I don’t think I mentioned in my past blogs that Annette and I have 3 children, all 3 boys.  Marc, Domenic  and Paul. All of them from their infancy attended the Kingdom Hall, went out in field service, from door to door, and only associated with other children of Jehovah’s Witnesses parents.  They were not allowed to have friends that were not part of the cong. Marc and Dom were close in age 3 years apart, but there is 15 years difference in age from Domenic to Paul our youngest. By the way Paul was born in 1976 a year after we would have been on the other side of Armageddon. I mention this, because most children of Witnesses when they reach an age of personal independence will no longer either attend meetings or actually go the deep end, when that happens usually the parents ask them to leave the household, they would be considered rebellious and bad association for other Witness children or youth, most man who have a position, such as Elder or Ministerial Servant (Deacon)  want to protect their position,  which is one of the conditions mentioned in 1st Tim 3, and that is to have control over your children.  My 2 older boys did just that when they reached 18 they did not want anything to do with the Watchtower and left home, Domenic stayed a little longer, but eventually he moved to WY. with some friends he made while we were in CA.  It was different with Paul, but I will explain that at the appropriate time in my story. The boys later told me that  for the most part the kids put up an appearance of being good kids when they are at the Kingdom Hall, but when away from the parents they acted a lot more different, there was drinking and listening to music they were forbidden to listen to,  or attend R rated movies or more. In effect they were leading double lives. They wanted to please their parents so they did what the parents expected them to do and be, and when away they wanted to fit in with other kids. Even today I know of many kids that attended the Kingdom Hall in CA. who are no longer part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization.   Another factor I need to mention is that mental illness is big  among  the Witnesses, the pressure to perform and having to be active each and every week  brings on a plethora of mental and emotional problems, there is an undercurrent to compete, to have the most hours in the field, to conduct Bible studies, have the most return visits, the most  Watchtower and Awake magazine  placed, when that does not happen, self esteem suffers. If that condition persists you will get a visit from one or two elders who are there to find out the why and how they can help, which usually means get over it and get active again.  If you continue to miss meetings or door to door service, and they do not see a report from you after several months you are branded as an inactive publisher, and singled out as not good association to be with, you are not a good example and you may be unofficially shunned.  A book was written by  Jerry Bergman  called “Jehovah Witnesses and the problem of mental Health”  I will talk about that book in more details later on.  However if you were the poster boy or girl of what the Watchtower expected, you would be paraded at the Kingdom Hall or Convention as the model, example to follow. I have also discovered during my years there that people faked illness so they would have a valid reason or excuse to miss meetings  or not go in service from door to door, or not have a part on the Ministry School.  That protected them from having to suffer humiliation and shame and not be shunned by friends and even family members, because everyone is expected to perform,  to work. So it is not the rosy picture that the Watchtower wants you to believe,  how you look to the world was and is very important, so attending a meeting at the Kingdom Hall,  or going out from door to door, the man must be well dressed,  wear a suit and tie, women also well dressed but modest, children shirt and tie. Man no beards, you may sport a mustache, hair above your ear, not tattoos or body piercing.  In the 70’s the order came from Watchtower headquarters that anyone who smoked had 6 months to stop, if they did not they would be Disfellowshipped, kicked out of the Watchtower org. That was difficult and many either left or became inactive, meaning they stopped coming to the Kingdom Hall. But there was no prohibition on drinking alcoholic beverages, and many of the people we knew were border line alcoholics.  There is much more on how Witnesses must conduct themselves, so we’ll talk about that another time. This is just a small snapshot in the life of a Witness.  Additional details will be revealed along the way. Thank you for reading.

IN Retrospect

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