Living a Nightmare

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in Blog, Life Stories | 1 comment

Living a Nightmare

Everyone has a story to tell. The soldier returning from the middle east has a story – and so does his family. The disabled lady driving her motorized wheelchair with the large dog running beside her has a story. The old man who should be enjoying his retirement but has to work the counter at McDonald’s has his story. Those people may be surviving, but probably have stories we would consider as “tragic” or “unfortunate.”

As I’ve often said, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

I’m realizing that almost everyone who has been connected with Jehovah’s Witnesses has a story to tell. If you asked, most would tell you that their lives “are wonderful, full of close friends and family, and time well spent at Kingdom Halls, conventions, and in field service.” At least that’s what they would tell you.  

On the other hand, if you knew them personally or dug a little deeper, you might find the opposite was true. For many raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses, life is no “paradise” at all and their real stories are far more tragic and complicated than (as JWs) they might want to admit.

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Set Up for Failure: Marilyn’s Story – 3

Posted by on Jan 25, 2013 in Blog, Life Stories | 5 comments

Set Up for Failure: Marilyn’s Story – 3

Desperate, Marilyn called a local Columbus, Nebraska attorney and asked if she could meet with him. It took over an hour for her to explain what her life had been like, particularly for the last five years. A second meeting was scheduled, and then a third. Marilyn finally summoned the courage to do what she knew she had to do. She didn’t want a divorce, knowing that adultery and death were the only two ways to end a marriage per Jehovah’s Witnesses’ rules. At the same time she did not want to live with Carter or let him reside in her house.

When the papers were served and Carter was forced to move out of the house, Marilyn heard from the elders at her Hall immediately. They wanted to meet with her right away because what she had done did not match with the Bible and their rules. The elders advised her that she would have to take him back if she expected to “stay in good standing with Jehovah.” They suggested that she and Carter should then take their problems to Jehovah God and He would help them mend their marriage.

Marilyn again asked, “So what if I take him back and he really does kill me this time? Then what?”

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“It’s Going to be OK . . .”

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Blog, Book Reviews | 3 comments

“It’s Going to be OK . . .”

As the editor of several websites I am frequently approached by former Jehovah’s Witnesses who have written a book about their life stories and experiences while involved in The Truth™ or escaping from it. Often I get news releases announcing that “a former JW has written a book about his life and how he left the Watchtower cult after discovering the ‘real truth about the Bible…’ ”

I will make an effort to read at least a sample of these books. On the other hand, I refuse to waste my time on any that are clearly stories of “evangelical awakening” by writers who claim to have “spoken to God” or have been “infused with Holy Spirit.” However, if  I find that a book is truly interesting – even if flawed in some ways – and I think it has value for my readers, then I will try to write an honest but mostly positive review.

On very rare occasions I’ll get a book that is that is truly unique like The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness by Brianna Karp. If I can “see the story” and imagine that I am right there “going along for a once in a lifetime ride,” then I will make the time to read it, write an honest review, and share it with my readers. It’s Going to be OK (but not like we thought) fits perfectly into that category.

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The Naked Truth

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Blog, Naked Truth | 6 comments

The Naked Truth

I first envisioned this website as an “eye-opener” for those who stopped by to read its articles. By trying to imagine who would make up both my “target audience” and “my expected or likely audience,” I set about designing a site that could appeal to both groups – and maybe even a few occasional visitors who just happened to stumble in to “sneak a peek.”

Before I began the technical work on WatchtowerWatch.com, I sat down and came up with a phrase that I felt would define my objective for this site in ten words or less:

A website that brazenly exposes “The truth about The Truth™”

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Jehovah’s Witnesses and Peanut Butter

Posted by on Jan 22, 2013 in Blog, Life Stories | 4 comments

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Peanut Butter

Shortly after my father began studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1971, my family’s life changed radically. Within the span of a single year we completely immersed ourselves in local congregation activities. Dad sold our rural house and moved us into town to be closer to the Kingdom Hall. We started attending all of the meetings and participating in field service.

Convinced that the end of the system would arrive in 1975, my father quit his job, started pioneering, and took on cleaning jobs. As you can imagine, this odd new lifestyle required some accommodating measures, so we began what Dad called an “austerity program.” We had to make do – or do without.

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Set Up for Failure: Marilyn’s Story – 2

Posted by on Jan 15, 2013 in Blog, Life Stories | 3 comments

Set Up for Failure: Marilyn’s Story – 2

In November, 1958 my family moved to Columbus, Nebraska. Like all the homes we lived in while I was growing up, there was only one bathroom for our family of six. Marilyn would take forever to do her business, so it could be a challenge if you really needed to go.

One day I pounded on the door, pleading for her to finish so I would not pee in my pants. Finally, she opened the door and walked out. I rushed in and opened the toilet lid. After several seconds of boyish deliberation, I decided that I would start calling her the “Little Logger.” That nickname stuck with her until the day she died.

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2012 – Bad Year for the Watchtower

Posted by on Jan 14, 2013 in Blog, News | 26 comments

2012 – Bad Year for the Watchtower

Everyone has a bad year now and then. We all have to contend with illness, accidents, unemployment, natural disasters, family problems – events that can really mess up your life for a while. Governments, corporations, and other large entities face the same issues.

Last year was a difficult year for the Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses, a year I’m sure they’d love to forget. 2012 would have been bad as it can get for any corporation, but for a religious organization like the Watchtower it was a disaster.  In a few years we may look back and mark 2012 as the “beginning of the end” for our favorite cult.

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Dave’s Fresh Start for the New Year

Posted by on Jan 12, 2013 in Blog, Life Stories | 2 comments

Dave’s Fresh Start for the New Year

Oregon resident David Shurtleff decided to clear his conscience, tell his personal story, and begin 2013 with a fresh start. So he made a video and put it up on YouTube so that the world could hear his confession.

I can assure you that Dave’s often tragic story is not that unusual. Thousands of former Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States alone have had similar experiences and are still living through the trauma that comes with being true to themselves and exiting the religion. Unlike most former Witnesses, Dave decided to stop holding it inside and share his story of both pain and redemption.

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Set Up for Failure: Marilyn’s Story

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Blog, Life Stories | 2 comments

Set Up for Failure: Marilyn’s Story

I am often asked why I wrote Growing Up in Mama’s Club, why I blog and why most of my modern-day heroes are ex-JW Internet vigilantes who aggressively attack the unjust policies of the Watchtower Society. The answer is deeply rooted in Marilyn’s Story. First published in The Ghosts from Mama’s Club, I have rewritten and adapted it so more people can benefit from her story, as follows:

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Watchtower Embarrassed by BOE Letter

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Blog, Media, Policy | 2 comments

Watchtower Embarrassed by BOE Letter

The Watchtower’s legal department took action against one of our friends and contributors on December 25, 2012 (Merry Christmas everybody!!!) for alleged copyright infringement involving an elders’ letter (BOE) dated October 1, 2012. That action on the Watchtower’s part resulted in this website being shutdown for parts of two days last week.

For that, I apologize. This site was offline for about 24 hours on January 3rd. We’re pleased to let you know that we were only down for just those few hours before we were able to restore service. This site was not damaged and none of its articles or features were lost or altered in any way.

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