IF THERE IS NO GOD, THEN THERE ARE NO ... .
IF THERE ARE ... , THEN THERE ALSO IS AN ALMIGHTY GOD.
1 The fool says in his heart, "God does not exist." They are corrupt; their actions are revolting. There is no one who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the human race to see if there is one who is wise, one who seeks God. 3 All have turned away; all alike have become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one. 4 Will evildoers never understand? They consume my people as they consume bread; they do not call on the Lord. 5 Then they will be filled with terror, for God is with those who are righteous. 6 You [sinners] frustrate the plans of the afflicted, but the Lord is his refuge.
28 When He had come to the other side, to the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met Him as they came out of the tombs. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 Suddenly they shouted, "What do You have to do with us, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" 30 Now a long way off from them, a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 "If You drive us out," the demons begged Him, "send us into the herd of pigs." 32 "Go!" He told them. So when they had come out, they entered the pigs. And suddenly the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water. 33 Then the men who tended them fled. They went into the city and reported everything-especially what had happened to those who were demon-possessed. 34 At that, the whole town went out to meet Jesus. When they saw Him, they begged Him to leave their region.
26 Then they sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 When He got out on land, a demon-possessed man from the town met Him. For a long time he had worn no clothes and did not stay in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and said in a loud voice, "What do You have to do with me, Jesus, You Son of the Most High God? I beg You, don't torment me!" 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and although he was guarded, bound by chains and shackles, he would snap the restraints and be driven by the demon into deserted places. 30 "What is your name?" Jesus asked him. "Legion," he said-because many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged Him not to banish them to the abyss. 32 A large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Him to permit them to enter the pigs, and He gave them permission. 33 The demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned. 34 When the men who tended them saw what had happened, they ran off and reported it in the town and in the countryside. 35 Then people went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man the demons had departed from, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 Meanwhile the eyewitnesses reported to them how the demon-possessed man was delivered. 37 Then all the people of the Gerasene region asked Him to leave them, because they were gripped by great fear. So getting into the boat, He returned. 38 The man from whom the demons had departed kept begging Him to be with Him. But He sent him away and said, 39 "Go back to your home, and tell all that God has done for you." And off he went, proclaiming throughout the town all that Jesus had done for him.
1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him. 3 He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him any more -- even with chains -- 4 because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice, "What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don't torment me!" 8 For He had told him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" 9 "What is your name?" He asked him. "My name is Legion," he answered Him, "because we are many." 10 And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region. 11 Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. 12 The demons begged Him, "Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them." 13 And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there. 14 The men who tended them ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 The eyewitnesses described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and [told] about the pigs. 17 Then they began to beg Him to leave their region. 18 As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him. 19 But He would not let him; instead, He told him, "Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you." 20 So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed.
This TRUE STORY is posted for the benefit of persons who have exited the WatchTower Cult and who are now looking for the meaning of their new life. Unfortunately, Satan the Devil preys on such ones during this vulnerable period of their life. Satan will be completely satisfied if such wanderers stop believing in his existence if that means that they also stop believing in the existence of Almighty God.
While there is no shortage of the evidences of God's existence, mankind has somehow managed to find excuse after excuse to ignore such. It was during one of those seemingly endless arguments about the existance of God that a former JW first gave us a quick summary of the following story. None of the characters in the following story are or were JWs -- only Tipster, so this was never something that we ever previously considered for publication. However, Tipster recently contacted us and related that he was experiencing health problems and might not lived for many more years.
Tipster related that when he dies that this story would die with him if he could not convince us to publish such. As Tipster so convinced us, this story can be just as important to WatchTower Cult exiting former JWs as many of the other JW stories that we publish.
The Smith family relocated from North Carolina to Tennessee after the Revolutionary War. After the War of 1814, part of the Smith family moved on to Missouri. There, in 1851, in the rolling hills of central Missouri was born the father of "Uncle Jim". Readers either will know, or they won't, how Missouri was torn apart by the Civil War. Uncle Jim's father was fortunate enough to have been old enough to have seen and understood much of what occurred between 1861 and 1865, yet young enough not to have become part of the story.
