Jehovah’s Witnesses: A Burger & A Bible?

Mar 10, 2018 by

I observed something interesting the other day.

I stopped by my favorite burger restaurant for lunch and sat down at a table. I didn’t realize it but a full-blown Watchtower “home Bible study” was going on in the booth right behind me.

The “student” was a special needs man and the “conductor” looked like he had just gotten out of a halfway house. He was dressed in a tee shirt and sweat-pants and sported a three-day stubble.

Apparently, the standards of decorum have radically changed since I was attending. Where are the dress shirt, tie, and coat?

I saw the telltale publications and heard the all too frequent use of “Jehovah” in the conversation. The special needs man was barely literate and was having a very difficult time reading the publication out loud. However, the conductor was quite patient and even exhorted the young man about how “heartwarming” it was to hear his answers, even though he read them straight off the page. That really brought me back when I heard the study conductor’s well-rehearsed tonality and the use of the special phrases that were taught to me when I was in the Kingdom Ministry School.

Since I’ve gotten some “distance” between myself and the organization over the past several decades, I look at this bunch of charlatans, not as a threat to me, nor a point of exasperation but sad. Just plain sad.

They target and victimize the weak, the uneducated, the disenfranchised and for what? So they can “sell” their precious Watchtowers and inflict a bunch of man-made rules and guilt-trips on an unknowing public.

I thought about saying something and then I thought “Perhaps this is the young man’s only shot at a sense of self-worth and community. Maybe this is his one chance to actually learn to read, write and speak without stuttering or tripping over his words.” Who was I to take that away from him? I shrugged off the thought as I topped off my Diet Dr. Pepper.

As I crawled into my pickup to leave, my cell phone rang. The call was a recorded message claiming to be the IRS and it told me that they were going to send the cops to my house if I didn’t call them back and straighten out some ridiculous amount of money that I owed. That call was quite a good metaphor for what is being done to millions of unsuspecting followers of the Watchtower leadership. They’re listening to people who don’t know what they’re talking about but are very good at instilling fear and guilt in their audience. Enough fear and guilt to force their listeners into a lifetime of slavery and obedience to a litany of rules and regulations that limit their happiness and their ability to think for themselves.

I guess there are always going to be “wolves in sheep’s clothing” and I guess there are always going to be “sheep”.

I think it was P.T. Barnum who said it best: “There’s a sucker born every minute.” He was absolutely right.

Doug Shields

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  1. Mike Verrecchia

    Love it sounds like my ex wife and her daughter who goes door to door representing Satan

  2. Edward

    Douglas, I too feel sad when I think about those poor JW’s who do not know better. They trust and follow, believing they found “the truth”. Yet, I must admit I feel anger when I see Elders or those that should know better! They have the means and some intelligence to question (or should have) JW theology and history.Many are born into it and simply, blindly follow. Edward

  3. Anonymous

    A carload of jw’s dropped by to give me an invitation to the memorial. I had told them that I was raised as a child but left a few years after 1975 in my late teens, so they knew my position. I took the invitation and thanked them. I also felt a sadness and compassion for they are so full of fear, quibbling on doctrine but missing the larger picture. If anyone is looking for a thought-provoking read, get a copy of The Pagan Christ by Tom Harpur. You won’t look at religion, any religion, in the same way again.

  4. JustJen

    Love your commentary, and maybe you could find where the man came from and go do some un-witnessing. And its funny how we think when we are in, that we know the Bible even though we are to read it cover to cover every year… yet sadly we don’t. I spent some time listening to a preacher on tv, and I swear it was like being back in the KH! Although he presented in a more likable manner, but if you want to get a big laugh and have Amazon Prime there is a series called “Holy S***” that deals with the book and how some things are really unbelievable; also how many people God has killed opposed to Satan! Anyway after going through Ray’s book, I will take and read some of your other postings!

  5. Thanks for the book recommendation!

  6. Elizabeth Collins


    I understand how a “throwback” like this to the past can create great sadness in those of us who left. I also understand that some may succumb to becoming Witnesses, at least in part, due to guilt and fear. However, I believe that most prospective members are vulnerable to the Witnesses’ message because they have suffered loss of family and/or community
    , have been marginalized by mainstream society, have experienced betrayal by someone they trusted or a traumatic event, or want very badly to believe it’s possible to find concrete answers to life’s big questions. Then when someone announces the answers, offers them a huge family full of genuine “love,” makes them feel wanted, and holds out the promise of possibly never growing old and dying before Armageddon–its a powerful elixir they drink with delight.
    My poor mother was in this situation back in 1953 when a Witness simply showed her the Let God be True book and asked her if she would like to learn all about God and Jesus. Nearly friendless in a new place and having recently lost both parents and two siblings in death, as well as being poor, uneducated, and unhappy in her marriage, she readily accepted the offered Bible study and the course of all our lives was tragically changed. Fear and guilt did not draw her to the Witnesses, but the promise of a loving family, bright future, and absolute truth did.
    Fear and guilt are possibly the two biggest tools the Witnesses use to KEEP and CONTROL members, but in the 40 years that I was a Witness, I rarely saw them used to attract members. Even when some article in the Watchtower or other publication discussed the last days and Armageddon and we presented it to the householder, it was in the context of being God’s method of doing away with all sorrow and pain and “making all things new” in the paradise to follow. I think it’s important to understand that for the potential convert, the perceived benefits exert far more attraction to join than fear and guilt. Most of that sets in later, according to what I have experienced and personally observed.
    Thanks for listening, and I hope life is good for you.


