As im sure almost all of us on here are ex-JW, we all know first hand how well the Watchtower used the power of guilt to manipulate our thoughts and actions for the entire time we were active witnesses.
Guilty for not going on the ministry enough.
Guilty for not trying harder while on the ministry.
Guilty for not turning up for hall cleaning that time.
Guilty for saying a swearword.
Guilty for looking at a porno mag.
Guilty for masturbating through my teens (i thought i was the ONLY ONE who did!)
Guilty for thinking the GB is wrong on a certain thing.
Guilty for touching my girlfriend there... even though we've been dating for 3 freakin years and not had sex (thats not natural imo).
Guilty for not following along in the Watchtower magazine on Sunday.
Guilty for not studying.
Guilty for nodding off during the 8 hour convention.
Guilty for my mind wandering during the talks.
Guilty for thinking of sister so-and-so.
The list goes on. And it's amazing how powerful a handle guilt can have on a person. Making someone feel worthless and unimportant is cruel and unloving. It's a classic cult manipulation trait.
It's only since leaving that I've felt real happiness and relief. Not having to lie about who i talk to, where im going, what i watch, if i smoke, if i try this, if i do that. In fact, i can honestly say, it took leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses to make me an honest man! On the rare occasions that Witnesses from my old KH speak to me i refuse to lie to them about what i like and what i dont like. I will mention without a trace of guilt that i was in Amsterdam a few weeks ago and smoked marijuana. That i collect Hindu idols to decorate my home and that my friends are a mix of atheists and one or two pagans.
Being able to speak so openly about myself is so liberating and i truely value "the [real] world" for allowing me to be myself.