How One Jehovah’s Witness Escaped from the Brainwashing

I wrote this article in Japanese and translated it into English using ChatGPT. I also used ChatGPT to create the English article title. I did my best to correct any translation mistakes, but please let me know if you find any errors. By the way, I did not use ChatGPT when writing the Japanese article. The entire article was written from scratch by me, Saikawa Goto.



Movies and books covered in this article

I will write an article about this movie/book

Three takeaways from this article

  1. I have no interest in anything religious myself, and I have nothing but disgust for brainwashing in the broad sense.
  2. The author, who also worked at the headquarters, has many unique experiences within Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  3. The author’s unorthodox experience of being able to escape from brainwashing as a result of delving into Bible study.

The harrowing memoir of a person who would be known as the producer of “TOKYO GIRLS COLLECTION” in the world.

Self-introduction article

Please refer to the self-introduction article above to learn about the person writing this article. Be sure to check out the Kindle book linked below as well.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

The quotes in the article were translated using ChatGPT from Japanese books, and are not direct quotes from the foreign language original books, even if they exist.

The Incredible “Cult Experience” of the Author Who Managed to Break Free from the “Brainwashing” of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Their Own Will Leave You Amazed

The author is introduced as a “genius producer who worked on ‘TOKYO GIRLS COLLECTION’,” a person who was shining brightly on the public stage (I don’t know what he is doing now). However, the events he has experienced feel so intense, unique, and insane that ordinary people living their lives cannot experience them.

This book is a detailed account of a person who was truly in a “brainwashing state,” broke free from that “brainwashing,” and returned to “normal society.”

However, the “brainwashing” and “escape from brainwashing” discussed in this book may be slightly different from the general image. I also had a different impression before reading the book, which was based on a more general idea. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly an astonishing experience and an interesting read.

My Thoughts on “Religion” and My Impression of “Brainwashing”

Firstly, let me briefly touch on my “religious views”.

Basically, I am not interested in anything religious in general, regardless of whether it is clearly classified as “religion” or not. I may be expressing it poorly, but for example, I feel that things like “online salons” are a type of “something religious”, and I have no interest in such things whatsoever.

Like how Aum Shinrikyo eventually became a criminal organization, if “fanaticism” in some way causes “actual harm to individuals or society”, I will take a clear “opposition” stance. However, if it doesn’t, I’m neither for nor against it. It means that it has nothing to do with me, whether it exists in the world or not.

My feelings are the same towards “people who believe in something religious”. Unless I am recruited or someone around me is inconvenienced, it doesn’t matter to me whether they believe in “something religious” or not. Specifically believing in a certain religion neither adds nor subtracts from the relationship I have with that person.

However, based on my limited experience so far, people who believe in some religion still emit an atmosphere of trying to pull people around them into their own religious beliefs. The moment I sense such a smell, I will probably move away from that person.

Anyway, I just dislike the general idea of “being recommended by others to choose or decide something,” regardless of what it is.

That’s my basic stance on “something religious”.

Now, let’s talk about “brainwashing.” When you hear the word “brainwashing,” it may feel like a very special state, but I sympathize with this sentence in the postscript that the author wrote:

Regarding brainwashing, my cult experience was certainly a special and extreme environment. However, brainwashing in a broad sense is seen everywhere in society, albeit to varying degrees.

It’s definitely true. For example, things called “advertising” and “marketing” are basically just techniques for “brainwashing” the other person. Social norms such as “A man should get married and have a family to be a full-fledged adult” and “Children should take responsibility for taking care of their parents” also feel like a type of “brainwashing” to me. I feel like it’s okay to say that “fans” who support idols, YouTubers, online salons, etc. are widely “brainwashed,” and “invisible social constructs” such as “family” and “national boundaries” can also be called a type of “brainwashing.”

And I basically dislike “brainwashing” in general, taken in such a broad lump.

Actually, I’m not particularly fond of the state of “continuously liking something” regardless of what the subject is. If you have an underlying belief that “your thoughts can always change,” then it doesn’t matter what you believe in, but I generally dislike states that feel like “fanaticism.”

