What do you think would have happened to you if...
I found out the TTATT by reading just WT publications. You need a very poor memory to remain a loyal WT believer. But that is what most witness's have. A quote from a talk in the last convention said "If you read WT only publications you will be protected from apostasy".
For those of you who have actually experienced this for real, please share your experience.
Well, I guess I qualify.
I was essentially born in and was raised with the beliefs but even as a kid I had questions whose answers didn't really make sense. Such as when I wondered about all the children and babies of so called "wicked tribes" that were slaughtered in the name of YHWH and those that died in the flood. I reasoned that these were innocent and were executed for no better reason than being born to "wicked" people and not because they were deserving. Even then I found it a bit hard to imagine every person in the world other than Noah's family were beyond redemption and forgiveness. Why would a loving god do or command such things? As a kid I questioned and the answers didn't make sense, this problem of evil. There seemed to be much that was just accepted and not discussed, such as the creation account and Adam/Eve being at apparent odds with evolution and the fossil record (I was big into dinosaurs and the history of animals)
As a teenager, such questions festered and caused me some amount of distress as more blatent and obvious inconsistencies arose. Tthe nature of god, jesus, angels and demons, all of which there seemed no real evidence for other than hearsay. The number of different beliefs based on the same book and the number of non christian beliefs had me questioning why I thought what I believed was true. Why any of it was true. It seemed there was an evolution of belief as well. Why would god confuse his children so? Again the problem of evil reared it ugly head when considering the immient destruction of the vast majority of humankind, and again I reasoned that not all non witnesses were deserving of destruction for no better reason than not being witnesses. By this time I had a bit more experience and knew people that I didn't think deserved such a fate. And of course, being a teenager I yearned for a path to make my own and rebelled against the fate I was told was inevitable.
Anywho, I made up my mind that whatever the result I wanted no part of the fate foretold by desert nomads. I moved out when I turned 18 and stopped going to meetings, over a short period of time. I made friends and dated whomever I wished. I did drugs and partied hard. I learned to play bass guitar and played in hard rock bands. I never looked back, though I was in a hall twice since age 20, once for a memorial and once for my brother's baptism (he's since left as well). This was by the mid 80s, well before the internet, I never read any "apostate" literature or met another xjw until around 2004, when I joined a meetup group, then this site.
So, I basically just decided to live a life I wanted and roll the dice. LIke anyone.
What the final catalyst was for me has always been something I wonder about. I almost woke up after the Jonestown event in 1977 because there was so much information about cults in the news. I remember saying to my husband "by this definition, Christianity itself is a cult!" With that thought I decided to ignor the obviously cultish aspects of JWs. I mean, Jesus was cool, right? Then I got really busy just trying to be a mother to what ended up being four children and keep up the regimen of being JW...never was good enough. At some point I think we were encouraged to read old publications but by the time I got around to doing it the admonition was to NOT read them. I missed that memo and read The Commentary on the Letter of James and was so excited about the admonition so to love and fairness that were in that letter. I was scolded by a Pioneer for reading that book and had no idea why. 1995 came with the first change in the generation....stored that in my brain with a big ?. I became the subject of another 'sisters' gossip and slandering of my character during the following 5 years...that wore me down and allowed me to look a little more objectively at the teachings. We were 'studying' the Revelation book for the umpteenth time (it seemed) and my children were leaving the nest and then...the biggest bombshell! My husband announced he was Done with meetings and JWs. I was devastated! Then we got the Internet and I started looking up stuff on archeology and other science related interest and voila! The so called 'truth' just became ridiculous. I didn't look at an exjw site for another 3 - 4 years but by then I was totally out. So, yes...the Internet had a big part in my learning TTATT. Would I have left without the Internet? I think I would have with all that I'd gone through personally...lack of love, etc...but I think my mental state would have been worse. I guess I should add that in 1999 I was treated for depression and given SSRI antidepressants. The doctor said it would 'reset' my serontinine level (or something like that) Whatever, it brought me to a mental point where I basically was at a point pre-indoctrination level. (I decided that I had been clinically depressed my entire life of being JW and didn't know it because it was my constant state of mind). I looked at and listened to everthing I had thought was 'the truth' and just said, "this is bs and how did I ever believe it?!" This is it in a nutshell but really, the process is just that...a process. There were things that happened during that transition that I am not proud of but leaving JWs was not one of those things. Leaving JWs was the best and most significant event of my life!
I came out of the org around the same time that Franz did. I learned of it after I left, but it turns out we were on similar paths at the time. Only he knew a lot more. I was 15. I was DA'd for reasons that still befuddle me as I was never baptised. My mom is the one that insisted because I said I didn't want to go anymore.
It has been the bane of my life because I am labeled apostate, simply because my mom says I "know the truth and rejected it." Whatever. There was no truth and that was what I discovered as I started "moving towards baptism". I didn't do it so there is that. Still, my mom and others are JWs. My mom is no longer a part of my life, but in spite of her wishes, I haven't forgotten that I ever HAD a mother (!)
Anyway, it is a hateful and ugly organization that works to create hateful and ugly people.
I came into the JW religion a few years after 1975.
So, if I found out The Truth about The Truth in the early '80s, I would still be young and there would have been less mental anguish about the whole thing because I only would have wasted a few years there.
The fact that there was no internet then wouldn't have mattered as long as I knew it was garbage. Having no family there and few friends meant no loss.
Unfortunately, this was not the case and I wasted two decades there. But, at least I held onto my full-time job and am retired now. I will never know if I would have been more of a "success" if I never was in the Jehovah's Witness religion since I am not really an ambitious person.
However, I am grateful to be out and away from the mind-control and other unhealthy thought processes in the religion.
I am at the point now where I'm not crying over spilled milk anymore....I just know I am done with religion and would never get involved with any group again.