Wednesday, November 14, 2018

My Experience on the Leah Remini "Aftermath" Special on Jehovah's Witnesses

I was very happy about being asked to be on Leah Remini’s “Aftermath” special on Jehovah’s Witnesses. For months, I had heard that Leah Remini was going to do a special on the JWs, but I didn't know any details. Last year I had been on the  Dr. Phil Show, but when it came time for me to finally speak, it was maybe all of 15 to 30 seconds.

I had no idea when Leah Remini was going to do this show. Then I got a call from someone else who had been asked to be on the show but she declined (she was getting married that weekend) and she asked if I was interested. So I said "yes" and we were off to the races. I was interviewed by a couple of their producers and they decided I was a good fit for the program. They wanted the "women's issues" perspective on the program.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Reconnecting after 36 years

In this month of May 2018, it has been exactly 36 years since I decided to visit a church after leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The more I think about it, the more I know that God had me go to the right church at the right time.

In my testimony, I always mention a lady named Mary K who had left the Jehovah’s Witnesses herself whom God truly used to open my eyes to the false teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I already knew, I did not like their doctrines, their views on women, or their views on marriage resulting in spousal abuse.

I have given my testimony many times and always mention how I met Mary at church, recognized her as an Ex JW and was so happy to meet her. She took me under her wing and showed me exactly what was wrong with the Watchtower. I think what nailed it for me was when she produced the April 1, 1979 Watchtower from the “Questions from Readers” where a person wrote in and asked if Jesus was the mediator for all Christians or not. The answer given by the Watchtower was a firm “no” because, as they explained, Jesus was only mediator for the “anointed” Jehovah’s Witnesses, or those who claimed to be part of the 144,000 “heavenly class.”

Thursday, May 10, 2018

When Spousal Abuse Happens in the Church

If you have read my testimony, you already know that one reason I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses (AKA “The Watchtower”) was because they turned a blind eye to the fact that my former husband was physically abusing me. I was told that I needed to be “in subjection” to my husband and to stop nagging him so much. I was the victim of his violence, but the elders were blaming me for not being a good and submissive wife. There was a point in our marriage when he left me for a time, but I was told that I had to wait for him to come back and I was not allowed to initiate divorce. It didn’t matter to them how much he was physically violent against me. I lived in fear of him, constantly. When I would hear him come home after work, I would cringe because I knew what that mean most of the time. There was a lot of yelling and screaming at me. Terrible accusations and craziness mentally brought me down. If I said something he didn’t like, he would just slap me across the face. I felt so stuck and a prisoner of this horrible mistake of a marriage I had.

Well that was long ago now, but even though it has been 42 years since I was finally able to escape from him, the scars of what he did remain. I feel like I need to be an advocate and a voice for other women who suffer at the hands of abusive men. I also speak out against ANYONE who ever advises a woman stay with an abusive husband.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

No Longer a Spirit of Fear

On Friday, our family said goodbye to my nearly 95 year old (non-JW) Aunt Josie. She would have been 95 today. She was a sweet woman, but she didn’t want to have anything to do with studying with JWs and least of all, becoming a JW. Yet she remained loving and cordial to family members who joined the JWs and still loved them no matter what. She was a godmother to one of my cousins who became JW as a teen and she still treated my cousin as her goddaughter and was always very loving and kind to her. So at the funeral on Friday, there were four (4) JWs who came to her funeral. That one cousin who had been the goddaughter was there with her husband, and another one of my cousins who brought his adult son.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Coming Out of the Watchtower: Why Is It So Difficult?

Reprint from Jul/Aug 1991 Bethel Ministries Newsletter (used with permission)

By Randall Watters

"Why can't you just walk away from that religion and never go back? They don't have any hold on you!"

Have you ever said that to a person struggling with leaving a cult or manipulative church? If so, you were no doubt unawares of the degree of emotional and psychological control that cults have over their members. Why is it so hard for them to leave, even when they know that something is seriously wrong with the religion? And, once they leave, why is it so hard to be "normal" and go to church like anyone else?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Finding Jesus: Leaving the Watchtower and other False Practices Behind

Before my family joined the Watchtower Organization in around 1971-1972, my family was Roman Catholic. But we were not really good practicing Catholics. My family, especially my father’s side of the family was heavily involved in astrology beliefs and the occult. My father and my grandfather seemed to love the false prophecies of Edgar Cayce. We had books on meditation and visualization in our house. I read all these books. I used to go over to my aunt and uncle’s house and my cousin taught me how to use a Ouija board when I was 9 years old. I got my own spirit board and used a pendulum to talk to spirits. I got books on witchcraft and learned how to read Tarot cards. I was heavily into these practices by the time my mother began to study with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

When I had heard about the apocalyptic teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower, I thought much of it sounded very much like what I had learned from Edgar Cayce’s writings. So prophecy was what interested me because it sounded so much like what I had already believed. There was only one problem: I really enjoyed my belief in astrology and occultic practices. The Watchtower does not allow their members to practice such things as they rightfully say that these things are of satanic origin. I never gave up my desire to read my horoscope and my desire to practice visualization even though I was joining the Watchtower organization who forbids such practices.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How My Father Rejected Jehovah’s Witnesses and Found Jesus Christ

This blog is dedicated to my father, Eugene Velasco who would have been 84 on September 25, 2016.

In 1972, after several years of studying Watchtower materials, my mother was baptized into the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, calling herself one of “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Mom thought she found “the truth” and was very excited about joining. She had left the Roman Catholic Church, deciding that they were “pagan” because they taught the Trinity. Every church who taught the doctrine of the Trinity was pagan according to the Watchtower. In order to be truly serving God you had to give up all that was considered “pagan”, including celebrating anyone’s birthday.
My father did not embrace the Watchtower teachings when my mother joined the Watchtower. He continued to love her in spite of my mother’s “new love” in her life. Many times when one spouse joins the Watchtower, it feels like the spouse is having an affair with someone else. My mother was just “in love” with this new religion and it just consumed her life. My father however, fell into alcohol addiction, drowning his sorrows that way. Sometimes it seemed like such a vicious cycle. The more my mother dedicated herself to the Watchtower organization, the more unhappy my father was and the more he drank alcohol.