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Ex-JW – Expressing the Pain

Ex-JW – Expressing the Pain

I received another of these heartbreaking letters from a former Jehovah’s Witness today. This one has a couple of themes that appear in so many of the letters that I get that I thought it was worth posting once again. A few of the details have been altered to protect the privacy of the writer.

Hi. I left the “truth” in 19xx. I was baptized, but eventually got out of an abusive relationship and a religion that told me that I needed to stay with my husband because “by my good example his soul might be saved”. Anyway, I left and was disfellowshipped. The problem was my sister stayed in the religion. She wrote to me and told me she could not be my sister any more because I was now of the evil slave class. This went on for years, finally ending in some interaction when our mother died, grew and greatly improved when our father passed also. That went on and we were actually pretty close again. In the meantime I explored many different faiths, especially Eastern, and then I discovered Wicca. I felt at home there, and in the late 19xx’s I dedicated myself to the Goddess. My sister was aware of this and it had not been a problem. Our other sister passed away recently after a period of illness where my sister and I comforted each other, but I did notice a difference in her and so did our brother (who does not practice any religion). Well, today before I left to drive back home my JW sister tells me we cannot have a relationship anymore because having a relationship with me may imperil her soul and relationship with Jehovah. I could not believe she was doing this to me again. I am in shock. I guess we were getting too close and the elders had to step in. I feel so wounded and hurt. My brother is stunned. I feel like my heart is broken again. What religion would have her hit me with this right after the funeral? I don’t understand, how she can do this? I remember times when we were both JW’s and she was going through a really bad time. I kept the details to myself. I would not have dreamed of telling the elders. I know there is nothing anyone can do about this I just needed to talk about it. Thanks for listening.

Dear X –

My heart flies out to you, and I am so very sorry. Try to forgive your sister (to the limit of your ability) – you know why she believes as she does. It’s anti-agapic and false to the spirit of love, but as you know the governing body of the Watchtower Society keeps a tight leash. All you can really do is to follow your own path, grieve her choice and try to let it go. I know, it seems pretty impossible.

Don’t close the door entirely unless you feel you have to for your own sanity. You could, if you are strong enough in yourself, send some sort of message of love: “You are my sister and I will always love you, no matter what your religious decisions might be. I am always here for you if you need me.” You never know what may happen in the future, and for her to know that you are there for her (even when she has been very foolish) may make a difference in ways that may help you both over the years.

For now, though, it’s very hard. What is especially hard – and I’ve experienced this too – is when you’ve been a true friend to someone you love and it’s feels like everything you did means nothing, doesn’t count at all. But it does. Love is ever wasted!

It does help a little, I think, to write about it – and to know that there are others who “get it.”

Since you are dedicated to the Goddess, you have that imagery of the divine to access. You can draw on your connection to the energies of the Goddess to help you. Let Her enfold you with the comfort and love that is being withheld by your sister. Get concrete – find words and images that ease your heart. Add an item or two to your alter for your sister’s healing. You know she must be hurting, too. Intend healing and strength for both of you, and She will help you. Gather with your sisters and tell them your story – you can tap a deep reservoir of insight and support from them.

I’m reading a book that I like a lot. Maybe it would be good for you, too? It’s called The Red Book, by Sera Beak – a trained comparative religionist with a wonderful sense of humor. It is intended for young women, but I’m now (ahem) a slightly older woman and I’m finding that the intended audience is not limiting at all – I think that even a lot of men would find it valuable. It’s not so much that there’s anything “new” in it for me, but it’s functioning as a way to connect the dots in a slightly more solid – and fun – way. I wouldn’t normally recommend a book, but I have to say that if I were to write a book for others on spirituality, it would look an awfully lot like this one, and I’m happy to have discovered it.

I know you said there isn’t anything anyone can do, and that’s true. I wish I could change this reality for you and for everyone that suffers because of this kind of cruelty, but of course I can’t and neither can anyone else.

