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Category Archives: Demons

Waking Up, Part 2 – The Final Straw

Years slipped by, but every time I thought about the Watchtower Society’s pedophilia issue I felt a pang of conscience.  Nothing was being done!  Nothing was changing.  Children were being abused and the perpetrators were not being disciplined nor was law enforcement being involved in the majority of cases.  How could this be happening in God’s Only True Organization?

I was disgusted.  My meeting attendance, already slipping, dwindled.  In 2001 my father passed away after a very short illness.  He had been the Presiding Overseer in our congregation for some 14 years but had moved away about a year before his death.   The elders are supposed to make a “condolence call” on a congregation member who has lost a relative.  Nobody came.  One elder called, but all he wanted was some demographic information on my father to insert into his memorial talk.  None of the other elders called.  I was already more or less “marked.”   Very few congregation members came to the memorial service for my father.  I was furious.

My friend and her husband had written to the Society regarding the pedophilia issue to no avail, and my husband was deep into his “wait on Jehovah” mode.  I felt disgust.  By late 2003 I knew that Jehovah’s Witnesses were not God’s chosen people.  Maybe they had been at one time, but not anymore.

At the Congregation Book Study we were studying the book, “Revelation – Its Grand Climax at Hand” for the third time.  With my newly unleashed skepticism I noticed that one whole section of the Revelation prophecy (regarding the seven trumpet blasts) was applied to the Watchtower Society without any scriptures cited for support.

Each trumpet blast was linked to a convention of the International Bible Students Association (later renamed Jehovah’s Witnesses) which at that period of time were usually held in Cedar Point, Ohio, and in particular a resolution passed at each of seven conventions in the late teens and early 1920s.  These resolutions were printed and distributed as widely as a small group of people could manage, which was pretty limited, as you might imagine.

Supposedly the trumpet blasts were to be heard worldwide and result in devastating consequences for whatever sector of society was being condemned.  It suddenly hit me that these resolutions could not be the trumpet blasts because they received limited distribution (certainly not worldwide) and accomplished nothing but possibly insulting a few people.  Big whoop.  It kind of reminded me of the proverbial ant railing against a freight train.

My father-in-law (a JW from 1953 until his death in 2013) used to be fond of saying, “It’s amazing how a bunch of old ladies sitting under the trees in Cedar Point fulfilled bible prophecy.”  He said it as a joke, but now it hit home.   What a load of crap!  Why should this puny group of people think they’re God’s chosen messengers?  Honestly, a lot of Revelation sounds like the ravings of a man on a bad trip from ingesting psychedelic mushrooms.

So, now the dam was breached.  If that piece of what the Watchtower Society taught was a nothing but hooey then what about the rest of it?  I remembered my lessons from geometry class that if one part of a statement was untrue, the whole statement was untrue.  I was very disillusioned and angry.  My husband tried to “help” me by instituting a family study, something he had neglected for some time.  I had to go along with him because he was my spiritual “head.”

However, the process had begun.  Little by little, the cracks in the “dam” widened.

At about the same time, I joined an online message board for fans of a particular singer.  I had never been anybody’s fan before (fandom is strongly discouraged as a form of idolatry), but I was captivated.  This was 2003, and the Watchtower Society had not yet realized the danger posed by the Internet, so nothing but the vaguest counsel had been given about joining online communities.

The forum allowed me an outlet for writing, and I was receiving praise from my fellow board members who enjoyed my posts.  All of a sudden, I felt powerful for the first time in my life.  I had a gift!  Strength flowed through my veins and energized my torpid mind.

I couldn’t read The Watchtower magazine any longer; it contained too much “Hurray for us and the rest of you are nothing but dead meat” rhetoric.  The meetings were becoming intolerable.  The kingdom hall was awash in hypocrisy.  The whole thrust of the blathering from the platform was numbers, numbers, numbers.  How many hours did you get in field service?  How many books or magazines did you place?  How many meetings have you missed?  How many years have you been faithful?   Whatever happened to the emphasis on Christian qualities and becoming more Christ-like?

Many times, partway through the meeting I would feel a pressure in my head like it was going to explode.  I’d gather my books and head for the door.  Luckily, we lived close enough that I could walk home.

I couldn’t bring myself to participate in the ministry, trying to convince people that JWs were God’s people and that they should join up.  It was all lies.

I bucked my husband’s headship and decided independently to take a trip to meet some of my message board friends and attend a concert with them.  I didn’t ask; I told him I was going.

I had the best time of my life meeting my friends and attending the concert (we’re all still friends 10 years later and get together frequently).  It dawned on me that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not hold a corner on the market of being “nice” and “good” people.   These ladies were kinder and more loving than most of the JWs I knew.  That realization really caused my head to explode.

When I came home, I was a changed woman.  My husband saw it, and it angered him.  He was one who kept his anger bottled up, and it showed in passive-aggressive ways.  Now I could see that he was very deeply angry.  One night he had an issue with the computer and asked me for help.  I came to his aid, but he was already furious.  At one point, I looked into his eyes and saw that he wanted to kill me.  I’d lived with the man for nearly 27 years.  I had never been afraid of him (despite his frequent flirtations with homicidal rage – long story) but now I was terrified.  I was going to become the subject of one of those tragic headlines: “Puzzled neighbors say man who murdered his wife was a ‘nice guy.’”

