JW child to a non-beliving dad and JW mom. My dad despite his full time job, set up the tree, decorated it, purchased and wrapped my presents all on his own because my mom refused to help him the night before. I think I was 5 or 6 at the time but I clearly remember joy and dread. Fear and guilt, wonder and happiness all mixed in my young impressionable brain. The tree with its twinkling lights, beautiful glittering orniments. I remember opening my presents and feeling torn, I felt special and loved and I felt the twinge of guilt displeasing Jehovah and my mom.

    I look back at that thought process and what should be a happy normal childhood memory and see it tainted with the Grinch disdain for Christmas. Why put children through that mental and emotional abuse????
    I’m glad my dad took photos of my only one ever Christmas morning that sits in a photo album because from that memory I knew I would give my daughter all of the Christmas experience from infancy and have family traditions that she can recall on her own. She would get everything I missed out on with no embarrassing speeches on why Christmas is against my religion to peers or teachers. I will tell her about Santa, she can sing all the Christmas songs she likes and have pure joy in opening her presents.

    So what if Christmas has Pagan origins, and yes I know it is a highly commercial holiday but we aren’t materialistic. Christmas is about getting together in the dark of winter to shine a warm light of togetherness with your family and friends, in my case, my small family of three. And I love it, the tree, the lights, the music, the food. One generation saved from the Grinch of the Watchtower. One generation to never experience an abnormal childhood.

  • January 1, 2016 at 3:38 am
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    While on the topic of celebrations, the main reason WT condemns birthdays is because they ‘elevate’ 1 person above others. Yet, it’s OK to celebrate wedding anniversaries, which ‘elevate’ 2 people above others. Am I missing something, or do I just suck at math?

  • January 1, 2016 at 3:49 am
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    Saturnalia Shmaturnalia.

    • January 2, 2016 at 4:39 am
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      anonymous4, my husband used to say exactly the same thing.

  • January 1, 2016 at 3:51 am
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    I think the best comment about Christmas is from the Watchtower themselves. “Even though Christmas is not the real anniversary of our Lord’s birth, but more properly the annunciation day or the date of his human begetting (Luke 1:28), nevertheless, since the celebration of our Lord’s birth is not a matter of divine appointment or injunction, but merely a tribute of respect to him, it is not necessary for us to quibble particularly about the date. We may as well join with the civilized world in celebrating the grand event on the day which the majority celebrate – “Christmas day.”” Zion’s Watch Tower 1904 Dec 1 p.364. If it was good enough then, why not now?

  • January 1, 2016 at 3:58 am
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    The Watchtower Corporation is picky about using words like “luck” or “fate” because of their origins as relating to supposed deities or superstitions. But do they know that every time they utter the name of a day of the week, they are saying the name of a pagan god???
    Monday – Moon Day
    Tuesday – Tiiu’s Day
    Wednesday – Wodin (Odin)’s Day (Father of Thor)
    Thursday – Thor’s Day
    Friday – Fria’s Day
    Saturday – Saturn’s Day
    Sunday – Sun Day
    Now, Watchtower, what do u plan to do about that???

    • January 1, 2016 at 8:16 am
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      Now that’s a great and informative question.

    • January 1, 2016 at 8:26 am
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      I cannot find the reference, but I think that at one time in the 30’s they actually suggested alternate names for the days of the week. But it made for such a bizarre interaction with the rest of the world that is was abandoned. Like I say I cannot find the reference – I could be mistaken.
      WS

      • January 1, 2016 at 8:30 am
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        Found it:Golden Age 1935 Mar 13 p.380).

          • January 1, 2016 at 11:49 am
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            That would be funny. Maybe something like Jonahday, Ezekielday, Kingdomday, Tabernacleday, Gabrielday, Templeday, and, I don’t know, maybe Flurbday? :)

          • January 2, 2016 at 5:06 pm
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            Wow, that is gold WS, I had no idea! I seem to remember hitler staring his own calendar under the third reich? That was short lived too.

    • January 1, 2016 at 9:09 pm
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      Very nicely put anonymous4.

