Jehovah’s Witnesses Can Destroy Your Family

15-year old Canadian recently published a news story titled “Canadian ‘Brainwashed’ Runaway Teenager Chooses Religion Over Mother.” (Read it here.) While that recent news report upset me, it is an unfortunate story that has been repeated many times before. In fact, it is also my story – although mine has a happy ending.

I first came in contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses was when I was ten years old. They offered to start a Bible study with me, but I was too young and my Italian Catholic parents were dead set against the idea.

Fast forward nine years…

The Jehovah’s Witnesses were back at my door – but this time I was no longer a child but a young adult. The conversation seemed to pick up from where it had left off all those years before and once again they offered me a free Bible study. This time I accepted, along with my younger sister. Little did we know (or even suspect) where it would lead us.

In hindsight, I can now see how they misled us right from the start. The indoctrination was so subtle that we were not even aware of it. They told us during our very first “Bible study” that we would encounter strong opposition and much of that opposition would come from our own family. They used the scripture at Matthew 10:34 to reinforce this message on us. It reads:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

And so, just as the Jehovah’s Witnesses warned us, the opposition and persecution began. And indeed, it did come in the form of our parents.

The arguments were relentless–the screaming and shouting became a constant part of our family life. The more they forbade my sister and me to study with the Witnesses, the more we dug our heels in and believed that we had found “The Truth.”

A Family Breaks Apart

Things came to a head one day after a particularly bad argument. Our mum delivered an ultimatum: Stop studying or leave the house. Because we were living under our parent’s roof we were subject to their rules and regulations. They delivered their ultimatum, without doubt, trying to scare us into stopping our weekly Bible studies. Instead, what it did was drive us straight into the arms of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

We seized our chance to escape whilst our mum went about her daily chores. We snuck upstairs, grabbed some clothes and toiletries, and made a run for it.

We contacted a local Jehovah’s Witness family. They took us to the home of another family who took us in for the night. While fired with righteous indignation, we were still scared, excited and nervous all at the same time. They told us that we had “done the right thing” and had “chosen Jehovah” – and we believed what the Witnesses had told us.

I don’t know for sure what my mum’s reaction was when she realised we had left home. I think we may have scribbled a quick note and left it for her to read. I can well imagine the heartbreak that we must have caused her as she read that note and the full realisation of what we’d done finally sank in.

To this very day I bitterly regret having caused that untold hurt and grief to my parents. But I realize that we were “puppets on a string.” Our puppeteers were Jehovah’s Witnesses.


As the weeks passed by, we heard about our mother’s heartbreak, her failing health, and of the shame we had brought, not only upon our own family, but also for the wider Italian community. We heard that our dad had come looking for us, rifle in hand, the day after we left. He was furious and reacted in a hot-headed way. Luckily for everyone, he didn’t find us or any of the local Italian Witnesses. Eventually, his temper cooled down and he finally returned home – although desperate, angry and with his pride wounded in ways he could not hide.

The Witnesses, far from being concerned about breaking up a family and bringing such pain in its wake, were joyous. They commended my sister and me for our bravery and held us up as outstanding examples for all to see. They told us that this is what it meant for us “to fight for The Truth.”

Weeks turned into months and the Witnesses helped us find a bedsit to stay in. I found a part-time job as a waitress. My sister and I lived as well as we could in accommodations that were less than desirable.  By that time we’d heard through the grapevine that our parents considered us as “dead” to them. We soon found out exactly what that meant.

One day my sister and I were walking in town and came face to face with my mum – who completely blanked us. This came as a complete shock to both of us. Nonetheless, this event convinced us that we were being persecuted for the sake of “The Truth.”

Somewhere along the line our mum had a change of heart. Unbeknown to our dad, she sought us out and started coming round to visit us. She would bring us bags of groceries – and on occasion even give us some money. While we could see the toll our leaving had taken on her, we still refused to give in and return home despite our mum’s pleading and tears.

A Father Buries His Pride to Save His Family

After we had been away from home for nine months, our dad turned up at our door. He was beside himself with worry for my mum as she had taken to her bed, ill with the stress and months of tears and sleepless nights. He begged us to come home – something that must have been very hard for him to do. There he was – a proud Italian, a big strapping man – reduced to coming to his daughters, cap in hand, pleading with them to “please come home for your mother’s sake.”

That very night we took a few of our belongings and returned home. Our dad hadn’t told mum that he’d gone to ask us to come back. When we got home, mum was overjoyed and in tears with the relief of having us back home. But we made it clear to our parents that if we were to stay we would need our freedom – and that “freedom” meant our being able to carry on studying with the Witnesses. They reluctantly agreed because they really had no other choice. That was the price they had to pay to keep us at home.

We were able to re-establish relationships with both my parents, my sister more so than I. Eventually I was baptised, but my sister was not. I became a full-fledged Jehovah’s Witness and remained one for fifteen years.

My life was strained. I couldn’t share in family celebrations like birthdays, Christmas, or Easter. That caused a rift between us, even to the point that when I got married none of my family attended the wedding.

Looking Back

When I look back at that time in my life, all I see is hurt, pain and a wasted life. I realize that I dedicated the best years of my youth to a lie – and in the process broke my parents’ hearts. Had I known then what I know now, I would never have taken the path I did.

They say that “young hearts are foolish.” That’s true. Young hearts are foolish. They are also naïve – and so very impressionable. That’s exactly the type of people Jehovah’s Witnesses need to perpetuate their lies.

Liz Sorbo
AAWA Volunteer

Liz Sorbo tells her story…

A somewhat longer version of her video…


Jehovah’s Witnesses Can Destroy Your Family — 51 Comments

    • They warn you of people who worm their way into weak womens lives only to destroy. This is what they did to me. I told them my business thinking they were christians. They then go around other peoples houses gossiping and telling them your business. My son was a drug addict, they would sneer at him and make him feel guilty. They had no idea about addiction. I couldn’t get rid of them. The one told me not to let my son take my peace and if i threatened to throw him out she promised he would sort himself out. I did this and he killed himself. I told her what happened and she smirked at me. They are not trained and should not be allowed to councel. They weren’t there to councel but gossip and cause trouble. If a con artist tries to con an old lady it would be against the law. I was depressed and they wormed their way in pretending to be christians. The law should stop these people from pestering people by knocking their doors and being forceful with their religion. They are not christians thdy are very deceitful. My daughter said that when i wasn’t there they were ridiculing my son. The religion is a farce.

