We Reached 10,000 Members Today!

Sep 21, 2014 by

earthAmazing!

I never realized just how much this blog was needed until just recently.

I can’t divulge all of the heartbreaking situations that I’ve been blessed to be able to help with but I have to say that God has certainly used this “ministry” to help those who have been “skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.”

I have been able, by relating my own story of personal pain, loss, and redemption, to touch the lives of over 120,000 people all over the world of which 10,000 have chosen to become members.

You know a “mega church” is considered to be a church large enough to boast a membership of 2,000 people. Imagine how big our church would have to be to house all of us that are members of this blog.

I don’t claim to know what certain prophecies mean but this one really has stuck with me for years so I’ll share it here and I’ll use the New World Translation for added effect:

Daniel 12: 1-4

And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book… “And those having insight will shine as brightly as the expanse of heaven, and those bringing the many to righteousness like the stars, forever and ever…Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.”

I really believe that this passage about the true knowledge becoming abundant is the availability of so much information and insight via the internet. It has certainly been a vehicle for communication and liberation for so many people around the world. Can you imagine NOT having access to the internet? Yet this technology has only been available to us for just a few decades.

I am still in awe at just how fast my writing caught on. I never advertised or tried to “build a list”. I just started writing my story.

Thank you all for supporting my “ministry” with your thoughtful comments and feedback. I’m looking forward to celebrating more meaningful milestones as they occur.

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What Was Christ Really Trying To Tell Us?

Sep 20, 2014 by

jesusThe situation was dire.

The religious leaders of “God’s people” were all powerful and they determined who was considered to be “good” and who wasn’t.

They legislated virtually every single aspect of the lives of their followers with the severest of punishments at their disposal for disobedience.

They mandated what you could and couldn’t eat, how you could wear your hair, what you could and couldn’t wear and who you could talk to and who you couldn’t.

You were even limited as to what you could read, write or even say.

What was the penalty for failure to follow the letter of their litany of laws and regulations? You were publicly humiliated and kicked out of their group and treated as one condemned by God Himself. To these adherents this was a punishment worse than death. It separated them from friends, family and the only link they felt they had to God. Many even lost their ability to make a living and were kicked out of  their homes as a result.

One might assume by the title of this post that I’m speaking of the Jews of Christ’s day. However, I’m actually speaking of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society and their abuse and mistreatment of their followers, i.e. Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I could say that the actions of this modern day group of imperfect men directly reflect the wholesale abuse of power exhibited by the Jewish religious leaders of Christ’s day.

This is an eye opening comparison isn’t it?

Was I off the mark at all? Was there anything mentioned above that isn’t absolutely true?

The question this brings up is simply this: “Did Christ intend to perpetuate the Judaic abuses of power forward into the modern day Christian congregation or did He have a different plan in mind?”

In this series of articles I’m going to examine the words of Christ in the various gospel accounts so that you and I can see what His real intentions were and how he treated those who were considered “less than perfect” by the Jewish leaders as well as His own disciples!

The Path To SALVATION Not SLAVE-ATION:

John 3:14-18

14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Did you notice the words of Christ that the NAME of Christ was all important? Did you notice that “JEHOVAH” was never mentioned here? If you’ve never read the account of the copper serpent it might be worth a read. In this account those Israelites who caught sight of the serpent were immediately healed of their snake bites. There was no special formula, ceremony or action that had to be performed. No “body of elders” had to convene on their behalf. Their faith, in traveling large distances to see the serpent, was enough to make them well. I believe that the Bible teaches the same thing regarding eternal salvation. It isn’t our works that get us there. It isn’t being “perfect”. It is faith in Jesus Christ and nothing else.

The Fallacy of Knowledge

John 5:39-40

39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Christ condemned them because they weren’t GETTING THE POINT! The point is that CHRIST was the reason from the very beginning and they weren’t getting it. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t either. They say that they study and know the Bible better than any other religion and yet they actively teach that they (members of the Great Crowd) do NOT have a personal relationship with Christ and are not His brothers and sisters. They teach that only by having a direct relationship with the leadership of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society that these ones will have a chance at surviving Armageddon. This is a very clear departure from the teachings of Christ.

The Real Reason Christ Came

 Luke 4:18-19

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

This was a prophecy from the scroll of Isaiah whereupon Christ applied these words to Himself. He used this prophecy to directly describe those common Jews who had been mistreated by the religious leaders who abused their charge. They didn’t care about the heavy loads they had placed upon their followers. They were merely perpetuating a man made system of control, power and yes, money. Because of this Christ completely condemned them for the hypocrites they were.

