There was a time when I believed I would never die. I literally thought that contrary to the experience of every human in history, I would never have to experience a physical death. That’s not the same as dying and then waking up in Heaven. It truly meant that my human body would never die and I would live forever. That belief affected every decision I made and every course I took in life.
Why did I believe that? How could I possibly accept such an outlandish proposition? Because that’s what I was told was “the Truth” from the time I was a small child and then well into my adult years. That’s the power of information control. It convinced me that something so clearly illogical and unrealistic was absolutely true.
When I look at examples in today’s world of how information is spread and what people believe, I see that my experience (although more extreme) is not that uncommon. We all are bombarded every day with news that is designed to convince us what to believe.
It now seems that the days of “unbiased media” are over. We have to be more selective about what we choose to take in, digest, and accept as “truth.” We will eventually become what we believe and who we are.
This bed of belief is crucial. It determines how our decisions in life are made and what we choose to pursue, fight for and even die for. Does that mean there is an “absolute truth” that we are meant to find? Is there really just one path that everyone must follow?
Personally, I don’t think so. “Absolute truth” is something that can be verified without question. “Gravity” and “time” are absolute truths, even though they can’t be adequately explained. Outside of science, our world is a blank canvas and we are free to paint it with whatever colors we choose. We each select our relative truths.
If we find that a “relative truth” doesn’t work for us anymore, we have the power to change it. That’s what many of us chose to do when we left the Jehovah’s Witness organization. The “painting” we were creating made no sense to us anymore and so, we started a new project. Instead of using only the colors that were being handed to us by others, we found the “shades of truth” that appealed to us and started using them.
Now, we begin our own “masterpiece.” We keep an eye on our own canvas, without feeling the need to tell our fellow artists how they need to work on their creations. We create and live our lives as we choose. What a great pursuit!
Every day I get to see the artistic works of life that the rest of humankind creates. I can see beauty in what others share and am moved. I’ve met and learned from some truly great “life-artists” and look forward to seeing what others choose to do with their life-canvases.
Yes, I used to believe I would never die. But now I believe that I won’t be here forever – and yet I have a chance to leave something behind for others to build on. In that way, maybe I’ll exist in some form beyond my death. Even if the memories of me die once I’m gone, I still had a chance to be here and contribute to this great collection of life. That freedom is something that I cherish and appreciate each day I am alive.
“Why am I not better yet? Why can’t I just get over this?”
If, after leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses, you find yourself asking yourself this type of question, you are not alone. Those of us who have left that religion must first acknowledge is that we were members of a high control group, and as such, we are “survivors of trauma.” It may be true that some of us may not have suffered physical injuries. And yet the mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse we suffered still qualifies our traumatic experiences as being “life-altering.”
How do trauma survivors keep going? What enables someone who has been through devastating events find ways to move forward and even thrive?
I found some interesting and helpful tips at https://www.helpguide.org/home-pages/ptsd-trauma.htm. While not everything in that article will apply to former Jehovah’s Witnesses, there are some very good points to keep in mind as you attempt your own recovery.
For instance, I thought these were good points to consider:
- People react in different ways to traumatic events. There are not a “right” or “wrong” ways to respond. Don’t tell yourself (or anyone else) what you should be thinking, feeling, or doing.
- Avoid obsessively reliving the traumatic event. Repetitious thinking or viewing horrific images over and over can overwhelm your nervous system, making it harder to think clearly.
- Ignoring your feelings will slow recovery. It may seem better in the moment to avoid experiencing your emotions, but they exist whether you’re paying attention to them or not. Even intense feelings will pass if you simply allow yourself to feel what you feel.
In addition to these points, these reminders on how to deal with painful emotions might be helpful:
- Give yourself time to heal and to mourn any losses you’ve experienced.
- Don’t try to force the healing process.
- Be patient with the pace of recovery.
- Be prepared for difficult and volatile emotions.
- Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling without judgment or guilt.
- Learn to reconnect with uncomfortable emotions without becoming overwhelmed.
The main point of this article is that we need to accept that we have work to do – but, we can get through it. Having communities and contacts with others that have been through the same trauma can be very helpful and the keys to feeling empowered and in control of your own life.
Remember that your choices determine who you are and how much enjoyment you can get out of life. We can’t judge others if they need to process things differently. We can try to work together, help each other out, and become part of the support system that we all need.
WHAT IS IT?
“It is what it is.”
This is the response I got from two Jehovah’s Witness friends when I started talking about how disappointing it was to have not reached the paradise yet. My point was to discuss how we had never planned on getting older in this system. But my comment was immediately shot down. In unison, both the husband and wife both declared, “It is what it is.”