    • My inlaws are JW. My husband left the religion of his own will before he met me and had been away some years before we got married.
      I had never really had anything to do with JW’s before I met him. I was sent to C of E schools so have a little religious background but not a regular church attender. I had Italian grandparents and we sometimes visited monestries whilst in Italy on our holidays.
      Back to my JW inlaws. They call themselves christians but right from the start there was trouble. One brother refused to meet me and refused an invite to our wedding because my husband was ‘marrying outside of the lord’ and he told my husband that because he was no longer attending meetings he could not ‘eat and drink with him’. He later told my FIL (who has basically been ousted out of the family because he was never interested in studying with the witnesses) that he knew others who had cut their brothers out for similar reasons and it hadn’t done them any harm.I still have not met him or his wife to this day (my husband and I have since had a child whom they have not met). The rest of the family have justified his actions because he’s an elder. I find this behaviour very un- Christian. We completely cut ourselves off from the family as we couldn’t cope with the gossiping and making us feel like outcasts.
      From the limited religious education I have I can tell you these people are not Christian. I have met genuine, kind, humanitarian missionaries who have an air of peace and goodwill. With my JW inlaws I see a load of materialistic, soulless robots. No soul. And completely ignorant in believing they are Gods only chosen people and all they have to do is identify as a witness and chuck magazines through a door. Very scary.

    • Yep, she’s definitely being treated like a rock star in the congregation, there’s no doubt about that. Talk about ‘love bomb’, they bombard you from all sides to the point that they’re tripping up over themselves to get to you for their turn to pat you on the back and say, “that’s one in the eye for the worldly people”. It’s pathetically sickening.

  1. They don’t care about families; it’s a war of attrition with them. If they get one recruit, they “win.” Well, what did you “win”? Two naive little girls who don’t know any better and who wind up leaving anyway. What did they “win” in Canada? A teenager using the JWs as an excuse to rebel and treat her parents like dirt. “We don’t break up families” the way I don’t love dark chocolate, and I love me some dark chocolate.

    • Exactly! It’s all about recruiting, nothing more and nothing less. The Governing Body want the numbers to increase and they will stop at nothing to get what they want. They don’t care if the people they recruit are young, naieve or, indeed, lack life experience. They just want numbers.

    • Agree 100 percent. All they care about is getting hours in for the almighty org. They don’t care about you as a person or your kids if you have a worldly husband. There is clicks in the congregation. The blacks a stick together. And the white people have this clicks in the congregation. If you have a worldly husband. You are screwed. You are marked in the congregation and your children will have no friends at the Kingdom Hall. You are an out cast. Even though you try and you wonder why. The teach HATE HATE HATE. You can’t have anything to do with worldly relatives or in laws. You can not do any thinking for yourself. You have to obey the watchtower and not question even though they have been wrong on the 1914 year. And in 1975. And a whole slew of other issues. Like Education. They want you dumb and stupid so they ca Control You. They llie on assembly programs. My sister was on the program and did not tell the truth kept The Truth hidden. What else have they Lied about. Liars.

  2. Great story Liz! Having lived in Rochester, NY for almost eight years I have learned more about Italian culture than I have in previous years growing up in Buffalo. I came away with the concurrent view that they were capable of great love, and unfortunately great obnoxiousness, lol. Italian men bringing their families into the JW congregations can create a combustible mix that leads inevitably to periodic cold wars between racial and ethnic groups in congregations. All of this plus the Watchtower Society’s rules can drive a person insane.

    Ironically I hear the same thing from black cops I’ve known over the years, Italian police officers over here are a load and if you join the force thinking everything will be kumbaya you will get quite an education.

    I am thankful for one thing from the Italian, and it still applies today since returning home to Buffalo armed with my newfound Italian-insider knowledge and dealing with Italian politicians as I became a journalist. I am thankful they cannot keep their feelings and emotions a secret, and in many respects hearing about your father’s reactions and doings since you left and he became his own walking news service I’m sure you are thankful too. There is absolutely positively no religion that is worth losing your family over, and no God worth his lightning bolts will ever commission one to do so.

    • I know exactly what you’re saying here, Chris, about how us Italians can be capable of great love but at the same time great obnoxiousness too. Italian JW congregations are, therefore, a lethal concoction of the two extremes and let’s not talk about the men’s power trips and strict adherence to all the rules and regulations (not though when it involves members of the elders families, of course.)

      And yes, us Italians, it is true, cannot keep our feelings and emotions a secret. My dad was most definitely, as you say, “his own walking news service”,he definitely made sure that everyone knew how the JWs had split up his family.

      I’m also in total agreement with your last statement; there is, and never will be, any religion or god worth losing your family over, ever!

  3. Excellent story Liz. I am sorry you had to go through that and like many of us this cult has robbed the best years of our life. I hope your story will help those parents who have lost their children to this horrible cult and to those that think they are doing what God wants them to do because of the twisted scriptures the WT spreads. This cult breaks up families in every direction, between those that are in and leave or those who leave their families to come in. This is a huge sign that it is a cult.

    • Thanks, Val. Yep, they definitely break up families from all directions. They need to be stopped and we need to make the world aware about how they operate.

  4. Thank you for sharing your personal story, Liz. I’m so glad you had a happy ending to yours. It is my hope that many others can be saved from making the same mistake as a young person…avoiding being sucked into cult life.

    • Thanks, Steph. Yes, I did have a happy ending. I was one of the few who did. Hopefully, young people will come across my story and remember it for the next time they come face to face with the harmless looking JWs at their door.

