As time passed, I was becoming more and more involved with the faith of the “witnesses.” Each week on a regular basis, I left school and went with Nikos to their gatherings. Even on Sunday evenings I avoided the company of my friends, and I attended the meetings. Even though I was an Orthodox, I did not spend even one hour a week approaching my God, but I now spent at least five hours a week attending the meetings of a religion unknown to me a few days ago.
One day Nikos took me to his home and introduced me to his family. His mother was disabled, so she could not attend meetings regularly, as was also the case with his elderly grandmother. This explained why I had never met them before. They were two very hospitable women, taking great joy in offering all they could to welcome me as a visitor, while talking constantly about God. It seemed natural for Nikos to acquire love for God, living in this type of environment. My visits to their home increased, and every time I felt that I came away knowing more about God and his volitions. In the beginning I listened with much skepticism to what Nikos said, and I demanded proof. However, now I accepted everything he was saying without any hesitation. My skepticism was now turned toward every other source of information, except the “Watchtower.”
Nikos’ method of teaching was also instrumental in this. When I asked him something, he replied promptly, but he did not stop there. Immediately he brought up the arguments used by various Orthodox on whatever topic we were discussing, and he proceeded to refute them. Thus, he gave me the impression that he had a complete picture of the subject “from both sides of the coin” while solidifying in my thoughts his own personal point of view.
One day he suggested that we start a “systematic Scripture study” at his house. I accepted with much joy, and from then on, on non-school days or during breaks, we went to his home and studied. In reality, however, our study was not directly from the Holy Scripture, but from some other book. Nikos was excited about my steady progress in “the truth” (as the “witnesses” referred to their faith). Over time, I began to abandon all my hobbies, except chess. Nikos and I played chess equally well, and we played quite often. The rest of our hours, however, were devoted to studying the books and the magazines of the “Watchtower.” I considered them “spiritual nourishment” from God, through the “faithful and wise servants,” in other words those “anointed” of the society.
They had me convinced that the international publishing and evangelistic crusade of the “witnesses” along with its “good fruit” served as the infallible proof that this is the “organization of God” since “God always carried out His plan through an organization.” Little by little I began to adopt and use all the terminology used by the “witnesses.” I called their faith “the Truth.” I referred to them as “brothers” although they did not consider me a brother yet. I referred to all those who were not “witnesses” as “worldly” or “infidels.” Consequently, I felt that I already belonged to a special “elitist” group of privileged elect who would survive the “destruction of Armageddon.”
One day I joined Nikos’ family as they attended a meeting in a private estate in Malakasa. Thousands of “witnesses” flooded the space, and the entire day passed with compunction, as I listened to an endless number of homilies, demonstrations, and theatrical plays. That evening I returned home feeling “well fed.” This is how I always felt when I heard the homilies of a “journeying bishop” of the “witnesses.” Inside of me, the decision was already at hand. Once I overcame my fears and weaknesses, I would become “a witness of Jehovah.”