Baptised 52 years today!

by Phoebe 44 Replies latest jw friends

  • Gorbatchov

    Gorby was 17, born in, and had no feeling. Just a thing that had to be done.


  • OrphanCrow
    Nathan: age. Can I ask... what caused your Dad to fade? Why did your parents give up on the religion for which they once demonstrated such enthusiasm?

    Yes, you can ask, Nathan.

    It's complicated (what isn't?). My mother was adopted as an infant by JW parents - they had joined the cult back in the 1920s- before it was known as JWs. Then, hormones got in the way and she became pregnant with my older brother by a "worldly" boy - my father. He converted and became a dedicated JW.

    Now, in retrospect, I know that my mother had mental health issues and she would go off the rails off and on and stop attending meetings but Dad was devout. He would take us kids to meetings and out in service whenever she was having a bout.

    Mom and Dad's relationship was volitile and eventually he ended up working away from home a lot. Money was always a problem so my mom started working when I was about 9 or 10(?) and she ended up finding work waitressing. She eventually landed a job 'slinging beer' at one of the hotel bars. Better wage and better tips than cafe work.

    Dad would come home off and on and take us kids to meetings but we had to go anyways when neither parent could take us - my older siblings were in charge of my attendance.

    And then my dad became disillusioned. Mom was getting harder to handle and he went to the brothers for help with their marriage and they wouldn't help him ( not sure what he expected...). Instead, two brothers walked into the bar one day when mom was on shift, ordered a beer each, drank it and left. Mom was disfellowshipped shortly after and Dad never returned. He gave up.

    It was important to both my parents that us kids remained JWs but I couldn't tolerate it. I confess to being privately ecstatic when mom was disfellowshipped - I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. And when dad stopped, I knew that I would eventually get a chance to escape. And I did! Fate set it up for me. I broke my ankle at the '71 summer assembly, used my leg cast as an excuse to stay home for the six weeks it was on and just stayed home once it was gone.

    So, my mom got kicked out for "unchristian like behavior", my dad quit, they got divorced and dad eventually ended up in a common law relationship that lasted 45 years til his death last year. He never got a single visit from the "brothers" during all those years.

    My mother appealed her disfellowshipping. She even wrote a letter to "The Society" and she received a letter back from them. I read it. Apparently, unchristian like behavior isn't grounds on its own and the local brothers were supposed to review her case. That didn't happen but I have a suspicion that my older brother gave testimony against her which gave them what they needed to make it stick.

    * Fun trivia fact: my mom worked at a hotel bar that was owned by a widow. The widow's son moved to California once he came into his inheritance. He became one of the leaders of the Children of God.

  • ThinkerBelle

    It was the 90s. I was born-in, elder's kid, 16 at the time and constantly questioned when I was going to get baptized because I was obviously old enough and all my other elder's kid friends had taken the dunk - what was wrong with me? I did it so people would stop bugging me about it. I had no feeling or emotional connection to it nor felt any different afterwards. It was simply a step you took in JWland...that I now fully regret having come to the actual "truth" several years ago.

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Thank you, Orphan Crow. That certainly was a difficult "experience" to read, and I'm sorry your family went through that. How many times through modern history, in how many tongues across the world, has a similar drama unfolded for good people who only wanted to live a good life, guided by nincompoop "men-of-God" of how many nincompoop denominations?

    Hint: As far as I am concerned, they are ALL nincompoop denominations, ALL of them!

    I knew Howard Zenke, a married Bethelite who was also the "Overseer" of the Sunnyside congregation in Queens, NY. Howard was one of the guys at Bethel who manned the "Service Desk." He was a good man who had served in the US Navy in WW2, and his wife suffered from what I believe is now classified an autoimmune disease. They were a handsome couple back in the 1950s and 60s. Howard was also capable of being a VERY "by the book" guy, which is entirely what one would expect. I know that Howard Zenke made a BIG ISSUE with the Watchtower brass over the failure of 1975. I left the NYC area abut then, and I don't know anything about how things went for them after that. According to, both Howard and his wife are now dead. I can easily imagine Howard insisting that the elders who DF'd your Mom needed to re-do their work. It is really a pity that the local congregations are given autonomy they cannot handle like adults.

  • KWJoe

    Halloween....October 31, 1970....Jekyll Island Ga.....I was 14 years old.

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