Romans 8:28 promises, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” NASV.  All of us desire to be close to our God Jehovah and his son, Jesus Christ.  We long for their comfort, guidance and encouragement in our lives.  We are promised in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” NKJV.  Yet when difficult and harsh experiences come, we sometimes feel alone and afraid.  In Hebrews 13:5 we read, “God Himself has said, “I will never, never let go your hand: I will never never forsake you.” Weymouth.  You are not alone.  Your heavenly Father and his Son are watching over you.  You are not alone.  There are others like you who have experienced hard trials and difficult experiences.  Take some time to share with us.  To tell your story.  To encourage others.  That is what this Testimony section is for.

519 comments to Testimonials

  • Ellis Green

    Hello Everybody,

    I’ve been asked by several people to write my story and I was told to write it here so now I have the time I’ll oblige, so here goes:

    I was born in 1958 to JW parents. My Dad grew up in Dover UK and he was brought up Church of England but didn’t go to church much. He was born in 1921. My Mum was born in 1922, and lived in County Durham. She grew up in a strict Salvation Army household. In the late 1930’s my Mum’s family moved to Bedford, and not long afterwards my Gran converted to JW. but my Grandad did not. He wanted no part of an American religion! My Gran converted because of the hellfire doctrine. Eventually my Mum started going to KH with Gran but also went to SA meetings with her Dad! She married, got pregnant straight away but WW2 had started and her husband was killed in a plane crash.

    My Dad was in the Air Force but never flew; he taught machine guns and hand to hand combat. In his spare time he was a bare knuckle fist fighter – a real hard nut! He later gave me boxing lessons! Then he met a JW and they talked about the Second Coming as my Dad always wondered about that but the vicar couldn’t explain to my Dad’s satisfaction, but this JW could. My Dad went to a meeting and converted. He became a pioneer and was asked by Price Hughes to move to Bedford as a special pioneer. My Dad went there in 1947; met my Mum who was playing the piano. My Dad was gobsmacked when he saw my Mum! They married a year later in 1948; the little boy from my Mum’s first marriage was 5 years old. In 1952 the family moved to Maidstone in Kent and in 1958 I was born!

    Growing up as a JW in the 60’s and 70’s was wonderful! My congregation was 1 of 2 back then (3 now) and I was 1 of 25 in my Cong. whereas the other Cong had 20. I had cousins in the other Cong and my Uncle was Ministry School Overseer whereas my Dad was Congregation Servant and after 1971 became Presiding Overseer. Things were a bit more black & white in those days but there was a tremendous sense of humour in both Congs. There was a good social life too; during 70s and 80’s we would have groups meet on Wednesday evenings for badminton or squash, swimming on Saturdays, and the 2 Congs would play a football match and afterwards the sisters would join in and we’d play Rounders (similar to baseball). My Dad helped with pre-assembly work and I’d go along as kids were allowed to then before EU health and safety regulations kicked in. I remember meeting Bro. Knorr briefly at Wembley Stadium at the Peace On Earth International Convention in 1968 (or was it 69?) he looked like my Grandad but spoke like John Wayne! Nice guy.

    School was a bit tough in Primary years as I was the only JW but Secondary was easier as there was 3 of us, and also there were other religions besides C of E. There were Hindus, Muslims, Mormons. The girl sitting next to me was Pagan. I loved school and I got on really well with my schoolmates and it was fascinating at Xmas as Hindus and Muslims didn’t celebrate and my curiosity knew no bounds! My parents always encouraged me to follow what Jesus said in the parable of the Good Samaritan. And I also have plenty of non-JW relatives who I would see once a year during the summer holidays. Then came the 1975 debacle; when that came and went, some of my buddies decided that when they turned 18 (I was 16 in 1975 and just left school) and the System was going on for some years, they decided to move abroad to where the sun shines more! So they moved to Spain, Florida, California, Australia. That was the first time doubt entered my mind and I became very sceptical about what came out in Watchtower. But I stuck with it mainly because my Dad was PO, my Mum had been deeply hurt when my brother got disfellowshipped and I didn’t want to “upset anyone’s applecart” so I toed the line. Got baptised in 1973 on my 15th birthday at Margate.

    My Mum died in 1982. She dropped dead in front of me while giving me my supper. All this stuff about MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL NEVER DIE seemed suddenly to be such rubbish. But out of respect for my Dad’s position I did nothing. I married in 1983 so now I had a wife to be the spiritual head of and had to be strong for her. Time went by, I had 3 kids and brought them up as JWs. Then in 2005 it all went pear-shaped.

