Your Opinion of Jehovah's Witnesses and Their Religion?

by Vanderhoven7 7 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Vanderhoven7

    I thought this fellow, not sure if he is PIMO or POMO, who goes by the Name Anonymous, gives a fair opinion summary.

    "I was a JW for many years, but generally not a particularly stellar example of one. Your question has two components, and I will address them separately:

    Opinion of JWs as a people:

    As a bunch of people, they tend to follow the general population in terms of characteristics and personality. Outside of the Kingdom Hall (church), they are generally very friendly and honest, hard-working people. The key difference is that everyone (well mostly) is trying to conform to a very, very strict interpretation of the bible, which means a lot of people feel conflicted inside, but you would likely never know, as there is a lot of risk for being too honest with your opinion or life choices. My experience and observation has been that there is a division between who follow the rules wholesale and become very stuffy and dogmatic as a result, and those who are feel a little less secure in their faith, and tend to sit on the fringes a little more. The door-to-door work can be stressful for many people, and that is the first aspect of their worship that usually suffers. That touches on the religion itself, though.

    As for the religion itself, it is a difficult religion to belong to. I couldn't maintain my faith, and had to slowly fade away from it, despite giving it my best effort. The fact that I writing this anonymously says a lot about the religion, too.

    The Religious Dogma

    First, it is a faith that requires a lot from it's worshippers. Although it appears to be changing now, when I was growing up, there were three meeting nights a week, all of which focused on bible study, or on how to be a better publisher (proselytizer). All of the literature being studied came from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and bringing separate literature, even those referenced in the articles themselves, was not encouraged at all. There a a Governing Body (GB) that approves all of the magazines and articles, and they are all supposed to go heaven when they die (unlike the average publisher (other sheep), who gets to stay and rebuild earth and make it a paradise after Armageddon). Obedience to their direction, or edicts, is strongly enforced in the local congregations by a local body of elders.

    Not attending these meetings, or worse, not going door-to-door preaching the message is a grave matter, and you will get a visit from the elders to see what's going on, and if they can encourage you or help you in some way. If you have a problem with the dogma, however, this is where things get tricky. If you decide to disobey and/or leave, there is a lot to risk. Part of the dogma states that an unrepentant wrongdoer, as determined by a committee of three elders, can be disfellowshipped, that is, excommunicated or shunned. This provides a lot of incentive to keep your mouth shut, lest you lose your entire social circle, and possibly even your job if you work for a fellow believer. For teens, this leads to a situation the society calls a 'double life', where the child acts one way at the meetings and another outside the purview of the parents and congregation. I remember being paranoid that something I said or did may have gotten back to an elder and I would be disciplined and shamed for it, which took it's toll on me. This was made worse by the fact that adherents were also told to report you to the elders if they caught you doing something verboten, provided you approached them about it first.

    I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Before any of this, you must confirm your faith by baptism. Before you are allowed to get baptised, you must study with a publisher, and show that you are serious by applying what you are learning to your daily life. This means you would, for example, stop smoking, stop fornicating, have modest dress and grooming, as well be an active participant in the faith. By active, I mean going door-to-door to preach, participate in group discussions, and if you are a man, especially, teach by giving bible talks on the platform during the congregation meetings (women have a role, too, but it is much, much smaller).

    Also, you are strongly discouraged from having friends outside of the faith once you are baptised, which can be a challenge for people who are close to their unbelieving family members, such as your spouse or children. If that is your situation, you are encouraged to preach (give witness to) them every once in a while. If you are a woman with an abusive spouse, then you have a double burden, as divorce is not acceptable unless he commits adultery. If you do divorce on 'unscriptural' grounds, you will not be allowed to remarry in the faith.

    There are other things, like not being allowed to have you or your child receive a blood transfusion that I find troubling as well. There is some wiggle room these days, because blood fractions can be used, and that makes it a bit of a grey area. Still, there was a case in Canada that made national news because a JW father (an elder, no less!) allowed his fourteen your-old daughter to have a blood transfusion against her--and the congregations--wishes. He loved her so much that he risked being disfellowshipped and shamed by both her and the congregation because he did what he felt was right. I don't have the full details of the story, but it may still be archived at

    A lot of a person's experience depends on the congregation you are in. I have been in some great congregations with fairly open-minded worshippers, but I have been in even more congregations that were very unhealthy, too. Unfortunately, my bad experiences tainted my good ones.

