An Elder shares his honest opinions

August 2nd, 2009

By “Shadow Elder”

Before I express my opinion to the readers and contributors to this website (www.ex-jw.com), I would like to explain who I am and to present my bona fides as someone qualified to comment on this website and Jehovah’s Witnesses in general.

First of all, I am an active Jehovah’s Witness living just outside of New York City. Being a large metropolis, Watchtower shadow manNew York has many Kingdom Halls located within the city and several more in surrounding boroughs, counties, and suburbs. This puts me right next to the Brooklyn Bethel headquarters, in an area where Jehovah’s Witnesses are quite active and well represented in the local population. If you want to know what average Jehovah’s Witnesses are thinking, New York and New England would be a good place to start.

I am in my early 50s, married, with four adult sons. My wife and I own our home and I drive an older four-door Japanese sedan – a perfect car to use for field service. I work as a manager for a national company connected to the food services industry. I earn a decent salary, but we are far from being rich. We get by, but it can be very expensive living in a large city, even when your needs are modest.

I have been a Jehovah’s Witness for most of my life. My parents were Witnesses and remained faithful in the Truth until they passed away a few years ago. My father professed to be of the Anointed class – my mother did not. I have been selected as an elder and have held ministerial servant and overseer positions at several Kingdom Halls.

Now that I’ve explained who I am, I would like to share some of my observations and opinions, not only about this website and others, but also about the attitudes of many current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I think that the readers of this article should consider it to be a “come to Jesus moment” for all of us. Hopefully, when I’m finished we’ll all see the light, recognize the errors of our ways, and take a new approach to jumping in on the ongoing debates over the teachings and lifestyle of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Debate over Watchtower teachings

I realize as an elder that I am speaking out against the very organization I try to faithfully represent, but I personally think that the Governing Body is wrong by teaching that only what they teach us, as printed in the Watchtower publications, should be considered to be “the truth.” They’ve made the expression of any personal opinions or group debates over their official versions of Biblical truths subject to disciplinary action – often leading to someone being disfellowshipped.

That is why I feel that I must keep my own identity somewhat anonymous. I don’t feel that addressing problems within the organization should be punished as long as it is done with good intent and an honest heart, but that is the way things are at this time. Until Jehovah changes the hearts and understanding of the Governing Body through his Holy Spirit and love for his Witnesses on Earth, I don’t want my family to suffer because I want to speak out. I’m not ready for that. I’m not sure I will ever be prepared to leave the Truth.

To be a faithful Witness of Jehovah, according to the Governing Body, you must accept what they teach without question and without debate. I personally know of several excellent and otherwise faithful brothers and sisters who have left the organization or have been disfellowshipped because they honestly questioned just a few details of the Watchtower’s doctrinal teachings.

I personally disagree with several current teachings of the Watchtower. My firm belief is that while we are trying to spread the good news of Jehovah’s Kingdom and trying to live an exemplary Christian lifestyle, not everything in the Watchtower is totally correct. My choice, at least at this time, is to keep my opinions to myself when in the presence of other Jehovah’s Witnesses and hope that the Holy Spirit clears up what errors we might be teaching as younger, more thoughtful, and loving men take the leadership of Jehovah’s earthly organization. That said, I do have some serious issues with the credibility of the current leadership of the Watchtower Society.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom book describes the process of gaining full understanding of the truth as entering a dark room and allowing the light to shine brighter gradually until the room is fully lit. At the same time they wrote, “…Truth remains truth. Jehovah’s will and purpose, as outlined in the Bible, remain fixed…But their [the WT organization’s] understanding of these truths gets progressively clearer ‘at the proper time,’ Jehovah’s due time.”

It makes no sense that honest debate about the truth of certain beliefs can be treated as a sin against the Holy Spirit, while the final version of the “truth” is still being fine tuned. After all, the Governing Body VOTES on what new teachings will be published or presented at our assemblies. Does that mean that their debates and votes are also a sin against the Holy Spirit? If the Governing Body is acting under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, shouldn’t all their votes be unanimous? Are those who voted against the majority being influenced by Satan? After the vote is taken, why should that particular teaching ever be changed due to “new light”? Does not the Holy Spirit know what is true and what is not? Or does the Holy Spirit inspire the Governing Body to purposely publish incorrect information from time to time – just to keep us off-kilter? This entire concept of the Governing Body being guided by Holy Spirit is frankly ridiculous and inconceivable.

I feel that the Watchtower Society is totally wrong by holding this unsupported position. After all, very few of the teachings of Russell and Rutherford are still held to be “truth.” Where was the Holy Spirit prior to Rutherford’s death in 1942, back when almost every Witness was considered to be a member of the Anointed remnant? Who was guiding the leadership of the Watchtower Society back then?

I feel that the only honest position to be taken is that the Watchtower Society is still, like the rest of us, studying the Bible and trying to find the real truth of God’s Word. Until that is finally achieved, if that should ever come to pass, honest debate and personal study of the Bible should be encouraged – not treated as an act that deserves punishment and banishment from the rest of Jehovah’s people.

Support of Watchtower teachings by current Jehovah’s Witnesses

As I read the comments sections on this and other so-called “apostate” websites, I see many responses that have been submitted by those who are studying or consider themselves to be faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses. My comment to them is that they may be doing more harm than good in the way they respond. Let me explain:

Learn how to write! How can you support the Watchtower’s position that getting a higher education is a waste of time – time better spent in Kingdom service – if you can’t spell, punctuate, and develop a well-considered thought? For Jehovah’s sake – learn how to use your spell-checker. Even Yahoo and Google mail have built in spell checkers. Before you submit your comment, write it in a word processor or as a draft email – then spell-check and grammar check it. Your comments do not have to be perfect, but writing like an ignorant 8-year old hillbilly is not giving Jehovah the good representation he deserves. (If you are either an 8-year old or a hillbilly, please accept my apology.)

Many Witnesses will deny the facts of a story that’s been printed and then make statements that details presented were untrue or that the article writer was lying. Take funerals for example: There have been many descriptions of Witness funerals on this website and others, especially connected to the Michael Jackson stories. I have to be honest with you – they quite accurately describe what happens at a JW funeral. The writer on this website even provided a link to a funeral talk outline as supporting documentation. His descriptions, I’m sorry to say, were right on the mark.

I’ve given funeral talks and have used an outline that is very close to the one shown on the link. I’ve counseled families before the talk began to please control themselves and to hold their emotions until a more appropriate time, preferably in the privacy of their own home. If there were ushers assigned, they were told to politely hush or escort out anyone who might seem to lose control and cause a disturbance.

Most accurately described was the fact that the speaker is very restricted as to how much he can say about the deceased. If the family insists, then we ask that they hold any additional memorial presentations until after the talk is over and the mourners have been excused. We suggest that they handle those remembrances at the reception, or in their own home later, but not during the funeral program.

The family will often ask to play a favorite song of the deceased before or after the talk. If it is from the Kingdom Song Book, then we could allow it to be played. If it was a secular song or instrumental then I was supposed to deny their request. What possible harm to anyone could result from the playing of a beautiful secular classical piece or movie theme music? When the son of a deceased elder, a professional musician, asked to play a song of his own for his father’s funeral – his request was denied. I feel the Watchtower Society does its members a severe disservice by not allowing a faithful Witness to be properly remembered and mourned.

For a Witness to access this, or any other website, and then try to deny the truth of what really happens during a Witness funeral, a Watchtower study, an assembly or convention, or even what we really do during field service – is in itself promoting a lie. What happens when new people actually do come to the Kingdom Hall or go to a Witness funeral and realize that what was written on an “apostate” website was really the truth – and that the comments by Jehovah’s Witnesses were lies?

What about the question of “shunning?” As Jehovah’s Witnesses we all know what the Society’s rules are about the treatment of disfellowshipped and disassociated former members. To get on one of these websites and then deny that we shun anyone, especially family, is clearly misstating the facts. When is the purposeful misstating of facts not a lie?

What about the facts surrounding the failed prophecy of 1975? To say that the Watchtower “never said that Armageddon was going to come in 1975” is also a dishonest and misleading statement. There is printed proof, YouTube videos, and published articles in major newspapers and the Society’s own publications that prove that 1975 was the central theme of nearly every book, magazine and public talk from 1968 to 1975. I was very active at that time and I know the truth. What do you gain by denying it and saying that it never happened?

So be honest with yourself. Are you really doing the right thing by denying the truth? What impression does that leave with those who are on the fence about joining us in preaching the good news?  Is it not better to remain silent than to deny the truth? Does Jehovah really need or want you to lie to protect his earthly organization? Can we not admit the truth of our past mistakes and just move on?

Critics of the Watchtower – Are you being honest about your motives?

At one time or another I’ve probably seen most of the so-called “apostate” websites. I have to say that by far the majority of them are junk – poorly written, angry, and ridiculous. Many websites are poorly laid out, hard to read, and out-of-date. Ever try to read a sentence in 10-point type that goes clear across the entire page on a wide-screen monitor? Many ex-Witnesses apparently felt the need to get online and publish their angry tirades in an attempt to hurt the Watchtower and make Jehovah’s Witnesses look like fools. After a while they lost interest and never updated or modernized their websites. My suggestion to those persons is to just take them down – they are only detracting from your message and hurting the reputations of other serious and well-designed critical websites.

Likewise, I have to admit that there are many nicely presented and well written websites. Besides presenting their arguments in well-written formats and in clear language, several of them contain a lot of good documentation that is no longer available from any other source – some even acceptable for use by active Jehovah’s Witnesses – such as old Watchtowers and the early writings of Pastor Russell. I’ve seen some very impressive apostate videos showing up on YouTube that have professional graphics and narration that are comparable to the productions of major TV and online news outlets.

Unfortunately, too many of the apostate sites have been set up to promote and support the teachings of some other religious organization, church or personal ministry. I’ve seen several that are clearly evangelical or mainstream Protestant in tone and in teachings. Believe me when I say there are enough negatives about the Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses to be discussed on your website without trying to convince your readers to once again believe in the doctrines of The Trinity, Heaven and Hell, or some other fable of Christendom. I’m sorry, but you are wasting your time and your website won’t draw any real interest from Jehovah’s Witnesses if you attack their core beliefs while supporting the archaic and rehashed orthodox teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and major Protestant denominations.

I suggest that if you want to run a successful anti-Watchtower website you use the examples of this one (www.Ex-JW.com) or Randall Watters’ www.FreeMinds.org . Concentrate your fair and truthful arguments against the history, culture and teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses on one website. Then link to a different website where you can present your own personal religious beliefs – whatever they might be. Keep your websites focused on their main purpose and leave the doctrinal debates to another time and another website.

Advice to Bloggers and Apostate website editors

To the critics and apostates who create and publish blogs and websites, I offer the following advice with all seriousness:

Stop being stupid and amateurish; unless you are a professional comedian, you are not funny. Stay away from satire or parody if you don’t understand how to present them properly. Don’t create videos or write on your blog after you’ve just finished off a six-pack or a joint. Get rid of the stupid baseball cap and shave if you are going to appear in your own videos. Speak and write clearly in acceptable English; lose the slang and profanity. You do not help your cause by becoming a stumbling block to the very people you are trying to reach because of your obnoxious use of language and bad behavior.


That’s all I have to say for now. I thank the editor of Ex-JW.com for allowing me to present my arguments even though he and I hold very different opinions about the Truth as preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Maybe someday I’ll even send him another article.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally sent to me by email. The writer wasn’t sure if this should be a comment to an existing article or sent separately. I asked his permission to publish it as a contributed article. He agreed as long as he could disguise his identity a bit to avoid any problems for him and his family since he is currently an elder in his congregation. He allowed me to edit the article for readability and organization, but the words and thoughts are all his. I think his presentation is fair-minded and balanced and might represent the thinking of many active Jehovah’s Witnesses. I invite other Witnesses that would like to contribute their personal stories or opinions to submit them to me. Please contact me by email or through the use of the contact form located elsewhere on this website.

Categories: JW Teachings, Opinion

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Comments Feed161 Comments

  1. Kevin

    Isn’t it strange that the author claims to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, most of his life, yet he seems to be unaware that the word ‘Jehovah’ is a proper noun? Therefore, he was ‘one of’ Jehovah’s Witnesses, or ‘is’ as the case may be. Perhaps stranger is that he follows later with:

    Learn how to write! How can you support the Watchtower’s position that getting a higher education is a waste of time – time better spent in Kingdom service – if you can’t spell, punctuate, and develop a well-considered thought? For Jehovah’s sake – learn how to use your spell-checker. Even Yahoo and Google mail have built in spell checkers. Before you submit your comment, write it in a word processor or as a draft email – then spell-check and grammar check it. Your comments do not have to be perfect, but writing like an ignorant 8-year old hillbilly is not giving Jehovah the good representation he deserves.

  2. Editor

    Kevin,
    As the Editor of this article I take note of your issue with the wording and take full responsibility for any grammatical errors that make it into the final version, but I can’t determine which specific sentence you are referring to. Of course “Jehovah” is a proper noun, but I am not sure where the name or the title was misused.

    I’ve read my edited version of the article and his original email draft, and I do not see where you read anything that would indicate his credibility to be questionable. I’d like to know how you determined that in your own mind. Feel free to reply here or send me an email.

    By the way, you have an extra comma between “Witnesses” and “most of his life…”

  3. Hannah

    Kevin,

    You’re off-base. Please support your claim more specifically.

  4. Richard E. Kelly

    Wow! What a powerful statement you just made. And all you’ve done is plainly speak the truth as you know it to be. But alas, I’m not certain that the people who should be reading this post and acting accordingly will do so or will be able to do anything about it. It will only be your secret. But, it’s now out there and we will see what we will see.
    When I was at Bethel, I learned that many of the long-time members were non believers, but they also believed it was too late for them to leave. Fortunately for me at age twenty, I decided that I could no longer live my life this way. I had to be true to myself and so I left the organization. And forty-five years later, I have absolutely no regrets.

  5. James Gordon

    This is nothing new. As an ex Jehovah Witness, I have personally seen not just a few, but hundreds of people leave the organization after the failed prophesy of 1975. I was one of them. The Bible is very clear about people that say they are prophets and make false prophesies. There is also a warning in the Bible that says to get out of her my people, speaking of false religion. Jesus also told Pilot that his kingdom was no part of this world. In that statement Jesus is showing that his Kingdom, is no part of this world, and He taught that in the proper time his Kingdom would rule the earth. So, if what Jesus said is true. Then there is no organization on the earth from the time of Jesus to this very day that is part of God’s kingdom. The Good News or gospel is about God bringing his Kingdom down to earth with his Christ as king. Only then will the earth have a kingdom that is part of God’s heavenly organization.

