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Why Jehovah’s Witness are Losing Members: An Interview with James Beverley

Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
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August 25, 2021 4:20 pm

Why Jehovah’s Witness are Losing Members: An Interview with James Beverley

Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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August 25, 2021 4:20 pm

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The following is a prerecorded program. The voices of dissent among Jehovah's Witnesses.

Those voices are rising and find out why today. Time for the line of fire with your host activist and author, international speaker and theologian Dr. Michael Brown your voice of moral cultural and spiritual revolution Michael Brown is the director of the coalition of conscience and president of fire school of ministry get into the line of fire now by going 866-34-TRUTH that's 866-34-TRUTH here again is Dr. Michael Brown, a friend welcome to the one this is Michael Brown we got a very special broadcast for you will taking calls and you'll be glad because you want to hear everything that my guest Dr. James Beverly has to say in a brand-new edition of his book the crisis of allegiance.

A study of dissent among Jehovah's Witnesses and Jim and I have got to know each other pretty well in the last year plus spent a lot of time interacting talk about lots of issues.

James Beverly served as a professor for many decades but has always been a research scholar. In other words, it digs deep, goes through source or SourceSafe source thousands of sources will go through get evidence lay things out and follow the evidence where it leads. And over the years. Over the decades, he's published major works on world religions is also looked at the cults again. The title of his book crisis of allegiance want to find out who the Jehovah's Witnesses are some of their history. Some of the strange beliefs that they have where they are today around the world and in what is happening in terms of this crisis of allegiance Jim welcome back to on the far thanks for joining us great to be with you Mike that now how did you get interested in studying Jehovah's Witnesses well when I was hired in 1978 at a Christian college in Eastern Canada.

I was told to teach a course about cult groups so that, of course, got me into the study of Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses and groups like Scientology. A few years later I was at a conference in Toronto and I met probably the most one of the most influential ex-witnesses in the world. A guy named Jim Penton and that led to the book you just mentioned to your audience. I did a book on what led Jim Penton, a history professor at the time. What led him to leave the Jehovah's Witnesses after being in it for generations. So I got to interview him, his family, his friends and not Alberta, Canada and I told the story, so I've always followed the Jehovah's Witnesses and men. This year I decided hey I should do a new edition of the book him.

I connected in the Mork soul in a fuller way with the Jim Penton got an update on his life. Although I stayed in contact with them over the years. So I started the witnesses, mainly because I think God led me in my life to look at other religions and see how they compare to the gospel or contrast to the gospel and the witnesses are powerful and big so it's been great to learn about them and help people get out of the group or warn them. That's a group, they should never join so let this just very simply very quickly establish some basic definitions we speak of world religions will speak of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, etc. what's the difference between a world religion and occult well call is used in general conversation as a word for a group that's okay.

Choosing two ways.

One, a group so wacky that virtually anybody calls it occult except the people in the group. Okay so's think of Heaven's Gate the people that wanted to follow a you are following in the committed suicide. The UFO cult. Or think of Jonestown, much the biggest example that we have in our common mind people following Jim Jones drinking the Kool-Aid dying so occult is one used for a group that's really really really wacko and then it's also used in Christian circles of the group that claims to be Christian, but fall so far away from the basics of the Christian faith that we don't call it a denomination we call it occult so it's generally reserved for small groups.

It hasn't been very successful to say for example that as long as occult or Buddhism as occult even though their non-Christian religions got it.

So this would be then deviations from the gospel and of course some of the ground to be large that on the level of Islam or Hinduism, but going to be large like Mormonism. Jehovah's Witnesses want to get into specifics of all want to talk specifically about these voices of dissent. But when I was a new believer was long after I was saved.

Jehovah's Witnesses came knocking on my door and got interact with them in, began to learn more about what they believed and and speak the truth to them and as opposed to Mormonism, which has the sole sensationalistic thing in the you know the angel Moroni are brought IN the revelation of the Joseph Smith that he puts on the special glasses and can read the tablets and all the angels with the other stuff in profits today in it. All the other esoteric beliefs.

Jehovah's Witnesses stuff. I just okay it's it's flat, it has no special appeal to it.