The point of their response was to quell my “complaining spirit.” I’ve often wondered since that day whether they had heard that sentiment in a talk – or if this was just a phrase they came up with on their own. Either way, their message was clear: No negative talk was allowed about the fact that we were well past the age we’d planned on being in “this system.”
I think many JWs are beginning to realize the massive implications that belief has had on their lives. They can choose to disconnect and lose all their friends and family but still live a normal life. Or they can shut their eyes and declare, “It is what it is” and accept their fate of living an unfulfilled life trapped in a cultish religion.
That was another moment that helped me wake up. I knew that these two had no tolerance for any thoughts outside of the Jehovah’s Witness guidelines. They expected me to trudge through life with them until we were “delivered at Armageddon,” whether that event was real or not.
I’ve chosen to move on, live a real life now, and “take the hit” of losing everyone I care about. It’s not ideal and there are moments of self-doubt and pain, but, this is now my life. I may never own a tiger or ride on the back of an elephant. But now I am living the way I choose.
I’ve accepted that “It is what it is.”
For some reason, I remembered something last night that used to seem very normal to me but now smacks of cult indoctrination.
In the past, it was fairly routine to have “resolutions” presented to the audiences at Jehovah’s Witnesses’ summer conventions. These were usually pretty generic in nature and often included the following points:
- We submit to Jehovah as God
- We submit to Jesus as King
- We submit to the “faithful and discreet slave” under the direction of Jesus
- We reject all aspects of Satan’s world:
d. The Spirit of the World
- We will work to keep the organization clean
- We will do everything in our power to preach
There were probably other items. Some conventions included items with specific wording that would highlight the theme selected that year. But, these points were the bedrock of almost every resolution.
I remember the feeling as each point was read to the crowd. The speaker would wait after each one for the audience to respond with “AYE!” The audience would grow louder and more determined every time they shouted out their joint response. By the end of the resolution speeches, the crowd experienced feelings of unity, pride, and “belonging” that were overwhelming.
Resolutions were usually adopted at the end of the day so that everyone would leave on a high note. Afterward, the audience seemed pumped up and solid in their dedication and commitment to what they had heard that day.
Having looked at other religions since then, and especially the way a cult works, this event smacks of mind control at its highest level. The pressure to respond positively and loudly was more than could be resisted. The items in the resolution were repetitive and designed to ingrain that group way of thinking even deeper.
The points in the resolutions were specifically created to reaffirm each person’s dedication to the organization. They would potentially get individuals to make changes to do or give even more time and money to support the organization. The crowd was whipped into a fervor, squelching any room for doubt among the attendees.
I recall conversations after these events that were almost always centered around how we all needed “to simplify and sacrifice” even more than we were and how we needed to refocus our attention on Kingdom interests.
Now, it reminds me of gatherings of highly emotional religions, cults, or political rallies. The manipulation techniques are sickening when considered in context.
I am grateful that this type of intellectual and emotional control is now no longer part of my life.
LETTING THE PAST GO
How can the past be put into context? What can help us avoid looking at the past as a definition of a person’s worth for either ourselves or others?
I’ve struggled with this issue and finally found a way to mentally categorize things, making it easier to put everything in perspective.
I envision each person to be like a flower. They are beautiful, fragrant and temporary. They should be appreciated and valued while they are here, just as they are. However, the growth of a flower isn’t always a pretty thing.
Flowers are fed by a variety of things from the time they are planted. Water, sunshine, and food all contribute to the flower’s blossoms. But other less noble things also pitch in. Fertilizer, compost, rotting vegetation, and even manure are also responsible for helping things along.
However, when you smell a flower’s fragrance, do you picture the manure that fed it? Do you see the rotting vegetation involved as you contemplate its petals?
Probably not. Instead, you see the current vision of its beauty and you smell its sweet aroma. The flower’s current state is all that you see. Everything that helped it become what it is now has been converted and contributes to its beauty.
I think we’re like this too. We have a past that includes wonderful events and noble acts. It likely also has darker parts that are less than desirable. These things fed our character and created the “flower” of our current person. When we consider the person alone, we can appreciate the beauty that has resulted. We don’t really need to remember or dwell on the “lesser” events that have also helped the person grow into what they are today.
Thinking of past events in this light has helped me see the value of everything that happens to a person. There are things I hate remembering about my past, certain actions or times when I acted less than honorably or things were done to me. I see the same thing in other people’s past too. But, those things shaped the individual that I now love and value.
