Nestor Kuilan was a friend of the late Ray Franz who was purged from Watchtower in 1980 simply for refusing to be interrogated

“Why would people priding themselves on their high Christian principles pass on such vicious rumors when they had absolutely nothing but gossip on which to base them?” —Raymond Franz

In his book, Crisis of Conscience, Raymond Franz described a bizarre incident at Bethel—the disfellowshipping of Nestor Kuilan. Franz posed the above-quoted question in response to the gossip that quickly spread throughout Brooklyn Bethel in the immediate aftermath of the surprise decision.

People speculated as to the possible cause, since no one actually knew why Nestor had been forced to leave. Some said he had erroneously translated the Society’s literature, changing its meaning. Others assumed he’d had an affair. The day was Friday, April 25, 1980. The Kuilans left early the next morning with tongues still wagging. Only the Governing Body were aware that they’d been ousted simply because Nestor had refused to divulge the contents of private conversations he’d had with his friend, Raymond Franz.

Of course, there is more background to the story than that, but one obvious question presents itself: What did the Watch Tower Society fear to the point of so ruthlessly ousting a man with over twenty years of full-time service, one whom the Governing Body had personally invited to Bethel three years earlier? This article will attempt to answer that question and others.

An Organization Man

Nestor had already been steadfast as a Witness for over fifteen years when he and his wife were invited to Bethel to work in the translation department. Prior to that, he had accepted every opportunity extended to him, starting immediately in the full-time preaching work in Puerto Rico after his baptism at the age of 20 in 1961.

Nestor and Toni on their wedding day

Nestor met Toni at an assembly and knew immediately she was the one. After their marriage in 1964, Nestor joined her as a special pioneer. They managed to survive on a monthly allowance from the Society of just $32.50 each, initially living in a half-built basement that reeked of fresh lumber and raw cement.

The pair soon moved to a house where they were allowed to sleep, but not cook or eat. “We slept there and ate meals with other congregation members,” Nestor explained. “We never went hungry and didn’t even consider ourselves to be poor. We did our laundry at our parent’s houses. It was a mess, what we were doing, living like Gypsies, always moving. But we accepted our life and were happy, as we thought we were serving Jehovah.”

Three years passed and another door of opportunity opened, the Gilead School. This invitation involved a revolving-door adventure of sorts, as they left behind friends, family, and their home country of Puerto Rico to spend six months in missionary training at Bethel. Nestor also received training while in New York to be a Circuit Overseer who could serve in countries where Witness activity is under ban. Fresh out of Gilead, they were assigned to work undercover as missionaries during the Franco regime in Spain, a country foreign to them that tolerated no religion other than Catholicism.

The couple suffered much adversity in their new hostile territory. “It was a lifestyle that we were not used to; a hard and rigid life due to work demands and disciplinary laws,” Nestor recalled. “We entered as tourists and every six months left the country and back again the next day so they would mark the passport. We used various borders to avoid being recognized. If the police stopped us, at least the passport indicated we had entered legally. We lived ten years in Spain illegally as tourists, although we were working for a religious organization outlawed in the country. We were always fearful of the police, and we covered our tracks constantly so we wouldn’t end up arrested.”

In Barcelona, Nestor was trained and appointed as the Circuit Overseer for Madrid. He later served as the District Overseer for the entire country of Spain. He also conducted the elders’ school for four years. When he was not on the road, he worked in the Service Department at the Barcelona Branch.

A Life of Uniformity

When the Kuilans were transferred to Bethel in 1977, they left what they viewed as their “spiritual paradise” in Spain to enter a foreboding “spiritual jungle” where survival was complicated. It was a difficult change that opened their eyes to conditions and realities vastly different from what they had anticipated.

“We noticed immediately the discipline and rigidity of the place,” Nestor related. “There was much uniformity and stereotyping. Individuality was quickly lost. I was told to dress modestly, as a ‘mature Christian’ to set an example. Brothers could not grow a mustache or beard and had to wear short hair. It was like entering a prison or the army, where they shave your head and hand you a uniform.”

