I just need to get this off my chest.
My wife, Nina, received a visit tonight from her book study conductor and his wife. Now she's made every meeting since I stopped going 14 years ago. Mostly the Witnesses have ignored her and our children, which is not pleasant, but at least they haven't gone out of their way to hurt them. Until. A few months ago my son came down with something called post-viral arthritis. He was in a great deal of pain, but thank God the virus went away after a month. It attacked his joints and prevented him from walking and so he was in a wheelchair for about 3 weeks. Well one Tuesday night they all got dressed and packed the wheelchair in the car and went to the meeting. Only a couple of people commented on my 6 year old son and no one (even an elder who stopped to ask for my wife's time) seemed terribly concerned, or wondered where she had been for the pas tmonth. A week later the Dateline show was broadcast. Afterward I told Nina that if we allow our kids to grow up "in the truth" either they will be like the Witnesses and grow up to hurt people, or they will be hurt by the Witnesses. There isn't a third choice. She hasn't been to a meeting since.
After a couple of months, her book study conductor noticed her absence and called. 14 years of anger, shame, humiliation and outrage was bottled up inside her. She didn't hold anything back and let him have it all. Among the many colourful things she told him was that no one cared. Well now he's trying to prove her wrong. Especially now that the CO's visit is next month.
He came over tonight to show her how "concerned" he is and (at least, I think) to show her how her faith has been weakend by her "bad attitude". Naturally he blamed her absence from the meetings on me, The Unbelieving Husband (TM). At that point, Nina reached in her briefcase and pulled out a colour photo of a registered (and convicted) sex offender that was in her previous congregation. She slammed it down on the kitchen table and told him that this person, who is still in very good standing naturally, and others like him is why she stopped going. (Of course the elders in that congregation didn't allow any warnings to be given to unsuspecting parents not to let him be alone with their children, since that would be slander.) The elder stammered, and told her to not to talk about such things "in front of my wife."
As he was about to leave he said a prayer, and asked Jehovah to help Nina get her attitude readjusted. As he was leaving he said that he would come by another day with "a brother" (read: elder) to "encourage" her. She called me tonight to tell me the whole story and was very shaken by the whole thing. She's not afraid of being DF'd, although it mean losing some close friends, but she is feeling pretty stressed out at an implied threat. I told her that what she needs to do is to change congregations and then just fade away. Slip through the cracks. But I think that will need to wait for another day, as she's feeling pretty overwhelmed right now. All I know is they better not come when I'm home, or so help me I'll tear them a new one.
I've never understood the perverse thrill these people get out of intimidating others, threatening and controlling their lives. This is Christian love? Anyway, thanks for letting me vent a little. That's one thing I find invaluable and very special about this board.