Letters from Jehovah’s Witnesses

Apr 16, 2013 by

mailEver get a letter from a Jehovah’s Witness you didn’t know?

Read the following exchange from a lady that did!

I recently lost my Mother. Several months later our family put an obituary in the newspaper.


Within a few days I received a letter from a Jehovah’s witness I have never met, who lives in my city saying she’s sorry for the loss, Quoting scripture & inviting me. Is this seriously a recruitment process from them? Is this practiced to read obituaries & then send out letters like this?


I am so offended by this & want to know more about this. Weird.




My response:

Sadly (and morbidly) that is the case.


Many of the Jehovah’s Witnesses read the obituaries religiously (excuse the pun) and then do a Google search to get the addresses of extended family. They will then write individual letters to each person. This is usually done ostensibly to comfort them in their recent loss but the hidden agenda is that they are recruiting.


They know that at times of extreme loss, people are more susceptible to their message than at other times of their lives. I’m reminded of movies like “Wedding Crashers” and “Cadillac Man” where the actors attended a funeral to pick up women or sell a used car. Both carry pretty much the same motive: Targeting emotionally vulnerable people in order to manipulate them.


I witnessed this tactic on many occasions while growing up in the cult.


The reason they write these letters is that they get to “count their time” while composing and writing them. This activity is extremely popular with Jehovahs Witness shut-ins and those who can’t get around very well. It is also employed by those who are full time pioneers (those who put in 80+ hours per month in the preaching work) and are having trouble getting all of their “time in”.


Counting time is what Jehovahs Witnesses do. They do this because they have to report (honestly and on the honor system) the amount of time that they spend each month in preaching to others. This time report is of tremendous importance to individual Jehovahs Witnesses as well as their leaders. It is one of the most important factors in the “pecking order” i.e. how much influence and popularity they have with the group and whether or not they or their children or other family members can “qualify” for “privileges” like being appointed as an elder or ministerial servant in the congregation.


I hope this explanation has helped you to understand the Jehovahs Witness mentality and why they engage in this questionable activity.


Yours in Christ,


Doug Shields

This was Melissa’s recent response:

Here’s what I sent tonight:


Dear Nancy,


I might be able to appreciate that you were trying to offer comfort in time of grief. But that is NOT what you were doing. You were proselytizing during my grief. And yes, I am DEEPLY offended with the tract you sent.


Firstly, because you sent it to a church, where clearly, there are comforting words of Scripture that I happen to believe in my OWN faith.


Secondly, because said church has now spent TWO DOLLARS in postage to forward your letter and another annoying JW letter to me! I suggest you pay them back. Actually, I INSIST that you pay them back.


Thirdly, because the pamphlet you sent contradicts MY beliefs and tells me my mother is NOT in a spirit world with her Lord. And you think that should give me comfort? (Yes, I did read every word of it—including its laughable dated sexism about how “mothers grieve especially for the loss of a child”).


What is the matter with you? OH, that’s right. You’re in that miserable cult that has caused misery to SO many, including my best friend in high school. No team sports, no celebrations, no singing liturgical music, no studying the great stories of Greek mythology….just endless, mind-numbing, anti-intellectual, anti-educational time-wasting as you bide your time, don’t reach your potential (because Armageddon is any day now) and churn out little obedient automatron children who are kept busy at your nightly meetings by being told to “count the number of times you hear the word ‘Jesus’”—now that’s a great way to stimulate young minds, isn’t it? You sent a letter to a church…a place that you would not even set foot in, because you believe it to be of the devil and it has all those evil symbols all over the place, like crosses.


Good luck trying to be one of those 144,000 saved Witnesses some day. In the mean time, stay away from other grieving TRUE Christians! How would you like it if I sent you a tract that basically told you that you would go to hell if you didn’t believe as I do? I would never do that. I have more compassion for you and I believe that our loving Lord will make room for all of us. So does my denomination. Yours, not so!


Imagine what our world would be like if Jehovah’s Witnesses had predominated over the last few thousand years? No great works of art, no profound poetry, no operas, oratorios, or other music of profound depth.


Heaven help the next Jehovah’s Witnesses who show up on my doorstep. Your letters have emboldened me to speak my mind.

Bravo Melissa! I have to say this was one of the most well worded retorts to Jehovah’s Witnesses that I’ve ever read!

Thank you for sharing your displeasure with all of us and please let me know if you get something back!

Doug Shields is an activist against religious oppression, control and abuse. He has a lot of experience dealing with these issues because he was an active Jehovah’s Witness himself for over twenty-three years. Doug has been privileged to help elders, ministerial servants, full time pioneers and even a circuit overseer to find the strength and determination to face the painful truth about the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society.

If you would like to have Doug speak at your church, meetup or other event you can contact him here.


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  1. Pamela

    I’ve also always thought it to be rude (and selfish) to “get in our time while comforting the grieving”. They have even recommended going to cemeteries and preaching the “good news” to those that are there or have just attended a funeral…but being very careful of course not to offend. It never sat right with me. This was a great post and a very well written letter in response to that Witness!

  2. Anonymous ex JW

    My adoptive mother is one of those JW shut ins. She writes these letters every week and expects me to take it to the mailbox. I now throw them in the trash. I also was guilty of writing these letters when younger and in the clutches of the cult. I wrote so many to the Columbine victim’s families. My deepest apologies go out to them and to anyone else I offended. What a great response that was, particularly the not reaching their full potential.

  3. Sounds like you’ve made it past the “learning curve” there K! Congratulations!

    I hope you have found some healing here. You are welcome to post anytime.