  • January 1, 2016 at 4:07 am
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    @ anonymous4. I agree. The Logic about B-days is stupid. Like the JW’s don’t elevate pioneers, Elders, MS, CO’s, Missionaries, and especially the GB or so called F&D Slave above others? Please! They are a very class distinction religion even within their own congregations.
    All anniversaries are is a celebration of a “BIRTHDAY” of a wedding right? When I was a JW my wife tried to make such a big deal about the anniversary and I felt like why do you want to make such a big deal about this? It was bc she felt so “celebration” starved that I think she was trying to make up for no CELEBRATIONS of anything. I always call the JW’s the “religion” of no fun, or the Nun’s of no fun! lol

    They like to say oh we celebrate everyday, we give presents anytime of the year, we are not bound to just 1 or 2 days a year? Yea, right! How many JW’s do you know that celebrate everyday anything except maybe going to some brainwashing meetings or knock-knock everyday is all they ever celebrate. Maybe if they celebrated b-days and holidays they would not have so many people leaving the WT and the Cult?

  • January 1, 2016 at 9:10 am
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    I was influenced by the book The Two Babylons and did not celebrate Christmas and sought to persuade others so. Whilst Christmas was only observed from Constantine onward and has many pagan associations, I think one can go too far in arguing against it. It is the principle of God’s gift to the world and selflessness with Christ in our hearts that should govern us. There is no harm in a Christian celebrating the Incarnation, God becoming flesh to live among us. If any man keeps a day he keeps it to the Lord.
    Jeremiah 10, whilst referring to idolatry, does not explicitly refer to the Christmas tree. Nobody I know bows down to or worships one. Although I disapprove of one being used on the platform of a chapel or in divine service. It was a good few years before I ever authorised a tree over 18 inches high! However, I believe Martin Luther decorated a tree with candles to represent the light of Jesus Christ in the dark world.
    When I had children we would observe it on a low key basis, with a traditional family gathering on Christmas Eve with alternate Bible readings of the nativity and singing of carols before opening of presents. I love singing Christmas carols and revel in the thrill of the Saviour’s birth. “Fear not, for I bring you glad tidings of great joy. For to you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be the sign to you, you shall find the infant swathed, lying in a manger. And suddenly there came with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill to men.”

    “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given and the government will be upon His shoulder. His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace…”

    May the blessings of Immanuel be with you all and have a great 2016. :)

  • January 1, 2016 at 9:34 am
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    It’s been a strange ol year hasn’t it….
    Whilst waking up and fading away I began to wonder what I would do this Dec.
    My granddaughter turned one… I celebrated her first year of life. I didn’t glorify her but the fact that we have been blessed our little girl survived a year of life where others tragically did not.
    I was asked, many times, what I would be doing for Christmas.. I had no idea… hardly anyone talks to me outside the hall anyway… cheese sandwich, a glass of wine and a movie I guess…. ‘That just won’t do’. said a client. I was made welcome christmas eve at their house for a family meal. A big Italian family meal… wow it was overwhelming, it was warm and considerate and loving. They took me in and made me feel loved and wanted. My cell phone remained silent from my ‘christian brothers and sisters’. Christmas day I opened gifts with my family – yes, my reinstated daughter, her df’d father in law, her non witness husband and my granddaughter…. I experienced joy and love and a great breakfast. I skyped with my other granddaughter who was also celebrating Christmas with her Daddy, step mom and her family, out of town. My granddaughters mothers family are big witnesses but had to allow my son to have her… seeing her face was wonderful as she showed me what gifts she had received. She also told me her ‘mom’ and step dad had a christmas tree up and hidden in their basement! lol out of the mouth of babes eh…
    the Italians invited me for Christmas dinner… my lot had to work or had other family to go to – hence I would have been alone…. 15 Italians around a table… again love, warmth and happiness… my cell phone remained silent from my ‘christian brothers and sisters’.

