Doll Breaks Up Relationship with Witness
Hi there Mr. Watters.
I'm a 22 year old dating someone studying to become a JW. I came across your site from the JW usenet newsgroup. I'm systematically reading everything on the site and so far I'm impressed and intrigued. I myself am a fairly non-practicing Catholic who believes in Jesus as a great teacher, but am not sure he is God in the flesh (which doesn't mean I don't hope he is!). But I am still respectful of religion and those who devoutly follow it. Anyway, my girlfriend has been studying with the JWs over the last month or so. In her native Ecuador she briefly was part of the International Church of Christ and she has said she briefly flirted with joining the JWs a few years ago.
Of course, the usual conflicts begin to arise over the JWs and their bizarre ideologies. Part of this may be that I am rather unreligious, part that I also have pretty sound reasoning and rational skills (I am a college graduate, for what its worth) whereas my girlfriend is rather uneducated (not dumb, however!), having been raised with rather backwards thinking relatives in South America, completing only a GED and taking some of the sillier beliefs in astrology and magic (although she's not too serious about that stuff and has only brought it up about once or twice with me). My girlfriend tends to take things rather literally as a result. Well, here's my story.
After having a long drawn out argument while Christmas shopping (which I can't believe my girlfriend agreed to accompany me on) about the JWs, I agreed to take her into the Disney store in the mall. My girlfriend likes Mickey Mouse and the whole gang, kind of like how I still collect baseball cards. While in the store, she asked me to buy her these two Mickey Mouse plush dolls. These were to be an un-christmas Christmas gift, if you get the gist of what I am saying. I, dismayed that my girlfriend would refuse to celebrate Christmas with me, was somewhat happy that she at least was getting some sort of celebratory spirit, so I happily bought the two dolls.
One was your standard Mickey Mouse with the suspenders and the grin. The other was Mickey from the film "Fantasia", and if you have seen that film, Mickey Mouse is dressed kind of like a wizard, pointy hat and long robe and all. She was happy, I was happy.
When we got to her place, my girlfriend thanked me for making her very happy, and that she loved the dolls. An hour or so later, for seemingly no reason, she said that she would have to get rid of the Mickey because he was dressed like a wizard and symbolized Satan. I did what I usually do when she starts bringing up whacko JW ideas, which is to say I just stared off into space feeling depressed that this is not the person I thought I knew.
She then said she was only kidding and that she would never get rid of them because I, her sweetheart had bought them for her. Things were good. A couple days later (last night), I had to stop by really quickly to drop something off that my girlfriend had left in my car. We were still in a good mood from the weekend. I went over and things were as usual. Then, once again for no reason, my girlfriend said that she would have to get rid of the Mickey Mouse doll, in addition to my no longer being able to wear the t-shirt I was wearing (A rock band's t-shirt with a silly, and kinda cute looking monster type guy, walking around with his head chopped off, holding the head and a hatchet in his hand) in her house, and that she would have to throw out some painting her artist ex-boyfriend had drawn for her (I don't know what the subjects of these paintings are as I have never seen them, but he was a comic book artist for what its worth). I was like, "Why?" She said, because at her Bible Study meeting at the local Kingdom Hall they told her that these things represented Satan (the usual stock answer to any JW question). I was so incredulous. I literally lost it after my girlfriend, with a totally straight face, explained that Mickey Mouse, a cotton doll, representing an ink cartoon, practices magic and therefore symbolizes all things Satanic. I asked her why she's following everything these people say, and why would a person who 2 days earlier took it for what it was, a cute doll made of cloth and cotton given to her by her boyfriend, would just do a 180 degree turn and talk about a DOLL as if it were the devil for god's sake!!!!!! She ignored me, I yelled some more, possibly went over the line, saying that she was just a damn moron if she believed that JW tripe about evil dolls. I then finally left and told her to thank the JWs for putting this kind of wedge in our relationship and for causing an eventual breakup. I of course, may have been grandstanding, but if things get progressively worse and more JW oriented as they are, there will be irreparable damage done.
