How to Rescue
Your Loved One
from the

an online guide
to helping
Jehovah's Witnesses
escape from bondage

also available as a
paperback book

How to Rescue Your Loved One from the Watchtower 2010 edition
Buy printed book from publisher
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"Rescue" from a Religion?
Don't Delay--Act Today!
Overall Strategy
Techniques that Work
Tools to Use
Step by Step
God's "Prophet"
A Changing "Channel"
Doctoring Medical Doctrines
Strange Ideas Taught in God's Name
"God's Visible Organization"
Providing an Alternative
Can This Marriage Be Saved?
When Children Are Involved
Warning: The Life You Save May Be Your Own
Afterwork: Gradual Rehabilitation
Appendix: Resources & Support Groups

How to Rescue Your Loved One from the Watchtower
Home | Preface | Introduction | "Rescue" from a Religion? | Don't Delay--Act Today! | Overall Strategy | Techniques that Work | Tools to Use | Step by Step | God's "Prophet" | A Changing "Channel" | Doctoring Medical Doctrines | Strange Ideas Taught in God's Name | "God's Visible Organization" | Providing an Alternative | Can This Marriage Be Saved? | When Children Are Involved | Warning: The Life You Save May Be Your Own | Afterwork: Gradual Rehabilitation | Appendix: Resources & Support Groups
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Chapter 2
Don’t Delay—Act Today!

As the adage says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It is usually much easier to free an individual from the Watchtower if his or her involvement can be nipped in the bud. During the first few days or weeks of contact the newly interested individual may be motivated mostly by curiosity. At this stage it is easy to debunk the organization by refuting its errors and exposing its embarrassing history. Do so at once, without delay.

As each new Watchtower doctrine is “proved” to the prospective convert and accepted as a valid belief, another step is added to the process that will eventually be required to undo the effects of this indoctrination. And the odds that this can be accomplished at all are made slimmer. Once the “churches of Christendom” are discredited in the first few lessons, it will later take time and effort to reestablish the fact that there exist genuine Christians outside the Watchtower organization. Once another early lesson teaches that God must be addressed as “Jehovah” in prayer, it will be difficult for the student to pray again without using that formula. Once the Witnesses “prove” that the dead go neither to heaven nor to hell but are unconscious and nonexistent, that thought will remain unless answered in detail from Scripture. And once the student is convinced by his or her JW teacher that the Watchtower Society is “God’s organization” and “the channel of communication that God is using,” extricating the new convert grows into a major project, requiring intense effort, assistance from trained personnel, and perhaps months or years of patient endurance.

The act of baptism represents an outward commitment to join the organization and abide by its rules. However, since group baptisms are usually held just two or three times a year, most individuals make an inward commitment, intellectually and emotionally, months before baptism. If you are able to intervene before such a commitment is made, stress the need to examine “the other side of the story” first, especially before publicly accepting the responsibilities of membership. Tell the baptismal candidate that he or she owes it to you, to himself and to God, to find out why other sincere, committed members have left the organization, and why the group seeks to prevent members from reading books ex-members have written.

If, on the other hand, your loved one has already recently been baptized, the problem becomes a bit more complex. Showing him that the Watchtower is wrong now carries with it, by implication, the additional thought that he himself was wrong in publicly dedicating himself to the group. People do not like to admit that they have made a mistake, so this makes matters more difficult. You may be able to sidestep the problem, though, by saying something like this: “I know that you joined the Witnesses because everything they told you sounded good. But you never really had a chance to hear the other side of the story. They hid from you certain facts that might have affected your decision had you known about them. Before you get more deeply involved, you really owe it to yourself to examine this material that I have collected. Wouldn’t it be better to look at it now than after you have spent most of your life working for the Watchtower?”

Once someone becomes fully established as a new member, he or she typically enters a “honeymoon” period during which it becomes almost impossible to penetrate his thinking. He has just made a public commitment and is surrounded by fellow Witnesses who commend him for his choice and shower him with love and attention. At this stage the best thing you can do may simply be to keep open the lines of communication and to keep reaffirming your love and personal interest. It may take a year or more before the other JWs stop regarding the convert as “a new one” in need of special treatment. When the honeymoon is finally over and the new one comes to be regarded as just another member of the congregation, that is when disillusionment with the sect can start to set it. Depending on how perceptive the individual is, he or she will sooner or later begin to realize that there is a lot of playacting going on and that fellow Witnesses have a lot of problems. When it finally hits home that there is no real love in the organization, your patiently keeping open lines of communication and confirming your love may start to bear fruit—but this may be a long time in coming.