It doesn't give any assurance to its followers seems legalistic and dead and yet it obviously has a certain appeal. It is is some of the fundamental peel appeal that the church has been truthful to you and and in the. The presence of the Bibles have been lying to and we alone have the truth about what you think the special appeal of Jehovah's Witnesses. I think it works with people who don't know the Bible very well who get tricked by their rhetoric and by their dogmatic claims.

I think that's that's the big! The other thing is you said in relation to Mormonism. Jehovah's Witnesses are are far closer to Christianity than Mormonism, or other groups and and so the fact that they have some biblical truths. It is, is of course part of the repeal list somebody isn't attracted to the basics of the Bible, so they don't think they tell a good story. They say they're the you know the only organization that is Faithful to the Bible. They claim that their leaders are basically divine their humans, but their chosen by God to give proper teaching to the faithful. So they they make big claims. They sadly don't backup the claims with careful research or or truth telling. No folks seem to realize they're not totally wrong. The average Jehovah's Witness would be a decent person they be loving and gracious, so the worries not extended at some core level of you know this is an immoral group. These are decent people who I believe have been led astray, and I don't think their leaders really care about scholarship and truth and careful Bible study. They have the prophetic translation of the Bible. One of the worst actually. So I tell people in my book 5, there's 5D things about the witnesses that are not true. They are not profits. They don't have prophetic ability.

By that I mean they can't predict the future.

They've made some of the biggest blunders in in their religious history. You know they used to say stay alive, make due till 70 to stay alive till 75 because they argued that 1975 would be near the end of the world so that they claim to be prophets. They're not. They claim to be pure or doctrinally.

They're not most of their unique teachings are not true.

In fact, when I was when I was redoing my book or doing a second edition I had a wonderful encounter with former witness named Eric Wilson a picture this, he he lives in Ontario, Canada.

He was a witness. He was raised. Witness in any remainder witness for 60 years and then he started studying one Bible topic and realize the leaders had to lie to the watchtower group and he said, but what else have they lied about and then over a 10 or 12 year.

He's come to be a Bible believing Christian and that he's he has one of the best websites on Jehovah's Witnesses. It's called Korean pickets and that we can make the address available to your listeners. Mike so they witnesses claim to be prophets or not the claim to be teaching doctrinal truth in many ways they don't think they claim that there the scholarly group. Well that's not true. This guy that my books about Jim Penton. He was a history professor in Lethbridge all birdie Alberta for decades. He's a pretty famous Canadian historian. He was one of their only scholars he wrote a letter to the leadership and told them ways they could improve the long and short of it is, they kicked them out and and then that that was one of the dumbest mistakes because they lost one of the great scholars they're not scholars they're not good at Bible study so that so the third thing that I warn people about and then they also claim that they're getting better and better. Jim Penton told me recently for my book. I did a question and answer at the end he thinks that over the years they've got worse.

They've got tighter, more legalistic. Consequently, their numbers are falling and then here's the here's the biggest thing wrong with the witnesses they demand loyalty to the organization in a way that crushes your freedom so I warn people you shouldn't go into the witness world when you go look at if you want to but I don't advise it if you become a witness. You have to obey the leadership if you dissent you'll get you'll get warned, you know, you don't get kicked out automatically, but if if you raise a fuss over any of their teachings are you'll get kicked out and then let's say you go to the Kingdom Hall. Your part of the part of the congregation with 100 members. If you get kicked out.

Other Jehovah's Witnesses are not allowed to talk to and they even have some limits on family connection with someone who's kicked out so that you could really generally get sons in this case, and if you come in with your whole family and other things that consequences of simply obeying the leadership budget you can't question I should break right back on speaking with James Beverly regular edition of the book, crisis of lesions sent back the last will come from the fire. We will file the line of fire with your host Dr. Michael Brown get into the line of fire now by calling 866-34-TRUTH dear again is Dr. Michael Brown is praying Beverly this edition of book about voices of dissent within Jehovah's Witnesses.

Jim obviously you could give us a several hour! It's probably down to a few minutes where the Jehovah's Witnesses come from what is their real origin in history welder part of what's called the Adventist tradition that. In church history in the 17 and 1800s when Christians were really preoccupied with the end of the world so witnesses came out of the same meal you as the as the Seventh-day Adventists and other Adventist groups but in particular they are rooted in a man named Charles Russell who started the witnesses in 1879 with his set publication of science watchtower and Harold of Christ's presence. Russell was preoccupied with eschatology the end of the world. He wrote many books is most famous for six volumes called studies in the Scriptures, but in his writings.

