YouTuber, XJW Curious provides us with a heartfelt letter a shunned father wrote to his son who was a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The content in the letter proved to be life-changing as the content in the letter proved detrimental to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ belief system.
YouTube Video from XJW Curious
We have embellished the following letter with screenshots of the publications and links to sources, as appropriate. Except for quoted Bible verses, clicking the screenshots of publications will bring you directly to the source material referenced. This is to ensure claims made in the letter can be supported by evidence taken directly from Watch Tower publications.
My Dear Son, Colin,
I am writing you to express my love for you and the pride that I feel for the man you have become. You need to know that I accept and love you dearly just for who you are and I am immensely proud of the wise choices you made with regard to your education and your career.
As I write you this heartfelt letter, I pray that you will read it entirely and give it your careful consideration. You are now a grown man with a mind of your own to decide what you wish to do with the rest of your life regardless of what any one else may think or has to say. You hold within your hands complete control over the choices you make from this point forward, and no one has the right to exercise any authority over you unless you willingly give them that right. If it is truly your decision to give others such authority over you, I will respect your decision. But I need to be satisfied that such is really your decision.
My dear son, if I were to ask you what evidence you have seen with your own eyes that the religion which was chosen for you and which you embraced under coercion is really the truth, as you have been told, you could not show me one bit of evidence. I know that, and I know that the evidence of which I speak is not from apostate sources, but is from Watch Tower publications and from the Bible. You see, we were carefully taught a false good news. The good news we learned and preached as Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the good news which Jesus and the first century Christians preached. Watch Tower’s interpretation of the scriptures has been completely exposed and discredited by its own published writings, by its documented actions, and by its organizational policies. Jesus told the false religious teachers of his day, “By your words you will be condemned.” (Matt. 12:37) Those words of Jesus have been fulfilled in the case of the Watch Tower Society. Light has exposed the darkness of the religion in which I was raised, and in which I raised you.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that it is their God-given responsibility to expose religious error and hypocrisy wherever it is found. In fact, one’s eternal salvation depends on one’s doing so, according to Watchtower’s interpretation of Ezekiel 3:17-21. Yet, any member of Jehovah’s Witnesses who points out erroneous Watchtower teachings is ostracized, disfellowshipped as an apostate, and shunned.
Watch Tower has a long history of disfellowshipping sincere Christians who point out faulty Watchtower teachings, then turning around and embracing the viewpoint of the one who was disfellowshipped. For example, in 1980, Edward Dunlap, Watch Tower’s Gilead School registrar and teacher, suggested in a private conversation with two governing body members that it appeared to him that the governing body was the faithful and discreet slave. For privately expressing that viewpoint which contradicted Watch Tower teaching at that time, Dunlap was disfellowshipped as an apostate. As you well know, the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has since declared itself to be the faithful and discreet slave, which is exactly what Ed Dunlap was disfellowshipped for suggesting in a private conversation!
My first realization that the Watch Tower Society was not teaching Bible truth was in 1982, and it was an emotionally traumatic experience for me, the degree of which would be revealed to me by a therapist some twenty (20) years later. Knowing what would result from questioning Watch Tower teachings, I made a conscious decision to simply become inactive as a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or to stick my head in the sand, so to speak. At that time, I had no way of knowing the detrimental psychological effects that such a decision would have on the rest of my life. However, now that I have learned the detrimental psychological effects of choosing to believe and proclaim as true something which I knew was not true, I cannot live with myself if I do not warn you about that which I learned the hard way. I can help you to avoid the mistakes I discovered only after I wasted the best years of my life. If, after considering this letter, you decide to make the same decision I made to remain in a false religion, I will forever respect your decision, and, if you wish, I will never contact you again.
Let me begin by sharing an overview of failed Watchtower prophecies
Beginning in 1879, the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society began preaching that Christ’s second coming had occurred invisibly in 1874; that Christ had begun ruling in heaven in 1878; and that God’s kingdom would destroy all human governments and all religions in 1914, resulting in the re-establishment of paradise conditions on Earth. Watch Tower’s founder and first president, Charles Taze Russell, died in 1916 knowing that his 1914 prophecy had failed miserably.
In 1918, Watch Tower’s second president, Joseph F. Rutherford, began preaching, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die.” According to Rutherford, the end which has not occurred in 1914 would occur in 1925, and faithful men of old, including Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, would be resurrected and begin ruling as princes of God’s kingdom on Earth. Rutherford’s 1925 prophecy failed as miserably as had Russell’s 1914 prophecy.
Undeterred by reality, Rutherford ordered the construction of a sprawling mansion in San Diego – ostensibly to house Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other resurrected ones – and named it Beth Sarim, meaning “house of princes.” Rutherford made full use of the mansion as well as of two 16-cylinder Caddilac automobiles through the Great Depression and until his death in 1942.
