The Dark Angel

One cold autumn night, where only the murmur of silence could be heard, there was a dark angel holding a purple star, which was a product of his imagination.

One day, he heard the crackling of many diamonds among the trees and the star came to him without any warning, just came and settled delicately in his hand; its ethereal light emitted rays of glorious intensity, was warm to the touch and he felt as if it wrapped him in a protective embrace.

She was his treasure, where the dark angel went, the star accompanied him through the most inhospitable and lonely valleys ever imagined. Her star inspired him and made him write down everything that was in his heart. With her star she was able to travel to parallel universes, she was able to fly beyond what the angel could even think… she just spread her wings and launched herself so that from above she could feel the night breeze touching her face.

It is indescribable the taste of freedom, to leave behind all the mental chains that tied him to what once was his earthly plane, was something that not even the most valuable gem could buy, so the angel used the gift that his star provided, to share that happiness with others.

With his star, the angel was at peace and happy. Eternity was very pleasant next to his purple star because he no longer felt alone, he could tell her everything that was in his heart and the star responded in the same way.

One day, a beautiful angel of light arrived as the couple exchanged their amazing talks full of magic… a language that only those willing to listen could understand.- Good morning beautiful dark angel What is that you are holding in your hand?

Good morning angel of light… How dare someone as beautiful and successful as you, even look at this sad creature of the night?

Don’t talk nonsense, we each have a space within the Universe… but tell me, I am curious, what are you holding in your hand?

-It is my purple star.

-Ah yes? I see that it emits purple flashes. What exactly does it do?

The dark angel took the beautiful star from his hands, like a heavenly gem, and placed it in the hands of the angel of light.

-Go,” said the dark angel, “sing for my friend, please”

Then, the star began to play the most beautiful melodies ever heard. The angel of light could not believe all the sensations he could perceive by the simple touch of the star. Through his veins ran strong discharges of happiness, love, peace, sweetness, tenderness.

– My God! What is this? -exclaimed the astonished angel of light, not yet releasing the star, “how did it get into your hands?

-I don’t know – said the dark angel -she came to me one day and has never left me. She told me that I created her, that she came out of me and that she materialized in the form of a purple star; we are both one.

-“She has to be mine,”- thought the angel of light within her- “she has to be mine.”

-Well, please give it back to me – said the dark angel and extended his powerful hand to take the star, but in the blink of an eye, the angel of light had disappeared along with the star.

Thousands of needles of pain and dense darkness took hold of the dark angel, and his heart turned to stone and began to bleed profusely.

-Oh my God, how could I have been so naive? Why did I think an angel of light could be good?

But within him, he heard the precious and beloved voice that he knew so well:

-Fear not dear dark angel, you and I are one no one can steal from me, he thinks he stole from me, but I belong to you so do not suffer, soon I will be by your side. Come to our valley, here I am waiting for you.

Then the dark angel, in all his despair, flew through all the valleys of thought until he finally reached where his beloved star was waiting for him… the scene was horrifying but captivating at the same time. The angel of light was petrified and still held in his hands the purple star that emitted slow, joyous flashes of happiness. The transformation of the angel of light was amazing: His body had become transparent glass, but his interior was jet-black. He was kneeling and on his hands rested the star. The dark angel took it delicately from his hands and embraced it; both joined in a strong embrace that seen in the distance its tone was the color of fire.

-What happened, dear star? What happened when you were taken from my side?

-No one can take what does not belong to him, you created me, I am yours, no one can possess me, so the angel of light simply transformed himself into what he really is: In a transparent statue, so that everyone can contemplate what is really inside him and that he cannot deceive anyone else, making us believe that we are not worth anything, that we are wrong and that they can take what they please at their whim.

-Is he dead?

-He always has been, he just doesn’t know it.

And so, the dark angel and his purple star set out again on their journey to places only they knew, while the angel of light watched them in their crystal prison.

Aimée Padilla

This is how my awakening was

The first time I heard about Cognitive Dissonance* it was a difficult concept to understand, I didn’t realize that the emotional conflicts that were occurring within me fitted into it.

