Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Cult?

Mentally Diseased Apostates or Watchtower Whistle Blowers? A Former Elder Weighs In

A whistle blower is someone with inside information about a dangerous situation that is being ignored by an entity such as a corporation, or even the government.  The term identifies individuals that place themselves in a precarious situation, especially if they remain associated with the entity they are warning people about.  These individuals thus put themselves in harm’s way to warn others about the danger, and to potentially prevent bad things from happening to people.

To Jehovah’s Witnesses, an apostate is an individual that is pretty much under the control of none other than the devil himself.  They are viewed as wicked people who have forsaken Jehovah and who now work directly against the almighty.  The very term “apostate” strikes fear into the hearts and minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses such that they avoid anything apostate at all costs, as if it would literally place their very lives in danger.

apostatesSo then, what about individuals who were once Jehovah’s Witnesses, but have now left and talk against the Watchtower; are they apostates as defined by the Watchtower, or are they whistle blowers?  This is a question that was first brought to my mind by an individual that commented on some of my videos on YouTube.  I must admit, I never personally framed the thought in such a manner myself until they brought it up, but I realized they had a very good point.

When an individual leaves the Watchtower and talks about their reasons for leaving, they are instantly slandered by the Watchtower Corporation.  The Watchtower teaches that there is no honorable reason or way to leave the ranks of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  If one leaves and makes known they are leaving because they disagree with the Watchtower teachings, they will be shunned by anyone who is still one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Those still in the organization will think that the individual who speaks out is now basically a servant of, and a force for, pure evil.  Thus, the risk of speaking out is considerable, especially to the person who has been born into the Watchtower, or who has cut off all non-JW associates.  Since the Watchtower basically mandates cutting off all non-JWs, most JWs will be in this risky situation, should they decide speak out.

What, then, motivates people to speak against the Watchtower?  The Watchtower would have you believe these individuals want followers, or have too much pride, or think they are smarter than the governing body.

So from where do false teachers come? They may arise from within the congregation. Such ones are apostates. What do they want? They are not content just to leave the organization that they perhaps once loved. Their aim, Paul explained, is “to draw away the disciples after themselves.” Note the definite article in the expression “the disciples.” Rather than going out and making their own disciples,apostates seek to take Christ’s disciples with them.
– July 15, 2011, Watchtower

All of those arguments are nothing more than the Watchtower ploy to slander those whose sole interest is merely to tell the truth. I am personally unaware of anyone who has left the Watchtower for any of the reasons mentioned above.

In the course of logical debate, when an individual or organization can’t defend their position with solid facts and logical arguments, they are forced to use logical fallacies and propaganda.  These fallacies include the ad hominem attack, which is to attack the character of the individual presenting the argument instead of attacking the argument itself. A simple example of this could be as follows; Individual A says “It is a beautiful sunny day.”  Individual B says “It can’t be a beautiful sunny day because Individual A is a jerk.”  In that case, Individual B does not present any facts; they merely attack individual A, hoping to destroy the reputation of the individual enough that people won’t listen to them.

whistleblower-1024x752This is the method employed by the Watchtower.  If they had the ability to logically demonstrate why individuals that left are wrong, they could do so.  However, they must know for a fact that they can’t.  Thus, they have no choice but to slander all who can easily prove them wrong.  Ironically, willful slander is one of the things that would get you disfellowshipped from the Watchtower Corporation.  Thus, anybody in that organization that participates in spreading malicious falsehoods about those who leave and speak out are deserving of being disfellowshipped from the very organization they claim to defend.

So why do I speak out?  I believe that people have the right to believe whatever they choose.  But, I also believe that people have the right to make informed decisions, and fully understand what it is they are choosing.  Myself, I did not have all of the information when I was baptized at age 11.  I studied the teachings of the Watchtower from the standpoint of only the Watchtower.  I never looked at the mounds of information that thoroughly disprove the Watchtower teachings.  Why not?  Simply because I was literally not allowed to.  Looking at any information that disproved the Watchtower was considered to be one of the most evil things I could have done.  In the mind of an indoctrinated 11 year old, such a prospect is immensely scary.

Seeing as that I now know exactly what the Watchtower is, and that I have been used by them as a pawn for a considerable amount of time, I now desire to share what I know to help others avoid a similar danger, or to free themselves if they are still involved.  I had almost half of my life stolen from me, and I don’t wish to see others share the same fate.

Interestingly, having only part of my life stolen is a relatively minor consequence to suffer at the hands of the Watchtower.  There are individuals who have died because of following Watchtower mandates regarding medical treatment. Children have been sexually abused, and then blamed by the organization for their abuse.  People have committed suicide because they could not endure the emotional torture of being shunned by their family at the Watchtower’s direction.  Women have been disenfranchised, belittled, and sometimes forced to stay in abusive relationships.  I got off easy.

