My Personal Atheist Manifesto?

by dubstepped 43 Replies latest jw experiences

  • dubstepped

    Thanks everybody! I haven't received his thoughts yet, but he's read it and wants to look into some of the things I said. He also listened to the first episode of shunned which is my wife's story and sent me a very kind note just this morning. He's unlike any JW I've encountered. We may have to agree to disagree at some point but I like him as a person. He and I could probably be friends if he wouldn't have to keep me on the down low forever.

  • jdash
    Could I get the podcast link? Thanks!
  • dubstepped

    You can go to for it. It's a podcast so go to your podcast player of choice iTunes (Apple Podcasts) or Google Play or use an app like Podcast Republic or Podbean to search for This JW Life and download to listen.

  • dubstepped

    So I wanted to come back here and post the reply that I got to the "manifesto" that I posted initially. Remember, this was in response to this elder/pioneer serving where the need is greater that listens to my podcasts and all kinds of apostate stuff. He knows all about the UN, Crisis of Conscience, etc. He is the most unique JW I've ever spoken to, and the fact that he sought me out and has been so nice without trying to be preachy is an anomaly. I could give some more personal details but I'd never want to out the guy or even risk it, and he's been through a lot in the organization that he is still an admitted apologist for. But his question to me was about why I don't believe in god anymore. I answered as in the first post here, and most of his response to that part in particular is below:

    So, why am I a Jdub? Well my faith & belief, my mother is a reason, my family another,
    Obviously you know the structure so, friends in the congregation as well.

    What do I believe this to be? It’s my choice, I put faith in it because I choose to.
    Mike we could go back and forth with arguments, objections, reasonings etc all day long and we both would be where we are.
    Here is my truth, or my view on it.
    First of all I choose to believe in something beyond me, a higher power, an intelligence.
    It’s easier and for me & a smaller leap of faith to believe it’s all created rather then arising from nothing.
    I choose to believe that the bible is a supernatural book, it can and does change lives.
    I think from what I see and hear that we are in the last days, now who will God save?
    Will we be in paradise treading on billions of dead bodies? I can’t imagine that, Jesus did say you will by no means complete the circuit of cities before He arrived.
    So not everyone will know or hear about the message. Which means they’re in Gods hands. The Israelites left Egypt with some Egyptians, pagan people who at the last minute saw Jehovah was the true God.
    For me this hasn’t been easy at times, that’s an understatement, but it’s given me a good life, I’ve stayed with my family, not left them as my father did, I have a happy marriage, I have a few true and genuine friends, about 5. Lots of other acquaintances.
    I love people, I love helping people, it’s the way I’m wired, and if someone comes to me with a problem because they feel guilty and the need to self report, it actually happened just this week, I will always say either don’t worry I’ve done that too, or if I can’t say that I will try to understand them and reassure them of my love and sympathy.
    I’ve never pulled rank or thrown my weight around as an “elder” it’s an ugly abuse of power.
    I don’t feel guilty when I take a holiday or a day off or visit a cathedral, or watch things a lot wouldn’t, play tomb raider etc, plus communicating with you, I’ve got my own mind on things.
    Listening to your stories makes me think the truth is a bit different in the states, stricter, more severe.

    The way we’ve raised our family is the same as my mother raised me, plus i would add I don’t take myself at all seriously, we laugh at Steven letts rubber face & have fun pausing him & trying the same expressions, some things we hear and are taught we like & agree with, others we don’t & wait to see how things turn out. Many of us in my local Cong and family said right at the beginning that overlapping generations thing is going to have to change. I’m in no way a perfectionist and I don’t expect that of others.
    I’m sure there are loads of disfellowshipped ones going to survive the end/be resurrected, I serve a loving God not a high performance demanding one.I honestly have watched a lot of the YouTube videos, John Cedars, “wake up testaments” etc. and I’m thinking hmmm they were all guilt tripped growing up, or felt that they were never good enough, that’s not been my experience, and I think maybe it’s more of an American thing than an English thing, I suppose were more cynical over here? If anyone I talk to ever expresses that to me I just reassure them what they’re already doing is enough, because it is. If they want to do more good for them, if not good for them, we can’t earn salvation through any amount of work.I’m happy where I am at the moment, I know about the UN scandal, and other things etc.
    However I think being a Jdub has been good for me, most of the people I come across are genuine, yes there are some Judas like Jdubs, we protect ourselves by avoiding troubled ones, we’ve been in a few congregations and the basic group mentality is the same, some high performers, some slackers, some genuine, some troubled.
    Anyway mate that’s me so far on this day of this crazy life.
    What if we get to the end of it, die & there is nothing for eternity? What if what I’m doing is a load of rubbish? What if we evolved?
    For me the good outweighs the bad, I see people change for the better in many ways,
    Me too. It’s a good way of life for me, so for now I’m sticking with it.