  7. Manipulation and control are the key factors that I look at very hard when someone is trying to “help” me.

    I also keep a hand on my wallet.


  8. Anonymous

    I felt the exact same way when I finally realized the truth about the JW organization that I was part of for most of my life. Obviously while you are living that lie of a life, you incorporate your children into what seems natural at that time but thank God I could make her see the truth. It took months for me to convince her to leave as I was also up against an entire organization that cupped her, heavily trying to influence her to break ties with me and at times it felt like I was losing the battle. I knew that sending her away would be a waste of time so I flipped the script and used their teachings as an example of what true lovers of God do not practice. Present day, she tells me that she felt like she was in a trance and can’t believe the type of person she was when she was mesmerized as a member of that organization. Thank you for sharing Doug.


  9. Thank you Arihia!

    It’s interesting that you used the term “mesmerized”. I believe that mind control is used at the highest level in this organization. I’ve studied influence and hypnosis for years and the fact is that the Jehovah’s Witnesses utilize both in their meetings, their study materials and in their special phrases that are designed to get maximum compliance from the intended target.

    The amazing thing is that this is done by mimicking the leadership. They don’t have to call it hypnosis, they just have to do it and the rest follow suit. Making someone sit and listen to mind-numbing drivel for hours on end is going to put them into a trance anyway.

    Kind of makes you understand why the Watchtower strongly warns their followers against allowing themselves to be hypnotized doesn’t it? They don’t want someone else going where they’ve already set up shop!

    Imagine how messed up kids get listening to this stuff for five hours or more per week? It’s very scary.

    I’m so glad you got your daughter out of this cult.


  10. Anonymous

    thanks Doug.

  11. Pastor David Hall

    Earlier someone posted about the Pagan Christ and that is what it is all about. To a point I agree with what the poster wrote. Right from when the Pagan Constantine got his ‘Revelation’ from god, it was the start of the pagan infiltrated religion we now know as Roman Catholic and its many offshoots such as Eastern Orthodox, Coptic and then of course Protestantism started off by ruthless men such as Luther and Calvin.

    The Roman Church changed the name of Kyriaki (Lord’s Day) to (Sunday) to what we now know as ‘worship of the Sun day’ and that is why the halo’s depictions of the Sun are put behind the false christ (Appolo) and the so called saints. The ‘Orothodox’ cults have many Icons to worship and they are of course false demonic gods.

    The Greek word for our Saturday is Savvato which is taken from the Hebrew Shabbat. So the evil empire of Satan was weaved into what is now known as ‘christianity’ and has polluted practically every denomination of that ‘sect’ around the world all becaming a section of that filthy religion that worships demons.

    This mishmash of religious clap trap was weaved into the RC church and Anglican derivitives are soaked in this religiopolitical cult. The whole system is founded on the ‘evil empire’ torturing, executing and controlling the masses by its total obedience to its Pope or subsidary. The many evangelical groups are now being sucked back into its snare. People like Billy Graham, Rick Warren and many others praised this current satanic Pope who is a Jesuit who will defend the relgion and its leader, rather than honour the real God, Yahweh and his real Son Yeshua.

    This is all leading to the One World Order, which the JWs are really a part of, in fact we all know they are always talking about the New Order, The New World Order and so on. It is all a Satanic way of merging lies with some of the truth. Yeshau himself said that ‘the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy’ and that is exactly what has happened since man first went Satans way.

    No wonder we are all in a mess and the World is getting darker and darker.

  12. Anonymous

    Hi Pastor David,
    Yes, The Pagan Christ encompasses those aspects of paganism mixed with Christianity, but it’s far more reaching. It takes religious history one step further and there are eternal themes from the beginning of recorded time.
    I think the title doesn’t do the book justice. If you haven’t read, consider doing so.

  13. And I think your words rang true when you stated: “If you haven’t read…”

    We live in a world where facts don’t matter anymore. People’s opinions are thrown around by the flimsiest of arguments as if they hold water. In most cases, they simply don’t.