Luke 11:46

Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

Are you beginning to see any similarities here?

There’s more; a lot more. Let’s listen to more of what Jesus has to say.

How To Tell A False Prophet From A True One:

Matthew 7:15-20

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

So we recognize our prophets by two criteria according to Christ:

  1. Whether their prophecy is false or true.
  2. Their fruits or behavior.

Let me ask you something:

Have ANY of the prophecies that ANY of the leaders of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society EVER come true?

Do ANY of you personally KNOW the leaders of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society? Do you know WHO they are with the exception of outside information available on the web?

Those were both rhetorical questions. The fact is that none of the prophecies uttered by Russell, Rutherford, or Fred Franz ever came true. Nothing they ever wrote was even remotely accurate in light of historical record. To the contrary, all of their predictions have failed, miserably, and then were dodged and even blamed upon their own flock when it was called to their attention that they were WRONG.

As a result the oft stated JW axiom is as follows: “That was then and this is now.”

“We don’t teach that anymore.” “We don’t believe that anymore.” “New light has been introduced that has given us a different understanding.”

I call it “Making it up as you go along.”

These guys live lives shrouded in almost complete secrecy. They are revered as gods by any JW when they come to speak at the various assemblies but WHO really are these people? Do any of us know?

NOPE.

JW’s accept every word coming out of their mouths and off of their typewriters as gospel and yet we don’t even know WHO these people really are.

Does that scare you? It does me!

I will continue this series as I find the time to do so.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses: Conversation Or Confrontation?

Jul 28, 2014 by

fortuneSince we’ve had so much activity in the comments between active and former Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’d like to point out something that I think most would agree with.

Have you ever noticed that you can’t really have an open and honest discussion with a Jehovah’s Witness about God or the Bible or anything religious?

They can be completely cool and calm when talking about the weather or the ballgame or other trivial things. However when a difference of opinion comes up regarding religion or scripture it is like they go into overdrive. They become animated. They become agitated. They get worked up to the point that their voices quiver and their hands shake. They sometimes even get physically ill. Their volume and blood pressure both go up and their reasoning ability goes down.

This is the typical “fight or flight” response of a JW in the face of anything that would cast any doubt on their beliefs.

I’ve seen it happen. I’ve witnessed it (excuse the pun) countless times over the years as I’m sure you have. I also remember, quite vividly as a Jehovah’s Witness, that horrible feeling in the pit of my own stomach when anyone would challenge what I knew was “the truth”. I would get so worked up that I couldn’t even eat for awhile after the confrontation.

What is going on with that? Why is it that Jehovah’s Witnesses get so worked up when someone who knows “a little something” about the Bible or the checkered history of the Watchtower fails to “roll over” for their theocratic intrusion?

The first thing is pride. Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be humble but their prideful nature becomes all too apparent when someone directly challenges their flawed beliefs.

The second thing is fear. Jehovah’s Witnesses are so fearful of anyone getting “the better” of them in a Biblical confrontation that they panic. They get all out of sorts and even begin to make things up. Again, I’ve seen it.

And finally anger. They become truly hateful and venomous with their remarks and their outright attacks on someone who dares to challenge them and their most holy Watchtower.

I’m going to ask a question: Who does this resemble more? Jesus Christ or the Pharisees?

Yep. Jehovah’s Witnesses are the modern day equivalent of the Pharisees of Christ’s day. The Pharisees would throw fits and rip their garments in anger. They were hotheaded and they were constantly plotting to trick Christ into saying something He didn’t mean to say. They even made things up about Him just to justify their harsh treatment of Him or anyone who gave him any credibility whatsoever.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are a lot of things but I can tell you after having repeated “run ins” with them on this blog that “Christian” isn’t one of them.

Now for those of you who think my depiction is harsh I want you to realize that under “ordinary” circumstances Jehovah’s Witnesses are the nicest people you’d want to meet. However the second you challenge their authority or pious righteousness or their beloved and most holy Watchtower then look out! The well placed veneer of politeness and decorum peels away and what lies beneath is nothing but a nicely shaken cocktail of malice and derision served up with a healthy dash of sarcasm.

Their sheer hypocrisy is incredible. They have the unmitigated gall to challenge people about their beliefs at the door or on the street often saying: “Well if your beliefs are true then you should be able to examine them in light of the scriptures.” Yet the second someone shows them a scripture that completely contradicts their teachings they clam up and walk away or they get worked up into a frenzy of “scripture bombing” and name calling. They fail to heed the very advice, which under normal circumstances would be good advice, that they so gleefully slop out to the unwitting householder. In reality it is nothing but a salesman’s ploy designed to circumvent the resistance of the householder so that they can get inside their head and start making them question everything that they believe to be true.

