NEWS BULLETIN: JW.ORG Asks: Can a Person Resign From Being One of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
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JW.ORG Portrays a Resigning Witness – A man now wearing street clothes

The FAQ section on JW.org has added a new featured post: “Can a Person Resign From Being One of Jehovah’s Witnesses?” In this NEW article dated June 9th 2016, the Watchtower gives their official explanation of how to handle matters when a person no longer wants to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

It is, in my opinion, one of the most calculated, misleading and dishonest articles recently released on their website. The level of deliberate deceit on display is both appalling and astonishing.

Follow along with me as I examine this FAQ article section-by-section, explaining in detail how it is both deceptive and misleading!

Lies of Omission

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JW.ORG Asks: Can you Resign?

The FAQ presents itself as answering two questions. The first is:

Can a Person Resign From Being One of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

It clearly targets members of both the public and the media, not rank-and-file Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW’s), and describes what happens when members leave the religion. The actual members of the organization already know what happens when they resign from the faith. For instance, this summer, JW’s are subjected to an extended campaign of shunning training and loyalty indoctrination.

It is vital to keep the following fact in mind. This FAQ is intended for someone who does not know the details about Watchtower’s policies. Therefore, the printed words are just as important as the words omitted or danced around.

The FAQ responds to the question as follows. The first part says:

Yes. A person can resign from our organization in two ways:

By formal request. Either orally or in writing, a person can state his decision that he no longer wants to be known as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
By action. A person can take an action that places him outside our worldwide brotherhood. (1 Peter 5:9) For example, he might join another religion and make known his intention to remain part of it.—1 John 2:19.

And…what happens next?

What happens when someone does this?

Hello?

FAQ?

What happens?

Silence.

This part of the FAQ says nothing whatsoever about the implications for a person undertaking the above steps. It makes no mention at all of what the penalty would be.

Why is that important?

It’s a deliberate lie of omission.

Wikipedia defines a lie of omission as:

Also known as a continuing misrepresentation, a lie by omission occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception. Lying by omission includes failures to correct pre-existing misconceptions.

What important fact has been left out? What misconception might this article deliberately be hoping to instill in a reader?

Well, if you were reading this FAQ with no deeper knowledge of Jehovah’s Witnesses (which is the prime and deliberate audience for a write-up such as this) you might well walk away with the impression that such a person can carry on their life without any real interruption.

You would have no idea that the Witness family and friends of this person were now required to completely shun such an individual. Watchtower even recently went so far as to instruct parents to throw mature children out of the family home should one become disfellowshipped, and to not even answer the phone when they call. Disfellowshipping is an involuntary removal due to perceived “sin”, but Watchtower commands Witnesses to treat disassociated, or resigned ones, ones in an identical manner to disfellowshipped ones. See Watchtower Study edition Feb 2011 article Do You Hate Lawlessness. Below are two relevant paragraphs:

15 Do we share Jesus’ view of those who have become set in their lawless course? We need to give thought to these questions: ‘Would I choose to associate regularly with someone who has been disfellowshipped or who has disassociated himself from the Christian congregation? What if that one is a close relative who no longer lives at home?’ Such a situation can be a real test of our love of righteousness and of our loyalty to God.

18 If you face a similar situation, please remember that Jehovah sympathizes with you. By cutting off contact with the disfellowshipped or disassociated one, you are showing that you hate the attitudes and actions that led to that outcome. However, you are also showing that you love the wrongdoer enough to do what is best for him or her. Your loyalty to Jehovah may increase the likelihood that the disciplined one will repent and return to Jehovah.

Clearly, there is a lie of omission, designed to craft a misleading impression in the minds of the general public, as well as any interested media organizations.

But it gets worse!

The next part of the FAQ contains, not only an attempt to casually hide an embarrassing truth with sleight of hand, but an outright lie.

Misleading or Dissembling Lies

Wikipedia defines a misleading or dissembling lie as:

A misleading statement is one where there is no outright lie, but still retains the purpose of getting someone to believe in an untruth.

The next question in the FAQ is:

What if a person no longer preaches or attends your meetings? Do you view that person as having resigned?

Now, in last years Australian Royal Commission hearings, where the Child Abuse policies of Jehovah’s Witnesses came under devastating scrutiny, this issue arose during the questioning of Governing Body Member Geoffrey Jackson by Senior Council for the Commission Angus Stewart.

It was put to Jackson that if a survivor of child abuse felt so let down by the Organization’s discredited policies (see the full damning report here) that they wished to leave the religion, they had no way of doing so without being shunned by their family. Remember, the two official options for leaving discussed in the FAQ both result in shunning.

What followed was a painful display of Jackson blatantly trying to misdirect the Royal Commission. He implied that someone who wanted to leave could simply stop attending meetings and it would be fine. He gave the impression that they would be viewed as having left or faded, and there would be no shunning.

Angus Stewart, who had clearly done his research into Watchtower’s policies, stood his ground on this point, and using various scenarios he demonstrated that Watchtower viewed a person who simply stopped attending meetings, but did not “disassociate” using the two above methods, as still a Witness, and thus subject to Watchtower’s rules and discipline. If such a person was caught violating any of their vast and controlling web of laws, they would be disfellowshipped or considered disassociated, and then shunned.

Watch the full video footage below and decide for yourself the impression that Jackson is trying to give on this issue prior to being cross-examined by Stewart.

Now, does the FAQ back up what Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson initially claimed under oath, before he started wriggling under cross-examination? Or does it back up Senior Council for the Royal Commission Angus Stewart?

What if a person no longer preaches or attends your meetings? Do you view that person as having resigned?

In answer to this, this FAQ states (bold is mine)

No, we do not. Resigning, or disassociating oneself, is different from becoming weak in faith.

This FAQ backs Stewart, not the Governing Body member who was giving testimony under oath. Was Jackson mistaken, misdirecting, incompetent or lying?

I will leave that to you.

The FAQ answer continues:

Often, those who for a time slow down or stop in their worship have not abandoned their faith but are suffering from discouragement. Rather than shunning such ones, we try to give them consolation and support. (1 Thessalonians 5:14; Jude 22) If the person wants help, congregation elders take the lead in providing spiritual assistance.—Galatians 6:1; 1 Peter 5:1-3.

Hmm.

Did you spot it?

Reading through quickly, you might have missed it. (bold is mine)

Often, those who for a time slow down or stop in their worship have not abandoned their faith but are suffering from discouragement. Rather than shunning such ones, we try to give them consolation and support. (1 Thessalonians 5:14; Jude 22) If the person wants help, congregation elders take the lead in providing spiritual assistance.—Galatians 6:1; 1 Peter 5:1-3.

See how carefully they slipped that in? You might have missed it if you were just scanning through. Additionally, the context is unclear about how shunning is to be interpreted in this text. If someone told me that Witnesses shun members that leave their faith, and then I came to this FAQ, I could easily interpret that sentence as meaning “we don’t shun such ones.”

Remember, there is no mention in the first part of the FAQ that disassociation involves shunning. A person without any knowledge of Witness doctrine, could come away thinking that there was no shunning for the disassociated ones, and possibly no shunning at all.

Now, there IS a hypertext link on the word “shunning.” This takes you to another FAQ here.

More Lies of Omission and Misdirection

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JW.ORG Addresses Shunning – or do they?

You have to notice the hyperlink and click on it to get this extra detail; the reader has to take additional time and effort to get this information. Even a quick scan of the article may not reveal it. But let’s click on it and examine the second FAQ on shunning.

I am going to reproduce the entire second FAQ on shunning below:

Those who were baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses but no longer preach to others, perhaps even drifting away from association with fellow believers, are not shunned. In fact, we reach out to them and try to rekindle their spiritual interest.

