My Introduction - An ex-elder's story of waking up later in life.
I was in my fifties when I truly woke up. It was all the things you mentioned and between ten and about five years ago I realised it was all a bunch of absolute crap.
I never wept for the loss of everlasting life though because I don't think I really believed in it deep down. Overlapping Generation, Child abuse policy and ARC did it finally for me.
You have a pm. Look for the green envelope next to your name.
Welcome, doubtfull1799! I enjoyed reading this.
I was bornin and woke up around age 40. So many of us have been in for decades. I envy the kids that woke up when they are young. I realize now they were the smart ones.
What would be the benefits of organizational-made disassociation over fading?
Enjoyed reading your experience.
Welcome to this forum. For me it's been overall a good venting tool.
Very, very welcome & great story doubtfull1799,
first of all...I LOVE your username. Wt has always tried to minimize the impact of false dates. Barely any mention is made of 1874 and 1878 ("Proclaimers" (1993) and "Kingdom" (2014) book) but when I found out about 1799 being Russell's start for "the last days" I had the "GOTCHA!" feeling. After that it's not that difficult to see how EVERY generation since Christ has seen signs of the last days, including generations BEFORE 1914, WT's "turning point in history" lol (check http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/apocalyptic-end-of-world-predictions.php).
I was not born in, but your story is quite similar to mine and I'm glad you really were a higher-up among the elders with all your privileges, wow! The organisation needs to feel what the price is for their intellectual dishonesty and playing with peoples lives!!! Many good sincere men and woman with a conscience are leaving, those who can't leave but know TTATT are voting with their wallets, time, energy etc.
Just like you, the infathomable WT studies and last but not least, the ARC testimonies were the final blow for me after a few years of growing doubt since the Candace Conti case. I faded (and my whole family with me) without real concequences. Of course ex-elders know how to play the game but that never is a guarantee to skip under the radar without an amount of serious damage or backstabbing. I'm pretty sure the remaining elders also weren't in for a witch hunt, although I openly expressed serious doubts regarding 1914 and the sexual abuse scandals, even in the face of the circuit overseer!!! I was the youngest, the rest will become burnt up sooner or later...it's inevitable .
I hope things work out well for you...you seem to be the kind of guy that has earned enough respect in order to not to be slained. That's a really good thing considering your current situation.
For myself, the more I become aware of the hidden darkness and layer upon layer of hypocrisy within' the WT Borganisation, the more I long for writing a DA letter. I feel they don't even deserve to have my name on the inactives list, but it would also cost me a few JW friends who I can still talk to and who don't judge me. That's also worth something.
Could you please pm me which articles you wrote? If not, you will be forgiven (that's how this forum works, har har har )
My wife and I left in our mid twenties some 50 years ago ........we have been married for over 53 years. I tell people that she is the light of my eye.......... she introduces me as her current husband.
Here's my problem with Disassociating yourself. It's the same announcement made for pedophiles, fornicators, thieves, drunks, child abuser's etc. "1799 is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses". You are not allowed the dignity of separating yourself from the congregation when you hand them your exit papers.
Being a man of principle your account of your reaction to the ARC and your fellow Elders and good old Geoff is more then a sufficient explanation for any Elder or CO who may visit. However as you well know it is better to refuse those visits. You can mention the under(at least for JW's) reported pedophile situation and not only how it affects the congregation but also the community you live in.
This gives your wife a dignified answer if she is asked why your not attending meetings etc.
Just fade, love your wife and be who you are which is apparently a decent honorable person. You really cared all of those years now you get to care about other things and people.
Some positive thoughts to consider: you have just gained and extra 30 to 40 hours a week! Do something with that amount of time. Start a new business or go back to school and work on getting a degree. Start a hobby. Take your wife on weekend trips. You have probably short changed your time together as a busy Elder.......... time to start making it up to her.
As a JW you probably enjoyed the social life it afforded you. A lot of folk's on this forum feel going friendless is difficult.
It is not all that difficult to rebuild a social life and develop new friendships.
All you have to do to get started is what you have done your entire life. Share a common interest with people who meet regularly. Use your people skills and ability to articulate an important position or to encourage your fellow volunteers and like a JW friendships will be made naturally.
Volunteering is an important part of real life. We don't have a paradise earth (built on the bones of billions of innocent people) but we can work to make this world a little better. That's what volunteer's try to do.
I started volunteering about 25 years ago.....volunteers just happen to be some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet and become friends with. They are passionate about the work they do......... up right, intelligent and compassionate.
The biggest problem for a JW who truly believes is that we were being prepared for a world that doesn't exist.
Wow Giordano, what a fantastic post above. I just read it out loud to my spouse. Great advise. We are enjoying all the extra hours you mentioned. Thank you for that!
"My awaking is almost identical to yours. Just fade off into the sunset. If you disassociate it might drive a wedge between you and your wife."
Welcome! I quite agree with this advice. It's actually to their credit that those liberal elders gave you a pass when you articulated your misgivings, and were willing to let you fade into the sunset.
A big welcome Doubtful1799....
I too was an elder once, a surprising number of us here have served, but just in the congregations. A Bro of your seniority is a big loss to them.
So much of what you say rings true, the awakening later in life, the trauma of a lost hope.. but we all agree that it is better to know than to continue in ignorance.
I would add my voice to those who counsel against d/a , that would only make it much harder for your wife to cope . She would suffer the consequence . I continue under the radar and they seem content to let me be. Are you also in the U K ? They seem more liberal here towards potential apostasy than in the USA.
Best wishes and keep posting, I am sure you have a lot to tell.
Another recommendation against sending the letter.
Welcome to the forum, doubtfull1799
Congratulations on your first post. As others have said; hold back on the da'ing. If you can, it would be better to just fade away.
Although you have been very active and at the forefront ie. writing dept, elder etc; if you have not already done so, take a look at the JW FACTS website - http://jwfacts.com/ - which is also very useful.
Looking forward to your future posts.