Although not wearing a literal uniform, Bethelites were easily identified in the surrounding area by their clothing and general appearance. Everyone was under constant surveillance by other brothers, known as overseers, and would be reported upon—how they behaved, how they handled work assignments (which were always referred to as “privileges”).

“We saw racism, elitism, alcoholism and immorality. We heard of sex scandals and suicides, one of which I personally knew,” Nestor continued. “In Spain I had clearly been in control of my own life. I had put my personality stamp there for ten years. Bethel was another world to me.

“The main thing I saw in Bethel was that they didn’t act in a reasonable way; it was just politics, people looking for a position, to exchange housekeeping to another place, for example. They constantly pulled all kinds of tricks to get a different job.

“When people alter their natural behavior to achieve a position, it diminishes their humanity. They become less than human, while they sugar-coat their words and act in untruthful ways to move up in Bethel, all the time knowing overseers are watching and reporting on them. I thought that was the way of the world, not the Holy Spirit, but that’s the way things were there.”

Doubts Surface

Chris Sanchez worked alongside Nestor in the Spanish translation department. Nestor and Toni developed friendships with Rene Vasquez, Chris Sanchez and their wives. Nestor seriously questioned that the Holy Spirit was operating there at Bethel because of the obvious lack of the “fruits of the spirit.”

One day, Nestor confided his doubts to Rene Vasquez. Rene and Chris had considered biblical subjects with Ray Franz, so Rene told Nestor about certain incorrect interpretations of the Bible. They discussed these between the three of them, but Nestor wanted to know what Ray Franz thought. He called Ray and invited him to dinner.

On several occasions Nestor spoke with Franz who, being a member of the Governing Body, had brought these scriptural discrepancies to their attention. Of particular note to the group was the Society’s emphasis on business affairs. Nestor’s eyes had been opened to what was going on with the Watchtower and the Writing Department. On the one hand the Society’s writers used the Bible, albeit manipulating it to support organizational teachings and activities, but on the other hand the Society was running a business on a large scale. The two interests didn’t seem to coalesce.

Re-examining Beliefs

“Raymond Franz encouraged me to read certain Bible passages without attempting to use them to support a belief in particular,” explained Nestor. “He did not attempt to teach me a new doctrine. While I have no interest in analyzing those scriptures now, because Raymond Franz handled that discussion thoroughly in his book, I will say simply that the first two doctrines I stopped believing were that God had an organization and that only 144,000 would go to heaven. I was greatly disturbed to realize that these beliefs I’d defended and taught were not true according to the very same Bible.”

Once Nestor realized that the Governing Body had long since put into motion an elaborate front aimed at giving the Society the appearance of being the only source of truth, his thoughts turned to the sacrifices he had made in his college days, particularly his Psychology studies in his final year.

Back then Nestor had become so smitten with religion that he quit college early, only fifteen credit hours short of attaining his college degree. Eager to assist others to see a hope for their everlasting future, Nestor closed the door on any secular profession and entered the preaching work.

From that point onward, all the struggles and hardships of public service were excusable because they were for a higher cause. As Nestor put it, “Both Toni and I had considered all these details as trifles compared with the great privilege to devote our lives 100% to work for the benefit of humanity. Now, we realize that we were actually working for a crooked organization that had nothing to do with God, one that altered the Bible to its liking.”

The pair had planned a vacation to Puerto Rico and Nestor brought with him the same Bible he had used in Gilead, which contained his copious notes. They both studied it during the break and were able to see the falsity of Watchtower’s teachings. They decided to start a new life. They would turn in their resignation at Bethel, return to Puerto Rico, and join a congregation with the idea of slowly fading from the religion out of respect for their family members who were devout Witnesses by this time. Their exit would be nice and quiet, or so they thought.

