There are many religions in the world today. The most common one is the Christian religion and Islamic religion. In Africa, we have the African Traditional Religion; before I mention the other types of religions let me explain to you what African Traditional Religion is because I am African. I am from Delta State, Nigeria (though I “transcend” Africa)
African religion which is the African Traditional Religion believes in the worship of God through the divinities (gods and goddesses), spirits and the cults of the ancestors. Africans regard God (Supreme Being) as the creator, who is above the divinities, spirits, ancestors and human beings. Ancestral worship is also a feature of African Traditional Religion. (I got this information from my College notebook and handout on Social Studies; Course Code: SOS 323, Course Title: Religion in Society).
The other types of religions are: Hinduism, Shintoism, Jainism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism etc (this is not an exhaustive list; but I do not have to mention all the names of the religion. I don’t really see Buddhism as a religion that is why I did not add it. Buddhism; the way I see it personally, is a way of life that teaches you meditation, enlightenment; helps you embrace and live from your Higher Self).
Why has religion become another method of colonialism and brainwashing? Why are there so many chaos, disunity and religious intolerance in the world? It is so disappointing that religion has nose-dived—with so many questionable things going on with religious leaders and their members…
I will answer by quoting the wise words of Steven Weinberg:
“With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil – that takes religion.” Steven Weinberg
Religion has been something people used to look up to or should look up to; but reverse is the case today as Morihei Ueshiba so eloquently and wisely puts it:
“Religion is just show business begotten by the megalomania of its ruling class and created to fleece money from a crowd of stupid (m)asses.”
“Well, why stupid?”
“Because these people become very limited in their knowledge. It is constantly being drummed into their heads that they should listen only to the speeches of their religious leaders, they should read only their literature and stick only to their herd, because all other religions are wrong.”
Sensei I A conversation of Sensei and his students
(Sensei I, The Primordial of Shambala)
I really agree with these two wise men. But I am not surprised because Jesus Christ himself has said it that we must serve God in Spirit and in Truth. Not according to any religious denominations. Where is the fault coming from? Is it from the religions or the religious leaders? The fault comes from both because religion is manmade. Whether you believe it or not; Spirituality is the best option and there is a difference between Spirituality and religion. Spirituality is your personal relationship with God/Goddess/Angels/Cosmic Forces/Universe. When likeminded spiritual people gather together; there is always a manifestation of something colossal.
Nigeria has the highest population of churches in the world!!! Every day “men of God” are sprouting from every nook and crannies in Nigeria—all of which are born out of unemployment and poverty!!! There are so many false beliefs and dare I call them limiting beliefs!!! For example, you hear pastors tell their members—let me quote them (the pastors) “the louder your amen the louder your miracles,” “if you shout amen well God will give you double miracle,” “if you know you are going to buy a car this week, jump up and shout a big hallelujah.” The question now is, are any of such instructions written in the Bible? Pastors cajole their members to even sow a seed with their properties. For example, one pastor asked a member cajoled a member to use his brand new car to sow a seed for God—unbeknownst to the innocent member that the pastor was jealous of the new car and wanted to have it. The innocent member docilely submitted his car keys to the Pastor. When he got home, his siblings asked him about his car and he narrated his encounter to them. Furious, they landed the pastor’s residence with speed—demanding for the car key. When the pastor saw the tiger eyes of the siblings of the man who were already boiling with anger; he quickly submitted the car key to them. This is what a man of God in Nigeria said about COVID19
“We can preach a better sermon with our lives than with our lips.” Oliver Goldsmith
Even among the Christians there is division, brouhaha and disharmony!! For example, the Christendom churches teach us the belief in Hellfire and Heaven; that when you die you go to Hellfire if you are sinner and if you are righteous you go to Heaven and the Jehovah’s Witnesses teaches us that there is no Hellfire and no going to Heaven—whether you are righteous or not. Which one do we believe? But it is up to you to make your research on the Bible and see for yourself. I am a former Jehovah’s Witness and I will share with you my journey to becoming a Witness, how and when I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I will also share some real life stories from former Jehovah Witnesses. In my previous post, I talked about the church
How about the Deeper Life Christians who have brainwashed and colonized their members that wearing earrings, wristwatches, necklaces, bangles, jewelries and dressing fashionably is a “SIN”!! The Deeper Life people claim that it is a SIN to put on cosmetics. They “comfort” themselves and hold TIGHTLY to that story in the Old Testament where Aaron took the jewelries from the Israelites and used it to make a golden calf for the Israelites when Moses was yet to come back from Mountain Horeb from whence he got the Tablet containing the Ten Commandments from God. (Side not: get a Bible and do your research about this story in the Bible—I do not have to spoon-feed you; you have got this. I am being sarcastic right? LOLS.
