Interview with an Apostate - Wozza
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
Born in the early 50’s in London England to non JW parents and when I was young we moved to Adelaide South Australia and there my brother was born .
I contracted TB on the ship over and was treated in hospital for months with a antibiotic which is banned for humans here now . My father would tell me tearfully over the years how horrible it was for me and them .Even then ,dad was told by doctors I may have nerve and brain damage from the treatment and an unstable temperament.
My parents had difficult lives themselves and never got on or talk, I thought this normal, my brother and me never got on well either and basically it was a house of hate but we got on with life ,all the time I watched other families and wondered why we were different. Dad was in WW11 in the RAF as a bomber on Lancaster planes and such for the full term of the war and it damaged him terribly – I have written on here before about him and how his attitude toward war affected my thinking growing up. He had PTSD ,as a child I was inquisitive and would go over his old RAF photos and ask countless questions which he struggled with but was patient. One day he broke down as I was going thru the photos again and explained like never before the things that happened in that war personally to him ,all of theyoung men in the photos died back then, and I realised he was riddled with guilt for being the only one to survive the war .I was 10 and came closer to understanding dad from that time on. Before, I could not understand why he would send me into shops for tobacco and his chewing gum for instance.
My mother was a nut job if ever there was one ,born out of wedlock to poverty ,her mother died when my mother was 12 and then she was on the streets .An aunty died and left her a massive amount of money and some slimy relatives took her in only then and spent all her money ,only to throw her on the streets again. But that was not before she suffered sexual abuse and torture at their hand. So she was twisted and ill prepared to marry and have children and as a result her past was passed onto myself and my brother as I have written about on this site before. She became a mormon when I was about 3- 4 ,which dad hated and we had American missionaries around contantly with their religion and brags of America as “Gods own Country” ,I always wondered as a kid why would God select these braggers as special people. Well she was booted out of the Mormons ,as I found out years later for having a relationship with a young boy at the church who I new well ,he was about 4 years older than me.
Things were pretty bad at home by the time I was 12 .My brother and me experienced sexual abuse and I was abducted from outside a public swimming pool and raped in a car and left to struggle home ,I kept all my secrets till I was 40 and lived daily with them till I told my father then – he was crushed and I lived with the guilt of telling him till his death.
Amongst all of this my mother pushed me to develop skills of divination etc saying it was good and the skills I learned over the years ,even before I was 12 ,made me a nervous wreck, foretelling terrible events in others lives confused me (from what source was this power?) By the time I was 20 it was eating away at my sanity ,I was convicing myself this was all imagined and I was making this up .The trouble was the people were still in my life and knew what the truth was . It scared me so much as to where this power came from so I forced myself away from the people and doing the divination amongst other things .
Met my first wife who was terrified by my past and would’nt talk about it ,which suited me. Finally I thought ,a bit of normal life ,get a home raise kids and forget the past .Her mother was a JW and so in the early 70’s I began discussions about her beliefs and accepted a study with an elder in the local congregation ,I asked him if the big A was coming in 1975 and he said he thought so ,which was contrary to the mother-in-laws thoughts so I quit the study and we moved away but the sisters caught up with my wife in the late 70’s.
Sorry if that was lengthy but I thought a bit of background might be helpful.
Were you a born in or a convert?
Are your parents / family Jws?
How many generations have been Jws?
Did you hold any position in the WTS? (MS, Elder etc…)
About 1980 I studied and gave it up again ,then one day a brother came around and I liked his manner so I started again ,baptised early80’s and became a MS a few years later ,told the body I won’t be an Elder because of work/family/and the the number of bible studies we had, my wife was a full time pioneer for years and we brought many into the org.
Did you *really* believe in the bible, in spirits (angels, demons)?
Well by the time I did my last study I thought I had found the truth ,here was an explanation for the spiritistic practises and the source of powers I had used !
Also a world of peace and love was possible with Satan gone nobody would be hurt like me and my family had experienced and I wanted the best for my kids
Did you get baptised? When and why?
Yes 1983 .I thought this has to be the answer to mankinds woes ,I studied the blue “TRUTH” book
What was the initial trigger that made you start questioning things?
Being so busy teaching others I learnt empathy for people and fealt for there plight.
Over time I saw the hypocrisy of so many brothers and especially Elders who would not really help the people once they camein. They were left to their own troubles, and some of them I studied with ,and they had been alchoholics and drug addicts, or simply like myself had tough things happen in their lives. They needed on going help not meetings field service and such. They were supposed to be shepherded and comforted not ignored ,they were broken and hurt people .
