By LUKE VANDER PLOEG
Growing up on Long Island, Zachary Linderer was obsessed with science.
He grew up a Jehovah’s Witness, and like many others in the faith, he was homeschooled his whole life. By the time he got to high school, Linderer knew that he wanted to go to college for something in the sciences: physics, oceanography, something in that realm. But he realized at a young age that wasn’t going to be a possibility.
“I knew that it wasn’t going to be encouraged that I get an education,” Linderer says. “My dad told me that he knew people who were into science, and it dragged them right out of the organization, right out of the truth.”
The organization that Linderer is talking about is the Watchtower: the governing organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The view that higher education is spiritually dangerous is very common among Witnesses, and for Linderer, it meant that his parents wouldn’t support him going to college.