Thursday, November 28, 2013

After four and a half years I've decided to return to this blog. Why? For one I was informed that it gained 21 new followers on Feedburner. That means that this information may be desirable and informative to some. Further I feel that I have a lot more to say regarding this aspect of my life. This morning I am writing about Thanksgiving, the holiday. Yesterday left me with such a pleasant feeling as together with my parents, children, in-laws and friends I enjoyed conversation, laughs, a good meal and a movie (Forrest Gump). I was reminded of all I have to be thankful for and how fortunate I really am. That is the purpose of the holidays isn't it? That is what millions were experiencing when I was not as a JW. Now this is not meant to imply that I didn't have the same kind of contentment when I was a JW. I did. But I and most if not all JWs are left with the belief (particularly if they were raised as JW knowing nothing else) that the holidays are evil, that they are a time to indulge in unhealthy and lewd practices. Now I'm sure that some people do those things. But most do and have always done what my family did on Thanksgiving this year. That is something I wish all JWs would be taught. For the holidays, a time when everyone slows down and reflects on their blessings with their loved ones is what we all need. That is what most people every Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Eid, Ramadan, Diwali and Kwanzaa all over the world. Isaac

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson

Here's to Michael Jackson, a young JW who was a victim of that vicious doublespeak. Someone who could never stabilize after being exposed to such dissonant thinking. He MAY have done the bad things attributed to him. But let us never forget from where he came. Michael, we loved you!

For those interested, a NYC radio station KTU, is celebrating his life by playing his music till midnight. The link to listen live is here: http://www.ktu.com/main.html

Isaac Carmignani

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Fall Of Theocracy

Okay so maybe that title is a little sensational. And maybe the notion of theocracy is not going anywhere soon. But the concept that a few men speak for God is being successfully challenged in Iran this week. Cleric Khamenei called the election results a "divine assessment". Yet not long after that he had to bend to the will of the people enough to call for a partial evaluation and recount. That is BIG. Further, not all of the clerics agree with the "divine assessment"! And that disagreement is public. (For more check out this interview on CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/06/19/zakaria.iran.elections/index.html)

No wonder today there were large protests on the streets of Iran. Perhaps, the GB in Brooklyn should turn on their TV's and computers and learn something.

Isaac Carmignani

Friday, May 8, 2009

Moving On, yet staying in touch

As time has gone by I have moved so far away from the cult I was raised in that it almost seems as if that rearing never took place. This is not to say that I don't feel it's effects. But we all have something to deal with inside ourselves, most of us learn to turn adversity into advantage. I like to think that I have as well.

In recent days I have become so active in my community, as a volunteer, at work and socially, that I find it difficult to update this blog. I want to keep it out there though because people in this community need to see that those who leave can and often do lead productive and full lives afterward.

For example in my own life, I've integrated into my community as mentioned in my profile, finding myself now as a somewhat effective parent leader in my school district. Lately I have found myself acting as President of my CEC (www.cec30,net). I am a union rep at work advocating for my fellow maintenance and engineering professionals. I am also back in school as of the fall semester to pursue (somewhat slowly) my dream of being a full fledged member of the scientific community, possibly in the areas of criminology and government.

Religion for me is not what it once was. I focus now on reality: what is, rather than ideology and what MAY have happened in some far flung and romanticized past. In fact I've suspended judgment on all things God related, waiting for some harder evidence to surface. However occasionally you will see something here as I find things that interest me. To advocate and help those who are in the JW and ex-JW community, I remain an active poster at a forum that I earnestly invite you to visit if you want to learn more about this world. It is www.jehovahs-witness.net and I can be found there as the poster truthsetsonefree. The posters "Leolaia" and "Lady Lee" as well as the ones to be found in the "Best of" series (http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/jw/best-of) I especially recommend.

I will focus my blogging in the future on education related topics and possibly politics as I focus my efforts on helping to make NYC School District 30 even better than it already is. Please visit me there or at JWN.

