Watchtower encourages JWs to think of former members as angry protesters, but are there smarter ways to break through indoctrination?
Watchtower encourages JWs to think of former members as angry protesters, but are there smarter ways to break through indoctrination?

I can vaguely remember the last time I encountered “apostates” during my years as an active Witness. I recall they made their presence known at a summer convention.

Whatever message they wished to convey seems to have been smothered by the abject fear I had at the time of any who oppose the organization. All I can remember thinking was, “why are they picking on OUR religion, when there are so many more things wrong about, say, the Catholics?”

This ability to think back to one’s time as an indoctrinated Witness, and contemplate what it was like to be in fear of anything or anyone opposed to “Jehovah’s organization,” is sadly a resource not always called upon by former Witness activists.

Sometimes, when one observes the methods used by former Witnesses in pursuing their activism, one is left wondering whether they can remember anything at all of what it was like to still be a Witness – terrified of even looking at the apostate bogeyman, never mind listening to his angry words.

More recently, videos have been posted to YouTube depicting what I am now calling “aggressive activism” – former Witnesses confronting JWs on the street or at places of worship; goading and mocking them with condescending and belittling words.

I have been familiar with this approach ever since I was a Witness, and truthfully I CAN sympathize with it. When you feel something has been taken from you that cannot be replaced, whether it is a family member (through shunning) or years wasted in cult servitude, it is difficult to stop the anger from spilling over and manifesting itself.

I have often imagined myself causing a scene at an assembly or convention – persuading myself that such actions would always be with the goal of waking people up, when in fact I have known deep down it would simply be about unleashing my primal urges for revenge on a group of bewildered and terrified cult victims.

Common sense should dictate that if you are going to set about the delicate task of untangling the amalgamation of years of extremely potent cult indoctrination, the way to do it is not through shouting and intimidation.

Arguments are not won by the one who can shout the loudest, but by the one who can present the most compelling argument when the opportunity arises. And no information can be absorbed in any meaningful sense by a victim of indoctrination if it is being thrust at them against their will. To suggest otherwise is to fail to grasp what undue influence is and how it works.

The problem is that so many examples of aggressive activism now proliferate that pointing out how deeply unhelpful and even counter-productive it is has become taboo among former Witnesses. I found this out to my cost recently when I dared to point to the elephant in the room in a fairly innocuous post on my Facebook page. Though my observations earned more than 300 “likes,” they also prompted a fierce backlash.

I was accused of being “judgmental” and “divisive,” and one website even briefly allowed someone to post a long rant about how I was a cyber bully and self-styled cult leader. This same individual went on to make further accusations about me that were downright slanderous, suggesting that I may be a sex offender and dragging my wife and baby daughter into his comments – and all because I had committed the heresy of voicing an honest opinion on what I consider to be an important subject.

The simple truth is that most people who know anything about undue influence and how pervasive it is understand deep down (even if they might be reluctant to admit it) that aggressive activism is at least potentially detrimental to the goal of awakening those who are indoctrinated.

True, everyone is different, and there will always be the occasional Witness who responds to being shouted at and ridiculed about his faith. But for every one of these there are surely dozens who will retreat deeper into their indoctrination when their cherished beliefs are threatened. It is therefore a numbers game, and logic dictates that if a certain approach is detrimental to the majority it should be dispensed with in favor of a more effective alternative.

And in what I call “strategic activism,” such an alternative is readily available.

The internet is fast proving to be Watchtower’s nemesis. Not only does it make objective information freely and easily available on a scale never before seen. It also makes meaningful activism accessible to almost anyone through the burgeoning social media phenomenon.

YouTube in particular now offers anyone with something to say the platform to say it in front of thousands or even millions. The most gifted convention speakers would struggle to boast the audience figures that are attainable from a well-put-together YouTube video.

Considering the opportunities now available to the modern activist, coupled with the advice of cult experts like Steven Hassan who urge a “strategic approach,” it seems only too obvious that the gung-ho, in-your-face methods of yesteryear are unnecessary, unproductive and obsolete.

By behaving in an aggressive or confrontational manner with Witnesses, we fit into Watchtower's "mentally diseased" stereotype
By behaving in an aggressive or confrontational manner with Witnesses, we fit into Watchtower’s “mentally diseased” stereotype

But more importantly, for anyone who can remember anything about what it’s like to be a Witness, these brash methods are more likely to delay someone’s awakening than to accelerate it.

Taking to the streets with a handmade sign or a loudspeaker may feel empowering to someone who is bearing deep scars and feels the urge to act out in some way, but we owe it to those who are still inside to make it easier for them to leave – not harder. And by caving in to our primal urges for revenge, and shouting and goading perplexed victims of Watchtower’s undue influence, we squeeze ourselves snugly into the “mentally diseased” stereotype Watchtower has fashioned for us.

