Research & Stories of Former Jehovah's Witnesses

Barbara Anderson's Research


The Watchtower's View of Charity

As most of you well know, Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) have never been known for having a charitable spirit, not even towards their own members because charitable acts are not encouraged by their leaders. Rather the message conveyed through this organization’s literature is that the most important thing for members to do is to spend personal time and money to convert non-JWs to their religion. They preach that after God destroys the world, suffering will be done away with so it is not necessary to relieve human suffering now. [Read More...]

Watch Tower or Watchtower - Which Is It?

Ever wonder why the name, Watchtower, (one word) is sometimes written, Watch Tower, (two words)? Does it matter? What are the legal ramifications? What does the Watchtower have in common with the Peoples Pulpit Association of New York? The answers to these questions and more are thoughtfully presented from a historical perspective. [Read more...]

Jehovah's Witnesses Obstruct Truth-Seeking

Jehovah's Witnesses are discouraged from doing extensive personal research into their modern-day history. Such action can cause a truth-seeking Witness to be labeled "apostate" and be shunned by family and friends. Yet, scrutiny of ancient Biblical history is allowable and thought to be imsportant so why can't the same standard apply to Witnesses' modern-day history which reaches back approximately one hundred and thirty years at the very most? Based on the premise that these days are the last few gasps of a dying world, and salvation or eternal destruction depend upon Witnesses having all the information necessary to prove whether or not they really ARE the one and only true religion, one would think the more proof discovered, the better. [Read More...]


Other Former Jehovah's Witnesses Share their Stories & Thoughts

The following excerpts are from an assortment of submissions that Barbara has received. Many contact her to share their story, thoughts and experiences - and with their permission she has published some of these here on

If you would like your story or article to be published, please use the Contact Us page to send an email to Barbara.


Alan Miller (book length story)

This is the story of my lifelong spiritual journey so far without all the confusing religious doctrines included. My story is true, but some of the fine details have been changed to maintain my personal anonymity. My name is not Alan Miller; I did not grow up in the wonderful city of St. Louis necessarily. Some names and occupations have been changed for the same reason. It doesn't affect the story whatsoever.[Read More...]

The Langbroek Family (story)

I became interested in the JWs in the early 1950's. I was still at teacher's college in the Netherlands and belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church. In the church I had asked several times about the trinity but never received a satisfactory answer. So when the JW's came with all the answers I was a 'sitting duck'.[Read More...]

Mary Woodard (story)

This is the text of a letter that took the community by storm in 1990. Even though it was penned in 1989, it became so widespread it inspired the October 8, 1991 Awake! article "Healing the Wounds of Child Abuse". Mary is no longer a JW and the perspective given in the text is from before her leaving the Witness religion.[Read More...]

Also available is a document chronicling Mary's departure titled: A Meeting in Bethel to Exiting the Organization.[Read More...]

Michele Parsons (story)

The article regarding kidnapping sick JW children to escape court-ordered blood transfusions in the September 28, 2009 Toronto, Canada, National Post, is sickening and typical of what Jehovah's Witnesses have done for years and years -- forbid transfusions then deny allegations and responsibility for deaths.[Read More...]

Mary Aguilar (story)

My name is Mary Aguilar. I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the early 70's and 80's and a victim of domestic violence. My husband was a Witness too, and still is. I spoke to elders several times about his violent behavior. Their excuse was that I wasn't doing enough. I wasn't a good wife. I didn't pray enough. I wondered how they knew how much I prayed. After several attempts to talk to the elders, nothing was done and I had nowhere to turn. [Read More...]

Reasoning with Biblical Doctrines, By Mary Patterson

In the last few years, there have been numerous “adjustments” in the Organization, both doctrinally and procedurally. While many find these changes enlightening, there are still many brothers and sisters who are concerned about all these changes and what it means for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Change is never easy, especially when it comes to doctrinal changes. You can be told that something is “truth” for years, even decades, only to have it change in one simple article. Why is it so difficult to perhaps accept that a doctrine we had long believed to be based on the scriptures, turns out not to be? The fundamental reason is the way our brain is hard-wired. Beliefs (whether religious or otherwise) are designed to enhance our ability to survive, they are biologically designed to be strongly resistant to change. [Read More...]

Freedom From An Unsafe Haven, By Caleb

Mom, my younger brother, and I were baptized on a cold day in September 1999, my final year at school. It was a day of uncertainty. I had recently gotten my unbearable bouts of depression under control, and I finally made the decision to dedicate my life to Jehovah and Jesus…and their organization. To me that day was bitter-sweet. It was a day filled with fear; fear of failure, fear of not measuring up, fear of whether what I did was right, and fear of the unknown. You see, I had a very turbulent childhood - the impact of which I only recently discovered. My mother was my everything; nature was my playground, and a dad’s acceptance was the elusive mirage I tirelessly sought. [Read More...]

Peculiar Terminology of the Jehovah's Witnesses Bible and the Denial of Women Leaders

The Jehovah’s Witness Bible, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, uses terminology that seems odd or strange to the general public. One of these peculiar terms is found at 1 Timothy 3:8, which the NWT renders: “Ministerial servants should likewise be serious, not double-tongued, not giving themselves to a lot of wine.” The Greek word that the NWT translates as “ministerial servants” is diakonoi, which literally means “servants.” Most modern Bible translations use the term deacon as it describes a ministry in the church. The Jehovah’s Witnesses apply the term “ministerial servants” to their secondary church officers. Now don’t get me wrong; the Witnesses can call their clergy any name they want to. But the term “ministerial servants” is redundant. It is almost like saying “serving servants.” [Read More...]

The Apostle Junia

Were there women apostles in New Testament times? Though this may be a surprise to some, yes, there were. St. Paul mentions such a woman in the sixteenth chapter of his letter to the Romans. Often times Romans 16 is glossed over when reading the Bible, being treated like the cast and credits that appear at the end of a film that one quickly glances over while leaving the cinema. So it is easy to overlook Romans 16:7 (New Revised Standard Version), which says: “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” Was Junia an apostle? Jehovah’s Witnesses and some Fundamentalist groups say no! [Read More...]

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Hi, my name is Paul M_______ and I’m an ex-Jehovah’s Witness. By the end of this sorry tale I hope to be an ex-ex-Jehovah’s Witness. But not yet. I’m 40 years old later this year and happily married for 11 years now to Samantha. We have two boys – aged 4 and 2. We’re from the UK but currently find ourselves at the edge of the world and all of Western civilization about 50 yards from the Pacific Ocean in Hermosa Beach, LA. My story begins in Glasgow, Scotland - naturally my parents figured in this so let’s start with them. [Read More...]

Lester Kite's Story

I was a "born in." My father and mother got the "truth" very shortly before I was born 44 years ago. They were very young parents but both took to the teachings of the WTS very easily. My father made ministerial servant grade and became an elder when the arrangement was started sometime early in the 70's. [Read More...]

Recommended Sites

View Barbara's list of recommended ex-JW websites. View List »

Recommended ex-Jehovah's Witness Websites

Read Barbara's Blog

Barbara Anderson's blog on contains facinating experiences from her years at Bethel in N.Y. as well as multi-part research reports.

View Blog at Freeminds »

View additional articles by Barbara at Freeminds »

Barbaran Anderson's Blog on Freeminds


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