Watchtower offers two conflicting approaches to dealing with mental health
Watchtower offers two conflicting approaches to dealing with mental health

In 2011, Watchtower published a study article in which God was referred to as “the Great Physician.” The magazine gave advice to avoid contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses who had peacefully defected from their faith.

These protestors were “diagnosed” (by a magazine claiming God’s backing), with a contagious mental disease called “apostasy.” To this day Jehovah’s Witnesses are instructed ad nauseam to avoid such people and their supposed mental pathogens.

Knowing all this, I was surprised when I encountered the December 2014 Awake! which is entitled, “What You Should Know About Mental Disorders.” I opened it up and was quite startled by what I found inside the magazine: “According to WHO [World Health Organization], many people with mental illness refrain from seeking treatment because of the stigma associated with it.”

It is a truly twisted irony for the Awake!, a sister publication of the Watchtower, to be raising awareness of the stigma attached to mental illness. Their “apostasy” label, which they correlate to mental illness, attaches an extremely damaging stigma to ex members. It costs them their family, their friends, and often even their employment and housing.

Tens of thousands of refugees, many struggling with mental illness that is often connected with their Witness experience, have been fleeing Watchtower since its inception.

Oddly enough, the Awake! magazine then goes on to heavily promote the use of professional treatment for mental health problems. This advice flies in the face of what is taught behind the closed doors of Watchtower kingdom halls. The 2011 article on apostates, for example, did not direct them to professional assistance – instead ordering their quarantine.

Additionally, a recent Watchtower elder training video was leaked. It featured a dramatization showing two elders being approached by a distressed woman. The woman told them of her plan to commit suicide and, shockingly, the fictional elders never even mention the idea of professional assistance.

Lastly, the Awake! article has a section on spirituality which states:

“The Bible does not indicate that spirituality cures medical problems.” – Awake!, December 2014

In the above training video (which I highly recommend watching) the woman in a mental health emergency is given a type of spiritual counseling in which the Bible, specifically the Book of Job, is the primary tool used. The video trains elders to use the Bible to cure medical problems, in total contradiction of the advice found in the Awake! article.

Speaking from both sides of the mouth

While the elders in the training video were in fictional situations, their behavior and actions are based on a confidential handbook called “Shepherd the Flock of God.” Under the section “Assisting Those Who are Weak” and the subheading “Encouraging Those Who Were Abused in Their Childhood,” the psychological and psychiatric communities are mentioned in two paragraphs:

“…It must be recognized that elders as such are not mental-health professionals or therapists but are spiritual shepherds. (1 Pet. 5: 2) Consequently, you should not conduct what some may view as group therapy.It is not necessary to spend time reading secular publications dealing with worldly psychology or psychiatry. You should not take on a role similar to that of a professional therapist. Someone who has serious mental or emotional illness may need professional help. – w88 10/15 p. 27”

At first glance, this paragraph seems like sensible advice for elders to avoid taking on the role of therapists. They are not qualified professionals and are rightly told to steer clear of that role. However, nothing is said about recommending the proper treatment. Rather, the text somewhat ambiguously confesses to the need for professional help for some people.

Four paragraphs on, the handbook elaborates on just what Watchtower wants to see from their elder bodies on the subject of professional assistance (emphasis mine):

“…There are times when an emotionally distressed Christian may seek professional help. Whether a Christian or his family pursues treatment from psychiatrists, psychologists, or therapists is a personal decision. An elder should not assume the responsibility of recommending a specific practitioner or facility. He may draw attention to or discuss material in the publications that provides cautions regarding therapies that may conflict with Bible principles. (w8B 10/15 pp. 28-29; w82 6/15 pp. 25-29; w75 pp. 255-256) While participating in group therapy by a professional therapist is a matter for personal decision, there could be a revealing of confidential facts about other members of the Christian congregation during such sessions if a Christian does not exercise discretion.”