  4. I wrote letters too when I was an Auxiliary Pioneer back in my teens.

    I remember suggesting in the field service group that we use a typewriter instead of writing the letters by hand. I met with extreme resistance.

    I asked: “Well aren’t we trying to comfort and help all that we can?”

    The retort was: “Typing letters doesn’t take enough time…”

    We weren’t after helping as many people as we could. We were after being able to report “time” in the field to the Mother Ship.

    Almost sounds like a government job doesn’t it?

  5. Anonymous ex JW

    I have found this blog to be very healing and I thank you.

  6. I’m so happy for you.

    That is the reason that I write and your words encourage me to continue.

    Thank you!

  7. Bernie

    My father-in-law died recently and the local JWs looked us up and sent the hand-written letter. I found it insulting and presumptuous. What a horrible practice to target people who are grieving. The obituary made it obvious he was a very active member of his church. I don’t understand why they target Christians. The success rate has to be pretty low.

  8. It is low Bernie. However, Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t that focused on recruiting. The conversion rate is ridiculously low around the world. Yet, because they are working for free the cost / benefit ratio is sky high for the leadership that sends them out to sell magazines and books.

    On a personal note: All the time I spent over my twenty-three years of going door to door in the Jehovah’s Witnesses never amounted to ONE SINGLE person being recruited into the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yet I sold TONS of magazines and books for the organization. Did they ever once give me a lecture because I failed to recruit anyone? No they didn’t. They were perfectly happy with me selling their magazines and working for free.

  9. Hi my name is bukurie and i want to ask you something because you ae an ex jw , i live in kosovo and lately here the number of jw is growing so they came to me a few times but now i want to get rid of them but i dont know how , they invited me to join their asably each week to hear the presentations but i never went .I always felt not ready to join is that a good behavior, they sometimes insist but i always find an excuse hahah, so far im ok but im scared if they are going to do this all the time can you please share whith me a few triks that may help

  10. Tell them you want to study the book “Crisis of Conscience” by Raymond Franz with them first before you will go to an assembly with them.

    That should do the trick. They’ll never come back.

  11. Has anyone else noticed a common theme among those who are easily manipulated by Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    They don’t like confrontation and they are unable to just come out and tell someone “NO! GO AWAY!”

  12. My family received one of these letters, and I wasn’t as diplomatic as the folks above. This is a crappy way to spend your time. I’m so glad I am a happy and fulfilled atheist.

  13. Thanks for weighing in on this Robin.

    While your choice is quite popular, I wouldn’t ever use the thoughtless actions of religious zealots as an excuse to choose not to believe in God. I respect your choice, don’t get me wrong. However for me that isn’t an option. I also don’t believe in “bashing” those who choose to believe anymore than “bashing” those that don’t.

    The stupidity and idiotic actions of religious zealots and their charlatan leaders sickens me every time I observe it. However for every “insane” and unreasonable Christian I have met, I’ve been able to connect with others who are totally sane and reasonable.

    People are people after all, and religion doesn’t really change that. I DO avoid organized religion like the plague that it is.


  14. Doug, I congratulate you on the work you have done and hopefully continue to do. I too was a JW for many years, my wife remains blind. In short.. I was out knocking on doors about 35 years ago, with a Pioneer Brother who is now a Bethelite. His Dad now deceased, an Elder, his mom a FT Pioneer. He has spent his entire adult life at Bethel. While out in service, we met a man named Steve. We battled with him hour hours regarding Trinity.. Etc.. I felt defeated when we left. I continued to be a somewhat good JW. Had some responsibilities, mics.. etc. never became Servant or Elder.
    Many years and many tragedies later, loss of my beautiful, sweet Melissa, my 19 year old daughter. I battled Cancer, loss of long term job and income, my baby daughter diagnosed w/breast Cancer, my son an alcoholic. I began to question basic doctrines and “founding fathers.” I met with local Elders a few times, wrote to WTBTS and received very poor answers. I stopped attending KH. After many years of associating with “dear” Friends and Brothers, not one ever came by to see me. If they truly believed my life was in jeopardy for not attending KH, why didn’t they come by to “save” me?! As you know, I lost ALL my Friends.

    Remember Steve? He is now my Pastor! I have been attending a local Church, North County Christian Fellowship. I never forgot him! I remembered his name, looked him up and told him my story. We are now very dear Friends. He is a true Christian who loves me regardless of my faults. Although I am doing my best to live as a Christian, there is friction in my home since my Wife is a very stubborn, blind JW. I pray my daughter, her husband, my precious Grandkids will not drink the WT cool aide. They attend the KH, I believe to appease my wife. My daughter is an intelligent, university grad. Yet she will not listen to me. I remind her of how miserable her children will be. No birthdays, holidays, higher education (fortunately she attended Cal Poly) what’s the point the end is near!

    I have much more to tell you. Keep in touch my Friend!


  15. Wow! Your story is fascinating and sadly not typical of those JW’s who have run ins with people who actually KNOW their Bible. When you meet someone like that they begin telling you a completely different story. A story of redemption. A story of love. A story of freedom. Most JW’s will walk away and claim that the guy is “reading apostate material” or “has a hard heart” or “is just another goat.”

    That story of redemption that Jerry Hunsinger shared with me rings true in my heart to this day. It is the story of God’s true love for all of us and for what He did for all mankind on the cross at Calvary.

