APOSTATES, JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, and YOUTUBE:

(Investigator Magazine #181, 2018, July)



APOSTATES and YOUTUBE

Apostates are people who "deserted their faith, religion, party, or principles." (Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary)

To apostatize is not necessarily bad since some faiths, religions, parties and principles are so disgusting that decent people should desert them.

YouTube is a website founded in 2005 for uploading videos which the whole world can view.


APOSTATES DEHUMANIZED

In Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) magazines ex JWs are labeled  "mentally diseased", "corrupt", "dishonest", "selfish", "rebellious", "prideful", "haters of God", "attached to badness", "opposers of the truth", "deceivers", "unfaithful" and so on. For decades they were dehumanized and ostracized, judged as too evil even to greet.

JWs are told to "loathe" their apostates and "hate" them because "They are from their father the Devil", speak "twisted things", and "target people of integrity".

At the 2013 JW conventions sect-members were told:

"Like Satan, human apostates are unruly men who cook up wicked reasonings and season their brew with poisonous lies that deceive minds. They push away from the table of Jehovah. Their preference is to partake at the table of demons... Human apostates are mentally diseased and they try to infect others with their disloyal teachings."


APOSTATES FIGHT BACK


Now apostates are fighting back and exposing the motives behind the condemnation regularly hurled out by the JW Governing Body.

The main motive of the hierarchy is to suppress the spread of the following information:

1.    The JW history of false prophecies for dozens of dates;

2.    Thousands of now-discarded doctrines and interpretations that were previously taught as "Bible truth", and

3.     Faulty JW policies for handling child abuse internally and secretly, which inadvertently protected pedophiles.

Exposing the JW hierarchy used to be done by a few people in books and magazines, and by individuals acting locally and intermittently. Now, however, the Internet including YouTube lets apostates everywhere act worldwide and continuously. Some apostate videos on YouTube have had over 100,000 viewers.


APOSTATE ACTIVISTS

Some ex JW activists, individually or in groups, "crash" JW meetings and film it to upload to YouTube. The information they call out to the congregation before elders surround them and escort them outside generally includes:

•    The Australian Royal Commission's finding that 1000 Australian JW child molesters were not reported to the police;

•    Failed predictions for 1914, 1925, 1975 and the generation of 1914;

•    The policy of hating and shunning former members wrecks families and is evil;

•    Websites to consult for further information.

One lady not only filmed but describes the scene in words — "I'm surrounded by ten burly men pushing me out ... touching me all over."

In some "crash" videos apostates declare "I was sexually abused as a child by an elder", and "Jehovah's Witnesses is a wicked organization." When told that the police have been called they may remark, "You get the police to remove victims but you don't call the police to report pedophiles."

During one "crash" one JW elder actually admits that child-sex-abuse was discovered in that congregation recently!

At Canterbury Kingdom Hall (England) apostates stayed outside on the sidewalk and used a speech amplifier while policemen watched and monitored.

We also see picketing at JW convention venues and even outside the new World Headquarters of JWs in New York State. In that instance JWs closed the steel gates and turned on the sprinklers.

Some well-organized demonstrations use banners and boards with messages, and offer tracts. In one video JWs arriving at their meeting or leaving, go through rows of ex JWs on both sides of the street.

Some apostate activists target JWs on their "cart ministry" which consists of displays of pamphlets on wheeled stands set up on sidewalks.

A regular "crasher" is Adrian aged 44 who was in the sect for 35 years. He tells cart-ministry JWs why their religion is bad, and passersby that JWs are a deceptive religious cult. After a while the JWs usually pack up and leave. Or if they call the police Adrian tells the officers that he is acting within the law and, with that settled, explains why he is an activist. On one occasion Adrian arrives at a cart ministry and finds another activist already there and the JWs departing. Adrian's commentary is sometimes picturesque such as, "They are fleeing like cockroaches."

Another plucky cart-ministry and Kingdom-Hall "crasher" is Stacy Lopez of Texas. This university student and young-looking mother of three used to be a JW "pioneer" but left the sect at age 28. 


APOSTATE GROUPS

Many ex JWs on YouTube are also members of groups connected via Facebook and websites. For example:

•    The Vast Apostate Army: These are ex-JWs listed on a Facebook page started in 2010, currently with 1800 members. Most of the activists who crash             Kingdom Halls and cart ministries appear to be from this group.

