Wow. Leaving the JW's is equivalent to joining the Third Reich? Are you serious?? How about leaving the Catholic church to become a JW? Hm?
The reality is that anyone should be able to leave any religion at any time of their choosing without having to lose their family and friends in the process. The Watchtower does not allow people to do this. Many are stuck going to meetings and preaching something they don't believe in because they know that if they were to leave on their own or get disfellowshipped, they would be shunned by their family and friends. And not just any shunning...they are treated as dead. The Watchtower has stated in the past that such ones would be stoned to death, but since that would be illegal nowadays, the next best thing is to treat them as if they are actually dead. No conversation unless it's "necessary family business" (and even at that, I know people who have found out their parents or grandparents died from reading an obituary). No communication at all, even by text message or email. I myself haven't had contact with my parents in over a year. By their choice. I have friends who haven't been contacted by their family in 10 years, 20 years, and more. And it's not that they haven't TRIED to contact them. When they do reach out, they're told not to call or write until they "Come back to Jehovah". Some have written loving letters to their parents, only to have them returned unopened. The really sad thing is that lots of them DO believe in god, they just have a problem with Watchtower doctrine (which changes frequently under the guise of "New Light") and with the fact that the Watchtower's policies on reporting child sexual abuse serve to actually protect pedophiles and allow them to continue their abuse of children. Some of us do not wish to be associated with such a group, and so we leave. And in doing so, many of us lose everything we've ever known.
Just the fact that you compared leaving a RELIGION with joining the Third Reich shows how deluded you are. There is no comparison.
Just having a differing belief system or even opinion is grounds to be shunned in this organization. I was raised in it, so I experienced it first-hand.
RESEARCH your organization. Even the JWs encourage you to test and make sure "these things are true." But I guess that only applies to people in OTHER religions. Once you become a witness, you're forbidden to look at anything that criticizes the organization.
REMEMBER: A legitimate organization WILL stand upon criticism. If you are being forbidden from reading outside material, ask yourself--"WHY?"
I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. It was the worst aspect of my childhood. It gave me nightmares. The entire outfit is obsessed with the imminence of Armageddon, the great Jehovah instituted battle when all who do not obey, to the letter, every diktat of the Jehovah's Witness controllers, will be murdered in a a mega orgy of earthquakes, storms and tidal waves. All outside the Witness organisation, we were taught to regard as Satanic. In the 1950s and 60s Armageddon was due before the end of the last century. This foul cult offers nothing but broken families through shunning of apostates, unnecessary deaths through refusal of blood and enforced ignorance through its despisal of education once a witness has mastered the ability to read Jehovah's Witness literature and spout its dangerous drivel on the doorstep. No matter the polite reception, Witnesses look forward to the divine murder of the entire (non Jehovah's Witness) Missoula Independent staff.
Greylenseman: leaving the JW's is not the equivalent of joining the Third Reich. Leaving just means your views have changed. They shun people because they believe something different.
