I am now in my early 60’s. I was baptized in 1980. I served as a ministerial servant and an elder. I gave my all for many years but about eight years ago I started to question many things. The generation teaching, amongst many others. Now, I find that my faith has been shattered by all the CSA revelations, the Kingdom Hall sell-offs, and the money-grab of congregation funds. It is with profound sadness that I look back on my life as a Witness and now I am basically a non-entity ,as I resigned as an elder, and the main reason why elders contact me is to get me to “do things again”’, such as meeting parts. These brothers mean well, but the bottom line is always the same, “what can you do for the congregation? “ So depressing and discouraging! I don’t let this get to me and I been able to rise above this and protect myself and my loved ones from the well-meaning but misguided attempts to “reactivate” us back onto the treadmill.
How did it come to this?
by New day 23 Replies latest watchtower beliefs
Sad to hear that you spent over 30 years serving an unworthy religious organization. Glad you came to realize the truth about "the truth" about 8 years ago... just about the time you discovered this forum. And thank God you have been able to protect your family from similar discouragement and pain.
That's what my Dad did for me as well.
Your situation seems very similar to mine. We are about the same age, were baptized around the same time, and both served as MS & elder. I also gave it my all for many years and and was/am disturbed by the things you mentioned.
I often think about the fact that we're in the 2020's. It was inconceivable in the 1980's that "this system" would go beyond 2000 and, really, even 1994 (80yrs from 1914). I think we tend to forget what the JW mindset was back then. Back in the late 80's or early 90's, A JW friend told me of a nonJW he knew who was planning to make money on the Olympics that were scheduled to be held in Atlanta in 1996 (by selling T-shirts). That JW friend and I laughed because we thought "this system" would be gone by then. There was no way those Olympics games would ever occur.
Well, about the year 2016, I was sent to Florida to do some work for a few days. On the way back, I was heading toward the state of Georgia on an interstate highway. As I got almost to the Georgia border, I saw a "Welcome to Georgia" sign. At the bottom was "Home of the 1996 Olympics." It hit me hard. It was 20 years, not beyond our laughing at the guy for wanting to make money, but 20 years beyond the Olympic Games themselves. At that point in time, those Olympics that we thought would never occur were old news. Thinking of that depressed me.
It is now 20-damned-23. JWs were wrong - black and white wrong. We weren't supposed to be here now. If in, for example, the 1980's, a JW had persisted in saying that this system would still be here in 2020, he would have been disfellowshipped.
"These brothers mean well."
I think most of them mean well, too, however, so do many people in other religions. Even though they mean well, they are lacking in something. They don't have the "three H's" that JWs sometimes refer to (hunger, honesty, humility) to a degree large enough to allow them to see the real truth and leave the cult. They might be lacking in well-rounded intelligence. Sure, I know some who have intelligence, but it takes well-rounded intelligence to see the real truth. Many are delusional. And, even though they mean well, they are condescending. They think they are in a high place and are stooping down to pull us out of the depths were are in. To them, we are either weak or evil or some combination of the two.
I probably differ from you in the feelings I have towards the cult and those still in. I wish JWdom were what I thought it was in the 1980's. I miss the feelings of security, the hope for the future, etc. However, I detest the org now, and I have little sympathy for any who support it. The evidence mounts against it daily. I repeat what I've already stated... those who are still in (the adults) are flawed in some way. There's no way an honest, intelligent person, who really loves truth could not see something majorly wrong with the GB, the failed predictions, the dumbing down, the decrease in literature, the weakening ministry, etc.It's going to be interesting to watch the cult over the next few years to see what happens to it.
Wish you well.
Yeah. I know. "Waking-up" is extremely painful. That's about all I can say about it.
It's nauseating to think of the beautiful relationships and friends one may have passed-up in school, and forgoing secondary education to satisfy the demands of a self-serving organization. Sick.
And if you try to talk to your old JW friends about it, they will end up shunning you. Then they will tell others in the cong about you, and they will tell others and they will shun you too.
After giving your youth to the organisaton and turning your back on your dreams and interests, your reward for being honest is to have all of your social network taken off you, including friends you may have had for decades.
How can any JW that lived through the 80's and 90's and then witnessed first hand all the changes to doctrine that came later, not question their beliefs?
How did it come to this?
JW's are conditioned to place loyalty above honesty.
This is an excellent thread and I agree with the OP and MAGNUM.
I am Out because of the 1995 Generation Teaching. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I also agree that the religion seemed better and more hopeful in the 1980s. But, that’s all over and I am ‘Faded’ almost 23 years. Even though I’m out I’m still shocked at what the religion has become. I also agree that honest people have to see something is wrong there.
I know a few JWs there. They are very medicated and not the types to question anything. In truth, they stayed too long. While we may hear about some older people who leave, I just don’t see them going anywhere.
I understand what you mean about how if you open your mouth and tell what you feel, you will lose whatever social network you have in the JWs. Luckily for me, I didn’t have much of a ‘social network’ because I was marginalized because I had a full-time job. I wasn’t part of the ‘In’ crowd. But, it made it much easier to do a ‘Fade’.. It’s great to be Out and away from the mess and the Users and cranky people there.
QI probably differ from you in the feelings I have towards the cult and those still in. I wish JWdom were what I thought it was in the 1980's. I miss the feelings of security, the hope for the future, etc. However, I detest the org now, and I have little sympathy for any who support it.
Actually, Magnum, I kind of have the same feelings as you on this. I also miss the security, the hope for the future and also the apparent sense of having a purpose in the field ministry and at the meetings. I loved giving talks, it was my favorite thing. But like you, I have less and less respect for the org these days, especially with all the “suggested contributions” aka tithing that goes on, with the bros and sis either unaware that this what it really is, or they don’t mind as long as they can stay in the bubble.
"loyalty above honesty"- I love it ...that says it perfectly...first a person has to stop lying to themselves. Being loyal to the org keeps them dishonest to themselves and therefore liars to all they would try to convert. Yet the JW says Jehovah wants honest hearted ones-and so the R and F pat themselves on the back because they sit in the KH because they think themselves honest hearted. Which is an interesting thought: where do they get that honest hearted bit from when the Bible says the heart is treacherous? "who can know it"
I left the religion in my late 30’s, and even I feel totally ripped off. So I totally understand, even more so, how you feel.
My grandfather was baptised in the late 1940’s and was promised paradise. He is now dead and so are some of his kids, I look back on the 73 years he spent on the hamster wheel, and am grateful I didn’t make the same mistake.
In the time he’s been dead I hardly recognise the religion s anymore. I remember his fleshly brother, who is my great uncle, and a self righteous elder. Telling me to take some posters down I had hanging in my room of bands I liked as a young kid. He too is now dead. I recently went around to visit his widowed wife. Low and behold she had a poster hanging on her fridge of pictures of the governing body. All I gotta say it’s just a total load of shit.
Your story sounds a lot like mine except that I gave even more years to the treadmill. With me the elders have largely left me alone,with a few well meaning exceptions. I even felt a bit ignored although now it is for the best .
It is easy to look back in regret but I have tried to enjoy the rest of this life .. Best wishes to you.