A number of people here have, in their responses, accused me of "trolling" by virtue of my having posted this topic. I don't understand the accusation, given that it's quite untrue. As it is, it seems I am being called a "troll" by some merely because I expressed a position that several don't like and don't agree with. I didn't make my post to cause a stir. I simply shared a viewpoint. Many may find that viewpoint unpopular, but that doesn't make the one who posts that unpopular viewpoint a "troll."
I'm not the only one on this forum who is a currently active Witness. I'm not the only such Witness on this forum who disagrees with the Watchtower Society on its teachings and policies. I also know I'm not the only such Witness on this forum who still loves Jehovah's Witnesses, the community and Family of brothers and sisters.
While I understand that a great majority of active posters here are former Witnesses who engage mostly in anti-JW and anti-WTS sentiment of varying degrees (some presented rationally, some not), my understanding was that this was an open forum where former as well as active Witnesses can share their views and engage in discussions. Instead, it appears that only one prevailing viewpoint is permitted here by mass default. Deviation from that viewpoint invites a barrage of antipathy.
Obviously not all will agree with different viewpoints. But the toxicity exhibited in the responses to my post is rather astounding, ranging from outright venomous remarks, to broad-range assumptions about my character, to the strange notion that I am somehow blind and uninformed as to the beginnings of the Watchtower Society, the history of Jehovah's Witnesses over the past century, or the theology embraced by Witnesses. I am, I can assure all here, not uninformed on these matters at all.
All the ridicule has been bizarre, especially given that those casting the ridicule at me are in fact behaving in the exact same cult fashion that they accuse Jehovah's Witnesses of: acute intolerance of alternative viewpoints, broad categorization of others as "deluded" who hold to different viewpoints, mean-spiritedness, and deprecating by name-calling (i.e., Witnesses use the word "apostate," many folks on here use the word "troll").
The only difference is that where Witnesses engage in disfellowshipping, many here engage in outright flogging and crucifixion (figuratively speaking, of course) of those presenting alternate views, and done with a viciously disproportionate negativity.
I understand many here have gone through painful experiences with Jehovah's Witnesses. I honestly ache for them. But I, Jeramy, am not responsible for that pain. My otherwise good and happy experience as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, in spite of my dissidence, does not make me complicit in the pain caused to many by other Witnesses that such ones were once associated with. (Any more than my being a tax-paying American citizen makes me complicit in the wrongful deaths of innocent thousands at the hands of the U.S. military over the past thirteen years; other similar examples abound.)
I've encountered many people who have posted here telling their stories about why they left the community of Jehovah's Witnesses. And so I simply wanted to share my views on why I remain as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. I did so rationally and respectfully. No agenda. Just . . . sharing.
Blessings to all.