Religion

Apostate means to Turn Away from God, not The Watchtower

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

“‘Jehovah’—because of people’s familiarity with it since the 14th century. Moreover, it preserves, equally with other forms, the four letters of the tetragrammaton JHVH.” — The Watchtower defends “shallow scholarship” in response to “Jehovah Not Correct as God’s Name”

YHWH = JHVH ?

If you meet a Jehovah’s Witness they’ll tell you God’s name is Jehovah, and they probably don’t even know that it’s not true.

They probably whole heartedly believe that what they were taught was “the truth” and that it is a life-saving message that they bring to you.

Go easy on them. I know how much it hurts to learn you’ve been lied to all your life.

So, please if you can, help in this campaign:

  • explain how the letter “J” came to be only recently, and
  • how “hovah” is a real word that’s actually in the scriptures, but it doesn’t mean what they have been told that it does:

Disaster [hovah] after disaster [hovah] will comeand there will be rumor after rumorThen they will seek a vision from a prophetbut instruction will perish from the priestsand counsel from the elders.”

Continue reading

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Culture, Documentation, Ethics, Religion, Truth

Hitler and The Watchtower

“Did Hitler receive letters of protest from church officials concerning the outrages perpetrated by the National Socialists, or Nazis? There were some, but such letters were few and far between. In the Moscow archives, however, Eberle found a file containing a number of letters sent to Hitler by Jehovah’s Witnesses from different parts of Germany, protesting against the conduct of the Nazis.” — Watchtower 2011 Oct 1 p.14

See also: “Have You Been Lied To?” Continue reading

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

An Apology to My Mother

Mom, I know that I’m scaring you. And I’m sorry for that.

I don’t know how to explain with words what I’m going through.

I can however share with you what I’m fascinated by, and perhaps you can judge whether or not I’m “okay”.

I’ve been studying the Bible for months now, and I’ve perservered despite the fear that what I would learn might mean that I would separated from my family. I miss you guys so much. You seem nearly as a conceptual thing to me as “daddy” is. I understand what that relationship is supposed to mean, but it’s not something I’ve experienced. Likewise, I don’t really know how to be a sister or to be a daughter, it seems so long ago that I was a part of a family. I’m not sure I ever knew how to interact like I belonged.

Here’s a night in the most recent nights of Angela:

I’m an experience designer, so know that it’s an “experience”. I’m giving you my recipe as it were. I could send you the “Notability” file for instance which recorded me and the background (music in this case) while I studied the Watchtower. You can go along as I highlight and respond, and can hear the music that I was listening to and how I interacted in my study with God.

So. First, it starts with Faith. Continue reading

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Raw

My mother-in-law contacted me again the other day. I don’t call her “ex” because you divorce the husband, right? Well, I was married for four years to her son, and divorced him seven years ago.

One of his friends found me last week and sent a friend request on Facebook. I honestly couldn’t recall who he was or my connection to him, and being I pretty much just add peeps I actually know, I ignored the request.

A few days later he requested again, with a note: “Are you the Angela that was married to —?”

Continue reading

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Religion,

You might be a Jehovah’s Witness if…

  • If “pioneer” is not a stereo, “new light” is not something in the hardware department, and “tract” has nothing to do with land or farming.
  • If you know when Nisan 14 of the Jewish calendar lands in the Gregorian calendar from year to year, and yet you commonly forget your own birthday.
  • If “Memorial Day” isn’t in May.
  • If you spent days at a baseball stadium, never saw a ball, and didn’t even have a beer.
  • If you think “formal clothing” and “civic center” belong in the same sentence.
  • If you wash windows or cars for a living and still own five suits.
  • If you think nothing of letting your friends stop by to use the bathroom.
  • If you know the cleanliness of every coffee shop for four towns around.
  • If you think 2-door vehicles aren’t really cars.
  • If you go to Home Depot and go down the aisle where doors are displayed and you feel compelled to knock on them.
  • If you can’t buy a pair of shoes without thinking about how comfortable they will need to be while walking residential streets in 95-degree heat.
  • If you have a tendency to refer to books by color instead of by title.
  • If you have a shelf just for 192-page books.
  • If you can’t pick up a book, or anything else to read, without picking up a pencil or highlighter too.
  • If you think it is complimentary to refer to someone as “a study”.
  • If you have “get-togethers” rather than “parties.”
  • If, after one of such “get-together” at your home, your house is not a mess and you have more food than when you started.
  • If you realize things are getting worse, and you’re thrilled!
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State of Affairs

What’s been up lately? Work sucks. It’s been a literal nightmare for several months now. I won’t even address it, except to say that it’s causing me to have an ulcer.