  • dubstepped

    So what I found fascinating here is that he is an apologist for the JWs, but it seems like he's invented his own version of the cult inside the cult. Like he has his own rules, his own little circle of people that play by those rules, and somehow he's insulated from the rest of the cult. I mean, he has to hide in order to contact me so that his wife doesn't find out. It's so interesting to me. I'll post my reply to him below:

    I think a fundamental difference between you and I resides in the way that you kept saying that you "choose to believe". At a point I too chose to believe, and once I realized how much I was lied to and what was kept from me, I could no longer make that choice. I can't just believe without some solid evidence, and choosing belief means taking a leap of faith for me, something that I can no longer do. I have no trust.

    So then, I have to ask. Why do you have this trust? You've seen so much exposed from the organization. Or do you have trust? It honestly seems like you aren't really one of Jehovah's Witnesses, you're definitely going against direction from the faithful slave so you can't trust them implicitly as you are supposed to as a faithful servant of Jehovah. It seems like you're kind of an independent JW, a Christian more than a JW. I say that because Jehovah's Witnesses, while believing in Jesus, call themselves Christians but don't seem to exhibit his qualities but more reflect the authoritarian God that they name themselves after. Christians seem to show more mercy and love for everyone than JWs do. It was a big point of contention for my wife, when she was trying to reconcile the Jehovah of the Hebrew Scriptures with the Jesus of the Christian Greek scriptures. Jesus does not reflect the vindictive and violent God of the first half of the Bible.

    What do you think about supporting an organization that you know has created a culture where children are abused and members are not encouraged to go to the police? Why is the organization handling criminal matters in the first place? Does it bother you? How do you reconcile that?

    You're talking to me. You know that you're supposed to shun me. On one of the recent JW Broadcasting videos the member of the governing body literally threw people like me away in a demonstration like trash into a wastebasket. My parents threw me away, as did my siblings, as I had done to my own brother. My wife's family threw her away. Witnesses throw away their parents, their children, friends, other relatives, etc. You and I know that the organization says that it is loving, but you know that it's not, as you're here sending your love. You know that Jesus never shunned. How do you support this when it goes against who you are?

    I applaud you and have great respect for what you're doing in trying to be authentically you. You've been able to pick and choose what aligns with your core values and what doesn't and created this hybrid JW culture for yourself. Obviously it goes against the direction of the faithful slave, and you have worked that out somehow internally to be consistent with who you are. How do you feel about having to hide these discussions and these things that you read or watch? Even if it doesn't bother you, does it bother you that it would bother those around you? In other words, you're doing such an amazing job of being authentic, but yet it seems like you still really can't be authentic in the religion, not totally.

    Oh, and one last thing that I have to ask. Why DO you believe in Jehovah? I don't mean because people are helped by the Bible, as they are hurt too, as you're talking to one such person out of many, not to mention the numerous deaths surrounding the book and divisive beliefs over the centuries. And I don't mean a higher intelligence necessarily, as even I think there could be something out there greater than us humans, though I don't call that possibility God. And I don't mean that we're in the last days because of prophecy, because it isn't fair that if North Korea looks irritated then it's a sign and if North Korea looks like peace is coming then that's a sign, because it can't be both ways, and we could always be living during the Crusades or at times where the lifespan was super short and the common flu could wipe out millions. And I don't mean that it is has worked for you on some level, giving you a life that feels good or family and friends because so many people on the outside have that same thing too. And I don't mean because you love helping people because there are charities around the world that truly help people on a daily basis and people like me that clearly have a heart to help but that don't believe at all.

