How to Leave WT and Intact

by JT 33 Replies latest jw friends

  • JT

    One of the most painful things I continue to see here on this forum as well as all the others is that many who want to leave wt simply don't know how to leave and remain "Intact" as it were.

    I recall talking with jw who "Formally Disassociated themselves back in the 70’s and it was not till the 90’s and the net did they finally feel free

    or many who “jump UP” and write a letter off to Mo Larry and Curly (CONGREGATION SERVICE COMMITTEE)

    While I feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with writing a letter for many it is a matter of

    1. Poor timing and
    2. not being prepared for what will follow

    When I read of folks who wrote letters feeling bad or feeling that must “meet” with the elders – to me that means they were not ready AT THAT TIME.

    The net is really the answer for all lurkers and those who are thinking about leaving – why not Learn how to leave WT at least somewhat “Intact”

    Before writing a letter be sure to get the Pros and Cons of writing a letter- for me personally I wouldn’t waste the paper or stamp- but I fully understand for those who do – there is no right or wrong – should I send one or not

    But more of a

    1. When should I do this and
    2. How-

    I highly recommend throwing it out here in the forum for suggestions- the reason why is simple

    The avg. jw has so little understanding of the WT Corporate Procedures when it comes to how they deal with folks

    Being Former “Society Man” the rules and policies swallow up the avg. person

    I recall seeing persons who are leaving spend weeks Xeroxing 40=50 pages of copies of wt history to “Let the bro. know why”

    They don’t give a RATS A$$ and once a person comes to understand that then they know how to proceed

    Much like explaining Gravity to a 6 month old baby it means absolutely nothing-

    Also understanding that the avg. Joe blow elder is as much a victim as we were

    What I have seen here on the net is how some of the most condemning folks ( she got low hours can’t be too spiritual)

    ( she can pioneer her hubby make s enough money) etc myself INCLUDED – once we learn the truth about the truth

    we feel so bad about how we treated others when we were in the Org-

    I look back at some of the judicial cases that we handled and being a Society Man I went by the BOOK—

    VERY LITTLE feeling for the “Individual person” GOT TO KEEP THE ORG CLEAN-

    SO FOR me know I only hope that all the folks I dealt with in an unloving way can forgive me for it was done out of ignorance and being blinded.

    So for any who want to get out--------- please and I beg of you feel free to ask here on the forum what things you need to consider so when you decided to make your move – you can LEAVE INTACT


    "I'd rather have questions I can't answer than questions I can't ask (or answers I can't question)."

  • OrangeBlossom

    I agree with what you say about people leaving photocopying items for the elders. When my dad disassociated he sent a 20 page letter to all of his family still in, myself included, of which I did not read. I quickly threw it away and cried. It wasn't until years later and after his death that I started investigating things on my own. I am now considered inactive, attend only a handful of meetings per month (which has the elders making regular shepherding calls on me. My hope is to eventually drift off into JW oblivion. That is difficult at this time because of so many of my family is deeply entrenched in this religion.

    But, I do agree, if my dad had quietly drifted off into inactivity, it would have been much easier on him. However, the type of man he was, determined to stick to his principles, it was necessary for him to formally disassociate.

    It is truly an individual decision, based on one's personal circumstances I guess.

    Enjoyed your post.

  • Jang

    I agree ..... if you are able to drift away then you can wait until you are ready. When you have
    family in, this is probably the best way.

    The only time I suggest someone have a letter ready to disassociate is when they are being called
    to a committee meeting which is probably only a formality before disfellowshipping. Then they can
    hand it over when it is inevitible they will be dfd.

    Others need to wait .... wait as long as they can so they can prepare themselves and if they have
    family like Amazing did, spend the time 'adjusting their thinking' If you have never read how Amazing handled his situation then you can find it at


  • JT

    My hope is to eventually drift off into JW oblivion. That is difficult at this time because of so many of my family is deeply entrenched in this religion.


    it will give you the chance to handle it on your own terms in the future

    i recall this one bro who made a 30 page binder to give to each one of us when he came into the meeting for apostasy

    well our elder instructor had told us at the last school


    all we need to do is determine does the person question the Society as being used by Jah

    at that point there is nothing to discuss

    no dates - flipflop - all that stuff is moot as far as elders are concerned

    we laughed in is face almost when he reached into his bag an started to hand each one of us some funky little 3 ring binder that he put together

    looking back he spent alot of time and effort to do that, but in the Corporate world of wt it's all about being a COMPANY MAN

    as we used to say at bethel --he is a Society Man--

    as more folks come to the net for info they will get the needed tools and support to make better choices as to how to leave wt and still be Intact to a certain degree


  • JT

    Jang says

    Others need to wait .... wait as long as they can so they can prepare themselves and if they have
    family like Amazing did, spend the time 'adjusting their thinking' If you have never read how Amazing handled his situation then you can find it at


    ####this is why i just love this NET "THANG"

    a very POWERFUL POST

    thanks jang right on the money


  • Had Enough
    Had Enough


    That's why I love this "NET THANG" too.