    After 22 years of marriage I divorced in 2005 and moved away from Kent and settled in Cornwall where I’ve lived for the last 13 years. My ex-wife is now disfellowshipped, she is now Pagan, and married to another guy. my 3 kids are fully grown and not JWs. My 2 daughters are Pagan; I don’t know what my son is. My 2 eldest kids want nothing to do with me as they resent me for bringing me up in a religion that denies them a normal childhood, no birthdays, no Xmas, and babies die from no blood transfusions. No difference between Jehovah and Molech, who demanded child sacrifice. That’s how my eldest daughter feels and she’s now 33. I have 6 grandchildren and I’m not allowed to see any of them because of my religion! I email my youngest daughter 2/3 times a year. Although she’s Pagan now (Wicca to be exact) she is still my daughter and I love her to bits. I love all my kids despite how they feel about me. I’d give anything to be with them again. My Dad died in 2000 and my brother died in 2008. All from heart attacks. I’ve had one but I’m still here although I have angina, cardio-vascular disease.

    When I saw The Guardian newspaper show articles on the child sex scandal in Australia and GB member Jackson was on trial, I looked it up on YouTube. he was pathetic! I also saw another article in the Guardian about JW connection with UN and saw a book about it on Amazon. What the hell is the GB up to? Suddenly all these websites that are considered apostate are actually whistle-blowers. Then while researching early history of WT because the purple book about God’s Kingdom was being studied, I discovered that the Bible Students were still going! I found this out by my own research, after all, Jesus did say in Matthew 24:15 about “letting the reader use discernment” so that means the reader is an individual and discernment means to study and think for oneself. So I have!

    I grew up in a very cosmopolitan town; I’ve researched Mormons, Christadelphians, 7th Day Adventists, Restored Church of God, Moonies, Plymouth Brethren, Christian Scientists, Born Again Christians, Scientologists, Hare Krishna. All those groups have meeting places in my home town. I was curious in my late teens so I checked them out as the Boreans would, but it was all an academic exercise. But when I looked into Bible Students it changed from an academic exercise into a sincere quest for Truth. Last night’s Memorial finally clinched it! Singing praise to GB instead of Jesus? Egotism or what?

    This is my story – the short version – as I don’t want to bore anyone to sleep! As my Dad would say, pick the bones out of that!

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Ellis Wow, well written and engaging. Thank you for sharing. We all share the same elements in our stories. Prior to the governing body I had a ball growing up with our small congregations also, Lots of association and in the seventies my children had lots of friends but it all started sliding when they changed the questions in 1985 on baptism,
      I have said the same thing as your daughter that child sacrifice is like the God Molech and Jer. 25: Jehovah says he never had it come in his mind, She is a thinker.
      Give your kids time, life happens and they might just do the natural thing and run to a parent. Don’t feel bad about bringing them up in the religion, they are grown and can choose their own. A cop out on the part of some of these witness adult children. They change everything else when they grow up so they can change their religion like all of us.
      The Presiding son, what a huge bag to carry as a kid. Your mom passing had to be traumatic but you have made it this far, praise and thank God and Jesus for that.
      I have found the Bible student brothers to be fair and equal, they let you think and speak and they do also. We must associate together and this is the first time I get to choose. I don’t know much about Pagan but it can’t be as bad as worship of the governing body and having no rights or voice at all. She will be okay. Christ is coming to straighten this out. Maybe not soon but He said he was coming back and I believe him. Thanks for sharing

    • greg (Bible Student)


      Thank you for sharing your story here. And welcome, my brother! It’s really great to hear that you, too, can see how refreshingly different the Bible students are from what the JW’s have become due to the domination schemes and methods of their Governing Body.

      John 10:1-5
      “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by
      the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up
      some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
      “But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the

      “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee
      from him, because they do not know the voice of

      Cheers my friend,

  • greg (Bible Student)

    This time of year I can’t help recalling the JW’s 2012 Memorial Invitation. Did anyone else feel their stomach wretch when reading the cover page?

    It said:

    “How Do You View Jesus?
    You are Invited to Hear the Answer.”

    In other words, Come, Listen and WE will Tell YOU what your opinion and belief is/should be.

    It’s so repulsive to me that my stomach still wretches and convulses every time I recall this invitation. Sadly, I once tried to talk to a close JW buddy about this. It took him about 45 minutes to even begin to see what I was pointing out to him. But then his face went pale with horror, and that’s the last we ever talked of it.

