JW Survey Welcomes New Webmaster
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Life is an adventure. The roads taken are sometimes predictable and at other times quite unexpected. If you had asked me one year ago where I saw myself in a year, my answer would not be “The new webmaster for JW Survey”.

Spiro Floropoulos
Spiro Floropoulos


I am excited to introduce myself and let you know a bit about me.

A very brief history

My family background is steeped in Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am a third generation Jehovah’s Witness (ex JW obviously) – so I have a lot of family still inside. As a matter of fact, most are still in the organization.

I have a passion for technology, programming, robotics, video games, science, books, a bit of math and some light philosophy.

Over 15 years of general programming experience gives me the opportunity to help out the Survey team in some pretty cool ways.

I’m married with a young daughter. I couldn’t be prouder of my family.

How did I get to join the team?

Simply put, watching the videos on the John Cedars channel changed my life. As a result, it changed my wife’s path, and we progressively made our way out together.

Spiro and Meagan Floropoulos, with daughter Georgia, and Henry, Ruby, and Bentley

I reached out to Lloyd because I appreciate his approaches to dismantling the Jehovah’s Witness belief system and reasoning it all out. His approach also helped my wife to see the other side and escape with me. Lloyd took kindly to my volunteer efforts and let me in a bit.

From there, we simply continued to support each other and build a bit of a relationship, even though we’d never met (and still haven’t).

After a while and a few smaller projects together, he asked me to join the JW survey team, we shook on it (digitally) and that’s that!

Ultimately, I just want to support the team so they can help as many people as possible. There’s no better reward than knowing some action you took today may help someone down the line in ways you can’t possibly know.

What do I get to do?

I’ll be helping all the members of the team with web technologies as much as I can. This will include making upgrades to the website here and possibly future ones to come.

I will also be available to funnel web related issues from you, the wonderful readers; so do give me a shout if there are any issues you think we should address.

Hopefully this will grow and I’ll get to help out with many other technological aspects as well. My strengths aren’t limited to just the web.

In reality, if I’m doing my job right, you should never really know I’m here!

A special shoutout

I want to thank everyone on the JW Survey team for having me on board and being so welcoming. I hope that I can do everyone proud.

[Editor’s note: Have a question, complaint, or a suggestion? Please email us at [email protected].]

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66 Responses to JW Survey Welcomes New Webmaster

  1. John says:

    I’m happy that you are helping out the JWSurvey team but mostly I’m happy to hear that you and your lovely family have made it out of the cult!

  2. john ship says:

    welcome .this jw survey really makes a difference to those of us half way out with family trapped inside

  3. Dee says:

    Welcome! Glad you are on board! I had an Airedale Terrier. Her name was Pumpkin.

  4. Terence.hackett says:

    Greetings to you young man. I escaped myself 14 years ago after 50 years of fear and brain washing and many of us appreciate the work and effort that Lloyd has put in .
    Perhaps you or someone else has any evidence if the WTS has made any significant progress in building new Kingdom Halls in places like Africa after stealing and then selling so many Kingdom Halls through out the western hemisphere ? Because that was the excuse they used in the first place . regards Terence

  5. Paul Bonanno says:

    Welcome to the team we look forward to see this group getting more professional thanks to Lloyd and Mark. A lot of work is being done behind the curtain which is much needed. Once again congratulations Spiro.

  6. James Kingstone says:

    Spiro, I am not sure whether your remit includes research but if it does anything you find on WT Vs Darwin interests me. I noted that the WT Society dropped the Creation book. I assume to avoid embarrassment after the latest developments in scientific analysis techniques and the embarrassing debacle of the Creation Museum. I am happy you quit the cult and have a free mind to enjoy life with your family. You have a brave wife to join you. She demands full respect!

  7. Peggy says:

    Thank you for joining this great team. Like you my journey began with great trepidation. Luckily, I found Llody’s site which opened my mind.

  8. Susan Gaskin says:

    Welcome Spiro Webmaster! I’m very happy for you and family! You’re doing a great thing wanting to free others. All the best to you!

  9. James Broughton says:

    Wish you well in this vital ministry.

  10. extjgirl says:

    Welcome and congratulations on being part of this wonderfull team.

  11. messenger says:

    I assert that WT’S interpretation of Matthew 24 : 45 -47 is incorrect but it is instead a parable speaking to the consequences for remaining faithful or becoming unfaithful to ALL members of Christ’s church.

    But suppose WT’S newest interpretation that it brought up in 2013 is correct and I am wrong. In 2013 WT claimed the faithful and discreet slave of that parable didn’t arise until after 1914 if I remember correctly. And pardon my laziness as I am not one to put a lot of time, or anytime, into looking up things I pretty much recall. Now back to my point. WT also claimed in 2013 that the faithful and discreet slave of that parable today consists exclusively of those associated with its governing body. It’s argument was that only those in charge of making final decisions on what goes into WT teachings are that slave. So before it had a governing body the persons that were responsible for that task were Knorr and Franz, before them Rutherford, and before him Russell.

