DIARY OF MY POST ARMAGEDDON LIFE
(Edited and embellished) (Some portions were used with permission from MacGregor Ministries website)
DAY 1: Well, the Big “A” is over and I survived. I made it to the Kingdom Hall this morning. By the end of the day most of the congregation had gathered at the Hall. I guess we’re still in a state of shock. We all hugged, and then we went looking around for others. Some brothers and sisters are still missing. Ed Thorn, our presiding overseer, told us that those who were missing should have spent more time in Field Service.DAY 2: Brother Thorn called a special meeting this morning. He announced that he and the other elders would now be assuming full authority over our new community until contact is reestablished with Watchtower Headquarters. All decisions regarding community regulations, living arrangements, work assignments, and all other matters will be decided or resolved at the sole discretion of the elders. The first new rule was not long in coming: All brothers and sisters are now required to report to the Kingdom Hall at 8:00am sharp every morning to receive work assignments and other instructions.
DAY 3: Brother Thorn has assigned me to the burial detail. It seems that the majority of us single brothers have been assigned to this most unpleasant duty. All the dead bodies are already starting to get to me. It sickens me to watch as the birds and other animals scavenge through the rotting corpses. I saw a raven pluck out an eyeball today. Disgusting!! Rob Johnson got a bulldozer running and has begun to dig one of several huge common graves. My job is to go around collecting bodies and to load them into the back of a pickup truck. The smell is terrible…
DAY 4: Well, we had our first Judicial Hearing today. Larry and Sue Winters had moved into the McRae mansion in what was once the exclusive Cypress Oaks subdivision. The problem was that Sister Thorn had already had her eye on the place and, as wife of the Presiding Overseer, she figured that she should have had first choice. Brother Thorn told Brother and Sister Winters that they had no right to claim anything without the expressed approval of the elders. They were then ordered to be out of the house by nightfall. The Winters were very disappointed, but they agreed to move out.
DAY 5: Today at the morning meeting, the Thorns announced that they would be moving into the McRae place. The Winters were livid, but they didn’t say anything. It was also announced that the surrounding estate homes had been assigned to the other elders. Position has its privilege, even in the New World. Some of the brothers are already calling the area, “Elder Hill.”
It was also announced that anyone wanting to appropriate a home must first file a written request with the elders. I have decided to remain in my own house; it just doesn’t seem right to move into someone else’s home, even if they were worldly. I feel sad when I go into a house and see all the family pictures and personal belongings. Most of the others don’t seem to feel the way I do…it doesn’t seem to bother them to loot the dead.
DAY 8: Well, this morning at the meeting the elders announced that there was to be a new Meeting Schedule.
On Sunday we will still have the Public Talk followed by a study of old Watchtower articles until we get new magazines. On Tuesday night we will have a Congregational Book Study. The Service Meeting has been canceled, (no need for it anymore), along with the Ministry School. These have been replaced by an Instructional Session to be held on Friday nights. This new meeting will instruct us on how to conduct ourselves in the New World Society. The best thing is, of course, NO MORE FIELD SERVICE!!
DAY 10: This burial work is taking a heavy toll on me. I just can’t help but feel saddened at the waste of so much human life. Why couldn’t Jehovah have found a way to save more people? The children are the worst; clutched in their mother’s arms, or clinging to one another. I can’t stand to see their little bodies anymore. I don’t think I’ll report for work tomorrow.
DAY 11: I didn’t report for work today. Ed Thorn came by later in the morning and asked me why I wasn’t at work. I told him that I didn’t feel well. He told me that I better get back to work…that everyone feels well all the time in the New World. He also told me that depression and mental anxiety were things of the past. Of course, he doesn’t have to bury the bodies.
DAY 14: It’s been two weeks now. I really miss things like electricity and running water. I wonder if we’ll ever get everything working again. Last night Rob Johnson and I borrowed a generator from the Hall and hooked it up to my television and VCR. We had such a great time just relaxing and watching old “Star Trek” videos and a tape of last year’s Super Bowl. I really miss television.
