Debbie Shard’s Story

I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness in a family with a long history as members, going back to 1910. And I grew up truly believing it was the truth. However, there were many issues, as I grew older that disturbed my conscience and so I want to tell my story.

My dad was an elder for many years, when he developed kidney disease. It got so bad that eventually his kidneys stopped functioning and he went on dialysis.

The subject of a transplant came up, and my parents searched the Watchtower publications to see what the society had to say, finding that it was not permissible. So, he did not have a transplant. He was on dialysis for several years, but it was not enough. He died in 1978, and two years later the society changed their policy, to make it a matter of conscience in 1980.

moodyName: Arvid Einar Moody – Born: Aug 1910 – Died: May 1978 in Cambridge Mass. To view the death certificate, click here.

I believe Dad was baptized in 1929, and I have a picture of his baptism…in fact lots of family pictures of Witness activities including, assemblies, sound cars, etc…as well as the portable phonograph and Rutherford records…also a very large number of books going back to the turn of the century.

Dad was an elder in the Hyde Park Congregation on River St. in Hyde Park, MA. Dad designed the hall. He was the sound servant for our circuit, and most district assemblies in our area. He was well-known in the area, and fairly well-known at headquarters. He was friends with Al Schroeder (Governing Body member), and Charlie Meng of the art department.

Fast forwarding to today, I have a 16-year-old son, who must attend the kingdom hall every other Sunday with his father (who is still a Witness). He does not believe the Watchtower, and does not wish to attend. Undeterred, his father has resorted to calling the police to force him to go, when he resists.

Recently my ex-husband gave my son a blood card to carry in his wallet. My son does not believe as my husband does. But still, my ex-husband demands that my son carry this card, which expresses not my son’s beliefs, but his own…even to the point of risking my son’s life for something that my son does not believe.

On the back of the card, my ex-husband scratched out (our) son and replaced it with (my) son, thus erasing my parental input in the matter. He signed it as though he was the only parent. Obviously, my son will not carry the card, but gave it to me instead.

The incredible control that the organization has over people’s lives still amazes me….and saddens me. May God bless your efforts!

In His Love,

Debbie Shard

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