JW Chronicles: Attacked by a Teenager

JW Chronicles: Attacked by a Teenager

Vile: Look I am a Jehovah’s Witness and I don’t think that it is right what you have there you don’t see us picking on the Jews or Catholics just because we are different than every other religion does not mean that you have to make fun of what we do, we don’t celebrate Christmas because it was a Roman Holiday before it became Christmas and we take VOLUNTARY DONATIONS the people don’t have to give us the money we can supply it ourselves, we just ask if the person would like to donate. Also in the Bible it does not say Jesus’ birthday not just in our bible but everyone else’s I don’t mean to sound rude if I am but that’s something that hurts someone when you say something like that.

Heidi: Hi Vile-I don’t make fun at all. I know why you don’t celebrate Christmas, I know your donations are voluntary. I haven’t said anything against those two customs of yours. I can’t authentically address the Catholic or Jewish associations, since I haven’t been a member – I leave that to others (including JWs in most of their publications). But there is one thing that I do judge the Witnesses about as a group – and that is failing to live up to their own definition of the true religion, which manifests the fruits of the spirit (1 Cor. 13). What I have said is that the organization has hurt the spiritual growth of many many people and they have no healing resources within the organization – only methods of punishment. I deal with the people who are hurt, who are recovering, and not with current Witnesses. I have no quarrel with individual Jehovah’s Witnesses, -in fact if you read my blog you will discover that I have had interesting and worthwhile discussions with many of them even after leaving the organization. My site is not aimed at current JWs at all. Perhaps you have misunderstood something? I would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Vile: I didn’t know that but why would you have something on your website about that?And as you said”What I have said is that the organization has hurt the spiritual growth of many many people and they have no healing resources within the organization – only methods of punishment.”Everyone has a different religion so respect it.

Heidi: Well, mostly because it took me 15 years to learn how to heal and I would like to help others do is better and faster. If JWs were more compassionate, my site wouldn’t be needed. Again, if you’re happy in the religion – that’s terrific. And if you’re not, I have help for you.

Vile: Look for your information we are the most compassionate people there can be ok I dont need any help you do I have an aunt who’s name is (deleted) I think about two or three years ago she stopped being a Jehovah’s Witnesses and the brothers and sisters in the congregation tried to do the most they could to help her but she doesnt want help so why are you offering help to former Jehovah’s Witnesses if they dont need it? Ok we dont emotionallly traumatize people we dont say “Oh if you don’t serve god then you will end up in Hell” unlike the other religions you can either go to hell or heaven. God made the earth for us but when Adam and Eve disobeyed him by eating the fruit they had shown that they could not obey Jehovah, I’m not the one that needs the help it’s you that needs it! I am 14 years old and I strongly and I mean very strongly defend my religion and am sick of hearing people say the cruelest things about us when they dont even know us so you need yo put these idiotic things on your website about us because you said that I took you 15 years to heal.Heal from what? That’s what I want to know if you email me back tell me about what you had to heal from.

Heidi: Ok, I’m trying to be nice. I haven’t said one thing that wasn’t true about JWs. I don’t dislike individual JWs, but I do think that the organization lies and misleads its members. In any case, that’s my opinion – doesn’t have to be yours. So far it’s a free country in the USA and I can offer help to former JWs who COME to me for help – I’m not selling anything, and I’m not trying to convert anyone into any other religion. I am simply here for people who need me just as someone who understands. I am not your aunt, in case that’s what’s you’re worried about. I’m 40, live in Atlanta GA, and grew up in Massachusetts. I have a husband, and a child, and a Phd in Religion and Literature. I was a JW myself. I stood up and explained to my whole class every year why I didn’t salute the flag or celebrate anything. I am not attacking you at all – I have been there, ok? What the religion does when someone makes a mistake is give them nowhere to go. Instead of lovingly “correcting” them as they claim, they cut them off from friends and family, they offer no spiritual guidance or counseling or caring or compassion. I’m sorry, but I get weekly letters detailing the cruelty and all the people hurting. You simply don’t know what you are talking about. Maybe it all seems great to you now, and if that’s the case you shouldn’t be writing to me anyway. There are other religions that treat people cruelly too, and I still believe that many things in the JWs are right (like not saluting the flag). However, I think that religions have to be judged by the fruits of the spirit. And I also don’t believe in a God who is going to destroy most of humankind. That isn’t my God.

What did I have to heal from? A number of things – they tried to make me feel second-class for being female, that my brain was a liability, that I shouldn’t go to college. I was unjustly accused of sexual misconduct across several congregations-when I was a 15-year old virgin without a car and no-one would tell me who I had even supposedly slept with. I was chastised for exhibitionism and involving myself in the spirit world when all I did was play Hodel in “Fiddler on the Roof,” which had a dream sequence with a ghost in it (and this was the year Michael Jackson, a JW at the time, had just released the Thriller video!). But it was what they did to others that really got to me. I left, finally, of my own accord, after watching injustice too often.

