How many "leave the truth" because of the behaviour of harsh elders?
The lack of care was actually secondary for me. I already understood that a lot of people who reach out for any position over other people are basically assholes or insecure. Not all, but a lot of them. Like cops. They really are just waiting for a chance to tase, shoot, Billy club, etc. pent up frustration, I suppose.
To answer your question (and put aside my psychobabble) it was really the whole construct that gobsmacked me in the face. Invisible everything, all contrived and patched together by a few sketchy people who lay claim to "special knowledge." The scales fell from my eyes and here I am, on an apostate website baring my soul.
I think this is causative effect of many people leaving this religion by the overly personal scrutiny by JWS elders, playing too hard as righteous avengers over the flock.
If it isn't about guilt and shaming people to go out in service, its about how you dress, who you are associating with, what your reading, what music do you listen too etc etc.
There is a lot of two faced pretentiousness in every JW congregation and some of that coming from elders.
A two faced pretentious controlling hierarchy (GB) running the show eventfully funnels itself down to the lower ranks.
The elders harsh behavior was just the icing on the cake. I had long-standing doctrinal issues and severe cognitive dissonance to the point of an emergency hospitalization for being over medicated for PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder and severe, recurrent clinical depression.
They DF'd my son. Rightly so-- he told them, 'I have a girlfriend' (separated, but still married) as he blew cigarette smoke in their faces and said, "Just Fuc*ing disfellowship me." They obliged. I chose not to shun him, instead I walked away.
I had my doubts about a number of things. However, it was the bullying of the elders that lead me to investigate my doubts. I gave myself permission to research and question, to begin to use critical thinking. As a result, I was able to see the controlling nature of the Organization Once you see, you can't "unsee". My wife is slowly beginning to see as well. The unkindness and outright hateful lies of some very controlling and self righteous elders have played a large part in helping to wake her up.
My husband didn't get reappointed after we were married because my field service record was not up to standard. 2 years later one of the elders who made that decision asked me what my name was before a meeting. Hmm.
I stopped attending meetings when I fell into depression. No one cared for a long time. Eventually a couple of elders came to see why I wasn't coming. Assuming I was upset with someone. When I told them I was suffering depression one of them told me he didn't think I was depressed because I was still able to go to work and depressed people can't leave the house.
I have not returned.
Some really honest and deeply sad comments. Thanks for sharing.
I can truthfully say that several corrupt and nasty elders in a couple of congregations was what incited me to start critically examining whether I had found "the true religion" or not.
Once the surface is scratched, the veneer doesn't take long to disintegrate. Thank you, "hiding places from the wind."
Does an idiot C.O. harshly enforcing unwritten rules count? If so - raises hand.
I too departed due to aberrant behaviour on the part of the BoE. On the 3rd such occasion I departed the congregation. I just cannot tolerate abuse.
That elders are appointed by holy spirit is the most fanciful of fantasies!