Celebrate 1914 to 2014: End of an “Error”

A Message from Barbara Anderson. . .

Announcing a Website to Celebrate 1914 to 2014: The End of an Error for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

On October 2, 1914, Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Watch Tower, announced that “The Gentile Times have ended!”

None of his expectations about 1914 came true, but Jehovah’s Witnesses have continually accepted updates to the “1914 doctrine, allowing them to cling to that date for 100 years. But the Watch Tower’s grip on 1914 is coming loose.

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Why So Quiet?

By John Hoyle, Editor

I want to apologize to all the readers and supporters of EX-JW.com for the  lack of activity on this website over the past three months. Although I’ve been very busy and spending very long hours at my computer, I am physically well and will return to editing and writing for this site and InsidetheWatchtower.com very soon.

Early in July I completed a total website redesign for author Dick Kelly (Growing Up in Mama’s Club). I’ve been Dick’s webmaster for over four years. Although his site was working fine, we both felt it had grown a bit tired. A couple of months earlier, Dick released a sequel to his first book (The Ghosts from Mama’s Club) and we wanted to properly showcase it. Both of Dick’s books are available at Amazon.com and are in the display carousel in the sidebar page right. My redesign was a departure from the norm, but the feedback has been consistently positive for the website and his new book. Check them out at RichardEKelly.com.

I was still touching up Dick’s website in mid-July when Cynthia Hampton, moderator and organizer of Ex JWs of Los Angeles, called and invited me to attend a special conference she was sponsoring in Walnut Creek, California. I jumped at the chance to meet Candace Conti, her attorney Rick Simons, and the two dozen other attendees. What a privilege it was to meet all of those great people! I enjoyed every minute that I was there listening to Candace and Rick tell their stories. I remembered to take my cameras to the event, but then left my cell phone (a Droid) behind at the meeting place. I had to turn around and race back (about 15 miles) to retrieve my phone before they all left and locked up the meeting room.

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JWSurvey.org announces 2012 Global Survey

There is a new online survey about Jehovah’s Witnesses available for participation by all current and former members at JWSurvey.org.

“Cedars,” the founder and main contributor to the website, announced during a podcast on Saturday, January 28th that the new 2012 Global Survey of Jehovah’s Witnesses is now open for business. The new survey is designed as a more specific and definitive follow-up to the successful 2011 Global Survey that began in September 2011.

Using suggestions from many of the website’s readers and previous survey participants, Cedars decided to expand the 2012 version to include more specific questions directed to subgroups within the Witness culture. There are questions for elders, those claiming membership in the “anointed” class, average active publishers, and even disfellowshipped or disassociated members. Groups also include those who have not been baptized yet and Witnesses who have simply faded away from active membership.

Like the 2011 Survey and the site’s “Mini-Surveys,” participation is free, easy and secure. It also has the added benefit of immediate feedback. After a participant answers each question, the system updates the current totals and shows the results instantly.

The 2011 Global Survey was only online for a little over three months – but had nearly 1200 respondents. “Cedars” and webmaster John Hoyle are hoping that with eleven months left in 2012 they will eventually see hundreds of participants in every one of the six subcategories. “We’re not expecting a lot of ‘anointed’ members or anyone from the Governing Body to take the survey, but we feel that all other categories should be well represented given the amount of time the survey will be online.”

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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.


InsidetheWatchtower.com

InsidetheWatchtower.com is new website dedicated to uncovering the truth about Jehovah's Witness lifestyle and culture.For those readers who have not found it yet, we’d like to announce our new website, Inside the Watchtower. It’s been online since late July, but was only announced officially on August 2, 2011.

Although it could be considered a “companion site” to Ex-JW.com, it really stands on its own and has a unique personality. Intended to provide a “behind the scenes” look at what life is like being a Jehovah’s Witness, it will avoid heated debates about theology and doctrine. It’s about the process and culture of being a Witness. How do they get through a normal week of meetings and field service? What’s it like growing up as a Witness, going to meetings, reading Watchtower publications, knocking on doors, dealing with elders, and trying to figure out what the latest Watchtower teachings and rules are all about?

