How Jehovah's Witnesses greet others

Jehovah's Witnesses A dropout tells

Anyone who is an active Jehovah's Witness is part of a worldwide family of faith that usually determines their entire life. But this family life has its downsides. And those who decide to leave the community often lose all social contacts.

Walter Schöning came to Jehovah's Witnesses through his mother. As a child he experienced the time in the community mainly as a compulsion. Walter Schöning: "That you always have to be careful of the evil world, football stars or Spiderman, that's idolatry, you should also watch what you feel, no jealousy, no anger - these are all negative feelings, there can be Satan try you. "

Feeling of liberation

After a friend's suicide, doubts began. Schöning fell into a hole, sought advice from the elders. "And the only thing I heard were things like: do you have spiritual things in the house, so do the demons haunt you? Strengthen your relationship with Jehovah, in other words: go preach more, study more, attend the meetings, get active for Jehovah. " But the then 18-year-old couldn't do anything with such advice. "On the same day I told my mother that I no longer go to meetings, I don't want anything to do with it and that was liberating for me," says Walter Schöninig.

Not regretted leaving

No more meetings, no more field services, no more social scrutiny. Schöning has not regretted his step. Today the 37-year-old lives with his two children in the Baden province. He works as a papermaker. He explains that he succeeded so well in the exit: "I was not alone. My father is not a Jehovah's Witness, my mother was not on the course to avoid me now. Well, I had, if you think of other drop-out stories compares a very gentle exit. "

Social ostracism

Schöning was spared the total social ostracism that many dropouts often suffer from. The talkative, open-minded young man has no hatred for Jehovah's Witnesses. But does he find the religious community dangerous? Schöning answers with yes. It is not the Jehovah's Witnesses that are dangerous, but the organization that sets the rules of the game, he explains. The organization penetrates deep into the private life of the members and wants to determine everything. Those who do not subordinate themselves run into problems. And whoever leaves the witness is often alone at first.

Videoblog wants to encourage

With a video blog on YouTube, Schöning encourages those willing to drop out. A first insight is important on the way out. "Yes, I joined a religious community and yes, I was duped, yes, I was manipulated - and if you already know that yourself, then you have already done half the battle of the exit."

Author: Lukas Meyer-Blankenburg, Online: Utku Pazarkaya

Status: April 10, 2019, 10.55 a.m.