Monday 30 March 2009

Death or Obedience - The Podcast

Part 1 - The Elders Come to Visit Part 1 of 4


Jehovah's Witnesses are required to accept the entire range of teachings and unique beliefs as laid out in Watch Tower Society publications.

Failure to do so results in being cut off, excommunicated, leaving the Jehovah's Witness to face one of two choices;

Death or Obedience.

In this series of podcasts we reveal what actually happens when Jehovah's Witnesses start to have doubts as to the scriptural validity of these unique teachings.

My wife and I were approached by the local elders who wished to visit us to impart some 'scriptural encouragement'. Little did we realise that this visit would eventually lead to us being faced with the choice;

Death or Obedience.

In the coming weeks you will hear recorded conversation with Jehovah's Witness elders, culminating with the secretive 'Judicial Committee' hearings that Jehovah's Witnesses are threatened with if they continue to question Watch Tower teachings.

Some of what you will hear may disturb you. Some of what you hear may upset you. The purpose of this podcast is to educate people as to the level of control an average Jehovah's Witness will face from the body of elders.

In part 1 of this series, my wife and I are visited by 2 local elders to enquire as to our spiritual well-being. This is part 1 of this particular visit which will span 4 podcasts.

Listen out for their unwillingness to admit that any outwith the Watch Tower Society can be considered a Christian, that the Watch Tower Society is, by definition, a false prophet and in particular listen out for one of the elders admitting that their belief of 1914 is not based in scripture.


  1. You're doing a good job with this blog. Thanks for sharing the audio clips.

  2. i hope you & your wife are happy..!!
    finding out the truth about the truth
    & the way the wt has covered & concealed
    its past can be a hard row to hoe.

    listening to you both under that sort of sly integration made me angry, & my hart went out to you. but you put your concerns over very well

    ps listening to the elders made me think of thomas harris line in one of his books.
    he said "When the Fox hears the Rabbit scream he comes a-runnin', but not to help."


  3. What fearsome control indeed to span oceans and continents. The death grip of controlled conformity may proceed from that "ivory tower" in New York, but it certainly knows no bounds.

    I was born and raised a Jehovah's Witness for the first twenty years of my life and my wife and I have experienced these same tactics.

    I have several friends who have recently endured the judicial committee who I'm certain will want to hear the story of you and your wife.

    Thank you for sharing these experiences with us. Perhaps you will inspire more of us to come forth publicly. How liberating that could be!

  4. Your first sentence is false.

    Your second sentence is false.

    Your third sentence is false.

    The rest is your viewpoint based on your false premises.

  5. I wonder who "the dude" is? I think I recognise the glib arrogance and ill-informed methodology of approach.

    Anyway here's some "spiritual food" for thought.

    My first sentence is false ?

    *** w86 4/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***

    "Approved association with Jehovah’s Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses. What do such beliefs include?"

    What do such beliefs include? Well why don't you take a look at article on the main page on the teachings a JW had to accept as "truth"?

    My second sentence is false?
    This is from "pay attention" book for elders dealing with JWs
    page 94.
    "Apostasy includes action taken against true worship of Jehovah or his established order among his dedicated people .
    Persons who deliberately spread (stubbornly hold, to and speak about) teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses are apostates"

    As the above quote shows you only need to "hold to" a belief in other words THINK IT! and you are an apostate....we know what happens to them eh?

    My third sentence is false?

    Have you actually LISTENED to what was said?

    The visits were billed as shepherding visits and then the "doubts" I had were used against me in a judicial committee.

    As for the fourth sentence being false..
    Well I presume you are not too stupid to realise that since we DID ACTUALLY get the visits and I was ACTUALLY disfellowshipped for refusing to believe their teachings that it indeed was not as you say "a viewpoint based on false premesis"

    Perhaps by way of further proof you will enjoy listening to a future podcast where the elder at my appeal committe says "if armaggedon comes tomorrow you have had it".

    Perhaps that sentence is false too?

    Perhaps it's a viewpoint based on a false premise?

    All the best on coming into the light my friend.