What about the poor grandmother who writes to me to ask how she can see her grandson when her daughter in law won’t let the boy see anyone who isn’t a Witness? Is that kind? Is that a good example? JWs create this mental picture of fearfulness toward the world – it’s kind of interesting to me that the Bush administration is using the same techniques of control that the Watchtower Society does. If the JWs really have the truth, why don’t they allow their members to do their own research in archaeology, to learn Hebrew and Greek, and so on? It’s an issue of control – they really want submissive sheep. Well, sorry, I’m not dumb enough to swallow their pseudo-theology and bad translations and lack of wisdom. I’m not blind enough to forget their frequent doctrinal reversals and redefinitions. For me, the “new Light” has been blinking for a long time! Those people are only bright enough to rope in people who need something, anything – anyone with natural curiosity can find out enough about the organization in an hour to never come back. They sure aren’t the worst – I’m not saying that – but what they are about doesn’t have anything to do with a God that I could believe in. And it doesn’t have much to do with any Christian message – the good news of forgiveness and life.

I have been trying to give people who had nothing BUT the Witnesses to rebuild their sense of self and to get back on a spiritual path of their own choosing, to get back into a relationship with God when their religion was even more cruel than the world.
Why would you deny the hurt and broken ones at least one friend somewhere? I’m not pushing anything – and if people then go back to the JWs, I don’t mind. My ego is not involved in it. I only want to give some practical strategies to people who have been told ridiculous things like that demons were going to invade them if they left, or that children’s toys were satanic. I mean, come on!

You can like it or lump it, but I really don’t know why what I do would be at all threatening to you or why you would take such a hostile tone when you have no idea of my life or my experiences. I get a lot of hate mail from current JWs, and it just reinforces my feeling about the religion. Do you know that not one person has ever written to me with any understanding or wisdom? Not one person has said anything like “I think that you are misguided – what happened with you? Can I help you to understand how these things could have happened? Can I show you how we believe that God is always here for you?” Nada. Nothing. I am only writing to you at all because you showed a modicum of civility. Normally I am accused of being insane – one guy called me the anti-Christ even though as I recall, that’s not even a JW doctrine. I get curses and swearing and a whole lotta that kind of real Christian love.

I mean you no disrespect, but one also learns to respect the experiences of others, and the multiple ways that faith manifests. All gifts are necessary. As you get older, you will better understand what that means. It took me until I was in my 30’s to really understand even as much as I do now.

Vile: the only person that has a mental illness is you I bet your parents are ashamed of you I will never think differently about my religion and don’t say that we never let people talk to their family and friends in the bible it says that when someone commits a very serous sin that they need to be disciplned its like a child that disobeys their parents they get grounded. Maybe you weren’t really a Jehovah’s Witness when you were young maybe you just say you were becayse I know a true JEHOVAH’S WITNESS WOULDN’T SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT!!

Look lady if you want to talk trash about my religion then dont say it to me Michael Jackson isn’t one of the best examples of Jehovah’s Witness and Plus he was never baptized he was only a publisher and do you think that Jehovah would’ve liked if you were doing a play with which you having to do something with a ghost look lady stop talking trash about my religion and stop talkin trash about me beacuse my religion is me I am one of the most best behaved kids at school I get honor roll every quarter and when I tell people that I am jehovah’s Witness I give a good example to every jehovah’s witness teenager and to my parents so not wanting to sound disrespectful but SHUT THE HECK UP I KNOW THE US IS A FREE COUNTRY AND THAT’S WHY WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO PREACH TO EVERYONE LEAVE ME ALONE AND GOODBYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I CAN’T STAND PEOPLE LIKE YOU

Vile: (2nd email in a row) AND WHEN YOU SAID THAT YOU FELT SECOND CLASS BECAUSE YOU ARE A FEMALE THAT’S WHAT MY MOM TELLS ME THAT CAN MISLEAD YOU THAT’S THE REASON WHY YOU’RE NOT A Jehovah’s Witness ANYMORE YOUR A RUDE OLD WOMAN WHO TALKS TRASH AND SAYS THAT WE GET PEOPLE MENTALLY TRAUMATIZED.

Vile: (3rd email in a row) And yes we do lovingly correct people’s problems

H: See what I mean – gee, just look at that example of Christian behavior. You don’t want to read my site? Then don’t read it. I’m not engaging in any further conversation with a 14-year old. It makes me laugh – I guess I would be an old lady to you. But you probably shouldn’t be writing to strangers on the internet – don’t your parents and the elders frown on that? You ask me to leave you alone – great – then leave me alone. You initiated this conversation. If you have problems, consult your elders. I am sure they will tell you what to do so you don’t have to think for yourself or have any relationship with God of your own.

