Big Eyes starring Amy Adams (left) tells the story of JW painter Margaret Keane (right) and the fraud that shook the art world
Big Eyes starring Amy Adams (left) tells the story of JW painter Margaret Keane (right) and the fraud that shook the art world

It wasn’t easy as a creative child growing up in a devout Jehovah’s Witness household. My early dreams of becoming an artist were squashed by the future forced upon me. According to my indoctrination the only real career outlet for young Witnesses was working for the Watchtower. And I had little interest in going to headquarters to paint scenes of a paradise earth for the rest of my life. I preferred giant robots.

As a child, I came to learn of popular artist Margaret Keane through her life-story, as printed in an old issue of Awake! (My Life As An Artist, July 8,1975, Awake!) It was captivating to read of a JW with a successful art career outside the walls of Brooklyn Bethel. Of course by the time she joined the sect, her worldwide fame as an artist was already well toward establishment. How she got there is a fascinating story that became the basis of Big Eyes, a 2014 film by Tim Burton.

In the 1960’s, Margaret’s husband, Walter, took the pop-art world by storm with a series of paintings of waifs with large, haunted eyes. These big-eyes became a cultural phenomenon through Keane’s savvy merchandising, leading to wealth and fame. The only problem was that he didn’t paint any of them. The actual artist was his wife Margaret, who slaved away in secret producing hundreds of big-eyed waifs.

The Stray by Margaret Keane, an example of her big-eyed waifs.
The Stray by Margaret Keane, an example of her big-eyed waifs.

Burton’s film captures the soul-crushing nature of the art fraud. It’s difficult to watch as the painter squanders her talent to fulfill the egotistical dreams of her husband. Margaret was unable to share her art with even her daughter. Friends were driven away lest they discover the scam.

Hope enters the film when Margaret, played by Amy Adams, and her daughter Jane escape to Hawaii. “It’s a paradise there,” Margaret tells Jane. It’s somewhat of a premonition that sets up a major turn. There, two smiling JW sisters greet her with bright blue Truth books. As Margaret describes in her Awake! account, “one knock on my door would drastically change my life.”

It’s one of Hollywood’s better-written Watchtower presentations. Usually movies get it wrong with Witnesses rattling on about the savior Jesus, flashing literature with crosses, or condemning people to hell. In the film, a Japanese woman in a floral print dress smiles and begins a pitch. “We have something to share with you about the wonderful things that God’s kingdom will do for mankind.” When Margaret mentions that she didn’t see much good in the world, the JW opens to 1 Timothy 3:1-5. “In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here, for men will be lovers of themselves…” Those who have participated in the JW door-to-door ministry could probably take it from there without missing a beat.

Amy Adams with Margaret Keane, who is sporting a JW.org lapel badge, at the premiere of Big Eyes
Amy Adams with Margaret Keane, who is sporting a JW.org lapel badge, at the premiere of Big Eyes

 

Margaret is swayed by the Bible passage that seems to describe her manipulative husband to the letter. The painter hesitantly invites the women in. She is later shown reading the Truth book to her teenage daughter. “I just can’t believe you let people in the house,” quips the girl. Walter later wonders about his wife’s mental state in joining a group of “zealots” that wouldn’t let the girl go to the prom.

First published in 1968, "The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life" was the "Bible Teach" book of its day
First published in 1968, The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life was the “Bible Teach” book of its day

In the Awake! account Margaret describes her conversion in different terms. Raised a Methodist, she floated through a variety of Christian sects and dabbled in esoteric practices like astrology and numerology. When the JW’s knocked, she was learning about the Seventh Day Adventists but wondered about their teachings on the Sabbath. Margaret liked the Witnesses views on the matter, and she was baptized with her daughter in 1972.

Margaret and Jane were two of many that joined the religion in the period leading up to the failed 1975 end-of-the-world prediction. The Truth book that Margaret studied stated, “in fifteen years from today, this world is going to be too dangerous to live in.” (This quote was removed in the 1981 edition)

In the movie, Margaret embraces her new JW friends and decides to come clean about the painting scam. A humorous moment occurs when her daughter asks their new JW community, “What does Jehovah think about suing?”

The painter’s revelation leads into a humorous courtroom showdown between Margaret and Walter, in order to prove the real painter. During the trial, Walter acts as his own lawyer in an outrageous display of buffoonery. Actor Christoph Waltz’s performance has been criticized as campy and over-the-top. In reality it is toned-down from the actual transcripts. At one point the judge threatened to duct tape the man’s mouth shut. In a test worthy of the Biblical King Solomon, the judge calls for a paint off. (If only problems in the congregation could be settled in such a manner.)

The film ends with Margaret being vindicated (or is it sanctified?) as the true producer of the big eyes enterprise. She moves back to Hawaii and continues to paint. While the film ends here, in real-life her art takes a turn. The waifs lose theirs tears and are posed in saturated paradises with pet lions and tigers. If it weren’t for the over-sized eyes, it would be easy to mistake her work for Watchtower propaganda. One such painting was gifted and displayed at the Hawaiian Bethel.

A Margaret Keane painting
A Margaret Keane painting entitled “Paradise At Last”

 

When looking at her work it is easy to envision how external forces shaped her work. The saddened waifs seem to mirror her feelings while under the artistic oppression of her husband. The Watchtoweresque paradises serve as a proselytism tool. (I have to wonder if she cleverly used painting to fulfill the religion’s monthly ministry quota.)

In the Awake!, Margaret credits the religion for breaking her addiction to painting, increasing sales, and bestowing artistic superpowers. She says:

Another change has been that I spend only about a fourth of the time I formerly spent painting, and yet, amazingly, I accomplish almost the same amount of work. Too, sales and comments indicate that the paintings are getting even better. Painting used to be almost an obsession with me. I was driven to paint because it was my therapy, escape and relaxation—my life completely revolved around it. I still enjoy it immensely, but the addiction to it and dependency on it are gone. Since my growing in knowledge of Jehovah, the Source of all creativity, it is no wonder that the quality of my paintings has increased as the time of execution has decreased.

At 87, the artist remains active in her faith. In promotional junkets for the film, Margaret was photographed with a blue JW.ORG lapel pin. It has become the latest fashion accessory for devout JW’s to advertise their religion while on the go, and now the red carpet.

Since leaving the Jehovah’s Witness organization, I’ve finally been able to get back to art, first as a writer and now as a comic book creator. I can’t draw very well, but as a comic colorist I know how to stay between the lines. I’m no Margaret Keane, but I’m better than her ex-husband ever was.

I’ll be guesting (with Stache Publishing) at Midsouthcon 33; Memphis, TN, USA, March 20th -22nd. If you are planning on attending, stop by and say hello.

 

anthony-signature2

 

Anthony Mathenia is a journalist, novelist, and comic book creator. He has one published novel Paradise Earth: Day Zero.  Happiness, Next Exit, a JW romance, will be released later in 2015. His comic Pretty Face can be read at www.prettyfacecomic.com.

Follow Anthony on Twitter: @armathenia
Visit Anthony’s website: www.anthonymathenia.com

94 thoughts on “Big Eyes, Big Lies: Painter Margaret Keane and the Truth

  • March 16, 2015 at 1:53 am
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    Alien-child hybrids. Awesome. Modern day nephilim, except small and cute?

  • March 16, 2015 at 3:26 am
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    I didn’t know that this artist is a JW. What a sad tale this is. She replaced one domineering bully for another!

    I never liked her art. It is creepy and sickly sweet.

