Abused Lambs Page 1
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Reprinted excerpts may be edited for spelling and context.
"Did you know that when the season is right, a tree will send signals to each of its leaves to tell them to fall?"
I heard the Circuit Overseer speaking, but my mind was elsewhere. I didn't figure he was talking to me, anyway. It was a Wednesday morning, we were out in service. I was a Publisher at the time. I was 13. The car was full, with 3 older Sisters, myself, and the Overseer. I found it funny how the women gripped onto every word he said as if they were riding a rollercoaster. He continued;
In that car, as I watched the outside world pass by, I understood what I was being faced with. Tears began to well, but I remained silent.
Micah was a 24 year old Brother in the congregation, and he was working towards becoming an Elder. He was married and lived in a nearby town. I believe the reason why he and his wife first invited me and my siblings over was because they took pity on us. We were from a big family (14 siblings), we were raised without formal education and our parents were completely absent.
Within a few months, we had all grown close enough as friends to be staying at Micah's home overnights. I would sleep on the livingroom floor. We stayed with the couple on Saturday nights when we needed a ride to the Kingdom Hall for Sunday morning meetings.
Before the sun rose on the day of a Convention, I awoke to find Micah crouched over me in the dark. No one else was awake yet. My skin crawled as his hands caressed my body and I felt his breath on my skin. My heart was pounding but I steadied my breath, pretending to be asleep. He leaned in close to my face, nuzzling my cheek with his lips... Then he quietly went back to his room.
As the year progressed, so did Micah's level of petting, as if it all was a slow, strange game I'd never played before. Secret hand-holding, long hugs and midnight caresses became routine.
The passing of time brought romantic poems, love letters, gifts and long chats on the internet. I figured, now at 14, that what I was experiencing must be love. Micah assured me of it.
We finally got caught by my second elder sister, and the entire mess was reported to the Elders of the congregation. Interviews ensued, conflicts arose, and there was I, a young sheltered girl, faced with a monster that I felt I had created.
I hated myself. I hated myself for ruining Micah's life.
After that, I withdrew from him completely. I stopped attending the meetings, I never left my home. I covered my windows with black trash bags, and emotionally cut myself away from my family. I began to cut myself and attempted suicide by drowning myself. I failed at that and instead drowned an innocent puppy.
Now, ten years later, I think of the Overseer's story about the tree. I understand, now.
THIS ABUSER HAS PASSED ON BUT HIS STORY IS CHILLING . The wife ignored incidents, later when the facts came out she kept quiet to protect her children. children.The elders in at least 4 congregations patted him on the back and blamed the children and one woman victim. I will give the last of the story because I personally was trying to keep him from hurting other people. He finally came to justice when a grand child of a 3rd women he married turned him in and at last he spent 5 years in prison. I knew he abused and was a serial abuser and also read two news articles of women being killed in towns were he worked and suspected that also. His wife ,I thought would help to get evidence so I told her about the news articles , one was across the street from where his office was, the other was a van description like his. He stalked a sister right after I told her to watch for behaviior that was not normal. She did not tell me until 2 years later. Back to the elders the single sister who was stalked was disfellowed because he spied on her having a affair. He was talked to nothing else, they moved because her mom was mad. Years later his wife told me I thought you were out of your mind to think he would kill someone, but in 2 instances of panic she told me twice, once I called the police but she would not tell her story and they listened to me like I was making it up. Finally, while he was in prison my daughter who was also a victim, contacted the police, they worked a little on it, but just before he was released, she talked to the policman and he told her there are a lot of his relatives here, You are endangering yourself to continue. After his release he went to a small town, I found out he as going in service with a pioneer sister and giving her his women calls. This was about 7 years ago. I ask my husband an elder to call the presiding overseer in that congregation, to warn them. He knew of the abuse and the prison term because the abuser had been smart to tell him, I ask my husband to stick with the facts, my daughter,my friends 2 sisters, one he took a gun to force her and her boyfriend to get in his car and she ran away,a child here that went to the elders with nothing done and a friend of mine that call me and reported it to the elders. The overseer told my huband we know about the prison sentence he told us and your wife, that is her word against his!
I was 5 years old when my mom started going to bible study. No more holidays, no more birthdays, no more anything. But that was fine with me. We lived in Quincy, MA and for the first time in my life, I had other children to play with, and my mother had other single moms to associate with. We were active, we were happy, we were not shunned. I wanted to be baptized just like my mom some day and go door-to-door and help others to repent their sins to Jehovah and live in peace on earth.
Then we moved to Wooster, OH. Mom was still single and I was 9 years old. One of the sisters in the congregation was a babysitter and her husband was an brother on his way to being an Elder. They lived right up the street from us. I started going there because I was getting beat up at school. They had children my age and I loved being around them.
Now my mother helped these people to buy a house. And as I got older
I didn't have to. The daughter told her mother that night what we had talked about. The mother confronted her husband and they both went to the Elders about it. He was made to come to my house and tell my mother what had happened. You know what her response to me was? Your clothes are to revealing. Shorts in the summer is to revealing. I never cried so hard in my life.
Shortly after words, after a Sunday meeting, I was taken into a room full of all the Elders in the Congregation by my self. Do you know what they said? Because he is repentant to Jehovah, this is not going to leave the Congregation. We are not getting the police or anybody involved. WHAT!!!! I cried some more.
Well, of course I told my dad what had happened and my grandmother too.
I will never bad mouth Jehovah's Witnesses. My time with the people in Quincy were some of the most joyous times of my life. But as they say, it only takes one bad apple to ruin the bunch, and that for me is the truth.
I started studying with Jehovah's Witnesses when I was only seventeen years old. My parents were quite opposed to this, as they thought that it was a cult, and to my surprise six years later, I realize that it is.
I was a very enthusiastic young witness, always wanting to do the right thing. I was prepared to make any sacrifice that I had to in order to please Jehovah God, and I did. I lost all of my childhood friends, but felt that I had gained new ones in the Kingdom Hall.
Just before I was baptized in the summer of 2002, I attended a barbecue hosted at a large farm by one of the families in our Vegreville Congregation. I met a young man there and I felt that we immediately had a connection. I was under false pretences at the time that "all Jehovah's Witnesses are good" and so I never questioned anyone's motives in the organization, I just assumed that everyone was a good person who wanted to serve Jehovah. This young man, twenty six at the time, seemed wonderful, charming and kind. He especially enjoyed children and I was moved by how he was able to connect with the children on their level and play so well with them. We spent nearly the entire afternoon together and then at the end of the evening we exchanged phone numbers and email addresses. It was only a matter of days until we started talking very frequently and began dating. He had come to visit my congregation often and the very first time he did, a brother, not a ministerial servant or an elder approached me and said that, "this brother was no good." but he refused to tell me on what pretended he thought so. I was baffled. I didn't heed his advice because I thought that it was unfair in the eyes of Jehovah to judge someone by gossip and hearsay. So I mentioned this to my boyfriend and assured him that I could make up my own mind about him and didn't need a second opinion. We continued to date and then when I moved away to go to college we broke it off with the intension of getting back together after I was finished my program. Two years later, we did see each other again. It was my goal to regular pioneer and I wanted a husband who would join me in the full time ministry. I brought this up several times and after being quite angry that I would want this from him finally told me that he could NEVER pioneer. I couldn't understand this, as I was unaware that people could have their privileges taken away. I tried extremely hard to get him to open up to me and tell me what he had done. He wouldn't. I left it alone thinking that in his own time he would tell me. Again, I was warned that he was "not a good brother" by the exact same brother, but I kept thinking that this was unkind to say that about anyone and kept staying with him.
Finally my boyfriend had proposed to me, and we were engaged. Once everyone had heard this, they all seemed happy, but a little reserved. I didn't know why, until....
I had gotten angry with my husband -to -be because he refused to tell me of his past transgression. I insisted that he tell me if I was going to marry him. What he had told me was shocking. There was no way I could have ever been prepared for what he was about to tell me. He told me while we were on the telephone, when he had finished I nearly fainted and dropped the phone.
He had said, " I touched some children." I was shocked. I wanted to know everything as, he had wanted to have children with me as soon as we got married. He had said that he had preformed numerous acts of sodomy on children his nieces and nephews from the ages of 3 years old up to 8 years old. This went on for years. I wanted to know the details, to know how severe this was. He claims that he touched their genitals orally as well as manually when they were sleeping. In his mind, they children had no recollection of this because they were "asleep". I was outraged. I was spinning. I didn't understand why the elders would allow someone that had performed these acts in the congregation. He told me that he was "publicly reproved" and his privileges of serving as an elder, ministerial servant or regular pioneer were also taking away, but that he was free to go out in service as much as he liked. He was not accompanied by an elder in the field service, I know because I was there. On several occasions he was out in service with young girls and boys, with no one supervising him! I wanted him to be arrested for his crimes, but his family refused to press charges. I wanted him to seek therapy, but he refused. I talked to his parents about this matter explaining that I didn't know how to deal with this issue, as I could never trust our future children with him. They explained to me that it was "taking care of" and to stop making trouble and leave it alone. I approached the elders and they brushed it off saying that they didn't want to deal with this because they could be sued for "slander" as could I if I went to the authorities. They best solution they said was to "forgive and forget. He is sorry for what he has done." That wasn't good enough for me. I dumped him. Anyone that protects child molesters does NOT have God's spirit. I finished my last talk and never went back to the kingdom hall, and probably never will. The brothers didn't talk to me for 10 months then called me on the phone and claim that I was to be disfellowshiped for putting pumpkins on my deck for Halloween. In an organization that disfellowships people for something as petty as that but does not disfellowship the members that are child molesters is insane.
Thanks for listening.
I was born into the truth- I'm 35 years old now.
When I was 8 years old, my father, who was an elder, had friends who came to visit frequently. The friends had a son named ______. _________ began sexually molesting me when I was 8 and he was 16. I can't recall how long that went on, but the memories I have are of the ground and the trees and my hair being caught up under me and I couldn't move. I was outside most every time and was usually playing alone or with a friend he'd dismiss to get me alone. When I was 14, I admitted all of this to my mother. She went promptly to my father and family. I believe the other family was contacted but nothing happened.
My brother was molested by one of the JW brothers who had volunteered to baby sit he and I one night while my parents went out. I believe my brother was around 5 or 6 years old. I have no idea what happened to this man, but he was eventually disfellowshipped for other reasons some time later.
My other brother is now an elder. He has a son who when he was 13 years old, we caught trying to give oral sex to my then 5 year old daughter. We removed him from our home immediately, called his parents and they denied everything to begin with and then my nephew came clean a few days later. I don't believe he went through counseling or anything was done to correct the behavior. He did call us and apologize. But my fear is that something has happened to _____ to make him act out like this- perhaps he's had the same things done to him?
Thank you for having a site like this - I have had healing just from sharing and reading that there are others just like me. Thank you.
I Was Raised In "The Truth" And Am A Survivor Of Incest
I was raised in "the truth." I was born into a Jehovah’s Witness family in 1977 in the Caribbean, in Belize. It’s a small country about the size of Vermont with a few hundred thousand descendants of African slaves, Mayans, the Spanish, and British colonialists. We immigrated to the States when I was about four years old, in 1981. Within a couple of years, we moved right across the street from the L C Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in south central Los Angeles, California. My parents had already converted to The Truth, as the religion is called by its members, after some men came to their door in Belize about a decade earlier. My dad quit smoking and my mom sewed matching dresses for me and my twin sister N to wear to the meetings and to book studies.
I can honestly say that I remember L C as a warm congregation filled with earnest and loving faces – the M’s, a young interracial couple with four young children who’d spend evenings at our home watching Lakers games in the 1980s, the C’s, the Y’s, including my best friend D, and lots of other "friends." People really believed in the religion. It was the perfect solution for whatever my parents had just escaped from. My only clues as to what those things are is that I know that they were both raised as Anglicans, or basically Catholics. My dad was from a poor, rural, alcoholic family and my mother was severely physically and emotionally abused by her mother until her late teens. Both my parents were and are people of color – my mom is Black and my dad a mix of Spanish, mestizo and some white, I think. They met in the sixties, fell in love, found "the truth," and moved to the States. All of a sudden, I guess, life made sense and they had all of the answers. The grocery stores were filled with aisles of food, we had five television sets, this was the land of opportunity, and everything would get better still because they were "just waiting for the New World Order." "The End was near." "This old system of things will soon come to an end."
I remember the five day district conventions at Dodgers’ Stadium and I participated in a Circuit Assembly in Norco. Me and N refrained from doing the pledge of allegiance at school, and we stayed away from children who were part of "the world." No dances, no birthdays, no holidays, no dating, no sleepovers, no smoking marijuana, no playing sports (although that issue was forced in high school when we both wanted to run track and field). No nothing. We were perfect, pure little gems who had to be home by dark every night. My mother would work all day at a doctor’s office as a medical biller and my dad had about three jobs in the 1980s, including one job as a security guard. I remember my mother peeling off his hot, wet socks after he’d pass out on the bed some nights when he’d come home after work. He worked hard. One night he got us a black Labrador puppy named C. And a set of baseball gloves and bats. My parents bought a motor home and took us all camping every now and then. We went to Las Vegas a lot. It was a seemingly wonderful little immigrant, post-colonial family complete with a nice set of Victorian arm chairs and couches covered in plastic. .
And then, when I was about eight years old, my father started coming into our room, the kids’ room, late at night after he’d got home from work and my mother was sleeping with the TV on. I could hear him making huffing and puffing noises next door behind the partition with my older sister S. He started coming over to me and my sister N’s bunk bed and touching us, caressing us, kissing us, and even fondling my brother in his bed. One day I asked him why he came in and touched us at night and he said, "Oh no no no, darling. That’s our little secret. But if anyone ever tells you about another ‘little secret’ you come tell me right away okay? You’re Daddy’s little girl and I love you." I said, "Okay. I love you too, Daddy." My dad took me into the shower with him when I was only eight or nine years old and he made me do crazy things. I started wetting the bed at night and then sleeping in my older sister S’s bed with her. I slept in her bed as often as I could until I was about fourteen years old.
When we moved to A in the High Desert about an hour and half away, the abuse got worse. My dad lost his job as chief security guard at a mall in Los Angeles, we could barely keep up with the bills, and my brother was giving trouble. The abuse escalated to unspeakable proportions, and my mother didn’t seem to notice a thing. Even when I was sulking one day after being forced to perform oral sex the night before and my father said out loud, in my mother’s presence, "I know what M’s going to do. She’s going to go to the authorities and say that I’m abusing her." My mother said, "Oh, she’d never do a thing like that." They both dismissed me and went about their business.
We had book study meetings at our home and occasional congregational "get-togethers." My father was a ministerial servant in the A congregation, someone who was supposed to set an example for everyone. My sister and I became auxiliary pioneers, going door to door on a regular basis. We talked about good morals and values during the day, but at night we were molested regularly and brutally by my father. On nights when my mother was working in Los Angeles and spending the night down there, my dad would come into our rooms masturbating, smiling crazily, and smelling like rum. I saw both of my sisters raped, one in broad daylight. (Since I have brought all of this up in the family in recent years, one sister has denied the rapes and said that what I remember is "nothing but Satan and his minions possession [my] mind.") And I was held down and raped by my father, the man of God, the head of the family who was supposed to protect me and love me and be good to me, on several occasions. It was a nightmare.
Now, somehow, I made it into adulthood and am a practicing civil rights attorney. I spend my days helping people who have been violated, harassed and discriminated against in the workplace. It’s fulfilling work, but sometimes a little triggering. Somehow, I made it out of what I now consider to be a cult called the Jehovah’s Witnesses and out of an abusive family. The first step was completely exiting the situation. I managed a scholarship to a college three thousand miles away when I was seventeen even though, at the time (1995), the Witnesses discouraged going to college and recommended just spending a life going to door to door preaching because "the End" was too near to waste time on higher education. Somehow, after acting out with years of alcoholic behavior, substance abuse, abusive relationships, and other self-destructive habits, I’m just arriving at a place where I have a personal relationship with a loving God of my choosing and with friends and family members that I choose to trust and love. God is a loving God. I’ve had to have and still do participate in all kinds of intensive therapy, including therapy for dissociation and "integrating" different parts of my personality that were "split off" because of the abuse. I’ve been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, taken medication when the memories got really bad, and done lots of writing. I used to feel very ashamed and confused about all of this, but it is just who I am. I’ve recently reported the abuse by my father to the police and District Attorney in A, Los Angeles, and Belize and I am contemplating taking adverse civil action against my father and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Thankfully, in California the statutes of limitation are generally extended in cases like mine.
I hope that what I have gone through will help someone else in their journey. Most of all, I hope that my new outlook on the past will help those of us ex-Witnesses who may feel that we have lost precious time in this devastating religion or that we have lost our innocence because of the abuse. It’s my belief now that I would not be the person I am today were it not for my parents and the religion that they chose. I love my family and even though I choose not to be around them or their religious beliefs, there is nothing that they could ever do that could make that love go away. I have no problem stating that they thought they had "the truth," but it was just a pack of lies. They taught us to be pure, but that is not what they practiced. In my opinion, the religion is place where evil is easily manifested because children are taught to obey only those associated with the religion, with "the truth," and deny the rest of the world. This often means denying what is right in front of our eyes. The most trusted and most important people are the parents, then the ministerial servants, then the elders, and on up. No room, as I remember it, for psychiatrists, therapists, lawyers, police, and other authority figures not associated with the truth. I think this is the reason why my sister has accused me of being "possessed by Satan." That seems to be the family’s answer to every challenge – it’s just the hand of Satan moving about.
