Russia’s bans on Jehovah’s Witnesses

If Secretary of State Hillary Clinton draws inspiration from Eleanor Roosevelt the same way she famously did as First Lady, … Continued

If Secretary of State Hillary Clinton draws inspiration from Eleanor Roosevelt the same way she famously did as First Lady, maybe Clinton will speak out against the blow to the freedoms of press, speech and religion dealt by the Russian Supreme Court this week. Russia’s highest court upheld a regional ruling that outlaws Jehovah’s Witnesses from gathering to worship and sharing their beliefs with others. Dozens of the religion’s publications were banned as “extremist” – including its Watchtower magazine and a children’s book of Bible stories.

Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States were losing their First Amendment freedoms in the 1940s, when Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady. Witnesses were jailed when they preached, fired from jobs and their children expelled from public schools. But Roosevelt publicly defended the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses despite their widely unpopular views. She urged calm when Witnesses were attacked by mobs in more than 40 states. What Eleanor Roosevelt understood is the canary-in-a-coal-mine effect: Jehovah’s Witnesses were the canary and the First Amendment was at stake. If one group’s speech is snuffed out on the whims of whoever has the most power or popularity, then a toxic environment is left behind that can quickly suffocate any unpopular group that follows.

In 1940, the U.S. Supreme Court acted no differently than today’s Russian court when it ruled against Jehovah’s Witnesses. Then, the Witnesses were considered a dangerous and subversive element to the state. They didn’t want to salute the flag, saying that kind of allegiance is only for God, and God was not American (German Witnesses were refusing the Nazi salute at the same time, for the same reason, and were put in concentration camps for it). The U.S. Supreme Court’s response in Minersville v. Gobitis was a shocking decision that said a free society could force its citizens to engage in patriotic ritual.

Jehovah’s Witnesses disobeyed the ruling and mob violence ensued. That’s when Eleanor Roosevelt spoke out. By 1943, at the height of World War II, the Supreme Court acknowledged it had made a mistake when it said nationalism could be coerced by the state. In West Virginia v. Barnette, the justices reversed their previous decision, issuing it on Flag Day.

The Supreme Court came to know Jehovah’s Witnesses very well. The Witnesses have won a record 50 cases that expanded freedom for everyone — even groups they disagree with. The precedents set by Jehovah’s Witnesses in the 1940s helped pioneer the modern civil rights movement for other unpopular groups who sought Constitutional equality: women, people of color, gays and lesbians. Had Eleanor Roosevelt not spoken out in defense of Jehovah’s Witnesses and had the Witnesses been smothered in the First Amendment coal mine early on, how much free speech would have existed for the unpopular groups that followed?

The Russians may find the practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses as annoying as Americans do. But a little door-knocking is a necessary annoyance to live in a free society. Without that freedom, what happens when Russian citizens want to circulate a neighborhood petition against government malfeasance, or say something critical of Vladimir Putin?

Some argue Jehovah’s Witnesses do not deserve fair treatment since they don’t embrace total free speech or equality within their own membership: gay marriage is forbidden, women are not allowed to be religious leaders or teach congregants, members who insist on breaking the moral code or changing doctrine are subject to expulsion and shunning. Yet a number of major world religions follow the same policies. What if a free and democratic nation, as Russia claims to be, banned the Catholic Church?

A true democracy allows for freedom of all religions, even if a religion appears oppressive by the standard of outsiders. In a free society, people get to choose how or whether they want to worship. A religion will thrive or wither based on popular demand. In the United States, there are 1.1 million people who accept the theology of Jehovah’s Witnesses (0.3 percent of the population). In Russia, 160,000 have chosen to join the faith. The market will determine a religion’s membership. It’s not up to the government to say which religion is good or bad.

The same goes for speech. Unpopular words in Alabama (“gay pride”) require the same Constitutional protection as what’s unpopular in San Francisco (“homosexuality is sin”). In the end, the truth will prevail. It always does. But getting to the truth can be fraught with peril when a government decides to suffocate ideas before they can get a fair hearing. This is why it would be good for Hillary Clinton to channel a bit of Eleanor Roosevelt when it comes to Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.

Joel Engardio directed the award-winning PBS documentary KNOCKING about Jehovah’s Witnesses. He is a writer, filmmaker and civil liberties advocate. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today and on NPR and PBS. Engardio currently helps the American Civil Liberties Union communicate its message and issues through online video.

  • Gayle777

    “In the end, the truth will prevail. It always does.”Sometimes groups “reap what they sow.” If they hurt others, then they are dangerous. The majority of the JW youth, leave JWs. As a result, most of them are “banned,” shunned, expelled, disfellowshipped by the JW religion. Most were ‘baptized’ very young but later at maturity chose to leave the high-mind control sect and because of high manipulation from their Governing Body on JW members and even their JW families/friends must obey the JW “ban.”

  • swtliljibr

    Great article, Mr. Engarido does a wonderful job of pointing out the facts. What this boils down is to freedom of speech. All people have opinions such as the previous post, which I find intersting since Jehovah’s Witness are one of the few relgions that don’t believe in infant baptism. But the question is does someone have the right to tell you what you can believe and what you can read, or wear because they don’t agree with it? The First Admendment says that you can’t.

  • rmay1

    Thank you Mr. Engardio for bringing the world’s attention to this. Unfortuantely, the erosion of freedoms that has taken place in Russia and the rest of the former USSR is a warning sign to the rest of the world that history may indeed be repeating itself shortly. All freedom loving people should take note and decry this action.

  • MichaelATX

    Obviously, and I speak from the deep experience of my own tortured experience with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Eleanor Roosevelt and the U.S. Supreme Court were wrong.How dare they ask for rights as a group that they consistently refuse to extend to their own members?There are many ways to destroy, each as effective as the next. As a group they’ve left a path of emotional and mental destruction in their wake that rivals that of the most barbaric and totalitarian rulers of history. Perhaps the Russian Supreme Court has correctly applied the “acid test” and realized that if the situation were reversed that Jehovah’s Witnesses would NEVER graciously extend the same freedoms it seeks to others.Perhaps the Russian Court with its historical proximity to totalitarianism understands more clearly than most that Jehovah’s Witnesses effectively share a legacy of exclusion equivalent to that of the Ku Klux Klan when it comes to reciprocity, albeit not one based on skin color.In short, perhaps the Russian Court knows the totalitarian spiritual legacy of a Stalin when they see it.Good for the Russians!Michael Young

  • marly1230

    It seems a lot of people who post comments like to speak without having done their research. The fact of the matter is that all religions have certain teachings whether you choose to follow them is up to you. You make your own choice to follow or not, for those of you not familiar with the bible, that is called “free will”. Jehovah’s witnesses follow the teachings of the bible and if you actually read the bible you can see that nothing they do is out of the ordinary. I have never heard of a witness to refuse medical help for religious reasons. If they refused it, it is because that is what they want to do and you cannot force medical help on anyone who does not want it. Catholics and other forms of Christians teach no sex before marriage but yet I’ve met a lot of them that have premarital sex yet still go to church and are active in their religion so again, it’s your choice whether you choose to do something that is taught. As far as the no blood issue, now days that should not be a farfetched thing with all the diseases that we have. There are other substitutes and medications that can be given that work just as well as a blood transfusion but people just choose to go the easier route which is to take blood from another. Again, it’s your choice. As far as them dealing with serious issues like rape or domestic violence, I’ve never heard of it being “dealt within”, you might be confusing them with the Catholics. Either way everyone has their opinions based on stories they have heard or read but not until you actually walk in their shoes should you express such harsh comments. Every religion has its faults so should we ban them all??? We are all human and we ALL make mistakes. It’s funny how some people like judging others without looking in the mirror first.

  • halozcel1

    Dear Joel Engardio,Your Freedom begins where My Freedom ends.Yes.*A true democracy allows for freedom of all religions(cults),even if a religion appears Oppressive by the standard of outsider*Not by the standard of Outsiders,By the Standartd of Human Rights and Contemporary Values.Your Freedom starts where My Freedom ends.

  • ARE_U_4_REAL

    I tell you most of these comments have nothing to do with the article.. What is this a meeting of the disgruntled JW’s..?? I know allot of these comments are ex-JW because I have friends who are and they are nothing like what some of these comments say.. If you are not in the religion anymore than you should be happy, not taking every chance you get to go BASHING.. There are bad people in every religion.. EVERY RELIGION.. You can’t attack a religion just because you don’t like how they do things.. There are religions out there that don’t care what you do.. All you have to do is show up and put money in the pot and that makes you saved.. UMMMMM why isn’t anybody bashing that?? How are you going to say that JW’s destroy families, when there are religions that strap bombs to their wifes and kids?? There are religions that preach having more than one wife.. There are religions that teach through complete and total fear.. Some of you people need to let your issues go and go do what YOU want to do with your life if you are not happy.. If you know so much than start your own religion like everybody else..

  • jehovahinfo

    Jehovah’s Witnesses and freedom of speech.

  • TrueResponse

    It is indeed sad to see freedom of speech banned in this way. To make comment on a couple of the above comments.I have been a JW for over 30 years. Never have I seen or heard it encouraged to keep matters that should be handled by police or the legal system not reported. If someone breaks a law why should they not receive the discipline for it? If someone does something that the Bible condemns and are not repentant why should they not be dis-fellowshipped from the congregation?I have seen many other religious faiths not do anything if someone does something wrong. Someone cheats on their spouse and it is overlooked. Why do other religious faiths have a fear of holding tight to some simple morals or Bible principals?Simply put, no where is it encouraged to not report the police things such as rape, pedophiles, marital abuse, or any other action that could be deemed a crime. I have myself had hard times, and I have always been encouraged to work at being a good father, husband and neighbor. The counsel and encouragement has helped me to be a better person. On blood transfusions. If you refer to even the American Cancer Society they even list some of the medical dangers of blood transfusions. And even some of the alternatives. Many of these methods when used actually provide a better outcome during trauma or surgery. Looking at the pure medical science part of things, there are many alternatives out there that people would be crazy to not look into. This includes the dangers that even proper screening of blood can not do even with our current medical advancements.I hope those that read the comments actually look for the facts. And even perhaps use the Bible to verify the facts. 2 Tim 3:16,17

  • marly1230

    Well said ARE_U_4_REAL!!

