You've already gotten some good advice on where to start and what to read. Take your time. How you deal with this will depend on your own personal circumstances. You may also find that your emotional stability increases as you re-assess your life and the impact this religion has had on your thinking. Read Hassan's books and Ray Franz's and be prepared to deal with a wide range of emotions. You will get through it, many here already have...you are not alone.
Stayed up all night, see it is a cult now.
Please know that you are among friends, and many of us here have been where your at. The first night I did some research, I was up all night. One thing lead to another, and I will never ever forget the hair that stood up on my arms as I discovered the orgzanization was steeped in pyramidology (which is demonic) in Russells time. So I can relate to your feelings you must be going through...I too was raised in the organization. And had been EXTREEMLY dedicated to the organization..
But this particular night, I stayed up until 4 in the morning, then tried to slip into bed...my husband of course caught me and from there..I had to tell him what I was up to and had discovered. It was like opening "Pandoras Box". I was in complete shock!! As I am sure you are right now. We understand, and please know that though you do have an emotional roller coaster ride ahead of you, however, I PROMISE things WILL get better!!!
For my husband and I...ultimately we pretty much quit cold turkey...it drew alot of unwanted attention since we were so active and my husband had been a Minesterial Servant for years...it definately sped things up....but we lost alot of our family along the way. Others here have gone about things a little differently. Rather then leaving cold turkey..they over time, slowly became inactive, thus preserving their relationship for the most part with their family and friends. Each person has to weight out the best course for themselves, but with what you have told us, maybe that would be a better way to go for you, as you would probably preserve your family.
Unfortunately though, it will mean continuing to go to the meetings and service for some time longer...which in itself will prove to have its own problems. You will no doubt become mad at what your hearing from the platform, and feel angry inside, but you will have to controll it, so as not to let the cat out of the bag. But be reassured, as hard as it may be, you can do it!! Others definately have! This forum will most likely become very helpful for you to express your feelings as you will find comfort from others here who have been in your shoes. It's a way to vent, and to have validation for your feelings, as well as to recieve much needed compassion, love and support.
One thing I would like to encourage you to do is to keep on researching...but most of all pray for God's Holy Spirit to direct you to the truth no matter what it may be...to give you comfort and strength. He will never abandon you...I promise!! The witnesses want you to believe that if you leave the organization, you cannot have a relation ship with God..basically they believe they are one in the same...at least that is the way they act. Many feel that when they leave they can no longer have a relationship with God because they have been brain washed to believe they can't. But remember, Jesus said we needeed only 2 things in order to be approved by God...Faith and Love. Because by these 2 things, all other things would be encompassed. If it was life saving for a person to be a JW, wouldn't it stand to reason Jesus would have mentioned it at least ONE time when he was here?? He didn't though.
Know too that you most will probably go through a full range of emotions...from confusion, disbelief, shock, anger, hurt and FINALLY peace...yes I PROMISE it will come..and when it does, you will look back, and it will feel like you have been given wings!! You will for the first time be able to use your conscience to serve your heavenly Father.
Remember...you don't have to "throw the baby out with the bath water" either. Many after leaving the organization have been so hurt and are so angry they completely dismiss God and Jesus. Many though are able to preserve that relationship with them. However, each must make up their own mind.
That being said, you will find some on this forum no longer believe in the Bible or God. But many still do. Either way though, through this forum we are able to share feelings, love and support to each other. We try not to judge one another all though we do not all agree, we respect the fact that we are entitled to our own thoughts and feelings. We have compassion for each other, knowing they too have been through and maybe are still going through their own fair share of misery.
I hope you continue to pray, research and stay with us here for support. There are MANY very knowledgeable people here, and if you are trying to find information on something, most likely someone here has it...so don't be afraid to ask.
Hang in the friend, and again, ((HUGS))...
Gutted its quite shocking and unbalancing to come upon the real workings of the WTS.
Take it slow and easy, there are a lot of compassionate people here as you can see to help you through things and make it easier
to digest. Welcome to the forum ........TheTrueOne
Hi Gutted, just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Others are going through the same difficult situation. I can totally relate. And I think are screen names are a bit similiar in meaning, too.
Hello gutted, nice to have you here.
I was where you are 3 years ago. It feels like your whole world is collapsing and that you can't breathe.
Take your time and try to relax, it's going to take some time to process this experience and come out the other side intact. Give yourself at least 6 months before you decide to do anything drastic.
I made the mistake of talking to 'friends' who I thought would understand but it turned into a disaster. Even ones who I'd joked about 'the truth' to, who had their own doubts, when it came to crunch time, turned their backs after years of close friendship. That really hurt. Ironically if you talked to them they would say that I was the one that brought it on myself and forced them to act that way towards me. You can't win when you open your mouth about your doubts. Within 1 year from quitting meetings my husband (Besty) and I were disfellowshipped for apostasy. Half our family don't talk to us and haven't for 3 years.
