by DannyHaszard 21 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jwfacts

    That is a very good article Danny. Reasonable and easily applicable the JWs.

    Hi to the others. Sad to hear your experiences. At the time neither of you had access to the information you needed. Hopefully the internet will arm people with how to help their loved ones before it is too hard to get them out.

  • DannyHaszard

    http://billingsgazette.net/articles/2006/06/01/news/local/50-convention.txt Eddie wrote on June 09, 2006 5:21 PM I am a JW. Happy, content and looking forward to the future, no matter what happens. I believe that what I have been taught is the truth and am confident in my faith. However, worst case senario, I am wrong. Gee, I missed out on the guilt assosiated with a selfish life, disease from promiscuty, irritation of holidays and so many other things. I did get to enjoy a happy family life as a child, learned how to be a good father and husband. My wife and child are happy, we have FUN without having to imerse ourselves into a life of debt. I get to be around people I can trust, and enjoy. There are no other groups of people in the world I would rather be around. So, if it is true what the others say, we are wrong, so what! According to most we are saved no matter what we do as long as we accept Jesus as the savior. I do so I am covered there. So let's see, happy life, fulfilled spiritually, great family and friends, and worst case senario I am saved even if I am wrong. WIN WIN........... Quit being a JW hater !!!! --------------- Spoken like a true brainwashed dub or a moonie or any other mind control false cult

  • mcsemike

    Hondo: I'm sorry for your situation. The same thing happened to me. Well, somewhat. My wife was baptized in 1975 and I was in 1977. So I knew what I was getting involved with. After learning how the WT handles child abuse cases (my daughter was molested and they tried to cover it up), I researched all the web sites. I told her what I found and that I was quitting. She moved out soon after. This December would have been 29 years of marriage. I've seen my daughter once in 3 years. You have my sympathy. My only consolation is that I truly believe I'll live long enough to see the WT badly hurt or even destroyed. I wouldn't care how it was done, legally or otherwise. Individual JW's might be nice people, but so were rank and file Germans in WW2. But without them, Hitler would have been a nobody. So the dubs share in the blame, just as they say about us "get out of her my people if you do not want to share in her plagues". Fair is fair.

