Experiences of Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses

Major Lawsuit Against the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses

Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses Have Been Named Defendants in U.S. Court

The sins of some men are publicly known,
leading directly to judgment,
but those of other men become evident later.
(1 Timothy 5:24 NWT)

It's ironic that the verse quoted above is set within the context of a Bible passage used to guide the elders of Jehovah's Witnesses in defending the rights of child molesters within their congregations. Known as the "two witness rule," no one is to bring an accusation against a man unless there was at least one other witness present at the alleged assault. They base this rule on this verse from their New World Translation,
"Do not accept an accusation against an older man except on the evidence of two or three witnesses." (1 Timothy 5:19)

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Laughter is Good Medicine!

You've probably HEARD it said before, but have you EXPERIENCED laughter as good medicine to what ails you?

As a former member of the Watchtower Society, I have. Proverbs 17:22 came to life for me 6 months after I was disfellowshipped. I began 2005 as a shunned and depressed ExJW, but midway through that same year I slapped on a happy face and went off to vacation at Clown Camp. I've since grown into that smile and am joyfully still clowning around.

My mother nurtured the clown in me as a child with her own love for practical jokes. Creativity was welcome in the non-JW home I grew up in and by middle school I was voted "most humorous" and also "most artistic." Those two attributes were overshadowed by a more serious nature, however, when I stepped into a newly created character called "JW Julie" in 1996 as a baptized Jehovah's Witnesses.

Even as a faithful JW, however, I could not completely snuff out my true identity and appreciation for a good joke. One night as I entered the Kingdom Hall, a sister asked if I'd be available after the meeting as she had something important to show me. When the meeting ended, she invited me to walk to her car. As she led the way in the parking lot, she was laughing while confessing that I was the only one who could appreciate what she had to share. She could hardly control her giggles as she took a small paper bag from her back seat.

Picture if you will, two well groomed women in skirts
standing in the parking lot of a Kingdom Hall
playing with what Linda had recently discovered
through her grandson.

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Testimonies that Turn the World Upside Down!

And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” (Acts 17:2-7 ESV)

As our website's name suggests, we are Witnesses for Jesus. Like the apostle Paul, we proclaim that Jesus is the Christ. And because of it, some call us apostates and attack our ministry of reaching out to Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. Those types of letters are to be expected, but I can't remember a time when we were accused of "turning the world upside down" due to our testimony. Until last month.

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Final Show on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

Final Show on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

In this program, Melissa shared her heart and final farewell on Hurting to Healing with Melissa.

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Blocks ExJWs face in Coming to Christ

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13)

Have you ever shared the gospel with an active or former Jehovah's Witness? Have you noticed a BLOCK preventing them from hearing it? According to Jesus' own words here in Matthew 23, it was the RELIGIOUS LEADERS who were preventing some from entering the kingdom of heaven. What Jehovah's Witnesses have been fed by their leaders also serves as a block to their entrance. I absolutely LOVE Christians who invite Jehovah's Witnesses in and share the gospel with them, but I know how confusing it can be for Christians to talk to these people who regularly read their Bibles and already profess a belief in Jesus Christ and yet watch the gospel fall upon deaf ears as they continue with their Watchtower presentation. What prevents them from hearing the simple truth?

I invite you to listen in on a discussion amongst former Jehovah's Witnesses who were asked the question,

"What currently is or was the major block you had
in coming to Christ for salvation due to your JW background?"

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Dealing with Forgiveness - Hurting to Healing with Melissa

Dealing with Forgiveness - Hurting to Healing with Melissa

Did you know that if you harbor unforgiveness in your heart, your physical body can be affected? Listen as Melissa shares her own experiences with unforgiveness and how her body was healed when she turned the situation over to Christ in forgiveness toward the people who hurt her and her family. Learn how a lack of forgiveness torments you and brings about a lack of peace, manifesting in problems with various relationships and physical difficulties. Learn how releasing this burden to Jesus can heal you physically and emotionally.  Listen, pray and walk way free!

