Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Jehovah's Witness story part 1


I do not know how long this is going to be to write.  I am not a professional writer by any stretch.  This is really for me than anything else. There are alot of players in my life as a witness so I have included pictures of the ones I could find over the net.  Bear with me as this is kinda long.  It is going to be hard to compress 17 years of witnessdom into two blog posts but I want to put the experience behind me.  I have decided to put in bold the years so one can get to understand the timeline as well.  The exwitnesses that read this will understand this post.  Normal people might get some of it but not all of it because I will use Witness terminology to explain stuff.  It is also not my intention to demonize anyone here.  All I speak about are my experiences and what truth is.  This is stuff that really happened to me.  It is not imbellished in any way.
This is Dad....Man do I miss him so!

 I was raised a Methodist by my father.  My beloved father.  If there is some kind of hall of fame for fathers my father would be number one in it.  I have never felt so much love from another human being.   We were pretty wealthy alright.  My father´s business took a plunge and we lost our house because of some bad trades Dad had made in the commodity market.  Dad was a great man.  He tried his hand at everything.  He was an architect, painter, lover of classical music etc. Anyway... We moved into apartments. We rarely went to the Methodist church mind you but when I was around 10, my father who was an architect, who had studied personally with Frank Lloyd Wright retained one of Jehovah´s Witnesses as his client.   A man named Don Martini.  Briliant man. 1983 
  When Don had brought Dad the final check he immediately started a bible study with him.  Dad did NOT want to be one of Jehovah´s Witnesses as he thought them weird but the things he was learning made sense to him.  Dad studied like crazy.  Read 18 of the Watchtower bound volumes and little books.  Finally became one under protest.  Protest meaning because Dad was never much in love with religion.

Dad loved me so much.  I had every toy I could want.  Gi Joe etc.  I thought the Witness Don was a pretty weird guy.  Don wanted the house cleaned as Dad and I were not the witness version of cleanliness so he got to picking up things and putting them in the trash can.  How a person could go in someone else´s house to do this and how Dad allowed it I have no idea…anyway the guy chucked GI Joe issue 30 with the Dreadnoks in the trash.  I screamed out loud and retrieved my comic…Don said did I really want a magazine glorifying war?  YES! I screamed.  He dropped the issue.   We went over Don's house for a Bible study a couple of times.  Here was this Christian man I looked up to because he had a really nice house and I thought he was what a Christian was supposed to be.  Boy was I wrong...When we were there Don would scream at his wife right in front of us.  REALLY abusive things.  I kept looking at Dad who was blushing with embarrasment over it.  Don even proposed Dad and he get into business together.  Doing spec houses together. Don would put up the money and Dad would design Don a house for free. Dad had to design 9 houses before Don was satisfied, the most Dad had ever designed for one person.  Don was impossible to please.  Don ended up according to Dad, screwing my father out of money for architecture plans and ruining his reputation among many witnesses at the time.  For all the time after my father was baptized they never spoke to each other ever again.  The Elders had to even counsel Don to quit bothering my father over financial injuries he felt Dad had inflicted upon him Dad had told me.  Don even lowballed my father on one of his paintings.  Paid him only $50 for a thousand dollar painting.  Dad was broke at the time because of the fall from commodities and needed the money.  Their business adventure never saw the light of day.  As I understand it,  Don even sold his chemical business because he believed the end was going to come in 1975 that the hierarchy of Jehovah's Witnesses predicted...

 It wasn´t before long that I was given my own Bible study with a Jonathon Liebensperger.  A well respected servant in the hall.  Nice guy.  But then again I only knew him for around 3 weeks... 1985
This is Jonathan...Blurry pic huh?  Currently living in New York.  He never contacted me ever again.  A trait I would find that would be common among "God's people".

We studied a month before he went to a place called Bethel.  So another young man was given to me.  Kevin Beck.  Now to say this guy was something of a used car salesman type would be an understatement.  I really wanted to be friends with him but the JW mindset is so powerful about keeping it all superficial.  He was different than Jonathon.  I felt a real coldness about him.  But I looked up to him.  He would say later in my life that the real reason he studied with me was to see my GI Joe collection.  That he was never able to have cool toys like that...But then again at the time he was 17 or so.  But then again he kind of acted like that the entire time I knew him.  Many years.
Kevin Beck today...Wouldn't you buy a used car from this man?

