Rashauna discusses how she was able to regain her identity after leaving the Watchtower. She no longer has to agree with everything someone says or be on the same page with them in terms of acting out to remain part of a group.
She discusses how therapy has helped her to regain her identity after finding out what she wants to do and discover who she is and what she wants out of life.
To learn more about how Rashuna woke up and left the Jehovah’s Witness religion, here’s a link to the interview with her husband: https://youtu.be/on42UtqJZEs.
Lonnie Gillard appeared on our show three years ago telling his story about waking up and leaving the Jehovah’s Witness religion. He was still living at home with his parents. As a result, his parents no longer allowed him to remain living in their home. He survived by finding online resources and was able to land a place to live at an Airbnb.
Fortunately, Lonnie was able to find support from his non-Jehovah’s Witness family. While most do not live locally, they still took time to provide him with mental and moral support. He expresses how he is most grateful for them calling him to do telephone check ins, something is not receiving from his parents. Fortunately, Lonnie did not have any extreme circumstances, nor did he ever find himself on the street. He always had a place to lay his head at night.
He credits his father for his ability to survive because as he states, “my father said my job is to make sure that you and your siblings are able to stand on your own two feet”. Now that he’s out in the world, he appreciates his home training. Looking back, he said, he thought he was the crazy one because he is the only one saying this religion is a cult. But, after learning the truth about the religion, he realizes that he is not alone especially after meeting other former Jehovah’s Witnesses.
According to Lonnie, life goes on and he’s okay with the notion that the people in his past, including his family no longer want to have anything to do with him. Because he believes that he needs to move on to the next chapter in his life. As he loses all the weight that has been on his shoulders, he can sleep good at night because he knows he’s doing the best that he can do.
In this podcast, Lady Cee chats with Ashli Campbell about her experience growing up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Ashil talks about what life was like having a father that was not interested in participating in Watchtower activities, but made sure she got involved. It’s amazing how he is not willing to make these major sacrifices but has no problems pushing this heavy responsibility on his minor child.
The sheer frustration of getting baptized at the age of 12 has Ashli up in arms about being a good Jehovah’s Witness. She has to live up to the responsibility and living the non-stop lifestyle of a JW begins taking its toll on her. She’s looking for a means to escape and in the process makes some weighty decisions that are even more detrimental than remaining home and riding it out until she’s old enough to move out and get her own place.
Ashli drops out of high school in the 10th grade and begins working full time. She looks at this approach as a means to accelerating the process of moving out because it will allow her to save enough money to be on her own. Not long afterwards, Ashli meets a brother through mutual friends and after dating for six months, they get married. At age 18, she’s not sure whether or not her situation is better or worse because the only thing she’s done is swapped being home with parents that are ensuring she attends weekly meetings at the Kingdom Hall, to a husband that is virtually doing the same thing.
As the interview progresses, Lady Cee and Ashli speak in-depth about Jehovah’s Witness women and their struggles as second class citizens and the difficulty of being free to express oneself in the religion. It’s a topic that is not explored enough in this culture because as they both express the importance of having a voice in relationships where both partners should equally strive to please one another instead of one serving the other’s needs.
We receive emails from people worldwide asking us if they should tell their family and friends the truth about the Jehovah’s Witness religion. After waking up to startling facts about the organization, they, like many Jehovah’s Witnesses, are shocked about their findings.
Many times, people forget about what it was like being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and how they will respond to anything we say negative about the Watchtower Society. Some have gone out on a limb and shared the information they learned online and have experienced a complete shutdown, and were swiftly cut off from their family and friends. They have not counted the cost of their relationship before speaking up and speaking out.
As minor children still living at home, you must realize that you need financial support from your parents and guardians. Others may be working for a brother or sister in the congregation and need your job to pay your bills. What if you rent a room or an apartment and now have to think about other living accommodations? Your security and well-being are more important than imparting knowledge. Be sure to take care of your well-being before speaking out against the religion.
Think about the consequences of your actions before divulging too much information about this religion to family and friends. Put the oxygen mask on your face before attempting to help others. You need to ensure you have reached a safe place, and then you can reach back to extend yourself to others.
