|Written by Randall Watters|
I confess. I was a religious addict. It took me about 10 years after leaving the Watch Tower to fit it into perspective. And the revelation came not primarily through logical reasoning, but my going through the last three years, the hardest ones of my life.
First, substance addiction is linked to an escape from reason and painful experiences (Lenters, 1985). This addictive process is a numbing of the senses where the addict does not have to consciously face the painful existential questions of loss, disappointment, and ultimately death. Consequently, the addict slowly sinks into the existential void of nothingness that, paradoxically, is so desperately being avoided.
My fear of world events and the threat of mass nuclear destruction in the 60s led me to religion, for security.
When Religion is an Addiction
Randi -- great read, thanks for posting.
In my wife's family, her mom became a witness first then converted all her sisters. She 'did the right thing' and insisted that her boyfriend / husband to be study and get baptized before she married him. This is how her dad became a witness. My wife and sister in law are born ins and their cousins are either born ins or came into the faith after their mothers' (my wife's aunties) conversions. Non of the uncles by marraige nor my mil's brother became witnesses.
Turns out my mother in law is the strong one in her family as her sisters all suffered from some kind of anxiety or self esteem type of issues. Interestingly enough, the only other strong sibling in the family was my wife's sole uncle on her mom's side and therefore it was not surprising that he did not follow my mil into the faith. Because of her being the strong one in the family, I realized early on that she was the rock and should she decide to leave the faith, the others would follow suit. Fat chance of her leaving though as she is probably a religious addict (or at least a very religious woman) and loves her associations. Unless her husband rises up to the rank of elder or perhaps CO, she will never know the 'other side' of the witnesses and I am not sure if she would even then as he does not strike me as a thinker. Never-the-less, he has always refused the position and is at best a ministerial servant.
I've talked with my wife's mom about faith in general and found that she and I were a lot more alike than unalike. We both came from what we perceived as not so goody goody families (but ok in general though hers was a bit worse off than mine) and we wanted to be around a better class of people. Her mom (wife's grandma) was a wishy washy Christian and would say that she did not want to be cremated when she died as she did not want to have to 'burn twice.' Evidently, she never fully believed that she was a saved Christian. I think my MIL was drawn to the clean cut appearances of the witnesses and the idea that Hell is just the grave (she even said so in a meeting I attended one time).
Truth is, I could see myself in her and have came to the realization that if I had met and studied with a witness back when I was between 18 and 20 I probably would've become one. Apparently, my becoming an IFB back then was just me looking for (and finding) a cult religion.
As always, I enjoy reading your articles. Its kind of refleshing stuff we need read and the one some of us relate with in one way or another. Please, keep up. You are helping a lot of people.
To me one of the most important and vital things in life is to be honest with yourself.
But you don't have to blabber it to others. It cheapens it.
Do you have 50 cents?
I am fascinated by my paw prints applied to a music video!
Sorry, it's copyrighted. :-))
I still need the 50 cents, just so as not to embarrass God!
Man, prices have gone up since I was a kid.