Although I've lurked here for the past few weeks this will be my first post at JW.com! There are so many sad stories of liberation to hear. My own lacks the great drama of some but that probably means I have been spared much grief. There was no clear life-altering event that resulted in a complete turn-around in my life, but there were a few significant occasions.
The first was the destruction of the "exclusive truth" doctrine. During my participation on internet discussion forums in the late 90's, I met an unusual individual. He opposed the organization but still believed many JW doctrines (I could never buy into the reasoning of nominal Christianity.) After reading his article regarding eternal death in Armageddon (at http://reslight.addr.com/l-jws.html), for first time realized that the Witnesses could not have exclusive truth rights because they were wrong, and he was right. But I didn't abandon them yet.
The next big change came when I invited my parents to my place for dinner and they saw some books in full view. The books were older publications written by a companion of Russell after Rutherford seized control of the Watchtower. They wrote me a letter inquiring about them and I replied and told them what I found. By then I had done a lot more research: "other sheep" were gentile Christians, Jesus was at God's "right hand" immediately after he ascended, disfellowshiping procedures should include "going before the church", birthdays are okay if anniversaries are okay, etc, etc.
We communicated back and forth, usually via letters since that let each of us formulate our words and arguments carefully. But convincing them was of no avail. Each time they were cornered they simply stopped responding to the point I was making or shifted to the next one. Eventually even that stopped. My guess is that they felt guilt or pressure from spiritual discussions that were not "upbuilding" to their faith. Thankfully because I never baptized and thus was never disfellowshiped, I still have a good relationship with them.
Over the next couple of years my beliefs teetered toward mild agnosticism. My last girlfriend acted as a catalyst for this but she failed to try to understand me. I was left thinking how a wise, just and loving God could make a world that for billions of years has fed on death and conscious suffering (along with life and pleasure). It was comforting being in the organization and having all the answers. Now I am left with none. It is my price for freedom.