In light of the horrendous terror attacks in Paris last week, Facebook users received the option to update their profile photos with an overlay consisting of the red, white and blue colors of the French Flag.
It’s reasonable to assume that individuals who update their profiles with this feature do so in a sincere display of solidarity with the people of France and the victims of a gruesome crime committed by backward thinking, brainwashed Islamic terrorists. Few people would perceive such a gesture as a pledge of allegiance to a government.
Apparently, some active Jehovah’s Witnesses dared to take part in these displays of the French colors, and it quickly stirred up disquiet among pro-JW Facebook groups.
Hemant Mehta over at the Friendly Atheist blog wrote about this very subject a few days ago. He makes some very valid arguments and you may read his article for yourself but I’d like to highlight the kind of silly contretemps this subject has induced in these pro-JW Facebook groups. (See screenshot)
When a Jehovah’s Witnesses inquires whether it’s proper to display French colors in their profile, they are essentially asking; would such a gesture violate my neutrality and my faith?
It’s sad that someone would need input from strangers on a decision that is really a personal matter, but let’s not focus on the inquirers when there is a much more disturbing sentiment in the response by pro-JW moderators of these groups, and in the comments of rank-and-file JW Facebook users.
That disturbing sentiment is… indifference.
Jehovah’s Witnesses use the doctrine of political neutrality to explain why they don’t salute the flag, sing the national anthem, vote in elections or volunteer for military service. They believe that God’s heavenly Kingdom is the only solution to humanity’s problems and as such, most acts of civic duty constitute a lack of faith in God’s Kingdom.
On the surface, such a belief seems harmless, but for most Jehovah’s Witnesses this doctrine envelopes all displays of political awareness including gestures of sympathy. So, it’s no surprise that the reply by the moderator for the “Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses Worldwide” group would include the following statement:
“Those who are putting the colors of the French flag on their profile pictures are thus not showing the same impartiality as Jesus did.”
Not once does the Moderator acknowledge that it could be a solemn sign of sympathy for the French people or even the victims themselves. Instead, the Moderator argues that these gestures aren’t made for “similar or worse terror attacks” and questions: “why should France receive preferential treatment?”
This last statement is a clear snapshot of the Moderator’s indifference: “Terrorism is a part of the world system today; it is a symptom of the corrupt governance that runs the world today. Genuine Christians would therefore stay completely neutral in matters of this sort, and not become nationalistic in their thinking.”
The unquestioned obedience to a group of old men in Brooklyn is bad enough, but the callous indifference to the suffering of human beings that may not share your religious views is far more dangerous.
“How can a religious group that evangelizes to save lives be dangerous?”
Most Jehovah’s Witnesses would argue that they care about their neighbors, and this may be true at a personal level. But really most of their interaction with non-witnesses outside of secular work occurs within the context of trying to convert non-believers.
The truth is there are no JW charities, JW soup kitchens, JW clothing drives, or JW support groups. So far as I know, there are no JW organizations trying to improve the lives of others outside of the ministry work.
It’s difficult to blame rank-and-file JWs for their lack of charity. The organization is run by a group of delusional men who live in a social bubble. They’re protected from the day-to-day worries of the average person and are surrounded by “yes” men. All of their basic necessities are covered and they bask in the adoration of millions of followers who cling to every decree that comes down from the ivory towers in Brooklyn. Their indifference trickles down in their teachings.
Here’s a real example of how this can occur…
On Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 I would have found myself at 150 Broadway in Downtown Manhattan, two blocks away from the World Trade Center, had I not taken a personal day from work to support the service group during a Circuit Overseer visit.
I wouldn’t have been in direct risk of harm as the offices were far enough away to see little harm other than being overcome by the dust storm that followed the Tower collapses. In the aftermath, the company relocated the staff to the midtown offices because parts of downtown would be inaccessible for the weeks that followed.
I make these disclaimers because I don’t want to exploit the 9/11 tragedy to make my point, but my proximity to everything made the events of that day a very personal matter.
Just like millions of people across the world, I watched events on television. I also climbed to the rooftop of my apartment building for a clear view of the Downtown skyline only to find dozens of my neighbors already up there watching the horrible scenes unfold. The Towers eventually collapsed, and the eerie silence of a city that was always buzzing remains the most vivid memory of that day.
Later that evening, I received a Nextel “chirp” (remember those Nextel walkie-talkie phones?) from the Security Coordinator at work. They were trying to organize volunteers to help dig people out of the rubble. I was immediately compelled to assist in any way possible, so I recruited my brother and another Ministerial Servant from the congregation, and we set out to make our way into Manhattan.
Our efforts were thwarted by the police at every bridge and tunnel crossing into the city. Only Emergency Personnel and their vehicles were allowed to pass.
We eventually made our way to the waterfront Promenade in Brooklyn Heights at the feet of Watchtower’s Brooklyn Headquarters. I rang a Bethelite who served in our congregation; he came down from one of the Bethel residential buildings and joined us at the Promenade. The four of us stood there, leaning over the rails, looking across the East River. We could see and smell the smoke that filled the space where the Towers once stood. It felt so close I could touch it.
By that time, my brother and our friend had given up trying to get into Manhattan, but I would not relent. I asked a Police Officer how we could assist, and he pointed us to a nearby Red Cross office that was enlisting volunteers.
My brother and our friend agreed to go with me but they balked at registering to volunteer with the Red Cross because in their minds it was a “religious organization.” I then looked to our Bethelite friend to see if he’d be willing to join us, and he uttered the words that I would never forget: “Let the dead bury their dead.”
My Bethelite friend was quoting the words of Jesus in Luke 9:60 responding to a man who wanted to spend time at home with his aging father before committing himself to follow Christ.
At first I thought; “Surely, he isn’t using this bible quote to point out the futility in offering ourselves to aid in the rescue efforts?” Our Bethelite friend followed up with “the best thing we can do for these people now is inform them about Jehovah’s divine plan.” Those words defeated me.
I did register with the Red Cross and volunteered the next day to clean up Emergency Vehicles that came across the bridge covered in the dust and ash of the rubble, but the indifferent words of my Bethelite friend disturb me to this day.