Jehovah’s Witnesses stake the claim that they carry out the same practices in their worship all over the world. But, one of the most inconsistent practices in their faith is the one that pertains to the judicial process and disfellowshipping.
If you are disfellowshipped and cannot understand why it is taking so long to get reinstated after making multiple requests, chances are there is someone on your judicial case that has a personal agenda against your best interests. There is no consistency on how reinstatement is carried out. It is up to the three individuals that are serving on your committee that determines your fate.
It leaves people to ask the question, what am I doing wrong or what am I failing to do? When in fact, the elders may believe that you are not repentant enough. In fact, if you had a different set of elders handling your case, your outcome may have turned out in your favor.
This podcast explores some of the unspoken and untold reasons why some people actually languish in a disfellowshipped state not realizing why they are unable to get reinstated. It also discusses how people are treated after they are reinstated. Instead of being immersed in love for returning back to God, they are treated with suspicion that results in unnecessary challenges.
Do Jehovah’s Witnesses have a policy for shunning former members? The Watchtower lawyers present arguments to the Belgian court system that it is an individual choice whether to shun family. However, this podcast provides excellent proof from their own written publications that they have a system of teaching their adherents to shun former members. In fact, the Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society has a long history of influencing its members to comply with their teachings even at the cost of dividing families and long-time friendships.
On 16 February, a trial started against the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (CCJW) at the criminal court of Ghent (East Flanders) on the alleged grounds of discrimination and incitement to hatred with a particular focus on their shunning (ostracization) practice in cases of disfellowshipping (exclusion) and disassociation (voluntary resignation).
A former Jehovah’s Witness who had voluntarily left the movement in 2011, filed a criminal complaint against the CCJW in 2015, and managed to have it supported by over a dozen more former Jehovah’s Witnesses.
According to the internal religious practice of Jehovah’s Witnesses, when the elders of a local congregation exclude a member or are notified about a voluntary resignation, they make a short neutral public announcement which states: “[Name of person] is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses”. The CCJW is not involved in the making of that neutral announcement but is notified about the decision.
In their conclusions provided to the Court before the trial, they said that they do not segregate excluded or resigning members as these can always attend their religious services. They also point out that baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses who no longer actively associate with fellow believers, are not shunned.
Clarifying the relations between Jehovah’s Witnesses and disfellowshipped or disassociated family members, they say: “In the immediate household, although the ‘religious ties’ the expelled or disassociated person had with his family change, … blood ties remain. The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings continue.” In other words, normal family affection and association continues.
In addition, the CCJW had provided the Court with nine statements of individuals who had been excluded and who had since been reinstated as Jehovah’s Witnesses. In their testimonies, they explained how they had been fairly treated by congregation elders, family, and others in the congregation when they were excluded.
The social distancing doctrine stated and practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Belgium and all other countries was fixed by their Central College in the United States on the basis of their interpretation of the Bible.
The CCJW considers it is not legally responsible for the intra-familial relations between its members and former members, as it is an individual choice.
Are we on the way to put in the dock the Bible, the interpretation and the implementation of its doctrines fixed by the highest religious authorities and powers in the name of interpretations and implementation of human rights fixed by national judicial powers? If so, this would be a pandora box that would affect other religions and other holy scriptures.
Evidence that the Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society has policies and instructions in place to shun former members.
The following links pertain to written comments by Dr. Introvigne, a defender of JW’s who disagrees with the Belgium court:
How can you claim that your publications represent the truth and are divinely provided aids from God one day and then discard them as refuse and unworthy of being referenced tomorrow?
Jehovah’s Witnesses have made life altering decisions based on the information contained in these publications resulting in dire consequences. Some have been disfellowshipped and lost their families and good reputation. Sadly, others have actually lost their lives. Imagine how much hurt this causes after discovering years later that these teachings no longer exist and the publications used to support Watchtower beliefs are being tossed out like yesterday’s trash!
Instead of presenting their information as nothing more than their own opinion, they are signing God’s name as if he’s speaking directly to them.
Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society required to appear before the Australian Commission to explain their policies and procedures for addressing cases of victims within their institution. At the end of the hearing, the Australian government determined that the best way to address this issue, was to set up a redress scheme. The redress scheme provides the individual with the ability to seek emotional counseling and to collect financial damages for their pain and suffering.
