Following the “Return to Jehovah” release, is the net closing on inactive ones?

Tony Morris releases a brochure aimed at bringing back inactive ones, who now appear to be under closer scrutiny
Tony Morris releases a brochure aimed at bringing back inactive ones, who now appear to be under closer scrutiny

A leaked Watchtower letter in Polish addressed to all elders in Poland has asked for details of Witnesses who have become inactive since September 2014.

The letter gives instructions for congregations to send in the “S-10” form – an annual document that asks elders for basic figures regarding the number of active/inactive/reactivated publishers, the amount of unworked territory, and the number of those who are deaf or blind.

But the leaked letter, dated September 1, 2015, makes an additional request for the particulars of anyone who has ceased to be an active publisher over the last 12 months. It is so far unclear as to whether the same letter has been sent out in other countries or languages.

A translation of the pertinent sentence in the letter reads: “Given the special care we are giving to our inactive ones, we ask your secretary to prepare an additional letter about witnesses who became inactive in the 2015 service year. Please specify their names, surnames, age and a short summary about what you think was the cause for their current situation.”

It goes on to say: “We are confident that the information they choose to divulge will assist you in better caring for the needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the territory. (1 Peter 5:2)”

Especially if similar instructions are issued throughout the world, the letter would seem to indicate that Watchtower is starting to bring inactive ones, and especially their motives, under closer scrutiny.

The “Return to Jehovah” brochure released at this year’s convention series (which the letter seems to allude to) indicates that there is a clear disparity between Watchtower’s notion of why people become inactive, and the reality of the situation.

The brochure suggests that Witnesses become inactive due to “anxiety,” “hurt feelings,” or “guilt.” But the most popular responses for 1,614 inactive/faders who took part in last year’s 2014 Global Survey of Jehovah’s Witnesses (the full results of which are soon to be published) indicated reasons involving intellectual honesty.

(Click on the image below to enlarge)

inactive-ones-2014Though there will always be a percentage of inactive ones who remain indoctrinated and blame themselves for being too “spiritually weak,” the reality is that often inactive ones simply grow tired of lending their support to a religion they no longer believe in.

Watchtower must understand this at some level, despite their fanciful treatment of the subject in the “Return to Jehovah” brochure. It is, after all, their shunning policy that makes Jehovah’s Witnesses a “captive organization” (to borrow the words of Angus Stewart at the Australian Royal Commission) from which it is impossible to leave gracefully.

If you are fortunate enough to wake up from your Witness indoctrination and seek to maintain contact with believing family members, turning inactive or “fading” on the understanding that you will not speak out against the organization is the only option available to you.

Perhaps Watchtower is already observing the signs of a mass exodus now that 100 years of “God’s Kingdom” have rolled by with no sign of Armageddon, thus rendering the cherished 1914 teaching increasingly obsolete. Or perhaps this new letter to elders in Poland is simply a genuine attempt at reaching out to “spiritually weak” ones in the wake of the new brochure.

Either way one thing is certain: if Watchtower wants to keep abusing its members through shunning, the mishandling of child abuse, the deadly prohibition on blood and the stigmatization of higher learning, they had better get used to Witnesses finding their way to the exit one way or the other.









*Thanks to WifiBandit and the exJW Reddit community for bringing my attention to this letter.

To have your say in the 2015 Global Survey of Jehovah’s Witnesses, click here!

Related video…

132 thoughts on “Following the “Return to Jehovah” release, is the net closing on inactive ones?

  • September 6, 2015 at 3:38 am

    JW.ORGy trying to figure out which demographic to spin their trash to.

  • September 6, 2015 at 4:59 am


    The WTBTS’ new concern for inactive or faded individuals is due to the fact that they are haemoraging members, and the growth is only 1%, when natural birth and death rates are factored.

    They are also becoming increasingly concerned about inactive or faded individuals informing those still active about all their dirty little secrets.

    The inactive army is not quite as dormant as they once believed!

