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JW Materials Feedback and Discussion

JW Materials Feedback and Discussion

The Positive


I am an ex JW and I very much like your balanced advice to ex JW web page. I too am a bit of a Theoryhead. At present I am reading Habermas’ “Theory of Communicative Action.” Robert Kegan is great too (self proclaimed “postmodern constructive developmentalist”). Thanx for the web site. I just felt compelled to say HI! to a fellow EX-JW Brainiac. – Tom M


I have recently left the JW organization and as I began to search and study like a black hole taking in information, I found your site. Wow, wonderful! Very helpful ideas, but mostly I appreciate the non-hateful atmosphere! I have felt like I have been in a tight coil on the inside of the beginning of the coil. Now I am stepping slowly out and bigger. I have read things about the bible I did not know! I have read others thoughts like Baruch Spinoza, great things to think on. I feel like my brain is on fire! I am 47 but feel like an infant in many ways, it’s great. Thanks Again for the site! – Ronda


Hi. Enjoyed your site and your good advice. – AJ


The Negative


(1st contact) A lot of your content of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not close to their actual belief structure or organizational policies. Simple fact checking even from a third party source would keep things factual. I am a former witness and noticed your lack of clarity on several subjects. But I do not wish to continue talking, just a comment. (2nd contact) I am a former. Outside of the jokes there are many points that do not line up with even basic research into the organization. Take your outlook and perspective and just go to a reliable source and compare. – “Kristian” (no response on a request for examples)


The Well-Intentioned (?)


Cramped and narrow is the road leading to life and few are the ones finding it. Why did you fall off the path? Please don’t become blinded like the unbelievers. – “Jane Doe”


(1st contact) Are you a believer in Jesus as the way for salvation? I’m just curious. Since you left JW, I would think that you came to understand the full truth of the Gospel. Jesus states that He is the “truth” and to know him is to know God. (2nd contact) I agree Heidi! It’s not about a creed.
The truth is that it’s about a relationship. With the one true God, who is Jesus Christ. All truth is available if you ask for it. Just ask God to show you the truth about Jesus His Son, and God will reveal the truth. 100% guaranteed. (3rd contact) Thanks for responding. I still think it’s cool that you express so much creativity on your web site, and you expose the errors within the J.W. belief system.
– John


Bits of Ongoing Conversations


I have been doing a lot of research and I can really see that the JW’s are REALLY brainwashed! My parents are a prime example! They do nothing for my kids and the everytime they talk to my now 16yr old they tell her that if she doesn’t go to the KH that her life is in danger and it’s to the point where she hates talking to them. But at the same time she wishes they were normal grandparents. It is a very lonely situation. I have to struggle to work to take care of my kids and my parents do not help us at all but if we went to the meetings I know they would help us. But I shouldn’t have to do that! I am reading alot about ex JW’s having alot of mental and emotional problems due to growing up that way. I can honestly see why! I am still very angry! YOU need to write a book about this subject because I really am seeing a growing trend of these individuals not knowing how to cope or live in the real world!


It took me about a decade to completely break free, and there was a lot of guilt and remorse and fear that was included in that process. I was disfellowshipped once and have disassociated myself twice and don”t quite understand how they call themselves Christians or say they are loving. My parents look down there noses and judge me constantly, making snide remarks and jabs whenever possible. Most people don’t understand, unless they were in a cult themselves how difficult it is to step away from, and that it is developing a COMPLETELY new life. You can just walk away from most churches, but not them. I’d also like to tell you about a friend of mine who left Jehovah’s Witnesses and became a Non-Denominational Pastor. She’s been working on me to go to church, but I can’t bring myself to do it. – Leslie


Thanks so much for such excellent ex jw tips. I just left several months ago after over 20 yrs. I’ve had some very low days,some feeling extreme fear & anxiety,ect, but all in all I’m patting myself on the back for having the courage to leave. I’m hoping i’m one of the fortunate ones that wasn’t brought up in their org. & i was not married to one. I’m still at a loss of questioning “why did jesus say “God’s word is truth” (or is it their interpretation of it).Also,are we not living in the last day of this systems & isn’t it logical God will step in to get rid of ones ruining his earth? I know for sure, tho they are abusive,authoritarian but isn’t the bible still the word of our creator? Plus, I also wanted to ask, has anyone in canada ever sued the WB&Tract society for their deception & won damages? Plus what is truly behind all their subliminal sentences & illustrations that I examined in their mags & other publications. That was the “last straw” for me. Thanks, kj.