We do not automatically disfellowship someone who commits a serious sin. If, however, a baptized Witness makes a practice of breaking the Bible’s moral code and does not repent, he or she will be shunned or disfellowshipped. The Bible clearly states: “Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”—1 Corinthians 5:13.

What of a man who is disfellowshipped but whose wife and children are still Jehovah’s Witnesses? The religious ties he had with his family change, but blood ties remain. The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings continue.

Disfellowshipped individuals may attend our religious services. If they wish, they may also receive spiritual counsel from congregation elders. The goal is to help each individual once more to qualify to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Disfellowshipped people who reject improper conduct and demonstrate a sincere desire to live by the Bible’s standards are always welcome to become members of the congregation again.

However, the elders are not authorized to coerce or pressure someone to remain as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Each person makes his own choice regarding religion. (Joshua 24:15) We believe that those who worship God must do so willingly, from the heart.—Psalm 110:3; Matthew 22:37.

What’s the first thing you notice? The article on shunning admits that it happens, but only in the context of disfellowshipping.  There is no mention that a disassociated one will be shunned.

Thus, a person, with no prior knowledge of the Witnesses that reads the first FAQ, and follows the reference to the second, will still have no information telling them that a disassociated one will be shunned.

Again, this is a deliberate lie of omission. Watchtower is trying to craft the impression that people are free to leave the religion of their own accord, with no penalty when the exact opposite is true.

What else do you notice? A person reading this will be thinking, “What if a family member is disfellowshipped?”

What scenario does the FAQ present?

What of a man who is disfellowshipped but whose wife and children are still Jehovah’s Witnesses? The religious ties he had with his family change, but blood ties remain. The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings continue.

Again, this is a lie of omission, and of misdirection. This scenario only holds true if the father is living at home with his wife or children. If the children grow and leave the family home, or the wife separates from her husband and takes her children with her they are then indeed required to shun him as if he was dead. If children are living outside the home and are disfellowshipped, siblings and parents are required to shun them as if they were dead. And what holds for the disfellowshipped holds for disassociated. By cherry-picking its scenario, and limiting disclosure of information, Watchtower has carefully presented a sanitized version of its shunning policy that simply is not true.

But worst of all is the way that both the first and second FAQ ends; we run crunching into what is nothing less than a barefaced lie.

Barefaced Lies

Wikipedia defines a barefaced lie as

A barefaced (or bald-faced) lie is one that is obviously a lie to those hearing it.

Both FAQ’s end with the following paragraph.

However, the elders are not authorized to coerce or pressure someone to remain as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Each person makes his own choice regarding religion. (Joshua 24:15) We believe that those who worship God must do so willingly, from the heart.—Psalm 110:3; Matthew 22:37.

There is no pressure.

Yes, if the person no longer wishes to remain one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they will never see their friends or family again.

But there is no pressure, you see.

The elders sit there pointing full loaded shun-guns at the individual, ready to fire if they decide to leave.

But there is no coercion. No pressure. We believe you must serve God willingly. It’s just that if you don’t choose to stay, your family and friends will never be allowed to see you again.

Dear JW.org: I think you need to look up the definition of the words pressure and coercion. I don’t think they mean what you think they mean.

pressure |ˈprɛʃənoun [ mass noun ] the use of persuasion or intimidation to make someone do something:backbenchers put pressure on the government to provide safeguards | [ count noun ] :  the many pressures on girls to worry about their looks.

coercion |kəʊˈəːʃ(ə)nnoun [ mass noun ] the action or practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats: it wasn’t slavery because no coercion was used.

Even Watchtower’s own literature and videos state that a big part of the reason for shunning is to cause such deep emotional trauma to the person who left that they feel obligated to return to the organization.

See, for example, the video (below) that will be played to all of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide this year. What how the shunned person admits that the emotional pressure from being cut off from her family was part of what brought her back.

Also, notice this paragraph from the June 2013 Study Edition of the Watchtower which explicitly acknowledges that emotional blackmail is a key part of the shunning process.

17 Disfellowshipping is another type of discipline from Jehovah. It protects the congregation from a bad influence and can play a role in the sinner’s recovery. (1 Cor. 5:6, 7, 11) Robert was disfellowshipped for nearly 16 years, during which time his parents and siblings firmly and loyally applied the direction in God’s Word to quit mixing in company with wrongdoers, not even greeting such ones. Robert has been reinstated for some years now and is progressing well spiritually. When asked what moved him to return to Jehovah and His people after such a long time, he replied that the stand that his family took affected him. “Had my family associated with me even a little, say to check up on me, that small dose of association would have satisfied me and likely not allowed my desire for association to be a motivating factor to return to God.”

Or this paragraph from the Feb 2016 Study Edition of the Watchtower magazine, which not only proudly presents such emotional blackmail as a positive thing, but even blames the shunning victim for it.

A conflict of loyalties may arise when a close relative is disfellowshipped. For example, a sister named Anne [1] received a telephone call from her disfellowshipped mother. The mother wanted to visit Anne because she felt pained by her isolation from the family. Anne was deeply distressed by the plea and promised to reply by letter. Before writing, she reviewed Bible principles. (1 Cor. 5:11; 2 John 9-11) Anne wrote and kindly reminded her mother that she had cut herself off from the family by her wrongdoing and unrepentant attitude. “The only way you can relieve your pain is by returning to Jehovah,” Anne wrote.—Jas. 4:8.

So, for Watchtower to blatantly instruct its followers to engage in traumatizing emotional blackmail of those who leave, whilst simultaneously having the gall to state in its FAQ… (bold is mine)

However, the elders are not authorized to coerce or pressure someone to remain as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Each person makes his own choice regarding religion. (Joshua 24:15) We believe that those who worship God must do so willingly, from the heart.—Psalm 110:3; Matthew 22:37.

…is nothing less than a bare-faced lie.

A direct, blatant, calculated lie, and one that anyone with any knowledge of its doctrines and teachings can easily spot it as such.

I cannot recall the last time I saw posted on their website such a blatant, disgusting and calculated attempt to mislead the general public and the media as to its practice of disassociation, and its use of shunning to place coercion upon those who leave.

The Governing Body should be ashamed.

I call upon Watchtower to either amend the FAQ to reflect the reality of their polices, or to remove the FAQ altogether.

One last point: If shunning is Scriptural and the Governing Body is so proud to carry out God’s perceived command, why are they so desperate to lie about it and hide it from the public?

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188 Responses to NEWS BULLETIN: JW.ORG Asks: Can a Person Resign From Being One of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

  1. Christopher says:

    Well put CF this is a classic cult move to try and mislead a curious public. I really would like to see a expose on this by a major news network, maybe if they finally disclose their list of pedophile cover ups it will happen, It will take something like that to really wake people up.

  2. ligniappe says:

    Great article CF, most of my family will not shun since my wife and I faded which we are grateful for. I was, as was my wife, baptised pre 1973 and the baptism question simply asked do we dedicate ourselves to Jehovah? Yes, nothing untoward there and the questions are here
    *** Watchtower 1970 May 15 p.309 Your Conscience Toward Jehovah ***
    20 Two questions which do search out the heart and mind of each candidate are: (1) Have you recognized yourself as a sinner and needing salvation from Jehovah God? And have you acknowledged that this salvation proceeds from him and through his ransomer, Christ Jesus? (2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for redemption have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to Jehovah God, to do his will henceforth as that will is revealed to you through Christ Jesus and through God’s Word as his holy spirit makes it plain? Those who answer “yes” audibly to these two questions so that the other persons present may witness their affirmation of dedication may appropriately be baptized.

    Had I realised at the time that the questions were subtly changed in 1984, we would have advised our sons and daughters not to go ahead with the questions after that date.

