A new series of videos by a former Mormon draws fascinating parallels between Jehovah’s Witnesses and the LDS Church

A fascinating series of videos has recently been uploaded to YouTube by a former Mormon. The videos tell the story of how he awakened from his religious indoctrination through a close examination of the Jehovah’s Witness faith – but not in the way the Society would perhaps appreciate! If you haven’t watched these videos already, I would strongly recommend that you do so.

Chris, whose YouTube channel is called “askreality,” was born in Canada and raised a Mormon in the LDS Church. A family man and once devout believer, Chris confesses: “the Church meant everything to me. I lived and breathed it every day of my life.” However, Chris underwent his own crisis of faith when trying to help his brother, who was struggling with doubts. He realized that it would be impossible to assist his brother without being prepared to scrutinize his own beliefs first. As he put it: “How could I expect him to listen to me, if I would not listen to him?”

What happened next is summarized perfectly in the following video. Basically, Chris found it impossible to defy the LDS Church ban on listening to what Mormon “apostates” were saying. Just like the Watchtower, the LDS Church warns believers to “avoid” all those who oppose its teachings. Chris therefore did something remarkable. He decided to gain perspective by studying a similar religion to Mormonism to see whether doing so would reveal anything pertinent about his own beliefs. This “mirror” religion was Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Chris soon noticed a striking similarity in the conviction of Jehovah’s Witnesses that their religion alone represents the one true faith. He also noticed that, just like with his own LDS Church, there was an extremely vocal community of former believers who felt hurt and damaged through the religion’s teachings – and who weren’t afraid to speak out about their experiences. Because he had no bias or emotional investment in Jehovah’s Witnesses, he decided to listen to what so-called “apostate” Witnesses were saying, both by speaking with them in person and watching their videos on YouTube.

A damaging belief system

As Chris analyzed what was being said about the Watchtower organization, it quickly became obvious to him that it was hurting people. JW teachings were tearing families apart through the harsh shunning of former believers, and the teachings on blood were even depriving people of precious life.

Chris noticed that both the Mormon church and the Watchtower have highly vocal former believers, and that both religions claim such “apostates” are evidence of Satanic persecution

As he explained: “I wanted to give the Jehovah’s Witnesses the benefit of the doubt, but it seemed possible that their persecution did have a logical reason after all. People’s families and lives were being hurt by their doctrines.”

Chris could empathize with those who were on the receiving end of such a destructive belief system, adding, “I grew concerned for those that were suffering. They were labelled ‘apostates’ and rejected as the devil, but their cause was just. I could not understand why the Watchtower organization would discourage proper medical care and shun family members.”

From his research into Witness beliefs, Chris concluded that there was something “inherently unloving and irrational” about Watchtower teachings, but this led him to wonder why Witnesses were so willing to accept such blatantly flawed and damaging ideology. “What would cause this behavior?,” he asked himself.

The grip of mind control

Chris watched one particular YouTube video that gave him reason to ponder. The video, by Marc and Cora Latham, described how Jehovah’s Witnesses are under a “grip” that prevents them from being able to objectively scrutinize their beliefs. As Cora Latham explained in the video: “It’s very clear to us once you step away how much of a hold they have on you. You can’t see the wood for the trees until you step out of the forest and take a look back and go ‘good grief, how did I not see that?'” Chris realized that Marc and Cora were describing brainwashing, or to coin a more accurate term, “mind control.”

This was a stunning revelation to Chris. As he explains, “I always thought that mind control was something from the movies! So when the ex Jehovah’s Witnesses began explaining how their minds had been manipulated and controlled by specific techniques, I was in shock and amazement.” Chris made the connection that if Jehovah’s Witnesses could be under the influence of documented mind control techniques, there was a strong chance that Mormons like him were too. This was an epiphany. It allowed Chris to finally muster the courage to examine his Mormon beliefs objectively, and break down the walls of bias and fear that had mentally imprisoned him for so long.

Through his journey, Chris came to realize that the amount of time, effort and emotion he had invested in the Mormon faith had left him biased – so that he could not accept reality even if it was staring him in the face.

