I posted the following on my blog, which is found on my website, www.dispelthedarkness.org. I thought that it expressed some thoughts about the behavior of JWs on the Internet that might be of interest here as well:
A Few Words About Honesty
Recently, I received the following “prayer request” through the function on this website that permits submitting such requests:
Pray for all the self-righteous slanderous “Christian” web hosts who make themselves look so righteous at the expense of others they dislike/hate, much like their Lord and teacher, Jesus did by his example and words.
I’m still not quite sure what to make of this so-called request. Clearly, the person who wrote it was not genuinely asking for prayer; rather he seems to be trying to accuse me of dishonesty and hypocrisy. My first impulse is to believe that this person is a Jehovah’s Witness who stumbled across this website and didn’t like the fact that a good deal of the material presented here is critical of his religion. This is understandable, I guess. None of us likes to have his deeply held beliefs criticized. It also crossed my mind briefly that this might have been the work of an atheist, based upon the last phrase – it sounds as if the writer is criticizing Jesus as being hateful. However, I have a feeling that this is really the work of a JW or JW sympathizer, and that that last phrase is meant to be ironic – that Jesus is being held up as a contrast to my supposed dishonesty and “hateful” attitude.
This sort of accusation comes as no surprise. It seems to be a pattern among many Jehovah’s Witnesses on the Internet. The several sections of my “Darkness in the Watchtower” presentation, in which I expose the Watchtower Society’s early and even current connections with the occult, have peen posted on YouTube by a friend (who also produced the video) for some time now. These are the same videos that I have linked from the Audio/Video page on this site. Periodically, a JW or someone sympathetic to their beliefs comes along and similarly accuses me of dishonesty in my presentation. Here are a few examples of what has been posted there in response to these videos:
Where is the truth that you guys are preaching? All you've been ranting about is? how wrong Jehovah's Witnesses are. If you really have the truth now, why not preach as zealously as they do? The way i see it, apostates gather together, post hate videos, to convince themselves that their leaving was right or to continue justifying their leaving.
The gentleman in this video, wasn't being balanced, discerning, completely honest, or a good representative for either his old or new religion. He was entertaining though.?
More irrational thinking and misleading information on Jehovah's Witnesses. He disparages even the Bible's? use of the 'watchtower' as a symbol. Oh yea, poor rating!, for ignorance.
I have to say-i dont know who this guy is-but he has strung some [expletive deleted] together and made it sound good-yet still a lot of lies easily disproved
These apostates are famous for lying they? are liars and from there father the devil , they serve satan this guy is a first class Moron they twist and take things out of context
As these few quotations show, as a result of the material I have presented, I have been accused of posting “hate videos,” being unbalanced, undiscerning, dishonest, thinking irrationally, being ignorant and misleading, stringing together, uh, bovine excrement, presenting “easily disproved” lies, and being a “first class moron.” Well, I’m a big boy, and those may not be the worst things I’ve ever been called. What I’m still waiting for from even one of these JW defenders, however, is to be told one single thing that I have published or stated about Jehovah’s Witnesses in my presentations that is false. The fact is that most of the material in my presentations is taken directly from Watchtower publications, with as much attention to context as I can muster. I do this exactly for the specific purpose of not misrepresenting what the Watchtower Society has taught, even by accident.
But it doesn’t seem to be the practice of Jehovah’s Witnesses on the Internet to back up their words. Rather, they seem to utilize a “hit and run” approach – they show up for a comment or two, accuse me of lying and slander and then disappear when they are asked for specifics. I guess we can expect no more from those who are trained by an organization that uses exactly the same tactics. As recently as the July 15, 2011 issue of the Watchtower magazine (pp. 15-16), Jehovah’s Witnesses are being taught by their leadership:
How do false teachers operate? Their methods reveal a cunning spirit. Apostates “quietly bring in” corruptive ideas. Like smugglers, they operate in a clandestine manner, subtly introducing apostate views. And just as a clever forger tries to pass phony documents, so apostates use “counterfeit words,” or false arguments, trying to pass their fabricated views as if they were true. They spread “deceptive teachings,” “twisting . . . the Scriptures” to fit their own ideas. (2 Pet. 2:1, 3, 13; 3:16) Clearly, apostates do not have our best interests at heart.
