The Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses (AAWA) announced on May 30th the release of a new video that describes the ways the Watchtower uses horrific imagery to indoctrinate children of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Here is the link to original article on AAWA.co:
New AAWA videos highlight Watchtower’s child abuse record
Since the 1920s The Watch Tower Society has used terrifying illustrations in its literature to describe their view of what will happen at Armageddon to non-believers and Jehovah’s Witnesses who have left the organization. Earlier books were directed mostly to adults who could understand that some of those images were somewhat exaggerated and symbolic. Starting in the late 1950s the Watchtower began publishing books directed to and intended for children.
Many of those books provided simplistic Watchtower versions of basic Bible stories like the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Flood, and the ministry of Jesus. When the Watchtower began predicting that Armageddon might come in 1975, they reinforced their views of the coming destruction of the world and most of its people. More books and magazines were printed that included horrifying illustrations of average people dying in painful and agonizing ways.Read More
It was an unusual response—something I don’t normally do— triggered by a not-so-unusual email from a Mama’s Club reader, Mariuca Rofick. An ex-Jehovah’s Witness, she told me that she had spent ten years working at Bethel, the equivalent of the Vatican for JWs. I’m not certain why, but I intuitively sensed that she wanted to tell me a story and was fishing for a nonjudgmental listening ear. I was someone who had been there, done that. So at the end of a short email response, I typed, “Now tell me a thing or two about you.” That was a request I’d never made before to anyone based on a single email.
In less than twenty-four hours, Mariuca sent me a heart-wrenching reply. At the end of her email, she wrote, “Sorry! I guess you didn’t ask for my entire life story. Once I got going, I couldn’t stop. I am heading to the car right now, but I will continue later this evening.” When she made good on her promise, I knew I had a whopper of a tale to tell – if she’d let me tell it. It would be a true story with many crazy twists and turns along the way. For some people, it will create a serious “moral dilemma.” For others like me, it’s a heartwarming love story, albeit an unlikely one. And it’s a story which should convince every reader that it’s never too late.Read More
I was part of the fourth generation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in my family. Legend has it that my great-grandmother ran into some Russelites who were out street witnessing one day and brought home a Zion’s Watchtower. The rest, as they say, is history.
I grew up “PK,” or what is commonly referred to as a preacher’s kid. My father was an elder for most of my childhood, at least until I was about 15 years old. My mom would vacation or auxiliary pioneer (put in 60-90 hours per month in the door-to-door ministry work) when she could – if she wasn’t working. This meant, as we were reminded often by my father, that we lived “under a microscope.” Our family had to be above reproach in the congregation, because any misstep on our part would not only bring shame upon Jehovah, but it could cost Dad his position in the congregation. That would be really bad. A man with no position in the congregation was dismissed as a slacker, lazy, unmotivated, and certainly not “leadership material.”
An elder’s wife had to dress modestly, be in subjection to her husband, always have the children dressed properly, have meals on the table, support her husband in his congregational duties, and pioneer as often as possible. My own mother was expected to be a regular June Cleaver with a meek attitude.
As an elder’s child, I was always told that I was “to be seen and not heard.” My brother and I most often kept each other company in our childhood, as there was only one family that my father considered “approved association” for us. We were exuberant on those rare occasions that we would be allowed play dates on short school days with the sons of this family. Only twice was I ever allowed to spend the night at another girl’s house. My father was too worried that some ill might befall me or that they weren’t quite up to snuff in the spirituality department. It was a sad and lonely existence to have no one to confide in. My only alternative was imaginary friends and animals, which I kept a deep secret lest I be declared “demonized.”Read More
The organizers of AAWA (Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses) released a new series of videos that illustrate the damaging effects of the Watch Tower Society’s “shunning” doctrine.
Historically, “shunning” was applied and directed only toward baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses who had been “disfellowshipped” from the organization for committing adultery, some other form of “fornication,” drunkenness, or criminal acts. Since the 1950s, the leaders of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society have expanded the use of shunning to include almost any actions not approved by Jehovah’s Witness elders.