The reason that Jehovah’s Witnesses have such violent reactions to Biblical challenges is because they’ve been conditioned to do so, usually over a very long period of time in a very controlling and highly charged mind control program. Oftentimes their need to control others spreads to other aspects of life like dress, cleanliness, and normal everyday habits that aren’t even against official Watchtower policy. They begin to “legislate” behavior for themselves and others all on their own and this is by design. The first thing that a JW asks when contemplating a new hobby or activity is: “What would elder so and so think?”

I thought I’d share this in the hopes that many of the JW’s who frequent this blog might begin to realize just how physically involved they are in their own belief system and how their reaction isn’t logical but rather emotional to the point of pure unadulterated rage.

Again. I’ve seen it.

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Over 100,000 Page Views And Counting!

Jul 21, 2014 by

celebrationJust a couple of days ago we hit the 100,000 page views mark in just over a year since I started tracking our page views.

I didn’t place that much literature in a “lifetime” of working for the “seven old men” in Brooklyn!

We also have over 7500 members of the blog now! These are all avid readers of what is posted here and they all get an email every time I post something new.

I think I’ve finally balanced the scales and put enough positives out there to counteract all of the negatives that were inflicted upon me and my family for the twenty-three years that I was a member.

To think that some of the more impolite (I’m being very kind when I say “impolite”!) JW’s that initially visited my blog said that I didn’t have an audience and that my blog wouldn’t ever make any difference.

It does and it has!

Thank you all for being part of my own personal therapy.

It feels great to have been able to create so much buzz and so many positives in so many lives across the world.

I could never have done it without you.

Thank you for helping me achieve this meaningful piece of work that changes lives every single day!

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Happy Independence Day For Some Of You.

Jul 4, 2014 by

declarationToday the United States celebrates it’s declaration of independence from servitude to a foreign power, that is, Great Britain.

This event happened two hundred and thirty-eight years ago and yet we’re still celebrating it as a country. Why? Because freedom from tyranny is a basic human necessity, one that many in this nation fought and died for.

It started with the tyrannical rule by a leadership that was not held to the same standard as the common man or woman.

 

These tyrants dictated terms and laws and it was “their way or the highway”.

They enforced oppressive laws with an iron fist, levied oppressive taxes (forcing the colonists to effectively work for them) and designed their laws to keep the common people in servitude and obedience.

They even sent out their own representatives to spy on all of the members of the colonies to make sure that any trouble makers were quickly dealt with and made an example for the rest of the colonists.

The colonists finally decided that enough was enough. Bolstered by the Boston Tea Party in 1773 and the ensuing skirmishes it caused, the colonies grouped together and signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

So what does this have to do with Jehovah’s Witnesses?

 EVERYTHING!

You see when you are a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses you are forced to obey the rules and regulations of a mysterious group of old men who claim to know the thoughts of Jehovah, or else. The “or else” in this statement can be as follows for a Jehovah’s Witness:

