News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: Jehovahs Witnesses make money calling for end of the world

Jehovahs Witnesses make money calling for end of the world

Prophesying the End of Days can make you money but has a limited shelf life, Roger Ebert

Not so sure about the limited shelf life part, unfortunately.

The End Is Not Nigh: Take a Deep Breath and Move On

Former and soon-to-be-again presidential candidate Mike Huckabee believes the End Times are near. Sadly, he is not alone, which is why a candidate for the highest office in the land can be taken seriously after voicing such beliefs. As Huffington Post blogger Clay Farris Naff noted recently, predictions of the Apocalypse are nearly mainstream: Preacher Tim LaHaye has made a fortune with his bestselling Left Behind novels describing bad days ahead for non-believers, riding a trend that, with amazing irony, goes back centuries. The promise of a place in heaven following individual martyrdom or a global apocalyptic event is now and has long been a powerful lure.

On a similar note…

The Genius of the Beast

Watchtower Bible and Tract Society: Invitation To Public Forum Concerning Your Beliefs

Dear Watchtower, I would like to extend an invitation to you for an open, and transparent Public Debate. This debate would cover issues of concern, issues which you have published yourselves in your literature. There are, of course issues of more serious concern which the public, as well as members and former members of your organization would be glad for clarification on. Some of these issues are listed below.

Good luck buddy. Not so much with the debate, but in getting anyone of real importance to bite.

Jehovah’s Witness James Andrew Jarrold admits harassing former wife with texts and letters

This Halloween, Put the “Ho” back in Hoya.

Last year for Halloween, I was a Sexy Jehovah’s Witness. It was the perfect combination of lingerie-baring and political incorrectness for a costume in college. Now liberated from the disapproving eye of my mother, it was, in fact, the first “sexy” costume I had ever worn. Which basically consisted of me unbuttoning my Oxford an extra inch to reveal a sliver of my push-up bra. But no one understood my costume. People guessed: Sexy Secretary? Sexy Teacher? Sexy Catholic School Girl? (How ironic.) Apparently wearing a button-down, miniskirt, geeky glasses and a pastel tie from the ’90s elicits these responses, but alas, not Sexy Jehovah’s Witness. Good thing I carried my Bible.

Please love me half as much as I love your wardrobe.

Everyone Is Rational

“That makes no sense.” How many times a day do we find ourselves thinking that about other people’s behavior? Perhaps someone decides to refuse an offer to come to the head of a line; or chooses to spend more money for a brand name when the generic is identical in every way; or refuses a potentially life-saving procedure he desperately needs. But no one ever does anything without a reason that makes excellent sense—to them. Even when the reason is completely divorced from reality, as in schizophrenia, the thought process that flows from that first idea will usually be logical and sound. Once you accept that the F.B.I is listening in on your conversations through the radio receiver in your dental fillings, being wary of strangers and worrying you might be arrested both become eminently reasonable and entirely rational.

About Faith: Religious conversion is a common occurrence.

Religious conversion sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it’s an everyday reality: About a third of us have switched our religious affiliation at some point. According to surveys conducted by the City University of New York, well-established faiths like the Methodists have been dwindling. Big gainers include the born-again Evangelicals, the Seventh Day Adventists and the Pentecostals—and the Buddhists, too—as well as nondenominational Christian churches. Which group is growing the fastest? The 29.5 million Americans who claim no religion at all.

Wait for it…

Religions with highest turnover (people both joining and leaving the church): Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhism

The Watchtower Society’s Writing Style: Their Literature’s Most Effective Techniques

literatureAll ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses know that the Watchtower Society is more than a religious organization. It’s also a publisher of books and magazines,1 which are–for all intents and purposes–a central part of worship for Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Society uses its literature to hand out its spiritual food (“the truth”) to its adherents, including counsel from the governing body. Most Witnesses will probably tell you that the literature rocks, that it’s very informative, well written, and expertly researched. But the literature also has its critics. Like me. (Sorry.)

In my last post, I mentioned that the Society’s authors use techniques that make the literature feel both convincing and informative. I also told you that the literature isn’t nearly as informative or convincing as it feels. In this post, I’ll tell you how their authors keep convincing readers that they’re right, even when they’re dead wrong. I’ll even tell you why Jehovah’s Witnesses (and maybe even you) keep falling for it. For former Watchtower adherents who still have lingering fears about Jesus and Armageddon, the repetition of it all will blow your ex-Witness minds. It’s all disappointingly simple.

Now let’s see how they do it.

(more…)

  1. Ever notice that the Society provides the product–it’s literature–AND the demand all at the same time? Witnesses need the literature as part of their worship, which they’re expected to donate for. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you make your money from the publishing bizz, eh?

From The November AWAKE! Conclusions On The Articles About Atheism

Is Atheism On The March?I don’t usually do reviews of the Watchtower Society’s literature, but the November issue of the AWAKE! magazine was special because it dealt with atheists and atheism. This isn’t something that flies off the Society’s printing presses every month, and as an atheist with Witness in-laws, I just had to bite. Now that my reviews of each article dealing with atheists are over, I wanted to clarify some things and explain my conclusions about the AWAKE! in a single, cohesive article to tie it all together.

There’s one major point I need to mention before we can begin. That’s the huge gulf between the values of ex-Witnesses turned atheists like myself and the values of the Watchtower Society. I’m not talking about values like honesty, hard work, and all that. I’m talking about how both groups value information and how we form our opinions. These issues are much bigger than they might seem and can be applied to all sorts of peoples.

For this post, I’ll be focusing on what makes good reading to atheists versus what makes good reading for Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’ll also try to explain what those differences mean for both groups.

(more…)

From the AWAKE! Magazine: “I WAS RAISED AN ATHEIST.”

Is Atheism On The March?“I WAS RAISED AN ATHEIST” is the last article about atheism in the November issue of the AWAKE! magazine. This one gives us a personal testimonial of an atheist turned believer, named Frantisek Vyskocil.1 That could make this article the most interesting part of the whole AWAKE! for many people. When you consider how predictable the rest of these articles have been (they were almost exactly like the last AWAKE!2 on atheists) I’m really hoping this one will shine. If you’ve been following the rest of this series (which started here) you know that I haven’t been too impressed so far.3 So you’re probably wondering if this article will stand out or just blend into the crowd.

It’s been a few days since my last post (darn my real job!) so now, I’ll go ahead and give you the complete set. Let’s get started.

(more…)

  1. The Wikipedia article makes no mention of his conversion. Darn it.
  2. Once I went back to check, it looks like I was actually thinking of an article in the Watchtower magazine. Oops.
  3. I plan to do another article, coming soon, where I look at the formulaic nature of the Watchtower Society’s publications and how they affect their readers. Stay tuned.