This Spring saw a concerted effort on the part of Jehovah’s Witnesses to invite as many as possible to their memorial gathering on April 14, 2014.
One article in the Kingdom Ministry (a newsletter circulated among the Witnesses) even tried to frame the occasion as being potentially the final memorial before Armageddon.
Many like myself were invited but chose not to attend. Why?
Because the memorial celebration as prescribed by Watchtower is essentially a publicity exercise – a means of introducing otherwise indifferent members of the public to a controlling religion through a one-off event.*
A different campaign
But unknown to the Witnesses, during the frenzied build-up to the memorial an entirely different enterprise was underway.
Former Witnesses from six different countries with varying ages, beliefs and backgrounds were combining their efforts with one aim – to show the world how happy they are now that they are free from the confines of Watchtower with its endless rules and rituals.
They did this by dancing to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams in total contradiction to Watchtower’s stereotype of apostates as being miserable and bitter.
I was proud to be among them, as was my wife.
And so yesterday, on 16 April 2014, the resulting video was released on YouTube.
At the time of writing the video has been up for a little under 24 hours and has already attracted more than 2,100 views.
The comments show that many former Witnesses watching it can identify with the inner peace and sense of elation that comes with being free from mental servitude to an organization that has self-promotion and self-preservation as its key motivations.
A life-affirming project
Such is the interest in the video that some are already asking when the next one will be made. Though I have no immediate plans I am intrigued to see how well this video does in getting its message across.
I have already been approached by an apostate of a different cult entirely to see if I would be interested in collaborating on an inter-cult video project to the same music. I think this would be an exciting opportunity if it can be arranged.
If nothing else, I’m sure I speak for my fellow dancers in saying what a sense of achievement is to be found in unleashing your inner joy in this way, and spreading it to others. This project is the antithesis of Watchtower’s memorial event – a celebration of life and freedom rather than a call to serfdom and an obsession with death and the end of the world.
With so many organizations and individuals seemingly bent on dragging mankind backwards by exploiting people’s fears and uncertainties, it is life-affirming to fight this tide of negativity with some simple joy and happiness.
May this be the first of many opportunities to do just that.
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*Many who profess to be Christians also object to the memorial event on the grounds that there is no scriptural basis for dissuading people from partaking of the emblems, namely the bread and the wine. For proof that the distinction between “anointed” and “other sheep” is entirely unfounded in scripture, please click here.