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 6:52 pm
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    George,

    You speak of bible study, and Christian brotherhood. You speak of world war 1 and 2 as if they are examples of prophecy being fulfilled.

    It’s clear that time is running out regarding the 1914 date, and it will eventually be altered as “the light get’s brighter”. It is clear that in developed nations the organization’s growth rate is stagnating. Consider that a preview of what will take place once the rest of the world becomes more developed It’s clear from the lawsuits and the media attention that the organization is no better than the Catholic Church when it comes to pedophilia.
    It’s clear that historical and scientific evidence disputes many claims made in the bible, not least of all the claims in Genesis. It’s clear that the organization frowns on higher education because students acquire critical thinking skills that the organizations doctrine cannot stand up to. It’s clear that the ministry school trains publishers to target individuals who are lonely or emotionally vulnerable.

    It is clear that the Watchtower organization and the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, is only a slightly better alternative to Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple, because the kool-aid Jehovah’s Witnesses drink doesn’t result in instant death. It is kool-aid though, and it’s not good for you.

    More in line with the theme of the article, it is clear that the GB is pushing baptism on young people to lock them into the organization, because they realize that with information flowing so freely in the digital age, and young people being the largest consumers of this information, its only a matter of time before they stumble across something that puts them off from the organization for good.

    Excellent work Cedars! Keep fighting the good fight!

  • October 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm
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    Jesus Christ, the Son of God, a sinless and perfect man who spent his time in the temple of Jerusalem as a twelve-year-old child listening to and questioning the teachers was baptized many years later at the mature age of 30. – Luke 2:41-47

    Jehovah’s Witness children, sinful and imperfect human beings, who spend their time at the Kingdom Hall passing out microphones, reading the Bible before an audience, handing our literature, giving talks, going from door to door, and not being able to ask questions but demanded to listen, get baptized at the tender ages of 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and up.

    A few years later, Jesus Christ, the messiah, who fully understood what he was sent to the earth to do, gets crucified as a sacrifice to rid mankind of sin and death.

    A few years later, a Jehovah’s Witness child, the abused, who did not fully understand the totality of what was entailed in making a lifelong commitment to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, is disfellowshipped and subsequently shunned.

    This is definitely a human rights issue that must be instantaneously addressed.

  • October 8, 2013 at 7:21 pm
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    I was 13 going on 14 when I was baptized. I have no regrets. My parents NEVER forced that decision, it was mine alone. I saw many who got baptized before me but they proved to be 2-faced and only got baptized for the wrong reasons and now they have left. Would I have wanted to get baptized earlier? No way! Later, possibly. My parents never followed the view on higher education, I went to College and then to University. My dad would say, “if they don’t get an education to make something of themselves, how can they pioneer, by working at McDonalds? Whether entering full time service or not, they need to be qualified and educated for the job they apply for.”

  • October 8, 2013 at 7:37 pm
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    Cedars, only after soul searching through reading the scriptures then being prodded by Holy Spirit could me and me wife turn in our disassociation letters after 26 years. Knowing that Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is our true friend and will help us when we make that decision to leave the organization. We prepped for our leaving so we wouldn’t return. Making friends with parents of our daughters classmates. (She’s 10) Seeking the advice of those who have left before us. ( Freeminds.com) Reminding yourself that” YOU DID NOTHING WRONG!!!” It was a publishing company masquerading as a cult… or was it a cult masquerading as a publishing company I cant remember which! Any group that tells you THEY know all the answers and are the only ones, it’s time to go. We as parent raised our oldest daughter as a witness. All her friend were getting baptized but we reminded her there would be time for that when you are older. So when she was 16 we let here get baptized. Thinking now she had seen what happens to young ones when they get disfellowshipped she wouldn’t get in to trouble. Not thinking about the long term effect the organization has on people. She has been married to a brother for almost 20 months now. We left in the spring of this year and she has had only limited contact with us mainly to see her little sister. Being a business owner I know that you cannot enter any contract legally until your 18 years of age and have it stand up in a court of law. And yet the organization “binds them with heavy loads” that they can’t get out of! In my opinion it’s spiritual blackmail. Young people that where brought up in the organization don’t have any other life experiences to draw from. Cedars. Just know that there are many of us here that will be praying for You and Your Family! Please contact me if I can be of any assistance in the future. Your friend in Christ, REDEEMED