    There are so many issues I have with my faith that I'm still untangling the mess it did to my psychology. I admire the people who are able to maintain their faith through adversity and doubt. I do miss the sense of closeness they had with each other, and I wished I could feel that warmth. However, that warmth came at a great cost to me, and the issues I have with the faith are systemic and feel uncorrectable now. I don't have any ill will towards JW worshippers, but I cannot consider myself one any more.

    If you made it this far, thanks for letting me share my story and opinions with you!"

  • EasyPrompt

    I have found that the organization that calls itself "Jehovah's Witnesses" does not accurately represent Jehovah. A better name for the organization would be "Not Really Jehovah's Witnesses". Many of the individuals in that organization genuinely want to do what is right but they are being misled by corrupt leaders who twist the scriptures in order to gain money and prominence. There are individual Christians within the organization (and outside the organization) who are truly witnesses of Jehovah, but they have to be careful about expressing what they believe and hide it from the leaders or else they will be disfellowshipped or otherwise harassed and threatened by the Watchtower leaders. An organization that punishes people for telling the truth is "Not Really Jehovah's Witnesses" since Jehovah is the God of Truth. When religious institutions are destroyed, the "Jehovah's Witnesses" religion will be destroyed as an institution, and then those genuine Christians who are currently "captive" to the corrupt WTBT$ leaders will be set free to worship Jehovah without hypocritical scammers (those calling themselves "the Faithful and Discreet Slave" or their cohort minions) trying to pull the wool over their eyes and the money out of their pocketbooks.

  • ScenicViewer

    I agree with what was said above about Jehovah's Witnesses being good, hard working people who try to do what is right for the most part.

    As to the Organization itself, I believe it is probably the most dishonest religious organization ever invented by man.

  • no-zombie

    While I mostly agree with the comments of Anonymous, I don't agree with the idea that the faith is the worst out there.

    Yes it true that a lot is asked from the Brotherhood, but if you compare the Organization with the Bahai, Christadelphians and the Amish, all insist in rejecting military service, regardless to the cost. The Amish and its related faiths, have strong disfellowshiping rules and regulations and separateness from the 'English'. And if you want to include non-christian religions, there are still many Islamic sects (I use the work 'sects' because Muslims don't see their own divisions other religions) that encourage honor killing, female genital mutilation, child marriage and the murder of non-believers.

    And I'm also sure that JWs don't have the most weirdo beliefs out there either ... as Scientology and the Universe People (with all other UFO religions) would have to be higher up than us.

  • punkofnice

    The Watchtower Corporation(tm) is a fake religion. The Governing Body(tm)(Pee be upon them) are CEOs of a big company reliant on conning people out of money and assets. Much of which is used in the protection of nonces.

    JWs themselves are mostly honest people who think they're doing right and being law abiding. Apart from a few sanctimonious creeps that would be better placed in political office because of their corrupt mind.

  • TonusOH

    It is one of numerous religions that use social pressure as a key component. They expect members to limit their association with anyone who is not a member in good standing (with some leeway for those who are not yet baptized but show the propensity to do so). There are many religions that request/require some level of social self-limiting, but few are as strict. The selection criteria is simple- anyone who isn't a JW --or isn't showing genuine interest in becoming one-- is to be avoided socially as much as possible.

    It is an unreasonable level of control, and it is unhealthy. It harms families and individuals by placing unnecessary mental and emotional burdens on them.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    throughout my working life ive had various jobs that involved going to see all manner of people in their own homes.

    For some reason my 6th sense could tell me when it was a JW household.

    I dunno what it was--the absence of tobacco smoke ? Cheap second hand furniture ? Or maybe it was the Watchtower calendar on the wall ( do they still have those ? ). It might have been all those colourful bound books on the bookshelf ?

  • Foolednomore

    Snake Oil Salesman is what I think about Jw's.

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