    To the best of my knowledge unless people have signed some formal agreement with Watchtower, pre 1984 we are not members of it. We are, as one political leader once described his relationship with christians, as being “a fellow traveller” with them, but not bound by them.

    Most, on this site seem to share common views but not subservient to WT.

    In addition the phrase “God’s Organisation” is tantamount to a blasphemy. God does not produce wildly imperfect people abusing others through “his organisation.”
    Jehovah cannot produce imperfect orgs, it is impossible. That takes a bit of thinking to understand. It involves moral, legal and a scriptural understanding
    If he did, then he would be responsible for what is happening.
    But this org is far removed from HIM, and what they do is on their own heads.
    There is legal principle for my comments but far to lengthy to elaborate here.
    The only other thing that I want to say is that nothing in the scriptures ask for loyalty and obedience to some modern day, man made, creation. That is bad doctrine and thus in my view apostasy on the part of the GB, since they, by Geoff Jackson’s admission on the ARC, edit and approve for doctrine, all published material. Note that Jackson never said the GB does any or even a little of the writing?

    • fallingangel75 says:

      Thanks ligniappe! Once again I find your comments spot on! This^^^

      This is what I have said to my friends and family who know that I wish to leave, and sadly, none of them are hearing the distinction I am making about God vs the organization.

      I am pointing out the same thing and saying ‘if this is God’s organization, and he is turning a blind eye to all that is being done wrong BY THE MEN WHO CLAIM TO BE HIS *ONLY* APPROVED REPRESENTATIVES on earth, then he is responsible.’

      And, of all the people who cannot stomach the organization’s lies and deception and abuse, who consequently leave, what? He just set those people up for failure?

      Really? What follows logically? That he would demand loyalty to a harmful organization that misrepresents him, or that it is not his ‘spirit-directed’ organization?

      I remember the questions used to be different now that it has been pointed out. I remember the change as well, when it happened. I was baptized in the late ’80s.

      It just never occurred to me that the organization had already been sanctioning and condoning such terrible things on a global scale even at that time, or that it would become what it is today. Or that we would all still be living in this system 25 years later.

      I thought it was God’s organization approved by him and that it would protect us all. You well know that they position themselves as our ‘ark’ of salvation.

      And there is the parallel drawn between his modern day people and the nation of Israel. Jehovah always had a chosen people dedicated to his name.

      In modern times we are unified, identified, and guided by his organization. It doesn’t seem wrong at first.

      It doesn’t seem harmful at first.

      Until you see the sheer numbers of abuses carried out under the banner of that organization.

      And even when you point to situations that were clearly mishandled where people who are earnestly trying to serve Jehovah are hurt by people who dishonestly claim to be serving Jehovah, I have found that mature ones and elders often claim that you simply don’t know all the details.

      Um, really? That elder’s wife came to the Sunday meeting with a black eye and a fat lip with a cut on it.

      She didn’t fall. She wasn’t in a car accident.

      What else do I need to know?

      Is there additional information that would convince me that she earned that beating and that’s why he’s keeping his privileges?

      Why was she reproved and he’s untouched? Even if she committed adultery (which I really don’t know, and it’s actually not my business), do we say, yes, that would make any man angry enough to hit a woman – he gets a pass, but she must be punished?

      How is that ok? And that’s just a guess. Maybe she just talked back to him and he didn’t like it. I’ll never know.

      Over the years, whenever I bring up incidents of injustice, first I am asked if I was there and have firsthand knowledge, so it is implied that I don’t have all the facts, and if I did, I would likely decide the action taken was justified.

      Perhaps it is only perceived injustice. Alright, I suppose sometimes domestic violence is ok. What was I thinking?

      And in any case it is not my place to question God’s spirit appointed representatives.

      And, finally I’ve been encouraged to consider the Hebrew scriptures that contain myriad accounts of Jehovah’s servants doing bad to others who are also Jehovah’s servants – to the point of murder in some examples.

      I’m sorry. I find no consolation in that.

      Everyone keeps saying that I am blaming Jehovah. I am speaking against him and that I must not turn my back on Jehovah because I have been hurt by men and because I know of others who have.

      Jehovah is not responsible, they tell me.

      None of them can separate my statements of criticism for the organization. To them loyalty to Jehovah and loyalty to the organization are one and the same, and I am pretty certain that this convention program will only cement that loyalty.

      Clearly from the commentary about it, that is what it has been designed to do.

      • Winston Smith says:

        From the JW perspective God is the organization and the Organization is God.

        WS

    • Peaceful Waters says:

      Loved your reply. My sentiments exactly.

  3. Marty Doc says:

    Every time I see a JW that I used to know, I always say “Hello” and try to start a conversation, even though they know me and that I’m disassociated almost 2 years now. I try to do this in public with a lot of people about who will see with their own eyes the shunning that takes place. I do this because I still love these people that I’ve known since 18 years old, now 43, and sincerely hope that the ridiculousness of the situation might make them wake up a wee bit……

    • M Saurus says:

      I do that too. But it seems that a lot of them see me and run, I guess deep down they know they should speak to me – so they don’t let themselves “run into” me in public. When I see them before they see me, I always say hello – some speak, some don’t.

      I don’t do it because I love them – I do it to purposely put them right in the middle of an uncomfortable situation – one that they chose for themselves.

      • I like that.

        At the moment, I don’t even know where my brother lives exactly, but I swear that if I ever ran into him in public, even though I do love him dearly, I would shout in public something like that..” This is my brother and he’s been shunning me for 10 years. He’s one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, please, beware when those people knock on your door.”

        I’ve daydreamed that day many, many times. I hope one day it’s going to happen.
        My pain and my anger will all be in there.

        • Tina says:

          Sylviane, I know your pain. But do me a favor if you truly love your brother, don’t go out of your way to embarrass him due to the fact he’s a JW. Be the bigger person, go up to him & give him a big worldly hug & let him know how much you’ve missed him & how good your life is & how GREAT JEHOVAH has been treating you & your family. Make him know that even though your not there, that JEHOVAH GOD still LOVES you just as much as he loves your brother. But just be happy! Always be the better person. God Bless!

  4. Eyes opened says:

    Interesting how the wbts says if a man is disfellowshiped the religious ties with his family change…who says? Christ made him head of his family. If the wife is to obey God rather than men she would want to acknowledge her husband’s authority instead of following 7 imperfect, uninspired men who have no authority. They go where angels fear to tread. What God has yoked together let no man put apart…oops my bad, they think they are equal to God.

    Regards

  5. rob says:

    I completely agree that God would never chose an organized corporate religion made up of imperfect men to be His spokesperson on Earth.

    In my opinion He doesn’t need any organization to carry out His will.

    But it appears that some people need a visual man made organization to direct them, to tell them what they should and shouldn’t do and to give them a hierarchy and to give them power and a feeling of superiority over “worldly people”. Many of the witnesses I knew had kind of checked out of this system of things and everything was just a waiting game for the new system.

    In the congregations they are somebodies, they are elders who get to make decisions and to be involved in judicial committees etc. The rank and file witnesses think that they are special, they are chosen by God to be in the new system, they are better than worldly people and they will be saved while everyone else will be destroyed.

    In the actual world they are just ordinary everyday people.

    But they also need a visual “Board of Directors” that they can idolize and who they are told are special men chosen by God, “the faithful and discreet slave”. The witnesses give these men their complete and utter trust. Why? Because they need to have this visual “god” someone who actually speaks to them and tells them how they should live and interestingly enough, when they are told to shun their children, they listen. They follow. They obey.

    It appears to me that for some people to leave the witness religion would mean that they give up their “perceived special status”. They would be outside of that elite club of people that God has chosen to be in the new system.

    Shunning their family or following man made rules is of no consequence because in their eyes being part of the social circle of the elite chosen ones is much more important.