It is for these reasons that I am now distancing myself firmly from those who carry on aggressive activism in its various forms. I care too much about the fate of ordinary Witnesses and their children to endorse those who engage in such behavior, either tacitly or otherwise.

I know I am making enemies by taking this position – that much is clear from the abuse I have been subjected to already. But if there is one thing my opponents need to know, it is that trying to silence me only makes me want to shout louder. And exploring and promoting productive, non-confrontational ways to help wake up Jehovah’s Witnesses is, in my view, a cause worth shouting about.

 

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164 thoughts on “Why I can no longer support aggressive forms of activism against Jehovah’s Witnesses

  • November 27, 2014 at 2:26 am
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    @ Pickled Brain. I believe that almost every person at every assembly is suffering from depression of some sort but just keep going on, thinking that Jehovah is blessing the organization and they are all afraid of Armageddon. There are also so many people in my Kingdom Hall who are on anti-depressants and prescription pain pills for Fibromyalgia and other pains. I think they are wanting something terrible to happen to them, so they have an excuse to stay home.

    I think a lot women have babies on purpose so they aren’t expected to pioneer. I was always hoping for a snow storm or a tornado so I wouldn’t have to go to another meeting. On Sundays after the Watchtower, the brother ending the meeting would always tell us from the platform how we should go in service after the meeting since we were already dressed up etc. There is never any rest. I can’t even imagine how hard it is for elders.

    There is too much expected of Witnesses. It’s a never ending treadmill. Also, I can’t even think of hardly anybody who isn’t touched by either their kids not wanting to have anything to do with the “truth” or one of their family members or more are disfellowshipped and they can’t associate with them or if they do, are leading a double life. I believe that almost every single person in those assemblies is depressed over something.

    I was depressed. Every meeting made me depressed. Every time I went in service, it depressed me. I enjoyed the company when I was out, but when I went home, I suffered from depression. But the Society says that the more we go out, the happier we would be. I wasn’t.

    Since I wasn’t a pioneer, nobody would give me money for gas and so every time I went out, it was very expensive for me because either I drove my car or I would give the driver $5.00 for gas.

    I had dozens of return visits I couldn’t get back to and when I did get to their house, they wouldn’t be home. That depressed me. It depressed me because I didn’t have Bible studies. To have a Bible study, seemed to add to my burden so secretly, I was always glad when my return visits weren’t home so at least in my mind, “I tried” but I never felt like I was fulfilling my commission to preach like what the Society said I was supposed to do.

    There are too many things the Society makes Witnesses feel guilty about. So, really, I don’t know how anybody can be “not depressed” about something. I think almost everybody is pretending, not realizing that everybody sitting around them are probably feeling depressed to.

    And why are they depressed? It’s because of the guilt imposing “goals” that the Society puts on every single person sitting there in that audience at assemblies and meetings, but because we can’t express those doubts about our religion to anybody, even including our very own immediate family, nobody else realizes what is the “cause” of that depression is. Every meeting a Witness goes to, the reason for that meeting is to impose “preaching goals” on them. So, that is why going to meetings was depressing to me and going in service was depressing to me.

    Every funeral talk and the Memorial talks, I’d feel embarrassed when the speaker would start his advertisement for the meetings for all those attending who weren’t Witnesses. I shoved those feelings down but I wonder how many others who are sitting in the audience feel the same embarrassment and none of us realize that there’s something wrong with that?

    I dreaded every assembly. I thought they were expensive and boring and time consuming. I wonder how many others think the same thing but are “afraid” to tell anybody, including their own family and close friends?

    I think everybody at those assemblies who see those people outside the Kingdom Halls protesting, would like to talk to them but can’t. I didn’t realize that they were ex-Witnesses. I always thought they were from other churches, trying to “convert” us. Even though the Society said they were “apostates”, I didn’t realize what “apostates” were all about until I “woke” up.

    So, if those people protesting at assemblies are ex-witnesses, they should know that they are playing right into the hands of the Society when they protest at assemblies. I guess that is why I always thought they were people from other churches.

    I think if I was going to try and “get” to active Witnesses, I’d go on the premise that they are suffering from fatigue and depression but Jesus said his load was “light” and then the feelings of guilt and like I said before, that the love is conditional but this all behind the scenes, not at assemblies. Trying to do it that way, is a waste of time and energy and only helps the Society, not hurts it.

  • November 27, 2014 at 2:41 am
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    I wonder how many have actualy got reinstated just so they can get their family back. My Husband and I did that. However once reinstated we kept up the pretence of going to meeting etc, for a long time. My husband managed to stay nuetral, but I got dragged back in. Even to the point of pioneering and having a study. Then something happened within the congregation, that made me question my faith once again. That was on Wednesday September 12th 2001. What happened shocked me and brought me down so much, that even the 9/11 disaster went over my head at the time. I never went to another meeting, and I told God I would never speak to him again. I havent attended meetings since, but I am still searching for the truth. Being a fader allows me to work quietly in the background, asking questions, rather than making statements. Questions that make our families think. Two are beginning to ‘see the light’ no point going in with guns blazeing. Just gets peoples backs up. They think you are demonised. Well I do have the devil in me……..but in a good way.

