dssy - It dawned on me March 2009 that it was all twoddle, started speaking to my wife during the summer. Resigned as an elder in November, all the time reducing meeting attendance. My last Meeting was in Tuesday March 2nd. Haven't stepped in a KH since.
Conscious Class vs. Fading...
Well, I make it through meetings and service the way anyone else does. I mean, I'm physically there. I rarely pay attention though. Not paying attention can help a lot, since like you said, there is so much false information being given out. Reading the Bible can pass time. Walking in the parking lot. I don't know.
The thing that i have a problem with is feeling like a big phony hypocrite for still attending meetings and pretending to believe everything. Have you had that problem too, dyssenergy (apologies for spelling your name wrong)? But I think it's important for us to have empathy for ourselves, as corny as that sounds. We have to understand that we've been put in a difficult situation by other people, we didn't put ourselves in this situation, so we shouldn't blame ourselves. It can be hard not to blame yourself, but I think it's important not to. I think that if I could bring myself to open up to family members about my views, a massive burden would be relieved and a new one would be put in its place. So who knows what to do? I don't.
Sorry for the rant, but at least you can know that I fully sympathize with your problems, and I understand how hard it is to live as you want to live under these truly bizarre circumstances.
Consider 'conscious class' as limbo between captive and fader.....
You might want to linger between CC and inactive until you feel your situation allows for full fade with little consequences. It also prepares captive JW relatives as they see you 'struggle' with the 'truth' to accept you departure a little better than just dropping off the planet.
So you go to enough of the 'right' meetings......in my KH that is the second and last week of KM, Memorial, Special Talk and CO visits. Perhaps find reason to skip the WTStudy as many find the amount of BS and control upsetting........ exit to the bathroom or volunteer to take kids out to parking lot. ......but still keep up on Study Articles privately for discussion with captives.
The funniest thing about CC is they are usually more on top of WTS things then most dubbies so as a girl you end up being perceived as spiritual or very organizational and elders/ms or busybodies pay less attention to you as the seek their own glory. (menfolk need to be careful of houndings to reach-out)
(A) Congregation sits together (like mine).......(1) bring along MP3 of audio book, lectures etc you have been wanting to catch up on. (2) Bring a notebook/binder and appear to write stuff (I personally doodle or take notes on MP3 lectures).... Have said notebook/binder already filled with notes gleaned from previously uploaded audios of earlier CA, SPAD, DCs...... this way when somebody asks why you were so distracted you can show them the notebook section of spiritual comments/ notes and appear all 'spiritual'-- thus the person accepts this cover for the rest of your stay in the WTS........ go to the one day of the CA or SPAD only. Skip Friday and be late on Saturday for DC.
(B) Congregation finds their own seats...... make a point to say you are sitting with 'friends', meet up for lunch with relatives and ditch the AM/PM talks alltogether but still have notebook filled out as 'proof' of your attending.
Above all this make a point to discuss the finer points of the assembly with your captive JW, this not only allows you to introduce your unease but also to gently give them an opportunity to rouse from their spiritual sleep at little. It also once again makes you look 'spiritual' as most captives don't pay attention anymore and only glean enough to incorporated a point or two in theocratic-after-talk to prove the are 'spiritual'
IF YOU HAVE BEEN DOING REAL FS-----show up to weekend FS once a month for 3 months, and then once every 5 weeks for 3 months, once every 6 weeks and so on.....start talking up your new found love of 'informal witnessing' and offer to watch nephew while mom get some FS time without him in tow. Turn in 10 hours a month regardless ..... if you wanna poke a little fun you or I could start a 'time thread' and everybody 'posts a clock or other representation of time'.LOL
IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE ANY REAL FS---- talk up informal witnessing and offer to watch nephew- turn in whatever time you feel is appropriate, ditto on the thread if you want!
