I've been reading this board regularly since it was introduced to me in March of this year. At first, I was finding it pretty difficult coming to terms with the fact that my whole life had been a lie, but really, I suppose there's not much point in worrying about this now, what's done is done, and I'm still easily young enough to make a life in 'The World' despite a slow start. The problem is that I have no idea how to go about.
I was brought up in the Truth. I was baptised at 14. At 16, I left school, and worked part time for my uncle, who is a Witness, as a trainee electrician. At the same time I auxillary pioneered for 6 months, and then became a regular pioneer. I am now 20 and have been a regular pioneer for 3 1/2 years.
I'm still a pioneer, because I'm too afraid to tell my JW family that I no longer want to be a pioneer. (Though I'm not doing anywhere near 70 hours a month now, but still reporting it!) I already know what I want to do, I want to complete an apprenticeship and start to work full time as an electrician, but how can I let them know that I don't want to pioneer anymore? Has anyone had experiences like this? I'm certain that when I tell them, they'll want to know why, and they'll press for reason, and I can't think of a valid excuse other than 'I don't believe it anymore' and I'm not ready to tell them this.
This is just the first step though, eventually I want to leave it all behind, and go completely, but then I definitely don't know how to go this far. If I'm being honest, I'm really afraid of leaving. Being a good Jehovah's Witness, I never associated with worldly people, so all my friends are Jehovah's Witnesses, and all my family are Jehovah's Witnesses. How do you get out of the cult when your whole life is dedicated to the Organisation and the people in it?
Any advice anyone can give me, would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your help,
knowledge is power, there is no necessity of letting them know what you know
The first thing I saw in your post was the fear of what others would think. It's amazing what the Tower mind conditioning can do.
It sounds like you want to stay in the Org, for what ever reason, to keep family etc. Why not just tell them that you want to prepare for a family in a few years. You can't provide for wife and children working part time as an apprentice. And, of course, you need to work and save money for few years before taking on a family.
How about, "I'm tired and need a break," or, "I'm depressed," or, "I don't want to discuss it right now, I will let you know if I want to talk about it in the future".......
When I left, I never said why, other than I do not want to go in FS or to meetings any more. I was a pioneer at that time too. My mother &
interrogation committeeelders demanded a reason for me not attending any more, and I kept saying the only reason is I don't want to. I was not breaking any of their moral rules at the time (& for some time after leaving too), but I sure didn't want to get into an ideological debate causing me to get DFd.....because I didn't want to give them the power.
How do you get out of the cult when your whole life is dedicated to the Organisation and the people in it?
What would be wrong with telling your parents that you want to change careers?
Pioneering must be tough on a limited income. Maybe you could say that you feel burned out from pioneering, and that it isn't satisfying. Perhaps you could approach it from the position of wanting to have a marketable job skill that will improve your income and allow you to return to pioneering (at some nebulous point in the future) while working part time as an electrician. They can't argue that scripturally, nor from the WTS publications. Another approach would be saying that you want to have the ability to support a family at some point in the future. They cannot argue that point scripturally or from the WTS publications either.
Maybe you could tell them that you want to take a break from pioneering while you get your qualifications. You wouldn't be lying, and you would be leaving the door open, in their eyes anyway, to a return to pioneering at a later date. Of course, you have no intention of returning to it, but you can keep that to yourself.
That way, you buy yourself some time until you are ready to make the final break from the org.
At this point, it may be to your advantage to fade slowly. Start making friends on the outside so that when you go, you are not in a void. Take a dance class so that you will meet nonwitness women and maybe join a gym. You might also attend school at night or the weekends to further your education and expand your social circle. You probably still attend meetings so I would continue to go but use the time to do research (such as bible reading and start using the hall library during the meetings to check up the society bullsh*t in the past. Don't le t the elders or your parents know that you don't believe this is the truth (the elders could view you as a threat and df you) If any thing, mention you have some doubts and will wait on Jehovah to clear it up. If they ask you whether you believe this is jehovah's channel, say you would like to think so. Good luck thecarpenter of the would like to think so class
First of all .... B-R-E-A-T-H-E. You don't have to solve it all today.
School (trade or college) is a great place to start meeting new people and learning how to accept them for who they are without having the JW glasses cloud your view. So that will start to take care of the no friends outside of JW issue.
I love the idea of using 'wanting to marry and have kids in a few years' so that you can stay 'clean' in the (b)org. (assuming u are a male) I think any JW parent would be able to swallow that. So maybe going to school for electrician even if it is just part time.
You don't necessarily have to pretend to regular pioneer maybe pretend to regular auxillary. That will facilitate your schooling, keep your parent's nerves calm, and give you time away from home to have friends and do things with them once you go to school. It will also probably help you to get strong enough within yourself to come clean with your family and JW friends in your own due time.
Remember no matter what you decide ... you are having to unravel 20 years of grooming to be a certain way. 20 years of mind, thought, and perception control not to mention actions. That is not going to happen over night. Take it one step at a time at your own pace and be patience and kind to yourself.
I ve been there, I hope my assumption is correct, but you are a man? Its the electrician thing....if you are a woman, oops and I am sorry but either way...
Pioneering will not pay the bills or help you get a place of your own someday (again, I am assuming you still live with parents). You could take this approach...
How will you be able to support a wife someday? Leaving it in Jehovahs hands won't do the trick, unless you are extrememly lucky....I never should say never...
You have every right as an adult to have a career and it seems like you enjoy being electrician which means you will be very successful...we always need them around, always a need for them.
You are in a tough position, and I know its hard, I can't tell you it won't be hard, but going through it will make you stronger if this is how you choose to look at it.
Almost all of us here have faced this situation. It will work itself out with time, but it does help to have a plan and work it.
Are you still living at home??? This would make it a bit more complicated. I would probably pull away from things slowly if you are trying to keep some family. Can you finish this "service year" out? Why not quit by Sept. 1st? Tell them you aren't finding it enjoyable, and you want to finish your apprenticeship. I would start to make friends outside of the org. Can you take some classes for something you are interested in? What about friends from High School? Did you keep in touch with any of them?
I would start missing meetings slowly or else do what others suggested and start doing research during the meetings. I would take a notebook and a highlighter and just start reading the gospels and making notes about how the JWs didn't follow any of the things Jesus really taught. Just stop commenting, stop preparing for meetings, stop "helping out" at the meetings, grow some facial hair, etc. LOL! You do have a challenge ahead of you but it is possible to get through this experience. It takes time and patience with yourself.