I'm sure most of you here don't know me. I came to this forum in the later part of 2000 shortly after meeting my wife. Although I still come here often to read, I rarely post anymore.
Recently two very fine people, an elder and his wife, left the WT. My wife was very close to these folks when she was "in" and missed talking with them after she left. I had the pleasure of meeting them twice before they shunned us completely. Their exit from the cult reinforces my belief that good and decent people who are mentally and emotionally capable will eventually leave the organization, with or without outside help. To me, the Watchtower is it's own worst enemy.
I first came here to learn more about the WT and it's policy of shunning ex-members. It just seemed unbelievable cruel and heartless. That one policy lead me to research EVERYTHING about the WT. I've cluttered up my computer with tons of information. I've visited hundreds of websites and learned the complete history of the JW's, all the failed predictions, changes in policy, deceptions and lies, scandals and cover-ups. None of this helped a single JW see the Org for what it is. However, it has helped me to warn countless numbers of non-witnesses.
Since I first came here almost three years ago, I've read more of the bible than ever before, including a number of books that didn't make it into the "official" bible. My thoughts on the bible haven't changed, but I now know more about why I believe what I do. My spiritual beliefs have become clearer because of an intense self-examination. I spent a few months on an active JW forum discussing their beliefs. The result was very predictable: closed minds who end a discussion when they run out of answers, no logic or reason, just blind obedience. I left that forum when an inactive JW was shunned on it. Amazingly, the active JW's asked me to stay!
As I said earlier, I don't post here very often, I've already discussed every aspect of JW history and scandal. The personal stories follow a predictable pattern of abuse and cruelty and have become hard to read. The one silver lining of these stories is the knowledge that good and decent people are leaving the WT in droves. It seems to me that those who stay in "for the duration" fall into two categories: those who could not function independently and those who don't really believe, but wish to exert control over others. There is also a group who don't believe but just play along to keep in contact with their family.
I used to think JW's were extremely devout people, but that's just the image they want to project. I've since learned that deep inside there are many active JWs who don't believe in the WT. The more I learn about JWs, the more hypocritical they seem. I've learned about my wife's father (an elder) and his adultry. I found out about how he knowingly laundered "dirt" money (a federal offense). I heard the story of a JW being baptised and still smoking tobacco and pot and living an immoral life. My wife was a JW for 38 years and knows the truth about the people who falsely don a cloak of rightousness. It seems clear to me that the WT is more about business than religion and each day more and more good people in the organization are discovering that on their own. Websites like this let them know that they're not alone and help ensure that they'll never be trapped again.
I'd like to thank the Watchtower. They've helped me examine my own beliefs and cemented my ideas about the bible, but more importantly, their policies are helping to free many fine people from the organization. That's something that all my research and facts could not do. For that I am grateful.