Of course this came to a head when the elder body confronted me about “going around to the brothers and sisters”. I had already been thru a similar situation with helping a young brother ,an elders son, turn back from fornication and return to Jehovah. The body said I was usurping their headship when in actual fact they had alredy conspired to DF him because they despised the young mans father . He actually did turn back when I met with him and took another brother as a witness ,but this was not good enough and they DF’d him anyway – where was the love that Christ taught?
This I guess started my questioning and I continued being a thorn in elders sides ffrom then on.
Where did you find information? Internet sites? Books?
My marriage broke up and I was left a single father at the beginning of the 90’s ,my delusion of the truth holding the marriage together smashed (3 fold cord BS etc),I’d stopped being a MS earlier to save the marriage, and stopped studying with people and had more time to look at the Org more and keep my kids in ,but there was too much BS at the meetings going on . People treated me with suspicion now because I was a single father ,rumours amongst the brothers that I was an adulterer which were lies, and when I sought help from the brothers it was’nt there. I wanted to look into the JW org but there were no books at the library and it was pre internet days for me.
I married again to a sister who after our wedding night revealed her elder father had molested her for years ,and so began 15 years of fighting the Watchtower for justice ,he denied it of course and in time the internet came to my life and the Silent Lambs web site which helped me greatly. Along those years I saw how HUMAN the WTS is ,there was no holy spirit directing this lot!I wore out and so did our marriage ,it had survived so much ,what with my kids becoming addicts and helping them clean up ,I was broken and my wife was lost because the WTS had not been there for her and her father is still a JW today, she left me and the org. ,she could’nt cope. We remain friends.
But before she left the 2 witness rule came to a head with an event we had in Queensland Australia before we moved back to Adelaide because my dad was dying. While in Queensland an elder there had purchased an item from me about a year before we left there and it was faulty so I replaced it with a brand new model which was more expensive ,this was because his item had been sent back to the company who supplid me with it to repair ,but they went into liquidation so I thought I would take the loss and give him one of my more expensive new models to settle the situation . Oh no that was’nt good enough and with all sorts of threats made clear was a ******* prick. Shortly after this I was to move states to my father ,but to keep my work liscence continuing I needed written evidence from a brother who I had done work for to prove I was still in the business and did good work so they could liscence me in the stste I was going to . We agreed to meet on a job of his to sign the papers but lo and behold it was the new house of this complaining elder ,and when I got there this elder came out and accused me of cheating him etc but was using the most filthy language and the brother who I had come to see ,his fleshly brother and another JW witnessed the whole scene . When I tried to sort this mess out “theocratically “the Elder and his cronies shut me down . So I got written testimony from the 3 brothers of what they had witnessed and then was on my way to my new home state. From there I contacted by mail the Bethel in Sydney Australia and they now had a 3 witness account of the event with this elder .
Of course all that happened was the elder sent a letter to me ,at the order of Bethel, but this letter did’nt acknowlege any error on his part ,no apology just a limp excuse for his behaviour – but that was what I needed to see the WTS for what it is ,that was the final nail especially since all the years of fighting the WTS over my wifes rapes and no 2 witnesses.
How difficult or painful was the process of leaving?
I guess it was a long painful exit
Was it a big dramatic exit or a careful quiet fade?
Before my wife left we stopped going to meetings after the letter came from Bethel. I have written on here before how I exposed pedophiles in our congregation ,but it was painful for the elders involved but probably not dramatic for the others in our congo as the details were hidden from them. But I continued to expose the pedophiles and the WTS reasing on how to handle these cases. As far as I know they dF’d me remotely.
Did you convince anyone else to leave with you?
How were your family relations affected by your decision?
My children are grown into adults into good working lives and they were thrilled at me leaving
Were you or are you still being shunned by those who didn't leave?
I was well known in this area as an MS ,pioneered from time to time and any old timers run like rabbits. They totally shun me ,don’t come to my door unless theres a mistake made
How long have you now been out?
About 12 years
Was there anything you looked forward to doing when you left?
Freedom of my mind
What are you most proud of achieving since you left?
Warning others of the pedophile situation when I left ,I so fear for the children in there.
Is there anything you miss about life in the congregation?
Yes there was some really good genuine friends but they would think I am possessed now
Red pill or blue pill? Do you regret waking up to reality at all?
Never ,so thankful for Silent Lambs and this site which helped me find my way to the truth about the WTS!!
Did you become an atheist or transfer your faith elsewhere?
I wish I could believe in a truly active merciful god and son but the reality of religion destroys that hope.
