Recently, two ex-Jehovah’s Witness sisters in the U.S., Miranda and Annessa, filed lawsuits against a JW elder who had sexually abused them and the Watchtower Society which protected him. In another news report, two ex-JW women in Wales are suing Mark Sewell, a JW, for raping them. According to them, the Watchtower Society also shielded him by destroying the evidence when they reported their abuse to them.
These cases run counter to the slick propaganda often presented by JW literature about their religion. Many people have left (and are leaving) this false religion. Here are some of them, who have now found true spiritual freedom in Jesus Christ:
“Between the two of us, we conducted ‘home bible studies’ with dozens of people, and we brought well over 20 of them into the organization as baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses” says David an ex-JW elder and his wife, Penni. “We weren’t stupid” he continues, “but we were totally ignorant of the Bible. Besides, the Jehovah’s Witness program of indoctrination is so cleverly put together that it appeals to intelligent people.”
JWs do not come to your doors to talk about their most absurd beliefs, but rather start out teaching things that most people agree with and gradually introduce the more absurd beliefs.
“When I think of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I recall a lifetime of bondage to a cult which I served for the first 28 yrs of my life” says Paul, who was a third generation JW. “I was taught that Jehovah’s Witnesses had the only true religion. [They] believe everything written by the Watchtower is from God and is not to be questioned.”
In Tammie’s case, she was “a religious zealot and looked scornfully at anyone too lazy to pursue the ‘Truth’ as we called it.” She adds, “I was persuasive enough to lead 5 people to the point of baptism. I reported a monthly average of 10 Bible studies and [gave out] hundreds of pieces of literature. I read and studied the organization’s materials to the extent that I was able to argue doctrine better than any elder I knew, and this by their own admission.” Yet, “I was desperately lonely and empty.”
An online Christian ministry evangelizing JWs notes that:
“There are two types of converts. Those who joined this religion because it met an emotional need and those who converted because it gave them ‘answers’ to the questions they were facing in life. While the second group is easier to reach through logical reasoning about doctrinal inconsistencies, the first group is the most difficult to reach.”
What attracts people to the group usually keeps them in it. Penni recalls, “We were at a Witness convention and a handful of opposers were picketing outside. One of them carried a sign that said ‘READ THE BIBLE, NOT THE WATCHTOWER.” That night, they read their Bible and this eventually led the couple out of the cult.
Paul, mentioned earlier, read a book titled ’30 Years a Watchtower Slave’ authored by an ex-JW who had found the truth by reading the Bible without Watchtower books. After some hesitation, “my wife and I secretly studied our new [American Standard] Bible for long hours into the night, discovering that many of the major doctrines we had been willing to die for were false.”
Tammie, had her doubts when she met true Christians. “I wondered why I had been warned all my life not to read other people’s religious materials. I observed these people’s lives and how they really lived what they believed and I began to wonder why a God of love wanted to kill these people at Armageddon. Was God so cruel to want to destroy these people who obviously love Him, just because they were not Jehovah’s Witnesses?”
Cynthia questioned the religion when her sister married a non-JW man. “My parents had literally thrown all of my sister’s clothes out on the front lawn.” She wondered “this is your child, how can you say you love your child and you love God but you are treating your child this way?… This is not the love of God.” When Cynthia left, she was shunned by her family and nearly committed suicide. But with the support of her Christian friends and pastor, she regained her feet and is still in the Lord.
Daniel Rodriguez, who has led many JWs to Christ observes that:
“Many who exit the Watchtower on their own never again involve themselves with “religion” of any kind. Many become agnostics or atheists. Many have suicidal thoughts. Some succumb to those thoughts. Thankfully, there are those who, in time, work out the trauma of leaving the Watchtower organization and live meaningful lives” (Winning the Witnesses, Chick Publications Inc., 2007, 75-6).
“When I told my parents that I had accepted Christ as my Savior, my mother cried and said she would never speak to me again” recalls Tammie. “They believe Satan has blinded my mind so I can’t see the Truth anymore [but] I have discovered that the Truth is not an organization or a religion; it’s a Person, it’s Jesus Christ.”
After Paul and his wife were expelled and shunned, “Christians came to our home and helped us with food and money…The living testimony of these people affected my wife and I so much that we decided to start again studying the Bible.” From their study, “one night, my wife and I held our hands and gave our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Salvation is in Christ alone, it is not in a religious organization.