Hello all. After reading the news about Puternut, I decided to compile some of his posts into one, so we can all share in his memory. There are many ups and downs listed below, but I ended it off with a post he made to all of us who helped him during his difficult times. There are also links to pictures and his artwork included.
You will be missed, Puternut.
I am in my 40's. I was a 'witness' for 25 years, an elder for 18 years. and a PO for two years. I have been df'd and been labeled an 'apostate' I am involved with the silentlambs, since there was a story that needed to be told about the injustices in the borg. There are more stories to follow on that site. The injustices and abuses are still going on in the borg. It IS a mind controlling cult ! People beware...... Coming to this board has been a life line for me. There are many good people here, who have been affected by the WT. Many are still trying to recover. We are in this together, and we all need to show unconditional
love for each other. Something the WT doesn't practice eventhough they label themselves as 'christians'. I grew up in the Caribbean, I love to travel. Interests are; Aviation, Scuba Diving, Skiing, Cooking, Music, and Art, Maui, Hawaii
I am in my 40's. I am df'd for about a year and have been an elder for 18 years. P.O. for 2 years. I am now single and I am self employed for the last 26 years. I am a designer and artist. I have two girls who are living with my ex. I recently got involved with silentlambs since there was an story that needed to be told that happened in my old congregation. I have no more friends or family, since they're all JW's and now my life is starting over. I would love to meet other people, since I am a people person. I am originally from Europe and so I love to travel. Hobbies are Flying Cessna's, scuba diving, skiing, cooking, art, dancing,
dining, evenings by the fireplace with a great bottle of wine. Or Presiding Overbeer............
All my immediate family, including my two daughters that are JW's have totally cut me off. I cannot even conduct formal family business. My oldest daugher graduated last year and I never got an invitation. She is getting married this year to a brother, and I know I won't be there for that either. I have raised her and we are very close, but now her family and friends are all discouraging ANY contact with me. Whether it's business or family responsibilities.
I feel so betrayed! Here I have been an elder and presiding overseer for over 18 years. I have given public talks, circuit assembly discourses, district parts, openly condeming the UN, the view on war and neutrality. I have disfellowshipped so many, I lost count after a while, all in line with the Societies guidelines and Bible principles. I have written letters to government officials in many lands, to ask to please respect the stand on neutrality, in behalf of the brothers who were assassinated, beaten and persecuted.
And here behind my back, the Society has in secret done things that are abominable. The things I was asked to read and research, was in total contrast with what they were actually doing themselves. If 'one' member of the organization did this, we would have a committee on our hands. And here the faithful slave is doing things that are of committee nature themselves.
I have given my LIFE to this organization, and gave up so much in order to be a good witness. I had to change my whole life in order to do the things the society outlined for christians. I had to have a humble attitude when things were changed in 'views', or when the 'light got brighter'. It was all very confusing, but I had to go along with the organization's new policies, if I were to remain not only a good witness, but also an elder.
I feel I have waisted 24 years of my life, in which I could have done so many other things. I feel back stabbed and betrayed. All this dedicated time for NOTHING. Why has everything been so secret?
I feel like the organization has ripped my heart out.
The only good thing that I am left with, is that I have an better understanding of the scriptures, but not according to the organization's view.
Some of you wanted to know about my family, since I didn't mention them. In short; I have two girls one 19 and 16. I am recently divorced and had added grief with that as well. The thing that hurts the most is that I am unable to see my girls, since they are living with my ex. And ALL my family and friends are JW's.
When I came to this country, within one year I had a new business, a new religion, a new language, and a new wife (pioneer). So I had a lot to contend with, as far as adjustments is concerned. Now within one year I have been df'd, divorced, lost my children, and some dear friends, and thanks to my ex, am bankrupt. When I was younger I had the energy to deal with all of that. Now I am in my 40's and things look scary to me.
I have been df'd for about a year and also been going through a nasty divorce. My ex has the kids and they're all JW's. So my ex has been pumping into my childrens heads, that since I am df'd, they are to have no contact with me. And every time I called the house to talk to my kids, I was told: they don't want to talk to you! But I never heard that out of my children's mouths. And she refused to let the kids see me. I took it to court.
I told her I am divorcing you, not my kids. You can df me, but you cannot df me from my kids. These are my children for pete's sake's. Just a few days ago my oldest daughter decided to walk in my studio. I was floored. I cried and couldn't believe I hadn't seen her in 9 months. I asked her for the reason of the visit. She told me she works a few blocks from where I work, and walks by my studio quite often. She just didn't want to get in trouble with the elders, but she would peek through the windows to get a glimpse of me. She mustered up enough courage that day and walked in. We spend and hour and a half chatting about all
kinds of things. And we had a great time. I am still shaking in my shoes from the excitement. We hugged and kissed as we parted and I told her she would be welcome anytime for a visit. I just hope she doesn't talk to her mother about this, since she is very contolling. But I had another victory.