Overall, my Bethelite friend is a decent human being. I like to think that the events that day simply weren’t as personal to him as they were to me, and that if confronted with the opportunity to lend a hand to someone in need, under different circumstances, love and compassion would motivate his actions.
The reality is that he looked at the events through the filters of his indoctrination. Sure, he was present but not connected in any real way with the victims of the atrocity. He was taught since childhood that it really is a futile endeavor to try to improve the world; that the ONLY remedy to all the bad things about the world is Jehovah, and that we should busy ourselves in the ministry work instead. It probably didn’t help that he also lived in that Bethelite “bubble,” an environment that fosters indifference.
Indifference is the reason a Jehovah’s Witness can view something trivial like displaying French colors on your Facebook profile as an act of disloyalty to Jehovah. Not because they are absent or don’t observe the tragedy, but because they are not connected with the victims.
The indifference does not allow them to look at non-believers as more than just sinners that have not yet accepted the “truth” and converted. It does not allow them to question the authority of those who invent their doctrine and enforce its rules.
This might seem like elitism, pride or arrogance that one could chalk up to a flawed ego. The reason this indifference is dangerous is that it’s not ego, it’s a symptom of their brainwashing. When we stop viewing our fellow man as human, as our equal, we tend to disconnect.
A quote often attributed to Edmund Burke says; “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” If we think about many of history’s atrocities, we soon understand that most, if not all of them, occur because a large group of people were indifferent towards another group, often a smaller one.
Most Germans didn’t hate Jews, but their indifference allowed Nazi Anti-Semitism to spread. Most Americans didn’t hate African-Americans, but their indifference allowed those in power to embed their racist views in the political fabric of the country for centuries.
What atrocities have Watchtower leaders been allowed to nurture because they’ve promoted a spirit of indifference within their ranks?
Most Witness love their families, but the indifference that streams down from the Governing Body allows them to view their loved ones a sinners, destined for destruction and worthy of shunning.
Most Witnesses are kind, friendly people, but indifference allows them to accept a view that non-believers are to be kept at arm’s length, and are worthy only of necessary interactions or spiritual aid.
Most Witnesses love their children and would risk their lives to protect them, but their indifference toward life in this “system of things” allows them to forfeit their inherent paternal instincts. They refuse lifesaving blood transfusions for themselves and their children in acts of loyalty to an organization in exchange for the promise of some future life in “paradise.”
I could go on forever about the things JWs forfeit due to the indifference their indoctrination promotes, but I’d rather make a call to action.
The Remedy to Indifference… Action
If you are an Ex-JW still reeling from the damage this cult has caused you, or if you’re an active JW mentally out and unable to walk away right now – you are not powerless. The remedy to indifference is action.
You may not be able to change the minds of those around you directly. It’s also unlikely that anyone in the Watchtower’s hierarchy can be moved to change by your actions alone. However, your activism doesn’t have to be related to the “JW world” in any way. You don’t have go “full apostate” to affect positive changes in your own world. All you have to do is connect.
Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Run a 5k to raise awareness for a cause that is personal to you. Take your kids with you. Show them how you can help other humans in more ways than handing them a bible tract or a Watchtower magazine.
If you can, participate in school functions, bake sales, PTA meetings, community yard sales, potlucks, etc. Invite your JW friends too. Chisel away at the indifference and you’ll find yourself connected to the community around you, and not just to people at your local Kingdom Hall. You’ll not only see the world without “JW Goggles” – you’ll be more inclined to sympathy, empathy and forgiveness toward humans in general, but more importantly… yourself.
You may not be inclined to fly the colors of the French flag in your Facebook profile, but you’ll understand those that do. And you may even understand that those hyper-sensitive “moral agents” who think a display of solidarity is treason against a publishing company are merely cold and indifferent self-deceivers.
Let’s take back our lives and connect with world.
Let’s be humane to the humans.
Oh and by the way… “Vive la France”!
A guest post by James Sequoia
208 thoughts on “The Friday Column: “Let the dead bury their dead””
Being from Paris and having had friends involved directly in these horrible events made up for a pretty awful week. Us french usually have difficulties to use our flag or our anthem, much more than in America or in Britain (where I now live). The reason being it’s usually connoted with extreme right wing nationalists (National front), so we’re a bit suspicious towards using them. But following these events it just meant solidarity and for the first time I was happy to sing our anthem.
But the fatalist attitude of witnesses towards world problems in general, drives me mad, now that I woke up and want to get involved to try to change things at my level. Whenever my JW family discuss the world, it ends up by “anyway, there’s nothing we can do, only the new kingdom will fix it”. So they just wait until it magically gets fixed and it creates this passive attitude. They won’t even try to think of what they can do to consume less, pollute less, be better for the environment, for example, as the end is so near anyway. What’s the point? That just drives me mad.
I don’t know if any of you have seen this. I was told about it by someone and was very suspicious of it until I actually saw it. It is a testimony by a 15 year old Jewish boy who had a near death experience. He claims he went to Heaven and saw and heard many things. Sounds wacky but if you have the guts to watch it, I was stunned.
Of course JB Reezner might think he is back in the old book study again but this is quite different to that. This kid talks about certain things in the future. I watched it today. Again, it may be a fake but it doesn’t look like it to me. Judge for yourselves. It does contain subtitles and references to Jewish stuff but I am sure you can follow it okay. This is also showing that JW’s are not the only ones interested in prophecy.
Who cares what the Watchtower thinks! The Pharisaical Watchtower Society is what it is. Jesus Christ stated that we should love our neighbors. By changing your Facebook profile picture to a French flag just shows that you care about the victims of that particular area of the world.
Let the dead bury their dead.
1] The opportunity to follow Jesus on his earthly ministry. Now that really was something to miss out on! only available for 3.5 years in all history.
2] The good Samaritan is about helping accross any divides, you did right.
Who really is MY neighbor?
Had a little experience with a MS last night. I was looking through other posts on this site and came across one about the typo in the silver bible at NUmbers 35 I think it is. Being a brat I texted said MS (whom has been a friend to me) and made a comment. He came back with ‘I bet the proof reader is df’d now’. I said he’s probably in chains bellow Warwick. ‘He said ‘yeah, never to be forgiven’. I said ‘yup, an infidel!’ after a few more comments I managed to slip in that the WT has over 7 billion lined up as infidels at armageddon… He agreed lol. I just shook my head.
