Happy Holidays

By the Editor

Within the next few days, millions of people in the western world will celebrate Christmas, followed a week later by the New Year. In most countries, Christmas comes on December 25, but in a few (mostly those located in Eastern Europe and Asia Minor) Christmas comes on January 7. This difference is due to the fact that most branches of the Eastern and Russian Orthodox churches still use the Julian calendar for setting their religious feast days.

But not Jehovah’s Witnesses. They don’t celebrate Christmas in December or January. Nor do they celebrate in October, the month they claim was actually the time of Jesus’ birth.

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas or the New Year. Witnesses don’t put up and decorate trees, do not exchange gifts, they sing no carols, send no seasonal cards, and have no parties. They will not wish anyone “A Merry Christmas” or “A Happy New Year!” While Jehovah’s Witnesses may believe in Jesus Christ, they do not believe in Christmas.

Read More


Global Survey of Jehovah’s Witnesses – 2011

"I'm taking the survey. How about you?" - Pastor Russell

We’re pleased to announce that a new tool for communicating with both Jehovah’s Witnesses, former Witnesses, and non-JWs is now available – an online, world-wide, opinion survey website:

JWsurvey.org

The original survey was conceived and initially executed by a gentleman from the UK known as “Cedars.” He suggested setting up a survey in late September as his reaction to some of the discussions taking place on the Jehovahs-Witness.net forum. [Link to original thread.]

Cedars tried to design the survey in a way that anyone connected to Jehovah’s Witnesses in any category (current JWs, former JWs, elders, Bethel members, etc.) could feel they have a voice and be able to freely express their opinions. Cedars worded the questions to be neutral, neither pro or con as they relate to the Watchtower Society or its teachings. Cedars admits that he hopes to hear from more active Jehovah’s Witnesses than some of the other groups. That way he can get a better feel for what current rank and file JWs are really thinking.

One poster on that first thread suggested that Cedars try using the online polling services provided by Survey Monkey. Cedars took that suggestion, came up with a list of questions, and installed the poll on Survey Monkey. The first version of the Global Survey of Jehovah’s Witnesses 2011 was online and ready for business on September 21, 2011.

Initial Feedback

From the very beginning, reaction and support for the Global Survey was amazing. Within just three days over 400 visitors had logged in and answered the survey. Although the first responses to his survey tended to be very positive, there were a few who followed his forum thread with suspicions about his intentions. A few posters made serious accusations about both Cedars and his motives.

Read More


Menlo Park: “The Truth” vs. the truth

The Watchtower Society is a religious organization that has for decades wrapped the self-proclaimed title of “The Truth” around itself. On the other hand, it continues to use so-called “theocratic war strategy” in a misguided attempt to prevent secular courts from discovering the real truth about what happened at the Menlo Park Kingdom Hall in late 2009 and 2010.

But I have to give them credit for the strength of their survival instincts. So far Watchtower strategy has worked.

During August and September I was in direct contact with people very close to the Menlo Park court cases. My contacts DID NOT INCLUDE THE PLAINTIFFS or any of the former elders. That’s right – there are actually two court cases going on involving individuals connected to that scandal. The first is the ongoing case filed last summer in Federal District Court in San Francisco by two former elders, Jon Cobb Sr. and Walter Arlen St. Clair. There is also a second case in San Mateo County Superior Court filed by Jason Cobb, the former COBOE and CEO of the Menlo Park Hall’s non-profit corporation.

At the end of this article you will find links to copies of court documents that will bring you up to date on much of the case. You’ll find that they tell parts of the story, often in great detail. But what I now find more interesting are the back stories – great little tidbits that will probably never be reported or detailed in any of the official court documents.

I found that one thing is consistent whether you read the official court records or if you hear tales told through the local gossip grapevine: The Watchtower is taking this case very seriously and seems worried that the real truth about what has happened in Menlo Park may actually get wider publicity. I’m told that the defendants try to look confident and in control while at the Kingdom Hall, but everyone close to them knows they are worried about their future – even if the plaintiffs are only marginally successful in their lawsuit.

In the meatime, “The Truth” [Watchtower] is fighting every possibility that the real truth will eventually get out and be reported by a major news outlet.

While this reporter was in the Menlo Park and Redwood City area, I met with a couple of anonymous contacts and took phone calls from two others who are still afraid to meet with me personally. I noticed that no matter which side they take in this battle, their stories remain consistent with one theme: The Watchtower Society really screwed up!  They sent the wrong people to do their dirty work. Instead of a weak-willed, kool-aid drinking, self-important group of sheepish elders – they found they were facing some brothers who were willing to stand up for what they know is right, in spite of the overwhelming odds against them.

To fight this battle, the Watchtower and their legal team are doing their very best to manipulate the system any way they can. At the moment they allegedly continue to ignore subpoenas for bank records and corporate documents that are critical to getting to the truth of these cases before the courts.

Read More


Real Estate Magnates

The Watchtower Society is on the move! Long a fixture in Brooklyn, New York, the Watchtower is slowly and methodically selling off its vast property holdings and moving all of its operations north to Patterson and Wallkill.

