The Story of Anthony Walker
 
Sometime in the early seventies in a town in North Wales my mother was contacted by the witnesses and after a few years was baptized I was just 3 years old at the time. Over the following years I was brought up in much the same way most witness children. In the spring of 1989 I too was baptized aged 19, I "progressed" well doing my studying, spending at least 8 hours a week on the ministry despite holding down a full time job, standing in at short notice for talks in the theocratic ministry school, answering at every meeting, having studies with "weaker" youths in the congregation, pioneering when I could attending quick builds regularly. At one point my name was put forward to be a ministerial servant, they thought I had done ok for a young man with no farther in in the "truth". All this hard work had it's rewards I made many what I thought were good friends, I was pleased with myself and had many pats on the back from elders and the occasional circuit overseer.
 
In the spring of 1993 after a short but typical courtship I married another "fatherless child" from a nearby congregation named Melissa. She was viewed as a good "spiritual sister" that regularly auxiliary pioneered. This is when things changed, just a few short moths after getting married we both lost our jobs through no fault of our own. I had never been out of work before and now having bills to pay it became very stressful. After the initial shock we taught we had better make the best of a bad situation, we began doing more hours in the ministry and went on to pioneer. As time passed our financial situation deteriorating, stress escalating, our health began to suffer my wife's first then my own.
 
6 months after our wedding with things very low after reading every piece of material that the witnesses had printed on managing finances and on unemployment, and asking other brothers for advice, I began to consider becoming a self employed window cleaner. Whilst pondering this decision a well respected elder in the congregation, who had his own successful business advised that I should "make no preparations and pray about the situation then throw my problem on Jehovah, sign off the dole (welfare) and just go out there and search for customers". I foolishly took his advice (did as I was told) and started window cleaning and doing any other menial jobs that anyone would pay me to do. Just weeks after taking the plunge in to self employment I noticed an ad in the local paper that offered free rental of a house in exchange for a day and a half's work in the gardens of a stately home. This job was in an area that needed more young brothers to serve in the local rural congregation so everybody declared this a blessing from Jehovah and we both moved to the area.
 
At this point I began to doubt the advice that had been given to us as things got much worse and the "blessing" was becoming a real burden. Our financial situation was worse than when I'd been out at work and we often had to rely on my family to feed us. We continued to hold on to our beliefs and when one day we were asked if we would like a shepherding visit from the local elders we gladly accepted. The two elders came round and generally criticized my decisions and typically contradicted everything advised by our previous congregation. This was all very upsetting and confusing and the most painful thing was when one of the elders said quoting scripture "a man that does not provide for his own family is worse than a man without faith", he couldn't have said anything worse, and this was supposed to be one of Gods wise men.
 
We were both under so much stress that we were regularly ill, and after the "counsel" of the elders my self esteem was at an all time low. I began to miss meetings and never went out on the doors, my long good friends began to withdraw from me. My mental health began to deteriorate unnoticed at first it was so gradual. Firstly I began to withdraw from others then as the illness took hold I lost interest in my appearance and began to drink. At this point it was obvious that the pressure was too much, our financial situation was now spiraling out of control and what was worse is that I was beyond caring. My behavior was now becoming bizarre the strain on my wife and family was unfair and I attempted suicide. My health was now so bad that I now couldn't work we had to move back nearer my family in North Wales and had to go on medication, and still day after day those elder's words went round and round in my head "a man that does not provide for his own family is worse than a man without faith."
 
I was now psychotic doing some very bizarre things and one our two dangerous anti-social things. I saw nothing of my past friends and only spoke to my wife and immediate family when I had to. In the spring of 1995 just two years after getting married I was admitted to the secure wing of a psychiatric hospital. My arms and wrists were now covered with self inflicted wounds, my self esteem was now non existent, and yet with my mind on a different planet I still tried to informal witness to other patients. With around 300 witnesses in my home town and with over 100 in the area of the hospital I had not counting my family just 2 visitors, in hind sight I can see it was the perfect example of brotherly love.
 
With the help of better medication I started to get better, I was told that my condition was caused by my brain being under so much stress that it had changed it's chemical and electrical functions. The memorial came around and I was let out especially to go. So for the first time in a year I entered a place with more than a few people in it and although i was very nervous I was looking forward to seeing my old friends, people I had grown up with, people that I had been very close with at one time, people I loved. As I sat fidgeting after the meeting had finished I saw one of my best friends across the other side of the hall, so watched closely by my wife I crossed the hall to speak to her, I said "hello" and she turned and said with a cold look on her face, "What's the matter Anthony, can't cope with the responsibility of married life" and then turned away. I retreated back to my seat in the corner and shortly after left. She was the only one to speak to me that evening, (another example of brotherly love).
 
I spent a few more weeks in hospital and was then let out, but I never looked at another witness again in the same light after that night. I went back to the kingdom hall only once since and that was to secretly say goodbye. In the following years I questioned everything they said, if a witness said good morning I would check the time before I replied. Changes were made to some of there most fundamental beliefs, and again I questioned an elder who came round regularly to "encourage" us about these changes, (about the changes made dealing with the hundred and forty four thousand surviving Armageddon), and four years later I still haven't received a decent explanation.
 
As the years passed I saw them for what they were (frightened and brainwashed). I seriously regretted the blind faith I had put in their advice that had contributed to me becoming ill, Jehovah's wise men were not wise at all. My health slowly got better and my questions got smarter and their answers got fewer and more obviously rehearsed. I am now almost 100% better and trying very hard to live a normal life but they still haunt me, for example I was sitting in the local park a few weeks ago watching our dog chase the squirrels when a elderly gentleman came over with his own dog he sat next to me and made small talk, after a few minutes he offered me a cigarette instantly that scripture "cleanse yourself of every defilement of the flesh" came to mind, I felt like he had just suggested an afternoon child molesting. Their conditioning runs very deep and even though I am free of them in my conscious mind I have still got a away to go in my subconscious mind but it will come in time. I' m now at art collage something I have always wanted to do but because of the witnesses bad views of further education it's something I never had the chance to do.
 
I don't blame the witnesses for what they have done to us or for what they continue to do to others, I don't think the vast majority of the witnesses realize what they are doing, they are unaware of the tricks they use, love bombing and limiting outside contact for example, they have been brainwashed with a few scriptures that have been twisted to fit the Society's purpose. As for the people higher up the ladder in Brooklyn I don't know any of these so I can't comment whether their evil tricks are intentional. I don't blame them for the bad advice that was given to me in the past, I could have neglected that advice and used my common sense instead although their ridiculous views on the husband role in a marriage that I took so seriously where definitely the catalyst for my illness. The only grudge I hold is with my ex friends, they knew I was ill and only offered harmful scorns this brings to mind one of their own precious scriptures the one about judging a tree by it's fruits, I have seen their fruits and they are truly rotten. I must admit though some of their comments about me where so ridiculous to be taken seriously, many still make me laugh, one of the funniest of these is that one sister said that because I had always had an interest in science fiction that this had led me being ill because I was "possessed by Star Trek".
 

Keep up the hard work, keep smiling, 

Yours Sincerely,  Anthony Walker

 


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