Dead or Alive

Am I dead or alive? Well it depends on who you ask.

Ask any of my friends, ask any doctor, ask any of my work colleagues, my dad or children and they will confirm that I am still at this moment alive.

However it appears that my Jehovah’s Witness family think I am dead. After having received an email from my mum about 7 months ago she has kept true to her word, she has ceased all contact with me. A few weeks ago my children received a card along with a gift from her sending them ‘lots of love’ with a PS saying ‘Send my love to your mum’. No mention of their dad! My children have received phone calls from members of the family they have never spoken to over the phone before as if they are now fatherless children.

Why is this? Because I cannot give the religion they belong to any hopes of my return. I do not want to have any association with a religion that covers crimes and does not cooperate with the authorities to bring justice to the criminals in their congregations. As a result of my abhorence of their religion I am now dead to them.

As I am now a dead person I cannot speak, cannot give any opinions or viewpoints, cannot live a happy life, cannot be loved or held. I am just a memory, despite the fact I am still breathing, my heart is still pumping. I still have feelings and have the capacity to love and to hurt.

Moral responsibility

This is a huge subject, however I wanted to write a small piece about acting with personal or moral responsibility.

In the course of our lives there are times when we have to make a choice, what is morally the right thing to do. Let’s say for example you see someone drop a bag of shopping. Immediately you might think of helping that person, but if you are late for catching a bus you may walk right past. However, what if that person had collapsed in front of you dropping the bag of shopping. Whether you are late for the bus or not, this person’s life takes priority.

I honestly believe I am in a similar situation when it comes to me being vocal about the dangers of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I have a moral obligation when I see the hurt being inflicted on people by an organisation based on lies to try and help them see the real truth.

Like innocent children playing near danger but blissfully unaware, Jehovah’s Witnesses allow their whole lives to be controlled unaware of what is going on behind the scenes. The lies and coverups that The Watchtower hides from their followers is astonishing, they have to be made aware of them.

Sadly in doing so, ex Jehovah’s Witnesses are shunned for speaking out and they lose their families and friends. The Witnesses are told to believe that such ones are ‘mentally diseased’ and are the ones that are doing the shunning! Such behaviour is not even based on the Bible just like many of their fundamental teachings.

What do I hope to achieve? I want honest hearted people to be able to make well informed choices for themselves, based on all the evidence available, not just the information fed by Watchtower.

A moving post

This was a very moving post made by Tylin Joel on the Ex-Jehovah’s Witness Recovery Group 3 on Facebook. I wanted to share this with you on the day I met an elder doing witnessing work who said he no longer speaks to a number of his friends anymore since they are disfellowshipped even though they are not bad people.

Tylin wrote:

On May 1st 2009 I pulled up to my father’s residence in Bakersfield California.
There were several police vehicles sprawled about and other official looking cars. Every light was flashing and it looked like a major crime scene, with yellow tape wrapped around every available surface.

I walked into the property. I was met immediately by a couple stout officers. “You need to step away, this area is off limits”

“This is my fathers house,” I said.

“Ok, go ahead.”

I walked towards the front door, but noticed there were officers in my way with a couple others in business attire standing by the breezeway door that led to the garage. They stopped talking and looked at me. I announced who I was and a very petite young woman put her hand up towards me and placed it on my chest and said, “Sir. You don’t want to come any further.”

I looked at her in the eyes and thought, who is this young woman speaking with such authority and conviction?

I told her, “yes, I do”

All the portly bodies moved aside and I entered the dimly lit garage.

I saw my father hanging from a very thin red and white nylon rope. My immediate thought was, how is that tiny rope holding him above the ground?

Then it hit me. My father, my rock, my hero, my everything, was gone.

No son should have to see his father hanging from a rafter. I understand what the very pretty coroner was trying to shield me from.

But I’m ok today because I needed to see it. It was the last straw that I needed to realize how evil the cult I trusted in was.

Despite my love for my father, my ignoring the mandate to shun him, it was too painful for him to lose everyone else. 6 months of being shunned by his mother and every friend he had made in the past 60 years. It was too much. And the love from his son while appreciated, couldn’t erase the hurt from the deep history that was excising him.

I miss my dad. He was a beautiful man. I wish he could know me now and how I’m fighting.

Who can a man tell?

ifitellyouThe year 2015 has been quite a year so far for me. At my current age of 42 (birthday this month!) I have for the first time become public about something very private about me. I was unable to tell of this before. The reason? There are 2 main reasons. One is that I no longer believe there is a god has an interest in me and therefore will not bring about the justice I was promised for so many years. the second is Fear. Fear of not being believed, fear of being judged as a lesser person, fear of rejection.

Back in 2012 when I first told the extent of my abuse I found a very useful booklet, here is the link to it:

http://www.ecav.health.nsw.gov.au/online-shop/booklets-manuals/who-can-a-man-tell/

If the link fails please contact me and I will be happy to send you a copy.