    So here is a point of interest that arose in my head. Words inspired by God spoken by Christ are too important to have written in the finished gospel writings for no reason. Therefore it would not make sense for Christ to warn against hypothetical situations that he and his Father knew would never materialize. e. g. Watch out that a pink elephant doesn’t step on your foot. Though a stupid example it demonstrates my point. So if this secondary assertion of mine is correct about no useless language from Christ being recorded(but if that slave becomes evil), but I am wrong about my first assertion, and WT’S 2013 interpretation of Matthew 24: 45 – 47 is correct then which one or which groups of people who were running WT became the evil slave? According to WT’S interpretation it could not have been Ray Franz because while WT was run by a governing body the whole governing body was said to be the slave not individuals in it. Also according to WT’S interpretation that slave had to be the actual editors of WT. That eliminates those listed in Russell’s will that he wanted to edit WT upon his death since Rutherford usurped their positions, fired them, and had them escorted out of the building.

    No according to WT’S current interpretation of those scriptures the faithful slave that becomes evil HAS TO BE someone or some grouprunning WT. Now if I remember correctlywithout looking this up I believe WT teaches that the words about the slave becoming evil are just hypothetical, something that could happen but didn’t have to happen. What do you think? Hypothetical or not?

    • Ricardo says:

      @Messenger, your understanding of current WT thought is correct. I, like yourself, some years ago saw that the scripture was simply an illustration telling each Christian to stay awake and do the task of telling others about the good news. The scripture about the evil slave in my opinion aptly describes the treatment I have received from the leadership of the organization: they have beaten me and my once zealous friends and thrown us out.

      Now, as to your question looking at the scripture from the current understanding: who is the evil slave? I could not understand head or tail the explanation the GB gave. It was just nonsense. Why would Jesus be giving just a warning of what might happen? In the illustration of the wheat and the weeds, was Jesus just giving a warning of what might happen? No! So why in this case?

      When the GB brought out their revised understanding of Jesus’ illustrations, I could not understand the illustrations any more. How can the mustard bush illustration go from being the growth of false religion to the exact opposite, the growth of true Christianity? The dragnet illustration now makes no sense. Why, at this time so deep into the time of the end (Armageddon is so close you can taste it- in WT thought) why would Jesus suddenly give a new understanding? The brothers from the past decades and decades understood that the mustard bush illustration was about the growth of false religion. Of what benefit is it to us now to know it is actually about the growth of true Christianity?

      All this nonsense just made me angry. Of course the evil slave will tell us that Jesus wasn’t talking about a real evil slave. That deflects attention away from them: a group of 8 men who know full well how the sheep are suffering under the mental, emotional and sexual abuse of the elders, and they don’t lift a finger to stop it. The elder arrangement is under GB control, implemented by the GB, but because the GB rely on the elders to keep the GB in power, the GB do nothing to reel the attack dogs in.

      • Big B says:

        To messenger and Ricardo,

        Trying to make sense of anything the Watchtower says now in comparison to what was taught and believed years ago is a fools errand. They change their teachings and explanations as often as I change my sox.

        Fred Franz during the late 60’s was giving talks on stage about the importance of 1975 and the end of 6,000 years of mankind’s existence. How timely it would be if Armageddon would come and usher in the new system. But “we’re not saying it will come at that time….” Another example of one foot on the gas and the other on the brakes. Why say anything at all unless you want the sheeple to do more in the ministry, like their very lives depend on it?

        Now here we are, 43 years later, and look at the teachings no longer mentioned or published. Gone are the ‘type and anti-type’ illustrations, each creative day being only 7,000 yeats long, the generation teachings have morphed into a nonsensical ‘overlapping generation’ teaching, etc. The Armageddon “can” has been kicked so far down the road Jesus Christ himself couldn’t find it with the Hubble telescope. Absolutely NO body living today will live to see Armageddon, Barmageddon, Carmageddon or any other geddon, period! It is an illusion, a will of the wisp, at most another sign or symbol in Revelation like the damn stupid beasts that have more interpretations than Planters has peanuts.

        Anyone with any ounce of discernment can see that this organization as well as other Adventist movements are the evil slave and false prophets since the Millerite movement of the mid-19th century. Jehovah’s Witnesses are just the latest reincarnation of this damn foolishness. They glean the fields looking for leftovers following Christendoms trail blazing missionary work centuries beforehand. Jehovah’s Witnesses have managed to find at least 8 million dumb asses and gathered them up to exploit though! Hooray for them. The sheeple are exploited and are too stupid to figure it out. But on they go blindly following the blind.

        The G.B. are so wrapped up in their own self delusional importance that they wouldn’t know the truth if it jumped up and kicked them between their legs. They are, without a doubt, the modern exhibition and personification of the evil slave class and those that follow them are under a pox as well.

        • outandabout says:

          Hi Big B……what’s happened to the Anglican Church is interesting with a headline from 2018 reading; ‘Church of England staring at oblivion as just 2% of young Britons say they identify with it’. The C.O.E. have been very lenient with undue influence and this is what happens when fear, obligation and guilt are removed as much as possible from the teachings, thereby making a strong case that without fear as a motivator, the church dies. Without fear, we see religion for what it is and we wake up. Anybody who claims they attend church out of love is just not thinking. In the case of WT and plenty of others of course, they try to make sure you’re too scared to think at all.