It was a gradual process… it didn’t happen overnight. Something inside me was always telling me that the Watchtower Organization was not as sincere as it claimed to be.

Since I was a little girl I felt some reticence about what Jehovah was supposed to ask of me, I had to be a Jehovah’s Witness at all times and could not go to school like any normal child. At meetings I was taught that school was my “territory” so I suffered every day because I had to witness to my peers.

When we were on break in those years when I was in elementary school, while my friends were playing I didn’t know how to approach them because my mom would give me magazines to put on, so I would leave them on my desk in the hope that some little friend would “get interested” in the publications and I could start a conversation; but nobody did. In fact, as I write these lines, I see myself in the classroom alone waiting for some “interest” while everyone else was having fun on the school’s basketball court.

My mom constantly asked me if anyone had shown interest and I said no, so she suggested that I be the one to take the initiative and start the conversation.

I was sorry to talk to my best friend but she politely told me that she was not interested in my message, that she was Catholic and that I should respect her; that made me feel very bad so I gave up preaching. When my mom asked me if I was still preaching, I said yes, but I really stopped because I knew my friend was right: she had her religion and I should respect it.

In high school the same thing happened, I wanted to preach to a girl and her answer was: “there are no friends when you talk about politics and religion, I am Catholic and I want you to respect me, you would like me to talk to you about my religion” and I knew that she was right, so I gave up my efforts to preach, even if given the opportunity I stopped doing it, I hid the fact of being a Jehovah’s Witness, only when I came out in the conversation was that I said my religious affiliation, my classmates said: and why didn’t you tell us? And so my answer was, “Because I didn’t see any reason to,” because it was the truth, who really cares what religion you are to make a friendship? That idea is found only in the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

As an adult the same thing, in my job I didn’t say I was a Jehovah’s Witness, but when there was the first birthday I had to say it, I refused to accept the first slice of cake, but the birthday girl told me: I’ll give you this slice with all my heart, if you reject it there, so it became very ugly to reject that slice and I ate it… with a tremendous guilt!

On the following birthdays I didn’t congratulate people, but I did eat the cake. How absurd! That made me feel immensely bad since my co-workers always understood me, always so kind, warm and empathetic to my strange behavior: I did not congratulate them, nor did I give them gifts but I did eat the cake or whatever they would have brought to celebrate. And so it was with posadas, New Year’s hug, etc. All the festivities I spent that way and I always thought: Where does it say in the Bible specifically that birthdays should not be celebrated? Why does the Organization say that the one who has a birthday is a subject of veneration that only belongs to Jehovah?

Another thing that had me extremely upset was my musical and literary hobbies: I love fiction, horror, fantasy…. And as for music, I love metal, especially the symphonic one. Music that for the Watchtower Organization was the work of Satan.

I suffered from bullying in the Congregation because I had studied a university career, and from the platform I was always given hints: “There are some little sisters who have been taken away by Satan, they must think they are a bad example for other young people. So I was very unhappy, I went to the Meetings because it was supposed to be “The Truth” but I didn’t understand why I was so sad, I never gave enough. Since I worked and studied I only went out to preach on Sundays, so I had little activity, I reported 4 or 5 hours (in the time I was a Jehovah’s Witness, you had to preach at least 12 hours a month and have at least one Bible student) and I was constantly called by the elders to tell me that I should increase my hours of service, since the numbers on my publisher’s card indicated a spiritual illness, so that made me very unhappy.

(Already in other writings of mine I have spoken of the experience I had with a certain lawyer to whom I am eternally grateful, but I think I should mention it again to give continuity to the thread of my narrative)

One day in the house-to-house preaching I had to preach to a lawyer and he told me that he had studied with the Jehovah’s Witnesses in CDMX several years ago, but he stopped studying with them because he read Raymond Franz, he said Do you know who he is? I told him no, then he laughed and shook his head: How is it possible that you don’t know who Brother Franz is… so that you can see how they have brainwashed you, look for their story, you will see that they don’t tell you the truth. My partner’s sister was pulling at my sleeve and wanted us to leave, the lawyer said, “Hey, let her go, she wants to listen. But I listened to the sister and left.