The past is just food for the present. It builds us and crafts us into who we are now. Regardless of feelings about specific events, the past has value. Put into this context, I am finding ways of letting the past go and appreciating what is right in front of me.
THE BITE MODEL and WATCHTOWER ARTICLES
One of the key things that helped me to wake up was definitively being able to identify Jehovah’s Witnesses as a cult. I remember eating with a friend that wasn’t a JW and explaining to him that there seemed to be many marks that were “cult-like” in the JW religion. He looked at me squarely in the eye and said, “Then it is a cult!”
That was a thunderclap moment for me. I immediately teared up and felt a tremendous sense of shame, loss, and fear. I knew at that point that my life would never be the same.
The biggest help in coming to this realization for me was the BITE model. Just being able to tick off four boxes as identifiers of cults was tremendously useful to me. The thing about this model is that it’s so easy to remember because of the acronym (Behavior, Information, Thoughts and Emotions). More importantly, it’s so easy to find printed information from the Watchtower publications that substantiate the fact that it really is “a cult.”
I’ve chosen one article, more or less at random. Notice how easy it is to pull out sentences that fit each category of the model. This is from The Watchtower – Simplified Study Edition of May 2013 in an article called “Are You ‘Zealous for Fine Works’?”
“We need to try to do more in the ministry because we are very close to the end.”
“As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we are the only people who have that special honor. God and Christ direct our work to help people to ‘become reconciled to God,’ that is, to become His friends.”
Why do you want to stay zealous for fine works? Perhaps it is because you know that if you are zealous for the ministry and have good conduct, you will honor Jehovah and help others to be saved.
We are “zealous for fine works,” that is, we love what we do for Jehovah and do the best we can to please him.
Another reason for our zeal in preaching and our good conduct is that we truly want to show our love for God and for others. If we are zealous for fine works, we will have real joy and satisfaction now.
If you are ever in a situation where you are trying to prove to an active Jehovah’s Witness that the organization is a cult look for key phrases in the literature that fit this model.
Behavior – “We should do…” “We need to be…” We are always…”
Information – “We are the only…” “We should read…” We should avoid…”
Thought – “We are united in thought…” “We believe…”
Emotion – “Don’t we feel…” “We want to show by our attitude…” “Our hearts feel…”
These and trigger phrases like this are easy to find in the literature. If someone can accept the BITE model as a differentiator in cults, it will be a simple process to show them the proof from their own words. Of course, this all assumes that the person you are talking to is open-minded enough to accept this definition of a cult over the one the Watchtower has always used, namely “a group that follows a human leader.”
But, if we get them talking about this subject, we might be able to use this kind of reasoning to wake them up. I know that it worked in my case.
MY FAVORITE EMMET FOX QUOTE
This quote is from the early part of the 20th century, well before Jehovah’s Witnesses became the global structure they are today. It’s from Emmet Fox and it describes exactly what has happened to this organization.
“The great peril to true religion has always been the building up of vested interests in wealthy organizations, or in the exploitation by individuals of their own personalities. An organized church is always in danger of developing into an “industry” which has to provide a living for numerous officials. When this happens the rank and file are sure to be severely discouraged from seeking spiritual things for themselves at first hand. A tradition of “loyalty” to the organization is built up as a means of self protection. Not loyalty to Truth, or to your own soul, be it remarked, but to the ecclesiastical machine. Thus the means becomes an end in itself and spiritual power then fades out. Rash promises and vague claims take the place of real verifiable demonstrations.”
BETTER OUT HERE
It’s better out here. That’s about all I can say regarding the change from being in the organization to living a normal life. As people I’ve known all my life, including my closest family, disconnect from me, I know they are more miserable about their decision than I am. I have a whole new group of friends and adopted family that show me unconditional love. They don’t expect the worst from me. They don’t judge me. They actually listen to opinions that differ from theirs without condemning me. It’s an amazing experience.
I remember being fully involved in the organization and the feelings that would come up when someone decided to leave. It was worse than a death because there was very little expectation of ever seeing that person again. They were condemned, an anathema. There was real mourning for that person and profound sadness that they had turned from “the truth.”
Now, being on the other side of that experience, I know that those that left were actually heading for a better, more meaningful life. It’s sad how much current members torment themselves because of what they think we’re going through. It’s even sadder that they continue to condemn and hurt us because we can’t stand with them anymore.
The bright side of all of this is that there’s a whole world out there to explore. Yes, we’ve lost some very important people in our life, for now. We’ve suffered blows because of their actions and words. But, we actually get to live life for real now. We can be who we want, believe what we want and see things as they really are.
