Billions of years ago, star dust exploded from ancient supernovae and eventually coalesced to form our local solar system. Earth, against astronomical odds, found itself in the optimal location, seeded with the elements essential to form living organisms. Billons of years of natural selection, global catastrohpies, extinctions and atmospheric changes have whiddled the vast biological community down to the fortunate, best-suited survivor species we see before us. Of those species, you are lucky enough to be human. Out of 300,000,000 sperm you fertilized the egg. You are a thermodynamic disaster! You are made of that coalesced star dust, and for a few decades, that bag of membranes, protiens, sugars and nucleotides are the vessel by which you get to experience the universe. You were fortunate enough to be born in a time and location where the benifits of modern science and medicine have reduced infant mortality rates while the "third world," or developing countries, have infant mortality rates as high as 20%. For most of the developing world, children are fortunate to make it past the age of 5--even in 2012. You likely live in an area with stable government, reliable infrastructure, clean water and excellent sanitation while most of the world does not.
You live in a post-industrial era; a new technology age. The human understanding, discovery and acheivments we observe expanding every day yields products that would seem like pure magic to a person living only a century ago. Despite economic uncertainty, political upheaval, war, crime, natural disaster, a threatened environment and new health concerns, you have the ability to maintain a level of peace and satisfaction in your own little corner. You have the opportunity to gaze at a sunset, admire the beach, hike majestic mountains, study history, science, philosophy and marvel at the unfolding complexity of the observable universe as new discoveries emerge. You can communicate with friends overseas in real time, discover new talents, take on new hobbies and adventures, take risks and learn from failure. You laugh, you cry, you make love on rainy afternoons with your soul mate. You have the freedom to think for yourself. You have the right to body, mind, spirit and property. You have important responsibilties, like raising your children in a stable environment. You have the right to get angry, cuss, alter your body, have opinions and experiment with mind-altering substances. You are here, breathing, metabolising, reproducing--living. This is your life. And you beat unimaginable odds to get where you are now!
How disgusting and tragic is it that religion--a genetic mental/behavioral hitch-hiker--can take that all away and hold you hostage. Terry's Top Ten list should be struck on gold plates and preserved forever. We were all in that Top Ten list before and whether we're out of that prison officially or only mentally, we must never forget the plight of the people we left behind. Their one shot, that marvelous opportunity they have called "life"--that prize that beats all odds of any Mega Millions jackpot--has been stolen from them by a geriatric body of men in Brooklyn who deny them the right to experience their prize to the fullest. This "Church of 'NO'" restricts them in every facet. It blinds them with a false hope and manipulates them by way of guilt and fear with its own twisted interpretations of a plagiarized, bronze-age book full of snuff, murder, misogyny, slavery, genocide, human sacrifice, black magic and their "jealous," "angry, cosmic voyuer BULLY god. What gives them the right?
Damn right, I'm angry! I guess I'm in the anger phase of my awakening and escape. I savor every second of life, knowing this is all I'll have, and I'm unable to convey this to my JW friends or family. I cannot explain to them how epic their mistake is. I feel helpless, knowing that they'll never wake up and realize the things I realize. On days like this, I want to do something about it! When I calm down, I realize that it's not in my best interests to do anything but enjoy my prize of life in secrecy. This hurts. But keeping the pain to myself is the "cross"--oops, hold up, I mean "tourture stake"--I'm willing to bare. I could come out to them. I could tell them all. But watching their pain as a result of my actions would be greater than my current suffering. I am happier and more emotionally stable than ever before having shed that poisonous WT mindset, but I cannot share this exuberance with those I care most about. My one wish would be to see something happen--a scandal, a shakedown, a change in doctrine so unsettling that millions inside will awaken and leave. But Terry's Top Ten List is a great reminder why most would remain inside even if something devastating happened to watchtower.