Just curious as to whether anyone had the experience of a friend or associate at the Kingdom Hall fade away or discontinue attendance without having been disfellowshipped first? I did have that happen, and I wondered why they suddenly weren't around anymore. What were you told by others regarding this absence?
Did anyone you know fade before YOU did?
My big brother elder constantly complained about people moving into his territory, receiving their cards and never coming to meetings (hello! they were fading!). I was fortunate to have a friend who had faded (though he was never baptised) "coach" me through it. I hadn't even the faintest clue that this could be done (I always assumed they'd find me). I now realize he knew that with time and distance from the org I would really care less whether they found me or not. I'm really blessed to have this friend in my life.
In the 4 decades I spent in the organization, plenty of folks 'fell away' as we called it. I did not hear of any of them being called 'apostate' - a term that I know now is readily applied to those who make any ripples at all.
One sister that I knew for a long time disappeared. I called on her while on the servant body many times, leaving mags, etc. She never returned. Years later an elder in the hall told me he had called on her and her response was 'not interested' - she wouldn't even take the mags that time. He seemed confused by the whole thing - I was too at the time. Not anymore. Though I have not had any contact with her - I fully expect she 'faded'.
Certainly others have too - after all a good 'fader' keeps it pretty quiet. I am not that good a fader - I have let a few know what I know now.
"Fell away" or "inactive," yes, quite a few. Mostly talked about in whispers. A few would show up for the memorial and that would really get the talking going, even if people didn't know why they weren't coming, they would make something up, usually "stumbled" over some "imagined slight."
Many times I knew that the unkindnesses were real and not small.
She's a Christian now.
I didn't fade. Too vocal and outspoken for that.
Yes, I knew of a few such cases back in my NY congregation, but I don't know the details to any great degree because at that time I treated people as The WTB&TS told me too.
One fellow got involved with a group of Bible Students, I think. They were the "Evil Slave Class" as far as us Dubs were concerned back then (more than 25 years ago). It was apparent that the fellow was really wrestling with some issues, but we just looked at him like he had a brain tumor and ignored him. I have no idea what became of him.
I also knew a young Bethelite who claimed to be of the anointed. He married a divorced Sister in the congregation, and soon she too was anointed. Then something happened in their spiritual lives and they were disfellowshipped. I sure would like to hear their story someday, as unlikely as that is.
We also had a brother in the congregation who was something of an intellectual who suddenly turned apostate. he was a pretty interesting guy, maybe a bit quirky. I wish I knew his story. I'm pretty certain he is no longer with us.
A couple, but I never really put 2 and 2 together on what they did, until I did it myself. It is fun comparing notes, much like we do here, as we all had similar experience.
When I was a witness teen and young adult, I thought people only faded because they were doing bad things out there in the world. I knew about apostates but they were scary and weird and I didn't have any idea how they ended up that way. I thought being an apostate was kind of like being insane. Something freaky happened to your brain and then you became a big, bad apostate.
Later, when I began to fade it seemed that everyone was so hush-hush about leaving. All us faders retreated to our own little private hell and never spoke about it. This was before the internet, of course.
At one point, I ran into someone who I used to know and said, "Don't I know you? I'm an ex-dub too." His response..."Don't talk to me, I never want to talk about that." That made me feel alone and depressed as I was a young and scared fader..
Oh, we are so lucky to have the internet.
I knew this woman in our hall. She was about 35 years old, divorced and a single mum of 3 small kids. She became a JW when I was about 10 years old. She was well liked in the cong. We all appreciated her very much. She was soft spoken. A kind, honest and very warm hearted person.
But then she decided to fade. I was 13 years old at that time. I don't know why. I suppose I was to young to be spoken to about it. First of all her fading wasn't commented in the hall at all. It was like she just disappeared. She wasn't mentioned anymore at all as if we all had never known her. I didn't know what was going on and I didn't dare to ask. It was very strange.
After she hadn't attended meetings for maybe 6 months or so it was announced from the platform that she had been d'fed. That was the moment, in which everything changed. After that every single witness in the hall started to aggressively badmouth her as if she was the worst person on the whole planet. That really hit me because I knew first hand she definitely wasn't.
Actually this was - im combination with something else - the moment in which I realised that being a JW wasn't for me. That I couldn't and wouldn't want to behave like this. I instinctively understood in this moment that a persons worth doesn't depend on the decisions the person makes. The transformation of the witnesses, from totally ignorance to aggressive madmouthing, scared me to hell. This was the moment in which I saw the dark side of this religion. I knew on the spot I had to get out as fast as possible. That was exactly what I did. I went to my parents the other day and told them point blank "I'm outta here!" And I never looked back.
I knew a guy who was several years older than me, I was talking with him once and he said to me that he found the JW society to be impenetrable that people there had their little circles of friends and relatives and that he as a single person with no relatives in the dubs felt very isolated.
It's no wonder why he drifted away.