Don't give them 2019
Bravo I salute you!
Thank you for sharing. You are so right.
This is awesome! Too bad it can't be required reading in every congregation in the world.
Starts out in very compelling manner but goes on for too long and becomes preachy. You show little understanding of those who stay for family.
Excellent OP - hopefully some lurkers are reading it.
I glad that things worked out for you but realistically that scenario wont’ work for the majority of JWs. The reason being is because the majority of JWs in the organization are between the ages of 40s—70s. This point was made on this site here;
So for example my dad and mom are in their forties and woke up. My dad stepped down as an elder and mom quit regular pioneering so they just faded. They go once in a long while to a meeting, for the sake of family and friends.
My dad is too old to go back to college and pursue another career. Sure, anyone can go to college at any age but being truthful about the matter, it’s just not worth it at a certain age to go back to school while trying to keep you job and pay the bills and graduate in your 50s and think some company will hire you just because you have a degree.
Another thing is what advantage is there if my parents DA themselves and lose all contact with their family. Sure, everybody says you can make friends outside the organization but realistically it’s not that easy once you are in you late 40s and 50s and up.
My parent’s friends are persons that they grew up with since before they were teens. Some say JW friends are conditional and maybe so but these JW friends have been there for my parents when things got bad. When my dad got in an accident and was unemployed for over a year, those JW friends always dropped groceries weekly, left envelopes with money in the mail box and just helped with chores and repairs until dad got on his feet.
If my parents left the WT organization, what are the chances that they will find friends like that? On top of that, grandma and grandpa from one side of the family are JWs and are nice people and including myself, I would hate to lose them since they are very old and have a limited time left on this earth.
Then there are the tons of other relatives who are jws and actually they are very nice people and it just isn’t worth losing them all just because we felt it was a bad move to stay in the organization and need to leave.
So for the majority of JWs in the organization, it actually doesn’t pay to leave. I’m talking most of those 40s and up.
I am not even considering husbands and wives who have woken up and have been married for over 20 years and have a great marriage. Why break the marriage just because it seems like a good idea to leave the WT cult. The husband or wife can fade, save the marriage, and there is hope the wife or husband will wake up.
I have friends who felt they had to leave the watchtower because it was crooked and false and as a result haven’t spoken to their parents for over 5 years. These are friends who tried very hard to encourage me to disassociate myself from the organization. Now they regret so much that they didn’t fade like me.
And keep in mind that it’s not that the parents are bad people, they love their children. It’s just that they have been misled by Watchtower propaganda, or brainwashed to believe that shunning their children is what Jehovah wants.
I on the other hand just faded and I get to keep not only my parents but all my jw family and some JW friends.
I could go on and one but leaving the WT organization isn’t a good idea for everyone, actually probably the majority. Everyone's situations is different. And to be honest, leaving the WT is not a guarantee that your life is going to turn out great or even better. There's all kinds of shit in life that can happen and derail your best, planned, intentions. It's a wise move to not burn all your bridges.
Trying to talk a Joe Hoover out of the Watchtower is like telling a Smoker to stop smoking. They are both hooked so tightly to their "drug" that they just can't see the truth for the smoke.
Congratulations on being able to get out of the Witness religion and accomplish all that you have (education and career) at a young age. Late 30s is still young. You went through hell, but you did it. Hopefully, others as young or younger than you can see their way out as well.
You make very good points why many older Witnesses cannot leave the religion even though they would like to!
Bravo for pointing out that getting a college education at an advanced age isn’t going to mean somebody is going to get hired -especially in this economic climate. (Not meaning to discourage anybody.)..I doubt you will get your foot in the door of a career over 50 unless you have connections and a miracle. But, if somebody wants an education for personal satisfaction, knock yourselves out!
I also agree with you about somebody ruining an otherwise good marriage either. I also agree about finding friends at a late age. People’s friends are acquired and developed over decades.
All in all, I agree that for many older Witnesses, the benefits of staying in the religion far outweigh the benefits of leaving. It’s a terrible dilemma but I understand. I am lucky that I was a single woman who had no relatives in the religion, so it was really no loss for me. Thankfully, I held onto my job until retirement so I didn’t let the religion totally ruin my life. I was in my forties when I ‘faded’, so I wasted time but those are the breaks. Somebody told me to look at the time wasted as if I were trapped in a bad marriage.
I’m just glad I’m out and I wish you and anybody trapped in the JW religion all the best coping with all the nonsense!
I appreciate your passion on this subject. I read all of it and enjoyed it immensely. A whole lot excellent points. You brought a lot of JW experience with you which added credibility to your point of view.
I found in my life that it wasn't me that was delusional about the so called truth........ it the JW believers. How can I have been right and everyone else was wrong? That's kind of a mountain to walk over.
Put another way the few who escaped Jonestown were right to do so. The 900 plus believers who stayed lost their lives and children's lives.
How can 8 million JW's be wrong? Easily.
The only thing I can disagree with has already been mentioned by others........ there are going to be family considerations in how you leave.
Back before 1980 and Ray Franz's leaving........JW's could leave and not be shunned. Even if they said they didn't believe any longer. The Society changed the rules to punish Ray Franz and to discredit him so DAing became the same as being DF. Shunned morning, noon and night.
I favored the option of fading so that reasonable JW family members could associate with you on some level.
For me and my wife losing friends was acceptable we could and did replace them........ but one's parents....... unless they are deranged about their beliefs........less so.
Keeping marriages together is another factor. So to each their own re the manner and way they exit this ridiculous religion.
By the way...... my wife and I were able to keep our parents in our lives.......but on every visit....... over three decades, that F......ing 800 pound invisible gorilla was sitting in the room with us or listening in on our family phone calls.