worst2articleBy now, you may have already seen what have become known as the “Bunker” videos shown during the 2016 Regional convention. The films are centred around a small group of Witnesses huddled in a basement converted into a makeshift bunker, during the period of worldwide turmoil that Watchtower teaches will take place just before the battle of Armageddon, known as the Great Tribulation.

The narrative moves between the characters as they each flashback to a moment that occurred before the Great Tribulation broke out.

The videos are intended as teaching aids to help Jehovah’s Witnesses take to heart the lessons that the Governing Body wants them to learn.

But what are these lessons? Follow me into the Bunker and lets take a detailed tour though events that Watchtower teaches will happen in the very near future, and the actions and attitudes it believes Witnesses will need to show in order to survive them.

Bunker Video 1 – Pride

Screenshot 2016-06-02 21.16.18Bunker 1 claims to be a video about the dangers of pride, and features an Elder recounting an example of when the sin of pride almost got the better of him. He explains how another elder at his hall, presumably the School Overseer, gave him some feedback on mistakes he made whilst giving a public talk.

How does his wife react to this? Does she say; “do you think what he said was valid?” or “Did he have a point?” No. She says;

Please tell me you didn’t argue with him.

The wife is not concerned about whether the feedback is valid or not. Her only concern is that he might not have unquestioningly accepted it. The husband replies;

No of course not.

It is as if the very idea would be absurd.

What becomes clear is that the “right” attitude the elder is expected to display here is to unquestioningly accept whatever direction is given to him. No evaluation. No pushback.

It’s healthy to accept constructive criticism, yes, but one should always be ready to push back and challenge criticism or instructions if one does not believe them to be valid after careful consideration. To be a well rounded individual, it is vital to strike this balance between open mindedness and self confidence.

The kind of behaviour being presented here is not that of a well rounded individual capable of evaluating and accepting constructive criticism, rather it is that of an intellectual doormat, who will blindly accept any command from authority and say “thank you” at the end of it. Indeed the dangerous sin as presented here is not even that he argued the point, it’s that he felt resentment even though he blindly accepted it. 

Essentially, what had been presented at the outset as a discussion of the dangers of “pride” morphs into a lesson about unquestioningly accepting orders from Watchtower authority with a smile.

Keep that in mind. It won’t be the last time we see this theme of blind unquestioning loyalty sneaking around in the shadows during the Bunker series.

Bunker Video 2 – Improper entertainment

Screenshot 2016-06-02 21.29.03Bunker 2 deals with a young man watching pornography on his phone.

Sort of.

It’s actually quite hard to work out what he is supposed to have done. He specifically states that he is NOT watching pornography, but states that the material he is watching is giving him immoral thoughts. Thus it’s hard to work out exactly what the material was supposed to have been. Steamy movies? Artwork featuring attractive people? Catalogue photographs? In any case, the man gives us the comment that:

Anything that stirs up unclean thoughts is worthless, and I should turn my eyes away.

That’s quite a broad and vague command. One cannot simply drop out of sensory experience, closing one’s eyes every time an attractive person passes you on the street.

Much of how you feel about this video might depend on your view of sexual morality as presented by Jehovah’s Witnesses or by faiths with similar teachings on sex. If you share this viewpoint, you may find little to criticise here, and feel the advice well captures a spiritually clean view of sex. Others may consider this view of sex to be repressive and unhealthy. Much will depend on your subjective view.

However, one might also suggest that Watchtower is trying to make Witnesses a little bit afraid of their internet phones, because there is something on that phone even more dangerous to a Witness than pornography.

That thing is: Google.

On the privacy of their smartphone, all a Witness has to do is type a few words into a search engine, say “Jehovah’s Witnesses child abuse,” or “Jehovah’s Witnesses shunning” or even just “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” and of the many sites that will spring up in response, only one will be jw.org. I remember sitting in a meeting, reading JW Survey articles during one of the more boring talks on my trusty smartphone. A free flow of information is not something Watchtower is in favour of for its followers, and today’s smartphones are portals to all the information in the world…

Bunker Video 3 – Bad associations

Screenshot 2016-06-02 21.48.19Bunker 3 deals with the wife of the elder we met in the first video, relating an experience of how she almost fell into “bad association” at work when her workmates invited her to grab a coffee with them in the break area.

The people in the office appear to be offering genuine friendship, but the friendship the Witness is offering in return comes with an ulterior motive. She apparently has no interest in them as people, just as potential recruits for her religion. As she states;

I still thought I could give a witness and actually teach them something about Jehovah.

At one point we see her try to share a scripture, only to be horrified when the people she is talking to offer an opinion different to hers, as if they had no right to interrupt her attempts at preaching. She closes her bible in shock. One of the co-workers smiles knowingly and states…

Too much information, right?

While most intellectually healthy people would consider the sharing of viewpoints and information to be a good thing, here it is presented as something that is damaging to the faithful. Additionally, the video seems to infer that her friends talking about families and husbands, a perfectly normal topic for most people, was somehow a bad thing. The Witness laments…

In reality, I was the one being taught, and I was a quick learner

This video casts the sister as if she is some weak creature with no agency, blown hither and thither by the opinions of those around her. No thought is given to the fact that a mature, rational person should be able to evaluate new viewpoints, decide if they are valid, and reject or adopt them accordingly.

No, she is presented being as doe eyed and impressionable as a small child. I can imagine that many Witnesses might feel uncomfortable and even a little insulted by the assumption from the Governing Body that they are all this impressionable and intellectually feeble.

Bunker Video 4 – Fear of Man

Screenshot 2016-06-02 22.16.40Bunker 4 tells us the saga of Kevin.

Kevin is a witness who isn’t in the bunker. The narrative implies that he was always a bit of a spiritually weak Christian, but apparently the final straw for poor Kevin was, according to one of the Bunker folk:

When our message changed form good news to judgement, he was telling everyone that it would make problems for us, and that he was done.

It is inferred that one of the reasons that the Witnesses might be in hiding is that their “message of judgement” helped trigger the Great Tribulation and caused the population and the governments of the world to rise up against them and hunt them down.

Let’s set aside the acknowledged cases of repressive regimes (such as Vladimir Putin’s Russia) persecuting Jehovah’s Witnesses, because often those regimes persecute other religious groups just as badly, and instead focus on the idea that all democratic, liberal governments will turn specifically on Watchtower because Watchtower will begin to proclaim “judgement.”

The problem with this delusion of grandeur is that the Governing Body have clearly never heard of the Westboro baptist church.

For those who don’t know, Westboro is an infamous fundamentalist church known for antagonising the population of United States with its own messages of “judgement”, picketing the funerals of US Servicemen with signs saying “Thank God for dead solders,” and turning up at Gay Pride events with “God hates fags” banners.

The Church sets out to be as antagonistic and fractious as possible with its “judgement messages” going far beyond the limits of any message that Watchtower would ever contemplate carrying. Yet as of 2016, the church members of Westboro have not been hunted down into bunkers by Government goons. Most citizens just dismiss them as unpleasant idiots.

I humbly propose that the Witnesses can, in most free countries, make their message as judgemental as they like, and the very worst that will happen is that people will simply consider them to be a bunch of jerks.

If Governments in liberal democracies DO ever come for Watchtower, it will be because of things like failure to report child abuse, or the enforcement of cruel and abusive practices like shunning, and not because Witnesses started walking around with signs saying “Jehovah will trample you in the wine-press of his anger.”

Bunker Video 5 – Appreciation

Screenshot 2016-06-02 22.19.52Bunker 5 is very interesting, especially if one is aware of the recent problems Watchtower has experienced worldwide with news coverage of its child abuse scandal, and with difficulties concerning its “New Light” teaching of the “Overlapping Generations.”

The video begins with the bunker crew reading Psalm 116:12:

“With what will I repay Jehovah, for all the good he has done for me?”

When asked for suggested applications of the scripture, one of the Bunker dwellers says:

What really makes a difference is how we respond to that goodness. For some in the congregation, those good things became a test of their loyalty.

Hmm. Where are they going with this? What are the “good things?” Are they talking about the ransom sacrifice? The hope for the paradise earth? The Bible?

No.

We soon see that this video is yet another example of bait and switch.

The “good things” in the context of this film are basically whatever the Organisation decides to do or say. We see a montage of announcements being made from the platform and of “new light” being given as teachings are changed. We see a couple of brothers looking unhappy about it in the audience. A stern voiceover warns us that these brothers…

…found fault with what the organisation was doing, or not doing

I find that specific wording very interesting.

One thing that the organisation is not doing right now is reporting child abusers to the police, and I know from my own experiences that more and more witnesses are being exposed to this fact. Many Witness often deny this practice exists out of genuine ignorance, and you can sometimes tell it has upset them when they see proof of the claims.

It’s impossible that they are not talking to the elders about it, and it’s impossible that reports of this disquiet won’t have reached the Governing Body. Given the context of the video, it seems clear Watchtower is saying that any criticism of what it “isn’t doing” is disloyal, and fails to show appreciation to God.