I remember that typo, Tara. It’s Numbers 33:6. Instead of saying, “Then they departed from Suc’coth…”, it reads: “The JW Org really suck’eth…”
Hey, maybe it ISN’T a typo!
O diligent, automatic, comment-flagging spam robot, how I do love thee. And your fickle ways only add to your charm.
Mine disappeared and now it’s come back again.
It’s only charming when it works.
Ok I think this is poetic but I have no idea what you are talking about lol
Tara, my Ode captures my feelings when I hit the Post Comment button and the instant, automatic “awaiting moderation” flag pops up because the anti-spam software is feeling cantankerous at that moment. About a week ago, the site was being blasted by trolls posting as much trash as they could. Amidst a dozen or so malicious comments, the only comment I saw “awaiting moderation” was a harmless, relevant one I had posted earlier in the day. So, as I evidently have a knack for using words that trigger it, I’ve learned to embrace its sweet stigma.
Yes JB, I too have noted the fickleness/randomness about the site’s anti-spam software which you mention – there are comments of mine from yesterday that are still awaiting moderation up to this point in time.
Lol oh I see :) yes got to watch those CAPITALS….
A very powerful and topical contribution. Indifference is a coping mechanism used by the Witnesses (and others!) when confronted with issues they would rather not face. The right response to indifference is to challenge it by showing a better way.
A well written article and so true.
“Indifference” is the mainstay for this sect that had blinded me with their purple haze of “Paradise Earth” for over 55 years.
And to the indifferent, self-serving, so called “Christian Bethelite brother” who dared quote Jesus’ words “let the dead bury the dead” during this tragedy brings to mind this dialog between Ebeneezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas present…
“Man,” said the Ghost, “if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die?”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Both show their indifference to humanity; one indifferent monetarily the other emotionally in the face of true tragedy.
((Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol))……..tis the season to be jolly, falalalalahlalalalah……..have you decked the halls and started your Christmas shopping as yet?……only 31 to go:)☺
Congrats, Big B on leaving the JW Religion! I know how difficult it can be for those who leave, especially after such a long time within the sect. Continue to celebrate your freedom and rest assured that there is a community for ex-JW support.
Out of interest Big B… have you keft or are you fading? I got baptised at 13 after being brought up as a witness… Im now 57 and started fading 2 years ago after the lights in my head were switched on completely and finally after years of suppressed doubt…I would be interested to know your story.
Congrats on fading yourself. My story is that I started out in the JW’s as a non-baptized publisher, with my parents, in 1957 and was baptized in 1969. I started my own fading process after the death of my father (presiding overseer) in 2000. Non of us expected to die, or see loved ones die in this system, but instead were expecting to live to see Armageddon…so the death of my father was a great shock. My fading process was a slow and gradual and culminated in 2013 with the “New Light” in the July issue of the Watchtower. I have not been to a meeting/ assembly/ convention since. I told the elders during their one “shepherding call” in two years, that I would never be going back… EVER. After years in “the truth” I am disgusted with their policy, doctrine changes, etc. After living through 1975…enough is enough. I celebrated Halloween for the first time this year, with my non-JW family, as a 63 year old man. I will be celebrating Christmas for the first time since 1960. I hope my story helps you to continue your fade from this mind controlled indoctrination/cult of the JW’s and my one piece of advice would be to take back your Christian Freedom and Conscience from those who would wish to control you…ie the governing body.
Thanks for your story Big B…. It similair to mine but I got baptised in 1971… I was shocked to find I was not alone…when I do go to the meetings now and again to please my spouse I find myself looking around at the severely depleted congregation wondering who feels like me but is also too scared of shunning and being cut off by thier family to completely finish woth this cult…thank you for your advice…thank you for your story.
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything”
The most à propos quote.
Awesome comments James, Big B, Syl.
When I was in high school, I used to preach like Paul about man’s inability to solve mankind’s problems and that only god’s kingdom can solve mankind’s problems. One of my classmates countered that the world is not perfect and we may not be able to solve all of the world’s problems but we can’t just take a hands-off approach and not do anything since any effort we make may not help everyone but it will at least help a few persons and that is better than not helping anyone at all.
Looking back I’ve asked myself how was my classmate able to have such a realistic view of the world at that young age yet I resorted to accepting the JW’s idealistic view and was convinced that it was a waste of time to get involved in initiatives to try to make the world a better place. As I got older I would feel guilty and conflicted about participating in such activities as, according to the GB’s narrative, when we participate in such activities we are showing that we believe in Satan’s system of things and we are not looking forward to the new system.
After a while I came to realize that the GB needs us to be indifferent about the world’s problems as this is just their way of deluding us with their fantasy paradise. The GB needs us to believe that everything around us is so bad and can’t be solved in order to keep us hooked on their fantasy paradise.
This indifferent attitude towards problems can also be very unhealthy at the personal level – the indifference could spill over into our personal lives and make us feel that we can’t successfully solve the problems or deal with challenges we may face in your personal lives.
Outstanding comment, @dee! I agree wholeheartedly.
Thank you James for this excellent article. After I left the org. I started to work on fund raisers for various causes. To do charitable work, to do something to improve the lives of members of my community, and more. It felt so good. I hate indifference. Once at some lunch hospitality I heard some very pious comments. They indicated these members of our community who do not accept WT. are simply bird food. They said IT LIKE THEY DID NOT CARE. And they do not. Yep God sends vultures to eat their neighbors. And they are down with that. Sick people.They don’t know how they sound.
I love this guys videos especially this video it’s great, simple & reasonable.
I apply this to the indifference of JW’s.
Yes, Grace, this guy presents a rational approach to JW’s brainwashed personalities. You don’t get it till you actually leave. It does make us more understanding towards our loved ones who are still sucked in by the cult. They are just reflecting the parasitic personality that comes from uptop down to the blinded flock.
