TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
My warm and loving greetings goes out to all and each one of you. I will introduce myself as someone committed with the early Christian thought, and in solidarity with our rich human diversity. I will begin by saying that I am Venezuelan by birth, of French and Hungarian extraction. For a better understanding of my reality and background, I must say that I was raised and brought up into a religious organization, better known as Jehovah´s Witnesses. I was about nine years old when I began to learn about their teachings and attend meetings at their Kingdom Hall. It all started one summer afternoon, back in 1952, when the Witnesses came knocking at our apartment door offering bible literature and my mother greeted them with much excitement. I can tell, because I was the one who invited them in. Soon, arrangements were made for a free weekly home "bible study" in one of the many books published by the Watchtower Society, the imposing printing and publishing corporation of Jehovah´s Witnesses. A swiss lady and a Polish young man, both French-speaking, would spend hours upon hours of friendly discussions on different Bible topics with mother in her own language, as she spoke very little Spanish. Being a child, I did not take any part in the discussions because to me it looked more like a grown-up thing, but later, my mom was persuaded that she had to take me along to Kingdom Hall gatherings twice a week, because “the urgency of times” so demanded. The end of the world was near at hand and my life was at stake if I did not seek refuge with her in "the only true religion on this earth." So, we kept on going to meetings, assemblies and taking part in almost all activities programmed by the Watchtower, besides studying all their publications, as well. My father never cared for religious matters, nevertheless, let my mother get her own way.
Years later, while still in my teens, a prominent member of the board of directors of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, and who would later become its president, came visiting from the WT world headquarters in New York, and had a casual friendly chat with me. We both agreed that it would be a “wise step” to call off my high school education, in order to serve as a full-time publisher, that is, a door-to-door peddler or “pioneer”, in their particular language. The end was approaching and there would be no better way for a young man to serve Jehovah God but to use whatever time was left to save other people´s lives before the upcoming end of “this wicked system of things”. The “pioneers” are formally committed to turn in a certain number of hours a month, (100 in those days) going from house to house, distributing Watchtower literature and recruiting new prospects for the organization. Regular pioneers do not receive any monetary remuneration for their hard work and they have very little time left for anything else, except for other “theocratic activities”. In my case, I lived off my parents for more than 20 years. Occasionally, I performed some odd jobs earning not much than pocket money.
As time went by, I was promoted to positions of further responsibility or “privileges”, being appointed as “elder”, “special pioneer” and “traveling overseer.” For more than thirty years I kept an unblemished service record with the organization of Jehovah´s Witnesses.
By the middle of the 80s, as I was performing my duties with zeal and enthusiasm, I made some interesting discoveries. I was doing some personal research on my own, trying to get the right answers to many questions arising in my mind and examining the scriptures thoroughly and honestly. Witness leaders discourage any such kind of personal study, unless Watchtower publications are used, or as a formal arrangement conducted under WT supervision. However, I kept on searching, while still believing to be in God´s exclusive organization. My studies led me to detect numerous inconsistencies between what primitive Christianity was about and the modern doctrines and policies of the Watchtower Society. But I only shared my findings with very few trusted friends and of course, in prayer to the heavenly Father. As a matter of fact, as my studies were advancing, I became more and more dependent on my personal relationship with God and his Son Jesus Christ, rather than on the Watchtower publications, but I did my best to keep all these things to myself.
As an elder serving in various congregations, I gained an amount of experience from dealing with intimate problems of the Witnesses, many of which had sexual nature. These poor fellows would come to me and discuss their innermost secrets, as well as other disturbing issues. This led me to believe that something was very wrong here.
My investigations were not just about doctrinal matters or the interpretation of scriptures, but also exploring into the field of human emotions, particularly regarding human sexuality. Sexual repression is common among fundamentalist religions and cults, while the Bible almost says nothing about how an individual should express sexual intimacy as long as it is performed within the context of the law of love and mutual consent. The WT claims the right to pry into other people´s bedrooms, often with tragic consequences.
