Bearing witness to the Witnesses

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To the editor,

Juliana Bunim’s column, “The Witnesses Next Door” (Aug. 8), reminded me of a day when Jehovah’s Witnesses visited my parent’s farmhouse in Pennsylvania in 1971.

The Jehovah Witness couple that came to recruit us seemed very nice. Within six weeks of studying the Bible with the Watchtower organization, my mom sat me down and told me I could never speak to our relatives again because, according to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Satan might be working through our relatives to keep us from learning the truth. In addition, I couldn’t have a single solitary girlfriend for the next 10 years, nor could I ever enjoy a holiday or birthday again. To say life became bleak is a monumental understatement.

I was baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness, dedicating my life as a child to a man-made organization, without the ability to understand the fine print. When I left the group at the age of 18 to pursue my own spiritual path, I was shunned by my family. My mother, brother, sister, four nephews and niece haven’t seen or spoken to me in 25 years now.

The Watchtower organization’s policy of shunning affects millions of people worldwide. Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses are very nice — until you decide you don’t want to remain among them anymore.

Brenda Lee, Denver, Colorado

The writer is author of a memoir, “Out of the Cocoon: A Young Woman’s Courageous Flight from the Grip of a Religious Cult.”

Updated 4:31 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Steven from Connecticut says:
I'm sorry you look at it like that. I too was kicked out of the religion. And I don't see it like that at all. All families have there judgements of each other. The same way a family might shun a member who was smoking crack. Its for a good cause. Cheer up buddy
Sept. 18, 2008, 11:53 pm
Margarett from Anytown says:
Don't blame the "recruiters."

Judge a trees soundness by examining its 'own' leaves. Please request our brochure Jehovah's Witnesses—Who Are They? What Do They Believe?
Feb. 26, 2010, 8:41 pm
Melba from California says:
Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary on Cult: 1. A system of religious rites and observances. 2. Zealous devotion to a person, ideal, or thing.
That seems to me to apply to a lot of different religions. Instead the word cult seems to denote something weird. We are devoted to God "Jehovah" and his son Jesus Christ. We do appose: immorality, drunkenness,adultery,deceit,murder, and do not associte socially with those that are practicers of these things. However, if a person is wanting to change their life we will help them with bible teachings like Jesus helped the Samaritan Woman who was a prostitute.
March 11, 2010, 3:03 pm
Phil from largo,Fl. says:
Your family still loves you very much,but once you have made a conscience decision TO DEDICATE YOUR LIFE TO JEHOVAH and get Baptized,it's for eternity. When you leave, you are turning your BACK on him and your family. They have to show loyalty to their heavenly father and his king Jesus Christ. You well know, what you were doing when you got baptized because they asked you the 80 questions about your faith in God and desire to do HIS WILL, and uphold his standards. As far as your family and girlfriends, I see my family all the time, even though they are not of the same faith? And your girlfriends are worldly and practice things that are forbiden in the bible no doubt and bad association spoils useful habits as the bible says. Satan has lured you into his world, with the desire to have his kind of fun, but the end is pain and suffering,then death. I have a daughter your age( 17) and she has a strong influence from school and worldly friends, JUST LIKE YOU! Right now we are loosing the battle but she was not baptized yet, so we still show her love and have hope. Please do not grieave the holy spirit, with lies!
Nov. 13, 2012, 8:40 am

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