Were you so indoctrinated that you just couldn’t leave? Was it due to family pressure? Was it your friendships that you didn’t want to lose? Were you simply lazy? Was it because you were an elder??
Why Did You Stay In The JW Religion As Long As You Did?
It was all about the family. They were all half ass, but the half that was in would have shunned me.
I think for many it gets to a point that it’s difficult to be honest and true to yourself and continue being a JW. I couldn’t stop thinking about how judgmental we were as elders. Even if we wanted to exercise mercy in judicial matters we were constantly told to firstly keep the congregation clean. Better to disfellowship someone who might be repentant than to chance contaminating the entire congregation with misguided mercy. I just couldn’t do it anymore.
I had to wait until I turned into a Big boy and buy my own Cheerios. When I turned 18 I told my dad and mom that I wasn't going to go to field service or meetings anymore because it was not the life I wanted to live. I had lived by their rules without complaining for 18 years and was ready to leave if they kick me out. Already had a couple of jobs that could support me. I told them that I appreciate that they took care of me, and that I respected it was their house and their rules and I wouldn't get mad if they told me to leave.
They never kicked me out.
Which is not what I expected since I lived a double life but was very careful that I would not get caught.
After a while my dad had to step down as an elder and both my parents slowly started to wake up and fade.
Family. I was born in. Stayed basically until I moved out of my parents. Still a few more years before I gave up on believing it. Even then, faded to stay in good standing. Nearly 30 years later, I still have 2 sisters in it.
I was just a slow learner , a convert who believed it was the truth until little by little the rose coloured glasses / scales fell away from my eyes.
I joined, not on the basis that it was the truth, but on the basis that as a group of Christian people, this was the best group going at the time.
In my study (1991-92) I noticed things which I felt were wrong and I spoke to elders and my study conductress. The things I noticed were not deal breakers, just grey areas. I was told that if the GB had got anything wrong they would correct it. They were not like the Pope who claimed infallibility. They were not like higher critics who attacked/changed the message in the Bible. So I was lied to. It took some time for me to realise that I was being lied to and that GB would not change their 1914 doctrine as it was the base of their power.
Even down to the very end, before I called them out as standing in opposition to Jehovah's Witnesses, such as Daniel, Ezekiel and Jeremiah, I gave them the chance to correct matters but both GB and local elders were unwilling.
It might have been because I didn't want to think that my parents could be that stupid, even though stuff was said that indicated that they were. Enough doubt was placed in me by some of the nonsense from my parents and various new and old articles from the WT, that I didn't have the balls to get baptised, because I knew that if they were wrong and I wanted to get out, that there was no recant option that didn't mean being ostracised by the entire extended family.
I have asked myself that question many times, and fervently wish I had left decades before I did. The Mind Control exercised upon a born in like me is something that is quite incredible.
Questions that one has about the teachings are filed away deep in the recesses of your mind,believing that " Jehovah" will answer them one day, the many glaring faults and sins of individual J.W's are excused as " imperfection" and trust in, and loyalty to, the Governing Body becomes a seemingly natural thing.
Combine the above with the very naive belief that I had that it must be god's Org because it had his name upon it, and perhaps you can allow me some slack for not waking up until I was in my late 50's.
Oh how different, how much better, and happier, my life would have been if I had awoken earlier !
Hi Phizzy - when I realised there was a serious doctrinal issue I had to deal with, I felt that anyone born-in had little, if any chance to see through the abhorrent deception. I felt that anyone subjected to the mind-control of this corporate monster could not be blamed for the things they did wrong. It wasn't their fault, they were not only being lied to but deceived in a dreadful way. They couldn't help being deceived, what was/is done to them is like a conjuring trick using words but it affects your mind and understanding. It fogs your brain.
Maybe some have knowingly prostituted their intellect or are cowards. Maybe some really should have known better. If so, I only hope they'll become ashamed of what they have done to their fellow Man.