    Well done, sir, for getting out and pursuing your talents to their limits.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • June 5, 2015 at 12:19 pm
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      Wow, it’s so funny you said that. I told my wife the same thing about myself. I came into the “truth” to escape my abusive father. Many years later, through self reflection, I realized that I went from one abusive relationship to another. I became involved with what I was familiar with, abuse. It took a lot for me to stop going to the meetings. I had to unlearn what I had learned and once I figured out that JWs don’t have the truth, I started going on this site. What I like about this site is that it’s non-religious. I consider myself agnostic now, so this site is perfect. Now if only I can get my wife on board, but she loves being a witness.

  • March 16, 2015 at 7:07 am
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    I’m actually now interested in seeing this movie. Tim Burton’s directed some awful stuff this last decade of so (and with Alice Through the Looking Glass and a CG version of Dumbo on the way it’s only going to get worse) but this might be interesting.

    On an unrelated note I do hope you find time and/or resources to write further Paradise Earth novels. I found the first somewhat haunting and suspenseful and am hoping you have chance to finish the proposed trilogy as I’m fascinated to see how you envision post-Armageddon Earth.

    • March 16, 2015 at 8:54 am
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      Thanks. Paradise Earth: Week One is in the works. It’s my goal to complete it this year.

    • January 28, 2016 at 11:14 pm
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      the movie is awesome

  • March 16, 2015 at 7:23 am
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    I am with Excelsior. I never cared for her art either. She came into the “truth” when Watchtower was promising us all that Armageddon was coming in 1975. I was one of those too and I remember at the time, I didn’t really believe it but everybody was so hyped up about it that you didn’t even dare to question it or you’d be viewed as “apostate”. I remember that very well and when 1976 rolled around and nothing happened, the Society didn’t say a word about their failed prophecy. Then later, the Society said they never prophesied it and that it was all the rank and file’s fault. I remember it well and they lied, plan and simple. The Society promised us as a “fact” that Armageddon was coming in 1975. After that, they kept us all hanging on with the fear that at any moment now, the world is going to come to an end by Jehovah’s hand.

    In the 1975 Awake article about Margaret Keane, it doesn’t even mention her name so I had no idea about her paintings but later, one time I was out in service and a sister was telling about these painting with the little girls with the big eyes and that the painter was a Witness. Because the Awake didn’t mention her name in the article, I didn’t believe the sister that the painter who painted the little kids with the big eyes, who was so popular at the time was a Witness. Nowadays, the Society would definitely put her name to the article, even though she had only been baptized 2 years at the time of the printing in the article in 1975 and had just gotten over the habit of smoking.

    In the 1975 article, it mentioned that she tried to prove the Society wrong before she got baptized, by getting all kinds of Bibles etc. but could a person do that today after they got baptized? This woman was in her 50’s when she got baptized, but today most people are baptized as children and as young as 8. How are they able to prove one way or the other that the Watchtower is telling the real “truth” or not before getting baptized? How are they able to compare a whole bunch of different religions and compare their teachings to the Bible?

    Why isn’t a person able to question whether the Watchtower is telling the truth or not today? Today, we have a lot more information at our fingertips then we did in the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s or even the 1990’s. Today we can learn the real truth about 607 B.C.E. with the click of the mouse on our computer. Would Margaret Keane but just as convinced the Watchtower had the real “truth” if she had read “Gentile Times Reconsidered” before she got baptized?

    Once you get baptized, you can kiss researching the Watchtower goodbye, unless you want to face a judicial committee for finding out that the Watchtower does nothing but tell lies. You are forbidden to tell another living soul about what you found or you will be kicked out and shunned by every person in your life. For Mrs. Keane to find out not at her age that she had been following a dangerous cult, would just about kill her I’d think. But she has led a life of wealth and I am sure that those in her congregation treats her like a movie star and all those that study with her, are studying with her because she’s famous and there’s plenty of people in this world who want to associate with famous people and will join with the Witnesses just for that reason and that reason alone.

    • March 16, 2015 at 2:39 pm
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      Add Prince and those tennis-playing “sisters” to the list of “celebrity” jw’s.
      Didn’t Jesus tell the rich man to sell all his belongings before he became a follower?

      • March 16, 2015 at 8:04 pm
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        TOUCHE’

      • May 31, 2015 at 10:08 am
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        True but the scriptures intent is that people rely on riches more than their faith in God. When one begins to put faith in God first, all other things follow, and not necessarily materially.
        You should stop twisting scriptures like Hollywood does to “true stories”.

      • February 19, 2016 at 4:42 pm
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        MJ and his siblings also grew up JW. Not sure if Janet Jackson still practices.

    • March 17, 2015 at 1:55 am
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      Armageddon is still there, coming soon… soon which has been preached since 1914….

      “…Soon Jehovah will cause the political elements of Satan’s system, as represented by the United Nations, to attack false religion. They will destroy her influence and devastate her riches. Such an event may have seemed unlikely just decades ago. Today, the harlot teeters on the back of the scarlet-colored beast. Even so, she will not slip slowly from her seat. Her tumble will be sudden and violent.—Rev. 18:7, 8, 15-19.”

      http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/s/r1/lp-e?q=%22Soon+Jehovah+will+cause+the+political+elements%22&p=par

      • November 5, 2016 at 2:29 pm
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        Thank you for this comment. I’m studying and it always increases my faith when I see others who are willing to stand up for the truth in a knowledgeable, honorable, calm and collected manner when I’m still learning and am unable to when I want to so badly. So again, thank you.

    • March 18, 2015 at 8:33 am
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      Hi, Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your comments. You really ‘hit the nail on the head’.
      I also was one of the ones who joined WT just before 1975. They managed to convince me to put my life on hold because the end was ‘nigh’ and somehow they got millions to continue doing that for decades. As you know, Anthony Morris just did a jwtv piece admonishing young ones to avoid college because ‘we are living deep into the time of the end.’ Day by day and inch by inch you lose the elements of what makes up a real life, waiting for what JWs call the real life-the new world. What a tragedy!
      I stopped meetings just a few months ago, and as word gets out, I have a fair amount of witnesses who want to know why. As you expressed, you are not allowed to explain why…or else! I know I will say more at some point. I want to. But right now I’m just trying to get my feet under me.
      The other thing I wanted to comment on was the celebrity adoration in WT. Hey! I thought we weren’t supposed to ‘exalt’ individuals. (Do birthdays ring a bell?) And if an active JW started pursuing an art career, that would be a no-no, but the WT is happy to use someone who did pursue this kind of career full bore. If it’s so wrong, why are they patting her on the back? I guess we all know the answer to that! Vincent DePorter said that he was working on ‘Scooby-Do’, with all its demons and spiritism, when he was a witness and no one said a thing. He said he thought it was because of the celebrity thing, and I know he’s right.

  • March 16, 2015 at 7:40 am
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    I can confirm that the 1968 Watchtower publication ‘The Truth that leads to Eternal Life” quotes from Dean Acheson who said “in fifteen years from today, this world is going to be too dangerous to live in.” It’s on page 9 and I’m looking at it. This was all part of the hype surrounding Watchtower expectations for October 1975. When nothing happened after October 1975, the Watchtower removed this quote.

    • March 16, 2015 at 8:22 am
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      “Stay alive in 75” was the catch phrase back then. After listening to District overseers talks at the assembly’s prior to 1975 you are given such a clear urgency of “getting in before it’s to late”
      What amazes me is to what extent in the years after that yet another failed prediction that the watchtower stated it was “Increased speculation by the friends” who caused all the hype.
      Have you ever known a organization that you can show by their own printed word that what they said and how wrong they were in saying it? Then flatly deny it and then blame it on their members. How ridiculous and common among those who think their right at any cost.
      The Governing body uses and loses people when they no longer fit their agenda.
      I wonder how much this woman has been duped out of her money by her devotion to this religion?
      My question is why would you sell your story and put yourself in the limelight associating with “Worldlings”
      Oopps sorry I forgot their 2 sets of rules policies that dictates their every move in their favor.

