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Most Jehovah's Witnesses will object when someone accuses the Watchtower Society of being too controlling. They say members are free to leave whenever they like and no one is forcing them to do anything. So how could any reasonable person accuse the Society of being too controlling unless the accuser is bitter about some past slight, envious of it's dedication to God, or misinformed? It's true that Witnesses can stop going to meetings, but only if they're willing to suffer the consequences.

 

Read Article: Is The Watchtower Society Too Controlling of Jehovah's Witnesses? How the Governing Body and Elders Maintain Control over Jehovah's Witnesses

Comments
September 22, 2007 at 6:01 pm
(1) Simon Peter says:

Right on target! Even when the WT gives lip service to the idea of certain things being a “conscience matter”, such statements are followed up with phrases such as “but a true lover of Jehovah will. . .” Naturally, then, none in the org. want to be accused of not loving Jehovah for choosing a course of action other than the recommended one. It’s merely a form of reverse psychology.

September 22, 2007 at 6:09 pm
(2) Steve Klemetti says:

No, neither the Watchtower Society nor the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses control Jehovah’s Witnesses. Each individual does. The Watchtower Society only prints literature and the governing body governs the congregations.

And it is not a matter of being free to leave. The Bible says that the apostles are not lords over the congregation and they are not masters of our faith, so how can the governing body be?

August 27, 2008 at 8:37 am
(3) Colombus Ga Elder says:

STEVE KLEMETTI is APOSTATE

August 27, 2008 at 7:19 pm
(4) The TRUTH says:

Read the whole article the author also states to let the reader decide:

But Witnesses Who Don’t Believe In The Governing Body Can Still Leave!
It’s true that Witnesses can simply stop going to meetings and quit participating in the ministry. But only if they’re willing to suffer the consequences. I have already written about how Witnesses shun those who speak out against the Society. Even Witnesses who “fade” away quietly to avoid being shunned are kept at a distance by their families and friends. When these former believers do talk to their relatives, they are often pressured unfairly to return to the Watchtower Society. This effectively distances ex-Witnesses from everyone they were ever close to. Many atheists with fundamentalists relatives know what this can feel like.

January 26, 2010 at 6:47 am
(5) Eupraxsophy says:

It sounds like the former JW’s are hostile witnesses.

This is very similar with Mormons as well. They too have a council of elders that over-see the church and it’s congregation. And if you choose to leave they too will shun you as well. Just like a primitive tribe in some third world county.

It’s this type of childish and immature mentality that reminds me as to how lucky I really am. However if I was a former JW it would be “I” that would be shunning “them” and not the other way around. I have NO regrets as to the day I chose to leave all religious dogma behind and to make a life for myself as oppose to being some god’s little n*gger.
So as I move foward by basing my beliefs on truth and not basing my truths on beliefs, I leave behind all the tin soldiers that do nothing more then to march around in circles.

February 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm
(6) Val says:

I understand that there are many people who have their variou ideas about Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many, feel compelled to publish these in an effort to pursuade others of the validity of thinking about Witnesses. My question to these individuals is “why?”

Why do you care what the standards of Jehovah’s Witnesses are? Did you want to be a Witness? No? … OK…

Well then, are you equally concerned about the standards for being a member of the KKK? Or a member of a particular political party? Or a member of any of the various associations around the world?

They all have their standards for membership. Are you worried about the ones who’s standards you do not agree with?

Jehovah’s Witnesses agree with the bible’s standards and choose to live by them as best they can.

You do not have to agree with them… unless you wanted to become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

You know, unlike other religions (who will baptize anyone who is willing to say “I accept Jesus as my lord and saviour”) Jehovah’s Witnesses study the bible and all that goes along with being a Witnesses for an average of 2.5 years before deciding for them selves whether or not they want to be baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

When people are baptized as Witnesses, it is with complete and total knowledge and it is their choice to do so. Their baptizm is a vow (like a marriage vow- but to God)

It is not as though some Witnesses one day wake up and realize they are expected to go door to door (it is a biblical command to Christians)… they were doing that before they were baptized and have known from day one, that is what Jehovah’s Witnesses do.

It is not as though they suddenly think “Oh! Wait! If I am in a medical emergency, I am not supposed to accept blood transfusions!” No, people are well educated on blood, blood transfusions and non-blood management for surgeries of all kinds prior to the individual being baptized. Witnesses make this educated choice prior to their decision to be baptized.

