Any advice on how to stop attending meetings without being hounded?

by Fernando 21 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Fernando

    It seems many are attending without wanting to be there at all.

    What suggestions can we offer?

    I was wondering how this might pan out:

    "My dear wife/husband, I have a question which I am waiting on Jehovah for an answer for. I am really struggling with the meetings while this is on my mind. So I prefer to return once I fully understand and am happy with the answer. I need to understand fully what "legalism" and its exact opposite are, and how this relates to "Learning from an Experiment That Failed".

    You could just keep insisting you don't get it, and keep asking carefully placed clarifying questions, to make them keep explaining in detail, until you see in their eyes that they finally get it!!!

    Anyway I wonder what gems the resident panel of JWN experts might come up with...

  • Broken Promises
    Broken Promises

    Leave slowly.

    Very slowly.

    I'm talking a year or two.

    Start missing a meeting once or twice a month. Same for witnessing, miss one weekend a month.

    Keep this up for a few months.

    Then miss two meetings, and two witnessing weekends.

    Invent an excuse if you need one. Work, family sickness, family sickness, stress/depression, etc. Be vague when questioned.

    Keep this up for up to six months more.

    Then miss more meetings/witnessing. Become unreliable. Don't turn up for talks. Miss social events if you're invited. Witnessing can be a non-event though you can keep putting in a small report slip if you want to keep the elders off your back. Or stop putting in a report slip at all. Ignore the elder's phone calls at the end of the month.

    Keep this up until they're used to not seeing you. Eventually they'll give up on you and ignore you outside the KH. Which is what you want so you can do the complete fade.

    Eventually, don't go to any meetings. You won't be invited to social events because the brothers will have forgotten about you. They may avoid you if they see you in the street but that's ok. You are not df'd nor da'd so you can still talk to your family and any close friends who want to stay in touch.

    It takes time but you have to give it time to work. And it does work. I've done it.

  • Witness My Fury
    Witness My Fury

    Your mileage may (will) vary.

    It all depends on your particular BOE and even then it depends on timing and other factors beyond your control such as what else is going on in the congregation at the time etc.

    So far I've been left alone. Missed the memorial 2012 and no meetings for 1 year. My last meeting was memorial 2011. My line to the PO (cobe) when I quit the ministry 3 years earlier was that - i was doing research to reprove to myself that it was the "truth" and until that process was complete I wouldn't be going out again.

    I know that is slightly different than quitting meetings, but the point could still remain the same. The "im taking a break" line works for some.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Every time the speaker says GB or F & DS, stand to attention, throw your fist into the air and shout "Obey!", then sit down and carry on as if nothing happened.

    Keep doing this until they have you thrown out.

  • darth frosty
    darth frosty

    Good one black sheep!

    I say just leave!

    You can try the fade thing but the reality is your dub family is under the control of some powerful conditioning! So you ease out THINK you still have your family and friends and than down the line they drop the latest WT dogma on ya. Its like a ticking time bomb waiting to blow.

    Prime example My wife was at her sour bitter ass aunts house and her aunt starts going in on her and how she's not going to the hall Ya'll know the spill. She was being somewhat cordial to my wife for the last few months, but who wants to be with people who you never know when the WT$ conditioning gonna kick in?

  • 00DAD

    How about you just stop going. You don't own any elders an explanation. The only one you might want to explain your reasons to would be close family or friends, but even that would probably get you DF'd.

    If anyone presses you could try, "You wouldn't understand."

  • OnTheWayOut

    I don't recommend leaving as slowly as BP suggests (for your own sanity) but many do leave that slowly.

    Establish depression and neediness. Say you are seeing a doctor, even if its just a picture of a doc or a doc on Tv. Say you are on medication even if its just a vitamin or an occasional aspirin. Mention financial problems and the need for home or car repairs often.

    Put that all together: "Brother, we notice you've been missing some meetings. We would like tohelp you."

    "I have been depressed. I am seeing a doctor and taking some medicines. "

    "Can we call on you to offer some guidance?"

    "If you really want to help, I am behind on some things at home. I can't get here Sunday unless I finish painting the garage this Saturday. Maybe you and Brother Nosey can come by after service and help me for 4 or 5 hours."

    Even if they do it, you get the chore done and they will start leaving you alone.

  • WTWizard

    Here is what I did: Try moving to an adjacent congregation but not filling out the transfer. Start alternating between attendance of both congregations, possibly on RARE occasion even attending both (if you have personal reason to). What you want is to start a pattern, and then start skipping both congregations. The hounders in both congregations will think you attended the other side, and in reality you attended neither. Skip more and more boasting sessions, and within a year you start skipping so many that you make one a month or so. Keep this up a while, and then pull the plug when you are ready.

    Of course, if you can afford to move halfway around the world, that will put a stop to the hounding. Just don't let the hounders know where or when, and don't let the congregation of witlesses where you move to know you ever were a witless. You are just a householder that is not interested.

  • flipper

    My suggestion aligns with 00DAD's and some others, just stop cold turkey and quit attending. Oh sure, elders will bother you for a little while at first, but when they see you have totally stopped attending, in time they stop calling. That's how it happened to me over 8 years ago when I stopped attending. After 2 months or so- I received no more phone calls. If you are living with a JW mate still - a gradual fade may be your only option to keep the peace in your home , so that might be a different scenario.

    But think about it - on the opposite side of the coin, if you KEEP attending sporadically it still puts you in the visual radar of the elders and it's like you are unwittingly giving the elders that control and intrusion into your life still . Sometimes it's best to rip the bandaid off quickly as it won't hurt as long as a long ragged out experience or cut - if you get my drift. Just my 2 cents. Peace out, Mr. flipper

  • Witness My Fury
    Witness My Fury

    I agree with Flipper, that's one of the reasons I quit attending with the self sworn vow that I would not set foot inside "that" hall ever again (whilst this was a technical statement designed to leave open the possibility I may attend a different hall, in reality I have no intention of ever doing so)... by continuing to go you prolong the cut off point and are continually "starting over" again in having the elders and the WTS have any authority over you. By quitting and never going back you take control over that.

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