My best friend has left his wife, and was removed as a servant on Tuesday. He decided that he doesn’t like being married and doesn’t want to be anymore… That he’s happier living a single life. His wife is devastated, and confused. I think back and wish I would have stopped the wedding… which the time seemed overly dramatic, though in hindsight seems fairly reasonable. I adore him, and hope for the best, but only fear the worst. He didn’t sound himself at all.

I talked to an old friend from back home, and she told me that pretty much everyone I grew up with is either disfellowshipped, sleeping with an elder’s wife, doing drugs or marrying a stripper or something. No, I’m not kidding. She studies for meetings, but rarely attends.

My sister and her husband don’t go to meetings at all. Haven’t for quite a while. My brother and his new wife are disfellowshipped, but I’m pretty sure they’re all right.

My little sister is terrorized by the small minded small town folk in their Kingdom Hall. She’s a pioneer who is shunned by the other pioneers in the congregation. Although she’s pioneer for a couple of years now this is the first time she’s old enough to go to Pioneer School. She was going to quit this year because she didn’t get her time (apparently the other pioneers in the congregation don’t really support her or go out with her in service) but I encouraged her to keep it up. I told her Pioneer School is supposed to come at the end of the first year for a reason… because you need it so bad. I told her how amazing it is she’s survived this long without getting to attend, and to keep it up and go. Apparently, she’s going!

My mom is flipping out. I guess she’s going of the list again. I don’t think she drinks any water, and I understand that she eats very little. I worry about her, and ave no idea what to do, or really what’s going on. It seems as though ever since I had problems with demons when I still lived at home that she’s never quite been the same. Since then it really seems as though all the trouble has just transferred to her. I don’t know what to do for her, I don’t know how to help. I feel helpless.

My newest friend here seems to be shunning me. He explained that he’s not sure whether I really want to be the pioneer I talk about doing or the party girl everyone thinks I am. Apparently I don’t fit into the spiritual progress he’s outlined for himself.

So everything is pretty much rough, but I’m alive, kicking and screaming.

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Religion,

Worth reading again

“… I decided to quit dumping my time and energy into people that I knew would not reciprocate and put it into building my relationship with Jehovah.

He won’t ever leave you. Ever. And as you progress spiritually you find that Jehovah helps with the feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. At first I really felt alone when everything went to hell with my dear friends. I went out with a bunch of different groups, but I didn’t feel like I clicked with anyone. I ended up spending a whole lot of time and money on people, just to somehow feel a connection. Rather than continue on that cycle, I just made up my mind to befriend the one who will never leave.

My advice to you would be to exert yourself spiritually. You will find good friends that love you in our vast spiritual family. I promise you that.

Don’t worry about the social circles or not fitting in. Or thinking about how you don’t click with (insert name of person here). You will be fine, Jehovah will see to it. The trick is TRUSTING that he will see to it.” — Email from C(hris)G, August 06, 2003

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Religion,

Prince comes a-callin’

Next time the Jehovah’s Witnesses appear at your door, you might want to see who their spokesman is before turning them away. A Jewish couple in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, received a shock on Oct. 5 when Prince showed up at their house to stump for the religious group, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Doorbell rings. My husband runs upstairs and says, ‘Prince is at the door!'” remembers the resident, identified as Rochelle.

The petite “Purple Rain” pop star’s timing could have been better: Yom Kippur was about to start and a Vikings game was on TV. After Rochelle’s initial shock wore off, she had little patience for Prince’s spiel. “I said, ‘You know what? You’ve walked into a Jewish household, and this is not something I’m interested in.'” The artist formerly known as a freaky symbol reportedly responded, “Can I just finish?” Prince gave his testimonial for about 25 minutes and left a pamphlet. “He didn’t do anything wrong,” insists Rochelle. “He was very kind.” Prince’s attorney tells the New York Daily News that his client is “very committed” to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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Religion,

Reflection

This morning I was just overwhelmed with the feeling of how much I love my life. Life is good. My mind spilled over with thoughts of appreciation of so many things.