The last time I checked; Jesus Christ came according to the Bible to redeem humanity from “sin” including the “so-called sin” of the “golden calf” of the Old Testament. In truth, the event of the “golden calf” was just for the Israelites of the ancient times—all of which has been redeemed and exonerated from. When Queen Esther was going to visit King Ahasuerus in his inner chamber; the Bible said Queen Esther dressed beautifully (that includes applying cosmetics and jewelries and keep in mind that as a Queen; Esther wears her Crown. The Crown is part of jewelry).
Now, why has the Deeper Life Christians refuse to see the use of cosmetics and jewelries from Queen Esther’s perspective and story? By the way, who created the jewelries and the cosmetics? You can see that there is a division and disharmony with the Bible and Deeper Life Christians. God has given everything he created to human beings for their own use and benefits. But religion has put “confusion.” Don’t even get me started with the Christ Embassy. Let me share with you a personal experience I had with the Christ Embassy.
When I was in college, a course mate invited me to their program. I did not want to go but I reluctantly agreed. When I got to the church; I noticed that the Christ Embassy members who were invited to lead the program were more carnal than people I knew to be carnal!!! They dressed in a very showy and indecent way; do I say they were been carried away with youthful exuberance? NO! Why? Because the ones who climbed the pulpit to preach the sermon did not use a bible nor read out from the bible—rather they have to show us that they have Ipads by putting it on the pulpit and tapping the screen often and often in the name of quoting a verse from the Bible. I looked at them and I was like; indeed, “we can preach a better sermon with our lives than with our lips.” Oliver Goldsmith said this. How about the girl who came to the pulpit to sing a “special number” for God and she sang the song of Mariah Carey on the pulpit? She sang Mariah Carey’s I give my all. I was like what? In the church? You have got to be fucking kidding me!! That was a song Mariah Carey sang for her boyfriend!! A romantic song—when I heard her sing that song I was like I think I have had enough. By the way, she was blowing a chewing gum and what about her dressing? It preaches carnality about her!!
The most sickening thing about the religious leaders is that while they sap and extort money from their members to live in opulence; their members whom they are colonizing and have brainwashed live in poverty. How do I mean by extorting money from their members? In churches today giving tithes and offerings is the mainstay of their activities. Members have tithing cards where they put their “one-tenth” plus other offerings collected under different names. Folks, neighbours and churchgoers say that one who does not have money cannot go to church because if you do not give offerings you will become a detestable thing to the pastor and other members. Also in churches you hear things as sowing of seeds; for those believing a miracle from God and whatever. This sowing of seed is another way members are been sapped of their income by the church leaders.
Now let us go to the Catholics. The bible says that every human being is a sinner but the Catholics do not see it that way. They have their own doctrine: in the catechism the Catholics says that the Pope is infallible and that the Pope cannot err. I teach in a catholic school; even the Reverend Sisters and Fathers who carry themselves in so-called piety and holier than thou are not what you see…whenever I am teaching my pupils the Catechism I do not read the verse that says the Pope is infallible because I just cannot read it. So I will ask one of my pupils to read that verse. Is the Pope not a human being? Or is it because he wears a robe and they call him Pope that makes him infallible? According to the Catholics, it means that the Pope is not among those that Jesus Christ has died for because the Pope is above sin. But is it really true?
