succeedI will always fondly remember my last day of school in 7th grade. We were all busy signing each other’s yearbooks and wishing each other a happy summer break.

My history teacher wrote something in my yearbook that day I’ll never forget. She penned the simple yet elegant advice to “aim high.” Throughout my adult life I’ve never lost that book, nor forgotten that message.

It was a notion that completely contradicted everything I’d ever been taught about myself. I didn’t fully understand it at the time, but she was trying to help me. She knew the organization I was heavily involved with and how they viewed personal success. She took the opportunity to show me that there was a different way of thinking, and that she had faith in me as an individual.

I grew up being taught that a desire for personal success was something to be looked down on. The group needs were always said to be of utmost importance. Individualism, on the other hand, was seen to be selfish and arrogant. It was strongly suggested to me, over the years, that the desire to succeed in life was a bad thing.

Ambition compared with psychopathy has a section designed for teenagers. Among a host of activities in this section is a worksheet on the topic of Absalom, who is a character found in the Old Testament. He was a power-hungry, psychopathic narcissist who stopped at nothing to gain access to his father’s throne, even murdering his own family members.

A article tries to equate one bible's character's antisocial behavior with "the trap of ambition"
A worksheet tries to equate one bible character’s antisocial behavior with “the trap of ambition”

Instead of focusing on the clear psychopathy of this infamous Bible figure, the worksheet (entitled “Guard against ambition”) blames his actions on ambition. After telling teenagers to read the Bible story and “visualize the scenes,” “hear the voices,” and “feel the emotions of the characters,” they’re instructed to write down what they learned about the danger of an “ambitious spirit.”

Furthermore, the worksheet asks questions such as: “How might you fall into the trap of ambition?” and, “How can you avoid developing undue pride?” These loaded questions presuppose that Absalom’s actions were simply the product of his ambition and pride when clearly they fit in line with the modern understanding of psychopathy. The worksheet targets the general concept of ambition and stigmatizes it as dangerous.

This concept perfectly fits with my experience as a child. Personal success was, and still is, being targeted by the official site of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Clearly, Watchtower is threatened by the ambitious youth among their ranks, and are taking action to demotivate them. The worksheet accomplishes this by connecting the general term of ambition to the ghastly deeds of a psychopathic murderer.

Ambition – a character defect?

Anthony Morris III recently did a piece on JW Broadcasting where he went on a long tirade against the “dangers” of higher learning. To make his point he showed an interview with Philip Brumley, who was sent to obtain a law degree by Watchtower headquarters. He had this to say about his experience:

“Something happened that I was not prepared for. When a person goes to law school the instructors, law professors, essentially tell the class: you’re the hope of humanity. You happened to be born in the best country on this planet. You happen to be among the few in this country who have the circumstances to be able to attend law school. You are the future presidents, governors, senators, judges.

But not only that you are also the future social activists, the one’s who are going to protect the disenfranchised, the poor, the one’s who need their rights protected. If you do well, civilization will do well. If you do poorly, humanity may not survive. Now that may sound like a grandiose statement, but when you hear that repeated over a 4 year period, it can start creeping into your mind.

Another thing that happened related to that was there is a fierce spirit of competition in law school. And I brought with me the notion of ‘this is a bethel assignment’, so I want to do well, not just well, but very well. And David, in the first year I scored rather poorly, and that shocked me. I thought I have to do better than this.

A deep spirit of competition came into my being where I would devote whatever time was required to do well, and, in one sense it worked because when I graduated, I graduated cumlaude which means top 10% of the class, but both the spirit of competition and the thought that somehow you were special because you had this training had marked my personality.”

Watchtower lawyer Philip Brumley
Watchtower lawyer Philip Brumley

Contrary to what Brumley said, what he was told at law school doesn’t sound grandiose at all. The fate of civilization IS intimately connected with those who choose to practice law. Lawyers DO assume a special role in the protection of our society that is based on our unalienable rights, which require protection.

Even Watchtower relies on lawyers for survival in the modern world. This was precisely why Brumley was sent to law school in the first place. His education was being paid for because such skills are required in order to protect the rights of the organization and Jehovah’s Witnesses in general.

He admits that being in an environment of fierce competition directly contributed to his success (which headquarters reaps dividends from to this day), but he cannot help but also issue a strong warning:

“It wasn’t until I got out of law school that my wife Elizabeth sat me down one day and in so many words told me, ‘you’re not the man I married.’ And I was taken aback, ‘what do you mean?’ she pointed out the character flaws that had developed in me: ambition, egotism, selfishness, combativeness, being argumentative and the more I listened to her the more I realized she was absolutely right. I had allowed these defects to creep into my personality.”

Just as in the worksheet, he demonizes the general concept of ambition by coupling it with a list of character flaws. He calls ambition a “defect” that crept into his personality from his time at university which required purging.

