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January 2003 Guestbook

January 5th 2003

Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 12:22 AM

Bill does have a lot of courage!!! And he probably was amazed too at how many silentlambs there really are. Absolutely, God is blessing the goodness of Bill's mission. It would help the silentlambs greatly if you would post your story in the Abused Lambs area of the site.

So sorry you were subjected to being betrayed in a Kingdom Hall by the CO praising the man who sexually abused you. There are no secrets among friends. They call themselves the "friends" but as you said yourself once the truth was out, you were abandoned. Thank you for posting here. There is story after story, all have the same "plot" and you are not alone. God is with you, Bill and anyone who has been betrayed, exploited, oppressed and abandoned.

Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:49 PM

I was up all night last night, same dream, same faces, same questions that have haunted me for over 20 years. I was a child of JW family, I never was a JW. I make that clear, because my participation was forced and my subservience was acquired through punishment and intimidation. I was molested for a period of about 5 years by a ministerial servant, who also happened to be my step-grandfather. My step-father unfortunately fell right into his father's footsteps. My life as a child was akin to a POW camp, beatings, humiliation, ostracism and isolation, brainwashing. . . . . . and that was only the beginning. All my life I have asked the same questions, never to be answered. . . . WHY WHY WHY? I prayed and read my bible and prepared for every single meeting, please Jehovah, protect me, make it stop. I made deals with God, if you make it stop, I'll dedicate my life to you. But it didn't stop. I told so many within the congregation, so did my little sister. No one helped, no one saved us. We would hold hands and pray, but instead of our prayers being answered, things got worse. We had a big meeting at our house, all the elders and my mom and step-dad and us children. We were told to stop wearing t-shirts and sweaters and blue jeans. We were tempting him, it was our fault. My mother was told to lose weight so that my step-father would be attracted to her sexually. It was everyone's fault but his. He showed no remorse or repentance, and they left us there to pay. Pay for telling, pay for reaching out for help. My mother hated us, we were now competition. My step fathers beatings got worse, he got away with it and now he had no reason to fear. The congregation shunned us, we weren't welcome in our peers homes, people whispered about us. We had no association in the "world" we had nothing and nobody but each other. We all escaped eventually, my brother ran away at 15, my sister at 14 and I left at 16. We all had problems with drug and alcohol abuse. Bad marriages, and psychiatric treatments, both in and outpatient. Neither my sister nor I can go into any church, even though its been 20 years. Its like every time you eat at a restaurant and you get food poisoning, you can't even look at a restaurant without getting sick to your stomach. I can't look at a Kingdom Hall, or any church for that matter without my knees shaking and an undeniable urge to run. I have made peace with my past, my Mother who never protected me, my grandfather who loved me, yet molested me for 5 years and even my step father whose sadism made our lives worse than any hell the bible could describe. I forgive them, they were sick. But all the brothers and sisters in our congregation who turned their eyes away from our suffering, them who could have eased our pain, hunger and torment, for them I can find no forgiveness. They say it is their duty as Christians to be persecuted for their faith, I say the persecution heaped upon us as children makes their persecution nothing. May each and every one of them suffer half the torment my sisters and brothers did for half the time we suffered, and may God have mercy on their souls. Thank you silentlambs for giving me a voice and soothing my shame.

Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 8:01 PM

Hello, I am so, so sorry about what you, your brother and sister went through. It is horrible beyond belief!! I am so, so sorry for all the pain - - emotional, mental, spiritual, physical that you have suffered in your life. I hope in time you can purge that poison in your system, all the toxins flowing through your soul. I am so sorry. I hope you and your brother and sister are getting counseling. I hope you are all learning as much as you can about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, how to live with it, and how to get help for it. Please, please know that there are many people who care deeply about you, who are rooting for you, and are here for you through silentlambs. Please don't feel shame. None of it was your fault. You are not the one who should feel any shame.

Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 10:42 PM

this is an awesome site. its very touching. i would love to help

Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 3:12 PM

Sex Abuse Victims and Advocates to Deliver Stuffed Animal and Service Bulletin to Local Church -----

Further Lawsuits Filed against Church -----

WHAT: Victims of sexual abuse in Jehovah¹s Witness congregations will deliver a stuffed lamb as a symbol of abuse awareness, also request to post a service announcement on the bulletin board of a local Kingdom Hall and make statements about their abuse as Jehovah¹s Witness children. They will also announce the filing of a lawsuit in the Second District Court at Las Vegas , Nevada on behalf of children sexually molested in a Yerington, Nevada congregation by Dan Fitzwater, now jailed in the Nevada State Penitentiary. -----

WHEN: Thursday, January 9, 2003 ; 10:30 a. m. -----

WHO: Former Jehovah's Witness elder William H. Bowen who started "silentlambs," (www. silentlambs. org) a support group for victims of child abuse who were molested as Jehovah¹s Witnesses, spoke out on 5-28-02 NBC's Dateline program about how children are being harmed by Watchtower policy. Abuse survivors and child advocates from the Las Vegas area will attend. -----

WHERE: Jehovah¹s Witness ³Kingdom Hall," 1335 S. Mojave Street , Las Vegas , NV , on sidewalk outside front door. -----

DETAILS: Four (4) plaintiffs are filing a lawsuit against the Watchtower Society, the policy-making authority for Jehovah¹s Witness congregations, and ministerial personnel in the Yerington congregation where Dan Fitzwater served as a Lay Minister. A document created by the Jehovah¹s Witness hierarchy admits seventeen (17) girls complained of being sexually molested by Fitzwater. William H. Bowen of silentlambs states, ³It appears this person used his relationship to the church to draw young girls to molest. ² -----

Notwithstanding these complaints from seventeen (17) separate children, Dan Fitzwater was allowed by church officials to retain his position of authority within the church, allowing him access to other children. At present, Fitzwater remains a Jehovah¹s Witness in good standing, while serving time in a criminal facility for child molestation. -----

Contact: www. silentlambs. org, William H. Bowen:

Comment from 1/97 elder letter:
³ There are 17 girls that have accused Dan Fitzwater of child molesting. Five are from Yerington, the rest from other states. ²

Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 7:23 PM

I feel grief. . just pure grief for what you have had to endure. I don't have any words to express to you my sorrow for what you have had to experience and then the hard work of working thru it all to find yourself.

When I was late 30's I wanted God in my life and it took me until I was 51 until I could accept that God was there even when I was a child unprotected, being abused, slaughter. What I came to find is that I have a love for righteousness, and a love for what is good and only God could have put it there after what I have been thru. Now don't get me wrong - I have done terrible things when I was in my 30's and early 40's. . . things I am learning not to hate myself for. I use to ask God why would I need you NOW? Where were you when I was little? Took me until 51 to realize I hate what is bad and I love what is good and that is the love of God. At least, that is how my process worked and what I came to believe.

God cannot be contained in a Church or building, yet he can be in our little hearts. A religious building is a trigger for you - it represents betrayal, being exploited. I would imagine it makes your adrenalin run to the tune of panic attacks. . . would me!

You are not alone here. I wish that I could take all your pain away. . . I would gladly take it from you if I could, carry it for you if I could. I use to wish I could hang myself out on the clothesline and let the wind blow all the yuck out of me, and I could start clean & fresh. You know how good clothes smell dried on the line.

Please come back. If you want you can email me, let me know and I will make certain you get my email address. You are a gift to us.

******Claudine****

Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 6:39 PM

This would be a good time for Dateline to do a follow-up story. Since the airing of this episode, many silentlambs came forward and now lawsuits are being filed left and right.

Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 9:09 PM

Does anyone know of a quote from the Watchtower Society stating that family members will not be punished for testifying in court against another witness?

My Father is being asked to resign as an elder because he testified in court to help me get a Protection From Abuse Order against my ex-husband (who is an ex-elder). Does anyone know how we can fight this? HELP !!!


Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2003 5:53 PM

hi mole, jesika, john, SLC, claudine, lin, jay and any others i forgot to mention. just come back to see how things are going.

mole, i absolutely agree with you when you said in a previous post the the WTS use Gods name and forget Christ.

Bill, keep up the good work! we're all still behind you 100%. hope you can get back over to good old Blighty again.

John, have you learned to control your temper yet? ;-)

Jes & Lin, lots of hugs and kisses to you two.

RICH


Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 2:31 PM

****the mole**** it seems the old saying nothing stays the same is so very true. . . . . . . . . . . my interview with the c/o in my area made no results or drew out any apologies of any sort. A stiff neck people they are and closed minds they have trained themselves to be. They pray over a meal to thank god for all they have been blessed with, in the same breath they will ask for dooms day when all they have thanked god for will be gone. Just imagine a theocratic government ruled by men like these, Christendom beware because what we have seen from the ancient days is nothing to what these men in charge may do people in our future if their government does take power, so why stop at disfellowshipping when torture can change the minds of the doubters and unbelievers. Here's a quote for the governing body . . . . " thine loves the same world that mine hates, thy heaven doors are my hells gates. . " William Blake

Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2003 5:08 PM

Subject: Washington Lambs, please read!

