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Friday, August 29, 2014

How I Made My Way Out of the Watchtower Society by Dyllen De Vos

Contributed by Christian Sparlock Freedom
It wasn’t so long ago that my mother joined the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses to find the “truth” and god.  She was in an abusive relationship with a drunken idiot, who abused me and my two sisters.  When she left him to save us three girls from continuing to be abused, everything was fine......for a short time.

Soon, "Mrs Hyde" (my mother) met a man named Alfio Papa, who looked good on the outside, but was a terrible person on the inside.  Mr Papa isn’t an alcoholic, but he believes in beating children up to make them toughen up....like in the old days....and if you ask for help because you do not know where you went wrong, you are a weakling.  Joy Hyde soon became Joy Papa and the mother I could turn to for love and support suddenly disappeared from my life for good, no longer living.  Mrs Papa had taken Mr Papa’s side in beating us three girls up if we said "no" to anything or if we didn’t like anything, especially for making mistakes such as, making a mess with flour in the kitchen.  Before Mrs Papa met Alfio, our household was happy and filled with laughter, but then it went from being chased down the hallway to having screams in the house, because of the belt we got around our legs! 

Joy managed to talk Alfio into joining the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses cult by some easy coercion.  To this day, my step-father still remains in the cult and if anyone tries to put down the cult in front of him, he will get all defensive and is not afraid to pound the stuffing out of anyone who disagrees!  Alfio is a very violent man and still manages to hide the abuse from his sisters and friends very well because we keep up an appearance that makes us look like a happy family. 

The Watchtower Society has destroyed our family so badly that, ever since I survived the brain tumor operation, I have been treated as if it were a mistake for me to still be alive.  Both of my parents said that I’m a psychotic child, because I am so different and I always speak up about what is right, and they tell our relatives that whatever I say is lies.  It hurts when your whole family is against you like this.  As an example, when I found my fiancé online, my second sister attacked him and said all kinds of horrible things to us, because I found my happiness with this wonderful man.  Since I survived the brain tumour operation, my two sisters, Alima and Jamaica, have been out to sabotage anything I say or do towards them or myself.  For example, after I had saved up nearly $20 in coins from tuck shop money (lunch money), one of my sisters stole more than half it from me, leaving three or four dollars remaining in my jewelry box.  Even though stealing is seen as wrong in the Watchtower Society, both of my sisters managed to get away with it most of the time, however if I stole from them to take back what is mine, I would get the biggest whipping in my life from Alfio and go to school the next day with a bruise on my leg.  When my classmates asked about it, I had to make up a story to get them to leave me alone about it, because I was scared of saying anything to them that might "bring reproach on Jehovah’s name." 

As time went on, I decided to take a stand in getting out of the cult, during my high school years.  So in 2003, I began focusing on graduating from high school and since then, my parents have stopped trying to coerce me into returning to the cult, regardless of the teasing, I received from them, because I was considering whether to switch over to the Catholic religion or to leave home to become a slut, so people will like me. 

Self-esteem became an issue for me, because I had trouble trying to associate with other people.  Whenever anyone mentioned a joke to me, I did not know whether they were serious or were being dirty.  Yes, being isolated from the world, especially my friends from school, had a huge impact on my life as I grew older, because after high school graduation passed, I still remained at home regardless of the domestic abuse that still went on in the Papas’ household. 

When I found my fiancé online, Alima did all she could in her power to get rid of him and make him break up with me, before our relationship even began! Soon my whole family, including my relatives, are protesting for me NOT to go down to Melbourne to be with this wonderful man, who had guaranteed me love, a roof over my head and who was someone I could trust and lean on, when life was tough. 

The funny thing about it is, if either of my two sisters do something different with their lives, everyone throws a party for them, metaphorically speaking, but when it comes to me, it’s WW III.  Now, I don’t know why or how or what makes my family tick when I set out to do something good for my life, but it surely is not fair for them to do whatever they can to sabotage it, when they know results are gonna turn out good for me in the end. 

Alfio and Joy gave me some advice about getting a job and just moving down to Cairns to be within their "invisible leash" reach, even though my gut and heart were telling me I need to do more than this, because moving down to Cairns would only end up selling me short and dead in my tracks.  Finding my fiancé online has been the greatest thing that has happened to me and from now on, I no longer stick up for the Papas because all they care about is the Watchtower Society and making the three of us girls feel guilty and all alone in the world when we move out of their home to be somewhere different. 

I hate my family for what they did, especially for destroying MY life, when I have found someone who makes me happy and guaranteed me unconditional love from the start and I have a perfect son to mother.  If I am guilty for going after what is rightfully mine or right, why should it be my family’s job to sabotage it, just to keep me in Mareeba and away from the world? 

I am NOT disabled, because two years after my brain tumor operation, I began to understand more and more of what I should be doing and knowing with the kids my age at school.  Even so, I was so worried about what my parents would think that I acted as I were still disabled to keep the peace.  My family went around town telling every stranger that I am disabled and will never understand anything.  Blood is on their hands, because I have done nothing to wrong to deserve such hate from them.  

The Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses has destroyed my family and it will never recover, because the damage has gone too far.  If I were to return to them for help, the abuse would only begin all over again and next, my family will fill my head with their ideas to manipulate me into thinking that I need to return to Mareeba again, because my future is up there, especially for our son!  How gruesome can they get?  

It hurts when your whole family does whatever it can to destroy your future, but now I know that keeping them out of our lives is the best thing for my little family and myself.  We don’t need them, when we get along fine with just having each other.  I am a proud Mother and I know that I will be loving my son until the day I die, because he is ours and we couldn’t be happier.  Our son has unconditional love and we will never make him feel alone in the world, when he has us to turn to for anything.

Emily Bragulla Guillermo, Forced to Grieve Alone

Contributed by Christian Sparlock Freedom

I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness, along with my siblings.  I was home schooled after I reached the age of eleven years.  The point, of course, was to segregate us from outside associations and influences, but I just rebelled.  

I was disfellowshipped at the age of seventeen years and kicked out of my home.  I was so scared.  I was forced to move into an apartment with my abusive boyfriend.  I stayed with him and was beaten up by him for ten years.  Together, we had a son, Jadrien, who drowned at four years of age, in 2004.  All I wanted was to be loved by my parents and family.  I lost my child and I needed my family, but they did not care about me.  I was no longer a Jehovah's Witness, so my punishment was to grieve alone.  My mother never hugged me at my sons funeral never shed a tear.  She remained stone cold.  

I must say, over the years, things have become somewhat better.  All of my siblings have left the Watchtower Society cult.  My oldest brother was an elder and has a story so similar to Ricky Gonzales' story that I just finished reading.  Thankfully, my brother's wife followed his lead, though.  This cult has ripped my family apart.  I am so close to some of my mother's sisters, but my mother never speaks to them, because they are not Jehovah's Witnesses.  Her own sisters!
I now have two more children and I am married.  Trying to help my husband understand my parents' beliefs and why they do not put their family first is clearly not easily done.  It seems that, even though we do not agree and realize how horrible it is, we understand that they are still brainwashed.  Outsiders do not understand that.  My husband would love for me to cut off communication with my parents, so they cannot hurt me anymore, but it is difficult.

