A Surivival Story on Education

Randy:

I am an intelligent young black male in my late 20's. I was born and
raised in a large Ohio city, home of the ultra-conservative and
anal-retentive (you figure it out). Here is my story.

I was raised with no knowledge of Jehovah or the WTS prior to 1979 at
age 10 yrs old. Two witnesses came to our door and my then
inactive mother arranged for a Bible study for me out of the
"Listening to the Great Teacher" book. I possessed reading and
comprehensive skills several years beyond my age so I eagerly
absorbed everything presented to me in studies and at the Kingom Hall.
Soon I was going out in field service. I was a regular "ball o'fire."
I clearly remember like it was yesterday going door to door around
Christmas-time 1980, telling people that this world is so bad that we
probably won't be here another five years (1985).

That's right, I just knew Armageddon would come before I could graduate
from high school in 1987! This type of teaching was regularly dispensed
from the platform along with STRONG admonition against pursuing a
college education. Because of the fear of displeasing God and the elders
and subsequently losing my congregational privileges, I became content
to underachieve in school from the 5th grade through graduation.
I graduated an average student but had FAR more potential than was
developed. Please do not make this mistake, ever.

See, I felt compelled at 13 to get baptized in a congregation with a lot
of cliques and "worldly Witnesses," so-labeled because of their lack of
enthusiasm for theocratic activities. Because I auxiliary pioneered in the
summer, and was a KH attendant while a youngster, I was viewed as exemplary
by adults but horribly ostracized by my peers (None of them are active
Witnesses today, and almost all the girls got pregnant as unwed teens).

I was never a trouble maker or rebellious but only performed marginally
in school and did not pursue higher education or anything extra
curricular because of the WTS influence. Around graduation my mother
had issues with the elders about my mistreatment by certaing individuals
in the congregation and the apartheid style of elder leadership. She was
accused of slander and subsequently disfellowshipped. The REAL reason is
because she freely spoke her mind to others about the racial bias and
unbalance in the congregation. I remained active until moving out on my
own at 18. I was inactive for a few months then started going to another
congregation. Since I was a kid I have always wanted to own my own
business but my every endeavor was shot down and discouraged because it
would "take too much time from Kingdom interests and lead me into
materialism." As a result of all this faulty programming my financial
situation was always unstable. I have held many different jobs (none
paying more than $9.00 an hour) since graduation, largely because I was
taught and BELIEVED the world was going to end any day now and it would
be foolish, even wrong to pursue success and prosperity in this system.
I stopped attending meetings in the Spring of 1991 but was naive enough
to submit to a judicial meeting that Fall. I was sick of the hypocrisy
and double standards and flaws in doctrine. I was not interested in
being a JW anymore so I was disfellowshipped in Nov '91. I then led the
rather promiscuous "player" lifestyle, but hated myself. I lost all my
self-esteem and spirituality when all I should have done is lost my
religion. It took me years to wake up to reality and identify the
problems at their source.

I did not realize that my low self-esteem, troubled and broken
relationships, underemployment and many other personal problems were the
result of the teachings of a controlling cult-like organization until
1995. A mature friend threw me a life jacket in form of a book entitled,
"Psycho Cybernetics 2000," a lesson in self-image. I have since
continued self-help reading ( please read Think and Grow Rich, A Black
Choice
by Napoleon Hill and Dennis Kimbro) and personal Bible study. I have
been on a daily mission to live my life with PURPOSE with an emphasis on
positive self-image and serving others. This is what true love is, the
love that Jesus taught his followers. I am much happier now and have
regained my self-respect.

The WTS is guilty of robbing so many talented people (especially Blacks)
of reaching our Jehovah God-given potential by making us feel guilty
about pursuing personal excellence.

They do this because any success we experience negates everything
they've taught us about pursuing the WTS agenda. Dont' buy into it!

I am now newly and happily married with a newborn son and a 10-year-old
stepdaughter. Rest assured they will be taught Bible truths but not the
horrible misinformation dispensed by the Governing Body. My parents are
now both active JWs and they have nothing to do with me or their
grandchildren. This speaks volumes of what is really important to the WTS,
that is, "pursue our 'Kingdom' interests first, to hell with everything
else." Who wants anything to do with an organization that promotes
family disunity when the Bible clearly teaches that family comes first?
It is the devil that works to destroy the family unit, but he can't have
mine!

I am now gainfully employed and building my own Internet-based import
business on the side. This I would have never done as a blind drone of
the WTS. I see so many miserable JW families and individuals terrified
to break free from what they were taught, and it saddens me. They fail to
realize that there are two sides to everything and were taught to shun
"apostasy," which prevents them from listening to any reasoning.
Occasionally my conscience would bother me because I was taught that
everything I now believe is wrong and places me outside of communication
with Jehovah and his blessings. Now I know better! How absurd and
presumptuous for the Governing Body to imply that separation from the
WTS is separation from God himself and you are then waiting to be
destroyed at Armageddon! This wicked system may end next month, it could
be 20 years or 50 years from now...nobody knows! I know that those of us
with these kinds of experiences must be strong, and be of encouragement
to all who will listen without prejudice.

Jehovah hears the prayers of the righteous, and that no matter where you
find yourself in life he has blessings in store for you.

In closing I believe it is important to promote the positive instead of
fighting against the negative, for it ultimately weakens you.

Do not go on a faultfinding hate mission against the Watchtower or any
individual JW, for we are all accountable to God for our thoughts and
deeds. No, instead move on past the ugly chapters in life on to better
lives. Be all your Creator made you to be and receive his blessings.
May God truly bless you and your family in all your endeavors.

Best Regards,
CD in Ohio

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