Long time lerker, first time poster here :D For years I have been dissolutioned with being a JW. I stopped going 2 years ago. I got married to my wonder JW wife 1 year ago.
The funny thing with her, is she is a very independent thinker. She always questions things that she hears from the platform and can see so many errors. Yet I never talked with her on why I don't go to meetings, partly because I don't want to get DF'd again. But the other day she was talking to her parents on the subject of evolution, and she brought up the point that god being as powerful as he is could have created us though evolution... this would then validate both views! Well after that her parents started ridiculing her on how she is an apostate with apostate thinking.
Coming to me crying she said that she doesnt understand how she isn't allowed to ask questions and do research, and that as bad as it sounds she thinks at sometimes JW's might be a cult.... that was all the display I needed to get me to share with her how I truly feel... So I wrote her this letter. Needless to say she read the letter and understood completely and said that she felt the same way for a while, though not as long as me. Yet at the same time she said even though it's wrong she feels its still the "closest thing to being the true religion" I seriouly dont get it, she acknowledges that they have been wrong so many times, and are a cult, yet still goes because she thinks its the closest thing to the true religion?? Anyways I don't know at this point what else to present to her. Below is the letter I wrote ****************************************************************************
You have asked me many times how I feel on this subject and I have never related to you how I truly feel in this matter. I don't feel comfortable doing this and explaining how I feel to you because it is no my intent to sway you from what you believe even if you feel it is wrong. I understand however that, like me, you are not a blind sheep that follows everything without first questioning.
I have for years questioned the authority that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society had over my life, I guess in some ways that is why I never was "strong in the truth." But then again what is truth? Over the years I have done much deep research on the History of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and while I feel that the people of the organization in general are kind and good people, I honestly feel that they have been misled and are indeed a cult. First off I must state some of the reasons that make it a cult:
1. Control - The society is in constant and complete control of the lives of its members. Though some basic personal freedoms are available the society heavily dictates the actions of its members lives such as dress and grooming, medical desicions, sexual practices, etc.
Aside from general control there is group control in which all the members pressure the other ones to think exactly the same, any free thought or expression is considered abnormal and you will be labeled as an apostate. Thus you have no place to question anything that you may feel is wrong.
Another way the Society uses control over its members is through isolationism. You are taught that the world is evil and that you must be no part of the world. By then isolating yourself from the rest of the world and only associating with people from the organization your thoughts further begin to beleive that this world is indeed doomed and that everyone that is not apart of your organization is beyond saving.
2. Fear - A part of what makes the society so successful in retaining members is through fear. Members are constantly reminded to tattle on anyone who may commit a sin. And members that commit a sin are encouraged strongly to reveal every sin that they commit. People comply with this for fear of expulsion. The fear of expulsion comes from the fact the persons emotional well-being is dependant on the society. If expelled from the organization family members and "friends" will shun you, and those that do associate with you will suffer the same fate as you.
They also create a fear of leaving. If you leave the organization you will also be branded as an apostate and an evil slave. The idea of leaving is promoted as a very bad idea and that by leaving the organization you have left god.
3. Salvation - The society claims that only through them you can attain salvation. This is because they claim they are the sole channel with which god communicates, and without them men and women would have absolutly no comprehention of the bible or its prophecies.
4. Lovebombing - The society strongly encourages that we are to show strong consideration and affection towards a potential new member. While this in itself is not wrong, it does give the wrong impression to the person thinking of becoming a Jehovah's Witness in the fact that it gives him a sense of belonging to the organization. After the person becomes a Jehovah's Witness the "love" usually cools off a bit.
5. Exploitation - The society exploits its members by making them go through intensive labor. The society is listed in the Top 100 largest corporations in the United States, all of this has been accomplished on free labor. Members are required to go from door to door selling the literature and keeping close tract of all the hours and magazines placed so they can report it back to the society. Another way the members are exploited is through the building of new Kingdom Halls. New Kingdom Halls are built from Volunteer labor, and the funds are loaned to the congregations of the new hall from the society. The must then pay the loan back to the society with their contributions. When the Kingdom Hall loan is payed off, the Watchtower Bible and Tract society still owns the building.
