Jared's Story

My name is Jared. I am 36 years old at the time this was written. I was a third generation Jehovah's Witness, only child, raised in the "truth" as they say. It has now been about 3 years since I conscientiously stopped attending the meetings. Its ironic that the vary religion that teaches you to faithfully stand for truth at any cost, is the same religion that forces you to stand for the truth at any cost..... only without them!

Growing up as an only child is lonely enough, but then to be raised in a socially isolating religious movement on top of having an anti-social Father who, by the way, was raised a J.W. but who would leave the house when Mom would invite some "friends" from the hall over was difficult at best. We moved quite often so any rare friend I would make at the Hall, or at School, I would soon lose. Most of the time, we had few friends in the Hall since we didn't fit in with the "click" crowd. Of course this is all chocked up to human nature and imperfection. Naturally, I did not participate in sports, school events, or any extra activity that would allow me to make friends with the "world". This was not due to my parents restrictions, rather, I just knew from my J.W. training that those things were not recommended. I never pressured my folks about anything that I can ever recall.

During my school years, I never dated anyone, nor did I go to my senior prom. At times I felt invisible, a non person floating along amongst the walking dead i.e. the "worldly people". I had some friends in the hall that were female, but even at 17 and 18 dating was frowned upon since the pressure was placed on the "youth" to start pioneering right away after High School. After school, I moved down to Portland Or. to work for a "shirt tail" relative of mine in his businesses. At that time, although I wasn't being immoral or breaking any Biblical laws, I felt terrible because I wasn't able to make many meetings. I tried to attend a nearby Kingdom Hall in the town of Orchards near Vancouver. The hall was large and cold. I could walk in, stay for the meeting, stand around, leave and not have ONE person come up and say hello! I often left in tears, feeling worse than before. I attended several times now an again. Before long, I just couldn't take the snubbing so I became inactive during that time. Later, when I moved from there to Eastern Oregon, I was able to attend a small hall that was more friendly. It was so small, that if I didn't show up, 1/4 of the hall was missing! I felt more needed and noticed there.

Later, when I turned 21 and had moved to Portland Oregon, my Mother called and asked me if I would like to move up and stay with them. Because I was working at a dead end job, I thought "why not?". This was late 1986. What I didn't know was that I was starting on a path that would literally ruin my life for the next 10 years! It was in Sedro Woolley Washington that I met my now (Thank God) Ex-wife Angie. Since I had not dated nor had much female association as directed by the Bible, I had no clue what was normal female behavior and what was just plain crazy! She had her sights on me even before I arrived as the word went out that a good looking single brother was moving up. (Fresh meat!) Among other things, my ex-wife (my Dad named her facetiously "the Jewel") would not take no for an answer. God help the kind hearted forgiving soul that meets up with a hard core "user" A-type personality! Such was "the Jewel". Her controlling behavior was so disturbing that while dating her, I broke it off only to make up again after she collapsed at my feet threatening to kill herself if I left. Next thing I know, I'm married.

Now I have never had an enemy in my life, still don't. My wife was now worse than any enemy I could ever think of having. At least an enemy will hit you or hurt you and then go away....but with "the Jewel" it was one emotional and physical abusive roller coaster ride, day after day, month after month. Every day, there was something. She was rude, loud, obnoxious, self centered, hateful, jealous, spiteful with a terrible low self esteem. (Go figure) First thing she did was to distance me from what little family I had. She tried every fiber of my Christian love and patients to the max. Because I was a Jehovah's Witness, (supposedly she was as well) she would say "if you don't like it, leave!" and "where do you think you are going to go?" She knew that my conscience and faith was keeping me from leaving. When in public, she would act somewhat like a normal person except for an occasional loud belch that got her attention.... she thought that was cute. In front of the Elders she would act even more rational or normal. So the Elders didn't know what to do or say. People in my position at the time suffer alone. No one can believe your life could be that bad nor do they wish to get in the middle of things, after all, "you knew what you were getting into" my mother-in-law used to say, Oh what a comfort! I had many soul searching talks with Jehovah during that time. I was determined to stick with this marriage out of faithfulness to God. That was the only thing that kept me from having a nervous breakdown.

