Venus Williams ESPN Nude Religious Controversy

    June 24, 2014
    Mike Tuttle
    Comments are off for this post.

Venus Williams is posing nude for the 2014 issue of ESPN Body. Usually an announcement like that would be pretty normal fare when it comes to sports celebrities. Williams joins dozens of other sports stars who have posed nude or semi-nude for the annual magazine, out since 2009.

But Venus Williams’ appearance in the buff may warrant a closer look. The very first edition of Body, in 2009, featured her sister Serena, also nude. All the nudes for Body magazine are tastefully done. But the Williams sisters are raising eyebrows for their appearance for one simple reason.

The Williams sisters are Jehovah’s Witnesses. To anyone familiar with the Witness belief structure, this will cause some raised eyebrows. Jehovah’s Witnesses have a strict in-house judicial structure that would bring sanctions, including expulsion and shunning, down upon rank and file members who did something like pose nude for a magazine.

But Venus Williams doesn’t seem concerned. In fact, in this video feature about the nude appearance, she even mentions how her spirituality helps her in her life. She does not mention Jehovah’s Witnesses by name, but that is her affiliation.

Williams has also spoken in interviews in the past about her sex life. But she is unmarried. This is also something that would ordinarily result in the expulsion of a Witness member.

Are the Witnesses giving celebrities like Venus and Serena Williams a pass for their infractions? The answer may lie in how the Jehovah’s Witness structure works.

The Witnesses were formed in Pennsylvania in the late 1800’s by a religious writer named Charles Russell. He wrote books that claimed to interpret prophetic passages in the Bible, including using occult pyramidology practices in combination with Bible verses to predict the future.

Russell recruited people from among his readers into study groups and organized them into sales teams to promote his books. To this day, individual members of Jehovah’s Witnesses are still called “publishers”, hearkening back to this setup.

When Russell died, a large organization called the Watchtower Society continued to handle distribution of his many books, magazines, and tracts. The group used volunteer labor from among the faithful to do the printing, and still do to this day.

The company elected a new president who changed many things about the fledgling religion, including doing away with birthday celebrations, holidays, voting and military service, and instituting a top-down authority structure that still exists. Many people left. But the group survived, and that is what Jehovah’s Witnesses are today.

But one tenet of the Witness faith that comes to bear in the Williams sisters’ situation is that Witnesses are only beholden to the Watchtower organization once they have been baptized into the church. At the baptism ceremony, they vow loyalty to the Governing Body of the corporation.

The Witness Governing Body is a council of seven men who rule from Witness Headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. This Governing Body is the source of all doctrine and judicial direction for the church. Its members are appointed for life, though three men have resigned over the years, some of whom went on to write tell-all books about the secret meetings of the council.

Apparently, the Williams sisters, although they self-identify as Jehovah’s Witnesses, have never been baptized. Therefore, they are not, technically, members. And, therefore can not be put out according to traditional Witness judicial procedures.

So, Venus and Serena Williams are free to do whatever they like, just like the rest of the world. And they can claim to be Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many Witnesses like to point out that they count the Williams sisters among their number, as well as other celebs like Prince, bassist Larry Graham, and singer/guitarist George Benson.

But the Williams have a loophole.

Image via YouTube

  • Jah

    They are a cult. Jwfacts.com

  • Alex

    The Watchtower Organization really is only a few older men who call themselves the ‘Governing Body’ at term not found in the bible.
    These low profile leaders control all 8 million members lives when it comes to matters relating to the religion. They can not be challenged and if you do then you will be kicked out and shunned for life.
    These Governing Body members claim God only communicates to the billions on earth via themselves.

    This is very much a high control group.

  • JWNikki

    All of this information is false on JWs. You should get ur facts straight before printing lies. We are not a cult. A cult forces people to stay in. We do what we do willingly out of love for God and his son Jesus Christ. No we wouldnt approve of the Williams sisters posing nude and if they were true witnesses they wouldnt want to. We follow the Bible strictly,. It’s so sad that people print these lies to try and turn peoole against us.

    • Claire Alvi

      Nikki, I don’t know if you’re baptized or not, but let’s say you posed for a picture like they did, how long before you’re in the back room for a little discussion with the Elders? And you know that would happen. (and please don’t harp on the point that you would never pose nude, I’m just using you as as a faithful JW as an example)

    • Ex-Bethelite

      This reminds me of the Michael Jackson flap. When I was in Brooklyn Bethel, to spice up the day, we’d simply say “brother michael” and those who thought he received favorable treatment would argue with those who were convinced the local elders had it under control. A joke and who, but ex-JWs (more, i believe, number more than current JWs) really give a rat’s butt?

      They are certainly a deluded, comical group. I spent years rubbing elbows with their “leaders”…. it embarrasses me to think of my self-aggrandizing delusions at the time I enjoyed the privilege of service at Brooklyn. “The Truth,” indeed.

      A joke on a small scale…except to those trapped…and those like sister nikki who don’t even know they’re trapped.

    • VinnyT

      It IS a cult.

      JW’s (including their own little children) are told they cannot take blood transfusions in situations where they might need one, such as through accidents or complications with surgery, pregnancy or child birth etc.

      So, naturally, more JW’s will DIE.

      Just like this mother died unnecessarily!


      And now her husband has no wife and her two new twins have no mother.

      And all for what?

      Or this teenager that also DIED:


      This is very simple. JW’s NEEDLESSLY die for this sorry blood policy today.

      From the same organization that has an entire 100 + year history of similar bad and embarrasing policies.

      Please read my own detailed examinations about the JW blood policy. As a 15 year active and Zealous person for Jehovah (and elder) here is my own story:


      And an even more comprehensive list of reasons why the JW blood policy is just plain wrong, written afterwards:


      So in summary then, when I add up all of the facts:

      That blood transfusions are not the same as eating blood.