In spite of the discretion with which I was probing the teachings and procedures of the WT organization, the local branch office, which held me in high regard and trust, found out about my private studies through a snitch. How was that possible ? Well, each JW is called to act much the same as a spy of his/her other spiritual brothers and sisters and report any possible “transgressions” or suspected breaking of organizational rules to the local elders so that immediate disciplinary action is taken "to preserve the moral and spiritual well-being of the congregation". Therefore, I was exposed and prosecuted by one of the internal tribunals or “judicial committees”, as these are called. My mother was notified by one of the elders that a private meeting was to be held at my home that evening to discuss certain matters with me. My mom expressed her concern and wanted to know why these men wanted to talk to me. Noticing her nervousness, I said I did not know, though I suspected what this could be all about. That night, I was returning home from a meeting with Christian friends of another church, whose pastor was Mr. Bedford Smith, a minister from Tennessee, who offered to give me a lift home in his car. When we arrived, I noticed that the four individuals of the judicial committee were already there, waiting for me at the building´s entrance with their dark suits and bulging briefcases. I invited Bedford to come along and join us, which he did. To my amazement, these four men, all of which I knew very well, allowed the minister to be present at the hearing as an observer. Actually, I came to realize that this was not a formal committee hearing.(I had served before as a member of such committees on various occasions) They were there to frame me up. To these guys I was nothing else but a dead fish. I wish to say that when I met pastor Smith and his family, I had not yet left the organization, in fact, I was still an elder, attending regular meetings and going about my business as any other formal Witness, so not to arise any suspicion. Pastor Smith had a wide knowledge about the JWs and their mind control techniques. He was very supportive and treated me with great respect and empathy. That was the kind of approach I was seeking for myself as I struggled with the idea of leaving the cult for good and face all the inevitable consequences of my decision. That evening, I was verbally smitten by my accusers, who were specially chosen by the local branch office to examine my case. At the end of the meeting, almost at one o´clock in the morning, the members of the tribunal, resorting to clever, persuasive intimidation and name-calling, ( they said that I was very much like the “dog returning to its vomit”, and so forth), gave me a week time to ponder about my sin and “repent.” Nevertheless, I was determined to break away loose from bondage to the WT, no matter what, and they, in turn, were resolved to get rid of me for being the "traitor who knew too much." A week later, I sent out my note of resignation in brief and respectful terms. Refusing to accept it, they passed sentence the following week, expelling me on the grounds of having committed gross “apostasy” (spiritual fornication), that is to say, for visiting other Christian churches and keeping in touch with "apostate" dissident members of the Watchtower headquarters in Brooklyn. To them, this is similar to the unforgivable sin, or betraying the very same God. This stand is the result of a subtle and thorough process of mental control and extravagant, although simplistic, interpretation of the Bible, which is repeated over and over again at meetings and literature, so that millions of followers are convinced that they alone are the only true religion and God´s chosen people on this planet. All those not heeding the warnings of the WT and not remaining in close association with the loyal ones, will be eventually annihilated for heaven's sake in the final battle of Armageddon.
An announcement was made public about my fate in all the local congregations. The reason behind such pronouncement is never disclosed to the rank-and-file, but gossip and speculation will spread like wild fire, bringing your character and reputation to ashes within the Witness community and their sympathizers.
You see, fear is one of the best tools that JW leaders use in keeping six million followers around the world goose-stepping ‘in tempo’ and, as they say, to help them stay away from trouble. A JW lives in constant fear of losing his place in the organization and face shunning from Witness friends and family members, and of course, be destroyed at the day of God´s wrath. Anybody or anything foreign to the organization is considered potentially dangerous of being infected by some sort of demonic virus from the wicked system of things, and should be avoided at all cost, regardless of how harmless it may outwardly appear. Watchtower leaders are very clever in distorting and manipulating information, thus instilling fear and leading the flock to an almost paranoid state of mind..
My disfellowshiping came as a shock to the local JW community, and most of all, to my aging mother who had been serving for more than 30 years of unquestionable loyalty to the organization. Shame and embarrassment was too overwhelming for her to bear, affecting her physical and mental condition. She developed a drinking problem, fearing that the devil would now take hold of me and then use me to vex her own life. You see, falling in disgrace among the JWs is the worst thing that can ever happen to a dedicated individual, with serious emotional consequences, not just to the outcast himself, but to all of his/her other relatives and friends remaining in the sect. Not a few cases of alcoholism, consumption of drugs, sexual promiscuity and even suicides, take place among the Witnesses as a result of such inhumane disciplinary actions. Testimonies are plentiful in this regard.
