In case you havent read any of my previous posts the situation is im in the process of fading, my wife's dad is an elder and has the annoying habit of telling the body of elders anything and everything my wife tells him in confidence. Over the years she's started to see how we cant tell her parents anything. Weather it be worries we have, music we listen to, movies we watch, decisions we make regarding our child etc.
Anyway. After learning more about this organization and thinking critically and logically im convinced it's not 100% truth. But unfortunately, because we were "good JW's" we have zero "worldly" friends. We also have no friends in the congregation because there's social clicks and difference in personalities (which is fair enough - my sense of humor is quite out there for a JW). So I've been wary of telling my wife any of the things I've learned or my intentions, simply because if she happens to tell her dad, even if she asks him "is it true that..." he'd flag us up to the body of elders and i can expect a "concerned elders" visit.
The other day she said this:
"It's so annoying. I'm going through a REALLY hard time lately and no one cares - the only time my mum rings is when we dont go to the meetings. She pests us all day until we answer the phone just to ask why we didn't go. I mean, im 26yo. Im not a child. If i want to do something, or DON'T want to do something, that's up to me. It's like we're being CONTROLLED or TOLD what to THINK and BELIEVE. Yeah, i haven't been on the ministry in ages - but I've not claimed to be perfect. I dont say a word when someone doesn't go the hall or slips up. That doesn't make me a bad person. Why is everyone only interested in us when they think we've done something wrong?
And sister X, she gives all this advice about how to live a good life but she's never worked a day in her life. Her husband is well off and she spends her days shopping or on the ministry. She has no idea what it's like in the real world with real world problems."
I wanted to open the floodgates of all the things i've learned but i held back and just listened. Im letting her flower this thought process. Anyway, this morning as we were making breakfast and playing with our child we had the following conversation:
Her: What <worried>
Me: It's about our religion. There's some things that concern me about it.
(Funnyly enough she calmed down)
Her: Like what?
Me: Well... you know when people leave. Like they dont want to be part of it anymore, they're treated the same as DF'ed people.
Her: ...do they?
Me: Yeah. But i don't think that's right. I mean let say brother so and so decided "you know what, i don't believe this anymore. I respect you, i have nothing against you but i don't believe its the truth", he'd be announced from the platform and everyone would have to cut him off.
Her: ...nooooo... that's only when you do something bad isnt it?
Me: No. And that's the thing. You can leave. If i were a Catholic or a Jew and i said "i don't believe this is the truth, im out" they'd just leave you alone. But with ours if you leave your family and friends cut you off.
Her: But what about my grandparents?
(Her grandparents have been inactive for over 20 years)
Me: Yeah that's the loophole. If you dont go for so many years they just leave you alone. But look at brother X.
Her: What about him?
Me: Well he stopped going, lived his life, and years later the witnesses convinced him to come back to the meetings. He came back and they called him into a judical for the things he did when he wasn't going the hall. Now, he doesn't go but he's DF'ed - so he's lost his family. He'd have been better not coming back. If they'd left him alone he'd've been alright. Why bring him back just to disfellowship him?
Her: That sounds rather underhanded.
Me: I know. And do you know why people are treated as DF'ed when they disassociate? (I explained about Bro Franz).
Her: That's wierd.
Me: I know. So i dont think it's 100% the truth. I think things will come out.
Her: Yeah we know things change. Things get updated.
Me: Take the Revelation book. If my dad were alive today and read the new version he'd call it apostasy. Because the version he read was "correct" according to the governing body.
(We then had a discussion about 2 witnesses needed to decide guilt and she agreed it's baloney)
Me: And you know what else i think it's kinda sneeky. If i didn't go for years and years and celebrate xmas and someone tells the elders, they'd call me into a judicial - if i turn up they take that as me accept that as me accepting the authority of the body of elders and would DF me. BUT if i told them i DONT accept the authority of that body as being god ordained theyd have no power and would leave me alone.
Her: What?!! Where'd you hear that?!
Me: Elders guidebook.
Her: <laughing> How did you get hold of that?
Me: Your dad leaves it lying around, i had a flick through. (Which is true, but i also have a PDF copy). But thats the thing. We're not told that. In one of the Watchtowers about DF it says TWO things are needed to be DF. 1. Serious sin and 2. Unrepentant. We're told they're DF for being unrepentant. But you know yourself that's not always the case.
(She was DF a few years ago and was reinstated a year later she was CLEARLY repentant but was DF anyway. Also there was a "funny" story her dad told at the dinner table with other elders and their families were all listening, they were talking about a judicial they sat on where someone was repentant but they DF him anyway <all laughed>.).
The discussion ended there. She agreed with my points which suprised me. No resistance at all.
Taking it slow though. Let's hope this works out.