Someday You May See the “Truth Be Told”

Posted by on Mar 27, 2013 in Blog, Life Stories, Media | 7 comments

Someday You May See the “Truth Be Told”

“TRUTH BE TOLD” is a new documentary film being released in Brooklyn, New York on March 27, 2013. An exposé of the Watchtower, the title refers to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ perception that their beliefs are “The Truth.” This is  the first feature-film directed by Gregorio Smith who was born and raised a Jehovah’s Witness. Smith, a graduate of Baruch College and a member of the International Documentary Association, is now an independent filmmaker and writer.

He describes “Truth Be Told” as being “immersive, informational, expository and controversial…an honest glimpse into the culture of growing up in the Jehovah’s Witness religion.” The film “lifts the veil on the seemingly benign Jehovah’s Witnesses religion to expose a profit-driven, isolationist culture characterized by fear, totalitarian corporate leadership, intellectual & spiritual intimidation, suspension of critical thinking, failed prophecies, doctrinal inconsistency and improper handling of physical and sexual abuse allegations within the church.”

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Coming Soon! The Conti Interviews on YouTube

Posted by on Feb 16, 2013 in Blog, Media | 1 comment

Coming Soon! The Conti Interviews on YouTube

John Cedars, contributor to this site and editor of JWSurvey.org, has just announced that a series of videos will be released in March 2013 that will provide answers to many important questions about the ongoing Conti lawsuit against the Watchtower.

I was pleased to assist by being one of the videographers involved in filming this important interview.  Miss Conti’s mother, Kathleen, also operated a camera. John Cedars and his team will be producing and editing the final videos.

The original footage was filmed on Sunday, February 10, 2013 in Oakland, California, just blocks from the courthouse where the Conti case was heard by judge and jury. I can assure everyone that the submitted questions were excellent and to the point. Miss Conti and her attorney answered each question directly and truthfully – even when given the option to bypass a few that were perhaps too personal. They revealed many new facts and important details during the two-hour session.

Cedars has prepared a trailer that is now on YouTube announcing the released of this new series. I can assure all who have followed this case and anyone who is interested in the problem of child abuse within religious organizations – you will not want to miss any of these videos!

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Living a Nightmare

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in Blog, Life Stories | 1 comment

Living a Nightmare

Everyone has a story to tell. The soldier returning from the middle east has a story – and so does his family. The disabled lady driving her motorized wheelchair with the large dog running beside her has a story. The old man who should be enjoying his retirement but has to work the counter at McDonald’s has his story. Those people may be surviving, but probably have stories we would consider as “tragic” or “unfortunate.”

As I’ve often said, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

I’m realizing that almost everyone who has been connected with Jehovah’s Witnesses has a story to tell. If you asked, most would tell you that their lives “are wonderful, full of close friends and family, and time well spent at Kingdom Halls, conventions, and in field service.” At least that’s what they would tell you.  

On the other hand, if you knew them personally or dug a little deeper, you might find the opposite was true. For many raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses, life is no “paradise” at all and their real stories are far more tragic and complicated than (as JWs) they might want to admit.

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“It’s Going to be OK . . .”

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Blog, Book Reviews | 3 comments

“It’s Going to be OK . . .”

As the editor of several websites I am frequently approached by former Jehovah’s Witnesses who have written a book about their life stories and experiences while involved in The Truth™ or escaping from it. Often I get news releases announcing that “a former JW has written a book about his life and how he left the Watchtower cult after discovering the ‘real truth about the Bible…’ ”

I will make an effort to read at least a sample of these books. On the other hand, I refuse to waste my time on any that are clearly stories of “evangelical awakening” by writers who claim to have “spoken to God” or have been “infused with Holy Spirit.” However, if  I find that a book is truly interesting – even if flawed in some ways – and I think it has value for my readers, then I will try to write an honest but mostly positive review.

On very rare occasions I’ll get a book that is that is truly unique like The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness by Brianna Karp. If I can “see the story” and imagine that I am right there “going along for a once in a lifetime ride,” then I will make the time to read it, write an honest review, and share it with my readers. It’s Going to be OK (but not like we thought) fits perfectly into that category.

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The Naked Truth

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Blog, Naked Truth | 6 comments

The Naked Truth

I first envisioned this website as an “eye-opener” for those who stopped by to read its articles. By trying to imagine who would make up both my “target audience” and “my expected or likely audience,” I set about designing a site that could appeal to both groups – and maybe even a few occasional visitors who just happened to stumble in to “sneak a peek.”

