I found this a fascinating history of the Jehovahs Witness church Schnell was in Germany when things started to change within the church, and it chronicles his experiences with the church The interesting thing is how much the church has changed their basic beliefs to what they want it to be How little the Bible is used is interesting too I just let hubby use the last issues of Watchtower Awake to start the bbq, so I will have to wait till next month to see how little in them is actually from scripture, but it will be interesting I totally recommend this to anyone curious about where this church came from and where it might be going. Powerful Testimony of EscapeThis gripping testimony was strong and so well written A powerful tribute to the one true God, who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can ask or think Jesus Christ, Creator of Heaven, Earth, and You, is the living, loving God of Hope May you find rest in Him.I recommend this book to all I was born and raised a Catholic, but I was also raised to be skeptical, independent, and free thinking At the tender age of 14, I declared myself to be an atheist solely because of a passage in the Old Testament that declared that only 144,000 people will be saved I reasoned that even if I sought to be as good or as decent a person as possible, I would have a hard time getting into Heaven because I wasn t a saint I was a sinful person, and I still am It took my neighbor, who, despite being a Protestant, opened my eyes into understanding the Bible the New Testament was God s update to man Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and it is our faith and belief in Him that will save us I also read Ecclesiastes and other books of the Bible, which allowed me to have a broader understanding of God s message I m not preaching this has a point, I promise I think my belief was strengthened when it was pointed out by our professor in Theology that God s time was not our time he prefigured Pope Francis s statements that the Bible does not disprove evolution In fact, interpreted as eons of time, it is an accurate depiction of the history of life Reading Leviticus also bolstered this faith of mine, as I read an accurate implementation of epidemiology a millenium before it even became a proper science I have some qualms with my own religion I think Catholicism dwells too much on ostentation and ritual, but I understand that it is a fundamental part of my religion I try to respect other people s religions, however Again, I am a Catholic, but I am also a free thinker I don t try to judge other people on what they believe in, although I sometimes fail, but I look up and try to be knowledgeable about what they believe in Intelligent discourse is often founded on knowledge, and I cannot argue or state my case without a foundation in facts I have observed, however, that faiths that seem to me as cults tend to be exclusive in character The major religions, for example, like Catholicism, Protestantism, and Islam are not exclusive religions Islam actually does not propose the destruction of non believers, and jihad is actually the last resort in a worst case scenario Those who truly believe in Islam believe in peace and harmony Pope Francis stated recently that there are bad Catholics, and good atheists From what I ve gleaned of open minded Protestant friends, they simply disagree with the ritualistic belief in the Catholic Church To them, however, peace and harmony is also necessary Jehovah s Witnesses, however, seem to be violent against other beliefs One of its books says that There is no such thing in existence as the Christian Religion, because all Religion proceeds from God s enemy, the Devil Protestantism is recognized as the offspring of the great Harlot It s eerily similar to a religion popular in my country these religions claim that only they will be saved, while we the nonbelievers will forever rot in hell Mr Schnell also describes the practices of their Society, and while some doubt may be put in his reflection as he was also cast out from Jehovah s Witnesses , I looked up the list of books that their society produce, and they are rated a lot higher than the greatest literary classics of the 20th century Take of that what you will, but the author certainly wrote a wonderful case for himself. Overall, this book is a good historical record of the beginnings of the Jehovah s Witness religion The author gives his true account of having been a Bible Student the precursor group to Jehovah s Witnesses for 30 years during the 1920 s, 1930 s, and 1940 s The author s family moved to Germany when he was 7 years old, as an adult he became a Bible Student, then returned to the US about 10 years after that He talks about different brainwashing techniques, as well as techniques used to drive sincere Bible Students out the new Jehovah s Witness groups, and then when he returned to the US, he aided in implementing many of those same techniques in the Jehovah s Witness groups here I learned a lot about the Jehovah s Witness groups that doesn t match their public image i.e while they give the impression of having great biblical knowledge, most Jehovah s Witnesses no very little about the Bible, except for a few proof texts they can quote When I started the book, I was thinking the word slave to be an over dramatization, but indeed he recounts years spent working for the Watchtower while living in a dorm and receiving no pay He also talks about how contrary to many people s beliefs that the Jehovah s Witnesses want to spread the good news of their gospel, the main tenant of the Jehovah s Witness religion is to sell books, pamphlets, and their Watchtower magazine, and that the members are required to keep records of the time they spend on this activity He talks about how the Watchtower purposely would try to create controversy and get members arrested, to try to create sympathy for themselves, so