Among the 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses are many young people who are at a point in their life where they’re seriously contemplating their futures. Tools such as JW Broadcasting and give the Watchtower more ability to exploit such impressionable people. Convincing them that making something of yourself, or trying to better the world around you, is selfish and egotistical makes it easier to siphon them into something that will benefit the organization.

As I look back I greatly appreciate the message my 7th grade teacher gave me on my last day in her class. The world most certainly is a better place when individuals do what it takes to accomplish great things. Without the ambitions of those who came before us, we’d all still be in the dark ages. Only by believing that we can be something more do we expand our horizons and discover new ways of thinking and being.

It’s sad to see that the leaders of the Watchtower are blind to this basic truth. They are too busy growing their empire and protecting its interests to take a look at what the world has actually accomplished. Their doctrine can never describe a world that is moving forward. They can only teach that everything is doomed and only they are worth investing in.

It is my hope that many of the younger people in the religion will not buy into this perverted message. Despite what the Watchtower would have us believe, helping yourself and making the world a better place is not akin to rearranging chairs on the Titanic. History proves that even single individuals can profoundly impact the world for the better. They just have to believe in themselves – and the Watchtower is trying to nip that in the bud within their ranks.

Imagine if people such as Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein had taken on a mindset like the Watchtower advises. What if they had given up their talents in favor of spreading a doomsday message throughout the globe? What would be different for us if they never achieved success? The prospect is frightening.

Instead of being swayed by the fatalistic views of a doomsday cult, why not continue in the direction in which humanity has always been moving?








113 thoughts on “How Watchtower stigmatizes the desire to succeed in life

  • March 9, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Okay I did not make myself clear, the elder who tried to pull it on me was named Fred and he was a creep. when I was pregnant he would knock at my back door after the book study and ask to feel my pregnant tummy. Who
    Does that ? I remember trembling and telling my hubby
    Who proceeded to lamb him. But he was never challenged
    In any way.
    Where is the justice.????? also not to sound so much
    As an apostate, where did my hope go????? We were
    The generation who we’re going to see the p
    Of the wicked. Well when did that happen? I’ve been
    Here. And my in friends are still looking for it. Good
    Search. Good search to you all. It,is futile.


    • March 10, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      It seems that when people’s natural, healthy sexuality is repressed, it’s forced out in unhealthy, perverted ways.

    • January 3, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      In all fairness to the Watch Tower (though their rationale is flawed), most higher ed is a scam. The vast majority of law grad are washed out of law, a function of rampant over production and false law school post-employment statistics luring the youth into a life of hardship.
      I have a doctorate and a masters and this has actually made me less employable. Higher ed, in conjunction with a very generous annual H1-b visa program, precludes ‘success’ for many youth that get sucked into higher ed. Higher ed may be good for some people, but given the inflated prices, and the large numbers of unemployed grads, tread with CAUTION.

  • March 9, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I really doubt that his personality changed after he gained an education, as his wife asserted. People don’t change that much. It could be he hid his less favorable qualities better when under the JW’s eyes, and let it come out during school.

    I find the irony of WT sending men to higher level school to become lawyers for an organization that is fundamentally against higher education to be over-the-top. And no doubt JW’s paid for this education through donations, all while struggling to support themselves.

    And this? “But not only that you are also the future social activists, the one’s who are going to protect the disenfranchised, the poor, the one’s who need their rights protected. If you do well, civilization will do well.” As if that is a bad thing! What a ghastly, selfish, and self-serving organization. It’s insane. Truly.

    Well done, James.

    • March 10, 2015 at 12:47 am

      @Barb Moor . I enjoy your comment as I am sure many others do on this forum. You show Great Logic & Analysis & common sense UNLIKE the 7 MEN on the Governing Body. !!!
      My Question to the 7 Men?? Of the GB..(GHASTLY BOTTY) is How come in the First Century when all Christians were ANOINTED,Men& Women ! Why Can’t we have some Women who are Anointed today as part of the Ghastly Botty?? I am sure the ISSUE of Paedophiles would be BETTER HANDLED if Females had a Say in it!! If Men& Women Anointed of the 144000 are all going to reign together in heaven as Priests then let’s have a few women making Decisions down here NOW.
      One Decision to start with would be CHOP OFF the Offending ArtIcles???? That would be a sight for Sore Eyes. No Repeat offenders there then!!

  • March 10, 2015 at 1:57 am

    “I am sure the ISSUE of Paedophiles would be BETTER HANDLED if Females had a Say in it!!”

    I think you’re right, Pickled brain! Someone who rules with an iron fist like Maggie Thatcher, I think.

  • March 10, 2015 at 2:51 am

    Charles Costante,

    Margaret Thatcher approves a knighthood for Cyril Smith, a UK politician, despite being told of allegations of child abuse against him.

    I do not think that Thatcher would be a good person to sort out this appalling abuse.

    I agree, though, that women should have a full say, and be fully involved in the leadership of the WTBTS.