Hello!
I am writing to inform you that Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson's bill, HB 1054 adding clergy to the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse will be heard in the House Children and Family Services Committee next Thursday,
January 23rd. The hearing will be in House Hearing Room C, John L. O'Brien building (the House Building). The Committee begins at 1:30, though the bill is not the first item on the agenda.

Rep. Dickerson would like interested people to come and provide testimony at the hearing. She is especially concerned that victims offer their testimony in support of the bill. Please let me know whether you would be interested in attending or know of others who might me.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, and I hope to hear
> From you.

Best,
Joanna Arlow, J. D.
Legislative Assistant
Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson
36th District
(360) 786-7860


Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 9:23 PM

Subject: THANK YOU

For so many years I thought that I was crazy. I had so much pain and I didn't know where it came from. I have memory lapses and I suffer from anxiety and low self-esteem. I am much better at 33 than I was when I was younger. I was continually molested by my only family members and by persons within the Jehovah's Witness organization. I have no proof and no witnesses. All I have is a lifelong fear and sense of self-hatred. I have tried to come to terms with what happened to me and make some sense of it. What I have concluded is that the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses is sinister and criminally allows the molestation and rape of children. It chills me to the bone to realize that I was once at the mercy of people who I now believe to be demonically controlled.


Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2003 11:18 PM
To: GUESTBOOK@SILENTLAMBS. ORG
Subject: Reply to Current Posts

I was trying to figure out how Monica was able to get such a colorful post. . . red and bold. Very fancy!

Every time I read another story my heart breaks.

Welcome sister who wrote she had been sexually abused by many members of her family and is out - (thank God) from the WTS and to Monica who is so bold she posts in red who is out also. . . in more ways than one!!!! LOL. . . couldn't resist.

God loves you both and don't ever, ever forget that! I ask you both to read your bible and especially concentrate on how Jesus died for us and the friendship, love or promises He offers which are not false or trite. Know that He is kind, and just. Maybe not today, but someday when you are lonely, scared or depressed when everyone in the world has let you down you will find that Jesus has nothing to do with the WTS.

We are here for you always. Please come back.

Hi Rich. . . . where have you been?????

And To the ***Mole***I know you are in a tight spot but once you decide who your Master is you will be free. AS john from the bronx says so eloquently. . . Freedom in Christ. Now, that is the Truth.

Love, Claudine

Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2003 8:31 PM

Subject: thank you

Hi, I my name is Melissa and I wrote the anonymous story on Jan 6th. Just wanted to say thanks for all the support everyone offered. I think being able to tell the children of my family's story was more therapy than all the years of counseling I received. No one who isn't familiar with JW organization can even begin to understand the isolation and humiliation that we went through. I am now a functioning, loving mother of 2, and its even harder for me now to understand why anyone would hurt a child. But even more disturbing than the perpetrators actions, were the inactions of probably 200 adult members of that congregation that chose to look the other way. Choosing instead to protect their organization.

Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2003 11:37 AM

Subject: CHILD ABUSE

SAW MENTION OF CHILD ABUSE IN MORNING PAPER. WENT ONLINE AND FOUND YOUR SITE. WHY HAS THE NEWS MEDIA IGNORED THIS PROBLEM? A MENTION OF THIS PROBLEM IS NOT ENOUGH. PS I HAD JUST DOWNLOADED YOUR SITE WHEN TWO MEN KNOCKED ON THEDOOR. I ASKED THEM TO NEVER COME BACK. WHEN I MENTIONED CHILD ABUSE IWAS ASKED IF I HAD READ ANY OF THEIR ARTICLES ON THE SUBJECT. FROM WHAT I HAVE SEEN ON THE SILENT LAMB SITE I WILL NEVER NEED TO READ THEM. GOD BLESSS

Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2003 11:51 AM

Subject: website on silent lambs

I am so happy to see that so many people have the courage to fight the fine fight to bring the perpetrators of this terrible crime to justice and to bring to justice those who refuse to to take responsibility. Keep up the good work! I am happy to say I am no longer associated with this organization.

Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 11:19 PM

Subject: dear 'help' from tuesday Jan. 7th

Hi, I hope this helps, I found it in the press section of this site, their may be more helpful press releases too! :-)

Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 11:01 PM

Subject: Hi everyone?

Hi, been off a bit. . when I came in, sight I was surprised yet pleased it was back to the original. . . Always thinking of all silentlambs! fursie

Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 7:53 PM

Subject: hi all

rich i read and posted to you on jwd , and i like a lot that you say. . . . i left little hints who i was. . . . and yes i'm calm at TIMES. . . . BUT NOT WITH ZOMBIES. THAT HOW IT IS i hate lairs. . . who use god's name in vain. . . . so i see you are doing good . . . bless you and mole is doing good i see . . . and soapbox. . . . etc. . . . it is all the same when you see the light the wt is full of s**H . . . I HAVE A tough way in exposing the wt . . . but someone has too show that side. . . as i've seen you do , some need to go right for the throat!!!! freedom in christ . . . . johnny cip

Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 9:01 PM

Subject: Shocked

I just finished watching the fifth estate. I am appalled by how this CULT can put their prestige and ignorance before there children!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOD WILL GET YOU FOR HURTING HIS CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 10:41 PM

Subject: Supporting silentlambs

I am hoping you will post this message of support even though I am not a JW. I was also sexually abused and I know the pain it causes and still feel like I am an outcast because I disclosed. However, I am not writing to get into all of my issues. I am writing to let the silentlambs know that I have heard them and I will support them by distributing pamphlets in my community. Although, I also have another way in which I would support them. . . JW's often come to my workplace to distribute their magazine "Watchtower", many people will ignore them, but I believing that all religions deserve equal respect will listen and accept their magazines. I will not do this anymore and I will tell them why. Until they can live up to their sacred words and to their children, until I see change and proof, I will not accept their presence in my workplace. I will also spread the word to those that I know will take action. I would also like to make a suggestion to have a section on this website where people can view letters of support from people across the world.

Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 2:35 PM

Subject: My thoughts

I've read many of the victims testimony's and it has left me somewhat confused. I was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Two members of my family were sexually molested by our uncle, that was also a baptized Witness. The subject never surfaced until 25 yrs after the fact. My Uncle had already been disfellowshipped (for other reasons) and the whole family had left the "Truth" on their own accord. Charges were brought against him and the fight is still pretty much alive. The point I would like to make is, being a witness or not, people can still bring in the authorities. Why keep it among themselves???

I do believe it is the best place for any criminal to hide because the authorities are excluded by everyone, even the victims parents will keep it hush hush from the outside world. Witnesses are Not above any law that I know of. I think this really should be brought more out into the open like the Catholic victims did. Everyone should yell out loud so EVERYONE can hear. God will love them even more.

LH


Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 12:04 PM

Subject: Former Jw

I saw the program on CBC last night and my heart went out to all that have been victimized as children growing up as Jaw's. Everything that I heard was true. Yes I believe a lot is known about different abusers in the congregations around the world and these people should be accountable for their actions. Yes there probably is a record of these people at the different Bethels and these records should be given to the proper authorities and these people on these records should be punished as anyone who has done this type of damage to children be punished. Growing up as a Witness I was sexually fondled by my Grandfather who was an elder and I told my Mother about it and it was my fault for being a to close a person for showing affection. I know that talking to my sisters and cousins that he had to fondled them and no shame was brought up against him as I know of. Years later there was about 8 of the elders in that congregation that were told to step down and my Grandfather lost his eldership and I don't know the circumstances to that but I wouldn't be surprised if some sort of abuse had been found out and dealt with by their standards and not by the letter of the law. My Grandfather is dead now and I hated what he did to me and the ones that I know that he abused and I will not take that hatred beyond that. Still I hope that the cases in Canada and the USA goes through and anyone with information of abuse be reported and dealt with and children who are isolated as witness children are are not forgotten or neglected again. Arlis.

Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 5:09 PM

Subject: Checking in

Hi everyone this is Penny. I am back in school full force working on my Bachelors Degree in Counseling. I am very busy so will not get here as much as i use to. I am praying for each one and thinking of you and i will try to write at least once a week but don't hold me to it. Keep up the good work on exposing the lies of the JW'S

I am behind you 100 percent even though i am not here all the time But i need to get this degree KIDS need people that understand there pain and i understand

Love

Penny

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