A Letter of Gratitude to AAWA from a Jehovah’s Witness

By Lee Marsh

We often think that nothing we do has any real effect on Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, just a couple of days ago, I received an email thanking AAWA for the work we are doing. According to the writer, we are definitely making an impact.

We aren’t the only ones. Other valuable websites provide information that people need to know to get the Watchtower Society out of their heads. Some may still be in congregations worldwide and may have decided – at least for now – to stay in the organization. But they also tell us that their minds are no longer deceived by Watchtower misinformation.

Here is just such a letter. I received permission to post it with only small edits to hide the writer’s identity (shown in [ ] ):

Hi Guys,

I can’t thank you enough for issues you are addressing related to the jw.org.

I have been an elder for more than [X] years now, born in the org. My grand mother is amongst the first generation of JWs in our country.

I sometimes feel uncomfortable to teach on the platform things I truly disagree with like higher education. Sometimes I have to erase portions of the official speech text. So when I present on the platform, I remove what I deeply disagree with. I do go door-to-door, but I do not make return visits or conduct bible studies. (My report will typically show completely fictitious numbers).

I’m not alone in this. Other brothers and elders have for a long time been pursuing higher education studies in their country or abroad going as far as getting a PhD and postdoctoral and teaching at the University. And yes, I’ll encourage my two sons to go to the university and young brothers to do so.

Shunning … My brother has been disfellowshipped for [X] years and I don’t, not anymore, feel any guilt when I talk to him. Here again, there is, at least for some of us, a complete disconnection between the teaching and the practices of the Watchtower, and what really doesn’t make sense.

My wish is to see an implosion or at least several reforms in the organisation regarding “pagan celebrations”, shunning, blood transfusions, sexual abuse handling… etc.

For you Guys and all others, doing what we can’t do, a warm thank you and… your message will always have an echo within those who are still in. And yes, there are probably more critical thinkers inside the org than you can imagine, but sometimes social and family bonds create this fear that is so paralyzing.


Your brother


Posted on by September 28, 2015

About Lee Marsh

Ex-JW. DFed. A survivor of child sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse. Survivor of spousal abuse - sexual, emotional and financial. Survivor of sexual assault. And one last one - survivor of ethnic/political abuse. Left the first husband (JW) and lost my home. Left the second husband (never a JW) and lost my home. Wound up homeless for 9 months living out of one tiny room at the YMCA. But I still survive and thrive.


A Letter of Gratitude to AAWA from a Jehovah’s Witness — 33 Comments

  1. This is so revealing of the hidden pressure to remain a part of the Borg despite knowing that it is totally flawed. I can’t see how people can willingly stay and support an organization that they know is blatantly untrue.
    I certainly had to get out as soon as I learned TTATT.
    Sure, it is very hard to lose family and friends, but are they worth being untrue to yourself ?

    • There are many reasons some Witnesses refuse to leave so they can maintain family relationships: elderly parents who need care, adult children who would shun them, siblings they may never see again. Some still want the freedom to have even a superficial relationship because for them a little is better than none. I know many move away and remain Witnesses in name only simply so they can maintain that contact.

      Each person, regardless of whether they are Witnesses or those who leave for whatever reason, is forced to make these decisions when a controlling leadership forces everyone into immoral decisions and instead of keeping families united serves only to divide them. In the end both sides lose

    • My situation exactly. All my family, my wife, my boss are witnesses. Knowing the consequences too well, I decided to take the easy way. First stopped being a special pioneer. Then I spoke about troubles I had with all the violence in the Bible and a few other things that “worried” me and how I had thus problems being an elder. Did it in a respectful way. So I am considered weak now 🙂 See, I want my wife and other loved ones to understand what is really going on, and once I part, it will be no longer be possible to ask questions or present information that will help them. So I try the pragmatic method, and I am slowly seeing some results

    • You are being ” cautious as serpent,” …………good for you George. My JW sister told me years ago if I wanted to leave to just quietly go out the back door so the family could still speak to me. Well, as of 2012, 45 members of my family “buried me as an apostate worthy of death” and have not spoken since. A very sad religion.
      Keep on doing the good you are doing………..it will pay off I trust.

    • Yes I can see the logic of your approach George. The first time you ask any question you are labelled as “weak” the next question is taken as a sign that you are really weak and any time you offer a different opinion… wow you are instantly an apostate worthy of shunning.
      It is this fear that paralyses most witnesses. We are trying the same approach and are seeing some small signs of success, although some have already shunned us. Sad cult the JWs!