      That Jesus himself clearly emphasized the value and importance of “MERCY” and “LIFE” over the unnecessary “Sacrifice of Life” at Matthew 12:1-14

      That the scriptures themselves are always referring to the “Eating or Drinking” of ANIMAL blood that is forbidden (not transfusions).

      How Paul shows at 1 Corinthians. 8:4-8 that the Acts 15:29 command is not all encompassing command but had a particular purpose.

      That Saul’s men were not killed after eating blood.

      How the Strictest of Jews today (not allowing ANY BLOOD in their foods, demanding Kosher instead), DO Allow blood transfusions to be taken.

      That no other religion on earth forbids blood transfusions based on what the bible actually says.

      That Jesus clearly demonstrated how life (even that of an animal) was more important than a narrow, strict interpretation of the law, with the “animal that fell into a pit on the Sabbath” illustration he used, and the “Woman with a flow of blood” real-life example.

      How the one donating blood is a LIVE donor (not a dead animal) and offering this blood to another person that is ALSO alive and in need.

      That the Watchtower Society was COMPLETELY WRONG before about forbidding vaccinations and organ transplants for many years, and then actually REVERSED these decisions now allowing BOTH. Many loyal Witnesses nonetheless died from such stands coming down as ‘FOOD FROM GOD’. They were clearly wrong then and are wrong again.

      This is the SAME Watchtower Society that also predicted and announced IN WRITING that the end of the world would come on 1914, again 1925, would probably come in 1975, and also promised the end would come before the generation of 1914 passed away (even had it quoted in each Awake masthead before dropping it in 1995), stated it would come within the 20th century and even MORE. Jehovah’s Witnesses truly are know the world over for their false predictions.

      And, the Society has now changed its position on Blood ONCE AGAIN, instead of saying no to all blood, to now say “fractions” of blood are acceptable, even though the particular fractions approved and disapproved seem to have no particular rhyme or reason and we are still not allowed to donate blood nor store their own. Though they can use cow’s blood (Hemopure).

      It seems fairly easy for me then (and most open-minded think people), to come to the conclusion that they simply cannot support the JW position on blood transfusions.

      Did ((( GOD ))) make all of these terrible decisions to force on all the JW’s as “food at the proper time”, and then change his mind later on?

      Or was is just a bunch of MEN, that make up the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses (sitting up in some Brooklyn office somewhere) making these poor decisions, FORCING them on all JW’s and then afterwards conveniently change their mind?

      Which is why I simply left the religion.

      And now, because I walked away, they all are demanded to shun you for life (including your own family).


      Which is why if I can help some honest hearted people by sharing my own story, it truly is a worthwhile thing to do.

      Please examine, examine, examine and ask as many questions like this as you can!


    • warranpiece

      With respect Nikki, and acknowledging that the article above is not 100% sound or uses the language JW’s use, many JW’s are in fact forced to stay “in”. I was baptized when I was 12. Now at 30, I no longer believe the governing body is being used by God. In fact, the amount of error, the doctrine of blood, and so many more things, actually make me think their control of doctrine is dangerous. But…..what do i do? If I speak to the elders unless I come to the conclusion they are right and I recant, I have outed myself as no longer believing in the slave. That makes you an apostate and disfellowshipped.

      So when someone hold all of your relationships over you, and then tells those people if they CHOOSE to associate with you, then they too will be disfellowshipped……then you are in fact forcing people to stay in. I wouldn’t call it a cult……but then what is it?

    • Bill Benson

      Can I leave without any repercussions?

    • http://xxx.com/ Frank R Nicholas

      Check this out http://thirdwitness.com/

    • Bill Benson

      WTS does force people to stay in, because if they choose to leave they will be shunned by family and friends for the rest of their lives. That is the definition of force.

  • VinnyT

    JWs love themselves because they think God chose only them.

    It’s true, most Poor JW’s here think that JW’s are God’s “chosen ones” on earth today.

    But just open your eyes JWs and see the real truth here.


    Yep, JWs they own that list FOR LIFE!

    All from their own literature. Read for yourself.

    Instead of God’s channel exclusively, as JWs says, they are the owner of THAT SORRY LIST– “EXCLUSIVELY”!!!!.


    As a “COLLECTIVE GROUP” the Governing Body (JW leaders) met together and prayed over many things THAT PROVED BAD NEWS AND EMBARRASSMENTS AND EVEN CAUSED MANY JW’S ((((( TO DIE ))))).

    As a “COLLECTIVE GROUP” they had to DROP, REVERSE, CHANGE-UP ON AND APOLOGIZE FOR many sorry teachings and beliefs that should never have been forced on porr little JW’s that blindly followed this same collective group.

    Nobody buys this kind of nonsense when seeing the entire picture here.

    You see (as has been posted too many times to remember now) PEOPLE–(((INDIVIDUALLY)))– do make mistakes.

    Even bible writers, apostles and prophets make personal mistakes.

    But COLLECTIVELY–(AS A GROUP OF WRITINGS)– many people say the bible writings are directed by God.

    The bible writers also say this about their writings.

    Which is why the bible is not just “some good book”, and nothing more to most people. But is instead followed and applied in life because many people say bible writers get things RIGHT ALL THE TIME.

    You see WT world also has individuals that make mistakes personally. I have no problems with this. Even GB members will fall very short. That’s life!

    But you see folks, there is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between making mistakes personally, and then publishing mistakes COLLECTIVELY AS A UNIFIED BODY.

    When the Governing Body meets ((((( COLLECTIVELY AS A BODY )))) —









    JW’s have lost on this thread once again.

    They all get embarrassed even trying to defend all this WT humiliation.

    Take another LOOK:


    So folks let’s all do a little math JW style!

    1- According to JW’s, “God’s spirit” is with the JW’s while they make decisions based on God’s infallible word.

    2- Those decisions are wrong again and again and again. Proving embarrassing mistakes for WT world, causing people to lose out on many things like buying homes, getting education, not having families, kids, pets, not being of 144,00, and more. Those decisions led by the same “God’s spirit” also cause some JW’s to (((DIE))) and to go (((TO PRISON))) for no reason for many years including RIGHT NOW.

