Thursday 8 December 2022
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Why Many Still Serve the Watchtower, Even After Discovering Their Lies

Op/Ed By Chris Stevenson


chris_stevenson“Conveying hatred toward the only people that showed any real concern or friendship, just because they were not of my faith, was pretty doggone coldhearted.” – Ritchie Mac

Once again, I ask you all to send your children to their rooms, or wherever you feel they may be safe; I’m about to discuss the church. Former Watchtower Bible and Tract Society researcher, and writer, Barbara Anderson sent a message around to several ex-Jehovah’s Witness’ webpages a of couple weeks ago, updating us regarding the latest news in the highly-publicized Candace Conti case:

“The Candace Conti Appellate Court decision came in today. Yes, the Watchtower won – they don’t have to pay Candace punitive damages. Although many think that’s terrible, most of us who have been involved in the Watchtower’s cover-up of child abuse do not.”

“I’m speaking for the family now, and asked to say that money was not what this case was about, and Candace said that from day one. The Conti family, and all those closely associated with the plaintiff (I’m not speaking for Rick Simons), are absolutely thrilled with this outcome. Watchtower lost on NEGLIGENCE, and that’s what Candace wanted.”

For those of you who don’t know, Ms. Conti, 29, won a record-breaking decision. In 2009, she went to the elders, the heads of her congregation, in their local Kingdom Hall, to report she had been raped by one of their adult members, Jonathan Kendrick, while only 9 years old. They told her she had to prove it. She said the molestation took place during the late ‘90s, and, while it may be good to be cautious against false accusations; understand, he was convicted of molesting another child in ‘04.

She and her attorney, Rick Simons, took them to court, and won $2.8 million in compensatory damages, and around $21 million in punitive damages. It is the punitive damages the Watchtower appealed, and won. On the upside, Kendrick is on the sexual offenders’ list. I previously thought him to be behind bars, but it appears he only did no more than 8 months. On the downside, in spite of the PR hit, the “Slimetower” didn’t take the financial hit for which I had been hoping. It was their policies, and good old fashioned cowardice, that prevented the Fremont, Calif. elders from informing her parents that, in fact, there had been two other victims he molested within her congregation.

Jehovah’s Witness elders, in every congregation, worldwide, adhere to a secret manual not officially accessible to the rest of the congregation, which specifically instructs them, in so many words, not to be of any aid, or value, to victims of rape or child molestation. I can’t make this up. The name of the instructional rag is called, “Pay Attention To Yourselves And To All The Flock,” or, “Shepherd the Flock of God,” as it has reportedly been called today. However, I think it should be titled, “Get Over Yourself.”

The dangerous wording of this publication has turned otherwise mostly-ordinary, unlearned men, into some of the biggest religious bullies around.

“I wanted to see just how different Jehovah’s Witnesses were, or were not, from other religions. What I found actually allowed me to stop taking Prozac for depression, because I would learn very quickly just how false, and even dangerous, this religion was, and is, and has proven to be.” – Ritchie Mac

This is the kind of split-haired decision I’ve gotten too used to seeing in court cases today – “guilty of negligence,” “innocent of punitive damages.” What kind of demonic hold does this demon-obsessed organization have on courts, and the media, even though they have outwardly been so small a faith? And, even worse, what kind of hold do have on current members, and how can they learn to break it?

Paying attention to yourselves is precisely the issue here.

And, as of this late date, the publishing company has its members wound so tightly, they won’t completely leave in spite of plainly knowing, and admitting to, their glaring scandals. I will now sight an example of a Watchtower follower who discovered what she followed was anything but “the truth.” Her name is Ritchie Mac. She is the author of a new book; “Holy Terror: In the name of the Father, the Son and the Watchtower,” from Freedom Underground Publishing.

As you may have noticed in the quotes from her book I’ve posted above, she had been raised in the Watchtower organization, and, at some point, lost important contact with her dad due to his being shunned (disfellowshipped), and her mother’s overzealous behavior after he left.

Those two factors, combined with the Watchtower’s already-stringent rules, had taken quite a toll on her health, until she became fed-up, and began doing her own research.

Many of us who had been raised in what called itself “the truth” don’t have that level of depression at this late date, whether we are still in it, or not, and even with the guilt trips from an extremist parent.

Time brings a lot to the table for the subconscious mind; time and common sense. And, at some point, we’ve reconciled our fear of Armageddon by thinking, ‘if it ain’t here, it ain’t comin’,’ and likely moved on in some form or another.

When Ritchie decided it was time for her to officially move on, she told her mom first, after which her mom immediately called the elders.

One of the most irritating aspects of the Watchtower, is the brainwork done to JW parents, especially black parents, many of whom seem to have drank their Watchtower Kool-Aid by the gallons. It’s the parent’s job to teach, and enforce right and wrong to their children, not construe normalcy, independence, and achievement as wrong.

Yet, when the elders departed, Ritchie’s mom had been left standing as the most surprised in the room.

“The elders wasted very little time making their way over to my house… He seemed eager at this point, and pulled out his bible as the others followed his lead. I told them to close their bibles, because I’ve read it enough to know the meaning of any scripture they were planning to show me, and that it wouldn’t help. As they closed their bibles, completely shocked, I felt a sudden sense of power. I just told some elders to close their bibles, and without question, or debate, they listened. Is this what freedom from the Watchtower would bring?” – Ritchie Mac

Sister Mac pretty much controlled her own JW court martial. At least, that’s what it was supposed to have been. Not only did she confiscate her executioner’s gun, she limited their visit to only half an hour, and, on her front porch.

So, here’s my advice, believe in yourself, and all those you love, and the things you hold dear. I am quite aware there will be trolls looking for a way to skirt around this article, and still blast their trumpet for the Watchtower Society, or organized religion in general.

Candace Conti is smart, as well, but because her case had been a lot tougher, she needed more than smarts. Not many elders would be able to decipher what quality she needed, in order to bring her through the ordeal with Kendrick, and the organization they so worship, because they themselves are lacking.

However, her attorney, Simons nailed it in a 2012 article: “I cannot think of a single individual who brings to a case the inner strength that Candace found over the last couple of years. I find it difficult to say, in words, how much I admire her strength, throughout a very challenging time of the last three years of her life. People who see the result, I don’t think understand how much it takes to go through being the person who stands up first, and confronts a powerful institution. And, this is a very powerful, and very secretive, and very controlling institution.”

Inner strength, i.e. strong will and determination, you can’t learn those things in their New System School Inc., classroom. No amount of money is worth what a very young Candace lost, and has been forced to endure. What a blessing it will be for the Watchtower to go from “very controlling,” to very broke. A $28 million dollar hit, here, would have created a dent. We already knew they had been negligent.

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Chris Stevenson is a columnist for blackcommentator, a contributor to the Hampton Institute, and a syndicated columnist. Respond to him by email at