that people would buy books Scarily he details how the Watchtower sees itself becomeing a supreme world power controlling everything The author talks about how Jehovah s Witnesses live their life in a daze, knowing nothing except what the Watchtower tells them He details their 6 step conversion plan to recruit new members, aka sellers of their material At the end, the author talks about his conversion to Christianity, and the true freedom and love he has found He also gives tips on what to say and what not to say, when talking with a Jehovah s Witness.Issues with the book, it was hard to follow at times I m not sure if this is because most of the formative years of the author were spent speaking German, or if writing just isn t his forte Also, he left out many personal facts that would have made the story real For instance, near the end of the book we find out he has a wife, but in the book he never talked about dating, getting married, or whether he had any children Given that JW s often refuse to have anything to do with a family member who left the faith, it would have been interesting to know how his family reacted to his leaving the faith Also, this book detailing the author s experience nearly 70 years ago as a Jehovah s Witness is dated, and can only provide a historical reference. Best quote of the book, love, the language of God, and of Jesus Christ, of the apostles and of Christianity, cannot express itself in such a sterile atmosphere of book placing, time counting and quota performing Love works through the heart and mind of the individual. This book goes into detail about the Jehovah s Witness religion from the days of Joseph Rutherford and how he transformed the religion into what it is today It is a must read for all who have left that religion or those who are doubting their faith in the Jehovah s Witness religion. Very good insight into the workings of Jehovah s Witness. At First, The Watchtower Society Seemed Harmless To William J Schnell, Even Valuable As A Way To Develop His Faith In God And Pass It On To Others This Book Is Schnell S Fascinating Account Of His Involvement With The Cult, Which Effectively Enticed Him In The S And Continues To Lure Countless Individuals Today Readers Will Learn, As Schnell Did, That The Jehovah S Witness Religion He Had Joined Was Anything But Innocent For Thirty Years He Was Enslaved By One Of The Most Totalitarian Religions Of Our Day, And His Story Of Finally Becoming Free Is Riveting Readers Will Be Alerted To The Inner Machinations, Methods, And Doctrines Of The Watchtower Society, Arming Them To Forewarn Others And Witness To Their Jehovah S Witness Friends, Relatives, Neighbors, And The Stranger At The Door With Than , Copies Sold, Years A Watchtower Slave Is Truly One Of The Classic Testimonies Of Freedom From A Powerful Cult I didn t know that this was the abridged version when I ordered it, and it seems like an awful lot is missing For example, we get a lot of information about how the leadership of the Jehovah witnesses formerly called the Bible students when about purging their organization of everyone who would disagree with them and how they would go into communities and deliberately provoke the authorities to arrest them and then use the fact that they were being persecuted to try and gain sympathy and therefore new followers, and it spoke a lot about how the doctrines of the watchtower Society changed over time in order to consolidate power and sway people, but a lot of details of the author s personal life are missing For example, he mentions being arrested several times, but only touches upon one of them, and his narrative is of a criticism than a memoir, while I was expecting memoir type book It was not a memoir at all far from it Another thing that annoyed me was I didn t know anything about his personal life I remember wondering several times in the book whether or not he was married with children, and then, in the last 15 pages of the book and mentions his wife and my wife that is all the information we get about her did she agree with him about leaving the watchtower Society Did she influence him either for or against the Jehovah witnesses How did he meet her How long were they married Did she have any children with him None of these questions were answered, and I was frustrating I was also hoping that I would learn about Jehovah witnesses during the Holocaust, but the author did touch upon that at all it was true that he was living in America during World War II, but he lived in Germany for a number of years before the war so you would think he could at least talk a little about the interaction between the Nazi party, which was coming to power, and the Jehovah witnesses, were also vying for both political and spiritual power He only touches upon this and doesn t really discuss it Finally, his religious rhetoric comparing the watchtower organization to the Whore of Babylon and repeatedly talking about how important it was to trust Jesus, grated on me after a while. A fascinating read Though I found this book poorly written and was irritated by the author s attempt to interpret his experiences eschatologically applying Rev 13 to the Watchtower and found some of his fears of JW world domination a bit outlandish, this stands as an early first hand expose showing the depths of enslavement, cut throat leadership, surveillance, and organizational treachery which occurs in the ranks of the Jehovah s Witnesses It really gives a window into the inner conflict and cognitive dissonance which occurs.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the 30 Years a Watchtower Slave: The Confessions of a Converted Jehovahs Witness book, this is one of the most wanted William J. Schnell author readers around the world.
- 224 pages
- 30 Years a Watchtower Slave: The Confessions of a Converted Jehovahs Witness
- William J. Schnell
- 28 September 2018 William J. Schnell