    A year ago I only "felt" like I didn't want to go to the meetings anymore because of my hurt over the shunning thing in my family. I couldn't agree with it but felt alone and had pangs of guilt thrown in continually, and guilt added on by family members who thought that if I went to the meetings, that would influence my da'd son to return.

    I knew that wouldn't help him but they wouldn't agree.

    Talking about it with my very 'open-minded-but-still-hanging-on' JW friends helped me and one contact actually lead me to pick up a C of C book.

    That was the start of my journey to searching out whatever else I could find out that was kept from the eyes and ears of the general r&f. BINGO I found this and Randy's "freeminds" site and haven't stopped since.

    The result so far?...I no longer am plagued by guilt and have felt a load of stress lifted from my shoulders.

    I agree that for those who have family (like I do) of still active JWs, then the quiet, non-confrontational fading is best.

    The hard part of that? the need to keep quiet about what you have found out so the loyal JW family member doesn't think they'll be doing what's best for you by informing the elders that you need "help".

    Preparation is the key. Even if you never get to use the material you gather and organize (ie:in a binder), you'll have it at your fingertips for your own peace of mind and for that hopeful time when someone does open up to you about their own doubts.

    Had Enough

  • jurs

    i'm glad i read your post. you seem very sensible. since i sent in my DA letter and have been quite vocal about JW org being a cult, do i have to worry about being sued for slander???? have you ever heard of the society trying to shut people up by threats of lawsuits?also since i have no family in the org. and can live fine without the friendships ,what possible repercussions could i suffer for DAing myself? JURS

  • vsecret939

    Ok, I have talked to many people on this forum and have decided that I do want to formally dissasociate myself from this org. I don't want my name to be associated with an org. like this and inactive is just not good enough for me. I do have family inside, but I have talked to the ones that count to me (my mom and sisters) and they fell I need to do what I need to do. The rest of my family were never really close to me anyway and treated me like a black sheep, so i could give a rats ass if they chose to shun me. Anyway, I've never written or seen a disasociation letter before and have no idea what it is supposed to say. But, I have made a guess and have produced a first draft. I'm posting it and would appreciate any help to be offered. thank you

    Jehovah’s Witnesses teach as a matter of truth, many things and have many rules channel of communication with mankind today and that they are the only acceptable religion and that if a person does not belong to their organization they have no means of salvation. I no longer believe that and have taken objection to many of their teachings, rules, attitudes and behaviors. My objections are presented here in this document. I will state now that my problem is not with the Bible and the information contained therein, it is with the teachings of the Watchtower Society.

    First of all, I would like to tell a little bit about myself. I was raised around the organization from birth. I was baptized at the age of 16. I became inactive at the age of 17 and have been so ever since. I am now 22. The teachings of the Watchtower Society have been very deeply instilled in me from as far back as I can remember and I have never really questioned them till now. But now that I have, I am realizing just how wrong a lot of their teachings are. And I am by no means saying that I don’t believe everything that they teach. I do recognize them for teaching some things and upholding some standards that other religions don’t. But the inconsistencies that I have found are disturbing enough for me to no longer wish to be associated with this group.

    My first issue is with the idea that the WTS has the power to run almost every aspect of its member’s lives. Dress, speech, thinking, beliefs, attitudes and other aspects of the individual’s lives are all dictated by the WTS. They say that this is based on scriptures like Ephesians 4:4-6 which states, “One body there is, and one spirit, even as you were called in the one hope to which you were called; one God and Father of all persons, who is over all and through all and in all.” Now the WTS takes the saying “one faith” to mean that everyone must believe the same thing with regards to every little detail about one’s thoughts, actions, speech, dress, beliefs and other aspects of members lives. While in reality, this scripture is referring to our faith in Jesus Christ as our savior, not in following a set of rules from an organization. The WTS does not take into account the fact that we are given a mind and a conscience with which we are supposed to use to make the decisions that the WTS makes for us.