Another useful resource is here: http://www.livingwell.org.au/

Religious Trauma Syndrome (RTS)

I have just been reading a very interesting article written about the trauma of leaving a religion. I left a religion I was very closely associated with for over 30 years and it was a decision I did not take lightly. As I write this members of my family are still part of it and shun me which is additional trauma, I hope one day they see my point of view.

The article is here: http://www.babcp.com/Review/RTS-Trauma-from-Leaving-Religion.aspx

It is my view that many JWs remain members as it is the easy option stay in touch with your ‘friends’ and family and enjoy social and religious activities as part of an instant community despite having doubts and not believing it whole heartedly. The above article shows how hard it is to remove yourself, as I did because my conscience did not allow me to stay.

I admire all people that follow their conscience despite the cost of losing all they have built up, all they have known. Freedom should be available to everyone, sadly it isn’t even in this country.

Why I went public

Recently events that were private to me became public. I could have remained anonymous but chose to waive my anonymity. You may be wondering why.

1. To help others come forward. Whilst I cannot speak for everyone that has suffered abuse, I am sure many know the concerns about coming forward. Questions such as will I be believed, will I be put in more danger, will I be able to speak about it come to mind. Well I did speak up, was believed and have survived. I hope my story helps anyone in a similar situation see that it can be true of them also.

2. To help others come forward. I have no doubt in my mind that my abuser targeted others. In fact a week after he was jailed I was sent a message from a lady who lived around the corner from him telling me he had been showing an interest in her 9 year old son literally weeks before his trial. I would really like to hear from anyone affected by Gary Moscrop so the world can see what sort of person he is.

3. To help my family understand. My family had no idea of what I went through during my childhood, in fact they probably still don’t. I would be willing to tell them now since the trial is over however at this time most of my family choose not to speak with me. They are Jehovah’s Witnesses and I am no longer one and for this reason a JW is not allowed to speak to an ex JW, not even a close relative. The trial and subsequent conviction though will at least give them an idea of the torture I endured for 5 years, robbing me of my childhood, innocence and happiness.

4. To help Jehovah’s Witnesses see the truth. I was told when I was a JW that I was living in a spiritual paradise and could look forward to happier times when everyone alive serves the one god. Well even the sun sets in paradise and for many it does not rise again. The truth is that The Watchtower Society operates in so much secrecy that it hurts their followers, yet it protects paedophiles. I had been made to believe that my situation was a one off and today JWs deal with child abuse differently, however this is not true. I was told that the elders would deal with things properly when it came to Gary, however when the police approached the elders they refused to cooperate. This happens the world over time and again. If they cannot protect innocent children, how do you think they handle other matters?

5. I no longer have to hide. I am free to live my life without shame or having to hide who I am. I do not want sympathy, I just want to enjoy what few times I can with my friends and children. I am no longer anxious about whether my abuser will die an old man before the law has dealt with him. I know that there is one more threat to children taken off the streets. I know I did all I could despite the time delay. It may have cost me dearly but you cannot put a price on happiness.

6. This is not one of the reasons I thought of, it is as a result of a conversation I had today. A colleague I used to work beside was looking for some motivational speeches and remembered I used to have some on my website. She went online and stumbled across my story and lifted the phone to tell me that it gave her the motivation she was looking for in her business life. If me being public about my childhood has this affect, then I am happy to have helped!

🙂

I’m a survivor

I wrote this at the start of a journal in September 2011, before I had gone to the police with information they had never heard about, at this stage I did not know whether to go to them or not:

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The word survival can conjure up many different pictures, perhaps someone dressed up in combat uniform in the jungle, or someone crawling out of a plane wreckage.

The fact is, in my opinion everyone is a survivor, every day has it’s own unique challenge, however some have more to contend with than others.

For me, I am a survivor of sexual, physical and mental abuse that I experienced as a child. The word survive in this sense means I have lived through these traumatic experiences and am no longer powerless in relation to this abuse.

A close friend asked me the other day if I am the type of person I am because of what I experienced. I believe the answer is no, I think I would always have been a stubborn, independent, curious person, however I am of the belief it did change my character. My inability to trust people or believe what I am told seems to be to such a degree that is unacceptable to the majority, however I stand by it, perhaps as I believe it helps me survive the day to day challenges I meet. Additionally the barriers I raise in order to stop people getting close to me is probably as a result of the experiences I faced daily as a child.

The word survive, does not infer that someone has gone through an experience, and can continue through life as though it never happened. Undoubtedly a person surviving an air crash will have concerns about flying again, flashbacks of the event, with different things triggering general nervousness or panic, possibly even making them wary of all types of travel where they are not in control.

The same is true with me. Whilst I am no longer powerless in relation to the abuse I suffered, it can on occasions affect me. I think the word disable is too strong, however it does affect my ability in my reaction to certain things, and I do often experience the feeling of ‘total shutdown’.