          • Big B says:

            Absolutely correct outandabout.

            The Watchtower is counting on fear,obligation and guilt plus the sheeples inherent laziness on researching to keep them in line. A fine church of disillusionment, sexual deviance and snitches they have managed to create.

            Here we are in a brand new year and most of the Witnesses still haven’t figured out or researched their involvement with the U.N. And this news is almost 20 years old! If ignorance is bliss they must be ecstatic!

            It’s just a matter of time for the Watchtower to start beating their “Armageddon is a commin’” drum again and what date is next on the horizon? How about 2033 the 2,000 anniversary of the death and resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ? Hot dignity dog! I wonder if they have learned anything from their failed attempts to prove Jesus Christ to be a liar, in that nobody knows the day or the hour but the Father? Nah, they aren’t that bright. Let’s wait and see them announce that New Light and look stupid again as always!

            The Anglican Church is just a reflection of what’s happening to the majority of Christendom’s churches. Namely, science and reason have replaced beliefs of God and religious superstition. Only when calamities, earthquakes and tsunamis, happen do people look to the heavens and fill their places of worship does religion enter into their lives. Crisis over and belief in God goes on the back burner and the churches empty except for the elderly adherents cramming for their finals.

            Only boneheaded fundamentalists and other non reasoning groups of people follow their beliefs to the extreme. This covers the ultra Orthodox Jews and Islamist extremism as well as fringe cult groups like Scientology, snake handling Pentecostals and Adventist movements, looking desperately for a person or event to come, which includes Jehovah’s Witnesses. All of these people will die disappointed, disillusioned, and discouraged be they religious or atheist makes not a tinkers damn. And their mythology will continue to be practiced without them; Ad nauseum. The sun rises, the sun sets just like it always has for millions of year since the beginning of time.

            I wish everyone a happy, safe and prosperous New Year to all and another year Watchtower free!

          • messenger says:

            Luke 21 : 8

          • outandabout says:

            Two thousand years and waiting, though, messenger. Meanwhile, Evolution is proven and Noah is thoroughly debunked on many fronts and even Ken Ham has spent 100 million to unwittingly show the impossibility of the Ark. We’re in a transition period where Zeus, Apollo, Ra, etc are being shown the door. Hundreds of Gods down, one to go….we’re very close to the true number.
            Happy New Year, anyway. God bless.

          • messenger says:

            You’re possibly waiting outandabout. There are millions of us who are not.

  12. Whip It says:

    Hello Spiro from us Down under, hope everyone has enjoyed the break & is looking forward to 2019 & more pain for the Borg,

  13. Doc Obvious says:

    Welcome aboard Spiro. Hope goes well.

    This question is for Anthony Morris III. Anthony, do you think these swimsuits are suitable for christian women to wear?

    I am referring to this YouTube video by Brittany Oldehoff, https://youtu.be/W79FWB6eU7I.

  14. Doc Obvious says:

    Spiro. You may already know this. But, the jwsurvey.org site is not secured. Your cert has expired. https://jwsurvey.org

  15. Ricardo says:

    The Watchtower 1990 Feb1 p27 paragraphs 19 & 20 say:

    Even now the Catholic Church in the United States is paying millions of dollars in damages to compensate for priests guilty of sexual abuse of children.​—Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.

    20 Such wrongdoing cannot be ignored by God’s servants but must be exposed for the benefit of others.

    When God’s servants expose the wrongdoings going on in the Kingdom Halls we get d’fed.

    Is this not hypocrisy?

    Is keeping the child sex abuse law suits and payouts secret any way of exposing wrongdoing? Wrongdoing by the elders?

    Is this not hypocrisy?

  16. Ricardo says:

    A little nugget from the 2018 Annual Service Report: Memorial partakers worldwide have risen by 1,000 compared to last year, now numbering 19,521.

    The current preachers seem very proficient at finding members of the annointed as they go house to house. Now it’s the great crowd bringing in the anointed.

    • Hole Connoli says:

      Hi Ricardo

      Where do you find that information now? Since there is no longer a yearbook right?
      How do we see the statistics the stats the WT puts out? I saw somewhere they said A couple hundred had been baptized but they did not say how many had been disfellowshipped. I am sure int the Western world itself there is negative numbers and I bet in USA , N America and Europe. Australia , NZ there are losses in m numbers.

      • Ricardo says:

        @Holy,
        Have a look at jw.org
        Type into the search bar: 2018 Annual Service Report

        All the information is there. A lot of European countries had negative reports, the most serious being Ukraine (-1000) and Poland (-2000). Venezuela was down 1000. These numbers are only peak publishers, because average publisher numbers are no longer given for individual countries. Surprisingly the USA had an increase of 2000, Canada +400, Australia +500, New Zealand +150.

        The good news was Mexico, which seems to have reached saturation point, only added 100. But the main countries showing increase are: Angola (+13,000), Congo (+13,000), Nigeria (+9,000), Zambia (+13,000), Brazil (+11,000) and Colombia (+9,000).

