I've been digesting the news since about 5am and I'll admit to having mixed feelings. I think I need to explain some background and then what I have to say should make more sense. I was 'raised in the Truth' as were my 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Although one brother left the others are still in. My two sisters are in their 30's, married to Elders, pioneering and childless. My teenage brother has just this month left a good career to work for a 'brother' in his paint shop so as to Auxillary Pioneer.
My Mum. Where do I start? When I first broke the news of my 'inactivity' and doubts to her almost five years ago she was devastated. I've tried to make things as easy for her as possible - never volunteering information but always giving full and honest answers to any questions she would summon the strength to ask. In this way we have discussed the U.N scandal, 587/607, little flock/144,000 and the authority of the Governing Body.
My cousin. In the context of the 'Big News' this is important and may give my identity away but I am almost beyond caring now. My cousin, at 41, is just a few months older than I am. At 15 he suffered massive kidney failure and has been on dialysis ever since. He has had two transplants which both suffered rejection and has spent months of each year in hospital suffering from various complications including Crohns disease and being kept alive by blood transfusions. His mother (my Aunt) was baptized in the early 80's and when my cousin was about 30 he too was baptised - in the 'full' knowledge that he could no longer have a life-saving blood transfusion!
I cannot presume to speak for my cousin but after 15 years of suffering perhaps he felt that the promise of perfect health was worth making sacrifices for in this life. I must be honest and say that at the time I was overjoyed to attend his baptism.
Time passes by and my cousin's condition worsens, however he finds that he does not want to die. I got a call at work from my Aunt - she was crying and desperate, I made the 70 mile journey to my cousin's hospital bed in record time. My cousin was laying there, weak and tearful and stressed. Due to his very low haemoglobin levels he had been advised that without a transfusion of red cells - very soon - he would die. He felt he had to make the choice between living or losing his JW relatives!
I told him that however anyone else might treat him, I would not shun or abandon him. I explained that I would consent to a transfusion for myself and my children if they needed it and that life was more precious than any fluid. I encouraged him to have the transfusion and he did. If he was worried about his relationship with God he didn't say so - I thought that said a lot.
So to the recent 'Big News'.
When I read about the outright deception in the Blood Brochure you can imagine how I felt! If there had been an HLC member or Elder within eyeshot I'd have force fed him his own testicles. I am happy that the Society will be facing legal action - whatever form that may take. I am happy that we have ammunition with which to exploit this weakness that has opened up. I will be glad to assist the combined effort that must surely now mobilise itself and make itself organised.
However. Attacking the Society - even successfully will not bring my Mother back to me. My sisters and younger brother will still not choose to call or associate with me and will only continue down the road of becoming strangers. I hate the Society and want to make them suffer but that will only entrench the views of those I care about - that I am a bitter apostate.
Attacking the Society is worth doing. All the negative publicity will undoubtedly motivate some to make a closer examination of their faith. Some WILL leave. Perhaps more importantly, many, many more will be dissuaded from joining. This is all good and I will be happy to help in the fight. If the Society bleeds financially, even better.
And I am not ignorant of the precedent that this sets. That by demonstrating the Society's duplicitous and deceptive indoctrination in one area will open up other arenas for exposure and attack. But attacking and hurting the Society will not repair my relationship with my Mum.
I sit at my keyboard with blurred vision, my eyes are welled up and my heart is pounding because I feel I will NEVER see the day when the Watchtower truly dies.
Yes, recent developments are Big News - but not for everyone.