Just peeking in for a bit...

by Jidders 34 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jidders

    I rather apprehensively would like to say hello.

    I've been raised somewhat in the truth,one of my parents is rather rather strong in the beliefs but could honestly be considered POMI with how active they are and their side of the family comes from a line of witnesses, the other parent was but faded a long time ago. As such I was taught quite a bit of JW teachings between family and off and on again Bible studies.

    Recently I had a serious emotional break down over a few months after said POMI parent had advised me that they would not attend my wedding should that day come (I also had recieved a text from my bible teacher I hadnt heard from in a year or two giving a scripture) and it sorta all sank on me that my activity over the last few years was not really JW material. Since I felt like I was a JW it had torn me up a bit and for a few months I dived into study, attended the "Be Courageous" assembly and began reading the Bible both fists forward... Until really started to consider the WT views and reading over the Old Testament. I had begun noticing odd contradictions or back and forth rulings in the WT material that struck me as odd and confusing, realizing the increased emphasis on isolation/suppressed thinking and just the depressing tone of the OT made me consider something totally taboo: look into secular material.

    Now after a month or two of skimming JWfacts, the exjw reddit and such I'm still conflicted on a lot of matters, especially after I admitted today to said parent earlier that I've begun having doubts, to which they were quick to remind me that the wordly materials come from Satan/apostates and thus are full of lies (its sort of hard to refute some sources like JWfacts on this as some stuff could be considered altered even if I dont personally think it is).

    So basically I wont be around much but I hope I can start bouncing questions off both sides, as I still have faith in some of the beliefs I've learned but doubts are strong and the fact I'm always scared and depressed when doing anything meeting/study related has left me insanely weary.

  • AudeSapere

    Welcome to JWN!

    Just take things slow.

    Truth is Truth and should be able to hold up under discussion and review.

    There is no need to snap to judgement one way or another. This is a great place to ask questions and get variety of feedback.

    Sounds like you are relatively young. Here are a few suggestions for you:

    If not yet baptized, stay that way. There is absolutely no rush. If you are being coerced, that should be a warning sign. Jesus was 30. JW's will use baptism against you if you later find that they are not as 'christian' as they claim.

    Armageddon is not just around the corner. Make plans for a long life in this system. Get an education. Work on a real career. Take real vacations. Don't waste all your free time in field service.

    Build a nice life for yourself. Make friends with people who do not believe exactly as you do. You can inspire each other and test each others views. You don't have to change their view. You don't have to let them change you. Just enjoy their company and have fun.

    Don't try to challenge or 'enlighten' your JW family and friends right now - it's too easy for this to backfire on you and you will likely find yourself marked and/or isolated. Later on, once you are clear on what you want in your life, you can decide if you want to share your thoughts with family and friends.

    Be cordial, attentive and polite to family and JW friends but make establishing your own life (without their control) your very first priority.

    To understand some of what goes on with high-level decision making in the org, get the book 'Crisis of Conscience' by Ray Franz.

    I was on antidepressants during my last few years in the org. This site did not exist at the time. I cried a lot. Life was not fun. I knew of things going on in my cong and neighboring ones, too. One Sunday I got up in the middle of a meeting, said a little prayer as I walked out the door of the KH ("Jehovah, you know better than I do why I cannot stay here anymore") and I never really went back.

    Finding JWN was critical to me validating my thoughts. This site was so incredibly active 15 years ago. Look through some of the old threads.

    JWFacts is a great site. The site-owner has very high integrity and is usually quite willing to address specific questions of accuracy and authenticity.

    Post when you can. I hope you find what you need to help you gain clarity of thought and lightness of heart.

    Again, welcome to JWN. It's nice to have you join us, even if just occaisionally.

    -Aude Sapere (meaning: Dare to Know; Dare to Have Wisdom/Understanding; Dare to Think for Yourself.)

  • bsmart

    Aude is right! If you have some particular question the search function at the top right of the page will get you started. Clicking on a posters name will take you to a list of threads they have posted on. The website has been around nearly 20 years and is full of wonderful personalities, a few weirdos and a broad section of all XJW subjects... I left way too long ago to know what might interest you, but it was a journey for me to learn the history of the religion.

  • AudeSapere


    the fact I'm always scared and depressed when doing anything meeting/study related has left me insanely weary

    This should be a big warning sign to you.

    Don't ignore your own keen internal sensors.

    Are you familiar with the term 'cognitive dissonance'? You seem to be describing some of the classic symptoms.

  • Jidders

    Yeah a I have a rough idea, and I'm sort of realizing my emotional break a few months ago was less about needing to seek truth and more of feeling the pressure of family over things I had hidden in my personal life (and also I was off my anxiety/antidepression meds). I will say I'm closer to 30 than I'd like to admit, but I am not bapitized as my parent felt it was up to me to decide when to (plus they havent really pushed too much on us other than occasional meetings, assemblies and the memorials)

    As for why I'm in a tight spot is I feel sort of trapped between the obligation of my bible study (my teacher has been a real swell guy, I had cried a lot and let out way too much info about myself during the convention on what I was feeling about to him) as I do feel like I want to learn a bit more but as we've studied it feels a bit different from what I was learning 4-9 years prior. Things that shook me the most about doubting the WT organization was the misquotes that they used, since that was something a search on the org and google can verify without it being too "corrupted by influence". My parent and grandparent in the truth have been super elated over my recent zeal and such so it feels off to turn the other way again, but what I'm learning is just not in me, plus the requirements for service always go from "do what you can" from like elders telling me to "not doing the most you can" from the WT, so thats a big intimidation factor as I'm fairly timid and exhausted all the time.

  • DesirousOfChange

    Aude Sapere said it beautifully!

