The Friday Column: Whatever Happened to Watchtower’s Tact?
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Watchtower’s book Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education, which instructs Witnesses on how to discuss their faith with others, features the chapter “Tactful yet Firm.” In the introductory box, “What do you need to do?” it states  “Show discretion in what you say as well as how and when you say it, in order to avoid offending others needlessly.”

The first paragraph says, “TACT is the ability to deal with other people without giving needless offense. It involves knowing how and when to say things. This does not imply a compromising of what is right or a distortion of facts.” It also adds, “Tact should not be confused with fear of man. –Prov. 29:25.”

Watchtower videos have increasingly been focusing on the final point in that paragraph; that tact should not be confused with fear of people, instead of the advice about wisely choosing when to say things and how to say them. In Witness terms, this means that Witnesses are being encouraged to not back down from any situation in which they can make known their beliefs, even if the resulting situation will be awkward or offensive.

Along with this focus has come a distinctly propagandist tone when it comes to the subject of homosexuals and those who support their rights. Let’s look at three videos produced by Watchtower in the last two years that illustrate this.

Video One: Training children to harass other children.

First is the video Become Jehovah’s Friend – Lesson 22: One Man, One Woman. This video is aimed at teaching children how to think about marriage and gives an example of how they should deal with a classmate or friend who has gay or lesbian parents.

Sofia, the young protagonist, is reminded by her mother of Watchtower teaching on which genders of people can be married to each other. The teachings would be familiar to any Christian who interprets the bible literally.

The troublesome part, however, is that the mother does not stop at helping her daughter understand what she is supposed to believe on the subject. It is that after Sofia tells her that she wants everyone to get to paradise, the mother responds: “So does Jehovah! And you know what? People can change. That’s why we share his message. So, what can you say to Carrie?” Sofia gleefully decides she will preach to Carrie, her classmate, about the paradise, the animals (that they will be at peace with humans in the paradise), and the resurrection of the dead. The video closes with the mother/daughter combo getting ready to practice Sofia’s preaching routine.

Here’s the key question for witnesses that the video leaves out: What will be the result of Sofia’s preaching to Carrie? Will it “avoid offending other needlessly” as the Benefit book suggests? This is highly doubtful if not impossible. No matter what it is that Sofia uses to get Carrie interested in witness teaching, she’s eventually going to get to the part where she has to tell Carrie that her moms are living in sin and will die at Armageddon unless they change. Taking into account the way in which excited children operate, this upsetting portion of the conversation will probably come up much sooner than later.

The reality is, two married women, especially those have gone to the extra step of having a child, have most likely thought through and solidified their value and belief systems and are not going to be easily shaken by witness teaching. Furthermore, what would the best-case JW scenario for this family really be? The moms would need to get a divorce and live out the rest of their lives until Armageddon (or until they die, depending on your beliefs) as either heterosexual or celibate. What would happen to Carrie in that situation? Which of her beloved moms would she live with? Would she end up needing to adapt to a step-father or even two? Does Carrie have siblings who would also be affected?

In all likelihood, Sofia’s needless preaching to Carrie would probably end up for her the same way my preaching to a fellow first-grader did for me: an angered parent requesting to meet with my parents and my teacher to figure out why her child is being given religious literature and being told that one day his mother will walk again in an earthly paradise that she does not believe in. Encouraging children to broach topics like these, particularly with the goal of preaching at a child they know has parents involved in a non-JW approved lifestyle, is not tactful. It is only going to lead to awkward, upsetting, and offensive confrontations.

Video Two: Training JW’s to harass dinner guests

The second video that bears consideration is Remember The Wife Of Lot, a modern day sitcom-style portrayal of a pioneer witness family struggling along as the mother, Gloria, switches her focus from witness activity to a real estate career. The topic of homosexuality manages to pop up a few times throughout the film and gives us a glimpse of the current Watchtower thinking on the issue.

The first scene in question is in Part 1 at 28:23. Gloria and her mother are at her mother’s home watching a real estate reality show. We only see the program for a few brief moments but two men are pictured giving a high-five to their agent who has just closed on a home for them. Gloria’s mother gives a chuckle and remarks on how funny the men are. Gloria’s response comes back simultaneously scornful and amused,

“Mom!? They’re a gay couple.”

“So?”

“A year ago that shocked you.”

“Things change, and we need to get used to it.”

Gloria’s mom is spot on. No matter what our personal beliefs are, we do have to get used to the fact that other people do not have to live by those beliefs, nor do they have to hide their lifestyles. As long as others are not breaking the law or infringing on the rights of fellow citizens, none of us have any say over what they do or how they live. Witnesses are indeed going to have to become accustomed to living in a world with gay and lesbian couples being able to live a normal, unimpeded, and unhidden life, just like the life each Witness wants for themselves. This includes homosexuals being able to appear on television with their significant others free of shame and assault.

The most striking part of this scene for me, however, is that Gloria responds to her mother’s comment at all. The normal response to a comment on the comedic quality of someone on TV is “Yes they are,” “No they’re not,” or to simply not respond at all. Why should someone’s sexual orientation, as opposed to other qualities some may place in the moral sphere, affect whether or not one is willing to be entertained by them?

While some witnesses might go to extreme lengths not to watch or listen to anything that has been produced by or involves a sexually active unmarried heterosexual person, a cigarette smoker, or someone who celebrates Christmas, I haven’t met or heard of any such people. Certainly the massive majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses regularly take in entertainment produced by individuals whose morals or lifestyle they would not agree with. Why should it be any different when the point of disagreement is homosexuality?

The second, and now somewhat infamous scene is in Part 2 of the movie at 20:46. Gloria’s daughter Anna arrives home after dinner along with her supervisor, who is also her cousin, Kevin, and her two coworkers in tow. This whole scene is set up by the completely unrealistic scenario that Kevin has volunteered, not only to give everyone a ride home from work, but also to come up to Anna’s family’s apartment to explain to her parents why she’s being working so much overtime lately. Why the two coworkers would choose to come along for this five minute errand instead of just waiting in the car adds another layer of unbelievability, but this is the setup needed to depict the family as being under moral attack.

After, Kevin’s apology for Anna’s overtime and complementing both her work and that of her coworkers, Tess and Eric, Gloria makes the comment that their parents must be proud. Tess apparently sees this as the perfect opportunity to be contentious and bring up the fact that both of her moms are, indeed, very proud of her.

I was raised by two wonderful women. You know…life partners?

Gloria’s husband, Brian, squints suspiciously at Tess while she’s speaking and Gloria, to her partial credit, tries to find common ground by awkwardly whispering that she recently found out her assistant is also gay. This awkward response is apparently what the character of Tess was hoping for and she uses it to combatively question whether or not the family thinks there’s something wrong with homosexuality, leading to protracted and testy conversation on the matter.

Two issues with this scene: For a start, being tactful in this situation would arguably involve not overreacting to what Tess originally said about her moms. She was merely describing the makeup of her familystating what her family makeup was. She didn’t outright challenge anyone and in the 21st century, it would be advisable, not to mention tactful, to avoid making accusatory faces or acting sheepishly and visually uncomfortable when someone or their family member mentions that they are homosexual. There was no need for Brian or Gloria to say anything in this circumstance. The conversation could merely have continued on with the subject at hand, that being the medical research Anna and her team had been working on. This would not have constituted compromise of the family’s beliefs, and wouldn’t have created a needless confrontation.

Secondly, this video marks the beginning of Watchtower’s portrayal of LGBTQ individuals or supporters as militant, confrontational, and opportunistic. Tess is portrayed from the start as ready to stir up trouble with Anna’s family. While argumentative people do exist, they do so in all realms of society. The worry here is that this scene and the next video we will consider are being used to frame witnesses as victimized and under attack. This would seem to be the excuse for tact being set aside. If anyone is acting tactfully throughout this scene, and in fact throughout the entire movie, it is worldly cousin Kevin. He is continually bending over backwards to work with Anna’s needs and works at calming the situation that arises in this scene.

Video 3: Training JW’s to take pointless stands and make needless enemies

Our final video for consideration is the first among the leaked symposium videos for the upcoming 2018 “Be Courageous” Regional Convention program, as first presented on the John Cedars YouTube channel. The video portrays a congregation elders’ meeting in which the brothers are sharing experiences of courage displayed by Witnesses in their service groups.

The first such experience is that of a young witness in her twenties named Sally. Sally is shopping at a boutique that seems to specialize in fresh produce and woven textiles. Sally begins to notice that most if not all of the other shoppers are wearing a rainbow colored wristband. Upon checking out at the first cashier, she is asked if she wants to make a donation to “the marathon.”

At this point no mention has been made of the cause the marathon supports but the audience is expected to understand it has something to do with gay rights. Upon Sally’s sullen but polite refusal, the cashier gives an incredulous eyebrow raise, signaling her supposed disgust that Sally wouldn’t want to contribute to the cause.

Sally’s next interaction at a checkout stand, this time to buy a throw blanket, doesn’t go any better. As she’s checking out, with an ominous cello line coming to a crescendo in the background,  she finally sees a poster revealing that the wristband is being given out to support lesbian rights. The polite and smiley cashier holds out one of the rainbow wristbands and asks, “Shall I put it in the bag or do you want to wear it now?” Sally sheepishly but politely refuses the wristband with an “Oh. No thank you.” and that’s when the real ordeal begins.

The woman who has just checked out in front of her, and who had been chatting with the cashier, wearing a wristband all the while, turns to Sally and simmeringly asks, “What’s wrong, honey? You got something against them?” Sally replies that she has nothing against them personally so the woman sets her jaw and, seething, comes back, “So what’s the problem?” Sally again:

“I respect that they have a right to choose their lifestyle, but as a bible reader…”

“Excuse me! I’m a bible reader too! I go to church! And our church is one of the biggest supporters for this marathon! So what are you trying to say?”

After saying a quick prayer and telling herself that displaying courage in this situation will help her display courage in the future, Sally takes a dramatic step forward and explains that she’s one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and believes that sex is for a man and woman who are married. The woman utters her accusatory response, “Intolerant people.” and walks away.

The framing of the scene would move us to believe that having the wristband placed in the bag would be viewed by all as a sign of capitulation to and support of the marriage equality movement. It is as if the employee emphatically stated “Would you like to wear the wristband now, thereby forever and undyingly making known that you, said patron, are and forever will be a supporter of marriage equality? Or shall I solidify the same contract by putting it in the bag for you?”

