Tips for a Slow Fade

by Huxley1979 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • Huxley1979

    Hello, I'm new here. I'm a born and raised witness. I was an elder for almost 20 years. Almost the same in fulltime service. I have gradually grown more and more dissatisfied with my association with the organization. I have lost faith in it. Also, while I believe it is full of many sincere and kind people, I no longer feel we share the same performance-based "faith" and "spirituality" so I feel very disconnected from most. However, I literally have no one in my life outside of the organization at this time. It would be too emotionally traumatic to just DA or be DF'd.

    Many talk about a slow fade so that I can still have some contact with a few family and friends I'd like to still have something of a relationship with. At least at first.

    How have you gone about it?

    I am not wanting to bash or criticize the organization or its members. That is not my purpose or desire. I don't need that. My reasons are mine and mine alone and I don't need validation.



  • Steel

    End the social aspect of the religion ASAP. No bbqs, sock hops , get togethers. Ice all friendships in the borg. Know the eventual love bombing is coming and see thought it.

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro

    What I did was gradually decreased my commenting over a few months to zero. Same for service although I turned in a nominal amount of time. In short order, people quit inviting us to "gatherings" and the like. When I go, people still talk to me but it's very superficial and these are folks I've known for 20+ years. I never say anything negative and they don't really press for answers. It's kinda weird to be honest but we've been able to strike a balance that allows us access to family without blowing the whole thing up. Probably got lucky based on many stories I hear.

  • Fadeaway1962

    Become irregular in the ministry if and when it starts up again for a while then stop ,

    Meetings when they start meeting at the k/hall again start by missing a few meetings at a time then extend the length between them I found after a few months no-one asked if I was ok (not joined zoom so can't comment on fading on zoom)

    Us the search facility on this site to confirm the truth about the truth.

    Welcome to the forum

  • Phizzy

    You will no doubt receive plenty of advice on here, but I want to just warn you, a successful "Fade" is a difficult process. There are always questions the Elders want answered, as you well know, the one never to answer is the " Loyalty" question, " Do you still believe this is god's Organisation" or "Do you still believe the Governing Body are the Faithful Slave" or similar. You know what will happen if that is answered in the negative.

    When the Elders called on me, out of the blue, they tried the question at least three times, put different ways, they wanted to D.F. me as an Apostate I guess. I did not answer in a straight way, the last time they tried, I just let it hang in the air, until Elder Wafflechops could bear the silence no longer , and rattled on himself.

    The other bit of advice I have is, do not trust ANY JW, they will tell the Elders about your thoughts, even if something as seemingly innocent as differing on Scriptural matters. That happened to me, which prompted the visit below, the guy who told them was a lifelong friend, and I trusted him not to tell. A hard lesson to learn !

    About 18 months after the first attempt, they tried again, I refused to meet with them, wrote and told them I was deeply depressed,to the point of contemplating suicide, and if I ever wanted Spiritual help, I would contact them. I got a nice Letter back, full of love, and wishing me well, and a quick recovery. They never bothered me again.

    This may possibly be a tactic for you, it certainly aided me in a quick ending to my relationship with JW's, and a complete end to harassment from the Elders.

    Good luck !

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    welcome to the site Aldous.

  • Huxley1979

    Thank you all for your kind responses and suggestions! Phizzy, I appreciate you sharing the warning and the tactic. That would work very well for me I think,

  • truth_b_known

    It also depends on how well you can stand being dishonest. For me, at one point before my fade, I started realizing I was not going out in service. I remember falsifying my hours on my monthly report. If you are meeting the national average the elders should be satisfied because you are not dragging the congregation average down.

    Next, I highly recommend making friends and strong ties with non-Witnesses. For me it was co-workers. I ended up getting a job at a place some of my non-Witness college classmates worked at.

    Finally, at some point switch congregations. Probably somewhere far from where you live. Attend a few meetings at a congregation that is probably going to end up being merged and lose their Kingdom Hall to a Watchtower sale. Once your publisher records are sent over, vanish. Don't tell anyone in the new congregation where you live or what your telephone number is. Once you switch congregations you are no longer a liability to your current body of elders.

    You have to be honest with yourself. At some point you have to decide - am I in or am I out. You will lose every Witness friend you have. Be sure to have built a social safety net with new friends before then.

  • LongHairGal


    Welcome to the forum. There is a lot of good advice and you can pick and choose what works for you.

    Every ‘Fader’s’ circumstances are different. The difficulties for each person depend on how entangled in the Witness religion they are AND if they have family in the religion.

    Somebody such as myself who had no family there, no business entanglements and who was a working woman on the fringes of the congregation - had an easier Fade than somebody with family there, etc.

    The end result after so many years is that I am ‘shunned’ (no loss to me). This is the same result other Faders will get. The difference is that I had No confrontation or drama - which is how I wanted it.

    One thing I will say: it is important for you to carefully make some contacts/friends outside the religion beforehand, through job or whatever.

  • BoogerMan

    Welcome Aldous. Good to hear that your eyes opened up to the fact that it's not "God's organization.

    Take things nice and easy and beware of wolves in sheep's clothing. You have a P.M.

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