Still, I am trying with my own family, but I have been told to butt out of their lives in no uncertain terms. They haven’t shunned us but they have made it clear they do not want to be reminded of our opinions, but at least they know we have not changed our minds, like they probably want us to.
It’s a shame that people are so insecure about their faith that they can’t have an open discussion about it. I suppose if I were to think back to when I was indoctrinated, I was so emotionally invested in it that I didn’t want anything to undermine my belief.
Funny, I also knew deep down that I had many doubts but suppressed them to keep going.
Excellent article, James! Keep up the great work.
If that response is any indication of the JW reaction to 911, it’s truly despicable. In times of crisis and disaster, compassion should supersede religious beliefs. I remember my late witness father refused to participate in his company’s United Way campaign years ago. He kept them from getting 100 percent participation and he was proud of it. I do a charitable gift in his memory every year. I guess it’s my way of making up for it, at least in part.
Thank you, James, for the exceptionally well written and expressed thoughts. It’s been a rough year for me. Having recently been the recipient of some much needed assistance through the local Catholic church (this is not an endorsement of Catholicism or any other religion for that matter – merely an example), I mentioned just the other day to my Catholic boyfriend that there is no such provisions through the JW congregation. If you need assistance, you are told to have more faith. Pray more. Go out in service more. Seek first the Kingdom, and everything else would be added to you. It was at that time that I had an epihany (and, again, this is not an endorsement of Christianity or any particular religion. I myself am not sure what my beliefs are at this juncture): Christ’s ministry involved so much more than preaching. He fed people, he healed people, he geneuinely helped their real world here and now problems.. not just as a foregleam of what he would do in the future, as the Witnesses say, but because they needed it then and there. If it is all some grand story, or truth, he was an excellent example of a kind humanitarian whose ministry was more than just preaching. The JW’s completely miss that point.
Awesome thoughts Amber, just absolutely awesome.
Thanks for sharing.
I would thank everybody who share this horror with french people. ( I’m french … :) )
But, the aim of my message is to share this with you … I was very shocked by this :
In France at “Place de la République” JW have placed an “Awake”
and a “Watchtower” ….
It’s a shame on JW !
Il est à peine une surprise . Le WT pense que les magazines guérissent tout.
L’amour pour le peuple de France.
This post pointed out in me some residual fear in the form of what a very few family members might think. Wanting to do a thing, but still having that ingrained fear of doing it. This after all the other “sins”! Yet somehow held back on that one. Strange, one should logically think, but not to anyone who has experienced such a group. It can show up in the oddest pieces of life.
Honestly, we should all be trying to help each other, instead of doing what the GB does with hurting people and therir families emotionally and luing. Especially with what happened in Paris. I don’t care what the GB say, if my family was killed in an unjust attack, I’d participate in anything that commemorated all who died, even political.
Some more interesting thoughts on the comparison between JWs & radical Islam:
So my mom today was still talks to me even though I am df’d called me upset. It pains me to see the mental anguish she is going through as all people in her hall are talking about and predicting is that ISIS and the Paris Attacks are going to bring about the end. 1) it disturbs her (as it does all of us) what ISIS has been doing. 2) it scares her that if I am not reinstated and the end does come that I am at risk of being destroyed. I am awake but not sharing too much at the moment with her. So I had to use some of Lloyds excellent reasoning. I asked her “I know the world can seem scary and there is a lot of bad – but honestly would you rather be living now or lets say in the early 1900’s?” and she admitted “Well no I would rather be living now.” and I asked “Lets focus on the good! What kind of things do you enjoy now?” and she said cute things like “Italian food, Seinfeld, my cell phone etc.” and I laughed and said “Exactly! All those things are here and now and to be enjoyed. Could you imagine if we lived in the 1900’s? I wouldn’t be able to send you a text – I would have to send a carrier pigeon and send a black and white photo of the food I was enjoying!” which we both got a good laugh at(I feel humor is something that is a true weapon against cult thinking.) and then I dropped a little comment like “And mom could you imagine how disappointed we would be when David and Abraham weren’t resurrected and having a drink with Ruthorford at his mansion he built for them?” lol! And she gets quiet and says “Okay what in the world are you talking about?” And I kindly pointed her to the proclaimers book. Later she texted me and said “That is the craziest thing I have ever read!” and I texted back “It is crazy isn’t it! And thank God we live today so you could text me instead of sending that smelly old carrier pigeon.” to which we both laughed again.
I think my least favorite thing about the JW’s is the constant atmosphere of FEAR they are always living in. Having been out for two years I have really noticed how negative and sad and worried they are. I might write an article for this sight gathering all my thoughts on how fear is truly a path to the dark side(Sorry Star Wars is coming out.) and how we can use humor to bring our loved ones back and how it allows us to drop subtle but powerful truths and doubts. Amazing how many things I have been able to open her eyes to – but only by laughing at it. And a good reminder for all of us – that laughter and humor is truly therapeutic. Aggressive activism would never have worked on me. When Lloyd prank called Tony I was just dying laughing and to see not only how funny it was – but it also exposed what a loon TM3 is! That’s when for me my own fear and PTSD started to disappear. What does ISIS and the JW’s have in common: they both haven’t had a good belly laugh in a long time. Sorry if this was a little off topic – but I felt the conversation was relevant based on the Paris attack.
The heightened excitement among Watchtower group–I hadn’t put my finger on it, until I did the math… Moses and the Israelites exodus from Egypt and then 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, but led by a pillar of fire and smoke. So, doing the math:
1914 + 40 = 1955 – a spike in the number of active JW’s
1975 – a spike due to published speculations from Watchtower
1975 + 40 = ?? anyone?? anyone?? raised or lowered expectations? 2015.
We didn’t have to do the math for this one, it has already been done for us:
Watchtower 2003 Dec 15 p.15 “Warned of Things Not Yet Beheld”
draws a parallel with the 120 years leading up to the flood of Noah’s day:
“In Noah’s day, Jehovah declared: “My spirit shall not act toward man indefinitely in that he is also flesh. Accordingly his days shall amount to a hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3) The issuance of this divine decree in 2490 B.C.E. marked the beginning of the end for that ungodly world. Just think what that meant for those then living! Only 120 years more and Jehovah would bring “the deluge of waters upon the earth to bring to ruin all flesh in which the force of life is active from under the heavens.”-Genesis 6:17.
