This has been a particularly interesting thread to read through.
It highlights the emotional roller coaster ride that many JWs and ex-JWs find themselves on.
Open Mind - I can totally relate to your plight. I served as an apostate elder for a couple of years before I finally decided to walk away from the role. While serving in that role I worked hard to plant seeds of doubt, to promote free thinking, to prevent disfellowshippings, to keep families together, to encourage association with disfellowshipped relatives, to highlight false WT teachings of the past, to promote blood fraction transfusions or at least the free choice of such, etc etc.
I did serve on several judicial committees and prevented some obvious disfellowshippings during this time. I also fast tracked some reinstatements. I did these things, obviously not because I wanted anyone to stay in the JW cult - it was only because I strongly disagreed with the concept of disfellowshipping and shunning - as I still do. It is such a foolish, damaging, and short-sighted way of dealing with things. 1950's mentality. I was overcome with guilt for having served in that organization as a faithful adherent for so many years, I felt I had to at least try and undo some damage, or at the very least prevent more damage, while I still had influence from the inside. I also realized that as soon as I left - there would be no one left on the inside to truly protect those poor innocent JWs who were trapped inside the cult. It was for this reason that I stayed as long as I did. I cared deeply for many of the people in my old congregation and didn't want to see them get hurt.
However, there came a point where I needed to move on with my life. Life is too short and I was not willing to sacrifice my entire life to stay on the inside and miss out on all the things this wonderful world, and family of humanity has to offer. Perhaps its a little selfish, but I have a young family and I decided that the madness would end with my generation. My children would not suffer through a JW upbringing. Of course I still try and help others who are trapped inside the cult, as I still care about them even though I can't interact with them on a regular basis. And I applaud the efforts of both those on the outside and the inside who are promoting freedom of thought and anything that can lead to the safe extraction of a JW.
OM - When you are finally able to break away with your wife it will be the most wonderful thing you have ever done! I wish you all the best in your quest to free her mind! In the meantime whatever good you can do while on the inside, I would strongly encourage you to do it! I liken it to being a good person who happened by circumstance, through birth and upbringing etc, to be a part of Hitlers Nazi party during World War II. And you at some point come to the realization that you are part of an evil organization. At that point you have a decision to make. One option you have is to stay and help bring down the monster from the inside, to stay and help to convince others that the Nazi ideals are wrong, and work to prevent atrocities with your unique influence. It does take some special courage and some intestinal fortitude to pull it off, but it is rewarding. I don't recommend you make it a life-long endeavor though - you simply have to get out at some point. The law of diminishing returns comes in to play - after you have done all you can, the most powerful statement is made when you actually leave and don't look back.
Creativhoney - I can totally relate to your position as well! You cannot be blamed at all for feeling the way you do! The JW cult is a deceptively evil high control group that masquerades as a respectful religion. Those in positions of "power" or responsibility within that group are natural targets for your displeasure and disgust. Of course I am sure you realize that many of these elders are as much a victim of the JW cult phenomenon as anyone else trapped inside. Many of them actually feel they are doing the right thing, and have the best of intentions. Of course the same could be said for the right hand men of Hitler during World War II, couldn't it? At some point we all must be accountable for our actions! I think any currently serving elder who has had an awakening of sorts, needs to be given some time before we can pass judgment on them. They can actually do a lot of good on the inside and I think OM is definitely in that category!
Sorry for the long post....just thought I would share what was going through my head while read over this thread.
I hope everyone is doing well! And I certainly hope that anyone who has friends or family that is still trapped inside the JW cult will not give up hope for them! Keep trying, as best you can, to open their minds and to help promote awareness! You WILL eventually have success if you don't give up! Knowledge is power. The INTERNET and the free flow of information is changing the game forever for the JW movement. Young people in the JW faith are finding out the true story, and are leaving in droves. Many of them are talking to their parents about what they are learning. It is only a matter of time. Anything we can all do to help educate JWs can only help!
Cheers and peace to all!