When they returned to Bethel they didn’t feel like the same people. They knew the Witnesses were completely out of alignment with the Bible, that it was a made-up scam. The Governing Body was unrecognizable from the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” it purported to represent.

Most of their belongings were packed in crates and ready to be shipped home. They would visit with Toni’s parents in Atlanta for a few weeks before returning to Puerto Rico. Nestor’s father had moved to Naguabo and they were welcome to stay with him. Nestor would finish his studies for a college degree and they would eventually be on their own.

They tried to remain positive and survive the last few weeks at Bethel with smiles on their faces. They did not mention their doubts to anyone, emphasizing only their desire to have a conventional lifestyle. Many Bethelites admired their courage—to start all over again.

Interrogation and Dismissal

However, Nestor received a summons from the men at the top. Intensive questioning sessions began with the all-powerful Governing Body‘s seemingly itchy finger hovering over the button to the organizational trapdoor upon which Nestor now found himself standing. After an exhaustive five-day period, the button was pushed. Nestor and Toni started their spiraling fall into exile—kicked out of Bethel—leaving them homeless, destitute and without any friends. Along with Chris Sanchez, Rene Vasquez and their wives, Nestor was disfellowshipped.

In his book Crisis of Conscience, Ray Franz details the 1980 “purge” of Brooklyn Bethel – a subject the Society writes hardly anything about

Nestor describes these disturbing events as follows: “Each of the four Spanish translators had a small office with dividing walls of wood on the bottom half and clear glass on top. Chris Sanchez’ office was right next to mine. Toni worked as a proofreader in a row of cubicles in front of the translators’ offices.

“Suddenly they swarmed, like you see on TV when the police appear; they were all over the place. They took Chris away. I didn’t know what was going on, but I stayed there and tried to translate.

“They brought Chris back; I was next. There were maybe four, five, even six, of them, more than an ordinary committee of three. I knew them all. They took Toni and me to a glass-walled room at the opposite corner of where we worked in the factory so everyone could see us. One was a member of the Governing Body; I knew him well from Gilead. Another wore a business suit and was one of those goal-driven types, moving up the political ladder in Bethel.

“They were all elders, just as I was, and they informed us they had been sent by, and represented, the Governing Body. They achieved their purpose of intimidation by appearing without warning, and we were scared because they’d done the same thing with Chris. Their body language was angry, even hostile. I was really scared to death at first.

“So there we sat with mad-men staring at us. They were harsh, insisting that we cooperate. It wasn’t like a regular committee where the elders tell you what you’re accused of. They asked question after question about my conversations with Raymond Franz. I told them my private conversations with my friends were my own business. They asked me what Franz had said about a certain topic, and I answered, once again, that I was not going to discuss my conversations.

“Then, another one would ask me about another subject, trying to trick me, wanting to know what Franz had said. There were no results on that day and they told us the meeting was over. It had not opened or closed with prayer. Each day, this happened in the exact same way; they came right after lunch for Chris and his wife, and then for Toni and me.

“At the end of each meeting they threatened us, ‘If you don’t cooperate you are going to have problems. You think about that and you will come back.’ After those meetings, Toni and I were nervous, like a ‘roach in a Chicken Dance’ like we say in Puerto Rico. I thought everybody was looking at me at the end of the day and when we were walking out in the morning; it was really hard those days. I finally told them that they could continue to talk to me, but to leave Toni out of it.

“They asked about when we had Raymond Franz and his wife to our room for dinner. I said we talked about many things, that it was a casual meal. They said they knew all about it, that we’d had steak and wine. I was indignant because they were asking about Raymond’s beliefs.

“I said, ‘Ask him what he believes. I can’t tell you what Raymond thinks. I will tell you what I believe, if you want to know.’ I didn’t think it was right for me to talk about my friends’ conversations. While that dinner meeting had the purpose to talk about those Bible subjects, it was also an informal, social meeting to relax and talk.

