What made you leave?

by CuriousUK 40 Replies latest jw friends

  • CuriousUK

    Hi all,

    Apologies if this has been discussed before, but I am really very interested in finding out why members here left their congregations for lives away from JW?

    Was there a "lightbulb" moment where you just woke up one day and realised that you had been brainwashed? Or a slow realisation over time? And what issues/topics were the ones to be the catalyst for that?

    As some of you probably know from my other comments and my main thread in Dating & Relationships, I am not, and never have been JW, but I am very close to someone who is, and am very much trying to understand his world and what it is he actually believes and abides by... Hopefully with a view in the long term to getting him to realise how destructive a force the WT is on a young man's life and for him to choose to leave...



  • cheerios

    hi curious. it wasnt a single moment for me. it was a series of events. i was practically raised in, and after getting to adulthood (and experiencing a terrible marriage to a violent disturbed witness), and subsequently seeing how ineffective and pathetic the leadership in the hall was, i withdrew and faded. i separated (and later divorced), but several years went by. i had as little contact with the witlesses as possible. it wasnt until i went to college and to therapy that i realised that i had been in a cult.

    it has been a delightful journey ever since too :)

  • Chariklo

    Hi Curious,

    Oddly enough, I've just answered that very question on my own behalf, at least in part, in this thread, before I read this post from you.


    I went into a bit of a rant, but it is something I feel very strongly about.

    These big decisions are rarely one-issue things, but in my case this was a strong underlying area of disquiet.

    I might PM you later on.

  • CuriousUK

    Thanks for those replies - Chariklo, I'll keep an eye on my PMs! (Now I know how they work!)

    I hope I am not annoying anyone with my probably silly questions - please let me know if I cross any lines, as I am genuinely not here to offend or annoy - just hopefully to learn and understand more. I have learned so much so far!


  • Ucantnome

    I had trouble when they realised they had not seen the sign spoken of in Matthew 24:30. The composite sign in my view wasn't enough. I could not be sure that things earthquakes, wars ect. could or would not be worse in the future. Reading some of the history of the organization and knowing what happened in 1975 along with the belief that they would change the teaching about the generation of 1914 made me read more of the bible and question everything they taught.

    I could no longer preach something as "an even better good news" (WT66.Pg215) than the resurrection of Jesus Christ or as the book Man's Salvation out of World Distress at Hand (WTBTS. 1975 page48) puts it

    "The overwhelming evidence that has accumulated since 1914 C.E. in proof of this glorious fact has been pointed out by these witnesses of Jehovah. The good new about the Messianic kingdom of Jehovah's "Servant" is better news today than it was nineteen hundred years ago, in apostolic times. In the face of the relatively small proportion of the world's population that has put faith in the "thing heard from us" or proclaimed by us, it can truthfully be said: "They did not all obey the good news."

    I felt I no longer wanted to tell people a good news and have them put faith in it, with the time element of the generation of 1914 now being discarded as this was a key element in my view of that good news that people were encouraged to put faith in, unless I could be sure and with a clear conscience declare it.

    In not being able to join in the preaching work I was not longer a witness.

  • N.drew

    The JWs believe they are led by God's Spirit.

    God is Love says 1 John 4:16

    And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

    Love does not look for it's own interest 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

    4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    The organization is all about looking for it's own interest. Why not see for yourself that they rejoice in unrighteousness? Which means they get happy when they think of God destroying everyone but them.

    Also it is clear that they do not have truth yet they rejoice in what they do have. It is my opinion that what they do have is selfish longing. It is not bad to hope for a peaceful Earth. But it will never come the way they say which is to be like them.

    I left because I came to my own conclusion that they are not beng led by God's Spirit. And it is my opinion they they are not looking to be led by God's Spirit.

  • bigmac

    @curiousUK--heres a link to lots of us in the UK


  • CuriousUK

    Thanks for that bigmac... I might be calling on your valuable experiences to help my friend :)

  • Andrew Sh
    Andrew Sh


    I have sent a post for you on "Real life of a JW".

  • Phizzy

    I was born in, and was brought up to believe it was The Truth, I was also brought up to hate lies, the devil was a "liar, and the father of the Lie " as the scripture has it.