    The WTS also uses the scripture at 1 Corinthians 1:10, but in reality, that scripture is referring to the sects and divisions that were occurring in the early Christian congregation. They also use scriptures like 2 Corinthians 13:11, Philippians 2:2, Romans 16:17, Ephesians 4:3 and Romans 15:5. Now, there are only a few things that we need to be in agreement with, and that is in the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our savior. It does not mean that we have to be clones of one another. Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees of his day for making their way of worship more about their rules and regulations than about the people they were supposed to be helping. That is what the WTS has become to me. While trying to make everyone the same, they have created many laws out of things that are supposed to be left up to the individual to decide. They have taken away our freedom of choice and our right to decide over matters that are left up to interpretation. Serving God and following Jesus’ example does not mean handing over your freedom of choice to a group of self appointed mediators.

    My second issue with the WTS is with the idea that they are the only acceptable religion, and that all others are false. They say that since other religions do not have the whole truth, only partial truth, they are unacceptable. They exclude themselves from the same standard of judgment, though. That is just too hypocritical to me and totally unacceptable. They claim that Jehovah sends them new light with regards to their teachings. They have also said that new light will never contradict old light; that it will only add to it. But, their light not only continually contradicts itself; it just plain blinks off at times. And then they have the nerve to say that they are spirit directed prophets (and yet when asked, they also say that they are not inspired, that only the Bible is inspired of God). With regards to being a prophet, the Bible says that a true prophet can be identified by whether or not its predictions come true. The WTS’ evidence undeniably shows that none of their predictions have come true (for instance, 1914, 1925, and 1975, to name a few). This makes them a false prophet. And the fact that none of their predictions have come true shows that they are not spirit directed. And then, once they make these false predictions that get their members’ hopes up, they say that the members read too much into the printed material when the hope was not realized, instead of taking the blame for making these false predictions.

    My next issue is with the current baptismal questions. Below I have what the question used to be along with what they are now.
    Aug. 1, 1966 Watchtower (p. 465)
    (1) Have you recognized yourself before Jehovah God as a sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation precedes from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ?
    (2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit?
    The May 15, 1970 (p. 309) and May 1, 1973 (p. 280) issues printed slightly revised vows. The newest baptismal questions were set forth in the June 1, 1985 (p. 30) Watchtower:
    (1) On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?
    (2) Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in association with God's spirit-directed organization?
    Now, I don’t have a problem with the first question so much as with the second question. The WTS has completely taken the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit out of the baptism. They have, in fact, put themselves in that place and put themselves on the same level as those three. They have taken Jesus out of the picture and replaced him with themselves as our savior and mediator. Now this just does not settle well with me and I am ashamed that I was baptized under such questions. It makes me feel like I was baptized to an organization instead of to God.
    My next problem has to do with how people within the organization are “taught” not to read or research any books or publications having to do with the Bible that the WTS did not write. The WTS tells members that they have already done the research so we don’t need to. They tell us that they are apostate works and that we would be considered as an apostate if we read them. They tell us that we shouldn’t even study the Bible by itself (or without one of their publications). And they say that this is all for our own good, that the “truth” that we had learned would be corrupted and we would fall into darkness. A logical mind might say that if the WTS really teaches the truth, then it wouldn’t mater what a person read, the truth would still be able to stand, especially when just reading the Bible. But such is not the case with the WTS. They don’t like to be questioned, even though the Bible says we should question everything. The WTS knows that if their “truth” is held up against the light, it will be seen for what it really is; a bunch of lies and twisted scriptures.
    At this time I would like to add just how glad I am that the Internet is making information about the WTS available to all who want to know the real truth about this organization. It allows individuals the opportunity to find out things away from the prying eyes of the Society. I plan on encouraging everyone I come across to go and do their own research about what is contained in the Bible and about the WTS. And that they should also come to their own conclusions about Jehovah and Jesus and what is expected of us, instead of blindly following a group of imperfect, uninspired men who care more about their power and pride than the people that God has entrusted them to lead. They have become like the scribes and the Pharisees Jesus condemned because of how they ran the religion and treated the people. Likewise, the WTS has lost the true meaning of being a Christian.

    Now this brings me to my next point, and that is on my belief that an organized religion is essential towards salvation. I do not believe that it is, and in fact do believe it is one of the main tools that Satan uses to trap people and to keep them in the dark with regards the real truth that leads to salvation. The WTS is like that, in the since that they have taken Jesus, our true means of salvation, out of the picture for millions of its followers and put themselves in the position. They say that they are our mediator and that we only receive benefits of the covenant with Jesus through them and that with out them there is no means of salvation. They teach a new gospel, one not taught in the Bible, and if one follows them they could very well find themselves unacceptable in the Day of Judgment.