  6. Carol

    I question why the Jehovah’s Witness Bible has different translations than all of the mainstream Christian Bibles. For example in Luke, when the Angel Gabriel makes his announcement to Mary, she replies “Behold, Jehovah’s slave girl”. Rather, the other translations refer to her as handmaiden. The Latin word is ancilla from whence we derive the word ancillary or helper or support person. If she is Jehovah’s slave girl, it makes God seem like a tyrant who would just use a woman as a vessel and in the process she has no free will. God does not ask us to be “slaves” but free servants. After all, she was to carry Jesus in her womb, hardly a task that a “slave” would do.

  7. Anchor

    I personally enjoyed “Shadow Elders” e-mail, not only because it was interesting and entertaining, but I’m happy that he also can see that the GB are only men no more “inspired” than the rest of the Witnesses or any other believer in Christ striving to seek the truth in Scripture.

    I thought that he was RIGHT ON! Quite correct concerning many of his observations with his advice for both JW and former JW.

    I do want to say this though: If he is waiting for the GB to change their mind concerning the 1914 doctrine, I hope that he is not holding his breath! And God is not going to make them change their minds. They’ll have to change them on their own just like the leaders did the other “old light” which God didn’t give to them since it was not light in the first place at all but error.

    I’m glad at least to see that he now has his eyes opened concerning the GB and that not all their teachings are correct. Thanks for sharing his e-mail 🙂

    Sheila Rae

    PS He’s got a lot ahead of him now. Once a person gets their eyes opened to the WT Society, there’s no going back to the way a person’s mind was before.

  8. Anchor

    @Anchor – Oh, yes, another thing. Since ALL of the “anointed” have the job of “feeding the sheep at the proper time”, then why, during all of those earlier Watchtower years (and even till now) were all of the books and literature mainly written by just a few “anointed” men? : C.T. Russell (during his presidency) and “Judge” Rutherford during his presidency. Freddy Franz books and writings during bro Knorrs presidency and a handful of men after that? Since there are thousands of the “anointed” still alive then why is there non “anointed” writing in the writing department? All of the writings have to be edited by the GB?
    What’s the other THOUSANDS of the other “anointed” doing? Taking orders? Why didn’t they also write books and why aren’t they ALSO “feeding the Sheep”? Why doesn’t the GB place an “anointed” in each congregation (if there isn’t one) and let THEM ALSO, carry out their commission of “feeding the sheep”? Seems like most of the “anointed” have been either slackers or the WT Society has been taken over by just a few men, and the other “anointed” are afraid to speak up for fear of also being disfellowshiped for QUESTIONING the GB teachings and given THE BOOT?

    Is the GB (12 men) afraid that the others don’t have enough Holy Spirit to also oversee and “feed” the congregations? Why are they so silent?
    These are questions all Jehovah’s Witnesses should be asking. Something is just too fishy here with this scene. As I said, most of the books have been written by mainly a handful of the “anointed” since the begining of the Watchtower Society and the Watchtower began it’s printing. Why aren’t the rest also feeding the sheep and writing books? First C.T. Russell, and all of his “Studies in the Scriptures” and other books and literature, then Rutherford and all of his “rainbow book series” and more (which you can see in the Proclaimer’s book) then Knorr, who mainly let Freddy Franz do a lot of the writing, and the few men who are doing it today. Again why the silence from the other thousands of “anointed”?

    Sheila Rae

  9. Editor

    Anchor,
    I thought that “Shadow Elder” made an excellent point regarding the remnant of the “Anointed” class. We were taught that the 144,000 heavenly bound ones would rule with Jesus and lead his people on Earth. In reality, many of those who were originally included as being among the “Anointed” never had any say in what was taught in the Watchtower or by the Governing Body. With 9,000 “anointed partakers of the emblems” still available, why are so many in high positions at Bethel considered to be members of the “great crowd.”
    “Elder’s” point about all of the changes in doctrine and policy since the 1920s and 1930s is very strong and should be given great consideration. How could the Watchtower Society, when it was populated almost entirely by members of the “anointed class” get things so wrong – and yet now, when most of those people are dead and gone, the WT is supposedly getting closer the the truth when mostly “other sheep” are running the show?

  10. HeavensDove

    The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed; Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; not as being lords over those entrusted to you but being examples of the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will recieve the crown of glory that does not fade away. 1 Peter 5: 1-4.

    John 21: 15-17, Jesus told Peter 3 things, Feed My lambs, Tend My sheep and Feed My sheep. This is the call or responsibility of the earthly shepereds, i.e. elders and ministers, an awesome responsibilty. This means lives!

    And finally, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7

    If you are in doubt, then why not be the example that you are to be and state your concerns to the GB. Who knows, you may have been raised up for such a time as this.

    At the end of the day, who cares how a website looks or if there are errors in spelling. The fact of the matter is, the JW’s have replaced the use of God’s Word with the WT. By accepting the unauthorized earthly GB, they have also replaced the gospel of the risen Savior, Jesus Christ, Who is the Head of the Body (church or congregation) and Who sits at the right hand of Adonai (Jehovah).

  11. William

    I also have a youtube channel – http://www.youtube.com/hebrews413
    I am not a JW or an ex-JW. I just wanted to say that I appreciate the “shadow elder’s” article. I have been studying with some JW’s and have questioned some things, I have been lied to and facts from the past have been deemed “irrelevant” by those I have been studying with. If all JW’s had the same mentality as this elder, maybe they wouldn’t be so “brainwashed” as to defend the Watchtower at all costs. If that was the case, then we could actually go to the Bible, and the Bible alone, to see what is the truth using critical thinking rather than whatever some man (or group of men) has told us what the Bible says. Either you, sir, are the most rational and independent JW I have ever heard (in this case read of), or you are well on your way to leave that cult. Good for you.

  12. William

    @William
    It didn’t show up, but my website is http://www.springhillcoc.webs.com

  13. Editor

    @William – William – thank you for your comment. If you leave a website when you register to post a comment then it will show up when someone clicks on your name if the color is blue. If the color is black, then that means that the person who wrote the comment did not include a website address. Try it out! It’s all automatic.

  14. Editor

    Mike,
    Please keep your comments to the subject at hand rather than attacking others personally. You don’t know what knowledge Hannah has about Jehovah’s Witnesses and their teachings. I won’t judge your own personal level of understanding, but so far all I’ve seen you do is paraphrase Watchtower publications. Try appealing to the logic and facts of an issue, rather than attacking others or simply quoting from JW literature. You’ll gain no converts here by being either a hawk or a parrot for the old men in Brooklyn.


    Editor’s Note: Please note that since I submitted the above reply, this poster has been permanently banned from Ex-JW.com for plagiarism. See my comments below.-JH

  15. 7000ptt

    There are members of the anointed that are doing exactly as Jesus instructed. “Feed My Sheep”. Those that are mourning and sighing over the detestable things are finding the web-sites. Take care my brothers

  16. Ellen

    I was born and raised as a JW and my father is an elder. I’m nearly 40 (so that puts my birth a few years before the 1975 fiasco) and this organization has become more unreasonable and ridiculous even since I’ve been alive.

    More and more emphasis is put on the GB being the FINAL word on anything and how they’re NOT to be questioned less Jehovah’s wrath be incurred.

    THAT, my friends, is one hallmark of a cult. A charismatic leader who is not to be questioned. Granted the GB is not one person but 9 old men who essentially functions as “the leader.”

    They are mentioned in talks, assemblies, and publications more than ever. When I was a child, you didn’t hear all this constant praise and “thank you Jehovah for providing the GB” during prayers.

    That’s leader WORSHIP, my friends.

    I would not be surprised if soon the witnesses will be praying to Jehovah THROUGH the GB rather than Jesus.

    The organization is also getting more and more controlling over witnesses. Most witnesses are led to believe that it’s for their own good, but that is yet another hallmark of a cult.

    I lost all faith (which I consider to be a good thing) in my late teens/early twenties. The first thing I was surprised to learn was that not every so-called “apostate” was evil, vengeful, or hateful or trying to start their own religion. Many are people who have been hurt terribly.

    Here’s something interesting about apostates. Being labeled an apostate can be time specific. One year you’re a faithful servant of Jehovah, the next year you’re an apostate if you don’t accept what the GB publishes.

    Really what finished off my faith was finding out how the GB operates (Franz’ Crisis of Conscience).

    VOTING?! Especially on doctrines that affect each and every witness’ understanding of scripture and in some cases, lives (blood policy).

    Time was, you abstained from blood, and that mean everything. Now there’s fractions and componenets that are acceptable. How many people have died over the blood issue? Too many. What do you say to the people who lost a loved one when the blood issue was more strict (no blood or fractions at all) when an accepted (now) fractioned would have saved them?

    Blood guilt to be sure.

    When does a ham sandwich cease being a ham sandwich? Answer that and then explain the blood fractions.

    And what about the WT’s status as an NGO in the UN? Hypocritical considering the vitriol spewed in the Revelation book towards that particular organization.

    If you believe the WTBTS and the JWs to have the truth, fine. But quite frankly, the GB (and subsequently JWs as well) has destroyed their credibility as the only ones with the truth.

    Thank you for the article.

  17. j

    well, interesting reading, but may I clear up one point.
    I believe it’s only if the funeral is held at the kingdom hall that kingdom songs rather than secular music is preferred. My dad was an elder and we had his favourite jazz track playing at the end of the service, but it was held at the crematorium, likewise with another friend, his favourite classical piece, again, at the crem..

  18. Ashley

    I have to say that I find criticisms of Witnesses’ grammar to be rather cheap and little more than a form of victim-blaming. There is a classic dichotomy in every congregation that any ex-JW can attest to — the educated, upper-class elites and the uneducated, lower-class followers. The lower-class Witnesses — those more likely to suffer from socioeconomic problems, physical and emotional disabilities, and the general despondency caused by the organization — are routinely put down by the upper-class elites as a form of social control via establishment of intellectual, religious, and economic dominance. Any kid with a semester of Intro to Soc under their belt could spot that same tactic, whether intentional or not, in this post from a mile away, particularly since the entire post is structured with the establishment of higher-than-yours credentials leading into authoritarian views of what is and isn’t acceptable. It’s an attempt to demean other Witnesses for not being at the same level as you. You’re an elder, the epitome of godliness in the eyes of most low-level Witnesses, and you’re calling out the flock for not being good enough. How do you not see the issue with that?

    To criticize Witnesses and blame them for their lack of education is to ignore the entire structure of the organization. As even this very blog has noted, most Witnesses today are struggling to obtain any form of education or socioeconomic advancement. Homeschooling is rampant, higher education is associated with walking into a pit of fire, and the only “literature” Witnesses are supposed to read is written at a level of 2-3 on the literacy scale. Witnesses are deliberated prevented from obtaining higher literacy skills, particularly reading comprehension. And as we all know, the only way to develop good writing skills is to first develop good reading skills. In turn, they are kept down economically, which dumps them into that “hillbilly” category you deride. How can we ask people to maintain a high level of literacy when they’re still working to achieve a merely functional level? Be careful about the way you choose to criticize what you help to enforce.

    I applaud every Witness, current and former, who is so much as trying to make an effort to communicate. They shouldn’t have to be ashamed of who they are and how they write at a time when they are dealing with much more significant issues. Calling people out for their grammar — or their “low-class” beards, baseball caps, and beer — is the intellectual equivalent of fish in a barrel. Considering that you already exert substantial social control over the behavior of others in your flock, please don’t feel the need to seek it on-line as well. Unless, of course, you also don’t want your arguments to be taken seriously. And please, check your own privilege when trying to “guide” us in the right direction.

  19. Editor

    Ashley,

    Thank you for your comments on the article by “Shadow Elder.” In a recent email to me, he commented on the criticism he has received about his remarks on the quality of writing by both current JWs and ex-JWs who either reply to blogs or set up their own websites. He wrote, “I was probably too tough on some people and too soft on others. I don’t want to over criticize nor judge the sincerity of anyone who feels the need to write about their JW faith – or lack thereof. The point I was trying to make was that their own lack of writing skills could stumble unaffiliated readers who are interested in reading different points of view. Most of my criticism was really directed to the ex-JWs who try to convince their readers that the Witnesses are less than honorable Christians, while they present themselves in their blogs or on YouTube as being obnoxious and incoherent “stoners.” Do they really think that acting that way gives them any credibility? I think it hurts their cause.”

    “Shadow Elder” might come off as an elitist JW since he has some authority over the flock of his Kingdom Hall. I feel that his main problems with the Watchtower Society are not with the average JW who is trying hard to be a good Christian so that they can get through this world and survive Armageddon. His problem is with the Governing Body and others at the WT headquarters that really do not care about their “great crowd” of followers. As most major religious organizations are becoming more modern and liberal in many of their views, it seems as if the leadership of the Watchtower Society is becoming more hard-line, more controlling, and far less liberal about their teachings. They claim that they are both led by the Holy Spirit, but do not have any special inspiration or prophetic powers. They compare themselves to the prophets of old, yet they claim that no angels or spirits actually guide them. They do not claim to be infallible and admit to making mistakes and not fully understanding all Bible truths, yet they do not allow any suggestions, commentary or dissent from their followers. Where is the logic in that?

    Ashley, I also agree with your position that every JW and former JW who feels the need to communicate should be able to and not be deterred by anything, including their own lack of writing or communication skills. Anyone wanting to submit an article to Ex-JW.com is welcome to do so; we will be happy to edit it for them to correct grammatical and spelling errors, as well as trying to make their article more readable. That’s what I did with Shadow Elder’s article submission and he was OK with the final results. We don’t ask for perfect writing skills – what we want are good, honest ideas and comments that will interest our readers and get people to think about their own positions and beliefs.

  20. Bettie Weinberg

    How is it that among the supposed 144,000 anointed class, there are women – and men with wives and children? The Bible – and this is in your Jehovah’s Witness Bible, true believers! – says in Revelations 14:4 that the 144,000 are all “men who have never laid with n or touched a woman”. The words are not simply “pure” or even “virgin”. “Men who have never laid with nor touched a woman” is very specific, very clear and down-to-earth language.

