My Stolen Childhood (ex Jehovah's Witness)

My Grandad holding me, and my brother.
My Grandad holding me, and my brother.
Me age 5
Me age 5
Me age 6
Me age 6

My Childhood...

I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness by my mother and this is my story...

Early Days

My father met another woman & threw my mother out along with myself & my brother. I was about 2 years old, Chris was nearly 6. My mother moved in with her parents for a while, then we moved next door and lived with an old lady. My mother was very depressed as you can imagine. Unfortunately, it was then that a JW couple came knocking, and that was my mother trapped within the grip of the Watchtower cult.

We lived in a small village in between 2 larger towns. To walk to either town was a few miles - I would guess around 3 miles. And my mother walked there to one town, twice a week, in all weathers, rain, snow, hailstones the lot, with two small children in tow. We should've been in our beds tucked up warm, with a cosy bedtime story & warm drink, instead of being out late at night at a two hour long meeting at the Kingdom Hall. The irony was, the husband & wife who got mother into this religion, only lived around the corner, but they never offered us a lift in their car! Neither did any of the other JW's!

My earliest memories were sad - I never remembered a birthday present, as mother stopped celebrating birthdays when she became a JW. Likewise I never remembered Christmas.I used to cry on my birthday - oh how I hated that day...

My brother was unruly & destructive - torn apart from a broken family & a mother who actually had no idea to 'LOVE' her children. I became more & more introverted & withdrawn. I was an outcast at school as I wouldn't speak, I was so shy. I had no idea how to interact with other children, as my mother NEVER invited any round to play & I was not allowed to go to there homes. Association with ''worldy'' people was strictly forbidden by the Watchtower Society.

Later we moved to a town 10 miles away. I missed my Grandparents so much. Life was no better - still a long walk to the Kingdom Hall in the rain at night - still no friends - still sad & lonely. I used to play outside in the garden, digging in the dirt with sticks & maybe my brothers cars if I could 'borrow' one without him knowing.

Baptized at 12

At the age of 12, I chose to get baptized as a JW. I did this solely to get my mothers attention; to make her happy & proud of me. I'm not sure if ever she really was as she never showed much emotion, never mind affection. As a baptized JW, I now had an extra burden to carry - .
Not only were there the meetings 3 times a week, I was now expected to go on the 'ministry'; knocking on doors & trying to sell the Watchtower & Awake magazines. It was awful because I was so shy & if someone I went to school with opened the door, I was cruelly teased at school the next time they saw me.

As I got older, I was no longer ignored at school, I was bullied. Everyday, I was called names & on occasion I was attacked on the way home from school. My mother did NOTHING. She didn't go into my school on parents evening to see my schoolwork & she took no interest in my education, never mind my happiness. I was miserable & dreadfully alone.

Had enough

At the age of 16, I snapped inside, I couldn't take anymore of the hurt I felt inside me. I was unloved & lonely. The people at the Kingdom Hall didn't care about me & how I felt. So, I told mother I was not going to the meetings anymore. She was very upset.
I didn't really do much with my new 'freedom', I was still very shy & didn't really know what it was like out there in the big wide world.

I didn't really do much with my new 'freedom', I was still very shy & didn't really know what it was like out there in the big wide world.
I started smoking - not many, I suppose I thought it 'toughened me up'!
I even had a couple of boyfriends.

I nearly died

Shortly after that when I was about 16 & a half, I became very ill. As mother was very angry with me for not attending the Kingdom Hall any more, she practically ignored me.
I laid in my bed, shivering & shaking & seeing things. (I was hallucinating constantly), my bedding was soaked with sweat. Then I began fitting.
Eventually, mother must have called a doctor as I came too in hospital. But I was too ill to remember much.
I was transferred to a bigger hospital further away & I was diagnosed with a rare form of encephalitis (imflammation of the brain), I also had pnumonia, my lung had callapsed & I was seriously in danger of losing my life.
I had an operation on my stomach & I remember saying ''I can't take blood'' over & over again. My mother wasn't there - the JW's were too mean to bring her often (& they still charged petrol money). The doctors didn't know if I was going to need blood or not, the operation could have been very serious.

However, I didn't have a blood transfusion - they managed without.

Disfellowshipped

About 4 months later I was cast out - disfellowshipped as they call it in the Watchtower.
Mother had found my ciggarettes & my contraceptive pill & SHE informed the elders of my sins.
MY OWN MOTHER!!!!!!
So, after my disfellowshipping, my mother threw me out of home...
And that is my story of childhood as a JW.

Me age 20 with my first son Michael 1985
Me age 20 with my first son Michael 1985
Me with my first daughter Heidi 1991
Me with my first daughter Heidi 1991
Michael & Heidi holding their new brother George. 1995
Michael & Heidi holding their new brother George. 1995
Heidi & George with their new sister Josephine. 1998
Heidi & George with their new sister Josephine. 1998

Finding My Own Way

So now I was free, but life certainly wasn't easy. 16 years old and out in the big wide world. I was hardly emotionally or financially equipped to take on life in the 'world'.

At least I had my boyfriend back then (the father of my four children), so although I moved several miles away to take a live-in job as a Nanny, I wasn't alone as such.

I made a hell of a lot of mistakes in my life and I really can not bear to write them all here, but suffice to say, with an upbringing as painful and lonely as mine, it's hardly surprising.I have had two very destructive mental breakdowns that near on destroyed me.

My ex husband said to me years ago when we split up, that I was ''always searching for someone better''.

I can respond to that now...Yes, I probably was searching for someone or something. But, what I was searching for, could NEVER be found, for I was looking for a lost childhood to be recovered. I was looking for someone to love me enough to compensate for 16 years of complete and utter solitude and misery.

No one could be that person.


Jehovah's Witnesses - a harmful cult

I am now 46 years of age & I have done so much research into the history of the Watchtower Organization.
Long before Internet was readily available, I bought books, & other Bible versions. I discovered EXACTLY who C.T.Russell was (founder of the JW's), & who J.Rutherford (the next president). They were both Freemasons-which is an occult religion.
I discovered how WRONG their Bible version was (and still is). How doctrines have been altered to fit their own beliefs.
I learned all about the FALSE PROPHECIES - the dates that the 'end of this system' was to occur & didn't.
I found out that they have MISINTERPRETED the Bible so badly, hence their most dreadful doctrine of all - The denial of blood transfusions. Nowhere in the Bible does it say ''Do NOT receive blood transfusions''
The Watchtower has lied & lied & lied & JW's blindly accept all they are told because they are not allowed to question.
AND JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES FOLLOW THEIR MASTER THE WATCHTOWER NO MATTER WHAT

More by this Author


Comments 58 comments

Tiffany Regan profile image

Tiffany Regan 5 years ago from Colorado

I'm so sorry to hear about your painful childhood. I hope that you are able to find peace and fulfillment in loving your children. Thank you for sharing. Is your mother still a JW?


Jaye Greene 5 years ago

My dear friend Mandy....I cannot tell you how many times I have read stories like this one, my own included. What a hurtful, destructive cult. I am so glad that you escaped and were able to build a new life!

Hugs to you!


victoria wood 5 years ago

So sad - I have read this with tears in my eye.

You are loved now, mostly by your wonderful children. The most precious love a mother can have.


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 5 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

Thank you all for kind comments. Although many years have gone by, recently I have been overwhelmed with the desire to join many in exposing this dreadful cult. Too many people believe that whilst a bit weird, they are harmless & with good morals. It's time to explode that myth!

I plan to write more on this subject very soon, and maybe, I will write more of my life story...

