Katrina and JW view?

Katrina and JW view?

Hurricane Katrina and gays | Issue Letters | Advocate.com

Hurricane Katrina and gays

I had a Jehovah’s witness come to my door yesterday She told me that Hurricane Katrina was Jehovah God’s wrath on gays and abortionists. I am a 49 year old Jewish transsexual lesbian feminist. I told her that I worshipped a higher power who was not the cause of natural disasters and that power was pure love. She stuck her nose up in the air and stormed off. Good riddance. -Lilith

I wonder if that was a personal opinion, or if there is some “guidance” from Brooklyn to this effect.

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35 thoughts on “Katrina and JW view?

  1. LOL, way to go! They are such idiots. But, worse, idiots who harm the innocent. BTW, love your new colour scheme. I always enjoy your colour schemes. The old one was nice and cool for summer. This one is warmer for chilly autumn days of apples and spice.

  2. it’s amazing what some people are saying (much of it quite racist usually) about the aftermath. I sincerely hope these people are in the minority

  3. If, indeed, someone did say such a thing to you at your door, and I doubt it, I assure you the thinking is not common to Jehovah’s Witnesses. I have been one for 43 years, and at no time have I, nor anyone I know, been taught such a thing. The bible does teach that for all behavior, good or bad, there are consequenses, and that eventually, those consequenses will catch up to a person. If you are immoral, you will suffer at some point and unwanted pregnancy, a guilty conscience for bad behavior or perhaps a
    sexually transmitted illness, or some other heartache. If you jump off a building, you will make an impact with the ground, it’s just common sense. To make such an assumption about the tragedy along the Gulf Coast, is laughable, and if anyone reading this blog has an ounce of sense, they will not believe your ridiculous story. People are always afraid of what they do not understand, and your comment just shows your fear. Please contact a REAL Jehovah’s Witness to hear the truth. If you were sick, would you go to someone who had heard of doctors, or once was one? NO. you would take yourself to a credible, practicing MD. The same is the case with anything else. You want to know the truth???? Ask someone who really knows, not someone with an axe to grind. May Jehovah be with all those who are suffering with Hurricane Katrina. The bible says that time and unforseen events befall us all. That’s all this is, an unforseen tragic event. Don’t make more of it than it is, and don’t use it to further your hatred.

  4. See the little box? It wasn’t my story. I was quoting a published source.

    I don’t think it’s typical JW-speak either. However, she wasn’t asking me anything. A REAL JW came to her door. I’m inclined to believe that it really happened, if only because she says “Jehovah God.” Most non-JWs aren’t familiar with that combination.

    JWs don’t have a superior position on the truth. It’s chiling that for millions of people the word “truth” is used synonymously with the theocratic Watchtower and Bible empire. And with a capital T. “You should come back to the Truth. Only Jehovah’s Witnesses have the Truth. I’m solid in the Truth.” – what arrogance. Truth is what one strives for. Truth is not a possession, nor is it a synonym for any group on earth.

    However, I do agree that any such comments about the victims of Katrina are repulsive. No-one should use this disaster to further their hatred.

    In fact, I believe that was the point of my quoting this source.

    Try to keep track.

  5. I’ve never heard any JW say or even intimate such a thing. I have, however, heard many so-called mainstream christians and their ministers do so. Very sad indeed.

    My prayers go out to all the victims of both hurricane katrina and rita. I know a young lady (16 years old) whose father lives in New Orleans and has not been seen since before Katrina struck. Please remember her and her father in your prayers.

  6. Will do Robbie.

    And I agree that I never heard a JW express that kind of opinion about any historical disaster – they save it for the big one.

  7. To think that Jehovah was punishing Katrina victims for a sinful life course is unfounded. if that was so Would not the majortiy of earths population be fiting to recieve the same unforseen occurence to happen to them as well. No true Servant of Jehovah would ascribe to that sentiment. Jehovah is a God of Refuge. He gives ample warning to every one, ( by means of the preaching work) it is up of us induvidually to seek Him. Jehovah will rid the earth of badness in His due time and it will not be isolated to a geographical blip on the map. But rather He will bring about paradise conditions on earth. Jehovah is a God with whom there is no injustice.

  8. So then, it would be wrong for God to punish people with a hurricane, and you call this God the God of refuge. At the same time, you believe this same God will kill most of humanity as a punishment for not submitting to the authority of a publishing empire – a set of global corporations – based in Brooklyn. It always amazes me, this set of arguments.

    However, my God is not this God, nor is this God worthy of worship. The God of Love is not the God you describe, and the people of loving-kindness would never use fear to try to inspire faith.

  9. Soo With this thinking, it would be acceptable for your children to obey you the waay that THEY Want to obey you, not the way that you have taught them to Obey you , (for their own Safty? ) go Figure!

  10. If my children obeyed me only out of fear that I would murder them, what kind of parent would I be? Is this the way you relate to your children?

  11. hurricane “god’s” punishment on gays?…what the hell…a friend of mine was excommunicated by jws because he struggled with gay feelings…he
    didn’t do anything…just having feelings…he killed himself…jws teach
    “theocratic warfare” (they lie…)…i was there…don’t believe me?…see
    love/norris attorneys of fort worth, tx…legal experts marci hamilton and
    annmarie timmins…abuses and coverups by wt society…thousands…
    stafford_2@hotmail.com

  12. All the JW i have met have been very kind and loving people. They love God and want to obey him as best they can (unlike MANY two-faced Catholics I have met). They try very hard not to hurt other people’s feelings. What I really love about them is how they try very hard to love and honor God; to do what is right; all the time. Not just on Sunday. They live their lives in such a loving way, trying to always appreciate what God has given them and trying to help people. They love God so much that they want to tell everyone about God. If they had to “annoy” 100 people just to get to the one who really needs help, its worth it to them. Isn’t that really the way it should be? Shouldn’t we all talk about God everyday? Why is it such a taboo to talk about God with each other? Everyone should walk into a JW Kingdom Hall to just check it out, and witness for yourself how loving and kind these people are!

  13. All the ones you have met at your own congregation?

    In my experience, it really doesn’t matter much which religion you choose in terms of the people. A very few are models of compassion or ethics or uprightness. A very few are pathologically dangerous. Most fall somewhere in between. There is hypocrisy enough to go around in any congregation of people anywhere. And there is certainly enough welcome to newcomers as well. Every religion exhorts their people to act well every day. These are false issues.

    But I don’t think it’s very loving to misread the Bible as saying that everyone but Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to be killed by God. It’s also not original, of course, since many religious groups assume they are somehow singled out as the good ones.

    My own view is that if there is a God, a worthy God, a good and loving God, then each person would have to be assessed on their own context, their own choices, their own mistakes, and their own moments of transcendence and compassion. I don’t see group-judgment supported at all. In fact, pitting groups of people against one another is profoundly anti-religious. When “we are good” and “they are bad” – that is a moment of the fall, of sin. Thralldom to detailed (and changing) lists of rules is a self-fulfilling failure – no one can be perfect and JWs actually think that God cares about how many hours you put into door to door work. I don’t believe that the little reports of such MLM activity is a factor for God at all. In fact, people can get so distracted by these things that they hardly pray at all. Instead of using their minds and hearts and spirits to stay on a path to God, they will tell you that independent thinking is “against their religion.” Sadly, it really is. Such control over people is – again – profoundly anti-religious, and disrupts people from real spiritual growth. It seems that they don’t really have any “good news” to share, and the message of Jesus is completely buried and forgotten.

    My beef against the JWs isn’t against the mostly well-meaning “rank and file” of the self-proclaimed Watchtower “slaves” and “sheep” but rather with their slave masters, the “overseers” and the secretive corporate leadership and the untrained paranoid elders with such complete and very often unfair control. The destructive effects on the people are often profound, as one can see by talking to former members and families of the disfellowshipped and shunned. Psychiatric disturbances are higher than average, and the kinds of trauma induced is evident from such everyday sources as the crime reports.

  14. What kind of rhetoric is this. Unbelievable, no substance what so ever to your answers virushead. People! Do not listen to virushead. I will reply some more later but please anyone reading/following this subject first get your bilbe out. Please read John 3:16. and on from there.

    Jehovah does not want anyone to die. Virushead has said so many inaccurate things about Jehovah’s Witnesses that motives have to come into consideration here.

    I hope this can turn into a nice fact finding subject and not a bashing opportunity.

    More to come…….

  15. Pat – I didn’t say that the God of Love wanted anyone to die. I said that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that everyone _will_ die who isn’t a JW.

    Tell me, what have I said that is inaccurate? I used to be a JW myself. I have no base motives, and I am well-informed. I welcome a healthy debate – but ad hominem attack such as you present here is not that.

  16. Do Jehovah’s witnesses believe that only they will be saved?

    Jehovah’s witnesses believe their work to be a lifesaving work. Why would they engage in it if they believed that there was no hope for others? They are certain that God’s mercy will extend to many kinds of people. The apostle Paul stated that God is going to resurrect even “the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) So, Jehovah’s witnesses believe that many will be saved who are not now Jehovah’s witnesses.

    But with regard to the coming “great tribulation,” and being saved through that conflict, the Bible shows that people must now turn to God and take their stand on his side if they wish protection from Him. Jesus said: “Just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. . . . they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matt. 24:21, 37-39) Noah and his family, however, were saved through the Flood, because they served Jehovah God. All the others were destroyed. Jesus said that is what will happen at the coming “great tribulation,” and this Jehovah’s witnesses believe

  17. How could it be lifesaving work if people didn’t need to be members of “God’s organization”? According to their own beliefs, they are doing lifesaving work because

    … stay with me here…

    they must be Jehovah’s Witnesses to be saved.