    Funny that Jesus chose to be with people of every sort and talked to sinners and loved the children and set the example. He did not want any glory or structure.

    • Eyes opened says:

      Agreed. Sounds just like the desire for the golden calf.

    • Winston Smith says:

      Good points Rob. The R&F are told they are better than everyone in the world – “the desirable things of the nations” so to speak, and they believe it. When in reality they are inferior to the worldly people. Worldly people contribute to society, they engage in scientific research, social work, humanitarian efforts, etc. They don’t just a go around proclaiming a doomsday message, waiting for God to fix everything. You (referring to JWs) think the world is a bad place and has huge problems? Well then get off your asses and do something positive about it. After all if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

      WS

    • SarahG says:

      I agree with your comments mostly from what I’ve seen. The WTBTS appeals to the ego.

      My problem is that I’ve always been sort of a black sheep Witness. I have been marked many times for this. Not for doing anything immoral, but for not abiding by the WTBTS policies.

      The issue is, I did not know these policies before I got baptized, or I never would have gotten baptized. I was converted in the door to door witnessing and studied the Knowledge book. The depths and abuses of the WTBTS was covered over. For this reason I feel that I was converted in a fraudulent manner.

      Even after I was baptized, I spent years under the delusion that I could take the good and leave the bad. That I could continue to follow my conscience and understanding of the Scriptures.

      Every time someone would say that the WTBTS was as if Jesus himself was speaking or the elders were basically infallible, I would just lol to myself and think well that’s obviously untrue.

      Or when it was said that you have to be a Witness to be saved, I would think to myself ‘isn’t that for God to judge?’

      And I never flat refused to talk to disfellowshipped people, especially about Jehovah, because I never found anything Scriptually to support that.

      However, it was not until recently, that I finally realized how destructive and abusive the WTBTS policies are. I finally realized that these policies are coming from the top down and I finally gave up my years of prayer and hope that they would change. I finally realized that I was met with severe hostility every time I tried to ask an elder or pioneer my questions. That there was no room for questioning, no room for disagreement on the Scriptures. As an elder angrily bellowed at me, “Do you think you know more than the Governing Body,” while simultaneously refusing to answer any of my scriptural questions.

      I finally realized that these evils would never change. Because the WTBTS is not about love and devotion to God and fellowship in Christ. They are about control and domination, even of thoughts. The WTBTS is a cult. I have finally woken up and been willing to admit that to myself after years of questions and denial.

      • Winston Smith says:

        @SarahG
        It sounds like you always maintained a part of your free will and never fully gave it up to them. In that way you were able to see the inconsistencies over the years and finally awaken to the abuses.

        In Combatting Cult Mind Control, Steve Hassan explains the difference between the cult self and the authentic self. Because you were converted in the door-to-door work, you had already developed your authentic self, but the organization tried to develop a cult self for you; it suppresses the authentic self. I was born-in, so my authentic self never was able to fully develop without the cult self surpressing it. But either way once we break free of a cult, there is always a period of self discovery, finding out who the authentic self is. I do think the period is a bit longer for born-ins. In the case of an adult convert it means rediscovering the authentic self who’s development was disrupted by the cult.

        In your case, Sarah, it sounds like your authentic self was never fully suppressed. This helped you to see the inconsistencies and abuses. It may also help you recover more quickly from the cult’s influence. I definitely recommend the Hassan books – they are a great help.

        WS

        • SarahG says:

          Thank you so much for your kind words!

          I am actually pretty happy emotionally. Leaving doesn’t bother me because I realize that all my JW friends aren’t really my friends. They are only my friends and only love me as long as I think and act just like them and that is not real friendship or real love.

          Now I must find Christ and faith again, separate from the absolute mind control of the WTBTS. I am excited to read the Bible and look for God with fresh new eyes and to develop my personal relationship with Him. I haven’t been this excited to read the Bible in years!

          Most of all, I am glad for my 6 month old baby that I woke up finally just now. He helped me to wake up. The convention video on shunning, combined with my love for him, was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

          I am sad for my 8 and 11 year old step-children that they have been indoctrinated since birth.

          I want to send in my letter of disassociation, but I can’t for my husband and children’s sake. All of my husband’s and step-children’s family are JWs and I know that my disassociating will make things difficult for them. Hopefully I can be successful at simply fading. We’ll see.

          • Dwc says:

            @SarahG,

            I know exactly what you are going through as I’m going through it at this very moment.

            What I plan to do, and it is working I might add, is use scriptures to my wife and children to help them see what it means to be a true balanced Christian. Not the dogmatic procedural Christian that the wtbts tells you to be.

            1john 4:1, acts 17:10,11, Matt. 23:3 for starters… There are some very good things to which you were drawn. There are basic truths. And I am grateful to those sincere brothers whom I believe YHWH and Jesus used to help me and really help me reconcile my relationship with YHWH. But you also see like so many of us the lies, deception, policies & procedures… The utter crap of the cult tendencies.

            There is only one mediator between me and YHWH, and that is Jesus. Not the “faithful and discreet slave” or GB. Just as Jesus is for everyone that has this faith. Again there are many agnostic or atheist so please forgive me if I offended any of you.

            The best scripture I have used though is Matt. 18:20 as it shows that meeting in churches is completely unnecessary.

            Ecclesia is a great word to look up.

            I truly wish you all the best and will say a prayer for you and your family!

          • chantal says:

            @SarahG. Yes, i have been on Bible Studies, and the last one was so sugar coated, and the Bible Student, so the speak, was more informed on the Bible than me or the sister conducting, that I felt absolutely sick. If the unsuspecting “householder” had any idea of the harsh realities of the family cuts she would have to make to be a Witness she would run. Actually, I think that’s just what she did.

        • chantal says:

          @Winston, yes, to be born in,or more on point, Forced In, is so much harder to break break free of emotional chains. But even with the indoctrination from birth, I never fully believed it, never bought the lies, just on a cognitive dissonance level, only did it for my parents. But, oh, did the cult doctrine have its effect on my life.

          • Winston Smith says:

            Sadly, Chantal, when I was young I bought it hook, line, and sinker. My whole family was in it going back several generations (I had family members who were actually acquaintances of Russel). In this environment, I was not exposed to hardly any outside reasoning and was very sheltered. It wasn’t until I was an adult and I began to see the world as it is that I began to engage my powers of reason and to begin to see through the lies.

            WS

        • Tina says:

          Hello Winston. Really like your name btw. So you say your a born-in, so am I, ever since I was 6mos old I am now 55yrs old. And I’m still very torn. I love Jehovah God. I believe he & Jesus are the answer for our worlds problems, but my family hounds me about going to the meetings, witch I get nothing out of. And I feel so guilty bc I don’t go. My whole entire life has been nothing but built up guilt & pain & unhappiness. I seriously can’t handle not having someone who understands what I’m talking about.

          • Winston Smith says:

            Hi Tina,
            I have not seen you post here before, so let me first say welcome to our band of free thinkers. I chose my user name based on the fact that reading 1984 by George Orwell was one of the final nails in the coffin of my JW indoctrination. I realized “hey, I am living this.” Realizing that I had to sit through meetings and blindly accept everything really wore on me. Meetings reminded me somewhat of the 2-minute hate in 1984.

            What started me on the road to wakefulness was the fact that I was going back and reading old literature like Studies in the Scriptures and Millions Now Living. I came to appreciate a sharp contrast between what I had been told the Watchtower taught pre-1914 and what they actually taught. Then I started pick up on some really twisted interpretations of scripture. Shortly thereafter, I was able to get a hold of a copy of Crisis of Conscience. That, along with the articles on JWFacts.com helped me appreciate that I was not the only one who saw the disconnect in JW teachings. I have been fully awake (and faded) for almost 4 years now.