    You can still see a scan of the invitation here:


  • ari m davies

    Friends I’ve got to share this this is a very minor testimony but I was on Yahoo answers like I usually do to do what I can in the way of witnessing there and ask thought-provoking questions that just might Point somebody to the right path and I mean it was really dark people making fun of the name of God and comparing Christians to monkeys and I was really sick of looking at it so I decided I would get up and go to the store and on the way to the store I prayed to Jehovah and I said Jehovah just for once let me hear some people talking good about you that was the end of that I got to the store and I proceeded to do my shopping in the background with some Christian music playing your love lights up the darkness and as I was over in the orange juice section there were these two ladies standing on the corner talking rather quietly I started to eavesdrop because I’m just a naturally curious people when I see two ladies clustered by the orange juice and I overheard them witnessing to each other about Jehovah well I just couldn’t resist I turned around and I pointed at them and I said no no no we will not have any such talk in this store if we’re going to talk about Jehovah we’re going to do it out loud! This resulted in both of the sisters laughing like chickens and before a minute was up we were standing in the middle of the store sharing all kinds of testimony about Jehovah even the manager stopped by to listen to us I then turned around and said to the sisters well if you ever heard the scripture that says when there is two or three gathered there I am in their midst about that time one of the sisters said yes we were just talking about that and we were talking about different Hebrew names of God like Jehovah Nissi Jehovah Rapha Jehovah Jireh and I said that’s funny here’s a picture for you and I open my cell phone to the web page that I had just captured which contained the ancient names of Jehovah it was quite an interesting few minutes away from Yahoo as I said it was a minor thing but it lets me know that Jehovah’s still watching over me and sends people to edify me and I guess me to edify them.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Arie Davies, I don’t believe in coincidences like that. Like you, I think divine providence because someone needed to hear the conversation maybe or like you said to edify you and them plus any hearing.
      Thank you so much for sharing this warm experience. I know there is a person on this site right now that was waning in hope of whether or not God cared. We talked and then you post this,hmmmm. I really condeded to the person that I didn’t know what to say or how to deal with their particular concern and it isn’t one that you might expect the person to post in an open forum, but your posting helped.
      PS: Did you get the emails I sent you about weekend meetings this week? I can send you for Chicago this week if you want to.
      Also join us Wednesday night so we can speak to on another on the study.

  • greg (Bible Student)

    I often think back to some of the things that helped me break free from JW control and then I wonder if those things I found helpful might be of use to others.

    I first encountered this video (link below) circa 2013. It captured and illustrated my journey over the years so I saved it. I had occasion to recall it today and thought I’d share.

    The video is only 37 seconds long. It is an explanation of an optical illusion. The speaker ends by saying, “…if you move far enough around to the side, you suddenly realize the structure is different, and the illusion fails.” (When he says different, he’s referring to hollow, empty, completely reversed, inside-out.)

    If you re-listen to the entire video while holding your previous JW life in mental focus, maybe you’ll find like I did that it is eerily descriptive of the Watchtower experience in general. What do you think?

    Title: Dragon Illusion (He Looks At You Wherever You Go!)
    LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffrBY2Xs1LU

    Anyway, speaking for my family, our life experiences took us far enough around to the side that we could see the illusion for what it was. You can never un-see that which has been seen.


    • Ellis Green


      This is so cool! If you don’t mind me asking, what point did you realise JW life was an illusion? With me it was the child sex scandal, UN involvement, lack of agape love and just how much this Org runs on fear and emotional blackmail, and they ignore Scriptures that raise the “wrong” questions.

      • greg (Bible Student)

        Hi Ellis.

        I’m happy to respond to your asking, “what point did you realise JW life was an illusion?”

        The shortest answer I can give you is this: Language.

        The slightly longer answer would be, I learned how intimately linked were language, thinking, feelings, and behaviour. And I saw how the JW organization denied, suppressed, and criminalized emotions, and how violent their words and beliefs really were. I saw how much undue importance was placed on keeping up an outward appearance, and how little attention was given to actually developing one’s inner character. I also saw how ill-treated people were, and how that made them physically and psychologically sick, and how they were then judged and vilified because they had become sick, and how those judgements were then used to justify ever worsening and hateful treatment of them.

        An even more detailed answer goes like this:

        For me, it was a gradual process that took many years to finally bloom. It began when I was a very small boy, probably around 8 years of age or so. I couldn’t wrap my head around the notion that Eve was condemned to the second death for having been deliberately deceived. Try as I might, I couldn’t stomach the idea that a God of Love would hate and forever condemn someone who had acted in “good faith” using information that someone else had altered or twisted.

        From there, my disbelief and disillusionment grew. When I was 18, I met the girl of my dreams. I asked her to marry me, and I also gave her an engagement ring. That simple act caused such a fiasco that it altered our lives forever. Suddenly we were being criticized and condemned because at the time that I asked her to marry me, I was baptized, and she was as yet unbaptized. According to NEW LIGHT only just recently revealed (a.k.a. the twisting of and flip-flopping of doctrines in excess of scripture), I had formed an unholy allegiance and was culpable for getting myself unevenly yoked with an unbeliever. Since my father was an elder in the congregation, my parents came down hard and reactive on me because his position was being threatened. It escalated into a nightmare that included a judicial committee and a decision that labelled my bride and I as evil sinners who were unfit to be married in the Kingdom Hall as punishment.

