As you might have guessed, this area is primarily meant for my fellow Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses. There will certainly be some discussion of Watchtower doctrine and policies, but this is meant to help former Witnesses (or those who wish they were former Witnesses) get on with their lives and deal with their experiences in as healthy a way as possible. Like it or not, some of us left because we really felt there was something wrong with the organization. Everyone has the right to heal and move on, and that's why this section is here.
It is not a Witness hate site, though I will offer criticism of the Society and its Witnesses at times. To Witnesses, or others who are very sensitive to religious criticism, I ask you to remember one thing: it ain't about you or the Watchtower or Jehovah. It's about the exxers and nothing more.
Last update for this page was on Sunday, 13-Jan-2013 07:52:53 EST
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:5/4/08
FROM THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY'S HOME PAGE:
Do they believe that they are the only ones who will be saved?No. Millions that have lived in centuries past and who were not Jehovah's Witnesses will come back in a resurrection and have an opportunity for life. Many now living may yet take a stand for truth and righteousness before the "great tribulation," and they will gain salvation. Moreover, Jesus said that we should not be judging one another. We look at the outward appearance; God looks at the heart. He sees accurately and judges mercifully. He has committed judgment into Jesus' hands, not ours.—Matthew 7:1-5; 24:21; 25:31.
No? NO? I mean, nice evasion, but come on. When I see "Do we believe that we're the only ones awesome enough to be saved and the rest of you are screwed?" I don't expect any equivocation. I expect to hear, "Hell yes. Anyway, moving on..." because that's their mantra. The threat of Armageddon is the fear that drives them. They all want that bus pass to the New System and out of deaths-ville. It's why my in-laws feel entitled to nag me every once in a while even as I'm walking away and getting in my car and hitting the gas. They need that service time. How dare you or I try to deny them the satisfaction and that extra hour on their service report?
Every time their book study conductor sees the number on that slip of paper and smiles, a Witness gets its wings. (Hey! I should write that down...)
Oh, Watchtower. You so silly.VIDEO: Occult Roots of the Jehovah's Witnesses
VIDEO: Essay on Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah transfusion deemed lawful
In Ireland, anyway.What's the Deal with Disconnection?
I've noticed a number of similarities between the Watchtower Society and Scientology. According to this, they have their own version of disfellowshipping.
VIDEO: Watchtower Comments for Week of 4/14/08-The GenerationDisconnection is a Scientology practice of cutting all ties and all communication with someone who is declared a Suppressive Person (evil) by the Church of Scientology. This may include family, friends, loved ones, work associates, acquaintances, or anyone else found Suppressive by the Church.
Disconnection is a very touchy topic among Scientologists and critics both. Scientologists believe that Disconnection is generally a necessary action that, when undertaken, benefits the group as a whole. Critics believe this is an extremely harmful practice akin to emotional blackmail that destroys families and interpersonal relationships.
MP3: Hear The Announcement in English Regarding No More Bookstudy
Or go directly to the MP3 here.The new Congregation Study
A Bethelite's Viewpoint on the Recent Organization Changes
To me the most obvious reason has nothing to do with control, or money. It has everything to do with the serious shortage of qualified brothers who can (or who are willing to) be used. I have been involved in the organzation for 40 yrs and I have never seen the level of apathy and disillusionment among those serving in some capacity in this organization. There are three main reasons for this: 1) burnout, 2) lack of urgency/belief that the GT or armaggedon is near, and 3) steady erosion of faith in the organization.
While I won't deny a bit of satisfaction in hearing stuff like this, I can't help but wonder if it's the real deal or not. I don't mean to criticize the author here and I'm certainly not saying that anyone's being dishonest. I'm only saying that I try to keep a level head about rumors, especially ones that sound just like the sort of thing ex-Witnesses want to hear. Exxers like me can be just as vulnerable to "spinning" the facts to suit our preferences as Jehovah's Witnesses can be. We're just as human, after all.
Please don't get too excited about stuff like this. This is just one point of view. With the Society, I tend to think that there's always too much going on for any one person to see the big picture. This is just one take of many. I did find some of the comments interesting, so it's definitely worth reading. As to the Society getting apathetic and losing steam, I'm reserving judgment.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:4/19/08
Worlds Apart: An Independant Film About Jehovah's Witnesses Starts Showings Soon
Thanks to another Isaac from JWD for this one. Click the JWD link to see the times and dates.I pray her kids forgive her: Jehovah outcast's message to twins who lost mum when she refused transfusion
AN ex-Jehovah's Witness whose dad died refusing a blood transfusion last night blasted the religion that led tragic mum Emma Gough to leave her newborn twins motherless.
Also of interest from Letters From The Governing Body Of Jehovah's Witnesses...Organ Transplants Were Once forbidden
Announcement To Elders Only: A new Tract Campaign
Special Talk Given by Brother Losch To Members of the Bethel Family. Instructions Were Given Not To Post This Talk on the Internet.
