Vicky's Story

I first started studying The Bible with Jehovah's Witnesses when I was 8.  My mother, who had been a Baptist, started studying the Bible with a Jehovah's Witness sister.  Anything and everything about God fascinated me and I asked if I could sit in on the study as well. We studied the Paradise Lost book.  When I saw the graphic pictures that were in there about what Armageddon would look like I became truly frightened and determined to be on the right side...the side that would survive.  I attended meetings with my mother...starting out just going on Sundays and then eventually we went during the week as it was "necessary for us to be built up spiritually."  A couple of years later my two aunts began studying also, along with one of my aunt's two children.  It was nice having family in The Truth.  Even though the world didn't agree with us, we could talk amongst ourselves about the paradise, Jehovah's purpose for mankind and the righteous new world to come.

(Please note that my father did nothing to prevent my mother from going to meetings.  However, he had no use for the JWs.  My mother's new found religion caused a wide divide between them.)

As I said above...I attended meetings and assemblies, eventually went out in field service and enrolled to give talks in the Ministry School.  On the outside it seemed that I was embracing The Truth.  I could talk the talk of Jehovah's Witnesses, quote Bible verses, etc.  However, on the inside I would think that something was wrong with me.  I had doubts that what I was learning was the absolute truth.  I would daydream during the Watchtower Study or main talk.  I would wonder why I did not feel the same zeal as sister or brother so-and-so.  I was just going through the motions.  I prayed for my heart to be opened wide to accept Jehovah's holy spirit.  I did not want to be zeal-less.

After my mother and two aunts were baptized they began to put pressure on me (I was now age 17) to get baptized.  They said that I had studied long enough, knew what the Bible said about sitting on the fence.  I was an embarrassment to them because I had not been baptized yet.  What was taking me so long?  My one aunt told me that unless I was baptized I would be destroyed at Armageddon.  I knew in my heart that I wasn't ready to be baptized, after all I had doubts.  But nonetheless I gave in to the pressure and was baptized at an assembly in Monroe that year (1973).  My mother, aunts, and spiritual brothers and sisters said I had done the right thing. Now I felt even worse.  I knew Jehovah could see through me and knew that I was not embracing this religion 100%.

At 17 I had aspirations to go to college.  I was very smart and made honor roll in high school consistently.  I was sure to win a scholarship to go to college.  However, my mother and aunts said that I would just be wasting my time and needed to concentrate on the missionary work of warning others. College was looked upon as being the den of the devil.  What good would a college education do me if Armageddon came tomorrow?

In 1974 all hell broke loose...I fell in love and married a "worldly individual" who I continue to be married to for almost three decades.  My mother was disappointed that I had not married in The Truth but eventually accepted my decision.   Those in the KH were concerned about my spiritual standing with Jehovah (I heard through rumors) but soon after getting married I moved to another state.  (Unlike some parents, my mother never shunned me. I think it was because she herself had issues with some of the WTS policies, ie, being disfellowshipped for smoking.  She was a secret smoker who had a hard time breaking the nicotine habit and for many years tried to quit.  In fact, it wasn't until she had been put on probation for it that she finally was able to break the habit).

Some of the questions I wanted to ask the elders but could not (so as not to be viewed as weak) were:

(1) If the Governing Board is only made up of all men who are spiritually anointed 144,000...why is the GB made up of all Caucasians?  What?  Is Jehovah racist?  His Spirit is not poured out to people of other races?

(2) How did the Society conclude that 2,520 years from 607 BCE comes out to 1914?  Was it because in 1914 they had something really big and spectacular (World War 1) to drive the point home and scare people with?  Where's the black & white evidence for the accuracy of the 607 BCE date?  Or is was it the usual pat answer that Jehovah had revealed it to them?

(3) Why is Jesus, Our Savior, ignored?  He is hardly ever mentioned or praised in the Kingdom Hall?  I would only hear his name mentioned at the end of a prayer or when a brother was citing a scripture.

(4) Why did the WTS say that the friends had come to expect that 1975 would be the year of Armageddon?  I attended an International Convention in NYC in the early 70's and heard Brother Franz announce that 1975 would see Armageddon.  That the friends were wise to put off marriages, having children, buying homes, finding new jobs, etc.  We would all have new homes and new jobs in the righteous new system of things to come in 1975.  I KNOW I DID NOT MAKE THIS UP!

(5)  If the WTS is "our mother" then that would mean that she would have to be worshipped too, right?  When did Jehovah take a wife?  Also, wouldn't that put the WTS above Christ?

