I'm not sure how many current believing JWs would answer (other than the zealot / apologist types) but I'm open to people suggesting questions to ask (maybe start a new topic for it).
Interview with an Apostate: Template
More experiences to read:
- Interview with an Apostate: troubledmind
- Interview with an apostate: Clarity
- Interview with an apostate: Confused and Alone
- Interview with an Apostate: AllTimeJeff
- Interview with an Apostate: Cofty
- Interview with an Apostate: Julia Orwell
- Interview with an Apostate: JeffT(homas)
- Interview with an Apostate: Dazed but not confused
- Interview with Paul from Cleveland
- Interview with an Apostate: rawe (Randy)
- Interview with an apostate: Endofmysteries
- Interview with an Apostate: DeWandelaar
- Interview with a JW (I am not an Apostate): KateWild
- Interview with an apostate: Cantleave
Also I updated the template to include a link back to this topic - it will hopefully make it easier for people to find this if they stumple upon any individual story.
When I first read the thread title, I thought it was a Simon-style interview of some unknown JWN member with the username "Template".
Come to think of it, "Template" would actually be a pretty cool username.
I've really been enjoying reading these. I will try to do mine soon.
Great template and idea Simon- keep em coming!
This really seems to have caught people's imagination!
I'm really enjoying reading these (even if I've not managed to comment on them all).
I think personal experiences like this help people recoginise that they are not alone and it's not just 'them' or their congregation that is an anomaly but how people are made to feel and how people are treated badly is systemic in the organization. Like all these people though, they too can move on and don't have to waste any more of their lives.
Some common themes have come through like people wishing they had taken action and left sooner - I know I do !
This is a great idea Simon. I've enjoyed the ones I've had a chance to read.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family. Both sides of family JWs. Fathers side of family suffer from mental illness. Dysfunctional family dynamtics. Were you a born in or a convert? Born in. Were you a born in or a convert? See above. Father was fanatical about the religion. How many generations have been JWs? 3 Did you hold any position in the WTS? (MS, Elder etc...) No, female. Did you *really* believe in the bible, in spirits (angels, demons)? Yes. Had fear of watching horror movies, could invite demons in. X sister in law had 'demon attacks' while studying with JWs. I never saw anything. Did you get baptised? When and why? Yes. Was about 18. It was expected, also thought i'd be more accepted by the cong. That i would feel different. Neither happened. What was the initial trigger that made you start questioning things? Didn't really question that it wasn't the 'truth'. Questioned the control over every aspect of our lives while in my teens. Basically did things my way at home, put on act when around Jws that i was more 'spiritual' than i really was. Where did you find information? Internet sites? Books? Internet and reading CoC & 30 Years a Watchtower Slave. Wished i discovered this years earlier. How difficult or painful was the process of leaving? Actually very easy. Went to a meeting (Thursday, i think). Was listening to a speaker pontificating that we should be doing this and that, that we're not doing enough. Light bulb moment for me as i wasn't doing all that. Was my last meeting, never went to another. No calls, no elders knocking on my door, nothing. Was like l never existed. Maybe had something to do with marrying outside the 'truth'. Got DF'ed at 19, then RI'ed at 20. Got pregnant and married during that year. Hubby at the time happy i stopped, dysfunctional relationship with parents & siblings so missing nothing there. Was it a big dramatic exit or a careful quiet fade? More like a non event. Like i said above, as far as the cong was concerned i never existed. I also moved alot, (hubby for work). I had moved about 20 times when l left. Maybe all the different congs couldn't keep up. Did you convince anyone else to leave with you? No. Just glad l got my kids out while they where still young. Hubby non JW. He did start studying and going to meetings, but never was that interested. Grateful that he didn't get that involved with the JWs. How were your family relations affected by your decision? Already had crappy relationship with parents & siblings so nothing changed there. Happy to have nothing to do with my father as he was a mental case, abusive physically & emotionally. Though unusual for my parents they are talking to me ( via phone) as we live in different states. ( Australia). They now want to have a relationship, they did shun me while l was DF'ed, and when l left my marriage. My suspicious radar went off, so unlike them, think it has to do with now in their 60's, maybe lonely. Considering l'm living with my BF, but that doesn't seem to bother them now. My father did ask for forgiveness about how he behaved while l was growing up. I forgave him for his appalling treatment. He actually cried! I'm not DF'ed or DA'ed that i know of, since l told my parents that they have been very forward in having a relationship with me. Were you or are you still being shunned by those who didn't leave? No. Only by my parents on & off. They are no longer shunning me. Never came across a JW from the day l left. How long have you now been out? 12 years. Was there anything you looked forward to doing when you left? Watching horror movies ( the decent ones). Do whatever l wanted, when l wanted. What are you most proud of achieving since you left? Becoming a nuse. Travelling around Australia ( still doing). Is there anything you miss about life in the congregation? No. Red pill or blue pill? Do you regret waking up to reality at all? No. Just that it didn't happen earlier. Did you become an atheist or transfer your faith elsewhere? Looked at a few different faiths. Still deciding whether l believe in a god or not. No longer feel the need to be religious. How do you now feel about religion in general? Not interested in any man made religion at all. Do you feel any guilt celebrating xmas or birthdays or doing any other JW "no-no"s? None. Have you attended any face-to-face meetups of ex-JWs? No. Describe your circle of friends - mostly other ex-JWs or regular people? Best friend never a JW. All friends just regular people. Do you tell people about your JW past? On occasion if subject came up, but not for years. Do you feel animosity or pity toward current JWs? Animosity toward the Society. No pity towards those stuck in because of family. How do you respond to witnesses when they call at your door? Never had them call at my door. I now live in an Aboriginal Community, working in the general store. Nearest JW 500 ks away. Storm the barricades or tend to the wounded? (do you favor activism or support) Support for those who are trying to leave. What do you think is the most effective approach to reaching people still in? Planting a seed, by asking a question like you're confused. Do you think the WTS can or should be destroyed, will continue on as-is or grow / change? Hopefully it will eventually implode. How has your life been impacted by your JW past? Socially awkward. Thats improving. Hate it when at a BBQ or party everyone talks about what they got up to growing up & you've got nothing to contribute. Who wants to hear about meetings & FS, and not doing normal things. I found these discussions depressing. Are there things in your life you blame the WTS for? Yes. Not having a normal childhood. Have difficulty making friends though l'm improving. Having no happy memories growing up. JW upbringing - a protection or a curse? A curse. How do you fill your time now it's not filled with meetings and field service? Sleeping in on Sunday, watching TV any night, travelling. Do you still have an interest in JW beliefs and doctrines? Yes. Parents still in. They don't bring up religion in conversation. But just in case. Check if theres any scandal, especially in Australia. How much of your time is still spent on JW related matters? Depends. Sometimes l take a break. Mainly JWN. What do you think of the ex-JW community? Best thing since sliced bread! Do you see yourself still being associated with the ex-JW community in 5 or 10 years time? Probably, checking if the Society has imploded yet. Do you fear the future? Used to worry about Armageddon all the time. No longer since l learned TTATT. What advice would you give to anyone starting the journey of leaving the WTS? Research everything. What would you change in your life if you could go back and talk to yourself? Absoluetly. Wouldn't have got baptised or married so young. Do you have any regrets about life since you left? Some, nothing major. l was like a kid in a candy shop when l got my first taste of freedom. Had some learning curves. Can we read your life-story anywhere? (links to online or books) No. . Want to share your own story? Please use the Interview with an Apostate: Template and post it in the Personal Experiences & Reunions section with the title "Interview with an Apostate: [your name or alias]"
Great. Spent all that time painstakingly cut and pasting each question and when l finally get it finished and post it it turns out like that.