Organ Transplants Were Once forbidden
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:4/13/08
Jehovah’s Witness elders must testify about molest allegations
Jehovah’s Witness who died giving birth after refusing blood transfusion told doctor I am dying faithful to my God, inquest hears
I've often wondered what would happen if my wife needs a transfusion. Unfortunately, the impact this decision can have on those who love and depend on the Witness doesn't matter. Too bad for us I guess. What if it's a single mother with kids? What will the kids do?FROM Beyond Jehovah's Witnesses: Wives
Officials in Penza, Russia Demonize Mormons, Jehovah's WitnessesRecently I was talking by phone with a JW. He has come to the realization that he no longer wants to be one. For me a very interesting moment came when I heard his wife in the background. She was criticizing our conversation. I began to reflect on the difficulty spouses have with mates who leave the WT. His wife was complaining that it made no sense in her mind why her husband should be seeking out exJWs to talk with. "Why not just leave if you want to go?", she cries.
TOPIC FROM JWD Forum: Songs that move you XJW style
NEW YAHOO GROUP: Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses Youth Support
EXCERPT: Visions of Glory Series
There is no voluntary resignation in our organization, Covington told a jury in the Moyle case.
For years after I left Bethel, I dreamed that I was back in the antiseptic halls of the Watchtower residence, fighting to find a way out. At each EXIT sign a Witness stood, smiling, barring my way: "There is no way out.' The dream was trite; my fear was fresh and vivid and palpable.
Read the whole book here.
Also in Watchtower news, my wife has gone to the convention today with her parents. Some of you may have similar things to look forward to. And on the Society's web site, the main article is called "Where Is The World Headed?" The subtitle reads: Today’s moral breakdown is so severe that it is fulfilling Bible prophecy! Well, since this is the first time they've made this declaration, we should all finally start to worry. See ya at the Kingdom Hall. (Not.)
If I don't see you, no sweat. They'll say the same thing next year. And the year after that...
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:4/5/08
VIDEO: Jehovah's Witnesses Exposed by Fred Franz
VIDEO: Jehovah's Witnesses and Mental Illness
VIDEO: The Hopeful Atheist on Hope Commentary on the April 15, 2008 Watchtower Magazine
New rules could threaten charity status of Jehovah's Witnesses (in the UK)In the article , "Repudiate Ungodly Things" it immediately puts down having too much time spent on "fun" things at the expense of "activities connected with our worship," saying, "relaxation becomes a valueless thing, adversely affecting our spiritual well-being." Where do they come off telling people not to relax? No wonder witnesses are so uptight!
Jehovah's Witnesses grow by 'devious' methods, charge anti-missionaries
Recent success by controversial religious group Jehovah's Witnesses to bring in local Israelis has anti-missionary activists accusing the group of using devious recruitment methods. The Witnesses, as they are known, have had a presence here since the state's founding but say their active missionary work - an obligation for members - has gained traction in recent years, bringing in several hundred additional members. They now number an estimated 2,500 in Israel.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:3/29/08
Jury selection begins in molestation trial of Jehovah Witness
Memorialize 11-Year-Old Madeline by Removing Faith Exemption
This one isn't directly Watchtower or Jehovah's Witness related. But it does address the issue of children forced to sacrifice themselves over parent's beliefs ... such as a ban on blood transfusions. Note that this is really an atheist site, so if that weirds you out or anything ... well, you've been warned.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:3/26/08
New web sites keep popping up! Here are a few more I'd like to recommend to former Jehovah's Witnesses.The Committee On Religious Shunning
Letters From The Governing Body Of Jehovah's WitnessesVideo Interviews with individuals coping with the consequences of religious shunning:
Jehovah's Witnesses And Thought ControlNow, for the first time ever, the average Jehovah's Witness is privy to the actual Confidential Letters sent by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses to the Congregation Elders.
A blog offering breaking news, resources, and information about Watchtower policies and the issues members face.
That last one doesn't seem all that active. (Their last post was on March 6.) But maybe it will continue to gain momentum. The subject was enough to get my attention, so I wanted to make everyone aware of it.
And now, for some good old fashioned links...VIDEO: Jehovah's Witnesses, Spirit Directed or Not?
Jehovah's Witnesses elders refusing to testify in Murrieta molestation case
Followed by...Jehovah's Witnesses elders must testify in Murrieta molestation case, judge rules
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:2/28/08
First, a few new web sites fellow ex-Witnesses might be interested in:Don't Be Scared! I'm Just an Apostate.
Me, Who I am and what I plan to becomeJehovah's Witnesses think I am the worst kind of person, worse than pedophiles, murderers, adulterers and puppy kicking bullies. Why? Because I disagreed with their teachings and left their religion. Now I am shunned by my family and former friends. They believe that God will kill me soon and the birds will pick the flesh from my bones. Of course, I have my own thoughts about all this. I'm not as scary as they think. I hope you will stay for a little visit.
His most recent post might be worth a look right now, too.Videos About Jehovah's Witnesses
The "Serving Where The Need Is Greater" Web PageA collection of videos to inform the public about the dangers of Jehovah's Witnesses and other cults and high control groups.
America's Unfaithful Faithful
Here's the part we're interested in (which came from the "Don't Be Scared-I'm Just An Apostate!" site):
VIDEO: Is There a Child Custody Packet?An even more extreme example of what might be called "masked churn" is the relatively tiny Jehovah's Witnesses, with a turnover rate of about two-thirds. That means that two-thirds of the people who told Pew they were raised Jehovah's Witnesses no longer are - yet the group attracts roughly the same number of converts. Notes Lugo, "No wonder they have to keep on knocking on doors."
