At this time of the year, Jehovah’s Witnesses often mock people for enjoying Christmas, sharing gifts and just generally wanting to take time to be with family. This was not always the case. In fact in 1926, J.F. Rutherford played Santa, to a very serious bunch of Witnesses at Brooklyn Bethel. This photo of Christmas at Brooklyn Bethel exemplifies a history of denial and cover up, as most current Jehovah’s Witnesses probably have no idea that Christmas was once an acceptable celebration.
The photo can be found in Ray Franz’s In Search of Christian-Freedom, but also more recently in Danish author, Poul Bregninge’s book, Judgement Day Must Wait (JDMW). In this tome of a book, Poul highlights so many of the contradictions that the Governing Body prefers to call ‘new light.’ Not only that, Poul’s book conveys in magnificent detail the damage done to those who were raised or were drawn into this particular group.
One reviewer of the book says it ‘braced my long-held suspicions about Christian denominations’ use and misuse of biblical text for their own ends.’
Another reviewer said “JDMW is not a quick read for bits of information. It is comprehensive, and taken as a whole, a solid and thorough study of the JW organization.”
Having delved into the book, both of those reviews appear accurate. It is well worth putting this book in someone’s Christmas stocking! It is not cheap at just over $30, but the freedom from fear and dogma it may provide to the recipient, makes it money well spent.
Check out JDMW on Amazon
Of course, Christmas can be a stressful time for families. Those who have realised that being a Jehovah’s Witness was detrimental to their health and well being may still feel sad that their family cannot share warm and accepting feelings at this time, when so many others are sharing happiness with their families. Knowing that the beliefs are ever changing and that freedom for families is possible is giving many comfort and hope.
2015 bodes well for the continued demolition of an organisation that holds people in fear. Every week, news stories reveal the problems the organisation and its Governing Body face – not least in the courts. The Conti case and the Zalkin law firm have played a major part in exposing the contradictions of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In 2015, the Conti case appeal will be played out. This time it will take place in the glare of so many more interested in reporting on the case and this will be made much easier – as a media application by ABC News New York to record the oral arguments has been agreed by the court.
Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice and a fabulous 2015 everyone!
Appellate cases California Court Link
Poul Bregninge Judgement Day Must Wait – Amazon Link
Photo Credit “In Search of Christian Freedom,” by Raymond Franz, p. 149, 1991. Amazon Link