Since my father was not a JW, I was hopeful that he would give me a helping hand for the recovering process, also known as "cult-withdrawal-syndrome". Other family members, who were living abroad, most of which I had never met personally, could probably offer some advice, or so I thought. But on the following year of my defection, my father fell suddently ill with an incurable desease from which he did not recover. He passed away unexpectedly one afternoon at the clinic. Mom and I were lively chatting with him and watching TV, when all of the sudden he got into seizures. Rushed to ICU, he expired early that evening. Previously, his doctors had told me that they were expecting for him to get a little better, so that we could take him back home and gently disclose the grim facts. Then, he could formally state his last will and bequeath his assets to his loved ones. Both my mother and I knew nothing about these matters, though at the hospital my father often told my mom that there was nothing to worry about should anything happen to him, meaning that we would not be left disinherited. Mom believed him because his business achievements allowed us to enjoy a comfortable life style. I must add that not once in many years did he ever sit down with me to explain in detail how was I suppose to manage should anything happen to him. Maybe he thought that I was too incapable to understand and take on any responsibilities at all. Who knows...
Fruitless efforts were made to trace the whereabouts of his assets. A few saving accounts in the US were retrieved with no significant sums. A bank manager in Caracas told me that my father might have kept everything under codes, and without them there was no way to trace any assets. I searched through his files and found nothing. So, most probably these codes, if any, went along with him to the grave.
Being the only son, all that I had ever learned, besides studying languages, were the routine tasks that I carried out as a JW for the past 30 years. My father was the only family provider and home caretaker, a fact that often made me feel embarrased, even to this day.
Whenever I tried to learn a trade or find myself a good job, my mother would storm in and with her eyes popping out, talk me out of it, saying that by working with worldly people, I could easily fall into a snare of the devil and lose my place in Jehovah´s organization. Many heated arguments took place between my parents over this issue, but my mom always won. I often cried alone, blaming myself for this, but I had to prove my loyalty to Jehovah God and His organization, accepting this as a test to my faith. It is noteworthy to mention that before my father passed away, stress was so great at home that for about 20 years, the three of us could not sit at the same table to share a meal together. Each one of us would eat separately, either at the pantry or the bedrooms.
My mother had a flair for the good things of life, always dreading the possibility of falling into poverty. So, in her despair, after my father´s demise, she hired two ladies to run a home sale for some of our goods. We were then living in a smart rented apartment in the suburbs of Caracas. In her rush to raise enough money to pay the rent and move out, she gave away many valuable works of art, fine jewelry and silverware for ridiculous sums. My father´s well-cherished book case also had to go. At this point, it is worth mentioning that loyal members of the sect are forbidden to engage in social or spiritual fellowship with any individual who had once been a JW or became disfellowshiped from Watchtower ranks. They should not even try to make eye contact or wave a greeting upon encountering such person down the street or at the supermarket, including any family member. My mom often found ways to circumvent this rule. Trained as I was, to submit and obey, my mother pulled my strings once more, arguing that because I was her sole support, I should stay with her, for she had no one close enough to help and provide for her needs. She insisted that we had to move out of Caracas to some other town where no other Witness could easily recognize us. She wanted to flee away from the disgrace that I had brought upon her name and watch over me so that I do not become a “wordly person” now that I was no longer “under God´s protection”. In those days, the cost of living in our new district was much lower than elsewhere. I must say that her strong attachment to the JWs, made her loose contact very early with her own French relatives living overseas. She had no one close to turn to, except the Witnesses, of course. For conscientious reasons, I decided to stay with mother, making sure that she was well fed and taken care of. The Watchtower does not provide financial support for widows, if there are any close family members to care of them. All along, she was harboring the hope that in due time I would find a good job, recover from spiritual bannishment, be reinstated again to the fold and be happy forever after.
For the first two years and as long as our meager savings stretched, we lived in a first-class housing development close to the beach, on the beautiful eastern coast of Venezuela, surrounded by yacht clubs, fancy hotels and golf course. We rented a three-level villa, as we had too much furniture and stuff, and needed plenty of room for that. Aside from performing a few odd jobs now and then as a bilingual tourist guide and promoter, I couldn´t find a stable, well paid job to cover for all the expenses that our new lifestyle demanded. In those days, I had a fine European car that we had kept to get around, do errands and drive my mother each week to all of her Witness gatherings and activities.In spite of her physical limitations, she gave herself completely to the local Witness activities. On two occasions, as I recall, I tried in vain to make her learn about what was really going on behind the Watchtower curtain and the whole sham, but she would turn a deaf ear, becoming more and more sour, adamant and agitated any time I brought up the subject in a calm and respectful manner. She would flare up as if I was insulting her and from then on my life became a living hell.
