I had many doubts thruoughout my life (I was born into the cult), but the one that really got me going was that 607 B.C.E. was an incorrect date. The bible never gives a date of 607 B.C.E., they get the date from secular sources that date Israel's return to rebuild the temple at 537 B.C.E. and then count backward 70 years. Yet the exact same source dates the exile at 587 B.C.E., with much more corroborating evidence to support that date than the 537 date. So choosing 537 and rejecting 587 is totally arbitrary, by their own standards. Once I realized that, the floodgates were open.
So what caused you to have doubts in the first place?
The first doubts I began to have were about the bible itself. The flood story seemed too unbelievable to me. I also had trouble with the David and Bath-sheba story. It was never adequately explained to me why the child needed to die. I put these things out of my mind, but more doubt began to surface. I began to realize, that despite what they said to the contrary, JWs served god for selfish reasons,not out of love. I thought about the account in Job, and how Satan was actually right. All the zeal JWs showed was to attain a reward that God had promised them.
I was raised in the truth and never questioned it. I did find some of the explanations about Daniel's prophecies such as the 2300 days somewhat arbitrary... But I accepted it all since we were in the truth....
But the week I went to Gilead something inside of me snapped. I read the Bible in 3 months before going, and my reading gave me different impressions than what I had read in the WTS pubs all my life. Rev 1:10 really threw me for a loop since the footnote gives an alternate rendering that would throw out everything that the WTS teaches about the rest of the book of Revelation. So now I was going to base my acceptance of the society's teachings on a possibility, one of two renderings?
Gilead worked out to be a study in ridiculous prophetic parallels of the anointed and other sheep.
5 years past and the seeds sown in me finally sunk in.. This is not the truth...
3 weeks ago I made this decsion to the shock of my family, but I am facing strong emotions for having wasted much of my life thus far to dedicate to a cult.
But at least I am not wasting any more time.
I couldnt tell any difference in anything on January 1 1976 from Dec 30, 1975.
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.
"So in this strict Biblical sense Jesus is the "mediator" only for anointed Christians." - Watchtower 1979 April 1 p.31
Their was a question from readers in the 1989 Watchtower pages30-31 that stated that the bible holds out two hopes for humans. One to live in a paradise earth and the other to live in heaven. The article went on to say that Jesus was the mediator of only those with a heavenly hope.
In effect they are saying you cannot have a relationship with God or Jesus without them the faithful slave.
When they told me that 'Holy Spirit' appointed me as an 'Elder'! Right there I knew something was wrong!
Outa, It was this exact thought that the doubt began. Brothers who I knew were very different behind the podium than there outside behavior were appointed by Holy Spirit to serve. Eventually I knew it was crap and a popularity contest.
There were a variety of factors, but I think the catalyst for my doubt in the JWs, the Bible, & the existence of God in general was that I just couldn't wrap my brain around the whole Noah's Ark & the flood thing. I began to see that & pretty much every other ridiculous parable as a load of inane horse shit.
[A] All the good people, the truely good-hearted, spiritual and loving people, that were going to be destroyed because they didn't beleive what the company said.
[B] All the other good-hearted and loving people, that would never hear what the company said because the worlds population increases so much faster than the company's does, also being destroyed by this "killer-god", simply because they were born too late.
[C] The fact that absolutely NONE of their bullshit has ever made any sense to me.
There, 3 things taken together, intertwined into one rope that hung any belief that I had that the company was right and true.