I started my fade in '79 and did pretty well. It wasn't until I came to this site in 2001 that I really got it out of my system. I appreciate Simon and Angharad and all they have done for us.
Anyone leave the org without the help of the net?
Yes, I left without the help of the internet. I was introduced to the late Dr. Walter Martin. I read his books, and other books critical of the JWs, including Ray Franz's books, and decided that "the Truth" was not the truth.
I left without viewing any "apostate" material whatsoever in 1999.
I was disturbed by the drastic difference between the teachings and the behavior. I was also disturbed by questions I had that I was repeatedly told to wait on Jehovah for but never came. The biggest factor for me though was that I just could not definitively say I knew "the Truth". I was born in so there were no chances for me to compare my religion against others. The repeated talks about young people not "riding their parents shirt tails" to Paradise made a profound impact on me, although not in the way I'm sure those talks were intended for it to (i.e. get baptized ASAP). I was under a serial amount of pressure to get baptized, being told that I had been an unbaptized publisher for too long and it was way past time that I made my dedication official. I was troubled by taking the plunge when I didn't even know if I just believed it because it was all I had ever known. Despite that I almost did it just out of a feeling of obligation i.e. it being what I was "supposed" to do... until a sister pulled me to my senses by encouraging me to wait. Soon after that I DAed for the expressed purpose of finding "the Truth" for myself. Truth be told I felt like a total hypocrite for remaining in the organization when I wasn't even sure it was what I wanted to do and decided it was better to be doomed for searching than doomed for being a fake within "Jehovah's organization". Three years later I found "apostate" material on the web, including this site, and went through the pain of realizing that I had been lied to all along. Despite that I kept on fearing that despite the lies it was still "the Truth" up until several years ago when I started doing some in depth Bible study by researching key Greek terms. It was then that I realized how warped the NWT was and my eyes were really opened as to how far from "the Truth" the doctrines really were. It's only in the past year that I've been able to start fully accepting that the JWs are in fact a cult and not just a severely twisted and misled version of Christianity.
I disassociated myself back in '88 or there about. I had only got baptized about a year and half before (I wasn't raised in the religion.). Something was just fishy about that religion. I didn't understand the what and why fors until the net. . .18 years later. . .and after my daughters' baptisms.
Ain't that a biscuit!