Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Thursday Night Talk Sheds Gnu Light on TTATT by Sharon Lee Murray

Contributed by Noel Parsons
I USED to listened to EVERYTHING Jehovah's Witnesses said and would have died for them from 1959 until December 5, 2012.  That Thursday night meeting changed everything.

...and will disfellowship you in a heartbeat!

1st someone was disfellowshipped.  I was the ONLY one the point I had to go to the ladies room for 20 minutes to control myself.  When I got back to my chair, a sister wrote me a note, 'We do not grieve the disfellowshipped ones.'  Now...mind you, I obeyed ALL the 'new light' and EVERYTHING else but shunning.  THAT I would not obey.  Anyway, I read the note...and my first thought was, 'Didn't the Israelites of old rip their clothes and sit among the ashes because of their grief when someone left the 'true God?'  

Then the announcements that really caught my ear...

"No researching on any websites but JW(dot)ORG..."  

I had never done that before, but now I was being told that I can' heart was pounding.  What was I hearing?  

Then the next one, 

"Because Armageddon is just around the corner, we don't want to burden our brothers and sisters with any unnecessary unworn jewelery, estates, life insurance policies, 401k's retirement funds IRA's, anything of the future we won't be needing please donate or send to the Watchtower Society in Brooklyn NY."

Check out the bling on Samuel Herd, Governing Body member!
People in my age group (50's) and the others...younger were all nodding their heads in agreement. 

My next thought, shades of 1975!  These were three things that just didn't sit well with me.
Contributed by Haupi Justice
I went home and called my oldest daughter.  I am very close with her.  And I told her all these things.  She said, "Mom, I've been telling you for over 20 years you're in a cult."  I hung up on her, after saying I would die for them.  If you know me, you know I don't hang up on ANYONE!  

I wondered what made me hang up on my firstborn?  I typed in the meaning of cult and followed every link, until I came upon a 10 question quiz.  If I answered four or more 'yes, you're in a cult.'  Imagine my surprise when I answered 10 out of 10 'yes!'  

I didn't know where to go...I was so scared...I looked up 'Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) and cults,' followed every link, then JWs and scandals.  After reading all of those, I knew Jehovah's Witnesses were NOT of God.  With tears and nausea filling my belly, I typed in JWs and the occult.  After reading everything from their own publications...(I never searched outside of the Watchtower Society to look for information)...and crying for 6 hours, feeling like someone kicked the floor out from under me...I silently prayed for wisdom on this whole thing.  Picking up the bible, I put it on my lap and let it open 4 times by itself.

First came, Ps146:3-4, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help....When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them."

Jer17:5, "This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
1Joh4:1, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."
...and finally the one that keeps me away, Luke 21:8,

"He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them."

I knew I would lose my family, who remain as JWs, but I could not be part of a lie.  Until that moment of knowing, they would be lost to me.  I never realized how important truth is, until I searched for it.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Invisible Scars of a Forgiving Woman

Contributed by Christian Sparlock Freedom
I finally have enough courage to tell my story, but it still hurts to tell it.

I was in the organization called the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), from the time I was 2 years old, until I left at age 20 years.  I've been out for 28 years, but my past has left me with invisible scars.

My story begins with my mother from the Philippines.  She came to the United States after leaving all of her friends behind.  She was almost 20 years old, when she got married, because of me.  She gave birth to my sister not too much longer after that.   

My father worked a lot and was rarely at home.  Without much support and no friends, my mother was vulnerable when Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on our door.

My father never believed in their religion, but he allowed my mom to torture us with it, as long as we didn't embarrass him by going door-to-door in the field ministry.  That activity was done by us in secrecy.

Our upbringing was chaotic and without structure.  My mother welcomed the discipline and structure of the Jehovah's Witnesses.  She went from zealous to militant, on and off during our childhood.   We never knew when we would have "loving mother" or "scary mother," from one day to the next.
Some days I could be whipped, beaten, made to apologize and thrown down the stairs for playing a game with my friends and saying, "kiss my butt," which was part of a game called "kiss my... (insert body part), because I was running out of words.   Yes, that really happened.

