The Real Truth About Jehovah’s Witnesses
In the western world, freedom of religion is a cherished privilege that we love to have.
However, in some cases, it’s that very freedom of religion that can rob you of your own freedom.
No freedom of critical thinking, no freedom of creativity, no freedom of choosing your career, no freedom to marry who you want, no freedom to embrace some of the simplest pleasures of life, no freedom of being YOU. And in some cases, no freedom to speak to your own family members if you chose to leave the so called religion.
This type of fence-less prisons does exist in freedom of religion countries. And it’s because of such freedom of thoughts that religious cults can flourish.
I have belonged to such cult for close to 11 years of my life, and I’ve lost my closest family members to it the day I woke up from my indoctrination, and decided to leave.
My brother has shunned me for the past 10 years. He has repeatedly refused to speak to me every time I attempted to reach out to him. I don’t know his address or telephone number, and he is totally invisible online.
But the worst thing he has done it’s that he apparently forgot to tell me when my mother passed away two years ago. I learned of her death through a lawyers’ email 6 months after the facts. My brother has totally cut me off to the point of excluding me from my mother’s passing.
Today he still holds my aunt hostage. He cut her international phone line, so I could no longer call her from the United States to France. I haven’t had any news from my aunt since January 2010. Today, I don’t even know where she lives.
As far as my brother is concerned, I’m as good as dead.
Cults are dangerous to the family nucleus and ultimately to society, because people living under the influence of a cult leadership are not your average citizens anymore. Their actions are based on totalitarian cult rules and indoctrination that force their members to live a contrived social existence.
They do not rationalize normally anymore. And the danger about this is that years of indoctrination make it impossible for anyone outside of the cult to reason with them.
In this article, I’m going to discuss one specific such cult that fits the bill, which is the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses that actually has done a pretty good job at not being considered to be a dangerous cult.
However, by the time you finish reading this article, you will be able to see the truth of the matter, and realize that Jehovah’s Witnesses is as dangerous as any other religious cults out there.
Why Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Considered a Dangerous Cult?
For having been both in and out of this cult, I think that the reason why people and the media don’t know that this cult can be as dangerous as any others it’s that no one outside of it really knows anything about their teaching.
And if they do, it’s rather superficial. They don’t understand the true indoctrination that’s going on behind the scene.
The indoctrination of Jehovah’s Witnesses is so strong that it’s not uncommon to hear ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses still being challenged by the indoctrination they went through, years after they’ve left the cult.
I know this for myself. Even though I have left 10 years ago and lived my life, only recently did I fully awaken from the indoctrination, understanding that it’s an unhealthy cult.
The indoctrination of Jehovah’s Witnesses is much greater than the average non-Jehovah’s Witness could ever imagine. That’s why while the media are more interested in denouncing Scientology, or even the Mormons, they are actually more inclined to praise Jehovah’s Witnesses for their cleanness, politeness, and honesty.
I have to say that this is what makes Jehovah’s Witnesses even more dangerous than others cults with a bad wrap.
For example, if you compare the only 30,000 Scientologists to the over 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses, that number alone is a strong sign of which one of the two is actually more dangerous. Then if you add to the 8 million the 20 million people who attain their memorial each year, the number of people in potential danger is quite impressive.
But why do I say that the Jehovah’s Witness religion is a dangerous cult? All they do is knocking on doors in their neighborhood talking to people about the Bible, right?
Actually, I realize that’s pretty much all people know about Jehovah’s Witnesses. And that’s why a growing army of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who have been hurt by the cult, like me, are speaking out against it more and more.
Thanks to the internet, what the organization was able to hide from the public for so long is starting to come out on social media, blogs and other videos like never before in the history of the cult.
Each individual has his or her own reasons for speaking up against the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but in most cases what makes us speak up the loudest are the brainwashing and shunning practices.
So first, let me tell you about the basic beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and you will have a better understanding of what I’m talking about here.
Basic Beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe that God will soon destroy every human being that is not a Jehovah’s Witness.
- They believe that they are God’s chosen people and the only true religion on earth.
- They believe that the name of God is Jehovah, which is made up from the four Hebrew consonants called the Tetragrammaton (English YHWH). This name, however, was invented in the middle ages by a Spanish Monk named Raymond Martini. Information that basically no Jehovah’s Witness is aware of.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses is the only Christian religion that doesn’t believe that Jesus died on a cross, but on a straight up stake.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in the trinity.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is the son of God and inferior to God.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to take blood transfusion or give blood. They can’t even get a blood transfusion with their own blood, or allow they children (even unbaptized) to have a blood transfusion either.
- They are not allowed to celebrate any holiday, except for weddings and the death of Christ (the memorial). No Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, 4th of July, etc. Even Birthdays.
- It’s them against the rest of the world. They call people outside of their religion “worldly people” which is a negative tag.
