Gosh I am glad there are some people that still remember me from H20
After all I at one time was even the "JW Apoligist" that did an early analysis and counter argument to Liberal Elder's New Light on Blood site which they even posted!
AS mentioned I have never been a cookie-cut JW. I was given a wide amount of freedom of choice as kid and teen so I was involved with extracurriculars, played sports, went to prom etc. Wasn't on the MS and went out in formal service maybe a dozen times prior to my moving out. The vast majority of my friends were not Witnesses. In truth, with the exception of not celebrating holidays and other JW markers, and not getting involved with alchohol, fornication, smoking, etc.--I lived pretty much like any normal teenager.
After my freshman year at USC (Go Trojans!) I got baptized and was a baptized JW from 1990-2001. I do attend meetings currently (pretty much WT/Public Address only) and keep abreast of organizational info and developments.
My parents have been JWs since 1948 and much of my family are also JWs.
As mentioned, several doctrines and beliefs and cultural aspects of the Organization, I have always rejected or had a problem with (since early teen hood) most notably the practice of Disfellowshipping, the lack of freedom of expression in dress and grooming, freedom of speech, certain observed hypocracy of individuals and especially and most importantly the bi-polar (not meant in a medical sense so don't take offense anyone) systemic problem described in this excerpt from a paper I have composed on the FDS Doctrine:
"...This is a continuing perversion that permeates the Organization. As seen in this study, Jehovah’s Witnesses are instructed, demanded and required to completely adhere to the teachings and direction of the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” as they understand it to be embodied by the Society (Bethel). They are to wholly accept current doctrine and disregard (old) doctrine upon immediate notice. Yet at the same time that they are receiving such current teaching, held to be on the level of “divinely inspired truth”, there is always the existing “loophole” that the FDS is actually fallible, imperfect and capable of error.
This allows the Organization to remain perpetually irresponsible for its own teachings and direction. And worse, usually it is the faithful who are blamed for any harm that results from such loyal adherence to the Society, by statements from the Society saying that the friends were “overeager,” “running ahead,” or “were too enthusiastic in their understanding.” The following is a typical reaction on the part of the Society when the “divine instruction” turns out to be spoiled food: ..."
For any that do remember me or for further clarification here is a brief assessment of my current acceptance of JW doctrine/beliefs that may help you to better understand my point of view on certain matters discussed on this board.
1. Blood Issue: Probably I have done the biggest "flip" on this issue. As mentioned before I was a staunch defender of the Organization's Blood Doctrine, now I believe it is PROBABLY in error and at a minimum should be a conscience issue.
2. FDS: Always had a concern about this, now confirmed in my belief that this doctrine is in total error.
3. 1914-Gentile Times, 607 BCE. Prior to 1997 I never gave this issue a thought or truly investigated it. Now understand that 607 date for Jerusalem's destruction is a complete fabrication. Understand the historical development of the doctrine within the org. Now believe there is nothing special about 1914 from a "theocratic" or bible impact. I allow for the belief that we may be however in the beginnings of the "last days" or end time but this not tied to anything other than the composite sign.
4. DF'ng. Wasn't for it before, not for it now. Right maybe in principle, wrong in practice. All association should be a conscience matter of the individuals involved.
those are the big issues, I will have more to say in another forum.
thanks to all regarding the issue of allowing more freedom of speech and altenative (pro-JW) viewpoints on this board--at least it promotes some debate and not mere affirmation.
I wish I personally could be more frequent to this board but my current work and personal life (new baby) does not allow. Perhaps in the future. I do think and feel extremely strongly that any real change of the org must come from within it and that a heavily toxic environment to visiting JWs will not help to accomplish that.