The Jehovah’s Witness Lifestyle | Part 1
You probably know that I used to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I have been free from the cult for around 5 months now. I promise you, that those 5 months have been the best of my life. I won’t lie to you and tell you that I haven’t had any down moments. I have had some really crappy moments. Losing your whole social circle can do that to you. However, I don’t let that control me. I want you to understand what it’s like to live as a Jehovah’s Witness. In this article, I will talk about some of the rules and regulations of the religion, and what can happen if you don’t follow them.
When you’ve been influenced by a cult for so long, you start to lose creativity, and the ability to try new things. Most of these ‘Things’ are what most people do on a regular basis, and rightly so. Jehovah’s Witnesses live under some pretty strict rules. For example, they aren’t allowed to watch any TV Shows or Movies that involved magic, swearing, sex or even ‘too much’ violence. If you narrow down the movies that you actually are aloud to watch, the list is very small. I’ve watched a ton a films that I would be in huge trouble for watching as a Witness. You’d be shocked at the amount of films that I haven’t watched, but I’m getting there.
Witnesses are also told to limit association with non witnesses. So yes, they are told to limit their association with YOU! If they do associate with you regularly, they will be pulled aside by an elder and told that they need to stop hanging out with you. If they continue associating with you, they can be permanently expelled from the congregation and shunned. Classy, right? Jehovah’s Witnesses try to paint the picture that they love everybody. This is not true. They attempt to make all of their followers believe that non witnesses are evil. Most witnesses truly believe this claim, and do everything they can to avoid ‘Worldly People’ (Yes, that’s how they refer to you) Just think of that Witness in your school/work. Most likely, they’re pretty distant and appear anti social. That’s because they’re told that the environment that they’re in is dangerous. It’s pretty sad.
Getting into a relationship is pretty complicated as a Witness. Firstly, it’s almost always referred to as ‘Courting’. If you want to court someone, you have to both be planning to marry each other. During the courtship process, you aren’t aloud to be in a room alone and you’re allowed MINIMAL physical contact. Sexual contact is a no no. Basically, you can’t be intimate and you can’t be left alone in a room. If you want to be in a room together, there needs to be a chaperone, making sure that nothing gets too physical. So obviously you can’t have sex until marriage as a Jehovah’s Witness. Now I’m not against waiting for sex, because that’s your decision. However, I think that organization make it impossible for you to truly know your partner before marrying them. You should be allowed to be intimate with your partner at least. I don’t even believe kissing is allowed until engagement. If you aren’t even allowed to spend time at your partners house alone, I think there’s an issue. As a Witness, you can’t court somebody if you don’t plan to marry them, yet you can’t be left alone with them? That just seems ridiculous to me. Many courtships fail. When I say fail, I mean that the couple may have sexual contact before marriage. This doesn’t even have to be sexual contact, it can just be physical contact. If the couple do this before marriage and do not repent, they will be expelled from the congregation and shunned. Let me break this down. A Boyfriend and Girlfriend will be punished and lose everybody that they love just for sharing a passionate kiss. How ridiculous is that?
Witnesses aren’t allowed to go to university. Now attending University isn’t really a disfellowshipping offence. However, you are extremely looked down upon if you choose to go to university. Witnesses feel that you view education as more important the God if you do attend Uni. Heck, the same even applies to work. “ Becoming absorbed in a secular job can rob a Christian of the energy needed to maintain his own spiritual balance and to assist his family.”(w11 6/15 pp. 29–32). There you go, the Org tell you that working will make it difficult to assist your family, which makes no sense whatsoever.
I could go on and on. But I’ll leave it there for now. Witnesses live a crazy lifestyle. They may have a huge smile when they’re knocking on your door or preaching on the streets, but many of them aren’t smiling inside. Some only live this lifestyle because they know that they can never leave. They don’t want to lose their friends and family. They won’t know where to go. So they just play along, and live a very sad life indeed. Luckily I escaped, but that isn’t the case for many. In part 2, I will go into even more detail, so stay tuned.