In recent years, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have pushed their propaganda via annual conventions taking place in multiple locations around the country. Leaders have created high-quality films to show at these events, intended to teach a moral lesson from the faith. But those lessons often teach believers to shun family members who think for themselves, refuse blood transfusions even if your life is at risk, and stay faithful to God even when your life involves disaster after disaster.
So what’s in store for 2018? JW watchdog Lloyd Evans received copies of this year’s videos from someone on the inside of the organization, and he’s released them to the public so you can see how the organization plans to further manipulate its members.
The 2018 “Be Courageous” convention program hasn’t even been released on JW.org yet, but months before the first events are due to start we already have reason to expect similarly jaw-dropping material thanks to an unprecedented leak of unfinished convention video files to JWsurvey.org, complete with timers and greenscreen.
Six videos have been sent to JWsurvey by a Watchtower insider, apparently intended for a symposium designed to remind Witnesses of the need to show courage…
So what do these six videos teach?
1) That your coworkers may want you to get politically active, but you must have the courage to say no!
Watchtower needs to make Witnesses fearful and paranoid about Satan’s world by convincing them that “worldly” people are thuggish, threatening and unyielding (unlike Jehovah’s organization, which separates people from their families for disagreeing with the leaders), and the story of Mark, dreamt up by their Writing Department, well serves this purpose.
2) That LGBTQ allies may want you to show your support, but you must have the courage to say no! Or else they’ll get shrill and angry.
Having failed to persuade anyone that Jehovah’s Witnesses have the right to tell gays and lesbians whom they may or may not love, or how they may or may not express their love, an exasperated Watchtower has resorted to this shabby attempt at portraying allies of the LGBTQ community as sneering, hostile and confrontational — precisely the attitude that Watchtower itself exhibits against gays and lesbians through its publications.
… Next time she struggles with apprehension at the prospect of ambushing people she doesn’t know with a message that amounts to “believe as I do, or be killed,” she must mutter the mantra “pray, hope in Jehovah, and act.” (Please take a moment to write that down if it seems too complicated.)
4) That your religious leaders may give you irrational instructions, but you must have the courage to obey!
It is hard to conceive of more Orwellian, Jonestown-inducing ideology than this. Eight million Jehovah’s Witnesses were told that any instructions from Watchtower must be obeyed regardless of whether they can be logically justified!
5) That Armageddon will come, but you must have the courage to ignore the implications of Jehovah’s mass genocide!
… Millions of children will be subjected to this highly manipulative video propaganda that normalizes global genocide. It is one thing to relish such grisly, psychotic thoughts as an adult, but to gleefully thrust them on young minds is unforgivable.
6) That when you’re doubting your ability to adequately perform the free labor the Witnesses require, you must have the courage to do it anyway!
I’m sure many in the convention audience will identify with Philip. Witness indoctrination creates a state of “learned helplessness” in which you become totally reliant on the organization; doubting your own abilities and fearful of what would happen to you if left to fend for yourself.
The amount of brainwashing that occurs in these cults is incredible. But maybe if the first exposure to these videos that JWs have is not through their annual conventions, but through people like Lloyd Evans, they’re get a chance to consider the suggestions from a critical perspective instead of having it spoon-fed to them by people in positions of power.