Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Cult?

Jehovah’s Witnesses Caught Fabricating Experiences That Endorse Shunning Family!

Jehovah’s Witnesses practice a severe form of shunning against those who are disfellowshipped [excommunicated], or who have disassociated themselves, meaning that they officially left the religion on their own. If any member of the religion tries to tell you that they don’t, or that this shunning is not very severe, you can note these two  “experiences,” taken from their own magazines, as proof otherwise:

The obscenity of this practice is obvious; the families of these ones are commended for not even “checking up on” another family member. So, if your son or daughter, sibling, parent, or someone else is sick, in the hospital, destitute, has been assaulted, has been in an accident, is pregnant or has had a baby, has gotten married, gotten divorced, or had a death in their extended family, you won’t know about it, and won’t be there to help. As a matter of fact, you are outright instructed to not even find those things out.

This also completely exposes the claim made by Jehovah’s Witnesses on their own website, that they “work to build up families, both our own and those of our neighbors.” (See this page.) How can you build up a family if you’re commended for not even checking up on that family?

I’m Calling Lies 

There are two other problems with these “experiences,” one of which is that they’re completely fabricated. How do I know?

I ran these two paragraphs through a site called Copyscape, which compares texts for potential plagiarism. Copyscape came back with a whopping 15% plagiarism score (most universities and editorial boards require less than 1%).

You might wonder why this is a problem, since it’s the Watchtower repeating their own words, and not stealing from someone else. Theft is not the issue here; the issue is what was copied in these two paragraphs, namely, the wording of these supposedly personal experiences:

When two personal experiences, supposedly shared in someone’s own words, are this repetitive, they’re fake. Two people are rarely going to use the same phrases so often, even when discussing a similar situation.

Think about it; two witnesses on the stand in a courtroom, describing the same accident, will use entirely different wording and phrases during their individual testimonies. A husband and wife, describing their child’s first night home, will have very different descriptions of the experience.

That there are five exact phrases in one sentence of this second experience (including the phrase “motivating factor,” which Copyscape missed), which supposedly came from a different person, tells me that no one said these things. They’re fabricated.

These phrases were also used in a video presented to the attendees of the 2016 regional convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, where a woman relates her “experience” of being ousted from the family home after being disfellowshipped. She says that her family knew that if they had “associated with” her, “even a little, just to check on” her, “that small dose of association might have satisfied” her.

Again, nearly word-for-word with the experiences above. More proof that these aren’t real experiences from real people, but just regurgitated words made up by the Watchtower Society (at about the 7:20 mark):

Lest you doubt my credentials for making this call, note that, as a freelance writer, one type of job that is often offered to writers like me (and which I always personally turn down) is the creation of fake reviews, testimonies, and endorsements. These reviews are used by authors, those selling a product, consultants, and so on, in their own marketing materials, on sales sites (i.e.,, or on their own website.

When I read reviews of anyone’s work or product, and see these types of extreme similarities, I know for a near-certain that they’re fake, created by the person trying to sell you that product. This is my industry, my line of work; I get to make the call.

Lying Is One Thing 

The fact that the Watchtower outright lied about these accounts is bad enough; any active member of the religion should take that to heart, and ask themselves why they would be part of an organization that finds it appropriate to lie about anything.


My second issue, however, is what they’re lying about, and why they’re doing it. In these “experiences,” the Watchtower is lying about their practice of shunning; they’re not lying about how close we are to the end of the world, about whether or not the religion fulfills some obscure bible prophecy, or about how many Witnesses there are worldwide. No, they’re lying about a horrific practice that literally tears families apart and isolates people in a way that is nothing but abusive and cruel.

What This Says About the Practice

Note, too, that these lies are meant to endorse this practice. This actually proves that the Watchtower knows that this practice is cruel and inhumane, and that it doesn’t accomplish its intended purpose, namely, to make people want to return to their religion. If the practice was so useful and effective, they wouldn’t need to create fake reviews endorsing it.

Ironically, just a few weeks before someone created that image above, a potential client had asked me to create some fake reviews and endorsements for his book. Not only did I turn him down, but I reminded him that needing fake reviews means that no one actually does like your work, and that you know no one likes your work.

The same is true with the Watchtower. If they need to write up fake endorsements for this horrific practice of shunning, they know that no one really thinks it’s a positive force for good.

They haven’t gotten any real endorsements, no one writing to them and thanking them for taking their families away and for punishing them for leaving this horrid religion. If people really thought it was a good thing, that it helped them to “restore a relationship with god,” the Watchtower would have an abundance of real reviews, real endorsements, real testimonies, all written in different words and styles.

This doesn’t mean that the Watchtower Corporation will give up this practice anytime soon. I’ve seen it in my own industry; those authors and consultants will continue to push their product or service, never taking the lack of authentic positive reviews as a sign that maybe what they’re selling isn’t so great after all. Some will even escalate, putting out new editions or audio recordings of their struggling book, or consultants will try to break into a new market even after failing with their intended industry.

I doubt the Watchtower will be any better. The delusions they have, that they’re selling a great product to their congregants, are strong and have been strong for some time; rather than seeing those delusions for what they are, an indication of the failure of their religion and its practices, they will continue to push, and push, and push that terrible product. Unfortunately, the product they sell isn’t just a poorly-written book or sub-par consultation services; they’re selling a religion that quite literally breaks up families. These “experiences” prove it.

