Ex-JWs Helping Haiti

ExJW4Haiti.com websiteA group of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses have stepped up to the plate and have created a quick and easy way for other former Jehovah’s Witnesses, their friends, family and other supporters to safely and securely give aid directly to non-profit groups who are now in Haiti and rendering aid in the form of medical care, drugs and medical supplies, food, and shelter.

Go here to find out how you can help: ExJWs4Haiti.com.

The citizens and residents of Haiti have experienced their own “Armageddon” this past week when a shallow fault under the island nation slipped and destroyed up to 75% of all buildings and major infrastructure within the country – taking thousands of human lives and injuring thousands more.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, the earthquake occurred inland about 16 miles (25km) from the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The earthquake was quite shallow at less than 10 miles from the surface and measured 7.0 on the Richter scale.

The Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system generated the quake, producing very strong shaking and slippage for hundreds of miles in all directions. Shaking was also felt in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Haiti’s neighboring country of the Dominican Republic. Authorities issued a tsunami warning  shortly after the quake, but it was soon canceled.

The devastation to property and human lives was horrific. As of this writing, an estimated 72,000 have already been buried, with estimates of up to 250,000 dead being predicted.

The problem facing governments and charitable organizations that have come to the aid of the Haitian people is simply how to get that aid to the people who need it. Think of the size of the task involved if Los Angeles or New York were completely devastated – and you get an idea of the size of the job ahead in Haiti.

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Celebrities who are (or were) JWs – Part 5

As our readership continues to expand, one trend is very apparent: Everyone seems to be interested in celebrities and other famous individuals who might be Jehovah’s Witnesses.

As the editor of Ex-JW.com, I receive three or four emails per day requesting more articles about JWs who may have reached some level of fame during their lives. I’ve also received a few suggestions that I might follow up as I have more time, while others (such as the one about Pee-wee Herman’s recent conversion, or that serial killer Ted Bundy studied with the JWs while in a Florida prison) will be written off as simple Internet graffiti. In any case, I’m pleased to see that so many of our readers continue to enjoy these articles about famous and infamous people who have made more than passing contact with our favorite religion.

This group of names includes a couple of entertainers, a pair of athletes, and the wife of one major politician who may have affected the course of world history. If you have any suggestions for other celebrity JWs, please let me know by sending a email to Contact@Ex-JW.com.

Here is our fifth set of five famous individuals who are, or were at one time, associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses:

  • Kid Gavilan (athlete)
  • Evelyn Mandela (politician’s wife)
  • Dave Meyers (athlete)
  • Selena Quintanilla (singer)
  • Michelle Rodriguez (actor)

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Jehovah’s Witnesses and Bible Study

Bible Study ReferencesI must admit that during the thirteen years that I was a Jehovah’s Witness, I’d never read the Bible from cover to cover. Several years later, when I finally had the time and the desire to read the entire Bible, I did it twice in less than six months. That’s how I finally discovered what Bible study was all about and what the “holy book” really had to say.

When I was an active Jehovah’s Witness, I thought I knew how to study the Bible. I successfully studied with several potential converts that I’d met during my time in field service. I was also privileged to be appointed as a Tuesday night “book study conductor” for a brief time.

I found the use of concordances and reference books easy, allowing me to locate verses that I could use in field service, Theocratic Ministry School, and public talks. I soon made the study of the Bible’s history, historic events and characters my hobby. Even as a teenager, I had an excellent understanding of Witness theology and eschatology, making me quite an expert in biblical trivia.

Many years later, after I left the Organization and actually read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, I came to the realization that until that time never really understood what was really in that book. I actually experienced an epiphany when I finally finished reading all the words and chapters in sequence from cover to cover.

I found a certain satisfaction in the straightforward reading of the Bible. My process of study didn’t involve jumping around, looking for scriptures to support a particular teaching (proof-texting). It was just a simple reading without any rules to follow or daily assigned texts to look up.

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Dick Kelly on “Six Screens”

Author Richard E. Kelly Author Richard E. Kelly has confirmed that he will be participating in a telephone conference call sponsored by “Six Screens of the Watchtower,” this coming Saturday evening, September 26, 2009 at 7:00 PM (EST). The call will be hosted and moderated by Rick Fearon of Upper Room Ministries, the guiding force behind “Six Screens of the Watchtower.”

