I had lots of questions at 17 yrs old. I had a lot of respect for the bible having been told it was sacred and holy. I was brought up in an atheist household but through circumstances found myself studying at age 17. The common sense of it all (it looks that way at 17) appealed to me and before long I wholeheartedy embraced the faith. I married at 20 and pioneered a couple of years later. At this time I watched the film `Schindlers List` and I feel this was a turning point.
God`s permission of wickedness had troubled me for a long time (even as a pioneer) but the real life images in that film tortured me. My main obstacle was the question; why does he let it happen? I found no satisfying answers in the org but nonetheless went wholesale into the JW/Pioneer lifestyle. Keep worldly relatives at a distance/do little amount of work/never consider a `good` job/just seek 1st the kingdom/blah/blah/blah.
During this time (the love bombing had truely ended) I saw a very hypocritical lot of people. Elders and pioneers disapointed me in their conduct. I could give you examples but they are too numerous. Lets just say that there are a lot of elders/svnts/pioneers, the `lights` of the world who are leading double lives. And if they are`nt they are treating people harshly. They are a bunch of self-righteous judgers.
On a positive note, I have a few good friends who are just misled individuals. Shame for them. Good people who struggle like I did but have, as yet, decided to stay.
I now regret 5 years of tormented conscience as I lived by what I knew was wrong. - Shunning/blood/all worldly people will die/2 witness policy, child abuse/hypocrtical elders/etc/etc.
My main turning point came when I had my wee girl. I knew that I would do ANYTHING to save her beutiful life. Including blood. Persecution terrorised me, I had read so much in the publications and became tormented by the prospect of ever loosing my wee girl. - That religion kills your mind. Why should I have had to worry about all this stuff, I was bloody miserable.
The main thing that hit my mind; no-one comes before my family. JW life demands exclusive devotion to God. I now never even believed in him.
As I got the internet I realised that many people felt like me too. I was in denial a wee while. It took me 4 years to dump that ludicrous religion after realising I just did'nt believe it. What a hold they have on you!!
Now, I love all people unconditionaly. I enjoy life and wish to treat people fairly and with absolute love - something JW life takes away from you. Although I have difficulties (wife stil in org), things are going well and I have TRUE inner peace.
* Its better to have questions unanswered than answers you cant question. - VERY TRUE.
Love you all for the support and sounding board I needed in the last few months.