Welcome. I can't recognize this religion too after DA for 6 months. We spent 20 yrs in this religion. Shd have left earlier.
What Happened to the Religion I Left in 1995?
This is not entirely new and feels eerily like a blast from the past revisited.
Your shock over the changes since 1995 should help you empathize with the experience of the "Russellites" or "Bible Students" who observed their beloved faith being subverted and reinvented by Rutherford in the years immediately following Russell's death in 1916.
Within the space of little more than 10 years, he completely transformed the organization into a vitrtual personality and publishing cult that only lost some of its blitheringly damning features when he died in the late 1930s, and a bland successor arrangement came into force.
From a loose collection of "companies" (as congregations were then called) before 1916 to a centrally high control group that was required to follow headquarters or else. While it is true that the formal disfellowshiping arrangement was not introduced until the early 1950s, as the 1930s Colin Moyle case so disturbingly illustrated, if you fell foul of Rutherford, he had the power to cut you off from the organization and ruin your reputation.
I think his name was Olin Moyle Steve, (he was saving up to buy the C when Rutherford took him to Court, lost the case, and NEVER paid the damages, poor old Olin could never afford to be Colin after that).
Rutherford exercised total, well Totalitarian power, and loved to do so, anyone who crossed him publicly could expect to be vilified in the pages of the Watchtower.
As to the Thread Title, those of us who have left much more recently than 1995 are asking "What happened to the religion we left ?"
I left only a few years ago, and it has morphed in to something very, very different.
Any JW who asks me to"go back" gets told I cannot do so, the religion I left no longer exists.
I left in 1995 too. I was young and recently graduate highschool. If I stayed trapped in the religion I wouldn't have a college education, a good job, a home, and a retirement fund. I more than likely would be working part-time while pioneering if I stayed in.
JoshJeffries, Welcome to the board.
Your post really got me thinking: What happened to the religion I joined in the '80s?
I may start a thread ...
Yadda yadda, love that Sagan quote.
Here's a similar one from Mark Twain:
“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” – Mark Twain
Ablebodiedman, no offense was meant.
You asked the question, I provided an opportunity for you to find the answer.
All I can do is extend an invitation to understand something incredibly profound which touched your life.
The important thing is that you are out.
But out of what?
When I first woke up I was comforted by telling myself they are the true religion they have just lost their way.
Then it slowly dawned on me as researched more about their history that they never were to begin with.
They are just men fumblinmg around in the dark like all the other religions.
Thanks Phizzy. You are of course correct about the man's first name!
Big welcome John-Mann
i'm marking your topic