During the first week of May 2018, Amazon.com released a new book by and about our own Barbara Anderson and the tasks she has taken on for nearly 25 years. Barbara Anderson Uncensored: Eyewitness to Deceit is unique when compared to earlier books and autobiographies considered to be in the “ex-Jehovah’s Witness” or “apostate” book categories.
Richard E. Kelly, a well-known former Jehovah’s Witness and activist author, assisted Barbara in compiling and publishing her life story. The book recalls her experiences as a totally dedicated volunteer working on behalf of the Watchtower Society for many years. It also describes how her life was forever changed after she became one of the religious organization’s harshest critics.
Readers will instantly recognize that this is not your typical “autobiography.” Richard Kelly has organized the story of Barbara’s life around events that focus and identify her personal influence on specific issues having to do with Watchtower Society’s practices and teachings.
Barbara’s description of her youth and her first years as a dedicated Jehovah’s Witness are covered in just 23 pages – about 20% of the book. She and Richard Kelly then use the rest of the book to focus on her ongoing quest to identify and publicize harmful policies of the Watchtower Society that have negatively affected and injured so many innocent children, women, and men over the past 70 years. Several pages are dedicated to those who have followed Barbara’s lead and have become involved and active themselves.
While you will find Barbara’s personal story unique in so many ways, you will soon discover that the book directs your attention to the real issues at hand. Barbara never turns on the “poor me, look how I’ve suffered” approach and storylines that you find in many books by former Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Barbara and her husband, Joe were injured and suffered personal loss due to the choices they’ve made. She never makes those events a central theme of her life story. In fact, Barb and Joe have gained so many new friends throughout the world that they can barely keep up or stay in touch with them all. The book spends many pages identifying some of those “friends of Barbara” and describes their efforts to improve the lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the safety of their children.
You might say that “Barbara knows just about everyone involved in ex-JW activism – and nearly everybody knows Barbara.”
Above all, the leaders of the Watchtower organization also “know Barbara” very well. It’s likely that more than a few ranking members within the Watchtower hierarchy may have nightmares about her dedication and what she’s done to them.
For Barbara it’s not so much about what she has accomplished in the past, it’s what can be achieved in the future by those she has influenced and encouraged to join her and get involved in “the fight to make things right.”
Most important to Barbara is that the activism she helped initiate that challenges the harmful policies of the Watchtower organization continues and grows. Her goal has never been to change the Jehovah’s Witness religious beliefs or biblical interpretations. While she has her own opinions about their doctrines and interpretations of the Bible, she would rather expose the damage that Watchtower’s internal policies do to women, minor children and other vulnerable members who now realize that they are truly trapped in a cult.
Yes – Barbara has been “a voice crying out” for over 25 years. Thanks to her efforts she is now just one of the dozens of “voices” who thank her for her inspiration and dedication in exposing the Watchtower’s deceit and harmful practices. Many have joined her, helped her, and gladly taken on some of her tasks.
What do I think of the book?
I definitely urge you to purchase a copy and read it for yourself. (As of May 5, 2018, the book is available at Amazon.com in both paperback [120 pages] and Kindle versions.)
If you do buy or borrow the book, I’m sure that you will agree that Barbara is not only unique among former Jehovah’s Witnesses, but also someone who deserves your support. That’s all she asks if you agree that her battles have been worthy. And if you think you could do what she does as well or even better, then she invites you to grab your pike, jump on your horse, and join the fray!
John Hoyle – (known to be a Barbara Anderson supporter and admirer)