    Most of us here have walked down that same path on which you are now embarking. IT'S SCARY! Fortunately you do not have do it alone because we are here for you! The people here were a lifesaver to me when I first arrived 5-6 years ago. As you can perhaps discern from my ID, I truly believed the Organization had just veered off course and could be, and would be corrected. Now I know that's a joke.

    I will 2nd the suggestion on reading Crisis of Conscience. BUT DEAR GOD DO NOT TELL ANYONE! JW's think that was written by Satan himself! I came away from it concluding that Ray Franz was a good sincere JW who also was desirous of change but faced a brick wall of old guard GB members that sent him packing and then demonized him to keep JW's from learning about his thinking on the problems at WTS HQ and with JW doctrine. (And all this was even before this Overlapping Generation crap was sold to us! Doesn't that make it obvious that the insane are running the asylum?)

    Also, read Steven Hassan's book, Combating Cult Mind Control. I'm sure you are not ready to label the Organization as a Cult and I also know all the one-line rebuttals we were taught to reply to such accusations. But upon reading CCMC I came to realize that the JW Organization is the "poster child" for a Cult. Those at the helm of the JW ship are masters at following the steps of a controlling Cult beyond what I ever realized. Please read it.

    Come back and share more of your story, but be cautious not to reveal too much information that could identify you. Most of all: GO SLOW! Take as much time as you need to "look behind the curtain". As Aude said, Armageddon is not going to be here tomorrow. Even the GB knows this or they wouldn't be investing in new headquarters and new branch offices (replacement sites, that is -- over 20 foreign branches were closed in the past few years -- there is no real growth any longer).

    Be very cautious what you say to any JW, including those closest to you. They are quick to question the sincerity of anyone who asks questions -- especially the questions that have no answers. They have been taught to be "on guard" for apostates! IF you must address any doubt, do it only by asking "sincere" questions. Do not interject what you have learned online as that sends up red flags. Ask questions and STFU! It's been suggested that you pose it that someone in the field circus or at work asked you this, or told you that. Let the JW stumble around and do the research as it may open their eyes as well. (Though most likely you'll be told to just "wait on Jehovah" and never get a satisfactory answer. Or, that what you heard is an apostate lie.)

    We'll be here! Good luck!


  • Jidders

    Thank you everyone for your kind words and support.

    I did text my Bible teacher earlier to admit I was feeling doubts and the like over things, he reminded me of how Jesus and his followers lied about in their ministry, "lies and false stories" launched against true-worship via news or "friends", and looking at such things is deliberately putting one in harms way. Following up to that he advised the he is not going to discuss all accusations as theres no point to it and advised to read the following scripture:

    Prov 14:15, Matt 5:10-12, John 10:4-5, most of which I do understand and acknowlege as very possible means of harming one's faith... although again going back to the misquoted stuff that got me thinking, its just really off to me about the "staying away from secular sources" but its obvious that the Watchtower quotes secular sources all the time. I know they frame it as its because the governing body has approved it for us so its okay at that point, but again, falling into the misquote stuff, it makes it hard to swallow now that said food is being distilled in a manner that I find dubious. I'm sure I'm just singing to choir on that, but its really conflicting my feelings when the idea of corrupted facts can easily be defended on their end but also shows up on their side.

    But as everyone (on both sides) has told me, baby steps.

  • smiddy3

    Welcome jidders glad to have you on board .You can speak your mind and ask any question you like and you wont be judged or ostracized in any way.

    I second AudeSapere`s advice .

    And I would suggest you think about this simple fact .

    If the IBSA/JW`s as they are now called was approved by Jesus/Jehovah in 1919 as the F&DS class because of what they were teaching then ,

    Jesus/jehovah would be rejecting them today simply because they have abandoned most of those teachings that were taught then .

    Even with the year 1914 , what they taught and preached then is not what they teach about 1914 now .

    They are forever re-writing their own history to cover over their errors/false hoods about what is going to happen according to what the WatchTower and other publications they have produced says.

    Take care .

  • kevinbothma

    My father (who I Iove dearly) has been a witness for more than 50 years. I was made to go to meetings as a youth,but never became a witness. In Matthew 28, Jesus said, "come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest....". I makes me so sad that he is not allowed to respond to that invitation. I have faced huge challenges in my life, but have found incredible rest and joy through my relationship with my Lord and Saviour.

    As Paul, said about 30 years after his first encounter with Jesus, in Philippians 3:7-9 (NWT)

    7 Yet, the things that were gains to me, I have considered loss* on account of the Christ.i8 What is more, I do indeed also consider all things to be loss on account of the excelling value of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have taken the loss of all things and I consider them as a lot of refuse,* that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in union with him, not because of my own righteousness from following the Law, but because of the righteousness that is through faithj in Christ,k the righteousness from God based on faith.

    We are encouraged to abide in Him, and then we will bring forth true fruit. I have discovered that my abiding in Jesus and being in communion with Him causes the life that he promised in John 10:10 to be given to me. I have never experienced such love, and joy, and peace. Its wonderful. Exactly as promised. Not works and guilt and condemnation, which comes from dead works. Therefore, those in union with Christ Jesus have no condemnation (Romans 8:1 NWT)

    John 15 (NWT)

    4 Remain in union with me, and I will remain in union with you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you unless you remain in union with me.c 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever remains in union with me and I in union with him, this one bears much fruit;d for apart from me you can do*nothing at all.

    You are very precious to God. May you find the rest that comes from Him.

    a friend


  • scruffmcbuff

    Welcome to the forum. As said above there is a search function, but if you cant find what your looking for or even just need to get something off your chest feel free to let it all out here.

    You will be amazed how many people are going through or have been through the same.

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