    That being said, there are plenty of women in the WTBTS who help to cover up the abuses as well. James presents JW podcast, along with other hosts. His mother is a Bethelite, and she has told him that he is dead to her, and that in the new system, she will have a replacement child, call it James, and forget the original James ever existed!

    Sadly, there are both men and women who are willing to perpetrate the most appalling abuses, in the name of their Organisation, which is their real God.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • March 10, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      I wish my insane lunatic jw family would forget I ever existed. Being cut off from people like that is a DIVINE BLESSING!!!

  • March 10, 2015 at 3:38 am

    “Margaret Thatcher approves a knighthood for Cyril Smith, a UK politician, despite being told of allegations of child abuse against him.

    I do not think that Thatcher would be a good person to sort out this appalling abuse.”

    I wasn’t recommending Maggie Thatcher for the job, Excelsior!. She’s dead anyway. What I was suggesting was someone LIKE her, someone who rules with an iron fist.

  • March 10, 2015 at 4:40 am

    As someone who has benefited from higher education in the UK, I am not surprised that a mind-controlling organisation like the Watchtower Society should be against anything that broadens the mind and enables you to think.

  • March 10, 2015 at 4:45 am

    I remember an elder saying on research other than the WT he was giving a part on the TMS, and said you don’t have to think for yourselves the FDS does that for you.

  • March 10, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Thank you for this well written and well informed article. My experience with this particular subject is interesting. I was young during that brief time where the society eased up on the education restriction, so I have a 4 year technical degree which has served well. However, the CO who was serving us at the time admonished me to think if that was how I wanted to spend my time since the end was so close. Well, I got my degree literally before the end of the last millennium! How close is the end brother CO??
    Sadly, I was still heavily under the mind control, and often felt guilty about the degree. I would often times advise others to get an education that would allow them to pioneer. How I regret my own hypocrisy. At the time I was deluded enough to think I was offering the best counsel, often times wishing I could spend more time in the ministry myself.
    Not all those advocating not educating yourself or pursuing your dreams realize what they are really doing. They are victims too, they just don’t always know it.
    Some are just power mongers though. I met lots of those people too. The driving force is the organization, of which concept, there are many captives. That is why it is so important to spread information about exactly what the organization is, and what it does to people.

  • March 10, 2015 at 10:51 am

    If their hypocrisy in paying for Philip Brumley’s education
    had not previously leaked out, they would have kept it
    under wraps. As is usual when their deceit is exposed
    they attempt to put a positive spin on things.

    Brumley starts by implying it was not his personal decision
    but a Bethel assignment. Then he comes out with the unlikely
    “Jekyll and Hyde” tale, of how his personality changed for the

    If there was any character change it was likely he was conflicted
    between the insular, sectarian, life he was coerced to lead,
    and the wider more realistic and worthy choices that his education
    made possible. It could even be possible he had guilt feelings
    about playing the hypocrite in supporting their negative and
    backward ideas regarding education.

  • March 10, 2015 at 10:52 am

    In some countries, girls are raped, beaten, murdered, kidnapped for attending school. They risk their lives to get an education. Nobody wants them to rise up and take power. It’s the same across the board, people in power fear we will all wake up and demand change. They will lose their money… If Watchtower fell, which is possible, how will they rake in millions each year? We are so fortunate if we live in a country where we can attend college and University without fearing for our lives. Corruption is running rampant, and who knows when it’s going to be impossible to get a higher education? (I’m here in the U.S.) I think if too many people all of the sudden go to college, people in power with all the money could make it next to impossible for the average person to go to college. And people are waking up! Waking up to the corruption in religion, people are rejecting religion like I’ve never seen before. I just hope slowly one Jehovah’s Witness can wake up another, and another, then they wake up someone else, and it will continue until Jehovah’s Witnesses can’t stay in their bubbles for much longer. They are going to have to listen… I HOPE!!!

  • March 10, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Lloyd, I could be your mom.That being said, we are one
    In spirit. age makes no difference as time is something
    We try to capture and have zero control over. Our lives
    Are based on time and the limitations that control that
    Concept. But,,, to tell us that the days we have left are
    Any day, for over a hundred years is brazen and cruel.
    The stress is cruel and unusual. even a death row victim
    Gets a time limit for his life. I could show you pics of me
    At the 1958 assembly in NYC And I remember it like yesterday. we watched all of the brothers march out in
    Their native costumes, my sister was baptized there,and
    What a faith strengthening suggestion.Hey guess what???
    I am still here waiting. I am tired, hence the handle EXHAUSTED.

