What Changed? I Did. You Did. (or, there is a reason Apostates are angry)

by AllTimeJeff 17 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AllTimeJeff

    (for the purposes of this post, I want to say that being angry, though a real emotion, is not healthy if it continues to fester inside you. I think anger is reasonable if it helps you to move on from point A to point B. In addition, because of the real issues anger can bring, if you feel that after many years you are still angry over your JW experience, I strongly encourage therapy. Long term anger is destructive to the individual)

    The secular definition of epiphany is " a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something,
    usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience."

    In 1999, I visited an apostate website for the first time. Sometime after 2001, I stumbled upon this forum. In both cases, I was racked with anxiety. In both instances, I wasn't looking for something in particular. I was more interested in how "apostates" interacted, what they had to say. In both cases, I saw as I was trained to see, "apostates" were angry, mocking.....

    Little did I know they had good reason to be, as I experienced personally.

    Flash forward to 2006. I had already admitted to myself the previous year that Jehovah's Witnesses were not only NOT "the truth", they were "a LIE." So I came here and other sites to basically hang out, and I found out I had a lot to say.... (I digress on that point.)

    What I have learned through all of this, and continue to observe, is that the substantive facts on any matter never changes.

    You and I are as we are right now, but we can change.

    What happened? Did reading what "apostates" have to say turn me into the Nazi in Indiana Jones who saw the Ark? No. I admit, in 1999, my head spun around twice and I engaged in projectile vomiting. But other then that, I was fine. ;) (kidding of course)

    In all honesty, I changed.

    JW's are conditioned to look for certain behaviors from the GB when it comes to apostates. So when they see the anger, they assume all the other things that are said about apostates are correct.

    The GB counts on apostate anger to scare away curious JW's. "How can you listen to bitter angry apostates? Look at them. They aren't happy..."

    So I got scared, because apostates are angy, but with damn good reason.

    How can you not be angry when you have been lied to and mistreated?

    Whatever the reason for our epihpanies, the fact remains that it is an awakening, and it almost always engenders anger. The GB cynically count on this and use it as a buffer in warning their sheeples about former JW's.

    Ultimately, it is when a JW is ready that they will consider the evidence. Our awesome posts, emotional pleas, and clever wittiness only serve as a place to land when a JW is ready to leap.

    What is more interesting though is reality.

    JW's always taught a lie. That never changed. I just needed to confront the evidence and make a decision based on that evidence.

    What changed was me. It is true then, and it is true now?

    How will I view what I currently think and believe in 5 years? I am sure I will change. It always happens, whether we want to admit it or not.

    I think it healthy to admit that the older we get, depending on how honest we are with our experiences and the things we learn, we will change.

    But the underlying facts, and the nature of the world around us hasn't changed. Some of us need to wake up, or are waking up.

    Let's be open to that. It has definitely helped us all out so far. Be open minded and honest, and your life will be the richer for it.

  • BluesBrother

    How can you not be angry when you have been lied to and mistreated?

    Sure..... I have had some years now to settle but yes, there is good reason to be mad as hell at the chalatans who claimed that they were speaking for God and literally promised The Earth...and delivered nothing...

  • JRK

    Festering is a choice. Not necessarilly a healhy choice. But a choice nonetheless. I just go there when I need to. It is a vent. There are a number of f**king a$$holes in the world.


  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    When a battered wife [or husband] occasionally displays anger, we try to comfort them. The pain that has welled up does not get released like a gushing well and then it is over - it gets released in bursts of anger, frustration, confusion. The same can be said for someone who has been sexually abused, or those who have been legally cheated or ruined. Often these injustices are never corrected, and the greatest therapy for them comes from time and healing and growth.

    No one would attempt to minimize the agony of those who have been abused in those matters. I think it would be a mistake for anyone to conclude that religious abuse [which unfortunately often contains elements of all the other abused above mentioned] will get past the victims any sooner. There are times of course when professional therapy is the answer. But oftentimes it just a matter of time.