      I would feel embarrassed to ever have been known to be part of one of the biggest lies in the history of religion.
      For me the most notable thing in 1975 is I got my drivers license that year. Lol

  • March 16, 2015 at 9:29 am
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    Folks, don’t forget the fallback position!

    All the woe and cuddling of pandas was promised in the twentieth century!!!!

    Woops! Blame it on the overzealous rank and file, not the numerous articles pre ’75, and dear old Freddy Franz’s talk at the assembly!!!

    Those idiotic rank and file!!!! Fancy taking a specific date, spoken by a governing body member as……..a specific date spoken by a governing body member!!!

    The WTBTS is busy destroying all reference to 1975. It is trying to control information in the Information Age! Good luck with that, you morons! Happily, all of the articles, and the talk by Freddie Franz, are available on the good old Internet!

    Thanks for the comments about ’75. I was a very small child then, so I don’t really remember it.

    The 1975 Scandal stands testament to the gullibility of human being’s, and just what can be accomplished by the use of cult mind control.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • March 16, 2015 at 10:05 am
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      The Yearbook Statistics 1970 to 1975 show a
      37%!!!! Yes 37 % !!!!! Increase in publishers!!
      The year 1977 shows -1% decrease & 1976 to 1980 shows over 5 years only a 2% increase!!
      The FACTS DON’T LIE. BUT the Governing Body does Lie!! Russell lied about when the end would come 1914 & 1915. Rutherfords lies were 1918& 1925 for the END & Franz big Lie was 1975!!!&
      The NEW GOverning Body LIES about Overlapping Generations!!! HOW MANY MORE LIES & WASTED LIVES ?????????????

      • March 16, 2015 at 10:47 am
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        LIES, LIES & MORE Governing Body Lies!!
        Rutherford: 1935 !! The Door is now closed for the Anointed !’ Here come the Great Crowd!!!!
        ERMMM??!!! Mark Sanderson 50 years of age Born 1964. Anointed??!!!
        The Oldest Governing Body member Sam Herd or Gerrit Losch 79!! Born 1936 !! Not Baptised until 1950s !!!
        I smell something FISHY Here like 7 SHARKS wanting your money& time& energy & your Whole Life Wasted!!

  • March 16, 2015 at 11:08 am
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    Actually i find it interesting to se that what may be a burdon to some may be a safehaven to others …. Im a nonactive wittnes who has lost my faith in a religion that does not make sense to me anymore but i find it a bit sad that it has to be black or white about jw’s … For some it may be for good to belive and for others its not … The auther of this story found it to be a burdon but the artist mention by him found it just the other way around … Good for her :) really … Most of my familly are jw’s and i wouldnt try to force them to understand that it is not the truth as i see it … They belive and it gives them joy … I have to live my live the way i find it right to do but i wont take theire belives away from them just becouse i lost my on the way … Be negative as much as you want when there is something to be negative about but in this case the lady found what seemes to be a better life for her … Thats nothing to be negative about …
    Sorry for my english its not my first language …
    Take care Douglas

    • March 16, 2015 at 11:23 am
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      @Douglas I agree with you very much but where the problem lyes is when they tell you where your wrong(negative)) all the time. I get the if it works for you then great but for the rest of us just leave us alone and stop trying to push your man made policies on us that are masked by misapplied scriptures from average laymen.
      Instead they break down family unity and destroy families.

      • March 16, 2015 at 11:49 am
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        @john baptist
        Your right … Thats negative i think being able to embrace the positives more and then pointing out the negatives carefully and mention that that particularly is the reason for ones stand not to engage with the jw’s might take one futher in a conversation with any jw’s but ofcourse i might be wrong … I personally try not to be in opposition but to be neutral in my aproach and i wont neccesarily tell my own wiew off the matter and then i am able to speak with most off my relatives and jw friends and make them think … And people to day might be brought up to much worse cenarios then being baptised as teenager … What if your a muslim or bretheren or mormon or amish … At the end you decide for your own wich way in life to choose and your familly choose theirs … the deeply belive you dont and your familly breaks … Sad …. But unfortunetly thats life for many others the jw’s … I think that if we show them by our way of living and our example that they are not true bout us then sooner or later they might understand … Then again thats my wiew for now .. I might be wrong :)
        Thanks for your reply btw :)
        Cheers :)

        • March 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm
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          @Douglas Philip. I’m sorry but I cannot agree . It is not as simple as your argument portrays. First of all prior to baptism your Study Conductor will not tell you the WHOLE HISTORY & FAILED PROPHECIES of the Organisation !!
          Secondly if you start JUST ASKING Questions about Governing Body policies or doctrines you will be ostracised ,shunned, pulled into the Backroom with the Elders.
          If their is a RESOLUTION & the congregation is asked to have a show of hands say for donating for a BRAND NEW Circuit overseers car every 3 years& you were the only one to oppose & shouted out why cant the circuit overseer cope with a 10 year old car like most of us & could that donation go to help a single mother with 4 children in the congregation!!! See what would Happen!!

          • March 16, 2015 at 2:06 pm
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            I know … And thats when you start questioning and end up picking your own path in life …. I agree that its not honest when they study with you not telling you everything but thats just bad luck getting involved with them :( life aint fair and it doesnt have to be … Think about it … If you didnt know what you know now you probably wouldt be in opposition …
            But you dont have to be right up front to oppose … Its easy to withstand and obvious attack but reasoning on a neutral level like with one of your own … Thats a diference…. If you want to affect them you have to speak to them … Most of them will not look at any of your oppinions if your to obvious … But yeah thats just how i see it … I tried to question obviously and got a worried and supecious reply … So i stopd doing that and now im just dripping a drop from time to time and it works :) i got some to start thinking … And guess what … If they end up leaving it will be their own choice and they would maybe have done reeserch on their own i have allready wittnese’d that :)

  • March 16, 2015 at 2:47 pm
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    @douglas philip. Hi Douglas. I can understand how many
    JWs, might feel the org, is a “Safe Haven” but this is just an
    illusion.

    It takes a long time, sometimes to the end of ones life for one
    to realise that it’s not been a sanctuary but a snare, a trap,

    Ones who have devoted fully to it have had life’s potential
    sucked out of them just like the spider siphons all the juices
    from the fly.

    A husband and wife S,Pioneer couple I knew ( both now dead )
    longed for children of their own, but put it off until the promised
    near at hand paradise. So even if the resurrection was a reality
    their hopes will still be dashed as the children of the resurrection
    neither marry or are given in marriage.

    My own sister a 50 year plus JW, died a year ago, disappointed
    at unfulfilled promises. One of her last statements to me was
    “Who would have thought I’d end up here, ( In the hospice.)

    Add to this the many bright intelligent young people who have
    had their potential stifled and wasted their youth knocking on
    doors and in effect, just drawing others into the fly trap.

    While I wouldn’t badger or pester my JW, relatives, I would,
    if the opportunity arises, try to expose the myth of the
    “safe Haven”. Because I love them.

  • March 16, 2015 at 2:56 pm
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    @ douglas philip

    I like your strategy. But it IS hard not to be negative toward WT, especially considering that born-ins or raised-ins barely have a choice. They are brainwashed as kids, by their parents, the elders, the congregation, and the GB, and all the literature. It’s hard to be neutral toward that, especially when you’ve been subjected to it. NO ONE likes to be lied to, intimidated, and manipulated. It simply goes against basic human nature. By the way, my comments apply to EVERY religion. It’s just that the JWs are the worst, hence truly a CULT!!!

    • March 16, 2015 at 8:08 pm
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      ABSOLUTELY AGREE 100%!

  • March 16, 2015 at 3:07 pm
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    @ Pickled brain

    Yes, I think everyone agrees that the “overlapping generation” doctrine is the most inane, ridiculous, unfounded, nonsensical, illogical, idiotic, and just plain STUPID teaching in the history of mankind!!!