During the whole ordeal while I was fighting with the court system, about parental visitation, I just now have legally every other weekend. Plus vacation time and the summer. It's on paper and it's legal and binding with all the signatures to prove it !
The point I get from my daughters visit is this. The organization is extremely contolling, but the bond that
exists between family members is stronger that anything else. And she broke the rules technically, but she knew we needed to connect. I am so proud of her, for having made that step. I know I will see more of them. My youngest is still controlled by the organization, and her emotional makeup is quite different. I hope that even though I haven't spoken to her for about a year, this new arrangement will repair some damage.
To let you all know, my oldest is 19 and my youngest is 16. All through out our lives, we were closer than they were with my ex. We did EVERYTHING together. We rode bicycles, hiked, spend wee hours into the night playing video games, played rough, we sailed my catamaran. While my ex was watching Oprah and Dr.Phil or in bed.
I feel like suing the elder body, for talking bad about me. Same goes for the wife, since she is by law not to make any disperaging remarks about me, to the kids, or in front of the kids. But since I have a little victory, and time with my children is more important than waisting anymore money on the court system and lawyers, I'll see how things go for now. But I feel powerful with some papers in my hands. And though I know the kids will feel a little uneasy at first, because it goes against what they believe, I am going to be persistent in the visits. In time they will see that their df'd daddy is not as bad as the organization
makes me out to be. It seems like the organization automatically labels df's with bad people. I am still who I am, personality and all. DF me all you want, but that doesn't change me as an individual !
This time, my youngest 17, called me last night. She was all alone at her house and no one to talk to. She told me she was grounded by her mom, and wanted to talk to me. She had lied about something. Since she was grounded for getting in trouble, she didn't mind now calling me, and breaking another WT rule. It was totally unexpected. I have my cell on 24 hrs, so that I am available for them just in case.
She was in her bedroom playing "Zelda" (lots of demons, witches and dungeons :P) This was a game we used to play until the wee hours, a long time ago. And she was thinking of me, and we chatted for the first time in about 9 months. And we made an appointment for next wednesday to go out and do something fun. This is after I haven't seen or been able to talk to my babies for months on end. I am just in 77th heaven !!
This may not be a topic that is discussed often, but here something new to talk about.
How many of you are into art? I am a designer by trade, but also have a second business as an artist. If you would like to see some of my work, here's a link for you to enjoy. http://www.thepinupfiles.com/spoelstra.html (Click on any of the images to enlarge)
I have two daughters 19 and 17 years of age and I was privileged to have met with them last night for about an hour. I haven't seen them for about 7 months, and was able to convince them to meet with me. I labeled it 'necessary family business'. We have some healing to do since I am divorced and they are taking the brunt of this. I feel horrible about the fact that their lives are upheaveled, and I know they are hurting as well. Divorce has a major impact on children, and I hurt with them. The thing that is most painful is the fact that I am df'd and they are indoctrinated with their beliefs from the organization. Since I am df'd, the organization labels me as a bad person, that you cannot have contact with. Out of respect for their
conscienses, I have not forced the issue of visitation. I feel that I need to be careful not to make them feel
uncomfortable. But I am not df'd from my children, and I am not divorced from them.
I need to help them to repair the broken family relationship, and since it will never be the same as they were accustumed to, we need to rebuild on what we currently have. Since I have limited visits, what can I do to repair that? They feel there is no repairing, unless I get reinstated, and therefore don't really care to visit with me. This is not my intention, since I know too much about all that I have learned about the borg, and feel betrayed. How can I help them to see that though I am df'd, I am still their father and we cannot let stand in their way, the conditions about reinstatement. I know they miss me, and they want a father in their lives.
I miss them, and I don't want a chasm in our lives, just because I have a different understanding regarding my beliefs. I also respect theirs and don't want to shatter their beliefs, with what I have found out.
I am deeply involved in the silentlambs and with Norris and Love. And eventhough there is some satisfaction from that. It doesn't bring my children back.
Well friends, I have some great news. I have landed a job on Maui, HI. Puternut is moving on........
As most of you know, I have been in Wa, State for too long. I have been an elder here for 18 years. I have been dfd'd and divorced a while back. And there are too many memories here. My family and friends have cut me off, and everywhere I go, I run into them. This whole place reminds me of them when I was in the borg. So I have been sending applications out, and there are numerous jobs in my field. Many were impressed with me credentials, and I have confirmed an offer. I am starting life over..........
