To My Generation: Jehovah's Witnesses of the Vietnam War Era

by Hold Me-Thrill Me 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • Viviane
    Then in the 1990's all of sudden we are told Jehovah had made a change. Brothers could now do community service and avoid jail.

    The Vietnam was was over by the 90's and there hadn't been a draft since decades before.

    I am not leaving Jehovah and his son. I am leaving the following of men. I was baptized not in the name of the Organization or of men. I am a follower of Jesus Christ who after the 2016 Memorial will be free to follow him alone.

    You're free to do that now. Why will you participate in what you know to be a lie until then?

  • Magnum
    But now WE are dying! Seems like a joke doesn't it? But it's no joke.

    Wow! That's really sobering. I think about my mortality all the time now. I never would have thought it would come to this.

    To be young and have hope. Nothing like it.

    Yes, I know. It seems like yesterday that I was in my twenties and I was excited because I thought the end was imminent. We were approaching the end of the generation (as understood at that time). 1994 was supposed to be the limit, but it, like the org's other dates, came and went.

  • Athanasius

    During the Vietnam war the Watchtower considered Alternate Service to be a compromise. Therefore, JWs had to refuse it and go to prison. In order to avoid the cost of sending JWs to prison, some judges merely sentenced the JW to perform community service rather than prison. I knew several JWs who ended up working in hospitals for two years as part of their sentence.

    However, during World War II some JWs did serve in the military as medics. My non-JW dad said there were a couple of JWs in his outfit who were medics. But the Watchtower is noted for constantly changing the rules. So now Alternate Service is acceptable for JWs.

    Like many other young JW men of that era, I pioneered and got married.

    Also remember the 6 month Bible Study program. However, most JW study conductors in our congregation ignored the rule and continued studying with persons who never converted. After all it was easy time. Better than knocking on doors.

    Unlike many JWs, I didn't get excited about 1975, felt it was going to be a bust, which it was.

    By 1984 I'd had enough and resigned as an elder and

  • Stuck in the middle37
    Stuck in the middle37
    I lived though most of what you wrote about. In the early 60's I spent time in Tucson fed. prison got out in 1963 I thought I was doing it to show GOD (I don't use the word Jehovah any more) how much I loved him. We lived in the bay area in cal. then. In 1958 our family went to International convention In New York .That was a great event. In 1975 we were living in northern Cal. We heard the instructions about not studying past 6 month, but we did it anyway Our studies were baptized at one of the Oakland assembles. About 6 or 7 yrs. ago while we were living in Las Vegas, I thought to myself that it . They (WT) can keep lying if they want to, but there not, going to lie to me anymore and I quit. No more meeting No service . Nothing, I have never heard from them since. I have not left GOD or his son Jesus I have left the WTS.
  • millie210

    HoldMe-ThrillMe, while the Vietnam era was a little ahead of my time, I still found your post very nostalgia inducing in ways. You paint a powerful picture when you line it all up like that.

    So much loss by so many sincere people.

    Interesting that you are picking the right time for yourself for making changes. I like to see people do it on their own terms.

    Obviously you are Good for you.

  • smiddy

    I`ll be frank with you Frank , don`t wait till after the 2016 memorial , get out now while you still have some life of your own to live and not be a slave to a man made religion , stringing along the gullible with a carrot that is now 140 years old and must be quite withered/rotten by now.


  • Alive!

    Much respect for you to even be trying to work through such painful doubts and questions - I know witnesses nearly half your age and perhaps twice the energy who 'know it's not the truth' but keep going through least you are setting yourself a timeframe to test the waters.

    This is your journey friend - and what loving Father would ever 'shun' you for seeking and searching according to your own time and process.

  • Still Totally ADD
    Still Totally ADD
    I remember those days. I am soon to be 61 and I graduated from school in 1972. I know I was to young to go to prison in the 1960's but I was raised to believe I would go to prison as soon as I got out of high school. I would visit brothers in prison down in Springfield MO when I was a teenager. That would cause a lot of stress on me. Thinking about how would I be able to do this when I got older. I remember how many of my male peers in school was looking forward to college or great job, I was looking forward to going to prison for my faith. I would ask myself "Why do I have to go through this at such a young age when all the older ones did not have to?". It affected my life in many ways. I was very good at speed typing when in school and I wanted a electric type writer. My parents made me get a manual type writer because I would not have a electric plug for a electric typewriter in my jail cell. It was a hell of a way to grow up. Watching the war on TV and the mental games the cult played on our young minds. At 18 I had to go to the local draft board and sign up for the draft. The three old men that ran it threaten me with jail if I did not go into the service. Then by elders at that time took me aside and told me when I was drafted I would have to go to the place to be sworn in and refuse to do it and meet the consequences. So much stress. It made me sick. I was so happy to get a high lottery number and I went to a 1-A to a 1-H classification. This was in 1972 by then the war was turning and by 1975 it was all over. This event has in many ways left a scar in my life. The teaching of the WT in the 1990's did make me to start thinking but it took many years for me to wake up. You all really brought out a memory I thought I have forgotten. Don't worry I am glad you did. For all those who faced prison or was in prison because of the cults teaching my heart goes out to all of you. Take care. Still Totally ADD
  • Giordano

    Hi Frank and yes that was my era. My wife and I faded in 1965- 66 We had been pioneer partners serving where the need was great. Vietnam was heating up and I was no longer a minister. I think because we moved around a couple of times I must have dropped off the draft boards radar. In 1967 my son was born (we left the truth because of the blood issue and Armageddon) and they had stopped drafting fathers so that was that. In 1967 or 8 the WT started talking about 1975 and I thought my timing must really suck but we maintained our non belief. By 1975 I had totally forgotten that the world was supposed to end.

    Another dud of a prophecy.................. a specially of the WTBTS.

    I am 71 now married to my lovely ex Pioneer wife these past 52 years, have one son and three grandchildren, friendly relationships with relatives who are not witnesses...... still shunned by a Bethel cousin.

    Was it the right decision to leave......... looking back..... of course.

    I didn't have the tools back then that are now available on line. So it took me a while to figure out how wrong any religion was. But it's always worse with a high control religion because they can be far more reckless with their followers.

    Frank, I hope you find the peace you are looking for. It's an internal thing and that is where, in my opinion, you have to look.

  • James Jack
    James Jack

    My life pretty much mirrors yours, except I was baptized in 1981.

    Wow , you have set a date, I am about there too!!!

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