Why can't we have AA's for our kids?
A friend’s posting of a genuine Amber Alert got me thinking, and when I say thinking, I usually end up thinking with my fingers on the keyboard – hence the blog. Now this in NO way is meant to diminish the importance of the real AA, but it raises some questions about reality, life and laws in this country (and around the World).
Many of my friends will know that I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. Now being that this was all I knew since I was a child and that my father and mother were JW’s, and that from infancy I was programmed toknow – sorry “believe” that it was the “truth” and had God’s blessing as “His” name people. I never questioned it. After all, my hopes for salvation from the evil and wicked world outside of this idyllic clan depended on me obeying “God’s” wishes as dictated by the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” (which is actually 12 angry men in Brooklyn as I later discovered).
Growing up though, I started to take note of many “wrongs” taking place within the “organization” (as they call it). Brothers were able to cheat others or insult or even accuse their fellow brother with out any justice. I was always told to “wait on Jehovah” because “He” would make things right. I saw how elders (the guys in charge of the local congregations) would bend “God’s” law to suit their own needs, but then turn around and use the same law to guilt a sheep-like one into submission. And what was their favorite form of punishment???? A little diabolical practice of “disfellowshipping”. This is where (if disfellowshipped) you are cut off from every form of communication from other JW’s – including your family (mother, father, children).
So let me set the information straight for you kind readers that do not understand the full impact of this practice: IF you were not born into this “religion”, then you were approached by one of JW’s, slowly recruited, brainwashed and inducted. Now, in this process, they encourage you to only associate with “God’s People” (them – and they really do believe that). This starts to become easier and easier to do because while you yourself no longer have time to spend with your old friends (because your whole life revolves around God, studying and learning to recruit), they (your old friends) start to see how batshit crazy you are becoming and are afraid to hang out with you for fear of being “converted” too. So in the end, you will only have your new friends (the brotherhood). From there, you share stories of how evil the world outside is and how protected you are within God’s organization (all designed to keep you in fear and look to your leaders for salvation).
Now if you were born in this group, they are all you ever knew. All of your friends and family are JW’s. And if your father, mother, brother, sister, uncle..yadda..yadda…yadda ever are disfellowshipped, you treat them as a dead person. You will literally walk past them as if they never existed if you see them on the street. I tell you ashamed of myself, I did it too! I hate that I could ever do that to someone.
So the disfellowshipped one is literally alone in the world. The JW thought process on this is that you will see the error of your ways, realize that you are alone in the world and beg to come back. Now 20-50 years ago (10 even) I could see how this would be devastating to someone (and was) leading them to want to beg for forgiveness and re-entry into the club so to speak so that they can have back their friends and family. The internet has changed a lot of that for people. Now ex-JW’s can find others and re-kindle friendships they lost to DF’ing (disfellowshipping) years ago.
Now in addition to losing your family, since I have been out of the cult, I learned of another practice of the JW’s that is not loving at all. For some reason, they also feel the need to “leak” stories about the DF’d after they are out and for some other reason, the sheep will just eat it up. I remember stories of df’d friends working as strippers (male and female), having orgies, becoming drunk losers, going to jail and on and on only to find out later that none of it was true – and yet even I believed the lies at one time. In fact, most of my old friends who were df’d when I was a youth have turned out to be successful, productive members of society. They show more natural love of their fellow man then those inside the cult still do even though the JW’s preach love over and over again. I myself have become better at kindness then I ever was inside.
Now to the root of my writing here today. For the record – I was never df’d! I left on my own. When my ex-wife started telling lies about me to the congregation and they believed her (because she spent more hours per month recruiting then I did so “she must have God’s Spirit and be telling the truth”), I woke up and left. I could no longer be a part of a group that believed lies based on how many hours someone spent recruiting every month. And since, I’ve heard more lies about me propagated throughout the “faithful”. Even so, I was shunned even before I left.
Now, not once did I miss a weekend for my children. Not once have I done a wrong to any of my children. NOT ONCE have I told my children to disrespect their mother or how I wished that they would shun her and live with me. And just under 2 years ago, a judge in Goderich ON (Justice MacKenzie) ordered that the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) get involved in our custody case because my son no longer wanted to visit me on religious grounds and he warned my ex that “if the OCL finds that you (my ex), your family, friends or congregation have tried to manipulate the children to alienate their father, that you would lose custody all together”. Over the last 2 years and during the investigation of the OCL, my daughters both indicated they wanted to come live with me. My son has refused to have anything to do with me. In April, the OCL told me that my 13 year old daughter could come live with me but my ex would fight my 11 yr old daughter’s request.
