in late 1976, I had just turned 17. Everyone in my family dropped out over the next few years, except a a brother who has been going strong his whole life. My mother went back a couple of years ago and I live in the same town as she does and she keeps talking to me about it. Reading this forum, it sure brings back a lot of memories. I read Trevor Willis' book a couple of days ago and it dawned on me just how much being raised a JW, though I was not baptised, has effected my life up until this day. Not all bad, certainly not all good. A sense of "doom and unworthiness" seems to be somewhere in the crevices of your mind, always. I find it interesting that people who left there decades ago are posting about that organization decades after they left it. For good or bad, it defintely had a big impact on their lives. It also seems to me that the organization has become more "cult-like" in that they seem to have gotten more away from the Bible and rely on their own lterature for answers. I don't recall people being judged so harshly when they left when I was going, as seems to be the case now. After reading parts of "Crisis of Conscience", maybe they were and I just didn't pay attention or maybe that was a turning point.
The thing that I do like about the Jehovah's Witnesses is the people. Most of them seem sincere in their trying to live a moral life. That's appealing because it's tough to be a "lone wolf". Quite a few people I've met in my life who were "Christians", pretty much lived like I did, only I never pretended to be living a moral life, according to my understanding of the morality taught in the New Testament. I have noticed in my life that you could usually tell who ex-witnesses were. Many of the younger ones, when they let go, they REALLY let go! Sodmom and Gomorrah Part II.
However, I never understood when I was going what the Governing Body was all about. I guess I thought that they were just an administrative group, as any organization would need. I didn't realize they were to be looked at as Catholics view the Pope. The Elders that I knew in the KH that I went to seemed to be kind, sympathetic and non-judgemental. From what I'm reading they don't appear that way anymore, as a whole. Is there really STALKING going on to members who leave? If so, that's absurd.
A problem I have with JH is their view of Jesus. I talked to my mother and JH brother about this. I believe you have to go through him, and they say they do. Maybe, technically, they do. But they seem to downplay him as much as they can. There seems to be quite a few things like that with the JW's. "Technically" they say they believe in this or not in that, but in REALITY it appears to be much different.
Anyway, just a few ramblings. I enjoy reading the forum.