Thanks for listening!

A Woman Both Strong and Brave Breaks the Chains of Conditional Love

I wrote my letter of dissociation, in 2009, and I am from Saskatchewan, Canada.  I wrote my letter of dissociation for several reasons.

- I never felt good enough.  As a physically disabled person who uses a wheelchair. I could not fully take part in field service (house-to-house ministry), and I was not putting in a lot of hours, so that was frowned upon.

- I was lonely, and ready for a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, and "brothers" wouldn't give me the time of day.  I tried "courting," as prescribed by the Watchtower Society.  What a joke!

I can honestly say that my experience with Jehovah's Witnesses' version of courting was pretty bad.  I went out with a "friend" of mine, and two other "brothers" from nearby congregations.  It was just disastrous.  My "friend," spent all of her time acting completely socially backwards, throwing herself all over one of the "brothers," while the other "brother" and I just sat there rolling our eyes at her.  I had developed feelings for the "brother" she was fawning over, and it hurt me to watch this.  I did not have time to squeeze in a word edge-wise, and she ended up going on more "courting times" with that "brother," and I had to be there to witness the disaster of what she deemed as "flirty."  It was bad and it seemed that every Jehovah's Witness "brother" I ever liked, either went out with or chose another friend of mine in our "courting group."  I never really experienced a "brother" actually liking me, within the Watchtower Society.  I was often ignored or asked to chaperone and that was all.  After a while, I discovered that the "brothers" determined that I was spiritually weak because of my worldly associations, and they told most to stay away (that I was not suitable marriage material).  I hated every moment of it, and loved "worldly dating."  I found a "worldly" man who did give me the time of day.  We have now been married for five years and have a six-year-old child together.  Even though I am happily married this whole thing still bothers me.

THE TWO BIGGEST REASONS WHY I LEFT:

My grandmother, who raised me, died in 2004, and I became inactive after her death.  I even tried to take my own life.  Some of the "brothers and sisters" came to see me in the hospital, but instead of offering a helping hand, they told me I would have to meet with a Judicial Committee and "explain."  I did, but it was embarrassing, humiliating, having to explain and rehash my pain.  The elders did not take any action against me, but I was viewed as "spiritually weak" and the other "brothers and sisters" in the congregation were told to "find other association."  I miss my friends, and some of them have known me since I was a baby.

My second biggest reason:

I got pregnant outside of marriage and was told that I would have to face another Judicial Committee of elders.  I left the organization in 2008, because I was practically forced into a corner by the elders to write a letter of dissociation, or "meet with us and we'll see if you are worthy to stay."

NO!

I wrote my letter of dissociation in 2009 and have not stepped foot into a Kingdom Hall, since that time.

Even now that I have "broken free," I still feel a hole in my heart for my friends, the people who told me they loved and cared for me.  I just do not understand how when a person is disfellowshipped or dissociates themselves... how the tone in which they speak and interact with that person can change so drastically in a matter of seconds.  Almost six years have passed and this still haunts me.  I still miss them.  I know I should not, but I still do.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sharon Tomlanovich Dewitt, Without Judgment

Both of my parents were baptized in 1973.  We went to meetings three times every week, meetings wherein children are learning what adults are learning. 

When I was ten years old, I was watching a movie called "Earthquake 76," with my mother.  She told me that earthquakes and death were going to happen at Armageddon and, if I was not baptized as a Jehovah's Witness, I would die.  I ran outside and dropped to the ground, begging God not to destroy me.  "I promise to be good!" I screamed.  I thought of that incident for many terrified years and was baptized at the young, fragile age of fourteen years.  

I was very abused and turned to the elders, but I was shunned.  They didn't help me.  It was okay for my father to be a drunkard, and for my mother to beat me, sit on me, cut me and starve me.  So, I ran away.  I began smoking cigarettes and told the elders that I wanted no part of a so-called religion that did not care about me.  

I moved back home after running away, because my parents were moving to Alaska.  My younger brothers and sisters were moving with them and I did not want to be without my siblings.  We were in Alaska for two weeks, when my Jehovah's Witness mother took a gun to my head and told me to "get out" or she was going to "blow my head off."  

Many years passed.....I was alone.  I actually tried going back to the meetings at the Kingdom Hall to make sure I wasn't missing anything.  I had all 4 of my children by then. When I walked into the Kingdom Hall, I sat down and an elder announced to the congregation that I was disfellowshipped, and the entire hall turned and looked at me as if I were Satan.  I continued trying to fit in for three months.  I had questions and no one could answer me until I was reinstated.  My reinstatement never happened. 

I am a believer in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It's been a hard road, but I learned to lay everything on His shoulders, as I walk with Him.  I thank God for loving me.  I miss my parents everyday, but the only thing I can do is pray that God opens their hearts, so they can see that I am okay and I am not a horrible person.  If I have one thing to say about the Jehovah's Witnesses.  I don't believe we can judge them.  I believe that they really think they are doing what God wants them to do, but let us not judge, let us pray for them.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ricky Gonzales' Co-Worker Rings a Bell Which Cannot be Un-Rung

Contributed by Christian Sparlock Freedom
I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness since I was five years old, baptized at age fifteen years, disfellowshipped at age nineteen years, then reinstated, disfellowshipped again at age twenty-three years, then reinstated again.  I was married in April, 2005, our son was born in 2007, our daughter was born in 2009.  I became a ministerial servant in the year my daughter was born.  My wife quit her well-paying career to "pioneer" (full time door-to-door ministry) and to be a stay at home mother a few months before I was appointed as ministerial servant.  I was well on my way to becoming appointed an elder, as I have been serving in capacity as one for some time now, though not officially appointed yet.  We were a perfect family, examples to the congregation, used on circuit and district convention programs.  We were well-known in the Jehovah's Witness area, of which we were part.  

A simple comment from a co-worker rang a bell with me that could not be un-rung and started a snowball rolling that could not be stopped.  Our conversation went like this:

Co-Worker:  "Say, Rick, I hear that you Jehovah's Witnesses are struggling for money these days."
 

Me:  "What do you mean?"
 

Co-Worker:  "You haven't heard? Y'all are paying millions to molested children."
 

Me:  "OK. (?)  What are you speaking of?"
 

Co-Worker:  "I heard of a court case, Candace Conti vs the Watchtower Society.  They are supposed to pay her $28 million USD.
 

Me:  (Embarrassed) "I never heard of that.  But I will tell you that Jehovah's Witnesses are not perfect.  These things happen, even among us."
 

Co-Worker:  "That sounds just like all other religions.  You should take a look at this!"
 

Me: (Nervous) "Well, again, we are not perfect, and I will take a look at this."

As I began to research the Watchtower Society, what I discovered disturbed me VERY much.  I began investigating to see if these things were true.  Everything I discovered was indeed true.

