I've heard a similiar story Darth which leads me to believe that quite a few jw kids said it too before being whooped at the hall.
The spanking room
Fortunately, for the most part, the new generation of parents aren't always rushing their kids in the back to punish them. But, I remember when I was young in the 70's there was always someone getting beat. It never happened to me though, but the thought gave me nightmares.
When the parents took their kids back they always made a big scene about it. And looking back,a lot were quite abusive. This one grandmother was a bit nutso, to put it mildly, she was always wailing on her grandkids. A sister had to follow her back to the bathroom and tell her to stop, that was enough. Plus, I know of one young boy who got beat with a belt clear into his teens. He's grown with children of his own. He still is a Witness, but doesn't let his parents see his children. They have apologized to him, but too little too late. The damage is done.
When I look back at all the nonsense that took place at my old hall, I wish I would have woken up a long time ago. I look at my mother and think, I was just a kid, what's your excuse. Well, the rest of the story is a whole other topic.
I remember the back library was used for my spankings- when I grew up my cong. converted a part of the ladies room to a mothers room where mothers could listen to the talks and take their kids back when they cried,
but mostly I saw that being used for young mothers to take sleeping kids back, rock in the rocking chairs, and gossip about other people with the sound turned off....
My mother would proudly tell new moms the story about how she disciplined me when I was a baby, she said I would cry during the meetings...she would stand up to carry me back & I would immediately stop... she knew she couldn't let me win that mind game....so the next time I did it, she took me back and wailed on me....that shut me up
I don't remember that event at all but I hate it when she starts to tell it...
I don't remember that event at all but I hate it when she starts to tell it...
If she ever starts in on that story again just wait and say "today that would be considered child abuse and I would call CPS". The look on her face might make you feel better.
In halls I've been in, there is always a 'mothers and babies room'. A few years ago, they changed the sign on the door to 'parents room' so that dads could go in. Previously, fathers never went in due to mums breastfeeding etc. In most halls they have a separate feeding area now, so that you can walk in without fear of seeing a boob being flashed...lol. But yes, it is where kids are taken to be smacked as well.
When my 2 were young, I was fed up of being counselled by elders on 'take them in the second school to listen' or 'you need to discipline them more'. This was when my oldest was barely a year old! Of course he was going to fuss and make noise during the meeting. When they got older, and both diagnosed as having autism, do you think the comments and stares stopped? No. In the end I got tough with the elders and others and just told them politely to mind their own business. When my kids made noise or fidgeted, I didn't bat an eye. Just handed them snacks or little toys...lol. I didn't want the KH to become a place where I was living in the parents room because my kids couldn't sit still. And no way was I smacking them over every little thing. That's not on!
Side note, when my parents became witnesses, I was about 3. I was not used to sitting still for 2hrs listening to mumbo jumbo. I remember dad constantly taking me outside to be smacked. I vividly remember every time coming back in and him saying 'now go to the bathroom and wash your face' as I'd been crying so much. It wasn't that he was over the top or really hurt me, it was just that it was constant and meetings became something I dreaded even at a young age. In fact it very nearly stopped him going to meetings. For a while there until I got older, mum would insist on staying home with me because I couldn't sit still. By that time my brother was on the scene and I was even more of a handful but eventually I 'got it' that I had to sit still for the meetings.
Most mums rarely get to listen to the meeting when their kids are young. They spend so much time outside feeding, changing nappies or disciplining. In fact I've known sisters who purposely having kids just so they don't have to sit in a meeting so long!
I'm a fellow worldly who never heard of anything like this until I received a copy of that book. I remember reading through it and I would find myself so upset over the horror of it all. It was shortly after I 'woke up' and learned that something was very wrong with this religion of my wife's when I first received this book. Until then, I went with my wife to the meetings and was even going to 'Bible Studies' with her to her favorite elder and wife (nice couple I will admit). Never once did I catch on that when my wife was taking my daughter to the ladies room that she was taking her to The Spanking Room TM .