I love my walk to the bus in the morning. Some mornings with the sky clear and blue, the air crisp and dry the mountains spilling into the water in the horizon set off by the Space Needle. And mornings where sleep lays in my bones, and the city responds with gray skys and mellow mood, damp air that revives me enough to make it to my next reprieve, resting eyes on the bus riding along to work.

I love my friends, the things we do, the life we all live. I’m never left wondering what I’m going to do some night, for a surplus of plans. I have friends who can feel me, who know me, who can read me, and are there for me. I have friends who need me.

I love my service to Jehovah, the joy it brings, the feeling of holy spirit upon you as struggle and fight to do his will. I love the organization provided to be a home as we come together in a brotherhood on the earth. I love the qualities we can almost take for granted in those we meet under that roof. I love that I can live thousands of miles from anyone who’s known me longer than a few months and yet never consider myself alone.

A beautiful bouquet of roses are opening their buds in display that stopped me in awe this morning. They are an amazing color of pink that just screams life as the world around quickly slips into fall. They sit on my counter next to my dying flowers that I bought from the market, and remind me once again that I am loved. Thank you for my flowers. 😉

I love that I am young, and my future is ahead of me. I love that I do not worry or fret over it. I love the head I have on my shoulders, I am very happy to be me. I love what I have to offer others, and love being able to use my abilities to give to others.

I love all those who have loved me, who have helped make me who I am. I love having memories to look back on and smile. I love having truly lived. I love knowing that I will carry that with me to each and every tomorrow, knowing that you each will too. I love all the lessons living and loving has brought me. I love who I have become.

I love what is yet to come, who I am yet to be.

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Religion,

A letter from a mother’s heart…

Remember your heart is treacherous who could know it? In all your ways take notice of him and he will set your paths straight. Why not make it
a matter of prayer long term ? Open up, maybe your not looking in the direction he has in mind for you.

How many times did I take you out in so many directions running errands when you were younger, but even though you didn’t know where we were going during that time you always where left feeling secure because you knew that it didn’t really matter, your mama would have you home and in bed that night, the place where you wanted to be. Because of your trust and reliance on that, you felt safe, even though you didn’t know where WE * were heading.

Back when I just had you kids I didn’t know what the future had in store for us. He always takes care of us before our destination, during and after. When the time is right we know it. If it is not right we know it.

Remember if something comes within our path if it is not totally in harmony with his ways, it could not be from him. (Don’t allow your heart to be your
map.) Then we are talking stumbling blocks and your road will always we bumpy. Then your stumbling block would dictate your future course rather
then the true map, gods word.

  • Even if I didn’t have you kids Ang, I think I still would have used that word in the plural sense. Can you? When you have Jehovah’s backing you are never alone. I am so thankful that I got to experience that one on one. That puts you in direct headship with Jehovah. What a privilege.

Even though you don’t have someone to talk back to you like a husband or a good friend could, he does a good job of taking care of us until he can make us complete within that family arrangement. An institution that he designed to make us happy. So he wants it for us just as much as we do. He wants us to be happy within it. He ain’t going to settle for less and neither should we.

May you be comforted by his love.

Mom

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Religion,

Convention Hookups

Here are the different types of guys that are out there at the convention…
The WatchersThe ones who sit with binoculars during the whole convention and stare at you.
The FrontersThe ones who give you this long story about how they’re a ministerial servant, regular pioneer, etc. All the while you’re staring at a diamond stud in their ears.
The Wall-holder-uppersNow brothers, there’s nothing wrong with standing by a wall. But if you’re there when I arrive, when I go to the bathroom in the morning, at lunch and in the afternoon, there’s a problem.
The AnnoyersThe guy who meets you on Friday and every time you pass him, he’s calling your name and saying “HI!!”
The PlayerThe guy who tries to get your number Friday, and by Sunday has tried to talk to all the girls.
The Desperate OneThe one who begins with, “Can I get your number?” You reply “No”, and then he proceeds to ask for every sort of communication to reach you (address, pager, cell, e-mail, etc.).
The Fast OneThe one who meets you on Friday, and by Sunday he’s trying to sit with you.
The GamerThe one who walks by you a few times, looking for your name on your lapel badge. Then, next time he passes by, he calls you by your name and says “Don’t I know you?”
The Shy OneThe one who has his boy tell you what he wants you to know.
The FollowerThe one who follows you all 3 days of the convention, but never says a word to you.
The StalkerThe one who meets you at the convention, then shows up at your hall for the very next meeting.
The LiarYou find out later that he’s 30 years old, has been married 7 years, divorced for 1 year, is currently engaged, and still trying to talk to you.
The O.G.The ones you’ve seen the past 10 years, standing on the walls trying to talk to everyone.
The “I’m Too Fine, So I Know You Want Me” OnesOnes who approach you, but automatically think that you want them.
and last, but certainly not least, we have:
The Wanted OnesThese are the ones who have all the qualities you like, are the complete opposite of the guys mentioned above, but never approach you.