Some days our mother would get mad at us, but we would never be told why she was mad.  We knew we were in trouble with her, because she wouldn't talk to us or look at us, sometimes for weeks.  Then "loving mother" would let us watch TV with her near bedtime on her bed and cuddle with us.

We had the typical childhood of JW children. We made all the meetings and weekend door-to-door field ministry, to get our required hours on our time card.  Our friends were all in "The Truth," as the organization of JWs was called.  We kept our distance, as much as possible from those "worldly" (non-JW) children at school, unless we were trying to convert them.  We were made to sit out during the Pledge of Allegiance and other patriotic activities. We were sent to the principal's office during holiday parties.   We read the Bible and Watchtower or the book for the mid-week meeting or we would rehearse to give our act in front of the Kingdom Hall and study other material on the other day in the week. The kids made fun of us, but we did have our secret "worldly" friends at school.
Because JWs don't celebrate holidays, including Easter.

I "let the cat out of the bag" and talked about "witnessing" in the field ministry on the weekends.  My parents argued and my father left the house to cool down.  I was whipped to the point of welts by my mother and got the silent treatment for 2 months.

I remember the Jonestown story when it made the news. My mother made us promise that if the Governing Body asked the same thing from us, we should be the first in line to prove our loyalty.

When my mother got a job, she sent us to various baby sitters.  One we had during a whole summer was one of her best friends.  Midway through the summer, she got a part time job and her unemployed husband was laid off. He watched us.  Looking back, I realize that he was grooming me from the beginning by asking me to help out with various tasks while my sister and his children were playing outside.  Tasks turned into touching.  Then one day he locked the basement door and the touching went to a place no child should suffer.   I was 9 years old when it began.

Even when school started, on weekends our friends and my sister and I would alternate sleeping at each other's houses and be brought to the Kingdom Hall on Sunday. Molesting became rape.  On and off, until I was age 15 years and he showed up unannounced at my door when I was home alone.  I had the chain on the door and told him to go away.   He kept trying to break through, but I closed the door on him and locked it.  He left and never tried to do that to me again.   I still have PTSD because of it.
After the first incident of being touched, I started cutting. An elder noticed the cuts and counseled me about the sin of those who made cuts and tattoos on their skin. He gave me a warning and said next time I would be disciplined. He never asked why I did it.

Then I began the questioning phase, because I had begun to have so many doubts about the religion.   I started requesting information from other religions.   

My mother found the information pamphlets from other religions and went hysterical.  She raided my bedroom, took my Mad and Cracked magazines, my records, and everything considered contraband, along with many religious tracts.  She confronted me with them in our basement and, because of what had already been happening to me at the baby sitter's house, I am scared of being in basements alone with one person, to this day.  She was crying and made me promise that no matter what happened, even if they threaten to torture and kill my family in front of me and then torture me that I wouldn't leave Jehovah.   I promised and was scared of her and leaving "The Truth."

By then, I was deeply brainwashed by the JWs' version of "The Truth."  I went through my perfection stage where my room was perfectly clean.   My schoolwork and homework was done perfectly.  I had my morning ritual starting at 4:00 AM with a very hot shower.  Then I would clean my face with very hot water and Noxzema, followed by ice cold water and a rinse with rubbing alcohol and oil from a vitamin A capsule.  I always had clear skin.  I would be ready for school early on weekdays or ready for chores on weekends by 6:00 AM. My chore schedule was timed to the minute of when I started and when I would finish. I would do long stretches of walking or running up to 5 miles.  And I was also anorexic.

By the time I was going into my Junior year of high school, my mother loosened the tight reins on us.  My anorexia escalated to bulimia, because my parents noticed I wasn't eating.   I joined the track team.  I told the secret that I was a member of the yearbook staff and editor of a school literary magazine since I started high school.   I also let them in on my secret "worldly" Catholic boy, who was a friend I spoke to on the phone every Friday, when they were at the store and we hung out at school during lunch.  I loved him very much, but wasn't allowed to date him, because it wasn't proper, since he was a non-JW.

