A new JW.org video depicts a young boy being baptized
A new JW.org video depicts a young boy being baptized

During my time as a ministerial servant (before becoming an elder) I was asked to study with a boy in his late teens. His parents were Witnesses but, for a number of reasons, they felt it would be better for a brother in the congregation to study with their son.

Under the direction of my elders I conducted the study and helped my student progress to baptism.

I will never forget the moment his father approached me shortly before the baptism when I attended a celebratory meal with his family. He told me that he had mixed feelings. Puzzled, I asked him why this was so. He explained that, though he was elated that his boy was getting baptized, he was also nervous.

You see, the father had a large family with other children who had been baptized. One had already been disfellowshipped, causing problems for the family due to the rules on shunning. The father couldn’t help but fear that, by making such a commitment, his son was also exposing himself to future pain if he were to ever fall short of the Society’s rules.

At the time I brushed this off and told the father he had nothing to worry about. After all, his son was now effectively an adult and free to make his own decisions. But the point he made stayed with me. Do young ones who get baptized truly understand what they are signing up to? Isn’t it right for parents to be wary of forcing their children into a commitment that could dramatically backfire further down the line?

An elaborate scam

Now I am free from Watchtower’s indoctrination and I can see perfectly well that nobody who gets baptized understands fully what they are getting involved in. The Bible Teach book doesn’t offer a full and frank account of the organization’s teachings, including the important doctrines surrounding 1919 (which is not mentioned once) and the little-known fact that Christ is NOT the personal mediator for most Witnesses (Worldwide Security Under the Prince of Peace, page 10). -1 Tim 2:5,6

“Was Moses the mediator between Jehovah God and mankind in general? No, he was the mediator between the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the nation of their fleshly descendants. Likewise, the Greater Moses, Jesus Christ, is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members.” (Worldwide Security Under the Prince of Peace, page 10)

Nor can it be said that newly baptized ones are fully acquainted with the true history of “God’s spirit-directed organization,” to which they pledge their lifelong allegiance. Never are they pre-warned of Watchtower’s double-standards in the Mexico/Malawi scandal, of the organization’s early racist literature, of Rutherford’s letter to Hitler, of Beth Sarim and the “ancient worthies,” or of Watchtower’s nine-year-affiliation with the United Nations. These details are held beyond reach, either buried in obscurity and trivialized in the Proclaimers book, or available only on the internet on unapproved sites like this.

Bringing adults to baptism under false pretenses is bad enough - but it is inexcusable to do this with children
Bringing adults to baptism under false pretenses is bad enough – but it is inexcusable to do this with children

It is wrong for ANYONE to be duped into making a lifelong commitment based on insufficient information. Such a practice would commonly be classed as a “scam.” But it is especially abhorrent and morally bankrupt to force children into such a binding commitment when the future ramifications could be (and often are) devastating.

Take my case for example. I was baptized at the age of 11. My parents, to their credit, voiced some concerns that I was perhaps too young – but I was insistent and determined. Based on what I had been told, this HAD to be the truth, and I wanted to pledge my commitment to it before the end came. According to my parents, Armageddon was due any moment. They even expressed surprise when I started high school, saying they never expected “the system” to last that long.

Now I am in my mid-thirties, with much of my young life wasted on a “career” of selling false promises to strangers on the doorstep. I now realise that, like so many others, I was conned. But my family warns me that they WILL shun me if I follow my convictions and break with the organization.

I am essentially being held to a decision I made when I was 11. A decision that was made based on false information and misrepresentation. Such a decision would hold absolutely no weight in a legal court of justice, but according to the organization it remains sacrosanct. The decision I made as a child to chain myself to an organization should stay with me until my dying breath. Even if it is based on demonstrable lies and deception, it should still be used as grounds for me to be cut adrift by my Witness family.

Leaders who should know better

To add insult to injury, I now see Watchtower’s leaders, the Governing Body, bending over backwards to get parents to usher their children into the baptism pool. In one of his talks, Anthony Morris III made some disgraceful comments in the video below, in which he essentially told parents to blackmail their kids if necessary to get them dunked. “Don’t swallow that business,” he says of any young ones who might resist (skip to 00:57)…

Then, in his recent zone visit to Sweden, David Splane told parents in his audience that allowing children to follow their heart in matters of faith wasn’t necessarily the “wise” thing to do (skip to 2:40)…

More recently still, as recently as last weekend’s annual meeting, Gerrit Lösch told parents to “steer” their young ones toward baptism (skip to 3:05)…

And finally this morning I open up my YouTube feed to find an appalling video straight from JW.org depicting a young child being baptized (skip to 00:50)…

It’s hard to express the depth of my resentment and anguish at the extent to which the Governing Body is shamelessly pursuing millions of children with the selfish aim of having them herded into baptism pools by their oblivious parents like some sort of grotesque human sheep-dip. To the Governing Body, these children are not individuals – they are human assets to be branded under Watchtower’s ownership as soon after they leave the womb as possible.

