Elder reveals his secret

By “Shadow Elder, Jr.”

A few weeks ago, my father and I were out working together in the door-to-door preaching work. That morning only four of us showed up at the Kingdom Hall –my dad and I, and a married brother and sister. The other couple announced that they only had a little over an hour available for service and had some return calls to make. They would go off on their own while my dad and I would visit a territory a few miles away in a more rural area.

I am the youngest in my family. I was born into the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as was my father, and his father before him. Dad would not allow any of us to be baptized until we were at least sixteen years old, just to make sure that we truly wanted to dedicate our lives to Jehovah’s service. My oldest brother was baptized when he turned seventeen. My other brothers have not been baptized, although they do go to meetings and occasionally take part in field service. I was baptized the summer before I went to high school.

But back to my story…

My father silently chewed on his lower lip as we drove toward the territory. I could tell that something was definitely on his mind and he seemed troubled. I asked if he was feeling OK. I suggested that he might want to stop and get a cup of coffee before we started knocking on doors. He denied that anything was wrong, but agreed that a cup of coffee might do him some good.

One of our favorite little coffee shops was on the way. I’m not much of a coffee drinker. And when I do have a cup, I put so much sugar and creamers in it that I can barely taste the coffee itself. Then I find myself totally “wired” all day. But for some reason, I felt today was definitely a day when a coffee break was needed.

We sat at a little table off in a corner while we had our coffee and shared a cinnamon roll. Dad looked at me and then surprised me with “What do you think about going back to school? You always got decent grades in high school, and…” he paused, “I was wondering if you had any plans about going to college?”

“Gee, I don’t know, Dad,” I answered. “I haven’t really thought too much about it because I know the Society frowns on anyone going to college – especially a 4-year school. I don’t want to get into any trouble at the Kingdom Hall. After all, you’re an elder – I don’t want you to get into trouble either.”

Dad was deep in thought as he gazed over my head, watching people pass by the window of the coffee shop. He’d start to say something, but failed to form any words. I worried that he was going to tell me he had cancer or that my mother had some terrible disease. “Dad – what is wrong? Are you OK? Is everything OK?”

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A letter to the Watchtower

By “AA”


Editor’s Note: This is a copy of “AA’s” letter to the Watchtower. He wrote this when he had just started his intensive research into their beliefs and history. He never received a reply back from anyone at headquarters (he says it might have been because he didn’t include “Attn: Writing Committee” when he addressed it). He was hoping for and expected some kind of answer back from them – in spite of its somewhat aggressive tone. He also admits that he was bit scared asking the questions in this letter, so he’d like to know what you think. Feel free to share your comments at the end of the article. His original version (with commentary) can be found by clicking on this link to Jehovahs-Witness.net.


Dear Brothers,

I am writing this letter concerning some questions that I have acquired over time; although most have arisen from my own study, many have come from witnessing to others and discussions with my non-Witness wife. I have found adequate answers on most through deeper study, but still have a few that I think you would be better suited to address. Throughout the following paragraphs I will try to convey my questions in the fullest and most accurate way possible. With that being said, please remember that while I have these concerns I do not intend to question the authority of the Organization in any way, it is only that I have not been able to reconcile everything I have studied and have concluded that I wont be able to on my own. As 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.”

One major confusion for me has been dates. The more I study the more there seem to be, and although some are still held to be true, others have been entirely discarded or the significance has changed. The two most important dates in modern times seem to be 1914 and 1919, the former involving the invisible return of Christ, and the latter his selection of Jehovah’s Witnesses as his chosen representatives. Concerning 1919, I have not been able to discern why it is this year is important prophetically. I do know the Organization recognizes that until this date the Bible Students were still a part of Christendom’s false religion, as the May 1, 1989 Watchtower explains on pages 3 and 4. Interestingly it brings out “without any Biblical basis, they were observing birthdays and Christmas. The cross was still prominent in their thinking” as just a few reasons for not being acceptable to Christ. Paradoxically further research reveals that the cross appeared on the front cover of every issue of the Watch Tower up to October 15, 1931 and Christmas was still celebrated at Bethel until around 1925. If the Bible Students were not acceptable to Jesus before 1919 because of these practices, then how did they become accepted after while still involved in these apostate activities?