I realise that from his upbringing and his family that he will never be baptised and will probably just be in a limbo for the rest of his life with his religion and really all I can do is support him and show him that no matter what he will always have a place to be whoever he wants with me. He doesn’t need to pretend. Thank you so much for getting back to me. You’ve certainly helped and it’s nice to hear from you. I think I will pray for him. – A


I have a question about Bible interpretation concerning the New World Translation, and how the NWT came about to translate John 1:1.. I already understand much about this interpretation where it came from Westcott’s and Hort’s The New Testament in Original Greek. Now I understand that a group of scholars would usually be presented with many manuscripts and decide, with all in mind, which would reflect the intention of the author. Now if we examine John 1:1 in a Greek grammatical sense one would come to the conclusion that “and the word was a god” would not obey the rules of grammar. Because I, already, as I said before have some kind if understanding on this subject, I have come to the conclusion that when scholars chose to use the words “and the word was God” although taught in the doctrine of the Trinity do not come as though they interpret the manuscripts as conforming to holy doctrine but come to the conclusion that this would be the true meaning and intent of the original authors. Why did the NWT committee choose to include their interpretation in their text? When the NWT bible committee claims to use the Greek, Aramaic scriptures for translation who is to say that other scholars have not used the same manuscripts for translation? I guess my question is why does the NWT use this interpretation when it chooses its scripture? You can provide me with your opinion on the subject and maybe some analysis? Thank you. – Vincent


At Romans 16:1 Paul says “I recommend to you our sister Phoebe a minister (servant or deaconess depending on translation) of Cenchreae’s congregation,” and he asks that she be assisted because she defended many including himself (16:2) Prisca, (or Priscilla) with her husband Aquilla risked their lives for Paul, kept a congregation in their home (Ro 16:3), took in Apollos and instructed (=taught) him even more correctly about God (Ac 18:26). Paul said let older respectable women be “TEACHERS” of goodness although he added that haughty or noisy women must not teach or disrupt meetings (1Co 14:33-4), something obviously true also for haughty or noisy men.

Many women ministered to Christ and the 12 apostles, were among the 120 getting Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Ac 1:14) and prophesied (Ac 2:17-8). Notable New Testament women include Lydia, Dorcas, and Martha. Old Testament ones include Esther, Ruth, Naomi, Martha, Sarah, Hulda. Judges says Deborah was a Judge or leader against foes even as was Samson. The Bible says males and females are one in Christ (Ga 3:28, Ac 10:34).

Each Christian group decides if a respectable Christian woman is in fact ministering for them and others (Ro 4:15, 14:1-5, 1 Cor 10:23). Being a minister is not properly a position of power and control over others, but an untitled condition of humble, helpful service, an acknowledgment of what one is by deeds and attitude. In 111 A.D. not long after John’s death, Pliny the Younger noted he had had two women tortured for being deaconesses (congregational servants) which also helps show the continual service rendered by women throughout Bible history and up to today. – JM


For your use from someone who spent 45yrs as a JW – Kind regards, Mike

The NSCFC launches Support & Advice for Existing or Ex Jehovah’s Witnesses

The UK charity…National Society for Children and Family Contact (NSCFC) now extends its Free and Confidential service in support of the long-term effects and sufferings of existing and ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses.
An increasingly concerning cause of Family Breakdown of an insidious nature is the result of the affiliation of at least one Family Member to this powerfully controlling religious Organisation.

1/ Any religious organisation that separates Family Members using Mind Control via fear of ostracism and everlasting death must be challenged in the best interest of The Children, Family Life and Society as a whole.

