Love your username by the way FastJehu!!!
I am the modern day fullfillment of Jehu, because I drive very fast cars on german Autobahn. My avatar is the german sign for Autobahn (highway or speedway)
The second text - translated mainly by
The history of Jehovah's Witnesses begins in 1881 in Pennsylvania, USA. Its founder, Charles Taze Russell, proclaimed the soon to come final battle between God and Satan - for 1914. After Russell's death in 1916, his followers expected the so-called Armageddon in 1925 and 1975. Today, Jehovah's community magazines announce that war is imminent. Worldwide the sect has eight million members, in Germany there are about 165,000. The organization is led by seven men in New York, the "governing body". Since the beginning of 2017, it has been recognized in Germany as a public corporation - although it holds questionable positions. For example the prohibition of blood transfusions, condemnation of homosexuality or believing victims of abuse only if a second eyewitness confirms the act.
"Psychological Terror" - An Escapist On Jehovah's Witnesses
For over 20 years, Oliver Wolschke believed in the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses. That the end of the world is imminent. That premarital sex is a sin. When he became a father, his faith broke. He left the sect to save his children. Now he is glad that he succeeded. Although he lost an enormous amount in the process. (by Arno Luk)
Q: How, Mr. Wolschke, was it when you rang the doorbell for the first time and said, "We want to bring the good news of Jehovah to you"?
A: I was nine years old and I was on my way with what the Jehovah's Witnesses call my "spiritual father". I was already trained in such small demonstrations as how to respond to rejections, objections, how to initiate such a mission visit.
Q: So, what did you say?
A: You are very friendly, for example you say your name: "Have a good day, my name is Oliver Wolschke, and this is my partner. We came to your door today because we noticed that people believe less and less in one God and ...
Q: Then the door closes!
A: And then the door often closes - as soon as the word "God" has fallen or the word "Bible".
Q: What I find strange, no, absurd is that as a Jehovah's Witness you have to missionize, but at the same time the Jehovah's doctrine says that only 144,000 "anointed ones" are allowed to enter the millennial kingdom - there it will be quite close at the King's Gate!
A: Yes, but you don't see it quite right, but I'm afraid as an outsider you can't understand it properly, it's too bizarre. Until 1934 all Jehovah's Witnesses, that was the official doctrine, went to heaven. 144,000 had a special place in the kingdom. But then they noticed: "Oh, we are growing quite fast, and soon more than 144,000 people want to claim a special place in heaven for themselves! But that's not possible. And that's why they changed their teaching in 1935. Now it is said that the places are occupied, the rest remains on earth. And these 144,000 will reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years over the earth and all the believing people who survive Armageddon.
This is, as the Jehovah's Witnesses say, "the decisive battle of the Last Days, in which God, through his Son Jesus Christ in the form of the Archangel Michael, together with the army of angels, removes the world system of Satan and replaces it with the millennial kingdom of peace".
You believed that?
Yes, for more than 20 years.
They also believed that this could happen at any moment.
Yes. Today I am amazed that I have believed all this and much more, have babbled, never questioned what was told to us.
There are eight million Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide, so eight million people will survive this battle. But the rest of humanity, eight billion people possessed by Satan, will die?
They all die. You have to say that so hard-core.
Their God is brutal. Your Jesus a mass murderer.
That's how I see it now. But a Jehovah's Witness would never formulate it that way, he would say: "People have the possibility to find God in time".
As a Jehovah's Witness one lives in the constant fear of not coming to paradise.
But that's not how you perceive it. But of course this fear was always present in the background, that you are not good enough for this paradise. And I was already afraid of dying in Armageddon. On the other hand one looks forward to this decisive battle, that is constantly driven into one's head that God finally intervenes. This thought was always there.
What kind of attitude to life is that?
You have now been silent for almost a minute.
I'm trying to put myself back in my former thinking. I've only been away from the witnesses for a few months. But I still struggle to understand how I became a slave to this ideology. It is so strange to me today. On the one hand, as a Jehovah's Witness you live a normal life, you plan vacations, you do something with friends - and yet, every day you think, Armageddon will come soon.
So the sky crashes down on you.
