Born Ins, How Did Your Parents Get "The Truth™"?
Sometime a little before 1960, two witnesses, men I think, came to our house. My mom watched as they set up a blackboard and then they discussed Noah, his descendents etc. What appealed to her was that there would be no wars in Paradise. But also, like Peter Pan, she never wanted to grow old. She has remained a childlike, childish immature person to this day.
My dad on the other hand, hated religion, hated God. His father died in an accident when a tractor rolled over on him. He was around 13 and he told me that he had sat on the curb, begging God to save his father, promising everything. When it didn't happen, he gave up on God. So when my mom got the JW religion, it caused friction but he just endured it.
There is one or two pictures of me and my sister with a christmas tree, but after the age of 5, there was nothing. I think this also appealed to my mother who is a penny pincher tho I wouldn't say she consciously thought about it. But no money needs to be spent on cakes, presents etc. and that suited her. Eventually there were 5 children, the last being a boy. My dad didn't care what my mom did with us, but he claimed the boy for himself and so my brother escaped the WT. Our childhood (the girls at least) was filled with Saturdays of hated service. The only bright spots were the summer camping trips that my dad took the family on. But on the whole, we lived in two different worlds. Go to meetings and be a JW, come home and watch my parents get into fights.
My mom is a simple person that never grew up. Now, the new "generational" teaching, has stuck a blow to her. Now she faces a death that was promised would never happen to her. I don't love my mom because she didn't raise us with love, but I still feel sorry for her and how cruel the WT is. My two younger sisters are still in. One is a complete hypocrite who admits the GB is a bunch of old farts with dementia and she doesn't believe in 1914, but at least she is warning people... The other is a rigid and fragile person who shuns her daughter but is secretly inside, a sad desperate person. The WT knows how to imprison people....
Back then no one to marry in org, but was okay to marry a worldling so long as not a Catholic.
Bloody hell, what a messed up cult we left.
My parents became Witnesses in the late 1950's. My mother first listened to the witnesses at the front door, it was the Look I am Making all things New booklet. My father said he would sort it out and speak to them. They got baptized shortly after. He was a fascist prior to becoming a witness he had a good job and we lived in a nice area.
My mother: her mother (my grandmother) started studying, my grandfather wasn't he stayed home with the 8 kids. One day (when she was 8) she broke her arm while riding her bike and the JW's came by saying if she had attended the KH, it wouldn't have happened. So now with a broken arm, she had to attend KH and she got scared of Armageddon coming in 1975 etc etc
My father: Born-in as well, he wasn't around much to tell us about it but my grandfather and grandmother on his end has been a 'city overseer' (basically overseeing all the congregations in an area but not quit circuit overseer) all my life so they were in a long time ago.
My stepfather: Abusive home, sexually and physically abused in foster care and by nuns in school, he took up boxing, martial arts and street fighting, then a motorcycle accident nearly killed him and left him with serious brain damage. He was already a psychopath and JW's preached and promised a better life and an obedient woman and an end to the Catholic Church in 1975. Everyone in the congregation was easy to manipulate including my mother. While he was studying, he had a few fights in the kingdom hall, he would throw people that gave him a pat on the back and punch people he didn't like, but JW's never reported the aggressive behavior to police (that was taboo in the 70's too), so he continued his aggressive behavior, he eventually toned it down to get baptized (many people took that as a sign that Jehovah was helping him and to this day talk about 'he was much worse, I remember before he was baptized') and took it home a few years later when my mom started dating him. His track record never got him reported to police but also never got him above "Ministerial Servant" which pissed him off and he took it out on us.
I had a severely autistic brother who was violent to my mother and she couldn't cope. He went into a residential home at the young age of 6. This was devastating for them and soon after this someone called on my mother and had answers for all her questions along with the promise that one day my brother would be well. After that she and my Dad were converted just before I was born. How fortunate for me! :-/ x
Answer = short sighted ignorance and stupidity
The fear imposed by the WTS that you had to be involved and baptized as a JWS distributing the WTS's literature to the public or face death and judgment soon.
My mother grew up going to church, but she said that she and her siblings did so more for "entertainment". For them it was more about seeing the grandiose and over-the-top performances of older church members when they were under the influence of "the holy ghost". During her final years of college, she felt there was something missing from her life, so she started going to church looking for answers. The spirit-inspired displays that entertained her in her youth felt empty and superficial now. She felt there had to be some truth out there but didn't know where to find it. One day while pouring out her feelings about her search for truth to a friend, this friend, who had been studying with JWs, recommended that she give it a shot. So my mother approached the next JW she saw and requested a bible study. In her own words, from the moment she started studying she knew it was "the truth".
Interestingly enough, this was not her first contact with JWs. She has a clear memory from her childhood of when they came to evangelize to her mother or grandmother (I can't remember which). They left with her one of their books with vivid illustrations of Armageddon. It was during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and my mother was frightened that she was going to die in an atomic bomb apocalypse. She made a connection between the illustrations of Armageddon in the book and the possible end of civilization by means of the atomic bomb. I think it all came full circle for her when she started to study the bible with JWs, as if it were meant to be. She got baptized a year before I was born.
My father never was interested in JWs. He's always been th spiritual but not religious type. But he had no objections to my mother raising my brother and I according to JW doctrine, so that was an integral part of our upbringing.