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A First Time Visit to the Memorial

It continues to amaze me that Jehovah's Witnesses make such a special effort to invite their neighbors to their annual observance of Christ's death called the Memorial. What impression does this make on a new visitor at the Kingdom Hall? Here is one man's comments from the evening of his first Memorial. He posted this in a Facebook discussion group for former Jehovah's Witnesses and the responses that follow give greater insight to this annual event which many of us now refer to as a "Black Mass." One contributor to the discussion also shared her recording of the Memorial event which she attended this year.

Sean:
I went to my first WTBTS "Memorial" Service on Friday.

Apparently, this is their most important service of the year.
I found it to be quite depressing.

It was only an hour long lecture about denying the full deity of Christ,
why they only observe Jesus's death and not his Resurrection (Both are very important),
why he was "for certain" crucified on a wooden pole and not a cross......

and the main event,
reflect on who the 144,000 are who should partake of their annual communion,
and why you shouldn't.
They spend most of the time convincing you that you aren't,
but you can still live eternally on Earth
(sounds like the equivalent of "Purgatory." Bliss, but not the full glory of The Lord.)

So, you see the unleavened bread and wine passed down the isles,
and no one takes it....NOT ONE!
So, a reflection of Christ's atonement while rejecting it?
And this is the highlight of their year? How sad!

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Should You Go to the Memorial This Year?

Should I Go to the Memorial this Year? Hurting to Healing with Melissa

So many questions...

Should I go this year? What if I do? What if I don't?  Am I suppose to observe or partake? Can only the 144,000 partake?  Who can take of the bread and the cup? Are their requirements to take of the bread and the cup? Is there anything I must do before I take of the bread and the cup?

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Interview with Steve Hays on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

Interview with Steve Hays on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

I AM EXCITED FOR THIS ONE! Interview with Steve Hays (Stevo) from Happy Life.

Stevo is who God made me. H.E.L.P. is what God has called me to do. Years ago, when I was released from my career job, I asked God what He wanted me to do with my life. He gave me a super clear picture of the acronym H.E.L.P. He then explained it. “I am sending you out to H.E.L.P. others by bringing Healing, Encouragement, Laughter and Ponder to the people I send you to.”

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The Bible Project: Or Help Rhonda Find Another Free Home Bible Study

 

Hi Julie, 
I was raised in a Baptist Church until I was a teenager then went to Harvest (with Greg Laurie in California) through high school. As an adult I had a drug addiction and was in and out of rehabs but also went to Bible camps.  I feel the Bible Camp made a foundation in my heart. I have been clean for 3 years and let me tell you a year and a half of that cleanses is because of the Jehovah Witnesses and me getting into my Bible. I've never understood my Bible before. It's like a window is opened up to me. I still continue to go to a non denomination church but am not committed to any one church. I haven't gone to the Kingdom Hall yet but am studying with Witnesses. I brought questions to pastors at churches which pushed me closer to more studies with the JWs.

I read the JW website a lot because I like the layout and the structure of it. I am a structure person somewhat. I need guidance.

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Discussing Suicide on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

Discussing Suicide on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

It was 1988 and I was 14 years old and I remember these words, do you?

- "Critical times are hard to deal with."

-"Does the physician understand and respect the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses?”

-"Well at least we have the hope of seeing her during the resurrection.

What does the Bible say about suicide?  Let's see if we can find some answers.

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Discussing Manipulation on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

Discussing Manipulation on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

Manipulation is the art of controlling people or circumstance by indirect, unfair, or deceptive means-especially to one's own advantage.

Manipulation will guilt you into doing things tirelessly.  Manipulation will accuse when you disagree.  Manipulation happens when others demand unquestioning compliance.

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Risking "How To Have a Good Day Every Day"

I'm a morning devotional kind of person. You know, those little books you see on people's coffee tables? I've gone through several over the years, but currently my tabletops host Our Daily Bread and Oswald Chambers "My Utmost for His Highest."