I can’t see a loving God appreciating anyone who helps a child molester evade justice. I can’t see how anyone can possibly class this as a “good thing”

Additionally, it is implied that the frowning brothers do not like the “New Light” being taught. Now, there is only really one major “new light teaching in recent years that could ruffle the feathers (although the 2016 shunning clampdown might give it a close run for its money), and that is the teaching of the Overlapping Generations.

As explained here in a previous JW Survey article by the site’s founder Lloyd Evans:

For decades Watchtower publications insisted that Armageddon was imminent because, they argued, the generation of anointed Witnesses (who believed they were going to heaven) who witnessed and understood the events of 1914 would not die out before Armageddon arrived.

This claim was based on Matthew 24:34, where Jesus told his followers that the generation that witnessed various apocalyptic signs would not die out until all his words, including the “great tribulation” (the prelude to Armageddon), came true.

Sounds great. Until you realise that this generation of people are now basically all dead. Lloyd continues:

The most recent solution, as proposed by Watchtower in 2010… is to essentially embellish Jesus’ words by suggesting that “this generation” doesn’t have to be just one generation, but can be two.

The first “group” of “this generation” would witness and understand the events of 1914, and the second group would be those who were born before the last individuals in the first group died (hence an “overlapping” generation).

If you don’t understand this, it is not due to any failure on your part. It is because it doesn’t make sense. The teaching rides roughshod over the English language, redefining what “generation” means, and relying on the audience to willfully bypass their logical thinking skills by asserting the incomprehensible as indisputable truth.

After all, if you can arbitrarily insist that a generation can be composed of two groups, why not have three, four, five – on into infinity? The word “generation” quickly loses all meaning.

This teaching came into force shortly before I left, but even at the time I knew from my own discussions with Witnesses that no-one could really explain it, no-one liked discussing it, and on my way out of the faith I pointedly asked one elder if he really believed it and could prove it to me just using the Bible.

He looked a little awkward and suggested the teaching would be “further refined.”

My experience clearly isn’t an isolated one. The problem is apparently so bad that JW Broadcasting had to devote an entire episode to trying to explain it, as seen below, again with analysis from Lloyd Evans.

So, in summary, we see yet another video that claims to be about one thing, appreciation, but actually ends up being about something else, namely: “Stop asking embarrassing questions, stop pointing out flaws in our policies and doctrines, just do what we tell you to do and think what we tell you to think.”

Bunker Video 6 – Self Control

Screenshot 2016-06-02 22.23.47Bunker 6 deals with a Sister who admits that the struggle she had to overcome was that of “negative thinking.”

What does she mean by negative thinking?

It’s never expressly stated exactly what this means. Feeling of unworthiness? Low self esteem? I can’t be 100% certain, but listen to the way she describes her emotions:

I would pray, but at times the feelings were so strong, I didn’t know what to do.

Will I ever stop feeling like this?

To me, that sounds like she’s describing depression. I should know: I’ve struggled with depression, as have people close to me. What is the response of the older sister that this apparently seriously depressed person turns to?

The scriptures tell us as Christens we pray for self control in our actions, but we need the same self control for our thoughts.

This sister is essentially told that her depression is her fault. She lacks self control, and needs to read more scriptures and pray harder to control her depression. No mention is made of seeking professional medical help. The sister is simply expected to study the bible, pray about it, and overcome her sinful lack of self control. It’s implied that if she cannot do this, she is disloyal to God. 1 Corinthians 9:25 is invoked to back this up.

Now everyone competing in a contest exercises self-control in all things. Of course, they do it to receive a crown that can perish, but we, one that does not perish.

I will be honest, this video made my blood boil.

As I have said, I have direct experience with how serious an issue depression can be. In the worst case scenario, people can take their own lives. Serious cases of depression often require professional help and sometimes medication, and with such assistance a real improvement in the life of the depressed person can indeed be possible.

But the idea that you should tell a person with depression that they simply need to develop “self control” to cope with the issue is insulting and downright dangerous. You can’t “fix” depression by reading scriptures and implying to the person that their feelings are “their fault” for not having self control.

I don’t really know what else to say here. This video will be like a slap in the face to any Witness genuinely suffering from depression and will only make them feel worse for their “sin” of being depressed.

It could make their fellow witnesses even less understanding, might cause them to view the depressed one as someone lacking self control and loyalty, and thus “bad association,” causing them to withdraw from the depressed Witness. Add into the mix the fact that the need for skilled professional help is totally ignored in the video, and I shudder to think what impact this video may have on vulnerable Witnesses.

Bunker Video 7 – Love

Screenshot 2016-06-02 22.29.30The basic theme of Bunker 7 is: “you all have too much stuff.”

It features a pioneer couple, in flashback, describing how they apparently once had a comfortable life, despite both being pioneers. It’s made clear that having a comfortable life is a bad thing. They couple sell up, move to a much smaller home, and get rid of most of their possessions.

Granted, it would nice if Watchtower didn’t try shaming those who work hard and choose to live comfortably within their means, but some people do find that slimming down their life gives them the chance to focus on other life-goals that matter to them. Each to their own.

The problem is, this pioneer couple then decide to attend the School for Kingdom Evangelisers and move to serve where the “need is greater.” I’m sure they feel that Jehovah and his Organisation will care for them….

…the same organisation that is currently slimming down its Bethel staff, getting rid of the older travelling overseers, and generally tossing full time servants out on their ear due to budget cuts. But we’re coming to the end of the video series because in Bunker 8, the police break down the door.

Bunker Video 8 – Faith

Screenshot 2016-06-02 22.34.08There is actually not that much that I found noteworthy about Bunker 8. The Bunker Buddies basically review the previous videos, read a bunch of scriptures to strengthen their faith, the police finally work out that maybe the Witnesses are hiding behind the big white door (what are these, the Keystone Cops?) and the scene fades to black as the armoured thugs close in on our Bunker Brotherhood.

It has to be said though, the overall theme of the series is indeed fascinating. The videos return time and again to the same themes. Stop asking awkward questions. Stop being depressed. Stop questioning New Light. Stop listening to people who have different opinions. Do whatever we tell you and smile when when you say yes sir.

Watchtower convention programs are not written at random. The talks are often a response to issues and trends currently concerning Watchtower’s leaderships. So what can we learn about current trends in the worldwide congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses from this video?

Witnesses are asking awkward questions. Witnesses are depressed. Witnesses are questioning “new light.” Witnesses are listening to other opinions. Not enough Witnesses are doing what they are told – or if they are, they are grumbling.

I don’t think all is well in the land of Watchtower.

I think the Governing Body has a problem. It might not just be the rank and file Witnesses for whom this ends up being the #worstconventionever.

For further analysis of this video, including many points not covered here, please check out the video from JW Survey’s Lloyd Evans below. Believe it or not, this article has not even scratched the surface of how disturbing this video is. Click, if you dare, and Lloyd will take you even further into this crazy bunker shaped rabbit hole.

 

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191 thoughts on “The Worst Convention Ever – Part 2: The Bunker

  • June 4, 2016 at 4:55 pm
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    Great article Covert Fade. The Bunker Videos remind me of a childhood game we used to play called “Simon Says.” For example, the society used to say, don’t clap when it’s announced from the platform someone has been reinstated and now recently they say yes you can clap when it’s announced from the platform someone is reinstated. Instead of Simon Says it’s the GB says.

  • June 4, 2016 at 5:25 pm
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    I put this thought on another thread, but it seems more appropriate here. Has anyone considered if the GT video(bunker videos) is because the Orgy know that nearly all the governments of the Western world are coming after them for their position on child abuse and oppression of women, including sexual harassment that happens at the Bethels? Here in Australia the general consensus is that they are selling off the Bethel and all their equipment as well as many KHs before the Royal commission comes after them for the compensation scheme. If they create this fear for the R&F that the governments are after them because it’s the GT and not because of their own lies and betrayals, they will close ranks around the GB to protect them. What do you think?

    Thank you Covert Fade for this excellent article. Hubby and I are enjoying these immensely.

    • June 7, 2016 at 1:47 pm
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      Sexual Harassment at Bethel??
      This is the first time I’ve heard of this. But as I think about it I’m not surprised at all. Can you share any links with me with more information.

  • June 4, 2016 at 5:43 pm
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    I think this bunker crap is just plain wishful thinking and is also to create a sense of urgency in the brothers and sisters. But I also believe that the selling off of certain buildings by the society due to pedophile lawsuits is also wishful thinking by many people posting on this site. It’s just a reorganization by a big corporation trying to put their resources to the best use.

    I do believe that the GB will have to come up with new light and the “Methusala Generation” after the overlapping generation does not panout.

    • June 6, 2016 at 2:53 am
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      The GB ‘loves’ to dream alot. They come up with radically crazy and weird theories and scenarios so as to entice/enslave or threaten their 99% gullible flock. Its outrageous and absurd just sitting there at the KH and having to consume all that ‘Hogwash’ for 1hr:45min. Its depressing and really boring! And the elders keep drumming on the idea that ‘spiritually weak xtianz are those who do not attend FIELD, MEETINGS, go to UNIVERSITY, QUESTION GB ORDERS, ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT JW TEACHINGS, do not COMMENT AT MEETINGS……Am really tired of their trash.