“The elder in the suit moved around the room and used a terroristic Gestapo tactic, sitting on top of the table with his leg on a chair, while I looked up at him. At the last meeting they told me if my attitude continued, I would end up in the street outside Bethel with posters and signs against the Watchtower; I would become a member of the Evil Slave. At that moment I became angry and I said, ‘I am an elder here like you, and you should respect me, so don’t talk to me like that.’ The meeting ended; they disfellowshipped me that night by sending a note to our room.”

Nestor immediately sent them a note in return. He hadn’t done anything wrong, so he didn’t ask for forgiveness, only a review of his case. They responded by note the next morning insisting that if Nestor was repentant or wanted to confess, he could not do it through a congregation committee. It would have to be done only through the Governing Body.

“They were afraid I could influence people in Spain and in Puerto Rico,” Nestor explained. “They knew if I wrote letters to the Branch Overseer in Spain he would pay attention and others in Spain and Puerto Rico would listen to me because they had respect for me and held me in high position.

“In Puerto Rico many people knew me, so if I returned quietly, they thought I could influence them. But the funny thing is they never asked me what I believed, and I told them repeatedly, each day, ‘Ask me what I believe and I will tell you, but don’t ask me what Ray Franz believes.’ But they never asked me. They had already made up their minds, so why bother with my belief? They knew I was leaving and my crates were ready to be shipped. So they decided they’d better get rid of me and avoid problems. They wanted to scare others and use me as a guinea pig.

“It was a relief to know we wouldn’t have to put on a charade anymore, but we knew it would cause major problems with Toni’s parents. Her father had been in the circuit work and was in high position. I asked her if she was willing to go through this, because she hadn’t been disfellowshipped—only me. She agreed with me; she’d seen enough to know she wanted no part of the Organization.”

A Fresh Start

Upon leaving Bethel, the Kuilans headed for Toni’s sister’s house in Long Island and onwards to her parents’ home. Neither parent asked what had actually happened. They weren’t interested in hearing any details, assuming that if the Governing Body saw fit to disfellowship Nestor, Jehovah would approve of their shunning. Toni’s father, shaking his head in disapproval, went so far as to say to Nestor, “You have lost your first love, this is why you see things this way. We don’t have anything else to talk about.”

Nestor and Toni today

Fortunately, Nestor’s father was happy to help them, sickened that they had been treated so shamefully. They accepted his hospitality until they were finally able to start their new life.

The Kuilans are currently in the business of real estate in San Juan. Nestor offers a Life Coaching service and conducts “Clear Thinking” seminars. He volunteers for AAWA (Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses) as a translator. They have moved on, from one stepping-stone of experience to another, having no interest in revealing the entire story of their Watchtower debacle until now—thirty-three years later.

Before volunteering for the opportunity to write Nestor’s story, I reviewed Crisis of Conscience. The quotation of Raymond Franz at the beginning of this article convinced me it needed to be told. I was captivated by the fact that a private conversation was repeatedly questioned, not to mention how the rumor mills had rumbled into action immediately after Nestor’s exit from the Society. I had a similar experience when the door was opened for me to walk away from what I had previously known as “The Truth.” I thus became emotionally invested in writing Nestor’s whole story—one that many folks have wanted to hear for years.

Nestor has now asked me to work with him on a book about his life with the aim of helping others find a path to their own clear thinking. As for the Watchtower, he washed his hands of its influence back in 1980. As he explains, “That story was over. We weren’t going to relive it with our words. I didn’t want to be a satellite of the Watchtower, revolving around the past. You can’t keep talking about those events, suffering them, hanging on them. We let our family practice their religion—if they shunned us, then it was their choice. We let them go. If you start a new life then you have a new life. Do you want to be a witness? No? Then don’t be a witness. Leave it all. You can do it.”






