My Book With Bible Stories - 91 stories of murder and rape to be used as bedtime stories for your little children

by Anders Andersen 27 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • steve2

    But the fact remains the same. There are a lot of stories out there that are gruesome for children and are in fact as gruesome as the Bible Stories. It is good to point out how bad that book is. But to act like it is worse than everything else out there for kids is also wrong. That just isn't true. And my own personal experience is that the bible stories aren't even that bad for kids.

    I agree jwundubbed.

    There are many valid issues over which we can take JW organization to task. But to posit JW organization's childrens literature as somehow worse than non-JW children's literature is nonsense.

    Yes, I can acknowledge some children may become upset about the "Bible's" message contained in JW organization's children's literature - but that is also to acknowledge the Bible can be an upsetting book for some children.

    The crucial variable is guidance from parents and caregivers - just as parents and caregivers may reassure children about the wider context of the Brothers Grimm childrens' stories. Some have argued that the difference is that fairy stories are "obviously" untrue, whilst JW children's literature is promoted as "the truth". As I stated earlier, to children the distinction is irrelevant - because they can be freaked out by horrible messages in old stories such as Red Riding Hood and jack and the Beanstalk etc. In addition, messages within stories are also key:

    For example, in JW children's literature a repeated theme is God's "goodness", "patience" and "love" for humankind and children are not left wondering how to make Jehovah happy. Propaganda yes - and a dubious message about compliance. But that is quite different from painting JW children's literature as uniquely violent in content for young readers.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    The first film I saw at a cinema was Bambi. I was three and a half, I thought it was terrific-- until Bambi's mother was killed by a hunter then I thought this is just too sad, what! no! can't be, the mother gets killed?

    Yes children's stories always used to be frightening, perhaps it taught children to be realistic about the fragility of life but really those horror tales for kids did not encourage growing up or teach how to become independent or how to deal with the world. The moral was usually to do what you are told or else you get punished!

    Grimm and his brother encapsulated European folk tales which had deeper psychological insights drawn from the human consciousness and set in a timeless world of pre-scientific magic. It is part of our collective literary heritage.

    I think that there was a threshold for nasty children's tales and that was the Second World War. As an example take the UK Rupert books. Before the war they presented sinister shadowy almost gothic tales, post war, with enough suffering and brutality recently on our doorsteps, the tone improved and the stories became lighter and more child oriented. I would go as far to say they were much 'happier'.

    The Bible however relishes revenge, divine judgement, smashing children against walls if you disagree with God etc.Children, like women and wives were just the belongings of the husband to dispose of at will. How could the WT Society (as it was then known when they produced My Book of BS) how could they imagine that you can expose children to such outlandish material for their benefit?

    Of course it wasn't for the benefit of the young, the only result would be indoctrination and stunting children's development, and that is what has happened. JWs become dependent on the JW org who in turn depend on the "absolute goodness" of the Bible and remain stuck in the cult like brainless limpets on a rock.

  • Tech49

    This brought to my mind a memory that I had pushed away for many years, until now. When my son, our firstborn, was a toddler, we would read to him from the Bible Stories book, just like any good JW family should. We have photos in our album of just such occasions.

    But now, I distinctly remember skipping over some of the stories, leaving parts of some of the stories out, just because they were too much for a young child. Even basic stories like Noah's Ark got "smoothed over" because.......EVERYBODY DIED!


    I remember thinking.." sheesh, this is a little violent, graphic, and overall almost R-rated for a kid!" "this won't promote good happy thoughts to go to sleep by!"

    So we both made a habit of skipping stories and sections of the book entirely, and this went on for years, while both our kids were growing up.

    Sadly, we couldn't see the forest for the trees at the time, and didnt think much more of it. Now, looking back, I wish I could slap my younger self across the back of the head!


  • jwundubbed
    I think that there was a threshold for nasty children's tales and that was the Second World War.

    This reminded me of a really important point that I learned about in my English Lit classes in college. The most gruesome older stories were not written for children as we see them today. They were written before or during the romantic period of history when society viewed children as tiny adults. I remember comparing in my mind the historical view and my JW childhood experience. There were a lot of similarities that I could draw. There were no books written specifically for children before that period and it was assumed that the same message could be written for both adults and children.