My wife saw that I was not myself.  I was staying up late researching, not eating, not sleeping. But at the time, I did not want to share this with my wife, because I did not want her to get as upset as I was, for her health reasons. 

One night, my wife confronted me at 3:00 A.M., accusing me of viewing pornography.  So, I had to share what I was investigating. I shared one thing. She refuted it like a Jehovah's Witness champion.  It did not even affect her like it had me.  Eventually, as she kept asking, I would share another discovery with her.  Her anger towards my investigation kept mounting with each fact I would share with her when she asked.  The situation came to a boiling point and she became so disgusted with me that she called me an apostate, which is the worst thing a Jehovah's Witness can be accused of, and she threatened to tell the elders, if I didn't do it myself. 

We agreed on a date to tell them, which was six weeks away, after out international convention.  I held true to my promise, met with the elders and told them of my doubts and they disfellowshipped me on July 24, 2014. 

My wife hates me, is disgusted with me, has called me a filthy apostate, threatened to leave, called me a dog that has returned to its vomit and a clean pig that has returned to rolling around in the mud.  Life at home has been horrible since my awakening, to say the least.  My two children are confused about why their father no longer wants to be a Jehovah's Witness.
Needless to say, things are very sensitive.  My wife has been accusing me of cheating on her with "women" friends that she thinks I'm meeting on Facebook and YouTube. That's the Jehovah's Witness mindset.  You cannot have a platonic friendship with the opposite sex without something happening. 

I need all the prayers I can get.

Ava Garza Explains How Shunning Involves Manipulative Tactics of Emotional Blackmail.

I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and most of my family remain active members.  I always followed orders from Watchtower Society headquarters to never speak to those who leave, because this is showing love and we Jehovah's Witnesses are the most loving, truthful people on the planet. 
Contributed by Christian Sparlock Freedom
I was forced into baptism at age fifteen years, because I was "getting older."  I began being home-schooled in 6th grade, because of my depression.  Mental illness is rampant in my "family."  My father's sister and brother killed themselves.  Everyone in my family has mental health issues.  

A year ago, I finally figured out that I did not have to do what they wanted me to do.  I've been both active and inactive as a Jehovah's Witness for ten years.  Now my mother, father, brothers, sister, uncles, aunts, and cousins don't have anything to do with me or my youngest child or my husband.  My husband left the Watchtower Society, because he could see the pain I was in, which was caused by the Jehovah's Witnesses, so he quit attending meetings.  

With the Watchtower Society, it is emotional blackmail.  If you return, you can have your family again.  I might have broken some dishes when I heard my family called my ex-husband and had him bring my oldest son, whose father is still a Jehovah's Witness over to see the family.  All because my oldest son, who is only twelve years old and is, unfortunately, still part of the cult because of his father.  They told my son to tell my other son, "We love you and be strong...."  

Bullshit!  How insane are they?  They have not once telephoned or tried to talk to my youngest son in a year!  My oldest lives with his father, which is another story.  His father has made the decision to put him in home-school.  This makes the brainwashing easier and keeps him away from contamination from the world and "worldly" people.  

I am in therapy.  I have to come to terms with the fact that my parents and siblings are gone.  I have to learn how not to cry when certain songs are playing on the radio or television or when I am in a store and I see something that a family member would like or a street we all rode on or smell a familiar scent or think of basically anything on earth regarding my family that makes me well up with tears.  My poor boys ask me, "Mama, are you okay?" and I say, "Yeah, I'm okay," and I wipe my tears away, which have been brought on by this family-destroying cult.

Sue Marie Coenen and Family, Walking Away with Dignity

I was being raised as a Jehovah's Witness, until my mother and father were disfellowshipped in the 1970's, when the rules changed and people began to be disfellowshipped for smoking, which suddenly became a cardinal sin.  I was about fourteen years old, at that time and I stopped attending Watchtower Society meetings, also.  Since I was unbaptized, I lived like everybody else.   I got married and we had two daughters.  
Contributed by Christian Sparlock Freedom
My brother who was still a witness came over to my house and told me my daughters would die if I did not return to the Watchtower Society.   So I did go back with my new husband and my husband became a ministerial servant.  

After we were active Jehovah's Witnesses for about twelve years, we began feeling that the people there, our so-called friends, were not friends in reality.  They were fake.  They were out for themselves.  They were in groups.  The wealthy, the ones that could do more financially for the congregation got treated better then everybody else.  Those that were poor and those ones that were just making ends meet were not as important.  

My husband and I decided to leave the congregation.   I wrote them a letter and told them that we as a family were no longer going to be Jehovah's Witnesses.  My husband and our two daughters signed it.  My daughters were young, ages eleven and twelve years and were already baptized.  

Now we are all shunned, even by other family members who are Jehovah's Witnesses.  We live in a small town so we run into shunning quite often. My daughters are now athiest, but I am not sure where to go for comfort. 

Note from Publisher:  Sue has now found plenty of support and comfortable places to talk about these things with other Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses who have had similar experiences, in their groups on Facebook.

Why Annie White's Father Committed Suicide

My father had bipolar disorder and really struggled with life, both mentally and emotionally.  He also struggled off and on with smoking.  In 1996, he went to the elders himself and confessed his smoking problem to them.  They disfellowshipped him publicly.
Contributed by Christian Sparlock Freedom
When my father told his best friend, who was an elder in another congregation, his friend
became very angry and went to see the elders in my father's congregation and told them what they did was wrong, because if a person comes to them and asks for help, they should help that person, not disfellowship them.

I was thirteen years old, at the time and did not know what was going on, but I remember my father being torn up about the way they treated him.  It is really sad how they acted.  I cannot stand them.  I wish I could have helped my father more, but by the time I was age fifteen years, he was gone. They could have done more, but they isolated him, because he went to them for help.  He took his own life in 1998.

I feel bad for what my father went thru before he died.  The sad thing to me is that I know other people have gone thru the same things and people continue to go through this and that infuriates me to no end.  My mother is still a Jehovah's Witness and I get frustrated that she does not see the bullshit.  Sometimes, I wonder how she can be so blind.

My father was failed so utterly by those he thought were his "friends."  It is clear that they just wanted to distance themselves from any appearance of sin.  They were more concerned with not getting in trouble because they knew of his smoking so they, in true mind-controlled/ Gestapo style, turned him in so they could be cleared of any "wrongdoing."  My poor father really needed love and help, but he was betrayed, because cult members could not be selfless and show true love to someone begging for help. 

My father was also schizophrenic, as well as having bipolar disorder, II.  What is strange is that people with mental illnesses often seem easily drawn into these cult-like groups, maybe to feel loved and accepted, since the initiation involves the seductive "love-bombing."  In these cases, I believe they are being taken advantage of.