  • ARE_U_4_REAL

    @Danny Haszard to everyone around him.. AKA MR. 3RD GENERATION JW.. That sounds like a title of some sort. Did you come up with that all by yourself.. This is exactly what I am talking about.. DISGRUNTLED JW..1. FACT: JW’s do not baptize you as a baby.. So that means if you choose to become a JW you have your own mind and ability to make decisions.. How can you choose to become a JW then bash them like you didn’t already know what they were about before you joined?????? That’s Stupid. I don’t care if you were 12 when you joined, that’s YOUR FAULT..2. You said “forbidding them to speak to former members, even close family members.” WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF FORBIDDING??? COULD YOU PLEASE LOOK THAT UP AND POST IT PLEASE.. NEVERMIND I WILL DO IT FOR YOU..THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS MAKING ANYONE DO ANYTHING! IF YOU WANT TO TALK TO YOUR FAMILY WHO IS NOT IN THE JW RELIGION THEN GO AHEAD. THEY JUST TRY TO GIVE WARNINGS LIKE “DONT SMOKE IT CAN KILL YOU” IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE GOING TO STOP BUT IT WILL KILL YOU EVENTUALLY IF YOU CONTINUE..You are purposely posting comments that would destroy anyone who is weak minded enough to not think it through.. 3. Like this garbage:I almost don’t have words for this garbage, but I’m gonna muster some out for you.. IF YOU JOIN A RELIGION.. KEY WORD BEING JOIN.. WHY WOULD YOU WANT FREEDOM TO WORSHIP SOMEWHERE ELSE?? THAT’S LIKE JOINING THE AIRFORCE BUT YOU TELL THEM YOU ONLY WANT TO DO WHAT MARINES DO..lolol then GO BE A MARINE STUPID!!OK I got part 2 coming to you on that “oppressive cult comment”

  • TrueResponse

    A note sorta along with ARE_U_4_REAL.On this comment: “And it denies former members their right of freedom of worship by refusing to allow them to leave the religion with dignity, should they come to disagree with Watchtower’s practices or doctrines.”I have not ever heard of being told to go chase someone down, or harass them every chance I get because they have decided to no longer be a Witness. So Danny, should we all follow what you say? Wouldn’t this be defined as a ‘cult’? Sorry but as far as I can remember yes I have and do read the articles and books such as the Watchtower and Awake. But have noticed all points have scriptures along with them. And wow I look them up (I have about 5 different translations that I do use(one even the King James Version)). And have always noticed the valid points in the scriptures being brought out. Again it simply comes down to look for the truth in the Bible. Of course it is my personal belief that the Bible provides solid direction for our lives. If you follow it’s counsel and are willing to make adjustments if needed. Ir provides you ways to be a good father, husband, neighbor, encourages you to be a good citizen. Show love to those you don’t know, or who even share your beliefs. Would you do that?

  • ARE_U_4_REAL

    @Danny Haszard dissident born JW 3rd generation LOLIt’s looks like you took my advice and started the religion of Danny Haszard the 3rd Generation JW.. lololOK let’s talk..Here are the key parts of the definition of a cult I found that are most disturbing:- a quasi-religious organization using devious psychological techniques to gain and control adherentsOK since the JW’s believe in ORGANIZATION that would mean there is no blind followers following a crazy dictator.. There are no sacred symbols being worshiped.. They are not a SECRET SOCIETY!! You should know because they knock on everyone’s door and tell you what they believe.. I have never heard anything about sacrificing a GOAT to gain acceptance..If they use any devious psychological techniques to gain and control adherents, this is what they would be from what I have been told:Hope, Everlasting life, Resurrection, No more sickness and death.. That’s where freedom of religion comes in.. This is not cult-like at all.. GIVING HOPE IS CULT-LIKE?? If you don’t want that, or believe in that, or think you can achieve it a different way then you have FREEDOM to do what you want.. AGAIN nobody is making you do anything.. Every religion has rules.. Some are considered harsh and some are considered to lax.. Faith is something that belongs to everyone to apply in whatever way they see fit.. AGAIN if you don’t like it you can leave.. I’m sure sooner or later someone will come along to tell you that the religion of DANNY Haszard has issues.. I’m sure all you are going to want them to do is leave..

  • JazzGirl1

    Speaking as someone who is well versed in a variety of religions I am always appalled at the amount of misinformation that abounds in society regarding religion in general. Unfortunately not only can most people not speak intelligently about practices in their own religion, they have even less knowledge about practices of other religions. JWs are not the only religion to ban gay marriage or not allow women as religious leaders. Perhaps you’ve all heard of Catholicism, Judaism and Islam? JW do not allow multiple wives, rapists, pedophiles or domestic abuse. These are all offenses for “disfellowshipping” or shunning, unlike other churches that allow their members to engage in these practises without consequences. Sure it may be condemned from the pulpit, but when is the last time you heard of someone being kicked out of the Catholic church because he beat his wife or raped someone? I think I’m safe to say many criminals in jail right now profess to be a member of one religion or another and never see any reprimand for their actions from their church. As for JW’s practising a private justice system, JW leaders repeatedly tell the congregations to report all illegal behavior to the authorities and any who don’t are disobedient and are acting against their religion. Yes, I believe JWs do require two eye witnesses before someone can be reprimanded. But I believe the US justice system also requires some proof before issuing a sentence as well. How many judicial courts do you know that will convict someone on just one eye witness? Since most religions don’t have access to their own forensic labs to process proof from a crime, good for JW’s for at least trying to protect their members from false accusations by asking for more than one eye witness. Would you really want to be in a religion where you could be shunned if just one person accused you of a horrific crime you didn’t commit because they didn’t like you?Currently most Christian religions require baptism soon after birth and the newborn has absolutely no say in what faith they want to follow. At least JW children have some sort of say in their baptism.JW’s are a peace loving people who are vehemently opposed to violence and murder. I must say I’m surprised there aren’t a few more people appreciating this fact in our post 9-11 world. Say what you want about JW’s – perhaps you are annoyed that they knock at your door. Perhaps you don’t believe what they teach. But the one thing they are not is a threat to society. At least you can be sure of one thing; if an act of terrorism occurs it certainly won’t be because a Jehovah’s Witness is protesting your way of life.

  • TrueResponse

    I have not seen PETERTAYLOR it being promoted in any publication or announcement that all Jehovah’s Witnesses should see the PBS documentary Knocking. Show me where he is identified as a “spokesperson” for Jehovah’s Witnesses. I don’t ever recall seeing that being some sort of official announcement… But the web is big. And there are all sorts of websites that want to be the official source of information on a topic. I mean those 4 other “major” outlets on the web must be sponsored by who? Please indulge the rest of the readers. :)

  • GeorgefromChicago

    To Michael Young and other critics of Jehovah’s Witnesses. While I’m sorry to hear of your bad experiences, JW’s endeavor to apply Bible standards not governmental or legal standards as the primary source of their doctrine. Of necessity, that means that our views will from time to time conflict with popular or legal opinion. But we are decent people trying to uphold the Biblical view of both morality and government. Worshipping God has never been a popularity contest. By the way… there are plenty of Bible examples that show that not all religion, morality, thoughts, or motivations are acceptable to him. Moses and the Israelites shunned the Egyptian culture and gods. Daniel and his 3 Hebrew companions refused to eat the delicacies of the Babylonian King, and refused to honor his Obelisk. There are many more, including in the Christian era. The thing is, to us God is real, Satan is real, and moral choices have consequences. Now and perhaps eternally. But all of this is ultimately in God’s hands. For now, we do our best to honor him and obey his quite clear commandments and principles.Evangelism is at the heart of them. And the heart of evangelism is delivering the message of the Bible in an unadulterated form.My apologies if you don’t like the message, but we are committed to delivering it.Finally, Jehovah’s Witnesses are good people and, having been one for 35 years + can tell you very well that we are imperfect, but people of faith, doing our very best to honor God and be fully committed to our faith.Becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the very best decision I ever made.

  • TrueResponse

    Dear PETERTAYLOR I did not mean for you to perceive my response as a personal attack. But was asking for the reference material that you stated was fact.

  • Solanders

    As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses for more than 50 years, I can dismiss the anit-Witness chatter here as the fumings of apostates and disgruntled writers, or of people who are seriously misguided.Either you are for freedom of religion or you are not. There can be no selective freedom of religion.The ban of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia merely shows that the Russian persecutors learned nothing from the disastrous Soviet years, when Jehovah’s Witnesses were also banned, but continued to thrive.Darkness always hates the light, and falsehood always struggles against the truth.But the truth always prevails, and sooner or later, it will in this instance also.As wise Rabban Gamaliel is reported to have said about an earlier persecution of Christians, in his only citation in the New Testament, “Therefore in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38, 39, New International Version)

  • ConcernedMom4kids

    Jehovah’s Witnesses lay claim to the *truth* they also apply John 13:35 to themselves about having the mark of love.Fakes and frauds,Jesus said his disciples would be the *salt of the earth*not the sleaze of the earth.

  • lgubala

    I was raised a JW. It was a horrendous experience. Our family remains fractured and divided because of this insidious cult. I remain in contact with a few active members and it is quite telling how unhappy and judgemental they are as a group. Certainly nothing of Christ’s love in that Kingdoom Hell…

  • idohoneymoons

    Yeah, because the “My Book of Bible Studies” is frightening and extreme. Psh Morons

  • ConcernedMom4kids

    Murder and mayhem in the Jehovah’s Witnesseslook at this link of case historiesThey hate the world, they hate other religions, they hate everything about “this system of things.”

  • idohoneymoons

    I’m reading a lot of JW bashing. These people need to STOP TALKING!! This article talks about our Freedom of Religion. Why can’t you stay on task? I’m sure everyone would agree that it’s rather annoying. Talk about what every one of us has in common. The potential to lose this very freedom. That means, Jew, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and EVERY religion in between. No matter your religion. In the end, Jehovah God WILL do what He’s set out to do. Prove HIS sovereignty and NO ban will stop Him.If you are an ex J Dub, so on another site and air your trash, PLEASE.

  • idohoneymoons

    I’m reading a lot of JW bashing. These people need to STOP TALKING!! This article talks about our Freedom of Religion. Why can’t you stay on task? I’m sure everyone would agree that it’s rather annoying. Talk about what every one of us has in common. The potential to lose this very freedom. That means, Jew, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and EVERY religion in between. No matter your religion. In the end, Jehovah WILL do what He’s set out to do. Prove HIS sovereignty.If you are an ex J Dub, so on another site and air your trash, PLEASE.