I was raised in the Carribean, and always wanted to retire on an island. I am now in a prime position to do this, and I am jumping at the opportunity. My tentative date is Oct 1st, so I have a lot to do. I have to disolve my current business, and pack everthing up. I have a few things to sell, and the rest goes to the dump.
So you are all invite to come visit me in sunny Hawaii, and there will be plenty of booze in the fridge.
I have been calling my kids for some time now. I am moving far away soon, and since I haven't had any contact with my daughters, I called them to let them know I was moving, and would like to say goodbye, before I flew away. Weeks went by, as ususal, and no response. I so I felt that they didn't care anymore. So I thought: 'All the more reason to move'.
But tonight my youngest daughter called, and said she was in need of help. So I asked her what she needed.
Would you like to talk about it and come over? (Big issue). So she asked me for directions, since she didn't know where I lived. And before long there she was!! But she wasn't alone, she had also brought my oldest daugher. THERE WERE MY BABIES !!!!!
I almost fell trough knees. I haven't seen them for almost a year now. And only once the year before that. I couldn't stop hugging them and tears rolled down my face. They were here for two hours. We talked and talked. (sitting here with tears in my eyes) We caught up on old times. And so I showed them the place. They said it looked weird, because their memories were. Pictures, furniture, T.V. etc... So I showed them my kitchen ( they know I love to cook) And I told them, I make sushi !! I asked: ' You like sushi?" They said we love that stuff. I said: "Would you like to come over next weekend and I make you some sushi??"
And they both nodded, and their eyes got big. I said wanna??
So now next week we have a dinner date. At my house !! Can you believe this?? We visited for a while, and asked: "Do you need anything?" My oldest who is getting married sometime this year, said: "Well we need some furniture" I said "How about MY furniture?" And I just started handing her things. Then I looked at my youngest and gave her whatever she wanted.
God, all this time, and never called and kept in touch, so how I am to know what they need? So I told them: All you need to do is ask, my door is always open !!
So I invited them to come visit me in Hawaii, and they agreed !!
Puternut is starting his life over, because I had nothing left, and needed to move on. And now my kids want to keep in touch, and they're coming to visit!!
Wow I am not going to sleep tonight. I have the biggest smile on my face, and tears are rolling down my face.
I had my girls over last night for dinner. During the conversation, we talked about a number of things, in
where I detected that they have grown up so much in making decisions for themselves that are totally contrary to the borg beliefs and standards. The movies they watch, music they listen to, people they hang out with, parties they go to, video games they play.
I have talked to my girls everyday since last week. I have been df'd for over a year now, and we have been missing each other a lot. They realized that df'd people are not as miserable as the borg makes them out to be. I mentioned several times that I am merely a phone call away. And they are starting to see the benefits of that. They are late teens, and are baptized, and so make their own decisions. They know that my door is never closed to anyone.
Since I've decided to move, they now can't wait to come see me now. We made arrangements for them to come fly out as soon as possible. My oldest who is getting married later this year, at the onset told me I wasn't to be present. Now she wants me to make her design and make her wedding rings for her. She'll be over later today at my studio, and start talking about what she wants. I am tickled pink, I had already had laid a diamond aside for her, just in case.
We had the best time last night, laughing, poking fun at each other, eating sushi (which they never had), and they helped me make it. I even gave them several glasses of plum wine ( my youngest thought it tasted like Robitusson) LMAO. We played cards till late in the evening. Boy, I have missed these family times so much, it's so nice to have things all back to normal again.
I am a 48 year old good looking fart. I am moving to Maui, but not alone, Octavia is moving with me. She is a gorgeous woman, we are free spirits, we embrace the world with confidence. I have a great business waiting for me there. I am going to retire there in the sun. I have my daughers back. I have raised the most beautiful daughters you will ever lay your eyes on. I have the best friends on the board here. I have cried with you and laughed with you. And you are my friends forever !!!! I have a heart of gold, I have been hurt so much in my life and all I can do is love people, and yet my life changes constantly. I have moved from the Caribbean to The Neterlands to Italy and then to the US. And now I will come to retire in Maui. Is this
a crazy world or what? But we always pick ourselves up and move on. Hopefully we can have a good impact on the ones we meet on our path,but never ever hurt.
I grew up in the Caribbean. When I was 15 years old, I moved to the Netherlands. It tore me apart, I didn't want to leave the islands. I had good friends there. My earliest memories are from there. Then I tore up roots in the Netherlands 6 years later, to move to the US. Left good friends and family behind. I have been here now 26 years, and once again I am tearing up roots. But it gets harder as I get older.
