Letter to jw’s

Dear all my Jehovah’s Witness friends and family

 I am using this public platform in the hope of reaching as many of you as I can. I will also be sending private messages, e-mails and so on in the attempt to not miss anyone.

The reason I am using my blog is because for the most of you, you will probably delete my message without them even being read. That is the reality of what happens when you leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It doesn’t matter for what reason you left, the simple fact that you turned your back on them means that they will shun you. This shunning entails them not speaking to you, contacting you or acknowledging your existence if they can at all help it.

This public message is to let them all know that I am still alive and well. My family is happy and doing better than ever. My son is three years old and is the joy of my life. I am currently living in England with my husband and thoroughly enjoying the new chapter of my life. I have not become an angry bitter hateful person as all those who leave are portrayed to become. I suppose you would call me an apostate, simply because I publicise the fact that the ‘Watchtower’ and the ‘Governing Body’ have lied and continue to lie.

Why did I leave? I was ashamed to be called a Jehovah’s Witness. After I found out the depth of the deception that I had been under for so many years I couldn’t bear to be known as one for another minute.

Yes, I could simply just carry on with my life and leave you be – but something compelled me today to reach out, something I haven’t done since I left. I didn’t tell all of you personally that I was leaving, I knew well enough the gossip would reach far and wide faster than I could call or contact everyone, so I just let the natural course of events play themselves out. Today I thought that I should at least try to let you all know that I am still here, and if you want to contact me you are completely free to. I will not shun you.

I have set up an email address that you can send to and I will reply to you from my personal e-mail. I will not fill your ears with ‘apostate reasoning’s’ if you don’t ask me outright I will not say anything to you about the lies that I discovered, nothing at all. Your journey is your own.

Since I do not recognise the authority of the Governing Body or elders for that matter, I will talk to you despite the fact you are under strict rules to not talk to me.

So here is the challenge:

Speak to me.

E-mail: speaktoasiza@gmail.com

 

I am waiting to hear from you.

Love

Asiza

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Oh well, I tried….

I decided recently that donating blood for the first time will be a real step in the right direction. Breaking through that taboo in my head would prove enlightening and beneficial. Well I suppose it was enlightening – I discovered you cannot just donate that easily!

You wouldn’t believe what a huge disappointment it was for me.WP_20160224_001

I approached the day with enthusiasm but when I reached the town hall where I was to donate my nerves were jangling. Inside my nerves only got worse, for a bit I actually thought of calling it quits and going home. I felt nauseas and ‘spacey’. I stuck it out and went through my screening process. They were exceptionally thorough, even calling my GP to ensure I could safely donate because I had miscarried 4 months before. The fact I was born in South Africa also became a small sticking point, the final check of my iron levels finally cleared me to donate.

I drank my 500ml glass of water and then I was called to come and sit on a weird grey chair that tilts you back. I was hooked up and almost immediately there was this beeping sound. I had to squeeze something in my hand to keep the pressure up, that continued for a few minutes, but the beeping kept coming back. I learnt that the machine weighing my blood also checks that its flowing at a fast enough rate. Mine was not, if they do not get your full donation in 15 minutes it becomes unusable. So after I had only managed half a pint they had to ‘let it down’ and call it quits for real. The reason is my veins are too narrow, the donor carer advised me to try again in 2-4 years as my veins may have changed by then.

I got up, had my water and a biscuit and then made my way home, feeling rather dejected by the experience. The disappointment that I wasn’t able to do what I had set out to do really got to me. I never thought for a moment that my slim little veins would be what got me!

As the title of this blog says, ‘oh well, I tried’. Still doesn’t feel very good though!