    Religion binds people to a set of laws, rules, and regulations. It may very well be that the founders of a religion may have had some good intentions, but almost inevitably, over time, the rules take over and the people don’t matter anymore. Jesus removed the curse of having a law from us. He taught that he was the fulfillment of the law and that the whole law could be summed up with two things: to love Jehovah with your whole heart, mind and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus taught that his yoke was kindly and that his load was light. He did not want his followers to be trapped in the same predicament as the Jews of his day. And as far as meeting together with our brothers and sisters, the Bible says that wherever two or three gather, there is where the Holy Spirit will be. Getting together with fellow Christians to praise, worship and study the Bible is all that is really required of us. So hence forth, I consider myself to be a nondenominational Christian. I no longer consider myself to be a part of anyone’s sect.

    With regards to the rest of the items that I have taken issue with, I will go into them briefly. I believe that the WTS ban on blood transfusions is totally unscriptural. I disagree with how they handle cases of child abuse that come up within the congregation. I find it appalling that they charge the brothers in the local congregations interest on money loaned to them for kingdom halls. I think there is a lack of true love within the congregations from most of the members. I think the fact that they continue to teach certain doctrine in spite of new evidence to show that it is wrong is unconscionable (mainly with regards to the whole 607BCE thing and the year 1914 as being the year Christ was enthroned to name a few).

    There are other problems that I have but I believe this letter presents enough of them to show why I feel that the WTS is a fraud and is by no means the one true religion. Even though I am aware that the WTS has its own definition for an apostate, I do not believe that I am one and will take it as slander if I am called one by the WTS or any of its members and I will threaten legal action right now if that occurs. Thank you for your time and I hope that some of this sheds a little light onto why I now feel the way that I do.

  • Oldhippie

    OrangeBlossom...So how do you handle the shepherding calls? If you tell them what is really on your mind, you open yourself up to a potentially nasty inquisition.

  • chester

    Hi Vsecret,

    Ok, I have talked to many people on this forum and have decided that I do want to formally disassociate myself from this org. I don't want my name to be associated with an org. like this and inactive is just not good enough for me.

    I guess you have to do what you feel you have to do.

    Just keep in mind what JT said.

    The elders in your congregation are not going to read your letter. They could care less about why you want to disassociate yourself. They are just drones who could care less about you as a person. Watch the way they shun you after you write your letter and you will see what I mean. Have you ever seen what happens to people once they are disfellowshiped or disassociated?

    They are treated just as though they were dead. That is the WT way of dealing with folks. They do them just the way the Mafia treats people. ( JT has talked about this many times on this forum and others.)
    Once you are DA or DF from this organization it is just as though you are dead in their eyes. A dead person can't talk and tell what they know. Keep that in mind. You may be able to do more good by "staying alive" as long as you can

    Your letter is a good one and I can tell that it was well thought out. It will probably do a lot of good for people who read it on this forum.

    There is one thing you may have overlooked or just not thought about.

    The turning in of time is not in the bible. Jehovah has no requirement for us to turn in any time.
    The turning in of time is one of the things that I find totally ludicrous. It is the WT way of keeping its members "in check". The WT organization is run based on the amount of time a person has. Appointments are made based on "time". A person's spiritually is judged based on the amount of "time" he puts in. How many times have you heard it said "I have to get my time in?" Folks have devised many ways to increase their time. They ride around talking about much time they have in this month or how much more time they have to get in. They are not worried about making disciples only about getting their time in.

    If the organization was only interested in finding out how it was doing and not trying to keep its members "in check" there would be no requirement to put a name on the time slip.

    Just another way of telling that it is a cult.

    Just my 2 cents

    I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do.

  • natred

    You know what?
    I felt an still do, why send a letter at all?
    Thats playing by their rules,
    Just leave and forget about them.
    If they contact you tell themnever to do so again and hang up on them
    Screw them and get on with your own life.

  • Jang

    Vsecret ..... you said your mum and sister said to do what you have to do ..... are they still in the org?

    If they are, then their attitude will have to change after you do this and it is announced. They
    will either have to shun you or do the same ....

    Just a thought .....


  • OrangeBlossom


    My most recent shepherding call was last Saturday. I just nod and act like I appreciate that they are trying to encourage us to attend all the meetings. I know that my mum-in-law put them up to it, they are in her bookstudy. They always seem to come by when my husband is not here, damn him. Anyway, they are not going to let up, they want to set a time when husband will be here so they can go over an article about the importance of meeting attendance. I have decided that I won't get into any discussions about how I really feel. But, lately I have felt like I don't really care anymore, they can DF me or consider me DA'd, it really doesn't matter to me. The only thing I care about is hurting my mom, don't really want her to have to go through it. She given over 50 years to this organization, she will not give it up.

  • chester


    The only thing I care about is hurting my mom, don't really want her to have to go through it. She given over 50 years to this organization, she will not give it up.