Oh well.  At about that time I still had worldly friends meaning friends who were not witnesses and one had introduced me to Black Sabbath and Friday the 13th movies…So…I had the posters all over my walls.   THANKS ERIC! 1986
This is Eric today.  A well respected Rabbi in his community.  GO Eric!

I was NOT a witness yet mind you.  I was probably 13 at this time in the story.  I do not think even Dad had been dunked yet, meaning baptized.    But there Kevin was in my father´s ear about the dangers of F13 and Ozzy.  All of my posters and Fangoria magazines went into the trash.  I was a little teed off at Kevin.  Also that was the end of Christmas, Birthdays and anything fun...That is right.  I had to sacrifice celebrating my birthday because of Witness rules..After a few years it became normal...Ughhh....

We started to go to the Kingdom Hall on a regular basis.  Immediately the powers that be tried to replace my former worldly friends with witness kids.  The two kids in question were Kevin´s brother Eric and Jacob Jackson.  Kindy nerdy but what the heck.  Hung out with them as it was forced on me to do so.  Jacob and I shared a passion for DC comics.  Yeah I did say nerdy didn´t I?   Finally after 3 years studying Dad took the dip.  He was baptized in 1985.  Had to give up smoking, one of his greatest loves to be a witness.  Glad he did it as I think it helped my health as well because I didn´t have to breath the second hand smoke.  Dad was never as hardcore as he could have been about the religion.  If basketball was on a Sunday he would skip a meeting to see it.  For that I loved him even more. By this time Dad had scrapped together a few dollars and we bought another house in Chamblee Georgia. 1990 My Bible teacher went to Bethel too and I was handed off yet again to another steward.  Scott Lake.  Scott was the kind of guy who would wear ripped jeans to the study and talked cool.  He wasn´t as straight laced as others had been and that was great.  Scott Lake isn't going anymore to the hall either.. By this time it was 1990.  During 85 and 90 I moved in with my mother to get away from the witnesses but she is a tyrant all her own.  Think of Joan Crawford and the Mommie Dearest movie and you have a picture of my mother.  So I didn´t stay too long.  So here we are in 1991 and I move back in with Dad.  He promised no more studies for me if I did not want them.   He still went to the hall sporadically though.  Scott came over a few times to get me to study and I would when he was there but it was really just to chit chat etc.  Then in 1991 on January 1st someone broke into our house and burned it down.  Dad and I had been on a little vacation.  Did the loving brothers offer to help?  Did they put us up when we had lost EVERYTHING?  Not one offered.  Not one.  Not one offered any money or anything of that nature.  Dad was in good standing  and I was studying a little.  Inexcusable for the religion that claims it loves it´s adherants. 

So Dad and I had to move in with a worldly friend of his.  Ed.  Thank you Ed!  You are still a good friend today.  Dad was so disgusted that he quit going to the hall with the phony brothers.  A year or so passed and we had left Ed´s place and took up living in apartments again.  He was contacted by a different congregation who reactivated Dad.  When he was reactivated I was finally in college.  1992 Doing great!   I was studying acting.  Dad supported me in college...In witness land college is very frowned upon because higher learning is part of Satan's world.  Told you he wasn´t so hardcore.  He did try and nudge me to start studying again though.

Late 1993 Then the unthinkable happened.  I found God.  Or so I thought.  Had a dream Armaggedon was coming.  Overnight I ran to the Kingdom Hall in Clarksville Georgia and requested a study in my new college environment.  Shocked Fran, my girlfriend at the time.  Probably shocked her child as well because I had played Daddy with the little girl Jenna for around 8 months... Within 6 months I made drastic changes and even left school convinced the big A was so close that I had to pioneer.  Pioneering is knocking on doors 90 hours a month back then.  I threw my entire education at Piedmont away for living forever in paradise.  Broke up with Fran because she did not want to be a witness.  She married someone else a few months later.  I was totally mesmorized by the JW's.  And I thought I was a good one too.  I could navigate the Bible with the best of them.  Being a pioneer is like being the best salesman at the company.  You got people patting you on the back and you get more invites to eat out.  Why?  Because you are doing God´s work.  Or so I really believed.
This is Fran today with her daughter Jenna.  She is a fantastic woman.  So because I let the witnesses dictate my life for me I gave up this life.