6. Loss of Independance - As a Jehovahs Witness you loose alot of your independance and abilities to make decisions. Your decisions are strongly encouraged to be made based off of what the Watchtower magazines have to say. If you are unsure of a matter you are encouraged to rely on other people, such as the elders.
7. Discredit Outside Info - The society does a good job at discreditting outside information. Any outside views of the organization are wrong, and all of the doctrines of the watchtower society are right. You cannot question any of the doctrines, you will be expelled.
8. Importance of the Leadership - The society is governed by the Faithful and Discreet Slave. They are the ones that have the sole communication with Jehovah. Any information that they disseminate to the rank and file Jehovahs Witness is taken as true and coming straight from Jehovah. The Faithful and Discreet slave is also gods prophet and mouthpiece.
Those are just a few reasons why I feel that Jehovahs witnesses are a cult, there are more but for the time being I cannot think of them. Now in conclusion to this letter I just want to share more information on why I think that the Jehovahs Witnesses are not the true religion. If the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society is gods prophet, was god wrong? You have to look back over the course of the life of the organization to really understand. Here are some quotes from some of the societies older publications.
Prophecies That Didnt Come True
Armageddon in 1914.
The Watchtower, January 15, 1892 "The date of the close of that ‘battle’ is definitely marked in Scripture as October, 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October, 1874."
The Time is At Hand, 1907 Edition
"The ‘battle of the great day of God Almighty’ (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced." They admit the were wrong
The Watchtower, January 1, 1914
"As already pointed out, we are by no means confident that this year, 1914, will witness as radical and swift changes of dispensation as we have expected."
But it might be next year!
The Watchtower, September 1, 1914
"While it is possible that Armageddon may begin next Spring, yet it is purely speculation to attempt to say just when." They didnt say positivly it was the date but the strongly implied it.
The Watchtower, November 1, 1914
"Studying God’s Word, we have measured the 2520 years, the seven symbolic times, from that year 606 B.C. and have found that it reached down to October, 1914, as nearly as we were able to reckon. We did not say positively that this would be the year." What about 1918?
The Watchtower, October 1, 1917
"The parallel, therefore, would establish definitely that the harvest would close forty years thereafter; to wit, in the spring of A.D. 1918. If this be true, and the evidence is very conclusive that it is true, then we have only a few months in which to labor before the great night settles down when no man can work."
The Finished Mystery, 1917 Ed.
"It seems conclusive that the hour of Nominal Zion’s travail is fixed for the Passover of 1918. (See Rev. 3:14.) That will be 7 years prior to 1925. At that time there is every reason to believe the fallen angels will invade the minds of many of the Nominal Church people, driving them to exceedingly unwise conduct and leading to their destruction at the hands of the enraged masses, who will later be dragged to the same fate."
The Finished Mystery, 1917 Ed.
"Brother Russell put the question to three prominent brethren, all of whom replied that they did not know, but were willing to wait and see. When he called upon me I said, ‘Since the year 73 A.D. saw the complete overthrow of nominal Natural Israel in Palestine, so in the parallel year 1918, I infer we should look for the complete overthrow of nominal Spiritual Israel; i.e., the fall of Babylon.’ (Rev.18.) Brother Russell replied; ‘Exactly. That is exactly the inference to draw.’ The conclusion of the Church’s career comes first. (Rev. 3:14.)"
The Finished Mystery, 1917 Ed.
The trouble is due to the dawning of the Day of Christ, the Millennium. It is the Day of Vengeance, which began in the world war of 1914 and which will break like a furious morning storm in 1918. - Lam. 4:18.
The Finished Mystery, 1917 Ed.
"Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of ‘Christianity.’"
The Organization Demonifies the UN
Watchtower, November 15, 2001
"14 Anointed Christians are like alien residents living in tents apart from this system of things. Not even a plague draws near their tent. Whether our hope is heavenly or earthly, we are no part of the world, and we are not infected by such spiritually deadly plagues as its immorality, materialism, false religion and worship of the 'wild beast' and it's 'image', the United Nations."
Watchtower, May 1, 1999
""The whole tendency of the League of Nations is to turn the people away from God and from Christ, and it is therefore a desolating thing, the product of Satan, and an abomination in the sight of God." So in 1919 "the disgusting thing" appeared. In time, the League gave way to the United Nations. Jehovah's Witnesses have long exposed these human peace organizations as disgusting in God's sight."
