How many here are still active JWs? If not.....

by Leander 35 Replies latest jw friends

  • LB

    Leander my exit was done fairly slowly. My wife continued attending for about a year after I left. I just slowed way down, only went to sunday meetings and then stopped going to assemblies. I had been involved with someone getting appointed that I knew had no business being a servant. When the elders refused to remove him I knew I was in the wrong place. Already I had many doubts stemming from 607.

    What helped me to leave was how quickly my friends forget about me once I was no longer a regular attender. They talked behind my back so much that my wife eventually couldn't handle it and she left also.

    Never Squat With Yer Spurs On

  • revdrjohnson
  • NameWithheld

    The only thing Rutherford had right was "religion is a snare and a racket!"

    To answer your question - I'm a drifter. A move helped facilitate this w/out having to face the dreaded "Do you believe this is god's org" question. Before that I was VERY inactive, often joting down 1-2 hours (made up) so as to not attract attention. Made a few Sunday meetings and Thursday, but missed as many as I could. At that time my wife was riding the guilt train and made more meetings than me, but HATED every minute of them, the meaningless drivel, the gossip, the wierd/boring people , etc. This was about the time the generation change happened. That pretty much did it in for me. The instant I helped my wife realize she didn't need to feel guilty about missing meetings she was free too. Before that she missed alot of them, but felt terrible for doing so.

    I showed her a few items from sites like Freeminds, etc and that was all it took. I think she too was ready to see that the 'truth' wasn't what is was cracked up to be. The biggest eye-opener I think (as was true for us) is simply the lack of love in the congos, and the double standards that are universally applied to the 'in' crowds (usually elders and family). As we were not 'in' the 'in' crowd, we often found ourselves paying for things that others did (or wrose) and got off scott-free for.

    To this day, we've been left alone. The family knows we don't go to meetings, but we have a good relationship still. It helps I think that many of our extended family have never been JWs or left JWs - so they are 'used' to having family not JWs. Of course, we get the 'encouragement' to go back 'since the end is SOOOOO close now'. But not too much which is nice.

    Leander, I have to agree w/ those that say don't take a stand too early. Try to dis-entangle yourself without making a scene. It MAY work, and if it does, you will at least retain sonewhat of a normal life. Just dodge the inevitable questions, asking for 'time' Eventually they may get the message and back off. Hopefully!

  • Seeker4

    I slowly left as well, but once I stopped attending, I really stopped. It took me about 2-3 years to cut all the ties. I'd been very active for 35 years. Elder, pioneer, etc. Some family - including mother, wife, daughter, are still JWs. My wife stuck with me, though I think I read in another post that leaving the Witnesses will likely end your marriage. That is typical.

    As far as the Bible is concerned, rather than starting to read it with John, just start reading Genesis, without the JW preconceptions. I did that as a JW, and I think as much as anything, by the time I got to the 22nd chapter, I KNEW the Bible was just a bunch of myths and fables.

    The Bible itself totally convinced me that it wan't inspired. Sure, read the gospels, other parts, just don't take any of it too literally or too seriously. Dawn, I don't mean to be attacking you personally today (though it seems that way!!), but I disagree. The problem IS with the Bible itself, and not just the JW interpretation.

    So there were a lot of factors, but mainly it was stepping back and looking at the Witnesses and their teachings first, and then at the Bible itself. Literature from "apostates" and that sort of thing didn't convince me to leave. It just confirmed that I wasn't alone is seeing that so much of what I'd believed all my life was nonsense.


  • Leander

    Roybatty - I really wish I could just get out today. My life would be so much better. But unfortunately due to the circumstances I'm forced to wait it out for a little while longer. Whats your story? What made you decide to leave and when did you do it?

    LB & Namewithheld - I wish my wife was a bit more understanding, but I'm certain that she'll never take my side on this issue even if she beleives I'm right. When I first started talking to her about my doubts last October she went from being hostile to broken down emotionally. To make matters worse once her family got wind of it I was basically branded a criminal. Her sister even insinuated that if I left the organization she would convince my wife to leave me. But despite that I'm hoping for the best, maybe things won't be as bad as I envision it to be.

    Revdrjohnson - Very interesting story

  • NameWithheld

    Leander. Before making a stand, make your relationship with your wife as strong as possible. And try and make that relationship strong in non-JWs areas - ie a hobby of some sort or other that you both enjoy. Perhaps she will see beyond the JW glasses and stick by your side even if you are 'weak'. At the least, if you don't force her to choose between you and the religion, perhaps time will help her to see what she KNOWS in her heart to be true (at least it sounds as if she perhaps sees the problems you see, but at this point cannot accept that it may be true).

    I'd still hope that you could fade away - just tell them you need a 'break' from the routine for awhile. Be very evasive about making any definite statements about anything. As for the elders/etc I'd just be 'unavailable' for sheparding calls, etc.

    Give your wife a way to have her cake and eat it too, and she may jump at the chance ... what I mean is don't force her to choose between you and JWs. At this point it sounds like JWs have her on a short leash.

  • SYN

    Left a long time back, (3 years) for various reasons. Mainly because I simply couldn't stand it any more and it was killing me (I was SO stressed out all the time! I'm a much more calm, relaxed person now...)

    But I could understand how someone would want to stay in just so they could drift out slowly and keep their family and friends. For a lot of people, there are pretty high stakes. Better to live a double life (and be an informant for the Apostates, MWUHAHAHA! ) than lose all your relatives to the BORG, in my opinion. What matters is that you don't actively promote the WTBTS agenda...i.e. no FS. That's the big thing for me. I get very upset when people promote the WTBTS. Anything else is cool with me, hey, personal freedom!