I contacted my friends on the message board and my BFF, and we devised a plan to get me out of there.  I left in the middle of the day less than a week later and never looked back.  A few days later I delivered my letter of disassociation to the kingdom hall.   That was nine years ago this month.

In the aftermath, of course, I have no contact with my mother and brother who live 5000 miles away.  I divorced my husband and he remarried a few years later.  I’ve recently reconnected with my paternal extended family (after 40 years), so I don’t feel so much like a speck floating in the universe.   I’ve discovered the world is not a dark forest of terrors as the JWs would have their members believe.  Demons do not lurk behind every tree and parked car.  People are just plain folks, not slavering minions of Satan.  There is beauty to be found in each precious day of life which is especially enhanced because I’m enjoying it with a free mind.


The Demons (Cue Scary Music)

Jehovah’s Witnesses will tell you they do not believe in superstitions.  They will cheerfully walk under a ladder, break mirrors unconcernedly, and allow a Friday the 13th to pass without a mention.  However, try to hand them a Ouija board and they’ll scream and run away from you.  This is because they are terrified of The Demons.

JWs believe that demons originated back at the time before the great flood when angels decided they wanted in on all the sexual fringe benefits that the humans were enjoying.  They materialized bodies and started living it up with women, spawning a race of superhumans known as the Nephilim.  These shenanigans have a lot to do with why God decided to drown everyone in one fell swoop.

When the flood destroyed the angels’ materialized bodies they returned to the spirit world in heaven, but not to God’s presence, kind of like a bunch of 30-year-old guys living in their Mom’s basement.  Mom rolls her eyes but lets them stay.  In time, somewhere around 1919, Jesus started ruling in heaven and decided to remodel the “basement.”  He kicked out the freeloaders and confined them to the “vicinity of the earth.”  Ever since then they’ve been taking out their frustrations on God’s people, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and stirring up mischief generally.

JWs have it pounded into their heads that they are engaged in spiritual warfare with an actual army of wicked spirits.  Some JWs will be cautious to the point of superstition to avoid saying anything out loud that the demons could use against them.  Some will even try reverse psychology on these invisible bullies.  “I can take any form of torture except chocolate.  If someone forced me to eat chocolate I’d crack.”

Watchtower literature has published article after article, even whole brochures and books, about wicked spirits and their activities.  Many incidents of demon possession of people and objects have been reported (interestingly, most of these incidents seem to occur in third-world countries).  In addition, every JW has at least one urban legend story to tell about the demons.  Sometimes a dinner party will devolve into the equivalent of ghost stories around the campfire as everyone relates their story, each one more terrifying than the last.

They will be very cautious about bringing anything into their house that was given to them by a non-JW, knowing that if the giver had been involved in any sort of occult activity the gift could provide an invitation to the demons to enter their house.  Some JWs believe that there are rules of war involved, such as, if money exchanges hands then ownership of the object is transferred and it cannot provide a demon portal into the home.  Others don’t trust the demons to follow rules and will only buy new.

This sort of belief system causes many JWs to live in fear of demon attack, and to recognize demon attack in ordinary events.  Illnesses, misfortunes, accidents, arguments, financial troubles, bumps in the night – you name it – will be taken as evidence enough to look at all of their possessions with suspicion.  They may even go through a process of elimination to find the offending object.

The best way to eliminate demon activity from your home is to take the suspected article outside of the roofline of your house and leave it there for a day or two.  If the “demon activity” stops, then you have your culprit.  You should throw away the object or, even better, burn it.

As an example, my ex-husband’s family were very strong believers in the demons-are-out-to-get-us doctrine.  They were virtually paranoid about demon attack and suspected it frequently.  At one point in time they had filled an entire unused van that was parked in the yard with suspect possessions.

Even worse than that, on two different occasions my ex and I threw away nearly all of our furniture because we were experiencing some sort of trouble and presumed it was because we had inadvertently brought a demon portal into our home.

Worse than losing possessions is the exaggerated fear that JWs live with.   Children, especially, are affected by fear of the demons, which goes way beyond a fear of the dark.  Even as an adult, I found it terrifying to spend a night alone when my husband was away.  I would have all the lights on and TV playing while I lay in bed straining to hear any inexplicable noises.  This is not a healthy way to live.

However, they also know how to fend off a demon attack.  All they have to do is shout something along the lines of, “In the name of Jehovah I order you to leave!”  Or maybe just cry out, “Jehovah save me!”

Although the Watchtower Society isn’t into merchandising (other than printed materials) they could make a fortune selling some sort of amulet that would protect the wearer from demon attack.  Every JW would have to have one, plus another to hang from the rear-view-mirror, and another to clip onto the dog’s collar.  I’m sure they could come up with endless applications.

JWs also have it impressed upon them that if they leave the cult they will be unprotected from the demons and can expect to be the victims of unceasing hostility from these invisible thugs.

Laughably, the opposite is true.  Since walking away from the cult and slamming the door behind me I have had not even one uncanny encounter, not even a bump in the night.  I sleep soundly without a particle of fear.  I accept gifts and used items with impunity.  I have even purchased some items which no JW would dare to have in their house, such as a chakra bracelet and books about contacting the spirit world.  None of these actions has resulted in even a slightly eerie experience.

All that fear for nothing.