Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses (AAWA) is an international non-profit education-focused organization, with 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status. Its mission is to enable the media, educators, social services, legal professionals, doctors, nurses, mental health counselors, therapists and the general public to make informed decisions about Watchtower policies, which violate the basic human rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses and ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses.
AAWA would like the general public to be appalled when they learn about several policies of the Watchtower Society that violate basic human rights and the willingness of Jehovah’s Witnesses to follow them. These harmful policies result in the high incidence of child physical, emotional and sexual abuse; domestic violence; emotional trauma due to extreme shunning of family members and friends; suicides; attempted suicides; needless deaths due to the banning of certain blood treatments; and the loss of personal and potential autonomy, growth and choice by demonizing higher education.
In addition, Watchtower has tax-exempt status, which means citizens pay the taxes for the properties they own and services required to maintain those properties. That the money Watchtower collects from contributions or donations for their literature goes to a billion-dollar corporation with a deplorable 135-year history of charitable activities.
AAWA works to accomplish its mission by sharing information (videos, fliers, news articles, etc) on aawa.co and ajwrb.org and related websites, generating research projects, making connections with film makers and writers, contacts with the media, giving lectures, convening workshops and press conferences, and networking with other organizations that seek to expose the clear and present danger of the Watchtower-like, exploitative culture of undue influence (thought reform) in their groups.
AAWA is a legally incorporated organization with well-defined objectives and principles as explained below. AAWA enthusiastically seeks to work with the press, media, doctors, lawyers, therapists, university personnel, educators and students to enable them, through research and connection, to make informed decisions about Jehovah’s Witnesses.
To that end, those who wish to show their support and volunteer for AAWA’s are kindly asked to first indicate their agreement with the articles of this Mission Statement when carrying out activities on AAWA’s behalf. There is no legally binding contract between AAWA and its volunteers, but if they could be mindful of the following at all times when working on AAWA’s behalf, this would be greatly appreciated. Obviously, when working on their own behalf, AAWA volunteers may do as they wish.
1. Key Objectives
AAWA is committed to two key objectives:
- Educating the non-JW world community about harmful policies for which the Watchtower is not currently held accountable. These policies result in the high incidence of child sexual abuse, domestic violence, suicides and attempted suicides, emotional damage due to extreme shunning of family members, needless deaths due to the banning of certain blood treatments and loss of personal growth and potential by demonizing higher education.
- Assisting those who wish to leave the organization by signposting them to the appropriate resources and networks so they can get the help and support they need
To achieve these objectives, AAWA will:
- Establish a network of willing volunteers who may assist AAWA according to their individual skills and circumstances
- Devise and implement educational campaigns and strategies with the help and cooperation of its volunteers and supporters
- Provide support to those who are already actively involved in campaigns and strategies to inform the public about harmful Watchtower policies
- Accept donations and ensure that these are only spent for the purpose of meeting these key objectives
2. A Core Belief
Freedom of choice is the first thing that one loses when one becomes a member of groups like Scientologists, Moonies and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Unchecked, these groups will continue to wreak untold psychological and physical damage on millions of people who have no idea of what constitutes undue and unethical influence. Unless action is taken to make manipulative pseudo-religious groups accountable to society for their violations of the basic human rights of their members, in particular the children of members, they will continue to deceive the public into believing they are a harmless group of people, deserving the same constitutional guarantees as benevolent religions.
3. Core Issues
AAWA believes that the Watchtower promotes and enforces a range of damaging and overly-invasive teachings and practices that cannot be briefly summarized. However, in order to drive its message home more effectively and forcefully, AAWA chooses to focus on five key areas in which the Society must introduce urgent reforms. These are (in no particular order):
- The shunning of relatives
- The mishandling of cases of child abuse
- The mishandling of cases of domestic abuse
- The demonizing of higher education
- The ban on certain forms of treatment with blood
4. Religious Neutrality
AAWA is strictly a religiously-neutral organization. It believes firmly that its cause would not be helped by trying to promote any religious or philosophical agenda or belief system. AAWA’s activities are aimed purely at the above key objectives, namely exposing the Society’s damaging policies and assisting those who wish to leave the organization.