- The leaders of the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses discourage adults and children to have any kind of relationship with people outside of the religion.
- They believe that salvation is obtained not only by faith but by work, such as preaching, attending all their weekly meetings and preparing for them.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses shun any member that has been disfellowshipped (excommunicated) or left the organization for any reason. That includes closest family members such as parents, children or siblings.
- The typical Jehovah’s Witness goes through constant indoctrination through three religious meetings a week, as well as three assemblies/conventions a year. One of which last three days. It is frowned upon to miss such meetings.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t report sexual crimes, such as cases of pedophilia to police.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t take any type of action in regards to pedophilia if a child reports that they were sexually abused unless there are at least two witnesses to the crime. Which makes it impossible.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses have an unusual fear of demons.
- Any ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who speak or writes negatively about Jehovah’s Witnesses organization is considered an apostate and mentally diseased. To be avoided at any cost.
There are actually many other Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs, but those are the main ones.
Why is the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses Dangerous?
- Just by the mere fact of being a religious cult, it’s bound to make the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses as dangerous as any other cults out there.
- Their strict anti-social rules create a lot of cognitive dissonance and depression among its members.
- There are plenty of pedophilia cases and other sexual abuses that have never been reported to police due to their two-witness rule. This means that many perpetrators are allowed to roam around Kingdom Halls (their churches) and neighborhoods where they preach their doctrines and the so-called “good news.”
- In many cases, the perpetrator was free to commit more crimes due to this ridiculous two-witness rule. Some churches may have a pedophile among them while never knowing it. Last year, in 2015, the Royal Commission in Australia uncovered 1006 such cases within the 800ish congregations between 1950 to 2015.
- It’s very difficult to be a Jehovah’s Witness child, as they are basically isolated from other children and most school activities due to the beliefs and doctrines of the religion that forbids just about everything outside of studying.
- Young people are strongly discouraged from pursuing higher education such as going to college, and any type of hobby they might have.
- When someone becomes a Jehovah’s Witness while his or her spouse doesn’t it’s bound to create discord between the spouses. Many of such couples end up separating as the spouse who is not a Witness will have a very hard time to adapt to the stick regimen of a witness’s life.
- A family member who leaves the religion is shunned and treated as if they were dead. Some ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses have committed suicide due to the emotional and psychological torture of being shunned by their close ones.
- The average Jehovah’s Witness never feels good enough and always afraid that if they don’t measure up to “God’s expectations” they will lose their life at Armageddon, the big war of God where he will destroy most of humanity.
- Children born in the religion grow up with the fear of being killed by God or seeing they classmates and teachers destroyed at Armageddon.
Is Jehovah’s Witnesses Religion really a Cult?
Interestingly, the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses calls itself a religion — even the True Religion, but when compared with the characteristics of a cult there isn’t any doubt. But you can check for yourself here.
This list below is taken from CultEducation.com. It’s a list that describes the characteristics of cults:
- Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
Jehovah’s Witnesses is the absolute true religion. There is none other. Yet, the only proof of that is the leaders’ word.
- No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
If questions make the teaching of the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses in question it’s considered apostasy and anyone which such questions or ideas will be disfellowshipped for apostasy.
- No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
Even though witnesses do disclose local expenses, not all expenses are disclosed, such as expenses in paying millions of dollars in pedophilia lost court cases.
- Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies, and persecutions.
Jehovah’s Witnesses see the outside world as evil and dangerous. Anyone speaking against them is persecuting them. They have an over present fear of demons. They are in constant expectation of Armageddon when God is going to destroy most of humanity.
- There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
Jehovah’s Witnesses who leave the organization, never have any legitimate reason for it. For the rest of the congregation, they are leaving God and they are evil. They become a bad association. That’s why they are shunned.
- Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
Most former JWs relate the same type of feelings and patterns from when they were one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Overall unhappiness, depression, dissent, cognitive dissonance, etc.
- There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
Indeed. There are more and more of those about Jehovah’s Witnesses, even if they are still too few.
- Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.
The average Jehovah’s Witness never feels good enough and always should do more according to the public talks that they hear week in and week out. They need to study more, peach more, and are always encouraged to do less for themselves and more for God.
- The group/leader is always right.
Leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses are never to blame, and never apologize or recognize any past mistake. When they mistakenly announced the end of the world in 1975 (for example), they eventually blamed individual Jehovah’s Witnesses to have believed it. I can personally remember hearing this when I was a JW.
When they demanded that members choose to go to jail rather than accepting to have anything to do with military-related tasks that were required in some part of the world, the organization later blamed members to have been “too strict with themselves,” even though, back then, they were threatened to be expelled if they had performed any military-related task.
Hypocrisy at grand scale!
