Chains That Bind


“Don’t tell me what it’s all about
’cause I’ve been there and I’m glad I’m out
Out of those chains, those chains that bind you
That is why I’m here to remind you…”


Lyrics from Dionne Warwick’s song “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”

Although the above quote is from a song about falling in love, it has deeper meaning to me in regards to my decision twelve years ago to leave the “religion” I was born and raised in, in which my family still remains. Every time I hear the above song on the radio, the verse above reminds me of my past life and all that it encompasses. Many people, if not most, have at some time in their lives received a knock on their door by one of “” Up until twelve years ago, that may have been me.Since that time, the topic of “Faith” or “Religion” or “Cult” has been one I’ve avoided at all cost. Any time the topic was raised, either by friends or others, I would simply walk away turning a deaf ear. I had had my fill of religious zealots attempting to debate their religious beliefs with me. The fact is, I don’t know what I believe anymore, except for belief that God (Yahweh, Allah, Lord, Jehovah, or other used terms) exists, as well as his son, Jesus. All other variations of beliefs, or so-called ““, are ones I no longer care to know. Speaking of ““, carefully consider the list of items below that are about growing up as a ““.

101 True Beliefs and Practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses

(List compiled by Paul and Pat Blizard)

Of all items listed, only three have been discontinued. (marked with an asterisk) All are listed, however, to show the absurdity of Watchtower authority and the absolute control leadership has over the lives of members once they join.

1. Jehovah God is not a Trinity
2. The doctrine of the Trinity is inspired by Satan
3. Jesus Christ is a created being, who at one time did not exist (a.k.a.Michael the archangel)
4. The Holy Spirit is not a person but is “God’s active force” i.e. gravity, electricity etc.
5. Heaven is only for select Jehovah’s Witnesses
6. Heaven is limited only to 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses
7. Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only true Christians
8. There is no Hell (It is simply the grave)
9. There is no life after death (except for the 144,000)
10. Salvation is by good works not by Grace
11. You cannot be sure of salvation
12. Jesus is not to be worshiped or prayed to
13. Jesus did not rise from the dead bodily but as a spirit being
14. You are strongly discouraged from attending college
15. The “first resurrection” occurred in 1918
16. All pastors are the “Antichrist”
17. All churches are of Satan
18. All governments are controlled by Satan
19. You cannot take a
20. You cannot be a police officer
21. You cannot salute the flag, stand for the national anthem, or own a flag
22. You cannot serve in the military
23. You cannot buy girl Scout cookies
24. You must attend five meetings per week
25. Jesus’ second coming occurred in 1914 (only known to Jehovah’s Witnesses)
26. You cannot marry a non-Jehovah’s Witness
27. If one does not follow the rules of the Watchtower they will be
28. You cannot read Christian literature from a Christian book store
29. You cannot be a cheerleader
30. You cannot celebrate any holidays (, Easter, etc.)
31. You cannot celebrate your birthday
32. You cannot run for or hold a political office
33. You cannot vote in any political campaign
34. You cannot serve on a jury
35. You are discouraged from giving to charity (except Watchtower causes)
36. You cannot speak to former members, Like ME, who are shunned

(disfellowshipped)
37. You cannot accept Christmas gifts
38. You must read and study Watchtower literature regularly
39. Only Jehovah’s Witnesses can understand the Bible
40. Angels direct the Watchtower organization
41. Jesus did not die on a cross but an upright pole
42. You cannot own or wear a cross
43. You must report your witnessing activity to the elders
44. You must go from door to door weekly to gain converts
45. You cannot have friends who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses
46. You must refer to all Jehovah’s Witnesses as “brother” or “sister”
47. You cannot play chess*
48. You cannot understand the Bible without Watchtower literature to explain it
49. A child abuser is reported to Watchtower elders and not the police
50. You must forgo vacations to attend annual conventions
51. You are discouraged from buying a two door car-A “Theocratic” or “spiritually strong” Jehovah’s Witness will have a full size car for the door to door work
52. Men cannot wear beards
53. Men must wear short hair
54. Women cannot pray in the presence of men without a hat
55. You cannot have a tattoo
56. You forbidden to use any tobacco products
57. Only officially approved sexual practices are allowed in marriage
58. You must appear before a Judicial committee if you are caught breaking Watchtower rules (Secret files are kept on all members which record these meetings-these files are kept in New York and are never destroyed)
59. You must not own wind-chimes (they are for chasing away evil spirits)*
60. You cannot read any anti-Jehovah’s Witness material
61. You cannot use pet foods made with blood or blood products
62. You cannot join any clubs or sports teams
63. You cannot wear jade jewelry*
64. You cannot purchase Christian products (books, music, plaques, pictures etc.)
65. You cannot wear any Christian jewelry
66. Jehovah’s Witness meeting places have no windows
67. If you see another Jehovah’s Witness breaking the rules you must turn them in to the elders to be interrogated
68. Jesus could have sinned and failed in his mission
69. Jesus was not born the savior but became the savior at his baptism
70. The Watchtower organization is God’s prophet on earth today
71. Women must submit to Watchtower elders
72. You cannot support your country
73. One must study Watchtower books at least six months before he can be baptized
74. Before baptism, one must answer over 80 questions in front of a panel of elders
75. Most of The Book of Revelation applies to the Jehovah’s Witnesses
76. You cannot celebrate Mothers or Fathers day (it may produce pride)
77. Kingdom Halls cannot have pews for seating
78. JWs are are fobidden to say “good luck”
79. God is not omniscient “all knowing”
80. God is not omnipresent
81. God only speaks through the “Governing Body” in Brooklyn, New York
82. The Holy Spirit is only for select Jehovah’s Witnesses
83. The Lord’s supper is only to be eaten by select Jehovah’s Witnesses (144,000 group-99.99% of Jehovah’s Witnesses are forbidden from taking the Lord’s supper)
84. The Lord’s supper can only be offered once per year
85. JWs in times of crisis, are strongly discouraged from consulting with family counselors, including mental health professionals who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses
86. Only faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses will survive
87. If you have a non-Witness spouse your first loyalty is to the elders over your spouse
88. Jesus was equal to Adam (just a man)
89. Judgment day is 1000 years long
90. If you leave Jehovah’s Witnesses or are expelled from the organization you will not be resurrected
91. Only Jehovah’s Witness prayers are heard by God
92. Man’s salvation is secondary in God’s plan; Jesus was sent to “vindicate Jehovah’s name”
93. God will destroy all non-Jehovah’s Witnesses at armageddon
94. You forbidden to say “God bless you” when someone sneezes.
95. You must never enter a church building
96. You must never attend a church service
97. You cannot be involved in martial arts, boxing or wrestling
98. You cannot participate in a school play
99. You cannot donate blood or your organs when you die
100. You can never question what is printed in Watchtower literature
101. You are forbidden to attend a funeral of an ex-Jehovah’s Witness

