Oftentimes a Newcomer (affectionally tagged a Newbie) asks, “where do I start my search on the society?” Please forgive us if all you get roaring silence. The amount of information on the Watchower Bible and Tract Society (WTBTS) is virtually limitless. If you don’t believe me, try typing “Jehovah’s Witness” in to a search engine, and see how many hits you get (over 63,000). Some newcomers are former/fading members, others are married/dating a JW. Everybody has a different interest and a different need. I recommend the book, Crisis of Conscience (CoC) to former and inquiring members. It can be an unsettling read, but I understand the author is gentle, understanding and fair as he patiently exposes the society.
Others, who like me, were never part of the society, find the unique language, traditions and prejudices of the WTBTS foreign and confusing. Non-JW’s who love their JW partners can find themselves in a relationship minefield. I found the WT book, “The Secret of Family Happiness”, especially Chapter 11 - Maintain Peace in Your Household - a key to understanding the odd and conflicting behaviour of my JW man. Also check out the link, I am In Love With a Jehovah’s Witness!
Here is a short list of JW topics that might help.
Flip-flops on doctrine concerning blood, resulting in unnecessary loyal deaths. Shunned Father lost his daughter because of this doctrine. He is shunned by his wife and children. He grieves to this day.
Instructing members to be neutral in war - including avoiding employment and investments with war manufacturers, yet holding stock with such a company (Rand Cam).
Arrogance Being the sole mouthpiece for Jehovah on this Earth can get to one’s head. The WT's callous treatment of people and their arrogant inability to admit error has led to a lot of suffering. Lady Lee is a regular poster who is also a compassionate counsellor whose advice can be counted on. Shunning and Disfellowshipping painfully breaks families apart. Nearly everybody here at Jehovahs-Witness.com (JWD) has a story to tell. Judicial Committees (read interrogation chambers) are another source of much pain. There are some neat testimonials at this site. Scroll down to Grace Gough’s story. She posts here as Mouthy, and she is our resident grandma and confidant. Arrogant elders compound the problem. JT has some interesting expose’s on these “cheese and cracker men”. There has been callous treatment of the depressed and botched funerals. Check out Cruzanheart’s and Big Tex’s posts. Two of the nicest people you will ever meet, who have been treated horribly by the society.
This organization suppresses of independent thought. Check out the many introductions from new posters here. They are just bursting to tell their personal story. Why? Because all comments in the society are proscribed. I think JWD is such an interesting place because so many of us find this place an expressive, and necessary playground.
The society aggressively discourages members to marry “unbelievers” (read non-Witnesses). Though the society claims to support marriage, “unbelieving” partners are shabbily treated, and the flimsiest excuse can be used to turf them. There are new stories every day Gadget and Worldly Girl are going through this agony right now.
WT policies put incredible strain on JW youth to “perform” to the society’s standards. Encounters with the opposite sex is chaperoned. Youth are expected to stay separate from their “worldly” peers, and careless with their educational future. Their highest ambition in those years should be to get baptized. No wonder so many JW youth lead double lives to survive.
Bible Study There are oodles of christian websites out there to assist you with the doctrinal differences between the Jehovah's Witnesses, with mainline churches (mainline to the rest of the world Christendom's Churches to them). Here are a couple:
A list of non-biblical WT terms
Is Jesus God, or Michael the Archangel?
Is salvation by faith alone, or must it be maintained by works (read door-to-door work)?
Heaven is for a select few (144,000), already picked
Paradise Earth is for anybody else current with their door-to-door work (about 6 million).
There is no Hell. Instead, there are Kingdom Hall meetings.
Did Christendom’s Churches excise the term Jehovah from our bibles?
LaughterFarkel introduced us to the fine art of the ridiculous, but many more posters have taken up the scepter, like Holy Cheeses and Frannie Banannie.
Wait, There's More! And the list goes on and on...with billions of sheets and trillions of words in print, there are countless embarrassing flip-flops in doctrine, bloopers, inflammatory rhetoric, wild speculations, dabbling in the occult, and quackery.
Prophecy failures (too many to number). They take credit for WW1 starting in 1914. That is the only time they got the date “right”. Except the world didn’t end. Oops.
Quotes has a most enlightening site. No commentary, just direct quotes from JW literature. His buddy Beans and regularly promotes this great site. Jourles has many WT materials whose copyright has expired available online. He is valiantly fighting to post company letters as well.
We have some great thinkers and researchers here. They include (but are not exclusive to) AlanF, Blondie, Alleymom, Onacruse. Some of our athiest/agnostic debaters keep me on my toes; Gumby, SYN, logansrun and Stinky Pantz
Minimus asks questions. Coming up with a good question is harder than it looks. He keeps our rusty brains limber.
Newcomers, what do you think? Is this list useful?
JWD veterans, did I miss any oustanding links?