Jehovah’s Witnesses: The Religion that Lies to 8 Million People
In the fall of 1995, I had been in the United States for a year and a half. I had moved from Paris to New York in January of 1993 to pursue my acting dream which started 7 years earlier in my hometown of Lyon, France.
Needless to say that I never had in mind of joining a cult. Ever. But even though I didn’t know it back then, in the fall of 1995 I was going to be introduced to a Bible study that was going to affect the 10 following years of my life. Actually, no, it was going to affect the rest of my life in ways that I would have never imagined.
By April of 1996, I became a baptized Jehovah’s Witness. By December of that year, my mother and my aunt (her sister) got baptized as well. By the summer of 1998 my brother, whom I never thought was even religious, got baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses as well.
So within less than two years, not only I, but my three closest family members were all Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was a JW in the US, and my family members were witnesses in France.
The thing about Jehovah’s Witnesses teaching is that no matter what country they’re from, they all believe the exact same doctrines, and all adhere to the same exact rules as well. That’s actually why this religion can put a façade that their members are all so united in the faith, even if the illusion that everyone gets along so well, is just that, a nice illusion.
As a matter fact, even though Jehovah’s Witnesses like to believe that they are the only True Christians and that they follow God’s rules found in the Bible, they are not showing anymore or any less Christian-like qualities than any other religion out there.
What I mean is that I’ve met very nice people who were Jehovah’s Witnesses showing Christian-like qualities, but I’ve also met people who weren’t showing any sign of Christian qualities. Actually, most active Jehovah’s Witnesses would confirm that as well.
My first two years as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses were happy years. I’m not going to lie. My first congregation, as JWs call their churches, was a nice one. Except for a couple of individuals, the vast majority was very warm and friendly.
At the time, going to all my 5 meetings a week, and out in field service (the preaching work) was fun, and I really enjoyed it. Plus there were a couple of gorgeous and pretty cool young Bethelite guys (members who live and work at Bethel, the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses).
Maybe it was because my first two years as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses were so joyous that it could only go downhill. But downhill it went.
During my 10 years as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I went through 5 congregations in 4 different languages. Two English, one Spanish, one French, and one Korean. I already spoke French and English, but I have to say that thanks to those congregations I learned to speak Spanish fluently and a bit of Korean.
Starting to See the Cracks
At the end of my two first years as a Jehovah’s Witness, I got married in New York to someone I had met before I became a witness, and who also became one eventually. Right after getting married, we both went to a Spanish speaking congregation where everything I had known in my first congregation was missing.
No love, no fun, and a seriously nasty and gossiping woman, whom I was to discover, later on, had said the worst things about me on my back at the about the same time she begged my future husband to have her daughter as a flower girl in our wedding.
I already thought she had a lot of nerves for asking, but if I had known who she really was back then, I might have given her my answer with my fists.
The only positive thing that came out of being in this Spanish congregation is that I learned to speak and read Spanish fluently, and later was able to work as a Spanish-English interpreter and a translator for several years.
In the fall of 2001, I discovered that my husband was cheating on me, and thankfully this gave me the only “Biblical reason” to be allowed to divorce him, which I did.
Not Welcome Home
Since I was getting divorced and wasn’t happy in my congregation, I called my family to let them know that I was coming back home. However, my brother discouraged me from coming back, saying that I wasn’t going to find work (even though I was now trilingual) so that I should stay in the US.
Since I didn’t want to end up living in my mom’s house because I didn’t think it would be a situation I wanted to find myself in at 30 years of age, and since I didn’t feel either welcome or supported by my brother I decided to stay in the US.
I stayed in that Spanish congregation just a little while longer, but eventually left, because I simply wasn’t happy there. I started attending a French language congregation in the same kingdom hall.
The French congregation was just more of the same and eventually I moved back to an English congregation across town.
Jealousy and Violence
It was during my two years of attending my second English-speaking congregation that I started feeling very depressed.
Actually, I had all the reasons in the world to be depressed, but I didn’t know about it yet. I will talk about it later in this article.
If my increasing depression wasn’t enough, there was that middle age woman in the congregation who started as a friend and quickly became poisonous to me. She was jealous of me because of two things; I was younger and skinnier than she was. She kept telling me, wait and see until you turn 40 and you’ll lose that little waist of yours.
