Oroborus21 said: "You have posted to this forum which if you want to use political terms, I would categorize the vast majority of persons here to be "extremist." With the majority of those being to the extreme of being against or anti-JW and maybe a handful of extremist posters and lurkers who are pro-JW.
Frankly I have found very few "moderates" like myself within this forum but that is ok. Just know what sort of responses you will get to a post such as yours from the outset and also have that understanding as you review everything to be found here."
I'd just like to comment on this. There are many "moderates" here...I've spoken to many and actually consider myself one. The problem is, in a group of thousands, the "moderates" aren't the squeakiest wheels around here. Just the way of the world, right? You may not hear from 'us' (I really hate labels) but there are many here who don't have any particular axe to grind and no violent hatred for TPTB, and I can say for myself, I'm just looking for a stopover while I recover from my experience with others who have been in similar straits.
As for the conversation going on about positive experiences, I had a few as a JW, just like I had a few prior to becoming one. Unfortunately for me, the negative experiences while in JWs and the repurcussions of leaving JWs, far outweigh the positives. I do, however, acknowledge that that is MY experience and that MY experience is unique to me.
That being said, there are many things about my experience that are similar to others', and in many cases others' experiences are much much more heartbreaking than mine.
I'm human; some days I'm bitter and some days angry. Some days I brush it off and don't worry so much about it. And some days I'm just happy I'm out, free to worship or not worship God without the rules and regulations imposed by men.
Spiritmama2004, you mention that you don't like judging other sects. I don't like judging others either. One of the biggest things that is part of the JW culture that went so contrary to my personal ethic is that of judging others. Oh, you'll be told that it doesn't happen, and you won't see it while you are studying...it is carefully concealed. You'll be told that it is God who judges, but I've been judged by the individual JWs from almost the time I became a JW (in matters of everything from tone of voice to clothes, to telling me to wear makeup, to what I should do with my holidays, my time, etc.), and am still being judged by 'them' even though I've been gone for over 6 months (I left because I was treated badly and didn't want to be anymore...I didn't feel the love of the congregation that I should have...and left quietly, just wanting to be left alone...I didn't make a big deal of doctrine, nor did I treat anyone with malice). It's not really the individual's fault...they are only showing the fruitage of the spirit they're learning.
If I could tell you anything, it would be to echo what others have said...to research the WT publications, even the really old ones, research on the internet (and they'll warn you from that), and use secular reference materials as well. When something doesn't jive between them, there's a reason. And take it from me (for what it's worth), the answer "God will let us know in time" or "God gave us new light and changed his mind" is NOT an acceptable argument to "explain" the facts you'll come across.
Best of luck to you.