  • March 16, 2015 at 4:55 pm
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    @Pickled brain. Lies, lies and more is right. it’s even absurd
    the way they pick these young kids out of thin air and how they
    just happen to be of the anointed. Legerdemain ! they’ve got
    more tricks than Harry Houdini.

    Mark Sanderson 60, goodness me! my sons older than him
    and I, though older than any gb, member, would not qualify
    on the1935 deadline ( another piece of chicanery) !
    being just a youngster back then.

    It’s always struck me as being the result of a, Gigantic Ego
    plus religious delusion, claiming that some all powerful creator
    has personally selected you to rule over everything he’s ever
    created. Or as you say P,B, it could be “Lies lies and more”.
    And this for personal advantage.

    • March 16, 2015 at 9:25 pm
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      Believe it or not, there’s a 40-year-old guy in my mother’s cong who claims he’s “anointed,” and everyone accepts it, including Steroid Boy, the “overseer.” Believe it or not, the guy’s name is Ted! Small world!! :)

  • March 16, 2015 at 7:28 pm
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    Good write up Anthony, I had no idea she was a dub, I’ll definitely check out the film.

    • March 21, 2015 at 3:17 pm
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      Thanks Andrew. It was panned, but I enjoyed it. No Depp or Bonham-Carter.

  • March 16, 2015 at 9:37 pm
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    In their own way, the GB is pretty clever. Thanks to the “Overlapping Generation” doctrine, they found a way to cover their butts ad infinitum. The “End” could come tomorrow, next month, a million, billion, trillion, gazillion years from now. Obviously, EVERY generation overlaps the previous one. It could go on forever (shudder). No more deadlines, failed predictions, or magical calculations. Only a flock of blind sheep following and obeying unquestioningly.

    • January 1, 2017 at 3:42 am
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      Neal, you have no idea how much this has shook up the witnesses. I have asked many of my relatives and friends who are witnesses to explain it to me, and many have said they think it doesn’t make any sense. Some are quite violently opposed to the idea and have had their eyes opened a bit. Then the Royal Commission happened and opened up their eyes a lot and now they wonder what silly thing is going to happen next. Quite a few witnesses are wondering what is happening to their religion. However, there are those who say this doesn’t mean anything to them. I especially target these friends and email them whatever I can that might help them open their minds even a little. Let’s give most witnesses the benefit of the doubt: privately they are wondering what is going on. What with the number of annointed increasing and more and more 20 and 30 year olds are identifying themselves as annointed.

  • March 16, 2015 at 9:45 pm
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    Good job Anthony on this article & film review!
    I should watch the movie one day.Many of my JW friends have done so and were excited about it, some of them are professional artist as well.I do have also partial art education and paint myself on/off. Best wishes !

  • March 16, 2015 at 11:38 pm
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    I am new to the other side of the fence so to speak. I saw the movie and think it’s sad WT was better than her husband.

    I was born into this snare and so was my wife. I deep down always rejected some of the WTBTS B.S. My father a new convert before the door didn’t close in 1975 worked up the ladder to be a big Elder. His favourite thing to do still to this day is disfellowship people. What a sick bastard!

    He used to beat me senseless to get me to “behave” like sitting perfectly still and quiet. If I didn’t, I would be hauled to the back and given a licking in the bathroom or second school and of course way more severely at home after.

    I am still traumatised by his actions but I was not alone, many of my friends were in a similar situation. Some of my witness friends were beaten with belts, sticks or other weapons! My parents stopped using a small club after my non witness grandparents threatened to call child protection services.

    Over all I would say my childhood was not all bad but when I had a child of my own last year my wife and I researched the WTBTS material from the 70’s and 80’s and was sickend to see that they sanctioned physical abuse to get your children to behave.

    I am now, after much anguish preparing to fade away from this hell! Save my family from this cult. Thank God for Ray Franz, the person who leaked the elder book, and all of you courageous individuals who do what you can to impede this powerful tool of Satan, The Watchtower!

    I’m so glad to at least have your support and a place to openly talk about the damage done in the name of God. These sick twisted power hungry men will one day come to an end!

    P.S. Overlapping generation lol. Soon it will be the people that knew the people that knew the people. Let’s destroy these clowns!

    • March 17, 2015 at 12:16 am
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      The ‘GENERATION ‘ doctrine of Matthew ch.24!!!
      How did JESUS define the length of ‘Generation ‘??
      Well Governing Body I don’t need to be spirit directed ???to work it out!!
      JESUS uttered the prophecy in 33 C.E. & guess what just as every dictionary definition says a length of a Generation is about 30 or 40 years.
      The fulfilment of Jesus prophecy came in 70 C.E when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem..37 years later!!! YES a Generation was 37 years later.
      Now either this prophecy had one fulfilment or the GB have got the start of Last Days WRONG.!
      Is 1914? As beginning of Last Days correct ? Is the interpretation of Daniels ‘7 Times’ correct??
      The GB have changed so many Spirit Directed?? Interpretations dozens of times e.g. 1874,1878,1910,1914,1915,1918,1925,1942,1975,
      1994(Generation of 70 or 80 years ran out) ,etc
      Change on who GOG is;who Sheep&Goats are;Even who Faithful&Discreet Slave are; Organ Transplants;Vaccinations;Blood Fractions; Superior Authorities of Romans ch.13; Start of Great Tribulation was 1914 , now in the future; Pyramid of GIZA was Gods Stone witness and foretold 1874 as Beginning of Jesus Presence; then Rutherford(Apparently GB member) decides GIZA is from Satan in 1927!! Sodom&Gomorrah men are going to be resurrected & then not & yes they are& then no they’re not !!Need I go on ?? Etc,Etc
      I could relate Dozens more FLIP FLOPS like Is Oral Sex acceptable in marriage or is it Not ??
      Welcome to The CRAZY,CRAZY World of the GB!!

      • March 17, 2015 at 1:13 am
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        ‘NEW LIGHT ‘ Anyone ??,just to add to my last comment!!
        I see New Light!! My prophecy is the Governing Body WILL have to do a U-Turn on their Child Abuse Policies because it is getting TOO EXPENSIVE for them .Finances& Public Outcry& the Courts will make the Governing Body have More ‘New Light’ & we will see Changes. I Guarantee there will be an Article in a Watchtower but worded in such a way to Exonerate the GB from all blame.
        A small sign is the letter read out last year saying circuit overseers will appoint New Elders& Ministerisland servants instead of Bethel is CRAFTY because any new Elders & MS committing Sex Crimes appointed by Circuit Overseers means it’s these men can be sued instead of Bethel !!
        The Letter read out said it was biblically based but why change the way men are appointed after 90 years because it was Rutherfords idea to appoint men so he could have complete control!!But in those days Litigation wasn’t a problem. BROOKLYN always changes if Finances are involved!!

        • March 17, 2015 at 1:39 am
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          When JESUS said ‘This Generation ‘ it is just ONE GENERATION not overlapping !!Matthew defines it in
          Matthew ch.1v17 . Read carefully Abraham to David 14 Generations; David until deportation to Babylon 14 Generations; 14 more Generations until CHRIST. Therefore each Generation could be no longer than a lifespan of ONE Single Person .Jesus didn’t say in Matthew 24v34 ‘THESE Generations’ BUT ‘THIS!!Generation’ SINGULAR!!
          So 8 Million have been HOODWINKED & CONNED just as those who in RUSSELLS day thought they were going to Heaven in 1914!!

        • March 17, 2015 at 8:58 am
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          Money talks.

    • March 17, 2015 at 9:01 am
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      @ John Z

      Re: “Let’s destroy these clowns!”
      Amen!
      You have my FULL support!!!