Tiffany Regan - I am no longer in contact with my mother or my brother. My mother ceased attending the Kingdom Hall a few years ago.She has never tried to make up for all those years, so 2 years ago, I decided to sever all contact, for my own well-being. My brother chose to go his own way & have no contact with me. I'll never know why.


mikeq107 5 years ago

Hi Mandy :0)

Great story glad you walked away...It’s hard but in the end well worth it..I grew up in a religious Cult also...but that’s another story...Your in My Prayers that as you hunger for real truth and unconditional love that you it will be revealed to you in an incredibly personal way and not from the hand of religious bondage man...but an agape loving Father God.. That is who has been searching and waiting for you and he is in no hurry...he loves you just the way you are...

Michael: 0)


Dale Aiden Mowday 5 years ago

Peace and love. I hope life is treating you better.


Tiffany Regan profile image

Tiffany Regan 5 years ago from Colorado

I look forward to reading more of your life story. Thank you for being so courageous and honest.


BrendaC 5 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing your painful story and exposing the lies and brainwashing of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. I married that "good JW brother/ministrial servant" in 1975. I faded rapidly when I was shunned for marrying into a "spiritually weak" family -- whose son I married turned into a violent alcoholic husband. After the thought of homocide and two suicide attemps, I finally comprehended divorce and left him, only to have my (Elder(tm) father suggest that I needed a Judicial Committee to make sure I was "clean enough to come back into the congregation". The prodigal son didn't have to, why should I, and I painfully told my dad I wouldn't be returning.

I'm an apostate from a religious publishing company! Ha!

But it killed me two years before my dad and mom died my mom said of her life, and my dad's diabetes and failing kidneys, "It wasn't supposed to be like this!" No. We were lied to. I wish I could have said that to her... but I couldn't at the time.

Love your life. Love your friends and chosen family. Most of all, lover your children the way you mother was unable to love you!

Auntie B


Laura 5 years ago

You are BEAUTIFUL for being honest to your heart and listening to you GOD GIVEN CONSCIOUS. It is so hard to recognize reality when you are confined in a dream. WE SHOULD ALL WRITE ABOUT OUR STOLEN CHILDHOODS. IT'S TIME TO B R I N G T H I S S H I T D O W N !!!!! THERE ARE MILLIONS OF MOTIVATORS...


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 5 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

Thank you Laura, yes maybe more SHOULD write their stories! BrendaC, thank you for sharing your story with me, I have read so many stories like mine, but I hurt afresh every time I read them.Maybe YOU could/should write a hub too????


sue wright 5 years ago

my dear friend Mandy, you have come out of this a better person, your story bought a tear to my eye but you are a wonderful lady and truly inspirational xxxx


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 5 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

Thank you Sue, you're lovely! x


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 5 years ago from George, South Africa

After all the years that your mother was a devoted witness please tell me why she stopped attending. I would think that she would have loved to have you in her life, strange!


Sarena 5 years ago

Your story is so sad, i can't understand how a mother cannot love her child especially as the Witnesses preach to love one another.


Caroline Ryan profile image

Caroline Ryan 4 years ago

Your story is very similar to mine. My mother was a very depressed person (still is but I've had no contact with her for years). She raised my brother and I as JWs and I recently discovered she's got a narcissistic personality disorder. So top this with the JW mentality and my childhood was a hellhole of loneliness, abuse and just plain terrible sadness. I too became extremely shy and so afraid of running into classmates while preaching. We lived in a small village too, and I wasn't allowed to visit school friends for te same reason you stated. I was going door to door from the age of 6 to 16 when I used a sudden family move to completely cut myself off the JWs. After that I went through many years of low self esteem, getting into horrible relationships and just being a hermit in my twenties. It took me almost 2 decades to outgrow the very negative impact the JWs and my parents impressed upon me. Now I still think about it, almost daily, but I'm happily married so I have support. My childhood was taken from me, I was deprived and failed to develop the social skills needed to thrive as a young adult. I had to self teach myself that later in life. I feel for you, me and countless others who went through the same thing we did. This CULT is a toxic poison and a cancer to society masqueraded as well-behaved drones, because that's what they are. This cult will rob people of their common sense. Anyway, I loved your article. It sure got me talking.


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 4 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

Forgive me for not keeping up with my replies; you are all very kind taking the time to write your thoughts & even sharing some of your own experiences.

LadyLyell - yes, it is very strange indeed that mother stopped attending the meetings & I have no idea why! Neither myself or my brother were children at home anymore - she lived alone & could do as she pleases easily. Too me, its the final hurtful blow she could have delivered - she put us kids thru that hell for the whole of our childhood & drummed Watchtower doctrine into us daily. How blind she was to my sheer & complete misery & pain! For many years, I had 'some' contact with her & she even came for Christmas dinner (?!), but suddenly a couple of years ago, I had to be true to myself - I was STILL trying to please her; STILL trying to make her proud of me AND my 4 children. But it wasn't going to happen. Never, ever did my mother congratulate me on the news of my pregnancies, never did she tell me I was good at anything, being it cooking a meal, my needlework or even when I passed my driving test. She never bonded with her Grandchildren. I know she loves us all; but for the life of me, I cannot understand that love for it is very very strange (and cold). So, going back to your oringinal thread LadyLyell, I simply do not know why she left. Unless, it was to do with NEEDING a set of rules to follow, that she could instill on her kids. Maybe she didn't have a clue how to go about day to day life without the dictatorship of the Watchtower. I don't think she even has a clue why I have wiped her from my life! She has ONE friend, just one & he is a JW (not strong!)& he also is alone with no social skills as such. Mother uses him to fetch & carry for her & thats her life...

Dearest Caroline, oh how I empathize with you! I would love to chat with you further - how wonderful it would be if you lived near me!!! Let me know if you fancy FB to 'meet' up?

Mandy x


Caroline Ryan profile image

Caroline Ryan 4 years ago

Mandy, I used to live in France until I moved across the pond to the US, so I am quite far for a meet, unfortunately. However, your story has so many similarities to mine it's frightening! :) I never talk about my childhood, firstly because no one could even begin to understand what it was like, and I don't want to be a downer to others and myself. But to write it down like this, online, to someone else who can understand, it feels good. I never went to therapy so this is as close as it gets lol. What is FB? Facebook?


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 4 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

Ah, shame you are a little far away! And I certainly understand what a JW childhood was like. How to we ever recover from all those years been taken from us?

FB - Facebook!!!x


Sean 4 years ago

Jehovah's Witness's stole my childhood as well. My parents were drug addicts and really couldn't take care of me much. Then my mother abandoned me when I was 8 years old to go live with another man. I lived with my father for about a year, but his alcohol problems caught up with him. He was arrested when I was 9 for drunk driving, and after that incident he then told me he "can't take care of me anymore". So my father took me to my grandmother's house and that's we're I've been living ever since. The problem is: My grandmother is one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Jehovah's witnesses have just tried to control my life in everyway and aspect ever since. Not allowed to have friends because they are so called "WORLDY" People. No holidays. No birthdays. Being forced to go in that embarrassing "Door-to-Door" preaching, just dreading the thought of running into someone I know. The list just goes on. I find myself just locked up in my room wondering why my grandmother had to join this cult. The Watchtower has soo much power over people it's not even funny, they literally run your lives and anyone who dare tries to question them is immediately disfellowshipped. That way they have no competition. I made the mistake of getting baptized when I was 14, just to make my grandmother happy and I thought it would get her off my back a little. Oh how wrong I was. Once your baptized, the Witnesses expect you to do everything and if you don't meet up to those expectations of a normal brother, then the elders start harassing you. The Elders have been harassing me for almost 2 years now, they literally are always trying to have their noses shoved into your business, wanting to know your daily activities almost everyday, sometimes they even stalk me. One time an elder just showed up at my house, Unanounced, and just walked in without even knocking and just disturbed my dinner only to bash me and harass me because They see me as "Spiritually sick" and need to get back on "Solid Ground". I never tell them any truth about my life because they'd probably disfellowship me. The worst part about the Congregation, is that I can never trust any of the Witnesses, they always keep a strict watch on you, and they always try to snitch on you because they think it's their "legal obligation to Jehovah" to do so. Its gotten so bad that I had to block all the witnesses from my Facebook so they couldn't see my profile anymore. I've done some things that would get me dissfellowshiped, such as I had sex with a former girlfriend of mine when I snuck out once. But I can't get dissfellowshiped because once you get dissfellowshiped, Witnesses are STRICTLY forbidden to talk to them, even family members. If I ever got dissfellowshiped my grandmother would never talk to me again, and I'm sure those nosey elders would be glad, they are always trying to get in trouble. I would love to just get away, Far away, from this cult religion as possible, but i can't do anything until I'm 18 because according to the "Faithful and Discreet Slave" that Witness parents have to "Bring up their children" until their adults. I'm almost 17 now, and I am beyond my breaking point and my patience with these witnesses is none. I hate it. My entire childhood, my teenage years, just all ruined because of this ridiculous strict cult, and I'll never be able to get those years back to enjoy them. Only one more year and I can just leave the "Organization" on my own. Only one more year. Seems like an eternity. Wish me luck. I wish my grandmother would just open her eyes one day and leave that religion, but I don't think that will ever happen unfortunately. Wish me luck


