Poor JW children again (touching a sore tooth)
I've been reading the thread about children and brooding over the whole issue of kids-n-cults for a couple of days now. Yesterday I had to outwait a group of immovable Amish youth blocking the doorway out of the local grocery store(To many local Amish, 'English' are generally invisible unless they want to sell us something.), and they got mixed into the brain stew with the JW kids and the recent moral self-righteousness of certain JW posters here. It's not a palatable potion.
Since I was cookin', I went back through some material I had collected for an article, including from a JW parenting message board. (I stopped working on the article because frankly I couldn't step back enough to view the material objectively; any article I tried to write would be hopelessly colored by my outrage at my own indoctrination and that of countless other scarred people who maybe got the Paradise book as the last gift they remember from their parents. (In my case, I was given the book during our last Christmas season together. Merry Christmas, little Mommie D!) .) Today I'm still trying to settle the feathers that I let get all disgruntled yesterday during the Attack of the Idiot Christer Spammers, and I still don't think I've recovered all the gruntles. I feel restless. So...
...I decided to cut some of the raw quotes I collected from a JW parenting message board and paste them here. Misery loves company, so enjoy the feeling of a festering abscess as we share the love of JW moms discussing their disciplinary styles:
"As for meetings, whatever you have to do so as not to disturb the meeting. Taking a child
outside, or to the rest room or using the wooden spoon. (I always carried that spoon & it
worked wonders! Then we graduated to the belt & that works wonders, even now at
home!) But, that's also a personal decision on how we discipline our own kids."
"Sometimes children need to be whacked for their own good. My children don't get
whipped in meetings but know that if they don't behave they will get it on the bare
backside with a switch when they get home. It is loving to discipline our children. Even
Jehovah disciplines those he loves. If we don't get our kids into line they will soon be out
of our control - that is why society is what it is like today."
I cannot BELIEVE people can think such things of Jehovah's Witnesses! People have their
own ways of disciplining their own kids. If you feel that talking your way thru a problem
& never hitting (even with a small child that doesn't even really talk yet) is going to work,
so be it. But a wooden spoon works best on other kids. "To each his own", as they say. As
for this nonsense of touting every piece of physical discipline as "child abuse", I can
certainly say that is NOT a Bible teaching! If I was given a beatin' when I was growing
up, I would have had more respect for authority & would have not been such a
smart-aleck, as Mom always used to say.
" "To each his own." Since there is nothing Scripturally WRONG with such discipline,
where's the argument??? There really isn't any. And as I mentioned before, the difference
just a cultural one. Maybe some here never thought of it in that way. So, maybe we
Now this is one of Mommie D's faves:
" That was the picture of the babies being placed in the burning sacrifice to Baal,
showing how evil those pagans were. When my kids misbehaved, I would show that
to them, and it would straighten them right out. Also, the picture of the earth opening
up at Armageddon and swallowing up the sinners was a great motivator for them. "
Moridin's web page with the scans of the gruesome Armageddon pics got chucked into my brain stew this morning and there is so freekin much of the stuff burbling through my veins that I just HAD to share the soup lest it explode....
You have to realize that humans are just animals and a certain percentage of those human animals are cruel. Just like there are mean dogs, there are mean people.
When you stop expecting too much from animals you are granted a highler level of peace in your life.
Geez. Why don't they get out the Bible Stories book and show the picture of Abraham about
to sacrifice Issac?
If anyone did that today, saying that God told them to kill their son, you know what they'd get.
And my family clucks their tongue and says I'm wrong because
I refuse to submit to my ex indoctrinating my five year old daughter.
*hug* Momma D...I share your outrage and frustration.
My mom liked wooden spoons too. and hairbrushes. The big plastic Avon ones with wide
handles and clear bristles...
The Four Agreements:
Be Impeccable With Your Word
Don't Take Anything Personally
Don't Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
Yep - I was privleged to have recieved Dad's belt on several occasions, and even got the buckle on special days!!
And look how I turned out!
What memories your post brought back to me!!
I think it's preety revealing about the JW abusive parenting style........I well remember the wooden spoons,hairbrushes etc that was oh so acceptable at the halls......can you imagine what must have went on in the homes(as some that was pretty minor discipline?)
Home was even worse,there was no one to see....so out came extension cords,steel rulers,punching,locked in dark basements,food cupboards locked---milk cartons marked to see if anyone took some without permission,,,,ack,I could go on..........I know my case was extreme,but I can't help but wonder about those other witness kids,and what went on behind closed doors,,,because of their thinking that violence against children was scriptural,thus Ok,,,,just thinkin now,Luv,Tina
Mommie Dark mentions the Paradise book. I have always been appalled at that book. My first encounter with it was at about age 14 or so when the JW mother of one of my mom's friends gave me one. Being the kind of person who always starts reading at the back of the book, it did not take long to come across the horrifying depictions on pg 208-209 and the accompanying quotes from Zachariah about eyes and tongues rotting out. I did not become a witness for more than 5 more years and in another city, but the memory of that book has always disturbed me. Also,after talking to me a couple of times about such things as evolution and miracles, this woman told my mother (who told me) that I was an example of the failure of the American school system. I should have hung on tighter to these bits of info, but my mother died when I was eighteen, and I was in distress over that, when I learned all the "answers" from JW. Now it is almost 30 years later.
This is my eyeball your touching!!
Where did you get these quotes from surely they are from 50yrs ago?