Noah received the warning of the upcoming catastrophe decades in advance, and he wisely used the time to prepare for survival. “After being given divine warning of things not yet beheld,” says the apostle Paul, “[Noah] showed godly fear and constructed an ark for the saving of his household.” (Hebrews 11:7) What about us?
SOME 90 YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE LAST DAYS OF THIS SYSTEM OF THINGS BEGAN IN 1914.
We are certainly in “the time of the end.” (Daniel 12:4) How should we respond to warnings we have been given? “He that does the will of God remains forever,” states the Bible. (1 John 2:17) Now is therefore the time to do Jehovah’s will with a keen sense of urgency.”
Yup, there ain’t no better way for the GB to have fun than with the numbers game (their favourite past time apparently).
“Eureka! By George! The tensions in the Middle East are just the god-send we need right now!……..time to create some hype and get our recruitment numbers back up boys!”
Yeah. That November JW Broadcast about “Come Back to Jehovah” by Mark Sanderson was so lame. I really didn’t see how we were going to get our numbers back up after that lame presentation (but promise not to tell him that I said so).
(yup, it’s all about the numbers game)
What a loving son :) How wonderful that you used humour to show your mum some plain truths and because of your delivery she probably accepted it more than if you had gone in hard. You are totally right, When trying to deal with people we need to show empathy etc. Turn our knowledge of teaching into something wonderfully positive to show our loved ones how futile and damaging the WT is.
The typical JW position is “neutrality” on politics, but the issue–the terrible actions in France stem from an ideology that opposes on a spiritual level not government. In the case of other incidents, being JW puts one on a side regardless because if one holds to the infallibility of the Bible, they are opposition to the radical “jihadist” who holds to the infallibility of the Quran.
And, really when we’re rational about things, being neutral is taking a side–failing to act against atrocities or failing to support justice puts one on the side of supporting the evil or the injustice. So, failing to act against the Holocaust and to publicize it, or failing to support anti-apartheid in South Africa or the USA, is equivalent of supporting the evil side.
Some individuals also hold the belief that “God’s will is at work” so why cast my vote and upset His plan? Yet, the counterargument is perhaps God is using your vote to enact His plan and by your inaction and not voting, you are going against the Plan.
There’s always a valid counterargument when it comes to a matter that should be individual conscience and decision-making.
Thank you for this comment. I remember a sister in my hall who was assigned to jury duty. There were so many JWs I knew that absolutely refuse to serve on a jury. Well, when the sister went with her jury group before the judge the first thing the judge said was ” if anyone is even thinking of saying I can’t serve serve on the jury for religious reasons, remember… If you want to get justice you have to give justice!”
The organization has instilled such an insular mentality among the witnesses that it’s as if real life is a television show to them. They can see the “worldly people” around them but they just can’t relate to them.
I have no problem with the French flag overlay on Facebook, but what I think everyone needs (especially JW’s) is a wider worldview. Beirut had a bombing that day too. Mali has suffered. France is lovely and perhaps more psychologically appealing to some to support than Beirut.
Thus, I felt it was too much of a trend to simply add the French flag. Sort of like the Ice-bucket challenge: Everyone did it but did everyone donate? I know so, so many who did it for the video and not for raising funds or awareness.
We need to be aware of terror and evil ALL over the world. It makes it that much more capable of helping and not imitating the ignorance of JW’s as a whole who often relish bad news as some sort of justification.
I also see so much silence about the refugee crisis from the few local JW’s I know. It’s not them so it doesn’t exist.
What happened in France is sad. Now, It’s amazing how you guys use tragedies likes those terrorist atacks in France to criticize Jehovah Witnesses. Where is the article that YOU or cedars have written to condemn those attacks? It’s seems like you guys don’t care about what happened to those people or the pain their families are experiencing these days, you just care about what Jws do on social media. Why don’t you send a letter to ISIS leaders condemning the Attacks? What are you waiting for: another attack or are you waiting that ISIS leaders wear “tight pants”?
Show the world that you are against terrorism, send a letter to ISIS. You did send a letter to jw leaders and that was ok, maybe you didn’t get the answers you were waiting for, but you had the courage to write them. You even had an opportunity to talk with Morris III. Try to make a joke to ISIS, call them. Maybe ISIS will answer you with details.
Starlight, the express purpose of this site is to expose the JW religion as a cult. Although some visitors here may be interested in activism related to other causes, this will likely never be a staging area for it. If unflattering talk toward the JW Org irritates you, this site is probably not the place for you.
Ok so it’s Thanksgiving day and you would think that Witnesses have some type of class but nope just go preaching to people while they enjoy quality time with their families and enjoy their food. My parents are malking me and sll I want to do is apologize at the door if someone answers. Hopefully they have a doorbell so I can fake ring it.
I invite you and your mom to release yourselves from the fear of Armageddon imposed by the JW’s delirium, obsession and fascination with the destruction of the world, by reconsidering the claim that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible word of God.
If you were to browse the following websites, for example, you will discover that there are in fact Christians who believe that the Bible is NOT the infallible, inerrant word of God. So it is possible to be a Christian and yet believe this:
When I was in high school, my Biology teacher who was a nun, stated that some Catholics believe that some of the accounts in the Bible are fables and legends and stories about events that did not actually occur. I of course, was shocked by all of this given my JW indoctrination and brainwashing. I was so convinced that those Catholics are just pain evil for believing such a thing about the Bible.
Some other thoughts:
Many JWs have never reflected on the history of the Bible and how it came to be. They are not aware that the Bible canon was in fact established by the Catholic Church.
Interestingly, JW’s believe that the Catholic Church is a part of “Babylon the great, the empire of false religion” and are in league with the Devil:
“..…religion is a snare of the Devil and the Devil’s associates and is operated as a racket against the people. Again let the people be reminded that religion is a snare and a racket, originating with the Devil, the leader of the demons, and forced upon the people by the demons: the snare of the Devil, in which to catch the people, and the racket of the religious leaders to rob the people. All the practitioners of religion, and the adherents thereto, will find no place of safety or escape at Armageddon.…religion is wholly an invention of the Devil.”