They want seeking professional treatment to be the decision of the “distressed Christian,” without recommendation from the elders. This is precisely why, in the training video, professional assistance was never mentioned to the suicidal woman. The fictional elders’ behavior is just as prescribed in the handbook, which is to be enforced in the same way as a constitution would be adhered to by a board of directors.

The above paragraph even discourages therapy if it conflicts with “Bible principles” and speaks negatively of the potential for confidential facts to be revealed to a professional.

Awake! paints a positive, progressive public image, while the secret elders handbook is mired in concerns for protecting the corporation legally.

Watchtower wants to be seen making statements such as, “Mental-health disorders are not the result of personal weakness or a character flaw.” Yet, in their elder’s training material the only mention of professional help is in a section called “Assisting those who are weak.” Clearly, there are two religions present here: the real one that operates behind closed doors, and that which is shown to the public.

Unethical Recruitment

The December 2014 Awake! serves as a perfect example of the unethical recruitment tactics deployed by Watchtower as part of its arsenal of undue influence.

The Awake! is given to the public, so it portrays the image Watchtower wishes to project rather than the unpleasant reality. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as their potential recruits, will likely believe what the Awake! says. The article is intended to make people view the religion as reasonable when, in fact, it is anything but.

Watchtower has historically been at odds with the medical community on issues such as blood transfusions, vaccines and organ transplants. The psychiatric community, at least in my experience, was always been viewed as more of a competitor than an ally.

Yet, out of nowhere, Watchtower through this Awake! is heavily hinting at a sudden alliance with mental health professionals, all the while secretly training its elders to apply “spiritual” cures to these kinds of emergencies.

They want to have their cake, and eat it too.

The “Great Physician” outsources for aid

I have noticed a trend in how Watchtower and the medical community has interacted historically. To begin with, Watchtower boldly moves ahead with issuing medical advice, usually in the form of a divine prohibition on some treatment using ‘biblical’ reasoning.

Once the scientific community has gathered overwhelming evidence for the new technology’s overall viability, the ban is lifted (or diluted), with God lauded as wise, merciful and gracious for dispensing his “new light” at the proper time. Everything is engineered so that, whatever happens, Watchtower can always absolve itself of responsibility as needed.

For as long as I can remember, Watchtower has been condemning any sort of individual achievement in this world. Such a stigma against investing in one’s future beyond the confines of the religion naturally produces a population low in skilled expertise.

Thus Jehovah’s Witnesses, allegedly lead by “the Great Physician” who diagnoses “mentally diseased” apostates, are ironically low on competent healers and advised by the Awake! to seek aid from the educated world – the very world they’ve always condemned as deserving of nothing but a fiery and humiliating destruction.

I was always taught that Christianity was the solution for the broken of heart (Luke 4:18). Yet, according to the information presented in the December 2014 Awake!, healing the downtrodden is now being outsourced.

Good advice is good advice

Apart from the final section of the Awake! article (where Watchtower’s idea of “spiritual health” is deemed “vital”), it must be noted that it presents good advice. It is very wise for people with mental health problems to seek professional medical care in addition to any holistic approaches.

However, I feel it is important to point out that such advice runs contrary to actual Watchtower dogma and the secret instructions, both written and recorded, that are received by congregation elders from their Governing Body.

In spite of the double standards, I hope that many people will receive the care they require as a result of this Awake! article. Any direction to proper medical treatment is a positive thing. I just wish Watchtower would clean up its backstage mess rather than simply polishing its brand.









Related video…

54 thoughts on “Watchtower’s advice on mental health: A tale of two religions

  • October 17, 2014 at 2:23 am

    That article is absolutely trying to deceive the public. If a Witness goes to a professional for help, it would be understood that they would have to reveal “confidential” matters. They are lying to the public. We all know that we can not seek professional help because it stands to reason; how can we get help if we can’t talk about what is going on in our lives at the Kingdom Hall?????

  • October 17, 2014 at 4:17 am

    James, another excellent article, sir!

    This two faced approach, or the “Janus Effect” is common to all high control groups. One message for the public to lure them in, quite another for the rank and file.

