How Long Did It Take You to Realize It Wasn't "The Truth"?

by minimus 54 Replies latest jw friends

  • LockedChaos

    I was born-in.
    Dunked at 14 years old.
    Got married at 21. She was 17.
    Divorced 18 months later.
    Found a "wordly" girl and married her.
    Real bad experience with judicial committee elders.
    Walked away and faded.
    I was around 25 years old.

    3 months ago (28 years after walking) I read
    "Crisis of Conscience" and "Christian Freedom"

    Ran the whole gamut of emotions.


    I am finally free to begin learning to be a Christian

  • Awakened07

    Hmm... I grew up in it. Looking back, there must have been a whole lot of cognitive dissonance. On one hand I really believed we were 'right', and I really believed in Jehovah, but did I ever believe the WBTS had the 100% Truth? I don't think so.

    My mother had real problems trying to study with me as a child, 'cause I would always start laughing. Could have been the cloth she had to wear on her head... but I think it went deeper than that(!).

    The last ten years or so of being an active Witness, I started having real problems just sitting through meetings. Not because I would scoff at the teachings, but I started getting some real emotional problems, that I didn't understand where came from at the time. I thought perhaps I was starting to get a depression or some mental illness. I would sit at the meetings and feel like everyone's eyes were piercing me from all around. This made me sweat and breath heavily, tremble and sometimes get tears in my eyes. Most likely, it just looked like I really enjoyed the content of the talks... But inside I was in turmoil. I was frank and told people I had doubts. I was told this was perfectly normal, but that I should study and find the answers in the literature. Problem was, the answers weren't in the literature... I was then told perhaps I should ask an elder to study with me again, just to start over from scratch. This did not really sound too good to me, plus I had already tried to find the answers, so what more could an elder with the same literature do?

    Turned out I was not going insane or suffered from depression at the meetings. It was just the cognitive dissonance taking it's toll on my brain. It was enough already. I knew I could not go out and preach to people, because I knew that I couldn't lie to them and tell them to believe certain things that I no longer believed in myself. So my service declined. And this of course exacerbated my problems. Suddenly my 'friends' didn't invite me as often, and I was left alone. Had nothing to talk to other Witnesses about, because my field service 'brag stories' were several months old, which would not do...

    So - I took the plunge and searched - with trembling hands - for "Jehovah's Witnesses" on Google. And this time, I dared to click some links...

    But, I was really shocked when I in the end found out the Watchtower had no qualms quoting authority figures out of context to make it seem like they agreed with them, when they most definitely did not. That was a slap in the face, because I actually did believe they would not lie like that. So that was one huge nail in the coffin for me. And that was not that long ago, actually. After that it's been one thing after the other.

    So I would say it was a slow, probably life long process for me, but it ended with a 'bang' over perhaps only two years. I read CoC and other books of course, but CoC didn't have the huge impact on me I thought it would. But by all means - it made me realize and learn a few things that helped.

  • yourmomma

    i think you can just look at my post history and see how long it took me, lol. im not sure i had doubts, i just knew that i heard alot of stuff that didnt sit well at conventions and meetings. but i didnt think it was the org, i thought it was the people. so i starting looking into that, and slowly would go to "apostate" sites. I truly felt that the truth can stand up to anything. i was right, the REAL truth can stand up to anything. the witness truth cant stand up to a light breeze. i read on here that someone said that no one could read COC and remain a witness. I took that as a challenge, and read it, then read In search of Christian Freedom.

    Even after all that, while i had major issues, it didnt click in my brain that there is no chance the WTS is not God's org. Indoctrination is a hell of a drug! What made it all click was a PDF article by a guy, I forget his name, anyway it was a total break down of how the society lies about its past history and covers it up. Thats when I said to myself "there is no way in hell, God would have anything to do with an organization that lies".

  • jamiebowers

    I knew there were major problems just a few months after being baptized and married as a teenager. But I must be a little slow on the uptake since I still believed it was the truth after getting df'd almost 7 years later. Realization was gradual over the years, but when Dateline did the child molestation episode 13 years later in 2001, I figured out that it really is an evil cult.

  • HSS1971

    After I was df'd in 97, I was living by a time clock. In other words, I was hoping I could get reinstated before I either died or before Armageddon came. Having the help of this board, I realized my doubts were justified. The good people on this board have confirmed alot of the things I already suspected. If it were'nt for this forum, I'd still be living in the small box of fear. It is true, the truth really does set you free. I've realized the GB is a sham. Their fruitage is rotten.There is no way the jw religion can have God's approval since God is love. The jw religion operates on fear, not love.

  • Save My Soul
    Save My Soul

    IMO, all religions are the same. They are man's attempt to explain God.

    I felt the J-dubs were not the truth after I read the 1995 WT on the generation change. The entire religion was based on this truth and 1914, and it changed.

    The ruth NEVER changes. Also, I was trated badly on a trip to bethel and I saw the light.

  • Lissa the Cocoa
    Lissa the Cocoa

    I love this community. Glad I "rediscovered" it. I think I was 15 or 16 when I realized that something was very not right. I was 'born-in' and always taught that people outside of the Witness organization were evil and up to no good. I literally believed the world around me was a depraved, terrible, crime-ridden place. Then I actually started meeting people who weren't Witnesses in high school and making some true friends (not ones forced on me by congregational relation) and found out the world was actually pretty normal. Then I started asking some questions, and my questions were rejected and dismissed and my faith was questioned because I took issue with some things. Around this time my father also "started" mistreating my family -- he would 'punish' us by not buying food or getting the phone service in our house turned off -- but it seemed that no matter what he did he just kept his privileges in the congregation and did whatever he wanted. I found out later that he had been mistreating my mother since they were married. He told me when I was about 17 that there were women waiting for my mother to die so they could marry him. I was disfellowshipped at 18. So I would say 18 years, but I think I only reached the age of reason around 10 or 11, and only had the ability to critically think about it at 14 or 15. I'll be 22 next week and thankfully I'm beginning to do some of the things in life I really always wanted :)

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Even though I never got baptised, it took me 52 years to finally wake up.

    52 years of waiting for the killer god to kill me and all my friends.

    Slow suicide without a bullet in the gun.

    I even let my converted wife bring up our children with the WT's killer god's gun at their heads.

    I try not to feel guilty about it. I know that I am a victim too. It has taken quite a while to convince myself that it was not my fault, but I have relapses.

    I see my family making new victims and the WT has my hands tied behind my back. Very frustrating.

    Because I was never baptised, I am not shunned, but I am treading a very thin line.

    A much thinner line than when I was just sitting on the fence.


  • donny

    It took me about 6 years into my decade stint for the "truth" to begin unraveling for me. Unlike many of my fellow co-horts, I was really having issues with the Jesus choosing them in 1919 thing. The more I researched, the more I realized that could not find any legit reason that Jesus would have chosen this group from all of the other Christian groups. I realized that all of those wacky teachings of the period could not be blamed on "Christendom" because they were created by the same organization that would later abandom them.

  • catbert

    I was raised in "the Truth". I had doubts as early as age 13. (1975 came and went...)
    There were special moments at meetings. I remember an elder giving a talk, and
    he quoted Phillipians 2:9:

    " For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every [other] name,"

    And the elder said right after the quote "except Jehovah's name of course."

    And I thought "WTF?!"

    I had a lot of those WTF moments at meetings. Years of them.

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