Is it all downhill after leaving JW's?

by lynnmelo 70 Replies latest jw friends

  • riverofdeceit

    Actually, it is all uphill, for everyone. and the hills people choose to ascend are different for most people. sure enough though, it can indeed be a battle. For some it is easy. For most it is very difficult. Unfortunately, a few don't make it. Some people actually become very self destructive, or just as bad, go back to the witnesses.

    anyhow, all of your doubts are very generic in nature, with all of the generic answers to them that the witnesses use. You sound like a recruiter for those on the fence or else are one who really is on the fence giving us your answers that the witnesses have fed you.

    We all now have choices that we didnt have before. If you are just here looking for negatives then you of course will find them, even if we ourselves dont see them as negatives. Of course they do exist, you can find negatives in everything. Some people are sheep. Being a sheep is the best thing you can be as a JW, a goat is very bad for some reason (hard to train, hard to control, they like to do their own thing). I guess I am a goat. anybody from here like to tell us who the wolf is? haha.


  • jgnat

    Hi, non-JW regular Christian here. I am involved with the JW's through marriage. My husband is on the verge of leaving, and I must say the change is dramatic. He is laughing more, is relaxed, more himself. The WTS puts a lot of pressure on it's members to conform, and the alternative suggested by the society is nothing less than death. It takes a courageous person to walk away from all that.

    I would note that many JW's who leave are spoiled for any other religion. I chalk this up to two factors.

    1. In the meetings they are regularly reminded of all the failures of Christendom. What really peeves me is when JW speakers lump all denominations in to the same pot. The liberalism of the United Church is lumped in with the revelations of child molestation in the Catholic church. Many exiting JW's, having seen the ugly underbelly of the Watchtower Society, conclude that corruption is everywhere, and refuse to join any organized religion again. Can you blame them?

    2. They are sick of being bossed around, and by necessity have become critical thinkers. They are suspicious of emotional appeals. An innocent question about joining a bible study or communion or baptism at another church can set a JW to run out the door. Similar committments in the Watchtower Society are loaded with meaning.

    You do mention that you see no other Christian religion following the bible so closely. I suggest you have not looked hard enough. If you like some of the JW doctrines, there are several other denominations you can try that are similar enough to the WTS. Check these out:

    Or, if you dare, try attending an Alpha program close to you. Many different churches run the program, and their banners are hard to miss. I imagine you would appreciate the free flow of ideas of these educational sessions, by comparison.

  • Pistoff

    When I mentally left the WT, I realized that my entire life I had pasted the belief system of the witnesses on top of my own personality.

    By nature, I am skeptical and analytical. In the truth, that could only be applied to matters outside of the system of belief. Any serious questions that you pushed on could get you marked, and then thrown out.

    I believe now, but I am not sure in what. Since it is unprovable, this does not concern me too much. As a witness, the idea of not knowing exactly what god was and exactly what he wanted was terrifying, but now I see that was just the way I was raised.

    I don't fear any knowledge anymore. It is hard to articulate this, but I used to have an unconscious fear of learning something that would invalidate my belief system. I was emotionally invested in creation, and would adamantly argue against evolution. I felt the same way about the trinity; I now see why some believe it, though I still don't personally.

    I agree with many who have posted that after making the break, I was allergic to any organized religion. I still do not think it is necessary, and can cause more harm than good. Especially, I relate to the post here that the WT paints them all the same, when they are not. Many use the money they collect for truly charitable works; others just collect property, like the WT.

    Many exJW's do self destruct. Two friends I grew up with suicided after being d/f and a third tried several times. That being said, I am in touch with many x'jws, and after 5 years or so most seem to be very successfully on with there new lives, generally far more happy and successful that whilst JW's.

    I believe that many self destruct because they are programmed to. If they had been raised to think that they could take time away and go to school, and then come back to the fellowship of their youth with no social consequences, they would. But think about it; our children have been conditioned since birth that there is NO LIFE outside the fellowship, that people are evil, school is not worth the time, and that life is pointless.

    Is it any surprise that some people crash, even temporarily? They are following a script that has been burned into them since their infancy.

  • Frannie Banannie
    Frannie Banannie

    lynnmelo, I studied my heart out while in the WTS, but when I realized that the WTS and its members are doing more lip service to God/love than showing actual love, by reaching out and showing love to their fellow men/women/neighbors (they really DON'T do this).....and I also realized I'd based most of my way of life on their teachings and find that the WTS has betrayed the responsibility they claim is laid on them to preach the truth, to live the truth, etc......the truth is love.....not suspicion of, condescension, spying on, betrayal and shunning of your family/brothers/sisters/fellow men/women/neighbors.

