Despite Watchtower prohibitions on conversing with 'apostates', JW apologists and defenders continue to do just that
Despite Watchtower prohibitions on conversing with ‘apostates’, JW apologists and defenders continue to do just that

It’s been nearly three years since JWsurvey was launched and we began posting blog articles on JW-related subjects.

In that period we have been beset by more than our fair share of Watchtower defenders and apologists, who have shown great commitment in chastising anyone who would speak negatively of “Jehovah’s organization.”

The irony, of course, is that Witnesses who comment on this website do so in direct defiance of the instructions of their leaders, the Governing Body, who have made it abundantly clear in the publications that Witnesses are not to comment on the blogs of ‘apostates’ (any who reject Watchtower teachings).

But this doesn’t stop loyal advocates of Watchtower having their say, and I for one am glad of their albeit conflicted behavior. Provided such ones don’t become abusive or insulting, or try to turn this website into their own private soapbox, it’s quite an educational experience for people visiting this blog to see for themselves how profoundly Watchtower indoctrination can influence people – to the point where they will defend the indefensible.

I’ve personally been trying to reason with apologists both here and on other sites for years using various lines of argument, admittedly with little success. There is, however, one argument I’ve stumbled on that tends to stop loyal JWs in their tracks, or causes them to quickly change the subject. I’ve grown so weary of repeating it, with no reply, that I’ve decided to turn it into a video that can be easily posted as a response to apologists whenever (or wherever) they emerge. Here it is…

As stated in the video, whatever argument an apologist may use to defend Watchtower, whether it is about charitable work, or political neutrality, or preaching prowess, it should all boil down to one question – “is it true, or isn’t it?”

If the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses are true, there should be bountiful evidence to back them up. It should be easy, for example, to prove the teachings surrounding 1914, 1919 and Christ’s selection of the “faithful slave” (beyond the non-argument “it’s true because we say it is”).

Any attempt to reason away the need to give evidence for such foundational teachings, upon which the very authority of the Governing Body is based, deserves to be met with the same derision that Witnesses might unleash on believers of other religions.

The Mormons, for example, believe that Joseph Smith had the Book of Mormon conveyed to him in the form of golden plates, which conveniently disappeared once he had finished dictating their contents from behind a curtain.

A Mormon would no doubt take exception to a Witness deriding him for basing his entire belief system on a story that is completely unverifiable. But should not Witness beliefs be open to the same scrutiny? How is it possible to either prove or disprove the arrival of an invisible Jesus in 1914, or his inspection of the bible students between that year and 1919?

As the popular saying goes, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” If a religion makes unfalsifiable claims aimed at venerating itself above other faiths, it is not the duty of me or anyone else to disprove those claims. The burden of evidence rests with the person making them. This is especially true when family relationships or even life itself is in the balance, as is the case with Watchtower’s position on shunning and blood transfusions.

Though I have no doubt that my “Cedars Challenge” will continue unanswered (and that JWsurvey will be around for many more years to come), I can at least hope that it will prompt some indoctrinated Witnesses to think.

The universe offers enough marvels and wonders upon which our minds can ruminate without any need for us to allow transient religious dogma to stifle our intellects, supplant our need for evidence and free inquiry, and potentially decimate our families.





113 thoughts on “The Cedars Challenge: How to bring down JWsurvey

  • September 12, 2014 at 4:48 am

    Most JW don’t think about individuals, any tragic event is rejoiced as a sign that the end is nigh, and they will be saved.

  • September 12, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Being that love is supposed to be an identifying mark of a true religion, I guess the scripture forgot to say that it was “conditional” love. And only for other Jehovah’s Witnesses. Love was not meant to be wasted on actual people in the world, but was supposed to be hoarded up for their own use.

    For so many years, I actually thought we had that love. I did have that love, and discovered JW’s love was conditional.

    Such a sad way to live a life, in fear that in the blink of an eye, you can lose it all.

