News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: Chemicals found buried in upstate NY…

Chemicals found buried at upstate NY property; state agency investigating group’s property | The Republic

SHAWANGUNK, N.Y. — State officials are investigating chemical pollution found buried at an upstate New York property owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization.

Blood-free kidney transplant carried out between two Jehovah’s Witnesses

Surgeons have performed a blood-free kidney transplant between Debra and Jade Gouldbourne, two Jehovah’s Witnesses – despite the patients not being a donor match.

Brooklyn man leaps 15 stories to his death

A troubled man jumped to his death from a Brooklyn rooftop Wednesday in front of horrified bystanders below, police and witnesses said.

Note that another article about the suicide can be found here which is less informative, but has a healthy debate taking place among its readers.

On a related point, at least one source claims that suicide is 5 to 10 times higher among Jehovah’s Witnesses than the general population. This is interesting, but is the claim true? It isn’t hard to find articles that claim Witnesses have a higher instance of mental problems like suicide, yet many of them don’t seem to give a lot of detail about how they came about that information. They really should.

In the future, I hope more of the authors behind these claims will give real details about their findings. Otherwise, we can only wonder if they’re telling the truth. I may be a critic of the Society, but I don’t instantly believe every criticism I hear.

If the Apostles Had Been Like the Governing Body….

Whenever challenged on the false dates set by the Governing Body (representing the “faithful and discreet slave” class) such as 1914, 1918, 1925 and 1975, a Jehovah’s Witness will likely fall back on the official Watch Tower Society defence, and it will probably go something like this;

Belief Contamination | Psychology Today

Except that I don’t believe our negative reaction to finding out that people about whom we care believe differently from us is fueled by a desire to help them become happier. I think, in fact, our negative reaction is far more consistent with a response to a threat. Not a threat to our ability to believe as we do, but rather a threat to our very existence. At some level, coming into contact with contradictory beliefs seems almost to trigger our fight-or-flight response, as if the existence of contradictory beliefs might threaten, if not our lives, our personal way of life.

Perhaps because, in fact, this is often the case. We live in the midst of a sea of other people whose beliefs do impact our lives. It does matter what others around us believe. Which is perhaps why contradictory beliefs create such overreactions in people (far too often tragic overreactions).

Presentation to Exmormon Conference

I continue to find that ex-Mormons and ex-Witnesses have a lot in common. The link above will offer you a downloadable MP3 on a conference given to ex-Mormons that might be of interest to fellow exxers.

Update on “Truth Be Told” Documentary About Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses

I just received an update on the “Truth Be Told” documentary about ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses. I mentioned it here a little while back. Aside from all the other video snippets that you can see at the web site (I think any ex-Witness will find these interviews encouraging) the official trailer is now available online as well. You can view it on Vimeo or Youtube right now!

I hope everyone is psyched about this. Especially those who’s lives were deeply affected by their experiences as former Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s not every day you get to have your side of any story told, especially in a real documentary that many people will see.  Please consider supporting the documentary by clicking on the “Support Now” button at the top of the website and spreading the word.

You can also share your story as an ex-Witness here.

I’m really looking forward to this one.

Documenary About Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: “Here Lies The Truth.”

Brooklyn Assembly Hall

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 email 1 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.

In the meantime, here are some more clips of Gregorio’s previous films.

  1. My bad. Turns out I was really emailed by someone working on the project who happened to have the same first name. Woops.

News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: Inside Australia’s Chilling New Cult

VIDEO: Sunday Night – Inside Australia’s Chilling New Cult (AJ Miller)

A former Jehovah’s Witness turned cult leader? Insert joke here.

VIDEO: Jets Game Stung Gun Guy Says He Zapped Marine In Self-Defense

You’ve all heard about it. Here’s the actual video.

Personally, I’m not sure who to pick on here. The ultra-patriots kinda seem more like the bad guys than the Witness who “snuck” the TAZER in.

Need for discussions between hospitals and Jehovah’s Witness patients

I wonder what the Watchtower Society will make of this?

News analysis: Inside the Brooklyn Bridge Park deal

Proving that the Society isn’t broke by any means, though many Witnesses seem to think the organization is dirt poor.

And now, one of the sites I recently discovered thanks to my newly minted Twitter account.

Defend Jehovah’s Witnesses

This website exposes and disputes false charges made against Jehovah’s Witnesses. Find what you are looking for by clicking on the main categories or using the Search Box below.

A few articles that will surely go over well with exxers include:

Defend Jehovah’s Witnesses: 1975 and Jehovah’s Witnesses – The Opposers’ Claims Vs. The Facts

Defend Jehovah’s Witnesses: Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Date of 607 B.C.E. For Jerusalem’s Destruction

Defend Jehovah’s Witnesses: How Accurate is The New World Translation?

Defend Jehovah’s Witnesses: Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Really a Cult? – Showing How This Label is Incorrect
This one is super awesome!

Defend Jehovah’s Witnesses: “New Light” – Should Opposers of Jehovah’s Witnesses Really be Taken Seriously When They Can’t Even Use the Correct Phrase?

In addition to the Twitter thing, I’m now on Facebook, Myspace (barely…don’t laugh), and Google+. Or is that Google Plus? (Yeah, I’m actually following Jeri Ryan. Hey, the thing nags you to add more people to your circle when you sign up and only lets you pick famous people. Waaah!)

Why not “friend” me…but please be careful. My friender is very sensitive. And no, I don’t know what that means.