Passing it down line
How did I rationalized everything I had experienced growing up and what I saw at Bethel? No one wants to believe their whole life is a lie. I couldn’t, so for many years I couldn’t connect the dots. I guess that’s not true, I didn’t want to connect the dots. All the little bits of information yes all the dots would have pointed me in only one direction the back of building four with Jimmy.
I was Scarlet O’Hare at the end of “Gone with the Wind” when she said. “I can’t think about that right now. In know I’ll think about that tomorrow after all tomorrow is another day!”
If you ever back a Jehovah’s Witness in a corner, when they even realize there is no sense to what they are doing, the will tell you one of two things “You must have faith” or “Jehovah will straighten it out someday.” That was the way I coped with the nasty stuff that happened to us.
Usually, most if not all of your family are Jehovah’s Witnesses plus all of your friends are for sure. There is no world but that world, their world. I wasn’t ready to leave the only world I knew. If I had connect the dots back then there would have been no place to go. To be on the outside and to lose the only life I had ever known for me would have put me on the couch looking at the 38 special on the coffee table. So, I stopped thinking about it. I couldn’t think about it. I was back on the bindery line mode. I was just trying to get through one day at a time.
There is a rope that pulls you in even tighter into the cement of their organization. It was one of the key ingredients that made a crazy old man name Charles with twelve followers in a basement in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania church turn into an organization of seven million people strong, worth billions dollars.
One person and twelve crazy followers can do quite a bit to change the world. Remember in 1923 the guy with the mustache in Munich Germany.
I didn’t know it at the time but the rope of bondage was actually an umbilical cord attached to my two children.
We had two new people who were in our charge to indoctrinate. As children these two people had no choice in the matter either. Just like my mother who never asked me what I thought of her new religion, my children would not have that option either. They could only make that decision to leave “The Borg” years later when it too would cost them everything.
Even if I didn’t take a lead in this active my wife surely would. At the time of their births, I was still a believer, so my path was clear. Seig Hiel, the beat goes on.
Now there would be one more meeting a week added to the five meetings we were already involved with, that meeting is called “The family home Bible study.” This weekly study was required to mold them to the will of the organization. To the will of the all-powerful god Jehovah. It was easy to do.
There would be only one world for my children the world we showed them. So of course they were eager to join the family. The family of millions of brothers and sisters all around the world. They soon became the righteous and zealous followers we wanted them to be.
Like me, there would be no school dances, no school sports and no school friends who were not Jehovah’s Witnesses. They too would be isolated for their protection and for the protection of the organization.
They both dropped out of high school, so they could be ”home” schooled. This was one way to keep them safe away from the contamination of “worldly” influences and desires.
It their teens they were both baptized. He had done our job they were now locked in. They both pioneered and went to pioneer school.
We even took them back to New York in 1997 to visit Bethel. In some sick way. I was hoping my son would want to go there too. You know, to make a man out of him, like it did me.
The kids of today are so much smarter than their parents. After he walked through the factory he knew it wouldn’t be a place for him. He said he couldn’t find one smiling face there.
We went through the new laundry and saw Peter Hollingsworth, twenty seven years and still working in the laundry.
We visited Daryl Christianson stuck in the Squibb building working by himself on a deserted floor. The only memory of me that he told my children about, was a time thirty years ago when my car was acting up. How I decided to turn the car around and go back to Bethel instead of going to the meeting. Yes, because of me he had missed a Watchtower study. He had never married and had been there over thirty years. I somethimes wondered if he ever masturbated.
We sat on Norm Brecky’s table for lunch and ate hamburgers. There wasn’t much conversation just like the old days. I wondered how many other suicides Norm had known about in twenty three years since I had been gone.
Finally we ended up at the Watchtower Farm. I had never been there before. Yes, four years at Bethel and never visited the farm even once. I told people, it would have been like showing a starving man a steak dinner. I knew if I had seen it back then, it just would made my stay in Brooklyn that much harder.
I tracked down Ester Lopez the old bat was still alive and at the farm. So I had her paged. I was standing there waiting for her with my family.
She walked into the lobby with a total look of surprise. “It’s you! It’s you!” She said.
“Yes, it’s me!” I walked right over to her and grabbed her hand and put it on my stomach. I had put on a few pounds since I left Bethel.
“You were wrong! I didn’t starve!”