My great-grandmother was a JW, my grandmother is a JW, my mother and two of my aunts are JWs. In 1983 mom, then 18 years old married my father, a wordly man and was baptized later the same year at a district convention. I was born in 1984.
bedtime stories consisted of the Bible Stories and You Can Live
Forever books. ''So then Jehovah has sent his angel on earth to kill
all the Egyptian first-borns. Good night son.'' ''Mom why didn't Noah
bring the mammoths inside the Ark?'' ''Errr... errr... I don't know!
They weren't part of God's plan.'' When facing questions like these my mother would tell me that it was really my father's job to teach me all that
stuff and that as a woman she didn't have the qualifications, but
since my father didn't want to reject Satan and open his heart to
Jehovah he'd be destroyed at Armageddon. Other than smoking
cigarettes there was hardly anything wrong with my dad, he was a
smart and kind man, a genuine pacifist with strong values. Why
couldn't Jehovah see that? He never opposed my mom's beliefs but no,
that wasn't gonna be enough to save his life. He would even drive us
to the meetings before she got her licence at the age of 24. ''Pray to Jehovah every night so he can help daddy find the Truth.'' And I did, every night.
At the meetings we were told that the generation of 1914 would not pass away before Armageddon would come. The United Nations was the Beast, it would turn against the Harlot, Babylon the Great, declare peace and security and the end would come. It was right around the corner! Mom reassured me everything would be alright as long as I obeyed Jehovah. Hell, I wouldn't even grow old or die, Armageddon was coming fast. Any minute now.
I was constantly told I was very mature for my age. As my first day of school was approaching, mom sat down with me to have a talk. The kids at school were part of the old system of things. They were being misled by Satan and they were a threat to my integrity. My teachers were gonna make them draw wicked holiday drawings but I had to be strong and say no, and explain to my teacher that such drawings made Jehovah angry. As a Jehovah's Witness it went against my conscience to celebrate a pagan holiday. So school starts, after 2 months comes Halloween. Halloween is so wicked, I mean, mom has told me that some satanic people would torture animals on Halloween night and others would hand out apples stuffed with razorblades and needles and poisoned candies to the children. My kindergarten teacher had been one of mom's return visit for a couple of years and apparently she was an occultist and an astrologer and was not ready to burn all her magic books to become one of Jehovah's sheep. She was probably possessed too because that's what the occult does to you. So with that info in mind, what happens next? My teacher wants us to craft Halloween decorations. I stand up in the middle of the class and say ''Halloween is Satanic and pagan. I know that you're possessed by Satan. I'm a Jehovah's Witness and I can't celebrate Halloween.'' She laughed and said ''Ok, no problem, you can draw anything you want then.'' Damn I felt so proud of myself I told my mom first thing when I got home and she was very proud of me too. I had done the right thing, standing up for my beliefs in Jehovah.
In kindergarten it was tempting to be like the other kids. Me being the only JW at school I would play with my classmates, with their Ninja Turtles figurines and guns we'd make with Lego bricks. I knew it was wrong, I was not allowed to watch the Ninja Turtles on TV. They had swords and they were martial artists. Jehovah hated violence. But strangely I was encouraged to read the Old Testament and I really loved to read, been an avid reader since the age of 4. The Turtles never use their weapons to kill or maim their enemies. In the OT though, plenty of evisceration, rape, war, genocide, slavery, incest, murders and fiery deaths. The Bible was to become my go-to source for violent and twisted R-rated stories.
How many times did I sit in front of the TV watching some cartoons like the Transformers only to have my mom guilt-tripping me about watching some show or wanting some toy I had seen in a commercial. ''Do you think JEHOVAH likes it when you watch this? Do you think he'll let you into the New System of Things if you play with that toy?'' ''No....'' and then automatically I'd start crying. It's worth noting that mom is still a JW and we still communicate by email every now and then. A couple of years ago she sent me the Sparlock video with ''Cute and funny! I love you! Mom'' below the vid. I was extremely disgusted by that video. There's nothing cute or funny about it, it's emotional blackmail at its finest. Makes me wanna throw up.
At the KH there was an elder who would constantly harass my mother about her makeup. He'd call her Jezebel. I hated his fat smug face, who the hell did he think he was, comparing my mother to that evil queen? To me my mom was beautiful. She still is. Later that elder disassociated himself. Supposedly he'd started to read apostate books, then he grew a beard and became a philosopher. We were not allowed to speak to him at all anymore, for he had chosen Satan the Devil over Jehovah God. Good for him I thought. That was my first experience with the shunning policy and the concept of apostasy.
Sometime in 1990 my mother told me the great news: my father had accepted a Bible Study. He wanted to become a Jehovah's Witness just like us. ''It's like a dream come true!'' I said... Then why did I feel like it was bad news? Deep down I was not happy about my father's decision and to this day I still wonder why. A foretelling of things to come maybe?
PART 2 coming soon. I'm sure you guys have read a lot of similar stories. My goal here is only to share my experience.