    For a very long time the JWs seemed to have this mentality. What was presented for child consumption wasn't meant for children as we see them today. Even though they now have cartoons, I doubt that someone versed in child psychology has anything to do with creating those.

    If you look at it from an outside point of view, their choices don't make sense for children. And looking at how children were historically treated before the romantic period of literature... that doesn't make much sense to us either.

  • jwundubbed

    So we both made a habit of skipping stories and sections of the book entirely, and this went on for years, while both our kids were growing up.

    Sadly, we couldn't see the forest for the trees at the time, and didnt think much more of it. Now, looking back, I wish I could slap my younger self across the back of the head!
    @Tech49, I think you should shake the younger you's hand for skipping bits here and there. If you have to give yourself a smack, make it a Gibbs slap with lots of love included.
  • Tech49

    Yep, I suppose you are right. Just another classic example of KNOWING something just didnt add up and wasnt right, but going along with it anyways. Cognitive dissonance at its finest.

    Sometimes we just need to LISTEN to our inner selves!! Took me another 15 years!

    edited to note: I just walked down the hallway of our home, and there is a photo of both the kids, when they were toddlers, reading the Bible Stories book together...... really hope it wasnt a death/kill/murder/rape/incest/genocide/magic story! Oh wait.... it probably is...

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    The only thing the Watchtower cult wants is to indoctrinate its membership to be loyal to them.

    This is what all their literature and broadcasting is about. The Watchtower cult does not care a fig for the well being of its children for all they might protest the opposite in the patronizing and vacuous comments they say about children. A good demonstration of this is how they show no compassion or arrange for remedial help for the victims of child abuse in their ranks, the only thing that matters to the JW org is their attempt to maintain a squeaky clean reputation.

    If they cared about children they would understand that young humans have certain criteria for proper development, as scientists such as Piaget and others determined.One developmental step at a time and in the right order, starting with the profound security of unconditional love from the parents. then building the child's confidence in negotiating the real physical world then language, numeracy and reasoning correctly, all done with the child's welfare in mind to enjoy living with others in the larger world outside the family.

    The primitive JW approach of graphic moral tales to make the child fear God is probably the worst method for building an open confident and happy child, it does not lead to an independent and self confident adult. Add to this a doomsday mentality and the religious trap of never being good enough, what you get are grown up JWs with low self esteem, poor education and a warped view of reality.

    The JW org is a toxic, self interested, self righteous cult which harms people, don't ever listen to any of their stupid stories!

  • jwundubbed

    I don't remember much from the Bible Story books. Here is what I do remember.

    I remember the picture of the flood and one arm pulling against the rock trying to save themselves. I also remember the woolly mammoths in that same picture. I never questioned that, and yet I always looked at the mammoths in the rain.

    I remember the picture where the angels looked down at human women and wanted to have sex with them. And I remember thinking that made sense because those girls were really pretty.

    I remember the picture of... Leah? who the guy had to work for 7 years to marry and then got duped into marrying the sister first. But the picture of the girl he liked was really pretty.

    I feel like I should remember an armageddon picture, but I don't.

    I remember the story about Dinah and thinking how horrible it was that she got into trouble and all that bad stuff happened just because she laid down next to some guy. You know, sex was a blatant part of the JW life, I don't know why they couldn't say she had sex with him. That would have made that story make a lot more sense.

    I remember the story about Jeptha and his daughter who went to the temple and he ripped his shirt. My mom created this huge drama where the kids in our congregation all acted out different parts from the bible story book. There were about 5 girls who were in advanced ballet (one was my sister) and they acted out that scene. It was only about a year ago that my sister told me that she felt really horrible when she found out that they danced like it was something really great when Jeptha's daughter went to the temple only to find out that was talking about human sacrifice. But at the time, I thought it was a nice story. You never heard stories about men who loved their daughters so much they would miss them after sending them away to be a nun or something like that.

    And... that's about it. I remember a few other pictures, but not really the stories behind them. That isn't to say that I don't know the stories or wouldn't recognize them if someone pointed them out to me. Some of the info here is wrong and I know it. But that is what comes up in my memory. It is all mostly hazy with some pictures that I really liked.

    Ohhh! I remember in one of the pictures Jesus has on the best sandals ever... though, I can't remember what they look like now. I remember having conversation with my sisters about how Jesus always wore the best sandals and you couldn't find sandals like that in a store.

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