VIDEO: Comments You Will NOT Hear At The Watchtower Study (Watchtower Comments 2.25.08 Responding)
Are the Jehovah’s Witnesses a cult?
Watchtower Society declines to return disputed GBP100,000 legacy
The charitable arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses should return a £100,000 legacy from a man it expelled for trying to convert call girls, one of the man’s relatives has said.
Martin Davis said the Watchtower Society should return the money left to it by his cousin Donald Kennett so it could go to Kennett’s nephew, who is autistic.
Accepting money from a member who had been expelled would damage the charity’s reputation, said Davis, of Dulwich, south London.
Note that this is hardly on objective news source. Take these quotes from the text box to the left of the page for instance:
Theologically, Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult of Christianity. The oppressive organization does not represent historical, Biblical Christianity in any way.
Sociologically, it is a destructive cult whose false teachings frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well as needless deaths.
In order to be able to support its unbiblical doctrines, the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization has created it’s own version of the Bible. The so-called “New World Translation” is rejected by all Christian denominations.
I'm not saying the article isn't true. But I don't think you can say it was written to be fair or objective in tone. That's why it's near the bottom of the list of articles.Jehovah's witnesses face lone campaigner
This is Olga Lindberg, of St Petersburg in Washington State, US. She is embarking on a lone campaign against Jehovah's Witnesses, approaching shoppers with a photo of her grandson Dennis, who died of leukaemia at 14 although he had a 70 per cent chance of being saved by a blood transfusion (forbidden to Witnesses, see earlier post). She shows them his photograph and explains what happened. "I know it's wrong" she says, but remains determined to padlock the tragedy of his death firmly to the sect, which threatens those who use 'sacred' blood with excommunication and damnation.
I don't think "damnation" is a Watchtower approved word, but...
Also note that the Watchtower Information Web Service page seems to be down.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:2/14/08
Wikipedia: Raymond Franz
Raymond Franz (born 1922) was a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses from 1971 until May 22, 1980, and served at the organization's world headquarters for fifteen years, from 1965 until 1980. Franz has written and edited two detailed books which relate his personal experiences with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and fellow members of the Jehovah's Witness organization.
If you're interested, this article includes quotes from his books!My life with a cult
Born into a polygamous, abusive sect, Carolyn Jessop was married off to a 50-year-old man and bore him eight children before she escaped. By Torcuil Crichton
That one's actually about fundamentalist LDS members.How cults create an artificial personality in their followers (and how you can do it too).
Doctor says blood transfusion seemed to be safest option for sextuplets
But the parents, who are Jehovah's Witness, refused to allow the transfusions on religious grounds and the babies were seized by provincial child welfare authorities.
It seems that these issues have gotten more attenion in Canada than here in the U.S. You can find a related video at the Society's web site here. This would have you believe that everything is just skippy on the blood transfusion front. Do you believe them or not?Jehovah's Witness husband allegedly wages holy war on Catholic wife
A man allegedly threatened to injure and kill his wife after an all-day argument over religion.
The man, 30, is charged with substantial battery, first-degree recklessly endangering safety, false imprisonment and intimidating a witness. If convicted, he could face up to $40,000 in fines and 35 years imprisonment. The Journal Times is not naming the man to protect the identity of his wife and daughter.
BONUS: Bizarro Subjects At The Society's Web Site:Homosexuality—How Can I Avoid It?
Yes, the young people are always worried about how they can avoid homosexuality since no one is ever born that way. Uh...right? I never knew that being gay was so appealing to the young folk!
TODAY’S tolerant attitudes have prompted a number of youths to experiment with same-sex relationships.
Darn our tolerant attitudes! Gays have had it too easy for too long. Shouldn't someone start persecuting them or something? Hey, I know...
As a young person, you may be experiencing a variety of emotions. What if you feel attracted to a member of the same sex? Does this automatically mean that you are a homosexual? No. Remember, you are in “the bloom of youth,” a period in which you are subject to involuntary sexual arousal. (1 Corinthians 7:36) For a time, your attention may focus on a member of the same sex. But having such an attraction does not mean that you are gay. In fact, statistics indicate that such inclinations usually fade in time. Still, you might wonder, ‘How do these desires start in the first place?’
I don't even need a joke for that one.
Some say that homosexuality is rooted in the genes. Others say it is a learned behavior. It is not the purpose of this article to delve into the "nature-versus-nurture" debate. Indeed, it seems that it would be a gross oversimplification to attribute homosexuality to a single cause. Homosexuality—much like other forms of behavior—appears to be far more complex than that.
Way to fudge reality, guys. I'm pretty sure the only people debating this stuff are Uber-Christians and homo-phobes.
Granted, same-sex desires may be strongly entrenched. Be assured, though, that even deeply rooted wrong desires are not insurmountable. (1 Corinthians 9:27; Ephesians 4:22-24) Ultimately, you are in control of how you will live. (Matthew 7:13, 14; Romans 12:1, 2) And despite claims to the contrary, you can learn to control your impulses—or at least refrain from acting on them.
I'm sure kids afflicted with naughty urges feel better already. Anyway, make sure you check out the "Reject Wrong Practices" section at the end.Why Be Truthful?