Being A Jehovah’s Witness, Leaving Jehovah’s Witness: Embracing Spirituality and Life
I myself was colonized and brainwashed by religion before I broke out from the herd! Breaking out was not easy but the effort was worth it!
Before I became a Jehovah’s Witness, I attended Baptist Church. But I did not feel like I belonged there because I did not join any group. I was just observing them. On my own, I questioned some of the teachings and activities. It did not really resonate with me at all. Subsequently, I withdrew from the Baptist Church. After some time, I met the Jehovah’s Witness.
This is my personal story of how I became a Jehovah’s Witness, why I left and when I left the Jehovah’s Witness. I began associating with the Jehovah’s Witness in 2006. They used to come and preach to me at home and study with me with their books; from there I became “converted” as a Jehovah’s Witness. I was baptized at the Assembly Hall in Agbor in 2008. At first, it made sense to me; but something happened: I realized that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were not very spiritual. I had only head knowledge of the Bible—without being spiritually enlightened and empowered. In time, I became curious about life, spirituality and the universe. But the teachings I was getting as a Jehovah’s Witness did not answer the questions I was seeking answers to. I began to feel like I was caged and repressed because I intuitively began to perceive that life was beyond the five senses. I began to have the inner-knowing that there are greater invisible energies at play in determining the outcome of our lives…Plus I have always intuitively known that life is magical and the concept of miracle was very appealing to me. But the Jehovah’s Witnesses are very skeptical about these concepts.
Another thing that got me tired about the Jehovah’s Witnesses is that they believe that they are the only true religion that all other religions or spiritual paths were bad. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have Donald Trump mentality; because they have this BELIEF that they are superior to other religion and are better than (I am talking from experience I have been there).
As my quest and yearning for spirituality heightened I began exploring metaphysics and spirituality. One of my relative have always told me that I would be BETTER OFF not being a Jehovah’s Witness. Plus someone else asked me what church I attended way back in 2010 and I told him I was a Jehovah’s Witness. He told me “You DO NOT belong there…” but I took him for a joke! Three years later, I left Jehovah’s Witness.
I left Jehovah’s Witness in October 2013. I personally ditched my preaching bag in the garbage confidently and with mindfulness. I knew I could no longer continue with the Jehovah’s Witnesses because I was just a “powerless” and “ignorant” Christian. From then on in 2013, I began exploring spirituality and metaphysics. I left Jehovah’s Witness on my own personal volition. It was very abrupt because the elders, brothers and sisters in the Kingdom Hall no longer saw me in meetings. I just disappeared. They actually called me severally on phone asking my reasons for them not seeing me in meetings again.
One day I met one of the elders on the road and he began to ask me why I do not come to meetings again that they were missing me. I told him it was my personal decision to stop coming to the Kingdom Hall. He was surprised to hear me say that. Honestly, I did not want to go into the discussion and debate with him about the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witness because that can give him another opportunity to start brainwashing and colonizing me and I do not want that because I have had enough of it!! I just told him that I will come back if I want. But I knew I was NOT going to come back.
Leaving Jehovah’s Witness and embracing spirituality was the best choice I ever made. At the time I have not left the Jehovah’s Witness; it manifested in form of depression, psychosomatic problems, mental stress, insomnia and floundering mental bewilderment. Why? Because I was been repressed! I was not living a life of my dreams neither was I shining my light nor unlocking all of my potentials. As a Jehovah’s Witness you are not allowed to read other spiritual books. They say it will contaminate you! But is that not a way of colonizing and brainwashing you so that you don’t expand your consciousness? It was when I summoned enough courage that I decided I have to leave the Jehovah’s Witness—I still remember that fateful Sunday when I mindfully and confidently ditched my preaching bag in the garbage when I was in college.
