Growing up in the fifties and sixties, stories of demonic possession were prevalant in the Watchtower and Awake. I was terrified. We were told they would bother you if you were faithful, but also if you fell away. It seems as though we discussed demons more than we discussed Christ. I would check behind door hinges, the closet doors, and behind the shower curtain. Insomnia ensued. I recently found out from my younger sister that she, too, scanned the room to thwart demons. We could have shared our duties to get some sleep. Our overseer was English Polish. He played a tape made in England that was over the top and vivid involving a teapot being smashed.
Most of the Witness beliefs I could discard readily as I aged. Not so with demons. Years after no association I still fear them. I do not believe in them but I am terrified. When I took confirmation lessons, a priest recommended that I read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. It was so liberating! A great-uncle demon writes correspondence to his newphew, trainee-demon on how best to screw up humans. In the intro or preface, he states that focusing too much on the spirit world is not healthy. Ultimately, any fallen creatures were created by God. God/Satan duality is not scriptural. The Christian Satan has no choice but to lose. Why could we not be implored to turn to Jesus? Even w/o the Trinity, Jesus should put the fear of the Lord in any demon who messes with me.
I was also raised that psychotic people were demonized. Once my mom visited a sister in the county hospital who was psychotic. I was so furious with her for tainting me. Once the woman said she heard voices, I feared they would jump onto me. Who has actually seen a demon? Seriously? Seroquel will help where prayer does not.
Perhaps this was a side issue in the history of the Witnesses. I am curious as to the reasons for my fear. Rationally, the last straw for me was when the Society jazzed up its demon stories to include a demon materializing next to a woman in bed for sex purposes. It was so over the top, innocent, young me laughed. Demons and sex seem to be related. I'm wondering if this wanton sex is what scared me. Psychologists must have studied this. Countless hours of life were destroyed being vigilant against demons. It also strikes me that there was not a single adult to offer me guidance on this. Enough bad things exist in this world without borrowing from an imaginary spirit world.