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 4 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

I have just read your message; I am so glad I have just got to the UK after a short holiday abroad so I am able to reply immediately.

Your story is terribly sad & I feel very upset by it.

I would like you to either add me on Facebook or email me privately (or both), as I can be a friend. You WILL find many new friends once you are FREE! Believe me; now that we have the internet, the Watchtower is crumbling, as it is increasingly being exposed for the sick child abusing, sick cult that it is.

I would like to know where you live? Please let me know if you would like contact details. x


Regina 4 years ago

Mandy, the one you are in search of is JESUS...He will take away your pain and suffering that you have had for sooooo long. He is a loving GOD because HE is LOVE. His love is unconditional. He loves you through the good and the bad no matter what you have done in life that you are ashamed of. He will fill the sixteen years of void. He will never leave you or forsake you. My heart goes out to you and to others that have been so deceived by this type of occult.


violetheaven profile image

violetheaven 4 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

Sounds to me like you grew up in a very dysfunctional situation. It seems like the situation was exasperated by the fact your mother was JW. It would have been dysfunctional even if she wasn't. Not to say that there isn't anything wrong with JW and the Watchtower. To often, when these situations of the past occur they leave severe spiritual, mental, and emotional scars that take years and years to heal. When proclaiming Christians really aren't, they do so much damage to the openness to the true God and Christianity. It seems like you have done your fair share of bible reading to disprove the JWs version. Have you done general reading for the sake of yourself? The biggest win for the JW cult would be your rejection of the true Christ and Gods true word.


Susan J Caldwell profile image

Susan J Caldwell 3 years ago from Dundrum, Dublin

Mandy, what a terrible childhood, well you had no childhood really, but you have grown into the wonderful compassionate person you are, like me you decided to turn the bad into good and Ive realised what happens us as children is not a choice, but how we respond to it is. I knew a couple of JW people and they were all messed up and vulnerable, thats when these people can do their best work. One girl ended up indoctrinating all her brothers and sisters because her mother was too immature to step in and stop her, again, like your mother, she was a lonely depressed girl who ended up with severe psychiatric problems, the other girl I knew was a girl I worked with who was married to a guy who was definitely gay and went into the JW to try and "cure" himself. All religion is brainwashing, its just a question of degree. Glad to know you Mandy and so happy that you have become your own person in such a strong positive way.


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 3 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

Thank you so much Susan for your kind and encouraging words. Of course, there is a whole lot else I could write about my life from the age of 16 onwards, but to be honest, I think it may set me right back. As a writer yourself and a deep person, which you are, I'm sure you can understand, that to write an account as accurately as possible with depth and emotion, makes you relive the events over again. Right now, I feel that would be a bad thing as I feel quite sensitive at the moment (more than usual!) However, I hope one day,I will add to this account, and try to convey how deeply the Watchtower embedded it's evil into my soul that I truly feel, my whole persona is the result of 16 years of sheer brainwashing and torture. I'm not being demonstrative - at best, I tolerate myself, but I will never love the person I am because I have always wanted to a different person altogether. I cannot change me! I try to do what I believe is right; I try to be a nice person and be a good friend to people, as I genuinely enjoy having nice people in my life and I 'steal' their vibes and try to learn from their positiveness. YOU, have proved to be a great encouragement to me Susan and I value you in my life deeply, thank you.


WhatName? 3 years ago

Act 15:29 to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If ​YOU​ carefully keep yourselves from these things, ​YOU​ will prosper. Good health to ​YOU!


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 3 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

"WhatName?" ~ you are obviously a Watchtower slave.

I suggest you keep your sick man made doctrines to yourself. That evil cult destroyed my formative years (did you actually READ my hub?), and you have the sheer audicity to come onto my Hub and spread your sickness here!!!

I despise you followers of evil! You murderers of children and you brainwashing monsters.

Don't you DARE quote any more of your messed up trash here again.


Didie Collins 3 years ago

i wish that if an un named idiot is going to post a statement at least take it direct from the bible this is actually what Acts 15:29 reads:

*You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.*

now i may not be a religious specialist but i was raised to read and learn for my self, to me this is stating that it will keep u well if you stay away from the above when used in a sacrificial form not dont you ever eat meat, use blood, strangle animals or indulge in sexual immortality.

Mandy it Breaks my heart that when you have been through this have fought your own demons and choose to share with others in order for others to learn from and hopefully not make the same mistakes there is always a hater out there, without you and the others who have left their stories on your hub how would i find the empathic understanding to really know how trapped my friend feels. x x x


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 3 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

Thank you so much Didie, my new and lovely friend! The haters in this world all come from some religious sect or group. Even if one was to actually believe in the Bible, you have to remember Didie that the Watchtower cult have their OWN version "The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures" ~ this was translated with the help of a man called Johannes Greber who was a spirit guide/medium. This is just ANOTHER historical but very valid FACT that the JW's today turn a blind eye to! For they are not supposed to not have any dealings with people who dabble in the spirit world!!! They even have satanic symbols on their Watchtower magazine!!!! Their 2nd president was VERY keen on the 'dark mysteries'!!!! Not one of them will address these facts! Not one! And yet, they allow a child to die through denying the life saving blood transfusion that they need. Indeed, I myself refused blood at the age of 16 ~ just before I was disfellowshipped for smoking and having sex with the man I loved! This whole blood issue is a ridiculous misunderstanding of scripture anyhow ~ the bible is full of incest, adultery, lusting, and these all were gods people, HA!!!


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 3 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

Answer the FACTS if you can...


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 3 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

http://dailym.ai/1dCXofu

Jehovah Witnesses HIDE evil child sex abusers!


Karlos72 3 years ago

As someone who was brought up as a JW I can so relate to all the comments here. The stories and emotions are frighteningly familiar. Left home at 16 to escape it all. Now 41, it has had a big impact on all aspects of my life. I think I block out a lot of the memories but one seems to stick with me. I was about 14, at some Sunday Meeting, we weren't at our usual Kingdom Hall, not sure why. There was a girl there about my age and for a brief moment we caught each others eye. And in the mirror of her expression I found, for a second, the closet of connections, a mutual understanding, like two prisoners in adjacent cells who have never before met. I will never forget that look. It changed everything for me and I fought hard to get away from that moment. Wherever that girl is now I hope she did ok.


WhatName? 3 years ago

I'm not a JW ma'am. I'm simply a 19 year old girl with Witness parents. And while I'm not the most enthusiastic over my parent's religion and the things they try to get me to believe, it's kinda hard to refute something that black and white.

If it was meant to mean not consuming it in food, then why would it be listed a second time on it's own? 'Things strangled' meant that the blood had not been drained out out of the animal and it was unfit to eat. 'And blood' meant just that. To not consume blood in any way. It's not that complicated.