  5. Liz, thank you for sharing your story. By any chance, would you be able to reach the family of the girl who ran away in Canada? You are certainly in a position of experience to help the parents. Glad things worked out in the end for you, Hope the same for the Canadian girl.

    • I think I heard say that there is someone closer to her neck of the woods that would be trying to reach the family but I would love to help if that were not the case.

  6. “They say that “young hearts are foolish.” That’s true. Young hearts are foolish. They are also naïve – and so very impressionable. That’s exactly the type of people Jehovah’s Witnesses need to perpetuate their lies.”

    Great point and so true.

    • Yes, but the thing is, when we’re young and foolish, we’re not aware of it and think we know it all. If only we could put an old head on young shoulders, eh?

  7. Hi Liz,

    Great article ! I haven’t yet seen the video, but I’ll watch it as soon as I can.

    I’m truly impressed by your parents. I guess religion is no trivial subject for them, yet eventually they went lengths and sacrificed their pride for the ones they love ! A good example for many JW parents, who would shun their kids if they decided to turn towards different beliefs. I don’t think the spirit of the verse you mentioned is about shunning children though it’s used as such.

    I just had a question in my mind though : Do you think your parents were so upset specifically because you wanted to study with JW’s ? If, for instance, you wanted to turn towards Buddhism, do you think their reaction would be different ?

    • Hi JB, sorry for not getting back to you sooner, have just seen your reply now.

      In response to your question, I know for a fact that my parents would have reacted exactly the same even if we’d have been involved with any other religion. It wasn’t the fact that we were studying with the JWs that upset them, it was the fact that we were abandoning the Catholic church and joining another religion that upset them. It wouldn’t have mattered to them what religion it was; it was a betrayal and not to be tolerated.

  8. Liz – Thank you for sharing your story here. While it’s easy to focus on having lost the best years (19 for me) of my life, I can also see some valuable things I gained there. For instance, I learned the true meaning of integrity and the power of community, probably in deeper ways than most people would ever experience in a lifetime. I am grateful for who I have become today and it is in part because I lost all those years. I’m 51 today, going on 32. I am determined to live a great life despite the damage done.

  9. Dang Liz. Thats exactly what ive been saying for years.The day those J.W S came into our family some 40yrs ago and just destroyed our dreams with the 1975 false prediction (jesus thers been a whole lot Damn!)i had to go thru pure hell getting deprogramed from all that crap.and whole bunch of lies.What mind control they have over people,almost demonic.Makes you wonder how can a person of reason,sound mind and common sense even fall for that slave master bullshit. Boy could i tell you a bunch of storys. Who can serve a perfect God thats going to kill your mother and loved ones.IM SUPPOSE TO WORSHIP THAT! NEVER.That dude is insane. But now that i know its a lie i feel sorry for those who cannot escape that mental prison.ONLY an X J W will understand what im talkin about. so thanks again. I could type for days. Stan B.[private information deleted]

    • Hi Stan, Yep, think is the foot soldiers, rank and file, call them what you will, are only doing what they are told to do (just like robots who are programmed to carry out certain tasks), they too are none the wiser, just as we were, in turn, none the wiser as well when we went knocking on people’s doors.

      They did ruin our lives, that’s true, and because of our falling for their spiel, hook, line and sinker, we lost very many precious years, years that we can never get back (along with a truck load of heart ache and pain), but now we are free and I say it’s better to be free years later than never at all.

      I absolutely agree with you when you say, “Who can serve a perfect God thats going to kill your mother and loved ones.IM SUPPOSE TO WORSHIP THAT! NEVER.That dude is insane.”That’s why, amongst many other reasons, I am no longer a believer of any god. ‘God’ is a human construct designed by man, in its infancy, to try and make sense of the world around them. What they cam up with though was a load of supersticious nonsense and half baked truths so twisted that instead of helping mankind it’s brought nothing but suffering, discord and pain.

  10. Never trust a Johovah Witness. I trusted Jehovah Witness in the past but later I was cheated by our neighbour, a couple of Jehovah Witnesses.They do very bad things although they say very good words. What they care about is money, nothing else.

    Never trust them!

  11. You people are idiots!!! Religeon doesnt destroy a family we control our actions its a scapegoat to blame anything but your self so get over it. I am not a part of any relirion and i have seem more families that care catholic and baptist fall apart way worse so stop blaming anything but your own self. I dont trust anyone I have a tattoo that says trust noone So i wouldnt trust any of you as far as i could throw you! get over yourselfs. ah and i will be ther first to say they dont care about money I grew up down the street from a witness family and they were very modest and non materialistic.. I love reading thoughts of the stupid!

    • Billy Goat “I find your reply very rude and most offensive”. Let me get this right? living down the road from a JW family makes you and expert on what they belive and how they treat there own? As opposed to ones who have been born bread or recruited to the brain washing lies … I dont trust you with my 27 years experience of being a JW so I wont bother to tell you my Journey & the way they protect pedophiles whilst victimising the children and families who dare to involve the police. I would infact urge you to think about what you are saying before you read up and learn more get to know your fact… I for one am not in the process of blaming but working towards educating people as to the dangers of CULTS.