    It’s been an odd year…. I know Christmas is pagan – everyone does. But love does not go out of fashion. What did Jesus say about love? This year I celebrated family. I gave small considerate gifts out of love… to show I celebrate hope and peace on earth… even if it is just for one day. Remember the story of the Germans and the Brits playing soccer one Christmas day during the war? If a pagan celebration can make mankind forget the horrors of the world for one day, one moment is that not worth celebrating? Above all, most people, even those who do not normally give God or Christ a moment of though any other time, may, may have brought him to mind….

    Merry Christmas and I hope a Happy New Year to you all.

    • January 1, 2016 at 12:06 pm
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      I NV U. ;)

    • January 1, 2016 at 9:24 pm
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      Tara, then you have the true Christmas spirit. So wonderful to hear your experience. I tell you, since I have become enlightened, my Christmas is really filled with good cheer. I relish it. We have a tree and I buy thoughtful presents. Not a lot of expense or thoughtless kind of stuff, but things people I know will get some use out of. It’s not hard and of course there is more joy in giving than in receiving.

      Our daughter and son in law, who left when we did, give us presents with handmade tags and wrapped in hand decorated brown paper. Our son and daughter in law who are still Witnesses gave us nothing. They never give us anything, not anytime of the year. They gave us a gift about 8 years ago and that is all they have ever felt obliged to do. The Grinch is in their hearts all the time while they in this cult. They stick their noses up when they see our tree. They really have no Christian spirit, so what on earth are they doing bagging Christmas?

  • January 1, 2016 at 9:35 am
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    By the way, I do think Santa Claus has usurped the position of the Lord Jesus Christ in Christmas festivities.

    • January 1, 2016 at 9:27 pm
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      I’d have to agree with that but then I think everyone I recall was saying that too before I became a Witness. It is common knowledge among Christians. It’s all Hollywood and the media who keep plugging Santa. The little kids just pick it up.

  • January 1, 2016 at 10:31 am
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    All is about brainwashing people of low thinking capacity and hiding the real goal of an organization, you rule over them and… collect dollars.
    Let me give an example. For the last couple of days, I have searched about Jesus birth and found that you could easily say that Christmas (25 December) can easily coincide with her mother last menstruation!! How?

    1) Jesus was about 33 1/2 years old when he died. He would have turned 34 about October 1, 33 C.E. (w05 12/15 p. 6)

    2) The Bible indicates that Jesus was actually born about October 1, 2 B.C.E. (See gh chap. 14 p. 128 par. 7)!

    3) When the Christian congregation was formed, Mary may have been about 50 or so. (Read w09 1/1 p. 7)

    When you put all that information together, you can conclude that:
    1) Mary conceived Jesus at age 13 or 14!!!
    2) That if Jesus was born on October 1, December 25 coincide perfectly with her mother’s “MENARCHE” (g 5/06 p. 10)!!

    You can compute Mary’s delivery date assuming that December 25 using the online calculator on this link: http://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy-due-date-calculator

    If you created a religion with such belief, you will still have followers as (1 Corinthians 1:21) . . .God was pleased through the foolishness of what is preached to save those believing. . .

    Good Christmas!!!

    • January 4, 2016 at 6:38 am
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      According to a source written by a person who visited the region and saw how shepherds did things in the region, he noted that the shepherds did not start staying in the fields with their flocks by night until December, and continued doing so until summer, when they would keep their sheep closer to the towns because there wasn’t enough pasturage during for the sheep in the traditional feeding grounds during the summer to fall months. There was only sufficient pasturage for the sheep to be out at night with the shepherds during the rainy season, and after sufficient grass had grown in the traditional fields around Bethlehem.

      See the following for the some of the above information:

      https://archive.org/stream/picturesquepales01wils#page/124/mode/2up

      So, if we followed the Bible, we would have a problem with an October birth because there would have been no shepherds in the fields with their flocks during the night during the fall.

      But, I see your point otherwise.

  • January 1, 2016 at 11:35 am
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    The best anti organised religious song ever is
    Sabbath bloody Sabbath by black sabbath. The warning is not to become bitter x

  • January 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm
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    I am sure Jesus was not a “party pooper”, and would have enjoyed the celebrations at Cana (John 2) and during Hannukah (John 10).

