"If I wasn't born a JW, I would never have become one."

by OneEyedJoe 49 Replies latest jw experiences

  • OneEyedJoe

    I've seen it mentioned by a few on the forum that at some point there was a realization that had they not been born a JW, they never would've converted no matter how many times the JWs tried to study with them. This was my experience too, and I'm wondering how universal it is for those that were born-in but eventually left.

    I think I started having this thought (more specifically that if I were not born a JW, I would surely have become an atheist by now) in my late teens. For a decade I lived with this thought popping up frequently whenever I had a moment to think abstractly about things or when I pondered cosmology, evolution or morality. But all the while I continued believing (or trying to) and praying (usually as a hedge) and attending meetings and saying all the right things. In hindsight my ability to empathize with the "worldly" people at the door who might have good hearts but would want nothing to do with JWs was probably a large part of my apathy towards the ministry.

    Because of this nagging thought, a sense of relief accompanied all the feelings of betrayal, loss, foolishness, and anger that washed over me in the moment I realized that, without a doubt, I had been born into a cult. I knew at that moment that while I had been lied to, manipulated and exploited by everyone I'd ever cared for that I was also finally free to be honest with myself. I was free from having to ask something of others that I knew I never would have done myself.

    For those that were born-in, did you ever realize that you never would've joined if not for the circumstances of your birth? If you did, how long did you live with that knowledge before finally and fully waking up?

  • juandefiero

    For me, I think it depends on whether or not I was born into a religious household. Like if I were born Baptist and really believed, I might listen to the JW's when the came knocking and perhaps would have converted.

  • Slidin Fast
    Slidin Fast

    I remember "making the truth my own". That was a process in which I made a decision at about the age of 14 (I had already been baptised for several years). The decision was to put the nagging doubts out of my mind and just go for it. Not the best idea in hind-sight but what did I know? I was 14.

    If I had the decision to make again? I wouldn't go near it.

  • Ucantnome
    I always felt glad that my parents had joined as I felt I never would have. I felt like this from my teens.
  • gma-tired2
    This thought came to me in my teens and has grown as I've grown older. I sat in meetings and assemblies wondering why I never had a choice. Now at 68 I have made a choice of freedom and putting on my new personality. My true self that was hidden for the first 60 years of my life.
  • freemindfade
    For me, I think it depends on whether or not I was born into a religious household. Like if I were born Baptist and really believed, I might listen to the JW's when the came knocking and perhaps would have converted.

    Very true statement, its hard to say (because of the butterfly effect) what path your life would have taken in any other situation.

    Still this was a huge light bulb moment for me waking up when I realized that if witnesses came to my door, I'd slam it in their face. And if felt amazing to say that to my wife, a relief in fact "if I wasn't a witness and they came to my door, I'd never so much as speak to them, so why am I witness now???" it was a big moment of clarity.

    For me even before I woke up fully I began to have a deep resentment for the damage religion obviously cause mankind (something the witnesses even acknowledge). But!! and that's a big but... I happened to be born into the one true religion that had the answer to the problems cause by every other religion that was under satan's control. Once that cult vale started lifting, the witnesses were becoming more and more just another religion, which is what they are.

    So I really believe I would not have been a religious person, not saying I wouldn't have any spiritual, metaphysics type ideals or curiosities, but institutional religion would be repellent to me. Even as an in witness I found the bible repellent! I just assumed I had weak faith.

  • Spiral

    I know I would have never have considered being a JW (or any religion for that matter) if I hadn't been "born in" and coerced? shamed? forced? into getting baptised at 13. I am not and never have been religious in nature. Talking to someone at the door about religion has always seemed alien to me. I never enjoyed service and I can't imagine why anyone would ever study with a stranger that came to the door.

    I knew this growing up as well. I regret just doing what I was told to do but I'm out now! yeah!

  • Dagney

    100% NEVER. NEVER!

    I used to pray and thank jah I was a born in because I never would have been one on my own for years. Nothing seemed right about them. BUT...my family was all in, I had a decent social life...was busy in the theo routine...so I went along with everything for all those years. 1995 generation change was the last nail.

  • ToesUp


    It's funny you ask the question. My spouse and I talk about that all the time. My spouse always says..."I wonder what makes a non JW want to become a JW. What's the attraction?' We are both born in.

    I wonder sometimes if the instant friends that you receive, once you join the cult, is what attracts them. The ones we know that came into the cult as adults are all very social. They have little accepted groups they belong to.

    We would have NEVER joined if we were born in . We just don't see the attraction. Let's see...no education, no material possessions, no non JW friends, no facial hair, no short skirts or tight blouses, no tight pants, no birthdays, no holidays, no social gatherings (even with JW's), no vacations (unless it's Brooklyn Bethel), no children. The list goes on and on. Gee....I wonder why we would never have joined.

  • Doubtfully Yours
    Doubtfully Yours

    I would have been a promising medical scientist. The small part of my extended family that are not JWs, are all in specialized medical fields.

    It enrages me more and more as time passes how I missed out on that life choice thanks to the Org's indoctrination handed down for 3 gens. 😡


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