For me it was the WT Study where the article posed the question regarding those who've left this religion and whether or not they've found sufficient spiritual food somewhere else. The article then answered the question this way, "No, they have not, for there are none." Classic moment for me, and something I'll remember until the day I die. It was just too blatant to brush over and forget about like other WT literature. Then I lurked here immediately thereafter and Mary did a wonderful WT review. All in all I have to say, it was the Watchtower themselves that helped me get beyond the WT mindset. There's a ton of other things WT related which have been irritating me for the past twenty years, it just finally go to the point where I started trying to make sense of why I was and still am so unhappy.
Who or What Helped YOU Get Out Of The Watchtower Mindset?
For me, as I became a teenager, so much didn't ring true. The blood policy, the subjugation of women, their flip-flops, my constant disagreement with their interpretation of scripture, and their outright and blatant non-Biblical doctrines all led me to conclude that it was not for me.
I got real busy with life as a teenager. I got a part-time job, I had my farm chores, school, and homework which made me totally unavailable for any of this wackiness. I put my plan together to go to College and move away from home once I had graduated from high school.
I never became a JW but my parents did once we kids all grew up and left home.
We kids were so lucky they weren't "dedicated" when we were younger. Our lives could have been a lot worse. None of us kids are JWs.
My husband firstly who started asking questions about why I believed what I did. What was the basis of my belief. As a typical JW I believed because I was told what to believe. You don't check because you believe someone has done that before. When you do the research the full horror is laid bare.
My children prompted me to check and were the motivating force. If I was bringing them into this religion of service and self sacrifice it needed to be worthy. They also were quick to move on with the new life and meant that as a family we were making changes very quickly.
The last people were our own body of elders who showed no evidence of god or love in their zeal to hunt us down. Some of them lacked personal integrity and showed that they had no love for god or the flock. Their unseemly haste to hold a jc at any cost and try to force our involvement even when told to leave us alone was more pharisaic than christian. They provided the final proof that the religion was not worthy of my time and attention.
Combatting Cult Mind Controlby Steve Hassan
WOW! What a variety of responses!!
Ray Franz's book " Crisis of Conscience " totally confirmed suspicions I had about the WT society for years , but it revealed EVEN MORE DETAILS than I had ever imagined. And the books that REALLY helped me after reading Ray's books were " Combatting Cult Mind Control " & " Releasing the Bonds - Empowering People to Think for Themselves " by Steve Hassan. BOTH of those books helped me to understand HOW I was able to be tricked or duped by cult mind control by the Jehovah's Witnesses. It enabled me to understand why I had a little fear and guilt just after exiting the JW's. AND it helped me to get RID of any of that fear and guilt by understanding the WHOLE situation and forgiving myself for having been duped by the JW cult. Then I was able to REALLY move on. And this took place several years AFTER I exited from the witnesses
I have posted this before, but for the benefit of new people here, briefly:
I was a young elder in Oklahoma City through the big prophetic failure of 1975. One of my best friends there at the time was Marion Dunlap - he was Ed Dunlap's brother and the city overseer in OKC.
We had long discussions on how on earth the society had gotten this so wrong - Marion began to confide in me that Ed and others at Bethel were going through the same sort of issues. This started me to look into what was going wrong with the WTBTS - it took about 2 years, talking with Marion weekly and having remote contact with Ed.
I had resigned as an elder and left the witnesses behind by 1979. They finally called and disfellowshipped me in about 1981 or 1982 (without any JC with me being present) and called me and told me one fine Sunday morning. I told them that I could care less. About 50 to 60 fmr witnesses eventually left the witnesses at that time - around half a dozen former elders with them. I believe that only myself and Marion Dunlap were ever actually disfellowshipped out of all those - the rest they just conveniently forgot about.
James, YOU were one of the original Franz era "apostates".
I mentally left a few years before I actually stopped going to meetings. I read a lot of books, all the "apostate" stuff and it eroded my beliefs over time. I stayed on longer to try to help others but I had to get off the sinking ship before I wasted any more time.
the subjugation of women
This is a big one with me now, too. It didn't bother me until I had a daughter who is smart and beautiful and the joy of my existence. I probably could have faked it and played the game forever if I was a single guy but knowing the truth there was no way I was going to let my daughter be indoctrinated for one more moment, nor was I going to have her grow up and work as a housekeeper married to a janitor wasting the best years of her life knocking on doors of empty houses and being dominated by men with half her brains.
Sadly it didn't bother me before my kid any more than the blood issue or shunning did. Now those are three of the big evils of the Borg in my eyes.