    However, if I was Jesus, I would spin in my crib at what is done in my name over the “Christmas” celebrations. Hogmenay is far more honest (ask any Scotsman or woman)!

    And really, practically every male Brit. I talk to says “Bah-humbug”! The pressure on the wallet is phenomenal at this time of the year…and, I think the original Nativity story is gradually being lost to the annual “Booze Up” that Christmas has become…

    The thing that really gets me about the Watchtower Gringe is that it seems to have forgotten the honour we should give to our Creator by celebrating and being thankful. What is wrong about a birthday party or any other celebration is the debauchery that might go with it.

    Why not give thanks for the birth of your child or yourself…a wedding anniversary.. what is the difference if the celebration is in good taste?

    Finally, for what my “two penneth” might be worth… Mr Barber with one foul article put an end to all the fun. Then the tyrant took it a step too far and took the R out of the word Celebrate… and, caused me even more grief!

    • January 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm
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      lol
      True, Xmas has become extremely commercialized (then again, what hasn’t???). That’s a whole other conversation…

  • January 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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    Mr. Spock: “It seems random chance has operated in our favor.”
    Dr. McCoy: “Don’t you mean, ‘We were lucky’, Mr. Spock?”
    Mr. Spock: “I believe that is what I said, Doctor.”
    Isn’t that EXACTLY what EVERYONE means when they say the word “lucky”??? But, OH NO, WT has to go nit-picking. In the words of Ronald Reagan, “There you go again!”
    Talk about SPLITTING HAIRS.
    P.S. Dialogue that awesome, of course, is from Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS), so don’t bother looking for it in the new stuff. Sorry, I can’t recall the exact episode. :(

    • January 1, 2016 at 12:43 pm
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      Imagine going through the etymology of every word in the English (or any other) language and eliminating every word that has a ‘pagan’ origin. You’d probably wipe out at least half of everyone’s vocabulary!

      • January 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm
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        If the WT Corp. moved away like the Amish, to REALLY be “no part of the world”, they could create their own “pure” language, & use whatever names they wanted for the days of the week, etc. Living among “worldlings” unavoidably contaminates them!!!

    • January 1, 2016 at 12:51 pm
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      @A4
      Star Trek TOS was awesome. The special effects were awful, but the dialogue, plot twists, and characters made up for it.

      WS

      • January 1, 2016 at 1:16 pm
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        Definitely. And as big of a jerk Bill Shatner is, even his ‘nemesis’, George Takei admits, Star Trek would not have been the same without…him…as…Captain…Kirkkkkk!!!!!!! lol
        P.S. There used to be some TOS ep’s on YouTube. Some of them have been remastered, & the effects (mostly space: the ship, planets, etc) look AMAZING. I mean, really, the BEST CGI I’ve ever seen. Not sure if u can still catch that on YouTube, or if they sell DVD’s of the remastered stuff.
        P.P.S. Sorry to be off-topic, but this is HISTORY!!! ;)

      • January 2, 2016 at 4:48 am
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        I have to agree too. It was my favourite show in 1967. Sorry, showing my age again.

        • January 2, 2016 at 7:46 am
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          The needs of the one still out way the needs of the many… unless you are a JW then the many will shun you for the needs of the seven.

          • January 2, 2016 at 1:17 pm
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            Good one. So it seems “The needs of the 7 outweigh the needs of everybody.” lol

      • January 3, 2016 at 9:06 pm
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        They have since remastered the Original Series and added some better effects and CGI modeling for the ships and planets. So far as I know you can still get them on DVD. I have both the Original Series and Remastered Original Series on DVD. Bit of a Trekky myself.

        • January 4, 2016 at 12:28 pm
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          Thanx. I’ll be looking for it!

    • January 2, 2016 at 4:43 am
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      The oh so logical Mr Spock. Can’t remember that one but sounds very Mr Spock. ‘Luck’ is a word. Watchtower removed it from our vocabulary, you are right. Now my mind will be ticking away thinking about what other words were banned too.