While I had to give her an account for everywhere I would go or who I would see under the penalty of a knock known drag out hate fest, she on the other hand could go out on the town or stay out as late as she wished whenever she wanted. I would not stop her as it would give me an occasional break. After our 2nd year of marriage, she confessed to me that she got "into trouble" with some friends of hers (supposedly from the Hall) after a drinking binge where she claimed a man at the party "rapped" her. I said that she needed to go to the authorities but she refused to pursue it further. ( I wonder why?) This she told me while we were attending my best friends funeral of which I was to give the services. She begged for my forgiveness, which I gave in the spirit of my Christian nature. Soon after, she was back to her old self.

Later when she had the feeling that she was pushing me out of our marriage, she secretly went off her birth control pills. I wondered why she was so frisky! Surprise! Now we soon had 2 children. Now things were worse than before as she was not mentally stable enough to care for children in a responsible way. She had psychosomatic illnesses that conveniently kept her from doing house work or anything that did not involve what she wanted to do. In talking to an Elder that I then respected, he told me in confidence that if I was to leave her "no one would blame me". Mind you this is before I had Biblical grounds for divorce! I guess it was obvious to most people what was going on. She would treat me like dirt, then go to her witness friends behind my back and tell them how bad I was treating HER! Often it was incredible. In one week, I got a call that my daughter (then age 6) hit my son in the face (who was just a baby) with a 2x4 that was lying on the floor in the house. His cut required 7 stitches just missing his right eye. Then, later that week, I received a call from the emergency ward where my daughter was having her stomach pumped out because the Jewel had left her old prescription pain drugs down on the floor amongst the filth. The doctor said that my daughter could have died with the dose she ingested. I was livid! Prior to this I had begged my wife to keep the floors clean and free of things the kids could swallow or get into. I would clean the house up only to find it a disaster the next day. Even after this, she would not keep the house up. One day, after coming home from work, I started to clean up without asking her to help. She was insulted because it made her feel guilty. So, being angry, she took a bottle of whisky to her work place where she was working part time and got up with an older man who just weeks before delivered a load of fire wood to the house. She then slept with him.

That was it! I had had it! But, of course later she begged me to stay for the sake of the children. She acknowledged her poor record as a wife and human being, asking forgiveness and imploring me all the while sobbing at my feet. Because we had just purchased a house in which I had worked vary hard to bring up to FHA standards and for the sake of the kids, I gave her "one last chance". Two months later after taking her back, she then admitted to me that she was then seeing another married man and while I was at work, they were taking walks in the park together along with his children and mine! She then disappeared for 3 days. I loaded up all her possessions and placed them out on the lawn.

It was after this time, after she was disfellowshipped and after I divorced "the Jewel" that I was able to consider other things such as the strange disturbing changes the WBTS was making. The "generation" change, the idea that the years of witnessing work was NOT separating the sheep from the goats, and that we WOULD see Jesus when he returned, something Christendom taught for years but that now we were receiving as "new light".(?!?!) When I went to that assembly, I saw the so called "apostates" outside and thought to myself, "they don't need to lie or make up anything about our teachings because we give them enough material to work with." After the divorce, I was given temporary custody by the Courts of my children due to the irresponsible behavior of their Mother. Later, those "friends" in the Hall, including my ex-wife's Mother who said that she would support me in court to get permanent custody of the children changed there tune. In fact, the Elder who said flat out that I would get support from the Hall, counseled those who I approached for support to "not get involved"! So I had no one to support me in my fight to keep these children even though people knew what sort of mother she was. Later, I had no choice but to return the children to "the Jewel" along with the house.

After this I started to investigate more and more into the WBTS past and current teachings. Like many, I was shocked and disillusioned but kept it to my self for the most part. I wrote a note to a "friend" of mine, asking him to double check some information about 607 BCE and the "Gentile Times" from the Bible. Next thing I know, I am meeting with him and another Elder who is quizzing me on several things, questioning my caricature and motives, figuring that I am "trying to find an excuse to stop serving Jehovah" etc. I was disturbed at the attitude and lack of knowledge these Elders had. If you ask any hard questions, honest or not, you are placed in the seat of an apostate which in their mind must be "weeded out". They were not able to answer my questions and leaned on the old standby, "well if this isn't God's Organization, then who is?" I told them that I would just "wait on Jehovah" and see. On the closing prayer, they prayed to Jehovah that I may "learn to practice humility"......sheesh!