My 30 year-old experience with the JWs, working hard for a powerful multinational U.S. corporation, with no salary or any other benefits, allowed me to acquire a series of skills and abilities in the fields of marketing and lecturing, besides speaking three languages fluently. Two years elapsed and I still could not find a decent job. We were just about to scratch the bottom of the pan, when I finally found something in a brand new FM radio station. The owner was a much awarded national television anchor, now retired, who I had met before in Caracas. At first, he did not recognize me, but when he did, he invited me to come along into to the recording studio for more privacy, and upon listening to my sad story and praising my qualifications, he offered the position of sales manager, announcer and copywriter. I delightfully accepted. Pretty soon, I was earning enough to be on my own and help my mother, as well. As they say, God always provides. I have been there for 15 years, so far, but this time only as a sales executive and copywriter. A few years ago I had to sell my car and could not hit the road any longer. As a sideline, I am a bilingual translator and narrator of corporate videos for the oil industry through another firm. I spend most of my time at home working at the computer in my rented bedroom-studio, located in a quiet middle-class residential sector. This place turned to be my hermitage for the past 14 years, as I cannot afford to go anywhere else. And for those who wish to know, I may say that I live alone, work alone, eat alone and sleep alone. Could you care for any more loneliness than that?
Early in the year of 2000 my mother died of cancer. By then, we were no longer living together. I made her understand that I wanted to be on my own and that she would have to find a place to stay among her friends. However, I promised that I would look after all her needs. Later, her friends had to move her out half a dozen times more, taking her from one place to another in low-class quarters. Because of the shunning policy of the WT. I was not allowed to visit her, until she became seriously ill and then I became aware of the miserable conditions she was living in. Her room was in the most pitiful condition. She looked so weak and emaciated, and still, she felt that she had to attend all the meetings and other Witness activities. Then, arrangements were made for her to stay at a health-care center for the elderly. But, previous to that, she was taken to the hospital to run medical examinations and tests. It was found that she had an advanced case of uterine cancer. Doctors said that she could undergo surgery, but there was not much hope for her in view of her exhausted condition. At the hospital, a good number of Witnesses were rushing in and out, visiting my mother and making sure she stays faithful to the end. Of course, no Witness could talk to me, except for some elders who were pushing me to get the money to foot hospital bills and later on, for mom´s funeral. By the way, when my father died, very few Witnesses came to the funeral. Not one of them approached to express their sympathies. I was totally ignored. They call themselves the only true Christians, but they lack the mercy, compassion and love that Christ displayed, even to the outcasts. (See Luke 10 :29-37)
Now back to my story. At that point, the Witnesses had already talked to the doctors about their stand concerning the use of blood. ( JW forbid the use of blood as food or medication, including transfusions among their people) Now, the doctors said that they could only accept the position of the next of kin, for that matter, who in this case was her son. I went to talk to the doctors privately and away from the sight of the Witnesses and told them that for whatever treatment they found absolutely necessary to help my mother, I would give them the green light. Anyway, the issue was dropped when it was decided that she would not be operated on, after all.
Then, a Witness lady, appointed by the elders, had the nerve to come and knock at my door asking for funds to cover for mom´s burial services. I told her that I had already been drained out of savings, but to get her off my back, I told her that I had some gems for sale. This woman picked out a few to negotiate and raise the money. JW claimed it was not their responsibility to cover these expenses but my own, because I was her only living son and that the Watchtower barely has enough means. Their duty was to make her company and see that she stays loyal to God´s organization, which means nothing else but to waste yourself to death for a billionaire corporation who demands the most from their dedicated followers, but would not move a finger to care for the needy and destitutes. As the lady went about to deal for my stones, I went to see the french vice-consul, who had befriended my mother before, along with his wife. He understood quite well when I explained that my mother was a dedicated Jehovah´s Witness in serious trouble. "Ooh, that´s terrible," he said, referring to her Witness affiliation. He had a very poor opinion about the Witnesses, like most people in France. Nevertheless, he would have to consult with the French embassy and see what could be done. Well, the embassy responded by providing a generous monthly donation, due until the day my mother would pass away.
