If you wish to be a contributor, know that the standards here are much higher than you will find among most news agencies. While softer than news agencies about oppositional statements and taking sides, a higher standard of facts is expected. This requires that the post's author be diligent and prepared.
Please observe the following criteria when presenting drafts to the Admin. Try to follow the tips below to maximize the effectiveness of your post. The Admin reserves the right to make minor changes, to request major changes or to reject posts at any time through the editing process. It is about bringing glory to Jehovah and not to ourselves. Defending the truth is the obligation of every Christian (1 Peter 3:13-15; 4:6) and this site is dedicated to providing the tools necessary to do so.
Criteria for Subject ApprovalNot a Field Service Activity. Those who contribute posts to this blog are asked not to use posts to count field service time. This is not an approved field service activity among Jehovah's Witnesses.
Honesty in self-policing. We expect you to be honest about your standing in the congregation and not submit posts if you are under restriction or get expelled from your congregation. Meetings are a must. Even if you become inactive, we will accept your submissions so long as you continue to attend meetings. If for any reason you are restricted or expelled, posts that you have made will remain on the site because we will have made sure they are accurate.
No debates. We ask that you refrain from debates with anyone. Christians do not need to debate. (1 Timothy 2:8; 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:14-19, 23-26) Thus, we don't need to post debates, respond to debates or engage in them. If a person isn't teachable, there's no need to engage with them.
No speculation. We also do not speculate. Speculation leads to disunity. (1 Timothy 1:3-7) Thus, what we speak, we speak with certainty in agreement with the faithful and discreet slave at all times. (1 Corinthians 1:10) Ample scripture references are appreciated.
Keep the purpose of this site in mind. Blog posts on this site are not for spiritual nourishment, but for apologetics. The post must be geared toward changing the minds of our opposers, bringing apostates to repentance, stopping some from drifting away because of being poisoned by apostate thinking, giving our brothers a source to point our opposers to when they're stumped, and for brothers to avoid debates by simply directing people to the conclusive information on this blog; if they do not listen to information that accounts for every hole with the scriptures, then they're not willing to listen to anything. These posts are for people that listen carefully, not for the ones that don't.
Use the Bible. The Scriptures should be considered complete in line with 2 Timothy 3:16-17. All blog posts that address doctrine must be focused primarily on the scriptures. It is preferred that points be made without going outside the Bible. Most importantly, provide accurate scripture references for doctrinal issues affecting the discussion. Maccabees 1 and 2 are the only non-canon Jewish religious works considered acceptable for historical reference. Other works from early historians and apologists may also be referenced as long as they are not used to establish doctrine.
Respect and honor those taking the lead. If the post refers to the organization, the governing body or any overseer, it must show deep respect toward them. Posts that show any dissension toward the governing body or its teachings will be rejected outright. The opinions of apostates should matter about as much as the ants.
Concise or Comprehensive. The post either needs to be concise or comprehensive. A concise post should quickly and effectively cut to the point in such a way that the reader may be cut to the heart by their own misguided thinking. Does it turn the reasoning of our opposers on its head in a dramatic fashion? If effective. (Example: "Flip-Side News: Organization Vindicated of "Smash-and-Grab" Lies") Posts that are comprehensive should attempt to plug every hole; I'm glad to assist with ideas toward that end. Does it provide enough fodder to address in a full-length post? If yes. (Just a paragraph or two isn't worth my readers' time and is likely addressed somewhere.)
Useful. Does it significantly affect Jehovah's Witnesses? If yes. (Example: "Does James Strong's Affiliation Matter?") Does it significantly affect the public regarding Jehovah's Witnesses? If yes. (Example: "Positive Media for Bloodless Surgery and Non-Blood Management") Is it a challenging obstacle to surmount? If yes. (If a mentally handicapped person could surmount the obstacle, then it's not going to affect anyone.) Always have valid reasons for making a claim.
