"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32 King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Before I start writing this story, I thought it best to tell my readers why I am writing it. This is not an Author's Note, so please do not report it as such. It is simple a preliminary statement.
Whenever you read about Jehovah's Witnesses, it is always an extreme positive or an extreme negative. It has always annoyed me, being a child brought up in the religion, to always see the two extremes. You can Google any article about the faith, and it will almost undoubtedly be about proving the religion right, or proving the religion wrong. There's never been an article I've read about that said, "Well, I don't agree with this part, but overall it's pretty good," or the other way around and said, "This part kind of makes sense, but I don't really like it overall." Over the years I've finally understood why it bothers me so much.
You can't truly understand the faith from an article. Neither the positive nor the negative reviews ever bring out what the religion is truly about, and even if I tried to explain it now, my words couldn't fully grasp what I'm trying to mean. I've always wanted people who judged me for being a Jehovah's Witness to know what it was like to be in the organization.
I like to put people who are on the outside looking in on the religion into two groups. The first group is made up of many people who look at Jehovah's Witnesses that have one of two ideas. The first is usually some untrue assumptions that they've made themselves or that they've heard from others. Usual ones are that Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in God or don't believe in Jesus, however, there are more uncommon ones I have personally heard before such as being afraid of flags or crosses, or flinging our dead into giant tar pits. The second idea is that Jehovah's Witnesses are stuck-up people (not to say that some are not, as all people are different) who believe God personally chose them over all other people on Earth to put other people in their place below them. The latter idea always has been something I've struggled not to laugh at when someone tells me this idea, mostly because I can actually see where the idea comes from. But I will mention more on that later.
The second group of people are those who already know about the religion, those that have grown up in or around it, and have left it for one reason or another. Usually these people are actually more judgemental than the average person who knows little or nothing about it, because they can find flaws in it. Technically, I see nothing wrong with pointing out a thing or two and asking questions about it, but these people take things to the extreme, taking one or two minor facts and making them look to be as if the whole religion is faulty because of it. People who take these extreme measure to destroy the religion's small amount of credibility to begin with are known as "apostates" within the religion. Let me tell you example so that you know what I mean by minor.
One day a few years ago, I was just searching for random videos on YouTube, purely out of boredom, when I decided to see what videos people post about them (most of which were apostate videos). I came across a video that looked mostly explanatory in a cutesy type of way, so I decided to watch it. It was entitled "The Jehovah's Witness Robots (6) The 1919 date". Most of it was trying to make the religion look completely stupid and wrong. What I hated the most about it was that it focused on doctrines abandoned years ago. But of course, my opinion doesn't matter. So I'll give you the facts.
In the video, the girl robot tells the boy robot about how confusing it is that Jehovah's Witnesses cannot serve jury duty because it is "a sin" and that the original leaders of the organizations served as judges, a seemingly strange paradox. Nothing in the religion says anything about being on jury duty as being a sin, and I still find this incredibly insulting to hear.
Serving on jury duty is technically considered a "conscious matter" which is a series of things that Jehovah's Witnesses can do if they don't consider it wrong. Other "conscious matters" are things like donating or accepting organs (due to the "abstain... from blood" scripture Jehovah's Witnesses base their No Blood policies on, which technically does not include organs, but some Jehovah's Witnesses believe this to be too close for their own comfort, while others think it's fine), having machines circulate blood during surgeries (some Jehovah's Witnesses believe once blood leaves your body, it shouldn't be put back inside, but this is not a restriction put on by the religion itself), or having careers in the Law field (some believe this is too close to putting yourself inside the government we are trying to keep ourselves away from, but others believe if you are not making yourself a government official, you are far enough away). Jury duty is the same.
I hope the above explanation is enough, because if I write anymore about that video, I may start to sound too biased.
Now I am going to start to talk about the story itself.
As I said before, you can't learn what it's like from an article, and it's actually harder (for me) from word by mouth. I've thought about this and thought about this and I eventually came to the conclusion that the only way people would completely understand is if they were in the position of one, to know what it's like to go door to door, to hear everyone around you tell you that the only way you can be saved is if you run away from the "demonic" people that have caught you under their wing or in their claws, to hear members of your own family (apostates or otherwise) threaten to disown you for your beliefs, to know what it's like to have a true "spiritual family", to know what it's like to believe you truly know what you're talking about, while others tell you you don't. ...Of course, that's how I feel, more or less..
Basically, what I'm trying to say is, you won't know until you try, and most people are too scared or proud to try. .So I came up with a solution to this. To create a story similar to how I was in high school, just everyday life, so that other people can see how normal, and not normal, it is to be a Jehovah's Witness.
Of course before I start this story, I want to make something clear. I have made some mistakes throughout my lifetime. Everybody does. And when I mean mistakes, I mean some pure bred sins. Some have made worse ones than others. So when I write this, don't expect every little thing to apply to everyone. Because it doesn't. (Ex. If a Jehovah's Witness curses in the story, it doesn't mean all Jehovah's Witnesses curse.) Assume that all mistakes written in this story is connected only with the person who made the mistake.
As for ratings, I've been switching back and forth between T for language (mostly from non-Jehovah's Witness characters) and M for situations. I'm going to try to write this story as closely as possible in T format so that I can have a wider range of readers I can reach this to, and at the same time, I want to keep this as real as possible so that the readers know exactly what life is like in this situation. If anyone ever has any problem with this story falling into M format anytime in the future, please, please, let me know. Otherwise I can only assume.
"and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free." - John 8:32 New World Translation (Jehovah's Witnesses Bible)