    During a code review, when I asked why there was not a comment in 240,000 lines of code which was getting handed to me for maintenance, the programmer replied, "I'm terse."

  • maxwell

    I've been leaving the past few weeks and it appears I am gone now.
    I left relatively quickly. I commited adultery earlier this year. I didn't do it purposely to get out of the organization. The incident was a personal failing. But it did provide a quick exit.

    I started to doubt whether there was a God in a philosophy class about 4 years ago. I kinda pushed those doubts aside at the time. But, with that and other observations about the world, I've come to feeling that there may or may not be a God in the past few months. I guess I could describe myself as agnostic.

    If one assumed that there is a God and that the Bible was his Word, I would still have thought that Jehovah's Witnesses had the Bible religion down the best. I've seen many arguments here against them and their beliefs, however few of them strike a nerve with me. I have to admit that I may still be biased by things I've been taught all my life. All my life, I've generally approached theological arguments with a bias toward the way JW believe. However, one thing about the organization and even the Bible that does strike a nerve is strong counsel to avoid apostates and to avoid certain other patterns of thought. In my mind, if something is true or correct, it should be able to withstand any rhetorical opposition or contradictory ideas.

    Logic and philosophy should not be the enemy of truth. Even if getting to know God requires some higher plane of thought (spirtual thought??), I should be able to start out with logic and reach some firm conclusions clearly manifest in the physical world about God and spirituality before preceding further. After all, I'm only a man, and my natural mode of thought is physical to begin with. Or maybe that's just my personal feeling about what's natural, but I think anyone can agree that the physical world is what we are first able to understand. Babies first learn about the physical world and tangible things. It takes a few years before a child is even able to comprehend intangible and abstract qualities. So I'll probably still read the Bible and the JW publications, but I won't be limited to those. I plan to pick up some stuff by Darwin, Ray Franz and who knows where I'll go after that.

    So I decided to tell my wife on Monday April 8. That same day I mailed a letter to the elders confessing, so that my wife would be free to remarry. Well my wife, of course, cried, and then got worried when I said I wasn't going back to the Kingdom Hall. She called an elder herself and a couple of them came over to my apartment that evening. I gave them a copy of the letter and they said they'd have to set up a judicial committee. Maybe I can copy my letter here sometime, but it basically said, I had commited adultery, I am unrepentant, and I don't want to discuss any details of the incident, and that they would probably easily reach a decision to disfellowship. It said I only wanted my wife to be Scriptually free to remarry.

    One of the elders apparently went out of town, so he called me the next Monday to ask me if I'd changed my mind and to tell me they scheduled the meeting on Tuesday April 15. I declined to attend. Tuesday night they called twice, but I wasn't there. Sadly, an older brother in my congregation died that week(just last week that is), and that kinda slowed things a little again. They finally called me Friday to say they preferred to tell me their decision in person. So I agreed to meet with them this past Sunday April 21. They once again reminded me that I could repent and asked me if I wanted to stand by my letter. I said yes. They sent me into another room while they discussed among themselves what I knew had to be a clear cut decision. A few minutes later they came and got me and said they had not choice but to disfellowship me. They gave me my appeal options and the options for coming back and said the meeting was over if I had nothing further to say. I stood up without saying a word and walked out.

    I really have nothing against those men, the organization, or any JW. They can choose to believe as they want. I can choose to believe as I want. And as far as I can tell, I'm clear of the organization now. The process wasn't painful at all. They were at my apartment that first Monday for about 15 minutes. And the last meeting was about 10 minutes. They'll probably have to wait until next week's service meeting to announce me because of the 7 day appeal thing, but surprisingly I've received only a few calls from people the past two weeks since I haven't been going to the meeting. And that despite the fact that my wife is attending another congregation now and that she has only told a few of her close friends. Maybe more people know that I think. Certain people should be aware that I am having "difficulties". I was reading at the bookstudy, working in literature, working as an attendant and a microphone carrier, 3 weeks ago. So I assume they had to let some people know certain things discreetly, so that they could continue to operate smoothly.

    Of course, it has been painful with my wife. But I don't think I should have been married either, so we'll deal with that. She's not been as emotional as I expected and seems to be moving forward and a reasonable rate. I've heard the most "encouragement" from her, but that's simply because she's the one who's around, and she likes to talk.

    The biggest thing now to be settled is my family. They were very emotional when I first told them. I was raised in the truth, and they believe it very strongly. But hopefully they can calm down soon. Fortunately they live 850 miles away, but surprisingly my mother has decided to come up and visit next weekend. This will be the first time she's come here since I moved here over 2 years ago. In fact none of my family has been up to visit. I sent them an email and told them they were still welcome to visit and call. I doubt that I will still be welcome to visit them, but we'll see. My mom will at least do this visit.


  • maxwell

    Wow, I didn't realize how wordy I had gotten. I'll have to preview that thing next time.

  • Parsnips

    Hello. I am a new member, but your story got my attention because you sound like years ago. I was married at 18, and miserable for 2 and a half years. I knew I wanted to leave for about 3 months before I actually did, and I won't kid you, it's the hardest thing I ever did. I sacrificed my entire family and the many friends I had made over my 18 years as a witness. Don't kid yourself and think that anyone will treat you the same after. No one talks to me, and if they see me, they turn away like I have some kind of disease. Was it all worth it? ......YES! I have never been so happy. All the free time, to yourself, and all the other friends you'll make eventually, and last but not least, enjoying birthdays and christmas like normal people.(Thsi took me a while to do). I met an incredible person, who my parents won't even meet just because he is "worldly". It just doesn't make sense. After a while you will see what the real world is like, after leaving the proctective, cultlike shell of the "truth". Hope this helps, PARSNIPS

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