  • October 8, 2013 at 7:41 pm
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    Great article Cedars, I’ve been in the Borg for over a decade. I’ve seen kids as young as 9 years old. At that age, they dont even know how to wipe their ass. But, the GB well knows that an adult will open a door for a child and accept their magazines, and perhaps on their weakest day, they’ll fall prey to the GB. New people equals money, and bigger numbers. According to the organization, every baptized member is an ordained minister. How about letting all those ordained ministers give public talks too…. right? Well, anyways, the hypocrisy in this organization is greater than the love they have for eachother and their families. So, no wonder that they dont care about their kids getting baptized, and facing the consequences in the future. Imagine an 11 year old baptized and ordained JW minister making some mistake… How would they explain to the 11 year old that mommy and daddy cant talk to him anymore about anything other than basic needs? he cant play with his friends…. he will grow up as a psychologically disturbed kid who may tend to suffer from depression later on in life. Ok, so if he can stick to his dedication… what if he realizes later in life that no one warned him about the consequences? He would end up being angry at everyone, including his parents once he discovers TTATT. But ofcourse, the GB doesnt care about that, after all, they let pedophiles get the kids who dont wanna get baptized, or perhaps now the baptized kid can associate more actively with pedophiles.

  • October 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm
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    The scriptures encourage all to follow in the footsteps of Christ……. Was he baptized as a child? No.

    Was he outstandingly spiritual as a child? Yes. There is no mention in scripture that Mary and Joseph felt he should be baptized in his early years!

    Jesus himself at the age of 30, came to John the Baptist and was baptized. At a mature age one knows what they are doing. Some presume to know better than Christ and cause misery and unnecessary suffering for others.

    They wipe their hands and quickly walk by on the opposite side of the street, claim no responsibility for what has happed to families during their watch.

    Proverbs 22:3 encourages…”Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself, but the inexperienced have passed along and must suffer the penalty.”

    Better to follow the example of Christ.

  • October 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm
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    I all to well know what your feeling and going thru. I am out over 20 years and my sister took a little longer but now sees the light! We to have a hard time giving up our family, it’s just plain wrong! My parents are now older and need our help but they are afraid of the organization to let us been though they want and need there daughters! My dad getting very forgetful and our mom just had knee surgery and cannot walk. It’s a SIN that our once very close knit family cannot be together! Shame on the JW’s!!! It’s a CULT! get out with no regrets! It’s bittersweet but You will be happier.

  • October 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm
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    Jesus Christ, the Son of God, a sinless and perfect man who spent his time in the temple of Jerusalem as a twelve-year-old child listening to and questioning the teachers was baptized many years later at the mature age of 30. – Luke 2:41-47

    Jehovah’s Witness children, sinful and imperfect human beings, who spend their time at the Kingdom Hall passing out microphones, reading the Bible before an audience, handing out literature, giving talks, going from door to door, and not being able to ask questions but demanded to listen, get baptized at the tender ages of 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and up.

    A few years later, Jesus Christ, the messiah, who fully understood what he was sent to the earth to do, gets crucified as a sacrifice to rid mankind of sin and death.

    A few years later, a Jehovah’s Witness child, the abused, who did not fully understand the totality of what was entailed in making a lifelong commitment to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, is disfellowshipped and subsequently shunned.

    This is definitely a human rights issue that must be instantaneously addressed.

  • October 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm
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    Nearest I think:1Kings 22 [esp v 20 ]

  • October 8, 2013 at 11:33 pm
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    Dear Cedars,
    Your article on children’s baptism is owesome!

    Your having ‘one foot in’ helps this blog more than you can
    Imagine. Many witnesses, including a large group of
    Bethelites in a European nation read you because ‘he is an inactive BROTHER ‘.Otherwise they and other witnesses
    might consider you an apostate and not just a dissident, thus feeling condemned. Even though they are very upset, they are still half brainwashed.
    Please think about it.
    I’m in for over 50 years.In the full time work until a short time ago. Terrified of my
    children and grandchildren’ reaction and of dying completely
    alone. This organization is more than a monster. I’m really
    sad. Thank you for the comfort you bring.
    The best to you and your wife.