All you can change about this, ultimately, is how you view it, how you frame it, how you navigate through that experience, and how you integrate that experience into yourself. Sometimes spiritual truths are a real kick in the teeth.

That’s all I can offer to you. I wish there were more – maybe some readers of the blog will have other suggestions.

Feedback on JW Jokes

Feedback on JW Jokes

It’s good to hear from former Jehovah’s Witnesses, although it also makes me very sad to hear the familiar narratives of abuse and shunning. Thank you for writing, Aella Brenna, and I’m glad that you got some distance and healing through laughter. Thrive with light and love.

i’m an ex-JW who has since become a pagan because the beliefs make more sense to me. i found the humour about JW’s on your site refreshing and amusing as I left three years ago and have consequently not heard from my parents or little sister for three years.

So i just wanted to say thanks for the healing to my soul that your jokes provided.

Especially since I was abused when i was growing up both emotionally and physically and watched my mother and sister being abused to, and my abusive dad backed his actions up with the bible and was an elder in the local congregation whom everyone looked up to and thought well of. Of course they never saw what he was like behind closed doors and I was too terrified to tell anyone.

i also didn’t ever like the fact that the bible said one thing but the watchtower said another and that the organisation had taken the place of God to most people. If only they’d read their bibles properly they would see that things have become overly complicated. So i’ve gone back to the old religion.

Just wanted to say thanks for the jokes.

Aella Brenna (it means Whirlwind daughter of Raven)

Jehovah’s Witnesses Claiming to Follow the Christ

Jehovah’s Witnesses Claiming to Follow the Christ

According to an article in the Cherry Hill N.J. Courier-Post, Jehovah’s Witnesses aim to “debunk myths” about their faith by adopting the topic “Follow the Christ!” at the District Conventions. The article mentions only the one convention being held in Reading, Pa., but of course the program is an identical thing everywhere, and it’s not as though it’s an actual “conference” type of convention at which one might expect discussions, debates, new scholarship, pastoral support, and the like. It’s reinforcement and rah-rah. The JW assemblies were fun because it was a chance to meet other JWS, and it had a celebratory air for that reason. Now it seems they are using it as a preaching tool. They must have gleaned some tips from Falwell, et al. Too bad for the young ones seeking a mate – they’ll have to sort through all the non-JWs that attend.

Jehovah’s Witnesses in South Jersey are knocking on doors and inviting their neighbors to attend the convention, which will explain how following Bible principles that Christ promoted can help people improve their family life, draw closer to God and gain everlasting life, said Mark Weaver, a spokesman for the Reading conventions.

Here’s a funny bit: “There also will be a public talk debating the question: Who are the real followers of Christ?” Debating? Hee-hee. Not likely. Any guesses on who they will claim as the “real” followers?

Last year, the district convention was all about the “Deliverance at Hand” – meaning that the loving God is about to kill off most of the people on the planet. So this year, it’s a PR move. They want to fight the perception that “their denomination isn’t a Christian religion.”

Why fight a perception? That’s like saying that you should undermine an insight. They should at least say they are fighting an “inaccurate impression.”

I think that people have the perception that Jehovah’s Witnesses (I call them Watchtowerites) aren’t Christian because of different and larger issues than simply their non-celebration of Christmas and Easter, which is the only reason given in the article (Even mainstream Christians are somewhat aware of the history of the development of these two holidays). No, there is a much larger set of issues. Grace, forgiveness, compassion… for starters.

They miss Jesus’ whole point (and in this they are not alone, of course), and so this topic is very pertinent to their problem. Unfortunately, they won’t address it at all. It takes a very narrow focus to try to claim that JWs follow Christ, and many things must be unspoken in order for them to attempt to do so.

Since comments on the article were allowed, here is the one I posted:

In some ways, JWs follow Jesus. They preach, like the disciples. They accept persecution, as did the early Christians. They will die for their beliefs – even as the beliefs change. They believe that the Christ has a mediating function in prayer, although they do not think it through but merely invoke the name.

