Imagine, that someone you loved dearly, had just died. You’re vulnerable, sad, inconsolable. Going through the normal stages of the grieving process takes years upon years, and it happens to all of us.
Imagine a few days (or even months) later, you get a knock at your door, these nice people explain their hope for the future. They ask:
“Have you watched the news lately? What kinds of things have you seen?”
“Have you ever lost someone very close to you? Would you like to see them again?”
You respond the way they know you will. The news is terrifying and saddening, and you have lost someone close to you in the past. They indulge in your sadness, pounce on that vulnerability. They explain how if you switch to their way of life, you can see your fallen family members again. You’ll never get sick, and you can even have a pet tiger.
Out of context, this short story would sound like fiction. An interesting read, don’t get me wrong, but definitely not real… right?
The prophecy predicting a “paradise on Earth” is an all-too-real future for all of the members of the Jehovah’s Witness cult. They have many publications on their website (JW.org) that exemplify this “truth” that they preach when they walk from door-to-door (See an example here). I know the prophecy of their “paradise” like the back of my hand, it was rammed into every crevice of my mind, like a tattoo I never wanted to receive. So, I am going to explain a few of the main prophetic points that they will make a point to tell you if you open the door. It’s important to understand things that are foreign to you, just so you don’t make a mistake you may one day regret. Many people have been taken advantage of in their most vulnerable times because of this very prophecy. So what about i makes so many people give their life away?
No more sickness, death, or suffering
This is the promise that would get most people to listen, because everyone has lost someone to the force of death. Whether by aging, chronic illness, or violence; this promise includes it all. They believe that humans are designed to live forever, but imperfection (much like a virus) invaded our bodies in the time of Adam and Eve. After Eve committed the first sin and ate the apple in the Garden of Eden, every person who was born of their bloodline (everyone) carried sin with them. They teach that to achieve the perfection that Jehovah God expects of you, you have to dedicate your life to him as a Jehovah’s Witness.
All of the dead people, will be resurrected
This is another promise that the Jehovah’s Witnesses preach that gets many people to listen. Again, imagine that a family member had just passed away, and someone promises that they can live again? Of course, anyone would want to see their loved one(s) again! They don’t usually explain this at the door when they preach, but this prophecy had some catches that always disturbed throughout my younger years. Anyone who did not want to live in this “new world” when they were resurrected, would be killed in front of everyone. Including their family members. And the people would “rejoice,” because this was a symbol of cleansing from the old world. If your life on Earth didn’t pass Jehovah’s “judgement day,” your memory would forever be forgotten: even by your family (They would use this scripture to support that claim).
You can have any animal in the world as a pet
This part of the prophecy was more for the children, but it still worked on adults. In the paradise all of the animals would cease to be violent, and people could sleep on the forest floor without fear of being hurt or eaten. There was never really any evidence to explain how Jehovah would make this happen, but it still brought people into the organization nonetheless.
There are may more promises that the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim will occur in the “near future.”
But before letting their empty promises fill the vulnerability of the human mind, ask the right questions:
- What kind of sacrifices do I have to make in this life, to “guarantee” these promises come true?
- How will indulging these promises affect my view of the world?
- Why can’t I learn to be grateful for the amazing things I have now?
- How can I make my current life, a paradise on Earth?