    • Yes George, I was in a similar position, an Elder who became Born Again in the 1980s, but had to stay in the religion because of family, my wife who totally accepted their lies as truth. It was in 2001 when we finally got out after 50 years and my wife then knew it was false. Thankfully both of our daughters got out and we all now accept the only truth and that is Yeshua/Jesus Christ as our Lord and saviour…all religious groups have some faults and problems. It is in the Heart that we accept

      Jesus as our Lord. John 3: 3-5 has been twisted by Watchtower Cultists to not include Other Sheep as they call them. Strange how Yeshua said NO ONE can enter the Kingdom unless they are Born Again and all that means is accepting Yeshua was Born, died and was raised to life and we confess our sins and accept that we are saved by GRACE, nothing more or less.

      We cannot earn Salvation as its a free gift from Yahweh…I do not like the Masonic Jehovah name.

      Bless you

      Pastor David Hall

    • For me it depends on who I can help. If I can help some by being a low-key JW I will. If I can help many more by openly disassociating, I will. Watchtower asks too much of us. I decided I don’t owe them anything more. There are Dfed people or others being shunned who need support! It’s nice to know we have support around out there.

    • No we don’t owe the WTS anything. We no longer need to follow their rules. What a burden that was! We cannot help those who don’t want it. But we have much to offer those who need it.

  2. Paul you are so right.I could never understand this either Can you imagine a man in prison and when his time is up he is so happy–Hell getting outta that cult is also like getting outta prison.But everyone is not the same.Brainwashing is a mean thing and hard to break.For example there is a black brother that keeps coming here and leaves magazines.I have told him everthing I have found out about this cult, but he wont give in.He cant understand my being a jw for 32 years to just give it up like I did.Finally I told him that I really believed that if the governing body sent him a letter that said that he would turn into a white brother the 1st of next month and would he believe it. You guessed it, he said yes he would and that he could not wait until next month, Case closed.

    • When he did not turn white the next month the GB would tell him he has to wait until the overlapping month and overlapping generation was fulfilled. ,lol

    • Sure understand your comments. The Borg is telling people to Obey even if it does not make logical sense, and your JW visitor is perfect proof that they are obeying!
      I had 62 years of servitude, feeling inadequate, pressured to do more and more, but feeling worse.
      Since getting out I have been happier, enjoyed life with my wife so much more, and feel FREE !

    • I think it’s sad that he is actually looking to changing colour. It would appear he’s not very happy with being black. I wonder how much his religion has contributed to that dissatisfaction.

    • I hit the Post Comment before I had finished checking my post. I meant to say “actually looking forward to changing colour”.

    • Funny thing is that the WT did teach at one time that the White race was the superior race and that in the new system all black people would be turned WHITE! Yes, you can find it in Russell’s teachings. He gave the experience of some Black person back in his day who’s skin supposedly turned white as if it was a miracle from God.Hard to believe they were that ignorany back then. Maybe more ignorant now with some Whacko teachings.

  3. When you’ve been in the cult for many years. Lose all your real friends in the “word” the you realise you have backed the wrong horse for years , it’s very hard to break free hold your hands up and say I’ve been stupid !! I’m glad I had the balls to do it . I’ve never looked back . I’m happy to say I despise the JW machine . How many times can they move the goalposts?
    Glyn Hardy Rotherham

    • Not “stupid”. Duped, conned, manipulated, lied to, scammed. Take your pick. It takes great courage to step off the WT bandwagon and drop into the unknown very often alone. We all find there is a better life outside the wagon – a whole new world for us to explore and enjoy right now.

    • I managed to see the real situation with JWs after 62 years inside the organization. It does take great courage to get out after all that time, when all your so called “friends” are still inside. You know it will be tough, but then you have to ask whether you can live a lie, or do you want to be true to your principles. We chose to be true to ourselves, to Truth, and get out no matter what the consequences.
      It is tough and some days are worse than others… like today when my wife gets a text from her elder brother effectively saying she is going to be sorry at Armageddon when she & me are destroyed !
      It is much easier to life the lie than to stand up for truth.

    • Paul I do agree that sometimes it is easier to live the lie – when you don’t know it is a lie.

      Taking a stand for real truth takes a lot of courage. Being true to our convictions and beliefs in the end is really easier than living the lie.

  4. I am so happy to read this! I always post with the idea of someone may be peeking in to see what we have to say. It is so heartening to hear we are making a difference. And who knows who will finally wake up and say, I’ve had enough! Good-bye cruel watchtower society! Bravo Lee Marsh! Many many (((hugs))) to you!

    • We have no idea who we are affecting. And we have no idea who those are on the inside who are like this person who has his own reasons for staying and trying to help those who need it. JWs who are suffering need people who can really support them instead of bully them to do more.

      Bravo to all those who stay and try to change things from the inside or at least do their part to help.