    I sought professional help when I was disfellowshipped back in the mid 90s. It was of great assistance to me. My mental health has always been an issue, due to underlying medical problems. I am glad to say that I found ways to cope and I can function in society just fine.

    I would echo your excellent advice, James. If you are suffering from mental health issues of any kind, seek professional help.

    Thanks for a great article and I wish you all a great day!

    Peace be with you,


  • October 17, 2014 at 5:06 am

    At the 2014 Annual Assembly the fanatical way Jeoffrey Jackson shouted “Alleluyah” at the end of the speach “Who Will Attack God’s People” and the funeral way Anthony Morris expressed himself when saying “Well done good and faithful slave. Enter in the joy of your Master” at the end of the speech “The Parabole of the Talents” leaves much to desire regarding the mental health of some members of the GB, if not of all the 7 members.

  • October 17, 2014 at 5:16 am

    I know one animal that has a forked tongue and that would be a snake. We know where the snake resides in the bible. If only, the witnesses could do some critical thinking. It would become so glaring apparent that GOD may not be directing anything in their faith. A great article pointing out what is said to the public but not professed behind closed doors. They are snakes slithering around and silently waiting on who they may capture and eat. James, keep up the work. One article at a time the truth and deceit will be brought to light.

  • October 17, 2014 at 5:28 am

    Also, they now have no problem on the platform (As I heard last night in a letter read) of promoting business and encouraging us to use specific hardware. We all know thanks to Cedars about, but last night, during a letter from the GB talking about it, they mentioned they contracted a 3rd party (Outside for profit company) to make their devices compatible with to watch it directly from your tv. As someone familiar with technology, there are plenty of devices that can do this, but they promoted this company called Roku and said we are to buy from them, and the information will be on the congregation board. Working in businesses, this is a business tactic where the GB told the company (After paying $$$ to have the software developed at a discount) that they guarantee so many sales from the rank and file. They are getting bold in their hypocrisy.

  • October 17, 2014 at 6:15 am

    The older brother’s constant smiling face when the sister is discussing taking her life is mega creepy. The ending is hysterical. She says she “must be losing her mind” for not giving them cookies with their coffee, and then the older brother looks upward and thanks Jehovah. Why? For the cookies?! LOL

  • October 17, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Thanks James. Excellent article!
    Another example of the Watchtower Organization “Speaking from both sides of the mouth” is in their FAQ section on their website. For example:

    The following is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on the JW website.
    Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Feel That They Are the Only People Who Will Be Saved?

    No. Many millions who lived in centuries past and who weren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses will have an opportunity for salvation. The Bible explains that in God’s promised new world, “there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) Additionally, many now living may yet begin to serve God, and they too will gain salvation. In any case, it’s not our job to judge who will or won’t be saved. That assignment rests squarely in Jesus’ hands.—John 5:22, 27.
    The question was not asking who is going to be resurrected. Or who may yet become a Jehovah’s Witness. The real (honest) answer is obviously YES … as shown from the following Watchtower quotes. Once again they are not being honest in there answer.

    “Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect. We cannot claim to love God, yet deny his Word and channel of communication. … Therefore, in submitting to Jehovah’s visible theocratic organization, we must be in full and complete agreement with every feature of its apostolic procedure and requirements.” – (w67 10/1, Pg. 591, Following Faithful Shepherds with Life in View)

    “But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his “faithful and discreet slave,” made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.—Compare Acts 8:30-40.” – (w81 12/1, p. 27, The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter)

    “A third requirement is that we be associated with God’s channel, his organization. God has always used an organization. For example, only those in the ark in Noah’s day survived the Flood, and only those associated with the Christian congregation in the first century had God’s favor. (Acts 4:12) Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.” – (w83 2/15, p. 12, You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth—But How?)