Uncle Jim's father both bought his own 160 acre farm and married in the mid 1870s. From then until the mid 1890s, the family had 8 surviving children. Uncle Jim was the final "change of life" baby. Uncle Jim's mother simply "spoiled to death" Uncle Jim. While Uncle Jim's seven older siblings were reared with ever increasing duties/jobs/responsibilities on the farm, Uncle Jim's mother kept him "under her skirt". She would thrash anyone who even thought about causing Uncle Jim any discomfort.
While Uncle Jim's mother's circle of protection initially created a barrier between Uncle Jim and his father, as young Uncle Jim grew older, Uncle Jim developed the same "love" held by his father -- the breeding, raising, and training of working horses and mules. While Uncle Jim's older male siblings grew up viewing all the work connected with the farm's horses and mules as just routine farm work, Uncle Jim understood and appreciated the beauty of horses and mules. Once Uncle Jim's father noticed that young Uncle Jim also loved horses and mules, Uncle Jim's father slowly began to teach Uncle Jim all the intricate details of breeding, raising, training, and working horses and mules.
Young Uncle Jim quickly became his father's "right-hand man" when it came to caring for and training the farm's horses and mules. Uncle Jim also helped in the training and showing of horses and mules at their county fair, and adjacent counties' fairs, where his father had a reputation for always coming in either first or second place in whatever category he entered his horses and mules. Before long, Uncle Jim was given the care of his own horses and mules, as well as the training and showing his own animals at county fairs.
Later in Uncle Jim's life, people with only occasional acquaintance with Uncle Jim had no idea that Uncle Jim's intimidating deep booming voice, which was the envy of every Preacher whom Uncle Jim met, had had to be developed when Uncle Jim was still a young boy. A deep booming voice was necessary for the constant commands that had to be given to horses and mules. A deep booming voice also was highly desired during other routine activities on a 160 acre farm where people were often working far apart from each other.
However, when teenage and young adult Uncle Jim went to town, his deep loud voice often was mistaken as his having a bad attitude towards others, and/or as the barking of commands at people he either barely knew, or did not know at all. Such misunderstandings disappeared as Uncle Jim grew into his six foot two inch, wide shouldered, 210 pound frame. Uncle Jim eventually became known as one of the county's strongest young men, and Uncle Jim was not beyond showing off his strength during his occasional trips away from the farm to purchase supplies, etc.
As Uncle Jim got older, so did his father. By the time Uncle Jim was in his mid teens, his father was nearings his 60s, and was slowing down. By that point, Uncle Jim's father had earned a reputation as one of the top horse and mule breeders and trainers in that part of Missouri. People from all over traveled to the Smith farm to purchase animals for their farms, businesses, and personal wagons and carriages.
By the time Uncle Jim was 18 years old, all of his older brothers and sisters had married and moved on to their own farms -- both in that same rural community and throughout the county. Such marriages served only to make the Smith Family more prominent in their county. It was agreed by Uncle Jim's parents that if he stayed with them on the family farm, and took care of them in their elderly years, that they would sell the family farm to him on extremely favorable terms.
Unfortunately, Uncle Jim's best friend -- his mother -- died only four years later, when she was only 60 years old. His mother's death hit Uncle Jim hard. Only a year later, the United States was drawn into WW1, and Uncle Jim volunteered for the U.S. Army. When the Army discovered Uncle Jim's expertise with horses and mules, Uncle Jim was reassigned to training animals for army work. Eventually, Uncle Jim trained other trainers. Uncle Jim's two years spent in the Army allowed Uncle Jim to see some of the rest of the United States other than central Missouri.
When Uncle Jim returned to the family farm, some claimed that Uncle Jim did so with an even bigger "attitude". Some people even said that Uncle Jim was a different person. No doubt, Uncle Jim returned with a more worldly attitude, but Uncle Jim also returned with something else that he would sometimes deny, and sometimes downplay, and which others could not explain. Somewhere, sometime, while Uncle Jim had been away from Missouri, he had picked up a special "accent", which did not sound like anyone else living either in Uncle Jim's part of Missouri, or anywhere else in Missouri. Of all things, it was the accent, or brogue, or whatever sound of a highly educated man. Some people even called it "aristocratic". Combined with Uncle Jim's already deep booming voice, Uncle Jim's presence now commanded the attention of every person where he went, no matter the size of the crowd.
