What made you stay "in" even when you knew it wasn't the "truth"?

by mentalclarity 70 Replies latest jw experiences

  • mentalclarity

    @doubtfully yours - I completely understand. I think of some of my family who are a little older and this is all they have known and have 40 years or more invested in relationships inside the org- It would be hard to start from scratch on the outside and frankly I know so many that just do the bare minimum just to be able to stay in and associate with their friends and family.

  • StephaneLaliberte

    I thought that "we" were doing more good than harm. I also felt that we were the closest to what I considered the truth at the time. I felt that the congregation was cleaner than the world outside.

    I knew the TTATT for more than 10 years before leaving, still, convinced of the above, I stayed. Yet, even this vision slowly eroded. I'd say that the biggest milestones were the following:

    One day, while on a road trip, my wife, my Dad and I counted the number of JW couples we personally knew and who's marriage ended in divorce. Result: 99 couples! That was about half of the people we knew; hence, we were no better than the world!

    Later, my grand mother passed. She was a good person. Yet, she was a devout catholic. I couldn't envision a just and loving God who would hate her simply for believing in the trinity or immortality of the soul. The fact is that she was always there for everyone and she was simply a loving mother. Just about the same time, while reading the greek scriptures, I came to the conclusion that the most important teaching is in fact our actions, not our beliefs. Satan knows the truth and his action condemns him. Yet, Jesus sat with "sinners" who were likely people filled with more love than the religious ones. Coming to this realization made me understand that I was not in the right religion or the best religion. I was simply in "a" religion that I was used to.

    Still, I felt it allowed me to be spiritual.

    Finally, I cam to understand that I would not be able to teach my kids my beliefs without running the risk of eventually be called out as an apostate by one of them. That day, I realised that my religion was hindering my spirituality and that of my children.

    So I stayed a little longer, out of fear in regards to some family members and slowly faded out.

  • FedUpJW

    Family. If I completely walk away at this point in time there will be NO ONE to look after elderly family. For them I stay...for now. When they pass the oh so "loving" asshats in charge are going to get more than an earful of why I am FedUp.

  • jwfacts

    Family. If I completely walk away at this point in time there will be NO ONE to look after elderly family. For them I stay...for now. Link

    That is particularly loving of you, considering your elderly family will cast you aside if you left.

  • mentalclarity

    @FedUpJW- I never had thought of that reason. jwfact is right- that's very loving of you.

    @StephaneLaLiberte - seeing that depression, divorce, etc happened pretty frequently in congregations too made me start thinking it wasn't that special a religion. Sounds like your grandmother's genuine love helped debunk the myth about "worldly" people.

    One of the main reasons I left when I did was because I couldn't imagine teaching these things to my kids and I started getting the feeling I was really going to mess them up psychologically if I did.

  • Chook

    It took a while to resonate the whole I've been duped thing, but the moment I realised that it's not the truth I didn't attend another meeting.

  • scratchme1010

    I was born in, so I was "in" against my choice for quite some time. I never bought that Jehovah nonsense. However, at some point I decided to give it a try and learn a good life lesson about trusting my own instincts. When I decided that I wanted to leave, I figured that I cannot just walk away from the first 23 years of my life. I needed to prepare. My departure was gradual, especially since it was important to me to leave in my terms and because I said so, not because of their stupid shunning practices. That took planning and patience, so that's why I stayed "in".

    I am aware of research that has been conducted in cults and other oppressive groups and relationships, and what they show is that the main reasons people stay are:

    They continue to believe in the cult teachings or leadership
    To protect their investment
    To hold onto family
    Some other relationships can be real and solid
    Pride / embarrassment

    I had none of those reasons for me to stay, I grew up in a rather bad family environment, one that I needed to protect myself from. I never bought that paradise on Earth crap. Actually, the belief that I have the most problem with is one that it's not unique of the WT. I never cared about the concept of Satan, always found it too contrived and convenient.

    I never had any friends or strong relationships with anyone, reflecting and looking back, I think that there were so many people pushing so hard to deny their realities of their sad pathetic lives, that I can see how a person like me would make them feel uneasy.

    I was more embarrassed for being seen preaching, even though I was raised doing that and I was quite good at it, than anything else. Also since I was born in, I felt that it wasn't my decision to join them, so leaving them felt quite an easy decision in that sense, that is, that wasn't my choice, I'm out.

    I was never afraid of "the world". I felt that my life started the moment I decided to leave the JWs. And I was quite right.

  • tiki

    Bad habits are hard to break...

  • tor1500


    Unfortunately, I knew it was not the absolute truth before I joined. I have been to many places of worship and the only thing different about each of them is their doctrine. The same messed up folks are everywhere. There will always be those who take up the seat next to them so they have to be ALWAYS asked to move their belongings. Always be elders and elder'ettes, Pharisees, gossips, flirts, horny folks, gays and closet gays, folks that like to mess with underage children. So to me it does not matter where you choose to worship. The same nuts everywhere. I think of places of worship as a rehab for the mean spirited.

    I am still there. I like my congregation as nutty as they are. I see through their comments and know that is all they are. Good comments. Most witnesses want to be good but they are fighting something inside of them.

    You see the Bible is like a mirror. It will make you face yourself. So that's why many witness's are always on the go and only have head knowledge of the Bible it's too painful for them to really read the Bible and change. So they hope to get bible studies to hide the fact that they won't and will not change. They are not ready to be accountable. That's why many are witness's because the society can be blamed for their behavior, not them. Many on x witness sites always blame the org for how they acted but deep inside we all know we are not supposed to shun folks.

    Again I like the friends and the Bible helps me deal with my life and others. Not sure how much longer I'll be there.

    I think many stay because of family and that's all they know. Some stay because of the belonging gene, a place where they fit they could care less about the doctrine. Some are afraid of stepping out and finding out that most people are cool. The org says watch out for worldly folks when really you have to be more careful of witness's. Jw's are on planet earth which is the world so they are worldly too.

    I guess you can apply this same question to a person who stays in a not so healthy relationship. Who knows. Only the shadow do.


  • pale.emperor

    I bet you can all relate to my reasoning:

    Even if it's isn't the truth isn't it a lovely, safe place to be?

    If I leave, I lose my entire family. I'll just stay and make a go of it.

    Sure, the org has made mistakes - but god uses imperfect people.

    Of course, all this reasoning is just delaying the inevitable. You either become depressed and stay in or you leave and live your life on your terms to the full. Sure, I've got no family now apart from my little girl and zero friends but I'm thousands times happier.

Share this