He he basically implied that 1914 might be the end of the world. In 1918, so the witnesses almost to Charles Russell, though they changed so much over the years that if Russell came back if he went to a Kingdom Hall. They wouldn't accept them in the membership because what he taught doesn't agree with what witnesses taught today rather ironic sent so Charles Russell got it going and then the second leader is a guy name Judge Rutherford Joseph Franklin Rutherford. He was a judge for a while he became the leader in bitter fight to see who would succeed Russell and he turned the witnesses into a more ruthless organization and and then after Russell died.

The leadership has been more Monday not as volatile. Where is our Rutherford he was. He was power-hungry in ways that wasn't true so of the Charles Russell that the current leadership of the witnesses it's eight-man based in them mid state New York about two hours now and 1/2 north of New York City used to be headquartered in Brooklyn and they had the famous watchtower buildings down on on the near the Brooklyn Bridge, but they sold most of that property and built new headquarters in in the mid state New York. The leadership these eight men that they have enormous power that they are mean whatever they say goes. It's it's really distressing now as a new believer, I began speaking to a local Jehovah's Witness. She lived down the block for me.

If your husband are Jewish and her husband was a staunch unbeliever atheistic and very hostile to the faith in a fun way but hostile and she was a Jehovah's Witness and she came knocking on my door like my family story began to speak with her period of time. By God's grace was able to to leader out of Kingdom Hall.

She told me a story and I don't I don't know how accurate it was but it's what which she had learned. So the question of the hundred 44,000 where that comes from the idea that they are the hundred 44,000 elected that their only hundred 44,000 total that know that they know that their state in everyone else's.

Just like a loyal servant to that hopes to to to go into the millennial kingdom and then make it from there. It is what I taught you about knowing that I'm saved." In these verses and this is rinse and you know you have eternal life that she knows just for the hundred 44,000 so quit with this woman told me that there was it an early meeting with guest Judge Rutherford and he said how many of you have the assurance of eternal life expecting every had to go up and was just a few of the people raise their hands and that is what open the door to the stockholder only hundred 44,000 most in the early church, but then you're this little run that through history. Can you shed more light on that. Well, it's all based on whatever the watchtower leaders of said over the years so doing their study of Revelation. They think that the number hundred and 44,000 applies to the took those who it's not like Jehovah's Witnesses believe they are the only they believe they're the only Christians and they believe that only hundred 44,000 are chosen by God to go to heaven. But the rest of the witnesses will remain on earth course if you study Revelation when it talks about hundred 44,000.

It's talking about males it's talking about virgins.

So the only thing they take literally is the number right but they've changed their doctrine over the years.

It it isn't the same. Now what it was 40 years ago or 100 years ago. I put it but if you're Jehovah's Witness you are required to put in certain hours doing certain things on knocking on doors doing whatever else you do.

And yet at the end of the day you don't have the assurance of eternal life.

Forgiveness of sins is that similar to a Muslim devout Muslim.

That is the end of the day still does not have assurance of going to paradise how these two compare.

I would say there's a parallel know we don't want to overstate it. One of my connections in Toronto was with one of the most famous Muslim leaders in Canada and you know he doesn't have really strong assurance but it's not like he's, it's not like he's crying every night saying that he might go to hell. He just says in the end, you know you can't know and only aloe knows I think your average witness would be pretty.

See, there are mainly thinking about I'm part of the one true group were the only ones who really follow the Bible were the only ones who have the full truth. I think their confidence is in that and then being you know good, obedient workers, you know, there's little emphasis on salvation by grace right is a truck tragedy just graces our only hope. So what would you say are some of the wackiest beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses. While one of them is deadly. It's the view that blood transfusion is wrong. Now here's something paradoxical I wouldn't be talking to you now are to your audience. If my parents have been Jehovah's Witnesses when I was born I was twin. My brother and I were born two months premature. We wait under 5 pounds to gather. I wait under 2 pounds.

It's hard to believe if you could see me now I wait under 2 pounds and I needed a blood transfusion to survive. If my parents have been Jehovah's Witnesses and they follow the normal procedures they would say no. No blood transfusion.