In a broad sense, I think everyone has encountered “brainwashing” in their daily life. That’s why it’s important not to see this book as something that doesn’t concern you. While you may never have the same experience as the author, anyone can fall into a “brainwashing state” in a broad sense. It’s important to know what you can do if that happens.

“Jehovah’s Witnesses” through the Eyes of the Author and the Author’s Idiosyncratic Position Within it

First, the book talks about the author’s involvement with “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” I honestly knew almost nothing about Jehovah’s Witnesses, except for a news story a long time ago about the “Jehovah’s Witnesses blood transfusion refusal case.” While reading this book, I remembered that there was a classmate in elementary school who was absent from physical education class all the time. As I remember, I think his parents were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Maybe it was because he couldn’t have a blood transfusion, so it would be difficult if he got injured while exercising.

I only have that level of knowledge, so basically, I would like to introduce “Jehovah’s Witnesses” based on the description in this book.

The author’s parents had no prior connection to Jehovah’s Witnesses. The father had worked abroad frequently, and the family had lived overseas for a long time. However, the mother got into Jehovah’s Witnesses during that time, and the author also became a “Witness” as a result. Jehovah’s Witnesses use the word “witnesses” instead of “believer”.

According to the author, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not as strict as other religious groups. Witnesses seems that they solicit people by saying, “The Bible is the only rule.” And there is no lie there. In fact, this book also says the following.

Let me explain here that the Witnesses do not really believe that they are religious. (omission) When they are asked “Then what is it?,” they say, “We are just studying the Bible”. This is not sales talk or anything, they really mean it.

They are basically a group of people who study the Bible and are very serious about it.

But the sole discipline of “doing what the Bible says” is harder than it seems. They are not allowed to participate in sports festivals, sing the national anthem or school song. There are restrictions on all forms of entertainment, and dating is not recommended. For men, the “No masturbation” rule is particularly difficult, and the author himself was troubled by this. Premarital sex is also prohibited. Witnesses usually marry other witnesses, but because masturbation and pornography are also banned, they end up in an unfortunate situation where they don’t know “how to have sex after marriage.” In the past, “going to college” was not considered a good thing, but later the doctrine was changed.

Now, there were two unusual things about the author among Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Firstly, the fact that the author had worked at the headquarters in Brooklyn. Working at the headquarters is considered an honor among witnesses. Although the author was not a devoted witness in childhood, they changed their mind at one point and decided to aim for a job at the headquarters, which they achieved early on.

Given that only a limited number of people can reach the headquarters, it can be said that the experience of such a person leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses after breaking free from brainwashing is also unique. This is an account by a person who understands the details of Jehovah’s Witnesses more than the average witness.

The second point is that the author was “very enthusiastic about Bible study.” Some explanation would be necessary for this.

The author, who grew up in America, naturally studied the Bible among Americans. In general, however, Japanese witnesses are not enthusiastic about Bible study.

The author had an experience like this:

Within Jehovah’s Witnesses, there are leaders called “elders” who oversee a certain region. Elders are considered absolute authorities, and even if their claims are wrong, they are expected to be obeyed. However, the author came into conflict with an elder’s wife over something.

The author challenged the elder during the argument. Most witnesses do not argue with elders, but the author continued to debate by pulling various scriptures from the Bible. The author was even told by the elder that “there are hardly any Japanese witnesses who argue using scriptures”.

Another reason why “Japanese witnesses who study the Bible” are unique is that the type of Japanese people who come to Jehovah’s Witnesses has changed since a certain point in time. There are now more so-called “mentally unstable” people. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that “Witnesses are the only ones who can go to paradise after Armageddon and be given eternal life.” Therefore, the author speculated that these “mentally unstable” people cling to this teaching and aim to become Jehovah’s Witnesses regardless of the Bible.

With such background, the author naturally acquired the position of “a rare Japanese witness who studies the Bible with great enthusiasm.”