There are many things in things in this religion I'm not all too sure about, but there are just as many things they say that make sense. I can see that your experience was obviously not the best. But your mother is as flawed as anyone one else in the world. Her treating you in a way you think was unfair can't all solely be blamed on a religion, can it? I hate the way I'll be telling my mother or father a story only to find out half way through that they haven't listened to a word I said. I just slowly stop talking and keep quite and wait to see if they say anything to me. Nothing. It gets me so mad! I just want to cry from frustration when they ignore me. Should I blame their Biblical beliefs? Of course not. If you had a close friend for a long time and then suddenly learned she was a JW, would you vow never to speak to her again?

I'm sorry if I'm bothering you. I'm not her to preach to you about why you should come back,obviously. I'm most likely the LEAST qualified to do that. And I'm pushed to do enough of that with my parents in the Ministry. But learning tolerance for all religions is all I ask. I thought Mormonism was full of racists freaks, due to their past and their refusal to drink coffee because the Book of Mormon stated somewhere to 'Abstain from the hot drink' or something like that. That was strange to me. But I had 4 or 5 Mormon friends in High School who were really nice and ethnically diverse.

JW's have come a looooonng way since then. They've made mistakes too. They all believed the world was actually going to end back in 1914. They've realized somethings that they previously thought were outright wrong are now more a matter of conscious for an individual. JW's can't change the past. And I know you can't change your memories either. But I hope that one day you can see that we are all human, prone to all make mistakes in life. It's just up to us to learn from them or not.

Sorry again if I angered you. That was never my intention.


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 3 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

Hi there,

yes I was very angry and my anger made me appear very rude. I also apologise for that.

To say that JW's have come a l-0-n-g way since the earlier days - in other words, they have CHANGED their doctrine - is in itself a complete contradiction to what the bible teaches, indeed it is punishable says God!

"And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll." Rev 22:19 NIV

"Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you." Deut 4:2

Interesting then, how the Watchtower Society have changed not only the meaning of many scriptures, but they have changed their own doctrine, not once, but many times! This is punishable by God himself!

Regarding the blood issue, the Watchtower Society have completely misunderstood the Old and the New Testament to the point it would be laughable if it wasn't such a serious life destroying error. Abstaining from blood was part of the Mosaic Law, and preceeding that; the Law of Moses, which ended with Christ being nailed to the cross. It referred to sacrifices to idols only.

The general understanding among commentators and biblical historians that the Jerusalem council were referring to pagan, idolatrous feasts when issuing the statement in Acts 15:29. Often, pagan worship included the sacrificing and eating of animals, sometimes with the drained blood being part of the meal. Sex was often part of the festivities. Therefore, in order to understand the context of the four prohibitions of the council, one must understand their connection to pagan idolatrous practices.

To say (as JW's do) that Acts 15:29 means never taking any kind of blood into the body for any reason in any way is going far beyond what is written clearly in the Bible.


Ken Riling 3 years ago

Hey Mandy.....I left the /j/w's when i was 14 and guess what??? Yes...they screwed up my life and my family life. I have three brothers and two sisters and none of us talk to one another, all due to JW bs. I know exactly what you went through with being raised within this sick sick cult. My mother is still JW and i have a very superficial relationship with her to say the least. I was never baptized as JW and hated God for thirty yrs before meeting my wife and later attending Lutheran church. My life is good now and i love God. I have many many scars from my childhood though. Please email me at Kriling07@aol.com. I hope you can live out the remainder of your life happi;


Darrin Hart profile image

Darrin Hart 3 years ago

I just read your story. As a man that was raised a Jehovah's Witness from the age of four, your story was all too familiar. I hope you are finding a life filled with happiness now!!


Mariann 3 years ago

I too am an ex-witness I joined when my mother was fighting beast cancer I guess I was vunerable was in it 3 years was more depressed than ever when I was I witness. I was in my early 20's met a fellow member I was going to marry he was the biggest mama's boy.This was back in the late 80's His mother was just as controlling as the elders I feel sorry for any child born into this cult they don't have a life like other happy children I'm so glad I left and never went back.You cant think for yourself, you got spoken down to like you were five years old God forbid you tried to stand up for yourself, you better be on your deathbed if you cant make a meeting, school or work was not an excuse. I don't think it is healthy or normal for a grown adult to be that dependent on an organization. Everybody was always walking around moody and angry nobody was never happy. They had this holier than thou attitude I applaud those who walk away for this cult. When I finally walked away that when I was Happy.


Noslavetomankind 2 years ago

Hi Mandy, I read your blog and it touched my heart and my spirit to know that you too had experienced the same thing I did with being raised a JW. The JW Organization stole my childhood and my family as a whole I too! That's why I got smart and checked out at 15 years old, my excuse to leave was that I was having Sex and I was fed up of having to go to the meetings 3 times a week and having no Social life whatsoever so my only way out was to tell my mother that was and still is a devoted JW, that I was having sex and on Birthcontrol. I believe that day was the happiest day of my life to break those chains loose from their Faithful discreet Slave and Mind control agenda. I was in utter misery my whole childhood, with birthdays never being celebrated and the birth of Jesus never being recognized it totally ruined me! And the memorial days I finally realized that they were denying Jesus by not letting the other members of the Congregation not partaking of the bread and wine because he said in John 6:53-56 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. Why would they direct people not to partake is because they are doing a ritual that denies our Lord!!! And the Devil loves this religion! They deny christ and they don't believe in Hell??!!! When it clearly says there will be eternal punishment! But not to get off of the subject: I still have a hard time with the loss of my childhood as well to this day. Your story made tears come into my eyes because of the devastation that it had caused I could relate Mandy. I would invite you to look up "Be wise as Serpents" a book by Fritz Springmeier, this book will blow your mind and it mentioned the medium as well Johannes that you were talking about that was in control of making up the falsified bible NWT, I believe that man was being directed by Satan and his Minions to make people fall short of the "truth" and go directly to "Hell" another thing that is REAL and they don't believe in. It is a very Dangerous CULT and they have a hidden agenda that's for sure! I am glad that you are out and I will pray for you to keep healing in your heart where you have lost so many good years! God loves all his children and you Mandy are one of them.


Sophie Sakura profile image

Sophie Sakura 2 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

I'm 25 I wish i could tell my story but i don't know to who or how. It's hard to express yourself when you have no voice for 20 years. Your story is much like mine except I was with my single dad and sister.

I also had parents that love is just a mental construct and not an actual living emotion. My father is disfellowshipped but still believes it's "the truth". I just want to go there and graffiti on the wall: "i was abused as a child here", "false prophets". Oh and to the stupid people saying the JW's aren't that bad should examine themselves. There are countless stories of people that went through this. Spirituality and religion are personal things that should never ever be forced on someone or preached. There is only one good word and that is abuse. Child abuse in the name of god. Yes your parents are JW and you lived in a nice house and had a vacation every year, GOOD FOR YOU. meanwhile maybe you should have some compassion for those of us that have suffered from the "collateral damage".

Growing up since kindergarten you are treated as an outcast. You don't get birthdays, christmas or easter chocolate, halloween is evil even if you do it for fun. People call you a jehovah (witness) even though we never were baptized and yes when i was 5 I wanted to work for betel actually what that means is that when i was 5 I wanted to make my parents happy like any kid. I was always punished never rewarded. Encouragements are rare and usually in a mocking tone.

They JWs aren't concerned that over 3/4 of children leave. They are all so narrow minded. As a 5 year old I can tell they had the teachings wrong. But I had to believe or I would get spankings that make BDSM masters envious. I have relationship issues because of this.

I was raped once by a black guy with a big D, I would rather have to go through with that again everyday, than to relive that childhood.

