There is alot if press here in Australua on the Royal Commission about child abuse in the JW faith. However that is just one type of abuse, abuse can be physical or mental, we tend to forget about the various types of mental abuse in the JW faith. My story is not unique and apologies for grammar etc.
My father and mother emigrated to Perth Australia many decades ago when I was very young. I am now in my mid 50's. We were a typical Jehovah Witness family. Shortly after arriving in Australia my parents divorced. Given the shunning practice it destroyed our family with my mother staying in the JWs and my father and the children my brothers and myself leaving. When we grew up we all went separate ways and hardly seen each other let alone communicated to any standard. I got closer to my father after a failed marriage but hardly seen my mother who remains in the faith. The shunning certainly had the desired effect of destroying our family. My father remarried a non JW and is very happy.
Decades later I was going through a very difficult time and started to get closer to my mother, I had a normal life up until then but was depressed with relationship issues as well as work and health issues. I started to look at going back into the JW faith through my mother and ended up cutting the rest of my family and friends out of my life who were all non JWs. I ended up only knowing JWs.
I now go through stages of utter depression at my life which has been ruined by the JWs and Watchtowers critical execution of a faith that is full of contradictions, false predictions, outright cruelty and disregard for any way of life that is not dictated by the Watchtower. At times you feel they make it up as they go along. They have zero tolerance for other faiths, yet all other religions practice Harmony to all others, JWs don't.
While the JW faith is not new it is relatively new compared to the mainstem religions. I am convinced that if it was started in more modern times it would be considered a cult and banned in most first world countries. They prey on vulnerable people who are down, conflicted or going through tough times. These are their bread and butter converts, who join with promises of a better more fulfilling life. That is not the case, you end up frustrated, confused, depressed and more importantly alone with no friends out with the JW faith. This is exactly what the Watchtower wants. I have never felt so alone or depressed, with no real friends outside the Witnesses, I have lost all my family except my JW mother. I even gave up emails, social media etc and my lifestyle, hobies. Again this is what they want as the last thing they want is you getting unbiased information especially from ex JWs who out number practising JWs. My life is destroyed which has caused me to make several attempts to end my life. You are in effect brain washed when most vulnerable.
I would urge anyone who has family or friends who in a moment of weakness consider joining JWs to not abandon them. You need to be there for them when they are spat out or when they realize the magnitude of the mistake they are making. I don't have that support network. This is exactly what the watchtower wants. They don't care they are ruining lives.
I have no idea what I will do or what life holds for me as I don't have a non JW support network. I even gave up the man I loved dearly because he had no intention of being a JW! Life is very tough being a JW. Its full as I said of contradictions, false predictions and extreme lack of tolerance to non JWs and cruelty to practising JWs.
So please do not abandon any friends or family who get sucked into this false faith, they will need you. We need to do as much as we can not to loose people to this cult which ruin's lives. They have no regards for countries laws and traditions which can be seen in all the child abuse hearings that seen to be happening in a lot of countries. This is the tip of the iceberg and not the only abuse they practice or cover up. I hate to think how many people take their life when they can see no way back. I have been and still are there. I would give anything to turn the clock back. While I don't agree with what has been happening in Russia and their lack of tolerance to religion and human rights I do think their approach to ban this religion may not be a bad thing.
So please think twice before joining this religion they are masters of manipulation and preying on vulnerable people while at the same time practicing zero tolerance for others or other countries laws. Not the ideas you would associate with any other religion.
Amanda Jane Moore
Perth Western Australia