  • October 9, 2013 at 1:30 am
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    I can see that my situation is a bit different from the others here. I was baptized in my early 20’s and really had wished I had delayed it until my early 30’s. I am now trying to fade, and all ready I am been held to ransom by some fellow believers who I have financial ties with. Getting involved both financially and been to young has been a life decision I have come to regret. I have tough calls to make and it is a balancing act.

  • October 9, 2013 at 1:44 am
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    I always find this kind of black/white thinking so curious about JWs. For example my JW wife was happy to come to a restaurant on my birthday and celebrate with me as long as i didn’t call it a birthday. Equally JWs can talk to an ‘inactive one’ who is clearly ‘apostate’ in his views.. but as soon as he is officially disfellowshipped, is really and apostate and talking is forbidden. Its exactly this legalism and bureaucracy that Jesus hated in the ‘organization’ of Judaism of his time.

    One of the best examples is this objection to almost anything fun as ‘pagan’ because the WT says so.. yet they are happy to wear eye make-up (Egyptian pagan) and wedding rings (Celtic pagan) because the WT says these pagan things are cool.

  • October 9, 2013 at 2:30 am
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    Cedars, Thank you very much for this excellent article you have written. I could still recall the joy that I felt when I was baptized during my late 20’s. Also, the joy that I felt when the whole congregation embraced me as one of there new brother. But, those days were gone now. I am now an inactive JW (thanks to the internet and the so called “apostate” website). I hope that JW parents should not force there children for baptism. They should give there children the freedom to decide what is right and what is wrong from the basis of what they are learning from the Bible being taught in the KH. Just imagine the pain and sufferings that parents will have to deal with when time comes there children (steered to baptism) are now thinking adults…ready to depart from the power and mighty of the WT.

  • October 9, 2013 at 3:11 am
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    Your sadness makes me sad. Sad that so many children are lured into a happiness concept that so hard to escape from.

    Because that is what the JW concept is about, to instill a feeling of happiness in their members. Give them a lot of praise, give them attention, give them friendship, give them warmth and give them the wonderful feeling of deserving a fantastic reward combined with the feeling of being a superior person. That does the trick. Or more precisely, it DID the trick but no longer. They get very few new adult members and they loose a large proportion of their own children – so what to do than to tie/chain the remaining
    children harder to the concept…

  • October 9, 2013 at 3:32 am
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    What a great summary. I’m 26 and in this process of getting the hell out of this awful organisation. I have known for many many years something hasn’t been quite right and I stopped believing the org even though I was a ministerial servant. Got to the point where I couldn’t get up and stand there and parrot things I didn’t agree with. Got fed up of being told my circumstances allowed me to regular pioneer etc. So I stepped down. I got baptised at 12, I look back and the motivating factors were that I thought it was the right thing to do but also, and sickeningly so, that I would get presents! It would be MY day, a day where people made a fuss of me. Sounds like all the birthdays I never had. And I’m writing this today, on my birthday, one that still isn’t being celebrated.
    But how can anyone of such a tender age make that decision and know what they are doing fully? Even at 16/17. Most people wouldn’t get married at 16/17, and I’m certainly different now to how I was then.
    Thankfully my brother and his wife have come to this realisation recently too of their own accord and when they told me about it I said “I already know all this, have done for the last 5-6 years but feared leaving and losing everything and everyone I ever cared for in a heartbeat”. But yeah, you reap what you sow, and like you say there are kids earth wide right now sowing like we did into a completely unknown field, a toxic unsustainable field, and they have no idea because they are blinded to it, as are their parents.
    “HAVE THE COURAGE TO WALK AWAY FROM SOMETHING THAT NO LONGER SERVES YOU.”

  • October 9, 2013 at 4:10 am
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    @Mellow – Happy Birthday! Good health, Cheers, Xronia Bola, and many happy returns.

  • October 9, 2013 at 4:18 am
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    I too have been working my way out of this pseudo Christian religion for the past almost 3 years now. I was baptized at 24. I wasn’t raised as a Witness, and this was really my first foray into any kind of ‘bible study’ or organized religion. I have always been eager to please those whom I respect, and I had a lot respect for the brother with whom I studied. If I had only done my research and had listened to my family when they tried to warn me about what I was getting in to. I honestly had no idea what I was committing to and what it would cost me to leave.

