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Waking Up Ghana

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Waking Up Ghana is one Ghanaian elder’s story of escaping the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He provides an insightful look into the Jehovah’s Witnesses judicial system. He highlights its flaws and weaknesses. He gives reader’s an understanding of how such a fallacious system lays the groundwork for exposing the religion for what it truly is.

I was born into the organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. All my nuclear family are Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was baptized in 2002, despite not being that into the ‘truth’ (as Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to their religion). It wasn’t until after I finished school and moved out to work that I got serious about religion. I became a ministerial servant and a pioneer. I applied for Bethel service (volunteering at the Ghana Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses). I went on to become an elder and then I was was appointed Coordinator of the Body Of Elders (CoBE). I gave talks at conventions and I helped other elders with the elder’s section of jw.org. I even served in the translation department at Bethel and later I became a member of a local translation team.

Somewhere along the line I took some wrong steps and I was disfellowshipped. The elders didn’t consider the fact that I still wanted to serve Jehovah. I had stopped my wrongful course long before I met the elders. Yet, they disfellowshipped me all the same. When the announcment was made at my local kingdom hall that I was disfellowshipped, I was present. That day no closing song was sung because almost everyone in attendance were busy crying. They couldn’t sing. I was very nice and supportive to all of them. The congregation loved me. Of course, a few did not.

My being disfellowshipped was a big blow to a lot of people. I was known by almost 90% in my circuit. I was known too by almost all circuit overseers in my area.  I lost everyone. No, not everyone. I still had a very supportive wife. This is the same person I shamefully betrayed. But she has made me stronger.

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One of the saddest things about all this is that I was betrayed. The elders in the judicial committee gave out private details to others that I disclosed in my judicial meeting. These elders were men I respected. Because of this wrongful disclosure, some people made it their duty to see that I not be reinstated as a Jehovah’s Witness. This highlighted to me that there is a lot of unhealthy competition and jealousy in the organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is clear that some are just trying to please man and not God.

As a matter of course, I made attempts to “Return to Jehovah“. In my anguish, I turned to the internet to look for information about Jehovah’s Witnesses. What I discovered was the “Truth about ‘The Truth’” (TTATT). I learned lot about the organisation. I have seen that it’s not worth the pain.

Regardless of what I discovered, I still wanted to come back so as to clear the ‘sinner’ tag. So I worked to “qualify” for reinstatement. Within a year, I succeeded. When it was announced at my Kingdom Hall that I was reinstated, I was overwhelmed by the reaction of the congregation. I had never experienced such tears of joy in the eyes of people like on that day. Almost all cried with joy. And the song they sang was louder than any song I have heard sung even at conventions! These people: they still loved me. You see, most Jehovah’s Witnesses have a good heart. Unfortunately, they are being misled. They do not know what they are really  involved in.

My wife is the best thing that happened to me. Despite what I did, she still loves me unconditionally.  She is still here with me. She loves and respect me even more now than ever. As for me, I worship her. I would rather die than make that silly mistake again. I cannot say she is fully awake from the indoctrination of Jehovah’s Witnesses but she has realized that things are not as rosy as they may seem. She knows I am awake and she understands. She is my heartbeat.

Meanwhile, while seeking reinstatement, I decided that I would help others. I can confidently tell you that in 6 months since my reinstatement, I have helped 15 people wake up from the indoctrination. This number includes 3 elders, 2 ministerial servants, 4 regular pioneers and 6 publishers from various congregations. They have no idea who helped them and I am not going to reveal myself to them. Many others have woken up but remain as Jehovah’s Witnesses for ‘good’ reasons. Many have become inactive. I, myself, have discovered a way to be an “active inactive”.

I was awoken mostly by content on avoidjw.org. The materials and publications I found there shocked me as an ex elder. It was also the first time I got to hear of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In all there was 1006 alleged perpetrators of child sexual abuse within the organization over a 50 year period. This was in Australia alone! What shocked me more was the lies given by elders and a Governing Body member who all testified under oath. As an ex elder, CoBE and pioneer, I could see that they were all lies. If you haven’t watched the royal commission yet please watch all the eight days of the hearing on YouTube here. Before you do, though, please read the elders manual especially chapters 5 to 7 and you will see the lies. You can find the elders manual here in English and 3 Ghanaian languages.

