The story starts in the year 1979. My parents had fallen in love with one another at work. Mum was a devout Catholic and my Father a Protestant. Mum was raised in an abusive household, where often she was physically abused as were her siblings. My Grandfather was an alcoholic. My poor Grandmother only stayed with him for the sake of keeping the family together. If she spoke out she would get beaten also. My Father on the other hand was raised in a broken home, were my Paternal Grandfather had left when he was 6 years old, leaving my Paternal Grandmother to care for 4 children by herself. Times were tough in the 50’s through to the 70’s. I admire her efforts.
So back to 1979 and roughly around the fall of that year, my conception started. Mum was a rebel, she constantly rebelled against her Father, so to find out she was pregnant with me, came as a bit of a shock and then anger hit my Grandfather. He told her to abort me, that I was just a foetus. Mum though told him no, and then went out and got married to my Father late 1979.
So about March, maybe April 1980 my Father was visited upon by two of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Whilst I was still in the womb, he was offered a free home bible study. Dad was interested in this because, the only bible he had ever looked at, had old style English language, which he failed to comprehend at times. I think it was the King James although I cannot be 100% sure. So to be shown this book, called New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, intrigued my father. It was written in plain English. Finally he could get to know God he mused.
Code words you will come across in this story are as follows, or as I call it Jdub speak.
Kingdom Hall – This is in effect a Jehovah’s Witness Church.
Field Service – This is what JW’s call the work they do when going door to door to preach to you, sometimes otherwise known as Ministry.
Pioneering – A pioneer in terms of JW’s talk is someone who comes to your door, but does it regularly. Over the course of the month an Auxiliary Pioneer was required to put in 60 hours of this work. A Regular Pioneer put in 90 hours of this work and lastly a Special Pioneer put in 120 hours of this work. ( I was the latter, and I’m so sorry I knocked)
Theocratic Ministry School – This was a meeting at the Kingdom Hall which focused entirely on how to preach, examples of how to preach and what to say to people at the doors, if they came up with a question. For instance – “I heard JW’s do not take blood” They would have a 20 minute lecture already prepared at this type of meeting, for just such an event occurring.
Book Study – Again another meeting but it would be looking at one of the JW’s books, reading a chapter from it and answering questions from it.
Bible Study – This would last approximately 1 hour in your own home, looking at the bible and looking at JW’s book Reasoning from the scriptures. This is a book that has the JW definition of the entire bible, from one chapter and verse to the next, their definition. Someone elses understanding of it, is not the truth in their eyes.
The Truth – This is what JW’s call their faith. They call it The Truth. Other examples I’m in the truth, when you have the truth. etc etc
Elder – A term used for an appointed member to shepherd the flock, meaning essentially a bishop or priest.
Ministerial Servant – This term is for members who are pretty much just trainee Elders.
Governing Body – The term for the people who sit at headquarters, a bit like the pope.
WTBTS – Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, this is the parent company of Jehovah’s Witnesses also known as Bethel. It’s in New York, USA where these headquarters are based.
144,000 – Also known as “The Anointed” These people according to JW’s have a heavenly place. Everyone else has an earthly place after Armageddon in a garden like paradise.
Armageddon – The JW’s belief is that only JW’s will survive this. It is Gods way of ridding the earth of all that is evil and wicked. This is anyone who does not do what it says in their bible.
New System – Means their garden like paradise here on earth, where no one dies, no one get’s sick or grows old, everyone is full of energy and get to play with the animals like lions and tigers and bears. (Oh My)
NWT – New World Translation – This is the Jehovah’s Witnesses interpretation of the bible. (Side note, many Greek and Hebrew scholars have said that the JW’s have not translated the bible correctly from Hebrew and Greek, to English. In fact even an ex Governing Body Member, had admitted this on tape before he died)
Partaking of emblems – The 144,000 are only allowed to do this. Every year around about Easter, JW’s hold what is known as a Memorial Service. Up on the stage there will be 3 cups and 3 plates containing Red Wine and Leavened Bread. This is to represent the passover. Anyone else taking these emblems who are not members of the 144,000 will be disfellowshipped.
Disfellowshipped – Meaning that you are cast out from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. You would still be allowed to attend their meetings, but only be allowed to sit at the back. You are not allowed to talk to any other members, and they are not allowed to talk to you, including blood family members unless on strict need to know basis.
Convention – A gathering of JW’s and is held over the course of 3 days. It is like the meetings only much more longer and dreadfully boring.
Shunned – The action of not speaking to a disfellowshipped member. In fact, every member of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation is to treat former members as if they are dead. They have not to answer their texts, phone calls or emails and even cross the road when they see them in the street. This is especially upsetting to those who have blood family members within the community, mums, dads, grandparents, children etc who treat them like this. Ultimately and sadly, many do take their own lives as a result of this cruel practice. It is a captive organisation down to the fact that many do not wish to leave, even if they don’t believe in it anymore simply so they can retain a relationship with their family members and spouses.
Apostate – A baptised member who has left the faith. In JW’s terms these people are mentally diseased, and try to form their own religions and draw followers after themselves.