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Witnesses of Jehovah

An hour-long documentary that takes a look at the secretive, highly profitable Watchtower Society from within. Ex-JWs and former members of the governing body reveal the Orwellian cult's dirty secrets--among them, an Elmer Gantry-like leader who ruled from 1917 into the 1940s from a princely estate in San Diego, and the continual, embarrassing resetting of the date at which Armageddon is supposed to occur, according to the Watchtower Society. Most heartbreaking is the way this organization, which claims to "bring families together", actually drives people apart, by encouraging them to shun unbelievers, the apostates and the disfellowshipped, even among their own blood relatives.

And of course, speaking of blood, there's that insanity about transfusions...which, should any JW disobey, becomes immediately and hideously clear. Calling down hateful death wishes upon the disobedient over a simple, life-saving procedure is highly unchristian, but it's exactly the sort of thing one can expect from the brainwashed members of this cult--or any other right-wing cult, come to that. For an organization that makes much of the suffering, persecution and martyrdom of its members, the Watchtower Society does shockingly little--often nothing--to protect them, and indeed, it shoves them into harm's way quite deliberately, exposing them to all manner of scorn, ridicule, strife, and even grave physical danger. And all this in the name of God's love...

The style of this documentary is very dated and wooden, with a lot of cartoons eerily reminiscent of Jack Chick tracts; it's aimed predominantly at Christian ex-JWs, with a view to religious conversion. Nevertheless, the history and the facts it presents speak for themselves. (You may smile, as I did, when you see the part about how the JWs used to picket outside of churches, claiming that religion was a racket. Their own, of course, was excluded from that designation!)

I would also encourage you to read James Kostelniuk's book, Wolves Among Sheep, which details how the Watchtower Society broke up his own family, and indirectly caused the murder of his first wife, Kim, who divorced him and drove a wedge between him and their two children (who were also murdered) for not being faithful and unquestioning enough. It, too, goes into intimate detail about the shocking hypocrisy of the Watchtower Society and its absolute control over every detail of the lives of its "other sheep".

It is truly worth asking oneself whether any god worth worshipping would demand that his followers turn themselves inside out for an organization which purports to be God's intermediary on Earth, but seems clearly more bent on turning it into a living hell for its faithful.

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