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An open letter to the Governing Body

By “Brother Siam”


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published as a post on the JWN forum. With the kind permission of its author, we are republishing it here in a slightly edited format. [Here is a link to the original version.] “Brother Siam” is an active Jehovah’s Witness living on the West Coast of the United States. A Witness his whole life, he served as a pioneer for several years, and as an elder for seven years. He hopes that other elders in his position will read this and reconsider their responsibilities to their assigned flock. He invites your comments…


The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Watchtower Society, Inc.
New York, USA

Dear Brothers,

I served for seven years as an Elder in the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I recently relinquished this privilege for the following reasons:

1. My whole life I was taught that Armageddon is going to be here any moment and is “imminent.” The direction from the Holy Spirit said that the end was going to come in 1914, 1925, 1975, and before the end of the 20th Century. Your followers would “never grow old” or “fulfill any career.” That didn’t happen. “Imminent” and “soon” stretched on for over 100 years. These interpretations of Bible prophecy have proven to be false, and yet you continue to pretend that they were “directed by Jehovah.”

2. I was taught that there would be very few “anointed” left when the end came and that the number will decrease as the end drew near. The number of “anointed” is actually increasing.

3. I was told that field service is a “life saving work” that must be performed with a “sense of urgency.” So far not one person’s life has been saved. And even though the work is “urgent,” the antiquated method of calling on empty houses is still used as the primary way of trying to reach people. Television, the Internet, email, postal services, and social networking are not being used – even though the effectiveness of these methods has been proven. I doubt that you feel that this is a “life saving work” yourself.

4. We are taught as an organization that “the light gets brighter” as Jehovah blesses his servants with Holy Spirit and increased understanding. Is Jehovah responsible for flip-flopping doctrines such as the “generation” of Matthew 24:34? Organ transplants? Blood transfusions? The identity of the “superior authorities”? Or is it the men who claim to be “inspired”? Despite these changes, each time the credit (or blame) is given to Jehovah. If the members of the Faithful and Discreet Slave class were actually “inspired,” “faithful,” or “discreet,” these teachings would have never changed.

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Are changes coming to the Watchtower?

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out our new permanent page:
Changes and Challenges Facing the Watchtower.


I’ve been looking at the Watchtower from the outside the organization since the mid-1960s. As many former Jehovah’s Witnesses will attest, you can be away from the religion for many years, but somehow the effects of the cult continue to affect your life forever.

Now that I’ve been out for so many years, certain facts and truths about the Watchtower are clear as a bell to me. I don’t even think twice about them now. And yet I often wonder if I can see these things so clearly, why can’t those who are closer to the organization – those who live within its grasp every day of their lives – why can’t they see it even clearer than I?

Why can’t they find the facts about the Watchtower’s unsavory past? Facts are everywhere, including right in their own publications, CD libraries, and outside resources.

Why don’t they admit that they are bored and unsatisfied with the quality of their meetings, the writing style and depth of research found in their magazines and publications, and the actual amount of love and understanding they get from their local leaders?  Want an example of “boring”? Try listening (and singing) to the songs from their latest Kingdom Songbook.

Why do they allow themselves and their friends and family to be treated like the “sheep” they claim to be? They are often prodded, abused, and sheared by their shepherds – and then thrown to the wolves when they want to leave the flock.

Why do JWs continue to silently ignore the errors of the Watchtower’s teachings? Don’t they ever wonder why a college student can challenge and question a professor – someone obviously more educated than he – and yet not be afraid of being ejected from school? So why can’t Jehovah’s Witnesses question and challenge their leaders whenever something is confusing and just doesn’t ring true? Don’t they rate honest, quality answers to their questions from their “teachers”?

Why don’t JWs stop and consider why it is that the writers of the Watchtower publications, supposedly working under the inspiration of Jehovah’s holy spirit, always use terms like “apparently,” “perhaps,” and (their favorite at the moment) “evidently”? If the writers aren’t sure, perhaps they should save that article for a later date and publish it after they have gathered more specific information or received more “inspiration”?

The fact is that thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses are leaving the religion every year, just as I did over 40 years ago. Many more want to leave, but are locked in because of the Watchtower’s cruel shunning rules.

It is also a fact that many finally get to a breaking point and leave anyway – if not physically – in mind and spirit. They just go through the motions, but they are not Jehovah’s Witnesses at heart. They are no longer afraid of “being destroyed at Armageddon” – because they know that Armageddon is just a myth. They will die, as we all must, but due to old age, natural causes or disease, or from an accident.  They realize that Jehovah will never drop an asteroid on their house or pick them out of a crowd and zap them with lightning.

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