    We all put our pants on one leg at a time, lynnmelo.....except for the heirarchy in the WTS, whether at Bethel or in your KH.

    I feel like after leaving the WTS, I've been resurrected to a real life.

    The WTS betrayal of my trust has eventually turned me against religion, of which I don't think the true God is much a part.

    And an omnipotent deity has no need for the trappings and fol-de-rol associated with the world's religions.....just most people do. I'm not one of 'em.


  • seattleniceguy


    I guess I should have framed my initial post differently. I should have indicated that it seems to me that many people who formerly believed in the bible and God no longer seem to believe in either once they leave the Jehovah's Witnesses. As many here have indicated, that is their choice, but on my end, I'd never want to have that happen to me, which is why I posted my concern.

    Beliefs don't just "happen to you," unless you're incapable of thought. You are obviously a clear thinker, so I don't think you need to worry about that.

    When I was a Witness, there was a time when I was afraid to imagine not believing certain things. I couldn't imagine not believing in God, for example. The thought was so far outside of my envelope, it was impossible to conceive of.

    The biggest thing that happens when you attain true mental freedom from the Witnesses is that you allow yourself to openly consider all the facts, and let them determine what you will believe. If you start by thinking, "I want to believe this. I don't want to believe that," then you are hindering yourself from letting reality drive your belief system. Accept reality first, then think about what conclusions it points to.

    Right now one of my favorite little phrases of wisdom is something AlmostAtheist posted a few weeks ago: The facts should not be challenges to your belief system. The facts should shape your belief system. (He said it better than me, though. :/)

    Best wishes on your journey.


  • lynnmelo

    Pistoff, so much of what you said is exactly what I think/feel:

    By nature, I am skeptical and analytical. In the truth, that could only be applied to matters outside of the system of belief.

    Oh, this is exactly how I feel!

    Seattleniceguy, you wrote:

    Beliefs don't just "happen to you," unless you're incapable of thought. You are obviously a clear thinker, so I don't think you need to worry about that.

  • lynnmelo

    Pistoff, I'm not sure what happened in my previous post, but most of my comments didn't show up. My comments about you articulating exactly what I felt, are in reference to this:

    It is hard to articulate this, but I used to have an unconscious fear of learning something that would invalidate my belief system.

    This was my response to the words I quoted from your in my previous post: You articulated so well one of the main things that bothers me about the JW's! My sister and I have often wondered when it becomes unacceptable to ask certain questions of one's book study conductor. When the JW's first came to my door, I had lots of questions and had no hesitance asking them. However, now that I'm learning more, I've gotten a distinct impression that if I shouldn't really ask certain types of questions; if I do, I feel that my book study conductor will group me into that category of people she feels just doesn't want to accept "the truth." The problem is that when they first came to my door, I didn't know the questions to ask because I didn't know their major doctrines; they don't reveal those until much later in the study.

  • lynnmelo

    Oh, and seattleniceguy, I just wanted to thank you for making a logical point.

  • katiekitten

    My life has never been better since I left.

    I still believe in God, I just dont live in misery that I have to be a grovelling 'I am not worthy', in fear of Armageddon life all the time. I dont have to spend every minute of every day worrying about whether I am doing enough pre-study to get through the great tribulation, I dont live in fear of being persecuted (how sick is it that I spent my entire childhood being absolutely convinced that at the right time my neighbours would pull my nails off with plyers, push bicycle spokes through my legs and apply electrical clamps to my genitals - my congregation majored in gruesome presecution stories).

    For the first time I have joy, fun and hope in my life - after all I believe I will live to the end of my natural life now. Before I was convinced that even though I was a pioneer I wasnt good enough to get through Armageddon, so was going to die pretty soon.

    Honestly - IT GETS BETTER AND BETTER! I love life now and I still believe in God.

  • atypical

    At the risk of making myself unpopular, I will have to say that right now my life is very rough because of trying to fade away from the jws. But let me qualify that statement - It is because of the jw culture that my life is difficult right now, not because there is no life outside that religion, as they would have you believe.

    I think they have created a self-fulfilling prophecy. They will tell you that there is no life away from the organization, that people who leave end up unhappy and lost, etc. So what happens when someone tries to leave? They are condemned, their friends are taken away from them, they live in constant fear of a harsh judgment of death, they are made to feel trapped and alone. Is it any wonder that some who leave end up self-destructing? And once they do, what do the witnesses say? "See what happens when someone leaves Jehovah? Aren't we glad that we are safe inside the organization?"

    If life is downhill after leaving the jws, it is only downhill until one can manage to come out from under the complicated web that the religion has cast over their life. Once that has been accomplished, one can learn to think for themselves, and life should only be uphill from that point.

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