Child Abuse and Jehovah’s Witnesses

By Stephanie Hammond

If you found out that a man you trusted had molested your child, how would you feel? What would you do?

Do you know if there are there pedophiles in your local Kingdom Hall?
Do you know if there are there pedophiles in your local Kingdom Hall?

For most parents their natural reactions would include anger, devastation, pain, and anguish. Many parents say they would need an “act of God” to prevent them from physically castrating the violator. Others would immediately call the police and try to have the man put away in prison for the rest of his natural life. All of these reactions make sense, considering the disgusting, cruel acts often committed against children — children who depend on their parents to protect them and come to their aid in situations too abysmal to comprehend.

On the other hand, what if you were told it was more acceptable not to call the police? Instead, what if you were instructed that you must tell a member of your church clergy first and let him handle it? And what if you actually followed this instruction, and then find out that nothing was done to punish the perpetrator? What if the clergy members told you that there had to be “two witnesses who personally saw the man touch your child” in order for them to act? Would you let the matter go? Could you?

That second scenario might seem outrageous to most people. No one could actually follow through with that ridiculous mandate – could they? Does this really happen? What are the facts?

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Sudbury Elders: Reconsider Your Actions

By Rory Sullivan


© Copyright Oxyman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.Editor’s Introduction:
Even though this letter has appeared on other websites by now, Mr. Sullivan was kind enough to let me to publish and share his excellent thought-provoking “open letter” with our readers. He brings up issues that should concern all Jehovah’s Witnesses, but especially those honest-hearted Jehovah’s Witnesses who must carry the burden of serving as elders in their local Kingdom Hall.


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Coping with False Prophecy

By Cynthia Hampton

For several years I have been honored to coordinate and moderate a Jehovah’s Witness support group based in Los Angeles and San Jose, California. Our group stays in touch by using the Yahoo!Groups email system and through our ExJWsLosAngeles.org website.

I recently received the following question from a non-member of the group submitted on an automated email form located on the Contact Us page of our website:

“How does one cope with the new information that Armageddon will not come in our lifetime using the information from scripture, ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur…’? My generation? Or [the generation of] those who saw the beginning of signs that Jesus gave us to watch for that will mark the end of this system? My hope is gone from my heart. I miss my God, but I am no longer sure he is there. How does one cope with that? Thanks for reading.”

Here is my response to this person’s question:

I’m glad you contacted me. I’ve been free of the Watchtower organization for about 30 years. I left when I was 24 years old and have never looked back. I am no longer afraid, because after heavy investigation and research I determined that the Watchtower is a false teacher. In that way, I was able to cope and search for God in a different way outside the clutches of the Watchtower organization. The more I researched and read, the better I felt, and the better I understood that I need not fear any longer.

When I was in the organization we all believed that Armageddon would surely be here in 1975. But 1975 came and went and nothing happened. The same for the rest of the dates the Watchtower had set that proved to be false prophecies. That includes when the Watchtower built a mansion in San Diego [in the 1920s] naming it Beth Sarim (“House of Princes”) for the Old Testament prophets (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David, etc.) to live in. According to the Watchtower, those Old Testament saints were to return in 1925. In 1921 Joseph Rutherford gave a speech referring to the “indisputable truth that millions now living will never die!”

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Confronting Misinformation

By Richard E. Kelly

I am currently writing a sequel, The Ghosts from Mama’s Club. It’s an autobiography of my forty-seven years of life after leaving the Club. The “ghosts” in the book are dysfunctional behavior patterns, toxic residue acquired from the time my family and I spent as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The most haunting “ghost” for me and my wife, and most people, is the prodigious amounts of misinformation acquired wittingly and unwittingly while we were in the cult. Therefore, the biggest challenge to leading a full, happy life after departing will be confronting misinformation.

Shedding “things a person knows that ain’t so” can be very daunting. Some “ain’t so’s” manifest themselves as phobias. So before nagging untruths induce debilitating behavior, it’s important to clearly identify what they are. When a person is consciously aware of their “ain’t so’s,” they can easily quarantine them. Were I to leave the Club today, my recovery plan would include reading the following six books, in the following order, and why:

  1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. The author gives a moving account of his life in Nazi death camps and his discovery of logotherapy—a positive approach to the mentally/spiritually disturbed person. His treatment focuses on the freedom to transcend suffering and find a meaning to one’s life regardless of circumstances.
  2. The Source by James A. Michener. A great bit of storytelling based on factual data about early civilization in Israel, debunking JW myths.
  3. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Okay, he’s an atheist, but a person coming out of a group like JWs will appreciate and relate to his hard-hitting, factual observations about the imbecilities of religious fanatics and the dangerous rise of superstition in today’s world. (This is a good book to test your ability to hold two opposed ideas in your mind and still retain the ability to function.)
  4. Jesus, Interrupted – Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible by Bart D. Ehrman. Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely in the dark as to what scholars have been saying for 200 years about Bible history, forgeries, and contradictions. Whichever side a person sits on biblical inerrancy, this is an eye-opening read.
  5. The Sins of Scripture by John Shelby Spong. This book exposes the evil done by people who use the Bible like weapons in the name of God. It points out texts that have been used to discriminate, oppress and distort the truth of Christianity, casting doubt on God’s love.
  6. Why Evolution is True by Jerry A. Coyne. I hate the title, but after years of hearing non-scholarly JW evolution rebuttal, this well-written explanation by a knowledgeable scientist gives the reader a fresh, nonthreatening perspective of how old our earth is and how new species evolved from previous ones. And, it makes a good case for the fact that God is not a micromanager, as JWs claim.

If people who’ve left the Club will read these books, they will be amazed how refreshing and energizing basic science and honest history can be. Not only will they have confronted the “ghost of misinformation,” it will be like getting a good, Liberal-Arts-101 college education at a bargain price. For it to coalesce, they’ll need to get outside of themselves and cogitate about the new things they’ve learned. It will also help to take walks, meet new people, do random acts of kindness, volunteer for charitable work, enjoy a hobby and be a friend if they want to lead a full, meaningful life.

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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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