  • MichaelATX

    “You’re either for freedom of religion or you’re not.” If it means supporting, or even tolerating, Jehovah’s Witnesses (a/k/a The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society) then you can happily put me into the “not” column.I see another poster used the usually unfortunate word “sleaze” to describe the whole mess. I understand fully. “Sleaze” couldn’t be less gratuitous or more appropriate in this context.No matter. The kids won’t put up with it and leave in droves when they reach the age of majority.Don’t they? They see it for what it is, they hate it, and they leave.Good for them I say.That leaves membership to be driven by continually recruiting disaffected, disenfranchised, marginalized, typically uneducated, easily controlled young adults, doesn’t it?The result isn’t pretty, is it?Every day, I thank a God I don’t come close to fully understanding for giving me the strength to get out of the unholy mess known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

  • trumpetet

    JWS ARE a harmful cult,and they DO destroy families and lives,knowingly or not. EX No.1–My family and my life. I was raised a JW from the age of 4 up, baptized at 13(this means full dedication). I was told not to pursue advanced education at a young age, and being young and naive, i took to the teachings. I had many many friends that i cut ties with because of “bad association”, i also gave up academic opportunities(Not going to college is encouraged by the congregation.) etc etc.But in all actuality these decisions weren’t really mine, i was doing what i was told, and out of fear of eternal destruction,when you’re young you believe what your parents teach you. However, by age 15 i had doubts and by 18 i had completely lost all religious beliefs.

  • ARE_U_4_REAL

    @PetertaylorYou said:”ARTICLE AUTHOR Joel P. Engardio1. So let me see if I can wrap my mind around this one……. I think we can all agree that it’s foolish to classify Gays and lesbians as JW Gays and Lesbians first of all.. The concept just flat out doesn’t exist. And by the way please get your facts straight.. Anyone can go door to door.. Going door to door by itself doesn’t measure how involved someone is as a JW.” 2. If he is an outspoken gay activist the least of his problems is JWs.. In fact he fixed that problem for himself when he became “OUTSPOKEN”. Last time I checked gay lesbian rights are not widely excepted by the majority of the US as well as other countries.. Just ask Elton John..3. You don’t have any facts to back up anything you say.. You can post all the blogs and fake websites you want.. JWs believe in the marriage of a man and a woman.. All you people do is sit around and try to find ways to tear down people.. Satan did the same thing.. That’s why he was tossed out of heaven.. No matter what religion you are, you can read that in the bible for yourself. All Satan did in heaven is question Jehovah and his fellow brothers in an effort to get devotion for himself.. Just like you. Let me ask you APOSTATES this.. What do you do with those few people you get to believe the garbage the comes out of your mouth..? What do you replace the hope for the future with?? At the end of your words is a just black hole that only leads to a collection pot that people have to fill in order to hear more of your garbage..

  • marly1230

    There are bad experiences in every religion. Every religion has fanatics that take “rules” to extremes, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to worship as they want. Whether you agree with their beliefs or not, it really shouldn’t be any of your business. Plain and simple, if you don’t like it, don’t look at it. Those who are dedicated to bring down any religion that is not breaking any laws really needs to find a hobby or just get a life. Many of you, I would say should seek therapy if you feel you had bad experiences as a child, whatever religion you were in and maybe focus your energy on getting yourself mentally healthy. There are atheists who don’t believe in religion period so because of that should we abolish all religion? No one is ever happy! If there was just one religion people would find something to complain about. There is always someone to complain about something. Get over it people!

  • ginfen41

    I was raised as one of Jehovahs Witnesses. At 15 I decided I would rather not live my life based on bible principles. I quit going and I was never discouraged from seeing my family, most of which are still Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was invited to every family function and my children and I both knew we were loved. After 30 years of smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling, marriage & divorced 3 times, and trying several different religions, I finally started studying the bible again. It is the best decision I have ever made. When I began attending meetings again I was very warmly welcomed. The JW’s are loving people who would do anything for people. Jesus told his followers to have love for one another, that nothing was more important and I see that every day in the way these pepole live their lives. They are not perfect, they make mistakes, but they live their life as closly based on bible teachings as they can. Not something I saw in the Church of Christ, Methodist, or Catholic Church. Before you bash, talk to one of them.

  • idohoneymoons

    Trumpetet……………………………. sounds to me like you’re an angry atheist with some sad issues. I can tell by the way you don’t capitalize the G in His name. No one has to prove the existence of GOD, He’s already proved it. Is every Catholic a child molester, every Muslim a murderer, every Jew cheap? Why are you judging a group of 7 million into a few bad examples? It’s an ignorant person who doesn’t realize that the burden of proof is not on ANYONE. The proof is in the bible. When the whole human race thought the earth was flat, the bible said it was round…..thousands of years earlier. Proof for all mankind, it’s past, present and future is in the bible. Why do people celebrate holidays that originated with pagans? What is the purpose of life? Why did God create the earth? Why is there so much suffering? What happens to the dead? These are what you should be questioning.

  • camp_photos

    Most people I know are not practicing the religion of their parents, especially the ones from dysfunctional families. Those complainers that think this article is somehow ‘all about me’ are telling the rest of us that YOU have a problem and YOU would have that same problem no matter what religion you or your dysfunctional family affiliated itself with.

  • theraerg

    The clean and truly Christian Religion is again attacked through the power of the Russian Orthodoxy.Who was it that NEVER “HEILED” Hitler or Swastica in Germany? Only Jehovah’s Witnesses had the courage to uphold the scripture in Exodus 20:4,5. Who else? Not even one other religion.

  • shawnfl37

    ITs funny that there are so many that either hate JWs or Love them. Those who hate are those who have left the organization. Those who love them either are in the orginization or closely tied. any issue that is brought up (ex: no blood transfusions)can be defended by the bible. but can u defend child molestation in the bible. drunkeness or slaughtering your fellow man in war. no but most modern religions do it and justify it. JWs pay ther taxes raise ther children to respect the police and there teachers. keep there homes in good shape. bring hope to those who ae depressed for free. whens the last time the catholic priests went door to door with the Lords message. JWs dont steal or tell dirty jokes. help there fellow neighbor during dissasters.Jesus said that if you follow me you will be persecuted. So we welcome the persecution knowing we are Pleasing our king and redeemer Jesus Christ.

  • jamesmduffy

    This article is about freedom of press, speech and religion, things the Founding Fathers of America tried to provide. Not all Countries currently enjoy this privilege. If you are concerned about this happening in Russia (and elsewhere) you should take notice.

  • plasma411

    Nothing different between the JW and a cult. Should we have given jim jones freedom of speech?

  • betty_boop_diaz

    The issue being raised by Mr. Engarido should be of concern to all religions, in fact it should be of concern to any and all who have views that are not shared by the mainstream of society.To have a grounded faith you must believe in the unseen. Once this faith has been acquired, you will see for yourself the light, and the way through the scriptures. The truth will set you free, and it will be undeniable in such a way that you will literally feel “the prize.”I was raised a J.W. , vascilated for a while when in my twenties about making it my own. When I did reach out to embrace Jehovah I wanted this more than anything else. I am raising my children to love and worship their creator, it is the best gift I can give them. When we look back at our life, moments suddenly become the trophies of our journey, even Mr. Engarido surmises some of his very special “moments” as being spiritual.Yes pressure should be put on Russia to allow for freedom of expression for the Witnesses. We are not forcing anything unwanted on anyone. Bible truths are free, are liberating and are light not darkness. We share with all that are yearning to learn. The United States should take some measures in sending mediators to meet with proper officials in a timely manner.

  • ccnl1

    To reiterate, it is all about the founders of the major religions and their favorite “tinkerbell(s)” aka angel(s).Joe Smith had his Moroni.Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;Mohammed had his Gabriel (this “tinkerer” got around).Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other “no-namers” to do their dirty work or other assorted duties. Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these “pretty/ugly wingie thingies” to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us. Some added references to “tinkerbells”.”Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah.”Apparently hallucinations did not stop with Joe Smith.

  • regmalone

    Please, if you are genuinely interested in what the Bible says about God’s original purpose for humans and how his coming Kingdom will bring about its restoration and an end to all human suffering, where earthly governments stand in relation to God and what role the Devil continues to play in human affairs, exercise your religious freedom and check out the official Jehovah’s Witnesses website: The Watchtower Society acknowledges that – like any human organization – it isn’t perfect. That even God’s own chosen nation of Israel erred is well-documented in the Bible. However, dedicated, baptised JWs are exercising their freedom of religion when they choose to accept the Biblical basis for the teachings of their sect.

  • Pure

    how can we appriciate someones work, just by thanking them.the entire world is turning into religion. In USA are returning to their churches, why ‘cos they know something its coming,,and they might be saved.why hate someone instead love them, why fight and for what we fight,,,no reason we ourselves do not know, we know what we get told.if someone knocks to your door talk to them. why most people are depressed, not enough love among themselves, no friends no family….lots of tv instead….really where are we going??????????????????????????

  • trk1961

    If all religions tried to follow the bible to the letter, they would all be considered extremist. God’s laws and morals are extreme in comparison to todays standards. It is the bible that says that it’s followers should not practice fornication, homosexuality, drunkiness, lying, cheating, spiritism, etc. It’s followers should not be lovers of the world, or lovers of money, haughty, jealous, hating one another. It’s followers are to abstain from blood, remove unrepentant ones from among them, learn war no more, be no part of the world. They must love their enemy, have love among themselves, preach about the good news of the kingdom, take care of their families, and must take in accurate knowledge of the bible and not teach doctrines of men. God is the one that says Satan is the ruler of this world and that not all saying Lord, Lord and prophesing in his name have his favor. So if others feel Jehovah’s Witnesses are extreme, then they must be doing what they’re suppose to do. Following God’s laws and not man’s. It is God’s good opinion that counts, not modern day liberals. I feel bad about what the brothers are going through, but they were banned for years and it didn’t stop them. They will still continue to serve Jehovah and to find sheeplike ones who want to learn about Jehovah and his promises. Persecution just makes ones faith stronger. They learn to rely more fully on Jehovah’s strength and not their own.

  • import_me

    The word extremism has become like a spiked bludgeon since 9/11. Like history has shown us humanity has turned on any religion that doesn’t say or think that “everything and everyone is all good”. People have begun to use extremism as an excuse to silence anyone with a dissenting voice. But here is the problem. Unlike other religious groups, Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely separate from politics. They will never force you to not be gay or to not be gayly married. They will never force you to not have an abortion or any other matter of conscience. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in free-will and leave governance to the realm of politics. We will never blow up your building because we do not support war or man-made politics. Is an extremist that does not trouble you extreme? Or are you as the name-caller really trying to force your opinions upon the Jehovah’s Witnesses, forcing them to change to suit your beliefs, and in the process, under-minding freedom of thought and speech. Sounds like 1984′s Thought Police to me.