Having the wristband travel home and to a garbage bin via the shopping bag would not have been a sign of support for the movement. The whole point of the token being a wristband is that it must be worn around the wrist to show solidarity. Sally could have easily asked for it to be put in the bag. This would have avoided any sort of confrontation without her compromising her beliefs.

What Watchtower is doing here is plain. They are using videos like the ones we have just looked at to interpret who they feel are being victimized in today’s society. Rather than recognizing that the LGBTQ community has had to overcome inumerable hardships to have the same basic freedoms of society in general, Watchtower is implying to Jehovah’s Witnesses that they themselves are under attack.

It is also noteworthy that a situation like the one pictured, while not being inconceivable, is certainly rare and more often than not, brought about by an anti-LGBTQ comment made outloud between two or more Witnesses. I can speak from experience that Witnesses can be painfully oblivious to their own volume and to the effect that their statements have on those around them. In other words, a decent number tend not to pay much mind to tact in their daily comings and goings. This is not unique to Witnesses, but it is certainly something that we all have to keep in mind in order to have a peaceful society.

Why is Watchtower abandoning tact?

The conclusion is, instead of preparing JWs for the future, one in which homosexuals and people of all other harmless lifestyles will continue to be an integral part of our global society, Watchtower seems intent on ramping up Witnesses’ sense that they are increasingly under siege by the world at large.

Instead of focusing in on tact and teaching their adherents how to be tactful, respectful, and self-aware, they want them to feel that being surrounded by an increasingly progressive world means that the Great Tribulation will break out at any moment, and that their ability to show courage (read paranoia) will be one of the primary qualities to get them through.

We can only hope that individual Witnesses will see this for what is and find a better way forward.

-Kamden Pine

 

 

 

Kamden Pine is an exJW activist and editor at The Friendly JW Skeptic. He formerly served in Watchtower’s Bethel headquarters in the United States.

You can follow him on twitter @kamdenpine,

You can follow him on instagram under username @kamdenpine.

You can follow his Facebook page here.

You can also hear him on episode 9 of Watchtower in Focus on the John Cedars Youtube discussing the infamous “pillowgate” videos below.

 

 

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87 Responses to The Friday Column: Whatever Happened to Watchtower’s Tact?

  1. Bridget says:

    Has anyone else seen ‘David’s Story’ on youtube? A young man is in obvious distress and all the elder can do is say that next time the young man comes to a Kingdom Hall he’ll be evicted. Where’s the insight or any fellow or Christian feeling to help a severely damaged person? Tact is noticeably missing but so is human kindness.

  2. Fooledmeonce says:

    I think Jehovah’s Witnesses always had a bad reputation for being very untactful, to say the least. The ‘ol foot-in-the-door while they were at people’s homes, trying to give “the warning message”.

    • JBob says:

      @Fooledmeonce correct, and it was during the TMS period that they began to try to blend and not look as “weird” as other Adventism and Rapture groups. A long period of trying to get their message smoothed out and tactful. Literature dropped the doom pictures and lightning bolts striking down church steeples except for some publications that were only for the advanced bible student and JW meetings. And, the Hospital Liaison Committees were dreamed up to “soften up” hospitals and doctors to accommodate the eccentric blood transfusion viewpoint so families wouldn’t need to defiantly tell doctors “I’ll die rather than take blood.” Some of the “softening” and “tact” was introduced during Ray Franz tenure on the GB; and there are some JW’s believing Ray Franz is the reason for 1975 projection not Fred.

      Before the 1975 chronology was cooked-up by Fred, JW’s were in decline and had stagnant growth due to their harsh stances on blood, flag saluting, birthdays, holidays, doctrines on Christ, Hell, and military service. Also during this period they were staunch “anti-establishment” types, “obey God not men”–only pay your taxes and obey only where man’s law not in conflict with God’s [this is the infamous doctrinal flip-flopping that many YouTubers reference on the “superior authorities”]

      No tact. The culture of the group encouraged refusing Christmas gifts, holiday greetings, holiday cards, birthday cake, etc. Children were made to “bluntly” tell teachers and students “I can’t do ___ because I’m a JW” or sit during the pledge (though later it was relaxed so students could stand but not during anthems [?]).

      So, all these videos (including the gay bashing and bashing children’s dreams and talents) harken back to the period when JW’s lacked tact. And, that’s why I often state it is the “conservative” or ‘hardliners’ that have seized influence, if not authority, in the current teaching and administration. Progressives who sought to be diplomatic and tactful were viewed as ashamed of, cowardly in and “weakening” of the ministry. Picture North Korea, or if you have a longer memory Communist Russia, where political and advancement capital is how well you appear to strictly adhere to the Party rules. Want to become a big time CO? Trample women unceasingly.

      On reflection, now, the bizarre rules that were cooked up by Rutherford and later Knorr (and the men who were subordinate to them) seem eerily similar to the controlling behavior of local churches where a dominating pastor/cult leader creates various “extra rules” that qualify and isolate his parishoners as “worthy Christians”.

      • Fooledmeonce says:

        JBob, what is the TMS period?
        Also, I agree with you that the 1975 timeline really invigorated this cult. I can’t say for sure what conditions were like in the JWs during the 1960’s but you can see from the graphs how the recruitment picked up speed just before 1975! My parents got swept up in this hysteria and they both joined around 1972, unfortunately. When 1975 came and went, some people left but others just became more stubborn.
        As stupid as the leadership of this cult was, I think that they recognized that they would retain a large portion of the new recruits even when their predictions wouldn’t come true. Then, even if the new people leave, you’ve now infected their brains and they will always wonder if The End isn’t still coming and that they had better get back inside, where it’s safe. It’s pretty much all a positive for the cult, if they can weather the storm and put the blame somewhere else. I wonder if they will have the guts to try it again???

        • Big B says:

          @ Fooledmeonce,

          Your comments are very insightful and maybe I can share my experiences in this Organization with you.

          I think JBob was referring to the Theocratic Ministry School (TMS) period which was started to help the Witnesses in public speaking skills and fluency in talking from door to door. The Witnesses were known before hand, during Judge Rutherford,s presidency) to carry a portable phonograph (record player) with his sermons and play them at the doorstep. The use of pre-printed “Testimony Cards” with a Biblical message were also used in the field service.

          Although Rutherford himself never went from door to door, he had absolutely no problem sending others out while he went from drink to drink!

          The TMS started around the end of WW2 during the Nathan Knoor presidency along with the missionary training school of Gilead.

          My parents started studying with the Witnesses back during the late 50’s and were baptized by 1959 /1960. That’s when they started to remove themselves from all associates considered worldly including family members, celebrating holidays, hobbies, sports activities, etc. For me, just starting school around 1958, just being different was difficult to say the least. No flag salute, no birthday celebrations, absolutely no observation of holidays national or religious and no joining in school teacher led prayers (it was considered interfaith).

          The height of the Cold War, with the Cuban missle crisis, brought extreme anxiety to all here in the United States and Jehovah’s Witnesses capitalized on this fear with a message declaring that God would never allow men to destroy his creation and that He would soon intervene. The scarlet colored beast (League of Nations / United Nations) had come out of the abyss of inactivity and was to remain a short (?) time, destroy Babylon the Great and Armageddon would come! Anytime now, as the 1914 generation was getting older and they couldn’t all die before the end, could they?

          As time passed the Armageddon drum was again beaten with the mid-60’s “1975” message of the end of 6000 years of mankind’s existence with Adam’s creation ending. Fred Franz, Vice President of the Watchtower, was more responsible for this timeline nonsense than anyone else. How many Witnesses sold homes, businesses, and put off educational or career advancement along with medical procedures to pursue pioneering before the end of this system is absolutely nauseating. Not so much as an apology from the mental midgets at Watchtower, no sir, not their damn fault. They shifted the blame over to the over zealous publishers, yeah that’s the ticket! Who put that ‘bee in their bonnet’? The stupid Watchtower and the faithful and discreet slave, that’s who!

          Even I vacation pioneered at 75 hours a month, while attending community college and working part time. But the end was nigh; “door to door in ‘74 to be alive in ‘75” was the mantra spoken by all the faithful.

          Now here we sit, 43 years later, my youth and opportunity for advancement in this system wasted, ‘gone with the wind’. Still no damn Paradise Earth, no Armageddon, no new system, no resurrection And what is worse, I have no one to blame but myself for being so damn gullible. My family and I faded completely with the 2013 convention being my last meeting attendance and we don’t regret this decision one bit.

          There is absolutely no reason, with the invention of the internet and site such as this one for anyone to be “taken in” by this cult of “prophet” wannabes. Time bandits are the worst thieves of all, you can always make more money, you can always get more things but you can’t get back your time wasted on suppositions, falsehoods or fairytales.

          “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty; I’m free at last!”—
          Martin Luther King, Jr.

          Big B

  3. Resister says:

    Great article, KP. Welcome to the circus! Glad to see you’re out of Beth-Hell. 😀

    So, proving once again, that JWs are socially challenged. If you’re socially awkward when you become a JW, you can bet it will get worse, especially when being subjected to Watchturd’s “training” regimen. Reverse Evolution. Thank you, Watchtower, and organized religion in general, for not only holding back mankind, but reversing our general advancement. To anyone still tangled in that web of lies, my advice is: Throw that monkey off your back and start flying right.

    Now, if anyone needs a good laugh, listen to this. An EXTREME example of JW “tact”. LOL
    When I was still a young, brainwashed jehovas witness, someone in my cong told a story of an older ‘sister’ in a neighboring cong. Apparently, she had gotten into a heated argument with a householder during ‘service’. As she walked away, she pointed to the sidewalk, looked back at the person, and yelled, “Your blood will be on this sidewalk at Armageddon!!!”
    WOW. Now that’s TACT, baby!
    😀

    @Markie & messenger

    I think you misunderstood the gist of my comment. I was definitely not implying that you had anything to fear from ME.

    • messenger says:

      The most important thing is that you’re alive. That fact and the fact I’ve got your attention both indicate God has not given up on you.

      messenger

  4. Hi Kamden,

    [Sally takes a dramatic step forward and explains that she’s one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and believes that sex is for a man and woman who are married.]

    But that is not the whole truth. Once the law covenant went into force during the days of Moses until it was removed by the death of Jesus, male homosexual sex acts were punished with death. Since this is what Sally believes, how could she tactfully explain it?

    “As a Bible reader I am reminded the ancient law code demanded a death penalty for males who engaged in homosexual sex. Obviously, given this law, there would be no need to consider if it were proper for two males to be joined in marriage — since they would be put to death as soon as they would consummate their marriage. While I believe the ancient law code no longer has force since the advent of the Christian era I also believe God does not change his view on what is right or wrong. All such male homosexuals put to death over those centuries I see as justified. Indeed I look forward to God-produced genocide when all such wicked people will be destroyed.”