  • DannyHaszard

    The war for young minds
    Sunday Herald - Glasgow,Scotland,UK The war for young minds
    Author Stephen Law tells Iain Macwhirter why he believes the rise of faith schools poses a risk to Enlightenment values
    STEPHEN Law is the typical product of a liberal household – or so his critics might say. He dropped out of school to become, in his own words, “a lazy good-for-nothing hippy” who was only interested in smoking and rock music. H e still doesn’t quite know how he managed to blag his way into London’s City University to study philosophy. Law’s liberal intellectual parents positively encouraged him to question and challenge accepted beliefs and conventions. “I used to spend hours around the dinner table discussing politics with my dad,” he tells me. “It’s probably where I got most of my education.” So why did this impeccably enlightened family environment – which Law believes should be the model for our education system – lead him into the ways of rootless negativity? It’s a loaded question, of course. An example of the faulty authoritarian thinking that he challenges in his book, The War For Children’s Minds. There were many reasons for his teenage idleness, but capacity for critical thought wasn’t one of them. Yet, it has entered our political culture that, in some way, the enlightened liberal thinking of the 1960s led to the rotting of self-discipline and respect and produced lazy, selfish behaviour. In fact, Law isn’t opposed to discipline and doesn’t believe that freedom of thought is synonymous with disorder in class; quite the reverse. What he advocates might be called “tough liberalism” . “The liberal approach,” he says, “is entirely consistent with drilling and the instilling of good habits.” Indeed, thinking critically, challenging political or religious orthodoxies, is a highly disciplined intellectual activity. So what Law is looking at is clearly very different from the popular image of “child-centred” learning, which some parents believe is so pernicious. The equation of classroom liberalism with rank indiscipline is widespread, and not just in the pages of the Daily Mail. Prime Minister Tony Blair has criticised “permissive 1960s values”. First Minister Jack McConnell has agreed that classroom indiscipline is partly a result of “out-moded” teaching theories. Many secular parents try to get their children into faith schools because they believe the discipline and order is better in a Christian environment. Law argues that this is a fallacy. In fact, many faith schools flourish by being selective. The authoritarian intellectual climate leaves children bereft of the intellectual and emotional skills necessary to deal with the modern world. Law is profoundly opposed to the idea, held by some politically-correct liberals, that Islamic schools should be free to impose Sharia law and rule by clerics, within the British state system. This kind of misguided multiculturalism is a result, he says, not of liberalism, but of “intellectual and moral defeatism”. Reason does not preclude judgement. The Enlightenment, you might say, is a process, not an event. On one level, Law’s objective is simple – to insist on the value of clear and rational thinking. He says schools need to “teach young people to question underlying assumptions, diagnose faulty reasoning, weigh up evidence, listen to other people’s points of view”. It all sounds uncontroversial. But Law is convinced that basic Enlightenment values are under serious threat from the new authoritarians of New Labour and America’s Republican right. Blair’s faith schools, and conservative educationalists, are taking us back to the bad old days when children were told to take things on trust and never question authority. “This book is a kind of pre-emptive strike,” he says. “I was frustrated at constantly hearing the same bad arguments being repeated without anyone challenging them.” The ideas of the Enlightenment “have to be fought for all over again. We cannot allow religious authoritarians to take over and run state schools”. Law also targets those US neoconservatives who believe that religion is the basis of morality and that society disintegrates unless there’s an external authority which is beyond critical questioning. Christian fundamentalist, Pat Buchanan, is a one of Law’s bêtes noires. Buchanan says that America is “locked in a cultural war for the soul of the country” against liberal secularists who “preach a hedonistic dogma where man is the highest authority and his whim is the only absolute”. Even agnostics like Washington political analyst Irving Kristol believe that religion is essential to the functioning of an orderly society. The result of all this evangelical proselytising, says Law, has been the revival in America of pre-Enlightenment ideas such as Creationism. We musn’t let it happen here. The faith argument isn’t prosecuted with quite the same vigour in Britian , largely because we don’t have a politically- organised Christian fundamentalist right. But Law targets Daily Mail journalist Melanie Phillips and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks for promoting “anti-Enlightenment views”. Sacks believes that our present moral malaise is a consequence of the decline in deference to religious values, while Phillips says relativism has destroyed educational achievement. Law quotes her as saying: “The Englightenment gave us freedom and liberal values, but it also gave us … the Holocaust.” What she means is that the Enlightenment gave us politics, which gave us Stalin and Hitler. ISUSPECT that once Phillips reads The War For Children’s Minds, she will give Stephen Law more than a piece of her own mind. I’m also looking forward to reading the response from US conservatives like the journalist Ann Coulter, author of How To Talk To A Liberal – If You Must, who is heavily criticised by Law for saying that Hitler was an atheist, which he wasn’t. Law’s book will be attacked by Christian educationalists and conservatives for trying to start an intellectual war in the classroom. But this particular war is about more than education. Law’s book is really an attempt to put morality back on to a rational footing, to show that you don’t need divine inspiration to learn how to be good. You can work it out from Kantian first principles. Kant thought that, when it comes to determining right and wrong, reason is all you need. Children, he argued, are natural philosophers and quite capable of understanding the principles of moral autonomy. Law is profoundly opposed to moral relativism, and gets annoyed when people see it as synonymous with liberalism or a by-product of liberal modes of thought. One of his objectives is to “slay the dragon of relativism”. It’s not true, Law argues, that liberals regard all beliefs as equally valid . The disciplines of critical thought, the values of rational scientific inquiry, are non-negotiable elements in the true liberal world-view. They don’t just “believe in everything and nothing”. They believe only in what is reasonable. Now, postmodernists and structuralists might say that Law is naive and reductionist and that he fails to recognise the social context of morality. It’s all very well laying down absolutes, but you have to take into account people’s different viewpoints. For example: you may say that it’s wrong to steal. But is it wrong for the poor to steal from the rich if they are starving? Law is impatient with all this. “Postmodernists accuse me of authoritarian conservatism; that as a white male I shouldn’t be telling people how to live. But I don’t have a lot of time for that.” Perhaps he should find the time, because as an author of popular philosophy he can’t ignore the most influential strand of modern philosophy in British universities. “Structuralism” doesn’t even appear in Law’s index, and there is no discussion of the popes of postmodernism, such as Louis Althusser or Michel Foucault. I suppose Law would say that what he is concerned with is not social structures, class or epistemology, but something more basic: the danger of the retreat from reason, a tide of irrational nonsense that is sweeping the West – from TV evangelists to Islamic fundamentalists; from Scientology to “Cosmic Ordering”. It is a measure of how far we have come from the secular humanism that was almost universal in the West after the second world war that an academic philosopher such as Stephen Law should find it necessary to write a book like this. In the end, he concedes – like the philosopher David Hume – that reason cannot give us moral absolutes, but it can allow us to form reasoned judgements, assess arguments, see through dogma, ideology, prejudice and cant. Liberal education promotes intelligence and emotional and social maturity. No democracy can function without it; and totalitarianism withers before it. “Liberal education,” Law concludes, “can help immunise new citizens against the wiles of religious cults and other forms of psychological manipulation and brainwashing.” This is especially true in the age of spin. This defence of reason should be obligatory reading, not just in schools, but in parliament and the press. The War For Children’s Minds by Stephen Law is published by Routledge, £14.99 11 June 2006 Got something to say about this story? Write to the Editor

