The Friday Column: From Self-Injury to Self-Respect: Lisa’s Story
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I was born and raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was an identity that was given to me.

Some people embrace the religion handed down to them. Others like myself never felt fully settled, never felt like they could be their authentic selves.

I got baptized at 15 because I knew it was expected of me. We all knew that teenagers, especially the children of elders, who didn’t get baptized before graduating high school were subjected to intense scrutiny and stigma. The very notion of a private “dedication prayer” felt like the most contrived demonstration of religious expression that, in my case, amounted to a pubescent rollercoaster—I wanted to please Jehovah, I wanted to do the right thing for humanity, I wanted to please my parents, and I also wanted to gorge on snack cakes, go to Julliard, and date the cute guy at school. I was sentimental, hormonal, confused, and afraid to rock the boat. I never did have, before, during, or after my baptism, a “religious experience” as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I knew I never truly wanted to be a Jehovah’s Witness, but the thought of taking a stand against everything I’d been raised to believe was terrifying. Also, I was highly conflicted. My parents, unlike so many other parents in the organization, actually made an effort to be balanced. I went to public school. I was allowed to watch TV (even MTV!). I received gifts throughout the year to make up for the fact that we didn’t celebrate holidays, and my pioneer mother actually pushed me to pursue college because she deeply regretted never getting an education herself. In conjunction with their admonition to go to college and travel for pleasure, it felt strangely like my parents were constructing a double life for their daughter, one they were aware was not Watchtower-approved. While I certainly appreciated their more liberal parenting, it only contributed to the extreme cognitive dissonance I was experiencing in the religion. Was I really being encouraged to develop my critical thinking skills and pave my own path? Or would their seemingly progressive behavior turn out to be emotional manipulation?

The Pressure Cooker…

— as I like to refer to life as a teenager in the organization — only dialed up after baptism. After all, your baptism is just the beginning, they say with saccharine smiles. Yes, as an official member of the company, the threat of moral micromanagement and expulsion became greater with each passing year.

As with a literal pressure cooker, the build-up and suppression of steam can only have one outcome…well, in JW world there’s two possible outcomes, fornication or drugs, but I’m going to throw a curveball here. It is possible to remain in good standing, not ironically, but actually live clean and be well-respected, and still silently lose your shit.

I remember we were preparing to leave for the weekly bookstudy (Remember bookstudy? Those meetings that felt more informal but were just as torturous?), when I became awash with panic. Not the kind of panic that comes from seeing a spider, or forgetting to turn in your homework. I’m talking about the crushing, suffocating fear that you’re trapped and can’t see a way out. In the hour leading up to leaving, our house had erupted in arguments. We were “Jehovah’s happy people”, yet my exhausted mother was bitching about having to go to another meeting, and when I agreed with her, I somehow got blamed for having a bad attitude. My elder father, red-faced and pickled, had landed himself in the doghouse for drinking before the meeting. I was miserable. I was miserable with my parents’ dysfunction, and I was miserable in the rote life of a JW. No matter how crazy I knew things were, I had two deluded parents shouting at the top of their lungs that we were happy. In what I can only describe as an outer-body experience, I suddenly scrambled to the garage, wide-eyed and short of breath, and grabbed a razor blade.

This wasn’t premeditated. Up until that moment, I had been anorexic for two years. Shortly after my baptism, my subconscious rage and resentment as a closeted non-believer manifested itself in a very calculated eating disorder that left me hovering barely over 100 pounds and no less free of the religion. During this time, a tall, slender sister my age gave a personal experience at the summer district convention. I didn’t know her, but I was surprised when she revealed that she had been struggling with anorexia. It was no surprise that anorexia played a role in her gaunt frame, rather, I was shocked and disgusted by the spin the organization put on her story. Instead of demonstrating discretion given the sensitive nature of the topic, the organization inappropriately inserted itself in the context of a psychologically complex disorder as the hero of this sister’s life. In a tidy tying of the bow, this poor sister gave the organization’s relentless pioneering propaganda credit for her supposed “recovery”. By ignoring all the obviously deeprooted implications of the disorder, Watchtower praised her—and patted themselves on the back —for throwing herself into service instead of throwing herself into rehab.

By the time I turned 18, I became suicidal. I continued to cut in secret. For those who are tempted to accuse me of making sweeping generalizations that being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses causes these behaviors/disorders, I ask you: why would an otherwise bright, happy, talented and vivacious child grow up to want to knick their arms and die unless they feel trapped?

