Memoirs of a Jehovah's Witness Life by Tylin Joel
Being cast out from an organization that you have only known since birth is catastrophic. Being faced with shunning by long time friends and family members is devastating. Discovering that all you were ever allowed to know as “truth” is indeed a grand lie can be bewildering, frustrating and life changing. Keeping a level head during this transition is not easy. I have made many mistakes in my 44 years but I try to learn from them. Discovering that there are hundreds of thousands who share this same pain through experiences is cathartic in many ways. Nothing has illustrated this or accomplished this fact more than social media and networking on the Internet. While it is very true that everyone has an opinion or pathway of their own along their recovery journey, the joint camaraderie is still present and some of the people I have met online and through social media have saved my life. You have saved my daughter’s life. I thank you for that.
I was born in 1970. My mother and father brought me into the world in Santa Barbara County and attended the Quarantina Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Santa Barbara, California. They moved 15 miles south to the City of Carpinteria and that is the congregation in which I was raised. When I was thirteen years old, I dedicated my life to serving Jehovah God and I symbolized that dedication by water baptism in a pool outside the Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Woodland Hills, California.
My mother was very proficient in training me as the perfect little Jehovah's Witness boy. I was constantly rescuing my Jehovah’s Witness playmates from various holiday celebrations and political ceremonies at school. I never had a problem explaining why being a Jehovah's Witness excluded me from a plethora of activities, even taking to task school administration all alone as to why I would not solute the flag or stand for the playing of the National Anthem.