Thanks everyone for your thoughtful and encouraging comments. I appreciated the balance from all of you.
I don't have time to respond to all of you, but here are some select responses:
Iamallcool: you should have told them that you are very happy now because you are out of their very weird religion.
In fact, my life is really good in every respect expect the lingering damage from my past association with the JW cult. The ongoing pain and frustration of being shunned by my children simply because I no longer attend meetings at the KH is difficult. Even after almost a decade, it still hurts -- sometimes worse than others, but it never completely goes away.
LisaRose: I wouldn't feel bad about that at all. It may not have been what you would have planned to say, but it was your truth, given from your heart, and that can be far more powerful than any prepared speech.
I love that sentiment. Thank you very much!
Wasanelder Once: Well, you spoke your heart. It may not have been a reasoned expression but it was authentic. … I’m sure your rage will find its place and your expressions won't be so volatile in the future.
Your first comment is similar to LisaRose's. Again: thanks! Just to be clear, I am well past the rage part of leaving this cult. Although my comment to the women on the street wasn't particularly restrained or measured, I wasn't yelling in uncontrolled anger either. The anger in my voice was in response to their complete hypocrisy knowing full well the damage their religion has done to countless millions of people. It was more a reaction of frustration. In no way was I physically threatening to them.
Perry: They are masters at weaponizing family relationships. … I feel sorry for them, trapped like that - taking the heat due the WT. They end up getting victimized twice. I probably would not have been able to just keep walking either.
I love the expression "weaponizing family relationships." I'm going to use it!
You're clearly a compassionate person to feel sorry for them, and I agree to an extent: they are pathetic. But they are also adults. They have the power to leave just as we did.
The chains that hold them are strong, but not physical. My sympathy ends at understanding. Their ongoing "victimization" is of their own choosing.
Sparrowdown: When I think back to all the titles of the books mags and brochures they're all misleading intellectual honey trap to lure in all sorts of people.
They are dishonest traps. That's exactly what upsets me about it. We KNOW they they are lies: deceptive and dishonestly designed to trap people.
It's disgusting really.
To be clear, I did fall for their trap, but it wasn't the other day. It was in the early 1980s and it took me almost two decades to escape.
Let's review: It's a cult!