“Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching. Persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.”—1 Timothy 4:16.
[From ws 8/19 p.14 Study Article 33: Oct 14 – Oct 20, 2019]
“We cannot force our relatives to accept the good news, but we can encourage them to open their minds and hearts to the Bible’s message. (2 Timothy 3:14, 15)” (par.2). This is a true statement, and it is also relevant for all of us who have awakened from the lies the Organization teaches. While we can try to help relatives and other Witnesses to awaken, by the same token, we should not attempt to force them.
Awakening varies in its effects per individual but awakening to the truth about the truth can be devastating for many. Most, if not all of us, go through stages such as anger at being taken in and duped, and anger and frustration when we begin to realise the level of psychological manipulation we have been under. It can then lead to severe disillusionment with God and the Bible, yet the situation we are in is not the fault of God or the Bible.
You may also begin to realize why perhaps there are so many ones you thought were “weak ones” who still stayed in the Organization, attending some meetings, rarely going in field service. Perhaps because they are awake, but have so much to lose, they find it is difficult to break away.
I can remember saying to members of the public when going from door to door, that if “the truth” was a lie, then it was the biggest deception and fraud in history. It would also be the best kept secret by those in the Organization who know it is fraudulent. Yet, now to my own personal cost I know all of this to be true. Nonetheless, it is because I discovered the deception for myself, not because others told me. The way I personally came to this discovery and awakened was by studying the Bible for myself on key subjects, without reading any Organization literature and without reading any so-called apostate literature. I had to convince myself from the Bible that many of the teachings (though not all) were wrong.
The most important teachings that were wrong being:
- Jesus invisible return in 1914.
- Little flock to Heaven and Great Crowd on earth.
For others it was the books by Ray Franz, “Crisis of Conscience” and “In Search of Christian Freedom”. To those who are still Witnesses who may think these books tell far-fetched stories, if you are able to, ask an awakened elder how they found serving as an elder. Most will confirm that things such as:
- having no prayer before an important elders meeting,
- campaigning by the strongest minded elder,
- the favouritism for appointments and assignments,
are all typical common events in bodies of elders. I certainly had experienced all of these on a regular basis while an elder. Many parts of Ray Franz’s books could have just changed the names of the Governing body members for the names of elders I served with and still be completely accurate. In fact, at times when reading these books it brought back many bad memories I wanted to forget.
Paragraph 3 says, “Soon, Jehovah will bring this system to an end. Only those who are “rightly disposed for everlasting life” will survive. (Acts 13:48)”
Yes, “Jehovah will bring this system to an end”, but only he or Jesus have the right to say when, and how soon. To state “soon” is presumptuousness. To use one of the Organization’s favourite scriptures against them, Jehovah’s view of presumptuousness is recorded in 1 Samuel 15:23 which says “ for rebelliousness is the same as the sin of divination, and pushing ahead presumptuously the same as [using] uncanny power and teraphim. Since you have rejected the word of Jehovah, he accordingly rejects you from being king”.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God warned us clearly in Matthew 24:23-27, saying, “Then if anyone says to YOU, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. 25 Look! I have forewarned YOU. 26 Therefore, if people say to YOU, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner chambers,’ do not believe it. 27 For just as the lightning comes out of eastern parts and shines over to western parts, so the presence of the Son of man will be”.
Yes, Jesus warned us that false anointed ones [or christ’s] would come, saying “You cannot see Jesus, but he has come and is in the inner chambers, he has come invisibly”. [i]
Yet Jesus warned, “do not believe it”. Why? Because just as lightning illuminates the whole sky and everyone sees it and so is undeniable, “so the presence of the Son of man will be”.
When reminded about how hard we tried to obligate others to accept the teachings of the Organization when we first learned them and believed they were “truth”, the paragraph reminds us “The apostle Paul counseled Christians: “Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should answer each person.” (Colossians 4:5-6)”. It is good to keep this scripture in mind when we, as awakened Witnesses, attempt to help Witnesses we personally know and perhaps care deeply about, to wake up.
Paragraph 6 discusses empathy. When trying to awaken a loved one, the principles in this paragraph can be applied. It says:
“At first, I wanted to talk to my husband only about spiritual things. We had no ‘normal’ conversation.” However, Pauline’s husband, Wayne, had little Bible knowledge and did not understand what Pauline was talking about. To him, it seemed that all she thought about was her religion. He worried that she was joining a dangerous sect and was being deceived.”
Some keys to a smooth transition of an awakened Witness are contained there. Much as we desire to awaken our loved one or friends, trying to convince them that something they believe passionately to be truth and passed on to them by a so-called God-directed Governing body, is actually a lie or false teaching, is a steep mountain to climb. Why? As the paragraph suggests most often our loved one may not have the scriptural knowledge. They may believe they do and hence struggle to see the importance of the error or cannot see it at all. Added to that, maybe they think or are worried that we will join some part of Christendom and start believing in the Trinity and celebrate Christmas and so forth, is too much for them to contemplate. [Important Note: On Beroean Pickets we do not recommend any of these]. Yet sadly, as we know the reality is that they are the ones being deceived.