Regarding this ostentatious mansion (built and paid for with donated Watch Tower funds), page 76 of the book, Jehovah’s Witnesses: Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom says, “At the time it was believed that faithful men of old times … would be resurrected.” It fails to mention that it was believed because it has been proclaimed as a certainty by Rutherford in Watch Tower publications. Rather than holding Rutherford accountable for such a failed prophecy, the November 15, 1955 Watchtower (page 698) stated that “Jehovah caused to be preached from 1918 the startling public message, ‘Millions Now Living Will Never Die.'” Can you imagine the Watch Tower blaming God for Rutherford’s failed prophecy!?
The adage that those who forget the past are bound to repeat it seems appropriate in view of the hopes regarding the end coming in 1975 which were built up in the hearts of Jehovah’s Witnesses who sincerely viewed the Watch Tower Society as Christ’s hand-picked representatives on Earth. Failed Watch Tower prophecies regarding 1914 and 1925 had been proclaimed with the same certainty as the following statements published in 1969 when I was 17 years old:
I was 17 years old when that Watch Tower prophecy was published. As I write this, I am 67 years old. I was promised that I would never grow old in this system of things, but I have.
Moving closer to 1975, the April 1, 1972 edition of The Watchtower featured an article entitled, ‘They Shall Know That A Prophet Was Among Them’, which said, “So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come? These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? … This prophet was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at the time as International Bible Students. Today, they are known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses.” Yet, Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot point to one Watch Tower prophecy which has ever come true!
What does the Bible say about prophets whose prophecies fail to come true?
Rather than admit that such prophecies failed, Jehovah’s Witnesses say that the light simply got brighter. But the record shows that Jehovah’s Witnesses are always the last to get the so-called “new light”.
Watch Tower founder, Charles Taze Russell despised organized religion, and preached that all one needed to serve God was the Bible and Jesus Christ. Joseph Rutherford continued this belief saying in 1938, “Religion is a Snare and a Racket.” Some years after Rutherford’s death, so-called “new light” caused Jehovah’s Witnesses to realize the financial benefits religions enjoy, and they began placing greater emphasis on the organization, claiming that it was the only true religion.
The January 8, 1947 Awake! featured the article, “Are You Also Excommunicated?” It denounced the Catholic hierarchy’s doctrine of excommunication, saying that “it finds no support in these scriptures, ” that “it is altogether foreign to Bible teachings,” and that it was of pagan origin. It stated that “as the pretensions of the hierarchy increased, the weapon of excommunication became the instrument by which the clergy attained a combination of ecclesiastical power and secular tyranny that finds no parallel in history.”
The study article, “Their Refuge – A Lie!” in the June 1, 1991 edition of The Watchtower, para 1,10, 11 denounced as apostate, those religions which were accredited to the United Nations (UN) as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Yet, before the end of 1991, the Watch Tower had also become accredited to the UN as an NGO. NGOs were obliged to serve as publicity agents for the UN, publishing articles each year outlining UN goals and achievements. Watch Tower volunteered to serve in this capacity and, over the next 10 years, published articles each year which appeared to many readers to be favorable to the UN. Watch Tower re-applied each year to serve as an NGO in spite of the fact that it had denounced as apostate other religions which had done so. This is what is called a double standard.
When The Guardian newspaper exposed the hypocritical alliance in October of 2001, Watch Tower immediately withdrew its membership at the UN and tried to cover it up.
Awake! magazines from 1991 – 2000 that discussed United Nations initiatives
Watch Tower has often boasted that there is no clergy class among Jehovah’s Witnesses. My father regularly witnessed to prisoners in Fort Worth’s Tarrant County Jail. On one occasion, new inmate approached my father and asked if he was a clergy man. Knowing what the man meant, my father answered, “yes”. The ministerial servant accompanying my father reported that exchange to the local elders, and my father received a written reproof from Watch Tower headquarters, saying that by identifying himself as a clergy man, he was making himself a part of Christendom. Just recently, in a court case involving Watch Tower’s handling of reported child sexual abuse within its congregations, Watch Tower attempted to plead clergy privilege while maintaining that elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not clergy men. When it became clear its lawyers had not convinced the court, Watch Tower stated publicly that elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses are, in fact, a clergy class. The legal tactic failed, however, because there had been no confidentiality, since the elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses had made the facts of the sexual abuse allegations known to many other people.
Further information on the Fessler Child Abuse case:
Do you see what I mean about Watch Tower being the last to receive the so-called “new light”? Watch Tower has a long history of criticizing other religions for doing certain things, then turning around and doing the very same thing while claiming “new light”!