Every lie is an untruth, but not every untruth is a lie. Why not? A dictionary defines a lie as "an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with intent to deceive." Yes, lying includes the intention to deceive someone. Hence, to speak an untruth unwittingly—such as giving someone incorrect facts or figures by mistake—is not the same as to tell a lie.
I'll let those who've actually bothered to research the Society's well written and thoroughly researched literature make up their own joke here as well.
Moreover, we need to consider whether the person asking for information is entitled to a comprehensive answer.
Uh-huh. Anybody else feeling a "spiritual warfare" quote coming on?
Finally - in the article about being truthful and honest - I noticed this.
AT 18 years of age, Manfred was an office trainee.*
If you click on the asterick and go to the bottom of the page, you'll see this:
[Manfred] Not his real name.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:2/12/08
A lack of faith in religious schools
Regular readers of this blog will know my opposition to Jehovah’s Witness dogma being enforced on a child who would be refused a blood transfusion that may be the best, and possibly in a critical blood loss situation the only, treatment that gives them a chance at survival. The principle derived here is that a parent cannot enforce the consequences of their religious belief on a child who may as an adult choose to reject that religious belief, let alone a life or death situation.
...and later in the same article...
Thankfully, my intense studying allowed me to read the original publications of Russell and Rutherford - and the full horror of how I had lived my life hit me between the eyes. That this was a man made organisation that had believed in many things which had not come to pass. The internet did not exist then, and the ease by which you can find out about the history and even read the scanned book pages that I actually read in the original volumes makes me marvel that the organisation still barely hangs on. The power of the meme is one to be reckoned with.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:1/22/08
Give Blood Against The Jehovahs Witnesses' Dogma
I just discovered this site which enourages people to donate blood as an act of defiance against the Society. (In case you don't know, the Society forbids blood transfusions under all circumstances - even in children.)Growing Up Jehovah’s Witness
What was it like with the Jehovah’s Witnesses?This is fascinating to watch as an active Mormon, raised in the church. It’s a young lady who discusses her experiences being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, and ultimately choosing to leave the church (in 3 parts).
For me, it might serve to help us see more clearly where religion goes right, and where it goes wrong. (Thanks to Jason for the head’s up)
Are the Jehovah’s Witnesses a cult?I would define that in terms of meetings, study, witnessing and lifestyle. But it is 24/7 as you will see. As you read please bear in mind I was doing this from the age of 8 to 14.
This is basically a followup to the previous post I linked to on the same site.
It seems that my blog describing my experience as a child in the Jehovah’s Witnesses has caused a reaction, and here I will reply to an e mail I received from Tiffany.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:1/21/08
Banned From Church
I also mentioned this one in the latest atheist news section, but former Witnesses will obviously find it interesting for different reasons. Note that there's a link to a 9-1-1 call where a woman was arrested for returning to a church she had been banned from.
Scholars estimate that 10% to 15% of Protestant evangelical churches practice church discipline -- about 14,000 to 21,000 U.S. congregations in total. Increasingly, clashes within churches are spilling into communities, splitting congregations and occasionally landing church leaders in court after congregants, who believed they were confessing in private, were publicly shamed.
Note that the 10%-15% number isn't the number of Christians, but the number of churches. This doesn't mean that the practice is necessarily common place.Barbara Anderson's Comments from her CD compilation: Secrets of Pedophilia in an American Religion—Jehovah's Witnesses in Crisis
UPDATE 1/17/08: Barbara Anderson has released her nearly 100-page commentary found on the CD, Secrets of Pedophilia in an American Religion, Jehovah's Witnesses in Crisis, for general distribution.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:1/16/08
Crisis Of Conscience - Buy It Cheap At Overstock.com and at Amazon.com!
Thanks to The Last Nephilim for the tip on JWD!
Headlines From The Society's Homepage
I haven't found much to post about Watchtower land this week. So here are some comments about their homepage for my fellow Ex-Witnesses to smirk over.Man and Woman—A Dignified Role for Each
Man and woman are designed to occupy dignified roles in God’s arrangement.
I'm not sure that being subserviant to the whims of men is equally "dignified" for women, but if the Governing Body says so...
By the way, JWD has a thread on a similar topic.DRUG ABUSE: There Is a Solution!
Scientology?What Would We Do Without Donkeys?
I assume this article on asses has something to do with the Elders. (Probably more about double honor and all that.) ::Sigh::
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:1/8/08
Another Watchtower.org series begins with this question. The Society hails members who survived extreme persecution - including Witnesses who ended up in concentration camps under Nazi rule in Germany. It's easy to understand why they would want to make stuff like this known.
Still, I have wonder why it's okay to persecute family who decide they don't want to be Jehovah's Witnesses any more? Guess I'm just thinking all crazy-like.Debate goes on a year after birth of sextuplets: Parents still protest transfusions given to four surviving infants
Interesting Post At JWD
There's a link at JWD that might interest those curious about the "secret" study edition of the Watchtower magazines.Interview with Richard B: Ex-Jehovah's Witness, Son of J.W. Headquarters Lawyers
Interview with Richard: Ex-Jehovah's Witness, Shunned by his familyRichard B. was disfellowshipped, lost everything, and his mental breakdown led to his admittance to a hospital. With clear logic and a big heart he discusses the dynamics of the J.W. faith, and the horrifying lengths that members will go to in the name of God.
