So this morning I'm walking to my office and there's the JWs on their carts outside as usual. And old sister, a brother in his 20s and an elder I instantly recognized from my JW days. One of my best friends of about 20 years.
I genuinely just wanted to say hi as I havent seen him in 3 years. Walked up, he saw me coming and his posture shifted. I said his name with a smile and stuck out my hand and asked how he was. He kept his hands by his side and said "I cant talk to you". I said "cummon, lets leave religion aside for a sec, I just want to say hi". He then said "come here a second..." and took me aside away from the cart.
What followed surprised even me. He was always the elder I pointed to when I wanted people to know what elders should be like. He was always warm, approachable, friendly and kind - today he was the opposite.
"There's only one way back isnt there? And you know it's the truth!"
Nothing more infuriating for me to hear that last sentence. I replied "no it isnt. Anyway, how are you?"
"You've destroyed your family and upset a lot of people - how do you feel about that?"
Me: "No, my ex-wife and I and her partner are all good friends. My daughter is happy and healthy and lives with me."
"No. I mean your real family. Your mum and brothers and sisters in the truth".
Me: Real family? I haven't heard from them in three years.
"And who's fault's that?"
Me: Well, the Watchtower society obviously. Anyway, I just wanted to say hi. You know I love you right? Do you guys still do door knocking?
"Of course we do!"
Me: I haven't had a knock in 3 years, and i've moved twice.
"Come back to Jehovah and fix your life"
Me: It is fixed. My life is actually perfect right now. I have real friends, real family and no reason to shun anybody.
I stuck my hand out again, he refused it. I was raging inside but tried to stay calm.
I ended it with "cummon I'm just being friendly. Who's being christlike here?"
And with that I walked away.
Such a shame what the cult has turned him into. It was like a whole other person. But you just know he's gonna put on his smiley cheerfull front to everyone else as soon as im gone.
Watchtower really does train them to put on the "new personality" after all.