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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Angela Jean Tharp, Standing Up with Her Heart

My Open Letter to the Watchtower Society,

I have jogged my memory several times, thinking about how I could piece something like this together.  Every time I have tried to explain my doubts about the Watchtower Society to my current Jehovah Witness family, they tell me that I am “mean” and “bitter."  They have said that I need to be more “forgiving” and that I should “accept” them as Jehovah’s Witnesses.  It always seems to turn into an argument with my mother who is still a Jehovah’s Witness.

“How can you move forward when you are too busy living in the past!” she tells me all the time.

When I hear her say this I am reminded by those familiar feelings that something is wrong with me and I tend to think, 'Hmm, maybe she is right? Maybe I am bitter and mean.'  She and my Jehovah Witness family depict me this way, as an angry person.  When I become defensive about my views of the organization, I do get upset.  I do get mad and I do get hurt because I see how much control this organization has on the family unit and individuals.

I have seen so much and I wish I could somehow escape it but I can’t because there will always be these memories:
• I have seen an Elder cheat on his wife with his own sister in law.
• I have consoled a younger sister who was molested and raped by her own father.
• I have consoled other young sisters who were demeaned and beaten by their fathers and brothers.
• I have seen my own father and my own brothers demean our mother and refer to her as “WOMAN!” as though she were a slave of some sort.
• I have seen an Elder with a rebellious teenager have a heart attack and die because his own daughter was disfellowshipped.  I saw her shunned at her father's funeral, weeks later.
• I have seen a mother and father turn their back on their young daughter because she resisted the “truth” and moved away.  Several years have passed and they have never met their only grandson.
• I have seen young brothers and sisters struggle with their sexual identity and be disfellowshipped after they have come out as homosexuals.
• I have seen young girls have incestuous relations with their siblings and it will never to be addressed.
• I saw young girls forced to marry so that the parents no longer have to worry about supporting them.
• I have seen the mean girls of the congregation treat other girls, who cannot afford to dress according to their styles, treat them in the most mean ways.
• Mothers and other wives fall into cliques and treat each other horribly.
• I have seen young people and old people die due to not being allowed to have a blood transfusion.
• I have also seen the Elders take advantage of these elderly people and hoax them to become executors of their estates, later to sign over the entire estate to the organization.

Maybe something is wrong with me that I am so mad about seeing these things happen to good people.  There are so many more wrong behaviors that I have seen and I will often get flashbacks, when something disturbing about the organization pops into my head.  I can never forget these things.

I have always argued with my family, “How could you be okay with these things happening?” and their response is always to "leave it in Jehovah’s hands."  So I did until now.  Now I have decided to stop waiting.

I have this amazing mind that blows up with ideas and helps me to feel all these incredible emotions about the Watchtower Society of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  I can’t just sit down and do and say nothing.  I can’t just be quiet.

When my sister was drugged and molested in her early teens, I put my foot down.  I went to the elders and told them what happened, but nothing came of my complaints.  I told my mother to go to the police and file a police report.  I sent the police to the house and my mother did not prosecute because the woman that did this to my sister was related to us and had children.  To see my beautiful sister have to carry some of the same burdens that I carry is where I draw the line.  I was told that my sister was already sexually active as though it were okay for a thirteen-year-old to be molested by an older woman.  No one did anything.  No one stood up for her, but me.  My brother, my grandmother, my father, nor my mother did anything to protect her.  They urged her to forgive and forget with no sort of advice of professional counseling.  Without those professional resources, all we have are drugs, alcohol and sex.  We will not value ourselves and will continue the pain and continue to not love ourselves as women, because we were never taught how to celebrate the beautiful women that we are.  It is wrong to take innocence away from a boy or a girl.  For the sake of my daughters and my nephews and my future nieces, I cannot be silent and wait.

The Watchtower Society of Jehovah Witnesses does not encourage victims to make reports of sexual abuse to the police.  Somewhere out there is another sixteen-year-old girl, who is doubting this organization just the same way I did and who feels that she has no chance of ever being anything else other than a housewife/Pioneer to some Elder who will lord over her and she could have daughters who will follow her path, so I am going to do my best to put a stop to it right now.

I am going to put my foot down and say I can move forward towards my OWN future, not Jehovah’s, not the Watchtower Society's.  My life is mine.  I am going to be a better person today and do the right thing RIGHT NOW!

The organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses destroys families, isolates family members from the only family they have and demands that they follow Jehovah’s (insert Governing Body's here) laws, via scare tactics, threats and intimidation.

I say to you, "Doubt this way of thinking! The world was a scary place for me and it still can be a scary, but you are the only one who has control over your happiness."

I didn’t know what it meant to be free, until I left.  I didn’t understand what opportunities I had, until I left.  This is what I am fighting for.  This is why I approach Jehovah’s Witnesses and tell them,

“If you have any shred of doubt about this organization, do research on your own, without the Watchtower Society publications, which are made only for you to read.  Any organization that does not allow you to read other publication or texts about faith is trying to control you."

I have been very hurt by my family.  My father, my brothers, my grandmother, grandfather, uncles and aunt and my mother have all sided with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and call me “mean” for speaking up against the organization.

They have said, “If you hate Jehovah, then you hate me” and I beg to differ.

Our bond is not like any other. You are my family and I will always fight for those memories and those happy times in hopes that some day you just might 'get it.'  When the Watchtower Society turns their back on you or your children, I will be here.  I will have the home for your children, who are forced into this faith, where they can come to get away from the Society, because if you don’t ever leave, surely they might.  I will never give up on that.

This is the sort of unconditional love that I have for my family and for my extended family who have suffered at the Watchtower Society's hands.  This is not about biblical philosophies, because I am confident with myself to know that if there is a God, he would want me to do this.

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 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

Silent Lambs

Watchtower Documents.Com

Watchers of the Watchtower World

Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses (AAWA)

Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses Online

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