Welcome to all the new ones.
How Long has it Been since you Last Attended Meetings and What Caused...
Indeed, welcome to all the new ones ! Anybody else want to tell their story of exiting and stopping attending meetings ? Would love to hear it. Thanks
I've never told my story, just bitys and pieces. But the last meeting I attended was in 2006, my mother died, my daughter got disfellowshipped and my wife left me and no-one gave a shit. I thought I had lots of friends. Since then, with the help of this site and all the good people on here, I've done alot of research and have since remarried and am very happy not to be in the CULT.................
Welcome, etna. Were you reading the site, before you joined? I note that theres a 3 yr space between your last meeting and your joining here.
I started reading the site about a year after I left. I was very depressed and lost about 20kilos, just walking like a zombie. Now I'd like to lose some weight but can't.
I was reading for a while before I joined, I thought there would be a bolt of lighting to stike my down if I'd join. Love all the people on here and respect that everyone has a view.
What a lovely thread huh? Love all you new people!
Congratulations for paying attention to your inner VOICE!
Watchtower tries its utmost to silence your voice and replace
it with their propaganda!
Meeting attendance ..... that sounds so weird now!
Last time I did it, was the memorial ...... 3 yrs ago.
What caused it ...............the previous 50 years!
My last meeting was memorial 2002, in Caloundra, Queensland, Australia.
a stand out reason, but not the only one, was the totall lack of love in the congregation shown to new arrivals (from New Zealand)
i just stopped attending & no one asked
My last meeting was the 2012 Memorial. I only went to appease the one and only friend I have left in the bOrg. Seeing all the kids dressed in suits and ties and little party dresses and shiney shoes made me want to vomit. Literally. Never again.
My second to last meeting was July 3, 2011 which was the last day of my DC. I had promised to drive my son's former MIL, so I kept my word. This was a real eye-opener for me, since I was already mentally out. I had not yet typed "EX Jehovah's Witnesses" into Goggle. Observing from an outsider's persepective, it was clearly a cult. I noticed the glazed eyes and mechanical clapping. I thought, "OMG, The Stepford Wives.!" When they finally announced the "new Light" (gag) that the Toes in Daniel's dream image, drum roll please. . . mean absolutely nothing! I had to exit quickly for the ladies room, so as not to burst out laughing in the main auditorium. At the 2010 DC when they announced the "Overlapping Generation" new light", I had thought, "That's Crap!"
Why did I leave? It was a combination of long-term cognitive dissonance (didn't know that's what it was at the time) which was driving me to the brink of insanity after 30 years of living in a "divided household" and my son's very close to successful suicide attempt, what lead up to it and the aftermath and how it was handled by the elders. Funny how when you are in the midst of a fire storm, you think you understand what's going on, because you are living it. Later you find out you didn't have a clue.
My moment of clarity. That happened in Mid-May 2011. I was sitting at a Service Meeting. Of course, they were going on and on about how it was so important to do more in the ministry, because so many lives were at stake. In my mind that translated into, "If one more person tells me my kids are going to die. . ." I didn't attend another meeting until the DC, so there were literally 6 weeks of couch dwelling. My husband who had walked away 30 years earlier did not know what was up. I have suffered from severe, recurrent clinical depression for most of my life, so he thought I was just in another funk.
I was sorting things out in my mind-- I wanted to make my own decision. I have a really good memory for what I have heard and what I have read. I didn't want to be influenced or pressured by anyone. This represented 42 years of my life! I reviewed in my mind every doctrinal flip flop, every false prophesy, everything that didn't add up to truth in my mind, including the fact that the dates in the Daniel's Prophecy book just didn't add up and the fact that the elders couldn't answer my questions, so they instructed me to write the Branch. I received a 6-page response that was BS. The elders asked me if I understood the letter. I said yes. They didn't ask it I agreed with it. I remembered my questions on blood fractions, again writing the Branch, reading their reply and knowing it was dancing around the issue. (So wish I had saved those letters!) I remembered being counseled to stay in my very difficult marriage by two elders who where both later disfellowshipped for cheating on their wives. I thought about how my dub MIL is the meanest person I have ever met, and she calls herself a Christian. I recalled that my in-laws shunned my husband, because he walked away and by default shunned me and my children. They were never grandparents to my children. My husband was never DF'd or DA'd. He just walked away.
Then I considered the impact of following the Society's dictates that I had experienced my life, in my family and had seen in other people's lives and families. The bottom line though was that one year after my son's attempt on taking his life he was DF'd. He was still recovering emotionally from the trauma he had experieced and was living in our home, so I wasn't required to shun him yet. As a mother I made it clear to him when I did not approve of his actions or behaviors. I was still his parent after all, even though he was a young adult. I knew he needed more time to heal. The elders were more conserned about appearences and how Jehovah's name was affected in the community. OK I admit he acted out really badly and didn't hide it. I knew sooner rather than later my son would be moving out, and I would be required to shun him. I was completely unwilling to do that. My daughter is considered DA'd by her actions. She had commited the same "sins" my son was DF'd for, but it was OK for me to "associate" with her, because she wasn't DF'd or officially DA'd, just "inactive". The elders said that should she want to come back to Jehovah, she would have to deal with her behavior at that point. This made no sense to me.
