For months I have been questioning in my mind whether I still believe what I was taught in this organization. My belief system is very much intact. I stopped using illegal drugs(this got me on the disfellow ship in the first place) I don't lie or steal, but still curse like crazy. I am two days into reading crisis of conscience and believe me it is an eye opener. I am starting to feel like I wasted so many precious years of my life living a total lie. I pushed myself so much regular pioneering and attending college that it made me literally sick at times in which I was hospitalized.I can never get time back but I can move forward and live my life as I want. How do I erase the beliefs that the wts has drilled into my mind?
How can I successfully Deprogram?
Don't beat yourself up about this. Use it as a learning experience. I was in the WatchTower world for almost 25 years. I met some wonderful people in that time and have a beautiful 18 year old daughter that I would never have had. So I am sure you can find some good out of this. Read Franz second book In Searce of Christian Freedom and Steve Hassans book on Mind Control. Steve never mentions the J-duds but it made my blood run cold when I saw all the mind control techniques the Governing Body uses. A big one is the exit phobia that is installed on studies and newcomers. It is reinforced all the time in the Mags too. It states,"If you ever leave you are a hater of God and His Son and worst than a person who never knew,( though you will have the same fate), and every bad thing that happens to you after that is God punishing you for being so disloyal and in the end God will kill you!" If you were in any length of time you know what I am saying is true. Take your time, think on these things. You were not indoctrinated in a day, you won't deprogram yourself in one either. FYI Check out the Baptism Nullification letter in this forum. I will check it on you, write me. Maverick
I had to accept that everything I had learned at home, in religion, and in school was wrong. Then I started from scratch with skepticism. I kept the multiplication tables but I had to re-learn the English language. All I had learned about relationships, ethics, life, death, and money was wrong. I made huge decisions based on assumptions . . . all wrong.
The biggest mistake I ever made was giving Jehovah's Witnesses access to my sons.
The Way I See it http://www.freeminds.org/buss/buss.htm
I know this is going to sound flippant, but bear with me, since I've been in your position. Why would you hold on to beliefs that have failed the test of logic? And even more so when you see how hurtful those beliefs are. No big deal if you personally don't feel hurt, btw. This isn't about your feelings, this is about your doctrine for life. If the beliefs have hurt others, and you've been spared, challenge your beliefs anyway, it's the right thing to do.
To be honest, I had a much easier time letting go of the witness indoctrination than most people, but the above reasoning is why it was easy. Why believe something simply because you formerly believed it? It's almost as if people decide to make tradition (your personal tradition) more important than intelligence.
How do I erase the beliefs that the wts has drilled into my mind?
Dismantle them. Pick your beliefs apart word by word. If you care about truth, honestly try to disprove everything you beleive. Only people willing to do that can honestly claim to be interested in the truth.
Take Away - the WTS is good at taking away from people. For instance, they take away independent thinking, trust in any worldly organization, hours and hours of your time in service, weekends, loved ones through shunning, and finally hope for eternal life. When you lose your faith in the organization, is it any surprise that you feel empty?
Fill Up - After so much of what you trusted in is stripped away, it is important to fill your life up with new things. If you still love Jehovah and desire a relationship with Him, build on that, but through independent study. If you have lost your faith altogether, go out and study and learn what you DO believe in. Libraries are free. Restore your ability to think for yourself, a treasure of great value. If you have avoided former family, friends, and associates because they were too worldly, take advantage of your freedom and work to restore those relationships. If you have nobody, learn to make friends on your own (without the help of five weekly meetings). Have you lost hope? Why? Because you still believe everything they told you? Go out and rediscover hope. There is so many ways to learn and grow!
I would recommend to read widely. Do not limit yourself to read only anti-jw material.
I would say: start reading up on logic and especially logical fallacies. Read stuff about propaganda techniques. Read stuff on the nature of science (grounded in logic) and research. This provides you with a decent fundament to research the matter yourself. Now go back and read JW material and anti-JW material. Having a decent fundament to do research you will quickly see through the tricks used by the society.
Having a decent basis for research you can take on anything you want: any religion, any philosophy you have just learned to draw your own conclusions based on evidence rather than feelings.
This has worked for me. I started to see through their tricks when I developed a love for science.
Hope this helps,
Don't beat yourself up, I've been out for 13 years and I'm still not all the way there yet. Time is a valuable thing.
They say "time heals all wounds." THEY are wrong.
My husband and I have been inactive for about a year now. There isn't a day that doesn't go by that we talk about the JW's. There isn't a day that goes by without thinking about the life we left behind. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't see some JW friend in the store or at work. I don't think that time will make a difference in the healing process other than maybe softening the blow of realizing you spent so much of your life making a publishing company very rich. Our salesman/woman days are over, but not forgotten.
I was never a very strict witness, so my leaving is easier on me than my husband. My husband believed with his whole heart that the JW's were God's true chosen people and worked at it wholesouled. When you have that veil lifted, it can be a difficult thing to come to terms with. We are still "deprogramming" and probably will be for some time yet. But, we do see the light at the end of the tunnel and look forward to enjoying our remaining years Witness-free.
If you are having trouble with all the issues the JW screwed you with, do not feel embarrassed to seek out professional help. My husband is seeing a therapist now who is just great. By the way, this therapist has agreed with my husband that the JW's are a CULT. This comes f rom a professional.
I wish you success and peace of mind on your journey to learning the real "truth" about the "truth."