On the Sunday sessions of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ 2016 Regional Convention, there are a series of video dramas displayed to the audience. These videos are all set in some sort of bunker. Basically, it’s a neat and tidy room in some person’s basement. The individuals depicted in the bunker have decided for themselves that they are worthy of everlasting life. And yet, they have decided that one of their members – Kevin – is not worthy. But are those individuals worthy of everlasting life? Is Kevin really so bad that he must be destroyed by Jehovah? Let’s look at some of the individuals and we can decide for ourselves whom are truly worthy.
Pride and Presumptuousness
The series starts with this video. It starts with the statement from Brother Browne that “loyalty to Jehovah is so important”. Brother Browne then explains how his loyalty to Jehovah was tested. He struggled to take counsel from a fellow elder about a talk he gave – he didn’t use enough scriptures – he let pride get in the way because he was an elder longer than the fellow elder. So he prayed to Jehovah to change his attitude so he could conduct himself as a lesser one. After that he felt closer to Jehovah. If Brother Browne “didn’t change back then with Jehovah’s help, things would be so different today”. Those last words should be carefully considered by all readers of this article to understand what jw.org are insinuating to the audience.
Does the change in Brother Browne’s attitude towards his fellow elder justify his attitude? What attitude, you may ask. His attitude towards himself. If he “didn’t change back then” he wouldn’t be in the bunker presumptuously awaiting his own salvation.
The second video starts with the very same statement that the first video ended with: “If I didn’t change back then with Jehovah’s help, things would be so different today”. The repetition of this statement is used for emphasis. The next brother describes how his phone “is a door to just about everything”. What he was viewing on his phone isn’t clear. What we do know is that it was “filling his mind with immoral thoughts”. He pondered on the words of Do not be misled. God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a person is sowing, this he will also reap.Galatians 6:7,8 and felt that he was sowing unclean desires and reaping a double-heart. He was “de-sensitized to things Jehovah hates“. So the brother had to do more than “turn his eyes away from what is worthless”. He had to go to his phone and unsubscribe from all the things that were giving him immoral thoughts. Maybe it was Tinder? He had to make the words in Psalms his own and act upon them. He snaps back to reality after being handed a bottle of water.
The brother struggled continually to avoid whatever it was he was viewing on his phone. His successful avoidance of such things determined his loyalty to Jehovah, it seems. But is it? Does that man deserve to be saved because he can avoid things “filling his mind with immoral thoughts”? I suppose, if he “didn’t change back then with Jehovah’s help, things would be so different today.” Maybe he would have turned into one of the most immoral of human beings that were ever hidden within the files of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Bad Associations … and Kevin
Brother Browne puts his wife on the spot. He gets her to relate an experience where her loyalty to Jehovah was tested. She had “that office job in the city” where she would have relationship discussions with her colleagues. The woman would naively attempt to use the bible to assist her colleagues. But who does this? Who is excited about “giving a witness” in the work-place? The problem wasn’t so much that this sister couldn’t preach. It was more to do with the fact that this sister was having to converse with more than one “worldly person”. Trying to convert one person is a daunting task. But four!? No. That’s where a preaching opportunity turns into bad association. Because who brings their bible into work and has it out on the canteen table at every chit-chat?
Stop. If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, do you do this?
Let’s turn the tables: When you go for a coffee with a fellow Jehovah’s Witness, do you have your bible on the ready at every opportunity? Are you ready to open it and show a verse to your fellow Jehovah’s Witness whenever s/he says something? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. Even your fellow Jehovah’s Witness would think you were crazy. So, imagine what non-JW folk must think if you were to have your bible out on the canteen table.
This woman continues, “I still thought that I could give them a witness and teach them something about Jehovah … but in reality I was the one being taught and I was a quick learner.”
What did she learn? She learned that “regular unnecessary association that was spoiling [her] useful habits” was a sign of her disloyalty to Jehovah. So, she no longer took out her bible. She would have brief conversations with her colleagues and then go back and sit alone at her desk. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t grasp the idea that maybe her colleagues thought she was some sort of crazy bible-basher. And their rational reaction to her crazy use of the bible in every discussion was interpreted as ridicule from bad association. Do you see how a cult can gets its members to interpret reactions from non-members?
Brother Browne’s wife deserved salvation. Why? Because she limited her time with non-Jehovah’s Witnesses. Preaching was not necessary. Terms & conditions apply.
“When I think how far we are now into the ….”