I know this wasn't part of the original question, but for background sake, I was nine when my father accepted a study for the entire family. My mother vehemently opposed, so the rest of the family stopped studying about two years later, but I stayed. It was the illusion of a happy little family that sucked me in. I never cared about paradise. I just wanted to do what was right, and most of all I wanted to have a "normal" family, not the hell that I experieced growing up. I wanted that pretty little dress and shiney shoes. I was nine!
So I did the dub thing-- meetings, service, Ministry School talks, Temporary pioneering hours (75/mo. back then) during school vacations. Every year I asked my father if I could get baptized. He finally said he thought I was old enough when I was 16. I passed up scholarships to college and got out of dodge. Full-time pioneered half-way across the country. Got married too young (19). Had two kids. When I was pregnant with the second, my son, was when my husband walked away. He was done. I felt abandonned, betrayed and like he left me holding the bag. I did my best through the years to raise two good little dub children and to keep our little family together. It didn't work. Eventually, everything came crashing down.
So back to my exit. Uber-dub that I still was, even though I wasn't attending meetings, I had previously signed up to serve the C.O. and his wife lunch in mid-August. I was convinced that I could make myself join the activities for the week, the meetings and service, but just couln't do it. So, I served him and his wife and a few other dubs lunch on Friday, didn't go to any of the meetings or go out in service. We had a substitute C.O. just two years older than my daughter at the time (30). He told us his story. Substitute C.O., Jr. (as I like to think of him) had rebelled as a youth, and had attended and graduated from a prestigious university. Apparently, some sweet little old sister guilted him into returning to Jehovah. So now this rebellious, college-educated youth who had a come back to God moment was here to instruct our congregation and our elders. Seriously? What was wrong with this picture? Funny thing, in all the years I had served lunches I always got the cursory thank you note for the C.O.'s wife. That year it came directly from Sub. C.O., Jr. He thanked me and expressed a desire to get to know me better on his next visit at the meetings and in service. Another funny thing, C.O. that made my eyes twitch returned for his final visit after my exit. So glad I missed that.
Anyway, after Sub. C.O.,Jr. left, I typed Ex-Jehovah's witnesses into Google, found JW Facts, the Shepard the Flock book which I hadn't even know existed, read Crisis of Conscience and Dawkin's book The God Delusion. Needles to say, I'm now an athiest. Uber-dub to athiest in two weeks. Done deal. My self deprogramming continued with Steven Hasaan's books, lots of You Tube Videos, posting to the Yuku Ex-JW Recovery forum and lurking here (Sorry you guys intimidated me for a long time!) I'm working on deprogramming my hubby too. Just 'cuz you walk away, doesn't mean you don't still think like an indoctrinated cult member! I call him out when he reverts to dub speak, and I throw down the BS card when he tries to use the headship card on me.
What is my life like now? I have what I always wanted. I have my happy family! My hubby and I are getting along so much better withouth that third entity screwing with our marriage. When I called my son to tell him I had left, in his typical rye fashion, he said, "I didn't see that one coming!" My daughter who had walked out the door the day she turned 18 and moved into her college dorm with no warning whatsoever and who had little contact with me for 12 years is now fully connected. Hubby and I just Skyped a sailing lesson to her classroom in Central America, and she wants me to read a book to her kids by Skype, because the other parents are coming in to read books to the kids this month. We celebrated Christmas with her in 2011. They dress up like super heros-- batman, spiderman, superman, and dance in the public squares. What a hoot! My first Christmas since I was eight. Her boyfriend put up a tree just for me even though we were only going to spend one evening in his apartment. Awww! How sweet! We see our son more frequently since he lives and works 6 hours away. In the end both of my children individually told me, "Mom, we always knew you loved us. That's all that matters" All is well, because no matter what followes I have my family.
I hope this gives some hope to families. Please, never give up on your loved ones if at all possible. I was a slow learner.
Rubadubdub......that was a very nice story, with a very happy ending.
I stopped because I was too broke to go. I figured that the 'keep seeking first the kingdom than all other things will be provided' is backwards. If one is attending meetings, then why would Jesus help? They are attending meetings. He needs to help the ones who can't attend.
Then after getting a job that I work during meetings or when attending am too tired; since it is stated that people quit if they can't make meetings because of work; I figured getting this job is a blessing from Jehovah and he would not be so limited that he can only provide work if it allows ones to make meetings and service.
Then I came to the conclusion that there is no connection between meetings and field service and Seeking the kingdom.
Meetings are like comparing Walmart to Sams Club. Walmart would be like reading the Bible or literature at home. Walmart doesn't know where its customers are going to come from, they could come from other stores or go to other stores, but the customers get what they need regardless.
Sams Club would be like the meetings. They know that they have a captive audience because they bought into it and can count on them for being a returning customer.
I realized that they have no respect for people. There is no innovation or creativity encouraged by the people. Normal companies would encourage people to think outside the box, and then praise them for coming up with ideas that help the purpose and save money. The organization does not do that, they discourage that. The want all praise to go to the GB. People's talents don't matter.