Please do not write to me or visit my site again. I don’t think it’s appropriate to continue this conversation. You have to find your own way.

Addendum: Feb 17, 2005: Yet more from this girl! She sent me a JW summary of a JW book (one of perhaps three that are positive about JWs in some way- Facing the Lion)- it looked like a school project. Why she sent it I don’t know. She didn’t refer to it in the body of the email. She was very upset and made threats against me. She accused me of posting her email address (which I didn’t, but I have truncated again her “handle” in order to protect her privacy even further). If you have any questions, check out my privacy policy. Here is an excerpt from her email:

Oh ms.heidi ex-Jehovah’s Witness (snip) Many people who have seen your website know you dont like Jehovah’s Witnesses but you dont have to put”JW CHRONICLES:attacked by a teenager” I am a loyal Jehovah’s Witness recently baptized(date deleted) and dont want you putting my name on your bashing site. I am going to report this to the Compuserve org and tell them of the type of things that you are putting on your site … (snip) … So yake it off and I know you dont want me putting your email on other websites such as mine!

I replied to her email telling her that I had not in fact posted her email anywhere on my site, and that she should send me a link if she could find where I had done so and I would certainly remove it. Sorry “Vile” but when you write to me you specifically give permission for me to post your feedback to my site at my discretion – this is in my privacy policy. I did not post your email address as you have accused – this is also in my privacy policy – and now, in deference to you, I have further shortened even what “handle” you yourself presented. So, if you want to post any of this on your blog or site under “hei,” that would be equivalent. You will find, should you “report me” that I have done nothing at all wrong. Also, I requested that you not visit my site or contact me again and you are, unfortunately, in violation of that request. If you don’t want to set a bad example by putting JWs in a bad light, I recommend that you stop writing abusive emails to people.

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8 thoughts on “JW Chronicles: Attacked by a Teenager

  1. Poor kid. I give him respect for standing up in the face of adversity but it’s hard to defend the Bible when you’re that young. Sometimes emotions get in the way and we believe things, not because we understand them, but because we feel them. It’s hard to separate the two sometimes. You don’t help the situation any by making an example out of him. Advice Vile, focus on your studies and don’t let other people’s belief get to you. Congratulations on your baptism. But remember, you dedicated your life to Jehovah. It’s not a symbol. It’s a promise. Everyone who looks at you as a Jehovah’s Witness is going to see who you represent. That is Jehovah. You must do so without reserve. Let your conduct dictate who you are. Jesus made disciples and gathered his flock by being patient and listening to their troubles. Don’t let anger get the best of you. It’s easy to lash at back at those who attack you. Take Hitler, for example. The very same person you just had this argument with posed the question why Jehovah’s Witnesses conceded to Hitler. The truth is, they never did. Hitler hated Jews. But he despised Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why? Because he couldn’t break them. No matter which concentration camps he sent them to, no matter how many public executions he held to discourage them, the Jehovah’s Witnesses kept growing. Whenever he sent 3 JW’s to a camp, 6 would come out. Hitler thought that the JW’s were plague, and he started to panic. He eventually wrote up a document that granted JW’s immunity from oppression if they simply denied to be Jehovah’s Witnesses and refused to preach. 11,000 JW’s went to prison camps. Only 1,000 died. Even fewer of those executed. But they never surrendered. They never gave in. So, why would someone in control of millions be so afraid of so few? Because the Jehovah’s Witnesses had Jehovah on their side. It’s the only explanation as to why Hitler didn’t just kill them all as he came across them. He did so to the Jews. Killed millions of them. But he couldn’t exterminate the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Here’s another interesting point. Out of all the prisoners in the prison camps, Jehovah’s Witnesses were one of the few that were identified by their faith. They wore a purple triangle in their uniform. Also, they were the only one’s offered a pact of immunity for denying their faith. Doesn’t that sound remarkably similar to the pact Satan offered Jesus? He brought Jesus to the tallest mountain and told him that if he renders one single act of worship to Satan that Satan would give him all the kingdoms in the world. (For those of you interested in reading an unbiased report:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_in_Nazi_Germany) Keep this experience in mind whenever you preach to people the good news. No matter how hard things seem, NO ONE can take the glory from Jehovah.
    As for you, VirusHead. I’m very sad. You have a PhD in religion and your notions are so misguided. See, here I thought that you just had a personal vendetta against the JW’s but the truth is, there are a lot of things about the Bible you don’t understand. I’ll tell you what. I’ll be the first to offer out a helping hand. Ask me any question you want and I will show you, in the Bible, how they pertain to us and what they mean. I’m not claiming to know more, but, I know about the Holocaust, not because I read it in some book, but because I actually went to Germany and took all of the tours and spoke to WW2 survivors. I have traveled to many countries, followed many faiths, and have read more variations of the Bible than I can count. I don’t posses a PhD, but I figure we could help each other put certain things in perspective. But here are a few questions for you:
    Everyone seems to be focusing on the election. That’s all fine and dandy. And I’m not going to quote the Bible about staying away from a passing government or anything. To each his/her own. However, could anyone put so much faith in a government that is building concentration camps in our own soil? If FEMA really is ‘protecting’ us, why the need for detention centers? Who are they for? Also, what’s going to happen that would make them so necessary? Why are there over 500,000 coffins being accumulated in Georgia? Is it true that the government is fixing to drive us towards Martial Law? What are all the rumors about One World Government and ‘fixing’ our economy to accept the North American Union? Why would NAFTA build a highway stemming from Canada, through the US, and ending in Mexico, if they plan on securing our borders? Why are people becoming increasingly concerned over the rumors that the NWO wants to exterminate 90% of the world’s population? You talk about wanting to protect family and friends from the damages of ‘brainwashing’. You can Google any of these questions or type in the keywords into YouTube. Once again, I don’t suggest you believe everything you see and hear, but if you really want to make people aware, you should see how far the rabbit hole really goes. This is why we are nearing the ‘End of Days’, and if the book of Revelation is any indication, our time is running out sooner than you think.

