Elder asking for help

by untruth 50 Replies latest jw experiences

  • DisArmed

    Welcome untruth,

    When I left Wally World I didn't try to persuade my wife or two adult children. I didn't make any great proclamation or statement about how I no longer believed. I just slowly stopped going to meetings and participating in any JW activities. I knew if I tried to convince or persuade them, the doors would close and they would shut down and feel they were being courageous and fighting the fine fight. (Sheesh) As they saw my disposition change and saw me prosper with my new lease on life my children started asking questions. I would answer their questions and eventually they came around and are both out of Wally World. It was a process and it took some time but I'm glad I did it that way. My ex was a different story. Even though she is one of the smartest people I know she continues to blindly follow the gb and won't admit to any reasoning when it contradicts them. Good luck with your journey and again, welcome.

  • LisaRose


    I put some tips together of what worked for other to help their family break free, hope it helps

  • zeb

    'take care of your health and build a support group from people living an honest life." I COULD NOT AGREE MORE.

    Start building nice folks into your life now little by little.

  • Scully

    At the beginning of 1993, leaving the JWs was the furthest thing from my mind. I was the stereotypical True Believer™. Mr Scully and I hosted a Congregation Book Study™ and Field Service Meeting™ in our home; we never missed a Meeting™ or Service™. We had 2 young children and another on the way. Within the year, all of that came crashing down around us. By the end of 1994, we had decided that as of January 1, 1995 we would never set foot in that Kingdom Hall™ again. It's a long story, and I've dispersed bits and pieces here and there on JWD over the past 15 years that I've been a member here.

    What I will tell you is this: with a True Believer™ you must SLOW DOWN. It's only natural to want to share everything you find, all at once in a massive memory dump, thinking that you know your spouse and that she would never betray you or your doubts. But that is exactly what will happen if she feels overwhelmed with information. She will literally freak out, if not overtly, she will keep it to herself and feel like the life she knows has ended.

    The key to a successful fade, with your relationship intact, is to slow things down.

    The final straw for Mr Scully and me (as I mentioned recently on another thread) was to read the discussion in the Insight and Aid books on the topic of lying.

    Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth and doing so with the intent to deceive or to injure him or another person.

    and then further on:

    While malicious lying is definitely condemned in the Bible, this does not mean that a person is under obligation to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it.

    It really started to bother me that Theocratic Warfare™ - the manipulation of information intended to deceive someone who is not entitled to truthful information - might be directed at JWs by the GB. With this being part of the foundation of its teachings, how exactly could I be sure that I wasn't being lied to by the Organization™? What if that was its entire modus operandi? I remembered the hype around 1975, and it was bugging the living $h!t out of me to see how the history had been rewritten, blaming "overzealous" individuals for raising our hopes. Well, who was responsible for publishing those Watchtower and Awake articles telling people that Armageddon™ was no more than "mere months" away? Or that this was the time to sell your homes and Move to Where the Need Is Great™? And then there was the gradual shifting of The Generation™ from being those who saw the events of 1914 and would have been able to discern their meaning, to those who were merely alive in 1914... what was the purpose of those subtle changes if not to keep JWs (and their donations) from jumping ship? And now this whole new teaching around overlapping generations?? I was actually cynical enough to say to Mr Scully toward the end of '94 that The Society™ would have to come up with something in the near future because we had just crossed the 80-year mark since 1914, and sure enough, a year later, this overlapping generation nonsense came out.

    Anyway, what I did with those little blurbs in the Insight book, was to ask my True Believer™ former Catholic-JW-convert husband to help me understand who had the authority to decide who was "entitled" to truthful information, and who was not. What would be a proper motive for withholding truthful information? Moreover, did I have the right to withhold truthful information from someone I felt was not entitled to it, or was that privilege just reserved for the GB in Brooklyn? What if the GB decided that JWs weren't entitled to honesty? How would we know if or when they were lying to us by withholding information, when everything they tell us is called The Truth™? How could we, in good conscience, go Door-to-Door™ while wondering if the message we were trying to spread was untrue on any level?

    He couldn't answer me. The more he thought about it, the more disturbed he got. We started skipping Meetings™ in favour of doing fun stuff with our kids. I would spend the Book Study™ upstairs in my room with the new baby, listening in via baby monitor (or not). In short order, the group was moved elsewhere, and we never bothered going after the first Meeting™ at the new place.

    We've been *done* with the JWs for almost 22 years, and above all the other scandals and such that you'll come to learn about if you spend any amount of time here, it was the thought that the Organization™ regards its membership as not deserving of truth that decimated my desire to have any further part of it.

  • lookout

    untruth, you have to get that woman in line. you are her head, and what you say goes. period. as for the gb, I seem to remember that Peter was on the 'gb', and Paul had no qualms calling him out on his sh*t...in front of everyone. so stop worrying about what this means or what that means. stick to your study of the bible, and be willing to deal with the consequences of being right.

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    When it comes to doubts and revelations about JW beliefs and doctrines, I think everyone has a silver bullet with their name on it. What I mean is that something that might rock you to your very core (like a silver bullet) may only be only of passing interest to someone else.

    Normally I'd never recommend anything like this but exiting from a cult like religion without ruining your life takes strategy and cunning (reverse spiritual warfare) . If I were you, I'd stop talking to her about all of this until you've gotten yourself and this elder situation squared away without raising any red flags.