    So, why do you believe in Jehovah, specifically? Why that god out of all of the others? Why that god with his track record of killing more people in the Bible than Satan? Why that god despite his not reflecting Jesus? What qualities of Jehovah draw you, not qualities seen in someone like Jesus that are attributed to Jehovah, but why do you put your life, your trust, your choice, your everything in Jehovah? You told me a lot of what feel to be ancillary reasons, but why specifically Jehovah?

    I ask these questions because I'm genuinely interested. Again, like you I'm not trying to be condescending. I just see things differently. I'm not trying to convert anyone. I have no specific belief to convert anyone to. You've just described so much that sounds really tough surrounding the organization that you called yourself an "apologist" for, and haven't really given it enough praise to make it sound worth devoting one's everything to, hanging one's hopes on, and supporting while so many are hurt by it. I think I'm looking for those definitive reasons. Or maybe it's kind of what you said, it is a choice, it is something you feel is right but can't really put down in so many words.

    I did always struggle to connect. I asked my mom one time how I was supposed to connect to a god that I couldn't see, couldn't feel or talk to directly, a god that was all powerful but that there was nothing I could clearly connect to? I spent so long chasing that feeling. The only time I got it was when I was paying off the enormous tax debt and even then I wasn't doing what I was "supposed" to do according to the organization. I felt like I was being blessed despite the organization, not because of them, and it messed with my head. Then later I would just attribute all of that to the fact that I was doing smarter things and that therefore better things happened in my life. So even my connection that I thought I had ended up to be fleeting.

    Oh, and as an aside, you make a good point that evolution doesn't necessarily describe what started everything. It only shows how things changed, or evolved, throughout time. The point of origin, the abiogenesis, is something that still isn't understood. That doesn't necessarily mean that God was the start, not the God of the Bible, but it could. Even science has to leave room for that possibility. Science is interested in finding the truth, and challenging it over and over again, which is why even gravity is a theory. It is accepted as general truth, but it still must be challenged. They must allow for that. They can't explain abiogenesis anymore than a believer can explain how Jehovah could have existed forever, eternally, going back in time, with no beginning and no end. So not being able to explain something goes both ways.

  • dubstepped

    Alright, so hopefully those that were following along (if anyone really is) are caught up. I haven't heard back and I'm wondering if I will after this last email. Obviously I'm only posting excerpts. I left the personal niceties out. I like this guy. I think he means well, and I think he's sincere. I think many that believe are. I have no problem with that at all. I do have some problem with people that are sincere but that support such an awful organization that I feel does so little actual good in the world like the JWs, but still, he's trying to do good in his own way and working with what he has today. Who knows what mental and emotional and other tools he may have in the future that might help him leave the cult and maybe he does carry on belief in god, that's fine too. I hope I hear back, but I may have pushed too hard with my questioning. I only thought that if it was fair for him to question me, I should be able to do likewise, even if I maybe went too far with it for him. If I hear back I may update the conversation. He could just be busy with dub stuff, as he was for a bit last time.

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen

    Didn't read all of this but this guy is basically a 'catholic' jw in that he claims to believe (but not based on reason and logic), but does as he pleases anyway.

    I've noticed this disconnect between believing in JW and obeying watchtower is quite common in Brazil/South America

  • dubstepped

    "Catholic" JWs, I like that. I wonder if I knew dubs while I was in that had such differing beliefs and their own little created corners of the world that revolved around their independent JW mental status. I can kind of see how if one can make it what they want, not what it is, then perhaps it's easier to believe (after all, it's your own personal version) and stay.

  • Whynot

    Wow! I'm not an atheist but I have to say that I totally understand where you are coming from. Actually, I used to be an atheist. I find it absolutely dispicable that anyone would suggest killing youself because of your beliefs. Atheists can and DO enjoy life. Probably even better and more genuinely than most Christians I know.

    I see my kids and observe them and I can't help but think that they know love, need unconditional love and it really doesn't matter if there's a god or not. They know how to treat others and show compassion at a young age.

  • stuckinarut2

    Well, it all comes down to one thing: Either "The Truth" is True, or it is not.

    Also, if he REALLY values Truth and Honesty, he wouldn't be able to stay in the Organization!

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