  21. Bettie Weinberg

    I went to the Memorial in 2009 (Easter for Witnesses, basically.). The scripture read was Revelations 7 to about 15 or so. They read each and every line aloud until they came to that wonderfully precise, obvious, clear line about how the 144,00 were all “men who have never laid with or touched a woman”. And what happened when they reached that line? The leader/speaker skipped smoothly over it – not reading ONLY that ONE line – and the congregation did the same. Why did they skip over just that single line? It seems obvious that someone in charge realized how it could take down the faith in a heartbeat. There isn’t just the false prophesies and “old light/new light”: now any reasonable person can see that most of their “anointed” brethren were not anointed, after all. Unless they are male virgins or gay males, perhaps? “Men who have never laid with or touched a woman” – you can’t twist this sentence to make it include women and “family men”. And the leader of the reading KNEW that….that’s why he skipped that line and only that line.

  22. Editor

    @Bettie Weinberg – These are excellent points, Bettie, and some that Jehovah’s Witnesses should consider. There are so many issues with the Watchtower’s interpretation of Revelations. Much of what they teach actually is in direct opposition to what Revelations is quite clear about. For instance, how can they claim that Jesus return as King to rule over all of the world in 1914 was “invisible,” when Revelation 1:7 states quite emphatically that “Behold, he comes with clouds; and EVERY EYE shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen!”
    Thanks, Bettie, for taking an interest in Ex-JW.com and offering so many well-considered comments.

  23. anonymys

    you guys are so ignorant, wait till the end comes, you all will be crying and shouting to the heavans so that God could spare your lives… apostates….

  24. Someone was in the congreg

    I understand why you feel that way. I have read WT publications too long years until stomach got full and now ready to throw up all of it. All it need is honestly in the heart, open EYES, and open MINDS to see the truth and error. The counterfeit closely resembles the original. The only way to test what is right is to bring it and test them in the Bible. The Bible is our only safe guide to eternal life. but Watchtower teaching contradicts the teaching of the Bible. It needs prayerful and careful examination of Scripture.
    There going to be surprises at the end. You will be surprised who was apostates !! The Bible appropriately apply the symbolic word :Babylon to “apostate (fallen spiritual world. The false teachings are symbolized as “wine of Babylon”. Many are drunk of the false teaching and need to come out of it to see God’s truth. Rvelation14 & Rev.18 chapters illustrate well).

  25. Elmay

    All good comments. Depending what one knows, and poine of view established through W T experiences and considering the publications of W T doctrine through the G B since it was establilshed.
    As to who is an apostate. I believe the Bible considers an apostate “one who brings teachings other than what Jesus taught as received or learned from our God and Father, the law and the prophets. So where conscienciously can the the G B enforce their “Apostate”
    practice to the harm of so many families, individuals?
    Just one point. How can they say that Jehovah is the God of the Bible, since it was not framed until 1270 according to the Aid Book and Insight Book references. So who and what is Jehovah? Not Yaweh, as Jewish scolars prefer but an adaptation of the Latin Jehova to Jehovah? So who and what are the Jehovah’s Witnesses and what do they witness to since no end as predicted as come since late 1800s or throughout all of the 1900s? Thank You for listening. former, quit witness.
    Elmay

  26. Kevin

    @Editor – Here you go:

    1. Paragraph 2 – First of all, I am an active Jehovah’s Witness living just outside of New York City. (This should be “I am an active Witness of Jehovah…”)

    2. Paragraph 4 – I have been a Jehovah’s Witness for most of my life. (This should be “I have been an active Witness of Jehovah for most of my life…”

    This misuse of the term is one of the most common misunderstandings outside the ‘organization’, in every country I’ve been to or lived in around the world. That’s why I found it highly suspicious that an Elder would make that mistake, twice.

  27. Kevin

    @Hannah – I’m not off-base, actually. See my reply to the Editor. I’ve quoted the errors.

  28. Editor

    Kevin,
    I’m not sure what you are hoping to accomplish with your nitpicking about his use of the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

    He does use that term in his article when he writes, “To be a faithful Witness of Jehovah, according to the Governing Body…”

    I can assure you that “Shadow Elder” was, and still is, an active Witness of Jehovah. I was a Jehovah’s Witness for many years and I still have family who are Witnesses. While many JWs do identify themselves as “Witnesses of Jehovah” in more formal settings such as funerals and weddings, and even in field service, among each other they just use “Jehovah’s Witnesses” when chatting or communicating. That’s why they still refer to themselves as “JWs,” not “WoJs.”

    Communications between me and “Shadow Elder” were by email. After I received his submission, I edited his story for readability and for the style used by Ex-JW.com. I can’t remember specifically what edits I made because so much time has passed, but he might have used the WoJ title at some other point in the article that I edited back to JW.

    In any case, I challenge your assertion that somehow the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” is no longer in use. In 1931, Joseph Rutherford officially renamed the International Bible Students, announcing the new name as “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” I have an official handout (copyright 2009) given to me by a Jehovah’s Witness that came to my door. In every case, this handout refers to “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” not Witnesses of Jehovah. The Proclaimers book (p. 151-154) lists the official name in English as “Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

    For many years, the Watchtower has tried to extend the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” back to early Christian times to somehow give modern JWs more credibility. In recent years they have begun calling the apostles and disciples “early Christian witnesses of Jehovah.” I know that some modern JWs have begun calling themselves “Christian Witnesses of Jehovah,” but as far as I know that name has no official standing and it sounds rather formal to me.

    The official media site of the Watchtower Society states the following: “Jehovah’s Witnesses are members of a worldwide Christian religion who actively share with others information about God, whose name is Jehovah, and about his Son, Jesus Christ.”

    I’m sorry, but if the Watchtower Society states that the official name of their followers is “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” then I think that “Shadow Elder” should be able to use that term in his article without criticism.

    Remember, “Shadow Elder” was writing to current and former JWs, not directly to outsiders. I see no reason for him to use a more formal term in a post intended for JWs.

    Kevin, why don’t you address “Shadow Elder’s” other comments that really need some review. What about the use of voting by the Governing Body, supposedly under the influence of the Holy Spirit?

    You are always welcome to comment, but you could make better use of your time and space on this website by addressing the more meaningful issues brought up by “Shadow Elder.”

  29. LA Woman

    Interesting article…

    I am a former Jehovah’s Witness. I was raised as a JW, and made the unfortunate mistake of getting baptized one day before my tenth birthday. When I was 18, I was disfellowshipped. Several years have passed. My relatives, including my mother do not accept me. I have a cousin that was also raised in a Jehovah’s Witness household. She is a theft and a drug user. Since she was never baptized she is welcomed by everyone in our family. It is ridiculous and absurd that I am still being punished for a misinformed decision that I made as a child.

    I could go on about the mental and physical abuse I experienced in the name of “Jehovah”. Nevertheless, I do not want to present myself as a whinny victim. Perhaps at another time I will elaborate on my experiences and viewpoints. I believe that most Jehovah’s Witnesses are well meaning people. However just like all religions, their beliefs are dangerous.

  30. LA Woman

    I meant that my cousin is a “thief”.

  31. Ed

    I live in the US. Here, we have the legal right to believe whatever “truths” we want, whether others think them strange or not. If Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only 144,000 will go to heaven, or that Armageddon is just around the corner, that is their right.

    What frightens me, and what no active “Witness of Jehovah” is disputing, is that their Governing Body demands 100% adherence to everything published in the Watchtower & their many books and brochures. As was stated by Shadow Elder, questioning is just not allowed. Anyone doing so is labeled “apostate”. They state this is done to keep the congregation pure, but what really occurs is a containment of the threat to their self-assumed absolute power. This is a textbook cult maneuver. Jehovah’s Witnesses are kept so afraid of the idea of apostasy, that just invoking the word is usually sufficient to deter one of their members from investigating the history of the Society or experiences of those who decided to leave. Really, all an apostate is, is “a person who forsakes his religion, cause, party, etc. ” (dictionary.com) By going door-to-door, Jehovah’s Witnesses regularly encourage other people to become “apostates” to whatever faith they currently hold to, in order to join them in “serving Jehovah”.

    Any group, religious, political, business or otherwise that seeks to control Behavior, Information, Thought, and Emotion is immediately suspect. I’ve posted the information in another topic here already, but anyone wondering what exactly qualifies a group as a cult can find the information they need here: http://www.freedomofmind.com/resourcecenter/articles/BITE.htm

  32. Ed

    @anonymys – “you guys are so ignorant, wait till the end comes, you all will be crying and shouting to the heavans so that God could spare your lives… apostates…. ”

    Thank you for this wonderful example. If one is an “apostate”, or former Jehovah’s Witness, one cannot be “ignorant” of the fate predicted for them: destruction at Armageddon. But why be glad at the thoughts of anyone being destroyed? Doesn’t the New World Translation say at 2 Peter 3:9, “he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance”?

    My question to you is: What happens if the end doesn’t come? If you are content to continue to live a life completely controlled by the faith you have, then that is your choice. I have no desire to become a murderer, drug user, or whatever evil is assumed of those who choose not to become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I choose to spend what precious few years I may have on this earth being happy & hopefully bringing happiness to others. If it turns out that there is a God, perhaps he will choose to have mercy on me, as it is supposed to be one of his main qualities. If it turns out Jehovah’s Witnesses are correct, then at worst I simply cease to exist, just like I did for thousands of years before now. Or maybe he will read my heart and determine I’m not such a bad guy after all. Then I can go play with lions & cobras. 🙂

  33. Anonymous Elder #2

    We must obey the Governing Body & submit our lives to them otherwise we will not have God’s blessings.

    Doctrines & practices we must accept are:
    1. The truth of the Bible doesn’t matter. What matters is that you accept what the Governing Body says is truth even if you read otherwise in the Bible. You will be destroyed by God is you foolishly think you can have his approval by the Bible alone & even applying it in your lives.
    2. Only 144,000 have a personal relationship with God and Jesus as they are called his sons. Jesus in not your mediator. You cannot have Jesus or God in your life if you reject the Governing Body’s authority.
    3. The fact that we have predicted the end of the world several times in 1914, 1915, 1918, 1925 & 1975 does not make us false prophets even though our publications state that everything we publish is guided by God’s Spirit.
    Only other religions predicting the end is a false prophet but not us. Those that are to be blamed for those expectations are the brothers themselves & not us. The apology given for the expectations aroused by the Society for 1975 in the 9/15 1980 watchtower was really written by an apostate not the real governing body.
    4. Unity is more important than standing up for truth & justice. (Walsh trial 1954).
    5. When the Bible speaks of Christian freedom (Galatians) it really refers to the freedom given by what the Watchtower Society says you can & cannot do. Otherwise you will be labeled an apostate full of pride running ahead of God’s only channel of communication. So please be humble & don’t you try to understand the Bible by yourself.
    6. The fact that we specifically prohibited vaccinations, organ transplants, blood fractions in the past does not mean we are responsable for the death of thousands that dies as a result. Those people decided by their own free will to do that not the fear of being disfellowshipped. We now allow those matters as personal matters so that proves we don’t control peoples minds as you apostates claim we do.

    Please stop saying all these lies about us!

    Anonymous Elder #2

  34. drifting

    @Bettie Weinberg
    Hi I just looked up that text of Revelation 14:4 in the NWT and it says these are the ones that did not defile thenselves with women, in fact, they are virgins”…and if you read that whole paragraph it doesn’t say waht sex they are but you suppose they are men if the could have laid with women (as obviously they cannot be gay, according to Scripture standards). Just thought I would check if it said “men” but no. It makes you wonder if laying with women would be a metaphor for any sort of uncleanness….as usual, its up anyone’s interpretation…..

  35. me(:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are not just interested in arousing interest in the Kingdom message and placing Bible literature, they made 130,177,724 return visits and conducted 1,257,084 home Bible studies. Their aim in this is to make disciples by teaching responsive people ‘all the things that Christ commanded.’ (Matt. 28:19, 20) All such diligent efforts contributed toward giving a thorough witness to the most distant part of the earth.—Acts 1:8.
    It is indeed a cause for rejoicing that we have again had over five million attend the Memorial of Christ’s death. Actually 5,095,831 were present and 9,762 partook of the emblems when this most important event was observed on March 23, 1978. How clearly this indicates that we have much to do in helping millions of righthearted persons to become regularly associated with the 42,255 congregations throughout the world!

    [Remaining text deleted by Editor]

  36. Editor

    “me(:”
    I’m not sure what you were trying to prove by posting an old Yearbook report from 1979. If you’d go to your Kingdom Hall, you can get a new 2011 Yearbook with the final numbers from 2010. There has been a lot of growth in the Watchtower organization in the past 32 years, but the trends are not necessarily favorable for them.

    Growth in the USA has leveled off at about 2% per year. Many Kingdom Halls can not find enough brothers to fill their elder and ministerial servant positions. An estimated 85% of all JW youth leave the organization by the age of 22. Many Kingdom Halls are being merged because their meeting attendance has dwindled.

    Each year, more rank and file JWs are declaring themselves as “anointed ones,” partaking of the emblems at the Memorial meetings. This has effectively proven the “generation of 1914 will not pass” teaching to be a false prophecy, creating a doctrinal dilemma for the Watchtower’s writing department.

    Next time you want to make a comment, make it your own. Don’t copy text from an old Watchtower or Yearbook to try to make your point. That is simple plagiarism – and no one is impressed or influenced when you do that. It can also get you banned from this site.

  37. Angela

    I had grown up being a JW all my life. I never questioned it did everything that I was suppose to do.I enjoyed the family events like rollerskating, baseball, park and going to the movies on christmas day. People ask me was it hard not having holidays? I don’t know, when you growup with never having them you don’t know what you are missing. When I was a kid the kindom halls were all small. As I became a teenager the halls were growing in the 90’s. We had three meetings in one hall, waiting for one to be built. Now as a adult halls are everywhere and they keep knocking at my door. When I would go to Cal Expo and the whole buliding would be full, it was a neat and exciting thing to see everyone standing singing one song together. My grandparents grew up as JW and still are. Many of the JW hurt me because my dad was not an elder. No matter how hard I try to fit in I was always labeled the girl that doesn’t have a dad for an elder. There are a lot of good things that come from the JW. They work together and help each other out BUT they are very click organization. If you had money it seemed you had more friends in the kindom hall. An Elder tried to rape me and no one believe me, and thats when I had enough. I wander what if I stayed in it and raised my kids in it, would they be happy? So many people that are now JW is it the real “truth”. Everyone says the world is comming to a end I would hope since I am a good person and still believe in god will I go to pardise? Just because there are so many JW that does not mean they are all going to be in the pardise. There was a elder son that was sleeping with all the girls in the kindom hall is he going? There are alot of JW and it makes me wander. I miss my old congergation and the families I grew up with. I found some on facebook and they were nice to me still. But I’m now consider bad association. It seems the public is hush hush about the JW, but they are everywhere growing strong. I just wished as a kid I was able to be friends with others besides the JW. That rule made it hard for me at school and playing in the community. A lot of times I played by myself because there were no JW around. I remember as a kid sitting still in the chairs unable to draw, looking up the scriptures, not understand a word that was going on. I would wish for a playground and wander why did my parents pick a place that had no playground. Its unbelieveable that all those children sit there, for a all day assembly. I was taught get married have babies, and pioneer. Now my family is barely getting by with money, because I have no education. I went to a JW school and was taught out of the bible, not through school books. I have too many questions and not sure anyone can answer any of them. I know for sure there are alot of stories like mine, and the pain from JW will never go away. I will keep feeling as if I’m doing something wrong and I will die.

