No Masturbation, No Homosexuals Like many young Jehovah's Witnesses, Melanie has read a glossy pamphlet entitled "Questions Young People Ask: Answers That Work." It makes it clear that homosexuality is forbidden and masturbation demonized.The pamphlet, Melanie says, contains a lot of information on topics she is familiar with: what it's like to feel like an outsider at school, or to have false desires "for sex or self-gratification." The pamphlet also includes a chapter on how a young Jehovah's Witness can determine if a potential partner is right for him or her.
"This is our big family reunion," says Michael Krenzer, a spokesman for the Jehovah's Witnesses in Dortmund.
And since the family must expand, "many Witnesses naturally meet their future spouses here," says Uwe Langhals, another spokesman, who has been a Jehovah's Witness since he was 15.
There are some 165,000 Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany.
The number of children and youths among them is not recorded.
Markus, a student who left the Jehovah's Witnesses, says: "You try finding someone willing to put up with all of this crap!
" Since his birth, he had been dragged to meetings. And when he brought his first girlfriend home, his father promptly sent her packing.
Why are 17-year-olds spending their time in Bible Study, instead of meeting with their friends?
What impact does it have on young people, when they are not allowed to try anything, are never permitted to be unreasonable, and when they see homosexuality as an aberration that needs to be treated with therapy?
They arrive in caravans, bringing Tupperware, coolers, blankets and, most importantly, their Bibles.
Here they can pray among peers, feeling a sense of community instead of isolation.