When, in the Summer of 2004, I first began to investigate the veracity of WTS teaching, I was e-mailing people I thought were troubled by them--but who still held out hope for reform. This put me into contact with people like Bill Bowen of Silent Lambs. When I discovered that he in fact no longer was "with the program," I found myself debating him in our e-mails.
I was tactfully yet firmly fighting for what I thought was right.
On September 15, 2004, I read Tom Cabeen's "Does God Work Through an Organization." That day I woke up. Soon after I began having conversations with Tom over the phone. I can't tell you how patient and kind he was. He asked me a question...
If you had cancer, would you want to know? Or would you rather not?
I've asked a number of people this question since that day. I'm now convinced that several would rather not know. I, however, have to know.
There are many people, JWs included, who don't want to imagine that what they've come to believe isn't the truth. Before my daugher finally figured it out, she used to say...
"No! I don't care! This is the life that makes me happy; this is what I want!"
It's sort of like an actor who assumes a role onstage, knowing there is another reality and persona when the performance is over--but never wanting that time to come. The music keeps playing, and he keeps dancing from scene to scene.
When I first began to read Def'd's posts, it was a bit infuriating to read comments like, "So, I'm curious... When you decided to leave Jehovah's organization, how did you care for your spiritual need?" (Nicely but passive-aggressively asserting that it really is "Jehovah's organization.") But, based on the last several comments I've read, I think he's trying hard to be pleasant and respectful. If all JWs were being pleasant and respectful of those of us who've left, we would have far fewer problems, wouldn't we?
Apostate? Of course not. But by the WTS' definition? Perhaps--or at least "unwisely associating with God's enemies." (Again, from their mindlessly paranoid perspective.) I'm sure a few people had to be patient with me. I can be patient with Def'd.