    I married a wonderful woman, a sister, and we have a wonderful relationship. We even have a beautiful child together who is the light of our lives. Fortunately, we ‘awoke’ together. Me first, but she soon followed and we are together in this. We’ve decided, for the sake of family relations, to stay in as long as we can and to navigate the murky waters together. But I know in my heart that we will eventually have to officially sever ties with the organization.

    Another good thing for us is that we have the respect of our Witness family and friends as we’ve been strongholds in the congregation for many years and they’ve seen how we live our lives. We’re not perfect, but we’ve always tried very hard to help others in whatever way we can, and we plan on doing our utmost to now help others through the awakening process. We know just how devastating it is and how much help one needs when they’re going through it. In fact, I’m part of a group of brothers who are all going through the same thing. We fly low, under the radar, but we are very close and we all are awake. I don’t know what I’d do without them as a support group. If the brothers in New York only knew the amount of true dissent going on right inside, they probably wouldn’t sleep at night. We speculate that some type of test of loyalty to the self-proclaimed “faithful slave” is on the way and each one will have to answer personally whether or not they believe the 8 men in New York are God’s sole “channel” for dispensing truth to mankind. We believe they’ve reached that level of arrogance and paranoia.

    I am enraged at the things that are going on in this movement which I consider to be a dangerous mind controlling cult group.

    Cedars, I’m so sorry for what you’re going through right now. My prayers are with you as you strive to maintain your own personal integrity to what you know is true and right. You’re not alone!

    The WTBTS has flown too high and is in for a very, very hard fall. They, as we know them today, will not exist in the not too distant future. Big big changes are coming. The pain for those who are cast off will be momentary and light compared to the pain for those who choose to stay in. Listen to Jesus’ voice as he guides you out, and no lasting harm will come to you. Your popularity may suffer in the short term, but you will have saved your life in the long run.

    Blessings to you and your readers.

    Alan

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:21 am
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    What an excellent, thought provoking article with awesome comments from so many of you. I was baptized at 14, pressured from my best friend and the congregation, but not my JW parents thankfully. I left with a bang we’ll say – from regular pioneer/always on assembly parts and stage to disfellowshipped lowlife worthy of destruction. The best way to go it seems is to simply fade away as my brother and his wife did and numerous other friends. These ones are hugged and kissed when JWs see them. Me, people have literally covered their faces and walked away. I’m laughing as I type this it’s so messed up. You’re doing a great thing talking about this subject and opened my eyes further. Thank you!

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:50 am
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    Thank you very much for your article. I m from France and J was 17 when I got baptized and unfortunately not mature enough to realize that I engaged in a religion which is a global world scam. Today I’m like you, always Jehovah’s Witness after being ministerial assistant and elder ; I also came to realize how the organization lied! As you are yet, i am a prisoner of this status not to lose my family and friends who are dedicated to this organization I am free of the indoctrination of the watchtower, but I’m terrified to see how many brothers and sisters continue to support this organization, these activities and immoral doctrines that no human courts come to condemn completely … As there is collusion between the organization and the courts …. as there is with financial system !

  • October 9, 2013 at 6:32 am
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    @Susan good comments. I’m glad you are out, and you wouldn’t get that treatment from any one of us. Just keep reminding yourself that you would no doubt hug and be hospitable to any one of them, it is however those JWs that cover their faces and avoid you (as I have done to people in the past) that are being less Christian than they should be. People always used to say “if Jesus were here what would he do?” He would dine with people who are rejected and broken. With this in mind I had a meal with my disfellowshipped cousin (an offence that could well get me officially kicked out) and she is literally a broken mess, overnight she lost everything and everyone she ever cared for, and she was repentant but still got kicked out. For the last 6 years she has been in mental turmoil, not knowing who she is, what she did to deserve it all, and in the org you are told not to make friends outside it, so when you get kicked out there is no one to catch you. It’s all so heavy but rest assured, if I saw you on the street I wouldn’t hesitate to share a drink with you, give you the time of day for a hello etc. That’s what it means to be a true Christian. JWs go on and on about the fruitages of the spirit, well in these situations they delete at least a good four of them. Crazy isn’t it. Wishing you peace though.

