The Fear of Regret & Apostasy

by Emery 26 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Emery

    First off a big thanks to everyone here, you have received me with much love and support. I appreciate all that have contributed their time and hardwork over the years here at JWN.

    This post here is directed to those who are on the fence like I was. I hope this helps you in some way to understand both the doubts and indoctrination.

    I am also currently an active Jehovah’s Witness and have been for almost 20 years (26 years old). I myself have been doing an objective and unbiased personal study within the past year to validate/invalidate my spiritual foundation as a witness. It has taken a lot of courage and at the same time an enormous amount of humility before researching the history and developments of the Watchtower Society.

    We all have presuppositions (assumptions). Our presuppositions are organic and change according to data. Our beliefs are based on arguments, points, and the best available evidence. The assumptions I had about the organization came from the trust I had in the Faithful Slave and the arguments presented in the Watchtower publications. I still feel the organization offers many great benefits; the brotherhood network aka (the blood card discount), if you travel and go to another country you can stay at a random brother’s house and feel a sense of comfort knowing you both share the same faith. The fellowship can be clean and enjoyable, IF you avoid the Pharisaical friends. You sense a real respect for spiritual accountability and find many who have a sincere love for Jehovah.

    I first began within the publications and worked my way outside of them when defending my witness beliefs against Trinitarians and the mentally diseased :))

    It took me down the path of apologetics and I finally worked my way towards reading Ray Franz book's "Crisis of Conscience" and "In Search of Christian Freedom". Before I knew it, the veil was pierced and I was truly awakened with the love and scriptures shown in his writtings. Today I cannot even fathom any form of regret after doing so. I am forever indebted to my doubts, those hypocrites at the kingdom hall, Ray Franz, and God himself for leading me to read these life saving works. Now in hindsight, I really couldn't see how I could have continued living life as a blind JW, not knowing the information found in these books. The saying, "knowledge is power" has become so real to me, I should have it tattooed.

    For all those lurking or on the fence, if you haven't already, read "Crisis of Conscience" by Ray Franz. I hope you do read this and see that so many people on this forum are sincere lovers of truth as you are. The intention is certainly not to cause anyone to fall into spiritual turmoil. I hope that many here can attest to my promise that, YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT! You owe it to yourself to validate or invalidate your foundation of faith. Knowing it both backwards and forwards if you choose to remain. Make it your due diligence to find truth where ever it may lead you. I want every one of you ask to yourself, has any Jehovah's Witness ever regretted learning the truth about the truth? Start your objective investigation.

  • Sherilynn
  • rip van winkle
    rip van winkle

    Emery, nice post!!! I enjoyed reading what you wrote.

    You are so fortunate that your wife is "on the same page" with you. ( I looked back at your first topic post)

    Emery, I'm glad that you have made TTATT your OWN!!!!!!!!!!!

    I just mentioned on another post that I'm not gonna kick myself (about time lost etc) as there's still time.

    Non regrettes rien. No regrets. Waste of precious time.

    And that if I should start, I will remind myself that Ray Franz was a GB member for 9 years. He had better insight than any of us R&F JW's.

    Ray Franz' book was/is so eye opening about how the GB operate.

    The book didn't make a difference as far as my learning TTATT, as I read it after the scales had already fallen from my eyes.

    Just wondering, what initially caused you to begin your research on the FDS????

  • zeb

    the Pharasiacal.. hmm is that the self-righteous class? I learned to avoid the bros who could talk nothing but the ..'truth' they were an utter plain boring pain in the butt.

    The same conversations every time you saw them. Their female side talked about nothing but the 'truth' but this was who was on with who, who hase been around for dinner, do you know the ##### from ### congregation they arerelated to too... AAARRGGGHH!

    So I got around this with polite nods and greetings and move on.

    The when i saw how Elders meetings/hearings are conducted when a bro took me for thousands.. when the minutes of said meeting mysteriously disappeared... and the lesser stupid things about dress; tropical weather the KH like an oven but must wear a jacket and tie while handling the mike,

    its Bro ## "privilige" to open windows.................................................all this I saw and tolerated at a distance.

    When I learned that my children had been sexually abused by a 'perfect' brother... and then investigated to find a massive cover up of pedophiles around the world, then there was no more tolerance.

    How can you all argue whether this is right or that is not so right when this vile pogrom against the innocent is tolerated, denied, and hidden.?

  • Sulla


    Your individual investigation has been objective and unbiased? I wonder why you'd think that.

    But I really am curious as to how the Ray Franz book can validate or invalidate the basis of JW faith. Seems to me, what Franz shows is the level to which the JW leadership is messed up. That should actually cause more problems for a JW who takes the book seriously.

    First, it suggests that the basis of your faith was a group of men and not God. If you are the kind of person who until very recently had no problem with that, what makes you suppose you have the ability to objectively investigate your beliefs now? Shouldn't you have less confidence in your own analytical ability, given that you think you screwed up so badly?

    Second, why does it seem that xJWs do this weird thing where, having accepted the bullshit ecclesiology of the JWs, they reject that and adopt the bullshit ecclesiology of Evangelicals? Is it merely residual anti-Catholicism? Very odd.