    You see 1914 came and went.

    1925 came and went.

    Beth Sarim (was huge WT embarrassment) and came and went.

    1975 came and went.

    The generation of 1914 came and went.

    The 20th century came and went.

    Vaccinations stomped out polio, diptheria, tetanus, flu, cholera, measles, mumps, yellow fever, rubella and more.

    Organ transplants were never the same as “cannibalism” as Wt land stated and have saved or extended hundreds of thousands of lives.

    Many times dropped doctrinal understanding has been brought back.

    That aint not “light getting brighter” folks.

    That’s called (((BLINKING LIGHTS))).

    You see this is why JW’s are fighting a losing battle. The WT was never God’s anything. One look at the whole picture proves this without a doubt to any rational mind.

    But change is tough for some. It is not easy to see the truth for some JW’s.

    • dboy17

      You make no sense what so ever … What other religion is preaching throughout all the world, what other religion has gotten to where we are, what other religion preaches and prays the most?? None other religion … It shows that we have the holy spirit.

      • VinnyT

        Get you head out of the sand. I quoted EXACT DETAILS.

        And learn to spell while you’re at it.

        Let me know if you want to chat on the phone or email. I was an elder and now am FREE. I still walk with God every day.

        But JWs are NOT what they say about themselves. That’s why I left. My story is posted here:


  • Denis van Paassen

    Prince, bassist Larry Graham, and singer/guitarist George Benson are baptised

  • Kelley

    The author of this article, Mike Tuttle has a long history of following and speaking against Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Here is just one example of his aversion on Quora:

    The article has contradicted itself, once saying they are baptized Witnesses and then later saying they are not. (Maybe he will correct this.) Since the Williams Sisters are not baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses as the article clearly states they are not obligated to adhere to all the tenets in the Bible.

    No loophole exists.

    I am glad they acknowledge Jehovah as the Creator and seek his spiritual guidance.

    People should be allowed to worship God in the way they wish without being hated and this includes Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of religion for all but it is unable to affect the ill feelings that dwell in the hearts of men.


    • warranpiece

      Kelly that isn’t 100% true. While the article is written by someone not a JW, I think Malo’s comment below is very important. Semantics come into play in regards to how you view something, vs how those outside of the culture view it. I think most people don’t care about Venus and Serenas religion. My friends in the JW black community certainly think of them, Bros Benson and Ghrahm, and prince…..as their own. You can bet that.

      You bring up the first ammendment. That freedom should allow you to join, participate, and LEAVE a religion freely. But you know that when you are baptized, if you leave and no longer follow the religion and take part in any number of things you may not have an issue with anymore…blood transfusions, holidays, birthdays, etc… that you are subject to disfellowshipping and communal shunning. This is more of a violation of your basic human rights than anything else.

      In addition, if you disagree with the governing body respectfully, but publicly, you are up for charges of “apostasy”, and all of the hate speech that flies out of peoples mouths about people who have been tagged with that word.

      It has to flow both ways.

  • michaelgreene

    The facts are something this article has never come near. He closest we getting a few names correct. As for “celebrity” JWs, I read Prince no longer is one of us, by his choice. Some just cannot resist the pull of Satan’s system. As for the rest, no one really knows unless they are there with each one. Many are no longer Witnesses but spiritual Truths remain. These are hard Truths to unlearn. How would one no longer believe in gravity?

    The conduct as all of us see it, whether JW or not, appears to be conduct unbecoming a true Christian. Unless we are there though, we must not speculate as often that has the wrong results.

    I would not be speculating in saying this was very poor reporting. A microscopic bit of truth with a truck load of lies produces such garbage. Editors might want to ask what either stories have been so soddy in the research. It calls to question every article and story reported. To say this story smells offensive is to belittle rotting garbage. Over the years, I have read stories with a few wrong facts, but hardly ever an entire article.

    A similar one on TV was about a dozen years ago about a city worker hospitalized after being assaulted. I knew the psychotic personally, so I could identify shoddy effort in reporting that twisted every detail. After all the multi-thousands of reporting I have read and heard, is it not odd I remember the worst and not trusted anything that station said since? He simply did not desire to do any real work to verify anything and no one called him on it.

    • http://www.betterhappiness.com/ Marc

      michaelgreene, I agree the facts of the story may not be complete. But wouldn’t you agree there is at least some credulity to it? Though you say it’s full of lies, you haven’t articulated what those lies are. The statement of being baptized into the Governing Body is misleading as that is not the phraseology used by the organization. One is baptized in “association with God’s spirit-directed organization.” Taking those words at face value, people will argue what that really means of course. Those inside will hold one view, those outside another.

      It IS a fact that if a person associates with the congregation and is not baptized or does not publish, he or she is held to a lower standard than others. If the person becomes a non-baptized publisher the standard is raised, and a baptized publisher has an even higher standard to meet. It appears the writer is highlighting how the Williams sisters are held to a lower standard since they are not baptized and apparently, other than their public comments, are not publishers.

      That’s true as I know quite a few friends who walk the line between non-JW and JW conduct and often cross that conduct unbecoming a christian line. But for the fact they do not regularly associate or preach they are not dealt with by the congregation. To be fair, I don’t think they praise Jehovah in public as the Williams sisters do, but they come and go and associate freely when they want with no repercussions. One person told me its a gray area and he is using it as his loophole. Others do the same.

      We can argue ‘well,they are not true christians’, or ‘Jehovah will deal with it in his due time’, but that does not change the fact that it is occurring and is allowed to occur. Think of that the next time a disfellowshipped person comes to a meeting seeking forgiveness and you cannot talk to him or her while that person who lives in the gray area is shaking hands and receiving hugs because it’s been a while since they came to the KH.

      Just some food for thought.