Require more of yourself

 

th[5]This post has accumulated through a few random triggers and memories, I wonder what my life might have been like if I had never studied with the witnesses way back when I was 9 or 10 years old. My mother was disfellowshipped and the congregation she attended occasionally, had observant elders who suggested that a regular pioneer study with me. I declined at first, I had no interest in spending an hour every week ‘studying the Bible’, well it was the ‘knowledge book’ first and then we did … (oh wow, I’ve forgotten, how about that?) An elder who had known my mother since she was a little girl insisted I agree to the study, and that is when my formal indoctrination began. I was already well on my way anyway with my mother teaching me so this was a step up. Well, we did two whole books and then it was time that I made a decision. I had to start doing field service. I absolutely completely HATED it. Not being able to open my mouth to preach was why I didn’t progress to baptism. I ‘lost’ my unbaptised publisher status and stopped going to the meetings. I was ‘out’ for about two years between the ages of 16 and 17. Enormous pressure was placed on me from many angles to get ‘right again’. An elder yelled at me at my door because I wasn’t doing what he thought I was supposed to, sending me into floods of tears. My mother complained to that same regular pioneer and was told it was because this elder cared so much about me, that is why he yelled. The regular pioneer visited VERY regularly, I realise now it was also easy time for her field service constantly checking on me. Fast forward a little and I was in my last year of high school and since I was so depressed and feeling like such a failure it appeared like being a good witness would make my life better.

Up until then I had been ‘a sort of’ witness. I didn’t do any of the nice things ‘worldly’ kids could do but I also didn’t have any of ‘love bombing’ or support that witness friends may have given me. It took me years before I actually made a witness friend. To explain I was an incredibly shy child, painfully shy in fact. Most of this was due to the abuse I experienced in my childhood making me very withdrawn and frightened of just about everything. I didn’t do after school activities, I didn’t really excel in any of my school work besides history because I was afraid I may get noticed and perhaps get a bursary for further education. To avoid that I just made sure I was dead average about almost everything, sometimes less than average, my maths scores were really poor regardless :).

I got baptised at 18 years old and it seemed as if my life was finally on the right track. I forced myself to speak at the door, and it was like I was being blessed by Jehovah. Things were working out, I was auxiliary pioneering and though I was a bit older than some of the others in the congregation ‘on my level’ I was finally accepted. I belonged somewhere. Funny that, I finally belonged somewhere and it made me an exile from the entire world. I had pretty much being taught that I was an inconvenience from birth so just coasting through life and staying under the radar seemed a good idea. The less chance I had to fail, the less I would fail. I required very little of myself because my self esteem was less than zero. Being a Witness, achieving anything at all in the world wasn’t on the agenda so I wasn’t challenged to do anything.

In primary school all the kids had to run a certain distance and the first 20 who got back could be in the cross country team. I immediately got my mother to write a letter to get me out of it because I took what she had taught me so seriously. The PT teacher was angry with me and said I couldn’t excuse myself from everything. Wanna bet? Go a few years back and another teacher said I wouldn’t amount to anything because I got out of being on the scholar patrol. The scholar patrol would do the salute to the flag every morning and I couldn’t obviously. My whole life seemed to be a list of failures and I hadn’t even reached twenty, I was one foot in with the witnesses and one foot in the world, and neither of them cared for me. I chose the witnesses as I genuinely thought it was the right thing to do, did I have any other information to compare to? No, my mother had taught me and my father was a non-practising Mormon.

Even though I became more deeply depressed as the years went by being a Witness I would have still stuck with it because it was all I knew. It took something earth shattering like falling in love to change the direction of my thinking. There is still a great deal of my ‘old thinking’ that I’m still having to deal with. I made a great deal of progress and done a lot of healing in therapy but as always its the day to day that really teaches me. I should require more of myself, my morality is not dictated by the Governing Body, I can reach out and help anyone I want to. I can write that novel and finish it, I can register to run a race and pitch up and finish that too. Yes, I walked almost the entire way, but I still got the first medal I ever received and though everyone else got one too, that medal is super important to me.

When you have been encased in glass for years, watching everyone else LIVE and you finally get out and breathe in the free air – you owe it to yourself to live too. Do those things that excite you, that you’ve always wanted to, even if its something silly and childish. It doesn’t matter, being a kid for awhile isn’t a bad thing every once in awhile. Run that race, help that charity, study further, write your memoir, tell others that listening to the witnesses will not enrich their lives, it will only darkened it. Witnesses live in a permanent state of suspense, waiting for their actual lives to begin. Your life is right now, at this minute, so require more of yourself and live your life and expand your joy and happiness.

