I can sum that up in one sentence: I started to have doubts because of the complete and total hypocrisy.
So what caused you to have doubts in the first place?
Cas wrote: The real clincher was when they announced that Jesus was no longer our mediator
Only if you don't have a heavenly hope.
I was raised a JW, but early on realized there were lots and lots of holes in the teachings. BUT, I did believe in Jehovah at the time, and felt being a JW was the best thing.
I stifled many, many doubts, always waiting on Jehovah to eventually clear them up. I was a very liberal and forward thinking elder, and I had no trouble speaking up against stuff that I thought was no acceptable from hard line elders, COs, etc.
Eventually it was the science that convinced me the this was not The Truth. I started researching the science due to the 1914 Generation change in 1995 and the other changes in teaching around that same time.
You can only stifle doubts for so long, and then you just explode!
There was no one thing but a number of little things that I had managed to keep buried deep in my brain. I didn't dwell on them because...well, we were told not to let doubts creep into our minds. So when one did, I squelched it. But it didn't go away...it just hibernated.
Sooner or later there were too many little doubts to ignore anymore. It was like when the one little "who" from "Whoville" shouted "OP" and everyone knew that "Whoville" existed. Once the doubts built up to the point they could no longer be ignored, they all came flooding out.
Two of the biggest instances that I remember as being turning points was 1) the change in the meaning of "generation" in 1995. We went from expecting Armageddon before the generation of 1914 passed away to an indefinite time period. That was a major change that most JWs seemed to not realize. It wasn't until later when I started doing independant research and stumbled on this Internet community that also realized the significance of this doctrinal change did I realize that I was right in questioning it. Number 2 was a Circuit Overseer who was lambasting the congregation for not doing enough. He said if we weren't doing everything we possibly could in the service then why bother. I agreed...so I just stopped altogether and started my way out of the clutches of the Society.
I think with me, I always hated the way they treated those who didn't believe just.like.them. There was no room for variety. I would notice things in nature that Jehovah made and see such variety, but noticed how variety couldn't be tolerated within. My brothers both left and one got DFed. I started noticing the way that people treated them and talked about them. "They've gone off the deep end." "They went crazy." And I knew they hadn't. It was the putting themselves above others that I didn't like. They wanted to make themselves feel like they were doing right and no one else was. I pushed it down and tried to do right, in my eyes, and put on blinders to their ways. I got my nose pierced and started coming to the hall, not to rebel so much as just to have a variety. People flipped out more than I thought they would. People shunned me and my kids because of a small metal stud in my nose. I couldn't ignore it any longer, because it started affecting my thoughts very deeply. I was no longer welcome in the congregation.
I think it was a DA talk title, or a magazine, anyway the phrase "Beware Independent Thinking" freaked me out. I always thought I was thinking for myself. Turns out I wasn't.
When they told me to go away because even though what I was sharing with them (during several "informal" meetings and 14 subsequent "tribunals") was in the Bible... it was NOT in the Watchtower... and so I was "going beyond the things written ... which they couldn't have me doing. When I asked, "The thing written where?" one of my "judges" said, "The things written in the Watchtower!" True, the PO jumped in and tried to correct the faux pas... by acknowledging that the Bible was the "authority"... but he also concurred that I needed to "stick with what the Faithful and Discreet Slave" was teaching... whether or not it was supported by the Bible... because "they [were] the 'channel' that God was using on earth." I heard my Lord repeat to me "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, child, and NO ONE comes to the Father, except through me"... and I knew that day... they were imposters.
True, my Lord had tried to warn me previously that they weren't who they claimed to be, when he first started sharing what he has with me. I knew by this time that Carey Barber was an imposter (and he, Barber, knew I knew - the fear in his eyes betrayed him!), but I still hadn't accepted that they ALL were! He told me what to look for... and I did and saw it... but I had a hard time believing it: I had grown to LOVE these people... as I thought they did me (they gave a pretty good impression of it over the years!)... and for some time was in denial about how they were acting... and why.
As the tribunals progressed, I couldn't ignore the change in them when I answered them truthfully during their "interrogations." Their conduct... was... well, astounding. Talk about a LACK of love! They would heatedly ask me things like, "Who's telling you things?" "Who have you been talking to/associating with?" "Do you know such-and-so 'apostate'?" (which I didn't - sinner though I am, I was such a "good" little JDub that I had no clue about anyone who had ever left the Borg... but remained verbal. There is NO way I would have had any contact with "such persons." Anyone I knew who had left was either DF'd or had simply faded (did talk to many of these - or at least greet them - I thought anything less was unloving).
But talk about your "gnashing of teeth"! OMIGOSH... it was almost frightful, at first. Then I became angry... because I was being attacked. I did not attack back, however, but followed my Lord's voice to be calm... at all times when before them. Finally, I just began to feel sorry for them - I cannot tell you how pathetic these look when they cannot explain their faith and belief... without reading it from the "Reasoning in the Scriptures" book. Sad. Truly. And they knew it. And that only made them madder.
So, they told me to go away.
By means of this, I came to understand who the "wolves" that "snatched and scattered" the sheep truly were... elders, CO's, and DO's... and who the "hired man"... who turned the sheep over TO the wolves... truly was: the so-called "governing body."
I bid you peace.
A slave of Christ,
When I found out that they believed Adam was created in 4026 B.C. I knew that was a lie... so what else had they been lying to me about?
I had no doubts at all about the 'Truth' untill a friend of mine in the cong' began falling away. In trying to help him I had to ask questions and do research and that of course cracked the doors of my mind open for the first time in over thirty years.
Very similar for me, but it was 50 years. My parents were converted when I was 4 and I never questioned whether it was the truth or not. Then my elder husband started researching the origins of the organization, which led to doctrinal examinations. He shared with me, and I set out to prove him wrong, and couldn't do it. After a few years of hell, I finally capitulated. So glad I did, and we started our fade in 1995.
Too many little points that made a big problem...............14-15 years ago, so I don't recall exact doctrinal issues. Last days signs (non signs) was a biggie though, and the faithful slave doctrine.
The real clincher was when they announced that Jesus was no longer our mediator...
Can I ask exactly when and where it was announced that Jesus was no longer our mediator? I have a hard time believing that.