        • Big B says:

          Yes Ricardo, just like the Catholic Church, whom they emulate, the Watchtower’s strongholds are in poor countries in South America and Africa. Meanwhile they are losing adherents above the Equator In Europe and North America, including parts of Asia and Australia.

          Could having the internet be one of the possible causes, friends finding information damaging to the Society, along with materialism and greater opportunities for secular or educational advancement? Could that be the reason for the Watchtowers stagnant growth? Or just a vote of “no confidence “ with the friends voting with their feet?

          The 2000 added in America were probably the children raised in the congregation from birth, succumbing to peer pressure from well meaning elders and others.

          Similar to when I was baptized at 17 in January of 1969, there were about 6 of us that took the plunge in our congregation. Many of us went on to vacation pioneer, at 75 hours per month, with some becoming regular pioneers, at 100 hours per month.

          One of my friends attended Bethel and worked for the Watchtower for decades before being released, with no skills, when he married a woman who also was in Bethel. To old to retrain for a lucrative career and very little Social Security to fall back on they both live the lives of mendicants living off the charity of the congregation. Yep, “best life ever”!

          Most of my friends, baptized when I was, have since married are grandparents and have either disassociated or are PIMO. Just attend the Sunday public talk out of habit. Sadly two friends of mine have managed to commit suicide due to a feeling of hopelessness, desperation and depression. With all their eggs in the “Armageddon is a commin’ and Paradise Earth will soon be here” basket have had their hopes dashed with unfulfilled promises. Unfulfilled lives, opportunities of fulfillment robbed by the time bandits of the Watchtower; sadly the greatest theft of all. Yes indeed, “best life ever “.

          • Hole Connoli says:

            Bib B. Your situation sounds like mine in N California. Many of my friends got baptized also out of pressure and obligation around the same time as you but a few years later in the 1970’s. Most have now left and a few are still in BC that is all they know, most have no skills, the Lucky ones ( sorry we can’t say LUCK. Lol)
            got out some years ago and maybe had a decent job or their own business so they made enough money to have a decent life no thanks tot he WT. Many of my former friends are pretty much broke especially if they spent years at Bethel or in volunteer work somewhere. Some also committed suicide. I think what happens if you are a JW and a creative one is after a while you become so Stressed and expressed when you realize all your talent and skills were wasted on a CULT and you are afraid to leave bc of family and friends and start over again..All the time you are observing others that you knew and had normal lives and education and families and you think to yourself wow, these other people seem more happy than the JW’s and myself but wait…it cant be bc we are the happiest people on earth they tell us all the time. Then you begin to think it is just you nd something is wrong with yourself for feeling that way. Despair leads to depression and depression can lead to even worse. The WT offers absolutely nothing for the young people. NO social life, No clubs, no outdoor activities, no dating, no dancing, no music bands, No genuinely helping others, unless it is WT help, no volunteering, No college, ONLY pioneering and/or Bethel and we all know there is no future OR FUN in that. At least Mormons have a UNIVERSITY and are educated, Dentists, Doctors, professionals, and much more. They play sports, allowed to date, Support Boy Scouts, hiking just things that young people like to do , many other religions do the same thing BUT NOT THE wt. They want your time and all of it and your life. They truly are the religion of NO FFUN.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Holi,
            Consider the way Watchtower ruins people’s lives, be it in the ways you have mentioned or by the mental, emotional and sexual abuse of members. The lack of love, concern and compassion shown is incredible. The ‘true believers’ excuse it by asking what should we expect- it’s an imperfect organization run by imperfect man. So, Witnesses (especially the leadership) can act in unchristian ways and yet it can be excused. What then about the churches which the witnesses feel don’t have the truth? Can’t they also be excused for not having the ‘truth’ because they are imperfect organizations run by imperfect men? I believe some of the churches display more Christian love and compassion to their members than Witnesses do. And don’t ruin members’ lives the way Watchtower does.

          • messenger says:

            WT wants all available time of JWs used in service, as Holy Connoli brought out, because there are not enough Jehovah’s Witnesses to give a thorough witness about Christ to all nations in the amount of time WT claims is left. If WT did not push Witnesses to exert themselves in service it would be admitting at least one of its teachings is false. Either WT could not be the only true church or we are not living during the time directly preceding Armageddon.

            WT’S pace of growth already proves that. Consider these scriptures : 1. The good news has to be preached first (before the end), and 2. I shall speeding it up.
            .
            Ricardo, you previously said you were considering getting reinstatedas as a Jehovah’s Witness. Do you feel WT is the one true religion considering it cannot get the preaching finished world wide in the amount of time it claims is left?

          • Ricardo says:

            I have tried to respond to your question Messenger, in fact a number of your comments, and my answer is not accepted. I try to do it again, and there is a message saying I have made an identical comment (which went into the ether, because it certainly didn’t end up in print). I can repond to other people, but not to you. I have sent an email to the webmaster, but no reply. Maybe it’s the holy spirit interfering with the circuits in the internet, who knows.

          • Ricardo says:

            I will try to leave the @Messenger out of the reply, and see if that works.