    That story makes me get chill bumps just thinking about how great God truly is and how tragic it is that so many are deceived. Of course Christ foretold this. He knew that there would be groups like the JW’s that would seek to mislead and enslave those who seek God. I was one. Yes I was pretty much a poster child for the JW’s. I was extremely knowledgeable and articulate being taught from the age of three. I made the same “mistake” you did. I started a dialogue with a seminary student and he was sincere, kind and knew the Bible like I know myself. I didn’t make my decision for Christ for a very long time after that but what he showed me that the Bible really says versus what the Watchtower leadership SAYS that it says haunted me for years.

    Guess what? Not only is your friend a true Christian who loves you in spite of all your faults but guess Who else does? You can’t earn it. You can’t be good enough for it. It just IS! God’s love for you and I just IS!

    I’m so happy for you Ed and I’m so glad that you found this blog. Yes please stay in touch.


  16. Margaret

    My mother just died and we got a letter too. Just despicable.

  17. “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”


  18. Saved by Faith

    Here is an another example of JWs sending letters. This time to a family who had just lost their six year old daughter to cancer. http://meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/2014/08/26/artisanal-bereavement-spam/

  19. Brenda

    Hi Doug,
    My mom passed away a few months ago from Lewy-Body Dementia. Her care, and the sussequent loss, has been very hard on us.
    I received a typed letter from:
    (Address, name and phone number deleted for legal reasons. – Doug)
    The header read “In memorium of: Dorothy Corderman”
    Then she went into a speil of how she has “also felt a similar loss of a loved one”. Then she added some scriptural passages.
    I cannot express in words how upsettjng and offensive this was. How dare she write about our mother, track down my private address (which is even more upstetting as I have a public business!), and proselytize on behalf of the JWs!
    Who DOES THAT?!?
    I notice how she very cowardly uses a PO Box for her address, and doesn’t answer her phone.
    So upsetting. So invasive and inappropriate.
    And, by the way, I’m Christian. Always have been, always will be. Take that, JWs!

  20. Creepy too!

    I agree. Sadly, JW’s know that people who are going through a major loss of job, family member, or are experiencing serious health issues make for the best chance of recruitment.

    That’s why you were targeted.

    Thanks for sharing Brenda!


  21. petra perez

    to all of you who bothers so much the work of jw is so easy to stop them to trying to confort you.just let them know u dont want to be conforted aand thats it.who ever tell it takes more is lying,also id like to mention mr.shield i read ur post trying to find god knowledge and i see none.just attacking jw but no one bible verse to explain why u so opponent to them or why they “wrong” according to you.at least no one can denie they know the bible and they use the bible when they explain their believe,everybody did mention the letter have bible verses and if u no agree with waht the bible says then ur wrong and thats it,simple as that

  22. Petra I’m so traumatized by your eloquent rebuttal! Pray tell, where did you learn to write so well?

    Next time feel free to just pull your kindergarten crayons out of the box and draw a picture for me.

    Please keep the cards and letters coming. I know I’m relevant when I receive “hate mail”. At least I think that was “hate mail”. It was painful to read so it must have been.


  23. Edward

    Dougie, Silly Boy! Petra has been taught by WTBTS via Theocratic Ministry School.

  24. ROFL! Edward you kill me!

  25. S.L.S

    My dad passed away just in the last month, and I’ve received at least 10 of these letters. I think it’s intrusive, and honestly they just go right in the trash at this point. How do I get them to stop?

  26. Anon

    My father passed away and we received a strange letter full of Bible verses and we couldn’t think of anyone we had crossed paths with in life, by that name. So I Googled the address and it was a “Kingdom Hall.” I further Googled JW and obituary and that’s how I landed on your blog. These people are totally despicable. There are a million ways to help your fellow man, this is hurtful and angering, not loving by any stretch. This crap needs to stop. I’d love to spam every JW online with your insightful blog if I had the time. It looks like you are doing great work an I hope you continue to enlighten those who are seeking it. I literally cannot wait until I see them around the neighborhood again. I will not be rude, but it will be made clear that this letter business is totally vile. I will also direct them to this website.

  27. Thanks Anon! Sorry you had to encounter this terribly inappropriate practice.


  28. Denice

    I would think that people who claim to be Christian would welcome encouraging words from the Bible. You people sound nasty rude and insulting. Jesus was not this way. Shame on you. Like the kkk burned crosses and claimed to be Christians. Jesus himself said you will know them by their fruits. Which since you don’t read the Bible means by their works or the things they do and say. What you have said is hateful. Think about it…..

  29. What we don’t welcome, Denice, are blatant religious solicitations with the aim of recruiting converts while using a death in someone’s family as your way inside!

    It’s a lot like lawyers chasing ambulances. Totally disingenuous and to be frank, quite creepy.

    Ever seen the movie Cadillac Man where the guy goes to a funeral and ends up trying to sell cars graveside?

    Yeah, a lot like that.


  30. Edward

    What they (JW’s) are primarily interested in, is counting time! Pile into a car, 4-5 per vehicle, drive around, find someone vulnerable or simply leave mags in laundry mat, under door mats, make return visits.. Actual time speaking with anyone? 15 minutes. Time counted? Two hours x 5 people= 10 hours!!! REDICULOUS!!! Ive, been there, done that.. and felt great doing it!

  31. Anonymous

    Reasons for writing. Titus brought Paul a favorable report. The first letter to the Corinthians had awakened in them sadness in a godly way, repentance, earnestness, a desire to clear themselves, indignation, fear, and a righting of the wrong.

    Paul responded in his second letter commending them for their favorable reception and application of counsel, urging them to “kindly forgive and comfort” the repentant man they had evidently expelled from the congregation. (2Co 7:8-12; 2:1-11; compare 1Co 5:1-5.)