It is shameful to force children to pledge allegiance to any religious organization, especially one for which there are grave consequences for leaving
It is shameful to force children to pledge allegiance to any religious organization, especially one for which there are grave consequences for leaving

Children are born as a blank canvas full of curiosity, wonder and questions. But for Witnesses there can be no questions – there are only teachings that cannot be disputed. This is why there can be no such thing as a “Jehovah’s Witness child.” There can only be children who are indoctrinated into the beliefs of their Jehovah’s Witness parents, and restrained from asking the questions a free thinking person would ask.

It is only when you are an adult and you are able to use your fully matured thinking faculties that lifelong commitments should be entered into. The decisions you make as a child are usually not the same ones you would make as an adult.

It is for this same reason that the Western world gasps in horror at the custom in some Islamic countries of arranged marriages involving children – often with disastrous results. If forcing children into a binding contract with a fellow human is so abhorrent, why should forcing children into a binding contract with a religious organization be tolerated? Especially if the penalty for exiting this organization is shunning by parents and other relatives – thus depriving the person of his or her basic human needs?

A personal battle of conviction

I write this article days after the release of the newly revised New World Translation. My readers will likely be expecting me to focus my attentions on, what is for most Witnesses, a historic event. But I woke up this morning in the midst of a personal struggle with Witness family members who are slowly coming to terms with the fact that my wife and I are now Jehovah’s Witnesses in name only. They have been further warned that this will be the case for only a short while longer – we have had it with this organization. What is their response? They say they will shun us if that’s what Watchtower tells them to do. And no, they’re not that interested in knowing our side of the argument.

As you might imagine, I am seething that I am being held to a decision I made as an eleven-year-old based on misleading information and false promises. To cap it all off, I log on to YouTube and see this picturebook monstrosity of a video that is so clearly aimed at herding a fresh generation of children into their nearest baptism pools. The mistake I made as a child is being repeated worldwide on an almost daily basis.

I should be writing about the “new” New World Translation this morning, but my mind is elsewhere. By inflicting their dogmatism on young minds and entombing children in a religion from which they can never freely escape, despite knowing the number of young ones who are later disfellowshipped, the men on the Governing Body have shown that they are morally bankrupt. And I will continue to shout as loudly as I can by any means possible to make this and other abominations known, despite a recent threat made against this website and others.

 

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130 thoughts on “Why it is morally wrong for Watchtower to push baptism on children

  • October 8, 2013 at 4:33 am
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    Very well put comment…it is a sad sad situation for so many families. No-one ever thinks they will be in a situation where they will be shunned by family, and I’m sure no family thinks they will ever be in the situation where they are asked to shun loved ones. Yet all too often we find ourselves there.

  • October 8, 2013 at 4:46 am
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    Thank you for another excellent article. This one hits so very close to home for me too, as I was baptized at a young age, my older siblings even younger. Our family is divided into 2 pieces, the active JWs and those who left to provide our own children a better life. I’m so glad that I never allowed my own sons to be “dunked” into this cesspool of lies and deception. As adults now, they are able to see clearly what they could never have seen as children. It makes me so sick to think of all the young people who are being emotionally blackmailed into making a commitment in which they’ve no idea the consequences. Please keep up the good work — you are making a difference!!!

  • October 8, 2013 at 5:06 am
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    Great article Cedars. I have been on the sidelines for the most part for the last two years or so but this issue of child Baptism as always haunted me. I thought about it often but never made a video about it. Perhaps it’s time to reenlist and do what I can to raise awareness about this supremely important but underexposed problem. Thanks again for the article.

    Brian

  • October 8, 2013 at 5:09 am
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    Bro,

    This is excellently put. I also have a personal struggle with the Org as you know and the point about the JW family not even listening to you side strikes a chord in me man.

