How Can an Elder Fade Successfully?

by tjlibre 30 Replies latest jw friends

  • SnakesInTheTower

    I was an elder for 5 years, graduated MTS, raised in the Org.

    My fade was a complete success until I decided to blow the cover off of it (I am engaged to a nice non-JW..we had a jackolantern out front...LOL)

    .,..but from Dec 06 when I gave them enough rope to delete me as an elder to when I quit going to meetings in Sept 07...that was my fade out...then until now.... I have mostly been left alone...see my most recent thread about how the fade is going off the rails. I have posted details of my fade over the last 3 years....

    Honestly...if I had moved away from the region...I could have gone off the radar for good. Don't know if that is an option for you.

    good luck to you...

    Snakes (Rich )

    ps..PM me if you wish to chat offline...

  • besty

    tjlibre - you have a PM - click the envelope icon at the very top right beside your username. if you get an error when you open the PM click <back> on your browser and it should work the 2nd time.

  • willyloman

    Here's my advice, given your circumstances:

    It starts with an exit plan and that means a real "plan." Write it out if you have to. Imagine how someone like you could get out with as little collateral damage as possible, then execute the plan. Part of this plan is to take your family with you so you have to have a serious talk with your spouse and/or children.

    Once that's done, the first step is to stop being an elder. In your position, you can't just walk away. You have to surrender the title. Most subtle way to do this is to blame it on circumstances; it's best if someone is sick. In my case, my wife came down with an illness that can either run its course or get much worse and become chronic. Even though the odds were heavily in favor of a full recovery I let everyone know what the worst possible scenario was and portrayed that as the likely outcome. If that hadn't come up so conveniently, then I would have created some other excuse - for instance, once I went in for a physical and my doctor suggested a full cardio workup and sent me to a cardiologist. Had I been ready to leave then, I could have said "I'm seeing a doctor about my heart condition; there may be a problem."

    Then I took started missing most of the meetings to stay home with my wife and cancelled a couple of upcoming assignments. After three or four weeks of this, I went to a meeting, took the PO aside, and explained that my wife's condition was going to require a good deal of attention for many months to come, perhaps indefinitely, and that I could no longer serve as an elder. He made the usual sympathetic noises and said he would inform the body of my decision. I hadn't been in the cong very long because we had changed halls some months earlier - which was not consciously part of my exit strategy, but in retrospect it probably helped with their ready acceptance of my resignation as I wasn't part of the Old Guard in the new congo.

    Our meeting attendance after that was spotty at best. Finally, about five months later we woke up one Sunday morning and realized we had not been to a meeting in more than 3 weeks. "Are we ever going back?" my wife asked. "I would be fine with never going back," I replied. She thought for a minute and then turned back to the Sunday newspaper and just like that, we were done.

    I screened all phone calls and told the few (surprisingly few) dubs who inquired about us that "health issues" were keeping us from doing "all that we would like." After awhile, the queries stopped.

    In the meantime, we took advantage of the free time to develop new friends and new interests. Now it's been nearly six years and no one has ever bothered us. I think in part that is because I understood the system and played it well; by that I mean, having seen a lot of dubs disappear over the years, I analyzed how they faded and anticipated the repercussions and carefully planned to avoid them.

    I think if you've been a dub for a long time, you can pretty much figure out how to escape. The problem is making the commitment to go and the willingness to sacrifice some things (and some people) that you've held dear for so long.

    For us, the price has been worth it. We are fully in the light now and see 'The Truth" for what it was. We would never go back.

  • The Scotsman
    The Scotsman

    I was an elder and faded successfully - for me it went like this -

    Resigned as an elder and blamed it on pressure at work (which in my case was partly true) but I also told them that I just needed a break from being an elder. No great pressure was put on me to change my mind.

    Over the next 5 / 6 months I started to miss meetings, just a few at first and gradually increased the frequency. I was asked to join the TMS but I refused - ths got a few thinking I was depressed!!!!

    At the same time I was feeding bits of "evil apostate" info to Mrs Scotsman to hopefully wake her mind.

    But I knew in my heart that I would need to come clean with my wife eventually - I hated keeping secrets from her. So one thursday afternoon I told her of my intention to leave the org - well It broke her heart - many many tears. (read my previous post about this!) Her response was to be expected - they think its THE truth. She told me that she hated the idea of being in the paradise without me.

    We have a particular painting that is of a man and woman walking through a beautiful landscape - we always use to say that was us in the new order - now it was being taken away. It was trully a heart-stopping conversation!

    Anyway - 2 months after this we decided to move house - to a totally different area - I saw this as my chance to break away. Its a pretty extreme method to help a fade but in my case it worked. Once we moved to the new area about 2 weeks passed and Mrs Scotsman asked me to tag along to a few meetings until she got to know a few people so I said ok. (at the time she secretly thought it would make me change my mind about leaving the org.) So I we went to a Sunday meeting - within 5 minutes I knew it would be my last - I just could not bear the dross coming from the platform.

    After the meeting I told Mrs Scotsman that I was not going back "I just can't continue with a clear conscience". Because I was new to the area I got very little pressure from local elders - 1 visited a few times but that was it.

    3 months passed and 2 elders took my wife aside at a meeting to check that I was not saying negative things about the org. A report had been passed to the local BOEs that I was - the truth was I had'nt - an untruth started by "someone"!

