What is it really like living in the shadows of a patriarchal religion such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses? “The Boys” — as my siblings were known — always came first, before me, in our family. The one girl — me — was a “waste of good food”, according to my patriarchal father. My father figured girls have less value than boys. Sadly, his warped ideology impacted me greatly as a child. I was keenly aware of the imbalance between me and my brothers because their scorn was always “in my face”. I always existed in the shadow of my six brothers.
My brothers and I were taught the dogma of my father at our weekly home Bible Study sessions. As a result of that parental “training” in the name of god, “the boys” didn’t want to play with me or even share their toys with me because as they accused, “You’re a girl”. I can still hear the disdain in their voices. Their attitude and treatment of me left me feeling unsafe and unwanted — an issue I addressed in a previous blog called, Feeling Safe.
Effects of Patriarchal Ideology
How does the patriarchal ideology affect me even today? I have been wondering if my fear of being poisoned by eating toxic “conventional” food is a result of knowing that I was an unwanted child. Being the black sheep of the family affected me even more profoundly since the year 2000 when I got myself disfellowshipped from the family religion. Now I’m being actively shunned, declared “mentally diseased” by the religion’s elders and — in effect — treated as dead by believing family members.
Something else occurred to me. Would a toxic belief system be just as death-dealing to the body as eating poisoned food?
Next I speculated that I’m not the only one in the family being affected adversely by this toxic belief system. My brothers are harmed, too. Just differently. I wish for their health and well-being, too. I’d like to see them heal from our toxic family religion. Alas, that is their journey, so the decision must be theirs, not mine.
Questioning my Beliefs
Naturally, those insights led to more questions. How do I let go of all their toxic condemnation? What prevents me from internalizing the death cult’s grip? Am I awake enough to realize the need to let those layers upon layers of old, sick ideologies slide off of me and live my life as a free self-sovereign being?
During my independent search for answers, I came to realize that the god whom the family worships is not almighty, but rather, it is a demigod with delusions of grandeur. Once I realized that the religion who claims to represent their god is just as false as their faux god, it became apparent that there is nothing to fear. Their god is nothing but an illusion.
I did another Internet search to find the difference between god and the devil. Interestingly, site after site indicated they are two sides of the same coin, as a duality. The evil that the so-called god of the Bible commits is just as horrific as what the devil commits. Why couldn’t I see this while I was a member of the religion? Then again, better late than never. No wonder the Watchtower publishing company commands its adherents to avoid the Internet. Too many contrary beliefs to withstand scrutiny!
Just what does the family religion teach?
YHWH is a jealous and vindictive god — and full of fear, so why wouldn’t his followers be fearful as well?:
“But their altars you people are to pull down, and their sacred pillars you are to shatter, and their sacred poles you are to cut down. For you must not prostrate yourself to another god, because Jehovah whose name is Jealous, he is a jealous God; for fear that you may conclude a covenant with the inhabitants of the land.”—Exodus 34:13-15 *(NWT)
YHWH demanded human blood sacrifices as retribution:
“… Jehovah proceeded to kill every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of man to the firstborn of beast. That is why I am sacrificing to Jehovah all the males that open the womb, and every firstborn of my sons I redeem.”—Exodus 13:15
In order to continue the family lineage incest (in secret) was permitted by YHWH. The women got blamed, according to the story:
“And the firstborn proceeded to say to the younger woman: “Our father is old and there is not a man in the land to have relations with us according to the way of the whole earth. Come, let us give our father wine to drink and let us lie down with him and preserve offspring from our father.” So they kept giving their father wine to drink during the night; then the firstborn went in and lay down with her father, but he did not know when she lay down and when she got up.”—Genesis 19:31-34 (Italics mine)
YHWH threatens extreme violent death to innocent family members:
“…By the sword they will fall. Their own children will be dashed to pieces, and their pregnant women themselves will be ripped up.”—YHWH, Hosea 13:16
YHWH graphically describes the violent death of children, even though children are naturally innocent.