Later, that same Elder called me at home and wanted to go over some things we had discussed. I felt a set up right away as I could tell that he was not being honest with his motives or to the questions I was asking him. I told him that there is not much more to discuss and that I will just "wait on Jehovah". He got huffy and said "well, we can't have you sitting in the Hall not believing everything that is being said!" That gave him away. The key words were: "we can't have you..." Waiting on Jehovah is the best way to shut down an attack from these ones, after all, if you are willing to wait on God which we are counseled to do, who are they to press you to do otherwise?

Later, about the time the Bulgaria blood scandal was brewing, I responded to a fax from a close friend of the family. I pressed the "respond to all" button on the mail server. What I didn't know was that it went out to 3 or 4 other people, one of which went directly to the Elders with my letter. In my letter, I said something to the effect of "it seems that the Society is compromising on the blood issue in Bulgaria, go to this web site and read for your self..." Well, the blood hit the fan on this one! By this time, I was at a different Hall, and I knew the brothers there for years. I was called in before two Elders which I knew rather well. It was the same Hall that I was married in and that my children were in. These "brothers" knew what I had been going through these past years. Now I stood before them accused of spreading apostate material. One Elder was livid to the point he couldn't even look at me. I protested the charge and stated that it was by accident that the e-mail got to more than the one intended person. But, I said, the more important issue was the content of the letter! I said that it was not 'apostate lies' but it was true and I was only bringing to light what the WBTS legally agreed to with the European Counsel of Human Rights! I asked them to read it for themselves.

They refused and said "your not a lawyer!?" I said "since when do I need a masters degree in law to know when something is untrue? They said that blood transfusions have always been a conscience matter and that they "don't automatically disfellowship ones for taking a blood transfusion". I smelled a rat! I said "so let me get this straight, if I made a premeditated conscience decision to take a blood transfusion and announced it to my friends in the hall, that after wards I would not be corrected for that decision? They stammered and stumbled not answering my question. I said by my actions, according to the Society, am I not disassociating myself and are to be treated the same as a disfellowshipped one? One of the Elders brought the secret "Shepherd the Flock..." book and I reached for the book and started to show them where it was written that a disassociated one is to be viewed the same way as a disfellowshipped one. It was promptly taken out of my hands. The "brother" who was man out and said in a loud tone "Well if you don't like it here then just leave, go out there and see for yourself what is out there!" I was insulted! I spent all my life in this organization, all the sacrifices and blind obedience and time spent, all the years putting up with my ex-wife, and now to be TOLD to hit the road?!? It sounded like my ex-wife talking!

I told him that my intention was not to leave, but to find the answers to my questions so as to find a way to conscientiously STAY!
I went into what I then knew at the time about the dates, teachings and other changes made by the society. They denied that the Society said that 1975 was to be the date for Armageddon. Both these Elders were not in the "truth" at that time so they were a living testament to the white-washing policy of the WBTS and it's attempt to change it's embarrassing history. I told them that I was in the truth during that time and knew better! I marveled at their lack of knowledge and the fact that they just didn't care! It did not matter if there was false teachings, error or that people were being hurt in the process. "I just know these are God's people" said the angry Elder as he looked away from me. I was in tears relating what I was finding out about the Society and how we were being mislead by the WBTS to believe it did not exist, all the while receiving a cold stare. Where were these men's compassion? Where was the zeal for the real truth? It was an eye opener to see the same sterile standard WBTS answers as the other Elders from the other Hall. What do you do after all, when you find out that the date 1914 is no more sound than 1874? And to top it off, find out that they were teaching 1874 as Christ's return clear down to 1929! The "Advertise, Advertise, Advertise..." campaign at the Cedar Point convention which we have had related to us ad nauseam over and over at nearly every assembly, was really a push to preach 1925 as the return of the "ancient worthies", the end of Christendom and the time for Armageddon! Thirty years in this religion and not one mention of these events when relating this "monumental" assembly in Ohio. Why? If 1914 is proved false, then the whole foundation of the Society, it's authority, claims and power melts away. "We don't live for a date" was the response of these Elders. Obviously they did not grasp my point nor the impact of that date. After a while, it came down to the same thing. "Well if this is not the truth, where do we go?" I told them "brothers, it's not "where" do we go, but to "whom" do we go to was the question the Apostles asked Jesus. Is it not Jesus we as Christians are to look to?" They had no answer! The conversation dwindled and nothing was being accomplished so after the prayer I left. I have not been back since.