        Still, there was more waking up for me to do. The birth of our middle child began to change everything. Even while he was yet unborn, we could tell something wasn’t right with him. After he was born, we sought help for him. It took many years to finally discover he had, among other disorders, a severe affliction of Tourette’s Syndrome. Needless to say, T.S. wasn’t well understood by JW’s. And they were even less tolerant than they were understanding. In the minds of almost everyone in the congregation the problem was with us as parents. Here are some of the things we were told:

        * He is demon-possessed. What have you brought into your house that would have demon’s attached to it?
        * You need to spank it out of him.
        * You need to be more strict, consistent, and harsh.
        * God’s punishing you for your sins.
        * It’s your fault. You’re not good parents. You’re too __(fill in the blank)__.
        * It’s allergies. Stop giving him ____. Start giving him ____.
        * It’s because you’re missing meetings.
        * It’s because you’re not having a regular family Bible Study.
        * Maybe you should pray more.
        * Maybe if you concentrated more time and effort in field service?

        The list could go on and on and on…

        The abusive way JW’s treated us and him was unbelievable. Worse yet was how abusive (backed up by scriptures, of course) they encouraged, demanded, and pressured us to be with him. Needless to say, my wife and I got very depressed. This too, was criticized, condemned, and explained with all the same reasons as above.

        It took a couple more suicide attempts, some time in the psychiatric ward of the hospital, and several years of therapy, but eventually I began to see how the language used in the JW’s organization was sneaky, duplicitous, ambiguous, easily-twisted to their own methods and intentions. I started paying attention to words, to language, to phrases, to expressions.

        Over the years we gradually learned that JW’s didn’t have a clue about disabilities. Neither did they care to learn. All they did was judge and condemn from their self-righteous, indoctrinated, and sanctimonious opinions which were quite well insulated from reality. We gradually learned that we could trust “worldly professionals” to a greater extent than the elders, the publications, and “the friends.” We obtained REAL help from attending parenting classes, but that almost got us shunned for going to those classes instead of the JW meetings. All we kept hearing was stuff like, “You’re filling your head with worldly wisdom. You’ll only get real help from the JW organization, don’t you know!”

        Being a studious self-learner, and having a child like our son, I had my thirst for answers set ablaze. I studied the WT publications and the Bible. And I realized that much of what was taught in the meetings and publications was not consistent with what the Bible really said. I started studying the Hebrew and Greek words using various tools, books, libraries, and websites.

        Years passed. We gradually and naturally faded. Eventually our learning brought us into contact with Nonviolent Communication as taught by Marshall Rosenberg. That was just around the same time as the Godly Obedience District Conventions stressed UNCONDITIONAL OBEDIENCE TO THE ELDERS!! My wife and I couldn’t agree to that, not after having seen and experienced all that we had over the years. Not knowing what else to do, nor where else to go, and not wanting to give way to hating the organization or the members, I spent a couple more years trying to take my concerns and discoveries to various ones including elders. They only got increasingly cruel and brutal with us.

        At that point I started searching to try and find out what happened to the original Bible Students from Br. Russell’s day. And now here I am.

        There were so many other experiences that were also incentives to leave that I couldn’t possibly include them all. Many of them were very painful, and are now best left to fade from memory.

        I thank you for asking, Ellis.

        Love to everyone who may yet still be struggling to find the courage to leave. May I suggest that an important step is to learn to trust your doubt.


        • Ellis Green

          Hi Greg,

          Your experience (and your wife’s) was horrendous to say the least; and that was “God’s clean and loving organization”? Didn’t Jesus say that the identifying mark of true Christians was “love among yourselves”? Not the bearing of God’s Name or doing miracles but showing love. All kinds of love – and friendship – are UNCONDITIONAL; if its not that, then its not real. There’s too much emotional blackmail in JWs now and what love there was has been squeezed out.

          Another thing: its wrong to look at a woman who isn’t a JW but OK to cover up paedophiles? One is natural and the other is not. No prizes for guessing which one is un-natural!

          I’ve only been on here a short while, emailed a few Bible Students personally and already felt better because of it! Nobody’s perfect including BS, but there’s more love here than in WT. And all that love without a GB! There must be something here!

          • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

            Ellis hello, I want to say I agree with your assessment of love being knocked over because it is about an organization and now the almighty dollar as the organization fight to stay afloat and support the lavish life style of its leaders.
            No one or religious group is perfect, for we all fall short of the glory of God. But like you I look for a religious community that uses the Bible as it’s guide and don’t insist on conformity where the Bible is not clear or dogmatic on the issue (core teachings, ie, Christ rose, and One God). A religious group of Christians that allow freedom and liberty in Christ, let you work out how you see it and not governing your personal life. Letting you get a personal relationship with God and yet meet in fellowship and to hear from one another on spiritual understanding of scripture.
            I do see that being done among the Bible students association. Other religious groups might do this also, I do sit and discuss with other Christians that use the Bible and enjoy the exchange. I have not yet seen among the brothers the force to take away a person’s liberty and pull you from your family. No one to my knowledge tell you if they are not Bs to stop or curtail association with your children, grandchildre, siblings or any of your relatives and associates. They let God be your God and you answer to Him and Him only in the name of Jesus to His glory.
            I for one asked specifically of Jehovah for a small non organization group like this one,, with these truths not thinking it existed. So I am not second guessing him and listening also to others now on their findings in digs, the dead sea scrolls and other holy writings and historical contents. Freedom to learn is a blast! No fear of being kicked out for searching for all the knowledge God has on this earth about Himself! I don’t want to ever hear the voice of the governing body of the witnesses again. I am done with them!

  • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

    This is encouraging, it was on our contact form. We welcome you eddie. Perhaps you can come on and say hello to everyone or ask questions if you need to. God Bless

    subject: hello

    Name: eddie

    Message: I am a FORMER JW, so so glad to feel free at last. Just fond your site and clinging on to it, thankyou so much this is an amazing site. Thankyou xx

  • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

    Go to audio then audio sermons. In the search box within the recorder put in Carl Hagensick. It is #6620 The problems of Corinth.

    I downloaded this to listen to his comforting messages.
    Br. Carl has a lot of good old knowledge of the understanding of some difficult text. So look thru his talks and enjoy while you drive.

    • greg (Bible Student)

      Thanks, Sr. Jacqueline.

      I really enjoyed listening to another discourse by Br. Carl when he spoke about Daniel and the Lion’s Den.


      • greg (Bible Student)



        Oops, I got mixed up. Robert Seklemian gave the discourse that I was recalling. 🙂


        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          That app and website with some of the voices from the past discoures just makes me wonder, where were theses brothers in my life as I matured? The Bible is what they use not dogma of a few Special men.

          • greg (Bible Student)

            Oh, you get that, too, eh? As I listen to the conventions and discourses from past decades, I recall what I was doing at the time, where I was at, and what I was needing, and I always find that what I’m hearing now, what was said way back then, was exactly what I needed and wanted way back then.

            Mmmmmmmm! Delicious spiritual feasting!! I hunger no more!!

            You know what I wish? I wish there was a simple way I could just download ALL those archived files in one simple click. 🙂 But then maybe I wouldn’t find the same joy I get when I find another pearl for all my searching.



            • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

              Greg, I download about 25 discourses that I like on my phone. The program has a cloud button and you click on it after you check all the boxes you want to download. I listen thru my car speakers as I drive around. I am on the road sometimes 10 hrs and stop erase and download some more. I turn it on while I am home and it will go directly to the next talk. I learn a different viewpoint

  • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

    Dear Brothers this from Brandi, she is tearing up now that she has found us please welcome her. she might not be able to comment right away as she/ is at work

    Since I have been disfellowshipped for three years, I have been receiving more blessings from Jehovah more than ever. I know they are from Him and that He is taking care of me because there is no way I could do all this on my own. I am 23 years old, single and living by myself, struggling. But somehow always getting by, due to the kindness of the all the people I come in contact with. I am so thankful for Jehovah’s keen interest in my well being and know He has always protected and taken care of me even from a young age. I also have had many moments of clarity and things click and make sense in a way they never have before since being out of the organization. I don’t want to label myself, but I feel as if I do have a deep connection with Jehovah and am fearful of expressing it. I want to remain humble and not exalt myself, so I continue to bite my tongue. I feel like I have a responsibility though and a job Jehovah has given me. I just haven’t discovered what it is or maybe am hindering myself of the reveal of it. Or I feel as if it isn’t the time just yet, and that is why Jehovah hasn’t revealed it to me yet. I am afraid. But I know Jehovah will fortify me as He has done before. I am just still dealing with combative thoughts that are ingrained in me and cause true fear occasionally. I don’t want to be wrong, because there is much scepticism in the organization and I don’t want to be made a bad example of… I also have no desire to be reinstated. I feel as if my relationship with Jehovah is personal and sacred and that no one can grant that or take it away. Writing an apology letter to convince a group of men of “authority” seems so impersonal and wrong. It shouldn’t be that way. I don’t understand and am afraid to express any personal “opinions.” I need an outlet. I thought about going back to a meeting and asking the elders to sit with me so I can ask questions. But the thought strikes a real fear in me, thinking of sitting in an isolated room away from the congregation with the elders, who have “position” and “authority” just to be considered an Apostate for the way I think and inquire… It is truly isolating. I just want truth. I want answers. I feel as if I have answers, but they are contrary to common belief of the elders, which will get me further shunned. I haven’t attended in awhile. I have no fear of the congregation. But I have doubt as well as concern in some of the information given at the stand. I know the brothers mean well. But I feel as if the organization of it all is misconstrued. Jesus needs a people to prove the True God, Jehovah’s Witnesses may well be it. But they are losing touch with the importance of the basics and I can’t lead by example nor teach in casual conversation due to being excommunicated… It seems to not matter that Jesus is our King and we should imitate him, but appearance is of the utmost importance… If they all just stop worrying and putting such weight on the principles and imitate Jesus in everything, there would be no need to worry about appearance because then there would be no need to worry, we would all be doing what we are suppose to. Imitating Jesus is the only thing that matters. That is the basic I wish I could express. But I am not in a position to share this with active members of the organization. It is frustrating and infuriating and depressing. Anyway, I know I went on a bit of a rant/life storying-telling. I just haven’t expressed myself in awhile. I hope to hear from you soon. Take care and may the peace of Jehovah be with you.

  • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

    Brothers I think this person meant to post their experience but they sent it to the contact form so here is the experience. Jacqueline

    Subject: Baptasim oath

    Name: The Danish sister

    Message: I live in Denmark and got baptized in 1982 and my best friend in 1984( I am happy for the old questions 1973)I found two explanations below.Do you know what convention that resolution was said?I can’t recall that I ever had said YES to an resolution like that! My best friend disassociated herself 28 years ago (after her Dads adwise)totally unnecessary she could have faded because she had never belonged to an organisation,or? Kind regards The Danish Sister There are two things I would like to say regarding the Biblical and legal validity of a person’s baptism under the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society: Firstly, anyone baptised before 1985 has NEVER been a member of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society by virtue of the FACT that no oath of allegiance (starting 1985) was required before their physical baptism. As baptism validates an oath, as can be seen from the changing questions below, anyone not making the Organisational oath, can be an actual member of this religion. This obviously implies that anyone baptised BEFORE 1985 can not be disfellowshipped from an organisation they have never belonged to. They were only baptised as Christians and ‘Jehovah’s witnesses’ (as a verb, not a noun). Baptismal questions from the Watchtower 1973 May 1 p.280: (1) Have you repented of your sins and turned around, recognizing yourself before Jehovah God as a condemned sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ? (2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit? Baptismal questions from the Watchtower 1985 Jun 1 p.30: (1) On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will? (2) Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization? Source: http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/baptism.php Secondly, this also implies that anyone ‘disfellowshipped’ from the WTBTS before 1985, has been removed neither on a Scriptural or a legal basis. Likewise, no letter of resignation is needed either. Simply because one is baptised under the auspices of the WTBTS does not change the fact that the baptism is only as a Christian ‘Jehovah’s witness.’ Hi Sunspot: The June 1, 1985 Watchtower, page 30, gives this two question formula: 1. “On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?” This question does not really involve being ‘baptized in the name of the Father and Son’ … rather it is a statement of belief and action. The Bible never really states that the Apostles applied any specific ‘formula’ when people got baptized … as there is no required formula. They early Christians did use similar expressions as Jesus put forth. The above question is somewhat religious legalism, but it also is fundamentally okay, sort of, yet has little to do with being saved by Grace due to faith alone in Jesus Christ. The second question is: 2. “Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?” This is legalism par excellence! The Holy Spirit is never really mentioned, at least not directly. Rather the organization is placed into an important position. JWs are brought into a legal arrangement, and here are the important implications: 1. Identification as a JW: The individual is combining an act of faith in Christ’s sacrifice with taking on a religious label. This recognition has legal implications with respect to their obligations to the organization that directs the JWs. 2. Association “with” the organization: While JWs use to say they were members of the Watchtower Society, they generally recognized that there were no Church membership roles. The Society does not now, nor has it ever, considered any JW a member of the Watch Tower corporations, except for the approximate 500 stock-holders of its corporations. The term ‘association with’ has its basis in the law of agency. If a person gets an insurance sales license, they join up with an insurance company as a agent. They are not an employee or member of the corporation, but their license is under the General or Managing Agent, and they work in ‘association with’ that General Agent. The salesperson is legally self-employed, but to remain in ‘association with’ the General Agent, they must abide by her/his rules and office policies. This also has important legal features with respect to Church Government. Because of the ‘separation’ between Church and State doctrine in our nation, religions can have whatever rules and government they want. And if a person joins a religion, and accepts its rules, and understands that their ‘identification’ and ‘association with’ means abiding by its rules, then they have ‘no legal recourse’should the religion decide to boot them out for some infraction against their policies and rules; whether written, oral, expressed, or implied. The religious organization holds all power, authority, and is final judge in how it carries out its procedures. The reason the WTS created the 1985 Baptism Formula?: Because as the 1970s ended, there