AAWA Contributes Behind the Scenes

Since its start-up in March 2013, AAWA’s mission has been: To educate non-Jehovah’s Witnesses (those who are not JWs and not ex-JWs) around the world about Watchtower abuses. By working behind the scenes, we have seen steady progress from our efforts.

Before we share some of our successes, we would like to report what did not work for us.

In the beginning, the founders of AAWA thought that building a large social network made up with hundreds of volunteers would be the road to success. That did not happen.

However, with very little fanfare and some significant help from just a few well-informed and dedicated volunteers, AAWA has managed to produce some significant results.

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Opening Minds: A Book Review

Richard Kelly’s review of Jon Atack’s new book

Jon Atack's new book "Opening Minds"opening minds: the secret world of manipulation, undue influence and brainwashing

How would I describe Jon Atack’s most recent book, Opening Minds:…?

I could start with “totally engaging, thought-provoking, damning, and scary as hell.” Then I would add “brimming with mind-boggling facts” and “expertly written.”

Jon’s writing style reminds me of my grandfather, who was a very caring, wise and gifted story teller. Yes, Jon is blessed with that rare talent, as a storyteller, of being able to delightfully grab and hold your full, undivided attention and light a fire in your belly at the same time.

“Wow! So what is Jon’s book all about?” you ask.

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Manipuliert die WTG Zeugen Jehovas mental?

In Robert Jay Lifton’s Buch “Thought Reform and Psychology of Totalism” beschreibt Lifton 8 Methoden zur Gedankenkontrolle, welche unethische Pseudo-Religionen benutzen um die Gedankenwelt ihrer Mitglieder zu manipulieren.

1961 benutzte Lifton das Wort “Gedankenreform” um die psychologische Manipulation zu beschreiben, wobei heute die meisten Menschen “Gedankenkontrolle”, “schlechter Einfluss” oder “Gehirnwäsche” benutzen.

Was sind nun diese 8 Methoden oder Kriterien der Einflussnahme in einer Gruppe? Nutzt die WTG eine dieser Methoden um die Gedankenwelt und das Verhalten ihrer 8 Millionen Mitglieder zu beeinflussen? Um diese Frage zu beantworten, müssen wir diese 8 Methoden betrachten:

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Your Biography Becomes Your Biology

By Bonnie Zieman

In a recent Facebook post, Bo Juel initiated an important conversation about how people leave the Watchtower, and whether or not they leave feeling sick, mentally and/or physically. The comments on his post demonstrated that everyone has their own individual experience while they are in the cult and when they leave it.

But having said that, there is an inordinate number of Jehovah’s Witnesses who leave the cult with a myriad of psychological and physical issues.

This post is about the many physical issues survivors can experience. One only needs to read posts and comments in the ex-Jehovah’s Witness discussion groups on Facebook to know that a lot of JWs are plagued by seemingly unexplained physical problems which run the gamut from aches and pains, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, chronic fatigue, heart problems, etc., etc., etc.

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A Letter of Gratitude to AAWA from a Jehovah’s Witness

By Lee Marsh

We often think that nothing we do has any real effect on Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, just a couple of days ago, I received an email thanking AAWA for the work we are doing. According to the writer, we are definitely making an impact.

We aren’t the only ones. Other valuable websites provide information that people need to know to get the Watchtower Society out of their heads. Some may still be in congregations worldwide and may have decided – at least for now – to stay in the organization. But they also tell us that their minds are no longer deceived by Watchtower misinformation.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to have “The Truth” – Do they?

By Richard E. Kelly

Jehovah’s Witnesses often refer to themselves as having “The Truth” – but they also believe that it is okay – and even appropriate at times – to actually not tell the truth. It just depends on who they are sharing that “truth” with.

One of those Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on my mama’s door when I was four years old. Six months later, Mama was baptized and a dyed-in-the-wool believer and already teaching my siblings and me the loaded language that earmarks the cult-like life of good Jehovah’s Witnesses, or any cult for that matter.

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Cognitive Dissonance and Jehovah’s Witnesses


In his breakthrough 1956 book, When Prophecy Fails, Leon Festinger hooks the reader in his very first paragraph,

InHungarianButton“A man with conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.”

That description of a “man with conviction” could very easily be applied to many “apocalyptic” Jehovah’s Witnesses. Because Festinger’s insights on cognitive dissonance make it seem that he was writing about some JWs, I will present my review this way:

…[S]uppose <the JW> is presented with undeniable evidence that his belief is wrong: What will happen? <The JW> will emerge, not only unshaken, but more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than before. Indeed, <the JW> may show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.”

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Unraveling Watchtower’s Misinformation on Blood Transfusions

Watchtower’s 135-year-old history is mired in misinformation; some of it silliness that has probably caused little harm. But misinformation related to Watchtower’s blood transfusion policy is another story. One statistician estimates that at least 50,000 people have died prematurely due this poorly constructed and misguided policy

So we took it very seriously when an articulate Jehovah Witness submitted a well-written response to AAWA’s July 1, 2015 article about Watchtower’s ever changing blood policy. While we’re sure that he meant well, his dangerously inaccurate comments begged for a rebuttal. His mimicking of Watchtower’s misinformation on blood transfusions needed to be unraveled from what little he knew that was true. But first, here is what he had to say:

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