No one seem to care my bi polar mother had issues and the JWs shunned my dad (so he went to another congregation) and took defended my "mom" even though she is leaving a man with a 2 and 4 year old. Also the law didn't seem to care. My mother's right to party like a teen was more important than the rights of her kids to have a mother. She is dead in my heart, it took a long time of trying to give up hope of a relationship.

If I were a horny sex addicted lustful warmongering hormonal male, the bible is what i would write. I am from french canada. Still working out the hate and trauma. I've been thinking of ways for years to discredit this abomination. This religion is the manifestation of sin. sin is missing the mark. also if jesus didn't write the bible why should MEN? Abram walked with god and didn't need a bible why should I.

When i was 4 I could calm my mind and float away and talk to a kind spirit which I would mistake for god. I could see god before they filled my brain with propaganda. Love comes from the heart not the brain. It's such a wonderful feeling to feel love as an emotion instead of a status quo or some idea.

jee, i didn't mean to ramble that much. it's really pitiful that they are standing in the way of what they claim to do. Also im so sick of religions having this exclusionary attitude which is not very Christlike.

Those gossiping goons had elders that came to my dad that doesn't even go to the meetings any more to tell him that him having his female friend take baths at his house is causing brothers and sisters to stumble.

The fact that they aren't minding their own business is more disturbing. My dad lives a 30 second drive away and yeah sometimes we walked. I once told my dad I didn't want to go when i was 4 and they brought me in pyjamas as if I would learn something. The amount of stupid BOGGLES me. It's like they forgot what it is like to be a kid.

I am planning on going back, going to make myself pretty and sit there for 2 hours. take notes and ask them the hard questions.


Thembelihle 2 years ago

It is a pain ful pain with how things turn through things when is happening to us as jehovahs witnesses when life begins bad we start to get wrong but jehovah. Always make us believ that we care I was a desfeloship 2013 because I went to circumcased with our cultural black but it was paining someone elder incourage me with Hebrew12:5,6 it was paining crying day n day but continue praying along to jehova to came back in the truth suddenly the new DVD was relised in 2013 convetion help me to decide what I need to be and nothing less without jehovahs organisation to you my sister am so hurt to here your story but remember jehovah still care about you remember that


Darrin Hart profile image

Darrin Hart 2 years ago

It is always difficult to see how so many are fooled by this evil organization. Thembellhle.......that DVD is atrocious....please study this organization.....you will find devastating facts


WhatName? 2 years ago

Well, I would say that their doctrines have only changed because their understanding of the Bible has changed. Like I sorta previously stated, Somethings they believed were either yes or no are now more whatever an individuals conscience leads them to decide. And vise-versa. Back in the 1930's? 40's? I don't remember. They used to believe that smoking was a personal decision. But now it's pretty much viewed as 'harmful to the temple' and is not allowed.

I'm sorry I don't know all the facts and figures. But I'm pretty sure that somewhere in the Bible it mentions how sacred blood is. When animals were to be sacrificed, wasn't their blood supposed to be spilled upon the Earth, in order to be returned to God, as the Earth is his. Blood was held very high and considered quite important. Also, obviously it's not always going to be the case, but most time when doctors say you need blood put in you, it's only because that is the quickest way for them to fix the problem without having to do much work for you. Where as most time, when some one is undergoing a major operation that might cause major blood loss the problem isn't the blood itself, it just the volume of blood in your body. I think that because of JW's, doctor were forced to come up with more bloodless techniques that are used quite often by many, JW or not. Regardless of your religious beliefs, you should check it out and read up on that. It's helpful to know your options. Also, there are also many issues that come with accepting blood. You may receive the wrong type and your body can reject it, or you could contracts all sorts of diseases that weren't caught on the previous tests.

Also back in the olden days that thought anything related to blood was unacceptable to put into the body. But now-a-days I think there is something called blood plasma, where the blood is stripped down to just the plasma, and if whoever is the one receiving feels comfortable accepting it, can have that put in them. Again, another matter of conscience.

I didn't grow up with birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, Easter and, frankly, I didn't care. You don't need a specific day to buy tons of stuff for people. I'm sorry to those more affected by it mentally, but I really don't see it as that big a deal. Really. I got out of doing quite a bit of assignments as a kid due to them being holiday related. I don't mean to make myself sound any better than anyone else but I was always given little gifts and surprises throughout the years of my childhood. And dare I say it was better, because I truly was surprised. I wasn't expecting a toy in March when my birthday is in July. Or a bike in September when Christmas was far off. Also, all the pressure the holidays put on people is ridiculous and yet they continue it because it's tradition. They worry on what to cook, getting decorations ready, sending invites, stressing on what to get someone, spending tons of money on material possessions just to end up dissatisfied with what they get back AND in debt. I don't see the need to lie to children about fake fairy that steals teeth, or a fat red-dressed man with toys for children. It's unnecessary. They eventually learn the truth. Why set them up for disappointment? It's not like they have any less of an imagination or childhood just 'cause you don't lie to them about bunnies or leprechauns.

Also I understand all the anger you had as a child but calm down to see all sides of religion. I mentioned before how my parents don't always listen when I'm talking and it's frustrating. But I'm also dealing with the same as everyone else in the comments. Going on 20 and no boyfriends allowed unless of their religion, was not allowed to hang out with friends at school, constantly getting talks from them bout why don't I make friends from the congregation. I've been lonely most of my life and even at my age now, I'm terrified of doing things by myself because I've never had freedom. I've never gone to any store without then holding my hand and looking around corners before I walk by. Having to talk to cashiers, or order my own food at drive-troughs scares me. Going places and doing things by myself is very daunting because I've been raised too sheltered. Having to hide anytime I'm on the phone with friends from school, whether boys or girls, them getting frustrated when I want to go to the library to get some books and they get annoyed that I never want to read the WatchTower or Bible, them not allowing me to sleep over my best friend's house that I've known since kindergarten (about 15 years of friendship) that lives in my own neighborhood, or even getting to take walks by myself around my neighborhood. (I keep using 'they' but it's really mainly my dad that's the problem) I look back on somethings and want to hate my father. Leave the house and never talk to him or see him again. But I can't. I still love too much even after how annoyed he gets me. But then I think about my life and stop whining. I've got a roof over my head, I've got food, I have entertainment, I have parents, I have a hot shower, I have a soft bed. I'm not starving, I'm not cold, I'm not being kidnapped, I'm not being held in human trafficking, I'm not being tortured and murdered. I'm not being raped. Or beaten. Or psychologically abused. Step back and look at your life and see if your problems are really that big? Or just petty? When I think of things like this, I certainly get a lot more grateful. Sure, I selfishly whine over my not-so-big problems whenever I get mad at my dad and think that life is terrible and wonder "Why me?" but thinking about the other outcomes my life could have had put things in perspective for me.

So I understand the frustrations. But I just ask not to take it all out on the religion or to speak so vehemently about it. It's sure it's not only Jehovah's Witnesses that have these ''forced-to-serve-my-parents-religion-even-though-I-don't-wanna" feelings occurring. I'm sure any other child of a Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, or Mormon has felt the religion was the fault and reason for all the problems in the house. Again, I know the words of a strangers aren't gonna magically change your emotions from years of feeling the anger you did as a child. But, yeah...

I ended up writing quite a bit again. Sorry about that.


Mandy Jones profile image

Mandy Jones 2 years ago from Hampshire, England. UK Author

These days, I don't care to much to even think about the Watchtower and all it's lies and underhanded evilness.

But I WILL speak vehemently against it if prompted! They have bloodshed on their hands because of their wrong and murderous anti-blood transfusion law. How DARE they cause the needless death of so many! They should be tried through a court of law for murder for their crimes.

You talk to me about research! Believe me, I have done far more research than ANY JW slave. They can only research their own books. Even then, they do not dig deep to discover all the errors, contradictions and changes.

Are my problems that big? Hmm probably not compared to many. But the depression that has been with me from childhood has nearly cost me my life on more than one occasion. Please do not preach to me about how my life is not so bad just because I was enslaved within a cult!