That conversation left me very disturbed, 10 years ago of that, so one day I went on the Internet and put in Google: Raymond Franz and many pages came out that spoke of apostolic things, Franz was called “The Prince of the Apostates” and as a good indoctrinated Jehovah’s Witness, I immediately closed all those pages because I felt that I was sinning against God.

It was the year 2017 when my insides exploded and I woke up all of a sudden, which is why I will narrate the following:

One day the announcement was made that the Congregation I was attending was going to disappear and merge with others to “optimize the Kingdom Hall”. This was extremely strange for me since we had a good attendance… what would I optimize if the hall was overflowing with more than 100 people? And that was when I couldn’t take it anymore and decided that it was time to face all those doubts that were rooted in my heart. I went on the Internet and searched in Google for “Fusion of Congregations” and then the ExtJ.co forum appeared. Although my hand was shaking because I was afraid of entering an “apostate” site, I began to eagerly read all the experiences that were narrated there. I began to understand that I was not crazy, that I was not the only one who felt that the JW organization was not “the truth”. There I found the book “Crisis of Conscience” by Raymond Franz and began to read it that very night.

Raymond Franz, a member of the JW Governing Body, made that book telling what was going on at the cult headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. He gave me a vision of what was behind every Watchtower, every book that we followers read and take as the truth. Using the Bible, Franz took apart various doctrinal issues, which I collated to see if he was really telling the truth.

I don’t know how many days I had been reading, I was falling asleep at dawn… when suddenly, I reached a point in the reading where I got the “insight “**.

I hope to be able to describe clearly what happened to me in a matter of seconds: a white light clouded my sight, my head hurt terribly right in the middle of my forehead, my ears began to buzz, my head was spinning, I felt nauseous. As I could, I went to the bathroom to vomit, and I could only say “I’ve been tricked, I’ve been tricked” and I started to cry, I felt fear, anger, anguish, impotence and all that night I couldn’t sleep.

I spent every other day in anguish, lost and without a defined purpose since my whole life was based on a lie. What is truth? Is there any truth? Who defines what is truth?

I mention all this because more than one person has asked me “How do I leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses behind? From my point of view there is no absolute truth, each of us must seek our own spiritual identity.

Believe me it is not easy since there is no honorable way out of the cult; it is a daily work and constant struggle with all the scars that the cult left in my system but I always say to myself “One day at a time”.

Writing for me is therapy and expressing my ideas through these lines strengthens my inner self and helps me to overcome my passage through this destructive cult.

I can tell you that there is life after Jehovah’s Witnesses, every day I try to give my best, every day I enjoy being alive and being able to embrace my loved ones who are still by my side. Now I am very happy as I am taking charge of my life by taking responsibility for my actions as any healthy adult would. I do not separate between people, the term “worldly” with which one should not relate is a thing of the past. I sleep peacefully at night without being in constant fear of not giving enough to the Organization and having my name erased from the book of Jehovah’s remembrance.

In each one of us is found the desire and the will to be free, only each one at his own pace and according to his own life circumstances. Without a doubt, “Leaving Jehovah” is the best decision I could have made.

Aimée Padilla

* In psychology, the term cognitive dissonance refers to the internal tension or disharmony of the system of ideas, beliefs and emotions (cognitions) perceived by a person who has two thoughts that are in conflict at the same time, or by a behavior that conflicts with his or her beliefs. In other words, the term refers to the perception of incompatibility of two simultaneous cognitions, all of which can impact on one’s attitudes.

** insight is a term used in psychology from English that can be translated into Spanish as “visión interna” or more generically “percepción” or “entendimiento”. Through an insight the subject “captures”, “internalizes” or understands, a revealed “truth”. This can happen unexpectedly, after a deep work, symbolically, or through the use of various related techniques.

“Love… in Deed and Truth”

This was the subject of one of the Watchtower study articles that I analyzed when I realized that the JW Organization was a coercive cult. I still didn’t quite understand how to “read between the lines” the mental manipulation I was being subjected to when I attended the Meetings, but the passive-aggressive discourse that the Organization delivered with total impudence really shocked me and I didn’t believe what my mind absorbed.