While there may be a current lack of scientific evidence proving that being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses causes eating disorders and self-harm, I firmly believe there is a correlation between authoritarian religion and the exploitation of our vulnerabilities. Just ask the thousands of individuals who have successfully committed suicide due to the organization’s threat of shunning former members. Oh wait, you can’t.

The claim will be made that my parents’ dysfunction and my relationship with self-injury were caused by other factors. I don’t deny that several factors can contribute to disorders: genetics, poor diet, personality, family dynamics. But this begs the question, how would the severity of your depression be affected if you stopped pioneering and got more sleep? What effect would it have on my father if he didn’t take on a million congregational responsibilities while also juggling a full-time secular job and a family? Would he be more or less inclined to drink if he didn’t have this added weight on his shoulders?

Just like the anorexic sister’s perfectionism served Watchtower’s bottom-line, my propensity to please my parents and be a model JW was worth the cost of my private pain. It wasn’t possible, in my parents’ mind, that I resented the hell out of it, or that the organization’s impossibly high expectations took advantage of an impressionable young mind. No, my parents were far too good to me for me to ever conceive of a legitimate reason to leave the organization. It wasn’t enough that I thanked them profusely for being good parents; my exit from the cult of eight men in Warwick, New York was a personal blow. Even when I shared my secret with my parents twelve years later, it was ultimately more important to my parents to have a sick child in good standing, than to accept a happy, healthy child outside the religion at the expense of their pride. My parents are victims of mind control. No loving parent would otherwise dismiss a cry for help as some personality flaw I just couldn’t shake.

I wanted to tell my story to illustrate the depth of craziness this cult produces and warn the unsuspecting public: your own parents can be brainwashed into believing self-injury and suicidal ideation are justified if it means you’re being “unreservedly faithful” to the cult. I also want others who are going through something similar to know, you are not alone.

This, more than any other crazy experience I had in the cult, flipped a switch in my brain. This is messed up. Just like the cult’s callous, criminal handling of child molestation is messed up. Just like their backward praise of spouses that put up with domestic violence is messed up. Just like the audacity to pressure members, often children, on their deathbed not to accept blood transfusions, is messed up. Still don’t believe Jehovah’s Witnesses’ systemic mind control is at the root of a global public health crisis? I guess we’ll all have to stay tuned as the organization’s increasing legal battles and dwindling membership threaten to turn on her, making her devastated and naked. (See what I did there?)

Living free and intact,

Lisa*

*not my real name

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57 Responses to The Friday Column: From Self-Injury to Self-Respect: Lisa’s Story

  1. SDorphan says:

    Thank you for writing this, Lisa*.
    I was also the child of an elder and pioneer, and I agree that ultimately our duty was to appear perfect at the expense of our health and sanity.
    How to come to terms with the damage that was done? To accept that the love was conditional, and in the end only words?
    My father said “We have more love than anyone else on earth (JWs)” very defensively, clinging to this fallacious idea because it helped him to rationalize everything else going on.
    Yes, they were brainwashed.
    They would have rather had me suffer silently in the WT than be free and happy outside it, like you said. At least we would have suffered together, I suppose…
    Prison of the mind.
    You did an excellent job expressing all this in words Lisa*.
    Thanks again.

  2. Jeff canning says:

    Nicely written and will likely help others escape this rotten family destroying cult… Cheers from down under…

  3. I Foster. says:

    The Organisation does not value JW’s for who they are as people but for how ‘spiritual’ they are in serving the Watchtower.

    • Ricardo says:

      The organization takes our best, which we voluntarily give with joy in our heart, until we have nothing more to give. Having sucked us dry, seeing no further use for us, we are left like road kill to be ignored or are simply kicked out if we make too much of a stink.

  4. Kay says:

    Thank you for this. As you can see, I am now out of this cult as are my grown up children. However my son still blames me for ruining his life and my daughter has mental issues regarding feelings of guilt in staying with a mentally abusive husband… this is ingrained from being told to be in supplication to our husbands… Her husband isn’t a witness though his mother is and his father was. This religion is messed up. It messes with your minds even after you leave.

    • I Foster. says:

      Kay, I hope your children come to realise that you were also a victim of Watchtower. You were all held hostage by the Organisation. Now you are all free from their clutches and even though you all bear the scars you are all survivors. Blame within your ranks will not heal the situation, I hope that you can all work together to find healing. The key is in loving one another and building a happy future together. Contacting other survivors may help your children in their recovery.

