What Happened to the Religion I Left in 1995?

by JoshJeffries 69 Replies latest jw friends

  • yadda yadda 2
    yadda yadda 2

    JW's have been so cleverly bamboozled for so long they can no longer tell shit from shovel and most don't even care.

  • John_Mann

    {John_Mann, I was in for about the same time, but starting from 1985. I would love to hear your story some time.}

    But sadly I was a born-in.

    I was baptized at 13 and left with 24. And still struggling to live a normal life...

    A lot of people have a full decade brainwash.

    I wonder if something related to subconscious mind making a strong reality check at every 10 years...

    There's an old very interesting topic about the year 1995:


  • JoshJeffries

    Thanks, John_Mann, for that interesting link. I had not realized how that change affected others.

    I heard little complaint about it myself as it happened, and after I left I knew nothing about how others were dealing with it. So it was quite interesting to realize how many shared a similar conclusion about it.

    I was 17 when I came in. I had actually been frightened by a movie on HBO called "The Man Who Saw Tomorrow" about Nostradamus. It foretold silly things that did not come to pass, but as a youth of about 15 and 16, the images stuck with me. I was sure there was going to be a nuclear attack on the US before the year 2000 as the movie predicted. So when I heard about the Witnesses I believed I found the right group to join. Since they were predicting similar things to happen along the same time frame, it was "clear" that they were speaking for God like Nostradamus was--

    Dude, was I stupid back then or what?

    By 21 I knew I had made a big mistake and that the Nostradamus thing was just a stupid movie. By 24 I saw how cruel the elders were toward so many in their care. By 27 I was out of there.

    It was a bit of a reality check, but it wasn't filled with subconscious nudgings for me. I was very alert to what was happening, and I blamed myself for getting involved in such a group. Though I have read reports from others who claim to have been brainwashed, I wasn't. I wanted to believe in the fairy tale. I wanted to believe in a religion that pat me on the back for being clever enough to discover it. I liked the way the Governing Body taught me it was okay to feel superior for knowing "The Truth" and that it was God's will that I be judgmental and compartmentalize the people of the world under one of two sections: God's and Satan's. It felt very good to be in the only "right" religion.

    But the religion never lived up to its own hype. And history never unfolded according to the pattern of events they laid out. So when that little phrase about "God's promise" disappeared from the Awake!, I knew there was something afoot.

    You claim God was promising one thing one day and then next you stop saying that, well that made you a liar. I couldn't go out with the message anymore because to do so made me a liar.

    One Final Thing I've Noticed Since I've Left...

    We used to claim that we were God's composite prophet on the earth. The Faithful and Discreet Slave Class was the actual prophet, but by extension the Great Crowd made up this prophet-like voice too. "They will know that a prophet had been among them," from Ezekiel 33:33 was frequently quoted in published materials and heard from the podium. There was even the Ezekiel book that went into detail that God's prophet today was Jehovah's Witnesses since 1919. "We are that prophet" was the official teaching from the Governing Body of my day.

    The fact that so many JWs and the Organization/Society (I'm not sure what the call themselves today) are now claiming that they never said they were prophets is a major change and a big, fat lie. (Another lie? Yep, once you start it's hard to stop!)

    We always claimed to be prophets. "Then they will know you only are Jehovah," we used to sing in a Kingdom song. It was about when destruction would come upon the world just on time as God declared through us. "Then they will know that we were right and they were wrong," we used to say about our work back then.

    But today: "Oh no. We NEVER claimed to be prophets." Yeah right. My poop never claimed to stink, but guess what?

    We claimed that we were prophets. We claimed that the dates set by the FDS were God's promise and we were God's composite prophet, and the world would know we were right when God brought Armageddon before the generation of 1914 passes away. Like the Awake! magazine said, it was God's promise that it would happen by then, not ours.

    To read and hear so many claims today from current JWs that such never happened is also very funny. It's like a junkie who claims they are not an addict. They really believe what they are saying to you as they shoot up. When did that new light come to pass? When did they disown all those comments? When did they stop reading Ezekiel 33:33?

  • Dis-Member

    Are you implying that it was once the truth? Nothing happened. It's was false then and it's false now.

  • steve2

    Does it work the other way round; namely, that the organization is in greater error now than before 1995? I think not. What is erroneous remains erroneous - all else is only embellishment..

    Instead, the light never ever got brighter - like the cover of the new New World Translation, the "light" got greyer.

  • JoshJeffries

    Of course not, Dis-member. It has always been false.

    What I am saying is that if someone like an elder came to my door today and asked me if I ever considered coming back I could honestly tell him that I couldn't on the basis that the religion I once belonged to doesn't exist.