  I was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses June of 1994.  Dad was shocked. He thought God was taking care of me....So I was apart of the Clarkesville Georgia congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.  I really felt like I was apart of a spirtual family.   Met another lifelong friend there....Elias Lebron!  Love that guy! 
Will he follow the governing body and shun me?  One of his best friends?  Time will tell.  But then again he really doesn't contact me much since I moved to Mexico.  Maybe called me 4 times in 6 years...No one else has ever contacted me from old Clarksville....Some family.  In fact someone has already defriended me on Facebook for a comment I made that had nothing to do with them.  The brainwashing at it's finest kicks in.  They treat ones that leave like they have been corrupted by the Devil.  Real paranoid group here.  I will feel so sad at not being able to converse with the Clarksville group.  But really like I said, none have ever called me in the 6 years I have been here in Saltillo.  I did call one recently.  A brother fortson...We chatted etc.  but the first thing out of his mouth was....How was I doing in the truth?  It seems that when one passes that test and says "Fine, the congregation is great"  THEN that person is allowed to talk to you.  It is conditional love.  As long as you are going to the meetings etc, then they will be your friend...It is quite sad.  I could be an angel, a loving giving person, but not go to the meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses then I am lumped in with Satan himself.

 1995 I moved back in with Dad and things were ok for awhile.  I went to the new congregation with him and became a regular pioneer. Even went to Bethel in New York for 2 weeks.  Dad and I both applied.  He was rejected...All of the architects at Bethel were jealous of him.  They were afraid he would ruin their little fifedom. Here was one of Frank Lloyd Wright's apprentices in their midst and they couldn't care less.  They work your ass off at Bethel.  After that first week I was praying to come home.  I hated it.  You were really a slave there.  

 Then in 1997 the unexpected happened.  I had hodgkin´s disease.  Cancer.  Oh boy….I immediately got chemo and attended some meetings.  Only ONE sister did anything for me.  She cooked me around 6 meals during my cancer time.  Love her for that to this day.  Did any other brothers help their brother with this cancer?  Never saw them.  They never visited even once.  If our house burning down was strike one…This was definitely strike two.  So after I was cured after suffering the effects of chemo and radiation Dad asked me what I wanted to do in life.  I said I wanted to study acting again.  But this time in New York.  The mecha of acting.  He said ok.  We will send ya there.  Since the witnesses were not around when I had cancer-Did the friends  support me in my new endeavor?  No.  I got the usual brow beating about it.  That it would take me out of the truth etc.  They didn't want me moving to New York.  They wanted me to waste my life pioneering.
So I went anyways.  They had already let me down twice over MAJOR issues so….I had a blast doing being at acting school. 1998-2000 I graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.  Dad was so proud.  I even met surprisingly another gal.  A fiery brazillian.  A non witness.  I accidently fell in love.  The brothers in New York in Queens urged me to break it off with her because I was a witness and she wasn't.  I humbly went to confess my sin of sleeping with her.  So the brothers disciplined me with private reproof.  I was instructed to break off all contact with her.  Instead the next week I married her.    Better than living in sin right?  Got her a bible study started and we both attended the hall in New York.  Things were going ok.  She was accepting what she was learning etc. We both got counseled for being newly married.  That is right.  By the New York brothers.  Said we were cuddling too much at the book study and that I was not to touch my wife during meetings.  It is not like we were making out or anything.  Just newly married and in love.  So we decided to visit Dad in Georgia for a month.  Seeing that we had gotten married at the Justice of the peace, Dad wanted it to be more than that.  He wanted to organize a little witness party for us.  To celebrate our marriage.  By this time Dad had purchased another house.  First one lost to bad economy, second to fire, and now this was going to be our home.  She was studying and I was a baptized brother attending the hall in New York….The unloving Witnesses strike again!  Dad gave everyone in the hall an invitation.  He didn´t want anyone to feel excluded as witnesses DO exclude members that are not in their cliques sometimes.  My father had a heart of gold.  Nothing was indicated that it was wrong.  He passed them out at the meeting.  Bought enough cocktail shrimp for 200 people.  My wife and I came down to visit and couldn´t wait for the party.  1 day before it is to happen an Elder meets with Dad and tells him that the Elders will not be there because I had married a non witness. 
This is Joe Porter.  The main  Elder that was against showing a little love and attending the party at my house for I and my new bride of 4 months.  It was a huge slap in the face to Dad who was the assistant to the donation magazine servant.