    Sally of course knows that suggesting killing male homosexuals is morally justified would be considered horrific by most normal people. However, moving the conversation over to things like “life-style” and “choice” actually shows a lack of respect for both the Bible and her audience. The author of Leviticus should be presented in the plain language that he used. Anything less actually shows a lack of comfort for the material.

    Cheers,
    -Randy
    ps. I did not mention “lesbian” because OT makes no mention of female homosexual sex. In the NT Paul makes some mention of the “natural use of the female.” I’ve recently posted comments on this here, so I won’t repeat it in this post. Suffice to say, in regards to homosexuality, Bible writers are most interested in male with male sex. They never contemplate homosexual relationships and marriage, since they all lived in an era when such things were unknown.

    • ThePenthouseExperience says:

      @Randy and I’m reminded that it was also a death penalty to wear mixed fabrics or unnatural fabrics–hurling stones at polyester-wearing Sally! And, polka dots!?!?! ooooh! {hurling a huge stone}

  5. Resister says:

    @tranquillo

    I’m not here for a pleasant time.

  6. Resister says:

    @messenger

    Why do think I’m a woman? Is it your view that all women are emotionally fragile, inferior little creatures who compulsively lash out when hurt by a man? That they need reassurance from a big strong man like you?
    Man, you GOTTA be a JW.

    • Resister says:

      … Another tip-off is messenger’s comments. The same old rehashed, recycled, monotonous drivel exactly in the style of Watchtower. Dry. Unimaginative. Unoriginal. Burdensome. Verbose. Soul-sucking. But then, that’s the purpose, isn’t it? If I read his comments at all, I reserve that “pleasure” for when I am on the toilet. Turns out they have a useful function after all. I’ve never been so regular! And after they serve their purpose, I wipe my a$$ with old Watchtowers and Awake!s. A beautiful symbiosis. Kinda like the Circle of Life.

      PS … I apologize in advance for likely being the cause of the NEXT “messenger” barrage. Battle Stations everyone. Flak helmets on.

      • messenger says:

        A very funny comment Resister. I’ve only read one or two that funny since I’ve been on this site. The only one I can remember that gave me such a laugh was from Winston when I first came here.

        Funny to me is when I still laugh even after a couple readings. Well this is what I have to say in response. God has place every individual in their own place to fulfill a purpose. Now I see what might be one of God’s purposes for you. Maybe, just maybe, God’s placed you here so that every now and then I can read a comment that funny which might help keep me on this site doing his work, which is helping people like you.

        Best wishes to you Resister. John is a good place to start find those.

    • messenger says:

      So you are a woman I take it? Women are more suppressed than men in WT. So after years of this suppression and the fulfillment of the Genesis prophecy which says your husband would unjustly dominate you, you might feel justified at lashing out at me feeling I support those kind of authority figures in your life.

  7. messenger says:

    WT has been teaching JWs to incidental witness, or what new name do they give it, the name slips my mind? Oh, I just remembered the new term is informal Witness. No penguin suits with ropes around your neck on a hot day. No book bag. That book bag is real conformity. I dropped that 30 years ago. Whoopie for me, that was a bold move of nonconformity. Don’t you think? Anyway, WT has encouraged JWs to do it for informal witnessing for years. Most JWs don’t do any of that type of witnessing. And the a small percentage that do are doing a very little of it. Going door to door with a group feels safer for them. And though WT teaches JWs to speak against homosexuality, if they do that to will usually only happen at a door or study. Because then JWs work in pairs, so another JW will be there to observe the stand their partner took. .

    Videos that present actors showing JWs speaking up at school or at work don’t accomplish much. The greater majority of JWs won’t apply the info in those. At doors, maybe, otherwise out in public, hardly ever. WT must know this since I do. JWs are more conformists than WT teaches they are. WT knows conformity is how it controls its sheep. Maybe they use those videos as morale builders, because the ideas in those presentations show JWs separated out of the big herd, making them feel special because of it.

    This reminds me of a funny incident. I was out in a neighboring town, two or three towns away from my home neighborhood. It was close to Christmas. I got out of my car in a parking lot to walk into a store. There I ran into our presiding overseer. He was dressed in a suit because he was a salesman by profession, and dressed like he would if on stage at the Kingdom hall. Except, he was carrying what looked like a fifth of alcohol nicely gift wrapped with a bow- a Christmas present. He told me he was taking it to one of his customers. I don’t think he or many JWs are going to speak up at work condemning anyone’s sexual preference even if they, unlike this PO, refrain from Christmas celebration in their work environment.

    In CA there are laws governing sexual harassment in the workplace, and making anyone feel uncomfortable about their sexual orientation is one way to violate that law. In public schools teachers are not suppose to allow students to put down another’s sexual orientation. That could be looked at as bullying which schools teach against and also violating sexual harassment law.

    • Hi Messenger,

      While it is true JWs have encouraged their members to witness informally, these videos are addressing the unexpected circumstance wherein the Witness encounters a challenge to their faith. At this point the Witness could withdraw or advance courageously. Being courages in regards to faith is an old theme. Examples include Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to Stephen, Peter and Paul from the Christian era.

      Sometimes making a courageous stand can involve civil disobedience. For JWs one only need think about singing the national anthem and flag salute issue. By taking this moral stand JWs advanced the cause of freedom. However, such stands often involve a hidden double standard or making statements that are not the whole truth.

      Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image on the plain of Dura and were thrown into the fiery furnace. In their case an angel of God steps in and saves them. But let’s be clear, this does not mean the Bible embraces religious freedom as a general concept — far from it! Killing people who worship the wrong God is explicitly endorsed at Deuteronomy 13. Likewise, if we read a modern account of powerful national leader acting like Jehu we would rightly condemn them as a religious terrorist.

      Imagine for a moment those who offered Sally the wrist band were insisting that being a lesbian was the only legitimate form of sexual relationship. Perhaps such anti-heterosexual groups exist, I don’t know. These videos present an idea of equivalence that does not exist in the JW mindset. Whereas the lesbians here are asking for acceptance along side heterosexuals, Sally is asserting only heterosexuals who are married should enjoy sex. She is doing that based on the moral foundation of centuries of God-authorized murder of males how had homosexual sex.

      Cheers,
      -Randy

      • ThePenthouseExperience says:

        @Randy there are no such LGBTA groups that insist their sexual orientation or gender transformation is THE only choice. Many JW’s view these “dramas” as real life–inspired by real events. A few immediately recognize its over-the-top plotlines as “morale boosters” and “sales convention” hype.

        Furthermore, Sally hasn’t ran into one of those frigid JW sisters or impotent JW men–the ones that used the rushed courtship to KH wedding plan without discussing such unscriptural topics of “what sort of sex drive and sexual appetite do you have” or “I’m gay but I’m getting married to you so I cure myself and qualify to become a MS or elder”. Heterosexual marriage in an arid, dry sexless desert [and not even post-menopausal dryness] of frustration and horniness turned into rage.

    • Hi Messenger,

      Your post picks up on an interesting idea of conformity and the function of group pressure. Within the faith Witnesses are under pressure to conform. Some of it is subtle such as the book bag as you mention. However, in the wider world we oil the wheels of social interaction by degrees of conformity as well. As you mention with the case of the PO who found a way to justify giving a Christmas present :-)!

      Since the start the WTS has been about the publication and distribution of Bible literature. Calling members “publishers” makes that fairly obvious. However, most people are uncomfortable in the non-conformist role. When I challenge the fictitious Sally to be more direct in regards to her anti-homosexual rhetoric, I don’t really expect people to do that. My comments are meant to probe for inconsistency within belief systems. Likewise, as an atheist I don’t go around and say “life is utterly meaningless and without any external purpose” even though that is actually what I believe.

      The disconnect between the motivations of WTS as an organization vs individual motivations has an interesting effect. Near the end of my long association with JWs I began to notice individual JWs seem to be doing things in service to make it ineffective in regards to starting Bible studies. Sometimes it was subtle and sometimes not so much. Eventually I concluded that being out is service is what creates a form of group cohesion surrounding a common purpose. It facilitates social interaction among the car group. In contrast a Bible study is a rather lonely enterprise the orbits around theology and convincing a student you have the “truth.” And there is where I see problems. Somewhere deep within Sally she senses that the murder of homosexual males could not have ever been right. Stories about how “soon” the end is, eventually wear thin. And how many Witnesses are fearful of being asked difficult questions?

      Alas, since Sally is trapped there is an aversion to give full consideration to her own beliefs. To really explore ideas like sexuality and whether or not she or the organization has the right to make dictates with no sense of personal boundaries. So she and the organization engage in forms of apologetics around these subjects. Alas, items the organization did not need to consider in the past, such as wider societal acceptance of homosexuality, are not going away. Likewise, society is no longer reluctant to challenge religious organizations in regards to protecting children from pedophiles. The built in assumption of general moral goodness of religious people should keep such problems at bay is no longer accepted and of course has been proven in court not to be true.

      Cheers,
      -Randy

  8. Kay says:

    My neighbourhood has a fb page where info, questions etc are shared. Last Saturday there was a huge following on one post about ‘that religion’ that comes knocking on Saturday mornings.. Oh it was a beauty. So many comments about ‘their lack of respect’ etc. It ranged from the JW’s not listening when they were told to top coming, to them waking up shift workers and mothers taking naps with their babies..The amount of ‘litter’ left hidden under mats and stuffed in doors to them parading their goods on the local beach and main street. People are getting sick of the preaching and starting to reach out via social media to find a way to stop them. I really wanted to make a comment but didn’t as right now my daughter is coming under guilt attack from her in laws for not attending meetings and putting her daughters life in jeopardy… yes, their tact within the congregation is zero.. ‘you will die at Armageddon unless you come back to meetings, attend family get together where we can insult your mother, reprove you for faltering in your ways and shame you in whatever ways we can….

    • JBob says:

      @Kay Sympathy For the Devil? Reflecting, I realize how annoying I must have been to disturb persons who worked perhaps 60 hours in a work week, or presumptious to assume persons would be home and not out enjoying God’s natural creation on a Saturday or Sunday. But, I also recall what drove me to that unnatural state of frenzy–undue influence. “If I don’t get up and fight through my natural instinct to curl up under the covers and preach, I will be a bloodstain at Armageddon” or “I’ll have bloodguilt”. But, the real reason, if I don’t do it, I lose “favor”, rank, and “privileges”.

