When You Were A JW Did You Really Understand The Religion and What You Were Getting Into?

by minimus 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • smiddy3

    Am I the only idiot here that converted when I was about 20 years old ? True at that time I was in a vulnerable state and a co-worker shared some scriptures with me and gave me some literature .

    I had always been curious about the Bible and its message brought up believing it was the word of GOD.

    But not actually being born into a religious family.

    And as the saying goes curiosity killed the cat

    It took me 33 years to see the light and wake up.

  • Ficklemagpie

    No Smiddy3 fellow idiot here, I was 26 when I got babtized, fell for the whole lot "hook line and sinker". I thought it was wonderfull, love bombed, invited to homes for tea etc, Held the Elders and c/o up as gods, Regular pioneered blah blah blah. Now I hate the cult with every core of being. Left 4yr ago after 30yrs and never going back.

  • The Old Testicle
    The Old Testicle

    I was in a group of teenagers in my congregation and one by one they were getting dipped so I thought, "Why not?"

    At this time there was no shunning policy (which, I believe started in the early 80s).

    I was pretty well versed in the history re CT Russell and Rutherford as these fine upstanding gentlemen had been covered in a Tuesday night study book (Babylon the Great has fallen - God's Kingdom Rules - this might have been the title ?????). It was turgid and hard going but there was a sanitised version of the history with great emphasis placed on the imprisonment of Rutherford and his cohorts.

    In respect of the fact that I was getting into a religion, I was fully cognisant. As to the whole shunning thing - it had yet to be invented as a loving and caring way to bring us all back into the fold.

  • minimus

    The shunning has been around for years before 1980. It got worse after. I remember not being able to talk to my aunt when I was a kid in the early sixties because she was d f’d.

  • Fognomore

    I had no idea what I was getting into - it’s made me do so much research. Please look up Undue Influence and how it pertains to being a child and born in ......

  • LongHairGal


    No, they lied to me and totally misrepresented what the JW religion was all about. The people who studied with me led me to believe everyone was equal and there was no clergy class (they actually have a plainclothes clergy with titles). They also made it sound as if they cracked some code in the bible.

    If I had known what it was really all about, I would never have gotten involved with the Witnesses.

  • fulltimestudent

    Quote: "Many Witnesses in my opinion know nothing about the religion. They don’t understand the history, the doctrines or the Bible."

    That's my impression also. Over the years I was associated with some 10 congregations and formed the view that less than 20% of witnesses really knew much more than the basics. The majority may have been able to turn up a few texts in the bible to prove something, but a deeper discussion would have seen them at a loss. Being a good witness was a matter of having a good memory.

    Quote: "Am I the only idiot here that converted when I was about 20 years old ? True at that time I was in a vulnerable state and a co-worker shared some scriptures with me and gave me some literature ."

    NO! You're not the only one. I think I was about 17 and probably could be described as vulnerable. This was the early 1950's. WW2 was not that far past, and Europe was still struggling. A movie (of all things-grin) had an affect on me, It was called , "The Boy With Green Hair," about a kid who's hair turned green and would stay green until the world tried to be peaceful.

    I was also a bit of a fan of Dame Mary Gilmore, who could ask some penetrating questions, like: "If there is a god, who will he take to to heaven, the war hero bomber pilot who dropped bombs on innocent civilians and killed many, or the civilians that he killed?" In spite of being a bit studious, no-one had taught me critical thinking skills, and I wasn't smart enough to work it out for myself. I'd become something of a pacifist and when the Korean war started i wanted to refuse the draft that the Menzies' government started. As I tried to work out what I could do, the JW's became news because of their stand against military service. So I went up to one on the street (doing magazine work as it was called then) had a chat, he invited me to the PT next day. So I cut short my customary sunday sailing, and went to the talk. Ted Jarascz gave the talk, so I got intro'ed to him though I thought he was not impressed by my colorful shirt or fashionable buzz cut hair. So I kept going, went to court as a conscientious objector, but the magistrate ruled that I did not have a conscience. Since the Society would gave no advice on what to do, a group of us (i.e. JW kids) decided to obey the direction to report, but refused to obey military orders. That seemed to cause some indecision in Canberra as they took a few weeks to come up with a way to handle us, which in the end boiled down to taking us to another magistrates's court finding us guilty of something and handing us over to the army to be jailed for the two years we should have served in the army.