  • November 27, 2014 at 2:52 am
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    Thank you Cedars for your reply. I understand what you are saying .It can cause a lot of stress. & heartache lovingly working from within to win our loved ones back.Its not for everyone.in wars as in a spiritual warfare battles are won from attacking from different sides. & different angles & strategies.we who have woken up need each other.UNITED we STAND.Divided we fall.Thank you Cedars for your intelligent & reasoning approach on this website & videos.you have a lovely wife& child As comes across on your videos on YouTube .Take care.your Christian brother in arms

  • November 27, 2014 at 3:06 am
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    Anonymous you have summed up the truth in a nutshell .Very well expressed and thoughtfully related.i know an elder,his wife and daughter all have M.E. And the elder misses assemblies hardly does the ministry but goes off on holiday without his wife 5 times a year . He comes to life on the platform gives brilliant talks but it is a standing joke he hates the field service!!but still an elder.What a joke.there were no TITLES in first century bible.No regular Pioneers, no auxiliary pioneers.no SPECIAL pioneers.No SCHOOLS i.e. MTS,Gilead etc Oh give me strength.How close to a pharsaical structure of hierarchy are the Governing body trying to accomplish.It is one big TREADMILL of Exhaustion.we want LOVE not flipping titles!!

  • November 27, 2014 at 3:41 am
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    @Pickled Brain. The Society has it covered both ways when it comes to “hating” field service. If one goes out even though they “hate” it, that is even more of a sacrifice. But if they “hate” it, they are encouraged to go out more till the “love” it. Either way, that elder is okay with the Society. As long as he does his talks and other duties, he can do whatever he wants. He just has to put in at least 10 hours a month in service. Who knows whether he’s making up that time or not. As long as he can fill out a slip that says he did such and thus, he’s still an elder. All the elders know that the more elders there are, the less work they each have. That is why they can “confess” a sin that anybody else would have been disfellowshipped for, and they will still keep him on. The Society absolutely needs the elders to exist and the elders like being looked up to even if they don’t deserve the respect and the elders all know it.

    I for one, will never go back into a Kingdom Hall and I have faded and I like being able to still talk to people from the hall.

    A few weeks ago, one of the sisters and I were at the grocery store and ran into each other and she asked me why I haven’t been at the meetings and I tried to tell her that I couldn’t talk about it. I told her that I had problems that I couldn’t talk about and she wouldn’t let up, so finally I said to her something like “I haven’t been stumbled by anybody at the hall, if that is what you are thinking.” And then, I opened up with her and said something like “You know, when you go to meetings, it’s supposed to make you happy, right?” and she said yes and then I said quite frankly, “well, the meetings didn’t make me happy. When I went home, I’d be depressed for 3 days and then it would be time to go to another meeting and then I’d be depressed for another 3 days until the next meeting.”

    Then, she started telling me about different times at the Kingdom Hall, different ones had hurt her feelings and she started crying over it. She had been disfellowshipped for smoking for almost 20 years before coming back about 5 years ago and she was telling me about how one of the elder’s wives had walked right past her during this time when she had been disfellowshipped and pretended that she didn’t even exist and how much that hurt her and now at the Kingdom Hall, this very same sister is so nice to her since she got reinstated.

    This sister was telling me all these things and was crying about it right at the store. When she got done telling me these things I said to her “that is not the way it should be” and she agreed with me. This opened up a conversation that I had with her that lasted an hour. In that time, I directed her to the Insight book under mediator and I asked her “do you know who is the mediator for man and God” and she said “Jesus” and I told her to go to her Insight book volume 2 and see that Jesus is the mediator only for the anointed and she was shocked. Then I told her about the Society joining up with the U.N. and a few other things. After an hour like that, I told her that the Society would disfellowship me to telling her this stuff but I told her that I didn’t tell her anything that wasn’t in our own literature and she had to agree that I didn’t say anything “apostate” to her but I was still able to direct her to our own literature to “wake” her up to what she didn’t realize.

    I don’t know if it caused doubts in her mind or not but I am going on the thought that almost everybody in every Kingdom Hall is suffering depression of some sort but are afraid to open up about it. I don’t think I am alone in my feelings but am typical. That is why I think using the idea that most people don’t feel the love that they should feel is the way I’d approach somebody I was trying to “wake” up.

    Even then, the realization takes months and months of thinking about it and it is so brave to stop going. That’s why it takes years sometimes of gradually “waking” up for somebody to “wake” up fully. When that little crack in the shell starts to open up, the crack gets so big that it’s finally like “wow, I can’t believe how I didn’t see it before”.