  • June 4, 2016 at 5:53 pm
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    Hmmm….wishful thinking….well, take a look at the ARC and the PROMISE that they are coming after the Org and that the Org WILL be made to participate in the compensation scheme for child abuse victims. They have been given 2 years to come into compliance with the findings of the ARC. Within 6 months of this directive by the ARC, Bethel Australia began selling off all equipment and trucks and machinery in Bethel Australia and the Branch itself has been put up for sale. Looks like a duck, walks like a duck….wishful thinking means it must be a cooked goose.
    http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/case-study/636f01a5-50db-4b59-a35e-a24ae07fb0ad/case-study-29,-july-2015,-sydney.aspx

    • June 4, 2016 at 6:11 pm
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      Or maybe they just over built in Warwick and need the cash. I guess we will just have to wait and see. They were idiots selling off Brooklyn.

      • June 5, 2016 at 5:18 am
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        Why were they idiots? It just makes good business sense. Especially now there is much less printing space needed. It’s no different to me downsizing my house now that I am the only one living in it. No real need to have a three or four bedroom house any more.

        • June 5, 2016 at 6:43 pm
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          Because it was in such a desirable spot and now they went and put the money in Warwick which is in the middle of no where and its also a toxic waste dump. So they will never have the windfall they had selling Brooklyn again. I also think they should have waited to sell some of it because they started the sell off back in 2010 when the market was down.
          They always say we are deep in the time of the end but they used all those brothers and sisters time to build that place when they should have been out in the preaching work. They took care of their future but hypocritely tell us not to prepare for our future in this system in regards to education, professional jobs etc…

      • June 5, 2016 at 10:24 pm
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        “Or maybe they just over built in Warwick and need the cash”

        Sounds like wishful thinking Markie.

  • June 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm
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    This was a stellar analysis, Covert Fade. Truly well done. Thank you personally for giving voice to the piece about depression, curiously renamed by the Governing Body as “Negative Thinking”.

    The shame of depression in the Witness organization lies at the feet of their leadership, not the people suffering. They’ve clearly changed their tune about reaching out for professional help since I left under the weight of chronic suicidal depression in the ’90’s.

    Knowledge is truly power.

  • June 4, 2016 at 9:10 pm
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    “When our message changed form good news to judgement” Hmm. Matthew 24:14 will have to be changed from “And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” To “And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth until the Governing Body arbitrarily decides to change Jesus’ message to one of judgement which will piss people off.. and then the end will come.” In any case, they have switched to a message of doom before in an attempt to ‘bring it on’ and we see how well that worked.

  • June 4, 2016 at 10:47 pm
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    oh my god. This is some crazy stuff. I cant believe this was made. Why didnt they put at least a double lock on that door? Why is everyone still dressed like they are going to a pot luck dinner? This stuff is UNBELIEVABLE. im so embarrassed. Good god.

  • June 4, 2016 at 11:10 pm
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    For the Watchtower it is like the communistic leaders in 1989. The members have no more energy(only a few of them obey blind the GB), so the most “worse convention” is all about the GB himself how they shall be destroyd soon and not the worldsystem, first.
    Thank you Covert Fade for this excellent article !

  • June 5, 2016 at 12:14 am
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    Thanks Covert. The ‘do what you are told or else’ attitude is dreadful. We are supposed to check what is said to see if it is correct from God’s point of view. No way can we follow anyone blindly. We are supposed to be wise, and be able to think for ourselves.

    God doesn’t hate anyone, fag or not. The organization’s stance makes people go in the opposite direction. There is a problem with unbridled sex. Sexually transmitted diseases are rife and cause awful damage. Antibiotics are losing the battle. There are psychological and physical problems with having many sexual partners. Gay people do die younger than most.

    If the org presented the wish of God to help people rather than simply condemn, it would be far more effective. That is, if they get it right in the first place.

  • June 5, 2016 at 12:44 am
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    What the current “intake” of Witnesses fail to realize is that every 30 years or so the organization regurgitates all the fear-mongering about Armageddon in order to whip up the faithful to work harder and to get ready for the persecution that’s imminent.

    My parents became Witnesses in the late 1930’s, believing they were part of the generation alive in 1914 that would see the “end of this wicked system of things” at Armageddon. Before my father died in 1999 his attitude towards the significance of 1975 changed, which is around the time I voted with my feet and left the organization.

    What’s changed is the desperation of the Governing Body to hold onto their power and to retain control over the rank and file. I think you are right in suggesting this could be “the worst convention ever” because the new shunning policy, along with the heavy-handed methods of the GB to enforce unthinking and unquestioning obedience, is likely to backfire spectacularly. I think the GB have shot themselves in the foot, spiritually speaking, and that large numbers of Witnesses will now wake up to the way they are being manipulated.

    Interesting comments about how the Society is responding to the Australian Royal Commission findings.

    • June 5, 2016 at 11:53 am
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      @Grey tower: I really hope you are correct about this backfiring. I was planning to boycott this year’s convention and just not waste my time, but now I think I will attend with my husband. I have to see how he reacts.

      I genuinely don’t know if he will agree with the points made, or if he will see it for what it is.

      He is so skeptical about almost everything else: commercials and politicians, etc., bold and unproven or unsupported claims of any type. I can’t believe he wasn’t first before me to see through the lies and manipulation of the GB.

      But regardless of what happens in my personal situation, I hope that many people who were on the fence or giving the organization the benefit of the doubt and/or making excuses for them will start to see through them and begin to pay more and greater attention to their own unanswered questions and their own sense of conscience, of justice and common sense right and wrong.

      Of course the GB will have an answer for the great exodus and will attempt to shame and vilify those who leave. And will praise those who stay for their loyalty and unshakeable faith.

  • June 5, 2016 at 12:52 am
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    I think also it should be mentioned about the new technology and jw broadcast.i do not like the broadcast and neither does my wife we are both over 70 and cannot cope with the new techno tablets etc we do not want jw broadcast. The elders know this but keep pestering us to have some device fitted to our tv so we can watch jw broacast ” every evening” yukwe have told em we dont want it cant afford it . But still they keep on …i think many are like us and will be pressured …well it wont work .i told my wife if they keep on ill just give up( which ive been fading for over a year) its a problem for the g b im sure…

    • June 5, 2016 at 1:35 am
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      @John ship – exact comments from my 81 year old mother who has been a witness for 60 years, the tech is expensive, impersonal and non interactive – this is probably the reason for it in the first place.

      • June 5, 2016 at 5:20 am
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        Reminds me of the telescreens from Orwell’s 1984.

        WS

    • June 5, 2016 at 6:25 am
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      When I was still attending meetings, albeit few and far between, one MS at the book counter asked if I wouldn’t just prefer to download all the crap… I mean literature. I told him I would once the GB bought me a tablet. He was quite taken aback, as were those standing around.

      • June 5, 2016 at 11:51 am
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        Depression? I knew well two bethelites who hung themselves AT Bethel. And a regular pioneer who threw herself off her balcony.
        Everyone was shocked but not for long. The topic died out almost immediately because
        ” if would bring reproach on Jehovahs name”. As incredible as it may seem I still stayed on for another 10 years. When I ponder over all these abuses and realize how robotic and submissive people are in this organization I can only hope that
        some world wide scandal awakens the many good hearted people that are still in, including my children. I don’t even know where they are. This is shunning in the extreme!

        • June 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm
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          Regarding Bethel suicides:

          The Watchtower claims to have the truth that leads to eternal life. The Governing Body claims that they are the faithful slave appointed by Jesus to guide His followers into the new world.

          A Bethel slave wants to do everything possible to please Jehovah, who they believe is represented on earth by the Governing Body. The Governing Body will always demand more and more from its cult members, even those who are serving at Bethel. No amount of faithful service to the Watchtower will ever be enough.

          Therefore, some Bethel slaves — and regular Witnesses — become seriously depressed when their hope for eternal life appears to be unattainable.

          • June 5, 2016 at 2:18 pm
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            @ ScotWm

            Hope for eternal life in “paradise earth” is definitely unattainable. Why? Because it (“paradise earth”) cannot be found in the entire Bible.

            As soon as the G.B. admits that their interpretation of the 144,000 is wrong and is a symbolic number, as is everything else in Revelation, the better off everyone will be.

            As of now the G.B. cannot explain away the increase of memorial partakers (to the tune of more than 500 per year) for the last 10 years. What does this mean? The number of partakes is growing and not diminishing as time passes as they said would happen.

            Also, J.W.’s (Watchtower study edition July 15, 2013 chart) now have a “rapture” like many born again, evangelical faiths. The remnant leaving for heaven before the great tribulation starts. This is something we poked fun at.

            No wonder many are discouraged, disgruntled, disappointed, disgusted and depressed; not only at Bethel but congregational as well.

            In my area, of Southeastern Virginia, a certain congregation had to ask another congregation elder to become the coordinator of elders. Why? Because no one wanted to become the coordinator amongst their body of elders, no one.