The party was on.  Only 15 people showed up.  I was devastated.  Here witnesses go door to door to find people to study the Bible with and my wife was studying and I was baptized and they pull this crap.  Talk about gulping down the camel!!!  Wife quit studying because of that crappy treatment.   In fact a few months later we were divorced.  I attribute  some of it to the witnesses' behaivor.
That is me with my arm around her.  The blondie girl.  Wacko to be sure.  The whole 6 months of marriage was HER HER HER.  It never would have worked.
But she was cute right?
You can see how I would lose my mind over her.  Ay Carumba!

2000-2003 So there I was divorced and living in Atlanta again with Dad.  That time was so special to me.  We had a very unique relationship.  We attended a new hall after the old one was so unloving.  One that was kind of far for us to drive to.  And ole  Porter moved to the same hall...Ughhh... And I was stuck having done an unscriptural divorce even though we were sharing an apartment with a man in New York.  I left her and moved to Atlanta with my father.  Instead of coming to Atlanta to be with her husband she stayed living with the man for 6 months and the Elders there said that since it was a rental type of agreement that it was ok.  WHAT?  It is not like it was a divided apartment where they never would see each other.  It was a three room SAME floor apartment.  I have NO idea how the Elders came to that conclusion that it is ok for a married woman to live with another man, especially for that long of a time.  Dad fought for me with the Elders to try to get me free to remarry.  I didn’t have someone picked out but he would have liked the option to be open for me in the future.  Well…We failed.  I was stuck. Well he upped and had a heart aneurysm burst on him one day on September 17th 2003.  Took him to the emergency room and said no blood was to be administered to him based on a witness twisted biblical command to abstain from blood... It was horrible!  Come to find out that even if they had opened him up to perform surgery…They could not do it there.  He died 5 minutes later.  Worst time in my life.  Of course one of the elders came….Brother Kohorn.  Said that my father didn't take care of himself very well.  Right there with my fathers body lying in the next room he says this.  I could have smacked him but he was in his eighties…I let it go.  Other brothers came.  Brother Mock, Reggie and my friend Carl.  
Here is Dad in the last year of his life getting a microphone hooked up to him.  He is on the right.  He appeared on HGTV's Dream Builders.

The funeral was beautiful.  Hall was packed.  We had a video presentation for Dad.  Set to the music of the movie Dad.  I wanted to use the song Tell me a lie but Carl said no because JW´s do not um, lie.  Oh well..At the funeral, I cried so much!  My friend Carl Walker made a video slide presentation of my father's life.  I could never repay Carl for that. 
Here is Carl and I.  Best friends at the time.  Will the witness training kickin to completely shun me and throw away 16 years of friendship?  I will let you know in the future.  Of course their training will probably kick in and it will be made into the villain and that it was I who threw away the friendship...All because I do not believe anymore because of concrete evidence.

I distinctly remember one time at a meeting I was the door servent just standing in the back and a grandfather took his grandson to the back and knelt down to talk to him.  Suddenly the man rolled up his Watchtower and smacked the 5 year old across the face with it.  I gasped out loud and the man looked up startled.  That man Alex Ray ended up cheating me on a remodeling job I had him do after Dad died.  After seeing what he did to that boy I should have never had hired him but then again we are commanded to trust our brothers so.......