I despise everything that they stand for. EVERYTHING, because it is pure evil.


Debi H. 2 years ago

I awoke today upset because I was shunned by a witness in my town. This person has been friendly for years with me, neither of us new of the others association with witnesses. In fact, this person is a very liberal witness that attends birthday celebrations and holiday events, so I was shocked by the sting of being shunned. I am no longer a JW. I am 50. I was raised from age 2 during the '60's and 70's as a Jehovah's Witness. My parent's had been pioneers and my dad was an elder. I was their only child. I could quote the books of the bible back word, and forward. I new all the answers to the questions at the bottom of the page of the book, "The truth that leads to eternal life" even though I was four and could read yet. I had a rehearsed sales pitch to give at the doors by age five and that made my parents beam with pride at how well their child could preform. We broke ties with our biological family, except at Holiday time. We attended the family gathering during the holiday's and we would stay to watch the family and the cousins open gifts together around the Christmas tree. My parents rule was that I was not allowed to have any emotions or accept any Christmas gift or holiday gift from relatives. The punishment was a belt beating in the other room. I was instructed to say, No thank you. I don't believe in Christmas. If I could accomplish this behavior with strength, then after holidays passed my parents would give me an unwrapped toy as my reward. I always became sad while watching everyone unwrap presents and would accidentally tear up. I always got the beating. Our family eventually asked us not to attend their functions because of my parents bizarre behavior to make a religious statement and spoil the happy gathering that it was meant to be. Eventually we moved to a small town in Kansas to NEW territory and to build a congregation. This was very thrilling for my family. My parents wanted to advance. I was the eldest of the JW kids that moved into this small town. We had lived in a city where there were lots of JW kids like me and I did have play mates but not here. I was the only school age child. So, I began my new school and the community was very excited to meet us and learn of our beliefs. Very soon after, the town did not agree with our doctrine and quickly labeled us as communist. During elementary school, I was sat at the front of my class room. I was in the 4th grade. Every morning the dreaded flag salute. I was told to place my hand over my heart. I would say, I do not salute the flag because it is against my religion. I would be sent to the principle's office and he would swat my right hand with a ruler. I would return to class, and try to concentrate with my sore hand and bruised spirit. This went on for years. Class room holiday treats, I was dismissed to sit in the hall and listen to the festivities go on. I was so brain washed with fear that if someone offered me a treat, I believed Jehovah would tell the elders or my parents and I would be beat. My classmates got in on the bulling and I was chased home daily by children calling me a communist. If they caught me, they would rip my clothing and sometimes they would hit or kick me. I became physically ill with stomach ulcers. The elders met with me because I wanted to quit school. So they told me about the holocaust and how JW's wore the purple triangle. They showed me pictures from books of starving, mutilated people in concentration camps. They told me, it didn't matter what was done to me or even if the world killed me, because the most important thing is to not die unfaithful because I wouldn't receive the resurrection. I would become nothing. The only way to be something was to be a good witness to the world and the world couldn't see me from home. I was eleven years old. I didn't think of childish things anymore because I didn't know how. I was a little lonely soldier in a war against the world and to prove I was worthy, the elders decided to make an example out of me to the younger kids in the kingdom hall. They took me out in service and one of the elders drove to my teacher the tormentors home. I was instructed to go to the door with a younger child and his mother. I was to give the presentation. I knocked, not realizing it was her door. She opened the door. I stood there stammering and stuttering in fear and I wet my pants. The sister quickly took over and then reported to the elder back at the car. He took his belt off and beat me for not being obedient. My father was in the back seat and did nothing. He was in full agreement with my punishment. The Kingdom Hall doesn't have windows. They tell you to be fearful because at anytime we will be abused and torchered for what they believe is the true religion. Somehow along this journey, my mother became disfellowshipped for gossiping. Being disfellowshipped was a horrible shame on my family and they believed it was unjustified. This caused my mother to spiral into extreme depression and anger.

My mother lost her job. Stayed home. Some moments she hysterically sobbed and so I tried to comfort, sometimes she was so angry and I became the target for her anger and I would get random beatings with a leather belt with metal rings that left donut shaped marks until she was exhausted and I would crawl off and hide or if I annoyed her, I was instructed to beat my head on the door frame until she said stop and if I didn't hit it hard enough, she would do it for me. My mother even forced me outside in the snow without shoes on my feet and told me to scrub the litter box with the garden hose. She let me back in, when I was screaming from pain and the neighbors were watching. She later laughed about it and mocked me screaming. My father's elder status was removed and so he turned to alcohol and he stayed in the basement playing his piano and guitar. He ignored my cries for help when my mother was in one of her moods. My life felt hopeless. I still had to attend the Kingdom Hall with my parents and enjoy the family shunning. I was so alone. No association from the hall, no worldly association and we were estranged from our biological family. Finally we moved away from this small town and back to the city. My mother became reinstated, but we were still looked down on by the JW's and no one offered us friendship or association. So, my parents quit the Kingdom Hall but we are still closet witnesses. At thirteen, I was allowed to make worldly friends but not allowed to share our past with the new people we met. My mothers mental health seemed to be getting better and then worse. I still was her emotional target to release her rage on and she did. I walked a tight rope. I got my arm broke by her at age fourteen. She pushed me down a flight of stairs while in one of her rages. She kept me sedated for a week by giving me her sleeping pills until some of the beat marks went away before I was allowed to receive medical treatment. She was scared of being caught. I remember floating in and out of conscious and hearing her sobbing and crying and apologizing. I also remember my dad telling her that she had gone to far. I think that's the only time I remember dad concerned about my well being and survival. I did grow up and move away. My mother got heavily involved with friends of the psychic network, crystal healing and reincarnation. We had a rocky relationship through out my adult life and her life, sadly ended alone. She had the town I live in written down, but she didn't have my address or number and so I found out about my mothers death when the local authorities in my town knocked on my door in the middle of the night. I was left to make the arrangements for my estranged mother. My father remarried thirty years ago and for twenty of those years he went back to being a Jehovah's Witness. His focus was heavily on trying to get his elder status back. He never got it and he finally gave up. I did go back in my early twenties. I was there long enough to become baptized. I was there long enough to drag my kids through some years of being non-holiday participants and I was there long enough for the conviction of the cross to open my ey