People who choose to become Witnesses do so with complete knowledge of what they are doing and what the standards of the bible are. They do so knowing also that people who later decide (always for selfish purposes) they want to cancel their vow to God, it will not be taken lightly. They make the decision to be baptized knowing that.

Being a Witness means following the biblical requirements of God. We do so willingly.

It may strike others that we are “being controlled” – but every teaching and practice is biblical and what many misunderstand as “control” is simply willing submission to God and the bible’s principles. It is the vow we make to God and we try our best to live up to that.

People who are “on the outside looking in” misunderstand, misinterpret and misinform.

Ultimately though, unless you wanted to be a Witness, why would you care what our standards are?

February 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm
(7) Austin Cline says:

Many, feel compelled to publish these in an effort to pursuade others of the validity of thinking about Witnesses. My question to these individuals is “why?”

Because Witnesses seek to persuade others about the validity of their own thinking. Are you threatened by alternative viewpoints?

Why do you care what the standards of Jehovah’s Witnesses are? Did you want to be a Witness? No? … OK…

The author used to be a Witness and is seeking to reveal to others the truth about what goes on.

Well then, are you equally concerned about the standards for being a member of the KKK? Or a member of a particular political party? Or a member of any of the various associations around the world?

Yes, insofar as they go around looking for recruits and making arguments for their worldview.

You do not have to agree with them… unless you wanted to become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

And is there some reason why non-Witnesses, “ex” or not, should not critique those standards?

Being a Witness means following the biblical requirements of God.

Or, what the Watchtower Society claims are the requirements of God. Others disagree with those claims and critique them.

Is that a problem for you?

People who are “on the outside looking in” misunderstand, misinterpret and misinform.

Always?

Well, you’re on the “outside” of critics. So that must mean that you misunderstand, misinterpret, and misinform about what critics are doing.

Ultimately though, unless you wanted to be a Witness, why would you care what our standards are?

Unless you wanted to be an ex-Witness or non-Witness critic of Witnesses, why would you care about what we say?

February 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm
(8) John Scott says:

There are no “consequences” to stopping going to the meetings. An elder might call, or elders might visit, but that’s about it. I’m a Jehovah’s Witness all my life, I was almost inactive for a short time. Once a very kind old elder visited and talked with me to see if anything was wrong, and gave some gentle encouragement. That was the only consequences.

January 6, 2013 at 10:20 am
(9) Michelle says:

Ha. There is a huge penalty for leaving. I know I was one. You lose your friends, family, diginity, your name is dragged through the mud. I left on my own accord. The didn’t agree with the teaching. They are false prophets. For you JWS look up what a false prophet is. When they said 1975 was armageddom, and it came in went. They said that all in God’s name. That my dear, is a false prophet. Their bible is twisted. They cover up sex abuse cases left and right. In the Herkimer NY congergation there was a massive cover-up to this day. They are wolfs in sheep’s clothing. If you are in the cult do some research. Oh wait you can’t.

January 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm
(10) Isaac J. Harris says:

It’s been a while, but as the author of the article, I thought I would add something to the comments I see above. Not all Kingdom Halls are alike. Many are strict, some are very strict, and others are relatively mild. Just because you’re experiences don’t match those of others like myself doesn’t mean we made them up or that we are wrong about our observations. I continue to find it strange that so many Witnesses, and even former Witnesses, don’t quite understand that.

When I met with the brothers to be baptized, I was warned against visiting 2 local congregations. They were compared to Sodom and Gamora. Some of the reasons I was given for this included the fact that brothers were allowed to give talks with a jacket and slacks that did not match, or the craziness of their hair styles. These weren’t the only reasons, but the fact that they mentioned these points should give you some sense of what my old congregation was like. But there are some that are far more conservative, where ex-Witnesses are disfellowshipped rather than counseled, because the elders think ex-Witnesses represent a danger to others even if we have no interest in talking to others in that KH about religion.

John Scott, don’t assume that you’re experiences are universal, or that all KHs are alike. It simply isn’t true. I know quite a few XJWs who think stories like yours are dishonest. I have no trouble believing your story. But try to understand that it isn’t necessarily a typical experience.

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