  Late 2003-2004 I got cards and letters.  Two sisters even made me food.  Heck even Porter and wife took me out one time to Po Folks, a restaurant in Georgia. I am so thankful for that first week.  Then the love stopped after that.  I was a mess.  I was crying openly in the hall.  No one knew what to say to me nor tried.  I really thought of suicide.   Quit going to the hall after a few months because of depression.  A different Elder visited me once.  Said that I would be destroyed if I didn´t go to the Kingdom Hall again and I would never see my father again.  I was so pissed at him.  Quit going for a year.  Found myself a little.  Joined an internet dating service.   Just to meet girls. Hell I had been denied sex for years. I was so depressed.  My father was my life.  I just remember the pain Al Pacino’s character had in Scent of a Woman.  He felt he had nothing to live for.   So Colonel Slade concocted one last day.  A fine Dinner, fine drink, and a fine woman and then he was going to kill himself.  I wanted to do the same thing.  My father was my  everything and could not imagine life without him.  But mine was going to be a year of fun.  But then I couldn’t do it on September 17th 2004 the very next year later. I bought the shotgun.  Practiced putting it in my mouth several times but couldn’t pull the trigger. Then a nice brother named Gary Martin that knew Dad and I came a knocking.  Got me reactivated.   Told me that since I had commited adultery with some women during that year that I could be free of the marriage witness agreement.  My friend Elder Carl said I still wasn’t free.  That my act only freed my wife.  And that I was still hung up.  So I had to fight with the Elders again.  This time I won.  Adultery severs the marriage bond.  Now take in mind I had been divorced for 3 years at this point and had not seen my ex wife in 4.  But that kind of stuff doesn’t matter to the Elders and their stupid scriptural divorce etc.  They believe since you made a commitment that one should go through the living hell of being married to a horrible person, despite physical abuse or anything else....I do NOT think God had that idea for marriage when he first made it.

Part 2 will be up tomorrow....


http://monstercafesaltillo.blogspot.mx/2013/03/my-story-as-jehovahs-witness-part-2.html






15 comments:

  1. Thanks for creating an awareness of Jehovah's Witnesses issues!
    I Danny Haszard got 'disfellowshipped' from Jehovah's Witnesses because I blew the whistle on congregation corruption.(John 16:2)
    Now I am a free mind!

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    1. This blog is not specifically for that. It is really more about my cafe and toys baby! But this did affect my life and it beared a looksee.

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  2. Great Blog! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks my friend! Wish you could leave!

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  3. Interesting stuff Matty!Even through adverse events it seemed like your dad was super supportive of you,and that kind of relationship with a father is priceless ;)

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    1. Yeah it was priceless Tony. I miss him to this day.

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  4. Great story Bro...I had an awesome dad like you. Lost him to cancer and I know that pain too well.

    Can't wait to read part 2!

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    1. It has been 10 years for me and still seems like it was yesterday.

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  5. I lost my dad seven years ago and a day doesn't go by when I don't think of him. Worse thing that ever happened to me in my life. I understand how you are feeling. Stay strong brother.

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    1. Yes it was the worst thing that ever happened to me too. Still dream about him to this day.

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  6. wow , I would have loved to have met your Dad. I am always so impressed by good fathers. We need more of them. I'm going to read part 2 of your story now. So far I can see that you and your Dad were just not Witness Material. By that I mean easily led and sculpted into mindless followers. They are the type that do well in the organization. Free thinking people are always rejected in the congregation. The organization doesn't pass a collection plate for your money, they just collect your brain. After that your heart doesn't know what to do but follow.

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    1. Thanks so much! It took alot to even write stuff that is not popular.

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  7. Many who never experienced the powerful indoctrination of WatchTower Society may find this life testimony hard to believe. Just imagine a twisted twilight zone. Sadly, this WTS nightmare is real and stranger than fiction. I relate to this testimony. The part of rushing to a Kingdom Hall (WatchTower Society church building) because of fear that Armageddon had arrived and caught us out of good standing with the WatchTower Society actually happened to me in 2004. WatchTower Society manipulates Member's minds through fear of being destroyed at Armageddon. This ploy coaxes the Member to give up absolute trust to the WatchTower Society, strictly shun any Member who disagrees with the WatchTower Society, thus deceiving the Member to believe that only the WatchTower Society is divinely inspired as the only organization offering salvation.

    These testimonies can't be made up. They have to be told, step by step, as told here.

    Thanks for sharing. I await the remainder of this testimony of a life within the WatchTower Society.

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    1. That is right....They are not made up. One son of one of the men I talked about told me to erase the stuff that is trying to hurt his father...Yeah, I could not mention it etc. Hell we all make mistakes. But this is my blog. These are the things that really happened to me. That hurt ME. It is the truth. Plain and simple. I am not here to hurt anyone but to tell the truth.

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  8. Hi Matthew!

    I'm amazed at your transparency and authenticity and I appreciate you sharing this story. Amazing and heart-breaking. I would love to correspond with you privately and share a story with you--one I think you might find entertaining. If you run across this post, please drop me a line @ Steve@stanleyart.com

    Respectfully,
    Steve Stanley

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