Constructive feedback for AAWA leadership (IMHO)

by besty 141 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • besty
    Loose cooperation is more effective

    It takes longer, is more effort and is not instant gratification. But yes. See JWN for details.

  • EdenOne

    The current site is down for maintenance (whatever that means), but it reads this on top: - The Association of Anti-Watchtower Activists - Exposing the hypocrisy and greed of the Watchtower Society

    Now this is what's wrong, IMHO:

    They aim to "EXPOSE" - not HELP

    They aim to "EXPOSE" the HYPOCRISY and the GREED - What about exposing the ABUSE? What about exposing the DOCTRINAL ERRORS? What about the wrongful practices that show little respect for human values?

    Hypocrisy and greed? YAWN! Do you think the press will come running sniffing for blood?


  • Simon

    We all saw people at assemblies shouting and waving banners. Was anyone convinced by them or did they do more harm than good? I'm sure more than a small number mentally said "yep, look, the society was right about them-thar apostates" (you have to do it with a district-assembly-drama voice-over and associated arm-waving-acting).

    I just don't think frontal attacks really work against the WTS.

    Sure, it may be an outlet for the people doing it but I don't think it helps anyone get out.

    It's way less dramatic but I firmly believe that leading a happy life after leaving the WTS is the best erm, sorry for this, but "witness" that you can give to make people think.

    They see you, happy, with friends, not rabbid like they were told you'd be. Friendly, approachable and reasonable ... that is what convinces people.

    No one leaves a cult because of logic and arguments, they leave when they are ready and wake up, usually because of personal issues and behaviour of the WTS and those within it that makes them question the validiy.

    When they are on their way out then they need help and support and maybe someone to talk through the reasons and doctrines a little.

    Anyone who posts and contributes to a good community really does accomplish a lot and help a lot of people even though it may not seem like much.

    Really, that is the gist based on the feedback I get when people say the forum helped them.

  • EdenOne

    I will throw my 0.02 about what I think an ASSOCIATION should be doing:

    a) Concentrate resources on one website and replicate that website on multiple clones. Make that website something that the Watchtower would hate and fear. Make that website a central resource of information for ex-JW's, faders, active Witnesses that are starting to wake up; the press, political authorities, law enforcement officers, justice officials, lawyers, professionals in the areas of mental health, and medical care. EVERYONE that may have an interest in the activities of the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watchtower Society and would like to hear a SECOND OPINION about it, not the "official opinion" of the

    b) DO NOT MAKE IT AN ANTI-JW or ANTI-WATCHTOWER website!! Allow for a plurality of opinions, from JW apologists to outright Watchtower haters and everything in between. The official position of the website should be one of a MODERATE, UNAUTHORIZED SOURCE OF INFORMATION about the WTS and the activity of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

    c) The NAME should be informative and neutral, and avoid negativity, and focusing of the positive result that is intended to be achieved. I suggested once this one: Association for Awareness and Recovery from Watchtower Abuse. (AARWA)

    d) The website should give an impartial overview of the activity of the Jehovah's Witnesses and of the Watchtower Society. Remember that it wouldn't be desireable that the website should incite to hatred towards individual witnesses. it should point out the nature of the religion, but not demonize the people.

    e) A section of the website should be devoted to expose wrong DOCTRINAL positions of the WTS;

    f) Another section of the website should be devoted to expose wrong PRACTICES among the WTS and the JW's;

    g) Another section of the website should de bevoted to contain archives of documents related to the WTS. I would think that perhaps Barbara Anderson could consider putting her valuable database of documentation here, for example.

    h) Another section should contain opinion blogs from a good number of activists that expose, the watchtower, like Cedars, JwFacts, Marvin Shilmer, Randall Watters; others that disagree with the official doctrines, like Perimeno....or even some active JW apologist that may decide to contribute. These blogs should allow for a degree of interaction with readers, by allowing comments and replies from the blogger etc.

    i) Another section should be devoted to present informative information for those who wish to leave the Jehovah's Witnesses, offering practical help and advice. I can suggest that one could ask Steven Hassan to contribute with some material especially adapted to the JW's case. Also should offer assistance to those who want to fade out, those who want to stay in but are finding it troublesome to do that (living a double life), or help for those who are not JW's but want to help relatives and friends to go out.

    j) Another section should be directed at the press, with prepared press releases when cases of notice surface - in this way the press may have an easy and quick source of material (for example, information about cases like the Conti case)

    k) Videos Section - All sorts of videos, by category. including videos of personal experiences of people who left the WTS, and things like that.

    l) A section with links to sites of solo efforts of all sorts of resources regarding the WTS (jwfacts, jwsurvey,freeminds, etc etc)

    m) Finaly, integration of a moderated forum like this one, where the members can freely post - exactly as JWN.

    n) A live chat feature

    o) For those so inclined to think that the leadership of the WTS may one day listen to the R&F, a section devoted to the reform to the Jehovah's Witnesses, where petitions can be made, etc.

