My presentation (new one here!)
I registered in the board and I wanted to present myself.
I used to visit this forum some time ago and even register an account but then I tried to convince myself all was ok in the congregation. Now, I'm coming back :).
I live in a Southern European nation, I'm a young JW, a good example in the congregation serving as a regular pioneer and MS. For all in the congregation I'm the good guy, one of the best examples in the area I live. Additionally I'm in a foreign language congregation, so for many I would be the "perfect Witness".
But I also studied at University and I just graduated in a STEM degree. I started college after watching how the real job market is without a profession or some kind of qualification in these days (especially in a country like mine with one of the highest unemployment rate in the West and hit hard in the financial crisis). Studyng at University disappointed many in the congregation and in my family but looking at brothers in their 30s and 40s and how they are suffering and living thanks to their families, I just thought I had to take this decisition.
From some time ago, I'm having doubts about the Org and about some doctrines. After studying my degree I have a more open mind and I just can't accept some ideas from the Org. And now I have to take the decision between accepting a full-time job or serving as a pioneer. I have now a job allowing me work and pioneering at the same time but this new job would require longer hours (making pioneering impossible) and I feel exhausted and even discouraged in the field service.
As I am serving in a foreign language congregation and having so many responsibilities, I need to stop. I need time to think. I feel there's a lot of work to do but I feel it's a kind of work and effort that leads you nowhere. A lot of bureaucracy, speeches, RVs and studies with people with no real interest.
The two things keeping me from stepping down are:
1. Uncertainty and fear. I'm a born in, I've never lived in the world and even during University, I went to classes and had the least possible relationship with "wordly people".
2. Pressure from family, friends, brothers... They all expect me to continue doing things the same way I've been doing all these years.
I would like to stop altogether because I now feel like a hyprocrite. But I know it would do more harm than good so my plan is to take decisitions step by step. I'm planning to quit pioneering in 4-5 months and then move to another congregation as the one I'm attending now is very small and I have a lot of pressure on me to do a lot of things and it's hard even to miss one meeting!
I hope if you read until the end, it was not so boring! And of course, I hope I didn't make a lot of mistakes as I'm not a native English speaker.
Thanks for reading!
I see a lot of born-ins who hedge their bets. They figure that they can run with the herd, go through the motions, keep what friends they have ( for what it's worth) and IF the religion turns out to be true they can say "I did all of that!" and maybe pet tigers for a million years.
It's not an easy call. Being honest with yourself is the hard part. Keep thinking! You're doing fine.
Skepsis - It's not easy, but it gets easier once you are all the way out.
Been in for over 35 years now and held every position that can be achieved by a male in this Organization. My wife and I have a combined 38 years of Regular Pioneering. We have believed from day one(1981) and were repeatedly told by The Organization, Convention & Assembly Talks, CO visits, etc., That the " Great Tribulation" will begin anytime now! And when I turned 50, I realized that if it doesn't come, I could become just like some of our Elders, that didn't plan for retirement, like me, would still need to have a job in old age, just to make ends meet!
Thank God, for this forum that helped me to wake up, both of us now in our 50's, got a job with benefits, will in 15 years, when I turn 65, qualify for partial retirement benefits, better than just trying to live on Social Security alone!
Many witnesses did it right. They were balanced, ignored some of "End Time Talks", worked untill they retired with benefits! Some, that had some energy left, entered the full time Pioneer ranks while retired.
I know of one couple who regular pioneered(him also an Elder the whole time), for most of their Adult Life, hit 62 and found that they only qualified only to $800 in SSI benefits per month! They were crushed! Had to quit Pioneering, stay working in a Cleaning business, only for the Brother's legs give out at 65, disabled now, living in Government housing, on Food Stamps and dependent on public transportation to get around. Some life now!
I can't even describe what I felt when I woke up 5 years ago. I was a pioneer/elder at the time. I started feeling that non-JWs were human not just zombies that needed to learn "the truth".
Another big one for me was discovering and then learning to use the words "baseless assertion" in describing the ideas found in the Watchtower publications.
Currently there are circuits in your brain that are changing, both intellectually and emotionally. It is a joyous and yet painful ride.
Don't make any sudden moves, take your time, plan things out. You are playing chess, not checkers. Make sure you have searched this site for posts on how to "'fade" and other exit strategies. The main thing is to not tell any elder about your doubts right now, and be careful of "weak" JWs, that will report you too.
Well done Skepsis for waking up and coming here. Your experience will make the GB despair! How can anyone believe the Bible myths to be true once you apply logic and critical thinking, and amass enough information to contextualise it. Well done too for getting a proper education.
What you have not got is your freedom to live your life as you would wish. To choose what we do is is not a privilege, it is our birthright! The JW org steals the individual's birthright and assumes the believers should devote all of their time and energy to them alone.
Most of us have been in your shoes knowing that the hermetic world of JWs is a cult but having family members still engaged with the org. The best thing is to make it a goal to leave (as I think you have) and work to that end. Just remember that you have rights as a free human and the JW org has no authority over you.
Best wishes on your journey.
welcome here and hope you stay a while.
First, congratulations on "bucking the trend" and going to university. STEM has no doubt given you a well rounded knowledge but now you need to learn all there is to learn about TTAT, the religion you are associated with. You owe it to yourself to embark on an education journey of this sort.
Please don't fall for working part time to pioneer. Buck the trend again and find a full time job and don't waste more in doing the watchtower's bidding anymore. Find meaningful work in your field and live your life.
Take it from someone who sacrificed the best part of their ife at the alter of watchtower. I didin't go to school and pioneered into my thirties until I figured it out.
Hope to read more of your posts
Hello Skepsis and welcome.
Congratulations on waking up. You have been mistaking a controlling cycle of cult indoctrination for a spiritual feeding program from on high. That's the mistake of a lifetime Skepsis, the sooner it can be rectified the better. Leaving was one of the most stressful times in my life but looking back I feel I am finally living life my way and that's just great. Personally I couldn't imagine having to pioneer for 5 months just because of what others think of me but at the same time I've heard of others who have made a massive success of a slow fade waking loved ones up in the process. So I guess my only advice is don't let fear hold you back from living your life your way.
Skepsis - well done in waking up. Now take things easy and plan your fading carefully.
Changing congregations is an excellent decision, because no one will know you well enough to pressure you. However, if elders try to "encourage" you [interrogate you] by asking how they can "help" you, have your conversation stoppers ready;
"Thank you for asking, but I have personal & private things I have to deal with" or "There's nothing I can discuss with anyone at the moment, but if things change, I will talk with you."
By doing so, you are letting them know that your business is none of their business!
I wish you the very best journey.
Welcome, Skepsis. Your English is very good.
Studyng at University disappointed many in the congregation and in my family - that's just so sad but I can well believe it.
After studying my degree I have a more open mind and I just can't accept some ideas from the Org - indeed. Uni teaches people how to think, not what to think.
It's the other way around with the Watchtower Society.
Please also visit JWFacts.com for in-depth analysis of Watchtower doctrine.