    I have never in my life heard a JW quote that passage in Acts. They would do well to dwell on it a while and really think about it.

  18. ….Now! Stay with me here…….

    Your still trying to put what you believe Jehovah’s witnesses believe in here.

    That is not what it says above. Please read again and I am sorry if you have misunderstood Jehovah’s witnesses beliefs/teachings in the past. We will deal with this one issue first before going on to everything else you brought up.

    I have never heard any Jehovah’s witnesses say that only Jehovah’s witnesses would be saved. Jehovah’s witnesses do not do the judging. (James 4:11, 12).

    Jehovah’s witnesses are sounding God’s warning, and thus they are fulfilling the commission that Jesus gave his followers.—Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20.

    You can not change what the bible says on this issue. You or any so call Jehovah’s witnesses.

  19. You are actually quite right. There are two groups of people who will be saved other than members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Corporations.

    1) 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.

    2) Many now living “may yet take a stand for truth and righteousness before the great tribulation” and they will gain salvation.

    How does one take a stand for truth and righteousness? Not by participating in things like government, activism, or even voting. Not by caring for the poor. Not by visiting people in jail, or by doing any of the other things that Jesus recommended.

    Only by spreading the word of God’s Kingdom as understood by the corporate leaders in New York, by remaining loyal to “God’s organization” and submitting to unqualified local elders will one be saved. Isn’t that really more like it?

    Nowhere in the bible does it even hint that a worldly corporate entity would be in charge of God’s people.

    Sometime, let’s argue about God’s warning. We could discuss the meaning of God’s warnings throughout the biblical texts, the changing doctrines and dates and applications of these warnings by the JWs, and the general misinterpretation of apocalypse and its meaning.

    But to say that JWs believe that Catholics and Hindus and Buddhists will all be spared destruction is false, as you know. In their view, there is only one path – and that path is directed by men in Brooklyn.

  20. Wow, what a lot of words, however, you started out so perfect but we are back to the no substance again.

    Your point Number 1 and 2 are so clear and right on the mark. But then you right away get into some thing completely different.

    So, we are in total agreement on points 1 and 2. then you start with two different things as if they are the same.

    • Not by participating in things like government, activism, or even voting
    • Not by caring for the poor. Not by visiting people in jail, or by doing any of the other things that Jesus recommended.

    These are indeed two different subjects the rest of the comment I will ignore for now. But I will say it sounds like you have been personally hurt in some way and I do sincerely apologize for that. I will just say this- that happens sometimes, sorry. (Ephesians 4:1-3; Colossians 3:12-14) Please read these scriptures.

    Our first point is of course easy to understand. Does Neutrality Hinder Christian Love?
    Being a Christian embraces more than reading the Bible, praying, and singing hymns on Sundays. It involves doing things both for God and for people. The Bible says: “Let us love, neither in word nor with the tongue, but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18) Jesus had sincere concern for others, and Christians want to imitate him. The apostle Paul urged fellow believers always to have “plenty to do in the work of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) But what is the work of the Lord? Does it include trying to change government policy for the benefit of the poor and the oppressed? Is that what Jesus did?
    Although Jesus was urged to intervene in political matters or take sides, he refused to do so. He turned down Satan’s offer of power over all the kingdoms of the world, he refused to be drawn into an argument over the paying of taxes, and he withdrew when a popular movement wanted to make him king. (Matthew 4:8-10; 22:17-21; John 6:15) But his neutrality did not prevent him from working for the benefit of others.

    Jesus concentrated on what would bring lasting good to others. While his feeding the five thousand and curing the sick brought temporary relief for a few, his teaching made everlasting blessings available to all mankind. Jesus became known, not as an organizer of relief campaigns, but simply as “the Teacher.” (Matthew 26:18; Mark 5:35; John 11:28) He said: “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.”—John 18:37.

    Your second point is a matter of personal concern how we care for the poor.

    It’s a concern who to give to in these days. No one wants to waste his money—or worse, see it used to line the pockets of self-serving men—there is also the need to guard against becoming cynical in the matter of giving. We would not want to use the inefficiency or even the dishonesty of some “charities” as an excuse to look down on needy ones or to squelch feelings of compassion. Proverbs 3:27, 28 counsels: “Do not hold back good from those to whom it is owing, when it happens to be in the power of your hand to do it. Do not say to your fellowman: ‘Go, and come back and tomorrow I shall give,’ when there is something with you.” (Compare 1 John 3:18.) So if we do not assume that all organized charities are either wasteful or fraudulent. Examine the facts, then make a personal decision whether to give or not. The world wide preaching work is also a great way to give. Many prefer to help by personal, direct gifts to needy individuals and families

    As far as visiting people in jails, Well come on, Jehovah’s witnesses are well known for that. And it is also well known that Jehovah’s witnesses try to fallow Jesus footsteps very closely. Jesus demonstrated whole-souled love for God by disowning himself. He put God’s will first and his personal needs second. Jesus invited us to follow his example. He said: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and continually follow me.” (Matthew 16:24, 25)

    I am going to stop here so people can keep up. But indeed we meet all kinds of people in the ministry with varying beliefs. Who’s right who’s wrong? Well that my friend is fundamental to preaching the truth. (John 8:31-32) 31 And so Jesus went on to say to the Jews that had believed him: “If YOU remain in my word, YOU are really my disciples, 32 and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free

    More later……..

  21. Lotta words yourself. I just don’t see that JWs get the message of love and forgiveness, despite the volume of out-of-context biblical quoting.

    Just a few points – although this might better go in a different post altogether…

    You needn’t be concerned that I was personally hurt by the organization that claims to be God’s. Yes, they were unfair to me, but my larger concern was their outright cruelty to others. I was not disfellowshipped and shunned – I left on my own, and actually I was the last in my family to do so. In any case, it’s not your job to be sorry since you are not personally responsible and I doubt that there is empathy, which would require understanding and compassion.

    I agree with you that being a Christian is more than what the standard person tends to understand. But it also includes more – and different things – than the basic JW is given to understand. There is a lot to respond to in what you’ve said, but I’d like to focus on the original question, which is about the end of this “system of things” and who survives it and why.

    You sound like you’re quoting the organization, so let’s turn that back on itself. Here are some things that JWS are taught to believe about their place in this world and the Paradise on earth that they believe will follow its destruction.

    The “false prophet” in Revelation is the Anglo-American world power, being at the same time also the symbolic seventh head of the political “wild beast” who speaks for the world political system “as a dragon” – that is, like the Devil. It will be destroyed, in compliance with God’s law concerning bloodshed. Captured while fighting Jehovah’s Witnesses (and hence actually fighting against God himself), they will be thrown into the “fiery lake” – annihilated in both body and soul. All political alliances will break down before the victorious rider on the white horse and the eyes of God’s protected remnant and the great crowd of godly companions will be satisfied at seeing this glorious vindication of the universal sovereignty of Jehovah. They will be glad to cleanse the earth by taking care of any remaining bones and such. These satisfied survivors have not “committed religious fornication” with the rulers of the earth – they kept out of politics.

    “They survive under God’s protection, and they witness the defeat and destruction of the Dragon’s visible seed and earthly system of things. They hail the glorious victor, the Messianic King who is like ancient Melchizedek. Since 1914 he has gone out subduing, and he crushes all the visible earthly seed of the Dragon.”

    And who are these survivors of world destruction (and the Anglo-American power in particular)? Well, a general invitation went out to “thirsty ones” in 1918 in a general sort of way, but in 1921 the “scriptural” name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was “embraced by the remnant on earth of the 144,000, and the work of putting a ‘mark on the foreheads’ of the ‘other sheep’ began to be seen.”

    This early message “did not definitely show the way into this survival privilege, except by righteousness in general. However, from 1934 onward the annointed remnant plainly pointed out that these ‘other sheep’ must now make a full dedication of themselves to God and symbolize this dedication by water baptism and then become fellow witnesses of Jehovah with his remnant.”
    (Babylon the Great has Fallen, see esp. 628-681)

    Or how about from the book Things in Which it is Impossible for God to Lie? Jesus Christ was the first and principal one of the woman’s seed, who are to be associated with Jesus Christ in the glory of his heavenly kingdom. These ones, 144,000 in number, are those “vessels of mercy” spoken of by the Apostle Paul. In addition to these, God has (particularly since 1935) been assembling a great crowd of sheeplike persons from among the wicked elements of the world of mankind. They are being assembled with the remaining ones of the 144,000 to form “one flock” under “one shepard.” These other sheep will also taste of God’s mercy when the wrath of God is about to be poured out upon the workers of wickedness (pp. 311-312).

    “After World War I ended, and particularly from the year 1919 forward, there was a great separating of all persons who claimed to be Christians into two general classes:
    1) those who stayed in the religious organizations of Christendom and who favored the League of Nations (now the United Nations) as the international agency for world peace and security, while at the same time holding fast to their nationalism;
    2) those who obeyed the divine command, ‘Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4) These ones got out of Babylon the Great, that is to say, out of the world empire of false religion based on the religion of ancient Babylon, which world empire includes Christendom with its more than a thousand religious denominations.
    The ones that got out proved themselves to be those whom God calls ‘my people,’ making a full dedication of self to Jehovah God and being baptised in water as Jesus was, and then preaching and teaching the good news of God’s Messianic kingdom as being the only hope of mankind. They could not be real ‘sons of the kingdom’ if they had joined Christendom in giving support to the League of Nations as the world’s hope for international peace and security.”
    (pp. 318-19)

    There are numerous calls (throughout the unsigned literature they promote, at numerous meetings, at conventions) for the rejection of other faiths and other paths except for the JWs (under the rule of an undefined relationship between the corporate entities and any remaining “remnant”). JWs are taught to submit to the organization and to completely obey and comply with all of its representatives, including especially local elders. Independent thinking is seen as against their religion. Bible study is only allowed through their guidance and publications and scripted speeches. We were taught that the last of the remnant would surely not pass away within a generation of 1914 – and then Armageddon would come.