    “Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the “great crowd,” as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil.” – (w89 9/1, Pg. 19, Remaining Organized for Survival Into the Millennium)

    “For the security and survival of true worshipers, an arklike spiritual paradise exists. (2 Corinthians 12:3, 4) To be preserved through the great tribulation, we must remain in that paradise.“ – (w03 12/15, p. 19, par. 22, Our Watchfulness Takes On Greater Urgency)

    “Soon, Jehovah’s day will come. Now is the time to return to our heavenly Father’s loving arms and to the congregation—the only safe haven in these last days.—Deut. 33:27; Heb. 10:24, 25.” – (w13 11/15, p. 14, par. 17, How Can We Maintain “a Waiting Attitude”?)

  • October 17, 2014 at 7:45 am

    That video is hilarious and creepy the old guy reminds me of the Cheshire Cat! Is that for real, seriously I can’t believe how messed up that is, “Read some Psalms when your feeling emotional,” Yeah like that’s a book of the bible with no emotional triggers in it whatsoever, why not just have her read Lamentations, lol.
    Better yet lets have songs about some dream of a resurrection and make our attendees sing it and then when they start to cry we tell them that they should be getting over it already.
    Maybe its a video of what not to do, because then it makes perfect sense.
    Nice article.

  • October 17, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I came to the conclusion a few years ago that it was impossible to be in a good mental state and remain a witness because in essence, what every member is told is that you pretty much have to be like the families on the stage presented at demonstrations at assemblies – perfect husband and wife and perfect kids who really want to go in service rather than play sports or go to a movie etc.
    If your family is “normal” and everyone in the family is not so perfect, you are constantly reminded from the platform that you are not doing enough and compared to other families, who on the surface may seem to be exemplary. That is when the conflicts arise between spouses or between parents and children and then starts the anxiety and maybe depression.
    In my opinion, it is the religion itself that is creating a lot of the mental illness among its members.
    It appeared to me that most witnesses would never disclose that they were suffering mentally as they would be afraid to be labelled as weak.
    To me, the witness religion is a façade of people who are trying to act like their lives are amazing and wonderful, because they are lucky to be a part of an organization that is so amazing and wonderful. But when one looks under the surface, they will quickly see the hipocrasy of this organization and the reality that most witnesses are really not that happy despite the plastic smiles on their faces.

  • October 17, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Couldn’t agree more.
    I know witnesses who have sought professional help but they often make an agreement with the therapist to only go for counseling if the therapist agrees to not in any way to identify the organization as a cause of their problems. And I am not making that up either, they seriously do that.
    The witness self approach to therapy is something like, “Help yourself if you dare, just don’t find out what’s really wrong and definitely don’t try and fix the problem, just cope”

  • October 17, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Inconsistency and confusion is endemic in this pseudo religion.
    After repealing the 13 year ban on transplants, they hypocritically
    claimed. “W,T, publications applaud transplants as procedures
    that have helped people.” Aw, 22/8/1989 P6

    The recent Awake, James has brought to our attention, that
    promotes seeking professional help for mental illness, contradicts
    a previous awake article, designed as a put off against hypnotherapy.
    ( Which has had good results with depression, panic attacks,
    addictions, etc.)

    While acknowledging the Bible is not a medical textbook, it then goes
    on to use the Bible to try and put the wind up us. Warning us of those
    Who “Bind others with a spell” Deut, 18/11.

    Also it equated it with voodoo trances, and stage hypnosis, where
    people are made to do bizarre things they otherwise would not do.
    Awake,7/8/2003… This is the line elders would take if a doctor
    recommended hypnotherapy to any J,W,

    More to be feared is mind control through indoctrination where people
    are made to believe bizarre things, purely on the word of men.

  • October 17, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Excellence article James!!!
    You are exactly mentioning the split personality of WTS – one face for the outsiders to attract them and one face for real live within the JW community.

    Would you like to have another example? Please have a look to JW.ORG FAQ’s about shunning of family members. At FAQ no shunning within the family:
    “What of a man who is disfellowshipped but whose wife and children are still Jehovah’s Witnesses? The religious ties he had with his family change, but blood ties remain. The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings continue.”

    Is that the messages you can find in watch tower articles – NO at all!

