Welcome Franklin, glad you were pushed to the point of joining in.
Greetings to All, No Longer Lurking
A big welcome to Franklin Massey. May you continue to benefit from this forum and may we all benefit from your future postings.
Looking forward to reading more about you and your journey to freedom (of the mind)...
That was a lovely introductory post ...some good points well put....welcome to the gang.
....lest I cause a lot of damage to those I love the most in life....
Welcome to the forum Franklin.
The damage is done by the Watchtower, not by you. The hurt when someone leaves is the result of the teachings of the WT, not the leaver.
Don't blame yourself for the sins of the WT. That is what they want. Don't let them get away with it.
Lurkers, you are not alone!
If you are struggling with whether the Watchtower Society is really God's organization, please pause to consider the fact that it forces you to sneak around and cover your tracks just to find out what we know and what we are thinking and saying.
Does that sound like a religious organization chosen and run by Jesus Christ?
Welcome here Franklin Massey!
A great advice from another poster when I first signed up here was - "Keep on reading and keep on posting".
There are many things to be discussed and discovered here and I've found people to be really helpful.
If he has been lurking for two years evidently he has been reading..
@Franklin Massey, Welcome to the board! Reading your story I see a strong reflection of my situation and how I am dealing with it.
Welcome to the forum. I wonder how many other lurkers there are out there. I wish them all well. I was a lurker for a few years myself before I joined the forum. Like you, I also felt claustrophobic in the organization. In fact, I think they are the reason I developed OCD over the years. So, it clearly was not a healthy environment for me, a single woman. I don't know your circumstances but I do not have family in the religion, thankfully. I have just a few friends who, if they reject me at some point, I will get over it. I started my 'fade' the end of 2000 when I found out the religion's history on the internet.
Unlike you, I am not interested in whether or not there is reform in the JW religion. I am done with it no matter what it morphs into. I also am not interested in changing anybody's beliefs because I believe in live-and-let-live and I always was this way. I joined the JW religion because I was only interested in end-time prophecy - not a dictatorship (which it appears they are surely turning into). I guess you could say I was lured in under false pretenses.
I agree with you that there are few absolute truths in the realm of spirituality. I do not accept anybody's dogmatism OR anybody's divine claims. I always laughed to myself over this. People can believe what they want about themselves. The problem arises when they try to force other people to accept it.
While it took their (unscriptural) stand against 'education' to be your breaking point, it was the changed 1995 generation teaching that did it for me. I also disagreed with their stand against education and careers and repelled their 'efforts' to persuade me to pursue poverty. What nonsense! These people weren't supporting me! As a matter of fact, I am horrified at how damaged I would be if I were gullible enough to have believed them. They feel unaccountable and have clearly gone beyond what is written in the bible. I dare say, it sounds to me that they have elevated themselves over the bible.
I am sorry for anybody who is left there now although there are some who are happy because they are doing well financially and their friends and family are there, so it SEEMS good for them at least for now. But, as for me, I am so glad to be out of it. I could no longer subject myself to such abuse.