Why I believe my baptism was not valid. (welcome comments)

by thebeliever 21 Replies latest jw experiences

  • thebeliever

    When I was 11 or 12, my best friend (who's father was also an elder) suggested I get some of my mom's cigarettes for us to smoke. Sounded like a good idea, so I did and we tried it. I thought it was horrible, but she had done it before and whatever. A couple of times she skipped class at her school and came to mine to see me... we hung out with some "worldly" boys from my school and kissed a little bit... no big deal. However... since I had become very conscious of not doing things that made Jehovah unhappy and since I told my dad "everything". I told him about it.

    He handled it calmly, but told me that he was going to have to call her parents and meet with a judicial committee because we were something called "approved associates" - yet, NONE OF US KNEW THIS. (my brother who tried a cig. with us found out he was one too.) I was shocked to say the least. And I thought it would just be between me and my dad.

    But the next week there we sat, my dad (elder), her with her parents (another elder), and the commitee (3 other elders) to discuss what happened and what led up to these things happening. It was very nerve racking, we were all sort of scared and felt really bad... but imagine my disbelief, when she looked me in my face and said, " I never did that. Why are you saying this about me? I never skipped school. i never kissed anybody." (I just want to interject, that this poor girl was adopted by these witnesses, and they told her her mother had been a prostitue. I personally believe this elder might have sexually abused this girl. He once made her pull down her pants and spanked her bare bottom when she was 13. She was extremely promiscuous, did indeed live a double life, was eventually found out. Had two kids by the time she was 18, which she abandoned and the same couple now raise. Last I heard, she joined some gang in Detroit.)

    But back to the story.... Needless to say, her parents believed her, my dad believed me and a horrendous rift was caused between our families that would never be repaired. There were other repercussions now that certain people thought I was a liar, a bad seed, and other witness youths thought I was a rat, so I was somewhat alienated even within the congregation.

    But what did come out of this meeting was realizing that we were this really special, fun thing called "approved associates" because we were children of elders (this is like some sort of pre-baptism type dedication, one makes until they're "old enough" to get baptized, (i believe the society has now discontinued this practice) and since we were children of elders of course we had to set an example that was above reproach and our parents thought with all the indoctrination we had been given (we would hardly be able to think for ourselves.).and to some extent they were right. What the judicial committe did to us, since my brother corraborated that we all did indeed "inhate" was removed our privileges. We could not comment at meetings, participate in the theocratic service school and lead a prayer at a bible study or something else, I don't remember. (Isn't this type of "punishment" given to those baptized?)

    I think shortly after that is when I began cutting myself. I would unscrew the flaps on my dad's razor, take the blade out, run my wrist under cold water and hav at it. It made me feel better, but I also felt guilty and always asked for Jehovah to help me.

    When I turned 15 and was deemed old enough, I went ahead, walked the plank and let them dunk me. I would have done it sooner, but dad felt 12 was too young to get baptized... but not too young to unknowingly be an approved associate. It's crazy. I mean, it was as if I was already baptized. They even removed my privleges!

    Therefore, i feel that my baptism wasn't valid, because it was done in the light of this approved associate business, that I was given no choice in. Make sense?

    I therefore also feel my disfellowshipping is not valid. Comments? Do I have a legal case in there somewhere?


  • caligirl

    Welcome believer!

    I think any kind of legal claim would be tough to prove, but I understand and agree with the arguement that a baptism could be invalid. I personally consider mine invalid because 1) I was a minor and thus not in any position to enter into any kind of binding contract which they consider baptism to be, and more importantly, 2) I was not given all the facts with which I could make an informed decision regarding any kind of "dedication". Baptism was just something I was supposed to do around that age (especially as an elder's daughter) and I followed the unwritten rules of when to take the plunge for lack of anything better to do at the time.

    It is highly unlikely, if not impossible to convince any elder that your baptism is invalid - but by your concluding for yourself that it is invalid, you can then use that knowledge to alleviate that lovely guilt complex we were given to keep us under control. If your baptism is not valid, then you have nothing to feel guilty about, even if they claim you have committed some heinous wrong according to their little rule book.

  • caspian

    Welcome to the board.

    Your story is very interesting as it tells the story of most typical witness children forced in to baptism over the past few decades.

    However you will note that over the past couple of years most elders are trying to put off their children from baptism at a young age simply because of the fact that the odds are stacked against them ie they don't want them disfellowshipped as a minor, however more on that point in a thread I intend to post later.

    I think that most will really feel for you on this board because of your experiences with the "truth", and will feel that you have made the right move talking about it on a board such as this, I am sure that you will find the support and help that you need.

    As to the question of your baptism being valid... I haven't read your other posts but are you Dfed or Daed?

    According to the society rules your baptism is valid, the only thing that can really invalidate it is mental health or the like and even this is very rare.

    However that is the society rules, I suggest that you use your own rules in life and decide for yourself whether it was valid or not.

