(Investigator 113, 2007
If people with
preach and make converts how much more zealous the able-bodied should
of physically handicapped converts in Jehovah's Witness (JW) magazines.
may be restricted
in mobility, social life and opportunities. Joining a sect may improve
the situation. The sect, for example, may help them get to meetings,
their social life and assist with shopping and house duties.
his religion has deceived him – that it's not the true religion
in all details with the Bible" but has flip-flopped in hundreds of
and made numerous false predictions and then lied about them – what
Like other JWs
tempted to ignore the
problem because if he criticises he'll be treated like other
– excommunicated, ostracised and any assistance stopped.
will find it
than healthy individuals to "pick up the pieces" and live a satisfying
For a disabled
JW to force
the negative consequences therefore requires courage.
PEREZ – 1988
The story of JW
Pérez appeared in Awake! 1988, November 8.
Was My Worst
I was born
with a severe
walking, standing up, or
even using my hands… I still remember the jealousy and frustration I
as a child when I watched other children running and jumping. Sometimes
I visited a nearby church to beg God's help…
I was born in
southern Spain… As a young child, having a disability motivated me to
other skills, and by the time I was seven, I was more advanced
than others of my age…
On one occasion
an article about me, together with photographs showing me writing with
my foot. This publicity resulted in my receiving numerous awards and
plus the admiration of others. All of this served to foster in me a
and conceited spirit.
by correspondence, winning a scholarship, typewriting using a pen in
mouth, and becoming "morose because of loneliness and a feeling of
He prayed to God
In 1973 JWs showed up and taught him from their book The
Leads to Eternal Life.
After six months
travelling JW minister
asked about Pérez's progress. Perez replied, "I'm doing great.
already memorized 500 Bible texts." The minister deflated this "pride"
by quoting, "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up." (1 Corinthians
In June 1975
Awake! article continued:
I still had
conquered my pride… I
accumulated a vast store of Scriptural knowledge, which I was eager to
demonstrate. Witnesses in the congregation…started to come to me with
Bible questions…this too caused my vanity to be flattered.
described the "real
of preaching, converting ten people, and becoming an elder:
"Getting to know the Creator has helped me to be realistic and face up
to my impediments, including my pride... I have learned to seek
Jehovah's glory, not my own."
"Pride" is often
and Pérez's emphasis on it is nothing unusual.
helps the JW
control them by making them feel inadequate. This heightens their need
for approval and makes them more likely to conform. A JW who questions
the authority of the leaders or studies excessively will likely be told
he's "giving in to pride" and trying to impress others. He'll be
"Knowledge puffs up but love builds up."
PEREZ – 2001
had left JWs.
On the Internet he summed up his JW life as: "22 years
a human project, believing that it was Divine"
He says of his Awake!
reason for which
it appeared there was my physical state... Nevertheless, regrettably
society…and many religious and political groups…use…the disabled to
their products, to promulgate their ideas…and to motivate a certain
in sum, to say: "This person is not worth anything, but he does more
than you, why don't you imitate him?"
was used to "rebuke" him when he left JWs:
"Behind are being left 22 years of service, sacrifices, of economic
contributions, etc. which according to them, they don't have any value
in God's sight, and they have only been good go confirm my pride..."
organization, assuming the
role of God in this XX century, has taken captive my thoughts, my
and my individuality…
I ended up
of the Jehovah's Witnesses, was the channel God was using to
his will to men…and that it was necessary to be…supporting such an
in order to receive his favor.
as soon as they accepted the "maternity" protection of the group they
to lose their individuality and to assume a collective and impersonal
that at times would be powerful and intolerant against all those that
stay within the mother cover…
It has been very
because my physical and mental dependence on the organization of the
Witnesses has always been very strong. They were the first ones that
interested in me, not only so that I could study the Bible, but by
me up at my house and taking me to the meetings, conventions, etc. In
I was invited to social meetings, dinners, trips, etc. where they took
care and assisted me.