If he dies, he dies. This is probably this the sickest thing about the Jehovah's Witnesses that they may have a teaching that can lead you to your death.

But there's other things as well.

They think their New World translation is the best translation that's not true, they think that Jesus was Michael the Archangel, they think that Jesus died on a stake not a cross in the distort the evidence on that they don't believe in the bodily resurrection date is another what they don't believe that every the only people who are allowed to take the Lord's supper are people who are part of the hundred 44,000. They only celebrate communion once a year at Easter time or close to Easter if they if you went to work. Kingdom Hall are gathering to witness the communion most people wouldn't take it because there's hardly any members of the hundred and 44,000 liberal lives there will be no no pay. Michael asked you this based on your knowledge of the Old Testament. Do you think or ended new. Can you think of any passage in the Bible that implies that there will be Old Testament saints in heaven, but is stopped.

That implies that there will be Old Testament saints in heaven yeah okay so in heaven.

You could argue Psalm 17. The psalmist says when he dies he'll see God's face. Some take that to mean a face-to-face encounter, but otherwise primarily in Old Testament years. Whatever of the you're going. What about New Testament does the New Testament reference Old Testament saints in heaven. Yeah, you could potentially get it from Hebrews 12 that the multitude that the spirits of righteous men made perfect in the heavenly, the heavenly Jerusalem, and perhaps some Old Testament passages some passages in Revelation, but most of it spoken I was dressed New Testament believers and in the New Testament right well JW's believe there will be no no Old Testament saints in heaven. Let's see what else they they believe that Christmas, Easter and Halloween are terrible date. You can't celebrate birthdays. He only so that this is the only time birthdays are mentioned it's Herod's birthday and Pharaoh's birthday and the both wicket manage its wicked since we could to celebrate her birthday. It's it's not the most joy joy filled religious expression right this week we got a break coming up and folks are interested in your book, crisis of allegiances by James a Beverly, where can I get it now. You're in category they get it in states and I imagine it's at Barnes & Noble. Another Distributors, but I know it's on Amazon for sure got it and then if they want if they prefer a PDF, they can go to my website James and out and you if they follow a link or two, they'll get to my shop of five-story if people prefer. Some people prefer PDS got it so that Beverly Yarnell one in this is some of that wasn't to maybe have filled out nice. So all is error on the line of fire with your host Dr. Michael Brown.

Your voice is more cultural and spiritual revolution. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown bread said studied dissent among Jehovah's Witnesses. It is an authoritarian religious cult. It is one that rules with an iron hand.

And if you speak to people who are Jehovah's Witnesses of the best things to asked me to share your testimony with me Jim. I remember speaking with a fellow been Jehovah's Witnesses for several decades and I wanted to kinda check this out and I said to him so soon coming testimony how to become a Jehovah's Witness you rest your average born-again Christian. Share your testimony. They line up and they talk about how they came to faith. The men who raised in the faithful talk about the great upbringing but people like me and from outside the faith radical conversion transformation how you met the Lord.

This is wonderful and I asked this fellow and he said well you know I went to Bible study guide to Bible study and end of started learning and and and learn the truth and I was baptized with the stuffer 25 years thought that's it you been working this hard to knock on doors redoing everything you're doing and that's quote your testimony so obviously when when people begin to question things the bomb can fall out pretty quickly. So tell me about what you cover in crisis of allegiance to some of these voices of dissent and is this growing worldwide are Jehovah's Witnesses numbers getting smaller. What's actually going on their getting smaller. There there selling off a lot of Kingdom Halls all over the world during the crisis because I don't think their offerings healthy, happy, religion, and there's especially rebellion from younger people if if people want to pursue this topic up my books helpful because it's not too long. It tells a very interesting story.

If I may say so.

There's also another figure who left the Jehovah's Witnesses and this guy is probably the most influential X Jehovah's Witness. His name is Ray France. He wrote a book with the title sort of like mind, crisis of conscience.

So Ray was a lifelong witness. He he became a member on the governing body. His uncle Fred was the leader of the head of the governing body and Ray started to have doubts and he tried to get the governing body to be more compassionate, less legalistic and more biblical.