    I was wondering about this child baptism (given that they were so hard on the Churches for this) and i can only assume that it is to cover the shortfall in numbers. For some years the growth has stagnated and as your article details has really been falling in the developed world. I think this is a tactic to show paper growth.. but its only a temp measure and ultimately they will be forced to either report that they are shrinking or lie. Given what they already do i think the latter is the most likely.. I predict something like:

    “It was said that immediately before the end there will be a falling off those who are loyal to Jehovah only in word, We are seeing it now. This years figures show the numbers reducing for the first time. But know Brothers and Sisters that this is a sure sign that Jehovah’s great day is imminent and those remaining loyal to his earthly organsiation are sure to get their reward – Bible 10:10 random 13:32”

  • October 8, 2013 at 5:23 am
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    I think no one in their right mind will object to this article Cedars. I am almost crying here when I think of this terrible, terrible indoctrination. There are so many in the local cong that left in there late teens. There has been little or no increase since I first joined in 1975. Many of those as I said were young ones who suddenly realized what they had done and because of their decisions many are not able to be welcomed by their families for the rest of their lives. The only way is education, and that is now happening more and more from the millions of ex JWs still alive around the earth. Just imagine if someone asks them about their religion, how many are going to totally recommend it. In fact the opposite is true they will be told not to touch this religion with a very long barge pole

  • October 8, 2013 at 6:18 am
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    Cedars, I’m am so sorry that you and your wife are now in this terrible situation. It is heart-breaking to say the least. I wonder why even Jesus himself did not present himself for baptism as a child and only did so as a mature, clear-thinking & responsible adult?
    Both of you be strong and Cedars, take comfort from the many, many of us who deeply appreciate the huge task you have taken on.

  • October 8, 2013 at 6:24 am
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    Well Jehovah must have been pretty disgusted with Mary and Joseph when their firstborn son dragged his heels about baptism all those years. I distinctly remember how he voiced his displeasure when Jesus came up out of the water and Jehovah’s boomed from the heavens, “What took you so long?”

  • October 8, 2013 at 6:55 am
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    This cartoon video is nauseating. They always amaze me with their bad taste and cheap indoctrinating methods. I am in the same exact situation of so many of you: baptized at 12, now trying to keep my status so that my family does not cut me off their lives. I am completely out, and luckily my mom -a diehard witness- still speaks to me on the phone, although she avoids talking about my ‘spiritual health’. I feel sorry for her because my brother, a very nice and sensitive guy in his early 20s (who was baptized at 9!) just told me he is bisexual. I know my mom will feel destroyed and frustrated to know that her effort with her two sons results in an atheist and a bisexual -couldn’t be worse in JW-land!

    I can’t even imagine how difficult it is for my brother, but in a way I am relieved to known that he will soon leave that cage and find his own identity.

  • October 8, 2013 at 7:12 am
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    The points you make are so true and break my heart as I was put in the parent position many years ago and followed the same advice as the WTS proscribed. I look back and wish that I had listened to MY heart and not the words of men. Parents be warned!

    As usual Cedars a very good article!

  • October 8, 2013 at 7:19 am
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    I was baptized at 11 years old. I had not grown up but i grew up to be a very expressive, analytical and literal person. I love facts and data. Suffice it to say, I started having my own doubts and opinions. I was disfellowshipped for apostasy and lost all my friends and family.

    To lose all my friends and family because of a decision I made when I was 11 years old is ridiculous. I think most if not all people would agree. It needs to stop.

  • October 8, 2013 at 7:32 am
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    Cedars,
    You said

    “They have been further warned that this will be the case for only a short while longer – we have had it with this organization”

    I suppose one can live looking over one’s shoulder for only a limited time. When you disclose the information, it’s their fault how they respond not yours as they will be taught. Very sad Cedars, for you and your family right now. I am so sorry.

    70wks…

  • October 8, 2013 at 7:41 am
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    Cedars, this post explains why your avatar seems a bit more worried and sullen today than usual. I will push my supportive thoughts and feelings to you and your wife as you endure this stormy part of your lives. Anytime someone changes family dynamics and the dynamics of a relationship, those who feel a sense of change and uncertainty will react strongly.