            It sounds like you still have faith in some of the basic JW teachings, are there other teachings that you fee conflicted over? On this site you will find a wide range of religious thought, from elders who are still active but believe the society needs severe reform, to all out atheists who have disassociated themselves from the org. We have learned to appreciate one another’s perspectives and realize that while we are at different ends of the spiritual spectrum, we have all had the same experience with the Watchtower’s undue influence in our lives.

            I hope you will continue to post your thoughts on this site. I think you will find much camaraderie with the regular commenters

            WS

      • BeardsAreSinAskJesus says:

        You just described my experience, quickly followed by the five stages of loss. I now see life in a much more positive manner and have redoubled my efforts to live a good Christian life. Belonging to this cult had sucked that out of me and replaced it with a never ending need to meet ‘spiritual’ quotas. Always hounded by the subliminal your not preaching enough agenda that is at the core of every last JW activity.

  6. Big B says:

    @ rob:

    “In the actual world they are just ordinary everyday people”.

    Although agreeing 99% with your comments, I can only agree with the above quote to a certain extent. They have the right number of appendages physically, (legs, arms, ears, etc.) but ‘just ordinary everyday people’ not so much.

    They look like ordinary people but they are members of a doomsday, take no prisoners, CULT. Their minds are warped, their very lives conditioned to obey their seven dwarf masters in Warwick. “They follow they obey”. Translates into song: “LISTEN, OBEY and be BLESSED” not mentioned is what happens to those who don’t follow that admonition; you are CURSED.

    Uneducated for the most part, underpaid in non-professional jobs, inexperienced to what life truly has to offer they are or soon will be discouraged, disgruntled, disappointed, mendicant beggars, purveyors of a belief that isn’t true and that they won’t live to see.
    In other words, “they’re selling but no one is buying.”

    Their shunning for disassociation practices is not the “disease” but just the rash that has manifested itself. The disease is a galloping ‘cancer’ that has eaten into the soul of this Orwellian distopia of an organization itself. The disease is HUBRIS, practiced non stop by the seven mental midgets that dare equate itself with God himself. What hubris!

    Can anyone not see that God is abandoning this cult to the wolves of world opinion? Since joining the U.N. as a N.G.O. (Non Governmental Organization) for over 10 years, especially heinous after calling Christendom the Whore ‘Babylon the Great’ that supports the ‘Scarlet Colored Wild Beast, now look at what has happened since this revealing.

    Child abuse cases (pedophilia) around the world with significant fines and payouts;
    Contributions shriveling up resorting to backdoor tithing;
    Baptisms down; membership leaving in droves; Memorial attendance down while partakers at the Memorial are increasing (over 500 for the past ten years). Overlapping Generations, No Armageddon, no paradise earth and no explanations given.

    They are desperately trying to hold their membership in check but are and will fail miserably. The more they squeeze the more they crush the spirit of their flock. They will implode, its just a matter of time.

    • Markie says:

      What a pedantic little post you have there. I would assume you must be highly educated but I would probably be wrong. May be an Associates in Arts degree in Advanced Window Washing? Or maybe you went all the way and got a PHD in Janitorial Services?

      • Winston Smith says:

        Markie,

        Keep in mind that you are an anomaly among the JWs in that you did go to college. Your situation is not the norm.

        WS

      • Tara says:

        I find your comment very offensive Markie. Many of the Witnesses do have cleaning businesses. They work hard for a living so they can support their families. I am on my own and suffered a breakdown because of my ex husband. I could no longer carry on in my field of work which I studied and went to college for. I found I could cope with doing small cleaning jobs. Now I have my own business and work damn hard. Shame on you for your arrogant attitude.

      • Sarah Mayfield says:

        @Markie,

        Was there really a need to insult this guy like that? He was simply stating his opinion. To be frank, I found his comments to be a helpful contribution as opposed to a spite-filled tongue lashing. Please show more respect.

      • bi says:

        @ Markie:

        How much education I have is not the point Markie and you are wrong. You obviously have a problem. What is it? Have I offended you in anyway? Was I wrong in any of my assessments concerning the W.B.T.S.? If so address my remarks and I will either agree with you or choose to disagree with you.

        Ad hominem attacks on me, whom you do not know, shows everyone on this site (by the measure of response to you) that you cannot answer or respond reasonably to my comments or opinions concerning the Watchtower.

        Please do not disparage others who have had to make ends meet by taking on any work available (God bless them) including cleaning of homes or offices.

        Personally speaking, being involved with this organization since 1957, most if not all of us followed the Watchtower prohibition towards higher education (of which I was one). However, many years latter, I decided to continue my education because time and circumstances allowed me to do so.

        My points are clear; the W.T.B.T.S have hobbled their adherents (including myself) by their unwise, unscriptural doctrines and practices. Now they wish to punish those who leave on their own by shunning. So be it.

        Oh, if you find my post to be pedantic, you can always skip it and move on.

      • M Saurus says:

        Markie – with that nasty post and your “holier than thou” attitude, you should stay in the org. You fit right in.

        Why don’t you keep your disparaging comments inside your head where they can fester like a boil.

        • Minion says:

          Greetings to all:

          @ ma rkie,

          He’s a jw newbie, disturbed child or perhaps abused.

          Stuck in the merry-go-round jwdrum dumb.

          He’s good as dead.

          Peace out,

      • Justin says:

        ~Markie

        Rarely do I comment on these posts but your condescending and disrespectful attitude leaves a-lot to be desired.

        I’m not sure what your problem is but I suggest you find a better outlet for your venom other than directing it at strangers. Who quite frankly have more educated opinions to offer with this ex-jw community, than you do.

      • QuietObserver says:

        I say…Markie is a troll. This is a perfect example of what a troll does. Snide sarcastic comments that offend and insult and then they disappear.

        • Big B says:

          @ QuietObserver

          Yes, I believe ‘Snarkie Markie’ is definitely a troll. If attention is what you crave then congratulations are in order for you’re receiving the desired effect.

          Hopefully he/she will have satisfied their depraved, buried, sensual pleasure for some kind of attention by their ignorant, ‘holier than thou’ statements and have returned under his/her bridge to await the arrival of three unsuspecting Billy Goats. Good Luck with that TROLL.

        • Winston Smith says:

          We have had this discussion (on whether Markie is a troll) before on other posts.

          In general Markie does not seem to be a troll. He usually responds to your questions. In this case he has been so reproved by a number of commentors, no response may be the best option (or he is just offline).

          Here’s what I know about Markie: He is male, possibly an elder, married, likes strong women, he went to college/university. Markie appears to be an active JW and does not believe they are a cult. He believes that people who blame the JWs for their problems are simply weak-minded and need to own up to their own failures. He does voice opinions that are critical of the GB, although it seems that he sees the problems as being able to be fixed from within. He does seem to be very sarcastic and anyone who posts regularly has gotten at least one “tongue lashing” from him, myself included. His comments are often snyde, demeaning, and even mean-spirited. But what would you expect from an active JW on an ex-JW site? He has regularly commented for the better part of a year or more. While I typically don’t agree with his opinions and often categorically disagree with his methods, he has a right to express his opinion, provided it is within the posting requirements of the site.

          Based these facts he does not appear to be a troll.

          WS

          • Big B says:

            @ Winston Smith

            I personally try not to prejudge people however, I may be wrong, but if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck…

            Hopefully, for everyone posting information to share, snarkie, insulting, ad hominum attacks and like comments will be monitored in the future.

          • Grace says:

            Excellent analysis of Markie WS,

            That’s why I don’t buy into his baits. He reminds me a little of my brother-in-law. If you said the sky was blue, he would argue that it was green. You know the type. He’s probably having a boring day & needs to poke at someone so he goes on line then goes to the meetings armed up with apostate arguments to have with bros & sis in the congregation he’s in.