AAWA welcomes supporters of its mission from all religious or philosophical persuasions, but believes that allowing individual belief systems to influence its work would be counter-productive to its key objectives. The personal beliefs of individual AAWA volunteer associates are entirely respected, and AAWA believes that diversity is a strength rather than a weakness in our organization. However, AAWA insists that its name and resources should not to be used to promote or extol any personal beliefs.
5. Executive Responsibility
AAWA recognizes that its purpose would not be served by any efforts to subvert its activities or objectives through any negative internal or external influence of any kind. In particular, AAWA will vigorously resist any attempt to use its organization or resources for personal gain or to promote any religious or philosophical agenda.
6. Financial Transparency
AAWA accepts donations for the furtherance of its key objectives. AAWA therefore understands its obligation to undertake its accounting and spending practices in a responsible manner. To that end, and in the interests of transparency, those who donate funds to AAWA will be entitled to a summary of how donated funds have been spent on a quarterly basis.
By the same token, any associates who are granted money or resources from AAWA for a specific purpose will be responsible for ensuring that such monies or resources are spent or used in a manner that complies with AAWA’s key objectives, and does not contravene AAWA’s principles of religious neutrality and executive responsibility, as referred to in the previous articles.
7. Corporate Structure and Governance
Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses is legally incorporated in Arizona USA, and has the following directors:
- Lee Marsh, President
- Lee Elder, Vice President
- Richard E. Kelly, Secretary & Treasurer
The above named individuals are responsible for fulfilling the legal requirements of the organization. However, the Board of Directors makes its decisions based on the advice of its legal counsel and well-informed supporters of AAWA’s mission.
The Board holds meetings on a regular basis to discuss various matters, including:
- The inclusion of new associates
- The streamlining of existing campaigns and initiatives
- The introduction of new campaigns and initiatives
- AAWA’s responses to new developments affecting Watchtower
- Financial matters, including received donations and how these are spent/allocated
- Legal considerations as required
Decisions of the board are reached on a simple majority basis, and minutes are taken (but not published, for strategic reasons).
Those who join AAWA as volunteers are valued and recognized as freely giving of their time and efforts, and as such will be afforded the utmost respect and appreciation on the part of the board. No volunteers will be pressured into doing any work that they are uncomfortable with or do not have time for.
You say you sympathize and yet you are calling God ‘Jehovah’ just like the cult members do. God has many names in the bible, but that is the one that their founder said should be the only one used. Please call him our Lord and Savior/ Father, Son and Holy Spirit/Jesus Christ/Almightly God.
I agree with you, I don’t know why JW change the name of God, it is written in the preface that “Jehovah” is not mention in the Hebrew word… And they also say they are the only ones who will be save by their Jehovah God!!! >.<
I appreciate the use of “Father” or “God” as universal rather than any additional ones. I believe are religious and may be misleading. Jehovah as God’s name, I do not approve of as stated above.
I agree with the statement that Jehovah is not the name of God. I have researched this and God has gone by many names but Jehovah is not one of them and his true name is so holy we should not speak it. Every time I read the name of Jehovah it just make me sick inside and I wish this name was never spoken again.
The name of God or Jehovah seems to me to be much to do about nothing, The name for me does not impart any answers to the concerns in which I am interested. My major concern is what is God/Jehovah purpose for man and how are we humans to gain insight to God/Jehovah intentions for us humans. Each religious organization has an answer which they feel is the answer, however this position seems to ensure nothing but continuous disagreement about who is right rather than attempting to find the common ground.
Is some one editing this site and removing posts, comments etc. ?
there are a lot of changes since this morning ?
I am rather confused now, can somebody clarify what is happening ?
Is this actually a trustworthy credible site ? i though it was.
Or is it another ‘nutty apostate’ site that gives ex-jws a bad name ?