After the official announcement about the site, the Editor received a congratulatory email from an anonymous former JW. “Your new site approaches its subjects in a gentle, probing way, almost caressing them with a touch of sadness and loss, but also mixed with large servings of humor. You’re making the point that it’s not easy being a Jehovah’s Witness. For me, it’s very much like having a job you hate – but can’t quit without bringing financial disaster that will destroy your family.” Another wrote, “The JWs spend so much wasted time trying to recruit new converts. But as soon as they get them converted and baptized, the Watchtower seems dedicated to tossing them out and breaking up their families. What is the logic in that?”

Another wrote, “Your writers are excellent. Everyone has their own style, but present their subjects in clear and interesting ways. Keep it up.”

We certainly appreciate the nice complements sent our way. And for some reason completely unknown to us, Inside the Watchtower seems to have gained a group of fans from all over Brazil – and this started before we put up our automated translator. We are so pleased to know that like Ex-JW.com, we have regular visitors logging in daily from all over the world.

Among the contributors to Inside the Watchtower, are some that have also published here on Ex-JW.com. Terry Walstrom, “Mad Sweeney,” and Len Miller have all agreed to contribute, all great writers – just to name a few. Plus – we have our feelers out for more knowledgeable writers and forum posters. We know that there is a huge amount of thoughtful, well-researched, and helpful material languishing in the archives of various Jehovah’s Witness discussion forums that may never again see the light of day. What a shame to lose those valuable resources. That’s one of the goals of Inside the Watchtower: mine some of that “old gold” – and then publish and index it for our readers to enjoy for years to come.

The site offers a contact page with automated email, translation services for twenty languages, easy-to-use comment forms for each article, an archive of Blondie’s Best “Comments You Won’t Hear at the Watchtower Study,” and many other unique features. Like Ex-JW.com, there will be an extensive index and links to other excellent JW discussion websites. We’ll add to a growing number of book reviews and make links available to PDF copies for some old out-of-print Watchtower publications. Coming soon will be our version of “Cliffnotes” for the most recent Watchtower and Awake! magazines. That could be fun!

So check out Inside the Watchtower. Please note that we’re still making adjustments and site upgrades. You’ll see changes as the site progresses and grows. You should find the site gentle on the eyes, easy to read, and even fun to visit from time to time. The site is also compatible with all browsers and works fine on iPhone™ and Droid® models. We look forward to reading your comments.

If you would like to submit your own articles, please email the Editor for a copy of our guidelines.


Registration Turned Off – and On

Due to a potential “denial of service” attack, I turned off subscriber registration services back on March 14, 2011.

Since then I’ve installed some new protective software that will allow normal registration to resume. We’ll see how it works over the next few weeks. There continue to be constant attacks by spammers and other nefarious hackers with nothing better to do than to try to disrupt the work of others. Sites like Ex-JW.com are especially vulnerable because there are those, including the Watchtower Society, who would love to shut us down any way they can – in ways legal or illegal – as they see fit.

——– from earlier version of this article ——-

Let’s face it: A lot of groups and individuals don’t like websites that expose the problems with the Watchtower Society and its followers, Jehovah’s Witnesses. Every so often, sites like this come under attack and must take defensive and protective measures to make sure that our servers are not damaged and that our readers are not endangered with computer viruses or spam.

Ex-JW.com has several built-in defenses and so far they have worked well. As editor and webmaster, I constantly monitor the site to look for any abnormality or attacks against the site. Unfortunately, all the best defenses in the industry can not protect this site or other against the constant barrage of attacks by spammers, hackers, and criminal organizations who dedicate themselves to damaging the work of others.

You can still comment and send messages through our comment form. I will reopen registration after I feel confident that the danger has passed. For most of you who have been subscribers for some time, your subscription status is still active.

I hope this does not discourage anyone from coming to this site, but I’ve taken this action to protect all of my readers, new and old.