Barbara Anderson reviews Paradise Earth: Day Zero

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Although Par­adise Earth: Day Zero begins with the trek of a Jehovah’s Wit­ness imme­di­ate­ly after a dis­as­ter that he believes is God’s war of Armaged­don, read­ers will be aston­ished at what hap­pens to this Wit­ness and six­ty-nine oth­er indi­vid­u­als inside the Black Island King­dom Hall of Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es through­out the con­fla­gra­tion.

After a week­ly con­gre­ga­tion­al meet­ing, instead of depart­ing for home, the Wit­ness­es end up trapped for weeks dur­ing what seems to be the “apoc­a­lypse” which all of them earnest­ly wel­comed.

Out­side the build­ing, a rare thun­der snow­storm show­ers down snow, chunks of ice and mar­ble-sized hail dur­ing sun­less days and moon­less nights, fol­lowed by mis­sile-like balls of fire shot from the sky onto the frozen earth. Inside the build­ing, the King­dom Hall becomes a frozen tomb for many.

Author,Anthony Math­e­nia, mas­ter­ful­ly takes us along on a riv­et­ing sub­sur­face explo­ration of the religion’s the­o­log­i­cal intri­ca­cy and aston­ish­ing mind­set that caus­es unex­pect­ed results in Wit­ness behav­ior as severe per­son­al tribu­la­tion takes place for each of them show­ing us that they are not what they seem to be. As secrets are revealed, we see how con­flict­ed the world of Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es is and we can’t help but come to some grim con­clu­sions about those who jump on the end-of-the-world band­wag­on.

At the cliffhang­er con­clu­sion of this, the first part of a three-part series, we are left anx­ious and ready to read the next install­ment, Week One.

This unusu­al thought-pro­vok­ing nov­el stands alone because few peo­ple can offer insight into the world of Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es as Math­e­nia can even though using an imag­i­nary sce­nario. Writ­ers are told to write about what they know best, and Math­e­nia knows all about Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es in that he was raised in the reli­gion that he took very seri­ous­ly as he climbed the theo­crat­ic lad­der laid out for ambi­tious young men by Wit­ness lead­er­ship.

Bar­bara Ander­son was a mem­ber of Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es from 1954 to 1997. She worked at Watchtower’s head­quar­ters in Brook­lyn, NY, from 1982 to 1992 where dur­ing her last three years there, she researched the movement’s offi­cial his­to­ry (pub­lished in 1993) and did research as well as wrote a num­ber of arti­cles for their Awake! mag­a­zine. She has done exten­sive research on issues relat­ed to child sex­u­al abuse in the reli­gion lead­ing to inter­views on major TV and radio pro­grams as an out­spo­ken crit­ic of Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es sex­u­al abuse poli­cies.  She main­tains the web­site watchtowerdocuments.com

 

¶ Despatched on Sunday, December 30th, 2012 at 6:03 pm and sorted in Guest Article. ¶ { ReTweet }

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