    While children are unaware of the impact of their decision, the major import and focus of the edict is an emotional appeal to parents as every parent harbors a desire to see their offspring follow in their path [a stamp of approval of life choices]. And, applause to those parents who wisely decided not to push their child into the pool because of the cost. A major item that JW’s trumpeted loudly for years, we don’t christen children — infant baptisms, because it was a matter of having full ability to make decisions. Teens are capble of some choices but does any parent leave it to a teen to choose drugs, alcohol or sexual encounters–major life decisions? So, the HQ is squarely putting the fault onto parents if their children do not “jump into the pool”–‘get dunked’. So, parents who want to keep their JW careers soaring up the ladder will wisely push their kids into the pool. Then, when the kids go off the rails, the parents can excuse themselves with “well, ___ made their decisions; we showed them the T* but they went their own way”. There’s never an attempt to find the root causes–feelings, pain, anxieties–that are causing a young adult (or teen) to “act out”.

    A second point, the GB has some weird logic going here, as usual–in this case, it’s another follow the money reason–and here’s the contradiction of terms: 1) JW’s are encouraged to mingle and preach to “worldly” people, actually seek them out in (as another post from Cedars noted) unsavory neighborhoods that angels would fear to tred, and 2) JW’s are discouraged from having “worldly” friends–people who have sought them out for association or ties from their un-JW past–because the fear is that these unsavory types will lure them back into their old habits. The disconnect, if it isn’t obvious, where’s the marketing motivation in edict #2, or the power of God, in enabling a JW to convert their “worldly” associates into JW’s versus the opposite effect? The assumption is the world has power over JW’s and the supposed power of Jehovah to hold his “called one”.

    Point three, this crap about shunning is something only Mormons (to lesser degrees) and Amish villages practice along with JW’s–hold over from the middle 1800’s where someone shunned in a village could spell their doom where survival came from being part of the group. SDA’s which also disfellowship but no longer pract shunning and a few other denominations simply drop a person’s membership but do not place restrictions on family or friends. Some groups of individuals may practice “mean girls” and exclude persons from their cliques. But, as any solid JW knows, you can be baptized, publishing (maybe pioneering), and still be “marked” because some “pillar of the congregation” holds something against you. A system of judgement based on personal biases and prejudices–sometimes from a person’s previous religious affiliations.

  • October 8, 2013 at 7:41 am
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    I am so sorry, John Cedars, for the position that you now find yourself.

    You are facing something that I will never have to. I am deeply sorry.

    The fact is that you are succeeding in your cause. The WTBTS goons are realising that they are being hammered by your even handed and honest articles. They are afraid of you and they will lash out in their fear.

    The fact that the bethel folk are leaking documents and video shows that the GB are very concerned. They are getting paranoid and they will get meaner before they wither and die.

    I am convinced that the witnesses are on their way out. There is a critical mass being reached, and I do not think that the witnesses will continue unedited.

    My thoughts are with you.

  • October 8, 2013 at 8:07 am
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    This article makes me almost grateful for the fact that my mad JW mother was a filthy, unkempt slob that ‘kept’ such a foul and disgusting house that I felt impelled to run away to my grandmother’s. That lessened the JW influence, which meant that the childish desire to get baptised and pioneer in time evaporated. Armageddon nightmares, however, persisted for some years. This pathetic and disgraceful drive to push up the numbers of mag. buyers via childhood baptism can only lead to the percentage of born-in dropouts exceeding its current Christendom record of c. 66%. This generation of kids will never stay true to the official JW internet sites only edicts. They will find out quicker than we oldies than JW TRUTH is monstrous and murderous ever changing bullshit. I hope, by the way, that those true believing JWs who used to contribute are still reading this website. They clearly will have no answers; nothing to say in defence of their obscene little cult. They will, however, learn that the ever growing numbers of angry ex JWs are getting organised and are set to push the WTBTS in the direction it deserves. Bring on the day when the whole misery making outfit is but a grubby little footnote, a passing excrescence, in the history of Christendom.

  • October 8, 2013 at 9:02 am
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    I agree with you 100%!

    My daughter was “pressured” in her own words at 14 to get baptized by the elders! My niece even younger. They are both long gone from the org. I waited much longer and only did it to be doing something. Never realized I was being baptized into a man made religion and not into a relationship with Christ. I left too! I hope this article is read and acted on by many others struggling with their stay in the organization knowing it is NOT the truth!