My parents were planning on moving to another State, but they never knew about the incidents at the baby sitter's. I was in my senior year of high school and they gave me the option to finish school at the same high school, while they tried to sell the home or I could go ahead to the other State, where they were planning to move and have my Aunt take custody of me.  I chose the latter and my mother took offense, and gave me the 'cold shoulder' until I was leaving.  She wouldn't talk to me or look at me at all for a month.  After leaving them behind, at least I had my sister with me, during the first semester, but she became homesick and went back home.  

I was in a deep depression, because I had no friends there.  During Christmas vacation, I went to my parents' house for a visit.  They were actually celebrating the holiday.   I was shocked and too scared to participate.  My mother made me promise to keep it a secret and I did.   It only made me stronger when I went back. 

Feeling alone and sad, I studied and studied.  My teachers noticed my bizarre behavior and that I was not attending classes.   I made a few suicidal cries for help and my cutting was getting to be a daily thing.   In my psychology class, we had an assignment to draw a picture to represent our lives.  I drew a picture of a black hole.  He asked me in private to explain the drawing.  I told him, "If the world is going to end soon, as JWs drilled into our heads, then school wasn't important.  I was probably going to be killed, dying a horrible death, because I could never be good enough."


He sent me to the school psychologist who asked me straight out, after reading the teacher's note, if I were sexually molested.   I cringed and told her everything, including my eating disorders, cutting and suicidal actions.  She told my aunt, who sent me to an outside psychologist and counselor.  My aunt was not told the reason why I was requested to go.

I met another JW student at my school and found out about the other 3 JWs at our school.   I began studying with one of their mothers, to prepare myself for baptism.
My mother came to visit me for graduation.  I told her what happened with her best friend's husband.  She also found out I was studying for baptism.   She told me to think very carefully before I did that.  I didn't realize at that point she was having serious doubts.  She talked about it with the elders in her home congregation.  They said I should forgive him, not go to the police, and make amends for my part of these events.  She left "The Truth" and told me what the elders said.  I talked to the elders in a congregation where my aunt lived, and they agreed that I should make amends and even apologize to them for my role in being involved.

I was so far deep into it that I continued studying.  My father insisted, against the elder's wishes, that I go to college.  I was hooked up with a congregation near my college that the elders found for me.  I was assigned a loving couple who studied with me.  Far from the militant version my mother believed, they were kind and very devoted.  The congregation there was very loving and supportive. I was firmly committed because of that congregation.

Then in the college dorm, I was raped.  I was like a deer caught in the headlights.   I couldn't say anything.  I couldn't move.  The boy just followed me to my room as I was coming in from the library on campus.  He knew I was a JW and asked me for a magazine.  I thought it was a good time to witness to him, but he had other plans.  I didn't tell anyone about that for a long time.

I also got extremely drunk, like alcohol poison drunk. Two guys in my dorm picked me up, literally and took me to their room.  I was considered a prude on that floor and they were determined to make me loosen up.  They said they wouldn't let me leave unless I could drink a 48 ounce plastic cup of straight whiskey, without pause.  Halfway through, I paused.  They filled it to the top again and said they would keep topping it off, until I could chug it.  I finally drank it all, after a few tries.  They let me out and I walked back to my room.  I remember touching the door outside and then I passed out.  I was apparently put on my bed by the resident assistant, who wouldn't call the ER because they would get in trouble for allowing 20 year olds to get a 17-year-old drunk.  They had bought the liquor with a fake ID.

That happened a week before I was to be baptized. The elderly couple was notified about it by my roommate's friend, who spoke English.  The couple was disappointed in me.  Her husband was an elder and I was counseled by him.  He knew I was sorry and allowed me to go ahead with the baptism, because I agreed to move in with them, instead of remaining at the dorm.  At the end of the semester, I dropped out to become a full-time pioneer (special title given to those who participate for many hours in the field ministry) with plans to do service in Gilead.

I went home to visit my parents. My mother was clearly no longer a JW.  She was "loving mother," by that point.  She was also concerned that I was taking it too far, although never as far as she took it.  She insisted I move in with my grandmother and great-grandmother, instead of the couple's house where I was living.  I went to a local congregation and continued to pioneer.  This congregation was not as loving, but quite cold and militant.