•    Ex JW Recovery Group (founder Ruben Ortiz): 11,000 members;

•    No Nonsense Ex JWs: 3600 members;

•    Ex JW Forum and Recovery Site (founder Lloyd Evans): 3500 members;

•    JW Community Podcast: 1500 members.


APOSTATES ON YOUTUBE

You-Tube videos of picketing, crashes and demonstrations are actually the minority. Most videos feature talks to YouTube viewers, or discussions between ex JWs, or interviews. The venues are variable and include bedroom, kitchen, lounge-room, garden, park, street, beach, forest, footpath and car.

Here are some apostates whose videos I sampled:

Lloyd Evans (also known as John Cedars): Author of The Reluctant Apostate (2017) who left JWs in 2010 and is now agnostic. His conversational style, interviews, and clear explanations are quite professional. See also his hard-hitting film "62 Apostates Who Love Jehovah's Witnesses".

Susan Gaskin: A Canadian who has multiple sclerosis. Her videos convey the impression she loves doing them. She tackles deep topics in a bright, pleasant manner and makes them easy to understand. In her Video #9 for example we learn about "New Light" which is how JWs describe revisions to their doctrines and prophecies. Also eye-opening is Video #24 on how the JW organization gets JWs to shun their own families. Video #28 "How I Recovered from the Jehovah's Witness Organization" is definitely relevant to the target audience. Sue was a JW for 30 years.

The Great Apostate: "Neil Gardner", 43, of Northern Ireland is a former prison guard, and author of The Great Apostate (2018). He was a JW for 25 years; is now
prominent in "The Vast Apostate Army"; and is in his videos lively and spontaneous with criticism.

Annoni Mowse: "Annoni" did a "fly by night" to disconnect without openly getting shunned and is now an atheist. Her father and grandfather are still elders. Her passionate presentations in 27 videos are apparently unedited and unscripted, nevertheless insightful and informed, and go between 8 and 49 minutes.

JWvictims: Informative, topical videos by "Alexandra James", which is a pseudonym. On her website [https://jwvictims.org/] Alexandra explains: "I hide my identity because of the threat of being shunned by my family." Alexandra was six when her mother joined the sect in 1973 and is now an expert on JWs.
She edits a magazine titled Apostate Monthly, and authored the book How to Reclaim Your Life When It's Been Stolen From You (2018).

Marcus Vaughn: A former "Bethelite" (live-in volunteer) at JW Headquarters. In a 2016 video Marcus argues against doing Kingdom Hall crashes and advocates instead going "undercover" and asking questions that newcomers would ask. Then when the JWs are off-guard "It is the perfect time to tell them the truth about 'the truth'." In another video Marcus reveals that Bethelites who volunteered as young adults and leave after some years have no skills or education useful for finding a job.

Daniel Grissom: An international speaker on salesmanship, management, and leadership. Grissom had a Masters Degree but says he was "spiritually in kindergarten", therefore easily "sucked in" by the sincerity of JWs, only later realizing that, "Sincerity is not a test of truth." His videos whether on salesmanship or JWs are brief and get straight to the point.

Caitlyn Bineau: This endearing 22-year-old was raised in the faith but left in 2016. She previously shunned her own mother who had left JWs and is herself now shunned by her sister who remains in the sect. Caitlyn looked up JWs on the Internet and, "Most of the information I found out I had no clue about." She's reviewing her beliefs and says she will share her findings. In her first video titled "The Reason I Won't Return to Jehovah" she outlines four reasons. In her second video she shares her findings about natural selection.

King of Faders: Short, emphatic videos, many with the phrase "Jehovah's Hypocrites" in the title. JWs equate apostasy with leaving God, which King of Faders calls, "the slanderous accusation that leaving a corrupt religious system is equivalent to ... leaving God."
[The term "fader" refers to JWs who progressively reduce their preaching and meeting attendance and "fade" away, exiting the sect without the trauma of excommunication. It works best for JWs able to relocate to live elsewhere or without close relatives in the sect.]

Spoonfed Nomore: "Rebekah" had ADHS, depression and anxiety and this contributed to her getting disfellowshipped. In her videos she's quite informal; her presentations are simple and seemingly impromptu. In one video she complains about "infighting" between John Cedars and the Vast Apostate Army and declares, "It's driving me nuts." In another she discusses "Prayer Stories" among JWs, these being stories about receiving unexpected help as if from God.