  • March 10, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    History is littered with the names of individuals who thought they were smarter than everyone, thought they had it “all figured out”, thought they could make 2 plus 2 equal 5. Tried to keep everyone else in the dark so they could implement their Master Plan. Do names like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Jim Jones, David Koresh, ring any bells? And what happened to their planned Utopia’s? It always failed, and usually ended in catastrophe. The “geniuses” of today, including, but not limited to, JW.ORG, are following the same path. The one thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history! The social engineers and sociologists who have tried to re-program the human race have failed cataclysmically. Their twisted “New Age” philosophies and attitudes that reward bullies, manipulators, perverts and psychopaths, have turned the world on its head. You don’t have to be a Jehovah’s Witness to see that no good will come of it. Stay positive.

  • March 10, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    The world is going to end, so nothing matters except serving the watchtower.
    I’m in my 30’s now and still feel unprepared for life thanks to all that ridiculous nonsense.
    The “trap of ambition”? Reminds me of something else I saw where WT said the “trap of independent thinking”! It’s unbelievable that they would say such sings.
    Eternal life in a paradise earth really is one of the most greed filled ambitions I’ve ever heard of. No emperor or king or billionaire or Oprah has ever had eternal life in a paradise. Aspiring to become The Billionaire King of North America is less ambitious and more likely to happen than living forever in a paradise.
    Is it not incredibly greedy to work for the watchtower while hoping to gain the “prize”?

    • March 10, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Ironically, it’s the WT organization that is the trap.

  • March 10, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Apparently the TEST that God & Jesus chose the Watchtower Society is because they were Providing FOOD at PROPER TIME in 1919 over all other religions. Here are JUST 14 ERRORS in the Finished Mystery book which was published in 1917! There are literally 100s of Errors& changes since then!
    Charles Taze Russell is the “faithful and wise servant.” (p.4)
    Jesus gave Russell the key to understanding God’s mysteries in the last days. (p.6)
    Jesus is the “Alpha and Omega” in Revelation 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13. (p.15, p.318, p.336)
    The Adventist Nelson Barbour showed Russell Biblical proof that “Jesus was present since 1874″ – and Russell found this evidence satisfactory. (p. 54)
    As per Russell, there’s no need to learn the Hebrew or Greek languages to gain a correct understanding of the Bible since the “Presbyterians and Methodists have good versions of the Bible at reasonable prices.” (p. 55)
    The “remnant” will be taken to heaven in 1918. (p. 64)
    The “7 messengers” in Revelation are Paul, John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe, Luther and Russell. (See illustration after page 64)
    The “7 trumpets” in Revelation 8:2 are the trumpets of the Lutherans, the Anglicans, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Methodists, the Evangelical Alliance, and The Bible Students. (chart after page 64)
    Jesus began his reign officially in “1878.” (p. 66)
    A three-page list of Biblical texts prove that Jesus’ second advent occurred in “1874.” (p.68–71)
    The “behemoth” mentioned in Job 40: 15-24 is the “stationary steam engine.” (p. 84)
    The “leviathan” mentioned in Job 41:2-19 is the “locomotive.” (p.85)
    The “valiant men” in Nahum 2:3 are the locomotive conductor and the fireman. (p.93)
    According to Exodus 28:1 and Numbers 4:46-48, the number of the great crowd will be approximately “411,840,000.” (p.103)

  • March 10, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Here are 14 more ERRORS from Finished MYSTERYBOOK of watchtower society!
    Providing FOOD at PROPER TIME?????!
    The horseman on the white horse in Revelation 6:2 is the “personal representative of Satan: the Bishop of Rome.” (p. 106)
    The “stars that fell from the heavens” in Revelation 6:13 refers to the meteor shower on November 13, 1833 which covered 11 million square miles. The symbolic fulfillment occurred when the bishops and priests lost their influence over the minds and conscience of the people. (p.120)
    There is evidence that proves that “Palestine will be re-established in 1925.” (p.128)
    Demons will invade the minds of the members of Christianity and will bring them to their destruction in “1918.” (p.128)
    The earth was created 48,000 years ago. (p.139)
    The “angel” mentioned in Revelation 8:5 is the Watchtower Society and the “incense vessel” is the book The Finished Mystery, divinely provided to humanity. (p.145)
    According to Revelation 9:15, all of the 177,300,000 Protestants on earth, who represent 1/3 of all Christians, “will be destroyed in 1918.” (p.164)
    The “Time of the End” started in “1799.” (p.171)
    The “Great Tribulation” started in “1914.” (p.178)
    Michael the Archangel is “the Pope of Rome.” (p.188)
    The “two wings of the woman” in Revelation 12:14 are the Old Testament and the New Testament. (p.191)
    “England is a satanic country” because it forcefully exports 5 million pounds of opium to China each year. (p.202)
    The Great Pyramid of Egypt confirms the fact that the “time of Harvest” has come. (p.226)
    Revelation 14:20 provides us with the precise distance between Scranton, Pennsylvania (where the book was written) and Bethel in Brooklyn (where the book was printed) – “137.9 miles.” (p.230)

    • March 10, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      NEED I GO ON!!! Does any NEW JW about to get Baptised KNOW What is in the Finished MYSTERYBOOK?? Because they should BEFORE Getting Baptised as This is the Test that JESUS CHOSE the Watchtower Society Over all Other Religions in 1919!! WELCOME to the CRAZY WORLD of the GOVERNING BODY!!!!! All 7 Men of the GB know what’s in that book. That’s why they are EVIL in getting 8 Million Gullible innocent humans to DONATE their Money,Time & Energy to this PROPERTY PUBLISHING EMPIRE of Massive Wealth & Real Estate in New York. The property alone is worth over $1 billion. The circuit overseers have a Brand New Car Every 3 years Donated to by poor Brothers& Sisters!!

