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This review is from: The Day of Jehovah's Witnesses (Paperback)
I bought this book because of the unique perspective. There are many books written about Jehovah's Witnesses by those who attack their version of Christianity and then attempt to dismantle their dogma and supplant it with their own. I have no interest in any such version of Christianity. My particular interest was to understand what motivated JWs to live the way that they do. Many of us will have known JWs at school, at work, had them knock on your door etc. Yet what do we really know other than they don't do birthdays or Christmas and would rather die than have a blood transfusion, their children included! I have known some people who were JWs and they reached a point in their lives where they had doubts about their position within this religion. They were afraid to openly ask questions. I was disturbed to read a newspaper article in the Independent newspaper in 2011 I think, where the JWs main journal, The Watchtower, described those who left the religion because of such doubts as 'mentally diseased'!!! The book describes the very high level of control exerted on the membership where any questioning is greeted with suspicion. Indeed, any who leave the religion or who are excommunicated face the prospect of being shunned by friends and family as per the JWs policy. I read a newspaper article last year about a man who was in this exact position and faced the prospect of having to be shunned by his mother. The official spokesman for the JWs was quoted in the report as saying that such action was purely a personal decision and not endorsed or expected by the JWs as a whole. The book clearly shows that this is NOT the reality. The private face shown by the JW authorities to its own members is very different to its public face. Further investigation revealed that it is also a registered charity!!
So who is this book for? If you know anyone who has been contacted by the JWs in an attempt to convert them then this is for them. Also, if you have friends or family who are JWs then they will learn a great deal about the religion they belong to, especially that it is based on Bronze Age values which include intolerance of women's rights, gay rights etc. and will exert great pressure on its rank and file to maintain its membership numbers. The biggest challenge will be getting them to overcome their conditioning and start reading this book.