Uncle Jim's father lived for only four years after 25 year-old Uncle Jim returned home from the Army. Although Uncle Jim had not shown much previous interest in females, apparently Uncle Jim became lonely after his father died, and he started looking for a wife. At the age of 29, Uncle Jim married Aunt Lucy, who was then a naive 19 year-old girl. The couple never were able to have children, and they never officially explained why to anyone.
After Uncle Jim married in the mid 1920s, he and his wife settled into rural community life which centered around their rural Southern Baptist Church. Uncle Jim's father had been a church Deacon, a member of the county's F&AM, and a member and active participant of the county's dominating political party. Combined, all of these Smith Family affiliations made life easy and simple within their rural community and county. Uncle Jim and all his older male siblings followed in their father's footsteps.
One of Uncle Jim's five older brothers, Jeff, was the sibling who lived and farmed closest to the family farm. It was about 1/2 mile away -- which in those days was no short hop and skip when traveling by horse and/or buggy. Jeff had his own firstborn son in 1915, when Jeff was about 30 years old, and when Uncle Jim was about 20 years old. Decades later, Tipster knew Jeff's son as "Uncle Joe", even though he was "Uncle Jim's" nephew. Yes, the nicknames are confusing.
Uncle Joe grew up on his own father's farm somewhat similar to the way his own father and Uncle Jim had been reared on Joe's grandfather's farm. Uncle Jim was about twenty years older than Uncle Joe, and although the two siblings -- Jim and Jeff -- frequently exchanged labor, went to church together, socialized together, etc., the two families were never as close as they might have been since Uncle Jim and Aunt Lucy never had children. There frequently were "things" going on which excluded adults and/or families who did not have any children. Over years, such unintentional exclusions of the childless couple tended to multiple.
During the early days of the Great Depression, 19 year-old "Joe" married his girlfriend, Cindy, as soon as she turned 18 years-old. They lived on Joe's parents' farm during the 1930s due to the limit opportunities caused by the depression. Joe and Cindy had two sons and one daughter over the first six years of their marriage. During those Depression years of the 1930s, Jeff and Joe, and Jim, routinely exchanged labor on their two farms. When not working, Jeff, Jim, and Joe, and other relatives, participated in social, religious, political, and Masonic functions together.
WW2 was a busy time for the Smiths. The war effort required maximum output from all farmers -- small and large. Aunt Lucy, who was nearly 40 years old, went to work in a war plant located in a town about 15 miles away. Enjoying the regular weekly income, and later health insurance, Uncle Jim encouraged Aunt Lucy to continue working after WW2, and she did so until she retired. Once her youngest daughter became a teenager, Aunt Cindy was encouraged by Uncle Joe to join Aunt Lucy at the factory. Aunt Lucy also worked there until she retired.
As a grown man, Uncle Joe was larger than most adult males of that era. Joe was about six foot tall, and weighed about 180 pounds -- very similar to his own father. However, once again, Uncle Jim even was a larger man. Jim was about six foot two inches, muscular, and weighed about 210 pounds. With Jim's loud, booming voice, along with that unexplained "aristocratic" accent/brogue, Uncle Jim intimidated nearly every male whom he was around -- usually unintentionally, but sometimes intentionally.
It possibly was Joe's being around the intimidating Uncle Jim so frequently that Joe developed a deferential personality -- despite his own stature being larger than most other men in his era. Over the years and decades, people in the county respected Uncle Jim, but they truly liked Uncle Joe. Uncle Joe and Aunt Cindy, and their three children were invited to social, religious, and political functions to which the childless Uncle Jim and Aunt Lucy were not invited. Soon, Joe and Cindy's social circles were much broader than those of their parents, and those of Jim's and Lucy's.
Although nearly twenty years younger than Uncle Jim, Uncle Joe was named a church Deacon only ten years after Uncle Jim. Joe progressed in the Masonic Lodge faster than Jim. Joe soon was given responsibilities in elections and positions in their local political party which equalled those held and performed by Uncle Jim.
Joe and Cindy were serious parents who made their upmost effort to rear good children. All three children earned college degrees and returned back to their home county to work and live. The two boys both got jobs with different departments of state government, while their sister became a schoolteacher.