      • Holy Aardvark

        The Williams sisters are not baptized, but many in their family are. They have been raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses, but have probably been counseled by their father to not get baptized because doing so will limit their careers. This way they can have it both ways – claim to be Jehovah’s Witnesses / not Jehovah’s Witnesses depending on their situation at any given time. My guess is that they will be baptized as soon as their careers end – unless they decide to go into some other form of entertainment.

        Several prominent entertainers are Jehovah’s Witnesses and find ways to both have active and profitable careers and remain JWs in good standing. Others are so far out (or have been) that they are constantly either being praised by their religious brothers or denigrated by them. Being “Prince” and a JW at the same time must be a terrific strain – as it was for Michael Jackson.

        It is the Watchtower’s own fault that many of these prominent entertainers often fall away. Some entertainers find themselves welcomed and accepted within JW congregations, while others, like Michael Jackson and the Williams sisters are often targets of gossips and over-eager elders who want to find reasons to trash their reputations. In the case of the Williams sisters, they give the gossips plenty to talk about.

        • michaelgreene

          First, no one is baptized into the Watchtower nor the Governing Body. We are baptized just as the Bible instructs. Dedicating our lives into Jehovah God’s service. Not to or for any human. We do the work laid out in the Bible to be done today. A once in human history educational work of teaching people real Bible Truths. Without the lies and paganism of the churches and clergies.

          Secondly, we could not care less if someone is famous or not. It never matters to Jehovah, so it does not matter to us. Mainly ones conduct does not either unless it is harmful to the congregation or individuals. As one begins to learn and understand what the Bible teaches, they began to ndertand too that changes need to be made in their lives. What is acceptable to the wicked world is unacceptable to Jehovah. He requires putting in the “new personality” as revealed at Ephesians 4:22-24. Going to the end if the chapter, Paul details what each persnaity traits are and why we must change.

          Before one an be baptized, one must show they have made changes to e acceptable to Jehovah. Jehovah takes such views seriously. It s not done FOR any human, but to Jehovah God, who we worship alone, as lead by Jesus in that worship.

          • Bill Benson

            The baptism does not, in any way, shape or form, say one is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as Jesus said. You know precisely what the questions are. which result in one being in a legally-binding contract with the billion-dollar publishing corporation,.

          • enlightened

            You have to agree at baptism to be controlled by Jehovah’s spirit directed organization. There is the problem.

          • http://www.betterhappiness.com/ Marc

            michaelgreene, I hear you but am curious about your objectivity here. In general, popularity is not endorsed but many witnesses are star-struck even within the ranks I recall being invited to a dinner party years back following a convention where Brother Jaracz, now deceased but then a member of the GB would be attending.

            It became all the buzz among the convention volunteers (only administrative level workers were invited to the dinner though) and brothers and sisters were congregating outside the hotel and restaurant just to try to meet him or talk with him. He literally had to be escorted into the dinner and out by attendants because of the rush of people.

            That’s just one example, but the same applies to all the GB, at least that I’ve seen. Among the ranks, the GB are famous and to say otherwise would be misleading. They are not worshipped, but they are indeed famous in that sense of adoration and of being celebrated.

            Not to belabor the point, but the dedication and baptism identify you as a witness in “association with” the organization – which means you are dedicating your life into God’s service only as it connects to the organization. If you were to try to serve Jehovah apart from the organization or on your own, no matter how good your intentions, you would be expelled. I’m not talking about going off to live a life of sin, I mean literally serving God one on one. You would be expelled.

            Take that for what its worth but compare that to the accounts in Mark 9:38-40 and Luke 9:49, 50 where while the Apostle John expresses concern, Jesus had no issue with another person doing the same work as his apostles, saying in essence if they are not against us they are for us.

            That may be an extreme example, but it is an example nonetheless of Jesus thinking, and by extension Jehovah’s thinking on the matter.

            It’s great to think we worship God on our own and have autonomy to do what we want. But try this. Next book study or Watchtower discussion – or any discussion, try to look around and see how many folks are speaking their own words based on their own independent study of the Bible. Not going to happen as we are told how to worship, when to worship, how long to worship, what to study for worship, what questions to ask during worship, how to answer that question during worship, how long the answer should be, etc.

            I quote you as stating “It s not done FOR any human, but to Jehovah God, who we worship alone, as lead by Jesus in that worship.”

            If we truly worship Jehovah alone as led by Jesus, then why is the way we worship completely controlled by an organization?

          • michaelgreene

            There are only 7 members of the GB. They do as all active JWs do in going out in the ministry each week. They are not rick stars, but are rare enough among 8 million Witnesses that it does cause a stir. Other organizations have the same thing sighting someone they likely will not see again.

            As for the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, we follow his perfect arrangement from Hebrews 10:25-26. To gather together to up build one another. Not, it says, as some have the custom of just
            meeting to sit for an hour or two then go away. Rather it is to be as Psalms 133:1 states how good it u for the whole ASSOCIATION of brothers.

          • http://www.betterhappiness.com/ Marc

            True, the GB are a limited number and I understand your point. And yes, it is scriptural to meet to encourage and build each other up in our faith. The context of the arrangement in Hebrews is contrasting meeting together to build up versus not meeting at all – as some have the custom.

            However, witness worship is quite scripted from the meetings to the ministry. And while it is encouraging because of a shared faith you must agree everything is laid out as to what and how things should be said.

            Why is that? And is it really needed?

            There is freeness of speech and extemporaneous thought allowed within the prescribed dialogue but if we step outside that dialogue and create our own it will cause concern. If we are comfortable in that prescribed zone of dialogue, fine. However, others aren’t. There is no shame is acknowledging what is true. It is what it is.

            If you tell me when to do something; how many times to do it; what to say when I speak about it, what to read, etc. you are perhaps my mentor and my teacher. However, if I don’t do or read what you say or do so when you say I should and you then question my loyalty to you, then what are you to me? My teacher or my master?