          • June 5, 2016 at 3:56 pm
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            Regarding Big B — “Rapture”: I just downloaded the July 2013 Study Edition and there it was:

            From the endnotes on page 8:

            “Paragraph 8: [2] One of the events mentioned in these verses is the ‘gathering of the chosen ones.’ (Matt. 24:31) Hence, it appears that all anointed ones who still remain on earth after the initial part of the great tribulation has passed will at some point be raised to heaven before the outbreak of the battle of Armageddon.”

            In this statement, a rapture before Armageddon “appears” possible. In the following statement, this rapture becomes a fact:

            From the chart on page 11: “Shortly before Armageddon, the remaining faithful anointed ones are gathered to the heavens.”

            Wow, that was a fast “adjustment.” On page 11, we had new light on what was stated on page 8 of the same magazine.

    • June 5, 2016 at 12:13 pm
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      My father has been faithfully attending meetings for over 40 years. Meeting attendance was never an issue for him at any point in my entire life!

      He always studied thoroughly and prepared well for all the meetings. He looked things up in the cited references. He wasn’t lazy and didn’t take shortcuts.

      But he’s in his 80’s now and doesn’t own a computer, tablet, or smartphone. And he’s kind of intimidated about trying to learn to use them at his age.

      I’ve watched his meeting attendance fall off by about 60% and it’s not because he’s old or sick and it’s too much trouble to leave the house.

      He said to me that he feels lost at the meetings with the new format. Since he’s out of sync with the technology, he can’t study properly before hand and he can’t really keep up and follow along while he’s there.

      I feel like they know that the older ones who aren’t familiar with the technology and the people of any age who can’t afford it will get left behind, but they just don’t even care.

      I feel like those individuals have been deemed irrelevant and disposable.

  • June 5, 2016 at 1:37 am
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    great article! loved it. i feel sick after reading it.
    quite a lot of typos though in the article. Keep up the great work. best wishes, wildelover.

  • June 5, 2016 at 1:56 am
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    I know you say there was nothing noteworthy about bunker video 8…. I think the fear factor was ramped up with the military style invasion of the basement…and I think it is a disgrace that children are watching this en masse and being told this is the truth…this is what is going to happen…. I was brought up in this crappy organization and know how afraid I was as a child…when we read about persecution in Malawi I was afraid…when we read about concentration camps I was afraid…when we read about people dying from not having a blood transfusion I was afraid…. dont be fooled that these young minds are not drinking in every word in these dramatizations…. they are…and that is how the control starts.

    • June 5, 2016 at 4:41 am
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      It reminds me of the fear of nuke war i grew up with in the 50s .the bunker scene upset me so much it brought back the terror feelinds .i could not sleep that night after seeing it and im over 70 what will this do to the minds of children.?

  • June 5, 2016 at 2:26 am
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    Hi all,

    I’d like to make couple of points. It saddens me to see
    a departure from the policies that stipulated limited contact. The reasons why limited was permitted (relatives) in my view was due to the following.

    A departure from one’s system of beliefs should not translate into a complete annihilation from their families.
    Secondly, that limited contact safe guarded the fundamental principles of family structure and the gift of free will. Anyone who’ve read the original article initially publish about how to deal with dis-fellowship relatives will know that dis-fellow shipping DOES NOT break family ties. It was clearly written in in that article. September 15 1981 Questions from readers.

  • June 5, 2016 at 2:30 am
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    The September 15 1981 article has two parts to it. The first deals with how to treat dis-fellowship people in general and the second part deals with relatives in particular. However, i’ve heard people saying for a very long time that families of dis-fellowship relatives are not allow to actively seek association with them just for the sake of it but should only contact them when it’s absolutely necessary. Thats far from the truth. The article in itself was not deterministic nor conclusive or lay blanket rules about those matters. Rather what it sought to achieve was to lay general principles. For example, can you invite a dis-fellowship relative for a wedding at the hall? Again, there isnt a yes or no answer. Highly discretional with the following principles in mind. The article states ” We cannot say whether a dis-fellowship relative should attend the wedding but it’ll be up to those involve to resolve”. Sept. 15 1981 Pages 26-31. Can a disfellowship person attend the reception? Well the answer lay bare in the principles that it brought out. Because the fellowship person may be more likely to seek to associate with people which includes other witnesses attending the reception it MAY be best for them not to attend. Another thing that need to be taken into account is how will other invitee’s to the occasion feel about seeing a disfellowship person around. Sept. 15 1981 Pages 26-31. Again principles in play, even though this answer leans more toward a no from a sound judgement perspective, its not conclusive, it doesn’t categorical say no or yes. The answer lies on a case by case basis because all scenarios cannot possibly be thought off or written about due to it infeasibility. Again the overriding principle was if you chose to associate with a DISFELLOWSHIP RELATIVE, keep it to the minimum; with no conditions attached to the minimum association or contact rule.
    I believe a sudden twist in policy violates two fundamental principles. The gift of free-will and the cohesiveness of the family structure. The assumption that underpins that policy is “ All witnesses children will have only two options, become a witness and remain in the family circle or have a different view and be thrown out”. Having said that I also have strong reservations about dis-associated people been classified in the dis-fellowshipped category again because it violates the principles of free will. That’s probably one of the reasons why mankind weren’t created as robots but humans.
    Point two, I don’t always agree with cedars on all published articles but a few. One of the few common grounds we share is the issue of disfellowshipped relatives and the application of Lev. 10:1-6 on disfellowship relatives. Anyone reading this passage will know that this passage was a specific instance where Jehovah executed divine judgement. It was not carryout through proxies and henceforth applying that scripture to relatives of disfellowshipped people or persons is just not fit for purpose.
    Finally cedar mention that masturbation is not explicitly prohibited in the scriptures. Cedars you’re right there isn’t a scripture that specifically prohibits masturbation but as a MST graduate you should know that there are principles that cover that subject. For example if you turn the pages of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation you’ll not find a single verse or passage that says “ do not smoke” however there are principles that governs. Paul said don’t take in anything that’ll harm your body (that passage cover smoking). As Christians we are admonish to keep morally and mentally clean and of course masturbating will NOT be consistent with that principle.

    More to come……………………

    • June 5, 2016 at 3:02 am
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      There is a principle in the bible from Jesus Christ that says ‘any man who looks at a woman…commits adultry in his heart’ …. however that is not grounds for scriptural divorce in the organization….
      There is a statement of firm instruction from Paul… ‘marry only in the lord’…. you are not disfellowshipped if you do….
      They pick and choose which principles to attatch laws to and the decision is arbitrary.
      You say that associating with a disfellowshipped relative is a matter of free will…I think you are mistaken…in a neighbouring congregation a brother had all his privileges removed because he attended the ceremony of his long time disfellowshipped brother…
      There are countless instances in my area of the organization coming down in a very strong way against association with disfellowshipped, disassociated and inactive ones in a family…..I dont know your background but I suspect you are an elder with doubts… I am now 58 and only woke up properly 4 years ago…all my family are witnesses including my very much ‘in’ spouse…. Im fading to try and avoid being shunned by my children… now that quiet avenue of using my free will and leaving is beibg removed from me.

      • June 6, 2016 at 12:50 am
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        Thanks Idontknowwhattodo, i’ll clarify couple of points. As per the article, association with DISFELLOWSHIPPED relatives SHOULD BE discretional and kept to the minimum, so i’m not mistaken. (READ THE ARTICLE) Unfortunately body of elders have this tendency to cohort with one another to suppress the clear interpretation of the article and rather follow the supposedly SPIRITUAL interpretation which involve outright shunning using fear and intimidation.
        Secondly, i don’t know the full circumstances of that case but what i can say and cedars should know this is when a brother has privileges, HE IS REQUIRED TO BE EXEMPLARY AT ALL TIMES. Even though the limit contact rule SHOULD apply equally to everyone, it doesn’t. So that brother knew he was an elder, at some stage cohort with other body of elders to counsel another member of the congregation to either limit (hopefully he encourage limited association) or shun a dis-fellowship relative. The brother in question should have known that the requirement to be exemplary primarily applies to brothers with privileges. So he should have been very careful, because might have been the same person telling people what to do, The scripture say ” you telling someone what to do, teach yourself”. There was nothing scripturally wrong with attending weddings of a disfellowshipped relative but the brother should have known that even though there was nothing wrong with it, others were going to twist it and use it against him. He also should have known the organisation doesnt have a structure and fair system to handle appear cases, using discernment, he should have stay away just to safe guard his privileges. Its called wisdom.

      • June 6, 2016 at 12:56 am
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        Regarding the issue of looking at a woman with the intent of having sexual relations, you can be counsel on it and if a person doesnt desist they can be dis-fellowship as a last resort depending on the body of elders that handle your case, a body may be self-righteous, another may be very human.