    Well Mrs Scotsman was embarrassed at this as they had not been discreet in taking her aside - she was new to the cong and many saw her being taken aside by the elders! She came home and never attended another meeting. She read CoC and now knows the truth about the truth.

    Turned out my little bits of "evil apostate" material had already been having an effect on her mind.

    We have lost many fiends and family are a bit wary of us but we still have contact. We also made many new friends.

    We both still have a firm belief in God but are in no hurry to join any religious group.

    As for the picture of the man and woman walking through the beautiful landscape - its on the wall in our lounge - but it holds a whole new meaning for us both - but to this day looking at it still makes me feel the heartbreak of that Thursday afternoon - but it worked out well in the end....

    I hope my rather long-winded post goes to show that it can be done - freedom from JW land is possible.

    The Scotsman

  • undercover

    I can't give as good advice as you've already gotten. I was never an elder....just an MS, but I can say this much; you have to be prepared to call an audible on a moment's notice. Things will happen when you least expect them that will change how you may have things planned out. The plan can still work, you just have to be prepared for any contingency.

    The thing that I noticed was that no matter how planned I thought I was, things didn't follow the logical path I had figured...which makes sense, because when it comes to logical thinking, JWs don't have any experience.

  • BluesBrother

    Your situation is exactly like mine when I realized the truth about "The Truth"...After 24 years of eldership, the words stuck in my throat.

    It took time though. I could not deal with deep suspicion about what the real reason might be...So I started to cool off.. missed a few meetings when I could make excuses.. I sought out the P O for a confidential chat about how hard it was getting, I was down, I was wondering if this was depression? even starting to have "irrational" doubts about it all. The P O would have been no help whatsoever, He agreed with most of what I said and had nothing to offer , but I had made my point.

    This carried on , and I was preparing the ground also with my wife, so it would not be such a shock for her. When the C/O was coming soon I advised the body of my intention to stand down. They wanted me to carry on anyway despite my saying that my doubts were now real !

    The C/O was reluctant to accept my resignation so some desperate measures were required..I shamefully admitted that I had a love of music that "He would call Heavy Metal !" That was true except exaggerated a little..The C/O visibly blanched , the conversation ended, the recommendation for my deletion then went off to The Society....I was free !!

    After that I sat at the back of the Hall and did little. I never did Field Service again, The Elders never spoke to me..My wife fell out with them and we went to another congregation. Since then I have been treated as an unbelieving mate and left alone...

  • tjlibre

    I’m reading all of your posts, testimonies and suggestions. I’m gathering ideas to have plan A, B and C. Considering all the possibilities and possible outcomes. I’m taking notes, keep ’em coming.

    You know, ever since I felt in my heart that I can no longer support the WT Org, having a good night sleep has become very hard. The anxiety that I’m experiencing is serving as an affirmation that the WT exert an unhealthy power over one’s mind and emotions.

    It’s a strong contradiction, because in my spirit, I’m calm and at peace with my conscience. I’m not afraid of being out because I lived outside of this religion before, many of my family members are not JWs and my JW friends really don’t play a big part in my life. So the anxiety I feel in my subconscious was implanted, it’s unnatural and right down malicious.

    Who would of think that to leave a religion you have to make a meticulous plan?

  • Albert Einstein
    Albert Einstein

    My suggestions - did work for me:

    1) Slow down gradually

    2) Step down as an elder

    3) Switch to another congregation (KH)

    Point 3 was very important. Since we were very active and had very strong relationships in our former congregation, it would be very painfull to fade there.

    My wife is still in, not active by now, but very social. So we moved to anther KH and from the first day I showed to all I am not here to talk to anybody and to make friends. I also stopped (actually did not started) giving reports from FS in the new KH. No one really dared to give me any counsel so far.... Its over a year by now we go to meetings maybe twice a month and its progressing very well for me. I told my wife clearly, that if elders will start being interested in me - I will be DF very quickly ... so she better doesnt seek any "help".

    Moving to another KH - important step for succesfull faders...!

    If you want to keep your marriage - be from now very very very loving and patient husbend, more than ever before.


  • treadnh2o

    "You know, ever since I felt in my heart that I can no longer support the WT Org, having a good night sleep has become very hard. The anxiety that I’m experiencing is serving as an affirmation that the WT exert an unhealthy power over one’s mind and emotions. "

    I remember the worst part for me was giving Public Talks with a serenade of b*llsh*t, b*llsh*t going through my head. I am not joking it was very distracting.

    Be careful about claiming depression. That rumor would grow and swell beyond belief.

    My honest, only with your wife (it is nobody else's business). That's what I did. It was not an easy route to take but 5 years later I am out, she is in and we have an understanding. I know it doesn't work for many, but at least you can stop living the lie you are currently living.

  • Stealth

    As you fade, go ahead and grow a beard, go out in service with it & give a talk in the school with it. It bugs the crap out of the elders because they have no biblical grounds for the ban. Oh they will try and guilt you, but really they have no grounds and they know it.

    It also gets other publishers asking questions. I had so many pubs tell me the beard looked good on me & did not understand the ban.

    After an experience like that, once you stop attending meetings, the elders are glad to see you gone and don't want you back pushing the envelope on their non-bible based rules and regulation.

    Worked for me.

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