      • March 10, 2015 at 10:20 pm

        IF You want to GET RICH Start up your own Religion. Keep PEOPLE in IGNORANCE by PROHIBITING Further Education & you Stop Critical thinking!! Which is MIND CONTROL!!

        • March 10, 2015 at 10:23 pm

          JESUS had Nowhere to Lay his head! Apostle Paul was a Tentmaker so he wasn’t a BURDEN on the Brothers.
          GB LEARN a LESSON!!!!’

  • March 11, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Yesterday I got in a screaming match with my born in JW. He has been complaining since Sunday because at the Watchtower 2 people went off script with their comments during the Watchtower. They made answers that were personal and finally I had had enough and told him that, that they didn’t answer according to the script what they were supposed to say, according to the Watchtower’s words.

    He just doesn’t get what I was trying to say and so I told him that he was brainwashed and couldn’t think for himself etc. and then he came back and said that I had lost all thinking ability now that I am “apostate”…. So, I asked him if he agreed with everything that the Watchtower prints and he said no. So I said if they (Watchtower) prints something in the Watchtower and it doesn’t agree with the Bible, are you free to say something. (One of his complaints about Sunday’s Watchtower is that one of the comments somewhat disagreed with what the Watchtower said and he said if they don’t believe it, why are they one of Jehovah’s Witnesses then and why are they at the meeting, commenting). So, I pressed him on that. If the Watchtower said something that didn’t agree with the Bible and he said he could say something about how he didn’t agree with it he said “as a matter of fact, he’d feel compelled to say something about it” . So, I ask him, “so everything has to agree with the Bible?” and he said “yes everything in the Watchtower agrees with the Bible”. So I said “so, I am free to bring up scriptures that to me, the Watchtower misrepresents”. He said to me that I can’t bring up anything else because he said that since I am not disfellowshipped yet, that that is the only reason he’s even talking to me about anything like that and I said “but you said it has to agree with the Bible so I am free to bring up scriptures and so on”.

    At one point, I said that the Watchtower doesn’t want him to read anything that doesn’t agree with the Watchtower and of course he said that wasn’t true but I know it’s true and I know he won’t read or look at anything that makes the Society look bad so I told him that he has no critical thinking ability and of course it’s not me that can think but it’s only him that can think because I never read and studied the paragraphs in the Watchtower like he’s been doing and he’s known all along how I never studied like I should have and so on so I asked him “so how do you define having critical thinking ability?” Then he went on and on and on and on about how when the United Nations turn on all religion and they come after Witnesses, the ones that have critical thinking ability are the ones that when they are thrown into prisons, will be able to recall Bible Scriptures. That to him is having critical thinking ability, are the ones that studied like they should have and read their Bibles like they were supposed to, unlike those at the Watchtower on Sunday who went off script and made comments that somewhat disagreed with what the Watchtower was trying to say. People like that won’t recall scriptures and won’t make it through Armageddon.” That is how he defines critical thinking skills and his brain simply can’t go any further than that and it’s so frustrating trying to talk to somebody like that.

    Sometimes I think my head is going to explode.

    I don’t know how I could have been so stupid all those years but that is probably how I also thought critical thinking skills and abilities were. That is stupid beyond stupid thinking to me. How can a person think that it’s wrong to go off the script in one breath and the next say that he’s free to disagree (and he said he doesn’t agree with everything) and yet everything that comes from the Watchtower is the Truth and nothing but the Truth and when the United Nations turns on the Witnesses and throws them all in jail that what is going to get them through Armageddon is remembering scriptures that they were too lazy to study.

    People like that belong in the Watchtower Organization. I believe that they would never have made it through college anyway. I can picture people like that arguing with the teachers and getting F’s on every subject.

    Most Witnesses are that brain dead I think and I was one of them. It’s like trying to reason with a dog. That is what the Watchtower is made up of and if you were to ask them if the Mormons are stupid to believe that God personally visited with Joseph Smith in the United States and personally told him a new Bible, they think the Mormons are idiots, but there’s over 18 million of them which is 10 million more Mormons than Witnesses.

    • March 11, 2015 at 3:59 am

      @Anonymous .That is what is SO SAD that there are 18 Million Brain Dead Mormons as well as 8 Million JWs.
      And Tens of millions brain dead Pentecostals,Seven Day Adventists,Baptists,Methodists,Etc
      When Jesus was Alive there were ONLY CHRISTIANS ,Nothing Else !!
      Acts ch.11v26!’ We don’t need denominational Names!!
      It is how you behave & treat others!