    Meanwhile, hours spent witnessing door to door must be recorded and submitted. College was frowned on. Men with facial hair, people who smoked cigarettes, anyone who was “rebellious” (and a host of other disfellowshipping offenses) were cut off from their families as well as the only friends they were allowed to have. Wives reported on husbands who requested oral sex. People spy and tattle on one another. We looked upon other religions as the “Whore of Babylon” (esp. Catholics for some reason), and therefore getting people of other religions and out of world activities of any sort and into the Witnesses was “truly” a life-saving act. If someone thought about leaving the group, others would say, “But don’t you want to live forever on a Paradise earth? Don’t you want to survive the end of this system of things? Only Jehovah’s Witnesses will survive, and if I associate with you, you will keep me out. I can’t associate with you anymore if you leave.”

    So don’t pretend to me that you are preaching Jesus’ message of love and compassion and forgiveness.

    No I am not a sheep, and I do not accept your overseers and your cruel separatist political defeatism and paranoia. I don’t believe that JWs are or will be “persecuted” in any particular way more than any other group, especially by the Anglo-American world power. I do not believe that it is a literal 144,000 who will help Jesus judge us all. I do not believe that the corporations of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and its affiliates represent God’s power on earth. I do not accept your smug superiority complex. I’ve been there – I’ve seen what it is and I know what it is.

    Don’t talk to me about concerns on giving, either. JWs are very giving people – but they only give to their own. JWs are known for going door to door, for letting people die for lack of a blood transfusion (although they don’t eat kosher meat), for not celebrating any holidays, for not participating in their surrounding non-JW communities, for higher rates of psychiatric disturbances than in the general population, and so on. But I haven’t seen anywhere that noted how JWs were known for visiting people in prison…

    Your God is not the God of love, and your people are manipulated. I know that the God of love will forgive them, for they know not what they do. But the leadership – on its own terms of judgment – is bloodguilty for blocking their spiritual growth and misdirecting or disregarding their gifts of the spirit. They create an impossible mindset for true spirituality. As time has passed, I’m not even sure that they believe their own (changing) positions and doctrines. But it sure is a great MLM.

    Oh, by the way, are you even supposed to be reading blogs? Last time I checked, outside reading and internet browsing were strongly discouraged. And you’re reading the blog of an ex-JW, just in case you didn’t gather that. I don’t want you to get into any trouble there in Canada.

  22. I already saw your tracking code you have on your web site. Thought we would be able to have a conversation. But your anger is very apparent and you said this is not an ad hominem attack.

    You are so wrong on so many levels.

    *** w02 7/15 p. 9 “Let Us Work What Is Good Toward All” ***

    A Volunteer Program That Works

    Voluntary work has also brought spiritual refreshment to tens of thousands of prisoners worldwide. How? In recent years, Jehovah’s Witnesses have provided Bible literature for over 30,000 individuals detained in some 4,000 prisons in the United States alone. In addition, where possible, Witnesses personally visit prisons to study the Bible with inmates and to conduct Christian meetings. Do the inmates benefit?

    Some prisoners studying the Bible begin to share the refreshing teachings of God’s Word with fellow inmates. As a result, in a number of prisons throughout the world there are now groups of inmates who worship Jehovah together. “Our group is thriving,” reported a prison inmate in Oregon, U.S.A., in 2001. “We have 7 Kingdom publishers and are conducting 38 Bible studies. More than 25 people attend the public talk and Watchtower Study, and we had 39 in attendance at the Memorial [of Christ’s death]. Three more persons will be baptized shortly!”

    Benefits and Joys

    Prison officials have noticed that this volunteer program works. What impresses officials most is the long-lasting benefit of this volunteer program. One report notes: “In the ten years that this program has been in operation, not one released inmate who was baptized in prison as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses has returned to prison—in contrast with the 50-60 percent return rate of other groups.” Moved by the results attained by Witness volunteers, a prison chaplain in Idaho said in a letter to the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses: “While I personally do not agree with your theology, I am very impressed with your organization.”

    Helping those in prison also proves to be rewarding for the volunteers. After conducting a meeting with a group of inmates who sang a Kingdom song for the first time, a volunteer wrote: “It was encouraging to observe 28 men joining in singing praises to Jehovah. And they sang out loudly! What a privilege to be present on such an occasion!” A volunteer visiting prisons in Arizona said: “What a blessing it has been to share in this special work!”

    Witness volunteers around the world readily agree with Jesus, who said: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” (Acts 20:35) They also confirm that following the Bible’s admonition to do good toward all is refreshing indeed.—Proverbs 11:25.

    No at fisrt I did not think you were an apostate but now….

  23. So they’ve added a new level to the MLM in prisons. It’s a new program since I was last in touch. Yes, the organization is impressive. What a privilege to be able to offer such comfort, what a blessing to spread the mind-control… well, at least it seems to cut down on the return crime-rate – that’s a nice silver lining. And what a clever way to increase the ranks. Any of the JW-protected pedophiles and wife abusers and JW murderers joining back up from prison? I’m curious.

    Oh – my arguments were simply pointing out the published view of the organization and my critical judgment of them. If I wanted to judge the message by the messenger I would have harsher things to say – about involvement with Hitler, weapons companies, and even association with the UN. But I don’t really need to go there. The stated doctrines speak for themselves before I have to get into deep hypocrisies of various kinds.

    Also, I am not an apostate by their definition since I was never dedicated/baptized. I left by the time I would have. I was raised in a JW household, and my father was an elder. I don’t hate JWs – but I do think that JWs are taken in and misled by their corporate masters.

    Still, if you think I’m an apostate – run away little sheep as you are instructed to do. You actually believe that anyone who argues against the corporate interests or the ideologies is part of the “Evil Slave Class.” Don’t you know that anyone who points out the obvious has to be a spawn of Satan? You mustn’t actually think through to your own understanding or your own relationship with God and your own calling. God, after all, doesn’t really want you to use your brain. Heil Watchtower Bible and Tract!

    Oh, it’s really too much. A watchtower with no eyes.

  24. -involvement with Hitler, weapons companies, and even association with the UN.- please.

    I have already read through your website.

    The real problem is that you say so many things (without substance) I have picked out only a couple at a time, given a response/answer. The responses I have given, make sense, are back up with scriptures as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us “ All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work”. They disprove what you say. Then you come up with something (a lot) else rambling on and on. Nothing for support. (sorry if this sounds rude)

    Each point you make against the society can easily be made invalid. I can not understand how someone can be brought up as one of Jehovah’s witness and not get what is taught. However, you are correct being brought up as one of Jehovah’s witnesses does not make you one.

    Why do you think there should not be a legal entity here on earth.

    The official magazine of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses is The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. In the year 1944 the Watchtower magazine began to speak about the governing body of the Christian congregation. The true Christian congregation was established on the festival day of Pentecost of the year 33 C.E. at Jerusalem in the Roman province of Judea. On that notable day this congregation of dedicated Christians, consisting then of about 120 members, was anointed with holy spirit, which Jehovah God poured out upon them through the glorified Jesus Christ. This anointed body of dedicated, baptized Christians was then given a special assignment of service. According to the prophetic words of Jesus Christ at Matthew 24:45-47, it was given the appointment as the “faithful and discreet slave.” The now heavenly Jesus Christ was the Master and Lord of this anointed “slave” class.

    The Bible book, Acts of Apostles, discloses that this anointed Christian congregation as a “slave” class had a visible, earthly governing body. On that day of Pentecost it was composed of twelve men, namely, the twelve apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. Years later, about the year 49 C.E., this governing body was reported to include the then surviving apostles of Christ and the spiritual elders of the Jerusalem congregation. (Acts, chapter 15 you have to read this chapter) This Christian governing body did not use as an administrative agency any legal corporation recognized, authorized and chartered by Caesar or any province of the Roman Empire. The decree issued was written up and carried by personal messengers to the Christian congregations that were concerned because of the non-Jewish or Gentile converts among them. The Christian apostle John, who wrote the last books of the Holy Bible toward the close of the first century C.E., was apparently the last surviving member of the original governing body appointed by Jesus Christ.

    As far as your attacks on “ the pedophiles and wife abusers and JW murderers” well do I really have to comment on them. Lets stick to the real issues please. Or do you think these are the reason I am doing this. Wow! What an attraction that is for over 6,000,000 dedicated Christians around the globe. Jehovah’s people are abhorred at such things and it is a huge insult to say they are in any way practicing, hiding, or permission such things.

    It just seems you go from one discrimination to the next. You have even brought up blood transfusions. That’s an old argument there is tons of information and evidence to support the witnesses stand for abstaining from blood- it is a non issue now a days. But here are a few references and quotes of interests.

    Witnesses do not accept transfusions of whole blood, red cells, white cells, platelets, or blood plasma. As to minor fractions, such as immune globulin, see The Watchtower of June 1, 1990, pages 30-1.

    The Watchtower of March 1, 1989, pages 30-1, considers Bible principles that bear on methods of blood salvage and on blood-circulating (extracorporeal) equipment.