At the time, I had a private house cleaning business, and she did too. Since she was about to stop her business she was looking to transfer her clients over to someone who might need them. Of course, I told her that I would love to take some of her clients over, and she said she would transfer them to me.
However, one Saturday morning, as we were riding a car with serval other women, to preach “the good news” to the neighborhood, she proudly announced; “I’ve just given all my clients away.” I remember that at that moment I wanted to jump out of that car, and never go back to that congregation again, but I had to take that in as if nothing was happening.
If I said anything it would have given her the pleasure of seeing my disappointment and pain, and I didn’t want to give her this pleasure.
Eventually, I stopped my cleaning business and was looking for work.
One day after our Sunday morning meeting, I was telling her that I was looking for work as we were talking and she said; “you’ll never find work.” How could someone pretending to believe in God even say that to one of her sisters in the faith? This was the drop that made the glass overflow for me. I grabbed her two forearms with my hands, and as I shook her I said, why are you always so meant to me?
I remember she was kind of shocked and I just left.
But the next day, late afternoon, who do I see approaching my doorstep?
The devil herself.
As I opened the door she was right there, showing me her two arms with two big bruises on each one. As she was showing me her arms, she said, look what you did!
I have to say that I was shocked and a bit scared at first, because she was the wife of one of the elders, who happened to be the kind of elder that even other elders feared. As for me, I was just a single little sister in the congregation.
I remember telling her, well those two bruises you have on your arms I have the same ones inside, because of all the means things you’ve been telling me for all these months.
When she left, though, I was terrified and I called and elder for help. He accepted to meet me with a second elder the next evening. I didn’t try to look like I wasn’t guilty of anything, I told them the truth about everything that happened over the course of the past few months, and how I ended up shaking her up while holding her arms which resulted in two big bruises.
I was comforted when the older of the two elders said, well some people bruise very easily while some don’t. As a matter of fact, I told them that when she left I pressed on one of my arms with all my might, and today I still didn’t have any bruise.
I don’t remember anything else that was said in this meeting, but I knew that since she was an Elder’s wife in that congregation, and there for much long than I was, nothing was going to happen to her what-so-ever. My only consolation was that at least two elders knew what kind of person she really was.
What’s interesting is that those elders were never the same towards me after that, and the older one didn’t speak to me anymore. Even when my mom and aunt came to visit that year for the second time, he didn’t speak to them at all either. Once we saw him and his wife in a store and they tried very hard to pretend they never saw us.
I already had some serious doubts about the organization being from God, but it was starting to become painfully obvious by now.
I was supposed to belong to the happiest people group on earth, and I was unhappy and depressed.
One day I asked for help to another elder of that congregation, telling him about my being depressed, and the only thing he told me was to go see a doctor because I might need anti-depressants.
I knew I didn’t need any anti-depressant. I was convinced that my depressing state was due to my environment, but I didn’t know how to fix it. So, what I did was challenging myself with yet another foreign language congregation.
My Last Congregation
In the spring of 2004, I started attending a Korean language congregation in Raleigh, North Carolina where I lived.
The congregation was mostly Korean people and a handful of Americans.
Even though I’m pretty good at learning foreign languages, an Asian language takes you all the way to kinder garden level because you have to learn the whole alphabet before you can do anything else.
As a matter of fact, the alphabet is not the hardest thing to learn in Korean. I learned that in a week, but the grammar who is similar to Japanese grammar is heard as heck. When you speak Korean, you have to reprogram your brain to formulate a sentence. I had learned English and Spanish, but Korean was a whole new game.
The Korean witnesses were nice for the most part, but again for some reason I made yet another false friend who also turned out to be a poisonous candy, and I got very much hurt by her behavior as well.
One thing that I noticed, though, in the Korean community is that if you’re not Korean you don’t stand the chance to ever be one hundred percent part of their family. So while they were nice to me, there was a cultural gap and at times, it was a bit hard to fit in.
But beside my very bad experience with that false friend, I can’t say that I didn’t have some good moments while in that congregation.
Doing my first talk in Korean was something else, and while I still struggled with the grammar, my pronunciation was great. Just about every Korean I ever met has told me that, so it boosted my confidence.
However, I could feel that my faith in that religion was winning down. I wish I could say that it was something cut and dry like some other ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses I hear, but I can’t really pinpoint to one thing. It was a bit of everything.
