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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Every month I get emails and contact messages from Jehovah’s Witnesses asking me whether or not they should “take the leap” and try to leave the Watchtower organization. I wish it was easy for me to answer their questions – but it’s not. I know that while I have a very strong opinion, leaving has to be a decision that each person must ultimately make for oneself.
What I do try to get them to understand is that they will be just fine – no matter what their ultimate decision might be. If they are happy being Jehovah’s Witnesses (and many are quite content in that lifestyle), then I would be the last person in the world to suggest that they leave and face the complications that come from making that decision. On the other hand, if they are unhappy and really want out, then I urge them to set aside their fears. I want them to know that even though their lives will change, they will survive through everything they may have to face by making a decision to leave.
Many Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t admit it publicly but would really like to get out. No one knows the actual numbers for sure, but there are far more than the Watchtower would admit. Because the religion promotes and encourages shunning of those who leave, Jehovah’s Witnesses face issues that many people simply can’t deal with. Even many high-profile former Jehovah’s Witnesses have had to face the effects of shunning by family, friends, and even close business associates. When their own parents, siblings, and children are willing (or are forced) to break off all connections – and then say that it is the fault of those leaving – many Jehovah’s Witnesses simply feel they can not choose freedom. It’s a price too high for them to pay. They would rather stay in the cult and live with the pain than face being shunned by their own family.Read More
We all experience moments that shock us into understanding how lucky we are to just be alive – not to mention how well off we might be physically, mentally, and financially. And yet we know that everyone will face some issues and pain because adversity is a part of life. Not one of us will escape this earth completely unscathed.
Love competes with adversity. There is the love of our families and the love of our friends. We assume if they truly love us that they will step forward and help if we get sick, have an accident, or need temporary shelter or financial support.
The recent “perfect storms” of Tropical Storm Sandy (northeast USA) and Hurricane Katrina (Atlantic, Florida, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans) proved to be perfect examples of how much we depend on neighbors, police, fire departments, “first responders,” and even utility workers to risk their lives to save us and our property. We must not ignore the unselfish brotherly love shown by total strangers including, doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers, Coast Guard rescue teams – people who step forward, often putting their own lives and risk everything to help us when we are really in trouble.
How can we ever forget the heroism and unselfish sacrifices made by so many public safety employees and average citizens in New York on September 11, 2001?
We can never forget that without the help of so many people, including strangers we may only meet once in our lives, many of us would likely suffer or die needlessly before our personal “due dates” expire.
This phenomenon is what I describe as “Random Acts of Love.”Read More
The leaders of the Watchtower Society do their best to deny that their extreme shunning policy harms anyone. They describe it as simply a way to keep their organization “clean” and to keep “evildoers” and “fornicators” separated from faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses. Former Jehovah’s Witnesses (most who have not committed any “serious sin” but have simply disagreed with the Watchtower’s ever-changing teachings and predictions) know the truth about how enforced shunning divides and destroys families.
In the following video a young British school girl, just eleven years old, and her mum share their experiences and feelings about this subject. No longer Jehovah’s Witnesses, but still believing Christians, they know the real pain and frustration of having close family members not only avoid them, but also accuse them of “harming Jehovah” and “making Him sad.” Listen how they describe how young and impressionable children are being brainwashed into believing the very worst of their own close blood relatives.
This is a video you will want to share with your friends – especially those who have no idea how destructive the Watchtower’s extreme shunning policy really is. This is a video you won’t soon forget – nor should you.Read More