Strange Ways

by link 16 Replies latest jw experiences

  • link

    There have been numerous recent threads about the level of psychiatric illness amongst the JW fraternity. Does anyone have any stories about the way in which this manifested itself with people in their congregations?

    I remember the brother who was found by the police in the early hours of the morning wandering about in the local park. Apparently he believed that he was Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and he was waiting for Judas to come and betray him.

    On another occasion this same brother was taken into "care" whilst giving a public talk from the roof of the local multi-storey car park. When he was admitted to the ward he found that the occupant of the next bed was his own mother! Probably she had been doing strange things also. Either that or he had driven her round the bend too.

    Also there were the elderly couple who spent more time in the local psychiatric ward than in their own home. The only time you could be sure not to find them hospitalised was when they attended the Memorial in order to partake of the emblems.

    She was a fanatic about going on the Ministry and witnessed to everyone who came into earshot. Her favourite trick was to get hubby to pull up close to the next car at the traffic lights. She then got the driver to let down their window before stuffing the Watchtower and Awake into the car.

    Those were the days!

    Anyone else got similar memories?


  • cellomould

    I'm sorry but I cannot contain my the woman stuffing WTs and Awakes into the windows of unsuspecting drivers...classic!


  • cellomould

    When I was much younger, a man at the bookstudy (a few years older than my father) stood up and announced to all that he just found out he was of the anointed. It was very awkward.

    I had never heard of such an event.

    It turned out that he had been missing some prescription medication. Sadly, he died a few years later.

  • blondie

    I always thought that the WTS attracted that kind of person rather than creating them.

    Then there are the people who want a legitimate out from the pressure of meeting everyone's expectations at the hall. Thus the proliferation of physical and mental excuses to avoid "responsibilities."

  • outoftheorg

    Yeah I have a similar memory.

    I have a bro inlaw who is and at that time was an elder.

    He had a number of strange incidents. The one I recall and laughed at the most is when he was asked to assist this elderly sister in triming her tree. No pun intended.

    He was a long time at it and she went out to see what was taking so long. Well he was in the tree and refused to come out of it. He was incoherent and confused. This confused the sister whose tree needed trimmed. No pun intended.

    It became apparent that he was out of his mind. The sister called his wife and she called the elders. They went to the scene and found him in the situation mentioned above.

    Some how they talked him down with out calling the fire dept. to the scene. Which is exactly what I would have done along with the local news people. Do you get the thought that maybe I didn't like him? Don't let that bother you. I don't let it bother me.

    Well he has since continued on his merry way as a counselor for the jw's in his majestic position as an ELDER IN GOOD STANDING.

    He has gotten older now and has trouble standing. I don't think he gets in trees any more. I miss that guy.


  • link


    You are absolutely right. All those I mentioned above were well on their way before finding "the truth"


  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Cellomould said, "When I was much younger, a man at the bookstudy ... stood up and announced to all that he just found out he was of the anointed. ... Sadly, he died a few years later."

    Don't be sad - REJOICE! He went to his "reward," didn't he?

    In my congregation in NYC there was an elderly brother who had lived in Nazi Germany. The USA still had a military draft back then (late 60s), and I made the mistake of asking him for some encouragement as I was undergoing a series of interviews with my draft board to establish that I deserved a ministerial deferment.

    Old Henry J. told me, "...the government has records on all of us. They're going to look at YOUR records, and then they're going to look at MY records, and they're going to say, 'How come you don't do as much as a man so much older than you?'" I think old Henry felt I needed to be prepared for prison life and torture.

    A few months later I had obtained my deferment, no thanks to Henry J., or any other elders in that congregation. It seemed to me that they were all astonishingly unconcerned about what to me was the BIGGEST obstacle I had ever encountered - I was facing off with the US Government!*

    The fellows on the draft board never let on that they "had all our records," either.

    *As I write this now it occurs to me that they were probably following the example of the PO at that time, a fellow named Mike Smilnak, a Bethelite who actually served time in prison as a conscientious objector BEFORE he met the JWs (which I think happened while he was in prison). I guess Mike figured that if he could do it, anybody could. I wonder if he was disappointed that I didn't spend time in the Federal Pen the way he did?

    Edited by - Nathan Natas on 7 October 2002 14:54:43

    Edited by - Nathan Natas on 7 October 2002 16:40:0

    Edited by - Nathan Natas on 7 October 2002 18:23:46

  • link

    Oh! I almost forgot.

    There was one brother in this congregation that I went to at one time who was banned from going on the ministry unless accompanied by an Elder.

    Apparently he suffered from acute paranoia and if the householder "didn't want to know", he took it as a personal insult. This would lead to the use of foul language and threats of bodily harm to the householder. The police were called on more than one occasion before he was restrained with the banning order from the Elders.


  • OrbitingTheSun

    I know that no one meant any harm by posting about his/her experiences with the mentally illbut what you may find humorous may be have been really painful to someone else. Speaking from personal experience, being in a mental hospital is the furthest thing from fun. Ive also been in a few situations where I made a complete fool of myself in public, and those werent too jovial either.

    To be honest, when I read some of your stories, I laughed myselfbecause there is great value in learning to see the bright side of everything we encounter in life . But just in case there is someone out there reading this post and feeling hurt, we should all be sensitive when talking about mental illness.

  • outoftheorg

    Hello Orbit;

    Your point is well taken. Sorry if anything I said caused you any grief.


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