News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses And Atheists: Operation E-Shunning – AAWA Goes After The Watchtower In New Campaign

VIDEO: Operation: e-Shunning – AAWA goes after Watchtower over its destructive practice

Check out AAWA2013 – AAWA’s New YouTube Channel!

Punished for Choosing to Live

Twenty-two years ago a registered letter changed the course of my life. The letter stated that I had been judged guilty of “conduct unbecoming a Christian” and had been disfellowshipped from the Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. What did that mean? What it meant was that unless I repented of my perceived sins in an acceptable way before a tribunal of church elders, I would forevermore be subjected to a life of shunning and ostracism by all of my church friends and four generations of family.

The webmaster of Emily Has Books is a friend, and so is the author! Check it out.

KU Hospital doctor delivers infusion of hope to Jehovah’s Witness

The cause was unknown. Maybe it was a ruptured vessel or a bleeding ulcer, which he had suffered before. But without oxygen-rich blood, his body was suffocating. He needed surgery. He needed to be stabilized. He needed blood. The problem: Watkins is a Jehovah’s Witness.

An Open Letter to Christians trying to “Convert” Atheists

Every time I get witnessed I have the same reaction, “Yeah, and?”. I’m completely baffled as to why you like to do this all the time. Sure it’s a great story. I liked Harry Potter too, but that had a better epilogue. The reason why this doesn’t work is simple. I and the atheist community, don’t believe you.

Hear ye hear ye!

Grandmother Says She is Persecuted if She is Not Allowed to Convert Grandson

One persistent sore point for me as a Heathen and even more, as a father, is the self-martyrdom of my mother-in-law…. She is my son’s only living grandmother, and as such occupies (or should occupy) a rather special place in his life. Not surprisingly he loves his grandmother and wants to spend time with her. I don’t begrudge him that. And I know she loves him and wants to spend time with him. Indeed, we, as parents, want them to spend time together.

So it breaks our heart when her insistence on some imagined right to proselytize our son gets in the way of what should be a wonderful relationship. I have cherished memories of my maternal grandmother and the time I spent with her and with her sisters. I know what my son is missing, what he has missed, and what he will miss in the years to come. And it breaks my heart. Grandma’s visits, if visits there are, should not have to be supervised. And they should not carry with them the prerequisite of conversion.

Notre Dame Professor Debunks Christian Myth of Persecution

She goes to lengths to argue that Christians were prosecuted, not persecuted. With true government persecution, victims have no room to negotiate when trying to convince the government to stop targeting them, Moss said. But when the government’s laws inadvertently lead to the persecution of Christians, there remains room for dialogue and debate over changing those laws.

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Panorama | Secret database protects paedophiles

Pain of ostracism can be deep, long-lasting

Dangerous message for Domestic Violence from JWs

Paris Jackson stands up against her grandmother’s Jehovah’s Witness beliefs and ‘refuses to preach door-to-door’

Oh, and don’t tell anybody, but AAWA (newly renamed to Advocates For Awareness of Watchtower Abuses) has been dealing with a slew of cyber attacks at their website. From where?

Video: A Message To Jehovah’s Witnesses From Antiwatchtower Activists

Video: A Message To Jehovah’s Witnesses From Antiwatchtower Activists

This is video from a new group with a new website. is the official website of The Association of Anti-Watchtower Activists, a legally incorporated organization representing an international group of campaigners against the Watch Tower Society. Most of its associates are either current or former Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The best part is the message on their Open Offer page:

AAWA extends an open offer to the Watch Tower Society to meet with the Governing Body (or its representatives) to discuss ways in which the organization can continue its religious activities without harming both current and former believers. AAWA firmly believes in the rights of religious freedom, but not when these impinge on other individual rights. Specifically, AAWA believes that Watchtower has become guilty of impinging the individual rights of its followers in five key areas…

The message implies that this isn’t a website for angry rants or name calling. They seem to be in-line with my own philosophy on dealing with the culture of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the organization behind it, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. I hope you guys will support this voice of sanity.

Best of luck to AAWA from the Atheist Geek!

News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: 10 Observations About Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Book of Revelation

Michael Gilmour: 10 Observations About Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Book of Revelation

This article makes 10 points about the culture of Jehovah’s Witnesses using the Society’s book, Revelation: Its Grand Climax at Hand! You might want to bookmark this one.

Religious Trauma Syndrome: How Some Organized Religion Leads to Mental Health Problems

Another one to bookmark. Here are some highlights from the article.

Groups that demand obedience and conformity produce fear, not love and growth….
As Journalist Janet Heimlich has documented in, Breaking Their Will, Bible-based religious groups that emphasize patriarchal authority in family structure and use harsh parenting methods can be destructive. But the problem isn’t just physical and sexual abuse. Emotional and mental treatment in authoritarian religious groups also can be damaging because of 1) toxic teachings like eternal damnation or original sin 2) religious practices or mindset, such as punishment, black and white thinking, or sexual guilt, and 3) neglect that prevents a person from having the information or opportunities to develop normally….
In fundamentalist Christianity, the individual is considered depraved and in need of salvation. A core message is “You are bad and wrong and deserve to die.” … Decades later they sit telling me that they can’t manage to find any self-worth….
Born-again Christianity and devout Catholicism tell people they are weak and dependent, calling on phrases like “lean not unto your own understanding” or “trust and obey.” People who internalize these messages can suffer from learned helplessness….
Authoritarian religious groups are subcultures where conformity is required in order to belong. Thus if you dare to leave the religion, you risk losing your entire support system as well….
Religious groups that are highly controlling, teach fear about the world, and keep members sheltered and ill-equipped to function in society are harder to leave easily. The difficulty seems to be greater if the person was born and raised in the religion rather than joining as an adult convert…

The next part addresses one of my core gripes about the culture of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as provided to them by the Governing Body. It also points out the difference between a religion like The Watchtower Society’s and one that promotes a healthy state of mind. Contrary to what some people say when they see an article about Jehovah’s Witnesses, not all religions are like theirs.