    Paul also wanted to encourage them to proceed further with the relief work for their needy fellow believers in Judea. (2Co 8:1-15) Then, too, there were persons in the congregation who continued to challenge Paul’s position and authority as an apostle, making it necessary for him to defend his apostolic position; really, it was not for himself, but “it was for God,” that is, to save the congregation that belonged to God, that Paul spoke very strongly in his letter and ‘boasted’ of his credentials as an apostle.—2Co 5:12, 13; 10:7-12; 11:16-20, 30-33; 12:11-13.
    .Paul wrote to the different congregations in Ephesus, Corinth, Thessalonica: Gross immorality was practiced in Corinth, and in time it even affected the Christian congregation in that city. Paul found it necessary to rebuke the congregation in a letter because among them arose a case of “such fornication as is not even among the nations,” for a certain man had taken his father’s wife. (1Co 5:1-5)

    Love for humans characterized Jesus’ ministry. From the very start, he made it clear that he had come to earth to “declare good news” to those in need. (Luke 4:18) But Jesus did more than talk about helping people. Time and again, he demonstrated his love for humans. For example, when a large crowd gathered to hear him speak, Jesus “felt pity for them, and he cured their sick ones.” (Matthew 14:14) When a man with a grievous disease expressed faith that Jesus could heal him if he really wanted to, Jesus was moved by love. He healed the man, compassionately telling him: “I want to! Be made clean.” (Luke 5:12, 13) When Jesus saw his friend Mary mourning the death of her brother, Lazarus, Jesus “groaned within himself,” “became troubled,” and “gave way to tears.” (John 11:32-36) Then he did the unimaginable—Jesus brought Lazarus back to life although Lazarus had been dead for four days!—John 11:38-44.
    Jesus, of course, knew that the relief he offered then was only temporary. He realized that sooner or later, all whom he healed would get sick again and all whom he resurrected would die again. However, Jesus also knew that God’s Kingdom would bring a permanent end to such problems. That is why Jesus did not just perform miracles; he also zealously declared “the good news of the Kingdom.” (Matthew 9:35) His miracles demonstrated on a small scale what God’s Kingdom will soon do earth wide. Consider what the Bible promises regarding that time.

    Keeping the congregation morally clean (5:1–6:20)
    Disfellowship any who become fornicators, greedy persons, idolaters, revilers, drunkards, or extortioners
    Better to be defrauded than to take a fellow Christian to court before unbelievers
    Moral uncleanness defiles God’s temple, prevents one from entering the Kingdom

    In carrying out this ministry, they do not adulterate God’s word but preach Christ as Lord; such good news is veiled only among those blinded by the god of this system of things.

    Thank for my time!!!!

  32. And another mindless copy and paste from the not so faithful or discreet slave masters.

  33. Anonymous

    The only thing I can say about all this people is .I am so sorry for them. They are rude disrespectful and full of lies. They dont know nothing about JW they guide their lifes day by day by God’s principles and laws and gove glory and honor to his name. Jehova is his name , instead of be judging and talking with out knowledge spend some tome reading and learning from God’s word. You have all the rigth to show your incomformity for what you think is and invasion of your privacy ( talking about the letters) but showing respect and not talking about something you dont know. True cristians reflect God’s image.do you think that you are doing that with your hate comments is that what your church or religion teach you? What kind of cristians are you? I am a 100% you will never hear a comment like that from a JW and i am sure those letter never said nothing offensive all what they say come from the bible I guess God’ word result to you so offensive that you feel agreded..

  34. Anonymous

    JW do not convert nobody, do not recruit nobody and do not force nobody to change their believes. The only thing they do is fallow Jesus example and command. he did the same thing ( luke 8:1) is your religion fallowing Jesus example? Well something about to think. And yes we are very few but remember what ( Mathew 7: 13 ) what that tell’s you? And also read what (Mathew 10: 11- 14 ) thats what we do. You sound so full of hate Mr Doug what happended to you why you are so angry , remember what ( luke 6:45 ) say.If you and all that people that post comments against JW believe you are true cristians remember what ( john 15:12) say. One way to show that love is doing what JW do spread Jehova word by going door to door sharing what the bible say exposing their self to people that dont understand what real love is..

  35. “A JW convinced against her will is of the same opinion still.”

  36. Anonymous

    Just got a letter addressed to my dead father consoling the loss of my live mother.??

  37. Yeah. That just stinks doesn’t it?

  38. Anonymous

    Doug, to be honest, sounds like you’ve been scorned in the past and are using this forum to spread your disappointment with other people in an effort to make yourself feel better. You pretty much bully anyone with an opinion aside of your own.

    It doesn’t seem like your one to reason with as you’re very set in your ways. Why you have an open forum is ironic. Arguing with a person like you is a giant waste of time.

    I don’t believe any of these letters are meant to be rude or intrusive. I also disagree a witnesses main goal is to count time. Their goal is to provide comfort through a message of hope.

    If it’s not agreeable, or upsetting, then just throw it away. But to be upset because someone took the time to try and provide comfort that may have kept them going during a similar experience (i.e. Death of a family member) is honestly quite ignorant.

    Sorry you’re so jaded.

  39. I totally disagree Anonymous.

    An open forum is the exact opposite of life in the Jehovah’s Witnesses. You aren’t allowed to speak your mind under pain of extreme punishment up to and including expulsion which alienates the offending JW from all family and friends in the organization. You’ll forgive me for saying that the Kingdom Hall is anything but a safe space for self expression, especially if it is regarding disagreement with anything the Watchtower teaches or says.