            Jesus questioned his disciples loyalty at times. However, he was and is the Master. When at baptism one dedicates themselves to God “in association with God’s spirit-directed organization”, it is a request for loyalty to God AND the organization together by the simple use of the phrase “in association with”. It is what it is.

  • Richard Baker

    Check out their abuse record –worse than any catholic –but you dont see any “news” on them —from a dissfellowshiped menber —

  • Richard Baker

    And they–these so called JW’s are most likely giving the Watchtower LOTS of money just to look the other way — all about the money

    • michaelgreene

      Not at all. No one knows who gives what or how much. There are contribution boxes in the back of every Kingdom Hall. No one can see what someone puts in, if anything. Unlike the churches f Christendom making a big show always with their hands out and IPhone app to take credit cards. Wanting cash for everything the clergy does.

      We never do that. Yet all of each months bills are met. There may be a few who are wealthy from outside sources, but no one will get rich as one of us. Each of us pays for going to meet people in their homes. Teaching them about the Bible. Those are expenses each of us makes. You know gas is expensive. We view it as part of our contribution to do Jehovah’s will of Matt. 28:19-20 in preaching and MAINLY teaching others.

      There is where it speaks on baptism. But WE ARE baptized in the name if God, Christ and holy spirit. How? Before being baptized it is necessary to understand who, what, where and how about all there. Jehovah never wants worshipers who are ignorant of who and why they worship.

      How unlike the clergies, who do not care about any knowledge abut worship. They baptize infants just for extra money. Infants know nor understand anything. He can they make such an important dedication?

      • Cookie Havoc

        JW’s don’t have their hands out huh? Are there not ATM machines at assemblies now? How about the purge of excess money over $5K that the GB has DEMANDED from each congregation, along with never-ending mortgage payments (from somehow ‘forgiven’ mortgages)? It seems that the organization is very money-driven, even hovering over the vulnerable elderly to guarantee themselves to be named in any will or estate that may be left behind. All of this done while manipulating the minds of believers to think that handing over their hard-earned money for a better chance of being resurrected into a paradise that will never come.

        Their treatment of people is horrible. The number of deaths from suicide because of an evil shunning practice is blood on each JW’s hands. Dividing parents from children and grandchildren, children from parents and siblings, etc is an insidious violation of basic human rights. This is nothing but mental and emotional blackmail all in the name of keeping congregations ‘clean’ but really is just a severe form of information control.

        They will latch on the the likes of the Williams sisters just to keep some celebrity bragging rights. As the sisters run around ‘worldly’ sporting events wearing the American flag on their shoulders praising their god, they are spitting in the face of honest, good people who simply disagree with the constant flip-flopping of doctrines and pedophile cover-ups (joining the UN – the beast – is ok as long as no one knows about it……).

        This cult is bleeding members rapidly due to a mass awakening to the truth about the ‘truth.’ They force and praise baptisms of young children who are signing a lifetime contract with a destructive cult and don’t even realize it just to keep their numbers.

        I would think twice before elevating your ‘religion’ over the Catholic church Mr. Greene.

        • michaelgreene

          It never fails to amaze me when you and those like yoiu take anything, noit even related to us, to twist it against our faith. Your ATMs comment for one. At assemblies, ATMs were there long before we came and long after. They are part of the venue, not from us. You appear brain dead with comments like that.

          It is not that Jehovah chose us as much as we all chose Jehovah God. His standards have remained in the Bible for 3500 years. Instead of just glancing at them and dreaming up our iwn ideas or more often, stealing them from pagans as most so called Christian religions have done, we studied the Bible to find out what Jehovah expects of his people.

          This is unique as only one other group has done this. 1st century true Christians. Although they had the privilege of having the writers there with them before the ink dried. They were taught the Hebrew Scriptures from an early age and had Jesus there to expand their understanding. They maintained pure clean worship of Jehovah, until the last of the 1st century when false teachers misleading people into pagan polluted worship came along. The 12 disciples had died out and could no longer throw those polluters out of the congregations. You advocate to keep those in to turn the cingregations into sewers

          • michaelgreene

            I don’t know the Williams sisters, nir do I follow tennis. So I cannot speak to their standing within the cingregation. But neither can you. No, we do not make the real mistake of elevating other humans to superior status as heroes or similar. The Bible warns against that for excellent reasons. You seem to want us to do so. Almost slobbering out of your mouth at the prospect. Sorry. Fact is there are too many who hang around on the edges. They know we have real Bible Truths, but they do njot want to commiut and make necessary changes in their lives. That is hazzardess to their lives. I heard today about helicopter pilots flying around Mt. St. Helens just before it blew. Loudspeakers attached warned those on the ground to mive to safety. They actually saw people laughing and throwing their hands in rejection of the warning. Some old people thought by living in homes for 50 years made them safe. All were buried under 50 feet of molten lava. None of that worked.

            Yes, we are all imperfect. Becoming one of JWs does not change that. A few mess up worse than others. Some if those must be thrown out. There is good provision, once they repent sincerely of being wrong, to return to Jehovah’s organization. But only while there is safe times. One thing you avoid is that since so very few know the details, no one gossips about what one dud to get kicked out. Upon returning, there is no resentment in welcoming them back. That outweighs other things.

          • Richard Baker

            Where did you learn to speak English? I hope you are getting a G on you card.

        • Richard Baker

          Well said Cookie Havoc sounds like you too have had dealing with the JW’s — My father dare i say dad was a CO. They (JW’s ) have destroyed my family. I now have a new family I am a KC 4 degree HA.

      • Richard Baker

        I am repling to your post only because i have made it my mission to inform all who ask what are the JW’s. I was a JW for many years my Father was a CO in Houston,so i KNOW how things run behind the meetings. Money IS a big thing how else do you count for them owning most of NY and what about that big farm ?? I think it was said that if you want to go out after sports or other things like that then you were not giving your whole heart to Jehovah. Remember this Serving two Gods ?? sports and the kingdom ?? they should be disfellowshiped — but wait NEW FLASH the sister just amidted they are not baptised — what you know about that ??