However, I don’t think that anyone who looks more closely would believe that they are Christians. They are more like Watchtowerites.

They believe that Jesus, as Archangel Michael, very shortly will act as God’s hand to destroy “this satanic system of things,” including most of the people. They do not have a communion, only a yearly memorial of the last supper, during which only those who feel that they are of the 144,000 (destined to rule as kings over the earth) may partake of the bread and wine. The “emblems” are actually passed over every person present. In the years that I was a JW, I never witnessed any of them eat or drink in remembrance of Jesus. The ceremony is a reminder that they are not part of the communion. But hey, most of them would rather live on paradise earth anyway (once all the pesky bones have been cleaned up).

It seems to me that they have become more rule-bound and less able to make Christian decisions in my lifetime – but I am surely biased on that since I receive letters and questions from people who have been hurt by their myriad and often senseless cruelties. In judging comments from other former JWs, remember that they have cause for anger.

In their most destructive aspects, JWs not only divide families and cause paranoia and isolationism, but also protect predators – not only through their infamous “two-witness” requirement, but also by discouraging their members to deal with worldly (satanic) powers such as the police. Although they have furthered civil rights legislation in the US, they do not offer such democratic structures within their system. There is no discussion or debate, only endless repetitions of the “guidance” of the governing body in Brooklyn.

What they produce is a free sales force, driven by self-righteousness and fear, not compassion. And it is exploitative, too, since members often end up paying for the publications themselves. For a population that has been discouraged from higher education, and whose primary investment might be a few of those (strategic blending-in camouflage) three-piece suits, this is a hardship. They are kept busy and isolated – if members have questions of faith, they are labeled rather than mentored.

The rank and file JW is a good “sheep” – submissive, obedient. At least you can say that they are doing what they believe God wants of them – sometimes at great sacrifice. But the leadership, for all they call themselves “slaves,” are all-powerful to members. Some would even say that they have put themselves in the God-position. And they hide it under anonymity; you will look in vain for writer’s credits in any of their publications.

Local elders, who hold power over each JW’s life, have no training in languages, biblical interpretation, or even basic pastoral counseling. But there is a huge investment in their legal team. Recently, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Corporations succeeded in settling multiple cases about child abuse and pedophilia out of court – with a gag order.

If this is a Christian group, then the Christian message of reconciliation between God and humanity has been warped beyond all recognition. They have no concept of grace whatsoever. They are neither forgiving nor kind. Their only concept of service to others is to offer them the “good news” of how people might be able to survive the approaching destruction from their loving God. That’s it. The only community they are concerned about is their own.

Like some other fringe groups that have risen in influence, they are of the sort that would be more than happy to throw the first stone. They have completely missed the message.

I still don’t salute the flag – I think it’s a very creepy nationalistic ritual, but in most other ways, I have found that there are higher spiritual standards than the ones they can offer.

The recovering JWs that do best are those who have curiosity, like to read, and can locate their sense of humor. And, if you leave in freedom, you do have another advantage. You have learned to recognize the methods of control, and you have one step ahead in resisting them from other directions.

For those who are being shunned by their families and the people they thought were their life-long friends – know that you are not alone! Hang in there – it gets better.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Child Custody Help

Jehovah’s Witnesses Child Custody Help

The founder of has started up to highlight the issues connected with JW divorces, and to help to protect the children of divorcing parents when only one of the parents is a Jehovah’s Witness.

If you are a parent who is going through a divorce from someone who is a Jehovah’s Witness, this site is a valuable resource for you. There is a toll free number to set up a free consultation as well as email correspondence for specific legal issues. Know that it is always in the interest of the organization for the children to stay with the JW parent. The Watchtower Bible and Tract corporations provide legal help to help ensure that this happens. Parents who may have left the organization are frequently “demonized” to their own children! There have been few resources as yet for parents who are targeted for this treatment, and little recourse in a legal system that remains largely unaware of the psychological issues involved.

