Regular readers of this blog know how I feel about cults and religious organizations. As I was raised in a cult, getting out was perhaps one of the best choices I have made in my life. Sadly, this has also brought broken families, as up to this point, my parents and I are not on speaking terms. And due to an incident that happened lately, I figured I'd download my thoughts and write it down. As such, this post has a very personal angle to it, but it also reflects my general opinion against the cult that I know the most, the Jehovah's Witnesses.
See, I got married lately. Of course my parents didn't show up. And when my sister sent a photo of me, my husband, her, and her boyfriend, my father responded by calling us fornicators and saying that we would die. He also told my sister that she shouldn't flaunt how happy she is, because in reality, she is ruining her life and will die when Armageddon comes.
You know, when I read this message, the immediate thought I had was that sometimes, it is easier to let go, rather than hold on. It's probably better for my mental health, anyway. And this incident made me rewind conversations I had with my parents, and I got reminded how contradictory they can sometimes be, only because they are blinded by this cult.
Back in January, my mom asked me why I allowed a Witness to help me move to Buffalo, when all along I already planned on leaving the organization. I have already made a decision to leave the Witnesses back when I was in undergrad, but didn't make it explicit until in 2008. So in 2005, I moved to Buffalo for graduate school, and due to the "kindness" of the Witnesses, I was picked up from the airport (since I knew nobody in Buffalo back then) by a lady I didn't know (she was a Witness, and she didn't know me either, but my mom knew someone from Haiti who was living in Vienna, where my mom was living at that time, and this Haitian woman knew someone living in Niagara Falls, who also happened to be a Witness). My mom was questioning me back in January why I used the help of Witnesses back then when I already knew that I didn't want to be a part of them.
What can I say? Humans are selfish. It made my life easier, so why not allow someone who was willing to pick me up from the airport pick me up and deliver me to my on-campus apartment?
Why don't I pose the same question, then? Dad had been a diplomat for the longest time, working for the Philippine Foreign Ministry. Don't the Witnesses believe that every human government here is in effect under Satan's control? So by extension, Dad has been working for Satan all this time! I remember that it has been an issue before: Dad for the longest time couldn't get baptized because the church authorities thought that he was working for Satan in his capacity as a diplomat. Why did that continue then?
Let me answer that myself: because humans are selfish. Because Satan happened to be providing a means of living for my dad.
Perhaps my parents would do good by examining what they are doing before accusing their own family of moral incompetence.
Another issue I remember has something to do with this blog. Back in December, I wrote about how seeing the Witnesses here in Berlin make my blood boil, as in my opinion, underneath the smiles and the "love", there really is a high-control cult that preys on unsuspecting victims. My mom asked me whether it didn't cross my mind how hurtful those words are, when I describe the organization that she belongs to in that way.
Why don't I pose the same question, then? Hasn't she thought how hurtful the Witnesses are to me, when they depict the LGBT community in a very negative light? Hasn't she thought how hurtful it is when this organization she belongs to depicts people who left the religion (like me) as mentally diseased? And hasn't she thought how hurtful it is when my father calls his own children as fornicators, condemning them to death?
To be honest, I had a great wedding weekend. My wedding in Copenhagen was wonderful, and my party in Berlin with my friends was memorable and amazing. The only thing that left a sour taste in the mouth was my dad's message.
You know, sometimes I really think that letting go is better for my mental health, than hanging on. I used to think and hope that my parents would eventually change their minds and think differently. But nowadays I don't think so anymore. I suppose I got a confirmation of that with my dad's message.
Do I have a vendetta against my parents? I don't think so. But I definitely have a vendetta against the Witnesses and other cults. Just look at how they destroy families and tell me how you wouldn't be disgusted by the things they do.