And in response to this…
“There has been a recent e-mail circulation that describes the different sorts of brothers that sisters have had to endure during District Convention weekends just to find the right brother. On behalf of these shady brothers, we, the more spiritually inclined brothers, the “wanted ones”, wish to extend to you sisters an apology. We simply didn’t realize what you were going through; at times, it would seem as though you were more interested in the “player” brothers than in us. We are glad, though, that you see these “brothers” for the fakes they really are. You have to understand, however, that our reluctance to introduce ourselves is, in part, due to the display of some sisters thus making it hard for us to distinguish the marriage material from the Great Tribulation material. Here are just a few descriptions of what we have noticed. Keep in mind that we don’t view all of you in this manner; in fact, these categories represent a select group of sisters that we, the “wanted ones” try to avoid:
Liars – these sisters say, “I would love to go to Bethel someday… I could
definitely see myself as a pioneer when I’m married. “Meanwhile, you can’t
help but to notice their tight-fitting dress with a slit beginning at the waist
as they
say it.
$$$isters– these sisters wear so much make-up that they cause riots with the
sales reps at Macy’s. Her nails are so long that shaking her hand would be
putting
Jehovah to the test. The color of their hair is anything BUT the color of THEIR
hair (grape-ity purple, lemony yellow, and blueberry blue)? IF THAT IS THEIR
HAIR. And she thinks she is the finest thing at Nassau Coliseum. (BROTHERS-
count every item of gold or platinum jewelry she has on. that’s ONE JOB PER
ITEM to provide for her.)
Gigglers – this group of girls chooses a particular spot at the convention
site and proceeds to laugh as though they heard the most hilarious joke so
that
brothers
can come over to them to find out what they were laughing about.
“Gifted” Sisters – these sisters claim to have the “gift of singleness”; meanwhile
they have given their phone number, e-mail, pager#, etc., to at least 5 brothers
and they know where/when every gathering in the tri-state area is being held.
Both English AND Spanish.
Fakers – these sisters are on a more shall we say PSYCHOTIC level than the
GIFTED ones. These sisters refuse to get married? NOT EVER?. EEEEEVVERRR!!!!
They
speak of this divinely established arrangement as though it was a curse, and
those seeking to get married will not survive Armageddon. And the brother,
WHO SHE JUST GAVE HER NUMBER TO, must feel the same way.
Baby’s Mama Sisters – instead of being straight forward about her child, this
sister will keep her child with her parents, relatives, or say it’s a sibling,
until
the
engagement
ring finally comes around.
Stalkers – these sisters/ possibly worldly girls, rather than sit attentively
and take notes during the meeting, view the convention meeting as the perfect
time
to pass notes about a particular brother in the area. They use binoculars to
see where his seat is and when he leaves. Their friends are positioned in different
areas of the arena, each equipped with cell phones and 2-way pagers. And it
is just coincidence that every where the brother goes, THERE SHE IS. Do you
introduce yourself, or inform the attendants that you are in possible danger!!!
Shulamnite Maidens – this sister is PLATINUM personified marriage material.
She is modest, takes notes during the convention meetings, volunteers in any
way
that she can, keeps her association balanced, is attractive while not being
provocative, and is the TOTAL OPPOSTIE of all the sisters mentioned. She is
the one that “wanted brothers” would cut their right arm off for just to say “hi”.
Unfortunately, the “wanted” brothers are just too busy to say hi. So when you
sisters AND JUST YOU SISTERS, see us taking care of the garbage at the conventions;
with an attendant badge on, trying desperately to balance our attention between
the talks and the sister with 9 inch heels who is about to stumble down the
stairs; regulating traffic in the corridors when we would love to be taking
notes; staying 3 hours after the convention has ended to clean the whole site;
canvassing the parking lot in the HOT weather to protect your cars, etc. come
over and just say “hello”. Commend us for sacrificing our time so that you
could have an enjoyable and safe weekend at the District Convention. Invite
us to your local meeting. Or …..Go talk to the brothers who have been leaning
against the walls of the corridors for all three days. Hey… they can’t ALL
be disfellowshipped.”