I do not feel bad about it for myself.  I feel bad for others that went through it or are going through it, the ones who struggle mentally and have no relief from that emptiness.  If the elders only sit in judgment of the living, instead of helping those who need help, what is the point of anything the elders do?  They are useless and the things they do are pointless and hurtful.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Open Letter to My Parents by Autumn Riley Arnold

Dear Mom and Dad,

I just wanted to let you know, "you were right in everything!"  Remember when I was eight years old and we were all standing in the kitchen and Dad was telling me I shouldn't complain about going to the meetings or out in service and how I should listen to the Watchtower Society in everything?  Remember that?  Well, do you also remember him telling me that if I don't do all those things Jehovah is going to kill me at Armageddon?  That you both will be in the new system, but I won't be?  But not to worry, eight-year-old Autumn, because "Jehovah will remove all memory of you from our heads", you said, " it will be like you never even existed." 

So you see, you really *were* right in everything!  I *am* dead to you.  Your Jehovah (the Watchtower Society) has removed me from your life.

The New System has come right on time!  Because mom is still happy as ever as an alcoholic and dad is still happy as ever as the leader of a cult!  A mother and a father of a child putting an organization ahead of their own children, equating the Watchtower Society with God!  Shameful!


Thanks for everything, Mom and Dad.  You really know how to raise a child.  I hear you only speak to one out of the six children you have!  What shining examples of "God's chosen people" you are!  And you know what's funny is that you honestly believe that it is your children's fault that you don't have a relationship with them!
 

You always said when I was younger that you had to keep moving, because your children "shamed your name."  How delusional and utterly laughable!  You had to move because you are both complete and absolute *failures* as parents.  And deep down, I think you know that's true.  

Created on imgflip.com by Noel Parsons
I thought long and hard about what kind of a letter to send you.  A sweet, loving letter to try and touch your heart so that maybe you'll start talking to me again or one that speaks the truth.  I went with the latter obviously, because trying to touch the heart and talk sense into a couple of brainwashed cult members would be as futile as administering medicine to the dead.

The reason this letter is so angry is because I've realized that if you could treat me like I'm dead because I left the religion you raised me in, then you really never loved me in the first place.  I know this now and have accepted it.  The question is, can *you* sleep at night knowing the pain you've caused your own child?  You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Mom, continue making Jehovah's heart happy by ignoring your daughter who's STILL ALIVE and by drowning in those Rusty Nails cocktails every night.

Dad, Jehovah doesn't even come into this when it comes to you.  Continue wasting your life serving a group of rich, old men in Crooklyn New York named the almighty Watchtower, Bible and Tract Society and keep waiting for a day that will never. ever. come.

Autumn

Vicki Burch, Packing a Punch

My story... I wouldn't have thought I would ever tell my story in this type of forum, but seeing as they have taken my mother from me, I will, because I no longer have anything to lose.
 My story began when I was very young.. My mother met a man, who was a Jehovah's Witness of the Watchtower Society.  He soon convinced my mother that this was what she needed to be.  I believe I was four or five years old, at the time and I only have horror stories about the man my mother chose for herself.  He beat and ridiculed my disabled brother, on a daily basis, and tormented us terribly when my mother wasn't around.  I was being sexually abused by him and was terrified to say anything, at the time.  I remember him cleaning his gun at the table and pointing it at us, saying that he would say it went off accidentally while cleaning it.  The day he was murdered by a friend from what I remembered was a huge relief.  I remember my mom taking us to the police station when she heard he was dead, in order to confirm it.  I stood silent, but after hearing he was dead, I was over joyed.  I find it incredibly sad that a child that age was so overjoyed at the news of someone's death.  I just knew the monster was gone!

Life went on and my mother grew in the knowledge of the Watchtower Society's version of "the truth."  I'm not sure why, but when I was ten years old, she decided we were moving from New York to Florida.  We found a congregation here in Florida and to be honest, they were who I called my friends.  With the exception of one worldly friend (still best friends 35 years later) my life revolved around the Jehovah's Witnesses. I can say honestly that while I liked the members and the feeling of family, I never connected or bought into their beliefs.  I was embarrassed all the time and hated the fact that I was different from my schoolmates.  Jealous at the mention of holiday parties and birthday parties, I silently resented the teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses' version of "the truth."  I did a good job at faking it and, because I didn't know any better and it was expected of me, I was baptized at age fifteen years.

The end came when I turned age eighteen years and began seeing a "worldly" (non-Jehovah's Witness) man.  I had moved into my own apartment, because my mother remarried and while I loved him, his adult daughter and son in law also lived with us.  I loved having my own space and freedom! 

My sister, who had left years before, got mad at me over some stupid sibling stuff.  I don't even remember what.  She went to the elders and told them I was moving in with this man.  I had no such intentions at the time.. These members who I thought of like family instead of just asking me, listened to rumors and gossip and sent me a letter to formally meet with the elders to answer these charges!  I was CRUSHED!  I felt betrayed and angry at these people, who preached about the sins of gossip and rumors, doing the same to me.  I sent a letter back with scriptures showing where gossip and rumors were a sin.  The next communication I received was from the one elder I truly cared for.  I had stayed with his family during some tough teenager growing pains and looked up to him as a substitute father.  The letter was short and stated no judgement just talk.  I cried for an hour, then wrote just as small of a letter saying, "That should have been your first letter."  I knew I would not return. 

I wasn't disfellowshipped until almost two years later, when my daughters birth announcement was in the paper.  I received the information that I was disfellowshipped in a letter.  I didn't feel the need to respond to it, since I had dissociated myself two years before.

Now I continued to grow and married and raised a family without any organized religion in my life.  I allowed my children to decide where or if they wanted to go to church.  My mother remained a Jehovah's Witness and in the first years, I had very strained, limited contact with her.  She had moved out of state, after I turned eighteen years of age. 

When my mother found out about me needing surgery for my gal bladder, she sent her number so I could call her.  After talking about my surgery, she asked what else was new and when I told her I was seven months pregnant, she became upset and we ended the call.

I can say, during the time I was raising my family, I really never thought about Jehovah's Witnesses unless something triggered a memory or that guilty feeling when I was doing something that was not allowed by them.

Now to current time.  My step father passed soon after my youngest son died and my mother eventually moved back to Florida.  With my mother getting older, her health became compromised.  My husband and I divorced after he tried to kill me and went to prison. 

I met a wonderful man online and he moved from New York to Florida.  I bought my own business and became a pretty successful business owner.  I helped my mother financially and supported her emotionally through some serious health scares.  Though I lived three hours away and I had two sisters that lived near her, I was the one she knew she could count on.  I paid a couple of her bills every month and would give her cash when she ran out before her Social Security funds came.  I never asked for anything back and felt blessed to be in a position to be there for her.  She remained a Jehovah's Witness and when we would have contact, we never brought up anything regarding religion.  I knew where she stood and she knew where I stood and we respected that.

