Hidden remnants of a life past....

by AK - Jeff 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    As we sat rummaging through old files, clearing the clutter and removing dated receipts, canceled checks, and old employment information, I found them. In a file, hidden somewhere between the mortgage papers and credit card statements, was a file marked 'theocratic info' or something to that effect.

    My wife handed the file to me and asked what I wanted to do with this? I shuffled through forty or fifty sheets of neatly typed notes, manuscripts, and printed forms. These were 'my talks' - 12 or 14 'assigned' public lectures, printed and carefully elaborated by my hours of preparation into scripted monologues designed to drive, intimidate, or train [not educate] my brothers and sisters of like faith in the dogma of my religion.

    I stared at them for 30 or 40 seconds - what should I do with THIS? These were not like the books I had routinely removed from my shelves to place in cartons at the door of the Kingdom Hall. These were nothing like the occasional stack of Watchtower or Awake magazines that seems to just appear in a closet or drawer. THESE items represented my personal commitment to the effort of communicating my communal beliefs to an audience assembled in Kingdom Halls all over my 'circuit'. In addition, among them I found a letter from a Circuit Overseer whom I had become well acquainted when attending Pioneer School. A letter in which he excused himself from a theocratic dinner at my home, but heavily praised my efforts in 'serving Jehovah' in the 'last days'.

    A few random thoughts ran quickly through my mind - perhaps I should keep them - after all they represented a lot of hard work, at the time I believed studious work. They had been tailored to my speaking ability, my illustrations were there, my attempt to sell the theocracy publicly. Then I considered the idea of selling them somehow, for there must be those willing to pay, if not for my configurations, for the original outlines? A foolish thought discarded in a moment. What if I sent them to some of my former friends, elders who might find them interesting to see? Then I recalled how those same men would not bother to even look my way in public.

    An hour later they lay smoldering on a freshly lit fire. That's what you do with shit like that!


  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Very affecting, Jeff.

    A difficult decision, perhaps, but I think one no different from when the wise men of Ephesus (?) torched their magic arts books.

    Didn't they replace what they relinquished with "The Truth"?


  • Queequeg


    I've been going through a similar thing. I want to burn all of it but I also want to keep anything that might be interesting later. You're are a lot further along in your escape than me so I'll probably end up getting rid of all of it like you. It's a little wierd to look at. Especially when you think about all the time we spent on that crap.. I still have a file with about 20 outlines in two different languages. Oh well, I'm actually really happy to not have to spread the lies...


  • Lillith26

    Camp Fire" Arrh... much better"...

    It's stories like that warm my heart and make me smile.

    On Ya Jeff Thumbs Up

  • Dark Side
    Dark Side

    Good for you.

    I'm not sure I would have done the same thing

    As much as I hate the WTBTS, I wouldn't be the man I am today without it

    It's a part of who I am. I hate it and I'm grateful for it

    I always wonder, who I would be today if I had never been raised a JW?

    I think it's an issue that all ex-JWs have to confront sooner or later

  • read good books
    read good books

    I found a bunch of my Bethel records and files recently, I won't tell you how many years they go back but I have thought similar thoughts about what to do with what represents a big chunk of my life, like a letter from Knorr then Presidient of the Society to the Bethel family in 76 just after 1975 passed uneventfully, stonewalling any mention of it.

    Question, when you burn that stuff do demons pop out? Or does it just smell like...

  • darth frosty
    darth frosty

    BRAVO!!! good sir! BRAVO!!!

    I recently did the same thing liberating isn't it.

  • exwhyzee
    like a letter from Knorr then Presidient of the Society to the Bethel family in 76 just after 1975 passed uneventfully, stonewalling any mention of it.

    Hey RGbooks....any chance of copying that letter and posting it here ?

  • WTWizard

    Some of these things serve a useful purpose. They are a reminder as to why I hate the religion so much, of the detrimental effect the religion has on one's whole personality. Some serve the purpose of dramatizing how lame the things we called "beauty" while we were in, or what we called "hideous". Those pictures of the A$$embly Hell, while they might make us puke today, can serve to remind us of how lame those dumps actually are. As with pictures of our undecorated homes in the neighborhood in the middle of December, when everyone else was getting ready for Christmas.

    There are other aspects that are only detrimental. How much of the "new personality" do we still have? If we have pieces of it, do we hate the parts that are harmful to ourselves and/or society? (Which is what "hate what is bad" really means.) Are we still afraid of Christmas because we think of it as bad (as opposed to the dread of getting hit with big bills)? Do we still feel guilty when we miss a big boasting session? Do we have a judgmental attitude against anyone that decides to try regular church? Would we accept a blood transfusion if one was absolutely necessary? Do we cringe about seeing a flag, aside possibly thinking about how bad a job your president is doing? What about judging others because they choose to buy a lottery ticket, join the military, dabble a bit with the Ouija board, have a flag or holiday decorations prominently displayed on their property, or listen to "bad" music?

    To the extent that we are still living "the new personality", we still have work to do. Granted, not everyone is this advanced--many have just realized that the religion is bad, and will still adhere to 95% of the doctrine. Others, who have been out for a while, progress toward independent thinking or toward regular church at different speeds. Some are more innately judgmental than others. However, it is these remnants--and not the physical relics of when I was a witless--that I view as "detestable things". And no, you will not be able to toss them on a fire or in the shredder as you could the littera-trash. Some will be with you for your whole life, especially if you were born in or very dedicated to the religion and had one minor issue that blew up into a major debacle. But, these are some of the things we can work on as apostates, much as the witlesses are urged to work on "worldly" traits.

    And yes, Dogpatch of Freeminds is expecting another shipment of Crisis of Conscience on September 14. Which date you might mark on your calendar if you are having difficulty accepting the witless religion as being bad--the date you should be ordering your personal copy.

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