    • March 11, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Sounds like he could use a good bitchslap upside the head. Doubt if it would do any good though.

      • March 11, 2015 at 1:46 pm

        That was for @anonymous BTW.

        • March 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm

          The comment, not the bitchslap.

  • March 11, 2015 at 7:37 am

    @Anonymous. It’s tough trying to get through to our j,w,
    relatives. The trouble is the w,t, tells them they are the
    smartest people around and they believe it.

    They use prov,9/10 “The fear of JHVH is the beginning of
    wisdom”. So because they’ve figured out that there’s no
    Trinity, Immortal Soul, or Hell Fire, and that they know God’s
    ( Supposed) name. They truly believe they are the intellectual
    elite. The facts prove otherwise.

    As Pickled Brain points out. When Jesus ( As they claim)
    chose them in 1919, “The Finished Mystery” book, was
    asserted to be the epitome of God’s truth. In fact it was
    full of such nonsense that it’s an embarrassment to them
    and they now don’t want you to read it. ( But please do)

    So when Jesus was flying about looking for the right religion
    it was another case of “One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest”.

    Anonymous. Don’t give up on your Husband. I’m looking
    forward to the time when something you’ve said finally clicks
    and he comes home from w,t, study and says. You were
    right all the time,

    • March 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      @ Ted

      If jehovah witlesses truly were the “intellectual elite”, we would ALL be DOOMED!!! :) :) :)

  • March 11, 2015 at 8:25 am

    The thing is, I can only take so much until I start picking up on something he says and it starts a big, fat, hot argument and I feel like I am hitting my head against a brick wall. I actually don’t think there is anything at all that I can say to him that will sink in, ever, even when he comes home from the meeting and does nothing but complain about it.

    I can see why marriages break up when a situation like this happens. If you live with somebody who you absolutely can not reason with, you want to pull your hair out by the roots.

    A person can only take so much. It’s better that either both people are complete idiots or they both have a functioning brain in their heads.

    • March 14, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      I know how you feel. There were many times I “mentored” young brothers in the congregation by encouraging them to go to Bethel, pioneer, or forego college because “the end was so close.” Now it makes me cringe. The last thing I was doing was helping those brothers.

  • March 11, 2015 at 11:54 am

    With regards to my family that are still witnesses, I made a decision quite a while ago that I would not get into any discussion involving the witness religion, and if they do bring up the subject I simply smile and change the subject.
    I realized long ago that anything that I said that challenged their views, made them angry and suspicious.
    Just not worth the aggravation.

  • March 11, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    @Rob, what about if you live with one and they won’t keep quiet about it?

    • March 12, 2015 at 10:29 am


      I once heard an old saying, “Never reason with a pig. You’ll just waste your time and annoy the pig.” Now, I’m not saying your loved one is a pig, but in this analogy, a pig doesn’t reason well. Same with a dyed-in-the-wool JW. They are ‘trained’ NOT to reason as this article states. If they do, they are “apostates”. Hmmm. They ARE trained to fend off any attack or slight against what the WTS is, thinks, promotes, or does. I tried to do reason with my ex-wife. She would get annoyed and say “You’re mixing poison with the truth!” Now you know why she is my “Ex”. :)

      I really believe that WTS is a religious commune at best (destructive cult at worst!): No independent thinking or actions allowed. Consider the source of the propaganda that the JW is espousing.

  • March 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Haaaahah funny guyz trashing Higher educ.

  • March 11, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    @ anonymous

    What may help you keep your sanity is remembering that you cannot change someone’s mind by proving them wrong. I wouldn’t waste my breath. I’m no marriage counselor, but as long as he’s not bitching at you, I would just let him vent until he gets tired. What’s the point of banging your head against a wall? My whole family is Witlesses, and they’re simply not worth the effort.

    • March 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Neal I know you are right. I am only giving myself high blood pressure and nothing else. Thanks for the advice. I will try and keep that in mind.

  • March 11, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    @ Pickled brain

    @ Charles Costante

    Don’t despair. I hear they’re considering Sarah Palin for a seat on the GB.

    • March 11, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      @Anonymous . You say your husband makes you feel like your hitting your head against a Brick wall. Here’s a Suggestion: How about HITTING your HusbandS HEAD against a BRICK WALL??
      Worth a Try ???
      @Neale Krouni.Brilliant Idea !! Sarah Palin for a position on the Governing Body. As all circuit overseers are being asked to retire at 70 ,well we can get Rid of Sam Herd & retire him to a Local Congregation !!
      A pity Margaret Thatcher isn’t still alive she would make a great replacement for Tony MORRIS!!

      • March 11, 2015 at 3:17 pm

        I love the way you think.