The End never did come and even if it is coming, it won’t change the fact that there is a lot of pain that was caused by my father’s experience of alcoholism in his family and my mother’s experience of physical and emotional abuse in her family. We also have the legacy of colonialism and racial hurts that have been passed down for years and years. I think this was also something that my father must have been trying to communicate when he engaged in such shocking behavior and what my mother must have been avoiding when she refused to see it. I don’t think they ever got over their own "isms" and they passed those legacies of trauma, denial and abuse on down to me and to my siblings. We were supposed to cover it all up and smooth it over by being good Witnesses. But not me. They can count me the hell out. The cycle of hurt, trauma, and denial stops with me. It has been observed by many writers and scholars that the religion of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is one of those intense Christian sects that people tend to use to cover up deep scars and wounds of the past. I firmly believe that if these deep scars and wounds are not faced and dealt with directly, they will show themselves in the end anyway. And that is the real truth.
To begin, I am so thankful for coming across this website. I had no clue that there were so many people, mainly women who have been affected by JW's.
My story started when I was ten almost eleven years old. I was born into the truth as they call it through my mother. She has been a faithful witness for nearly 30 years now. After my father left I was shipped to Haiti to live with my mother because my sister couldn't take care of all four of us on her own. However, before my father left he became very abusive physically. He would get mad for no reason or would hit us whenever my stepmother told a lie about us. He used to beat me with an extension cord. Till this day we all have the scars to prove it. I remember being very young and my sister going to the elders for help, and they suggested that she remain humble and accepts the beatings. They also would make her feel it was her fault and that she was provoking him and that's why he would beat us.
Going back to the story, when I arrived in Haiti, I was met by my mother and my sister's boyfriend. At first he seemed really nice, caring, supportive, understanding; he would always bring me something when he would visit. After a few moths our special relationship changed. He became very affectionate and touchy. My mother would bring me to his house and leave me there for the day. He was a grown man in his twenty's and I was eleven years old. He started out by kissing me on the lips and told me that he wanted to taste my lips and that it was very sweet. He than started to touch me every chance he got. This went on until I was shipped to Florida. After spending a year in Florida living with strangers, I was sent back to Haiti. The touching then turned to sexual molestation. As soon as I returned he started to molest me again, then showing me how to perform oral sex on him the way he wanted it. At age 13, he got me pregnant ironically my great mother didn't bother to ask me why I haven't gotten my period for two months. At first I didn't know I was pregnant, he knew I was because he always kept track of my period. He convinced me that by getting an abortion was the only right thing and that I wasn't ready for motherhood, also that it would ruin everything if people found out. He convinced me that I was doing the right thing. He took me to his friend's (another woman) and told her it was by someone else. After I had the abortion it started all over again. My mother never asked any questions never questioned him about his behavior never did anything to stop it. The night I lost my virginity my mother was sleeping right next to us. To this day she swears that it never happened and defends him. After enduring this for three years I finally got enough courage to tell the elder I was studying with.
At first he was shocked and then confronted my mother. After having a meeting with my mother and my now brother-in-law they all concluded I was crazy and was making up lies. My brother-in-law was privately reproved for thirty days. It stopped for a little while until I cam back to NY. My mother after knowing what had happened would leave me with him. He would try and touch me every chance he got even with his two daughters in the other room. I would try to stay in the other room away from him and pray that someone would come home. Finally when the opportunity came for me to leave I jumped on it. He continued to try and contact me even after we were no longer living under the same roof. After about 3 months he stopped. After I told the elders my mother shunned me. She refused to talk to me to do any of the things she use to do, meanwhile she continued to pamper her son-in-law.
This became a dead issue that no one dares to talk about. My sister suspected but on the advice of my mother did nothing. She never told any one in the family what happened and simply called it revenge against my brother-in-law and that I was jealous of my sister. A few months that same brother who molested, raped, and manipulated me is now an elder in a position to do this to other young girls. I hate this religion and most of the people in it. No one reached out for me when I needed them. No one tried to protect me. Over the years I was the bad girl and still am, and the perpetrator is the victim. After what happened I lost all faith in JW and God. I will never go back and will never encourage my children to join that evil cult.
I thank all the women who had the courage to stand up and speak out.
I was so overjoyed to finally read stories from other "silentlambs". I myself have been silent for many years. I was raised a witness in L, MD. My parents were not raised as witnesses but studied shortly after being married and became baptized. The couple that studied with them had a son "Jon" who was nine years my senior. From the time I was five until age eleven "Jon" molested me. I remember trying to tell my mother at one point when I was five who denied my allegations as "Jon" just being friendly. By the time I was eleven I was smart enough to lock myself in my room, however one day "Jon" broke in and raped me. At which point I told no one and endured the physical and emotional pain over knowing I would be called a liar again. "Jon" however was not the only one who molested me when I was a small child "Randy" who was sixteen also molested me. "Randy's" father was an elder whom we visited often. "Randy" is now an elder of a congregation in Maryland. I cringe to think of this man having a position of shepherding the flock when he was the wolf in sheep’s clothing to begin with. I have been disfellowshipped twice now and have never forgiven my mother for turning me away because of fear of these elders of the congregation and their threats of bringing reproach on Jehovah's name. I am disgusted to think that these predators are not viewed as the people bringing reproach to Jehovah's name. I have never truly trusted any man who is a Jehovah’s Witness. I don't think I ever could. After all they were the people who we were not supposed to have to worry about because of the moral stance they were supposed to have but they were the very ones who took my innocence.
I was born and raised one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are times when I can’t stop reading this web site. It is so comforting to read about people who really understand, although I certainly feel terrible about the pain that they have experienced. Long story short: I was a “perfect elder’s daughter in a perfect elder’s family” composed of a half-brother (now at Gilead), a half-sister (my best friend & now Catholic) & a sister (miserable). I am the youngest. My mother has been a regular pioneer since I went off to kindergarten. I was great in field service, participated in all meetings, studied the bible daily, was baptized at 12, was in multiple circuit assembly & district convention parts, etc. I think that in a culture where personal success/fulfillment is so taboo, we naturally become “obsessed” with these “spiritual things” because it is the only way we know how to be good at something! It is truly our only source of recognition! I have to admit that I view my childhood pretty fondly. My mother is an absolute Saint & she was amazing. She really taught me what being a good mother is all about. Like many witness women, she struggles with depression & therefore is very easily controlled by the “men”. I don’t blame her because I really believe that she does what she deeply believes is the right thing to do… and you can’t really blame someone for that… When I was about 19 I moved out of my parent’s home & stopped going to meetings. I knew I wanted to think for myself. Shortly thereafter, I found out that my father, the service overseer, had molested my sister (half-sister) many years ago. She also left the organization when she was about 19. He, of course, denied it & I’m sure that with the “2 witness” principle, you can figure out how the rest of the story went. I don’t remember any sexual abuse when I was young, but I have HATED my father for most of my life without really knowing why. He actually seemed glad to see me go (leave the congregation). It gave him an excuse to not speak to me anymore (something he had been practicing most of my life). I miss my mother & other sister terribly but unfortunately they are simply not mentally & emotionally strong enough to break free. I am extremely lucky however to have an amazing sister who I am very close to & a wonderful fiancé. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.
My name is AK. I am a 23 year old woman. I was also raised jw. In a small town, St.Thomas, Ontario. (the worst congregation ever!) Anyways, I am disfellowshipped now and couldn't be happier. My mother was a closet alcoholic. She beat us all the time over nothing. I have an older brother and a younger sister. He is now df'd as well. My sister is 18 and sitting on the fence. I was sexually molested my whole childhood by an older cousin of mine. He was baptized the entire time that he was raping me. The first time I can remember, I was 5 years old. It continued until I was 14. By that time he had been married for a few years and was (and still is) a ministerial servant. Since he started when I was so young I did not know that it was wrong. Later when I started telling him to stop because I thought that it wasn't right, he told me that it was our secret. So it still went on. He was a very strange, twisted individual. I need not say anymore. It basically stopped when I hit highschool. He lived about an hour away and I believe was destroying another poor soul. For years I blocked it out of my head with good help from drugs and alcohol. Which obviously led to my disfellowshipping. When I was 18, I married a jw. (before I was df'd) We ended up both smoking,druging and drinking. We both got df'd before our wedding so no one attended. Shortly after we got reinstated. We never really attended meetings. We were still secretly smoking. Anyways my husband started doing hard drugs. He'd come home late from work, I never knew what he was doing or where he was. He lied to me all the time. One day I walked in on him and 'my friend'. I finally left the loser and the jw's for good. I met a wonderful man and moved in with him right away. I told him my life story. He had an idea where I was coming from since one of his step sisters is a jw. The elders found out where I was and kept calling me telling me that they were going to df me. I did not care. I told them go ahead, I don't want any thing to do with a religion that allows pedifiles to be in thier church.( I had told the elders what my cousin was doing to me, they asked him and he denied it so they took his word) So finally they df'd me again (thank God). I'm still going through divorce proceedings from my ex. Its taking a while. He is still df'd. I moved as far away as possible with my boyfriend. We are out in B.C. We have a beautiful daughter together. Life is good. My mother is still a closet alcohloic and still in the religion. She doesn't talk to me much. She hates me. Thats okay cause I have all the family I need here. My heart goes out to all of you. Please get out of that cult while you can!
It seems like a lifetime ago:
Today I am 47 years old. In 1962 when I was 5 years old my mother started studying with a pioneer, an absolutely wonderful, kindhearted woman. In our family there was Dad, Mom, I had two older brothers an older sister, and a younger sister so there was five children in our family. We were the children of two very unhappy people. I suppose Mom was looking for a greater meaning to her life, and the speeches that the witnesses give sound so wonderful. But in my experience in all the years I was associated with the brothers and sisters, the Kingdom Halls and all that goes along with it, I have to say that the evidence of what they preach about and promise you, with the exception of a few is void and vacant. It's like someone promising you everything, all the while you don't see the true unconditional love, the compassion, all that you read in scripture, is twisted and used against you.
In our family there was alcoholism, drug addiction, my poor older sister was subject to sexual abuse from my father , and my two older brothers for different periods of time. I my self was sexually abused by my younger older brother for I can't even tell you how long maybe 6 months a year?? Isn't that horrible, something like that happens to you and you can't even remember exactly when. I don't want to go into all the details or my whole story, but as a result of many things my father, and my younger older brother were both disfellowshiped, subsequently our family was shunned, instead of finding compassion guidance, and Love we were dirty and shunned, Imagine that.
When I was 11 my father (disfellowshiped) died at the age of 45, he had to have surgery, there were complications he needed blood transfusions and Mom would not sign. Dad passed away early on a Saturday morning the 20 th of September 1969. To back up for a moment in 1967 my older brother met a sister from another congregation Chicago Ill to be exact, and we really have not had a steady relationship with him since then, we all know his wife is a great influence on him as well as the Kingdom Hall. The next sad part of our story is that on a Friday evening the 13 th of July 1974 at the age of 46 with none of us at home with her my mother passed away from a heart attack. Myself and my younger sister were in foster homes at the time she died. She died all alone!
Many times we needed guidance and compassion and direction, but only found those with in the Halls to be judgmental, controlling, and just down right evil, still today I can remember their eyes, they pierce straight through you. I guess I knew a lot of unhappy, miserable people in my life. All my life though I knew there was a God, it wasn't their Jehovah God though. My God was never mean to me.
My younger older brother the one who molested me, there came a time when I forgave him, and we had a pretty good relationship, because he was truly sorry. He died at the age of 48 on August 20 th 2000. We were very surprised at the fact that our oldest brother came here to MA from CO for his funeral. What a wonderful time I had with my brother staying in my home with my husband my children (his nieces and nephew) we were so happy to be together. It came time for him to go back, we were said but talked about me coming to CO. My brother returned home and within a week I received an e-mail from him saying that he could not have a relationship with me because his wife said to him "didn't he remember what our mother had done to me", what does what my mother might have done to her, have to do with my brother having a relationship with me??? That is just a small bit of evidence of much that I have seen over the years from many associated with the Jehovah's Witnesses, not much Love there, is there. To be as honest as I can there were little things that happened between Mom & J as all things do in families, but as grownups you say your sorry, you make up and get over it. My sister-in-law JC was unkind to a lot of people in her life. She has done much damage to my brother and I don't know if he will ever see it. One of the interesting things is that my sister's and I all feel that our brother married someone very much like our mother, how Ironic.
The Jehovah's Witnesses do not want anyone out side there circle to know anything because we would see the "TRUTH" for what it is. I have a most amazing relationship with God I have a healthy, wonderful relationship to say the least with my husband of 23 years and my three angels my children. Life is good for me, I found Paradise away from the Jehovah Witnesses. I feel sorry and pray for those who are lost, and suppressed by the organization. Open your eyes and learn how to Fly.
hello...my name is mr x and i haveï¿½a story to tell..i lived in the vacinity of the London Bethel and was brought up as a JW. i spent alot of time at the bethel especially with the single brothers before and after preaching work. there was one particular brother, i cant recall his name but we were in his room. I was 14 at the time but a very young naive 14, due to my upbringing. Anyway, we were in his room and the bethelite wanted to play a game so i said okay.he said we had to take our clothes off and swap them to see what they looked like. he said it was a fun game. so i did..as far as my underwear, at which point the bethelite said, go on and the rest. I didnt feel comfortable but i thought ...well, it must be a normal game, so i did. then (and this is very difficult for me to say as NO ONE knows this AT ALL)...so bear with me.............he decided that swapping clothes was boring and we should play a different game, as in nameing parts of the body. I noticed t! hat his appendage was getting bigger but didnt understand why at the time. so after he touched me i became nervous and scared and put my clothes back on. i went home and didnt say anything to anyone and never have....PHEW!
NOW I HAVE......and i feel relief....thank you silent lambs....i am sure similar things have occured at the London Bethel but no one says anything....DO THEY? thats it for now....
I am a fifty-six year old woman who was raped by a Jehovahs Witness at the age of eight years old, I was raised in the religion, I grew to hate it, even though I let my mom and dad talk me into being baptized at the age of 12. I always knew that the rape was real and so did my mom even though I did not tell her, the rapist was a member of the organization, he gave me V.D., I got very sick because of it. I grew up as a rebellious teenager, and was out of the house by 17, of course I was disfellowshiped. It was the best thing to ever happen to me, I went to college and learned a trade, found a supportive husband, and two great sons, their humour and love has made me the person I am. Even though sometimes it is painful not to have your mom in your life, she has missed out on so many things with her kids, but that was her choice, this religion is one of the worst, indeed a cult.. I still deal with the pain, finding your site is sure an eye opener, we have truly been silent too long....
I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness but did not get baptized until after my divorce. I had two children, both boys who were very little when I officially became a Jehovah's Witness. Most of my immediate family were Jehovah's Witnesses, except for my father. He did not agree with the teachings.
Anyway, when my children were very
little, I found out one of my sons had been molested by an elder's teenage
son. The elder's son and this boy's younger sister had done babysitting
for me on occasion. One day my little 2
The only thing they did was they made this teenage boy apologize to me for the abuse he had done to my little son. This was the rape of a 2 1/2 year old child, and the elder's knew all the details.
Over the years this disgusted and haunted me. I kept thinking how could this be God's organization when this kind of thing is allowed? I became inactive and discouraged. My son was having problems and I kept wondering if it was because of what happened to him. I was a single divorced parent and this was just to much.
Then a few years ago, my brother who is an elder told me that his family had just found out that his granddaughter had been molested by an elder's son also. This was a different state than where I live in. She was only 6 years old and she was behaving strangely. It finally came out that this 17 or 18 year old elder's son had repeatedly molested her. My brother's step son and wife went to the elders of their congregation. The elders told my brother's step son and his wife to drop it and not to go to the police. They went to the police anyway and the guy was convicted and sent to prison. People at the Kingdom Hall hated them for this and many people were siding with this elder and his child molester son. My brother and his wife, and his step son and his family ending up moving out of state, they wanted to get a fresh start, they were all very wounded, especially the little girl. But the molester went to prison at least. But not due to any help from anyone in that congregation.
I thought about these things over the years and then I saw the Dateline program. I was so upset and it brought back all the memories from our own experiences. I was disgusted and it was then that I realized I had to get out of this organization. I officially disassociated myself in 2002 and I am now a Christian, and I would never go back.
Just wanted to tell my story. I am sure there are many other heartbreaking stories out there. I am the kind of person that stands up for what I believe and for what I think is right. I will stand against what I think is evil and wrong as well. I feel the organization is using the two witness rule to intentionally cover up evil. They are misusing scripture and using it for a purpose which God did not intend. They are lawless and I want no part of them.
Thank you for listening.