    Anyway, this is going long ... and i'm getting sleepy.

    But you get the picture, i guess.


  • trujw

    It already seems that some have taken their toys and left the sandbox. We may be preaching to the choir.

  • besty
    It already seems that some have taken their toys and left the sandbox.

    maybe so - see point 3 - controlling the message becomes more difficult when you involve the internet

  • trujw

    How dare you question my upmost important comment. Is it pride? Why are you running ahead of trujws wonderful words of wisdom. Sorry just always wanted to say that.

  • Marvin Shilmer
    Marvin Shilmer


    It’s categorically false to think the most effective resources brought to bear against abusive Watchtower teachings and policies have been solo acts. Anyone who thinks that has so far refrained from helping those who have effectively addressed abusive Watchtower antics.

    I’m not entirely sure what “frontal attacks” is supposed to mean. But if it means outright assault on abusive Watchtower teachings, policies and initiatives then it’s false to think that “frontal attacks” really don’t work. Anyone who thinks this has apparently not made themselves useful in these instances hence are unaware of them.

    I’ll tell you what’s been going on for years.

    A relatively small number of people who know how to research, find material, find competent people, make things happen and have relentlessly spent time and financial resources to the end of effectively confronting abusive Watchtower influences have made a difference.

    All the gains made in recent years in courts have been underpinned with materials and resources provided by a small group of people who worked together, and often at personal peril.

    Gains made in having Watchtower modify its blood doctrine—to the extent its lethalness has been reduced—have come as a result of a relatively small group of dedicated persons who put themselves to the task, and at risk of personal repercussion.

    You know what? I’m one of these people. In the past decade alone I’ve spent tens of thousands dollars helping to advance the cause of reducing Watchtower abuses. I have not expended these resources in a vacuum. Other people have done similar things, and to the extent practical we coordinate our efforts for sake of efficiency and effect.

    In the last few weeks alone more than eight-thousand dollars was expended for the sole purpose of gaining, archiving and organizing a world-class library of Watchtower publications including information never thought possible to obtain. I can count on one hand the people who paid for this. One hand! Two of these individuals bore the brunt of this expense, and were glad to do it.

    You know what else? I tire of watching people whine and complain about adding a measure of coordination to this task who I know perfectly well have not one time helped carry this load in some substantial way. It’s pathetic to watch. It hurts to read. It makes people I work with feel like mules being taken advantage of. Fortunately these folks are bigger.

    I know for a fact the things said above are true. I’ve been in the meetings. I’ve help arrange for depositions and who should be deposed. I’ve provided thousands of documents, and at times at great risk. I also know for a fact that all of us are standing on the shoulders of those who came before us, like Randy Watters.

    The whole time there has been cooperative organization. The whole time!!! But it’s been paid for in time and money by a few.

    The hope was that the AAWA initiative would help bring some relief by putting together many resources rather than continuing to wear out those who do know what the heck they’re doing.

    So now what’s happening? Before AAWA can do as much as open its doors, folks who have little if anything to do with the real work are making hay of its mistakes.

    Worse, these individuals have completely wrong ideas of what is actually going on.

    The whole thing is pathetic to me. Just pathetic. In the process, folks take so much for granted, and then impale good hearted folks whose only goal is to do good.

    Marvin Shilmer

  • trujw

    I love this debate. Marvin bam! Just kicked some knowledge. So glad we have a forum to express the various viewpoints. Thanks Simon.

  • brinjen

    Thinking back to what helped me the most when I first began to investigate. It was sites such as Freeminds especially... and reading people's experiences who seemed no different to me. One after the other, I was glued to the computer for pretty much a full day. It's finding out that your doubts etc are no different to anyone else's that often does it. The Watchtower love to make people feel isolated because they see what they are saying differently and just 'don't get' what everyone else is getting. The Freeminds site destroyed that completely for me and that is what broke down that 'must not read apostate material' barrier...

    Simple is often the most effective.

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