Mental Illness & the Jehovah
Witness - Part 2
PROHIBITIONS OF THE SOCIETY
Many things are condemned by the Watchtower and could
be discussed. All holidays as Christmas, birthdays, Easter, Mothers Day, St.
Patrick's Day and all the rest are prohibited. Saying words as "luck" and
"unfortunate" is bad.
Investigation: A person's research into
higher education is condemned. Reading most non-Witness books and magazines is
condemned. The mind control and the bondage are self-evident. Similar to the
Moonies, the Jehovah's Witnesses rarely accept any Christian literature. Think
about this, "Why won't a Moony read Christian literature?" Their leader, Mr.
Moon, told them not to. Why? His people might trust the real Jesus and quit
being Moonies! The Watchtower has the same fear.
Witnesses are pressured to read the Watchtower and Awake magazines. They say,
"How do you have time to read other literature after reading the Watchtower and
Awake first? And I am sure you read them first!" The Watchtower and Awake are
not long, about 24 pages. Regular readers come to know what is in the material.
It only takes about 45 minutes to read one of the publications. The level of
writing is grade six. "Well, don't you meditate on the thoughts?" "I know them
all. What else can I do?" "Well, there must be something else you can study."
Dr. Bergman would say, "I've read most of the Societies publications since 1879.
I don't know what else I could read." "Well, should you waste your time on those
worldly things?" He responded, "Where do you think the Society gets all their
material from? They do not sit down and make up all those studies. They do not
have a void that is filled as things come to them. They have a large library.
They read things. They do research and write articles." Russell himself said
that everything he talked about in the magazines, he got from somebody else. He
did not originate anything. Russell did say he arranged them in a unique
combination. The Witnesses responded, "Well, the material is filtered through
theocratic channels. What is not good is taken out." Dr. Bergman's response was,
"How do I know that is true?" Furthermore, he pointed out, "This article quotes
from this book. It gave the name and the page of this lexicon. The copyright and
the author are given. What is wrong with me looking that up?" They would say,
"Well, just look that up and don't read anything else." What an insult to a
doctor with 10,000 books!
Stiflization: The Jehovah's Witnesses intellect
is stifled when all the answers come from the Watchtower. If you question a
teaching, they are sure something is wrong with you. The emotions are stifled.
The people are shackled putting the person in spiritual stifling and spiritual
bondage. If you shackle someone's mind, could you expect him to stay sane for a
long period of time? No. You would expect him to go crazy in time because the
Watchtower Society insists, "Don't think. Just accept." A mental crisis is
Recreation: Regularly involving yourself in
recreation is also condemned. It is O.K. once in a while. But if you play
regularly, like joining a bowling team, that is wrong! After school sports are
wrong. Extra-curricular activity is wrong. Any association with non-Jehovah's
Witnesses, except where it is absolutely necessary is wrong. The Kingdom Hall
pressures children to stay away from little league and other local sports
Transportation Even things like convertibles and
two-door hardtops can be wrong. "Why?" "Because you need a car that will serve
Jehovah." How do you serve Jehovah? Go out on service! That is what cars are
for. What kind of car is best to go out in service? The Witnesses cars should be
designed to carry other Witnesses who need to go out on service, like
station-wagons and vans. Sedans are O.K. with four doors. They will not kick a
person out for having a convertible. Again, they pressure by put-downs as,
"Well, he is somewhat immature!"
Transfusions. Blood transfusions are considered to be wrong. The Watchtower's
twisted interpretations of Scripture has deceived the people. This one erroneous
Watchtower teaching kills thousands. Similarly, organ transplants were condemned
by the Watchtower from 1967 to 1980. During those years the Jehovah's Witnesses
were sure their eternal life was in jeopardy if they received a transplant. The
so-called "new light" was wrong and people died needlessly! Wars and abortions
are responsible for death and heartache. The Watchtower Society is equally
responsible for death and the suffering of those who are left behind.
Manipulation: Interestingly, to visit
psychiatrists and psychologists is considered wrong. Desperate Witnesses come to
the point where they have no choice but to seek help. Even visiting many doctors
was discouraged at one time. The second Watchtower president, Rutherford, was a
cigar smoker. Now, smoking is condemned to the point of saying you will lose
everlasting life if you smoke. They believe it is a major sin equal to murder.