In June (immediately after a JW convention), my 13 year old daughter stopped calling me, taking my calls or coming to visit me. I went to her door (while recording the conversation) to have her tell me (sheepishly and voice cracking) that “she chooses to no longer associate with me”. When the OCL investigates they find: ” K (only initial used for name by me) appears to have become involved in a family and community process that is alienating her from her father. None of the information provided to us by K suggests that her father has behaved in a way that explains K’s almost total rejection of him. There appears to be a very strong possibility that K’s rejection of her father is a result of her interaction with her mother, that part of her extended family that is also estranged from Mr. McNall and her faith community”
It has now been almost 4 months since I last spoke with my daughter. The last time she was in my home, we had fun, were laughing and hugged. The OCL says that there is nothing they can do, she is 13 and can make her own mind. My lawyer says the same. It is as if she were kidnapped. And she was. She has been kidnapped by my ex-wife and is hiding behind a church. Now if my ex were to take her to Mexico (with or against my daughters wishes), I would have a case. But no! She has hidden her inside a cult that provides canned answers to the courts showing that my daughter has every right to shun me based on her beliefs. Even if the OCL knows she is being manipulated.
So what happened to the words uttered by Justice MacKenzie ??????? Do the judges actually mean what they say??? Why can I not have an Amber Alert for my missing son and daughter? How long before the cult gets to my last child and I have no hope? How many other fathers, mothers and children are caught up in the same dilemma??
And if you’ve read this far and are asking “Why don’t you just pretend to be a JW again to get your kids back?” Because I cannot live a lie and I cannot teach my children that it is OK to live one either. Also, what kind of message would I be sending to them and the world that I am OK with an organization that uses kids to manipulate people and support their lies???? Isn’t that how terrorists work? Using children and family to leverage you to support their cause/belief. And creating fear in people’s minds if they ever were to question the leaders. To that I give them the big middle finger salute!
I am so sorry and hardly know what to say. I would imagine that's the reason no one else has commented on this thread. Your situation is so incredibly painful and just as unfair. It may take years, but there's still hope for your kids. Don't forget that two-thirds of kids leave the organization. If I were you, I would send all three kids monthly messages about how much you love and miss them and that you'll always be there for them. Stay upbeat, and let them know what's going on in your life.
Is there any way to have the court order counseling or mediation for you and your kids? This is just a terrible situation.
Wowl What a horrible situation. Psychological and Spiritual Abduction.
So sorry to hear this.
God I'm angry. I'm so sorry K. Like Jamie says---make sure you keep sending them messages. If they decide they've had enough, they will know where to go. Never let them forget that they have a choice and you will never give up on them.
Now I gotta go kick something. Freaking evil cult.
Thank-you JB and AS,
I am considerin all options right now - including the media. This ucks :)
And TY NC!
My one friend is going to get me on a local cable news show about this, our friendship and a movie about the JW`s he is working on
So sorry that this has happened to you and the kids.
I understand what you are saying regarding the Amber Alert, as we have one going on in my area. Losing children no matter how, must be gut wrenching.
They are messing with your heart here, sure hope things get better for you soon.
King, do you live in the same area as your children? What kind of custody/placement do you have with them?
King, you have my sympathies. I cannot help but get anxious just readying your story and thinking of mine. King, I think your situation is exactly the reason why we as fathers need to not "fade out" or slowly remove ourselves from this group. Anyone that is in a similar situation, you need to get out and show your children, especially your young children a normal life. Birthdays, Christmas, sports, band, dancing, whatever. Give them a normal life and the witness way of life becomes much harder for them to accept. I was a born in as well and when all you ever here is that birthdays are all about putting your self above all others and god, oh and by the way, they cut christians heads off at birthdays, that is going to make sense. But when you let them celebrate birthdays and show that that is not what birthdays are about they have a reference point to counter the witness reasoning.
I understand that people want to keep family contacts in place but if you have small kids I feel that fading is extremely dangerous. You are in essence making the dub way of life normal, which is easy when they are small, but the real pressure mounts when they are teens and above. Thats when the pressure to stop associating with the apostates will start to mount.
Parents with young children.... get our for your kids!! If you value your relationship with your children, past present and future then there is NOTHING more important that keeping your kids out of this group.