If you are a former JW, please take action! Individuals are needed who can write legal affidavits (a personal, written, and notarized statement) regarding their personal knowledge or experience of the following:

  1. Medical Issues – Blood and how you were affected: why you believed in not taking blood transfusions or other blood products of any kind. Did you or any member of your family suffer any kind of loss as a result of the blood doctrine?
  2. Alienation from Non-JW Family Members, including parents and siblings – how (and why) you or family members made a choice not to have normal relations with non-JWs. How did you view non-JW members of your family if you grew up as a JW? How did others in your family view them? How were non-JW members of your family treated by JW adults and children?
  3. Isolation from Society – How (and why) you personally were affected as a child by beliefs about worldly associations, school activities, higher education, careers, patriotism, and interaction with people outside the organization as a whole.
  4. Theocratic Warfare – Your personal belief as a Jehovah’s Witness about being truthful (and whether you were ever encouraged to lie) to worldly authorities. What was acceptable behavior if you felt your beliefs or religion were being threatened in any way? In what ways or circumstances was there a different standard for within the organization, and outside it?

I am pleased to see some action on this area. The most heartbreaking letters I receive have to do with destructive family dynamics. Shunning and alienation from non-JW family members can be very extreme.

All by itself, divorce is a hard enough thing for children to navigate.

Silent Lambs has been speaking up for the powerless for some time. Thanks for caring about the children. I am very proud of Bill and Janet Bowen, and of all the people who have contributed – in all their different ways – to getting the message out there. Public awareness has grown, and there are now documented resources for anyone who cares to look.

Kudos to Silent Lambs – silent no more, victims no more.

Since the inception of silentlambs the purpose of the website was to give victims a voice, protect children and educate about child abuse issues. After hearing over 6,000 abuse stories in the last seven years everything that was stated in the beginning has proven itself to be the truth about the cover up of abuse in the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

We have simply asked for specific actions to protect children.

Report all allegations of abuse to police

Never reappoint pedophiles to positions of authority.

Never allow pedophiles to call on the homes of the public.

To this day not one of these simple requests has been enacted as policy of the organization.

I continue to hope that even within the JW congregations, there will be recognition that major reforms are long overdue, that policies of cruelty and fear and domination and exploitation show no signs of the spirit of love. I hope this for the wider community too…

Breaking down a Watchtower message to the Great Crowd

Breaking down a Watchtower message to the Great Crowd

When my friend Janet sent me a link to this piece from a very recent talk (given by James Rayford at a Kingdom Hall in Houston Texas), I actually forced myself to listen to it. I’m going to comment below, so that you can begin to understand what happens to the self-identified “Great Crowd” (who believe they will inherit a paradise earth after Armageddon) in all those hours of listening at the Kingdom Hall.

This is why they can feel good about shunning their own family and friends if they leave. This is why they can let their children die for lack of a blood transfusion. This is why they look so alarmed if you try to wish them a Happy Birthday or a Merry Christmas.

Matthew 24:14 is Fulfilled, Speaker James Rayford, January 2007 (2.2mb mpg file at (Note 7-25-07: The previous link to the audio has disappeared. Turn on your popup blocker (sheesh) and try this one See also the discussions at Jehovah’s-Witness and E-Jehovah’sWitnesses.)

I’ve created a transcript here (in case the file disappears, as they are wont to do), but you really have to listen to understand the effect this might have had on the audience. All such messages are crafted by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (despite the ploy of his opening comment). My comments are below.

I’m going to put these notes down here for a minute and just say something to you.

I’d like for you to listen to this very carefully…

For those of us at Bethel we have the privilege of working with the faithful and discreet slave – the governing body – and I would like for you to know how the governing body – the faithful slave – feels about the way things are right now in this system of things, the time period in which you are living.

The faithful slave feels that that have fulfilled Matthew 24:14. This good news has been preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness.