DAY 15: At the morning meeting, Brother Thorn publicly reprimanded Rob and me for watching television. The elders have decided that, henceforth, watching videos is prohibited since “we do not want our new Paradise to be contaminated by the Old World.” Thorn speculated that one day we might have “Theocratic Television” from the Society. (“The Watchtower Channel”?? Spare me.)
Also, the elders got really upset at me after I was caught with the book, “Watchtower Doctrines for Dummies.” It seems that they even consider THIS book to be “apostate literature,” even though the content is straight from our own publications and is unadulterated in any way.
DAY 20: Still no word from the Society. We have spoken to representatives from surrounding congregations, but the elders are not allowing anyone to travel. Carol Woods wanted to visit her sister in the next county to see if she made it through okay, but Brother Thorn told her to stay put and to be patient. After all, he said, she would have plenty of time to see her sister later. I really felt that that was a cruel and insensitive thing to say.
DAY 30: We finally finished most of the burial work. I am so exhausted and so relieved. The scavenger birds are still hanging around. I have grown to hate the sight of those fat, disgusting creatures. One of the damn things tried to attack me today. I think they have acquired a real taste for human flesh.
DAY 45: Many of the other brothers and sisters are getting pretty sick of being bossed around by the elders. They run things like an old Southern Plantation: We’re the slaves and they are the overseers. I have been reassigned to work on the Communal Farm. It is hard work, but it is an improvement over the burial detail. Sam Greene is organizing a committee to speak to the elders about the complaints that we all have.
DAY 47: Surprise!! The elders found out about Sam Greene’s attempted “rebellion.” At the morning meeting he was publicly reproved and told to pray for a “humble spirit.” No one is to speak to him until he has shown “proper repentance.”
I can’t believe that we are now disfellowshipping people in the New World.
DAY 51: Today a messenger finally arrived from the Society. Wade Peters, a young Bethelite, arrived on horseback. He told us that the Society has moved all the headquarters staff to Patterson after the destruction of New York City. We also received the first post-Armageddon Watchtower (now to be issued quarterly). Many of us had hoped that it would contain some information that would allow us more personal freedom, but we were disappointed to only read that we were to keep on following the instructions of the local elders until further notice; that we were to remain “respectful” and “obedient.” He also gave all the elders a copy of a new procedural manual entitled, “ORGANIZATION FOR THE NEW WORLD,” but none of the rest of us was allowed to see it.
DAY 69: My best friend got married today in a “shotgun wedding”!! Rob and Sally Kennedy had been discovered together while engaged in a heavy kissing session. After a judicial meeting, Brother Thorn announced that they were now married…without any ceremony or anything! Rob objected strenuously, explaining that he and Sally had not had sex. Brother Thorn, however, declared that the decision was in keeping with the New Elder Procedure Manual. Sally seems happy enough, but Rob is in a state of shock. I remember he once told me that he liked Sally’s body, but that he thought that she was about as dumb and boring as a box of rocks. Now he is married to her FOREVER. I’ll have to remember to keep my hands in my pockets when I date any sisters.
DAY 80: The newlyweds are not getting along. There has been a lot of gossip about their horrible spats. Rob confided to me today that he was so desperate that he went to the elders in an attempt to get the marriage annulled. They told him that according to the Society’s New Procedure Manual, no divorces or annulments will be allowed for any reason. Also, all marriages now have to be approved by the local body of elders.
DAY 81: Sam Greene was reinstated today. He is still unhappy, but he is now keeping his thoughts to himself.
DAY 89: We are all in a state of shock! Rob committed suicide today. I guess the idea of spending eternity with Sally was just too much for him. The elders refused to allow us to hold any kind of memorial service for him. I volunteered to bury my friend. Brother Thorn said to put him in one of the common graves where we had put the worldly persons. No one came to the grave site; not even his widow. I stood there alone over his grave and said a prayer for my friend. I will miss Rob greatly.