"Details supplied in the prophecy help us to identify this symbolic beast as a peace organization that came into existence in 1919 as the League of Nations (a "disgusting thing") and that is now the United Nations."
** There are many more quotes on the UN, yet despite all this they were a UN member. If the UN is the disgusting thing, and is in bed with the great harlot, why join them?
The WTS Taught Pyramidology
The Devine Plan of the Ages [Studies in the Scriptures] 1908 Vol.
"The Great Pyramid in Egypt is a Witness to all these event of the ages and of our day -- testifying in symbols?
The Pyramid's downward passage under "A Draconis" symbolizes the course of Sin? Its First Ascending Passage symbolizes the Jewish age? Its grand Gallery symbolized the Gospel age? Its Upper Step symbolized the approaching period of tribulation and anarchy, "Judgments," upon Christendom? Its King's Chamber the Divine Nature, etc., of the Overcoming Church -- the Christ, Head and Body? Its Ante-Chamber the Correction in Righteousness of the "Great Company" etc.? Its Queen's Chamber those of Israel and the world who attain Restitution?
All these interesting topics with ten Pyramid illustrations can be had in "Thy Kingdom Come" [Studies in the Scriptures vol III]"
Millennial Dawn, 1904 ed.
"So, then, if we measure backward down the "First Ascending Passage" to its junction with the "Entrance Passage," we shall have a fixed date to mark upon the downward passage. This measure is 1542 inches, and indicates the year B.C. 1542, as the date at that point. Then measuring down the "Entrance Passage" from that point, to find the distance to the entrance of the "Pit," representing the great trouble and destruction with which this age is to close, when evil will be overthrown from power, we find it to be 3416 inches, symbolizing 3416 years from the above date, B.C. 1542. This calculation shows AD. 1874 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble; for 1542 years B.C. plus 1874 years AD. equals 3416 years. Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1874 was the chronological beginning of the time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation -- no, nor ever shall be afterward. And thus it will be noted that this "Witness" fully corroborates the Bible testimony on this subject..."
I thought that Jesus came in 1914?
Watchtower, March 1, 1922
"The indisputable facts, therefore, show that the "time of the end" began in 1799; that the Lord's second presence began in 1874."
What about Medical Advice
Watchtower, September 1, 1961 "Moral insanity, sexual perversions, repression, inferiority complexes, petty crimes - these often follow in the wake of blood transfusion." Vaccinations are bad
Golden Age, Jan 5, 1929
"Thinking people would rather have smallpox than vaccination, because the latter sows seeds of syphilis, cancers, eczema, erysipelas, scrofula, consumption, even leprosy and many other loathsome affections. Hence the practice of vaccinations is a crime, an outrage, and a delusion." Aluminum is Bad
The Golden Age, 1932 Ed.
" Aluminum cooking utensils are a curse to humanity and their manufacture and use should be forbidden by law."
The Golden Age, Nov 12, 1929
"If the organs [of your body] are diseased, heal them by correcting your diet. Avoid the use of aluminum cooking utensils and alum baking powders as they are injurious to your health, poisoning your blood stream... Sleep on the right side or flat on your back, with the head toward the north so as to get benefit of the earth's magnetic currents. Avoid serum inoculations as they pollute the blood stream with their filthy pus.... Stop chewing gum, as you need the saliva for your food."
Anyways XXXXXX, I could go on more and more about this. But, if you truly are an independant person and want to do more deeper research, then do it! The only reason why I have not shared this with anyone is of course my fear. What little friends I have I do not want to loose. But at the same time, I am a free thinking person, I no longer rely on an organization to dictate what I do, who I associate with, etc. I do not like having my thoughts and questions oppressed. I think after doing deep research and meditation on the subject, that the track record of the WTS is flawed, and that since they claim to be gods prophet, they are false prophets because god is never wrong.
This by no means is a statement that I reject Jehovah god. I do firmly beleive in him and that he is the creator of all life in the universe and the creator of all things that I love and hold dear in my life. I thank Jesus for dying for us and forgiving us of our sins so that we may have a hope for eternal life through him. And I finally realized that I do not have to follow and obey an oppressive organization to come to know him and Jehovah. And by no means am I trying to force my view upon you, I just feel that it is time that I expressed to you how I truly feel.