First, a hearty welcome to the forum. I have high praise for your willingness to help your
wife. I know it is very difficult to come here, yourself and state your case. You are a great
support to your wife. It is obvious that you want to do what is best for her.
I'm worried that she will become an apostate because of this website.
The WT Society likes to plant a fear in us with the word, "apostate." We kid around about
the word, but it actually means "One who abandons their religious faith." Cognac is not
abandoning a faith. She is examining it. You can go through your WT Library to see that
it tells everyone that they are responsible to examine whatever faith they are in. That
includes Jehovah's Witnesses.
If you want to say anyone who examined the JW doctrines and found fault with them is an
apostate, then it would be more accurate to say that anyone who became a JW abandoned
a former faith (be it Atheism or Protestantism or Judaism or etc.) and they would be an
apostate. That makes anyone in the congregation who was not born as a Witness, an
So it seems that WT's use of the term is slanted their way. "You must examine your
religion to make sure you agree with it, but you must not stop agreeing with us." That is
the thing they are saying. I would ignore the word "apostate" and the associated fear it
delivers. Cognac is building upon her faith and properly examining beliefs.
This website is just a tool that makes it easier for people to share what they learn and
think. It is still the individual who must examine things for themself.
I understand that you probably don't want to help me. I also understand that you are all anti-JW.
I want to say that at this website, people are not cruel to JW's. I want to say that, but
people are people. Some will be cruel. But you will find that most of the folks here want
to help. Most of the harsh statements are directed at those that make statements without
backing or without thoughts and just totally close their minds. If you go to a topic about
atheism, it will be a bit harsh to fundamentalist Christianity, but you start a thread asking
for serious help and you will find mostly serious help.
I feel hurt, I feel like she has been talking behind my back and hiding things.
Is that what this site promotes? I have read that this website accuses the society of being a secret society. Like the society "sweeps things under the rug." But, realistically, peoples mates are hiding behind this website from there own mates. Is that not secrecy?
I fully understand what you are saying there. But you do know why Cognac hides the website
activity from you. Every person has every right to examine anything they want to examine in
their own search for understanding. Nobody should be punished for looking at this website or
reading books by former members. I know that WT Society would tell my own mother to
shun me for the rest of my life if I said that I read a book by Ray Franz, a former Governing
Body member of Jehovah's Witnesses who examined his faith and found it lacking. If it is
the truth, it and it's leadership should not be afraid of the lies. You will know the truth and
the truth will set you free. Why would they insist that you hide from the darkness? I don't
want my mother to shun me for life, so I don't tell her that I come here. Similarly, I don't tell
my wife because she might tell them, then they will still tell my mother to shun me.
I think that Cognac has shown incredible trust in you by revealing what she is doing. She
trusts you enough to recognize that she is accountable, not to a body of elders or a Governing
Body, but to God for what she reads and who she seeks information from. She trusts that you
won't just "turn her in" to those that would demand that she stop reading certain information.
I have a similar trust with my wife, but I choose not to put my research in her face because it
makes her physically ill because of the fears that WT Society has helped her to have.
I feel like the faithful slave has our best interests whether they are right or wrong.
First of all, let me assure you that the vast majority of those who are the "Faithful and Discreet
Slave" have no say in the final doctrine of the JW's. Only the 12 or so men on the Governing
Body make those decisions. They say that they are not infallible, but they say a Witness must
agree with the teachings to stay a Witness. Any disagreement, including your thought that they
might be wrong, is dealt with harshly. A judicial committee can be formed for anyone who disagrees
and doesn't recant. One way around that, even for yourself, is to keep quiet. If you just express
doubt and not direct conclusions that WT doctrines are wrong, they usually don't disfellowship you.
They do want the members to stay faithful to the doctrine. Even though they do care about the
members, their concern for the welfare of the organization comes ahead of the individual. They would
rather keep stories of child-abuse by members out of the news, so they might put the interests of
the child in second place. The same would be true for Cognac. They want the other members to
stay faithful to the doctrine, so they might literally put her down and make her seem evil or "apostate"
to the other members so that they won't listen to her. That means her welfare is at least secondary
(if not worse) to full agreement among the members. The elders are instructed by the Governing Body
rules and cannot waiver from them. I know. I was one of them. We used clear rules on how to
deal with someone who decided not to support the doctrines anymore.
I want her to understand that she can trust me and that I'll help her to find the answers that she is looking for. Keep on asking and you will find. Keep on knocking and it will be answered to you.
Cognac has a great supporter in you. If she keeps on asking, why not let her keep asking others
who have been there or are searching just like her. If you want to keep knocking, why not use the tools
that are available. The truth does not need to shake in fear from any lies. Cognac will keep searching
and use other tools if the internet tools were unavailable, but all good scientists recognize that others
before them have done much research and they don't each start from scratch but examine what the
other scientists have already discovered. She will have to weigh each bit of information for herself, but
if everyone started from scratch, then there wouldn't even be a Bible, a Christianity, or a WT Society.