By the time that Uncle Jim reached his mid 50s by 1950, childless Uncle Jim and Aunt Lucy had settled into a life of accumulating material possessions. Apparently, it was Uncle Jim's way of continuing his early days at county fairs "competing" with his fellow man, and maintaining his personal pride. Over time, Uncle Jim and Aunt Lucy developed a reputation in the county for their "thrift". Gradually, they became known as being frugal, and later, even less positive terms were applied to the couple behind their backs by both family and friends.
Over those same years, Uncle Joe, Aunt Cindy, and their by-then three grown and married children became known as one of the county's premier families. Their circles widened out to take in nearly the entire county. By the early 1960s, Uncle Joe was so well liked countywide that he essentially was drafted to run for a countywide public office which was being abandoned by a longtime office holder who was then retiring. Initially, Uncle Joe did not even want to enter that part of competitive politics, but everyone seemed to be insisting that he did so.
Uncle Joe easily won his party's primary, and even easier won that Fall's general election. Uncle Joe went on to twice win reelection before "retiring" in the mid 1970s. Working at the courthouse every day would have changed nearly every other farmer, but not Uncle Joe. Aunt Cindy even continued working at her factory job. Joe and Lucy even resisted the temptation to "move to town". Being an elected county official for 12 years, Joe regularly rubbed elbows with both statewide elected officials and his senators and congressmen. However, nothing changed Uncle Joe from being the simple man that everyone liked.
The Smith Family allowed to slip by without much fanfare Uncle Jim's 80th and 81st birthdays. So, a family reunion and large party was planned for Uncle Jim's 82nd birthday. A good time was had by all -- except for Uncle Jim's 72 year-old wife. Aunt Lucy did not wake up the next morning.
Aunt Lucy's demise actually turned out quite well for Uncle Jim. Some relatives still consider Uncle Jim's final two years to have been the peak accomplishment years of his life. While settling Aunt Lucy's estate, Uncle Jim's attorney saw that Uncle Jim and Aunt Lucy had deposits in all three of the local county banks -- totaling over $1 million. That attorney just so happened to sit on the BOD of the county's largest bank. That attorney "suggested" that "one" of those three banks might be willing to pay Uncle Jim a higher rate of interest on a CD which was over $1 million.
Uncle Jim expressed his concern that even with his life savings spread out into three banks that such was not completely covered by FDIC insurance. One single large CD would leave even more of his life savings not covered by FDIC insurance. The attorney then disclosed his relationship with the largest county bank, and asked if Uncle Jim would like for him to "check things out", and get back to him. Uncle Jim agreed, noting that simply checking would do no harm.
Uncle Jim's attorney quickly got back with him. To play on elderly Uncle Jim's pride, the attorney informed Uncle Jim that if and when he finished rolling the other two deposits to the single bank that Uncle Jim would be the FIRST and ONLY man in that county to have more than $1 million CASH on deposit in a single county bank.
While true in 1980 that FDIC insurance would not cover the vast majority of such a large deposit in one single bank, the attorney also had found a solution to that problem. Uncle Jim could personally keep track of the financial soundness of the Bank. The bank would open up all its records to Uncle Jim and his attorney at any time that they requested. How could they legally do such? Uncle Jim would be named to the Bank's Board of Directors. Uncle Jim would attend all BOD meetings, monthly and annual. Uncle Jim could personally monitor the safety of his life's savings. Such was quite an accomplishment for a man with only a one-room school eighth grade education.
Uncle Jim was 82 years old, but he still cherished the pride and prestige that came with winning dozens of county fair trophies and ribbons back when he was in his teens, 20s, and 30s, To once again be in a major county spotlight was simply too appealing to Uncle Jim. The plan was put into motion.
The new majority shareholder in the Bank was elated when he learned that the Bank's already largest cash depositor was going to triple his deposit as soon as his CDs at two other banks renewed. However, that new majority shareholder was not properly prepared for who was Uncle Jim. On the days of the Bank's monthly BOD meetings, the employee parking lot adjacent to the Bank was roped off, with Bank employees being forced to park a block away in the city parking lot. That was done so that the new majority shareholder could make a grand entrance into town by landing his helicopter there. The only problem was that the the other Directors also had to park in the city parking lot one block from the bank.
