Born in... well i was 4.
As baptised JW i was active for about 18 years.
Faded away a few years ago, actually before i discovered that all of it was a lie.
Are YOU a Believer, Atheist, Agnostic, Active JW or WHAT?
I became inactive, am in good standing, aux. pio ., former m.s.
and quit attending a few years ago because of all the bad things being done to the flock.
At the same time, I was becoming aware of their teaching's dualistic nature;
"new light" vs. We're not inspired!
Then hiding their sex scandal, NGO involvement and secret blood policy for patients;
was enough proof for me to leave it all behind.
I had to be brave, keep close to Yehuwah God,
and to do extra research to learn the truth all over again; this time from open sources.
I still worship God at home through proper prayer, respectable behavior,
and in sharing my findings with you on theses sites.
May God's spirit of comfort be upon all of you in your times of need;
Put that gun back in it's holster Clint,
There's no need for a shoot out,
I'm just trying to get to know my brothers and sisters,
You have a nice day partner!
Thanks everyone for sharing!
I'm an inactive born-in skeptic since my teens. At age 8, I remember still believing in jah because I had no exposure to anything else. Everything else was "demonized." But I remember that summer, I actually started hating him. We were going through the OT in the TMS and my mom dutifully enforced studying for Thursday nite meetings during the summer months. I also had a talk #2 bible reading and vividly remember my disgust in god and his childlike behavior when dealing with humans on earth. That summer, I also learned that I'd be held back a year in school while my younger brother was inducted into the accelerated program. One Wednesday in July while helping my mom do grocery shopping, all the anger and disgust flooded over me. I felt like crying, cold sweat...I wanted to break something. I believed god was very real, but he was also a colossal asshole--no denying it anymore. He didn't give a shit about me or my parents or the JWs or anyone else! Obviously! He treated the Israelites like shit and I had to read about it aloud to a room full of people in the B school! In the parking lot of that grocery store, I said the first of many "I hate you" prayers addressed to Jehovah by name. I knew as I started the prayer that I was taking a bold step--a point of no return. I knew what "sinning against the spirit" was and meant. I knew, as I began that prayer, that I would join adam, eve and judas in the infinite dirt nap--i knew it! I felt like eve as the rind of that magical fruit snapped under her teeth for the very first time. But after that prayer was over, I felt amazing. It felt great. Sure he could kill me and keep me dead forever, but he could never take away what I said. God could never undo the fact that his example in his own written record made an 8-year old decide not to worship him, not love him and never respect his sovereignty. I said what I felt I had to say and dammit, nothing jah can do will erase it from the eternal timeline. I said a prayer and told him what was up. I died that day, but I also knew his "issue" of "universal sovereignty" will never be legit. After that, it was a form of therapy for me lol! Hate prayers! A sweet, mild, aryan looking, son-of-an-elder/pioneer saying HATE prayers LOL! I mean, I would literally tell him off for 5-10 minutes at a time and I did that for several months.
After reaching JR high, hormones and girls distracted me enough that I abandoned the hate and anger. (By 7th grade, I also started noticing other guys in my class and knew that I had to keep this secret bottled up for fear of displeasing JWs and my intolerant "worldly" friends. Whole-NUTHER thread lol...) Once in high school, I must have "turned smart" some how because I was in all the AP/Honors classes and learned critical thinking skills for the first time. As a result, tremendous cognitive dissonance caused a serious bout of panic attacks and anxiety as I approached graduation. I knew I didn't have to hate or blame an asshole god anymore. I knew that what I and all my friends were forced to believe in could easily be explained away. Another scary thing was coming to terms with our own mortality--finally having to stare that fact in the face really tore my nerves up. I also knew that if I ever made any of my secrets known, I'd lose all friends and my family. So, I acted. I delayed college to pioneer. I became and MS (even though I told them I didn't want the assignment and they gave it to me anyway).