After eight years
as an elder
from that position in 1995. But he and his wife continued attending
and going preaching – these activities being "the thermometers used by
the congregation to discern who is considered spiritual and who's not."
His doubts began
could assure with
that their biblical and doctrinal conclusions were "the truth", (and in
fact, all their members had to accept such conclusions, in order not
to be disfellowshiped), and some months later, they modify these
that this also "was the truth"... This can be made over again on the
matter three or four times, going 'back and forward' and always their
interpretation is at all times the final truth.
of "the sheep and the goats".
JWs believe that
returned in 1914.
Until 1995 they believed that Jesus was judging and sorting people into
"sheep" and "goats" by their response to the JW preaching.
If someone had
he would have been unforgivably disfellowshiped. If anyone would dare
question anything regarding their current concepts, he will also be
15, 1986) claimed
the doctrine was first "properly understood" in 1923:
"Thus, in 1923 Jesus' great prophecy about the sheep and the goats was properly
understood, and it was discerned that the whole world was under
judgment". (p. 14)
have been "properly understood" in 1923 because in 1935 JWs began to
that there were two groups of sheep and it was time to convert the
group. The first group called "remnant" and "chosen ones" were
until 1935, the second group called "the great multitude" were
from 1935 onwards:
gathering in of
those doers of
to the "chosen ones" began in the spring of 1935. What gave tremendous
impetus to the ingathering was the speech given on Friday, May 31,
at the widely advertised convention of Jehovah's Witnesses held in
D.C. On that day the president of the Watch Tower Society spoke on the
theme "The Great Multitude" and discussed the prophecy of Revelation
Authorized Version. He identified the "great multitude" as being the
as the "sheep" in Jesus' parable at Matthew 25:31-46. (The Watchtower
September 1, p. 21)
from "Jehovah" and the "holy spirit" as a "flash of light":
these early Bible Students with flashes of light... bright light shone
on the parable of the sheep and the goats. It was seen that this
was to be fulfilled in the present Lord's day, not in the future during
the Millennium as previously thought. (The Watchtower 1995 May 15, pp
It was for 60 years
doctrine. (Investigator 47) Then in 1995 (The Watchtower, October
"properly understood", "bright light" from "Jehovah" and the "holy
was changed. The sheep and goats were not separated since 1935 after
but will be separated in the future "during the Millennium".
was the prophecy that the generation that witnessed 1914 would live to
changed in 1995:
guarantees I had at
moment, that the new explanation was better than the previous one? What
guarantees, that this new explanation that we all had to accept without
complaint as "the truth", tomorrow wasn't denied or modified or even
then obtained Crisis
of Conscience written by Raymond Franz, a former member of the JW
It was as if a
had fallen suddenly before our eyes (2 Co. 4:4)… There was no question
about it. The deceit and manipulation…by the Watch Tower Society were
I didn't judge any of the brothers because we all were victims…
wherein he mentioned the false predictions for 1975 by quoting the Life
would be for
God to make of this coming seventh period of a thousand years a sabbath
period of rest and release, a great Jubilee sabbath for the proclaiming
of liberty throughout the earth to all its inhabitants! This would be
timely for mankind." (1966 pp 29, 30)
JWs retaliated by
"The fact that I was married and with two small children or my physical
state didn't matter to them."
To a JW painter who
imagine if all
you became a
Witness did to
you what you are
doing right now…? Or if your clients asked you for your religion before
hiring you, and when realizing that you were a Witness didn't want
to do with you?"
friendship began to
especially people that previously have belonged to the Witnesses… And
they live at different geographical locations in Spain, now we travel
He says of JWs:
sacrifice of many
of them have been in vain…and all suffering they have gone through, was
unnecessary. I regret collaborating with a group like this…a teaching
on the tradition and caprice.
I support all
people that in
opt to adore God without losing their individuality, their autonomy…
I don't consider
In fact, I have gotten off the pedestal where the Witnesses had put me…
God does respond
who cry out to
him for help, but that answer doesn't necessarily have to come because
a gentleman calls at your door…
true biographies of JWs on