My long journey of total submission to the religious Watchtower organization made it very difficult for me to adjust to the real world. All those so-called “worldly people”, that is to say, those who are not JWs, seemed to me like aliens speaking a different language. Some, upon finding out how naïve and gullible I was regarding "wordly matters", made me an easy target for frauds and manipulations. I was swindled a few times. Then, I began to search for Christian companionship and support among local churches, but these lacked the experience to deal with ex-cult members like myself. Instead, they were imposing sets of rules, similar to those I was running from and recommending to engage in other unreasonable routines. In other countries there are support groups and programs specially addressed to aid victims of fundamentalism and destructive cults. In fact, three years before leaving the Watchtower, a support group of ex-JW from California, (Bethel Ministries, now called Free Minds.org,) provided free literature which was sent to me by mail, proving to be most helpful and encouraging. In my country, as far as I know, there are no such groups. By renouncing to the Watchtower, I did not throw my faith away, simply because I did not depend upon any greedy man-made organization, claiming to be God´s spokesman on earth.
In all my years as a JW and thereafter, prayer was a regular feature, together with my deep research into first-century christianity. Jesus did not leave any other guidelines for us to live by but a simple, easy gospel and His loving example to follow. Nothing is said about sticking to literal Bible interpretations, taken out of context, or yielding to human authorities claiming to be God´s appointed representatives on earth, placing heavy loads on the shoulders of the people, as the pharisees did in Jesus´days. There were no unreasonable set of rules and regulations to follow. Christ did away with all the former burdensome jewish legislation that collided with the original law of love that He himself reinstated, built upon mercy, compassion and forgiveness. (See gospel by Matthew, chap. 5, verses 21 to 48) True Christians were called to be free moral agents and remain as such. (See Galatians 5 :1)
As I went through all these unpleasant episodes, not once did I become bitter or resentful against anything or anyone. There was no need to. The love of Christ is so overwheming and soothing, making no room for hard feelings. In my case, these trialsome circumstances made me far more stronger in my faith, more humble and willing to help others in distress. In those awful days I had no close friends or relatives near by to help me endure these blows. I depended exclusively on God and felt His hand picking up the broken pieces and gently putting them back together. I agree with James, when he wrote, "You have seen the Lord´s ending, that the Lord is tenderhearted and compassionate.” (5 :11)
As if all this was not yet enough, in 2005 I went through perhaps the most difficult and painful test of physical nature in my whole life, so far. Throughout my life I always enjoyed good health, with very few illness episodes. But, on this occasion, I fell suddenly sick with sharp abdominal pains and an absolute lack of appetite. This went on for days until a series of medical tests revealed that I had three malign tumors spread along the colon. For weeks I was unable to consume any solid foods. I kept loosing weight rapidly, and from a normal weight of about 150 lbs., I turned into a living skeleton of 70. I was so frail that it was impossible for me to undergo surgery. So, in order to gain some more weight, I was fed intravenously with different products and blood transfusions to help increase body defenses. Most of the time I was in severe pain, remaining almost immobilized in my hospital bed, unable to help myself. A very close friend and his father took shifts to stay overnight by my bedside. One late afternoon, when neither of them had yet arrived, a burglar sneaked into my room while I was dozing and ran away with my backpack and other belongings. The next day, another one came and snatched my cellphone, which was the only item I had at hand to call for help. Well, this is a large public hospital with lots of people strolling during visiting hours, so anything can happen.
A week later, the surgeons decided that I was in better shape to be operated on, although perspectives looked very slim. Amid all this suffering, I did my best to hang in there, not getting depressed or loosing any hopes. But, if I didn´t pull through, I was ready to go, any way.
Surgery came out successfully and almost 90% of my colon was removed. Then came the no less painful recovery process. I looked like an Auschwitz survivor, skin and bones with all those bags and tubes plugged into my body. In that miserable shape the nurses tried to make me walk. But I was so weak that I could hardly sit on my bed, much less stand on my feet. Ugly substances were oozing from the stitches and soaking my fresh pajamas every half hour or so. This went on for many days until I was finally discharged and sent back home. I was operated in Caracas, so this meant a five-hour bus ride to Puerto La Cruz, my home town. For most part of the trip I was in pain and very weak, but my friend came along to help me get home safely.