Now a few weeks ago, I found these Ex-Jehovah's Witness websites and was excited to see I wasn't alone with my memories and made a post expressing my joy at finding it.  I admitted I had contact with my mother, which was never a secret and just " knew" nothing would keep us apart.  I received a call about a week ago that truly has devastated me.  My mother said my post was seen by the elders and she was told that if she had any future contact with me, she would be disfellowshipped.  She said that she loved me, but she was not going to risk being disfellowshipped and she wanted no more contact.  I was and still am stunned!  After all I have done and the fact that I know with her health she might not have many years left, I feel like I have had her stolen from me and my grandson who lives with me.  My sisters were never baptized and my older sister left the family a bitter angry woman years ago.  My mother does have my younger sister, but she has battled financial and substance abuse issues and cannot be there to the extent that I have been.  I wrote this no longer fearing someone may read it and say something to my mother.  They successfully have taken that away from me, so I'm telling my story in order to heal from the past and present in order to move forward.  I am grateful for those that gave us a place where we could share our stories and give support to each other.  Thank you all for your bravery and for giving me the ability to share my story.  I apologize for the length of my story but feel each part was important to convey where I am today..
 
The Punch Line......
I know that someone reading my posts in another group reported back to the elders, so here is a message from me.  If I find out that my mother is in need and/or is not getting what she needs medically or basic needs, I WILL be your worst public relations nightmare!  My mother has dedicated her life to the Watchtower Society and believes your lies, but since you all decided that the one person caring for her needs, is to be out of her life, then YOU are taking full responsibility for her well-being!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Disfellowshipped - My Life as The Invisible Man


Disfellowshipped - My Life as The Invisible Man


The link to Christopher Hale's blog, eventually to become his book (a work-in-progress) is provided here, so as not to incur copyright infringement.

Prima Vera's Story in a Nutshell

Hi, I want to share with you the reason why I finally left the Watchtower Society.  It was due to several things.

 First, I became concerned about references used in the magazines, so I began to check their references out, only to find that they were misquoting resources.


Second, when Armageddon didn't start as predicted by the end of this last century, I really knew then they weren't any prophet of God.

Third, I made inquiry regarding tax returns being made public, which they will not provide.

Then all the news about pedophiles, rapes, domestic violence, began to accumulate regarding Jehovah's Witnesses.

Shall I go on?  No one will ever be able to convince me that God had anything to do with the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses.  Peace out!

NOTE:  Where to find the facts about the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses:

Facts About Jehovah's Witnesses

Watchtower Documents.Com

Watchers of the Watchtower World

Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses (AAWA)

Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses Online

^^^ The above website includes "An Elder Shares His Honest Opinions"
http://ex-jw.com/elder-shares-honest-opinions  (THAT should be an interesting read!)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jena Sharkey Takes Her Stand

This is my "coming out" so to speak, after being (happily) disfellowshipped for five years. 
Contributed by Christian Sparlock Freedom

First of all, I just want to say that I would never let any negative thought grow in my head about Jehovah's Witnesses, at any previous time, because I didn't want to be viewed as an apostate by my family.  I love and miss them so much that it almost causes me pain on a daily basis, but I can no longer keep it in.  My hatred and disgust for these evil men, who ruin lives in the name of God, exceeds my need for a family that has turned its back on their own.  These evil men of the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses will hopefully someday get what's coming to them. 

Today, I am grieving the loss of my living parents.  I was fortunate enough to find a man that I love so much, a man I know would die for me and our two sons.  Today, we have decided to keep our children away from my family because I don't want them to end up feeling the pain that I have felt for the past five years.  So, for anyone else who has or is raising babies, without the support of their family, I know your pain and I am truly sorry, but we are doing what's best for our little ones by not subjecting them to the poisonous filth taught by Jehovah's Witnesses.  

We are in this together.  I'm here if anyone ever wants to talk!  I won't even talk back, if you don't want me to.  I'm okay with simply being a shoulder to cry on.  After all, I've been on that side, too.  And I just want to say to anyone who was a teenage girl like me, if anyone told you that you will never be loved, you'll never have family again, you will never have true friends again, you will never feel Gods love again, etc...  That's a lie, my darlings.  I am happier, more loved, more loving, and closer to God than I have ever been in my entire life.

Kate Dale's Brief, Yet Powerful Statement

Being a Jehovah's Witness was not my choice.  I was born into a family of Jehovah's Witnesses.  My late grandfather was fanatical about their beliefs.  I think he loved being a Jehovah's Witness more then he loved me and the rest of our family.  I still have family which are Jehovah's Witnesses.

My father took his own life and his sister, my Aunt, also took her own life.  Afterward, I remember asking my grandfather,  "If Jehovah loves you like you say He does, why would He let you go through the pain of losing two of your children?"  My grandfather couldn't really answer me, so he began talking about the resurrection, saying that he would get to see my father and Aunty Julie again.  I don't believe in that.  It just gives people false hope of seeing their loved ones again.

Publisher's Note:  Kate is correct not to believe in the "carrot," which the Watchtower Society keeps dangling in front of all their "pack mules" ........um.. .....Jehovah's Witnesses.  After all, Satan told Eve, "Surely you will not die!"  The Watchtower Society leaders have been claiming for over a century, "Millions now living will never die!"

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you are friends with the person in real life or know where the person is, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) so that you can talk to a crisis counselor. Outside the United States or for Facebook reporting please see our international list: https://www.facebook.com/notes/ex-jehovahs-witness-recovery-group-3/international-list-of-suicide-crisis-hotlines/10151825271375835

Saffron Hammer's Disassociation Letter

To Whom It May Concern:
Over the last three years, I have requested not to be contacted in any form: by mail, email, telephone, or in person.  Despite my repeated requests, which I have even put in writing to Peter Whitney and asked him to relay to the Milford congregation, my express wishes have been ignored.  Numerous visits, phone calls, and letters have continued from Loren Tomlinson, Peter Whitney, and others.

I am writing this letter to inform you of my wish to dissociate myself from the New Milford Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Inc., and all associated Watchtower legal entities.  I no longer want to be known as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Please remove me from your list of membership.

Hereafter, no agent or other representative of the Watchtower organization has permission to enter onto my residential property, nor communicate with me via telephone or email.  Trespassers will be subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability.  Any future inquiries into my personal affairs are not welcomed, and any further attempts at such will result in legal action.

If further communication is deemed necessary, please limit such to written letter transmitted via mail service.  Such communication is not solicited, and I reserve the right to proceed with legal action if such communication violates my legal rights.  Should I deem such steps necessary, I will proceed with legal action against the individual Elders, the New Milford, Connecticut Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, Inc., and all associated Watchtower legal entities.