What they’re called…

-JW services are called “meetings”
-JW hymnals are called “song books” (all songs have to be composed by JWs)
-The JW religion is referred to by the Witnesses as “The Truth”
-The JWs call themselves “The only true Christians”
-The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society Inc. of Brooklyn, New York is called “God’s Organization”
-In conversation JWs call Watchtower headquarters “The Society”
-All other religions (pagan, Christian, or any world religion) are called “Babylon the Great”
-All Christian pastors and ministers are called the “Antichrist”
-Changes in doctrine is called “New Light”
-The five meetings JWs must attend are called:

1. Public Talk
2. Watchtower Study
3. Area Book Study
4. Theocratic School
5. Service Meeting

-A non-Witness is called “a worldly person”
-A person who rejects the JW message is called a “goat”
-A person who is studying to become a JW is called “a study”
-God’s judgment on all non JWs is called “Armageddon”
-The JW Bible is called “New World Translation
-The door to door work is called “the Service”
-Those who bring “new light” or new revelations to the JWs are called “The faithful and discreet slave”
-JWs who have an earthly hope are called “Other Sheep”
-Old term for earthly hope “Jonadab”
-JWs who have a heavenly hope are called “Anointed Remnant”
-A JW who is enthusiastic is called “theocratic”
-Every JW is called a “Publisher”
-Part time door to door workers are called “Auxiliary Pioneers”
-Full time door to door workers are called “Regular Pioneers”
-Full time door to door workers who have stricter quotas than Regular Pioneers, are called “Special Pioneers”
-Appointed Local leaders are called “Elders”
-Appointed Local helpers/workers are called “Ministerial Servants”
-The group responsible for discipline are called “The Judicial Committee”
-A traveling Watchtower representative is called a “Circuit Overseer”
-The Circuit Overseer’s boss is called “District Overseer”
-The District Overseer’s boss is called “Zone Overseer”
-The Zone Overseer’s boss is called “Branch Overseer”
-The Brooklyn, New York Headquarters is called “Bethel”
-Headquarters workers are called “Bethelites”
-A person who is a weak Witness is called “unspiritual” or “Un-theocratic”
-A JW who is publicly disciplined by the elders is called “publicly reproved”
-A JW who is privately disciplined by the elders is called “privately reproved”
-A JW who rejects Watchtower teachings and leaves or is expelled is called “an apostate”
-A JW who breaks any of the Watchtower rules and does not repent to the elders is “disfellowshipped” (Shunned)
-A disfellowshipped person who wants to return to the organization, repents to the elders and is called “reinstated”
-Jehovah’s Witness meeting places are called “Kingdom Halls”

Is it any wonder then that I have no desire to listen to the “Truths” that others, although well meaning, wish to debate with me. If Truth is there, I’ll find it on my own, Thank You.

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3 Responses to “Chains That Bind”

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  1. Anonymous says:

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    EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH’S WITNESS EMPLOYEES

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    DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

    http://jwdivorces.bravehost.com

  2. annakat says:

    I hope by telling of your pain and what your personal experiences have done to you will help you in some way. How anyone can come to believe the depraved way of treating children is ok is beyond me. Coming out and letting the world know of the abuse is one way of helping to stop it. You are a brave person.

  3. Lin says:

    Hi Annakat,

    It’s been so long ago that I did this post that I’d forgotten all about it. I’ve come a long way since writing this post and even before writing it. Talking about it in such a public forum as this helps shed the light on these topics, as well as helps others develop the courage to voice their own stories and experiences. If that is what is accomplished by people reading these articles, than I’m content with that.