On the day of his first BOD meeting, after the new majority shareholder had once again made a grand entrance into the middle of town in his helicopter, Uncle Jim typically crawled slowly down Main Street past the Bank driving his 1962 Chevy one-ton flatbed farm truck. Pedestrians who knew Uncle Jim paid little attention as Uncle Jim walked the one block to the Bank. However, the look on the new majority shareholder's face when Uncle Jim was introduced to him was priceless.
Uncle Jim was dressed up for the Bank's BOD meeting just as Uncle Jim had for his entire life dressed up for special occasions such as monthly F&AM meetings, just as Uncle Jim dressed up for church Deacon meetings, and just as Uncle Jim dressed up for church meetings and functions. Uncle Jim was wearing bib overalls, a plaid shirt, and ankle high work boots with white socks, which were exactly the same items that Uncle Jim wore every day to work on his farm. The only difference that Uncle Jim's clothing that day had from Uncle Jim's daily work attire was that on the noted special occasions Uncle Jim reserved his new and fairly new clothing and boots. However, the only thing worse looking than an old pair of bib overalls was a brand new pair.
One Sunday morning in June 1980, Uncle Jim had not arrived at church by the time that services had started. Uncle Joe knew that there was a problem. Uncle Joe left church and drove over to Uncle Jim's house. There, Uncle Joe found Uncle Jim looking absolutely terrible. After arguing with Uncle Jim for an hour, Uncle Joe eventually coaxed Uncle Jim into his pickup truck, and drove him the seven miles to the county hospital. There, Uncle Jim died nine days later at the age of 85 years old.
Uncle Jim's funeral was held at the county's largest funeral home, which was still too small for the throng of visitors. Uncle Jim had been one of the oldest living Deacons at his farming community's Southern Baptist Church, which was the county's largest denomination. Roughly 30% of the citizens in the county belonged to a Baptist Church, and SBCs constituted 2/3s of all Baptist sects in the county. Uncle Jim also had been one of the county's oldest active F&AMs, and he received FreeMason burial rites. Uncle Jim also had been one of the oldest active members in the county's dominating political party -- having served as a precinct captain up until the most recent election. As previously noted, Uncle Jim also was an active member of the BOD at the county's largest Bank.
And, Uncle Joe was in charge of everything. Uncle Joe's father initially had been named by Uncle Jim in his Will as his estate's administrator, but after Uncle Joe's father had died back in 1965, Uncle Joe was so named by Uncle JIm. After Aunt Lucy died in 1997, Uncle Joe also was designated as Uncle Jim's primary beneficiary of his roughly $1.4 million estate. As a decades long SBC Deacon, Uncle Jim always had paid his tithes, so he felt that he was not obligated to leave his small rural church any additional amount through his Will. Individual bequests to a few closer family members totaled only about 10% of the estate, so even considering the estate taxes and inheritance taxes that existed back in 1980, Uncle Joe stood to inherit a sizable chunk of change considering that, at age 65, he owed no significant debts, and Uncle Joe was use to living a lower middle income life style. Let's face facts, it was Uncle Joe's son and daughter who stood to gain from this inheritance. That's not to express nor imply that Uncle Joe, his wife, nor his two children did not respect and care for Uncle Jim as they should. They did. These were truly decent "christian" people -- as such exists. But, the net worth of Uncle Joe's immediate family had just instantly doubled.
Uncle Jim died on a Tuesday. To accommodate the anticipated crowd, there were visitations on Wednesday afternoon from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM, and for Wednesday night churchgoers, from 5:00 PM until 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM until 10:00 PM. Another visitation was held from 10:00 AM until Noon on Thursday morning. Uncle Jim's funeral was held at 2:00 PM, with visitation starting at 1:00 PM.
Even before Aunt Lucy died, Uncle Jim curiously had chosen for them not to be buried in any of the 3 or 4 rural cemeteries where were buried Uncle Jim's and/or Aunt Lucy's parents, siblings, or even their extended families. Instead, Uncle Jim had purchased two, and only two, plots for Aunt Lucy and himself in the county's large main cemetery. After Aunt Lucy died in 1978, Uncle Jim had purchased a prominent, double tombstone. As noted above, Uncle Jim's FreeMason brethren conducted rites at his burial.