    @Zeebo thanks for the birthday wishes. :)

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:03 am
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    Anthony Morris the third’s comments on billions of people dying really made me feel sick.

    No, he’s not happy about it. But he isn’t distraught either is he? Think about that, George and all you other witnesses commenting on this site. Billions of people. The whole population of India and China is roughly 2 billion. This gives you an idea of the kind of God that dear old Anthony worships. I have commented before under the name of George (still furious that someone else took it by the way) that killing people is distressingly easy. Keeping people alive and fulfilled is a proper challenge for a God, don’t you think?

    I am appalled at the complete lack of empathy shown by Anthony Morris III. He doesn’t care about billions of deaths. Not a big deal.

    Still want to follow men like this? I pity you. I really do.

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:25 am
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    If you go to YouTube and watch the song/baptism cartoon, note that comments are held for moderator approval. As of this a.m. there are no comments. I wonder how many people tried to note how appalling this was and they dismissed those comments because, you know, JWs don’t allow for dissenting opinions, not even if they’re backed by scripture.

  • October 9, 2013 at 8:08 am
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    Former George, … look at the type of god Anthony Morris belives in, shaping his thoughts and beliefs
    (1 Chronicles 21:17) . . .And David proceeded to say to the [true] God: “Was it not I that said to make a numbering of the people, and is it not I that have sinned and have unquestionably done bad? As for these sheep, what have they done? O Jehovah my God, let your hand, please, come to be upon me and my father’s house; but not upon your people, for a scourge.”

  • October 9, 2013 at 10:42 am
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    What IS the meaning of your baptism? To whom do you belong?

    The book, WHAT DOES THE BIBLE Really TEACH? explains it this way:

    “Remember, too, that you have made a dedication to Jehovah God himself, not to a work, a cause, other humans, or an organization. Your dedication and baptism are the beginning of a very close friendship with God—an intimate relationship with him.” —Psalm 25:14. – p. 183, para. 24 – [Emphasis added]

    This is from Chapter 18, “Baptism and Your Relationship with God,” under the subheading, “The Meaning of Your Baptism.” This book was first published in 2005. I personally checked the 2013 edition online and it still says this.

    Now isn’t that interesting? Our dedication is to God. It is explicitly stated that it is NOT to “a work, a cause, other humans or an organization.”

    So why then did the WTBTS say this in 2011:

    “We need to obey the faithful and discreet slave to have Jehovah’s approval.” – w2011 7/15, p. 24, Simplified Edition (English)

    BTW, neither of these terms appear anywhere in the Bible Teach book:

    – Governing Body
    – Faithful and Discreet Slave

    Nowhere. They are not there anywhere.

    Why is that? Why aren’t these all important terms there if this is really what the Bible teaches? Seriously, this is a big deal, as in Big Deal!

    One of the hallmarks of a manipulative, mind-control cult is having separate Insider and Outsider Doctrine. This compartmentalizaton of information is just one aspect of their control. They control your information, your behavior, your emotions and even your thoughts.

  • October 9, 2013 at 10:50 am
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    I am with you, Mellow. Sounds like we had a very similar story. What you say about having a birthday-like celebration the day of your baptism, I agree 100%. Don’t they always say in the baptism talk something like ‘mark this date in your calendar, because it is the most important day of your lifes’? My mom always reminds me of my baptism date, almost 20 years later…… pretty much like a brithday.

    How can you know what you want in life even when you are 20??? I am in my early 30s now, and I am just beginning to realize what I can/cannot do, what I like, what I don’t….

    Let’s all celebrate our belated birhtdays. Mine is coming soon, and I will have the fun I missed in my past 31 years!!!!