– Religion (Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, 1940) pp. 88,104-105, 125 –
If this is the case then it was in fact the Devil who guided the Catholic Church to select the books that make up the Bible and not God’s Holy Spirit. However, these books selected by the Devil’s agents constitute the basis of the “one true religion”: Jehovah’s Witnesses.
One wonders why the Devil would have his agents go through all the trouble of sifting through a mass of religious writings and come up with just the right mix of works that were inspired by his arch-nemesis, and make that available to the JWs?
Another point: Christians differ on which books should be apart of the Bible canon. As a result of a dispute, the Protestant canon contains 7 fewer books than the Catholic canon.
As I have stated before, there are Christians who believe that the book of Revelation should not have been included in the Bible:
Earlier Christians who rejected/doubted the book of Revelation include:
-Dionysius of Alexandra, c190 – 17Nov265
-John Calvin, the founder of Presbyterianism and Erasmus another Protestant scholar doubted Revelation
-The greatest name in the records of the Protestant church is Martin Luther. He is generally recognized as its founder; he is considered as one of the highest authorities on the Bible; he devoted a large portion of his life to its study; he made a translational of it for his people, a work which is accepted as one of the classics of German literature. With Luther the Bible superseded the Church as a divine authority. And yet this greatest of Protestants rejected Revelation. He said: “I can discover no trace that it is established by the Holy Spirit” (Preface to Edition of 1622)
So no Revelation, no Armageddon! ;)
********As a follow up to this article which is referenced above:
please also see the comment in the comments section of the following article:
Earlier Christians who rejected the book of Revelation include:
– Dionysius of Alexandria, c190 – 17 Nov 265:
– John Calvin, the founder of Presbyterianism and Erasmus doubted Revelation.
– The greatest name in the records of the Protestant church is Martin Luther. He is generally recognized as its founder; he is considered one of the highest authorities on the Bible; he devoted a large portion of his life to its study; he made a translation of it for his people, a work which is accepted as one of the classics of German literature. With Luther the Bible superseded the church as a divine authority. And yet this greatest of Protestants rejected Revelation. He said: “I can discover no trace that it is established by the Holy Spirit.” (Preface to Edition of 1622).
So no Revelation, no Armageddon! :)
According to the Watchtower of 9/15, 2012, pg.3-7:
“How This World Will Come to an End”
God will put it into the heart of the UN to destroy false religion. These events will culminate in the battle of Armageddon.
The Bible, however, does not actually state that the UN is going to destroy false religion – this is just the WT’s interpretation. They however don’t seemed too convinced about their own interpretation that:
“….the UN is not a blessing, even though the religious clergy of Christendom and the rabbis of Jewry pray heaven’s blessing upon that organization. It is really “the image of the wild beast,” the visible political, commercial organization of “the god of this system of things,” Satan the Devil. So the UN will soon be destroyed along with that beastly organization.”
-Watchtower 1984 Sep 15 p.15
since in 1992, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York applied to be a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Associate Member of the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI). This is the closest relationship an NGO can form with the UN. The application was renewed annually and is a matter of public record:
One wonders just how will the UN be able to pull off the destruction of false religion. The UN does not have a standing army. When they need troops, they borrow them from members. I can’t imagine the armies of the Muslim countries agreeing to turn on their own people to destroy their religion. Soldiers tend to be loyal to their own country first, to the UN second. Are the soldiers going to agree to turn on persons who share their own faith/ideology? It has been difficult to destroy the Taliban in Afghanistan. How will the UN be able to destroy religion in the nuclear armed Muslim countries like Iran and Pakistan?
I would imagine that a fair proportion of military personnel around the world subscribe to one form of religion or another. But it seems that we are being asked to believe that the armed forces of the world will turn on organised religion. I suppose the soldiers would be expected to turn on the soldiers and civilians who do not share their faith.
Places of worship may be destroyed and religious leaders imprisoned but that would only serve to strengthen people’s resolve if they feel they are being persecuted for Christ’s sake in the case of Christians; the same would hold true for all religions. All religions would cling to their religions even more and meet and spread their ideas underground, so I’m not sure if religion would really be destroyed. Communist Russia and China are good examples of nations trying to eradicate religion, yet religion still exists in these countries.
The attack on any religion would be contrary to the United Nation’s charter. The UN would first have to get unanimous approval to dispense with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
But I imagine that countries like the US and UK will veto such a resolution in the UN Security Counsel since supporting such a move would mean that they would have to shred their constitutions since these provide for freedom of religion.
The last time there was an issue with religion was when Constantine’s Roman Empire was being ripped apart by various religious factions. Pagan and otherwise.
To bring harmony to the Empire, he “Christianized” it, seeing in it the seeds of their apocalyptic message and how he could use that and them to ruthlessly suppress the more tolerant “Pagan” religions.
What we have today is an amalgamation and invention of Eusibius (who probably wrote most of the books) and various religions encompassing the Roman Empire.
We are in the same state today, and I can foresee that what will happen is the best of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. make up a Universal (dare I say Catholic – LOL) religion, and the rest ruthlessly suppressed, with book burnings like they did back then.
Was done before and can be done again.
“Communist Russia” should read “former Communist Soviet Union (USSR)”.
Finally, the following shows that the WT’s teaching about Armageddon should not be taken seriously:
The WT concluded that the “king of the south” in Daniel 11 is fulfilled in Britain and America, and “the king of the north” in the Soviet Union. (Your Will Be Done On Earth 1958, pp 263 & 278)
In their Your Will Be Done book, the WT stated:
– …the Soviet Union, the Communist power, that since it seized power in Russia in 1917, has held world domination as its aim to this day (i.e. up to 1958 at the time of the book’s publication).
– Down to the ‘time of the end’ at Armageddon there will be competitive coexistence between the ‘two kings’. (p. 297)
– Jehovah’s angel foretold further aggressions by the Communist king of the north before his end at Armageddon. (p. 300)
– The Soviet Union will gain control of most of the world and its wealth and resources including oil.