    “We must conclude that currently there are many patients receiving blood components who have no chance for a benefit from transfusion (the blood is not needed) and yet still have a significant risk of undesired effect. No physician would knowingly expose a patient to a therapy that cannot help but might hurt, but that is exactly what occurs when blood is transfused unnecessarily.”—“Transfusion-Transmitted Viral Diseases,” 1987.

    Little children too? “Forty-eight pediatric open heart surgical procedures were performed with bloodless techniques regardless of surgical complexity.” The children were as small as 10.3 pounds (4.7 kg). “Because of consistent success in Jehovah’s Witnesses and the fact that blood transfusion carries a risk of serious complications, we are currently performing most of our pediatric cardiac operations without transfusion.”—“Circulation,” September 1984.

    The heart-lung machine has been a great help in heart surgery on patients who do not want blood

    Doctors know that with any medical preparation there is a measure of risk, even with medicines as common as aspirin and penicillin. Accordingly, it might well be expected that treatment with a substance as complex as human blood involves some danger. But just how much danger? And what bearing might this have on a physician’s view of the stand taken by Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    A frank appraisal of the facts proves that blood transfusion must honestly be regarded as a procedure involving considerable danger and even as potentially lethal.- Oasis, February 1976, pp. 23, 24

    Dr. C. Ropartz, Director of the Central Department of Transfusions in Rouen, France, commented that “a bottle of blood is a bomb.” Since the dangerous results may not appear until some time has passed, he added, “furthermore, it may also be a time bomb for the patient.”- Le Concours Médical, April 1, 1972, p. 2598 A United States Government publication carried an article on the dangers of blood and said that
    “ . . . donating blood can be compared to sending a loaded gun to an unsuspecting or unprepared person. . . . Like the loaded gun, there is a safety lever or button governing blood transfusions. But, how many persons have died from gun shot wounds as the result of believing the lever was on ‘safe’?

    Certain points are clear from the foregoing information. Though many people view them as lifesaving, blood transfusions are fraught with risks. Each year thousands die as a result of transfusions; multitudes more get very sick and face long-term consequences. So, even from a physical standpoint, there is wisdom right now in heeding the Biblical command to ‘abstain from blood.’—Acts 15:28, 29.

  25. Sigh. I can only hope that these back and forth comments on an old post might help someone – otherwise it’s not really worth my time. I hope that certain things will be self-evident here. Most of what I posted from JW publications (not my own opinion, but actual arguments made by JWs themselves) show pretty clearly that JWs believe that you have to be a JW to live through Armageddon. Isn’t that a direct refutation of your claim? It is illuminating that criticism has forced the organization to change its rhetorical tactics – where is the standard line: “Only Jehovah’s Witnesses…..” do such and such – refuse to salute idolatrous flags, refuse to partake of blood (again, why not kosher meat, which is where the Jews do honor the blood prohibition?), refuse to vote, etc etc?

    OK, on blood. I don’t disagree with any of the arguments about medical risks. Yes, there are new things to test for every year. Blood transfusion is riskier than most people realize, and it’s good to have this information out there. Incidentally, did you know that JWs used to be prohibited from vaccinations as well? In an actual life and death situation, however, a doctor or team of doctors has to weigh the risks. I would be dead myself without a blood transfusion given after massive internal bleeding from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, so I’m not unbiased on the issue. As for it not being a current issue, that’s simply not true on either side. The Society’s own positions are constantly changing and often contradictory, and they reassessed their teachings again just last month. There is almost always a lawsuit in the works somewhere. Here’s the most recent one from your own country. I’m sure you’re aware of it. And please check out the Watchtower Victim’s Memorial, including the Library of Watchtower Blood Quotes and archival images that illustrate their views of the medical profession. On the other side, there are important advancements in no-blood alternatives – certainly worth consideration and I am happy to see it.

    You have not given any real argument here as to why a corporation formed in the last century could have any connections whatsoever to the Pentacostal outpouring of holy spirit. As you say, the last surviving member of Jesus’ original followers has been dead for a long time. The JW interpretation of the governing body’s authority is the single most destructive aspect of their teachings. I refer interested parties to Captives of a Concept by Don Cameron, Jehovah Lives in Brooklyn, by Richard Francis and Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah’s Witnesses by James M. Penton or to the article “Myth of the “Faithful Slave” by B J Kotwall and B Stett.

    Suppose the JWs are right, and that there is a literal remnant of a literal 144,000 that still lives on earth – what relation do those people have to the multiple corporations of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society? Who directs the “new light” then, the remnant or the guys in Brooklyn? JWs never question the connections and disconnections of the structure here – they only know they must obey. What is funny to me is that former JWs are described as the “evil slave class” in opposition to the “faithful and discreet slave” putting them at the same level of importance. A few whistleblowers are so threatening as to be put at the same level…

    Why would I think that the organization’s protection of known pedophiles and abusers would be the reason you are doing this? That’s really a desperate kind of charge. In any case, it’s all well-documented and the Society has spent a lot of JW money on lawyers. Consult http://www.silentlambs.org/ for news on lawsuits and the history of JW policies on this matter. The Society has protected sex offenders, hidden their records from “worldly authorities” as well as from members of congregations, failed to report accusations to the police and even punished children and families making accusations. The Watch Tower Society defends keeping the database of self-confessed and accused offenders secret as part of its strategy of dealing with abuse without referring to the judicial system – ie, the “theocratic war strategy” (do a search on that phrase – it’s basically a justification for lying). You can keep up with JWs in the news – on this and a range of other topics such as those I mentioned – at Watchtower News and the Watchtower Information Service. With the internet, people can research and discover for themselves the actual dealings of the corporation you worship. A simple search is sufficient to disprove your statements.

    You use your words about the Bible to distract from difficult issues into vague feel-good information that most Christians might agree with. I remember the strategy from the so-called Theocratic Ministry School. While I was never baptised, I sure did go to about 5 hours of weekly indocrination at the Kingdom Hall. I did go out in “service.” I recognize the language and the strategies you employ because I’ve actually made a study of discourse analysis and applied it to my own experience. I teach my students how it’s done – it helps them read the news.

    Normally, I resist being sucked into doctrinal argument. I think these are things that people are empowered by God to decide for themselves. However, I do have my own opinions. I am a contextual ethicist and a scholar of religion to some degree – although my most advanced training (and interests) moved into other topics as well. I’ve taught religion at the college level, including Judeo-Christian Traditions. It was quite a revelation to me to read the “meaty” work of real scholars and to compare that to the “skim-milk” of JW pseudo-scholarship. I recommend that those who are interested in any of these topics to read widely and to consider various arguments.

    The JWs are largely unaware that there are multiple interpretations for many of these texts. Some of the considerations of interpretion include the actual meanings of biblical worlds and phrases in the original languages, the cultural and historical context, the genre and purpose of each kind of text, literary methods and theories, anthropological, psychological, linguistic, archaeological questions, the way the texts were actually selected for biblical inclusion, and a host of other perspectives and questions. Good interpretation comes from asking better questions from a better-informed perspective, not from rote repetition. JWs do not allow question-based analysis of any kind among their members, although they have to tolerate it from newbies and people at the door. What they generally will do is exactly what you’re doing – deflect, distract, and get back on script. JWs are not trained in the interpretation of texts – they have no methods for doing so because it is not allowed. The rank and file JW is simply force-fed the interpretation of the mysterious few at the top (while criticizing the Pope and priests for doing the same thing).

    Just one example. You earlier interpreted Jesus as refusing to be drawn into an argument over the paying of taxes. I would argue just the reverse because I think his response was one of the most brilliant rhetorical accomplishments I have ever seen. What he actually said addressed a very complex religious and political situation of conflicts between multiple audiences – yet his words had a message for each one of them. The Herodians and Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus with a no-win answer: Neither group really wanted Jesus to agree with them. The Herodians were hoping that Jesus would say you should not pay taxes – that would put him big trouble with the Roman authorities. He would be guilty of sedition, a capital offense. If he so agreed with the Pharisees, the Herodians could charge him with revolution against the Romans. But the Pharisees were hoping Jesus would take the Herodians’ position and support the payment of taxes. Then Jesus would have lost the support of the people who hated Roman occupation of Israel – and if he agreed with the Herodians, the Pharisees could charge him with idolatry.

    But Jesus countered with “why tempt me you hypocrites?” He called attention to the likeness of Caesar on a coin – and made a simple distinction: to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s (translations vary: compare the different gospel versions as well). In one cryptic sentence, he addressed several audiences. The Romans “heard” that these new followers would continue to pay their taxes, and that this rabblerouser wasn’t in fact interested in taking political power or challenging them on this topic. The Pharisees couldn’t fault him for prioritizing God’s law or separating the realms of heaven and earth and the Herodians couldn’t align him with the revolutionary movement. Those who wanted to trap Jesus were foiled and dared not question him that way again.

    His closest followers may have interpreted it as defining the boundaries of governmental authority. The JWs themselves talk about it in terms of following governmental, worldly authority (even “satanic” and “worldly” government) up to the point at which it may conflict with God’s own commands. Later scholars saw in it a basis for separation of church and state. Some focus on the idea that there were some things Caesar does not own, that the Romans may occupy the city but not own hearts there, that the Roman denarius was “filthy lucre” compared to the Hebrew shekel, that authorities are established by God only to the extent that they govern with honesty and goodness, that God’s will is not identical with governmental will, and a host of other interpretations.