    • March 18, 2015 at 9:06 am
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      Hi John Z, It made me tear up to read about how you were regularly beat up as a child. My son is 31 and I remember in those times, if you didn’t beat your kid silly, you were the subject of disdain and gossip in the congregation. You were considered a bad parent in WT world. I remember realizing about 15 years ago that my son paid the price for me trying to get the approval of the friends by spanking him at the slightest provocation! But I still remained in the cult. Thankfully, both my son and myself are out now. And amazingly, my son doesn’t hold a thing against me, although I wouldn’t blame him if he did! He knows what can happen when you’re under the spell of mind control.
      And yes, Ray was such a courageous man and indeed thank God for him and others who have had the strength to stand up for what is right!
      I will be thinking of you and your family as you ‘fade’. It isn’t easy, but then again, nothing in life that is truly worthwhile is! Best wishes.

      • March 18, 2015 at 9:39 am
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        P.S., And John Z, Just wanted to add something. I remember back in the 70’s seeing a young mother lay a baby on the changing table at the hall and spanking this 7 mos. or so child! I was appalled at the time, but ashamed to say I didn’t say anything. All I can say is that it was considered fine and normal due to WT teaching at that time, but my gut would disagree sometimes. This is evidenced by how the friends would just sit there and continue reading and commenting at meetings whilst a screaming,young child was being beaten in the back room-as if nothing was amiss!
        Hope my previous post didn’t sound like I was making an excuse for your dad with the mind control comment. Sounds like your dad went the extra mile with the corporal punishment. But all I can say is that WT mind control definitely played a large part in how the average parent ‘disciplined’ their kids. Its not an excuse, but it is a reason. Thank God you’ve realized this and your child won’t have to suffer the same abuse.
        Take Care,
        Mara

    • January 18, 2016 at 7:42 pm
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      Yeap been there. I know some jw families accept their kids after they leave but mine didn’t. Different truths, different paths. I accept they need those locks and chains for whatever reason as much as I need freedom from those repulsive restrictions. They are fanatical enough to die for their believes… so when we talk about destroying what exactly are we destroying? Aren’t all religions more or less delussional? Ironically enough it was in fact having been raised so different and being taught to be steadfast and loyal to my believes that gave me the courage and strength to stand up against my parents and the cult. I left the religions as soon as I turned 18. I lost my blood family but I think of it as a small price to pay for everything I have gained in exchange.

  • March 17, 2015 at 2:36 am
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    “Some of my witness friends were beaten with belts, sticks or other weapons! My parents stopped using a small club after my non witness grandparents threatened to call child protection services.”

    That’s terrible, John Z! I can sympathise because my father used to use a leather razor strap on me (the fifties and sixties). I don’t know what the Watchtower Society’s policy is now, but not ‘sparing the rod’ was the order of the day back then.

    Corporal punishment of children by parents is now banned in 44 countries.

  • March 17, 2015 at 6:01 am
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    @Neal Krouni. A 40 year old “Heavenly Ted”, in your mothers
    Cong. Gave me a good laugh.

    It’s a good job Armageddon didn’t come, as predicted in. 75
    the year he was born or he would he would have missed out
    on his celestial mansion, ( Are they bricks and mortar by the
    way ? )

    Maybe that’s why God hung back in 75, the elite wasn’t complete
    without young Ted and the other late comers. I’m confused!

    • March 17, 2015 at 9:05 am
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      I call him Cloud Boy.

  • March 17, 2015 at 9:25 am
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    So I remember a documentary on the early days of the Nazi party. What was so interesting was that things like the swastika, the “Heil” salute, even Crazy Adolf’s little mustache, were not random choices. They were very carefully thought-out and planned. As far as Germany and the Nazis go, the swastika was totally irrelevant. In fact, it originated in India, and swastika is a Sanskrit word meaning, essentially, “well-being”. The Nazis chose it because it was unique, no one had ever seen it before, it would catch the eye, and it would stand out in people’s minds. People who do things like that, do so INTENTIONALLY and KNOWINGLY. There’s nothing random about it. They don’t just sit around over margarita’s, spitballing ideas. It may start out that way, but it evolves into a SYSTEM, a METHODOLOGY.

  • March 17, 2015 at 10:45 am
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    Margaret Keane States, her painting is no longer an obsession,
    or addiction. She puts this down to increased knowledge of
    JHVH, this has the ring of wt, hype. The main thing they want
    You to be obsessive about is door knocking, not developing
    the talents you were born with.

    I would encourage anyone with a special ability, not to be
    influenced negatively by her comments. Obsession is not
    always bad, it’s brought her wealth and success, and as she
    admits painting was an enjoyment, even a therapy.

    Her obsession has produced something tangible that many have
    and do enjoy ( apparently not everyone though ).
    Following the wt, obsession produces Zilch, unless a string of
    empty promises and false expectations count for anything.

  • March 17, 2015 at 12:33 pm
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    It is clear that what is expected of a person who becomes a witness – leave behind all sense of who you are and become a clone.
    Forget your talents, forget your strengths, and just follow the leaders blindly and put all your trust in these leaders.
    They will change doctrine and implement new rules at will and will tell you to do things that seem unreasonable from a human standpoint – but you must follow them.
    If you chose to disagree you will be shunned and your family and friends will no longer consider you to be a human being worthy of love or kindness.

  • March 17, 2015 at 4:11 pm
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    Margaret Keane has obviously been affected by wt, aura the
    feeling that God is personally influencing and affecting her
    life and actions.

    She states.”Since my growing in knowledge of JHVH, the
    source of all creativity it is no wonder that the quality of my
    paintings has increased”. She also claims her output has not
    diminished even though she spends less time on it.

    I know this feeling very well. When I first began to study in 58
    I used to play the horses and I had an amazing run of luck, of
    course I put this down to the fact that I was taking an interest in
    the Bible, and that God was picking the gee gees for me.

    Back then I was a naive impressionable young guy.
    Margaret’s not young , but I venture the the thought, that she is
    naive, guileless, childlike, like the wide eyed children she paints.

  • March 18, 2015 at 12:00 am
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    “God save us from Your followers!!!”

  • March 18, 2015 at 4:34 am
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    The movie, Big Eyes, brought out the fact that no one in the art world liked Margaret Keane’s paintings. I know that I certainly don’t.
    I first learned about Margaret Keane back in the early ’90’s because the Canadian Bethel has a couple of her paintings up in the hallway near the tunnel. It is all big eyed animals on Noah’s Ark. I hated them!
    If it wasn’t for her ‘abusive husband’ then Margaret would still be drawing $5 portraits in the park, where she belongs! He was the person who did all the work of selling and promoting really bad art. I feel like the gallery owner who was across the street from the Keane’s gallery; that owner just couldn’t believe anyone would be interested in that “art”.
    Why didn’t Jehovah give Margaret some talent when she became a JW?!?
    (Maybe I’m being a little too harsh with the woman but she has overdone it with those huge eyes. Move on to a better period in your art-life Margaret!)

    • February 16, 2016 at 10:26 pm
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      I find it very cruel of you to say that Keane “belongs” in the park drawing $5 portraits. What has she done that is SO bad that she deserves to be a literal starving artist?

      The entire reason her art became famous is that a lot of people liked her art. Just because you don’t like it is no excuse to impose your opinions on the rest of the world. Please remember that every single artist you DO like and respect is hated by many, many others. It all boils down to personal tastes and opinions. If you do not appreciate people insulting what you love, then kindly do not insult what others love.

      And what do you mean she has no talent? She has FAR more talent than artists like Van Gogh and Picasso, neither of whom could even paint a semi-realistic subject and were thus relegated to surrealism and abstract art. But it takes ALL types of art to make the world what it is. The world would be a very boring place if all artists painted exactly the same, even if they were all Rembrandts and Kinkades.