        • June 6, 2016 at 8:44 am
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          You miss my point…Im saying that though there are principles the gb use to make laws they pick and choose the principle that needs these supplementary laws to fullfill the principle…the ones that suit them…ie: a rule about masturbation…. yet the principle on looking at a woman has no rule attatched… you intruigue me Joe… do you agree with these arbtrary rules then?

    • June 5, 2016 at 3:46 am
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      “Cedars you’re right there isn’t a scripture that specifically prohibits masturbation but as a MST graduate you should know that there are principles that cover that subject.”

      Ah, so you’re into creating supplemental rules for the sake of preventing people from breaking actual biblical rules. Interesting. I know an organization you should consider joining.

      • June 8, 2016 at 7:21 pm
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        I’ll bet the Bethel rule makers said, “Because kids do it so much, it feels good to them, and it involves the genitals, then it MUST be sinful. We need to make a law! HA HA. What a bunch of knuckleheads.

    • June 5, 2016 at 6:36 am
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      I attended my df’d sons wedding. A month or so later I had a ‘shepherding call’. The two elders were very nice until we finally got to the real reason for their ‘loving, shepherding call’.

      Elder – ‘Can you tell us how you can justify attending your df’d sons wedding?’

      Me – certainly. God gave me a conscience. I used it.

      Elders – blank look.

      Me – thank you for coming.

      I have refused every attempt at them returning. I haven’t been to a meeting in 6 months. I have not returned calls or notes pushed through my door. I am shunning the persistent wrong doers.

      • June 5, 2016 at 8:02 am
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        Tara, good for you for taking a stand for your son and yourself!

      • June 5, 2016 at 11:48 am
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        I am doing the same thing. I recently received a card from an elder in my congregation, but I don’t plan on responding to it.

      • June 5, 2016 at 9:43 pm
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        That’s amazing!!!

        • June 6, 2016 at 3:24 pm
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          It’s amazing how easy it is to make these poor people look silly. I recently had an elder and servant on my doorstep and without being rude to them, I very quickly had them squirming and looking at the ground. I invited them in and they declined. I’m not even a jw and I knew more than they did. Also, the first thing the elder did was lie to me and then went on to reveal himself as he left. Surely, this cult can’t last like this.

    • June 8, 2016 at 7:26 pm
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      “Cedars you’re right there isn’t a scripture that specifically prohibits masturbation but as a MST graduate you should know that there are principles that cover that subject. ”

      Yeah? I’m waiting for the Caleb and Sophia cartoon where Caleb gets caught playing with his privates and Mom has to explain how bad it is. That should be a good one!

  • June 5, 2016 at 2:34 am
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    Meant to be MTS graduate……

  • June 5, 2016 at 5:53 am
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    About:

    Bunker Video 8 – Faith

    It can be also related as: ” The Watchtower Modern Version of the musical West Side Story”

    The Jets represented by the JW’s and the Sharks represented by the stormtroopers police.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWb_xz0OakQ

    What a bad joke.

  • June 5, 2016 at 6:29 am
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    I love your analyses Floyd. Always spot on, pull no punches. Thankyou. If the GB have to threaten and cajole their “remaining” followers. It’s apparent they are desperately trying to stem the tide out the exit door. Scare tactics ala Nazi Germany is all they have left to use. I do fear the Koolaid is next. And I think the GB will take the money squirreled in the Caymans and abandon ship before the police break down THEIR white door.

  • June 5, 2016 at 7:12 am
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    I finally get what I think is the real meaning of bunker 7 where the couple sells belongings. Whilst viewing I couldn’t understand how selling their house and all their belongings would strenghen the couple’s faith. I realize only now that doing so probably has nothing to do with faith. When all is sold I’m pretty sure the cash won’t stay in the bank too long. Guess who’ll be there to make sure you donate it?

  • June 5, 2016 at 7:52 am
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    It’s interesting to compare what the WTBTS is NOT DOING in regards to their pedophile problem with the Catholic church.

    I read in the paper just this morning that Pope Francis has approved new rules that hold bishops accountable if they fail to protect their flock from pedophiles.

    I remember in the late ’80s when the child abuse scandal in the Catholic church was becoming public, we (JWs) would wag our fingers and shake our heads disapprovingly and say things like, “That just proves they are a false religion. Aren’t we glad we are not like that?”

    Well it’s clear that the JW religion is actually worse than the Catholic church. The RCC is now making changes while the WTBTS continues to hypocritically cover up their moral failings.

    Thanks for shining a bright light on this issue!

    Let’s review: It’s a cult!

  • June 5, 2016 at 7:58 am
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    Hi Joe, thanks for all the hard work that went into your comment. But your information is based on
    September 15 1981 Questions from readers. That is old, out of date information and not acceptable.

    July 15, 2011 Watchtower study edition gives you the new, up-to-date information that all here are concerned about. Read on:

    16 The message is clear. Our love for Jehovah must be stronger than our love for
    unfaithful family members.
    17 Today, Jehovah does not immediately execute those who violate his laws. He lovingly gives them an opportunity to repent from their unrighteous works. How would Jehovah feel, though, if the parents of an unrepentant wrongdoer kept putting Him to the test by having unnecessary association with their disfellowshipped son or daughter?

    My question is, who gets to decide what is “having unnecessary association”? Do you get to decide? Or do the Elders decide for you? Most of us here know from personal experience, your conscience doesn’t count. The only acceptable decision is the one the Elders make for you. If you proceed according to the September 15, 1981 information and the Elders hear you used your own conscience, they will be calling on you. Hope you are ready.

    • June 6, 2016 at 1:07 am
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      Thanks Quietobserver, i’m not sure how well you understand referencing but Cedars can help you in this regard. He’s very passionate about it. The Gods Love book has an appendix that references the September 15 1981; In as much as the God Love good is still in use (meaning not discontinued)then the references it uses are valid. When an article is use as a reference, it serves as an authority over that piece of work regardless of how old it is except when there is a new article. The article you’re referencing doesnt conclusively address the issue rather gives synopsis. Let assume that appendix was in the knowledge book then you’ll be 100 percent right but this is not the case. The God’s Love book is still use to teach students through to baptism; therefore in as much as it references an article publish in the eighties, it is valid. The extend of it relevance is debatable.

      • June 6, 2016 at 4:26 am
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        So Joe, when your Elders come after you for associating with someone whom they deem is not worthy and your reasons (say a death in the family) are not valid enough, you are gonna bring out that information and show it to them? They will bow their heads and humbly admit that they should allow you to exercise your own conscience? Hmmmm….let us know how it turns out, ok?

        • June 6, 2016 at 8:37 am
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          QuietObserver
          I get the impression Joe is an elder and having a struggle with things going on in the congregation…QuietObserver ..well made points and well referenced I dont think you needed his very ‘elder-like’ instruction on referencing… I feel for him that he has to satisfy his need to counsel us…I dont need that instruction any more…I am intelligent enough..not overly…just enough to understand what is going on around me and can decide myself what is lies and deceit… watching every munute of the ARC opened my eyes to the fact that the gb lie…and I will never allow them or the elders to tell me what to do again.

          • June 7, 2016 at 8:23 pm
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            Hey Idontknowwhatodo, this has nothing to do with putting you down i’m sorry you felt that way. Rather its just a basic academic standard of referencing. Neither was i counselling you either. I was just making a factual statement whether you agree or not is not my problem. We will all be accountable for our actions at some point in time.

      • June 6, 2016 at 9:30 am
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        So, Joe – how would your fellow elders feel about you participating in a discussion (or even looking at) on an “apostate” website? You have committed a disfellowshipping offense.

  • June 5, 2016 at 8:14 am
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    This is all about Fear – Ramping. And brain-washing. There must surely be some desperation within the hallowed halls of GB-dom right now.
    If you visit http://www.forum18.org/ you will notice that many religions are under the cosh in different countries – not just JW. Org –

  • June 5, 2016 at 10:49 am
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    If Video #6 is indeed about depression, then I too am disgusted by the portrayal. Would a wounded soldier be disloyal to his commander because he can’t run as fast as his uninjured comrades?

    I find that people who have never experienced deep depression do not understand the terminology used to describe the effects on the depressed mind. The video producers seem to fall into this category. They do try to convey the sister’s pain (I’m sure they have many examples to draw from) but the solutions betray their lack of understanding.

    For me, depression tricks me into not wanting to feel better. Taking my hope of living away from me takes with it any reason or desire to do anything, making simple tasks (like just getting out of bed) impossible because there’s no reason to. If you then throw in ACTUAL reasons not to get out of bed (Saturday field service, Sunday meetings) you’re mixing a recipe for a whole batch of depressed Witnesses, which is what seems to be the case.

    I’m glad I left. The year after my wife and I made the decision was the hardest year of my life. But now we look at the Organization with a different point of view and try to laugh at how zany everything is.

  • June 5, 2016 at 11:11 am
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    From the Bunker video: “Anything that stirs up unclean thoughts is worthless, and I should turn my eyes away.”

    Watchtower cult members should avoid reading from the old testament. Those ancient accounts of gross sexual misconduct and genocidal mass murderer will certainly stir up unclean thoughts.