(Not doubting your source here....just curious
I feel so sad for all the children that are spanked at assemblies/meetings. It's ridiculous to expect them to sit for so long....they've done as there told all week at school. They should be playing/sleeping like all the other kid's their age.
The org. is stuck in a time warp,I don't believe the leaders even have children themselves, they have no idea.
They put fear into parents who then make their children tow the line as well. I wish the parents would WAKE up!!
As for meetings, whatever you have to do so as not to disturb the meeting. Taking a child outside, or to the rest room or using the wooden spoon. (I always carried that spoon & it worked wonders! Then we graduated to the belt & that works wonders, even now at home!) But, that's also a personal decision on how we discipline our own kids.
Sometimes children need to be whacked for their own good. My children don't get whipped in meetings but know that if they don't behave they will get it on the bare backside with a switch when they get home. It is loving to discipline our children. Even Jehovah disciplines those he loves. If we don't get our kids into line they will soon be out of our control - that is why society is what it is like today.
That was the picture of the babies being placed in the burning sacrifice to Baal, showing how evil those pagans were. When my kids misbehaved, I would show that to them, and it would straighten them right out. Also, the picture of the earth opening up at Armageddon and swallowing up the sinners was a great motivator for them.
These are sick. I almost don't know what to say.
An odd experience I had: while waiting for the subway train a couple weeks ago, my fiancee and I were harassed by a foul-smelling man. He paced back and forth, staring at Foxy (my fiancee's handle), and when I stepped between him and her, he yelled and lunged at me. I pushed him back, harder than I knew I could (I'm not exactly a big guy), and he stumbled away and left us alone.
The point is this: the way he lunged at me, and the way he yelled, reminded me of the way my father would come at me sometimes. I won't go on about it; suffice to say that on a couple of occasions I lost consciousness, and for a few years there was hole in the basement wall about the size of my head. My father put a poster over it so no one in our bookstudy, which met at our house, would ask about it.
I hadn't thought of this stuff in years. Strange what brings it back.
Of course, my point isn't that all Witnesses are child-beaters. Like Mommie Dark, I try to keep perspective, remain objective, all that. But it makes me angry, the scriptural and Organizational justifications for such harsh discipline. When parents allow themselves to react physically to certain situations, it's bound to get out of control. I will never slap, hit, or spank my kids. The Bible be damned.
The quotes I offered are from a JW parenting message board that was active in 1998. The women in question were horrified that certain folk were posting with critical remarks about their Christian parenting tips!
Here's a sample of the text I wrote to accompany the quotes. You can see why I decided to put the project into limbo. (Dedalus, I am in NO way able to view the subject objectively.!!! I almost choked when I read that...MD objective... HAR HAR!)
Talk to practicing JWs and they will defend their God-given right to use physical
punishment as Bible-based and balanced behavior. They will deny that they are child
abusers. They will talk of love and quote Old Testament scripture at you. They will tell
you ‘whom Jehovah loves he disciplines’ and will claim to be obeying their god when
they beat their children. They will mention ancient Israel and the tribal gatherings where
all Israelites stood all day to hear God’s word, and will say that as Jehovah’s people it is
their duty to make sure their children sit still and hear the word. It will be implied that
sitting in a comfortable Kingdom Hall for a few hours is not so terrible a torture
compared with those Israelite childrens’ lot.
Talk to the victims of Watchtower ‘loving correction’ as the author has and you will get
a far different picture. The heirarchical nature of their organization puts children on the
very bottom rung, in submission to parents, the congregation, Jesus, and Jehovah, in that
order. JW children have no rights and no recourse. If they go to the elders they are
usually told to be submissive to their parents and to quit doing whatever is causing the
beatings. In some cases elders collude with parents to cover over cases where parents go
too far and do actual damage to a child. Consulting ‘worldly’ authorities is viewed as
disloyal to parents and the congregation.
Far too often these children are victims of parents who take out their (perhaps
unconscious) frustration at their own relative submission to an oppressive heirarchy of
authoritarianism on the smallest and most helpless members of the oppressed. The angry
and jealous god worshipped in Kingdom Halls talks of love and beating in the same
breath. His followers do the same. The children of these angry and jealous zealots are the
ones who suffer most from this form of ‘love.’ "
Hierarchical. Authoritarian. Angry.
No, I'm entirely unable to be objective about this. When I asked for personal experiences, I received so many replies that I was aghast. I have page after page of descriptions of kids being beaten, jerked, shaken; heads knocked together; babies under a year old beaten with spoons; heads bashed into walls, floors, windows; legs bloodied with switches, wet rags, hairbrushes, shoes.
Not from 50 years ago. All within the last 30 years. The message board quotes used here are less than five years old. It's still happening. It's just much better hidden these days, and the perps have learned not to discuss the subjet on public internet forums any more.
i'm speechless :( not an easy thing to do to me...
I have heard bad...what was done to you is unthinkable to me.
My father whacked me upside the head a bit...mom with her brushes and spoons, but
nothing like what you suffered. I'm so sorry that happened to you.
I can tell you one thing, though. Reading this quote made me so proud of you:
I will never slap, hit, or spank my kids. The Bible be damned.
That's a promise that you can keep. The cycle does not have to repeat, and as determined
as you are, I'm sure it won't.
My daughter is five and I have never, nor will I ever, lay a hand on her. Neither will anyone else, as long as I'm drawing breath.
We can all give better than we got...I used to say I learned exactly now not to parent,
thanks to mom and dad.