  • November 27, 2014 at 3:51 am
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    I wanted to add to my last comment. This conversation at the grocery store had been right after Cedar’s post about Gerrit Losch and I told her about that. After that, I printed out that signed statement by Gerrit Losch and I carry it in my bag so if the opportunity presents itself again like that, I will pull out that print-out to show them. If that doesn’t convince anybody that the Society is a sham religion, I don’t know what would.

  • November 27, 2014 at 4:55 am
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    Cedars,
    Why has WT taken this action on,

    WT (public mags) May 2012 vs. January 2014

    page 2. the table of contents – WT has removed the following words;
    The purpose of this magazine. – Just as watchtowers in ancient times enabled a person to observe developments from afar, so this magazine shows us the significance of world events in the light of bible prophecies.

    This announcement has been in use for 130 years. This proves to me the flexibility in WT “want to attitude” to make adjustments-changes.

    However, something more serious and recently implemented is the 2-witness rule, and the result of this has caused all lot of hurt and divided families. WT needs another “want to attitude” with needed changes.

    Why did WT remove these words of 130 yrs a landmark of a true watchtower?

  • November 27, 2014 at 6:16 am
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    I thought of another way to segue into a conversation with a JW to make them “wake” up.

    I love Christmas music. I always have and I always will. If it was up to me, I’d love to hear it all year round. But as a Witness, the only thing that you are allowed to say about Christmas is how much you hate it. JW’s are not allowed to say anything good about it. Now that Christmas is right around the corner, you hear Christmas music all the time.

    I so much wished I had had the courage to speak up when I heard comments to the effect that they hated the music and Christmas in general. This is what I should have said:

    “So, you think it’s disgusting that these people are honoring their savior’s birth with that music?”

    They would probably say something like “it’s pagan” and go into the “pagan” side of the holiday and then explain that it’s not right to celebrate birthdays, etc.

    If you are not a Witness, you should say to them, “where do you get that from? Is that in the Bible? Show me. If they persist, then ask them “Did Jesus personally tell you that?”

    At least, bringing to their attention what an arrogant attitude that is, might make them think and really, how do we know that they don’t secretly love Christmas music too but are afraid to break the mold and tell how they really feel about it? JW’s aren’t allowed to say anything except that they hate Christmas.

  • November 27, 2014 at 7:26 am
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    And, oh by the way…I always felt like a creep when somebody would say to me “Merry Christmas” or Happy new year” and all I was allowed to say was thank you and never say back “you too”.

  • November 27, 2014 at 8:10 am
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    Well done Cedars. I cannot recommend more highly Wilbur Lingle’s book ‘Approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses in Love’ and Charles Love’s book ’20 Questions Jehovah’s Witnesses Cannot Answer’. Both books make your point precisely. Whenever I encounter the JWs, I always make a point of talking with them about the Christian faith and establishing a warm relationship with them. In the parable of the Good Samaritan we all know who walked by on the other side.

  • November 27, 2014 at 8:17 am
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    In the first 50 years of their existence, the JWs were happy enough to celebrate Christmas, for the same reasons we give now. Why has it become pagan?

  • November 27, 2014 at 9:08 am
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    @James. That’s right. There is nothing in the Bible to say that it’s wrong to celebrate Jesus’ birth or anyone’s birth but if you do it, you will be disfellowshipped for apostasy. It’s nothing but hypocritical and pharisaical.

    What really irritates me is how JW’s and all the other cults as well, have been brainwashed to arrogantly think that only they know what Jesus would approve of or what he wouldn’t approve of, but that is a typical cult tactic, to make it’s followers think like that.

    What I didn’t realize until just a few days ago, is that there are many, many Youtube videos exposing popular televangelists as being demon controlled and connected to Freemasonry and witchcraft practices in their sermons.

    I don’t know if these people are faking being demon controlled or not, but they seem like it with the way they roll their heads around and babble etc. One thing that they all seem to have in common is telling their people that they are “little” gods because the Bible says in Genesis “Let us make man in our image”. I had no idea this was what they were saying in their sermons but there’s a lot of videos with these really popular evangelists saying that.

    This same phenomenon seems to be world wide but it’s clearly to fleece people out of their money so that is what makes me think these people are faking these actions of throwing their heads around and around etc. and speaking in tongues that nobody can understand.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses certainly aren’t the only ones being conned in the name of religion, that’s for sure.

  • November 27, 2014 at 11:17 am
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    Re: Anonymous , what makes me smile there are some things witnesses should be reproved or disfellowshipped for but never are i.e. Gluttony but hey lets disfellowshipp for fornication,drunkenness , smoking,swearing,disagreement on doctrine,Xmas , birthdays,Easter ,tithing but not donations.zi could go on.But at 1 Cor 6 v9,10 greedy people and drunkards and fornicators are in same sentence .No one fat came out of the concentration camps. Not one of 6 million Jews

  • November 27, 2014 at 12:07 pm
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    They made me feel guilty to even put money in the Salvation army or any charity not Watchtower. I always felt so ashamed of myself, walking past those people standing in the cold, ringing their bells with them thinking I was being stingy and didn’t care about poor people. This year I will put money in those buckets, even if it’s just a quarter and not feel guilty what the Watchtower thinks.