So that's my funny but sad story. It may or not be funny or too important, but to me its sadly hilarious, as technically, a doll is breaking my relationship with my beloved girlfriend of 15 months up. And just to clarify: I do not hate the JWs because they are not mainstream Christians ( as sadly, many of these anti-JW sites do, proving their own agendas). I do hate them for the influence they have on my girlfriend, partly because it directly effects my happiness, but mostly because my girlfriend, a sweet person who wants to be saved and follow the Christian teachings, is being manipulated by her love for God, who she naturally thinks is the supreme and absolute ideologist (so disagreeing would make her evil, in her mind), and these Jehovah's take advantage of that. If she were a devout Jew or Methodist or Greek Orthodox or Baptist, this would not be a problem, as I believe in religious tolerance (although I am not politically correct ; ) ) and that all good religions preach kindness and tolerance of all people as brothers and sisters, as Christ did. But I hate the JWs because, whether their cult is centered on God, an organization, or some object of worship, be it man or beast, its a cult that manipulates and hurts people. So thanks, and keep up the good work. Believe me, it is working, as I even got my girlfriend to question some JW teachings after reading sites like yours (too bad the JWs managed to reassure my girlfriend that those sites lie and are evil!).
Peace, and have a happy holiday.
Hi again Mr. Watters.
This is Peter, the person who sent you the "Doll breaks up relationship..." story last week. As I go through the trials and tribulations of dating a JW-to-be, I've decided I want to help those who are not JWs themselves but are being insanely torn from lovers/friends that are JW or seeking to become JW. As you know, my girlfriend and I basically decided to split over a doll. Well, in the span of a week or so, we managed to get back together and then split again. This time, it may be for good (although I hope not!). For whatever reason my girlfriend and I settled our differences. My girlfriend even accepted an invitation to my family's house for a huge Christmas Eve party. We had a wonderful time and I was happy to be able to at least keep an open line with her to "worldly" things and people like she experienced that night.
Of course, trouble started again. My girlfriend invited me over to her apartment after I had finished celebrating Christmas with my family. I came over, and we had a fight about a matter unrelated to the JWs. On Monday (12/26/99), my girlfriend and I had an hour long conversation over phone in which she proceeded to joke with me, forgive me for my role in the fight, talk about what was going on in her life, then dump me because "it will never work, as I need someone in my own faith." Basically, my only problem is that I am not a JW. While we may be able to sputter along for awhile, the moment of truth will come when she will be baptized. At this time, I can either convert to JW (will never happen), or I leave, as it has been placed squarely on my shoulders that *I* am the only one who can keep her from being baptized.
As you might expect, this created a gigantic conflict within myself. On the one hand, I love my girlfriend deeply. On the other hand, she wants something that I don't want, and cannot believe that she wants (i.e., to become a JW). She wants two things: me, and the JWs. She wants the JWs more, because, lets face it, I cannot compete with God and eternal salvation! The only way she can reach that is by first getting rid of me. Which she did...quite easily. One cannot begin to fathom the deep hurt I feel at this moment. To have someone leave you after over a year, and even worse, to leave for something so harmful to them so easily. It is almost like confronting a drug user with a choice: me or the drugs, and the person chooses drugs.
While this has only happened within the last 48 hours, and it may be too premature to tell what will happen, if anything, the fact that the conflicts between her and I over the JWs have increased in frequency and magnitude, and the fact that the JWs are the ones winning is what is causing me to lose hope. I feel my girlfriend slipping away slowly, and changing into someone I do not know anymore. I am more and more quickly becoming an adversary to her rather than a loved one. I fear that she will lose touch with myself and other "worldly" beings . I do not foresee a happy ending.
In my search for answers regarding my plight, I have visited many sites regarding the JWs and Christianity. For whatever reason, I feel in myself a spark of interest in reaffirming my faith in Jesus. In my recent search, I have found several verses from the Bible regarding Jesus that others facing the same situation as I can offer to loved ones slipping away that may help bring them back. And I guess, this is the help that I alluded to in the opening sentences of this letter that I hope to offer. I hope it helps anyone reading this.
