To Fade or Not To Fade... An Opinion.....

by AllTimeJeff 57 Replies latest jw friends

  • passwordprotected

    As soon as we ceased meeting attendance we were cut off from our so-called 'friends' (I hope they're royally ashamed of themselves; they know who they are). We were in limbo; we still believed in God, still wanted to serve him in some way, but we had virtually no one other than Hobo Ken and Iknowall to call friends. Our children needed some stability as the parents of their friends acted as if they didn't exist any longer.

    We only briefly entertained 'fading', but it wasn't for us, we just wanted to get on with our lives and we didn't feel it was fair on our children to always have one eye looking over our shoulders (particularly because of birthdays), so once we started going to church we knew we'd be disassociating. Why should we go through a prolonged period of measured non-activity JW-wise just so that there might be a chance we'd still be able to say hello to certain people in the supermarket, should our paths cross.

    If the relationships in your life and totally dependent upon your performing certain activities to a certain standard, then it's time to have a long, hard look at those relationships...

    We chose our own personal and family freedom. We chose the right to decide who we associate with, where we go to worship God, the celebrations we choose to observe or not observe. We chose those things over the conditional and fickle relationships that thrive in Kingdom Halls.

    Gail and I were talking about this last night with her non-JW father; we've lost a lot but it has been absolutely worth it to have freedom.

  • passwordprotected

    The after effects of being in a cult are toll taking, no matter what you say.

    I think this is a great point and one worth bearing in mind.

    There's a level of smugness in both the 'fading' and the 'DAing' camps. But whatever exit one chooses, the Watch Tower Society leaves in indelible mark on our psyche.

  • leavingwt


    I understand the logic behind the "not playing by their rules" sentiment. If a person views writing a letter as somehow submitting to WT, then I can appreciate how distasteful and repulsive that must really be.

    In my own case, I could have either DA'd myself, or I could have been DF'd (in abstencia) when they saw the Christmas tree in my window. So, the end result is the same. Shunning by JWs. With the act of writing the letter, I didn't have to DISCUSS my new way of life mutliple/endless times with pseudo-concerned (virtual) strangers.

    In the 14 months since I left, I have not heard a peep from ANYONE in the congregation.

    So, maybe the question is not whether one will fade or DA, but is one going to publicly live a life that is filled with disfellowshipping offenses?

    Also, I was a very vocal, pro-JW employee where I worked. I wanted to make a clean break from that past. I wanted my co-workers to know that I no longer viewed my past religion as being acceptable. The killing of children (blood doctrine) was deeply embarrasing and offensive to me, once the Mind Control was done way with.

    As so many have already stated here, each person must take the path that fits their circumstances. I miss my parents and my younger brother greatly. However, I was unwilling and unable to put their affection above my core being and core convictions.


  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse
    Also, I was a very vocal, pro-JW employee where I worked. I wanted to make a clean break from that past. I wanted my co-workers to know that I no longer viewed my past religion as being acceptable. The killing of children (blood doctrine) was deeply embarrasing and offensive to me, once the Mind Control was done way with.

    LWT makes a good point. If you were a very "zealous" or well known JW, or from a well known family, I think fading becomes a less feasible option.

  • besty

    William: I am William Wallace, and I see a whole army of my countrymen here in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?

    Veteran soldier: Fight against that? No, we will run, and we will live.

    William: Aye, fight and you may die, run and you'll live. At least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom?!

  • passwordprotected

    @ besty - love it.

  • joannadandy

    I did the fade, I'm not about burning bridges and actually didn't/don't think of fading as losing yourself. They are the ones that make the rules about association and DF'ing and DA'ing. If I don't agree with their rules, why would I play by them?

    Plus that makes it just too easy for them. Frankly, I like that when people I used to know get all squirmy and weird - their "bible trained concience" is going nuts trying to figure out what to do with me. When I left I made it very clear this was my choice (you can only fade so long before someone notices), and I understood that if my family wanted nothing to do with me because I was no longer going to go to meetings that I understood that, but I was never going to turn my back on them.