What does the next part of that text say, after?

(a couple of people mutter in the audience)

Yes. The end will come.

Do you know that there are only three countries in the entire world where there are no Witnesses today?

Only three countries. They are Somalia, North Korea, and Afghanistan. That doesn’t mean that the literature is not in those countries, there’s no Witnesses there.

And I mentioned this yesterday to some of the friends, and they wanted to know why, and I will tell you why.

Jehovah does not send his people to any environment where they will be killed.

That’s why there’s no Witnesses there. Those two (sic) countries bear community responsibility. But the good news of the kingdom has been preached.

Matthew 24. Luke 21. Mark 13. Revelation 6. Those scriptures are having their fulfillment. They’re being fulfilled.

So where are you in the stream of bible prophecy?

What is the next prophecy to be fulfilled – the next one?

Do you know?


I’m going to read it to you. Turn to Revelation. Revelation 17. Verses 15 through 17.

And he says to me, the waters you saw where the Harlot is sitting means people and crowds and nations and tongues. The ten horns that you saw and the wild beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her devastated and naked and will eat up her fleshly parts and will completely burn her with fire, for God put it into their hearts to carry out His thoughts – or His thought, even to carry out their one thought – by giving their kingdom to the wild beast until the words of God will have been accomplished.

The words of God will have been accomplished.

The anointed – the faithful slave – is waiting for God with this one thought in their hearts.

That’s the next bible prophecy to be fulfilled. For those who know what that means, that triggers the Great Tribulation.

Once that starts, all of you will be locked into where you are now.

Whatever you’ve done, you’ve done. There won’t be any more “well, you know I could have, I thought of, that I might do this, if I had the time.”

This is the time.

What will you going to, what will you do about the time in which you, we, are living?

Be at it urge..urgently. Be quick about it.

The time left is reduced.

First of all, you need to hear this man’s voice – it is very soft and seductive and easy to hear (a little creepy, too, but maybe I’m biased). Anyway, that kind of voice is pleasant, compared to the usual. He draws the audience in with a confidential-seeming aside. He’s an insider, so they will be excited and a little apprehensive with this kind of set-up. Clearly, the message will be special. They are promised insight into the assessment of the governing body! That’s like getting the message straight from God… kinda.

The governing body is actually just the twelve men in New York who act as the ultimate earthly (worldly?) authorities for Jehovah’s Witnesses. They run the Watchtower corporations and set all of the policies of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Note how they are as ambiguously singular and plural as the harlot and the beast.

You’ll note also the repetition reinforcement technique used with the interchangeability between the “governing body”, and “the faithful slave” (who they believe are the remnant of the remaining living members of the 144,000 who will rule with in heaven with Jesus – the Archangel Michael – over the new earth).

The two groups aren’t actually synonymous, even by their own doctrine. The members of the governing body are assumed to be of the 144,000, but not all surviving members of the 144,000 are members of the governing body (official Watchtower statistic: 8,524 memorial partakers in 2005). Wouldn’t it be interesting if one of these spoke out against the organization? (For a critique of the governing body as an embodiment of the “faithful slave” see Six Million Jehovah’s Witnesses Held Captive by Don Cameron, a former elder).

There’s nothing very new or special about the statement about the good news being preached throughout the earth, except that they seem to feel their job is done. (You have to realize that any other christian missionary work ever done by any other religious group doesn’t count.)

(I need to verify this, but I believe that their membership is down and they are “downsizing” many of their unpaid workers, which might be prompting this whole thing.)

JWs have always felt that they were in the end times. The sense of urgency is the same, too.

The deliverance of the saints must take place some time before 1914.
~ Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, “Studies in the Scripture”, 1910 edition

The deliverance of the saints must take place some time after 1914.
~ Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, “Studies in the Scripture”, 1923 edition

Rutherford stressed 1925 as a date for Armageddon, and there are other dates. Check with anyone who was told that the end would come in 1975. Many JWs left when that didn’t happen.