Why am I exposing the organization behind Jehovah’s Witnesses and helping people leave?
It is because I no longer accept that it is the ‘truth’ or ‘God’s organization’.

Why do I share the organization’s secrets?
If you read the Transcript to Day 153 (July 31 2015) of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse,  you will read the testimony from one Dr. Applewhite. She was a consultant hired by the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Australia to provide evidence and expert testimony to the Australian Royal Commission. The Society gave her a copy of the Elder’s textbook, Shepherd the Flock of God. The manual is supposed to be for elders only. Any Jehovah’s Witness who is not an elder including, but not limited to pioneers, ministerial servants and women are not permitted access to it. They must not know of its existence or read from its pages. Yet, here is a Catholic woman, hired by the Watch Tower Society, given full access to the book. How bizarre! You may view her video testimony here. This begs the question: if a catholic woman can be given access to the Elder’s Textbook, why can’t all baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses have access to it? Now that you know that a restricted book is provided to non-members, do not be afraid to read all the manuals and letters to the elders. Arm yourself with the information you need to help you move on. Remember: Knowledge is power.

What are my plans going forward? Should I leave or not?
A good friend of mine from AvoidJW.org said something I have to totally agree with. He said the following concerning ‘just leaving’ the organization:

“For one to just leave Watchtower fuels the argument that those who leave just want to get out there and have sex, smoke, do drugs, become materialistic, and lead a generally immoral life. It’s for this reason, I do not believe in just leaving. I do not believe in just sending elders a disassociation letter.

“If one just leaves, or one just disassociates, the remaining members think you have done something wrong. It’s a natural assumption. No. One should not just leave. Anyone who leaves should publicly explain to their friends and family why they are leaving. It should be made clear WHY they are leaving. It is not because one wants to live the easy life. No. That is not the case. Because leaving does not allow ANYONE the easy life. It is the most difficult decision anyone can make.  Leaving means that one is giving up everything:

  • They give up their friends who are Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • They give up their family who are Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • They give up that was their whole life.

“If you are going to leave, those who remain need to understand what you are sacrificing and why.

“Saying this, one should thank Jehovah’s Witnesses for the good that they have garnered from being a member of the cult. It is not all negative. There are a lot of positives to be gained from being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Unfortunately, there is a huge amount to lose from being one too.

“There is a lot that is not right in this cult that considers itself God’s organization on earth. At best, it is very presumptuous for an organization that has many non-biblical policies and procedures to claim it is God’s organization. At worst, it is a blasphemous claim”.

I agree with my very good friend. I do not know when but I shall leave. And I have a grand plan for when I do.

Here is something to ponder:

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not research their cult on the internet or in the news. They stick to that which their Governing Body have authorized. Anything they see from outsiders is considered apostate material. All apostate material is considered lies. So it is very difficult to wake them up when they have this mentality. It is easier to wake up a Jehovah’s Witness when you work from the inside. I have been getting people out since I was reinstated, As I mentioned previously, I have woken up 15 people in a 6 month period.

Here is something else to consider:

I go out in field service from time to time. When I do I make sure to get the phone number or email off every person we talk to. I don’t do much talking with the householder. But if I do it is just about non-religious things, or basic biblical truths. If I am able to get a number from the householder, I send him/her links and articles to these people anonymously so that they have the whole picture with regard to Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are then presented with the real ‘truth’ about this organization. Most do not respond again.

Do you think such methods help people? Yes, they do. If it help, why leave the organization and ruin your chance of helping people know the truth about this organization? I am still here helping those within to get out. If you are a current member who has woken up, you can help too. My plan is to remain a member for some time. I will act as a mole and a spy.

In time, I will leave. Until then, I will continue Waking Up Ghana!

Note to Jehovah’s Witnesses and ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses in Ghana

If you are looking for a support network to assist you if you are disfellowshipped or thinking of leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses, you will find it in the ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses of Ghana facebook page.

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Lester Somrah writes about the beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses on his social media platforms and was baptized as a member in 1998.

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