  • October 8, 2013 at 9:12 am
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    Cedars, this article almost made me cry, I know exactly how you feel and I too am going throught what you are going through this very moment. I was baptized when I was 11, only to later on leave and become inactive for some years because of the resentment I had with many other JW’s I knew and lived my life as a “worldly person” and came back and became a ministerial servant then learned The Truth About The Truth. In a recent conversation I realized, we never had a normal childhood, there were no birthday parties or holidays, there was only school and the meetings and service and because my parents like many others were so focused on spiritual things they never had much money to take me or my siblings out on trips much, I think about the people asking me when I was 9 “what is holding you back from dedicating your life to Jehovah?”, I think that people should be 18 before they can even decide to be baptized into any religion formally and only then should they be held “accountable”, I saw a 9 year old at a recent circuit assembly get baptized and my jaw dropped, “if he only knew” I thought to myself, what if he later on realizes he made a mistake and is disfellowshipped for doing “teen things”?, or what if he is faced with the decision to have to reject a blood transfusion? We are all still “accountable” even though we got baptized as mere children, long before we had minds of our own…and now as adults who have thoughts our family and all the people we know and love so much will shun us if we ever formally leave. I know for a fact my family will, my own inactive brother who is still convinced it is the truth will too, if we knew we could and will get dfed if we leave or make mistake and all that entails and were taught so when we were “studying” many would never have gotten baptized, I had a study who became an unbaptized publisher before I discovered what was really going on and stopped studying with him and have not told him why or anything really, he has stopped studying and doing his own thing now I hear and I am glad he is I could not live with myself if I led anymore people to join this harmful religion. I pray that you and all of us going through a similar situation can find peace and stay strong for when our loved ones decide to shun us.

    C M

  • October 8, 2013 at 9:18 am
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    The kid getting baptized looks around 12, old enough to know all the history dirt, and the light gets brighter. At least no baby being baptized, he made a personal dedication before getting baptized. New born babies can’t do that.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:23 am
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      George, please tell me your comment is a joke? I haven’t got time for smoke and mirrors on a subject as sensitive to me as this. GROWN Witnesses don’t know the history of the organization they’re being baptized into, let alone 12-year-olds. And if you know anything about the “increasing light” doctrine, you will know that not one scripture supports the idea of God “who cannot lie” deliberately passing false information to his worshippers as a “makeweight” until true information is divulged at a later stage.

  • October 8, 2013 at 9:54 am
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    I feel ashamed to tell people (Non-JWs) that before baptism I made an oath that would be the most painful thing I have made in my life.

    In their video “how to make real friends” the GB coneys an idea that you can say “Yes” and change your mind later! Not applicable to those leaving the WTS?

  • October 8, 2013 at 10:03 am
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    You can’t enlighten everyone. Cut them loose and move on. I had to. You can too.

  • October 8, 2013 at 10:52 am
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    Great article Cedars; I feel your pain. My current concern is for my youngest; she is 18 and told me “there is no way I am getting baptized” and I support her in her decision. It is challenging as her Mother is still actively involved in the religion and would like nothing more than to see our daughter get baptized. She is already facing ostracism from her childhood friends-all of who are now baptized. She is excluded from social gatherings and is being dissed by her long-time friends. I am certain that they are being coerced by their parents to treat her like a second class citizen. It is very hurtful to her and she is now seeking other friends outside of this wacky religion, much to the chagrin of her Mother. I can only hope she will find some real friends and get her smile back again. The damage this religion does to families due to this policy is in my opinion inestimable and the GB will have an accounting before the creator for all their atrocities!

  • October 8, 2013 at 10:55 am
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    I disagree with only one thing – that this wasn’t the right article to write today. This was exactly the right article. This policy of bullying children into decisions that give these men control over them for life is a much bigger issue that new bible – a little more jehovah and fewer words.

    Pressured into baptism myself at 14. “Don’t you want to see your dead brother in the new system”. Worst kind of emotional blackmail. Facing the final point of my own fade right now as well. Good Luck to you and know you are truly helping people out here in internet land…

  • October 8, 2013 at 11:13 am
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    Cedars is not in a joking mood today, so let me approach this seriously. Given the rise of abuse cases and some clearly child abuse and not even covering rape and other charges from adults, molesters can target any children but a 12 yo hoisted into this adult world of total submission could become an easy target and prey of unscrupulous predators. So, in my mind, this is a case of forcing a child to pass through a potentially fiery sacrifice of their innocence. In their early developing years, a 12 yo would learn total submission and never to say “no” to the JW authority figures surrounding him/her.

    This makes my skin crawl after serious consideration.