    It takes millions of hours to make one new convert, if the WTBTS’ own figures are to be believed. It makes sense to try to reclaim any who have become inactive, before they can access the deluge of negative information readily available on the Internet.

    I have read the “Return to Jehovah” pamphlet. It was really awful. It reeks of cultism. It assumes the reasons for becoming inactive, and yet totally ignores the main reasons – the beliefs are gobbledygook, and serious crimes have been covered up!

    Sure, the WTBTS may well have a small number return due to this pamphlet, but can they ever truly trust their motives for returning?

    We know that Pickled Brain and Average Joe are still active JWs, but they are no longer asleep. How many of the active JW population are truly, 100% loyal to the governing body now?

    We all reap what we sow. The WTBTS have never provided an honourable, consequence free way of leaving their religion. They encourage shunning. With these facts in mind, those facing their exit from the cult have no option but to live lives that bury their true feelings and beliefs behind a facade of obedience. The WTBTS is reaping what it has sown. I am very pleased that they are discomforted and feeling that crawling sensation down their back!

    Look out, Watchtower! Your enemies are within your gates!

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • September 6, 2015 at 6:38 am

      I always enjoy my Sunday morning worship by reading JWsurvey while lying in bed on my humble Iphone. Lol
      And that all before my first and only cup of decaf coffee.

  • September 6, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Now that I have had my Decaf Coffee and have moved on to my computer. lol
    I Google translated(TY Douglas Merrill) the Polish letter and found this very Interesting.
    ” Give their names, age, and a brief description of the causes,
    THAT YOU THINK contributed to their situation”
    Are you kidding me? How blatant of a CULT CONTROL TACTIC IS THAT? “THAT YOU THINK”
    Well what about me the poor spiritually weak depressed soul your trying to save or flush out for fear of me and Perhaps what I MAY THINK contributed to ME and MY situation. How telling those objectives are!
    Again are you trying to re-control my mind and what you think I should feel?
    Fool me once but not twice!
    You smell and act like a CULT! After all this is your MO for years. Perhaps you are the Wolf’s in Sheep’s Clothing that Jesus was talking about.

  • September 6, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    The Storm Clouds are gathering! This ruthless cult-like religion is in fear!!! All the inactive ones and the faders will be checking out the Org. for themselves thanks to the Internet and sites like these. They will discover s tissue of lies they have been fed… Break free…My Brothers and Sisters, It’s lovely on the outside. Embrace the truth and live your lives without fear….

    • September 6, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      @Excelsior,John Baptist & Innocent Son.
      ENJOYED ALL Your Comments & all your points are well put & hopefully any inactive or Faders reading this Site will be encouraged by your Factual Reasonings!!

  • September 6, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Hey Excelsior. Thanks for mentioning me in dispatches. I feel honoured! This limbo state really is quite scary and unnerving. The WT study today was quite interesting as it was talking about making our spiritual paradise even better (nice sentiments for those genuine JWs that still exist) and yet we had the typical self-righteous comment that it was obvious that the “study” in the illustrations was progressing as he had changed his “worldly” hairstyle. I hadn’t even noticed it until that sister brought it out. Actually the WTS seem to associate being a JW with crappy hairstyles because God-forbid that anyone with a decent (as in well looked after) and modern hairstyle be granted everlasting life! ;)
    It brought out to me the irony of the situation I am in. There are some really great people in our cong, who I tend to hang out with and when I think of it, they are classed as the “weaker” ones or “rebels” in the truth. They are not of course; they just see things like I do and decide not to let the judgemental comments of others get to them. It helps with me being an elder too as nobody can criticise me (without me telling them to stop judging at least) so at least my friends get some moral support.
    It’s really sad that situations like this exist in an organisation that claims to stand apart from others in showing love.
    On a side point, I hope one day to be able to share a drink with you Excelsior (and others on here too) as you seem like a thoroughly decent individual with a good head on your shoulders and a fine reasoning ability without coming across as judgmental or a know-it-all. Cheers!