So, if you’ve lost people because of leaving the Jehovah’s Witness organization, know that you’re not alone. But, also know that you have more in front of you than behind you. The situation may be hard at times. But just remember: It’s better out here.
THE DRAMA TRIANGLE
In a “high control” group, there are certain patterns that can be expected and easily predicted. The goal of total dominance involving and controlling the thoughts and actions of everyone in a group creates a cycle known to mental health professionals as “the Drama Triangle.” The use of the word “drama” in this context is not surprising to anyone who has ever been involved with an organization like the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Families, local congregations, and the entire structure of that kind of a religion are rife with drama.
This psychological model is called a “triangle” because there are three main types of people involved:
A Victim, the Rescuer, and the Persecutor. Each person in this scenario plays a role that feeds the needs and actions of the others involved. The whole relationship between these “actors” can evolve into a vicious, never-ending cycle with tragic results.
The Victim – This is a person who imagines that “the world is out to get them.” They act and consider themselves powerless in the face of any and all obstacles and trials. Instead of solving problems for themselves, they look for someone to take pity on them and to either figure out and fix their problem(s) or rescue them somehow. This individual’s signature characteristics are feelings and complaints of being oppressed, helpless, hopeless, ashamed and indecisive. They seem unable resolve their own problems, enjoy any pleasures in life, or achieve insight as to the reality of their situation.
The Rescuer – This person’s purpose in life is to “save others.” They thrive in situations that call for them to be the “hero” or “savior.” But this isn’t necessarily an entirely altruistic endeavor on their part. By focusing on other people’s problems, they are able to avoid fixing their own personal issues and shortcomings. They are skillful at getting involved in situations that are not really any of their concern.
The Persecutor – This person is a master at making others feel guilty, inadequate and inferior. Through their words and actions, they convey the message that others don’t and won’t measure up to expectations. They need someone to control by convincing a person that they are somehow at fault or guilty for some deed, real or imagined and will never be quite right. They will either protect or persecute others and often come across as authoritative, rigid and superior.
All of these roles are “fluid,” meaning that a single individual can adapt to whatever the circumstances might call for. They may start as a protector of a victim and later switch to being a prosecutor or persecutor. They may become “a rescuer,” trying to save others from themselves. At any rate, this is an unhealthy dynamic that perpetuates itself through the interactions of each of these characters.
Imagine the following scenario:
PUBLISHER (Victim): “I feel so bad for not doing enough in the ministry.”
ELDER (Rescuer): “I understand. We all want to do as much as possible for Jehovah. But, you are doing the best you can in your circumstances.”
PIONEER (Coach): You know, if you would adjust your schedule and make a few more sacrifices, you could become my pioneer partner. We could go out in the ministry all the time together. All it would take is you making a few changes to your way of life.
ELDER (Persecutor): Well, Sister Pioneer, you might be able to do a bit more too. Have you thought about selling your home and moving to where the need is greater? You would then have the circumstances to expand your ministry.
PIONEER (Victim): I don’t know if I can do that right now. But, I see what you’re saying. Maybe I have been getting too comfortable in my routine.
PUBLISHER (Rescuer): But, Sister Pioneer, you really are doing so much for the congregation now. You’re a great example to the younger ones.
ELDER (Victim): That’s true. I think I probably need to do more for the kids in our congregation.
PUBLISHER (Persecutor): I agree. Actually, I think all of the elders need to be reaching out and working with the young ones more than they do.
PIONEER (Rescuer): But, they’re all so busy. It seems like you are all doing everything you can for them.
In one brief conversation, the roles can switch around and become totally reversed. All parties are unconsciously contributing to the drama triangle. None of them will leave this conversation feeling better about themselves or their life choices.
The “drama triangle” is the most common social dynamic in the Jehovah’s Witness organization. Almost everyone will fit into one of these roles at every level of the Organization.
The problem is that we become so used to this environment that we might continue to play these roles, even after leaving the organization. We may feel exploited and oppressed by the organization (victim). We may feel responsible for getting others to leave the organization (rescuer) or constantly complain and criticize the organization and those still in it (persecutor).
Obviously, we all have different stages in our personal recovery and those feelings aren’t necessarily unhealthy. We may even feel the need to act in one of these roles for a while. But, when we get stuck in that role, even years after leaving the Organization, its effects can hinder us from emotional development and healing.
So, what’s the answer? How can we avoid being trapped into these categories that we’ve become so used to?
The “key” is self-empowerment and developing our own life goals. We be able to break out of the “drama triangle” by learning to be self-sufficient, independent, and not “victimized.” We need to allow others to grow at their own pace – not by continually “rescuing” them. We can help by being satisfied with the efforts of others and recognizing their right to decide on a life course for themselves – and not “persecuting them” for their decisions.