  2. Hmmm. Ok, I’ll volley back on this, Jairo, although it’s a 4-year old post. “Vile” was a “she” and it wasn’t so much a defense of faith as an attack on anyone who would try to help people who have been hurt by their more destructive policies.

    And yes, the Watchtower Society leadership did do some pretty strange things in their relationship with Hitler, despite the bravery and faith of those Jehovah’s Witnesses who endured under adversity in the camps. That makes it all the more despicable. See here, and here, and here, and here, and here. Just a few examples, but Google can help you find more, if you’re willing to face it.
    Here’s a small sample:

    “At the convention, it was stated that there are no opposing views in the relationship between German Bible Students and the National Government of the German Reich, but that, to the contrary, respecting the purely religious and apolitical goals and objectives of the Bible Students, it can be said that these are in complete harmony with the similar goals of the National Government of the German Reich.”

    Complete harmony of goals… nice.

    Or how about this one?

    “It has been the commercial Jews of the British-American empire that have built up and carried on Big Business as a means of exploiting and oppressing the peoples of many nations.”

    And they say they aren’t anti-Semitic…

    Take a particular look at the career of Erich Frost for an outstanding example of a Watchtower traitor to those brave and faithful JWs, and remember that he was still in his position after the war.

    I guess you don’t count the badge that the Jews had to wear? It was the first (and most important) mandatory identification that was made. From your comments, I don’t suppose that you have happened to notice that Hitler did not actually succeed in “exterminating” them.

    Do you really think that JWs made Hitler panic? That’s actually funny.

    Your figures are optimistic. In all, about 10,000 (not 11,000) Jehovah’s Witnesses were imprisoned in concentration camps. Of these, approximately 2,500 to 5,000 died, not 1,000. They were imprisoned because they did not salute flags, or raise their arms to “Heil Hitler,” or serve in the German army. Jehovah’s Witnesses were therefore banned by national law in April 1935. Only those JWS who continued to ignore the ban on their activities were arrested and sent to prisons and concentration camps.

    It’s interesting that you can’t admit of any other explanation for the survival of many of the JWs in the camps than the backing of Jehovah himself. In your travels, did you happen to notice that other political dissidents – as well as dissenting clergy – that were held in the camps? Dachau was a camp for political prisoners for 12 years.

    I do not underestimate the faith of JWs in the camps, but remember that there were a lot of other people there: Jews, Roma (“Gypsies”), political dissidents, homosexuals, vagrants, prostitutes, alcoholics, and others such as Christian Poles and other Slavs (especially Ukrainians and Byelorussians). Many others were forcibly sterilized, such as persons with physical or mental disabilities and the offspring of German mothers and the African soldiers brought in during the French occupation. But in your eyes, God is only with Jehovah’s Witnesses, which seems incredibly heartless. How any compassionate person who loves God really think that? How can you justify it? Really.

    Thanks for your concern, but there is no need to be sad for me. I’m doing fine.

    I’m moved by your offer to collaborate on putting some things in perspective. I rarely engage in bickering about biblical interpretation, but there are many questions to be asked. How about just two basic ones?

    1) Where do you find the biblical authority for the belief that God will destroy everyone but Jehovah’s Witnesses?
    2) What was the content of the message of “good news” that Jesus brought humanity?