          • Ricardo says:

            I don’t think I ever claimed that the Witnesses were the one true religion. But let us pretend that they are, for the sake of conjecture. Then the elephant in the room is as you mention: How does the preaching work get done worldwide by a group who are having great difficulty in keeping their numbers, and who are so focussed on the end coming and their own salvation that they are ignoring the fact that the two most populous nations (India and China) have hardly been preached to? By personally going to see the situation in India last year, I can see why the preaching work is not very successful there: the leadership are very limited in their discernment (in a country where great discernment of others’ beliefs is necessary). The Witnesses are a group who unnecessarily sets themselves apart from others over petty issues such as facial hair (in a culture in which 99.9% of men have facial hair), and I find the brothers there are really unable to adapt to the culture and unable to make their religious practices appealling to a nation full of festivities.

            My difficulty is connected with what a brother once said to me when I was complaining to him about the conduct (bullying) of the Witnesses. He said, “Well, Ricardo, we wouldn’t know the truth if it wasn’t for the Witnesses, so we have to give them credit for examining the Bible in the way they have.” I acknowledge that the Witnesses have a unique set of beliefs, beliefs which I have up to recently made it my life’s mission to propagate and defend, quite successfully. So how to rationalise a group which seems to have a lot of correct understandings (in my opinion) but an unchristian culture of bullying (especially from its leaders)? I cannot match the two. I cannot understand how a group who have such a unique set of beliefs which seem to be correct can at the same time have a culture of behaviour which is unchristian, a culture which has permeated the whole group.. When I have put it to Witnesses in the past who are themselves aware of the unchristian culture, they say, “What do you expect from an imperfect organization run by imperfect men?” But that excuse can be made for all Christian religions. So does it really matter which Christian religion you belong to? I am coming to conclude it doesn’t. Does it matter whether you belong to a Christian group or not? Personally, I find it hard to keep spiritual things focussed just on my own. I feel I need a group. Which group? I don’t know. I am about to start a project of visiting different churches to see what they are like. Because I was brought up as a Witness, I have never been to another church, so I have no idea what they are like. I am trying to reach conclusions as time goes by. One of my d’fed friends listens to King a lot. King is the guy who is anointed (d’fed) but believes the Witnesses are God’s organization but have become an apostate religion, that Jehovah has rejected the GB (the golden calf) but that there are faithful ones in the organization who have God’s blessing, and there will be a future preaching work done by these ones. Maybe he is right, but I can see the unchristian culture in the Witnesses has been there for a long time, since the time Rutherford took over. So I am just observing and waiting and trying to work everything out at the moment.

            And as time goes by, why even in the last year, we have seen some shocking things happening with the Witnesses (the Netherlands branch raided by police, more child abuse court cases lost, continued minimal growth). It seems like the chickens have come home to roost. But I have a love of God, a faith in Jesus and belief in the Bible. So I wait and observe.

          • Ricardo says:

            I don’t think I ever claimed that the Witnesses were the one true religion. But let us pretend that they are, for the sake of conjecture. Then the elephant in the room is as you mention: How does the preaching work get done worldwide by a group who are having great difficulty in keeping their numbers, and who are so focussed on the end coming and their own salvation that they are ignoring the fact that the two most populous nations (India and China) have hardly been preached to?

          • Ricardo says:

            By personally going to see the situation in India last year, I can see why the preaching work is not very successful there: the leadership are very limited in their discernment (in a country where great discernment of others’ beliefs is necessary). The Witnesses are a group who unnecessarily sets themselves apart from others over petty issues such as facial hair (in a culture in which 99.9% of men have facial hair), and I find the brothers there are really unable to adapt to the culture and unable to make their religious practices appealling to a nation full of festivities.

          • Ricardo says:

            My difficulty is connected with what a brother once said to me when I was complaining to him about the conduct (bullying) of the Witnesses. He said, “Well, Ricardo, we wouldn’t know the truth if it wasn’t for the Witnesses, so we have to give them credit for examining the Bible in the way they have.” I acknowledge that the Witnesses have a unique set of beliefs, beliefs which I have up to recently made it my life’s mission to propagate and defend, quite successfully. So how to rationalise a group which seems to have a lot of correct understandings (in my opinion) but an unchristian culture of bullying (especially from its leaders)? I cannot match the two. I cannot understand how a group who have such a unique set of beliefs which seem to be correct can at the same time have a culture of behaviour which is unchristian, a culture which has permeated the whole group..

          • Ricardo says:

            When I have put it to Witnesses in the past who are themselves aware of the unchristian culture, they say, “What do you expect from an imperfect organization run by imperfect men?” But that excuse can be made for all Christian religions. So does it really matter which Christian religion you belong to? I am coming to conclude it doesn’t. Does it matter whether you belong to a Christian group or not? Personally, I find it hard to keep spiritual things focussed just on my own. I feel I need a group. Which group? I don’t know. I am about to start a project of visiting different churches to see what they are like. Because I was brought up as a Witness, I have never been to another church, so I have no idea what they are like. I am trying to reach conclusions as time goes by.