  • September 12, 2014 at 10:59 am

    True Love is the mark of a true Christian but sadly, you only get conditional love from the Witnesses. If you don’t go along with everything they teach you are viewed and treated as a “black sheep” in the congregation .
    I started to have a critical eye of the Governing Body first with the failure of the 1975 prediction and then later with the changes in the meaning of “this Generation” back around year 1995. Even with the failures of the GB I still exercised faith in God and Christ and hoped that things would eventually get better within the Organization. Today, I have just about given up hope on anything getting better. Obnoxious attitudes is now all I see on display in my local congregation.

  • September 12, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Within the jw religion, there is abundant love for those who follow every rule and toe every line. Witnesses are loved for what they do, not who they are. It is unfortunate to see people try to change who they are, suppressing amazing talents, losing their individuality and in effect losing themselves, to try and become a clone of what the society thinks they should be.
    God gave us different personalities, attributes and strengths, talents, but unfortunately jwdom doesn’t accept anyone for who they truly are.

    • December 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      You could almost be talking about Korean ‘kulture’ right there… The Korean way of like is horrifically hyper-conformist, two-faced, back/face-stabbing, super-selfish, yet masked with claims of being ‘collectivist’ but only in terms of fake and duplicitous ‘politeness’ to people in the relevant small group of acquaintances, otherwise there’s brutally rude line cutting/running traffic lights/spitting loudly in front of you in the street when you’re not known to the particular people doing these things, and/or don’t have a flash car/nice apartment/job, etc.

  • September 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you all for answering. I figured it was a Jw thing. Now I better understand the lack of compassion.

  • September 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    @rob: So, so true. So many, particularly those raised as Witnesses YEARN for unconditional love. Witness parents to their estranged kids: “Oh, it is still there, but you have to do x, y, and z before I show it.” A reflection of the “never good enough good/what have you done for me lately” God. “Are you auxiliary pioneering? Why not? How ’bout 70 hours? 50? 30? Paralyzed from the eyes down? How ’bout fifteen minutes? Nope? SEE YA! Next in line for the sausage factory (pumping out uniform connected links of ground up human personalities)?
    You end up with the tragic situation of parents who pass on the other side of the street the children to whom they gave birth and raised, while spending countless HOURS “attempting” to converse with strangers who tell them to f**** off half of the time.

  • September 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    PureStrongheart – your comment describes the reality for so many children who were thrown away by their parents because the parents love “Brooklyn” more than their children. It is so interesting to me that in several watchtowers it is expressed that children are a gift from God and are to be appreciated and loved and that parents are to take special care of this gift. In several other watchtowers it says that parents should shun their children if they do not toe the witness line. Contradictory and callous.
    In many cases, when teenagers or young adults act out they are doing it because something is wrong in their life or something is missing and instead of trying to get to the root of the problem, (maybe mom and dad are constantly arguing in front of the children or teenagers, or mom and dad drink too much or the child has been abused and will not talk to anyone about it), the elders meet with this poor teenager and with the stroke of a pen, throw them away. This is tragic. This is the jw religion. This is one of the many reasons why I left.

  • September 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Cedars I just love your blog and articles. Religion blocks people’s way to God with unnecessary dogmatic rules.

  • September 18, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I think it’s great the work that you are doing. Bless you!

  • September 22, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Don Cameron’s book “Captives of a Concept” gives the Governing Body the benefit of a doubt, suggesting that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses could be “victims” of the Watchtower illusion of divine authority over the human race just as much as the rest of the rank and file and could be closing their eyes to the real reality that their authority is only an “illusion” and only in the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    The Governing Body holds the power of the “strings” of the rest of the rank and file “puppets” though. They hold the real power. They are the ones that in the end should be held to the fire of proving what they claim to be, that is God’s spokesman to all mankind, speaking to mankind of what God expects of the human race before being destroyed at Armageddon. If they can’t prove it, then they need to “step down”, just the same as any other elder in any congregation who loses faith in the organization.

    If I was going to appear before a judicial committee, accused of apostasy, I’d insist on the elders “proving” they have authority from God, through the Governing Body. If they can’t do that, then I’d accuse them also of blood guilt for any of those who have lost their lives due to the blood policy. I would be the one in that committee hearing, forcing the issue. I would not let them bully me. This question gives me the power over them. If they go ahead and disfellowship me anyway, I have walked away from nothing.

