The spanking room

by dgp 39 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • dgp

    I just got "The spanking room: A child's eye view of the Jehovah's witnesses", by William Coburn. The author says that their old kingdom hall didn't have a spanking room, so the spanking took place in the ladies' room. There was always a line, either for ladies wanting to make use of the toilet the way it was intended to be used, or for ladies waiting their turn to spank their children. Some people complained that they missed the meeting because they couldn't hear much when waiting to spank their children, or once they were in the bathroom in the spanking. So, when they got a new kingdom hall, they solved two problems: one, they built a room for the specific purpose of spanking; two, they extended the sound system into the new room, so the mothers wouldn't miss the meeting during the spanking.

    It gave me the goosebumps to even think of what those children had to go through when waiting to be spanked. I never imagined that an organization that calls itself religious would actually plan for a place for the spankings to take place. But it is even worse to think that some refined sadist would think of extending the sound system into the spanking room. 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.

    It's not like I was never spanked by my worldly parents. I grew up in a place where spanking was common, and sometimes brutal. But we never ever would have even conceived a Catholic building with a room built for the purpose of spanking a child because he cries or gets bored during the mass. We would complain about mothers who took their children to mass knowing full well they interrupt the service. Perhaps we would have complained about ill-behaved children, but we would never suggest building a special room for spanking.

    Now that spanking has been made illegal in many countries, do Jehovah's witness still spank their children? Isn't it sad, and perhaps revealing, that Jehovah's witness children can now complain about beatings not thanks to the organization, but in spite of it and thanks to the worldlies?

  • jamiebowers

    During my time as a jw attended three kingdom halls. There wasn't a spanking room in any of them, but the was a library where spankings usually took place. Thankfully I didn't have children when I was in.

  • skeeter1

    Spanking took place. The woman's bathroom was used; as we rented our facility. We didn't have a sound proof spanking room. But, the whole congregation would snicker (he-he) when the bathroom door opened and a child's voice was whaling from pain.

    You see, as sick as it is, spanking is actually encouraged. The older JW women routinely tell a new JW mother not to spoil the child by sparing the rod. Spanking starts early, sometimes a tap on an infant's fussy butt. The JW women believe that they are doing a good thing by spanking their children. 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. Learning Jehovah's Word is considered very important, as it means the child's eternal salvation. So, a spanking is considered as "Jehovah's blessing". It also proves that the mother takes the religion very seriously and respects others in the congregation.

    This was in an ex-JW book, and I can attest to it from my personal experience. As sick as it is, it is the mother's justification. I think most kids really hate the Kingdom Hall. At least, I did and counted down the minutes until a meeting was over.

  • dinah

    I think most kids really hate the Kingdom Hall. At least, I did and counted down the minutes until a meeting was over.

    Same here.

  • GLTirebiter
    We would complain about mothers who took their children to mass knowing full well they interrupt the service.

    The Catholic church I grew up attending (and several others I have seen) had a "crying room". There was a thick, sound-proof plate glass window facing the altar, piped in sound, and was located close to the bathrooms for convenient diaper changes. They tried to make it possible for mothers to attend mass without disturbing the service. During those baby boom days, building a crying room was a wise choice for any Catholic parish. It was popular and well used!

  • dgp

    Where I live we don't have such niceties. Mothers are simply asked to take the child outside. And, by the way, people would hate it if you spanked your child inside the church, even back then when spanking was a fact of life.

    These days, people are also asked to turn their cell phones off. The reason being the same.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I haven't read the book. I probably will. But I don't know if "the spanking" room was a slight exaggeration of the powder room or what. Maybe it was a metaphor for the purpose that some other room took on. Anyway, I was never in a Kingdom Hall that had a room whose purpose was to spank. The library, the washroom, or outside: that is where the spankings occured.

    Perhaps there is such a room in some hall this author attended.

    As far as the sound in the washroom, that was very common. As I look back, I remember men commenting on how that only encouraged sisters to stay in the washroom. So frigging what if it did? What were they missing? Especially when the sound was pumped in.

  • GLTirebiter
    These days, people are also asked to turn their cell phones off. The reason being the same.

    Yes indeed, the music minister makes that announcement before announcing the opening hymn!

    I believe the official name for the sound-proof annex these days is "mothers' room" instead of "crying room". They're trying to avoid any negative connotation I suppose, but it's still the same idea. It seems like such a logical solution to the problem, I wonder why more parishes don't have one?

  • Palimpsest

    We had a "diaper-changing room" in the ladies' restroom that was really nothing more than a spanking room. I spent some quality time there, usually for grave offenses like coughing during a prayer or asking to get a drink of water.

    I used to get yelled at a lot for turning around and looking at the clock during meetings. We even had announcements from the podium about how looking towards the back of the Hall was disrespectful to the speaker and therefore to Jehovah, which I'm sure were provoked by children (and a few adults) like me who just couldn't take it anymore.

    Every Witness I know is still adamant about spanking. "Spare the rod..." gets said way more than I care to hear.

  • rnicole76

    The spanking room is a bit exaggeration of what the restroom is used for. Yes a lot of mothers do be spanking their kids in order for them to sit and be quiet during the meeting. I think some take it too far. What do they expect when their kids are bored with nothing to do? Thats why you give books with lots of cute pictures to look at not no Book of Bible Stories when they are 3 years old. It is stupid to give your kids that kind of book. They don't understand those pictures and why people are being destroyed in the armaggedon picture.

  • dgp

    Well, I gather that there are no such "spanking rooms", but the spanking does take place. Kind of an unchristian thing to do while in the hall, I guess.

  • OnTheWayOut
    ... but the spanking does take place. Kind of an unchristian thing to do while in the hall, I guess.