    • Chiafade says:

      You were all victims of a high control cult. Everyone involved has to accept that and get professional help. Having a neutral third party help you and your kids navigate your thoughts will go a long way. Make sure the therapist, social worker, psychologist, etc know your situation and educate them if they’re not familiar with the JW’s. The special on cults featuring The JW’s on A&E would be a start.

      • Marvin says:

        Good that you share. Hope it will help for them who need this. You have all the right to be angry about what you went through. You’re a good writer, that is something the jw didn’t steel from your identity. I’m 35 raised as jw and got out of this horrible sect in 2010 (literally freed by Jesus) after a 9 year day & night search for truth. I wish you all the best and know there is always a door open in the Netherlands. If you’re ever around 😉 and please, if not already done, accept Jesus today as you’re personal saviour! Small request to all who read this. Please pray that this cult will be brought down, so that we all get back our relatives! I want to ask you all to pray this every day! Let’s build an army of prayers specially to get down the walls of the forces behind this cult (in the end it is a satanic cult) thank you all!

        • greytower says:

          Amen to that! Sadly, many ex-Witnesses end up atheist or agnostic because their faith in God is shattered by their experiences with the Witnesses. Yet thousands eventually turn to Christ, as my sister and I did. I pray with you that the leaders of this cult will be exposed and brought down and that those Witnesses who sincerely love God and who seek the truth will find Christ Jesus and be brought into the freedom and light that comes when we belong to Him, and not to some organisation.

          • Ricardo says:

            I have observed this as well. Some of my friends who have become disgusted with the goings-on of the org have also lost faith in the Bible and God.

  5. Vivien Ortiz says:

    Your story sounds eerily similar to mine. Thank you for having the courage to speak the trith about the ‘so called truth’.

  6. Dee says:

    Thank you for sharing. I loved reading your story. Such an inspiration and a support for people who have, and are experiencing the same.

  7. greytower says:

    Thank you for exposing the insidious mind control that permeates the organisation and destroys lives. Thank you for sharing the conflict, the pain and the suffering you endured and for giving hope to Witness teenagers that they are not alone.

    My parents became Witnesses in the 1930’s and my sister and I were baptised as teenagers, became pioneers and married into the faith. All of this because we wanted to please our parents and because we knew no other way. My pioneer husband left me and, in the 1970’s, I left the organisation. My sister resigned after discovering the extent of the society’s scholastic dishonesty but the elders then disfellowshipped her, so she was shunned by her family. Since then, we have both become Christians and have come out of the spiritual darkness into light and freedom.

    We know what it’s like to be trapped into a life-style where the organisation takes precedence over everything else, where total loyalty and obedience is demanded by the leaders. It’s one thing for grown adults to decide to become Watchtower slaves – but it’s entirely another when their children are forced into attending all the meetings, go door-knocking and have to face the stigma of being different from their peers, especially in school.

    Yes, we need to stay tuned “as the organisation’s increasing legal battles and dwindling membership threaten to turn on her, making her devastated and naked.” Well put.

  8. geee male says:

    Thank you Lisa for telling us your life story in the cult. You’ve survived this far in life cause it’s plain to see you’re a survivor. My hope is that one day your parents appreciate what a wonderful daughter they have in you. May God (if there is one ) bless your journey in life.

  9. Susan says:

    I’m so glad you managed to escape from a mind controlling organization (no easy feat!) and can now be your true, authentic, happy self. I truly believe that the only way to survive within JW org is to be like a robot. Don’t think, don’t feel just get into your bunker. Right or wrong just go along. The thing is, we’re human and we think and have feelings and if you keep suppressing everything, eventually you’ll snap. This is why we see so many Witnesses on anti depressants. Thankfully you got out and managed to keep it together. All the best to you!

    • Elle says:

      Couldn’t agree more with this. It’s hard to find a JW who is not on antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicatation….and the ones that are not use alcohol instead!! They blame the ‘pressures of the system in the last days’ when really it’s just the pressure of the organisation and denying their own true feelings and living a life controlled by other people. It’s painful to watch my friends and family still trapped in this way of life.