  • October 8, 2013 at 11:20 am
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    @iclone,
    I too, had started to notice certain teens excluding other teen publishers who were not baptised. Oddly, one of them felt comfortable enough to tell me she had to be careful since they weren’t really good association…I was still “in” then and advised her that where was Jesus ever judgemental??? Maybe some need more encouragement and instead of looking down on them, try to help.
    I am so happy my teen was starting to rebel against JW doctrine and raise questions I couldn’t answer. Combine that with the Candace Conti case breaking, an elder being accused of child abuse in our hall (4 boys over 10 years, so far), it didn’t take me long to learn TTATT.
    So thankful my daughter didn’t get baptised and has her critical thinking skills working. She’ll be headed to college in two years and I am so proud she is breaking the cycle of 5 generations in “the truth”.
    Don’t give up; try to instill thinking questions with your children. Jesus wasn’t baptised until 30, according to the Bible. So, definitely not a light decision and the consequences of changing your mind, according to Watchtower, mean you lose your family. Child indoctrination is all the Governing Body has left to use with born-in’s.

  • October 8, 2013 at 11:49 am
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    Hi Cedars

    Your position certainly rings a bell with me for I have been in a similar situation ever since I left the WTBTS. At the time I was a string serving elder who learned something whilst sitting on a “Judicial Committee”. It motivated me to take action which I did. My problem was that I didn’t prepare myself well enough and when I made the announcement to my family, they said that it was a personal matter but that they would stay with the organisation. Immediately, everything I said was viewed with suspicion, any negative comment or criticism was viewed as “persecution”. I have lived with the threat of shunning for nearly 30 years now, I am 73 years old but, I will not allow those men in Brooklyn to destroy my marriage.

    I am strong in the Lord Jesus, I know he walks with me and keeps me strong. I can listen to WT comments and treat them for the hypocricy that they are.

    Be thankful Cedars that your wife is with you in this matter, that is a blessing beyond belief. I thank you for all your information, it has been a great help to be.

    May God Bless you and your wife as you make your Godly journey.

    Regards

    W H

  • October 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm
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    I was baptized in 1976 at a Circuit Assembly in New London, Ohio, at the age of 16. I had contemplated baptism for several years, and the decision was not a topic of discussion I had with the aunt with whom I was living at the time. I had studied the “Truth” book, was enrolled in the Theocratic Ministry School, and had participated in field service on a regular basis since the age of 12.

    After having studied the extensive list of questions from the “Organization” book, I felt that I was ready to make my dedication to Jehovah and His visible organization known in a public way.

    Most of the other young people in our congregation waited significantly longer than I did, and showed far less interest in spiritual things at the time. I had lost both of my parents at an early age, and the “truth” as I understood it at the time, was the only thing that brought a sense of stability to my life. Other young people had been raised in the “truth” whereas I had become exposed to it at the age of 12 following the death of my parents.

    Although I eventually studied myself out of the “truth” I continue to love God and His Word. Theology remains a passion. I have graduated from a theological school, taken courses in hermeneutics, and the original languages and have written extensively about a variety of subjects related to Biblical subjects. I no longer agree with my former convictions, but the experience I had within the organization was not a negative one, nor do I believe that I was abused spiritually during that time.

    The Overseers and Ministerial Servants in our congregation conducted themselves in a godly manner toward me during the days of my youth. I realize this is not the identical experience of everyone, but putting the past into perspective with the realization that every juncture in life provides knowledge and opportunities to learn and to grow from it. I have no regrets for my past, in this respect.

  • October 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm
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    Cedars,

    Is this matter of young people being “actively steered” to baptism on the survey? If not, it probably should be.

    • October 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm
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      Good point WT Critic, I agree with you.

      • October 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm
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        If you were to look at the demographics of this website I’m sure you would see a large chunk are young people.

        If individuals like this are to be helped to leave the clutches of the WT organization and sadly their family they need to learn a lot about independence. That can include getting a job, moral support, and much more. If such ones are to be really helped they need guidance and support in these areas. The very editor of this website needs assistance himself to break free. Is it possible to start helping these individuals with these areas that are keeping them trapped within? I don’t know that I know the answer to this but the answer is the key to freeing thousands.

  • October 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm
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    Cedars, the comment from George is not from me. Is there a mechanism that stops people having the same name?

    I am now excelsior, so please don’t think I’ve gone crazy!!

    I wonder if human rights law is being breached by allowing non adults to be baptised? There are such serious repercussions if one leaves or is removed.

    • October 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm
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      Of course, with a name like Excelsior, why would I think you’re crazy?! ;)

      I don’t know about baptism of non-adults, but I am sure human rights laws are being breached through shunning of former believers – items 12, 18 and 20b of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be exact. Getting authorities to do anything about it is another matter entirely.

