I had two episodes of visiting exJW websites:
One time around 2007 when I just googled "Jehovah´s Witnesses" and dared to look at those sites. I was scared and I promised myself I would never come back to them. However, that one didn´t really count.
The moment that woke me up was this:
I got to know that Whitney Heichel was a JW and murdered by another JW, because I overheard that conversation in a Kingdom Hall.
I looked up the news and in one of the news comments, there was one where an exJW was complaining that they were hijacking her funeral and they were really trying to downplay the fact that her murderer was a JW... and then it said "visit jwfacts.com"... which I did.
And the rest... is history.
What EXACTLY got you onto an apostate website when you woke up??
What was the EXACT exJW website you first visited and why EXACTLY did you visit it?
I had two episodes of visiting exJW websites:
I happened upon Danny Hazzard's site and Rick Fearon's. I thought they were crazy. Still do. It didn't help me to wake up...just the opposite.
But I would say this website was the first one I considered. I was trying to verify information in the October 2011 Watchtower about 607 BC. And this discussion was going on at the time about that very subject. I wanted to avoid "apostate" information to the best I could. So when I did start reading the discussion, I read it with skepticism. I assumed I would have to weed out misinformation and half-truths, but over a few weeks, it became apparent that Watchtower was not only wrong, but were the ones being deceptive.
It took time to understand things like what "lunar threes" were and other technicalities, but the skycart someone posted of "Saturn in the Swallow" on VAT4956 sealed the deal.
Back then, I feel there was more in-depth posting and less foaming at the mouth, especially politically. That stuff would have scared me off back then.
I can't remember which one was the "first" but
JW facts - it was a simple easy to navigate website with credible information.
WTdocuments (Barb Anderson) - the personal experiences were invaluable for me to see I wasn't crazy or alone. Randy Watters bethel experience was very illuminating.
John Cedars/JW survey - interesting reading and, again, proof for me the questions I was asking and the conclusions I was drawing were reasonable not "mentally diseases."
JWstruggle YT - Eric is such a sweetheart.
What drove me to search apostate stuff was simple - desperation!
I was so lost, so confused, so alone with it all and out on a limb I literally had no one else or nowhere else to turn but to apostates for answers!
I looked at various sites but I felt bored with them. I am not much of a computer person but when my wife told me about this site I was hook at the get go. This is still pretty much the only place I go to. Still Totally ADD
During 2002, the Silent Lambs Organization took up the Issue of child abuse and this was very much publicized on the media.
At that time during the TMS meeting, we were advised not to read any apostate material or visit any apostate sites. I was new to the internet at that time and really didn’t know how to search for apostate sites. Hence I wondered “what the heck do those apostate sites mean”?
During 2008 a JW friend of mine raised serious doubts about the 607 BCE. I searched for that in Youtube and had an apostate give an elaborate explanation about how WT had twisted that.
By then, google was much used to me and immediately I searched for “Jehovahs Witnesses”. A bunch of apostate sites came up. However the first few ones were Jwfacts.com and http://ajwrb.org.
Jwfacts.com was the site that exposed the cult wholly and its my Saviour too. Otherwise I would still be wasting my life for the cult.
July 01, 2012 a Sunday afternoon. I was one angry JW. After forty years of being baptized, a fourth (four overlapping) generation JW who was running the hamster wheel of JW-dom trying to live up to the demands to be an "exemplary" JW, doing all the things that a MS would normally do without EVER getting a bit of recognition or encouragement, watching man after man get appointed in spite of their drunkenness - adultery - theft - embezzlement - lying - tax evasion - insurance fraud and being told "just wait on Jehovah" because those men gave BIG $$$$ to the congregation.
I was scheduled to read the prior Sunday and the WT conductor trotted his son up because he didn't see me during the song. Then on July 01, 2012 the WT study was titled "Do You Really Appreciate God’s Gift of Marriage?" The WT conductor blindsided me three minutes before the meeting and told me he wanted me to decline to read as many years before (nearly twenty) I had committed the one infraction of JW law. I had married "out of da troof" and then two years later divorced by the woman who remarried, and someone "might be stumbled" by hearing me read about marry only in the lord." I refused to step down and he again had his son come up to read. He said it was direction from "holy spirit" after he had prayed about it.
I started that afternoon researching the operation (or lack thereof) of holy spirit and found this site, and after lurking for some while joined up and the rest is history as they say.
Like a man who has scales fall from their eyes I have seen more and more clearly the lack of holy spirit, the nepotism, the greed of the org.
I was out for some 45 years or so when for some reason or other I wanted to know how many JW's. In finding the answer to that question a lot of ex JW sites were listed. I think the first site I visited was Freeminds I just kept coming back to it especially reading about the experiences of those Bethelites who were now EX's.
Eventually I found this site and hung around.
Back then, I feel there was more in-depth posting and less foaming at the mouth, especially politically. That stuff would have scared me off back then
I can agree with that. Who knows how many people have been scared off by the harshness and ignorance of some posters.
Randy Watters website FREEMINDS was the first website that I found. Being an exBethelite, I found his stories compelling and rang true with my own experience at Bethel. Wish he was still keeping that site current.
My first "apostate" or negative information about the Society was actually when I read their own older publications! They were full of crazy nonsense that the modern organization would be ashamed of.
That made me so curious...
So I looked for support forums and found this great community. My soft landing place!
I then remembered that a guy I was at Bethel with had supposedly started a site ...and I saw that Paul was here on this site too!. So I reached out to him anonymously.
I then searched for his site...and it was jw.facts.com - and the rest is history!
I made a post (comment) on a board of a few people before H20 was in full force - about 1998-99. I'd put in a search for xJWs and nothing around probably before '98/'99. There was some site where I'd made a comment about the religion and replies seemed clueless re/JWs and surprised to hear. Then H20 was created one day -- the hwy. to reality. There may have been one other site before this one (JWN which is best ever/so grateful for Simon) and after H20 -- anyone know?