    IMO - a relatively large portion of Jw lurkers on this site, are injured. Hell, we KNOW they are. The fact that they show up at all is evidence that they know, at some level, that something is wrong.

    I recall that feeling too. That feeling that had been conditioned inside me - that 'apostates' are just bitter and out of control needlessly. Still, when I first found and met and conversed with people who had been Jw's and who had left for various reasons - though I could sense the bitterness, I also felt a sort of confused camaraderie with them. I just KNEW they were not making up what they said. Eventually, though I was somewhat repelled by the anger/bitterness, I found myself willing to find out WHY they were so angry.

    There are those on this forum, reading this very post, who just TODAY made the leap to trying to understand it all. There are those who did so last week, last month, last year, a decade ago. The type[s] of abuse are just as varied. The healing process is just starting for some - for others it was just over within weeks of leaving the organization. Some will never heal.

    Some may be 'stumbled' by what is said here, or the spirit in which it is stated. Others might immediately cling to anyone with whom they can relate as they leave.

    The main thing is: This place, this venue, is and will always be, so different from the structured culture and mind-control tactics of religion, that it may well drive some away. That is just a fact of life. Others will be aided. Some who were driven away early [like yourself and myself] will eventually return. Others will heal in private and never know of this forum.

    The forum is everything and nothing, good and evil, right and dead wrong, depending on the day you stumble in. But it serves. For some it will not, because they are not ready for the gritty reality that sometimes is demonstrated outside the conditioning chambers of the WTS.

    Still - overall - It is good.


  • AllTimeJeff

    Sometimes, anger leads to the epiphany. Othertimes, the epiphany leads to anger.

    In my case, my epiphany lead to anger.

    Two JW's can read CoC. One will allow it to affect him, the other will choose to ignore it and stay a JW.

    At the end of the day, it was always up to us. I don't think anger is the best way to expose JW's, but it certainly is the most authentic emotion to feel when you leave.


    Anger is a good and positive emotion. It moves us to action. It is life saving and life changing.

    Once it has served its purpose, like any emotion, it needs to rest. It will always be there to call upon should the view of the world that we have come to depend upon be challenged. Until then life is for living.

  • J. Hofer
    J. Hofer

    being angry is ok with me. what really turned me off when i first visited this website (around 1999-2001 too) were those nutcases seeing subliminal images everywere, thinking they are the gay messiah or calculating how christ came back invisibly in 1985 or so.

  • thetrueone

    I agree AllTimeJeff that festering too much with anger concerning the WTS organization and what this organization has had on their

    lives, is not particularly mentally healthy for an individual to continually self absorb in.

    Frankly, I was quite surprised at first upon joining this forum, that there are people who spend their entire day here, every day.

    This forum can without question heighten people's anger about this organization and what people are doing inter-personally because of it.

    My own personal reason coming here was to elevate people's own intellectual awareness about this destructive religious cult so that less

    people are damaged by it. I left in 1980.

    There is so much to live in this life, to understand, to take in and to give, to share and to enjoy.

    Why waste so much time pooling are energies on human ignorance and corruption embellished and exploited from that ignorance ?

  • wobble

    Thanks Jeff for the thread, it is fascinating to look back at the callow youth (not literally, I was 58, but emotionally and educationally) who left the WT in 2008.

    When I left the Borg I went through the whole gamut of emotions, but anger was a very small part of it, regret, confusion, fear, desperation to degree, all played their part.

    The funny thing is that with the epiphany and the subsequent spiritual journey the anger that I felt against the lying hierarchy of the WT still remains to a great degree, it is the thing that fuels my need to post on here, my only way of getting reparation for the stolen years is to feel that ,in a small way, what I post undermines the work of the evil mind-controlling cult.

    I agree that we change, and truth does not, but I think that is a good thing, that we change, as we appreciate more truths we grow, and become better people.

    SO, a big YES to your thread title, I changed, you did, and yes, there is a reason Apostates are angry, but like the Murphy's, we are not bitter.

    (The last bit is from an old Ad campaign for Murphy's Irish stout)

  • isojourn

    Anger leads to suffering...

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