2/ Dictating an individual’s Human Right to contact with family members, especially The Children, clearly threatens the bonds, unity and natural love within the family Unit.

3/ The resulting Damage is so great that many adults, teenagers and children continue to feel the emotional and psychological effects long after successfully pulling away from such an Organisation.
For this reason we have brought onboard ex members all of whom have vast experience in how best to face, overcome and survive subtle mind control albeit mental, emotional or physical, which can and does include child abuse and other unlawful acts, the like of which is covered up by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (WTBTS) Headquarter secrecy dictates, to the exclusion of the police and local authorities and well documented as such worldwide. Suffice to say, we want to expose any form of child abuse be it sexual or otherwise. We wish to provide assistance to victims who have been molested as children and silenced from speaking out or seeking proper assistance as directed by any religious authority. So please, if you were, are and know of any such victim or perpetrator, then why not help yourself and or save others also, for indeed just as it is written “the truth will set you free”. Please Contact Us Online or Phone 0870 794 0075

National Society for Children and Family Contact (NSCFC) is a registered charity which believes that continuing contact with a child’s parents or extended family after separation or divorce is vital for the child’s balanced development and it works tirelessly to foster those all-important family contacts. As such we offer free support and advice to all those in need. Helpline at National rate on 0870 794 0075 or at www.nscfc.com

Mike Ellis
Chairman: National Society for Children and Family Contact
Tel: UK 0870 794 0075
www.nscfc.com

Calling Canadian JW Abuse Survivors

Calling Canadian JW Abuse Survivors

Silentlambs is asking for any French-speaking JW or ex-JW abuse survivors from Canada to come forward for a possible interview with key media in Canada.

If are such a victim or you know of such a victim who can assist, please contact info@silentlambs.org for more information.

Conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness

Conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness

A brave Jehovah’s Witness has engaged with me in the comments of the Following the Christ post.

Snowhoney expresses the usual views in the usual ways, so it’s a good example of the trained mindflow of a practicing Jehovah’s Witness. Sometimes JW comments are so emotive or hateful that I hesitate to claim that they really represent the views or practices of JWs in general, but this is good example of someone who is devout in the JW way.

I say that Snowhoney (I’m assuming a “she”) is brave because normally JWS are not allowed to read anything that is at all critical of the Watchtower Society. Her engagement is, perhaps, a kind of witnessing, although (like my own responses) it seems intended for other readers than myself. So – let’s have an audience. If any of the topics under discussion interest you, weigh in with your own views.

JWs Protect Known Pedophiles and Abusers

JWs Protect Known Pedophiles and Abusers

Jehovah’s Witnesses have a strange way of handling pedophilia and other forms of sexual and domestic abuse. They require at least two witnesses to testify to the abuse before they will take it seriously. Since they are also loath to involve “worldly authorities,” they often don’t report abuse to the police. Sometimes they even punish the messenger – the victim of abuse – for speaking.

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness that has been abused, sexually assaulted, or beaten – don’t bother trying to seek help from the elders. JW elders have no special training or insight. They simply follow rules, and the instructions that they have been given are not written for your benefit. Seek help and refuge outside the Kingdom Hall. You are so much better off finding help elsewhere!

If you are a kid – of any religion! – who has been abused, talk to some adult that you trust. Or call a hotline, contact social services, go right to the police station – whatever you feel safest doing. Do it! Do not hesitate! The person who abused you is the one who is in the wrong. Seek help. Please.

JW elders, who completely rule the congregations at the local level, will take the word of the (usually male) abuser much more seriously than any testimony from women or children. The man is the head of the household, and elders are elevated even further – whether that status is merited or not. One of America’s most wanted was protected for years, and is most likely still being protected since he can blend in to any congregation with the right JW-speak. Known pedophiles have switched congregations when things got awkward. That congregation isn’t warned, and such a person is often left unsupervised with children for bible study, door-to-door work and so on.