What’s also interesting to me – and I wouldn’t have noticed it when I was still a Witness – is that the content of the good news isn’t mentioned at all. No word here on grace, forgiveness of sins, salvation, Jesus the Lamb of God (or the mediator, or anything involving kindness – only the kingship and destroyer metaphors are used with regularity). The focus is on all the prohibitions, but none of the virtues or insights.

Does this kind of message sound like good news to you? Is it good news to think that most of the world’s population is about to be destroyed? What a lack of compassion. Mostly, it’s this “bad news” that is being spread…

What is important to all concerned is simply how many Jehovah’s Witnesses there are. Even in the three – perhaps recently it was two? – countries, the “literature” is there and those communities bear “responsibility.” It doesn’t even matter how many people come to love or accept the Judeo-Christian God, even the one of their interpretation. Not even the distribution of bibles (a standard missionary move) matters as much as the spread of the literature produced by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

I am surprised by the claim that Jehovah (God) does not send people to where they will be killed. God has sent people to where they will be killed on many occasions, according to biblical narratives. Jesus comes to mind, for example. Or the early christian martyrs who were thrown to the lions. Or any of the martyrs of any faith, really. Back in World War II, one of the Kingdom songs (Forward You Witnesses) was written in a concentration camp, where they continued to worship and preach, as they sang about “this time of the end.” Ask any old-timers about the policies regarding Malawi.

It’s also interesting that the usual comments about courage and perseverance in the face of persecution seem to have been dropped.

It seems to me that there are probably some other reasons why the organization is not formally recognized in these three countries… Unmentioned additional countries may ban the JW faith, particularly where there are strict theocracies or semi-theocracies. Just a speculation.

You’d really have to be steeped in JW-speak to understand the reasons for this cherry-picked meandering through Revelation. Note how he lingers on “naked” and “completely burn her with fire.” (She was askin’ for it, right?) The sexual fascination and misogyny is an undercurrent, but I won’t dwell on it here. Let’s just say the language resonates for JWs in many directions, and for many reasons.

The scripture speaks about end times, and empires, and religions, and the kingdoms of the earth, and who-all knows what else, in allegorical and symbolic terms – maybe even in a kind of code. The meaning? Well, there are huge interpretative differences among the different Christian groups about how to interpret. Babylon, Rome, Jerusalem, the Catholic Church, the UN, all “false religion”, the anti-christ, secular governments, blah blah blah. I won’t go into all of the explanations of the beast and harlot and water and horns and such. The thought of explaining the JW doctrine on this stuff gives me a headache. I’m not going there today. I spent too much time peddling this stuff myself. JWs are taught to believe that there is only one correction interpretation of any biblical passage, and that God has given the correct interpretation directly to the governing body via mysterious transmissions of holy spirit. They don’t worry about conflicting interpretations – they just follow whatever the organization happens to say that decade.

Have fun. Google Revelation 17. Get out your bible and read the whole chapter, or the whole book. Do your own research. Or not. Some people can get a little addled and odd after becoming obsessed with the cryptic messages of Revelation (cf. Charlie Manson, David Koresh, etc.).

Basically, the purpose here is to wave around some secret knowledge, reinforcing previous messages and emphasizing the horror to come for non-JWs and anyone else who is not in good standing with God when the Great Tribulation comes as the opening act of Armageddon.

The whole ending, delivered very quietly, will create a tiny little panicked voice in the heart of the regular rank and file Jehovah’s Witness. I felt a little pang inside myself, as you would feel while watching a good play. He effectively delivers the whole crafted sales pitch. Even though he is, as they say, “preaching to the choir,” he is successfully making personal status and diminishing time felt as urgent issues.

This sort of content and delivery makes the audience feel special, and frightened, and resolute – the perfect combination for control. He is pumping up the herd.

