I just finished college, so I’m hoping to have more updates started for the website soon. In the meantime, a moment of vindication: Yep. Truth be Told will soon be downloadable to anyone who wants it. Use coupon code FACEBOOK5 for $5 off the Deluxe Package.
Hi everybody. Despite the prayers of your local Kingdom Halls, I’m not dead. 😛 I’m a busy college boy who hasn’t had time to write much or to fix all the quirks that were left in the aftermath of the big reboot here at AGN. Right now, you find me in the midst of Spring Break. And unlike your Spring Break, I’m here instead of getting drunk or making out with chicks.
This was the film’s second public showing in New York. A number of ex-Witnesses were there (wish I could have been one of them). But here’s the sweet part: 1) it took place less than two miles away from Bethel headquarters 2) it took place the day after the Memorial 3) the video shows Gregorio and others blanketing the general area near Bethel with flyers that promote the documentary.
This features an interview with Gregorio himself! If you’d like to read my interview with Gregorio, get it here. It looks like Atheism TV will be running a story about it as well, so stay tuned over the next week or so for that.
Whether someone is Atheist, Agnostic, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, – or yes, even Christian – all can identify at times with the cry, “Lord, Save Us from Your Followers!” Fed up with the divisive bumper sticker mentality overtaking America, director (and follower) Dan Merchant donned his Bumper Sticker Man suit and set out on the daring search for meaningful dialogue and the true face of faith.
Yes, it’s on Hulu…sorry. But if you have Netflix, you can actually watch it without the commercials!
When parents disown their teenaged or young adult children, they miss out on seeing them mature. I daydream about the conversation I’d have with my mother now that I am in my mid-thirties. I’d love for her to get to know me. What would she think of her grown up daughter?
I have been advocating Gregorio Smith‘s Truth Be Told documentary about ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses since I first heard about it from a member of the production staff. So I was very excited when Gregorio emailed me with more information a few weeks ago. He even agreed to give me an interview.
If you’re looking forward to the documentary as much as I am and want to find out more about Truth Be Told, here’s a good place to start. If there are other questions you’d like me to ask Gregorio Smith, I will try to pass them along. (Just remember, he’s a really busy guy.)
Here’s a comment about the documentary from its creator that I thought was worth sharing. Especially in light of any criticism that may follow from the Society or Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Per the official synopsis, TRUTH BE TOLD is not an indictment of religion but rather a retrospective. The purpose of the movie is to provide a comprehensive forum for anyone that has a story to share – to start a new conversation intended to heal, not hurt. And while the ultimate product may not be even-handed, it will be honest.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Director – Truth Be Told
I’m sure many of you were wondering if Gregorio had any personal experience as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or if he was coming at this completely from the outside. I asked him some questions about his background, and he was very open in providing details.
AMBER SWENSON outside
Brooklyn Assembly Hall
in TRUTH BE TOLD.
I heard about “Truth Be Told” some time ago in ex-Jehovah’s Witness circles. As an ex-Witness and geek, I’m always interested in documentaries about Jehovah’s Witnesses or–especially–ones about ex-Witnesses. I know many exxers like me were a bit disappointed that Knocking didn’t take a look at our side of the issues or really deal with things like disfellowshipping. (To be fair, it wasn’t trying to deal with those things. But people want what they want.)
Now, Gregorio Smith is giving us a voice with his upcoming documentary. As you’ll see at his site (or at the Wikipedia link) this isn’t his first time around the documentary block, which is actually pretty encouraging to me.
He describes Truth Be Told this way:
TRUTH BE TOLD is a feature length documentary that explores the lives of several individuals raised in the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion. The title of the film refers to the tendency by Jehovah’s Witnesses to regard their beliefs exclusively as ‘the truth’.
‘The documentary is not an indictment of religion but rather a retrospective. In a series of informal interviews, former Jehovah’s Witnesses discuss life experiences within the organization including the impact the religion had on their childhood and family, schooling, adolescence, and approaches to dating and marriage. The film also explores how being raised in that religion has shaped their spiritual beliefs and attitudes.’
The description certainly sounds encouraging, too.
I spoke with the creator via email1 and told him that I was looking forward to seeing the film. I also told him that I hope it will deal with both sides fairly, which I think will actually lend more weight to the plight of ex-Witnesses who have been cut off from their families thanks to being disfellowshipped. If the video is fair, then it will be much harder to dismiss. Gregorio is hoping to drum up all the support he can, including financial support.
There are some sample videos of interviews with ex-Witnesses at his site. If the documentary is something you want to see, please consider leaving him a donation through the “Support Now” button on the title bar at his web site. Hey, he’s got to get the cash somehow. We’re sure to be the ones most interested in the film, so why not help it get made?
I don’t know about you, but I’m wishing him the best of luck. I’ve been waiting to see something like this for some time. Maybe he’ll keep us upraised of his situation as the film progresses. I’ll post anything I learn about it right here on AGN.
My bad. Turns out I was really emailed by someone working on the project who happened to have the same first name. Woops. ↩
We need to learn that, when we come of age, that it's OK to question authority because the truth has nothing to fear from investigation and critical examination. The truth doesn't need to hide and the truth can't be proven to be a lie by investigation. Investigation only reveals more and more about the truth.