  38. kim

    Thank you.

  39. Morgan MacIntosh

    Just my opinion.
    Revelation 14:4,5 speaks about “men who have never laid with or touched a woman.” Some translations say “they have kept themselves as pure as virgins, they follow the Lamb wherever he goes, they have told no lies.
    Here’s my opinion on these scriptures. The Book of Revelation is written in symbolic language, this is stated up front in the very first chapter, so it’s assumed that everything written thereafter has a symbolic meaning.
    The statement that “they haven’t laid with women” seems to indicate they haven’t defiled themselves or committed fornication with Babylon The Great by telling lies about YHWH or Jesus in order receive some sort of worship for themselves from Christians. Being an NGO of the United Nations and telling outright spiritual falsehoods (misleading people and then claiming it’s “New Light” from God instead of taking the responsibility for their own words is a prime example), not treating the followers of Christ with love and mercy when it comes to judicial matters. The 144,00 are said to not tell lies unlike those ones in Bethel who set themselves up as a Governing Body claiming only they alone can interpret the scriptures while also admitting they aren’t inspired at all. They use threats of disfellowshipping and intimidation to get what they want, namely worship and money. The Governing Body in my opinion is the False Prophet mentioned directly in the Book of Revelation. The history of failed prophecies uttered by them has clearly borne this out. The Bible points us toward the person of Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation. With the aid of the Holy Scripture any meek and humble person can get a grasp on the real truth of God’s word and come to know that which they need in order to be acceptable to him. Jesus never said the 144,000 would lord their “authority” over others. They are referred to as “slaves”, which when understood in the Biblical sense imparts the understanding that this is a willing servitude and something not to be taken lightly. There is a huge responsibility upon their shoulders to make sure the Word of God is handled correctly and that they are not the interpreters of the Bible, the Holy Spirit does that. They need only point others to the Bible and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. This is why there was no Governing Body in the 1st century, despite claims of the GB to the contrary. If there had been one, then letters addressed to Paul would have been addressed to the GB instead. Also Jesus would have mentioned them in revelation when he rebuked or commended the congregations in Asia. The fact that he did not, seems a clear indication that none existed for there was no need. As long as people listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and read what is written (and not go beyond it) everything will be fine. One last point. The scriptures merely say in Matthew that “this Good News of the kingdom will be preached for a witness to all the nations and then the end will come.” The scripture never says nor implies that there would be an organization that directed the work. YHWH’s Holy Spirit is more than capable of doing the job on it’s own.

    May You have Peace,
    (I apologize if some of my grammar is wrong.)

  40. Tessa

    “Being an NGO of the United Nations and telling outright spiritual falsehoods”

    Please help me to clarify this. I did not know what an NGO was so checked it out. Turns out is means Being an NGO is a non-governmental organization associated with the United nations.

    This is big, Are they really? They would be really be being dishonest if this were true.

    So I need some help. I downloaded the list of NGO’s and could not find them under Jehovah’s Witnesses or Watchtower organisation. Are they under another trading name?

    Excuse my ignorance but I really would appreciate someone answering this question please.

    Thank you all for helping me in my search for truth.

    Tessa

  41. Editor

    Good question. There is much information about the Watchtower joining the United Nations as an NGO, supposedly to allow them access to the UN’s library in New York. Yes, it is true, and although the Watchtower at first denied it, the evidence was overwhelming – and they finally admitted to their NGO status. I believe they eventually cancelled their library cards and resigned from the UN due to so many questions about their hypocritical position and dishonest explanation of the facts.

    Here is a link to an more extensive and documented discussion of this event:

    http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/jw/friends/12842/1/JW-Response-to-NGO-UN-info

  42. Tessa

    Thank you for clearing that up. I am shocked and disgusted at what I have discovered.

    If anyone else is interested in this, here is the link for a letter from the the United Nations regarding all the enquiries they had about it.

    http://www.un.org/dpi/ngosection/pdfs/watchtower.pdf

    God bless you all, and again, thank you for helping me on my search for truth.

    Tessa

  43. Editor

    Tessa,

    Thank you for sharing that correspondence from the United Nations. I think it pretty much wraps up the subject and settles any arguments about whether or not the Watchtower applied for and was granted NGO status. I urge anyone who has any doubts to click on that link you’ve provided and see the letter for themselves.

    And thank you again for taking the time to fully research this question for yourself and sharing the truth you found with our readers.

  44. Tessa

    Hi there,

    I just went to have a look at the UN link I posted a while ago only to find that it no longer works. So just to let anyone know that may want to see this letter you can still view it at

    http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/united-nations-association.php

    This site is also very interesting in that it gives a lot of other information and copies of documents.

    God bless
    Tessa

  45. Charlotte

    Dear all

    I was born and bred a JW and was a regular auxiliary pioneer often topping the 90 hour mark per month but did not want to apply for regular pioneering in case any particular month I could not do the full 90 hours.

    Please do the best thing you have ever done for God and yourselves and become born again (which merely means having the Holy Spirit dwelling in you which many scriptures state Christians have), saved Christians.

    In my studies when I started to have doubts of the GB’s flip-flopping teachings (I do not mean to be disrespectful here, but it is true) I gathered many translations around me and compared them with the NWT and the differences were staggering to say the least. All of the other translations stated the same thing, but the NWT was different from them all on a number of issues.

    Please go to Randy Watters Freeminds.org and read his experiences as a Bethel lad and a few of the things going on in Bethel which should not.

    I know it is not easy and I was cut off from my family but God says if we lose family for His sake, he will more than compensate and I now have a wonderful Christian church family and fantastic friends.

    Revelation states that the great crowd are in heaven before the throne of God. The 144,000 is not a literal number, it is a multiple of 12 (which stands for perfect totality) which means that it is the entire church of God that will be in heaven.

    The Bible’s words are for you and I personally and not some mystical 144,000.

    I am praying you will all become saved and true Christians and that I have the pleasure of meeting you all in heaven and in eternity.

    I hope you all go to a local Bible teaching church and flourish.

    God bless and keep you. Get out and make a real and tangible relationship with God and Jesus plus the future of living in heaven the reality for you it really is!

  46. cate

    read john 3:16-to all JW’s.. Also John 17:2.. I do hope and pray that you will realize that Jesus is the way,the truth and life..Accept Jesus now and LIVE LIKE HIM for HE is coming..WAKE UP! WAKE UP!! Read your BIBLE,not the WT and you will find the truth..

  47. Morgan MacIntosh

    I am not surprised at all to learn that the NWT doesn’t stand up to other Bibles.
    http://www.freeminds.org/doctrine/publications/the-new-world-translation-and-its-critics.html

    http://www.wordfamine.com/NewWorldTranslation.html

    All this is rather eye-opening when not bound by the baseless fears inculcated into every JW by the Governing Body. Jesus told his followers to keep knocking and it would be opened. To his opponents (Pharisees/Governing Body) he said “you shut the kingdom of the heavens up before men. Neither do you yourselves go in, nor do you allow anyone else to go in. Hypocrites!”

  48. Charlotte

    Dear Morgan

    Thank you for the wordfamine link.

    Sadly this does not surprise me and quite explains the insecurities of the governing body that renders them opposed to any other witness gaining an education for themselves. As quite rightly say, hypocrites who are indeed closing the heavenly kingdom’s doors on their adherents.

    God bless you for sharing this information/link.

  49. Charlene

    I was a JW for many years, living with an abusive “head of household”. My husband embraced this concept because in his mind it justified the mistreatment of his family. Elders reproved me for divorcing him but he was never reproved or counseled. It seems to me that women are at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to being taken seriously. There are no women on the Governing Body which doesn’t really make sense to me because women are allowed to be of the heavenly class.
    I, like the elder who wrote this article, keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. Why you may ask? It is because I have a grown son who is active in the religion with his wife and children. If I speak out publicly he would most likely be told to disassociate himself from me. So I say nothing and I get to keep my relationship with my son.
    One day, I pray that my son can be released from this religion by the powers of his own mind.

  50. Katie

    I was raised one of Jehovahs Witnesses and though I havent been practicing for about 6 years now, I only recently was announced at my former kingdom hall as no longer a JW. My mother has been bearing gossip and persecution for me no longer being involved, and she of course is heart broken that I am no longer involve. Its horrific to me, that my mother who I am so close to, needs love and sympathy and instead is dealing with the cliques. Shes decided to change halls, and I’m glad. Ours was particularly bad. And Im sure its common, but any time someone would talk to an elder, he would tell his wife and she would gossip and everything would get spread around and skewed without love for the person in trouble. It tore me to my core to lose my faith in a religion that Ive always seen as pure truth. To realize that Ive been lied to, and that the people I love are being lied to. If that wasnt bad enough, to lose the people that Ive loved and respected.
    Growing up an ‘apostate’ was the angry guy jumping around in a devil suit outside the convention hall. I never thought that label would be attributed to me. It is the worst insult a JW could lay on someone, and now that’s me. Never mind that I do my best to serve God, that I am moral and in a loving committed marriage… I am less, and more skummy than the JW girl I grew up with who is posing half naked in front of playboy paraphernalia in all her Facebook photos. Its heart breaking knowing that my mother is lieing to her elders so that she can still have a strong relationship with me. Though I am grateful that she has chosen to keep me in her life. I am still torn up from the loss that I’ve experienced, I don’t think that’s something that any of us, even after healing or finding new and true faith will completely forget. I see a lot of true love for God in that religion, you have to have it to endure everything a JW does for their belief in ‘truth’. And I am grateful that they instilled in me a passionate love for God and the bible, despite what ever ‘damage’ I may have endured. I also see how in some of the more ideal situations they can be an example of how a true Christian community should be, giving without a price tag. I am also SO glad that being a JW as a kid kept me from getting into as much trouble as I probably would have. But above all right now…
    I am angry. I am angry at being lied to my whole life. Finding out they intentionally mistranslate their bibles to suit their beliefs. That they are false prophets and keep truth from people who genuinely want to be close to God. That you are punished for wanting honesty. I could go into specific personal issues Ive experienced in that religion but ultimately, people are imperfect. I cant expect anything more, especially from people who don’t know what they are doing or truly believe they are doing what is right. I am devout Catholic now. And it was a difficult transition but with a lot of doctrinal research I am in love.
    I am not looking to convert anybody to Catholicism, but there is this really great site that I’m linking
    http://www.towerwatch.com/Witnessing/101_questions.htm
    that goes into specific issues regarding JW beliefs and how they contradict the bible and even their own teachings. I found it to be exactly what I needed, it covered a lot of bases and answered a lot of my questions (for the most part its strictly about JW, not Catholicism, so don’t be afraid haha). Maybe it will help someone else out there if you haven’t seen it already. It can be used with the NWT because its specifically set up as a confrontation tool. Though I have no intention of using it in the same way, it still helped me, and maybe when the time is right I can use the information to get my mom out of their trap (as it is she thinks I’m nuts).

    I send my love to the people that are enduring what we’ve been through, and the loss of loved ones. JW have a way of burrowing into your brain till you obstinately don’t want to see truth. I want to vomit the lies they have fed me.

  51. Raveen

    Thank You for your toughts. I’m dyslexic and will never be able to spell well so I’ll keep my thoughts short. I’ve been on many “apostate” sites and have found EX-JW’s just trying to heal. Anger is a stage that most move on from. I hope some day you too will be able to experiance freedom from the cult. May God Bless YOU

  52. Huff

    @Ashley – Exactly..that was the best thing I’ve read tonight. I have a college degree, but I have a disability as well… put down no one, we all have different gifts.

  53. Peter

    I Would Like To Know Where The Information Is Stored Of Ones That Have Been Disfellowshipped. With The Elders Or The Society Headquarters

  54. Editor

    Why don’t you call your local Kingdom Hall or the Watchtower’s headquarters in Patterson, NY and ask them. We know they have that information but will refuse to ever reveal it. The way we know? Ask a person who has tried to rejoin a Kingdom Hall in another city after being disfellowshipped or disassociated and hiding that fact. Within a few weeks he or she will be exposed and tossed out of the new congregation. We also know that they have a huge list of convicted and accused JW pedophiles (including some who are still active and others who serve as elders). Ask them for that list too while you’re at it. Of course, we know what their answer will be: “No such lists exist…”

  55. Toni

    Who knows what the one right religion is????

  56. Justice

    Funny how in the posts of “anti-witness” haters, The validity of the only true and living God, JEHOVAH was never mentioned. Nor did any of you supposedly faithful Servants give him ALL the glory. Remember Satan sought glory for himself above Jehovah and was able to turn even angels away from JEHOVAHS glory. What happened to Korah? Jah does not change and I also notice how you haters never used Satans name either. Why? Because he Is transforming himself into an angel of light. As the post stated early on Apostates will receive their reward just keep living. Peace be onto you!

  57. Editor

    @Justice – “Justice,”
    Why is it that you feel the need to call anyone who objects to the way the Watchtower conducts its business “anti-Witness haters.” Who gives you the right to describe anyone to be a “hater.” Is that a Christian approach to honest debate, name calling? You do the Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses no favors by spewing such disgusting commentary. If you take issue with what has been written, use logic and facts to present your side of the debate, not simplistic name calling. All you are doing is presenting the worst side of what has become the Watchtower’s rebuttals to its critics – calling them names like “mentally diseased persons.” Justice – if you want to continue to comment on articles on this website, I strongly suggest that you do it in a civilized and mature manner and not resort to school yard rhetoric.

