My experience and sorry for layout and grammar. I just don't have that much time nowadays.
My mother was always proud, and used to mention to a lot of people, that I already was in field-service when I was seven weeks old. Well, I'm a February child, so you understand how cold it was in my pram. Great example!
Anyway, I got out of it.
For a while I thought that person is not to blame, my grandfather was just as fanatic after he discovered the truth in 1931.
But later on I discovered my mother was and is just a cold selfish person.
You grow up, no birthday, no christmas, no pass-over, no school-trips, nothing but meetings and field-service.
Then the “Jehovah-cut",your short hair cut in the middle of the hippie era. You can imagine how you felt.
One grows up, all your friends are in the cult..
Yes I have been inactive for a year approximately, have smoked and done some other things, I got reproved and got on restriccions.
But I decided to go back to the hall.
When I was 23, I became a regular pioneer.
That means a job and 90 hours a month. I got, married, you have to do something if you want to know the secrets of sex, and then my theocratic career began.
In 1988 we were invited for special pioneer service that is 140 hours per month, in the Spanish field, and I was very proud to give the first public talk in Netherlands in Papiamento, a lenguage spoken in Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.
Then a big surprise one day! We received a letter from the society.
We were invited to work in or on Bethel, in The Netherlands branch.
That was less atractive to me, away freedom!
Those months was a hell. However, there was a surprise there. Brother Schroeder from Brooklyn was there for an inspection or a branch visit. His wife, who also speaks Spanish, had a chat with my then wife and , Schroeder and I got involved in the conversation.
We expressed our desire to serve as missionaries. Brother Schroeder (a nice man as far as I got to know him) would talk to our branch and to Robert Wallen in our favor.
He kept his promise.
As a result, we started a year later as missionaries on a tropical island.
Sweating in the kingdom halls giving talks under tin roofs, jacket on at 35 degrees.
Serving as the only elder in huge congregations with 120 to a 130 publishers, with a lot of problems, because most were recently baptized, and struggled to not get back in old habits.
Rats in your bedroom, your home under water during the rainy season, witchcraft in the congregation.
Then the missionaries. Well that was a trial living together under one roof. Some are just nasty, specially the older missionaries who had had wonderful expectations for their life. But most of the times it turned out different. Years in the same territory in dirty cities with no special priviliges something that every healthy theocratic brother should have.
Some wanted to leave but where to go when you are in your fifties and stuck in a third-world country?
Actually, I used to be among the local brothers and sisters, who were mostly upright.
In addition, the sisters were a bit more pretty.
After a year or nine, we were invited to work in Brooklyn, at the headquarters.
Until today, I do not know why, probably they had something in mind but swiftly changed their mind from because of my non-compliant attitude.
NY was obviously fantastic outside of work, long walks through Manhattan, across the avenues, a lot of Wight-seeing for someone who had lived for so long on an island.
So I was very tempted not to go to work and didn’t appear many times.
This became a habit of me, to severe criticism of my former wife.
“They gonna throw us out!”, well that’s what I wanted, been thrown out and go back to my home-country to start having a life.
One of my very bad experiences in Brooklyn was on one evening, Monday evening, just before the compulsory Watchtower study in the big dining room, I saw a young girl of 20 or so years crying and her husband scolding at her.
I saw she was Latina, mexican I found out, and spoke her in Spanish, to her husband's annoyance.
They were married for a month. The young sister did not speak English, came from Mexico straight to Brooklyn.
She was completely confused and wanted to go back to her parents.
I tried to give her same counsel and encouragement, got the evil eye from her husband but I didn’t mind.
It made me so sad seeing how unhappy one could be in spiritual paradise.
Then we were assigned to Patterson.
The most beautiful there was the gym and swimming pool of Olympic size.
Then we finally received the expected letter. The society thought it would be better for us to go back to our home-country.
Inside the enveloppe we found two one-way tickets, for the next week.
We would be assigned as special-pioneers for three months just to get some economic help and time to get a life.
So we went back to Europe.
Right away I was assigned as an elder in the Spanish field, but I was too busy with my business that I had started.
One day I had to translate the public talk from the Dutch DO and the final talk at a Spanish Circuit assembly.
That man let me sweat my pants because he began to paraphrase many bible texts, which is difficult to translated when you don’t know the text by heart.
Normally the brother who gives the talk and the interpreter have a good chat, before and after, because it’s hard for both. Not this guy.
After the public talk I asked him to paraphrase less bible-texts. The bitter answer, I still see that bald head before me, was: "If you do not control the language you should not translate."
I was perplexed, but had enough self-control to say nothing and just finish my job.I should have left him alone on the platform with his final talk.
Short after this I wrote a letter to the BOE that I know longer would be an elder. A hard decision but a relieve at the same time.
The things I experienced....
Simony in appointments of elders, CO’s Bethelites.
The most rediculous thing I saw was a missionary couple coming from their first assignment in Barbados. He was an elder but he didn’t like the fact that I was the home-overseer.
Started to complain about his assignment (that I understood, we did the territory every month) and let the branch now that if they couldn’t use him in another capacity they would go back to Lousiana, or Missippi, I can’t remember now.
Guess what, hardly speaking any Spanish, he was assigned to circuit work. A very hard job for a foreigner but he fitted in for several reasons.
Everything for the good name. When a missionary sister wanted to leave MS and go back to California she made a terrible decision.
Her husband didn’t want to leave but she insisted for months.
One day she decided to go into her territory, went to the first former she found and offered her self for sex. Which happened.
I had been on many committees, appeal committees, with witchcraft under brothers, blood transfusions etc. But this was the most shocking thing I had experienced. How someone in that position could do that to the society and to her husband.
After the sexual escapade she confessed to her husband and even told him why she had done that.
Of course there was to be formed a JC. An american DO, a bethel elder and me were assigned to handle this horrible case.
She just had no regrets at all and told her husband to stay in his assignment and let her go.
He refused so the couple left together.
But...she was not disfellowshipped.
The coordinator called me the sunday morning before the JC would take place that under no circumstances she should be disfellowshipped because of the reputation of the JW’s in the local town.
Then the missionary homes, they are just Caribbean cock fights. "The morning worship" at 7.00.
Once the yearbooks are on the table, the struggle begins. Complaining about the food. Germans with their sauerkraut and sauerfleisch. And they complaining about my indonesian cuisine. Too strong and spicy, etc. Always something to complain.
Well I left the cult and feel free. Got divorced and now I am happily married to young woman who has nothing to do with JW nor any religion. Great!
To all of you in doubt. If I have been able to leave everybody can. But say good-bye to your family, that’s your price for freedom.
I disfellowshipped mine and haven’t seen them for many years. My only family is my brother.