    That’s why I allow freedom of expression on this blog. Anyone can say what they want without fear of reprisal. I will mark something as “trash” and dispose of it if it contains abusive speech or threatens anyone (including me!)

    With regard to writing letters to families of recently departed and counting it as “time”:

    The target always is the grieving family and it isn’t to make them feel better. It’s to recruit members and these people are particularly vulnerable at such a time. If you’re really concerned, cook a meal and bring it over. Visit the funeral home and pay your respects. But don’t write a piece of religious spam on an 8.5″ by 11″ sheet of paper and send it to someone in mourning under the guise of “genuine concern” and think you’re doing anything other than recruiting for the “mother ship”.

    If you bothered to read the responses of those who have been “lucky” enough to be the targets of such an insensitive intrusion then you’d know that I speak the truth on the matter.

    Finally, if it’s a waste of time to argue with me then why the anonymous “drive by”? Is this your way of lashing out so that you can tell yourself you did “your part”?

    Well congratulations Anonymous! You have acted in a passive / aggressive manner which is part and parcel of JW methods. You get yours in but when the inevitable sane and rational argument comes, you disappear. You’ll forgive me for saying that your words seem, at least to me, to be disingenuous!

    Thanks for stopping by! Have a nice day!


  40. Edward Acuna

    Dougie, Well put, I applaud your writing and communicating talent. Its obvious you truly understand what lurks behind the mind and motives of JW’s.. “I tip my hat to you” Oh wait.. I don’t wear a hat! So I will “lift my glass to you” (fine Central Coast Cab). I’m certain there are some who write letters with good motive, most simply do it to count time. I also agree with Anon, those writing do not INTENTIONALLY “mean to be rude or intrusive” Yet, that is how perceived by most people receiving letters. This from someone who’s “been there, done that” Good suggestion regarding meal, perhaps a sealed, store bought meal. (ok, include a tract, I suppose) Or donate $$ on behalf of deceased to Cancer, Alzheimer, etc. .. organization. Unfortunately that will not happen, right?

  41. Edward Acuna

    Douglas, Where have ya’ been? Long time no hear from you!

  42. Working hard. Traveling. Having fun. Getting on with life.

    I still weigh in though on every post.


  43. You are correct Ed, sadly.

    Thanks for the kind words.


  44. Edward Acuna

    Miss ya’ my brother Dougie!! Happy to read your traveling, enjoying life. Check in periodically, will ya? Lots of work yet to do! Yet “..you’ve done well faithful servant” Edward Acuña

  45. Will do Ed!



  46. One more thing I’ll add to my prior retort to your “awesome” post:

    Berating someone for the way that you made them feel and calling them “ignorant” is the standard JW way. You just showed, online and for the world to see, exactly how JW’s mistreat people who don’t agree with them. Whenever someone is offended, embarrassed, or otherwise put off by anything a JW says or does, the offending JW always attacks the victim of their actions. They call them “ignorant”, “stupid”, “haughty”, or even accuse them of apostasy. This is why they have so many lawsuits right now for covering up sexual abuse in the congregation. When a “whistle blower” has the courage to step up and speak the truth about what was done to them, they are shot down and criticized by the very people they have been taught to trust implicitly!

    I remember when I questioned, privately, among two close friends, the use by our district of a Masonic Temple to host a circuit assembly. I was called into a judicial committee and grilled because of my “attitude”. I simply remarked that meeting in a Masonic Temple was the same as meeting in a church (and it is!)

    What you say, within earshot of any JW, can and will be held against you in a judicial committee.

    Oh and they keep files on everyone in the congregation going back decades. Anything you said or did, no matter how innocent, is duly noted in your file for any elder, no matter how indiscreet or hateful he is, to see. Any accusation, regardless of proof, that comes into their little circle of intelligence, is noted in your file, permanently.

    Reminds one of Nazi Germany and their Gestapo.


  47. Edward Acuna

    What they (JW’s) are primarily interested in, is counting time! Pile into a car, 4-5 per vehicle, drive around, find someone vulnerable or simply leave mags in laundry mat, under door mats, make return visits.. Actual time speaking with anyone? 15 minutes. Time counted? Two hours x 5 people= 10 hours!!! REDICULOUS!!! Ive, been there, done that.. and felt great doing it!

    1/13/16 CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION: Two hours per person, x five piled into car = 50 Hours reported to headquarters!

  48. Me too Ed.

    Now, if you counted the GOSSIP that was shared in the car you’d have a full ten hours of it.


  49. Edward Acuna

    Dougie.. GOSSIP? You should know better, silly! Gossip’s fer’ the world! Just as “Trix are fer’ kids” Happy your back in the saddle my Brother. I was thinking the worst.. perhaps GB hired a Hit Man or something. Who knows what may happen when the teeth start a’gnashin’.

  50. They’ve got much bigger problems Ed.

    They’re having to keep a full staff of lawyers these days. Funny how when all the theocratic “window dressing” is pulled aside it all comes down to the same old thing: accountants and lawyers.


  51. Susan LaDuke

    I, too have been recently victimized by these evil doers following the difficult death of my mother.
    The absolute last group of people I wish to hear from (aside from my siblings,) are religious fanatics. I don’t believe in organized religion and totally respect others and their beliefs. However to try to shove some crazy bullshit at folks who are vulnerable is beyond anything imaginable.
    It did however strengthen my resolve to return the favor and aggravate them. I plan to send rerun letters in a similar manner as Melissa and cc each one to the area “Kingdom Halls.” Freedom of speech by religious zealots has no place in my life!