“Happy will he be that grabs ahold and does dash to pieces [y]our children against the crag.”—Psalms 137:9
YHWH condones cannibalism:
“Then you will have to eat the fruit of your belly, the flesh of your sons and your daughters, whom Jehovah your God has given you, because of the tightness and stress with which your enemy will hem you in”—Deuteronomy 28:53
The only way for people to be attracted to the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion is if they carried fear in equal measure to the fearful god of the Bible. Thus followers would be vibrating similarly via the emotion of fear. This is another shadow side of a patriarchal religious ideology.
My Search Didn’t Stop There
I did more searching for websites narrating who the god of the Bible really is. This site accurately portrays what the family religion teaches, even though it is a Masonic site. Curiously, I have been seeing many parallels between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Freemasons as of late, right down to their toolbox of deception. Jehovah’s Witnesses’ tactic known as “theocratic warfare” means “crafting deception in the name of god.” I challenge my relatives to take a look for themselves.
Truly, YHWH is not a god to worship or trust if you’re a person of integrity. He is an evil, narcissistic, and psychopathic entity. He is the instigator of wars, he slaughters innocent ones, he corrupts business and politics. He rules humanity through their lust for power, sex, and wealth. Worst of all, he deceives the human soul away from it’s true purpose. You don’t have to believe me. Do your own research.
Family Religion is a Sham
In view of this latest investigation, I asked myself another question: Is this a god that I would wish to worship? My answer came easily: “No.”
Once I saw through the multiple cracks in the facade of which the family holds up as a loving religion, it was easy for me to flush those old belief systems down the drain. I now allow Mother Gaia — our Earth Mother or whatever you call nature — to remove from my psyche everything contrary to my highest interests. I came to realize that the family religion has never served my highest good. This awesome realization helped me further free myself of the family’s religious bondage.
If I tried to hold onto any shards of the family ideology, I would be self-sabotaging. Why? Because the very foundations of their belief system — built on deception, violence, and abuse — set me up for failure if I dared to leave. Yet, my new-found knowledge could not possibly prevent me from abandoning the harmful beliefs. In fact, my continued existence and happiness depended upon my leaving.
Seeing the Shadows as Instructive
With gratitude for image by Aidinciv - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
It is important to look at the shadows in our lives, because we can learn valuable lessons from such an investigation. As an object lesson, I studied a tree in our yard. As I walked around it, I studied the light and shadows. I came to realize I’d only be seeing part of the tree if I only allowed myself to examine the light, without acknowledging the shadows.
Rejecting the patriarchal religion does not mean I am a feminist. Since leaving the family religion, I have been discarding layer after layer of antiquated beliefs. It is a process, but it’s doable. Instead of believing in the dominance of the male, I feel a healthy balance could be struck between the male and female aspects in each of us. I choose to believe in the balance of male and female where both together equal a harmonious team. I figure if I am in balance within myself — and my partner finds his own balance of male and female aspects — then our relationship with each other likewise naturally becomes more balanced. We are a work in progress and it feels gratifying to be part of a cooperative team.
What’s Right for Me Personally?
I’m pleased that I am able to see through the falseness of the religion in my family of origin. I never want to stop learning. Seeing through the deception made it possible to change my beliefs. It was the only way to regain my physical and mental health. So I’ll continue to believe in myself, rather than some rogue god of ancient writings.
As far as the issue of toxic beliefs being compared to eating toxic food, we made a decision to buy only organic produce, since the “conventional” food is generally known to be heavily sprayed with toxic pesticides. Organic eating adds another dimension of safety for us. We made a point of searching deeper into the question of organic vs. conventional food besides the questions around spiritual belief. The research was compelling.
Furthermore, we choose love, peace, health, happiness, and the freedom to be true to ourselves. All told, that feels like vital well-being!
* Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptures are quoted from Jehovah’s Witnesses’ own Bible, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) because it’s the only one they believe to be “accurate”, even though no Bible scholars were used in the translating of the text.
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