  12. Hi Liz I too have only this year left being a witness i disassociated myself after so much sadness my son endured from being disfellowshipped i cant believe i was so brainwashed my husband says he doesnt know how to love me as not a Jehovah witness i was one for 11years I have been with my husband for 14and a half years so I was not one when he married me on the same night they announced me they sprung a suprize announcement and disfellowshipped our 17year old daughter who had text a friend weeks earlier “that from the way my husband treated me and was all constantly i am the head she didnt believe it was the true religion” boom half hour before the meeting on my announcement night my husband got a phone call to say they are disfellowshipping her too I was so upset she was a baby and had been in the truth since she was 5 but 2and half months on and this is the best decision of my life my family is split my husband couldnt put us first before the congregation i cant believe he even ditched me that night and went to the meeting while we were still together up until last month he would act cold to me because it played on his conscious and needed to treat me as a disfellowsjipped person he listened to the organisation all these years and didnt let myself and the rest of our children have a relationship with there big brother who had been disfrllowshipped since 17 he is now 24 and i just took myself and my children to stay with him in The Whitsundays where he owns a house best week ever kids had dreadfully all missed him and we got to meet his friends who were all lovely and normal not “evil worldly people” its truly criminal what this organisation does to families but new beginnings are awaiting

  13. I was raised jehovah witness. I didn’t choose my family or Jehovah. I chose to marry a Catholic man. The worst choice I made. I did marry for love. But I regret it. I caused my family a great deal of pain and myself. My husband lies to me, has cheated on me. He drinks to much and rather be in the streets with his friends instead of his wife and kids. People in general are not perfect in general, we all make mistakes. But when u have Jehovah in your life u are happy. The Bible shows you how to live your life. If u follow it u will be happy. If u don’t then you will be unhappy. I am currently trying to return to Jehovah Organization since the world has brought me nothing but pain

    • We all have choices Jessica and the difference is no one here would judge you for returning if it is what you feel you need to do in your heart -the difference is when your family members who some are Jehovah Witnesses and my eldest 2 are disfellowshipped for normal teenage things and you no longer can assosicate with them because they choose to not be a JW anymore yet they are the first to help the old lady across the street with her groceries or stop and pick the person up walking in the rain buy groceries for someone doing it tough -they are certainly not bad kids and” love is the only way “but JWs and my JW husband tried to keep me from my kindhearted older kids because I needed to (show them love by not having any assosication with them because they choose a different way of life)I choose to disassociate myself from the organisation after my husband wacked my 17yearold daughter around and sending her flying into a cupboard nearly dislocating her jaw because she choose not to be a JW anymore from all the hypocrisy 2police and 3elders later… -best wishes honey I truly mean that if it works in your family but my worldly family loves me regardless and unconditionaly and knows the good hearted soul I am I hope yours will appreciate you the same kind regards

  14. I am from Toronto, Canada and……Thank you for sharing your story! My situation is somewhat similar……I was a SDA when I met my husband and he said he made a commitment to study with the JW’s for one year. I never interfered with his decision because we weren’t married and we were just starting to have a relationship. Once we decided we wanted to get more serious in the relationship he decided that he would become a SDA. We both got baptized and then married in the SDA church. That was over 11 years ago.

    Now, there was a guy at my husbands work who was a JW. He asked my husband if he was interested in studying while at work on his breaks. Because my husband always like to study, it seemed like a good idea to him and I didn’t have any problem with it. Then this JW would invite him when he would be speaking at the Kingdom Hall. I would ask him why would this JW ask him to come when he knows that he was married to me and we have a daughter.

    Moving forward now, since my husband is a diabetic….they convinced him not to take his pills….which spiked his blood sugar at a very dangerous level so much I had to take him to the emergency at the hospital. He never told me that he wasn’t taking his meds until after he came home from the hospital. The doctor now prescribed him to take insulin now. I found out the JW is now encouraging him not to take his insulin.

    He is now denouncing the SDA church because he doesn’t believe in their doctrines. When asked what doctrines he is referring to he could not say anything. Before all of this came about he was unfaithful to me with other women. So we decided to go to a marriage counsellor because in his words, he messed up and wanted to save our marriage. Now instead of working on our relationship, he is now making it about his spiritual journey to know “Jehovah” and that I just have a problem with him studying with the JW’s. Every time we go to the marriage counsellor, he discusses it with the JW’s and they give him pointers of what to say and what not to say.

    He speaks to me like I’m the enemy all the time. Making plans to have study and going to the Kingdom Hall leaving me and my 12 year old daughter alone. He has totally abandoned us! He said he is putting Jehovah first, then family and then work. The marriage counsellor said that in reality he is putting God first, Kingdom Hall second, his family third and then his work last. So instead of him trying to really work things out for our family and treating me with the respect and honour I deserve….he has made it about me not wanting him to study with the JW’s.

    Financially I am dependent on him presently…..but I am taking steps to get myself together. My husband also has Bipolar mood disorder and is a narcissist so I’m not putting up too much hope that things will get any better. His loyalty is to anyone that gives him the attention that he craves. I’m just grieving the time I’ve wasted in my marriage. I am so any at these people but even more angry that my husband is collusion with them. I am totally depressed, crying all the time…..I’m a broken spirit!

    I wish there were some kind of ex JW that could come to my home and help me!

  15. First of all, everything the OP said is the reason why the JW are such an evil cult. I don’t quite understand one thing though. The behavior of the girl’s family, the screaming and fighting, the temporary shunning by the mother, that is everything the JW probably do when they discover that a family member of theirs is leaving the JW. How is the behavior of the Catholic family any different when that family says that deviation from their faith won’t be tolerated? How is that any different than what the JW do? If someone in a JW family wanted to leave the faith for Catholicism, would you be against that? Or would you say it’s wrong to break up a family if you were raised JW and want to leave your JW family?

  16. Thank you for your story. They destroyed & continued to destroy our family relationships. Many of my cousins & other relatives are suffering depression & mental disorders bc of the seperatiins as to our personal oppositions to the religion & leaving it as young adults.

  17. When I married my wife she was not a jw as I am not,but her mother is a jw.When I dated her she would go to kingdom hall once in awhile to appease her mother.She said she didn’t believe in their doctrine.We dated for several years before marrying.We had our son 4 years after we got married.We celebrated Christmas and other holidays up until after my sons 1st birthday.then my wife started going to the hall and became a jw and dragging my son into it with her.We fought about this for the first couple of years because I did not like the idea of her being involved with the jw’s.What little I knew about them I did not like.i had neighbors when I was younger who were jw’s and that was all I had known about jw’s.I would question my wife certain things that I knew about them but she always denied everything, saying that my thoughts about them were all wrong.Things like not being around family members who are not a jw and since there are no jw’s in my family she has nothing to do with them we pretty much don’t have anything to do with each other my wife and i.I also feel it has turned my son against me as well who is 14 years old now.I have been living like this for a very long time feeling as I am an outsider in my own family and house and to make things more difficult I have my mother in law living with us now..The jw’s I have been around which is my wife,mother in law and son are paranoid scared of everything in the outside world.I do not know if its just my family who is that way or if other jw’s are like this. Also they are very negative people about others, highly judgemental ,very untrusting of others.I don’t know if this is what is taught to them or is it just my family that is this way.They have that attitude like someone is always out to get them.