were many who left regarding the failed prophecy of Armageddon in 1975. Along with this, there was the major shake up at Bethel in 1980-81 with the resignation of Ray Franz, and disfellowshipping of many other Bethelites, including their Gilead Registrar, Ed Dunlap. There was a drop in overall attendance at meetings, time reported in Service, attendance at Conventions, and a rise in JWs who walked away, becomeing inactive, but not Disfellowshipped … leaving the possibility open for them to influence active JWs remaining in the religion. Additionally, I have no doubt that there were some lawsuits, or at least “manuevering” by some inactive JWs to prevent the Elders from taking official DF action These former JWs may have contended that because the Society always said that there were “no membership” roles, that there was no corresponding method to DF someone who was in fact not a member or had no “legal” association with the Watch Tower Society. So, the Society lawyers and leaders had to come up with a new formula that closed this ‘loop-hole’ so that they could terminate the association of any JW, yet not consider them a member of the Watch Tower corporations. The term ‘in association with’ was the way out for them … gave them the same rights and benefits as a General or Managing Agent has with licensed sales people: No direct legal membership, yet the legal means to terminate association. This is the reason for their formula … it forces the new JWs to accept the Watch Tower system of Church Government, lock, stock, and barrel. What about JWs baptized prior to 1985?: These JWs could still make headaches for the Society by claiming that they never recognized God’s spirit-directed organization. The Society would have to then cite earlier District COnventions where the new formula was presented as a “Resolution” to be adopted … all saying “YES” passed the Resolution. Even if one said nothing or even said “NO”, if the majority said “YES” then the new rule went into effect. Could a JW still make an argument against the new rule?: Yes, if they could force the Society, through the courts to “prove” that a “majority” of all JWs said “yes” all aournd the worlkd at all the District Conventions in the year that the “Resolution” was supposedly passed. If they could not produced such results, then the JW could argue to have any affiliation with the Society annulled, and be treated as thogh such a rule never existed. The problem is getting such a case into the civilian courts … because the courts are reluctant to hear cases involving matters of church government. A jw, or former JW ouwld have to show cause, that there was some harm brought to them in ways that transcended the wall of separation between Church and State, and resulted in actual damages as a matter of law. This would be in cases of liable and slander, defamation, etc. These cases can stand on their own anyway, without challenging the rules of Church Government … so a lawyer might advise an aggrieved former JW to not make an issue of Church government and muddy the complaint in court, and instead focus on the actual damages as the law allows. So the primary benefit to the Society is: Not to protect themselves against liabling former members … but to have a more solid basis on which to terminate association with any JW, for any reason, at anytime, and not have the former JW be able to manuever the Elders, and delay matters for months or years … since 1985, the Watch Tower Society and it’s appointed agents, the Elders, have absolute power to terminate the association of any JW … and there is nothing that any JW can do about it. In my own case: In 1993, I wrote to the Society and essentially barred any action toward me … and threatened a lawsuit. They held off … and it would have remained that way, except that the local Elders were able to generate a false basis that I started my own religion, and then determined that I had “Disassociated” myself. I could have beaten them in court on this one, but the costs would have been too great compared to the benefits. Why didn’t they simply boot me according to the new rules?Well, they could have! They could have simply written and said that my association was terminated … and there would be nothing I could do about it. But they made the error of making a charge, a basis on which they made their determination … and they also feared me taking them to court … so, had the local Elders left me alone, I would have simply faded away without any Disassociation or Disfellowshipping. But once they chose to take action, they simply should have terminated my assoication without any notice or reason.

  • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

    Marjo that is true it is the governing body system and the organization set up. My son’s and their wives friends are all witnesses although quite a few of their friends go off and on and basically live their lives according to their own rules. That is why I have never asked any family or others to leave, they are content. A void could be created if they left and like nature abhors a void so should Humans as Satan likes an empty unprotected mind, he will attempt to fill it. You are 33 going on 70.(:)

