First post

by thedog1 97 Replies latest jw friends

  • thedog1

    Ok everyone

    this is a very strange thing for me to do. I have been an active Witness for over 25 years. I currently serve as an elder and I conduct the Watchtower study. However, the content of recent Watchtower study articles has caused me to think long and hard about what I am doing. I have been reading many of the posts here for a number of weeks and this has caused me to think even more. You know, as others have acknowledged here, they see their spiritual brothers and sisters in the congregation as generally very nice people. The morals are good, the individuals are trying to shape their personalities according to the scriptures, and generally people are very genuine. The recent Watchtower study on the faithful and discreet slave, and the continuing problem with the 'this generation' teaching' has been a source of great concern to me. I remember having a discussion with a sister many years ago, when there were some rumours that the 'this generation' teaching was going to shift from those alive in 1914 being the ones who would see the end, and she was dismayed as she told me that she accepted the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses because she thought Armageddon was coming very soon. I've lost contact with her now but I wonder what she makes of all the changes. I'm confused. I don't know how I could explain it to others, and when I have to conduct he upcoming study clarifying the 'this generation' teaching, again, what will I do? I really do not want any glib answers. Some of those posting on here seem to have an understanding of how difficult this can be for somebody to do, just to post here. I live in a very conservative area. If the other elders in the congregation knew I was doing this I would be instantly removed as an elder and then probably be in front of a judicial committee very soon.

  • Dismissing servant
    Dismissing servant

    Hi Dog!

    I think a lot of elders feel the same way as you do with that generation teaching. But if you don't want to get DF'd you have to act carefully. Maybe ju just could prtend to be a tiny bit confused during those paragraphs of the WT-study. I am sure that a lot of people in your congregation are confused....if they notice one elders confusion some of them might begin thinking a bit.

    Take care

  • leftbelow

    "If the other elders in the congregation knew I was doing this I would be instantly removed as an elder and then probably be in front of a judicial committee very soon."

    That you are right about. I discovered things during prep for a public talk 13 years ago that led me where I am today successfully faded out of the Org. But don't revel anything too personal and just don't stress to much we all started right where youare and we all survived many of us former elders MS Bethelites pioneers and soem forme DO's and CO's. Remember the Truth has nothing to fear from the lie but once you know it you can't unknow it.

    Welcome and know your not alone

  • will-be-apostate

    Welcome to the forum thedog1. The upcoming months might will be very difficult. I know how you would like to tell everybody about what you have found out and to help them but at this stage what you have to do is to do nothing but learn more about the evidences that show this organization is not what it claims to be. 25 years is a long time, being an elder I assume your whole life was around doing God's will. We are here 24/7 to help you in this process. As an elder you know that you have to keep quite. Maybe you can help your family. Do you have kids? Just do me a favor: if they are not baptized yet promis me you won't help them on their way to the pool. Do anything that you can to raise them up normally. Let them hang out with their schoolmates, let them socialize. Thank you.

    my best wishes, wba

  • Separation of Powers
    Separation of Powers

    I can understand your apprehension. Posting on here for the first time is difficult for those still in. As an elder, your assessment of what might happen lest you be found out is correct. Please tread lightly when it comes to your concerns regarding the ORG. Many, even those you think might agree with you, are so captive that they may throw you under the bus,

    I, for one, served for quite some time. I got to the point, like you, that I could no longer teach something I did not fully believe. In time, unfortunately, the disbelief became intolerance and now I literally become sick by the salesmanship of the ORG. I see through the veil and veneer.

    As for your feelings, the reality I have seen in my case is...once you do not accept it, it all begins to unravel. Little things that you mentally covered over begin to peak through your subconscious and poke at you, sometimes incessantly. I feel for you and your situation. What you may begin to experience, if you are anything like many of the ex-elders on this forum, may well be a systematic breakdown of your belief system. Be patient. Be careful. Be resolved.

    Kind Regards,


  • leaving_quietly

    First, welcome!

    Second, I too, am a JW for over 25 years, and served as an elder. Once I woke up to teachings I could not personally support, I stepped aside as an elder, remembering that James 3:1 says: "Not many of YOU should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment."

