You have a license to freedom dear child! Be very good to yourself. Find joy in your life every day! Think good thoughts! and run fast!
I really need some help to get out of this religion
Since you are still under your parents' authority, living in their home, you have to follow their rules.
That doesn't mean you have to swallow everything the WT says without thinking about it. I does mean that you need to be guarded in what you say.
Reading some of the old WT literature like The Finished Mystery and Millions Now Living Will Never Die can go a long way in convincing you that this organization is not God's channel of communication.
If that isn't possible, you can always read the Bible and see how different it is than what the WTS portrays.
What the WTS does with the Bible is to quote isolated verses and parts of verses out of context as "proof" of their doctrines.
Think about it. When is the last time you attended a study of an entire book of the Bible verse by verse and paragraph by paragraph? Odds are you never have.
As you sit through a WT study, try looking the scriptures they quote and reading the whole context -- including several verses before and several after. You will find it very hard to do this because the WT never gives you time to do that. They give you the GB's teachings with a quick hit of a verse or part of a verse or maybe even just the citatiion of a verse. Then it's back to their arguments and teaching. They don't really give you time to read that whole section of the Bible so you can see what it's really talking about.
On your own time, try reading the Bible with an open mind apart from WT literature. Read it in context. Read through an entire book. You don't have to read it all at one sitting, but read the whole book in context.
Start with Galatians and Romans.
If you don't understand everything there, that's fine. Just read it for what you DO understand. I think you will find it far different from the WT system.
I am also sending you a PM.
You access PMs by clicking on the little envelope in the upper right corner of the screen. If you get an error message, click on it again.
I wish I had such foresight at 16, before I got baptized. It sounds like you're going down the "slow drift"/fade direction. It can be done sucessfully and many here have done so and left unscathed, but it takes lots of patience, and always good to have "worldly" friends to fall back on if it all turns sour - it sounds to me like you know what you're doing.
It's also understandable that you're feeling apprehensive and want to make sure you're doing the right thing. I think it takes different things for different people - for some it's their own experience of "conditional love" or treatment of others e.g. shunning that shows them it's not real, for others it's about discovering all the holes in the doctrine - particularly 607 and 1914. It's surprising how quickly evidence against it stacks up though - for me, I'm amazed I didn't figure it out sooner. Just approach things with an open mind.
It's tough to change deeply ingrained thinking. See if your library has a copy of COMBATTING CULT MIND CONTROL by Steve Hassan- great for personal application. Or get it at amazon.
Hang in there. I can imagine how tough that would be. I had questions that couldn't be answered at your age, but waited almost twice as long to investigate. I know its confusing and stressfull and mind blowing, but be thankful you woke up with the rest of your life ahead of you!
Remember, the end is not coming. Take it all slow. I think your plan is a good one. I'd stay at home as long as possible. What really helped me to get the angst and guilt out of my mind was to think about the real history of the world. The organization admits now that Neanderthals existed. They try to claim they were another race of humans that is extinct, which is stupid. Go to Wikipedia and research Neanderthals and Cro Magnon man. Then ask yourself, if they existed and were alive 40,000 years ago then how was Adam in the bible different? How could there have been a ransom sacrifice for Adam's sin? How could the flood be true? Once you realize that many of the stories in the bible are just that - stories - you will lose the guilt. It's just a man made religion. The guilt I felt was gone in about a month or so, and reminding myself that Neanderthals walked the earth tens of thousands of years ago always help to ground me if I have flashbacks.
Best of luck!
Welcome doughnutkitty, DITTO what other posters have written about doing more research of the WTBTTS and BITE control, get a good education, and make more non-JW friends.
doughnutkitty - What I need help with is how to deal with these incredibly overwhelming emotions that I'm doing something wrong by wanting to leave, how to become more independent from my family (I'm very dependent, even in small areas), how to deal with continuing going to meetings, and how to prove to myself that this is not the true religion as it claims to be. Help please?
You currently have a plan that is pretty good, you just need to add a few more details and how to accomplish your goals. I would recommend adding to your plan to convince yourself that the WTBTS either has the "Truth" or not, becoming more independent of your family, and how to vent your frustrations about going to meetings without alienating your JW family. To accomplish the previously mentioned additions to your plan, I would recommend the following:
- Delay getting baptised as a JW for as long as possible, and hopefully never. You can start a thread asking for help to overcome your JW family and friends pressure to become baptised.
- Posting as much as possible on JWN to either vent your frustrations, which will increase with time about the WTBTS, and to ask for help about specific points of your plan. It is better to vent your frustrations on JWN then to JWs.
- Look up the definition of " Ockham's razor" to help you make logical conclusions about your doubts and to improve your critical thinking skills. You can use your internet browser and/or your school teachers/library to help you do your research. You can also use a technique of drawing a 'T" on a blank sheet of paper and write what you agree with/disagree with the WTBTS (or anything else that you choose) on opposite sides of the paper to help you make decisions.
