This isn't easy, but writing it down helps.
After 15 years loyal service to the organisation, my conscience would no longer allow me to carry on. There were just too many anomalies, ranging from 607 BCE to changing the "generation". I quickly learnt why the Org. is so against the internet - it is a dangerous foe!
I told my wife I was no longer going to meetings (we have four children) and I informed my eldest son, a regular pioneer, a few days later. My son was upset and asked me why. I told him that when he felt ready I'd show him the information that helped me come to my decision. My son said he wanted to know immediately. I asked him if was sure, to which he responded in the affirmative.
My son stayed on the computer for around an hour, plus perused the printed-out information I had filed. He turned to me and said: "Dad, you're right!"
I asked him if was sure and he said that he was positive. He then said that his mother should also know. I asked my wife to also consider what we had found - but it wasn't easy and took around 3 days before she felt brave enough to see it. Remember, EVERYTHING going against the society is considered apostate. To even look at such information makes one feel as though one is betraying God. My wife looked. She agreed!
Next, we had to convince our youngest daughter, a regular auxialiary pioneer. I told her that she would have to do some serious thinking - but I NEVER expected her reaction. She steadfastly refused to look at anything, but I reassured her that she was welcome to carry on as a JW; that no-one would interfere with her beliefs.
The next evening I heard the front door open (my wife and I were upstairs in the bedroom) and we heard our eldest daughter, a regular pioneer, call up to us. We were so pleased to hear her - but within seconds we were confronted with a bombshell. My eldest daughter, her husband ( a JW) and an elder were waiting in the hallway and had all come round to move my youngest daughter out of the house. My youngest daughter had reported my wife, eldest son and I.
I ordered the elder out of my house (all the time firm but in control). My youngest daughter reacted in a way we'd never seen before. I knew immediately where we stood. Nothing we said would make any difference. Our close-knit, loving family was being torn apart literally before my eyes - all the years of tender care and upbringing evaporating because the rest of us had committed the cardinal sin, we had gone against the society!
My youngest son, tears streaming down his tender cheeks, tried to stop the girls from leaving, saying that they didn't know what they were doing. He brought to my attention that the elder I'd asked to leave was sticking his head through the door in order to listen to what I was saying. I ordered him off my property (again firmly, but in control). Suffice to say, my eldest daughter said that she could never see me again. The door closed and that was that.
My wife telephone-texted both girls a day or so later to ask if they were all right. No response. My youngest daughter did come round a few days later, with the wife of the elder I had evicted, to collect some of the belongings she was unable to take with her that horrible night. As my daughter was leaving I told her how much I loved her and she said that she knew. I asked her to please keep in contact with her mother. She hasn't!
I wrote a letter to my eldest daughter, not once condemning the Watchtower's teachings, but asking her if she believed her actions were truly Christian. I mentioned the fact that there were other people who had left the congregation and that she still spoke with them - so why not us! There has been no reply.
In the meantime, I read Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz - this REALLY helped! I also ordered three other books, including Carl Olof Jonsson's The Gentile Times Reconsidered. Again, this book reinforced my decision was right.
I cannot begin to express how stomach-wrenching the past two weeks have been, for that is all the time it has been. My wife and I have been hit by waves of emotion and the inevitable thought "Where do we go from here?"
After 15 years - around 7 of which I served as a ministerial servant (my wife and I knew I'd never make elder as I'm not a 'yes' man - I have been outspoken on issues I could not agree with) - not a single person has telephoned or called round to see how we are (excluding two elders who came round on "official" business to collect the hall keys - I was the kingdom hall servant). All this so-called love permeating the congregation has certainly not been shown in our case.
My family and I were considered the "model family" and were frequently selected to take part in items on the platform. It would appear that the love shown by JWs - at least in my congregation - was conditional love. I now feel that we never made any real friends, just kind acquaintances.
This morning my wife broke down in tears again. It is hard - but she says she, too, will never go back; she knows it has been the promulgation of lie after lie. How can any of us go telling people about a kingdom set up in 1914 (or was that 1874, 1881, 1925, etc.) when to get to the date one has to start with 607 BCE, which has been proven to be without foundation. We cannot give the public such untruths.
I have absolutely no fear of being disfellowshipped or being disassociated. The fact that my daughters refuse any contact what-so-ever makes us feel like we are disfellowshipped already. So, there's nothing that the elders can do to make us feel any worse. In fact, I am resolved to ban them from our home - there's just no point in speaking to them.
This site is a godsend in that it is somewhere to go; to be able to share with others the pain we are suffering because you will all be able to identify with some, if not all, aspects of it. What kind of an organisation can destroy lives like this under the guise of Christianity?! Countless sleepless nights, lack of appetite, feelings of despair - all this caused by a group of old men sitting in a room in Brooklyn, because that is where "God's" loving counsel is supposed to emanate from. Shame on them.
I am hopeful, ever hopeful, that the love we instilled in our daughters will come to the fore; that they will be desperate to want to see us and speak with us again; that some "change in thought" on the part of the society will bring them to their senses as they might question why yet another thought should hold sway over a previously deeply entrenched one. Unfortunately, "the light is getting brighter" is a statement that all JWs are familar with and one which has profound effect on the membership, either resulting in staying or leaving.
I share this with you all today because I am in pain. There's no going back - not EVER! I want my daughters back, but not at any price. Emotional blackmail will not wash with us. This organisation MUST be destroyed and sites like this are a means to help accomplish this. I say this not vindictively, but to emphasise how much the heinous cultist hold must be shown up for what it really is. The hegemony displayed by the Governing Body is an affront to God and is indicative of whom the False Prophet really is. It is amazing, now that I am free, how the scriptures pointing to the evil slave point directly to the seat of Brooklyn Bethel.
I am grateful - so eternally grateful - to the inculcation of high morals absorbed by my family via regular Bible study. I never would have read the Bible the full three times already had it not been for JWs. However, now that I have been shown, I see clearly that its interpretation has been sorely misplaced. Out of the trauma that had surrounded us inititially, but which is gradually ebbing away into oblivion, I believe much good will, and indeed HAS, come out of it. To have insight, no matter how painful, is a real blessing. Our goal on this list must be to, somehow, share that insight with others.
Bless you all and thanks for reading.