By the time everything was wrapped up at graveside, it was nearly 4:30 PM. Uncle Joe invited the mostly closer friends and family who had attended the burial for an early dinner at a local favorite restaurant. Uncle Joe and Aunt Cindy made it home around 6:30 PM. Uncle Joe told Aunt Cindy that he was going to change clothes and then drive over to Uncle Jim's house and check all the doorlocks just to make sure that noone was messing around Uncle Jim's house or barns now that it was public knowledge that Uncle had died. Around 7:00 PM, Uncle Joe told Aunt Cindy that he was leaving, but that he would be back home in 15-20 minutes.
Aunt Cindy already had figured that Uncle Joe would be gone longer than 20 minutes. Uncle Jim had stopped allowing anyone else to come inside his house about a year ago -- after Aunt Lucy had beed dead for about a year. Aunt Cindy figured that Uncle Joe was going over to Uncle Jim's to snoop around and see how big of a mess was the house. Aunt Cindy only started to worry when Uncle Joe had not made it home by 8:00 PM. Then passed 8:30 PM, and eventually 9:00 PM passed. It was only a couple days after Summer Solstice, so it did not get dark until after 9:30 PM.
Around 9:45 PM, the telephone rang at the home of Uncle Joe's and Aunt Cindy's son, Jerry, age 45, who was an administrator with Missouri's state government department which provided mental health services for Missouri citizens who did not have private insurance coverage. It was Jerry's mother, Aunt Cindy, who began apologizing for calling so late. She asked Jerry if he could rush over and help her. Something was "wrong" with his father. Jerry began to interrogate his mother. Aunt Cindy rejected Jerry's suggestion to telephone an ambulance if his Dad's life was in danger. Jerry agreed to rush over as quickly as he could.
Jerry lived only 10 minutes drivetime away, but it took him until around 10:15 PM before his parents' lighted home was in view. Typically, the lights would be out and Jerry's parents would already be asleep by then. The next anomaly Jerry noticed was that his dad's pickup truck was missing, but Uncle Jim's 1962 one-ton flatbed was parked behind his Mom's automobile, blocking it in -- leaving his Dad's routine parking spot unoccupied. Jerry assumed that his Dad must have went over to Uncle Jim's and drove his truck back to his own house simply to keep the truck's battery charged, but why had his Dad blocked in his Mom's car instead of parking in his own space?
Aunt Cindy met Jerry at the rear kitchen door in an excited fashion, telling Jerry how glad she was that he had come over so quickly. Jerry asked what was wrong with his Dad, but his Mom pulled Jerry by his arm toward her living room, while repeating, "You'll see! You'll see!"
When Jerry entered his parents' living room, there sat his father -- not sitting routinely in his recliner, but sitting in the "visitor's" sofa chair. Jerry's Dad was wearing a pair of Uncle Jim's bib overalls, one of Uncle Jim's plaid shirts, and a pair of Uncle Jim's ankle top work boots, along with white socks.
Jerry's Dad's face seemed to switch back and forth between normal and "contorted" -- looking very similar to how Uncle Jim looked. Jerry was stunned, and initially he could only stop and stare. Then, Jerry's Dad greeted Jerry the same way that Uncle Jim typically greeted him, and in Uncle Jim's loud, booming voice, including Uncle Jim's unique brogue. One moment, Jerry's Dad would talk with Jerry as his Dad, and the following moment Jerry's Dad would speak to Jerry as Uncle Jim.
Jerry talked with "his father" for nearly two hours both out of situational curiosity and in order to make sure that his father was not a danger to himself nor Jerry's mother. Even Jerry later had a problem explaining to close family what had occurred that evening. Jerry's father, Uncle Joe, would conversate at length seemingly as "Uncle Jim", when without notice, he would switch back to himself -- without acknowledging the previous persona or conversation. When Jerry attempted to corner him about the switching personas, his father would simply deny that such was occurring, all while maintaining a "sh!t-eating grin" on his face, which also switched back and forth between looking like himself and Uncle Jim. Jerry was eventually able to talk his father into going to bed. Jerry telephoned his wife, and simply told her that he needed to spend the night, and that he would call-in sick the next day.