  • Emery

    @rip van winkle , thanks for your post, I appreciate your kind words very much. I too am happy that my wife is seeing all the holes found in the organization. She’s my best friend and I don’t know what I would do without her by my side. What initially caused me to do research was when I was doing a study into the translation of the NWT, I eventually found criticisms of it in relation to Johannes Greber. I found that his work was being linked to the WTS as a bible scholar who was referenced for their rendition of John 1:1. When I saw that he was a spiritist, and translated his version of the NT strangely similar to the NWT with the help of spirit mediums, the gloves came off as to what I was able to read and not read according to the Society. Also the Faithful and Discreet Slave doctrine has always bothered me and so I began my research on the Jesus food of 1919.

    @zeb , yes I agree with you 100%. The pedophile cover-ups was just icing on the cake for my mental abandonment of this cult.

    @Sulla ,

    First let me say that I think you are very out of line with this synopsis of yours regarding my faith and belief system. Please spare me the presumptuousness and allow me to educate you on my position…

    I don’t think I screwed up badly at all when I reflect on my involvement with Jehovah’s Witnesses. I don’t regret my time in the organization as it has taught me many great things.

    When I say, ‘unbiased’, I say it in the sense that as a former apologist of WT beliefs, I knew that Ray Franz presented information that went against my belief system and I had to remove as best I could the prejudice associated with my indoctrination. To actually read his books and understand his arguments while not allowing ignorance or a condemnatory attitude to manifest required me to be “objective”.

    Aside from ‘Crisis of Conscience’, which is what you're obviously describing, In Search of Christian Freedom completely dismantles the belief system of organized religion and the many doctrines held by JWs within the framework of still being a believer. To read this, as an orthodox witness, I think, fits the description of objective research.

    Ray Franz initially invalidated what I originally believed. I was very much indoctrinated and I felt that I needed this divine channel of communication to please God. I could not comprehend options outside of this arrangement, especially when it was all I knew since age 7.

    My objective studies did lead me toward reading other works. I began with books both critical of the bible and of God. I started with Bart Ehrman's; Misquoting Jesus, Forged, Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, and God's Problem. After reading such books, I slowly lost my fundamentalist view of the bible and the belief in a Super Hero God. I’ve also learned that the bible has to be read in its historical context. Yet, I didn’t lose my faith throughout my studies, in fact, I VALIDATED my foundation of faith.

    My reasons for believing what I do now fall outside the traditions of Christianity. I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ and try to walk according to his ways because I find it refreshing. I do not lose anything in believing this way. I see myself as a non-fundamentalist Christian with agnostic leanings.

    My objective studies have allowed me to understand the position of many others, especially atheists. I see that many have good reason to feel the way they do. I remember reading Awakened at Gilead's story and found his beliefs reasonable and logical on many levels. I have nothing but love for people of different faiths now due to this mindset, which is something I lacked previously. Regardless of faith, I judge individuals based on their character and love toward others.

    If my “believer” themed comments have rubbed you wrong way, I apologize. My basis of faith has always been with God, not in men. I wouldn’t be posting here on an "apostate" forum if it were otherwise. I’d be knocking on doors and reading a Watchtower right about now.

  • leavingwt

    Emery: You've come a long way. Ray's books were a game-changer for me, too. I'm curious, have you read Hassan's first book? You may enjoy it. It helped me to understand *why* seven million people could believe things that are demonstrably false. It allowed me to move past the details of doctrine, and understand the way people in high-control groups think.

  • Sherilynn

    Darn keep forgetting I must use goggle chrome to show posts.

    Emery...Well said...I was in the organization for 20 years before I woke up and faded six yrs ago (still want to give those I care abt ability to talk to me so just faded)..Ray Franz books were a great help to me for confirmation of questions and more. I too have found my belief system is now much like yours and continue to educate myself on my spiritual journe. While I will never be a part of organized religion, if others choose to do so that is their journey and who are we to judge them. I have such love for all and peace within that I never experienced as a JW...I have a relationship with my husband that was never possible before as he said "there is no discussion with a JW its their way or the highway". There is an old song "we've only just begun" I am showing my age now but you and your wife are on a great journey...the best to you both

  • apostatethunder

    I wish I had left when I was 10 years younger, but I am free now and I am grateful.

  • Quendi

    First, I want to extend my own personal welcome to Emery. You are at the start of a marvelous journey and I wish you and your wife all the best. Thank you as well for sharing with us. As others have said, each one must walk his or her individual path and lead the life they find best. I appreciate what you said about being a Christian with agnostic leanings. That is not my stance, but what I valued in your experience was the forsaking of fundamentalism and the courage and humility you embraced to move forward. That, my friend, is an incredible achievement!

    Like so many others, I am still sorting through what I will keep or discard from my Witness life. I know there were some positive things I got out of that life and there are some tenets which I will continue to believe. But like you, I have realized that what is most important is to continue to learn and grow in the belief that this is God’s will. Where that will eventually lead me is unknown, but I don’t fear this. Instead, I see the journey itself as a validation of my own identity and worth.


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