It was a long two years after initially leaving the Jehovah’s Witness religion. My JW wife kicked me out of the house because she felt I was a “spiritual danger”, giving me just two days notice to gather up what items I could and squeeze them into the back of my four door sedan. I had nowhere to go and lost almost 20 pounds over the next couple months. Then within six months of this happening, and with a bitter divorce trial plodding along slowly and painfully, I received a call one afternoon as I trekked up a tall hill on my bicycle to clear my head.
“We would like to meet with you, in a spirit of LOVE” was the faux-invitation being extended to me by a young elder I had mentored just a year before when he was appointed. Of course it was not a real invitation, as they would proceed with their kangaroo court proceeding whether I was there or not. I decided to attend and “let my light shine.” (Matthew 5:16, HCSB) You can read about and watch what happened here: http://www.jwstruggle.com/2012/09/apostasy-trial-first-video/
As my divorce trial dragged on, it came down to the final court date, which was just one week after my judicial committee meeting where they told me I was to be disfellowshipped and shunned for the “crime” of apostasy. My lawyer explained that I would be put on the stand for several hours, possibly an entire day. The very thought made me break out in a sweat. What could the attack-dog lawyer hired by my soon to be ex-wife possibly ask me that could take that long?
Well as it turns, out, one of the prongs of their legal attack was an accusation that I was using my children to “advance my vendetta against the Jehovah’s Witness religion”. They also accused me of sending inappropriate links via email to my children about pedophile JW elders. Needless to say when the conversation on the stand turned to the Watchtower Organization, I felt I was on safe ground. My lawyer pointed out to the judge that as a former clergy member for the religion for ten years I could speak as an expert witness. The judge agreed. How ironic! Me a former “Jehovah’s Witness” being promoted in a court of law to the status of Expert Witness on the Witnesses!
At this point the door was open. I was able to bring out many shocking facts to the judge including:
• Examples of being shunned at the store, gym, etc. while with my children. Comments from the judge followed stating that shunning is harmful to the children, and what is counsel going to do to eliminate this?
• A ruling stating that the children could not be baptized without my permission until they are 18. (Huge win! Many former Witnesses have had their children scooped up and carried off when their children are secretly baptized into the WT cult)
• My expert testimony as a former JW elder of 10 years about Armageddon, shunning, theocratic warfare, etc. When I divulged that Witnesses have stated that it is okay to lie in certain situations when it is to protect their image and their God. My former father-in-law was literally squirming in his seat when I exposed this little-known fact top the court.
So this is why I have decided to save up (and crowdfund) the money to purchase the transcript of this important trial so as to put out the pertinent portions of this trial as an article here and also on my YouTube channel. Please check out the link below if you would like to participate in this fundraiser:
Stay tuned on this topic- I hope to start work on an analysis of what happened at the trial soon!
———- UPDATE ———-
The goal was met and the transcript is being prepared. Once it is delivered I will start on the article and video discussing the key aspects of the proceedings for us as exJWs!