  • ccnl1

    Once again, it is all about the founders. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs”, Russell et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of “pretty/ugly wingie thingie” (aka angels/satans) visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).Current crises: Adulterous preachers, “propheteering/ profiteering” evangelicals and atonement theology, all male hierarchies and strange banking and funding.

  • KiCharmJohnKim

    To all you who claim to speak for JW’s, your manner of replying to detractor reflects your faith or lack thereof. Jesus spoke the truth and to the point, not word for word “back at you” responses. He wasn’t interested in winning arguments or “being right.” He wanted to win hearts and if you truly represent JW’s, your comments should reflect that spirit.To all who look at Joel Engardio as an oxymoron in terms of his background and personal sexual orientation: the Bible says that God would make stone speaks if people did not. What is so surprising about his comments?

  • Carstonio

    “Unlike other religious groups, Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely separate from politics. They will never force you to not be gay or to not be gayly married. They will never force you to not have an abortion or any other matter of conscience.”While those don’t affect me personally since I’m a straight man, I can respect that position. But why do the Jehovah’s Witnesses or any other religious groups have to have beliefs about the entire human race in the first place? Why couldn’t the groups simply restrict their gods and their rules to their own members?

  • TruthProclaimer

    I know a few things about Jehovah’s Witnesses. First is that they take every word in the Bible seriously and try to follow every principle therein. They do not go to war because Jesus taught them to love their enemies. The Bible says to expel anyone who is a pretender. Anyone who is found to be a murderer, rapist, child molester, adulterer, theif or other unscriptural thing is expelled from their congregation. That is in the Bible too at Romans 16:17. It makes sense, I mean if you had a friend who broke into your house and wrote graffitti on your walls, would you continue being his friend? So they stop associating with those who critisize them for following everything written in the Bible. Acts 15:20 tells Christians to have nothing to do with blood, so they follow that order. Does that make them extremists? I do not think so. They have faith that God will resurrect them when God destroys all the divided, warring governments of this current world and establishes His righteous rule over human kind. This too is in the Bible at Daniel 2:44.Extreme Muslim countries and Communist China are the only governments who currently ban Jehovah’s Witnesses. Does the Russian government really want to get into bed with the likes of those?Does the Russian government fear the day that God will destroy all governments of this world? Perhaps; but stopping the JWs from telling everyone what the Bible says is not going to stop God.While I may not be able to follow the Bible to the letter the way the JWs do, I certainly respect their right to do so. Really, is it dangerous to follow the Bible? Can we really label peace loving people who obey the laws of whatever land they are in “extremist”? Doesn’t every religion claim to be the only true religion? I say live and let live. If you don’t like JWs then do not join them. One thing is for sure, they will never cause any harm to you or anyone you love.That is what I know about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • Carstonio

    “Doesn’t every religion claim to be the only true religion? I say live and let live. If you don’t like JWs then do not join them. One thing is for sure, they will never cause any harm to you or anyone you love.”That’s not quite true. Persecution of Jews by some Christians is motivated by the belief that Jews are doomed to hell for “rejecting” Jesus – these particular Christians seem to believe they are carrying out the will of their god. Jews would be justified at treating that belief as fighting words.I don’t know if JWs really believe that all governments and all other religions are the works of Satan. But if they do believe that, why wouldn’t they believe they have a divine mission to destroy all those organizations?

  • Carstonio

    To clarify, my question is not about JW specifically, but the danger inherent in any form of absolutism, including the idea of absolute truth.

  • ccnl1

    “Carstonio” is a straight man?? Hmmm, maybe in comedy duos but here one wonders if said person is also an “impostering” poster? Keep in mind this is an anonymous blog and multiple “IDers” abound!!!

  • JazzJones

    Most importantly, this is an issue of freedom of religion and free speech.Do any of you want to be standing alone if your freedoms were threatened? I don’t think so.Regardless of our like or dislike of other people’s beliefs, when one is threatened, all are threatened.Wake up!!!

  • Mary40

    It never fails to amaze me how Jehovah’s Witnesses are the first to cry about their “Right” to “Freedom of Religion” without repercussions when they deny this basic freedom to their own members.Their “knocking on doors” isn’t why they were banned. They were banned because they teach that all other religions (except theirs) and governments are being run by Satan and are evil. They force their members to watch their children or husbands and wives die rather than accept a blood transfusion. They tell their members that if they leave the religion, they will die at Armageddon (which has been ‘right around the corner for over 130 years now). There are a thousand rules that members must follow in order to be viewed as being “in good standing”. Anyone who’s ever watched George Orwell’s 1984 will have a good idea what this religion is all about.Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other extremist cults will never admit that they are a high control group or extremist, no matter how obvious it is that they are.

  • JazzJones

    @ Mary40:It never ceases to amaze me that blind hatred for the JW religion would cause you to miss the bigger picture here. The issue is FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH, not citing reasons why JWs should be denied those things.The moment that governments start to exclude rights from certain people or groups is the moment that they are given precedent to do it again. Why don’t you people get it?!!!What’s next? Women will not be allowed to make more money than men? Men are not allowed to be househusbands? All these oppressive gov’ts need is a precedent to hang all their decisions on and the rest of us are screwed.You should like yet another whiner about the actions of others rather than looking internally at your own psychological issues. Before you start ripping apart the JW faith, just remember that the same thing has happened to every other major religion that people practice nowadays. At one time, it was outrageous to be called a Christian. Now it’s almost outrageous if you’re not. The only thing that means is that the JWs are obviously doing something right.Also, it is baffling that you would put Scientology into the same realm as Jehovah’s Witnesses. One of the religions is about putting faith in God, refusing to go to war and kill, and emphasizes love of your fellowman. The other emphasizes the logic of man and science and believes that if you’re rich you’ve been granted with a wonderful treasure. Are you kidding me? JWs don’t have “power couples” in Hollywood that only speak its beliefs to other rich people or charge a fee for “curing you of your negative energies.” If you think those religions are similar, you should have your head examined.

  • MyOwnMind1

    As a young JW, I would like to say that Im not forced to love Jehovah or his organization. I am opinionated and dont ever take to ones own understanding. I believe what I believe not because of what my parents say or what the watchtower says but because of what the Bible says. Even in doing research projects for school I’ve came across stuff in encyclopedias and on the internet I already learned from the watchtower or other biblical publication. I love our worldwide brotherhood and know that no one can break it. We are taught free will and are not forced to do anything if so then there would not be so many that has fallen away. Being a JW is a choice you have to make for yourself. Secondly, The real issue at hand in this artical is the 1st Amendment not rather you agree or dis agree with JW beliefs. As a human being this upsets me. What will be next? Who will be next? The Russian government is not letting us exercise the free will God gave us.

  • MyOwnMind1

    GAYLE777My father left our religion at a very young age and after 15 or more years he has returned just like many young ones do.

  • jehovahinfo

    This bogus blood policy has killed thousands!Jehovah’s Witnesses blood transfusion confusionRemember the Jehovah’s Witnesses use thousands and thousands of pints of blood donated by others.They use 60% of the blood volume as broken down “fractions” then go on Bible thumping rants about how dangerous and sinful blood transfusions are.

  • ConcernedMom4kids

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses on one hand fill their books and lectures with details about how evil and corrupt every other religion is, but then when theirs is exposed as corrupt they fall back on how it’s “voluntary” to be a member, and how it’s not nice to say nasty things about them, and how they’re being “persecuted.” Jehovah’s Witnesses are unpopular for many reasons, none of which matched the early church except for non-political involvement, which is not exclusive to them at all. They are like carnival hucksters preaching the need to become a Jehovah’s Witness or die at Armageddon.

  • ConcernedMom4kids

    If you don’t do as they say and go by their many rules you feel that you are condemned.

  • MyOwnMind1

    Words of encouragement to the brothers and sisters in Russia and all others suffering. ~ Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you~ Matthew 5:12This is no shock and neither are some of these the comments.

  • mommajohnson

    it does not shock me the comments on this page either… the facts are in the action.. As a Jehovah Witness, I am Witness because EVERYTHING done is Bible based… its comes straight from Jehovah! Its does not have anyother persons ideas or thoughts… there is nothing that Witnesses do that is not drived by what the Bible says.. we dont get involved in what the World wants, because Jesus said “my people will be NO PART of this world”. and this is exactly who we are! The Witnesses educate people on what the Bible says, and because the Devil has a constant push on people to bad, we are have to constantly try to what is good, and surround ourselves with people doing that samething… My prayers go to the my brothers and sisters in Russia.. May Jehovah be with you and make you Strong!

  • JustMe2009

    Thank you for your support!

  • badkar38

    It is amazing to me how ignorant so called intelligent people think they are. Jehovah’s Witnesses are neither a cult nor an extreme religion group, nor are they subversive. The religious leaders of Jesus’s day thought the same thing about jesus, so much so they plotted to kill him, and they succeeded. Jesus taught things that went against that present day thinking, against tradition,and he went from house to house and door to door. As a christain, do you know what that means, let me help you, it means a follower of CHRIST, he followed the bible, which is the word of GOD. If Jehovah’s Witnesses are narrow minded in their view then so is GOD. Some of you posting were JW and got kicked out for doing WRONG, as you should because the bible says to do that, and now you are mad.

  • fragola

    Sitting here wasting time deciphering all the mambo-jumbo is not a pleasant task. To all scoffers out there I have one and only one question: “What are you offering in return”? I mean, you are prepared to criticize people for their Bible-based faith but what are you offering instead? Can you provide a scriptural basis that will stand any scrutiny for what it is that you advocate in place of what you seem so venomously oppose? Please though,offer something that HAS sustenance and not simply your own preferred stance.

  • LisaLove1

    Lets us all be quite honest about Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are a doomsday cult where only a few true believers will be saved at the coming apocalypse.