Can anyone explain ?
To win a battle, we sometimes have to use the language the enemy respects. I also detest using the name Jehovah as I was captive to the cult that uses this name for 49 years. I refer to the Father as Yahweh and the Son as Yeshua. In Hebrew as in Greek there is no letter J so it cannot be correct. The name Jehovah is also used by Masonic Orders as a password into their satanic rituals. So I agree with the above posters and would rather not use that name at all. Blessings Pastor David
Greetings Pastor David! I am excited to learn more about the origins of the name the cult uses, of which you were speaking. Where can I learn more specifics about the masonic order usage please? Invaluable information
Thank you Pastor David. I agree with you and Jehovah is an abdominal name and it repulses me now. Since I am only 6 months out of the cult when I accidently say in prayer, I hope the true God forgives me.
Half our old member going on 70.
Ex JW for 15yrs now,
The Logic and teachings of the Trinity? the Cross? & immortality of the sole? are still as strong as when I was a JW.
I cant imagine that these subject are not covered somewhere, if not on this site. I recognise that AAWA promotes any religious teaching but member’s comments would be welcome.
I can’t join ANY Christian Church because of them.
Barry, AAWA takes no position as a group on any of the Watchtower’s theological teachings. Some of our members actually believe that Jehovah’s Witnesses basically teach Bible truths. Others are Christians, Jewish, agnostics, atheists, or simply hold no opinion whatsoever about religion.
What we do object to is the Watchtower using the Bible to bend logic or to promote dangerous teachings and policies.That is the point of our Mission Statement. I would suggest that you read that again. Our associates and supporters do not join AAWA to become involved in theological arguments or to espouse certain doctrines. They join us to help put a stop to child and domestic abuse protected behind so-called “religious freedom.” Protecting pedophiles has absolutely no support in the Bible and neither does shunning of family members. Ask a rabbi if the Hebrew Scriptures restrict blood transfusions or organ transplants – he’ll tell you “absolutely not!”
The only time AAWA will reference the Bible is to point out an obvious fallacy or lack of logic in a Watchtower teaching. But again, we believe that everyone should have the right to worship God (or not worship at all) as their conscience tells them. If there is a God then we believe that each individual will have to answer for their actions based on their own understanding.
AAWA focuses more on Watchtower policies rather than their teachings. We can not sit quietly and ignore their misuse of their “two witness rule” to protect pedophiles. Nor can we watch families and young people being torn apart because of the Watchtower’s excessive use of shunning to punish inviduals for non-criminal acts. Even non-JWs are being “marked” and shunned by their friends and family – something that was unheard of just a few years ago.
So, Barry, don’t look for answers about “the Trinity, the Cross, or immortality of the sole [sic]” from AAWA. If you ask, we won’t answer – at least not officially as a group. Why? Because we don’t care – those are not issues covered by our charter or Mission Statement.
I want to thank this organization for being religiously neutral and not allowing religion to be discussed here as a former witness I had enough religious dogma to last more than one life time.
Yes I understood before, the objective of AAWA – very good too.
I was hoping to just talk casually to members and get their options. I found the “Chat Thing/side-slide. Being dyslexic I was not comfortable with “live”.
I’ll work at your website over the near future – Hoping of course The Day of Wrath doesn’t get here first. Or hoping it will?
I was trying obey God’s word “Do not forsake the gathering of yourselves…”
I have no problem with finding a Church to accept me. Its me that wont accept them, when they have no answers. I pray to God “Just who are your people?” I am fortunate, be one that can tolerate his company. In fact, to the point, at 70, I have turn into my father… bless him: known as anti-social, I now agree with him.
Thank for your reply,
Barry Don’t feel like you must use the little chat feature on the Forum. It is there for those who like it. But please feel free to share your thoughts on any one of the topics or start your own. I suspect you might have many meaningful thoughts to share.
AAWA has the same critical attitude that Satan had since his beginning.