  • Reduced social status in the group. You won’t be as popular as you were if you don’t do things “their way”. These aren’t necessarily actual rules or laws mandated by the “seven senile single senior citizens” (try saying that fast three times!) These could be something as little as minor disagreement with the wrong elder or ministerial servant. It could be a wrong point made in front of the wrong people regarding scripture. It could be something so trivial as buying a two door sports car that the elders disapproved of (read “jealous of”) or making too much money or sending your kid to college. For those of you who were around in the 1970’s you’ll recall the uproar over pant suits for women. No member in good standing would allow his wife to wear that and if he did, he would lose his status. He would also lose his position in the congregation if he had one.
  • Loss of “privileges”. This is a blanket term and can be as little as not being called on at the meetings to handle the microphones or count attendance all the way up to and including loss of a major position like “elder” or “ministerial servant”. This “loss” will also result in the first mentioned penalty, by default, as to lose privileges means you’ve done something wrong that wasn’t a capital offense.
  • Loss of reputation. There is a hidden “channel” of communication. JW’s are terminal gossips and they feed on negativity on an almost constant basis. Their lives are so pitifully empty and devoid of any real meaning so they find meaning in discussing the private lives of others who don’t “measure up” to their “righteous standards”. If it gets out that you’re doubting or missing meetings or not going out in field service then get ready for the rumor mill to be fired up and guess who is headline news: YOU!
  • Being called in to an elder’s meeting. There wasn’t a lot that scared me more than my father getting angry with me when I was a kid. However, there was one thing that scared me more than anything else: Being called in to an elder’s meeting. That was the most traumatic thing for a young JW that could possibly happen. I remember one time being called in to an elder’s meeting and it was a big one with several families present as well as the entire body of elders. It was nothing but a “witch hunt” and I witnessed several Witness kids in tears. It was my first elder’s meeting and it was an eye opening experience. I got to watch, in horror, as the hypocrisy of the elders in my congregation was put on public display for everyone to see. It was the beginning of the end of me as I realized at that single point in time at the ripe old age of seventeen, that something wasn’t right about the system.
  • Public reproval. This is the first real bullet in the elder’s gun. They will shoot it when they have to and they do so a lot. It basically means that a person has either confessed to or been ratted out by their peers for a capital offense. Most of the time it was never a confession. It was always one or more people in the group getting caught and rather than taking the punishment on the chin they willingly chose to try to drag their friends down with them. Safety in numbers I suppose. Capital offenses typically were smoking cigarettes, drugs, and pre-marital sex. With the idiot sons and daughters of certain elders, this was a way for them to avoid the total disgrace of the second bullet. The key to getting off with a public or even private reproval is to apologize for the offense and to demonstrate that you won’t do it again. Rarely will the offending JW be disfellowshipped without a second chance unless he is a high ranking member of the congregation, or quite possibly slept with the wrong elder’s wife.
  • Disfellowshipping. The deepest darkest “hole” that a JW can ever be thrown into is this little doozy right here. No JW’s are supposed to be allowed to communicate with any disfellowshipped person regardless of familial status. It is akin to “solitary confinement” as a JW normally has no social network to speak of in the real world. They only have their former peers in the JW’s who have been put on notice to cease all communication after the reading of “the letter” from the body of elders informing the congregation of the offending JW’s new status with the congregation.
  • Semi public trashing of reputation. Immediately after the reading of “the letter”, the congregation will be all abuzz with shock, horror, amazement, and a bit of glee as each JW runs to their own personal gossip monger to find out all the juicy bits on “poor brother so and so”. Any elder’s wife who is privy to what went on (and don’t kid yourself…the perk of being an elder’s wife is to know everybody’s business all the time with relatively few exceptions) will be a truly hot commodity after the news rolls off the presses. We had one lady who was the wife of our Presiding Overseer. She knew EVERYTHING that went on and wasn’t shy about telling certain people about it. She would spread it wide and lay it on thick. By the time she was done with your reputation it was properly trashed, bagged, and then strewn out all over the Kingdom Hall lawn for anyone to see and smell. Anyone who was “in the know” i.e. in her own certified “Now you can’t say anything or tell anyone where you got this…” club, knew the DF was happening before the announcement was even made and all of the relevant reasons why with some juicy bits added in for spice and merriment.

Have you noticed an underlying common thread among all of these punishments?

These punishments are only effective against someone who worries about the opinions of the members of the group. If someone were to completely discount the idiotic actions and views of this group and its leadership and rebel against it then these punishments would have little to no effect. Then the only thing these actions would serve to accomplish is to “close ranks” and “protect” any of their members from falling “victim” to the “diseased mentality” of the offending former JW.

Why does the leadership put so much importance in stopping communication with someone who has chosen to leave the group? Because their message of independence is so dangerous and contagious that entire congregations have been decimated by one single person standing up for what they knew was right and communicating that to the members.

There are many on this blog who have written their own “Declaration of Independence”. They chose to write in to their congregation body of elders to tell them of their decision to disassociate themselves from the congregation permanently.

Have you declared your independence yet? Have you made your decision that “enough is enough” and decided to live your life on your own terms rather than letting some weird group of senile old men run or ruin it for you?

I’m encouraging all of you, to take your life and happiness to the next level. Get out of this codependent group of deluded slaves and start living the life of a free person. You’re only a declaration away from your true independence!
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Are You Stuck?

May 24, 2014 by

chapterI get a lot of emails and posts from former Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is no wonder. We now have over 5,000 (as of yesterday) registered members who have signed up to get an email notification every time I post on this blog.

They all seem to be asking the same questions. Everyone seems to have this huge struggle with what has been done to them. They have so many unanswered questions because their “certainty” in the group is no longer valid. They know that what the Watchtower teaches is falsehood and so they scramble looking for a replacement “certainty” elsewhere.

They ask questions like: “Doug what should I believe?”

These are grown people who have been sold down the river once. They KNOW they’ve been sold down the river and yet, the minute they escape from one oppressive ideology they immediately begin looking to me or someone else for “all the answers”. Having been in a position of relative certainty for so long they ache and long for someone to just tell them what the real truth is and put away all of their fears, doubts and concerns.