Love is a recurring topic at all times so that Jehovah’s Witnesses feel identified with the information and can blame themselves, since obviously the metrics of the sect are always infinitely high and impossible to achieve.

An example of this is that it is seen as a token of love to inform the elderly about our private life so that they can give us advice that affects it, so the cult can use any speech they want and give it that bias of the love for the adept to think that the organization’s point of view is correct. Unfortunately, the foot witness sees the information as “true” and does not dare to question what is said to him (which many times has no biblical support), so he acts based on said “advice” that he was given and does not he does on his own, taking responsibility for his actions as any emotionally mature person would.

So once I have explained the above, I will enter the matter.

The article in question is that of the October 2017 Watchtower, I was particularly struck by paragraphs 6 to 9 that I transcribe below:

w17 October Pages 7 to 11 “Love … in Deed and Truth”

6, 7. (a) What is “love free from hypocrisy”? (b) What are some examples of counterfeit love?

The apostle John wrote that we must love “in deed and truth.” Thus, our love must be “without hypocrisy,” or “free from hypocrisy.” (Rom. 12:9; 2 Cor. 6:6) This means that we cannot show genuine love while pretending to be something that we are not, as if we were wearing a mask. We might wonder, ‘Is there such a thing as love with hypocrisy?’ Not really. This would not be love at all but a worthless imitation.

Consider some examples of counterfeit love. In the garden of Eden, Satan pretended to be looking out for Eve’s best interests, but his actions were actually selfish and hypocritical. (Gen. 3:4, 5) In David’s day, Ahithophel proved that his friendship with the king was a fraud. Ahithophel turned traitor when he felt that he would gain an advantage. (2 Sam. 15:31) Likewise today, apostates and others who create divisions in the congregation use “smooth talk and flattering speech” to make themselves appear to be loving, but their true motive is selfish.​—Rom. 16:17, 18.

8. What question should we ask ourselves?

Hypocritical love is especially shameful because it is a counterfeit of the godly quality of self-sacrificing love. Such hypocrisy might fool men, but not Jehovah. In fact, Jesus said that those who are like hypocrites would be punished “with the greatest severity.” (Matt. 24:51) Of course, Jehovah’s servants would never want to display hypocritical love. However, we do well to ask ourselves, ‘Is my love always genuine, not tainted by selfishness or deception?’ Let us consider nine ways we can strive to show love that is “free from hypocrisy.”

HOW TO SHOW “LOVE . . . IN DEED AND TRUTH”

9. What will genuine love move us to do?

Be happy to serve in the background. We should be willing to perform acts of love for our brothers “in secret,” or out of the limelight, when this is possible. (Read Matthew 6:1-4.) Ananias and Sapphira failed to do that. Not content to donate anonymously, they blatantly exaggerated their offering and suffered disaster for their hypocrisy. (Acts 5:1-10) In contrast, genuine love moves us to find joy in serving our brothers without fanfare or recognition. For instance, the brothers who support the Governing Body in helping to prepare spiritual food do so anonymously, not drawing attention to themselves or revealing the material they have worked on.

Source: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2017602

Here the cult dares to tell us what is true love and what is false or hypocritical love and draws attention to the fact that apostates use sweet words because their true intention is to deceive their brothers and that those who act like this will be punished more severely. Is that really so?

When I began to doubt the doctrines of the JW, I was secretly reading sites of the so-called “apostates.”

Those who have gone through the same experience as me will not let me lie. We were afraid since they told us that the apostates were wolves who were going to mislead us, but our need to know the truth was so great that we decided to continue investigating to be able to satisfy that pressing desire for answers to our constant questions regarding the veracity of the information that the Organization gave us.

I do not regret having been given the opportunity to investigate beyond the JW publications, because now I am an activist and many of those who helped me wake up are my friends and I can attest that the paragraphs transcribed lines above are very Tendentious, since we ex-witnesses all we want is for Jehovah’s Witnesses to realize that they are involved in an Organization run by men and not by God. They accuse us of wanting to deceive the brothers to mislead them (synonymous with removing them from the sect) and for which we will be “punished ‘with the greatest severity’” But now that I am free to question the Organization, I understand that who is not being sincere is she.

