After I turned 16 in 1975- and the year came and went with no Armageddon or paradise happening. I thought, " O.K. I'll just hang arund and see what happens for a few years. " So because I had lots of JW family I waited until the mid to late 1990's ( 1998) and by that time I thought it was all a big deception. Now in 2009, I'm SURE of it ! Generation has come and gone. Our families were all duped. All we can do is help them escape in time
When did a lightbulb first go off in your head that something didn't seem right???
I almost coverted as an adult, not that long ago, and I can still remeber exactly what it was that 'sparked my light bulb'. I was reading in a WT book that Abraham knew and used the name Jehovah- but I was reading and do a study on the exodus at the same time (this is how I learn- I cross reference back and forth between sujects- ALONE), I came across a passage that clearly stated that even Moses was unawear of 'god's name', that jehovah (or Iam) was known by this name to Isral or the Egyptians at that time, Moses asked for the name and was the first to make the god of Isral known to pharoh by this name- so my first thought was, how in hell did Abraham 'know' god by this name if even Jehovah had not told 'his' name or made himself known by that name untill the exodus I smelled a rat- I got online for the first time in 12 months to check 'other' sorces of information- I resigned myself from any further study or association with the WTBTS less than 3 weeks later. I have been left alone by the local cong since... they did tell me that I wouldn't be shunned as an apostate as I was not baptised- but I have had sisters from the KH cross the street to avoid saying a casual hello to me (that would lead to a converstaion and conversations lead to friendships forming... Yeah I read that shit on how to treat a DF'd person too just before I left!)
I guess the very beginning for me was 1975 when Armageddon didn't show. I remember the JWs being ridiculed in school and us all saying mock good-byes to each other. I was 12 but my family was going through a tough time with my grandmother getting very ill and then dying. We were preoccupied with this tragedy so not much emphasis was placed on the Big A no-show in our family. Then, during my teen years, my parents started pushing the studying and several things occurred right around 15-16 years of age for me.
1) "Your Youth" book spent 4 pages telling girls that sexual properness was their responsibility... only 2 paragraphs for the boys.
2) An article in one of the publications had a picture with the caption saying that a proper wife lives in subjugation of her husband. I looked up the word subjugation in the dictionary and words such as 'conquer', 'control', 'slavery', 'oppression', and 'forced submission' were used to describe it. I knew I couldn't do this to myself.
3) My mother, who had been adament about Creation all my life says "There may be something to Evolution after all."
Then, as we got a few years older, my parents told me and my brother to get good jobs at good companies... oh... but you can't go to college or university... and besides, the new system will be here shortly anyways so you don't really need the education. We both knew we couldn't accomplish the first without the second. I celebrate my 25th work anniversary this year ... my mother is gone... and the new system has still not arrived.
I was really little, maybe 6, but it was when I asked why birthday celebrations were wrong and was given the explanation that there were only two parties in the Bible and 2 people were killed at them, thereby making it apparent that God does not approve of birthday parties. I thought then: People don't kill at them now, so why are they bad? If we don't kill anyone at ours then we should be able to celebrate them.
Christmas is of pagan origen: But Mom, people associate all that stuff with Jesus, so it has to be good now. The meaning has changed since thousands of years ago. I was about 10.
Thanksgiving: But Mom, there are no pagan roots at all with this one, so why can't we celebrate it? Because it is a national holiday. So? Well, we want to be different from the world and not copy every little thing. Mom, there doesn't seem to be anything inherently wrong with it. Worldly people do it so it's wrong. PERIOD! (thinks to self that that isn't a good enough answer for me and vows to celebrate stuff when I grow up).
I never bought any of it ever. Being different was destroying my quality of life. I didn't want to be different. She asked me if someone jumped off a bridge, would I? No. Well, then, there's the answer. You don't have to copy everyone, so you don't have to celebrate holidays and displease Jehovah.
Something is very wrong with her reasoning. I saw it as a child and can't believe it now.
The idiots that were in the religion really got me thinking. And it was not at any one particular congregation, as I moved around a lot. It was everywhere. And I do mean weirdo's, idiots, power-trippers, etc. But hey, nobody's perfect right?
The story of Job got me thinking. You could apply that to any bullshit religion and just sit by and "wait on god" because "god is good".
My nephews shared this experience with me recently. A "turning point" as they said.
Both of them were baptized JW's and were caught sleeping around with sisters by their Father, an Elder.
It never came to the attention of the Congregational Elders.
They were chastised, told he was dissappointed in them, but were only given a firm warning, with this admonition: "I don't want you to do this, but if you do, be sure and use birth control. And, I NEVER want this to get back to the Elders!"
They both said, it was at that point they hated this religion more than ever because of what it did to their parents. It made them into "bloody hypocrites". The father that was trying to protect them from the Elders, did more harm to them as JW's.
But one more point to add that just occured to me as I was typing this. I served as an Elder with him. He sat on many Judicial Comittees and over a course of time had no problem DFying other JW kids.
Fortunately for my nephews, they all went on to college and to careers before this religion could totally ruin their lives. They have become some of the finest people that my wife and I are acquainted with. According to their parents, they are ashamed of what they have become.
For my wife, this is one of the most destructive parts of the JW's, what it does to families.