    Forgive me if they seem too elementary, but I am asking for you to really think about it rather than simply parroting a set of unrelated but strung-together verses from the Watchtower Magazine.

    How things change. I remember when the two major foci of JW paranoia were the Catholic Church and the United Nations. There are some paranoid aspects to your other points that might better be left alone, so I’ll pass on that discussion. I suspect it is all about shoring up the belief in the “End of Days” (which helps with the enlargement of the Watchtower’s free salesforce). But I do agree with you that the detention centers and private jails being built are very distressing – I actually posted on that some time ago.

    I do not “have faith in” or worship government, but rather I believe that it is each citizen’s responsibility to speak up about problems and solutions, to insist on our government’s transparency and accountability to us, and to help to elect the best representatives that we possibly can because our government is meant to be “of the people by the people and for the people.”

  3. Lol. That is funny. I do apologize for the confusion of the ‘Vile’ post. I seem to have missed it. There is no need to volley, however. I like how you worded that. “…parroting a set of unrelated but strung-together verses from the Watchtower Magazine.” And yes, I did know about the other groups that were imprisoned and survived in the Holocaust. No, I never made the claim that ONLY Jehovah’s Witnesses were reserved salvation. Even in the days of Moses, during the plague of the first-born sons, Jehovah’s Spirit spared anyone who marked their door with blood. Even the those who didn’t make the faith their own. However, Jehovah’s promise was that the ‘marked’ houses would be passed over. Irrespective of the level of faith, all that was required was obedience. Now, the commandment is for anyone who excercises faith in Him and in Jesus for his sacrifice – and is repentant for their sins – shall receive salvation. Jehovah never said anything about a specific religion. Please don’t take my comments out of context.

    As far as your little excerpts about the letter to Hitler. Well, I’m not entirely sure you’ve read the actual letter, have you? It’s about 5 pages long and, I would assume, that the message was pretty obvious. First off, the comment about their view being harmonious was grossly misinterpreted. For the sake of clarity, I’ll highlight the key points.

    “At the convention, it was stated that there are no opposing views in the relationship between German Bible Students and the National Government of the German Reich, but that, to the contrary, respecting the PURELY RELIGIOUS and APOLITICAL goals and objectives of the Bible Students, IT CAN BE SAID that these are in complete harmony with the SIMILAR goals of the National Government of the German Reich.”

    Remember, Hitler was a Catholic. Rutherford, at no point, claimed to share the same visions of control and suppression as Hitler. He was simply appealing to Hitler’s claim that his movement was in ‘accordance to the will of God’. With that statement, Rutherford was saying that the Watchtower Society was only interested in doing the same thing. To perform in accordance to the will of God. The mention of methods was not necessary since Rutherford knew that the agendas were in opposition and would only lead to further conflict with Hitler. Hitler became Chancelor in 1934. The eugenics program did not come into effect into 1938. Meaning that, although many groups were being persecuted, it wasn’t occuring to such a rapid and monumental extent as it was after that year. Hence the respectful and cordial tone of the letter. After all, Rutherford wrote a letter to the very person persecuting the JW’s. Wouldn’t be beneficial to make him upset. Any other tone would be disrespectful and give Hitler more reason to persecute them. (The eugenics program was being arduously studied in the US by several reputable organizations. Including Brown University, Carnegie, and several practicing states. Due to an overturn of the Supreme Court, several ‘ideas’ were pitched to Germany to further the study. Hitler took those ideas a step too far which led to coining the term genocide.)

    As you might recall from your ‘research’, Hans Dollinger worked with Rutherford, at the time. He coordinated efforts with the Watchtower to give the Jehovah’s Witnesses a ‘voice’ during the oppression. He was the one that pushed for a cessation in the preaching work and passing of literature to appease the German government. As you might recall, Rutherford accused him of ‘lying’ on behalf of the Witnesses and disasociated him from the Watchtower. Shortly after, Dollinger denied any and all ties to the Witnesses.

    Hitler proclaimed that all of his work was done to appease God. In the respects of the Christian beliefs, Rutherord said the goals were harmonious. In response to the quoting of the Reich publication, the aim of Rutherford, to show that there was no threat to Hitler’s government, was for Hitler to appoint neutral officials to ‘monitor’ the congregation and publications to prove that it was in accordance with the statutes of the Christian faith as outlined in Hitler’s own publications. (Since it was their own publication, it couldn’t be disputed or accused.) He even went as far as stating that the Jehovah’s Witnesses posed no threat to the government by putting the example:

    “The Brooklyn administration and the Watch Tower Society is and in the past has been outstandingly friendly to Germany. For this reason, the president of the Society and 7 members of its Boards of Directors in the United States were sentenced to 80 years imprisonment because the president refused to use two magazines published by him in the United States for war propaganda against Germany.”