Unique. Not sufficiently covered elsewhere. Has the organization, or another apologist, already covered the issue satisfactorily? If no. (Example: "Failure of the "Gay Gene" Argument") If yes, then I may provide a link to the article if apostates still can't shut up about the issue. (Example: "Was Jerusalem Really Destroyed in 607 BCE?") But if the article provides new information, it qualifies as not covered. Could it be addressed under a post that has already appeared on this blog? If no. (Example: "Wanted: Jehovah's Witnesses, for the Crime of Being Human") If yes, then an admin can simply add it into the first article or modify a statement. Here are standards for links I'll post. If you know of any that match them, let me know:
- Strict focus on defending Jehovah, Jesus, first century Christianity or the organization.
- Does not theorize on the meaning of the Bible.
- Does not have quotes from apostates, the names of apostate, or apostate urls.
- Does not have dialog with opposers from Christendom.
- Does not have articles that feature questionable material.
- Does not have advertisements.
- Are not on a site like Angelfire or Myspace, that carry adware or any other malicious software.
- Are not places for social interaction.
- Not Self-promoting.
- Does not focus on the past of the modern organization.
May be preemptive. Does it sufficiently predict an exploitation by our opposers? If yes. ("Humorless Opposers Claim Sister Proof in Bad Taste" [Renamed afterward])
Honesty. Creatively reinterpreting facts the way our apostates do will not be tolerated. Don't write about something if you are not willing to be honest about it.
Consistency. If you hold conflicting opinions about the subject under discussion, it will show up in your writing. You need to have a clearly defined view of the subject or you are wasting your time. Cognitive dissonance may be a common human experience, but it does not do writing any favors. If you do not resolve all the contradictions in your thinking, it will muddle your writing, or even worse, make you look deceptive. Our opposers are always trying to twist the truth to match their lies and all it does is reveal itself, like looking at a painting that is badly painted over another painting. The real truth will always shine through the lies.
Accountability. Always point the finger in the right direction. Ask yourself if you or the one you are referring to is simply deflecting and trying to avoid responsibility for their own choices. Highlight where the organization accepts accountability and define where responsibility cannot be put on the organization.
Humility. Humility is not marked by self-deprication. (In fact, that can be a sign of false humility.) It is defined by action and the way one speaks or writes. Humility is a realistic self-awareness of one's own rights and limitations. Humility safe-guards those it loves and "does not look for its own interests". (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Its okay to be oppositional toward our opposers, as we want them to steer clear of our barbs, but not toward the reader. It is impossible to belong to a religion without expressing opposition to different ideas. Contrary to what anti-cultists would have you believe, speaking in terms of "us and them" is natural human behavior because we have a natural aversion to what we believe to be wrong. What also contradicts their statements is that to identify who or what is wrong is not elevating the speaker. Only their attitude toward their own relationship to what they believe to be wrong can express such elevation.
Avoid arrogant, self-promotional statements that could offend the reader. The Bible expresses opposition with clear statements of defiance toward opposers, even dehumanizing them with comparisons to animals and inanimate objects, but it does so in such a way as to discipline or forewarn the reader, not abuse the reader. God and Jesus have both expressed scorn, mockery, name-calling and dehumanization toward the opposition, and so have God's servants. These things are not arrogant in themselves. They are not sinful. For instance, there is nothing about a cold-blooded murderer that is worthy of respect unless they repent. The description of "animalistic" is apt.
Arrogance comes from comparison of oneself to another such as bold condescension, as if it is beneath you to have to deal with the subject or the reader. Simply instructing another or being conscious of the need to season your words with salt is not arrogant. However, false humility, making a show of your supposed self-restraint, and other forms of passive-aggressiveness, is arrogant.
Anti-cultists try to claim that somehow words control us and that we are not responsible for our self-determination for things we say and do. They say this because they want to stop your thinking. They claim that such words and actions are solely because the religion somehow brainwashes people with some kind of voodoo. You are in control of what you say and do, so please show some restraint and be accountable. People who do not think about what they say and do are like the unreasoning animals that act on instinct. (2 Peter 2:12, 13) It is something everyone has the power to rise above if they want to.
Do not reference opposition. Our apostates and religious opposers currently living are not to be mentioned by name, nor is any of their material to be quoted or links to their websites provided. You may generalize their claims as "claims of our opposers", (Not "claims of our apostates",) but you may not indicate the specific source of the claim.
