Top positive review
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Clear, unbiased look at a little understood religion
on 7 December 2013
If you are a Jehovah's Witness with doubts or questions about the organisation - read this book! If you're aquatinted with a Jehovah's Witness or you've had a pamphlet through the door and felt any curiosity about the religion - read this book!
I thought I knew a little bit about Jehovah's witnesses, this book proved me wrong. I had no idea of the fundamental beliefs of the religion, the organisations structure, history or habit of changing policy. Neither did I understand how completely it's members are controlled or the, to me startling, nature of that control.
I think that ordinary Jehovah's Witnesses themselves may be unaware of much of the information this book highlights. There are parallels with other organisations and movements that are surprising - i.e. the communist party. The author brings to attention the organisations changes in policy over healthcare issues and how those policies have impacted on the lives of the members. This book certainly has swept aside my preconceptions and highlighted a reality that is uncomfortable to consider.
Rachel Walsh has a wonderful way of writing that helps you to come to your own thoughts, opinions, feelings and conclusions on matters of the religions faith and organizational structure without preaching or shoving facts down your throat. She guides you through the facts, highlights issues and asks moral questions. From start to finish the book is a delight to read, easily digestable. There's is nothing of the dusty tome plagued with footnotes for the footnotes here although all the sources are well documented. The author brings to life well researched data and relates it to the reader in a clear manner.
The fiction stories at the start of most chapters are brilliant. Not only well written and captivating they also highlight the points that follow in that chapter. An absolutely inspired idea to encapsulate the chapters theme in a manner that any reader, whatever their religious understanding, can relate to and understand. I would love to read a fictional story by the author.
There is no personal agenda here, no "Jehovah's witnesses are wrong (insert other Christian faith here) is right", no diatribe or bitterness towards the religion based on mistreatment. This is an academic, secular look at the Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs and organisation, the author states facts, asks questions and leaves you to digest it all.
The data speaks for itself. What I learnt of the organisation has shocked me. It explains the, to me, seemingly odd behavior of Jehovah's Witnesses I have met. I sincerely hope that this book helps those who are questioning the organisation or who would like to leave but feel trapped. If it helps just one person to find personal and religious freedom the author can consider her work a roaring success.
I'll say it again... If you are a Jehovah's Witness with doubts or questions about the organisation - read this book! There is a kindle version available for download which will provide you with the opportunity to read about the religion from an unbiased point of view without anyone knowing. I hope you read it and I hope it helps you find freedom.