Born into a strong JW family in the early 80s. My father died when I was 4 and that left a huge emotional scar on my tender mind.
With my mother, I went to live with family members and was sexually abused between 4 and 10. He was an MS but when elders later found out, all that happened was he got his privileges removed. I was told to tell other brothers and sisters that he was no longer well and so had come off being an appointed man. To my absolute horror looking back, I enjoyed the abuse - I enjoyed the intimacy and I’m ashamed to say, the stimulation - I have never managed to overcome masturbation (I realize now masturbation is normal, but not in JW land)and perverted sexual desires.
Racked with guilt but also a strong desire to see my father in the resurrection, I did what a good witness boy should do and get baptized at 10. The ‘love’ and positive reinforcement from the congregation drove me ever forwards.
At 16 I entered regular pioneer ministry and at 19 I was accepted into London Bethel.
I soon realized that bethel was a factory and it was the congregation where brothers showed love. I reasoned that it had to be like that and if brothers were cold it was because they were heading an organization- no room for emotions.
I left Bethel in 2010 and studied an online undergraduate degree. For the first time, I realized that I had never studied anything before. I stumbled across the videos of Christoper Hitchens and began to agree with the arguments he presented. He basically dismantled my faith with reason and logic.
It’s horrible to be stuck in a religion when you don’t believe in god anymore. Sitting through assemblies and conventions makes me angry and sad. Then I started to look at the clips of John Cedars and the JW facts website and it became apparent that I, along with the the rest of us, have been treated so badly by an organization whose sole purpose is to acquire power for its own sake. They are an organization driven by position and ‘accurate knowledge’ - knowledge that only comes from them.
So I find myself committed to a vow made at 10 which hinges on the promise of seeing my dead father and of wiping away my guilt in being abused. It was an emotional decision made by a vulnerable child. I now come to the reasoned decision as an educated adult that I no longer want anything to do with this organization. However, if I act on that decision, my dear mother as well as my ‘friends’, and most importantly my darling wife will see me as wicked and look for ways to remove themselves from my life.
Thank you for reading.