B-JW: (hyphen so it don’t look too nasty)
I grew up Catholic (sorta). I have two older sisters and a younger brother. My parents went to church usually every Sunday. I got pulled out of Sunday school because I threw a fit every time I had to go. I didn’t really pay attention at church. When I was old enough to make my decision, I saw no reason to believe in god. Everything was answered by science to me. I didn’t worry about how and why we are here. We just were and that was fine by me. I mocked organized religion with my friends in high school, thinking they were all fools for believing in such fairy tails. Then I moved to Fresno.
I moved because my father passed away from a heart attack. We used to live in seattle and he was an engineer for Boeing, designing the 777. When he died we couldn’t afford to pay off the house with the insurance money, so we needed to find another place to live. My oldest sister had moved to Fresno with her husband and we saw how cheep the housing was. We could buy a house outright, so we did. We planned to move to Fresno. I was still in High School at the time, a senior. I decided I didn’t want to leave all my friends and start anew my last year in HS so I begged my mom to stay with friends up there. She said OK so I moved down here after I graduated.
I bummed around for a year before starting school at the local community college. I didn’t work either. I found a job at a restaurant as a bus boy when I started school. That’s where I met the first witness of my life. She was intrigued at my beliefs and how I thought the bible was a good ‘story book’ with good moral backbone. I said there were people who needed religion for their purpose in life, and that was great for them. I said I was happy the way I am. I was taking a philosophy course at the time, so I was loaded with arguments for/against god. We talked for hours during/after work. ( little did I know she was counting time). I really started to like this brainwashed girl, and she started to like me.
I thought I’d take a look at their literature, just to see if it was interesting. I always wanted to read the bible, just so I can say I did. She gave me a whole bag of books she thought I could use, Knowledge book, Bible, Gods word or mans, Mankind’s search for God, and some other ones. I read the orange one first (Bible, Gods word or man’s). I read it all one night. When I called her to talk about it she was shocked that I read it that fast. I didn’t realize it takes them 6 months to finish a book. She wondered if I got anything out of it. I said it had a lot of good points and I’ll start looking into it further. I started to study with one of her friends. I mostly did it to please her, and it was the only way I could spend time with her.
When I studied, I told them I wasn’t going to change huge aspects of my life or cut out my family ( my mom’s biggest concern). The guy I studied with said I’ll make the changes when I see fit. Studying with him was a joke. He was hardly there when it was time to study, and he wouldn’t really answer my questions. I knew I needed to hear the other side of witnesses, so I looked up some books on witnesses in the library of my college. The only books there were ones with a negative viewpoint, so I read them. I became disgusted with JWs and I cancelled my study and told my girlfriend (secretly because I wasn’t baptized) I wasn’t going to study and we should break up so she can be with a JW like she wanted. That was a horrible weekend.
She called the guy I was studying with and told him what happened so he called me to bring the book and answer my questions. I said fine. When I arrived all he said was that the book was written by apostates and was just slanderous lies. He said that stuff doesn’t happen. (I don’t remember the title of the book but it was a large white book with ‘Shining light’ or ‘Shining truth” somewhere in the title. It was a life story of an ex-bethelite woman) I started my study up again (mostly for my GF) with him for a couple of weeks and then he turned me over to an older brother who could better ask my never-ending why questions.
This older brother was actually a lot better than I thought. He was the nicest old man I have ever met. I never had Grandparents, and he became one to me. He was pretty knowledgeable and well read. He used to tell me that the organization isn’t perfect, and if things are wrong in them they will change for the better, so just put up with it for a little bit and wait it out. My studies progressed until I was ready for baptism.
I’m not really sure why I believed all these preposterous doctrines being taught to me. I guess I wanted to believe them so I can be with my GF. We were getting pretty serious now, but were still weren’t allowed to be with each other. Mostly her father was keeping us away. Her mom loved me and would sneak me over in the morning before my classes would start and after her father left for work. That went on until I got baptized (ack). Now her father accepted me as a son. I thought that was so horrible of him. I wasn’t good enough until I went under water. But now I’m good as gold.
Well, gotta go, If you want the rest of my story, let me know