Passing this on...
I am writing about a danger which is very real. There are people, who may be grieving, who may be suffering from depression, who feel an emptiness, who feel a spiritual longing, who want hope in a world that seems hopeless, and others who are very vulnerable to this danger. There are children who are in danger. There are many who have paid a tremendously high price to obtain freedom from this danger, and bear the marks and will bear the marks for the rest of their lives.
The people who pose the danger are very nice people. They themselves don't really even know they are dangerous. They are victims, who in turn are well-trained to victimize others. They think they are serving God. They think they are earning everlasting life and giving it to others. They are Jehovah's Witnesses.
There are big news flashes about some cults and their dangerous practices and mass suicides, etc. But there are hundreds of thousands of former Jehovah's Witnesses who, as I mentioned above, have paid dearly for their freedom.
Two of them come to your door. They are so nice and polite, and they quote the Bible. They offer nice looking publications with interesting subjects, free of charge. Formerly they charged a price, but since the sales tax laws changed, they give it free, but will accept donations.
They offer you a free home Bible study. They talk about paradise, just around the corner, the answer to all the problems in the world. It sounds wonderful. You start your "bible" study by studying a little booklet or book. You read the paragraph, and you answer the question printed in the publication from what you just read in the paragraph. Some scriptures are cited. You look up some of them. They are somewhat of the same subject as the paragraph but if examined in context and objectively don't always prove the point, rather it is the fact that you are looking into the Bible which convinces you that this really is a "Bible" study. You are expected to answer what you have just read, not what you think. They get upset if you answer something different. You learn quickly to answer by rote what is there printed. The loss of freedom to think has begun subtly.
First of all, everything is rosy that you learn. You feel all warm and fuzzy. You start to learn then that everything you ever believed is false. You rejoice to have finally found "the truth". I admit they do have some truth. You learn that all other religions and worshippers apart from Jehovah's witnesses are part of Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion, directed personally by Satan and his demons. You are advised never to read literature put out by other religions, it would be dining at the table of demons. You have lost more freedom to think and investigate for yourself. Gradually the walls around your mind are being built of rock.
You start attending meetings. You make huge changes in your life, some admittedly beneficial, such as quitting smoking, quitting immorality, quitting alcoholism, quitting drug abuse, etc. You are told that this proves that they are God's people, you could never have done this alone. What you are not told is that every religion has many success stories of changed lives, as does Alcoholics Anonymous, psychotherapy, support groups, nicoret, etc. But you are delighted with your newfound strength which proves you have found the truth.
You are told not to enter any church buildings, not to do business with them, to curtail any contact with non-witnesses. The walls go higher.
You decide to become a witness. You joyfully decide to be baptized. At your baptism, you agree that this baptism (contrary to the Biblical idea of baptism) identifies you as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. This was not done formerly, but is done now for legal purposes, since if they slander you and kick you out and shun you and abuse you you can't now sue them, you agreed to put yourself in their power at your baptism.
But you are so happy. You are IN. You are one of the ones who will be saved when the whole world is destroyed soon. They keep telling you it will happen soon (contrary to the Biblical warning of Jesus in Luke 21:8). The pictures of the beautiful split-level houses in paradise conditions continue to be shown with happy people and abundance of everything good, always just around the corner, always just out of reach. New converts are not told of the many many false dates and prophecies. Doctrines change as they become ridiculous because of events proving them wrong. Yet they sing a song about how Jehovah never changes, and see no contradiction in belonging to such a fluid organization.
Higher education is allowed now, it wasn't until just recently, but is still frowned upon. You might just learn to think if you go to university. So the majority slave at horrible jobs. Freedom to decide, to choose, how to live your life is gone.
Loyalty to the organization is huge on the list of priorities. Never speak to a former witness, they will only lie to you. What you don't know is that these people, like me, who are perhaps third generation witnesses, know about all the foolish presumptuous prophecies which never came true, and about the lame excuses, and lies used to cover up.
Some of us can read their history which they have recently published, and wonder how they printed it without blushing, it is so whitewashed. Supposedly a candid history.
But we don't have a voice. We spent all our money on them, we gave them all our lives, we loyally didn't think for so long through so much spiritual rape and mental terrorism and are exhausted emotionally and physically, but of course we have no pensions to fall back on. The end was coming. It was a sin to plan for the future back in the 50's 60's and 70's. The newer ones now are given better advice, but still they are counselled to let the organization decide everything for them.
Do you know how it feels to be brainwashed from childhood? Do you know the agonizing guilt of starting to doubt the people who are supposed to speak for God? I know and so do many others. It took me 15 years of suicidal depression and much professional help, and finally I try to be free, but I'm always not quite. When I read the Bible and pray and think of the truth about Jesus Christ I am free. But when I see them, their publications or talk to one of them, it's a continuing struggle to not cringe into nothingness of guilt.
But I will with the help of God continue to struggle until I am completely free. I love the creator. I love the Bible.
But they have fought long and hard in the courts of this free land for the freedom to rob others of their freedom.
We don't have fancy lawyers or money, but I think we should be heard. Why do we have to allow mental terrorism to prove we're a free country? It's a crime to slander, but they call us "apostates", "liars", they say we left because we wanted to be immoral, they tell all kinds of lies about us, but they'll sue the pants off someone who tries to stop them victimizing others.
The ones who aren't out -- 50% are on antidepressants. The other 40% are in power over others given to them by the organization which gives them their kicks in life, and the other 10% are actually happy not to ever have to think in their lives.
This letter sounds bitter, I know.
But why are terrorists free? To take the freedom of others? To twist and destroy minds as the Trade Centre was twisted and destroyed.
I say wage war on the mental terrorists. Take away their freedom to bind others. Stop the terrible shunning where they decide who can talk to their family and who can't. Stop the propagation of hatred and division and intolerance. They are the ones who fought for the freedom from these very things. The country gave them freedom, and now they deny this freedom to their members.
Please please give us injured, raped, freedom seekers a voice. This letter does not give 1% of the abuse taking place within that organization. I could go on for hours. But I trust that you will understand my concern for present, past and future victims.
Terrorism in any form is unacceptable.