I took my power back, stopped being colonized, indoctrinated and brainwashed and really began to have a better understanding of life, the universe and I began to get a deeper connection with God, Angels and the Universe. From childhood I have always been interested and fascinated by things woo-woo, metaphysics and spirituality. For example, when I was in secondary school; my English teacher spotted me out among my classmate and he became very close to me. During break time we would sit on the verandah and he would tell me about people like Albert Einstein, Shakespeare, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Queen Elizabeth, Orville & Wilbur Wright, Martin Luther King, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Archimedes etc he brings a Rosicrucian magazine to school and shows me some pages from it. But he would not let me take the magazine home. My secondary school English teacher was tall, ebony and slim. Suffice to say that he is a good teacher and a competent one! His name is Elueme.
When I entered college, I met a guy who was in the same department. To my surprise, he was a Rosicrucian!! One day, I saw him reading a Rosicrucian magazine during break time. I slide into his seat and shared with him; after I asked him to give me to read and he willingly gave to me. We became very close and good friend. We would talk about things woo-woo, metaphysics, spirituality and life in general.
Subsequently, he invited me to their Rosicrucian meeting. I loved what I saw there because the mojo and camaraderie was really refreshing, uplifting and interesting. I learnt many things there! Things I resonated with and love! They talked about spirituality. It was one of the beautiful small booklet and pamphlet I was given in their meeting that SPARKED my curiosity and interest in spirituality further!!
When I got to the hostel, I started reading the little booklet and pamphlet I was given. It was a cold evening; so I lighted my candle and was reading it with a great mindfulness and zeal. Guess what, I noticed something: my Intuition began to heighten and I began to notice a shift and expansion in my Consciousness; I KID YOU NOT!!! It was from the little booklet I learnt that “a mind stretched by new knowledge can never go back to its prior form.” The little booklet is called The Mastery of Life. There was a new awareness in me that began spiraling. I began to perceive an awakening in me! A spiritual one! This happened in 2015 when I was in my final year in college. From that time on, I started exploring Law of Attraction New Thought and spirituality in general. That same 2015, a professor gave me a book called Beyond Birth and Death by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada; which also expanded my consciousness.
Another book that has HELPED me to embrace spirituality, enlightenment, take my power back fully and propelled my spiritual awakening completely is a book titled An Awakening: Mapping Your Dream by Suzanne Hosang. This book was ACTUALLY what PAVED the way for me to start manifesting my dreams by first of all “awakening me,” healing me and laying the foundation for me to start embracing spirituality and my Higher Self. It reminded me that I am Divine; loved unconditionally by God, Goddess, Angels and the Universe.
This book also reminded me and taught me to befriend my Spirit Guides, Angel, God and Higher Self because they know the road more than I do! I call this book a Pearl because it was what paved the way for me to be in a positive life momentum. I want to thank the amazing and one in a million Suzanne Hosang for writing this book; a book which was channeled from the Realms of Light: enlightening, empowering, liberating and inspiring it is. I was at MY WITS END when I came across Suzanne’s book and it changed my life forever!! I did not know how my dreams would come true; I was lost, held bound and down by my own shame, pain and troubles. But with the help of Suzanne’s book I was able to break free from those shackles that have once held me down and bound! That was when my awakening began; the awakening of my dream and liberation from the negative energies and shackles that attempted to muzzle me.
I have grown to realize that the Universe does listen. Now, before I read Suzanne’s book; I have tried everything I could but no solution. Then I secretly made a note that I was going to commit suicide if no solution came. I do not want to go into the details of what I have been through in the past. I will write about that next time. No one was aware of the intentions I had. And I meant it. With something that I will call a synchronicity; I came across Suzanne’s book after some weeks. That was when my healing and awakening began in 2018.
Suzanne is one in a million and a Goddess on her own right! She is an Earth Angel. I call her Kwan Yin personified; and that is what she is because she is a manifestation of Kwan Yin. Suzanne embodies Compassion in its truest form. Suffice to say that I am a Child of Kwan Yin and a Child of God because Kwan Yin and God are HARMONIOUS. I know what I am talking about. I am forever grateful to Kwan Yin and Suzanne.
