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Friday, May 16, 2014

Steve Gipson's Story, posted by Karama Sadaka



Take Charge or Die!

I grew up in a household where my parents were Jehovah's Witnesses.  My father was a psychotic bipolar, emotionally and physically abusive monster.  My mother was disconnected from the situation and in her own little world.  I grew up with a father who would get inches from my face and tell me I was going to “fry at Armageddon,” as he punched, kicked, and threatened me, often with deadly force.  I began to rebel against my parents at twelve years of age, telling them I did not want to be part of their religion, and this is why.

When I was about three or four years of age and living in Lubbock ,Texas, my father was a disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witness who still believed.  My mother went along with whatever my father said.  My father had two children in the state of Arkansas.  He had lost parental rights over them, due to his and his ex-wife's inability to raise children.  At some point, he was reinstated and my mother was baptized.

In Lubbock, Texas, before I had the chance to learn or form opinions, something terrible happened.  I was introduced to sexual perversion and molestation through the Jehovah's Witnesses.  

My father fell on hard times, because he did not want to move to South Dakota with the company he worked for as a machinist, so he tried to stay in Lubbock, Texas.  As a result of his poverty, we lost our house and ended up having to live next door to a family of Jehovah's Witnesses that offered us a one bedroom guest house to stay in.

The “head” of this family was a man named Lou Le Beau, who worked as an engineer for Texas Instruments.  Lou had three sons.  One of them was named Aaron.  One day, Aaron and I were playing when Aaron told me, “This is how women pose when they are trying to look sexy.”  He was 4 years old.  I was the same age.  We would “practice” on each other until we found two African-American, five-year- olds, female twins in the Lubbock, Texas Kingdom Hall.  We then began “practicing” on them in cars and whatnot.  Once, we were caught.  My parents got mad at ME!  I was to blame.  Never did the thought occur to them to investigate further the manner in which toddlers suddenly became aware of sex.
At one point, Aaron and I were with his older brothers, and they wanted to throw rocks into our anuses.  We did it.  I was age four, at the time.  We had no idea the gravity of what was going on.  The only thing I can figure is that these boys were in contact with a pedophile who introduced them to gay sex.  Who this pedophile is, I can only guess, but my guess would be their father.  My father was also guilty of pedophilia, as I would later find out.

At one point, my parents left me with a babysitter, while they did "who knows what."  So they put me in the care of a fourteen-year-old boy named Jonathon Lightfoot, the son of Jean Lightfoot, a single mom in the Lubbock, Texas Congregation.  This was before my father lost his job, and we were still in the house we owned at the time.  I was left alone with this boy.  Having been involved sexually with Aaron, I began to talk to Jonathon about these things.  What would you do if a four-year-old began talking to you about sex?  This is what Jonathon Lightfoot did.  He proceeded, at fourteen years of age, to ask me for anal sex.  I was 4.  My parents let him babysit me, since he was a member of the Lubbock Texas Congregation, and he sexually molested me.  As I look back on this, I bear NO guilt.  The adults and the teenager involved are guilty beyond comprehension.

Soon, my father's inability to hold down a job landed us back in St. Louis, Missouri, at my Grandma's house, and his mom's house.  My father used to say that people were going to fry at Armageddon and that they would expire by worms.  I'm not sure where he got the "expire by worms" information, but he encouraged me to repeat this to his mother, my grandmother.  As a result, she kicked us out of her home.  Every time he told the story of me telling my grandmother she would expire by worms to other Jehovah's Witnesses, they would laugh and praise him for teaching me to preach to my grandmother.

Soon, we landed in a dilapidated house, at 2314 Spencer Street, owned by Jack Fallon, a St. Louis "slum-lord," who my father knew.  As we lived there, my father sank into a deep depression, forcing my mother to take on the role as family provider.  I was picked on at school for being a Jehovah's Witness and then beaten by my father for not doing schoolwork.  I eventually got to a point where I would just lie to him to avoid beatings.  When he found out, I was repeatedly whipped with a three-inch leather strap, as I begged for him to stop, but to no avail.  He would just whip me harder.  He often got within inches of my face while screaming at me, and any time he was angry with me, he would whip me with that three-inch wide leather strap, until I was screaming and begging him to stop, from four years of age, until I was about twelve years old.

While in St. Louis, I began talking about the sexual things I had experienced with another kid my age named Ben Thomas.  He knew what I was talking about and wanted to have sex.  We were both seven years old.  My parents often left me with people who were not appropriate to have around children, including a schizophrenic woman, who was studying with Jehovah's Witnesses and who also photographed me nude at seven years of age.