  • LisaLove1

    YES DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH GOOGLE: Jehovah’s Witness Watchtower

  • amyflorence

    ‘With that the high priest stood up and said to him: “Have you no answer? What is it these are testifying against you?” But Jesus kept silent. Matthew 26:62,63.’A brainless man despises his neighbor,

  • LAB21

    After reading all these posts, I don’t understand why you’re not discussing the topic at hand. What has been started in Russia could eventually be a threat to all of us at any given moment. Take a look at the world around you and you will see that things such as this are happening everywhere whether it is against a religious group, life choice group or even a representative from another country in a foreign land. History is/will continue to repeat itself in present conditions as long as the majority (in most places)and the powerful (in other places) support the action. Everyone has an opinion and is entitled to it, but when are we, as a HUMAN family, going to start looking out for each other and not support things like this whether we like thier ideals or not???I am not writing this to cast doubts on what any of you have found in regards to JWs, but if someone wanted to find something negative about any way of life isn’t there loads of information out there to support their findings???Also I am not undermining the rest of the comments here, but what religion or group of people have perfect people in their membership???What we really need to look at is, not how we feel about a particular group that is in the spotlight, but what is happening to a group of HUMAN BEINGS. The group that is to be discussed here, most persons don’t agree with their beliefs and way of life but…when are we as the HUMAN FAMILY going to stand out among the crowd and be different and do what is right for all???What are we going to do, as a family of humans, if this ban extends to other religious groups??? It just might…if the government sees that this is what the majority wants and approves of…

  • tangentvine

    Not all democracies are created equal. I seriously doubt that Russians could “circulate a neighborhood petition against government malfeasance” without Gov’t threats or worse. Russia & US are not comparable yet the author gives the impression that Russia is as democratic as Canada or Australia. The US Constitution is not international.Why has it always been so much easier to protect right to arms then to protect free speech? And finally, if it’s ok to label Obama a socialist it should perfectly ok to label Jehovah witnesses or any religion as a cult.

  • Carstonio

    “I don’t understand why you’re not discussing the topic at hand.”Fair question. I agree with you and with Engardio about the dangers of governments targeting specific religious groups. The apparent absolutism of the JW religion doesn’t justify that type of persecution. My interest is in the reverse – the fact that JWs are being persecuted in Russia doesn’t justify the religion’s absolutism. If the JWs really do believe that everyone else deserves eternal damnation, that amounts to slander.

  • Tigerman

    To all of you Jehovah’s Witnesses out there I want to desparately take hold of you, turn you upside down and shake all the Bull…t out of you that has been nailed into your head by the Watchtower Society. It will take me a while to clear your head for JW elders are extremely good at taking their own BS filled minds and hammering it into the minds of others. I speak from experience. My sensitive, God-loving (NOT Jehovah-loving ) gullible wife let the very nice, older couple into our home to talk about the Bible. (That was thirty-six years ago). Two years later I lost my wife and beautiful four year old son and baby daughter to Jehovah’s Witnesses. She was made to believe ( and I do mean MADE ) that the world was going to end in 1975. She came to me with tears streaming down her cheeks, begging me to become a Witness. I have been treated like an undesirable ever since.Those of you who are not Witnesses, PLEASE do not let them into your home . . .high control begets high control.Tigerman

  • JazzJones

    @ Mary40:To answer your retort about the blood issue, the refusal of blood is a Biblical commandment given at Acts 15:20. Just because other religions choose not to follow God’s commandments, that does not mean that JWs will follow in their sordid example. The life we all are living now is temporary and it will end in one way or another. If a person’s life were to end because they were adamant about following a commandment from God, who are you or anyone else to judge them for their actions? Who are JWs hurting by refusing to break their spiritual law? Certainly not you or me. As for their upholding the same Bible law for their children, God makes it very clear of what we should and should not do, regardless of what a human doctor says the child needs or regardless of what any of us perceive as cruelty. Aren’t these so-called brilliant doctors the same people that used to believe a lobotomy cured homosexuality? Exactly. This should tell you that the wisdom a person should trust should come from God, not from a human claiming to know more than Him.Also, JWs do not claim to be perfect, in fact, imperfection among its members is a cornerstone of the faith. Members of the Governing Body are not immune to imperfection either, which is something that is also acknowledged. The only thing these men can do is obey God’s law rather than man’s law, which would include fighting for their right to preach.The free will we all were granted by God is another cornerstone of the faith. JWs do not attempt to control anyone’s thinking. No one forced you to join the religion, break its Bible based rules, then be angry at the JWs for your unrepentant attitude. To this day, it appears that you still haven’t gained any valuable insight from your experience. All you’ve gained is hatred for a religion that has done nothing hurtful to you, regardless of what some of its imperfect people may have done. To reiterate, JWs are encouraged to not only think for themselves, but to make the religion their own by reading the Bible daily (a specific version of the Bible is not commanded upon anyone, though they do have their own translation), go to their Christian meetings (encouraged, but not demanded), and to preach door to door as Jesus did and commanded others to do. They are also allowed to comment freely at different segments during those meetings. So excuse me if I am a bit confused by your use of the phrases “mind control” and “no freedom of expression.”

  • JazzJones

    @ Mary40:JWs do not preach hatred for anyone. They preach the truth. As many of us know, the truth hurts. It may hurt you to know that Christendom supports the fighting of the wars that are brought about by Satan’s control over world governments and that these same wars are supported by the commercial world (businesses). This is Satan’s world, remember that? Also, the brothers and sisters in Malawi were voted not to purchase a “political party card”, not an equivalent to our Social Security Card. That card would have identified them as a part of a political party, not just identified them. As you know, JWs are “not part of the world” (John 17:16) and are political neutral by Biblical necessity. So as you said, “I would suggest you try reading a bit more on the subject before you lambaste anyone who does not agree with your perspectives.” JWs know that they will be hated because Jesus was hated (John 16:18) and that if they were doing wrong, the world would love them (John 16:19), but they keep choosing to uphold the Bible’s commandments and do what they are being commanded to do by Jesus himself. Jesus did “nothing of his own initiative” (John 8:42) and neither do Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • LAB21

    To my brotherhood out there.. I cannot believe how much you are going back and forth, like a debate, with the words written in this blog. Remember our Bible study that was conducted from the second article of the 10/15/09 magazine????? Especially paragraphs 7-9 and the admonition found at 2Tim 2:23-25??? Jesus is our master and perfector of the way of life we chose to live, so why are you not following his example closer. We, the slaves, are not greater than he is…are we??? He never took time out of his busy schedule to responded to the accusations against himself nor his Fathers’ organization. He only responded, on the night he was being tried illegally and at that time he was put under an oath “by the living God” to respond. Besides that he applied the council that is stated at

  • jehovahinfo

    Jehovah’s Witnesses have largest turnover of recruits,have one of the highest attrition rates of all denominations. Seventy percent or more of all kids born / brought up Jehovah’s Witnesses will leave,often in the state of ‘disfellowshiped’ which means they are considered dead to God and shunned by their own family.There actually are now twice as many former Jehovah’s Witnesses as there are active ones with thousands leaving every month.Baptisms at assemblies is often mostly family member children who have grown up JW.Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Gospel message’ is that Jesus had his return to power October 1914 and that he appointed them (the Watchtower people) as sole inheritors of all God’s assets.

  • TerryB3

    It doesn’t matter what you say people are still going to hate you anyway?To suggest that JW’s would let you die then dodge the bullet by saying it was up to the persons concience is just outright fraud & a lie!Here’ the contradiction: If the society says it’s up to ones concience to exercise judgement on fluids one takes into ones body (that is not whole blood or it’s primary components) – then this sounds pretty good?Ah wake up folks – Aint no forced judgement there?? Unless I’m mistaken it sounds quite the opposite – a persons concience is exactly that no coersion required (ever heard of free will?.Regarding the JW stand on whole blood & its major components (which is where they draw the absolute line) – it’s hardly a debate anymore caus there are massive amounts of alternatives available now & yes you don’t really have to wait until you’ve bled to death in an acident to get some alternative – IE; volume expanders & basic fluid replacement therapies are available even at the paramedic point.. for example saline etc.. will see you through until you get to hospital when you can get a plethera of blood alternatives.Thanks to medical advances & the cooperation of JW’s, these medical advances are redily available & blood is now becoming less atractive in the wake of such alternative products, in fact open heart surgeries etc are being perfomed daily on JW’s in yes – Bloodless surguries right around the world!!Refer to numerous link like this:

  • jehovahinfo

    How can there be literally MILLIONS of *premature* JW deaths over the 100 plus year history of Watchtower edged-of-the-seat new-world-coming-any-minute to fix your health problems?Simple-In 1992 when I exited the JW 90% of the my Congregation was absolutely convinced from Watchtower promises that they most certainly would not see 2010 in this ‘ole system’.Most of them where NOT managing there long term health care such as hypertension and diabetes,obesity,health check ups.Multiply this times 60,000 congregations and there you have it.This is a horrible cruel apocalyptic cult!Read my own life story born JW in 1957 then I get severe Ulcerative Colitis in 1970 and it was mismanaged because the Watchtower promised me the new system in 1975. NOW at 52 am lucky to be alive with only a colostomy bag.HERE

  • TerryB3

    Q1) Do JW’s print hate propaganda about other religions?HEY, looks like if you use the premise against JW’s then you’re GOING TO HAVE TO ALSO BAN JESUS?!!In fact you’ll also have to ban the entire bible bcause it’s also full of (politically incorrect) judgement messages of future destruction not only against ‘those that call hi Lord’ – but also against world GOVERNMENTS, & those that God don’t approve – THIS IS Scriptural VERBATIM! Check it out for yourself…Dan-2:44/Mat-13:49-50/Mat-24:14,38,39,51…Hey what about tis one…1Thess-1:8 “In a flaming fire taking vengance on them that know God not, and that obey not the gospel of..Jesus”…..Quoting the Bible doesn’t make JW’s guilty of hate speech – Just because JW’s quote bible texts that talk about a future destruction (yes the ‘A’ word armageddon) this doesn’t mean that they want you to rebell against authorities & law – NO WAY YOU NEVER SEE a JW involved in any political protest group! Quite the opposite this group openly confess support of state & actively promotes peace & submission to state law & ONLY NOT if it violates God’s laws IE; “Thou shalt not kill” – (Kind of makes sense ehhh?) Does this make them extremists? NO… UNLESS YOU THINK JESUS WAS AN EXTREMEIST TOO??

  • TerryB3

    Q2) Are JW’s really a cult as their haters VEHEMENTLY state?Just because JW’s quote bible texts that talk about a future destruction (yes the ‘A’ word armageddon) this doesn’t mean that they want you to rebell against authorities & law – NO WAY YOU NEVER SEE a JW involved in any political protest group! Quite the opposite this group openly confess support of state & actively promotes peace & submission to state law & ONLY NOT if it violates God’s laws IE; “Thou shalt not kill” – (Kind of makes sense ehhh?) Does this make them extremists? NO… UNLESS YOU THINK JESUS WAS AN EXTREMEIST TOO??So; JUST STICK TO THE POINT PLEASE ABOUT freedom of religiuos expression & of course perhaps concern for your own rights eh??