This friend had to return to Caracas right away, so, from then on I would have no one else to help me move around and go to the toilet. And since my cellphone was missing, I could not make a call. I had a visitor and I asked him to call for me, until one of my clients gave me a new phone as a gift. I had a few good friends back in those days, but most are gone now and living elsewhere. They often came to help with the cleaning and the laundry. Brought me food and did other errands. I even had to borrow a walking stick to help me stand on my feet. Before getting sick I looked so much younger, but now I seemed to have aged 20 years older !
Some of my rdio sponsors contributed with donations to help me cover monthly expenses and provide for food and medication. In the meantime, comissions from my radio advertisers kept coming in to fill gaps and make ends meet. One thing I am sure of, is that as long as you care for others, others will always be there for you, too. "Do unto others as you would like them do unto you."
I am already almost totally recovered. My doctors say that I will remain slender for the rest of my days, though in much better shape. I was prescribed to undergo seven sessions of chemotherapy and swallow a good number of other expensive medication. While I was getting my chemo treatment, I had a strange feeling, as if I should not go on with that procedure any longer. There were five more sessions to go, but 13 million bolivars more were needed to buy the rest of chemo products and other medication, which were very hard to find at that point. One of my affluent radio sponsors voluntarily donated a large sum for the first stage of the treatment, but I felt it unpolite to ask him again. Well, as soon as I skipped chemo and the other drugs, a fast recovery took place. My appetite and energy were boosting. It was amazing. A miracle ? To some, perhaps. However, someone who read this account in a Christian website said that this was much like a miracle of love. But one must keep in mind that when an individual has the will, determination and a clear conscience, he may be contributing to improve his/her own health. If one gets depressed, the immune system reflects the same and the body will not respond properly. So the prescription of love that Christ recommended, does bring good results when applied in generous dosages.
At this stage of my life I am advised not to exert myself too much.. I was told that I should try and reach for my forlorn relatives, near or far, and see if they have any suggestions to make. It is good to have someone around in case of an emergency. But I personally feel this is not going to be an easy task after having lost all contact with my relatives for so long. Destructive cults, such as Jehovah´s Witnesses and other similar groups, progressively cut you off from your loved ones who are not or wish not to be in their ranks. These are regarded as bad company because they pose a threat to your spiritual well-being and eventually could turn you away from "the truth".
Meanwhile, I make good use of my spare time sharing spiritual values and counseling by means of Internet and personally with others who may be willing to hear and learn some more about early christianity, particularly to minorities and the social outcasts..
I wish to stress here that I hold nothing against Jehovah´s Witnesses as individuals. Many of them are nice, decent people, clean-cut and law abiding citizens. But, as it happens with most cult members, they have been deceived and misled by their Governing Body. Jehovah´s Witnesses need as much love and compassion as any one of us needs. Nothing can deter the mighty healing power of true Christian love. (Matthew 7:12)
I have also set myself for another goal. I feel the urge for a change of environment. This is a very busy and noisy town, regarded as the Venezuelan Riviera. True, it is a haven for beach tourists to bask under the bright tropical sun and for nightbirds to flock in droves to the many clubs, discos and casinos. There is very little concern for the under-privileged, particularly among the upper classes. Consumism, individualism and having fun, all seems to be the common trend here. It is not precisely the kind environment suiting my needs. Besides, the hot weather wears me down. There is nothing like the invigorating and cool mountain air. I miss some of the best years I spent in the state of Mérida, in the Venezuelan Andes. I lived there as a missionary (Special Pioneer) and traveling overseer, but had almost no time left to enjoy myself. I was delighted with the lush natural scenery, the majestic snow-capped mountain range, the simple but gracious living, the polite and well-natured character of its citizens and the tasty dishes of their healthy native cuisine. Well, we will see what comes first, God willing.
I hope and wish that this account can serve as a warning about the danger of being lured, entangled and manipulated by modern religious cults. To realize how one´s personality becomes altered by greedy leaders who turns us into their slaves, forfeiting our place in human society in favor of some sect, political movement or some fanciful, arrogant philosophy suppressing individual freedoms, trampling over human rights and causing unnecessary suffering to so many.
I wish to close now by quoting Jesus Christ´s words to his genuine followers: “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them and the great men wield authority over them. This is not the way among you ; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. Just as the Son of man came, not to be served, but to serve and render His soul for the freedom of many."
(Gospel by Matthew, chap. 20, verses 25-28.)
Contributed by Roger