How do you now feel about religion in general?
The opium of the masses just about covers it.
Do you feel any guilt celebrating xmas or birthdays or doing any other JW "no-no"s?
Never did put much stock in that bullshit – no guilt
Have you attended any face-to-face meetups of ex-Jws?
Yes once years ago with an ex sister and a gay ex brother ,met them thru this site
Describe your circle of friends - mostly other ex-JWs or regular people?
Do you tell people about your JW past?
Yes at an appropriate occasion
Do you feel animosity or pity toward current Jws?
I have moved on from wanting to help them see the real truth and don’t feel I have anything special to offer ,once I got the understanding of cognitive dissonance I did’nt feel I could really help anyone leave because I am cut off from them.
How do you respond to witnesses when they call at your door?
If it is ones I know, I am the same friendly person I have always been and they run,
newbies I will tell them the horror they are in
Storm the barricades or tend to the wounded? (do you favor activism or support)
Did the activism to a degree in the past but would gladly help a wouded soul
What do you think is the most effective approach to reaching people still in?
Let the WTS fuck with their lives long enough and watch ‘em leave
Do you think the WTS can or should be destroyed, will continue on as-is or grow / change?
They will survive in some form as we have seen in the last 20 years even with all the revealing of their BS after all they are an American corporation well lawyered up.
How has your life been impacted by your JW past?
Hey I learned to do public speaking ,and human organisations that pretend to be from god are clearly identifiable to me now!
Are there things in your life you blame the WTS for?
.Probably but looking back it was just part of life that I learned from
JW upbringing - a protection or a curse?
I can’t say ,some might gain from the morals taught but then there is a heap of born ins who learned to be utter hypocrites like elders children
How do you fill your time now it's not filled with meetings and field service?
Living a retired life looking forward to working on my old motor bikes and seeing my 8 grand children
Do you still have an interest in JW beliefs and doctrines?
Guess I do ,I want to witness the crumbling American religion fulfill all my expectations of hypocrisy and I admit to a certain pleasure watching the top brass squirm as another piece of shit they pass gets destoyed by time.
How much of your time is still spent on JW related matters?
Not much just check in on how things are going and the ones here are not getting over taken by life and the past.
What do you think of the ex-JW community?
Only come on here don’t see any
Do you see yourself still being associated with the ex-JW community in 5 or 10 years time?
No idea maybe I will have moved on
Do you fear the future?
Probably no more than anyone else
What advice would you give to anyone starting the journey of leaving the WTS?
Here’s the relgion I was baptised into – here is what it is today ,RUN
What would you change in your life if you could go back and talk to yourself?
Don’t trust organisations
Do you have any regrets about life since you left?
I’am proud of what I did supporting my 2nd wife and challenging an evil organisation
Can we read your life-story anywhere? (links to online or books)
Bits and pieces on this site when contribting to discussion mostly
Wozza... Words are failing me. I read. I care and I am so sorry.
Thank you Lois it's nice to hear from caring people here ,after doing this I cried and mourned the life I had ,but being here helps mend things I think. Sorry for the crappy spelling
Wow what a story! Glad there is some peace in your life now. Thank you so much for taking the time to write your story.
Wozza . . .
Wozza, you had an upstream battle from the beginning. Somehow you made it. And kept a kind heart..a braveheart.
That divination stuff. That stuff has always puzzled me because there are people I’ve known that l believe are sound in their mind and perceptions who tells stories such as yours. I don’t know where these stories fit in my own understanding. I certainly have had unusual and inexplicable events that I don’t honestly know how to fit into a worldview that rejects the possibility of something beyond what I can see. That’s as far as I can go towards describing something beyond my understanding but that l must admit it’s having occurred.
It is an uncomfortable subject. You are gutsy to bring it up. I respect it if you have nothing further to say on it. It is a topic my Welsh/ Irish Grandma introduced among others.
Wellsir, wozza. Thanks for your backstory.
Thank you for sharing your story, Wozza. It is a powerful testament to what you have overcome.
Thanks for your comments ,just gave myself a few days to respond after spitting that out.
It,s a pretty normal life for me now getting to know the neighbors while walking the dog etc ,I don't feel any great hatred for the WTS anymore ,moved on a long time ago but when I read others experiences here it upsets me a bit .So I like coming here to read how everyone is going and it's nice to read others stories of getting their lives together .
Thanks for reading
PS: I heard from a friend that they maybe going to sell the local Aldinga Kingdom hall ,I will follow that up !
Thanks for sharing Wozza!