TRUTH BE TOLD is a feature documentary film about growing up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion. The title refers to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ perception that their beliefs are ‘the truth’.
In this film, former Jehovah’s Witnesses candidly discuss the spiritual, emotional and psychological harm inflicted by the religion. They reveal experiences including the effects of proselytizing door-to-door, shunning non-observant family and friends, suspension of critical thinking, suffering the discouragement of pursuing dreams like gaining a higher education, and missing other societal holidays and customs.
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 & spiritual intimidation, suspension of critical thinking, failed prophecies, doctrinal inconsistency and improper handling of physical and sexual abuse allegations within the church.
Ultimately the film reveals why Jehovah’s Witnesses have the lowest retention rate of any religion with only 37% of those raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses continuing their affiliation with the religion.
The abuses explored in TRUTH BE TOLD are part of a wider examination into the culture of undue influence within the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion that continues to violate the basic human rights of members and their families worldwide.
Gregorio Smith is an independent filmmaker and writer. His writing career began with a two-year stint as the News Editor for WBMB Baruch College Radio. Outside the station Gregorio also wrote and staged several one-act plays and served as a contributing entertainment correspondent for the college newspaper.
After earning a BBA in Operations Management from Baruch College, Gregorio wrote several screenplays including The Staten Island Catapult, which was adapted into an award-winning documentary in 2005. The same year also yielded the completion of his first novel entitled, "Birds."
His work has been featured in the Parish Film Festival, Staten Island Film Festival, Anthology Film Archive, Dallas Video and Film Festival, Denver Underground Film Festival, Bowery Poetry Club and other forums. His work has also appeared in the New York Times.
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