Episode Six – Part 1 – Sexual Abuse and Jehovah’s Witnesses – David’s Story

When I started talking to David it was clear that this was going to be a special interview.  He had so much to talk about and such a vulnerability about him and he was willing to go deep on anything we talked about very quickly.  So this is the first in a three part series that includes two episodes to cover his story and a third bonus episode featuring some of the pre-interview process and what came up there.  Unlike the first 5 episodes, this one is produced as a conversation between him and I.

David’s story does involve sexual abuse and he gets very real with it.  With that said, David’s story is sooooo much more than that.  It was a huge part of his awakening process, and as it is a huge topic right now among the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses it is featured, but it was but one part of David’s story.  It plays a pivotal role in his path out of the cult, but even then his story just builds and builds throughout these episodes.

In Episode 6 – Part 1, you will get to know David a bit.  This episode builds and will take you through David’s upbringing and right up into the beginnings of adulthood.  You will learn a lot about him and if you aren’t familiar with the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses you will learn about it as well through this process.  There is no mention of the abuse in this first part, so no trigger warning is necessary.  That will come in Part 2 and the way these things are handled in the cult will be discussed there.

In these three parts David makes mention of many resources that impacted his life, as well as the song that he chose for his story.

Resources (in no particular order):

‘Knock, Knock’ Who’s There?:  ‘The Truth’ About Jehovah’s Witnesses by Anthony James

ExJW Critical Thinkers Videos (you can also find the audio in podcast format on iTunes, Google Play, and other podcast services)

This JW Life Podcast – This happens to be my other podcast where I tell my own life story and help people to understand what life in the cult was like.  You can listen directly from the website or find on iTunes, Google Play, and other podcast services.

Leah Remini:  Scientology and the Aftermath

Crisis of Conscience by Ray Franz –  Ray Franz was a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the farthest you can go in the organization.  His story of the behind the scenes goings on of the organization is gripping and heartbreaking at the same time.  I have linked to a Google search for the pdf.  Look around and you’ll find it.  Copies of the book are rare and it has been rumored that Jehovah’s Witnesses buy and destroy them.  The copyright holder has held out hope of the book being released with no results.  For now this is likely your only way to obtain the book.

John Cedars Youtube Channel

David’s Song Choices –

Belle & Sebastian – The Boy Done Wrong Again

Love Spit Love – Am I Wrong

 

5 thoughts on “Episode Six – Part 1 – Sexual Abuse and Jehovah’s Witnesses – David’s Story”

  1. David

    Thank you for putting so much of yourself into the first of your three episodes. I could hear your raw emotion and even felt that you had a few moments of realisation while talking about all your experiences. It takes a lot to do this but be assured that it helps validate and reaffirm other peoples experiences. And importantly, it gives comfort that we can survive such circumstances.

    Take care my friend.

    Thank you.

    1. Thank you Craig,

      I wish I new what to say… if I were an author I would probably get criticized for putting too much of myself into my story. However, in this case the story can only be told one way. The only way I know it, and that is how I went through it.

      As per realizations or revelations, my memory reveals things I forgot and only came back to me as I was trying to voice them out loud. Honestly, even as I have listened back to it, I have questioned whether or not I got a detail right, or if the way I understood things was ever accurate in the first place… like when you’re young and you are only told “where Babies come from” in terms of “when a man and woman love each other very much”, then you never go back and ask for the adult version later. I feel like I accepted what limited understanding my young mind had of things and so it was how I understand and know it to be true. More precisely on my realizations I feel I owe Mike a bit of gratitude. He said many things that were very helpful and made me stop and think, made me see a new perspective for the first time on a lot of things, even about myself. His input was invaluable to me, and I am thankful that you all got to hear it as well, because truthfully, it was a conversation that changed my life, a couple times and I replay things he said during this process almost weekly in my life now. I think we are all lucky to hear that sort of exchange take place, the moment someone’s words changed another’s life, that’s what is on here, that is what we’re hearing at times. I can’t thank Mike enough.

      And I thank you for listening and beg your continued attention and support!

      David.

      1. Yes David, Mike is a great host. I find a lot of what he says really resonates with me. I’m glad you have found the experience beneficial.

        Your honesty and your candid expressions along with your lack of bitterness is an example to us. I find it difficult to control my emotions at times when I consider how the religion has altered my life. My experiences were completely tame compared to yours. It’s very hard to move on past the anger.

        I wish you well. Live your life well. Enjoy it. Best wishes. Craig.

  2. Dave, I am so proud of you for telling your story. You have gone through so much and not only survived but become a wonderful example to others who have experienced similar hardships. We can truely be happy outside that organization, it just takes courage. I am proud to call you my friend.

    1. I am very glad you and I have reconnected Miranda. Life hasn’t been easy for either of us, but no matter the hardships we all face, each one of us has a sort of “Phoenix from the ashes” sort of process that changes us for the better on the other side leaving. And like Mike has said before, “living a happy life outside the cult, is really the best revenge”.

      I am glad to call you friend as well. And for all those who listened, when my family went to the Park Rapids Kingdom Hall bringing along our “dress clothes” and “round home” clothes to visit and play with our new friends in the new congregation… Miranda was one of the new friends we had up there. Her family became a second family to us in that hall. And even now she is a dear friend, though it is really just us two out of both of our families anymore.

      Thank you for the kind words, your understanding, and accepting me as I am, and your friendship.
      David

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