    • Everything that you question in your last paragraph is not uncommon with JW’s. No it’s not just the family you have married into, this is the culture that it manifests.

  18. They r evil I married into a group of big shots in the JW organization my husband isn’t one neither am I because thank goodness my mom taught me what was wright and wrong they pressure us constantly my in laws try to get my kids to go well long story short it’s never going to happen my brother in law was shunned we absolutely loved him to death he was disabled his wife cheated when they were members the congregation knew and chose to cover her affairs because they were with married men in the congregation eventually it came out they split he chose to rub snuff they disfellowshiped him for not coming to their cult meeting after they made him feel like a fool his parents never spoke to him till he was about to die and even then when he took his last breath his father never shed a tear and here lately I noticed something was wrong come to find out they had been plotting against me my husband and yes my daughter and son they spent months spreading lies and rumors that I’m crazy and me. And my husband are on drugs they even told my grown daughter and my 11 yr old son we literally took urine tests which they performed and watched us take so they would stop they claimed some brother told them that we were lmao well we were of course clean as we knew we were but rumors got so bad they put my husband out of business they shut his log job down by telling the land owner he was a drug addicted thief without any reason at all my husband nor I would or will never do such a thing we r good people but they put us out of business right when they knew we had just paid all our 8,000$ a month in bills and expenses paid the employees and were really low on funds till the next load of logs went out then convinced this man so he blocked the job and shut us down took our dozer because it was in his fathers name we were just getting the business off the ground they r trying to take our home and yesterday threatened to take my son they try to dog me to my kids while it backfires in their face because we r a tight little family they can’t talk that they don’t preach that bunch of blasphemy they stalk us from every direction now they teamed up with the land owner who shut us down after I threatened to sue them for malice and to clear our name and expose them as liars they teamed with him to sue us somehow I cannot imagine why but they r plotting something big I just know it I am the only person who has the balls to stand up to them because they r loaded and high ranked in that cult I feel for my poor husband they have his head so messed up they tell everyone they r victims and we treat them awful and take tons of money they r insane and over my dead body will my child ever go near them again they are mindless other than preaching that pamphlet 24/7 u can not even have a normal conversation with them at all what’s bad is that they played these kind loving people who were so wonderful my parents both passed when I was a teen my first marriage was abusive and they literally saw me as wounded prey but they knew I was being very careful because I had been though so much they took years to show their true selves please don’t trust anything they say or do they literally will throw their own kids under the bus so they don’t look bad they are all fake mind washed and incapable of any human emotions whatsoever

  19. It’s been helpful to me to read everyone’s stories on this forum. My husband and I are going through the same thing right now with his mother. We’ve been together 14 years this fall. His mother was not a JW when I met him, she had left the cult after they disfellowshiped my husband and torn her family apart. But then, about 4 years ago, after her beloved dog died, she couldn’t take the pain of loss and decided to go back to the JWs. We used to have a strong, loving relationship with her, where we’d sit together and have good soulsearching conversations about God and the Bible, but our relationship has now been steadily deteriorating since her rejoining the cult. She promised us she wouldn’t go all weird and extreme but sadly that’s what’s been happening….
    My husband & I are Christians. We read the Bible and we try to live by God’s Word. But she calls us “heathens”. Heathens!!! Seriously. THe JWs don’t acknowledge ANYONE as being CHristians unless they’re part of the JW cult. It’s depressing. I’ve been very depressed about it.
    She’s now got my husband’s father going back to the meetings with her. She used to be a warm, kind, compassionate and Christian lady but now she’s super self-righteous, judgemental, very materialistic, selfish, self-centred, ignorant, demanding.
    This past weekend, we ended up in an argument with her at her house. A bit too much wine was involved; but after she started in with her vilifying accusations, I just went running out of her house–barefoot. Just to get away. I was going to run barefoot all the way home, in the country, just to get away from her. I didn’t want to argue or fight with her. Well she followed me and ran after. My husband ran after us. Then she grabbed my arm and flung me down on the gravel, her gravel driveway, screaming at me,
    You’d think after an episode like that, that she’d wake up maybe and start to see what that cult is doing to her. But no. THe most of an apology she could offer, via a text, was to say that “She’s sorry she drank too much but she’s not the only person who drank too much but it was her role as the older person to handle things better”. I kid you not. How about, “Oh, I’m sorry <>, so sorry that I grabbed you and threw you down on the ground. I’m so sorry I hurt your feelings by doing that and I love you.” But NOPE.
    So since then, I’ve been trying to read more online about this phenomenon to try and understand it better and to console myself. I wish there was like a physical support group for people who are going through this. I know that what I’ve got to do is just move on. That was then but this is now and I can’t do anything to change her back to her better self. It’s something she’ll have to figure out on her own.
    I love my mom-in-law so very much. She was like a 2nd mother to me (as my own mom passed away when i was young). Anyways. Thanks for listening. May God Bless you all and keep you in His care. Sincerely, ~K

  20. I can’t believe I am actually going to do this. This is my first attempt to reach out as a “worldly” husband of a Jehovah’s witness woman. After reading these posts, then scanning for the dates atop each post, I feel confident this will reach someone with a similar story. I really feel as if, because of the JW religion, my family is being torn apart.