He would point out Bible passages that contradicted Jehovah's Witnesses teaching.

He thought they would listen to him. You know he's the nephew of the president. He's on the governing body. Instead, they kicked them out and he then wrote a memoir about a call crisis of conscience.

The reason it's so good is its it's not nasty. It just tells a compelling story and know it does make you mad when you read it because you're reading about injustice and the blind organization so if people could only read about IIx witnesses.

One would be Jim Penton, the guy who I wrote about in the other is is Ray France. Those two were very important as well as there's there's a guy in Europe who writes detailed Bible studies about their false views of eschatology. He's created an enormous mass to because he shows that they aren't really good at Bible scholarship yeah and the other is some of that's worked on translations of the Bible, myself and translate the book of Job. Currently translating Isaiah and you wrestle with with text written many articles just on specific keywords and things like that. My doctoral dissertation was on Hebrew word in the New World translation is is really bad.

It's it's it's a really really poor translation of this is not just that one of the better ones it's it's really really poor and it's it's always pains me when I think of Jehovah's Witnesses because of the devotion the hard work and and it is you said being decent people in terms of an ethic stuff like that. And yet, being so also so tell us more about the conscience of crisis of allegiance and this one journey that you trace well I must confess, when I started to work. It was 19. While I met techno 19. The one I'm working on the book in 1984, 1985 I was a little worried. What if my in-depth study that I'm going to do shows me that the witnesses might be a better group than my own evangelical Baptist tradition/connections with Pentecostals, Nazarenes, etc. it also slightly worried. Not too much, but slightly well lo and behold, all my study just made me think this is one of the last places people should go. So was great to meet Jim Penton in a fuller sense because I I went out West. I stayed in Lethbridge, Alberta, in southern Alberta. I stayed there for quite a while.

I interviewed all the people that left the Kingdom Hall because of Penton. He was so highly regarded that when he and his wife and his children left the watchtower Society that woke people up there something wrong because they knew that Jim was a faithful guide to the witnesses. They know that he was a moral decent person. His wife Marilyn who has since passed away. She's wonderful. The kids were wonderful so it was great to meet them and then I met the people who left and and interviewed them in. They were absolutely torn apart by what was done to Jim Penton and that they had the courage to stand up even though it cost him fellowship with other witnesses. One of the interesting things to do.

As I wrote all the major Jehovah's Witnesses who took part in getting Jim Penton kicked out. None of them would talk to Rick. I had not none none at all. The only witness who talk to me was there public relations person who I met at the Canadian headquarters of West Toronto. He's a really nice guy and I don't know if he stole why Walter Grant give me plenty of time talking to him was like going on a merry-go-round like I I asked him about their processes you know are Jehovah's Witnesses, false prophets, here's the here's a body if someone claims to be a prophet make false prophecies. Maybe there false prophets. Well, he could barely admit they've made false prophecies even though they predicted the end of the world or something close to it. In 1874 1878, 1925 1941 and then finally they caught on. It's a danger to predict the end of the world that they made one last prediction in 1975. Matt didn't work out either trying to get Walter to admit they've been a group that makes false prophecies. It was it was like pulling teeth and this this is different than pointing to charismatics who may false prophecies. Charismatic leaders tragically happen with the come prophecies recently in the distance. It's post-dissipation of covert last year.

These are individuals who are speaking false so it's wrong. It's serious. It is be accountability but they're not the leaders of a religious organization making pronouncements on behalf of the religious organization that ups the ante especially when the people make the pronouncements are allegedly making them as those ordained by God to lead the only true group in the world. So the stakes would be much higher Jehovah's Witnesses when they oh yeah and the other thing is the blunders that the witness is made are just close to an enormous joke. For example Charles Russell thought that you could study the core doors in the pyramids of Egypt and use the links of the core doors to predict when the world would end. So one of his books is an elaborate analysis of the of the pyramids of Egypt out. Here's the trouble say you measure core door and say that corridors 20 feet long and that means it's 20 years until the end of the world. What are you doing 20 years when the world doesn't end will no kidding. In the new edition of his study, he just increase the length of the corridor, so he had little concern for being careful etc. etc. yell out one of one of the early books I read about Jehovah's Witnesses.