      To compare, when I talked with standard Christians who shared their testimony of Christ and the change it made in their lives–it’s obnoxious but it’s an entertaining story but also assumes everyone has as wretched a life as they did. Or, even if not wretched, it was a life less-than-purposeful, so everyone needs to get onboard with their newfound beliefs. But, no one came clamoring up my sidewalk or entering into my rest. It was casually done.

      JW message isn’t something that can be done casually–they’ll drop a verse here or there of “comfort”–seeding, but the whole message (the indoctrination) takes six or more months with hundreds if not millions of lines of written words. The Ethiopian eunuch conversion? hah!! — he would have rode Phillip to Ethiopia and back and still not have been ready for “the qualifying questions”. Acts 8:27

      7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
      yet he did not open his mouth;
      he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
      and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
      so he did not open his mouth.
      8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
      Yet who of his generation protested?
      For he was cut off from the land of the living;
      for the transgression of my people he was punished.

      “the fact that the first Gentile convert to Christianity is from a sexual minority and a different race, ethnicity and nationality together” calls Christians to be radically inclusive and welcoming.
      Rogers, Jack (2009). Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality. Westminster John Knox.

  9. messenger says:

    “I’m just trying to save my family,” outandabout, because of the blood issue.

    That’s a tough one.

    “Crisis of Conscience is the perfect book to confirm your doubts. Crisis of Conscience does an excellent job describing how the WatchTower organization really works, including its false prophecies, lies, and cover ups. Ray Franz cites numerous sources to back up his claims of flip-flops and lies.” (amazon.com)

    Witnesses’ emotions and intellects are captured by two WT teachings:

    1. That the “faithful and discreet slave” is what WT claims it to be.
    2. That Christians in all other denominations are apostates.

    Buy the book. If you could somehow get your relative to read it you might get your wish.
    If they do read it In Search of Christian Freedom is a nice follow-up. But try to have them read Crisis first.

    In my opinion Crisis is the most effective weapon against WT theology.

    • outandabout says:

      Thanks for that messenger. The thing is, where once I thought the snake was WT, after much thought I’ve realised there’s an even bigger snake which allows WT to exist in the first place and where it gets it’s justification. Kill the big snake and the little snakes can’t flourish.

      Kay, above wrote ‘not attending meetings and putting her daughters life in jeopardy’. There it is messenger, the first reason straight out of the starting blocks. The main reason for believing is the fear of death. And then there’s the promise of spending eternity is some childish theme park with rainbows waterfalls and rabbits. You can’t deny it. Take all that away and the motivation is gone and the whole thing will collapse. Fear based.

      So which of these options are you going to teach your students –

      Jacob carved spots and stripes into a tree and put his herd in front of them when they mated. When they gave birth, their babies had stripes and spots. Genesis 30; 37 39.

      or –

      Over a long period, any one animal has small changes in their coloring. Some color changes allowed some animals to survive better than others of their species. These small changes piled up over time resulting in a coloring scheme that helped the animal survive and reproduce. This is how animals got their stripes and other coloring schemes.

      Why aren’t you going to teach the bible version?

      • messenger says:

        It’s going to be very difficult and probably impossible for you to convince a Christian not to believe in the Bible. The reason that motivates Christians is not fear of death. Real Christians are motivated by love for God and his creation. That love is what God uses to sift individuals into future groups. It’s also why you cannot see the truths in scripture. God’s not concerned about you seeing those if you’re not in the favorable group. Why would he? Those ideas are meant for people that want to follow God, not that are forced to or scared not to as you believe. And the Bible wasn’t written as Randy suggests it was as an intellectual exercise, to be only intellectually understood. It was written to be misunderstood by some and understood by others, because it was written to inform and then sift individuals into one of two groups. You as an individual will get your way soon enough. Then there will be no God interfering with your existence or the individuals around you.

        It might be very difficult to get your relative to read Crisis, but that’s probably your best bet. A secondary attempt could be if he/she heard teaching from some Christians not JWs. That might help. But since WT has convinced JWs those are all apostates that will be difficult to do. If you listen to that, and your relative overhears it might work. CSN (Christian Satellite Network) is one source that could be helpful.

        If it’s the blood issue influencing your relative that motivates you then you might try those steps. Christian speakers on CSN don’t teach that scriptures prohibit transfusions. Also, those teachers view WT as a cult. They don’t discuss WT very much so, that thought is not likely to rise during an occasional listening.

        If your relative sees that WTs teachings are skewed he/she will have a reason to look somewhere else. Trying to refute Bible miracles is futile. Any person (God) that could create a universe has the capability to do far beyond anything you can think of. Saying he couldn’t change colors on sheep sounds ridiculous to a believer.

        • outandabout says:

          if god changes colors on sheep, why does he need Jacob to carve spots and stripes on a tree? Why can’t he just twitch his nose like on Bewitched and leave Jacob to tend his sheep? Can he not do anything without human aid, like say, exist at all? Saying God can create a universe but can’t change colors on a sheep by himself sounds ridiculous to an Atheist.
          Why don’t you teach the Genesis account to your students, messenger?
          Why won’t you drink that bleach?

          • messenger says:

            Because it sounds ridiculous to you, that’s why you don’t know God. See, it doesn’t sound ridiculous to me. I never tell God what he should do, or suggest what he should have done like you do. There are Bible characters that followed that path to their detriment as you are aware of.

            It doesn’t appear your primary motivation is to save your relative. If that is true there is no reason for all these distractions you constantly involve your self in and initiate.

            I don’t believe what people say. I believe what I see them do. Remember what I said about the lying tongue in so many people? Proof is always in the pudding. And I don’t see you doing anything or even saying you’re doing anything to help your relative. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” The Bible

            Every time I directed you to where you might find some answer to help you with that cause or something else, you went somewhere else. To some place that usually led you into character assignation of some individual based entirely on supposition. Again, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” There is no hiding that. What you’re doing is what you want to do, there is no denying that. Look at what you do, and ask yourself, should God prove he exists to me?

  10. Resister says:

    @outandabout

    “…there’s an even bigger snake which allows WT to exist…”

    —————————————– B I N G O !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ————————————————

    Give that man a CEEGAR! And a case of SCOTCH!
    Great minds think alike! 😀
    I just wish I could afford to rent the Goodyear Blimp.

    @Randy

    I enjoyed your comments. However, I beg to differ on a small point. I haven’t researched this, so I’m just going by what I know, which I believe to be at least 80% accurate. I am not aware, that in the (relatively) Free World, jehovas witnesses were ever directly persecuted for not saluting the flag or standing for/singing the anthem. At least not in the relatively distant past. Remember when we were jw kids? The worst I ever got was a coupla dirty looks, and some a**hole kid threatened to beat me up, but never followed thru. So, as far as that issue goes, to the best of my knowledge, the Watchtower Society of Jehovah’s Witnesses has contributed diddley-squat to our personal Freedom. As far as doing the same under Totalitarian regimes, such as the USSR, China, North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc, of course they have suffered for their stand, however, their actions have accomplished absolutely nothing in increasing Freedoms in those countries. Basically, ineffectual. The young university student who stood in front of that tank in Tianenmen Square made a much more poignant, lasting, and memorable statement, even though that may not have changed much either. The flag/anthem issue may have been used by wt’s rivals, eg. the roman catholic church, as an instigator, but that’s something else entirely. It seems to me that the only “freedoms” the watchturd has secured by their prolonged legal activity and general whining & b*tching, have been religious freedoms. And of course, the right to bother people in their homes on Saturday mornings. Other than that, I’m not aware that watchturd has contributed much at all, in spite of hearing them toot their own horn so shamelessly and often, and if so, it has only been out of self-interest, certainly not motivated by the greater good.

    • Hi Resister,

      [jehovas witnesses were ever directly persecuted for not saluting the flag or standing for/singing the anthem.]

      Children of JWs were, although it is now quite awhile ago. The cases of Gobitis and then Barnette in 1940 and 1943 respectively address this. These cases involved compelling school children to salute the flag and say the pledge. SCOTUS found first amendment free speech includes the idea that the state cannot compel one to utter certain speech. These cases were recently referenced by Apple when the FBI asked the court to compel Apple to write software to break into the iPhone. Apple argued that software is a form of speech. These cases have also been cited in regards to Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the anthem. Here in Phoenix the high school my daughter went to considered expelling a student who said the pledge for the school, but skipped the words “under God” because he was an atheist. Upon reconsideration they awarded the student the designation of “student of the month.”

      More recently (2002) the Stratton Ohio case established the idea that one has the right to anonymous free speech. Stratton had a canvassing law wherein one had to get a permit to canvass. Even though there was no cost for the permit and it was unlikely a JW would be turned away, they nonetheless had to reveal their name to the city. SCOTUS in this case said such was gratuitous government interference in free speech.

      Even the Westboro Baptists Church have helped defined the limits of free speech in their protest at funerals. The point of course is WBC and JWs are not motivated by respect for the principals of free speech and freedom of religion. Indeed they hide behind such protections so as to slander -by name- individuals who merely seek to leave their faith.

      Legal rights are an interesting thing. The durable power of attorney JWs gave us in Arizona cited abortion rights to ague that JW women have the right to refuse a transfusion for her unborn child.

      Cheers,
      -Randy

    • Shibboleth says:

      Resister,
      Interestingly enough, a documentary made by Joel P. Engardio & Tom Shepard in 2006 entitled Knocking shone the light on JWs and how they expanded freedoms for all Americans. “Knocking follows 2 families who stand firm for their controversial faith. Their stories reveal how one unlikely religion helped to shape history beyond the doorstep”. This documentary was shown on the PBS series Independent Lens. Sure, one of the directors is a son of a JW, but never became one himself. I guess you could call him an apologist. But, he shows that the court cases Jws fought in Supreme Court paved the way for other minorities to exercise their rights, such as gay married couples and abortion clinics. He brings out on this doc that “when the jws won 50 out of 62 Supreme Court cases the jws expanded liberty for everyone- even groups they disagree with”.

      Of course, I don’t know if Engardio is now aware of what is going on in his mothers faith, or what he thinks of the current situation in the org, but whether one likes to acknowledge or not, watchtower changed the civil rights scene in regard to the first amendment, and helped along the gay rights movement whether they wanted to or not.

      I am saddened tremendously with the current status of the Borg, but I have to give credit for some things where due.

  11. Resister says:

    WT loves to talk talk talk. WT apologists love to talk talk talk. Usually using fancy language, to intimidate people, to come off as being super-intelligent, and to try to prove they’re not brainwashed zombies. But you know what it all reminds me of? A vat of molten metal. You know how the impurities rise to the top? Creating a thin film. That film covers up all the pure metal. Camouflage. Like any ruse / scam. Masking the truth. Masking reality. Remove that tiny film of scum, and, PRESTO, you suddenly can see & have access to the voluminous amount of pure metal that was there all along.