Joanna is the author of, “The Know-It-All Girl” ~ Memoir of a Former Jehovah’s Witness


36 thoughts on “Nestor Kuilan – Surviving the Fall from Watchtower’s Trapdoor

  • June 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Great article! The stories of these men and women from the “Great Watchtower Purge” of 1980 need to be told. The Star Chamber politics and mindset of the Watchtower publishing company holds too many millions in mental slavery. Keep up the good work – it’s vastly overdue.

  • June 30, 2013 at 5:09 am

    It’s really unbelievable, but now hearing the same story from Ray Franz and Lester Kulian (two witnesses) I have to believe it’s all true. Sadly.

  • June 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I enjoyed reading this article. It does help those who still have questions to see what a corrupt organization this is. He is right about leaving the Watchtower behind. My husband and I have left it all behind with the exception of a few relatives. You do need to start a new life and the sooner you get out there and make new friends and a new life the sonner you heal from the spiritual abuse.

  • June 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Très bon article. Le livre de Ray Franz qui m’a confortée dans mes doutes et m’a aidée à briser mes liens avec cette organisation manipulatrice et dangereuse. J’ai perdu ma famille, mais un jour, leurs yeux s’ouvriront, j’en suis convaincue. Certains ont déjà tout compris mais ne veulent pas sauter le pas pour ne pas perdre les enfants mais mon départ volontaire fait du bruit et bien qu’ils ont annoncé mon exclusion dans plusieurs congrégations les frères et soeurs ne sont pas dupent.

    English Translation: (via Google Translate)

    Very good article. Ray Franz’s book has strengthened me in my doubts and helped me to break my ties with the manipulative and dangerous organization. I lost my family, but one day, their eyes open, I am sure. Some have already understood everything but do not want to leap to not lose my children but voluntary departure makes noise, and they announced my expulsion in several congregations siblings are not fool.

  • June 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Many thanks to Joanna Foreman, John Cedars,Richard Kelly and Barbara Anderson for this article. It is true, it was time to tell it. The book will contain many details of those days. For more information feel free to contact me.

    • July 1, 2013 at 6:25 am

      Nestor, it’s a privilege and an honour to have played a small role in getting your story out. I think it was long overdue!

    • October 13, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Wow…im sorry you and your wife ( and all others who have) suffered at the hands of religious terrorists

  • June 30, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    dear brother nestor it is good to hear from is nice to hear you and your dear wife doing is brothers chris and rene doing?i thought about you all over the years.all the best to all of you

  • June 30, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    In 50 years the WTBS will probably print an article of the 1980 purge along the same lines as the Rutherford purge.. “Oh some unbelieving guys left and Jehovah’s organisation was cleansed”

  • July 3, 2013 at 4:12 am

    new book?… when?

  • July 5, 2013 at 10:26 am

    What is extremely bothersome about the WT Society is it discourages its members of contributing meaningfully to society in general or to their personal potential. This is done to keep members in the droves and available for the WT society’s use. Contributing to society (outside of Watchtower) in a beneficial way is considered tantamount with playing buddy-buddy with Satan. Dangerous ideas designed to keep people exclusive to itself. If a member comes to this realization and wants to leave they can’t without experiencing shunning from friends & family members as encouraged regularly by the WT Society. This is psychological warfare meant to bring members back to the WT droves. Not genuine in any way but instead full of evil to accomplish its bidding. A Pharisee-like organization in every way that only pays lip service to being Christ-like.

  • July 5, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Thank you for letting your story be told after all these years. I never knew Ray Franz or many of the people involved in the Great Purge. I was in my teen years at the time, but I’m sure I speak for many when I say that I feel so connected to all of you through the things we all have experienced in common while in the Watchtower organization. Despite what I’ve been through, like many others, I have had so much trouble letting go of everything I was and al I thought I knew. Your candid descriptions of your experiences help me to see real peoples living accounts and not just a glossed over “cover story” like we were told in the organization. I hope in time, I can put all this behind me and be at peace with my Creator and within myself. Thanks again.

  • July 6, 2013 at 8:09 am

    I tend to think that JWs are better explained by these words spoken by Jesus Christ:

    (Matthew 7:15, 16) . . .“Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to YOU in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits YOU will recognize them. . .

