By paddloPayday loans

About the author

Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778)

I beg to differ.

I was born in Nassau, Bahamas in the summer of 1977, already a slave to a system that I did not choose. My parents were Jehovah’s Witnesses, and believing they had found the ‘truth’, they proceeded to socialize me into that system. Soon after I graduated from High School in 1993, I went into the ‘missionary’ work. Yes, I was one of those people who knocked on doors on a Saturday morning with copies of the Watchtower and Awake magazine. I learned a second language to propagate my faith and seemed destined to spend my life in that system.

Then something happened.

I began to notice the seams. The folds between what the religion said life was, and what life was telling me about itself. I had come to realize that I was a slave. I struggled with this growing awareness until it came to a head in late 2002. Have you read 1984? or seen the Matrix? My mental landscape resembled these visions of dystopia.

I was faced with a simple choice. I could stay a slave or I could be free. I chose freedom. But to do this I had to leave everything that I thought was real and make a jump into the unknown. As per the religion’s rules, all of my family and friends that were in the church, would have nothing to do with me once it was official that I was no longer one of ‘them’. For example, if I saw one of them on the street, they would pass me as if I wasn’t even there, even if I had grown up with them, known them all of my life.

Leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses was, for me, a psychic event that I can only compare with suicide.

Since then I have been in the process of de-programming myself, learning about life through the school of hard knocks and the tools of a liberal arts education. I went to Toronto, Canada and got a BA in English Literature and Caribbean Studies from York University. Now I’m pursuing a History MA in Ottawa at Carleton University.

Still trying to free myself. Still falling short.

That’s my story anyway.