As far as doctrines go, the blood issue was probably number one for me. Not so much that blood transfusion was forbidden, but that some blood was OK while more blood wasn’t. I never bought that, and there’s certainly no scripture to back that one up.
The other thing that bothered me from a very long time is the overall lack of love I was observing in every single congregation I had been in. Even though some people were fine, many others were not great, and a few downright mean. The type of people you could do without, and certainly not the kind of people you would think you’d find in a religion that believes to be God’s chosen people.
I was so tired to hear that if some people were the way they were it’s because they were imperfect. Being imperfect doesn’t make you mean, jealous or cruel.
What happened is that I started to think less and less that they were just imperfect and more and more that this religion wasn’t any more that of God than any other religion out there. So by the end of the summer of 2006, I just stopped attending my congregation’s meetings.
About a month later, I received a call from one of the elders, because they wanted to meet with me. I gave him an excuse for not being able to meet them right away, saying that I’ll call them back. I never did. In October, another elder called me to let me know that the nicest elder of the congregation was gravely ill and dying. When I was told that he died, I went to his memorial, because he really was a sweetheart. I was very saddened.
That memorial was the last Jehovah’s Witnesses meeting I ever attended. I remember being annoyed by the fact that a Jehovah’s Witnesses memorial is never so much about the person who died, but more about the great Jehovah God that’s going to resurrect them. Someone had told me that the funeral home had put a portrait of the deceased on the wall, and the Elders had the staff put it down, telling them that this was similar to worshiping a human in their religion. I remember thinking that it was just ridiculous.
In April 2006 I had started studying personal development/life coaching material, and the more I was discovering recipes of success and positive thinking, the more I started to understand why I was so darn depressed as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, where all we are told on a weekly basis is that we are powerless sinners.
There was a huge gap between what I was learning now and what I had been told for the past 10 years. In a short time, my depression disappeared.
I believe that one of the main reasons why 1 out of 5 Jehovah’s Witnesses is on anti-depressant is because of something called cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance is when you have inconsistent thoughts and beliefs which induce mental stress.
When you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you want to believe that you are in the true religion, because after all, either you were born in it or you already spent one of more decades in that religion, giving it your time, energy and money. And the reason you were there, is that somehow you believed it to be the only true religion.
But on the other hand, you may start seeing a few cracks. You may be questioning why the organization once said that the end of this world was coming in 1975, and then denied they ever said that, even though it was in print.
You may be questioning why it’s OK to accept part of the blood components if you needed a transfusion, but not OK to accept all blood components.
Why witnesses couldn’t accept an organ transplant in the past and are allowed to do so now. So what about the ones who died because they couldn’t accept implants before? Did God change his mind?
Why the generation of 1914 has now completely passed away, so the organization had to come up with yet another excuse as to why the end of this system of thing has not come yet since the end was supposed to come before the generation of 1914 had totally passed away.
You’ve got to wonder if this is just yet another false prophecy. After all the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses have predicted quite a few ends of the world. Here is a summary of the much more complex history of predictions that have been made by the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- 1780: First sign of the last days.
- 1799: Start of the time of the end that was to last 115 years.
- 1847: First prediction of the second coming of Christ in Heaven.
- 1910: Founder, Charles Taze Russell believed that it was the date of rapture for the Bible Students, known today as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- 1914: Second prediction of the second coming of Christ in Heaven, and pivotal date for the Watchtower as being the end of gentile times, false religion, and worldly governments. The start of the 1000 year reign of Christ. The generation that would not pass away before the end.
- 1918 and 1920 other dates of the end of this world predicted by the Watchtower.
- 1925: Date set by Joseph Rutherford, second president of the Watchtower, for the commencement of earthly paradise with the resurrection of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob among other biblical figures.
- 1932: Yet another date for Christendom destruction.
- 1975: A date that was believed to be the end of this world. The date that was implied in some JWs public talks and in print starting in 1966.
Why if Elders in the congregation are appointed by Holy Spirit, we can also find some of such elders being pedophiles, cheaters, or wife beaters.
Why the organization of JWs has added the name Jehovah 270 times in the Greek Scriptures where it was nowhere to be found to start with.
