I just found this link. Its amazing:
Suggestions for finally talking to my parents about my doubts?
Everyone's situation is different of course. For me, I couldn't live with myself if I didn't speak to my parents about the reasons I left the religion. They kindly listened, after an ultimatum on my wife's behalf it has to be said. They listend but didn't comment and certainly offered no rebuttals to my points of view.
I felt I had to make a stand for the truth as opposed to the Truth.
Whatever you do make sure its the best for you and no one else.
Stillstuck, my heart goes out to you. There will be consequences no matter what your decision or approach. This isn't your fault.
What is more evil than a serial killer? An apsotate. Now imagine finding out your child is a serial killer. I think that in the beginning at least, it is best to keep the apostate literature hidden. Work on your memory! If it's important you will make it happen. Do the reading--check to see if the library can order the book. Ask a friend to order the book in their name if that preserves your cover. Try not to be impulsive or act in an emotional manner.
In the end, you will have to accept that you can't control the outcome. The site is full of people that have lost the most loving families. Sometimes they get to keep a few. Many decided it was worth the sacrifice as they were dying inside. It's never easy. Keep us abundantly posted. You are young with a long life ahead. You will want to marry one day. You will want to have children. Do you keep up the cycle?
Take your time. At this point there is no rush.
Indoctrinated JWs will not accept that a once-JW can leave and have other views about God and the rest of humanity. It is "US AGAINST THEM" for those inside. It is as if you have taken all of their so-called "special knowledge" and cast it aside, and they cannot accept that without imposing extremely harsh penalties.
If you become one of "them" you are automatically their enemy, no ifs, and's or but's about it. You are better off if you keep quiet about your true views, that is if you want to maintain contact which it sounds like you do. Otherwise, you are automatically assigned the tag "Son of Satan" and treated as such.
If you can pull off a fade and maintain contact a few times a year with them, you will be one of the lucky ones.
You say that you did very little personal study. I would use that to your advantage.
Let's say you find a topic on JWN that uses the WTS's own literature to make some points that you fundamentally disagree with, and know that your family would have a problem with it too.
Always, if you are going to discuss your doubts regarding doctrine, protect yourself by raising it as something you are trying to understand better. For example, because you're 20, so you probably have very little recollection regarding the changes to the "generation" teaching. Your father, on the other hand, probably remembers how it went, because for most of the 20th century, JWs believed that "this generation will not pass away" until the things Jesus spoke about in "the composite sign" occurred.
Originally, This Generation™ referred to people who saw the events of 1914 [when Jesus began ruling from heaven] and understood them to be a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Later, This Generation™ referred to people who were alive in 1914 - so even a baby born on December 31, 1914, were part of This Generation™.
In 1995, the understanding of This Generation™ changed so that it included the contemporaries of those who were alive at the time when Jesus began ruling in heaven.
Most recently, the teaching changed again so that This Generation™ included the next generation of individuals, who could learn first hand from those alive in 1914 and their contemporaries, about Jesus beginning his parousia.
Now, having said all that, if you have older literature in the house - like most JWs do - you could find some reference to the older teachings and bring it to your dad and say that you're confused by the difference in the teaching as it was compared to how it is now. You could say "if this was any other church teaching this kind of thing, and then making such dramatic changes, I'd be thinking that they were just trying to buy time - because nobody knows the day or the hour, right?? But how would I deal with someone who asks me a question like that? How do I defend my faith? How do I convince them that the Society wasn't just trying to buy time, and keep people from leaving in droves?"
You are leading the conversation, even though you are asking thought-provoking questions. You are not directly attacking the WTS. It is subtle and effective, if used judiciously.
Thanks for the story link Thomas. Very interesting. Im happy for you :) I've decided with VERY careful though for the last 15 minutes that within the next week, Im telling my brother EVERYTHING I have learned....about cults, doctrines, CoC....everything I've learned up to this point. I can say with 90% assurance, he may become curious himself. And even if he doesn't want to believe it, I'm 95% sure my secret is safe with him. I say two of us are better than one. He's doesnt know much about the organization with regards to histroy and deep doctrines. Im really not sure how much he believs really. You can read someones mind. As we speak, hes playing in his room Call of Duty Black Ops, likely with other MS brothers. Kind of funny really. Though thats not really a test of faith but who knows. Ill see what happens and post it here when it does.
In the end, you will have to accept that you can't control the outcome.
^I agree. I'm thrilled to have found people in my predicament. Not to say I wish we didnt have to be.
I'm 95% sure my secret is safe with him.
The remaining 5% is what is going to cost your head!!!
I don't know you and your brother, but you don't know how deep he is into this. Let me be devil's advocate here and ask you if you want to be a major factor in his "advancement" toward privileges?
EDITED: I realize my post above sounds harsh. You need to sit down and get a good handle on what's going on. You are running on emotion and euphoria right now. Stop! Slow down. Spilling the beans to a close family member without feeling your way through can be devastating. Ask how I know - nearly cost me dearly.
@ scully: excellent idea! I always wanted to do this. It could be with many teachings really. New generation. 1914. New light, etc. I guess the only reason I haven't is because I'm afraid of them being skeptical as to why I'm asking. They know im shaky in the "truth" right now so I guess I dont want them jumping to any conlusions. But I may try that if I can gather up enough nerve
Since you're already doing the minimum in field service, I recommend developing a strategy for leaving the family home. Contrary to how JW kids are raised, you are an adult now and can begin to take steps to stand on your own feet.
Get a job (or train for a skill) that will enable you to feel confident in supporting yourself. Change the attitude "I have no one". There are billions of people in the world. Meet some of them. Try to develop one or two friendships with non witnesses. Talk to your neighbors and get to know them. Look up some of your old school friends. You only need to get started to feel confident.
The above can be done without putting your family relationships in danger. All of the above advice is great.
NC said, "there is no rush." I agree. Whatever you do, at this time, DO NOT DISASSOCIATE yourself.
And don't forget to read CCMC as LWT suggested. That is the most important thing at this point.
I've decided with VERY careful though for the last 15 minutes that within the next week, Im telling my brother EVERYTHING I have learned
I would think a while longer on this. If you really want your brother to understand you, you've got to plan better. My siblings' reactions to my leaving were the most important to me. So I understand the feelings behind this statement. Since you guys are close, your goal is to maintain that bond. Think about the whirlwind you've been on since you've been investigating the religion. Can he really digest EVERYTHING you have learned at once? Probably not.