  10. Moses says:

    What’s wrong with y’all with all these crazy replies. Y’all need to get y’all crying azzes up and get out there in the field service and do what the faithful slave tell yall,(they are faithful, hun? Yeah, I guess). Serve the watchtower as you were condition to do before you are neutralized.

    • Ricardo says:

      One Brother I spoke with put it this way: We cannot unsee what we have seen. We cannot unexperience what we have experienced. How sad for those ones who have seen behind the curtain but who blame themselves. They see the ‘happy’ pioneers and they force themselves out in field service, believing that if they do that little bit more they will also be happy. But as they put in the effort they start to wonder why would they want anyone else to join this religion and suffer the same as they’ve suffered.

      If only it was as easy as it sounds. So much of what this organization says sounds good . But what you experience is not good. And if you find others in your same situation and realize the problem is not you but the organization itself, and you voice this out in the hope someone will listen and fix it up, you will be d’fed.

    • Doc Obvious says:

      Wonderful! A smurf reply. Hey, “Moses”, how do you like being a Watchtower puppet?

      • Moses says:

        Y’all are the puppets. You can take the puppet out the watchtower, but you can’t take the watchtower out the puppet. I’m not a jw.

  11. Free Thinker says:

    What do you expect of an org that produces blubber like this one:

    “God’s Kingdom (i. e. the JW.Org) has to take first place in [JWs] life, physical needs are secondary.”

    (w85 12/15 p. 14 par. 18)

    Yeah: We don’t care how you are doing, we couldn’t care less for your welfare; you personal comfort and well-being means NOTHING to us (in fact, you have to “step out of your comfort zones” for us, bec. service to us has to HURT, otherwise it isn’t “genuine”!) – all you got to do is TO FUNCTION CORRECTLY in the large JW.Org-hamsterwheel-gearbox.

    Or as the Nazis put it (slightly modified):

    You are nothing; the org is everything.

    This becomes even more evident the deeper you dive into the JW.Org’s hierarchical structure. Whoever “served” at the org’s highest echelons at “Bethel” and then quit this “best place on earth” and the “highest career on this side of Armageddon” bec. s/he couldn’t take it anymore knows what I am talking about. It’s simply appalling how much contempt and disdain are possible within “God’s beautiful Organization”, the sunny “Spiritual Paradies”.

    As I have said it before: The JW.Org is a brutally machiavellian, shamelessly orwellian, blood-sucking vampire that uses people to her own advantage, then throws them away like garbage. It is as simple as that. Not God’s Holy Spirit, but a spirit from “the other side” – the dark one that is hostile to life – is operating upon & within her. Thats’ why there is so much coldness, so much unfriendliness, mercilessness, hardheartedness, hardness and “holier-than-thou”-judgmentalism all along & down her hierarchical ranks & layers, and this is why there is so much concealed suffering & pain right within her sphere of dominion, pain that takes years to come to grips with and scars to heal, unless it doesn’t lead to the major cataclysm of total collapse and suicide. I know what I am talking about, for I am “one of those”… happily, still alive, bec. I was able to pull through after having grasped the “truth behind ‘The Truth'”, discovering my true raison d’être.

    • Resister says:

      As long as we’re talking Nazis, another fine quote, placed above the gates to Auschwitz, to make the condemned slaves feel a little better:

      “Arbeit Macht Frei” – “Work Sets You Free”

  12. Rach says:

    Thank you for this!! I feel I grew up in the same situation and went down the same path of cutting, anorexia and suicidal thoughts…because I felt trapped in something that would not let me be genuine. I could not be myself without being a complete disaointment to my parents….that hurts people very badly. I hope you are happy now…you deserve to be.

  13. Doc Obvious says:

    A book that helped me is Wayne Dyer’s book, “Pulling Your Own Strings: Dynamic Techniques for Dealing with Other People and Living Your Life As You Choose. Web site: http://a.co/bgItThW

  14. Resister says:

    Thank you for that fine article, Lisa*. Totally relatable. I too would drag my ass along just to keep up with The Program, all the while being completely unaware of the TRUE source of my misery. You’re right, it doesn’t always lead to drugs or fornication. In my case, the fornication came later. Lol And even though my life rocks now, and I’ve never been happier, my family would much rather have me back in the Borg, even if it meant reverting to my former depressed, confused, angry self. I now have freedom. I have peace of mind. I have honor. How selfish of ANYONE to want to take that away from ANYONE. I guess it’s a case of Misery seeking Company. Well, they won’t get it from me. The joke is, they believe it’s for our “eternal welfare”. What a Steaming Load.