    If you cannot step aside, or do not want to, try to plan to be away for the weekend that particular article is studied and have another elder substitute for you.

    There are many things I have to say to you, but I don't think you could bear them at present. Yes, these are the same words Christ used, and for good reason. He likely understood the nature of cognitive dissonance.

    I posted this in for another here on this forum a few months back, but I feel it bears repeating:

    Here's what happened to me when learning TTATT. Just preparing you for what may come for you:

    1. Cognitive dissonance - learning that things that you believed deeply are not all true.

    2. Could it really be? - The verification process. Claims made by others you must verify for yourself. This means LOTS of research. But, in my experience, when you never had time for it before, you actually make time for it now. It becomes almost a compulsion, an obsession. You have to re-prove "the truth" to yourself, and when you find out you can't, then...

    3. Anger, dismay

    4. Wanting to tell your closest associates (but can't because you'd be outed)

    5. Dreams (oh, the dreams... they get really strange)

    6. Then you think... oh, wait... I'm leaving out the most important thing... prayer! So you pray. Hard. Like never before.

    7. You're mentally left in a kind of in-between state (between being a JW and not being one). At meetings, you quickly pick up on the wrong teachings. You quickly see misapplication of scriptures. You quickly recognize everything wrong. And it becomes really hard to hide your reaction.

    8. At some point, acceptance. You accept that JWs are wrong. You accept JWs do not have "the truth". You keep up appearances for friends and family sake, but you know deeply that this cannot continue for the rest of your life, so you start planning your fade.

    I'm at #8. Fading is the hardest thing to do when all your family is IN.

    People leave for different reasons. Some because of how they were treated by elders. Some over the blood issue. Some over policies on child abuse. For me it was over teachings and Pharisaic attitudes encouraged organizationally.

    All the best to you. Welcome to the board!

  • wizzstick

    I've also been in 25 years, was a MS did Bethel for a short while. But left this year. Not so much a fade as a drop out!

    It is VERY hard to post here, so well done.

    It took me 7 years to post here, so I know those huge feelings of uncertainty and guilt. Am I letting Jehovah down, betraying the brothers etc? The more you really believed the harder it is to post.

    That's why it took me so long.

    Welcome - everyone here will support you.

  • thedog1

    thanks for your prompt replies. Interesting you say, 'dismissing servant', that some others are possibly confused. In my part of the world,( don't want to reveal where I am just in case), the brothers are very conservative and I don't think anybody would even admit to being confused, though one sister told me it took her ages to 'get' some of the recent changes. And my wife is a very faithful person who doesn't doubt the 'truth' at all. When I voiced some concerns to her she got frightened and asked me to please stop talking in that way.

    I don't think it is an option for me to act confused in the study. The bros expect me to be one step ahead of them and explain anything they cannot understand so maybe I will just use the line I have used sometimes in the past, ' our understanding now is...'

  • Simon Templar
    Simon Templar

    Hi thedog1. I understand how you feel and the thoughts going through your mind. Just a suggestion, when a study article comes along that you have problems with or the comfort factor is very low, why not have another Brother do it for you instead? Just be careful not to divulge any personal information or identify where you are from on a regional basis. Your anonymity should hold up. BTW, my personal view is that the WTS knows about this site, and that many, many of the "friends" are having problems with them and are disenchanted. The result is that the WTS is leaving people alone unless they actively speak to people directly in the Congo. They know they can't do anything about the internet and therefore, monitor it but leave it be. Just my thoughts. I may be wrong. Feel better.

  • dissonance_resolved

    Welcome! There's a lot to be learned through this site- it's refreshing to be able to use your brain to evaluate the merits of different points of view and analyze what makes the most sense to you. Very different from the "believe everything we say the instant we say it" approach of the FDS. If you haven't already, you might want to check out a site called Beroean Pickets. There are a couple of active elders who post there who seem to have grappled with similar issues. Like another poster mentioned though, once you go down the rabbit hole, you can't "unknow" what you find out.

Share this