So, the main point to remember when a loved one first starts getting involved with Jehovah’s Witnesses is to avoid delay. As in fighting an infectious disease that attacks the body, time is of the essence in combating the Watchtower’s invasion of the mind.

The need for speed is highlighted by the fact that one of the first lessons taught by the Witnesses usually includes a warning against relatives who may try to stop the study:


How might Satan even use friends and relatives to discourage us?…

You can be sure that Satan the Devil does not want you to have this knowledge, and that he will do all in his power to stop you from getting it. How will he do this? One way is by seeing to it that you receive opposition, perhaps in the form of ridicule.… It may be that even close friends or relatives will tell you that they do not like your examining the Scriptures. Jesus Christ himself even warned: “Indeed, a man’s enemies will be persons of his own household.… ” … But if you give up a study of God’s Word when opposition comes, how will God view you? (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower Society, 1982, p. 23.)


If the new student accepts this argument, chances of stopping the study dim immediately. If you come along at this point with objections, you already have two strikes against you: (1) you appear to be an instrument of Satan the devil, so the arguments you present are viewed with suspicion and skepticism; and (2) by fulfilling the Witnesses’ prophecy that a close friend or relative would oppose the study, you have made them appear to be true prophets. If the objections you raise at this point are weak or are poorly presented, and therefore are overcome by the JWs, you will have struck out. Unless some powerful evidence against the sect is quickly brought into play at this time, the game is over, at least for now.

Perhaps the mistake most commonly made in attempting to rescue a potential convert is failure to act soon enough. If you can jump in at the very beginning, the best advice would be to do something—to do almost anything—that will stop the study in a kind, loving manner. Even a stalling tactic will help, if it will allow you time to study the evidence against the cult and better prepare your defense. Persuade your wife to postpone the study until next week, so that you can take her out to eat, or invite relatives over for a visit, or schedule something else that will interfere with the study “just this one time”—and in the meantime, prepare your case against the Witnesses.

On the other hand, if the study has already been in progress for some time, you will have to proceed with extra caution. You do not want to fulfill the JWs prophecy that the devil would use you to torpedo the discussions. This would make you look like the “bad guy” and would vindicate the Witnesses. At this point a harsh ultimatum that your wife must break off with the JWs could have disastrous results. And a series of unsupported, non-factual accusations (such as the often quoted but misinformed charges that they are communists, that they do not love their children, or that they refuse all medical treatment) will do a lot more harm than good. If the Witnesses can disprove the initial charges you bring against them, they may be able to persuade their student not to listen to any future accusations. It is very important to have all your arguments correct and fully documented the first time around; otherwise, there may not be a second chance.

While a brand new student can be told, “Look! I have collected a pile of material that will demonstrate to you that the Watchtower Society is a false prophet,” one who is more fully involved and has been under JW influence for some time must be approached more delicately. Such a bold, direct approach would be too frightening, giving rise to the thought that you could be an “opposer” sent by Satan the devil. It would be less intimidating if you put it this way: “On account of your interest in it, I have been investigating the Watchtower, too, and I have found some information I want to share with you. I would like to get your opinion of what this says.”

In any case, you should definitely avoid attempting to disprove the Watchtower to a new student with the JW teacher present. This will only turn into a free-for-all debate, with the longtime JW coming up with an answer, excuse or denial for everything you say. And, unless you are thoroughly versed on the Watchtower Society and well trained as a debater, the JW recruiter will shoot you down on every point. He will be the winner, and the new student will be further cemented into the sect. So when you sit down with your loved one to discuss the sect, be sure to exclude the Jehovah’s Witness teacher from being there. Meet with your loved one alone, or, if possible, arrange to have with you a former Witness or another individual specially trained in combating cultic mind-control.

It is important to plan your strategy, collect convincing evidence, and present it in the proper manner at an appropriate time. The remaining chapters of this book will help you do just that.

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