  52. Susan LaDuke

    Just finished reading “Petra’s” response to you Doug……
    If only I had read that first! Had to “read” it at least 3 times since as you mentioned the grammar was just so beyond most of our capabilities.
    I will say, haven’t laughed like that in quite some time!
    And your response – perfection!

  53. Go get ’em Susan! Perhaps you’ll actually wake one up out of their religiously induced coma!


  54. Edward Acuna

    I’ve been infected with “Petritis”. Correction: Laundromat, not “Laundry Mat”.

  55. Anonymous

    Where in the Bible does it say our loved ones who died become of spirit. Maybe in Hollywood. But I have read the Bible and all it does say is dust to dust, in the ground, the dead know nothing at all. I’m not sure if this women ways counting her time or maybe she knew these words comforted her. Maybe she was trying to help?

  56. Susan LaDuke

    Anonymous- After receiving yet another one of these letters, I don’t believe any of these crazy JW lunatics have my my best interests in mind. This last one actually tried to visit me but was turned away by security as I live in a gated community. She is lucky they stopped her as I would have been anything but hospitable to her.
    To tell me that she believes my mother can “be saved” is the just beyond obnoxious and the biggest insult. My mother was one of the most giving people ever. She spent her life trying hard to make the world a better place and paying it forward. From the 60’s during the height of the riots, when she volunteered to teach reading and ESL weekly to children in Newark’s most dangerous areas, to initiating one of the first large scale town recycling efforts in the early 70’s she was always thinking of how to help others. For at least 20 years, mom cooked meals for the county’s homeless families several times a month, providing meals for 20-25 people and then doing their laundry at home and returning it. She served on several governing boards in the town and for her local community. Throughout the years she and my father donated well over $125,000.00. to over 132 well researched charitable organizations.
    So, hearing from someone who knows nothing about my mother, yet thinks they can help my mom “be saved,” makes me want to vomit. Again, these are evil predators who need to find something less intrusive and disturbing to do with all their spare time. Shame on them and those who support them.

  57. Anonymous you asked: “Where in the Bible does it say our loved ones who died become of spirit?”

    Here’s one account among many:

    1 Corinthians 15:42-49

    “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead: What is sown is perishable; it is raised imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being;” the last Adam a life-giving spirit.

    The spiritual, however, was not first, but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so also are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so also shall we bear the likeness of the heavenly man.”

    This is a prime example of Jehovah’s Witnesses seeking to teach others what they think the Bible says but in actuality they know very little of what the Bible really teaches. Instead they seek to subvert the true teachings of the Bible and substitute a counterfeit gospel.

    Christ’s condemnation of those who follow in the path of Pharisees is a stinging rebuke of what modern day cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses do to their converts:

    Matthew 23:15

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”

    Oh and just so you know? Hollywood didn’t say that. God did.

    Microphone dropped.


  58. Edward Acuna

    Microphone picked up, one more thing to say..

    Bravo, Douglas!

    mic dropped.


  59. Edward Acuna


    “..Jehovah’s Witnesses seeking to teach others what they think the Bible says but in actuality they know very little of what the Bible really teaches. Instead they seek to subvert the true teachings of the Bible and substitute a counterfeit gospel.”

    They teach what is published by WTBTS as gospel.

  60. Thanks Ed!


  61. An excellent point and one that many outsiders wouldn’t have gotten. I write from the point of view of someone who was in the JW’s for decades and I sometimes make the mistake of assuming my audience knows what I’m thinking instead of just putting it on paper.

    Thanks for laying that out Ed!


  62. Rhonda

    Hi! I just got one of those creepy “sympathy” letters yesterday. The writer did not hesitate to give her real name or her return address. The letter was addressed to my father-in-law in care of me. Important thing to note is that my FIL leaves about 1200 miles away and just left our state last week after a brief visit which made it even creepier. Not to mention, we did not recently lose anyone. So, just as she found me, I found her. So, I called her. I asked her where she got her information and she told me she got it from the newspaper. I flat out called her a liar because no one has died. I never got foul-mouthed but I did let her know I thought she was just a little crazy and her letter was weird and I was offended. She screamed “I’m sorry! I’m sorry” and hung up. Then I looked at the pamphlet, saw the JW logo and did a little research, which led me to your page. I am totally stumped as to how this elderly woman got my information. Does the church feed them names, etc? I seriously doubt she would be computer savvy enough to glean information about me and my (husbands) family with a quick Google search. Not to mention, I lead a very anonymous life. Anyway, I’m glad I found this page and now I know just a little more weird information about our world I could’ve lived without.

  63. Susan LaDuke

    So sorry you’ve been victimized by these lonely lunatics. After receiving the 10th letter, I have resolved to just toss them. I cannot believe that anybody in their right mind would believe this is acceptable behavior….

  64. Rhonda

    I’m sorry for your loss and harassment. I was absolutely floored when I read the letter. Honestly, not much to read except words and bible verses to reference. This woman was pretty bold by giving her real name and address, though. In this world, I would be VERY cautious of releasing that information to anyone I didn’t know personally or at the very least, professionally. After reading on this blog the REASON for doing it, I was even saddened a little (not much but a little) as to WHY they do this. Hurts my head. Bad. At any rate, if I get another, maybe I’ll just take a little drive…What’s the worst that can happen with that? Hold my beer…

  65. Anonymous

    So, I’m wondering Doug and other ex Jw’s what are you offering as an alternative. And why, pray tell did you not just walk away,..what you did and are doing is considered apostate by nature and would qualify you for expulsion from the congregation. Any sound Jw’s would not speak to you or associate with you because you clearly are toxic to them. So you don’t think that the scripture that says in the latter part of the days that imposters would enter in…misleading and being mislead. Wake up and smell the coffee and stop making your religion.” Jehobvah’s Witnesses Hater”.

