|By: Lorri MacGregor; ©December 2002|
|Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses proselytize? What is life like for children in the Jehovah’s Witnesses? These are two of the questions Lorri MacGregor answers this month.|
Most people know something about Jehovah’s Witnesses, how they call at their doors at inconvenient times, or leave their unwanted magazines. People often wonder why they are targets for this group’s attention. Here are some often-heard questions and answers to them.
There are two reasons why Jehovah’s Witnesses bother people who already have their own religion. First off, they believe you are serving the Devil if you are in any other religion than the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and they want to “save” you, by having you join their organization. They honestly believe Jehovah God will destroy you unless you leave your religion and join theirs. They don’t want to be “blood guilty” for your death. At the very least, they want to warn you of your coming destruction unless you comply. They see themselves as God’s messengers.
Secondly, they want to save their own lives by working hard for their own salvation. Salvation to a Jehovah’s Witness consists of calling door to door, attending five meetings a week, including conventions each year, so that when Armageddon (God’s final battle) comes, they will be spared for their faithful work. For all eternity a Jehovah’s Witness must work hard to continue living. Their salvation can be lost at any time, so this accounts for their ongoing zeal, both now, and for all eternity. No rest for Jehovah’s Witnesses!
Jehovah’s Witnesses always offer a “free home bible study.” This appeals to the lonely and gullible people who ask, “How can studying the Bible hurt me?” They faithfully come to your home each week for this “study.” Jehovah’s Witnesses are friendly people who “love bomb” potential converts by giving them lots of attention, inviting them to the Kingdom Hall, where they are fussed over by all, and to social gatherings. Slowly the person is indoctrinated into the Jehovah’s Witness beliefs by repeatedly going to isolated scriptures reinforcing Jehovah’s Witness beliefs. At the same time the person is influenced to view all other religions as “bad,” and their own protesting families as “evil.” The organization now becomes “all things to all people”—their new belief system, their privileged position of being chosen by Jehovah God to be in his organization, and their new “family,” the other Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are now isolated and converted and are baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Once baptism is accomplished the pressure to conform is intense and most comply with the Society’s wishes. Reality often sets in much later!
Getting into Jehovah’s Witnesses is simple. Getting out is traumatic in the extreme.There is no honorable way to leave Jehovah’s Witnesses. If you resign, or “disassociate”yourself, you are subject to a humiliating “trial” at the hands of the “committee of elders,” where you will face all kinds of questions and accusations. Gone are all your friends and Jehovah’s Witness family. You will be shunned as an evil-doer and never spoken to again. You will be hated with an intensity that will traumatize you. In the organization’s own words, you will considered as “...loathsome, odious, filthy....” Not a pretty picture, but a grim reality indeed. Recovery can be slow and painful for the victims of this abuse.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught to have only one allegiance—to Jehovah God and His organization, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. They must not compromise this loyalty by saluting the flag (perceived as an act of worship), singing a national anthem (perceived as a hymn), or voting (perceived as being part of the Devil’s world). Their focus is very narrow, being limited to the Organization and isolation from everything else.
Jehovah’s Witnesses often make good employees, being honest and trustworthy, as long as there is not a conflict between the workplace and their loyalty to their organization. Their normal virtues go out the window in certain circumstances. For example, if a Jehovah’s Witness employee saw confidential medical files regarding another Jehovah’s Witness having an abortion or a blood transfusion, that would be the end of any confidentiality agreement they might have. If a Jehovah’s Witness discussed his religion in a psychiatric session, details would be made known to the organization, proving them “disloyal.” The Jehovah’s Witness employee would immediately report these various infractions against their religion to their elders. Innocent employers could find themselves sued by the victims for loss of confidentiality.
Also, if an employer refused permission for a Jehovah’s Witness to take time off to attend an Organization event, like a convention or even Kingdom Hall regular meetings, that Jehovah’s Witness employee would be pressured to quit that job. Loyalty always goes to their religion.
Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses are generally law abiding, with the familiar exception of their religion’s teachings. For example, they often ignore child custody arrangements, kidnapping children and hiding them from the legal parent so they may influence the child into their Jehovah’s Witness religion. Also they often ignore the court’s instructions not to bring religion into visitation, by teaching the children the Jehovah’s Witness religion and taking them to meetings, in violation of court orders to the contrary. They will also kidnap a child who has been made a ward of the State from a hospital, if a blood transfusion is involved. Laws that are at odds with Organization instructions are ignored, and furthermore, considered to be from the Devil.
Children are subjected to a life which makes them, in effect, little adults, not children.They, too, must attend long meetings and go door-to-door. They must refuse to salute theflag, sing the national anthem at school, and avoid all holidays like Christmas and Easter,and do little or no sports. They quickly become objects of scorn by other children and many suffer emotionally, becoming isolated, and sad.
Also, a serious problem of child sexual abuse has been uncovered in the Jehovah’s Witness Organization. Children are taught to obey the elders in the congregation, and some unscrupulous men have used their privileges to abuse and torment innocent children. Recently, some have identified the Jehovah’s Witness Organization as a “Paradise for Pedophiles,” who know that even if they are caught, they can just deny the act and go unpunished. The Organization requires two eye-witnesses to validate a complaint, and most pedophiles do not offend in front of two convenient eye-witnesses! Word has apparently spread among practicing pedophiles that the Jehovah’s Witness religion is a great place to have access to children and get off Scot free even if caught! Children are in real danger and should be closely supervised by parents at all times.
False doctrines and false prophecies aside, life in the Jehovah’s Witness Cult is not only isolating and damaging emotionally, but is dishonoring to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is pushed into the background and misrepresented by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. No true Christian would want to be found in its dubious clutches! If you have become ensnared, we can help you come free. Please write to us for confidential help.