        • michaelgreene

          There is a very nice atricle at BBC.com/news/magazine about a new area for the UK of spreading accurate knowledge around by a small table/display in high foot traffic areas. I bring this up because of the volume, the shear mass, of literature being given away freely. That is where a large part of the money goes. Disasters are climbing and JW relief trucks are usually the first ones there. The volunteers help those in the faith with us first. Then it is not unusual to replace a roof on a neighbors homes. So you say your Dad was a CO? Did you or he get rich from the ministry? No! Well why not if monery is so importasnt in your eyes? The way you write, everyone ius rich from the minusdtrty. I am certainly not by any imagination stretch. None of the Governing Body is rich either. They get a small allowance as does all at Bethel and the publishing operation. The money is respected, as it is meant for advancements in the preaching and teaching work to the service of Jehovah. This is just the yip of what we do. Although our main focus is on the ministry to help people underrstsnd the Bible properly.

          • borgfree

            This is so deceptive. Jehovah’s witnesses become so used to using deception that I am not sure they even realize they are doing it.

            I will not dissect each deception above, I will just point out One, this time.

            During most of the history of Jehovah’s witnesses, the literature was “placed” with people at “the cost of printing” (yeah, right) Then, when faced with the possibility of being taxed on those “placements” (sales) the Watchtower printing corporation came up with a “brilliant” idea, Now, when the volunteer salesperson,…er…”publisher” picks up literature from the “literature counter”, where there is a very convenient “contribution box” (and everyone can check to see if you “contribute” for that literature) the JW “contributes for the literature they get (Watchtower Society gets payment at this point).

            Now the volunteer JW goes to the doors in their assigned territory where they offer the literature to the people, sometimes with the suggestion that the people “contribute” toward the work of the JWs, sometimes the people just feel obligated to “contribute” for the literature they accept.

            Now, guess what happens to that money “contributed”?, well,…of course,…that is a “contribution” for all the good work the Watchtower printing company does, so,… that money must Also, be given to the Watchtower Printing Corporation. Wow!!!

            The poor volunteer gives their money, transportation costs, time, and energy to distributing the Watchtower publications, but, the Watchtower Corp. gets paid,…Twice!!

            Now, tell us again,…what was that about “given away freely”???

  • borgfree

    After now being out of the WT organization for over 20 years, I really find the comments of Jehovah’s witnesses on these sites disgusting and sickening, they always shout LIES!, LIES!, LIES, but it is NOT lies. The JWs, even one one this site, split hairs, just because something is written a little differently than a JW is used to, coming from the Watchtower printing corporation, they think they are justified in shouting LIES! Well JWS, I have news for you, You, JWs, are the liars, You are the deceivers, You JWs, are the ones doing the will of Satan, you are just too blind and/or under mind control to recognize it.

  • JWalmighty

    No one obligates anyone to do anything not even Gb of J W all I can say is we all have to stand in front of the Almighty creator Jehovah and answer for what we have done and not done. We JWs live life loving our creator and his son and we know we have the truth look at the world and its condition as brought out 2Tim 3:1-7 “always llearning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truths.” Yes in a wicked world it takes encouragement from one another to stay on the narrow road to salvation. So witnesses stick out like a sore thumb tolorating humilation, even violent acts on some of us. No one governs us to do that is our sincere love for our creator and for his son Jesus Christ. Are there bad JWs ? Absolutely they fall short as inperfect humans that everyone in this universe are. Thats why they are counseled and in hope that they turn around and get to a good standing with our CREATOR. When we do things contrary to bible counsel we create an arena of spectators to finger point and mock the name of our Creator and its his name being slandered cause we carry it JEHOVAH., because many are waiting to do exactly what is being done in these comments. I myself fail because I hate when people talk non facts about Jws you claim all these positions you once had as a JW your hatred and abuse speech speaks for itself on why your not one today and it makes me want to get down to your level, but am not gonna give you what you want. I really am gonna leave it there and I really dont care how many negative comments you write after reading my post. You get your say now all of you and at the end Jehovah and his son Jesus Christ will have the closing of all arguments and NO ONE will be able to stop it. Read your bibles everyone and learn and dont fall to what 2 Tim 3:7 says. If hatred is all you have for any humanbeing obviously your not even good in your own faith because GOD is LOVE. Shame on those who profess christanity and all that comes from that sharp tongue is hatred for your fellow man. Am not anyones judge but neither are you.

    • borgfree

      You, JWalmighty, are a prime example, thanks for showing everyone how closed minded and smug you and other JWs are. You also project, I know, you will need to look that up as I am sure you have not heard of it in your Watchtower publications. Lets take, for example your quote: “2Tim 3:1-7 “always llearning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truths.”” Who more does that quote fit than Jehovah’s witnesses? You are constantly studying Watchtower publications trying to come to an “accurate knowledge”, but, as my Lord and Savior Jesus said,: ”

      John 5:39-42

      Amplified Bible (AMP)

      “39 You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! 40 And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life.

      41 I receive not glory from men [I crave no human honor, I look for no mortal fame],

      42 But I know you and recognize and understand that you have not the love of God in you.”

      You, JWalmighty, talk about it “taking encouragement” to stay on “the narrow road” What narrow road? Well, you and I both know the answer to that! That would be the “narrow road” of Watchtower teachings. You, and all JWs are following men, not God!

      You talk about “tolorating humilation” and other persecutions as though that is a sign you have “the truth” How, by the way do you treat those who have chosen to leave the organization of Jehovah’ witnesses? Well, I am here to enlighten you and others, being, as I am, the recipient of Jehovah’s witnesses persecution and hatred. YES, hatred! And I can quote your own literature telling you to HATE those who have left your organization.

      There are now more ex-Jehovah’s witnesses than there are current Jehovah’s witnesses, we ALL can testify about the hatred and persecution we endure from Jehovah’s witnesses, including our own children, grand-children, fathers, mothers, and all other family members. You, JWalmighty, who, no doubt, consider THAT conduct, Christian. Christian? Please tell me whom Jesus treated in that manner?