    … and nearly nobody of our brothers and sisters are recognizing this tricky gamble. But actually some of them are already able for playing this game ;-)

    Go on!

  • October 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    well .. isn’t this nice? After calling apostates “mentally” diseased , the recommendation is to seek professional help(worldly at best). How many witnesses past would have loved to be able to feel comfortable with doing that.
    How many Witnesses would have loved to further their education (college) How many witnesses would not have sold their homes (Armageddon looms) How many witnesses would have worried about doing anything normal – day to day activities feeling that to do so would put them in opposition. So… As Bro Glass , so many years ago said… Brothers… if you need to go to the dentist , GO ! In other words , witness or not, use common sense. It always amazed me that if a Witness had a physical issue, absolutely go to the doctor. Yet , when its a mental or emotional issue , it should be approved ? Is not the Brain(mind) and heart (emotion) part of this magnificent(yet imperfect) body ? Who has the right or authority to divide the medical treatment of those three((3)(same body)? What they don’t know, wont kill you , I feel , applies here. If you need ANY form of help, keep it to yourself , unless you are having JW.ORG cover the cost. Do what you need to do for yourself. Don’t share, you don’t have to . Its your business. Its usually then that things get complicated

  • October 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    da” I agree with your comments and this is the way things should be – a person should take responsibility for their own medical situation, should take control of their future whether it be going to university or selling their home or anything.
    However, in a cultlike religion, such as the witnesses, you are not allowed to think for yourself. You are a clone of every other witness and must act the same and look the same and talk the same.
    Controlling the flock is of primary importance. Being told by the powers that be, as to what is ok and what is not ok, is just what being part of the witness religion is all about and most witnesses appear to be ok with this or are too afraid to speak out.

  • October 17, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    When I served at Bethel I knew of two young men you experienced mental/emotional problems.

    One confided to me that he had been cutting himself for a long time before coming to Bethel and was able to stop for a time. However he had a difficult time adjusting and fitting in among the rest of us and had returned to the practice of cutting himself.

    Knowing that there was a Phychologist and a Psychiatrist on the infirmary staff I encouraged him to talk with the department overseer and get help. He did, and some time later I ran into him in the 124 Lobby as he was leaving Bethel. He made a point to introduce me to his parents and he was happier now that he was on medication to balance his moods.

    Another young man became fixated on one of the single sisters serving at Bethel and just pretty much snapped. He would constantly call her, follow her, and she became concerned for her safety. He too was well cared for and given the proper treatment to help him.

  • October 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    rob: I couldn’t have said it better. I came to the same conclusion as my own mental health was in decline. I had to climb out of the hole to save myself from further decline but when I did after tears & sadness, I needed time to myself to process what was happening to me. I couldn’t understand why I felt constantly confused & insecure because I wasn’t “spiritual” like everyone else. After I finally came out & confessed that I didn’t believe this shit anymore, clarity set in & I started to see the reality of this religion & for the past few years the double-tongued talk became so obvious to me.

  • October 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    As a matter of fact, The Watchtower has not seen the psychiatric community as their only competitor in this world. If you analyze the semantics of their publication concerning school you could easily prove that “worldly” education is a competitor of the “christian” education provide by the organisation.

    For the years 2007 and 2008, i have take all the occurences concerning school and teaching in french’s Watchtower and Awake, and i have classified them in a table in term of positive, neutral or negative views. At the left you can see the “wordly” education (école républicaine) occurences at the right the occurences concerning the Watchtower education (école religieuse jéhoviste). No surprise, the “worldly” school is always describe as dangerous, as a source of pain, it is described positively only one time. On the other hand, the “christian” education is always described as positive, never negatively.

    The table

  • October 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    A sister in our cong, had her husband of many years leave her for
    another woman ( He was a non witness,)

    She was absolutely distraught and suffered a mental breakdown.
    I went to see her ( as an elder). Anything I said. to her simply did not
    register. She just rambled on incoherently, all the time I was there
    about an hour. I should have done my utmost to get her professional

    But we were deluded, being made to believe that a few Bible scriptures
    could solve any problem.