When they passed the smoking rule about 1% of the Witnesses left. Missing
meetings is wrong. Missing service is wrong. Working overtime is wrong. Getting
promoted is wrong. Using terms not approved by the Watchtower Society such as
"New Testament", "Old Testament", or "AD" is wrong. Bowing ones head when a
non-Jehovah's Witness. prays is wrong. With all these prohibitions you can see
why people are up-tight. They have to be careful not to do something considered
wrong. The Kingdom Hall has so many rules to follow! It is widely known among
psychiatrists that a rigid, strict, unloving environment is highly conducive to
producing mentally ill people. That is exactly what you have among the
Witnesses, a constantly rigid, structured, dictatorial environment.
Salvation: The Jehovah's Witnesses do not enjoy
any of the liberty made available through Jesus Christ. What a contrast to
Christianity! Christians are concerned with doing good things. Biblical
standards are important. If you have a vice and do something wrong, you do not
have to think, "Since my salvation depends on my works, that's it! I have lost
my eternal life!" A Christian should work to overcome sin as God enables< him. A
son who displeases his father puts a strain on the relationship. The father may
discipline the child but the child certainly remains in his family. The same is
true with our Heavenly Father. The Witnesses have no understanding of this
comforting truth. Imagine the crisis of conscience and emotional turmoil for a
Jehovah's Witness trying to maintain salvation by his own frail integrity!
Humiliation: A Witness growing up is subjected
to great threat to his mental health. A young Witness has a difficult time for
many reasons. First of all, one's peers are very important. A Witness cannot
associate with non-Jehovah's Witness peers. "They are all of the world, all
anxious to drag you down into their depths." Also things in the school are
unacceptable such as saluting the flag. How embarrassing for the children! They
are caught in the middle when the parents say, "Don't salute. If you do you will
miss eternal life!" Schools have said, "You'd better salute. If you don't you
are going to the office." What does the child do? Historically, both sides were
very unfeeling and the children ended up suffering the most. They are the ones
who really got hurt. It was cruel to expel a child from the school, which was
done, or to humiliate them because they would not salute the flag. Yet, the
child was only trying to obey his parents. His parents would not salute the flag
either! The Society taught that everyone in America should take pleasure in
displaying the American flag in 1917. Then they said to salute the flag is to
salute the devil, in 1949. What would you expect a child to do? This affects the
child's mental health. He is constantly isolated from his school mates. He sees
himself as being a social isolate, cast off and different. This affects the
child's mental health. What kind of personality would he naturally develop? He
is going to be introverted, shy, to himself, fearful, and afraid of other
people. Many Witnesses are well adjusted mentally, but there are a lot more who
This sets up a vicious circle. The Witnesses attitude is, "I don't like you
because you are of the devil." The Witnesses often treat people poorly and snub
them. In return, how is the public going to treat them? Poorly! So many people
do not like them. How would you feel as a Witness regarding other people?
Isolated! You would be set off as different and made fun of. Kids in school are
in many ways openly cruel to Jehovah's Witnesses. Children have burst into tears
and screamed in the classroom because of how their peers react. Unfeeling kids
do not know what it is like to grow up as a Witness.
COMPASSION FOR THE JEHOVAH'S
Ministration: The Witnesses have a lot of
problems due to their environment. How difficult to be in the Watchtower for a
long period of time and remain emotionally well adjusted! Being very aware of
this, how should we react toward the Witnesses?
If you were to visit a friend who was in the mental hospital, who was standing
rigidly immobile in the corner and stood that way for months, who had to be fed
through a tube or he dies; how would you respond to that person? Would you say
something like, "I see you have not been reading your Bible lately!" It won't
work! People who help the mentally ill say, "The only way you can really help is
love them." Love them! This does not mean to go up and say to a Witness, "Jesus
loves you!" The comment is true. But the Witness interprets it as mocking him.
The well meaning remark simply upsets him. So you have to convey, "I love you. I
am concerned about you, other Christians are, and Jesus is concerned about you."
But you have to be very cautious how you communicate your concern. If you walk
up and tell them, "I love you," with all his worries about homosexuality, he is
going to be sure you have problems. They are going to misinterpret it. What
should you say to them? You might say very little. Quite often Christ said
nothing. When they asked Him about being the King of the Jews. He responded
briefly. He was not rude. He stressed who He is. In effect He would say, "Let
what I do judge me." So how do we work with Jehovah's Witnesses? The same way.