    What is amazing to me about this text that you read as a “refusal to get drawn in” is its brilliance and depth – it can simultaneously hold many strong interpretations. Again, do some reading; I’m only brushing the surface here. In any case, the JW tolerance for ambiguity is quite low – such a set of ideas produces anxiety and they run to the Society for the “Truth,” as they are so often reinforced in doing. The very qualities of the text that make it so compelling cannot be absorbed by such a mindset. A text that speaks to people of different cultures and backgrounds and languages, a text that is perhaps one of the dozen or so bits that most people know, a text that holds such resonance and possibility and brilliance – you can’t even see it, you’ve not learned how to feel it. You’re not allowed to consider the range of interpretation and scholarship that might enable you to situate your own understanding. For JW’s there are only two choices: The Society’s interpretation (they interpret too, you know) as “the Truth” and a worldly deceit, falsehood, mistake (whatever their word for it is this decade).

    Spirituality, in my view, is not about obedience to the dictates of any one group. Such a controlling authoritarian view is what has spawned so much trouble in our country and around the world. I don’t believe that a God of love would approve of putting one group’s interpretation ahead of human life. Jesus broke the law of resting on the Sabbath – because healing was more important. The prohibition on eating pork had an exception for a pregnant women who had no other food. Why? Because there is a set of priorities at the top of which is love, compassion, care – not just for one’s own ingroup, but for all humankind, and in some traditions, for all sentient beings. JWs are very rule-based, very submissive – and there is a primary conflict here because they are also required to preach and teach. What ends up happening is like a viral meme – millions and millions of identical tapes playing, spreading the ideas as “Truth” and encouraging further spread as part of its structure. It may really have been the first Multi-Level Marketing Program. Yes – it is impressive organization complete with talking points and PR and all the rest. It’s a latecomer to the religious world, of course, but it showed us all a few new tricks for manipulation of the masses…or “sheep,” if you will.

    However, I think that there is an outside possibility that we might somehow be held to account for our decisions… What if God wants to know why the brain and heart and soul he gave us were so unappreciated and underutilized? What if he wants to know how we used our own individual gifts, how we answered our own unique calling?

    “It delivers people who have no tolerance for ambiguity from having to make moral choices. It allows self-loathers to project their hatred onto the world. It translates the allure of the world into Satanic temptation, so that those who fear its enticements are armed against seduction. It provides ego balm for the lowly, an identification with the The Chosen. Because Jehovah’s Witnesses believe as little in psychology as they do in philosophy, it tames or numbs the wilderness of the heart by closing valves of inquiry.” – Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

    Jehovah’s Witnesses Exposed – view movie online or download.

  26. Well one things is apparent you have a lot of head knowledge. You have done a lot of research, reading and studying. All very impressive in itself. A kind of a higher learning.

    So you say, Jehovah’s people are what? Stupid? Ignorant? Unlearned? Well, Heidi, maybe we should talk computer language- syntax, algorithms, or programming.

    You don’t know this but I grew up in the world and I can tell you stories about people and the world we live in. Do you even watch the news? You like to single out Jehovah’s witnesses as a group exclusive to these problem. The things I’ve witnessed, the promiscuity, immorality, eye closing (head turning). And shunning! Try coming out of the world and becoming one of Jehovah’s witnesses. Then you will not only feel shunning, but also persecution from every one of your family members and so called friends.

    I would hope that the organization would take legal steps to protect itself. By the way, you know that we are on the wrong side of Armageddon, don’t you? People (yes shocking as it may be, some become Jehovah’s witnesses) are evil- mildly put. (John 17:15)

    Throwing out credentials and reading to much into or making to much of the scriptures says nothing. For a nice list of references, although not complete as my personal library would likely impress you, please see http://www.theocraticlibrary.com

    But again these are side points, although not new.

    ***One cannot fail to note in the Gospels the unmistakable portrayal of the religious leaders—especially the scribes and the Pharisees—as a haughty, heartless, and hypocritical group. They looked down on the common people as being unlearned and unclean, and they despised the foreigners in their midst. A commentary on their attitude observes: “A man who overloads a horse is nowadays chargeable before the law. What of a man who loaded 613 commandments on ‘the people of the land’ who had no religious training; and then, having done nothing to help them, condemned them as godless?” Of course, the real burden was, not the Mosaic Law, but the mass of tradition imposed on the people.*** (not my words)

    We get “its brilliance and depth” as you call it.
    .

    *** w74 3/1 p. 140 How Tax Collectors Were Viewed in the First Century ***

    JESUS’ VIEW OF PAYING TAXES

    Hence, strong and bitter feelings centered around the matter of paying taxes. Knowing this, Jesus’ enemies tried to trap him in connection with the payment of taxes. On one occasion certain party followers of Herod and disciples of the Pharisees asked Jesus: “Is it lawful to pay head tax to Caesar or not?”—Matt. 22:17.

    As the “head tax” was collected by imperial officers, Jesus’ giving a negative answer would have been sedition against Rome. On the other hand, the Jews generally resented having to acknowledge subjection to Rome by paying this tax. A positive answer would therefore have resulted in Jesus’ being looked on with disfavor among the Jews generally. Discerning the motive of the questioners, Jesus said to them: “Why do you put me to the test, hypocrites? Show me the head tax coin.” The account continues: “They brought him a denarius. And he said to them: ‘Whose image and inscription is this?’ They said: ‘Caesar’s.’ Then he said to them: ‘Pay back, therefore, Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God.’”—Matt. 22:18-21.

    Thus Jesus stated a principle that his listeners had to apply themselves. If they chose to recognize that the money belonged to “Caesar” because of its being issued and having a particular value assigned by him, they could see the propriety of paying taxes. Then, too, they knew that the Roman state provided numerous services for its subject peoples. Taxes had to be paid to support these beneficial services.- End of article.

    You see we are well aware of who was present and Jesus’ extraordinary way of teaching. You have a flair for words and deep feelings for the way Jesus spoke. That is all nice but you seem to want to move away from scripture and get into philosophizing. As we have an array of philosophers, scholars, teachers ( “smart people” as Clinton says) amongst us. Does this make Jehovah’s witnesses wrong. Acts 4:13- “Now when they beheld the outspokenness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were men unlettered and ordinary, they got to wondering. And they began to recognize about them that they used to be with Jesus.”

    Form the scriptures I have presented in previous comments if your conclusion is that Jehovah’s witnesses are the only ones with the truth. Well that is what the bile says. Regardless of any quotes you make from the societies publications.

    Yes this is an old post and I don’t know if people visit these old posts or not. You would know from your counter. It looks like you may have one for each page, can not tell for sure. If not it may be interesting to implement that. I did not realize that it was so old a post at the start. I did a goggle search for Jehovah’s witnesses and Katrina and your page came up. I have never responded to these before and do not know why I did to yours.

    I have found this very interesting and stimulating at the same time puzzling. You are very bright, insightful and opinionated. I do not know if I should be afraid of you or not. You see the puzzling part is you say you believe in a god of love. Yet you have hate literature on your web site. Including jokes. Is that your god of love.

    I don’t know if your misguided, mislead or if you misunderstand.

  27. Mundane point first: The counter is a single counter for the entire site. It appears on every page, and yes I see the IP location for who visits. What is usually more interesting is where they are coming from – what they searched for that got them here.

    You have put me into an awkward position. If I state my opinion you accuse me of making no sense and of making arguments without substance or backup. When I give references and explanations, you compare me to the Pharisees and imply that there might be something wrong with higher learning. I’m not sure what I can really say, but hey, we’ve got this far…

    Now, let me be crystal clear on this. I don’t think JWs are stupid at all. There is a lot of intelligence within JW congregations – it is squelched by authoritarian control. It’s easier for the leadership that way. I think JW’s are discouraged and even actively prevented from finding their own insights and wisdom or from trusting their own hearts and minds and experience. It’s “against their religion.” What could be more contrary to Jesus’ message than that?

    As you say, JWs are not the only group that has these tendencies and characteristics in some way or another. Of course they are not alone in this, but I can only respond from my own experience – as a spiritual person and also as an educator, and as a former JW. I can’t speak to the experience of any other religion since I’m not grounded in any other tradition. I’m much more of an eclectic now, but I do study and listen. I’m in a wonderful progressive faith bloggers group that I enjoy, and there are many friends in different spheres of my life that offer me understandings of other ways and paths than my own, former or current. I don’t define myself in terms of JWs, but I do feel that there is a debt there. With understanding comes a certain responsibility that I don’t feel it would be right to shirk.

    I didn’t realize you were a convert. That explains why you don’t know the history. The two books I quoted from before are official, and very important, books published by the Watch Tower Society. Look for them at your congregation’s libary – I’m not making any of that up, and it’s what we were taught. So either they changed the doctrines or they’ve hidden them from you so far. Which interpretation do you prefer? Go look it up and see for yourself.

    I’m not sure why you quoted all that about the taxes since it only proves the point that you can’t hear the text outside of the interpretation that has been approved for you by the corporation (the rule-creating, authority-assuming “Pharisees”? – just a thought). Some traditions have structures for debate and argument – JWs have none. What is most important in Jesus’ message is precisely not a theocratic dictatorship on earth – he turned away from that as you say. Don’t you ever wonder why the JWs never, ever use the word “grace”? Doesn’t it seem strange that Jesus would be directing the destruction of most of the planet? I am glad for you that you have curiosity – the theocratic library site does have some interesting books listed although the quality (as I’m sure you realize) varies quite a bit and the topics for discussion are limited. Yikes – I hadn’t seen that book on evolution before. Well, each to their own.

    If you do not know if you should be afraid of me or not, that’s uncertainty, which is good because uncertainty is the mother of curiosity, which drives thinking and questioning. Faith afraid to question is a shallow kind of faith. I am supposed to be frightening, I guess. I’m not very frightening to my husband or my son or my friends or my colleagues, but it’s all a matter of perspective. There are probably a few people who find me very frightening indeed (boo!).