Another glaring example of a double standard can be seen in the June 2013 Awake! The following quote is from the Article, ‘How to End the Silent Treatment‘:
Compare that with this quote from the article, ‘Let Jehovah’s Discipline Mold You‘ in the June 2013 edition of The Watchtower (Study Edition):
Are you able to discern the double standard presented in those two articles? In the first article, shunning is presented as manipulation. In the second article (published in the very same month), shunning is presented as a loving act! Any organization that mandates the shunning of loved ones who have done nothing more than leave a high control religion for conscientious reasons is despicable and evil! Watch Tower is particularly evil because it poses as a benevolent religion while hiding its evil side from outsiders.
The article, ‘Is It Wrong to Change Your Religion?‘ in the July 2009 Awake! made the following statement:
When I first read that article, I felt that a change in Watch Tower policy regarding the treatment of disassociated ones was imminent, and I encouraged your mother to read it. You see, I can remember when, prior to 1981, Jehovah’s Witnesses could socialize with ones who had simply resigned as Jehovah’s Witnesses for conscientious reasons. My father had several friends who had previously been Jehovah’s Witnesses who had left the Watch Tower over doctrinal differences. In 1981, Watch Tower mandated that disassociated ones be treated the same as those disfellowshipped for wrongdoing. After reading the July 2009 Awake! article, your mother told me that the aforementioned quote applied to those changing religions to become Jehovah’s Witnesses, but not the other way around. I was shocked that she would say such a thing, and I told her it had to apply both ways or else it would be a double standard. And so it is to this day. The Watch Tower doesn’t tell its readers that the above statement does not apply when members of Jehovah’s Witnesses leave the Watch Tower religion. Watch Tower’s lawyer, David Gnam, even told the Canadian Supreme Court that disfellowshipping only restricts spiritual fellowship but does not limit social interactions. Any member of Jehovah’s Witnesses hearing that knows that it is a lie!
David Gnam, elder of Jehovah’s Witnesses and lawyer, lying to the Canadian Supreme Court
Watch Tower is notorious for printing and publishing certain predictions, and when those predictions fail, Watch Tower takes steps to cover over its failed prophecies. For example, in The Watchtower 1989, January 1, p. 12, para 8, it stated:
However, when it became obvious that the 20th Century would end before Armageddon occurred, Watch Tower revised their article in the bound volume of the January 1, 1989 edition of The Watchtower to replace “20th century” with “day”:
How despicable that Watch Tower would attempt to alter the record of what it had printed and published worldwide as truth coming from God himself!
Did you know that the Watch Tower admitted in print that Jehovah is not really God’s name? Page 23 of the foreword to The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures made the following statement:
If Yahweh really is “the more correct way”, it follows that Jehovah is not really God’s name. I have shared this quote with many Jehovah’s Witnesses over the years, and they are always shocked to see it. But, here is the real shocker: later editions of this book changed the original statement to read:
Changing a quote to conceal what had originally been printed and published by the New World Translation Committee is a level of dishonesty which should shock and outrage all lovers of truth!
Incidentally, people were familiar with the form Jehovah since the 13th Century because that is when that form was created by Catholic monk, Raymundus Martini. So, the name Jehovah did not even exist before the 13th Century.
So, why does Watch Tower place so much emphasis on that name? Could it be because its followers were named Jehovah’s Witnesses by Joseph Rutherford in 1931? I submit to you that the names Watch Tower and Jehovah are interchangeable, that Jehovah is merely a device of the Watch Tower. I offer the following as evidence:
By leaving the Watch Tower religion, one does not leave one’s belief in God, or in Jesus Christ, or in the Bible as God’s Word. Yet, Jehovah’s Witnesses will say that one has left Jehovah. And, when inviting ones to return to the Watch Tower religion, Jehovah’s Witnesses say, “Return to Jehovah”. So, by their own words, Jehovah’s Witnesses prove that “Jehovah” and “Watch Tower” are interchangeable entities or terms.
Many sincere believers in God and Jesus Christ have left the Watch Tower because of many teachings and practices which conflict with the Bible. For example, consider the following:
Look up the word, ‘sanctuary’ in the book, Insight on the Scriptures, and notice the definition, “divine habitation”. In Jesus’ day, the Jewish people worshipped at the temple in Jerusalem, and that temple prefigured the spiritual arrangement for worshipping God today. Within the temple was the temple sanctuary containing two chambers, the Holy and the Most Holy, which represented heaven itself where God resides. The two chambers were separated by a curtain.
While people could move about the temple, only Levite priests could enter the Holy chamber of the temple sanctuary, and only for the purpose of offering sacrifices on behalf of the people. For example, look up Luke 1:9, 21 in the Greek Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, noting the literal translation of the Greek word translated as ‘Sanctuary’. You’ll see the term “divine habitation.”