Thanks to their mostly tax-free status as a “non-profit religious organization,” the officers of the Watchtower’s various corporations can sell properties they bought at fire-sale prices and then sell them off for huge profits – and keep the bulk of the money with minimal or no tax consequences.

The Watchtower Society sells its Brooklyn properties…
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJTqyMKNvyA&feature=related

It’s good to be a religion. We should all call ourselves “a religion.” The advantages are far too many to list here, but the evidence is clear that the Watchtower Society has educated itself on how to manipulate its assets for the greatest gain.

Read More


Some quick updates

Please note that Mad Sweeney’s Cult Free Radio program #7 is now online. It’s been added to the Cult Free archive page. #7 was another great program with an interesting interview with two former Witnesses. Don’t miss it! Link to archive page.

On another subject entirely, check out Kurt Prochnow’s excellent comment on our most recent Menlo Park Kingdom Hall article. He provides two excellent links to sources that discuss how to identify real Navy SEALs versus wannabees or fakes. Thanks, Kurt!

The editor is taking a short vacation, but when he gets back there should be some late breaking news about developments at Menlo Park. This story is entering a new phase, and many questions should soon be answered about who is actually telling the truth and who is using “theocratic strategy” (i.e., lying). It’s been a year since this story broke and it continues to develop in ways never imagined by the editor or even by some of the participants.

Anyone with inside news or comments about what is happening at Menlo Park or any other ongoing scandals involving the Watchtower society is encouraged to contact the editor at scandals@ex-jw.com. Your personal information, if any, will be guarded and not revealed under any circumstance. Feel free to use a pseudonym and a throw-away email address. The editor is interested in what you know, not who you are. Ex-JW.com is after the truth – not exposing anyone.


Menlo Park: What are they trying to hide?

By the Editor

  • Why must the Menlo Park Kingdom Hall bank records be marked “Confidential” and hidden from public review?
  • Did Don Adams come to the SF Bay area to visit kin? Or was it to lay out a new MPKH “war strategy”?
  • What do some of the original members of the Menlo Park Kingdom Hall think – one year after the merger with Redwood City?
  • A SEAL, or not a SEAL? Questions raised about Circuit Overseer Paul G. Koehler’s credibility.

You want to look at my bank statements? Sure! Go ahead. You’ll see a lot more money going out than coming in. You’ll see a few checks written, lots of ATM activity, and the names of my creditors and clients. You’ll see where I shop, how many times I buy gas, and a few online purchases from Amazon.com for books and software. So go ahead! Look! I have nothing to hide.

Most Americans, after thinking about it, would probably agree that their bank statements hold few secrets. Of course, they reserve the right to protect their privacy, and if it’s none of your business then you have no good reason to look at their finances. Yeah, they might be embarrassed about how little money they actually have in their accounts, but would have to admit that no real secrets about their private lives would be apparent from just a look at their checking and savings accounts.

Let me ask you: What would you expect to see on the bank statements of a Kingdom Hall? A couple of utility bills, some cleaning supplies, and bathroom paper products? Payments to the Watchtower Society for literature and other materials? Donations forwarded to the Watchtower Society for insurance, circuit and district assemblies, building funds, and “the worldwide missionary work”? All those things should be expected and are unlikely to raise any eyebrows. The Hall’s bank accounts should balance fairly close to what the COBOE reported in the congregation’s monthly financial reports.

So what possible reason would there be to keep a Kingdom Hall’s bank statements “confidential”? What could be on those statements that the elders wouldn’t want anyone to see? Why wouldn’t any group of congregation elders simply say, “There they are! Take a look. Nothing to see here folks. Just some donations coming in, and a few bills paid out. Simple. Straightforward. Just numbers. Nothing to hide.”

But that’s not the case in Menlo Park. The attorney for the defense is trying to make sure that no one outside of court will ever see any of the Menlo Park bank statements. In fact, he wants to make sure that if any bank statements are entered into evidence as part of court documents (most become public domain after they are assigned a case number), that those will be forever hidden from public review, marked “Confidential,” and then removed from the public case files.

One more time: What’s on those bank statements that the defense is afraid to show us? My guess is that if we saw them, certain irregularities would pop right off the pages and give us reason to ask for plausible explanations. Read the court documents below and decide for yourself if there is a legitimate reason the Menlo Park Kingdom Hall’s bank statements should not be publicly available as part of normal court filings?

What is known is that the Menlo Park Kingdom Hall not only has business checking and savings accounts that have existed for several years, but also other bank accounts that were set up since the merger in July, 2010. There are seven checking and two savings accounts in at least two different banks, Wells Fargo and Chase.

The Menlo Park Police Department also wants to see those bank statements and account documents because both sides have filed reports that accuse certain people with embezzlement, fraud, and forgery. The defense seems to want to exclude the police. But why? If the statements will clear these alleged criminal charges, let the police look at them. Will the authorities ever see those bank records?

Again, I ask, why not? What is hidden within those documents that would embarrass anyone connected to those accounts? Why so many bank accounts?

Read More