That was a very courageous post.
That was a very courageous post.
That was a very courageous post.
This thread reminds me of the book I read entitled, "The Spanking Room: A Child's Eye View of the Jehovah's Witnesses."
Sorry to bring this unhappy thread back to the top, but unfortunately it is still very relevant.
I just heard a story on a local radio station that the police were filing charges against an older couple for child abuse. Apparently a school teacher had noticed that their kids (including a couple of foster children) had noticeable bruises and welts on their legs. When the kids were asked how they got the bruises they answered "we got spankings because we were naughty."
Details were very limited in the radio story (as they always are in less than 30 seconds), but at the end I heard the announcer say that the couple were "known to be very religious and belonged to the local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses."
I'm hoping to see something in print on this - as the story came and went so fast I didn't hear the town or any names of the people charged.
As a child of Jehovah's Witnesses in the 1950s and 60s, my brother and I were spanked by hand, occasionally slapped, and beaten with my father's belt. As I look back, we were really pretty good kids and rarely made any noises or created problems at the Kingdom Hall. We'd get spanked more often for being "smart mouthed," or sassy to our parents - or talking in bed at night after lights out. The exception was our sister, who was more of a trouble maker, but I doubt was ever actually spanked, but had to suffer the indignity of being sent to her room for 20 minutes or losing the privilege of seeing a friend.
I think I averaged a decent spanking about once a week until I was about 12. The last good belt licking I got when I was almost 16.
My younger brother could be beligerant when he was in the mood. He'd decide that he would not cry no matter how hard my dad would whail on him. One time he was sent to our room to await dad's arrival with the belt. He found a comic book and stuck it inside his pants to absorb the hits. My dad came in and forced my brother to lay over the edge of the bed and started smacking him with his heavy leather work belt. Fortunately, my dad held the end with the buckle, but there were still metal rivets in the holes at the other end of the belt.
No matter how hard my dad would hit him, my brother would not cry even though tears were shooting out of his eyes. He would just grit his teeth and clinch his fists as dad pounded on him. My brother was madder than my dad was at that point, and this was a kid who was about only 9 or 10 at the time. When my father realized that he had a comic book in his pants, he pulled it out and then tore it up - and then really started wailing on my brother. I don't know how long it laster - to me it seemed like an eternity - but finally my mother came in the room and said, "That's enough. He's had enough. You need to go calm down." My dad yelled a couple of times and added some kind of restriction to the punishment, but he finally walked out of the room.
I'm sure that if we had a gun in the house, my brother would have grabbed it and shot my dad dead at that very moment.
From then on my brother's relationship with our father was always tenous. I think it really scarred them both. I don't ever remember my dad using the belt on him again. My brother and I remember that event like it was yesterday, and unfortunately whenever we talk at length about my dad, that event always seems to come up during the conversation. My brother loved dad, but he never forgot that beating.
But for the Witnesses, my dad would have been right to punish my brother like that - while my mother would have been wrong for telling my father to stop. Both of them died JWs. My brother and I both left forever the first chance we got.
My father beat us without mercy. It was chronic. A few times I fought for life itself. He dangled my brother with cerebral palsy off the steepest cliff in NJ when my brother was only four and wore heavy leg braces. What a Christian example. What a sadist, all backed up by JW lies. I could write tomes about abuse. I noticed that your abuse was witnessed, in part, by the whole KH. Spare the rod.....He was convinced children were no good. They popped out evil. Dogs were also abused. Never a Rotweiler or a German Shepherd or PIt Bull. No Mr. Bodyguard specialized in terrrorizing small dogs such as terriers.
Despite my best efforts, a large portion of my life has involved treatment for the aftermath. As Dr. Drew said two nights ago, childhood trauma has a disproportionate effect on later life.
Intellectually, I realize he must have been abused. Still, Mr. JW had the WTBTS to break the cycle. I never heard respect preached, only blind obedience.
Decades later I still shed tears. The day my father died, we could breathe. My brother and I were seeking weapons. With my Witness training, I believed he had the power and right. With revolution in the air, I snapped one day at sixteen. Resist. Get a weapon. He was pulling me out of high school to bag groceries when my dream and my teacher's hope was college. My mother was ineffectual. She is the complex one. I prepared to go to a foster home. A social service agency was involved. I had a rape monitoring system in place. What a great Witness.