  12. messenger says:

    Tomorrow eight students I’ve invited will sing as the exclusive choir performing the opening song (God Bless America) down on the ice in a professional hockey game. They’ll be standing in front of the home team facing them. The arena is an 8,000 seat arena in Los Angeles county, and it’s one of the arenas WT has been renting for district assemblies for several years now. The eight students are 9 & 10 years old. They have been singing together as a group for two months. They will be singing in harmony as opposed to unison.

    Every person that wants to and works to do it can have an effect.

    • outandabout says:

      well I hope it goes well, messenger.

    • Hi Messenger,

      That’s wonderful! This is just something to helping young ones feel the power in their voices. I hope it goes well!

      Cheers,
      -Randy

      • messenger says:

        The kids did great. Five showed up on time. Two too late to perform. But the five sounded like a full choir. The only band part is I started coming down with a cold yesterday, so I’m taking off at least two days, and possibly this week.

        Thank you for your comments!

      • Amadeus says:

        thanks Randy I’ll try that , I never had problems before.

        Amadeus

  13. messenger says:

    Ricardo,

    You’ve been reading these discussions for a while. Is it apparent to you yet why people are saved only through faith in Christ. Faith means believing in something and following that something. Just like some people have faith in a dream or goal they pursue. Lack of faith and even doubt in Christ means those people don’t believe in him to the point of following him. People that don’t believe in anything don’t follow it.

    That’s why people these folks that think have good behavior will go at Christ’s hand, or rather from the words out of his mouth. While they call their actions good behavior, that’s not how God sees it. None of our behaviors are good enough except the behavior of following Christ. But they won’t follow God, because they have no faith in his directions.

    Discussions on this site make that quite apparent. Even if they knew God they wouldn’t follow him. That’s what this whole Earthly experience is about. The choice. If it’s never been apparent before you should be able to see that now. Your dad was wrong. Christ will kill people who choose not to follow him. It doesn’t matter how righteous they think they are. Some of these “righteous people” might make it through the tribulation, but only if they become Christians during that time, and individually that’s not guaranteed. The only guarantee depends one what someone does now.
    How many made it out of Sodom?

    • Hi Messenger,

      I would agree your post more or less represents the nominal Christian view. That said, there are Christian Univerasalists who argue all will attain salvation and none will be lost because that is what God desires (2 Peter 3:9 & 1 Timothy 2:4).

      Cheers,
      -Randy
      ps. fwiw: I’m not a Christian Universalist. I don’t think the argument based on Peter and Timothy is correct. Rather I’m a Atheist Unitarian Universalist. I believe one can only follow Christ to the extent that one can derive inspiration from how Jesus is presented in scripture.

      • messenger says:

        “I believe one can only follow Christ to the extent that one can derive inspiration from how Jesus is presented in scripture.” Randy

        Everything is up to interpretation, and I’ve had debates with others here that claim following Christ only means doing good deeds towards others, inspired by how “Jesus is presented in scripture.” But that’s not what scriptures claim. Those claim following Christ means following his directions to the best of our ability and looking to him as our savior and Lord. That’s very clearly laid out in scripture and why he is called there Lord and God. Any deviation from that thought is simply a false premise suggesting we can be inspired by Christ without bowing to his position. It’s not what the Bible teaches. That idea in your quote simply is not true, and the actual truth is spread throughout scripture. That’s why the Jews looked for a messiah to be their savior and Lord, and the Christians labeled him God. “Look! I am coming quickly….I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last the beginning and the end.” Rev 22:12 to which every knee will bow down to.

        If you don’t believe in doing that just admit you don’t believe in following the Bible message. Why say you interpret it differently? The idea is too simple not to be understood. Since in your other comments you admit to being an atheist it’s clear you don’t believe the Bible message. Why do you falsely interpret scripture? If you treasure the Bible as an historical work even, why falsely interpret it? Is it to mislead the ignorant, or for some other reason?

        Most adults on planet Earth know the Bible teaches Christians must follow Christ as their Lord while viewing him as their savior. That’s the reason for Islamic persecution of Christians. Are you saying here that you do not interpret scripture to mean that? Or do you just state what you want to do, and want to teach others to do? If that’s what you want, for yourself and others, it’s best to specify that in your comments about interpretation of scriptures. Just because you want something doesn’t mean it agrees with a true interpretation of scripture, though a reader might believe it does.

        And that’s the danger in your comments to Christians. You interpret scriptures according to how you do not wish to follow Christ. And in those interpretations you never reveal your motive. Instead you insinuate that’s what the scripture says. No, that’s not what it says.

        Better to say I am an atheists so this is how I relate to scriptures, than to say this is what those scriptures say. Because if you are wrong your judgment might be less severe. “Many will come on the BASIS of my name and mislead many” Luke 21

        • Hi Messenger,

          My small response was mere a counter point to your statement “Christ will kill people who choose not to follow him.” There exists Christian Universalists who sincerely believe all will obtain salvation. I cited the two common verses they would reference but their position on the matter would go far deeper.

          [If you don’t believe in doing that just admit you don’t believe in following the Bible message[1].]

          Oh, yes, absolutely. To be clear there are verses of scripture that I don’t believe should be followed by myself or anyone else. To suggest it is morally justified to put to death two men who engage in homosexual sex (Lev 20:13) is morally repugnant to me. Actually even the “Christ will kill people who choose not to follow him,” I would see as not much different morally than purge Sadam Hussein executed to clear away disloyal individuals. The only difference is Sadam really killed people, whereas I don’t believe, any supernatural being named “Christ” exists and is able to kill people.

          [Why do you falsely interpret scripture? If you treasure the Bible as an historical work even, why falsely interpret it? Is it to mislead the ignorant, or for some other reason?]

          That is a manner of opinion of course. I wish to arrive at a correct understanding of what the text itself is saying. Staying within the cultural context and respecting the views of the various authors.

          What I think sometimes happens to anyone who invests time and energy and fervent belief is a sense of ownership over the material. Thus some believers will insist that because they believe the Bible is the word of God, their view must be correct, because it fits a require formula set out in the Bible itself (1 Tim 3:16). It is also not usual for the believer to attach dramatic consequences for one form of belief or another. Jonathan Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is a good example.

          The non-believer, objects and says, “no, no, it is my view that holds to scholarship, exegesis and cultural and historical details that is important.” While this is the position I hold, at the same time I try to see how the belief path works for you and others.

          Cheers,
          -Randy
          ps. As to the text of NT and Paul’s writings in particular, there is a strong emphasis on following Jesus as the Christ. All knowledge, as per Paul, was wrapped up in Christ (Phil 3:8). In this the NWT muddies the waters by importing the name “Jehovah” 237 times into the NT where it doesn’t belong.
          pps. If you feel that I have misunderstood the text of a verse please feel free to object & correct me. It will be appreciated on my side.
          [1] I don’t believe there is one coherent “message” in the Bible. Rather that are varied motivations depending on author and circumstance for each of the 66 (or 73) books.

    • That’s just silly.

    • Donald J says:

      What’s all this talk about killing? Enough of your blasphemies, False Messenger! I am the True Messenger of the Creator of the Universe. I did tell all of you about my supernatural experience within the Blue Aura. And It told me that It had never authored a book in Its life, as I stated, Oh ye of little faith. I asked It about Jesus Christ. It said It had no relatives. No aunts, uncles, cousins, daughters, or sons. I am the Creator’s only channel on this Earth. All else are false prophets who must be locked in a box and fed mushrooms until they repent. This is the Word of the Blue Aura. The unrepentant shall continue to return to this plane of existence as a lower life form, such as a cockroach, rat, or dung beetle. The same fate as Zygot of the Seventh Universe, who refused to change even after being given 1000 chances. DO NOT confuse the Blue Aura’s generosity for weakness. You may find yourself rolling along little balls of wildebeest feces for the rest of your existence, if you’re LUCKY.
      May the blessings of the Blue Aura be with you all, my children.

      • messenger says:

        I wonder if you can find your shoelaces. In the movie Titanic some joked on the ship. But the ship still sank. It’s not the only point I make. I started commenting here because some here, and I don’t think it’s because of poor reading skills, claim misleading interpretations of scripture. If you don’t like scriptures’ true interpretations, don’t blame the messenger.

        You’re allowed your own choice in the matter. But if choosing against Bible instructions why not hold your head up high and say, I revolt against that idea? Be a man in your rebellion, not a mouse giggling at the prophecies that include destruction. I believe I heard in a movie that when a chimpanzee shows fear he grins.

    • Chiafade says:

      “None of our behaviors are good enough except the behavior of following Christ”

      This is the kind of self deprecating talk present at every kingdom hall on earth. It’s best left behind like turds in a toilet.

      • messenger says:

        That’s the clear message of the Bible. If you don’t like it stay out of discussions centering around scripture. Hey, but why should I tell you what to do? Right?

        Why not just recognize possible ignorance on your part as a fulfillment of prophecy. But that to is a mistake for me to assume, isn’t it? I’m sure you don’t think what I wrote is contrary to the Bible message. I’m sure you are not that ignorant, having attended a Kingdom Hall. I’m sure your motivation is that the Bible claim repulses you.

        Thank you for your part in confirming my claim, and doing your utmost in demonstrating a fulfillment of prophecy.. ” I shall but enmity between your seed and his seed.” Gen 3:15

    • Tranquillo says:

      It dosn’ matter how righteous they think they are…
      It doesn’t matter how righteous they think they are
      Yes indeed… and that applies to you as well, you most righteous

  14. Amadeus says:

    Hi everyone doe’s anyone know what happen to Avoid jw.org ,I can’t down load anything from that site.I know the tower was going after different sites did they shut them down?
    Thanks

    • Hi Amadeaus,

      The link on this site is: https://avoidjw.org/ and it works for me. Sometimes items the browser has cached for a site causes problems, so clearing your cache might help. If you’re using Firefox you can try Ctrl+F5 which will reload a site without cache. If you have more than one browser installed it is always good to try different browsers.

      Alas, it is also true that due to how Internet routing works that sometimes not all sites will be available to all users on the Internet. There was a report the other day of Comcast customers being unable to reach an encrypted email service for almost a day until suddenly it came back online.

