What woke you up?

by MrRoboto 41 Replies latest jw experiences

  • MrRoboto

    For me, I think it was just the right time as I was starting to wake up on other fronts as well (anyone who had went through these will know what I mean)

    But it started when I was looking for what info goes on a publisher card, which led to me reading one person's story (ex bethelite) which was pretty crazy to an all-in JW but who trusts those apostates...?

    Then I started watching videos on cults, as if my subconscious was trying to tell my concord mind something... When I saw a particular one about a young man in LDS getting ready to start their 2 year preaching campaign, including a school, social activities etc, I realized that I couldn't tell the difference between the folks of this Mormon cult and the JWs (save for some religious differences)

    Then at the KH I heard a part on 607bce and thought "wait have I ever proven that date to myself?" of course I couldn't, and realized the truth about 1914 as well. from there, every suppressed question I had waited on Jehovah to answer had come back as if it were only yesterday.. Every questionable teaching I swept under the carpet was coming back out. It was a depressing whirlwind of furious research and bible reading and prayer that finally got me to know ttatt..

    That's my awakening story... What's yours?

  • jookbeard

    I've often quoted it but it was the Waco siege in April 1993 , the siege made huge news worldwide, there were TV documentaries covering it, it made the newspapers for weeks afterwards and even radio shows, but this was the first time I'd heard "cults" being spoke about in general terms for the first time especially jw's, my fade began almost immediately, an actual local radio phone in show here in London put out an appeal for anyone that is concerned about "cults" to phone the number at the end of the show, the rest they say is history!

  • Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho
    Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho

    Hey @MrRoboto, you're new here, so you probably haven't been regaled by waking up story, as I've written about it before a few times.

    Basically, the bunker series of videos at the Remain Loyal to Jehovah convention set off an inner alarm in me. I was so disturbed by the content and the portrayal of what it means to be a "loyal" Witness that I took to Youtube to see if anyone had uploaded the drama. I just wanted to re-watch it to see if I was just crazy (everyone else at the convention seemed enthralled by the videos!). I stumbled across the John Cedars series called "The Worst Convention Ever".

    And yes, @jookbeard, the rest very much is history.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I was fully "in" - a real company man who would support the organization, with one huge exception: when I was appointed elder, I saw the way elders did so much to keep their families out of trouble. I decided to apply that to everyone. I did my best to get people out of trouble. I squashed investigations by telling members things like, "If you just deny this accusation, we have no reason to form a judicial committee." I told members that if they straightened things out with Jehovah, they did not need to tell the elders everything.

    I developed a skill at finding things on my Watchtower Library and that worked its way into being good finding things on "Google" and its predecessors. A series of events that really caused me to see the double standards more clearly- such as how elders could be "guilty" of things that would simply be overlooked where anyone else must undergo a JC and some kind of "discipline" - made me ask myself why I don't simply Google "Jehovah's Witnesses" and go wherever it takes me.

    So I did that and immediately felt relieved that it wasn't just me that had problems and I felt depressed at the same time about all the years I wasted. I started a quick fade. Here I am.

  • nugget

    It was a gradual process and started after I had children. I started to look more closely at the materials especially as my son has Aspergers and found some of the material distressing. I looked at what I was expected to teach my children and was unhappy with the idea that they should not celebrate any achievements as this would be boasting. That they should always trust the elders, have no ambition or hope other than that taught by the organisation and have no friends outside the organisation.

    As it happened I could see that my son was seen as odd by other witness children they were not kind to him or were his friends. The meetings were torture for him as he couldn't sit still and would be taken out frequently for discipline by his father. In the end I took him out myself to the backroom looking stern and then let him fidget to his hearts content. He struggled in field service and would be vocal and speak up if he was uncomfortable or bored and other witnesses couldn't understand why he couldn't be made to be compliant. I could also see how the witness life was affecting my daughters self esteem negatively. At assemblies other witnesses were selfish and unkind when my son reacted to the loud noise of the feedback from the speakers and told us we were ruining their enjoyment and they would have to move. I told them not to bother we were going home. There were countless small acts of pettiness and casual cruelty that went against the idea of a spiritual paradise. I couldn't allow my children to experience the same humiliations and restrictions that I had as a child. They deserved to have happy and fufiling lives. My son would never fit into the witness mold and the elders agreed.

    While this was happening my husband was having his own doubts and got me to read "Combatting cult mind control" and "crisis of conscience". Both these excellent books put the final nail in the coffin and we left as a family.

    Although we had different reasons for leaving we were both convinced that we made the right decision. We had to weigh up what we would lose as a family and we have lost some family and friends against whether we could live a lie for the sake of keeping the same family and friends. In the end the children were more important and in order to allow them to grow as people we had to give up something from ours. We have been lucky, we have made new friends and connected with old ones, we have become closer to family members who have also left and some who were never witnesses. It takes work and effort to rebuild a new life but it is worth it.