  58. Faith

    My comment is to Justice, I am also an ex-witness..but not a hater. I think that most of the comments posted on this site is to try to get the real truth out there because we are concerned for those who are still brainwashed by that organazation. I was trumatized and won’t even try to go into everything that I and members of my family went through while attending the Kingdom Hall. They hide their false teachings and wrong doings within a man made religion that is definitely not from Jehovah God! It’s an organzation that has preached lie after lie through the years and destroyed the lives of many. The rules and regulations are akin to dictatorship that keeps everyone in line with the threat of disassociation or disfellowshipment and completely cut off from family members. Don’t you know that if they weren’t afraid their members would find out the truth about their beliefs that they would encourage them to search for themselves! Instead they threaten you and convince you that those of us that have been brave enough to go against them are apostates! No, I am not a hater, I am one who is truly concerned about those who have been taught to fear a loving God. God is love, Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. A religion ruled by a group of men claiming to receive new light from the angels is false religion!

  59. Faith

    I spelled ” organization ” wrong…twice

  60. Freedom 1

    I am in the same situation as it seems a lot of people are. I’m not even sure where to begin, but it’s very difficult choosing between your family and loved ones, and doing what you really feel is right. Its very upsetting to see 8-12 year olds getting baptized without knowing the consequences they will face should they later feel this religion is not right. I’m in that boat. I wish I knew how to bring about change. It’s not that I’m against anyone who chooses to believe in the organization, I disagree that it is next to impossible to leave with good intentions. There is so much beauty if we choose to see it, in other people, in life. I would only like to have the ability to worship the God i love out of love, not fear, freely.

  61. Faith

    @ Freedom 1,,,I understand completely how you feel about young children being baptized at such a young age, I was made by my family to be baptized at 13 against my will. It completely tears you apart to feel trapped when you realize that something is just not right and you want to be free to live your life and believe the way you want to. I even raised my son as a witness and always encouraged him not to be baptized and thankfully he wasn’t. I have a brother that was never baptized as well…he lived a life of drugs and was in prison for some of his acts, but they always welcomed him with open arms. I have never done some of the things he did but have been shunned and now considered an apostate for leaving that organization. I have no regrets of leaving, I finally feel loved by God, My son helped convince me that something just didn’t seem right there and I thank him for being the strong one to help open my eyes to what the Bible really says. To all that are confused, that lost many years of their lives that could have been spent in freedom, I say search the scriptures yourself, secretly if you have to, without their NWT Bible and publications, pray for God to lead you to him through his Son Jesus Christ. You will find happiness and freedom, you will look back and see how controlling the GB is. Jehovah God gives us free will to make the right choices. You will not be sorry once you take that leap of faith to leave a terrible misrepresentation of the only true religion.

  62. Freedom 1

    It’s interesting that in one of last years articles it mentioned things that “false religion” practiced, and one of them was baptizing babies. At the end of the same watchtower if had another article that was about how getting baptized at a young age can serve as a protection. I’m sorry for what you have had to go through, but it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one. I personally know more folks who are facing the same struggle, but choose not to leave because of the consequences. The survey is a great way to Bring awareness to the issue – but what else could we do? So many faced similar circumstances back then, though you would feel it was left back in the old ages. The catholic church carried out the same kind of control and even though physical torture is not used, the mental anguish is just as painful. Jesus himself was killed because of the religious leaders fear of him. Nicodemous had to come to Jesus in secret, because even though he belived, he feared being kicked out of the synogog. What would really happen if we all had the strength to leave? Do you think any major changes will come in our lifetime? My whole family and immediate family are JWs. I don’t know if I can do this yet. They are already encouraging and asking my little brother if baptism is a goal for him – thankfully no at this point.

  63. Faith

    @ Freedom 1..I can certainly empathize with your situation, leaving is not an easy choice to make if you are close with your family members who are JWs. My family was dysfunctional and the way it turned out we all drifted apart and went our own ways. My mother and one of my brothers are still JW’s, they of course consider me an apostate but there was so little love in our family that they don’t have a close relationship with each other. I always felt intimidated by the congregation as most of the elders were family. I always felt beneath them all and made to feel that I could never measure up because I had been disfellowshipped ( for smoking ). I think in regards to your question if I think there will be major changes in the future, in my opinion as far as the GB goes, I don’t think they will ever admit that they are in control or teach false doctrines. I do think that more and more witnesses will leave, especially the younger ones when they reach adolescent. I will keep you in my prayers that you can cope with your mixed emotions. You are certainly doing the right thing in expressing your thoughts and doubts with others, even if you do have to do it secretly. Take care and don’t give up!

  64. Freedom 1

    Thanks! I will keep you in my prayers to! 🙂

  65. Faith

    Thank you:)

  66. Amber b

    Can you contact me directly. I’m dating an ex JW and I’m
    Hitting a wall. @James Gordon

  67. toni

    I have bible studies at my house with a Jehovah witness,what should I do?

  68. Faith

    toni, If you are involved in a study already then it won’t be long until they will pressure you to attend meetings and eventually be baptized. That’s when you will be under the control of a religion that will ruin your freedom and demand that you believe everything they say, your opinions about questions you may later have will not be tolerated. Please DON”T let them mislead you with their false teachings. Politely tell them that you would like to discontinue your study and expect them to say that you will die in Armaggedon for turning away from them. This is a scare tactic. That is false religion, believe me, I’ve been there and seen many disturbing, well hidden wrongs in that organization! I would say, run…while you still can. Sincerely, Faith

  69. Freedom 1

    Hopefully they would not tell you that you will die in Armeggedon for discontinueing the study. 🙂 If you are on a journey of faith and are studying with a JW, you are safe until you get dipped. I would only reccomed reading around any scriptures that are shared – make sure they are read in context and apply to the subject being discussed. Secondly, check and referances to see that the quotes maintain the idea that the author origionaly intended. Compare scriptures shared in the NWT with other bible translations, and most importantly pray to God for direction. Hope this helps 🙂

  70. Faith

    Freedom 1, good advice to toni….had to laugh at your comment ” you are safe until you get dipped”. I think that maybe you attended or still attend a friendlier Kingdom Hall than I did. I always felt like I was under surveillance.Yes she does need to search the scriptures and not rely on the their NWT.

  71. Toni

    Thank you for your opinions,no matter what I’m not going to be a Jehovah witness I’m only doing the bible studies to learn about god and I do compare the scriptures with others.I was baptized a baptist and the ladies I study with
    are aware of this,oh and I was already invited to one of their meeting but didn’t go.

  72. Freedom 1

    Even if you did go there is nothing wrong with learning and it is wonderful that you are trying to learn about God. I am trying to learn about God to but I feel like that will never stop. No one has all of the answers, it is a matter of each of us searching and growing in faith,growing with the unity of love for one another and God, not in conformity of doctrine. What I do know is that God is real, miracles are real, and prayers are heard.

  73. Faith

    Freedom 1, I agree with you that the most important thing is Love for one another and God.I also know that God is real and we were saved by the Grace of His Son, Jesus Christ. I have to disagree in advising toni that it’s okay to go to the Kingdom Hall to learn. Knowing full well that they teach false doctrines is not somewhere I would advise anyone to attend. The only thing they can learn there are lies.

  74. Freedom 1

    Not everyone has absolute truth, and I myself have not found much healing, honesty, or positivity from this religion. I guess I just don’t want to be in the same finger pointing boat in that if one feels closer to God by being part of a religion, even if it has not worked out for me, I don’t want to judge. It sounds like maybey you still hurt a lot form what you have been through, and your not alone, but I hope you will find that there is space around the pain if you can be present. I admitt that I am scared and that I have felt hurt, but in accepting that reality, I find there is room for so much positive growth. I have met so many wonderful people of all faiths and for the first time have had really deep and interesting conversations about God. I am learning so many interesting perspectives and feel life continuing to open and unfold. I agree with a statement that I heard one time – through the fire of suffering comes the light of awakening.

  75. Faith

    I certainly don’t like to finger point, and I understand where you’re coming from. I as well as other family members were hurt and shocked at some of the things that were hidden behind their closed doors. I feel the need to try to expose their wrong doings and false doctrines. Not as revenge…but because I hurt for those who may feel trapped or those who could possibly be misled. I have found space around the pain by reading my Bible and prayer. I don’t believe you have to be part of any organized religion to be accepted and loved by God, but I do believe that if I know for sure someone is headed for a religion ruled by a group of men claiming to get their spiritual information directly from God, then I have a responsibility to warn others. I honestly don’t want this to be an argument, I appreciate your opinions and I am just expressing mine.

  76. Yves

    @Bettie Weinberg
    Once again this years 2012, this sentence was not read during the memorial.
    Of course revelation is mainly writen in symbolic language, and sometime its signification is not directly obvious. But honesty required that all is written must be said as is, to any people.

  77. Toni

    Thank you for your advise.I guess if what their teaching is false then I should probably stop these bible studies and just study on my own.

  78. Faith

    Toni, so glad to hear you say that! If I didn’t know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their teachings were false, I would not encourage you one way or the other. Please know in your heart, that you are making the right decision, because you are. Take care and find true happiness!

  79. Toni

    @faith I just want to ask you a question.Did Jesus die on the cross or a stake?

  80. Faith

    @ Toni, In every bible I have read, they always say cross..the NWT bible says stake. I’m not an expert on things like this but maybe the editor will help you on this question. I believe he died on a cross.There has been a lot of debate on that issue.

  81. Faith

    Toni, i would also like to add that regardless of whether it was a stake or a cross, the main thing is Jesus gave his life for the sins of all mankind. For some reason, JW’s have always made a big deal of this..

  82. Toni

    Thank you,ya they do make a big deal about that but I don’t know why either.I heard they teach false doctrines what does that mean?

  83. Faith

    It means most of what they teach is not based on what the Bible reads. You can’t change the word of God, but they have made their own translation of the Bible and changed many words from different scriptures to fit their man made doctrines and beliefs. They are warned to only read their NWT and publications by a group of men called the Governing Body, who consist of a few men who control every move they make. That group of men claim to get “new light” from a direct channel from God. That’s a very convenient way to keep their followers in line, when their predictions don’t come true. Most ex- witnesses are the ones who have put down the NWT and their Watchtower magazines and just read the Bible on their own…that’s where you will find the truth. Hope this explanation helps.

  84. Toni

    That’s what’s happening with me,I’m finding out that everything they tell me is wrong I come on the Internet and do research on them and find out a bunch of stuff that isn’t true.Thank you for all the advise you have given me!!!!

  85. Faith

    You are so welcome Toni! I have enjoyed talking with you and happy that you are researching and finding out for yourself how they twist and use scripture out of context to fit their so called “truth”. When I say they, I am referring to the Governing Body who control the lives of the JW’s, manipulating them into believing what they say is true. Take care and if I was some help, I am thankful to you for listening:)

  86. Chist Follower

    I am not a JW, and I never will be a JW. I come from a Christian background through my mother’s mother and step-father. My parents never showed any interest in religion, except my mom on occasion would attend church with me. My father was raised in the society. My mother I am not sure about her background. My father and mother early last year decided to attend the Mermorial, and have been attending meetings ever since. I attended a meeting once with them and spent the entire time after the “talk” in the car. God finally told me not to treat them as horribly as I was and to attend with them. I have a learned a lot about them. They are extremely nice people, but I can see how much of a facade the faces are. If you disassociate yourself from them, they do not have much to do with you, and if you say anything against them, as my blog does, well they give it to you how they feel. Yet, I am supposed to sit in and hear the “uneducated” comments they make about Christianity all the time. They say we worship the cross, and we do not. They say we pray to Jesus instead of God, and we do not. One person was talking about the fancy houses and cars the preachers have, I forget what that was related to, but I know no preachers with fancy cars or houses. They live in houses similar to mine and drive vehicles similar to my parents. Or I remember it was about preachers getting paid to preach. No preacher, except a televangelist, most of which just want your money anyway and will tell you anything to get it, get paid enough money from preaching, which is usually their only job, and they do it 7 days a week, to have fancy cars or houses. I totally understand the fear of leaving the organization, my father has made it clear to me that do what God’s will is, which is my ministry, which right now is run through my blog, I will not be allowed to live at home anymore, not being able to find work to support myself makes it hard for me not to disobey him, but I do very much anyway. I know that by showing love for him by embracing his God-given free will to choose what religion he wants to be a part of and seek God where he thinks God is makes him more open to me, but we will never be close. The WBTS has completely ruined everything between my father and I. My mom doesn’t my need to learn the truth behind “the truth” she is slowly falling in line behind my father to give her soul to Satan. That is what happens, you give your soul to Satan. God is not at the Kingdom Hall, I can attest to that. I know God’s presence when I feel it at church, and I know the Holy Spirit when it is present within a congregation. Neither are at the Kingdom Hall. I feel no love for God when I am there, I was attacked by a demon once during a meeting, I do not feel like singing their songs. Their songs hold no real praise to God and Christ. There are songs are meaningless. My father hates that I do not sing and thinks you can still sing even if the songs do not make you want to sing in praise to God. Oh yes it does. If a person’s heart is not in praising God, then there is no point. God does not want heartless praise. He wants praise that comes from your love for him. If something happens, and I do lose my father and I do lose my home and all my material possessions, I am sure of one thing, God has decided that it is time for me to leave home and he will lead where I need to go next. Ok I am sure of two things. the second one being, I did what God told me to do, and God’s will comes before my family. If I lose my family, I lose my family. God and Christian fellowship with true believers is more important than family who want nothing to do with me because I refuse to be apart of Satan’s organization. I am honestly quite sure, that the only people truly serving Satan are those who make all the rules within it and decide what to brainwash people to believe. The average Witness is completely innocent, and really just needs us to love them and try to show them the real Jesus.

  87. Faith

    Sounds like you are in a difficult situation right now and I can certainly relate to many of the things you have written about. I don’t know how old you are but you seem to have a sincere love for Jesus Christ as your savior as well as love and compassion for others. I would not make any quick decisions about taking a stand against your parents unless you are old enough to take care of yourself. Maybe the love of Christ that shines in you will influence others who may be facing the same problems. Don’t give up and keep praying and I’m sure God will make a way for you.