Even pedophiles and other abusers deserve their basic human rights. Christian congregations ought not to bar any sinner. The priorities here are seriously skewed, however. I think it very strange that JWs can be disfellowshipped for bad attitude, for celebrating Christmas, or for smoking – but abusers can remain in good standing just as long as only one person has the courage or ability to testify to their bad conduct and victimization of others.

Given their doctrines and mindset, it’s not really very surprising that they create abusers, but you would think that the average JW would have seen enough people disfellowshipped to wonder why the 2-person witness rule only seems to apply in this situation.

Other christian denominations – the Catholic church most visibly – have had to face their problems in this area. Jehovah’s Witnesses have made no changes to their policies.

So far, there has been no debate or discussion on this topic in Kingdom Halls. Why? Because debate isn’t allowed. The ideal is to be a sheep of the organization. Independent thinking, as any JW can tell you, is against their religion.

Even if it hurts or kills people, their members will obey without question the “divinely inspired guidance” of the Watchtower leadership at corporate command in Brooklyn. Why? They believe that Armageddon will happen at any time, and they want to survive it – no matter the cost in loss of freedom, destruction to families and individuals, and even the squelching of basic kindness. A disfellowshipped (shunned) JW is cut off from their family and most if not all of their friends – they are said to be ruled by Satan. They believe that God prefers people who prioritize orders from their publishing empire to common sense, basic ethics, or empathy for others. It never stops amazing me, what fundamentalists of all stripes can do to a message of love and forgiveness.

So now the leadership makes noises about educating their people – but they still discourage reporting to authorities. They still discourage seeking psychological help, too. They haven’t changed their rules or procedures at all – they’ve only invested in restructuring efforts, real estate scams, and an army of attorneys. I don’t expect much to change.

I’m guessing that they had to shell out some serious cash to settle all these cases with gag orders attached. Maybe that will start some people thinking. One can hope.

Many JWs are decent, good people. They are trying to do what they believe God wants of them, and many of them do so at personal sacrifice. Their mistake is in substituting the direction of a few flawed men at the head of a publishing empire for a relationship with God.

Sex abuse victims challenge Jehovah’s Witnesses – By ROSE FRENCH, The Associated Press

NASHVILLE – A victims’ rights group released documents Thursday that showed the Jehovah’s Witnesses recently settled civil suits with 16 people who claimed they were sexually abused by church elders or that church officials failed to act on the allegations.

The group, called silentlambs, held a news conference in Nashville to demand the denomination change its policy for responding to abuse reports.

Settlements were reached in late February and early March, according to court records obtained by silentlambs and posted to the group’s Web site. Fourteen of the cases were filed in California; the other two were in Oregon and Texas.

Details about the settlement terms could not be disclosed under confidentiality agreements negotiated between the parties, said Stephen Owens, a plaintiffs’ attorney involved in the California cases. Other cases are still pending, according to silentlambs, which couldn’t say how many.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose headquarters are in Brooklyn, N.Y., said Thursday that they were pleased to see the lawsuits resolved, declining further comment.

“Our loving heavenly Father makes it clear in his Word, the Bible, that he abhors child abuse,” a statement from the denomination said.

“As an organization, we will continually strive to educate families and congregations with sound Scriptural teachings that they can use to protect their children from child molesters. And we will continue to do our utmost to protect children from this horrible crime and sin.”

William Bowen, silentlambs’ founder, was a Jehovah’s Witnesses elder from Kentucky who quit the denomination after he said it took no action against a molester. Bowen said the settlements were bittersweet.

“On one hand, we’re glad a few victims are finally getting some financial help,” he said. “On the other hand, we’re sad and worried because they’ve essentially been forced to give up their right to protect others by speaking out about their abuse to the public.”

Bowen’s group has criticized the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ policy that if an accused abuser denies the charge, two credible witnesses are required to establish guilt – due to literal application of such Bible verses as Deuteronomy 19:15 (“only on the evidence of two witnesses, or of three witnesses, shall a charge be sustained”).

If two witnesses are lacking, the accused is deemed innocent, charges remain confidential and – silentlambs says – parents who warn others are subject to disfellowshipping for slander.

Disfellowshipping is an extreme penalty that means a total cutoff of relationships by family members, friends and business associates who are Witnesses.