No part of the world or just more control?

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Jehovah’s Witnesses really stand out as different, this is because they want to appear that they are no part of the ‘world’. To define what they believe the ‘world’ is I will type out a piece from their ‘Reasoning from the Scriptures’ book published in 1985 and again in 1989.

The Italics are my own.

— page 435 World – Definition: When translated from the Greek word ko’smos, “world” can mean (1) humankind as a whole, apart from their moral condition or course of life, (2) the framework of human circumstances into which a person is born and in which he lives, or (3) the mass of mankind apart from Jehovah’s approved servants. Some Bible translators have conveyed inaccurate impressions by also using “world” as the equivalent of Greek terms that mean “earth”, “inhabited earth,” and “system of things.” The following discussion focuses its principal attention on the third of the numbered meanings of “world” as given above. —

From that it is clear that being different from everyone else is how Jehovah’s Witnesses believe is being ‘no part of the world’. This education in how to be different starts very young with children born into the Witnesses. Their school careers are dominated by it, their after school activities, their career choices, which sets them up for their life. There is a great deal that happens in a normal school environment that Witness children would need to ask to be excused, this could range from the school assembly. I couldn’t sing the school song in High School (Grade 6-10) because this song talked about pride in your school etc, it meant I wasn’t being completely neutral. Hence I would stand and not sing, really pissing off the prefects. School assignments revolving around certain holidays, Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Youth Week, Political Holidays, Halloween you could not take part in. Then we come to after school activities. Here is another quote from a Jehovah’s Witness publication called ‘Organized To Do God’s Will’ published in 2005.

— page 141. To keep separate from the world while in school, young Witnesses should consider the danger of becoming involved in extracurricular activities. Classmates and teachers may not always understand your decision not to participate. However, pleasing God is what counts. This requires that you exercise your Bible-trained conscience and stand firm in the resolve not to become involved in worldly competition or nationalistic practices, which violate Bible principles. (Gal. 5:19,26) (Scripture has no relevance btw) By listening to the Scriptural counsel of godly parents and benefitting from the good association and instruction of the congregation, you young ones will be aided in holding to Jehovah’s righteous standards. —

Practically from birth children of Witnesses are trained to isolate themselves. Even making friends with school mates is something dangerous. In one paragraph they have managed to draw a child away from healthy activities and ensure that they think they will not be understood even if they tried to explain. Making a decision about college or university (tertiary education) also becomes a minefield because once again very dangerous things happen when you go to university (like learning critical thinking) so that is strongly discouraged too. A wise choice of studies could lead to a good career (I know that doesn’t always happen but I still think getting an education is way better than not getting one), since there will be no studying further a Witness youth’s choices become very narrow. The Governing Body then narrows it further by encouraging them incessantly to enter ‘full-time’ service. A young brother has a lot more choices than a young sister, her option is pioneering (full time knocking on doors and cart witnessing now I guess).

There you have it, a generation of minds moulded into drones for the Witness machine. When they do eventually get jobs, whatever they may be, it is probably not what they really have a passion for, again the isolation doesn’t end. Attending office parties, Christmas parties, or going out for drinks with your colleagues is out too. You should only be preaching to your colleagues not forging genuine friendships.

Entertainment choices are limited. Your every choice has to be examined under a magnifying glass as to its suitability. Attending music concerts are frowned upon because you’re spending a huge amount of time mingling with ‘worldly people’. I remember being told many times from the platform we don’t want to get MISTAKEN for a ‘worldly’ person by the way we dress or where we go and what we enjoy. Why? Because we might get destroyed at Armageddon if we look like ‘worldly’ people.

This insistence on not participating in certain holidays is also a way of isolating their members. They cite pagan origins as the reason, but in reality its all just another control mechanism. I’ve come to the conclusion the pagan origins thing is an often used and convenient scape goat. It is all about the control.

What things did you have to ‘separate yourself from’ while in school and as a adult as a Witness?