DAY 100: Life is becoming more and more miserable for many of us. The elders keep placing new rules on us every day. We are told that we must lead “Holy Lives of Service and Submission.” No dissent or discussion is allowed. It seems that there are a lot of us that feel that we had a lot more freedom before Armageddon. (I never would have thought that I would ever be feeling nostalgic about the Old World.)
DAY 111: I can’t take it here anymore. I am going to travel to my brother’s place which is about a hundred miles from here.
Traveling on foot, I think I can make it in about ten days. I wish I could get some gasoline for my car, but I’d be sure to be caught. I’ll have to sneak out since the elders still aren’t giving anyone permission to travel. I have stored some food and water and plan to leave tonight after the curfew. I hope my brother is still alive; maybe he will know if Mom and Dad are okay.
DAY 112: I can hardly believe I made it out of town today. I wonder if they have missed me yet. The destruction all over the countryside is just incredible. How will we ever rebuild everything? I’ve already seen quite a few skeletons. I guess there is still a lot of burial work to be done before we can build a Paradise.
DAY 113: I ran into a group of brothers from the West View Congregation. I was detained at gunpoint! It seems that Brother Thorn had gotten word to them to be on the lookout for me. I am furious. I am not a criminal! Why am I not free to visit my own brother? Why do I need “permission” to visit my family??
DAY 114: Ed Thorn and two ministerial servants arrived today to escort me back home. They were all carrying guns.
DAY 115: I was, of course, disfellowshipped at the morning meeting. I have been assigned to Latrine Duty to “help” me to attain “humility and repentance,” and “respect for authority.”
DAY 123: I finally blew up today at the re-indoctrination meeting. I told Ed Thorn that I was sick to death of him acting like a Theocratic “Hitler.” I said that I was leaving the community and that he had better not try to stop me. Big mistake.
Thorn then called in his Police Force and had me arrested; I was shackled hand and foot. I am now being detained under armed guard in a makeshift jail cell in the Kingdom Hall basement.
DAY 125: My judicial hearing was held today. Ed Thorn acted as lead prosecutor. According to normal Watchtower Procedure, the hearing was of course held in secret; I had no Defense Counsel, and I could call no witnesses.
In the end, I was judged “guilty” of being an “unrepentant apostate.” Then I was solemnly informed that according to the Society’s instructions, as per their new Procedural Manuel, “ORGANIZATION FOR THE NEW WORLD,” the penalty for apostasy is death by stoning.
My execution is scheduled for tomorrow.
DAY 126: Well, this is the end. Later today, I will be led out for my execution by stoning. I would rather be shot in the back of the head, but the Society obviously feels that stoning provides a better object lesson. If I get a chance I will throw one of the rocks back at Ed Thorn. The funny thing is is that I really don’t feel so bad about my impending demise. This New World Society is not my idea of a “Paradise” at all, and I really think that I would rather be dead then to live like this. I don’t want to live with these people any longer, much less for all eternity.
(“From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained” to paradise lost again. So this is what I had worked so hard for…)
EPILOGUE: Well, everyone turned out for my stoning, even the kids. Ed Thorn solemnly pronounced my death sentence and then he quoted scripture, telling everyone to “not to let their eye feel sorry for me,” an “unrepentant apostate.” No one did.
My only regret is that they tied my hands behind my back so that I couldn’t return any of their rocks with interest. (Not very sporting of them.) The last thing I remember seeing before the lights went out was the sickening smirk on Ed Thorn’s face just as one of my oldest friends hurled a huge rock straight at my head. I heard a terrible cracking, and felt my brain exploding…I guess that’s when I died…
Then I woke up.
I was in Heaven. And there was St. Peter just looking at me.
“Welcome to Paradise, my child,” he said, as he gently took my hand. Confused and perplexed, I ventured, “But I thought that Paradise was back on Earth with the Jehovah’s Witnesses…”
“No,” answered St. Peter with a loving smile. “That was Hell.”