(pp 297, 303)
– The Soviet Union will then be terrified by reports issued by the WT and initiate an attack against JWs. (pp 304-305)
– Finally the Soviet Union and America will join forces to attack the JWs which leads to the annihilation of both America and the Soviet Union. (pp 306-307)
– Billions of people on earth who are not JWs will at that time be destroyed. (p. 347)
Despite predictions that the Soviet Union will competitively exist until Armageddon, and will fall at that time after aggressions against the rest of the world, the Soviet Union is now defunct and has fragmented into a Commonwealth of Independent States and former Soviet republics.
In a previous WT book called The New World (1942) “The king of the north” was quite different and “included the Central Powers, or imperial Germany, Roman-Catholic Austria-Hungary, Roman Catholic Italy and Vatican…Japan…” (p. 324)
An even earlier WT book called Thy Kingdom Come (1891) applied the latter part of Daniel chapter 11 to the Napoleonic period in 1799.
Watchtower June 1 2003, “Giving That Pleases God”:
“There is a kind of giving that is even more important than charity… While he took the lead in helping the poor, healing the sick, and feeding the hungry, JESUS PRIMARILY TRAINED HIS DISCIPLES TO PREACH…… Why not listen to what Jehovah’s Witnesses have to say the next time they call? They come with a spiritual gift. And they know that this is the best way that they can give to you.”
According to the WT’s own magazine, the best “charity” they can give to anyone is to preach to them. It doesn’t matter if someone is homeless or literally starving or has been wearing the same clothes for a month; it doesn’t matter if they have children who are living on the streets with them and who haven’t eaten anything but garbage scraps for days. The “best way that they can give” is to preach to them. According to the title of the article, this is the type of “giving that pleases god.”
dee, thank you so much for all your research!!
Yesterday I was bold and sent a snap chat of my celebrating Thanksgiving – and one active JW who still talks to me responded “wow enjoying a pagan day huh?'” and I said “I don’t think the pilgrams and turkeys were Pagans. But maybe you and your husband shouldn’t be stumbling me with wearing pagan wedding rings from Egyptian customs.”
oh want some ice for that burn? =)
Thats exactly what i told my mom , I said ,” mom , the pilgrims were just thankful and greatful for their blessings , they did what they were SUPPOSED TO DO , give thanks to Jehova. In those days there werent any witnessses . Im sure Jehova heard their prayers and was delighted they remembered to receive thanks. Imagine if they just feasted and forgot God ?”
Funny how witnesses are so quick to point out the “pagan holidays” but are in the dark about so many other things that have pagan origins.
Your response to the judgemental witness was spot on.
@rob exactly! That was one thing that bothered me and made zero sense as an active JW. I knew rings were pagan origin but (can we f-ing stop saying pagan origin – how about ‘something people did a long time ago that harms no one today so we keep the tradition’)but felt “well it must be such a trivial thing. But really – isn’t Birthday’s, Thanksgiving, and other such things just about on the same level as rings? I mean think about this: rings are completely an old non Christian tradition – yet its part of the JW marriage ceremony. But yet its view as normal. As normal as mash taters and turkey and gravy as far as I am concerned.
Curious if we can list anything JW’s did or do that are of – I don’t want to say it – pagan origin.
White wedding dresses are apparently of pagan origin and playing cards are possibly of pagan origin and I personally know alot of witnesses that love to play cards.
But I think that the witness religion (rutherford) implemented the no holiday celebration rule (using the pagan excuse) in order make the witnesses really stand out as different.
I have asked several witnesses why the picking and chosing of what is pagan and what is not pagan, but they just simply have no answer and continue to villify me for now celebrating what I feel are wonderful special days.
clinking of glasses and saying cheers! whoa I had my head ripped off a number of times for that one. Because it evokes the god of luck. Reading Lord of the Rings lol…
Lord of the rings?!
I’ll drink to that
A “resolution” was brought to the congregation during the mid week meeting. All Australian goods and services taxes (GST) for purchases and services (I can only assume in relation to invoices and bills incurred through the hall) that were previously sent to the Branch (maybe for some form of tax break) and then back to the hall will now be sent directly to the Branch and kept there to contribute to the worldwide work.
Im not sure if anyone else has insight into this “resolution” or if it’s just Australian specific, but considering there was no insight into the rationale behind saying “yes” or “no”, nor an explanation as to why the taxes were being shuffled between the congregation and the branch in the first place… it all just seems a little bit strange and suspect IMHO.
I’d expect at the very least some form of a semi-detailed explanation as to the pros and cons behind the resolution.
Naturally, everyone just raised their hands without question.
Sorry about the switch in topic. Just hoping to garner some external insights from others who may have had the same announcement, either here or abroad.
You can discuss anything JW at anytime at the following ex-JW forums:
Dee, your comment about the UN being unable to wipe out world religion. The UN doesn’t need an army… with the stroke of a pen it could all be done and dusted within the “hour”. It will/would legislate them out of existence. Of course that would simply mean that member states would prohibit religious practises openly. Temples, mosques, cathedrals, k/halls etc would be demolished, sold, whatever. Has it been done before? By and large it was under the old Soviet Govt and C/China has done the same including N/Korea where indigenous Govt’s will do the job in their own time and way once they have the legal right on a world scale. Just a thought.
How about the jw.org flags?
@Deep Thinker & enuffsenuff
Thank you for your responses. It’s always good to get another viewpoint/perspective as these serve as a good sounding board.
I note however that your scenario would not fit in with the WT’s narrative which claims that the JWs will be the only religion remaining after false religion is destroyed by the UN.
Please also note that the JW’s claim that they are the only loving religion on earth that does not participate in warfare is far from correct.There are in fact a number of religions that do not participate in war. Christian churches known for their stance against war include:
-Moravians (one of the very first Protestant religions dating back to the 1500’s)
-Brethern (Dunkards) groups, including Church of the Brethren
-Anabaptist groups, including
Mennonites (16th century group numbering 1.5 million)
Amish (numbering approximately 200,000)
-Society of Friends (Quakers)
-Doukhobors – 17th century breakaway from Russian Orthodox
-Molokans – 17th century breakaway from Russian Orthodox
-Some Pentecostal groups such as the
Pentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship
-Seven Day Adventists
-Community of Christ
-Worldwide Church of God
-Pax Christi – A Catholic peace movement
-Fellowship of Reconciliation – A group formed in 1914 to unite pacifists regardless of denomination.