    • June 5, 2016 at 1:42 pm
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      And what about the Song of Solomon?
      “The curves of your thighs are like ornaments.”
      “Your navel is a round bowl.”
      “My breasts are like towers.”

      Better turn my eyes away… because it’s startin’ to get pretty hot in here.

      • June 5, 2016 at 3:23 pm
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        That’s a good one. Here’s another one:

        “Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (1 Sam 15:3)

        • June 5, 2016 at 11:07 pm
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          I’ll add my two cents with this one : “The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.” Hosea 13:16

  • June 5, 2016 at 11:30 am
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    I never comment the posts, but I think this one deserves real attention. I am a fader, just like many people here, and I started to get in touch with the JW thing that I was “missing” for not being there anymore by following your blog and Patheos, basically. In the future I will write Lloyd to thank him for his great effort in bringing to light many of the obscure things that happens behind Kingdom Hall’s doors, and are not taken seriously by people outside, sometimes. For now I want to resume what this “bunker video” shows me about the future directions of the JW Organization: they’re going full cult. Although there always have been this kind of “apocalyptic” message in conventions (the old “district congress”, I guess), it’s clear that the organization wants to get rid of ANY kind of reason, critics, and independent thought. As Lloyd pointed in some video before, the more dense literature such as the old book “Insight” and even others that simulated some kind of “erudiction” are now cast away, replaced by dumb and melodramatic videos with childish moral lessons about being “loyal” without question. Some things that specially called my attention in this drama are:
    1) The “sister in work” tale:
    I think this is really a misogynist story, when JW’s organization passes the following (not so subtle) lesson: Women working and thinking for themselves are bad. The demand of women for not being “submissive” and the fight for equal rights mave have reached the “adorable sisters”, as the one that enters with the husband in the ending of the movie is shown as an example: she doesn’t even speaks without her husband’s permission. That is the lesson JW will learn in this part: “Do not be an independent woman that think for yourself. You can be the supporting wife or you can be the depressed, emotionally cripped young sister that probably suffers for not finding a husband, but don’t you dare to find a job and be a normal human being.”
    2) The “brother Kevin’s” tale:
    This tale again attacks any kind of independence as dangerous to spirituallity: brother Kevin is not fully commited to the nonsense, pretty much as most of the witnesses I met, they do what they have to do, but don’t sell their things and go where is needed. The brother Kevin is the “common witness” that maybe even has some independent thought. Now this witnesses are being accused of cowardice and laziness.
    I wonder where this kind of propaganda will take the organization: maybe more people inside that see themselves as Kevin will commit hardly, or you fall slowly, just fading, while the accusation keeps on. This new way of JW’s teaching is given us, the “sordid apostates”, something good, although: these are the same teachings we know our entire lives and become questioners and criticizers, but now they are all in video, for anyone to see, clear as water, and this is JW’s organization bringing they worst to light. I hope that all this can bring more people inside to think, even for a moment, and not to see this as a “sign of the end being real close”, and let themselves go along the hardcore-cult way that the organization seems to be going now.

    • June 5, 2016 at 1:13 pm
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      @Cartan, I agree. I recently had an acute crisis of faith that precipitated my decision to stop attending meetings and preaching, but looking back, I realized that for years I have always identified more easily with many of the ‘bad examples’ like Kevin.

      The dramas and skits often have characters who are clearly doing the wrong thing in anyone’s eyes. That’s a common theme in morality plays from any source. I’m not talking about those.

      In Watchtower plays there are often more subtle examples where people are just trying to do ordinary things that are not actually wrong in normal circles. Like, um, having coffee with your co-workers, for example.

      I realized, on my own and before this article, that I always saw myself as the person who was shown to be doing the wrong thing.

      And I always thought it was ridiculous to be cast that way and I always just thought to myself: I’m pretty sure that counsel was intended for me and others like myself, but I’m actively choosing to ignore it.

      Now, admittedly for a time, most of my life, in fact, I would wonder (according to the principle of being faithful in least) if my attitude would result in my eventual demise at Armageddon.

      Sure it’s not a big deal to ignore this counsel now, but one day my life may depend on it.

      But now I’m just more convinced that this is evidence that this is not and was never the truth.

      God wouldn’t shame or condemn us for having a pleasant conversation with our co-workers, or having nice things or a job we enjoy that isn’t pioneering.

      I have never wanted to be promiscuous or to abuse drugs or to hurt other people in any way. I have only ever wanted what lots of people want. A comfortable home, good friends I can spend time with, to make memories, to share meals, to have a husband and children who love me. Even to volunteer and help others less fortunate through actual charities that solve problems now.

      And there are so many times and so many ways the society and it’s publications and programs make those things seem abnormal and perverse, like pursuing them will result in God’s disapproval and earn adverse judgment.

      They tell us that it seems innocent, but it’s not. It’s a trap and a diversion from what’s really important.

      They want us to see Kevin and decide not to be like him, but it’s true, many of us are already trying to be normal and more like everyone else we share the planet with.

      And many of us will refuse to change course.

      That’s not the bad thing they are making it out to be. And I hope more people will see themselves as Kevin and realize that the problem is not us, it’s them!

      • June 5, 2016 at 2:52 pm
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        Fallingangel 75,

        You make so many good points. I like how you say that the older ones aren’t that important anymore above. I think you are on to something there. It’s all geared up for attracting a newer generation. The old one’s can just go away & retire. There not needed anymore.

        Also, I think we all have a bit of “kevinism” in us that’s why his character seems to draw so much emotion from me. Kevin isn’t stupid & doesn’t want to be so fanatic that he throws away his logical thinking to follow along with someone else’s silly ideas. Yet he’s being treated like someones who deserves a death sentence.

      • June 7, 2016 at 10:36 am
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        I was raised a JW in some kind of “old way”, like learning to do entire talks for people in preaching using the back of the bible and having some kind of independence to study and make questions, so that I grew open to the contradictory, even though I was an active and “exemplar” member of the congregation. The older brothers really liked me because I knew things far ahead of the basic sunday’s watchtower study and could talk about other subjects, but I watched this new 2000’s generation comes with very less reasoning and more appeal to emotion and religious catharsis. By now I know that my disposition to listen others and the other opinions that make me find for myself the failures in the religion: I even frequently visited “apostates” sites during my active period, because I always thought that “if it is the ‘truth’, then there is no argument that could prove it failed.” Well, here I am, and I am sure that the GB understood that no concession can be given, and that this system of belief is so flawed that it can only be sustained by fear and threat, so that’s what they will do by now.

  • June 5, 2016 at 11:32 am
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    The Governing Body uses repetition, repetition, repetition as its primary brainwashing technique. Although it was difficult, I watched the entire Bunker video. In this 28 minute video, the name “Jehovah” was used 34 times. The same level of repetition occurs in all of the other 2016 conven-shun videos. This is an obvious attempt to create the belief that loyalty to the Watchtower equals loyalty to Jehovah.

  • June 5, 2016 at 11:53 am
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    It’s obvious they’ve got some imaginative writers and
    schemers at HQ. Recently they came out with the line.-

    “All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may
    receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic
    or human standpoint or not”. / All very mysterious.

    A well known writers technique to keep the readers turning
    the pages, pose some puzzle, but don’t give the answer,
    keep them on the edge of their seat , guessing.

    Now we’ve got the “Bunker” pilot episodes, which will
    probably turn into a long running series,
    like the X Files. There’s a major flaw in their scheme
    though, this story has no end, it just goes on and on
    and we’ve heard it all before. BORING !

  • June 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm
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    Yeah awesome stuff. Anyone else catch the changing of the message from what Jesus commanded (the good news) to a persecution-inciting judgement message?

    Also, was anyone else told to ride minimum 4 to a car to the conv. or just certain venues? I’m really curious.

    • June 5, 2016 at 2:59 pm
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      Iwuztheir,

      Yes I’m sure that line was deliberate to put into the subconscious of the diehard followers. To be more judgemental & not to become tolerant of others opinions. That would be the beginning of accepting outside criticism to their deluded thinking.

      • June 5, 2016 at 3:13 pm
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        When you think about it, this religion relies on the adherents being extremely judgemental on others. Otherwise it wouldn’t survive.

        If you look up the antonym for judgemental, you have words like; undiscriminating, undemanding, unfussy, charitable & forgiving.

  • June 5, 2016 at 12:11 pm
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    This article has me thinking so much to the point of distraction. I just put my burrito inside the freezer but I was trying to put it in the microwave. I had to reopen the freezer door to pull it out. It’s in the microwave now. I was just thinking a person is supposed to return to Jehovah God because of their love for Jehovah not because of peer pressure. Something is wrong. A mother who wont pick up a phone to answer it to see if her daughter is ok has the wrong attitude and is acting as a bad parent. It seems like the mother is showing the kind of person she nis and it’s not good. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The society causes people to act and behave against their own judgement. Makes me have chills thinking about it.

    • June 5, 2016 at 3:04 pm
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      Kimjones,

      That part disturbed me too. What kind of horrible, heartless mother would do that to their own child. Having lost my child, that part made my blood boil! To see that cruel behaviour coming from someone who is supposed to be more mature than the daughter.