There was an alpha-Pioneer (the pushy type of person) who started me on the path of doubt.  We were all in her shadow.  Her husband was an elder (and alcoholic behind closed doors).  What she said, goes.  If, during the meeting before field ministry, there was an unbaptized male child, she insisted we all had to put some form of head covering on.  If it were a blizzard and the temperature was below 10 degrees, we were pressured to doing field ministry, instead of opting out, including one sister with 3 children under the age of 7 years, who were with her.

One sister was a shut in, because her husband had COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and she had an adult child with Down's Syndrome with the mental capacity of a toddler.   When the sister's husband died, Alpha-Pioneer pressured her to put her child in an institute, so she could come back and do her service in the field ministry with the congregation.  She wouldn't abandon her son and left "The Truth" because Alpha-Pioneer pressed the issue with the Body of Elders to put her on reproof.  

Alpha-Pioneer pressured me to stop visiting her to help out.  Then she warned me of my bad behavior because I dared help a woman I didn't know with her two young children.  She was struggling, holding the baby and attempting to control her son.  No one else had any pity on her.  I didn't know she was disfellowshipped.
This is their ONLY form of "charity."

Then I told Alpha-Pioneer about being raped at college.  She told me that either I could tell the elders or she would.  I told the elders and they put me on reproof, because I did not scream.  They knew about my "adultery" when I was a child and looked at it, as if I were courting sin.  Had I not told them, they said that I would have been disfellowshipped.  It didn't matter to them that I was having flashbacks due to what happened before, and I was unable to react.
My grandmothers were concerned about my mental health decline and sent me back home to my parents.  My mother pressured me to leave the Watchtower Society, because she knew the damage they were doing to me.  I refused her efforts to get me out, because "The Truth" was all I knew and I was scared to leave it.  She tried to get me to go to her church, but I refused.  She tried to get me read "Crisis of Conscience," but I would not.

The last straw for me was when the elders told me not to have anything to do with my mother, because she was an apostate.  I was taught all my life to respect my parents and had Ephesians 6:1-4 memorized by heart.  I began to analyze and research about everything that I had been taught was true.  I felt betrayed by the organization and my mother for raising me in such a dysfunctional religion.  Yet at the same time, I couldn't accept that "The Truth" was actually "The Lie."

I was torn, but ended up writing my official letter of disassociation, because I was following their instructions by the book.  The elders met with me and accepted my leaving and told me they would announce it at the next meeting.

That hole in my heart of having to choose between "The Truth" and my mother's love which were the only thing I knew was true. I told my best friend that I was going to leave and she cried and said that it was as sad as if I had told her I was dying.   It had me bouncing in and out of mental institutions where there happened to be quite a few "on the fence" or recently left JWs.

Eventually, I straightened out my life and went on to do things I wouldn't have done, if I had remained in the organization.  I have resolved myself to the realization that JWs are all brainwashed by a group of (earthling) men with their own agendas.

I went through emotional, physical, and sexual abuse because of this religion with a wink and nod by the elders.  I was cut off from all my friends, who were as close as family, who would have nothing more to do with me.  The Body of Elders cared more about the rules than they cared about "the flock" they are supposed to shepherd.  I was hurt by the local elders personally and hurt by the rules of complete strangers.

I am still angry about it, but at the same time, I am glad I experienced what I did, because it only made me stronger and able to help others.   I forgave them all so I could move on.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Disfellowshipped Twice, But There is Hope for My Family by Melanie Curry Ottinger

My family weren't always Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs).  We would hide when they came to our door.  When I was 3 years old, my parents met a JW family.  We became very good friends with this family, but my parents avoided their urging for our family to become JWs, as well.  My mother began studying and my father wasn't happy about it, but he felt there was nothing he could do.  

In the beginning, my mother didn't really get into it much, and then, when I was around 8 years old, the situation in my house went downhill very badly with my parents.  When both of my parents were home it was like WW III in our house.  Our JW friends convinced my parents to work through things with the help of the JWs.  At that time, we were living in New Mexico.  When I was age 9 years, we moved to California and that was when my parents told me and my brothers, one 4 years older than me and the other 7 years younger, that when we arrived in California, our family would become Jehovah's Witnesses, and basically that was that.  Within a year our JW friends from New Mexico, who had convinced my parents to become Jehovah's Witnesses, also moved to California.  