I was not disfellowshipped or even disassociated that I know of. They told me to leave, and see for myself. So, I did what they told me to do. I didn't see the point in disassociating myself.....not yet anyway. This way, I can still talk to ones that will speak to me. (There are a few who don't know I doubt the WBTS) The rest will not speak to me or if they do, they take off as fast as possible. I have said hello to both the Elders mentioned above and both times, they did not encourage me to return nor did they ask me how I'm doing or if I needed encouragement. How telling! Am I such a valueless person that they needn't try to reclaim me? That's how they make me feel. However I know that they are afraid, not because they will find I am wrong in my research, rather they are afraid that I may be RIGHT and then what?

The last meeting I attended was in a nearby town. They were reading the Watchtower lesson on judicial meetings and back room hearings and other matters. The Watchtower article was trying to show the supposed scriptural reasons for such. I raised my hand and commented a couple of times, once when the article quoted the Scripture where the King or Judge was shown to go outside by the gate out in the open for all to see and conduct trials or business. The Watchtower tried to use this to show that the back room meetings were just like this arrangement. I answered the question by reminding the audience that it was OUT IN THE OPEN in front of everyone so that no injustice could go un-noticed and to squelch rumor and gossip. After the meeting, the presiding overseer came to me in a dead heat asking me in a serious tone where I was from, what Hall, and who was the presiding overseer there. I told him my last hall that I had attended and just smiled, knowing that a little bit of light was able to shine through that day and it must have been obvious! HA! Imagine, relating what the Bible Scripture actually said as quoted in the article and then being viewed as a threat due to the fact that it contradicted what the WT article was trying to teach! Typical.

Because my Mother listened and believed me about these things, she has spent the last 3 years 'making sure' of "all" these "things" and has come out. Now, my Mother's sister is out of the WBTS after my Mother and I shared with her what we were finding in our studies. For the fist time in my life, I have a measure of peace and joy. I often wondered while attending the meetings, where is the joy we hear so much about? Although wearing a smiley mask at the hall, most everyone seemed as a rule so unhappy and tired. Now I have joy. I feel free to love other people, no longer viewing them as "worldly" ones, but those who Christ died for! No one uses a lantern on a sunny day. Rather you take it into a dark place where it is needed. Unlike the Witnesses who would not grace the doorstep of another church, I could now take my "light" into what they would consider a "dark place". It has been wonderful as a "spiritual man" to be able to freely "consider all things". Most all of the questions that alluded me in the past, the feeling that something was "just not right" in the Hall, has been answered. Not that I have all the answers, no, but I have enough to know nobody, not even the WBTS have all the answers. My long imprisoned conscience is now free in Christ, I feel at peace.

The Bible has opened up for me like a personal letter. It was not intended for just some elite few, who would lord it over the majority who are considered lesser ones. No, but it was written for everyone who will simply accept it. To think we passed the "bread and wine" all those years! Now Instead of looking to men as a "channel" or mediator, I now look to Jesus, the only mediator between God and men. Mom and I wonder how it is that our "blinders" were lifted while others just can not "see" despite the evidence presented before them. I can't thank enough those who have spent thousands of hours exposing the error and lies of the WBTS, sites such as "Shaun's Research". Without these ones, I, my Mother and her sister along with thousands of others may well still be sitting in the hall, spinning our wheels, waiting, hurting and wondering.