Why the Watchtower teaches so many doctrines that have no Biblical foundation such as…
- Blood transfusion; when the Bible talks about eating blood, not transfused blood into someone veins to save their lives.
- Non-celebration of birthdays; while the Bible doesn’t say anywhere that one shouldn’t celebrate their day of birth.
- Prevents men from wearing beards; while the Bible says the opposite; men of God were to not shave their beard.
- Prevents people from wearing tattoos; while this Bible verse is located just below the one telling men not cut their beards. So it’s no, on the beard, and no on the tattoo, while it should be yes on the beard, and no on the tattoo. Very confusing.
- Prevents members to speak to any ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses. Not Bible based.
- Prevents members to belong to any team or sports club. Not Bible based.
- Only 144,000 people are going to heaven while this is clearly not a literal number in the Bible, as it is taken from Revelation where nothing is literal.
- Jesus Christ died on a torture stake not on a cross, while the Bible tends to show that it was a cross and not a straight stake.
There are much more.
Why they practice shunning which is mental and psychological torture for both the ones who are shunned and the ones who have to shun their loved one.
Why they teach 8 million people that love is conditional. They love only the ones who are in the organization and don’t show any sign of love once they’re out.
It is no wonder that many people following such strict religious practices would be suffering from depression. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t necessarily agree with all such teachings, but they have to convince themselves that’s what they are supposed to believe. This creates a lot of cognitive dissonances.
Sinners, Sinners, Sinners
Another reason why it would be hard to be mentally healthy while being a member of this cult is the fact that you keep on hearing what a good for nothing you are, what a sinner you are, and how powerless you are.
All the praises always go to God, while we as humans are reduced to be simple puppets not even to trust our own thoughts and gut.
In fact, as a life coach, I can tell you that such teaching is very detrimental to mental and psychological health, and the result of such indoctrination can only make people depressed.
Hearing that you are powerless and that you have to bury your dreams and goals is counterproductive and unnatural. Every time that you force something unnatural on someone it will results in unhappiness, and cognitive dissonance in that person. The perfect recipe for depression.
Could you Stomach Armageddon?
The average Jehovah’s Witness is in expectation of Armageddon because they want to live in a paradise earth, and they’ve learned from the Bible that before being in such paradise, Armageddon must come.
Armageddon is where anyone who is not a Jehovah’s Witness will die, being destroyed by Jehovah God’s wrath.
What many of them don’t seem to fully realize, though, is that before they see that paradise they will have to walk through billions of dead bodies that they would have to bury.
Some public talks that are given by Jehovah’s Witnesses about that after Armageddon are rather morbid, disgusting, and disturbing. Yet, that’s part of the main beliefs of this religion.
It would be safe to say that pretty much every vegetable and fruit they’ll be eating in that paradise of theirs would have grown on top of someone’s dead body.
The average Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t even think about that, though, because they are so indoctrinated to believe in that pretty picture perfect paradise, that they are oblivious to the foundation of such supposed paradise.
Frankly, I don’t want to be in a paradise built on a slaughtered humanity, even if such slaughter was from God.
Why I’m Glad I Left this Religion/Cult
I’m glad I’m out of this cult because it is not the true religion that it claims to be, and that I once believed in.
I am glad I’m out because I am now free to believe in what my gut tells me. I’m finally able to trust my over active intuition and using it to teach other people about personal development.
I’m glad I’m out because I can now believe in a spiritual force that I may or may not call God, but either way, that force is all good, and has nothing to do with the fleshy warrior God of the Bible who commits genocide.
I’m glad to be out because I know that there is no God that is so picky as to care about flimsy things such as what you’re wearing, or what you’re celebrating. Or that prevents you from saving your life if you need a blood transfusion.
I’m glad to be out because I have freedom of choice.
I’m glad to be out because I’m free to do what I want when I want.
I’m glad to be out because it allows me to be open minded and love without condition.
I’m glad to be out because I have no reason to be depressed anymore because I’m able to use my thinking abilities and creativity to shape my life the way I want.
I’m glad to be out of the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses for many more reasons not mentioned here.
My Activism against the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Among all the negative things that the organization of Jehovah Witnesses teaches, the most damaging one has to be shunning.
Shunning is a cruel mental and psychological torture inflicted on both the person who is shunned and those who feel that they must shun their loved one in order to have God’s favor.