  • October 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm
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    Cedars – my thoughts are with you and your wife – please be strong at this difficult time.

    I can truly empathise with you, having been ‘pressurised’ to get baptised at 16, then disfellowshipped at 18. I didn’t see or hear from my mother until I was 30. Over the next 10 years we rekindled our relationship (she suggested that the JWs had relaxed their stance somewhat!!). Then when I was 40 (in 2012) she suddenly decided she couldn’t have anything to do with me again as I was disfellowshipped with no evidence of returning to the fold!

    I have been through sheer hell, but your website / blog has been a *huge* source of comfort in helping me get through this period of ‘mourning’ – and I’ve had a double dose of it!!

    This is the first time I have ever posted to the site, but I was moved to write in the hope that all the messages of support will help you and your wife in some small way to come to terms with the nightmare you have found yourselves in. Don’t give up Cedars – the vast majority of us out here are all on your side ;-)

    Thank you for everything you do for so many of us.

    • October 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm
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      Thanks so much Deb. I do appreciate all the messages of support and solidarity from everyone. They remind my wife and I that we are not alone in this and there is a bigger picture to consider. :)

  • October 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm
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    I’ve seen that in the UK and US. Of that pressure to get baptised (along with ministry hours). It’s a different type of peer pressure. And certainly felt downward for married brothers reaching out for MS or Elder. And many connect baptism as solemn as marriage, in this care marriage to JWorg (essentially the GB).

    Thank you Cedars for the article and in sharing something so sensitive.

    The other sad thing is that age 20 is the age of accountability. All of the Israelites over the age of 20 perished in the 40 years of wandering (except for 4, perhaps a few more).

  • October 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm
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    No. Not a joke. It is hard to tell how old the young men getting baptized is since being depicted in cartoon format so 12 might not be 100% accurate. More like 15 or 16 years old. It really looks like you have plenty of time with these blogs. And I hear many negatives. So I am truly sorry if you feel the organization should be perfect, the apostles were arguing who was the greatest just before our savior Jesus was getting ready to lay on the torture stake. The idea of the light getting brighter is in the Bible, our God felt it important to mention. I am not trying to be smart and educate I am simply stating the obvious but I feel that you have had a personal attack from the organization. Jehovah has set up this highly spiritual education group just as Jesus did with just 12 men. At least Jesus was perfect to fulfill his fathers will. You can’t stop that.

    • October 8, 2013 at 3:41 pm
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      “And I hear many negatives. So I am truly sorry if you feel the organization should be perfect”

      I don’t expect any human organization to be perfect. But if an organization is claiming to speak on behalf of God and starts penalizing people like me through shunning and deprivation of family simply for disagreeing with its ever-changing teachings then it had damn well better accept responsibility for its mistakes.

      “The idea of the light getting brighter is in the Bible, our God felt it important to mention.”

      That’s either a stunning piece of ignorance or a bald-faced lie. To support the idea of increasing light on bible understanding as propounded by Watchtower you would need to show me ONE scripture that conveys the notion of God “who cannot lie” deliberately passing false information to his worshippers as a “makeweight” until true information is divulged at a later stage. Which scripture do you propose? (spoiler, you won’t find it in Proverbs 4:18)

      “Jehovah has set up this highly spiritual education group just as Jesus did with just 12 men.”

      And your evidence for this is… where? Oh, I forgot – evidence isn’t needed. As long as the 8 men on the Governing Body tell you that Jesus chose them, that’s good enough for you.

  • October 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm
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    George is such a great example of the immature tactic of going to from one extreme to another. Cedars and people like myself have huge issues with an organization that protects pedophiles and has made blatantly sexist and racist comments, that elevates an elite group of men over nearly 8 million with no scriptural backing, and that practices a form of horrific abuse toward children by pressuring them into making an agreement they are nowhere near able to comprehend, then shunning them as adults when they are old enough to make a more informed choice about their beliefs and spiritual needs. “Oh, so you want the organization to be perfect then?” Right, we don’t like how the organization goes to such extremes to abuse people, so please go to the other extreme and demand perfection. That’s exactly it. *eye roll*

    Imagine if the organization was an individual. “Honey, could you stop raping our children, hitting me in the face, insulting our black neighbors, deciding that you’re the only one to make decisions, and kindly not pressure our pre-teen into this arranged marriage?” “Oh so you want me to be perfect then?” *eye roll-face palm combo*

  • October 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm
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    Proverbs 2 really shows what we all have, God gives us this through his word the bible. I really don’t think God calls those 8 men to tell them what to write in the Watchtower. Prov 2:2 is what we should do, not to hear what men have to say, but to really have a 1 on 1 with Jehovah. And to make it your own personal dedication with your own personal Bible study. But is Bible study enough? Should we not be sharpened and encouraged by our Christian brotherhood?