    There’s a lot of things that people do that the Bible says that they will be thrown in the lake of fire over and the one that stands out the most to me is “liars”. Even if the Watchtower deliberately lies about anything, they are deserving of death too, just as much as all those other things that they like to disfellowship people over. There’s a big difference between a mistake and a deliberate lie.

  • November 27, 2014 at 12:14 pm
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    I agree with you John, trying to be pushy only invokes defending…we all should know that. Isn’t that the first response we all dug our heels into when confronted. Although it is frustrating that they won’t ‘wake up’ to our claims…we must remember what those still in are told. We are diseased…acting out only proves that. We must be as Jesus said, cautious as serpents mild like doves…THAT alone will get our message out to those still stuck in that cult.

  • November 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm
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    This is a little off-topic, but I didn’t know where else to post it;

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1IOych9MadY

    An obvious JW, named Brooklyn, covers the Texas International Convention in her pseudo-news report.

    Just worth watching to see the changes in the WT Org.! I can’t believe the screaming crowds welcoming delegates, the weird costumes (what was the fat guy from Spain supposed to be? A pirate?!?) and the JW.Org step-and-repeat for photo ops! This is mind-blowing to me. It looks like JW’s want to go mainstream now but they are having trouble fitting in with regular religions so they are doing some kind of false celebrity, film festival event.

    Enjoy!

  • November 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm
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    I agree with you anonymous.i used to feel guilty about giving to any charity except jw.but so many witnesses I know have been helped by hospice charities such as Rowcroft & St.christophers and my dad was helped by “Mind” and my mum by Age concern.The hedge fund agents in Brooklyn Bethel are only interested in buying more buildings & TVs stations and websites & token gestures in disasters where brothers are encouraged to give over insurance cheque to Bethel once free volunteer work is completed.So now I freely give to charities in the street & even buskers who play good music.where is bethel when our elderly & sick brothers need expert care with professional help & equipment.

  • November 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm
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    To Anonymous & Pickled Brain.

    You both have articulated everything I have seen & experienced in the 20years I was a witness. I had chronic fatigue & made excuses after excuses. I even told my hubby one day recently that my thinking got so bad that I hoped that I would have an accident so that I could be laid up in bed to get out of doing anything related to anything ‘theocratic’. It was then that I recognised that is not good and I had to reconfigure my brain (this took months to do) because I could see how unhealthy my thinking processes were & I didn’t want to get to a place of no return. When I look back that unhealthy thinking started to creep in from the very beginning of my indoctrination but I kept pushing it aside. I didn’t want to resort to antidepressants & alcohol like the majority around me & now that I’m out (for the past 8 months or so) mentally a lot longer, I look back now & think to myself how could I have let myself get so low. Life is really good now & we both have pretty much denounced our faith through fading.

    It’s weird how you feel like your brain has come out of a drugged out state when you finally wake up. It’s almost like I was on drugs & I’m generally pretty anti pharmaceutical. I don’t even like taking pain killers unless I’m really in a bad way. The brain is so fascinating.

    On the subject of activism, I suppose the way that my husband & I have handled it is when we have had witnesses come or ring to see if they can encourage us to come back. We simply tell them that we have been stumbled but not by them by the Society itself with the way that they have lied and covered up the child abuse cases & we just say google the news articles you don’t need to see it on apostate sites, it’s made headlines. It’s a seed that gets planted. My seed was being on the JW website when the Candace Conti case had a tiny mention then was suddenly it was off the website. I wondered why they got rid of it (something signalled a red flag for me) so my instincts made me search for it but not on apostate sites (at that stage) but news sites. That was the beginning of the end for me. Thank God!

  • November 27, 2014 at 3:53 pm
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    We tell JW’s that they have not stumbled us personally so they don’t feel that we are attacking them personally, we don’t put them onto their back foot because that just puts them into defence mode & then they tend to clam which blocks them from listening. Truthfully though, I have been hurt many times & I have probably hurt many times too but I’ve managed to overcome those hurt feelings toward others as I tried to look past the human behaviour & see what caused them to act this way. Talking to so many about how they felt in the organisation, I came to see that I wasn’t alone with these feelings & they were just as unhappy as me with similar feelings & stories.

    I always think that when something is wrong with a company or organisation on such a broad scale, then you have to look at Management & how they are directing. It made me think that Jesus must be a really bad manager or overseer. He must be a control freak & liar. He must be really confused about where he stands on theocratic issues & he must have absolutely no concept of human behaviour or he simply isn’t there & that’s when I had that aha moment….HE ISN’T THERE!!!!

