Walking a thin line - Resigning Elder
- If you need someone to talk to pm me. I have successfully faded and know a few tricks as well as some psychological tips on how to handle your transition. No I dont do this for money, I just know how it feels to go though things that you are going through.
I'm literally sitting here in tears and because of this post I was moved to create an account so I could reply and being home from work sick this past week has really afforded me the time I needed to just continue my research. We are in a **very** similar situation. Both married with a child on the way, both elders, both recently awake, both in our 30's, both in Florida (north of JAX), both on nerves end about everything we discovered. I find myself walking around questioning everything now, like a crazy person who forgot to take his meds. I don't have anyone to talk to about how I feel.
Having a child on the way does complicate things. The timing is all wrong because my awakening occurred the same week we found out my wife was prego and now I don't know what to do. I haven't resigned yet but another elder questioned why I suddenly have been declining assignments and skipping service. I can no longer bring myself to talk to anyone about my religion when I know it is a total lie. It hurts. What hurts more is the thought of telling my wife. I love her. I do. But I already know her reaction in advance and that hurts me the most.
I'm not interested in ignoring the bad stuff of imperfect men and going around telling people that I have the truth! I'm not going to pretend anymore. The best thing to ever happen to me was watching the GB members on JW broadcasting with my wife for our family study. That was it. One thing lead to another and I started to research my own religion on google. I discovered the Australian Royal Commission video with Jackson and Company attempting to lie under oath to the investigator. That was the final straw. If that did not make it clear to the 8 million JW's out there that this is just another man made religion with zero credibility to represent God almighty then I honestly don't know what else there is to say to wake them up.
It's like being in an alternate universe. I'm not the man my wife married. I was ignorant, naive and self righteous back then and what was considered a good example in the hall. I shunned my own family for making mistakes and leaving Jehovah. I shunned friends I have known for years for making mistakes and not following the rules of men. I marked individuals in my hall because they were not being spiritual enough and were bad association. I purposely didn't invite certain friends in the hall who needed the support, over to my house because they missed a Sunday meeting. I belittled a sister because she committed fornication twice with a friend of mine and judged her to forever being a slut. I can't believe I'm now admitting this. It makes me fell sick to think about what I have done and what I need to do to correct it. What kind of man was I? My heart is heavy with regret.
When I first uncovered the real truth about my own religion, I asked myself where do I go now? I answered that question by telling God, if he is real and I am wrong to please help me see it. All it did was open my eyes even further to the terrible realization that my own religion was a complete lie based on rules of men and empty interpretations that constantly need adjustments because they are NOT from God. It was that simple. There is no new light just the same old light changing colors to fit whatever failed interpretations those silly fat men make up.
I didn't feel it was worth me to start a whole new thread about this since you touched on all the same points I'm going through. So I'm just here to tell you that there are others like us!
hi Sanchy---you wrote:
So, this is my situation. Elders are still in process of sending my details to CO and branch, awaiting their approval for my resignation
is that your words---or theirs --?
just what happens if "they" dont approve your resignation ?---do they then d/f you instead ?
tell her the questions you ask yourself, [. . . ] phrase it in the form of a question that will linger in her mind even after you've finished talking.
This was the secret to awakening my wife and another close family member. My questions were sincere. I did not want to lose my faith in "The Truth" but an unbiased examination leaves one no other choice. It's all been a lie. If you force others to seek the answers, they will not be able to find them anymore than you or I could.
And definitely read "Combating Cult Mind Control"!!! Urgently! You won't believe how JWs fit the pattern of a cult to perfection. Unbelievable!!
Do not get drawn out about your doubts. Rehearse what you will say. Plan what "they" might say. Stick to the script. "I need to concentrate on my family/ it is too stressing to serve at the same time.".
I think it's a mistake to even acknowledge doubts to Elders and def to the CO, but that's "spilled milk" and you can't take back what was said, but DO NOT elaborate on it. BTW -- doubting 607 is a BIG NO-NO. Don't mention that one. I'd backpedal on "doubts" being the main issue here. Stress from new baby and such is much "acceptable".
