The Long Goodbye......
After a transatlantic discussion with my wife we have both reached the conclusion that we will not be posting to this Board again. Though we see the Board as serving a useful purpose for some, it does not at present suit the path that we have chosen to walk to extract ourselves from the WTS.
This Board is in an invaluable place for those of you who have recently left the WTS and need a place to stretch your wings and share you hurt and pain. But once we learn to fly, it seems important that we should leave the nest as quickly as possible, lest we become caught in a vacuum between the WTS and real life. Virtual friendships are virtually friendships but not quite. At our age in life,time has to be used carefully and for us we are planning another route out. I hope that this new Board is used wisely and not developed into some online jungle where the emotionally weak or those with different viewpoints or the less literate are seen as a target and the strong strut around in metaphoric jack-boots looking for victims to savage with their literary sabers. I know that the following quotes are taken out of context and are on the extreme side but they have been posted recently by two separate persons.
......oink, oink, Lone Piggy. You must feel terribly threatened to be squealing so long and hard! LOL!!! No self-respecting woman would let you near enough to pollute her with your pigbreath
.......AFter all ya keep your cheap shallow pride dont ya?
Coming from a peson who bathes in flea and tick soap,your labels are meaningless,just as your 'insights' are.
How do you think that the average JW who is in conflict and drifts to this sight looking for solace will react to such verbiage? Can we not see that perhaps we may drive them right back to the seeming comfort and security of the very arms of those who have enslaved them. Whether we hold to Christian belief or not, this is a heavy responsibility to bear. Is that really what we are trying to achieve?
Both my wife and I were not raised in the Truth and when I have shown impatience at the attitude that some of you display, it has been my wife who has wisely put me right, saying, ‘Step, these people feel that they have had their childhood and youth stolen from them, give them time’ and she, as normal, is quite right but I cannot see any value in ‘returning evil for evil’ even if a person expresses a viewpoint that may outrage us. I have tried to handle the criticisms and suspicious accusations leveled at my own posts in a spirit of friendship and peace but have once or twice been tempted out of this position and this has not dignified my life and I regret it. Tolerance seems to be an impossible country to live in for some and yet it is the WTS intolerance that bought most of us to this digital piece of earth. Why use similar tactics that have bought pain to you, to inflict pain on others?
To illustrate. A person posted a message stating that she had been driven to prostitution to feed her children and then the feeding frenzy began. Message after message, is she real, is she fake, she is fake, she is real, she may be real with fakish overtones, get a life, get a job, definitely a fake with a real computer, Lol, moll, troll, atoll and on and on. How many man hours better spent caring for others were spent on this issue. Where is it going? What matters that she may be a fraud. If you believe that, turn the page and live on. If not offer some help.
Beorea mentioned that the average JW in Europe does not have same the idolatrous attachment to the WTS that the average North American seems to and in my opinion he is quite right. From my own experiences I have been very unimpressed by the sanitized and slick meetings that I have attended in the US over the years. Here in Europe I know at least a dozen Elders that I have shared my doctrinal misgivings with over the years and who see flaws but like Raymond Franz during his period of struggle still feel that in time ‘God’ will put all things right. I personally do not believe this will ever happen or can happen without major legal problems for the WTS and they certainly cannot afford to change, caught as they are between the rock and the hard place. The WTS is rather more tolerated than respected in my neck of the woods and administrative consultation via publications is just a matter of form, often ignored. Perhaps this gives the average JW in Europe a different perspective, perhaps a little less reactive but whatever the case, we must learn that are all in this together and all at different stages. Remember the average JW who shuns you, abhors you for your ‘apostasy’, maligns you to make themselves feel safer, tears your soul apart in a Judicial Committee may well have been yourself a few weeks, months or years ago. Let us try to recall our own failures in this rgard, then we can understand better another persons situation.
I was described by one poster as ‘probably mostly good with a propensity to try and be a spiritual leader which is bad’ or words to that effect. I can assure you that I have no such ambitions, I am always the last to go first and even within the WTS I have led a very private life because I am a private person. This is however an interesting comment and brings me to another point as I have spent the past 35 years in studios attempting to keep control of unruly musicians and it is here that the leader was forcibly honed not in the WTS! More importantly it was here that I have seen the healing that can be achieved by time and fruitful friendships. Here, I have watched foul mouthed, egocentric, half-educated young men and women slowly over the years develop into decent hardworking and importantly, talented people and this has taught me that the passage of time has a natural sobering element attached to it for all of us, whatever walk of life that we choose. A close and good friend ( not a JW - another European eccentricity - friends outside WTS ) was heavily drug dependent when we first met in the early 70’s. I watched in grief as his life fell apart but was there for him whenever he needed my help. Gradually time unmasked his inner demons and he grappled with them and won and in my estimation developed into one of the most important lyricists of the C20th, his talent if anything, enhanced by the trail that he had left behind him. No Bible, no lectures, just time and true friends. Of course this does not work for everybody. I will possibly lose my anonymity in relating these experiences, at least to those that know me, but there is a risk attached to every breath we take. We must learn to work with the ‘hand’ that life has dealt us and try to make something special and better of our lives. Learn from the older ones who have stepped towards these peaks before yourself, why denigrate them even if you feel them to be mistaken?