When we focus on our own lives and personal choices, we will finally break free from this “drama triangle” of trying to fill the roles of a “victim,” a “rescuer,” or a “persecutor.”
I read half of it, that was enough. I’m an Ex JW because of the Child Abuse / Pedophilia problem in the Org Earthwide. I also disagree with shunning and have never shunned anyone for leaving the Org in my life. One of our daughters was disfellowshipped and I made it clear to all in the congregation that I would still visit her and be there for her. However now I’ve left the Org no one visits me or even talks to me in the street… But you seem to over dramatise it all…. I do feel sorry for children / young adults still under the direction of their parents, that have to conform to JW rules. As for the resolutions thing no way. I’ve been to many assemblies / conventions here in the UK and never ever heard of such things. Are you going back to the 1940’s or 1950’s with that stuff ? I’ve never seen it and never heard of it. Some things are obvious, if you are a JW then you should obey God’s viewpoint as written in the scriptures. That means questioning everything and getting scriptural backing for everything. If it’s from the Governing Body without scripture to prove it then it’s basically lies and rules for the sake of rules. I always questioned what the Elders told me and they didn’t like it but had to accept that I followed scripture. I left the JW Org but i have not left God through Jesus Christ. However I’m finding so much hate amongst ex JW’s, and it seems to be hate against God Himself. You said about media influence, well you are doing just so. People will read your posts and follow you just as they followed the Governing Body. Some people just can’t seem to work it out for themselves. Life of Brian ‘We’re all individuals’ Voice from the crowd ‘I’m not’ And that is true in this world, some folks are just not individuals. They have to follow someone or something. So you have a big responsibility, bigger than you may be aware. Because you influence the weaker ones who cannot think for themselves :).
I think the link is a list of resolutions that were written about, but not the entire list that were passed. The assembly resolutions that I recall in the 1960’s were always blasting the clergy. The JW’s were so self-righteous and judgemental.
I believe in what the scriptures say. I believe that the scriptures are inspired by God. I am seeing at a rapid pace the “last days”, “coming with a panting” right now everyday on the news. 2Timothy says it all. I too, did without and so did my children and we are bitter about it. No family vacations only assemblies,no long term investing for the future. When we finally woke up to the scriptural facts and the crap we were being fed, we quit that man-made religion and rely on the Bible. The Bible states that Jehovah’s original purpose was for mankind to live in a perfect condition on a paradise earth just as Adam and Eve started out. There will be “God’s War”, there will be a 1000 yr. reign, there will be a resurrection on earth and a judgement and test at the end. We will learn what is in the scrolls- because that is what the Bible says. Remember that the best believed lies (by that organization) contains some truth. The JW religion was started and based on FREE MASON teachings and sacred secrets. “Get out of her my people.”
I was a JW for almost 50 years so I understand everything you just said because of my experience.
But I have a few questions for you. You said: The Bible states that Jehovah’s original purpose was for mankind to live in a perfect condition on a paradise earth just as Adam and Eve started out. Show me the Bible statement that proves that. Pls don’t follow the WT line of reasoning by using ‘cherry-picked’ scriptures that fit a picture they promote. I understand that it seems reasonable and may be true that man is to live on a paradise earth. I frankly hope that is correct. But to say the Bible states this or that needs to be plainly stated not logically or emotionally concluded as a fact. When we studied the Bible with people we were not studying the Bible – it was BOOK studies that formed a man-made concept or interpretation of scripture. I agree with your statement: best believed lies (by that organization) contains some truth. Truth cannot have some lies mixed in to be real truth. But they were ‘versions’ of the truth which were ‘changed, updated and clarified’ by the misleaders at the top. The other things you mentioned God’s war, 1000 year reign, etc are mentioned in the Bible but have been interpreted so many different ways. What is truth? Truth is known when the Bible plainly and clearly states a provable facts. The Bible must speak for itself not what some Gov. Body or self-appointed slave. says
I e crushed Into an iceberg, what is truth? still so much to learn, I am on a journey in search for the truth. There was a brother who gave a talk on the final days of Jesus it was so beautiful I wish I knew that brothers name, a heart felt talk touched my soul.
The brother who gave that talk on the last 7 days of Jesus life was Phil Hayworth of the Galston cong in Sydney Australia , I knew him well and that talk was recorded and sent all over the world .
