*There is a specific headship order in Jehovah's Witness families. Mom and Dad are head of the kids. Mom's head is Dad. You want to know who watches over Dad's behaviour? Jesus. Yeah, Jesus. Needless to say, there are a lot of men who abuse their power. I can't tell you how many times growing up I personally heard the phrase, "Because I'm the head of the house, that's why." I cannot imagine being in a relationship where I had absolutely no say. My marriage is a partnership between two best friends with the same goals. When I sit and think about various families I knew in the congregation, I can't help but wonder if many of those wives were enduring some type of abuse, be it physical, sexual, or emotional. As a side note to this, because I actually have a say in my life, my dad insists that Jay is a doormat and that I "wear the pants in the house." There is no convincing him otherwise.
*Gay folks need not apply. Being gay just isn't allowed. There are no gay Jehovah's Witnesses. Technically. Again, if I were to sit and think about the congregation, there were definitely some people who I know with every fiber of my being, were not straight. I cannot even begin to imagine what they went through, or even sadder, are possibly still going through.
*Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in pursuing any form of higher education. If you decide to go to college, you won't get disfellowshipped (excommunicated), but you and your actions will be "frowned upon." You'll probably forever be marked as not quite 100% faithful. No one will come right out and say this, but you'll know. They basically tell you that you shouldn't even want to go to college because your time would be better spent witnessing and speaking about Jehovah. But, in my opinion, it's because if you go to college you'll be exposed to people who will tell you that your beliefs are crazy and then you'll question everything you've ever known. I never went to college. I don't know a single Jehovah's Witness my age who did.
*Jehovah's Witnesses are against blood transfusions. Blood is sacred. They'd sooner die than get a blood transfusion. They all carry around a medical directive in their wallet that is commonly called a "No Blood Card." It's a binding legal document that you are told to carry with your ID at all times in case anything unfortunate happens. This will ensure that you don't get the dreaded transfusion. There was a similar card to carry if you had children under the age of 18. This was probably a turning point for me, maybe the first real time (as an adult) that I started to question my beliefs. When my first child was born eleven years ago, I knew there would be absolutely no way I would let him die when there was a viable medical way to save his life. I carried around an expired No Blood Card for seven years. Legally speaking, it was garbage. The one for my son was never signed, legally also garbage.
*It was widely rumored that Michael Jackson was once one of Jehovah's Witnesses. To the best of my knowledge, he and his family studied with Jehovah's Witnesses for years, but technically none of them were ever baptized members of the congregation. Interestingly enough, Prince is one of Jehovah's Witnesses now. Here's an article from June about how he needs hip surgery but refuses to undergo the procedure because a blood transfusion is necessary.
Hmmm......I guess that's all I have for you guys right now. Like I said, it all kind of comes in spurts. It's not that all these memories are repressed, it's just that it all seems to have happened a hundred years ago. As far as I'm concerned, it was another lifetime. Again, please feel free to ask me anything. Maybe I can get another blog post out of this.