    How many times do we hear on the news, about someone judging something or someone without knowing all the facts or even having read the thing they are arguing about?

    One thing the Jehovah’s Witnesses taught me well was to be wary of any dogmatic viewpoint and to distrust people who say that they alone have the truth.

    I’m reading the book you recommended. I may or may not weigh in with my opinion of it once finished.



  14. Bill Stoughton

    Sadly this Satanic organization’s many followers are so deceived, that they don’t want to know the truth. They are much worse off than someone that was never exposed to the Bible.

    I guess they never stopped to think that someone who is telling you what to believe or that these elementary, childish publications are explaining this to you is really more important than the Bible.

    It’s hard for me to comprehend how you as an adult don’t even question these things. I would understand a child or mentally challenged person, but not a normal intelligent person.

    Well all we can do is pray for them and if and when presented an opportunity to witness to them.


  15. I’ve always said it plainly: If you want to know God, read His book.

    Instead, most want someone else to give them the “Cliff Notes” and interpret it for them.


  16. John

    So much to be concerned about, especially those who just don’t know. Let us encourage one another in Him. Christ said ” take courage; I have over come the world” So, with all the nastiness of sin and Satan ,remember that God’s grace abounds all the more. Folks, can we at least be dogmatic about one thing and that is if we cling to Christ, that is, if we are found in Him we cannot lose. So, if we cannot lose it’s others that need what we have Christ and Him crucified. Just an encouraging word.

  17. Anonymous

    I didn’t understand until recently that the Watchtower is full of lies and is ultimately part of the New World agenda. My families’ thoughts are not their own. Now, I’m consumed with praying for guidance to help them. They are good people but unknowingly self righteous. I’ve distanced myself from them in an attempt to keep my sanity. Our families are from the same neck of the woods. I’d love an opportunity to communicate directly with you. My father always thought highly of yours. Referred to him as a walking encyclopedia.

  18. Dad was a wonderful man. He really cared about people. He lived his life in a way that was truly honorable and he tried really hard to demonstrate his beliefs in everything he did.

    Unfortunately, he was blinded to exactly what you referenced: The lies and deceit of the very organization that he followed. His caring for others cost him a lot in enemies made in the Kingdom Hall. Many of those who sought the kind of respect he commanded by merely being himself were jealous and they targeted him by attacking members of his family.

    When I realized that the organization was teaching lies it scared me to my core. I didn’t want to face it. I immediately thought of the dire cost I would incur if I acted on what I knew. I’m certain others go through that same personal “hell” when they finally wake up from the walking sleep they are in.

    It’s been a long hard road K as I’m sure it’s been for you. I think it would be good to talk. Painful, to be sure, but good.

    Message me your number when you get a chance and when I get some alone time I’ll give you a call. It’ll be good to catch up.

    All my best,


  19. Anonymous

    feeling ostracised, rejected and isolated is probably one of the most painful human experiences, feeling that there is no one who cares about you is so painful to the psyche, that’s why isolation is such an effective punishment, in prisons for example. JW Society exploit this human need, love bombing, creating the illusion of cohesion and solidarity, feeling that you belong to something bigger than yourself, before I knew it, I was hooked in. After so much researching my mind eventually broke through all the lies. At first I was so angry, I felt that the JW’s took away my only chance of living in peace, a paradise and loving world.
    There is a great life outside of JW’s, reach out to other people who feel lonely through volunteering opportunities, I firmly believe that you get far more back than you give. I gave up my dream of university education when I was in, I was so brainwashed. For me personally , the only thing that is important is the example from Jesus, love one another. I have found love from a wonderful husband, and I am now only one term away from qualifying as a special needs teacher. I wish all those who have or on the verge of leaving deepest warmth and strength, you do have a new life waiting for you,

  20. I so love this!

    Thank you Alena. You are truly awesome! God outdid Himself when He made you.


  21. Anonymous

    Thank you for your kind comments,but …… No, definitely not!
    I’ve made many mistakes and at the age of …… whatever it is only now that I’ve been fortunate enough to let go of so many insecurities. No more special than anyone else..

  22. Alena,

    You are worth more than many sparrows.


  23. Anonymous

    Don’t get the “sparrows” reference, lost in translation across the pond! !!!

    Looking forward to Easter break, to enjoy time with family, not the serious, stern memories at Kingdom Halls.

    I do go to church, (Easter, Christmas, weddings, funerals, etc), I used to have communion when I was younger, prior to JW’S, I passed over the emblems when I was in. . I am considering whether to have communion again.

    Do any other ex jw’s think about this. ,

  24. Matthew 10:29-31

    “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

  25. Anonymous

    how did I miss that scripture? Beautiful words and sentiment

  26. One of my most favorite and most comforting scriptures.


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