  • October 9, 2013 at 11:35 am
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    My whole life i’ve listened to the witnesses positively vilify the Catholic Church for it’s practice of infant baptism,the obvious criticism being that a baby is incapable of making a decision like that. In this instance I wholeheartedly agree with them. My question to the organization now is, what could possibly be the difference between an infant and an adolescent in this respect?Neither of them understand what they’re doing,and both are being baptized based on the will of their parents.the only difference is that if a catholic makes a mistake,or ceases to believe in Catholicism when they become an adult,they are free to do so without consequence. When the witness child grows up and no longer believes the witness doctrine the consequences are devastating. Jesus himself set the example on baptism, not getting baptized until the age of 30 even though he was perfect and the son of God. If its wrong for Catholics to baptize children then its wrong for witnesses to do it as well. Plain and simple. I just hope witness parents out there trying to do the right thing think about this “counsel” before pushing their children into something that could potentially destroy their family a few years down the road.

  • October 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm
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    Dear Cedars I would like to encourage you in your situation. I too have been through the mentally and emotionally painful experience of needing to leave and having it done for me simply because I dont believe and refuse to accept the mouthings of the Watchtower. However I would encourage you to not give up on God and His son. God is not the problem, people are. Remember that. And Jesus said I, repeat, I am the way and the truth and the life. And again he said that faith in Him and Him alone will guarantee your eternal future wherever that may be. I understand you are angry and you will need to work through that and it may take time. At least you have your wife to help. My wife is still a Witness and we have a pact. No discussion of religion, God etc etc anytime. And I respect her right to believe and do what she likes. I am fortunate that my children did not take up Watchtower and even though my other rellies (parents, sister, niece) are they are happy to talk to me when they need me. With everyone else play them at their own game. Shun them back. Don’t try to justify yourself with them even if you feel you should. Remember according to Romans (and Romans is the centrality of the faith – read it and particularly ch 8) it is God who justifies all you are and do. Is all. The gospel is simple. Everything else is an add on inflicted by humans and their desire for glory and power. Remember the JW hierarchy is Pharisaic and this rubs off on the hardliners as well. Immerse yourself in God and develop a relationship with Christ as well (something the hierarchy forbids JWs to do) and you will experience a level of His love and care you will never know as a JW. After all jesus said that in honouring and worshipping the Son we glorify the father.
    And above all live well, live better than they do. Show them that their lies about people leaving (He has left God, he is a liar, demon possessed, bankrobbing, homosexual murdering candidate for destruction etc etc) are not true by living better than they do. Pray for those you love and are suffering. Pray for yourselves. Ask the Holy Spirit to indwell you and learn what true “grace” is. You will survive and you will know as jesus said “abundant life” now. And do it together with your wife. Dont worry too much about them God will deal with them in His time which may be some time off but it will happen. develop friendships with others. Go to others’ services occasionally. eg Anglican Catholic Presbyterian Lutheran Baptists Mennonite etc etc and you will realise that within them all there are true Christians who will more that make up for the JWs and their hangups. Enjoy your God, Read His word directly.I t will take time but pray for healing (you will need some), pray intensely. And He will take care of you both better than ever.
    I hope this helps.
    Take care and I shall pray for you too.
    Andre’

    • October 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm
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      I truly enjoyed this comment from Andre Dahmen! Thank you!!!

  • October 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm
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    I was 17 when I got baptized, and still then I was too young to make up my own mind on what is truth, and to make a commitment to it.

  • October 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm
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    That baptism video is scary and deeply disgusts me. Cedars.. Thank you thankyou for doing what you’re doing. My husband and I are suffering through the exact same thing as you and so many others here. I was baptized at age 9. Now that I’m 30, it has taken me almost 10 years to get out. We are also on the last phase of fading and about to be shunned by everyone we love. The worst part is we have an incredible, special family on both sides as well as very very dear friends. But they also are so deeply indoctrinated they will do what they are told. This baptism issue affects me so so deeply. It is my biggest issue with the organization and, to me, the strongest evidence against them. Why would you so blatantly do something against Jesus example for any other reason then bad motives. It was what started my mind questioning the GB and everything I thought i knew. Thank you and please please keep doing what youre doing.. You have a gift for being logical and reasonable..and balanced with your emotions.. Im hoping so badly that they come across your site someday.. And you give me hope of getting the people I love so much out..thankyou…