These books were once forbidden to me as one of Jehovah's Witnesses since the Watchtower dictates that their members only read their publications, one of which is a daily devotional called "Examining the Scriptures Daily." I followed their program of reading their daily text, but was getting increasingly angry and depressed within the walls of that religion. And so I took a risk and picked up a devotional from a local thrift store because it's title sounded more helpful than theirs. The booklet was called "How To Have a Good Day Every Day" by Norman Vincent Peale. The contents revealed 7 vital steps in re-focusing my mind each morning to look on the bright side. When you're constantly fed pictures and words of an impending doomsday, that's kind of appealing.

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Happy New Year - Hurting to Healing with Melissa

Happy New Year on Hurting to Healing w/Melissa

Happy New Year!

We only have 9 more shows left until Hurting to Healing comes to an end.

Tune in to hear the line up for 2019 and a short message on Truth.

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A Hidden Lesson in Christmas Cards

Christmas 2018 is past and we begin a new year once again. I didn't send any Christmas cards out this year, but as I look at the ones received, most of them are from former Jehovah's Witnesses. For some it's become an annual tradition, for others it was a first rite of passage this year. I also receive cards from friends and family I've known since before I entered the Watchtower in 1996. There were no Jehovah's Witnesses in my family as I was growing up, so we celebrated Christmas. My folks would receive Christmas cards and read them to us since some would be from relatives we'd only hear from once a year. Those would usually include a letter to catch us up on the events of their year along with what they knew about others in our family circle. They wrote about who got married, who had a baby, who died, who got a new job, an award, or moved. That type of thing. This was all just normal to me.

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An Atheist, a Jew, and a Unitarian walk into a song....

Though Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, and Atheists aren't going to be celebrating the birth of Christ, the music at this time of year is unavoidable. You can hardly pick up a gallon of milk at the store without hearing a Christmas song or run into a bell ringer wishing you a "Merry Christmas." Christ is being proclaimed whether we agree with it or not. And even Jehovah's Witnesses are out this winter building their presentations on the fact that others are celebrating Jesus' birth. When I was in field service in the late 90's, we would present the publication "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" and talk about Jesus' birth with the householder hoping to stay in conversation long enough to introduce the idea that He was now a King. A lesson I have no argument with today, however I give no credit to 1914 as the date for His return. Though their intent is to draw people into the Watchtower organization, Christ is still being preached (in a distorted way). And it causes me to reflect upon others who have brought the message of Christ to many ears even when they themselves are not Christian.

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DISFELLOWSHIPPED = Guilty As Charged on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

Guilty As Charged = Disfellowshipped

Years later I'm still feeling guilty.  I am charged guilty and I agree. The charge, fornication according to the Jehovah’s Witness Organization. Guilty of having sex before marriage. There is no way to hide it, I am pregnant.

I stood guilty as charged. GUILTY AS CHARGED = DISFELLOWSHIPPED.

Are you guilty as charged? Do you worry about getting caught or found out? Do you wonder if you will ever be forgiven?

It's time to face it!  Let go of the guilt and shame and know that you will be forgiven!

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VOICE - Melody on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

VOICE ~ Compelling Voices ~ Courageous People ~ Hurting to Healing with Melissa

In this episode, MELODY gives VOICE to her journey out of the Jehovah's Witness Organization when she shares her Disassociation letter that she gave to The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in 2016.

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November: Cult Awareness Month

To my knowledge, there is no registered "Cult Awareness Month" designated to commemorate notable events associated with spiritual abuse. However, if I were to create such a memorial it would have to be in November. And that's what we are proposing to do this month through social media. Some of us are already engaged in bringing awareness to the public through our Facebook pages and speaking engagements, but some have good reasons to keep a low profile and that is understandable. For those who can participate, we're inviting you to make November CULT AWARENESS MONTH with us by posting more than the usual information about Jehovah's Witnesses and/or the psychological studies on shunning and cults in general on your social media pages. There is no shortage of videos, news articles, personal blogs, and websites like this from which to choose.