      Cheers,
      -Randy

  15. Doc Obvious says:

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses never had tact in the first place. Quotes like these: “Religion is a snare and a racket”, “Apostates are mentally diseased”, etc. are a couple examples. Then, you have Anthony Morris III’s bigoted speech towards the LGBT community. Instead of leaving people alone, they continue to push the envelope.

  16. michael glenn says:

    god hates fags

  17. Ricardo says:

    @Messenger, I will try to answer you here. I tried to answer above this morning but maybe my answer was too long. It got eaten up in the ether.

  18. Ricardo says:

    Yes, Messenger, I see how your answer has a Biblical basis. But my confusion comes from how is Jesus going to reach the good people who will respond to His love, and how can I have a part in this.

    You see, until recently I thought the Witnesses, with a worldwide vision of getting the message proclaimed, would go from glory to glory as most witnesses believe, and that they would accomplish the preaching work globally. However, for reasons I explain below, I don’t believe that is possible. This organization seems to have lost its focus and is instead enforcing submission to leadership as being more important.

    However, with your reasoning that there are Christians who Jesus approves of in other religions, well that is not only reasonable but opens up possibilities.

    But how do we play a part? How do we work with Jesus? This I don’t understand. I have been waiting and trying to work it out for a couple of years now. I have no motivation to put in a big effort with the witnesses because I feel as if I am being used, like a pawn that will be thrown away when of no further use. Plus, with so much abuse happening in the org, how can I feel comfortable introducing the org to other people whose lives might be ruined.

    • Morris says:

      I feel exactly the same way. I am trying to be a better Christian not JW (as Ricardo once said). Last Sunday’s WT was all about donating and I can’t get myself to give money of any kind to an organization like this one. One sister commented that the GB don’t live in a mansion but just had a room. I think she realized what she said afterward as they do live in a non-cost barred mansion each with a room and everything catered. So, if I am going to give it will be my time and love to others and follow in the foot steps of Jesus. When the lower income mention how Jehovah always provides it always falls on the laps of those with more money to help many. Kind of unfair for the lazy to stay lazy and find a way to work the system. Very tough to go door to door and try and convert when I am embarrassed at some meetings with what is said and how it is said. I won’t go on a rant but if ever at a meeting pay very close attention and you will hear what we mean.

  19. Ricardo says:

    I came to Asia 30 years ago because I was concerned that there were so many here going to be destroyed if they did not hear the kingdom message. But in the past 30 years I have seen our org really really mess things up.

    For instance, from experience here in Asia I saw that most success with the indigenous people was achieved with those who had moved from the villages into the towns (where there was less influence from family and friends to stop them studying). So why were we not focusing on them, and calling on those in the villages less often? I brought my observations to the elders who said it was logical but did nothing, as the idea did not fit in with the usual way we preached.

    Are we seeing the urgency of the preaching work or not? Other good suggestions were also ignored in favor of the usual ways we preach.

    Another example is the procedure now to send Japanese and Korean elders into the Asian countries. These elders are shocking: they come from a culture where leadership must not be questioned, where submission is rewarded. In fact, this seems to be the most important thing in our org. Get into our bunkers and forget about the billions going to die. Wherever the Japanese/Korean elders go they make a mess of things and meeting attendance falls.

    • Hi Ricardo,

      [I came to Asia 30 years ago because I was concerned that there were so many here going to be destroyed if they did not hear the kingdom message. But in the past 30 years I have seen our org really really mess things up.]

      Very interesting insights! After many years it began slowly dawn on me that we Witnesses did several different things in the ministry to make it ineffective in regards to starting Bible studies. I eventually saw the ministry as working more towards a social function than a real vehicle to teach outsiders the “truth.” That said, there are certainly some Witnesses, such as yourself, who are sincere and motivated to help those they see as lined up for destruction.

      Although I now live in the USA I’m originally from Canada, the province of British Columbia. Thus this story of Amber who took up Chinese in Vancouver and eventually went to China fascinating. It was the circumstances of China that eventually led Amber to reconsider her beliefs.

      https://www.believermag.com/issues/201302/?read=article_scorah

      Cheers,
      -Randy

  20. Ricardo says:

    When I return to Australia I see other practices which are eroding the congregations. We hardly ever see elders out preaching, yet they are always on the platform telling us how to preach. When a sales group has leaders who can’t be bothered to go selling, how energized can the rank-and-file be? And elders are making sure their sons are becoming elders, and at a young age. And the elders’ kids are getting baptized young.

    My parents’ generation saw brothers becoming elders who came out of the world, out of other religions, who had real world experience. Nowadays the elders are elders’ sons brought up in the truth with low levels of education and little Bible knowledge.

    Add to this the pathetic effort and success we are having in the most populous countries of India and China. We have little to be positive about there. But if you say that you hope Armageddon won’t come for a few decades so that these people get a witness, you get called an apostate.

  21. Ricardo says:

    Not only can’t I see the witnesses progressing much in the short term, I can see the org totally disappearing in the long term.

    So how does the preaching work get done globally, Messenger? What is your view? How can we have a part?

    • messenger says:

      Why do you think a denomination, (WT) that is comparable with the Pharisee Jewish sect setting up its own rules in Christ’s day, are the ones preaching the Bible’s message? Was it even around when Christianity became the world’s dominant religion?

      See 1Thess 2:1-17 (especially verses 6 and 7) It’s likely WT has it wrong about its interpretation of “the thing that acts as a restraint..gets to be out of the way.” WT claims that was the death of the apostles. But that thing could be Christ’s church upon rapture, that after it is removed allows the world without Christianity to exist for a period of time until it is ended by Christ.

      Christ has always had his followers here to restrain actions inside the church, and to a lesser degree inside society. Christ didn’t need the apostles to do that. And that restraint is one of the causes of the multiple sects today.

      Chapters I and 2 of 2Thess deal with Christ’s presence, or coming again. He comes to do two things, rapture his church, and judge the world. We are a long way away from Christ’s death. It’s very unlikely something he wanted restrained in the first century he would let go unstrained for this many centuries since that. Why would he? “Even the gates of hades will not prevail against my church.” He said something like that. Sorry I didn’t look up his exact words.

    • messenger says:

      “But how do we play a part? How do we work with Jesus?”

      Speak the truth and follow Christ’s example. Where you are is not as important as what you are. You’ve got two choices. You can be someone that speaks the truth or you could be a liar.

      When they chased Christ out of one synagogue he didn’t beg to be reinstated, nor did he want to be reinstated. He merely went somewhere else. Individual synagogues would have been run by attending members in the predominant sect of that area. So different ideas had to have been taught in different synagogues. Some controlling synagogue members were Pharisees. Sects back then were like denominations now. So go somewhere else if you get thrown out the Kingdom Hall before you lie to get reinstated.

      The rest of your course you should know. Follow Christ’s example. I don’t advise lying to remain a JW if you get thrown out. Lying includes agreeing to something you know is false. That is not the example Christ set.

  22. messenger says:

    There’s nothing here (in the Bible) to interpret. Words mean what they say. And these words are simple. Your actions are an attempt to “kill the messenger,” and by doing so kill the message. That’s been tried for 2000 years now. How is that (lack of) success working out?

    The whole scriptures point to this simple truth. No need arguing they don’t, because those arguments make you look ignorant, not the intelligent people you claim to be, with an intelligent plan to shape this world. The Bible is also a messenger, and I say again, some of you attempt to kill the messenger.

    I don’t hear any vehement comments directed towards other religious books. Why? But this comment might start those in an attempt to disguise your attempt to kill the Bible’s message. Although that’s very unlikely, since I can read you like a book. Any comments of that nature will be short lived. Jokes and false attacks can only influence those who are not called by Christ. You will be unsuccessful in your attempt to persuade others.

    Now, do you really admit that you cannot understand these words? If so, please claim that admission.

    “”He that exercises faith in him (Christ) is not to be judged. He that does not exercise faith has been judge
    d already, because he has not exercised faith in the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18 NWT

    All of you knew these words before I quoted them. I quoted them from your Bibles.Why do you feign ignorance? It’s not that you don’t understand, it’s that some here don’t want to accept that idea. Those words are too easily understood. I don’t buy anyone that I’ve seen comment on this site does not understand those words, even those commenters that have spent comment after comment attempting to explain why the Bible doesn’t say that. Do you think I’m that stupid? Do you think God is so stupid?

    No, you choose to believe what you want because it’s what you like, not because it’s logical. That’s apparent. “Now this is the basis for judgment, that the light has come into the world but men have loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were wicked. For he that practices vile things hates the light, and does not come to the light in order that his works may not be reproved.” John 3:19,20 NWT Until you admit your faults you will not come to Christ. If you don’t come to Christ you will not understand the Bible. You argue what you don’t understand.

    Another point different from the one above that demonstrates what you like is that when some of you read this Bible truth expressed in any way you seethe like the undead in a vampire movie that’s been splashed with holy water. “I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed”….Gen 3:15 NWT You like this world better than the promised world because it’s made up by you, you, and you; and you don’t want to change, do you?

    @Randy,

    Randy, fulfilled prophecy is taking place right before your eyes, are you blind to it?

    • Hi Messenger,

      [Randy, fulfilled prophecy is taking place right before your eyes, are you blind to it?]

      I would not say “blind.” Rather, I simply do not see any compelling evidence of such things. If you would like to point to a specific example I would be happy to comment and share my thoughts. That said, if we don’t hold prophecy to a high standard then, yes I can see how some folks could be convinced some events could be interpreted as prophesy.

      On the other hand, I don’t discard prophesy as having no value either. For example, Zephaniah:

      “On that day,”
      declares the Lord,
      “a cry will go up from the Fish Gate,
      wailing from the New Quarter,
      and a loud crash from the hills.
      Wail, you who live in the market district;
      all your merchants will be wiped out,
      all who trade with silver will be destroyed.

      Chapter 1, verses 10 & 11 (NIV). As with many of these end-of-days prophesies there is not enough detail to say what precise events would or would not qualify as fulfilled prophesy. Given that Jerusalem was subject to warring nations it would also not be surprising that at some point an attack would happen. Saying “On that day” makes the prophesy open-ended.

      However, if we push hard on the prophetic angle we’ll miss something important. These words target that self-assured feeling of business folks in Jerusalem. It is oh so easy for wealthy folks to conclude they have nothing to worry about and their success is their own doing. In reality things can change quickly and fortunes can be reversed. If these words were written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BCE you can bet folks would have believed it was fulfilled prophesy. Even if it were written afterwards, as some scholars believe, it still echoes across time in regards to the event.

      If the writer was being oppressed by the wealthy who walked through the Fish Gate and worked in the New Quarter, then we can also see these words as a cry for justice as well as a warning not to place ones trust in silver.

