List some thoughts and suggestions for anyone thinking about fading from the Organization.
Give Your Advice To Anyone Planning To Fade
First, I would say don't think that it is either you have to fade or you have to DA. Once you DA you can't go back, at least not easily. Why not try fading, getting your situation in order, and then if you want to DA, go for it.
Getting one of those invisible cloaks from the Harry Potter movies would be cool.
Rub a Dub
1. Try to switch halls if you can, then Fade from the new hall.
2. Move outta state.
3. Make it as low key as possible.
Every situation is different so what works for one might not work for another, but these are some things I did. Some were not planned as a preconceived "fade" but I did them as self preservation when realizing something was wrong with this religion.
Fake field service reports, while slowly phasing out even going out. I started missing service once a month, then twice a month and then just didn't show up, but I still turned in time...when asked for it. If they didn't ask, I didn't turn any in. After a while they quit asking.
At the same time I started missing meetings. I just didn't stop going. I guit going to the Book Study (though they've rectified that scenerio now) and then started leaving after Public Talk and then started missing the Ministry School and Service Meeting. After a while, no one really noticed I was missing.
As this happened, social activities with other dubs naturally dried up. If you're missing at meetings, you miss the invites, so slowly losing social connections happened as a by-product. Which just shows how conditional friendships are.
Once the elders came calling, I first told em I needed a break...I was burned out. That bought some time but sooner or later they came back around. That time I acknowledged some doubts but did not go too far. I did challenge them to prove some things as claimed by the Society. They never could and they used that as their excuse to not come back to me.
Fade complete...for the most part.
It didn't happen overnight. It took time and patience.
There have been some excellent thoughts in the past on this forum. I won't search for you, but go to the search feature at the top of this screen and type in "how to fade" and weed through several pages of JWD/JWN for advice.
Personal advice: consider the possibility of just stopping cold turkey. What harm? What fallout? If the reaction of relatives is too great or the pressures are too much from elders, you can go back and start a slow fade. After you have been doing a slow fade for awhile, make sure to gauge personal progress. Set goals. If you missed one Sunday a month for awhile, go to two. If your service report finally has you putting in that one hour per month, consider telling them that you had "no hours" last month. Blow off the C.O. visit or the circuit assembly and see what happens. If your spouse/family expects you to be there, give an excuse.
If you really really feel that it will be difficult to fade, or if you are an elder or pioneer and need excuses, start to play the depression card. Being a JW is really depressing, so it won't be hard. If you drop hints that you missed a meeting or service because you were depressed, make sure it gets around. If you see a doctor for any reason whatsoever, use that. "I am having feelings of depression/lonliness/despair. I am seeing a doctor." Heck, even just seeing a doctor across the room or on television is "seeing a doctor." If you take anything whatsoever for your health- pills, diet, vitamins, even ice cream- say that you are on medication for your situation/feelings.
It is much easier to fade if they think you are depressed. They have no good answers and understand (deep down inside anway) why you want to miss a meeting or recruiting activity.
Being a JW my whole life, I would just comment that the closer one is to the family, the longer it takes.
In mathmatical terms, the distance you live from your family is inversely proportional to the length of the fade.
If you were plotting it on a graph with Y and X axis with the Y representing Distance and the X representing Time, I would estimate the center point of the graph would be around where 100 miles equals 1 year. The curve in both directions would move toward the respective axis as either time or distance increased.
Of course, each situation is different. So for whatever equation you develop for the curve, there would be a need to add the ubiquitous "plus a constant" to move the curve in either direction. The constant takes the person's attitude into play. For example, a person who is very close to his/her JW family members would have a positive constant, moving the curve to the right and requiring more time. A person with the "I don't give a rat's ass" attitute would have a negative constant moving the curve closer to the axis.
Hope this helps.
Rub a Dub
If you have any "privileges" consider hanging in there for even a brief time, (a few weeks?) in order to use your "safe & mature" status for seed planting purposes on those you care about the most.
Once privileges are gone and you know the truth about the truth, even I can't imagine kissing enough butt to try getting them back.
Also, someone above here linked to "On the Art of Fading". I believe that was by Englishman (a former poster here).
It is excellent, IMO.
Also, "Amazing" did a thread on getting his family out which was of great benefit to me.
Preferably establish a social life outside the JWs then just stop attending. Refuse to discuss your reasons. Put your ego on hold for a while and remember that you have no control over how people react but you have total control as to how you respond. Bite your tongue.
It's much easier if your are single.