  15. Resister says:

    Testing…

  16. Resister says:

    Not to introduce too much levity, but M. P.’s “Happy Valley Fairy Tale” can serve as an excellent satirical “sneak preview” to the J-man’s New World-Order-Shytstem. For those who don’t have the patience for the whole clip, I gotta mention the part where the narrator refers to the Princes as “decadent, dimwitted, parasitic bastards”. I immediately thought of the “elders”, who fancy themselves future “princes” of the “new world”. LMAO

  17. Resister says:

    Testing again…

  18. Resister says:

    Wow, this weird. Can’t imagine why my comment got filtered out. I’ll try again. I was saying that Monty Python’s “Happy Valley Fairy Tale” can serve as an excellent satirical “sneak preview” to the J-man’s New World-Order-Shytstem. For those who don’t have the patience for the whole thing, I gotta mention the part where the narrator refers to the Princes as “decadent, dimwitted, parasitic bastards”. I immediately thought of the “elders”, who fancy themselves future “princes” of the “new world”. LMAO

  19. Resister says:

    Ok, I’ll try again. I watched something. I gotta mention the part where the narrator refers to the Princes as “decadent, dimwitted, parasitic bastards”. I immediately thought of the “elders”, who fancy themselves future “princes” of the “new world”. LMAO

  20. Resister says:

    Now, I was saying that it could make an excellent satirical “sneak preview” of Jehovah’s New World Order. It was a sketch by Monty Python called “The Happy Valley Fairy Tale”. You can catch it on YouTube.

  21. Resister says:

    OK. Now ALL my posts came through. Sorry folks. HAL 9000 must’ve had some kinda nervous breakdown. 😀

  22. Peter the Digger says:

    Interesting bit “my exhausted mother was bitching about having to go to another meeting”….I noticed that often the bro would turn up alone, no wife, to meetings. Maybe because of the huge time-consuming expectation to doll up like it’s for some Versace catwalk, for every meeting, inc the Thursday ones where the oublic outside generally don’t attend,, and on this why do the bros have to wear suits and be clean shaven – ‘to honour Jehovah! ?? Does Jehovah not like beards (he made Adam with one) and I’m still puzzled how dressing like a sharp-dealing 2nd hand car salesman honours him. But it consumes a lot of time to get ready for that 2-hour catwalk, so maybe that’s the reason.

    • Free Thinker says:

      It’s all about mind control. The more space the org occupies in people’s minds, the more omnipresent and omnipotent it is. The org wants her borgs to live, walk, work, breathe, eat, think, exist, clothe themselves, procreate (bed-room-rules!), pee, sh!t and croak with it. It’s about total control, occupying even the least bit of remaining space in people’s lives. Whatever you do, in any given moment of your life – you have to think about the org, feel the org, mind the org, identify with the org, BE the org. They call this “Putting the Kingdom (i. w. the JW.Org) first”. Think about those rocks and the sand, the rocks being the “reeeeeeeally important things”, which are – of course – JW.Org-interests. They are the modern Golden Calf, Baal and Molech. They are like a brain tumor right in the middle of your limbic system. They are like those weasels in Stephen King’s “Dreamcatcher” that are eating people from the inside out; only they reside in the mind, not in the belly. Dressing up for the org = making urself pretty for the idol. They are like Jabba The Hutt – fat and ugly throning on her pedestal, demanding, gruntingly gobbling up people’s lives like delicious delicacies and spitting the empty and used shells back into the dirt. What a sight!

  23. Peter Kahan says:

    Dear Lisa, thank you very much for your well written article. I found your experiences in the Jehovah’s Witnesses very sad. I would like to offer a slightly different perspective on your experience.

    I came into the ‘Truth’ in 1968 and left in 1983. I was one of the pre-1975 group who really believed Armageddon was coming in 1975. I was the only member of my family who came into the Truth. I was regarded as an ‘only child.’ As an only child I envied the young people whose family were in the Truth. I thought how easy it must have been for them to serve Jehovah, after all their dad was an elder. In contrast I had to struggle with parents who wanted me to go to college and then university (which I did, ending up eight years later with a PhD).

    What your article highlighted to me was how hard it must have been for many young people brought up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The expectation on them, then and now, is enormous. To be trapped in a situation where you have to perform in a certain way to please parents and other brothers and sisters and yet don’t believe what you have been taught must be horrendous. No surprise so many of these poor people have some form of mental illness.