Through high school, my parents and I had an improved relationship once they saw my excel in school (finally lol). Having gone through the panic/anxiety, I bonded closely with my mom because she suffered with it for years. Once I was a late teen, formed these bonds and earned respect my parents, I was able to slide little bits of info into bible studies or everyday chat and they never flipped out. For instance, I told my parents numerous times that "If I had grown up worldly, I wouldn't have a religion at all." And when we do get together, my mom is very supportive and understanding when I bring up doubts--in fact, both of my parents know that doubt was the source of my anxiety as a teen. Of course, mom would always revert to the old "Well, even if it's not true... it's still the only thing we have! I wouldn't live any other way!" It wasn't until recently in my early 30's that I started researching things online. I avoided "apostate" web sites like the plague (BTW: THANK YOU, MR. FEARON, FOR MAKING ME FEEL ICKY AND DIRTY AND CAUSING ME TO RUN BACK INTO THE ARMS OF WBTS FOR COMFORT...a nice 2 year diversion that could have been avoided had I come across this forum first). And even after graduating college, I had not yet learned critical thinking skills. I knew how to ananlyze and interpret data and annotate essays, but I'd never used those tools on my own religion. I discovered all the logical fallacies in my brief 2-year "reverse fade." Before, my natural instinct was to NEVER EVER question the WBTS. I always "took their word for it" even when things made no sense. I reasoned that "Well, they've got teams of well-read, educated people who cross-check everything they write...apostates LIE...if God's real, I guess this spirit would be here so it'll all work out..." After fade #1, all these fallacies and warning signs were popping off the pages at me. I noticed the "pure language" (cult vocabulary) spilling out of people's mouths more than ever before--even in normal everyday conversation. I just noticed how controlled everything was. Once "overlap" was published as NOO LITE and the laughable "science" brochures were released last year at the DC, I fled and fade #2 is now a permanent reality. Once I realized that critical thinking debunks ALL religion, I was able to dump a lot of guilt because it's an all-inclusive abandonment. It's easier for me to say "I am an agnostic/atheist" than "I am an ex-JW." On Dawkin's scale, I'm a 6 which means that right now, I'm certain there is no god as described by any current theology, but I'd change my mind of observable, repeatable evidence to the contrary ever emerges. Now, I just have to muster up the courage to tell my family. It will kill them. I'm soooo sick of being the one family member who has all the issues. I feel like I've discovered some great, amazing new treasure and I can't use it to its full potential yet! I would love to share it with people too, but then I'd officially be a "brazen, mentally diseased apostate." I'm free mentally, but still in emotional and social bondage; stuck in a constant stage act, having to "get into character" around my family and JW friends while enjoying my free mindset on my own in total secrecy. I haven't been to a meeting in 2 yrs, but I'll make my rounds at conventions and assemblies because I do have many dear friends I still love and admire. And I do it to make my parents think I'm still active. Living this lie is killing me inside. I just want to impossible things: 1) to be able to tell my family everything, openly and honestly and 2) to keep their love and respect which would surpass any shunning requirement.
I am sorry to hear about all the heart ache and pain you went through all of your life. I am happy to see you are finding your way and the guilt is gone. We all understand the pain of loosing friends and loved ones. I really do admire you for trying to keep your relationship open with your parents and not DAing yourself. I believe DAing yourself is playing right into the GB/Borgs hands. I will never do it. I could see how pretending to be active can kill a person inside. I tried it for a short while than quickly stopped. I figured I was better off being inactive, that way, if I got into trouble, maybe they would ignore me like I have seen them ignore so many others. If you are pretending to be a JW and then you get caught doing whatever... you could be DFed real fast. I am sure you know all of this stuff. I told my family I get severe panic attacks when I go to the Hall and I really do. I can't sit through it anymore. I just want to get up and scream, "Your all a bunch of False Prophets!" I sit there thinking about saying things like that and I feel a real urge to do it, so I got to walk out before I break out in rage. We are not "mentally diseased" we are mentally abused, each and every one of us.
Best wishes and I hope you find peace in your life soon,
and out of posts for now! Hit the limit again darn it!
Thanks, Greybeard and yes, we are all severely mentally abused. People who come to their senses and realize JWs are wrong become outcasts within a group of outcasts. I'm amazed at the evolution of government and religion. When a loophole exists, religion moves in and exploits it to the maximum. If WBTS weren't a church/religion, it would be criminally liable for so many things. Tearing up families is one that's all-too familiar for many of us but is too abstract to ever be dealt with legally. Amazing. It adapted to fill a niche in the environment and now it's optimally suited to be a dominant force.
I still believe, although differently from the WTBS teachings nowadays. Was 'in' for almost 30 years. My love for God is personal and intact. I dont attend any church whatsoever having had my trust and my family destroyed by 'religion.
Greetings, dear Greybeard, and peace to you! For me, ditto most of what dear WS and dear Loz both said (the greatest of love and peace to you, both!).
Peace to you all!
A slave of Christ,
Born into a JW family, currently Agnostic. I'm 99.999% Atheist really, but just don't want to wake up with mud in my eye if I'm wrong again lol.
I do not believe that there is anything under the sun that can't be explained scientifically, whether we have the ability to do so now or not.
I was raised as agnostic but began searching for God/meaning in life in my late teens-early 20s. I studied with JWs for about 2 years and got baptized at 23, convinced it was the Truth. Although there were some few things that always bothered me it wasn't until I heard bout the UN/NGO scandal about 7-8 years ago that I really lost faith in the GB; they have completely lost their way, if they ever even had it.
I was DF'd two years ago. Since then I have struggled to find out what I still believe.
Although the proverbial jury is still out, I would have to say at present I am somewhere between a deist and a theist, with a STRONG leaning to the former.
Needless to say, I won't be joining any other religions any time soon: READ: "Never again!"