Forsythe Street figures stand for religion

Students, faculty and staff who walk on Dame Mall toward Elsey Hall may notice a set of figures standing on the side of Forsythe Street.

The people are a part of Jehovah’s Witness religion.

Those who have passed by the group may have noticed the literary cart the Jehovah’s Witnesses stand next to, which contains information dealing with life and Bible-based learning.

Javier Serna, a Jehovah’s Witness affiliated with the group, said the purpose of the literature is to help answer questions everyone has about life.

“The literature provides answers to questions that affect us all,” Serna said. “Does God really care about us? Will war and suffering ever end? What happens to us when we die? How can I find happiness in life?”

The group spreads their beliefs close to the college because Forsythe Street is public property.

“The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a new movement within Christianity,” Campus Minister Leah Rumsey said. “They are known worldwide for very public evangelism practices, and this is part of that.”

Some say the presence of Jehovah’s Witnesses on the edge of campus bring up another point: The importance of learning about other religions.

Dean of Students Ellis Hall said the various classes on campus that cover religion are not meant to convert students, but open them to understanding other beliefs.

“People are often brought up in the context of their religious perspective by their families,” Hall said. “They move forward in that they know that there are other religions, but they don’t necessarily learn very much about it or talk to other people about it.”

Hall said college tries to expose students to new perspectives to prepare them for the real world.

“As a college, we want people to wrestle with some of the issues of spirituality and what that means and to challenge one’s beliefs, but also to affirm the value of those beliefs,” Hall said.

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About Matthew Brown 12 Articles

Matthew Brown is a news writer for The Franklin. As you can tell from his column, Matthew likes to write a lot about science, but is a huge fan of writing as well. Matthew hopes to graduate with a double major; a biology one and a journalism one.

This is Matthew’s second year as a staff writer for The Franklin.

12 Comments on Forsythe Street figures stand for religion

  1. This past summer the JW’s had their summer convention with the theme “Remain Loyal to Jehovah”. This convention was a desperate attempt by this mind control religious cult to retain members and prevent members from hearing or reading negative information about the cult’s lies, corruption and cover-ups. The freedom of information that is available through the Internet is uncovering all the secrets they hide from members. Members are leaving in droves and it has put the cult in major financial straights causing them to sell off the majority of their real estate assets. When a member finds out about the corruption and lies they typically stop participating in the two things that bring $$ to the cult, attending meetings and conventions and recruiting new members through their preaching activity. The member (or ex-member) also now has the desire to inform other members of the corruption.

    To combat this the cult will be giving talks and showing videos instructing members to shun ex-members who have left or been Dis-Fellowshipped (excommunicated) and even members who have just become “inactive”. This means even family members if necessary. They are instructed to treat them as if they are dead. These are standard cult Fear and Guilt tactics to pressure members to show complete obedience, not to their god Jehovah but in reality to their 7 cult leaders in New York.

    This cult claims to be the One True Religion and anyone who does not belong will die a horrifying death at a “just around the corner” divine apocalypse. They claim (which can be shown from their own literature) to be modern day prophets but they have a 100% failure rate on any predictions they have made and their doctrines are constantly changing due to the failed predictions and painting themselves into corners with their absurd End Time beliefs. I know as I was a JW for over 30yrs and know full well the Cult Mind Control and Information Manipulation that goes on in that “religion”.
    They will claim the failed prophecies and ever changing doctrines are because their Jehovah reveals things to them in a “progressive manner” and their leaders are “imperfect” and so make mistakes. The problem with that is they claim to be the only channel of communication between the Supreme Being and mankind. However according to the bible, EVERY person, whether prophet or apostle was also just as imperfect as their leaders but (according to the bible) EVERYTIME God spoke to anyone and said something was going to be a certain way, mean a certain thing or that something was going to happen on a certain day, it ALWAYS came true. It happened EXACTLY as God said it would (at least according to the bible).

    What is a person (who believes in the bible) supposed to understand if someone speaks on behalf of God and the things they say don’t come true? Here is the answer from their own bible……….

    Deut 18:20-22 “‘If any prophet presumptuously speaks a word in my name that I did not command him to speak or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.+ 21 However, you may say in your heart: “How will we know that Jehovah has not spoken the word?” 22 When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word is not fulfilled or does not come true, then Jehovah did not speak that word. The prophet spoke it presumptuously. You should not fear him.’

    Now remember that JW’s have a 100% failure rate on anything being true, coming true or staying true.