That having been said, I have immensely enjoyed the challenging intellectual and theological views expressed by some posters. AF has stimulated thought and has generally done so in a non-offensive way, JanH, though looking quite young from his icon photograph seems to have a wisdom beyond his years and again minimizes insults. Lonewolf and Flowerpetal seem to be warmhearted people whom one can trust.
I hope that I can correspond privately with one or two of you and have made my ‘hotmail’ e mail address available for 24 hours. I appreciate that this might open my mail box to some ugly postings but for this I am prepared.
BEROEA - yes, I know Chamonix, Grenoble, Aix-Les-Baines ( or Aches And Pains as I used to call it on my descents ) well from my routes in the early 70’s. I passed through the Mt. Blanc tunnel on my way to Rome the second day it was opened, in the late 60’s I think. I was in a Plymouth Barracuda and as wild as a windstorm. I have never forgotten those wonderful days. We have spent many an hour under electric blue skies in the peaks marveling at the alpine flowers and the gift of spirit. I have always felt closer to God away from people and in the countryside. Keep in touch and God bless you and your family in your challenging situation.
I also wish all of you the best in your journey through life.
STEP from the US
I hope all goes well with u...live by the decisions u make
Try to add life to your days, not days to your life.
Step, unfortunately, I have been rather busy the last several weeks, and I have not been able to keep up with all the posts. What I have read of your thoughts and insights I have, however, enjoyed.
When I first joined this DB, it was pretty quiet....just a few cyber-friends joking, sharing thoughts, and kvetching now and then. Within the last month or two, however, we've experienced a major influx of posters from H2O. Many different personalities, many different viewpoints.
The DB, IMO, is still adjusting....still finding its "legs" so to speak. I think that your viewpoints could be very valid and very helpful here. I hope that you'll reconsider your decision to leave.
Thanks for the parting slam....so its ok for lw to call us feather brained broads and other nasty labels.....again just two were brought up-makes me go hmmmmmmm,,,,have a good life,pity you weren't able to meet COmfs challenge.......trolls abound lately,someone spray Raid in the woodworK? And do blame others for your OWN decision to leave, but thats what wts apologists always do .Point the finger at others,while judging and condemning them from your oh so high morally superior throne. Interesting to note your finger points at 2 women,,,too cowardly to point it at say,Kent? Your leaving out the nasty words of LW,makes me believe you're part of the whole troll thing,albeit with a nice sounding 'cover story'......c yas
I appreciate your balanced viewpoint. Sometimes things tend to get blown out of proportion with the emotionally charged subjects. I'm sorry if you got a less than favorable taste in your mouth.
I, too, hope that you reconsider leaving. But I understand too if you don't want to stay. If you do leave, I wish you the best.
i'm with you, riz. good fortune to you, step.:)-nate
I think you gave us good constructive criticism. I think we have to weigh our thoughts when writing to others. Not just for their sake, but for nervous lurkers who need help. Name calling, insults and hateful language will only drive them away. They may miss the opportunity for help that they could get here. There is a lot of collective wisdom here on a number of subjects.
I have become angry and said things I shouldn't. I've tryed lately to stay in a rational mode and attack ideas, not people. Sometimes, I have to wait awhile before responding if I'm fumming. We all have our hot buttons, and mine have been pressed a time or two. At any rate, just my humble, but accurate opinion. -:) _:)
Larc (proudly humble class)
But once we learn to fly, it seems important that we should leave the nest as quickly as possible, lest we become caught in a vacuum between the WTS and real life. Virtual friendships are virtually friendships but not quite
i am not sure what you mean, let all the people hurt by the WTB&TS inc. fall or fly on there own, with out help from you or me? let us not talk of anything that might hurt someone's feelings, like good little borg?
WTB&TS inc. is virtual life. so how real were your WT friends?
do real frinds only tell you what you want to hear or do thay tell you how it is? sometimes it sucks boss.
the ideas and opinions expressed in this post do not necessiarly represent those of the WTB&TS inc. or any of it's subsidiary corporations.
If I ever decide to stop posting I will do so without a word - why burn bridges?
You have made a huge posting, while saying goodbye, to make your point -
you are moving on becauce not everybody is buying the story you're selling.
It's a shame to see you go becauce the more different opinions there are on
this forum the richer it becomes.
When you learn to enjoy the posts from those that disagree with you, even if they
do so forcefully, then you will be free from the bondage of narrow mindedness.
Ridicule is more edifying than praise.
I am sorry to see you go. Your imput on boards like this is sorely needed. But you must decide for yourself where the "river" flows because as you can see the JW "afterlife" on discussion boards is not a very pretty sight sometimes. Perhaps your efforts would be better served in another arena of the JW and XJW world.
Some here seem to feel that the "soil" must first be sterilized in order to stimulate new growth in others. The result is a sad copy-cat version of the Watchtower but with a "GB", of sorts, that claims to have insights into the MINDS of others and can therefore judge their intent, character and motive.
So much for a "new" life! The struggle remains, there are still some who claim the right of knowing good and bad not just for themselves but for others also. There is an offer of freedom but only their "approved" freedom. This is very remindful of the place we have tried to leave.
It was good "meeting" you.