What triggered your doubts / awakening?

by Tornintwo 64 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Tornintwo

    Wow great answers so far, thanks, and varied!

    i forgot to say, I could never in over 20 years stomach the teaching that 'billions now living will soon die a horrible death at Armageddon' oh, and I fancy that house they're living in. I internalized it with the 'Jehovah does the judging thought'.. But when you examine actual teachings, the GB definitively says you have to be a JW/associated with 'gods true org' to survive. Doesn't make any sense.

    So we have to try and find people who are upset by the injustice of the world (innocent children dying), only to teach them that soon a lot more innocent children will be killed, but it's our loving God that will kill them so that's ok - nice!

  • ToesUp

    The total lack of love is what got us out. They hypocrisy is incredible!

    I learned about Beth Sarim and how Rutherford was living in luxury and driving around in Cadillacs. I was taught that we never begged for money like the churches (ironic after May's broadcast). Once I found out about Beth Sarim things changed in my mind. "The truth" was not as it appeared to be.

    We then started to read Crisis of Conscience and that was it for us. It was an Ahh Haa moment for us. We always thought something wasn't right but couldn't put our finger on it. Once we read COC and read what others on this forum had experienced we high tailed it out.

    We decided for our families well being it was time to go. Our life has improved tremendously! No more judgement and abuse!!!

  • Giordano

    My wife and I faded back in the 1960's

    The Blood doctrine and Armageddon stopped making any sense to us. The Bible was just another book the OT was written by Jews for Jews period.

    The NT was incomplete and corrupted to the point that it is not reliable.

    The WTBTS was not interested in truth but in profit.

    We had friends and family in that world but it just wasn't for us. We started our lives over again and have been very happy and on so many different levels.....very successful.

    Much later on in life I realized that we were actually secular humanists.

  • OneEyedJoe

    George's post caused me to recall a few more of my doubts. Looking at my lists in hindsight, it's crazy how much it took to reach critical mass.

    • The change to having a public vs private WT. (another of those "this seems like something you'd do if you were leading a cult" moments)
    • Removal of the book study - contradicted the command to not forsake the gathering together "all the more so" as the end approaches. Then I recalled tales of 8-day conventions, etc and realized this was a continuing trend. Though at the time I was just relieved to have a little less cult in my life so I didn't want to complain too loudly about this one.
    • Counting time and all the stats-keeping contradicts with the biblical example of David and the census, as well as Jesus' statement about the pharisees receiving their reward in full when they pray in the streets.
    • The addition of credit-card machines at the assembly hall after being raised hearing churches condemned for exactly that.
  • OnTheWayOut

    I was never burned by a judicial committee or some major injustices. In 1995, it was the changed doctrine of "generation" that started me down the road of questioning WT, but I stayed another 11 years because that was just the start. I have a feeling that I would have found my way out no matter what.

    I was a brand new elder in 1995 and this radical change was dealt with by seasoned elders with "they change things sometimes" and it was no big deal to them. To me, it meant the end wasn't necessarily so imminent. I realized that I needed a career instead of a job. I stopped being an obstacle to my wife wanting to go to college.

    By 11 years later, I saw the injustice of rules that allowed elders to commit Watchtower-defined sins and get forgiveness while keeping their elder title. I saw how people were thrown under the bus to be examples to the congregation, and these ones seemed to be the ones with no elder connections. I had become an expert on looking things up on their CD-library and on the internet.

    So one day, I simply told myself, "I google everything, why don't I google Jehovah's Witnesses and look at everything no matter what?" I had a feeling I would be surprised. Well, I had no previous knowledge about Ray Franz and his story fascinated me. I got a much clearer picture of what dangerous mind-control cults were and realized I was in one.

    There's no magic method to free another person. If there were, I would have paid for it. Good luck.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    For me it was the 1995 generation change. Months, years of awaiting Armageddon quietly binned, and us rank and file were supposed to be appreciative of 'divine light that flashes forth'. At the end of that study, I overheard one sister, a nice woman, tutting and exclaiming "it's not the first time they've done it!"

    I think there was an article in the same watchtower about 2 witnesses being needed for child abuse. My faith was really shaken, and I started to have doubts from then on.

  • konceptual99

    For me it was a slow burn. I had always tried to do the right thing and be obedient but always erred on the side of liberalism - e.g. I saw no need to pioneer from school or your level of visible activity being the critical indicator of your spirituality. I also had long standing questions about squaring the pseudo science of the Creation account, the Flood etc with what secular sources were saying.