I loved patkim's post [above]. I'll tell you and several others who posted replies: Be DAMN GLAD you're only 30-something. Many of were in our 50s and 60s before learning TTATT and the 2nd hardest thing to deal with is that so much of your life is already over that you can't make many meaningful changes in your future. I concentrate on making my kids' and grandkids' lives better.
Honesty, I'm quite overwhelmed and so thankful for all the responses you friends have given me. Your experiences and words have moved me and I feel a bit more hopeful now. Its good to know I'm not alone. thank you so much Timdrake, Freddo, OneeyedJoe, Steve 2 and everyone else for your words of encouragement and guidance!!! It seems its definitely a time for me to work on my patience, above all. Jist of what i got from you guys is to treat her with love and show her that I am still a good husband, even without the organization. Also, instead of showing her my "doubts", I'll ask her questions that lead her to reason herself (similar tactic as we use door to door witnessing) I will re-read each post carefully many times to grasp as much as I can from your experiences.
Some answers to questions I saw on here:
-Poopie: My doubts began mostly when witnessing to a coworker a few years ago, she was a baptist, and asked me to prove to her with the christian scriptures that there would be an earthly resurrection. I couldn't. That always bugged me, but I brushed it aside as maybe I needed more personal study. The rest of my doubts are same as many have shared on this site.
-The Listener: I am indeed still an active member of the congregation. I have not had any experience of friends talking negatively about the new videos or new doctrines. We still have same zombie like attitude where everything that comes from the top is doubtless food from Jehovah. Friends actually love the new broadcasting vids. This latest one with the loafs of bread that we are making fun of on here, is instead a hit among the brothers, i've heard some on fb call it the best broadcasting yet. "This generation" change is seen as a "wonderful new understanding that makes sense now".
-TTdTT: So, FYI, when elder decides to resign, instruction is to have 2 other elders meet with him to discuss and try to encourage/help however possible. So they met with me 2 nights ago. It went well. My intention is to slowly fade, so I did "watch what i said", as i know talking too much about my doubts would lead to further trouble. Having said that, I'm the type of person that couldn't hurt a fly anyways; so it was hard for me to be completely honest of my intentions even if i wanted to be, because i feared causing these brothers more sleepless nights and more pain while they think of me becoming inactive or worst... so I minimized my issue some, referring to instead to needing "a time for myself, so that i can continue studying and fixing my issues", therefore making it seem like if my intentions are to remain a JW. I later regretted making it seem this way, but its just the way I am. Now, today, the coordinator called me, to tell me that BoE had met yesterday and they decided to allow me to keep certain privileges, such as attendant, sound, helping with the billboard schedules etc.. This blew my mind because I do remember telling these brothers (the strongest phrase i used that night) that "I was not sure if this was the truth or not". But, instead of seeing it as a possible sign of a friend that will drop out, they saw it as someone who has good qualities and is honest enough to open his heart to Jah. etc. So, now, I'm in a bit of a rut, because I'm on my way out, yet these brothers want to continue using me. I'm sure they will quickly stop using me once I start missing meetings, but I hate giving these friends some illusion that there is still hope for me, when i know there isn't.
-Patkim: I cry for you too my friend. I understand just the same what an indescribably terrible situation this is. Realizing that everything we thought of life, past/present and future, is not the way we believed it, it shakes a person to their core. I cried so many nights, asking God why must it be this way? It seems though I am past these initial soul crushing days, and am at a stage now where, even with all the problems with family and wife, I am unshackling myself from something that was holding me back as a person and as a child of God, which you are too my friend, so there is a certain sense of freedom in the horizon, even if its just a personal freedom. Please remember that the first conv with your wife will be extremely hard. Expect her to be crushed, and plan how you will react. Always with love and patience. Listen much, and show her much love. Tell her you understand that she would be shocked and have all these emotions, that you felt them too. Reassure her of your love and commitment though. That's what I did and it made the situation a little bit more tolerable.
