This is my first post. I am Physically In and Mentally Out.
How did I get here? Well I will not be offering a TL/DR version as that would be too difficult and it would also be an oversimplification of how I got to see the man behind the curtain.
My story begins at the 2016 Regional Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses. For those that attended (The one with the tear-jerking video at the end of the program with the beautiful music and the family being reunited with dead loved ones, etc.)
I am a middle aged man and that video made me cry like a baby at the convention. I had just lost a dear family member and my emotions were very, very raw. My mother asked me after the convention if I had a way to get that music on .MP3 and I obliged as the self-appointed tech guru (Google Searcher) for my family.
So when my searches found this song to be something not orchestrated by the world renowned Watchtower Symphony, but rather a song 'Eternal Flame' by the group AudioMachine, I was like WTF!?! You see I had doubts before, like how could I serve as an appointed man for over 10 years and all the while struggle with Pornography and Masturbation, and yet be considered for many prestigious roles and responsibilities in the organization. Why was Holy Spirit allowing me to continue in this role and at the same time be sitting on a seat of judgement against other humans condemning them to a life of shunning and shame over their weaknesses?
I was told by the brothers that King David and others were extended mercy and God was being merciful to me and helping me by mercy to see my error. (I was not dealt with Judicially / just counseled by elders and removed from serving). I worked so hard to get back to a good standing pushing doubts aside and finally I was reappointed in 2016. two months later I was at the Regional convention that put me where I am today.
Finding out that you can't watch R rated movies, that the world is evil, controlled by Satan, that violent video games and spiritism are all bad and will result in no Paradise for You. And yet Here, Audio Machine, whose album covers would alone get me a stern talking to in the back room was the same musical group being used by Jehovah's Earthly organization to promote it's ideals. How could this be, I thought? How could they say no short skirts and the video itself used purchased footage showing a woman with an 'immodest dress' that would have again resulted in a poor sister getting a visit from the Modesty police.
Why this affected me so deeply is that I struggle with absolutes. If it's wrong here, it's wrong there. If you can do this now you can do it later. If music and entertainment is of a certain type and considered bad, then it's bad no matter where it is found or used. So how could the organization that i loved be doing this. I felt betrayed, confused, angry. It was a deer in the headlights look that I got from the friends as I actually purchased the eternal flame Album and played in my car out in service to elicit a reaction. With the crazy album cover showing on the screen. And the passengers hearing the music, it didn't compute. Out of fear I kept it to myself and started to think, "What else is going on, that I don't know about"?
I gave little credit this site or ex-jw Reddit, as they must be a bunch of bitter mad apostates. But I did find JW-Facts and that broke the dam loose. I was like Sheriff Brody in Jaws when the Spielberg Camera effect zoomed in as he saw the young boy eaten by a monstrous shark and yet was like did that really happen?
I listened to all the material I could get my hands on (Barbara Anderson and Lloyd Evans/Cedars) And I have religiously looked at this site and loved finding out details about the org from WIFI-Bandit and Atlantis before they say anything at meetings. I have read the Abuse stories and watched the ARC.The pieces of the truth don't fit anymore as the gaps of ignorance have created a void that leaves no reconciliation possible.
I have begun to develop friendships with the world and I have learned that there are shitty people everywhere but that there are also good and loving people everywhere. You choose who you are friends with. I am making that choice. My wife will not go with me on this journey and neither will my parents, but My happiness is more important than living a lie. I will not comfort the small children as they lay in the lower reaches of the Titanic and its certain fate, but I will fight to live and to breath with no more chains and no more guilt.
Whether I believe in Christ / I will enjoy the holidays. I will enjoy my Birthday and others. I will celebrate life because it is the only one we get.
I am preparing my escape, and I will not fade quietly. I will leave like tearing off a band-aid, I will disassociate and that will be that.
This is a start and I will share more/ feel free to ask me anything, I am not afraid, what can man do to me :-)
Much Love and Peace to My Fellow Humans,