All quotes from the NIV Bible:
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth...
Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
I believe these messages are simple yet beautiful in their message that we are all one in Jesus, that no organization or corporation or whatever you want to call it is necessary. Just a loving and true belief in Jesus. I hope that this helps anyone losing someone to a cult like the JWs. Keep giving theme Christ-like love and compassion as I will, and hopefully they will come around and see the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society for the mean spirited and controlling organization they are.
PS- Mr. Watters, I'm hoping obviously that you will post this letter. I am thinking myself of putting up a section on my future website devoted to this topic, so I would like you to put my e-mail address with this story, so any interested parties can contact me. Thanks again for your help, its meant a lot.
Hi Randy. Remember me! Doll boy is back. Anyway, a whole helluva
happened in the last 5 months or so since I last wrote to you. Too much to
send to you in an email, although you could ask Kent or Gretchen or a few
others at H20, they could fill you in better. On my part I've read Crisis of
Conscience, and all I can say is I am glad Ray Franz is around for all of
our benefit. You can tell he's a real scholar and an intelligent man just
from his writing. And he's a lot better a writer than the Watchtower boys
and their targeted-at-8 year old inane babblings. I'm hoping to move on to
In Search of Christian Freedom next. Me and the girlfriend are still
together (well, together-not together-together-not together-together) and
dealing with the Watchtower. Things are confusing. Still painful. Could be
looking up. I'm cautiously optimistic. At least she is sleeping with the
little wizard doll I bought her! Well, just to let you know what's going on
as I hit a crossroads with her, I'm pasting in part of an email I sent today
to a fellow non JW in the same situation as myself. Feel free to put this
as a sequel to the doll story if you'd like. Everyone at H20 and around the
net have been a real great support network and source of information for me
and I am glad to call many of them friends. Make sure to look for me at H20
as "Friend of Jesus" (already made a couple posts last week)
Begin quoted letter here.
Well, we've made up. Turned out the fight wasn't that bad. Things have been
OK between us. There have been plenty of JW fights in the last 2 weeks
between us. Seems I just can't resist blowing my fuse when it comes to the
JW. Their propaganda and arrogance really makes my blood boil. I seem to
be making some progress with her...well, actually, she seems to be making
progress with herself. We are celebrating her birthday next week. We
won't be having the normal cake and party thing, due to the timing of her
birthday, but we are going to Six Flags theme park a few days after. And
she actually is trying to decide what I should get her for a present. We
were going to go out for a short while on her birthday itself, but she seems
to be hedging on that now. That I think is guilt of being a JW as she is
really laying on the excuses why she shouldn't go out (without actually
saying she's a JW).
We seem to be talking innocently enough about religion, getting on the same
page, which is good. Of course, the frequent blow-ups cancel out all those
innocent discussions, but at least I am conditioning her to think that she
can talk to me. We've already talked about my birthday and presents, a
present for my college graduation tomorrow, the birthday party her son and
her were going to attend last week until he was punished for being extremely
bad that week (good behavior was a condition of his attending). She wants
to attend a fireworks show for the 4th of July too. So the holiday thing
seems cool right now, although I worry that she is only doing these things
to please me. I value the truth, even if it hurts.