We were lucky - we had each other and our children - we still lost many dear friends who we live in hope of reuniting with when they 'wake up'. There are still many regrets though of a life lived as a Jehovah's Witness but many, many things to be grateful for and I try to remind myself of this often.
You need to have a plan to move on - right now reading all you can will help even though you may find that angry feelings and bitterness surface - once you read Crisis of Conscience you may change your mind about 'being an outright denouncer of your religion'. There is much injustice that this organisation that we trusted and loved has been responsible for. Just remember that all your feelings will be completely normal and what many, many others have been through before you and are going through with you right now.
Be prepared for some nightmares . . . it's a normal side effect of your brain coming to terms with everything.
Start building a network of close friends outside the organisation and get involved in things you are passionate about.
Don't worry about losing your faith (this may or may not happen in time) - whatever happens you will survive and you will be happy.
Get some cognitive therapy. A professional who you can talk to about all your feelings really helps.
And post here as much as you feel you need to about anything - we might have heard it all before but it doesn't matter, we are here for you and know that this is a very tough time for you right now and we want to help.
Sam (of the 'it was damn painful coming out of the cult but so worth it' class)
P.S. Forgot to mention...I too would HIGHLY agree with Flipper in reading the book Crisis of Conscience. You will be AMAZED and completely SHOCKED at how things are really handled in the heart of the organization, as it was written by a Governing Body member. It is not a JW bashing book. It is written in a "matter of fact" kind of way. You will have many "Ah ha" kind of moments as you read it..and will no doubt have a hard time putting it down. But be WARNED...do not tell ANYONE you are reading it and keep it locked away so no one knows you have it...unless of course you are ready for all hell to break loose with the elders that is..
As other have said, you are not alone, we understand, all of us have sat in your seat at one time or another.
There is no rush, Armageddon ain't around the corner, so take your time and be thorough in your research.
I accidently clicked on this site 2.5 years ago....and all of my world began to crumble. It was horrifying, gutting and life-changing but knowledge is power and you too will regain your footing.
As you have probably read some on this site and others we are a legion of people in different stages of our walking away from the WTS. Myself I am in the 'conscious class'...... I am a born-in and active , actually I am about to walk out the door and head off to the KH.
One thing you can do besides posting here for support is to start examining the older literature for yourself to make sure all things. It is one thing to read on a forum or site about WTS quotes .......and quite another to see them in the whole of the publicatons. It will be sickening but worthwile. No one here wants you to 'just take our word' rather take the time to learn the 'truth about the troof'.
Many other sites also have MP3s of talks from the early WTS leaders too!
Here are some links to get you PDF scans of WTS publications.....
Here are three on Piratebay too....
Chasson has a very nice collection online as well....
Here is the direct link to his directory of scans: http://www.wtarchive.org/deposit/
Finally ........please give JWNs 'Best of' section a good reading!
I am glad you found us, things will get better, just keeping taking small steps forward...........
Pretty soon you will be discussing things like WTS politics and personalities and actually enjoy reading the WT-StudyEdition through your newly opened eyes!
You will be limited to 10 posts per day for the first 100 post, so use them wisely!!!!!
Big Sister Hugs to you for your bravery!
Wow guys, thanks so much.
This morning I couldn't hold it in and told my mom.
I was actually quite pleasantly suprised. She has heavy doubts too, and I mentioned many of the things I just read about.
But to her all organizations are really twisted, for instance thinking about politics and if you jump the party fence, the reprocussions. How are people viewed when they are fired or layed off? Not very favourably either. But my sister is not a witness either and my mom has regular contact with her, and I was reassured she would still love me. Of course she wants me to be "spiritually strong".
My main concern at the moment is the financial drive of the WT. I will check out the books listed.
Really appreciate it guys!
All the advice you have been given here is excellent, it is from people who have been, or are in your position. I am in exactly the same position having really found out about the organisation this last couple of years. I am in my 60's, brought up in it and just cannot walk as yet.
However you say you are a young single man, so do not waste your life as so many of us older ones have, you will end up very bitter. Fade at your own pace but do not forget the goal is to be OUT!
All the very best from
I've been fading from JWs successfully for about 5 years now. I spent most of my life as a Witness. I was never a "good Witness" although I tried to be, my parents became Witnesses when I was 12.
Finally, I just had too many questions that were not satisfactorily answered, and went looking elsewhere. Isn't it amazing that when you look outside of Witness literature how easily their teachings crumble?
Scarily easy. Everyone who was in the religion for a long time or even a short time and discovers that is in total shock for a while. I literally laid down on the floor my house and screamed for half an hour, having a huge anxiety attack when it finally hit me how false all these things I'd been carefully taught are.
But, you do survive.
I just walked away and quit going to meetings, quietly and determinedly and politely ignored all attempts to "encourage" me back. I've never been DF'd and don't intend to be. I don't even want to give them the power to do that to my family who are Witnesses still. My parents are very old, and when they pass away, I'll be the biggest loudest apostate in the world, but untll then, I won't give the WTS the means to make them suffer by having to shun their only daughter, who they may need to care for them someday.