  • November 27, 2014 at 4:29 pm
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    I agree with your stance. I was raised in the “truth” and did not find the courage to tell my parents my new beliefs based on reading just the bible until 3 years ago. I have found angry arguments with my parents only shut them down further. With time and educating myself with healthy communication tips and tools I have learned to calmly discuss different beliefs using concrete facts or writings from the organization publications verses what the bible really says. I find they lose control and I end up looking like a true Christian, which further strengthens my position. I realize they have to find the real truth on their own time, I hope it is one day soon, but it cannot be forced. I appreciate the time and effort you have put into this site- sincerely thank you!

  • November 27, 2014 at 5:40 pm
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    I agree with your sentiments regarding the effectiveness of a less combative approach to dealing with JW’s.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the actions are also cathartic for the one doing the acting.

    When asked why I am involved in te ex-JW community, I have often said that I do it as penance. For the number of times that I have stood on doorsteps and commented about the nearness of Armageddon, I feel the need to speak out about the dangers of this particular cult. It has helped.

    First, it has helped me to become at least somewhat knowledgeable about why I believe what I believe. Since I know WHY I don’t believe, I have ZERO fear of Armageddon ending my life.

    There is also the benefit of helping others. This is good for the psyche. It makes me feel better that I have actually aided people in their exit from the JW’s.

    My methods have involved rational discussion. I have not bludgeoned people with aggressive protests. I find it is more effective and it is better for my mental health.

    The free exchange of information is the deadliest weapon against the JW faith. The internet has made this information available. It is having it’s effect, as evidenced by the people here and on other sites. In time, this will become a death knell for religions such as this.

    In time. That is the frustrating part, since each of us would make it happen right now if we had the powers.

    Patience, young grasshopper.

  • November 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm
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    JW = JeW. Jehovah = tetragrammaton. tetragrammaton means “the four measures of Aton”. Aton = Akhenaton (not GOD but an Egyptian Pharoah from the 18th Dynasty) officially Amenhotep 1V. JW’s don’t worship GOD they worship a dead corpse and the memory of a Psychopath. HE was the SOB who destroyed upper Egypt, took the Hyksos (Hebrew) tribes and renamed them Jews and Israelis. They’ve been murdering and pillaging Palestinians and Arabs ever since. That’s Why Apostates are so pissed of with Rutherfords ‘Jehovah’ and their rejection of Russell. The Watchtower is nothing but a 501c tax shelter for Babylon, selling paper bullshit and lies just like US currency. Good people, BAD leadership, BAD history, BAD Bible Understanding, BAD rules on Child molesters, BAD rules on Blood and BAD rules all around. Tell Me ONE thing about it other than the people that is good. Just One fucking thing? They are an effeminate, sterile sex hating bunch of losers waiting on ‘Jesus’ who never existed in the bible sense. He was (is) a metaphor for something they don’t even understand or begin to comprehend. No ‘spirit’, only sterile bible ‘study’ ba ba babbal gobble de gook and work for the Almighty ‘organization’ and a few old farts on the board of trustees ‘claiming’ enlightenment and spouting darkness and false hopes to the masses. Get a Life People. Armageddon has been raging since 1914 and is either about to end or either the planet is doomed. It’s THAT close and “they’ don’t tell You Jack Shit and You know it Brother…

  • November 27, 2014 at 8:55 pm
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    They’ve been having ‘rational’ discussions since 1917 when the Jesuit infiltrator ‘Judge’ Rutherford murdered Russell on a train car on Halloween night, distorted Russells Will and ‘took over’ the operation for profit (not Prophet)…

  • November 27, 2014 at 8:58 pm
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    Shut them Down and TAKE OVER. They are CRIMINALS people!!

  • November 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm
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    The Truth is The Truth is The Truth is The Truth. It may ‘hurt’, it may make you cry but The Truth is The Truth. Are You IN TRUTH or a FUCKING LIE!!!!!!!
    The word God is G O D. NOT Jesus…

  • November 27, 2014 at 9:02 pm
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    Jesus = Jesuit (society of ‘jesus’)… VATICAN paedophiles…