  • March 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I do live with my family who are witnesses and it is difficult at times not to engage in conversation with them about the religion. From time to time they still try to hit a nerve by bringing up things that I believe are wrong, but I think they have slowly realized that I value a peaceful relationship with them more than I value an argument about religion.
    Good luck in your struggles and hopefully things will improve for you.

  • March 11, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    As long as we’re discussing education & careers, there’s something I’ve been wondering about for a long time. The GB, in addition to their other areas of “expertise”, seem to be Risk Management professionals. It’s OK to be an airline pilot, but not a cop. It’s OK to ride a motorcycle, but not to be a race-car driver. Scuba diving – OK. Skydiving – not OK. I know they base this on “unnessecarily risking your life”, but the bible doesn’t mention any of these activities, so how do they decide upon these distinctions? Sounds like they just play Spin-the-Wheel. Or do they pray to the “Holy Spirit” about bungee-jumping? I’d love to be a fly on the wall during that conference. And what about being a test pilot or crab fisherman – 2 of the most dangerous of professions – no kidding, it’s crazy what those crab fishermen go through, especially in stormy weather. Never read an article on that. Must be OK.
    I know part of the reason they prohibit a career as a police officer is due to the requirement to carry a gun, and the possibility of using violence. Ironically, if a JW is ever in trouble, he or she is totally allowed to call 911, so the cops can come and use violence (and possibly their guns) ON THEIR BEHALF!!! So, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE???
    What about flying? Mankind has gotten along for thousands, maybe millions, of years, without flying. Aviation has only existed for 111 years! And yet, jw’s are totally allowed to fly in an airplane (or helicopter) any old time their heart desires. No one NEEDS to fly. Isn’t that an unnecessary risk? I know flying is extremely safe these days, but I’m looking at this from WT’s perspective – Isn’t flying an UNNECESSARY risk???
    Trying to make sense of WT doctrine is like making your way through a rat maze, only to find yourself right where you started.
    P.S.: I’m thinking of writing a letter to WTS, in the persona of a Witness Youth considering a career that will support me as I pioneer. I’ll say, since I can’t be a cop or a race-car driver, could I at least be a test pilot or a crab fisherman? What about a Circus trapeze artist, if there’s that big net underneath? How about a lion-tamer? “Yes, but only if you develop the faith of Daniel, young brother.” What if just I sold tickets at the circus? Wouldn’t I be supporting people who unnessecarily risk their lives? What if I worked in a factory that made boots for police officers? I love crab. Can I still eat crab? Can I still fly? Not only is it risky, but test pilots have risked their lives unnessecarily to guarantee the aircraft I’m inside is as safe as can be.
    P.P.S.: I can almost see the smoke rising from Stephen Lett’s ears. “Does not compute – Does not compute – Does not compute…”

    • March 11, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      @Neale Krouni.I like your Analysis & Logic. Brilliant!
      If Sarah Palin was on the GB she would let you be a COP & let you Carry a Sub- Machine Gun & a Few Stun Grenades for Anonymous’s husband of a few for Tony Morris!!

      • March 11, 2015 at 3:43 pm

        LOL Nice idea, but I think those guys are already pretty STUNNED!!! :)

        • March 11, 2015 at 3:47 pm

          Though it might blow ToMo’s tight pants off. :) :) :)

  • March 11, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    JW.ORG uses psychological stun grenades on their constituents.

    • March 11, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      @Neal Krouni. I think Stephen Lett already has had a Stun Grenade up his bottom especially when talking about Paedophiles!!
      Some might think I am going off topic here but I can assure everyone that I Have been very concerned about Stephen Letts & Tony MORRIS Education & perhaps they would make more Sense if they had gone to university!!

  • March 11, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    “Gaslighting” is also popular among control freaks. It’s insidious. BEWARE!!!
    P.S.: There’s a Wikipedia article if curious. Interesting etymology as well, especially if you’re a film buff.

    • March 11, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      @Neal Krouni. Horse Riding is allowed but Wrestling isn’t but more get paralysed & killed from horse riding than they do from Wrestling!!
      The GB are just like the PHARSISEEs trying to lay down Laws & control Everyone’s Conscience instead of letting everyone have their own conscience!!

      • March 11, 2015 at 9:50 pm

        Yes, I remember poor Christopher Reeve (the original movie Superman).

  • March 11, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Would anybody be so brain dead as to ask permission from the Society to get your pets neutered? Jehovah’s Witnesses did in the Jan. 15, 1963 Watchtower in Questions from the readers on page 63.

    Just the fact that the Watchtower puts stuff like that in the Watchtower, shows how much power they enjoy over the rank and file and how much they love that feeling of power over them. The sheeple may not like being treated like two year olds, but they don’t stand up to it either.

    Even my husband was surprised when I showed him that article.