Respectfully,

Saffron Hammer (a pseudonym, whereas the original letter is legally signed)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Susan Murray's Open Letter to Individual Members of Her Congregation

Susan Murray's letter, which expresses her reasons, in detail, for leaving the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses, was copied and sent, on June 21, 2014, to individual members of the congregation, from which she was disfellowshipped, on July 16, 2014.
Created by Christian Sparlock Freedom
Dear Friend,


As you may know, it has been over two years since I last attended a meeting at the Kingdom Hall.  There were several factors that contributed to my decision to leave at that time, but the most compelling was my health.  I had reached a point where I felt physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.  The breakup of my marriage and loss of livelihood within a one year period had weighed me down to the point where I could barely think straight.  I tried my best to function on auto-pilot and continue to faithfully attend the meetings, but that didn’t work after a while.  Maybe it was my occasional outspokenness; my sub-par performance in the ministry; my decision to pursue a bachelor’s degree; Kingdom Hall gossip, or all the above that led some to view me as “marked” or bad association.  Whatever the case was, walking through that big metal door had become a weekly exercise in stress management, for I no longer felt genuinely welcome, safe, or comfortable in the Kingdom Hall.  Feeling trapped under a load I could no longer carry, I prayed to Jehovah then made the decision to never subject myself to that again.  But this was not the only reason I decided to leave, as mentioned.  Please allow me to explain.

Gaining bible knowledge through reading and study was something I deeply cherished as a Jehovah’s Witness.  But as my comprehension grew over time, so did my troubles with a restless conscience.  Specific information I read in the publications, and particular statements repeated by elders and others on a regular basis didn’t appear to be supported scripturally; likewise for certain mandated procedures that were carried out each week, month, etc.  But the real source of the cognitive dissonance I struggled with for years was a couple of rules I bumped into not long after my baptism over seventeen years ago, the two most important rules for Jehovah's Witnesses: 

1. obey the Governing Body as if they are God himself

2. Accept and comply with all Watchtower teachings, even when they deviate from the scriptures.

The Watchtower Society's publications and the elders, etc. never stated these directives in such straigh-forward terms, but they were fully understood by the rank and file, nonetheless.  Why the issue?  These rules required me to obediently “follow the leader,” regardless of whether it bothered my conscience to do so.  This was not what I dedicated my life to God for and, in fact, such requirements were completely incongruous with what I was preaching to individuals of other faiths.  The same bible verses were recited time and time again to the Lutheran, Catholic and Mormon:  "Obey God as ruler rather than men; be faithful even in what is least; be sure of all things; test every inspired expression; do not put your trust in earthling men.I wanted to help all I met in the ministry to understand that blind complacency was not acceptable according to God’s word.  “True” Christians must: 

1. carefully scrutinize every church policy, procedure and doctrine

2. Defy church authorities and their organizational protocols when it is evident that scriptural directives are not being followed

3. Cancel church membership if necessary. 

Needless to say, the imposed double standard --do as I say, not as I do--made it increasingly difficult to engage in the door to door ministry.  How could I tell anyone to do these things when I wasn’t doing them myself? 

From the beginning right up to the present, the Watchtower Society has been well-known for its countless changes in doctrines, policies, and procedures, as well as numerous failed predictions.  So I am simply drawing attention to the obvious, by pointing out that Watchtower leadership is wrong at times.  As mentioned, my biggest issue was that I was required to “follow the leader”, in other words, to accept and comply with absolutely everything the Governing Body and elders told me to do, despite the frequent changes and inconsistencies, and despite the fact that doing so meant I had to not only ignore my bible-trained conscience, but ignore God as well.   There were times when I went out on a limb and discussed my concerns with a few individuals, but the response was always the same Watchtower Society mantra:  "Wait on Jehovah."  Put another way, do what the elders and Governing Body tell you to do, no matter what; Jehovah will straighten things out in his own due time.  Sound familiar?

This stock answer never made sense to me, so one day I decided to do a bit of research (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1)  It didn’t take long to see that such thinking was entirely out of sync with God’s word, and the following explains why.  According to the Gospels, the leaders of God’s covenant people had once again strayed from his Word by establishing their own standards of righteousness and, as in times past, Jehovah wasn’t happy about it.  His feelings on the matter where made known by Jesus’ scathing denunciations, but more than anything else, he condemned them for their self-righteous arrogance and hypocritical double standards. (Matt. 3:9; 23:3, 13-32; Romans 2:17-24)  As you know, the story ends with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, God’s divine execution of justice upon his unfaithful people, his “ channel” which, interestingly, wiped out the lives of not only the Jewish religious leaders, but the rank and file, as well, in other words, those who had trusted and obeyed these men rather than God.  From this information, one can draw the following conclusion:  We will all be individually accountable to the Lord on judgment day, regardless of our religious affiliation (2 Corinthians 5:10).  Therefore, no individual, nor group of individuals, nor religious organization is exempt from God’s judgment, regardless of what anyone may claim to the contrary (Matt. 3:9; 7:21-23).  Consequently, there is no salvation,  no “ark” of safety, in any religious organizations nor the leaders who guide them. (Psalms 146:3, 4).  The tragic death of each and every rank and file Jew that perished in Jerusalem in 70 CE is a sobering reminder of what awaits those who think otherwise, who erroneously believe the following:

1. Membership in a particular religious organization provides divine protection and exemption from some of the scriptural requirements they teach others to live by (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:21)

2.  Absolute, rather than relative subjection to their religious leaders equates to obedience to God and Christ.

Remember, giving allegiance and loyalty to anyone or anything other than Jehovah first, constitutes spiritual fornication, idolatry, something He does not tolerate. (Exodus 20:3; Ephesians 5:5; Rev. 14:4a)  Think about this the next time you compliantly promote Watchtower dogma that is not supported scripturally (Ephesians 4:25), or follow organizational procedures that violate bible principles, because you have probably done these things over and over again with little or no thought as to the potential consequences.  I did.  For years, I tried to silence that little inner voice and faithfully do whatever I was told in order to demonstrate obedience to the “Slave” and maintain a good standing in the congregation.  It’s truly ironic that for seventeen years, I was vigilant in avoiding any sort of political and/or nationalistic demonstration of allegiance or loyalty for fear of committing idolatry; and yet for those same years, I made sacrifices, not to God, but to an image, a religious organization.

But what about the verses that say we must speak in agreement and be submissive to those taking the lead (1 Corinthians 1:10; Hebrews 13:7), or the one that mentions the light getting brighter (Proverbs 4:18), you may ask.  Well think about this: since Jehovah never lies or contradicts, His principles, rules and prophecies are consistent and unchanging, even if this doesn’t always appear to be the case.  Like a beautiful masterpiece in a dimly lit museum, the many intricacies of God’s immutable truths cannot be seen, nor fully appreciated, without a bright light, a divine luminary that dissipates the shadows of un-enlightenment over time. (Psalms 36:9; 43:3)  So, even though we may not comprehend everything we read in God’s Word, we can still draw the conclusion that Jehovah does not require anyone to blindly “follow the leader” and/or maintain hypocritical double standards in worship.  If the reverse were true, verses such as Acts 5:29, Psalms 146:3, and 1 John 4:1 would not be in the bible.  With this in mind, why is it that Jehovah's Witnesses hang on the Governing Body’s every word, never questioning any of their claims, yet continue to exhort their neighbors to carefully scrutinize everything their religious leaders say and do?  After much thought, I believe I have formulated a reasonable explanation.  Consider the following.