      Cheers,
      -Randy

  23. eyes opened says:

    Hi Ricardo,

    You make many interesting comments that often resonate with me. I have seen many similar things within the org. especially the do as I say not as I do scenario. Only a couple comments to make…when you ask how the global preaching work will get done? I have come to appreciate the efforts of many organizations. For example the Gideon’s placing Bibles in hotels, many missionaries from various christian religions traveling throughout the globe. The witnesses, as far as I know, have never broken ground in new territory. They have only gone where someone has gone before. It is simply not up to witnesses only to bring the Bible to others. It is as G. Jackson said, it would be presumptuous to think we are God’s only spokes people. I for one think perhaps it was God who told him what to say in that very hour, how else would we have heard such an honest comment?

    About the subject at hand…the GB are trying to get the sheep to stir up controversy where it should be avoided. The tactless, thoughtless offense to other people is not an appealing way to sway people to ones way of thinking, however, I would hazard to say the purpose for the controversy is to fire up the persecution complex in the brothers…”see you’re being persecuted, the end is close”. You make the brothers feel like they are the victims rather than the ones doing the victimizing. Very manipulative! It is just one of the methods used to keep coaxing the diehard witnesses to hang in there with the GB. How can the GB come clean about anything? They have no place to go, except maybe jail. They must keep fooling people for their own upkeep. You have no idea how surprised I am that I now think like this. Not that long ago I was the diehard witness. I cannot tolerate or go along with lies and I can’t hide from what I believe to be true just because I may not like the it. Once the blinders are off the view is very different. And how disheartening, I have family that still buy into this treachery.

    Peace Ricardo and regards to all

  24. messenger says:

    I spelled bad as “band” by mistake.

  25. Resister says:

    Amadeus, I assure you, if WT or anyone else shut down that site, 10 more will spring up in its place.

    Interesting when people criticize “disgruntled exJWs”, they often head for the Lowest Common Denominator – sex. Like all apostates are apostates because they seek to pursue a hedonistic, sex-crazed lifestyle. Like apostates are living some kind of “Playboy” Hugh Hefner-esque existence complete with 24/7 sex orgies. Just shows where THEIR minds are firmly planted. Try as they may, WT & its Apologists just can’t help revealing themselves. Constantly. Reminds me of that game Whack-A-Mole. They just don’t know how to keep their heads down. And they think WE are the enemy. Hey, WT & WT Apologists, ever heard that old expression, “YOU are your own worst enemy”?

  26. Donald the Enlightened says:

    MESSenger, Get behind me, Mother of Satan!

    The Blue Aura has just now revealed to me that It is taking a personal interest in the dissolution of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. Because they are such lying liars, even beyond the pale. This World has been suffering from intellectual constipation for too long. It is time the World finally evacuates the lingering turd known as the Watchtower (anti-social) Society.
    On a related note, when I returned to this plane of existence, I noticed something on one of those entertainment-oriented “news” shows which I usually don’t watch. It might have been eTalk!. I’m not sure, and frankly, I don’t care. But they were playing a clip of Bill Maher interviewing Billy Bush. That’s what caught my eye. Billy Bush was the fellow who interviewed and recorded Donald Trump on that infamous “pu–y-grabbing” tape that came out during the 2016 United States presidential campaign. Bush went on to say to Maher, that Trump, at that time, also made some wildly exaggerated claims about the television ratings of his tv “reality” show, The Apprentice. Bush called him out on the lie. Trump responded, “Hey man, just say it, and they”ll believe it. That’s all. All you have to do is say it, and they’ll believe it.” Wowzies. Maher responded to Bush, “Well, I guess that’s where we are.” Listen, it could just as easily have been a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses making that statement. I would not at all be surprised if that was the case. Someone called the Watchtower Society & organized religion a “web of lies”. Get out of Her, my people! That Jezebel! That lying whore!
    May the blessings of the Blue Aura be with you all, my children.

    • messenger says:

      WT goes further than that. It’s not just that it makes its own rules which are not in scripture and expects followers to believe its rules are. WT will punish a follower that does not abide by its rules, and it won’t baptize a convert unless he/she accepts all the WT rules.

      Instructions have even gone out to circuit overseers that if a JW does not believe a WT teaching he/she can be punished by disfellowshipping. That would be the equivalent of Trump passing a law making it illegal to disagree with anything he claims to be true. This is one of the primary reasons Lloyd set up this page.

  27. Jehovah P. Yahweh III says:

    I also am tired of the “harlot” of religion; especially that corrupt corporation called the Watchtower society. I hope the general public becomes more and more aware of their covert, dirty activities. It really is time.

  28. Resister says:

    Hey messenjah baby. You referenced the Titanic, saying some folks were joking as it sank. What should they have been doing, in your exalted JW opinion? Crying? Wailing? Beating their chests in lamentation? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can tell you that if “Armageddon” were really a thing, which, of course, it isn’t, I still would be laughing my sweet a$$ off at “Jehovah” right up to the moment he vaporized me in his righteous rage. Ha! So what? Big deal! I would be dead, but I would STILL be FREE. Rational folks aren’t scared by these lame, silly, impotent Doomsday threats. We are all big boys & girls.

    • messenger says:

      You talk a big game, but you haven’t made that statement and acted on it to your local government yet have you? If so you haven’t been defiant to the extent you are in a prison with no internet access. You sound like someone who might join her country’s army and then frag her own officer because he gave her an order.

      But let’s get back to your comment. That attitude is the attitude many people will have during the great tribulation. Check out Revelation yourself and you’ll see that there. Instead of repenting Revelation states many people will curse God. And that’s why they take it in the shorts either during the tribulation or when Christ appears at Armageddon. You are setting an example that no logical person would want to follow. But as for the illogical, I guess they cannot help themselves.

  29. joe says:

    Tact is only helpful if it makes the difference between getting a new recruit or not. Since the effectiveness of the ministry is near zero (with or without tact) then what’s the point in being tactful? The ministry is now just busywork. Their focus is keeping the membership that they have and better indoctrinating the children born into the cult so that they don’t get lost. They’re no longer particularly interested in the ministry (cutting loose missionaries, cutting back on publications, etc) because it doesn’t give them the ROI that focusing on indoctrinating JW children and maintaining the indoctrination of JW adults does.

    Given that tact is no longer a useful tool to getting new recruits, why would they keep it? Especially since encouraging a lack of tact will help JWs to keep non-JWs at arms length – now non-JWs will want to keep JWs at arms length too – further strengthening the us/them dichotomy and reinforcing the persecution complex and the cult’s narrative that non-JWs are evil.

  30. Markie says:

    I get a kick out of all the people here calling the Watchtower liars, their going away etc….. They are not going anywhere. They will be here long after we die. These disgruntled exJWs reminded me of Donald Trump. Everyone else is lying but them. The truth only comes from them. They speak the truth and the GB doesn’t etc…. What you accuse the society of doing is exactly what your doing. The truth lies obviously somewhere in the middle.

    I for one think that you could poke fun at all religions when you really look at what their beliefs are.

    Resister, not sure what your issue is but if you carefully read messengers posts he is not a JW (correct me if I am wrong messenger).

    • messenger says:

      Let Resister attack all she wants. She’s having her part in fulfilling prophecy. “I shall put enmity between your offspring and her offspring.” Gen 3:15

      See Markie, Resister can take in any derogatory comment about the Bible. In fact she loves those. False interpretations of scripture also suit her taste, especially those false interpretations that claim faith in Christ is not necessary for salvation. But she has an aversion to scriptural truth, especially truths relating to salvation through belief in Christ. She, and some others here cannot tolerate those type of comments.

      In the long run everything will work out. God is in control of all things. God has the good news preached everywhere, even “to the spirits in prison.” (1 Peter 3:19) Take care Markie. No worries about anything here. Everything is going just as it must. Many Bible prophecies are fulfilled not because God brings about those fulfillments, but because God foresaw things that would happen and informed us about those events in prophecy.

      Take care brother.

    • Hi Markie,

      Leaving Jehovhah’s Witnesses is a process. I liken baptism to getting married compared to leaving which is like getting a divorce. Although many former Witnesses find happiness upon leave the faith it is painful process. Thus it is not unusual to run across some Ex-JWs who feel deeply betrayed and rightly so — after all they devoted a good portion of their life to an organization that in the end they feel was not honest.

      What is the objective truth though? Probably one of the best criticism sites is jwfacts.com. Paul Grundy does a great job of objectively laying out issues cite facts that can be checked. What about Ex-JWs? They are individuals. You’ll find many Ex-JWs, though not all, are actually very sensitive to claims they’re merely disgruntled. Often going the extra mile to carefully present only facts. Keeping in mind sites like this have limited resources to do extensive research.

      Other religions are interesting too. However, since all our experience relates to JWs there is a natural draw to reach out to others with a similar background. No doubt there are many Ex-JWs who have moved on, joined other religions or taken up other interests, but since they don’t show up on Ex-JWs support sites we don’t get to hear from them.

      For myself personally I do not seek to divorce anyone of their faith whatever it might be. Especially older family members who remain JWs I would actually not relish the idea of them leaving at this point in their life. I know how painful the process is and so I’m not sure if it would be great for my friend in her late 70s to leave. But if she did I would of course try to be supportive.

      Cheers,
      -Randy

    • messenger says:

      Markie,

      I believe what Christ said about the fishing net. That it is wide and brings up all kinds of fish that he will have his angels separate when he returns. And he has not returned yet. Christ’s net has brought people into multiple denomination. Throughout the Christian experience his followers never belonged to an exclusive denomination since they split up into multiple ones. The reason is because salvation, according to Christ, is not dependent on believing certain Bible doctrines his church split over. And it surely isn’t dependent on following rules that are not in scripture such as:
      No voting
      No smoking
      No birthday celebrations
      No holiday celebrations
      You must participate in field service to please God
      You must accept every doctrine and rule taught by your denomination. Because unity does not mean conformity. Those are two separate ideas. Unity means getting along, and that requires tolerance. Unity is not achieved by forcing members to accept dogmatic man made doctrines. If there was unity among us, we wouldn’t be here, would we?

    • Ricardo says:

      @Markie, I am not a disgruntled ex-JW. I am a disgruntled JW. And I believe Watchtower will go down. Soon. And fast. The reason for my belief is the same reason I am commenting on this site: because there is no legitimate way to voice our discontent in the congregation setting. If you speak about the abuse you have seen and experienced to others you will get d’fed. If you speak about it to the elders they will tell you to get over it; if you can’t get over it, leave.