    I grew up in a Catholic Family. I went through all the steps; all the way through the sacraments. Even went to a Catholic School for my first 6 years. At 18 I joined the Army. But stepping away from services and Mass for a time I began to open my mind to other ideas and the possibility that I may not have the one true religion that I was told growing up. By 24 I had finished my military service and started College. It was on a summer break from college in 2007 that I met my wife while I was out of country (Mexico). I would later marry her and before we married, we had a brief religious discussion where I told her I had grown up Catholic and she disclosed she had grown up Jehovah’s Witness (JW).

    Honestly, I really had no knowledge of what a JW was but both of us were so far away from organized religion when we met that I didn’t think anything of it. It’s not like she told me, “I am an inactive JW and in 3 years after we get married and birth our first child, I am going to look for a Kingdom Hall (KH), regain my good standing and slowly begin to pressure you into coming with me because I believe this is the truth but because I have been week I am in the world long enough to meet you. If you still want to marry me knowing that, then let’s move forward.”

    No, that didn’t happen. We got married, I sponsored her into the United States and shortly after the birth of our first child, we ran into a couple at grocery store that ended up inviting us to their home. My wife and them hit it off well and I though what the heck, my wife is here with no fleshly family to speak of (on here side), what could it hurt. Come to find out the couple was a JW couple. From that day it began.

    The meetings, the pressure began to build on me to “take a bible study.” “Just open your mind they said. “Just open your heart”, they said. “Let Jehovah into your heart,” they said. She began attending more meetings. It was a Spanish meeting and it was 15 miles away from where we lived. So, gasoline money began flowing out of the family budget to support her reborn religious habit, the door to door service began.

    Second child comes into the picture. Now she is relying on this JW couple for emotional support and leaning on them for additional things like babysitting. Winter nights for the evening meeting where she was loading up two children to take them to evening meetings in winter driving conditions.

    While her time for spiritual needs kept increasing, and supposedly becoming a humbler person less interested in material things, her craving for social status increased.

    I was not well off when we met and the first family car we purchased together was a 92 Accord Wagon that was a 5 speed manual. She was ashamed to be seen in it. She turned up her nose at it. I guess I would have expected that coming from the daughter of nobility but not from someone who grew up on dirt streets. So, what the bible mentions about Christian women supporting and building up their husbands, I got the reverse. If I had been a JW Brother however, everything would have been alright but since the means by which I acquired wealth came from “worldly” sources, none of it was good enough. None the less, our social and economic status did improve, the 92 Accord turned into a 2003 MDX with leather and a brilliant white paint job. Now she could be seen in public and at her meetings. Now she could hold her head up high.

    I was becoming nothing more than a bread winner and a provider and any arguments I made to what she was being taught by them were met with anger and hostile rebuttals because now, I had earned the title of a “worldly husband.” Her time commitment to the KH and meetings was beginning to rival that of a regular job or a love affair under the guise of godly devotion. Pretty soon any and all my worldly friends and family were not worthy of her time and these ventures were met with trepidation on her part.

    Now here is where I reveal my shortcoming. And I am not saying this is any kind of an excuse but my relationship with the woman I married had turned very cold. She was not the same person. Her outlook on life, her expectation of a man and marriage mate had changed and that was when the words came out for the first time, “If only you were a JW man, I would be happy,” she said. Arguments, over other things began to crop up and, on a few occasions, while she was out doing her religious things, I would go do my thing, and yes, it involved a woman that I knew and trusted and where deep and meaningful conversations would turn into a little more than talk. Honestly it was the only thing that kept me grounded. I could speak without being judged. Made me think sometimes, “why I had not married her instead?” This comes in to play later in the story.

    I found an opportunity with a company in another state that would move us up the financial scale once again and within a month we left my hometown that I had returned to for 9 years post military service and moved across the country to start a new life. It got me away from my shortcoming and I honestly felt like we could begin again. Just us. And reluctantly she agreed to come with me. After 4 months on the job, I came down with a physical profile that prevented me from doing the work I was hired for. Very scary but we had saved in the short period of time and were able to make it to Arizona where my parents had already been living for 10 years.

    Another company took interest in me for the same job but somehow the climate was better for my physical condition and it never returned.

    Our social economic status became even better with the income increase and just one year later, we bought a house. So, new house, newer car. I was on the road constantly. When I was home, it was nice for me to finally be around my parents for the first time in 13 years. We had a savings, no debt except for the house. I mean, in my opinion things were great.

    She had however found a new KH to attend, began her studying again and children now 3 and 4 were beginning to speak the lingo. It wasn’t enough that they go to the KH the songs were sung and books were read around the house. Wife and kids not attending birthday parties, Christmas or Thanksgiving. My own mother was seeing her grand-kids less and less. Why? Because what could possibly have my wife’s worldly mother in law to teach her children?

    Now it was conventions and assemblies and field service. I was on the road so much trying to provide the social/economic status that when I was home, I had little energy to protest.

    I had had enough! We broke down into such a dichotomy that we were about to call it over. A divorce was all we had left. She could not see things my way and felt that no compromise was needed because she had “the truth” and all I needed to do was see it too. “just be a Jehovah’s witness and all will be peaceful,” she said. So, what did I do? The unthinkable. I took a bible study but not until I had confessed my transgressions. I thought to myself. What if my opposition to the Watchtower (WT) Teachings was a transference of my guilt for having betrayed my wife. I also returned to the Catholic church and to a priest to openly confess my sins.

    I told my wife and not as a condition of her forgiveness, but as an attempt to truly understand her faith, that I would begin the study. However, I could not do that while on the road, so I took a local position with a real estate firm to make myself available to receive these gentlemen into my house. It was a very emotional time for everyone, including me and my confession went beyond my wife and priest. My wife made me, or she was going to do it, tell my parents and as an effort to enter into this new chapter fully transparent, I felt these men also needed to know of my transgressions.

    For two years I studied on an off, sometimes for weeks and months at a time. I worked my way into the ranks as an unbaptized publisher and began the door to door service. I could feel myself becoming different. Based on their teachings I could see the world from their point of view. I made it through their “what does the bible really teach” book. I even asked to be baptized but because I had pulled back for a few months, I was being punished and made to continue with a second book titled, “How to Remain in God’s Love” which is much like the first book.

