The following press release is being distributed to news agencies and other media groups on January 5, 2015.
Contact: Greg O’Connor FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel. (646) 530-8300 – E-mail: [email protected]
TRUTH BE TOLD is Now Available
A Documentary Unmasking the Jehovah’s Witnesses Culture of Undue Influence
[NEW YORK, NY – January 5, 2015] The highly anticipated feature documentary TRUTH BE TOLD is now available for digital download and streaming. The film is especially timely as the world community responds to the clear and present dangers posed by religiously motivated fanaticism and their use of psychological coercion.
TRUTH BE TOLD is a feature-length documentary film about children growing up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion. The title refers to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ perception that their beliefs, and only their beliefs, are “the truth.”
In this film, former Jehovah’s Witnesses candidly discuss their experiences, including the effects of proselytizing door-to-door, shunning non-believing family and friends, suspension of critical thinking, suffering the discouragement of being blocked from pursuing career dreams or participating in higher education, and the refusal of Witnesses to keep societal holidays and customs (including Christmas).
“We’re exploring the oppressive hold the Watchtower Society has on its members,” says director Gregorio Smith. “And while TRUTH BE TOLD is of natural interest to former and active Jehovah’s Witnesses, we believe it will appeal to and educate the general public about the harmful side of this particular high-control group.”
The abuses explored in TRUTH BE TOLD are part of a wider examination into the Jehovah’s Witness culture of mental and emotional manipulation of members, referred to as undue influence and psychological coercion by cult and mental health experts, which violates the fundamental human rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their families worldwide.
Celebrated cognitive Professor Daniel Dennett called the look behind the scenes of Jehovah’s Witness families “fascinating” and a “valuable contribution.”
Professor Jim Alcock of York University observes, “The film gives a vivid testimony to the power of dogmatic, fundamentalist belief systems.”
Former Jehovah’s Witness and University of Nebraska educator Joy Castro said the film is riveting, indispensable and an affirmation of her own departure from the group, at age fifteen.
The film is also endorsed by Freedom of Mind’s Steven Hassan, one of the world’s leading experts on cult-exit counseling, and attorney Irwin Zalkin, whose’ Law Firm has several child-sex abuse lawsuits pending against the Watchtower Society.
The official TRUTH BE TOLD website is at www.hereliesthetruth.com
The trailer is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4nqYtzDaGE
The release will be expanded to additional markets in the coming months, including a DVD.
If you’d like more information, or to schedule an interview with Truth Be Told director Gregorio Smith, call (646) 530-8300 or e-mail [email protected]
Additional Tributes of Truth Be Told
Jon Atack, the author of best-selling Let’s Sell These People A Piece of Blue Sky: Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology reports that the film captures the exploitative and oppressive nature of pseudo-Christian and Islamic cult-like groups, all with their chilling practice of ‘shunning’ in order to control the thoughts of its members.
Jim Atack, successful U.K. businessman, says that, “Whilst the film is quietly understated, it provides a key to the puzzle of how we can alert the general public to the clear and present danger of undue influence and psychological coercion when practiced by non-malevolent religious groups”.
Masoud Banisadr, author of Destructive and Terrorist Cults: A New Kind of Slavery strongly endorses Truth Be Told, reporting it to be a brilliantly produced film, which captures the raw emotions of members, especially children of members, and the darkness of all cults’ milieu, including terrorist cults like ISIS.
Alexandra Stein, author of Inside Out and ex-member of a political cult, says Truth Be Told is a very moving film that gives voice to those who grew up in the repressive world of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The intellect and brave honesty of these former, childhood members shines through as they vividly describe their closed, isolated world—a fear-driven environment little understood by outsiders.
Richard E. Kelly, author of Growing Up in Mama’s Club, reports that this a must-see film for the non-JW world community, indicting the hundreds of supposedly happy Jehovah’s Witneses who refused to participate in the filming. Not to be allowed to tell the other side of the story speaks volumes to the alarming control that the Watchtower has over its members, and more reason to watch the film.