As a student of the bible, I can say with confidence that neither Proverbs 4:18 nor any other verse indicates that Jehovah is directly or indirectly responsible for the Governing Body’s long track record of contradictions, flip-flops in  understanding , major policy changes (e.g., organ transplants), failed predictions, etc.  To even imply anything to the contrary is clearly misleading, for this suggests that the Watchtower Society’s consistent misrepresentation of the scriptures is due to Jehovah’s slowness in shedding light, rather than the real reasons, which include presumptuousness, lack of holy spirit, arrogance, etc. on the part of the Governing Body.  And yet, each time these changes occur, Proverbs 4:18 is cited in the related Watchtower articles and quoted in talks from the podium, leading Jehovah's Witnesses to believe that these men are not directly responsible for any errors they make (because it’s God’s doing).  This raises the Governing Body to the level of infallibility, which is the very reason why you and many others mechanically “follow the leader," regardless of how much or how often they deviate, revamp, revise, scrap, screw-up, etc.  A similar process takes place in the case of Hebrews 13:7, 1 Corinthians 1:10, and other verses such as Psalms 42:5.  When considered within the context of the biblical canon, not a single verse, illustration, or account indicates that Jehovah's Witnesses are under divine obligation to comply with the Governing Body's every dictate, right or wrong (Acts 5:29).  Even hinting that the reverse is true is nothing less than a deceptive, megalomaniacal attempt to alter God’s universal hierarchy of authority in the minds of spiritually-inclined individuals (1 Corinthians 11:3).  And yet, the Governing Body does just that and more, in order to perpetuate the lie, by telling Jehovah's Witnesses that absolute, rather than relative subjection to their headship equates to obedience to God and Christ.  These eisegeses and others are consistently and frequently dispensed via the talks, publications, etc., week after week, month after month, and year after year.  In fact, during one particular meeting, a highly respected elder declared, “Whatever comes out of the mouth of the Slave, you consider that as coming out of the mouth of Jehovah.”  In light of the foregoing, such grandiose claims are utter blasphemy (Jehovah NEVER lies --Romans 3:4).  What’s even worse is the fact that compliance with these untruths and others is strictly enforced much in the same way the Catholic Church once sanctioned any who challenged its unscriptural dogmas, policies, and practices.  Apostate branding, public humiliation, removal from the congregation and shunning by Jehovah's Witness family members and friends is the outcome that awaits all who dare to listen to their consciences and loyally uphold God’s word (Acts 5:29).  These shameful implements of evil have led to mental and emotional problems, serious physical ailments, and even death among a significant number of disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witnesses.  Taking all this into account, it is no wonder Jehovah’s Witnesses practice hypocrisy!

If you have no problem being deceived, lied to, manipulated and controlled by fear, you are where you should be—in the organization called the Watchtower Society of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  However, if, like me, you have experienced a crisis of conscience due to the unscriptural autocratic style of governance the organization wields, DO NOT IGNORE IT.  God has given you a conscience for a reason, so it is vitally important that you use it as HE intended.  Here’s how: 

1. Read and study your bible exclusively and independently

2. Independently research the history of the organization and current and past Watchtower Society doctrines, policies, and procedures, paying particular attention to the frequent flip-flopping, revisions, etc.  

3. Independently and carefully verify all information that is dispensed via the publications and public talks, rejecting anything that is not solidly backed by God’s word.  Be particularly on guard for statements that tell you to accept and/or comply with whatever you are told, even if it doesn’t make sense, add-up, etc.

4. Practice what you preach!  Refuse to hypocritically teach others to apply bible standards that you are not fully complying with yourself (in other words, preaching 1 John 4:1 but not applying it).

5. Refuse to commit idolatry/spiritual fornication by complacently “following the leader” when you know or even sense that doing so requires, or may require, disobedience to God and his word.  Remember, he who is faithful in what is least, is faithful in what is most! 

6. Refuse to be intimidated and controlled by family, friends, elders or anyone else that attempts to frighten you into remaining in subjection to the organization rather than Jehovah

7. Pray to God for strength and courage to do what is right according to his word. 

If you are unclear by what I mean by “independently”, let me explain.  Rather than relying on the Organization’s self-published material to verify the accuracy of the Organization’s assertions, claims etc., seek out sources that are not controlled by, nor affiliated with the Watchtower.  This is what Jehovah wants you to do and it’s what you tell others to do! (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1)  Verify, test, check--just as you would if you were buying a vehicle.  Rather than rely on the salesman’s claims, you would consult independent and objective sources of information like Consumer Reports or carfax.com, before making the decision to buy.      

What is the purpose of this letter?  I assure you it is in no way an attempt to subvert your faith in God.  To the contrary, it is a plea to fully trust and comply with God’s Word, regardless of the consequences.  Fear of man is what lays a snare.  And it is a warning.  If you continue to remain in the Organization and complacently accept whatever you are spoon-fed, you are pleasing men, not Jehovah, and you are in danger.  
The tragedy that befell God’s unfaithful anointed in the first century foreshadows future events that will befall God’s modern-day, unfaithful anointed remnant and all those (the rank and file) who put their faith and trust in them.  I realize Jehovah's Witnesses are taught to believe that Christendom is modern day apostate Jerusalem, but this simply isn’t so.  If that’s the case, God’s anointed remnant is in Christendom, not the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  This is a critical point, because it involves you on a very personal level.  How?  According to the scriptures, wherever the anointed are is precisely where the apostasy and subsequent judgment will occur.  So then, if the remnant is located in your religious organization, the foretold apostasy will also occur within your religious organization.  Ask yourself:  "Why did Jehovah spare the Samaritans or the “pagan half-Jews," when He brought destruction upon His covenant people in 70 CE?

According to the pattern set in the first century, the purpose of the modern day apostasy is to fully test the anointed. (Malachi 3:2, 3)  Whether they qualify to co-rule mankind in the future will be determined by whom they ultimately choose to serve, whether it be Jehovah or their unfaithful religious leaders.  The Revelation prophesies and many others reveal this tug of war over loyalty (Matt. 4:8, 9; John 14:30,18:36; Rev. 1:5, 5:10, 6:15; 16:12, 14; 17:2, 10, 12, 14, 18; 18:3, 9; 19:16-19; 20:4, 6; 21:24; 22:5). On one side is Satan and the unfaithful anointed, who, like the Pharisees, deviate from God’s word and deceive the rank and file into doing the same.  On the other side, Christ and his faithful anointed who loyally uphold Jehovah's standards, even unto death (Revelation 2:10).  Sadly, the vast majority of those on the battle lines will not prevail because they are on the losing side, caught in the same trap that Satan set in the first century, a religious organization that appears to have God’s approval.

The information in the preceding two paragraphs is not of my own originality but comes from anointed brothers and sisters--yes, members of the body of Christ--who have been kicked out of the Organization for refusing to comply with unscriptural doctrines, policies, and practices.  Many of these faithful ones wrote letters to the Governing Body about these matters, but they were largely ignored.  How do you think Jehovah feels about that? Well, how did He feel when Jesus and his disciples were thrown out of the synagogues? 

