Thursday, April 24, 2014

When Reality is Recognized by Andy Madit

I was born into “The Truth,” which is what the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses professes to be.  My parents were baptized just weeks before I was born.   I never knew a birthday celebration, nor did I celebrate Christmas, Easter or any other national holidays.  

My first memories were of my father explaining why he must beat us as a punishment…that it was Jehovah’s will.  My mother was a house wife and my father soon started a janitorial business, in order for him to go out into the house-to-house ministry, called field service, in the mornings.  We were very cliché Jehovah's Witnesses in many ways.

When I was in second grade, we moved to Tennessee, where help was needed to build a Kingdom Hall (my father had learned construction in the Air Force before he married).  After that job played out, we moved to Texas.  All in all, I went to ten different schools between Kindergarten and eleventh grade. 

My father was a bit of a rebel.  For example, after living in Texas, we moved back North, where he was soon rebuked for sporting a mustache.  He fought them tooth and toenail, and to my recollection, he never shaved the thing off, though he was reduced to a simple publisher, losing his Ministerial Servant position.  Some good did come of that, though.  Any brothers of Latin decent were allowed to keep their mustaches without rebuke or restriction.

I remember when I was very young, between four and five years old, a group of us little Jehovah's Witness boys, ranging in ages from three to eight years, curiously played as  young children will often do, the game of “You show me yours and I’ll show you mine."  Later, when a talk came out, regarding how Jehovah hates homosexuals, I sank in my seat with such a crippling guilt.   So young and I was so terrified of the wrath of Jehovah against us immoral ones.  This irrational guilt and terror has plagued me my whole life.

In my early teens, I began to doubt “The Truth” and even belief in God.  How could everyone on the whole earth hear the word of the Jehovah’s witnesses?   China at that time didn't even have one witness that we knew of.  How could He be allowing so much suffering just to prove a point to Satan?  How could he kill the innocent children at Armageddon?  These are just a few of the bizarre teachings the Watchtower Society hammers into the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses, meeting after meeting, week after week, month after month, year after year.

As things turned out, right after I was baptized in 1980 at the age of sixteen, my teenage hormones got the best of me and a willing “worldly” girl, who was my age, decided we were destined to be together, and I committed fornication.  I moved out of town and that put an end to that relationship, but a year later, feeling very guilty as my programming insisted, I confessed the matter, and for immorality I was thrown out into the world and shunned by everyone, that I’d ever known.  

Later in life, while seeing in a documentary a cheetah take down an antelope, I asked myself, 'Could this creature have possible been created to do anything else?'  Slowly but surely (over the following 20 years), I dispelled all the dogma, propaganda and brainwashing from my belief structure. I woke up!