  66. If you bothered to read my blog or any posts contained therein, you’d already have the answer.

    I offer freedom of choice. Nothing more.

    When I realized the deception that had been dealt not only to me but all of my family and friends, I felt I would be a coward to simply “walk away”. Instead, I decided to make all of the years of enslavement to a man made organization count for something. I decided to expose the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society for what they really are, a money and power driven corporation that uses mind control techniques to enslave and profit from their followers.

    I compiled my story and the facts that I have been able to uncover and gave that information to those who desperately needed it most, the victims of this organization, free of charge with no agenda other than giving them a choice of freedom or continued enslavement.

    I have no secret motives. No dogma. No recruitment program. I have never, nor will I ever, ask for donations. I merely provide the information and let my readers decide for themselves what that means and what is best for them.

    In that I have been wildly successful.


  67. To the most recent “Anonymous”
    If it weren’t for Doug Shields’ courage to use his knowledge of the inner workings of JW, many of us here and certainly others out there wouldn’t understand why they were targeted. I applaud his efforts and feel this has given me a better understanding of why the JW community do this. Understanding yes, but never condoning this disturbing and intrusive method of preaching.
    I’m not looking for alternative religious communities but truly appreciate Doug’s blog, along with input that from others here (Ed is another on here who immediately comes to mind.)

  68. Thank you Susan!


  69. Edward

    Good morning Doug! Hope all is well. Susan, Thanks for the mention.

  70. Good evening Ed! It is. Hope you are doing well!


  71. Anonymous

    Thank you Doug. Just learned that several in my neighborhood have been receiving the same letters monthly for several years. It’s very annoying, but now that you spell out their motives it is very clear why they do what they do. Sad. Sad. Sad.

  72. Preying on the vulnerable and lonely is part and parcel of JW methods.

    I got an email recently from a lady who let them in her home. She was lonely and living at poverty level. They started bringing over used furniture, and other things she needed whenever they would have a “Bible Study”.

    Then they started giving her dietary advice and tell her what she should eat. That was where she drew the line. She stated that it was just weird how they were starting to control her life and she wanted them out of her home. She asked me how best to do it and I advised her to simply tell them to leave and never come back.


  73. Anonymous

    Everybody be careful with Doug Shields. He is apostasy. He want to take your many. He have recentimient. Por men alone. And bad. He needs take a job. And care his family

  74. Oh yes. I’m an apostate! That much is true. I have stood up against and separated from the lying, cheating, deceiving and maligning leadership of the Jehovah’s Witness organization.

    Yes I am 100% guilty as charged and PROUD OF IT!


  75. Susan LaDuke

    Here we go again with another Anonymous commenter who feels the need to save us from the truth.
    I’ve had more than my fill of JW letters to grieving families. If it weren’t for Doug Shields & the others here, I wouldn’t have understood where these crazy people are coming from.
    A close friend lost both parents within 11 months & then the letters were coming fast & furiously. I was able to explain the situation & encouraged the family to just throw them out & move on. Hopefully someday this disgusting, vile “tradition” will end.

    Again, thanks Doug!


  76. And Anonymous, I could care less about your money. I don’t want it. Never asked for it. This site is entirely self-funded by me. I don’t even sell ad space on here! This is a totally free website where anyone who wants answers, real answers from someone who’s really been there, can find them. You are right, I do have tremendous resentment. Resentment for the years taken away from my life serving this man made cult. I resent the fact that they deceived my family and friends. I resent the fact that they continue to hurt people, divide families and friends, take children from their parents, husbands from wives, and for what? So that they can feel comfortable in their beds at night secure in the knowledge that “probably maybe” their vindictive and hateful mistreatment of others will somehow spare them from Jehovah’s wrath when Armageddon comes.

    Absolute HOGWASH!

    You’re wrong about the job and family thing. I have both and I take very good care of both.

    I sure hope you find the real truth one day Anonymous!


  77. It has been my honor and pleasure to bring as much of this cult’s sneaky and deceitful tactics into the public view as possible.

    I do this in the hopes that it will protect those who could fall victim to their highly manipulative recruitment practices of targeting the grieving, the uneducated, and the disenfranchised.

    Thank you for your kind words Susan!


  78. Rhonda

    I just got one of “those” letters. I have not lost anyone recently. There have been no obituaries. What I want to know is how they got my name and address? I haven’t decided how to respond yet, or even if I should.

  79. Hi Rhonda,

    I wouldn’t let it bug me. Obviously these folks have nothing better to do than to waste their time. If you allow it to consume yours then it doubles the time wasted.



  80. Edward Acuna

    Rhonda, Perhaps someone with similar name as yours lost someone in death. A JW needing to “count time” saw name similar to yours in obituary. Found your address, wrote letter and reported good deed to headquarters in New Your via local congregation. I can only assume incidents similar have increased since Covid 19 pandemic has interrupted door to door knocking.

  81. Anonymous

    I love being one of Jehovahs Witnesses,
    It saddens me to see my brothers going astray. I love you all and hope you return to us someday.

  82. I’ll pass.

    Been there, got scars, and little else for my twenty plus years as a slave to the Watchtower.


  83. Edward Acuna

    Anonymous, It saddens me to see kind, sincere.. especially young people, blinded by WTBTS. I hope you will open your eyes, mind and come to see the real truth about OUR..yours and mine Savior, Jesus.

