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How Jehovah's Witnesses Tore My Family Apart

rjh77 By rjh77 on
Badge: Author | Level: 4 | Other Culture & Society Expertise:
Watchtower Magazine

Some years ago, my sister converted to the Jehovah's Witness religion. I have to admit, the other family members were leery and uncomfortable. But we were willing to accept her and her beliefs, so long as she didn't try to convert us. For a while she did try, but then she backed off and we had a good relationship with her for years, despite our differences.

Now let me back up and explain something else that is pertinent to the rest of my story. My mother has multiple sclerosis, and over the years her health has gone downhill quite a bit. She is now confined to a wheelchair and cannot walk. My father has polyneuropathy, and his health has also deteriorated to the point where he is mostly in a wheelchair, but can walk a few steps with a walker. Now on to my original subject...

My sister would go over to my parents' house and help them out with daily chores, personal care, shopping, etc. This was fine until recently. My mother had been in and out of the hospital with complications recently (last month), so my sister would also drive my father up to see my mother.

My sister has been overbearing, trying to tell my parents how their house should look, what color furniture they should have, and recently, how my mom's care should be handled. She would even go as far as to try to talk to my mom's doctors and put her "two cents" in. My mother never gave her this permission, never signed any power of attorney or anything like that.

So one day while Mom was in the hospital a few weeks ago, my sister and my dad got into an argument, over what I'm not sure but it was not pertaining to Mom at all. All of a sudden she started accusing Dad of not caring about my mother. She also accused him of only sticking around so he can have something to complain about (the fact that he needs to care for my mother). My parents have been together 40 years and have been through a lot together, including raising a physically challenged daughter. Not once has there been any doubt in my mind that they love each other unconditionally and will be together until the end.

As you can imagine, this sparked a huge fight between my sister and my parents, making my dad feel worthless and unneeded. He was made to feel that maybe if he wasn't around, everyone would be better off. So in a state of despair, he was talking about leaving Mom, not because he didn't love her, but because he felt that if he didn't leave, my sister would try to get Mom taken out of the home.

My mother did not take this well, of course, and in turn she was also thinking that everyone would be better off without her. Instead of leaving just my dad, she decided she wanted to leave everyone behind by way of handfuls of strong painkillers. (This happened just 4 days after Christmas.) She survived, thankfully, and she had to do the mandatory 72-hour hold in a Mental Health Facility. She is on her way home to Dad as I type this.

At this point, you're probably wondering what all this has to do with Jehovah's Witnesses. I had to explain all that to get here. I got curious about my sister's behavior and started wondering if her religion had anything to do with it. So I researched.

Turns out, Jehovah's Witnesses are taught to "hate" people who do not believe what they believe, calling them "worldly" and "evil." They are also taught to hate and shun "apostates" (former Witnesses).

Jehovah's Witnesses claim their victims by asserting itself to be the "sole" Christian religion and authority on the earth today, as well as god's mouthpiece or prophet. The Watchtower further disrupts families through its harsh and unbiblical interpretation of "disfellowshipping" and the practice of "shunning." Family members who are former JW's are labeled by Watchtower adherents as "apostates" and prevented from any contact, even social. Disfellowshipped or disassociated parents, children, and grandparents are kept from any type of communication with active members of the organization. The Watchtower: Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom, is an illustrated religious magazine published semi-monthly by Jehovah's Witnesses via the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to associate with non-Witnesses, including family. Exceptions are made if the non-Witness family member is living in the same household. Although my sister and my parents are not in the same household, my parents are renting my sister's house. So as a landlord she had no choice but to associate with them.

So if they are taught to shun non-Witnesses, why the erratic behavior? They are taught to be very close-minded and to not think for themselves. So, say a Jehovah Witness doesn't agree with something a non-Witness says. They will blindly defend their opinion, their religion and themselves by any means necessary, just to try to convince you that they are right and you are wrong. Although this may sound typical to just about anyone, religious or not, it is different with them because they hold their Jehovah higher than their family. So if being right means losing your whole family, they will make that sacrifice in a heartbeat. They are so hypnotised by their beliefs that they do not care who they hurt or lose.

This whole mess has resulted in my parents having to put a restraining order on my sister. She just would not stop harassing them and she was trying to get Mom taken away from Dad. She would also call the other family members to try to turn them against Mom and Dad. Her religion has literally destroyed our family unit.

Now, I don't happen to be religious at all, but my question is this: if a religion teaches one to hate or shun ANYONE, then is that religion really good for you? What good is a religion that teaches its followers to cause such turmoil in their own family?

In closing, I would like to make it clear that this content is in no way meant to discriminate. These are my personal experiences, and every word of it is the truth. I apologize if any of this is offensive to readers.