And as a result, it seems that the fact that he was “enthusiastic about Bible study” became the trigger for him to escape from “brainwashing.” It’s a story that really makes you feel like you never know what will happen in life.

The Process by Which the Author Left Jehovah’s Witnesses and the “Real Hardships” that Awaited Him Afterwards

The author’s enthusiastic study of the Bible was a factor in his eventual departure from Jehovah’s Witnesses, but it was not the only reason.

For example, at some point, he became concerned about the careless attitude of the general witnesses. He felt that witnesses who were not enthusiastic about studying the Bible tended to dismiss everything in the world with only three ideas:

  • It’s Satan’s fault.
  • It’s meaningless because Armageddon is going to happen.
  • It can only be resolved in Paradise.

The author began to feel that this was a terrible state of stopping thinking.

Furthermore, the author remembers the memory as follow vividly. At that time, the Tokyo Sarin Attack occurred, and Aum Shinrikyo was making headlines in the media every day. The author wrote about the atmosphere at the time as follows:

The Aum incident raised some questions for witnesses. Why did Aum believers become monks despite strong opposition from their families? Why do they remain as believers despite being condemned by society? And they concluded like this: “When theyou join Satan’s religion and get confused, they lose sight of things.” The biggest problem is that they themselves are unaware that they are being seen as such from the outside.

This was another point that continued to make the author feel uneasy.

However, the author crossed the final line by confronting the Bible. The trigger was two important doctrinal changes announced in the 1990s. Even before that, the author had come across small doubts while studying the Bible many times. But these two doctrinal changes brought great doubts to the author. It was a question that arose precisely because he was seriously facing the Bible.

The author began to investigate various things to resolve those doubts. In the process, he arrived at a theory that could defeat anyone in a discussion, and that led him to “brainwashing liberation”, as well as to becoming able to demonstrate his power in liberating other witnesses from brainwashing. By comparing the results of the Bible study with the claims of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the author reached the conclusion that “Jehovah’s Witnesses are difficult to call ‘God’s organization’.”

In this way, the author left Jehovah’s Witnesses at the age of 35. It can be said that their life so far has been quite tumultuous. However, the real difficulty came after leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses.

He had to face all sorts of values in the world with a clean slate.

Until then, the author had lived in a world where “only what is written in the Bible is correct.” They had been like that since childhood. Basically, he shut out all other values. However, the author left that world on his own. He completely abandoned all the values he had believed in until then.

And in that state, he ended up plunging into a world of values that can be called “normal” and “typical.”

It’s not a situation that an ordinary person can experience easily. The author himself writes in this way:

At this age, I am grateful for being given a second life. I can reconsider all the standards and common sense from scratch.

We are deeply immersed in our “common sense” as “natural” to us, believing in some values without even feeling that we are “believing” in them and accepting some norms without even being aware that we are “accepting” them. However, the author gained a certain kind of “freedom” by “stopping” at all of them. Of course, it must have been a continuous struggle. It is not a situation that can be easily imagined. However, I feel that there was certainly an experience that can be called “gratitude” included with a tremendous struggle.

When we imagine it in a situation that we can experience, it was probably as drastic as “moving alone to somewhere in the world where almost no information comes up even if we search on the internet.” It must have been a tremendous experience to jump into such a life at the age of 35.

The author says, “My experience in Jehovah’s Witnesses is tied to my current business.” Not in the sense of personal connections. Although he has almost cut off his social connections from his Jehovah’s Witnesses days, he says that his experience in Jehovah’s Witnesses remains in a positive form in his current life.

This book is a magnificent record of the author who has lived such a turbulent life.


Looking around the world, it would be nearly impossible to find someone who has had the same experiences as the author. His life is so unique and unconventional. On the other hand, the words “cult” and “brainwashing” may feel distant from everyday life, but in today’s world where the internet spreads everywhere, it can be said that the entrance to “brainwashing” is open everywhere.

Through the author’s life, I hope you think about how to avoid falling into such a trap, and what to do if you do fall.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

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