          • Ricardo says:

            And as time goes by, why even in the last year, we have seen some shocking things happening with the Witnesses (the Netherlands branch raided by police, more child abuse court cases lost, continued minimal growth). It seems like the chickens have come home to roost. But I have a love of God, a faith in Jesus and belief in the Bible. So I wait and observe.

          • Ricardo says:

            One of my d’fed friends has faith in King, an anointed (d’fed) brother who believes the Witnesses are God’s organization but have become an apostate religion, that Jehovah has rejected the GB (the golden calf) but that there are faithful ones in the organization who have God’s blessing, and there will be a future preaching work done by these ones. Maybe he is right, but I can see the unchristian culture in the Witnesses has been there for a long time, since the time Rutherford took over. So I am just observing and waiting and trying to work everything out at the moment.

          • Ricardo says:

            I am sorry that I have to answer in little bits like this, but otherwise my comments are not accepted. Who knows why? I would think with the new webmaster things would be different, for the better.

  17. eyes opened says:

    Hi Messenger, I wanted to share what myself and some of my family have thought about Matt. 24:44-45. Perhaps it is a rhetorical question, not really meant to identify a person or group, but rather each individual applying the question to themselves. Jesus made clear the qualifications and it would be up to the individual to decide if they would act in harmony. No actual number or anyone pre-determined but each proving by their actions if they would be such a slave. It certainly doesn’t seem it was meant to identify the group of men today who apply the name only to themselves. It’s an interesting subject for sure.

    Regards

    • eyes opened says:

      Oops verses 45-47 ; )

    • messenger says:

      Yes I believe that parable, which is sandwiched inbetween other parables all having to do with church members proving faithful or not, was given for the same reason that body of parables was, which was to tell the results of faith and the lack of it. A point of interest is that it does mention that the unfaithful slave beats the sheep. Christ’s statement about the wolves in sheep’s covering carries the same thought. Because of that I have come to believe the apostasy he spoke of has more to do with members of the church usurping Christ’s position by gaining their own followers which they harm and use misdirected scriptures to do so. As he said the thief comes to steal and plunder the sheep.

      I no longer believe the apostasy has much if anything to do with people believing church doctrines like trinity, immortal soul, or hell fire, or being political, and probably has nothing to do with joining the military either. Except that church leaders sometimes used those ideas like hell fire to persuade people to follow them. I think it is the “you must follow me or suffer the consequences ” teaching that was the apostasy. And WT has misdirected the meaning of Matthew 24 : 45 – 47 to teach that idea. More than that they got most of us commenting on this website to believe it. And in different ways they beat all of us. Just to know if you express what you believe to your friends you might be turned in and ostrasized is a beating by the evil slave. Isn’t it when you can admit you still wholeheartedly believe and follow Christ? FOLLOW the slave or else.

  18. messenger says:

    This comment is primarily to VINCE in response to his recent qoute on another topic page. I only address him here because this is the most current thread, and someone else might wish to chime in. VINCE posed the question that the governing body might be wrong, but WHERE DO WE GO? He posed that along with the thought because of that idea(as if it’s real) it’s better to stay inside the organization.

    Brother Vince, please excuse my language, but I choose it to embellish my point. If you worked for a boss who owned his company, and he put out a written policy statement to all employees that if you ever leave his employment he will give you an ass-whipping, then would you choose to stay with his company? I ask because your governing body has issued such a policy statement to their whole church. Oh you might leave physically without much consequence. But unless you retain your lifestyle as it currently is, and your beliefs about God and scriptural interpretations that you publicly share with others WT will likely hurt you worse than one physical beating.

    Now consider this, because you will have to answer to Christ for what you teach about God and Christ. By what you teach I mean specifically what you teach others God and Christ will do to them in response to behaviors or beliefs they have. Do you believe Christ will kill people forever for believing any one of the following items:
    1. That Christ never had a beginning?
    2. That he is like his Father being equal to him in power?
    3. Christ’s words about the eternal fires of Gehenna literally cause eternal
    torment?
    4. If they don’t believe 1914 has any Biblical significance?

    Do you believe that Christ will kill me for using the slang term ass-whipping considered vulgar by some while I share spiritual points with you? And if you don’t believe he’ll kill me for that why not? I knew the term was slang and could be taken as vulgar. I know Paul wrote we should not use such speech.

    Your governing body had most people who comment on this website believe that if people are following Christ while they interpret some of his words regarding those topics above literally instead of figuratively Christ will kill them forever. Or if they believe the 144,000 Jews in Revelation are really Jews who convert during the Great Tribulation they are not saved.

    Now in your mind which is worse, me writing ass-whipping in this spiritual dialog, or a follower of Christ misinterpreting the rich man and Lazarus parable?

    • Ricardo says:

      @Messenger, I only wish to make a brief but meaningful comment. When I was a Witness in the past and I brought to the attention of the ‘true believers’ the abuse and rubbish happening within the organization, they brushed off my concerns by saying that it’s an imperfect organization run by imperfect men, so what should I expect? But could not this same comment be made to excuse other religious groups who don’t have their doctrine quite right (I mean, don’t have the ‘truth’ to the same extent as the Witnesses? Take the SDAs, for example. The true believers would say that they don’t have the truth. But couldn’t that be excused by saying that their organization is an imperfect organization run by imperfect men?