A valuable tool

I’m sure there are many more like Chris, both among Witnesses and Mormons, who over the years have reached profound conclusions about their beliefs based on a comparison of these two religions. However, few will be gifted with the communication skills to describe their journey in the articulate, honest and unassuming manner that Chris utilizes in these videos.

I am certain that many indoctrinated JW family members, perhaps who are wavering with their own doubts, will be powerfully moved by Chris’ journey. Who knows? Perhaps such ones might be prompted to embark on a similar journey once they see how the same mind control techniques are used in other religions to suppress logical reasoning.

Through his videos, Chris sends the message out loud and clear that truth is more important and rewarding than bias. Bias results from the amount of time, emotion and energy we have invested in former beliefs. However painful it may be, we should be prepared to wipe the slate clean and examine our beliefs from a fresh perspective. If something is really true, then it should stand up to the closest possible scrutiny. And real truth is always worth finding in the end.


94 thoughts on “A Mormon examines his faith with a little help from Jehovah’s Witnesses

  • March 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    “It came to pass” appears 1407 times in the Book of Mormon, an study about this expression found a relation with grammaticals forms in hebrew
    Other interesting thing, I came to read in The National Geographic History, nr,111 spanish edition,march 2013, page 18 “Until half XX century thought mayan were a pacific people… After discover in 1946 Bonampak murals, that vision changed…”
    The Book of Mormon related many and cruel wars… exciting, no?

  • March 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    So Santiago, how did the 7 witnesses and 3 witnesses to the golden plates avoid the death-sentence for having seen the forbidden plates?

    Could I ask you too whether you’ve heard of a man called Solomon Spalding.

    Please continue to bring me more archaeological artifacts that support the Book of Mormon, please; they are most interesting.

    Frank V

  • March 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Dear Frank
    Solomon Spalding (February 20, 1761 – October 20, 1816) was the author of the Manuscript Story,[1] a work of fiction about the lost civilization of the mound builders of North America. After Spalding’s death, a number of individuals suggested that Manuscript Story was identical or similar to portions of the Book of Mormon
    In 1832, Latter Day Saint missionaries Samuel H. Smith and Orson Hyde visited Conneaut, Ohio, and preached from the Book of Mormon. Nehemiah King, a resident of Conneaut who knew Spalding when he lived there, felt that the Mormon text resembled the story written by Spalding years before. In 1833, Spalding’s brother John and seven other residents of Conneaut signed affidavits stating that Spalding had written a manuscript, portions of which were identical to the Book of Mormon. These statements were published in E. D. Howe’s 1834 book Mormonism Unvailed, in which the theory was presented that the Book of Mormon was plagiarized from this manuscript. Several years later, Spalding’s widow and daughter, other residents of Conneaut, and residents of Amity, Pennsylvania also signed statements indicating that Spalding had authored a manuscript that was similar to the Book of Mormon.
    Doctor Philastus Hurlbut obtained a manuscript through Spalding’s widow, and showed it in public presentations in Kirtland, Ohio, in December 1833.[citation needed] Hurlbut then became embroiled in a legal dispute with Joseph Smith. Subsequently, Hurlbut delivered the documents he had collected to Howe. Howe was unable to find the alleged similarities with the Book of Mormon that were described in the statements and instead argued in Mormonism Unvailed (1834) that there must exist a second Spalding manuscript which was now lost.
    For me, it’s only a novel, but I can’t read.

  • March 14, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Dear Frank
    About witnesses of de Book of Mormon, they are 3 + 8, 3 viewed the golden plates and the Angel Moroni, and the 8 viewed only the golden plates shown by Joseph Smith, and was not a secret…. .. why? They must testified to the world what they had seen…. It’s ridiculous… I never, in 37 years, had heard this… It must to be an urban legend.They names are in every copy of the Book of Mormon and none denied their testimony.
    Tomorrow I’ll write some proofs of archaeologic.