  • Anitar

    "Individual JW's might be nice people, but so were rank and file Germans in WW2. But without them, Hitler would have been a nobody. So the dubs share in the blame, just as they say about us "get out of her my people if you do not want to share in her plagues". Fair is fair."

    Mcsemike, you are absolutly right. That guy Eddy who said "worst case scenario is I'm wrong" is a total moron. He doesn't know, or is probably ignoring the enormous consequences if he's wrong. His happiness is dependent on the rules he follows of people he can't see, and will never know. In essence, he's saying "ignorance is bliss".

    As long as he's fat, dumb, and happy, it matters not how corrupt his leaders are. Well guess what Eddy, Jesus Christ took full responsibility for his words, he was not a coward like you. At any point in time, he could have run away from his followers and said "I don't want to be crucified."

    Plato once said that those who refuse to partipicate in their government end up being governed by their inferiors. Have a nice life Eddy, because to God, you're nothing but a waste of oxygen.


  • DannyHaszard

    Good piece out of Africa and from a non 'apostate' source. How the cults operate (1)
    The Tide, Nigeria - 44 minutes ago
    ... means the same . With the Jehovah’s Witnesses with their blind loyalty to whatever the Watchtower says. Isolation: Information ...

    How the cults operate (1)
    • Sunday, Jul 2, 2006
    For abusive cults, the key word is CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL by Submitting to the Leadership – leaders tend to be the absolute end, looked to as prophets of God, as specially anointed apostles. Or they can be a strong, controlling, manipulative personality who demands submission even if he changes his views or conflicts occurs in doctrine or behaviour. Sometimes they can be looked on as God Himself. Often to obey a leader and their teaching is equal to obeying God. It can take time for them to gain power over the new convert, but it will eventually be there. Control is usually overwhelming and can cover most aspects of the followers’ lives: Dress codes, activities, finances, time, possessions and relationships. They can dictate to the member who to see, what to do, what the right thing to say is, and how to say it. Various degrees of control can be experienced from subtle manipulation to blatant ordering. They will expect Rigid obedience of the members’ time and activities - involving their followers in physically and emotionally draining activities leaving little time for privacy and reflection, or questioning their authority. Expecting one to show up when everyone else does, and everything is usually done in groups. The methods of control which are used is usually FEAR of displeasing God the leader or both. Fear of rejection, punishment, losing ones salvation, missing the rapture, going to hell. Guilt, Fear, intimidation are Weapons used to maintain their loyalty and devotion to the group. Intimidation and accusation are the most often used. For example, any questioning of authority is treated as rebellion, and not trusting. They suppress questions and conform to the groups behavior. They Discourage Critical or Rational thought and questions they will reply with comments like, “Satan is the cause of all doubt; he is keeping you from the Truth,” or it will take time to understand the deep things of God. Critical thinking is discouraged being called prideful or sinful or rebellious. No independent thinking is encouraged. They over simplify answers to life’s questions, making everything for all situations as simple as black or white.” Command Over The Group In Intimate Matters: Telling one who to date or who to marry. Decisions are made by the leader as to who, and when your ready (Moonies International churches of Christ). Extremes can be no seeing the opposite sex to promiscuity in sexual relations, (Children of God), group sex (New Age Therapy groups, Some Eastern religious gurus) child sex, adultery, and polygamy (Branch Dravidian’s, certain Mormon sects, Children of God) sex is used as an initiation into the cult (as well as occult and Satanic groups). Sexual impurity especially among the leaders can be common and promoted. Doctrinal deception is more than often displayed by moral deception. (Polygamy, spiritual wives, adultery, fornication and sexual sin is acceptable). The leader believes that he is above everyone or is an exception to God’s laws so he may not follow his own rules. Group trust: Confession Sessions are used to build relationships. Full disclosure of all secret sins, thoughts, temptations, desires are expressed with those you know arid may not know to build up your trusting them with your life. These can become powerful tools to emotionally bond you to the leader or group. They later can be used to manipulate, or blackmail some one if and when they decide to leave. A double standard: There is