Debi H. 2 years ago

I awoke today upset because I was shunned by a witness in my town. This person has been friendly for years with me, neither of us new of the others association with witnesses. In fact, this person is a very liberal witness that attends birthday celebrations and holiday events, so I was shocked by the sting of being shunned. I am no longer a JW. I am 50. I was raised from age 2 during the '60's and 70's as a Jehovah's Witness. My parent's had been pioneers and my dad was an elder. I was their only child. I could quote the books of the bible back word, and forward. I new all the answers to the questions at the bottom of the page of the book, "The truth that leads to eternal life" even though I was four and could read yet. I had a rehearsed sales pitch to give at the doors by age five and that made my parents beam with pride at how well their child could preform. We broke ties with our biological family, except at Holiday time. We attended the family gathering during the holiday's and we would stay to watch the family and the cousins open gifts together around the Christmas tree. My parents rule was that I was not allowed to have any emotions or accept any Christmas gift or holiday gift from relatives. The punishment was a belt beating in the other room. I was instructed to say, No thank you. I don't believe in Christmas. If I could accomplish this behavior with strength, then after holidays passed my parents would give me an unwrapped toy as my reward. I always became sad while watching everyone unwrap presents and would accidentally tear up. I always got the beating. Our family eventually asked us not to attend their functions because of my parents bizarre behavior to make a religious statement and spoil the happy gathering that it was meant to be. Eventually we moved to a small town in Kansas to NEW territory and to build a congregation. This was very thrilling for my family. My parents wanted to advance. I was the eldest of the JW kids that moved into this small town. We had lived in a city where there were lots of JW kids like me and I did have play mates but not here. I was the only school age child. So, I began my new school and the community was very excited to meet us and learn of our beliefs. Very soon after, the town did not agree with our doctrine and quickly labeled us as communist. During elementary school, I was sat at the front of my class room. I was in the 4th grade. Every morning the dreaded flag salute. I was told to place my hand over my heart. I would say, I do not salute the flag because it is against my religion. I would be sent to the principle's office and he would swat my right hand with a ruler. I would return to class, and try to concentrate with my sore hand and bruised spirit. This went on for years. Class room holiday treats, I was dismissed to sit in the hall and listen to the festivities go on. I was so brain washed with fear that if someone offered me a treat, I believed Jehovah would tell the elders or my parents and I would be beat. My classmates got in on the bulling and I was chased home daily by children calling me a communist. If they caught me, they would rip my clothing and sometimes they would hit or kick me. I became physically ill with stomach ulcers. The elders met with me because I wanted to quit school. So they told me about the holocaust and how JW's wore the purple triangle. They showed me pictures from books of starving, mutilated people in concentration camps. They told me, it didn't matter what was done to me or even if the world killed me, because the most important thing is to not die unfaithful because I wouldn't receive the resurrection. I would become nothing. The only way to be something was to be a good witness to the world and the world couldn't see me from home. I was eleven years old. I didn't think of childish things anymore because I didn't know how. I was a little lonely soldier in a war against the world and to prove I was worthy, the elders decided to make an example out of me to the younger kids in the kingdom hall. They took me out in service and one of the elders drove to my teacher the tormentors home. I was instructed to go to the door with a younger child and his mother. I was to give the presentation. I knocked, not realizing it was her door. She opened the door. I stood there stammering and stuttering in fear and I wet my pants. The sister quickly took over and then reported to the elder back at the car. He took his belt off and beat me for not being obedient. My father was in the back seat and did nothing. He was in full agreement with my punishment. The Kingdom Hall doesn't have windows. They tell you to be fearful because at anytime we will be abused and torchered for what they believe is the true religion. Somehow along this journey, my mother became disfellowshipped for gossiping. Being disfellowshipped was a horrible shame on my family and they believed it was unjustified. This caused my mother to spiral into extreme depression and anger.

My mother lost her job. Stayed home. Some moments she hysterically sobbed and so I tried to comfort, sometimes she was so angry and I became the target for her anger and I would get random beatings with a leather belt with metal rings that left donut shaped marks until she was exhausted and I would crawl off and hide or if I annoyed her, I was instructed to beat my head on the door frame until she said stop and if I didn't hit it hard enough, she would do it for me. My mother even forced me outside in the snow without shoes on my feet and told me to scrub the litter box with the garden hose. She let me back in, when I was screaming from pain and the neighbors were watching. She later laughed about it and mocked me screaming. My father's elder status was removed and so he turned to alcohol and he stayed in the basement playing his piano and guitar. He ignored my cries for help when my mother was in one of her moods. My life felt hopeless. I still had to attend the Kingdom Hall with my parents and enjoy the family shunning. I was so alone. No association from the hall, no worldly association and we were estranged from our biological family. Finally we moved away from this small town and back to the city. My mother became reinstated, but we were still looked down on by the JW's and no one offered us friendship or association. So, my parents quit the Kingdom Hall but we are still closet witnesses. At thirteen, I was allowed to make worldly friends but not allowed to share our past with the new people we met. My mothers mental health seemed to be getting better and then worse. I still was her emotional target to release her rage on and she did. I walked a tight rope. I got my arm broke by her at age fourteen. She pushed me down a flight of stairs while in one of her rages. She kept me sedated for a week by giving me her sleeping pills until some of the beat marks went away before I was allowed to receive medical treatment. She was scared of being caught. I remember floating in and out of conscious and hearing her sobbing and crying and apologizing. I also remember my dad telling her that she had gone to far. I think that's the only time I remember dad concerned about my well being and survival. I did grow up and move away. My mother got heavily involved with friends of the psychic network, crystal healing and reincarnation. We had a rocky relationship through out my adult life and her life, sadly ended alone. She had the town I live in written down, but she didn't have my address or number and so I found out about my mothers death when the local authorities in my town knocked on my door in the middle of the night. I was left to make the arrangements for my estranged mother. My father remarried thirty years ago and for twenty of those years he went back to being a Jehovah's Witness. His focus was heavily on trying to get his elder status back. He never got it and he finally gave up. I did go back in my early twenties. I was there long enough to become baptized. I was there long enough to drag my kids through some years of being non-holiday participants and I was there long enough for the conviction of the cross to open my ey


Debi H. 2 years ago

Part 2 that cut off - I was there long enough for the conviction of the cross to open my eyes from their bible and then argue with the elders that Jesus was the worthy One and I had a calling on my heart to leave the Jehovah's Witnesses and not look back. John 14:6

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

So, I was there long enough to also be disfellowshipped. My father is again disfellowshipped and I am close to him these days. He uses our story in his new church and explains our victory through a victim mentality that we were both (he and I) victims of this cult. He can't acknowledge his role in the whole ordeal and the horrid abuse I suffered. He has swept that part under a rug somewhere. He has joined the Methodist church and teaches Sunday school. He grew up in this church and feels religiously important and he is admired and respected. I do not allow him to share his religious view points with me any more. I have forgiven him, but I can't forget that he was in a leadership position in my life, and he let me down. I got away from the witnesses and removed my children from their clutches. For my children's sake, I found a church group years ago and got them involved in youth activities. I have a merged family of seven kids that I raised with my wonderful husband. Most of our kids are doing well, happily married and they are raising their families in a church environment. I am a believer in Jesus Christ, but fear organized religion. I will always struggle with watching the news and dooms day reports because I was spoon fed Armageddon is coming, so you better watch out or it's gonna get you. I have two adult children that were questioning Christianity and looking for religious answers. They were part of youth church groups as kids and they recently got a connection with the Witnesses. My son lives in another state he was a little depressed, and so I was praying with him and talking about encouraging scriptures. After we hung up, his front door blew open from a gust of wind and there were the witnesses in his door way. He went to the door and invited them in. He said they shared similar scriptures that I had read with him and they talked for two hours. Finally, they showed him a video about Armageddon and he said, Your god seems selfish and cruel. That's not the God that saved me. Then my son asked them to leave. My step daughter became involved with local JW's. And I had know idea that they were because they always helped out with my grandsons birthday parties. My step daughter went to several Kingdom Hall meetings and even sat down with the elders and discussed questions. I found out about this after the fact or I would have been standing out in front of her with protest signs. But she managed herself well, she said the hairs on her neck stood up when that got to the dooms day part and she disagreed. She said, your Kingdom Hall lacks Holy Spirit and so, thanks but no thanks.

God never fails. And my children have done well against this cult and have the True Truth that has set them free. Zephaniah 3:5 The Message (MSG) They’re opportunists—you can’t trust them. Her priests desecrate the Sanctuary. They use God’s law as a weapon to maim and kill souls.

Yet God remains righteous in her midst, untouched by the evil.

He stays at it, day after day, meting out justice. At evening he’s still at it, strong as ever. But evil men and women, without conscience and without shame, persist in evil.

For a long time, I believed the Watchtower and Bible tract society kept a tracking list for ex members because wherever I moved, they always found me once a year, the elders came a knocking to see if I wanted to repent. That stopped after our final visit. I asked if we could begin by me praying in tongues over them and I asked them if I could lay hands on them while praying in tongues. They turned and walked quickly off my property. LOL! I began my story with I woke and was upset. After reading your wonderful story and others stories, I have my focus back and I don't feel so alone. I'm sad that we share the same landscape inside of us but I am grateful to not be alone. Thank you for your courage. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Tony 2 years ago

Your story is quite sad. The thing I noticed most was the lack of any kind of love in your life. Some people (parents) just don't know h0w to love. And the reason why you got baptised, well, it's also very sad to hear. I can see, plainly, you didn't back then, and you maybe still haven't found God. The God of the Bible, is the true God, there is no other God but him. You can find his name in the Bible, in the King James version at Psalm 83, verse 18. It's printed there in bold letters for all to see. I just hope that one day you get to know this person, then you really will find love, and learn how to love.