      It’s not like she stole from them, beat them up or killed somebody. She had a boyfriend for god’s sake. You would think that a normal parents reaction to a child that slept with someone she hardly knows would be to work on helping them build their self worth up not throwing them out like a piece of garbage. Only stupid people behave like that.

  • June 5, 2016 at 12:30 pm
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    Well I’m still not going to this convention. There is nothing to persuade me to go. Do you think there is a place at warwick for the chosen faithful who donate the most or are nubile young virgins? It is verging on the ridiculous all this fearmongering. It will definitely traumatise the children who watch this. Its a good job I’m getting raptured beforehand I will miss out in all that anxiety and trouble!!!! cheers Ruthlee

  • June 5, 2016 at 12:41 pm
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    These videos are going to “strengthen” the brothers and sisters because they genuinely long for that new system. They long for Christ to come and do away with this wicked world. They long for a system that is nothing like this one.

    So the concept of this video series will appeal to them! Hell it appealed to me. I long for a different economic and political world. We all do (I think ;)

    But at the end of the day the message is clear. No matter what we tell you do it and you will survive! No matter the evils you are going to hear that this organization has committed just listen to us cause we are gods channel for these things.

    What upsets me most is that as my wife puts it, “where else are you going to get your spiritual knowledge from?” I said the bible. “How will you understand it?”
    “I can read. It doesn’t take me long to know what the bible is saying”

    It saddens me. No thoroughly examining the scriptures as the boreans were admonished for.

    • June 5, 2016 at 2:17 pm
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      Dwc,
      When my wife and I started to do what was asked (read Bible daily, increase field service, join RBC, prepare for meetings) we actually started seeing all the old familiar scriptures in their actual context.

      Nothing more enlightening than to find out that:
      -Paul’s “refuse” contained things prescribed by the Law.
      -“Marry only in the lord” was directed at widows.
      -The whole “Not providing for those who are his own, being worse than one without faith” was also talking about caring for widows.

      This was the beginning of waking up with a new perspective on the religion we both grew up with.

      • June 5, 2016 at 7:43 pm
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        Really appreciate the experience. Here is thing as I’ve said before. I do really appreciate the spiritual truths… But the bible asks us to move on from the elementary teachings. Yet the wtbs is asking us every meeting to digest and learn from Sophia and Caleb?!?!

        I actually knew 10 years ago this was not the truth. However for my marriage and family input on the airs as so many have.

        Now my wife and I are at crossroads and I pray and hope she will see what I have to say. I have so much evidence… The new generations understanding with including Sanderson was just too much for me.
        I will never have anything to do with organized religion again.

  • June 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm
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    A real and genuine thank you for the article and for Lloyds rebuttal.
    After reading the article and watching Lloyds video it struck me as to why I was so unhappy as a Jehovahs Witness. Endless rules, regulations and demands, it’s almost like saying your guilty for using your own mind, it was so depressing :-(
    Fear fear fear guilt guilt guilt, your not good enough, do better!
    Wow that’s brought memories back. . . Thank you so much for helping me understand and how I had been manipulated by these people.
    :-) nice one x

  • June 5, 2016 at 12:47 pm
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    Funny that JWs don’t like ‘dissent’ – doesn’t the Bible have an account where Abraham argued with Jehovah himself about how many ‘good’ people would have to be in Sodom for Jehovah not to destroy it – Abraham ‘bargains down’ Jehovah from 50 right down to 5. And as for ‘the bunker’ / great tribulation, tghe JW’s once deduced that 2 major world events must occur just before then. 1) A ‘Declaration of Peace and Security’ (OK we’ve had e.g. 1988 when the UN declared a Year of Peace and Security, but OK no Armaggeddon in 1989, and 2) After (?) the Peace and Security, a turning on world religion, the main ones, Christianity, Islam etc, and then the JWs get picked on too. It always e=seems strange to me that AFTER we got P & S, world govts would bother to ‘turn on mainstream religion’, but the Bible seems to say ‘Jehovah will put it in their minds’ (to do something we won’t expect). But does this mean we’ll see Armaggeddon coming some months ahead, if we watch world events??

    • June 5, 2016 at 12:57 pm
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      It was 1986 that was the year of peace. But that was just religious groups not countries.

      As well the peace and security “understanding” has changed. It will be after the attack on “false religion” (I believe all organized religion, WTBS included) will be attacked marking the beginning of the GT. Then after that has been accomplished the cry of peach and security will be “shouted” in a worldwide sentiment.

      I actually do not disagree with that. As I said there are some good biblical truths given. However the dependable not on Jesus, the source of truth and light, has been fully replaced by the “faithful slave”. Sickening IMHO.

      It seems because they are christs brothers they are therefore already on a level playing field and thus Jehovah’s mediator on earth.

    • June 5, 2016 at 11:33 pm
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      I said this before and I’ll say it again. If watchtower said it or implied you can comfortably throw it in the trash and never worry about it again.

  • June 5, 2016 at 1:06 pm
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    It’s all so contrived, that’s how I would describe my Jehovahs Witness experience.
    Be seen, clap on que, please stand now, hours and conditional love, all contrived and ultimately untruthful of the real man inside. I was so unhappy.
    I have more faith now after leaving the JWs
    At last I’m free to be me, no need to hide and cover the real me, no need to be seen, no guilt and no more fear and no more give give give, and I would have continued to do so until I realised they didn’t care for me at all, it was all on condition, theirs.

  • June 5, 2016 at 1:21 pm
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    I did enjoy :-) the use of a bit of choice language (passion) (how’d you keep a lid on it?, lots of editing no doubt :-) ) I would of told them years ago if I didn’t always get my mucking words fuddled.

    • June 5, 2016 at 1:49 pm
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      Haha. I see what you did there, Gary.;-)

      • June 5, 2016 at 1:59 pm
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        ;-)
        Lloyd should release a bloopers video, I’m sure it would be hilarious :-)
        Obviously bleeped in various places:-)
        Apostates are so miserable . . .its almost like waiting for armeggedon in a bunker :-)

  • June 5, 2016 at 3:15 pm
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    When I first saw the videos I didn’t make the connection between the “negative thoughts” and depression. I think some of the reason for the odd depiction was due to an attempt to make the videos apply to as many people as possible – the “negative thoughts” could just as easily be doubts about the cult, or its leadership and the video would be just as applicable.

    The video about the “not porn” on the guy’s phone is the same – they want to control the thoughts and behaviors of as many as possible, so they leave it vague hoping to get more to apply it to themselves. The result is that the video is a little clunky and awkward, but on day 3 most of the JWs in attendance are exhausted from sitting in uncomfortable seats for 3 days and they’re not really thinking about anything they’re being told at that point.

    • June 5, 2016 at 7:32 pm
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      @Karl
      That’s a good point about how tired all the R&F are by the end of day 3. I never made the connection before, but sleep deprivation and/or discomfort are some of the ways cults try to break down your defenses against indoctrination. Albeit a mild form, I think this element does come into play at the conventions.

      WS

      • June 5, 2016 at 9:25 pm
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        That’s interesting, that explains why I felt so much better, and couldn’t really remember the things I “learned” or the different a parts of the convention/assembly when I didn’t stay all the way through and had a chance to get adequate rest and food

    • June 5, 2016 at 7:49 pm
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      Obviously they don’t like the chive lol

  • June 5, 2016 at 5:37 pm
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    We were “in” the org form 80′-97′. Both in S.F. Bay Area, and Washington State. Presently, the one thing that stands out more then anything else is after 35 years of being around the org I have never seen such a wide path of destruction of families. One after another, there is destruction, be it husbands and wives, children and extended family members. Set aside everything else, and this shines through as the most prominent. So horridly sad!

    • June 5, 2016 at 7:36 pm
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      @katya. I’m considering your comments about the wide path of destruction as I struggle daily with the question of whether to try to fight for my marriage and wait to see if my husband also has an awakening or whether to cut my losses and move on while I am still young and have more options.

      And I keep thinking that if you really believe that your spouse or parents or siblings or children were going to DIE and be separated from you forever, but not for being horrible, hurtful people, instead for being spiritually weak or for giving in to temptation of some sort, even ‘temporary enjoyment of sin’…. Why wouldn’t you still want to spend what time is left with them? Why wouldn’t you think that loving them and showing them kindness would have a more positive effect than shunning? The entire practice is both unloving and counterintuitive.

      • June 5, 2016 at 9:36 pm
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        I’m sorry to hear about your situation.. When one spouse awakens and the other does not, it can be very difficult. I’m going through the same thing here. All I get is rationalizations and side-steps when I bring things up. Some people have been able to help awaken their spouses but they had to be gentle and slow and careful, asking a lot of questions to get the other person thinking. For me, I’m concerned about my very young child and so I know that if my wife doesn’t awaken, she will be forced to leave w/ the child because there’s no way I can let her be subjugated to these wolves (they would say I’m a spiritual danger). But for those w/ no children, if it’s hopeless, perhaps you can leave the Borg and let the chips fall where they may, the sooner the better.