    This, in no way stated allegiance to Germany or Hitler. All this said was that the accusations that the Watch Tower were intent on opposing the German government were false. The JW’s were simply reaffirming their stance of neutrality by refusing to take sides. (The Jehovah’s Witnesses have never and will never promote war, irrespective of the country or human government.) However, Hitler did not respond to the letter and persecution continued. It was at that point that Rutherford motioned for a second address to the issue and threatened Hitler that if he didn’t allow the JW’s to preach in accordance with God’s word, that he was going to send a message out, all over the world, informing them of Hitler’s methods and persecution. Hitler, again, refused to respond. Preachwork continued at full force.

    In short, taken in segments, I could see where the confusion would arise. However, with a little more thorough research, it becomes aparent that the aims was to address concerns and accussations posed by Hitler’s government, to establish neutrality and quell concerns of an uprise, and to attempt to maintain an open avenue for preach work.

    Hitler’s background as a Catholic was never challenged. In fact, he possesed veto power over who the Pope can declare bishop in countries such as Germany, Italy and Spain. He was never excommunicated from the Catholic faith.That’s not to say that the religion supported his movement. But they didn’t contest it, either. Hitler combined his Catholic belief with the beliefs of Martin Luther. He believed humans were created but he also believed in evolution. Hence, the reason he believed that the Aryan race were the only true descendants of Adam and Eve. Which is why he was bent on destroying everyone else.

    As for the number, here’s a report from ushmm.org (aka the Holocaust Encyclopaedia):

    “The number of Jehovah’s Witnesses who died in concentration camps and prisons during the Nazi era is estimated at 1,000 Germans and 400 from other countries, including about 90 Austrians and 120 Dutch. (The non-German Jehovah’s Witnesses suffered a considerably higher percentage of deaths than their German co-religionists.) In addition, about 250 German Jehovah’s Witnesses were executed — mostly after being tried and convicted by military tribunals — for refusing to serve in the German military.”

    I do thank you for the correction on the ‘marks’, however. Hitler did have many different markings for all the groups of prisoners to identify their ‘class’. I completely forgot about that until you mentioned it.

    Anyways, it has become aparent that the quest for knowledge is not based upon the information. It’s based on a ‘template’ of ideals in which the information is measured with. If it doesn’t coincide with a prior belief, it must not be true. I personally, don’t like to take that approach. It makes me more susceptible to bias and hearsay information. So, I will leave you to your own devices. However, in the future, take your advice. Weigh any information you receive objectively. Cross reference it and use logic to answer those questions that don’t make sense. I don’t know what the official position of the Watch Tower stands at. However, I know I’m not blind. And the works don’t seem to betray Bible principles. So, my opinion remains unchanged. I do take your comment of earlier as a compliment, though. I haven’t been associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses in over 10 years. It seems that the more I learn and understand about the Bible, the more I sound like them. Interesting, isn’t it?

  4. The official Watchtower position is included in the links that I put in the previous comment. Yes, I’ve read all the letters.

    You might not have made the claim personally that only JWs are to be saved, but it is the underground view among JWs (and hidden by the “theocratic war strategy,” witnessed by my experience, the experience of others, and admitted by JWs in the comments on this site).

    In another comment, your said, “I am not a Jehovah’s Witness – as of currently. But I disagree with a lot of what is being said against. I was raised a JW for most of my life. I left the organization when I was a teenager (doing stupid things, i.e. sex before marriage, experimenting with drugs, etc.) then went off to join the military. I completed my 4 years and am now back and about to start a family. I spent roughly 8 years out of the organization and, in that time, have learned many valuable life lessons.”

    I applaud you. You must have come under some fire for your military service, not to mention your “experimentations.” I wonder how old you are?

    I would just say that many in the Watchtower organization at the time were Germanic. And note from your own words – the Watchtower org was “outstandingly friendly to Germany.” You don’t have any problem with the stance of neutrality?

    Is “preachwork” a new word used by JWs? I’ve never heard it before.

    Numbers regarding the Holocaust are always under contestation. But according to your own source – which has as its authority the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, an estimated 2,500 to 5,000 Witnesses died in the camps or prisons (Jehovah’s Witnesses: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum).

    It wouldn’t have mattered what Rutherford or anyone else said. As long as JWs wouldn’t “Heil Hitler” or serve in the military, they would be carted off. Why would it be any different for them than anyone else?

    I notice that you didn’t address the Eric Frost question. Do you know that he wrote the song “Forward You Witnesses”?

    Do you really believe that the coinage of the word genocide just came from Hitler taking serious eugenics programs just that little step too far?

    Why would you put the word “research” in scare quotes? Does my research count less than yours?
    I am a scholar, and I don’t do research just to support my ideological preferences, despite your projections to that effect, so you can leave your self-righteousness about method at the door, if you please.