  • dozy

    I always had doubts / concerns on a certain level due to the lack of love , changing doctrines and all the numerous inconsistencies. But it wasn't until my children started to get to an age when they began to be put under pressure from others in the congregation to become UBPs etc , I realised that it wouldn't be fair to bring them up "in the truth" and commit them if I myself wasn't sure about it.

    I was signed off for a week off work with "man flu"! and decided it was time to do an objective study of JWs just as I would study any other religion or organisation. Nervously googled "Jehovah's witnesses" for the first time , read forums , downloaded Franz's books , looked at www.jwfacts.com etc and quickly realised it was all just a big religious MLM business / cult. Leaving took a few months & was a painful but necessary process.

  • tryingnow

    Thanks for opening up this topic, Mr. Roboto. For me, it finally became impossible to suppress certain questions any longer. Due to my pre-witness existence, there were certain things I had gotten into which made me curious concerning the translation, and particularly the Interlinear. Poking around a little, came to discover that one of the scholars whose work was partially quoted (appendix of the Interlinear) had contacted the WTS, protesting their out-of-context use of his work, asking them to stop quoting him altogether, and to issue a public retraction of what they had done. This scholar (Julius Mantey) even went into some detail to explain to them what they had done in error, providing also specific source references to other scholars' work which showed the larger factual picture concerning the grammatical use of the Greek back at that time. The WTS then brushed it off with the reply 'you can keep your opinion, we'll keep ours'. They did not honor his request. Such blatant subterfuge and dishonesty finally kicked me hard enough.

  • scratchme1010

    That's my awakening story... What's yours?

    I am born-in, so I cannot frame my story around reflecting on making a decision to join. However, to me, waking up means making the decision to walk away from that nonsense, a difficult decision that most born-in have to face, because that means leaving your entire life up to that point behind.

    So my "waking up" was my realization that I don't belong in that organization. Growing up a JW and having a strong skeptical gene in my DNA, along with my natural curiosity for knowing about many things, analyzing things from different perspectives, all that combined with having a strong sense of who I am and who/what I am not, was the perfect recipe for not belonging in the congregation. Reflecting back, most of my unsavory experiences with the JWs were pretty much them pushing me not to think for myself and pretend to be something I am not.

    It was never about my well being (or anybody's for that matter). What I had to say never mattered, how I felt about things never mattered. It was a constant attack against me being honest about who/how I am. At some point I was just flat out told that I can just look the way that pleases them, that the rest doesn't matter.

    Then there was the hypocrisy of some people who somehow always seemed to find a biblical reason for rules not applying to them. It was not ok for some people to go to college, but somehow there was a perfect excuse for some others, who happened to be children of the "in" crowd in the congregation, for them to be entitled to do that.

    I was never seen as valuable, but I was ok with that since many of those horribly judgemental people were very simple minded people with no other thing to do than being in the congregation and getting into other people's business. I didn't want anything to do with them anyway.

    The WT couldn't cage me. They did everything possible to make my life miserable, but I left, and I left because I said so, when I said so, and in my terms. Of course, if you ask them, the story they will give you is... I'm sure I don't have to tell you about that.

    I was a young adult with a lot of dreams, plans and things to learn and do, and making other innocent people suffer by entering a heterosexual marriage just to please their stupid Jehovah was not one of my dreams.

  • notalone

    I was totally in and a big researcher of the publications. Because my family had been in so long I had access growing up to all the older publications. I was quite good at calling out things by using these publications and the Bible. I started finding myself arguing with the articles. I started blacking out things that weren't right and writing the biblical defense on the side. My family was getting a little fed up with me. Then our family had the JW molestation experience. We had witnesses, medical evidence and multiple victims and were told we cpuld tell no one, not to go to the police and had to continue in the congregation with this person. When we got a restraining order and called the police when the elders helped this person violate it we were told our invitation to attend the hall was going to be rescinded.While looking up this term online I found Beorean pickets, read everything and then I dared to start coming to this site where I found out about ARC and watched it live. There is nothing that will ever cause me or my family to return.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    my mother got religion when i was about 7 years old---and gradually grew up in it. my childhood reasoning was it must be the right religion because we were in it; so i never really questioned or researched it.

    i left school before i reached 16---pioneered on and till about 20. got married at 20 to my born in girlfriend who i had been with for 3 years.

    a total change of life at 23---moved to a different part of the UK from my parents---started my own business--and also started my own family. thought long and hard about the blood issue--with regard to my as yet unborn child. i just knew i could never deny my family a life saving blood transfusion...or myself.

    then it hit me--i had never really believed in god--angels--the devil--armageddon--a new world---a resurrection--. so i quit being a dub--just like that..and felt so much better. ive never looked back.

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