          • Winston Smith says:

            @Big B,
            Just to clarify, my intent was to show that Markie does not fit the definition of an internet troll. I certainly don’t agree with the ad hominem attacks he made on you.

            With much of what Markie posts, my feeling is in line with the words of Evelyn Beatrice Hall: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

            WS

      • Caleb & $ophia says:

        Markie,

        You are an exemplary JW by the way you responded to the opinions that vary from yours. Ad hominem attack to discredit others instead of having an open discussion of matters. You learned that well from your 7 masters in Warwick.

        Markie, you need to get a life and a job instead of judging others that do or are trying to get theirs back.

    • John ship says:

      I agree hopfully you are right about their collapse…the GB are ruuning scared thats for sure .they dont care who is damaged by their flawed policies..

    • Ejecting to Sanity says:

      You are right on.

  7. Eyes opened says:

    Hi Big B
    I seriously doubt Jehovah was ever with this organization. At one time I felt they were trying harder to follow the scriptures. But if we look further back than 10 years, back to the1930’s, Rutherford was trying to crawl into bed with Hitler. There is no doubt Rutherford was committing spiritual adultery. In the ’90’s (95/98) an Awake magazine addressed the letter Rutherford wrote Hitler and admitted that persecution increased after that. The letter is printed in the 1934 yearbook. Pretty interesting.

    Regards

    • Big B says:

      @ Eyes opened:

      I concur. To think that Jehovah God would have appointed this or any other group of Millerites to be his “faithful and discrete slave” is ludicrous in the extreme. Notice that even the WTBTS has discredited their founder and his followers in the Watchtower study article of July 15, 2013.

      It’s only in 1919 when Jehovah chose this as His Organization after J.F. Rutherford ignored the written will of C.T. Russell in what amounts to a hostile take over. Can you imagine an all knowing God backing an organization run by a drunken bully? Although, having no trouble sending others door to door in an effort to warn the world about the impending doom of Armageddon, did not himself knock on one door.

      A glance at the doctrines of the Watchtower during this period of Russell and Rutherford are certainly noteworthy and have absolutely no credit among serious Bible scholars but amount to charlatanism at worst and delusional fantasy at best.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Franklin_Rutherford
      http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/hitler-nazi.php

      • Holy Connoli says:

        Big B? How do we know that Rutherford never went door-door? I doubt that he did but how do we know it?

        • Big B says:

          @ Holy Connoli;

          This is what I was able to find for you and others that are interested.

          As a narcissist, he was a man who considered himself “above his OWN law” when he told people they could only gain salvation by preaching from door to door when he never did it himself as leader of the WTS.

          https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/154191/rutherford-exposed-story-berta-bonnie-redux?size=10&page=1

          Although mentioned on this post, I believe this information can be found in one of Raymond Franz books according to Wikipedia.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Franklin_Rutherford

          Former Jehovah’s Witness and former Governing Body member Raymond Franz claimed there was no evidence Rutherford engaged in door-to-door ministry despite his assertion that it was a requirement and sacred duty of all Witnesses. Franz claimed to have heard Rutherford’s associates say his responsibilities as president “do not permit his engaging in this activity”.[197]

          [197] Raymond Franz, In Search of Christian Freedom, Commentary Press, 2007, pp. 191–192

          Now if you wish to say that J.F. Rutherford went to every door “in spirit” while having the Witness play his message on portable phonographs, then all bets are off. 🙂

  8. Urim says:

    I really think these two articles can be very helpfull. They show even to publishers that is not aware of the details about the shunning rules that the organization is not honest about what they tell about themselves. I’m planning to use these two articles to make people that I love to meditate before the Convention. The good thing also is that is all current and oficial information. It will not raise any awareness about apostasy. Thank you watchtower.

  9. Harry Cadanza says:

    I think I am being shunned in a different kind of a way by my JW family. They disapprove of me because I live with my brother who acts very paranoid because he has dementia. My JW family got tired of hearing me talk about my problems so they sent me a text message stating that as a family they came to a consensus that I am only to talk about spiritual things. I’m only permitted to talk about things I read in the JW literature or from their jw.org website or from talks I may hear during the meetings or during the assemblies. I’m not permitted to talk about anything else. This has been going on for a year and three months now. We are strangers now. The wierd thing is I feel really, really good. I’m free. I love it. They did me a huge favor. That religion made me feel like I was going insane. I’m glad I’m out. I’m trying to say the way they treated me made it easy to break free. I really am happier now.

    • Sarah says:

      I am so sorry, Harry, and hope that you have some help with your brother. I can’t believe your family’s attitude is really Christian. Do they not help you with the problems? What happened to being patient and kind?
      Take care.

      • Harry Cadanza says:

        Thank you very much Sarah, I remember around the same time they told me to only talk about spiritual things that come from the society another thing happened. I remember my niece told me she used to go out in service regularly with a sister who had personal problems. Later my niece refused to work with her. One morning they were in a van as a group working together in field service. Another sister told the girl who had the personal problems why my niece refused to work with her. When they returned from the door after they got back into the van the sister with the personal problems started crying. She was sobbing. Her fealings were hurt. They had my niece sit at the front of the van because she didn’t want to work with the sister who had the personal problems. While the sister was at a door with her new partner the partner told her my niece didn’t want to work with her. Are all Jehovah’s Witnesses this skin deep and shallow?

        • fallingangel75 says:

          @ Harry, Wow. I’m sorry for your experience with your family and stories like the one about the sister with the personal problems.

          That’s terrible. I hope you find emotional support and practical help somewhere.

          I’m not discounting your disappointment, but I also want to say, no. All witnesses are not skin deep and shallow.

          I’ve been the recipient of loving care and concern when I had nothing to offer in return, and I have given it. Many times over.

          But I have definitely seen from comments on this site that people’s experiences as part of the organization vary widely.

          I look at it this way. In my secular career, I’ve worked for several corporations and franchises. I even owned a franchise for a few years.

          Franchises and corporations have brand standards. However, on an individual level a single location often takes on the characteristics of the owners and management.

          Typically individual employees will also follow the lead of those in charge. Employees who are slack in an efficient environment will leave or be fired.

          Employees who are efficient in a poorly run establishment will often leave from frustration or be dismissed because they are showing up the others’ mistakes.

          Watchtower is a corporation. It’s a brand. Congregations often take on character traits of local leadership.

          I have belonged to very loving, nurturing congregations that really looked out for orphans and widows.

          By contrast, I have belonged to a congregation where 70% of the publishers were minorities, but 100% of the elders, ministerial servants, and brothers carrying mikes, reading publicly etc. were white, because leadership was racist and unapologetic about it. In the 2000’s!

          Did publishers know this was wrong? Of course! But if you aren’t in charge of making decisions, how do you change it?

          The structure and hierarchy like many corporate entities and governments does not support change that comes from the bottom up, and is not necessarily interested in the best interests of those at the base of their organization.

          And like any other brand with many locations there’s going to be lots of good and bad and in-between.

          Also:

          Say there’s a local fast food place, burger joint or sub shop. Some people swear by the brand because in their neighborhood, service is always good, food quality, speed, everything is positive most of the time.

          Meanwhile, somewhere else, service is slow, food is cold and tasteless, employees are rude and disgruntled. That brand is tarnished locally. People only go there as a last resort.

          Often they are restricted geographically and by transportation.

          Congregations can be that way. Some really are striving to do things in a loving way. Others are extremely selfish or careless or controlling and harsh.

          People tend to take on those qualities and faults or leave. Either physically leave for another congregation or stop attending.

          This is not a defense of the organization. In fact, I feel like it is evidence of the problem. Evidence that they are not God’s one true channel.

          But I do believe that many earnest individuals are a part of the organization. They are trying to do the right thing and help others. They believe they are saving lives.

