Introducing “InsidetheWatchtower.com”

Effective August 1, 2011 this new non-profit and non-sectarian website is online and freely available to anyone who has an interest in or cares about Jehovah’s Witnesses: InsidetheWatchtower.com The Watchtower Society traces its roots back to the mid-19th and early-20th century International Bible Students, led by the charismatic prophet and founder, Charles Taze Russell. Between 1916 and 1942, the Watchtower was redefined, reorganized, its followers renamed, and its teachings revised by Russell’s successor, “Judge” Joseph F. Rutherford. There are dozens of websites dedicated to discussions and debates about the Watchtower’s history, its peculiar religious teachings, and its unique brand of “theocracy.” On the other hand, this site intends to take a different approach to the subject by looking at Jehovah’s Witnesses from the “inside,” rather than criticizing them from the point of view of outsiders. Some websites are very supportive and lavish in their praise of the Witnesses, while others … Continue reading

How Witnesses Study the Bible

I was barely 8 years old when my mother allowed a nice Jehovah’s Witness “sister” to come into our home. Shortly afterwards Mom decided to accept the lady’s offer for a “free weekly Bible study.” I realized later that because the “sister” seemed very sweet and sincere, she could easily charm my Catholic mother in practiced ways that quickly overwhelmed any objections. She was even able to convince my mother that a Bible study “would be good for your young son.” For the next couple of months that sweet JW sister studied with both my mother and me for one hour each week. We’d open our Bible a few times, but most of our time in “Bible study” was spent reading paragraphs from a green book entitled “Let God Be True.” Initially, I looked forward to quietly sitting in on the study with my mother and the friendly lady. Even … Continue reading

My Jehovah’s Witness Childhood

Growing up as an active Jehovah’s Witness in the 1950s and 1960s wasn’t easy – and at times it was downright embarrassing. I just wanted to be a normal kid, doing what most little boys did back in the “Eisenhower Era” of the Fabulous Fifties. Unfortunately, the reality of being a member of a JW family also meant that I led a life that was quite different from most kids my age. I’m not sure how I did it, but somehow I managed to get through my teens without too much trauma, but for me it was still very hard dealing with bullies (and even teachers) who looked at me as being some kind of a freak. Besides school, every single week, sick or well, I spent three nights in meetings at the Kingdom Hall. I also spent two hours every Saturday and Sunday morning in the door-to-door field service … Continue reading