(6) The Bible says that there is one mediator between Jehovah God and man...Jesus Christ.  That being the case...what is the position of the WTS?  Are they like the Pope of the JWs?  The WTS says they are God's spokespersons here on earth, the "faithful and discreet slave" disseminating information from God in a timely manner.  What does that say about Jesus' ministry and his position in heaven?

(7) Jehovah sent his only-begotten son, Jesus Christ, to ransom all mankind who put their faith in Him from the sin and death that we had inherited from Adam and Eve.  Why is it that Jehovah's Witnesses believe that only they have the truth and will be the sole survivors at Armageddon?

(8) Why does the so-called agape love turn to ugliness and mean-spiritedness, in some cases destroying families and marriages, when an individual has doubts or becomes disfellowshipped?

(9) Why is it not counted as adultery and a grounds for divorce if a married man or woman goes outside their marriage and lies down with a person of the same sex (homosexuality)?

(10) Why is it okay to work with and attend school with people in the world but not okay for us to have a friendly dinner or go on a social outing with them?

(11) Jesus said that whoever believes in him will be saved.  Why does the WTS emphasize that faith without works is dead? (Meaning going from house to house and turning in time reports to the WTS)

Those were some of my questions.  I walked away from The Kingdom Hall 10 years ago.  I never wrote a letter...I just stopped attending meetings.  One of the reasons I haven't written a letter of resignation is because my family members are still there.  That would mean that I would have to cut off my fellowship with them and never see or speak to them again...a hard thing to do.  I feel as though I am in limbo.  However, the guilt I used to feel about being a back-slider is all but gone now.  I never was that close to any of the brothers and sisters at The Kingdom Hall so not seeing them is no big loss.  However, I have not attended another church because I am afraid of finding hypocrisy in another religion.  I study the Bible on my own now and I also attend a small Bible study at my job site for one hour where I meet with others of all religions and with our own Bibles (I now prefer the New International Version) we discuss scriptures.

Jesus said that we would be known as his followers if we have love amongst ourselves.  I honestly can say that I have not seen Jesus' command carried out in the WTS.  The only time the friends put on an act like they really love each other is when the circuit servant visits or if they are at an assembly.

Case in point:  my mother became a widow at age 45 with two children to raise.  At age 70 she came down with Alzheimer's disease.  During the 7 year period she had it (she passed away in 1998) and was losing her mind, a handful of friends (4) stopped by her home for five minutes at a time (usually when they were in the neighborhood doing door-to-door missionary). They never asked if there was anything they could assist me with.  The visits from the elders were non-existent.  Doesn't the Bible say to look out for the widows and orphans?  Where was all this outpouring of love?  I didn't see it. When she died I buried my mother the way she wanted to be a Jehovah's Witness.  She had been a baptized JW in good standing since 1964.

Also, one of my aunts lost her firstborn son to AIDS.  He was Baptist and wanted to be buried as such.  On the day of the funeral neither my aunt (his mother) or my two cousins (his sisters) attended the funeral which was held at his church.  They were told by concerned JW friends that it wouldn't be ethical in Jehovah's eyes for them to attend the service...that would be like going back in to Babylon (the Baptist church).  I did attend (no one was going to stop me) and was heartbroken.  How could the mother and sisters of this young man not go to pay their last respect?  They had let imperfect men and women tell them what they should and should not do.

I had a discussion last week with another about the WTS. She brought up the fact that the WTS had stopped putting emphasis on dates.  I asked her if she knew the reason behind that.  I had read Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz (what an eye opener) and saw all the dates the WTS was wrong on.  (Just as the Bible says...if it does not come to be what the prophet speaks then they are not a prophet sent by Jehovah.  Jehovah did not send them.  What Jehovah speaks does not return back to him unfulfilled.)  I told her all the dates they had been wrong on.  She was becoming angrier and angrier as the conversation went along.  At one point she said that she would have to do some research and ask the brothers about it.  I was trying to get her to reason.  It's amazing...I could see how deep the mind-control is in this cult.  Yes, a cult.  Even when faced with the truth there will be those that will want to stay in just the same.  They will rationalize it by saying "Well, I'll wait on Jehovah to reveal it to me", or "The light gets brighter and brighter".  To those I ask...was Jehovah not clear in his speech, did he stutter, did he leave out a key point when he revealed to these so-called spiritually anointed elders on the Governing Board what he wanted them to disseminate down to the flock?  Never let it be said that Jehovah does not give clear instructions the first time around.