What to Expect When You Leave JW.Org - Life After the Witnesses

by passwordprotected 3 Replies latest jw experiences

  • passwordprotected

    The old-timers here will know me and my journey from born-in Jehovah's Witness, pioneer and - latterly - elder. I've also written a couple of updates over the last 2 years or so, covering how I went from the JWs to a frantic need to hold onto the idea of an all-powerful Abrahamic god to a sceptic to an atheist.

    However, I wanted to cover a couple of things to expect when you leave the Watchtower religion and its tentacle-like control over your life.

    Birthdays and Xmas

    If you've got kids, do it. Embrace these worldly and commercial traditions for what they are; the chance to have fun, to celebrate and give gifts. The "pagan" element isn't anything to worry about. Research what "pagan" actually means and realise that it isn't anything to be scared of.

    By the same token, expect to be a little uncomfortable about participating in these celebrations. That's ok. It's normal. We've all felt that way. It doesn't last long.


    It's all bollocks and corrupt as fuck, but get informed, have opinions - even if they aren't popular. But don't expect people to see eye-to-eye with you, and be careful bringing up the subject in company. I made this mistake a few times and dropped a few clangers due to my immaturity.

    And vote. It's your right. Encourage your children to have an interest in politics, encourage them to vote when they're old enough.


    Be proactive. Join clubs, seek out new hobbies and interests and find people who share them. Meetup.com can be a good place to start.

    I didn't do any of this when I left, and as a result I'm don't have a social circle as such. But then I have joint custody of my three children, so that takes up a lot of my time, and I'm fortunate in that my girlfriend's friends and family circle is huge and they've taken me in with open arms, and are fully aware of my background.

    The temptation is to get involved in another church setting, which is what I did. Yes, it will provide a ready-made social life, but it will be absolutely formed around acceptance of certain doctrines and beliefs. Sound familiar?

    Religion and Faith

    Once a mind has been open it should remain open, in my opinion. Much as you eventually took nothing from the Governing Body's table at face value, do not accept any belief pattern, religious or philosophical idea at face value.

    Research. Analyse and keep your mind open.

    Don't be afraid of not 100% believing anything. That's absolutely fine. Few things in life are absolute, especially in the genre of religion and faith.

    Do, however, believe in yourself.

    You are much stronger mentally and emotionally than the average man/woman in the street. Massively so. Place huge amounts of faith in you, in what you've achieved by freeing yourself from mental slavery and having the courage to act on it.

    Few people can wrap their brains or imaginations around what it's like to have been part of a controlling religious cult and escaped from it. It boggles most peoples' minds. That's because survivors are amazing people.

    Just like you are.

    Enjoy the flavours and aromas of mental freedom. You've earned it. Experiment. Get a tattoo.

    I've been out since 2008 and few weeks go by when I don't savour what I accomplished.

  • aubergine


    Thank you! Your post is so helpful to me, and no doubt will be to many others. The topics you covered give me an idea of how to go about living in a society that I know little about! What I was taught as a born in JW (57)

    years ago has been inaccurate to say the least. I won't go into the details of my experiences because in the two months since I left everything I've read are only variations of my own story.

    I can't add anything really except to say in the hundreds and hundreds of posts on JWR, (recently discontinued to the dismay many members) , as well as videos, this discussion group, etc. throughout the internet all ring true in every case that I've seen. That says a lot about evil placed upon innocent people.

    As can be seen, I've devoted many hours on this. I never read apostate materials until after I left. JW Facts was the first. Paul Grundy has done so much good by his comprehensive and compassionate site.

    I especially appreciate that you said how strong those are to have left such a powerful and dangerous cult. I left only 2 months ago.It hit me that all the many many things I've inwardly strongly disagreed with were legitimate! Of course, the very thought of an open question or even a subtle hint of it would be unthinkable!

    I never doubted theorganization through. Never, to me I believed every single word from the platform, the literature was directly from God. No question. A channel of communication exclusive to the GB. I l have lived my life in fear and guilt everyday. As it was , most of my questions were about the inconsistencies of the Bible and God. It didn't just didn't add up.

    Having realized the TTATT has in this very short period of time lifted the biggest weight imaginable off of me. But none of us need to imagine such a weight since we've lived under it.

    Great that you have a big family to love and be loved by! Happy for you!

    So, again, thank you for the guidance and acknowledgement of the courage all of the ex-JW have. So kind of you for taking the time to do this. I will save it and reread many times!

  • cofty

    Great post PWP, good advice.

  • Phizzy

    Thanks for dropping in and helping newly exited JW's with your excellent advice.

    I too have been out since 2008, but got to the non-Theist or Atheist position a tad quicker than you, but that was just my luck rather than any cleverness on my part.

    I realised when I left that after 58 years in the Cult I was woefully ignorant in many areas of knowledge and of life.

    What helped me take the right path was a determination to lead an evidence based life, an approach that tends to give one a fully functioning Bullshit Meter, so all the Snake Oil Salesmen out there, of whatever hue, have a hard time selling anything to me.

    Building new friendships is not easy, but as I have become a much nicer person than I was as a JW, I have managed to forge some really good links.

    All the best to you and yours PWP, and all the best to all on the journey to freedom and happiness that is to be found on the road away from the JW Cult/Scam.

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