It's raining fire from the sky. Meteorites shoot down, very small meteorites that smash the houses and bring them to collapse, the earth tears open, and in heaven you can see how Jesus comes with his 144,000 anointed ones and kills every unbeliever.
For decades you lived in a parallel world.
Yes, and I would now like to shout to those who are still imprisoned in this world: "Hey, leave them behind! That's all nonsense!"
Did this nonsense make you an eccentric in front of your work colleagues?
I don't think so. It was just that I was different in a lot of ways. I didn't take part in a Christmas party, I didn't celebrate Easter because they are festivals of pagan origin. And if someone had a birthday, I did not congratulate him, I refused invitations to birthday parties.
Phew, and what was it like in school, as a child?
Very unpleasant, you always live in confrontation with your peers, I tried to compensate by giving the clown.
You have two children who go to kindergarten. Did you also impose these constraints on them?
Yes, we did handle it the same way, unfortunately. When it came to Easter egg painting, we said, paint stones. If there was a Christmas party in the kindergarten, we didn't let our son into the kindergarten that day.
How long did you stand, as they say, "firmly in the truth"?
Until I was 31 years old. I even believed it when I was disfellowshipped for two years because I met my present wife, who was not a Jehovah's Witness.
That was a sin?
One should not have close contact with unbelievers. I was excluded because then I lived with her.
You could have enjoyed this exclusion as liberation.
I hadn't got that far yet, back then. I got a guilty conscience. Jehovah's Witnesses base everything on the Bible, one must not disappoint God, and I thought they were right. It was a dilemma for me: there is the woman of my life, there is the faith that I do not want to lose. It was clear to me that it would now be hard, even existential for me! I knew the rules, I had already broken them twice before, "missed" them, and had to appear before internal courts, from which I then received two "rebukes".
What does that mean?
I had done something wrong, committed a sin, premarital sex. My conscience so plagued me that I confessed this to a parishioner. And then I had to go before a judicial committee made up of three men, the "elders. They were not strict with me, the Bible also says: They rub you with oil. You are asked questions, whether it was a slip, whether it went on for a longer period of time, you tell what happened, you say that you regret it.
That as an adult you submit to such a tribunal - incomprehensible.
Today I don't understand that either. At that time I accepted everything, because one is ashamed because one has sinned before God. But now it was about my wife. The three elders made it clear to me: she or we.
And you chose your girlfriend.
Yes, it was about our happiness in life. But it was brutal. I loved my wife, could not live without her. But inside I was still a deeply believing Jehovah's Witness. I was excluded, but I did not want that. A psychological terror situation on several levels. As an excluded person, all contacts with you are broken off. Nobody knows you anymore. Your own mother no longer talks to you. It is so sad. From one day to the next your social environment is gone. The social isolation is all-embracing. For me this situation was unbearable.
They were in a prison without walls, the prison staffs were psycho terror.
What saved you then? Did you proselytize your wife?
Yes and no, my wife. My wife was in a difficult phase at that time, I don't want to talk about it. Anyway, she found all these books of the Watchtower Society with me. When I came home once, she cried, said: "She feels addressed by how these publications talk about the love of God. This reading was just the right thing for her at that moment. We got married in 2005, and a year later I was reinstated as a witness.
When did doubts about Jehovah's Witnesses creep into your soul?
In 2008 I read critical reports about the Watchtower Society on the Internet for the first time. They shook my faith for a little while. But then I was still a prisoner - the firewall that had been built around me since my childhood by indoctrination, held perfectly. Then I became a father, in 2011 and 2013 we had children.
That changed your view of the Jehovah's Witnesses?
This made me more thoughtful, for example in this matter: Jehovah's Witnesses reject blood transfusions. In the May 22, 1994 issue, the title of "Awake!" featured images of youths, and the story depicted three children who refused to undergo blood transfusion and died. They gave "priority to God", it was said. Inhuman. I would never withhold a transfusion from my children!
Is there a concrete day when this barrier collapsed?
Yes, a woman in a Facebook group of Jehovah's Witnesses was worried if her dogs and cats would survive Armageddon. This was discussed fiercely in the comments. Many then calmed down with the story about Noah's Ark: "God saved the animals back then". But then the question arose: "How many children did God take into the ark?" That made me think.