The book belonged to a pastor of the church I am now attending and on my first visit there, we talked for a few minutes and I remember telling him that my wife was a witness. Two weeks later, he gave me this book to read. Now, to illustrate how 'brain washed' by my wife's religion I was, I remember actually defending the witnesses a bit by saying, "Well, when was the author's experience? Was it the 1970's? Times were different then, weren't they?" As if I could not believe witnesses were doing this today. In addition to this, this church also has a prayer room and I remember thinking how dumb that was because "the Slave TM said so." The church also has dance and flag worship which I initially found rather strange because I have never been to any church that did anything like this before and of course the Slave TM would never allow kids (and some grown ups) to wave flags and dance during the singing of the praise and worship songs.
Reading this book began my awakening.
It did not take long before my daughter began to prefer going to church with me and I remember asking her why she did not like going to the Kingdom Hall her response was always, "Because mommy spanks my butt."
Now I believe my wife to be reasonable when it came to spankings and with her being a teacher, she knows that spankings are largely frowned upon now-a-days. However, this book gave me pause. I eventually returned the book to the pastor because I had moved on to other books like Crisis of Conscious, and The Gentile Times Reconsidered as well as the video Witnesses of Jehovah.
My wife laments on the fact that our child is not as disciplined as other kids her age in the Kingdom Hall and I will admit, when she attends church with me, I seldom hear the sermon. However, I cannot help but to wonder, what price did those other kids have to pay to be that disciplined? My wife and I try to use bribes now to help our daughter sit still during the times when it is required (not just at church or the hall either) but it is always hit or miss. I just cannot for the life of me punish my kid for simply being a kid, but my wife is a school teacher for 3 and 4 year olds and they routinely keep kids in line during the sit down periods, like lunch or story time. We try to come to an understanding and it is a work in progress.
dgp, if you've read that book to the end, you will learn that both kids left the 'trooth' and the author's brother becomes very antagonistic towards their mom. I will not tell you more than that as I do not want to spoil the ending for you. It is a good book, though very heart wrenching.
edited by garyneal's request for reasons of privacy ~ Scully
jws boast they have the best behaved children, a shiny example to all,
**I cannot help but to wonder, what price did those other kids have to pay to be that disciplined?** ....well it wasnt a magic wand!
although i dont remember implements ever being discussed during the talks i do remember the blunt object comparisons in the toilet, where mothers would whip out their weapons of choice and compare their attributes, my mothers personal favourite was the wooden spoon, followed by a hair brush.
**My wife laments on the fact that our child is not as disciplined as other kids her age in the Kingdom Hall **
thats what keeps the cycle going, theyre all under pressure to have the best behaved children, anyone not taking the prescribed actions is letting the side down and is left feeling inferior. its almost like a competition. its easier to give in and go with the flow than to suffer the disaproving looks or the lectures on unruly kids/disturbing meetings etc.
i wont ever say my mother wouldnt have hit me as i feel she was that way inclined, but they gave a very volatile woman a free license and positive reinforcement to abuse with impunity.
it was very infectious, there'd be a period where the newcomers kids would get away with murder, then they'd be out back taking their lumps with the rest of us, probably more so, cos they'd got a lot of catching up to do.
It was conceivably possible for a mother to hear things such as "Love thy neighbor" or "turn the other cheek" at the same time she was spanking the child.
Yes, turn the other cheek would be inspiring in that setting.
Spanking is a form of sexual domination, so it is easy to see why the organization has so many problems in this area, given that they put their approval on the practice.
They teach that to spank a child will make him grow into a quiet child who respects the Kingdom Hall and silently listen for Jehovah's teachings.
If you beat a dog, it will eventually cower silently when it sees you or hears your voice.
We used to get dragged outside to the car to get hit with my dad's belt. They told parents not to do it where they could be seen from the road.
Why do something in secret? Because you know it is wrong and you have shame about it.
I have a vivid memory of an asshole elder beating the everliving snot out of his grandchild, a little girl about 4 or 5. He dragged...literally dragged her outside, her feet sliding along behind as she couldn't keep up. Outside the hall but right next to the door, he went to wailing on her. And there was anger in his blows.
As an indoctrinated JW I accepted that physical punishment was proper in some circumstances, though personally I felt that it could be avoided except in the rarest of situations. Even still I knew that what I saw was way beyond normal spanking. It was abuse. But I didn't do anything. He was an overbearing, know-it-all elder and it was his grandchild, not my kid. I was angry and upset but couldn't make myself do anything. I was a lowly publisher and he was an overbearing elder.
And I regret to this day not stepping in and at least saying something to try to calm him down. I wish now I had stepped in and confronted him.