Going to the Public Talk

Unfortunately, “Public Talks” do not really live up to their name. Very few, if any, strangers or neighbors will just walk in and attend a meeting. Except for a few special occasions, Jehovah’s Witnesses rarely pass out handbills for these 30-minute time wasters. Infrequently there will be a special “public talk” advertised  (as happened in 2011 after the April 17th Memorial Celebration), but these “public talks” are still directed to the brothers – not to non-Witnesses. In fact, if strangers happen to walk into a Kingdom Hall just out of curiosity to sit and listen, the odds are high that the brothers will look at them suspiciously as potential “troublemakers” or “apostates.” Most assuredly, someone (probably an elder) will greet them and then stay close to them throughout the entire session – just in case…

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A Young Man’s Decision

Part 1 of Mad Sweeney’s two part series on ‘The Watchtower, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Education.” Although this article is a fictional recreation of many real life stories, it is accurate in its details about the decisions that many young JWs were forced to make in the years prior to 1975.

Would they continue their education, learn a profession or technical skill and prepare for the rest of their lives? Or would they follow the Watchtower’s advice and prepare for Armageddon? For many older JWs, the choices that they made between 1968 and 1975 have forever established their adult lifestyles – many living on the edge with limited resources, no medical insurance, and few retirement funds.

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Hard Knocks

It happened over sixty years ago. And still, I hear those booming knocks at my front door. They weren’t ordinary knocks, as they set in motion a series of events that dramatically altered the rest of my life.

Before taking my afternoon naps, Mama would read a story from my favorite comic book. Her animated delivery of Little Lulu’s adventures, finagling her way into the boys-only club or Lulu’s imaginary tales of Old Witch Hazel was the best part of my nap time routine. On one particular day, I was awake in bed for a long time, thinking about Lulu and how she had out foxed Tubby and Iggy into getting them to admit her into their exclusive club.

I had just fallen asleep when I heard a hard “knock, knock, knock” at the front door. Knocks so loud, I heard them clearly from the far back bedroom of our newly built bungalow-style home in West Los Angeles. It was November 1947,

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Crisis of Conscience – review

By The Editor First written in 1983, and then updated in 1992, 1999, and 2002, Raymond Franz’s Crisis of Conscience has become THE CLASSIC Jehovah’s Witness autobiography. Ray was the nephew of the Watchtower Society’s chief Bible translator, ghost writer, and prophet, Frederick Franz. Ray was (along with his uncle) an original member of the reconstituted and re-purposed Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Crisis of Conscience was first released in 1983, just three years after Ray Franz found himself on the Watchtower Society’s very short “hit list” – and after he was declared to be an “apostate” and “trouble-maker.” When he voluntarily took a leave of absence from his assignment and left his residence at the Society’s Brooklyn Bethel complex, his peers put him on trial in abstentia in what was essentially a “kangaroo court.” Those “holy men” declared Ray “guilty” and later announced that he’d been “disfellowshipped as one … Continue reading