AAWA is not Christian. If they were they would spend their time and energy engaged in “Christ like” activities. They are not interested in serving God and like Satan, they are targeting people of integrity.
AAWA will NOT last because God is NOT backing it.
Tom AAWA does not claim to be a religion. It is a company – a not-for-profit company. We are not masquerading as one thing when we really are something else. AAWA supports any group of people that is against abuse of any kind – physical, emotional, mental, sexual and yes spiritual. That is our mission. We have no desire to convert people. Or for that we have no desire to urge people to leave the Watchtower Society or Jehovah’s Witnesses. All we want is for the abuses to stop. It really is that simple.
I agree – without God being include there is a fundamental weakness.
18 days have passed and you are the next after my posting of the 17th August. A prolonged lack of interests?
You refer to Satan’s critical attitude.
I would add to that by saying there is also a “scribes pharisees and sadducees” legalistic coldness in favour of their traditions AS LAW above all else.
I am an Ex JW. Their wrongs are great and the work done by AWAA is an isolated-good-work that needed to be done and continues to be needed: for the sake of the brain washed parents and their children.
Dear Ex JW brothers and sisters of AWAA – please change you policy of “the exclusion of God”.
A personal note:
JWs have their un-Christian-like faults. This should not allow the demonization of all aspects of JWs teaching; for some are uniquely correct. The teachings about the “falsity of the cross”, “false immortality of the soul” and “the falsity of “Trinity false definition/teaching”. In attacking JWs the AWAA deems (by my observations of what HAS been written) that any means to defame the JWs is a “means justified by the ends”. Truths are sacrificed.
The AWAA help JWs and Ex JWs only if they leave God at the door-step of AWAA. This seems to be a short sighted, blinked as only lawyers “scribes pharisees and sadducees” know how.
What I am say may not be easy to achieve (especially without God) – that should not be a reason to exclude it universally.
Thank you for you good work. I for one commend it.
May it increase especially in it’s broadness.
Barry Thank you for your good thoughts for the work we are doing. We will continually work to stop Watchtower abuses. We have no desire to attack the religious beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses. That is one of the reasons we desire to maintain our strict policy of religious neutrality. Contrary to what many might think, being religiously neutral might actually be more beneficial to those Witnesses who need information and support.
At first I disagreed about the non spiritual side of aawa but now that I have experienced much hatred hurled at me from former members of many religions; I find it comforting to know this organization does not allow any spiritual messages in their work. We have so many members here of many different faiths and many have become agnostic or atheist because of the abuse of the watchtower policies. I applaud the spiritual neutrality of this organization.
Abuses must be stopped especially at home against women and in churches against children. Jehovah’s witness by keeping the very name of the most high in front their religion and allowing Satanic things such as child abuse is shocking. Think if abuses are done on adults it can be tolerable but abuses on children must be Killed. If a Satanic person does it is no wonder because his god is Satan so he does. But if Jehovah’s witnesses does he should be killed because he is defaming the name of Jehovah the holy one and creator of children. I ask AAWA to lobby the governments to follow Biblical command that Jehovah allows death punishment to a gross and serious sinner such can be found in old testament. People won’t listen if you tell them softly so I recommend death punishment is to be awarded to the abuser then only people will have fear and thus reduce the rate of this type of crime on children. Yes death punishment to all abusers of children especially if he/she is a Jehovah’s witness because he defames the very holy name and other good innocent people those who are associating the Watchtower. Child abusers in watchtower not only defames the name of God but they become hurdles to other witnesses those who go in the field ministry as people often ask about abuses in Watch Tower rather than listening to the Kingdom message. .
Re Barry’s earlier comments, whiles its true JW’s have faults i don’t think anyone has an issue with faults what is always the issue is when were treated like dirt by the representives of the organization when we have a valid complaint i rang the service dept up back in December poured my heart out to the brother there and all he said was “i don’t beleive you. 2 major issues if have had to cope with for many years is when the org GB say or talk about the “love of the Brothers” i’ve been to some many meetings over the years and been given so many cold receptions its beyond the joke . The issue i have is the constant bragging ” At a convention last year in the USA i heard a brother say “oh we know where the best” my first reaction was what a braggot Jesus never ever bragged he always was there for the depressed the heart broken where are the governing body when you really need them? If they really cared about the flock they would make the changes that are necessary.