  • October 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm
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    You want to make me an example of extremes all I said was I am truly sorry if you feel the organization should be perfect. That was not a tactic, I truly said “if” that is what your wishing for….This is certainly not a perfect world we live in and I think there are more examples of the unseen problems starting with world war 1 and 2 causing more problems then 8 people in New York.

  • October 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm
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    Well said Cedars…
    And, not to gang-up on you George, but your points were not so well said IMHO.

    Some major flaws in the arguments of witnesses tend to be circular reasoning and racing in to make passionate claims based on their beliefs without providing sound, if any, evidence- or missing the issue being argued all together.

    If you get to understand some of the “other side’s” arguments by reading more of Cedars’ blog and jwfacts.com initially, you may fathom what you’re arguing against better, and be in an improved position to present your opposing views, if at that stage you still hold them. The interesting thing about most on here who likely disagree with you, is that they already greatly understand the ideas, arguments and “reasoning” presented by the Watchtower, because they’ve usually already spent years in time learning about them. Therefore, former JW members on here are presenting their points of view with a deep understanding of both sides of the argument, which, as you should agree, is crucial to presenting an even-handed perspective. Yet, unfortunately this is vitally lacking with most WT adherents who try to counter argue points being made.

    All the best during this difficult time Cedars…

  • October 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm
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    Children who want to start young, like Samuel, can. But adults should not push them. Jesus was baptized at 30. His example is best for the majority. The GB claims to follow Jesus, but they teach premature baptism contrary to his example. Makes me wonder who their leader is. Hmmm …

  • October 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm
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    Well said Cedars…
    And, not to gang-up on you George, but your points were not so well said IMHO.

    Some major flaws in the arguments of witnesses tend to be circular reasoning and racing in to make passionate claims *based on their beliefs* without providing sound, if any, evidence- or missing the issue being argued all together.

    If you get to understand some of the “other side’s” arguments by reading more of Cedars’ blog and jwfacts.com initially, you may fathom what you’re arguing against better, and be in an improved position to present your opposing views, if at that stage you still hold them. The interesting thing about most on here who likely disagree with you, is that they already greatly understand the ideas, arguments and “reasoning” presented by the Watchtower, because they’ve usually already spent years in time learning about them. Therefore, former JW members on here are presenting their points of view with a deep understanding of both sides of the argument, which, as you should agree, is crucial to presenting an even-handed perspective. Yet, unfortunately this is vitally lacking with most WT adherents who try to counter argue points being made.

    All the best during this difficult time Cedars…

  • October 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm
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    Keep up the good work Cedars! And sister Cedars, you hang in there as well, keep supporting your husband.

    Most of the comments are so encouraging and on point!

    George: you really don’t get it do you? I find nowhere where Cedars has ever indicated that he expects perfection from anyone nor any organization.

  • October 8, 2013 at 6:37 pm
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    Out of genuine concern Ceders what is the latest threat consist of?

    Secondly I wanted to say that the GB new hard line stance on shunning relatives and encouragement of child baptisms is a clear indicator to me that they are running scared. As they see this huge karma train about to hit them expect to see them get even more vicious like a caged animal being poked with a stick.

    • October 9, 2013 at 12:39 am
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      Hi nobodyknows – I’m afraid I can’t give any more information about the threat at this stage. It could turn out to be a hoax, but we need to take all threats seriously – which is what we’re doing.

  • October 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm
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    I’m so grateful to you ceders for your concise and well researched articles. Your a hero and a champion of the silent majority. Keep up the good fight and I’m sending well wishes and glad tidings. Live long and prosper Cedars!

  • October 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm
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    in response to Cedars response to George

    That’s either a stunning piece of ignorance or a bald-faced lie. To support the idea of increasing light on bible understanding as propounded by Watchtower you would need to show me ONE scripture that conveys the notion of God “who cannot lie” deliberately passing false information to his worshippers as a “makeweight” until true information is divulged at a later stage. Which scripture do you propose? (spoiler, you won’t find it in Proverbs 4:18)

    Also I’d like to point out that the context surrounding proverbs 4:18 doesn’t support the JW current understanding and use of it.

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