      Keane does not owe it to you or anyone else to “move on to a better period” in her art life, or to stop “overdoing it with those huge eyes.” She owes it to herself to be a happy, well-rounded human being before anything else, and if you don’t like her art, simply do not look at it.

      And in case you’re wondering, no, I’m no fan of her art by a long shot. Those eyes have always creeped me out. But nobody is forcing me to look at them. There is a LOT of art out there that I despise, but I would never dare oppress an artist who is doing nothing worse than merely expressing themselves and enjoying doing it.

      God made us to be unique and to have these amazing abilities. To do what you suggest is to waste these gifts.

      • November 16, 2016 at 10:14 pm
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        Miss November stated “[Keane] has FAR more talent than artists like Van Gogh and Picasso, neither of whom could even paint a semi-realistic subject and were thus relegated to surrealism and abstract art.”

        …Apparently you’re not familiar with their early formal, classical training which demonstrates their mastery of traditional artistic methods. If you’ll check out this link, you’ll find that Picasso showed his artistic genius early in his career by creating realistic portraits which were vastly more sophisticated & true to life than Keane’s cartoonish & sloppily sentimental “Big Eyes” pieces.

        On Picasso’s early years: http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/exhibitions/1997/picasso_early.html

        As for Van Gogh, his early works also demonstrate a mastery of realism which far surpasses Margaret Keane’s works: http://www.vincent-van-gogh-gallery.org/the-complete-works.html

  • March 18, 2015 at 9:31 am
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    Margaret is 87 years old, and at this point in her life
    things seem to be going well for her and she is. happy
    and content. One can only be glad on her behalf.

    To attribute the good patches in ones life to the influence
    of a benevolent God though, is just ancient superstition.
    It’s part of the dualistic thinking,- God and Satan, good
    and evil.

    This concept itself has resulted in much cruelty. In every
    war, God is on your side, the others are the demons, so
    providing an excuse for all kinds of atrocities. ( Look no
    further than the Bible itself for proof of this.)

    The wt, exploits this idea to the maximum allowed by law.
    All who do not conform to the regime or accept their
    constantly changing dogma , are the apostates the Devil’s
    disciples, the walking dead.

    The myth is used to create fear in others, forcing them to
    renounce and spurn even their own flesh and blood.

  • March 18, 2015 at 10:53 am
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    @ JJ

    It calls to mind another JW “celebrity”, Prince. I never cared for his music, either. Never understood what the big deal was. Once he went up to accept an “award”, dressed in stockings and high heels. Woopdeedoo. Am I supposed to be impressed? And why do all these holy bigshots still cling to their fortunes?? Didn’t Jesus tell the rich man to sell all his belongings and give to the poor before he could be his follower???

  • March 18, 2015 at 10:58 am
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    @ Ted

    I’m sure Margaret Keane IS content. It’s easy when there’s nothing going on upstairs. :) :) :)

  • March 18, 2015 at 11:42 am
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    So I recently took a stroll down memory lane, and recalled a couple fun stories from my personal experience in that wacky fairyland known as Watchtower.
    When I was about 13, a “ministerial servant” asked me if I was willing to study with a couple of younger kids in the cong. I said OK. This guy was Austrian, and some called him “The Fuehrer”, for reasons you shall see. He looked kind of like Patrick Stewart, and when he went up to give a talk, he would assume “the stance”, spreading his legs, and placing his hands authoritatively on either side of the podium, as if to say, “I have the Con.” Anyway, for some reason I mentioned the study thing to my mother, and she said I should run it by our book study conductor, an “elder”, since those kids were not in our own book study group, whatever difference that would make. So the next time Captain Picard approached me about it, I said I would get permission from my book study conductor first. This guy’s face immediately turned BEET RED, and he said, in his deep Austrian voice, “ARE YOU QUESTIONING MY AUTHORITY???” Keep in mind, I was 13 years old!!! I’m sure my jaw dropped. It was like seeing a vision out of Revelation. Never before or since have I seen anyone’s face turn that color.
    My idiot brother-in-law (who’s now an “elder”, like my fool brother BTW), once told a story about a “circuit overseer” visit. In his opening remarks to the cong, regarding himself and his wife dining at “brothers'” homes, he said something like, ‘We look forward to your hospitality this week, but please don’t feed us tuna. We’re not cats’. OK, maybe he was offered a lot of tuna in the past, but Hey, a**hole, you’re getting a Free Lunch everywhere you go, and now you’re complaining??? – Imagine buying some homeless guy a sandwich, and then having him complain it’s not the kind he likes. I would just take it back.
    One “circuit overseer” we had was a real piece of work. His name was Thorston Splett, and he always wore a bow tie. In his opening remarks, regarding himself and his wife, he said, “Don’t be afraid of us. We’re people like you. We’re human.” REALLY??? WOOOW!!!!! So I can stop pissing my pants whenever I see you coming, with your little bow tie? Jackass.

    • March 18, 2015 at 4:19 pm
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      Hey Neal, someone once said something, off-the-cuff, but it made a lot of sense to me (this guy wasn’t a JW);
      “Guys that wear bow ties usually are weirdos and are looking for attention”.
      I immediately found what he said was the truth.

  • March 18, 2015 at 3:58 pm
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    I always found it amazing that witnesses tended to put the circuit overseers on a pedestal and always ensured to attend all meetings during their visit. To me it really seemed like the witnesses idolized the COs the DOs and The GB. What is more amazing to me is that it appears that these men enjoy the attention and the power that is bestowed upon them by the rank and file.

    • March 19, 2015 at 4:08 pm
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      For sure!!!

  • March 19, 2015 at 3:10 am
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    ALL of the published financial numbers like Stock prices, Commodities prices, Housing prices, Inflation, Unemployment and Interest rates are rigged and have no basis in reality. Gold and Silver futures (paper transactions) out strip Gold and Silver supplies by over 100 to 1. 90% of American Gold and Silver has been shipped to India, China and the Middle East to pay on the Governments debt. Gold and Silver prices are set by the London Gold exchange and they are artificially holding down Gold and Silver prices by faking the numbers so THEY can purchase Our Gold and Silver cheaply. Bottom line: The dollar is going to crash like the Titanic and anything you have in your savings or retirement that is not actual Gold, Silver, Platinum or Real Estate is going to be Worthless. The hard asset prices are going to skyrocket. Unemployment is actually over 20% and rising. Industry is shutting down or moving overseas. Industries like Pharmaceuticals that continue to function in America are planning Huge layoffs. Public sector jobs are cutting staff to the bone. The U.S. is openly attempting to start a nuclear war with Russia. Israel is committing War Crimes and Genocide in Palestine. War has broken out ALL OVER the Middle East. The U.S. and European Media outlets are NOT reporting the Truth. This has been coming since 1913 when the Federal Reserve (a PRIVATE Bank) was established in the U.S. and took over the Treasury and the Money Supply. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 and WW2 are going to look like a birthday party compared to what’s coming in the next few weeks and months. If you have no Job, no more savings because it’s nearly worthless, You owe money on Mortgage payments and grocery prices double or triple how are you going to survive and keep your house? What You and the rest of the Family do is Your own business; I’m just being a decent Brother and warning My Brothers and Sisters of what’s just around the corner. My suggestion would be to pay off EVERYTHING, Especially Your Mortgage, asap and and take several thousand of those cheap dollars and purchase some Expensive Gold and Silver at dirt cheap prices right now before they put controls back on the rigged prices in London. BTW did You know that there is a second “City of London”? It’s the tiny one mile square financial district in the middle of London that is the heart of the British Empire. It’s called “Baby London” (Babylon the Great). if You know ANYTHING about the Bible stories where the Hell is Your Brain? Re Read Revelations, Forget the 501-c-3 JW Corporation!! Are You addicted to those Satanic Psychotropic Drugs You Take?. THINK!!!! The END of the World as You know it is Here!!!