My happiness and gratitude is that, many people are now taking their power back, getting “independence” and breaking free from the “colonialism” and brainwashing of religion!!! Here is also another story of a dear Canadian friend of mine who is a former Jehovah’s Witness. Her name is Tricia Schinkel; she is now a spiritual teacher helping people embrace spirituality. I never knew that Tricia was a former Jehovah’s Witness. I was just sharing with her when to my utmost surprise she told me that she was a former Jehovah’s Witness too!!! I am so happy to know Tricia. I am so surprised and dumbfounded with the way the Universe works out things!!
When I first began thinking of writing this blogpost; I thought of Tricia and decided to write her if she would be interested in sharing her own story of being a Jehovah’s Witness and leaving Jehovah’s Witness with the world and here is a response I got from her. I was really dumbfounded!!!! Tricia is WELL connected to Buddha as I am WELL connected to Kwan Yin; what a colossal combination!!
“You know what is flipping crazy now that I think it…? I had a dream last night that I was at the old Kingdom Hall, and my mom’s best friend (has since passed) called me up to ask me if I wanted to go door to door with her. I didn’t really want to go, but because it’s been so long since I saw her I agreed to it, but when I wanted to leave to go see her, my vehicle wouldn’t start and I couldn’t make it to see her. So I ended up going back home to my parents’ house. And then you ask me today to write my JW story to share with the world! Doesn’t that kinda blow your mind!?!”
I am sure you will enjoy reading Tricia’s story which I am sharing below.
My Jehovah Witness Story by Tricia Schinkel
It has been so long now, since I have left the religion, but it has definitely impacted my life in many ways. I left the region when I was 12 years old. By some stroke of luck, the universe opened another path for me at that time. The beliefs that were taught, was always something I didn’t completely agree with. Most of the principles are good to have, be kind to your neighbour and so forth. But the fear that they tried to control us with I saw right through.
My family was always looked down upon by the elders of the congregation. My parents suffered with deep depression and did the best that they could do, but they just couldn’t ever do anything good enough in the congregation’s eyes. My parents had 5 kids and I am the baby, by the time I was old enough to understand what was going on all my older brothers and sisters were all in their teens and left the congregation. My brothers and sisters were all rebelling, going out to bars, drinking to hide their pain of their parents not giving them the love that they feel they deserve. I saw this and accepted this path as my own too. The hardest part for me was the disassociation and separation from the rest of the “world” that was imposed upon me.
I didn’t understand why!?!
I didn’t ever get, why I couldn’t be friends with these people I was trained to preach the truth to, it just didn’t make any sense! I have always been drawn to, spirituality, metaphysics, Buddha and all things that would get me banned from this religion that my parents grasped to so tightly. So I would look from a distance so that I don’t upset them.
Shutting out my own curiosity shut out parts of my soul yearning to be expressed. It eventually became so intolerable. Not being able to celebrate my birthday was one thing that really didn’t make any sense to me, because we would celebrate babies being born with showers with everyone from the congregation invited, as well as anniversary parties, but birthday parties are a no go!??
I never agreed with this.
On my 33rd birthday I had a really hard time with celebrating my birthday for some reason. Which was weird because I have celebrated all my birthdays since leaving the religion with no regrets. But for some reason this particular year, the pain that I didn’t realize I had, needed to be seen! When I dug deep into the tears that I cried in that day I found it was the reverberation of the beliefs that were instilled in me when I was very young.
Those tears were from all the guilt that I secretly built up from each and every birthday that I celebrated knowing that my parents would suffer the repercussions from the elders of the congregation if they found out that I was doing such “worldly” things!
It was such a sick and twisted thing really. The religion has also ripped my own family apart as you can imagine. Some of my cousins have been disfellowshipped and cut off from the other part of my family, and because I never chose to get baptized I was lucky enough not to be shunned that way. I could still talk to both sides without anyone feeling shameful for being an outcast. I was the bridge to connect both sides. But I hated being in the middle.
I invited these cousins to my wedding, and when my father found out that I did, he told my sister that he could not attend my wedding to walk me down the aisle because he could not be in the presence of these cousins who were shunned form the religion.