Anonymous in IL
am not a JW. Prior to finding this site, I knew very little about JW's,
but certainly bore them no ill-will. Unlike those of you who have lived
as JW's, or perhaps still live within that faith, I have no inner conflict
over my following comments, and hope I am a ray of light to those who
read this. I feel compelled to add that I view all humans as divine
creations, and believe we are blessed to have minds that allow us to
love and care for one another. I know that a loving God would be dismayed
by the atrocities humans perpetrate against each other.
was sexually abused for three years by a respected leader of our faith,
in the guise of him being a "cool, in-touch" man, for whom
normal rules didn't apply. Because of his role, and my respect for his
position, and because my family were far more likely to believe him
than me (he pointed that out continuously), I forced myself to believe
that he was right and that as wrong as I felt, if I wasn't such a bad
girl, I wouldn't have to try so hard to convince myself.
IS MY MESSAGE: Life is a wonderful gift, and there is much love out
there. No matter what has happened, YOU ARE 100% worth loving and being
loved. God will deal with the people who have hurt us, betrayed our
trust, and supported the perpetrators of any harm. The older I get,
the more I believe that my greatest strength comes from loving myself
and others, as does God, and that good will always triumph over bad.
All of you out there who are in pain, you are survivors and an inspiration.
You are a slap in the face to all those who wanted you to fail or fall,
or even die. Believe in the goodness of each other, and leave it to
God to mete out justice.
I was raised in the truth. My father had spent a year at bethel and his family had been involved with the truth almost since the beginning (end of the 19th century).ï¿½My mother had joined at the age of 13.ï¿½
ï¿½When I was a little girl, there was nothing more comforting than my book of bible stories on tape.ï¿½I had lots of nightmares and this was the only thing that would help me sleep.ï¿½My mother was a VERY loyal and devoted witness with some mental problems.ï¿½She told me my nightmares were caused by demons.ï¿½That scared me even more.ï¿½I was told to call on Jehovah and they would leave me alone.ï¿½ My family was awakened en mass more than once to my hysteric screams for Jehovah's help.ï¿½
ï¿½When I was a toddler, my father exposed himself to me while I was playing with his bellybutton.ï¿½I touched it...it was something I'd never seen before.ï¿½ Mom walked in with a laundry basket and said, "don't touch that, it's Daddy's."ï¿½ She walked into the closet like nothing weird had happened.ï¿½I think there is more to that but I can't remember.ï¿½I later told my mother what I remembered without mentioning that she had walked in.ï¿½She said she didn't trust Dad alone with us at that time but she wouldn't say why.ï¿½
ï¿½When I started elementary school, I became a model witness.ï¿½I placed books with classmates and even managed to start bible studies.ï¿½I wanted to help everybody.ï¿½ But I soon discovered I couldn't even help my friends who were already in the truth.ï¿½My best friend told me that my close neighbor, had confided that her brothers raped her and her sister.ï¿½I spent time with this girl and already knew things were very strange there.ï¿½Her parents were never home and her brothers were in charge of watching us.ï¿½They gave us extra large helpings of icecream and anything else we wanted.ï¿½However, when I slept over, I always woke up in a different place than I had gone to bed...ï¿½Who knows.ï¿½What she had told about her brothers was reported to the elders.ï¿½No action was taken, but the family moved away shortly thereafter.
ï¿½Maybe a year after this friend of mine moved, my mother invited a Sister and her children to stay with us while they looked forï¿½a home.ï¿½This sister was involved in a short-lived movement called biokinesiology.ï¿½She believed she could use "muscle-testing" to identify negative influences and spirits.ï¿½She even believed she could identify buried memories of trauma.ï¿½During her short stay, our house was cleansed of stuffed animals, furniture, and Anne of Green Gables books that contained demons and therefore had to be burned.ï¿½She also told my mother that the reason for my premature spotting was sexual abuse by demons .ï¿½Near the end of this woman's stay the circuit overseer paid a personal visit to try to reign in my mother and her friend.ï¿½After his visit my mother became very confused.ï¿½ She eventually decided to cooperate because, "Jehovah appointed them as leaders for a reason, he knows best."
ï¿½My eldest sister was disfellowshipped when I was 11.ï¿½Within the next two my parents both had nervous breakdowns.ï¿½My father's business failed in 1994 and he had to be hospitalized for bipolar disorder.ï¿½He had been planning to shoot the man responsible for the business loss.ï¿½My mother became so self-destructive that she actually slit her wrist to get my father's attention during an argument.ï¿½ Dad tried to leave but I called the elders and he got out of the truck...he didn't want them to know he would leave two kids (my younger brother and I) alone with a woman in her condition.ï¿½The elders arrived and prayed with my father for strength in dealing with unstable women.ï¿½They never once thought to check to see if she needed medical care or even words of encouragement.ï¿½She could have bled to death.ï¿½They never looked in on her to see if it was serious.
ï¿½I decided that the only one I could count on was Jehovah.ï¿½I was baptized in 1995 when I was 13.ï¿½
ï¿½In the summer of 1998 my parents went to help a witness family move and clean up the rental they were vacating.ï¿½I was staying at home recovering from a concussion.ï¿½The brother they were helping move out suddenly showed up at my parents home where I was alone.ï¿½I'll call him brother M.ï¿½Brother M ran in the door and said he just wanted to see if I was all right and gave me a big hug.ï¿½ I said I was fine...but he wouldn't let go of me.ï¿½He kept groping me and eventually had me pinned against the counter in the kitchen.ï¿½His intentions were obvious and he left a bruise on my thigh with his penis.ï¿½My brother ran up the steps right before it was the point of too late.ï¿½Brother M let go of me before the door opened. Then he acted like nothing had happened.
ï¿½I told my parents what had happened and they decided to take it to the elders.ï¿½ The elders told me that my report confirmed a complaint another sister had made.ï¿½ They madeï¿½my parents and Iï¿½promise to be discreet and not discuss the incident with ANYONE else, not even close friends.ï¿½They said they would handle it.ï¿½After a few months, nothing had been done.ï¿½No announcement...nothing.ï¿½Brother M kept dropping by our house andï¿½my parents had promised not to create divisions; so I would go take a shower or make some other excuse so I would not have to see him.ï¿½At meetings, he made a point of coming over to hug me.ï¿½After the service meeting oneï¿½night,ï¿½Brother Mï¿½invited me to come spend time with his wife andï¿½ help her with the new baby.ï¿½One of the elders actually piped in and saidï¿½thatï¿½ would be really supportive of me.ï¿½I could not believe he was encouraging this creep.ï¿½I started feeling sick all the time and stayed home fromï¿½as many meetings as possible.ï¿½A year later I was looking for a way out.ï¿½No one would offer me a place to stay.ï¿½I wanted to be protected.ï¿½
ï¿½Iï¿½fell in love with aï¿½"worldly" man.ï¿½He was as outraged as I was.ï¿½I triedï¿½ toï¿½disassociate myself when I left at 18 years of age. They ignored my letter and disfellowshipped me without notifying me of aï¿½hearing or decision.ï¿½
ï¿½That was over 5 years ago.ï¿½I now have a wonderful relationship with my older sister who I had lost for 6 years while she was disfellowshipped.ï¿½I have family, friends, love, and the ability to speak up for myself and others.ï¿½And best of all...I'm not alone in this.ï¿½My heart is with all of those whose experiences were so much worse than this.
Thank you for your website. It feels me with both grief and comfort to know how many others have experienced the same awful events in their lives. Here is my story.
I was born into "the truth" and moved from New York to El Paso, TX when I was 5. For the most part my childhood was happy. Except for the extreme strictness and constant studying and church-going, I grew up as a happy kid. Years later, my family, nearly in poverty moved in with a some family friends while we tried to get back on our feet. I was 9 at the time. The family's father lived there too. He was a Regular Pioneer, around 70 years old and very well respected and loved by all, especially kids. We all called him "Pop" because he was like everyone's grandfather. I thought of him the same way too, until he sexually abused me on a few different occasions. I don't recall where everyone else was or why I ended up alone with Pop on those times, but the damage was done. I thought about telling my parents or my brother, but I was afraid that I did something wrong. I was always taught that SEX IS WRONG, but here is a well-respected, almost worshiped person sexually abusing me. Too confusing for any kid to deal with! I think I convinced myself that I was special because of it.
So I remained with this secret for many, many years. I began dating a 23 year old man who was also a JW when I was just 16. We began having sex (fornicating) and got married when I was 18. On the night before we got married, he raped me. During our 4 year marriage he was physically, emotionally and mentally abusive. I divorced him after he admitted to an adulterous affair. It made it easier since the only way JW's will recognize divorce is adultery or death. After my divorce, I disassociated myself from the religion, and I then began a string of self-destructive behavior, mostly involving sex and bad relationships. I married 2 more times, had an abortion and tried to kill myself. I have never been able to remain faithful in any relationship until now.
I found out years later when I sort of confessed to Pop's real granddaughter that he did "something" to me that it was known that Pop grew up in an abusive household, and that Pop's daughters were abused as children. WHY WAS THIS MAN ALLOWED TO BE AROUND SMALL CHILDREN????!!!!!! WHERE WAS MY PROTECTION????!!!!
I never made any connection between my behavior and what happened to me until recently. About 4 1/2 years ago, I became very depressed and began thinking about Pop. I couldn't get it out of my head. I finally began to write about it. I wrote about everything I could remember. I was enraged, distraught and confused. I began to read everything I could find online and in book stores about abuse. I finally realized that some of my behavior was related to being sexualized at an early age coupled with the extreme viewpoints again sexual thoughts or actions that are taught by JW's.
I began counseling about a year ago, and it has been tremendously helpful. I am now 34 and finally feel like I have my life on track. I am still trying to deal with what happened and still trying to develop a healthy view of sex and my own sexuality. I'm still mad at Pop. He died many years ago, so I can't confront him. Writing this makes me feel a little better.
I hope everyone who has the misfortune of experiencing any kind of sexual abuse will get help and get the hell away from the abuser no matter what it takes. YOU ARE SPECIAL & IMPORTANT & NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO ABUSE YOU! You are not alone and my heart goes out to every abuse survivor!
Love to all,
Hello, My name is K.ï¿½I am 37 years old and was raised as a Jehovah's Witness in the Cincinnati, Ohio area from the age of 6 until I officially left at the age of 22.ï¿½I, like so many others was abused by my step-father (who was also an elder in our congregation).ï¿½The abuse went on for at least 7 years, that I can remember.ï¿½It started out slowly, but by the end, I had been sold to many men for sex and had been taken secretly to have 2 abortions by the time I was 17.ï¿½The abuse was physical, emotional and sexual and when I confronted my step-father about this he told me that all elders do this with thier daughters.ï¿½Little did I know how true that was.ï¿½When I was 19 I brought the abuse to the attention of some friends of mine within the congregation and they encouraged me to go to the brothers with this information.ï¿½ I was reluctant, because my step-father had always told me that noone would believe me.ï¿½But, I came! forward anyway.ï¿½The events that happened next were so horrible.ï¿½First, I was put into a room with about 5 or 6 elders and literally cornered while they tormented me on why I decided to talk about it now if it had been happening for so long and demanding details that I would not give.ï¿½ Finally, they brought me before my mother and step-father and confronted him about the abuse (which of course he denied)ï¿½and then said that it sounded like a family issue that needed to be worked out and left the house.ï¿½My entire family and support group chastised me.ï¿½I felt I had nowhere else to go so I tried to stay and carry on.ï¿½Eventually, I started telling everyone I could in the congregation about what had gone on and when I did that the elders had no choice but to take some public action toward my step-father.ï¿½So, he was publicly reproved and I was asked to find another congregation to attend.ï¿½In six months he was reinstated to an applauding congratulating congregation and noone would have anything to do with me, except for my mother who wanted me to tell her that it wasn't true.ï¿½ Needless to say, I had some serious drinking and drug abuse problems that followed as well as 14 months in the psychiatric ward of the hospital and shock treatments.ï¿½ The elders began hounding me about (of all things) my sexual history.ï¿½Wanting to know if I had had premarital sex with a man that I had married.ï¿½Finally, I guess I was disfellowshipped for what they thought I had done.ï¿½Never seeing that my step-father had been having sex with me since I was 11 years old.ï¿½It took several years, but I finally got sober.ï¿½Left the Jehovah's Witnesses behind and began to put my life together.ï¿½It was very difficult at first and getting me to talk about the details was a therapists worst nightmare, but eventually I let it all out.ï¿½(Oh, and my mother and step-father were killed in an automobile! accident in the middle of all of this.ï¿½)ï¿½Now, 14 years later, I feel I have healed so much from everything and that it hasï¿½made me a stronger person to have gone through what I did.ï¿½I never knew that this site existed and would have loved to have pursued some sort of legal action against theï¿½society orï¿½ the congregation or someone, but the limits have run out.ï¿½I have a great life today and I am very happy and believe in a higher power that is all lovingï¿½and kind.ï¿½I wish toï¿½help others who have been abused and am currently going to college to hopefully get my masters degree in counseling.ï¿½I have aï¿½veryï¿½positive outlook on life and feel blessed to be here.ï¿½I am currently considering writing a book about my lifeï¿½and when that's done I'm sure the healing will be extensive.ï¿½I have forgiven my step-father...not for him...but for me.ï¿½I could not hold on to the hate and heal at the same time.&nb! sp; Yes, I still have flashbacks and bad moments, but Iï¿½get through it and realize how blessed I really am.ï¿½Thank you for your courage in bringing thisï¿½support group forth and I will help in any way I can.ï¿½
I think a few years ago, you had to change the website or something, because my story was on there...but I can't find it. (sl note-we had an attack from a person trying to take over the website in which most of the data was erased, thanks to a friend we salvaged 75% of the material but part of it was lost.)
The reason why I'm being persistent is because I'm at a period in my life where I have to deal with my mother's mental illness.ï¿½She was abused by her stepfather (also a JW)when she was a child, and because of the insular nature of the Jehovah's Witnesses she never sought outside help.ï¿½To this day, she has a 10 year blank spot in her memory from 9-19.ï¿½Why do I mention her?ï¿½Because the way she was treated, had a direct bearing on her reaction when it happened to me.
My mom was baptized when she was 9 years old.ï¿½I don't know exactly when my grandmother married my mom's stepfather, but apparently during dinner time, he used to tell her not to look at him, or stop looking at him.ï¿½To this day, when I speak to her, she won't look me in the eye, and when I make eye contact, she looks away.ï¿½During one breakdown, she revealed what happened to her when she was a child.ï¿½She said that she was sexually abused by her stepfather, and when she tried to tell my grandmother, she did nothing, and was told to pray.ï¿½
My mother married my father who was not a Jehovah's Witness, and in those days people were disfellowshipped if they didn't marry if they were "in the truth".ï¿½After I was born, she was persuaded by other family members to leave him, and she was eventually reinstated.ï¿½She told me that my dad went out for cigarrettes and never came back, (which I found out was a lie when I met my dad 25 years later).
I was 8 years old, and I used to be babysat by a sister around the corner from our house.ï¿½On Fridays, I would go to the next door neighbor's house, and to this day I don't recall the reason.ï¿½However, the lady next door would also be at work, so I was always left in the care of the next door neighbor's son (who was also a Jehovah's Witness).ï¿½This is when the molestation began.ï¿½I remember going to my mother, and she told me (her exact words) "Next time, scream."
The next Friday, he started it again.ï¿½I tried to quote scripture, I tried telling him that I'd get herpes (don't know where that came from), and then I told him that my mom told me to scream...at which point he covered my mouth. He also said that if I told, I'd lose my mom, and no one would believe me ever again.ï¿½This went on for about a year, and the babysitter noticed that I began acting out sexually toward her kids (who were a few years older than me) she got angry and spanked me.ï¿½I don't recall at what time I told her what was going on, but she got it out of me. That was the point the babysitter spanked me so hard that it left a bruise on my bottom.
One Tuesday night after the meeting, my mom and I get home, and the babysitter, her three children, and the boy's mother were outside waiting.ï¿½The babysitter told my mom what was going on, and at which point the babysitter and my mother made me re-tell the story in front of everyone congregated.ï¿½They prayed for guidance, and prayed that I was telling the truth.
The next day, the woman and her son came over, and she said that her son was distraught and wanted to talk to the brothers.ï¿½She was angry at me, and told me to tell him what he did in front of him.ï¿½I couldn't, I started to cry.ï¿½ She began to yell at me and she said that, "Jehovah's gonna make you tell the truth."ï¿½I couldn't talk, since I started crying harder.ï¿½She began to pray, and she said, "Please forgive L for telling this lie."ï¿½At which point they both told me never to tell anyone again.
I don't remember how much time had elapsed, but I remember I was sitting in school during a reading group, and the teacher noticed that I wasn't sitting on my chair correctly.ï¿½I told her that it hurt, and she took me to the bathroom and saw a bruise.ï¿½She called the police, and at that time I talked to a detective, who asked me what was going on.ï¿½I told him the story.ï¿½I don't know if he spoke to the next door neighbor's son or not, but I do remember getting spanked again on the same side my bruise was on by my mom.ï¿½She told me that she never wanted me to say anything like that again.
Because of the spanking I got from the babysitter, my mom sent me to another babysitter.ï¿½This time, this babysitter's (who was also a Jehovah's Witness) grandsons molested me as well...and this is the first time I've really said anything about it. It was hard for a while to tell anyone, because I didn't want to be told that I was a liar once again.