Richard was shunned by his three children when he left the J.W.s. He shares his story of love lost, emotional blackmail, new love and new life.
Witnesses who have been shunned (disfellowshipped) might be interested in these two videos. Note that I'm not big on groups that offer materials like these to ex-Witnesses for a fee, but the video previews are still good and totally free.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:1/3/08
The Society's MP3 Download Site Is Open!
Audio of the latest magazines can now be found online. Far as I know, this takes the place of the old cassette tapes people used to order from the literature counter. I assume this is for the vanilla (public) version of the magazines and not the internal (good stuff) version.
Watchtower Related Media:Elsewhereishere.com: Watchtower Comments
I'm not sure what to make of the site. If you go to www.elsewhereishere.com all you get is a black page with a few words and nothing is clickable (that I can find). One thing about the video, I think the creators may have stretched things a little in a couple of places. Some of the points they used to support the idea that the meetings and literature are secretive weren't the best. I generally discourage people from exaggeration or stretching the truth like that because it ruins the credibility of the Society's critics. Still, the rest of the video was pretty good.Ex-Jehovah's Witness, Therapist discusses MIND CONTROL
This video is supposed to be a former Witness (now a psychologist) talking about the Society's use of "mind control." Non-Witnesses should note the fact that terms like "mind control" and "brainwashing" sound pretty extreme, but that's just what this sort of manipulation is called. There are no blinky lights shined in people's faces or drugs or whatever you may have seen on some really bad spy movies. Sadly, many people just don't get it and laugh at terms like that.
The video is on YouTube, but it comes from a web site called exJWvideos.com. Some of the sexual things she talks about are obviously relevant to her and other Witnesses, but isn't necessarily a problem in every congregation.Six Screens Of The Watchtower: Fly On The Wall Recording of A Judicial Hearing And More!
This is pretty cool. Many ex-Witnesses wish they had recorded their judicial tribunals. I was never disfellowshipped, but I wish I had recorded mine. Well, this guy did it and he even tells you how. Pretty sweet.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:12/31/07
Court overrules parents on surgery
The End of the World Cult – the debate continues
This isn't directly related to Jehovah's Witnesses, but it might interest some of my fellow exxers. Some parts will sound pretty familiar.
News and Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:12/28/07
PDF: Transcript of the 2007 Convention TalkWhen my mom became involved with the Watchtower organization Jehovah’s Witnesses,our lives changed dramatically.
Or you can listen to it here.Funniest Title On Todays Watchtower.org Homepage: What's so wrong with phone sex?
Hey, yeah! What is so wrong with phone sex any way? Guess the Governing Body knows all about it.
Advice For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:
Why Some Jehovah's Witnesses Are Abusive Toward Ex-Witnesses - Part 3
Continued from part two.12/27/07
But Tough Love Isn't The Same Thing As Abuse!
I realize that some readers will never be convinced that Jehovah's Witnesses are mistreating former members, even ones who behave just as I have described. Many who believe the Watchtower Society is the one and only "True Religion" will accuse ex-Witnesses of being overly sensitive or insist that the actions of so-called "abusive" Witnesses are both selfless and justified. I'll agree that we sometimes need to push loved ones into doing what's best for them - even if that something is painful at first. This is what's called "tough love." I have little doubt that this is how some Jehovah's Witnesses see their attempts to pressure former believers into compliance with the Society's teachings. But like the subtitle says, there are differences between tough love and plain old abuse. It's tough love if we try to push someone into doing something that's painful when we know the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. However, we should always leave tough choices to the individual when the benefits are in doubt. We also need to realize that we might be the ones who are wrong instead of assigning ourselves the role of moral superiority. This is a mistake that many Jehovah's Witnesses seem to make.
More at the link...
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:12/12/07
New Choices For Patients: Transfusion-free Medicine For Jehovah's Witnesses And Transfusion-wary
As you might expect, the Society's main site follows up with their collection of articles on blood transfusions, entitled Transfusion-Alternative Strategies—Simple, Safe, Effective. Note their main site's leading article is Is It Wrong to Drink Alcoholic Beverages?Jehovah's Witnesses Child Custody Assistance
A new organization has been launched to assist parents in custody disputes with Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Which brings me to JW Child Custody. The site begins with the words:
Religious group's plan under fireDon’t Allow Your Children To Be Turned Against You!
Statistics show that over 1,000 custody cases are fought each year involving Jehovah’s Witness children. Of those cases over 90% will be lost due to Watchtower Lawyer manipulation of the legal system.
JW Child Custody employs a Consulting stratagem that has been developed in over twenty years of experience with Jehovah’s Witness custody issues. If your case qualifies for our services we offer competitive assistance to help you be successful in the future of your children.
A BID by Jehovah's Witnesses to take over a plot of land in Calne has hit a hurdle after residents objected to the scheme.
North Wiltshire District Council received a number of objections after it advertised the disposal of land at Ernle Road to the Calne Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.
If you're interested in this story, you may want to chime in at the site's comment section.Why I Believe the Bible: Nuclear Scientist Tells His Story
Advice For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:
Why Some Jehovah's Witnesses Are Abusive Toward Ex-Witnesses - Part 2
As always, I would love to hear any comments or suggestions on making the articles more effective.12/9/07
But Aren't These "Abusive" Witnesses Simply Trying To Correct Wayward Members?