In closing, I want to point out that I still worship Jehovah God, and no, I’m not a Trinitarian.  I still care about you.  This is the sole reason why you have personally received this information.  Should you desire to discuss any of the points presented here in greater detail, or simply need a listening ear and some loving support, please don’t hesitate to contact me.   All communication will be completely confidential so you don’t have to worry.


All My Love,
S. Murray

P.S.
Approx. three days after I sent my letter out to everyone in the congregation, one of the elders in my former congregation called.  The first thing he wanted to talk about was subjection to the Organization.  Citing the example of Moses and Aaron, he discussed how the Governing Body is being used by God today, even though they make mistakes like Moses did when he commanded water to come out of the rock.  Then another elder texted me.  The following quotes are their text messages to me and my responses to them, via text message:  

My response to elder #1 who phoned me:

"I thought a bit more about your example of Moses and Aaron.  What you failed to mention was the fact that Moses’ single slip of the tongue cost him his life.  In one moment of frustration, he "directed attention" to himself rather than Jehovah, spoke "rashly with his lips," and "acted undutifully towards Jehovah." (insight book, p. 438) But the Governing Body has a lengthy and ongoing track record of such offenses!  What's worse is the fact that they pass the buck for these sins rather than show repentance. How do you think Jehovah feels about that?  His dealings with Moses makes the answer to this question crystal clear.  Maybe you should consider these things the next time you put Jehovah and the Governing Body on equal footing at one of the meetings. (I am  alluding to  a comment this elder made at a meeting once; it’s quoted in my letter…”whatever comes out of the mouth of Slave, consider this as coming out of the mouth of Jehovah.”)

elder #1 text response:

"The questions I ask myself are like those of the apostles: "Whom shall we go to away to?" (John 6:68)  Where did you learn the truth about the soul, the real condition of the dead, hellfire, the trinity, the paradise, the Kingdom, being  "no part of this world,"  the 144,000, etc.?  Was it from the churches of Christendom?  Or was it from Jehovah' s Witnesses?  Those from whom you get your information...where did they get whatever truths they have?  From their own selves or from Jehovah's Witnesses?  Further, Jesus said that "this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth," during the last days.  Who is doing this work today?  The churches?  Those who espouse your views?  Do they follow the example of Jesus and the apostles, who "preached publicly and from house to house"?  These are the questions that are so revealing as to whom Jehovah is using and blessing."

My text response to elder #1:

I do appreciate that I gained a love of God's word from Jehovah's Witnesses, but that in no way obligates me to worship the Governing Body, rather than Jehovah.  It doesn't somehow exempt me from the divine obligation to obey god as ruler, rather than men, nor to test every inspired expression, etc.  Had the rank and file understood this in the first century, they would not have rejected the Lord's counsel to flee Jerusalem.  Their religious leaders were "sons of Abraham" and “teachers of the law,” but that did not excuse them from the responsibility to "make sure of all things."

Good afternoon!  I would like to conclude my thoughts from last night.  According to the scriptures, neither preaching, nor any other "powerful works," under any circumstances, cancels out the sinful practice of hypocrisy in Jehovah's eyes.  The Pharisees were "sons of Abraham", "teachers of the law" as mentioned previously, and yet, the Lord condemned them for their double standards in worship..."Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you travel around by sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one of you, you make him twice as much of a son of Gehenna as yourselves."  Like these self-righteous men, Jehovah's Witnesses practice hypocrisy, in other words, "Do as I say, not as I do," so Matthew 23:15 above aptly applies to them, as well. (also Matthew 23:3, 28; 7:21-23)

Elder #2 text:

I’ve read your letter and spoke with Brother XXXX about your exchange with him.  In light of all of that, are you formally saying that you no longer want to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses?  We only ask that as a last resort, as we would prefer to meet and discuss the matter.  If however, your mind is made up, we will respect your decision. Thank you

 My text response to elder #2:

good morning...as I mentioned to Brother XXXX, there is no point in meeting with you two, because there's nothing you can say that I haven't already heard and taken into consideration.  I still worship Jehovah and talk to others about his truths, but I refuse to practice hypocrisy and bow down to an image--an Organization--as I once did.  If you choose to disfellowship me, I know this is the real reason why (my refusal to obey the Governing Body as ruler, rather than God), for I spoke the whole truth and nothing but the truth in my letter.

 Elder #2 text response: 

"So let me get this straight one last time.  You were taught what you call Gods truths through an organization that you now call an image that requires idolatry to be able to remain in its good graces.  You say you learned this while in a spiritually weak state from those who were admitted apostates, because the organization would not listen and adopt some of their views.

"And now you're convinced that Jehovah's will for you, going forward, is to either teach bible truths you learned from an organization you now disdain or try to convince former religious associates to adopt the view of your new group and develop the same disgust with this organization and its slave that you and your group share.

Please consider 3 scriptural points

1. Who really is the faithful and discrete slave whom his master appointed.  If it's not this one, you must be saying its your new one.

2. "By their fruits you will recognize them."  What righteous fruit has your group produced other than disdain for their former organization?

3. "Not everyone saying lord, lord will enter........but those doing the will of my Father."  Is Jehovah's will for all his servants to be associated with a group that took its very identity from an organization that they now turn on and call "apostate.Teaching others to hate this organization and this slave is your whole ministry?  Susan, you have a dead chicken on your neck and you're calling it "sweet smelling."  Please meet with 2 of us.  You have been over-reached.  It's not too late.  Your brother still…. XXXXX" (Note: the “dead chicken” comment was kind of an inside joke)

My text response to Elder #2:

Good morning…. In reply to your message, my study of the scriptures alone made it clear to me--long before I left--that Jehovah does not approve of the practice of hypocrisy, and yet, I was continually required to preach/teach one thing, while doing another or face expulsion from the congregation. (Matt. 23:3b, 28, 15; Romans 2:21)  I believe I spelled that out very clearly in my letter.  This realization had a snowball effect, as it led me to question the scriptural accuracy of everything the Organization said and did from that point forward. (acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1; Prov. 146:3,4)  Once I determined that the Governing Body was not actually the “faithful and discreet slave,” as they claimed, it all made sense, the hypocrisy, consistent misapplication of God’s word, etc.  It was at this point that I decided to leave.  Approximately six months later, I discovered that I was not the only one who had seen and smelled the same “stinky," lifeless chicken dangling from the Governing Body’s neck.  So, contrary to your assumption, I did not “learn this while in a spiritually weak state from those who were admitted apostates."  Rather, it was God’s word alone that led me to the light of “truth," something the Watchtower Society has ventured further and further away from over the years. (John 17:17)  Speaking of God’s word, the similarities between apostate Jerusalem and the Watchtower Society is truly uncanny—the self-righteous arrogance, false sense of security, the hypocrisy, etc.  Yes, it is not too late Brother XXXXX…”to begin fleeing to the mountains”. (Matt. 24:16)
Admittedly, their own words describe them as self-appointed.