In very much the same manner as my own accusers cited above, The Watchtower teaches its followers that those who have left their organization are “cunning,” “corrupt,” using “counterfeit words, or false arguments,” spreading “fabricated views” and “deceptive teachings.” But not one actual deception is cited or refuted. Not one example is provided of a “fabricated view” or a “deceptive teaching” that is being spread by such “apostates.” No attempt is made to explain why such views and teachings are false. It is enough that these so-called “apostates” speak against the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses – the organization claims and is therefore presumed by its followers to speak for God, so it follows that anyone speaking against it must be doing the work of the devil.
The problem of that mindset is that it leaves no way to find out if the organization is not what it claims to be. Anyone exposing alleged faults of the organization is immediately labeled as a liar and apostate, and is not to be listened to. But what if the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses is truly a false prophet? What if the evidence shows that it does have roots in occultism? What if the Governing Body truly does not speak for God, but is only advancing its own human opinions, and abusively mistreats anyone who does not kowtow to its authority? How would an individual JW ever know that, if he presumes out of hand that anyone who attempts to expose these things is a liar? Obviously, it is in the interest of the organization’s leaders for the rank and file to think in those terms, since it leaves the members no way to honestly and openly evaluate the leaders’ claims without the heavy hand of the organization’s authority coming down upon the ones doing the investigating.
I can sympathize with the feelings of those who made the accusations against me. I was a member of their organization for 30 years; I know where they are coming from. I remember how it made me feel when I encountered literature that criticized the Watchtower, and I remember the knee-jerk reaction that causes them to reject such material. In some cases, I also remember finding some detail in the material that was slightly inaccurate, and the strong inclination to reject the entire work as being inaccurate when I found an error. That’s why I try to be very careful in preparing the material I present. I work very hard to ensure that what I offer is completely accurate in as much detail as possible. I know that even the tiniest mistake will often be seized upon by a JW who is considering it as an excuse to reject the entire message. That’s also why the bulk of many of my presentations consists of direct quotations from Watchtower publications – that way, it’s not me making an argument, it’s the Watchtower Society speaking for itself, and it is much harder for a JW to reject as inaccurate.
I try also to be as fair as I can in presenting this information. I ask only that it be evaluated with an open mind. I know there are those out there opposing the Watchtower who take a very negative attitude from the outset, and, in some cases, are willing to distort facts in order to make their case. I heartily disapprove of that sort of argumentation. That kind of argument does not get very far with JWs who have any thinking ability at all – they will see through it very quickly. I try to keep myself as far from being associated with that type of material as possible. Unfortunately, there are some JWs – including some of those who posted the comments I cited above – who appear not to be able to discern the difference. Any material that is critical of their organization is all of the same caliber, in their minds. It must all be deceptive, because the organization that claims to speak for God tells them that it is deceptive.
I am not doing the work that I do out of a spirit of hatred or anger. Rather, I do it in love, because I believe with all my heart that I was deceived as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses for 30 years, and I have a heartfelt desire to spare as many others as I can from going through such an experience. In any event, my ministry is not directly aimed at Jehovah’s Witnesses. I see my mission as, first, inoculating the Christian church against the unbiblical teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses and other aberrant groups and second, training Christians to deal with members of these groups whom they may encounter. If any JWs read my written material or watch my videos and find themselves asking questions about their organization as a result, that’s a wonderful thing, and I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit is able to use my material in such a way. But this web site and my written and recorded materials are provided primarily for other Christians, and not directly for Jehovah’s Witnesses. That doesn’t mean that I don’t encourage Witnesses to read and learn from what is here – I do, enthusiastically, and will be happy to dialogue with them if they have questions. My contact information is available to any who want it.
I would appreciate it, however, if some JW who reads any of this material believes that I have been less than honest or accurate in the presentation, that he or she would please contact me and outline in exact terms the specific way in which my information is incorrect. If you think, as did one poster above, that I am presenting lies that are "easily disproved," then surely you should be able to take a minute or two to disprove a few of them so as to correct my misconceptions. I really do strive for a high degree of accuracy in what I do, and if I can be shown to be wrong in what I say, I’ll gladly acknowledge it and change the material accordingly. I’m still waiting, though, for that first solid example to be provided, amid the haze of all the vague accusations.