Son of Thunder: "Son of Thunder" says that JW elders are pressuring his mother who has "heart problems and stage three cancer" to shun him fully and not allow him in her home. His other topics include blood transfusions, Watchtower investments in war-machine-making companies, the ban on JWs in Russia, the 144,000, and responses to his critics.

Apostate Chick: Plain, blunt talks mixed with humor, explaining how to avoid intimidation by JW elders, and other emotional and relationship issues.

Paul Grundy: A former worker at the Australian "Bethel", therefore with an insider's knowledge, who was disfellowshipped in 2006, and now manages the website https://www.jwfacts.com/. 16 videos.

Lizzy B: Among Lizzy's thoughtful videos are "My Experience Being a Single Jehovah's Witness Woman"  and "Jehovah's Witnesses and child sex  abuse".

Julian Watson: Julian's grandmother's aunt was Berta Peale (c.1900-1970s) who was
"Judge" Rutherford's nurse and apparent mistress. Julian examines the mistress rumor from his knowledge of his family-history.

faithtofaithless: A former JW "pioneer", now a comedian.

Coach Rod: "Rodney" gives counsel about how to leave JWs, adjust to life outside, and recover from low self-worth, fear, loaded language, and subconscious programming.


APOSTATE CHRISTIANS

JW literature regularly implies that JWs are always right — for example: "Unlike apostate Christendom, they have faithfully adhered to 'the pattern of healthful words' that was established by Jesus Christ and upheld by his faithful followers back in the first century C.E." (The Watchtower 2005 11/1 24)

JWs therefore regard not only ex JWs as apostates but also all Christian denominations, and employ terms like "apostate Christians", "apostate clergy", "apostate churches", and "apostate Christendom".

The following two were never JWs but stand out in their detailed knowledge and ability to communicate:

Watchtower Examination: "Winston Gilling" (of Jamaica) examines matters in depth in his videos, even reading out an entire public speech of "Judge" Rutherford from a 1922 Watchtower. Watchtower Examination is the channel to watch if you want well thought-out, lecture-like analysis, with quotations shown on screen.

Caligirl7525: "Hannah" (of California) is very composed, almost inspiring, when addressing closed-minded JWs queuing outside their convention venue. They fail to shout her down or sing her down when she tells them about their "1000 pedophiles in Australia" and declares, "Be concerned for the safety of your children!" In another video she stands outside the Beth Sarim mansion which the sect built to house biblical heroes like Abraham, Moses and Samson, and she quotes JW books that predicted their arrival, and concludes, "I don't see them."


APOSTATE VIDEOS

JW apostates on YouTube number hundreds and their videos thousands but include topics other than JWs. Here is a partial list of video-totals on June 20th:
YouTube includes many why-I-left-JWs videos. Some of these are:

APOSTATES — MILLIONS

About 2% of JWs leave the sect every year.

Active JWs now number 8 million worldwide. Therefore the 2% annual loss added up for several decades indicates several million apostates alive today.

In many Western countries the sect is in decline relative to the population. Consider Poland:



Peak
Publishers
Ratio
Memorial
Attendance
Ratio
1995
123,900 311 240,400 160
2000
125,300 309
235,200 165
2005
128,500 297
224,400 171
2010
126,500 301
212,000 180
2015
122,000 315
191,500 201
2016
119,900 320
190,600 201
2017
118,000 326
185,200 207


"Peak publishers" is the highest monthly total of active JWs in each year. "Memorial" is the annual remembrance of Christ's death which everyone interested tries to attend. "Ratio" is the proportion to the total population and is in Poland obviously getting worse.

JW Yearbooks also mention the hours JWs spent on their ministry in each country. The Poland cumulative total since 1995 is almost 400 million hours. Numerous Polish JWs sacrificed their careers, education and youth to go preaching and now see declining numbers.

However, the sect is still expanding at the worldwide level because the Western shortfall is balanced by better success in Africa and South America.


CONCLUSION

No-one impartial would "loathe" and "hate" the apostates on YouTube sampled above. They are doing what The Watchtower itself advocates: "To make a public exposure of false religion ... is a public service..." (1963 11/15 688)

Chapter 2 of the JW book The Truth  that leads to Eternal Life (1968) is titled "Why it is wise to examine your religion." Many JWs now wisely examine their own religion and want to get out. Apostates are lighting the way by exposing its false predictions, mishandling of child sexual abuse, countless changes to its so-called "Bible truth", and other scandals.

(BS)


http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/

http://ed5015.tripod.com/