  • TerryB3

    A1.1) If JW’s can be accused of promoting hate speech by interpreting mainstream Christianity as the ‘majority of those that call “him Lord” (see prev post) according to Jesus parable in their publications it’s their PERROGATIVE to do so just as Jesus used the same PERROGATIVE by labelling the religious leaders of his day in the same way.It is true JW’s occasionally mention a historic truth about Christendoms HYPOCRITICAL record for example out of all Christian organisations in NAZI Germany, Italy & other european nations JW’S were one of the very few christian organisations that spoke loudly against NAZI propaganda & Hitler wanted to exterminate them along with the Jews – Whilst another mainstream Church signed an editct of support to Hitler & his Nazi 3rd-Reich Vision – ITS a FACT! CHECK OUT YOUR HISTORY.

  • TerryB3

    Final note on HYPOCRASY..Oh dare I mention it – the prominent Christian church I mentioned earlier – was in Italy & yes it signed an edict with Hitler – check out the recent HYPOCRASY of Christendom for yourself & by the way – no other denomination in Christendom at the time spoke out about the brutality, murder & vicious persecution JW’s received in NAZI GERMANY at that time!!! Why – well I guess you JW haters out there can answer that one??

  • DLL872

    I would like to comment to all my brothers and sisters in the faith:We can’t worry about what individuals think about us just as Lab21 best described it. We have work to do and we can’t keep letting ourselves be rapped up in the mundane ideas of this system of things.Thank you Mr. Engardio for covering the story. This helps us continue to see where we are in this stream of time.I’m not going to make this a long message so brothers, let us keep doing what is fine in Jehovah’s eyes; not in the eyes of those who refuse us. Stay strong, pray consistantly, await the day of Jehovah who is coming like a thief in the night.AGAPE…

  • stuart116

    There are many who attack Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some are ministers of churches who have seen members of their flocks leave to become Witnesses and some are ex-Witnesses who were disfellowshipped for grossly dishonest or immoral conduct. Stubbornly refusing to accept correction their only defense is to retaliate with apostate lies and slander.Disgruntled former Jehovah’s Witnesses never divulge to those whom their hate mongering is intended to influence just why it was that they were excommunicated. Telling the truth on just this point alone might prove helpful to those who read their comments but being helpful is no part of their motives. Instead of accepting correction they give in to the injured pride and jealousy that can result from being unmasked and not getting to have it their way. They allow their personal chagrin to fester until vexation leads them into open declarations of animosity, spewing forth all consuming tirades with such vehemence that they no longer have any capacity left for telling the truth.As a result, readers who relish hate filled criticism eagerly believe apostate lies and become their latest victims, while those interested in knowing the truth look for factual evidence and are not taken in by falsely contrived stories. If you are one who prefers to know the facts contact the nearest Kingdom Hall or ask the next Witness who calls at your door and it will be supplied to you.

  • stuart116

    When you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near.—Luke 21:20.A WORLDWIDE MESSAGE

  • Carstonio

    “Divine judgment was executed upon that Jewish system of things. “It’s outrageous to applaud the deaths of millions in that way. That’s like believing that the Holocaust victims got what they deserved.

  • dckaynor

    When the Jehovah’s come knocking on my door, I enjoy conversing to them. Never once have they ever expressed hatred toward any one, but just the opposite. The only hatred they have is toward terrible things and peoples actions. As far as there issue with blood, being in the medical field, I think there refusal to accept blood transfusions has cause a dramatic improvement in non-blood usage techniques, probably saving more lives today than was ever lost by there refusals to accept blood transfusions. I am thankful I live in a country that has the freedoms that the Jehovah’s have helped to preserved and established.

  • Carstonio

    “When the Jehovah’s come knocking on my door, I enjoy conversing to them. Never once have they ever expressed hatred toward any one, but just the opposite. The only hatred they have is toward terrible things and peoples actions.”That jibes with my own experience with JW callers. I find the comments by JWers here very confusing, because I don’t how a group that believes outsiders deserve death and eternal damnation can possibly be civil to outsiders.

  • MoseKellyLytle

    Such extreme comments amaze me whether by the apologist for JW’s or their outspoken detractors. An intelligent mind should be able to perceive that a free society is endangered when any single voice is banned due of the prejudices of those in power, be it either a minority or a majority. It is noted that a few have actually commented on the issue being made by Joel Engardio. This column of comments should be giving thank to Mr. Engardio for pointing out a clear and present danger.I do thank you Joel.One person who without doubt felt it banning of Jehovah’s Witnesses in pre-WWII Germany was a good idea was forced to admit that he let himself and others to become target of a totalitarianism. This attitude paved the way for placing millions of Jews, thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gypsies , Communists, Trade Unionists, as well as homosexuals in concentration and death camps. “They came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, I wasn’t a Communist.As George Santayana stated:

  • TerryB3

    Dear MoseKellyLytle – You (among the few) must be applauded for your common sense.Finally someone who gets the point of Mr Joel Engardio’s article.I came to the defence of JW’s by offering sinical (but true) comments that really expose the heart of the matter, manifested by cruelty!And to ban JW’s for merely living by bible standards & preaching the gospel – is SHEER HYPOCRASY especially as these people are a peace loving organisation who are not as accused.. a ‘cult’ or ‘extreemist’ or a ‘threat’ to any society – SHEER HYPOCRASY to ban because if the same analogy/critique is is applied to Jesus or contemporary Christianity, then one would also (by the same critique ) have to ban the Bible & JESUS… & that’s the insidiuos underlining threat that prevails – the threat against the FREEDOM of Religious Expression affects more than just this group.Excellent article Joe!!!

  • idohoneymoons

    All of you who are trashing JW’s, I suggest you listen to what they say, rather than listen to what other people say. I’d love to challenge you to have a bible study with one. That’s the ONLY reason they are knocking on your door. Believe me, you’re not as special as you think and they have plenty of other things they’d much rather be doing. They’re not there for you, they’re doing it for God. Wake up.

  • LAB21

    I didn’t really want to repond to the remarks written here, but I feel as though I need to. Many of you have made some very judgemental comments against mine and my friends choice of actions on how to live our lives and also some very bitter remarks that could come off as prejudical. But, I tend to believe that most of these come from being ill-informed, being hurt by someone close to you that has chosen this life course, or just that you think that we are perfect and infallable. We, as JW, are more than willing to explain our stand with anyone that truly wants to know. We have chosen this life course because we belief and trust what the Bible tells us is right. We’re not perfect, but we do try our best to adhere to it.

  • MyOwnMind1

    Carstonio You keep saying that JW’s believe everyone else DESERVES eternal damnation. This not true becuase if it was we wouldnt be going door to door preaching the good news and encouraging bible reading to all people. We preach what the bible teaches. We do our best to follow every aspect of it. As for the blood issue…Acts 15:20 “Abstain from blood” Right there with fornication and things polluted by idols. If the doctor told you not drink anymore alcohol would you shoot it through your vains? Disfellowshipped?These people do have the opportunity to be forgiven by repentence. I’m close to a sister who was disfellowshipped but has now proven to have humbly repented.All of this is off the topic of this article. The russian government and those like it are taken away the free will that God has given us. Peace and love to all.~Agape brothers and sisters~

  • LAB21

    Now onto the issue of NO BLOOD…. I hear all of your concerns out there but the reason why we TRUE followers don’t do it is more detailed than just beause the Bible says not to. Each and every one of us has come to a thourough understanding of this issue. There is a lot dynamics (physically and spiritually) to this topic and it can be very complicating to someone who is a novice in this aspect. We don’t do anything that we haven’t thouroughly researched. Some things, in this area, are a matter of conscience but some things are common sense when it is looked at through our Creators’ eyes. Myself and all my friends know that our stand on this issue is shocking and incomprehensible to most people, but we really look to live the best, clean life that we can. We have found that we can only do it by following the advice in the Scriptures.

  • LAB21

    Onto the issue that we JW feel as though others deserve to be destroyed…that’s not true. We JW do what we do because we love people and don’t want to see anyone be destroyed. We just want to live on a earth that is full of peaceful, loving unselfish residents. We’re tired of the oppression, disstresses and stesses that are so common today, aren’t you???

  • Carstonio

    “This not true becuase if it was we wouldnt be going door to door preaching the good news and encouraging bible reading to all people.”Under belief systems such as JW and fundamentalism, wouldn’t that equate to subverting the will of those systems’ god? Or equate to trying to break lawfully condemned prisoners out of prison? When one believes in divine judgment, that means one believes that all actions by one’s gods are inherently good or just. Similarly, one cannot believe in eternal damnation without also believing that the damnation is deserved.

  • Carstonio

    “We JW do what we do because we love people and don’t want to see anyone be destroyed. “Or put another way, someone who really loved others wouldn’t believe in eternal damnation in the first place. Or at least, the person wouldn’t believe that eternal damnation was good or just.

  • LAB21

    Now onto the issue of this article…Even though we JWs understand scripturally why things that happened in Russia has occurred, we still feel pain and distress over it because of how we truly feel about people (see previous post).

  • LAB21

    CARSTONIOWhat’s up with you??? You just looking for someone to debate with??? Or are you really this pessimistic and nitpicky????

  • Tigerman

    I have a picture in my mind where I see God looking down on Russia and thinking to himself, ” Finally, a country that has got it right! I don’t have to worry about my people in Russia. They won’t be led into the Witness cult by those misguided, brainwashed fanatics in the Watchtower that keep telling everyone when I am supposed to end the world. I sure do wish they would get a clue to life and try to help people instead of distorting my words that in the end results in the break up of families and sending thousands to their untimely death. Such a waste.It makes me so very sad. “

  • WT1914

    Problems in the Watchtower We have a policy, the Watchtower say The situation may cause one to reflect This, it seems, is more worthwhile We are no part of the world, the Watchtower said Even the UN, with all its mighty power Come to Bethel, the Watchtower says They didn’t worry, for they never once thought Show zeal for the ministry is the Watchtower’s call Many responded to the Society’s plea But as the years have passed, and Jehovah’s promised day Has seemed to get further and further away Although the Watchtower still makes its demands Many of it’s followers now ignore its commands What prevents you from getting baptised? It’s an adult decision though, only you can decide You may be young, but don’t leave it too late If we teach you from birth, by the time you are eight We’ll start to pressure you this step to take As the Watchtower’s truth your own you make But once baptised you must never sway You must serve Jehovah until your dying day For if you ever begin to show any doubt From your friends and family we’ll cast you out

  • ConcernedMom4kids
  • juan173

    Who really cares about what dissenters say about the witnesses. If they were really as bad as some of these individuals who say they were former members say about them, they would no longer be prospering in the United States. Even these complaints by the individual who posted comments on child abuse, what religion has not received complaints about that? All of them have had individuals guilty of that, the point is what do they about it? I was brought up a Roman Catholic and I am appalled by the massive child abuse accusations and court casses. However, that is NOT the point here, neither is the point weather you agreewith the witnesses and their beliefs. No one group or person is like by everyone! Many who work with me likethe witnesses as neighbors and as co-workers. I would certainly send my children to play with them than withthose of any neighbor! The point here is, no matter what the beliefs of the witnesses, they have a right under our constitution to practicetheir beliefs and to reach out to others. That should not bother any decent human beings, most of the residents inthe majors cities in the USA now of them or know them and we know how to say “I am not interested”. What does that cost us? Maybe we should take some time and listen to what they have to say. Out nation needs to learn theimportance of tolerance in all fields of life! Russia is NOT THE USA. However, when a country who is suppose to have eradicated a totalitarian governmentand wants to be consider one that now fosters human rights, does something like this to people like the witnesses,then we have to come to the conclusion that if they are allowed to so so, it will not stop there. What is going to happen to religions like Judaism or other consider non major ones? No matter what we think of the beliefs of thewitnesses, we must speak against this violation of one of the many freedoms this country has come to stand for!