    After some time has passed and you've been carrying on as you normally would have and saying nothing more about your doubts and what you've said to her so far has faded a bit in her memory, you could start complaining of health issues. For example, chest pains....anxiety...stomach pains etc. especially when preparing for meeting parts or just before you give them (don't over do it though) . After a time where you've canceled a part or a talk or have missed a meeting now and them, you could visit your doctor (just for a regular checkup of course) but come home and tell your wife that he thinks you've been under too much pressure and responsibility and could be getting an ulcer and having other stress related issues. He wanted to put you through a barrage of tests and give you anxiety medicine but you told him you're afraid to go down that road just yet. In lieu of medication, he recommends that you monitor the food you eat and severely reduce the level of stress and responsibility you're currently carrying. Tell her that he told you to listen to the signals you're body is giving you before things get any worse. Tell her you're going to step down for awhile to see if things improve.

    I don't like to advise anyone to be deceitful but sometimes the end justifies the means. You and your wife along with the rest of us have been deceived big time (you've even put off having a family for goodness sake). Our minds were bent so that we twisted our lives around those who lied to us and we've had to do whatever it takes to get untangled.

    As someone else said, she may notice that she's not as special as she thought she was, now that you're not an elder. Subtly mention once in awhile that you've noticed that people are treating you differently...they seem cool and distant etc. and it bothers you that people are putting too much emphasis on position and are looking up to men too much.

    What got the ball rolling for me was when a strong well meaning JW friend forwarded me an email about Beth Sarim thinking it was really interesting and was proof of how much the organization had progressed. I on the other hand was blown away that I, a former Bethelite, had never heard about this. For me, Beth Sarim was the "silver bullet "with my name on it. I was shocked and it gave me permission to allow myself to search the internet for other things I didn't know about my religion but should have.

    Watch your wife's reactions to certain topics. Look for that "silver bullet" and try to figure out what her area of concerns are, be it the blood issue or child molesters or use of the contributions or flip flops on doctrines. Act as if you are genuinely researching these things (which you are) and need her to explain her take on them, to you . I did this with my wife. Rather than putting her on the spot, I acted as if I needed her help in clarifying things. In the process of her explaining her beliefs to me, she too woke up. If I'd have been confrontational or started showing her the glaring inconsistencies in the beliefs, she may have run the other way.

    Remember, she thinks you are a "fully in" "spiritually unmovable" elder....yet you have woken up. She too may be less firmly entrenched than you think she is. I've found that many JW's are repeating their lines and moving as directed, each one thinking that the other is fully convinced and that they're the only one who's having doubts. The truth of the matter is that, most are only one or two pieces of new evidence, presented to them in the right manner, from waking up themselves. On some level they know this and it frightens them terribly. You must tread lightly...this is not an emergency.

  • ttdtt

    One thing to do is to openly talk about all the BS and what must be the case in all Elder Bodies - horrible dumb decisions - disagreements - and stupidity.

    Also talk about the things the really bother you as an elder - the lack of love - the opposite of what jesus would do with helping people - how you feel like a cop and not a shepherd - how really the is NO training on how to really help people - just to strong arm them.

    Talk about the policies that now shift the Legal Burden on elders and shield the GB - talk about how the Sex Abuse rules are stupid - and the 2 witness rule is crap.

    Talk about how you are frustrated as an elder - and how it should not be this way - and how its TOP DOWN that creates this.

    If nothing else happens - she will understand why you want to "Resign" as an elder in time.

    So seeds of doubt at this level is a better first step than just hitting doctrine.

  • untruth

    The response to my request for help has been amazing from many of you. Much of the advice has been excellent. There’s too many to list by name but I’m very grateful. I’m trying to take it slow with my wife even though it’s very difficult because I want to get on with my life. Yes, I was a bit nervous as I clicked send on my post thinking there’s no going back. I do think I’ve become a better husband and I believe she’s noticed that. Maybe it’s because a big weight has been removed as now even though I’m still serving as an elder I don’t stress out like I used to about issues going on in the congregation. I spend so much more time with her and have had more time for dates which is great.

    Asking her questions is great advice instead of just coming out and showing her, along with mentioning doubts I have and doing research together. I also have difficulty commenting at meetings. I used to comment a lot now I do it once or maybe twice to keep appearances. I’m still being asked to give talks at assemblies and it’s tough to say no because I don’t want anyone to figure out something is going on. One good thing is that many in our two families are out so fortunately we’ll have a lot of support if I’m able to help her. Unfortunately we don’t have children but we’d love to have kids. I agree that all is not well at headquarters with finances, child abuse, lack of growth, etc.

  • FayeDunaway

    I am not sure if someone else has said it, but I would stick as closely as possible to the Bible if I was pointing something out to her that is contrary to witnesses. You will need to do a lot of research. You may need to get out the kingdom interlinnear somewhere down the line. But use the Bible. Eventually you may be able to show outside research from random websites (not apostate anything, ever..until she's well out mentally.) Be slow (I know it's hard! You want to start living your own life finally!!!!) but be slow, or your family will be more jeopardized.

    It seems like there is much more glorification of the GB since I've left, their word seems to be considered on par with the Bible now, so this is going to be tricky.

    Maybe more than specific doctrine, tho, is a change of outlook. Opening your eyes lets you see people in a different light. You see the genuineness and goodness in people who are not witnesses. Maybe make comments to your wife about people who you know who are good people who are not witnesses, and share a more positive vibe with her regarding living in the here and now. And most importantly, shower her with attention and affection, so she never needs to doubt that you love her.

  • smiddy

    Welcome untruth to the forum we wish you well in eventually helping your wife see the TTATT

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