14 kids from the same old congregation

by StephaneLaliberte 9 Replies latest jw experiences

  • StephaneLaliberte

    This week, while talking with some old friends, I realized that there were at least 14 kids from a congregation in which I grew up that all left the JWs. That is, 30 to 35 years ago, there were at least 14 kids going to the hall that were of the same “generation” (5 to 13 years old). In the last 30 years, they have all left “the truth”.

    Many of us have suffered greatly: some were beaten, many have lost contact with their parents, some have suffered depression and I know of at least one who was molested by a known pedophile. And yet, ultimately, all of them have left and made new lives for themselves.

    While we can be sorry for the pain we experienced and the impact this religion still has over our lives, we can rejoice in the fact that we have survived and are doing fairly well with our lives. We have since become Mail man, Inspectors, Doctors, Engineers, Account Managers, Investment counsellors, etc. And as we encounter various degree of success in our lives, we can’t help but observe how those who have stayed inside are still suffering greatly from such a choice. Some have died refusing blood transfusion, some have remained in the cleaning business with little aside, others have denied higher education to their own kids, etc.

    Can you imagine? Looking at a congregation today and tell them that most of their kids will not stay in? That the majority of the parents in that hall raising their children will ultimately be told to shun them? How can they claim to be a “happy people” with good “fruits”?

  • Spiral

    I know - Jehovah's "happy people" are wrecks. I'd like to know how many people from my generation are still in, but none of us are in touch. (Well, actually, that's not true, one turned in to a rabid elder who emailed from time to time. We ignored him and he stopped.)

    Looking at a congregation today and tell them that most of their kids will not stay in?

    Where I am right now they do know - but no one's discussing it. Head in the sand to the end!

  • blondie

    In my 60's, it is amazing how many jws only ten years younger have died. The generation above me is almost all gone. I am part of the 1975 generation and those born in that year are approaching 40. If we assume they had to be 10 to understand any of 1975, they would be approaching 50. Soon few will be alive to remember the old doctrines that have changed and a time when a date was set. The last real date before 1975 was 1925 and I had never heard about it until I started researching and reading old books prior to 1945.

    So many of my generation are living their lives out in a bottle. Many are divorced or would be if it weren't so expensive, disappointing the kids, etc.

    I get a little feedback on some of my closer circle. Divorces, early deaths, children not jws, grandchildren not jws, inactive due to cruelty in the congregation, etc. Whereas, jws I knew that have gotten out, are happier, living their present lives not putting them on hold for a non-existent future.

    I hope some of the others wake up. But I am not responsible for them, just my own decisions.

  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    The upper echelon know it. That is why the special parts on retaining youngsters, caleb n Sophia, and push for baptism to lock them in.

    They dont do anything about insane comments about education, getting a job, having an attractive spouse, all the things that drive anyone with intelligence away

  • RogueRavenclaw

    Most of my "80s Babies" childhood peer group has left as well. The few who remain in, I have little to no contact with (but that started when they got married at 18, and I did not, and had nothing to do with how inactive I am now) I guess they did me a favor in a way because it's easier to wake up if you are not surrounded by fake JW BFFs and you allow yourself to make new friends outside the Org. As well as keeping in touch with those who left.

    My 2nd Gen mother is 60 now and she also remembers 1975, but her view of it was indoctrinated to match the Post 75 attitudes. My dad was baptized that year and he also would say he didn't understand why anyone thought that was The Big Year. There was a time when they might have been able to wake up but I think that time has passed.

  • alanv

    I think once we all start thinking about the kids we knew when we were in, we will soon realize that as the pew report shows 66% of them have left the org during their adulthood. It is one of the most mobile religions on the planet. I must make that point to the jdubs next time they call.

  • DesirousOfChange

    Stephanie, I'm curious if there are any of the kids that you think might have been better off in life if they'd had stayed with The Troof?

    I know a few who left but ended up living really debauched lives that resulted in bad circumstances, including at least one in prison, one OD on drugs, etc. Awakening to TTATT doesn't mean that your life automatically improves. It depends on what you do with the years you have left.

    The greatest revenge is living a happy & successful life!

  • sir82

    I am part of the 1975 generation and those born in that year are approaching 40.

    If we assume they had to be 10 to understand any of 1975, they would be approaching 50.

    2019 - 1975 = 44, 2019 - 1965 = 54.

    Those guys are halfway through their 40s & 50s. Time stands still for no man

    (I am an "age of understanding" dude; even though I was just a little kid, I clearly remember the 1975 hype, both from the "literature" and the talks).

    Oh, and back on topic - as outlined in the OP, most of the kids I grew up with attending the KH are no longer JWs - I'd say probably 75% are long gone.

  • Dagney

    I just reconnected with a dozen or so from my teenage hall a few years ago, and we are talking 1970-1975 era. Of the ones that we know of, 60-70% left, and left way before me. I think of the ones that are still in, I think a good percentage of their kids and grandkids have left.

    I saw several elders at a memorial service a month ago, we were all teenagers together. I am telling you, they looked so weary, and tired. They looked beat up, not kidding. I know they know it's BS, and don't know what to do about it.

  • StephaneLaliberte
    DesireousOfChange: I'm curious if there are any of the kids that you think might have been better off in life if they'd had stayed with The Troof?

    Great question. You are correct in stating that many who leave tend to go to a debauched life and some never make it. In those I have mentioned, many experienced severe depressions and some fell into dependency for drugs/alcohol for several years. In fact, one of the 14 even died in a car accident due to reckless driving. Despite this, most of them now lead normal lives; even if this meant several years, if not, decades for many! And yet, some are still struggling with their spiritual identity to this day.

    This often brings the comment from JWs: “All this is because they left the truth!” “See what happens when you leave Jehovah!” What they fail to understand is that for many, if not, all of those who struggled in their lives, the primal cause was, in fact, being raised in the truth in the first place.

    Those who leaves the JWs will come from severely broken families. They will generally loose all proper contact with their family and friends. This, in and of itself, is already very difficult, and yet, there is more! They will also experience a sense of absolute loss, not knowing who to trust anymore.

    Throughout their childhood and young adult lives, they were told time and again not to trust anyone but their religion. This trust is severely broken the day they find out that they were in fact lied to. That the history of their religion has been whitewashed, that they are in fact permissive towards pedophiles, that historical facts supporting their prophesies have been deliberately selected/manipulated to fit their narratives, that biblical passages have been taken out of context to support their believes, etc.

    Deserters have to re-evaluate their view of the world and everything that surrounds them. As they struggle to build all this, severely isolated through the practice of shunning, those who cause the most harm than blame these victims: “It wouldn’t be so had they remained faithful to God (aka: Watchtower).”

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