    • September 22, 2014 at 7:52 am

      Hi anonymous. I don’t want to discourage you, but they probably will evade the question and that core issue. They might say: “the subject of this meeting is not what we believe, it’s about what you believe.” And if you don’t believe the GB is leading “God’s spirit directed organisation”, then it’s a DF verdict for you for causing division.

  • September 22, 2014 at 8:31 am

    When they came over here to talk to me, the first thing they asked me was “do you believe it’s God’s organization?” and I said no. They asked me if I believe in the Bible and God and I told them “I don’t know”. They asked me if I believed in Satan and I said yes I do. I even told them that I hated the Governing Body. My husband is so mad at them because they haven’t tried to “snatch me out of the fire” and I told my husband it’s because they don’t have any answers for what I told them and he said no, it’s because they are lazy. They have every reason to disfellowship me so I am not surprised they haven’t tried to talk to me again. I can be a bulldog and if they even try to do it to me, I will be the one for them to be proving they authority from God. I am not one to be cowered. If you are 100% sure, you know what the real truth is, it is very empowering. When I asked that question to them, the pat answer was “I don’t have to do that because I know it’s the truth”. It shows they have nothing…..

  • September 24, 2014 at 5:07 am

    I want to add to my last comment. If I get called before a committee for apostasy, I would take my copy of the Finished Mystery and hold it in my hands and this is what I would say to those men “You make the claim that God chose the Watchtower organization in 1919 and I am calling you on it (poker hand). You need to prove it to me to show me that you have authority from Jesus and Jehovah God. I am holding in my hand what was published in 1919 and it shows that there is no way that Jesus would have chosen this organization in 1919. I am calling your hand and I am willing to stake my life on this book. If you are not willing to show me your hand (poker) than you should fold.” I can say this with confidence because that book is my Ace high straight royal flush and I 100% know it and since they aren’t willing to look at that book, they would have to “fold” their hand. That is how confident I am that they are afraid to come back to talk to me because they don’t know what I am holding in my “hand”.

    • September 24, 2014 at 7:57 am

      Actually the Finished Mystery book was published in July 1917 but was being distributed in 1919. Also the public talk Millions Now Living Will Never Die was also being given in 1919 and was published as a booklet in 1920 predicting the end of this system and the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth from 1925 onwards. Both are conclusive proof that the Father and Christ did not appoint the WTBS as their sole earthly representatives in 1919.

  • October 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Bring down JWSurvey? That would be a tragedy for everyone here! To whom would they go? You have the words of endless strife.

    • October 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Translation: I can’t answer your challenge, but here’s a cheap swipe at your efforts to tell it like it is.

  • November 12, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I agree with you on the unconditional love comments,right now my husband and I have two of our five children,including each of us having fleshly bros. & sis that don’t speak to us,my mom does talk,but can’t have a conversation without asking if we’d pray about coming ” back” like I’m ” out there” somewhere…she was always one to motivate with guilt,so the JWs are right up her alley.right now our one daughter that’s the most guang- Ho & I are having some phone chats ,she admitted to me it’s because of how we feel about their religion,is why they haven’t been over,or any family party’s ,I feel like maybe I can plant a couple seeds,while I’m still communicating,I started off discussing unconditonal lov…but I have the feeling she’s soon going to ” Un- friend me like she did her father. I also said oh so it wasn’t anything we”did” your choice ,& assured her that her family was always welcome here.the last two years have been really tough for my husb( which I married when only 16) & myself,yes the family,,mostly his 2 older,”elder” brothers pushed to have him labeled apostate,right after his mother died,and I have been disassociated myself for some time now,I was unfortunately raised in that organization,which is far,I feel now far,far from the Truth.i also told my daughter that maybe they’ll shed new light on treatment of D ones,but the harsh view in the new Nov mag as to think of us as dead,and to not mourn for loss,was very upsetting…So as you can see,I’m delicately dancing my way though the Apostate “door”!! Mostly my husband and I are trying to live as Healthy as we can,physically & mentally,and continue to lov unconditionally,thanx for your coment,sorry to run on..Thanx for the site,too!

  • February 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Most JW don’t think about individuals, any tragic event is rejoiced as a sign that the end is nigh, and they will be saved.

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