Eventually, my paternal grandfather was lying on his death bed, and none of my father's siblings would deal with it, so my father did and we moved to Joplin, Missouri.  At eleven years of age, due to the sexual deviancy I had witnessed, I decided the Jehovah's Witnesses' religion was not for me.  I was twelve years old, when I told my father this, and he thew a knife at me, saying, “We're not going to be friends anymore.”  After this, he switched from whipping me to punching and kicking me, as well as threatening my life.

I became a very rebellious teenager.  I was in rural Missouri, so the Elders would take sides with my fanatically religious parents, since I stated that I wanted freedom from their super-controlling religion.  When presented with evidence of domestic violence perpetrated by my father, such as whelps, bruises, black eyes, and audio recordings of my ranting father screaming at me and breaking things, the Elders would say, “I don't see anything,” or “I don't hear anything.”  They would tell me that I had no rights to freedom of religion, because I was a minor.  A few times, my father was arrested for domestic violence while drunk, but my mother would bail him out of jail and bring him home.  Once, he went to the Elders to tell them that he had been arrested for punching me when I was fifteen years old.  My father proudly reported back to me, “Warren Reese said it is better for you to get a black eye than to die at Armageddon.”

I eventually got involved with drug abuse, selling drugs, stealing, vandalism, and general misbehavior. My parents kicked me out of their house when I was seventeen years old.  As time progressed, and I got deeper involved in crime, I realized that if everyone behaved this way, the world would be a horrible place.  So I decided to straighten up when I was eighteen years old.  I turned to the religion of my parents to facilitate the straightening out.

I had lived with friends until then, and I called my parents' old phone number to see how they were.  I was surprised to find out my father had had an affair with a woman he met at a singles dance and my parents were getting divorced at my father's insistence.  So my mom begged me to move back in with her, and she was relying heavily on the Jehovah's Witnesses for support through her rough period.  I studied the bible (actually Watchtower Society publications) with a man assigned to me by the Presiding Overseer of our congregation.  The man was Addi Gaddis, an African-American football player, who had been converted by another a man named Bill Henderson, a painter at the same college, while attending Missouri Southern State University.  Addi had a shot at the NFL.  Instead, he was conducting a “Bible Study” with a troubled young adult in the heart of rural, white America.  While it was admirable that he willfully took on this assignment, I have to think that for an old, white, Presiding Overseer from Kentucky (Warren Reese mentioned above) to send a black man down a dirt road past several illiterate, white, racist rednecks with high-powered rifles was at least a little bit questionable.

As I “progressed” within the organization, a question came to my mind.  How could pedophilia occur within the ranks of such a righteous organization?  I decided that they were just isolated incidents and slipped though the cracks, because imperfect men are in charge and eventually, Jehovah himself would straighten it out.  When I told a couple of Elders about it, they brushed it off, as if it were no big deal.  Lane Henson, an Elder in the Joplin West Congregation in Joplin, Missouri, said to me, “Yeah, they do that down in Texas. They call it 'corn-holing.'”  And that was it.

I eventually married and had a son. My wife was an illegal immigrant from Mexico, putting in “pioneer hours,” although not officially recognized as a pioneer, and she wanted her papers fixed.  We were an absolutely poor match and should have never dated more than maybe once.  We made a big mistake. Unfortunately, we were legally married and obligated to stay together for life.  We constantly fought, as she wanted me to pioneer, although I couldn't, because I was obligated to support the family.  We constantly had money problems, because I didn't have a University education.  Jehovah's Witnesses had convinced me it was unnecessary and would be a show of a lack of faith in Jehovah.  Instead, I lived off-campus, as I pursued a degree in Computer-Aided Drafting, resulting in a low-paying job that would force me to move multiple times to stay employed or start over in another field at minimum wage.

We moved around a lot.  The first move was from Joplin, Missouri, to Blackfoot, Idaho, where I was to help out in a Spanish Language congregation.  Work was scarce, inadequate and did not provide health insurance.  Meanwhile, I learned of a family, in which the mother of a teenage girl had married a man and that man had sex with her sixteen-year-old daughter.  They stayed together.  My wife became pregnant.  When I heard the news, I remember punching my steering wheel in my truck and yelling, “Not with her! Not with her!”  Work slowed down, and though we had bought a house, we could not keep up with the payments, so I looked on the internet for work.

