From David Jay:
Leaving a cult leaves you with an ache that is never satisfied by
joining a mainstream religion or merely stating you are now atheist or
So true; even more than that, the cult experience is unique because cults are a very powerful clique.
As JW's, we were part of a very small group that knew why we existed, why the world was chaotic, why bad things happened, and we had a very bright and secure future.
Our small group was going to live through the world's worst apocalypse, and form the nucleus of the new order, the new system, the new world (whatever the term they are using now).
That is powerful stuff.
Of course, it was fake; the theology is badly flawed and if you start thinking too much, or ask difficult questins, or when you are not part of the in crowd in the hall, it can be a real living hell.
But the feeling of belonging was strong.
I would guess that many who have left occasionally pine for the old feeling of security once in a while; I do.
Of course, that is fleeting, and that place I remember does not exist anymore, because I have changed.
I reject the idea that any man or group of 'anointed' has the right to tell me what to believe about god, or what to wear, or think.