Stubbornness. I refused to apologize or repent of the rumors that I was accused of in a JC -I proved they were false but they wanted an apology to an elder's wife who's daughter was involved to save face. Then I stopped going to meetings to avoid the drama. I refused to meet with them to 'talk' about my lack of meeting attendance. I refused to say anything incriminating. I was too stubborn to go back when I still believed. Now I don't believe anymore, so here I am.
Was there anything different about you that helped you escape the WT?
Good question, I often wonder why certain people leave and others stick around. I was an avid reader also. Ironically, it was my interest in the JW literature that led me out. Two of my favorite books as a kid were the "Life - How Did It Get Here?.." and the WT sanitized history of the Witnesses. These two books ignited my interest in the creation/evolution debate and the history of the JWs. Additionally, I had an Aunt who had a large collection of publications from the Rutherford era. Many of them were so strange they stirred my curiosity even further.
Needless to say I did some additional research and the rest is history. I never got baptized and was out by the time I was in my early 20s.
A healthy dose of stubborn rebelliousness helped as well. IMO some moderate rebelliousness can help a child psychologically separate themselves from their parents. Too many just adopt the belief system of their parents without questioning anything.
Math. They kept threatening that the end is close, and getting closer. After a time, I realized that it was mathematically possible, and in fact quite easy, for the end to be close, getting closer, and never arrive forever. Additionally, their stupid requirements that they wanted to keep the opposite sex out of my life and that it was a sign that God wanted more out of me than he could have gotten from me plus kids--mathematically impossible.
And, when I realized that, had I stayed in, it would be all men--everyone else would be destroyed. And all because I wanted to get in, and the requirement that the opposite sex accept me would be too big a barrier for any to make it. (Or it would fxxx up their lives so they wouldn't want to be there.) Either way, this is what staying in and finding out that it was true would have led to--the greatest, longest guilt trip ever. And far worse than leaving and it was the truth--at least that way, I would only face Gehenna.
Hi everyone. I'm glad to see that reading was the key of empowerment for most of us.
Sorry BungiBill, it actually worked opposite for you.
I would have to say reading, an imagination, (from being an only child),curiosity (it actually saved this cat) and asking questions and the answers not making sense.
If you have the time and the inclination simply study the religious background of Russell (Presbyterian), Rutherford(Baptist) and Franz (Presbyterian). Then see how they either went in an opposite direction as Russell did with his Dispensationalist views (godrulz you should have done your homework, this is what the split was over) or Rutherford and Franz going back to Limited Atonement/New Covenant theology.
Once you realize it was all Chop Stix picking through the Noodle Bowl of theological ideas all claims to special revelation end.
I am a very strong willed person and I have always been able to think "full circle". I am very objective. In the back of my mind I knew something wasn't right. I couldn't stand the duplicity in the org. I also did not like the view on women and found it highly offensive at 13 yrs of age when I was forced to attend the meetings.
For me, it was reading a lot as well - really just intellectual curiosity in the end.
I also always kind of marched to the beat of a different drummer, so to speak, never totally bought into everything espoused from the 'leadership.'
Also being in a " bethel congregation" exposed me to all of the nonsense that goes on within the org.
Love of Life, Desire for Knowledge, Intuituion, Analytical Thinking, Imagination, Love of Variety, Love for People, Sexuality, Hatred of Hypocrisy, Love of Justice, Love of Truth, My Sprituality, Love of God & his Son.
I allowed this religion to take advantage of my love for God & Christ. In doing that I tried to suppress everything else about me. When I realized that I was dying from the inside I had to stop and allow all these qualities to resurface. Being me lead to freedom and true happiness.
VampireDCLXV we must be kindred spirits because I could have written your post.
It's funny how similar all of us are. Reading opens the mind, but in the end reading does not do any good if you don't have the will to act. Ultimately that is what drives action, the will. Whether you leave abruptly or take years to fade away the will to act is the key. The decision can not be emotional, that can lead to waffling back and forth based on how angry or frustrated or lonely or guilty we are on any given day. The decision must be based on reason, and the reason must suit OUR nature, not someone else's for ultimately we must live with our decisions.
It took it took me 10 years to DECIDE to leave. And some days the loneliness has been too much to bear. This forum recommended to me by Barbara Anderson, who I had the privilege of serving with at HQ has been a life saver. I will be speaking with her this weekend to thank her for introducing me to all of you.
having a son with aspergers who just didn't get it was a big help for me. His endless why and the way he was negatively affected by the meetings made me prepared to rethink the whole thing.