    I left back then because it was wrong then, but even that which I left is no longer there. If I went back I couldn't be what I once was when I was among the Watchtower ranks. If I did that I would be disfellowshipped for holding apostate ideas. A large number of the teachings we had including claiming we were prophets and that Armageddon HAD to come before those who witnessed WWI passed away and that no one who was baptized after 1935 could truly be of the anointed were once considered PROOFS that we were in the "one true religion" and the last days.

    To me, that is what being a Jehovah's Witnesses was. If you didn't believe these things and a quite a few other points that have been discarded, you might as well be a Satanic worshiper, because you were not peddling "the Truth."

    I woke up one day to realize it had never been true, but I also woke up just recently realizing that even that false religion with those unique and odd teachings was now gone. If I wanted to go back to it and be what I once was, I would have to start a new religion because this new JW.org business is not the religion that I left. It would never accept me worshipping among them with the old ways. They don't cherish the past. They have to always have some thing new to tickle their ears.

    I am also not saying it is in greater error than before. It's still in error, just different errors.

    I was born a Jew and went back to being a Jew after the whole Watchtower experience. Nothing had changed in the time I had been gone. Kosher is still kosher and mitzvah is still mitzvah, despite the Internet and today's technology. Catholicism is virtually he same, the Orthodox are still who they've always been, etc.

    But the Jehovah's Witness religion that I belonged to in the 1980s and early 1990s is gone. It died off with the 1914 generation, and it is never coming back.

  • Giordano

    Yes many things have changed however what has not changed is the corporate culture of the WTBTS. This is a culture that has insinuated itself into Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs.

    The average witness, in my opinion, accepts the mode of dress, wordage, voice inflection, lack of higher education and mindless meetings without end as part of the belief structure of it's religion. Not smoking is a core tenant as is shunning for whatever reason the Society says.

    Believing in a teaching without question until the Society changes it.......... is built into the reckless treatment of it's believers.

    In a trial held in 1954 WT officials admitted that even if a doctrine was proved wrong (or changed) the rank and file had to 'march in step' Until that doctrine was changed/corrected. If a person had been DF because they weren't in step they would not be invited back.

    To this day the Society seldom if ever announces that they made a mistake, got something wrong.

    A JW is not in control of the facts............ the Society is. And that has been unchangeable.

  • keyser soze
    keyser soze

    Welcome Josh! Like you I had my awakening in the mid 90's. At least I began to have serious doubts. Unlike you, it took me years to walk away for good, in large part because I was born in, and it was the only life I knew.

    The fact of the matter is that the religion has constantly changed since its inception. The one you knew was radically different than the one Charles Russell started in the 1800s. When a religion changes that much, that often, it means only one thing- they never had the truth to begin with.

  • JoshJeffries

    Giordano and keyser soze, great posts and GET OUT OF MY HEAD! ... LOL! These were factors I remembering considering in the end, but had forgotten until now. Freaky to hear what were once my thoughts that I wondered if anyone else considered and now see them here in print from others. Very healing, and I didn't realize there was still stuff to heal! Thanks, guys! And keyser, yep. I practically thought your comments word for word the very day I left: A religion that changes so much, so often has no lasting truths to offer and therefore can't be true--those were my words to myself. Wow, what an illuminating experience and feeling of solidarity this thread and all of your combined comments have given me...and that's NO JOKE!

  • John_Mann

    (....great posts and GET OUT OF MY HEAD! ... LOL! ....Freaky to hear what were once my thoughts that I wondered if anyone else considered and now see them here in print from others.)

    That's what happens when people use logic to understand the world. Logic unites us.

    No matter what language you speak, where you live, race, culture, age, sex, etc... If you use logic (even a simple one like "two true statements can't contradict one each other") you will meet a lot of people with the same conclusions, not by following orders from someone else but by following a method that really works.

    Feelings and emotions are too much subjective to be use as a practical compass in an objective world.

    Feelings and emotions are unique to every individual and that's the reason cults like JW.org changes a lot. Because when old bosses die their feelings and emotions die together and since they don't use any objective pattern their doctrines are changed to other subjective ones.

    Feelings are just fine to be used as art like music, painting, poetry, etc... but it sucks when used to set a way of life or to explain the world.

    Ironically the JW.org pretends to examine a very subjective ancient book with logical thinking.

    The JW.org does not like the artistic, organic religious feeling to be developed among its members. Like venerate some exquisite catholic imagery inside heavenly cathedrals or repeat mantras until your mind reach calmness...

    They just call a WT "study" as a religious experience. WTF!

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