Can You Really Become Inactive Instead of DA'ing and Keep Your Family
Unfortunately there's no subheading 'You have woken up and no longer believe our lies' in the Return to Jehovah brochure. Otherwise, it would apply to a LOT more people! Darn, now we can never return! ;)
I'm with "disillusioned 2" on this. Leaving quietly by simply not showing up is often the better way assuming that you have a truly loving family and minimal JW friends.
First of all, consider what your family members are really like - and do you really have a close relationship with them. If they don't live in your area, then you have an even better chance to just fade away.
Best circumstance for most fades is (1) close JW family members live more than a day's drive away; (2) consider a move to the other side of town or county, outside the area where your current congregation is located; (3) slowly ease out of meeting attendance. Miss a couple every month and then only attend once a month. Then once every couple of months. You've "been ill, involved with family issues, looking for a new job, etc." - in other words, use "theocratic warfare" against the "theocracy." You will slowly fade from the minds of the other JWs and when you do show up they will usually treat you well and try to get you to attend more meetings. (4) If you get a shepherding call, don't invite them in. "I (we) have been sick (sick of the organization!) and can't invite you in. Thanks for calling. I'll let you know when we are better."
#1 best way to get out is to be like most normal families or friends who rarely call each other, rarely write each other, and rarely see each other because (a) you really can't stand being around them, (b) you have your own friends and interests, (3) you live too far away to just drop in for a quick visit. Send them a card every so often: "Love you. Kids are fine. Been really busy. Been down with the flu. New job is really working me to death. See you when the weather improves (too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy).
Make new non-JW friends who don't care or aren't interested. Better if they are not too religious - religious people can be every bit as obnoxious as JWs. Before long you won't miss your family all that much. You can see them at funerals and weddings.
I think it's a " mixed bag " type of situation. Many of us ( myself included ) ARE currently shunned completely by some JW family members who are fanatics and self righteous within the JW cult. However I have some JW family members who will speak with me about " family " business - they just don't get too personal or ever really ask or aren't interested in knowing too many details about my life or interests. They couldn't care less.
The only member of my JW family who respects my stand as an " inactive " or non-operational ex-JW is my JW older mom. She has told me personally that she does not hold any judgment towards me for stopping attending back in 2003. I can talk to her about anything. But for many of us there is no difference in how we are treated whether we're DFed OR inactive. WE still get shunned
Try just moving to another congregation in the same town and stay in and see how many jws keep in touch including your family...out of sight, out of mind.
I faded 3 1/2 ago.. Lost all my so called friends.. My son and well.. My husband.. My daughter is a witness but shes cool with me and I have a son who never got baptized.. My husband and I are separating! F$&/ THE CULT!!!
He tried to make it sound like JWs were like any other church where people can leave and still keep their families and friends... no big deal.
Sure, I've successfully faded, but the family and friends I'm closest to are also faded. My parents are the only still active JWs that I have a relationship with, and it's not the same as it was. Those friends that still believing JWs are all people that believe I will, or am likely to be destroyed... very soon now.
Fortunately for me I've moved away from the area. But I still can't continue my spiritual journey with another religion or let pictures of birthday parties, casinos, etc. appear on my social media. As I've already learned, the other JWs won't bother coming to me and make an issue of what I do. Instead, they will give my elderly parents a hard time and pressure them to try to get me to conform.
It is, after all, a cult.
I have been "inactive" since 07, but I consider myself no longer a dub. I was recently invited by my last JW friend to his wedding. As it was at a banquet center not a kh, my wife and I went. An elder gave the awful InfoTalk Ceremony. Normally bad, this elder rambled terribly. Another elder, the former PO, now 88, quietly whispered in my ear about coming back and coming by to see me....and bring the Return booklet. That was Aug 2, still waiting. Other than my friend who got married (he was best man at my non-JW wedding), no other JW "friends" contact me. My JW mom still talks to me, but rarely calls.
So no..Snakes ain't DA/DF, but I am as good as dead to them all, push comes to shove.
If you are gone long enough ( and I mean years...not weeks or months) as a fader, you cannot be disfellowshipped because you have not 'fellowshipped' for years....if threatened with such, I would immediately call a lawyer and have him send a note on his letterhead that stated if my name was mentioned in any negative way, by any elder, MS, pioneer, active publisher, CO, etc, etc, either privately or from the platform or any public or quasi-public forum, I would bring charges of slander, willfull misrepresentation of character, and any and all else that could be included therein A.S.A.P. Then I'd advise them to see if the WT Legal Dept. really wanted another lawsuit on their hands. If given the correct spin similar threats could be made for DA, marking, etc.