    • Shunning serves another purpose. It stops JWs from talking to ex-JWs and therefore not learning all the things we have learned on the outside. Can you imagine the outrage if all JWs realized how they have been duped? Mass exodus. The WTS used to control the information that JWs received. With the internet they can no longer do that. If they stopped the shunning there would be no way for them to continue to control the information JWs were hearing and then researching on the internet.

    • What truth you spoke in these words Lee!!!! BITE control severes the ties of education……..being told the truth!! But, we can see the awakening happening and it will be real interesting to see what further happens after this upcoming letter is read!! Great work dear!!!!

  5. Hello Lee, Kelli here, I use to be a member of AAWA and have moved on to focus on my life. I have been watching from the wings and am proud of the work the group has done. A HUGE Lioness hug for you my friend.

  6. While the organization may be slow to right wrongs, hopefully many as comments bear out, will wake up and consider –THINK, REASON AND ACT ON THEIR OWN CONSCIENCE to be true to themselves, their families and merciful to us shunned on false pretenses. Love-kindness is what we ALL NEED and OUR universal GOD practices it toward all of us. Judge not especially falsely.
    Do good and it will be repaid to you. So there is much to be gained. Let US rejoice-for good health!

  7. I was brought up in the Moir park congregation and baptised at 15,the move was then too be a bethel boy once i was older.I rebelled after being earmarked for a certain girl and tht we would have too wait for each other,till we were 18!and had 7 yes 7!elders on my comittee meeting..I was disfellowshiped and left at 16….This had a dramatic effect on myself and i was faced with the horrible lonely so called bad world.!I fell and tripped but i manage too make a go of it and then when i was 25 my mother died.I was shunned at her funeral by over 300 alleged brothers and sisters!!People who i had known all my life.That for me had the breakfree effect and after over ten years i finally freed my mind of the beliefs…I couldnt believe that these people would do that too me in my hour of need….It is quite remarkable how even when you first leave you still look and wonder over media and news bulletins.I would reccomend a mind reset and debrief…The work tht Mark Lathom and his wife do at AAWA is amazing…keep up the good work….if anyone wants to talk then email them or myself ….ncleary@hotmail.co.uk
    Brothers and Sisters there isa life YOU need too choose forurself and for YOURSELF ONLY…..”Too Liv In Fear Is Not Too Liv At all”

    • Nigel, I had quite a different experience when I attended my mother’s funeral. I think it could have something to do with the fact I had attended an Italian speaking congregation here in Australia before I decided to give the organization the flick. Apart from the brother who gave the Italian talk, who refused to shake my hand when I extended it to thank him (the Witness who gave the abbreviated English version didn’t even bother to say ‘hello’ but did shake my hand and very patronizingly said, “You know Charlie, as it says in Joel chapter such and such verse such and such………. I was so upset at the time and couldn’t think straight and certainly can’t remember the scripture he quoted. Looking back, if I had been of sound mind at the time, I would have annihilated him!), many of the Italian brothers and sisters actually came up to me and hugged me.

      But that was many years ago. As I said in a previous post, I’ve changed my attitude to the Witness shunning policy and decided that it’s their problem, not mine, so I treat any I meet in the street the way I used to treat them before I left. I have even rung a few who have had close ones pass away, persons I also knew, and given them my condolences. They’ve always been very cordial.

  8. Shout out to many helpful comments.
    I was instrumental in bringing watchtower doctrine to my family(1975 era) now I see the folly of the many man made doctrines they keep having to change.

    I am presently lying low because of the immense pain and psychological cruelty that would be incurred on my family who love me dearly. They think I’m just weak in faith.

    The truth occasionally comes out(out of the mouth the heart speaks) but I try to be judicious and drop morsels of truth here and there.

    Had a few heated moments where others threw the A word around their ultimate defense.

    You can be in the world but not part of it (Paul)
    For now substitute the other w word.

    I am deeply grieved for them as I know they would be for me. I am tormented day and night.

    Prayers for all and may the will of God be done in all things.

  9. JWs are actually Satan’s most devious trick!
    Their literature is full of subliminal images of reptiles, demons, serpents, horned beats, KKK hoodies, pornographic images – anyone possessing any JW publication is unclean and as the JWs worship the Watchtower, the JW organisation and the NWT they are very guilty of idolatry.

    Their teaching that Jesus was Micheal is blasphemy and will ensure that any JW who agrees with that doctrine will die when Jesus and his angels return in a few years time.

    Their 144,000 gone to heaven is also false doctrine as those 144,000 are those who will be killed in the 42 months great tribulation which occurs between the time the Antichrist is set up and the battle of Armageddon.

    The JWs who knock on the door are so deeply brainwashed that they think they are sinning by opening a good Study Bible and reading the truth for themselves.

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