Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Some of them kept me thinking, some of them let me cringe. I apologize for not addressing all of your comments.
Mad Sweeney wrote: "What are the negatives of leaving that you see, (besides family shunning) both for yourself, and for "many on this board?"
If shunning is the thing you try to avoid, there aren’t much more negatives needed.
Billen76 wrote: "Just remember: By being part of the JW, you have part in the shared responsebility."
I strongly disagree with you. Your argumentation is similar to the WTS when saying “You have to preach to avoid blood guilt”. I never converted anyone and it wasn’t mine idea to let people die because of refusing blood etc. It’s the WTS fault, not mine. My country sheds innocent blood in foreign countries. Do I have to leave the country and change my citizenship? I don’t think so.
AllTimeJeff wrote: "Some people will not be better off being a JW or not. It's a false dichotemy to suggest that an unhappy person, or a person in an unhappy situation, will fix it simply by leaving JW's."
I agree fully. But I’m a happy person and would be unhappy if I left. That’s something different.
Black Sheep wrote: "As for your friends and relatives being hurt if you did DA, you would not be the cause of the hurt. The Watchtower is. If the WT didn't have them firmly, and illegitimately under mind control, they would not get hurt. Don't accept the blame for the bad behaviour of the WT and it's members. It is not your fault. Especially if you are a born-in."
From a legalistic point of view, you’re absolutely right. But, in reality, even if it’s not your fault at all, but rather the fault of your friends and relatives, the consequences are the same. I leave -> people are hurt. Unfair, I know. But they are victims too, so I overlook their weakness.
Violia wrote: "Usually they mark such persons and don't invite them to gatherings. Are all your friends on the outside?"
2/3 are inside. No problems in socializing. In the "strong ones" I’m not interested anyway.
“ if the org only knew how many stay in just for social reasons and lead double lives. “
Maybe they know but don’t care that much.
New chapter wrote: "You have to make your decision and choose what is best for you. However don't misinterpret the angst you see in some of the posts. The transition is difficult and painful--that is why they are posting--but it's worth it. Just because it isn't easy doesn't mean they aren't better off or should not have left. Some things are worth fighting for.
You're in a tough spot. I'm sorry you have so many ties keeping you trapped. I wouldn't want to have to make your decisions. I'm glad you are carefully weighing the pros and cons."
Good point. Thank you (and many more!) for your sympathie.
Moshe wrote: "It seems that you are OK with not having any personal freedom and not having a life that is all yours."
You couldn’t be more wrong about me. I have personal freedom galore and do whatever I want with very few constrictions. And NO ONE is having a life that all is his. Except maybe Chris McCandless and that didn’t go out that good.
Apart from that, you may have left the JW’s, but your zeal for preaching is still intact, isn’t it?
“Let us know in a year, if you are happy, really happy, with your decision to stay in the KH.”
I've made my mind up in 1995 because of the changed generation teaching. Hence I believe one additional year will not make this big difference.