  6. The truth shall set you free, well done Matt.

  7. looking forward to the next podcast. thank you

  8. I was brought up Protestant, but when two Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door they told me that my religion was doing wrong and that they had blood on there hands. Need I Remind You of the Jehovah's Witnesses that have died in hospitals all over the world because of there teaching, so yes my religion has blood on it hands but so do JW. Another thing i was told to do was search for the truth ie there truth, they dont like it when you keep on searching Once you are baptize, What does this remind you of yes, got it in one, all religions.
    We all need to open our eyes more.

  9. I would like people to know more about the New World Translation Bible that the Witnesses use. The 'rank and file' are led to believe that their Bible is the one and only true, accurate translation. However, I have learned that five men translated the Witness's Bible and that it is not truly a translation, but is a sectarian interpretation. Only one of the translators, Fred Franz, knew any Greek or Hebrew. He took two years of Greek at the University of Cincinnati, and after his second year of college he dropped out. None of the other men had been taught or knew any Greek or Hebrew. Therefore, none of the men were Greek or Hebrew scholars, so none of the translators (or interpretors) of the NWT actually could possibly know what they were doing when "translating" the Bible. Indeed, when Fred Franz was asked in a Scottish courtroom to translate a scripture in the Book of Genesis into Hebrew, he could not do so. I think it is very, very important that Jehovah's Witnesses and former Witnesses are aware of this information. Real Bible scholars are able to find flaws in the New World Translation. People should know this.

  10. I'll put a few thoughts together on the "new World" translation my friend.

  11. Hi Matt, I like how the `encouraging elders visit' turns out to be a cross examination of your beliefs. Typical elders, you only hear from them when your in trouble. I wonder if you've read "crisis of conscience"? I wish all jw's would read it. I'd been a witness for 30 years, half way through the book, `the penny dropped'. Keep up the good work mate.

  12. Quite a while ago I discovered Matthew’s judicial ordeal on the Internet. Finding such treatment hard to believe, I decided painstakingly to record a written transcript of both the judicial cases and to write a lengthy essay based on my findings. This project is now finished and it consists 3 full transcripts: Part One: Podcast 8: Showdown at the Kingdom Hall (11 pages, 6, 200 words); Part Two: Podcasts 9 and 10: The Judicial Hearing ( 37 pages, 22, 679 words); Part Three: Podcasts 11 and 12: The Judicial Appeal ( 41 pages, 24, 398 words)and Part Four: The Martyring of Matthew Barrie – A Study in Ethics, which contains 21 listed and annotated violations involving the judicial process, with many quotes from the transcripts (45 pages, 31, 900 words).
    This project represents the defence I believe Matthew was entitled to that may have saved his reputation.

  13. Excerpt from Transcripts - FV
    “I wasn’t bothering anyone. I wasn’t attending the meetings and elders came after me to get evidence against me to disfellowship me. That’s exactly what’s happened here. Now, I hope you all can be quite happy with it, what’s happened here… - Matthew Barrie (58:09 – Podcast 10)

    “…it was you brothers who instigated this action against me and it was you who went looking for evidence and you gathered that evidence from shepherding visits. …I feel it’s grossly inappropriate to obtain information from people on a…on a personal basis.” – Matthew Barrie (58:21 – Podcast 10: The Judicial Hearing), (58:57 – Podcast 10: The Judicial Hearing)

    Matthew: I’m in good standing with God, R...
    Judicial Chairman: You really believe…?
    Matthew: Yes, a hundred percent I believe that, yeah. That’s one of my personal beliefs. (1:00:36 – Podcast 10: The Judicial Hearing)

    “‘…how much worse could this get for you?’ Because, let us just say the decision eventually comes to the fact that you’re disfellowshipped. Surely that means that from the standpoint of Jehovah, if Armageddon comes imminently, you’ve had it! So, how much worse can it be for you?” - Appeal Overseer Two (Podcast 12 – 49:32)

    “So, what is it you’re saying, that because I’m already under sentence of death that I might as well just say everything you want to hear?” – Matthew Barrie (Podcast 12: The Judicial Appeal – 49:59)

  14. Thanks so much for the time and effort you have put into this FV! I had so many ask for a transcript but I did not have the time available to commit to it. Running the website, answereing emails, writing new posts etc. people who were deaf or hard of hearing asked many times for this and also some who spoke English found the Scottish accent hard to understand! So many thanks for you work.
    I'm replying here as I have no way of contacting you otherwise, but i'd be happy to hear from you via email.
    As a matter of interest I see you have posted some excerpts here but where are you going to make the full version available because your efforts deserve a wider audience?
    Thanks again. Matt.