    (Matthew 23:15) . . .“Woe to YOU, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because YOU traverse sea and dry land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one YOU make him a subject for Ge·hen′na twice as much so as yourselves. . .

    (Matthew 23:27, 28) . . .YOU resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men’s bones and of every sort of uncleanness. 28 In that way YOU also, outwardly indeed, appear righteous to men, but inside YOU are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

    (Matthew 23:29-32) . . .YOU build the graves of the prophets and decorate the memorial tombs of the righteous ones, 30 and YOU say, ‘If we were in the days of our forefathers, we would not be sharers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Therefore YOU are bearing witness against yourselves that YOU are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Well, then, fill up the measure of YOUR forefathers.

    I think I am not wrong describing JWs this way! How can such stories happen all over the world!!!

  • July 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I would characterize WT society that way. But not Jehovah’s Witnesses in general. There are a lot of good people who are Jehovah’s Witnesses. The governing body leadership is the problem.

  • July 21, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    We JW’s are bombarded with meetings, literature, assemblies and circuit overseers that the WT is God’s only true organization guided by him. This makes JWs that have doubts to feel guilty. We are made to feel that we are evil if we dont slave for the WT and blindly accept the GB ever changing policies and doctrines.

    Its very liberating to see the WT exposed as power hungry men that are not what they make us believe. God cannot be behind their evil nazi tactics.

    The story of the 1980 shakeup needs to be told to demystify the false belief that everything the GB does is by God.

    I feel refreshed and full of hope to see that even members in heavy positions (co’s, do’s, gilead grads, gb member) have had the courage to speak up against the false prophets and have left the WT organization and are living meaningful happy lives.

    May God bless these courageous men and women!

  • August 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Concordo parzialmente con WT Critico, ma attenzione perchè fra i TcD vi sono molti che fingono di esserlo ma non lo sono più avendo scoperto che sorta di organizzazione sia la WTS. Direi pure che in ogni organizzazione ci sono un sacco di brave persone.

  • September 14, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Thank you for letting you and Toni’s story be told. It gives people like me and my wife (SHEBEAR MOMMA) continued boldness to speak out when we are asked about our Witness experiences. Disassociated 2/9/13. Believers baptism 3/17/13.

    • September 16, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Many thanks my friends. It is important to get completely free of religious enslavement. Keep your mind open and clear of ideas that don’t have any real basis.

      • August 13, 2015 at 1:57 pm

        It seems a strange thing that I’ve never read a comment of any who have left the Jehovah’s Witness’s after years studying the Bible, who Say that they thank them for the great depth of knowledge that they received from Jehovah by comparing what was said by the organization to what the Bible says. Can it be true that no one found the path in any of those years of personal study? I have now left myself. But I did find the path from beginning to end following the simple steps of logic Jesus left us. It took child like curiosity and the spirit of understanding. The one you decide to use, the other is a free gift that gives you the increased mental capacity to under-stand and acquire the mind of Christ. Really no one learned truth and took it as their own? The beginning of the path is Isaiah 43:10 where God applys the conditions of not knowing a beginning nor of an end, just that no other God was formed. If you’ve learned anything at all you should be ale to make progress from there. I enjoyed your comment thanks

  • November 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    inspiring story. really captivating. it brings out the true picture or how maliciously and expeditiously the GB pursues innocent people. serious piece of literature. its worth the praise and acclaim. i really really really love it!

    • November 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      Thanks a lot for your words Andrew. It was a hard process but we face it courageously and now we are very happy. It is wonderful to be free of the religion virus.

  • January 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Nestor, I knew personally Rene Vasquez, Raymond Franz at Queen Spanish, NY. I was just getting to be a JW, 20 years old 1969. Great and sad story, thank you for let it know !