From what I've been dealing with in regards to my mother's mental illness I must tell you this...history repeats itself.ï¿½My mom has been tentatively diagnosed with Schizophrenia, and thankfully it appears that she's finally going to get some help instead of being treated (medicated) and released. I found a journal full of documents that my mother had.ï¿½When she was taken to the hospital, she had my birth certificate, her marriage license, her ID, and her birth certificate laid out as if she was in the process of planning her own death.ï¿½In this jounal (or should I say folder), she mentions that in 1975, strange things started happening to her.ï¿½In 1976 she was arrested for child murder (information is available on microfishe at the public library).ï¿½It appears that when she left my dad, her stepfather's abuse resumed.ï¿½No one knew she was pregnant, and when she delivered the child, she dismembered it...to this day, no one knows what the ge! nder of my sibling was.
She won't speak of the incident, and around this time of year my mom gets depressed.ï¿½This is why I say history repeats itself.ï¿½I believe that because she lived with her abuser for so long, she figured that I could as well...to this day, the man still lives next door to her as well as his mother. For many years,ï¿½I begged and pleaded for her to move, but she wouldn't.ï¿½To this day, when I go to visit her, I dread it with my every fiber, knowing that this man will be sitting outside with his buddies drinking beer, leering at me, and his friends areï¿½trying to get my phone number.ï¿½I believe that when she tried to tell someone, she was dealt the same punishment as she gave me.ï¿½When you said on the VH1 special "Michael Jackson's Secret Childhood" that people aren't encouraged to seek help outside the organization because it was part of "Satan's world", I said to myself, "boy you don't know the half of it mister!"
I spoke to my father a few times, and he stated that when he asked for my mom's hand in marriage, he noticed that my mom was very intimidated and appeared afraid of her stepfather.ï¿½When I told him what happened to her, he wasn't surprised.ï¿½ I just want the world to know that when you're told not to tell anyone, it sets up a pattern of silence, and in some cases it gets much worse than that.ï¿½I'm trying to deal with what happened in my own way, and to this day, I'm praying that I won't end up like my mom.ï¿½Luckily, I was never the type to keep silent for long...I just waited until I was old enough not to be afraid anymore.
I've spoken about it to a few friends of mine, and thankfully I wasn't in any danger of not being believed like I was the first time.ï¿½It's nice and in the same way it's saddening to know that I'm not alone.ï¿½I just hope that it's not too late for my mom.
I decided not to be a Jehovah's Witness when I was 13.ï¿½I wrote a letter to my uncle who was an elder and told him.ï¿½At that point, my mother's side of the family tried guilt, fear, and punishment to get me to go back to the meetings.ï¿½ They said that I didn't know what I wanted...I was too young.ï¿½Eighteen years later, I still don't follow their teachings, and I have developed a burning disdain for organized religion in all its forms.ï¿½I'm slowly making peace with the Divinity...but sometimes I can't reconcile the theory of a loving God, and a God who would allow this to happen.ï¿½I don't believe that only Jehovah's Witnesses will reach an eternal reward..I think being a good person, and being good to others is religion enough for me.ï¿½I'm still resentful of the fact that after this, I was looked down upon, and treated like a burden by my mom...it's like she shut off her love for me and showered it on other children in the congregation.! I remembered this brother was giving a talk on no sex before marriage because you'd be ruined if you did.ï¿½My mom looked at me and nodded her head.ï¿½That's exactly how I felt...ruined...and I didn't want to be ruined.ï¿½I've heard many people tell me..."Wait on Jehovah."...maybe that's whyï¿½YOU decided to speak out...
I'm not that scared 8 year old anymore.ï¿½As a matter of fact, dealing with my mom's illness has made me deal with my own past.ï¿½I can't change what happened, but I can change what happens next.ï¿½If there is a Paradise or a Heaven...I believe those of us who have been through hell and back deserve a place there for the simple fact that we've already been through Armageddon.
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I am so grateful to have come across this website. As a person who has been greatly affected by abuse in the society, it makes me feel some relief that others see the same thing that I do.
I was sexually abused by my father when I was young. The court found him guilty and gave custody to my mother. The Elders at the Kingdom Hall at the time had many meetings with both my immediate and extended family at the time (most of my family members are Witnesses) and it was decided in the end to sweep it under the rug. My family were warned not to speak of it or it would be considered SLANDER. In order to protect my father, they asked my mother to leave the congregation, accusing her of only being there to spite him. Years later, as I put my heart and soul into studying and trying to do the right thing, they would do the same to me (even though I attended a different congregation). They said they weren’t clear of my ‘intentions’. My father has since become a well-respected Elder who is often featured at the District Convention and directs the featured Drama. Most people don’t know that it ever happened, the ones that do never speak of it. Even my own aunt doesn’t believe it ever happened, despite the court papers that my uncle has in storage.
My other aunt (my mother’s sister)
married a man who was also a Witness, he came from a Witness family.
He also turned out to be horrifically abusive.
When I was younger I went camping with my father’s family and another Elder’s family. He had a teenage son who was friends with my cousin. Boys will be boys and one day they were doing something mischievous like tossing rocks into trees or something silly like that. The dad lost it and dragged his son away, screaming at him and hitting him. It was horrible enough to see but what was even worse was that this wasn’t the first time. Everyone knew. And what did my father, the well respected Elder, do? Absolutely nothing. He stood by while the boy screamed and cried. My cousin’s mother looked horrified, shielding her son away from it. But nobody did anything.
A few years ago it made the news that a girl had been dis-fellowshipped and disowned because she had come out about some abuse that had occurred in her congregation. My own grandmother, one of the people I am closest too in this world, is a Witness. She was appalled that this girl had come out with ‘such lies’, an attempt to blast the name of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She was in complete disbelief that the Society would ever work to cover something up.
I am a 44 year old woman who was raised in the Jehovah's Witness organization. I am now disfellowshipped and I have blocked most of my memories for all of my childhood, which I have been told is probably a good thing. I recently saw a documentary called "Spiritual Shepherds" and thought to myself..."Finally...someone is doing something." I am the baby of 5 children. My mother, who was an extreme alcoholic, sexually abused at least one of my brothers, and beat them severely. My brothers, in turn, abused me and to some extent, my sister. I am not sure how young I was the first time, but I believe it to be somewhere around 8. Sexual abuse, physical beatings, horrible verbal attacks. I hold no ill will towards them...they were children too, but I have often asked myself why the elders did nothing. Our congregation was small back in the 60's and 70's. We were a close knit community. My mother loved to throw big pizza parties and everybody loved to drink and party. These brothers knew there were so many problems in our family. My mother was counseled for her alcoholism, which she never recovered from until I was 18. Too little...too late. Sometimes I wish I could remember things better, but what I wish for the most is that those elders had done something back then. Something that could have changed that little girls life. I have been married 5 times. I have had my own problems with substance abuse and promiscuity. For the longest time I associated sex with love...if you were having sex with someone, that meant you were being loved...and I needed a lot of love. I have been in rehab and a psychiatric hospital. Now...I'm okay. I managed to raise a beautiful daughter who is in college and I have been married now for 6 years (a record for me!). I own my own business now. I have done these things in spite of those things done to me. I am proud of myself that I didn't end up dead in the gutter. I wish I could take everything all those people have away from them. I wish I could take away what they allowed to be taken from me. My mother, who is now 84, is still a witness. She was spoken to once about sexual abuse and she categorically denied it, saying she didn't remember. She probably doesn't since she was drunk all the time. I don't like my mother...she is not a good person. I don't like those "brothers"...how can they sleep at night? Quite frankly, I don't think too much of god either.
For anyone reading this, I apologize if it sounds disjointed...it is difficult to put down 40 years of feeling on a single page. There are so many other things I would like to say, but I will end with this: To all of those out there who have gone through abuse of any kind...it is not normal...it is not your fault...and anyone who subjected you to it deserves punishment.RJ
I have 2 separate stories the first happened to my sister when we were little, my patents were jw and for many years I never understood why my mother would tell me that it was because of me that this man stoped abusing my sister. As I got older it finally came out. My older sister and me were sitting in front of the stage in the kingdom hall, by the way my father was an elder as far as I can remember, and I told my mother that, that man was the one that was touching my sister. I was to young to remember that my sister had mentioned it to me. All I know is that we were sent home and didn't see my dad till the next day. I asked my sister when we were older and already on our own, what had happened back then. She said the man was disfellowshiped and that she is scared that she will see him in a assembely.I got very upset because I can't believe that knowing that Jehovah put the laws here on earth for a reason the congregation wants take care of things on their own. It's fine to disfellowship them but right after the elders should be taking these people straight to the police department. My sister has many mental problems so I say. but guess what she is still a JW. I can't explain
I think what you've done here is courageous and admirable. My experience is twofold. I am 33 years old and left the religion 8 years ago. The first experience I am sharing involves an incident that happened when I was 14 years old. Being a curious and somewhat rebellious JW teen, I had sex with a 16 year old boy. Somehow, my parents found out. I was brought in front of an elder body consisting of 3 older men. They proceeded to ask me questions such as "did he touch your breasts?", "was there fondling involved before the intercourse?". I was so ashamed I was suicidal but no one knew. I had to deal with it on my own; there was no support, just shame. Since I ran the risk of losing my family and friends, I faked repentance and was not disassociated. For months after though, I was shamed by my family and the congregation. It was traumatic. Friends were not allowed to associate with me and all I had was my music (this i am thankful for because it's lead me to having a successful music career today!) Up until 4 years ago, I never thought twice about the incident but my anger outbursts and inability to cope with life brought me to a psychologist, and slowly the atrocities of the past revealed themselves. For the first time, I realized how horrible this must have been for me as a 14 year old girl, to have to answer those questions to these older men in front of my parents. It almost seems perverted. The shame follows me around to this day and is something I will have to deal with for years to come. Second story pertaining to sexual abuse. There is an uncle in the family who is a known pedafil. He is a JW as is most of my family and relatives. He has molested several of my cousins yet no one does anything about it. I found out my cousin had gone to the elders about this uncle in the last 10 years, but of course it was swept under the carpet by the congregation and never taken to authorities. Recently at a family funeral, he bragged to my mother about "sleeping with" my sisters when they were 4 in their bunk beds; the sparkle in his eye made the insinuation of sex obvious. I found this interesting as over the past 3 years, I had been dealing with repressed memory recovery of being sexually abused when I was 4; of course, my family thought i was crazy. Although he did not admit to abusing me, I'm sure it was him even though my memories are vague. My parents are so afraid of shaking things up, they will not even go to the elders about it. I told them if they didn't deal with it, i would go to the police (which I plan to do anyways). I am concerned for other children that he may have access to.
It seems a long time ago,
now. However, I'm not lying in bed with the lights out.
It's still all so confusing. I try to rationalize it all in my head, but it's nearly impossible to do so.
When I was young, my dad was a drinker, who was emotionally and physically abusive. While the physical abuse stopped, he remains emotionally abusive to this day. My mom has never loved another. She became a JW because of him. I was 6 when he began to study. He was disfellowshipped during the period that follows for being unfaithful to my mom. She, however, is a good little witness.
By the time my tenth birthday rolled around, I was as good as a JW kid could be. I excelled at door-to-door, any presentations, and Bible trivia. I'd already been on two circuit assemby presentations and one district. I loved "the truth" and it loved me.
In our congregation there was a family
that had always been there, but had always been ill regarded. Along
the way, the family got in dire straits.
The story moves on over several months
of things moving forward until the most horrible night that led me to
believe I was pregnant for almost a year.
A few years later, at my best friends house I was consumed by emotion over my lost innocence. She had been talking of this and that....and I broke out in sobs. I told her. The next day, she wrote in her diary. That night her mom read it. She told her daughter that I had to go to the elders or she would. My mom and I went to the elders. There I was told that I had led this brother on.... Nothing was done about it. He is now married and has a little girl. I worry for her alot.
I left "the truth" at 16. I am now 24 and live my life on my terms. I still consider myself a spiritual, good person. However, there are betrayals that hurt worse than being raped in the middle of the night at 10.
What will ever be done about this?
How many others are still suffering at the hands of these "spiritually
I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. My parents were raised as Jehovah's Witnesses. My extended family on both sides are Jehovah's Witnesses. According to the model of what your supposed to do this should make for a "happy family."
As a child my father was a pervert. He never actually touched me but he exposed himself to me and my physical sisters on a regular basis as well as talked and behaved in a sexually perverted way around us. He 'spanked' us with a belt frequently from the age of 3 years old on up leaving bruises on our skin and scars in our hearts.
I later found out that his father was a pervert who abused his own mentally retarded daughter and also exposed himself to women in public several times.
Our mother was depressed, I recognize that now as an adult, and did nothing about his behavior. She was verbally abused and was worn down by life.
Meanwhile, in other JW sections of our family more mental problems and incest that produced a child was happening in the home of my Uncle the elder. I also found out that another uncle's wife was abused from the time she was about 6 until she was engaged by her father, an elder.
I know what your thinking. This can't possibly be true. Well, it is. I'm 29 years old now. I am finally coming to peace with my past and with my father and with this religion.
I was baptized a few days after I turned 14. I thought it was the right thing to do. Everyone said that it was and that was important in my life. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, the congregation and the elders all talked about it. So, I pleased them all and got baptized.
When I was 17 I rebelled against it all and ran off to marry a man I barely knew. I immediately had 2 children and realized what a horrible mistake I made. I was distant and alienated from my family because I had married an 'unbeliever.' It was during this time after the birth of my 2 children that I began to have flashbacks to my childhood. Memories of things that my dad had done that I thought were OK at the time but as an adult knew were not, haunted me. I would tearfully call my mom and try to talk about it. She would just tell me it could have been worse. My husband was an alcoholic and died in a car accident drinking and driving when I was 20.
I was a widow, mother of two, and turning 21. I moved back home with my parents then quickly bought a house with the life insurance money I had received and tried to move on with my life. I met a man I thought really needed me, a drug addict this time. I was not prepared to marry him but started having a physical relationship with him.
I had cut all ties with Jehovah's Witnesses and was probably considered an inactive publisher or on public reproof I don't really know. My mom went and talked to the elder's about my having a boyfriend. The elder's met with me several times. I explained that I had no faith in God at all. I delved briefly into some family history that I had never voiced out loud in my life. I was crying. I was so confused. I just wanted someone to listen to me and understand me maybe even to help me understand me. I was disfellowshipped.
No one offered anything. They just looked at me. I felt betrayed. I felt cold and alone. I was ashamed to have even told them anything. I felt dirtier than ever.
The man I was seeing eventually committed suicide. Partially because I stopped dating him.
This hurts to talk about even now. I'm a very private and introverted person by nature. So, I rarely discuss my dirty laundry. I am happily remarried now.
I don't think all Jehovah's Witnesses are sexual predators. I just know most of the ones I knew intimately had sexual dysfunction in their life somewhere. I don't know if this reflects on JW's or just society as a whole.
I do know the Elders did a great job protecting the congregation from me. Meanwhile, when the story broke about my Aunt's father, the Elder, having abused her all of her childhood, nothing happened. He had a young daughter at home and was not removed as an elder. Well, the story did not really 'break' only our family knew about it. It turns out my Aunt's oldest brother had mimicked the behaviour of his father and molested the younger sister. The older brother had finally come out and told the elders about it all. Nothing ever happened to his father. No one told the police, and the other elders did not even remove him as an elder.
I have been reinstated recently. I can finally talk to my family again. But, I know this religion is not led by God. It is led by a corporation that is a mastermind at attaining free labor. It is locally led by imperfect men who have no idea what they are doing, because God could never make this MESS of handling these types of situations.
I feel so used and abused. But you sit high and say that I lie. You took my innocence and child hood and left me helpless and numb.
When I was a child I was molested by several family members who are Jehovah's Witnesses (My uncle, brother, and father.) My uncle would touch me in private places and kiss all over me. I pleaded with him to stop and he just laughed. My brother at every chance he could get, in the car the bedroom, or bathroom would pin me against the wall or on the bed and hurt me till he was satisfied. My father was verbally and physically abusive my name was not ??????? but slut, stupid, fool, and so on. He said women liked to be slapped and punched and could not help it he when his sickness kicked in. I blamed my self all the time and so I hated me. I felt worthless and used. No one loved me I was nothing. I could never tell either for fear more pain would come my way besides, no one would believe me. I tried on several occasions to talk to some one but know one would listen. I am twenty now and coming to turns with what happened. I was between the ages of 8-15 fortunately I don't remember much before 8. Sometimes I feel it's a bad dream and that I will wake up but it never happens. To this day I feel pain to know that I have bad childhood scars for the rest of my life. I thought that my life was normal and this was something I had to deal with but that is wrong no one should. Nevertheless; I survived and now try to get the memories out of my head. As of now I have no family but God. There is uncertainty in my life now. I am not sure what the future holds but I do know that I no longer enable a shame secret based family.