She also plans on attending college in the fall, and she talks about her son
going to college to become a lawyer. While these aren't banned by the JWs,
in practice I know they are heavily frowned upon, since time spent at
college is time off from being a magazine selling slave. And law school is
definitely a lot of time off the plantation. I think she will be in for a
rude awakening when she's eyed in a funny way for being a worldly college
She seems to be opening up to me about grievances she has with the
Watchtower society. While she is dismissing some of her issues as her being
spiritually bad or deferring to the brothers and sisters, she still at least
has issues. First, she said she was very upset that at the recent Memorial
(her first meeting in over a month), she was not allowed to take part in the
blood and body of Jesus. She wanted to, being the spiritual girl she is and
was upset she couldn't. She did dismiss it as not being part of the
anointed. I logically said that Jesus wanted ALL of us to take Him in so to
speak. And that we can't be saved without it. She said, yeah well I am not
anointed. And I asked her to justify that, which she could not, only
parroting out "that's what WE believe and I'll get back to you on that." I
also took that time to let her know that Jesus is not her mediator,
according to her friends, and that basically she's always going to be a
second class citizen in the Watchtower. She said, silly, Jesus is everyone's
mediator. Guess she's in for a surprise once I give her the old Watchtowers
I bought saying very plainly that Jesus is NOT her mediator. Hopefully that
will jar her to her senses a little. Second, she found out yesterday (only
about 6 months after I, the apostate did. God bless the internet!) that
certain sex practices, including the fairly common practice of oral sex are
"illegal" in JW-land and are grounds for eternal damnation. She found it
very humorous, saying how are THEY (don't think I missed her using THEY
instead of WE) supposed to enjoy themselves. I just said it really is no
ones business what a man and his woman do in bed together.
I have been obsessing on the JW thing lately, because of the precarious
position of our relationship and also the fact that she is getting more and
more indoctrinated as time passes, and also because its just one of my
faults, obsessing, that is. I keep see-sawing between "Things are doomed"
and "Things are great". Every little forward step we make has to be guarded
closely, because of the guilt she feels.
I am sure of one thing now. I am the only thing standing between her and
the Watchtower society. She has stated so numerous times lately. She wants
to marry me and be with me forever, but knows she can't. She wavers between
"We have no future" and crying when I say the exact same thing. And then
she'll turn around and say "An engagement ring for my birthday would be
nice." So it seems we are all confused.
Today I notice me and her seem to be hitting a crossroads. I found today's
brief lunchtime phone call to be very poignant. We were talking about the
fun we had last night, since I have made a pledge to start coming over a
little earlier. My reason for doing this is hopefully to distract her from
the Watchtower meetings if possible. She likes when I come over early, so
the small sacrifice is worth it to me. She would like me to come over again
early today, "ASAP". Of course, today is Wednesday KM meeting day, and like
she said last week, she had spent a lot of time preparing for it. Only
problem, it seems, is she doesn't feel like going. Turns out, and this is
her words, word for word, "The three hours I spent working on the homework
could have been spent WATCHING TELEVISION or cleaning up my house." I
couldn't believe she said that WATCHING HER TELEVISION was a better use of
her time. I had to agree (silently of course, I ain't pressing my luck with
the funny man routine). Turns out of course, its more to it than boring
meetings. She feels very guilty spiritually, and she said its not because
the JW make her guilty. So they did their job, managing to get her to feel
guilty about herself all by herself. She feels guilty because she "HAS TO
GO TO THEM". I was so happy that God was such a joy to her. Now mind you,
she still wants to be a JW. For some God forsaken reason, she really wants
to be a JW. I don't think it has too much to do with God. I think she just
really wants to be part of their club. Like I said, only I am stopping
her. She wants me, and she wants the JW. And she knows once she starts to
pioneer, it is mandatory that she 86's me. But she doesn't want to do that.
So I guess we got ourselves a real dilemma here!!! And she said, if she gets
tired of being a JW, then she can't just call me up and continue where we
left off. I found that strange that she even talked about getting tired off
the JWs. I told her she knows my thoughts on all of this, and that
statistically speaking, its pretty likely that she'll leave in the future
anyway. She told me she didn't want to hear it again ( I wasn't going to say
anything unless she wanted me to anyway) about how the JW suck and are
idiots. I wouldn't say that now of course. And then she went back to work,
sounding very very dejected and depressed. She kept bringing up "But I have
to go to the meetings" at random, as if I was telling her not to. Which I
wasn't and was not planning on doing. She said she might not be happy if
she gives up the JW for me. I didn't put too much weight on that as people
"get over it" fairly quickly. I mean, I wasn't happy that I had to give up
NYU for two years until I got the $$$ to pay for it, but I got over it in
about a week or two. It seems she is looking for something to grasp on to
either way and for someone to give her that authoritative command that will
absolve her of the tough decisions. Little does she know that I might marry
her even as a JW as long as she doesn't raise our kids that way. Then I
could wait it out until she becomes disenchanted. Yeah, its a pipe dream,
but hey, its only a thought.
