For me, I was 100 percent brainwashed.
How brainwashed were you before you discovered the truth about the "truth"?
I was born in, and from an early age, before my teens, questioned some of the wackier teachings,and why the teaching kept changing.
I was convinced that, as Almighty God had His name on the organization,despite its looney ideas, He was using it, and would sort it out eventually.
I was brain-washed to that extent.
So, despite having a healthy sceptical attitude to every utterance from Brooklyn, I remained an active Witness until I was 57 years old, and left for good when I was 58 years old. (getting on for 3 yrs. now)
I still wonder at my father for being sucked in to the religion, in the late 1940's, he was an intelligent guy in every other respect, and truly god-fearing, apart from fathering me, it was the biggest mistake of his life.
Yep. Me too. 100%
I look back, seven years later, and say, "Who the hell was that idiot walking around using my name? " There is nothing left of that guy now. Thank God [if there was one].
Born-in, had the Kool-Aid bottle fed to me.
Which is what caused me such distress because I thought the failings were within me, not realizing that it was the cognitive dissonance that was driving me to distraction.
But it's normal for a child to believe what her parents tell her is true. Certainly with something as important as the end of the world and my salvation, I never doubted my parents.
Took years after leaving for me to continually have my eyes opened. It's a layer thing, once you get through one layer of their crap, then you can start to strip off another layer. Sometimes I think it will take a lifetime to remove all the residual static.
I was born in and believed until 1976.
I like to think I would have made different choices prior to 76, if I wasnt lied to.
Choices that would have affected the rest of my life just as the ones I made affected the rest of my life.
I WAS SO BRAINWASHED, THAT I TRIED TO GET MY SON BACK IN WHEN HE LEFT. HE HAS BEEN OUT FOR 8 YEARS AND ABOUT 3 MONTHS LATER, I LEFT AFTER 33 YEARS.
Enough to stay an apologist and believe i was going to die at armageddon for a whole 12 years after i left.
Enough to believe i had become a spawn of satan and that if i stuck around i would drag my kids to their deaths too.
Now this, makes me bloody angry as i think about it.
It's monumentally embarrassing, yes.
Enough to stay in it for 35 years and have it drastically affect my life. Gotta turn that around. Figuring out how is the hard part.
I was 14 when my family started studying so I had already experienced life in the outside world.
It was at my first visit to a KH that I became aware of the shunning rule. I had been brought up to have good manners and it was not in my nature to ignore people so it caused me great distress to be ordered to totally ignore a teenage girl with a tiny baby sitting alone right at the back of the KH. The order came from the girl's own father for goodness sake!! I had to watch that poor girl struggling with her baby throughout the meeting and afterwards, with no help from any of the older women. It was unbearable!!
Although I did become brainwashed to a certain extent, I think my first encounter with the cruel shunning rule helped to put an invisible warning sign in my head which, along with other things, lead me to become concious to the falseness of it all a few years along the line.
It has been slightly harder for Hubby who was practically a born-in (from the age of 2). He doesn't talk about it much, but although he has also left the borg I know he still has problems overcoming the brainwashing as other born-ins have mentioned.