      Jehovah’s witnesses try hard to get as much good publicity as possible, including newspaper articles, radio, tv, and every other form. They, you, proclaim how good JWs are and how well you and your children behave, you pay your taxes, you obey the laws, etc., etc. BUT, when someone points out the dents in your armor, you scream persecution! and run off to your organization, elders, bros. and sises, etc. for encouragement, they of course will prop up your bruised ego and enforce your, now weakened faith, in your glorious organization.

      Well, JWalmighty, despite your hit and run posting, I suspect your ego will force you to return to see how someone might respond to your post, So,… I will end with this. Search for Real truth, you will find that Nowhere else than in the One who said: “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life”

      My prayers are for you, all my JW family and all Jehovah’s witnesses to overcome the mind-control you are victim to and find the Real Jesus Christ.

  • Squiggle

    Mike Tuttle you should be ashamed of yourself for getting so many of your “facts” wrong. Next time do some actual fact checking rather than reading whatver turns up in google from the various anti-Witness hate sites.

    • borgfree

      If you are so concerned about only publishing “facts” start at Home, that would be Watchtower literature.

      • borgfree

        Tthat should have been directed to Squiggle.

  • Alex

    Maybe The Watchtower and Awake can have centerfolds so people don’t just throw them away. First contributor….you know who!

  • arauna palm

    Been a journalist in my salad days. Sad to say, the standard of journalism is shocking these days. Mr. Tuttle’s research (if any was done) is superficial and inaccurate. His writing reminds me of the tabloids which are forever making up lies to sell their magazines on a sensation angle.

    This kind of writer is aware that the victim does not want to waste time to take them to court. Fortunately, only the really gullible person believes this kind of spin. I suggest that your future readers do some research for themselves and do not believe anything you write about in future – whatever the subject.

    • borgfree

      Again, a witness projecting. You should know, (if not then maybe it is time for you to be “Awake”) that the Watchtower printing and propaganda corporation has been very quick to close down several websites for quoting Watchtower literature, so,… your comment that “the victim does not want to waste time to take them to court” is a deception, at best.

      The Watchtower, aka Jehovah’s witnesses will rapidly bring lawsuits when they think they have a chance of winning. They, and you, know they, you, cannot prove any claimed (by you) lies.

      • arauna palm

        My comments were directed to the writer of the article. You have not kept to the subject discussed in the article but have been spewing unrelated hatred which comes across as unreasonable and highly emotional.
        I have also studied history for many years (ancient and modern). I know the facts and wish to stick to the facts. I am not prepared to comment on highly charged emotional accusations that seem to stem from your own ‘perceived’ experience.

        • borgfree

          You are not, really, “prepared” to comment on anything.

  • http://xxx.com/ Frank R Nicholas

    The facts are here JW.org

    • borgfree

      By all means, visit the JW.org site, but, when you find controversial information, check the sources, check what Christian literature has to say about the subject, check any quotes given by the Watchtower corp. (sometimes the full quote says the opposite of what the Watchtower is claiming) do what Jehovah’s witnesses claim to do but do not practice;

      2 Timothy 2:15Amplified Bible (AMP)

      15 Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

      • Lee

        People always claim contradictions in the JW organization but never provide any proof….

      • http://xxx.com/ Frank R Nicholas

        The facts are here JW.org

        • borgfree

          Well, in the 54 years I spent following the teachings of Jehovah’s witnesses, “The facts” kept changing, constantly!

  • ryantroypayton3

    This article speaks lies. We do not vow loyalty to the Governing Body. We dedicate our lives to our God Jehovah is names in the Bible. Too bad so many religions allow their religious leaders to remove the name of the Supreme Being. Baptism is our dedication to loyally study and “make sure of all things written in the Bible” so that our command by Jesus to share the “good news of the Kingdom” is done in an honest way. Remember, the road to destruction is broad and spacious, but the road to life is cramped and few find it! Everyone believes their religion is right. But, we encourage people to READ their Bible and base the beliefs that they have on facts, not on something someone, not God, imbedded in their minds. We research from Hebrew & Aramaic to English and Greek to English and read translations of all Bibles and do not rely on interpretations. We openly go door to door as Jesus told us to do in the Bible and refer to ourselves as Witnesses as Jehovah God called us when he said You are my witnesses….If you don’t talk to people about the Bible, then what are you a witness to….yourself? Now that is ridiculous. So, pay attention to what you learn for the devil turns himself into an angel of light and has great anger waiting to devour. Reading the Bible and gaining accurate knowledge is a life-saving way of life if you life it. Hard in this world full of corruption, immorality, death, wars, etc.
    As the song by Pink Flloyd went….You are all comfortably numb…Yes, I do know worldly songs…I was not always a witness. Took me 10 years of trying to prove them wrong, to prove that they were right…

    • borgfree

      ryantroypayton3 says:

      “Too bad so many religions allow their religious leaders to remove the name of the Supreme Being.”

      Consider this scripture:

      Acts 4:12 (AMP)

      And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved.

      What Name would that be??

      The verse just before that tells us. Verse 11:

      11 This [Jesus] is the Stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which has become the Head of the corner [the Cornerstone].