When Jehovah's Witnesses in good standing approach former believers about a loss of faith in "The Truth," they often start out with a friendly, conversational tone. But when the Witness starts building a case to win over the inactive one, things tend to get out of control. The conversation often becomes adversarial as the Witness switches to a tone of righteous indignation, then gets openly insulting as they accuse the inactive one of being weak, petty, or even spiteful in their refusal to conform. (See Signs Of Abusive Behavior From Witnesses) It seems that nothing will satisfy the Witness until the former believer is completely demoralized.
Finally, the Witness leaves, satisfied that they did what they felt was necessary to "straighten out" the wayward one. It may not have worked, but they did the best they could on Jehovah's behalf. Their conscience is clear. Meanwhile, the former believer is left with strong feelings of despair and guilt. Not for having left the Society. This sort of treatment usually does more to reinforce the ex-Witness's doubts than curb them. No, it's because the one-time believer froze instead of standing up to their abuser. Note that this is probably just one of many confrontations the ex-Witness has had over the years. They resent it a little more each time just as anyone surely would. Make no mistake, this is one ex-Witness who will never, ever set foot in a Kingdom Hall again! Not even if their life depended on it, which - according to the same Witness who just left them reeling - it does. Doesn't this defeat the whole purpose of the visit?
Maybe. It depends on which purpose you're referring to.
More at the link...
Just wanted to let everyone know that I should have part two of my series "Why Some Jehovah's Witnesses Are Abusive Toward Ex-Witnesses" up soon. Part one can be found here.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:12/7/07
Fighting the curse of the face-eating tumour
WARNING: The picture you'll find here is pretty disturbing. So is the story. You may also want to check out Discovery Channel's TV program about it. I don't see anything on the Watchtower Society's web site yet.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:12/3/07
Correspondence With The Watchtower Society And Recordings Of Conversations With Elders
This is pretty sweet. Especially for ex-Jehovah's Witnesses who - like myself - have gone before a Judicial Committee. The site's creator managed to record several phone conversations with a bumbling Elder who clearly wanted to "spring" the news on him without telling him how serious the situation was in advance. What was that news? A sister - one neither of them had ever met - saw some pictures his wife had uploaded to a web site a while back. The pictures were of his child's birthday party, which he and his wife were celebrating in the privacy of their own home. GASP! The nerve of some parents, eh?
The site includes recordings of the calls and a copy of the letter he sent to the Elders. This letter not only allowed him to avoid a Judicial Committee, it saved him from being disfellowshipped. All without having to lie to them! He tells me that he is still able to communicate with his family and that he knows several others who have escaped being disfellowshipped this way. It might be worth a look for any doubting Witness who's afraid they'll be shunned by their loved ones.
I really wish I had recorded my hearing. I actually had Elders laughing and giggling at me during my little tribunal. Then they tried asking me rapid fire questions to see if I would confess to something ... even though I was actually there because I had confessed already. (Like ... huh?!?) So much for the part about respecting the confessor.
Note that the webmaster also tells you how he managed to record these conversations. It's definitely worth a look.
-the Atheist Geek-
Advice For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:
Why Some Jehovah's Witnesses Are Abusive Toward Ex-Witnesses - Part 1
NOTE: Some ex-Witnesses might wish to print off this article and let the Witnesses in their lives have a look. It might help abusive Witnesses recognize their bad behavior. I'll offer a printer friendly version soon!
Before I give anyone the wrong impression, I want to acknowledge that not all Jehovah's Witnesses are openly abusive toward ex-Witnesses. Still, former believers are generally frowned upon by Witnesses who see them as "bad associates" to be avoided. Since Jehovah's Witnesses believe that they have the one and only "True Religion," rejection of that religion is the worst crime a believer can commit against their god and their organization. Even ex-Witnesses who keep to themselves and avoid criticizing the Society in front of believers are often seen as little better than apostates. When combined, these attitudes can lead to tense situations where people say and do some really stupid things. Expecially to people they love.
More at the link...
Advice For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:
When Jehovah's Witnesses Attack!
Many ex-Witnesses have to deal with Witness relatives or friends who go all preachy on them from time to time. The evangelist may not notice it, but these little "conversations" (their word) tend to get ugly and abusive pretty quickly. They always seem to deteriorate from, "I want to convince you to come back to us," into something more like, "I hope you feel ashamed of yourself for making me and Jesus cry!" I've never been able to figure out if the Witnesses pulling this kind of stuff are simply unaware of how much personal anger they're dumping on people or if they actually think it's justified. I suspect it's a combination of both.
More at the link...
Links For Atheists AND Even Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:
Wait! It's not as bad as the title makes it sound! No, really. I promise.
Freedom as Submission; Democracy as Obedience: How Christianity Subverts Liberty
Don't let the title scare you even if you're a Christian! This is an excellent article by Austin Cline. Yes, I fully admit that the title is openly offensive to Christians, but the article itself is mostly about authoritarian religion and why many find it so appealing. Austin even acknowledges that there's a difference between hard nosed authoritarian believers and moderate, liberal believers near the beginning of the article, so I don't think most believers will find his views too troubling here. The real focus, for me at least, is why Austin thinks that strict, fundamentalist belief systems can be so enticing. If you can handle the following snippet, then I think you'll get something from the article and find it worth a read.