Iï¿½was born a shunned person. My father's family had come into the "truth" when he was a teenager, during WW2. This was small town America, where religion was an important part of everyone's life. His family was poor, but they were hardworking people. His mother (a domineering forceful woman) insisted he not join the army, and at that time any who did not serve, either in non-combat or combat duties, was put in prison. So my father served 18 months in prison for something he knew little about. He grew to hate JWs during his interment, and became friends with the guards and other inmates. The JWs grew to hate him and called him traitor and apostate. He also was diagnosed with mental illness during his stay in prison. He would not take medicine, because at that time mental illness was viewed as a character fault and could be overcome by prayer and good clean living. He returned home, a hated man in the community because he did not serve his country, and hated by JWs because he was an apostate.
My father was an angry man; filled with so much anger that he drank and ragged against everyone. He became a loner, with no friends. He met my mother while in prison, via mail. My mother was a very pretty woman, but delicate emotionally and prone to hysteria, as they called it then. Because my father was very handsome, she fell for him. There could not have been two more mismatched people. I was born and later my brother. My Mom was too depressed to care for us, and we were moved about from pillar to post until finally when I was 5 my Mom had to go into the mental hospital. My parents were not active as JWs at this time. However, being inactive at that time did not have the same impact as it does now. We were taught about Jehovah and I clearly remember at age 3 knowing how to pray. I identified myself as a JWs, even though we rarely set foot in a KH. Neither family nor the JWs wanted much to do with our family, because of my father's anger and my mother mental illness. Nor did they have any friends in the community. So they were very isolated.
My abuse memories start around 3 when my father came home one night drunk. I do not know where my mother was. I was lying in their bed, and he had me remove my underwear and looked at me and then digitally penetrated me. It felt good. I was not afraid of him because he was my father. Because it felt good, he called me a "little bitch like my mother." I was stunned and hurt, but not sure why. He then felt remorseful and went into the bathroom and cried out "what kind of man am I?" He came to me and said what he did was bad and but I must not tell anyone or they would send him to jail. He cried that he had been to jail and he could not survive if he had to go again. He said my mother was already in the hospital and if I told they would take him away too. He left me with this awful burden. He said I would not remember any of this, I would forget. I remember thinking "my daddy did something bad too me'" it almost felt as though my soul was leaving my body, I nearly slumped to the ground. But I picked myself up, and said, "I will forget this" and I literally forced it from my memory. It did not all go away that day, but one day I recall thinking I felt happy, and I had been successful. I had forgotten. I remember thinking "Daddy said I would forget and I did."
It really hurt my younger brother. He was only 3 when Mom was in the hospital. I was 5 and we went to live with a relative and only saw our father once or twice a month. The relatives we lived with was not filled with love for us, butï¿½theyï¿½did not beat us. We were told we were a burden and only there because our Mom was crazy. Today my brother is a cold, emotionally distant judgmental JW, who once said that one of our non JW relatives life had no value, because she was not a JW.
Growing up in my home was not a lot of fun. Crying was not allowed, nor was having feelings. I learned to be tough (emotionally), and how to survive. Once a girl said to me on the way home from school "Your mother is crazy and the whole town knows it" I hit her over the head with a book. Next day I was spanked by the principal. He asked if I would do it again, and I said defiantly, "Yes if she says that again, I'll hit her again" I was incorrigible, they thought. I talked too much and didn't play well with other kids. Kids would just tell me "You're stupid" "You're weird." I wanted so much to be liked, but for some reason, I was just not OK. I didn't steal, or cheat or get in fights. I'm pretty sure a lot of it had to do with just being a JW, because years later I met a girl I went to school with and she remembered me as "Being in that strange religion"
I was called names and picked on. The teachers at that time could be really abusive, and nothing was ever done to them. My Mom would go to school with me first day of each year and ensure that my year would be hell. She would defiantly say she was a JW and tell the teacher all the things I could not do. I was undersocialized, as they call it now. I did not know how to act around other kids. All I knew was that for some reason unbeknownst to me, I was a bad person, and rebellious and unkempt and socially unacceptable. Oh, and not very smart.
My dad drank and many times came home raging drunk. He physically and verbally fought with my Mom and I would try and stop these fights and end up getting beat for my efforts. Suppertime no one talked. We were all fearful of father. There were no happy TV times. No games. I learned early to stay in my room or fight with them. Sometimes I chose to fight with them. He (father) often walked around nude in the house. (He was proud of his manhood) Once because of something I did, (letting the dogs out) he became so enraged he chased me DOWN THE STREET, IN DAYLIGHT, NUDE while waving a large leather belt in the air. I was literally running for my life. He did not catch me. I waited until dark to come home and then he beat me. I guess neighbors did not report things like that, because no one ever reported him. I could not bring any school friends home. I tried but my father scared them. He would sit nude in the living room and curse and yell. Once he was beating me and my mother came at him with a butcher knife. She said she would kill him if he hit me again. Once, I hid in the bathroom with the door locked. He raged outside, pounding on the door. That door saved my life He was so drunk and angry, he would have really hurt me. He was abusive to my mother sexually. He strangled her during sex. I could hear it in my bedroom. I was scared and once ran in to save my mother. Once while lying in bed I heard him say to her (my mother) if she did not submit to the strangling, he would rape me in front of her. I lay in bed, scared for my mother and afraid for myself.
My mother otherwise was very depressed and slept during the day while I was at school and I had to begin the housecleaning duties as she could not do this. Men seemed to fancy my Mom, and sad to say, she used this to her advantage to get things. I recall from time to time an occasional man being in the house when my father was not home.
By the time I was 11-12, my mother was sure I was doing bad things with boys and she even accused me of seducing my brother (actually it was during this time a classmates father tried to perform oral sex on me and did manage to penetrate me digitally. I also had another friends father and friend tried to initiate me into sex, at age 12. I was too fearful to do it, and they did not force me) She took me to a GYN to be examined to "prove" what a bitch I was. I will never forget standing nude in that room and having her look at my body. The doc mercifully did not do a digital exam, he just told her I was a virgin and looked very hostile toward her. She then decided that I "wanted my father" and to quote her "You have to get your own man. He's mine." So any natural love I may have felt for my father was considered unnatural. As far as I know, she never knew about what my father did to me at age 3. I never told her because by the time I remembered it, she was too old and too sick.
During this time, my parents occasionally attended meetings. A Bible study was started with them and they began attending regular. I don't recall that lasting too long, especially my father, as he hated JWs with a fierce hate. He was very verbal about it, so you can see he did not "draw " people to him. My mother studied with us and I learned many things out of the old paradise book, the orange one. I truly loved Jehovah but could not understand the story about theï¿½serpent stepping on the snake. Because I could not understand this prophecy, my Mom judged me to be slow, and she studied with me and my brother at different times. At age 13 I met a JW sister who started studying with me. She was a nice person. She actually liked talking to me and seemed to care what I thought. However, she made it plain she did would not tolerate emotional displays, I would just have to get tough and be brave. So I learned from her and my parents, no matter how bad you hurt, suck it up and go on.
The next few years were not too bad. I made some friends in the cong. and seemed to be fairly well liked. Some referred to me as a "diamond in the rough." I used the KH as my escape from home, as anything was better than living there. Also, with more people entering the home, my father and mother had to at least put on a pretense of "normal," and so for about 4 years, my life was tolerable. I was active in service, and spoken well of by the older JWs, who saw me as a good example. I had a flair for speaking so did well in the ministry school. I saw how others lived their lives, and it was so different from mine, I yearned to be one of them. People noted how different I was from my parents, (being good) and this brought hate from my parents toward me eventually. I felt like I had hit pay dirt, a new home a new family. Then boys entered my life.
Apparently I was "boy crazy" as the expression was then. I actually did not date except a few times before I met my husband, but you would have thought I had dated a lot of guys, because it was whispered around I was "boy crazy." I was given informal counsel from mature sisters. One actually did help me. I had met a 40-yr old man at a party, (a party given for 13-20 yr. olds) and he was pursing me. I was terrified when he showed up at my KH. This sister got rid of him. Imagine a 40-yr old at a party for teens! I was 15 at the time.
I met my husband through a friend at a convention and we were pen pals for a few months before met. We began dating and married. Looking back, all I wanted was out of my home and be free to live.
Unfortunately people who come from homes like mine often marry people similar. So it was with me, but I did not see it at the time. I had just stepped from the frying pan into the fire.
Also to mention, my mother was treated very badly by the JWs at the hall during this time. She was very ill, and doing the best she could. She would try and go in the car groups for service, but she had trouble remembering her sermon and they made fun of her. She would come home and cry. Also they all would go out and eat at cafes, and Mom had no money so had to either go home or accept a pity donation. I could have cried for her at times. I mention this now, because I am not so unlike my mother. And wherever you are Mom, who is now deceased: I love you and I am so sorry your life was like this.
ï¿½My husband and I were in our late teens when we married. I noticed my husband had a bad temper, but I was so used to my father's raging, well, I did not think too much about it. My husband's rages took the form of throwing furniture and knocking holes in walls. Occasionally he would throw things at me. He never hit me, (something he took great pride in saying) but he screamed and raged tore up the house when things did not go his way. The elders did not believe me when I told them about this because he appeared so mild mannered. Time passed, and we had our first child.
I cannot go into the details of how this next incident happened, because if I did, it would be easily recognizable. The short version of this story is - 3 persons raped me. They ensured my husband was missing in action. I reported it to the elders, but they called me a liar, and a big lair at that for making up such a story. Unfortunately it was true. They DF me, and let this man off with mild reproof and no one else involved received any other reproof. Long story short -- this man raped again and this time they DF him and he admitted to raping me. Too late for me, however, my life was already ruined. I had already sunk into self loathing and promiscuity by JWs standards. I ended up DF two more times. I was so ill I had amnesia spells, I could not even recognize my own family at times. I had no self worth and hated myself and felt abandoned by the only real family I had ever known-the WTS. Yes, they were my family, and they had thrown me out, not once but 3 times. No one noticed how ill I was, how depressed, how very sick I was. All the JWs wanted to do was call names, slut, whore, Jezebel. Pig. The names were awful. I had to be grateful if anyone spoke to me at all. People felt free to insult me to my face, because I was a whore. I must be willing to allow them to insult me, for after all I was a whore. I could never repent for what I had done. There was not enough punishment good enough for me. For years I gratefully accepted my husband's forgiveness and was glad I was not out on the street. People at the hall felt free to talk about me behind my back and no one would associate with us. They told me to my face that they did not care if I was reinstated, they did not have to associate with me. No offers of help ever came. I was finally told that they thought I had sinned against the holy sprit and did not care if I ever came back to the KH again. I allowed them to degrade me like this. I had no self esteem. I was grateful for any crumbs they threw my way. If someone smiled at me-I thanked Jehovah for this. I truly wanted to be accepted back to the org, because it was the only real family I had ever known.
For a brief time it seems that we were making a comeback with the org, they seemed nicer and I felt so happy. But then we started having problems with the kids and my emotional health bottomed out. These were all used as evidence that we were truly not the right sort to be JWs, as any real JWs would not have these problems. Real JWs would have JOY, and not the sort of problems we had.
During this time we were trying to raise a family. But no one lives in a void, and the rages of my husband and the depression I suffered left it's mark on our kids. They became juvenile delinquents, and this was just more evidence to the elders that we were bad people and not worthy of their help, and they did not provide any help, though we begged them many times for help.
Eventually, with the help of different worldly agencies, and rehab and family therapy, our kids got better. During this time I just gave up emotionally. I had been strong for so long, I could not go on any longer. I was in the hospital, inpatient, and day programs, for the better part of 2 years. I was diagnosed with multiple personality, dissociate disorder and PTSD, along with anxiety and depression. I had intensive therapy and even then, for months I protected the org. REMEMBER, "Do not bring reproach on the org." The doc I worked with knew he was up against a major force. He had to break through the brick wall I had built around my mind to penetrate it to help me see what had happened to my life and see a way out. He had to get me to listen to him instead of saying "Elder so and so says. " I thought of killing myself more than once and I did not know it but my doc had warned my husband that he thought I would attempt it. I just saw no reason to live and had no one on my side. Apparently the God I worshiped had left me and I felt if He had wanted to He could "send" the JWs to me, but He never did. He did however "send" worldly ones to my aide. If it were not for my therapist, I would not be alive today. So many times I had a bottle of pills in my hand, and came so close. How I survived, well, my psychiatrist referred to himself and me as "junkyard dogs" and river rats, somehow we survive.
To give you an idea of how sick/confused I was, and how I had no support from JWs: I once was so desperate and ill, I confused the police with the elders and called the police for help with our problems. I feel disgraced to have to admit that to anyone. So ill had I become, I could not tell the police from the elders.
I got somewhat well enough eventually that I attempted to work. I worked for 10 yrs but it was full of problems and the problems I had emotionally were too much. I had little self esteem and that is essential to holding a job. I was super conscientious and that often made problems for myself. I was often stressed/depressed so much I had trouble retaining info, and got poor performance reviews and lost several jobs because of that. Eventually I had to stop working. During the time I was working I began my long journey out of the org. I was very timid at first and still am to a degree. First thing I did was stop telling people I was a JWs. Then I got this computer and started researching the XJWs sites. I was first taken back by the ones that were very religious, because I was repelled by that. Still with my JW mindset. I found silent lambs and it was that site that spurred me on my way. I found this site and have continued to "leave" JWs in my mind, because they left me a long time ago. I am not DF or DA but in the 8 yrs since I basically stopped going to the hall, not one elder has even called us.
JWs can lie all they want about how much they care, but I know the truth. They do not care.
I am still in therapy and probably will be for a long time. My husband and I had to rebuild our marriage. I have had to rebuild my relationships with my kids. My life has been shattered by JWs. It is a deep wound, and while it is healing, it has left a very ugly scar.
I had no idea there were others who had their lives "ruined" by the JW I was abused by a "brother" (the JW term for a man) and my stepfather who married my mom when I was 7 yrs old. The meetings and bible studies seemed to allow for the perfect opportunity to do this...In fact, on many Sundays after going to the "meetings" my stepfather would molest me that very same day telling me this was to show my Love to not only my father...but the Heavenly father (Jehovah).....
My heart goes out to you all...and please be strong
I was molested by my stepfather at age 11, his name is R V M. I am 42 now and have always been affected by it. I am scared he does this to others. My mother has been divorced from him 24 years now.
Thank you for letting me tell.
I was molested by my older brother, who is a JW. When I finally got the courage to tell what had been happening, I was toldï¿½it was my fault, that I wasï¿½in fact no better than a whore. I was eleven. My step-father used what my brother did as a excuse to start fondling me whenever he could. My mother was no better. She lied to the elders for my brother. She told me what else could she do, she loved him too much to let him get in trouble for molesting me. When I turned twenty I asked the elders to disfellowship me. I couldn't stand to stay in such a cult a minute longer. It sickens me to know my story is not unique. The JW's are certainly a group that like to hide criminals behind their so-called theocratic organization.
My dad died when I was six. I was relentlessly mentally abused by my mother. I got homosexually raped by a neighbor when I was 12. I had a mate commit suicide when I was 14. I got expelled from college and got in trouble with the police at sixteen. I helped remove my mother's naked dying body out of the house when I was seventeen. Only my study conductor turned up at the funeral even though I was an active witness at the time. I got baptized 2 weeks later in 1980. I felt very depressed and would destroy everything I owned once every couple of months. I talked to countless elders and circuit overseers about my problems. Never once did any suggest that I seek professional help but encouraged me to study more and go witnessing. Hence I became this strange dichotomy of religious zeal and virtual insanity.
Three years later I got married to a woman who had been raped by her JW father. Hers was a classic case of only one witness; end of discussion. I naively believed at the time that because this was the "truth" the matter needed to be dealt with properly. Other children were in constant danger even though the family said he had changed. I spent countless hours talking to the family, elders, and district overseers (the DO said my problem was that I needed a job as I was unemployed at that time) to see justice done. I wanted the elders to at least talk to another family member so as to produce anther witness (silly me, I didn't realize what a waste of time this would have been). I even became perfidious with her father so I could be another witness to this act. While this did not produce the desired result it proved to me he was very much an active pedophile searching for his next victim. I discussed going to the police but had no support from anybody and I always came up against the b rick wall of "the elders have handled the matter, leave it in Jehovah's hands". During this time I came across many other JW's with similar stories. One particularly nasty case was a
"brother" who would take young boys tramping (he even asked me to have sex with him on one occasion). At least two of his victims are in mental institutions and one committed suicide. I pleaded with the elders to warn parents of the children he was "helping" of his history, but this would have gone against confidentiality. Ironically he did more work for "fatherless boys" than any elder in the congregation.
It all came to a head in 1993. I was living in my ex-wife's hometown at the time (with some of the original elders that had dealt with her father). I went back to my hometown for a holiday. I visited a friend (interestingly also a victim of tramping "brother"). His next door neighbor hanged himself in the garage (I thought at the time it was him). My wife and I unhooked him. Then my friend and I tried to rescue breath him (the taste of another person's vomit takes a long time to forget) but as we found out later he had died a half an hour before.