I was forced for the next 9 years to be a good little JW, but I wasn't very good at it!  My best friend, the JW friends' daughter, was always the goody-goody and always telling me. I was baptized when I was age 17 years, just because it was expected of me.  Of course, my boyfriend was baptized so I needed to do the "right" thing!  

After I graduated high school, I married a non-JW, just to get out of my parents house and get away from the Watchtower Society.  Of course, I was disfellowshipped because my new husband was a non-JW. 

After a little while, I jumped through all of the hoops to get back in for my family.  I was reinstated in March, and by May, my husband and I were done.  Shortly after that, we were divorced.  A few months later, I began seeing someone else and of course, I had to hide our relationship, because he was a non-JW, also.  I got pregnant and the December after I got reinstated, I was disfellowshipped again.  

For a little while, I continued to go to the meetings but eventually, I stopped.  I haven't gone back and don't have any plans to do so.  My son's father and I broke up when I was 7 months pregnant and he has never had anything to do with him.  

When my son was just a few months old, I ran into an old high school friend and we ended up getting together and were married.  We have been married for 13 years.  

Five years ago, when I had our last child, I almost died because of doctor error. The doctor accidentally cut an artery and didn't know.  I bled internally for over 8 hours and almost died.  I would have been dead, had I not accepted blood transfusions.  When my mother found out about the transfusions she really didn't say anything until about a year later and then she began occasionally making snide remarks about it, because JWs do not allow blood transfusions, but they are also "waffle-y," saying that "only blood fractions" are allowed.
Eventually the situation at home became so bad, and I would get so stressed when talking to my mother, that I finally told her to leave me and my family the hell alone until for me to simply be her daughter was enough (More to that story, but it's very long) .  I told her not to call me unless it was an emergency, because I wouldn't answer my phone, if she wanted to contact me she could contact me on Facebook or she knew my email address.  To this day, she follows that.
The last couple of years have been very hard on my family.  All three of my surviving grandparents died within one year's time.  My grandparents were not JW and thought that everything that my parents were doing, as far as I was concerned, was ridiculous.  I'm not sure, but I think that my grandmother actually finally got onto my parents about it, when she was on her death bed.

During the last year to 18 months, I have noticed a little bit of change in my mother's attitude towards me, especially, but even some change in my father's attitude towards me.  

My father has been an elder for quite a few years.  My older brother and I haven't spoken in years, although I have seen and spoken with my younger brother more frequently, until he got married about 3 years ago.  

I paid a visit to my hometown for my children's Easter vacation, since my husband's mother still lives there, as well, and when we visit there, we stay with her, but we usually visit my parents also, so they can see their grandchildren.  

While we were visiting my parents' house, my father was at work, and my husband, myself and my mother were sitting in the living room talking.  Then somehow, the "original JW" friends that brought us into the Watchtower Society as JWs, came up in our conversation.  Apparently the wife, my mother's best friend, was trying to convince my parents not to buy property and build a house 12 miles outside town.  Mind you, my parents live right across the street from them.  

My husband suddenly spoke up and said, "Well, she's given you bad advice in the past."  

Then my mother spoke in agreement and said, "Yes, she has given me a lot of bad advice in the past.  Especially when it came to raising you children.  I really wish that I had thought for myself when making decisions about raising the three of you."  

I know that the only thing my parents did in raising us like their friends had raised their children was raising us by Jehovah's Witnesses' guidelines.  To me, she was saying that she wished she had never become a JW and had thought for herself and raised us to have a normal life, but now she and my father are so far down the rabbit hole, they don't know how to get out.
 They live in a very small town, so fading out really is not an option.  If they were to leave now, they would be forced to lose contact with my brothers and everyone they've known for the past 26 years.  They have nothing, no outside support where they live, because all of their "friends" are JW because as you know they have never made any other non-JW friends. 

I really want to send a text message to my mother to say, "It's not too late," and when she replies, "For what?," I want to answer, " start thinking for yourself."  I was so flabbergasted when she said what she said, that I couldn't get my mouth or my mind to work and say anything about what she'd just said.  There may yet be hope for my family.