    • September 6, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      @Average Joe . Looks like we are in the same situation . & Yes ,the SELF RIGHTEOUS COMMENTS in the Watchtower this Weeks Study at the meeting made me SICK AT The HYPOCRISY!!!
      One brother answered & said ‘We JWs are Privileged to be in a SPIRITUAL PARADISE & That JEHOVAHS ORGANISATION is the SAFEST PLACE to be because Our Organisation has the BEST MORALS!!!!!!’
      I Nearly FELL OUT of MY CHAIR!!!!! This Comment was from an ELDER!! Oh MY GOD ??? I STARTED Having a COUGHING FIT. My wife said ‘Was I Alright?’ I said ‘ There is an AWFUL STENCH in here’ & I need to go to the toilet!!
      BUT I Looked around the Hall & there were quite a fee Embarrassed Faces!! I know who has been following the Royal Commission in Australia & who Hasn’t!!!!

    • September 8, 2015 at 7:23 am

      Thanks, Average Joe!

      It is gratifying to know that many folks on this site appreciate where I am coming from.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • September 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      “Hurt feelings”–

      I guess feeling ill at hypocritical and self-righteous comments is under this “umbrella” for “returning”. In my experience growing up JW, it was more than hurt feelings, it was verbal abuse and constant dripping of abusive words that scarred me psychologically–giving me a negative self-image. As a “twink” boy growing up, I was ridiculed for being too thin, and also being the child that ended two JW parents’ careers as full-time ministers. As I matured, the verbal barbs could be laughed off, but to this day, individuals make insensitive remarks inside the “spiritual paradise”. Let’s also add that these haughty individuals who believe that by dressing and quaffing their hair gets them closer to the Lord are overdosing on pride and a need to denigrate (narcissism) those who don’t fit their mold or “reflect” their identity.

      I’ve often heard the chiding remarks regarding individuals who didn’t have the “ideal JW” look, and frankly, what does it have to do with the inner person? It has to do with being a marketing (salesperson) agent for a greedy corporation. Some of the kindest hearted individuals have the bluest and blonde-dyed hair with creative tattoos. They listen to off-beat music–techno, rock and acoustic. Oh, by the way, it seems the Governing Body 3.0 is a fan of acoustic music and simple instruments, so why are the hardcore conservatives determined to drive their own kids out of their faith?

      So much focus on truth, yet very little kindness.

  • September 6, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Good evening to all:

    For the friends that live in Canada, you can protect yourself by way of implementing your privacy policy act or breach of personal information from the WT Corp. This agency is here to protect us, however, you must reach out to them and report a crime.

    The excerpt provided is for informational purposes.

    Office of the
    Privacy Commissioner
    of Canada
    Common menu bar
    RSS feeds
    Privacy Breaches

    Reporting breaches under the Privacy Act

    Privacy Act Breach Report For Use by Government of Canada Institutions
    Reporting breaches under PIPEDA

    Privacy Breach Incident Report Form
    Information about privacy breaches and how to respond
    On June 18, 2015, the Digital Privacy Actexternal received Royal Assent. The Act introduces a number of amendments to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Among the amendments are new provisions related to breach reporting. However, the breach provisions will only come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council. For more information about the amendments, please see the Government of Canada’s Digital Privacy Act backgrounderexternal.

    Primary navigation (left column)
    Send us questions, comments or complaints
    For organizations
    For organizations

    • September 17, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      Hey Minion :) I’m a Canuck. Sorry for being naive but maybe I missed a thread as to what I could use this for.

  • September 6, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Good evening to all:

    For the friends that live in Poland, no worries or fears. We have an agency who will protect your personal privacy. However, you must reach out to them and file a complaint against the WT Corp.

