Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
Racially a very mixed family. Not that you'd know. We just looked like average white, working class Brits. Dad was in the Marine Commandos in WW2. Mum came from one of the kindest families I know. Her Dad was a professional boxer in the East End until war came and he was shipped out with the Desert Rats. When he came back, he took up work as a cabinet maker.
Were you a born in or a convert?
Are your parents / family JWs?
None of them were Jobos at first. My Dad converted after the War finished, when his life took a down turn. The Jobos became his parents in many ways. He met Mum and she converted to Jobotism for him.
How many generations have been JWs?
Just my parents.
Did you hold any position in the WTS? (MS, Elder etc...)
Pioneer (not regular). MS and Elder.
Did you *really* believe in the bible, in spirits (angels, demons)?
Yes. At the time. I was raised to believe such stupid manure.
Did you get baptised? When and why?
Craptised when I was 15 because I wanted to be more available to the hot chicks in the Jobo cult.
What was the initial trigger that made you start questioning things?
When I became an Elder I saw how unloving and corporate it all was. Believe me, there's no love at all in the watchtower corporation. They are the cruellest organisation that claims to be religious I know. When there was a JC and the accused was given 7 days to appeal a decision of the 'Oily spirit' I saw that it was just legalistic and corporate. God didn't figure into this cruel corporation.
Where did you find information? Internet sites? Books?
Originall,y from a friend that read Crisis of Conscience. There was no internet back then. I kept a hold onto the delusion though. After all, I believed it was the 'truth™' still. Although I had doubts, I dismissed them as my weakness.
How difficult or painful was the process of leaving?
Unbelievably traumatic. It shattered my family. This is why I have really, really dark thoughts about what I want to do to all the members of the Governing body.
Was it a big dramatic exit or a careful quiet fade?
I just said, 'Sod this. I'm leaving.'
Did you convince anyone else to leave with you?
How were your family relations affected by your decision?
Like I say. My family got destroyed. The best years of my life were spent with family. I need to get back at the Governing body but simply living a happy life doesn't cut it. Activism doesn't cut it. I need a nuclear warhead...that'd cut it.
Were you or are you still being shunned by those who didn't leave?
Oh, blimey O'Rielly, mates. Yes. Shunned to death. I get dirty looks too.
How long have you now been out?
Mentally since 2010. I can't remember when I left physically.
Was there anything you looked forward to doing when you left?
What are you most proud of achieving since you left?
Becoming a published author. I'm conning myself here because I self publish on Amazon and Createspace, so there's no money in it. No one buys my stuff...and to be honest, it doesn't matter. I've done it. That is reward in itself. Oh, and I play in local bands now.
Is there anything you miss about life in the congregation?
Sitting there on a sunny Sunday, not paying attention and gazing out of the window.
Red pill or blue pill? Do you regret waking up to reality at all?
A reference tot he Matrix. I can't recall which pill is which. Both have virtues.
Did you become an atheist or transfer your faith elsewhere?
I went to a Baptist church, Anglican and Pentecostal. It was the Pentecostals that convinced me that Christians are nuts. The Bible is nonsensical fairy tales.
How do you now feel about religion in general?
It's a big con. All religion. No exceptions. No quarter given. F*** all religious leaders. A pox on their eyes, I say.
Do you feel any guilt celebrating xmas or birthdays or doing any other JW "no-no"s?
Not a bit. I couldn't care less.
Have you attended any face-to-face meetups of ex-JWs?
I have. A couple. I'm not particularly bothered by them any more. I'm living life.That's all I want to do.
Describe your circle of friends - mostly other ex-JWs or regular people?
No ex-JWs really, in my close circle. My friends are a mixture of age groups. I go to the pub on a Thursday with most of them. The other 2 are in my band. The oldest is 71 the youngest is 23.
Do you tell people about your JW past?
Only if it's relevant to my thinking.
Do you feel animosity or pity toward current JWs?
Not the drones. It's the Governing body and their suck ups that I loathe beyond healthy reason.
How do you respond to witnesses when they call at your door?
I just tell them I'm an atheist. So they go with all the stupid boring tropes that fundies go with when you mention the 'A' bomb. It's totally pathetic.
Storm the barricades or tend to the wounded? (do you favor activism or support)
Support. Nuff said.
What do you think is the most effective approach to reaching people still in?
Well, that's difficult, the bhenchords all shun me, so bottoms to them! Let them stay in the mental hell hole.
Do you think the WTS can or should be destroyed, will continue on as-is or grow / change?
All religions should be destroyed, not just the jobos.
How has your life been impacted by your JW past?
Are there things in your life you blame the WTS for?
Yes! I'm going to die and living forever is a lie. There is nothing after this. I wasted most of my life on that disgusting cult.
JW upbringing - a protection or a curse?
All religious upbringings are a curse. No wars have been fought in the name of atheism.
How do you fill your time now it's not filled with meetings and field service?
Music, art and travel.
Do you still have an interest in JW beliefs and doctrines?
I'm here. It was such a large part of my life I'm watching from the sidelines..... and I want to see the leaders get really hurt in the worst way possible. I'm laughing as they sell off the halls. I'm cringing as they blatantly beg for money.
How much of your time is still spent on JW related matters?
What do you think of the ex-JW community?
I don't think it is a community as such. Just individuals doing their thing. We just relate on certain levels.
Do you see yourself still being associated with the ex-JW community in 5 or 10 years time?
Do you fear the future?
I don't fear death. I fear getting dead. Don't fool yourselves people...there is no life after death. This is all we've got. Enjoy it.
What advice would you give to anyone starting the journey of leaving the WTS?
Take time to plan an exit.
What would you change in your life if you could go back and talk to yourself?
I'd go to University like I wanted to.
Do you have any regrets about life since you left?
The way I left. It wasn't calculated and smooth enough.
Can we read your life-story anywhere? (links to online or books)
Mine and others here...
On Amazon of course. Paperback and Kindle.
I'm also working slowly on 'My Kingdom Hell' a more in depth comedic autobiog.
Want to share your own story? Please use the Interview with an Apostate: Template and post it in the Personal Experiences & Reunions section with the title "Interview with an Apostate: [your name or alias]"