I do remember the moment or more correctly the moments as it came in two steps, some years apart.
The first came when the Elders told me that I had to make a choice between my dream job with NASA or the truth, they were quite blunt about it. They suggested I go back to fixing TV’s and working on the side as a janitor as this gave me more time to spend in service and meetings. Working with the Space Telescope and other NASA projects and commuting by jet each week was taking too much time away from the important things like selling worthless magazines door-to-door.
I thought to myself, I already gave up a well paying Engineering job some years ago because you said I could not work for a place that did any type of defense related work, they know this is only a four month job, and now they want me to give this up too! Give up something that is paying enough to quickly pay off all my debts. I never verbally expressed it, but I was thinking: no I don’t want to be a janitor or a TV fix-it-man, take your meetings and shove them boys.
Not long after, my four-month contract did indeed end, but the door of opportunity was still wide open. The company I had subcontracted with was apparently impressed with my work and wanted me to do more as they had several existing contracts with NASA. The only stipulation is that I had to move. They would pay for the move, but the bottom line is I had to pick up my family and move several states away.
Not an easy thing to do, but I did it and started attending meetings with my wife and children at our new congregation. Due to a hurt back I missed a few meetings, and was counseled and made to feel guilty. Here we go again! I moved and had a new job, but nothing has changed. Well actually something did change, something changed within me. Inside of me a small voice cried out ENOUGH, ENOUGH! This time I listened to the voice, and over time I stopped going to the meetings, eventually to the memorial as well.
That was 1988 and I felt guilty as hell since then. Then just a few years ago I wanted to make my marriage better, I wanted to be closer to my family. I knew the only way I could do this was to get back the faith I had lost, a faith that was still a big part of my wife’s and children’s lives. But the one nagging doubt I have always had was with the creation story. Quite frankly, everyone I worked with has at least a Masters degree and many had PhDs in astrophysics and other related space sciences. So I wasn’t about to bring that subject up at work for fear of ridicule. I really had nobody to discuss the subject with and in truth I didn’t really have a depth of understanding about evolution theory, I just knew, or thought I knew it was the enemy of my faith, or so I was told.
I decided to meet the enemy head-on and I found myself on talk-origins with my little Watchtower “science” book supposedly debunking the theory of evolution at my side.
Needless to say, I was cut to shreds and the book in my hands I discovered was more then just erroneous, it was purposefully deceptive. I then did real genuine research on evolution and also checked many of the references cited in the little book. The Watchtower was full of shit, and now I knew it!
I typed in Jehovah and Watchtower into a search engine and you know what I found, don’t you?
At 40 years old, I cried and cried like a little kid because the Watchtower was now dead, the fantasy was over, and I did not want it to be over. Yes, I would grow old and die and so would my kids. At that moment I knew that it was all a lie and that I had lived a lie. I was such a fool to waste so much of my life on it.
It was at that moment that I knew and I have considered myself out of this religion never to return since then.