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In a short film called Dios por el Cuello (God by the Neck), director José Trigueiros shows you what it’s like to grow up as a Jehovah’s Witness, unable to attend birthday parties and being used as a pawn to advance the Church’s agenda.

It’s in Spanish but includes English subtitles:

YouTube video

Well, that was depressing… and fairly accurate, too, according to Jehovah’s Witness watchdog Lloyd Evans. He told me in an email:

The film is so close to the actual experience of being dragged on the doors as a Witness child, it was almost painful to watch. Of course, not all preaching is done in dark foreboding apartment blocks, but the director perfectly captures how unnatural the whole thing is, and the overwhelming dread of a schoolmate catching you in your Witness clothes. The way JW children are deprived of simple joys, forced into token acts of worship, and indoctrinated through fear-mongering is very well represented.

I hope this film will open the eyes of the wider public, and help people understand that Witness kids are first-and-foremost victims, and in need of our sympathy and understanding whenever we get the opportunity to show it.

By the way, if you’re wondering why JWs can’t celebrate birthdays, the standard argument is that the Bible only mentions two birthdays… and someone dies in both. So it must be a sign!

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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