I'm revisiting this thread for the last time. Eight months have passed since I last posted on it and I want to close out this topic. I have decided that my thirty-year friendship with Mark is over. I cannot get him to respond to any of the communications I have sent him and have concluded that he does not want to get back together. I was initially quite saddened by this, but in thinking it over I have come to realize that it would have been quite remarkable had he decided otherwise. The power this execrable cult has over its adherents is very difficult to break. I think Mark has decided that the rules the Governing Body has imposed on its followers must be followed without question and that he should not answer any messages I have sent to him.
The cult teaches that Witnesses must not have close ties to people outside its structure, including fleshly family. Mark was as close to me as my two brothers are and I have told him this on more than one occasion. That was not enough to prompt him to resume our relationship and I have concluded that if he does not believe my friendship is worth having, then I should let him go. That was a hard decision for me to make, but now that I have, I feel much better. I do not want a friendship with someone who will attach strings to it. Our friendship must be posited on unconditional love or it will not work, and clearly I no longer have Mark's unconditional love. So we have finally reached the fork in the road and I will go my own way without a backward glance. What else can I do? I have pursued this mirage longe enough. There is no cool refreshing water of respect, affection and friendship to drink but only the burning sand of indifference and contempt. I can do without both. Besides, my life is much better now that I have finally left the cult. That being the case, it is time to fully embrace the reality of the end of this relationship and continue to both seek new ones and strengthen the ones I currently have.
Once again, I want to thank everyone for their support and counsel in this matter. You have helped me more than you will know, and I want to express my deep appreciation for all you have done for me.