    • March 19, 2015 at 4:19 am
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      John Chapman, I don’t take the Bible all that seriously. Did you realize that Noah had to put unicorns on the ark???

    • March 19, 2015 at 4:34 pm
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      Love that clip.

      So, Thank You, “New World Order”!!! You didn’t even have the decency to lubricate first.

      All that bad stuff MIGHT happen, provided the Earth itself survives that long. Don’t forget all the CRAP that we’ve been pumping into our environment 24/7 since the beginning of Industrialization about 150 years ago!!! And with more and more techno advances and overpopulation, it gets exponentially worse each day. Because, as you know, EVERYONE has just GOT to have a brand-new iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc., every year, drive around in a tank-like SUV or “mini”van, and fly out on 2 or 3 trips a year. And that’s just poor people. Never mind what the rich do! CFC’s are STILL around (jet aircraft, diesel engines, even gas i/c engines), and 1 CFC molecule can destroy 10,000 ozone molecules before being dissipated from the atmosphere!!! Think of every product you own and use. ALL of them have to be manufactured! This process, as well as the use and disposal of many of these things, cause environmental DAMAGE. I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip on anyone. I’m not exactly Amish either. But we need to smarten up and HIT THE BRAKES on production, not only of things, but people.
      When someone is sick, you don’t force them to go to work or run around the block. You give them TIME to recover. We need to give our planet Earth, our ONLY home, a BREAK!!!
      If we destroy our natural environment, we won’t have to worry about economic collapse, war, plague, or anything else. At least those catastrophes have survivors. If Earth goes, it’s Game Over.

    • March 19, 2015 at 11:36 pm
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      @ John Chapman

      Thanx for the good advice.
      I would also recommend buying the SAS Survival Manual by John Wiseman, an AR15, and a backpack full of ammo. :) :) :)

  • March 19, 2015 at 9:57 pm
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    @ anonymous

    When I get to the New System, I’ll have my very own Unicorn!!! Looking forward to that with great anticipation.
    A friend of mine once wondered if, in the “New System”, we’ll be able to breathe underwater.
    That’s so stupid. Everyone knows we’ll be way too busy using our X-Ray Vision.

    • March 20, 2015 at 2:37 am
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      Neal, I was at my daughter’s house when we watched that video and we couldn’t believe it either but we looked up the scriptures in the King James and sure enough, they put unicorns in the Bible in quiet a few places, even in the King James that the Society printed. But what did you think about all the muzzles Noah would have had to make for all the poisonous snakes? If anybody with a brain watched that video, there is no way you could believe in the Ark story.

      • March 20, 2015 at 1:24 pm
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        I love Noah lamenting that his little pooper-scooper would be woefully inadequate.
        P.S.: It would also be woefully inadequate for shoveling all the BS in WT, the bible, and other “holy” books!!!

  • March 21, 2015 at 8:57 am
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    John Chapman – great comment – scary!
    Yes, there is some serious stuff going on in the world.
    Anguish of nations not knowing the way out or what?

    Neal and anonymous –
    I asked a stuffy sister once if in the ‘New World’ all the men would have beards. ‘Oh, no my dear,’ she replied with certainty. ‘Pity’, I said, ‘it means some poor folks will have to manufacture a lot of razor blades whilst the rest of us are planting gardens!’
    Crazy old watchtower world isn’t it??

    • March 21, 2015 at 9:33 am
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      Bad Penny, I remember Witnesses saying that in the new order, that anybody who had died and got resurrected wouldn’t have kids. They’d talk like that as if it was a fact, whatever the Watchtower said was going to happen was the way it would happen.

      When I’d hear stuff like that, I thought it was so presumptuous but I never put two and two together. I wished I had had the guts to speak up when I’d hear stuff like that then but I was such a wimp. Now, just the thought of stepping into a Kingdom Hall to speak up, is more than I can stomach.

      • March 21, 2015 at 12:39 pm
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        They’ll just kick you out or call the Cops.
        When a frontal assault doesn’t work, use guerrilla tactics. Be nasty.

        • March 21, 2015 at 1:48 pm
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          Neal, today 2 of the elders came by to invite me to the Memorial and I unloaded on them again. I even said a couple times that I am surprised they haven’t disfellowshipped me yet but not yet anyway but I think they really think they can still “save” me. The thing is, I really love those guys and it kills me that they have to be so brainwashed and can’t comprehend a thing I say to them.

      • January 18, 2016 at 7:55 pm
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        ? I know I’ve been out for nearly 30 years but when did the whole resurrection interpretation change? I always wondered what will happen during ressurrection when all the homo-erectus and neanderthals begin to rise… by the way I really hate Margaret’s paintings.

  • April 18, 2015 at 5:48 pm
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    Hi, I was also an artistic child growing up as a JW and I understand what you mean about it being difficult. For me, it was hard to have a free mind inside a squared organization that practically imposed the way one should think, feel and behave. I wanted artistic friends so bad, but they all lead “evil” lives. How can you develop creativity when you live in a box full of nerds! But well, for margaret i guess it gave her hope. Some people just want to live lies, especially when that is all you know. It is not the same to enter the JW when you are old than to grow in it. I’m actually more concerned for her poor daughter.

  • May 16, 2015 at 1:02 am
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    She is a sweet lady. It sure seems celebrity insulates from to much drama surrounding you in the JWs. They want to keep you happy because you are so public. I am glad she is able to paint everyday still and had a opportunity to go to art school prior to becoming a JW. She has another identity to fall back on. Unfortunately, this does not “paint” the story of a child indoctrination from birth and not being able to express their own creativity, basically being stunted to what creativity is at all. Only knowing what is in their own limited world and having no identity.

  • November 27, 2015 at 4:03 pm
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    No matter what anyone says Jehovah God and Jesus Christ and the heavenly angels are behind Jehovah’s earthly org. Satan and the demons are against Jehovah and His true servants and they were once in heaven serving Jehovah themselves. They rebelled against Jehovah too and turned Eve who convinced Adam to rebel against Jehovah too.Judas Iscariot rebelled against Jehovah God and betrayed Jesus Christ and there were those in the 1st century who also became Apostates. Jehovah God will still draw people to Him regardless how disgruntled ex-servants of His do or say. At Armageddon Jeh God will make sure that they know that Jehovah isn’t a liar and All traitors and taunters of His Sovereignty, High Moral Standards and heavenly kingdom rule will be no more. Dead men tell no tales.

    • November 27, 2015 at 6:32 pm
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      And yet you come on a site that your elders would have you tarred and feathered as an apostate for? Many, many people on here are still believers in Jehovah but go look at the evidence against the GB. Yes, the ones who call themselves the FDS, the ones who hide child abusers… tell me, why is Jehovah backing such ones?

  • February 15, 2016 at 12:01 pm
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    I loved the movie and what a wonderful ending.

  • March 13, 2016 at 4:36 pm
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    The whole world lies in the power of the wicked one. Is it any surprise that a film was made about a jw,when the jw organisation is under more pressure from scandals than ever before. This was a propaganda film.

  • July 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm
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    I’ve been one of Jehovah’s Witnesses for 43 years. I never knew we had a monthly quota of hours. Thanks for setting me straight. BTW – what is the monthly quota? I’m in the dark on that one.

    • July 18, 2016 at 7:21 pm
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      Dennis

      For the rank and file publisher, there is no official quota, but the unofficial quota has been around 10 hours for many years. This has been an accepted round number which reflects what the organization calls the “national average” for publishers. Men in the organization are expected to make the national average, or have a good reason for not doing so if they wish to “progress” in the congregation and receive privileges such as the position of ministerial servant or elder.