I didn't deal with this very well and a week later I committed adultery with a sister and was "privately reproved" in a judicial meeting. No help was offered or suggestion to get help. A week later I committed adultery with that sister one more time. I was then disfellowshipped (something I never understood was the two elders were laughing when they told me the decision). Incidentally the sister wasn't disfellowshipped. After I was disfellowshipped there was the normal one week period before this decision is announced to the congregation. The society considers that the elders should look for "fruit that befits repentance" this would normally include "witnessing" and meeting attendance. So I went out "witnessing" most days and attended all the meetings before the announcement. Two days after the decision, I went to the group without my wife where arrangements where to be made as to where we were witnessing etc. The brother who took the group was also one of the elders on mine and this sisters judicial committee and hence new all the gory details. The elder organized everyone into car groups and told this sister and myself to go to the group together in my car. This of course did not eventuate but perhaps was an example of the "shepherds knowing the flock".
I continued with my wife and going to all the meetings. I had written a letter to the Watchtower Society a couple of weeks before all this (suicide, adultery) about an issue that had come up in "field service" that I was unable give a satisfactory answer to the householder. The society sent the reply to the elders of the congregation that I was in at the time.
The elders came to my home and inferred that I may be apostate (talk about kicking a corpse) even though they then told me that the society did not have an answer for this at that time (they could have written to me with this lame answer, it seems elders can discuss spiritual things with disfellowshipped ones if they believe it's applicable).
Around a month after I was disfellowshipped a young brother whom was a friend of mine committed suicide. From what I heard the elders had a meeting with him the night before. The elders came to my home and blamed me for his death (another "kicking" I was starting to believe there was a higher level of disfellowshipping) because he had said "If John can't do it then neither can I" (referring to my disfellowshipping). I do feel some responsibility for his death in as much as I left the poor bugger to the wolves. About 2 months later my mother in law stopped talking to my wife for a while because an elder had told her to be careful, as she had become apostate too.
Throughout this period my wife's father was being brought to justice by the police after he had raped a local girl whose mother happened to be a rape counselor (I felt completely ashamed that the police had not been brought in sooner). With a new found disrespect for the elders and the involvement of the police the family started to talk about the abuse. It tuned out the mother had been raped by him at 15 as well as other sisters and nieces (yes, this was a big family). Some of the sons were also pedophiles. The one that surprised me the most was my ex-wife's closest JW sister who was also raped (she would regularly leave her own daughters there to be looked after). This was perhaps the most profoundly stupid thing I have ever seen or a great example of "waiting on Jehovah".
Interestingly the elder that headed my judicial committee and my ex-wife's father's case was found out to be having affairs and was disfellowshipped about six months later. I was reinstated 3 years later. After about six months of being reinstated I found I could no longer deal with life as a Jehovah's Witness. I left my wife and started a new life. I was disfellowshipped by proxy about a year or so later. I went and got counseling. The counselor was genuinely surprised I was still alive. It has been a slow road to normality and I treasure not feeling the utter anguish that had been so common in my life.
I became a computer engineer and now don't have so many problems with unemployment. I am engaged to be married to an ex police woman who just happened to be a rape detective. Interestingly, she had a case in late 1998 with a JW who was told by her daughter that the daughter's grandfather had "touched" her. The elders told the JW woman not to pursue this with the police and the case never went any further even though my fiancï¿½e asked to speak with the elders.
I am a single mother and a university student in a specialised quota program. I volunteer with the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club as a mentor. I was raised a JW and left the organisation at the age of 18. I am also a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a member of the JW organization.
I first visited your site on the recommendation of one of my older brothers who had seen a segment regarding this topic on a national news program. I was moved, shocked and dismayed by the stories I read. As a result of my education, I have been able to filter out much of the misinformation regarding paedophiles that is so commonly held to be true. Paedophilia (as does rape) has very little to do with sex and much more to do with power. The WBTS is very much a patriarchal organization that holds very firmly to Victorian models of behaviour. Being raised in the faith, I do believe that some of the moral and ethical standards are very high and very good. Unfortunately, there appears to be many different standards of ethics and depending on your gender, your status and your level of power, the ethics that you are expected to live by differ. Higher education is frowned upon, especially for women (I wonder why?), and the shroud of secrecy maintained by the gatekeepers of the WBTS is the most potent weapon in the arsenal of any paedophile.
At the age of six, my sister-in-law's younger brother, D, babysat me on two separate occasions. He was 17 years old at the time. On both occasions, D directed me to go to the basement bedroom used by my older brothers. While in the room, he first kissed me then began to assault me. On both occasions, D told me that I was beautiful and that he loved me. On the second occasion, he was interrupted by one of my family, who arrived home early. D told me not to tell because I would get into trouble. Being afraid that I had done something wrong, I never told my mother. I did, however, confide in my best friend who was 5 years older than me. The next meeting that we had, she walked right up to D after the meeting and asked him, in front of me and her older brothers if in fact he had kissed me, because she had not believed what I told her. D laughed and replied that he had no interest in kissing a child. I was humiliated and felt that if my best friend did not believe me, who would? I remained silent thereafter. On the flip side, he must have felt threatened because he never volunteered to look after me again, and mercifully never assaulted me again.
The mind is a wonderful machine, and often protects us from memories that are too painful to bear. Time passed and the memories of the assaults remained safely tucked away, however, the carefree child that I had once been was gone forever. I would no longer go down into the basement of that house alone. My mother did not understand why, however, she attributed it to an overactive imagination. Later on I developed claustrophobia, which was quite a switch from the cuddly child of days gone by. At 15 years of age, I developed a stomach ulcer. At 18 years of age, I stopped attending meetings. An elder called me to find out "what was wrong". At first he was compassionate and caring, however, when I refused to give in to his suggestions that I return to the KH, he became angry and made some cruel comments regarding my future.
At the age of 29 I met my ex-husband, P, the father of my child. He and I spent most of our weekends partying with his friends. On one particular occasion, one of his old high school buddies "cornered" me at a party. My heart began to pound and I felt a cold chill go up my spine. Suddenly, the memories of my childhood assaults exploded in my mind and I began to shake and sweat. I found P in the other room and told him we had to leave. Noting the look on my face he did not question me, but followed me out the door. Once in the car, I began to cry and told him of my childhood experiences. He was shocked and concerned and we spent most of that night talking about my feelings. Because I had suppressed the memories for so many years, it was difficult for me to process all the information at once.
I have never revealed this story to my mother, who is 75 years of age and growing ever-more frail. A few select members of my family are aware of what happened, however, my oldest brother who is an elder in his congregation and a well respected man (by me as well) does not know. As it happens it was his wife's brother who assaulted me. In discussing the matter with my oldest niece (with whom I am very close) I also found out that D assaulted one of her younger sisters and that is why he is not welcome in her father's home. She also revealed to me a history of abuse in that immediate family, which resulted in my sister-in-law developing an eating disorder which continues to this day.
To the best of my knowledge D has been disfellowshipped for sexual misconduct at least once and reinstated at least once. I do not believe that he has suffered any legal ramifications for his behaviour.
What many people do not realise is that most children are highly egocentric until the age of about 12. That is why many children of divorce or abuse take the blame for the situation and place it onto themselves. Children are vulnerable because they are unable physically or financially to care for themselves, leaving them at the mercy of the adults in their lives. Society itself is based on a patriarchal system where any female, regardless of age or religion, who does not display a certain pattern of behaviour, or does not fit the profile of the damsel in distress, is often subjected to ridicule or blamed for the victimization perpetrated upon her. Children are endowed with a sense of imagination, and therefore if they do speak out against their attackers are often told that they must have imagined the incident, or that they are lashing out at the adult caregiver after being denied something they want.
I do not blame my mother or my family for what happened to me. I did not give them the opportunity to respond to the situation at the time. In the past few years, I have shared this information with some of the members of my family with whom I have a particularly close relationship. The response I have received has been compassionate and caring. My mother does not know and at this stage, I see no reason to confront her with the information. She is fragile and worries about me (the baby of the family) enough as it is. While I worked for the local police service, I spoke to a member that I trusted regarding laying information about the assaults. He indicated that at this stage, little could be done to bring D to justice.
I was born in the Year of the Tiger, to which I attribute my courage and strength, along with my protective nature. I strongly believe that my career goals have been affected by my childhood and strengthened my resolve to learn as much as possible about crimes against children and their social/psychological effects. My ex-husband always called me "mother bear" when it came to my daughter, which is also a side effect of my own abuse. My education, along with support from close friends and family has helped me to heal some of the wounds. There are undoubtedly others that will never heal, however, as long as I don't give up, in the end, I WIN!
I am 30 years old and was raised as a witness. I just want to share my story with you. I was born in the Philippines and it is a very conservative country, combined with being a JW, you practically have to be a saint. I didn't grow up with a dad so I always crave for male attention even when I was a kid. When I was 13 years old, a 19 year old witness was assigned to give me bible lessons. He is a very charming guy and he always gives me compliments like how I am so pretty and I looked older than I was. He would pick me up from school with his car and buy me stuff, at 13, I thought he was awesome, older guy who really likes me, and I was totally falling for him. One day, he asks me if we could do our bible study in his house because he needs to stay home to watch their house for some reason. That was the first time he kissed me and told me that he would show me what petting is all about, and he did. That's how it all started. I didn't want to disappoint him because at this point I was totally in love with him. In the evenings, almost everyday, he would come and visit me, his excuse to my mom was he was helping me with my homework. My mom totally trusted him, I really don't know why, I guess because he is a Jehovah's Witness, he would always stay till everybody's asleep. He would do a lot of things to me that only grownups should know how to do. It went on for 6 months until he got tired of it I guess. He said he can't see me anymore because I was too young and he was neglecting his studies. I was devastated and didn't go to school for like a week because I was so heart broken. I kept a diary and I would write everything in there. My mom read it and went to the elders. they asked uncomfortable questions and I answered them but I was disfellowshipped anyway, was announced in the Kingdom Hall and was shunned by everybody, some of my good friends weren't allowed to talk to me, that hurts allot, they want to but their parents wouldn't let them because that was the rule, they cant talk to me as a punishment, was talked about by the elder's wife. The guy was public reproved but moved away. I was forced to attend the meetings at the same congregation because of my mom. I felt so betrayed and felt so dirty for doing what I did. The guy who did this to me got mad at me for keeping a diary...the elders didn't do squat but instead punished me for committing fornication. I was 13, I was in love, he was 19 and he is my bible counselor. It doesn't make any sense. All throughout my life I blamed myself, I have problems trusting anyone. I had used drugs, slept with more men than I could count, mutilate myself than I could remember, tried to kill myself more than once, I felt worthless.
I don't go to the meetings anymore, I still believe that there's a God but I don't believe in organized religion anymore. Trying to be a better person now...
Thanks for listening.
I don't want to leave my name.ï¿½I guess that's what happens when you have been a victim of physical and sexual abuse and also a member of the Jehovah's Witness congregation.ï¿½I will say that for many years I always thought that I was the only one who had to endure the nightmare I had called life for so long.ï¿½ When I finally got the strength to go to the elders they called me and my sisters liars.ï¿½You see my dad was loved deeply and no one wanted to accept what we were saying about such a great man.ï¿½I'd call that creature worship!!!ï¿½It destroyed the siblings.ï¿½My beautiful sister committed suicide shortly after that.ï¿½That was 9 years ago and I still can't get past the pain I feel at that losing my precious sister.ï¿½We tried to serve Jehovah but I have always blamed him and the brothers for not helping us.ï¿½I have not been to a meeting in over a year now.ï¿½I am 41 years old and I feel lost.ï¿½I did write to the society after my sister died and reported the abuse but later recanted because my mom told me my letter was keeping my father from ever serving as an elder and I felt guilt so I told my parents body of elders that I had lied to clear his name.ï¿½I hate myself for that.ï¿½My father has never said he was sorry, and in fact denied any wrong doing.ï¿½He has since passed away and I am left here to carry this pain.ï¿½I would love to go back to meetings but I can't walk into a kingdom hall without remembering my past.ï¿½I cry often because I know this system is coming to an end and my son and I will most likely be destroyed because we have not gone to meetings or done what we are supposed to do in order to gain everlasting life.ï¿½I hate the world but I have no where else to go.ï¿½If anything good can come by all the exposure that the Jehovah's Witnesses are getting I hope it is that it saves even just one child from the hell I have lived and am still living to this day.
Waiting to die
NOTHING WILL COMPLICATE ONES SENSE OF SPIRITUALITY LIKE BEING ABUSED BY ONE YOU BELIEVE IS SPIRITUAL, THEN HAVING NOTHING BEING DONE ABOUT IT. I WAS THREATENED BY ELDERS THAT IF I TOLD ANYONE I WOULD BE GUILTY OF SLANDER. I'M 24 YEARS OLD AND WAS RAISED AS A WITNESS. MY FATHER WAS AN ELDER FOR APPROXIMATELY 30 YEARS, THAT WAS UNTIL HE WAS ASKED TO STEP DOWN BECAUSE OF ME. WHEN I WAS AROUND 11 OR SO A COUPLE MOVED INTO OUR CONGREGATION IN WESTERN NY , AND OF COURSE WERE IMMEDIATELY BEFRIENDED. MY FAMILY TREATED THEM AS CLOSE FRIENDS. THE WIFE WOULD HAVE A WEEKLY STUDY WITH ME JUST FOR ADDITIONAL SPIRITUAL FOOD. WHILE HER 45 YEAR OLD HUSBAND WOULD TAKE ME FISHING AND SHOPPING. HE LOVED KIDS, A LITTLE TOO MUCH. I STILL CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW I ENDED UP WITH HIM ALONE SO OFTEN, YET THE AMOUNT OF INCIDENCES I'VE STILL YET TO NUMBER. LIKE ANY EXPERIENCED CHILD MOLESTER HE WORKED SMOOTHLY WITH MY FAMILY WHILE SHOWING ME THE PERFECT BALANCE OF PLEASURE, PAIN, AND FEAR. HE TOLD ME HOW HE LOVED ME AND WHEN HIS WIFE DIED HE WAS GOING TO COME AND MARRY ME. HE HAD THE NERVE TO FEEL UP MY LEG DURING A SUNDAY TALK, LICK HIS LIPS AND BLOW KISSES AT A BOOK STUDY AT A FRIENDS HOUSE WITH 13 OTHER PEOPLE SITTING IN A CIRCLE WITH US. HE WOULD STALK ME; WATCH ME THROUGH MY BEDROOM WINDOW AT NIGHT. HE FORCED ME TO DO THINGS TO MYSELF AS WELL AS HIM. IT GOT PRETTY BAD BY THE AGE OF 14, HE WAS HAVING SEX WITH ME. I'M TRYING NOT TO MAKE THIS TO LONG, BUT THERE IS SO MUCH I DON'T KNOW WHAT I SHOULD AND SHOULDN'T SAY. MY ONLY WAY OUT WAS TO GET IN ENOUGH TROUBLE TO GET SENT AWAY. SO I SLEPT WITH A BOY FROM SCHOOL AND TOLD MY DISAPPOINTED MOTHER. I WAS SENT TO LIVE WITH MY SISTER IN KENTUCKY . I SOON TOLD MY SISTER I WAS MOLESTED, I LEFT IT AT THAT. WELL MY PARENT'S HEARD THEN THE ELDERS IN MY OLD CONGREGATION. BUT THAT WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH I HAD TO PERSONALLY TELL THEM. I WAS 15 YEARS OLD AND SCARED TO DEATH, MY PERPETRATOR HAD THREATENED TO KILL MY FAMILY IF I TOLD. IT TOOK SEVERAL YEARS FOR ME TO PERSONALLY TELL THEM AND THEN IT WAS OVER THE PHONE. BY THAT TIME I HAD USED EVERY DRUG UNDER THE SUN, HAD SEX WITH MORE MEN AND WOMEN THAN I COULD COUNT AND HAD PAID A LENGTHY VISIT TO THE NUT HOUSE. I WAS DISFELLOWSHIPPED AT 16 OR 17 SOON AFTER I WAS BAPTIZED. I WENT TO THEM AND SAID I WANTED TO BE SELFISH BUT DIDN'T WANT TO BE A HYPOCRITE SO I WANTED OUT. I SIMPLY WAS TO MESSED U P IN MY HEAD FROM THE ABUSE TO DEAL WITH IT AT THAT POINT.
YEARS AND YEARS OF COUNSELING AND SELF TREATMENT, I'M WRITING
AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, I FINALLY CAN LIVE WITHOUT DRUGS PROMISCUOUS SEX AND
MASS AMOUNTS OF ALCOHOL, ALL TO PUSH BACK MEMORIES AND FEELINGS. I
AM A SURVIVOR BUT I WILL BE HEALING FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. NOW I STRUGGLE
WITH MY SEXUAL PREFERENCE BEING I'M A FEMALE AND I AM ATTRACTED TO FEMALES.
THIS COMPLICATES ONE TRYING TO LIVE A MORAL LIFE ON TOP OF THE
FACT I HOLD RESENTMENT FOR THE PART OF THE RELIGION THAT TREATS ABUSE
WITH COVER-UP . I ALSO HOLD RESENTMENT FOR THE LOSS OF MY FAMILY TIES.