    Was my wife happy? Sure, but I was beginning to see the hypocrisy. It was sickening. The clicks were obvious, guys that had grown up in the truth would talk about golf trips and work projects and anybody that had been to Bethel or World Headquarters in New York or had gone on a missionary trip–or even better, those whom were anointed–were seen as a better class of JW. A class within a class. Their open forum or discussion session that accompanied the open reading of the Watchtower or Life and Ministries workbook was not an open forum at all. All the answers were pulled from the text and everybody would just underline and read from the same text a regurgitated response. No free thinking. If your response was going to be of your own mind, it still had to be in line with the text or risk never being called on again.

    I began doing door to door service as a condition of my request to be baptized. Yes, I was told by the head elder that because I had drifted away, that I needed to do more door to door “time” to prove myself. Was it those exact words? Well pretty close. Not at all scriptural. I was up to 2 hours a week in Bible Study (Tuesday nights), Wednesday I was studying for the Thursday night meeting. A diligent study would take at least an hour, Thursday night meetings were two hours then Study Friday night for what you are going to use preaching door to door on Saturday that was at least 4 hours, prepare Saturday night for Sunday meeting and don’t forget to sit your kids down and give them a thorough weekly brain washing and then a two hour meeting on Sunday. Monday I would need to pre-read for the chapter/s I would be going over in the bible study on Tuesday again.

    You see? Anyone could go through the motions. I had been to college. I think that was my problem. When world history and other scientific issues were discussed, I was forced to suppress my knowledge of those things. But why even bring them up. Satan had put that education in my brain and it was no longer any use to me. I went to assemblies and even attended the most recent 2018 convention. I had begun to openly discuss some of my opposition to their teachings and point out contradictions and hypocritical doctrines.

    As a father of two girls, I took it very seriously when I found out about the cover up of some congregation’s knowledge of known sex offenders and child abuse. The Australian Royal Commission, Candace Conti and Most Recently the $34 million reward to a couple women in Thompson Falls, Montana. When a person puts money into a collection basked or donation box (JWs do not have a traditional collection like most churches) you must ask yourself, “where is this money going?” To the tune of $4000 a day to a court in California over unreleased subpoenaed documents of known sex abuse allegations from confessions heard by elders. My shock is equaled by the same news I learned when after returning to my home town in 2004, some of my boyhood peers had suffered sexual abuse by the hands of church elders and priests in the Catholic Church.

    No, I am not singling out any one religion. And all organizations have dealt with it, except when you are talking to a JW. Then it’s different. They cannot accept the fact that Satan is attacking all who identify as Christians alike. If the allegation is against the US Women’s Gymnastics, it’s just “Satan’s evil word.” But when the allegation is against the WT or JWs it’s Satan attacking them and trying to bring reproach on Jehovah’s name.

    I was working so hard to bring home a solid income to support my family, our 2003 MDX had now become a 2007 MDX because the brand new 2015 Honda CRV was too small for her. The only reason she was ok with it was because it was Del Año (spanish for brand new). Meanwhile I show up to church thinking I am doing pretty good and in rolls the brand-new Escalade, the Infinity’s and brand-new BMWs. Jacked up trucks and 4x4s. Husband and wife show up in separate cars, and nobody walks to church, heaven forbid they get the suit and tie dirty or the dress and high heels or mess up the makeup or hair on the way. One Brother rode his bicycle every day. Good on him. The same brother who had been banned from making public comment at meetings due to voiced

  21. continued from Previous Post November 28 2018 11:38am….opinion. He wore a beard but even though there is no scriptural support for why Christian men should shave, he was being kept silent.

    Don’t cause a brother to stumble says scripture, then why am I the only one who makes it to all the meetings? Their conventions and assemblies, the talks commonly encouraged people to make all meetings. Literally! Like, don’t miss even one!. Yet, as I continued to go, I would continually see those baptized brothers and sisters missing meetings. Hey, I put off work to be there, I thought, “so can they.” But wait, my relationship with Jehovah is personal and has nothing to do with Brother Jones, but…. isn’t that the reason I went– for the fellowship?

    One day a sister spoke to me about every reason why she wasn’t going to get married and why she would never, ever, ever, ever have children. UH uh! No way! (with the nod to the left and swirl of the finger) Not even in the new system. She was going to wait until the 1000 years had passed, then the return of Satan and then after that she would think about it. The way many of the single “friends” spoke and married couples holding back from having children made me feel was–in a way–guilty for even having had children. Like if I had known better, I would not have brought children into such a wicked world. Then I look over at my two beautiful babies and almost cry because I feel that if there is a God, these are the two most precious gifts a father could get. But I was the insensitive one for even assuming this sister might want a husband and some children. Very backwards. But that’s what the Watchtower will do to a person. And she was a new sister too, already baptized. I had been studying years before her if you count my independent study before I started their formal brainwashing.

    Then there was the kid stuff. I am raising my girls based on how I was raised, with a few minor tweaks, home schooling to name one. Because while I was still working my away job, my daughter’s first 6 months of kindergarten were hell between my wife and me. Because of what my wife was teaching her, my daughter had already decided not to participate in the festive events the school latched on to, to fill the school day. So, my daughter had to sit in a separate room while the other kids carried on normally. I told my wife, “if we’re going to segregate our child at her school, let’s just do it all the way.” How is a 5-year-old supposed to explain to another 5-year-old on the playground why she had to sit at a computer while all the other kids got to color pumpkins at Halloween? I don’t remember caring one way or another at the age of 5 if my pumpkin coloring or Christmas tree decorating was of Pegan Origin.