Dating........just because you go on a date or two doesn't always equal BF with worldly boys......so go with the flow, don't mention anything to captives until it get serious enough to mention (ie 3-6 months of solid dating, not from the first date but from the time you and he declare a desire for a monogamy-- and you have already met his peeps)
MISC--- Talk to your captives about the WTS (ie AGM in Oct, BOE LTRs, Bethels in other countries etc), if you find a particular WT publication disturbing and you know it to historically inaccurate set up a discussion using WTCD and older pubs (yes I know violation of KM09-07 QB but most dubbies only know as much as the last few articles if that....so you can referrence new DVD and Russell's study group as proof of approval). Lead them but allow them to draw their own conclusions- praise and validate when they are correct and say 'that is interesting, I saw this to mean or be....' when they are not getting the point followed by asking their opinion of your opinion. Remember captives like to feel smart and know-it-alls so give them the opportunity to expound on subjects you know to show the WTS as it true self.
By keeping up discussions you allow the captive to come to appreciate your issues with the Org, they understand that you are sincere and wanting to 'wait on Jah' but are overwhelmed as reason when you finally start your fade or appear to be less in step with the Org.
NEVER NEVER NEVER .....directly say the Org isn't God's Channel (they can, you can't)......imply all to be imperfection of men..... imperfection is what stumbles you, you love the Org you just can't bear the imperfection right now.......exit stage left into inactivity and eventual fade.
I should note that having spent my formative years in the 70's I was given lots of strategy training so the whole 'playing the game' and 'embracing the hypocrisy" until I leave doesn't bother me as much as others :-( though I do get upset and disgusted with the Org and myself :-(
One point to keep in mind: The personality of the local body of elders can prevent a successful fade. So, a fade is not always an option.
Fade is always an option, you just might need to go about it differently in different congregations.
@BrotherDan: I understand what you are saying about doing the conscious class thing only for a time. I've sort of faded in and out before - and every time I go back, I have to do what I do at any sort of "magic show" - suspend disbelief. It really does a number on my brain, and it is uncomfortable. I'm a natural skeptic, so having to stay in that state of suspension feels unnatural.
In the meantime, while I have not been attending meetings, I have been taking some catholic theology classes. This is not to say that I believe the catholics, but their scholarship is fascinating. It seems to me like there is so much that is glossed over in the meetings, and they could be so much more interesting and meaty - to say nothing of the doctrine which needs up dating.
@PoorPlaces: wow - you must have nerves of steel and a great imagination to keep your self busy during all of that each week. Kudos!
@MadSweeney: Thanks for the great quotes!
Thanks for the support - any other ideas or suggestions are welcome...hearing other people's stories is very comforting.
Everyone is different. For me, fading was definitely the answer.
It is your ego that gets in the way of a smooth successful fade. The ego recoils at the labels and the pity and shame others put on you for missing meetings and neglecting field service.
You have to be strong, control your ego, and realize it's all for a good cause. My sister likes to use the expression: "He knows it's the truth, but he just can't live up to our high standards." Now when I hear that, I just smile to myself and try my damn-dest to suppress the laughter.
Here is my situation as of today:
I have not done any field services for many months (at least 6), and I have not gone to but a few meetings in 9 or 10 months. Attended Memorial. I went to part of the DC, and was seen by my family, and a few people in my congregation.
I feel like I have good momentum, and I don't want to break it - but at the same time, not sure how to smoothly handle the concern of friends in my hall. As I have said in another thread, I moved to my congregation's territory, and live in a neighborhood with more than 10 JW families, most of whom I know.
So - I guess I'm in the middle of a fade. What should I do now??
Fade is always an option
Please see the previous thread on how you can be DF'd for any reason that three elders agree upon.
If a person wants to simply quit attending meetings and quietly continue to live the life of a JW, the fade is very possible and very probable.
However, if the person wants to stop attending meetings and then begin publicly smoking, celebrating Christmas, voting and various other personal liberties that he or she would like to do, the fade may be virtually impossible. Some elder bodies will simply ignore this known behavior (or fail to inquire about it). Other elders will take it upon themselves to hunt people down, confirum these activities and then begin judicial actions -- even if the person hasn't been to a meeting in months or years. (The elder manual gives the elders the option to ignore people who have been away. It doesn't force them to ignore these people.)