If you knew of a person or an organization who enslaved people, was a misogynist, a protector of child abusers, and a hypocritical liar, would you feel the need to tell people?  The Watchtower organization does not set out to be such an organization, however, all of the above happen to multiple JWs.  Those of us who are in the know and who are able to think for ourselves have nothing short of the responsibility to warn the public of the danger posed by this group.  I personally make no money doing this, nor do I want to.  I have no followers, and want no followers.  I don’t care whether I’m smarter than the governing body, though to be honest, setting such a low bar makes it easy to excel in that particular regard.  Most five year-olds probably excel there.  We really should start a fund to buy those poor deluded individuals the helmets they so obviously need, but I digress.

I bear no personal animosity towards Jehovah’s Witnesses.  In fact, if I didn’t care about them, I would keep my knowledge to myself.  There were individuals who did me considerable wrong when I was under the influence.  But, that’s life.  I don’t bear them any animosity either.  I only have pity for them since they are currently wasting their life following an organization which in reality gives them nothing more than one massive abusive relationship.  The truly ironic thing is that one of their illustrations readily fits the organization.  Slaving away for the Watchtower is exactly the same as working hard to get a first class room on the sinking Titanic.  Your time would be much better spent watching the Smurfs all day, every day.

If you truly want to understand how Jehovah’s Witnesses reason, study people who stay in abusive relationships.  They oftentimes protect their abusers.  The same is true of JWs.

“Studies show that abused women often experience a kind of Stockholm Syndrome in which a victim comes to identify with and become attached to a captor.”
– Time Magazine, Sept. 9, 2014

I also wish to point out the fact that I have come to know some of the best people I think it is possible to know having left the Watchtower.  Individuals such as Alexandra James and Bo Juel that work hard to help others have freedom.  Karuna Light brings knowledge that many of us need to heal.  Kim and Mike are parents and family to many who are grieving.  I mention but a few of the individuals who have done so much to help others.  Were I to make an exhaustive list, it could take up an entire article by itself.  I thank everyone that has done anything to help JW Victims in their recovery process.

I have just one wish for all of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and for any who come across Jehovah’s Witnesses or any other high control group.  I want everyone to have the freedom to get all of the information, not just one side, and to consider it for themselves.  Freedom of informed decisions for everyone.  If the desire to spread knowledge, truth and freedom make me an evil person as the Watchtower says, than what is the point of being good?

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“Spike Raynor” is the pen name of a former elder of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Visit his own YouTube page here for more insights on the Watchtower practices and policies.

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5 replies »

  1. There was a time that I thought something was wrong with me…….my husband at that time was baptized, regularly faked illnesses, physically abusive, regularly cheated, the kids were terrified of him, he even went after one of my son’s friends (they were young men at this time) when they both had their own lives and were disfellowshipped. He had tried to kill me. Still, it was all on me. I was advised to “endure.” When I left, HE remained in good standing and supposedly, I was………..but I was shunned, NOT him. They even told me at one point they had to distance themselves from me because they had to protect THEIR families. I was completely shunned when I had to call on legal means to remain alive. He quit trying to pretend after I was disfellowshipped………I purposefully gave them a reason because my treatment wasn’t any different. He continues to harrass me to this day if the opportunity arises (25 years later). Me? Still shunned. I have to smile to myself, because I’ve moved 150 miles away and haven’t been in a hall for 25 years. Never came up against them or persecuted them in any way or even said a word about them. But somehow I was tracked down and they STILL KEEP AN EYE ON ME. People I’ve never even met know about me…….and I didn’t do anything but be a faithful JW for over 30 years and then leave a man that was actively trying to kill me. These people are truly, truly deep in a highly controlled cult and do not even realize it………except for the ones that do because they are in control. I know I’m more than okay. I have my place with God closer than I ever imagined I could be and I know He is there, guiding me. These people truly do know know and, while I do confess I still have small moments of anger, mostly I have pity, because they do not know what they are doing. They are fostering a life of fear, guilt an loathing for themselves, their family and anyone that “doesn’t comply” with the Watchtower. They do not realize all that negativity is exactly what Satan wants. God doesn’t want us to be driven by fear, but guided by love.

  2. I dont really care what they call me. I know who I am not who they think I should be. I want to feel compassion really for the ones who stay but I cant. They where nasty and evil and cruel. Ive actually come acriss ex jw parents who have left the religion and are now being shunned by the very children they indoctrinated. I feel nothing for them. Those people are doing what they where programmed to do. Cause and effect. Nothing to do with wrong or right – you get back what you put out.

  3. I was convinced that I should get out on field service and tell people about the good news of Jehovah because “if I knew a store was having a great sale, would I not tell all my family members and friends about it?” So it should be expected if someone knew of a dangerous, harmful, abusive organization that insists on telling you how to live, spend your time and money that they should warn everyone they know and meet. Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

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