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18 replies »

  1. Why Shunning will always be a WT policy

    The best way to think about the shunning arrangement, is to think about the arrangement in terms of a poker game. In the game we have 3 players:

    1- The Dealer [the Watchtower society itself]
    2- The player [Member of the Watchtower]
    3- The loser [the ex-JW]

    When I say loser, I don’t mean a trait of the individual, I mean the player who is at a unique disadvantage when playing cards at the house. Because, the house always wins in the end when you play by their rules, in their establishment.

    The Watchtower has been playing the game for over 100 years now, and at this point, controls the flow, tempo, temperament, attitude, and pace of the game. That being the case, the dealer can read the players very well. They know exactly when to call or when to bid. The only X factor here is the loser. The advantage the loser has is that he is already bankrupt, he has nothing to loose at the card game. So this frees up his attention away from the game, an on to the mannerisms of the dealer.

    Every once and awhile, a bluff can be called by the loser, thus setting the dealer back a few steps.

    Ok, enough with the analogy…I hope you get my point. The Watchtowers game is almost over. They have played all of their trick hands [end of the world, failed prophecy, shifting of authority] and up to this point, the watchtower rank and file has pretty much caught on to the act. This explains the terrible retention rate among the Watchtower organization itself. People aren’t buying it anymore.

    The “Ace up the sleeve” so to speak will always be the disfellowshipping arrangement. Because this is the last and final control the dealer has over the game. Without it, there is no control and every player is on equal playing ground, which means, the house does not win.

    That being said, with the full knowledge that this is the game being played, it makes logical sense that we cannot expect to play their game and win. The only way to win is to stop playing the game all together. Call a spade a spade. The only effect shunning has on you, is the effect that you allow it to have.

  2. Although the WTS is no stranger to forging material and fabricated experiences isn’t below them (I’ve witnessed a DO in a preparation for a Circuit Assembly changing a publisher’s experience so much, to the point it was no longer the same story, just tongive it a more positive, “encouraging” spin), but in the case in point I think it’s more the case of the Writting Committee recycling its own material. In any case, recycled s**t is still s**t, isn’t it …

  3. I can tell you for a fact it had the opposite affect on me. Left because of it. For no reason that I can think of other than maybe I questioned something everyone my age at the time started to avoid me. Guess I should thank them due to how I was treated left and, not that is was easy, haven’t looked back.

  4. The saddest part is the followers BELIEVING in this garbage!! And then turning around and regurjitating it like it is fact and real. *sigh* such blindness.

  5. As others noted, I can also see them recycling the same experience and actually using quote the second time around. In my opinion the greater travesty is their admission that it was being shunned by people he loved that brought Robert back, not the pain he experienced from hurting Jehovah. Just a small does of the family he missed would have kept him out? If judicial committee cared that the “truth” was in his heart, they should be overwhelmingly suspicious, not reporting the experience as proof that disfellowshipping works.

  6. oddly they sue a German publishing company for a book of a former JW who just wrote about him being shunned by parents due to WT doctrine. The officials respectively their lawyers claim that shunning is not mandatory.

    funny enough, the local newspaper wrote about this incident.
    Since the paper is read by JWs it could well be some think twice about
    what is being said on stage..

  7. I’m with Joel here. I remember these articles and concluded that they were both about Robert, with small details added to each article.The bigger issue for me is that Watch Tower is openly admitting that the shunning by family is what motivated Robert to be reinstated. It was not his ‘love for Jehovah.’

  8. I find this very interesting, but I wanted to play devil’s advocate. What is the possibility that these two “experiences” are in fact one experience, that is, that the same account is being used in both articles? If that’s the case, the anonymous editor/writer was just lazy, and used (apparently) the experience of a Witness named “Robert” twice. It’s certainly possible the experience(s) are fake, but I don’t know that it can be proved.

    • It’s always a possibility, but I would think they would have put quote marks around the first use of it since it’s so word-for-word. What I do know is that there are not two separate people endorsing this horrific practice for these reasons; I doubt there’s even one. Who thinks this way, especially after being out of this disgusting cult for 16 years?

  9. Good for you Alexandra. We need more people exposing the shameful conduct that this cult pulls off under the guise of a respectable religion.

  10. Not unexpected – we have all talked to exjws who admitted lying at convention interviews about their “wonderful” experiences out in field service. In fact, many tell us that they were specifically told to lie. I guess when your entire org is built on lies, it’s just no big deal to continue making up new ones… Thanks for your hard work, Alex!

    • Although they claim to be Christian, they are not. We all have sinned and fallen short of the will of God. The jws need our prayers also.

  11. Wow, thank you again, Alexandra! Your eloquence drives home the facts of the matter. Obscenity is accurate! The torment the JWs inflict on families, purposely decimating entire generations, is beyond criminal! And the lies upon lies, enough to fill several kingdom halls, prove their corruption and they will not give up control. Very poignant and impactful! Thank you!

    • Thank you Simone. I saw that comparison and the “writer’s radar” went off immediately. So obviously faked! They know they’re destroying people so they need to write their own endorsements. Shameful.

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