Long ago during my awakening process I was presented with a somewhat extrange proposition. I can’t recall for sure where I read it. I wandered thru so many sites over the years. So many corners of the ex-JW web that I probably visited out of an obsession to find THE answer. At the time, my wife was deeply entrenched in her resolution to not listen to me so, every now and then, I had this very dark days in which I would just ran search after search, thinking I was just one click away from that one revelation that would solve all my cult related issues.
The proposition in question related as to how most people coming out of the JW grip would actually experience more than one actual awakening. For sure two, but in some cases more than that. I admit that this is probably a fact of life. We probably experience many awakenings during our lifetimes. Because of that, I want to frame “awakening” in the respect of either a- the spiritual or b- a non-spiritual awakening that is triggered or is a consequence of the first awakening.
Let me explain this a bit further.
One big teaching of the organization is unity. Unity of thought, belief and goals. As JWs, we must uphold and protect this unity at all costs. From ratting out wrongdoers, to following “the instruction we receive whether it makes sense or not”, we must listen, obey and be blessed. In the other end of the spectrum are apostates. Based on the teachings of the organization, we are presented as being selfish, flesh dominated zombies who want nothing but self indulgence and to drag followers after ourselves. They point out how their unity is a protection against such threat.
As it turns out, there is something to it. Bear with me as I make my point as it is not as harsh as you may think
Intentionally or not, the organization creates an environment which leads to potentially ensuring we apostates remain a weak force. My second awakening, although smaller in nature compared to the first one, came to be the realization that this organization forces us to make friends with people we may have otherwise rejected. Sure I am generalizing here but tell me if it is not true.
After getting out from under the spell, we begin seeking out “like minded” people. I.e. other apostates and we almost click immediately. What we do not realize is that we are driven by this one track mind. We are driven by this need to find validation and may be even closure. Everything is fine and dandy until that necessity begins to slowly wear down. Much like a caveman running away from a predator that can actually be out run, we start looking back. we begin to slow down when we realize we are no longer in imminent danger. You may even picture this as more than one person. We may be even stop to catch our breath, bend down holding our knees and look at each other in the eye with this “phew!, we made it!” expression in our face.
As we continue moving away from danger, though may be at walking pace, we begin to have time to really get to know each other. And in doing so, we may begin to realize that we could only partner with this person in this one common goal but nothing more. While under the influence of the Watchtower, we did not really know this person. Hell, don’t take this the wrong way. For all we know, we did not know ourselves. Much more especially those that were born in. We only knew that person that the WT instructed us to be. For as long as we were under this one track mind mode (the WT mode) we could get along, even if so obligated. Sure shenanigans happen, but for the most part we had our friendships in there. When we get out, in the other hand, we may change our views, but we are still driven by this one track mind. The one that must expose the organization for what it is, and in doing so, find help or even just a shoulder to cry on, on any other apostate we find. Not realizing that once the dust settles, we may no longer click. The big difference? The one track mind of the JWs is steered by the GB to fit whatever goal they have at the moment and they obey. Ours is steered by, well, just each one of us. And rightfully so. I am not advocating anything different. Just pointing out a fact. In a nutshell, I am talking about a parallel between this and the typical counsel of looking for a marriage partner with similar spiritual goals. Put the spiritual goals aside, and the marriage probably won’t last
While this could be applied in this forum, the truth is that we don’t know each other enough to pass a complete judgement. My awakening came from observing some people I knew as they walked away from the organization. I have seen white people in hispanic congregations stand during the mid-week meeting and give a talk about taking care of our neighbor just like the bible teaches and then go on to leave the organization and become fervent anti-immigrant denouncers. I have seen others give public talks, even in at assemblies, against violence and the fact that witnesses do not bear arms, then leave the organization and paper their facebook walls with pro-second amendments memes. Too many to describe here. Off course this is not aimed at debating the ideals themselves. It is to show that we were not real and therefore, becoming real has consequences.
Say it as it is, we have a hard time letting go of each other for a number of reasons. We may no longer feel safe or we may have nothing but loneliness if we let go. We may simply fear being out of touch with the latest scandals or, at the very worse, being reminded by our JW family that they were right. That this is what apostates are like.
Off course, ultimately that is the only thing JWs see.