    I found out, rather late in life, that the WT/JW religion was as another poster put it, " founded on lies and maintained on lies", at the same time I found out that a , probably the, foundation doctrine, the 1914 rubbish, was not to be found in the Bible at all.

    In all conscience I could not stay, despite the difficulty of all my family being in.

    Anyone with a love and respect for truth, and a conscience guided by such a love and respect, could not associate with the lying WT.

  • cantleave

    What me me leave? Lies, Hypocrisy, Nepotism, lack of love and a corrupt organisation from the top down.

  • FatFreek 2005
    FatFreek 2005

    Some have told me that THE GREAT WATCHTOWER CONTRADICTION was a wakeup call to them although that 11 minute read is actually designed for newly interested ones.


  • Found Sheep
    Found Sheep

    series of events it took me about two years to go from.... I need a break to............. they are a cult.

    Lack of love from the congregation and elders. Kill the lost sheep not leave the 99 and save it.

    Then I started doing research and read read and read... Light went on

  • Sic Semper Tyrannis
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

    I got simply burnt out by all the requirements they made of everyone. I began to hate book study and KMS/Service Meeting nights because it meant that I had to start on my homework the minute I got in, a quick dinner, preparation for the meeting, and of course, the meeting itself. By the time we got home it was just about bedtime for us kids. To make a bad situation worse, our weekends were consumed by service and the Sunday meeting. When I openly wondered why we couldn't just have Sunday meeting like everyone else, I got labelled as having a bad attitude. Later, when I started working, I found the Society's program even more restricting. I knew I could never marry inside the system because I'd be constantly badgered from another source. That led me to question things more, and found the answers I needed to make a break.

  • 00DAD

    For me, like many, it was a progressive series of revelations and discoveries that the WTBTS are not what they claim to be, but are in fact a hypocritical group of lying frauds on power trips that seem to enjoy manipulating and guilting people.

    That being said, if there was any one particular moment when I REALLY new it was all bs was around 2002-2003 when I found out about the WTBTS's involvement with the United Nations as an NGO. (See Watchtower's United Nations Association)

    The hypocrisy! I was stunned, shocked, speechless. I tried to talk to my wife (a born-in JW) about it but she refused to listen. For so many years they kept saying that the UN was the scarlet colored beast and that false religion was prostituting itself by being involved. If you or I were to join the YMCA to go swimming we'd be DF'd for apostasy and yet the WTBTS was whoring it up with the UN for over a decade!!!!

    From that moment forward, the pieces just kept clicking into place that it was all just a pack of lies! Still, it took me six or seven years to get out and I have to admit my exit was messy.


  • CuriousUK

    I'm finding this fascinating - thank you to all who have replied so far. It gives me hope that my JW will hopefully begin to see the light at some point (he's an intelligent man, working as a plumber and an electrician, so he should be!)

    I have really appreciated the insights, thank you x

  • diamondiiz

    Russell's book, Thy Kingdom Come!!! After reading it, I knew that JWs never told me what Russell really believed and taught and I was conned. Within a very short period of time, I stopped all meetings and began doing research which obviously made me leave the cult. Truth truly sets one free.

  • LostGeneration

    Those that leave can broadly be lumped into two groups, those that leave because of doctrine (logical reasons) and those that leave because they are mistreated (emotional reasons).

    Which kind of person is your JW? I left because of doctrine. Blood transfusion restrictions while allowing fractions was something I struggled with for years before finally allowing my mind to explore it fully. That is the problem, the WT does a good job of indoctrnation, to the point where logic is set aside and the excuse of "waiting on Jehovah" allows the JW to continue. Once I did fully explore doctrine, everything came tumbling down like a house of cards. If you find the right card, your JW may respond. But be warned if they have a lot to lose (career, family, etc) by exploring these ideas, they may reject them (and you) immediately.

  • charlie brown jr.
    charlie brown jr.

    I came home one day and found the house empty...................

    The Elders reminded me of my Christian Way Of Life and How I must Live And Act and PRAY Just PRAY!!!!!!!!!!!

    I awoke right about...........................................................then!

  • 00DAD

    Charlie Brown, that's rather cryptic about the empty house. Care to elucidate?

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