    The sister phoned up another elder, and rambled on in the same way.
    This elder told me, He put the phone down, leaving it off the hook
    and returned half an hour later to check if she had gone.

    The poor woman left the area with her children , so I never knew what
    happened to her after that… Elders are way out of their depth. When
    dealing with some of life’s deep problems, and can be hard hearted
    when there’s no response to their scriptural counsel.

  • October 17, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    In my experience most witnesses are depressed and/or anxious. The cult suppresses their true personality which prevents them from being authentic people.

    I feel more relaxed now a month after I DA’d myself than in my time as a witness (20 years).

  • October 17, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    This is a great article James. Your video was very moving, I was touched by it and can identify with all you said.

    When I watched that secret elder video, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Or both. Frankly, I didn’t understand the purpose behind it. Were the two elders supposed to be a better example than the first one?? I couldn’t tell any difference between any of the elders.

    In dealing with someone who was “suicidal”, they all showed an appalling lack of love or care, let alone any knowledge of how to really help. They ALL acted as if they were made of tin and empty inside as if they had no heart.

    The older one’s smile is CREEPY and spooky! It made me a’scared to look at him!

    From my own experience, no matter how good your intentions are, the only ones who really understand what it means to have a mental illness, is someone else who has a mental illness.

    I appreciate everyone’s comments and my love and support goes out to all my brothers and sisters who also live with mental illness.

  • October 17, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    So….I am a fader I guess I am in the ranks of “mentally diseased Apostate.” Wow good thing I have my head about me or I would really have a mental breakdown. I rarely see anyone from my old cong even though I live around the corner from it. I just don’t want to worship like others. I don’t want to be a cheerleader for it and I don’t want to be like a Jim Baker or an Oral Roberts and demand money for it. I will not give one red cent. Of course they don’t need my money as they just bought a new mansion for 1.46 Million dollars so I guess they are fleecing the flock real well and the flock doesn’t have any idea! When you think about it has really done NOTHING for ANYONE but themselves. They wonder why people have mental problems it’s because of them speaking with a forked tongue. They always do and it is designed to keep the flock confused and thereby always “relying on Jehovah” or “waiting on Jehovah” in truth it is designed to confuse the flock while they are being fleeced!

  • October 18, 2014 at 7:00 am

    If you are not to read outside of their sect publications or are frowned upon to seek mental help then are they not the ones truly trying to control your mind? Cult Cult let me say it one more time. CULT

  • October 19, 2014 at 4:17 am

    I couldnt agree more. Its all about ‘works’ and when you fail to live up to the impossible standard you feel a failure. Im so glad to be out and be a free critical thinker.

    Great essay. I was never happy with the question of
    ‘Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Feel That They Are the Only People Who Will Be Saved?’
    The bottom line is that to be saved acording to the GB is
    1 faith in christ +
    2 total unquestioning alegience to the WT.

    @James Strait
    Well said. Brilliant artical.

  • October 19, 2014 at 6:08 am


    Keep on keeping on, buddy. Fading is challenging but it is possible. Just don’t create ripples, nod and smile and just agree with everything they say. You know it is not, and that gives you a tremendous advantage.

    i wish you all the best.

    Peace be with you


  • October 19, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Great information. Well written, hope it helps to open some people’s eyes to the real truth of the Watchtower organization. It is doubled tongued.

    Keep up the good works.

  • October 19, 2014 at 7:11 am

    As an ex-JW (now “APOSTATE”), with my own experiences in a congregation where I served as a Ministerial Assistant (playing in many occasion the role of an Elder we had one Elder only), I came to realize the real power pushing forward the organization turn around sex.

    Sex is a serious problem among JWs and it SEEMS the Organization is harnessing what psychologist call “LIBIDINAL ENERGY”!

    Many mental troubles in JWs as I came to realize are manifested in sex affairs…

  • October 20, 2014 at 8:17 am

    This work is not a good and objectiv work. Every body has to obey God. That is exackly what JW encouraging people.

