Well the short answer is yes, religion has been a betrayal in many area's of my life. But at a certain point you simply
have to try and get past things. Dwelling on negative experience at least for me personally brings me down. It is counter
productive, call it denial if you so chose, but I call it moving on. I find Ray Franz to me is a good example of where I want to be.
C.O.C. pg 274 "We have been followers of followers." Another said, "We have been victims of victims." I think both statements are
true. Charles Taze Russell folowed the views of certain men of his time, was victimized by some of the myths they propagated as
'revealed truth." Each successive part of the organizational leadership has followed along, at times contributing additional myth
in support of, or in elaboration of, the original myth. In place of rancor, I feel only compassion for those men I know, for I too
was such a "victim of victims," a "follower of followers."
So Ray see's the facts but never lets bitterness swallow him up. Even on a recent Utube Ray in Bulgaria, Ray always turns the
conversation from one of condemnation and bitterness to logic and understanding of the people he worked with at Bethal. It is good to
gain true knowledge of the organization, not as they appear but how they really are (intent and purpose). But finally when we have
sorted it out we must at this point apply wisdom for the sake of our sanity and inner peace. Its all about your spirit, always protect
your inner spirit. In order to accomplish this I find the following poem to be truly uplifting and inspiring.
-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --
Not "Found in Old St. Paul's Church"! -- see below
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.