Lots of nice people in the org as you say, its a shame that personal affections are subsumed to organizational requirements of proper association. Loyalty to the org comes first, the org makes this so.
It sounds, based on what you say, that there is no turning around the course you are on. I mean, it sounds too late for you to go back.
Youre on a long journey now, Ive been DF for 18 years and...well...Im in this site arent I? trying to achieve some good out of the general nastiness of the whole experience. Good luck bro.
CO&PO came to see me
Thankyou all for your encouraging words. JW have a long tradition in my family. So, I really haven't learnt to make friends outside the org. And my wife does not care about teachings and does not have the power ( at the moment) to see it the same way I do.
BTW, I have noticed that there are some from the old H20 board. Maybe anyone remembers me as a JW apologist who i.e.had a real struggle with Kent about JW in the Third Reich some years ago on h20.
You can copy your post below to make sure it is not lost:
I was an elder for many, many years as a JW. Five years after I stepped down, and when it started becoming obvious that I was on my way out of the JWs, I suddenly started getting visits from the CO and PO and other elders, just as you just did. It was too late.
All I can tell you is that, in time, the guilt will subside, and you'll realize that you've made the best choice possible. I gave such a huge part of my life to this organization - everything I treasured, from friends to family to whatever I could give of myself to others - was bound up in my being one of Jehovah's Witnesses. In the end, I found it was simply a delusion.
Give yourself some time. Your life will only get better. I too have sat through those meetings with elders and COs where they tried to shame me for what I was doing. It didn't work with me. My hope is that it will also not work on you.
I can truly understand the turmoil you are going through, but as you can see from the responses you've received, there are many here who really do care for you and others in your shoes. The outpouring of fellow-feeling, understanding and support one gets here is what we all need it seems, no matter what stage of recovery we are in.
I was told when I first posted here, to expect my life to be like being on a rollarcoaster. I am still finding that is true, that it is so easy to feel feisty one day and then allow ourselves to fall into a slump again. But still, coming here, even if I don't post, pulls me back up out of that slump, by reading others' informative posts that bolster up my convictions, or some posts filled with love that make me feel worthwhile again, or someone's funny post that makes me laugh again.
But why let yourself feel guilty. You said:
they will still defend the whole thing. The CO even said: "Imagine Russell looking down from heaven and saying: They should stop talking about that Pyramid, I know now it was a mistake." He also mentioned 1975. And he says that there are things today we will feel strange about in the future. But he came to conclusion that we have to endure and keep on preaching, and keep on attending meetings etc. ....They are doing exactly what is to be expected of a JW....defending their "truths" against pure logic such as:
How can all those "mistakes" have been from a "God-directed organization"?
Aren't JWs told that when some "new light" is made known, that it has come from God?
How can a loving God allow so many of his "sheep" to be hurt by unloving shepherds (who were supposed to have been appointed by God in the first place).
How can a loving God allow little children to be molested for years without bringing the molester to justice? Does God care more about bringing no reproach on his name than he does about the lives of these children?
We all know the long list of logical questions goes on and on, but still, true-blue loyal JWs will defend their precious organization rules over logic. That shouldn't make us feel guilty...only righteously indignant.
Come here and enjoy the ride!
"Never doubt that a small group of citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."...Margaret Mead
Ah, the CO. I remember one time when I was working on the ministry with him. And turned to him and said, "Y'know, when you think about it objectively, what we believe is absurd."
The Watchtower, April 15, 1928, p. 126 "As every one knows, there are mistakes in the Bible "
Sounds like you have bought into all their BS. I just have to say one thing,
Guilt, Guilt, Guilt, and more Guilt.
You've not done anything to feel guilty about. They're the ones that are wrong and are trying to get you to come back to the cult. Don't do it man, and don't even think that you're guilty because you have done nothing to be guilty about. Who cares if they think you've done something bad? Their versions of good and bad are warped so badly its not even funny.
I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven.
I HAD to post, because I had a similar experience to yours recently. I too was raised in the truth, even pioneered for a while, etc etc. A few weeks ago the CO and an elder came for a shepherding call because I haven't attended meetings in a while. I just moved to this area about 8 mos ago, and only went a few times because of family.
I pride myself on being honest, so when they asked me why I hadn't been to meetings (was it because of work?, they asked) I simply said that I didn't find the meetings interesting and didn't want to go. They were quite taken aback. They started into the same things you mentioned---relationship with God, happiness, etc. Now, I did not bring anything up about whether or not their doctrines are correct, I had no interest in getting into an argument. I merely pointed out that I did not see going to the KH as essential or equivalent to my having a relationship with God. They asked what was I doing, and I told them working, going to school, and I mentioned a couple of my educational goals for the future.
The CO (whom I have only met briefly once before, and who does not know me personally at all) had the nerve to say (this is an exact quote):
"So, now that you have turned your back on God, what is your purpose in life?"
One of those: "so when did you stop beating your wife?" questions
I calmly separated the parts of his question and answered, explaining that I didn't feel i had turned my back on God, and didn't think he had the authority to make such a blanket statment, especially when he doesn't even know me.
He also (at the end) sat there and told me that I wasn't happy. When I begged to differ (again pointing out that i found it amazing he could make such an assesment without knowing me at all). He just insisted that I wasn't or that at least I wouldn't be (because I didn't want to go to meetings).
While I realize that there ARE elders out there who wouldn't sit in my living room and say things like this (I have met some very thoughtful and nice ones), they are the minority.
I had been kind of wavering on what I wanted to do...was I going to try to retain my relationship with the JWs or not? And this "shepherding call" really helped me to make a decision.
Unfortunately for them, I don't think it is the decision they wanted! They really should look at revamping their methods of encouragement if they want them to work!
I went through the same thing 8 years ago. I was an inactive JW at the time and they came calling on me for my "improper" conduct. They didn't like it because I would not kiss their butts. All I remember is how for an hour straight they did nothing but condemn me by reading one article after another. I thought at the time that if they really wanted to help me they would have had more compassion and understanding. I was DF after because I didn't show any repentance.
GermanJW and Flower,
It takes at least a year of no contact what-so-ever to get the guilt out of your system. In talking on the phone to AlanF he said he still has moments when the JW programming comes back and haunts him, and he has been gone for around two decades. All I can say is hang in there, you will have your good days and bad days.
Is this a light saber in my pocket or am I just happy to see you?
"Hand me that whiskey, I need to consult the spirit."-J.F. Rutherford