Obedience Frighteningly Crucial

I tried hard to be a good girl so I could live in that happy paradise where all the good people would live someday, if they could be obedient enough. It was crucial to be obedient. Frighteningly so. My school friend Vicky said our family was going to hell because we didn’t go to her church on Sunday. She also informed me that her religion was the truth and ours was false.From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained Book Cover

“Are we Catholic?” I asked my dad at our next bible study session. “Could we go to Vicky’s church?”

“No, we are not Catholic! Vicky has a false religion!” my dad bellowed. “See the churches in the Paradise book? See what is happening to them?”

“What religion are we?” I asked.

“We are Jehovah’s Witnesses,” my dad announced.

I didn’t answer. I was too scared to tell him I wanted to be a Catholic. He would have beaten it out of me. I looked again at the pictures of the steeples getting struck with lightning. That surely meant that God was going to destroy all the churches, including Vicky’s church. I was taught that we alone were the only “true Christians.” Everyone else who does not belong to our religion was wicked, under Satan’s control and would soon be destroyed by God. The Paradise book graphically depicted God destroying all those “unbelievers” at Armageddon. Clearly, obedience was frighteningly crucial. And I didn’t think I could be that obedient because I had other interests in my little world.

Armageddon horror story in From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained v 1958 p 207
Armageddon horror story in From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained v 1958 p 209 Armageddon horror story in From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained v 1958 p 208 Armageddon horror story in From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained v 1958 p 210
From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained. (1958) Watchtower, Bible and Tract Society of New York. pp. 207-210.

The book goes into great detail describing how Jehovah would murder every man, woman, boy and girl on the face of the earth except good Jehovah’s Witnesses. The god of the Watchtower would only spare those who attend the Kingdom Hall regularly, go from door to door, and study Watchtower books. I didn’t think I could be “good enough” to get into that golden paradise.

Being “Different”

This new-found knowledge about our different religions became a bone of contention with Vicky and me. I couldn’t imagine my dad and mom being tricked about such an important matter.

Vicky told me she was going to grow up and be a nun. I did not know what a nun was, so I asked her. She gave me a book to read. I tried to read it, and realized that the nuns seemed to have a very hard life and I didn’t think it was for me. I wanted to be Vicky’s friend, though, so one day I announced to her, “I’m a Catholic now.”

“No you aren’t!” Vicky retorted.

I wished I were a Catholic. On the weekends I played with my Barbie and thought about Vicky. She got to celebrate her birthday and Christmas. She got presents and ate Japanese oranges wrapped in pretty green tissue paper.

Our religion was no fun. We couldn’t celebrate birthdays, we couldn’t dress up at Halloween, and now we could not celebrate Christmas anymore, either.

While deep in thought, I forgot and left the Barbie doll on the table where my dad sat down to read his Bible or write a letter or pay bills. He was very angry about something that day, and he flung my precious Barbie across the room. My heart broke and I watched in horror as my Barbie’s head and body flew in two different directions. — Excerpt excerpt from “Phoenix of Faith”

Obey? or Trust My Self

Even though I envied the “worldly” girls at school who had other religions, now that I’ve left the Jehovah’s Witnesses, religion no longer appeals to me. I’m concerned that religion was a creation of men to make us look “out there” for answers instead of using our natural gifts of intuition for solutions and answers.

By teaching us to look outside of ourselves, they have successfully separated us from our self-sovereignty. These days, I’m working to get back to nature and remove all the faux parts of this earth from my life. For me, religious indoctrination is a big part of that removal process. But, the deeper I look, the more I see that all man-made institutions fall into the category of “an artificial world”. I want authenticity in my life  — healthy relationships, clean food, pure water, fresh air, and golden sunshine —  just the way our beloved Mother Earth intended. None of the faux overlays of humans are required.

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