    Get more information about their leaders lies and corruption at

    • Wow. Someone got out of bed the wrong side this morning! At least the Jw’s are usually polite and respectful of others beliefs and don’t rant at unbelievers calling them “cults” and “mind control lies”

  2. Matthew,I want to thank you for your fair, journalistic piece about Jehovah’s Witnesses and their local literary cart. It is all about education. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has published a very fine, university-level, advanced course on comparative religion called “Mankind’s Search for God.” It traces man’s earliest search for origin and meaning through contemporary worldwide religions and received high accolades for its unbiased historical narrative. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in man’s origins, purpose, belief systems and future prospects. I also want to commend you for deciding to work with animals. They are so wonderful. I recently took someone to San Diego’s Wild Safari Animal Park in Escondido, California. It is marvelous and has a sophisticated animal breeding program and educational outreach worldwide. What a marvelous path you have chosen!

    • Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) predicted the end of the world, IN WRITING, numerous times. Not once did they come true. They truly are known for their ‘False Predictions’ the world over.

      JWs are taught that they alone are TRUE Christians and that all other people not JW will soon be destroyed. This is no exaggeration.

      JWs will allow their own children TO DIE rather than accept a life saving blood transfusion even in severe medical emergencies. It has already happened THOUSANDS of times!

      Just like this mother died unnecessarily!

      And now her husband has no wife and her two new twins have no mother. And all for what?

      Or this teenager that also DIED:

      This is very simple. JW’s NEEDLESSLY die for this sorry blood policy today.

      From the same organization that has an entire 100 + year history of similar bad and embarrasing policies.

      As a 15 year active JW and zealous person for Jehovah (and an elder) here is my own story:

      JWs used to forbid Vaccinations and Organ Transplants (calling a life saving transplant “Cannibalism”) for a combined 33 years.

      JWs enforce extreme shunning for any member that decides to leave their religion or who commits a sin without showing enough repentance in front of the elders.

      Families have been devastated because of these harsh shunning policies. I have literally seen parents cut off all ties with their children solely because the kid did not want to remain a JW but went in another direction.

      Even the ex-JWs who leave the religion on their own, who are 100 percent truthful, sincere, love God, pay their taxes, help others and more are still SHUNNED by all current JW’s and marked as godless, proud, sinning apostates. And the Awake magazine recently literally called them “mentally diseased”.

      And MANY contemplate suicide because the penalties of losing everything are simply TOO MUCH TO TAKE.

      But an honest question is: Why do so many JWs leave after being one time followers?

      As I eventually found out, the JW religion did say, IN WRITING, that the end would come in 1914 and then again in 1925. Was Jehovah directing all that? 1914 and 1925 came and went! They were proven false predictions. Period.

      They also said the end very likely would happen in 1975 and even commended (in the watchtower) witnesses for selling their houses and pioneering because of it.

      But 1975 came and went!

      They also said (for many decades) that the end would come before the generation born in 1914 passed away. In fact up until 1995 it was written inside each Awake magazine cover. Only they then had to change that meaning as well (including the Awake masthead) because that generation CAME AND WENT TOO.

      I was a JW (and elder) for 15 years before leaving because of the blood and fractions policy 10 yrs ago. Today I’m shunned by all JWs simply because I left the religion.

      Most JWs simply accept everything the Watchtower teaches and says as “food from God”. Just like I did.

      Most believe God has chosen the Watchtower Society as his “channel”, which provides food from God Himself to their religion and ONLY their religion.

      But an honest look at the facts of the JW religion shows God has not chosen the Watchtower for anything!

      Take a LOOK:


      Pages and pages of mistakes, embarrassments, false predictions, medical disasters, weird science, doctrinal failures and more for over 100 years now!

      Obviously ‘GOD’ would not get things wrong like this. Obviously ‘GOD’ did not provide bad food like that for their entire history.

      But most JW’s have no idea about these things. They’re told to stay away from anything critical of their religion.

      For example: Was God’s spirit with JW’s when they said Organ Transplants were a “conscience matter” in 1961?


      Was God”s spirit with WT when they THEN SAID Organ Transplants are same as “Cannibalism” in 1967and forbid them?

      OR, was God’s spirit with the Watchtower Society when they THEN SAID Organ Transplants are NOT the same as cannibalism in 1980 and now allow them?

      Was God behind all those changes each time? Did ((GOD)) get all those things wrong each time? How many people DIED by refusing kidney transplants for example only later on to be told they’re OK to have now?