  • March 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm


    “However, what the Book of Mormon witnesses later said, when they were questioned more in detail, was that they only saw these things in visions, not in reality, in other words, they were only “visionary imaginations”, of obviously very gullible people. When Martin Harris was asked about this, he said, “I never saw the golden plates, only in a visionary or entranced state…” (Early Mormon Documents, 2:346-47, quoted from “Insider’s View of Mormon Origin”, p. 198.) When questioned by another person whether he (Martin Harris) saw the plates and engravings on them with his bodily eyes, he said, “I did not see them as I do that pencil case, yet I saw them with the eye of faith.” (Early Mormon Documents, 2:270.) David Whitmer also agreed that they (the witnesses of the BoM) did not handle the plates physically, only as in vision. More of this in Preston Nibley’s book, “Witnesses of the Book of Mormon”. The fact is that there were no plates. Real plates can be seen with “bodily eyes”, imaginary plates require a “vision” or a dream. History of the Church (vol. 1:52-55) reports that to see the plates they had to pray (for a vision?). All the BoM witnesses (excepting Joseph Smith’s brothers and his father) later left the church and joined other religions or started one of their own.”

  • March 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Santiago. As you will above, these are Mormon sources that are being quoted from. It is a pity you haven’t been informed of this situation.

    Likewise, if the WTBTS openly answered questions about their dealings with the UN, for instance, or the OSCE, it would be much harder than picking off individuals who, through their own research, discover this apparent secret(s). Most people involved will only ever see the front of the shop, never the gambling joint behind.

    Frank V

    PS. Thanks Cedars.

  • March 19, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Frank V wishes to say:

    “For me, it’s only a novel, but I can’t read.”

    I’m sorry, Santiago, do you mean the Book of Mormon or the Manuscript story is a novel?

    I find it interesting too that many took Dan Brown’s novel, The Divinci Code, seriously too. People’s traditional ideas came under fire and many “decoding” reviews, documentaries, and debates occurred as a result. I’m not sure of the timeline, but Spalding’s “novel” must have been along the same line. Obviously, such an account would not only have intrigued people, it would have appealed to their sense of patriotism. The main thing, though, is that it became a ‘holy book’ that laid the basis for a much-evolved modern religion.

    Spalding’s, much like Charles T. Russell’s grave (the latter, one a pyramid and the other more traditional), is decorated and celebrated.

    Frank V

  • March 22, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Hi guys
    The Book of Mormon is real, an Holy Scripture, I believe in this.
    The testimony of the 3 witnesses and the 8 witnesses is real….
    Early Mormon Documents, 2:346-47, quoted from “Insider’s View of Mormon Origin”, p. 198.) IT’S NOT A MORMON SOURCE, just the opposite….
    These are the testimonys…..
    3 Witnesses
    Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true

  • March 22, 2013 at 5:37 am

    . And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.

    Oliver Cowdery
    David Whitmer
    Martin Harris

    continue ..//..

    Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.

    Christian Whitmer
    Jacob Whitmer
    Peter Whitmer, Jun.
    John Whitmer
    Hiram Page
    Joseph Smith, Sen.
    Hyrum Smith
    Samuel H. Smith

  • March 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Hi Santiago. I’m currently listening to “An Very Short Introduction to the Book of Mormon.” The author seems to be sympathetic to his subject.

    What strikes me is the liberal littering of expression like, “And it came to pass,” “And behold!” “Verily,” and “Yea!” This is to the point of annoyance perhaps to the non-Mormon reader or listener. Such liberal use suggests the work has the hallmark of a single author who is writing a list of ripping good yarns but who has over-compensated to make his book sound Biblical. This is my uninitiated impression, however.

    Do you have any more archaeological evidence, Santiago? As I said, I’m open-minded. Another thing, my friend, as the Bible was written in many genres, and contains the progressive will of God, where are the ‘sacred secrets’ in the Book of Mormon beyond the accounts of battles found familiarly in books like Dune (Frank Herbert) or other fictional sagas?

    For instance, the Bible reveals that:

    (1) Salvation is for all mankind, not just Jews (Genesis 18).

    (2) All humans who carry out God’s Will are equal in his eyes (Acts 10)

    (3) Humans could go to heaven after the ascension of Christ

    What is there that is new in the Book of Mormon that progresses the revelation of God’s Will?

  • March 26, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Santiago. The site looks very interesting, but is inaccessible to me because it is in Spanish. The only Spanish I know is, “Ole!” Could you point me to an English site with the same information.


    Frank V

  • March 27, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Frank

    I was found this….




