Today is a BIG anniversary for me...but--of what?

by TerryWalstrom 15 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • eyeuse2badub

    Hi Terry

    I was also sentenced in October 1967 at the Federal court house in Los Angeles. I was 20 and had been married for about 8 months at the time. The Honorable Judge Manual Real was the judge and I remember that day (not the exact date) very well. It was my proudest moment to be sentenced to prison for my faith!

    In court with me that day were my 2 younger brothers, and my best friend. All of them escaped the draft and today they are each one of them elders in the jw army! My still-in wife was also in attendance to see me stand tall for the troof! Curious how on that day that I was the only one that went to prison and yet today I'm the only one not in (the jw) prison!

    just saying!

    just saying!

  • pepperheart

    things like this are why i take as many jw books and magazines that i can and trash them, far too many people have been hurt by the watchtower ..

  • zeb

    Same war different country. I was told to oppose the draft but not to say anything about the wts but to say it was all my idea.

    What this terrible time did to my mum and dad both of whom had gone through the WW2 was just dreadful.

    I have no memory of any of the elders standing by me in the entire time but for the one who told me the above.

  • TerryWalstrom

    You guys have brought back memories!
    I was (as far as I know) the ONLY Brother in the congregation who went to prison. One Bro worked for Goodwill Industries and his mom was best friends with the head of the Draft board locally.
    Another thing...
    When I got out on parole, nobody in the congregation ever asked me how it was in prison. Nope. The topic was avoided like a dirty little secret.
    Nobody in our Kingdom Hall wrote me a card or came to visit -- except my best friend...and that was only once.
    The JW girl I was engaged to was asked out by the Brothers ON DATES and she finally wrote me a kiss-off letter and began dating them.
    All of this sounds very 'Boo Hoo' doesn't it :O

    Well honestly--what should I have expected? Honor among Dubs?
    Loving concern?
    Isn't the whole idea to actually bring on the persecution?
    Sure it was!
    The young men in congregations were human billboards advertising a holier-than-thou message.
    If anything is rotten--it is the fact the GB got away with it.

    I've tried diligently to track down my closest friends I made inside the prison but only a few are still alive! ( JW lifespan is an interesting topic.)

    I know former JW inmates who have never told a soul in later life.
    For some self-punishment reasons I always explained to employers where I went and why.
    I still get pushback and I don't blame anyone for feeling that way.
    I wasn't any good to anybody, I accomplished nothing for anybody by being confined.
    Plenty of kids went off and got killed or crippled. That's not my fault, of course--but sorting out what's "honorable" is certainly a damned can of worms. A Jihadist who straps on a bomb is just another version of me back then--as far as profound 'belief' in a cause. Lucky for me I wasn't THAT.

  • under the radar
    under the radar

    Terry, it sounds like that judge was trying to make it as easy on you as possible, but the forking Society put you between a rock and a hard place. A truly no-win situation for you. So sorry you had to go through that...

  • TerryWalstrom

    I found a group (JW's) who seemed eager to accept me. That felt good.
    I was offered a free 'education' in public speaking and Bible information. That seemed benign; especially since I did not possess the ability to overcome my shyness and I'd received no religious mentoring at home.
    Eventually, I had a core group of friends my own age and all were JW's.
    When the issue of military service became the number one issue in my life, I heeded all the advice I was given by my support group (again JW's).
    So, from the above, it's easy to see I was poised to be influenced one way or the other by my JW-centered lifestyle.
    My first glimmer of "Uh-oh!" was in being counseled to NOT ADMIT I was being advised by my leaders in my faith.
    Why was that a dissonant signal?
    For this reason: everything about Christianity / Bible was about open confrontations with non-believers in which the Christian claimed high ground through complete disclosure. The hidden agenda people were the persecutors; the 'bad guys'.
    Now here I was being advised to keep my mouth shut on the one hand and other the other hand--if asked point blank--"Has anybody in your religion advised you to not accept Alternate civilian service?" I had TO LIE ABOUT IT.
    This was the canary-in-the-coal-mine moment.
    The squirmy reason I was given was deflective in part: why give the Wild Beast a legal reason to come after Jehovah's governing body? It was emphasized I needed to take one for the team--all of which would definitely mark me as a 'true' Christian and make Jehovah's heart glad...blah-blah-blah.
    It was a choice which definitely appeared "heroic" and why would I do the opposite unless I was selfishly protecting my own butt at my religion's expense.

    Looking back, it is all too clear I was succumbing to undue influence agreeably, making it "MY" choice rather than a coerced decision with social pressure by a group able to accept me as worthy or unworthy of continued fellowship.

    Grime encrusts these memories.

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