  88. phil

    Hello,Christian greetings to you all.I notice that no one has mentioned the various Bible student groups,which although they have beliefs very close to the Jw’s still believe and take refuge in the Lord Jesus.In his ransom sacrifice,and saving grace.How many ex Jw’s have moved over to these groups ?
    Yours in Christ,by His grace,phil

  89. dismayed publisher

    Reference to LA Women. Oct 7th 2010. I can relate something very similar to you. I had a cousin who was raised by kind, loving Witness parents . Even when he was going to the meetings he always had a real nasty evil streak running through him. One particular incident I remember was when he scolded me with hot water, just because he felt like it. He was never baptized. Unfortunately he got involved in drugs, which just intensified his qualities. Trust me there is nothing he hasn’t done e.g gone to jail, stolen from his own family, assaulted, had a stack of kids he cant look after, had his kids removed by the government agencies, trespass notices issued to him, and the list goes on. You get the idea. Because he was never baptized he has had all the witness relatives trying to offer assistance and trying to help him. Feeling that he has to sort himself out and return to Jehovah. I remember been told by a relative how she felt sorry for him, and that the drugs had effected him to much, after he trashed his parents house and they were having a family conference about it. I just said it straight “he is just a nasty spiteful little boy who dose not want to be helped. He dose not want your help and he dose not want Jehovahs help, and the sooner everyone understands that the better they will be”. The point that I am trying to make here is. If there was someone who really deserved not to be spoken to or helped it should be him. If it hadn’t been for a technicality that he got baptized then it would of been a totally different story, and I think for his parents safety ( he is violent as well) and heartache it would of made things easier. On the other hand you may get someone who has been disfellowshiped and yet in themselves are not bad people (and certainly not bad to other people), and may be grateful for assistance and yet are treated as total out casts. Were is the justice. My advice to ones getting baptized is wait to you are older. If you are to young to get married to another human then I would also say you are to young to get married to Jehovah. I am against young kids getting baptized.

  90. just me

    i was born a jw and raised in it till i was 15, i also saw kids getting ”pushed ”to soon to get baptised. seen sisters getting hit by husbands and then when they leave they got disfellowshiped.they woory about children and worldly assosiations, but really the worst kids i knew were at the hall. lastly,sitting down with a elder and discussing my sex sin without my mom or another sister ther was not handled correctly

  91. sue

    Mr elder dont you have better things to do . You make me sick.

  92. Peter

    Just read the shadow letter. It is good to know
    others out there are standing firm for truth
    – whatever it is. Many will rove about and the (true) knowledge will become abundant. Many are doing so .Keep roving !

  93. mandalay

    Toni, JWs make too much of an issue over whether Jesus died on a stake or cross. Christians are to keep free from idols, whether in the form of a pagan phallis or cross.

  94. John S

    Hello all….

    Just looked into this site. At christian.forumatic.com there are several ex-JW’s who have been out for years who publish their understanding of the Bible on many of the most important subjects. Although I apologize for the somewhat simple graphics and format, I don’t apologize for our discoveries, as you may be pleasently surprized to see for yourselves.

    Please come take a look! And…..we still love Jehovah, and worship Him as the only true God. (Ex.20:2,3)

  95. charlie

    It is so refreshing to hear an elder admit there are failings in the organization and to start thinking for himself. However, on the point of writing, his attitude is one of which i found a lot of witnesses to have, which contributed to me being so unhappy in the religion. It demonstrates how many witnesses leave no room for error and how things have to be done there way or not at all. I do understand tho how he is trying to point out that if other, current, Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to listen then they will listen more if an argument is presented professionally, and how when witnesses are speaking then they are always representing Jehovah, so to look professional rather than lazy and sloppy. However, it is sad how the elder is not allowing room for the fact that the witness children are only allowed education to a certain point, thus leaving many being unable to write or converse as well as they should. Most importantly tho, the elder is in effect also attacking people who have a disability, for example, dyslexia. This is in turn going against the bible teaching of everyone being God’s children and implying it is only ok to comment if you do not have a disability that effects your writing and if you have got a disability then you should keep quiet. However, this is probably not how the elder meant it but it is how it can come across. It is obvious that the elder was trying to make a point but I do believe that he has not expressed this point properly and would maybe benefit from re-wording his point to as it doesn’t not come across as angry, aggressive and attacking and allows people to see his point father than the way he has put it sound like something completely different

  96. Iggy Lecca

    is there any ‘List’ of Jehovah Witnesses themselves with their icture on Watch Tower data base?

  97. R.G.Ruddell

    I understand what this elder is getting at.
    I was put on restriction when I was 9 years old and disfellowshiped when I was 15 and again at 19. I have gone back time and time again because I believe in the basic truths the witnesses teach. They are all in all good people and associating with them was better than anything I have found otherwise but I do have issues with feeling like I could ever be good enough. I have issues of alienation that occurred with my family and I have issues with doing anything that requires much of a commitment.
    Growing up I was afraid of my own shadow. Afraid of death. Afraid of a thunderstorm because I thought it was the end of the world.
    I would never speak out against the witnesses but I find it very difficult to follow all the rules.

  98. SDL

    It’s not “the” Truth. It’s “a” Myth. Men playing pre-electronic God Games.

    But thank you for your honest comments about funerals and suppression/repression of human emotion. As well as the remarks about the credentials of those men giving ‘consideration to a seizure, namely, that they are equal to god’.

    I would add, about the regurgitated belief that ‘the light gets brighter’ and to ‘wait on Jehovah’ being the thought-stopping control technique that it is…why do they hypocritically call other religions False, while merely calling themselves Imperfect. perhaps other religions are just waiting for their ‘light to get brighter’, and perhaps they are ‘just imperfect men’ as well then.

    Sorry to hear this fellow is stuck in the Myth. But great that he’s seen fit to rub a few of his brain cells together (gawd-given or otherwise). Always interesting to hear another perspective.

  99. Maureen colucci

    Everyone who no longer believes in the teachings of Jehovahs witnesses, whether elders or publishers, should be true to themselves and others and leave the organisation. What better way to make changes than for the organisation to see that they are losing their followers in the thousands because of the false teachings they are promoting. What right do you have to talk to people on the doors when you dont believe what you are saying it is in effect lying to the public. Let the Jehovahs witnesses who believe 100% what the watchtower teaches to get on with it, dont be a hypercrite to save face. I left the witnesses and my family shunned me for years now they are also realising how false the majority of them are and I am sure if they met the elder who has spoken out here that would be an even better reason for them not to stay in the truth. God hates a liar whether you are speaking to others or just keeping it to yourself. You must know that one day you will have to decide one way or other. God knows what you are thinking ,how must he be feeling? after all the whole religion is supposed to be about God not about man.

  100. Juan Viejo

    blf14 – A review of Watchtower publications and their own history will easily prove that the Governing Body has never been guided by holy spirit. And just what do you mean by “reflect first.” You should do a little more reflecting and researching. Was the Governing Body guided by holy spirit when it predicted the end of this system would come in 1975, or by the year 2000? If they are guided, why would they even have to vote. Would they not all come to exactly the same conclusion every time they made a decision? Why would the holy spirit guide them to protect pedophiles or allow sisters to be abused by their husbands? Why would there be so many changes in doctrine, even over just 30 years? Will the holy spirit always give them wrong information the first time and then reveal the truth (new light) only later? I know you didn’t try very hard with this comment, but really, will that argument convince anyone that the Governing Body is inspired and directed by holy spirit?

  101. Lacy

    I am a little confused about this letter. First he claims that he is waiting for the Holy Spirit and Jehovah to clear up any confusion over the “Truth” then he contradicts himself by saying that he didn’t think Holy Spirit was leading the GB. So either the Holy Spirit is leading the GB or it isn’t but it can’t be both ways! Second he tells people to learn to spell yet tells us that the GB doesn’t allow higher education. First we live in America where it is our RIGHT to have as much education as we choose outside of our required 12 years mandatory education. This means that I have the RIGHT to choose what further education I want and NO ONE has the RIGHT to tell me I cannot! Sorry the GB is NOT above the LAW even though they THINK they are! Maybe if JWs had MORE education they would spell better. This contradiction is so typical of WT mind control and manipulation. The very fact that he has doubts but won’t leave the “Truth” shows how conflicted he really is yet how controlled he is as well. All the JW buzz words and thinking are there after all he has had this undue influence on him since birth! This Elder complains about the “Truth” but defends it at the same time again more WT org manipulation by talking out of both sides of the mouth. Either it’s the “Truth” as he professes it to be or it is not but again it cannot be both ways. Another example is defending the “Apostates” and then putting them down at the same time! The WT tricks and cunning are so cleverly disguised! Fortunately not all of us are fooled by this deception!

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  103. David Larin

    A letter from a loving disfellowshiped son to his parents. I too served as an elder. Baptized in 1975 and raised in the truth. I was appointed an elder in the Sharon Springs NY Congregation. The only thing concerning my parents is that I run back to the congregation, confess my sins and get reinstated. Please share this with others that may be in the same position as I am,

    Hi Mom and Dad –

    I’m so happy to hear that you folks are spending the winter months in Florida. Kathy and I are so use to the heat down here in Texas that if we get some cold temperatures we both freeze. Fortunately our winters are short and very mild. To answer your question if you have ever steered me wrong, I’ve thought a lot about that and I can honestly say I don’t think so. Although we are all imperfect and make mistakes during our life time.

    During the past several months I have opened my heart to Jehovah. I really do believe that with his help I was able to pull myself out of this severe depression. Jehovah truly is a God of love and he wants his children to be happy. I’m convinced that it truly pains him to see the turmoil that believers in him are going through. I know for a fact that he reached out to me and assisted in my recovery. So I guess the question is, what is the right way of opening ones heart to Jehovah? Is it through his visible organization where a governing body of men has so persistently pushed its own self to the forefront occupying such a large place on the spiritual scene? The figure of this organization has loomed so large that it has overshadowed the greatness of God and his son Christ Jesus. I experienced that first hand when I served as an elder in the congregation.

    After being disfellowshipped from the organization I felt a sense of loneness, being tossed around like a bottle in the sea. I had to go through a measure of this painful adjustment to come to appreciate fully what complete dependence on Jehovah and his Son really means. I personally recognized the need to draw closer to God, to give serious attention to the reading of his word and to show interest in others by trying to be of encouragement. My outlook on life is both happy and positive, my hopes and aspirations are not dependent on any man or an organization but on Jehovah himself. Jesus Christ assurance that he would have true followers not just in the 1st century or 21st century but in all centuries in between. (Matt 28:20). Please don’t take my words as apostate thinking. To the contrary, I’m a lover of Jehovah and his son Christ Jesus. Because I think an earthly organization is not the only means to have a close and personal relationship with Jehovah shouldn’t label me as apostate. Please understand these are the thoughts that are in my heart.

    I too long for the time when we can be a family again. I do understand that time is short due to age and sickness, that’s why I would love to spend time with you and mom before you both fall asleep in death and await the resurrection to a paradise earth. I must conclude now, but look forward to hearing from you both again.

    Your loving son,

    David

  104. Jimmy

    Wow. The bible teaches let God be true and every man a liar. The GB is just another group of men seeking Gods glory. Study to show thyself approved is what Paul told Timothy. We must still do the same. This would really be funny if it weren’t so SAD

  105. John S

    There are brothers at this site; christian.forumatic.com who were elders, and most commentors were in WT over 30 years at least. Some, like myself, saw the lack of conformity to scriptural teachings and Christian love Jesus commanded coming down from New York, and eventually got out. This site is a work in progress; it back-engineers the Biblical truths from Jehovah and Christ by examining the scriptures closely, then comparing this with what we were taught by WT.

    The Resurrection, The Tree of Life, Anointing and Born Again, Judgment Day,(at Armageddon and at the End of the Thousand Years, and The Bigger Picture, are a few subjects we have discussed.

    My personal experience was I was very unhappy with the spiritual state among JW’s as our children were dropping like flies, and the ‘apostasy hunt’ was a scene re-enacted right out of the dark ages. I prayed for knowledge from Jehovah about what was wrong with the Organization. He showed me clearly through first the Book of John…and later as I focused on Jesus’ teachings I began to see clearly the truth; WT had veered away from Jesus’ main teachings from the beginning (Russel) and was most interested in building an ‘Organization’ with special different doctrines…not Jesus’ teachings. They still do this today to give the appearance of ‘special truth’.

    The main thing Jesus taught was “listen to the shepherd’s voice”….not the ‘hired laborer’.

    WT is a money-making corporation, and has been all along. Good and bad people have been drawn into it, or born into it. But if you are one like me, who learned about Jehovah and Jesus, and want to distance yourself from Corporate religion and worship in spirit, and truth…come check out this site; christian.forumatic.com

  106. Shadow Anointed

    We can all live in the Shadows, and if we are to easily stumble be the teachings of men we have no hope in the first place. I have studied many teachings and know that in the “last days” the truth will be revealed, but during Armageddon the “Anti-Christ” will be so compelling as to stand in the place of Jehovah and stumble even the “Holy-Ones,” just as the Bible teaches. The truth was in fact cast out in the early days of these “Bible Students” before they became organized, and slowly became twisted in these Last Days. This is pre-ordained. But what other modern religion has realized and taught that Christmas, Easter, etc. are slights at the ransom sacrifice of God’s Son by bastardizing them into the Pagan rituals they truly are? And why is man so reluctant to let go of these rituals even after knowing with whom they originate? Remove all the Major religions observing pagan rituals, and you’re left with only one. So it’s basically a question of which religions TRY to be pleasing to God, while being guided by imperfect humans? God promises that if you want to find the Truth you must want it with your Whole Heart, Soul, and Being all the while praying reverently for it… then you will find it. Who here truly WANTS to find the Truth, and who here is more comfortable hiding from it?

  107. Lola Stuart

    I was the wife of an apostate husband (apostate according to JW org.). The elders never once approached him out of concern, even after he stopped attending meetings at the Kingdom hall. I clung to the organization, but it was me they were after. For two years they hassled me. Finally I quit. My story is interesting, but to lengthy to write here. I would be interested in hearing from others who have been in a similar situation as me. me. I was raised ‘in the truth’ from 1948 until 1985. I have been away from the organization for thirty years, yet even now I have to admit they were the best years of my life. It took a long time to get over the guilt when speaking out against the religion. I’m grateful in that I am not a disgruntled witness. Thankful that any bitterness I felt by the wrong done toward me is gone.

  108. Juan Viejo

    Lola Stuart – anytime you want to tell your story, feel free to email me at editor@ex-jw.com. You are not alone – and many, like you, look back with fondness at those years in the 1940s – 1960s with fondness. I was like you and really enjoyed being a JW kid – and like you have many happy stories to share. But the whole mood of the organization changed dramatically after the Bethel purge in 1980-81. The leadership changed, the rules became more restrictive, and the love we knew in the early years was squeezed out. JWs became part of a rule-based organization. No longer was there any room for dissent, and not even questions. The talks and the studies became rote, and only the personality of a few wonderful brothers trying hard to show love and caring made being a part a bit palatable. Shadow Elder represents those few brothers who feel their mission is not to be “overseers” in the Kingdom Halls, but as it was in our time “servants” to the flock, not masters.