          I will never make or agree with some of the comments that say all of the witnesses are anything – positive or negative.

          They are not all kind. They are not all honest and hard-working. But they are also not all judgmental or backwards and uneducated like I keep reading in comments.

          I keep thinking: where are all of the people making these comments living that they have only had bad experiences and never good ones?

          Personally, in my lifetime, I have had lots of really positive experiences and lots of extremely negative ones as well.

          Mostly it’s been a wash.

          I’m here, now, because I did reach my own personal tipping point that prompted me to withdraw from the organization, but it still doesn’t negate or erase my positive experiences and memories.

          Witnesses as a class of people aren’t all good or all bad. I would never say that about them any more than I would say that about any specific race, ethnic group or socioeconomic classification.

          Sweeping generalizations and wholesale prejudices are part of what’s wrong with the world today.

          Ok. Getting off my soap box, now. 🙂

        • Telescopium says:

          Harry,
          Witnesses are subject to the same spectrum of personalities as the rest of humankind. So, the quick answer is: No, not all Witnesses are that shallow.

          However, you mentioned another factor in your previous post that must be included here. You said your family got tired of listening to your problems and only wanted to hear about spiritual things. I encountered a similar situation when I was beginning to wake up and had just stepped down from my appointment as an elder. In beginning to explain my reasons to a Witness friend, he cut me off and said he would only listen if my statement was ‘encouraging’.

          I can’t put into words how shocked I was! He wasn’t interested in reality or a conversation about my serious concerns, he just wanted to be encouraged. If you look up any Watchtower article on negative thinking, you’ll see exactly why Witnesses act this way.

          If we revisit your question, now we can say: Yes, all Witnesses are TRAINED to be shallow.

          Side point: I’m truly glad you’ve broken free and are happier now.

          • Winston Smith says:

            Telescopium,
            Like you, I am a former elder and resigned for reasons of conscience. You ever notice that the only way a JW man receives any validation is in working as or reaching out to work as an elder or servant? Not everyone is cut out for such responsibility and hence you end up with some very unhappy and in many cases very unqualified men in these leadership roles.

            WS

          • Telescopium says:

            Winston,
            Completely agree. If I remember correctly, Anthony Morris III made some rather pointed comments about brothers in their 20’s who were not ministerial servants. Kind of sad, really, trying to shoehorn every male into a mold that they might not ever fit into.

            Winston, I’d like to say I really appreciate all your comments on this site. You’re a voice of reason. Thanks.

          • Harry Cadanza says:

            Telescopium, I’m glad you remembered If you look up any Watchtower article on negative thinking, you’ll see exactly why Witnesses act this way. I didn’t think of that. That helps me. The other comments actually help a lot also. Thank you. I don’t feel as bad about it now. I never realized or understood the effects from brain washing.

          • Winston Smith says:

            @Telescopium,
            Thank you for your kind words. I believe the ability to use reason & logic is one of the greatest gifts the Creator has given humanity.

            WS

  10. Randy Galbraith says:

    Hi WitnessForTheDefense,

    “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13 Hmm… interesting point, yes. I’ve read the 1984 NWT twice through. I am now reading the NIV but have only gotten to Numbers.

    Paul here does seem to be quoting Joel 2:32. While the original of Joel would have had the divine name, it is likely Paul would have read Joel from a Greek translation that replaced “Jehovah” with “Lord”. Up in verse 9 Paul says Jesus is _Lord_ and afterwards says _God_ raised him from the dead. So what do we make of all this?

    Jehovah’s Witnesses, as a religion, are restorative. They imagine that they are restoring Christianity to some 1st century ideal that was lost. Likewise, Jesus, seems to set out to restore Judaism back to some ideal. Often contrasting the current “tradition” with an ideal form revealed in scripture.

    Yet the OT world is one of a religious nation state. The text of the OT seems to have been split, developed and been re-merged and redacted to the final form we see today around the period just after the return from exile. For example, “God” appears from Genesis 1:1 to 2:3. When the story is retold at 2:4, “Jehovah” is introduced. The rivalry between Jehovah and other gods, especially Baal appears repeatedly in the narrative.

    The NT world is ruled by the Romans and culturally influenced by the Greeks. Plato’s mention of shadows on the cave walls, seems to be echoed by Paul (Hebrews 10:1). More refined ideas about mind and spirit have cultural currency. Yet, Christians, would not hold state power until Emperor Constantine. The center piece of Christianity, for NT writers, is simply not “Jehovah”, who they wouldn’t know by name, but “Jesus.” Yet at the same time, NT writers, like Paul, quoted the OT, to establish their ideas about Jesus as Son of God, Son of Man, etc. The lack of refined harmony between the OT and NT, for most Christians, seems to be handled mostly in terms of simply focusing on the NT. But Jehovah’s Witnesses seems to have fallen into the trap, tied to the divine name itself. A bold use of “Jehovah” means they are always in a mode of trying to balance focus between “Jehovah” and “Jesus.”

    But the Witnesses also have an organization to run. Reporters show up asking questions. For structure they pull on examples like Acts 15 and 1 Cor 5. But is that justified? Hardly! There simply is no evidence that 1st century Christians had a structure like modern Witnesses. Surely if they did, you would hear of at least one case of a judicial committee and formula for how announcements were to be made, etc.

    Take care,
    -Randy

    • Winston Smith says:

      Great analysis Randy. I recently had a similar dicsussion with my daughter. I think that the reason Paul used “Lord” instead of the Tetragrammaton when quoting from Joel was intentional: he was showing a change under the new covenant. Under the old covenant YHWH was the means of salvation. Under the new convenant it had shifted focus on to Jesus as the means of salvation. The JWs actually obscure the meaning of scripture by tampering with it. I seem to recall Ray Franz noting something similar in his book “In Search of Christian Freedom.”

      WS

    • Winston Smith says:

      Great points Randy. I have a reply pending moderation. It is caught in the filters as I apparently used too many biblical buzz words. LOL

      WS

    • Dwc says:

      Hey Randy!

      It’s Dan here. I trust everything is going well. Email me sometime and we can chat a bit. Say hi to the family for me 🙂

      • Randy Galbraith says:

        Hi Dan,

        My email address on gmail is simply: firstname dot lastname at gmail.com. I of course know more than one Dan, so will look forward to getting your email.

        Yes, we’re all doing well. As you may have heard we left the faith in 2007. Most fortunately we left as a family. My oldest daughter made me into a grampa! Imagine that! Religiously I’m now a Unitarian Universalist (joined in 2015). They’re one of the few faiths that accept Atheists.

        Cheers,
        -Randy

  11. Doc Obvious says:

    All I have to say is that we should leave Watchtower’s donations in Jehovah’s hands. True Christians have faith that Jehovah will provide. Throw this type of philosophy back. Watchtower does not have that type of faith in Jehovah’s providing power. They do not believe that Jehovah can have it rain United States Dollars or Euros on the Watchtower.

    • Caleb & $ophia says:

      Markie,

      You are an exemplary JW by the way you responded to the opinions that vary from yours. Ad hominem attack to discredit others instead of having an open discussion of matters. You learned that well from your 7 masters in Warwick.

      Markie, you need to get a life and a job instead of judging others that do or are trying to get theirs back.

  12. Sarah says:

    I’ve given some thought to the posts and now realise that you cannot divorce or leave someone simply because you think your spirituality is at risk. How can it be? If your spouse has a different point of view, so what? If your faith is so weak that you cannot withstand some other point of view then it’s not faith at all. I can find no scripture which would condone such a divorce.

    An elderly man, a JW I knew years ago, had quite a difficult wife. She would hide his clothes on meeting nights and fail to make his dinner on time. That elderly man didn’t leave his wife and never complained. That sort of endurance has gone.

    If your spouse hits you, don’t stay, but don’t leave because he/she doesn’t agree with your ideas.