We have arrived in Maui. The weather is 86 F and sunny. I found an Internet connection and decided to keep you posted. We're in a little cottage about 3000 feet up on Haleakala, overlooking the island. The island has a lot of micro-cimates, it will mist in one area, and a half a mile away it will be totally sunny.
There are plants and things here we haven't seen before or knew existed. But they are fascinating and beautiful. We got here late yesterday in the afternoon, and today we're going to explore the island some more. Some things are really cheap here, and others (a gallon of milk 7.85) a bit more expensive. But we're having fun figuring things out.
My car which I shipped from the mainland should be here by the weekend, and our other goods a few weeks later. This will give us some time to figure things out locally.
There is a little gecko sitting on my desk, looking at me, trying to figure out why my fingers are moving so fast. It's 5:30 in the morning local time, but for me it's 8:30 Pacific time. So I am going to watch the sun come up while I sit in the jacuzzi.
I've been here on Maui for about 7 months now, to start life over after my ordeal on the Mainland with the dubbies. And for the most part it's been good.....
Until last month when my employer announced bankruptcy. So I am out of work for now, but and I am starting my own business again. Octavia had to leave the island to work in Guam for three months temporarily. So I am taking care of matters here, until she comes back.
But sofar I have celebrated X-Mas by myself, same for New Years and Valentines day. The only company I had was a little kitty I am nursing back to health. Her name is Maui, but she's ran away since two days ago.
Through the grape vine I found out that my oldest daugher is getting married April 2nd. The reason I didn't get an invitation.... I am 'trouble' .....as in apostate. I am not welcome nor to be there.
Tomorrow Feb 20'th it's my birthday, but my loved ones will not be with me.
We have just lost one of our dear brothers.
This new just came to me today via email. I dedicate this post in memory of my best friend *edited* who is one of us. Though he never posted here, he is one of us. He was a fellow elder in a nearby congregation who came out of the borg due to being silenced by the borg for wanting to expose certain elders who were pedophiles.
*edited* died yesterday at the age of 46 due to cancer. He is the one that contacted me once I was df'd because we were working together on exposing these bastards. Prior to that I had no knowledge of why he was out till later, but still treated him like a friend while he faded.
I will miss him dearly, he was a hard worker and the kindest man you will ever know. *edited* sweetheart, may you now rest in peace, I will continue the fight on your behalf. Farewell my good friend may God keep you safe now.
I love and miss you dearly,
You may have read my post about the loss of our brother *edited*. Well *edited* isn't df'd or da'd. He faded out as an elder, and so did his wife. So technically they're 'witnesses' (cough).
But interestingly none of the 'witnesses' have contacted the wife, nor has anyone offered to have a memorial for him, since he WAS an elder once and is still a 'witness'
So here's how's it's going down, I talked with an ex sister, and she informed me that all the ex-witnesses are going to be at the service in commemoration of him. And since it's going to be at reception hall, ..... get this, it's gonna be an 'aposta funeral'....Don't we rule?
I don't even know where to start. I wanted to thank all of you who responded to my post yesterday. You all have made some personal expressions that are invaluable to me. I am going through a faze, which was totally un-anticipated. I guess I need to allow myself to accept these at times. Though I am by nature a survivor, I found myself in a predicament for which I had no answers. And so I reached out to you.
I was once again overwhelmed by the support and encouragements you extended in my behalf. I find that this is THE place to vent, hurt, cry, and laugh at the same time. Though you are not in my shoes, you have experienced in different ways similar things, and you were able to relate. I had numerous PM's, emails, and phone calls. And you did that all selflessly. You are all to be commended for you kind efforts, and unconditional love. That is something I actually never found in the borg.
Just the fact, that I know I can come here and just talk, makes a world of difference. Talking is part of the healing, and so is a good cry. I owe this to myself, because I need to go on with life, just as you have.
I wanted to thank the moderators and founders of this site who put this place together. It's the best thing you ever did for people. It's a life line.
There are two special people in particular, who I would like to thank especially. Simplesally and Sassy, who kept talking with me into the wee hours. Talk about multi tasking. My fingers are still sore from typing. But it was good to keep my mind occupied, and I am very greatful. This by no means minimizes the important role of others who showed kindnesses in my behalf.
For all the Washington friends, I intend to attend the March 20th fest, and would like to meet some of you. Be assured that you will be hugged and kissed regardless of gender, as an expression of appreciation. (something that was not encouraged in the borg)
To my other dear friends, some of you I fully intend to meet outside the Washington area. Others perhaps I will never meet, but I never say never. So here you have it, you are family to me, and you are stuck with me :P When one of us hurts, we all hurt. And I am here to help you as well. We need each other.
From the bottom of my heart; Thank you all, I love you all.