How the Witnesses got me.

by Peppermint 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • Peppermint

    Let me tell you my story of how I started attending meetings.

    I started going to meetings at the age of sixteen?Why? Because I was a broken youth at that time.

    My mum had been a JW all my life but my dad had always stopped my brother, my sister and me from attending.

    So I grew-up really as a ?Worldling? so to speak. Not really thinking about anything JW.

    From the age of about fourteen onwards I became a wild child. You name it I did it. Fuelled by alcohol, and I?m ashamed to say the outrageously disgusting habit of glue sniffing I became the local crime wave. Burglary, robberies, vandalism, football hooliganism this was my everyday life.

    I had a lot of anger at this time, and I?m not really sure where it all came from. But it was directed exclusively at authority. It all culminated in me attempting to attack my High School, I went there in the dead of night broke into the headmasters office and destroyed the place.

    Anyway the police got the school to draw up a shortlist of suspects. I was number one. The police raided my parents home while I was at school. I will never forget the feeling of turning into my road and seeing it full of police cars.

    I was arrested and told, this is it, prison (juvenile) for you. And don?t expect any change out of 12 months.

    Well this was the turning point for me, almost immediately after this I asked my mum if I could go to meetings with her. I knew I had to make a change in my life.

    The meetings made a massive impression on me. My first one was Bowes Road assembly hall in North London. I was dressed in combat army gear with an earring and a fringe that went down to my chin.

    I became for a while the celebrity convert and was love bombed and treated with more compassion then I ever had been. I felt good.

    I also enjoyed the JW doctrine, it had an anti-authority edge to it. I revelled in thinking that the government, my teachers the police etc. had got it all wrong after all. Had only temporary power, and come the great day they were going to get it.

    What was the outcome of my arrest?

    Well in the months between being arrested and going to court a miracle had happened. I was now clean-cut and respectable looking. I had left school during this time as well and got a job. The judge said ?A changed man, let him off? Jehovah had saved the day, hooray.

    Many others I know who became witnesses also had similar backgrounds to me. It just seems odd now that such an authoritarian and controlling religion could appeal.

    Did the witnesses attract similar people in at your congregation?

    You?ll be glad to know I am now a good, law-abiding citizen who thanks Jehovah?s witnesses for putting his life on track, but has moved on.

  • wanderlustguy

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • aniron

    Similar thing happened to my nephew. Only it was the local Pentecostal church, that did the same thing.

  • kwintestal

    Hey there Peppermint. Happy Birthday!

    I have recently looked at religion as more of a life tool then anything else. You need it to get from one part of your life to another part. It builds your character and changes your personality. But like a tool, once the job is done, you put the tool down and admire the handy work, or pick up another tool as needed.

    I'm glad you got things on track! Thanks for sharing the story.


  • Peppermint

    Thanks Kwintestal, that?s a really good illustration. Will remember that one.

    I?m glad you lot noticed it was my birthday coming up. In good old JW style, it totally passed me by.

  • nicolaou

    Fascinating story Peppermint. For some reason it was this comment of yours that stood out; "I became for a while the celebrity convert and was love bombed and treated with more compassion then I ever had been. I felt good." Did you actually get dunked?

    Let me know about having that pint sometime - on me.


    P.s. I got baptised at Bowes Road

  • Peppermint


    Yep, dunked not long after this at Twickenham. Was a non-questioning JW for the next 15 years.

    Its funny that whatever life changes I made to become a witness, I always felt that it was only the ?truth? that stopped me going back to former bad ways.

    The most liberating thing for me in becoming an Ex-JW was that now I can claim those life changes as my own.

  • jgnat

    Oh, I like this:

    The most liberating thing for me in becoming an Ex-JW was that now I can claim those life changes as my own.

    No longer weak, but strong. As God made you to be. Congratulations!

  • jeanniebeanz

    Happy Birth Day Peppermint!


  • Satanus

    My teens were a bit similar. I had been raised a dub from when i could remember. But, in my teens i slowly slipped away, and into trouble. When i got out of the worst of it, i went back to the wt, convinced that what they said about the world was true. I was very zealous (blah, don't like that word) fanatical for many yrs before i realised that the wt wasn't it, either.


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