What Convinced you to Leave?
I've been posting here a lot, but these last few weeks have been very difficult for me. Anyways, lately, I've been thinking about confessing everything I've done to the elders and going back, but deep down, I don't really think it's the truth...so my question is, what convinced you it wasn't the truth and that leaving wasn't a horrible decision that everyone in the truth makes it out to be?
I'm sorry you're having such a hard time.Those elders you confess to may very well be pedophiles themselves, or most likely covering up the crime of a pedophile. Have you watched the Australian Royal Commission, or read up on the massive pedophilia problems and how the elders keep it from the members and carry on as though everything is fine? They aren't just stories, I have indirect experience with it.
Would you really want anyone, especially those type of people having power over you? If you do end up in it again, you'll most likely end up leaving again. Read a book called "Combatting Cult Mind Control" by Steve Hassan. You'll find yourself relating to every page.
When I seen the bold face lie about the Watchtower never writing a biography of Russell in the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Divine Purpose book and then seeing the actal pdf of that biography. Finding out how they deceptively hid the fact that we worshipped Jesus till1954. Finally, by reading old books and finding out that 1914 did not originate with Bible Students but came from Second Adventists. Once I found these things, it was a green light to do deeper research without guilt. It is interesting, that for most of us, the things that awakened us, are not the things that keep us out. When you continue to research, a much larger, frightening picture emerges. One of mind control, the organization is all about money, the deception is EVERYWHERE. I was a true hardcore believer all my life. When I say that, I mean I loved the organization and the Bible. It was all I thought about. So for me to leave, it would take undeniable proof. If I could be proved wrong, I would go back. I was a very happy person in the organization. Of coarse, I was very busy within, which is what the organization wants. Feel free to send a message to my box anytime if you have any questions.
This is an easy one. That not any part of it was the truth.
It was hard learning about some of the inconsistencies about doctrines like the destruction of Jerusalem, was it 607 or 587 and then that correlated into 1914 dating and doctrine. I kept seeing that these things couldn't possibly be biblical, because remember there are no year dates in the bible it was all recorded as the 3rd year of so and so's reign or in the 40th year of this persons reign. I got a big question sign on my head thinking how could they apply a year date like 1914 when
1. Our calendar year wasn't adopted till way after those prophecies
2. The witnesses like to count the time of prophecy using the Jewish calendar which was only 360 days and then try and apply it to the modern 365 day calendar year.
It all just didn't add up or make sense so I started see it all as man's interpretation and not gods and according to the witnesses own publications we are not to follow man's interpretations.
But after researching and studying all this I still couldn't severe my thinking that even though they don't have it right as of now, they do have the ability to change and make it right, you know, "new light". Well it was the book crisis of conscience that helped me see there could be no way that these governing body men were guided by holy spirit. It helped me see The Truth About The Truth, that I was really following men and their organization and not god or the bible.
Final note to you laurenM, the witnesses do not have "the truth", it's a truth according to men. Don't play by man's rules, you are not beholding to man in any way. If you feel the need to Confess, say a prayer to god and confess it to him alone.
what convinced you it wasn't the truth and that leaving wasn't a horrible decision that everyone in the truth makes it out to be?
First off, take this sentence and ask if it is really true, the second part.
"Everyone in the truth" says it is horrible, why?
Could be a number of reasons. They fear death. They fear missing out on everlasting life. They fear that they will screw up their life outside of the cult. And finally they fear shunning.
Only one of the four is actually true, the shunning. If you mentally free yourself, and prepare to live a full life outside of the KH walls, the only real obstacle is the shunning.
Almost everything in JW world relies on "thought stopping" techniques, so any claim made is not fully examined as to whether it is true or not.
As to your original question, my investigation of past WT writings revealed that they had never once, EVEN ONCE predicted or prophesied anything at all that would show they were backed by a supernatural entity. Once I realized they had a 100% failure rate when it came to predicting the future, I felt no need to listen to another single thing they uttered.
For me it was a culmination of a life full of "that doesn't seen right"moments. Then allowing myself to see the false prophecy for what it was, and discovering the dishonest, deceptive, and untruthful statements in the literature (most notably in the creation book) was the final push that sent me over the edge.
One thing I'd suggest that you try would be to stop calling it "the truth" for a while and see if that changes how you feel. Getting people to call it "the truth" was probably one of the single most manipulative thing the jw leadership had done. Words are the tools you use to think and when you allow someone to tamper with their meaning they have a great amount of power to influence how you think. When you stop calling it "the truth" when you think about it, you might find that it becomes easier to find how you really feel about things.
Overall, I wasn't able to lie to myself. I think if you've been a JW for a number of years, you know something isn't right. One comes to a point where one has to make the choice to be intellectually dishonest with oneself and remain or be intellectually honest with oneself and ultimately leave.
A brief summary includes....
1) Misogyny (eg a wife living in subjection of her husband)
2) The no blood policy
3) The flip-flop in Evolution (that happened when I was around 15-16)
4) The math not adding up (it is impossible for them to be preaching to all the inhabited Earth)
5) My increasing disagreement with Watchtower's interpretation of scripture
6) Their going beyond scriptures
7) The Ethiopian famine (this was the beginning of me questioning the existence of God - the problem of theodicy)
These are some of the top hitters that led me to conclude that religion, God, and JWs were not for me.
You don't owe it to the elders to confess anything to them, so don't. What would it achieve anyway, since you already feel it's not the truth?
Anyway, here's what made me leave:
1. False prophecies / doctrinal flip-flops / changes in teachings / enforcement of nonsensical man-made rules / hypocrisy
2. The blood issue (based on a glaring misapplication of scripture) which has claimed the lives of thousands
3. Finding out that the organization actually forbade organ transplants in the past, again resulting in the unnecessary deaths of many who blindly obeyed (they changed their stand later)
4. The shocking prevelance of child abuse cases in the organization & the subsequent cover-up of these
5. Lack of love / shallow & conditional love / lack of true friends
6. Constant judging / guilt-tripping
7. When I observed the other brothers & sisters, I realized that most of them are not happy. Many are burdened-down, depressed, downhearted, absolutely miserable. Also, I found that many who seem to be happy are actually only putting on a front & are not genuinely happy
8. Jesus said that his yoke is kindly & his load is light. The exact opposite is true as a JW!
9. Why is "the truth" so unconvincing & why can it be so easily challenged & disproved?
10. I could not bring myself to believe "the truth" anymore. I could not go out knocking on doors telling people a message that I no longer believed in. I do not believe that if there really is a loving God, he would be so shallow-minded as to destroy people who do not believe in him, not because they do not want to believe in him, but simply because they are not convinced. The idea of good people being destroyed simply because they have another belief is totally illogical to me!
I am delighted to say that I am much happier now after leaving. Wish the same for you too! =)
Adding on to my list of reasons above, I also found out that many "worldly" people are in fact much nicer, better, happier people compared to JW's. Go figure!