IN WHICH I LOVE AND RESPECT
DEARLY AND PROCEED
TO HURT EVERYDAY WITH MY AMBIVALENT LIFESTYLE. OF COURSE MY ABUSER IS
FREE TO GO IN SERVICE AND TALK WITH THE FRIENDS AND HIS FAMILY AND ANSWER
AT THE KINGDOM HALL, I AM NOT ALLOWED TO DO ANY OF THIS, THAT HURTS
ME AS MUCH AS IT PISSES
I am a 22 year old female with a twin sister. We were JW's since the age of 6 (as a side note, it is sad and sick when a 6 year old girl can not sleep because she is pondering whether to live with her father in paradise or die in sin with her mother, that's a tough choice!) and baptized at 12. (we DA'd ourselves when we were 13)
My father and mother were divorced, (my mother being "worldly") and dad remarried a "good standing" woman in our congregation who ran a daycare. This woman was mentally and emotionally abusive, people on the outside world would probably view here as being mentally unstable. This evil woman who I shall refer to as Evileen had a 26 or 27 year old brother who served as a Ministerial Servant and lived at home with his mother. When ever my sister and I would go to his house he would say to us "come in one at a time, and I will let you feed my fish." (the reasoning for one at a time was not to scare the fish) My sister and I were about 11 or 12 so we got excited about things like that as all JW children do because your life is so dull and monotonous. So either one of us would go in his bedroom, he would shut the door, beckon you to his lap and rub his erection back and forth against your but. In the back of my head I thought that is strange, I don't feel a hard lump when I sit on daddy's lap, or anyone else for that matter. (keep in mind the only thing I was told about sex was that it was a dirty thing to do with anyone but your husband and I always saw myself as an ugly person who would never have to worry about being married let alone have sex) I also thought this might be wrong, but the other half of my brain told me that all JWs are nice, honest, and respectable people, so I thought it must have been my imagination. Then about 3 or 4 months later my dad sat us down and asked us if David had or has acted inappropriately towards my sister and I. Our eyes must have been 2 times the size, my sister and I looked at each other and at the same time replied "Of course not, why would you think such a think?" (At this time a friend of ours was molested by a JW (he stuck his hand down her pants and touched her vagina), and no action was taken against him and she was just pretty much publicly humiliated. Her molester ended up marrying a JW (another friend of ours) about 4 or 5 years later and had a daughter.) So for some reason my wise father sensed something was not right, but me nor my sister took advantage of telling what had happened until about a year ago. I just hope all of his fish are dead, and he doesn't bother any other girls, or someone uncovered the sick truth about him being a pedophile.
I also hope he reads this because I am sure he will know this is about him. I just want all active JWs to know that just because people claim to be a JW doesn't mean they are without reproach and treating a sexual abuse victim like a criminal is a sure fire way for someone to lose faith. I am not currently a JW, and I have never been so happy, all my feelings of hopelessness are gone, and I would never return to such a cult.
Thanks for taking the time to read this,
I just found this website
because a local news- channel just did a investigative report on JW's
hiding pedophiles. I found it ironic because the JW that abused me used
to work for that same tv station... I've been seeing a counselor since
last fall and when I started going I had no memory of the abuse.
I discovered your web site by accident and I am so thankful I did. I was a Jehovah Witness for 28 years and because of the things that I have seen and suffered I finally got the courage to leave. I left the organization three months ago.
I would like to tell my story. At the age of 21 I was sexually assaulted by a stranger, who was not a Jehovah's Witness. To make a long story short I was disfellowshipped as a result of my sexual assault. I was treated as if I was a hooker looking for a good time! One of three elders who came to my home (at the time I didn't know they were coming over to talk to me about the assault) asked me how I was dressed the night of my assault. I was told to repent. Repent of what? I was a victim of a violent crime! Rape is not a crime of passion like these sick people think! Thank you for letting me share my story.
This has happened more than we know. My daughter was molested by a elders son and nothing was done judicially. She was contacted on a three-way call with the Society Legal Department and two elders in the congregation where she was molested. No practical help or advice to sooth the tremendous shock we suffered. Later he was finally reported to the police, the statute of limitations had run out.
Elders were useless hypocrites. They steered clear of us for a long time as if we were tainted. We changed congregations. The abuser/Elder was made the WT conductor, Service Overseer. He is nothing but a hard hearted Eli who let his sons go wild on the young girls in the congregation. His son impregnated two other children ( 18 years old ) in the congregation when the Elders full well knew that he was a sex offender.
It galls me that no matter what happens to us in life, there is no brotherhood. They won't even make soup when you're sick or offer grocery shopping. Elders "talk "about shepherding, but rarely do it until there is a crisis, "Go in peace brother and let Jehovah answer your prayers to help the offender."
Everyone feels that this is the beginning of persecution when it's a time for reckoning. A lot of witnesses are afraid because the "society "demands loyalty and obedience. People are afraid to talk and tell their stories.
I learned about this website today by a co-worker who used to be a Jehovah Witness. I decided to send my comments in reference to children molestation. I am 33 years old now and was a victim of molestation as a child. I was not molested by an elder or any member from the congregation, but I was molested by my step father who is a Jehovah Witness. I was 5 years old when I remember the first time he began to molest me. I told my mother in two separate occasions. The first time she had a talk with my step-dad, who promised her this would never happen again. I can't imagine myself having a talk with a man my daughter accuses of molesting, especially if this person is my husband! Well, it did happen to me. My mother continued, married to my step-father and the molestation continued over and over every single day of my life. The second time I told again was to a sister of the congregation which I thought she would help me and finally put an end to this. She went, talked to my mother and both went to the elders in the congregation, they had a talk with my step father which never denied any of the accusations. I was happy that they finally knew what had been happening to me for so many years and thought that they would call the police and arrest this man for molestation, but at the end they said that we could not tell anyone to avoid publicity and putting a bad reputation to the congregation. So instead they expelled him from church and my mother continued married to this man.
My only way out of this ordeal was to get married at the age of 17, which I married only to get away from home, because my step father now re established back into the congregation continued to molest me.
There is not one day that goes by without thinking about my childhood. I had no childhood. I have hate for my mother sometimes, I don't understand how she could not protect me as a child or like a mother would, I don't know how she can live and sleep everyday of her life and continue to be married to this man without feeling guilty in her conscience. I have hate for the organization for not protecting me as a child and focused on keeping things down low for there convenience. I detest my step-father who knows that got away with it and up to this day, when I take my kids every so often to visit my mother always tries rubbing against me, proposes sex to me and talks dirty to me and they are still Jehovah Witnesses. Do you think that I can say anything to anyone now? I can't even tell my mother, she never did anything in the first place why would she do anything now.
I know there are a lot of children that have gone through my same experience, I feel that by writing to you, and telling my story, others will come through and speak up of there past experiences or maybe even going through this now. I hope one day I can put this behind and live a normal life.
I attended my brother's funeral last Tuesday. He was autistic and died suddenly at 50 years old. My father does not usually have any contact with me, but rang me to let me know when he had died and the time and date of the funeral. I arrived alone, while the rest of my family arrived in the funeral car. As I approached the chapel, there were a crowd of Jehovah's Witnesses outside talking amongst themselves. They all went silent as I walked up to the chapel. My family arrived in procession and ignored me as they walked past me into the chapel. My older brother, who sexually abused me when I was 6 and he was 17, gave me a "smug" look as if to say "I may be the abuser, but you are the one who is on the outside." My younger brother who I also had arrested because he sexually abused my daughter when she was 5 and he was 15, also looked at me with the same expression.
My eldest brother's daughter
has had a "breakdown" recently and has said she cannot trust
men and accused her father of being a paedophile. This niece was not
at the funeral. My brother's wife is blind and wants to separate from
him, he is making HER leave the house, when she knows it so well, which
is very cruel.
This whole situation makes me sick to the stomach, I want them all to pay for what they have done, I have to constantly tell myself that i am NOT a bad person. I have always tried to stand up for what is right.
Is there a branch of your organisation in the UK with whom I could get in touch? I have no family whatsoever that I can talk to and no one else seems to understand the anguish I go through.
Thank you for listening.
I was born the fourth child of a woman who was a devout Jehovah's Witness from the age of sixteen. I remember thinking that I would love to just be able to believe in something as much as she believed in this religion of hers. But I didn't. I couldn't. Because this same religion condoned and allowed her behavior and the behavior of her best friends.
My mother was married prior to my birth to another man and she had three children from that union. My brother and two sisters were 11, 8 and 7 years older than I was. My mother (a devout but human JW) then had an affair with a very compelling and handsome man, (my father) and was disfellowshipped for it for a time. Then she gave birth to me.
Apparently, long before my birth, my father was taking my two sisters out of school to put them in a child pornography ring and to allow his friends to sexually molest them. They were ages 4 and 5. By the time I was born, he was well into his abuse of my sisters.
When my oldest sister was 8, the story broke about what my father was doing to her and my mother all but killed my father. She prosecuted him and he was supposed to do 50 years but his brother knew the judge and bought him off and he did 6 months in county jail. In the meantime, my second sister, had developed multiple personalities to help her deal with the horrors she was dealing with. I believe my mother was disfellowshipped again at that time for going to the authorities with that information.
My mother left him and moved with her 4 kids from LA to Hayward CA and started a new life there. She made new friends in the Hayward congregation and those friendships stayed very well intact until the day of her death many many years later.
These best friends of hers (also Jehovah's Witnesses) are the source of my story. Now let me say that until I was grown, I had nothing to gauge a normal family or friendship on so I didn't know that anything was amiss with these people. I remember being abused by the woman friend at the very tender age of 3. I have some very vivid abuse memories from that age. When I was 4 we moved to Lake Tahoe because my mother was running from my father and was worried that he would make good on his threat and kidnap me. We traveled to Hayward/Oakland area often to visit this "best friend" family. They had 3 children. Their oldest son was 3 years older than me and their daughter was 1 year younger and they had a son later who was 6 years younger. The oldest son was my childhood sweetheart until I was about 12 years old when he started being abusive to me. And the father was doing sexually abusive things to me any time he could, which was pretty often. ( I believe this man is even now and elder in the Redding congregation)
And when I was 16 my girlfriend from this "friend" family gave birth to a daughter. My friend was 15. After years passed, I asked her one time, why does Jennifer look exactly like your family of origin? Why aren't there some features of her father in her ( whoever he is)? My friend looked at me with disgust and said "Cheri, was I allowed to go any fucking place? Anytime? Anywhere? No!! Who the hell do you think the father is?" My 3 "friend" offsprings were sequestered in their home always. ALWAYS!!! They were removed from school and forced to stay at home with only each other as playmates. And play they did.
There are many more stories of abuse with regards to this family and mine but some of the more serious violence was when the oldest son threw me off the balcony for threatening to tell on him. And the Elders disassociated my girlfriend for having her brother's child but swept the details under the rug of course. The oldest boy married eventually and his wife is now deaf from the beatings he gives her. My mother was obviously in an affair with this couple for years and up until her death in 1991 and those people are still in good standing with the congregation.
My sisters are both mentally ill. One of them more so than the other. My sister ( second) is a paranoid schizophrenic now with multiple personalities who walks the street of Lake Tahoe and talks to bushes and trees and fights with the demons in public. My brother is an alcoholic with a wonderful family and wife of over 30 years but he hasn't been a wonderful husband due to his demons. My other sister is also mentally ill but less so than my multiple sister. I have been a drug addict since the age of about 16 with recovery coming and going and growth occurring but always relapsing again. I have been married 5 times and have a true hatred of men. I have been raped at 18 years old with my 5 month son present and my son was abused also. I was disfellowshipped twice. I have no intention of returning to the "truth". I think that organized religion is as bad as organized crime. Even with this and all the events that I did not state, I am astounded and shocked by this website. I had no idea!!!! This is a heinous crime upon our children and society in general. "Witnesses"? to what? To the truth of the abuse that occurs? To the cover-ups within there congregation?
I saw the program last night on the national news and want to tell you my story.
I too was molested and although not still a child, I was about 19 - 20 years old when it happened, I went to the elders along with another young woman, who also was molested by the same elder.ï¿½
I do not remember her name, but her and I got to talking, I do not remember which one of us started the conversation, but it turned out that the same elder was making advances to both of us, so together we went to the elders.ï¿½They listened to our complained and then told us this; since her and I had talked about it to each other, it was not a valid claim.ï¿½If we had gone to the elders individually without talking to each other, I suppose we would have been told the same thing since the Jehovah's Witnesses require 2 eyewitnesses to an event.ï¿½This happened in the State of South-Carolina.
I just want to say I have been glued to your web site for a few hours now. I saw the special on the news last evening.
I have felt for years like a victim of the JW religion. I was raised as a JW. My parents attended for years on and off for as long as I can remember. In my early teens they (my parents became active once again) and this time for the long hall. I am the youngest of five children. Atï¿½this time my twin brother and I were the only ones still living at home. Our older brothers and sister where all active JWs. It was than that we were forced to go to all the meetings and to go door to door with the latest publications and the Awake and Watchtower magazine. I hated going door to door I always felt as though it was an invasion of a persons privacy. Iï¿½never could agree with some of the teachings and was always questioning certain beliefs. I have always contended that this religion brings in believers and keeps its believers in the faith by fear ... fear of dying at Armageddonï¿½or being disfellowshipped. I had a good friend who was repeatedly molested by her father (an elder) and her brother. When she shared this information with me I immediately told my father (an elder at that time) He than called a committee meeting I explained to the committee what my friend told me and they told me to be quiet and not tell anyone. I thought all would be taken care of. My friend was not allowed to talk to me or have any thing to do with me. SHE WAS PUT ON PUBLIC REPROOF. For conduct unbecoming a Christian. She did not do any thing! Well the story comes to an awful conclusion,....My friend later in life sadly took her own life. No one would listen to her or believe her. They did not even have a memorial service for her. They took her child and raised her as their own. When ever you would see them and ask about my friend who killed her self they always contended that she was mentally ill!!!! It makes me so sad that i lost a good friend because of a sick cover up.
I stayed a JW for years I was so afraid of dying at Armageddon. Yet I still did not believe some of their teaching. When I would question these teaching I would be told that I had no faith and that is why I couldn't believe and that I should not question Jehovah god or speculate his teachings. When I was 19 I married a young man a non believer, although he did study with my father and a few other brothers in the congregation. He did like the fact that the man was in charge and that the wife and women of the congregation held no positions of authority. It was not soon after we were married that he began to beat me and verbally abuse me. I reported my problem to another brother in our congregation (an elder) he told me to be patient that my husband would come around. I was told to continue on with my studies and go door to door and keep up the good work, that my good example would change my husband. As the years went on the beatings got worse, almost on a daily basis. When our children were born he even abused them. I repeatedly went to the elders and my own family for help, over and over again I was told to stay with my husband and always told not to get the police involved. Well after eight years of this I finally decided to leave my husband, my own father admonished me not to... he told me that my divorce would never be recognized by the organization. And that I would not be welcome at his house for doing such and unquestionable act.ï¿½You see I had no proof that my husband had committed adultery, not to say also that I was so worn down by the abuse that I was forced to endure for eight long years yet this was not enough proof to the organization that i wanted out of that marriage. My husband had told me about his affairs and each time I went to the elders with this they always told me I needed written proof or two witnesses to his adultery ... please. I could not believe that Jehovah god would want me to stay in such an abusive marriage. My husband was always welcomed with open arms and hand shakes each and every time he attended the meeting! Me I was put on private reproof forï¿½ cursing! So I finally I left him even though I knew it meant losing my family. I was disfellowshipped shortly after my divorce for what I do not know. I refused to go to their meeting. I got out of and abusive relationship one that I felt was going to result in my death and yet I am the one who was punished by the organization. I lost my family. Was told not to attend my fathers memorial when he died. I am still to this day treated as though I have some incurable disease. If only I had of listened to my heart all those years ago I would not have had to live the abusive life i was forced to live in the JW organization. And if their policies had of been different maybe my friend would be still alive.ï¿½I have since married a wonderful man and he is not a JW and never will be. Heï¿½ and all my prayers to god are theï¿½ones who helped me get over the horrible night mares. And helped me believe in family and love again. I will never understand a religion who preaches family closeness can and will be the first to tear and family apart one piece at a time. Two of my brothers one who was an elder have left the faith also. And both live happy and very productive lives. The oldest of the two resigned his eldership shortly after our father died ... his reason is because of the way my self and my twin brother (who also is disfellowshipped) was treated at our fathers death and are treated to this day. I know that this lengthy but this is a wonderful thing that you are doing letting others share their stories. God bless you and what you are doing to change the policies of child abuse and any abuse for that matter in the Jehovah's witnesses organization!ï¿½
My story is quite lengthy,
so please bear with me. My story begins in 1968, when I was 3 years
old.ï¿½This is the time when I started knowing myself (gaining memory).ï¿½
It was at this time that I realized that my mother was a religious person.ï¿½After
all, we (me and my brothers and mother) went to "this place" with our
bibles and a bright pink book.ï¿½We did this several times during the
week.ï¿½It was also during this time that I have memories of my mom sitting
me and my brothers down with a big peach color book, teaching us bible
stories from it.ï¿½We were constantly told about God, his Son and some
group of people called the 144,000 who were supposed to be "best friends"
of Jesus.ï¿½We were also reminded that Jesus "best friends" were put in
charge of running the meetings.ï¿½Jesus put them in charge, so we have
to listen to them, trust them and love them, just like we do Jesus.ï¿½The
biggest reminder was, that we must always go to these meetings. If we
did not, we would be destroyed at Armageddon. It was reiterated constantly
that in order not to be destroyed we have to trust, listen and obey
the people at the K.H., especially those that talked to us from the
stage.ï¿½That's when the programming began.ï¿½Total trust in PEOPLE and an
ORGANIZATION, not Jesus and Jehovah.ï¿½Furthermore, what was really disgusting
about the programming was, that we were told that those people don't
do anything wrong. Just like we don't want to be destroyed, they don't
want to be destroyed.ï¿½Unfortunately, we believed that.ï¿½We always listened
to our mom.