Its leaders speak of love but show opacity in matters as serious as their finances, which are sustained by “voluntary donations.”

His sense of urgency is ambivalent, because on the one hand “the end is around the corner” and on the other hand we see the construction of luxurious buildings such as the mega-complex film studio in Ramapo NY; However, the witness will justify the irrational actions of the sect, hiding in the fact that Jehovah is the one who moves the affairs (although the reason for them is not well understood) and those buildings will be of vital importance during the Great Tribulation. Here is the danger of this sect as its members give hands full without being able to react and realize the deception.

At the local level we can bear witness to how the Kingdom Halls were practically snatched from the hands of their true owners, that is: the brothers who cooperated with much sacrifice to buy a place to meet with dignity.

I remember that when the Kingdom Hall which I attended was bought, many activities were carried out to raise funds since we did not have enough money to buy the land, in the end the Branch of Mexico saw them with bad eyes, since the work is sustained for voluntary donations and we should not have had garage sales. However when the Hall was completed, it was deeded to the Watchtower. Who used sweet words and acted deceptively to appropriate the goods of the faithful? Who should be severely reprimanded?

Returning to the publication in question, he mentions in paragraph 9 that we must serve willingly even if others do not see what we do, and they give an example to the brothers who help the Governing Body to prepare spiritual food.

But what about the members of the Governing Body? Do we not see them wearing rolex or expensive suits thus drawing attention to their person? Someone may say: Oh! It is that brothers with good economic solvency have given them these gifts. This being the case, are they imitating the humility of Christ who had nowhere to lay his head?

Why can’t Jehovah’s Witnesses use their money for charitable causes that suit their way of thinking? Why can’t you just give love without expecting your counterpart to be a Jehovah’s Witness? Why does “the suggestion” have to come out in a Watchtower study for older adults or other sick siblings to be visited and acted upon?

Why can’t Jehovah’s Witnesses show their love with deeds just for the fun of it? Why do you have to put a series of guidelines to show that your love is authentic and without hypocrisy?

From my point of view Love … in Deed and Truth is being true to ourselves and finding our own truth. It is a personal search that you will have to live and experience yourself; no one can walk that road for us. Once we understand that, we can help others on the basis of respect. And that is precisely the cornerstone of healthy and happy families that is the goal of every human being.

Loving others is giving of our time and resources without expecting anything in return, other than the satisfaction of knowing that our words touched the heart of another person; just as someone once unselfishly helped us. 

Many times we did not see the magnitude of the help that they were giving us, only now looking at the distance is that we can say: Thank you because with your words you showed me that you really loved me … thank you wherever you are, because now I am free.

Aimée Padilla.

The women that abandon “The Good News” are a large army

To be born a woman is a great disadvantage in many parts of the world and much more if she is part of a destructive sect like the Jehovah’s Witnesses where she is submitted to the “theocratic order” being the base that sustains the corporate pyramid, displaying submission at all times before male authority. Those of us that have been part of this cult can verify that the woman has to carry out a series of practices that for the rest of society is somewhat incomprehensible. I’d like to draw your attention to the act of head covering, if for any reason a woman has to pray in public while a male is present, who is not available to lead the prayer, she must cover her head because she wouldn’t be respecting the arrangement of authority if she didn’t. An example of this is when the male in question has been baptized. Also,the case could arise when there is a non-believing husband present at the instruction given by his wife, a Jehovah’s Witness, to their children. Although he is not baptized, she must cover her head as a show of respect to the authority of her husband as head of the family.