  • January 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Nestor, in the past weeks I have come up with acronyms for a couple of familiar words I’d like to share. WATCHTOWER – With Authority They Continue Hurting Those Oppressed With Errors Repeatedly. APOSTATES – A People Of Spiritual Truth Asserting Thought Equals Separation. That was for the past. So I come up with on for now.The Church we attend is HOLIDAY HILL – Helping Others Learn In Daily Appreciation (of) Yeshua Holy In Loyal Love. Your Brother In CHRIST, REDEEMED.

  • February 6, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Nestor, I was interested to read your life account with the Watchtower Society. After many years of service to others, being subjected to an inquisition, is not a gracious way to leave.

    There are many accounts of those leaving who have experienced the same attitude. The qualities of Christ are not in the room.

    After 1975 the Watchtower Society had this huge rafter in their eye. They were unable to extract it, with all the build up to 1975. A little humility would have gone a long way.

    People can do without being lorded over, when it is obvious
    the Watchtower Society overstepped the commands of Christ. Nestor enjoy your life with your wife.

  • April 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Thank you for telling your story after all these years. Having read Crises of Conscience by Ray Franz, I’m already familiar with some of what took place at that time. Having myself been thrown out in similar manner, having my friends questioned about what I said, if I taught others, if I prayed over the group meeting at my house, the inquisitons, the feeling of dread, waiting for them to come and disfellowship me, I am also very aware of the role they play. That is, lording over the people, making demands of how we think, what we say, etc, it was truly a difficult time. Determined to retain a ‘good name’, something I had worked hard for, over a period of sixteen years, I applied to be reinstated, but once among the people, heard and saw too much. Their judgmental attitude and lack of the fruit of the spirit, testified against them, it is indeed difficult to stomach such things. You are doing good work in opening the eyes of those who look into such things, that they might come to see the workings of this organization, which is truly no longer God ordained, but rather a publishing company, determined to keep the presses rolling, keeping their members in check with threats of being ousted.

  • May 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Outstanding. I mentioned Toni and Nestor in the first expose’ ever written about the Franz Incident in 1980, and that’s how 32 years of helping others get out started. I’ve been in touch with Cris and Norma Sanchez, but I was clueless as to what happened to you two! Now I know. GOOD STORY!!

  • May 24, 2014 at 8:15 pm


    • May 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      That’s what shocked me, Fernando. I was a Bethel elder, and thus assigned to be the head of a table in the dining rooms, and other really cool privileges they ended a year or two ago. They want no one to rival their power. All the years of class distinctions, Ruth and Naomi class, Nethinim, etc. All the REAL secret rulers of the WT (only a couple left and are on the legal board but NOT the GB – go figure… what shysters. ) are after POWER. Money means little to most Bethelites. Ask yourself: why are none of the GB on the Board of Directors of the real ruling corporation?

      Randy Watters

      BTW you guys are doing a great job, keep it up. We have new plans, but I think I’ll have to take off another 6 months to get my body back together from 32 years behind this chair, and pastoring, traveling, etc. but no time for me. Now “me” is being forced to kick back and rethink everything again. We have so many good new sites now, and I have to stay off the computer for awhile, I will pursue another unique flavor, no doubt. :-))

  • August 30, 2014 at 6:15 am

    what a sad experience for you two, I hope the scars have healed. its nice if someone gets out before they get too old, but those of the age like ray franz i am more sad for.
    your life literally was as a captive. although it seems the corporate world holds all of us as prisoners, we work till we die.

  • October 2, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Nestor, I am happy that I will be able to partially hear your story, in Cedar’s blog. I met you when you were in Gilead. I knew Rene and his wife. Do you know how are they doing? Wish them God’s blessings.

    Definitely will buy your book. You didn’t deserve to be treated as a “criminal.” That tells me how ruthless, and unmerciful can the Watchtower Society be when their worldly perks and unscriptural teachings are threatened.