      Any organization which does not let people blow off steam and which does not have an effective way of dealing with injustice will find that the pressure of discontent will lead to members blowing the top off the org. Be it a political organization which is tyrannical or a religious one.

      Our religion does not allow you to leave without great suffering. Many of us are suffering staying in, due to the abuse of our elders. We cannot get justice because elders stick together. One day it is all going to blow. One day we will be able to leave this religion freely, and members will leave in huge numbers.

      If the org is going to have so much control over our lives, at least make it a pleasant experience. It is madness otherwise. As a wise CO said to me once, this organization is set for a big bang. The perfect storm is brewing: a plethora of internet sites exposing Watchtower’s sins, discontent within the org, court cases being lost with more on the horizon thus needing more funds, and an elder arrangement which is weak and will fall.

      The Weinstein moment must occur. If Watchtower doesn’t go bankrupt first, I believe it will disappear from member unhappiness.

      • nancytrimble58 says:

        Ricardo,
        If I may, wouldn’t it be better to be an ex-JW than to continue to be trapped in a ‘religion’ that you don’t believe in? We left about 7 years ago and have never regretted it. I disagreed openly about a couple of things (after 16 years) and boom, I was immediately questioned, then repremanded, then threatened with disfellowshipping and that just fueled me to start doing my research which opened up my eyes to everything I had ‘suspected’ about this cult. Start searching out sites such as http://www.z3news.com, http://www.holyspiritwind.net, godshealer7 (youtube), http://www.thecallofthebride.com, http://www.wingsofprophecy.com for the answers you are looking for in direction for starters. You don’t need ANY religion to be a true Christian, just pray to Jesus and He will hear you and answer. As the saying goes, ‘it’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship with Christ’. That is the most important thing you can do right now. What is coming upon this earth is going to be so bad that if you DO NOT HAVE a relationship with Christ you will not be able to survive it. We are in a time of exposure and the beginning of the ‘birth pains’ and judgments coming, especially upon the US and then the rest of the world. Time is short and you need to make a decision NOW.

        • nancytrimble58 says:

          And yes, prophecy is alive and well right now. Funny they never taught the book of Joel. Also in the last book of Mark, how it says, ‘the signs will follow the believers’ as in, there will still be miracles, healings, and prophecy in our day. An elder once told me that these things were done away with. What a bunch of bull! And I thought it interesting they NEVER read Ephesians 2:8 – ‘For by grace you have been saved by faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God’, vs. 9 – not as a result of WORKS, so that NO MAN may BOAST’. They only preach what they want you to know, and twist the scriptures to their favor. Go to the Bible and read for yourself and begin to follow Jesus and His teachings. He won’t lead you astray like any man will.

  31. messenger says:

    I saw a news report yesterday. Someone in Washington set fire to two Kingdom Halls. They were seen on video camera. Hopefully they are soon caught, before they hurt someone.

    • Resister says:

      Why don’t you start a “Save the Kingdom Halls” fund? You could register it as a tax-exempt charity.

  32. Resister says:

    @Markie

    Re: “messenger is not a JW”
    Thanx for your input, but I have no faith in your judgment.
    FYI ……. watchtower really is on its way DOWWWN. The evidence is overwhelming.

    • messenger says:

      That depends on how you define a JW. Is it someone who turns in time to WT every six months? Is it someone who is regular at WT meetings? Is it someone who the JWs baptized and has never been dfd or disassociated? Is it someone that believes in major WT doctrines and rules? Is it someone that does not speak against WT rules, policies, and teachings publicly? What is a JW? Is it someone that occasionally goes to the Kingdom Hall? Most here have been baptized as JWs. It depends on how you define a JW as to whether I am one.

  33. Hi Everyone,

    Some who have been following my posts and responses to Messenger, may be interested in the response I provided in my ENH241 college course. When I signed up I did not know this course would cover Emerson and Thoreau and Transcendentalism. I grew up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, baptized in 1981 at age 16 and left in 2008. I started attending Valley Unitarian Universalist in the fall of 2013 and became an official member in January 2015. I self-identify as an Atheist Unitarian Universalist. So… with that background out of the way here is my English assignment, which asked to define Transcendentalism of Emerson and Thoreau compared to modern usage:

    The text book for MAT221 Calculus is entitled, “Thomas’ Calculus: Early Transcendentals.” Calculus transcends algebra in that “it cannot be expressed in terms of a finite sequence of the algebraic operations” (Thomas). The word transcend is derived from Latin transcendere that literally means to climb across (“Transcend”). Mirriam-Webster defines transcendentalism as “a philosophy that emphasizes the a priori conditions of knowledge and experience or the unknowable character of ultimate reality or that emphasizes the transcendent as the fundamental reality” (“Transcendentalism”).

    Unpacking Mirriam-Webster’s definition helps one see the personal nature of transcendentalism. An “a priori condition” is the other side of empirical knowledge one gains from observation. Thus to the transcendentalist there is more to reality than what objective science can teach. On the other hand, the transcendentalist would assert there is more to reality than what flows from religious authorities. In “Self-Reliance” Emerson asks, “Is the acorn better than the oak which is its fulness and completion?” In other words, why should knowledge from the past automatically be accepted as superior? Emerson is asserting that since knowledge grows from an acorn to an oak, more recent knowledge is the better form.

    For a period of time Emerson, as well as his critic, Orestes Brownson, was a Unitarian minister. Brownson also served as a Universalist minister. Eventually Brownson would leave religious liberalism and transcendentalism to become a Roman Catholic. In the era of Emerson and Thoreau, Unitarians and Universalists were rooted in Christianity. These two liberal Christian faiths continued to developed and finally merged in 1961 (Universalism). To understand the meaning of transcendentalism in the modern era, it helps to understand the development of liberal and conservative Christian faiths alongside objective science. Unitarian Univeralists now make reference to transcendentalism primarily in a historical context. Neither liberal nor conservative forms of Christianity have supplanted the other, although the conservative form has won more adherents. If some in the 19th century felt objective science was an unstoppable path towards a complete understanding of nature, their hopes would be dashed by Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and others of quantum mechanics fame.

    The need to transcend strict religious dogma or the limits of objective science to understand reality and name it as such seems to have lessened. Yet, the pursuit of knowledge, whether it be from accepted religious authority, personal experience, or objective science continues on apace.

    Cited Works

    Thomas, George B. Thomas Calculus 12th Edition, Study Guide by Cram101 Textbook Reviews, 2017. Chapter 7. Web. 18 March 2017.
    “History of Unitarian Universalism.” UUA.org, 2018. Web. 18 March 2017.
    “Transcend.” Merriam-Webster. 2018. Web. 18 March 2017.
    “Transcendentalism.” Merriam-Webster. 2018. Web. 18 March 2017.

    • messenger says:

      “Thus to the transcendentalist there is more to reality than what objective science can teach. On the other hand, the transcendentalist would assert there is more to reality than what flows from religious authorities”

      I agree with this Randy. While not denying what science has discovered about our surroundings, without denying God has revealed limited truths to a limited number of people first hand, I agree with your finding. Until we can enter the dimensions that we are presently barred from our knowledge of all that exists will remain extremely limited. How could it not be?

      Take care Randy!

      • outandabout says:

        the human mind is capable of taking us to a lot of places, messenger, but that doesn’t necessarily mean truth in anything while there. An example is the villager who goes ahead and dies after the witch doctor points a bone at him. He’s grown up believing strongly that that’s what happens if the witch doctor points the bone. Imagine that, messenger…..if we can literally think ourselves to death, we can create a god as easy as pie. Done that lately?

        • Hi Messenger & Outandabout,

          As far as I can determine the transcendentalists were trying to find the middle ground between two groups. On the one side there were the Puritans / Calvinists who emphasized things like damnation and predestination and the forces of Enlightenment that tilted towards science, especially the idea the science would eventually uncover all truth about reality.

          Cheers,
          -Randy

  34. Jc says:

    I believe having the door to door ministries in this day and time, is just a way to humiliate the JW believers. They have even stated it keeps them humble. In reality it forces them to dress in something that is uncomfortable physically and mentally. So infact whenever you go knock on a door you’re confidents is already tarnished. Then you have to try and jump right into talking with someone on a subject most wouldn’t want to talk about first thing in the morning. Why else would they put so much importance on it? They have even mentioned Informal witnessing has the most effective way of getting converts. Same with cart Witnessesing forced to stand out in the weather for hours dressed up looking foolish. It’s all about keeping self esteem of followers at a low level. It’s all about controlling the masses.

    • Big B says:

      @ Jc;

      I enjoyed reading your observations and I agree with you.

      The door to door work is nothing but a man-made 20th century phenomena started by Judge Rutherford in his “Advertise, Advertise, Advertise the King and His Kingdom” address at Cedar Point, Ohio USA back in 1922. — Watchtower, November 1, 1922, p. 337.

      How do we know that the early Church didn’t practice this method of ministry? Because door-to-door work isn’t mentioned nor is there any proof, historically speaking, of the early church engaging in this type of work. Wouldn’t there logically be some remnant or proof of this work being engaged in by Christendom before Rutherford started his “Advertise” campaign in 1922? Surely, the Western Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Churches would have been engaged in this ministry and written about it, no?

      Paul is recorded in the Christian Greek scriptures as either preaching in open market places (agoras) or as a Jew in the Synagogues where the people were located. His sermon on the Aeropagus (Mars Hill) in Athens, Greece is one of his best sermons preached in a public place. No where, that I am familiar with, is there an example of Paul’s door-to-door ministry and how to do it or what was said at the door. Not a peep.

      If there was a ministry performed at a home it would be what JW’s call a “return visit” from the initial contact somewhere else, possibly in the market place. Cornelius was contacted at his home only after Peter received his vision of the ‘unclean animals’ coming down out of heaven and implored to “rise up and eat”. Thus Peter, with much prodding, made the visit and used the third and final key to open the way to the Kingdom of the Heavens to gentiles; the other two keys for the Jew’s and Samaritans had already been used. I think that this is an accurate summation of the Acts of the Apostles.

      Yes, along with the FEAR, OBLIGATION, GUILT, humility and control are certainly a part and parcel of this kind of ministry which has been shown by recent figures, in their last YEARBOOK, to be an abject failure. However, will the Witnesses stop preaching their message of doom and gloom? Not a chance, as long as the Watchtower remains in control over their adherents (sheeple) they will continue to do this work ad nausum! After all its not their gas money, shoe leather or time wasted, is it?

  35. Jason Moran says:

    I can not think of anything more tactful than not meddling in other peoples lives.