All major religious denominations have affiliated associations including
-Anglican Pacifist Fellowship
-Methodist Peace Fellowship
-Baptist Peace Fellowship
-Orthodox Peace Fellowship
-Lutheran Peace Fellowship
-Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
One can clearly see that God would also have to put it in the heart of the UN to spare these Christian religions, as well as the non-Christian religions which do not participate in war, since it is not only the JWs who abstain from participating in warfare. The UN would therefore have no reason to destroy these religions.
Both your scenario and this latter scenario will mean that there is no Armageddon since according to the WT, Armageddon will only strike when the JWs are the only religion remaining and they subsequently come under attack. The JWs being the only religion that will remain after the destruction of false religion is a necessary prerequisite in order for Armageddon to start according to the WT’s narrative. Without this prerequisite being met, Armageddon cannot start.
According to the WT, it will be the UN’s one thought to destroy all other religions except the JWs as only the JWs are not warmongers and God will even put it in the UN’s heart to carry out their one thought. One wonders just why God will not make the UN continue believing this about the JWs so that the JWs will be spared from any subsequent attack. Why couldn’t God just continue to put it into the heart of the nations of the UN to spare the JWs from any attack for all enternity?
As we all know this is not a perfect world (I sometimes wonder why God didn’t just make it that way in the first place but that’s for another time) and so there are atrocities being committed by religion which are of major concern to the UN. I am also aware of the reports about governments which restrict religion:
@Deep Thinker & enuffsenuff
But I also note that the world has come a far way from the scenario which Deep Thinker is proposing. Quite a few countries have now enshrined the right to religious freedom in their constitutions and are ensuring that this right is protected as they strive to create more religious tolerant societies. Even the JWs have been benefitting from the efforts made by governments to foster religious tolerance and protect the right to religious freedom:
It is also noteworthy that Canada established the Office of Religious Freedom on February 19, 2013, which is dedicated to promoting freedom of religion or belief as a key Canadian foreign policy priority. This initiative recognizes that, globally, vulnerable religious communities are subject to increasing levels of persecution, violence and repression. The office is headed by an ambassador.
Sometime prior to this, the U.S. also established the Office of International Religious Freedom. Its mission is to promote religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy. It monitors religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, recommends and implements policies in respective regions or countries, and develops programs to promote religious freedom. This office is headed by an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
Based on all of the above, it seems to me that the world is inclined more toward promoting religious tolerance than promoting the destruction of religion.
As I have stated before, the attack on any religion would be contrary to the United Nation’s charter. I am afraid that it is more than just a stroke of a pen as enuffsenuff has suggested. The UN would first have to get unanimous approval from its members in order to dispose of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is an international covenant which guarantees religious freedom as the inalienable right of every human being.
Based on the fact that there are a significant number of countries that have enshrined religious freedom in their constitutions, it seems that such a unanimous vote would be difficult to obtain.
Also, of the 5 permanent members of the UN’s Security Council with veto power, France, the US and the UK would be sure to veto any resolution to destroy religion since supporting such a move would mean that they would have to shred their constitutions which have enshrined freedom of religion. It would perhaps be more reasonable to believe that it would be the Communist countries which would be inclined towards destroying religion as enuffsenuff’s comment has shown.
“……..I can foresee that what will happen is the best of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. make up a Universal (dare I say Catholic – LOL) religion, and the rest ruthlessly suppressed, with book burnings like they did back then.”
There is the belief that freedom of religion should counter radicalization and extremism so it seems that some suppression will exist:
“What we have today is an amalgamation and invention of Eusibius ((((who probably wrote most of the books))))…….”
Your eye-opening comment does make one wonder where the Catholic church got the manuscripts for the bible from:
“Based on all of the above, it seems to me that the ((world)) is inclined……..”
“Based on all of the above, it seems to me that ((a significant number of countries)) are inclined……..”
Not everyone believes that the JWs are a peace-loving religion as the JWs like to think.
The JWs may very well be a candidate for destruction like the other warmongering religions according to JW theology.
“……..I can foresee that what will happen is the best of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. make up a Universal (dare I say Catholic – LOL) religion, and the rest ruthlessly suppressed, with book burnings like they did back then.”
There is the belief that freedom of religion should counter radicalization and extremism so it seems that some suppression will exist:
“What we have today is an amalgamation and invention of Eusibius ((((who probably wrote most of the books))))…….”
Your eye-opening comment does make one wonder where the Catholic church got the manuscripts for the bible from:
RE your post on November 21, 2015 at 3:53 pm:
“So I know this is not directly related, but in the context of people acting inhuman in the name of religion, such as the Paris attacks by Islamic State and the indifference of Jehovah’s Witnesses, here I think is a petition worth supporting and sharing on Facebook/Twitter etc. http://wh.gov/iVVIt”
I received the following interesting response after sharing the link on social media:
“No. The amendment should stand on its merits. Do not touch it or the 2nd. It is not freedom of religion that has allowed these people to skirt the law. Don’t monkey with our Constitution, monkey with the laws already on the books against child molesters.”
Don’t get me started on Americans and their precious Constitution. They are blind when it comes to that, which is a shame as on a whole, the ones I’ve met are lovely people.
As a nation though they put the “almost sacred” constitution over the lives of children. Case in point? They prefer to regularly see children and others get gunned down by mental cases rather than amend their constitutional rights to bear arms. Well if you walk around with a gun, be prepared for nutters prepared to use them!
If they won’t change it even in the wake of so many gun-related deaths, I very much doubt that they’ll amend it for child abusers. :(
There are between 270-310 million guns in American homes, not counting the millions of varying munitions. Even if they did change the constitution,who would or could enforce it? These gun right activist have shown they are willing to go to war with the government if need be, over their “right to bear arms”.
and that’s just the legally registered. Probably twice that number are unregistered across the country.
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