Also, another key component is that the institutions are required to acknowledge their lack of responsibility to protect individuals by mishandling their cases. Despite having more than one thousand cases on record, the Watchtower agreed that they never reported any of these cases to the legal authorities. However, they stated that according to their policy it is the responsibility of the individual to report such incidents to the authorities.
As a result, members in the community were at risk based on the Watchtower not taking a stand or exhibiting a key role to keep others safe.
In this video, we discuss how the Watchtower responded to a question from readers back in 1958 about one of the anointed voluntarily accepting a blood transfusion and whether or not they would be able to partake of the emblems during the Memorial.
However, it’s the response to the question that is eye opening for current day Jehovah’s Witnesses because during that time, the Watchtower did not disfellowship individuals for partaking of blood back then. We go in to detail regarding how the Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society condemned the Catholic Church for the practice of excommunication back in 1947. And then we provide the timeline of events for when they began their own excommunication program.
In this podcast, JT & Lady Cee interviews an Unbaptized Publisher that realized at an early age that being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses was not in his DNA. He speaks about having to tow the Watchtower line having a father that was an elder.
But, how things took a turn for the better once his parents divorced. Chris speaks quite candidly about his experiences as an unbaptized publisher. Although not being baptized, he still kept with all of the Watchtower policies thus living the experiences, he knows what it was like first hand.
He speaks about going to college and how he was able to finance his schooling. Chris is definitely a wise person and as he states, he’s in search of knowledge, he speaks like a person that has definitely acquired a lot.
In this podcast, JT & Lady Cee speak with Kenan J. Floyd about his experience as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Kenan Jerome Floyd is a writer/producer/comedian based in Los Angeles, CA. He hosts a podcast called “Dangerously Awkward”, where he talks about trying to make it in the entertainment industry while dealing with his hang ups of being an ex-Jehovah’s Witness in a chaotic world.
He borrows from his experiences growing up in a religious household, eccentric friends and family members, personal experience, and unique world views to hone his auto-biographical/storytelling comedic style. He’s been featured on Sirius XM, The Daily Wire, TruTV, and Comedy Central. He’s performed all over the country including at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Caroline’s on Broadway in New York City, and The World Famous Comedy Store.
In this video presentation, we discuss feedback from one of our viewers from a previous video, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Riding the Waves on a Sinking Ship. It addresses the issue about counting time and the ten-hour quota. Most individuals may not realize that several decades ago, Jehovah’s Witnesses were required to turn in ten hours each month for field service. Eventually, the Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society removed the hour requirement.
The reports showed an increase in the number of publishers, but a decrease in hours being reported by the publishers each month. Noticing the trend, the Watchtower sent out a branch letter inquiring about the decrease in the number of field service hours.
However, Witnesses complained that they were no longer under a quota so why all the fuss? Note the branch letter below as is outlined in the February 1973 Kingdom Ministry:
*** km 2/73 pp. 1-6 Branch Letter *** How about congregation publishers? They are increasing in numbers, from 389,555 for the previous year to 401,519 for the first three months of the 1973 service year. That is good to see. But their report of hours is down—from 9.9 to 9.6 per month, on the average. Some have said: ‘But we have no quotas now.’ Though the hour requirements for the various branches of pioneer service have not changed, it is true that congregation publishers have no set goal of, say, ten hours per month. Yet the question might be asked: Is this a valid reason for decreasing the amount of time spent in doing the will of Jehovah God in the field service? Really, in past years we were not going in the field service simply to meet a goal of hours, were we? We were interested in preaching the good news of God’s kingdom, to magnify Jehovah’s name and to give others the opportunity to hear. And we still are. Now that we do not all have a set goal of hours we are not to conclude that our field ministry is any less important. Our message is urgent. This is something to think about, don’t you agree? Jehovah’s requirement that our service be whole-souled has not changed.
New Light, Burning out of control, or flickering to survive? The Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society has used the “New Light” theory to explain all of their failed teachings. They use this ideology as a means to change their teachings. By doing so, they expect Jehovah’s Witnesses to sit back and accept their mistakes. Since the advent of the Internet, people are doing more research online and discovering many falsehoods about the religion. They are no longer accepting new light as a reason to continue blindly following the Watchtower.