Did You Exit the Witnesses Due to Injustices / Difference with Doctrine-Both?
Doctrine all the way for me. It's called 'the truth' and it's anything but.
My first doubt that awakened me from 'the society is always right' mindset was the realisation, as we were studying the Revelation book, that I didn't belive anything of significance took place at Cedar Point, Ohio in 1922.
Then as we were going through the Daniel book, it all started to fall apart. Zenobia? Oh really?
It was obvious the society weren't prepared for the fall of communism and were trying to ignor world events since 1989 since a unipolar world doesn't fit in with the King of the North/South .
Then the Isaiah books, turgid drone-fests of bordom. Months (felt like years) of studying Israel getting destroyed and restored and how everything means 1919.
So after thinking about prophetic interpretations I realised I didn't believe most of it. But even after I discovered 607 was wrong, I still thought that maybe they got the right year for the wrong reason, and I still believed in the religious doctrine, so I pushed further doubts away. But the critical voice in my head had been turned on...
Basically for me, I found that if I pulled at the strings of any of those doubts it all unravelled. Blood doctrine, last days, one-true-organisation. All gone. I read Crisis of Conscience.
I was left clinging on to the oneness of God and the ransom sacrifice. But then the ransom started to not make sense. Adam and Eve seemed more and more like a fable. I couldn't believe humans were only 6000 years old. The flood didn't/couldn't have happened, but Jesus spoke about the flood...
So now, I'm beginning my fade.
I was never convinced; I jogged along with it for the wife's sake, she is 100% sure it's the truth!
In 1993 I had a run in with an elder over reading at Book study, he lied about it.
In 2004 I discovered the elders actually lying about the WTS, I am out of this.
One day I will write my story.
Although I've read many heart-wrenching accounts of abuse and injustice on this site, I have to say that I was never personally mistreated by any Witness.
My problem with the Society and the Truth™ is the required acceptance of whatever the belief du jour is. Regardless of what your own education, experience, and reasoning tells you, regardless of what "the Spirit" leads you to see (if you believe in such a thing), regardless of whether the New Light™ passes the "sniff test" or not... you MUST accept, believe, and promulgate whatever the "present Truth™" is. It doesn't matter what your own conscience tells you or what you know in your heart to be true.
It is the forced, artificial lockstep unity that I find most objectionable. Absolutely no room for outside research or thinking for oneself. "Independent thinking" is demonized. Never mind that what is required today might have been apostasy yesterday, and may be tomorrow. What was required yesterday, what some even died to comply with, is now a "conscience matter." To teach earlier beliefs, which were required before, would now be apostasy. Unless, of course, they have been reinstated as the Truth™ again. (See the "generation" merry-go-round.)
I don't really care about their errors in doctrine, interpretation, or prophecy. I believe that's all fantasy, myth, and superstition anyway. Again, my main issue is that you MUST accept whatever they're teaching today, never mind that it was something different yesterday and may be changed again tomorrow.
Another major issue is their legalistic, authoritarian approach to maintaining control over almost every aspect of their victims' adherents' lives. Everything from the bedroom to the workplace is regulated. And their ridiculous approach to the "blood issue" is unfathomable. Inconsistent, confusing, and capricious are the kindest words I can use to describe it. And yet "good Witnesses" are expected to be ready to die before accepting whatever components or "fractions" the Slave™ says are not allowed. Never mind that there is no logic apparent in what parts are approved and what parts banned, or that the list itself has been repeatedly revised. I have no doubt that many have died "unnecessarily," even by Witness standards, but "at least they died doing what they thought was right. It was really a conscience matter anyway. And now they're practically guaranteed a resurrection." I have actually heard words similar to that used to "comfort" loved ones left behind. All I can say is, when you have to have a team of elders armed with two thick binders to interpret and enforce a couple of statements taken out of context from a 2000-3500 year old book, it is hardly a conscience matter.
And now they're tightening the noose by repeated articles stressing the need to obey the Slave™ even if the instructions seem unnecessary, unreasonable, or even dangerous. A recent article even said that no one should "challenge or question the channel Jehovah God is using in this time of the end." What??? Now they even want to be above questioning, much less challenging. That's the height of presumptuousness and arrogance!
So my reason for disassociating myself from any pretense of being a Witness has nothing to do with doctrinal errors, failed prophecies, or personal mistreatment. It is entirely about their audacious claim to be God's exclusive "channel," deserving and demanding unquestioning obedience and acceptance of whatever their latest pronouncement from on high may be. Their authoritarian and legalistic approach to controlling their members only further reveals them for the charlatans they are.
They promised me that they would help me meet the opposite sex.
They broke that promise.
Therefore, I saw fit to break my dedication.
No, I had to adjust my viewpoint to "normal setting" for me to see a lot of how JW's treat their own is unjust.
Because I was 6 ft under in bullshit, it was me having a personal disagreement at Gilead on how the GB believes most major OT characters prophetically pointed to the existence of the WTBTS and the first 3 Presidents that got me started. I knew that this wasnt "THE truth". I still allowed in my head that maybe I could do some good. I also was in the middle of Gilead, and getting stroked like I was didn't help.
Then, after I got attacked in Cameroon, I got back and said 'to hell with not going on the internet. What are they so afraid of?' And then I saw what they were afraid of. The lie concerning 1914 and the related lie of the date of Jerusalems destruction. ALL the false prophecies. The bafoonery that was C T Russell and the narcissistic cruelty that was J F Rutherford. The amazing ability to believe your own bullshit and like the smell of it that was Fred Franz. The ability to be pragmatic and finish the job of turning JW's into a money making enterprise over the well being of the people that was N H Knorr.
It wasn't until I got on these boards and participated that I understood just how much the GB and their minion elders harmed people, and then I really saw how much a part of it I had been.
under the radar - that's exactly how I feel now. Great post.
Hello it seems I have a namesake a little more spaced out than me.
I share the same views as you, under the radar, so perhaps we are related. LOL
I am short of time at the moment but hope to add my version later.
It was difference with doctrine.
For me, it was behavioural issues within the body elders that strted to affect my faith. For years I didn't really care too much about doctrine I just parked the issues I had. When I was ready to exit the FDS doctrine hit home big - as I was preparing the 2009 memorial talk and that was it the JW dream was shattered.
I am one of few lucky ones who never joined up. It was my mother who wanted us to study -- my father wasn't overly thrilled with anything religious while I was a child. As a teenager I couldn't swallow the 'headship' requirement. It didn't align with what I wanted in life and I saw first-hand how it wasn't working with my parents. During this time, the "Your Youth" book pretty much told me that this group is definitely sexist and that as a woman, it's gonna be all my fault. And then there was the statement by my mother that "There may be something to Evolution after all" -- this after emphatically, unequivocally stating year after year that we were Created and that Evolution was a lie. I had many doubts and disagreements with their interpretation of scripture and never liked their going above and beyond the Bible.
I knew enough about myself to know that I had to be true to who I was as a person -- and that meant NOT becoming a JW.