I remember when it was first delivered at a convention in Sydney in the late 70s , in the audience of 5000 there was not one dry eye, everyone had tears on their faces , those brothers and those talks are long gone
The real issue is Theocracy. Is the Organization guided by the power of the holy spirit as directed by Jehovah and Jesus? The Pharisee Gamaliel said it first and said it best. If this is the work of man it will fail. But if it is the work of God it will not.
The child abuse\Pedophilia scandal is sour fruit. Regardless of good intentions.
I found nothing in this documentary to disagree with; everything described, being in the JW religion was accurate. I spent over 60 years of my life devoted to the WT Society. It still pains me to know my life was a lie. I don’t know why someone said they do not remember the resolutions read at assemblies. I definitely remember them. And I don’t see all ex-JW’s as showing hate all the time. Yes there are those that do show hostility; and can you blame them? But the majority of ex-JW’s are hurt, angry and disillusioned because of having our lives stolen from us. We were slaves, free labor to the WT Society, to keep recruiting more for their money making machine. There are some truths to their doctrines but their whole bedrock foundation is false. Not one of their prophecies, from Russell down to the present has ever come true. What has helped me to resolve in my heart and mind to never return to such propaganda is my diligent research and studying. Reading the bible has helped me to see how they twist the scriptures to fit their false doctrines. Leaving has not been easy; it shook me to my core to walk away from a life style I had known since birth. I am not disfellowshipped or disassociated but I am shunned by family and friends, just because I left the teachings of a publishing/real estate corporation. This alone smacks the reality of a cult. If JW’s would just think about the teachings, critical thinking, they would see the trademarks of a cult…..mind controlling indoctrination.
A very good article! I agree with your thoughts Theresa…Remember the resolutions they would pass…etc etc…I left this fake, controlling real estate co….as well as all else it proves to be…It has taken alot from us… We have lost many times in the way of past friends etc…But, one has gained soo much more! My Dear Dad always said…where there is life…there is hope…I have not croaked yet…I hope that all good people will enjoy a forever life one day…that the bad will be helped by love…and be moved to be good, so they can enjoy a happy, forever life…I trust we have a kind and loving Creator who cares for all things and in time will make things the way He wanted it to including the ones who are asleep in death. For all things are possible with God.
You really hit a homerun! My 93 years old mother, an active Jehovah Witness, still believes on the 1914 generation that will not pass away. She hasn’t accepted the so called “overlapping”. After more than 70 years of false indoctrinations, by the WatchTower, at her current age, will be very hard for her to adopt any changes in her believes. The damage has being done, the 1914 generation teaching is deep rotted in her brain.
I’m so glad I left the Organization after more than 50 years in it. Quitting the WatchTower has made me bigger and better as a human being. I haven’t look back not even for a second, even though my whole family are still Jehovah Witnesses. I did prepare myself mentally and emotionally before walking out.
By bringing out information like this, you are doing a great service and I want to show my appreciation with a big, THANK YOU!
I just could not imagine living forever with a bunch of @$$ kissing prigs and under educated judgmental elders that will hide a “brother” in the faith that rapes children and women at gunpoint and even remove shot gun shell casings from crime scenes from the police. That to me is a living hell. I would rather die at Armageddon.
I was always looking for the church that Jesus Christ built and his church wouldn’t be destroyed. I wondered how could the WTBTS be that church, but do they have the faith of Jesus, I had my doubts but I accepted a Bible study back in the early 90s and went along with their teachings and got baptized, but in 2013 when GB introduced their new Bible, a bell went off. “Why do we need another translation.” I wondered what was wrong with the Bible we already had, wasn’t I told that this translation was the best translation than all the other Bible’s. I remember the comment that Bro. Sanderson said at the time. quote” They say that we add and take away words from the Bible.”unquote. I needed to know who and why would they say that. So I did some research I looked in the other Bibles and particularly the Greek Interlinear translation of the NT and found out that they did take out and add words in the New World Translation so it would fit into their doctrine. So because of this, I found out about all the false prophesies and predictions that never came true. I left the JW.ORG but I never left Jehovah or Jesus Christ, my faith is a lot stronger and I couldn’t be happier.
Good to see another cobber come to rational thought. There are many of us colonials Barry who are awakening to the fact that the greatest lies are packaged in illusion. A bit of reflective thinking and honest evaluation will progressively remove the illusion to reveal it as delusion. Jesus was absolutely correct: ‘If in reality the light in you is darkness, how great that darkness is!'(Mt 6:23) There is plenty of evidence that Watchtower org is moribund,a place for hiding deceit, and is a foreboding darkness. Pity those who may think Watchtower will heal itself.I too will never leave my Father Jehovah or cease striving to live as my mentor Jesus Christ.