    As regards to legal action, this road would not be a wise one as ecclicastical law is very complex and weighs heavily in the favour of the religious body.


    Please feel free to PM anytime

  • SixofNine

    A legal case? Probably not, though someday, it would be great to see this pursued in court, the under-18-baptised-and-then-subsequently-shunned and demeaned angle.

    But, your points are reasonable, and I don't think they need the approved associate angle to make them reasonable. In fact, I'm not sure I quite understand that part. (I do know of the concept, it meant you were approved for field service; they have formalized it a bit since then I believe). You simply were not able to freely make up your mind with a truly informed decision at 15. Hopefully, your family can see that.

  • avishai
    (I just want to interject, that this poor girl was adopted by these witnesses, and they told her her mother had been a prostitue. I personally believe this elder might have sexually abused this girl. He once made her pull down her pants and spanked her bare bottom when she was 13

    Ummm, sorry to break it too you,but that is sexual abuse.

  • refiners fire
    refiners fire

    horse crap.

    if he got a hard on while doing it maybe it is.Maybe.

  • avishai

    Oh? Hey, rf, I dont think pulling down a 13 year girls olds pants for any reason is OK, daughter or not.. If you do, you have some serious issues. I work with this bullshit every day. It's not O.k. Period, end of story, it's sick & perverse.

  • Maverick

    To get back to the original question, if when you turned 18, you started to raise hell about being baptized, you can get out of it. If you waited, then in the eyes of the law that consitutes acceptance of the terms you agreed to as a minor. However, I had my baptism nullified by claiming I was baptized into a corporation and not a christian religion. The Duds changed my status to an associate and DA'd as such. The PO wanted to DF me as a big bad apostate but the CO told him to let it go. Remember the Dud assume, they don't ask. They are programmed into believing they know what is best for you spiritually. They tell you just enough to get you to commit and never inform you of the consequences. Maverick

  • Steve Lowry
    Steve Lowry

    The whole "baptism" thing as you well know is just a set-up for the Society to be able to pressure on its followers later on and to keep the masses in line, so to speak. It’s really not a dedication as much as it is indoctrination, IMO. It simply becomes the line one crosses, that separates the before you are a JW and after you become one. It’s got nothing to do with God (this kind of baptism) and is all to do with "legalities" of a cultic religion. Try not giving the JW baptism any more energy than it deserves (i.e. lawsuit). It’s meaningless anyway. Or maybe try thinking of it (getting JW baptized) as helping to make your leaving the Watchtower Society (DF'ed) a more definite reality. After all, NOT being a JW anymore is the best thing for your life. When the elders came to my house to set up proceedings to DF me, (I listened to their pious empty concerns and then) they were taken a back when I told them, "Hey, after you disfellowship me, could you like send me a copy of some kind of document that states that fact? I want to frame it and put in my study on the wall, so anytime I think of joining some other stupid group I can look at it and be reminded of why I don't wanna do that, OK?" Their little JW’s jaws dropped as I disarmed them right before their eyes. It was a beautiful thing. It was a great feeling of empowerment for ME however. I’m not exactly sure how you feel toward the Society. Do you still wish to belong? Do you still have some loaylties? Or is it you just don’t want to loose family members by trying to invalidate your JW baptism and thereby ‘keep’ your family intact? It’s all too late for that now. Even if they agreed to cancel out any meaning to you getting baptized, you’re still dead to them anyway. Look, the Watchtower Society needs YOU, you don’t need THEM. Maybe I’m missing your concerns here. I’m sorry if that’s the case. I just wanted to share a little about how I feel about the JW baptism BS.

    When I got saved in 1984 while attending a little church in S. Florida, I got baptized again. But this time it was for my Heavenly Father and not for a man made, man run, my manipulated cultic organization. Do you still believe in God? Then find a little church and go baptized again. It will give a sense of well being and will help you realize how invalid your JW baptism really was.

    Good luck to you!

  • Jesus Kid
    Jesus Kid

    I was reading your post and I just had to reply to your concerns. baptism is not just a reconition that you belong to a certain sect, but it goes way deeper than that. Let me say that I am not a Jehovahs Witness but I am a witness according to Act 1:8 I am Apostolic, that is my faith. Baptism came first by John the baptist who came to prepare the way before the Lord. It was called baptism of repentance. Later Jesus came teaching that he would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire. Jesus said except a man be born of the water and spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God Jn 3:5. Baptism doesnt make us eligible to be identified with a sect or organization, it identifies us with Christ, by being baptized we are baptized unto his death, that is if we are baptized into the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins. Rom. 6:4-6 , Acts 2:38 Baptism also saves us 1Pet.3:21. Futhermore we cannot get to the Father "Jehovah" unless we go though Jesus Jn 14:6. I encourge you if you have not been baptized into the name of Jesus Christ to do so.

    Jesus Kid

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