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I wrote this in the journal in January 2015:

“You need to move on, everybody else has”

These were the words of a Jehovah’s Witness elder to my family who were being stalked by my abuser at a JW assembly just after his reinstatement.

My abuser’s name is Gary Moscrop, and he was my step father after my mum had married him not long after she converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses, despite an elder advising her not to have anything to do with him.

He started abusing me right from the outset. I was only 7 years of age and he continued for 5 years. Then one Thursday night whilst the rest of my family were attending a Witness meeting I was subjected to an episode of abuse that horrified and disturbed me and still does to this day. He was eventually convicted of buggery for what had happened that night. The next morning at the age of 13 I managed to find the words to say I had been sexually abused. He was disfellowshipped from the witnesses on his confession. Up till then I had spoken on a number of occasions of the physical beatings and the elders were contacted and met with me however as it was my word against his, he was believed and I could not form the words to tell of the sexual abuse I was enduring.

For reasons unknown to me it would be another two years before the police were called, and I was only able to tell of the last time I was abused, though not the extent as I was ashamed and embarrased. Sadly my mum did not want to press charges and so all he got was a caution, that was in 1987.

He was reinstated as a Jehovah’s Witness at around the year 2000. I was not informed of this, nor had any apology from him so am unsure how he was able to demonstrate his repentance. At the next assembly he stalked my family who then called me in a distressed state, telling me that the elder who knew the case had said the above.

I wrote to the elders in Brighton congregation explaining that this is not possible to move on, daily we are reminded of what he put us through. To date I have not heard back from any of the elders in Brighton.

At around 2002 I found out he had married a young Filipino girl who was studying with the witnesses and she was pregnant. Immediately I contacted the police and gave them copies of the statements that were taken in 1987. They were very good and went to his house and informed him that they were classing him as a sex offender and he would have limited access to his yet unborn child. Thankfully his new wife kicked him out.

This brought back many memories of what I had been through, and now with children of my own I could not comprehend how anyone could hurt or abuse children in such a way. I went into a deep depression and became suicidal. I went to my GP who referred me to a psychologist, and for 6 months I went through a course of CBT.

This helped a great deal, however I was plagued with flashbacks on a daily basis. I had never spoken to anyone, even my therapists about the abuse I suffered. Eventually I could no longer cope, and suffered a nervous breakdown. I stopped being a JW overnight, resigning as an elder and never going back to any meetings.

I wrote a journal of what was going on in my head, in order to try and make sense of what had happened to me.  I then spoke to a close friend of what I had survived. This was in 2011, for the first time in my life I was able to confront my demons, and went back to the police and told them about events nobody had heard about before.

A case was put together and sent to the Crown Prosecution Service who said we had a strong case for the High Court.

On January 8th 2015 he was jailed for 10 years for the offences against me to which I am very happy to see some justice.
[ Police news: http://www.sussex.police.uk/whats-happening/latest/news-stories/2015/01/12/brighton-man-sentenced-for-historic-sex-offences-againgt-young-boy ] [ Newspaper article: http://www.nickfrench.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/pdffrijan16.pdf ]

JW Parents – Safeguard your children

I spent about 20 minutes looking online and found several news items to do with child abuse within Jehovah’s Witnesses. I have placed the links below. They are not from ‘apostate’ sources and it took me only 20 minutes online to find them, they give a snapshot of recent events.
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http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/jehovahs-witnesses-destroyed-documents-showing-7340603

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-2816630/13-5M-award-Jehovahs-Witnesses-molest-case.html#ixzz3Hn875cEl

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jehovahs-witnesses-sex-abuse-scandal-4422943#ixzz3Fwm1Uttl

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/12/jehovahs_witnesses_under_fire.html

http://digital.vpr.net/post/vermont-sisters-sue-jehovahs-witnesses-child-sex-abuse

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/church-633040-abuse-lawsuit.html

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/11343012.display/

http://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/mcalester/church-elder-76-year-old-ronald-lawrence-arrested-over-sex-abuse-claims-dating-back-to-1980s
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If you choose not to read them then I would like to make a few points you should be aware of:

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses still do not have proper child safeguard policies in place
  • They do not cooperate with the police when asked about someone’s confession to child abuse
  • They will not warn parents when a paedophile is in their congregation
  • They allow paedophiles to go door to door meeting families with children
  • They do not check registers such as Disclosure Scotland for any member

I could go on as there are many other issues where they side with paedophiles and abuse the victims further.

Any parent that has any feelings of wanting to protect their family would want to make sure that their children are no where near these people. If JWs are wrong in this respect I would like you to ask yourself in what other ways are they wrong? I know the answer to that question and it scares me that my children would be exposed to it.

I implore you to think carefully about safeguarding your children, what justification can there be to allowing your young impressionable ones to associate with these people?