I was doing my chores today and started thinking about what I could write about being an ex-JW id I wrote for a journal....and it got me thinking...do local news-papers generaly allow random people to write for them? And of so, would they allow something about a religious groupe? Anyway, I started to write furiously when I finished vacuuming! Here's what came out...I feel like sharing.:)
(translation from French...)
Beware!! Jehovah`s Witnesses.
Saturday morning, 10:30 am, someone is ringing at your door. You didn`t expect anyone but you open the door, still a bit sleeping and are greated smiling, well dressed strangers, maybe accompagnied by a child. These men, women, small families that are apparently perfect talk to you about the tragic events that happen in the world, ask you questions, show interest and end up sharing with you this hope they have to one day live on a new world on earth. No more suffering, no more death, no more tears, this is what they are promised. You are offered litterature about that subject, they are free, and these people at your door are so friendly and polite, they seem so convinced, and you accept.
But beware! Behind that harmless and sympathic exterior are things that can`t be imagined by people who don`t know much about that religion. I still ask myself how different my family`s life would have been if my father hadn`t open the door about 20 years ago. At that time, he was a young father who was rather interested in anything religious. He wasn`t satisfied with the one he had been brought up with, so he did a lot of research. Then, when I was about a year old, came a man and a woman who changed our family forever. They answered all his questions with an apparent ease and a mather of factly. Making it look like they had evidently found the absolute and wonderful thruth leading to happiness, meaningful life and happy family. My father, an intelligent man, accepted all they said alarmingly fast, and my mother, still very young and not knowing much about that religious reluctantly decided to follow to keep her marriage and little family united.
Years after and three children later, she realised that she could not continue like this. The Jehovah`s Witnesses are not your regular religious organisation, they are more like a way of life. A multitude of little rules that find there way in every domain of your life even the more intimates, disguised as mathers of conscience. It is impossible to lead this life only to please someone. Sadly, I did not follow her exemple and commited the act I would regret for the rest of my life. At 21 years old, I was baptised as a Jehovah`s witness. A few years later though, I decide to make researches on the religion I had chosen, like my father had done so many years ago. I then decided to quit. But with this group, you do not just leave. A letter must be written to the leaders if you don`t want to still be known as an inactive member. So I did write one, I very politely explained my reasons and said I didn`t want to be known as one of them anymore. Today, I am not allowed to talk, or have any contact with my father. For him, it should be as if I am dead. Sadly, I am not the only ex-witness that has to live with that family tragedy. The internet is full of emotional dramas, sometimes worst then what we are living. This very un-christian rule destroyed hundreds of families since the beginings of the group, about 100 years ago by a man calle Pastor Charles Tazz Russell.
These people at your door that look so enthousiast and so happy, are people like you and me, who are not perfect, but who are expected to assist to a weekly five hours of meetings. Children and adults learn to answer any questions that people might ask, and repeat the teachings dispensed by the WatchTower Society of New York. Every single thing that is written by these American men is viewed as untouchable. A good Jehovah`s Witness will never question or critisize what is said. He accepts it and tell himself he will understand when the time comes. Researches are limited to books written by the Society or approved by them. Maybe are they smart enough to realise that people like me who make actual searches without the restrictions will soon find the true nature of what they call `The Thruth`. Their past is full of false and failed propheties about the end of the world, changing dogma that has cost the lives to thousands of men, women and children. (Like what is still happening with their refusing blood transfusions today.) What is even more tragic is that once they are completly endoctrinated, few of them accept to open their eyes again. They are trained with beautiful promises and loving words to keep themselves locked in. The vast majority of them do not know and do not want to know that, for exemple, not so long ago, they were prohibited from taking vaccins and organ transplants.(wich were considered as sinful as cannibalism). This restriction that would seem laughable to any of them today, was a very serious and very strict one just a few decades ago. To them, it was based on the Bible and one who would contradict that rule would see himself disfellowshiped, (the worst thing that can happen to you if you are a jehovah`s Witness.) These facts, amongst many others opened my eyes. I could not continue to be of this organization.
Today, I often think of all the children, amongst them my two little brothers, who are constantly told by their parents that the world is a depraved, disgusting place. That, instead of fairy tales every night, are read stories that often end with the destruction of all humankind (expect, of course, for them, faithful servants of Jehovah.) These kids who will never see a Chrsitmas tree but the ones at shopping centers, that will never dress up for Halloween or blow candles on a birthday cake. That are taught from their youth to not have goals in this world that will soon be destroyed.
And I hope, I really do hope that when they grow up, they will allow themselves to see. That we, who are now out, we are not, like they are told, vile and lying apostates that are out to crush their spirituality.
I hope that people who will answer their doors next Saturday morning, will not be deceived by looks. That they will make serious researches before they even think to get involved with an organization, as beautiful as it may seem.
(Various links to ex-JW sites)