It was called 30 years watchtower slave and the guy was in the early days and it was getting close to 1914, when Jesus was going to return and instead of kinda getting ready for the end of the world. They were told her I get out more literature expand this expand that which the guys it was contradictory. Okay Lindsay will get the message out, but it seemed like they were preparing for years to come if another, say, 1914, so that was one of the big issues and ultimately subzero but the fellow in need of legal matters after 30 years, but he referred to himself as a watchtower slave slayer.I I know that people can be in good churches and in the they leave, they fall away from the faith and then they get a bad taste in their mouth, and they they misrepresent the truth. I was part of a cult but but here you've got very consistently people could relate to that concept of watchtower slave just got to Ms. before the break. What what is a watchtower slave. What would people think in those terms.

Well, it's because the watchtower is an organization that demands loyalty and you don't ask questions.

I mean they didn't even Jim Penton wrote them a 11 page letter. I think it's 11 benchmark very detailed letter showing how their careless and they need to change all they did in the reply was tell him to to follow the watchtower leadership in the end he was basically told. If you keep talking working to kick you out and so you know it's not total slavery like being in a prison camp in Siberia, but in terms of religion it.

They run a pretty tight ship and you really can't ask questions. In fact, listen, if people bought my book and tried to give it to somebody who's in the witnesses they would be told no, I can't read that it's spiritual pornography.

Same with Ray friends his book crisis of conscience. Same with the that book 30 years watchtower slave. But what's interesting though, as though say a book is terrible then you ask them you know. Have you read it in the answer is no and innovate the well they would get in trouble if they read it, they could get in trouble just for doing that. It's open yourself up to spiritual pornography as sorts of friends going to say this, whatever group you're part of whatever church or denomination. Whatever religious organization. If you are not allowed to ask questions, and ask recently name-calling that is not allowed to ask honest question is are not welcome.

Not right that are safe and it's the light a fire with your host Dr. Michael Brown of your voice is more cultural and spiritual revolution. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown speaking with my friend the author of the book known new edition crisis of elite gyms written many many books to many many large dictionaries and encyclopedias and the like. So Jim some years back. I'm remembering where it was. So this would be about 20 years ago I was teaching a classifier school of ministry. One day we will set fire church that our missions organization fire international and one of the students kind of a fun loving guy ESC raises him of the interest.

Dr. Brown is fire a cult with a smile on his face and I said no it's not, but if anyone asked you how you know what time your leader said. So overall left so what are some signs that you get three big ones. What are some signs that someone is not in a group that is healthy well say one general thing. First, it would be.

People should make a list and reminder on paper of the clear teachings of the Bible that are not in dispute. And I mean in dispute by you know, the vast majority of evangelical Christians.

So you have that list in mind and then if you if you go to a group and they teach something that is clearly not in the Bible or it's not in the focus of the Bible then then you should run for the hills. I just wrote a column about UFO religions.

Well, you know.

At one level.

If Joe says he was kidnapped by the UFO. All things being equal, that will harm your breakfast. However, if Joe claims that he got messages from the aliens end and the and the Zeus is really the creator and well then you leave so does your group, your church, your teacher teach the basics of Christian faith. But then I got three things to guard first. Guard your mind know we've already hinted that Mike, when we encourage people to think and to ask questions so guarding your mind means never join a group where you're not allowed to ask questions like you just said what what kind of questions.

What okay I imagine within Jehovah's Witnesses. If someone says I know we teach this. I'm not sure why.

Could you explain it, those kind questions would be welcome right in other words extend to help me believe these things better or I was I was witnessing today at talking to someone and they raises question and boy I never thought of that before how the lancets of those kind questions welcome. What kind of questions are not welcome. It would actually beat. Thanks for making this a more accurate would actually be the fine line between asking questions versus it looks like you're starting to doubt the organization's teaching know you can do that to a certain point, but if it goes very far.

You will you will be disciplined and get kicked out so groups you know the witnesses compared other groups are pretty open but again not open enough for me social let's say okay so I'm into the sky start studying sick like you we've always been taught this but the more I study it seems that this is not right or the neural translation is missing some real problems and an even like I heard about this was a major leader in and left.

