Who can you trust to admit you have doubts?
When the society constantly drums into the flock that "the GB alone are the conveyors of truth" and that "doubting or questioning is evidence of spiritual weakness or wickedness", the reality is that most will not tolerate ANYTHING that smacks of "apostasy"
Dont trust anyone! seriously!
I see three dangerous types of people in the congregations that can lure you to express your doubts:
1) "weak one": You suppose somebody who is missing meetings and doing the absolute minimum will discuss your doubts freely. Mistake! When you confront him with the TTATT, he turns to be a hard core WTS apologist and report you to the elders.
2) "semi-doubter": person expressing various doubts for less important WTS dogmas - trumpets in Revelation, university education - or the person criticizing CO, DO, branch committee. You think "okay I am safe to come out in front of him". Again it is a mistake! When confronted with serious stuff ("deep truths") - wrong christology of WTS, God's name in the new testament, FDS/GB not being led by the Spirit - he looks like he caught you sharing child porn and he goes to the elders.
3) "I can explain everything": self-confident elder who says "come to me, express your doubts, I can explain it. I will give you arguments. Let's discuss the matter." He is so self-confident! He thinks he can destroy any argument against the WTS easily. In reality he expects something like
You: "Brother X, I do not understand the 1914 teaching."
Him: "OK, so let's think - who else is preaching worldwide in 236 lands? Who else has such a great webpage jw.org?"
You: "Oh yes!, thank you brother, now I do not have any doubts anymore"
But if you put really strong arguments on the table, he is upset and he will start to look for ways to DF you.
At the end it is almost impossible to find somebody in the congo to share your doubts...
Very well said alcyone!!!
I actually had a good friend that I voiced significant concerns with shortly before my fade began.
He was an MS, and he never once narced on me.
I guess I was lucky.
Can't trust really anyone. I've seen a couple times......."friends" turning in friends for self promotion with the elders. Loyalty was pretty much quickly rewarded with MS recommendations. Can't make this stuff up. They look for guys that are company men. Personally, I've dropped tidbits to my wife.......but very very slowly
I was good friends with one CO and talked over the oddities we saw he agreed with me that if the GE NERATION teaching changed we would be off immediately
I am out and he is still in even with changes to the generation bedrock.
Not just one change but regular portions of "new light"
Outside the Org/"worldly" people? I admitted my doubts to them, and they could not wait until I left for good (some had been waiting for years, including my siblings).
In the Org/congregation that I was in? No one. The few people I did tell (my mother & aunt, the only JWs in my family, as well as an unbaptized publisher), have had varying reactions:
*Mother (inactive due to sickness): she can't believe I "betrayed" Jehovah and my dedication. Because we live in the same household, we do get into arguments on what I know of TTATT, periodically. She can counter me with anything that has been brought up ("every religion has their issues, JWs are no different," has been the summation of most arguments), except for the Australian Royal Commission. She remains close lipped about it, even when presented with evidence from YouTube. "Presumptuous" indeed. She still phones in for the meetings because I no longer drive her there. No one from the congregation calls her or comes by to see how she's doing...nothing (it's not a secret that I take care of her as well, so that's another reason why they're not coming by). It isn't lost on either of us, we see it, but she still "believes."
*Aunt (good standing in her congregation, but has very few, if any, "friends"): I remember her completely understanding where I was coming from when I explained TTATT, and the ARC; she even voiced her doubts to me. The cognitive dissonance came in full force when she shunned me, even before I disassociated. She told my mother that if I were at (my parent's house), I'd be better off in my room when she came to visit. I told my mother that she should not come at all until I move out; she was not going to make me feel uncomfortable in a house where I am paying the bills. Once my father got wind of it, he banned her (and her family) from even coming around any of us. That sordid tale will be told another day...
*My Unbaptized Publisher Friend (single mother, apparently "marked" for hanging with me): She doesn't care if I left, just as long as I'm happy (she does know about TTATT from her siblings too). I think she's in it due to family obligations for her ailing JW mother (as a live-in caretaker) and relatives. I remain respectful of her wishes, and keep our friendship toned down. I only contact her every once in a while, just to let her know that I'm living (and no longer depressed). She is the only person that was, and has, kept my doubts a secret.
Great topic. You can't trust anyone. But in some congs there also people who can't leave, but everybody is afraid to tell TTATT. This is the problem, as long as you in and look for building a way out, you can't show your face. Everytime you do so, you can get caught.
Ayola - "...'every religion has their issues, JWs are no different', has been the summation of most arguments..."
To which I would respond with, "If JWs are 'no different', then where's the advantage in staying with them?"
I have asked this. All she states is, "I know this is the truth..." and ends with something that sounds lame enough for me to not remember, so we are at a stalemate.