    When I was thinking about your article Lisa I was reminded of one young brother who was brought up in the Truth. His dad was an elder of high standing in the congregation. I kind of looked up to him as a father figure. I once asked the young brother what he thought of me going to university. He said that Jehovah had not asked us to engage in an education work but rather in the preaching work. He trumped this out like a good Jehovah’s Witness, on message. A few months later he run off with a married sister to Devon or Cornwall (I cannot remember which) to have his evil way with her. His father was humiliated and stepped down as an elder. If I had been brighter I might have seen that being brought up in the Truth was no picnic.

  24. Big B says:

    @ Free Thinker, et als:

    The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is truly a soul sucking, time bandit, Adventist, Millerite ‘Great Disappointment’ and follows the teachings and Biblical interpretations of J.F. ‘the Judge” Rutherford. Their name, their places of worship, their mode of proselytizing (although having no trouble sending others out into the field did not go himself) and the ‘great crowd of other sheep (two different groups that appear at two different historical times) all come from the drunken besotted mind of Judge Rutherford.

    All Adventist movements have one thing in common namely, the driving, unreasonable and sometimes delusional, belief that someone or something is a commin’. Be it a person namely Jesus Christ or an event, Armageddon. Although Jesus Christ told his followers that ‘no one, except his heavenly Father, knew the day or the hour’ — Matt.24:36 (not even Jesus himself). However, this did not prevent these Adventist nut-jobs from basically calling Jesus a LIAR and put dates on his return or Armageddon.

    In 1876, Russell became interested in time prophecy, after reading a copy of Barbour’s publication Herald of the Morning. The end had not come in 1874, as the Adventists had predicted. However, Barbour explained that Matthew 24:27 meant Jesus’ invisible presence commenced in 1874, the rapture would be 1878, and the end of the world was to occur in 1914. (See Watch Tower, 1906 July 15 for a detailed account.)In Russell’s doctrinal chronology the most important dates were 1874 and 1914.

    For Rutherford the important dates were: “WE HAVE no doubt whatever in regard to the chronology relating to the dates of 1874, 1914, 1918, and 1925.”
    Watchtower 1922 May 15 p.147
    https://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/1800s.php

    The so called wisdom of Biblical chronology has been the bane of all Adventist movements, from the Millerites on especially Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Look at the doctrines that were once pronounced as “the Truth” but now are D.O.A. ‘dead on arrival’. As J.T. says, “These doctrines have long since fallen by the wayside and are not taught as Truth” :

    (1). the generation of 1914 would not die out until Armageddon arrived;
    (2). the insistence that according to ‘Biblical Chronology’ (Watchtowers own chronology) each creative day (epoch) was 7,000 years long and mankind’s existence (Adam’s birthday) would be 1975 (end of 6,000 years) and the start Armageddon which would usher in the 1000 year reign of Christ. Jehovah would take over after the millennial reign of Jesus;
    (3). all Bible studies were to end after six months if there was no progress towards baptism (Watchtower May 15, 1969);
    (4). the separation of sheep and goats was being done before 1975 by the door to door ministry.

    ALL of above teachings have now been discontinued with the replacement of NEW LIGHT of “overlapping generations”, which no one can reasonably explain, put in place.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6nocAq0x-8

    Truly, the Watchtower with its failed prophecies, its incessant call for more field ministry and more contributions coupled with its joining of the United Nations has proven, to any thinking Bible student, that it is the Evil Slave and a part of Babylon the Great.

    To all lovers of truth and fairness think about this; can anyone name another religious group (besides the cult of Scientology) that demands the following of its adherents; how much education you should receive, what kind of employment you can seek, whether or not you can carry a firearm on that job, what part of the government you can be employed by, if you can vote or run for public office, when you can date, whom can you marry, what kind of sexual expressions a married couple can perform in the privacy of their bed room, how much time you should devote to your religion as opposed to your secular employment and the turning of said volunteer time on a monthly time sheet, what sorts of medical procedures you can except and which are unacceptable, who you can associate with and who must be shunned, ad nausum. And folks this is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as far as the plethora of Pharisaic rules that are demanded of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Most of these “rules” which are a misinterpretation of Scripture and are taken out of context.

