Friday, July 6, 2012

Review of “Become Jehovah’s Friend;” Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Purple Wizard

 To find my beautifully written thoughts on the new Jehovah's Witness video, click here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Memorial Time Again!

   Once again the time has come for Jehovah's Witnesses all around the world to gather and celebrate the gruesome torture and death of Jesus Christ. Now, even though this person probably didn't exist, Witnesses assume that Jesus, not only, has died on a stake(though it is a historical fact that Romans executed people on crosses), but that he also wanted his servants to eat his apparently delicious, unleavened body and drink his fantastically inebriating blood.

Jesus-blood is surprisingly popular with college kids

What can really be said about the memorial? Besides the fact that almost all of it is a blatant recruitment and advertizing tool targeting the non-Jehovah's Witnesses in the audience, what the event really boils down to is a silly ritual-for-ritual-sake event that feels boring, stale, and not exactly emotionally investing. Sure, the brother giving the speech will spend a cursory amount of time explaining why Jesus' death is so goddamn meaningful and blah blah blah, but when everything is said and done, what is really happening besides passing some symbolic talismans around and congratulating yourself for being a good christian?

I know that if I ran a silly fundamentalist religion I would mix it up a little. Maybe one year I'd have all of my followers do a little Jesus-dance—I don't know, but whatever I'd do would probably spice it up a little bit. Nevertheless, the Witnesses still take this celebration of marketing techniques seriously; but then again, they have a habit of taking everything seriously.

See that facial hair? Yes, they take that seriously too

So for all the family members of Jehovah's Witnesses that have been suckered into observing tonight's feast of intellectual boredom, I have a suggestion: bring booze. Lots and lots of booze.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Welcome to ApostaRAD!

   Sometimes it feels like being in an AA meeting when you try to discuss how you were once one of Jehovah's Witnesses. In case you don't quite know what the Jehovah's Witnesses are let me try to bring you up to speed: the Jehovah's Witnesses are a group of Christians who are most notable for knocking on doors and distracting you from eating breakfast, laying in bed, and, if you're so inclined, masturbating in the shower. So in essence, they're mostly seen as a cute little nuisance that wear suits and try to hand you magazines that are made out of only the finest recycled cardboard.

 Aw, look, they're trying so hard to look professional

At least, that's how normal people see them. When you are actually inside the Religion itself your perspective is about as different from the norm as a Holocaust denier with multiple brain lesions is different from your average theoretical physicist. The truth is that the world seems like a very different place when you're a full, honest to god, Jehovah's Witness; all the people who are not in your Religion are suddenly replaced with ideological enemies—enemies who can only be defeated through conversion—and the world takes on a new, invisible leader, who you've never seen before, Satan. Yes, the concept that it's actually Satan who rules the world might seem a little strange if you haven't been exposed to radical fundamentalism before, but if you have then I'm sure that the idea doesn't seem alien in the least.

I was raised as a Witness and I can tell you that, at one point, I believed every ounce of their dogma. Every silly idea that an old guy in a suit could have possibly made up was once incorporated into my entire belief system; sure, I had doubts every once in a while but I usually would just will them away. You see, when you leave a ridiculous religion (Read: most of them) you start to realize that almost every single subversive thought that could have made a member leave the Religion has been compensated for by the people who created the belief system in the first place. "Are you beginning to realize that science doesn't really mesh well with your beliefs? Well, that's just Satan's wicked world attempting to skew your understanding; God created science, after all." This is what I like to call the "iPhone commercial" technique of holding your members locked inside your Religion: "have you fallen in love with someone who isn't a Witness? Don't worry, we've got an app for that!"

The amount of time it must take for these internal safeguards to be developed must be astronomical. The sheer overwhelming mental craftsmanship that it takes to not only create a new Religion but then keep people from ever leaving it is astounding. There are so many different nuances to consider in these intricate Religions that it is, unfortunately, lost on most people that are inside them; that's why I've made this blog: to express some of these internal defense mechanisms and, maybe, to also poke fun at the unique human flaw that allows these silly behemoths to exist in the first place. So, welcome all ye who wish to discuss your experiences, laughable and otherwise, with not only Jehovah's Witnesses but organized religion in general. I've got a feeling that this will take us all for a wild ride.

And Now For a Little Explanation About The Name

   As I'm going to talk about later on in a future article, most of the fundamentalist Faiths develop buzzwords for the people inside so that they'll know what they're supposed to think and when: it's sort of like a laugh track but with thoughts on demand instead of canned laughter and a whole hell of a lot scarier. In my past religion one of the scariest buzzwords was "Apostate". What does Apostate mean in the Jehovah's Witnesses? It means a person who has not only left the Religion but who dares also express his or her negative opinions about it; so, as you've probably guessed, I fit that description pretty well. Here's the thing, as with most buzzwords, definition is less important than the emotions the word is meant to convey. What is "Apostate" supposed to convey? Well, my friends, Apostate was created to cause feelings of fear, mistrust, loathing, confusion, hatred, hopelessness, evil, darkness, so pretty much the exact opposite of what they think their God is all about.

In essence, to a Witness, an Apostate is one of Satan's little helpers. In reality, of course, I'm just another dude that's had a bad experience with a cult-like Religion and I'm now trying to link up with other people who have had similar experiences so that we can rant about them together: it's kind've like a group of ex-Toyota owners—but with more bibles.

Alas, besides the silliness of calling anyone who doesn't believe the same things as you do a funny, archaic name, the Witnesses will still call me, and anyone who does the things that I do, an "Apostate": hence the name of this blog. As for the second part, well, it's because I'm pretty fuckin' rad.

Oh, yeah, and I also like pasta a whole lot.