    The army bureaucracy decided I had not had a proper medical so had me examined by an army Dr, who asked me what it was all about and made his own decision that I was right and the army wrong and exempted me. Luck was on my side because I was still a dumb kid who lucked in on that day. Took me near 40 bloody years to wake up to what a bloody fool i'd been, I read and re-read some of the stuff that Freddy F. had written in the red book (I think the title was, Life Everlasting in the freedom of the Sons of God, thought about all the "Ifs" that Freddy discussed and concluded that 1975 was a bit iffy.

    I became even more convinced when (about August/September of 1976) Nathan K and Freddy spoke to the Sydney elders at the Greenacre Assembly Hall. Nathan was fighting the cancer that eventually killed him and likely hoping that Freddie was right and 1975 would see the end. But Nathan got straight to the point and said to us that there was not enough time left in 1975 for all the things that Freddy said would happen, to actually happen (implying that they'd been wrong to peddle 1975) and gave Freddy a hard look as he said it. The talk left me wondering, that if old YHWH guided the decisions of the WTS and the JWs, how the bloody hell had he guided them to this point? Freddy got up to try and explain, but nothing he said to me made sense any more.

    Then the next year, the WTS sent Doug. Held out to Aust, to rouse us all up by saying that the big A could still be 18 years away. I stuck around for another 15 years before getting booted out, which led to my wife saying she was in spiritual danger and needed to divorce me.

    So there it is - I can only excuse myself by stating the obvious, What a bloody fool I'd been.

  • wozza

    Speaking of fools ,I put my hand up. Met my first wife when she was living away from her parents who were JWs.

    Eventually found out what they were and went to a meeting in about 1974 and love bombed.

    Though cynical about their religion I accepted a study eventually from an elder who said 1975 October was the end ,but first wifes mother disagreed with this , I saw the problem and stopped studying, this should have been a warning but no.

    We moved away had babies and I found out my wife was doing a study ,I was not happy but was convinced by her study conductor to have another look at it. I was worried for my babies sakes how the world was going and had many questions and troubles about my past including spiritism, rape ,molestation etc - yeah I was ripe and vulnerable. I was really taken by the study conductors way and agreed to study with a brother again in 1980 ,but he was easily twisted in a knot by my reasonings so again I quit.

    Did I end it there ? No another few brothers tried to get me on side as the sisters did their best to act sweet and get my wife in . Next they sent a Russian/chinese guy who I was drawn to for his personality and his bible knowlege ,and I again studied in 1981.

    There was so little anti JW literature in those days ,none at the library so I ran out of missiles in my arsenal and gradually accepted the cunning arguments he presented ,though there was this little voice in my heart. he seemed to have the answers to the problems of the past with the spiritistic practises of my past life , hope for my children ,and thinking that no one eventually will have to live through horrors I and others have lived through ,yeah I was prime meat for the WTS.

    1983 I was baptised and zealous and my wife and I were successful in studying with many people. I believed the WT history book about it itself that it was "candid" but as the years went by that little voice spoke to me on many occassions usually at times of elders hipocrisy. My pioneer wife left us for the world ,brought my kids up and re-married to a sister ,who after we married told me her elder father had molested her for years , and so began about 15 years of sorting this out with the society (which never did because of the 2 witness rule), during which time I had a mental breakdown and hospitalized several times.Only one sister visited ,love amongst the bothers what a joke!

    About 2002 I formed a case against an elder in another state where I lived for a while , it was serious misconduct on his part but I had 3 JW witnesses to the conduct against me and informed the Society in Sydney

    Needless to say he got away with it but I had the evidence needed to show the two witness rule is BS and started me on a journey of finding out the TRUE history of Jehovahs Witnesses. I think the little voice in my heart had started to yell at me !

    In my experiences I discovered Deut ch 22 v25-27 and others which was used at the Australian Royal Commission against the hypocrisy of the WTS

    Recently had some young witnesses come to my door and spoke to glazed eyes sadly ,but I hope ones read this and run away from the servitude of the WTS ,I did'nt for years, I did'nt provide for my financial future sufficiently and now I live on a pension because I believed the WTS shit and thought the end would come decades ago while the governing body live in relative opulence without a care in the world ,the witnesses are paying for their comforts.

  • Iamallcool

    Big No! Since that I’m deaf since birth and I was also born in JW, I was very gullible!!! The more I read on the internet about JW, I was very disgusted about how they conned me!!! I didn’t leave JW because of that. I just drifted away from the organization after I was removed as a MS. I was a MS for 3 years. I have been thinking about writing a book about my experiences since birth as a deaf JW. Time will tell if I will plan to have a book written about my life.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    Unfortunately, hindsight is always 20-20.

    I know this doesn't answer your question, but to simply answering "No" would be stating the obvious!

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