My name is Dxxx and I am a victim!
I am 48 years old and I have never been able to find the peace of mind that the Bible speaks of because of living through the sheer horror of this nightmare. My father was the congregation overseer in 1959 when I was violently raped by him and my grandfather. This went on for many years, finally reaching out and including other elders and the abuse of many of young brothers in our congregation. I have been personally told by a brother who is very elderly now but used to be an elder hereï¿½that one of the elders had abused all three of his daughters and that nothing was ever done about this man. I recently turned this brother in to the law andï¿½he is now 76 years old, for raping his granddaughter since she was 5 years old and is now 11. And nothing was going to be done with him again. He has been caught on numerous occasions and moved to different cong. and is still preying on the people in our circuit.
Because of my action with going to the law, he has now been disfellowshipped but only after the child protection agency has got involved. One brother in our area even was schooled in bethel, came back and was serving as a presiding overseer in a neighboring cong. and was caught in a 5 year old F.B.I. sting for trafficking in child porn/movies. He was one of my fathers young conquests years ago. The brothers in his cong. were going to disfellowship him, but brothers from Bethel came from back east and made it all disappear. He was taken out of sight and out of the limelightï¿½for about 2 years and now he is serving as the presiding overseer again in the same congregation, there is something drastically wrong with all of this!!
Why I am writing this is to say that you have another voice to depend on here! I have recently stepped aside as a ministerial servant for I can no longer silence my anger over the loss of our children. Certainly I feel fear and trepidation, that I might be displeasing Jehovah but I cannot with a clear conscience be silent any longer. I want very much to join in helping get the procedure's changed in the organization, dealing with child molesters.
. . . I'm glad this insane policy is being exposed. I thought about adding our story to the list along with official Society correspondence that proves their horrible position even clearer, but I can't have my name nor my child's put on public display without hurting my children further. It's been a long term ordeal, especially for my son. I want him to heal emotionally and that would reopen his wounds and subject him to further embarrassment.
I was in the "organization" for 31 years and was molested by 2 different elders (one was my father). The brothers refused to do anything about it and still have my father in a congregation "unmarked".
I live in New Zealand and wish there were elders in our congregation like you who stood for Jehovah's principles and didn't bow to their own personalities and reputations. I wish there was an elder here who would consider the victims and not the predators. I wish there were elders who showed love for us and not themselves.
When I was seventeen, I was raped by an anointed one. For some reason the elders saw fit to publicly reprove me. He was privately reproved.
My granddaughter (4 years old) has reported to her father that her step-father (who is a JW), has molested her. It was reported to Social Services by someone, but our family was accused. The mother (my former daughter-in-law) was irate - saying that she was handling this in her own way.
I went to the elders in my congregation in Florida about 4 years ago. I had learned of my father-in-law's abuses about 3 years before that and was patiently "waiting on Jehovah" to deal with the situation. While I was waiting I found out that there had been yet another victim. An 8 year old girl who later was hospitalized for wanting to kill herself. The society was aware and yet the only action that was taken was that xxx "stepped down" from being an elder and congregation overseer.
One day a fellow member, a "brother", was reinstated. He was formerly disfellowshipped for a reason that no one is allowed to say, for it is considered gossip. This so called brother was the son of two persons, who my wife and I studied with and came into the Jehovah's Witness organization. He befriended us and kept offering to change our baby's diapers, holding him on his lap at the Kingdom Hall and conventions. Some persons in the congregation knew well that he was disfellowshipped for child molestation, but never taken to court (due to the misapplication of 1 Corinthians chapter 6) and refused to inform me of this in obedience to the elder's directions.
Only after another witness of a different local Kingdom Hall informed me of this brother's pedophile problem, as well as his current behavior in hanging around children in his own Kingdom Hall, did I find this out. I then approached the elders, who were extremely apologetic and told me they were "afraid I would leave the truth, if I knew." Imagine, they were willing to put my innocent child in the danger of a molester to keep me as a Jehovah's Witness. Not only that, but this child molester's younger brother truly confided in me and informed me that the reason for his older brother's disfellowshipment was that he had in his care a 6 year old boy and was abusing him on a daily basis. He and another elder had repeatedly molested more than one child in their congregation. Despite the extreme nature of this case, in less then two years later, the other man was reappointed as an elder.
Thought I would send you some info on an individual who molested my cousin, was deleted (never disfellowshipped) and appointed a pioneer by the Watchtower Society a few years later.
Years ago my wife was molested while by her father and when the local elders found out, all they were really interested in was "protecting the name of the congregation." Their only action was to give my father-in-law what he himself described as "a spiritual pep talk." The point being that they did not want to touch the real topic with a ten foot pole and so just tried to get him to improve his meeting attendance and door to door service time on the grounds that that would make him a more spiritual man who would not do "such things." In recent years my wife and I tried to make sure, through the proper organizational channels, that he would never be put in situations where he could molest other children in his congregation, but found that what we got was a stalling tactic.
My 4 year old daughter is being sexually molested by a congregation member. I contacted my father(an elder) regarding this situation because the man's daughter is part of his congregation and she has MAJOR problems(which leads me to believe her dad has not left her untouched.) I warned my father and his response to my telling him to warn her mom was, "He is no longer an active member and so it's not something I will act on." I couldn't believe my ears! My mom later contacted my daughter and said,"You need to forgive him because Jehovah has and Jehovah still loves him."
The ministerial servant has now been found guilty in a court of law of molesting a "non believer" and when I wanted to go to court to lend some weight to the young girls case, my mom told me that the case was just about people who had studied and now wanted to bring reproach on Jehovah's name. When I asked her to come to court for me, she refused - she wouldn't even go and tell the court what she knew had happened 20 years back and kept quiet about all these years! Yes, I did tell my parents, and they did nothing. They thought they were protecting me! (By the way, the abuser has not been disfellowshipped either! - even though he was convicted in court. I just think about what he has been doing in the congregation with other young girls for the last 20 years!)
As I started to deal with my depression I started remembering sexual abuse (ritual/satanic) from the age four. I was abused by one of the anointed, elders, Ms's and by my step father. I went through therapy for five years.
Through the entire incident my sister and I were never given any counseling or even treated kindly by the elder body. In fact, I was made to feel guilty for even bringing the matter to them, and my sister was treated as a betrayer. It was just recently that I have come to understand how this incident has affected both my sister and myself through the years. At the time I was suicidal and jumped out of a moving car. I have suffered from depression for years, and this may be a good part of the reason it never even entered by head until recently that we were failed by a lack of concern and kindness on the part of the elders. Instead of being commended for coming forward with the truth, we were treated as the enemy.
When I was 14 he started molesting me and I was too afraid of him to tell him no. My mother eventually found out and somehow managed to kick him out. There was a committee meeting with three elders (always three) which I was not present at. The elders convinced my mother to forgive my stepfather and let him come back. You can imagine my horror. About a month or two after that, my stepfather cheated on my mother and then she finally had "scriptural" grounds for divorce. Not long after that he moved to Washington and remarried a Jehovah's Witness woman who had five daughters and about a year later was promoted to the status of an elder!
When I was in a couple of those committee meetings with the elders, I brought up the subject of my stepfather and asked why he was never punished and why was he allowed to become and elder and their response was the same every time. "Jehovah God will deal with people like that in his own time."
During this time, the ministerial servant who had molested me when I was young got arrested for abusing another young girl who wasn't a Jehovah's Witness. It was causing quite a scandal because this brother had become exceptionally wealthy over the years and was a very prominent business man in the city. My mother wrote to the body of elders and told then that I had been molested 20 years previously by the same man, and that her and my dad had kept it a family secret. However, this brother was still not disfellowshipped because he told the elders that the reason these people were making this case against him was to try and extort money from him and he denied all charges!
Anyway, the court case was progressing and I phoned and gave an affidavit to the police as to what had happened to me previously -just to lend weight to this man being convicted. I also wanted to appear in court on the girls behalf and I wanted my mom to accompany me, because she knew I was telling the truth. My mom refused. She said that the reason why every thing was being made into a big issue was because they were "worldly" people trying to bring "reproach" on Jehovah's organisation.
Most of the witnesses in that area believe that to be true. Mom also said I should just leave the matter to the elders to sort out. Anyway, this man was found guilty in a court of law of child abuse, but is appealing the case. He has plenty of money to drag this through the courts for years. Interestingly enough, he has still not been disfellowshipped.
One involved a young Japanese girl who was repeatedly raped by an elder as a child. That elder is now a circuit overseer. Before she was raped, the elder and a ministerial servant would come to her house and have sex with her mother while forcing her to watch (She was 12 at the time. Her mother had gotten divorced). The girl is now 23 and is an emotional wreck.
I can think of 7 victims in the 2 congregations that I was in. Four of these cases were incestuous, (the fathers being either elders or servants). In all cases, no abuser was found guilty by the JC. Even in a case where the abuser was convicted in court, he still remained "in good standing". All cases were kept strictly confidential with most of the abusers moving on to new congregations, or new wives.
Further we can relate that the Richmond elders did not consult with and inform any of the parents in the congregation or their children to see if the kids in their hall had also been molested even as had been the non-JW child that Gardner did admit to molesting.
I have never lost faith in God, only in men. . . the person who molested me and the husband who abused me are in such good spiritual standing they will no longer deal with me as an apostate.
Pedophilia and sexual abuse must be addressed to the satisfaction of the innocent victims.
Before the committee case I had absolute trust that the truth would come out, that the offender (her uncle a Ministerial Servant) would admit his guilt, and that all would be resolved. What actually happened was the complete opposite. He denied everything, my daughter told she had misinterpreted the events and because she hadn't come forward when these events first happened she was the one at fault. Because the offender cried in the committee case and said his prayers weren't being hindered, this was looked on as proof of his innocence. As a family we were told not to discuss the case with anyone.
When I mentioned to my parents my concern over fact that this man still had access to children and that I was aware that one other child was experiencing difficulties (bed-wetting and holding onto her feces) we were asked to meet with the father of this child. He was an elder in the offender's congregation. We voiced our concerns to him. Next thing that happened he rang to ask us to meet with him and two other elders (a committee meeting) to answer the charge of slander. We didn't go, and it was all quietly dropped. We were so fearful of disfellowshipping that we stayed quiet.
My sister's step son was sexually abused by a male babysitter, (a JW), their first action was to go to the Elders, who discouraged them from going to the police and even telling their families.
I was abused by my "servant" father when I was a teenager. I did not tell anyone because I was so fearful of the "servants" in the congregation. I know in my heart that if I had gone to any of them they would have believed my father and not me. I found out later that he had also molested my sister, niece and one of my daughters. In my era this was not something that one even mentioned let alone accuse someone of doing. We were "silent lambs".
While the incidents occurred 40 years ago, the after effects still linger with me.
When I served at Bethel; there was the case of two Bethelites who were fooling around with teen boys in their congregation. They were kicked out of Bethel and I don't know what actions their congregation took. I did see them both a few years later at an assembly in Louisville so I knew they were still in the org.
I asked her what she meant, she answered that this wasn't the first time her daughter had been victimized and that the person who molested her before was in our congregation. I asked if it happened before the person had become part of the congregation. She said no, that the person was very much a part of the congregation and that the elders had done nothing when she reported the abuse. I asked her who it was and she said she couldn't tell me because that would be slander. (!!!!)
I mentioned this to another mother who reported that her three year old had been violated by a pioneer from a neighboring congregation and that was why they had come to ours. (!!!) In the next congregation I belonged to I discovered that one of the elders wives had been molested by her father and grandfather who were both elders and were STILL elders to this day. She also told me her daughter had been molested by a member of the congregation! NONE of these people EVER had any disciplinary action whatsoever taken against them. The victims were told to be quiet or face discipline themselves. It made me sick.
I talked to my son about the whole thing and he wants me to send out his story. Inside he is still mad about everything, even though he was only three, he remembers it all.
I know for my own case I went to Bethel to find out what happened to my perpetrator. They told me it was none of my business. In Fact a CO told me, if I knew what happened to him I would be out of the organization. I was told by the man in bethel not even to talk to psychotherapists because it would harm Jehovah's Name. Only the elders who could not even handle or believe the subject themselves.
I have a daughter that was continually exposed to a molester, but never molested. No family member told us, and no elder told us. Now this person is remarried, lives with a young stepdaughter, and is in good standing with the congregation. He goes to book studies, and out in field service. Since he recently moved, the congregation rank and file doesn't know his history, even how many times he has been disfellowshipped. I hope he is not in your congregation.
I read the post of your letter on H20 concerning the WT policies which enable pedophile Witnesses to carry in the congregations. I too have seen how these organizational rules allow perverts to secretly carry on while enjoying the good graces of unsuspecting ones.
I am one of the victims of an elder who confessed to molesting my sister and nieces and physically abused me and who is still an elder. All of his activities were hushed up.
It was 4 years ago my son came forward with this, after almost 7 years of molestation by a sister in the hall. She was our babysitter very regularly and lives right around the block from us. Of course she denied it. And because there was not "Two" witnesses, there was nothing they could do. Told us not to speak of it as it would be slander and we trusted that it was what was right.
Her husband tried to kill her and her 17 year old daughter a week ago. Come to find out he has been abusing his step daughter for Ten years. He is a elder in his church.
Their BEST FRIEND has been put in jail for molesting his step daughter in 1989. My folks are standing by him...bought his car to give him money....
My family is inactive, not disfellowshipped. However, the molester that has preyed on our family is active and in good standing, now in the xxxxxx area. He has molested many children.
My young daughter had suffered the same fate.
I am a victim myself, plus my daughter at the age of 4 was molested by a 13 year old boy.
A former elder from xxxxx county, xx is being held in xxxx county jail on incest chargers . His name is xxxx. He has been abusing his step daughter since she was seven years old. He took her out of school when she was in 2nd grade. She is no longer a witness.
I have a friend who is still suffering terribly due to being sexually abused. Her molester still attends meetings, goes out door to door and has his little grandchildren sit with him during meetings.
My granddaughter (4 years old) has reported to her father that her step-father (who is a JW), has molested her.
I was molested by my elder & PO for approximately 9 months when I was 15 years old. The elders told me NOT to tell the police or anyone else or I would be immediately disfellowshipped.
I have known MANY young girls who were molested in some way while growing up as a JW. I can probably name you at least 5 off the top of my head. I have known, been a close friend and "studied" with of many young women associated with the JW org were subject to living in households with fathers who had molested them.
I was brought before a committee at the age of 7, along with my older sister, and another cousin who was younger than me who was also abused by the same boy. There were repeated hearings.. a few times it was just me and a few elders, where they asked for every conceivable detail. The last hearing was AT THE MOLESTER"S HOUSE, in the very room where the abuse started, with me sitting opposite the "adult" who had told me that if I ever told he would kill me. The elders did not so much as reprove the boy. I was told that I had been foolishly following the example of my father (, recently disfellowshipped, sitting there silently with his head in his hands), and that I had seduced the [abuser]. They said I was so cute, who could blame him for liking me? I was told that I would have to work very hard to win back Jehovah's love.
xxxx was raised a JW for 16 years, molested by her step-grandfather, disfellowshipped at 16. He was a JW, elders did nothing. She says many others in congregation besides her were molested, including xxxxx's siblings.
While serving as an elder, I was involved in many meetings where a highly respected elder in our Kingdom Hall was involved in sexually molesting several young girls, including his own daughter. This matter was turned over to the authorities over the objections of the circuit overseer. As a result of my knowledge of the situation, I received a subpoena to testify before the grand jury. Since this is a legal document, I was legally required to appear. Of course I was more than willing to see justice carried out, so I appeared and related what I knew about the case.
At the time I testified, I had just stepped down as an elder. A few days later I was called into the "back room" by the other elders. Now I was on the other side so to speak. The elders wanted to know why I had testified since they had been contacted by Brooklyn and informed that they wanted to speak with me first to advise me what to do. I informed the elders that a subpoena was not a matter of choice. They call, you go, that's final. At this point, it became clear to me that the governing body saw themselves above the law.
...about 3 years ago, a "brother" in XXXX XXXXX XXXX cong. was actually exposed in the newspaper for sexually assaulting a young 10 or 13 yr old I think, sister, who went round to his house to study...the rotten thing is ...I used to regard this #$@% as a friend....to the point of visiting him with my family, including my 7 yr old daughter.
...his name is XXXXXXXX. He is disabled and used to live in XXXX, XXXXXXXX...he is dangerous! I do not know if he was disfellowshipped, resigned, or just left but I hope he rots.
May I just say one more thing...I don't know all the circumstances involved...but,
I HOPE YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE...NO MATTER HOW SMALL...