    The excerpt enclosed is for informational purposes, and there web address is,


    Resolution of the first Polish Act on the Protection of Personal Data being a manifestation of progressing democratization of public life in Poland and concern for the protection of privacy of every Polish citizen which have found an expression in provisions of new Constitution of the Republic of Poland (Articles 47 and 51) had its direct origins also in the Polish international commitments. The provisions regulating the rules of personal data processing were introduced into Polish legislation by the Act of 29 August 1997 on the Protection of Personal Data (unified text: Journal of Laws of 2002 No. 101, item 926 with later amendments) which mostly follows the rules established by the Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and is compatible with the general policy of the European states. Introduction of the provisions concerning the protection of personal data into the Polish legal system allowed Poland signing on April 21, 1999 and ratification on May 24, 2002 of the Convention No. 108 of the Council of Europe. The aforementioned act is an essential component of the Polish personal data protection system, which is composed first of all, besides provisions of this act, of provisions of the Constitution: Article 47 guaranteeing everyone’s right to privacy and Article 51 guaranteeing everyone’s right to have the information pertaining to him/her protected.

    Peace out,

  • September 6, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Good evening to all:

    To loçate your respective Personal Privacy Policy Act – Law in effect in your country. On how you can protect your personal information or if you feel WT Corp has breach or invaded your personal privacy, then you must file a complaint against WT Corp.

    To locate the Personal Privacy Policy Act, go to Google: enter; ‘personal privacy policy act (state your Country)’ your resources will be in abundance.

    You must file a complaint against WT Corp, for invading your personal privacy – your name.

    Peace out,

  • September 6, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Good evening to all:

    For the friends that live in Poland.

    You may also have available Free Legal Aid – assistance to help your defense in protecting your personal information private. Under the Personal Privacy Policy Act. Your information such as, name, age, status, address, etc. Is Private, WT Corp does not need this information, or has the right to do so.

    The excerpt enclosed is for informational purposes. There web address:

    Legal Aid in Poland
    April 2015 Open Society Justice Initiative
    Legal Aid in Poland

    This fact sheet summarizes the legal representation available who cannot afford their own lawyer in Poland, including information on how legal aid is adminstered and who is eligible to receive it.

    : Minimum Requirements under International Law
    Other fact sheets in this series, prepared to support discussions on developing common European Union standards on legal aid, include:

    The Netherlands
    Learn More:
    Criminal Justice, Europe, European Union, Rights & Justice

    Peace out,

  • September 7, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Wow, nice to see the letter I leaked being featured on JW Survey :). Greetings from Poland!

  • September 7, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I have been inactive for 2 years so would not be a person of interest if a similar letter was sent to elders in the UK. Upon receiving a ‘Return To Jehovah’ brochure recently, I wrote a letter to the Society expressing my disappointment that there was no section dealing with the reasons for my departure. I explained that whilst I do suffer with anxiety, guilt and hurt feelings, these are things I have cultivated AS A RESULT of being a JW for 30 years. I continued by highlighting my reason for leaving; doctrinal conflict. Perhaps if others wrote a similar letter, the Society would have no need to ponder and speculate the reasons for the exodus!

    • September 7, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      I too just received this brochure sent from my mother. I left 25 years ago, and she will not stop. Wondering how to address this and thinking I should send it back. Any suggestions?

      • September 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm

        Good evening Lisa:

        Please go to and review in depth ‘JW Global Survey 2015’ and review question #60.

        You will find helpful topics of conversations or conversation stoppers. Be sure to type out the series of questions, they are powerful and most profound.

        Your mother gave you a gift, return the favor using question #60 in a pre-printed format. No doubt she will review the contents at her lesuire. Away from your presence.

        Peace out,

      • September 20, 2015 at 2:44 pm

        Me too! I faded 35 years ago and moved 983 miles away, but dear mom mailed me the brochure anyway. She can’t get it thru her head I’m not coming back. Not that she’s ever asked, but my reasons for fading are backstabbing, malicious gossip, phoniness, excessive unscriptural rules and false doctrines. I didn’t see those listed in the litter-ature, haha.

      • October 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm

        I have not spoken to my birth family members since the early 80s..i dont have any JW associates or friends i spend social time with.