In Genesis there is an answer to this question.
Right, already years before the Flood it was certain that only Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives would survive. So at that time many children must have lived who drowned miserably. I looked at my children and I noticed how doubts about this faith grew in me.
Have you talked to your wife about it?
Not in the beginning, I could not. I knew that my doubts and thoughts could break our family. I suffered, became more discontented, more closed. I slept badly, often sat there and just looked into the void. We always prayed before we ate, I couldn't do it anymore. At some point my wife shook me and asked me: "What is wrong with you? Little by little I told her everything. She was shocked, rejecting, she said: "I can't go this way with you!
Yes! I wanted my children out! I wanted to get my children out of what I thought was a sectarian organization, but I knew that if my wife didn't agree, it wouldn't work!
But at some point your wife said, Oliver, you are right!
It took a few days, we tried again and again to talk about everything. It was clear to both of us: we are standing at a fork in the road. Now everything can break up. At some point I noticed that my wife started researching the Watchtower Society on the Internet. And then, suddenly, we could talk openly to each other.
You are now a renegade. In your Internet blog, you have compiled materials that make the Watchtower society appear as an almost inhuman organization that protects pedophiles. The title of your work is a few cryptic numbers: 1800,1006,579.0.
These are the numbers found in Australia by the Reflection Commission on Victims of Abuse in the Jehovah's Witness databases. When I had read their report, it became clear to me: This organization is not from God. There were 1800 victims, 1006 suspected perpetrators, 579 of those 1006 confessed their atrocities in internal Jehovah's Witness courts, but 0 cases were passed on to the judiciary or the police.
And you think: It will probably be the same in Germany.
I can imagine that things are even worse here than they are in Australia. Because there is a serious difference: in large parts of Australia you are legally obliged to report cases of abuse to the authorities, but not necessarily here in Germany. There are 68,000 Jehovah's Witnesses in Australia, 165,000 here. In Australia, the examining magistrate said he knew of no other religion that had such deficiencies in dealing with child abuse as the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Until recently, I thought the Jehovah's Witnesses were quite bizarre, slightly cranky, somewhat uptight, but ultimately harmless.
There are dear people in the organization. But the organization itself is - so I see it today - totalitarian in its claim, it tries to possess its members physically, mentally, morally, emotionally.
How dangerous the Jehovah's Witnesses are became clear to me when I read this internal secret book for the "elders", i.e. for the leaders of the sect, "Shepherd the flock" ...
That the normal members unfortunately do not know!
... I got and read it. It is not just a book full of rules, commands and about how to observe and control the members, it is also surprisingly often about sex.
Sexuality is also a big topic in meetings. And even when our little sons are there, there is talk of anal and oral intercourse and that homosexuality is not to be lived out. This secret book also deals with child abuse and how to deal with it. One should "leave the matter to Jehovah," it says. In plain language: The perpetrator will be protected. And he is protected even more, because the victim is only believed if another witness besides victim confirms the abuse, they call this "the two witness rule". Abuse, shunning, ban on blood transfusion - it is incomprehensible to me that this organization has been granted the tax relief status of a public corporation!
I suppose you will never forget the day of your departure.
No, because it was a day of liberation. On 27 March this year, my wife and I decided to resign. The way to the last meeting was difficult. A few days later we said goodbye to our friends - not personally, but with text or voice messages. In the following meeting, when we were no longer present, our resignation was announced. Shortly thereafter, I watched one friend after another disappear from my WhatsApp group. Social isolation commenced.
You have spent years in this fellowship day after day. I'm afraid you have to learn a new life now.
I have lost faith in God, it is gone. I am now free. And I realize with great joy: the world of which we have always been warned is not so bad. It is now full of colours, not as black and white as before. My wife is blossoming and we are happy, our children are more alert, more relaxed, much more open to us. Now we all have to learn a few things together: how to celebrate Easter, Christmas, birthdays. Recently, my wife said something beautiful to me: that I was much more attentive to her than before.
And that has something to do with your leaving?
Jehovah's Witnesses forbid divorce. One rests a little in such a, shall we say, divinely secured relationship. Now it is our love, not the rules of this organization, that holds us together. That is a beautiful thought.