  • Lee

    The governing body is the “Faithful and Discrete Slave” which IS in the bible. As far as being groups of salesmen for peddling JW literature then we are terrible at it since there is no charge for the information and make no money off of it. As far as disfellowshipping goes, once baptized you are making a vow or commitment to god to follow his ways. Depending upon what was done, your heart condition at the time and Jehovah god (that’s gods name in case some did not know. Go to your own bible for conformation) is what decides the course of what needs to be done. If there was no recourse for doing something bad then would we all not do bad all of the time? This is a loving provision set forth in the bible and is a small amount of time given us to reflect on gods word before being welcomed back in. The same bible people claim to live by used to stone people back in the day for committing serious sin so does this really seem that extreme? JW hold themselves to a high standard. Also no true JW has EVER said that they will be the only ones to make it to the end of this system of things, that’s up to god. As far as being his people, yes, we are. Once again as the bible states, Jehovah calls to him those he chooses. As far as the issue on blood, we are told not to consume it for it is sacred. It seems crazy to many but there are so many reasons why things are the way they are and its not always for us to ask. Again, as the bible states, the light is always getting brighter, revealing new truths. If you were told not to consume alcohol or you could die, would you think that it means only not to drink it or that you should not take it in in any form? Remember this means your life…. Also you might find this interesting – http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2013/07/12/july-12-2013-bloodless-surgeries/19167/

    I would encourage people to do their own research instead of just believing what random bloggers with their own agendas have to say. This will require effort to learn about the bible which sadly most do not take the time to do but according to John 17: 3 This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. If the bible says that in order to have everlasting life that you need to learn about god then one would think its time to start studying…….

    • borgfree

      The Bible doesn’t say to “learn about God”. This is the verse mentioned above, from the Amplified Bible:

      John 17:3

      3 And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.

      Notice also verses 1 and 2, just preceding the one above:

      When Jesus had spoken these things, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify and exalt and honor and magnify Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify and extol and honor and magnify You.

      2 [Just as] You have granted Him power and authority over all flesh (all humankind), [now glorify Him] so that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him.

      Notice Who gives eternal life. Just above this.

      Then, later in the chapter Jesus tells who He is talking about:

      20 Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,

      21 That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.

      22 I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one:

    • borgfree

      Lee says that “People always claim contradictions in the JW organization but never provide any proof…”

      I have seen such proof, I have read much proof, I can post Much proof…

      For a vast resource of such proof, see this site: http://www.jwfacts.com/

      There are many other sites like that one also.

    • http://www.betterhappiness.com/ Marc

      Lee, I would also encourage you to examine exactly what you know before writing. There are multiple misleading statements in your post. I’ll comment on some:

      1. The governing body is the “Faithful and Discrete Slave” which IS in the bible.

      No where does the Bible equate the governing body with the FS. If so, state the scripture(s).

      2. As far as disfellowshipping goes, once baptized you are making a vow or commitment to god to follow his ways.

      Your dedication before baptism is the vow. Baptism is a public declaration of such dedication. You would be following God’s ways before you are baptized.

      3. JW hold themselves to a high standard

      The standard is God’s word, are we holding to a standard higher than this? Otherwise, aren’t we simply adhering to the Bible’s standards?

      4. I would encourage people to do their own research instead of just believing what random bloggers with their own agendas have to say

      My assumption is you rely on “research” provided by the writing committee of the WT org and not your own research, which would in fact mean you have not done as you propose others do. And if you don’t personally know the writer, wouldn’t you be relying on a “random” writer?

      I’m just saying quit being so defensive and stick to the facts. Jehovah knows what the deal is and the fact is the WT org does not know it all. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be new light every other year on subjects which have been stated in the scriptures for eons now.

      And speaking of being stoned, don’t you recall Jesus reaction to that practice at John 8:7? So, yes disfellowshipping in the context of Jesus actions and words there does seem “so extreme”, particularly when you state on the one hand it’s loving and then with the other hand equate it to the non-christian practice of stoning someone to death (yes, that was pre-christian)

      Really bro?

  • http://xxx.com/ Frank R Nicholas
  • billy

    The William sisters are of the JW faith, like Hitler was a Catholic….just because you say you are one..does not make you one…And regarding the blood transfusions, this I believe is a command from God (acts 15:29) to abstain from Blood…
    How many mothers, send their children off to war, for what they believe in…never to return…what is the difference if you are standing up for what you believe in? War, or religion?
    I guess at the end of the day I would rather obey god…

    • borgfree

      Would your obedience “to God” be the same if you were reading Only the Bible? If not, then your obedience is really to an organization.

      The command you mention in Acts is not, of course, referring to a blood transfusion. You need to do far more research on that, and, I am not meaning to do more Watchtower research, obviously they have their agenda and will cling to it.

      • billy

        Of course it was not referring to a blood transfusion…they weren’t available then…but the sacredness of blood in the bible, is well known, and thus the reason for the command t abstain in many scriptures. Thus it still applies…What if you were an alcoholic…and the Dr said you were going to die if you drank anymore…would you take it via another method?
        And yes, I only read the bible, as many do..however I do refer to many study aids to help in the explanation of many issues. Perhaps you should do research on what the early Christians did…or did not do…which may be a lost guide today for many who through religions have deviated much from the Bible, its teachings, as well as what the early Christians did or did not do..

        • http://www.betterhappiness.com/ Marc

          Billy, if the sacredness of whole blood is the principle behind the mandate on transfusion, then why is it acceptable to exercise one’s conscience when it comes to the use of whole blood fractions?

          In the analogy of the alcoholic would you also imagine the person reasoning “Well, I can’t drink whole alcohol but it must be ok to drink the ethanol, water or flavor parts that make it up separately.” That’s basically the organization’s reasoning on whole blood versus fractions or blood expansion.

          Where does the mandate to simply “abstain from blood” really allow that type of reasoning? And, more important, what would that statement mean to the early Christians, at the time a newly formed mixture of cultures with differing views on blood and other things?

        • borgfree

          Ok, I checked. Do you follow this instruction given to God’s chosen people?

          Leviticus 3:17Amplified Bible (AMP)

          17 It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood.

          The study aids you refer to are solely the interpretation of the Watchtower Society, most, if not all, Christian religions do not agree with the WT interpretations.

          I say, with great confidence, that I do more research and Bible reading than you. After leaving Jehovah’s witnesses I started reading the Bible much more, I have read it from front to back several times, no Jehovah’s witness I ever knew had done that.

  • michaelgreene

    What I am amazed at is this discussion is still going on after what? 6-8 months!