Please escuse the obvious Stones lyrical referance but thats the first thing that came to mind. I am a 44 yo Male fader from Pennsylvania. Been faded for 22 years or so and been lurking and reading all of your posts for 6 or so months. I recently began doing some research after renewing contact with my mother and brother (JW's both) whom I havent spoken with in over 15 years. Prior to getting married last year I wanted to try and "mend" our disfuntional family picnic and invite them to our wedding. At first it was heartwarming to share all of the life expieriances I have had over the last 15 years and introduce them to my new wife. We shared some dinners and nice times but that all came to a screaching halt when they realized that I wasnt interested in ever returning to thier world.
It all happened when my brother told me he was going to go to Bethel. He is a full time pioneer. We got into it kinda deep for several hours and I used the "C" word (Cult) when referancing the JW's. I wasnt trying to offend but a friend of his that he dragged along to a mountain bike trip I had arranged for us to bond started in on me. I am sure he was brought along to make the -"where two or more are gathered...blah blah blah" -day more of a witnessing thing. The friend of my brother thought of himself as a "highly intelligent" "well read" "great thinker" even if he did say so himself. Needless to say all he spewed was WT drivel and my brother sat thier saying "uh huh" "he's right you know" "too true".
I managed to keep my smile for 2 hours or so and then I cracked. Hit em with all the glaring errors in the JW reasoning and some of the history I now know. Of course they responded with "there are all kinds of rumors out there" and my brother dropped the "We dont follow men anyway" and the grandaddy "even if they are wrong its still the best place to be". I tried to retreat to a neutral corner several times but they just kept up with those false, Im interested in what you believe questions that are in fact questions looking for an opening to attack my beliefs.
Since that day the phone calls have stopped and my Mother and Brother are very short on the phone and ussually just tell me any major updates (my Grandfather just died at 93 yo) and sign off with a "thats about it for updates". I think someone has dropped the word that I am not just a meek fader anymore and some meetings and "counselings" have occured.
Whew....I just wanted to say hi and now look what I have done. Anyways, I want to thank all of you on this board for telling your stories and sharing your feelings. It has made the reopened wound a little easier to deal with.