one standard for the followers and another for the leaders can do almost anything wrong while others will be rebuked and made examples of if they do the same things. Christ teaches that leaders should be servants of those they lead. Cult leaders exalt themselves, requiring the followers to serve them or tile church’s program. Jesus said, “The greatest among you will be your servant” Matthew 23: 11. He said of Himself, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Matthew 20:28. This is a sure way to see what you’re involved, since what cults practice is backwards. Takes license with God’s word: The Scripture is not rightly divided. Private revelations and interpretations are added to the Word, and sometimes substitute it. Passages contradictory to the orthodox beliefs are being twisted and taken out of their context. Strong emphasis is placed upon certain passages making them their thrust in ministry. While other pertinent scriptures on essentials and practices are completely ignored. Bible scholars who give a different interpretation from the cultists’ are ignored or ridiculed. Misplaced Loyalty: Someone involved in an abusive system finds their of loyalty is nul1ured and even demanded. Loyalty for Christ is replaced by an organisation, church or leader. Because authority is usually from an individual or a group one is asked if they will be loyal to God confusing tile member that to be loyal to a person or group means the same. With the Jehovah’s Witnesses with their blind loyalty to whatever the Watchtower says. Isolation: Information control is practiced where members of the group are not allowed or discouraged to have contact with outside family members, other ministries or Christians that could influence them. This is done to prevent information that may expose what is going on Internally. They cut oft or denigrating outside sources of information, especially if it is critical of the group. One is not allowed to read or converse with those who say these things or was once part of the group and left for whatever circumstances. Ties are severed with former friends and family and the circle becomes tighter as the only people you are exposed are them. One reads only their books and is discouraged or forbidden to read other books especially if one oppose their views. If evidence is presented that they have had false prophecies or they are used to make money. The focus is shifted members are taught to question the motives or character of the person and ignore the evidence. So the focus is on the others character and not tile proof that they have. They will be called emissaries of Satan so that they can’t be trusted with anything they have. An “us against them” altitude and philosophy: Anyone who challenges the cult’s doctrine is automatically branded as an enemy, which is usually anyone who disagrees. The cultists feel that they are being persecuted unfairly On the other hand; true Christians accept persecution, knowing that it tests the genuineness of their faith. New members are told Satan will cause friends and family to say bad things about their group and that they should only trust their new family. We should expect to be persecuted for the truth we have. It becomes an ‘us against them’ mentality. Clichés are given, such as “Who is more impol1ant, God or school?’ or “Don’t you love God with all your heart, don’t you trust us, do you know of anyone who cares about you more?” “We are the only ones who have the truth,” “don’t you want to be found faithful.” Focus on an imagined enemy: The enemy is seen to be the government, the IRS, the Illuminating new world order UFO’s (or other conspirators) the Jews, Blacks (other ethnic groups if they are politically oriented) certain church denominations are, considered the enemy, The focus shifts from inside and instead of God’s truth and purpose, keeps the adherents busy towards something outside, It also stops them from looking in and really thinking things through. End-time revelation: Special insights into the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus Christ are claimed. The book of revelation is mostly used, among other immediate prophecies. Koresh claimed an exclusive understanding of the “seven seats” in Revelation, and believed that he was the one ordained to open them. Elizabeth C. Prophet of the church universal has prophecies from ascended masters telling about the end times. Motivational teaching: techniques designed to stimulate emotions, usually employing loud speaking or music with group pal1icipation, group dynamics are used to influence responses. You’re overwhelmed with smiling faces and handshakes and hugs with unconditional friendship. Those who were newly invited will be asked how they liked it and told how much fun they have and what they have to offer. They will immediately become your best friend and want to know when you’re coming back- Not done, please read next issue. Stay blessed. [email protected]

