How the Internet saved my life

by AK - Jeff 12 Replies latest jw experiences

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Just a synopsis of this aspect of my story. I hope others will join in and tell us how this modern marvel of communication affected your exit [or your investigation, or perhaps entrenching] from the organization.

    We all have doubts at times. Mine were scattered over almost 5 decades, from the age of four when my mother accepted the religion. The Internet was certainly not NEW in 2003, but we, like most good Witnesses, exposed ourselves very little to the web. We had a chintzy dial-up service, and a computer with a slow processor. Mostly we used it for email as I remember. But, having accepted a job two years previously that required my missing most of the meetings [I considered it temporary at the time], my mind was beginning to get more curious and my doubts were itching. So I began to 'allow' myself to read personal accounts by current Jw's and former Jw's about their experiences/doubts. I did not join 'apostate' sites. I just searched for and read experiences that rang true to my own. This went on for a few months.

    Then sometime mid-summer of that year, I happened across an ad and picture of Ray Franz' books. The link took me directly to his website and a brief description of them. I couldn't take my eyes off them. While my wife looked over my shoulder, I would say repeatedly, "Someday I am going to order those books, and read them." That was about like saying 'someday I will invite the Devil over for tea and crumpets' to a JW. But my wife seemed of similar mindset, which was settling to me. One day upon return from work, I once again found myself with the same scenario, looking at an ad for those books. Before I could say anything, my dear wife stated to me, "You don't have to THINK ABOUT it any longer. I have ordered them. I WANT to know what he has to say. You can read them or you can ignore them, whatever you want to do. I am reading them."

    The books arrived at our home in November. Before the year ended we had both read them. I believe I may have read them twice. I would secret them out of the house, sometimes concealed under a newspaper for the short walk to my favorite uptown coffee shop. I would read them for hours. I had taken a black marker and covered up Ray's name in case a Jw ever showed up at the coffee house - which they did once and didn't even notice or mention the book - probably had no idea what they were looking at. Other times I would sit at home reading them with every blind and curtain pulled in case a Jw showed up at our house [we were a constant 'bathroom stop', as we lived in the center of our small town]. We devoured every word, kept saying to each other things like "Wow, did you know this.......?" "How on earth did the organization do THAT while preaching something else to us?"

    After the date those books arrived, we never once set foot inside the Kingdom Hall. We were the focus of a couple efforts to 'shepherd' us back to the flock, but I must say, very weak and beggarly efforts at that. Three years later the elders forced me into a corner, threatened me with a JC over 'apostasy', and to 'kick me out' for leaving. LOL. I sent them a letter of disassociation.

    Seven years, going on eight now. The healing has been difficult at times. But we are adjusted pretty well. I credit our mutual exit. And that would probably never have happened without the Internet.

    Your story?



  • Bumble Bee
    Bumble Bee

    Thanks for sharing that Jeff.

    I was at a low point in my life. I had had the internet for some time, dial up like you at first lol. I had resisted doing any searches on JW's for several years. One day I couldn't take it anymore. I like to think that day was the one and only time I ever had a prayer answered. I had faded, had tried several different churches, was torn about where to go and what to do about the religion. My husband at the time had faded as well, but that was more because he didn't want to go to the meetings alone, but would never talk to me about his feelings or how he was feeling about not going other than to say he felt guilty. I had his guilt heaped upon me. I had my parent's disappointment heaped upon me as well. I was distraught and truly at the bottom. I sat infront of the computer and "prayed" for advice and guidance on where I was supposed to be, if I was supposed to go back to the KH. I googled JW's and a whole world of people that felt the same way I did opened up to me. For many people, finally having proof that the JW's are wrong and liars is devastating. For me, it was a huge relief.

    I lost alot leaving, my marriage, some family, all my friends, but what I have gained far outweighs what I lost.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Thank you Bumble Bee for sharing that.

    Relief indeed. Mine lead to eventual relief from beliefs entirely. And shedding THAT burden was perhaps more freeing than shedding the JW one.

    Surely we are not the only ones here with 'Internet experiences' that helped free us?


  • BizzyBee

    Great story, Jeff. I truly believe the internet will bring down the WTS. It is only a matter of when.

    I left before the advent of the internet. As a third generation JW, I finally faced up to the fact that I could no longer take the WT literature from door to door, especially after they released Freedom of the Sons of God (or some such title). It was embarrassing to read, let alone sell.

    For ten years, I was the only one in my large family to have left the organization. I longed to talk to someone else who had a similar experience, but the closest I could come was reading Visions of Glory by Barbara Grizzutti Harrison. Needless to say I devoured that book like a woman starved.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    The one published in 1966? You left a long time back then.


  • jaguarbass

    I escaped befor the internet.

    I escaped because the society predicted the world would end in 1975.

    It took me until 1981 to figure out how to escape.

    I got a news letter called "comments from the friends" they have a web site now.

    I knew something was very wrong with the way I had been brought up and the news letter

    endorsed, fortified my belief.

    5 years ago, I was surfing the net looking for the meaning of life and one of my searches brought me here.

    Its comforting and alarming to know that I was not the only one the Watctower did a number on.

    Coming to this site and reading the varied post has broadened my horizons and understanding of this life.

    Coming here is one of the things I do that keeps me interested,

    helps me to keep pluging away living out what life I have left.

  • sabastious
    sabastious and were the sites that drew first blood for me. I loved the ease of which Bible Gateway helped me research the context of the verses that Skeptics Annotated Bible provided commentary on.


  • clarity

    Jeff... I had to giggle a bit here -

    "I had taken a black marker and covered up Ray's name in case a Jw ever showed up at the coffee house "

    Amazing what contortions we go through to find TRUTH!

    I did the same but not with a felt pen ... just disposed of the jacket cover. I also carefully disposed of the receipt and even the bag it came in!!

    Not having anyone else around to confide in ...... I think I would have imploded if the internet and JWN wasn't here.

    It did save my sanity often. Lessend the loneliness and pain of separation many times. Made me laugh .... when there wasn't much to laugh about!

    Thanks everybody.


  • yourmomma

    without the internet i would have never woken up. yeah i may have left, but i still would have thought it was true. now i know not only is it not true, but its a full blown cult.

  • Found Sheep
    Found Sheep

    The day I looked at the internet....

    An elder wanted to have a JC with me over a rumor that wasn't true. This was the day I googled JWs. I think this was one of the first sites I looked at. I read and read and read. Someone mentioned Rays books so I imediatly ordered them. 1/2 way thru I KNEW JW's were just plain WRONG!!! so yes, the internet saved me too!!!


Share this