  • October 20, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I recently read George Orwell’s “1984” novel. This article that James wrote sent chills down my spine in comparison with that novel. The parallels of the WTBTS and the “The Party” are way beyond surprising. It’s downright shocking! James describes how the WTBTS will portray how they want to be perceived, then turn right around and say how they should be obeyed. Orwell described this as “double-think”, and the “The Party” will only get to decide what is to be considered truth and fiction. If you go against “Big Brother” (the WTBTS), and found out by the “Thought Police” (the Elders), then you were “insane”, which could only be cured by the “Ministry of Love” (Discipline by the Judicial Committee and DFS). Sound familiar?

    I won’t go into the parallels for “The Party”, “The Inner-Party”, “Big Brother is watching you”, “Vaporization”, “party defined insanity”, etc. Actually, I find this VERY intriguing.

    “1984” is an interesting and very creepy read for anyone who has been inside the WTBTS.

  • October 20, 2014 at 11:00 am

    “You must accordingly be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”
    Matt,5/48 N,W,T,.

    An unattainable standard for any human being. Expecting it of ourselves
    or any member of our family will just lead to conflict and emotional
    turmoil. Inflexible rules, black or white thinking, just do not work in the
    real world,

    Flexibility is essential, If one family member no longer believes as we do,
    trying to force our will upon them by shunning, leads to family
    breakdown and very often mental breakdown.

    The org, that imposes this straitjacket mentality, allows itself the greatest
    latitude, with its constantly changing doctrines that must be accepted
    without question.

    Every person is a unique individual , and has a right to express their
    individuality, without being pressed into a mould. Accepting this results
    In reduced strife, and a more relaxed existence. Nothing is perfect.

  • October 20, 2014 at 11:51 am

    “Clearly, there are two religions present here: the real one that operates behind closed doors, and that which is shown to the public.”

    For the newbies, lurkers, and trolls…
    …if you have to cheat to defend your beliefs, your beliefs don’t deserve to be defended.

  • October 20, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Baby, you are a BABY. Which god does everybody have to obey as you say? A god dictated by Brooklyn called ‘Jehovah”? The “Trinity”, …

    If you mean Jehovah as god, it must be the craziest god created by HUMANS. See below what it told Ezekiel… SOURCES OF MENTAL DISTURBANCES…

    (Ezekiel 24:15-18) 15 And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to me, saying: 16 “Son of man, here I am taking away from you the thing desirable to your eyes by a blow, and you should not beat your breast, neither should you weep nor should your tears come on. 17 Sigh without words. For the dead ones no mourning should you make. Your headdress bind on yourself, and your sandals you should put upon your feet. And you should not cover over [the] mustache, and the bread of men you should not eat.” 18 And I proceeded to speak to the people in the morning, and my wife gradually died in the evening. So I did in the morning just as I had been commanded.

  • October 21, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Happily my experience with elders and mental health professionals has been fine. They probably didn’t read the part in their book to discourage seeking professional advice.

    They are clearly out of their depth and once highlighted they fully supported seeking treatment.

    Kate xx

  • October 21, 2014 at 7:46 am


    Thanks for that, Kate. It is sometimes forgotten that the crazy rules of the GB are not universally obeyed, and if they are obeyed, there is variation in the application.

    I am sure there are many sincere Elders out there in JWLand that choose to ignore this rule, and follow their Christian consciences. On the other hand, they may just not care and let things like this slide!


    If only the WTBTS were asking folks to “obey God”! The problem is, Baby, that many of the rules created by the WTBTS contradict the Bible, which is supposed to be the inspired word of God.

    That’s why many folks leave! They realise that they are required to sacrifice instead of being shown mercy. This is not what CHRIST wanted us to do.

    Please, Baby, do your research. You have all of the information here and on other sites. Prove to yourself that the JW religion is true. Then, when you have proved it right and us wrong, come back and tell us what you have found.

    I wish you well in your journey of discovery.

    Peace be with you,


  • October 21, 2014 at 9:30 am

    @Vidiot. That is an excellent insight!

