Watch Mani Garcia's new video part one miniseries on Freeminds

by Dogpatch 1 Replies latest jw friends

  • Dogpatch


    On April 14th, 2010 at 4:30PM, was the official premier of "Belief." Episode 1, entitled “Sacred Ground,” was shown at the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY. The premier was followed by an informal reception and discussion with myself, and four former Jehovah's Witnesses who made my day by attending. The premier was also attended by students, faculty, and staff of Stony Brook University, and some very supportive community members. It was one of the happiest days of my life, and the beginning of what I hope will bring healing to many.

    ~ Mani

    soundtracts and lyrics from the video

  • Dogpatch

    BTW the first few minutes are in Spanish narrative, then switches to English, and has text for the deaf.

    Mani says:

    GOOD NEWS: I just received an Undergraduate Recognition Award for outstanding achievement from Stony Brook University for "Belief" (4/9/10)

    read NEW 2010 abstract about "Belief"

    Imagine living twenty-nine years of
    your life by the word of God. Now
    imagine that one day you waited for
    your wife to get into the shower and
    then left your entire life behind with
    only the money in your pocket and the
    clothes on your back.

    That is only the beginning of the
    story behind Emmanuel “Mani” Garcia’s
    life. He was born May 28, 1973 almost
    immediately into the life of a
    Jehovah’s Witness (JW), and on August
    1, 2002, he left everything he knew behind:
    his friends, his family, his religion,
    his culture, his identity.

    Then in 2006
    he started a research project to delve
    into the power of belief and how it can
    shape, help or control the people it captivates.
    Garcia, an admired student of
    Stony Brook University, debuted the
    first episode of his miniseries belief
    Wednesday, April 14 on campus. Entitled
    “Sacred Ground,” he creates the
    first of a series of steps to begin a healing
    process: a process he likens to the
    steps generalized for the LGBT community
    on “coming out.”

    Garcia takes the audience through
    the timeline that led to his eventual departure
    from the cult-like religious
    group. Garcia’s father was a rebellious
    child of the 70s. He heard a knock on
    the door one day and decided to accept
    Jehovah’s teachings, as told through the
    Watchtower Organization (the main
    source of information and leadership
    for JWs), and this turned his family’s
    life upside-down. There was a drastic
    move from Chicago to Alamogordo,
    New Mexico (during the times of nuclear
    bomb tests) and the tragic and
    sudden death of a friend were just some
    of the events that took place in his early
    years as a JW. It is edited almost like a
    French auterist film with its quick cuts
    and spliced scenes, and then brings the
    audience into long takes of interviews
    with other former JWs, that would now
    be referred to as apostates, or traitors.
    Garcia is one of these traitors, but
    he found the courage to reach out to
    others like himself. He does not condemn
    the religion. He is not looking to
    expose it. But rather, he is trying to
    make something so that others will not
    feel so alone. Many of the former JWs
    he interviewed would not reveal themselves
    on camera, as others had done,
    but did communicate with Garcia
    through phone calls, e-mails and text
    messages. Garcia stressed how important
    it was to understand that, just because
    they did not show themselves,
    these people were still as brave as the
    others because they found a way to say
    their piece about the religion that was
    controlling them.

    The mode of communication
    though proved insignificant, as it was
    the message sent that was most telling.
    One that hit particularly hard was from
    someone who contemplated suicide because
    of the strains and difficulties the
    organization imposed on his/her life.
    Many said that if someone knew they
    were speaking with Garcia they would
    be ostracized, basically from their own
    lives. The threat of being found out was
    extremely serious and could have dire
    consequences on those that were speaking
    to Garcia against the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    As described by those interviewed,
    nobody else but a current or former Jehovah’s
    Witness could even possibly
    begin to understand the toll the organization
    took on them. It encompassed
    their whole lives, everything they did,
    everyone they knew, and everything
    they believed. A JW was essentially shut
    up from the entire rest of the world and
    sought to preach and teach their use of
    the Bible. The idea was that taking up
    this practice of the Bible was to sacrifice
    yourself completely to God, as Garcia
    informed the audience when he presented
    Matthew 16:24-25, a verse used
    popularly by the Watchtower: If any
    man will come after me, let him deny
    himself, and take up his cross, and follow
    me. For whosoever will save his life shall
    lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for
    my sake shall find it.

    Garcia’s first episode of his miniseries
    proposed finding a “sacred
    ground” in order to begin the healing
    process. He goes back to the beginning
    of his life, to his Spanish roots, he thinks
    of the sunset, and he thinks of…Joe Versus
    the Volcano. Believe it or not, he referenced
    a quote from the movie.

    Patricia says, “I wonder where we’ll end
    up?” and Joe [Tom Hanks] answers,
    “Away from the things of man.” The
    miniseries does not necessarily look to
    bring the audience “away from the
    things of man,” but rather to be aware
    of the things that try to seize control
    over us.

    Mani Garcia heals by reaching out,
    and by helping others to start the
    process of healing. The scars that belief
    leaves do not have to be forever, and
    Garcia empowers an audience of any
    race, gender, or religion to see that you
    do not always have to believe what you
    are taught and you are not always alone
    when you think you are.

    Away From the Things of Man
    By Liz Kaempf

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