We moved to Westlake Village, California.  There, we were welcomed by the English congregation (I couldn't handle the stress of the Spanish language congregation anymore).  We became good friends with several people in the congregation.  Then one day, everyone in the congregation received a letter, supposedly from Bill Parodi.  As it turned out, Brother Parodi had been running a software company that wrote code for porn companies to charge credit cards.  His company did not disclose this was a recurring, monthly charge and, as a result, he was charged with fraud and banned by the FTC from trading or being a CEO of any publicly traded company.  Then came the shocking part; he had written the Watchtower Society headquarters at Bethel, in Brooklyn, New York, asking if it was okay and they said, "Yes."  One of the elders who used to kiss my son on the cheeks in an almost creepy way turned out to be one of his employees, who had dealt with the porn accounts.

In 2007, the economy began to tank and as a draftsman at a civil engineering firm, my services were no longer needed, so we moved to Bakersfield, California, where my wife's sister had moved.  That was the only place in California I could find work.  We landed in the Panama Congregation in a Kingdom Hall with four congregations.  This congregation was one of the coldest, most authoritarian I had ever seen. There was an old presiding overseer named Deero Parker, who hated children.  If your kid made any sound at all during meetings, he would ask you to take him/her outside.  One day, my wife was severely depressed and didn't want to go to the meeting, due to the way she was treated by this congregation, despite her being super-devout, so I took my son, and he began playing with a toy car.  It squeaked slightly.  He made no other noise.  Deero Parker grabbed the toy car out of my son's hand walked outside with it.  I followed him out and told him, "Give it back.  Now!"  He went inside and got another Elder.  I told the other Elder the same thing.  Then I told him, “Don't you ever take anything away from my son again!”  He bragged about raising 10 children, saying that he knows how to raise kids.  I asked how many are still Witnesses.  With a smile, he said, “None. They all had bad hearts.”
 
While in this congregation, we were invited to the house of a family bearing the last name “Sloan.”  They had two children, both boys.  My wife and I took our son over there.  While there, I was sitting in the living room of their house talking to the husband, while the wife was in the kitchen talking to my wife, directly in front of me, twenty feet away.  Brother Sloan was a tall, muscular, African-American fireman.  He was into comics and even drew comics of his own.  He was an interesting person, and one that about any woman attracted to black men would readily want to have for herself.  Sister Sloan was a gorgeous blonde woman with a perfect body, so what followed that night was bizarre, to say the least.  As Sister Sloan leaned over her bar stool with her back towards me and her husband was facing me, her pants slipped down further and further and her whole buttocks was visible to me as my wife sat next to her talking to her.  She was wearing a red thong.  Then, I noticed that the boys were suddenly quiet and nowhere to be seen.  I went to find my son, only to find him in their boys' room, with all three boys stripped down to their underwear.  The explanation given was that they were putting on super-hero costumes.  I told my son to put his clothes on and to come out and stay with me.  I stayed right there, making sure nothing happened to him.  Then I told my wife it is time to leave.  We changed congregations after that.

In the Oaks Congregation, we were invited to a Barbeque (BBQ) by a family, whose names I cannot remember.  While we were at the BBQ, their son bit my son, so they grabbed their son and whipped him with a leather belt.  Their son was very disobedient, destructive and difficult.  It was obvious that their use of spanking was out of control and causing their son's problems.  It saddened me, but I could not say anything, for it was part of the religion to spank children, so to question a parent's use of spanking was almost a cardinal sin.

Soon, work dried up in Bakersfield and I was offered a job at a public utility in San Diego, California.  By this time, my wife was very much set on leaving me, although I believed she wouldn't, because it was against our religion.  I tried to have hope that the situation would someday improve and we could make the best of our marriage and maybe even become happy together.  I was stupid and naive.

A friend of ours in Bakersfield recommended the Lake Murray Congregation in La Mesa, California, a suburb of San Diego.  This was another congregation of strict, old men, with a touch of corruption.  This is also the last congregation I would attend, the one that finally opened my eyes to the reality of the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses.  While attending this congregation, my wife began to hang around the sisters who took their children to downtown San Diego for preschool.  This cost us a lot of money.  

At the same time, I was trying to advance my career, so we would be more financially stable.  I took a course in trigonometry as well as, attended classes in substation design at my job.  My wife became jealous and thought I was cheating on her.  In reality, I was struggling to keep up good grades and make sure I understood mathematical concepts as well as electrical engineering concepts, and I was definitely feeling like a child outside a candy store around all the extremely attractive female college students.  I would go home and hear my wife complain after I was in the library studying and doing homework with all these hot, young, college students around, who were nice to me.  I wanted to die. Every day, I walked into my home with my now ex-wife, I wished I was dead.