Arguing with poorly instructed Christians many times only drives the Witnesses
away from Christianity and back into the Watchtower. Some of their people have
prepared to leave the Organization, then after arguing with a Christian for
three hours, they go right back. You do not show them you love them by arguing.
The main way you show them you are concerned is by translating that concern into
action. "Can I drive you to work?" "How are things going." "Can I mow your
lawn?" "Can I tell you something I learned? You may disagree but that's all
right. I'm anxious for your thoughts." Then when they give you their thoughts,
listen to them. If you want someone to like you, sit down and ask questions and
listen. Questions will make a closed mind THINK. Even though you do not agree
with what they say and you think it is crazy, say only a few things. You may
only say a few sentences; but make them carefully chosen and thought provoking.
If you only say a few sentences they will probably remember what you said. They
will think about your comments. If you say 90 sentences they will never think
about it. They will say, "Boy, that guy was argumentative! That guy sure is all
wrong, trying to push all this stuff." Give just a few good points. Talking of
Christ's resurrection, you might say, "I just wonder about this Scripture.
Perhaps you could tell me what you think about this." Then give the points and
let them think about what you said. They will probably give you a lot of words.
Do not agree with the error. You may kindly respond, "I see what you are saying
but I do not necessarily agree." Or, "This is an interesting subject and there
is a lot to consider, isn't there?"
You will find as a listener, in the first hour the Witness does 99% of the
talking. Then in the second hour he does 90%. The third hour he does 80%. Then
he will wonder, "What do you think?" He will listen to you because you have
listened to him. A law of human behavior is people respond positively to those
who listen and are courteous.
Many Witnesses are already disillusioned. These do not need to be pulled away by
more disillusionment. You need to draw them toward something else. How do you do
that? You make that something else attractive. You do not do that by harping at
If 700,000 left the Watchtower, where are most of those people? A study of
Jehovah's Witnesses who left the Kingdom Halls revealed about 90% became
agnostics, totally disillusioned with all religions and rejecting everything.
Many go way overboard and get into orgies and into drugs. Some end up in
prisons. Many say, "I am going to do whatever I want to." Are they a lot better
off as an agnostic than a Witness? What is accomplished? You have to present the
alternative. The 700,000, or whatever the number has grown to be, need to be
offered something else. They have left. We can be too preoccupied with knocking
down what they had and not with replacing it. Knocking down the straw-man of the
Watchtower is easy, but you do not need to knock down what they already do not
accept. As a Jehovah's Witness a person is systematically fed all kinds of
bazaar things about the condition of churches. A Christian needs to demonstrate
before them what real Christianity is all about.
Realize the problems of the Witnesses. Recognize they have a hard life. Many of
them are sick people; they are severely depressed. They have a lot of emotional
problems. They are not contented inside. They are miserable! Many have attempted
suicides and many were successful. You have to be pretty miserable to attempt
suicide. Hours and hours of counseling are given to these problems which are in
abundance! Although they do not tell you about the problems, realize they are
there. Assume they are there; they may not be there. Then respond as a concerned
person. Show the love you have to these people. Talk to them. Help them. Show
them you have Christ and are following Christ. They are not getting this at home
or in their spiritual home, the Kingdom Hall. The Spirit of Christ is not there!
The number one reason given by people who left the Watchtower is they are
unhappy with the congregation as people. They leave due to interpersonal
conflicts. "Nobody can get along with each other. There is constant gossiping
and constant conflicts." The conflict may be brought about by doctrinal
questions, "If Christ was not resurrected bodily, why does this Scripture
state..." "Brother, you should not be asking those things!" "Well, why not?"
"That indicates you have weak faith! So don't ask! Sit down!" Doctrine often
contributes to the Witness leaving the Watchtower, but the discussion then leads
to interpersonal problems. They leave, not so much because of the questions, but
because the Witnesses cannot deal with them without getting mad, upset, condemn,
or they cannot answer them, or they give very poor answers. That leads to
Summarized in one sentence, be Christians to Witnesses. Show them love and
Conclusion. The above material is primarily a condensed review from a message by
Dr. Bergman, tape T-31A, available from Witness Inc. Some today question whether
psychiatrists are valid. It is not my purpose to say they are or they are not.