    Fading if anything made it easier on my family I think. It makes it possible for us to still have a relationship. If I had left in a big bang boom flash and flurry - I doubt they'd feel they could keep in contact with me. I think my family views it as a loophole for them to stay in touch with me. In fact, a childhood friend of mine DA'd herself, my father lamented that choice, and was glad I didn't do that. In his own way - and in so many words - he said he wished people would just fade so it would be easier on families. (He didn't say fade, but the sentiment was there.)Now granted, my family pretty liberal in terms of their associations with me. I know it's not like that in everyone's situations. But I definately don't make it hard for them to talk to me. It's weird, but I feel more "me" now with them than I ever did as a JW. And I know they see that too. My parents are actually proud of me going my own way, and that I always was an individual and free-thinker. I didn't make it hard for them to stay in contact with me - and it has paid off in the end. (I know that's not true for everyone - but it worked for me).

    Actually, my other childhood friend had an older sister - she DA'd herself. Her father literally came to her when she was makiing the fade out and said point blank, "Just don't write the letter." And she too has been able to maintain a relationship with them now, even tho she has nothing to do with the witnesses and has made it clear she never will. Again - her situation different than mine, but it worked for them too.

    I think everyone has to make their own paths. There is no right way to leave, you can't write a guidebook for this. For you it sounds like fading compromised you too much. For me - fading liberated me...eventually...and made it possible for me to keep my family. It wasn't easy - but I'd do it all over again for the peace I have with them now.

  • shopaholic

    Has there been any toll on you, and especially, your individuality?

    Initially yes, but now I couldn't care less about the JW religion or any other religion. I realized that it took time for the cult mentality to fade away after I left. Now I just aim to live my life as a decent, upstanding, moral citizen of this planet.

  • Rocky_Girl

    I stopped going to meetings for a long time, just showing up occasionally for memorials and special talks. Ater doing that for 8 years, I started looking at the org with open eyes and discovered the lies and scandals regarding blood, the UN, and myriad other things. After that, my Mom asked me why I had changed my mind and I told her that I would tell her if she really wanted to know, but that I wanted her to think about it for a week first. She never asked me again.

    I received a shepherding call, for the first time in 10 years and they asked leading questions regarding apostasy and I played dumb. When they asked to visit again I told them that I didn't feel comfortable as a single woman alone with two or three men. They haven't called again. If they do they will get the same answer. I joined another church, but have not gotten any grief about it. My parents don't want me DF because they don't want to shun so they haven't told.

    I thought about sending a letter, but I decided that I didn't need to play by their rules after all this time. I didn't need a letter for closure, so why should I write one? I am treated as if I am DF by all other JWs, and I find that more annoying than hurtful anymore. It used to bother me a lot.

    I am a fader by accident, I did not intend to leave but I am glad I did.


  • jamiebowers
    "freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose."

    I was so entrenched with all things jw that I didn't even realize that there was an option of fading. I was df'd after offering to da simply because following the rules of the WB&TS endangered my life. After being out for almost 21 years, I've often thought about the above mentioned song lyric. It can be taken in more than one way. First, it can mean that freedom comes when there's literally nothing left to lose. But it can also mean that what is at risk of being lost isn't as important as you thought it was in the first place.

    For me, leaving the jws was entwined with leaving an abusive marriage. Not only did I face losing my mom, brother and friends but also my home, car, and most of my material possessions. My husband made quite a bit more money than I did, and he tried to manipulate me by refusing to make a decision on whether to put our home up for sale or rent, being that I couldn't make the mortgage by myself. I had a right to half of our assets and spousal support. But I signed everything over to him and left with a few personal possessions.

    I had my life back, and nothing was more valuable to me than that. So, now I have another home and car, a wonderful husband, a large circle of friends and a pretty peaceful life compared to the alternative. I really miss my mom, but there's no way we could have a relationship as long as she's a dyed in the wool jw anyway. Material things come and go, and people who REALLY love you don't abandon you just because you think differently than they do.

    I was forced out, so I have no idea whether it's better to fade or go out with a bang. When I first started reading on this board, I wished that I would've faded. But having been through being df'd and shunned and also reading about fading, I'm glad that I was forced out and wouldn't have it any other way.

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