Italics added by yours truly.It's not just religious believers who have problems with choice — the "paradox of choice" is something that occurs with everyone studied — but many believers, and especially conservative believers, seem to have more problems with choice than average. It is they who try to transform the paradox of choice into a principle of living by arguing that real freedom lies in submitting to the commands and will of higher authorities (ultimately God, but also self-proclaimed intermediaries) and that real choice lies in not having much at all to choose from in the first place.
We shouldn't be surprised that order, structure, and predictability are highly attractive qualities to a way of life. Even people who prize spontaneity don't live lives devoid of order and structure — we all need those things in order to manage our regular, day-to-day existence. For some, though, more and more order seems necessary as more and more choice and diversity appear throughout society. This is why contemporary fundamentalism is arguably a reaction to the diversity and choices made possibly by modernity rather than simply a continuation of ancient practices.
Some people simply feel a need to be told what to do, where to do it, what to eat, what to value, and how to live; even those who don't really feel such a need ... can apparently experience a strong attraction to it once they try it out. Weighing alternatives and making choices take time, effort, and responsibility. Simply following orders takes less time, less effort, and can give on the feeling that they are absolved of any responsibility for the outcome.
I think most ex-Jehovah's Witnesses will see why I recommend the link for them as well. Check it out. Maybe it'll help you understand the Witnesses in your lives a little better and help you see how far you've come personally.
-the Atheist Geek-
Advice For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:
"The Society Has Gotten Us Both Through The Tough Times. You Owe Them Your Loyalty!"
Is it my imagination, or do most Jehovah's Witnesses seem determined to bring ex-Witnesses back to the Kingdom Hall by shaming us to death? A lot of their standard "attacks" are mostly emotional, and one that I've heard from a lot of ex-Jehovah's Witnesses is the lovable old chestnut you see in the title. Here it is worded another way: "Hey, Jehovah's organization has gotten us this far. How can you turn your back on it after all the Watchtower Society has done for you?" I suppose they could have added something like, "You dirty, rotten traitor!" to really make your eyes water. But that would be too obvious. It's hardly necessary since that's pretty much what they're implying any way.
More at the link...
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses
11/8/07Jehovah's Witness mother dies after refusing blood
A 22-year-old woman died within a few hours of giving birth to twins because, as a Jehovah's Witness, she was not allowed to accept a blood transfusion, it emerged today.
There are a number of related links at this site. You might want to check them out as well, or leave a comment in the Times Online's comment section.
Jehovah's Witnesses and Epicurus
This one comes from a blogger (seems to be an atheist like myself) who has an ongoing debate with an Elder. Feel free to comment or leave tips to help him out.
News And Links For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses
10/31/07AT&T TO PAY $756,000 FOR RELIGIOUS BIAS AGAINST JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
EEOC Wins Jury Verdict for Two Fired Customer Service Technicians
JONESBORO, Ark. – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced a favorable jury verdict of $756,000 in a religious discrimination lawsuit brought against AT&T Inc. on behalf of two male customer service technicians who were suspended and fired for attending a Jehovah’s Witnesses Convention.
And at the Society's web site, we have:Religion - How Should It Be Financed?
Giving Until It Hurts
Ahem. 'nuff said.
Advice For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:
How To Handle It When Jehovah's Witnesses Confront You In Public Places
You glance down at those fresh chocolate covered doughnuts in the Bakery isle and begin to lick your lips. Then you feel something tug at your arm and you turn around in surprise. "You know those are no good for you," the man tells you with a chuckle. Your heart sinks at his words. You aren't disappointed because of the bad news. You already knew those doughnuts would ruin your delicate, apple-shaped figure. You recognize the man from your days as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. You know his smile is just a way of getting you to drop your guard in his presence. It isn't working. "So," he continues nonchalantly, "I haven't heard from you in quite a while. Glad I caught you here today. You know, Jehovah loves you and..." Yeah, this isn't a good day to be an ex-Jehovah's Witness in the grocery store. That's because Elder Overbearing here is about to get Medieval on your a*s and embarrass you in front of all of these shoppers. If you let him.
More at the link...
Advice For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:
What To Do When They Say You Should Never Trust The Critics
You Don't Trust Their Sources, They Don't Trust Yours ... Fun, Ain't It? (The Answer Should Probably Be No)10/03/07
Your crazy Aunt Petunia is one of the Watchtower faithful who just won't leave you alone. She always has a Watchtower magazine to "casually" offer you after blatantly steering the conversation toward whatever she thinks you need to work on. You find that the most pertinent articles have already been highlighted and you have to admit - begrudgingling - that this is a big time saver. Then you start telling her why the Watchtower Society is blackhearted and evil. Bizarrely, she actually uses the Society's own literature to prove that you're wrong. ("See, it says right here on page 12 that the brothers are good and honest! Now who could possibly refute something like that which they wrote themselves?") So you tell her about that one web site that proves how the Governing Body sacrifices heads of cabbage to Baal in secret. But she tells you that the critics are just bitter and angry and jealous and ... um, bitter. Finally, Petunia's visit ends like it always does and you're forced to move to yet another house after the firefighters manage to save a handful of your possessions. Gosh darn that Aunt Petunia, but you can't stay mad at her. Besides, it's nice to know she's thinking of you. Maybe a little too nice.