What do you see as the difference between religion that causes trauma and religion that doesn’t?
Winell: Religion causes trauma when it is highly controlling and prevents people from thinking for themselves and trusting their own feelings. Groups that demand obedience and conformity produce fear, not love and growth. With constant judgment of self and others, people become alienated from themselves, each other, and the world. Religion in its worst forms causes separation.
Conversely, groups that connect people and promote self-knowledge and personal growth can be said to be healthy. The book, Healthy Religion, describes these traits. Such groups put high value on respecting differences, and members feel empowered as individuals. They provide social support, a place for events and rites of passage, exchange of ideas, inspiration, opportunities for service, and connection to social causes. They encourage spiritual practices that promote health like meditation or principles for living like the golden rule. More and more, nontheists are asking how they can create similar spiritual communities without the supernaturalism. An atheist congregation in London launched this year and has received over 200 inquiries from people wanting to replicate their model.

Jehovah’s Witness Memorial 3/26/13

This is an article written by a non-Witness (an evil “worldly person” or “nonbeliever,” as the Society calls us) about the Memorial of Christ’s Death. Note that the author is somewhat familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses and is a Christian.

Not three seconds after [the attendant] walked away, a lady sitting behind me … started talking about some of their theology. She asked me a question; “Do you know what the world would look like if no one ever sinned?” I answered, “Well, I supposed we’d all be running around naked and living in a big Garden.”

“That’s right and one day Jehovah is going to return the earth to its original purpose.”

“You mean we’re all going to be running around naked in a big Garden?”

The thought hit both of us at the same time. Her facial expression changed as she thought about that, but continued to verbally affirm my statement. I kept thinking about all of the covers of Watchtower magazines I have seen over the years of happy families in a paradise earth. I didn’t say it, but all of those covers are wrong. If God is going to return the earth to its original purpose, then why are all of those people clothed? I could see from her face that she had never thought of that idea and was not exactly comfortable with it. I’m sure she could see from the look on my face that I wasn’t comfortable with it either.

Here’s another good one:

Every cult has terminology they use over and over so I think one day when I am old, wrinkly and can get away with it, I will make a few Bingo cards which contain a number of Jehovah’s Witness buzz words. I will bring a bunch of my old, wrinkly, decrepit friends and we will play Kingdom Hall Bingo. The first person to get a straight line of five words will immediately stand up and announce, “ARMAGEDDON!” If your card happens to include the word “appreciate,” you are sure to win.

Fun article on Jehovah’s Witnesses & Holidays

When you’re in the bOrg (how some ex-JW’s classify the Watchtower organization) there’s A LOT you’re afraid of. Oh my lord! If you participated in something with pagan roots you were just practically sending an engraved invitation to the Devil and all his henchmen to immediately come running because they had a new follower. You would’ve thought that December 25th meant a portal was opening so legions of demons could pass through with orders to devour anyone in a Santa hat or singing a carol. Like zombies with a homing device, they were ready to gorge themselves on your faith in Jehovah! You were just a true believer buffet waiting to be devoured.

All because the rituals are based in pagan practices and ceremonies, hence EVIL. It’s really just that easy and simple. Why was I having such a hard time with this?

This is part one. Still waiting for part two.

Betrayal of Jehovah’s Witnesses Soon – Topix

And now, for a dose of insanity, check out the link above. It will take you to a bizarre list of conspiracy theories written by someone called OnePoint (actually, 20571point428571, but OnePoint is good enough for me.). The comments were the best part.

JWs are already betrayed…… by their own FALSE PROPHET LEADERS. We don’t need pages and pages of useless blather, speculation and nonsense to tell us that.

Whatever this guy is smoking, I want some. I can’t even fathom wasting this much time thinking about this crapload of mythological fantasia.

What a dumbass.

The fool thinks that JW’s are fulfilling prophecy.

The only prophecy the JW’s fulfill is those describing false prophets.

Pointman is taking strong medicine.

Way to Witness to the nonbelievers. They’re practically running for their Kingdom Halls! Good job, OnePoint!

News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: Truth Be Told Documentary Promotion At Bethel

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.

Wow. Now I’m just sad. Avoidance-mode engaged!

VIDEO: Truth Be Told Documentary Promotion At Bethel

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.

On a related note, here’s a little bonus: Interview with filmmaker Gregorio Smith talks about “Truth be Told.”

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.

“New light” Watchtower magazine leaked from organization weeks ahead of general release

The July 15 2013 Watchtower, which has been leaked weeks in advance of its scheduled release, offers more questions than answers regarding the Governing Body’s “new light”

That “new light” refers to the Body’s decision to declare themselves the Faithful and Discrete Slave.

VIDEO: Lord, Save us From Your Followers

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!

Deliverance at Hand! – Freethought House

Deliverance at Hand! is James Zimmerman’s account of growing up as a zealous Jehovah’s Witness in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

Mama, I’d Like to Introduce You to Me

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?