I’ll introduce my own personal experience of submission to the “The Theocratic Order” at this point. I had to give reading and scripture classes in the Kingdom Hall and I was obliged to cover my head because I had to show respect, as a woman shouldn’t teach; but as there wasn’t a qualified male to give the lessons, I gave them wearing a scarf on my head. I never understood exactly the reasons for this, but I always put my trust in the Organization and was its loyal and prudent slave and if they told me I shouldn’t teach (although that’s what I was doing), well, I accepted it without question and covered my head. Obviously, this is my experience and there are probably thousands of cases where women are humiliated and made believe they are inferior to men, even though they count on having sufficient intellectual capacity to help others imparting their teachings. The organization controls women excusing itself on the biblical principles of headship. There’s a text that has always unsettled me and it’s from Timothy 2:11,12 that says “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence”. So, I thought: If the bible doesn’t permit a woman to teach, how is it possible that we can go out to preach and give bible courses? Isn’t that teaching? What does the organization have to say in respect to the place of women in the proclamation of the, so-called, “Good News”? The “Watchtower” of 15 August 2014, page 10, paragraphs 19 & 21 says the following: 19: That small group of sincere bible students has grown to approximately 8,000,000 Jehovah’s witnesses that currently exist and to this 11,000,000 people that attended the Commemoration of the Death of Jesus Christ in the year 2013. In almost all the countries, the majority of the followers were women. What’s more, in the whole world the amount of full-time preachers of the Kingdom is more than one million, and the majority again are women. As we can see, God has also conceded the great privilege to women of representing him. Truly, the words of the psalmist “The Lord gives the word, and a great army brings the good news” (Psalm 68:11). 21: There is no doubt that Jehovah blesses the evangelizing labor of the Christian women* and he supports them in difficult times. For example: He helped our sisters to maintain themselves loyal under Nazism and Communism. Many of them suffering and even losing their lives for obeying God (Acts, 5:29). Today, as in the past, all Christians, women as much as men, have chosen Jehovah as their leader. And he, as he did in the past with the Israelites, took their hand and said: “So do not fear, for I am with you” (Isiah. 14:10-13). Source: https://wol.jw.org/es/wol/d/r4/lp-s/2014603.

Now that I have read the article, I can understand the manipulation that is behind all this, by using the first paragraphs to argue that a woman should be submissive to the Organization and keep silence and, finishing off in the paragraphs I cited making special emphasis, in that the woman is a valuable instrument that Jehovah uses to “proclaim the good news” that in other words means the recruitment of followers. At the time I didn’t see it. I thought it was the will of Jehovah that I stay in the organization although I didn’t understand many things. The task of evangelizing by women is a triangular stone for rectangular people and the sect knows this. And because of this, women should be kept quiet and submissive because if they find out about their true potential, the JW Organization, as such, would disappear… maybe this affirmation I am making is too audacious, but it is my opinion. At the end I had to make a decision because I couldn’t continue in a place where the bible was used to control the minds of the witnesses of Jehovah and, in this case, of women. So, I left.

I’ll tell you the story of a sister around 60 years of age who I’ll call Pilar, who goes to the congregation that I used to go to when I was JW. At the end of a meeting in the Kingdom Hall I said hello to her. She lives some distance away and said she didn’t feel well and that she wanted to leave quickly to drink something. When, suddenly, the head of our prayer group came over and told us we had to do the cleaning. She said that she felt badly… the brother on hearing her asking to be excused for being ill, raised his arms in gesture saying “I don’t know” “I couldn’t care less” and he left… this left us with a bitter taste in the mouth because of the way he acted and she said: “Ah sister, I said I didn’t feel well, but I see that doesn’t mean anything here”. As you can see, the sister felt pressured to do the cleaning and that sentence stuck with me “that doesn’t mean anything here”. So, these kinds of attitudes and behaviors that are systematically repeated in all the congregations worldwide, at least in my case, made me open my eyes. When I left the organization, I realized there were many ex-witnesses that, like me, had been able to free themselves from the talons of the sect… What did we women have in common that made us understand that we had “wings” and could fly free from the cage and invisible bars that the JW Organization represents? I have chatted with some ex- witness friends and I believe that the sect brought us to the limits of our strength and for our emotional and mental health we had to say “Enough!” “I can´t take any more!” It was a very painful process that could have lasted years, including putting up with long hours under the sun preaching, or having to give up a love because he wasn’t a Jehovah’s Witness. Others have had to tolerate the character of the elderly that didn’t use empathy and some of us felt anxious to comply with a spiritual role that was difficult to fulfill. This, just to mention some situations that could arise within each of our respective congregations; but there are thousands of experiences that the ex-witnesses can tell. We are curious women that like to research a lot, imagine, think… I believe this way of being is what finally made us stop along the road and investigate the religion we found ourselves in. We have the advantage now of having technology, so that now women of all ages can have access to information that they didn’t have before. We have decided to take the risk and dive into the abysm of knowledge and find a goldmine.