I was disfellowshipped 23 years ago when I was 18 for falling in love and getting pregnant outside of the religion. I grew up being abused neglected and malested as a child by those with in the Jehovah’s witnesses. My mother and step father and most of my family do not even speak to me because I left. I think that if I was able to find help years ago life could have been so much better. Instead I married a evil man. I am on the road to recovery. I am glad there is.a place to come to.
Rebecca. My heart goes out to you. The sexual abuse problem within the JWs is epidemic. The general treatment of children is either abusive and or neglectful. Even 23 years ago there was little support for those who leave the organization. That is no longer true. The internet has made the world of difference for those who have left and for those who are thinking about it. Know that you are not alone.
“and that the friendly Jehovah’s Witnesses that show up at someone’s door may be a convicted pedophile and/or a spouse or child abuser.” I am a former JW and I’m doing some research and ended up here. This statement from Your mission statement may be true I might be Charles Manson the famous murderous sociopath also. When You wright something like that it does inspire faith in Your critical thinking skills nor Your reasonableness.
Sorry for the misspelling. To make such a statement as I mentioned in My earlier post will drive away the very People You say You are here for. Aren’t You just taking standard operating procedure from the WT Society playbook? This is wrong on so many levels. Why would You insinuate something like that? The revelations about child abuse and The WT Societies position are appalling but to insinuate that there is a good chance that The Witness at Your door wants to molest Your child is a ridiculous jump.
Hey Adam, are you from MN? I grew up in Grand Rapids and I remember your name. Didn’t know you but I remember hearing of you from mutual friends.
Hello. Thank you for this wonderful site. I agree with you completely that their are some very sincere and lovely people who are Jehovah’s Witnesses and my issue has never been with them but with the organisation hat makes these rules and regulations often taking advantage of very vulnerable people. I am an ex JW who has been on my own journey during and after. Sarah x
Most members of this organisation are deprived of empathy and the ability to show understanding and tolerance to contrasting views and thus people. The characteristics of mental pathology and psychopathy may be the definitions here. The qualities of goodness displayed by the members are dictated to certain shapes and rarely spontaneous. Which only helps to understand the ease with which they isolate themselves from the family who do not share their beliefs. Hard to believe that something that is meant to develop people to be more socially acceptable, does the opposite. I understand that the Watchtower has no aim to direct it’s members to good qualities through freedom, as through mind control it is easier, considering the effectiveness of methods applied to achieve that within individuals. The final goal must result somewhere else than drawing people to God. I will say it is money gain, power and perhaps even online fame.
I totally agree with you. The WTS cannot teach what it does not know. Therefore its followers become like their maker – the WTS. They are not taught to be “Good Samaritans” unless they can manipulate others into their brand of Christianity. The “new personality” they are forced to put on is bereft of real love and empathy and is replaced with a false sense of love of neighbor or even of their own brotherhood. Love is conditional on conformity. Most will never find that out until they are on the way out
i agree with the above comments of kamikaki1 for many years i’ve associated with this organization and i when i couldn’t tolerate it (the behavior ) in one congregation any longer i thought changing congregations would improve things for me, no just different faces and personalities same cold unfriendly people. What finally made me realize it was not an organization i wanted to be part of any more was when i actually reported wrong doing no not the usual things like smoking, drunkenness or fornication no this was regarding discrimination, bullying , and racism and instead of the elders doing something i found on next circuit overseers visit i swiftly found myself removed of all my privileges i was totally and utterly devastated not only did i get ignored but now i was being punished for applying what Lev 5:1 states to report something so yes there are cover ups and now this organization is reaping what it has sown. None of these elders or circuit overseer have been dealt with for doing such a despicable thing to me yet .