There was a time when I believed I would never die. I literally thought that contrary to the experience of every human in history, I would never have to experience a physical death. That’s not the same as dying and then waking up in Heaven. It truly meant that my human body would never dieand I would live forever. That belief affected every decision I made and every course I took in life.
For many young male Jehovah’s Witnesses, the thrills and joy of reaching “manhood” are tempered by the possibility of serving some time in a Federal prison. Why? Because they face the possibility (especially when there are wars going on) that they will be called up for military service.
NEWSWEEK’s Jason Lemon reported on June 19, 2018, that Russia’s response to Washington that the U.S. government has “no moral right” to demand that Russia release religious or political prisoners – including detained Jehovah’s Witnesses. The U.S. State Department responded by issuing a statement calling on Russia to release more than 150 prisoners being held for “religious or political reasons.”
Before my transfer from the Engineering Department to the Writing Department in 1989, the architect designing a 30-story staff residence building (that was about to be built near the four Watchtower printery buildings) mentioned to me his need for a professional cost analysis system to be put into place for future building projects. He designed the buildings but the Accounting Department paid the bills.
In the spring of 1975, Frederick W. Franz, considered since the mid-1920s to be the Watchtower’s “official oracle,” stressed the urgency of the Christian preaching work during his public speeches. Why? Because he believed that 6,000 years of human history would end that next September or soon after.
For some Jehovah’s Witnesses the only place they truly feel comfortable is inside a Kingdom Hall. No matter how mundane, repetitive, ridiculous, or overwhelmingly boring the weekly meetings really are, or how excessively long and redundant prayers and “Kingdom songs” are before and after those meetings, they are part of a culture that convinces them they are really in their proper element. Even those who really dislike being Jehovah’s Witnesses will just “go with the flow” rather than ever question why they put up with their environment.
The fact is that ever since the days of Joseph Rutherford, the Watchtower Society has worked overtime to make sure that its members only march to its tune, at its pace, and in its unique style. If they don’t dance with their steps, they will find themselves outside the organization AND THEIR OWN FAMILY!