    Anyone that continues to believe the nonsense spouted out by this high control cult will continue to be disappointed with a continued life of non-fulfillment.

    • Free Thinker says:

      Bravo and Amen! I couldn’t have said it better.

      • outandabout says:

        I take it you no longer go to Meetings, Big B. You know Jehovah’s up there sharpening an extra large thunder bolt just for you, aye.

        Thank you for your story, Lisa.

        • Big B says:

          Absolutely correct outandabout;

          The family and I went to our last meeting at the Hampton Colosseum in Virginia back in July of 2014 and have never regretted our decision to end our relationship with this nonsensical belief system.

          So let the ol’ Man sharpen those big xtra large lighting bolts if he so desires. I will, rather than head for the Hall, head for my automobile as the tires are a great grounding for lightening!

          Oh, Great story Lisa; truly an excellent example of life in a crazy quilt community that takes all and delivers nothing but promises.

          Thanks for the warning outandabout, I will definitely take it under advisement.

          Get free, be free and stay free! JW Free that is.

          Big B

  25. Doc Obvious says:

    The JDubs are truly seeing the real essence of the Governing Body on the JW Broadcasting network.
    On full display are the times of arrogance and narcissism. The jibber-jabber, like a fart in the wind, about topics that do not address the needs of the people.
    The insistence of every man and woman to be in the construction trades. So, that Watchtower Babble and Tract Society can eventually sell for a profit their construction.
    Policies that are antiquated and misapplied. The focus on Watchtower policies, instead of focusing on the Bible as the authority.

    • Big B says:

      Well put Doc Obvious:

      With free labor in the construction field Watchtower can purchase any ‘fixer-upper’ and get it back on the market to sell for a profit. Slave labor is a wonderful money making asset, just a quick historical glance at the antebellum South is proof enough. Nothing but pure profit rolling into the pockets of the landed gentry.

      Now add the provision that those that provide this free labor (volunteer) are blessed by Jehovah and watch the poor, deluded idiots line up. They will even turn away some because there will be too many hands for the chores.

      As far as their policies are concerned by building an invisible wall of misapplied, misinterpreted scriptures, which they have taken out of context, the Watchtower has fallen into the trap that the first century Pharisees fell into; namely if you don’t cross the wall of unwritten “traditions” then you will never be able to break the written Mosaic Law.

      It is humanly impossible to keep up with the ever growing list of ‘dos and don’ts’ the Witnesses must adhere to. This is why they are depressed, constantly frustrated, and unfulfilled. They can NEVER, EVER measure up to the continued changing Watchtower standards or NEW LIGHT! How can this possible jive with Jesus’ invitation at Matt.11:28-30,

      28″Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. KJV

      Q. How is serving the Watchtower anything like what Jesus describes in the above statement?
      A. It’s not!

    • outandabout says:

      I see another possibility for the WT wanting people in the construction trades, Doc. Won’t there be a need for a massive rebuild after Armageddon? So this raises the question – are these men hard nosed business types or are they out of their skulls with delusion? All messed up on Jehovah. Are they certifiably insane. Either way, they need to go.

  26. Whip It says:

    This weekends PT by our CO, “How to survive the End of the World”, Sad story Lisa, i see lots of depression inside this Trap, good for you that you survived.

  27. Rosalyn says:

    Well written. You are inspiring me to tell my story too. Thank you very much for your candidness.

  28. Ocma says:

    Thank you Lisa*.
    I too dreaded going to the meetings. I’d be having a great day until it was time to start getting ready. I felt zero connection to the “brothers and sisters” And with all the new light, I had a foot out the door. Leaving was the best thing I ever did. I hate to think where my confidence would be if I were still trudging along to the Hall.

  29. Shauna Whitaker says:

    I had such guilt and regret for hurting my parents until my brother who left 4 yrs after me told me my fathers advice to him. My father told him “just let her die” with full support of this statement from my mother, dutifully nodding her head yes. This coming from the man I held so high in my mind, my hero, my heart. Also, this, after I had almost succeeded in killing myself, before stepping away for good, after a full year and 3 tries to get back in, just to stop being a disappointment and embarrassment to my father and mother. There is no mercy, no forgiveness and no real love like that Jesus supposedly had for humankind. Just cold, hard rules.

  30. Hall says:

    Thank you for writing this. I’ve been out for a year and I’m just now realizing how deep my psychological issues are rooted in my experiences as a Witness and how much its s till affecting my life.