Several months ago I finally sent them a letter. They are from the group of die-hards that continue to shun their father. The following is a paste of part of the first page. The link to the entire letter is here but I warn you, is some 14 pages long.
My bucket list letter to my sons, 41 years after leaving WT
As a father of two sons, I can well imagine how horrible this was/is for you. Have you heard anything back from them yet?
I read your letter in its entirety. I'm guessing you are in you mid/late 70s and so, YES it is too bad you waited so long. It is so very sad that both you and your sons have missed out on 40 years together. My father was DF for many years when I was a teenager/20-something and I realized now all that was missed.
I hope your sons receive your communication well. I hope they are awakened to the false prophesies of the WTS. Sadly, most of their lives have also passed, but perhaps they have children that can be "rescued" from this destructive Cult.
The greatest revenge is living a happy & successful life!
Have you heard anything back from them yet?
Indirectly, yes. Fortunately, another son, never baptized was told by G*** that he scanned the letter. That's about it. I know both of them received it.
Yes, DOC, I am now close to 78 and naively waited this long to put this to rest. Perhaps the letter will help someone else since it is now posted online.
To those who haven't read it it's actually an exposé of the 1975 debacle and how it paralleled the 1925 fiasco exactly 50 years prior. It reveals several WT lies and coverups as they tried to alibi their way out of both muddles. Some of us put our tails between our legs and accepted the blame for these teachings as they attempted to shift it onto our shoulders. Some of us, myself included, refused to accept a blame that has always been that of Watchtower's governing body.
Well I thought it was a good letter len and I hope they received it in the spirit it was intended
.With all that has been going on in Watchtower LaLa land these past few years, what with the mergers of Kh`s ,selling off properties all around the world cutting back on literature production ,laying off Bethel members ,all of the child sex abuse issues that are emerging world wide , the cult like adoration of the GB members and the JW.ORG logo etc,etc,
I find it increasingly hard to comprehend why many more people haven`t abandoned this poor excuse for a religion.
The sad fact is I suppose that humans throw reason right out of the window when they WANT TO BELIEVE something despite all of the evidence against doing so.
Good luck buddy and I hope you get some good feed back from your sons.
Len...my prayer & hope is that your sons reach out to you in return...God bless you & thank you for sharing your story!
Not enough can be said about the destructive nature of the WT cult...UGH!
Hi Len, thanks for sharing your story so far. I too read the whole document.
First of all I'll start by saying I don't think you deserved that thumbs down on the OP - it takes courage to divulge personal parts of your life no matter how much others may disagree. So you get props from me for that.
I hope you don't mind a bit of frankness from myself though? It's easier for me since I've never met you, and I'm looking at something with fresh eyes. Hopefully this isn't received as something downright rude...
I would not have gone into the exact reasoning's as to why you left the WT org, especially as this just comes across as bashing their faith (or "whining") - hence the reason for the quick scan by one son. The minute they reached the "negative" (to them) parts, they would have switched off. It's only natural. It's enough to say you have your differences, and have come to your own conclusions.
What a child is most looking for in a father is simply recognition, for them to perceive that the father is interested in THEM (not a concept, not a subject, not a thing, not a religion, not intellectual debate, not excuses, but **themselves**). A letter like this should be personal, talking about feelings etc as apposed to "facts". You, being an engineer would likely see things in an extremely rational/objective manner. It's a blessing and a curse. So to you, explaining the exact ins and outs of why (i.e. your problem solving nature) seems like the most logical thing to do. Unfortunately the average person does not think like that! Especially not children towards the parents. Emotions are higher on the scale than black and white thought. A parent doesn't have to be perfect, they can make up for a heap of shortcomings just by coming across as exclusively interested in the child (despite any differences in personality/values/belief). The 1 to 1 attention comes first, "things" (all the baggage) etc are secondary.
This letter began well but went wrong when it veered off on a tirade about the WT and very little about your simple desire for a relationship (which at the end of the day we all want, when you strip away the religion etc). You've had 3+ decades away from your children with zero contact, then out of the blue they receive a letter from their father with hardly any substance in it other than what appears to be (to a JW) cut and paste "apostate material"! No offence but this is exactly how a JW thinks. Oh the irony. We leave WT often to just rehash the same inappropriate social skills, just in another ex JW way. So, say for example a JW funeral is all geared towards making more converts (or getting strays to come back) instead of talking about the **person** (something we ex JWs cringe at), an ex JW too can fall into the trap of only ever talking about the woes of the JW religion instead of just showing an interest in the **person**.
Sadly we ex JWs can carry the same retarded baggage that holds JWs back (i.e. being trapped in their own mind), not realizing that we're often the instigators of our own pain. A simple analysis of cause and effect shows that to speak negatively of a person's cherished beliefs will push them away, no matter how "honest" and "steadfast" we believe we must be. We then bemoan that "this terrible cult has taken our family away", entirely neglecting to put ourselves in the same shoes we once wore.
This probably sounds harsh, but hopefully it's helpful in some way when talking about ex JW to JW communications.
I have to agree with Good JW.
I loved all of your reasoning behind the 1975 fiasco. I was a little older than your sons and understand all that happened. My parents also broke up about the same time for similar reasons. It took years to get to know my father and as we were just getting to a better place he dropped dead of a heart attack. Try again. Send them a heartfelt letter telling them about you, why you love them, about your love for them and why you need to see them. They need to get some sense of who you are now.
I really hope it didn't sound like I was just dumping all over your efforts there FF2005, or patronizing
Your letter touched a few particular notes. Speaking from personal experience (on the receiving end of this kind of thing)...in my dad's dying letter to me he expressed some of the same old school traits.
First a bit of background - we are both engineers/scientific by nature. In his life he was afraid of looking weak/being vulnerable, showing much emotion (he had to protect his pride, stiff upper lip etc)...but most of all, he was always consumed in some form of activity (from work 24/7 to hobbies) to the point where it seemed us kids didn't matter that much. Eventually he got so ill that the life was sucked out of him (couldn't show interest in anything around him). I know in my mind that he did care, but just didn't feel it as a kid. I don't moan about this or use it as an excuse today (e.g. "woe is me" LOL), but it is noted in my head. Bottom line, I really didn't care about my fathers "wise counsel", as a kid I just wanted his genuine attention.
Anyway, enough of the sob story ....fast forward to my dad's dying letter - in it he wrote some courtesy notes about being proud of me, but the resounding parts were where he pleaded with me to "come back to Jehovah", and how he wished I "used my talents to their fullest capacity". The take home notes I got from this letter was that I was doing something wrong and he wasn't really proud of who i am (what my life choices were, what I decided to believe in etc). Imagine getting that as the last communication from your father. I don't want that for you, or your kids! (or anyone else for that matter, not when it can be helped).
The over-riding principles are the same no matter which side of the fence you're on. For a JW to receive what could be the last communication from their father telling them that their life choices weren't approved of = the same thing as above for me. It's dejecting and too close to home to just ignore. No matter whether you believe their religion to be a pile of garbage, it's still attacking their personal choice (albeit coerced via cultic tactics).
A more ideal father-son letter would include:
1) Forgetting pride & guidance. Just be human. As funny as this may seem, be a friend more than a father.
2) Be personal, specific to them. Be interested in their life/character.
3) Reminisce about the short time you spent with them as kids. Tell amusing stories they may not remember (be specific again to each one).
Steer away from trying to explain yourself (or over-emphasizing the "why's"), it often just brings attention to it in a bad way.
Really hope this helps!