      • January 2, 2016 at 7:51 am
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        One of our elderettes was always pulling us up for using euphemisms. I used ‘heck’ a lot (no not feck) as in ‘oh heck’. That got me into a lot of bother as Heck was short for some pagan gods name, or something…. North of England ‘oh eck’.

        • January 2, 2016 at 8:00 am
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          Might consider saying “Icky-Icky-Icky-Ptang-Zoop-Boing!” instead. That’ll show ’em.

          WS

          • January 2, 2016 at 8:27 am
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            Ni Ni Ni

          • January 2, 2016 at 1:26 pm
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            “Oh apostate who says ‘Icky-Icky…….”
            “Oh apostate who says ‘Icky-Icky………”
            “Oh apostate who until recently said ‘Heck'”

          • January 2, 2016 at 1:30 pm
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            God save us from the Elderettes! LMAO

          • January 2, 2016 at 5:47 pm
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            Hee hee hee

        • January 2, 2016 at 4:57 pm
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          Really didn’t they have better things to do?

          • January 4, 2016 at 12:31 pm
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            NO

        • January 3, 2016 at 9:00 pm
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          Probably referring to Hecate. :-)

          • January 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm
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            Yeah, he was awesome.
            BTW I always thought “heck” was just a polite way of saying “hell”. Who’da thunk? U really learn stuff on this site.

          • January 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm
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            Yeah, he was awesome.
            BTW I always thought “heck” was just a polite way of saying “hell”. Who’da thunk? U really learn stuff on this site.

          • January 4, 2016 at 12:58 pm
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            My mother (not an Elderette, my dad is a non-practicing Muslim; I know…insert ur own joke here…won’t bore u with the backstory) once chastised her friend, an elder, when he said “Mama Mia”. In her mind, that is a reference to Mother Mary. I have NO idea where or how she came up with that, and I never asked. The elder complied, not knowing what to say. JW World is just like a 3-Ring Circus. RFLMAO

  • January 1, 2016 at 1:46 pm
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    It’s Nelson Barbour not Nelson Barber

  • January 1, 2016 at 4:08 pm
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    Very original article and informative. Appreciated it. Santa isn’t real? This statement is false as I was reminded recently that St. Nicholas was–is–an historic individual renowned for charitable giving during the Christ Mass of the Advent period. Sure, the commercial businesses added a twist from “A Christmas Carol” and embelished the stories over the years, but the lesson of being unconditionally charitable and showing thanks to friends and family, and strangers, is a sound one.

    The birth of Jesus was the culmination and fulfillment of all the sacred mysteries of God, as Pauline epistles explain it–equal to the other parts of these sacret events–the Advent, the Crucificion, the Resurrection, and the Ascension. Of course, these events are minimized and even the Last Supper’s significance and participation is ripped away from r/f.

    “The Two Babylons” book was a natural attraction for those early Bible Students (they hadn’t been renamed, remember?) who derived most of their literature and studies from Adventist authors and commentaries or “free-thinkers” in theology. One of these recognized “founders” was Charles Fitch who wrote of “Coming out of Babylon” (Rev. 18) and expanded it from the Roman Catholic Church to include all denominations that refused to accept the premise that Christ was returning in 1843, or 1844. The book’s assertions have spawned a literary war on Catholicism and all groups retaining the Apostle’s Creed and practices.

    Curiously, JW’s retain the practice of exchanging and wearing wedding bands–a pagan practice originating in Greco-Roman myths that the band be worn on a finger allegedly having a vein running directly to the heart and sealing one’s love for eternity. And, as the recanting author wrote on his website, the arguments used in the book are often used to cite how Judaism and Christianity mimicked pagan rites.

    • January 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm
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      Lord’s Supper* …

  • January 1, 2016 at 4:32 pm
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    Just watched a May 25 Charlie Rose interview with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. He shared a great quote by one of his mentors, the late Dr. Carl Sagan: “Ignorance and power are a highly combustible mix.”

