Documentary...Has anyone proposed doing a documentary on leaving the JW and life after?
I have an idea for a project which I would like create or contribute to in the future.
This is what I have in mind.
- Present a brief story of the JW movement, who they are, what are their core believes, etc.
- Get a couple of good life stories from the following type of people:
· “Born ins” – what was it like to grow up as a JW, the challenges, the emotions, etc.
· “Converts” – how did you came across the JW, what was your life at that point, what attracted you to the religion, what did you have to give up, your non-JW family reaction, etc.
· “Leaders” – former elders, bethalites, CO, etc. what was your experience serving in that capacity, why did you choose that “privilege”, etc.
· “active members” –who are disillusioned, struggling to stay in. What is keeping you in? or Why can’t you just leave?, etc. of course, for the active members…your identity will be protected.
- After presenting life stories (documentary style) we’ll proceed to explain what your turning point was. When did you arrive to your own “crisis of conscience”? What made you leave? Etc. · What was your experience like? When you expressed your doubts? Committed a mistake? etc
· Your DA letter and your JC experience
- The shunning experience
· Of course, feelings, emotions, how is your relationship with your JW family? Former friends reaction when they see your? Child custody battles, divorces, etc.
- Life after leaving….
· What is your life like? How did you make the transition? What are your fiends like? Did you go to school? Hobbies, etc..
· Did you seek consoling, what helped you recover, etc.
· What is your faith like now? Do you belong to a church?
· If none, what turned you into an atheist, agnostic, etc.
- Looking back and forward.
- What would make made it an ‘ideal’ or good (not perfect) religion?
- Would you go back?
I’d like to include interviews with professionals such as Steve Hassan, and other mental health professionals familiar with the psychological problems that members of the JW religion and other cults suffer.
The documentary will be non-for-profit, and intended for the internet. If a distributor wants to pick it up for tv, sales, etc…then that’s a different story. Promotion will primarily be digital, blogs, xjw cites, facebook, youtube, etc.
My background (what I do for a living) is strong enough to allow me to get this project started from inception to the end, including marketing. I just don’t have the time right now, but I’d like to get things together. Filming, editing, and releasing on-line will take 6 to 9 months.
What are you comments?
Yes, I'm actually writing a book (under direction of an official editor in my homecountry), it's my lifestory, and that has it all.
20/20, a US news program, did a similar story on Amish kids who leave their faith several months back, so it seems there might be a market for something like this.
The main issue is that once you come out, you dont really want to make that many friends in the 'world', though you cant ascociate with the JWs...
It's a renching of the stomach and should be viewed as child abuse, somtimes... :)
There is a great book that goes down that road. 'I am perfect. You are doomed!' It chronicles the upbringing of a girl, back in what I think would be the 70's, as a JW. It is pretty funny, sad, funny and actually has a happy ending. I felt like I was reading about my life as I read thru her book. Check it out.
As far as a documentary, I think that would be awesome. I was raised as a JW, with my dad being one of the head elders, my mom a pioneer and my sister and I drug along for the ride. Whether we liked it or not. We did unassigned territory every year. We had parts on the assemblies. We visited Bethel every summer. We worked in the fields upstate NY at the Farm. We did it all. I even pushed thru as far as to become a Ministerial Servant. My sister was a Regular Pioneer. But we always felt we were leading a double life. We always were doing things that would have got us kicked out. I got married and had a wonderful "swinging" time and still stood on the stage, telling people what a particular scripture meant. I actually never felt bad about it either.
Eventually I realized what I was doing. I started to feel something. I started to feel bad about living such a double life. I wanted to be calm, easy, casual, but instead I felt tense, uptight, brooding. As I started doing less and less in the JW world and more in the real world, I started to feel better. I eventually stopped altogether and after a few years, told my parents where I was at and what I would and would not be doing. They are not happy, but, it's my life. And for once in my life, I feel honest. I feel whole. I feel upright and good. I feel that Karma, if it is real, would smile favorably on me. And I don't worry about Armageddon, death, New Systems, anything like that. I feel good. And that is the greatest feeling of all.
I haven't though about making a documentary, but if somebody did I would be interested/willing to get involved however possible. I've thought before about what I can do that would really make a different and have an impact, it just usually seems like me against millions of people, y'know?