    We don't call it a dangerous mind-control cult for nothing.

  • misguided

    I thought the book was excellent. William Coburn is around my age, I think.

    The KH I grew up in had a room where children could be spanked attached to the women's bathroom. It wasn't separate from the bathroom, though; and all the women standing in line could see the children being spanked. I remember one sister even carried a wooden spoon for the purpose in her diaper bag.

    When I was 2, my parents asked me why I go to meetings. I think they were expecting me to say 'because I love Jehovah' but my answer to them was, "to get a spanking."

    When my kids were little, the KHs we attended has sound-proofed "mothers" rooms with a speaker in them so you could hear the meeting. Some mothers used them as spanking rooms. I used them to nurse and change diapers, etc. It was a great place to escape.

    I'm so glad today that I didn't spank them at the kh much, although I am guilty of it, and that the six of them all followed me out of the org!

  • ziddina

    "At least, I did and counted down the minutes until a meeting was over...."

    Me too. In fact, I often faked an illness just to avoid the meetings... [I was a sickly child anyway, due to my allergy to refined sugar and its prevalence in the American diet...]

    And spanking?? I saw actual beatings take place - and I wasn't the only target of them, either. I remember one JW mother who had an unbelieving mate, who wailed on her child because the child and I were 10 minutes late getting back to the entrance at Disneyland - which we'd gone to, after the DC in the area was over...

    We only had one afternoon there, because the blasted DC had taken up the rest of the week. That bitch JW mom didn't even take into account the LOOOONG lines we had to stand in to ride the rides!!! We only got to ride TWO rides in three hours, and then that vicious viper beat up her child - nearly hit me in the process, and I was crying and saying, "Don't hit her!! It was MY FAULT we were late!!"

    It wasn't, but - GeeeeZZZZ!!! ANYthing to stop the beating... That kid left that mother's family and the "trooth", the second she was old enough to get out on her own... The cult never got THAT one!!!

  • White Dove
    White Dove

    This is all turning my stomach at the memories of the meetings when I was small.

  • mrsjones5

    I when was small our hall in Menlo Park, Ca didn't have a spanking room, jws took their kids outside and whooped them. And if I recall correctly that had to stop because the hall received complaints so the spankings (or whoopins, it was a mostly black hall) were conducted in the tiny restrooms in back of the hall just to the right of the front door. We could hear everything.

  • designs

    It got so bad in the Hall I was an Elder in I had to give a talk about bringing 'weapons' to the Hall- wooden spoons, belts, cords. I had to explain to them it was a Felony and they could have their children taken away by Child Protective Services. Neighbors, especially those who didn't like Witnesses would turn them in. Spanking on the buttocks was allowed but not if it brought welts and no hitting on the chest, arms, legs or face.

    Tough crowd

  • CandleLight

    When they built the new KH where I had attended they added a 'mother's room.' It became a spanking station. I had an infant I was nursing and she would be just about to fall asleep and in would come a mother to spank a child. Wasnt much of an area for mothers, what it became was a place you could spank, and no one could see you.

    The Elders had recieved complaints from the community who had see some parents, one sister in particular, haul her child outside and wail on him. So their solution was to tell her to make sure she only spanked him indoors. At first she would somewhat curtail her spanking if I was back there with my daughter but after a short period of time she decided it didnt matter. One day after seeing her drag her two year old back to the room in a rage strip him naked and pull out a wooden spoon to beat him, I refused to sit and watch her harm him. I took the wooden spoon out of her hand and asked is she would like being hit with this?

    I spoke to the elders and they informed my husband and I that it was not our place to tell another parent how to dicipline their child. They would do nothing, and told me I was in the wrong to interfere. There were MANY in the hall who would cringe everytime that she got up because they knew the sounds of the beating were still going to escape the room. I finally decided to follow her everytime she got up... as she was not willing to have me as an audience anymore.. she no longer drug him back to the bathroom. I wish I could say as much for his home.

    I think the general apathy of 'its none of my business' and we wouldnt want to make a bad name for Jehovah, by involving authorities, really shelters alot of abuse.

  • Scully

    I can remember being around 8 years old and watching a kid a couple of years younger than me being hauled down to the basement of our KH at least once or more per meeting for a spanking beating. The dad picked her up like a sack of potatoes under his arm - usually during the song so the sound of the spanking beating would be masked by the "singing".

    It was around the time when ADD was starting to be diagnosed - that kid was on a special diet to calm her fidgeting, took medication and still was required to sit as quiet as a mouse at the KH, and I'm sure if she farted in the wrong direction, she'd still get dragged downstairs for a beating.

    Those beatings may have stopped when she got too big to be beaten or carried downstairs, but the long-term damage haunted her. She would have been about 20 when she died of an 'accidental' overdose.

    I'll never forget her.

  • exwhyzee

    Good for you CandleLight ! I wish you would have attended our hall...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. I don't know what I could have done during the meeting that would have warranted being beat with a belt, but all the kids in our hall were.They used to quote that scripture in Proverbs 23:3,14 If you beat your child with a rod, he will not die. With the rod itself you will deliver his soul form sheol.

    It was an accepted practice to hit your kids with something...and it was even considered a loving thing to do. The beatings hurt...but the sting of humiliation comming back to your seat with a red tearstained face was the worst. Not to mention having to face the other kids after the meeting.

    We used to have a little girl in our hall called the "No Mommy" girl. When her mom would haul her up the asile toward the back she'd be screaming "NOOOO MOMMY...NOOO MOMMY ! "

    The thought of this practice and the long term damage it did to witness children world wide, makes my blood boil. If I knew then, what I know now, I'd have called Child Protective Services on a lot of people including my own parents.

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