      I am sure if you have been in the organization for 43 years you are aware of this.

      JR

    • October 30, 2016 at 1:22 pm
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      It’s can be just 10 mind a month or is it less. Why do people think there is a quota? You do whatever you feel you can do. I studied 10 years solidly to be a JW no one pushed me into it, in fact when you decide to be baptised you have to convince them you are read! I asked plenty of questions, In fact I produced 2 large sheets when they 1st came back! You are encouraged to question and be sure in your own mind. Everyone is treated the same whoever you are and whatever you do in the Congregation. I’m sorry to hear about children being hit and it doesn’t happen now, obviously a misinterpretation of Scripture that most Christians did in those days. Yes there have been Scriptural changes as things are understood better. At the beginning (1870’s) they started with the same ideas as other Christians but systematically examined things like The Trinity, etc and tested such Doctrines against what the Bible really said. Yes many looked to dates for Armagedon which was foolish as the Bible says only God knows the hour and the day. JW’S are the first to admit their mistakes. At the Kingdom Hall you make a contribution if you want in a box, you are not obligated, the box is not passed or in main view. I’ve had Love, Encouragement, and also financial help when I’ve been low on funds. The Elders have Families, Jobs etc and can’t do enough to help me. What Organization would do that and fulfill their duties at the Hall all for Zero Pay! I am the only JW in a very close knit loving family and love all my family and being a JW only makes me want to be close to them. Being a JW unites my family. In 1996 I made the best decision ever and a sensible well informed one too. I was Baptised.

      • October 30, 2016 at 7:58 pm
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        So many things wrong with your statements, I’m not sure where to begin. You are obviously fully indoctrinated and have bought into all the promises and rewritten history. I was 5th generation and went back and researched all the publications that my relatives had saved. The JWs attempt to hide and gloss over their improprieties in a most dishonest manner.

        But if you made the “best decision of your life” when you were baptized, what are you doing on an apostate site? Is it possible that there are some teachings that you question or explanations you are dissatisfied with? Might need to run and confess your sin to the elders so they can pray over you and grease you with oil.

        WS

      • October 31, 2016 at 4:01 am
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        My question is is why did it take you 10 years of intensive study to get baptized and what are the question you had that got answered first?

        Also, we all felt loved until we suggested that the Governing Body and the Watchtower society were not possibly appointed by God as God’s only spokesman or that the Society is wrong about 607 and showed the elders from our own literature that they are wrong about that date, showed the elders how the Watchtower actually backed Hitler in the 1934 yearbook (which I have), that the Watchtower Society joined up with the United Nations from 1992 to 2002 until they were outed from a newspaper and how we were all promised we were going to see Armageddon before the generation of 1914 died and they all died, and we questioned whether the Watchtower Society is the only group of people on earth as far as the proper interpretation of the Bible or like what I have, which is a copy of the 1885 Imperial Bible Dictionary and the Society only quotes partially from that dictionary making it look like that dictionary is saying Jesus did on a stake when the rest of the sentence says he probably died on a cross and we got either marking talks on us or disfellowshiped.

        Did any of your questions involve the above because if they did, they would not have let you get baptized or if you did bring up those questions, what were their answers that satisfied you? How can you explain how they are wrong about 607 and 1914 then? How can you prove that God chose the Watchtower Society as His one and only spokesman to people on earth?

        You as an adult are not allowed to even read anything that questions the integrity of the Watchtower Society so how can youngsters who are ten years old even have a clue about all the above things that I brought up here before they get baptized?

        You got baptized as an adult but youngsters don’t have the option of waiting until they are old because if they don’t get baptized at an early age, they will be shunned by the other kids in the congregation or their dads won’t be appointed as elders. We all know that because we have been in the organization a lot longer than you have been and we went through that with our kids.

        When you say you had all your questions answered, what were your questions and like what Winston said, if you are so happy with the Watchtower society, why are you on an “apostate” website and why are you scared to use your real name?

        You know you are barred from coming here from the Watchtower Society, don’t you?

        You are breaking the rules and everything you are saying sounds like somebody who is under cult mind control. We all believed it too until we started asking questions and the “love” evaporated.

        I think you think if you say just the right words that we will come to believe again and be saved. I used to email people too all the time, thinking I could “bring them into the truth” too but now I have dreams that I won’t go out in service anymore to spread those lies that I used to believe in too.

        • October 31, 2016 at 12:58 pm
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          It’s amazing how that ‘love’ evaporates by asking fair and logical questions. It’s not the same for everyone of course, but overall that is what’s encouraged by the WT and generally that’s what happens worldwide.

          To any person who claims to have a mind of their own, this sort of demand by an organisation that claims to be in possession of the only truth, open and honest, humble, encouraging of discussion and holds no secrets, this display of false love should raise a bright red flag.

          Indications are, they have many secrets that must be kept under wraps at all cost. If the real truth were to come out they would be left with absolutely nothing, so they have nothing to lose by turning off the love.

    • January 1, 2017 at 4:02 am
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      Dennis, what happens if you don’t go preaching for a month? If you put in an empty report slip? Won’t the elders be around to see you to find out why? So, isn’t there an expectation that you will be out preaching in the month? If there is that expectation, isn’t there thus an expected quota? What quota? Anything above 1 hour, right? Or if you are elderly, 15 minutes. Can you stop pretending you didn’t know that? We all know it.

  • October 14, 2016 at 11:08 pm
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    I’ve always been fascinated with the way celebrities are treated in the Jehovah’s Witness organisation. No way would I have been allowed to play tennis as a competitive sport, devote my time to drama club, go for band practice, or pour hours of time into writting a book because, “we are to be no part of this world” would be drilled into my head at the mere suggestion.

  • November 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm
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    Why aren’t you baptized yet???

    • November 6, 2016 at 4:26 pm
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      Because she has free will. I looked into many Religions & looked up things in secular books. I questioned everything, ur encouraged to not be a robot but make my own decision. It took me 10 yrs because I was in an abusive marriage and frightened to do what I wanted. When I made my decision my husband gave up and even came to my Baptism! I did leave him some years later, God says you can leave in that situation but remain single until he may break the vows of marriage. I’m just happy to be free, independent and in a Loving Congregation and am also supported by friends and family who aren’t witnesses. Paradise on Earth already!

      • January 1, 2017 at 4:20 am
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        Dear Jan, if only we could all be like you. I’ve been baptized for 30 years but unlike yourself I wasn’t in an abusive situation. I am being abused emotionally and mentally by the elders in the congregation, however. Because I didn’t get my pioneer hours in by one hour they wanted me to step down. When I said I would appeal this they came to my front door and yelled at me. My family and I were not invited to the kingdom hall because the elder in charge of inviting said he didn’t like me. Have you ever heard of a pioneer not being invited to a kingdom hall dedication? Not to mention a judicial committee meeting in which I was judicially disciplined but which was reversed on appeal and apologies given by the elders on the committee. I love Jehovah very much, but all this abuse and continued abuse by the elders does not allow me to call my experiences in the congregation a spiritual paradise. Far from it. A fools paradise perhaps, but definitely not a paradise of any positive description. I just wanted to tell you this to help you be balanced. I have served overseas as a need greater, as a pioneer and an MS. I am still active, but the fact that I am on this site tells you I am wondering what is going on with our religion. Why do elders abuse someone who loves Jehovah? And I’m not the only one. I have quite a collection of victims who I associate with. Safety in numbers so we can protect one another from the elders.

  • December 7, 2016 at 2:26 am
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    I love how truthful you are about the wittneses. I too grew up as a wittness, I left at 17, I had become a publisher but hesitated at baptism. Good for you on breaking free, I know it was not easy.

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