If we continue to treat our loved ones still as our loved ones, and we do not join another church of Christendom, but rather life only changes slightly in things, such as perhaps no longer joining in field service, and perhaps no longer attending many or all meetings, perhaps doing these things on a gradual basis, then our loved ones have time to adjust and accept the new circumstances we and they are in.
In paragraph 10, we are reminded that “Jehovah has not given us the job of judging—he has assigned that task to Jesus. (John 5:22)”. This is a useful scripture to share with our loved ones who will be most concerned that because of our rejection of the Organization in their view we will not survive Armageddon (if indeed it comes in our lifetime). We can gently remind them it is up to Jesus not the Organization, and we can also use Acts 24:15 in a light-hearted way, as the promise there is a “resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous”.
In an attempt to promote the copying of the example of Alice by the brothers and sisters, paragraph 14 claims “but if you are kind yet firm with your family, some of them may listen to you. That is what happened in Alice’s case. Both of her parents are now pioneers, and her father is an elder”.
That may be the case, but if they are not kind-hearted, people, and endeavouring to act in a Christ-like way every day then it is all for nothing. Likewise, if they are teaching falsehood, it is all for nothing. What is a pioneer or an elder that one should reach out for such a title or status? Nothing but constructs of a man-made Organization. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:1-4, “when you go making gifts of mercy, do not blow a trumpet ahead of you, just as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be glorified by men. Truly I say to you, They are having their reward in full”.
A slight rewrite of paragraph 17 makes for much better reading, “We hope that all our relatives will join us in serving Jehovah,” outside the corrupt Organization which claims to be his, but is false to his requirements for us. “However, despite all our efforts to help our relatives to wake up, they may not come into the” state of learning the truth about “the truth. If that is not the case, we should not blame ourselves for their decision. After all, we cannot force anyone to accept” their “beliefs” are wrong. … “Pray for them. Tactfully speak to them….Be confident that Jehovah” and Jesus “will” appreciate “your efforts. And if your relatives choose to listen to you, they will be saved!”
Yes, saved out of a corrupt and dying man-made high-control religion to the real freedom. As Romans 8:21 says in part, they “will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
[i] Comments such as “That same group of Bible students associated with Charles Russell and the magazine Zion’s Watch Tower also helped sincere Christians to understand that Christ’s “presence” should be understood to be invisible, and that he would not return to earth to reign as a fleshly king. They continually drew the attention of the Master’s “domestics” to world events in connection with “the sign” of Christ’s presence and “the time of the end.”” can be found littered throughout Watchtower Publications. *** w84 12/1 p. 17 par. 10 Keep Ready! ***
Thanks Tadua, Spot on analysis as usual! I really respect the time an effort you put into all of your articles and know it’s a time consuming sacrifice of love you make for the rest of us. This topic is near and dear to me,as like many others I have been a PIMO since 2010 with very similar reasons and situations like most of the commenters here. I have a “still in” wife who I have been slowly working on with some limited success and many dear friends around the world from over 45 years in the organization. Needless to… Read more »
Hi Gogetter, when I first visited this site, there were a lot of angry readers all encouraging everyone to get out as soon as possible. They seemed a little unsympathetic to the difficulty of doing so. Like you, I have been PIMO since about 2015/6, and have friends who have left and some who are still in, also after 45 years. There are also some family members still rather too well in, although like you my wife has woken up, indeed she may have started to wake up before me. Hanging in has involved far more examination of the Bible… Read more »
Woke up March 2018. What lead to that? The “MONICKER” used by an individual on another popular PLATFORM that carries one of the names of Raymond Franz books. Still ACTIVELY involved in the ORGANIZATION then, I was mad at that individual citing and quoting those books on numerous occasion to make his point during our discussions. So I took the challenge upon myself to REFUTE CoC. I didn’t know I was fighting a battle that has already been WON and LOST. Not only did I complete the reading less than 2-3 days. I was in haste to lay my hands… Read more »
Thank you Tadua for very helpful review. I think that especially your comments on Paragraph 6, are very timely for many of us. I always keep in mind that me and my beloved ones are in Jesus’ hands. He knows them and me better than I. He has individual plan for everyone, because we are individualities with different state of mind and in different circumstances. The Org uses sophisticated indoctrination methods for programming their members. This indoctrination is very resistant to breaking, where coercion is unsuccessful. The only weapon, based on my experiences, is love supported by patience. Love –… Read more »
Hi all. I’m new on the site. I’ve found it very helpful! I’ve been a witness for 13 years and I’m beginning to awaken. I resigned from ministerial servant recently because couldn’t keep up with field service hours. It’s so disappointing that so many things I really thought were true, are not! I gave so many public talks teaching falsehood! I can’t believe it. I feel depressed right now. However, I have more faith in the Bible and Jesus because salvation doesn’t depend on being part of an organization. Also, how come I never thought before that the other sheep… Read more »
Hi tito2019 First of all welcome to the site. One of the teaching tactics we are taught as Witnesses is to ask a question and do not give them the answer, get them to prove their answer. There are tips under https://beroeans.net/category/reasoning-with-jehovahs-witnesses/ which covers a variety of subjects and suggestions as to how to approach the subject with unawakened Witnesses. Re Also, she wants to be part of the “Great Crowd” on earth because she doesn’t want to be in heaven even tough that’s what the Bible really teaches for those who put faith in Jesus. The following articles will… Read more »
Thank you very much Tadua for taking the time to reply and providing additional information. I will make sure to read these.