The ex-witness women that I know (and there are a lot), are brave women, intelligent, rational, All warriors! And with every day that passes more and more women join us in this steady fight in letting it be known that the JW organization is a dangerous sect. To you, Jehovah’s Witness woman, that suffers in silence because you have to be both father and mother, getting by on a half salary to support your children and still fulfill the rhythm of spiritual activity that the JW Organization asks of you. To you Jehovah’s witness woman that has suffered in silence all types of physical and emotional damage by your baptized husband, that brought your case before the elders and weren’t listened to because you should show more respect and it was “your fault” that he shouted at you or beat you. To you Jehovah’s Witness woman who was sexually assaulted and didn’t have two or three witnesses to back up what you said, your aggressor still free and enjoying privileges within the congregation. To you Jehovah’s Witness woman who would give anything to enroll in a university program, but could never because you dedicated yourself to the ancestral norm, subsisting on menial jobs to then dedicate yourself to the nonpaid labor of making disciples. To you Jehovah’s Witness woman that never got married and have arrived at old age: as you now feel alone and anxious because you have given your whole life to an organization that hasn’t given you a hand in those moments that you most need now that you don’t have a family at your side. To you Jehovah’s Witness woman that has your own story of suffering and anguish, to you we say: The women that have abandoned “the good news” are a great army! Jehovah’s Witness woman that reads this, please investigate. My ex-witness colleagues and I invite you to see that you are valuable, brilliant, talented and with a heart of gold. You can wake up. In you, is the desire and will to be free.

Aimée Padilla

https://www.asociaciondeateosdebogota.com/post/those-women-who-escaped-from-the-chauvinistic-yoke-of-the-jehovah-s-witnesses?fbclid=IwAR2FjOdup0WTb8hjrJuAhBI5an6Bo-bE4nkp0KKI52r_hOBjsiF-qcGTeDw

“Being born into the truth”

My paternal grandmother was considered a rebel in the eyes of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She was a zealous woman in her service to religion and one of the pioneers in making the “truth” known in Mexico back in the 1940’s.

But why was she a rebel in the eyes of others? Even I saw her that way when I heard her comments and did not understand her way of thinking.

She firmly believed that the number of hours she spent on house-to-house activity should not be reported, as she reasoned as follows: “That’s not in the Bible,” and she constantly had conversations with the elders as she refused to give a preaching report…even though she did it in the end.

In the same way, when it was the visit of the Circuit Overseer, he would not go out to preach because he would say: “Well, that man is the Pope, why should I go out? Oh! The elders are never seen in the service, but when the Circuit Overseer arrives, they are the first to be there.

When I made those comments in front of other siblings, I held my breath and thought, “Oh, Granny, why are you so rebellious? why don’t you support the recommendations given by the Organization?

What I didn’t understand at the time was that my grandmother, not having been born “in truth,” still had her critical thinking in place, which had not been completely crushed.

I have read comments in recent times, where Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not open their eyes to so much evidence now against JW are attributed qualifiers such as: fools or fools; I prefer not to use those expressions so I will relate below.

In my personal experience, I will tell you that it took me about 10 years to realize that I was being lied to from the first contact I had with “apostasy.
When I was preaching, I had to talk to a lawyer… he was the first one to tell me about Brother Franz. I remember that at that moment he said to me: “Do you know who Raymond Franz is? I answered no. He said, “How terrible it is that you Jehovah’s Witnesses do not know the history of your organization.

I spoke with him for more than an hour, he tried to make me see the lie I was in, but I blindly defended the Organization, with weak phrases already studied in the manual: “Jehovah’s Organization is perfect, we are the imperfect ones” “Jehovah moves things in due time” but time and time again, my interlocutor had a question to which I could not answer him with valid arguments. When I returned home, I searched the internet for “Raymond Franz” and many entries came up, in one of them I remember he said: “Raymond Franz, the prince of the apostates”, I was very frightened so I closed the search engine and with my heart beating fast, I made a prayer to Jehovah asking for forgiveness for being looking for apostate information.