How to identify a cult, taken from "Freedom of Mind" by Steven Hassan
CULT: Tightly controlled, high-pressure social environment. Limit access to outside information (Page 3)
Some religious cults have “An elite group that claims to know the real meaning of Scripture” (Page 4)
They rail on about how all the other Churches are dead and unscriptural (Page 7)
Threatening Prophecies (Page 12)
“Love” depends on meeting expectations and goals (Page 13)
Demand for purity: Establishing impossible standards for performance, thereby creating an environment of guilt and shame. No matter how hard a person tries, he always falls short, feels bad and works even harder. (Page 17)
Sacred Science: The belief that the groups dogma is absolutely scientifically and morally true, with no room for questions or alternative viewpoints (Page 17)
Dispensing of existence: The belief that people in group have the right to exist and all ex-members and critics or dissidents do not (Page 17)
Cult control is a social process that encourages obedience and conformity. It discourages autonomy and individuality. The groups dogma becomes the persons only concern (Page 19)
Thought Reform: Create a tightly controlled system with a closed system of logic, wherein dissenters feel their questioning indicates something inherently wrong with them (Page 20)
Behavior Control (Page 22)
- Dictate with whom the member lives and associates
- Restrict leisure and entertainment
- Encourage group-think (not stumbling others)
- Impose rigid rules & regulations
Information Control (Page 23)
- Discourage access to non-cult sources of information - Internet, Critical Information, Former Members
- Keep members busy so the don't think and investigate
- Outsider versus insider doctrines
- Encourage spying on other members
- Extensive use of cult-generated information, including magazines and other media
- Misquotations, statements from non-cult sources taken out of context
- Unethical use of confession
Thought Control (Page 24)
- Members required to internalize the groups doctrine as “the truth”
- Instill Black and White thinking
- Good versus Evil; Us versus Them
- No critical questions about leaders, doctrine or policy allowed
- Alternative belief systems viewed as evil
Emotional Control (Page 25)
- Make the person feel that problems are their own fault – never the leader or group
- Excessive use of guilt – You are not living up to your potential
- Excessive use of fear
- Fear of the outside world
- Fear of losing one’s salvation
- Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by the group
- No happiness or fulfillment possible outside of the group
- Terrible consequences if you leave
- Shunning of those who leave, fear of being rejected by friends and family
- Never a legitimate reason to leave; Those who leave are weak, unspiritual, worldly or seduced by sex
The typical new JW is the minor child of JW parent sometimes as young as 6 yrs old .
What then happens is in a few yrs the child will go online and find out the JWs
are a pseudo religion and a complete scam .
Then they start asking forbidden questions . The entire family will then
shun the child in the most vile and cruel fashion . Sometimes leading to suicide.
Source: 50 yrs a JW
DR Jerry Bergman PHD his book "Jehovahs Witnesses and the problem of mental illness"
Steve Hassan cult expert and author
The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach preach that Jesus had his return aka second coming October 1914,then they spin all sorts of doctrinal embellishments on that date.
They teach only 144,000 go to heaven,on and on and on with made up man made dogmas......
Sometimes you can get away with just walking away from the JW.
There are tens of thousands of active JW who have done the deliberate gradual 'fade' out of the cult because they don't dare to attract any attention.
This is a HIGH CONTROL l religion.
Anyone that questions the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses will be labeled an "opposer" and a heretic or apostate by the members. Then the extreme shunning and isolation of that person will follow. Even family members will refuse to speak to the person. Some have even committed suicide as a result.
Diamond plate is a kind of embossed steel, welded together .... often chrome plated ... you see a lot of it in tool boxes in the back of pickup trucks....
Concerning the shunning ... let's say your family were all current or former United States Marines ... and during WWII your active Marine son or daughter decided to abandon their oath, and serve the Third Reich ......
...how would YOU handle that?
I asked Elliott if his son, who was already baptized, had ever expressed doubt about his faith. Elliott said he hadn't. "But what if he did?" I asked.
The truth is he would be shunned and treated as if he were dead!
"dramatic interpretations of Bible teachings and a mass baptism in which new publishers were fully submerged in a diamond-plated tank of water."
Diamond-plated tanks? That I've never seen, in over 40 years of attending conventions.
As the cousin of a witness, I appreciate your respectful approach!
Jamie Rogers, you did an excellent job of reporting in this article. Thank you for your unbiased coverage. Huntsville, Alabama
nice and objective article! Kindest regards from the Netherlands, Europe
As if I already didn't love Kate Whittle.
FYI-"bob" is Currin's money seeking attorney and scaq is his mouthpiece.
Dave was a peer of Currin's at the time the rumors were circulating- meaning he was a couple years older. He was not her coach, her confident, her team mate- he was an athlete like she was. She did not know him- he did not know her. Where were her roommates, team mates, PARENTS? The parents took a large settlement from Curl to keep quiet and not press charges. But according to bob and tony, Dave should have gone to the police? He should have fought Currin's battle to the end with his fourth hand knowledge about a swimmer and a coach he never even met? Bologna. This was not a case of burying his head in the sand- Dave was motivated to get involved because of all of the rumors. Daves job is much bigger than Kelly Currin's lawsuit against Curl. Since his involvement there have been many changes in USA Swimmings Safe Sport Policy and predator coaches are getting ousted. Dave is an integral part of the solution. There will not be immediate justice for every victim out there but there's a lot more hope for them with Dave as their advocate.
