Dear Mr. Watters,
It is my sincere hope that this letter has reached you. I am
an ex cult member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. For some time now I have been searching high and low for others who experienced
or could understand what I have been through.
I was born into the cult. My father was a Bethel family member during
the times of Judge Rutherford. He even served jail time with Nathan H. Knorr for draft resistance. This. of course, was before
Knorr took the reins of power until his demise. I personally knew Knorr and Freddie Franz and his now non-existent brother.
My mother was a special pioneer in the Michigan area and my Aunt Mints (Miriam Sumen) is still a Missionary in Chile. My Uncle
Arthur Sumen was a member of the Kingdom Farm family in Syracuse NY. My Uncle Hugo Sumen served as first the Congregation
Overseer then an as an elder in the Sue St. Marie area of Michigan. Of the 12 brothers and sisters on my mother's side, all
were faithful disciples up until their deaths. Of 13 brothers and sisters only my father, William (Bill) Palo and his brother
John Palo became Witnesses. My ex-brother in law Donald Culp is a circuit overseer in Chicago. My ex-wife and her entire family
are all Witnesses.
At a very young age I was raped repeatedly by members of the Bethel
family and then again by a young Black man who later became an elder in Queens, NYC. I never spoke a word since I was terrorized
into silence. I am not saying that the Witnesses espouse homosexuality, they condemn it as we both know. If you remember in
the late 60s and early 70s there was a purge of homosexuals from Bethel. Of course. they did not make a big thing of it. Yet.
I knew all about it because of my family's connections. I married into the faith and was married for 21 years until the local
congregation started to interfere between my wife and myself. By this time. I had come to disbelieve and totally doubt all
of the doctrines put forth. Instead of allowing them to disfellowship me. I disassociated myself. At this time, I went public
about the rapes. I was branded apostate, a liar and to top it all off I was called demonized by the congregation and my ex
wife. Fortunately. my children all saw through the mendacity of the Witnesses. As you know I have been shunned and now it
actually makes me laugh as to the extent these fools go to avoid me.
Presently I am six years sober. I turned to drink
to hide what I thought was MY SIN. I am well-connected in my city and the local congregation has good reason not to interfere
with me. I can bring the hounds of hell down upon them and they know it. I am attending college to obtain Bachelors in Human
Services specializing in substance abuse amongst the elderly. Many friends of mine and members of the Baptist church, which
I attend, are encouraging me to think of working with cult survivors. I hold a 4.0 average, not bad for a Witness brat. My
psychiatrist has told me that besides the PTSD the Witnesses caused, I exhibit many of the symptoms of a POW Truth Seeker.
now you know my story. I would like to know what you have to say about it all. I am looking for whatever information I can
dig up on them. I cannot even receive a subscription to their propaganda magazines, the Awake and Watchtower.
I believe it is good to keep abreast with the enemy. My ex-wife upon instructions from the local congregation stole or hid
any of the Watchtower Society literature from me when I moved out. By the way, she is planning to remain, to be a good Witness
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Mark H. Palo