Randall Watters: My Return to Christianity: The Early Years (part 3)

by Dogpatch 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • RosePetal

    Hi Randy! my my post name is Mr.Bumble I am RosePetals husband, I do come on this forum from time to time to make comments or observations, I have not given by story yet, mainly because of limited time. i have read your story on freeminds last year during our exit and was incouraged that we had made the right decision to resign and walk away.Prior to this, things were troubling both of us for many years and though we knew problems and issues were not just local, the world wide scale of it shook us both and effected our faith and we were in no mans land for a few years but we still believed it was true, the mind set was 'Theres no where else to go'!We both felt the same way and could not go back until things changed.Idid not want to serve God on condition, 'Waiting on Jah' was not a bad attitude to have,but was misused and abused by the watchtower org and good people were suffering.

    Since walking away our faith has taken on a whole new meaning and renewed perpose. [more about that another time.]Randy! i enjoyed the second half of your story regarding techniques to allow people in a cult to start thinking for themselves again rather than forcing their mind to close again to slumber or to feel empty.We still have family sound asleep and of course shunning is the name of the game for them. We are fellowshipping with christians in our area and are in the middle of directing them to subtle techiques to ask questions not on doctrine but on our God given freedom of conscience and choices in life, giving them more info on the org. when the witnesses call or during their own minitry. I am sending you a pm regarding this. many thanks.

    Mr Bumble.

  • Dogpatch

    Thanks Mr. Bubble!

    It seems like if we manage to get on the road to healing and widening our perspectives and quit judging, we can once again reach out into the vibrant stream of life gushing by us so fast. If we are still bound and afraid by fear and guilt, our hands are locked to our sides. We are like the little corals that are so afraid they cannot leap out of their liimestone huts when a good wave goes by, and they starve and stagnate.

    Don't let the nutrients go by! Learn to not be afraid, but commit to learning to swim in the rich tide of life.

    My lesson: Spend less time contemplating non-realities or constructs of the human mind, and get out and enjoy life.



  • WuzLovesDubs

    Ive "known" you all these many years Randy....like maybe 14 years or so since I found freeminds online...and I hadnt read your history before this. I truly appreciate your always being there for me, for us, supporting us and helping us through our journey out of the Borg and into real life. I hold you, as I did Ray, in very high regard and applaud your courage and your quiet but very strong love for the brothers and sisters. I hope to see you for many decades to come!


  • Dogpatch

    Thank you my dear Lovesmenot! "Decades" might be a bit scary though. :-))


  • Violia

    Randy I enjoyed reading your history of what happened at Bethel in the late 70's and early 80's. I too wish I could have known what was happening but as an average jw I was told evil apostates were trying to take over the org. Some of the jws back then, the elders and their friends knew more about what was happening, but most of us knew nothing. The area I lived in had its own drama with a KH being " taken over" by apostates and a lot of the cong. disbanding. The wts of course sent in the troops and built a bigger and better KH but it was a real turing point in this area. I believe it was what caused the change in who has the title to the KH's.

    I had never read one piece of apostate literature or talked with them, yet I figured it out by myself. Jws showed me themselves who they were. The real turning point for me was the change in the baptismal vows. I knew then this was not God's org. Indeed, I had decided God did not have one org, but accepted all who came to Him .

    The biggest challenge I have had was including Jesus Christ . I know that sounds crazy, but jws gave Jesus such a low key presence that I found it hard to pray to Jesus. I was even scolded by one of the xjws ministers b/c I could not do that but it did not feel natural. It took time to remove all the brain washing . I started readig the Bible myself and lets say I am a work in progress.

    Thank you for your life of dedication,and caring. Your mom was right. She did dedicate you to God.

  • Dogpatch

    to wasanelder:

    Thanks for yhour comments:

    Each one has thier own journey. You left the Watchtower looking for more religion, Jesus, whatever. I've left and have decided that there is no religion to join. In fact I'm not convinced that there is anything but groups set out to control others. Jesus? Just doesn't matter to me any longer. Religion is just a way to prepare for our eventual death and make excuses for our unexcusable dark sides.

    Actually I "found" Jesus when I was 9 years old and prayed to him every day since then as a Baptist up until about 15 yrs old or so. Rather than looking for Jesus after leaving the WT, my quest was to find an "organization" that best represented what I already knew of him. Once I saw they were not representative of the historical figure of Jesus at all, I was GONE in a flash. Watchtower be damned.

    The Watchtrower was a wrong turn in the road, so when that was over, I just went back to my roots... but started studying a great deal more about Jesus, Paul, the Christian church over the centuries and who seemed to fit the bill. I never worried once if I was "saved" or not, I knew that as a kid. Just made a wrong turn in the road, that's all.

    We all change in time as we mature and learn and get to know ourselves. My life is different now. I am not into organizations at all and never will be again.

    During my recent dive into primal hell due to health, my world view changed automatically. I know myself and why all these quests have controlled my life. Read my blogs for an update, in bits and pieces, of what I have been through. You might find some striking resemblances to your own thoughts.



  • moshe

    Randy , I attended a large 1000 member Vineyard church in 1990 and while most people seemed to love that church, it seemed phoney to me. Someone would get up and speak in tongues for 30 seconds and then another would spend 5 minutes "interpreting" his/her gibberish. When I asked the leaders about the finances, I just got a run around. As far as I could determine, the church building was controlled/owned by the founding pastor (a layman who was a charismatic speaker, imo) and his inner circle of elders/deacons, who also paid the salaries and OKd their car and housing expenses. I convinced my new wife that we should switch to the Assemblies of God, which was a real organized church with open financial records. This Vineyard church had no formal membership process, you just told them, "hey, I like this place". Since I wasn't a legal member, they didn't have to show me the church's books. It reminded me of the JW's who weren't one of the 2000 voting members of the WT Bible and Tract Society of PA and as such, they had no right to know anything about the finances of the WT Corp.

  • Dogpatch

    Hi moshe,

    Well it was pretty complicated and messy how Vineyard broke off from a Calvary Chapel-style format. The main issue was using the "gifts of the spirit." John Wimber was not interested in theology but experience, just like the very early Christian church, so they were not very organized. He was often attacked for that, but I don't believe there was any corruption reported or identified. But John was a humble, open man... and was attacked by the more traditional evangelicals. The "deliverance" movement was the big difference, they would "deliver Christians from demons" in their prayer meetings, which I and some other girls often attended.

    I went to many types of "deliverance" churches during that time, and they all seemed quite phony. I certainly don't believe in it, any more than my ability to speak in tongues is supernatural. Occam's Razor kept my head clear. But I did learn a lot about how religious fervor, guilt and shame drive people to see it all as supernatural. I can to this day do all the tricks of the charismatics, down to a science, like Marjoe Gortner. I just love to study how people deceive themselves to survive.

    Nevertheless, the worship services were awesome. :-))


  • Lozhasleft

    I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your story....thank you so much...

    Loz x

  • moshe

    Thank you Randy for the Vineyard information. I imagine that today church is nothing like I remember from 1990. I think that what disturbed me the most about all the "gifts of the spirirt" that the Vineyard group was using to show they had God's spirit could have been debunked very easily, but that would have spoiled the entertainment for everyone.

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