My name is Evelyn De L’Ombre. I was a third generation Jehovah’s Witness. My grandparents first heard of the religion in the late 1930’s when Judge Rutherford was President of the Watchtower organisation. They were baptised in the early 1940s (maternal grandfather) and 1950s (both grandmothers). My family was very dedicated and many were missionaries and special pioneers. My grandfather was a congregation servant during the time that there wasn’t a body of elders. I grew up in the 1970s in the UK. I was baptised at the age of 15 and left school at 16. I was guilt tripped into becoming a regular pioneer even though I had extensive physical and mental health problems. However, at the time I convinced myself I really wanted to do all of these things and I was so sincere in my beliefs. I thought I was disgusting and mentally deviant because I experienced same sex attraction. I threw myself into “theocratic” activities hoping that I would find my place in the organisation and find true happiness. These included volunteering up at Bethel in the kitchen or on building projects when they expanded the printing facilities.
Many things happened to conspire to make me leave the organisation by the early 1990s when I was in my 20s. I was never disfellowshipped, however, I’m sure that they announced from the platform that I was no longer good association. Although my family members never actually shunned me (this is the grand total of three people), the remainder of the congregation had no further association with me. But to be honest as hard as it was in some ways, it was a relief to be away from the pressure to conform. In this blog I shall discuss these experiences in an attempt to come to terms with the psychological damage that I have borne.
Please note that I do not hate the individual members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The majority are lovely and sincere people. However, the organisation’s belief system has caused much damage and has caused abuse to go unchecked. It is taught by the Watchtower organisation that being sincere in a belief isn’t enough to please “god”. The irony isn’t lost on me that Jehovah’s Witnesses are very sincere, but refuse to believe that anything that the organisation does is wrong in any way, shape or form even in the face of extensive evidence.
When I first started writing this blog, I didn’t consider myself an activist, but maybe I am. Although I’m just an individual who needs to make this personal journey for my own healing process, I also hope that my blog helps others to know that they’re not alone, or even maybe to stop them making the mistakes I did. Thank you very much for taking the time to visit my blog.