Oh my Lord. Written by a man who obviously has no experience with the American criminal justice system. He also left out a great deal regarding Mr. Beach and his DETAILED confession, which contained information that only someone with knowledge of the murder would know.
If you want to discuss cruel and unusual treatment of people this is the wrong case to follow.
You can't braid hardneck.
In the end, the impacts that off-road vehicles cause on the landscape should be more important than when a person places a peg on a digital map and says, "this place is special to me". Maybe that's why the Nez Perce-Clearwater keep getting hauled into court; the Clearwater Travel Plan being a prime example.
The following letter was sent to Secretary Vilsack on February 28, 2013 by Friends of the Clearwater and eleven other conservation groups RE: Clearwater 'collaborative' process. The letter, as well as the oped below from Gary Macfarland, include important information and context about the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests plan revision process. Since these federal public lands belong equally to all Amerians it's important that all Americans have access to different viewpoints in order to make informed decisions. Thank you.
Letter to Sec Vilsack: https://ncfp.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/lett…
US Forest Service must follow the law
By Gary Macfarlane
Lee Rozen’s criticism of Friends of the Clearwater (Our View, written for the editorial board, March 13) is off base, misinformed and reflects a lack of understanding concerning our public land laws and the public involvement process. Had he contacted us, he would have learned why we believe the Forest Service is not following the law. It appears the agency has stumbled into a quagmire, under the guise of collaboration, with its new forest planning process.
The process the Forest Service is currently following on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests plan revision circumvents existing law, creates a contradictory and confusing public involvement process and lacks accountability. For 40 years, the National Environmental Policy Act has governed public input and analysis of agency proposals. NEPA mandates that the first step of the public involvement process is to identify pertinent issues. However, this collaborative process is seeking to resolve issues before the genuine public involvement process even begins. How can the Forest Service resolve issues before they are properly identified?
Under NEPA, all citizens can participate equally. However, the new collaborative forest plan revision process – which has no statutory authority – creates two unequal classes of citizens. The E-collaborative invention funnels citizen comments from the second class through the first class citizen collaborative group. Why should a special working group have more input and be allowed to determine whether or how other citizen comments are used?
Furthermore, NEPA requires an objective analysis of alternatives before decisions are made. Thus, the integrity of NEPA is compromised when the agency reaches a deal or understanding with the collaborative forest planning group before the NEPA process even begins. NEPA must be more than a pro forma exercise. Can you imagine having a collaborative group decide the outcome of an election before the election begins in order to avoid the contentiousness of elections?
Another stated reason behind the new forest planning process is to save time and money. How is having two competing public involvement processes for national forest planning more efficient? Indeed, the Forest Service recently admitted the collaborative process would take longer than anticipated. We feel that such redundancy wastes time and money and also creates conflict and confusion. In fact, a member of the forest planning collaborative for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests – Jonathan Oppenheimer of the Idaho Conservation League – recently termed the process as collective collaborative confusion at a presentation given in Eugene, Ore. Even proponents of collaboration find the new process fatally flawed.
Retired Forest Service fishery biologist and Moscow resident Al Espinosa stated in a comment letter on the new process, “The intent here is to avoid accountability by eliminating the appeal process and providing a phony pathway around the regulations and laws.”
He also noted the new planning process would circumvent the national interest. Removing accountability and de-legitimizing NEPA’s public involvement and decision-making process is not in the public interest. The Forest Service could have prevented scrutiny, confusion and distrust had the agency followed citizen suggestions made in an October meeting in how to lawfully proceed with the forest plan revision process.
If national forest management is to be determined by local collaborative groups, then existing laws like NEPA need to be repealed first. If the goal is to remove the ability of citizens to have judicial redress and to challenge agency decisions in court, then the Constitution must be amended. The new process for national forest planning clashes with the law. Friends of the Clearwater simply believes the Forest Service should be accountable to U.S. citizens and the law. We think the majority of Americans would agree with us.
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