Thomas Jefferson said, "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." However in the eyes of Jehovah's Witnesses this is labeled, not as being intellectually honest with healthy skepticism, but as one of the most fear-inspiring words a Jehovah's Witness knows...APOSTASY!
The literal definition of religious apostasy is simply 'the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief'. The Bible itself only uses the word to describe those who left the Jewish religion. That's right, this means that even Jesus himself was an apostate! Nevertheless, Jehovah's Witnesses define apostasy quite differently:
Persons who deliberately spread (stubbornly hold to and speak about) teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses are apostates.
As you can see, they define apostasy as disagreeing with their 'Governing Body', the leaders of the Watchtower Society. This is quite contrary to the Bible itself which at Psalm 146:3 says not to put your trust in mortal man. It's also hypocritical considering they have changed their own teachings constantly over the years. What if someone knew something before the Governing Body figured it out? Still an apostate.
But where things get really hypocritical is that although the Jehovah's Witness organization says that apostates are people you should "feel a loathing" toward, they have no problem telling others to leave their faith behind:
Would pride or stubbornness prevent you from admitting that you are on the wrong road? Well, then, if you learn from an examination of your Bible that you are traveling a wrong religious road, be willing to change.
It is not a form of religious persecution for anyone to say and to show that another religion is false.
However, their two-faced hypocrisy doesn't stop there! While out of one side of their mouth they tell Jehovah's Witnesses to shun anyone, including family members, who are 'disfellowshipped' or leave the organization, and that apostates are to be utterly despised as shown here:
True Christians share Jehovah's feelings toward such apostates; they are not curious about apostate ideas. On the contrary, they "feel a loathing" toward those who have made themselves God's enemies, but they leave it to Jehovah to execute vengeance.
some of the apostate literature presents falsehoods by means of "smooth talk" and "counterfeit words." What would you expect from the table of demons?...Those who have continued to feed at Satan's spiritual table, the table of demons, will be forced to attend a literal meal, no, not as partakers, but as the main course-to their destruction!
We must hate in the truest sense, which is to regard with extreme and active aversion, to consider as loathsome, odious, filthy, to detest.
Why then do they say that being an apostate does not lead to family breakup out of the other side of their mouth as shown here:
No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and family...Does study of the Bible lead to family breakup? No.
Why does the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses tell their followers never to look at opposing information to their own out of one side of their mouth, but then out of the other side tell everyone else that they should leave their religions behind without fear of ostracism from their families? The answer is the same reason why they want their children to get baptized young, no, not love...but to keep complete control of their 'sheep'.
Now as more and more people find the real truth about Jehovah's Witnesses, the Watchtower society has grown desperate to stop the bleeding as shown by this most recent statement:
apostates are 'mentally diseased', and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings. - We do not receive them into our homes or greet them. We also refuse to read their literature, watch TV programs that feature them, examine their Web sites, or add our comments to their blogs. Why do we take such a firm stand? Because of love.
Mentally diseased? How disgusting and disingenuous!
If anyone tells you that you shouldn't look at opposing information to theirs, something is wrong. The real truth will stand up to any scrutiny.
And in the ultimate display of hypocrisy they actually had the brass to say the following:
THERE is a difference—a big difference—between education and propaganda. Education shows you how to think. Propaganda tells you what to think. Good educators present all sides of an issue and encourage discussion. Propagandists relentlessly force you to hear their view and discourage discussion. Often their real motives are not apparent. They sift the facts, exploiting the useful ones and concealing the others. They also distort and twist facts, specializing in lies and half-truths. Your emotions, not your logical thinking abilities, are their target.
Couldn't agree more! They perfectly defined themselves as propagandists because the men who run the Watchtower corperation do tell their followers what to think. And as presented above, they don't allow "all sides of an issue" for discussion. They sift the facts, distort and twist facts, and use lies and half-truths.
Even the Bible itself tells you that you should be skeptical and have a mind of your own, as shown from these scriptures below:
"test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God." - 1 John 4:1
"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." - John 8:32
"Prove all things" - - 1 Thessalonians 5:21
But the Bible itself does indeed encourage family breakup over religion, which makes it clear where the real root of the problem lies:
"I came to cause division, with a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a young wife against her mother-in-law." - Matt 10:35
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own soul, he cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:26
Consider these final wise words to the contrary:
"The important thing is not to stop questioning." - Albert Einstein
"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - Carl Sagan
"A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to atheism." - Donald Morgan
"Morality Is Doing Right, No Matter What You Are Told.
Religion Is Doing What You Are Told, No Matter What Is Right." - Author Unknown
"You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend." - Richard Jeni
You have provided some very good points of which can be backed by scripture. This one helped me as well, Matthew 12:50, Christ said, "Anyone who does the will of my father is the same, my brother sister and mother." Millions of Jehovah's Witnesses believe they are doing God's will yet do not believe they are Christ's brothers or sisters because of Watchtower doctrine. If only they would take to heart Christ's words spoken here.