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm
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    The baptism video is very scary and deeply disappoints and disgusts me. Cedars.. Thank you thankyou for doing what you’re doing. My husband and I are suffering through the exact same thing as you and so many others here. I was baptized at age 9. Now that I’m 30, it has taken me almost 10 years to get out. We are also on the last phase of fading and about to be shunned by everyone we love. The worst part is we have an incredible, special family on both sides as well as very very dear friends. But they also are so deeply indoctrinated they will do what they are told. This baptism issue affects me so so deeply. It is my biggest issue with the organization and, to me, the strongest evidence against them. Why would you so blatantly do something against Jesus example for any other reason then bad motives. It was what started my mind questioning the GB and everything I thought i knew. Thankyou and please please keep doing what youre doing.. You have a gift for being logical and reasonable..and balanced with your emotions.. Im hoping so badly that they come across your site someday.. And you give me hope of getting the people I love so much out..thankyou…

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm
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    Ok sooo..if the God of the universe is using the GB as his mouthpiece, and they say dont go to college…you better listen to every word, not your parents interpretation. I know how you feel.. I would have said the same thing 10
    years ago. Just do your own research ok, dont be scared, don’t be afraid to think. It doesn’t make sense. But if this article didnt make you think, I’m not sure anything will.

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm
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    Comment above meant to be a reply for “David”

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm
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    Watchtower appears to be using shunning to keep members in the flock and have a secondary effect on non-witness relatives. If your non-witness relative wants more contact with you they have to join membership. Or if you want more contact with your non-witness relatives you need to bring them in the fold.

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:01 pm
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    What’s doubly cruel is that they say that your “worldwide brotherhood” becomes your family when you’re in the organization, but for many this is just garbage. Single sisters, the elderly, those with unbelieving mates, etc., are often just dismissed and ignored. So, you can’t talk to your family members who leave and may not have friends inside the congregation either. Nobody wins.

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm
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    @whatevs – Really not the same thing. As a Jewish tradition, Jesus would have been taken at certain age for equivalent of bar mitzvah and daughters for bat mitzvah. Only Christians have this water ritual. And, nothing compares to the scenario Witnesses create of holding children hostage with threats of death by radiation. In the ritual of christening, Christian parents dunk their offspring, yet some denominations will expect a child to also present for baptism at an age when the “accept the Lord”. But, regardless, if a child walks away from a church (or denomination–with some exceptions), they are not shunned and are welcome to return–even encouraged–to return regardless of their success or states of failure. Some return because local churches offer access to, if not sponsoring, support networks to cope with “distractions” of self-destructive behaviors. A great portion of 12-step groups and other community outreaches are hosted in the community annex of local churches much like the Medieval cathedral serve as town square, market and gathering point for a community. Unless there’s a disaster recovery effort, most Kingdom Halls are dormant with exception of publishers meeting in morning or afternoon before door-knocking and doorbell-ringing.

    And, tying back into the theme of children-pushed into a life-choice, a few exceptions, but most JW children will never be allowed and “blessed” to develop their natural abilities to the maximum benefit of themselves and others as they are encouraged to turn any God-given talent over to “full-time ministry work”.

    For a child with songwriter or singer ability, there is a confinement in expression of those talents. For those with scholarly abilities, the avenues to express those talents is not openly discussed, nor does Watchtower community have/support post-secondary institutions. They’re 100+ years behind in creating vocational and ministry schools granting certifications in counseling, specialties in Greek/Hebrew or pastoral/leadership. Perhaps with the King’s College campus purchase in Warwick, this will change.

  • October 9, 2013 at 7:59 pm
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    I can clearly see that my situation is different to the norm here. I was a born in and it wasn’t until my early 20’s that I got baptized. I wished now I had delayed it until my 30’s. Another decision I regret is getting involved financially with other witnesses. I’m now faced with the task of trying to fade with out loosing a great deal of money, and with out getting DFed. Yup money and witnesses don’t mix. A lesson I have learnt the hard way.

  • October 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm
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    Hello cedars,

    It’s amazing how much you write about here regarding wt children which was, in fact, said many years ago and through the years, by me. Especially using a pic of a contract to be signed.

    I brought that up years ago have not let it loosel how baptism into the wtbts is likened to signing a legal contract. And how insane it is for any child be able to ‘sign’ any legal contract, let alone one that will ultimately damage his life in the long run.