At the end of the semester of my Junior College trigonometry class, our congregation in Lake Murray was assigned to clean Qualcomm Stadium, in preparation for the District convention of Jehovah's Witnesses.  My wife had been threatening to leave, and I was very worried about having time with my son as well as, not being able to support myself, if she took me to divorce court.  So we went to help clean the stadium, and took our then four-year-old son with us.  After a few minutes there, my son came to me and told me that Tahe Wilkerson had told him, “Quit touching my dong.”  Tahe was nine years old. Suddenly, the horror of my childhood sexual molestation experiences flashed into my head.  I went to Darrin McCormick, one of the Elders of the congregation, and reported to him what my son had told me at this “spiritual” gathering, intended to prepare the stadium for the convention.  At the same that I approached Darrin, my wife approached me and told me that she saw Tahe grab our son between the legs.

Later, Darrin and Favien Chavez met with us to discuss the situation with Tahe Wilkerson.  As it turned out, Tahe was a victim of sexual abuse on multiple occasions, and Darrin McCormick's exact words were, “I wouldn't let my son be alone with him, but I'll let them play together, if they are supervised.”  Darrin KNEW this kid has issues with sexual misbehavior.  Yet, not a word was ever said to any parent.  No one was warned that Tahe might try to have sex with their son.  Nothing.  PLUS, he was allowed to be at an event where he would have access to toddlers, and he could sneak off with them to do nasty things to them.  Nothing EVER was said..... To anyone.  Darrin McCormick even let the Wilkerson's boy be around his own son.

After witnessing this, I could not deny the "elephant in the middle of the living room" any longer.  Jehovah's Witnesses contain within their ranks MANY pedophiles.  In every congregation I attended, I found pedophiles.  Outside the Watchtower Society, I came across few pedophiles.  A couple of guys I went to school with, but NOTHING compared to what I witnessed within the ranks of the Jehovah's Witnesses.  At school, there were no teachers, or even other children like this.  They seemed to be concentrated within the ranks of the Jehovah's Witnesses.  I told my wife that if Tahe did anything to our son, I would murder Tahe.  I was horrified, terrified, and devastated.

About a month after that, my wife left me.  She took our son, went to Bakersfield, and filed falsified claims of domestic violence against me.   She claimed our son was so afraid of me he shakes and cries.  Our son developed Separation Anxiety Disorder and continually asked for me as she refused to let him see me.  All this is documented in psychological reports, because our son started having crying fits ten to twenty times a day, after she removed him from our home and moved in with her sister.  I was absolutely powerless to stop her, because the family court system in California is hopelessly biased in favor of mothers.  She told one lie after another in court, all of which were documented in a court transcript and shown to the Elders.  Slander is allegedly a disfellowshipping offense in the Watchtower Society.  I found these claims against me to be particularly offensive as I am an actual victim of domestic violence.  I know what it's really like to live in terror of someone you live with.  My ex-wife changed congregations to avoid dealing with the Elders in Lake Murray.  

My life was ruined.  My mother moved close to me so she could help me, I lost my wife, my son, and was facing a 60% loss of income, which was only barely enough to survive on alone to begin with.  What were the consequences of my ex-wife lying in court, with overwhelming evidence to prove it, leaving a marriage for a reason other than adultery or abuse, lying in court, being greedy, and causing our son to develop severe anxiety disorder?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.  In fact, she is allowed to pioneer.
After my wife left, I was lost, devastated, mostly because I felt like a failure.  I was told repeatedly that lack of Family Bible Study was the reason our marriage was so turbulent, when in fact, it was our differences that caused that.  I had been confiding in Favien Chavez, and he kept telling me that I needed to “Man up,” read the Watchtower Society's yearbooks and pray more.  I was under so much anxiety that I couldn't function at all, not even to work.  As a result, I lost my job.

I had been going to a taco shop frequently, and since I was halfway fluent in Spanish, I caught the attention of the woman that worked the drive-thru (Plus I had six-pack abs at the time).  I bought her an English-Spanish dictionary, because she wanted to learn English.  Soon, she wanted to meet for lunch.  I met her for lunch and she was in a mini-skirt.  Although I knew I was headed for trouble, I didn't care anymore.  Then she kissed me.  Her one kiss was better than all the sex I had during my marriage to my ex-wife.  We went to the San Diego Bay, and had sex in her car.  Oddly, I didn't feel guilt.  I felt liberated.  It was amazing.  I felt a connection, and probably, it was the first normal sexual experience in my life.  We had an affair that lasted for only two weeks, when I acknowledged that I should go to the Elders and tell them what happened.  After I confessed to the Elders, I broke up with Graciela.

