So, I went to an ex JW meetup last night & the weirdest thing happened. One of the elders that went over my questions for baptism with me, was there. And I don't live in a small area. 6 million people in my city. It sort of blew my circuts. We talked for a while, which was nice. I think it shattered a lot of ideas that I had/have still residing in me about who these people are. You know, the mind control stuff. I met a couple that I really liked talking to, that are 9 months out and atheist, though I am not. Their line of thought was similar to mine. I appreciated everyone's honesty. Then, afterward I went out for drinks with a 'witness' friend that knows all my issues. She's been supportive. I told her about my meetup and she almost fell out of her barstool, laughing. But, after a few drinks, she was almost in tears, telling me that now is not the time to leave Jehovah, when we are so close to the end. I argued that I don't want to leave Jehovah and that I never left the organization; It left me, when it became affiliated with the UN. She doesn't me or my situation. And I think that is so much of it. Even majority of the people that I talked to at the meetup, for instance, the former elder.... It's like he doesn't get me either. Maybe I'm just off in my own little planet. Most of the people there just seemed angry. And I get that. I mean, we've all been hurt. Them, probably more than I can ever know. But, most of them had their own agenda. That's not what I'm after. It seemed like a different side of the same coin. Most of those people seem to still refuse to think. They are fed information by God knows what. And none of it seems to hold much water. And to be so angry, still, after so many years, isn't a way to live. That's not how I want my way of life to affect me. I want my beliefs to change me, for the better. But, in general most of them were nice enough. I just didn't feel a connect to any of them, except for the atheist couple. I'm torn. I feel guilty somehow for going. But I don't really regret going. Maybe it's just too much, too soon. I'm noticing that I am flying through this process, that takes most people years to go through. I honestly feel like it's because I want to get out of the 'both worlds' part and pick one, because of my kids. Maybe I'm rushing things too much. ? Why do I feel like I have to decide now? Why do I feel so uncomfortable? I'll post more later about this when I figure some of it out.
Even tho I left the organization I do not harbor any animosity towards the JW's or their chosen religion and lifestyle. I actually feel sorry for them because they are blinded to the facts and refuse to see or listen to them. They beleive it is all propaganda and lies. But they have to choose for themselves and if that is what they want so be it. Even tho I have family in it. I would like to see them awaken from their slumber and open their eyes.
I do agree you need to make a choice for your children and I hope that it is the right decision for you. IMO, if I had to do it all over again I would have never let my children be raised a JW. They started in their early teens and it has been awful for them.
I envy that you had the chance to meetup with sem Ex-JW's. I don't think that will happen for me anytime soon. It is a pretty small community here. But as for meeting with them and having a connection you will probably have better luck in this forum.
I am not athiest, I don't think, but right now I'm kind of agnostic.
The best to you!
Congratulations on a huge step forward.
I want to also say, you want to reserve judgment/opinions about others.
Some of us become total unbelievers after examining the Bible or thinking
about how God has disappointed them. Some stay Christian or examine
another path. I always say that I was wrong to choose JW's so who am I
to say that these others are wrong?
As far as the ones who say, "Now is not the time to leave Jehovah" you
know that has nothing to do with leaving Jehovah's Witnesses.
She doesn't get it. And I think that is so much of it. Even majority of the people that I talked to at the meetup, for instance, the former elder.... It's like he doesn't get it either.
I spent years as an elder saying, "He/She/They don't get it." I finally realized
that all people are different. They are following different thoughts and might
reach different conclusions. I realized that I didn't get it for years, and I might
still have trouble. While I don't agree with fundamentalist Christianity, my study
has allowed me to "get it." While I don't believe most of the "spiritual" paths are
the correct one, I have learned their value to those that follow them, and I "get it."
The U.N. issue was new to me when I came out. I got it, but it took awhile before
I understood the blood issue better. It took even longer for me to learn how WTS
twisted the scriptures to push their house-to-house ministry as one of the hugest
proofs that they are the right religion.
The main thing is that you can decide what to believe from your own understanding.
You can reject a portion of or all of a teaching. You can celebrate whatever you
want to. You can appreciate input from others and use what works for you.
That's alright to feel the way you are feeling. I have many close friends that have rejected all religion and are atheists or agnostic. We have much in common in that I don't believe in the same god that they don't believe in. Yet I am comfortable with my beliefs and can allow for others to hold other beliefs and not have it threaten me. Only those that are on shakey philosophical ground need others to believe as they do to reinforce their uncertainty! I've met some wonderful ex jWs at meet ups and I see what you have seen too. Interestingly, a year later some of them seem to be much more at ease and have shed a lot of the angst and anger, so be patient with them. Their journey will be unique as is yours. You can be a beacon of light to them if you want! carmel
We have much in common in that I don't believe in the same god that they don't believe in.
I love that. I am going to steal that.
Regardless of where we are now, I don't believe in the same god
that you don't believe in (anymore).
I see what you're saying. I edited. I think what I mean is that they don't get me. Not it. It's just that we were on different wavelengths and I think I was expecting more of a connection.
You are catching on.
OTWO - May I ask how long you were a JW? Elder?
OTWO - May I ask how long you were a JW? Elder?
At the point where I resigned as an elder (Summer of 2006), I had been baptized more
than 18 years and had been an elder more than 11 of those. Yes, I made elder quickly because
I was such a sucker for following instructions. (I am a bit vague for fader reasons)
Fortunately, even though I made elder quickly, I started realizing problems with JWism right
away after the 1995 Generation change. It's just a shame that I took the 11 years to do anything
about it. But during those 11 years, I decided to prepare to retire in this sytem of things, and
I firmly resolved to not give lousy counsel based on the end being so near.
Personally I think you did a good thing to go to that meet up, it shows your willing and capable to think outside of the box that the WTS put on your head.
You shouldn't be overly concerned about what a stupid brain washed JW with a drink in her hand has to say or have any relevance.
The WTS is nothing more than a corrupt religious organization / publishing house that utilizes the belief in the bible with complacent fear to control people
with the intension of selling literature and merchandise and to also get supportive power.
How great of a living experience is it to be a slave to that form of blatant corruption and power.......think about it and take care !
Here is the key. You have to find your own way and direction in life. Really thats the key to it all. One persons path or way of doing things may not be best for you. You cant continue to search for others answers and realities you must find your own
As for the anger, what do you expect people to feel when they have been betrayed on the most intimate of levels. To devote your self and your energies to a cause that turns out to be the exact opposite of what you were lead to believe, That can leave tramendus emotional scaring. Especially for those born or raised in. So much was off limits to witness children, than when you find yourself in your thirties reflecting on all the things you sacrificed for the BORG, Anger can not help but to well up in a person.