    I know exactly how you feel. There are many, many of us out here who are in the same position that you are.

  • JT


    I see you are talking trash



  • TR

    Thanks, James!

    You bring a very practical viewpoint to messy situation. Myself, I was in literal fear for two years after I left the org. That is, until I GOT ON THIS NET THANG!

    Thanks again,


    "cults suck"

  • JT


    , do i have to worry about being sued for slander????

    #######No you should not have to worry

    have you ever heard of the society trying to shut people up by threats of lawsuits?

    #######Very very rarely do they make any comment about those who leave

    also since i have no family in the org. and can live fine without the friendships ,what possible repercussions could i suffer for DAing myself

    ######then you should be ok then


    I read your entire letter and all the points you covered are on the money- and if it gives you a sense of relief then great.

    If you have prepared yourself for the fallout – then you are ready, but my only point is :

    If you write such a letter with the intent of Telling the bro off or letting them know why then you are wasting your time.

    That is why some who do write a letter don’t spend time putting down all the flipflops and changes in dogma

    They meely say

    “just wanted to like you all know I don’t want to be known as a jw anymore

    have a nice day”

    short and sweet


    but each person must do what gives them peace of mind


  • JT


    if you ask or read any former jw post you will see the same common thread run thru all of our post

    WE KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG , but we never could get a CONFIRMATION

    and the moment you got your confirmation you knew that you had to leave

    then the question became how do i get out and that is where most fail and fail meseribly and that is where the net comes in
    it allows us to see that we were right THE KINGS HAS NO CLOTHES

    even though all around us was telling us he did

    thanks for the post


  • joelbear

    I am a strong proponent of the drift away process. However, I believe people should begin to construct a new social support system for themselves before they do this.

    Going through formal disassociation of disfellowshiping is a continuing acknowledgement that the Watchtower society actually has a right to determine someone's status as a worthy associate, rather than allowing a person's whole life and sets of actions determine this for people close to this person.

    So my 3 step process is:

    1. Start making new friends outside of the organization.

    2. Slowly allow more productive uses of your time to supplant Watchtower-centric activities (join a volunteer organization, take a pottery class, teach a class in something you are knowledgeable about, spend more time reading or improving your home etc. etc. etc.) If and when the elders come knocking just say, I've been busy with these other activities, smile politely at them until they leave.

    3. Live your new life to the fullest and be happy.



  • outnfree

    Thanks, James for a very good topic.

    HadEnough wrote:

    ... for those who have family ... of still active JWs, then the quiet, non-confrontation fading is best.

    The hard part of that? the need to keep quiet about what you have found out so the loyal JW family member doesn't think they'll be doing what's best for you by informing the elders that you need "help."

    I experienced just that, only it was my dear friend who "turned me in." Fortunately, I had emotionally made the break months before, but I DID NOT want to LOSE this sister -- I wanted to be able to "do more good by staying alive" as Chester wrote. Once the elders called, I felt compelled to make the break. There was no way I would lie my way through an elders' meeting to stay IN.

    Then, after many false starts at a long disassociation letter, I experienced the truthfulness of what JanG mentions:

    The only time I suggest someone have a letter ready to disassociate is when they are being called to a committee meeting which is probably only a formality before disfellowshipping. Then they can hand it over when it is inevitable they will be df'd.

    I hand-delivered a DA letter to the elders on a Monday after being called to arrange a committee meeting for Thursday. On Thursday, I was asked to withdraw the letter and give "the Truth" another month out of my life. I foolishly agreed. But by the time a second meeting was held after the next Sunday's meeting, I felt that the entire month's activities were likely just going to be "a formality before disfellowshipping." So that night, I called the P.O. and asked that my original DA letter be considered binding and that they let me go ASAP. I was out the next Thursday.

    I, too, felt it important like VSecret to let the friends know that I had rejected THEM and not vice versa. But in hindsight, I think the advice to fade gently into the night would have been better all around. Which is the course I would have chosen had I not become the focus of the elders. I think, VS, that you should heed the majority opinion here and quietly fade because you have family in the Org. However, if you decide to do otherwise, maybe putting the fact that you are disassociating yourself at the END of your letter would force the elder body, at least, to read the entire thing through (or at least part of it before they scan down to the bottom looking for the main point .)

    Joel just posted some very good advice about getting on with your life and having actual outside busyness to which you may attribute your lack of meeting attendance when the elders DO call.

    Yes, the hardest part about fading is learning how to SHUT UP with your still JW family and friends.

    But that's why we're here!!! So you can share your regrets and frustrations and new discoveries with US!


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