This was NOT ok with me or my sisters. I was crushed, hurt and felt betrayed by my father, because he was so brainwashed by the religion and its teachings that he couldn’t see the truth of how much pain it was causing. It took some real hard conversations and truth telling to my father for him to Come around and walk me down the aisle to give me away on my wedding day.
Leaving the religion was easy the easy part. But having the religion leave me was another thing. The stain it left on my life was really hard to bear for a long time. The manipulation, the twisted views, and the fear that was used to control those in the congregation I could never agree with. But regardless of how it made me feel at the time, what I have learnt from this whole experience is that I am stronger than I ever thought I was. What I also learn is that I am more resistant than I ever thought I was.
I thank my experience for showing me what it is to be in a community, and I am now learning how to release all of my pain that was created from having this experience. Now that I have found my own spirituality I am now closer to God than I ever have been before.
I finally know the true meaning of “finding God”. I now live my life the way that I want, no longer compromising my soul urges for other’s judgments.
I also teach others how to take back control of their lives and begin living with more integrity and purpose than ever before, and it feel so good to be serving in this way. I have found my happiness, and I am now living my purpose and helping other to do the same.
So in the end I thank the Jehovah Witness religion for all the pain that it created in my life, for it is from this pain that this Phoenix has risen and now I fly higher than ever thought possible, and I know you can too!
I send you so much love and light, and may you find your own happiness and purpose in your life from all the pain that you have endured!
Below is the life story of a former Jehovah’s Witness; her name is Amber Scorah. She is the author of the book Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life I am correct to say that she left Jehovah’s Witness and found Life and Light. The story of Amber Scorah and many others are clear confirmations that; INDEED religion is NOT the answer!!! I have been there. I know what I am talking about. I am a former Jehovah’s Witness too (baptized and zealous). Read on and see for yourself. Scorah’s story is one which is really gut-wrenching, inspiring, enlightening and uplifting. I have read Scorah’s stories severally and I decided to share with you.
I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness. When I left the faith, my family and community shunned me – by Amber Scorah
My mother has no idea where I am, whether I am alive, or sick, or sad, or happy. My daughter has never met her aunt or her cousins. My best friends feel I have betrayed them–a Satan, of sorts. This is because I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. I was baptized into the faith at 14, and later, as an adult, did not believe it was “the Truth” anymore.
When I pleaded with my sister after I left the religion, vainly trying to help her see, through her indoctrination, that we could still be family – that I was no different than the sister she had always had, minus a few beliefs – she pointed out, curtly, “The position you are in is because you have put yourself there, not me.”
How could this be, when I was the one who was begging for the relationship? It is because I have been shunned. I left, I was no longer able to believe and I am now “apostate.” Apostates in my religion are referred to with the following descriptors: mentally diseased, depraved, a dog that has returned to its own vomit, lower than a snake, poisoned, like gangrene that needs to be amputated.
In reality, I am the same person they loved, spent time with, enjoyed, argued with, laughed with – minus the belief. I have my mental faculties, I don’t sin much more than the odd curse word, I am a mom with a pretty regular life. Really, I am not much different than the person they knew before. When you leave a cult, you shed its belief system and, if anything, you are more yourself than ever. Maybe that’s the problem.
These are good people. These are people who love me. I know that they do. But if they saw me, they’d cross the street to avoid me. Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg once said that “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil – that takes religion.”
At the age of 30, I was still a believer and had moved to Shanghai to be a missionary, what we called a “pioneer,” because the world had not yet ended, as had been predicted by our leaders, and it was incumbent on me to preach, to save these people in a country where my religion was illegal, and therefore largely unknown.
It was in China, preaching underground, that I began to suspect I had been brainwashed. My indoctrination had happened slowly over a childhood interspersed with terrors of the violent end of the world I heard about at our meetings in the Kingdom Hall. I learned there that the world was evil, and that our religion was where you stayed safe.
Congratulations to those who have been able to break out from the religious herd and embrace spirituality, all those who were brave enough to take back their power and set themselves free from the brainwashing and colonialism of religion. For those who have not, I hope that this stories inspires you to do so so for your own good.
Until next time,
Stay Empowered and Mindful