Jehovah Witness Suicide

By Christian Peper

Authors note: If you or someone you love is contemplating suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Teenagers can call the Covenant House NineLine at: 1-800-999-9999. Cries for help should never be discounted or ignored.


There is a long history of suicides within the Jehovah Witness Watchtower organization.  Some experts have estimated the rate of suicides associated with the society to be five to ten times the rate of the general population. The exact number of suicides is impossible to obtain for a variety of reasons. 

Secular intuitions such as hospitals and police departments do not keep track of the religious organizations of the deceased.  If institutions began to keep such records they would be accused of religious persecution.  The American Psychiatric Association has moved towards a biological model of mental health.  This causes non-biological causes of suicide to be discounted or ignored.   The totalitarian Jehovah Witness Watchtower society knows of many suicides but will not admit guilt. The society has a long history of covering up damaging information. Evidence of the well documented child sexual assault cover up can be seen at this website:  Those that dare speak against the organization (Such as myself, Christian Peper) are harassed and denigrated by the cult.

The question must be asked: Why do Jehovah Witness members commit suicide at a rate far exceeding the general population?  There are many contributing factors to Watchtower society suicide.

Jehovah Witness society members must devote a large portion of their life to serving the organization.  Many members feel that if the society is wrong then they would prefer death to life.  The massive investment must not have been in vain.  After spending a long time in the organization many feel they have missed out on the things that make life interesting and special. Long time Witnesses have given up friends, family, holidays, education and a normal sex life.  Facing what they have done with their lives is hard, suicide is easy. A quick pain then paradise in the cleansed world. Why not do it?

If the organization is wrong, the member reason, then suicide is preferable to facing what he has done with his life.  If they are picked the correct faith they will live forever on the new cleansed earth. 

To a dedicated Jehovah Witness there is no heaven and no hell.  There is only an upside to suicide; life in a perfect cleansed world.  Witnesses see no downside to suicide.  To a Withness having droughts about his faith, suicide makes perfect sense. He may reason: “If this organization is a scam I would rather be dead then live because I have already invested years of my life; if it is the true religion I will be raised from the dead and live in a perfect world”.  Suicide for the long time member has a large upside but no down side.   

Many worry they can’t make it to Armageddon in good standing with the organization.

If the member falls out of favor with the organization then he or she will be killed in Armageddon with the rest of the non-Witnesses.  Members commit suicide in the belief that they will only go to sleep for a short time and then wake up after Armageddon. They feel that they won’t really be dead so suicide is meaningless.  The organization has told them if they die while in good standing they will wake up in paradise. 

Suicide is an excellent way for Witnesses to “hedge” their bets.  Suicide takes the place of leaving the organization. Witnesses know former members are shunned by their family and closest of friends. Members know that blackmail material the cult has collected on them will be held forever.  Suicide avoids both the embarrassment and the pain associated with ritual shunning.  If a Witness leaves the organization then rumors will be spread about their sexuality or other personal issues.  Often blackmail material is combined with exaggeration and half truths to make the former Witness appear deviant and evil.  Suicide is an easy way to avoid this.  There is evidence some Witnesses give a final aggressive push by dedicating all of their efforts to field service before they kill themselves.  This way they will be remembered by the society for their excellent record and increase their chance of being brought back to life after Armageddon.  Who would not want an end to all worldly problems and then eternal life in a perfect world? Suicide is so easy, so beneficial.

The single most common reason for suicide among Jehovah Witnesses is the cults focus on death and destruction.  Dedicated Witnesses want non-Witnesses to be killed.  They want their fellow man to be executed by an angry god.  Day after day an almost romantic lust for death and destruction is instilled in cult members.  This death lust is stroked by a never ending stream of pictures and literature glorifying death and destruction. The following quotes in italics illustrate Watchtower blood lust in action.