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INNER HEALING – Releasing Guilt on Hurting to Healing

What wounds do you carry from your past?  Are you struggling with guilt?

Releasing Guilt on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

"Thou salt not... "I don't recall hearing about the Father's love or how to live the Christian life.  What I learned was that a wrathful God would punish me if I didn't follow all the rules.  And there seemed to be rules for everything-including what I could read, what I could wear, and what I could do."

DISFELLOWSHIPED - Guilty As Charged

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VOICE - Ali Bogolin Bautista on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

VOICE ~ Compelling Voices ~ Courageous People ~ Hurting to Healing with Melissa

Totally convinced she was raised "in the Truth," active in the Watchtower organization, even avoiding college so that she could put Jehovah first, Ali reached out to a struggling Jehovah's Witness in hopes of bringing him back to the meetings.  When he replied to her questions with a list of problems and scandals within the Watchtower organization, she learned for the first time that the Watchtower had been involved as an NGO with the United Nations (which they consider the Beast of Revelation) and the Watchtower's cover-up of sex abuse cases, exposed by the Australian Royal Commission.  As she continued to study the problems her Ex-JW friend was sharing with her, she started asking questions to the elders, only to end up being rejected by the elders and scorned for her questions. Going into depression, Jesus met her in a dream.

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Why Does It Take So Long For Victims to Come Forward?

Wise King Solomon wrote there is
"A time to be silent and a time to speak."

It seems with the #MeToo movement, it is a time for women in particular to speak. Conversations abound on social media concerning rape and the general disrespect for women. The latest news to stir the pot concerns the sexual assault allegations that Christine Blasey Ford has brought forth on Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

I'm not normally one to jump into these debates on social media, but it's easy to see the most common counter argument for Ford's case against Kavanaugh is the time span between the alleged rape and her coming forward. As I was reading one Facebook thread, this comment was left by a man:

"To wait that long whether he's guilty or not is just too long it's done it's over move on nothing anyone can say or do will ever change whether it was right or wrong just move on."

A woman responded with,
"there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault here in Maryland... The law says you're wrong..."

And then it got ugly. He resorted to obscene name calling and wrote, "it takes you 40 years to realize you were raped ? You can't fix stupid ignorance ..."

That's when I considered responding to his ignorance in that thread, but chose to do so here instead.

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How Do Pastors Respond to Jehovah's Witnesses?

Being a Jehovah's Witness is an education that few will ever have. You really get to know the religious atmosphere of an area when you're forced to move past the small talk and bring up the topic of God with your neighbors. Even now as I drive past neighborhoods, I can recall certain people and conversations at particular houses. I can tell you who grew up Baptist, Catholic, or Lutheran. Who identifies themselves as Christian but believes in reincarnation or can't find the book of Genesis in a Bible. I remember the house where a Catholic woman told me they didn't need a Bible because they have the catechism. I remember how the other Witnesses in my car laughed harder than me when I told them about our conversation.

The truth is,
Jehovah's Witnesses make fun of Christians.

And talking with our Christian neighbors
on a regular basis only fortifies that position. 

Even when a doubting JW takes that brave step to talk with "apostates" in on line discussion groups, they will often point out that ONLY Jehovah's Witnesses are fulfilling the Great Commission by their thorough witnessing work. They'll note that Jehovah's Witnesses are KNOWN worldwide for their evangelism in contrast to others who identify themselves as Christians but are not engaged in such a work. And it's all too true. As a new Witness approved for field service, I was both eager and intimidated by taking my first door, but

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Baraboo to Bonne Terre

A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 NASB)

When I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses, my summer's were full of meetings at the Kingdom Hall, studying my Watchtower, door knocking, and of course, the District Convention. I had little time left for fun. But six months after my disfellowship announcement in 2004, I was at a week long Clown Camp in La Crosse, Wisconsin and have been filling up my weekends with parades and festivals ever since. I was released from my bondage and became a clown and caricature artist. Oh, I still attend "meetings" for spiritual instruction and worship, engage in Bible studies, share the good news of the kingdom, and attend summer conventions, but I've also learned to extract the F-U-N from what once was a dysFUNctional religious life. Based on these activities, some people might think I've not changed my ways all that much, but I beg to differ. Now when I begin a Bible study with someone, my purpose is not to get them to join an organization or "get religion," my prayer is that through the love and grace offered in the gospel they will discover who they are in God's kingdom because there is no greater joy than being released to become who God created us to be! When that happens, there's no holding back the fruit of His Spirit.