        So i guess im lucky. Im left to my peace.. quiet…not so much…but peace…yes

        ( its very difficult to have quiet in my house…6 parrots tend to make enough “joyful noise” to wake the dead)

  • September 7, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    This is actually nothing new. I remember doing a “Comments You Will Not Hear” several years ago on JWD and I think it was called “Help The Return” or something like that. It was all about those that become inactive and trying to lurn them back to the Borg ‘before it’s too late!’

    I think they’re hesitant to DF or DA inactive ones simply because there’s always the chance that they’ll go back. However, I do agree that they’ll probably start brow-beating the elders to contact those who are inactive and nag the living crap out of them to come back.

  • September 7, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    The power they have is only the power that you give them. They are no one, and I have no time for them.

  • September 7, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    A warning for those living in the lords day (our day) from Jesus about the congragations (called lampstands).He said they would desolve or be taken away if the leaders (or angels/elders) are not doing what they are supposed to. (Rev. 1:20 ;2:5)

    In Jude 11-13 it says of Elders: “Stars with no set course” and “sheperds who feed themselves without fear” saying about them “These are the rocks hidden below water at your love feast.”
    They are those who are supposed to be leading good but are no longer righteous due to the unrighteousness that was found in them by God Almighty.

    Sad to say but they are the reason so many leave .They put on a mask for their circut over seers fooling them, however the people with no power or the weak are the witness God will use against them and by them they will be jugded.
    GOD SAYS in Malachi 3:5 about His people who are bad -“I will come near to you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who take false oaths, against those who defraud the hired worker, the widow, and the fatherless child, and against those who refuse to help a foreigner.
    These have not feared me,” Says Jehovah of armies.

  • September 8, 2015 at 1:02 am

    My wife is stll a Super JW pioneer and I have and will not attend in over 20 years. I follow thi site and a few others.
    I also keep up with much of the cahanges going on inb the WT etc and their EVER changing “Truth” Doctrines! lol

    At the recent assembly a new book was released called Jesus, the way, the truth and the life. I skimmed much of it and it was obvious to me that the 1914 doctrine which the JW’s have been built on is fading away quickly.

    There was almost no mention of it or this being the generation that will see all these things and not pass away or how the kingdom was set up in Heaven in 1914 etc. It made reference to it by saying that world events “SUGGEST” that we have been living in these last days for some time now. World war one marked a turning point. That is all I could find about but no more generaltional comments and only a few more months until the end. Nothing at all. In the past they would hammer you all about the last days and 1914 and the war in heaven etc. It is a dying doctrine. What will the Sheep do when they realize it is a Hoax teaching?

  • September 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    I see a clear falling away attitude from so many here, the comment made about the elders is quite true, no love shown, no concern, we are just marked at being negative, meeting attendance is poor, i think the longer time goes on more & more will fade, the last co visit put the elders on notice, i personally have been burnt by them, (we call them Pharisee’s now) I have had a beard/goatee for the last 2 years, some of them won’t even talk to me, their is no spirit here, & people just keep on asking what is wrong with this place. We just have to be smart so as not to be investigated, but as they don’t talk to me its not a problem, & i can safely sit here at work & send blogs freely.So as my wife doesn’t know, as she is still convinced this is the truth.The last elder who moved in was completely destroyed by them as he was outspoken, in his own words he is now poisoned, younger guys see it & feel the same.

  • September 9, 2015 at 8:58 am

    These videos have really helped us see how harmful the governing body is.
    They are very comforting & logical.
    We are so thankful for all of the research & time put into these videos & letters.
    We really appreciate those sending literature & Elder’s secret letters to you John Cedars & you’re sharing this with us.
    Thanks so much

  • September 9, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Many Polish jw’s moved to England in the past ten years. There are Polish congregations in every larger British city
    with dozens of publishers. I believe thats the main reason for the drop of publishers in Poland.