  • January 1, 2016 at 5:06 pm
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    Some more Carl Sagan quotes (I’m paraphrasing from Wikiquotes):
    ‘The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who counts every sparrow that falls, is ludicrous.’
    ‘Science is the process of skeptically interrogating the Universe while having a fine understanding of human fallibility.’
    ‘Scientists are known to say, “That’s a very good argument. I must be wrong.” And they will change their opinion, and never repeat the old, discarded one. It does not happen as often as it should, because scientists are human beings, and change is sometimes painful. But it does happen. Every day. I can’t remember the last time that happened in politics or religion.’

  • January 2, 2016 at 3:36 am
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    I think that one other reason why JW not are allowed to celebrate X-mas is to save money and give them to WT instead. I havn´t seen that in writing anywhere…but I know that friends said that because not buying gifts they had money to give to the worldwide work…

    • January 2, 2016 at 4:01 am
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      I think my parents heard, from the Witnesses at their door, that there were no birthdays or Christmas and they said, “We’re in! You had us at ‘No celebrations!'”
      If you are cheap and bitter, then this is the cult for you!

    • January 2, 2016 at 4:01 am
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      I think my parents heard, from the Witnesses at their door, that there were no birthdays or Christmas and they said, “We’re in! You had us at ‘No celebrations!'”
      If you are cheap and bitter, then this is the cult for you!

    • January 2, 2016 at 7:05 am
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      So true. It’s funny, I always secretly loved Christmas, but I still used to thank God I was spared all that expense and time and stress at this time of year. Now when I think of all the money and time I gave to Watchtower, and the PTSD they gave me in return, I thank god I’m free of that cult. This year I celebrated Christmas for the first time in 25 years. I rejoiced at how refreshing, liberating and healing that was, and mused on how much money I have saved by not giving Watchtower a cent for the last few years, and all the time I save by not going to meetings, witnessing, personal study etc. etc. I gave it to my beautiful family instead.

  • January 2, 2016 at 5:16 am
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    This is off topic too but some might get a laugh.

    • January 2, 2016 at 1:51 pm
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      WOW!!!!! PRICELESS!!!!! Who can’t relate to THAT???
      RFLMAO!!!
      That clip just about said it ALL!!!
      And the funny (and sad) thing is, it was NO exaggeration. The whole thing was DEAD ON. You can’t write that sh*t. It LITERALLY writes itself.
      still LMAO
      Thanx
      And Thanx to whoever made it!!

      • January 3, 2016 at 8:52 pm
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        Wait. Where was the talk and the clapping afterward, followed by the critique of the talk? :-)

        Or, am I now mixing things up a bit? Funny, though.

    • January 2, 2016 at 5:39 pm
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      Best movie I ever saw!!! I loved it when the kid colored Jesus. This made me laugh and laugh and laugh.

  • January 2, 2016 at 5:49 am
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    All their doctrines is copied from others, not even the untrue, fake revelations, they did not have them themselves…

    maybe only 1975???

  • January 2, 2016 at 6:05 am
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    Take me to church

  • January 2, 2016 at 9:43 am
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    hi folks! a few things, have you noticed how reference to the head when describing analysis ie the bald facts or splitting hairs even nit picking. It’s exactly what the cult do time and time again. Appearances are all that matter shiny tight people with not a generous spirit unless they are told to be generous to the borg. They like to be well groomed like pampered pooches, well dogs were for work not silk cushions, they get bored. Pampered jws have no spirit of giving its all just hours on a sheet no real Christian spirit, give to the poor, the lonely, the spiritually sick! Heaven forbid.If they just stopped and thought about the safety and miracle of the little boy who became the wonderful man they would rejoice like the angels. All Christians who realise what a significant thing that happened would want to talk and sing about that event. But oh no we were constantly reminded that Jesus is not a perpetual babe.so it is not important. Well sorry to nit pick but if The Almighty really objected to acknowledging his son’s birth I think we would have seen a few thunder bolts by now. In fact he is so indifferent you can get blind drunk fall in a ditch in your celebratory exuberance and stay there all night . The next day when the jws are out preaching you will give them ample opportunity to cross over to the other side and not assist you but tut at you for being such a wicked pagan. Or you could just be so thankful (if you believe) that he arrived safely ,had lovely parents and grew up. that’s worth celebrating .ruthlee

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