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Waiting…

“Sometime” Sunday, “probably” after the meeting.

I’m waiting still. Last night I think they were going to meet with me, but yet again didn’t have it together. Gerald has such an expressive face. I wonder why he winces whenever I come up to him though… Is it guilt, or irritation?

Last night I was wondering – if the new system came today – would I be okay, or would I be screwed because they haven’t talked with me yet?

As much as I’ve been trying to remain blase, for lack of a better term, I still really want to get back in now – and feel like I should. It’s going to kill me if they decide otherwise. And if the next letter takes another three month wait before they decide to get around to talking to me.

What really tough though is trying not to feel resentful about the extended wait. I’m sure that will especially be the case if they decide I’m still “not ready”. It’s almost as if all this time waiting is like they “owe it” to me. And that’s not what this is supposed to be about, and I’m pretty sure that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to work.

Oh well.

So this weekend I’m laying out again with Margo, Curt and maybe Trevor. Then lunch and then Sara might join us. Then comes “sometime” Sunday, “probably” after the meeting.

Do you think it’s right that they never give definites? I had to ask what time just to get the “probably”. Three months of sometime, soon, and probably’s.

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Waiting…

Tonight’s my first meeting in so long. I’ve been waiting all week. Tuesday’s meeting (the one I tried to go to) had been moved to Monday and so I missed it. That was a hard knock on my core of confidence.

Tonight I get to enjoy dinner discussing this kind of stuff – and I hope that from that I find my brain waking up again. And myself being a little bit better understood. I’m probably not making much sense to anyone who doesn’t know any better – but I’ve got to run anyways!

Ciao! : )

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Angie & Brad Benson

Just thoughts…

It’s eleven o’clock, and I’m just thinking. I just watched a movie which in the end showed what true friendship is about. (Brokedown Palace) I can’t help but think about my friends, or the one’s I had. Life is so different now. So far from what it used to be. According to the rules I grew up by, I don’t deserve my friends, and I’ll never talk to them again, according to the way I live.

My parents don’t believe I’ll ever “make it back”. I guess I’ve just proved them right. The life I used to know is just gone. I don’t remember it. I don’t remember how it feels. I’m crying now. I guess because I know what it feels like to admit to it.

Driving home the other night I thought about how alone in this world I am. I put the one person I feel a connection with on a plane, and realized that was the one person. Funny thing is I can’t say that I’m lonely necessarily. I’m just here. I’m just living. I do what I have to do, day by day. Live how life is there to be lived. I find enough to wake up to the next morning.

It’s weird – Not remembering. Not being able to touch the past. I can’t long for it. I can’t look back and reminisce. It’s just gone. If anyone out there is listening, don’t be hurt. It’s like my dad. I miss him so dearly, although I never knew him.

Looking back, I can’t help but wonder what choices I could have made that would have so drastically altered my life. what if my dad had never died? What if I had never made the mistakes I did with my “first love”? What if I had never met or married Brad? What if I had never given up?

Maybe I don’t stop to cry because I refuse to believe the story I have to tell. How could I have ever had this happen, all the things in my life? What did I do to ever deserve this?

I was captured in a moment today when I heard “Still the One” on the radio. That was supposed to be Brad’s and my song, in a silly backwards way. What do I even say to that? What do I say to the past four years of my life? What do I say to sitting around and taking it, until my spirit and heart was crushed? Why did I ever believe I should be so strong? Why didn’t I give up in the right place?

I don’t wish for anything – I don’t have a vision in my head of the way I wish things were. I’m here, and I’m fine. I’m alive and that’s enough. I just have a story to tell that I wouldn’t even believe myself.

So how freely to I vent my soul to the world? To those who don’t know me, or the ones who know the most? Do I tell you all the stories, and hope that no one is listening? Do I find strength in coming to terms with the sadness some turn their eyes from?

So many do not feel it is their place to know what goes on inside a marriage. What went on is my only solace for where I am. With that here’s my words, a story from a night – July 29, 1999. Continue reading

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