  • November 27, 2014 at 9:15 pm
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    Well done to “Thank you all” for waking up to the truth about the truth!! I meet many “worldly ” people in my line of work(hundreds) but not one has M.E.,Chronic Fatigue or Fybromyalgia BUT in the TRUTH??? Nearly every congregation has at least 10 out of every 100 publishers with these ailments.it is rife in the truth because the relentless TREADMILL of disappointment where these ones will miss meetings & field service but nearly always have strength for holidays or work or social commitments.I don’t blame them because the Governing Body have put such RELENTLESS burdens on us that usually the underlying symptoms are DEPRESSION, but these poor people don’t get real help from a professional but go to ALTERNATIVE therapist and so many resort to this because of the shame of feeling their FAITH isn’t Strong enough i.e. Not enough prayer,study,meetings etc. Vulnerable People come iinto the truth because they desire love,affection and get baptised because of the INTENSE attention New ones get & it is nice to feel special.BUT once baptised that intensity doesn’t continue & people that are prone to DEPRESSION have underlying issues sometimes from childhood.Could be a parent has DIVORCED or Death of a loved one or Abuse or unequal treatment of siblings while growing up or Bullying or Bi-Polar,Autism,Schizophrenia.Please get REAL HELP whether Psychotherapy,or medication or both.We all have an inner desire to feel LOVED or approved and the LOVE BOMBING new ones get feed that desire and unless real research takes place emotional feelings take over logic.Warm concern to all those who have struggled with these issues

  • November 27, 2014 at 9:31 pm
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    You have no idea how much this website means to me, and I’m sure countless others. Love this article and your thoughts on aggressive protesting. I too, grew up as a witness (52 now) and didn’t always know the protesters were ex-JWs. I would never engage in the aggressive stuff, I have so much grieving to do. My whole LIFE was that of being a JW. I almost feel like its in my DNA. It’s very difficult to shut off a way of thinking you’ve had you’re entire life, but I’m working on it. I believe I’m in the anger stage. Angry that I was sequestered from living a typical life. Enjoying school, friends, extra curricular activities, dating more than one boy, (wouldn’t have married SO YOUNG and gotten divorced less than 5 years later), experienced disfellowshipping and shunning from everyone I’ve ever known. Hardcore. People wouldn’t even address my child after I was reinstated. Ugh. Hateful, judgemental, black balling group. So hard for me to hear people in field service insult the householder for their sincere beliefs. I remember wanting to apologize to them if the witness insulted their intelligence or belief system. So many questions for so many years. Only kid of five in my family that stayed in soooooo long. I’m glad I woke up. I feel a lot of freedom. But along with that comes the process of deprogramming and all that comes with it. I’m glad I remarried a non witness 22 years ago and my three children with him have had a typical, non cult childhood. People will likely blame my long suffering husband who put up with meetings, service, assemblies and conventions. Such a bizarre experience, this waking up. I don’t know what I’d do without these websites and the you tube videos that have educated me so well on this religion. Cannot get over Morris’ tight pants fixation. I would love to know how I would have reacted to that had I been still attending, cuz that is some crazy stuff. Ain’t nobody got time for THAT!!! I’m rambling. I apologize. Thanks to EVERYONE who posts their experiences. Means so much and is so helpful. Xoxoxo

  • November 27, 2014 at 9:50 pm
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    ‘Fader ‘I wholeheartedly agreewith your comments about MARRYING TOO YOUNG.Many sisters do because either they see the ratio of about 5 available sisters to 1 available brother so the competition amongst sisters is on from teenage years & maybe the ratio is higher in some congregations but the mistake is made of thinking only brothers who are ministerial servants,pioneers or elders!! I have seen over 20marriages of sisters marrying brothers with titles end in divorce .The society now occasionally advocates look for a brother who treats his parents well.Thats how he will treat his wife in 5,10 or twenty years.Please don’t fall for the governing body advice on titled men in the org!! BIG MISTAKE.Giving good public talks& being a PIONEER does not make one a good husband.LOVING concern for elderly & parents does

  • November 28, 2014 at 4:39 am
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    Wow, that was disturbing. And the fact that she tries so hard to play the outsider “journalist” but is obviously a jw herself is even more embarassing. Not to mention her whole annoying over the top attitude.
    The evolution of the org is very strange to witness.

  • November 28, 2014 at 5:18 am
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    And to tie it in with the current post… when you see such thing: the indoctrination, illusion, cult mindset etc, you can only appreciate the point John is making. Frontal attack will only reinforce the indoctrination and the persecution complex and persuade them even stronger.
    Strategic approach is the way. Like the comparing cult approach he mentionned before.
    I might be optimistic but I even believe that this very video could wake up someone, as much as Tony Morris talk can wake up someone. It can give someone perspective, hopefully. The internet and themselves using it are their best ennemies.

  • November 28, 2014 at 5:41 am
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    @Pickled brain. Your comments reflect exactly how I feel towards the Society’s tactics and they do nothing except create depression, especially for those who were baptized at an early age. If an adult person has developed friendships before becoming a Witness, then hopefully those real friends will still be there for them if they decide to drop out but for the children, the only friends they were allowed to have were in their congregation and so if they decide to fall away when they get older, they have nobody to fall back on that will help them get through being abandoned. It reminds me of child movie stars.

    When child movie stars grow up, many times they can’t find work and they self-destruct. It seems like it would be so great to be a child movie star or a child model with all the attention, but when they grow up and aren’t as cute anymore, nobody wants them and they suffer terrible depression, many times for their entire life and many commit suicide. They would have been so much better off, just being an “ordinary” kid and never have had all the attention showered on them as a child movie star.