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Have We Seen Their Faith or Their Flaw?

As we pray for our loved ones in the Watchtower, it is my prayer that we focus on their faith and not their flaw. Their faith may be sincere, yet misdirected and therefore flawed indeed. However, I praise God for noticing the offering of every active Jehovah's Witness who prays and witnesses from a place of faith in HIM for I believe what He sees is far deeper than what we see. God treasures faith. 

She was in the wrong religion. The leaders she trusted took her offerings but did not shepherd her through her losses. She had little left to give and yet in her sincerity gave all because she had nowhere else to go. So day after day she spent her faith serving an outdated religion set for the fall. But some had already left it to follow the truth and watched her activities pondering the outcome as her insignificant offering was taken up by the shepherds fleecing their flock.

Stop right there. What is stirring in your heart? Do you run to tell her? Do you rail against her religion and it's leadership? Do you plead in prayer and ask Jesus to show Himself to her?

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"Hello. I Am An ExJW"

At this conference everyone is given a voice. Present, questioning, exiting and former Jehovah’s Witnesses as well as anyone who has been affected by the teachings and policies of Jehovah’s Witnesses organization. Whether you are a former witness for the Watchtower Society or a "witness now for Jesus," you are invited.

The second annual "Witnesses Now for Jesus: Midwest" conference is coming up fast the weekend of Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28. As with the 40th annual conference of its same kind in Pennsylvania (October 5-7, 2018), Friday morning will begin with introductions from all in attendance as the microphone gets passed at 9:30 am with "Let's Get Acquainted."

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VOICE – Andrea Bergin on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

VOICE ~ Compelling Voices ~ Courageous People ~ Hurting to Healing with Melissa


"I was never concerned about whether heaven or paradise earth was my ultimate destiny, but the question of sonship was huge to me...It was clear to me that the "Great Crowd" was left outside the family of God... We were truly seen as second-class citizens.  It was WAY more than a destiny question."

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VOICE – Gus Astacio on Hurting to Healing with Melissa

VOICE ~ Compelling Voices ~ Courageous People ~ Hurting to Healing with Melissa

Do you have a story? Have you ever wondered how the Healing X Outreach Blogtalk Channel got started?  Listen as we hear from the founder of Healing X Outreach and Learn the Real Story Behind the ministry scenes.

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Teen Depression? Awake!

Can I make a confession here? I still like the Awake! magazine that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society publishes. As a former Jehovah's Witness, I no longer have a subscription so I'm not up to date on all of them, but when I do get my hands on one I usually enjoy the articles. They're rarely controversial and often upbeat and informative.

Recently I stopped to read the bulletin board at my local grocery store where someone had left 4 Awake! magazines. Likely the same sister I'd seen in the store that day. It was all the same issue, No. 1 2017 on Teen Depression. I took them all off the counter so no one else could have a chance to read them. Even though I don't consider the contents of those magazines very dangerous, they do serve as a lure to get readers interested in studying with Jehovah's Witnesses. Something I do find dangerous and deceiving. And so, I have 4 copies of the same Awake! magazine sitting at my desk.

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VOICE - The Two Witness Rule - Melissa's Story

WNFJ2018 WestCoast - The Two Witness Rule

At this West Cost "Witnesses Now for Jesus" Conference, Melissa shares her experience on how the "Two Witness Rule" of Jehovah's Witnesses affected her life growing up as a Jehovah's Witness. You can listen to all of the WNFJ conference talks on you-tube at: https://www.youtube.com/user/WNFJ2008

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