Being around 1:00 AM, Jerry set his alarm clock for 7:00 AM, hoping that his dad would sleep late, and that a good night's sleep would cure all of the previous day's ills. However, when Jerry woke up, Uncle Jim's truck was gone. Jerry had forgotten to take the keys. Jerry rushed over to Uncle Jim's farm, and was somewhat relieved to see Uncle Jim's truck. Jerry's found his father doing Uncle Jim's morning chores. Jerry was disappointed when the previous evening's conversation method picked up where it had left off. One minute Jerry could be talking to "Uncle Jim", and without any warning, the next minute he could be talking sanely with his father. It was as if two people were taking turns using the same body.
By 1980, the extended Smith family had been one of the county's prominent families for nearly 100 years. About every 15-20 years, the Smith family had had a different "patriarch". Uncle Joe's father and Jerry's grandfather had preceded Uncle Jim. Uncle Joe followed Uncle Jim.
Dealing with his father's "problem" was no easy decision given Jerry's position as an administrator with the state department that provided mental health services. Ultimately, Jerry and his mother decided not to seek professional mental health care. They only took "Uncle Joe" to regular physicians.
Our Tipster then had both secondhand and firsthand knowledge of Joe Smith's transformation. Tipster's father was one of the few, if any, other persons besides his wife that Jerry Smith shared his interactions with his father. Tipster first interacted directly with Uncle Joe about two weeks after the transformation. Uncle Joe behaved exactly as Tipster had been forewarned. It was as if two separate persons -- Uncle Jim and Uncle Joe -- were using the same body. When Uncle Joe was in control, his face looked, and his voice sounded as Uncle Joe always had looked and sounded. When Uncle Jim was in control, the body's face and voice looked as sounded as had Uncle Jim.
Readers should understand that there were no indications of a mentally ill mind when either persona control the body. Uncle Jim conversated with Uncle Jim's opinions, beliefs, experiences, memories, etc., while Uncle Joe conversated with Uncle Joe's opinions, beliefs, experiences, memories, etc.
Uncle Joe had been one of those legendary persons who rarely had had a day of sickness in his life. However, four years later, when he was age 69, Uncle Joe was diagnosed with cancer, and he died when he was 70 years-old -- five years to the exact day that Uncle Jim had died, in the same hospital where Uncle Jim died. Between the day of his transformation and the day of his death, the appearance of Uncle Jim gradually declined in frequency on an almost straight declining line basis.
During those five years, Aunt Cindy and son, Jerry, assisted occasionally by Uncle Joe's other two children, and sometimes other relatives, did whatever they could get away with the family's Patriarch to keep him from leaving the now two farms, and giving "Uncle Jim" an opportunity to interact with non-family members. They hid the keys to Uncle Joe's pickup and Aunt Cindy's car. Uncle Jim's old truck was sold during the handling of his estate. They tried to take care of all business matters ahead of time to keep Uncle Joe from having a reason to visit businesses, neighbors, courthouse, etc.
However, to Tipster's amazement, the family permitted Uncle Joe to continue going to Masonic meetings, church, where he continued as a Deacon, etc. The family did manage to nearly eliminate Uncle Joe's political functioning. Again, to Tipster's amazement, Uncle Joe's family members, fellow Masons, and fellow church members NEVER EVER spoke of Uncle Jim's occasional manifestations as what they OBVIOUSLY were.
Everyone -- family members and non-family members alike -- CONSPIRED to define such as "occasional displays of Uncle Joe's deep love and grief for his Uncle Jim". Anyone who even remotely failed to regurgitate that story was threatened with "cutting off" by the Smith Family. Tipster relates that even today, 35-40 later, he would not dare relate his beliefs about this story to any of the family members born since 1985. Tipster already has been disfellowshipped by the WatchTower Cult for apostasy; he doesn't need his family to do the same thing to him during his twilight years.