      Which is why some end up taking their lives due to losing their family, or feel compelled to speak out about it, like me right here and now.

      And now, because I walked away, JWs are demanded to shun you for life (including your very own family).

      Which is why if I can help some honest hearted people by sharing my own story as a warning it’s truly is a worthwhile thing to do.

      Examine, examine, examine and ask as many questions as you can.


  3. Sad to say, Jeff and Vinny are just an example of two people who are very vocal about being removed “from the congregation” (1 Corinthians 5:12) because of the doubts and contrary teachings they promoted. They did not simply ask questions but disturbed the peace of the congregation. The same thing happened to Eve in the garden of Eden. Doubts about God’s warnings and the lies she accepted, caused her downfall. When it became obvious that she had been lied to, it was too late. And she never repented either.
    If you want the truth, go to the source at, not a site that is written by a few dissenters. Eve should have gone to her husband or the great Law-Giver, Jehovah but she chose, wrongly, to listen the opposer, a bold dissenter and opposer of God …. and so she was expelled from the garden. If only she had stayed faithful to God. Eve had nothing better to offer and neither do Jeff or Vinny.

  4. 1. The words of Ellis Hall are very noble. Personally I went to a private school, ROTC Prep; religion being taught on the campus and not outside on the street.

    2.I’m made aware of this article via alert and, as I can see, so are others who wish to ‘inform’ everyone about their dissenting beliefs.
    a) Anyone who voices dissent as a former Witness (Jehovah’s Witness) is free to do so.
    b) In fact, even after volunteering for many years at, say, a Branch Office, if one decides to severe ties then he or she is given due compensation, no questions asked.
    c) Witnesses don’t control resources, they carry no weapons; however for volunteers working directly at headquarters they are reimbursed for daily expenses while a severance account is maintained.

    3) For comparison: Physicist Vandana Shiva is an example of someone who is outspoken with regard to illegitimate controlling of resources, “over the last 20 years I’ve seen some of the top scientists with whom I’ve worked forced out of their university just for doing an independent piece of research…anytime a scientist comes up with looking at what has happened, you make sure you hound that scientist after their lab and their work.”

    4) Missing in the discussion of cults is the control of resources, the constant misbehavior of leaders who aren’t really questioned (or if they are they still get the ‘golden parachute’), and who spread their religion all over the world by converting indigenous populations from self-reliance to dollar laborers. As NY Times writer Thomas Friedman put it, “You don’t get McDonalds without McDonnell Douglas.”

    5) Missing from the discussion of Mind Control is ‘Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies’ by MIT professor Noam Chomsky who by the way was threatened with imprisonment for voicing his dissent at one time.

    6) People like Chomsky and other independent voices are called Whisteblowers. The “new movement in Christianity” as mentioned by Leah Rumsey are in effect ‘whistleblowers’ who have come out of once dominant Christendom. They’ve also come out of a system that prides itself on unaccountability. One can ask which segment of society benefits the most from being unaccountable.

    7) As every other culture that has risen and collapsed largely due to not recognizing limits; unaccoutnable, this one will too. There are very serious ecological issues: loss of habitat—inability to grow food, drink clean water and maintaining body temperature. Sources: Guy McPherson (Arizona State University, Richard Heinberg (Post Carbon Institute). There are serious economic issues: Manfred Max Neef (Chilean Economist), Richard Wolff (The New School, NY). Serious political issues: Michael Parenti (Political Science Ph. D, Yale). Energy Issues. Growth Issues. Social Issues. Etc. Either we have infinite growth on a finite planet or the system will collapse. The Bile advises we ‘keep on the watch’ because until issues of sovereignty are resolved the system of human government will go, and has gone, from “bad to worse.” Jehovah, as universal sovereign, reserves the right to restore mankind to peaceful conditions.

    8) The real issue facing mankind is universal sovereignty which Jehovah’s Witnesses recognize. Therein, the practices of Witnesses reflect an understanding of real issues; hence, obedient to a universal sovereign, the only one who can truly save a life. Doctors don’t ‘save’ lives—they just extend life. Recognizing a universal sovereign, there is no need to go to war! No need for a Chaplain or a Pastor.

    9) If one would so choose an independent thinking course, ask for a Bible study with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Enjoy a worldwide brotherhood shared by people who truly love one another. Have a real hope for the future in addition to a having a vocation in whatever is left of this system.

