'In the Belly of Jehovah', by Pete Nicholson
One morning, in the late 1970s, two Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on Rick Pain’s door in suburban Sydney. Outwardly, Pain, who was in his mid-twenties at the time, didn’t seem particularly receptive to the Witnesses’ message of evangelical awakening: he’d been a heroin addict for a number of years, his wife was also an addict, and over the years he’d sought comfort and higher meaning in tarot cards, LSD, New Age philosophy, Buddhist meditation and a heavy marijuana habit. But he also believed there was truth in the Bible – ‘undeniable fact’ that had stayed with him since he’d first read Scripture, during a stint at a Christian high school.
After a brief conversation, Pain told the two doorknocking women he wasn’t interested. Undaunted, they returned that afternoon, and then again the next day. The third time they knocked, Pain relented and invited them inside. They seemed nice, he thought, and their talk of a strictly Bible-based faith intrigued him. He made some tea, and began peppering them with questions: What, he asked, did the Bible say about drugs? About prophecy and fulfilment? And what, exactly, was a Jehovah?
“Every question,” Pain tells me after a meeting one evening, “they answered from the Bible.” Impressed, he started meeting with the Witnesses regularly. He signed up for a Bible study, the first step towards becoming a baptised Witness. For fifteen years, through a traumatic marriage breakdown and ongoing personal strife, Pain continued to study the Witnesses’ teaching, “determined,” he says, “to prove them wrong.” Witnesses live in strict adherence to their reading of Biblical principles, and Pain knew from the outset joining the church would mean completely changing his life. Try as he might, though, he couldn’t find fault with the Witnesses’ prophecies, nor their interpretation of the Bible. There was no bright light, no great moment of conversion. There was just the sense that he had found truth, and in 1993, on a stage in front of thousands of Witnesses at a stadium in Perth, Rick Pain became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
BRANDY MELVILLE EXPLOITS EMERGING ARTISTS:
A little background on Brandy Melville’s “elin moon tears embroidery top”.. it’s very popular, has been seen on numerous celebs and is available in twenty stores across 10 or so countries. What you may not know is that the design for this tee was copied from me - an emerging artist trying to make a name for herself in Tasmania, Australia.
After contacting Brandy Melville I was confident that the issue would get resolved. However after months of chasing them for a resolution, all the while having faith in their professionalism, I must out them as a company that is making profit from someone else’s hard work and creative thinking - while no credit or financial compensation has been provided.
I urge Brandy Melville to resolve this matter…
I can only fight back in the small ways that I can -
PLEASE SHARE AND LET BRANDY MELVILLE KNOW THAT NO MATTER HOW “SMALL” AN ARTIST MAY BE, THEY CAN NOT GET AWAY WITH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT
"When I went outside, I saw that birds were real living creatures, having real experiences just like me. I wanted to try to save their experiences and simultaneously remind myself of how important it was to be alive." - Artist Diana Beltran Herrera