We had to place socks on door knobs to prove Santa would not come. I thought he might leave coal. He lectured and lectured about no Santa Clause. My younger brother, aged 4, and I went to a library school Christmas event. We visited the fire house. A fireman dressed up as Santa. He ran home in heavy braces exlaiming,"Mommy, Mommy, Daddy is wrong. I saw Santa Claus. He exists." Amen.
The blind obedience that dominates JW thought and practice encourages abuse. I cannot state that JWs endorse abusve. Few religions would allow public abuse. My experiences were not unusual. I sougt help from a teen fashion mag when my brother and sister were severely beaten,too. Confused about my venality, I had no confusion as to their completely innocent state. I picked up every issue hoping to find an answer in print. A friend let me use heraddress. They mailed me a letter imploring me to get in touch with a social service agency and stating beatings were always wrong. I kept going to a phone booth near school but believed Jehovah would strike me dead with lightning. I crumpled up the paper. My mother found it. Rather than a death sentence, she welcomed it. We went for counseling. Despite all the sibling rivalry crap, our secret was safe.
The agency's first thought was to have the brothers discuss the beatings with my father. My mother was adamant that they would encourage his power and right to beat wives and children. I totally agreed with my mother. My father spent hours in Witness lit browbeating everyone. He never noticed that he won enemies, not converts. The professionals were in utter shock. This was their daily business. They had some distance. Other religions intervened. We spent so much time on Abraham and Isaac. Abraham was always viewed as saintly. Jewish groups condemn that incident. All the stories and views of the stories endorse brutal behavior.
The neighbors knew of the abuse and did nothing. This was decades ago. What brownie points did my father win about the existence of a soul when his wife and children are known to live in terror. They could hear our screams for help. Someone who needs extensive monitoring to prevent rape isn't a very good spokesperson for any religion.
I see kids today who love church. It is sincere. I am certain their behavior is better at church than home. They are nurtured by the community. Food is ever present. The youth ministry is an essential part of the ministry. They travel to foreign lands on pilgrimage. What a difference.
I remember one Christmas we were watching 'as a family' some Christmas show (don't know why, coz we didn't celebrate it). After it was finished mum said "why dont you hang up your socks on the fireplace".
Ok pretty weird, didn't understand why she would say that, we questioned her why, she simply said "if you want to do it", so we all went to our rooms found socks, hung them up thinking mum would put in some lollies or something.
Next morning we checked, she had poured in oil from Dad's shed (which we had to wash out), she then lined us all up (we aged from 4 to 14) and beat the crap out of us.
We should have known the right thing to do regardless of what anyone said to us.
That one just by itself is enough to show she was a passive agressive hateful woman.
My mom (not a JW) could be vicious, but she would act on things I would do of my own accord, and not set me up for it in such a manner. That is just outright evil.
All these experiences are so painful to read.
So sorry for all you had to endure. There is no excuse for it at all. It is so sad to read these stories of abuse. My heart goes out to each and every one of you.
Oh, yeah, wacko crackpot Jehovah's Witness parents are pretty common...
BOTH of my parents were crazy, even before they joined the JWs. They were BOTH manic-depressive - known as "bi-polar" nowadays, but "manic-depressive" seems to more accurately convey their vicious insanity... Of course, their illnesses became much worse after long-term exposure to the Watchtower's 'doom-and-gloom' dogma...
My dad was the more physically violent of the two; he hit, kicked, slapped me and knocked me unconscious when I was 17 years old because - when he and my grandmother were having a tiff, I asked him to "try to see her side of the story..."
For that, I got knocked to the floor and crawled out of the room on my hands and knees...
Meantime, my idiot mother was "enabling" his abuse by telling me that my dad was abusing me because he "loved" me... She shoved romantic crap down my throat when what I really wanted to read were books on geology and warfare.
I am SO happy to have dumped those two vipers when I left the JWs!! I've always said, if I hadn't had the misfortune to be born into their miserable marriage, I would NEVER have associated with them!!
Oh, and I got even... Boy, did I ever get even... I DA'd without a word to them beforehand, and THEN I informed ALL of their NON-Jehovah's Witness relatives about ALL the abuse and unchristian behaviors - before Mumsy and Daddsy went back for a family reunion.
They weren't able to pull the wool over their relatives' eyes, anymore... Any claptrap about how "Christian" they were, was totally negated by my "insider's" information...
Ah, revenge is sweet!!