- Visit websites such as www.jwfacts.com, www.watchtowerdocuments.com, and www.jwsurvey.org, and www.freeminds2.org to name a few. Unlike what the WTBTS promotes, the internet has a wealth of information that can help you to make decisions in your life. Just use anti-virus software and, if using a home computer, erase the browser history everytime you visit non-WTBTS approved websites.
- Visit Steve Hassan's website www.freedomofmind.com to learn more about the BITE control techniques that the WTBTS does use and how to overcome them. If you cannot afford to purchase Steve Hassan's book "Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs" in an ebook format, see if you can either checkout his books at the library or at least watch the following two videos of Steve Hassan at least twice: "Steve Hassan explains SIA method to rescue loved ones from unhealthy situations (2003)" and "Steve Hassan at NYC Ethical Culture Society February 2013.
- Make more non-JW friends. When making new non-JW friends, ask yourself what do you admire/like about the person. I would recommend making friends with people who have a vision/idea of what they want to accomplish in life such as going to the university and staying away from the people who just want to get drunk or high.
- In high school take classes that will help you to get a job. Learning how to touch type, shop, computers, mathematics, and science are very important subjects to take if you have an interest and aptitude for them. By the way what interests you? Have you considered writing a thread about what type of jobs to look for as a teenager that will not offend your parents?
- Ask your high school guidance councilors to help you make decisions about what you should study in high school to prepare yourself for the university and getting a part-time job. It might help to explain to your councilors that your were raised a JW and to ask them to do research themselves about the WTBTS and BITE control.
- After you decide that your doubts are right, consider asking your parents simple questions to help them see what the WTBTS is and helping them to make more non-JW friends such as friends with parents of your friends. Reading Steve Hassan's books and posting on JWN will help you to help your parents.
Best of wishes to critically think for yourself and get through the double-whammy of being a teenager and a JW.
Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,
How did you mange to stay un-baptized for so long? According to todays JW standards you are over-the-hil! Are your parents kind of normal?
You have an incredible opportunity to help your parents learn TTATT. Just educated yourself about the WTBTS true history. Read the books that have been suggested and don't act weird to your parents. Don't attack them, just say you have learned some things that upset you about the Organization. You seem really smart, so you can do this. Have you been to the DC? Did you hear all the talks about "truth"? Well, there is no way that the GB are teaching the truth according to the DC's definition of truth.
Just pick a subject and see if it fits the criteria of truth. Come to this forum for help. There is much support and wisdom here. Look at JWfacts.com as well. It is awesome. It relays the information without sounding looney. That's a plus. There are many sites that have facts about the WT, but they are not done as well.
Just hang in there, don't freak, and take your time. Perhaps getting a first job after school is a good step. Start stashing some cash asap. Then get a car. You will be blown away at where you are in 1 year or more if you stick with a plan. Like I said, there are lots of people here who are ready to help you.
WOW! You have gotten some GREAT advice here!
Just to emphasize what I saw as key:
1) Be patient and stay at home, even if it means compromising with your parents. You don't need to take a stand on TTATT just now.
2) DO NOT get baptized. That gives THEM power over you. You are in the position of power now. (You just do not realize how much so.)
3) Do not go wildass crazy. That will just prove (to your parents and JWs) that Satan's has gotten control over you.
4) GET AN EDUCATION. As much as you can qualify for and/or you can afford. Education is the key to a good life in the future.
Great, GREAT advice and counsel here! I'm so glad you found this website, it will help you a LOT while you wait to be old enough, Doughnutkitty!
Do what you must to survive, you are NOT bad for doing that. Always keep in mind that your life BELONGS to YOU and you also OWN the RIGHT to be who you are and do what YOU want to do with YOUR LIFE.
Anything that contradicts that is a LIE!!!
I hope to see you on here often and I'm happy for your freedom!
I am glad you decided to post!
Since you have not been manhandled into getting baptized yet, it seems unlikely that it will happen now. Generally, the parents who are hardcore about pushing baptism start at 11 or 12. I believe that you will be able to avoid it now fairly easily. If anyone asks why you haven't done it, just be honest and say you aren't ready to take such a big step.
Lots of young people attend churches with their parents, with no intention of being an active participant. I know that it is different at the KH because of the way the information is given, but you still have the option to check out in your head during the talks. Just sail through the next two years; focus on school, make new friends on the outside, obey your parents' rules, and just relax.
You won't have the traditional high school experience, with dances or athletics, but you can make up for that a hundred times in college. If you take the route of passive resistance, you will maintain a relationship with your family and in the years ahead you will be glad that you did.
Post here when you have to blow off steam, there are a lot of people who can help you keep your cool and maneuver through your fade.