  • Marjo

    I’m 33 years old from Finland. I wrote little bit of my history elsewhere, but now I can write more in here. My mother knew a witness couple, whom were keeping book studying course for her in 90’s. They were a nice couple, I liked them. My aunt is also a witness. We always go to the meetings with their ride. Our life wasn’t easy then. My dad was alcoholist still is. He was against witnesses. He was always furious when we went to the meetings with our own car. When I came in teenage, I didn’t go to the meetings anymore. Untill 2000 I got to know nice pioneer sisters, whom started bookstudying with me. I guess that was the main reason why I joined to the group, because they were nice. I went to baptise in 2002. After that I began to felt, that they didn’t want to spend much time with me. No one didn’t train me anymore after baptising. I gueass that is where I started to suspect that religion. My mother found new love, and devorced from her husband, that’s when she leaved witnesses. Of course non of the witnesses told me that, if they knew. My mother told me herself, after that I was confused, angry and furious. No one wasn’t there to confort or help me through all of that. No one didn’t even ask me how I was doing. I had that feeling they were avoiding me. That’s when I met my boyfriend who is my husband now. We were working in a same place. We moved together in summer 2008. Then there were witnesses stalking my mailbox, my area where I was living. They even left me a note to my mailbox saying: ” why aren’t you in the meetings anymore? Why do you have another lastname in your mailbox?”. I think that was rude. Then I e-mailed the elder, that I want to leave the group. We got married in novemer 2008, because there was baby on the way in february 2009.

    I feel that I have more blessings now then when i was a witness. That all bitterness what was when I was a witness is now long gone. I feel I understand bible much better. I guess it’s because I don’t have to use just witnesses literaty in studying.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Marjo thanks for sharing your journey. All seem to have one thing in common after cutting ties with the witnesses. We can understand the Bible, and we are happy and not afraid. I think it is because Holy Spirit can get through to help us. Without a manmade organization between us we have no choice but to go to Jesus and He leads us to God. A personal relationship not a herd mentality.
      You were smarter than lots of us you recognized and left at a decent age. Your children aren’t scarred by the organization. Good for you and your babies. You are welcome in the Bible student association, you don’t join just jump right in commenting here on articles and Kent have the info for you to connect with brothers on that side of the world.
      He left his Skype name below. Would you prefer he email you or write here how to come on. We would love to talk you this Saturday. Check the article on the testimony to your top right. Figure out your time and come on to talk if you can. https://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2017/11/02/testimony-meeting/. Tell your mom she is welcome also. I am just so glad to see you left at an early age. You are brave. You love for Spiritual things is still there and we welcome you in Christ. Jacqueline

      • Marjo

        I got kents information thank you. Recently I have began to think, maybe being in a witnesses was just a stepping stone for something bigger. Jehova didnt abandon me even tho I left JW. He has always been there watching my steps.

        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          Right Marjo, a stepping stone. Although I am much older than you I learned an expression from my brothers among the Bible students. Divine Providence, nothing happens without God’s permission. I didn’t understand at first but now I see it was like a training ground to have the contrast of error in basic truths first. For instance armageddon, something wasn’t quite right with killing little children, muslim women that could never in this life accept Christ. But then i learned about the “Ransom for All” and what it meant. Hellfire was more just than witness version of armageddon. At least they were wicked people and they got to die first but the pictures painted by witnesses put fear not love for God. Had I not known a little truth, I might not have talked to God so fervently. I do believe we can dismiss this training however. But God called us to run the race to get to see him face to face if we choose to accept. I also believe No one comes to Christ unless Jehovah calls them now as he can read hearts. I feel good inside now knowing about the 1000 years as the opportunity time of restoring and learning and not picking up bones and being only with Witnesses.
          I look at people with love now when I am with them! I have been booking events deliberately at Churches for my Spa team just so I can get to know other Christians and see some of the good works they do for the community. I attended a “Voice of the Martyrs event to hear the stories of people suffering for Christ around the world. I could never experience this as a witness, it uplifted me. All of this is how you neutralize the influence of such a high control organization as the effects will last a lifetime.
          I think this Thanksgiving I am going to volunteer to feed the poor at a soup kitchen then massage and talk to individuals about the hope of Jesus. Jesus fed people first (as when they thought Judas was going to buy food for the poor) and He fed them after they had spiritual food. I am going to do this during the holiday season this year. It is just such a pleasure talking to you as my children are 40-47 and they can’t see what you have seen, wow, but you give me hope that they will get out of Babylon for at least a little while before the systems fall. (If not they will suffer her defeat but still be in Paradise) Got to run now to put my crew to work at an event but I will check the site and I won’t monopolize you, I know others will want to welcome you. Also your story is giving other young ones hope as many are clicking on it. God Bless Marjo

          • Marjo

            We can only pray for those whom are still in with JW. We know Jehova can read our mind and soul. Maybe they aren’t ready to leave from it yet, but I hope soon Jehova will open their eyes for the real truth. You just need to show them, that they will not be alone after leaving JW’s. That there is large group of loving people to help them through. I don’t blame witnesses of anything, but it’s the governing body that is behind of all bad what is happening inside of JW society. Witnesses just obey all what they say.

            I think the curtain which is covering their eyes is that, what governing body tells not to go to war. That must be one of the reasons, why they don’t see through. Governing body is rotten inside, but looks great fruit from outside.

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