  • March 11, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    The watchtower has spent generations “dumbing down” their ‘sheeple’, I wonder if it’s possible a human being could be any dumber at this point. It’s like some kind of weird ‘reverse evolution’ or something. If it continues to spread, we may find ourselves living on the Planet of the Apes sooner than portrayed by hollywood. Life imitating Art.

  • March 11, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    The obvious question is, If the WTS is so convinced they have the truth, what are they afraid of??? A person could do all the independent research they want, obtain the highest level of education from the greatest “worldly” institutes, study any and every world religion, and still NEVER STRAY!!! — Because they would KNOW THE TRUTH!!! Fact is, WT knows all they have is a big ol’ Lie, and they’re scared to death that any semi-rational individual will discover that if given the chance, as so many have. I’ll bet the serpent in Eden had “JW.ORG” tattooed on its forehead. Any artists out there?

  • March 11, 2015 at 8:19 pm


    This may be a bit off topic, but mentioning your irate husband reminded me of the spousal abuse policies of WT, which yourself and others have touched upon. They recommend that the wife accept the beatings in the hope that the Happy Hubby will eventually “see the light” and come into “the truth”. What they don’t specify is how many bruises, gashes, and broken bones (not to mention psychological injury) will be required until that happens, IF it EVER happens (provided she survives).
    P.S.: And where the H*** are all the Women’s Rights Activists when it comes to the WTS??? Oops, My Bad, forgot about “Freedom of Religion”.
    Organizations like The Watchtower use the First Amendment like a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card.

  • March 11, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    I don’t give a flying you-know-what how much “New Light” they receive, the WT organization will NEVER be right.

  • March 12, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Good article! Religion has always interfered with progress. Look what the Catholic church did to Galileo. The Jehovah’s Witnesses want no part of the world, including its progress and successes. If we were all in a shipwreck and landed on a deserted island, while everyone was seeking help and a better way, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the group would be doing nothing but preaching their doom and gloom, waiting for their God to do something.

    • March 12, 2015 at 8:58 am

      All Brilliant comments from everyone on this site.
      GB , WHAT ABOUT MOSES??? Taught in all the wisdom of the Egyptians & Lived in Pharoahs household for years!! The same as Joseph lived in Potiphars hoUse for years!!!
      What about Daniel,Shadrach &Abednego taught In all the wisdom of the Babylonians.!!
      NONE of this WORLDLY Wisdom affected them Because they had Faith!! So what is the Problem with going to UNIVERSITY?? JEHOVAH wanted his people to mix with & learn worldly wisdom because he knew if their FAITH WAS BASED on ACCURATE RESEARCH it could Withstand any Worldly Influence!!!

    • March 12, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Here is a funny about Galileo. In a book, he thinly cloaked the clergy at the time as “Simplicio” because of they’re simplistic and narrow thinking.

  • March 12, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Governing Body!! What about Paul who was a Lawyer; Matthew a Tax Collector; Luke a Physician & yes they became Preachers but YOU CAN DO BOTH!! BE EDUCATED & PREACH the Kingdom. Please GB don’t Stigmatise Education.!

  • March 14, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you for the article james. In the latest JW Broadcasting video a man is shown turning down a job promotion so he can work less and have less stress. It is horrible how the WT wants everything from its followers-even their intellect and natural talents are not their own.

  • March 14, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Wow thank you so much for such an insightful and intelligent article. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this hits home. I did so well in high school and as is the case with so many other jw teens my teachers and guidance counselors were baffled that i was not going to college. I got married at 18 as is the norm in this organization and worked part time and pioneered. Needless to say I was miserable. Now at 27 I am finally disassociated from this harmful cult and going to college for accounting. I also have an amazing job in real estate and I have never ever felt so happy and fulfilled. Your last paragraph could not be more true and I really feel so bad for the jw teens down an unsuccessful mediocre life devoted to making the org more and more rich while thwey themselves struggle.

  • May 7, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Amazing insights into the resentment of achievement. I see nothing grandiose about the statements presented in law school–it’s a fact. Even in the role of attorney or Chief Counsel for Watchtower, reflecting on history would prove that role is not simply a job it’s a post where an individual can influence events and standards of the future which impacts the lives of millions of Witnesses and citizens. Activists, judges and legislatures do influence the laws and decisions that impact individuals lives.

    The rhetoric here was obviously some sort of compromise perhaps because Brumley stepped on the wrong toes in some meeting, or envious Bethel comrades making up issues.

    What irks me is that the Watchtower and adherents state “we’re not political” but there is no such thing. Being in the world, you will be political, you will interact with the courts and rulers [heck, even the Bible says so]. Your inaction, or actions, will move people to make a vote or decision that impacts others. Making a stand to not take a blood transfusion puts you in the political arena on individual and patient’s rights.

    And, while these same adherents repeatedly state, “we’re not a part of the world”, they are obsessed with presenting as “normal” to the uninitiated. And, of course, when you have a dogma that’s far off the standard track, the variance from normal behaviors is limited. So, the obsessive attempt to blend.

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