-Stan livedeath: What i meant to say, is they must send out my details to CO and branch, then they get the confirmation back, then they announce to congregation. Bottom line is, I'm done as elder, no way around it. They asked me to reconsider, and I told them no in a loving way.
Patkim & Sanchy...
You all give me hope for others...especially friends I still care deeply about.
Thank you for sharing your stories.
Do you remember the JW talk about how only honest-hearted people can recognize the truth? Well, I think it does take a certain kind of person to recognize truth and act on it. It takes a higher person. You seem to be such a person. Just think what you’ve done. You’ve awakened from the mind-control, information control, manipulation, deception, propaganda, etc. of the org. That says something about you. You are strong. You have to remember that. The ones still in are the ones that are wrong (or if you want, you can them victims). You might have bouts of feeling bad about yourself, but again, remember, you are right; they are wrong; they are deceived. You no longer have scales on your eyes because you have intelligence, a sense of honesty, the strength to act on what you believe, etc. It was strong of you to resign as an elder. I believe that in the relatively near future many will see that we are right and the org will be shown more and more to be wrong. Dang, I gotta say it again: you are strong. You were a born-in young elder, at an age when many elders are weak and just follow the lead of the older, more experienced ones, but you woke up! Wow! The force is strong with this one!
I am really sorry that your wife doesn’t yet see what you do. I can only imagine how difficult that would be. Mine woke up right alongside me, and even though we both don’t know what to believe right now, we agree that something is majorly wrong in JW land. I do know what it’s like to have believing relatives, though. All mine and my wife’s are still in and they think something is wrong with us.
As a Witness, you were willing to be persecuted for what you thought was right. You were willing to suffer, probably even die. Now have that same strength. You have seen behind the curtain. Be willing to suffer now for your newly found “truth”, and remember that you are not alone. I was a prominent elder with many “privileges”. I gave up everything and suffered and sacrificed and slaved for the org as long as you’ve been alive. I like you, had unanswered questions, concerns over things that didn’t seem right, etc., but, again, like you, I filed them away. However, gradually I woke up. It was shocking. I gave up my whole life for something that turned out to be wrong. I remember in about 1985 telling some of my long-time non-JW friends that they’d better start studying with JWs because 1986 was going to be declared the International Year of Peace by the UN. I thought the end was imminent. Now, 30 years have passed. Several of those friends have retired in their 50’s while I work a low-paying job and can never retire. They make more in retirement than my wife and I make together working full-time. It’s shocking and sickening to think what I wasted.
Be strong and take it slow with your wife. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I don’t think you should provide elders or others any reasons or excuses. I wouldn’t tell them you’re having doubts, etc. I think you should just resign and offer no reason. You owe them nothing.
WingCommander: Only in a highly controlling CULT, are you made to feel obligated to explain your reasons to quit a VOLUNTARY POSITION.
I agree with that. Let your wife see your strength. It might be best to just be silent right now. Sometimes there can be strength in silence. However, if you start giving them excuses like you’re having doubts or whatever, you can make yourself look weak. If asked, you can just say “I’d rather not discuss it.” If pushed, you can say “please respect my privacy.”
I don't hate my fellow brothers. Even those on top of the ranks. As a matter of fact, I love them very much. Having served as elder for a while, I must say it is quite a difficult task. These men sacrifice a lot of time and energy to complete the tasks put in front of them, and i have nothing but respect for those that do it wholeheartedly. I know many of them are imperfect and have handled things perhaps not in the best way. However, overall, these men are genuinely trying to follow what they've been taught to do, as best as they can. So, you will never see me criticizing an individual. It's the organization in general, that has been setup as it currently exists, that is the culprit and the reason why good individuals can be completely blinded.