    I hope do you like it


  • March 29, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Senor Santiago: Nadie puede colocar otro fundamento sino el que esta puesto y es el Senor Jesus,si alguno edifica sobre este fundamento tendrá la vida eterna.
    No existe ningún intermediario entre Cristo y los hombres como dice la escritura,todo intermediario entre Cristo y los hombres no proviene de Dios.

    • March 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Estoy completamente de acuerdo. yo tambien creo en eso. Santiago

  • March 31, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    many of you seem to be unable to grasp what mind control is and how its used on large groups. As someone who broke through it and saw reality on the other side i can assure its real, no starvation or duress is required. Religions are not the only ones that practice these techniques of control. Research “MK Ultra”. Research advanced advertising techniques. Research propaganda.

    I cant speak for Mormonism but JWism also employs hypnosis techniques at their gatherings. You tube search Jehovahs witnesses and hypnosis and the videos on the “thehappyfreethinker” channel. IF your a former JW or even active the things he talks about should ring like a bell in your head.

    The people who refuse that these methods of control are being employed by either JWs or the LDS are either fully immersed members or are just too prideful to believe that they could be susceptible to this kind of control.

    You’re not a weak person for being fooled. anyone could be fooled. the question is once you see overwhelming evidence that you have been fooled, do you act, or do you give in to weakness and plug your ears and bury your head in the sand?

  • March 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    In the LDS Church there are no mind control because all the people works in different leadership positions and they serve for a limited time, we do not charge, they are a secular clergy and just share the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. During 37 years that I was baptized, I served, 2 times like bishop, 6 times like a bishop counselor, 5 times like Missional Leader, 2 times like Sunday School president, 3 times like Elder Quorum President, many times like teacher…. etc. Now I am seminary teacher…. tomorrow who knows?

  • March 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    how is the rotation of hierarchical positions proof that mind control isn’t being used?

  • March 31, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Jw’s are going to be told that all of what they hear and what to do is coming directly from Jehovah. At that point, NOTHING will be questioned. They will then have permission to “bury their heads in the sand”.

  • April 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    The point is that a person that is under mind-control will not, by its very nature, know that he/she is under that control. Santiago, I’m not sure how what you’re saying is evidence of there being no mind-control. Members of LDS do not usually create problems for mankind with their form of religion, but I’ve never been one, so internally much damage might be being done, but I can’t know that. It is only when a member of a religion takes several steps back and views his place in a religion objectively that he can see what others see. That’s what I’ve done.

    Frank V

  • April 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Frank
    “Members of LDS do not usually create problems for mankind with their form of religion, ”
    This is the first evidence.
    LDS Church has no publications like Awake or WT that directs thought, every sunday, several meetings and speeches, nearly 20 are given for differents members in every ward or branches and the church expected to do so by the Holy Spirit, and the members can talk and ask loosely…. second evidence.
    Many members are not active in the church and are not rejects, the church teach to love and serve this people.
    In my experience, I have had two daugthers several years not active and she never been rejects by my family or by the church, my bishop they on the treatment with love and mercy.
    Is possible there may be exceptions, nobody is perfect, but this is my experience and that of most… third evidence.
    To have a secular clergy and to have rotations ago impossible mind control, besides all the above.
    The only control is to want to follow Christ and keep His Commandments.
    This is my opinion and my experience.

  • April 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Santiago: “This is the first evidence.”

    Any long-lasting religion works to become invisible in today’s litigious world, Santiago. I don’t know what exactly it proves in your mind. The Watchtower likewise must be seen from the outside in, not the inside out to see the maze of dichotomous truth.

    I have just finished my audio book, A Very Short Introduction to the Book of Mormon. I notice that all archaeological verification is undertaken by MORMON historians. Do you think this is a way to overcome natural biases, Santiago; by allowing those with agendas to dictate religious truth to you rather than you carry out your own independent investigation?

    I’m not sure how earlier writings into the connection between ethnical groups somehow meant that Rigdon’s reworking of Solomon Spaldings epic Manuscript Story makes forgery unlikely. The writer, as I discovered is a scholar that majors in Mormon culture and beliefs. That should tell us all we need to know.