      If Witnesses can behave in an unchristian way and excuse it, what’s the problem if other Christians believe in an unwitness way?

  19. Hi Spiro and Meagan,

    What a lovely picture of your family! Each year we have gathering of Ex-JWs from around Phoenix during the Christmas season. One of the individuals who usually attends was not able to make it. But at Bethel he worked in the art department. Thus it goes, that many well motivated talented individuals work for the interests of the Watchtower Society. When we leave it doesn’t mean an end of our talent or desire to help others. It is just that we get to be much more authentic in how we expend our energy. Sites like this have without a doubt been very helpful to so many.

    Let’s see…. “I have a passion for technology, programming, robotics, video games, science, books, a bit of math and some light philosophy.” Okay, I have check marks on most of those too, albeit not too much on robotics or video games. But my son-in-law and daughter fill in those.

    I’ve always enjoyed my career as a software engineer but never went past high school. So, in 2014, even though I was closing in on 50 I decided to start taking college courses. I just finished LAT101 (Latin). Next up will be a course in the “HU” (Humanities) area. I’m very much thinking of taking Philosophy 101. My third daughter, Madison, got her degree from St. John’s College, which is a “great books” college that involves a lot of philosophy.

    The world and the cosmos is way bigger than the small world of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The more years you and Meagan are away from it, the more I’m sure that will be the case. That said, there will always be a bit of loss and melancholy for family and friends who remain in the faith. All we can do is try to be there when and if they should start to question the claims.

    Cheers,
    -Randy

  20. Whip It says:

    I actually went to the mid week meeting last nite, mainly due to keeping my Wife happy & she was a 2minute housholder, they had a part on how we went last year, they were ecstatic over 1.4% increased & stated the work is speeding up!, heres a thought, if more are dropping out then coming in then isnt that a sign that times up & JC should step in now??, complete madness, it would have beed real nice if the Brother actually told us the truth regarding the 2018 figures.

    • outandabout says:

      Complete madness it is, Whip It,

      God creates a Universe but needs help in writing a bible. So obvious.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Whip It, Yes and the 1% increase in Australia was called a fantastic result. How devastating, that an organization that once had good growth has to keep the pretense up that there is still fantastic growth, and anyone with any sense who disagrees that 1% is fantastic is called negative and becomes marked.

      • outandabout says:

        Here’s another increase you could maybe sink your teeth into, Ricardo…… a 2015 Pew Research Centre poll reported that 34-36% of millennials have no religious belief. This figure is in line with a 2013 Harris Poll that found 23% of Americans have forsaken religion altogether. This is a dramatic increase since 2007 when the figure was only 16%. See what happens when people have access to facts?
        We’ve had the wool pulled over our eyes by hypocritical churches who are willing to keep us trapped with lies and altered truth.
        Is it any wonder that a man only just identified in the rigging of Trumps campaign was from Liberty University. Fundamentalists vote Republican and Republicans want the bible taught in schools and the children of Fundamentalists feed Liberty University, but they’re losing and they know it.
        The idea that a magic man made everything belongs in the infancy of our species.

        • Ricardo says:

          @outandabout,
          This site is preventing me from answering to you in the way I wish, so I will have to chop my answer into pieces . Sorry about that. I wish I knew why this has been happening lately. But we can only work with what we have.

        • Ricardo says:

          I don’t think the loss of religious foundation around the world is something to cheer about, but rather something to be very worried about. Take as an example a whole country which has tried to wipe out its religious traditions: China. The moral condition in China where most people are seeking their own interests is terrible. See this video:https://youtu.be/FfLnFVzfKBs

          No more are they living by the principle: do to others what you want done to you. Now it’s: Get every bit you can for yourself.

        • Ricardo says:

          It would be beneficial to read or listen to Prof. Niall Ferguson who wrote the book (and cd) Civilization: The West and the Rest. One of the reasons he sees Western Civilization, especially Europe, engulfed in malaise, is the loss of its Christian foundation.

        • Ricardo says:

          Unfortunately, I cannot continue this answer as this site will not allow any further comments I try to make.

    • messenger says:

      My personal opinion that can be proven as absolute fact is that there are many ways to PROVE WT is and always has been an apostate religion, always making the ridiculous claim it TEACHES the Bible accurately. I don’t know if I brought this thought up here. If so I apologize for the redundancy, but here is one of those many ways to prove how far the primary teaching of WT is removed from biblical writings.

      WT has always claimed that the end of this world is imminent. It also claims that per scripture the good news must be preached sufficiently to all the nations before the end. And I have traced in its literature as far back as 1920 that WT has taught it is the only religion preaching God’s good news of salvation. In 1920 it even had the nerve to print if it wasn’t for Charles Taze Russell no one back then would even know God has a plan of salvation.(Ha ha! Just how stupid did WT believe people were, since even a moron reading the gospels could understand the Bible claims God has a plan of salvation ).