While I think your feeling that way indicates you’re a decent, noble person, I, to some extent, disagree. I was used and abused by many elders over the last three decades. I found many to be power hungry. Many of them wanted glory and didn’t want to do any of the dirty work. I found myself doing my load and theirs.
Many individuals in the org are worthy of criticism. There was deliberate deception in the Creation book and the Trinity brochure. The Proclaimers book was written in a way to try to hide real JW history. There are many individuals in the org who have contributed to the deception.
Many JWs might be sincere and think they’re right, but so did the Pharisees and those who flew the planes into the Twin Towers. I’ve found many JWs to be so ignorant and devoid of analytical skills and ability to reason, that I almost can’t excuse them. Many JWs bash “false religion” and say that sincerity alone is not enough. They say that many in “false religion” might be sincere, but they’re still wrong. Well, the same applies to JWs. They might be sincere, but they’re wrong and they’re condescending even if it is not intentional. Just think how many JWs will feel sorry for you and try to “help” you. They’re so strong and in such a high position that they’re going to extend a loving hand to try to help lift you from your lowly position of weakness. That’s disgusting and unjust to me.
I realize that a lot of it is due to ignorance, but to what extent will they be accountable for it? They certainly want to hold others accountable for their ignorance. My JW relaitves are loving people, but they are so blind and ignorant that I think they might have to answer for it.
I do hope that the ones who are good people will wake up, but until they do, they will think you are wrong. Do not show weakness. Let your wife see your strength.
I think it’s going to get better for you. I have hope that some kind of justice will prevail. I think you are a quality person and you will be vindicated.
Hang around here and keep up with what’s going on in JWdom. You will get the real goings-on here, not the North Korea version.
Wish you the best.
I recommend that you read through the New Testament in a non-WT translation (NIV, NLT, ESV, RSV, NASB, etc.) without any WT literature. I think you'll find the message is quite different than what the WT presents.
If you'd like to discuss any doctrinal issues in confidence, feel free to PM me. I promise not to try to get you to join some other organization. I'll leave it up to you as to what you do or don't want to discuss.
As far as your wife is concerned, as others have said, go slowly. Questions work far better than statements.
Patkim & Sanchy... I just posted and see that Patkim has the truth of it. My thoughts follow:
I concur with most of what has been said here. Love your wife and
family....do not discuss the doctrines that you have problems with
because no one has any answers.
But your questions could be seen as inappropriate and apostasy.
However if you feel the need to express a reason here is the best
advice I can come up with.
Since you are very concerned about your family you should google the
Jehovah's Witnesses pedophile problem. The very recent Royal
Australian Commission on child abuse has revealed that the JW's have
the same pedophile problem as the Catholic Church and found out that
according to the Australian Branch's own records....... there were 1006
cases of pedophilia and 1700 plus victims from 1950 to the present time
and not a single case was ever reported to the authorities!
Because the two witness rule applies even in the JW pedophile cases
many were dismissed by the Elders for lack of a 2nd eye witness or a
Along with the governing body member Geoffrey Jackson there were
Branch officials, Elders from the congregations where the abuse took
place and the victims all of whom had to give testimony under oath. You can see this testimony for your self.
It was also noted
that Elders are reinstating repentant pedophiles
as if they have just been sinners when in fact they have also committed
The congregations are not told they have a pedophile in their midst and
the public not informed that one may be knocking on their door in field
service, making return visits and offering a bible study.
So for anyone looking for a position to take being greatly stumbled is not a DFing offense as far as I know.
Patkim & Sanchy
Take a deep breath (literally and figuratively). Posting is a big breakthrough and the pain of baring all this on your own is over, still there is a big road ahead but you have time to sort if out if you do it right. Tell your stories, vent, ask questions, communicate and read. Finding ones to go through this with is one of the most important and helpful things. I know had I not found friends here and had to do this on my own I would have made poor choices and probably cracked. So take a breath and start to detox this stuff out of your life at a manageable safe pace.