Elaine Dawson (Ohio)

Submitted by Elaine Dawson from Columbus, Ohio on June 20, 2012:

“Mr. Kelly, thank you for writing about your experiences growing up in the ‘Club.’ I was raised in the faith from birth, as my mother was (her father was believed to have been one of the “Remnant”). Despite that, I realized very young that I didn’t believe what Mom and the others at the Kingdom Hall did. Trying to make myself believe was, of course, futile. I deliberately avoided being baptized as a teenager because I knew I intended to disassociate myself at the first opportunity. That bit of foresight probably saved my relationship with my mother.

“Reading Growing Up in Mama’s Club has been a refreshing change for me. I have in the past been frustrated and felt a bit alienated because so much of the literature and resources by and for ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses are not compatible with my experience or with my current beliefs and life choices. Many former JWs have embraced a more mainstream Christian faith, and frame their discussions on the topic from that perspective, which I respect but do not share. I have limited interest in accounts of how JW teachings differ from orthodox Christian ones. Your critique of the intrinsic flaws, contradictions, weaknesses and absurdities of the JW organization and its doctrine is far more broadly relevant and insightful. I have ordered a copy of Ghosts from Mama’s Club and look forward to reading it.

“I have been especially moved and saddened to read of your sisters Susan and Marilyn, and how the faith so tragically failed them. Thank you for sharing their stories, and your other experiences.

Elaine sent the following message a day later:

“Hi Richard, I will be sure to copy my comments into an Amazon review as soon as I’ve purchased a copy. :-) Having been disappointed before, I borrowed it through inter-library loan first — it came all the way from Cedar Rapids, IA!

“Thank you for your response and thanks again for sharing your story.”

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