  13. rob says:

    I understand what the Bible says that households would be divided because of differing religious views and that sits ok with me because in many circumstances individuals can be divided on their opinions on many topics, and still be cordial towards one another and still stay together as a family.

    What the Bible does not say is that a religion would destroy a family.

    I have seen many witness families destroyed because of shunning, or one spouse leaving another just because the other spouse is no longer a witness and children abandoned and thrown away because they are no longer witnesses.

    Divided is much much different than destroyed.

    • fallingangel75 says:

      @rob, I agree. At the moment, my family is divided, not destroyed. That is very painful and a situation I never thought I’d have to face, but what is more, knowing that the division/destruction (in my case and others) is based on false doctrines and misapplication of scripture adds an extra layer of anger, hurt, resentment, disappointment, and frustration.

    • Victor says:

      I do not believe in the Bible but, anyway, Jesus said that the divided families would be a treatment that Christian would SUFFER, not that Christians would IMPOSED to others!!

  14. Minion says:

    Greetings to all:

    @ CF, great article on the added feature on The Watchtower Corporation web site.

    FAQ section is missing a key component to communicate back to them, well, . . .here you go – communicate by FAX or EMAIL.

    The Watchtower Corporation, the first year registration of jw.org was in 1999, and you have to renew the domain name every 2 or 3 years. They renew the other day through http://www.tucows.com a domain provider. The Watchtower Corporation had to provide name address and phone number’s and email. Well, here it is:

    Registrant Phone: +1.7185605000
    Registrant Phone Ext:
    Registrant Fax: +1.8886636648
    Registrant Fax Ext:
    Registrant Email: [email protected]

    Let your mind explore the possibilities, by using a fax and email.

    Information You don’t get from The Watchtower Corporation, however, you get it from JWsurvey. The no spin zone.

    * * Support The Worldwide Work * *

    Peace out,

  15. Doc Obvious says:

    A silent statement is a powerful statement. With the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion, books, magazines, brochures, videos through the decades have probably accumulated in your home. Books that do not mean much anymore. Staring at these books only bring back negative feelings regarding the religion.

    In order to cut the Watchtower puppet strings, you will need to get rid of JW.org publications from your home. If you throw them away or donate them to a local library, this may bring in new bubble people into JW.org. Which is not what you intended.

    Or you can put the JW publications into a box and deliver them to a kingdom hall and put the box on the front stoop. In that way, they are returned to sender. Before you do so, please if you have your name in these books, remove it.

    Also, deliver to a Kingdom Hall that you have had no affiliation with.

    Think of the benefits of having those publications out of your home. Most of those books are just gathering dust and have the value of dust. Live your life to the full.

    Now you have room to put new books on bookshelves that are of immediate value to you. If they are in boxes, their just occupying space.

    • Big B says:

      @ Doc Obvious;

      Great advice and well worth the effort. Any JW publications and bound volumes that I’ve managed to keep are for reference only and are boxed in a storage unit. Just in case I need to show anyone JW teachings or opinions I will have it in print.

      • Holy Connoli says:

        Big B. I have the WT from Jan 1949- Dec 1949 that Somehow I found in an old house I was cleaning out. They are still in good shape. The Magazines were quite different in those days as I read them. They sounded more sincere and less CULT LIKE than what I see and read today. They talked more about Jesus and being better people although there was and still is the BIG ARMEGEDDON scare throughout the magazines. What should I do with these 1940 WT magazines? They had Ezekiel’s Chariot on the front of them.

        • Big B says:

          @ Holy Connoli:

          Cool. I’ve only been able to see a few of these magazines with the Ezekiel’s chariot on them. I think, (not positive) they changed the cover in the 1950’s. Personally speaking, I like to collect old things (Studies in the Scriptures, J.F. Rutherford books, Life magazines, etc.) as a curiosity item. I never throw away historical items as a rule.

          That being said, if owning these Watchtower’s bother you may be able to find a person who would love to have them as a collector’s item by selling them online for example (as the information in them is definitely outdated).

    • Telescopium says:

      @Doc Obvious,
      You speak with the wisdom of a wizard.

      I’ve found a comforting closure by burning old tracts and magazines in my wood stove, all while saving money on kindling.

  16. Mildred says:

    Such liers. I’m so glad I left the JW’s

  17. Doc Obvious says:

    If you have Roku, the YouTube channel is available for free. I find it more enjoyable to play the John Cedars YouTube Subscription on a 1080p flat screen television. In that way, I can eat popcorn and enjoy the commentary. Thanks YouTube for making our lives a little more easier.

  18. Frank says:

    This is yet another example of the WTBTS and it’s GB leadership lying. I remember during my brief two year involvement, I mistakenly confided to an elder that I was studying with about leaving and immediately, he had me turn to these particular scriptures in Revelation 2:4(where the church, or congregation as they say in their NWT, in Ephesus had left the love they had at first) and Matthew 24:13(where THE one(s) who endures to the end will be THE one that will be saved) and also, the usual psychological arm twisting that they by saying “where else are you going to have ‘eternal life in a paradise Earth’?” and the coup de grace as far as the JW and the WTBTS as a whole “don’t leave and quit because if you do, Satan will ‘jump for joy’ if you do by saying ‘I got him/her. They were doing good for a while, but they just gave up'”. I tried to follow his advice, but my initial enthusiasm, joy and happiness didn’t return, though I did use a “painted on smile” and feigned enthusiasm to fool them, but deep down, I was miserable, wistful and depressed. Even in the wake of me not attending their 1993 circuit assembly and taking a breather from going to the KH for a while before returning also didn’t help. My initial enthusiasm, joy and happiness never came back, though I tried real hard to resurrect it as my time in the JW borg/cult was winding down. I realized all too well that I was not only following a lie, but also living a lie. I also realized that I couldn’t live a lie because both following and living the lie was making me miserable. I finally dropped out in August of 1994 when the JW’s I worshiped with went to their same year’s district convention as I chose not to go and by that, I not only dropped out, but also stopped my association with them and washed my hands of my entire relationship with them. I am still in the healing process of being a part of the borg/cult and I am hoping to fully heal from the effects soon in my life.

    This also shows that these emotionally manipulated and brainwashed currently active JW’s are still continuing to follow and live this lie. The GB are willfully doing that themselves and forcing them by using the terrible techniques described above. It makes me feel sorry for all of those who are still currently active that they are forced and coerced to continue to follow and live these terrible lies by the terrible techniques described above.

    Regarding the shunning and ignoring, it is simply the borg’s/cult’s way of delivering the ultimatum to those who have been disfellowshipped and have disassociated themselves from the borg/cult; “if you leave or you get kicked out, we want nothing to do with you unless you choose(?) to come back to ‘THE Truth’ and that is all we’re going to say”. How cruel, heartless and loveless this is.

    Thank goodness I drooped out when I did and I have never looked back, though I almost rejoined in 2002, but the same year’s expose on Dateline NBC on their hiding and protecting pedophiles and doing nothing to help their victims made me change my mind about that. Thanks for blogs and websites like this. They do keep everyone, including former JW’s like myself, informed about the current business of the borg/cult. Keep the informative information coming.

  19. Paul says:

    Those behi d the Watchtower Organization could not be open and honest if they tried. The reason is that they do not know what they are teaching anymore. They send intentionally mixed and confusing messages via their publications, website and meetings. They try to preach one message to the converted members (loyalty to the Organization at all costs) and a totally benign and false message to the general public.

    They are a high control cult with no true moral compass.

  20. Nasitha says:

    Oh my Gosh I wanted to puke when I read their Q&A, such utter lies WOW. Its sad that the people they refer to their site have no idea that this is all not true and that you suffer should you decide to resign. You’ras gud as disfellowshipped