Before It's Too Late ...

by The Berean 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • The Berean
    The Berean

    While I don’t usually submit long-winded posts … this one might well be worth it for those who do not fully realize the emotional and financial hazard involved in living as though the world, as we know it, is about to end:

    First let me say, Bob and Mary, I will call them, are a decent and caring couple who have been married forty or so years. They were both raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses and have consistently lived their faith. When they met Bob was heir to a small chain of retail outlets and Mary was quite enamored with the combination of spirituality and potential wealth. Upon marriage they decided not to have children so as to dedicate their time to saving others.

    Over the course of decades Bob liquidated the family assets by selling off stores and limiting business hours to only those which did not interfere with their ministry. Finally, around 1990, with “this generation” about to expire Bob sold the final outlet in order to “buy out the opportune time.” They accepted a ten-year timetable for payments from the new owner, became full time pioneers, built a home, and hunkered down for the onset of “the Great Tribulation.” And indeed “tribulation” came …

    After a few years Mary would suffer medical complications and incur debt due to being underinsured. Their new home cost much more than anticipated and with payments from the business sale about to end Bob was forced back into the work force, ironically working certain evenings and Saturdays, something he demonized as a shop owner.

    The “rust-belt” congregation in which Bob served as an Elder began to shrink as some got elderly and others left the area to find work. Bob and Mary became the pillars of support to the dwindling flock and this too began to take an emotional toll. The year 2000 came and went and once again the “new order” was on hold. Mary, who had as a youth given up a potential modeling career now voiced doubt as to whether it was all worth it and entertained thoughts of suicide.

    Then Bob was diagnosed with cancer. Though treatment put the disease into remission, to this day he suffers extreme pain as a side effect, often misses work and congregation meetings and is in need of constant pain medication. In a recent call Mary confessed that the money is gone, the house is in jeopardy, and they are both depressed only hoping that other relatives die first so that what is left of the family wealth (that wasn’t already given to the WBTS) can help cover their “golden years.” Sadly, the needy who they tended to in the congregation for many years are nowhere to be found now that the tables have turned. They have both become quite cynical.

    Perhaps, by now, many are chuckling and feeling Bob and Mary have “reaped what they have sown,” yet while we grieve for the dead in Haiti, let us remember that while their bodies remain trapped and rotting in rubble, not totally of their own making, are there not living souls trapped in a rotten culture of legacy from which they cannot escape and serving a sentence of their own personal “hell.” And, like the Haitians, there may be nowhere else to go. For me, it is still sad …

  • AllTimeJeff

    Well written. I agree.

  • Bonnie_Clyde

    Stories like this can be told over and over again. Some people never figure out that they've been conned. Others find out too late....too late to turn around. We see lots of JW's who are still "in" who are depressed and struggling.

    Personally, I was 56 years old when I figured out I had been duped (42+ years in the borg). My first thoughts were, "I've gone this far--might as well stick with it." Then I thought, "But, I better get out before it's too late." So glad I did even though it meant losing most of my JW relatives.

  • BizzyBee

    Not chuckling at all.

  • Think About It
    Think About It

    Generation after generation emotionally and financially harmed by WTS propaganda and deceit. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.

    When I first came into the org......I remember the pursuasion to just give up one's job and career or not pursue an education in order to pioneer. I resisted the pressure, because it "didn't feel or sound right."

    Later, I did become "gun ho" enough to donate all the money I had at the time, due to the needs of the cong. My bank account was $0 after that. Later, as I got to know the prominent elders and others in the was discouraging to find out they had plently of money, but held back from freely donating.

    I have been out for a long time now.......and became wealthy!

    Think About It

  • journey-on
    trapped in a rotten culture of legacy from which they cannot escape and serving a sentence of their own personal “hell.”

    They could have escaped, but it's not easy. They made their choice. I don't want to sound preachy, but when you make choices, you have to be prepared to live with their consequences. Life is all about personal choices. Before you can make a good choice, you have to have the mental capacity and free will to think it through. I was raised a witness. But, at some point, I found myself at a crossroads. I had this awesome joy of being a young mom and the responsibility of that hit me full force in the face. They were (and are) my world. From that time forward, all my decisions had to be with them in mind.

    Choice #1: Do I continue the JW tradition of brainwashing techniques indoctrination and practices? Do I drag them to 5 meetings per week, field service on the weekends and Wednesdays, study every week, etc. Do I make them go through the social pain of isolation from participation in activities and extracurricular functions. In other words, do I continue to suck life out of them and isolate them in the JW world as I had been? I knew I couldn't wait too long to decide. They were coming up on Kindergarten and 1st grade.

    Choice #2: I get busy with Life! My own and my childrens'! I embrace Life. Celebrate it! Break out of the suffocating anti-education anti-social anti-enjoyment anti-thinking JW world and raise my little ones to be joyous, confident, inclusive, unafraid and independent to THINK without fear. Give them opportunities and choices. I wanted to search for God myself without the constraints of dogma and doctrine.

    I made my choice and I have never regretted it. I faded. I said to God/myself: "If the Watchtower Society is the Truth, I guess I will die at Armageddon. It has nothing to do with not loving God, but everything to do with honoring the gift of Life now. If the Watchtower is wrong and I stay in, I will have dishonored and repressed this gift of Life. I had to use it...spend it wisely. Just safeguarding it based on a bunch of "what ifs" was morally and intellectually wrong to me and I was willing to sacrifice the cocoon of familiarity and step out into a beautiful world of opportunity and live my life fully and fearlessly.

    My heart gets heavy with sadness when I read these sad tales of people that gave up everything for the organization, thinking they gave it up for God. My heart tells me God doesn't want sacrifice, he wants you to take the Life you have been given and live it with joy and inquisitiveness.

  • The Berean
    The Berean

    Thought About It! ...

    Please send [email protected][email protected]

    Signed ...... Needy

  • The Berean
    The Berean


    Do you see any correlation between the Haitian tragedy and that of JWs?


  • journey-on

    That's a hard question, Berean. One is a physical tragedy and the other is a spiritual tragedy. Pulling oneself out of a physical trap is not the same as pulling oneself out of a spiritual trap.

  • wasastar


    A very sad experience. My motto is a David Bromberg song " A man should never gamble more than he can stand to lose."


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