I know what all of this is like. I struggled for decades with the fear, anger and endless questions that have resulted from my being raised in the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

This blog was a huge part of my recovery as a former JW. It was an intense personal journey into my own motivations, fears and doubts in leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It has taken me to the very core of what it means to be a Jehovah’s Witness and I’ve made it back with my family and sanity intact.

I’m happier and more fulfilled now than I ever was while in the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why? Because even though you THOUGHT you knew what the truth was about God and His purposes you never knew for certain if you were actually in His good graces. You never knew if you were GOOD ENOUGH to live through Armageddon. It was always a moving target for most of us. So really, the certainty even inside the cult was merely an illusion.

The thought occurred to me today that it is high time that we all stop whining, fretting, and handwringing, and simply get on with our lives.

So the question remains: Are you stuck?

If you are like most former JW’s you are stuck because you persist in focusing on what has happened in your past instead of creating your future!

This is one of the most important questions we can answer as former Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Yes we’ve had a tough time. Yes we’ve had to overcome a lot of personal difficulty to get to where we are today. Perhaps we’re still dealing with that. But what are you doing with your new life NOW?

Are you stuck dwelling on the past and simply watching mental reruns of all of the horrible things that you’ve seen and possibly been subjected to while you were in the Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Break free now! Get started with your new life beyond the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Instead of dwelling on things that have already happened (and that you can do nothing about) why aren’t you creating a new life, new memories and new positive and empowering relationships?

What are you doing right now to create your new life? Have you made new friends? Have you embraced a more positive and constructive belief system that serves you instead of the other way around? Are you reading any self help books? Are you seeing a therapist? These are all things that you can do right now to improve your quality of life and mental state!

It has been said that the best revenge is massive success! I’m enjoying that now and many of my former family and friends are painfully aware of just how successful I have become. I enjoy the heck out of that. As a matter of fact, I revel in it! In spite of all the naysayers and hate mongers of my former life, I made it in style! How did I do it? I changed my outlook! I read books by people who have a positive view of the world and themselves! I changed the way I looked at things and the things I looked at changed! I decided to stop looking backward and start looking forward!

This is my message to all of the mean spirited, evil and vindictive Jehovah’s Witnesses who judged me and wronged me in my past and the few who persist in trying to cast the Watchtower’s shadow of guilt, hate, and intolerance in my direction even to this day:

“Yes you hurt me. Yes it kept me mentally imprisoned for a very long time. However I decided to move beyond being stuck thinking about all of the negative things that happened in my past. I’m moving on with my life without you or people like you in it. I’m happier, healthier, and a better person not just in spite of what you and the organization did to me but because you mistreated me. I will never mistreat anyone like you’ve mistreated me. I will always seek the positives in my life and the lives of others. I will no longer judge others as you have judged me. I will show unconditional love instead of putting conditions on everyone and everything. Instead of tearing other people down I will build them up! Instead of looking to you or anyone else for all the answers, I’m finding my own answers! Starting right NOW I’m writing my new chapter of life and guess what? You’re not in it!”

Start writing your new chapter! Do it now. Do it today!

Your new highly fulfilled and positive life is waiting for you. So what are you waiting for?

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The Blood Issue Won’t Be An Issue Much Longer!

May 18, 2014 by

bloodless

 

One of my readers sent me the following link to an article about a new technology that allows for truly bloodless surgery via the use of a specialized machine that keeps the blood in constant circulation throughout surgery.

Blood Recycling Breakthrough

This is great news for those who are unfortunate enough to need surgery and happen to be Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Most importantly, I see this as a way to save the lives of children of Jehovah’s Witnesses who aren’t given the right to make decisions for themselves nor have the capacity to make such a grave decision in the face of certain death.

Regardless of your stance on the Watchtower leadership, this can only be considered as a “win” by the rank and file. The Watchtower leadership won’t have to address this issue after all and instead can allow technology and breakthroughs like these to enable them to skirt addressing the blood issue completely.

Sadly, technology like this is far too late for the many thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses who have died (my father was one of them) as a direct result of their refusal to accept a blood transfusion.

I expect that the Watchtower PR specialists will be doing their best to capitalize on this news as a “win” for them and for Jehovah’s Witnesses everywhere.

This will further serve to help the Watchtower leaders to bring their slow moving ship into less troubled waters both from a legal perspective as well as in the court of public opinion.

I welcome any and all comments regarding this article. Please post any remarks on this blog.

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