However, Dr. Bergman's research certainly demonstrates that many Jehovah's
Witnesses have serious problems with mental illness.
Please, do not destroy a Jehovah's Witness's dignity with this information! What
must be destroyed is their faith in the diabolical system of the Watchtower. I
suggest you limit the distribution of this booklet to the compassionate who
really want to help the lost find the peace available through Jesus Christ. To
be Scriptural, we must warn about spiritual wolves and stop the mouths of the
false teachers. Be sensitive enough to separate the Jehovah's Witness deceiver
from the one who has been deceived. Many of the Witnesses were the nice,
friendly people some years ago, who opened their home to a person offering to
teach them the Bible. Jehovah's Witnesses are busy searching for people who are
curious about the Bible but are naive and Scripturally illiterate, knowing just
enough to get them into trouble.
Do the Jehovah's Witnesses have the facts and sufficient information to handle a
Bible discussion if a Christian is prepared to deal with them? No. For example,
the Witnesses are certain the Trinity doctrine originated from Satan. They are
totally confident the Watchtower has exposed a pagan doctrine. Jehovah's
Witnesses, point Trinitarians to the Watchtower publication, Should You Believe
in the Trinity? Then they challenge and pressure Christians to read it. An
answer to Jehovah's Witnesses was written by Robert M. Bowman, Jr., Why You
Should Believe in the Trinity. This book explains the Scriptures and exposes the
repeated dishonesty of the Watchtower writers in their publication. If Witnesses
would read the book, many of them would lay their Watchtower literature down and
leave the Kingdom Hall forever. Are the Jehovah's Witnesses intellectually
honest enough to read the book? No! Not even local leaders are open-minded
enough to read Christian literature.
Bible discussions that have any depth last only one visit if the Christian does
not put on "the dumb act" and veil his knowledge. Otherwise Jehovah's Witnesses
will not sit down for second session. They excuse themselves on the basis of
accusing the Christian of not having an open mind. For obvious reasons, public
debates are rare because the Watchtower has much to hide and little to gain from
the publicity. The Witnesses are looking only for "sheep-like" (gullible) ones.
Jehovah's Witnesses who find they lack answers set themselves up for a mental
Christian, are you prepared to defend the faith? Are you a Jesus Witness? God
assumes you "shall be". Acts 1:8. Will you one day stand before Jesus and admit
you never took His Word seriously? We are to "study". Excuses for not knowing
the Word of God are not real reasons. Are you ready to show a lost soul that no
verse in the Bible says, "Jesus is Michael" or "Michael is Jesus"? The
disciples, the angels and the Father all called Jesus the true "God"!
While the Watchtower Gestapo makes the Witness come to your door, the love of
Jesus Christ is constraining us to be a Jesus Witness. Are you following Jesus?
People say, "But, the Jehovah's Witnesses are difficult to win to Jesus Christ."
So are Mormons, Jews, Muslims, those in Shinto and the list goes on and on. But,
these are souls for whom Christ died.
Perhaps you would desire a Bible study to examine what the Scriptures teach
about who Jesus is, how to have eternal life, or how to defend the faith. For
personal help or an in-depth study, (whether you are an ex-Jehovah's Witness, a
Jehovah's Witness, or you never have been a Jehovah's Witness), contact the
address given at the end of this article.
Friend, are you struggling with problems in your life and wonder where you can
turn? Why not so-to-speak, climb up on the couch of Jesus Christ and tell Him
all about it? Do you need a counsellor? He is the "Wonderful, Counsellor!" Do
you need help in changing your habits and your thought patterns? Jesus is "The
mighty God!" Therefore He is powerful enough to help you. Are you concerned
about eternal life? He is "The everlasting Father!" In literal Hebrew this means
He is the Father of eternity. Your way of eternal life is through Him. Are you
searching for peace and satisfaction in your life? He is "The Prince of Peace!"
Isaiah 9:6. Consider a biblical example, Saul of Tarsus. His life was totally
changed when he addressed Jesus Christ as his Lord in> Acts 9:5. Ask Jesus to be
your Lord too. He will help you!
Reproduced with permission from: