Note: These summaries are designed to help fans find their favorite stories and may contain spoilers!
Karle and his best friend David are nine, and love playing in the woods behind David’s house. One day, they find a dirty magazine peeking out from under a pile of leaves — its the first porn they’ve ever seen, and they study every page, then fold them all up and hide them away. In the ensuing weeks, the pages become the center of all of their discussion and play. They ask eachother what they’d do with the ladies pictured, they tried to understand what acts were portrayed, and eventually, David leads Karle into trying out the sexual acts on each other, which seems like a logical and innocent learning experience, though one that they should never tell anyone about…because both of them are from strict Jehovah’s Witness families. One day the elders call on Karle’s dad, and all three interrogate Karle as to whether he put his mouth on David’s penis; Karle tries to lie, but he can’t. Karle is then basically put on trial by the elders in an intimidating meeting, where he’s compared to the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, all of whom were vanquished for their sins, including homosexuality. Karle is forbidden to play alone with David anymore, and learns to shove down every thought, feeling, urge and secret he might ever have and “never tell anyone anything.” Years later, Karle starts realizing how restrictive and cultish the Jehovah’s Witnesses are, and he pulls away from attending church…and years after that, when a member of Karle’s old congregation contacts him to ask whether he’d like to come back, be shown the error of his ways, and reconcile with the church…he says no, and chooses disfellowship over the judgment, humiliation and harm that they’d offer once again.
childhood, disfellowship, elders, experimentation, forbidden, homosexuality, Jehovah’s Witness, Live, magazine, meeting hall, naked, oral sex, porn, pornography, punishment, secret, sex, shame, sin, Sodom and Gomorrah, temple, Toronto
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