    The Society makes every child a “movie star” for a day (baptism date) and after that, they are just “ordinary” and in order to keep up the “love”, they must follow the script and deep down, as every child Witness grows up, they must come to the realization that they had been “played”. From so many of the kids that I see that are still in the “truth” when they grew up, it’s to not disappoint their parents that they stay active and so they play the role and if they really love their parents, will play that role until they die. That is such a terrible thing to do to kids. At least adults might grasp what is happening to them, but with kids, that isn’t possible.

    In my congregation, I have seen brother after brothers and sisters play the role after baptism, pioneering and going to Bethel right out of school, only to fall completely out of the “truth” when they get done with Bethel. It seems that Bethel was the coup de grace. What that does to these brothers and sisters has to be compared to the fall from grace of a popular movie star. They would have been so much better off, just going to college and not following the course of least resistance or the course of trying to be people pleasers and led their own lives, instead of living the life that their parents proscribed for them.

    What Cedars did, was an inspiration for all of us.

  • November 28, 2014 at 6:13 am
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    Message for the moderator: my first comment was a reply for the video JJ posted. I thought it would go under his comment as I clicked reply, but it didn’t so we don’t get what I’m talking about…
    Sorry for the confusion, didn’t know how the comments work. YOu can delete that comment, I’ll post the previous one again, being more clear if that’s ok.

  • November 28, 2014 at 6:14 am
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    Reply to the video JJ posted:
    Wow, that was disturbing. And the fact that she tries so hard to play the outsider “journalist” but is obviously a jw herself is even more embarassing. Not to mention her whole annoying over the top attitude.
    The evolution of the org is very strange to witness.

  • November 28, 2014 at 7:58 am
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    Thank you, JJ. I am so glad it is the Truth that sets one free not razzmatazz.

  • November 28, 2014 at 11:49 pm
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    ‘Anonymous ‘ you are right the society make youngsters a MOVIE STAR for a day.Why oh WHY is there a Hurry to BAPTISE YOUNGSTERS at 12,13,14,15,16,17,18???? The answer keep numbers in the yearbook rising. It looks good !! Only adults in the Greek scriptures got baptised & Timothy was about 20 and as Paul said he was an exception.How many of these youngsters are a Timothy?? I know of young ones of 13 & 15 baptised then disfellowshipped at 17.This is CHILD CRUELTY. Even if they are only??? Reproved the isolation begins because they are viewed as bad association.They are avoided by the self righteous in the truth and youngsters crave friends so they are driven to make worldly friends.!!oh the irony of it all.BAPTISM is the most important step anyone can take.Jesus didn’t get baptised till 30.The poor elders then have to pick up the pieces and try & help these psychologydamaged youngsters .Please JW parents don’t let your youngsters get baptised until they’ve at least 20 when they have a job & money in their pockets & they are able to make a fully cognisant decision based on all the FACTS from information inside & outside the religion.If you can’t purchase alcohol until your 18 or drive a car until 17 which are trivialities compared to baptism & all its implications why oh why get baptised too early

  • November 29, 2014 at 7:02 pm
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    So sorry to hear you are experiencing such abusive name calling, Cedars. This is so unwarranted and no one who has followed your blog or your YT channel could possibly buy into such slanderous remarks. You are a rare, entirely unique voice among ex-JWs. There are so few who are rational, fair, well-informed, mature and who bring some elegance, dignity and sophistication to what they publish on the internet. You do! We need you! Please do not allow this to discourage or deter you.

    BTW, the aggressive activists have not yet realized that they are trying to use undue influence on JWs as much as the JWs used undue control over them. Their aggressivity is also spilling out onto fellow apostates. As you say this is totally counter productive. It is also childish.

    May I add that I find it totally aggressive for some opportunists to co-opt your comment section for diatribes that are totally off topic.

    Hang on … this too shall pass. :)

  • November 30, 2014 at 12:26 am
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    ‘BJ’ good points you make in your comments.This site produced by Cedars is invaluable.It Is NEEDED!!! The only way to help Struggling JW’s,well any JWs is by rational ,kind & warm hearted loving discussion with a sense of humour.This is how you win people.The saying that YOU CAN WIN THE ARGUMENT BUT LOSE the PERSON is so true.We must gently & kindly help these ones.It is not just the Christian way but the way to treat any one we love & care for.

  • November 30, 2014 at 10:24 pm
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    All of us that just read this website let alone comment on it need to now type a comment in support of Cedars .!!! Show him how much we value this Man & his family’s sacrifice in terms of time & emotional energy & maybe financial cost .We who are or have been Jws value the sound reasoning & logic Cedars puts forward on this website & on his YouTube channel.Lets hear all your support for him!!

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