Modern-Day Truth-Seeking Internet Vigilantes

The Internet Vigilantes

My mother believes she found the truth when one of Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on her door, thinking that that knock and the subsequent message was God’s response to her prayers. Unfortunately for her, I could never believe that intellectual certainty about God, life-after-death and how to please God—the truth—was within the reach of any human being. My mantra was that it’s cool to look for the truth, but to avoid people who find it. Faith and reality are two totally different experiences.

My beliefs about Mama’s truth have put me at odds with her and other JW family members and I’m shunned because of that. However, I’m not alone. I am a member of an active, conscientious group of people, modern-day vigilantes, who are using the internet to make people aware of the dangers of  “JW truth” like shunning. Our goal is to take the Watchtower Society to task for its bad information and unjust policies, especially those related toward women and children. [Read more...]

Marilyn & Malala–Victims of Religious Bigotry

Marilyn

When I first heard the news report about Taliban gunmen shooting a 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl, I thought about my sister Marilyn. Both Marilyn and Malala Yousafzai were victims of religious bigotry. While Malala will survive, my sister died after she was violently attacked. Even though the details are different, if their stories can be presented to the world community as examples of how outdated religious dogma breeds ignorance and fosters crimes against women, they may spark positive changes.

Malala was born in a rural valley in Pakistan at a time when the Taliban ruled the area. Even at an early age, she was acutely aware that girls were treated as second class citizens by a fanatical religious group enforcing an out-of-date religious dogma which strictly forbids any education for girls. [Read more...]

Who Is Barbara Anderson?

Barbara Anderson

I have a new hero and her name is Barbara Anderson. In addition to being a prolific writer, she is a tenacious investigative reporter, a meticulous researcher and a modern-day vigilante fighting for truth and justice. She is unrelenting when it comes to helping victims of child molestation, exposing policies that protect pedophiles and reporting acts of religious tyranny.

Barbara is not at all unlike John Galt, Ayn Rand’s mythical hero, in Atlas Shrugged. In Rand’s story, Galt is a principled counterpoint to a failed society with out-of-touch leaders, who embrace unjust policies.

Barbara Anderson

Rand does not introduce her hero in the first part of the book, but promotes him by continually asking, “Who is John Galt?” Toward the end of the story, Galt appears and delivers a scathing manifesto condemning the inept society that he has abandoned.

Today, I can hear Barbara’s Galt-like voice condemning the Watchtower Society with, “You have heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis. You have said it yourself, half in fear, half in hope that my words have no meaning. You cry out that man’s sins are destroying the world and you curse people unwilling to practice the beliefs you promote. Since belief, to you, consists of sacrifice of this life for a promised better life in a new world, you have squandered precious life now. In the name of a return to a theocracy, you have sacrificed all those evils which you hold up as the cause of the world’s plight. You sacrifice justice because you don’t want to bring reproach upon a God you believe directs your activity. You sacrifice individual thinking skills for top-down group think with no accountability for your poor decisions. You sacrifice reason for faith. You sacrifice self-esteem for protection of failed church policy. You sacrifice happiness for a ‘Let us wait on Jehovah. He’ll resolve the problem in His own due time’ mantra.”
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Who Are the Ghosts from Mama’s Club?

Cover of Ghosts from Mama's ClubThe “ghosts” I refer to in my new book, which will be published in May, are metaphors for the toxic residue—dysfunctional behavior patterns—that people acquire during their time in a cult, in my case Jehovah’s Witnesses. These “ghosts” manifest themselves in various forms. True cult believers will see the ghosts as warrior angels, championing God’s truth. But individuals who decide to abandon their high-control religious experience will encounter haunting Ghosts, ghosts with the potential to hinder them from becoming mature individuals able to lead productive lives.

In either case, the ghosts are active agents in the life of both the believers and the former believers, acting as wardens, trying to restrict actions and thoughts. Each ghost is capable of reconstituting itself in many shapes and forms in an effort to bedevil those people who try to leave the cult as well as those who have left it. The six ghosts that you will meet in this book are:

[Read more...]