  • MyOwnMind1

    To the brothers and sisters”Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake. Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you” ~Matt 5:11,12*Agape*

  • persevere1

    John 15:18, 19There are only two organizations in the entire Universe. At all times, you are in one and the other one wants you.This may or may not be the case but it looks as if the first domino has fallen. Perhaps in the near future we’ll hear the cry of “Peace and security”.Stay strong brothers!

  • TerryB3

    By the way… True Christians who were actually the **minority** in the ROMAN EMPIRE back in 325AD were eventually hunted down & murdered by those that legislated the ‘TRINITY DOCTRINE’ into Christendom as we know it today!!Incidentally the same Vehement rehtoric use back then is being used today against JW’s — not too dissimilar to the religious propaganda… “Dannyhaszzard & his supporters” are espousing – Yes guys you’ve been sprung… you’re “BORN AGAIN” finatics that HATE Jehovah Witnesses!Yes the same sort of “Trinitarina” tactics used in the 3rd entury against dwindling handful of true Christians left who we’rent greasing up aristocrats & state officials for power (yeah the ones that wer’ent totally eaten by the lions in the 1st & 2nd centuries) These ones formed the nuleus of the “STATE FRIENDLY CHRISTENDOM” – who used tactics not too dissimilar to their modern counterparts who also try to suppress the freedom of true religious expression??Anyway more importanatly LETS GET BACK TO JOELS article!!!Forthose that don’t wish to praise Joel’s article for what it deserve’s, I guess you’re sprung ehh? Cause you’re really a group of Born again Christians who hate JW’s no matter what.

  • stuart116

    The Problem with “False Prophecy” Polemics Suppose I had access to everything you had done or said since you were a little child, stored on a computer. It would be a simple matter for me to pick out a hundred or two hundred of the worst things you’d said and done over the course of your life, to write them up in a list with dates, times and places and then to proclaim, in the same way as a correspondent did in one of his emails to me: “The question is not what you have got wrong, but whether you got anything right.” On the other hand, by a similar process of selecting the 100-200 kindest, most generous, loving things you’d done, I could equally make you look like a saint. Both pictures would be true in a sense, but neither would be the whole truth. Why is this important?Click here for the restBeware of half truths. You might end up believing the wrong half!

  • stuart116

    The Russian Orthodox Church (Christendom) is really behind this! Just like the churches of Christendom here in this country led mob attacks on Jehovah’s witnesses and lobbied the government to throw then in prison. Its a clear as day who the true Christians are!

  • Rudy8

    Stuart116 is akaSteve Klemetti you are a wacko APOSTATE like ewatchman

  • TerryB3

    stuart116.. or should I say ‘Dannyhaszard in disguise??’… Yeah the Evangelical Fundamentalist JW Hater!!! – Your’e busted again (by the way thanks for forcing the internet browser not to go Backward on the link there, very cunning tactic!!!)I’ve read your appauling rendition of missquoted watchtower texts that somehow make you suggest the JW’s cover up Child molestaion a supposed policy from the organisation… WHAT UTTER TRASH anyone reading the context of your pen scribbled WT texts can planly see how insidiously rediculous the missquoted INUENDOES… To suggest the organisation has a cover-up policy is just an outright LIE… refer to WT97 1/1 26-9, quote: “Depending on the law of the land where he lives, the molester may well have to serve a prison term or face other sanctions from the State. The congregation will NOT protect him from this…” – sounds like a pretty strong open policy agains molesters?? – Your inuendoes are more sickenning than your vehement hatred toward JW’sYou FUNDAMENTASILST CHRISTIANS OUT THERE.. GROW UP, STOP TWISTING FACTS & SHOW a bit of so-called true Christian love (yeah the one that Identifies a real Christain) & stop SLANDERING!!Now is anyone sane enought out there to comment on the real story Joel published above??…refer to my prev posts about these JW haters & their motivation.

  • TerryB3

    Whoops, sorry stuart116 – I incorrectly accused you instead of “WT1914″… my apology!!Anyone got a constructive comment on the real story published by Joel yet??

  • jehovahinfo

    Circa 1996 the Watchtower society was compelled to make a strained public announcement that: ‘we will NO LONGER SET DATES for THE END OF THE WORLD’. Their unscrupulous apologist would like to whitewash Watchtower history of false prophecies but victims of their *fraud for God* like myself will not allow it.GOOGLE: Watchtower Jehovah 1914 1925 1975

  • jehovahinfo

    Remember- The origin of all Watchtower teachings that makes them unique over all other religions is their creed of Jesus second coming ‘invisibly’ in the year 1914.Why? The Jehovah’s Witnesses actually have roots with the Seventh Day Adventist, they both have common origin in the William Miller apocalyptic movement of the 18th century. Of course here in 2009 it is quite a stretch to proclaim Jesus advent in 1914 then try to explain “invisible” emperor’s new clothes fashion, why everything is all still messed up in the world.Game over.

  • SeBrina2

    it is not surprising that this type of persecution would be in existence. The Holy Bible said that true followers would be persecuted. Let’s not forget that the son of the true God was ridiculed,persecuted and even put to death.I noticed too, that there are many blogs whereby people (some with good intentions and others with evil intent) are voicing their OPINIONS on what Jehovah’s Witnesses beleive. If you are truly sincere and wish to hear what we believe and teach, please go right to the source. Go to http://www.JW.org There you will find the truth.With regard to the unjust persecution and bans that are being placed on Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is terribly unfair and yet another attempt of Satan to muffle the sounds of true christians.Please pray that this decision is over-turned.

  • stuart116

    Apostates and other opposers argue that Jerusalem was not destroyed in 607 BCE, but in 587 BCE, and provide what they claim is archaeological evidence to support this. If 607 BCE is wrong, then the “seven times” prophecy ending in 1914 CE would be wrong also. Why Jehovah’s witnesses are correct

  • stuart116

    KNOCKING PBS documentary opens the door on Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are moral conservatives who stay out of politics and the Culture War, but they won a record number of court cases expanding freedom for everyone. They refuse blood transfusions on religious grounds, but they embrace the science behind bloodless surgery. In Nazi Germany, they could fight for Hitler or go to the concentration camps. They chose the camps. Following two families who stand firm for their controversial and misunderstood Christian faith, KNOCKING reveals how one unlikely religion helped to shape history beyond the doorstep.

  • TerryB3

    You FUNDAMENTASILST CHRISTIANS OUT THERE.. GROW UP, STOP TWISTING FACTS & SHOW a bit of so-called true Christian love (yeah the one that Identifies a real Christain) & stop SLANDERING!!Now is anyone sane enought out there to comment on the real story Joel published above??…refer to my prev posts about these JW haters & their motivation.

  • Rudy8

    Several of the same SPAMMING Sock-puppets are the same person with different user names. Stuart116 is a.k.a.

  • jehovahinfo

    WHO ARE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES? The central CORE doctrine of the Watchtower,the reason they came into existence was to proclaim Jesus Christ second coming in 1914.They will now deny that they ever made this claim,that’s called BAIT AND SWITCH The Watchtower is BIG money, being one of the top 40 New York City Corporations making nearly one billion dollars a year.That’s just from one of their many corporations.They pay no municipal taxes on their buildings,without even one charity to compensate the community. Most Church’s don’t pay taxes either,but most mainstream churches are abundant in humanitarian charities.Think if you have ever seen a Jehovah Witness food pantry or soup kitchen for the needy? For 50 plus years the masthead of the Watchtower,viewed when you opened up to the inside front cover would read as follows: “This magazine(Watchtower) builds up confidence in the Creators PROMISE of a peaceful and secure “new world” before the generation “that witnessed” the EVENTS OF 1914 passes away”". They deleted this false adventist millerite derived prophecy in 1995 because it had FAILED. The Watchtower leadership has “purged” hundreds of thousands of followers over the years for failing to uphold the 1914 (Jesus came to power) loyalty oath to this now defunct dogma. The Bible clearly warns to turn away from false prophets.

  • LAB21

    All of you that are posting on this site, myself included, will one day SOON see the time when the TRUE GOD will make his stand known. He will, as the scriptures support, put an end to all this egotistical, arrogant, independent thinking system. He will PROVE who and what he supports and when that time comes, NO-ONE can say that they didn’t know. I pray, every day, that I am not going to be on the backside of this judgement of his and I feel sorry for all who will be. The scriptures support that there will be those who he will judge AGAINST from one extremity of the earth to the other extremity. My only prayer is that you all wake up and look into the scriptures and see what you need to do to not be part of that fast approaching judgement. As the scriptures say, it will come upon the WHOLE inhabited earth and as a THIEF in the night.

  • LisaLove1

    The Watchtower society Jehovah’s Witnesses cult organization actually employs three psychological tools to maintain control and subjugation to their policies and rules. 1. Fear Fear of being lost or destroyed in the upcoming, pending great battle of Armageddon where the possibility of suffering a horrendous death according to them, is a very real fear. Such a fate awaits anyone who is not counted among JW’s!Those who are considered spiritually strong are exalted to an elevated status within their respective congregation. Brothers can advance to the lofty position of ministerial servant, elder or overseer at which time they command the respect of all in the congregation. Sisters can achieve a highly respectable status as well, though they are not appointed to a position. Those who spend considerable time in the field ministry, pioneering for example (spending a predetermined amount of time door knocking) are considered very strong spiritually. Those who are deemed unfit or unrepentant non conformist can suffer the punitive measure of disfellowshippment. For most JW’s, this is a fate worst than death, to be avoided at all cost. The psychological impact this can have on an individual is immeasurable. Most JW’s will do anything in their power to avoid this type of humiliation. [So it is very easy to become psychologically locked into a specific action (work) with the expectation of a specific reward.