Starting in the early 1980s, “shunning” was extended even to those who had committed none of the usual “sins” that would typically result in someone being disfellowshipped. Added to the list of “sins against Jehovah and His organization” were engaging in private group Bible studies or questioning the beliefs, teachings and policies of the Governing Body. Shunning was applied to those “reproved” or put on probation for any number of minor missteps. In recent years, shunning has been extended to include non-baptized children of Jehovah’s Witnesses and other non-baptized publishers.
The use of “shunning” results in lasting damage to families, children, and relationships with spouses and close friends. Some who have been shunned are permanently scarred by the experience. Some try to reduce the pain of exclusion through the use of drugs or alcohol. A few eventually end their own lives.
Effective May 1, 2013 AAWA is beginning its first major campaign to educate the public about the Watchtower’s unscriptural application of shunning as a way to control every aspect of the lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their families. AAWA is releasing the following video in North America and Western Europe. The video is being translated in many other languages and will soon be available worldwide. WatchTowerWatch.com is pleased to be a part of this educational program.
Other Languages Available soon!Read More
In recent years there has been a noticeable exodus out of the Watchtower organization at all levels. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses do not want to be in the organization any longer for a myriad of reasons. Like the Israelites of old they want to get out of “Babylon” and experience the freedom to live a normal lifestyle.
While many were “born-in” or “married-into” Jehovah’s Witness families, thousands were converted into the religion when they were convinced that being a Witness was “the only path to salvation at Armageddon.” After having their eyes opened to the reality of their existence, many now want to escape and live more normal and fulfilling lives. But they find themselves trapped, forced to conform to the Watchtower’s often unreasonable interpretations of exacting biblical standards.
Many JWs – even among those serving as elders and traveling overseers – hide their true feelings knowing they can’t just leave because of the constant threat of losing connections to their friends and family. They are convinced that disassociating or being disfellowshipped would be a price too high for them to pay.
That is why many Jehovah’s Witnesses are looking for a way to escape. Some will want to be assured that leaving is the right thing to do, while others will want to ask questions about what the Watchtower teaches. They know that they can’t get honest answers from other Witnesses or by going to their elders. Many have suffered mental and/or physical abuse by their family or other members of their congregation – but have no one they feel they can to turn to for help.Read More
Let’s face it – without The Watchtower magazine this website would not be online. It would have no purpose. It would have absolutely no reason to exist. So thank you, Watchtower, for being who you are – so that we can be who we are!
We love those tiny little 16-page monthlies. The best thing that ever happened for us was the new JW.org going live last August. We live for the next issue of the Watchtower and Awake! magazines (and especially those wonderful PDF downloads). In fact, some of us can’t sleep at night without a Watchtower to read before bed. Some of our contributors simply can’t wait and have found a way to get copies in advance of their public release (see “New Light Watchtower…”). Since the magazines are dated three months in advance, it’s almost like getting the daily New York Times weeks before its front-page news actually happens.Read More
“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.”Read More
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Bible’s book of Revelation (or The Apocalypse) offers an account of what is to come sometime within their lifetime. This is not unique to the Witnesses, but shared by several other so-called “millennial” religious groups.
A fact that is not well-known (except by historians and serious Bible scholars) is that every generation for the last 1900 years has believed that “the end” would come during their lifetimes. It is obvious that every generation has been wrong. And yet each successive generation is convinced that the end-time prophecy is about them and their generation – including ours.
A majority of reputable Bible scholars believe that the book of Revelation (also called the Apocalypse of John) was not written to describe the future for people living today. Rather, they feel it was written for first century Christians who lived in and around Rome.
While the Bible’s book of Revelation is a rather bizarre document by today’s standards, all sorts of apocalyptic books were quite common in the ancient world.Read More
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!Read More
When I talked alone with Marilyn, she acknowledged her duplicity. She had lost touch with basic human decency due to poorly thought out JW policy. She regretted that she had shunned me for so many years. She wanted me back in her life. We had a long, candid conversation, shedding many tears. But not once did she say a word about how poorly she had been treated by Tim and Carter, nor why she could now talk and eat with me.
I talked one-on-one with Mama the next day. We had our conversation at her house but Mama’s tone and subsequent reaction was totally different from the one with Marilyn. Mama could not see the world through any other lens than her own. She was cold and hard, with no remorse. She wanted to be in total control of the conversation and refused to answer several of my questions and offered no explanation for why she could now talk with me.Read More