I’ve only just recently discovered this site and want to thank you for all that you do. Just finished your “Barbara Anderson Uncensored…..” book and I really enjoyed the clarity expressed in it about the pedophilia problem and what you and many others have put together on this site is an amazing work. The things you’ve written on this page is a reminder to me of my own experiences when I was in the organization. I’ve been out now over 25 years and have never felt more genuine and comfortable in my soul than I ever did as a JW. This was not possible when I was in because we were part of a stifling and in many ways an inherently corrupt culture of control. I heard a saying to the effect that “if you’re the smartest person in a group, then you need to find another group”. Not to say I was the smartest anything :-)) but applying the principle, I got out and over the years I have found many paths less stifling than the JW’s. Life has basically been a ball ever since because freedom does that to ones’ heart and soul.
Anyway, I just wanted to express my appreciation to you Barbara and to everyone else who made this site possible. You folks are doing a great thing. Thanks again and the best to you all.
Help! My husband and I are in the process of researching the WBTS and figuring out what really is the “truth”. He has had doubts for a few years now but every time he’d bring things up to me I wouldn’t listen for fear that it was Satan directing his thinking. Well long story short I found myself missing more and more meetings yet instead of receiving encouragement I was getting a cold shoulder from ones I would run into outside the KH and the only thing I received from the elders was texts asking for my time. They claim “love” is the identifying mark but I felt no love, only judgement even though I wasn’t doing anything wrong and was in a mentally dark place. I started doing research with my husband and have come to the conclusion that the WBTS is definitely not the “one true religion” I still firmly believe in jah and jesus, but I have questions for other ones who have left. What do you guys do for memorial, many have said they no longer attend, but do you still observe in your own home? What about birthdays and holidays, Ive come to find that I don’t believe birthdays werent meant to be observed. My verdict is still out on other holidays as I’m still researching but I’m curious what others think. Also, and this is my biggest, how my children will be baptized when older, in no way do I want them to be baptized into that organization but I believe baptism is very important for our salvation, I’m curious what others think or have done. Thank you for any input!
Hello Kay, I’m not sure if you will read this as it is now April 2019. I consider baptism as an outward public declaration to my faith in the sacrifice Christ made for me.
Spiritually I died to my old self and arose a new creation in Christ.
My father died believing, but with no time to be baptised as have many people. Being baptised is not essential to your salvation especially not to an organisation it should be in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit only.
Rest assured your children are not required to sign up to the Borg to be saved it’s all about Jesus Christ and our Fathers love and grace.
Romans 10 says it all, don’t trust in my words be guided by the Holy Spirits words.
True Faced❤️My Favorite: https://youtu.be/7pzZnG_iOgU
Raymond Franz books
Interviews with EXJW / Elders / Bethelites/ Pioneers
Youtube: Mark O’Donnell / John Redwood
John Cedar channel
M. James Penton:
I just woke up last week, search for the truth like silver and gold using critical thinking to make up your mind and your heart.
There’s so much more out there I’m sure
Kay not sure if you will ever read this, but I am an ex JW never disfellowshipped just quietly stepped aside 22 years ago. I’ve seen my family shredded apart. My dad was an elder he was disfellowshipped for finding historical facts that proved lies of WBTS. My two younger sisters also disfellowshipped causing many years of ill decisions that still haunt them today. This is a product of early teenage baptism that in my opinion should be illegal. My mom passed away years ago, her obsession with this religion damaged the real communication she should have had with my sisters at the time of my family’s disillusion period. My father in law and mother in law, still are practicing JW along with my brother in law and his wife. The four living examples of loving decent people that are still under the spell and are totally disconnected from society and incapable of making their own decisions because they are still under the control and threads of this organization. Be careful.
Press Release for Immediate Publication
(To be included in Chapter Three of the soon to be released book, “Masters & Slaves of Modern Religion”. This new book deals with the major religious cults that operate today.)
From an inside report from the New York headquarters of the Watchtower Society, they are now entering into panic mode regarding the shrinking funds and the desperate need to realize their existing assets and somehow get their hands on more cash. We thought it expedient to include this report submitted by one of our reporters. He reviews the drastic steps taken to date by the Governing Body of this religion and their financial ‘wiz-kids’ in order to realize more income and funds to cover their dramatically increasing costs, especially including the millions of dollars involved in the pending court cases for child molestation and sexual abuse.