So that's where we stand right now. I am in a VERY VERY tough place right
now. I am feeling the pressure right now and am praying that I have the
strength to not blow it, grin and bear the tough spots and get the happy
Its a fast world and I have yet another update. Turns out my girlfriend came
to a "big decision," as she put it. She said that she decided to cut down on
her visits to the Kingdom Hall and stick with just the home studies. In
general, she says she is "slowing down" and has "one foot out the door."
Its a good time for her to do so too, as her son has already begun refusing
to salute the flag. The odd part is that she hasn't been visiting the
Kingdom Hall regularly, and has been "living in sin" lately anyway! But, I
guess this is more of her making a concrete future choice to limit her
involvement in the Kingdom Hall, whereas the last weeks she more or less has
been greedy for time with me, which has overridden the "need" to visit the
Kingdom Hall. She also has her own time issues raising a son and full time
work which limit the pioneering she hoped to do anyway. So, in her words,
she has chosen me over the Witnesses. I don't see it, but I'll take her word
for it as it seems "cut down" now means "never attend anymore"
She says she doesn't feel bad, and it is not I who have pulled her away. At
the same time, she acknowledges that choosing me was the wrong choice and
that now her, myself, her son, and any future children are all doomed. That
hurt of course, but I remember that I am dealing with someone who has been
fed false information. I've laid off the doctrinal debates and just let her
know that she is not doing anything wrong and that in the future I know she
will realize it. And lots of hugs and kisses help too.
We had a great weekend after that, not one mention of the Watchtower. She
still is studying, and I guess I will have to grin and bear it, knowing that
while its annoying to me, she's definitely on her way out. She's still
convinced that the JWs are the truth, but the important part seems to be
that she'd rather have me than them. Marrying the love of your life soon is
a better carrot to dangle than some abstract far-off idea of "everlasting
life" I guess. And convincing her that the Watchtower Society is not all its
cracked up to be will come in time, when her involvement is just a memory
and when we can both speak on more civil terms about it. Knowing that these
cults are like a drug to some, I am sure she might in the future, start
flirting with them like she had done a decade ago, and like she did with the
International Church of Christ and Kip McKean maybe five years ago. For that
reason, I'll probably purchase some old Watchtower and Awake! back issues
off of eBay or FreeMinds.org, to maybe drill home some of the issues she has
deemed crucial, yet are in opposition to what she believes about
Christianity and the Watchtower Society. These include predictions of 1975
by the "apostates" (whom I guess somehow got into the Bethel printing
presses and put out 3 million phony copies of the Watchtower which no one
seemed to notice), Jesus not being her mediator according to the Society,
and changing views on transplants, the crucifix and more. That might give
her the final wake-up call. But thats all in the future. She still may
choose to leave me, but I feel optimistic.
I think it has also helped that each and everyone of her friends has talked
negatively of the Watchtower, echoing my sentiments. It also helps that the
ones neutral (that should read, ignorant of their beliefs) about the
religion all think she is silly to give me up for some religious group. But
things are looking up more and more. Just yesterday we celebrated Mother's
Day with a new pair of shoes for her and a craft book with which, by her
suggestion, we are going to make our own Christmas presents for my family
and hers. Tomorrow is her birthday, and she's demanded some birthday cake
and another pair of shoes (I date Imelda Marcos now). I gladly comply. The
big tests will be Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but these days are
months away, although her talk of buying a Christmas tree has me encouraged.
My only hope is that she is happily celebrating and not feeling guilt.
We'll find out I guess.
Knowing how much I love to write these emails, I am sure you may hear an
update from me again. And it wouldn't surprise anyone if the next update
came next week. But things are looking good, and I am very happy, and am
very glad to have my internet friends and acquaintances that have given me
advice and support whereas people in my personal world just couldn't
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