Rolrod today's ex JW forums make the early newsgroups a sanitized kingdom hall roflmao. I also started on AOL forums and transitioned to all the groups that followed. I forget the name of the one that preceded H2O. That group was like Woodstock and fight club, with everyone coming in from all over the world with their own gripes. I even got into the fights and just like the movie Fight Club, it was spiritually liberating. Whatever that means lol
26 Years Later
VICTOR said, "Back then the only published books were Confessions of a Watchtower Slave, Ray Franz' books, and Visions of Glory."
As someone who was around "back then," I want to clarify the chronology of those 3 pioneering books:
"Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave : The Confessions of a Converted Jehovah's Witness" by William Jacob Schnell, appeared in 1953 and was not widely known, as far as I know - it was "before my time." I have not read it because: a) I don't need it b) I have heard that it wasn't that good; revealed no secret history, etc., mostly a list of personal complaints.
"Visions of Glory: A History and a Memory of Jehovah's Witnesses" by Barbara Grizutti Harrison appeared in 1978. THIS was "my book." I had the great joy of speaking with BGH before her death. This book really helped crack my cosmic egg.
"Crisis of Conscience : The Struggle between Loyalty to God and Loyalty to One's Religion" by Raymond Franz, (c.1983) I understand that to many people this is "THE" book. I left BEFORE Ray Franz did. If he met me in 1980, he would have DISFELLOWSHIPPED me, so I don't feel I owe him anything. I have read portions of his book. His second book, "In Search of Christian Freedom" materialized in 1992.
I post this to make it clear that these books were NOT contemporaneous. They served vastly different audiences.
I could not find any book with the exact title "Confessions of a Watchtower Slave".
I'm an old (nearly 40 now) youngster from Laredo and knew you growing up.
My dad used to have a morning radio show on the local AM station.
You'll be glad to know I escaped from the cult with my wife and kids. My parents don't really talk to us anymore unless they want to see how the kids are doing.
But thanks for being there 4 years ago (this month!) when I was going through my crisis of conscience. I read the books you suggested, got a therapist, and it helped a lot. In the end, I escaped, my wife woke up, and my kids aren't being raised in a cult!
Life is good!
I remember you from the Philia email group, which I joined in 1993. Nice to see you’re still around.
Nathan you are correct, I did not remember William Schnell's book title correctly. I agree with your opinion of his book it was poorly written and just a bitter rant. He did however, provide a first hand look at Rutherford. My take on him is that he was the equivalent of Roger Stone and Roy Cohen in one.
Jehalapeno you are a young whipper snapper lol. I took you door to door when you were like 4 or 5. Your dad is a good man but just a follower of followers. I heard your father in law passed away from a friend who is still in. I'm glad to hear your wife is out with you. It makes the journey easier. I'm glad I could help when you needed guidance.
Scully did you always go by that name on Philia? I had forgotten the name of that group. Ross introduced me to it from AOL apostate groups. I lurked in Jesus Wit because I was not into theological debates. I wanted historical facts like the crazy Vikings were coming out with and Ray's expose on the 75 fiasco.
Good to hear from you old timers like me :)
Sorry if I missed his name above but is AlanF still around? He personally knew a couple of the GB heavies - had convos with one of them.
LV101 Alan F was a rock star in also providing quality content. I just remembered Penton his book Apocalypse Delayed is a must read.
My wife and I left in 1989. We did all our research at the library, which had a pretty good selection of books on the WT. I first read CofC at the library (I was afraid to take it home). I'd been out ten years or so when I discovered this forum.
JeffT I had one family I personally detowered who donated CofC to every library in the city. Maybe by luck you just happen to live in that city. I still keep in touch with them and I'm sure they would be thrilled their seed bore fruits