  109. Anna K

    Shadow Elder makes some good points but he (or she?) is not a Jehovah’s Witness become he/she repeatedly capitalized Holy Spirit. This is what Christians do because we affirm the divinity and person-hood of the Spirit as taught throughout the entire Bible. However, no born-in, raised a JW fully in believer would even THINK to capitalize the Holy Spirit even once, let alone over and over again. In my opinion this is a Christian writer. Please, just be authentic.

  110. Juan Viejo

    Anna K – Don’t judge an article or a comment by punctuation or capitalization. You are trying to judge the truthfulness of Shadow Elder’s article because of capitalization or punctuation? Really? Is that all you have in your book bag? It has been a long time since I posted Shadow’s article, but when I did I (as editor) made some minor edits for misspelled words, punctuation, and capitalization. I don’t remember for sure, but it may have been my decsision to capitalize Holy Spirit because that is common editorial practice. The Watchtower is very inconsistent in its application of holy spirit – one time giving it an almost animated and self-contained appearance, while other times presenting is a non-existent form of inspiration. When make suggestions or inspire someone I do not say that I gave them my “spirit” – it is simply me communicating with them. If I make a comment that “inspires” (in spirito) someone to write a book or develop an idea, that is not something ethereal – it is simply me offering my opinion or suggestion. So while I agree with you that Holy Spirit is probably not the correct form as the Watchtower teaches it, they refer to “Jehovah’s holy spirit” as if it was some angelic force or almost a third person – a hangover from Catholic theology.

  111. johnny

    Well, I work with a JW, and i see how some of the doctrines are ingrained. Most of which are not in the bible. I truly believe that the only way to eternal life is through Jesus Christ, not through the watchtower and shunning or disfellowship. Be careful of disfellowshipping someone, God might do that to you…..

  112. Mark-O

    “”Stop being stupid and amateurish; unless you are a professional comedian, you are not funny. Stay away from satire or parody if you don’t understand how to present them properly. Don’t create videos or write on your blog after you’ve just finished off a six-pack or a joint. Get rid of the stupid baseball cap and shave if you are going to appear in your own videos. “”

    Does he mean Robert “King” (unshaven) and “John Cedars” (unshaven, fresh from the pub, and not funny)?

  113. Juan Viejo

    Mark-O – This particular article marks its sixth year on this website and it continues to generate comment and emails to me about much that “Shadow Elder” pointed out. The Watchtower has changed a great deal since this was first published with the Candace Conti court case, the changeover from Watchtower Society to JW.org, the use of video streaming and all but elimination of printed magazines. We’ve seen the Watchtower take over ownership of all Kingdom Halls and the implementation of “shadow tithing” with defined and expected donation policies. Since neither Mr. King or “John Cedars” were known on the Internet in 2009 (at least not to my knowledge), it is unlikely that they were the focus of Shadow’s commentary. But there are many others who were online then, and even more who create YouTube videos now, who present negative images of what ex-JWs are all about. While what they say may have grains of truth and come from the heart of personal experience, the final result is that they can turn off many JWs or those who might become JWs by their purposeful lack of class. I have no idea what Shadow is doing now as I have not heard from him in over four years (we did publish an article by his son). My guess is that if he is not out of the organization for whatever his reasons, he eventually will end up on the outside and so will some of his family members. Thank you for your comment.

  114. Mark-O

    You’re welcome. Well Robert King has been around at least 10 years on he Web. Was just curious, as imo the “visual appearance” thing is pretty well ingrained into JWs, and I always thought it was limiting.

    (John 7:24) Stop judging from the outward appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.

    But true the least distractions, the more the message can be heard, rather than the “look”. At the same time, such a veneer has allowed JWs to be overrun by well dressed lawlessness.

    Bethel will bring themselves down, when it is all said and done. But I am glad people are seeing at least the superficial symptoms of their devolution. (More is going on that meets the eye, of course)

    Regards.

  115. The Lightness Monster

    I really enjoyed reading this. While I’very never been to a Kingdom Hall personally, I have met several JWs that I consider very good-hearted and kind people. I’m very curious by nature and always had a lot of questions, some a little more invasive than others. It stuck me oddly that some JWs felt they could not actively engage in certain conversation, I never looked to discredit them or shame them, I truly just wanted to know more. Neverless, even after explaining my intentions clearly, I could tell the apprehensiveness of these JWs came from discomfort and fear. You should never be afraid to share your thoughts, or thoughts from the groups you choose to follow, nor should you ever be convinced that having thoughts that differ from your peers is something to hide in shame. Every great person that has ever existed had thoughts that were outside ‘mainstream’ thinking, how much harm is being done by muzzling your constituents? To top that, telling your youth that education outside the society is a waste of time has to be one of the greatest crimes of all.

    If you truly love something then set it free, if it truly loves you it will return.

    If you want to believe that only a small handful of chosen people have places waiting in perfection, that’s fine by me. However, the fact of the matter is we were all chosen to serve a lifetime here on Earth, the greatest blessing any of us have is the present, don’t shun it for an uncertain future.

  116. Summer

    I have read shadow elder’s post and am glad he had the courage to write it and also totally understand wanting to not reveal who he is because of the backlash that he and his family would receive. I have spent the last 2 hour’s reading all the comments going as far back 2012 I can relate to so many of you who have shared your story and am happy you did because I no longer feel alone in my feelings or what I have been through. I want to share my thoughts, experiences, and ask questions that I know I cannot ask my family because they are all JW’s and any questions or doubts would be viewed as questioning Jehovah. I love Jehovah and Jesus and have faith. It doesn’t change the fact that I need answers. I was born and raised a JW and left when I was 15 due to how certain elder’s and fellow JW’s treated me and my family. I have always believed in what Jesus said on how to be and basic Bible principals. I am extremely conflicted about thing’s and I felt that after reading shadow elder and comments as I mentioned above that I might just be able to get some answers and advice. As I’m writing I am crying and terrified as well. I’m scared to share my true name due to the consequences I would get from certain family members and the consequences that the family members who do have me in my life would be subjected to. I’m praying that someone here will respond to me. My prayers to Jehovah for truth and answer’s brought me to this site via shadow elder’s article.

  117. Juan Viejo

    Summer – Feel free to go to our Contact Us page and either send a direct message or fill out the Contact form. Someone will respond to you. You may use a pseudonym or nickname (Summer is fine). Your personal information is not important to us and what you do share will not be made public in any way. I can see from your response that you have a lot a healing and education ahead of you, but you will be very glad that you took the time to explore the facts so that you can decide for yourself what your future will be.

  118. Summer

    Juan Viejo thank you for responding to me. I filled out the contact form and am looking forward to hearing from someone. It’s reassuring to know that what I share will not be made public. I have spent all night reading different articles on here and am shocked by the things that the GB and WTS have kept secret from us! I have so many great memories growing up as a JW, but feel like me and my family have been hoodwinked. I doubt they’d listen to me for very long before deciding I have turned apostate yet we have only been taught what they want us to know. I never got baptized and after leaving at 15 I have spent the last 18 years occasionally going to meetings and have always gone to the memorial, but thing’s have changed so much since I left and couldn’t understand why. Why start changing everything if it’s the “truth”? I’m consistently being guilt tripped by the family members who have distanced themselves from me because I’m not a witness, but my mother has always kept me close and I’m afraid that if I talked to her about what I have learned from reading all night she’d be pressured to shun me. My younger siblings have also left when they were in their late teens. I don’t want to loose my mother and our relationship, we are very close. I hope that someone gets back to me soon from the contact form I filled out. Sorry for such a long, all over the place post. If you couldn’t tell before my inner struggle, conflict, and questions you definitely know now.

  119. Claude

    I think that it is waste of time and energy to become preoccupied with the Society’s organizational and doctrinal fumbles, whether outright lies or misrepresentation of facts. As far as stumbling blocks are concerned, they do exist in the Kingdom halls, due to our inherent imperfections. This is true everywhere in society. Although we cannot ignore them, we may rise above them, by exhibiting the “fruits of the spirit,” love being foremost. Incidentally Jesus cited love of God and neighbor as the two greatest commandments. That being said, why worry about the stumbling blocks, specially knowing that they are designed by the devil. Could it be that God allows the stumbling blocks to test our faith? I believe that our loyalty is being tested, not to the organization, but assuredly to God, because eventually the organization at one point in the future will cease to exist. It is not going to be the nucleus of the new system to come, God’s Kingdom will be. We do not seem to understand Daniel 2:44, one of our most quoted verses in the Bible

  120. Chiafade

    Claude you know very well that watchtower does NOT teach the end of the organization. It has woven the organization into its theology. When I went through MTS the constant repetitious statement made was “truth and ORGANIZATION, you can’t have one without the other”. ” Jehovah has always had an organization and will always have one “. While they and by they I mean YOU and the organization say ” the kingdom will take over in the new system “. What’s taught is that things will essentially remain EXACTLY as they are NOW. With a human hierarchy and no true freedom. That being said the gb doesn’t believe the end is coming soooooo sooooon. It’s a ploy to keep you busy.

    You’ve accepted that and are here perpetuating that idea. Anything that comes from watchtower theology can be comfortably dismissed. They have no more credibility than your average middle school student. You also mention stumbling blocks and then go to your favorite scape goat ” The DEVIL ahh!!..” It’s foolish to blame the serious legal and ethical issues taking place in this self appointed organization of God on an outside source.

    Here’s some advice. Stop following deluded self appointed men (and by extension deluding yourself). I think the advice found in Jer 10:23 can be applied directly to this filthy organization.

    It’s always interesting when JWs say that dirt found in their organization is “Jehovah allowing a stumbling block”. But when it’s found in other religious organizations they make no such concessions. When that happens it’s ” SEE HOW DISGUSTING BABYLON THE GREAT IS!” Ethical groups don’t behave in this manner. However there are a number of groups who do. And they all fit the B.I.T.E. model. As well as Robert Liftons 10 criteria for totalism.

    You last few sentences make it clear that you have more searching to do. Especially when comments like “it won’t be the nucleus of the new system” are made. That’s straight Watchtower delusion right there. Thanks for reminding me of what my mind is free of. Life is GREAT without the JW org in it. I wish the same freedom for others.

  121. Suzsnne

    I wonder what people are thinking when they want to fight the most truthful organization on earth today. I am in extreme danger, have been a Witness for 46 years and no one will help me. This is nothing but pure SELFISHNESS on the part of the people who claim to have love among themselves.

  122. Landers

    To Suzsnne:

    I am so sorry to hear of your troubles. I chuckle, since I once thought that the Watchtower was truthful. Over the past ten plus years I have learned that they are the most untruthful group of people I know. My stepping away was born from their lack of love and I celebrate every day that I am not a Jehovah’s Witness!! Nobody treats me like trash the way that they did for my entire life previously.

  123. Sadie Frank

    Firstly, I have to say thank you for the refreshing article from an elder. Secondly, I have to write of my own personal dilemma. I have been studying with the witnesses for almost ten years. I am an alcoholic and smoker and probably have mental illness. I have a blood disorder due to drinking. I don’t drink that much anymore because I don’t want to die. I take steroids to keep my platelets up. I have not been able to successfully remain smoke free. That is why after ten years I am not baptized. I believe that this is the truth about God and Jesus. I really believe they are separate. That people don’t go to hell. That the trinity is pagan in origin. I don’t believe Jesus died on a cross. I used to go to a Pentecostal church for many years. I believe that the basic doctrine of JWS is the truth. However, I disagree with much. Like how I’m treated like I’m unintelligent. That I should not finish my 39 credits to my BA in psychology. That I should be at every meeting no matter what, unless we are actually sick/contagious. Sometimes my mental state causes me to not want to be around people. Sometimes I just want to stay home. I’m not fake, never have been, and am not good at it. So if I have anger because of nothing, which happens often, and I wanna stay home, I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty. It doesn’t mean I don’t love God, it means I don’t feel good. I miss Jesus. I miss the relationship I feel like I had with him in the Pentecostal church. I feel like some thing is missing in the Kingdom Hall when it comes to loving Jesus. Or giving him his due respect and honor. I’m confused and I’m lost. I don’t feel like any other religion has any remoteness to the truth and so it’s like JWS or nothing. Like I am on my own if I give up going to Kingdom Hall. I can’t go to any other church because I can’t go where the trinity is promoted or the cross is presented. I’m really sad, lost and angry. I’m in a rough congregation. I’ve told a few of my past and I feel like it’s been repeated and now they view me only through the eyes of my past mistakes, if that makes sense. Honestly, with many of them, I feel like I’m in a relationship with my mom again. With whom I do not have a relationship with because she can not forget my youthful mistakes and can’t change her mind about the person I am now. I just feel like I’m held to a higher standard than others. And honestly I’m never gonna make it into their “group” or “club”. And it’s sad. But anyway, that’s it. Thank you for the article. And I will continue my search for Jehovah, salvation, and the Jesus of my youth.

  124. Chiafade

    Sadie your situation is a familiar one. One thing to understand about the witnesses is that, like any sales corporation, their image is everything. It’s more important than any of your personal problems. So instead of helping you out of kindness there are a number of conditions placed on anything you receive from them. “We’ll help you if you come to ALL the meetings and make progress”. That’s the oft repeated reply the JWs give.

    Some will resent that and say ” I wouldn’t do that”, but they are in the minority. With the witnesses it’s doctrine over people. You have to fully understand that in order to get out of the mind set that these are God’s people. Few ethical religious groups put doctrine over people. That’s the thing with JWs they are fundamentally unethical. Sure they are nice when taken at face value. But anyone who has been one then voluntarily left knows that there is more beneath the surface. Some JWs will witness to someone with a nice house while simultaneously hope they don’t accept “the truth” so that the house will be theirs after armageddon.

    You have to start researching witness history in order to grasp what kind of a group this is. The fact that it’s own governing body would deny basic jw doctrine in court rooms says something. Gerrit Losch said he doesn’t represent watchtower costing the organization $13 million dollars. Geoffrey Jackson while on the stand in Australia said “it would be presumptuous to say they were God’s sole channel on earth”. An outrageous statement that, if repeated by anyone in any kingdom Hall on earth, would have them thrust before the elders instantly. Two sets of standards not unlike the Catholic Church that they love to demonize.