  84. Susan

    Never have been & will never become part of the evil JW cult following. Have dealt with harassment from the organization & it’s left me anything but tolerant with those who deliberately go out of their way to upset outsiders.
    The JW unlike other organized religions, do everything in their power to harass, upset, offend outsiders in their sickening attempts to recruit others.They’re disgustingly disgraceful.

  85. Psychological manipulation is THE method they use to coerce their members to stay within the fold and to pull out all the stops in recruiting family, friends, and total strangers to their cause.

    They have even predicted end of world scenarios repeatedly over the years to scare their members into working harder for them, quitting their jobs, taking their kids out of school, selling their homes, and yet nothing, NO THING they have ever said would come to pass ever happened, EVER.

    Deuteronomy says that when a prophet says something will happen and it doesn’t that prophet should be put to death. (Deuteronomy 18:22) The Watchtower leaders claim divine direction in their writings and beliefs. They even go as far as to require total acceptance of their teaching or members could be disfellowshipped losing family, friends and reputation. Yet when called out for all of their failed prophecies and flawed teaching they reply that they are “only men.”

    A more recent, core and central teaching that failed miserably was that the generation old enough to understand the events of 1914 wouldn’t die until Armageddon came. We were repeatedly told that this meant that anyone twelve years old in 1914 would fit that model. This convinced anyone with the ability to count that the “end” would come within the lifetime of the majority of those who were around during 1914. Well that certainly bought the Watchtower some time, almost a hundred years, and it gave their followers a clear timeline as to when the end would come, but when time finally caught up with their lie, they figured out they had to do something. Even if a person was merely born in 1914 that would mean, if they’re still alive, that they are 106 years old now.

    Well here we are and all those poor people are gone. Even the ones born decades after who were taught the lie about that generation are mostly gone. What was the Watchtower forced to do? They quietly “reinterpreted” their understanding regarding this fundamental piece of “chronology.”

    Let’s face it, most of the JW faithful of today are asleep at the wheel, and the Watchtower leaders know it. They have instituted a modernized and well watered down version of the Kool-Aid we were all forced to drink in the 1970’s.

    They may have sanded down some of the “hard edges” and stopped using some of the more hateful mind control methods of the last century, but at its core, the teaching of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is still the same old misinformed, erroneous, and dangerous tripe it always was.

    “Tell the Writing Department we need some New Light around here and make it snappy…”

    – Fred Franz

    Slippery folks those Watchtower leaders. Slippery and dangerous.


  86. Another Recipient of Such Letter

    I am glad to come across this post. We received such a letter today in the mail. The sender’s name was not on the envelope, but when I googled the sender’s address, it was associated with JW. I gave the letter the benefit of the doubt (I thought maybe the letter was important, and that the association to JW was outdated and the address was for another institution) and I opened it.

    And lo and behold…a handwritten letter trying to instill fear about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and inviting us to turn to JW to get rid of that fear. Something along those lines…I stopped reading once I figured out it was from them.

    What freaked me out is that the letter was addressed to my husband and myself. I only just started using my husband’s name and we just barely moved to our new address….so it’s information I have not really shared. Not all of my friends even know my new contact information. How the heck did they know?!? Are they stalking us!?! That’s why I started searching the internet for an explanation. Part of me suspected our information was inappropriately shared with them (as we have also been getting some junk mail)….and reading this post somehow confirms it and has taken my paranoia away.

    Growing up Catholic, I remember my mom telling me not to answer the door when there’s JW knocking on it but I did not really understand why. She would just tell me, don’t open that door unless you want them to try to convert you and bombard you with random Scripture quotes.

    Reading your posts have given me some more insight and understanding on my mom’s reaction. I am both fascinated (not in a way that makes me want to be in it) and horrified by the experiences you have shared.

  87. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences.

    It is spooky how easily they can get their “hooks” into you and your family if you allow them even the slightest opportunity. I have wondered many times just what my life would have been like had my mother not answered the door when the JW’s came knocking.


  88. My Stasiewicz

    Wow insulting people who write letters of hope all bible based ….

  89. Edward Acuna

    Howdy Douglas, Have ya heard anything regarding JW’s & Covid pandemic? Certain they are using as “proof’ and using to recruit the uninformed into their fold. With no meeting attendance and door knocking at minimum.. contribution$ must be affected. Ps. While in shower, I now view my bar of soap in new light: “Slippery folks those Watchtower leaders. Slippery and dangerous..”

  90. Wow targeting the grieving and vulnerable and hoping to recruit them while they’re in a state of distress…

  91. LOL!

    Yes this is a very lean time for them. Fortunately for them they’ve gone just about all digital and as a result their overhead is at a minimum.


  92. Good evening everyone, about 4 days ago I received a letter and what concerns me is that they found out my legal first name as well as address, I wonder if there is a way to prevent them from getting this information? I mean phone books really don’t exist any more nor do I have a land line phone.

    They claim to give biblical scriptures, but their interpretation of those scriptures is far from the truth or accurate remember Lucifer whom once was an angel of light, before cast down for being prideful can still pose as an angel of light and no being knows the word better than him.

    I am a God fearing and holy spirit baptized Christian and proud of it and I pray for all the misguided JW souls out there, but these tactics are not of the heavenly father. Yes we are to spread his word and the good news to the ends of the earth, but not by invading people’s privacy.

    That must be some serious data mining operation that watch tower has, to be able to get this info.

    In regards to end times predictions Matthew 26:36-44 But concerning the day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the son, but the father only.

    In regards to getting to heaven John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the father except through me.<— Yes that is a period, meaning the end.

    John 1:1 – The Word is eternal and the Word is GOD.

    John 3:16 – For GOD so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whomever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.