  5. We are not for a moment denying that the publications – in particular the earlier ones –  have at times published information that was speculative in nature and turned out to be mistaken.  But the fact is that, for each of the dates commonly touted by critics as ‘false prophecies’ (1874, 1914, 1925, 1975), Watch Tower publications had published cautionary statements to the effect that it was by no means certain what would happen.  Consider, for example, the following statements, which emphasise that the basis for the conclusions was Bible study not some message from God:
    With regard to 1874:  It should be noted that ‘The Watchtower’ was not published until 1879 and Russell himself did not become aware of the 1874 date until 1876!  So it was hardly a matter of a failed prediction. 
    With regard to 1914: :  “We are not prophesying; we are merely giving our surmises . . . We do not even aver that there is no mistake in our interpretation of prophecy and our calculations of chronology. We have merely laid these before you, leaving it for each to exercise his own faith or doubt in respect to them” (emphasis added).[2]
    With regard to 1925: “The year 1925 is here. With great expectation Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be. In his own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year.”[3]With regard to 1975: ‘What about the year 1975? What is it going to mean, dear friends?’ asked Brother Franz. ‘Does it mean that Armageddon is going to be finished, with Satan bound, by 1975? It could! It could! All things are possible with God. Does it mean that Babylon the Great is going to go down by 1975? It could. Does it mean that the attack of Gog of Magog is going to be made on Jehovah’s witnesses to wipe them out, then Gog himself will be put out of action? It could. But we are not saying. All things are possible with God. But we are not saying. And don’t any of you be specific in saying anything that is going to happen between now and 1975.[4]
    It’s obvious, therefore, that the situation was by no means as clear-cut as Watchtower opposers would have us believe.  By omitting these more cautionary statements, many of which are in the same articles as the quotations they like to print, enemies of Jehovah’s Witnesses give a misleading picture of events and endeavour to make a suggested interpretation look like a prophecy.
    No Claim of Inspiration
    Not to be overlooked is the larger context of the role of the Watch Tower publications.  Whereas Watchtower writers undoubtedly pray for God’s blessing on their work and sincerely believe that God answers these prayers, they make no pretensions of being inspired, infallible or perfect.  Consider the following extracts from Watch Tower publications, which prove that this is the case.  (This is just a small selection of examples.  Many more could be cited, but care has been taken to include at least one example for every decade since The Watchtower began to be published.)
    1870s: We do not object to changing our opinions on any subject, or discarding former applications of prophecy, or any other scripture, when we see a good reason for the change,—in fact, it is important that we should be willing to unlearn errors and mere traditions, as to learn truth…. It is our duty to “prove all things.”—by the unerring Word,—”and hold fast to that which is good.”With regard to 1975: ‘What about the year 1975? What is it going to mean, dear friends?’ asked Brother Franz. ‘Does it mean that Armageddon is going to be finished, with Satan bound, by 1975? It could! It could! All things are possible with God. Does it mean that Babylon the Great is going to go down by 1975? It could. Does it mean that the attack of Gog of Magog is going to be made on Jehovah’s witnesses to wipe them out, then Gog himself will be put out of action? It could. But we are not saying. All things are possible with God. But we are not saying. And don’t any of you be specific in saying anything that is going to happen between now and 1975.[4]
    It’s obvious, therefore, that the situation was by no means as clear-cut as Watchtower opposers would have us believe.  By omitting these more cautionary statements, many of which are in the same articles as the quotations they like to print, enemies of Jehovah’s Witnesses give a misleading picture of events and endeavour to make a suggested interpretation look like a prophecy.

      • Nice website bro! I’ll definitely refer to it when issues of that sort come up. The point I try to make is that the world via academia, politics, etc. does an ugly side of disfellowshipping when, for example, academics are given difficulty in their jobs, unable to be rehired elsewhere if they voice dissent. Some are killed. Contrastingly, no one who leaves the truth is even ‘mysteriously’ killed.

        As Witnesses who have left the dominant culture, we are constantly shunned: How many people answer the door or approach our stand?

  6. Please note from The book of Matthew chapter 2 and verse 12: “ And when they went into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and falling down, they did obeisance to him. They also opened their treasures and presented him with gifts—gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 However, because they were given divine warning in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

    The presents were given by men from the east as gifts to a king. There was no exchanging of gifts. We must follow the Bible and practice what it says. Obviously no Christmas. What a blessing to be free of a unbiblical practice.

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