    Child abuse scandals kept hidden from JWs earthwide while criticizing other religions for their scandals. Joining the U.N. while criticizing others for becoming NGOs. They still are NGO with the OSCE. Another political organization closely linked with the UN. Attending hedgefund conferences, majority stock holder with Rand cam, the list goes on. Yet their method to get you to join and to keep their members is to make them feel worthless. To make you feel that without them YOU are worthless. They are the way and the truth and the light. No one comes to the father except through them. Christ takes a back seat.

    Everything I just mentioned is a matter of public record. You can easily find the information online. Which is exactly why they don’t want anyone searching for critical information. Please do more research. Start with the B.I.T.E. model.

    You are an asset to society. Get the professional help you need and don’t depend on the pretend professionals at the kingdom Hall.

  125. Claude

    [Off-subject reply removed by Editor]

  126. Chiafade

    I no longer see myself as filthy Claude. If you feel that “we all are” as you say then please do yourself and society a favor and keep that to yourself. If you want to promote prayer that’s fine. Just don’t promote it at the expense of other people’s dignity.

    Since leaving Watchtower I’ve been able to spend an enormous amount of time researching cults, psychiatry, and ancient religion. My mind is free in more ways than one. I’ve developed views based on facts, evidence, and reason. So I still use the Bible but I don’t discount the influence that ancient society and religion could have easily had on its writers. And I must say it feels GREAT! Now you know a little about me. Also, typing words online makes it difficult to transmit thoughts and feelings since you can’t hear the person. Not everything is meant to be harsh. I do have strong feelings against Watchtower though.

    It’s not so much my experiences with the organization. It’s the deception that’s used against Millions of decent people. When people are being emotionally, spiritually, and even physically abused it gets to me. So if we stand down and say nothing then who’s left to inoculate the public? I hope you understand this. This is not a benign belief system. It’s one that uses mental manipulation and mind control to influence people. Not to mention propaganda. I don’t discount your points Claude.

  127. Claude

    [Off-subject comment removed by Editor]

  128. Chiafade

    [Off-subject comment removed by Editor]

  129. Claude

    [Off-subject comment removed by Editor]

  130. Chiafade

    That’s exactly my point. There were no redeeming qualities about the religious leaders. The same can be said about religious leaders who hide pedophiles. Restrict critical thought and socially execute anyone who dares to disagree with the opinions of Imperfect men. Men who behave in the exact same manner as the Pharisees and Sadducees.

    So why are you jumping on my case for criticizing an organization that does the things I just mentioned and more? You said “stop focusing on the negative”. And I’m telling you why should I? Myself and others like me are dealing with this disgusting organization accordingly. You can’t seem to make up your mind. It could be cognitive dissonance wreaking havoc with your mind.

  131. Claude

    [Off-subject comment removed by Editor]

  132. Tom Rios

    I do agree with the JW Elder on some the issues on the Governing Body of Jehovah’s witnesses. Maybe in future years if there is time, some of their organization rules change for the better of all the members.

  133. Claude

    [Off-subject comment removed by Editor]

  134. Dan cybak

    I agree 100% with elder. I am in a situation where I agree with the biblical teachings, but cannot and will not accept the man made doctrines. How do we know Jesus was referring to Joseph’s generation unless he said “just as it was in Joseph’s generation” which we know Jesus did not? We also know there is not one scripture about time, but the scripture about being “obedient to those taking the lead” is used.

    I have made the decision to be obedient to Jehovah and Jesus. I will not follow the rules of men. As Peter stated to Jesus “where are we to go?”

    It seems to me that Jehovah’s Holy Spirit is gathering individuals like ourselves to discuss these important matters and “not forsake the gathering of ourselves.” We do not need Kingdom Halls only to do this.

    I would love to just chat real time with anyone.

  135. Erika

    Hi, I am disfellowshiped and have been going to meetings but I am struggling at being regular for reasons of being overwhelmed sometimes with work, marriage and debt and all kinds of things that life brings. I enjoyed reading this…I had typed once on youtube “I miss Jehovah” thinking I would find some people like me struggling to come back to Jehovah. Instead I found tons of videos of people talking against the organization and they were really angry. You have legitimate concerns. Anyhow my husband is studying and I’m happy but I also feel anger because they don’t say hi to me when they come over to study at our house with him and I feel like that’s wrong. At the meetings the brother that studies with him says hi to him but doesn’t to me. Some people don’t even look at me. Some people smile. It takes everything in me to go to some meetings but then I get that and it makes it harder for the next time. I just feel it’s too much. I’m there, I’m repentant…shouldn’t I get a hi at least in my own home?! Anyways thank you.

  136. Claude

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  137. Erika

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  138. Chiafade

    The shunning policy as applied by watchtower is absolutely NOT biblical. It is a form of psychological torture to treat someone as a non person. Do you really believe that the Christ had this in mind considering that he knew the emotional makeup of human beings and treated them compassionately? In spite of being sinners mind you.

    A purposeful misapplication of 2 John 10 and numerous other scriptures is used for one reason. Emotional blackmail. 2 John when considered in context is not speaking of Jehovahs witnesses. It is making reference to ANYONE who denies that Christ came in the flesh. The watchtower application of shunning is extreme and cruel.

    Erika, the reason so many are angry has to do with the discovery that the watchtower organization has lied to us and continues to do so. The organization would have you believe that there is no justifiable reason to be angry or depressed or that the organization can do no wrong. It would be fallacious to agree with such sentiments. Many of us have given our all to this organization and have never been disfellowshipped, reproved, or disciplined in any why by the organization. We simply found out the truth and walked away. As I did.

    It would be unreasonable to believe that the hiding of pedophiles and secretly joining the U.N. would be sanctioned by God. All while the organization says these were all lies and never happened. Well we know differently now don’t we. It sounds like you may not have done enough independent research. You need not visit apostate sites for that but jwfacts.com has never been disproven by any JW. I think you’ll find that site to be a fair one. Also, if you visit the ARC (Australian royal commission) website you will find the links to their investigation of the witnesses and other organizations who have failed in protecting children from child abuse. Not because they don’t want to, but because of organizational policies.

    On that site you will also see elders lie on the stand. Including Geoffrey Jackson who denied that they are “God’s sole channel on the earth”. Now ask yourself, is that what is taught at the kingdom Halls? What would happen to you if you said that to one of the elders in the congregation?

    The relationship that the witnesses have with the organization is an abusive one. One of the most recent talks on the JW.org website makes that clear. Where they will “let go” of longtime bethelites without a severance package or anything. And then say that the wives have no reason to feel bitter because they CHOSE to marry a bethelite. “You could’ve said no” as the speaker said. Just the tip of the iceberg Erika. There are a lot of angry people. But that anger is justified.

  139. Erika

    Hi Chiafade, thank you for your input.

  140. Claude

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  141. Chiafade

    Claude, I do hope you realize that there is a difference between the people in the congregation and the organization. The organization victimizes the rank and file members. All cults do. In turn the rank and file because they have been thoroughly deceived into believing they are doing God’s will just blindly follow.

    So no I have no problem with the individual members. It’s the organization that is the culprit behind the many issues in the congregations…

    [Off-topic extended segment removed – Editor]

  142. Erika

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  143. Claude

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  144. Roy D Oosthuizen

    I find this article a breath of fresh air; it’s candid and articulate; it’s easy to follow the flow of the author’s thought. I respect his deep sense of loyalty to his spiritual organization, however I believe it is misplaced. I am not a JW (never have been), therefore I have no personal axe to grind. I came to a living faith in Christ in 1971 and over the years, I have read and studied the beliefs of various religious groups including JWs. I do not doubt the author’s sincerity, however, my own view is that I can never delegate my responsibility to think and reason for myself to any organization or group, especially not to my church; that is a responsibility God has given me, and for which He holds me personally responsible, so I refuse to accede it to anyone. I will give them a fair hearing on any point, however, ultimately, I have to make up my own mind and live with the consequences of my decisions. I am not afraid to criticize my own group to its face when it is wrong and I am prepared to make my criticism along with my name, so they know where I stand on an issue. The fear of what an organization can do to you to hurt you and/or your family, is surely not from God who instructs us in His Word, “Do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul: but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Ge-hen’na.” (NWT, Revised 1984) I say this in love, the author writes well and he is honest, but he sounds like he is under the control of fear rather than under the control of God’s Holy Spirit. Finally, none of us is exempt from the temptation to bully others when we are in a position of authority or power, unless of course, we use our position to humbly serve God and others in their best interests and be like Christ, who was not too proud to take a towel and wash the dirty feet of His soon to be disloyal disciples. An organization or church can expel me if they so choose, however, no one can expel me from God’s Kingdom, of which I became a member by Him forgiving my sins and sealing me with His Holy Spirit. Regardless of what they claim, all human organizations are fallible, that’s because we are all fallible. It takes the mighty grace of God to humble us to the point that we acknowledge that the Word of God is right on the money when it demands we answer honestly the question, “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God.” (Rom. 9:20)

  145. Guy

    God certainly has a physical organization on earth to proclaim his Word to mankind. This is a prophecy in the Bible. In fact, through out Biblical history, God used many humans to relay messages to mankind. He even used imperfect humans to write the Bible, which a collection of God’s thoughts and purposes.

    So, to say that God does not have an organization, is ignoring the Bible and it’s prophecies. When the world governments crush false religion, according to the prophecy in Revelation, then you guys will clearly see which organization truly has God’s blessing. Because through out history, God has always preserved true worship and his people. Watch and see how many people will flock to Jehovah’s Organization.

    Thank you, and read the Bible.

  146. noel kennedy

    Excellent article , not a witness , but have many friends who are, very passionate with there belief , to the point of arrogance , also evasive ,i can accept there Christian message, irrespective of how they have tweaked it to suite, don’t question them about false prophecy , or Government in waiting , not to mention the 144. 000 , the average JW is genuine , thats there sanctuary , to paraphrase the Bible as they do , New Translation along with the Watchtower has its appeal to certain people , the danger lies in Bethel .

  147. jacob

    JW’s are a great people and the teachings do give conscience a role to play, the only and only dangers is to give the governing body God’s like status. Other elders are challenged at all times and do accept when they are in the wrong, but the governing body members do not accept and do not apologises for their mistakes.All members should always remember that GB are human

  148. Claude

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  149. Claude

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  150. Menzies

    A FRAUD RELIGIOUS BELIEF NOTION AND PHONY BELIEF SYSTEM. ALL FOR $$ BILKING THE LESS INTELLIGENT IN OUR SOCIETY AND CULTURE. A SICK GROUP OF PEOPLES.

  151. Claude

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  152. Chiafade

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  153. Claude

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  154. Chiafade

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  155. Claude

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  156. Chiafade

    Those may be the things you believe Claude but that doesn’t in any way shape or form make them true. They are mere interpretations akin to that of the JW governing body.

    And yes, anyone who begins to question ridiculous beliefs with absolutely zero proof is well on their way to enlightenment. 100% enlightenment? not necessarily but that’s why we keep searching and questioning. Anyone who speaks in absolutes is walking a very dangerous road that usually leads to disappointment.

  157. anointed25

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  158. Connie

    I woke up during the night and had this burning revelation that I need to partake of the wine and bread. I was baptised WHEN I was 17 but never been since. I am confused because I never had this desire before, as a child I did witness 2 witnesses partake. Any thoughts?

  159. Colleen Ferguson

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. Get rid of your baseball cap and shave? JWS are so judgmental and hypocritical. Yes, you do shun family. I’m one of 4 kids shunned in my family. It’s a sad religion.

  160. traveler

    Until education is not the first criteria you use to weigh whether it is truth or not and whether it is serving God or not, you have little more chance of actually finding it than the nation of Israel did. This was their main objection to Christ and his followers. It is a fact that the intellectuals do not find the truth. I believe if you are an elder you still believe that your identity can share God’s mind. That you are dependent on HIS memories to program a newly created being’s mind to resemble yours exactly. This does not make connection with your existence, so that you can be resurrected or inherit, since your thoughts do parish.

    (Psalm 146:4) 4 His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; In that day his thoughts do perish.

    Maybe you should arrive at a logical basis for your understanding of “the resurrection” before you worry about someone else’s frame of mind.

  161. Carol-lee Biggs

    I have been studying for some time, I’m allergic to all pharmaceuticals drugs and cannot be exposed to infections, I was mutilated by a Doctor against my will, have severe hearing loss and went nearly blind which could have been avoided, I have had corneal transplants and cataracts surgery done on both eyes but I’m rejecting left graft, all drugs used have caused severe allergies and now they are talking about using my blood to make a serum eye drops to put in my eye, I new that having the corneal graft has no blood, but I’m questioning using my blood for drops. My illness Will not go away I get so excited that I’m having a study, watch dramas, etc on jw site, I wait and wait all day for sister to turn up for study and I text her I’m excited about having bible study today and later sends a text saying Jehovah thinks your under duress and no bible study. This has happened to many times and did not judge her, but when she said Jehovah thinks that made me very angry. When I started going to meeting I was told to sit is a chair with leg up, this was very painful for me and then later I found out there was a arm chair I could have used, going to meetings, shopping etc expose me to virus. Attended meeting ended up within 24 hour vomiting and diarrhoea which lasted for weeks and then the four day I got a serious virus that I had for 7 mths, I cannot be treated with medications as I can die. Pain killers can kill me, and my Doctor is trying to see if I can go on medical marijuana, and I did use marijuana and the sister supported me doing it and said once when I had a migraine to do it in front of her I was horrified and didn’t ,, she even gave me a supplier of medical marijuana. I wanted to become an unbaptised publisher and this sister supported it , listening to about smoking marijuana a drama about this I broke down and cried because I have to obey the law of the land, I stopped marijuana straight away and have been so sick because I’m a chronic pain suffer and theirs no medication. Every time I’m sick she stops studies but I believe she was using it as an excuse, when she said Jehovah thinks I sent her a text that her behaviour wasn’t Christ like, she tells me to do something that goes against law of the land which Jehovah said we have obey, would jesus dump me an not support me, I have removed all people who went against bible principles, I have no contact from the sisters or brothers from congregation. I talk to my cat an Jehovah as I have no human contact. And when I talk about getting surgery for mutilation which is causing uti infections which have been left untreated for 4 yrs. And my womanhood has been robbed I need to get it fix, but any time I have had contact with old friends they have arranged for me to talk to media but this woman said I can xxx Jehovah off, so I blocked this woman and no help, this sister expects me to live like thus I can’t I will die, who she to tell me what I can can’t do because she has not preaches me Jehovah’s truth, so where is the loving kindness I’m beside myself with grief Carol-lee I’m from Australia ph 0434128743 plz someone help me

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