As a result of having to cease selling their literature from door to door and now being compelled to give it away in order to avoid sales tax, plus the expected donations for their literature did not material as expected and was a failed “business decision”. Owing to shrinking funds they then introduced the scheme known as “stealth tithing” in which the local congregations were compelled to make compulsory monthly donations, also known as “pledges”. This manipulative scheme has also not produced the desired increase in funds that they expected. The Governing Body had already taken steps to cut back and close down many of their branch offices and as they owned the actual property that held these branches they sold off these properties for reasonable profits, but this also did not cover their increasing demand for funds.
They had now also sold off their ‘nest egg’, the numerous properties that they owned in New York City, most of which were bought many years ago when property prices were cheap. The Watchtower Society realized over one billion dollars from the sale of these properties but had to use a large slice to build their new headquarters in Warwick, upstate New York, built on a disused toxic waste site. The remaining balance was put toward current expenses but this amount also fell far short of the cash they desperately needed. So what was the next step? They sold the recently built luxury Branch Offices in London, England, in order to realize more funds as that property, which they owned outright but had actually been built by the local brothers by means of voluntary labour and donations. This property had increased so much in value that they took advantage of the rocketing real estate market in north London and used some of the proceeds to build a new British branch office on an old farm that had been donated to the Watchtower Society from a deceased estate of a loyal member of this religion and that was being used as a scrap yard for rotting vehicles. The quality of this new branch building built on Temple Farm was of a much reduced standard when compared to the previous premises in Mill Hill, North London, so the balance of the proceeds was sent to the head office in the USA. Once again this was still not enough to cover the insatiable demand for more funds.
The next step that was considered, as pointed out by the financial advisers to the Governing Body was that they were actually sitting on a ‘gold mine’, being the local Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses, most of which were currently owned by the more than 100,000 congregations throughout the world. It was the traditional method that local Kingdom Halls were built by the local brothers by means of their own donations, volunteer labour and secured loans and the ownership of the building was held by a local ‘board of trustees’ made up of leading members of each particular congregation. The Governing Body was advised by their financial gurus that if only there was a way that the ownership of these thousands of Kingdom Halls, which must be valued in the millions could somehow be transferred to the Head Office of the Watchtower Society.
In their desperate attempt for more funds they issued instructions to all local congregations that a new financial arrangement was to be introduced, supposedly for the benefit of the local Witnesses and the Watchtower Society in general and the scheme that was then enforced was that each congregation dissolve their local ‘board of trustees’ and transfer these properties to a ‘central board of trustees’, which in turn was owned and controlled by the Watchtower Society itself.
Of course it is one thing taking ownership of a property but was no use except to use as collateral maybe for further equity loans, which would be an impossibility in view of the financial condition of the Watchtower Society, plus all the pending legal cases in the pipeline. So an underhanded scheme was introduced to close down many congregations and amalgamate them with other nearby congregation thus freeing up surplus Kingdom Hall buildings and property. In turn these properties could then be placed on the open market for sale and thus release further funds to pour unto their bottomless bucket. As already pointed out in this report, this scheme has already been successfully employed and the first Kingdom Halls are now for sale, but as this type of building would only attract a certain market it would be truly a ‘buyer’s market’ only. So it remains to be seen if this last phase of attempts to raise the desperately needed funds will be a success or not.
What the governing body of the Watchtower Society must have now come to realize that they have now used about every trick in the book to raise these desperately needed funds and there really is now no other source of funding they can turn too, thus the reason why they are now in panic mode. They must also now be fully aware of what their founder, Charles Russell prophesied over one hundred years ago, as this self-fulfilling prophesy is now clearly taking place.
As early as the second issue of the Watch Tower, in August 1879, Brother Russell stated: “Zions Watch Tower” has, we believe, JEHOVAH for its backer, and while this is the case it will never, ever neither beg nor petition men for support. When He who says: “All the gold and silver of the mountains are mine, fails to provide the necessary funds, we will understand it to be time to suspend the publication.” Consistent with that, there is no begging for money in the literature of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Quote from Watchtower publication, “Jehovah’s Witnesses Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom,” chap. 21, p. 340.)
Also Charles Taze Russell refused to imitate the churches of Christendom. He wrote: “It is our judgment that money raised by the various begging devices in the name of our Lord is offensive, unacceptable to him, and does not bring his blessing either upon the givers or the work accomplished. (Quote from Watchtower publication, “Jehovah’s Witnesses Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom”, chap. 21, p. 342.)
We once again repeat the wise words of the founder of this religion, “(When God) fails to provide the necessary funds, we will understand it to be time to suspend the publication (of the Watchtower magazine and also this now sham of a religious cult.)” (Italics ours) Will the current leaders of this religion accept this stark fact or continue to bury their heads in the sand and wallow in self-pity? (GH)