  • October 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    It’s been a while since i have visited any ex jw forum…nice point of view by the way. I know that in my personal situation i was severely depressed, i thought i would never be good enough for jehovah or to enter paradise or the new world no matter how many people i helped get baptized no matter how many hours i worked in service or on congregation “priveleges” and talks…i even got diagnosed with an illness from which i am better from no thanks to them or any jw i knew for that matter. When i was asked to step down as a ministerial servant for not being able to attend the meetings (literally i had done no wrong) and other things that happened shortly after i decided to never go again (mind you i had already been researching things). now i am absolutely healthy, i no longer drink heavily i no longer take anti depressants i am very healthy physically emotionally and spiritually and i have lost 120 lbs in the process. I remember the elders telling me specifically that if i seeked help from a “professional” whom did not care and know about the “truth” it would most likely mean my spiritual downfall since they may suggest things that go against “jehovah’s” (the watchtowers) laws. I seeked help and not once did the psych doc tell me i was in the wrong religion or anything of that sort.

    C M

  • October 23, 2014 at 1:23 am

    James writes so well and gives such an important insight into Watchtower psychology. The last sentence in his testimony is, “In the end, the truth is what is most important”. Let us endeavour to stand by that as we see it revealed in Christ.

  • October 23, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Congratulations CM on your journey.

    I knew so many witnesses that drank heavily and were so unhappy with their lives, but unfortunately they would not seek help and would try to get help from the elders who really had no clue of how to begin to give them direction other than to tell them to study more and go in service more.

    I see them sometimes in the neighborhood, knocking on doors, and putting in their time, and wonder if they are just hypnotized by the robotic routine that the society dictates upon them.

  • October 24, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Nice article and very well stated.

  • October 25, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Many people with depression suffer from cognitive dissonance meaning they don’t see the world or their personal situation the same way a non-depressed person would. Over time, interpreting information in a negative way, (life will never get better, I will never be happy again, there is no way out of my pain I would be better off dead) brings about a semipermanant state of mind. A JW has a jaded way of looking at disasters, wars, bad weather, anyway and if you add in shunning you have the possibility of a lethal cocktail of depression. I don’t see a reliance on prayer and reading selected Bible verses as helpful by themselves, because of that cognitive dissonance issue. Talk therapy combined with a new generation of
    antidepressants gives improvement to 80% of the people who are dealing with non-bipolar depression. The talk therapy attempts to correct the errors in your outlook, the “everything is terrible and getting worse” type. The drug increases the supply of neurotransmitters within the brain (epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin) which control moods and motor activity, sleep, hunger, etc. If the WT told members they could not get professional help they would get sued into the dark ages so you get the CYA, “we would rather that you not, but it’s up to your conscience”. As with many groups the message that you aren’t doing enough or your not really committed, pay more, work more hours, more more more, do better, do better, is hammered into your brain leaving you always feeling guilty, not measuring up, inadequate, which falls perfectly in line with the hopeless way of looking at life. Of course control groups produce more depression and suicidal tendencies (1 in every 6 suffering from depression successfully takes their own life). If you see yourself becoming hopeless and not enjoying those things you use to love doing, get help, please.

  • October 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    What next,JW surgery…it baffles me how the JW organisation,can come out with stuff like this,many years back i suffered with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,and some of the things which were said to me was,its not helped you spiritually by being un-well,because you self harm and hear voices its the demons having a go at you.Now i know now it was the trauma i went through which all these were related to,but it was if it was my fault and i was led to believe it was Satan having ago at me,so my reaction to this on Mental Health from the watchtower is leave it to the professionals,as more people get damaged by listening to the watchtower and there false believe system towards Mental Health,its DANGEROUS to take there advice on board.That was over 12 years ago i now have moved on in my well being to a turn around in my recovery and lead a happy life,this although was not the case when i was DF Last year for questioning believes and doctrines… and the Mentally ill finger was again pointed at me…..its a sick set up,please if there is others reading this you will agree with what iam saying…..

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