For many years I hosted the ex-Jehovah’s Witness meet up group in Portland Oregon. I heard a lot of sad stories about what people had lost trying to get away from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. There were whole families that were wiped out. Not usually by shot guns but by but by the devastation of shunning and the lack of real love.
One night, a gentleman showed up to one of the meetups I was hosting. He had a very interesting story to relate.
Bob had been happy married for many years. He and his wife and children had never had been Jehovah’s Witnesses. His wife ended up having an affair at work with a married Jehovah’s Witness elder.
She divorced Bob and started studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Elder divorced his wife and married Bob’s ex-wife. Because the adulterous elder was well like in his Kingdom Hall he was reinstated in just a few months. Bob’s ex-wife gets custody of their two children, who were twelve and fourteen years old at the time she left Bob. The children of course start studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses and get baptized. Now they are one big happy Jehovah’s Witness family.
Bob is now at the meetup group looking for advice. He tells all of us there, that now when his Jehovah’s Witness children visit him they tell him how he will soon be dead if he doesn’t join the Jehovah’s Witness organization. They tell him will that he will be killed by Jehovah god in the coming war of Armageddon.
So now Bob is asking all of us what he should say to his two daughters when they visit him with their message of doom.
Oh, by the way for some odd reason Bob doesn’t want to be a Jehovah’s Witness. I guess because in essence the Witnesses tore his family away from him. Go figure.
Because of hosting the meetup group I got another story of how Jehovah’s Witnesses have effected even non-members. I got a very sad and interesting phone call from a woman one afternoon.
Beth called me to ask if there was anything she could do to stop her husband from getting re-baptized this coming Saturday. It was just a few days away.
I said. “Probably not, why?”
She had told me how she had fell in love with a man who was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. He had been out of the organization for many years. They had many happy years together and were now married and were expecting their first child. She did have a daughter from a previous marriage. She told me how everything was wonderful, until his parents started pressuring him to going back to all the meetings.
She also told me how his parents had hated her from the beginning of their marriage, because she was a “worldly” person. His parents even went so far to encourage him to leave her, even though she was pregnant, so he could eventually get with a good Jehovah’s Witness girl. Of course, there would be no repercussions to him, since he had already been dis-fellowshipped!
She was desperate and wanted to know what she could do to stop him from rejoining this group of nasty people and their religion.
I told her it was probably too late, since he was getting baptized in just a few days. I told her this was something that had to be in the making for many months if not years.
I felt I had to tell her what she could expect now he was going back in. It was not going to be easy for her, because she had no desire to become a Jehovah’s Witness.
I had mentioned to her of possible problems and difficulties she might have to endure, now that her husband was rejoining his old church. Little did I know at the time, that she would soon be going through something that would be ten times worse than anything I could have ever imagined.
Soon Beth and her husband would be in Jehovah’s Witness Hell.
If she ever had any desire to join this church it would soon be gone forever!
Beth called me a few months later and was crying, I could barely understand her. I really didn’t know what she needed or wanted. Maybe she needed a shoulder to cry on. I told her we could meet her for a cup of coffee. What she told me that day, I had no words for.
We met a few hours later at a busy restaurant. I wish you could have seen the look of bewilderment on this poor woman’s face.
As we set there she told me about what had transpired over the last few months since we talked earlier on the phone.
She had told me that her husband had got baptized as he promised. Being re-baptized he became a Zealot once again in his old faith. He didn’t seem to be as interested her now, that he had rejoined his old family and friends. He was now spending less and less time with her, his pregnant wife.
Finally the baby came. However there was a big problem and complications at birth. It would be life or death, for the child unless the baby got a blood transfusion. She was of course in favor of this life saving option. He was definitely opposed to it.
There was many heated arguments about this. The elders and his parents got involved. His family informed her husband that he could not waver. There was no way he could give in on this matter. It was more than just a matter of life and death it was a matter of faith and service to god.
Beth and her family fought her husband to the bitter end. She said he hated her and her stance against him and his faith. This drove the wedge between them even farther.
There was no time left and a decision had to be made. For whatever reason, he hung his head in shame and told the doctors to go ahead and give the child a blood transfusion.
The elders found out who gave the order for the blood transfusion and they were furious with him. They told him there would be grave repercussions from this decision.
Two days later the child died.
The elders actually told her husband they were not surprised about the child’s death. In a sense implying this was a punishment directly from god himself. This was because he had actually disobeyed god’s commandments on this issue.
He told the elders he was wrong and blamed his “worldly wife” for the pressure she had put one him. He begged the elders, for their forgiveness.
There was nothing I could say to comfort her after that story.
Are they still together? I would doubt it.
Both these stories and more will be in my book "New Boy"