Difficulty fading out
...one of my best friends, who is a witness, spoke to me this week and basically said she knows what we have been up to and her 'conscience' has made her go to the elders. Not only am I distraught that someone I used to consider as my best friend could do this, I am confused as to why!!
Have you not been a JW? What surprises me is your reaction. Do you expect that JWs are going to be mindful, respectful and/or supportive of you? What do you think fading is about? Do you think that by fading things are going to be peaceful and they are going to leave you alone? Fading is not just stopping to attend meetings and preaching, fading is preparing yourself for what comes next when it comes to your relationship with them.
They are a cult, they are not nice people, and they are not just going to let you be and live. Please don't tell me that you didn't know that.
...has anyone else had hassle from witnesses and elders when trying to fade? Is it going to be this hard forever, constantly checking over our shoulder that a witness isn't watching us. Checking out the window when the doorbell rings in case it's an elder! I feel like I am still controlled by the religion even though I no longer practice it!
Yes, if you let them. I think the issue here is your people pleasing, and maybe also difficulty setting boundaries with people. The moment that you tell them to fuck off, they will.
Keep this in mind:
- They are not nice people and they are not going to leave you alone by themselves. You have to make that happen for you and your family.
- They have no saying and no authority in your lives, unless you allow them to
- You don't have to be nice to them all the time, you don't need to please them. It's ok to tell them to fuck off.
- They are never going to treat you nicely, even if you return to the KH.
- It is your responsibility to set boundaries and tell them to mind their own fucking business.
- Fading is about creating support outside the congregation, so you don't have to deal with those idiots again.
I hope that helps.
Hi, Emily and welcome, welcome!
I can empathize with you, for I am in the process of fading as well. Your so-called friend ratted on you and your family because she is in a "FOG": Fear-Obligation-Guilt. Many PIMI dubs are being controlled and this is one of the unfortunate affects from their indoctrination.
I agree with what all of the other posters are saying/advising. You will really find that life outside of the BORG is worth living and you and your family can find happiness away from the GB and their death-dealing bullshit!
Welcome to the forum!...You say a so-called best friend told you she "knows what you've been up to - and her conscience has made her go to the elders".
I am curious as to how she found out that you have a tree and took your kids to a Christmas show? You say you've been careful....I suspect she's bluffing because the timing of your family's inactivity is coincidental to the season and you told her earlier how tired you are of it all..also could one of your children have innocently mentioned a clue to somebody?
All the other posters have given you good advice. I would not meet with anybody or let them in my house. Screen calls and be very clever when you do talk to them. It's not going to be easy leaving this police-like religion that seems to be getting more aggressive in trying to stop people from leaving!
Welcome to the forum Emily, posters have offered some good advise so far, the point being the the JWS elders have control over you as long you avail that to them, so be polite yet firm about your decision to leave.
It might even be good advise to not want to discuss the reasons why as they are knowingly are going to ask , they will also try to scare you back by saying things like " this system of things is close at hand " so bla bla bla etc.
Its really a fear mongering cult, full of ignorance and corruption that has made some men very powerful and rich.
Everyone's situation is different. I'm not an in your face apostate out picketing, but I am a former elder and pioneer (whoop-dee-fricking-doo) ... I received a request or two the first year to talk, then it stopped. That was 7 years ago.
My wife and one adult child continue to be good, regular JW's, they know everything about me. I've hidden nothing. Donate blood, vote, went to another church for a month or two, celebrate everything I can with my other children ... Etc etc ...
Last year the PO (that's what I still call him) and his wife were in front of me at the checkout line at a local store and I was with my young daughter and loaded with Christmas decorations. This elder laughed about it when talking to my wife at the Kingdom Hall.
I've openly told JW's who care to bring it up that I will never go back, I've told some I believe it's a cult.
I did not disassociate, have not been disfellowshipped, am not shunned (by most). Elders I still run into talk to me, shake my hand, and never mention anything about coming back.
What's my point?
Things in JW land don't make sense and aren't consistent.
Best wishes. I hope you are able to truly break free and find peace and enjoyment outside of the organization.
So many welcomes to which I add mine. This forum rocks - so much excellent advice and points to think about.
Not so much advice as points to reflect upon Emily:
1) You're in all this potential trouble because you decided to bring joy to your children's lives - doesn't that alone astonish you! It hits home that JW organization is not "the truth" but a cult.
2) You've learnt a sober lesson: The "best" of friends in JW organization will report on you (and fall back on their "conscience" as an excuse). What's that old saying? "Once bitten, twice shy".
Thank goodness you've got your husband's support and don't need to sneak around your own home - except perhaps to keep the Christmas tree away from a window.
One day you will look back on this and say It was worth it to finally break free.
Should there be a confrontation with an Elder(s) that you can't avoid be prepared to tell them your truth. That you have been stumbled.
That you read about the ARC, then watched it live and heard first hand accounts under sworn oath of repeated sexual abuse by the victims themselves. Elders were questioned, also Branch Elders, even a member of the Governing Body were aware of repeated sexual abuse.
And because nothing was done about it you were totally stumbled by the way these crimes were handled.
During the Australian Royal Commission:
More than 1,000 members of the Jehovah's Witnesses have been identified by the church as perpetrators of child sexual abuse since 1950 but not one was reported to police, an inquiry has heard.
The Sydney hearing was told the church adopted a scriptural response to abuse, which it abhorred, and had files relating to 1,006 alleged perpetrators, dating back to 1950.
The process required witnesses to prove abuse took place, and no allegations were ever reported to police.
There is no defense for this situation....nothing Elders can say. They will leave you alone when they know what you know.
Thank you all for your suggestions and advice. It is really helpful knowing what I should expect and what to say if and when the elders approach us. A few have mentioned that we should DA ourselves. That is not really an option for us as our parents and siblings are JWs and we are very close to them. We know that by fading at least we can still have contact with them.
@scratchme1010 whilst I appreciate most of what you are saying, I do feel that a blanket 'they are not nice people' is harsh. I don't agree with a lot of their teachings and the way the society go about things, but I do feel that a lot of them have good intentions.
@LongHairGal a mutual friend who is not a witness saw me on both occasions and told my witness friend! She is not aware of my tree, thank goodness!
I don't agree with a lot of their teachings and the way the society go about things, but I do feel that a lot of them have good intentions.
Well said Emily. I agree!
A lot really depends of the elders in your congregation. Most are too busy with far more pressing congregation problems and the regular grind of Society routine ( meeting preparation / ministry / Society admin matters etc etc ) to go out on a limb and start trying to DF faders unless it is completely in their faces and congregation members are complaining.
It's probable a couple of elders will call to make general inquiries and sniff around - as others have said , it's best just to play it cool , just say you have a number of issues that you don't want to talk about and leave it at that. Repeat that line constantly - rigidly stick to it. Don't go into any specifics , even if tempted. Make it very clear and firm in a friendly way that you don't want more visits (" don't call us , we'll call you - we know where the KH is , thanks very much for your concern blah blah" ) and it kind of puts them in a difficult position where to escalate to DFing action requires getting evidence and witnesses. Don't incriminate yourself.
I suspect no further action will happen in your case unless (1) you have a "Nazi" type elder and (2) there is prime facie evidence to DF.
Just a final piece of advice - why not kick any meeting with the elders into the new year? Just say you are too busy with work / family / health / kids / bad weather / washing your hair that evening / any excuse not to meet them for a few weeks. It takes the whole Christmas situation out of the equation ( an obvious line of questioning would be "are you celebrating Xmas etc " ) and you might even find with the passage of time that they never actually get round to calling on you at all.
Good luck and best wishes