There are about 1 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States, and followers are known for distributing Awake! and Watchtower magazines door-to-door.

Bowen also said Jehovah’s Witnesses have a long-standing policy of not reporting molesters to police. He claims that the denomination has a secret database of accused abusers that they have not shared with law enforcement officials.

“They keep putting innocent kids and unsuspecting families at risk of horrible crimes because they value their secrecy and reputations more than they value children’s safety,” Bowen said.

Since establishing silentlambs in 2001, Bowen says about 7,000 people who claim they were abused have contacted his group.

Associated Press reporter Allison Hoffman in San Diego contributed to this report.
On the Net: www.silentlambs.org

Other coverage:

Jehovah’s Witness Bethelite Videotaped Boys at O’Hare

Jehovah’s Witness Bethelite Videotaped Boys at O’Hare

Man Allegedly Taped Boys Using O’Hare Rest Rooms
From Steve Miller, Chicago, WBBM Newsradio 780/CBS 2

WBBM Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports the man accused is Jesus Manuel Cano and is 50 years old. A Jehovah’s Witness minister, say police in Middletown, New York. Cano is in jail in New York. He is charged as a pedophile there.

Middletown Police Detective Sergeant Jerry Mishk says investigators have seized four computers from Cano’s home – at a Jehovah’s Witness farm.

Cano had a video recording labeled “O’Hare” that allegedly included images of children in public bathrooms, Mishk said. And Mishk says Cano had a videotape that apparently was shot inside O’Hare rest rooms.

CBS 2 reports Middletown police say Cano allegedly used his own video camera to take images of himself in the nude and then print them with his phone number in hopes of luring young boys for sex.

Police say the first alleged incident took place on June 17 when Cano allegedly called an 11-year-old victim to his car to give him a naked picture of himself. Police say Cano then asked the child to meet him at another location for sex.

One week later, another alleged incident took place, but the victim’s parents called police.

Police say they found beer, condoms and an ointment of some sort inside Cano’s blue Nissan. Inside, they also found an alleged trail of perversion stretching from Chicago all the way to the Caribbean.

Police say photos of an unidentified teen in sexual positions were discovered, along with videotape that police say Cano shot at O’Hare Airport as he followed boys and men into the bathroom with a hidden camera to tape them as they used urinals. Cano allegedly targeted six or seven bathrooms for six or seven hours at a time.

When arrested, police found a church identification card on Cano. The church confirms his position as a minister, but had no further comment.

See the Silent Lambs website for more details on the Cano case.

Video Report from WCBS-TV New York

Steaming Mad: Air America in Atlanta is Gone

Steaming Mad: Air America in Atlanta is Gone

ARGHHHHH! Turned on the radio in the car to my customary 1690 WWAA AM station to hear Air America. BUT NOOOOOOO! Air America in Atlanta is GONE.

J.W. Broadcasting, headed by Joe Weber (as in grills?), purchased the assets of radio station WWAA-AM (Avondale Estates) from Intermart Broadcasting of Georgia for $12 million. Weber has switched over the content of 1160’s programming to 1690, and it now broadcasts from Adel. JW Broadcasting was formed in May 2003 to acquire television stations in small to mid-sized markets. The Company’s initial acquisition was a triopoly in Columbia-Jefferson City, MO (FOX affiliate, ABC affiliate and UPN affiliate).

Much of the AM market here is thick with church stations and conservative talk-show hosts. Even NPR has gone downhill. The only other good station I’ve even heard about is FM 89.3 WRFG (Radio Free Georgia) – but it doesn’t come in for me. It’s supposed to have a progressive news hour at noon, free speech news at four, and Democracy Now at five. I’ve written to them to request that they strengthen their signal and adopt at least some of the Air America content.

It’s just that little extra kick in the face that the company is named “J.W.” Broadcasting.

Yes, I can still listen to AAR online, but I don’t really listen while I’m on the computer. I listen in the car. Now Air America is gone, and I can’t stand the other stations.

ooooooooo, I am so angry.

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