    I will say a few things that may or may not clarify. I do not have hate literature on my site. There is a clear statement of intent on my collection of JW humor. I am against hate speech – although I prefer that bigotry show itself plainly than that it fester in a hidden and repressed way. When someone expresses hate, there is at least a chance for public debate on the matter. What is important is to stand up against hate, against injustice and cruelty. I have evidence of such from the policies of the Society. I can’t speak with experience about other groups, but I do connect the dots throughout my site with comparisions when appropriate. One can only speak from one’s own knowledge and experience. I do the same in politics – yes, I read the news. Sheesh. There are a lot more political posts on this blog than posts about JWs. My experience and understanding of the JW organization and its effects helps me to understand a lot of other things – about what is happening in America today, for instance.

    I just have a different set of experiences than you do. My point was not that JWs don’t teach a set of biblical interpretations such as what you again quote from the Watchtower magazine – my point was that they don’t allow their members to read the whole range of argument. There are some pretty strong arguments against their translations of biblical passages as well as many of their interpretations. More than that – there are simply more compelling interpretations, stronger interpretations, interpretations that make better sense of the texts and the evidence that we have.

    If they had nothing to be afraid of, they would let you read and think for yourself. They urge new converts to examine the scriptures, to judge their previous religion by certain standards. But they do not allow their own views to be held up to any scrutiny or for their members to actually discuss anything. Do you still read a publication paragraph by paragraph, with questions for each paragraph? And is the question at the end a simple repetition? Do members still answer the question by reading the answer almost verbatim from the paragraph they only just finished reading? And do you believe that this is “bible study” and “learning”? How does one teach what one hasn’t learned for oneself? What are you driven to know? Doesn’t that count for anything? Couldn’t that be a divine gift, or do you really believe that can come only as a Satanic temptation?

    Am I misguided, misled, or misunderstanding? If these are the only possibilities that occur to you….

    Misguided, misled (I’m not sure of the nuance of difference between these that you might mean): I am guided by so many bright minds and souls, none of them perfect but many, many with so much to offer. In some respects I am surely misled, since there is no such thing as a perfect or objective view from a human standpoint. I am willing to explore, because one also learns from mistakes. I build as I go along. To me, a religious path is a lifelong journey. One changes, gets pulled apart, rebuilds. Small bits of understanding build larger bits. Some things remain and prove themselves valuable. I also pray and meditate (and mediate), so I hope that I am guided by the being above what I affectionately call benevolent deities, inc. (that kind of attachment/unattachment probably doesn’t appeal to you). I don’t have a “guru” and I’m not really any sort of follower. I’m a seeker. It would be much easier for me to have a tradition or community of like-minded others for fellowship, but that doesn’t seem to be where I am meant to be. I’m ok with that. And there are more kinds of communities than I thought – I’m involved – loosely – with several.

    Misunderstanding? Quite possibly, in many things and in many ways. Truth is something that perhaps illuminates the path or provides the structure for smaller truths. I’m not sure that we can really capture Truth, much less be in it or leave it. Truth isn’t something that is easily made property, not by a group of men in Brooklyn or by anyone else for that matter. I am more comfortable with truths – a small “t”. God perhaps has (or is) the Truth, but human truths are intimately tied up with space, time, and perspective, with memory and habits, with shimmering insights that often escape our capacity to describe to someone else. I feel that I am following my calling as best I can, and I feel love surround me even when things are dark.

    I could be more compassionate, more patient, more giving than I am. Although I know that there is always enough love, I do tend to be stingy and to reserve more for the ones who do not get to speak, who are treated unfairly and unjustly, who are lied to and manipulated. Yes, I will criticize those cruelties when I have experience of them. I get daily communications from people all over the world who ask me how to deal with situations, people who need an understanding ear and know they won’t get it from the elders or the people who cut them out without meaningful spiritual counsel. I get questions from family members – the destruction of families is pretty intense. I get emails from people who are desperate or even disturbed – and I try to support them a bit and encourage them them to trust a “worldly” counselor enough to get the help they need.

    My friends are from a lot of different backgrounds and with a lot of different interests. I enjoy people. I’ve made some wonderful friends among other former JWs – the ones who thrive are the ones who think, who read, who start trusting themselves and listening to the truths that they really know for themselves.

    See Advice for Recovering JWS

  28. Amazing!- Just simply amazing. How do you come up with this stuff? Your obviously saying things to tickle the ears of YOUR hearers/readers by preaching what they like to hear. You are will prepared in what to say. But things are not the way, you say them. Even with the flair you use. “Right on! You go girl!”- people say. Then you accuse me of “vague feel-good information”.

    Let me ask you this. What makes you the foremost authority for the Jehovah’s witnesses. Consider this, if you needed surgery. Who would you go to, to perform the surgery? Someone who used to be a Doctor, someone who went to medical school but did not finish school (possible disqualified), or someone who is not a Doctor but who’s parents were Doctors?

    The answer should be clear. None of them. You would go to someone who is medically qualified and experienced in the care you need. By your own admission you never qualified to become one of Jehovah’s witnesses. So quit trying to pretend you are THE authority, THE know all, THE savoir for Jehovah’s witnesses.

    Does this describe your interfaith group. After speaking of “the faithful and discreet slave” that represents the body of anointed Christians, Jesus spoke of the “evil slave,” a class that complains, “my master is delaying,” and starts to beat its fellow slaves. (Matthew 24:48, 49) Often, these individuals and their followers have no clear teachings of their own; they are interested only in destroying the faith of others. Concerning them, the apostle John wrote: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him.”—2 John 10; 2 Corinthians 11:3, 4, 13-15.

    You talk about home breakers. I would never want my daughter to talk to you.

    I can not speak for you and I do not know what your particular circumstance are/were. But I do not see, what you do/did. I do not see, people answering word for word from the paragraphs.

    I see people giving well thought out answers, well prepared in advance, to give an answer in their own words. Their understanding, their unique individual perspective, is refreshing and stimulating. I am in awe at times because, if it was not for the meetings, I would not see the unique individual understanding in this way, or that way, from all angles. Each answer is as unique as each individual. People are wonderful free spirited individuals and they have an array of wonderful expressions and experiences to draw from.

    I find myself at the meetings appreciating how smart these people are ( I am a people watcher. I like to be around people.) yet they do not look down on people or put their intelligence above others. I happen to think (as a group) Jehovah’s people are the smartest people I know. Their thinking does not go to their head.

    All the information studied at the meeting are scriptural when you read a paragraph or sentence it explains a scripture and the scripture is quoted. Try it for yourself open a Watchtower. Every paragraph, line, or sentence has scriptures in them. The scriptures are there because this is a Bible study not a Watchtower study. The sentences are there only to explain the scripture not the other way around the scriptures do not explain the sentence. It is the Bible that teaches.

    Similar to our correspondence. You will notice the scriptures are doing the teaching not me or the Societies publications that you are trying to draw me into quoting. I do not go by what the Society says as you imply. I go by what the Bible teaches. That is why Jehovah’s witnesses are Bible students. We study the Bible.

    If one of Jehovah’s witnesses was to teach me something (and this has happened) and they can not back it up with scripture- well forget it. I will not listen. Unlike your listeners people say to me- where do you find that in the Bible (questioning the teachings). Also I tell people if I tell them something and I can not back it up with scripture, then do not listen to me.

    Unlike your readers that say. Right on! You go girl! Solid scriptural evidence is the base.

    Again I can not speak for your choices or situation, but this needs to be added. Please read the next article.

    *** g80 8/22 pp. 17-20 Where the Patient’s Wishes Are Respected ***

    Medical Care
    It seemed to me that patients were receiving fine medical care. One of the associate Doctors at the facility is Ron Lapin, a dark-haired, athletic-looking 38-year-old native of Israel. He is not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but is in agreement with their Scriptural views on blood.

    “I would never give blood to any patient,” Lapin explained. “I haven’t given a blood transfusion in over five years. Yet an examination of the more than 2,000 patients we have operated on in that time will, I believe, show that their survival and recovery rates are every bit as good, if not better, than patients who receive blood.”

    The Journal of the American Medical Association of February 22/29, 1980, notes: “Lapin became a source of help for Jehovah’s Witnesses five years ago when a colleague asked him to operate in the case of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. The patient had been refused surgery elsewhere. Not knowing about the patient’s beliefs, he consented. When he found out that she would not accept a transfusion, he felt it was too late to back out, so ‘I sweated it out for five hours,’ he recalls. She did fine. Now, Lapin comments, ‘I wouldn’t know how to do someone with a normal hemoglobin.’

    Now what does that say about “vague feel-good information. Again I cannot speak for you and you choices if you feel you needed a blood transfusion then that was your choice. We all have a right to choose as long as it is an informed choice. Who are you to choose for me or me to choose for you? And as long as you give your readers the real complete information and it is not changed or hidden. What ever interpretation they prefer. (Oh! I hope this does not sound sarcastic.)

    I feel okay with your choice and I am glad you are alive. But is your choice the only choice? The right choice? That is a personal choice and one that needs to be made with well-informed Doctors and well-informed patience. I am so grateful fore the information I was given so I could make an informed decision. I happened to have been involve in a serious accident that caused me to have knee surgery. My choice was to have bloodless surgery. Some Doctors will not do that surgery without blood.

    I had a great Doctor who had no problems with my beliefs and I was out of the hospital within days. No worries, no wondering, no sleepless nights being afraid I may have contracted something horrible from a blood transfusion. What a relief that was.