  15. I've just read your comments dated 12 November again. Yes, primarily I want to open a dialogue with as many people as possible about the many, many issues involved in this revealing judicial case. The 21 ethical issues are just the ones I found. No doubt there are many more.
    My primary motive is to open an honest dialogue with those frustrated with this 30-year-old situation. Secondarily I wish to inform those who may be unaware until they are caught unawares in these circumstances what's in store.
    Are you able to host these large and detailed files on a dedicated web site?
    You will notice that all names other than your own have been changed. Obviously, this is not about particular people. I wish to highlight the issues and have them discussed. They involve us all. We deserve to know.

  16. Yes I can host it on it's own website. And i agree with all you have said. I will give yo my private address but not via here obviously. If you are worried about privacy/security I totally understand.
    All you need to do is create a new email address , (I recommend server based ,like gmail) under whatever alias you wish and send me an email and i'll send you one back with an address. You can then mail me the disc and i'll do the rest. Thanks again.

  17. above address was a typo.

  18. I recieved your comment post F.V. and that's fine I'll look forward to hearing from you , and of course I'll respect all you ask. Thanks, Matt.

  19. Did you receive the first of the transcipts, Matt? They should be there by now.

  20. Hello,

    I think you fail to look at one important factor. You say in many of your podcasts that Jehovah's Witnesses are wrong about a lot of things and that the brothers do things unethically. However, the bible warned that elders and people in the congregations would be imperfect, and in fact, many of them would be destroyed. So, why did you let the actions of imperfect human beings scare you away from the bible teachings? At one point, Israel was Jehovah's chosen nation. They did many unspeakable things as well. If I had been a part of Jehovah's "chosen nation" at that time, I would have doubted being affiliated with Israel as well. But that didn't change the fact that they were in fact Jehovah's chosen nation, despite how vile and murderous they could be at times. I mean, out of all the Israelites, Jehovah's chosen people, there are only several Jehovah truly called His friends and used for the writing of scripture. So, if you parallel that today with Jehovah's "true" religion, then you can see where even though many of Jehovah's "people" are imperfect and sometimes downright disgusting doesn't mean it's not the "true religion." So, what does that mean? Do you keep attending a congregation that has people you disagree with? Maybe it was test, that you've obviously failed. Maybe the test was, would you let imperfect people scare you away from Jehovah?

    One thing can't be denied, out of all of the religions, Jehovah's Witnesses are the most accurate. Yes, they've been wrong over the years, but the bible said truths would slowly be revealed. Look at where we are in the stream of time now. While other religions are advocating scientific advancement and reliance upon government to change the world scene, Jehovah's "people" have biblical proven the end of religion which is near and the following Armageddon.

    I am an inactive Jehovah's Witness. I left not because of people. I left because I felt inadequate in myself to serve Jehovah. I am horrible perfectionist. But that does not change my belief that Jehovah has chosen His true religion and that the road to life will be very narrow. Also, when I disagreed with brother and sisters in a congregation, I did not let them scare me from the religion. I went to another congregation. And you know what, I found a beautiful congregation of people in Upstate New York who were very open minded and did not shoot people down based on doubts and were very encouraging. That's why we are encouraged to read the bible daily, to stay in tune with the teachings and not become so stuck on just what the brother is saying on the stage. We must know these truths for ourselves. So as to stay strong within ourselves. I do not put my trust heavily in the elders, but bring all my issues to prayer and rely on the Great Tribulation and Armageddon to bring all answers to light.

  21. Hi Matt,

    I've just come across your website and would love to hear your podcasts but they seem to be no longer available. Can you provide a link to them? Thank you!

  22. Unfortunately the server that all the audio was on was lost, but the whole thing is available by transcript. There's a link on this page and on trial of a Jehovah 's Witness.

  23. Unfortunately the server that all the audio was on was lost, but the whole thing is available by transcript. There's a link on this page and on trial of a Jehovah 's Witness.