- The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
Jehovah’s Witnesses call their religion “the truth.” The information they study come from their Governing Body (the leaders of the cult). No one is allowed to question, criticize or correct any such teaching. Such teach is said to be coming directly from God. Those who dare to disagree out loud are systematically called apostate and disfellowshipped.
Who Truly are Jehovah’s Witnesses?
While Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that they are the only chosen people living the purest life there is, which is in accordance with the Bible, the church is still overwhelmingly riddled with cases of hypocrisy.
The most damaging case being the thousands of pedophilia cases, not only in Australia but also in the United States and Europe.
But besides these, there are other cases of complete hypocrisy and lies that are not so uncommon for such a self-righteous group.
In 2015 a documentary by French reporter, Olivier Delacroix discussed the story of an ex-Jehovah’s Witness woman named Priscille, who was shunned by her closest family members while the reason she had left the religion was because she found out that her mother was a secret alcoholic, and her father who was an Elder (one of the leaders of the congregation) knew all about it.
Alcoholism and lies are both grave sins according to the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Priscille was beyond shocked when she learned that not only her father knew this, but had never disclosed it to the congregation as he should have had.
When Priscille reported the secret of her family to the other Elders of the congregation they did absolutely nothing about it. In this case, they simply bypassed all Biblical rules they were supposed to follow to a tee, and which they teach to the members of the congregation on a weekly basis.
Discussed and disillusioned, Priscille left the religion and became the black sheep for having said the truth.
While the rest of her family and the congregation live in a cozy hypocritical self-righteous cover up, Priscille has lost her whole family (mother, father, brother, sister and nephews) in the name of Jehovah God.
Another documentary broadcast in French TV was exposing cases of pedophilia in Finland. A young man who had been abused sexually by an elder of the congregation ended up being dissfellowhshipped for having been caught smoking, while his abuser was still an elder in good standing in the congregation.
The organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses tried to band the broadcast of this documentary on Finish TV, but a judge ruled that the documentary was to be broadcast.
What makes these stories so alarming, is that they are no isolated cases. The more you hear ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses stories the more you realize that they are many similar stories out there. At times, you hear of such stories even within the religion.
While Jehovah’s Witnesses want to believe and make believe that they are purer than any other religions out there, they are as hypocritical as any.
Why Jehovah’s Witnesses Teaching is Twisted and Dangerous?
When you become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you are supposed to avoid people outside of the religion.
The indoctrination of Jehovah’s Witnesses is actually known to even put frictions in married couples when only one of the two spouses “accept the truth” while the other doesn’t. Some marriages have ended in divorce for the sole reason of this cult coming between the two spouses.
When they are children in the family, the situation can get quite difficult when the spouse who became a Jehovah’s Witness will try to drag the children in the cult with them, while the other parent will try to prevent that from happening.
Because of the radical teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses, children who are born in the religion, have never formed any type of friendship outside of the religion.
The average Jehovah’s Witnesses is pretty isolated, because they have never formed any relationship with anyone who’s not a Witness, or have been encouraged to cut ties with “none believers” when they became a Witness later in life. Their only friends are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
But because of this twisted indoctrination, when a Jehovah’s Witness decides to leave the religion, every single of his Witness friends, relatives, and even close family members will turn their back on them.
So, that individual will find himself or herself totally alone. No more friends inside of the cult, and no friends outside of the cult.
This is the dangerous snare that many Jehovah’s Witnesses who have left the religion are finding themselves in.
Jehovah’s Witnesses indoctrination program teaches people to act and react like robots. I’ve heard other ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who were high ranking members of the religion (such as elders) saying that the average Jehovah’s Witness has no clue about human emotions anymore.
Actually, the ones who still do have human emotions are the ones who eventually “wake up” and leave the cult.
When they do, though, they know what to expect.
The pitiful and wicked teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses has forced some individuals to stay in a cult that became an emotional and psychological prison for the sake of not losing the only people they ever knew, while others who have left ended up committing suicide, not being able to sustain such ostracism.
The ones who have managed to leave relatively unscathed, like me, an even flourished as an individual with freedom of thoughts, have been moved to become activists in denouncing this dangerous cult otherwise known as the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Why I Left the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses
I had become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses at a time in my life where I was looking for answers. That’s basically always the type of people that Jehovah’s Witnesses will pray on.
However, over time, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of love within the religion. That supposed Christian love that Jehovah’s Witnesses like to preach about.
Jealousy, slander, and plain wickedness were all there to be observed and experienced. Yes, among a people that believes that it’s God chosen and better than anyone else. A people that believes will survive Armageddon (God’s war) and live in an earthly paradise.
When I was certain that I didn’t want to spend eternal life with this kind of people, it wasn’t hard to leave that organization which I knew had nothing to do with God.
However, I paid the price. The same price most ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses have paid. I’ve lost my family.
Writer and Life Coach