    I notice that you didn’t answer my two questions. Didn’t you offer to do just that?

  5. I am 25 years old. Yes, I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness. No, i do not believe myself to be self-righteous. I just question a lot of information provided since it seems to focus more on a view point rather than facts. I may not be so eloquent in my explanations, but I try my best to bring forth my understanding and beliefs as best as I can. I don’t proclaim to be right 100% of the time, but I do recognize truth when I see it. I do want to get back into the organization of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Though, I don’t really see how that’s much a point as much as a judgment in standing. I feel it is necessary to point out that I am not a Jehovah’s Witness for the simple fact that, I can’t proclaim to speak for them because I don’t want to bring down their name in the case that my beliefs and points of view may go against theirs.

    This is what I mean about conflicting information (albeit, trivial): http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005394
    (Sorry, I haven’t been able to figure out how to put the HERE links on yet. Lol.)

    Information like this is what would lead a person to do more research. Your research doesn’t count less than mine. The reason I question it is because a lot of the points you bring forth are things that seem to be parroted from other sites. For example, the point that Jehovah’s Witnesses can’t tell you where Cain’s wife came from; what day the sun was created; why the year 1914; whatever happened to the year 1975? All these questions have answers. Very simple ones at that.

    I didn’t address the Erich Frost comment because, simply, I don’t read German. I can’t take the word of what a web site says until I can read the letters for myself. This also means that I can’t dispute what is said. So therefore, I choose to remain silent until I can do further research.

    The Watchtower being friendly, I don’t really see a problem with this stance. The problem with most people is that they assume that being friendly is agreeing or coordinating. There’s a guy at my work who despises my points of views. He no longer engages in philosophical conversations with me because he believes I’m too self-righteous and I don’t believe in reality. The truth is, I never judged him. Nor did I become ‘unfriendly’ towards him simply because he didn’t agree with my beliefs. I don’t have to like somebody to be cordial or friendly towards them. I don’t hang out with him outside of work. I lend him money when he doesn’t have lunch. I drove him to and from work when his car broke down. I believe people’s treatment towards others speak louder than words. It’s easy to dismiss someone’s ideals simply because they don’t coincide with yours. It’s just the way things are. It’s no reason to judge. If the Watchtower was doing Germany’s bidding, I would question that. If they’re just being polite and friendly? I don’t know. If it went against the commandments of the Bible, then yes. I don’t see how it did, though.

    The coinage of Genocide was not simply tied to Hitler. Genocide had been around throughout history. However, it was not until Raphael Lemkin coined the term genocide and the prosecution of perpetrators of the Holocaust at the Nuremberg trials that the international community agreed to the CPPCG which defined the crime of genocide under international law. That’s according to Wikipedia.com. And the official definition for it didn’t come about until 1948.

    I’m more than willing to hash out religious ideas all day long. However, at some point, the realization of truth has to set in. The Bible is written one way. I understand that some texts are more difficult than others, but it doesn’t mean that two different ways are both correct. You believe in love and free will. So do I. You believe God will save all whom put faith in Him. So do I. You don’t believe the flood was literal. I disagree. If you believe the Bible is the word of God, then we have some common ground. Something we can build from. If you don’t, then no amount of theorizing or discussion will get us anywhere. If you really want the answers to those two questions then I will address them in my next post. (Once I can research them in the Bible.) If you just want to criticize me and take the stand that no matter what I say, you’re going to be right, then we have nothing further to discuss. It’s all up to you. Until then, have a great day.

  6. How fortunate you are to know truth when you see it! Many of the most profound thinkers of the human race could not make such a claim. For me, it’s enough to point toward truth. Truth is not so easily made a possession.

    “Jehovah’s Witnesses can’t tell you where Cain’s wife came from; what day the sun was created; why the year 1914; whatever happened to the year 1975? All these questions have answers. Very simple ones at that.” – Not sure they are “simple” answers, exactly, but I’m aware that JWs think they have answers to these questions. If you see them in this order anywhere else, they are most likely parroting me. These were questions that I had as a child, and was never satisfied with the answers I received. With the exception of the 1914 question (which is inherent in the 1975 question) these come from my “Advice to Recovering JWs” page. That particular bit was written in 1998. I’ve reused them in the blog, I think, but if so I’m quoting myself.

    As for the numbers question, I linked to another page from the same authority. You can Google it to get a sense for the range of numbers, but I would have to say that even under the page you’ve linked, you’ll need to do some addition. 1,000 isn’t accurate even for this low-ball estimate.

    Eric Frost (1900-1987) was the composer of Fest steht (Stand Fast), which was reworked in English as Forward, You Witnesses. He composed the song in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin in 1942. This “kingdom song” expresses a militant stand against persecution, a sense of being in the end times, and a “firm and determined” confidence in the strong-heartedness of the faithful. But what else did Frost do?