Thank you all for reading my story.  I hope it will be encouraging for some of you.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Shunning, What it Really Means by Noel Parsons

Why does the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society (WTS) of Jehovah's Witnesses coerce the Witnesses to completely shun (as if dead) those former followers, including close family members, who have chosen not to conform to the Governing Body's agendas?

I use the word coerce, because not only is this measure encouraged in their publications, but by word of mouth from elders, etc.  Intimidation to not have association with those who've left is used via the threat of being judged as having "conduct unbecoming a Christian," which will result in the same fate being administered to anyone found to be associating with a former member.  They don't put the intimidation in print in an obvious way, so they can deny that this is done, because it is not something Jesus and his followers would do.  Shunning isn't Christian and denying that they do this is a LIE.

1.  The Governing Body's dictate to shun former members is to prevent any other members from discovering the truth about their version of the truth, because discovery would lead to a mass exodus from the WTS.  We all know that exodus leads to freedom.

2.   The Governing Body does not want their members to know that while preaching for their members to "be no part of the world," the WTS was an NGO member of the United Nations.  They claimed it was "for library privileges/ research purposes," when former members discovered their UN membership connection and busted them publicly on the internet, but they withdrew their UN NGO membership.  It still makes the Governing Body hypocrites.

3.  Former members have copies of The Elders' Handbook, which among other secretive instructions, tells the elders how they must secretly deal with pedophiles and their victims, to invoke the "two witness rule" and to keep silent about the perp, NOT warning other congregation members, because it would "bring shame upon Jehovah's name."  No one having knowledge of child sexual abuse by another member in any congregation is allowed to speak of it, on fear of being disfellowshipped and shunned.  It isn't really Jehovah's name they're worried about besmirching.  The Governing Body has already usurped Jesus' position, so it's really their own reputation (spelled "M.O.N.E.Y.) they're concerned about.  And the molesters are sitting among you in your Kingdom Halls, and preaching house to house in your neighborhoods....beside you.  The Elders' Handbook proves that not only are the sexual predators among Jehovah's Witnesses guilty, but the Governing Body and any and all elders who have ever swept child sexual molestation or rape under the carpet are equally guilty.

4.  The Watchtower Society, a religious organization, owns a large percentage of (at least) three "Sister Companies": Rand Cam Engine Corp., Rand Energy Group Inc., and Regi U.S. Inc. These companies are dedicated to research, development and marketing of Rand Cam™ engine technology of which they own the rights and several patents.

• None of the Watchtower’s "Sister Companies" fabricate neither bombs nor ammunition of any kind.  However, REGI’s management systematically seeks out –and has obtained- U.S. Department of Defense’s awards, funding and subcontracts to supply the U.S. Department of Defense with RC™ technology. REGI’s management has signed numerous agreements with some powerful warfare-technology contractors. An experienced military contract negotiator was appointed as REGI’s Marketing Corporate Director. He is now providing engine technology for the U.S. Navy's new Silver Fox (SWARM).

• Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., of Stratford, Conn., has developed another small UAV, an unmanned helicopter system for the Marine Corps, called Dragon Warrior , designed for use in both urban and dispersed battlefield situations. The system features REGI's new 42 hp engine produced by Radian:

• The Watchtower’s Governing Body have concealed the truth about these assets and their transactions with NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense from its own members and the public in general.
Credit goes to Barbara Lynn Wickenhauser.

These are just a few of the things that the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses have concealed from the public and from Jehovah's Witnesses.  In usurping Christ's position, the Governing Body refers to themselves as "the Faithful and Discreet Slave."  You might want to change that to "the Hypocritical and Sneaky Knaves."

In their New World Translation, they quote Jehovah as saying, "I will catch them in my net," in Hab 1:15.  In context with the rest of the scriptures around it, it could very well mean the internet, which is how the covert actions of the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses have been revealed. 

The truth about their truth (TTATT) will set you free.  It can be found on the internet.  Just "key in" and search for Ex Jehovah's Witness or Former Jehovah's Witness and you will find all the keys you need to make your Exodus.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The End of My Relationship with My Parents, by Jonathan Lockwood

It's been quite awhile since I've been actively involved in the or .net website, and I'm grateful that my time away from the Watchtower people and mindset has brought me peace.  But I thought I'd throw out the experience with my parents from this past August.

