A Brief History

by Sentient 19 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Sentient

    I posted this in another forum and I was advised to repost it here as well, so here you go. Hi all,

    The is the first time I've posted in a JW related forum since some years ago when I was an MS, or really made any comments to any former or current members outside of the immediate family. Although this may not be the appropriate subforum for it, I'll explain just a bit of my own history because it relates to my own conclusions as to the topic here at hand.

    I find now that in the big picture ex JWs have opinions that cover the entire breadth of a possible spectrum of opinions. All I can do is offer my own current perspective. Having been raised as a JW, I can tell you that I believe I was about as "in" mentally as it is possible to get as recently as a few years ago. I can tell you that I was the very type of person most "beloved" by the organization, the kind who obediently carries out direction without question, who maintains the outward appearance of spirtual accomplishment along with a growing inward hatred of and disbelief in the self, who has no personal life whatsoever outside the congregation. I was one of those ones the back-room frequenters couldn't stand, one who never seemed to make any mistakes, MS by the age of 19, eloquent speaker, on-the-fly substitute talk expert, insanely intelligent, astute WT policy and prophecy explainer/defender, territory card creator and servant, accounts assistant, enthusiastic volunteer for the worst menial tasks of service and special adopted child of and spy for the congregation elders. I would stay up late into the nights studying and praying, begging Jehovah to help me to be faithful and not succumb to the lure of the Satanic conspiracy that surrounded me. I was brother spiritual/useful/slave-of-all, on the fast track to Bethel and elderhood.

    Through my own ongoing survival (I'm still alive!) and recovery process, I've come to believe there are certain psychological profiles of people who emerge from the mental trauma of that extremely controlled environment to become the leaders and "pillars of the congregation". I think the key to understanding and effectively dealing with what is without lies in understanding and effectively dealing with what is within. I would posit that most who fit my "need for absolute certainty" profile would have taken their own lives or become permantently entrapped in uncontrolled irrational paranoia, but I believe that I have survived with a semblence of sanity for a reason. And I congratulate all of you like me who also have survived or are even going strong now.

    So now I won't tell you what to do, I'll just tell you what I believe. I believe I cannot fight fear with fear. I believe that in order to be of the greatest help to current Witnesses, I must become as much as possible an example of internal control...the polar opposite of the extreme end of the external control model of human interaction so finely demonstrated to me by the GB and their adherants. After all, I was them. They are me. Not long ago I would have defended their doctrines to the death just as they might now. Some of you may disagree, but at the deepest level, I do not believe there are evil people, only more or less damaged people.

    So when the GB, or other Witnesses, go on fearing me and calling me apostate as in this article, I will not try to save them by force or get back at them, but calmly speak my mind and offer them information that I believe will help them when the time is right. I will not ignore or keep silent about the hurt I've experienced or the judgment, labelling and abuse they still promote, but if I am to bring about change I must respect that they are human like me. Life is a journey and we are in it together, even those who have hurt me and others and still don't acknowledge it. I will strive, in my life, to be an example of nonjudgment and unconditional love...what I needed most but never had until I left the organization.

    It is real love and acceptance that WILL change not only the Witnesses but the world (thank God for the internet). It comes through awareness and understanding of the dynamics of fear, and through an internal choice of a kind which I still find hard to explain. As I understand it now, *all lasting positive change is internally motived*. What is it that gives a hardcore Witness the incentive to face that which they have feared most? I believe even the most afraid and dishonest of people can become honest and can learn what real love is about. A single choice-respecting act of true love and compassion can result in a cascade of understanding more powerful than the biggest class-action law suit (though law suits can help). I think soon we will be seeing enormous changes both on the part of the Society, and the world in general. When your dream is big enough and motivated by compassion, anything is possible.

    "Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him."

    "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

    - MLK, Jr.

    Sorry about the long, drawn out post, I know it can be annoying on a forum. I promise not to make a habit of it.

    ~Your former fellow slave and still current member of the human family

  • anewme

    Welcome Sentient.

    So you are dfd now?

    How did you go from one so believing and enthusiastic for the JWs to now one who feels so free to do what he pleases?

    What philosophy have you adopted about God?

    How has it all affected your family life?

    Many of us are hurting terribly.

  • Sentient

    No, I am of the even more evil DA'd variety.

    Well, that's all I'll write for now. Tune in next time if you're interested in knowing what happened after that. I must say it is pretty incredible, even to me.

  • Dansk



    You've been through a great deal, that's obvious, but, in reality, the more you come here and read you'll find your journey isn't much different from thousands of others. At the time we think we're alone; that we're the only ones going through this and no one understands us. Wrong! There are many, many, many people here who can identify 100% with everything you have written - and more - and you will undoubtedly identify with them.

    I could see myself in much you wrote. I was a MS with a promising future. My family was considered the model and we always had parts on meetings and assemblies. Then, the elders got wary of me because I was outspoken against some of their subjugating decisions. I realised it was a boys club; one had to comply and kiss h aemorrhoids or not get "promoted". I could never do that!!

    607 BCE started me off. The rest is history.

    Please make your stay a long one. I believe you have much to give and you will certainly heal here.

    Oh, and you CAN enjoy Christmas and the New Year! My family and I (save for two daughters who are still in the organisation) will be celebrating our 3rd Christmas now and we LOVE it! You are amongst true friends. They aren't judgemental and will have only your welfare at heart!

    All the best to you,


  • Mysterious

    Well don't leave us all in suspense.

  • jgnat

    Welcome! I have a feeling you will fit in here just fine.

  • codeblue


    I would love to hear more of the journey that set you "free"...and I want to hear that you are getting a "sound night's sleep" as well.


  • MerryMagdalene

    Welcome, Sentient. Thank you for sharing this much of your story with us. Eagerly waiting for more.


  • dedpoet

    Welcome, sentient, I am looking forward to part three, please don't keep us waiting too long

  • prophecor

    Welcome Sentient. Enjoyed your post, inspite of it being long. I know you'll find a home here quickly. Wish you continued success in your recovery from the Tower.

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