A very good illustration that I came by, I think it may have been from the book “Captives of a concept”, describing the strategy we should use to awaken people who are still in the organisation. The illustration was that of awakening someone who was physically asleep. No one wants to be violently or forcefully shaken into an awakened state. Rather we all would prefer to be gently nudged and awoken slowly! If we were physically asleep we would resent thoroughly being roughly and forcefully brought into an awake state. However if in a calm voice and in a gentle… Read more »
Was waiting for your commentary for this article and thanks for posting. Very insightful and helpful as always Tadua. I hoped you would apply it to helping ones to “awaken” from manmade doctrines and falsehoods. A good plot-twist! And good reminders to proceed with love and caution. Bit on a tangent here, but I always cringe with their “happily ever after” accounts either from on stage or in an article, where a once unbelieving family member is “now an elder/pioneer/in Bethel etc” ” happy” ending as the couple stories in this article also end with. Like yourself, have thought, but… Read more »
Thank you Tadua for your hard work, your insights, and your skilful use of the scriptures. Unfortunately for me, I am still in the “anger and frustration” stage of my awakening. I have been PIMO for a couple of years now (since first becoming aware of the child abuse scandal through the ARC) and am married to a wonderful woman who is a born-in, 3rd generation, dyed-in-the-wool JW. Sadly, my attempts to open her eyes to the many lies and scandals the Org has been involved in have been met with a resounding, “You’ll never convince me this isn’t Jehovah’s… Read more »
Hello Torso Boy, My situation is diffrent from yours, yet I am POMO (pomo since February 2019 PIMI since Oct 2017) and my wife is PIMO. We woke up together pretty much the same time. A scripture came to mind thinking about your situation. 1 Corinthians 7:14 speaks about an unbelieving husband being sanctified in relation to the believing wife. Verse 15 is the clincher, if the unbeleiving one chooses to depart. The believing one should not depart. And Verse 16 a rehtorical question, For wife how to you know whether you will save your husband. Context is clear that… Read more »
Hi if ever.
Thanks for sharing the scripture from Corinthians. I probably wasn’t clear when I said my wife suggested I just leave. She meant leave the congregation, not the family home. I am constantly trying to focus on, and apply, 1Corinthians 13:4-8.
How did you manage to leave – was it a fade or a sudden stop? And how did that work out for you? It must be good to be able to openly discuss your thoughts with your wife without fear of being judged or labelled.
Hi Torso Boy, For me it was a slow burn. The overlapping generations teaching while making no sense, did not cause that moment where your inner self realises the truth is not an organisation, it is following the Christ. Involvement with the UN was not it for me either. For me, two things happened. A crisis in our family caused me and my wife to read and study the Bible for the first time really taking in the context and beautiful sections of scripture made sense in their proper setting. I remember a video that Eric Wilson put out where… Read more »
To add to my comment and respond to your question about fading or a sudden stop. It was a stop. My moment of realization came in October 2017. What followed was a growing realization and knowledge about JW history. I found it more and more difficult to listen at meetings, so after one of my evening walks, and knowing the May 2019 Study article was a whitewash that for me is pure injustice and hypocrisy regarding the WT policies of sexual abuse of children, I told my wife I cannot go to meetings anymore. It was too much. But I… Read more »
Hi Torso Boy, Wlecome to this forum. My husband (If Ever) and myself have been on this forum a couple years now and we hope you will continue to find it beneficial. Think we are in good hands with Eric, Tadua and genuine commenters here. Speaking from observation, we seem to be at all sorts of stages in finding just where to land in our Witness/exwitness/physical in-mentally out etc journey. There is such a range of emotions and thought isn’t there! Have recently started reading “exjw reddit” forum where people are also using as a safe place to share their… Read more »