      That’s what WT teaches and taught, and this is how those teachings prove it’s apostate. Because based upon WT’S history of about 150 years it is impossible for WT to preach its apostate message it claims is the TRUTH to a significant degree to ALL NATIONS in the amount of time WT claims remains before Armageddon. Considering too that WT claims all adults die during Armageddon that are not JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES, and WT doesn’t believe there will be a large influx during the Great Tribulation, it’s obvious that WT either cannot be the only acceptable Christian organization, or its message that the end is imminent is false making it a false prophet. See Luke 21 : 8

  21. outandabout says:

    Hi Ricardo, There was a very strong Christian foundation in the world during the Middle Ages. Would you like to return to burning people at the stake merely for being suspected of not believing in God?
    Absolute belief can fly planes into buildings. You’re under that umbrella. Take care.

    • messenger says:

      I believe Ricardo claimed he is prohibited from furthering the conversation outandabout. But to claim the burning of people at the stake was a Christian response is equal to claiming WT’S message is an accurate Christian response to the biblical command to spread the gospel. If any of us believed that we wouldn’t be commenting on this site. We’d still be on a WT stage teaching the WT flock and preaching WT’S message to you at your door.

      Where in the Bible, and especially in the New Testament, is it written Christ or Jehovah said Christians are to teach ideas (and rules) that they believe are interpretations of scriptures that MIGHT be incorrect, but nevertheless if a hearer does not follow those interpretations they CANNOT be a Christian? You see this is another proof WT is apostate. Because that is what it TEACHES. It admits some of its interpretation are wrong, which is beyond just that those might be wrong. At the same time it TEACHES that to please God everyone must accept it when it is wrong and believe the wrong with the right. That actually is idolatry, putting faith in WT. And the biblical view of apostasy speaks of one having left true biblical writings and accepting errors like the act of burning nonbelievers. The apostate WT demands everyone accept errors when those come from WT. Show me that in scripture and your comment about Christians burning others at the stake has relevance. If you cannot it has no relevance. Rather it follows WT’S ways of biblical understanding.

  22. outandabout says:

    Ricardo…..we are horrified when a man returns and murders his estranged partner. In doing so he essentially says to the woman; “I love you but if you don’t love me back, I;m going to kill you”. Why is that ‘another sign’ to Christians but when God threatens to do the exact same thing it’s seen as fair and just?
    I know the answer and it fits perfectly.

    • messenger says:

      You miss the point of the scriptures outandabout. Those don’t teach God will kill you if you choose not to live according to his ways. What they teach is that he will not keep you alive. You are presently in that state of not remaining alive. Christians are in a state of remaining.

      It is not something he will take from you. The gospel teaches something he will either give to you or withhold from you. And contrary to WT teachings those who receive it do not wait for it but possess it when they are Christians. See John 3:17

  23. outandabout says:

    You should have been a politician, messenger, but then again, you may be too honest for that but it looks as though you’re not above lying to yourself, though. If you need to Believe in order to maintain a position you consider essential to yourself, you go right ahead. I think I would do the same.
    The point with scriptures is you that find your own interpretation and considering their supposed importance, that shouldn’t be the case. With thousands of scholars poring over them for 20 centuries and still not reaching a consensus, I think it safe to say they’ve been flogging a dead horse and this is becoming more apparent with each passing day.
    If Noah’s flood was fact, the fossil record would show only one layer containing bones from every living creature including humans all jumbled up together. Thats not the case. What we have is different layers and each of them showing lifeforms more complex than those coming before. Every time there was a mass extinction, some organisms survived and when conditions became favorable again, these existing organisms were in a position to kick start the next step in evolution leading to more complex life-forms.
    Religion does itself no favors by trying to deny this but then again, it’s always done so. It’s had to concede so much over time and continues to do so but manages to do so without actually admitting it.

    • messenger says:

      Outandabout I can understand your skepticism considering that many people lie at the drop of a hat for what they consider gain. But it’s not just scripture that I place my trust in. I place trust that people who wrote those scriptures were not lying, that they had those supernatural experiences, the type that human science cannot explain because it is ignorant about them. Scientists only attempt to explain what they can see.

      Now you can either believe these others, if you develop a reason to. And people continuing to have such experiences in our day, including myself (experiences which have now past for myself ) , or you can continue to believe everything your human senses have discovered miraculously and spontaneously appeared from nothing. While doing that of course you claim the others including myself are lying.

      Accepting your view I see folks attempting to explain what they cannot. That’s why I say you comment on what you do not know. And interpretations of the Bible or what some history of people professing to be Bible scholars has nothing to do with my position. Neither does the truth that people have different interpretations.

      The reason why I have always claimed that you speak about what you don’t know
      is not because of your views on the Bible or religions. It’s because you have no personal experience of supernatural contact. You try to rationalize the experiences of those who have from a position of absolute ignorance, and are understandably a skeptic. Better not to express such strong assertions about things you have no knowledge.

      Putting the supernatural aside you and human science have an opinion about where everything popped out of . The answer of Science is from another universe. Oh, so there’s another universe out there? Except for including who is in it that idea mimics the Bible.

  24. Doc Obvious says:

    Fair use is a doctrine in the law of the United States that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder.

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

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