In the Watchtower 1952, November 15, (pp.703-704) issue disappointment is expressed that family members cannot be murdered for apostasy:  We are not living today among theocratic nations where such members of our fleshly family relationship could be exterminated for apostasy from God and his theocratic organization, as was possible and was ordered in the nation of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and in the land of Palestine. “Thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him to death with stones, because he hath sought to draw thee away from Jehovah thy God, . . . And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is in the midst of thee.”—Deut. 13:6-11  Perhaps if the Watchtower’s New World Order succeeds public executions will be commonplace. In The Watchtower 1961, December 1 (pp 725-726) issue we read of the mass slaughter of mankind: Never before in all human history will so many human creatures have been slaughtered. Blood, as representing human lives poured out, will run deep and over a vast distance. Revelation 14:20 paints the appalling picture, saying: “And the wine press was trodden outside the city [God’s organization], and blood came out of the wine press as high up as the bridles of the horses, for a distance of a thousand six hundred furlongs [or, 200 miles].” To a completion Jehovah’s judicial decision will be executed. The nations and their grapes of wickedness will be trampled out of existence, to leave the earth a cleansed place for the righteous to occupy and enjoy. Not all flesh will be in that symbolic wine press. Not all flesh will have its lifeblood trampled out of it. There are those who make Jehovah their refuge and their fortress. These will be kept safe and be preserved, while Jehovah by his King Jesus Christ crushes their enemies and His enemies in the wine press or “low plain of the decision.”… With breathless awe they will have looked down from their safe heights into the valley of decision and witnessed how Jehovah gains his magnificent victory by Christ over all the combined nations of Satan’s visible organization.

In the Watchtower 1965 July 1 (p.415) issue cult members learn mankind deserves death: As during Noah’s day when Jehovah tempered his justice by deferring execution for 120 years, so today he tempers his justice by deferring his war, called “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” (Rev. 16:14) Since 1918, he has shown undeserved kindness toward disobedient mankind by holding back his executional forces in the heavens in order that some “flesh would be saved.”

Consider the blood lust within this quote from the Watchtower 1979 September 15. (p 28) issue: For mere selfish reasons those political “shepherds” and “majestic ones” will “howl,” yes, roll about on the ground. As the Sovereign Lord Jehovah calls them to account during the “great tribulation,” they will grimly realize that the day has come for them to be slaughtered and scattered!.

 From the book released in 1984 “Survival Into a New Earth” we learn that dead bodies will feed the birds: True, as a result of the great destruction, the earth will be strewed with those slain by Jehovah. But no one knows better than God what needs to be done to safeguard the health of survivors. He tells us that he will invite the birds of heaven and the beasts of the field to his ‘great evening meal’ and that they will have their fill from the fleshy parts of those slain. What they do not consume he can dispose of by other means.The Watchtower 1999 December 1 (p.19) issue shows Jesus to be an executioner: In the book of Revelation, Jesus announces several times: “I am coming quickly.” (Revelation 2:16; 3:11; 22:7, 20a) He must yet come to execute judgment on
Babylon the Great, Satan’s political system, and on all humans who refuse to submit to Jehovah’s sovereignty, as now expressed by the Messianic Kingdom.
Death to a Jehovah Witness is titillating and exciting; life in the Watchtower is boring.  The only source of adventure and excitement for a good Witness is death and destruction. When a cult member finally gets their wish to see someone “executed” the irony is; that someone is them.  They have been slowly executed; day by day, month by month, and year by year.  Many Witnesses burn with an unnatural lust for death and destruction, when this lust is not satisfied they turn the lust for death inwards and hurt themselves.   Long term exposure to the organization causes a desire to partake in the sacrament of death.   

On April 2, 1997 Craig Button took off in his Air Force A-10 from an
Arizona airstrip.  After ending radio contact he flew the plane into the Colorado Rockies.  The Air Force has since determined that Captain Button deliberately ended his own life.  Why would a young man with so much to live for crash his plane into the mountains?  Mr. Button was distraught due to his membership in the Jehovah Witness cult. A Jehovah’s Witness publication was found next to Mr. Button’s bead that described the story of Abraham sacrificing his son on a mountain.  The devout Jehovah Witness mother of Mr. Button strongly disapproved of his membership in the Air Force.  Mr. Button had a desire to give a special “burnt offering” to the Watchtower society by crashing his plane into the mountain.
Often time’s suicide is combined with murder to increase the death rate and thus give a greater sacrament to the Watchtower society. One of many Watchtower murder-suicides took place in
McMinnville, Ore on February 23, 2002.  A long time Jehovah Witness family of six was found dead, killed by shot gun blasts.  Mr. Robert Bryant had murdered his wife and four children before turning the gun on himself.  It was learned that the family left
California after being shunned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses Shingle Springs congregation.  

There are many many well documented cases of suicide directly attributed to the Jehovah Witness Watchtower cult. What can the reader do? Never discount or ignore cries for help.  It is absolutely vital that you warn your friends and neighbors about this cult.  The life you save may be your own.  


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