    So once again cedars, it’s all been said before. It’s time to take it off the net and put your boots on the ground and do some real footwork. It’s not going to be like what you do on the internet. It will require a real depth of integrity. You will have to take serious risks, for the children. Risks that these kids will thank you later for.

    I do not wish to be cruel. I only get miffed when I see how you take the very hard work of others from years back, tweek it a bit with your spin and then call it yours and everyone applaudes you for it. So, I saw it again in this article and simply had to speak up.

    Good evening sir.

    ~skally~

    • October 9, 2013 at 11:30 pm
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      Skally – what a silly comment. I fail to understand your logic. Are you saying that once a person writes about an issue within the organization, nobody else is allowed to write about it or bring things up to date? Nowhere in my article do I suggest that this is a sudden problem – I only cite contemporary examples of the Governing Body coercing parents to baptize children. Where is the crime in that? The very fact that I myself was baptized age 11 indicates that the problem goes back a number of decades. If people want to applaud my articles that is up to them, and there is nothing you or I can do about it. I am only interested in getting the information out there, whether it is new or old. What is your problem?

  • October 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm
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    Cedars, good article. And think of these children, WHOSE THESE KILLED CHILDREN are they? Their Parents’ or the Watch Tower’s?
    *** w52 12/1 p. 735 Questions From Readers ***

    ● Is it desirable to make provisions in Kingdom Halls for a soundproof room to which disturbing children can be taken and in which the parent can hear and perhaps see the sessions and yet the child cannot disturb congregational meetings?—G. E., Pennsylvania.

    Children should be in the congregation with their parents, and the children should behave themselves. The parents should so train their children that they will behave. To provide some kind of “nursery” or “rumpus” room for unruly children seems to us a concession to obstreperousness. It deprives the children of training that should teach them that there are times when they must sit quietly and listen to others, when they are not to be the center of attraction. If a child cries or otherwise disturbs the meeting, it can be taken from the hall for whatever time is necessary to quiet it and then brought back. But if a special room is provided some parents will misuse it, going there and having their attention divided between the children and what is coming in over the loudspeaker, with the result that they give neither their children nor the meeting the attention necessary. Better for parent and child to be in the meeting, and when necessary the parent can take the child out and give it undivided attention, returning when the problem is settled. Parents can do this if they will sit with their children, and do it with little disturbance to others if they will sit toward the rear of the hall and near the end of the rows of seats.
    We firmly believe that where disturbing children are a problem the solution lies with the parents and not in providing a soundproof room. Undoubtedly some parents are negligent in looking after their children and training them in proper conduct at meetings. It has been observed that it is in the more civilized countries such as the United States that children are most disorderly, disobedient and generally unruly, and the responsibility for correcting this lies squarely upon the parents. In many countries of the world where children are attending meetings in greater numbers there is much less disturbance than there is in the United States and some of the other countries usually considered among the most civilized. Children must be trained, not spoiled. It is our belief that the problem is being dodged, not solved, by providing a separate room or “isolation ward” for negligent parents and obstreperous offspring. Such a room caters to parental negligence and juvenile disorderliness.

  • October 10, 2013 at 1:51 am
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    Bio sam musliman i prihvatio ucenja WTS. Moji roditelji su me izbacili iz kuce. Imao sam 21. Na kraju moji roditelji su me ponovno prihvatili kao JW . Jer sam imao i svoju porodicu suprugu i sina pomogli su mi i napravili kucu da kucu.Dali bi to uradili da su bili JW a da sam ostavio njihovu vjeru. Ne. WTS to ne dozvoljava. WTS ne pokazuje boziju samilost. Prosao sam kroz mnoge nevolje ali i dalje vjerujem da je Jehova Bog a WTS mozda ispunjava prorocanstvo Covjeka bezakonja.

  • October 10, 2013 at 5:41 am
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    I feel your pain. My firstborn daughter, now over 50 years old has withdrawn her love and affection for her father and me. Her father turns 80 in 2014, and I have had a bout with cancer. We need the scripture applied, “Honor your father and your mother, that it may go with with you”………….but no, Watchtower laws rule. They are the whitewashed containers of lies and deception. The Watchtower organization has no heart.

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