So how should you deal with situations like this? And how do you put the claims of "anti-Watchtower" web sites into perspective? Here are some tips from your friendly neighborhood Atheist Geek.
More at the link...
Advice For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:
Why Efforts To "Deconvert" The Watchtower Faithful Can Do More Harm Than Good
Or Why You're Only Helping The Watchtower Society More Than You're Hurting It9/24/07
First things first. To ex-Jehovah's Witnesses who are die-hard promoters of Witness deconversion and "fightin' the 'tower," I offer this heartfelt request: please don't kill me! There's sure to be a trail of evidence leading right to you when the cops find my desiccated corpse buried in that old railroad yard just a block or two from your house. Probably from where I was crying and wetting myself all the way to loco-town. Note that I actually felt the need for a disclaimer like that because I know how excited ex-Jehovah's Witnesses can get about this issue. Yeah, I know that most exxers agree with me on this one, but it still hits pretty close to home even for them. For the rest, I really meant what I said in the title.
You're not just wasting your time. You are helping your enemy and they really do appreciate it. Here's what I mean.
More at the link...
Advice For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses: How To Handle It When They Try To Convert You
Or How To Make Them Go Away Without That Proud Grin On Their Face ... Or Killing Anybody Either8/16/07
Yeah, I know the drill. We've all been there. It doesn't matter if it's only been days since you missed your last meeting or decades. There's always one more person who drops by, probably unannounced, because they "thought they'd see how you were doing." Except both of you know that's a crock. They're really here to convert you, to drag you back kicking and screaming into the same beast you already left. They need to get their time going ... you know ... so they'll only waste a few minutes on meaningless small talk before revealing the truth behind their clever deception. Gasp! What? You're here to talk to me about your religion and how much I suck for not believing in it? Why, you tricked me! Well played. Bravo! Then they drone on and on until they run out of convert-you juice, which just happens to be about an hour so they can add it to their field service report. Good times, eh?More at the link...
Advice For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses:
Why Do Witness Friends And Family Act So Weird Now That You've Left The Society?
Things have been strained between you and your mom lately, haven't they? (Just nod, okay?) Yeah, after years of skulking around and trying not to doze off at the meetings, you finally did it. You, a once loyal Jehovah's Witness, stopped going to the Kingdom Hall and haven't shown your face there since. Weeks have passed and everyone wants to know where you've been and what's wrong...with you, actually. You're not expecting expect that lunch date to go so well with your mom this afternoon, either. (Good call) But you try smiling anyway as you take the seat across from her. Problem is she isn't really smiling back at you. It's more of grimace. So ... could you use some advice?So why is she acting this way? More at the link...
Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses: "How Could You Leave Jehovah God After All He's Done For You?!?"
Or As I Like To Call It, "Guilt Much?"8/9/07
Few former Jehovah's Witnesses have managed to sneak out of their Kingdom Halls (or even stomped out biting and scratching all the way!) without being asked a question like this several hundred times--give or take. It's one of those guilt-inducing questions, the kind that bullies and other controlling people like to fling your way every now and then. All ex-Jehovah's Witnesses know that any answer we give--no matter how justified--will sound something like "a dog ate my homework, teach!" And that ain't good enough. So your brain just sorta locks up. Right? Suddenly, the best thing you can come up with is a few mumbled words about Elders or the Creation Book or whatever. Then they'll just rake you over the coals for being a total lame-o before marching off in an indignant huff of superiority.Read the rest at the link...
This is a huge Blogspot site that doesn't pull any punches. Definitely not a Witness-friendly place to be. Still, I have to recommend it for the research it offers into the accuracy of the Watchtower Society's literature. Almost mid-way down the page, you'll find links to Alan Feuerbacher's paper on the Creation Book, otherwise known as Life: How did it get here? By evolution or creation? Once I'd got serious about wanting to know more about the organization and its intentions, the rampant inaccuracy of the Creation Book was just too shameful to ignore.
The Society has been publishing the Creation Book for more than 20 years. Surely they know how embarrassing it is by now? Then again, if its truly the most widespread anti-evolution book being published today as they claim, I guess it must keep the donations rolling in.
It may help the organziation's wallet, but it hasn't done much for their reputation. A lot of people have left the Watchtower Society over this one.
As a Jehovah's Witness-turned-atheist myself, I have to say the answer is...sorta. But not quite. It's still an interesting question, one made possible by the unusual worldview that most Jehovah's Witnesses have. It's also an issue for atheist exxers because it's one of those things that people often accuse us of. You know what I mean right?
"You're just a dag-blamed atheist because those dang-old-dirty Jehovaher Witness done turned you evil! Well, have fun roastin' in Hell. Nothin' personal..."....
Read the rest at the link.
Ex-Jehovah's Witness Links7/28/07
Life--How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or By Creation?
This is a Wiki that examines the Watchtower Society's Creation Book in detail and tells us...well...that it may not be so scientific as many of us ex-Witnesses once thought. A link to a far more detailed critique will be posted here later.
Jehovah's Witness Discussion Forum
Highly recommended for former Witnesses. Oddly enough, they tell me it used to be a site for current Witnesses in good standing. Go fig.