Sixty-nine year old Aunt Cindy lived another 25 years. Tipster was transferred out of the area by his employer not long after Uncle Joe's death, so Tipster only was around Aunt Cindy once or twice a year, and generally in a crowd, such as their annual family reunion. At some point, Tipster "heard" that Aunt Cindy would occasionally have "spells" during which she would behave very mean and hateful, which was hard to believe by anyone who had known her during her younger years.
By the late 1990s, the family was running out of members and spouses of members who were farmers, and who could "tend" to Aunt Cindy's farm. The farm needed to be sold, but Aunt Cindy would not hear of it. Sometimes she seemed to understand that she could retain the farmhouse and surrounding land, and there live out her life, but when arguing with family against selling the farm, she always brought up the idea that she also would be selling her home.
During one visit back home around 1997, Tipster was asked to visit Aunt Cindy and see if he could help her understand that selling the farm was now in her best interest. Tipster was forewarned that Aunt Cindy might become outraged and have one of her "spells", as she had when others had so visited. On the other hand, Tipster was told that he also would first be amused by Aunt Cindy's new "love" for her television. Uncle Jim and Aunt Cindy had never had a television, but sometime in the early 1990s, when Aunt Cindy was in her mid-70s, her daughter and son-in-law had had a television with some type of satellite antenna installed in Aunt Cindy's farmhouse. Other than the constant requirement of readjusting the satellite antenna, it turned out to be an excellent idea for dealing with her elderly lonely mother. Fortunately, Aunt Cindy's daughter and son-in-law only lived about 10 minutes away.
As soon as Tipster exited his car at Aunt Cindy's house that late Sunday afternoon, Tipster could hear the television blasting. However, Tipster was surprised when he heard what was obviously a basketball game. It took forever for Aunt Cindy to hear Tipster's knocking, and then to come unlock her backdoor. Although Tipster had not seen Aunt Cindy for several months, she wasn't exactly happy that he was interrupting her NBA game. Aunt Cindy left the game on, and watched with one eye, and listened with one ear, as Tipster made small talk -- waiting to build up to the topic of selling the farm.
Tipster was highly amused that Aunt Cindy was so engrossed in an NBA game. The only sports games she ever had attended was before she was married, and then decades later, when a couple of her grandsons had played high school sports. Now, in her 70s, Aunt Cindy was watching an NBA game like she was the team coach. Tipster's chin nearly hit the floor when Aunt Cindy began to "dog" Michael Jordan. Aunt Cindy called MJ a "ball hog". Aunt Cindy complained that MJ "traveled all the time", but that the referrees would not call it. Once when MJ made a move to the basket, Aunt Cindy exploded, "He drug his pivot foot all the way across the lane."
Although Tipster needed to get started home, he was forced to wait until halftime to bring up the idea of selling the farm. When he did, Aunt Cindy exploded as Tipster never would have expected. She twisted her body in her recliner towards Tipster, braced herself on the recliner arm with both her arms, raised her body out of the chair, leaned her face as close towards Tipster as possible, contorted her face, and SCREAMED at Tipster that the farm was her property, and that it would not be sold so long as she were alive. Seemingly holding up all of her weight on her two slight arms, Aunt Cindy's torso and head rolled forwards and backwards and up and down in a manner that reminded Tipster of a COBRA defending itself. Even Aunt Cindy's contorted and widened face reminded Tipster of a Cobra with its hood spread. Aunt Lucy's continuing remarks sounded to Tipster as if she were "hissing" such at him.
Tipster relates that he was literally scared to death for his personal safety. Tipster further comments that he never ever had been scared or afraid when in the presence of Uncle Joe when he had been speaking/acting as Uncle Jim, but then, Tipster also recalls that he had never been alone with Uncles Joe/Jim when noone else was nearby. Tipster got the heck out of Aunt Cindy's house, and never went back alone. Tipster thereafter came to believe that whatever had happened to Uncle Joe after the death of Uncle Jim had happened to Aunt Cindy after the death of Uncle Joe. Tipster theorizes that the "whatever it is" must operate differently when inside a female than when inside a male.
Aunt Cindy died a few years thereafter, and Tipster relates that so far as he knows noone in the Smith Family have been similarly affected. Tipster took no chances. When he traveled back home for Aunt Cindy's funeral, he and his wife constantly carried a small New Testament on their persons at all times.
DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH'S WITNESS EMPLOYEES