    The operative word in the link you provided for the court case is “one”. They are less and less, these days. Yes, there are a few left but at the same time Jehovah’s witnesses have made great strides for the rights, not only for Jehovah’s witnesses, but for everyone in our free Society. Its called freedom of choice. I do not want to comment on that case, you do not know how close I was to it, I am sure you would not want your readers to know the truth about that one case. Suffice is to say her freedom of choice was taken away. Her name can go in the annals along side of Moses, Noah, Isaac, Daniel and his companions and a host of Christ’ followers. What a fine fight for the faith she put up (1 Timothy 6:12).

    The media… Really! Where are the reports on blood transfusion gone wrong? You and I both know that there are plenty of those. People who suffer or die because of the consequences of accepting a blood transfusion.

    There is not the time or space to put all the information on your web site. “I’m only brushing the surface here “ (To borrow a phrase). People can visit http://www.watchtower.org , or talk to a witness at their door or contact in writing to an appropriate address listed in our magazines http://www.watchtower.org/how_to_contact_us.htm .

    Now getting back to the real question here. What was it again? Oh, yes. Do Jehovah’s witnesses believe they are the only ones that will be saved.

    Your trying hard to have me quote what the Society says about that from old publications that you assume I do not have or have access to. We have already answered that question but we can go over it again. My answer was ( you could just scroll up to find it but it may be hard to find now). So here it is.

    Form the scriptures I have presented in previous comments if your conclusion is that Jehovah’s witnesses are the only ones with the truth. Well that is what the Bible says. Regardless of any quotes you make from the Societies old publications.
    (Acts 24:15, Matt. 7:1-5; 24:21, 37-39)

    What was your answer? Oh wait I do not have to tell you. You just have to scroll up (again but it may be hard to find now) so here it is.
    “You are actually quite right. There are two groups of people who will be saved other than members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Corporations.
    1) 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.
    2) Many now living “may yet take a stand for truth and righteousness before the great tribulation” and they will gain salvation.”
    Is that to simple for you. please note Matt. 7:1-5. 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.

    The people I know and congregate with are not the people you describe. These are wonderful, wonderful people. They are loving and supportive as John 13:35 says- By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves. . . The shepherding is done to nurture the congregation. (2 Corinthians 13:10). From the newest baptized to the governing body I love them all dearly (1 Peter 2:17).

    Never have I met a more loving and caring group. They care about everyone, their families, their fellow Christians and the neighbors (Romans 13:9, 10, Galatians 6:10). Everyone in the congregation incites others to love and fine works. (Hebrews 10:23, 24) “He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

    I have no doubt you have friends and good relationships. I am still puzzled, yet I hope you are able to help some of the ones you talk about. Who may feel they have no where to turn. One thing about Jehovah’s witnesses (this is a personal observation) is that when they leave they tend to go (for lack of a better word) “wild”. I feel sad about the ones we lose to this system.

    I would like to ask you one favor though. Please be sincere. Helping the weak, the venerable, the down hearted, also brings responsibility and sincerity. As well as the strong, the hopeful, the intellectuals who contact you. Do not allow hatred to guide your way or those who reach out to you. Remember 2 Timothy 3:1-5” . . .But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away. .”

    You have a flair (a gift) for words. What a wonderful talent. Your writing is very interesting and appealing, with a poetic tone. I feel you failed miserably to discredit Jehovah’s witnesses although, you have strengthened my faith. (2 Corinthians 2:17)” 17 [We are;] for we are not peddlers of the word of God as many men are, but as out of sincerity, yes, as sent from God, under God’s view, in company with Christ, we are speaking. (2 Corinthians 11:3) 3 But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent seduced Eve by its cunning, YOUR minds might be corrupted away from the sincerity and the chastity that are due the Christ.”

    So please be sincere. I have to stop even though I would like to comment more. No time or space.
    • Forgiveness
    • Faith
    • Love
    • Hope
    • How interesting you are ( no flattery here)
    • Education
    • Recreation
    • …..
    You seem to want to be all these things but yet …. Well I will just say I am puzzled. Should I fear you. Please with all “sincerity” reread what you have told me at the same time keep in mind all aspects of your web site.

  29. First of all, I do not claim to be and never did claim to be – what was it – THE authority, THE know all, THE “savoir” of Jehovah’s Witnesses. How could I be? I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness, nor am I one of the elect. I’m aware that JW’s aren’t actually supposed to be reading any of this – so why would I assume that my readers would be JWs? I’m talking more to recovering JWs, former JWs, people who have been damaged and hurt by the communities of “love” that you speak of. I’m not sure, but there may be almost as many of them as there are current JWs.

    I’m also speaking to people who have questions, or who need advice or strategies for respecting JWs’ beliefs while navigating a wide range of situations. I can usually explain the JW point of view and suggest several possible ways to handle a situation. For instance, since JWs can’t go to church weddings or funerals, and tension is already high in a situation like that, they can ask me what is possible without further alienating JW relatives. For instance, I thought that video-streaming a wedding to a monitor outside the church might be a possible thing to check with an JW aunt who couldn’t come inside, and I explained why she couldn’t attend, something that she had not been willing or able to do for herself. Maybe video streaming is a good suggestion, maybe it’s not, but it offers up an idea/possibility as an alternative to hurt and anger all around. Sometimes there are simple misunderstandings, like someone who wrote to me not understanding why her friend won’t speak to her anymore after she tried to give her a cross on a necklace as a gift. Other times, there are horrible situations where I don’t really have much in the way of suggestions, but can at least offer sympathy from a position of understanding or give the person some possible questions to ask themselves about what to do.

    As for my qualifications, I have been very straightforward about my status. How do you not “qualify” for dedication and baptism? That’s a new framing. I chose not to be baptised in that religion. I took it too seriously to do it with anything other than total committment. Big difference. By that time, I was starting to see that the group was destructive to my own religious path. I have no problem with comparisons between my experiences and opinions and those of others. I am not setting myself up as a “guru,” nor do I ask for anything at all from anyone who needs help or advice or strategies. When things are serious, I refer people to professionals, but sometimes it’s really just that little bit of compassionate understanding that makes a difference – it’s something that is occasionally described as “being a Christian.” I think of it as trying to be the friend I wish I’d had when I most needed one.

    However, I challenge your depiction of me as not being any kind of accurate source of information. I was a practicing JW and like every other JW child/teen, I wasn’t baptised until I could completely take that step for myself – as an adult. Since JWs believe in adult baptism, it wasn’t time yet for the formal dedication when I left – to go to college (Although they didn’t support my college education much, my parents didn’t forbid me to go or stop speaking to me. They were very proud when I attained each degree and I always knew that they loved me, something many former Witnesses don’t know with any certainty once they have been cut off.).

    I was as convinced that it was the “Truth” as you or anyone else. I studied hard. I attended all the meetings and went out in service. I explained my beliefs every year to my classmates. I sat out in the hall while people did Christmas activities, and didn’t join in on songs I wasn’t supposed to sing. I hid in the back of the house on Halloween and cleaned up the eggs and soap the next day. When my parents were divorced, I did my best to care for two younger brothers without any help at all from any of our loving and kind Witness brothers and sisters. To be fair, many of them were working with less – the median income was pretty low.

    In fact, I would argue that if you were already an adult when you became a witness, you have missed strong formative developmental and social effects of being one. I remember what it did – the double whammy of feeling special, and the separation from the “normal” kids. I remember being a little sad that I probably wouldn’t get to be able to drive a car – surely, the end would come first. I remember wanting to date non-JWs, and go to dances and parties and other social events. I remember asking my dad if we couldn’t just have a “winter party” and have some candles or lights or something. I was lovingly corrected with a belt (and some bible verses). I’m a little behind on the current stuff, and that’s bad because they change the code words every once in a while, but otherwise, I’m pretty familiar with what people might need to know. Moreover, having been a JW and being sane and even religious after having been one is a comforting thing for many to see. I know that it helped me a lot when I discovered that I wasn’t alone – just as with any other support group or network. We are told that all who leave are evil and lost – that is not true, although JWs do everything they can to try to make it so.

    I am quite sure that your daughter will tell you all about her own views one day, and I doubt that you will interpret the surroundings as being a “paradise earth.” More likely, you won’t be on speaking terms by the time she’s 30 – and guess what? The dates will have been set ahead again based on “new light” just as they have the previous several times. So few who are raised as JWs remain JWs – why is that, do you think? Imagine telling your daughter that you can’t see her or your grandchildren. It is more common than not – and you’ll do it too. You’ll be that mean, and you’ll clothe it in sanctimonious bible verses just the way Americans are wrapping their greed in the flag.

    I was hauled before the elders and accused of sleeping with brothers across several congregations (when I was a 15-year old, totally inexperienced virgin). Not only was I not allowed to confront my accusers, but when I even brought up the possibility I was immediately branded “rebellious youth.” At that point, the gossip network took over. By the time I was raped, I knew better than to seek counsel from that source. I was very, very happy to go to college. My congregational peers? Let’s see. Of my generation, only two are active Witnesses. The first was disfellowshipped once for a semi-random blowjob in a parking lot which led to a divorce. His wife was cheating on him anyway. He’s on his second marriage, and probably should have become a journalist, but of course he’s not. The other (semi-?)active witness that I know of was a well-known “anything but” virgin, one of the skankiest women I have ever known.

    Of the others? Let’s see. One was the victim of pedophilic rape from her JW step-father, who also molested her male cousin. A few have been in trouble with the law. Most just left, whether or not their families ever spoke to them again. Some of the families left too. I believe I may be the only one who went to college (if you include the next several years, then it’s only our family – my two brothers went too). I’m the only one I know of from my area who went to graduate school of any kind, although I’ve found a couple of others around the world. How’s them stats for ya? Oh, but my generation was the lucky one. The ones that hit adulthood around 1975 were so convinced of that date that some of them didn’t have children, some even quit high school to pioneer full time door-to-door.