The idea had been going around for a few weeks, but I ended up forgetting about it and clinging more to the doctrines of the cult.
So as a person who was born into the truth, I never had any way of contrasting information other than what was instilled in me from my early childhood, I always assumed that Jehovah’s Witnesses were the only organization approved by God, all others were wrong.

My grandmother met Jehovah’s Witnesses as an adult, held on to their teachings and was a devoted follower of the cult. She raised her children that way, but because she belonged to another religion she could clearly see that there were things that didn’t make sense and that’s when she protested.

I saw her with a mixture of admiration and amazement at her “rebellion”, how she confronted the elders in order to sustain her point of view in an overly macho Mexico, coupled with the machismo that prevails within the Watchtower. He never let himself be intimidated and I regret that he is not with me now.

Even when I am awake, it is very difficult for me to remove from my system all traces of the Organization, because I have no extended family, no friends, and I have problems socializing with other people and establishing healthy boundaries. I always try to justify others and forget about myself because I always put them first, because that is what I was taught within the Organization.

I started to write in forums of former Jehovah’s Witnesses in order to heal my emotional wounds and I soon realized that there were many people who were going through much more difficult situations than mine and I am eternally grateful to them, since their experiences touched my soul and have given me the strength to go on with the stories that I still have to tell.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are normal people like any human being, but they are instilled with the idea that they are unique and special, that they are part of a certain elite. This is reinforced time and time again in their publications; let’s remember Hassan and his book on cult mental manipulation techniques and repetition is one of the many techniques this coercive organization uses to diamond cut irrational ideas into the psyche of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Those of us who were born into the cult never knew what it was like to celebrate a birthday, salute the flag or even say “bless you!” to someone who sneezes, all of which were bad in Jehovah’s eyes and made us feel extremely bad about things that for the rest of the world were normal… because they are, but it is necessary for the follower to remain isolated from others in order to control them and if this is done from early childhood, the individual’s personality is marked and his or her ability to recognize something illogical is more difficult.

That is the perception I have now that I am outside.I have had to take psychological therapy to be able to rebuild my life and be reborn from the ashes, all my life I went to the elders for help when I had a problem, but when I realized that I was in total control of it I panicked, because I did not know what would become of me without someone telling me what I should do; and I am not talking at this moment about a doctrinal issue, but what I would do with my life in the full sense of the word.

I still fall into periods of depression but these are becoming less frequent, I am learning to be independent, confident, I am learning to control my emotions and to laugh at my mistakes. I try to be honest with myself and take the best path for me which is not necessarily the one I want. I reinvent myself every day and learn from my failures, that is resilience and I am still far from reaching my goal.

I am fully enjoying this journey of discovery, savoring every day for having the opportunity to be a better person and share what I feel with others. It is a feeling that I carry in my heart since someone in the past was interested in me without knowing me… how much I regret not having listened to that lawyer 10 years ago since my life would be different, how much I regret not knowing his name, how much I regret not being able to thank him in person and tell him that he gave the initial push in this path towards my freedom of thought.

So when I come across some Jehovah’s Witnesses who are staunch defenders of the sect, I try to remember that I was like them but thanks to activism I find myself writing these lines. I hope, as always, that with my words many will come to feel identified. I will not tire of repeating over and over again: Jehovah’s Witnesses please investigate beyond the official publications of the JW organization, use your critical thinking, take control of your lives and your own truth. Don’t let time pass by and continue to give your energies and resources to an organization that doesn’t care about you.

And what I regret most is not being able to say to my grandmother “I’m sorry if I thought you were a rebel”, if she were still alive I would have spoken to her already as I did to other family members. I know that she would have listened to me and would have said: “Oh… then I wasn’t a rebel” and I would have responded: “Of course not granny… you weren’t a rebel, you were a visionary”.

Aimée Padilla.

(DeepL traslator)