  • October 4, 2014 at 7:12 am

    The Watchtower Society is based on rules. They teach their adherents to be rule keepers. They are so focused on ‘the rules’ that they lose the spirit of what being a Christian is all about. So busy ‘straining at the gnat’ that they ‘gulp down the camel’. Sounds like this man would not obey their rules, which are just that – THEIR rules, not Jehovah’s, so he had to be dispatched. It’s interesting to me the further rules they imposed on the millions WT members as a result of their ‘purge’ of Bethel. I’m thinking of the letter to all DOs and COs in September of that year that stated that anyone who just believes anything contrary to WT dogma, who does not promote it to others, will be subject to disfellowshipping. And the change the next year about treating disassociated ones as disfellowshipped. Seems they were scrambling to close up any possible loop holes, any possible way that these ones would be able to stay around the organization and talk to the ‘friends’ and expose the truth about the organization.
    My thoughts are with these ones who devoted their entire lives to this religion, only to be treated with such disrespect and cruelty. In my book, for what its worth, these are the true ‘heroes’. Men and women, like this man and Ray Franz, who courageously stood up to the WT machine and took it on the chin. I just remember that Jesus said, in Luke 18:7,8 that God will cause justice to be done for his chosen ones. That is a true comfort to me.

  • June 22, 2015 at 9:13 am

    I have been out 32 years. I was only a publisher.I had no desire to reach out because I had some doubts.And I am glad I did. When I stopped going to meetings I then purchased Ray Franz cc.. That was it for me.I then knew what I expected all along. I do have bitterness in me when their nam comes up. This bitterness is built up in me because it makes me sick to see how people will hear negative things about the wt but look the other way.When I first came in we did not have a computer like we have today. And I do believe that their 7 million believers are going to start searching some of these things. The word starts to get around. I also believe that when that old crowd in Brooklyn pass on that a lot of chenges will come about. People see that it is so hard to follow everything these men say. All these old men on th gb is all about power over the people. People love power. Greed is related to power. Look at what is going on in the world today. Greed is every where. WT has stocks in the Rand corp, Phillip Maorris co. Getting money from the United Way. What a bunch of evil people. United Nations? and the flock looked the other way. But time will bring the wt down along with the internet.

  • December 30, 2015 at 12:58 pm

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  • November 4, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Revisiting some of these ex-JW sites, it still seems remarkable that no one appears to have realized the basic hope of “the resurrection” that the organization holds is badly flawed and makes no “sense”. The following is a comment from me to an elder who posted on one of these sites. It’s short but I hope you get the idea. You, whoever you are, have enough truth from your days in the organization, like the one in Jesus’ day, to find the path if you try. I suggest you stop writing books about what you did not find, and get back to the pursuit of truth, brothers.

    Until education is not the first criteria you use to weigh whether it is truth or not and whether it is serving God or not, you have little more chance of actually finding it than the nation of Israel did. This was their main objection to Christ and his followers. It is a fact that the intellectuals do not find the truth. I believe if you are an elder you still believe that your identity can share God’s mind. That you are dependent on HIS memories to program a newly created being’s mind to resemble yours exactly. This does not make connection with your existence, so that you can be resurrected or inherit, since your thoughts do parish.

    (Psalm 146:4) 4 His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; In that day his thoughts do perish.

    Maybe you should arrive at a logical basis for your understanding of “the resurrection” before you worry about someone elses frame of mind.

    • November 4, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      Great post, Nestor! Good to see you at least online, I miss you and Toni a lot. When are you getting your manuscripts together??

      The Society are nothing about anything except hoarding money and buying/selling real estate. No more mags, circuit overseers, all the old trapping. The organization is on its last leg. They care nothing about doctrine anymore. They tell their members how much they should give $$$ at their kingdom halls. They break up congregations in expensive areas and sell the property and make the publishers go to a cheaper area with a crummy kingdom hall. Why anyone remains in it is a mystery to me. So sad. Jesus is the answer, not the Watchtower, it is simply a cult of old, greedy men desperate to survive now. – Randy Watters

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