If you are considering becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you must understand that you devote your whole life to it. This includes your life, the life of your family, your extended family and it even impacts on the lives of your friends. If you become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, there is no “Get out of Jail” card. That’s it. Your whole life is governed and affected from that point onward.
Note: “The Truth” herein referred to is how Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to their religion.
The Dark Side of “The Truth”
There are some dark truths that you should know before dedicating your life to an organization that tries to convince the world that it is God’s spokesperson, or slave. These are them:
Jehovah’s Witnesses are required to preach at least 8 hours per month. This includes going from door to door proselytizing. At the end of every month, they are required to report their time and other information such as how many hours they spent preaching, how many return visits they had (i.e. how many people they placed literature with and returned to speak with them), how many magazines and other literature they placed with people and how many bible studies they had.
All this information is collected at a local level, analyzed at a national level and then sent to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. If anyone is not averaging at least 8 hours per month preaching, they will receive a call from one or two elders to try and encourage them to improve in their ministry. If they do not improve in their ministry, they could be marked and/or considered “bad associations” by other members.
Jehovah’s Witnesses’ main goal is to convert as many persons as possible to their religion. All the literature they present to you, when you meet them, is geared toward converting you to their religion. A lot of their literature has doctrine that is confusing to understand which only encourages blind acceptance inhibits logic.
If you speak to them, understand that their main goal, their main desire, is to convert you to their religion. They fervently believe that they have the truth and they want you to have that truth too.
- Family Life:
Jehovah’s Witnesses value family life as long as all members of the family are practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses. Otherwise, it gets complicated. For instance, if any member is not a Jehovah’s Witness, they will try to limit your association with them.
If any member of your family was once a Jehovah’s Witness and either left or was disfellowshipped (excommunicated), they will completely shun them. This shunning will continue until that family member gets re-instated as a Jehovah’s Witness. If they never get re-instated, the shunning will continue for the rest of that person’s life. This is coercion and can be considered a form of mental torture. Furthermore, this isolating of individuals is a form of mind control because the physical separation of an individual from their family induces loss of reality.
Prying by elders into family life is normal within their faith. If a family member or members are having difficulties, elders will visit to “encourage” them. This usually involves discussions that can include divulging personal and/or intimate details regarding the family arrangement.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are discouraged from having relationships with individuals who are not members of their religion. Persons who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses are considered as “worldly” people who are “bad associations”.
Literature is written specifically for young people to convince them that all young people in the “world” are bad and that only good associations can be found within the confines of their religion.
Children and teens are also discouraged from getting involved in after-school activities such as drama and sport as it includes developing friendships with “worldly” people.
- Meeting Attendance:
Jehovah’s Witnesses have 5 meetings per week in their church which is known as a kingdom hall.
They have 2 meetings on Sundays: A Public talk followed by a study of an article in their magazine, The Watchtower. The total duration of the Sunday meetings is 2 hours.
They have 2 meetings on Thursdays: Bible School where boys and men learn to give talks and girls and women learn to improve their preaching techniques; followed by a Ministry School where all members learn to improve their preaching techniques.
They have 1 meeting on Tuesdays. This is usually an hour and is conducted in the person’s own home with their own family. Study is conducted using a book published by the Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society.
Each Jehovah’s Witness is expected to attend ALL meetings. Reasons for not attending are limited. If one’s attendance is poor, elders will visit your home to try and convince you through bible scriptures and prayer that you must attend all meetings.
If it’s one’s first time visiting a Kingdom Hall, one will experience what is known as “love bombing”. Love bombing is a mind control technique used by Jehovah’s Witness members to attract new members into their religion. It includes being overly friendly with new ones, asking them questions, seemingly interested in what they have to say, smiling and being “loving”. From one’s first impression, it looks like this is a wholesome place to be. But, as one attends more and more meetings, the “love” wanes and the experience you first had disappears.
- Celebrations and Holidays:
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate many of the traditions celebrated by mainstream Christians. Celebrations they consider pagan or biblically wrong are Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Hallowe’en, New Year’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, to name a few. Celebrations they do accept include the memorial of Jesus Death and Wedding Anniversaries.
Becoming a Jehovah’s Witness is not for everyone. In fact, it shouldn’t be for anyone. God may want us to lead good, clean, happy lives, but that you must preach every month, go to meetings 5 times a week, not celebrate anything but the death of his son, and shun family members who no longer believe …
The decision to become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not an easy one, but the decision is yours and yours alone.