21 Years as an Elder, 5 as an MS, I will never be that guy again.

by James Jack 96 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Welcome back!

    I took on more secular work because it dawned on me that I had no retirement plan and I was 52 at the time, this "System of Things", wasn't supposed to last this long. For the first time in my life, I was afraid of the future.

    A year ago, my parents used the line on me: "If armageddon comes this year, do you think you will be ready?"

    I gave an okay answer. But after some thought, I wish I would have responded, "If it's coming this year, bring it on. I'm ready to state my case to god. What I'm not ready for is this system lasting another 20 or 30 years. I've frittered away most of my life because ever since I was a child, I thought it was coming in the next year or two. But now I'm pushing 50. 50! In 20 years I'll be past retirement age, and I'll have nothing to live on."

    "The BOE would like to see  100%"! I was so embarrassed, because the wife and I were part of the 12 that didn't sign up. Further more, after the meeting, each Elder an application in their hand and approached those who had not signed up.

    After I'd left bethel, was still an elder, but not a pioneer, there was one of those months when all the elders except me aux. piod. It happened to come up at one point that one of those elders made it a point to say that all except one of the elders was able to aux. pioneer. I responded with, "I was a pioneer and served at bethel for a total of over 15 years. That's a long time in the full-time and special full-time service. Good for you guys that you aux pioneered. I did that back when I was a teenager. Try reg pioneering and bethel service, then come back and talk." At that point, I wasn't embarrassed, because I didn't care anymore. I was here learning TTATT and was trying to figure out how to get out.

    The next meeting I was called to the back room with 2 Elders and counseled never to question an Elder in front of others.

    Toward the end, it was easy for me to avoid the elders because they were avoiding me. Here's why:
    They couldn't give me the usual verbal beatings since I'd tell everyone everything that happened.

  • Hairtrigger
    Welcome to the forum.
  • JakeM2012
    Welcome to the forum, James Jack.  
  • JWdaughter
    Welcome!  Funny how the evidence of love in the congregation is what ultimately helps us out of it!  My best to you!
  • stuckinarut2

    It amazes me how similar the stories are of so many of us on this forum!

    I agree with the words JWdaughter said above:

    "Funny how the evidence of love in the congregation is what ultimately helps us out of it"

  • sir82

    I would say that 75% of our Public Talks are of no benefit to the regular pub! 

    So 25% of your talks are relevant? Sheesh, you must live in a "spiritual paradise".

    We're lucky if we get more than 1 a year.

  • neverendingjourney

    My parents are pushing 70 and have nothing but social security to live on.  They raised me in a cult that pushes a hard line no-college stance.  Despite this, I put myself through college and professional school without ever receiving any financial assistance or moral support from them.  

    I'm now several years into my career and am pretty well set financially.  Despite providing them tens of thousands of dollars of financial assistance throughout the years, they're still living day-to-day in a house that's crumbling around them. The end is always just around the corner ready to fix all their problems.  

    I won't let them starve, but I'm done going out of my way to help them monetarily.

    What's the point of this story?  It's that I'm glad you seemingly realized the truth about this religion in time to spare your children from this fate. 

  • Phizzy

    I think too that I would have been rather short with Elders that told me not to criticise another Elder in front of others. I would, I am sure,  in my JW active days, have pointed out that Paul did exactly that to Peter, and that I would always do so if an Elder was "going beyond what is written". And add:

    "After all Brothers, it is only right to do so because the others present may be misled if I do not".

    I think this attitude of mine is what ensured that, though serving as a M.S for years, they never insisted on making me an Elder.

  • helpmeout
    Thanks for posting your story and welcome.  I served as a ms and elder for many years.  Also regular pioneered and did all the other JW things including living a life full of guilt and fear.  I am still in but am mentally out.  My wife is not a hard liner but refuses to come out of her comfort zone and confront any issues with the org.  My 15 year old daughter is not baptized and has no intention of accepting things that do not make sense to her.  Our congregation is heavily influenced by a few sanctimonious pioneer elders who have created an atmosphere of judgement.  My long time JW mother has even commented on this.  The internet has made it very difficult for the org to conceal half truths and lies.  It is no longer possible to isolate people and have them feel that they are the problem when so many sincere people have observed and commented on the same organizational problems.  I am thankful for your comments and the comments of many on this site.   
  • Vidiot
    Are you patching things up with your kid?

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