Believe 2 years ago

I to have simmular stories, i'm thinking we need to start a support group. I have started seeing a phychiatrist, i left the JW at 18 and i am now 45. To anyone listening, seek professional help. Don't wait. I am trying to move forward. We are good people. Try not to substatue religions to soon either, if you believe in God you will find him.


Mellow03 2 years ago

Hi, it seems there is a theme, all childhood problem in connect to JW as parents were / are involved with JW. So, you blame JW that cause problem to your parent, which cause problem to you. Do you feel it is JW fault that cause problem to your parent? But not your parent's fault because of your love to your parent, but no love to JW. Well, to be accurate, it is not JW, but JW's Leader, Watchtower Society or Government Body. The faithful Slave. Do you blame your parent, but forgive your parent? Or / both, blame Government Body, but not forgive them? If forgive, then as a whole, not blame them as result, which it is now. But in past yes, but now no.


Emma J 2 years ago

A few months ago when i gave birth to my daughter I felt as though I wanted to put in writing my experiences with the Jehovah Witnesses religion. Instead I read experiences like yours online just so I dont feel as though I am alone in my eperience. I too am a disfellowshipped ex JW. My father was abusive an alcoholic and an Elder, I had a terrible upbringing in this "religion" my parents seperated they could not divorce so this lead to a very messy breakup and bavk and forth between them we were shunned and cast out by the congregation and our own family. I can relate to so many of these comments and your experience. I had a harrowing conversation with my mother this weekend and am still having my family hound me back to this cult. I am told my mind is totally closed off and Im blinded by satan and his world and my daughter wont live until shes 16 or remember any of the Christmases or birthdays that I intend for her to celebrate as I dont want her to be bullied and made to feel an outcast and be bullied as my sister and I were when we were young. I am still finding my way and finding it difficult to come tk terms with this religion that has been so much a part of my life even whe I chose to not be part of it. Its reassuring to know that Im not so alone in my experience and Im not demonised as my family say.


ShirleyJCJohnson profile image

ShirleyJCJohnson 2 years ago from Sallisaw, OK

Your story is one of pain, yet of beauty. Of deprivation, yet of life. You managed to find beauty through your pain. You have been validated as a mother in your rights. You found life out of deprivation in that you now have children and a happy home for them. When a person will put the one true God above all, He will put you above all. Here's to many more wonderful years with your children.


oscarwms profile image

oscarwms 23 months ago from PA

It is very sad to see some one come out of a cult and not replace it with the truth. The Bible says (not the New World Translation) "know the truth and the truth shall set you free" My father stole our family heritage away by being involved in a cult that believed in euthanasia. I have cousins and uncles and aunts that I never seen. The ones that I do see are like zombies. Afraid to laugh or enjoy them selves. They were taught that having a little fun was a sin. We were taught not to go to them other churches or associate with them because we might pick up their demon. The thing that got me is that they used the true Bible but took the verses that they wanted to keep their followers in bondage.

The truth is you have to seek the God of the Bible for yourself, then you will find peace. Jesus said: My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives but I give unto you" "Seek me with all of your heart and you will find me" You don't need no church or religion to do this. God is real, all you have to do is ask. God if you are real show me, and he will.


Brenton 22 months ago

That's a bad story, I pray things get better for you!


Dylan Hamm 20 months ago

Hello Mandy. Long time no see! As you know my childhood was very similar to yours, but with one difference I had a great friend who I use to look forward to seeing and playing Lego with and who was the only normal person I knew. My favourite band is still AC/DC and still feel a bit sick from being swung round by my legs lol.


Necole 17 months ago

Hello im 15 and my mom is a jw member. She treats me just about the same way ignoring me, draging me to the meetings, all that junk and my dad isnt but he agrees with her. I barley get to have a social life since evryone is "worldly" and "bad". Since my sister wants to be in the cult she kinda chooses her as favourite. I hate what the teach because its false hope. I actally loved my mother at one time in my life but ever since after my gandmother died shes really changed.... i dont feel loved by my mom anymore. I barley get to have an opinion anymore. My parents have threatened to kick me out. I also cant tell them for that same fear.


pointblank009 profile image

pointblank009 16 months ago from Buffalo

I'm just seeing this and that is as grisley and gruesome an ex-JW story I ever read. Your mom is just one of a legion of what I term ROF parents (religion over family), that seems to overtake JW moms more than dads. Let me tell you something about those PUNKS in your congregation that wouldn't give you all a ride to the meeting even in the harsh weather, they don't qualify to judge or shun anyone, even in their wildest dreams.


Eldad 15 months ago

At least you are lucky to have your own children. I was raised in a religion that doesn't allow to marry outside the church. We were very few when I was younger so there was very difficult to find someone with whom I can fall in love and marry. Girls of my age were often married to the older men in the congregation so the idea of marrying someone from the church was impractical to those men of my age. But I chose to remain loyal and wait until, as they have taught me, God gives me my soul mate. Now I am almost 42, a man who has never been loved, never knew the taste of love, no wife but full of frustration, anger and deep bone-breaking sorrow. Now I feel that my church has stolen my life. It is too late now to change course (regarding marriage) and go my own way to find the love of my live anywhere. But it seems I am too old and too coward to make that change. I feel that I am betrayed and my fear of the Lord has been taken by somebody by someone to ruin my life. I feel emptiness. It is not easy to describe what I feel in words.

I feel that church leaders use religion to coerce people into their own way, pile up "commandments" which are not even in the Bible and totally ruin the lives of the adherent faithful. I see now a standing case of this sad experience.


oscarwms profile image

oscarwms 15 months ago from PA

You don't have to be a JW to have your childhood stolen. Any religion taken out of context by a misunderstanding parent can do that to you. The quest to find and please a god often is the culprit. Parents force their kids to go to church or Sunday school with no explanation why thinking some how god is going to rub of on them and make them a good kid. So when they grow up they don't want anything to do with religion or church etc. My question is have you ever met the God of the Bible?

The Bible was written so that you may know Him who is the right to eternal life and that life is in His Son. God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, that who so ever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.

Jesus says " come unto me all you that labor and are heavy burdened and I will give you rest for I am meek and lowly of heart. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Religion (as you have surely seen) puts a heavy burden on you that you or no one else can bear. Jesus Christ bore our sins on Cavalries Cross in our place. He became sin for us who knew no Sin that we may become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Coming to Jesus just as you are is all it takes, no church, no religion just simply asking him to come into your heart and be you Lord and Savior. he will do the rest. God bless you.


randy boucher 5 months ago

I just finished my book

www.dontletitshow.com

This is a journey of a boy with a very troubled upbringing trying to figure out who he is in this world. This journey begins with him fighting for his life, to wish at times that he had lost that fight. A boy struggling with the horror he might be gay. At a youthful age, converting to Jehovah Witness put an added burden and feeling of guilt upon him. Follow the bewildered boy, as he becomes an even more confused adult. Why he gets married at an early age and then has a son. Far-removed from the perfect family as it all falls apart. He opens up his emotions as he describes coming out as a gay man, and the consequences that followed. The battling with the Courts to be able to visit with the one person that meant the most to him. The struggles he encounters being gay and HIV+ while working as a machinist in a blue color world. Eventually finds him battling with the decision of suicide. To survive he has must learn to let go of his past and to learn to forgive. He explains this in the only way he knows how, and that is with humor. If you look hard enough you will discover a joke in any situation, it is just a little harder to see through tears.

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