    Their treatment of me, which followed upon their treatment of first my father, then my mother, allowed me to question God and myself about fruits of the spirit. It drove my initial interests in comparative religion, spiritual autobiography, philosophy and literature. I think it even had an influence on my chosen dissertation topic, although it was from a completely different perspective (certainly I wouldn’t have written a chapter on vampires and communion without being soaked in the theology of blood). But my experience wasn’t all that traumatic, and I was always a reader. Others haven’t been so lucky (oh, right, you can’t say “lucky” – or “God bless you” or “gosh darn it” either).

    There is no mechanism for seeking help when one is confused or tempted or in trouble – any cry for help will most likely be compounded with punishment instead of refuge. I’ve seen a lot of what psychologists call “splitting” and what most people think of as being two-faced or hypocritical. There is so much at stake in being perfect, because although the Society constantly says that we are all imperfect they punish imperfection rather harshly.

    I was aware of a JW married woman of excellent standing who seduced a 15-year old JW boy, apparently not making any connection between the public and private faces of her behavior. While some would be wracked with guilt and go report themselves to the elders, this woman didn’t even acknowledge that there was a connection between her “perfect Witness” self and her “sexual predator” self. Split, unconnected, like the good father who goes off to the concentration camp every morning to kill people or the religious fanatic who spends a lot of time with prostitutes. I don’t think she was ever discovered, but she walked around in a cloud of denial without any signs of authentic self-knowledge or insight. The boy in turn became someone who tried to seduce young girls, and he left the JWs as soon as he was old enough to do so. I have no idea what ever happened to him.

    More examples of missing fruits. A non-JW forbidden to see her JW grandchildren simply because she once took her grandson to the opening of a church – not even knowing that she shouldn’t have. A man comes home from work to find that his wife, a former JW, is sitting out front in the car, while her JW parents (one an elder) is visiting inside his house with their grandchild. They won’t speak to her, but they enter her home while she sits outside. Think of the remaining mindset that allows the wife to go sit outside without protest at her own home. Think of the mindset that allows the grandparents to think this is appropriate behavior. Think of how that child will grow up, in that kind of environment. I myself am only getting to know my father’s family now that he is dead. Even if contact is not explicitly forbidden, and the JWS involved are “grey area” Witnesses (those who use their consciences on matters where the bible is not clear according to the most recent interpretation – they are looked upon with suspicion) there can be no visiting Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or on anyone’s birthday…

    My own case is rather tame when you compare it to the other testimonies out there. Some publish their experiences and you can read them for yourself on the web or in book form. What JWs do when someone breaks any of their very many rules (some bible-based, some only justified with selected quotations) is to disfellowship them. That cuts them off completely. They are also told (in some cases) that demons will attack them, that they will never find goodness in the “world,” and that their only real choice is to “come back to the Truth.” Some do. Others commit suicide, or kill their families (do you read the news?) or otherwise become a danger to themselves and/or others, and are discouraged from seeking help. This is cruelty. Some of them do get ‘wild’ as you say – the role has already been defined for them. One of my goals (as you can see from my advice page) is to get out the message that they can choose not to do that. Some learn from their experiences and find another way, but all are negatively affected by the experience to some extent.

    As for this continued thing about blood and choice? Without blood, I would have been dead. I was within 30 minutes of death by blood loss. I wasn’t consulted – I was pretty out of it by then, but had I been asked, there would have been no hesitation. There was no wiggle room in my case. I needed a massive blood transfusion to live, and I am grateful that I am no longer a JW and that my son still has a mother. The history and justifications for the JW prohibition on blood, or parts of blood, or fractions, or whatever the deal is this year, is very interesting. What about the people who died under loyalty to one of the old “policies”? How do you explain that to their families? The film I mentioned has an interview with one couple who decided not to let their baby have blood. A court order was speedily obtained to save the baby’s life. JWs swarmed the place, waving Watchtower magazines and encouraging kidnapping plans. When the couple balked a bit on breaking the law, one JW said “I hope your baby gets hepatitus from that blood.” Very loving, so clearly God’s people. Again, I simply recommend that people make a few comparisions and set their priorities for themselves. There are examples of bloodless surgery – as I said, that’s terrific – when it’s possible.

    I have recommended that people research and read for themselves – about interpretation, about people’s experiences. Sure – read the JW PR site. There are some good insights here and there, just as with any religion. I still don’t salute the flag. But when you look at the authority that the governing body has taken on for itself, the “spirit-directed” publications and the unqualified elders that regulate every aspect of a JW’s life, I think that anyone should pause and pray and think about it a little more.

    When I said you were right about other people than JWs surviving, I was only quoting the PR site and current doctrine. You had implied that anyone who followed biblical teachings would survive – but that’s not what JWs teach. Those two examples are the only exceptions. So people living now had better get on board, right? Why? Cuz Armaggedon is coming before that last person of the 144,000 born by 1914 dies. One generation. I’m sure some new chronologies are in the making. The first ones were based on the measurements of Great Pyramid as well as by earlier biblical interpretations. Have you seen the big mansion that was built for resurrected leaders to live in? Oh, it was finally sold before you joined up. If you judge them by their own words, the cases of U.N. membership, owning 50% stock in a weapons company, and other matters like that do take on some importance. But I guess that sort of “do as I say not what I do” doesn’t really matter to you.

    In fact, JWs believe in two classes of people even within the organization, so what matters really depends on which kind of JW you are. Of course, the vast majority are “sheep.” While the elected 144,000 annointed might get in on pure grace, the “great crowd” of “sheep” is a secondary tier that depends on following the great many rules, obedience to every statement and direction of the Watch Tower Society, regular meeting attendance, and door-to-door witnessing service that must be reported. God’s grace, oh, I mean “undeserved kindness” clearly does not apply to these, but only to the elect – you know, the people who are allowed to partake of the symbolic feast (wine and bread) at the yearly “Memorial”? You aren’t even part of the spiritual communion of the Christ, but must have your relationship with God and Christ Jesus mediated and controlled by a corporation in New York. Yet at the same time, you say that it is inappropriate for priests to put themselves between God and the people.

    As for your characterization of the progressive faith bloggers group, I could only laugh. You’ve clearly not read any of the posts from any of the members.

    As you well know, scripture can be used to support a wide range of arguments, especially when the only translation used has been selectively twisted from the original texts in order to fit with what is being taught. As for the paragraph reading I mention, check out any Watchtower magazine (studied Sunday, second hour) or any of the book publications. Look at the questions at the bottom of the page and to the paragraphs to which they refer. Judge for yourself how much the answers to those paragraph by paragraph questions could possibly vary. “Now, could someone answer question #1? Yes, Brother Smith? Jehovah is God’s name! Very good, Brother Smith. Now, who will read paragraph 2?”

    And now you imply that I’m not sincere? I’m not sure what is meant by the scare quotes around “sincere” – I too am puzzled. It seems to me that I am extremely open, extremely honest. How much more sincere could one be? In what way does it seem to you that I might lack sincerity?

    I don’t know why you’ve entered into this conversation, but it is illuminating to me in several ways. It is absolutely true that I am not only responding to you, but also putting what I can out there for other readers. It’s my blog, that’s the purpose. If you wanted to have a private conversation on these matters, you could easily have emailed me or used my contact form. I know that it is highly unlikely that I will change your mind on any of these things. In fact, I’m not really that concerned with trying to change your mind – your religious path is your own. But I am concerned with displaying more examples of typical rhetoric and mindset, as well as presenting alternative points of view (such as my own – but also those of others – I had hoped that someone else might jump into the discussion at some point). Many of the JW commenters have been extremely rude, but you have tried to craft out honest responses while relying on quotations to keep you out of trouble. I think you have mistaken ideas about me – but you think I have mistaken ideas about you too, so I guess that’s only fair. It’s clear that we will not agree, but I didn’t really expect that we would.

    Blessings to you, whether you accept such good will or not. My objections are not with you, but with the policies of the Society. Whether you can see it or not, I am not demon-influenced. Not only do I have no arrangements with a demon, but I don’t even have a phone number for one. All I would say to you, finally, is that I believe each person’s relationship with God is their own, and that each path is unique for all it may share qualities with others. Leadership bears a great responsibility not to lead the faithful away from that path and that relationship. I believe they have misplaced their priorities. You believe not. Go in peace, my cousin.

  30. Well done, virushead for making very clear the shortcomings of the mind-set required of the average, but normally honest, Jehovah’s Witness. You have also done a great service by showing the doctrinal and practical inconsistencies that have held many Watchtower slave captive.

    I have never been a JW, but I have seen for myself the damage that someone can experience whilst becoming enmeshed into the WT system.

    I have spoken to many Witnesses, now it is very rare to see any of them on the streets of our estate! Not because of my intervention, I must add, but because too few new people are going into the organization and those who are there are getting too old.

    In my last encounter with an elderly, very established, Witness, I managed to get him to agree that if there was a conflict between the Watchtower publications and the Bible, he would choose the Watchtower publications. His wife dragged him away – it is strange how they always have to be elsewhere, when earlier in the evening they claimed to have time to devote to my questions and no other appointments! I make a point of asking them during the ‘small-talk’!!

    Bless you for the encouragement you provide to many. May you find what you seek in the reality of the God of the Bible.

    Loving wishes,

    Mike

  31. The JWs prey on the uneducated and poor. And, I’m quite surprised to see anyone who is currently with the JW organization on this website as they are told not to seek out anything that flies in the face of what they are brainwashed to believe!

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