Isaac

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jude

As a JW I still tried to think logically. Thus the issue of a passage in the book of Jude being almost identical as one in an "apocryphal" book like 1 Enoch held not only my interest but raised serious questions about the premise of the Bible's being "inspired of God". I recommend the thread below written by an impeccable researcher on the JWN forum. It is "food for thinking Christians".

http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/bible/85223/1/Jude-and-1-Enoch

Isaac

Thursday, December 11, 2008

An interesting and accurate thread....

http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/7/168958/1.ashx

Isaac

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Journey-Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Let the Beatings Begin


Beatings and whippings were routine. So conditioned was I by corporeal punishment that one day something happened that my Mom recalled with pride for many years afterwards. I was three (maybe a little younger), I know because we were living in Hell's Kitchen at the time. I had done something wrong but my Mom didn't know about it. Maybe I had broken something. Anyway my Mom used these plastic jump ropes to whip me with. She called them "the greenies" because they came in different colors and she had a huge supply of green ones. So I went, took the "greenie" from where it was hanging and went to my Mom, told her what I did, handed the "greenie" to her and ASKED for a beating! I was there for my punishment! I don't know if she actually gave me my whooping or not. But I often wonder, was I nuts? I would later unlearn this foolish craving for discipline as I will explain shortly.

Meetings were the premier occasion for physical torture. To this day people in that area of Brooklyn remember my Mom. She would sit in the front row. Always the front. To this day she must sit at least near the front. In the back were all the "weak" Witnesses. I was to be up front away from them and their kids taking in every word. So everyone would see how whenever my attention deviated she would grab the ear lobe closest to her and pinch, pull and twist it all at the same time. Gosh that hurt. Everyone would see it. But she couldn't be told anything. There were some of those "weak" teenage girls sitting in the back who felt so sorry for me that they on occasion would pass notes up front to my Mom telling her to stop pulling my ears! Boy did that make her blood boil. I remember once after we got home from the meeting her ranting that she would never change her ways. "I am like Br. Rutherford. Bold, courageous." I kid you not that is a direct quote.

I have very prominent ears that I get from my Dad. But I often think to myself that my Mom must have stretched them a centimeter or two. I think she resorted to this ear pulling because my Dad never really attended meetings regularly. And after a time, when I was six or seven the elders insisted that she not take me to the Ladies' Room anymore. Yup, that's right, so paranoid that I would be with the "little worldly boys" whose parents were not good Witnesses in her eyes was she, that she would take me in the women's bathroom. Once she couldn't do that anymore the spankings had to wait till we got home. Thus the earlobe pulling. And boy did I get spanking when we would get home. They were outright whippings. They would usually begin with a long lecture (it being a school night made no difference). Scriptures would be used, scary ones about Armageddon and that damned "eagle of the torrent valley" in Proverbs that would pick my eyes out. Then she would grab a belt, (later in life she would graduate to brooms), have me strip down to underwear, and whip me till the welts were almost bleeding. Usually she used belts. But if she couldn't find a belt as I took to hiding them, or if she felt that I had been REALLY bad she would use extension cords. God did they hurt. All the while I would try to shield myself from them, with little success. Now understand, I wasn't a bad kid. Being bad would never have justified this kind of treatment. But to do this to a child because they could not sit still at a long and boring meeting is just plain sick. Evil. How in God's name can a parent do this I will never understand. I can barely yelling at my daughter. Forget about beatings? Leaving marks and occasionally drawing blood. How the hell did my Mom do it to me? And how did my Dad allow it to go on? Year after bloody year? Till finally one day I said firmly "NO, you will never whip me again." When that didn't stop her I perfected the art of catching the belt, at which time she graduated to longer and harder objects. And she was always careful never to leave marks that the school could pick up on. (Of course in the seventies the schools weren't as keen on this as they are today.) So crazy was my mother that on at least one occasion that I can remember she came up to school, saw me acting up in class, pulled me out of class and beat me in the hallway. And yet in spite of this at every service meeting, circuit assembly, or other such function where interviews were called for she was the one used as the model. When Ray Richardson who is still at Bethel in I think Writing wanted someone for a slide talk he was working up, he sought out my Mom to be in the photo shoots.

Now my Mom is not entirely to blame. She came to this religion running away from EXTREMELY bad circumstances. Later she sought good advice on being a good parent. She receieved some help and even good advice. But at a very high price. And much of it left much to be desired. On child rearing much of what she was told was that Dr. Spock was encouraging parents to raise a bunch of brats. That one should BEAT one's child. Don't worry, he will not die. Further who had given her the jump ropes to use in beating me? A member of the ANOINTED. One of Christ's brothers, or should I say sisters, who used them on her daughters. Well if it is good enough for one of the "anointed" it must be OK for my Mom. This organization has been responsible both directly and indirectly for countless acts of brutality towards innocent and helpless children. Years of undermined self-esteem would be the inevitable result.

Isaac Carmignani