Why are you still a Jehovah’s Witness?

The facts are clear. Being a Jehovah’s Witness is not fun. The Watchtower offers nothing to its members. There is no joy in their Kingdom Halls. Preaching door to door has become passe, not to mention being nerve-wracking drudgery.

There really isn’t anything for young JWs to do and their pool of friends is often quite small. They can not look forward to birthdays or holidays, engaging in school sports, clubs, or other after school activities. Instead of getting a college education, they need to learn to become janitors and window washers. Having “wordly friends” like kids at school or in those living their neighborhood is discouraged – and by some JW parents, strictly forbidden.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are always on the lookout for “bad influences” – constantly on guard against anyone who might be “an apostate” or an expelled JW that must be “shunned.” Witnesses can not have deep theological discussions even between themselves, because they might venture into “apostasy” or generate self-doubt about their beliefs as they actually do honest research. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes: “Witness to Murder”

The Documentary, “Witness to Murder,” for ID Discovery Channel

By Jim Kostelniuk, a participant

As the father of two murdered children, Juri and Lindsay Kostelniuk, it may seem difficult to understand how I can be objective about the documentary. However, I didn’t produce the show, wasn’t in on the editing process, and there are some things I only had an inside track on.

What I did do was gather a team of family friends and experts together (five other persons besides myself originally connected with the case) to be interviewed in Vancouver by a film crew from LionTelevision in New York City. Continue reading

Remembering the Watchtower’s Victims

Several support groups providing support and education services to former Jehovah’s Witnesses and their families have set aside July 26, 2014 as “Watchtower Victims Memorial Day.”

Bo Juel, a former Jehovah’s Witness (and himself a victim of the Watchtower’s cruel and unjust child abuse and pedophile protection policies), has been a leader in educating the public. Based in Norway, Bo has made his presence and feelings known by getting his message out throughout northern Europe and North America. Whether he appears on television or before local news reporters, he refuses to “pull his punches” and is very straightforward in describing his disgust with Watchtower leaders and policy makers. Continue reading

Why is it Hard to Start Over After Being a Witness?

A few days ago while I was walking my dog around my neighborhood, I saw a group of familiar looking faces.walking toward me.  The men were dressed in suits and the women wore modest length skirts with sensible shoes. All were carrying what looked like book bags.

As my pup and I began passing them, one of the men made a point of glaring at me while one of the women whispered to the other next to her, furtively glancing at me. Wow! I thought to myself. The group looked familiar – but then again, I live in a small neighborhood – so that’s not unusual. But these people definitely knew who I was and were none too happy to see me!

As I walked up the steps to my building it finally occurred to me who these people were and that I knew them at one time. Continue reading

My Path Out of the JW Cult

My parents were active in the Methodist church and they loved and trusted their minister.  The minister once told my dad to never listen to the Jehovah’s Witnesses because they were a “cult.” But Mom did not hear his warning.

In fact, Mom actually disagreed with their minister about which books of the Bible were authentic.  His opinion was that only two of the gospels were likely to be true.

Shortly after my brother was born, two Jehovah’s Witnesses came knocking at our door.  Mom asked them if they were the group who gave “free home bible studies.”  She started her indoctrination (studying) to be a Witness in 1974.

Dad was curious about what the JWs had to say, so he soon began talking to them. He was impressed with how quickly they could find scriptures in the Bible. When they challenged Dad to find where in the Bible it talks about people “burning in hell”  he searched but could not find anything.  After that he started listening to them and what they had to say. Continue reading