I am wondering, What made all of us different? To explain. Obviously most all of us here were at one time brainwashed and endoctrinated with the rest of the rank and file of JW's. We believed, preached, sang, laughed, cried and sometimes even enjoyed the course we had chosen. What clicked in our brains? Why did we suddenly realize that something was wrong? I know that at one time I was like the rest, you don't question, you just follow, this is the truth and I had no doubt whatsoever. Please someone explain to me, what made us decide that the course we were so convinced of being correct at one time is now so absolutely wrong? So, much so, that even if we found out it was the proper way, (God forbid), we wouldn't go back ever. I used to love it, no joke, now, I hate it. I am not complaining, just trying to understand what clicked?
What made us different?
I think some of us listen to our hearts as well as our minds. I could feel it was wrong for years and gradually got more and more down about the oppresive teachings. The WTS recommends against listening to our heart because it is 'treacherous' and so trap members as stated in Matthew 15:8-9 8 ‘This people honors me with their lips, yet their heart is far removed from me. 9 It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines.’
Eventually though it also usually takes something dramatic to also get our minds to wake up.
My heart woke up when a bethelite was appointed an elder but later it was found out he had been committing adultery for 7 years. However it was the Tsunami that woke up my mind. I was researching earthquakes and Tsunami's and found the that Watchtower blantantly lies when it says there have been 20 times as many large earthquakes since 1914, a fact that anyone can find as a lie in any encyclopedia. That was like a bolt to the head to realise i had put trust in a magazine that uses deceptive teachings.
I think the reason we were so involved in the WT work so deeply and for so long is that we truly believed that we had won life's lottery. Six and more billion people on the earth and we found the truth. What a deal. Who would not be attracted to the teachings of the Bible on paradise and everlasting life. Then we came in to an association of people that really felt secure in that we were right! Everyone else is wrong. We were arrogant in our view of other persons who simply claimed to be Christians but of course were not.
We encouraged others to examine their religions and make the changes necessary to bring their life into conformity with Jehovah's will. Some of us even were true to ourselves enough that we would not ask others to do what we wouldn't do ourselves, that is, examine our religion. So we did. And here we are. They didn't measure up either.
The 1995 change re the generation and the UN deal put the hammer on me. In addition to a statement in a 1997 WT that ...Jehovah would never reject us!........... I knew from the 80's that some fish stunk in Denmark. Just took 20 years to break loose. Thank Jehovah we heard about the UN deal. That was gross.
What clicked in our brains? Why did we suddenly realize that something was wrong? I know that at one time I was like the rest, you don't question, you just follow,
I struggled my whole dub life to understand why I was different from the rest of the KH goers. I didn't believe what they believed. I didn't understamd the blind devotion and denial of anything that wasn't in the magazines.
I credit my doubts to being told from the time I was 4 that I shouldn't play with non JW's because God would kill them and me if Armageddon came. What kind of people beleive that a God would be so cruel to little children?
My mother says I was always stubborn and hard headed from the time I was baby, so I guess I was just born this way.
Some were touched by the dysfunction of Jehovah's Witnesses. By that I mean the stunning cruelty they show, or being touched by abuses and pleas for help that went unheard. It's one thing to hear or know about such things, it's quite another to live through them.
But I think one commonality is we are survivors. The need to survive, sometimes literally, I think caused the vast majority to leave. Being told to sit down and shut up shuts off light and life. And so at some point we all faced a choice to knuckle under or live. We chose to live. Those still went another way.
I second BigTex ~ you've put my mind into words.
For me it started with my work in home maintenance. I had a number of sweet little old ladies as customers. These people were religious and were so good to us. They would make sandwiches or offer us cold drinks, and really show sincere concern for our well being. I thought they were far more righteous than I could ever hope to be. Why would a loving god destroy them if they were not JW. It really made me assess my beliefs. That is when I started having doubts, and it grew from there.
My Dad would always refer to unreceptive people as "Narrow Minded Fools"... I must say that in my late teens I decided that I didn't want to be a "narrow minded fool" for only knowing "Da Troof"....
Some were touched by the dysfunction of Jehovah's Witnesses. By that I mean the stunning cruelty they show, or being touched by abuses and pleas for help that went unheard. It's one thing to hear or know about such things, it's quite another to live through them. But I think one commonality is we are survivors. The need to survive, sometimes literally, I think caused the vast majority to leave. Being told to sit down and shut up shuts off light and life. And so at some point we all faced a choice to knuckle under or live
I couldn't agree with you more BigTex. Words straight from my mouth.
We are the survivors folks! We made it. I know there's a contingent of people here who never belived it and more so on other ex-jw sites, but we are the people who were taken in and escaped. god bless you all, and here's a toast.