    I served as an MS for many years and it was only my attitude to the ministry that prevented me from being appointed as an elder. I regularly played a game of logic with elders sent round to use unscriptural reasoning to try and guilt me into pretending to do more.

    Anyway, there was a point where a member of my family who was a long serving elder was very badly treated and thrown out for a completely stupid reason. This really made me question the real nature of the body of elders and where their loyalties really lay.

    From there I started to question if the organisation really was displaying the love I felt Christ practiced. I also started reading Dawkins and others on evolution. That led me to start look at sites like JWFacts. I then got a copy of CoC which I devoured.

    I was already aware of the UN scandal but had kind of parked that as perhaps a little overblown by apostates. On second reading however, in the light of the other CoC revelations I was far more outraged.

    By the time I started participating on this site I was already well on my way to being completely mentally out. It did not take that much longer before I was convinced the Witnesses did not have the "Truth" and, even more critically, I came to doubt the existence of God at all.

    [EDIT] - Oh and then there was all the changes to the generation and other teachings that just seemed to suggest the GB knew bugger all about anything.

  • TTATTelder

    About three years ago or so, I was dealing with frustration for the umpteenth time over "bad" elders. I mean like seriously rotten people that anybody would consider of low character. I had seen these men in positions of authority regularly my entire life in the organization. I was trying to rationalize it with lines like "This is God's organization", "Jehovah lets things happen" "Wait on Jehovah" and that whole mental pretzel. I finally used the same criteria for the organization that I would for a normal company. If corruption is allowed in the lower ranks, then there is corruption all the way up the ladder. The management of a company dictates the culture. So for the first time I looked at the GB with suspicion.

    From there I dabbled into some youtube videos and some sites like JWfacts. I only went so far at first and then backed out of the rabbit hole. I had made some new JW friends at the time and didn't really want to go there all the way.

    Well about a year later I ran into some more frustration with the hierarchy of the organization and went back down the hole.This time I went all the way. I listened to jwstruggle's committee meeting on youtube. Read just about all of jwfacts. I found C.O.C. in a pdf online and read it. I joined this site. Everything clicked. Bubble burst.

    Like OneEyedJoe I wasn't moved so much by 607 or the UN thing. I too was most disturbed by the misquotes and quotes taken out of context in publications like the Creation book and the Trinity brochure. I guess it was more personal. I had done major school reports using that Creation book! I felt personally lied to.

    I also was bothered by this pic and others like it:

    It was obvious to me that the organization used bogus hyped claims to lure people into their books and subscriptions. It is not a heritage to be proud of.

    I fall into that typical story though - something had to anger or upset me in the organization for me to start questioning things. Once I did of course, the internet with the popular sites like jwsurvey, jwfacts, and this site fed me all the info i would ever need to see through it. Thanks to all responsible for that. The truth hurts, but that's because we believed lies before.


  • ToesUp

    TTATTelder..."If corruption is allowed in the lower ranks, then there is corruption all the way up the ladder."

    Bingo!!!! We NEVER went to the Elders with problems or issues. Never trusted them...never will!!!

  • FayeDunaway
    I've had doubts all my life, it's really hard to pinpoint when exactly they started. But being very young and told almost all the people on earth are going to be destroyed, and then looking around your classroom and imagining them getting eaten by crows, that does a number on you. How grotesque. I knew there were good kids there who didn't happen to be born witnesses and probably would never be. I knew this religion I was being brought up in was not normal, and I knew that there was crazy stuff in the world, and I thought wow, I guess my family is part of the crazy. Conversely, I always wanted to be a good kid and not make my parents sad about me. So I tried for a very very long time to go along with it. While doubting half the time and having faith the other half. But Evolution, Armageddon, the blood issue, the extreme stance on this natural thing called sex, all the name dropping, witness status worship, hatred towards general humanity, judgmentalism, modern day Pharisees, anti education....it eventually got to me and I could no longer 'make it work' anymore, since my own children were growing up and approaching baptism age. It was time to get out. Meetings during my fade started to get so unbearable I would read the bible straight through and in so doing found Christ. Then I really couldn't pretend anymore. There was a time limit to leave, I wanted to get out and join another church before rejecting Christ at the next memorial. My family is now free, Christmas is the best time of the year, and this freaking out about how to direct my kids on one very narrow little path to life is gone...they are making their own paths.

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