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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 6 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 36
Who's watching the Watchtower? New film exposes homophobia and hypocrisy of Jehovah's Witnesses cult
Arts & Entertainment
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Who's watching the Watchtower? New film exposes homophobia and hypocrisy of Jehovah's Witnesses cult

TRUTH BE TOLD
HARVARD EXIT
Opens September 16

If you do not serve Jehovah, you will die. Do you know anybody that does not serve Jehovah? Then let them know they will die. - Jehovah's Witnesses saying, as quoted in Truth Be Told

A new feature-length documentary, Truth Be Told lifts the veil on the seemingly benign Jehovah's Witnesses religion to expose a profit-driven, isolationist culture characterized by fear, totalitarian corporate leadership, intellectual and spiritual intimidation, suspension of critical thinking, failed prophecies, doctrinal inconsistency, and improper handling of physical and sexual abuse allegations within the church.

See former Jehovah's Witnesses candidly discuss growing up inside the religion. They reveal experiences including the effects of proselytizing door-to-door, shunning non-observant family and friends, suffering the discouragement of pursuing dreams like higher education, missing other societal holidays and customs, and much more.

Ultimately, the film reveals why Jehovah's Witnesses have the lowest retention rate of any Christian denomination, with only 37% of those raised in the church continuing their affiliation as adults.

This exposé - the title of which refers to the Jehovah's Witnesses' perception that their beliefs are 'the Truth' - is the first feature film directed by independent filmmaker and writer Gregorio Smith. His work has been featured in the Staten Island Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Dallas Video and Film Festival, Denver Underground Film Festival, Bowery Poetry Club, and other forums. Born and raised a Jehovah's Witness, Smith describes Truth Be Told as 'immersive, informational, expository, and controversial - an honest glimpse into the culture of growing up' in the church.

Smith's production company, Smithkraft Productions LLC, was founded in 2009 and is based in Brooklyn, New York (also home to the world headquarters of the Witnesses' Watchtower Bible and Tract Society). The company creates independent films, commercial digital media, and original web-based content. More information is available at the company's website, www.smithkraft.com. Trailers, excerpts, production stills, and other film-related content are available on the official Truth Be Told website: www.hereliesthetruth.com. The film trailer can be seen on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4nqYtzDaGE.

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