After two weeks of waiting for a judicial committee, I finally met with the three old men, who would decide whether my social life was over or if I could recover it after a bit of time.  Because I was going through severe trauma, Medical Doctors had prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication for me, most notably Celexa, Klonopin, and Atavan.  I was very "stoned," and overwhelmed by severe anxiety when I slept with my Mexican Taco Shop girl, yet, I was treated as if I were some evil, wicked, abhorrent person.  I was not shown any mercy, and I most certainly was being “led to repentance.”  I was interrogated like a criminal, criticized for pretty much anything I said and, when I explained to them I was under the influence of a dis-inhibitor, Klonopin, the response I got was, “Could you drive a car?”  I responded, “Sure, and people get drunk all the time a drive home without a problem.”  I was speaking of that particular elder, who drives under the influence.

I had endured years of torturous misery in the Jehovah's Witness organization.  I had ignored my nagging doubts every time I heard a "straw man" argument, an appeal to authority, or even some completely absurd idea, spoken with authority from the platform.  I had listened to my ex-wife belittle me and constantly express her total disappointment in me for years because I was not a pioneer, because I couldn't just leave her.  I had auxiliary-pioneered, volunteered for heavy duty construction work on Kingdom Hall constructions, volunteered in the Engineering/Design department, and I'd been as helpful as I could possibly be to the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses.  In two hours, all of this was disregarded in my time of need.  Instead, I was cast out of the Watchtower Society (aka: Synagogue) for being in a desperate situation.

I finally did the unthinkable:  I said to myself, “The Jehovah's Witnesses seem to have a severe problem with pedophiles. Also, they haven't lived up to the image they project of themselves. They said, 'If you're in a judicial committee, you can expect mercy.'  I experienced NO mercy, just efforts to get rid of me, so they wouldn't have to deal with me.  The evidence is clear: There is no righteous, all-powerful, divine being directing this organization.  It is an organization run by con-men."

Since then, I made a real search for truth, and I found the truth I am satisfied with.  I haven't worried about Jehovah's Witnesses for a long time, but this request for stories sparked my attention.  My story is enough to turn anyone's stomach, though I see it as “Hey, that's what happened to me.”

P.S.

Here is a text message I sent to one of the Elders on my Judicial Committee:

"Thank you for disfellowshipping me.  If it weren't for you, Favien, and that retard Jared, I'd still be stuck in that miserable cult.  It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I cant believe what a piece of dog sh*t you are to get up on the platform and tell people, "Some say, 'Just don't resist the court orders.' Don't fall into that trap."  You said nothing while Tahe, the molester, was targeting my son in your Kingdom Hall. You KNOW Tahe will molest younger children, but you've given no warning to the parents in Lake Murray, who've been brainwashed into believing their kids are safe around Jehovah's Witnesses.  You are guilty of putting children in grave danger.  I find you to be a spineless, cowardly 'yes-man' for a cult.  While what happened to me was unjust and corrupt, I am much happier now.  You are a carpet cleaner in a suit, protecting pedophiles.  But thanks, buddy.  I'm having a blast.  So much out there.  I can do whatever I want and there is so much opportunity out there.  Thank you for showing your true colors when I was thirty years old, instead of sixty years old."

NOTE:  If you are a former or Ex-Jehovah's Witness, who would like to have your case reviewed legally, concerning you or your child having been molested/raped and receiving no assistance from anyone in the Watchtower Society, you can contact William H. Bowen, the founder of silentlambs.org.  For confidential contact info, check with Admin. in "The Truth Behind Jehovah's Witnesses" group on Facebook.

 If you would like to have your CHILD CUSTODY case reviewed, William H. Bowen also founded the Jehovah's Witnesses Child Custody website to provide information and assistance for former or Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses with child custody issues.

If you are a former or Ex-Jehovah's Witness in need of counseling concerning you or your child having been molested/raped, please go to the Silent Lambs website for assistance.  http://www.silentlambs.org/assistance/index.cfm

Want to know where to find the concrete evidence against the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses?  Here's a few links to get you started:
 
Facts About Jehovah's Witnesses
http://www.jwfacts.com/

Silent Lambs
http://www.silentlambs.org/

Watchtower Documents.Com
http://www.watchtowerdocuments.com/jw-sites.html

Watchers of the Watchtower World
http://www.freeminds.org/

Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses (AAWA)
http://aawa.co/blog/how-the-watchtower-uses-undue-influence-to-enforce-its-blood-policy/

Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses Online
http://ex-jw.com/

^^^ The above website includes "An Elder Shares His Honest Opinions"
http://ex-jw.com/elder-shares-honest-opinions  (THAT should be an interesting read!)