Why Did You Stay In The JW Religion As Long As You Did?

by minimus 39 Replies latest jw friends

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    StephaneLaliberte said, "...What made me change my mind was the realization that a just God would judge the actions rather than the belief."

    Here is something you might find interesting; I'm surprised this isn't more widely discussed.


    If I ever decided that I wasn't an atheist (which is unlikely because I am SO intelligent), I would probably feel this was my best guess.

  • Tenacious

    When I first started with the doubts I wanted to make sure I was right. I had to prove it to myself because I had dedicated decades and was not about to just throw it away without being 100% sure. This research lasted a couple of months as I had to be careful about not raising suspicion with the friends (I was a highly respected senior member of the congo that's all I'll disclose). The more I dug the worse it got. By about the third month I was fully convinced I had been made a fool. So at that time I needed to figure out how to remove myself from everything without causing much of a stir. Enter the "fade." So I stopped offering remarks, stopped giving talks (made excuses), and started missing every other meeting. I still had to carry out my congo duties which I did (assigning talks, counseling, pastoral visits, assigning ushers, etc) reluctantly but continued to do so.

    This went on for about an additional 2 months and even though I was irregular in terms of meeting attendance I made sure to attend all social activities. Whenever I attended the social gatherings I would immediately pick up on the "vibe" and "look/stares" from the friends that told me just like I attended all social gatherings that I should likewise be able to attend all KH meetings. By this time I could care less and they knew their little insignificant stares and looks were all worthless to me as I was OTWO. These stares just confirmed what I had already learned about cults and how members are trained to make those that are non-compliant feel guilty.

    It wasn't until the middle of the fifth month that I asked to speak with a very good friend of mine in private after one meeting. This "very good friend" being the good little company elder that he was asked if it was okay if we were joined by another elder to which I agreed. At this point I feel he knew something was up given my recent "spiritual activity." It was at this meeting that I resigned and turned in my KH keys. Naturally, both men were in shock and asked if I would reconsider and perhaps wait until the next CO visit to see if "something could be done." I understood this "something could be done" as the CO's attempt to make me reconsider. I told them that my decision was final and I wished them the best.

    These men knew the impact my stepping down would cause within the congo as I was a very influential and personal confidant of many friends. I would be the first to be approached when members were looking for realistic, down to earth, emotional support. Someone who would actually understand and view them from a "normal" lens and not a WTS lens. But after turning in everything I continued attending meetings perhaps twice a month until I finally quit altogether. I showed up for the next 2 assemblies and 2 memorials but after that I was finished.

    I knew I would have to walk away from many "friends" people I had grown up with and were like family. So from the moment I found out it was 100% bull crap I prepared myself mentally. As far as my home, well my spouse did not take the changes too kindly and was completely opposed to me leaving. She felt that "apostates and satan" had invaded me and I was now their puppet believing all the lies and vitriol they would spew on God's only earthly organization. After a couple of years she finally stopped attending as many "friends" started to keep their distance from her even though she never did anything! I know, loving organization right?

    So, to answer the OP question; Once I found out it was bull crap I started "the fade" and never looked back. I did not care how people would perceive me as I was not going to continue to be made a fool. There were many heartaches and emotional turmoil but today, I am at peace, and could not be happier. Our home is at peace and although religion is still a sensitive area we are back to my pre-exiting days. As each day goes by my spouse continues to see the org for what it really is. I hope one day she can also walk away mentally.

  • stillin

    I fell asleep

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Tenacious, how many apostates invaded you? Did you need larger pants after this, or a larger hat?

    I'm just teasing you; I've had 47 apostates invade me, and it was EXQUISITE!

    But seriously, thanks for sharing your experience. Isn't it funny how once we wake up we ask ourselves, "How could I have believed that?"

  • eyeuse2badub

    great f*cking question!

    just saying!

  • LongHairGal


    It was more about ‘friendships’ I didn’t want to lose. After the 1995 Generation teaching, I knew deep in my heart it was over but I dragged my feet. I tried to suppress what I was feeling. Since I worked I was already on the fringes of the congregation. I missed many meetings. I was an older person at this point and the elders and Users knew they’d never get anywhere with me so I was left alone.

    I didn’t really look on the internet until the year 2000. When I saw the mountain of information and scandals about the Witness religion it confirmed my suspicions.. I had nothing but contempt for the whole thing and couldn’t tolerate the bullshit anymore.. My feet were pointed towards the door. It just so happened there was a death in my family- and I used this convenient timing to get me started on my overdue ‘fade’ from the JW religion.

  • SAHS

    It seems that it’s always the friends and family relationships that end up keeping the JWs stuck in the organization. Yeah – that and, at least in the beginning, the fear.

    It kind of makes me think of a mean bully of a husband demanding and forcing his wife at gunpoint to tell him, “I love you.” (Sarcasm on now): Yeah. Real genuine, sincere, and well-grounded motives in both cases, eh? Yeah, how oh so genuine and sincere. (Not.) Yeah, the “truth” of the WT must really be the thing that keeps people in because they “believe” it wholeheartedly . . . . so much so that when they can manage to get a clean break from it, then they’re off like a flash – like a bird that escapes from a net!

  • Vidiot
    Tenacious - "...The more I dug the worse it got..."

    Oh, yeah.

    Weirdly enough, it's one of the reasons some doubters actually resist research so much...

    ...on some level, they've already realized that the more they go looking for evidence that the WTS is right, the more evidence they'll find that it's not.

  • Tenacious

    @ NN: Funny right? When she would say that I just scoffed at how deluded and manipulated the mind could get.

    Some of the first books I read were CoC and some hard to find Duane Magnani books. I think I read CoC online but the Magnani books I had to actually buy. I searched high and low for all books WT related. I also read Apostles of Denial which is an excellent book. That one I read online as well.

    Today, yes, like you and thousands of other board members I also ask myself:

    How could I have believed that?

    @ Vidiot: Yeah, you're right. I strongly suspect many of the friends know something is off but would rather continue taking the crap and saying "umm, yummy, please no more" (quote from film Greedy) than to have to turn their world upside down and stop being made a stooge. Some people just have more sand to stand up for truth than others.

  • iwantoutnow

    Cuz I thought it was the truth, then it took a few years to convince myself, and set up a Fade what would work to get my immediate family out too.

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