    ----------------- Comment from Danny Haszard,WOW i couldn't have done better myself.

  • DannyHaszard

    How cults operate (II)
    The Tide, Nigeria - 2 6 minutes ago
    ... Others have a more subtle approach which may take weeks or months, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and International churches of Christ. ...

    How cults operate (II)
    • Sunday, Jul 9, 2006
    There are rules which govern churches which are often not stated or written down. Beware if they say the only statement we have is the Bible. Since the rules are not spoken verbally, you don’t find out that the rule (s) exist until you’ve broken one. It is taken for granted that you should know them. Or you taught them after you have joined. The unspoken rule may come across like this: Do not disagree with the church authorities especially the pastor or your spirituality and loyalty will be questioned. Silence becomes a fortress wall of protection; many will shield the pastor’s position of power from any scrutiny or challenge. If one questions what is said or the rules they are seen as being against them and God or divisive. They can’t talk .to others rule is probably the most consistent one used. If you speak about the problem to others, YOU JUST BECOME THE PROBLEM. You must become silent and just ignore it or will be asked to leave. Neither can you discuss things with others who left while you are still in the group or it will be considered betrayal. Conversion techniques: Conversion into a cult is done by dynamic interactions. They look for those who are new to the town or school. The easiest to involve someone is when they are weak and vulnerable, they instantly become a potential recruit. This vulnerability can be enhanced by transitional situations in life such as divorce, depression, abuse, handicapped, a job or career change, moving away from home or leaving college, few friends, an illness, or death of a loved one, new to an area, loneliness, loss of job, or someone backsliding. Those who have had numerous bad experiences with love in their lives, feel rejected by people and insecure are attracted to cults. These groups make them instantly feel accepted and superior giving them friendship and acceptance. Many people who become discontent and disappointed in their prior church experiences are open to something new, even something radically different. The tactics used to convert indoctrinate the members. Some groups attempt a radical and quick conversion with an intensive weekend retreat or week long seminar such as The Forum or Scientology. Others have a more subtle approach which may take weeks or months, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and International churches of Christ. Although all push for something for quicker decisions to join. Revelation knowledge: Emotions, intuitions, revelations and mystical insights are promoted over the objective word. They become more important than objective conclusions and what has already been revealed in scripture Critical Thinking is discouraged. independent thought can be looked at as selfish and rational use of intellect as evil. Mystical altered states: The flesh is considered evil the Sprit is good (Gnosticism). Subjective experiences are accepted more quickly than constructive teaching New age uses Repetition of words. Techniques which include relaxation, chanting, hypnosis, meditation, trance states guided imagery or visualization, deep breathing exercises - all of these bring a person into an altered state, a highly suggestible state. These techniques can cause psychological imbalance. What is relaxation becomes the opposite promoting anxiety. Many cannot handle stilling the mind or visualising. The affects are not immediately noticed and usually catch up late. Leaders have a prideful unreachable spirit: The altitude that “no one can Judge me or tell me what to do” is fostered by pride the leader is in deception and promotes deception to the followers. The leader becomes untouchable by anyone. He is accountable to God only and everyone must obey what he says like it is Gods words. Included in this is the attitude that ‘we are always right” from the leadership. When Hobart Freeman began Faith Assembly, loyalty to him and his teachings were to be accepted without question. To question Freeman, a self-acknowledged “prophet of God” was to risk the charge of blasphemy. Many people died including himself from his teaching on healing. This continues today by the word/faith movement and believing for your healing. All false doctrine has pride as its catalyst and arrogance as its practice. Pride of the group: We are the only ones who are right. If you are not one of us, then you are destined for hell. Correct doctrine is used by them alone to the exclusion of any others; they alone have the truth so one must join them to be saved. They have an us against them attitude which can be very dangerous. They appoint new “inside” meanings to ordinary words or the use of an exclusive vocabulary subtly moving a person to want to become a member. An appearance of false spirituality is given from the language. What was formerly known by a certain phrase or word now has a new meaning behind it. Brainwashing: New inductees are brainwashed increment by