  • MyOwnMind1

    Not a cultAs a young JW, I would like to say that Im not forced to love Jehovah or his organization. I am opinionated and dont ever take to ones own understanding. I believe what I believe not because of what my parents say or what the watchtower says but because of what the Bible says. Even in doing research projects for school I’ve came across stuff in encyclopedias and on the internet I already learned from the watchtow][er or other biblical publication. I love our worldwide brotherhood and know that no one can break it. We are taught free will and are not forced to do anything if so then there would not be so many that has fallen away. Being a JW is a choice you have to make for yourself. To the brothers and sisters”Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake. Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you” ~Matt 5:11,12*Agape*

  • Carstonio

    Kmaxie03, my points have little to do with JW specifically, and I don’t claim to be an expert on the text of any religion’s scripture. My first point is that it’s abhorrent for any religion to claim that death or eternal suffering is just or warranted. These go against the principle of inherent worth for every human. I acknowledge that it’s possible that the claims about hell and eternal damnation from fundamentalist versions of Christianity and Islam may be factually accurate. But the key word there is “may,” which leads to my next point – without testable evidence, any religion’s claims about gods or miracles or other realms should be treated as unknowns. We can’t assume that any religion’s scripture is authoritative.

  • MyOwnMind1

    Not a cultAs a young JW, I would like to say that Im not forced to love Jehovah or his organization. I am opinionated and dont ever take to ones own understanding. I believe what I believe not because of what my parents say or what the watchtower says but because of what the Bible says. Even in doing research projects for school I’ve came across stuff in encyclopedias and on the internet I already learned from the watchtower or other biblical publication. I love our worldwide brotherhood and know that no one can break it. We are taught free will and are not forced to do anything if so then there would not be so many that has fallen away. Being a JW is a choice you have to make for yourself. People STOP blaming the actions of certain people on the WHOLE organization. Individuals chose how they wanna take what we learn. DO NOT feel sorry for me becuase when I am at the Kingdom Hall I feel more SAFE then any where else. I love my brothers and sisters and even at my darkest time(emotionally) they were there for me knowing that at that time I was not living my life by bible principles. I have many young friends in the organization from all over the state and country and we all stand HAPPILY united as young JW’s. Even a couple of young disfellowshiped brothers continue to attend meetings. My family continues to ge t MORE loving and FORGIVING as we draw closer to our heavenly father. People in my family like my grandmother and my dad are finding great JOY returning to the Kingdim Hall. You CHOOSE to leave. I CHOOSE TO STAY. To the brothers and sisters”Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake. Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you” ~Matt 5:11,12*Agape*

  • jehovahinfo

    “latter days” of … ###

  • TerryB3

    IS anyone sane enought out there to comment on the REAL STORY Joel published above???…You FUNDAMENTASILST CHRISTIANS OUT THERE.. GROW UP, STOP TWISTING FACTS & SHOW a bit of so-called true Christian love (yeah the one that Identifies a real Christain) & stop SLANDERING!!Refer to my prev posts about these JW haters & their real motivation.

  • Rudy8

    STUART116 APOSTATE TROLL STEVE KLEMETTI STOP Spamming and impersonating Shawn Holland,Jerry Jones and others you are a CRIMINAL STALKERYOU WILL BE DISFELLOWSHIPPED!!!

  • joe113

    Hi Brothers/Sisters,If you want to send your love and greetings/encouragement to our beloved brothers/sisters in Russia here’s a faithful brother’s blog: Apostates and haters are not welcomed.Agape

  • crdz

    Joel over the years I have seen your great dedication to your work Iam proud of the leadership you take in telling us about something so touching and “WRONG”that the russian gov.is doing.Thank very very much.

  • TerryB3

    IS anyone sane enought out there to comment on the REAL STORY Joel published above???…You FUNDAMENTASILST CHRISTIANS OUT THERE.. GROW UP, STOP TWISTING FACTS & SHOW a bit of so-called true Christian love (yeah the one that Identifies a real Christain) & stop SLANDERING!!Refer to my prev posts about these JW haters & their real motivation.

  • TerryB3

    WHOOPS, I missquoted the verse, should be Acts 15:28…refer to prev post.

  • TerryB3

    The real story that Joel published is worthy of excellent merit!…Bunny55 – youre an apostate liar, you can twist things to sound any way you like!DESPITE your lies, it is my right (unlike your propaganda) to question anything we learn about the bible & organisation understanding – in fact I often challenge ideas, opinions & interpretations with the JW elders all the time (constructively & objectively) & I haven’t been disfellowshipped yet & never will, in fact thats what we’re advised to do in accord with the holy scriptures which say quote “carefully examine all things to see if they are true” – Refer to my prevous posts about the open door policy the scriptural reason for dissfellowshipping provides etc…

  • Michi_anna

    I am not bitter although I am a disfellowshipped Jehovah’s Witness. I brought this on myself. Like many organizations, in order to belong, you live by the guidelines and bylaws. I chose to be a Jehovah’s Witness and therefore agreed to live by those expectations. In my not doing so, I have reaped what I had sown. Is this the JWs fault? No, it is mine. I take full responsibility and accept the consequences. All actions in our lives have a result, good or bad. We are well educated; we know the “rules” in order to keep the congregation clean and not be like most other religions where whatever you do is fine; just keep making those donation.I plan to be back in the congregation one day soon. I’m not quite there yet but that is my goal. Why is it my goal? Because they have the Truth of the Bible. No one has ever been able to show me anything different from the scriptures. I have tried many faiths and realize they are the only ones that taught me and regularly use God’s name Jehovah. They are the only ones to make sense of what the Kingdom is. The only ones to explain the Ransom Sacrifice fully.Is it their right to disfellowship those not in keeping with the Christian teachings of Jesus? Why not?The JWs do not break up families. We do it to ourselves. I have four amazing, married, spiritual children. Do they currently speak to me? No. Would I expect them to? No.I thank Mr. Engardio for standing up for the rights of others. Ones that as you say, would shun him if he had been baptized and then disfellowshipped.We are all only human. Jehovah and Jesus read hearts. The final judgment will be theirs. But currently, the job of keeping the congregation clean is left to imperfect men who try very hard to be successful in their assignment.

  • JW-News

    If you would like to send a heartfelt message to our dear brothers & sisters in Russia…you may do so here—

  • TerryB3

    It never ceases to amaze me how hatefull people are toward JWs, and how people can twist scripture (yes those like Bunny55) IE; misquoting Luke 10:7 & suggest that house to house preaching is a modern invention…JW’s use the same mothod as was done by 1st century Christians: “every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus” – Acts 5:40-42Now you can see why the 1st centur Christians were fed to lions & served lamp fuel in the roman ampiteatres – yes vicious hatred just as Jesus had predicted – thus JW’s are treated in the same way in the modern world arena…Refer to my prev posts about these JW haters & their real motivation.

  • Rudy8

    The Watchtower society Jehovah’s Witnesses cult organization actually employs three psychological tools to maintain control and subjugation to their policies and rules. 1. Fear Fear of being lost or destroyed in the upcoming, pending great battle of Armageddon where the possibility of suffering a horrendous death according to them, is a very real fear. Such a fate awaits anyone who is not counted among JW’s!Those who are considered spiritually strong are exalted to an elevated status within their respective congregation. Brothers can advance to the lofty position of ministerial servant, elder or overseer at which time they command the respect of all in the congregation. Sisters can achieve a highly respectable status as well, though they are not appointed to a position. Those who spend considerable time in the field ministry, pioneering for example (spending a predetermined amount of time door knocking) are considered very strong spiritually. Those who are deemed unfit or unrepentant non conformist can suffer the punitive measure of disfellowshippment. For most JW’s, this is a fate worst than death, to be avoided at all cost. The psychological impact this can have on an individual is immeasurable. Most JW’s will do anything in their power to avoid this type of humiliation. [So it is very easy to become psychologically locked into a specific action (work) with the expectation of a specific reward.

  • LisaLove1

    jehovahs witnesses are a killjoy self righteous religion which ruins peoples lives and tears apart families. blood transfusion to jehovah witness is like psychiatry to scientologist

  • tinyj18o31

    I’m not a Jehova witness but most of my families are…I give thanks to Jehova God that my family and I know the truth about the real religion and that is the Jehova witness.People do not understand us at all we knock on your doors to preach to you, we are trying imitate what Jesus did…Jesus use to preach about the word of God I don’t see the other reigion doing what Jesus use to do.Jehova witnesses don’t charge you to ask them a questions or to visit them to pray for them to give you studies or for a bible many churches do don’t you realize that.Also we are not celerbrate alot of holidays hello ask your self when did you see a rabbit laying eggs or why do people pray only in Thanksgiing we should ray to God every day we need to thank him for what we have and thank him for other things especially sacrafising his son for us.I know alot of peole that use to make fun of the JW but now many of them regreat it because they know the truth abotu JW now and they all are brother & sisters.If we are the false religion then how come when the 9/11/2001 happen alot of people ran to the watch tower b/c they thought it was the armageddon b/c you all know we are the true religion…and stop getting on us about child melostation people do what they want to do it’s not Jehovas fault Jehova can not control us if he wanet to then he would of corse but he doesnt people have there own mind we can control our selves so STOP BLAMING GOD FOR YOUR ACTIONS!!!

  • tinyj18o31

    Again I’m commenting I’m so ANGRY because of people bad mouthing the JW..Again I;m not baptized but my mom and dad are as of right now I’m trying my hardest to go back to the kingdom hall and Im taking studies also my kids are.Even though Im not a JW I know better not accept blood if needed to b/c if I die i know I would be brought back to life and the next life and that is paradise.I love bith my children very much but if it was to come to the point that I have to choose on not giving my child blood I’m not going to do it not b/c I dont love my kids but b/c I know Im following wha God said in the bible and I know that IM going to see them in the nearest future.About the molestation part Im angry that people are putting the bame on the JWwhen you mostl see on t.v priest molesting boys and girls ask yourself this do you hate the religoin that are responsible of the child that had gotten molested??I don’t think so…Anyways I stand by the JW to the fulest and even though Im not baptizes I hope soon I can get to that point and I will be knowcking on your door to preach to you b/c we all are God childrens and we ove you all.

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