@StarryNight - Would be great if there was one place where old user names were being matched up with the new ones, but everyone has been scattered all over the place. I'm the same name on this site as at JWR. Tony Brock on FB has a thread going there where he's asked people to list out their JWR names so he knows, a few other people have also done the same thing there as well. I think a few others are doing the same thing on Reddit as well. I haven't seen anybody start an individual thread on here to do that. Sounds like a good idea though. If you start one I'll definitely add a post to it, though mine is obvious.
Message from Designer Stubble to the former JWR members
Started the thread if anyone wants to list their usernames - https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/6305477671518208/jwr-usernames-list
I'm still struggling to get what was so difficult about putting up a lead page saying something like:"It is with great regret blah blah that we have decided to close down JWR on [30th June] at midnight EST. This is not negotiable and there will be no discussion on this matter. Please save any information you require, take email addresses from people with whom you wish to remain in contact etc. as this site will not be avalable after that date. Other sites of interest for recovery issues are [..........]. I will not be available to answer PMs on this as I am moving on with my life. Best wishes everybody"
I believe that everyone would have totally respected that and I'm puzzled as to why that didn't happen. I know it's only text on a screen for many of us, but there were a few people on JWR who seemed to be in highly precarious situations - particularly several who were suffering badly from depression. I only hope that this wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back for any of them.
I left the jws before the internet was even a pipedream, so managed a recovery of sorts without it (yeah, some recovery - forget the JWs by sticking needles in my arm or getting drunk nearly every day for thirteen years). But there were still some of the more hidden, underlying problems around for a long time afterwards that threatened my psychiatric health. Even after so many years I can sometimes get days where problems amplify out of all proportion to what they really are - I believe much of that stems from childhood and has old family issues (incl JW stuff) at the core. I guess you just learn to turn the volume down on that stuff with practice.
Although I feel that shutting down with no warning was a very poor way to treat people and smacks of disrespect, I'm not going to retaliate in kind and I wish Rifter (and Moxie) well.
Gargamel I agree that having an announcement thread giving notice would have been the right way to go about it. As I've said on other threads I was very aware of how I felt when Simon announced the closure of this place 8 years ago and if he'd have done it without warning given the position I was in at the time I would have been devastated.
I honestly don't think Rifter foresaw this. He never said "I know people will be upset but stuff it I'm doing it this way anyway". I don't know whether that's better or worse really. When I said that the nature of the closure would cause anger and upset that was neither acknowledged nor discussed. I assumed everyone else thought I was wrong. I am reminded of Asch's conformity experiments, in future I will endeavour to be a louder lone voice of dissent!
I am glad people are finding their way here and working through their feelings and emotions together.
I understood your point of view and certainly didn't think you were wrong. I did think that Rifter's mind had been made up and there was no changing it.
Personally it was good timing for me as I'd been considering walking away a long time before that. I'm glad so many people made it here. Simon has been very welcoming, so kudos to him.
DS deserved better than he got on this topic, he worked hardest of all, in my opinion. I will hang around a few days to get a bit of closure around the movement of people from JWR.
To everyone: I agreed with Rifter that it was time to close JWR. I agreed that a long goodbye would be counterproductive and that it would open us to all kinds of abuse from certain elements of the membership. I agreed with the new closure page design and the shutdown timetable and lack of announcement.
This was not the position taken by DS, MM or Palimpsest, so please refrain from attacking them.
Im sure The 'Long goodbye' could have been monitored in a thread open for a short time. All other threads could have been locked.
DS did an amazing job and should not be targetted.
What Rifter did was wrong.
I am very hurt and saddened by the abrupt and rude way the "support" forum was shut down and closed off -- if there were some upsets or problems, it was unfortunate that a few "bad apples" were allowed to spoil the whole bunch....
I too, had bookmarked pages of great information and helpful, healing posts from that site, and even had it mentioned in my will that if any family wanted to know about my journey out of a cult, that they could look up my posts over there under my user name, MuddyWaters.
I see that was very short-sighted of me, and I should have printed out my posts and saved them somewhere. We were never even given the opportunity to do this, it's as though all the members were disfellowshipped in one great unprecedented move ...
The most attractive aspect of that site was its emphasis on HEALING and recovery... There were a lot of posts expressing pain, bewilderment, confusion, sorrow, loss.... yet hilarious comeradarie too. Designer Stubble was often the first person to welcome and respond to all the new people (including myself) who were lost and looking for a safe place to land.
The forum was unique and special. Many members, including myself (in a very small way) helped support it financially (and I would be happy to do the same for this forum too!)
So it feels extra-shitty to be left in the cold this way. Very poor form. I agree with Slimboyfat about his example of how the forum should have been closed: to give notice, a reasonable time frame to copy valuable information, exchange contact info, etc.
I wonder what the problem was? internal fighting? disagreements about money donations?
Sounds like rifter had a tantrum and shut it down, you know like 'I created it, its mine, no one else is having it so I will shut it down'.
I suppose anyone can set up a 'recovery' site without any relevant skills , qualifications, people skills needed to support people through trauma, loss, grief, anger, despair, hopelesness, etc.
The moderators, admin etc did a fantastic job and the sole responsibility for the hurt caused falls on riffters shoulders. He is accountable. No excuses can make up for what he has done.
Lesson learn't everyone, do not put your whole faith, mind, body and soul into any kind of organisation.
Take care everyone from former JWR. xx
Zeus said: "To everyone: I agreed with Rifter that it was time to close JWR. I agreed that a long goodbye would be counterproductive and that it would open us to all kinds of abuse from certain elements of the membership. I agreed with the new closure page design and the shutdown timetable and lack of announcement."
I remember that you expressed that you would like to be an ex-ex-JW. Fine. So you're done with the site. To hell with everyone else then? You couldn't find anyone else to take it over? Someone poop in your Wheaties? Rifter wasn't interested in turning it over to anyone? Did he even look for someone? Chat ended a few days before it went down. Someone attack him in chat??
Perhaps he's been reinstated? The society get a cease and desist order issued? Was he sued? Donations went away? He getting a divorce? From you? He's old now and is retiring? He hates anyone who might be considered to be suffering from a mental illness? Did someone JW discover his real identity?
Paul Harvey here, I want the rest of the story!
I don't believe there is any more to it than what has already been said. Rifter is a pretty private guy, you now know as much as the rest of the JWR admin team.