I became a Jehovah's Witness in 1973, the year I graduated from college. At that time the Witness community was talking up the possibility, originally raised in Watchtower literature, that the world would end in 1975. The Watchtower society and most Witnesses who were around at the time now deny that fact. In 1973 I attended a large convention in Vancouver, BC. That convention included a drama about the fall of Jericho. Following the drama a four page tract was released with the statement that we would distribute it during a two week period in September. We were to simply drop them off at doors without doing much talking. We were led to believe we would do this evey three months. A fellow witness pointed out that if we did this seven times (equalling the times the Israelites marched around Jericho) the last one would be in September 1975. Of course we all knew the end was due in October.
Fifteen years later that witness denied making the comment, in fact she said "nobody said anything like that."
My wife and I began a program of personal investigation into the methods and teachings of the Watchtower Society--an act stricty forbidden. We stopped attending meetings to pursue our study. At one pont two women from our congregation stopped by our house to tell my wife that they wanted to study the bible with her to encourage her and added the words "Jeff won't even have to know about it." They assumed that I was the one driving our lack of meeting attendence.
In fact my wife had been concerned about doctrinal matters longer than I had been worried about false prophecy. I had been disturbed by a talk at another convention telling young people not to go to college because the end was so close. My wife was stuggleing with the Watchtower's two-tier version of Christianity. She had been raised attending mainstream churches and joined the witnesses only after other family members.
We officially terminated our relationship with the Watchtower society in the spring of 1989. Since that time family and friends refuse to talk to us. Shortly after we mailed the letter disassociating ourselves I saw a group of former witness friends preaching in our neighborhood. They talked to the house on our left, crossed the street, walked past the boundry line, and recrossed the street to visit the house on our right.
And they say we're disturbed.
Jeffrey A. Thomas
Mill Creek, WA