Before I began the technical work on WatchtowerWatch.com, I sat down and came up with a phrase that I felt would define my objective for this site in ten words or less:

A website that brazenly exposes “The truth about The Truth™”

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2012 – Bad Year for the Watchtower

Posted by on Jan 14, 2013 in Blog, News | 26 comments

2012 – Bad Year for the Watchtower

Everyone has a bad year now and then. We all have to contend with illness, accidents, unemployment, natural disasters, family problems – events that can really mess up your life for a while. Governments, corporations, and other large entities face the same issues.

Last year was a difficult year for the Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses, a year I’m sure they’d love to forget. 2012 would have been bad as it can get for any corporation, but for a religious organization like the Watchtower it was a disaster.  In a few years we may look back and mark 2012 as the “beginning of the end” for our favorite cult.

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Dave’s Fresh Start for the New Year

Posted by on Jan 12, 2013 in Blog, Life Stories | 2 comments

Dave’s Fresh Start for the New Year

Oregon resident David Shurtleff decided to clear his conscience, tell his personal story, and begin 2013 with a fresh start. So he made a video and put it up on YouTube so that the world could hear his confession.

I can assure you that Dave’s often tragic story is not that unusual. Thousands of former Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States alone have had similar experiences and are still living through the trauma that comes with being true to themselves and exiting the religion. Unlike most former Witnesses, Dave decided to stop holding it inside and share his story of both pain and redemption.

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Watchtower Embarrassed by BOE Letter

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Blog, Media, Policy | 2 comments

Watchtower Embarrassed by BOE Letter

The Watchtower’s legal department took action against one of our friends and contributors on December 25, 2012 (Merry Christmas everybody!!!) for alleged copyright infringement involving an elders’ letter (BOE) dated October 1, 2012. That action on the Watchtower’s part resulted in this website being shutdown for parts of two days last week.

For that, I apologize. This site was offline for about 24 hours on January 3rd. We’re pleased to let you know that we were only down for just those few hours before we were able to restore service. This site was not damaged and none of its articles or features were lost or altered in any way.

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Life – One Day at a Time

Posted by on Dec 2, 2012 in Blog, Culture | 0 comments

Life – One Day at a Time

It’s easy to get caught up in details, to spend too much time on meaningless projects, or just working to survive. Many of us never seem to have time to smell the roses, play with our dog, or walk along the beach.

Whether you believe in a superhuman creator or not, we all share the wonderful gift of life and the amazing space we live in. Do we ever just take a moment to look around and just be amazed?  Are we missing out on the true meaning and joy of being alive in this time and this place? Can we just enjoy our lives one day at a time?

Each day should be considered a blessing. We should cherish and enjoy all 24 hours by just soaking in our surroundings. Take a moment to look up, look out, and take a deep breath. Life is a great gift.

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Staying Awake During Meetings

Posted by on Dec 2, 2012 in Blog, Humor | 1 comment

Staying Awake During Meetings

It’s tough enough for many adults to sit through a public talk or a Watchtower study without dozing off. It’s even more challenging for children. Staying awake during meetings is not only a chore for them, but depending on their parents’ attitudes, a necessity. Falling asleep could mean a quick trip to the “spanking room.” Talk about a “wake up call.”

Things seemed to be a little better in the 1950s when I was a young JW. Even then, getting through two hours was still challenging for both young and old. Public talks and Watchtower Study meetings each lasted a full hour separated by a 15-minute break. In those days, the brothers assigned to give the public talks were able to take the Watchtower’s provided outline, use it to prepare their own speeches. They could build an interesting presentation, including their own research, interesting personal stories, and recent news events. They’d often sprinkle in a few of their favorite Bible scriptures and occasionally add a little humor.

We looked forward to talks by certain speakers. Some brothers became favorites because we knew they could make any subject interesting and relatively easy to sit through. Because “public talks” were well-advertised and  actually open to the public, we’d often have non-Witnesses come in off the street, sit down, and listen for a while.

“Public talks” are now only thirty minutes long and rarely, if ever, attended by uninvited strangers.

Unfortunately, because of procedural changes in the 1980s, “public” talks have become more tedious and repetitive. The Watchtower Society frowns upon individualized presentations, discouraging any creativity by speakers. Brothers who veer too far off the outline will find their privileges revoked (or worse!), and their names removed from the speakers list. Most brothers take the easy way out and simply read the outline as they get it. There are never any surprises. The final product has become boring, boring, boring…

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