    So, at the KH the debate between the families that chose to home school ensued between those who left their kids in secular schools. Honestly, there was no way to win. What I kept thinking was, I pulled my kids to get them away from worldly influences, the same manner I am asked to do as an adult Christian when it comes to choosing my associates, just to show up at a kingdom hall with little boys pawing at my girls and other girls from broken families and absentee fathers dishing out information to my girls that is worse than the shy girl down the street that my wife won’t let them play with. No apparent education on how to treat girls properly. To my wife however, I was the bad guy for not putting up with it.

    Then there were the women that would come. The single women, by themselves or with their one or two children. Why were they single? Why would they talk to me when my wife was on the other side of the kingdom hall? Why would other married sisters ask me strange questions. The common one was, “what made you come here?” or “Why did you come back?” I had one surprisingly well endowed and attractive woman ask me if there ever could be a woman that would cause me to stray, no matter how beautiful she was. Whaaaaaaaaat? Seriously. On the flip side. Hanging around JW men is like a how nice can I be contest. How little can I say about myself? How much can I get you to do all the talking so I come off as the less full of myself one. It’s forced, it’s fake. Then after you are there for a while, the true colors come out. I watched a brother continually checking out another woman in a public setting. It was so obvious. This same brother (an elder mind you) had, weeks prior, bolstered a comment (in the back seat of my car) about darker colored women as he was married to a black woman, his words exactly were, “black is beautiful!” Hey, I wasn’t going to disagree with him but if black was so beautiful, why was he checking out a perfectly white woman a third his age at a Starbucks while on a break from field service? I mean he looked her up and down 3 or 4 times. Race or color never mattered to me but somehow, he thought it necessary to express his taste in women openly which, him being a black man, sounded racist to me. Because think about this, I married a Mexican woman of Mestizo race within Mexico the equivalent of a Native American and White in The United States. I have a bi-racial marriage. What if I had said in response, “Nope that’s where you’re wrong brother, Brown is better!” The sad thing was that the three other brothers in the car with me laughed. He was the elder.

    Field service time and benchmarks were held to a very high esteem. The individual I studied the bible with made a comment to me that he had completed his 800 some hours for the year and was not looking forward to it starting all over again. I thought to myself, “who cares?” I mean good for you sir but that would be like a well-known philanthropist saying at the end of the tax year, “Bummer, all that money I donated in 2017 and now I have to start all over again.” Either you do it for God, in which case nobody knows, or you do it for the glory and you tell the whole world. I actually felt sorry for him. He needed for me to know that he did all that time. If he was truly a believer, he would never have said a word. It’s like times I am sure you have come into where after you met someone for the first time, it’s someone else that says, “that person you just met, I’ll bet he didn’t mention he is the owner here.” Because truly humble people don’t seek recognition. Yet every Witness I met would find a way to bring up their Ministerial Accomplishments. Well, almost all. I did run into a few I really did admire, but like all religious groups, they all have their saints.

    All that said, one day I just stopped going. It was a couple months ago now. There were nights after church, that I had volunteered to host the hospitality meeting. The guest speaker is invited to the house of one of the friends at the Hall. I opened my house up to up to 30 Witnesses on 3 occasions. A total of 10 to 12 couples and some with kids. I haven’t heard a word from any of them. Shortly after I quit going and my wife broke down in tears, a brother stood up an announced my disassociation (which is me disassociating from them). Which I guess I understand. It’s like quitting a job. You don’t want to do it their way, you leave. And the company owner will not ever admit that his way of running things is flawed so he will instruct through careful suggestions that no one hang out with the guy that left or call him. And that is the case up until now. No one has spoken to me.

    My marriage is just about completely broken. During my time as an Unbaptized Publisher, I spoke very knowledgeable about scripture to my family and friends and could argue their way very well. My comings and goings became very robotic and my responses very canned. I had subdued some of my very core beliefs and opinions about life and the world to try to fit their mold. I am grateful I have non-witness family here still.

    Unfortunately, my girls now 6 and almost 8 are convinced that although I am their biological father, I am worldly and will not make it into paradise. If I try to educate my children on a secular topic that involves a scientific theory or law, it is met with sometimes angry protest and even this most recent Thanksgiving put our marriage back on the rocks when I announced that I was going to attend the dinner with the family that raised me and has loved me for all of my 38 years.

    I have to admit, I am proud of my girls for standing up for what they believe but when they were invited to thanksgiving, they declined.

    You see, I served our country for 6 years. I served to protect the very religious freedom they now enjoy. The religious freedom that some nations do not know and enjoy so for me to protest and persecute them and my wife for her belief would be un Christian, yet I am persecuted in my own home for choosing to do what I believe.

    I thought for many months that some of the women that attended without their husbands were so brave and I thought, “why do the husbands of these women, not attend? I am able to come, why wouldn’t they.?” Furthermore, “What did they do, what are they hiding that makes them so ashamed to face God among Christian brothers.?” Oh yes, your mind will go crazy trying to rationalize the weirdness that goes on in the Kingdom Hall.

    If you have ever been to a county fair and watched the hypnotist do her show and hypnotize 10, 12, or 13 people or maybe one came to your college or high school. Maybe you were one of the volunteers that became hypnotized. Remember how you felt or ask a friend how it felt. Find someone to explain the experience. All I can say is that is how I felt every time I attended a Meeting.

    I cannot have a rational conversation with my wife anymore, we cannot have a meaningful conversation about world affairs or current event, history or science. Can’t sit and watch an otherwise entertaining movie with a little bit of romance or skin.

    Now you must ask yourself: In light of so many distractions and entertainment venues available to occupy my time and mind, would I really devote the last 2 and a half hours of thought and writing if I was only out with an axe to grind? No. Nobody takes this much time to write anymore. This is a real deal. I literally feel like the JW religion is ripping us apart. I hope this reaches someone. Feel free to comment or reply.

    • Wow. I’m heartbroken for you as a dad and husband. Thank you for sharing your story. Happy Fathers Day. I am a Catholic married to a non-practicing (yet bewilderingly judgmental) JW. My story is not as in-depth as yours but I’ll come back and share someday. I can understand every thought you have posted. I will keep you and your girls in my prayers.

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