        • June 5, 2016 at 10:14 pm
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          @Iwuztheir, terrible choices, eh?

          • June 6, 2016 at 1:43 am
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            me too my husband andhis vast tribe all in and asleep. will justify every mistake they make and will be one of the last standing. That grieves me because I made a vow before god but my faith is more important and it is not jdubland ruthlee

        • June 6, 2016 at 5:25 am
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          I have been speaking to my husband little by little about my enlightenment and the conversation always ends with him telling me that I am an apostate and I’m trying to destroy his faith and our marriage.

          What gives me any hope at all is this: he also tells me that he loves me more than anything or anyone in the world.

          He says he would do anything to save me. If he had to, he would die to save me.

          Some people say these types of things and you know it is bs and lies.

          But my husband is that kind of person. He is a quietly heroic person, like a policeman or firefighter who will risk his own safety to save strangers, and not think he did anything more than any decent person would do.

          I know he means it when he says he would risk everything to save me from physical danger.

          I continue to tell him about the emotional pain that I am in because of this whole situation. He continues to remind me that as much as he loves me, he doesn’t and shouldn’t love me more than he loves Jehovah.

          He also continues to say that the only reason he’s a good person is because he’s a JW.

          I am certain that I don’t need organized religion to be a good person, to be a good wife and mother.

          But he keeps saying that he does. He needs the structure and accountability of a religious community. He needs to feel like he must answer to God.

          I’m not sure who he will be without ‘the truth’. At first I thought he would be the same man I love, but he does keep telling me otherwise.

          I honestly don’t know. He used to be in the world. He did not grow up a witness and he tells me that he was an awful person.

          The truth transformed him, he says.

          I didn’t know him then, but he is so kind to me and caring -except for this- that I cannot imagine that this is not the real him.

          Even as we have this mighty struggle, and fuss and fight over it, daily he finds ways to show me he loves me.

          Small acts of affection, like rubbing my neck and shoulders after a long day at work or drawing a bath for me and bringing me a glass of wine.

          He is going out of his way to make me feel loved and appreciated.

          All without stipulations or conditions and not asking anything in return.

          He’s that guy. And he always has been for as long as I’ve known him.

          It isn’t the love-bombing people speak of. He didn’t just start because he is afraid that I will leave him. It’s not a last ditch effort to salvage our faltering union.

          So when he tells me that he would be selfish and uncaring, angry and perhaps unfaithful if he wasn’t a witness, I don’t believe it.

          But he continues to say so. And I would feel very stupid indeed if I convinced him to leave and our marriage did deteriorate as a result.

          I don’t want to strip him of religion if I will still lose the man I love, even if, especially if, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          I don’t know if he really thinks so or if it is a manipulation. I know him very well, but not well enough to tell whether he’s bluffing or if it is what he believes.

          I think it is what he believes, and it’s a problem for me if he wholeheartedly believes he needs religion and decides that all restraints are off of he leaves the congregation.

          So I’m not sure how earnestly I should try to get him out. I’m not sure if I should stay and say nothing more, or if I should leave him and let him sort it all out without me.

          I have said this to him, and he always begs me not to leave him. He says that even if I divorced him, he would still consider us married in the eyes of God until I married someone else.

          And he says that in a committed, loving way, not in a creepy, stalker way, lol!

          Anyway, so uncertain about what the future holds for us.

          • June 6, 2016 at 10:15 am
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            fallingangel75

            Seems a really difficult situation you are in.

            I am in a split up family too and it hurts like hell. I probably never will get over it.

            My sincere sympathy goes out to you.

            I hope you understand how fortunate you are having such a loving husband. They surely don´t grow on trees. Even though you are in a difficult situation you are a lucky woman.

            A matrimony is before God, not GB or religion. Is it possible for you to just be husband and wife and put religion aside?

            Give him a promise to respect him for his faith if he also respect you for your point of view without namecallings like apostate. It is a respectless labeling based on fanatism with rules made up that you no longer want to partake in.

            You have to be true to yourself. Ask him if he wants an empty shell for a wife, a person who does what is expected of her without a true heart in it. That is daily forced to live lying to herself and all those around her. If he REALLY loves you he would never demand that.

            Maybe he himself genuinly needs religion for now to keep standards up. Give him time. He needs to be true to himself too. He most probably feel challenged in his conviction and needs to protect himself.

            It is difficult for him not to be able to share what he values the most with the woman he loves. And the same for you, not be able to share your awakened insights in a calm and neutral environment.

            It goes without saying, it creates a lot of tensions.

            The positive part is that you have been a JW and know exaktly what he knows and feels. You know the terminology and driving force.

            Support him.

            Create a calm environment for him to be a JW.

            And ask him if he wants to create a peaceful environment for you to be truthful and honest about what is in your mind and heart.

            And if you love him, let him feel secure of your commitment to your marrige.

            If he says he needs to love Jehovah more than you, just say… that´s great.

            That means that he has a commitment to you as his wife and not as a religious member (a sister).

            Jehovah created husband and wife to be united. Jehovah did not create them as brother and sister cultmember.

            And remember that it is written that all the commandments given from Jehovah is based on love and nothing else.

            So your husbands love for Jehovah is only beneficial for you as Gods laws overrule GB:s rules of action.

            Wish you the best of luck.

          • June 6, 2016 at 7:55 pm
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            @Anglea, thank you very much for your kind words. It would be a difficult situation no matter what, but what makes it more heart-rending is this: 6 months ago he told me that he believes he is one of Christ’s brothers.

            I was already having doubts about whether this was the truth and he’d been acting strangely as well.

            I thought he was also questioning our beliefs and I was wondering and worrying about how we would make our exit without making too many waves.

            When we finally got it all out in the open, it was terrible.

            I introduced my position in the hypothetical. I asked him what he thought about people – good people who love God and neighbor – who have seen the bad side of the organization.

            Those who know about child molestation and battered wives and other injustices that were mishandled to the point that they cannot believe the witnesses are God’s representative people on earth.

            Do you really believe Jehovah will kill them all?

            Yes! He said with firm conviction.

            Really? No mercy?

            No, he said. Jehovah has to cleanse the earth completely and start over just like in the days of Noah.

            When I told him I was putting myself in that class of people, he looked pained and said, No. Not you.

            Why not me? I said. Because you love me? Now that makes it unfair and unjust?

            I feel like I lost so much in that moment. I was just coming to terms with accepting that paradise is a lie and I won’t have eternal life, and the fact that the here and now is all we have, and then I had the realization that he was more determined than ever before to stay in.

            Because he’s going to heaven to rule with Christ.

            So even if I put the blinders back on, I know he no longer has the desire to share the common future we’d always talked about. He is still planning to leave me behind when he goes to be with God.

            And I know he will never be able to see through the GB and their propaganda as long as he believes that he is one of the anointed.

            But, yes, he does believe our marriage is sacred in the eyes of God and even if I am an apostate, he should still love me as earnestly as he did before.

            Even the elders have instructed him to show me nothing but love.

            I think I get a temporary pass on shunning because of the change in his hope, but I don’t know how long my special exemption will last.

            Maybe not beyond this convention program.

  • June 5, 2016 at 6:40 pm
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    The only power the WT has over another is whatever power you allow these imbecils to have over you. Their whole concept of love is so immature, superficial and fake. Find genuine people. If you need god and religion so badly in your life find another church. These people are a joke. What a waste of energy and of time.

    • June 5, 2016 at 7:35 pm
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      @Julien
      Absolutely correct about the power. Once I realized that I was responsible for giving the org power over me and made a conscious decision to no longer do so, it was much easier to fade.

      WS

      • June 6, 2016 at 11:09 am
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        WS – that says it all in a nutshell for me. Thank you!

        • June 6, 2016 at 5:43 pm
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          @ M Saurus & Winston Smith

          Ditto. They cannot control you nor have power over you unless YOU let them have it.

          Write no letters of disassociation, period! Why not? It is what THEY want and to do so would continue their control over YOU.

          Don’t acknowledge them in any way, shape, fashion or form. They (the elders, Circuit Overseers or G.B.) will get a clue soon enough and will definitely leave you alone.

          And really, isn’t that what all of us truly want, “TO BE LEFT ALONE AND NOT BOTHERED BY THEIR CULTIST IDIOCY”?!

  • June 5, 2016 at 6:45 pm
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    I ask permission to translate this excellent article in to Spanish.

    miker

  • June 6, 2016 at 12:22 am
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    Thank you for this article. I shall indeed go and watch the video.
    Bunker video 7 is the only one that I have watched so far and I must say that as a South African I fail to see how our brothers and sisters will relate to the so called simplification of lifestyle, for many living here and indeed many other third world countries, the so called simplification would be like moving into a palace! Unless of course there will be something produced in the region relative to the economic situation.
    On the whole, this series seems to be fear mongering a la 1975 and I know many who will lap it up and see it as the GB knowing that the end is upon us. The judgement message will begin shortly after the convention I am sure and it will be directed at the “Kevins” in the organisation, not the world.

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