Now look up Revelation 7:15, which discusses the great crowd, and note the literal translation of the Greek word translated here as “temple”. Again, you’ll see the term, “divine habitation.” So, according to God’s Word, the great crowd worships God day and night in the temple sanctuary, or the divine habitation, of God’s spiritual temple. Thus, the great crowd is a priestly class of Christians who serve God under Jesus Christ along with the figurative 144,000 spoken of in verses 4 to 8 of the same chapter.
Incidentally, the Watch Tower used to say that the great crowd served in the outer courtyard, not even in the temple. Recently, they have said the great crowd is in a “spiritual temple”, but they stop short of saying that they are in the temple sanctuary, which is where the Bible places them. Why is the Watch Tower taking so long to admit what the Bible Says?
Note to readers:
What is signified by serving God in the Holy chamber of the temple sanctuary? To find the answer to that question, look up the word, ‘temple’ in the same volume of Insight on the Scriptures. In the third paragraph, under the subheading, “Jehovah’s Great Spiritual Temple”, it states:
Thus, according to the Bible and Watch Tower publications, the great crowd is a priestly class of Christians who are spirit anointed with heavenly life in view. But that is not what Watch Tower teaches, is it? We were taught that only 144,000 are spirit anointed with heavenly life in view. Clearly, in the light of scripture, that is not true!
Did you know that, prior to 1935, the Watch Tower taught that all Christians were spirit-anointed with heavenly life in view? Where did the concept of two classes of Christians having separate hopes originate? Who came up with the idea that only 144, 000 Christians go to heaven? It was the brainchild of Joseph Rutherford, the same Watch Tower president who prophesied that Armageddon would occur in 1925 and who, even when that prediction failed, instigated the building of the sprawling mansion, Beth-Sarim, which is now a private residence in San Diego, California.
Shortly before his death, Rutherford admitted to a small group of confidants, including Nathan Knorr, Fred Franz, and Hayden Covington, that he had “made an ass” of himself. Now, it is abundantly clear that his unscriptural theology has “made an ass” of Jehovah’s Witnesses as well.
Colin, you have been misled, and I bear a huge responsibility for that because I chose to remain in a religion which I knew was not teaching Bible truth. You never exhibited an interest in spiritual things or in discussing Bible topics. That is not a criticism, just a statement of fact. No one was interested in discussing spiritual things or the Bible, except at the Kingdom Hall where it is a very controlled discussion, in that the Watch Tower provides all the questions as well as the approved answers to those questions. The Kingdom Hall is not a place for asking independent questions, but is simply a place where indoctrination takes place. People merely parrot the answers they’ve been given.
Until you became interested in a girl who was baptized, you had no desire to get baptized. I knew you had no idea what you were getting yourself involved in. Once you got baptized, it was too late. The Watch Tower cult is like Hotel California: “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” without dire consequences. One can never question Watch Tower dogma. I would rather have questions I cannot answer than answers I cannot question.
In his book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, Pulitzer prize-winning author, Lawrence Wright wrote, “People have the right to believe whatever they choose. But it is a different matter to use the protections afforded a religion by the First Amendment [of the United States] to falsify history, to propagate forgeries, and to cover up human rights abuses.” As my letter has made clear, Watch Tower is every bit as guilty of these offenses as Scientology. Have you watched Leah Remini’s A&E series about the aftermath of leaving the Church of Scientology? One cannot watch it without seeing the similarities between Scientology and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I often recall a scripture from Isaiah 30:21 which says:
I heard that “word” in my life when I was 30 years old, but I disregarded it, fearing what would result if I followed its direction. I have lived to regret that decision. However, when I finally listened and followed that “word” – which for me meant getting out of the Watch Tower cult and leaving all its craziness behind – my life has been one amazing experience after another. My life since moving to New Braunfels, Texas, has been incredible. And I have met so many wonderful people and made so many new friends who seemed to have been just waiting for me to get here. I have not lost one thing that hasn’t been replaced many times over. I am happier than I have ever been in my life. The same thing has happened for your sister, and she is happier than she has ever been also. Your brother has experienced the same thing as well.
Take a look around you, Colin. Look at the lives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses you know personally. They are not a happy people. There is a lot of judgment and constant upheaval and drama in their lives related to just being a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, not from outside the organization, as in the case of persecution, but from fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses inside the organization! You know that to be true, and that should tell you something. I know that you are not able to be your genuine self as long as you remain among the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Abilene. And no matter how much you do for Jehovah (aka Watch Tower), it is never enough. If you haven’t figured it out yet – and I’m betting that you have – every one of Jehovah’s Witnesses you know is living a double life. The face they show when attending the Kingdom Hall is not who they truly are. I knew that when I was still a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I had no way of knowing everything that was going on right under my nose. There is no way I can tell you everything I would like to tell you in this letter.
If you could ever arrange to come visit your sister and me, we could have a long talk and you could see for yourself what it means to be completely free, to embrace your genuine self, and to be loved unconditionally without being judged at every turn.