increment until the convert identities with the Church and its leaders and ties with family society are broken. Many claim no one can be brainwashed if they don’t want to be. But who ever wanted to be unless they were convinced first it is a good thing. So it is disguised as what is right and true. While there are some subtle differences between mind control and brainwashing, the results are the same, obedience. A systematic teaching indoctrinates members into the beliefs of the cult. This is a methodical process of seducing and deceiving. A lie is told over and over until it is accepted and believed. A reprogramming of the conscience is done by other members and systematic teachings. Certain techniques used for what is called thought reform and mind is conditioning. Members are kept under physical mental and emotional pressure they can become too fatigued to resist or think for themselves, or they become too busy as they can comply with all the groups activities. Devotion to convert others to their group and its belief system: Cults demand a strong commitment from their members. They promise rewards for being faithful to their leaders and organization. EX: one can be. kept out of the tribulation if found doing God’s work (JW). Service to the church is understood as service to God. Meetings are mandatory. In the I.C.C., one’s meetings will keep them so busy they will no longer have time for their friends and family, job or hobbies. They are replaced with a new family and friends and a new view of life. The priority rather than bringing others into a saving relationship will Christ is to have them gain membership. Flattery is used, they can be very crafty and everything is done with an objective. Instead of plainness, openness and honesty. They hide their real motives and teachings until they know one is ready. When they are convinced that you will do anything for God and their group, it is then that they will disclose the full extent of their teachings and mission. Distorted tithing or excessive giving: Certain members keep track of your commitment of what you’re to give. They may have you write down what you can give and keep you to the obligation. More and more money is needed to attain higher degrees of spirituality (International churches of Christ), or complete submission to God requires one to give up everything to the group or leader for the cause. Give to get back from God, the more you give the more God will give back. We must be ready to “test the spirits” (I John 4: I), and to “beware of false prophets which come to You in sheep’s (Christian) clothing” (Matthew 7: 15). The key to discernment is awareness (Hosea 4:6), for how call one beware unless one is first aware. We become aware by first by familiarising oneself with the truth, but also become aware how the enemy distorts the truth to attract and snare us. Attempting to bring in the kingdom now: It is up to us to change society and government. Force may even be promoted. Distrust and paranoia may empower the cult as they could feel that they are threatened and subject to attack. This causes them to stockpile food and weapons and take extreme measures to insure protection from their imagined enemies. In Christianity some want to take over the world and Christianise the government and the people so that after it is done Christ will come back. Total commitment: is expected of the followers to the leader[s]. Their commitment requires that property and money be given in the hands of the leader[s]. Ones time, talent, and money are all at the disposal of the church or leaders, it is all focused on their mission who is interpreted as Gods. While many do use the great commission as a basic concept they change it to mean something than it actually does. Individuality is sacrificed for the group: The group’s concerns supersede an individual’s goals, needs, aspiration, conformity is the key. The end Justifies the Means – Any action or behavior is justifiable as long as it further the group’s goals. To lie to others outside the group is ok since they are serving Satan. Inconsistent disciplined life: very strict rules in some areas and completely loose ill others. Will make up extra rules to either forbid things normally done (legalism such as movies male or female swimming) or will allow total freedom to the extreme, such as in the family and sex for Jesus. There is no balance but only extremes. Martyrdom complex: Cultists may be willing to die for what they believe to be true, out of loyalty to the man or God they follow. Even to the point of mass suicide as we have seen with Jim Jolles Koresh, Heavens Gate etc. Others such as the Christian Science and Jehovah witnesses convince individuals of suicide by denying medical treatment or blood for their life. Curses and Threats: Are put on those who leave the group or oppose them afterwards. They are told their is no where else to go. Threats are made subtly or to their face. Once one is in their is no easy way out. The hardest part is when friends and family are involved. One will often have to give up their friendships and fight for their family. Are you frustrated trying to figure out how to leave? Don’t let this be you. There are ways out, they don’t own you, and you can be set free.
  • DannyHaszard