I "woke up" almost 11 years ago, broke the news to my mother a little over 9 years ago, and she, my father and the rest of my family haven't been willing to see me for about 8 years.  

I live in Mexico now.  I was going back to Michigan for my high school class reunion and my parents are in their early 80s.  I thought, although it was a longshot, maybe I should reach out anyway just to see if they'd like to see me.  So this is the letter I wrote:

"Hi Mom,

I haven’t contacted you in some time, since I don’t want to disturb or irritate you, but I’m flying in to Detroit tomorrow evening.  I’ll be driving up to Tawas for my 30 year class reunion on Thursday morning, but will have some time if you or my father would like to see me.  I’m understanding of your reasons for not wanting to see me, but I live in Mexico now, and since I think I may not be back in Michigan for another 5 years and, in consideration of your age, I thought offering to meet was the decent thing to do.

I land in Detroit at 6:25pm tomorrow, and will be staying at a hotel in Novi on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.  I’ll also be in the Detroit vicinity on Monday (8/25) late afternoon and evening before my flight out early Tuesday.

I hope you and my father are well,


Seven days later, my mother sent this:

"Jon, if we could ever get a communication from you saying
you were returning to Jehovah's Organization, we would travel any number of miles to see you, but until then, we must continue to obey the command in 2 John 10 (NIV "
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.")

Mom& Dad"

So, I finally made my case on this subject in my response:

"Thanks for your reply. While I have no interest in pursuing this subject with you, I’ll admit it feels somehow wrong not to at least address what I recognize as the facts pertaining to it—jus
t so your perspective is not the only one presented.

-April 20, 1966:  You gave birth to me, and introduced me to a world in which the only perspective offered is that of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

-Early 1983:  After telling you I didn’t think I was ready to become baptized into the Watchtower Society (WTS), you told me that if I didn’t get baptized as a Jehovah's Witness, you wouldn’t pay for the computer classes at Mid- Michigan Community College we had discussed.  I acquiesced.

-June 1983:  I submitted to the baptism.

-Late 2003:  After 37 years of living within the WTS perspective, (and 20 years after baptism, including 3 years as a ministerial servant and 3 as an elder,) I gave myself permission to conduct an objective investigation into the facts concerning this organization’s history and the Governing Body's claims of Divine appointment.
-September 15, 2004:  After a year of investigation, I come to the shocking conclusion that the WTS is not what it purports to be, namely the ‘sole channel of communication from mankind’s Creator,’ or “Jehovah’s Organization."

-Early 2006:  I informed you by telephone that I no longer believe the WTS represents “Jehovah’s Organization.”

In your email of August 25th, you wrote, "if we could ever get a communication from you saying you were returning to Jehovah’s Organization we would travel any number of miles to see you.”

But it is you who considers it “Jehovah’s Organization”; not me.  I have never attempted to change your opinion of this—unless you consider stating the reasons why I myself disagree with this assertion as ‘another teaching.’ You simply declare that “the teaching of the Christ” equals acknowledging the WTS as “Jehovah’s Organization.”  My position gives full respect to your personal opinions and conclusions. Your position gives no respect to mine.

I do not blame you for item number one in the above timeline.  I know you only did what you considered right, but as we have now come to the end of our relationship, I would do you no good by humoring you.

You introduced me to a mindset, which you thought was the only correct one.  You then pushed me into baptism against my wishes, at an age when I was in no possible position to identify a religious organization as being “Jehovah’s Organization.”   And when I later decided it was not, you soon cut me off from all contact.  So it isn’t just that I don’t recognize the WTS as being what you think it is; it’s that I discovered this after baptism.  A baptism you’d pressured me into.  I had effectively been trapped as a child in a sort of contract, in which I had no way of fully understanding.

This may correspond to the dictates of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, but it amounts to nothing less than an arrogant and gratuitous assertion.  I find no evidence that any of this extends from logic or reason, but primarily from an untested emotional attachment to a religion.  Yes, you may have done what you thought was right, but although you have fully bestowed your mind to the leadership of this organization, you are the one who must accept full responsibility for your actions in this regard.

I hope your association with this organization brings you comfort and positive things.