I got some questions here. I'd like to have a serious talk okay I came that they would sit forever, with people as long as they think they're asking questions in good faith. But if things turn away from what the watchtower says that's when you get in trouble and you'll be disciplined and you get kicked out all the people go to the websites listed at the back of my book you can read horrendous stories of people starting to question and then they get disciplined and then they get, you know, chastised and then eventually they either leave or over the get disfellowshipped. Now of course it's not. It's not like some groups like I am friends with the guy who used to be number three in Scientology. I'm absolutely sure Mike rendered tells the truth about his experiences. He said if you objected to the leader in that group. He would punch you in the face, and I mean it literally. So I asked Mike one time when I was with him in Florida. How many did you not just get punched in the face once Mike and he said all know quite a few times on okay so not is not as close to Scientology. So we got no qualify that right so to guard your mind estimate. That work of art. Guard your body, meaning be careful of leaders making movies on your body as in sexual assault.

Now this.

Thankfully this is not true of current watchtower leaders. I believe all things being equal, their decent moral man and they wouldn't sexually assault women were men, but the early leader Charles Russell. He committed adultery on his wife. The next leader Judge Rutherford. He was a well-known womanizer, so this applies more to other groups. Guard your body now people are not going to a pastor or a teacher or a rabbi or priest they're not getting company is in say, by the way I want to abuse you take your clothes off right, it'll be far more subtle, the matter will involve complements and complements and all all the rest of the seductive story so people should guard their body and then thirdly, they should guard their wallets and purses because some people are out for your money now. Every organization has to raise money so were not talking about this in a simplistic way but but but be careful of groups that to look like they're just fleecing the flock know.

I will say here Mike. One thing the world kind of simplistic on the topic. They'll say don't notice. For example, that some pastor lives in a really nice house or has quite a a financial empire. Okay, I think a lot of times those leaders go way over the top but I could I would bet that the vast majority of those leaders are also incredibly generous, so we just have to be careful on the topic you know the didn't the media love to say critique some Pentecostal pastor who has been on a nice car. Well, the people who run the New York Times have big houses and fancy cars. They don't even see the hypocrisy in their condemnation and then I imagine the near times people say will we're running our money legitimately in the business in here.

These people getting rich by by by fleecing the flock by by taking Windows Social Security funds by telling people the money is going to help the poor, ritually going in their pockets. That's with you abuse would be another hundred people that written books and books have done really well or made business investments that have done really well so you can't you can't just judge by outward appearance, but obviously yes watch watch her pocketbook and B financial accountability so just two minutes left. You mentioned that Jehovah's Witnesses numbers are declining on how big a level from what you can tell. All I know was based on talking to Eric Wilson and Jim Patton.

It's it's that there's hundreds of Kingdom Halls closing or merging.

That's all I know right I'm not in I'm not good at math so I don't do much statistics but they're not growing. Thank God the and then you know that the thing I remember two Jehovah's Witnesses came came to my house old thinking where I live, maybe about 10 years ago and so I listen, talk to me and then I told them about my relationship with the Lord. Forgiveness of sins, loving him seeking to live a holy life sharing the gospel River.

I got you just as overflowing as I could possibly be with truth and love and grace. And then I said to them, so what are you offering me that I don't have and one of them stumbled well. Hope we of the world is falling apart and we have hope. I mean it was it was really it was really sad. I mean, I thought, he's he's gotta realize that he does not have what I have and again that's what I have but with true followers of Jesus have the Holy Spirit living within in the hope of eternal life, and the assurance of forgiveness of sins and on and on it goes in the moving of the Holy Spirit in our midst and such wonderful and life-giving way so smart/went out to Jehovah's Witnesses and hope you really listen if if somebody you know to Jehovah's Witnesses and their openness and questions get him a copy of crisis of allegiance again by James a Beverly that's BEV or Ellie. Why again your website Jim. If people want to go there. J James I just realized one more thing that I should mention, if any listener wants proof of the dark side of the watchtower Society get them to look up the Australia Royal commission on child abuse and read their study the way Jehovah's Witnesses have responded to allegations of child abuse based on some really stupid legalistic understandings. The witness leadership have covered up abuse that I don't have details. Time for details, but it took her into storing that shows corruption that goes on when you get in a legalistic and then rate that's hate Jim grandma Todd is always great speaking with you again, James is your L1 EF crisis of said Douglas. Thanks, Mike.

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