Notice that the emphasis is on what someone does, not what they think or what they believe or who they are. It’s not about joy or love or character or insight or prayer or faith or compassion or transformation. It’s about a very specific and very limited kind of work. Care for others – a wider sense of service or devotion – doesn’t enter into it. There is no language of individual calling.

JWs will simply ask themselves whether they are really doing everything possible to be in the best position when they get “locked in.”

They had better stop talking to former brother-X altogether – they just can’t risk being associated with anything outside the “organization,” outside the “Truth.” Better cut down on that outside reading, better quit school, better stop learning karate or piano. All these things take up time. Kindness doesn’t matter anymore. God’s going to kill everybody else anyway.

So what if he’s my brother, or son, or father, or cousin, or friend? What if that person never got any real guidance or help? So what if someone is simply a decent person who’s going through a difficult time and needs the support and help of his or her family and friends to figure things out?

Gotta keep that congregation clean. It’s ideological cleansing. We recoil in horror at the idea of ethnic cleansing, but theocratic cleansing doesn’t seem to bother us so much.

Ironically, it’s also hopeful. If the preaching work is fulfilled, well, maybe they can stop this thankless task? Maybe the hours they spend out in service won’t need to be reported anymore? Maybe the book and magazine distribution to worldly outsiders is no longer important? Wouldn’t it be exciting if the whole mission were re-envisioned?

I wonder if they actually will rethink the evangelical mission if they feel the prophecy is already fulfilled. Probably not, but the thought might occur to one or another of the brighter ones. Of course, they won’t have the courage to ask.

The ending seems dramatic at first, unless you stop to think for a moment. If you believe in the end times, then – logically speaking – the time is always reduced.

Try to imagine leaving this group after years of messages like this for several hours a week. For a JW who leaves or is disfellowshipped, the trauma and fear (and even paranoia) is very real. Add to that the rejection, and being cut off from family and friends who fear to taint themselves with association – even to give spiritual guidance or simple, caring friendship. Follow JWs in the news to see some of the results.

There are no marks of love in any of this.

This is the kind of message that only strengthens my resolve to help and support recovering Jehovah’s Witnesses in any way that I can. If you are a former JW and you need someone to talk with, please feel free to contact me. I’m no guru. However, I “get” what you might be going through, and I don’t have any agenda except to support you, in kindness, with finding your own way, your own path.

(No, I don’t make any money doing this – it’s a part of my own spiritual calling to help if I can.)

Kudos to Nemesis Rising

Kudos to Nemesis Rising

It couldn’t have been a big surprise for twin rockers Jacob and Joshua Miller of the band Nemesis Rising to discover that they have been officially disfellowshipped for their homosexuality and their show on Logo, Jacob & Joshua: Nemesis Rising.

I like their response very much, and I think it shows a greater spiritual maturity than they will be shown by their family and other practicing JWs.

According to Jehovah’s Witness doctrine, being “disfellowshipped” means that we have been found guilty of unrepentant gross misconduct. Our immediate family is to have limited or no contact with us. And all other practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world are not to speak with us ever again.

Although we are no longer Jehovah’s Witnesses, we have nothing but love for those individuals who have been asked to shun us. We will continue to be in contact with our family and those who truly love us unconditionally as long as they’re willing.

We find it ironic that a religion whose members are asked to knock on the doors of strangers with a message of acceptance into paradise on Earth will not accept two of its own children for who they really are. Our wish for them is one of tolerance and understanding and we send to all of them a message of peace and love.”

(Press Release)

The announcement was made at a Jehovah’s Witnesses meeting that took place in the Millers’ hometown of Kalispell, Montana. Their friends – and even their family members – will now cut off contact with them, but they are willing to stay in contact with anyone who is willing to speak with them. Best of luck with that, guys (sighing). I hope that some people will be able to make individual judgments about the higher good, despite their relentless legalistic training. Sending waves of caring out to you both.

Visit the Nemesis Rising page at MySpace or their official website if you’d like to hear the music.