Total anonymity. By submtting your article, you agree that you are not expecting your name or pseudonym to appear in a byline with the article. Our aricles are completely anonymous so that no individual may be elevated above another.
Tips for Effective WritingOrganize the information into subjects and provide headings and maybe subheadings. It is important to break information up into digestible portions. Subject headings allow people to organize the information in their minds to give it context and meaning.
Keep it simple. Wherever you find yourself writing long sentences, try to break up the sentences into multiple bite-sized statements.
Keep it focused. If the article digresses into subjects not directly related to the primary subject, or if it simply does not add anything to the article, cut it. To keep the reader's focus, it needs to be important to the subject.
Avoid large paragraphs. If a paragraph is getting large, break it up into smaller portions expressing specific ideas. This can also help you to expand on ideas, which can make for a more interesting read.
Provide Sources. If you are trying to demonstrate that the organization does or does not teach something, then you need to provide examples through cited quotes. If you are trying to prove something scientifically, then provide ample citations to scientific studies. You do not need to provide references for every opinion you state, but you do need to for every statement that claims scientific, archaeological or statistical support. If you make a specific claim about the mental dysfunction of apostates or about the actions of an organization, religious or otherwise, provide sources. Never make a claim that you can't back up. Your sources should be credible and unbiased.
Don't cherry-pick the information. If information you wish to cite is taken out of context to make your point, then it completely nullifies the validity of the whole post. Our opposers love to twist information to suit their agenda. We should not want to be like that, but should rise above it.
Check your sources. Follow the rabbit hole through sources to find the original source. Distinguish between a "study" and simply "research". Research is counted as opinion, not as a scientific study. Some research is labeled "a study" when in fact it is nothing more than research of research, or even just an opinion with no sources. (For multiple examples, see Do Jehovah's Witnesses Have a Higher Rate of Mental Illness?)
Do not plagiarize. If you copy and paste information into the article, you must either put it in quotes and give it a citation, or else rewrite it into your own words.
Definition. Defining the definition of your subject helps the reader to be on the same page. Also, accurately defining the subject can help you to see where your post needs improvement.
Relevant examples. When information must be explained, examples help to make the explanation clear. Make sure the example is completely relevant and appropriate, not causing the reader to have further questions.
Comparisons. Make comparisons between good and bad examples to highlight the contrast. This can be a useful tool for bringing out information that may otherwise be unobserved by a single example. In turn, it can lead you to defining the information more and perhaps see another point to be had as well as providing greater impact to the point to be made.
Criteria for AdjustmentsSometimes a statement presented in our publications is incomplete. It is okay to expand the subject beyond the material as long as it serves the purpose of plugging holes in our understanding. For instance, the article Salvation vs. Hellfire and the Underworld presented an adjusted understanding of Luke 16:14-31 that is currently explained in the book Jesus — the Way, the Truth, the Life published by the organization. (Lesson 88) The additional information provided in the blog post helped to show the purpose of Jesus using the illustration that was not covered in that book as well as the meaning of verse 18. Because it showed definitively what mindset Jesus was combating, it plugged the hole about why he used it in the first place.
However, any attempts at contradicting any doctrine we hold, no matter how small, will be rejected outright, even if it makes sense. The reason is that we must "speak in agreement". If you wish to present information to the organization that contradicts the publications, then you should send it directly to the address printed in the Watchtower. This is not an apostate website and is not an effective means of communicating with the organization. The fact is, this site receives a relatively low number of visitors typically ranging only between 20 to 100 unique visits a day.
No Promise of InterestSometimes a subject will have a limited audience that is not inclined to speak up on the matter. That is okay. Just because they do not reply to your post does not mean there is no interest. It simply means the interest is limited. Chances are, if it concerns you and the Admin approves it, it likely concerns someone else as well. So do not let a lack of volume of interest dissuade you from further contributions. As long as it has been provided, it is a good thing for someone.
Subject to ChangesArticles appearing on this site are considered fluid. They may be removed or modified due to evolving ideas of the organization, standards and purpose of this blog. Significant updates will be dated.
You now have all you need to write an effective article for this blog. We look forward to your submissions.