    “Of the eight German Watchtower district servants (the highest level in the Watchtower hierarchy in the national branch), August Fehst was arrested by the Gestapo, and he then betrayed Erich Frost. In response to his betrayal by Fehst, Frost reportedly gave the Gestapo the names of the remaining seven district servants (Otto Dauth, Albert Wandres, Fred Meier, Walter Friese, Arthur Nawroth, Heinrich Ditschi, Karl Siebeneichler who died in Sachsenhausen). According to the Gestapo document Haftbuch Nr. 292, Gestapo Berlin, Dienststelle II B 2, no torture was used on Frost; his anger at Fehst was evidently sufficient for him to give the Gestapo the information they wanted. After this he spent a short time in Sachsenhausen, and then was moved to the German-occupied British Channel Island of Alderney until the war ended when he resumed his duties as the Watchtower branch chief under a new set of district servants.” –From “The Watchtower’s Nazi Conflicts: A History of Watchtower Cowardliness and Witness Perseverance,” by Jerry Bergman (JW Research Journal, Jan.-June, 1999) Online article posted here. He talks a bit about the numbers question, too – at least in terms of the numbers reported by the Watchtower organization.

    The details of Frost’s story can be found in other places as well – in German and English. Here are a couple:

    Interactive Bible
    ICLNET.org

    As for the questions you offered to answer, I think I posed pretty easy ones. I’m just looking for your honest answers. You don’t have to answer them if you don’t want to, since they were posed more for your own sake than for any need of mine.

    I believe the Bible is the word of God (although perhaps not the only word of God). However, I don’t believe that the changing interpretations of the biblical collection from a small group of self-appointed spokesmen in Brooklyn represents the word, or the will, of God. So it’s completely up to you whether or not you choose to continue some sort of engagement here.

    I’m not arguing with you because I have some need to be right, but I’m sure going to answer back when someone says some of the things that have been said here. I grew up as a JW and left over issues of unkindness and injustice, so maybe we have more in common than you think. I’ve had a lot of years of study and dialogue with others and just simply years of putting things into perspective – I’m in my 40’s. I’ll admit that I have become less patient over the years with people who make multiple negative posts on my blog. There have been a few that were truly tiresome.

    I haven’t really picked up any sense that you were interested in having any sort of authentic dialogue that would build to anything useful. If you look back over your comments on the different posts, I think you might be able to see where I might get that impression.

  7. Fair enough. We might have more in common, after all. I didn’t believe there was much that I could bring to your attention that you didn’t already know. Regardless of the similarities, I did choose to stand on the oposite side of the fence. I’m not saying there’s a right or wrong side. Because, truthfully, we don’t really know. We each serve Jehovah the best way we know how. Faith is a lot like knowledge. It’s not about knowing all the little obscure facts and details of life. It’s about a steady intake of wisdom and data that will allow a person to make sound decisions and obtaining the capacity to tackle problems without letting them become overpowering. Faith is a lot like that. We study and we change until we obtain a sense of accomplishment that what we are doing is right. Once we accomplish that we are able to defend it and stand up for the things we believe in. Eventually, God will ultimately reveal whether we’ve been doing it right or wether it’s enough. As for my past posts, well, I guess I kind of got a little carried away. My original intention wasn’t to ‘convert’ or prove anything really. I know you believe that you offer help and guidance to those who have gone through similar circumstances. And it’s a noble cause. But I don’t believe that something like that could be done by bringing others down. Believe me, I would have said the same thing if it had been with Catholics or any other religion. Irrespective of my beliefs, I believe everyone should have the ability and freedom to choose whichever religion they want. However, it appears that your site simply either solidifies people’s distance from the JW’s or pulls them out of it if they have doubts. Either way, I guess we just agree to disagree. It’s been interesting, to say the least. But I will leave you to do what you feel is right. Be safe.

  8. You too. I would make one distinction here, though. I don’t believe in bringing people down, and I have had productive and interesting dialogue with some current JWs. Rank and file JWs are only doing the best they can, like everyone else.

    I do criticize the destructive policies of the Watchtower organization, especially where they undermine kindness and caring toward those who are non-JWs or former JWs – and even their own people (especially women, and most heartbreaking to me, children).

    That is a very different thing than attacking JWs themselves, who mostly mean well and often sacrifice quite a bit for what they believe is right. The Watchtower organization asks potential converts to examine the beliefs, the behaviors, and the fruits of the spirit regarding their own religious traditions, so I think it’s fair enough to demand the same kind of assessment toward the organization, too. There are always false prophets. Love God, and hold fast to what is fine.

    Take care, and may the Spirit be with you.

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