I will never forget how weird I felt at times as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses having to shun someone who was disfellowshipped (excommunicated).
One day, after a meeting, I said a few words to the woman sitting next to me, and I noticed that she was kind of reluctant to speak to me. Few minutes later a fellow witness approached and said to me; “she’s disfellowshipped!” It was like I had just touched to the unclean thing. Looking back it was awful. I felt very bad for the woman and embarrassed. Not the type of feelings you supposed to have right after a Christian meeting at your Kingdom Hall. Or so we’re told.
Another instance was in a grocery store, where I ran into a Christian sister who had left the congregation. We almost said hello to each other, but we didn’t. We both felt very weird and uncomfortable. I remember feeling that something was not right about this shunning thing.
But I was yet to experience the worst thing about shunning, which is being on the other side of it.
That happened when my brother started shunning me and preventing me from communicating with my aunt once my mother was no longer able to make decisions due to Alzheimer disease. My mother on the other end had never shunned me and never would have. But she’s the one that went, first mentally and then physically.
Since January 2010, I have not seen or spoken to neither my brother nor my aunt.
He was only sending me cold emails without any comment, and terrible photos of my sick mother.
He was barely answering my questions in regards to my mother and never answered any of my questions about my aunt. I haven’t had any news about my aunt since January of 2010. I don’t know where she lives, or how she is. Nothing. The only reason I know she’s not dead is that the elder I spoke with a month ago would have told me.
But my brother wasn’t done yet. Apparently he didn’t feel that it was necessary to tell me when my mother passed away.
In 2012, I got a new email address for my business, and I dropped my previous service. Since I was so disgusted with my brother’s behavior I didn’t even gave him my new email address. I knew that he could find me if he wanted to, because as a writer and coach I’m all over the internet.
In May 2014, I received an email from the family lawyer telling me that my brother was trying to reach me. So I said to the lawyer to tell my brother to email me himself if he wanted to speak to me.
I think that was just an excuse not to contact me directly, because after that I heard nothing from my brother.
On July 29, 2014, I received a blunt email from that lawyer telling me that my mother had passed away.
I was so shocked to learn that my mother was dead in an email from a stranger. It was a nightmare. I will never forget that day. I walked around a nearby park like a zombie. I was thinking how in the world my brother and I got to this point? I was also thinking how sad my mother would be about this situation.
What a shame.
However, it’s only when I received the lawyer’s paperwork about my mother’s death that I learned that my mother had actually died 4 months earlier. She didn’t die on July 29, she died on March 31.
My disappointment and discuss towards my brother’s behavior were at their worst. I couldn’t believe he did that to me. But he did.
In May of 2015, I left the United States to spend some time in Europe. Since I am now in France where I’m from and where my brother lives, I decided to pay him a visit. I went to his last address, but he wasn’t living there anymore.
So, I decided to contact a friend of my family who is also a Jehovah’s Witness Elder. I sent him a letter telling him what happened around my mother’s death and that I wanted to contact my brother.
Few days later I received a phone call from him. He told me that he was saddened by my letter and that the first thing he did when he received it is asking my brother to call me. However, my brother told him that he didn’t want to call me.
It’s right after that phone call that I decided to browse the internet to find out if there were other ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who were living the same horror I was living.
The first site I went to was YouTube, and there I found more information than I expected. Not only did I find many other folks who are being shunned by their close family members like I am, but I discovered plenty of the Watchtower lies and secrets that I never knew about.
So thanks to the Watchtower own despicable rule of shunning, I found out things I would have never found otherwise.
The internet has got to be the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society’s worse nightmare. All their lies exposed there!
My anger towards my brother’s behavior mixed to the lies of the Watchtower was all I needed to start my own activism against the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization.
I started telling my story on YouTube. My channel is growing like a mushroom on a rainy day. Over 85,000 views at the moment I was even asked to make some videos in French as well, which I’ve just started doing.
If the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society is going to ruin my relationship with my family, I’m going to do my very best to spread the word about who they truly are, and what they are doing to people.
This is why I’ve written this long article. This is why I have an activism channel on YouTube. This is why I started to write a book that’s going to tell my whole story as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and how it has affected my life and took my family away from me in more details.
If you think that the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses is a dangerous cult that can ruin your life and family relationship, please, share this article on social media.