The sister’s words are rudely interrupted by three slow, distinct knocks at the door. The brother who had immoral thoughts responds with two knocks. The initial knocker replies with one knock. The brother with immoral thoughts looks at Brother Browne who in turn permits him to open the door. A family of four enter the room. The father says, “It won’t be long. Maybe an hour”. One can’t help but ridicule this statement. It won’t be long for what? The end of the great tribulation? How does he know it’s only about an hour before it’s over? Did Jehovah give him a time-table? Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heaven nor the Son, but only the Father.Matthew 24:36 anyone?
Now, we are introduced to Kevin. A young man in the room asks, “Is Kevin with you?” It’s clear that Kevin is not with them. The door was shut after the family of four entered the room. The father says that Kevin is not coming, that he wants nothing to do with them anymore.
Think about that. We just founnd out that the end of the great tribulation is just about an hour away. And yet here is Kevin deciding that he doesn’t want anything to do with them anymore. Let’s assume for a moment that Jehovah’s Witnesses end-of-the-world prophecies are true. There is a great tribulation and all the witnesses are hiding out in bunkers. If you were even a half-arsed Jehovah’s Witness wouldn’t you still be trying to hide in one of those bunkers? Of course you would. You’d see that the Jehovah’s Witnesses looney beliefs were actually true and you’d want to save your sorry ass. But not Kevin. No. Kevin is a brazen bastard. “Now. This far into the great tribulation.” Makes perfect sense if you are a Jehovah’s Witness, we must assume. Because it makes absolutely no sense to the writer of this article.
Cult Awareness Kevin
Oh wait. We’re about to get Jehovah’s Witnesses’ explanation of why Kevin wants nothing to do with them even though he knows they are in the great tribulation. “Why would he say he wants nothing to do with us anymore?”, asks Kevin’s friend. The man’s sister explains it so well. It was because their preaching message changed from “good news” to “judgment”.
One needs to stop again and think.
When has Jehovah’s Witnesses’ message ever been of good news? It’s always been one of judgment. At least since the time of Joseph F Rutherford. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t preach good news. They preach about an ever-imminent Armageddon that is coming very soon to wipe all humanity from the earth, except for the Jehovah’s Witnesses who “Remain Loyal to Jehovah”. Kevin must not have got the memo. He must have been preaching a different message entirely. And once he found out that it was actually a “judgment” message, he was done. You got to admire him. Any rational, thinking human being who realized that they were in an apocalyptic cult would react the same way.
The next part of video is somewhat confusing. It’s clear that, although Kevin wasn’t going out preaching, he was still attending meetings. If he knew they were in the great tribulation, why would he go to meetings but not hide with them down in the bunker?
The mind boggles.
Again, at another kingdom hall meeting, Kevin doesn’t want to preach to his co-workers about “it”, whatever “it” is. He didn’t want to be like Brother Browne’s wife who would be bible-bashing at every opportunity, no matter how crazy she looked. Kevin couldn’t remain loyal during the easy times, so it was obviously going to be harder for him to remain loyal during this difficult time: “Now during the great tribulation”. I don’t need to tell you readers how ridiculous this “logic” is.
Another brother enters the bunker. He says “they are … searching every house”. Brother Browne suggests that they stay calm and lean on Jehovah. At some point they are going to experience a final attack on God’s people. The attack turns out to be a strange one. It’s basically military police finding them in a bunker. We don’t know what the military police did to them. We can only assume that they shipped them out to a beach in Hawaii, or some place like that, gave them left-over clothes from the TV series Lost, and gave them a platter of fruit and vegetables.
The Truth About Kevin
Like so many before, and so many after him, Kevin came to the realization that he was in a cult. He realized too, that it wasn’t going to be easy to leave the cult. He realized that to leave would mean that he would be cut off from his family and friends. So he remained in it. He’d go to meetings. But mentally, he was already out of the cult. He would not go preaching because he had no intention of signing others up to join a cult that he could not leave.
When the members of the cult were hiding out in the bunker, was it really too difficult for him to hide in a basement with his fellow members? Of course not. The reason Kevin wasn’t in the bunker was because there was no great tribulation. The cult members had just been reading and watch too much jw.org propaganda. It was being dished out to them continually by their Guardians of Doctrine. And they were eating it up, no matter how ridiculous it sounded from a human standpoint. They believed everything they were told and questioned nothing. When they were told there was a great tribulation, they believed. However Kevin did his research. Kevin learned the truth about “the truth”. Kevin lived well and prospered.
If you would like to learn more about how you may be a member of a cult, please do contact us. You can leave. But you need to act like Kevin.
Just because these folks in the bunker were readily able to convince themselves that they were going to be saved, doesn’t mean they were. These folks were self-righteous, judgmental monkeys. They could easily see the rafter in Kevin’s eye but couldn’t spot the rafter in their own.