So the past few months since we’ve been married, we’ve hardly been going to the meetings. And my mother says that an informer has been calling her to “tell on us” for not going to the meetings. We’ve told some people that we have been attending meetings in a different area and hall since we are considering moving there. And we actually were interested. Well now we are in the process of buying a house in the area, which I don’t regret because it’s beautiful, and in a great area. But one of the reasons we were moving our lives away is because we thought we would be getting away from everyone we’ve been living around for years and starting somewhere where people don’t know or care about us. But recently at the assembly, we found out some of the loud mouth busy bodies who have connections with my parents have friends in the congregation, who they told to “keep an eye on us” and make sure we’re going to the meetings! So I’m starting to see unless we go very very far away, eventually the word is going to get spread back to my family if we aren’t attending. Our plan was to try to fade for 3 years, then have our first baby, and my family get to see that, and have some help, and then when they start getting a little older around 4 or 5, come out to our families about why we don’t want to raise our children in the religion. But I don’t know if we can make it that far. My husband and I cannot hardly stand sitting through the meetings, and we have no motivation to keep up with these appearances. But naturally, we are scared to disassociate. We have no friends outside the organization and are scared of being isolated. Of course having each other is enough, but it’s nice to have other people in your life too. I guess we will just try to deal with the reputation of being inactive. I’m sorry for this long rant, I know people on here have talked to me about this before, and I really appreciate any advice or encourgment.
When we first got married someone told our families that we were not attending but we were.
Move and don't have your publisher cards sent over to the new congregation. Don't share your address with anyone and live your life and be happy.
Don't give the busy body spies another thought. If you don't start going and they don't have your address it won't take long for them to forget all about keeping any eye out for you.
Then the only thing you will have to deal with are your parents. That is the price of fading.
When you move get established in your new neighborhood and reach out and make new friends....at work, in your area....you will be fine without the nosey intrusive witnesses whose love and friendship is conditional. And get gutsy about the fade process...no need to stretch it out so long. You only will be torturing yourselves if you have truly decided this religion is not for you.
Aren't you stumbled by those nosy busy-bodies? Then THERE is your excuse to not go to the meetings. Blame it on those gossipy people. Hypocrites that they are!
We had an event that truly would have stumbled anyone. I think all of our relatives still "in" and a few close JW friends believe we were "stumbled" by the event and thus have been less judgemental about thinking of us as apostates. Playing that card suits us just fine.
Do what's best for you!
Well now we are in the process of buying a house in the area, which I don’t regret because it’s beautiful, and in a great area.
You are right a local area move is not really going to change much re the JW's who know you or know about you.
But a move can be distracting which would account for a lack of meeting attendance. Until finally it becomes a fade. However always have an answer ready if approached by an official or unofficial JW or close family.
" The JW organization has a problem with pedophiles until this issue is resolved we are no longer comfortable in any congregation."
A move can also be a moment in time when you change things. After you are reasonably settled in invite all of your neighbors to a Saturday Welcome to the Neighborhood Open house.
My wife came up with this idea after we had a discussion about never really knowing our neighbors other then the homes right next to us. Go two homes away and........ nothing.
I had doubts about the idea since it was so different from our usual life style. We were no longer JW so that wasn't an issue. We worked at home then traveled to Art events to market our products.
My wife printed out invitations and distributed them in a two block area around our home. I got the refreshments and then the day came. It was supposed to start around 3 PM which came and went. Then a few people showed up then some more....... by 4 P.M. I counted 65 people. We made it a point to meet each and everyone including their children. The neighborhood, and the community was the main conversation.
We made friends that day that we still have 16 years later. After that experience we established a New Years Day party that is well attended by neighbors and other friends who avoid the actual new Year eve celebrations.
We both became volunteers in the greater community and made more friends through our volunteer work.
Here's an interesting thing....no one has ever asked us what church we attended or what our religious beliefs were, nor our politics. The neighborhood became our bond.
Hi Addison, it looks like it's time for you both to put on the complete suit of fading armour!
If you apply these crucial principles to your situation, you may save yourself a lot of grief. In order to fade as painlessly & safely as possible from the org, it is imperative to always keep this in mind when in the presence of J.W.'s, especially if it's elders: "Divulge nothing".
Giving personal information to such ones will be like putting a rope around your own neck. Sadly, many J.W.'s don't believe they have the nerve/courage/know-how to refuse to discuss things when questioned by the "appointed shepherds."
NEVER forget that elders know they cannot force you to talk with them, so they rely on your fear of their non-existent authority in order to make you comply with their interrogation.
The following applies whether you attend the hall or not and is by no means comprehensive, but it is simple, straightforward, and very effective if you are offered a "shepherding call" or invited into the back room at the Kingdom Hall for a "chat".
If the former, simply say, "thanks for your offer brothers, but not at the moment. I'll let you know when I feel ready."
If the latter, enter the room and let them reveal what's on their minds. (your lack of field service, meeting attendance, etc.)
Now you're ready to say something along these lines: "Thank you for your concerns brothers, but I have private & personal issues which I can't discuss with anyone at the moment, but I certainly appreciate your motives and concern. If things change, it's good to know that I can call you. Thank you for your offer".
Elders' Conversation Stoppers:
1) "We only want to come and give you encouragement." Simply repeat the response above - especially the phrase "private & personal."!
2) "But how can we help you if you won't talk to us?" "Everyone has private & personal situations which they can't discuss with others, and I'm sure that includes the elders - I'm no different!"
3) "Are you refusing to talk with us?" "No, I just don't want to discuss things right now. I'll call you if things change."
If they push with their interrogation, just say 'thanks' and walk away immediately!
Do not prolong the interrogation. They can't punish you for ending a conversation! Repeat any/all of the above to ANYONE who tries to extract information from you, because the elders MAY get someone you TRUST to try and get information out of you!
If you rehearse & practice your responses, you will be so much more confident and able to fend off any attempts to ambush you. Always display a meek but firm disposition.
NEVER act confrontational with the wolves, because there's always ONE in the pack who will go for you!
Best wishes for a happy fade.
Giordano: "The JW organization has a problem with pedophiles...until this issue is resolved we are no longer comfortable in any congregation."
We are on the 'Fade' as well! The above reply just jumped out at me. It's short and sweet...to the point...non-confrontational. I especially look forward to using it when elders and family get nosy...which has already just begun!
Thanks for the advice...Giordano!
And people here decry disassociating as "playing their game", lol. You either play their games to fade out and do your best to keep up appearances or you disassociate into freedom and let them deal with the fallout of their own dubbiness. I'm sorry you're dealing with this but it's what usually happens. Sometimes people can fade with no issues if the people around them are cool but that's rare.
You can play their games and fade or just get it over with by disassociating and go live your life. It's all choices. Play their games and hope to fade successfully including moving and dealing with their bullshit when you have kids or make friends on the outside and then disassociate and let them deal with the mess they made. It's not super easy either way. You have to do you. What pain are you willing to endure to get what you want?
Tough as it might be, I'm going to suggest you bite the bullet and disassociate. You don't want to have to deal with the paranoia that comes from worrying about who's talking about you and what they intend to do. Seriously, cut these people off. My family raised me fundamentalist Baptist, and I realized this week nearly 12 years after leaving that that's what I need to do. They dont accept me, they criticize me living my life, and they talk behind my back. I wont put up with that any more. Fuck people who claim to love you and try to control your life