    I am glad that those who choose not to continue to worship are not labelled apostates in your church. The Watchtower has come to believe (something I myself reject) that unity comes ahead of Christian Love (Christ never said that ‘unity’ would characterise his church [John 13:34,35]). When Christians are told to hate PEOPLE who ‘oppose’ or ‘apostatise’ against human wisdom rather than godly wisdom, it is time to continue shopping. Truth, I believe, should survive a critical crucible.

    Frank V

  • June 19, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I was raised Mormon, and am currently trying to remove myself from Mormonism in a healthy way. It’s incredibly difficult to do. I assure you, Mormonism has many similarities to Jehovah’s Witnesses, especially in the vilification of apostates.

    Here are links to CURRENT Mormon publications about apostates:

    “Beware the Bitter Fruits of Apostasy”

    “Preventing Personal Apostasy”

    This is from a recent General Conference [a meeting of the whole church] address. It’s milder, but still insinuates people only leave because they were offended in some way:

    These are quotes from early Mormon leaders:

    There are lots more, but that should give you the basic idea! If you read through these, you will quickly see that Mormons DO teach that apostates are evil, deceived by Satan, fall into wickedness, etc. They are vilified, just as they are in the JW organization.

    I discussed some similarities between the JW Org and the LDS church here:

  • July 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Senor Santiago el único intermediario entre Dios y los hombres es Jesucristo por esta razón todos los intermediarios y profectas que están entre Cristo y los hombres no proviene de Dios.

  • July 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Por supuesto, eso creemos los mormones, el UNICO mediador es Jesucristo, el profeta solo es un mensajero.

  • December 9, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I was raised a j-dub. We were the model family, elder dad we were picked to be on most assemblies a the “example family”.. I was chosen in 1969 to be on the program and Busch Stadium as and example… Meanwhile my Father was beating the Shit out of us on a weekly basis, a very cruel man and still is to this day. But a great Elder, until he got deleted for waving his wiener at little girls at a elementary school in Chicago in 1974…. He did get deleted,but his buddies did not d/f him for that. He had a bad drinking problem, but that does not matter if you buddy Elders have the same problem…… God’s people though…

  • April 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Could you give me links to the video mentioned in the article… the one by Marc and Cora Latham? thank you.

  • May 19, 2014 at 12:29 am


    11 years ago I was disfellowshipped from the Witnesses. It was the most awful experience of my life, as I lost my friends and community in one go, but I picked up the pieces and continued in my new life with my new (non-Witness) family the best I could. After 6 years of shunning I finally took the plunge and went back to meetings. At first I was joyous, even though I was still being shunned. I accepted it because I’d known the rules even before baptism. You sin, you pay the price. I was prepared to pay the price.

    After 6 months I was reinstated and suddenly I was welcomed back and my friendships resumed.
    I thought it would be wonderful, but it wasn’t. I’d changed. I was totally different and far more independent in thought and spirit. I had discovered during the intervening period that I was intelligent and articulate and I had a new group of worldly acquaintances (I found it impossible to make friendships) who encouraged my independence. I had opinions about feminism, subjection and many other articles of faith that Witnesses hold dear. I still believed in God, but as time went on I began to believe that the Witnesses were not God’s representatives on Earth.

    Then, my little boy became ill. I couldn’t get to meetings or field service. Rather than providing help, the Elders called around twice and tried to make out that my faith was weak and that I wasn’t relying upon Jehovah enough. No one else visited, no one contacted me to make sure my son or my family (or myself) were okay. I was deemed inactive. The more I was told my faith was not strong enough, the lower it became.

    Finally I blogged about my experience and suddenly we received cards and expressions of love, but still no physical visits. I begged for a shepherding call, but excuses were made. I gave up.

    Now I want to leave, to disassociate myself, but what stops me is that long-held memory of losing my friends. This, of course, is ridiculous because my ‘friends’ abandoned me a year ago. Yes, I am aware that this is a congregational problem rather than an organisational one, but the problem is, the congregation is the closest relationship we have. Once that’s gone, we feel we have nothing. And that’s a scary feeling.

  • October 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Hi Santiago,
    Don’t you know that the witnesses NEVER saw the golden plates with their OWN eyes. The LDS church acknowledges this. They saw them in their ‘mind’s eye’. They accepted Smith’s word. Check it out.

    God bless,


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