All persons of good will are invited to listen in and participate in the call. You can get specific information about how to access and listen to the call by following this link to Six Screens of the Watchtower – Conference Calls. The call is free (except for your own long distance call charges, if any). You’ll be able to join in after the interview during the question and answer segment.

Here is the site’s official announcement:

“Richard Kelly, author of the book ‘Growing up in Mama’s Club,’ will be our guest this Sat. Sept. 26, 2009 7PM EST. What can happen when a child is forced to adhere to strict religious ideology that he or she is unable to comprehend or believe? ‘Growing Up In Mama’s Club – A Childhood Perspective of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ answers that question by disclosing the rare insights of a boy and his day-to-day life experiences grappling with religious confusion for over sixteen years.”

Richard Kelly announcement at Six Screens of the Watchtower.

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A Craigslist Cry for Help

Editor’s Note: This was an actual ad posted on Craigslist.org in mid-September in New Mexico. I first learned of this ad while browsing the Jehovah’s Witness Recovery Forum. I went to the Albuquerque Craigslist and verified the existence of the ad in the “Talent Gigs” subsection. The ad has since been flagged and removed – probably because of complaints by some JWs who don’t have a sense of humor. Thanks to a forum member [So past a dub] the ad was copied in its entirety and posted for others to enjoy. I’m sure that you will agree that this is a classic bit of humor and will enjoy it as much as I did. Sorry to say, I was unable to identify the original author before the ad was deleted.


Actor Wanted to Cheer up Depressed Jehovah’s Witness

As strange as it may sound, even the people who always tell you at your doorstep to “have a nice day” sometimes get depressed, especially from the many arrogant and rude people they end up talking to. I’m in a serious funk because I’ve been knocking on doors now for over 30 years and the end of the world hasn’t come and I just can’t push myself any longer to knock on doors. Depressed writer Truman Capote [public domain]For other religions this wouldn’t be a problem but with Jehovah’s Witnesses, you get kicked out, shunned by your relatives and friends, along with getting a death sentence from God. So, I have no choice but to get over this and this is why I want to hire an actor to help me out.

I’m looking to hire an actor for a one day contract gig. I would prefer a male actor, who is short and pudgy but if you have a chin like Jay Leno that would be a big plus. I do not want to meet you prior to the role you will play at my doorstep. It is very important that your role be played realistically. The entire scenes will be recorded by cameras both in the hallway and in my apartment. Here are the details of the 3 acting scenes. Please read this carefully and give me a bid for your services that includes the props (I will send the magazines to you in advance):

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Sick of it!

By “A Survivor”

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by a former Jehovah’s Witness who is now a married mother in her late thirties. Many of the stories she has shared with me about her years growing up in a Jehovah’s Witness family are quite graphic and very upsetting. They are stories of verbal, physical and even extreme sexual abuse by her father, an active Jehovah’s Witness and elder for much of his life. For obvious reasons, her name and those of her family members are disguised along with the two boys mentioned in her story. I think her story has value to Jehovah’s Witnesses – and ex-JWs as well – as she uncovers some of the stress placed upon children who are forced to live different lifestyles and under very restrictive rules in some Jehovah’s Witness families.


 

I think being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness is a different experience than for someone who “studied” and became a JW later in their life. You are taught from a young age to look at the world and other people from a distance. You are also taught that you are superior to them because you know “The Truth.” Pretty soon they won’t be here. They won’t make it through “Armageddon” because they are all “sinners” and “worldly.”

I remember a time when I was a young child when I actually believed what I was being taught. Now that I think about it, I realize that it was really the stories of the Biblical and historical figures that fascinated me. Depression [photo by Oscar Williams]As I got older, more and more of the doctrines, principles and rules made less and less sense to me.

I think if there had been more Witnesses my age, school would have been a lot different for me. There were very few kids in the local congregation, and they were either quite a bit younger or older and went to different schools than I did. I remember being the only Witness at my school for many years.

In elementary school I was set apart. First because of my “accent” (my first grade teacher told me that it was not “I went to the store”, but rather it was “I went to thee store”). I wouldn’t salute the flag each morning and I would also have to leave my class and sit out in the hall during all the birthday and holiday parties (talk about embarrassing!)

Later when I attended middle and high school I was not able to have any social contact with anyone outside of school. When you add in my love of reading, always raising my hand with the answer, and my agility impairment – all together they equalled my being considered as one giant oddball.

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