    I won't fall pray to Jews for Jesus
    New York Daily News, NY - 2 hours ago
    ... breakfast menu or psychic healer special. I even take the Jehovah's Witness magazines, when they're in English. So why do my hands ...

    I won't fall pray to Jews for Jesus
    Usually I take any piece of paper some poor soul is handing out, be it breakfast menu or psychic healer special. I even take the Jehovah's Witness magazines, when they're in English. So why do my hands clench into don't-get-that-thing-NEAR-me fists when someone tries to hand me a pamphlet from Jews for Jesus? I honestly didn't know - until I started talking with the Christians and Jews who have studied the group's tactics. "They're not like anybody else," says Ruth Guggenheim, spokeswoman for the anti-cult group Jews for Judaism. "Most evangelical Christians are straightforward, they come to the door and say they want you to become a Christian. They're honest." The problem is that the Jews for Jesus - in town this month with their biggest mission ever - say nothing of the sort. While they, too, want Jews to embrace Christ, they only call this becoming a more "fulfilled" or "completed" Jew. And to make it look, well, kosher, they dress it up with Jewish symbols. "Acknowledge what you're doing! Acknowledge that you're asking people to convert to Christianity!" says Michael Miller, executive vice president at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. Like me, Miller has nothing against people with religious convictions trying to share them, so long as they don't stoop to deception. And this group is trying to look as Jewish as Jackie Mason. "They speak of their houses of worship as 'synagogues,' and their spiritual leaders as 'rabbis,'" says David Berger, professor of religion at Brooklyn College. "They are trying to appropriate the label of Jewishness." This week, the pamphlets themselves feature Jewish jokes. "Good news should make people smile," says Susan Pearlman, a spokeswoman for the group, which is capping a five-year, 65-city tour with its mission here. The jokes are all used as parables to explain why Jews should accept Christ. Sorry. Jews can't. That was decided 2,000 years ago. The pamphleteers' insidiousness dismays not only Jews like me, but the leaders of other faiths as well - Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, you name it. The Rev. John Hiemstra, coordinator for the Commission of Religious Leaders of New York City - an organization that includes the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn, the local Council of Churches and the Imams Council of New York - deplores such "deceptive efforts" as "tantamount to coerced conversions." Pretty strong stuff. But beyond even the evil of deception, there is one more thing that hits me in the gut when a Jew for Jesus tries to convert me. It's a soul-deep sense of insult. "Someone is trying to get you to betray not just your religion, but your parents and your grandparents," says Prof. Berger. "And these people are using Jewish symbols." That's it! It is an invitation to betrayal dressed up as a celebration of my roots. No wonder I don't take the pamphlets.

    --------------- [email protected] news desk [email protected] 200 word max letter to editor

  • DannyHaszard

    The deceit of cultism
    The Tide, Nigeria - 15 minutes ago
    ... told. I know of a Jehovah’s Witness who we witnessed to and took time to answer all questions but he would not budge. One ...

  • karen96
    So let's see, happy life, fulfilled spiritually, great family and friends, and worst case senario I am saved even if I am wrong. WIN WIN

    He says that now, but what if he, his happy wife or child need a blood transfusion? What if his happy wife isn't really happy at all and leaves the borg? What if his child decides as an adult not to follow his parents' faith? I'm sure most people here were happy at one time in the borg, but I wouldn't bet against the future.


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