  • September 10, 2015 at 3:53 am

    So glad that you made reference to the ‘deadly’ position on blood. It is absolutely right that attention be drawn to the dangers of blood transfusions. Let’s not forget the scandal whereby thousands of people contracted HIV and Hepatitis C after being given contaminated blood by the NHS in the Seventies and Eighties (many have since died). And we now learn that Alzheimer’s disease may be transmitted through blood transfusions. There are doubtless many other scandals and dangers associated with this procedure, and I commend you for highlighting its deadly nature.

  • September 11, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Searchfortruth= although I can totally understand what your saying about Polish migration. By using simple arithmetic or 27 congregations per annum dissolving × over 15 years × an average of 100 pubs per congregation = 40500 publishers leaving Poland. So therefore we would expect this figure to be seen as a spike in the UK figures.
    There has been a very similar thing in this country with a migration from rural areas into the main city centre’s. I have seen this locally as one rural congregation was closed down and merged with another.Even despite this migration pattern the congregations in the city centers have failed to expand. I live in a main metropolitan area and the KH are emptying out. Certainly I can understand people leaving Poland but it’s when they get to England is where they go missing.

  • September 27, 2015 at 7:08 am

    It’s clear that the Watchtower/JWorg is breaking and collapsing under it’s own ignorance and evil. The thing is that this has been going on for a long time, and has been long overdue.

    • October 13, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Are there any posts about outright lies told by JWs ???

  • October 4, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I wonder when these ”inactive” witnesses are deducted, how much there really is to the ‘8 million ACTIVE ordained ministers’

  • October 5, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I recently received this brochure in the mail. It came in a letter sized envelope with no return address, and was stamped from a post office in a close city I have to family or relatives in. I was able to recognize the writing, my fathers. Interestingly enough, they happen to be visiting when I received this in the mail. They saw me open it, yet said nothing. All the while my blood was starting to boil, I’ve made it abundantly clear to them I have no intentions of ever returning to this religion, yet they still pursue this course. I wanted so much to say something to them, but decided not to. My kids were there and I was pretty angry. Instead I ripped in half and tossed it in the bin, right in front of them. Still they said nothing. It’s unfortunate that JW’s will fight, all the way to the supreme court in some cases, to defend and protect their rights, but care very little about respecting the rights of others, specifically the right not to be bothered with continued, and unsolicited religious propaganda.

  • October 7, 2015 at 6:08 am

    The “real” question is when is Watchtower going to return back to Jehovah. Loving your neighbor does not mean covering up Child abuse cases. Loving your neighbor does not mean ignoring people that are being shunned in your own religion. How does Jehovah feel about the 1,006 cases of Child abuse in Australia alone?

  • October 19, 2015 at 3:37 am

    If you staying with teaching of Jesus Christ, there is no need for “returning” to anyone or to anywhere.

  • November 9, 2015 at 1:16 am

    I pay a quick visit day-to-day a few sites and sites to read
    articles or reviews, however this website gives feature based articles.

  • November 9, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Interesting. It would make sense to focus on a “core” who are more indoctrinated, and keep them or bring them back, rather than go through the whole indoctrination process with new individuals. I don’t have hard evidence but surely any new potential converts (at least those under 40) will google JWs before joining, realise it’s a cult, and run a mile. It’s so much harder to control information now, with the internet, so that must be impacting on conversions. People are used to do in their own online research.

    As for the 1914 predictions, I spoke to some current JWs recently and they say “We never said that” about ANY 1914 predictions. These were people that sat in the same hall as me, listening to the same talks about the “beginning of the end” starting in 1914 and the 1914 generation “not passing away”. They just deny it now. I actually believe it probably has been brainwashed out of them.

  • February 16, 2016 at 10:41 am

    This is frightening… it feels like the noose is tightening in! :(

    I would very much hate my info to be passed around and analysed. I fell away and hopefully between the cracks as it was during a move between congregations. I had a look into EU data protection and seems that unless they’re doing something for a different purpose than the one that was first intended when they took my details, it’s unlikely that I can request that they remove me entirely from the database.

Comments are closed.