Anybody ever "game" the system? (get out w/o DF/DA, keep family)
You'll recall my happy announcement that my wife has decided to join me in leaving the Watchtower! Our son has been fine with the change, and our newborn seems to accept it, too. :-)
But we're very concerned about her family. They are all in the borg, and only an hour away. If we're DF'd/DA'd, there's little chance they wouldn't hear of it.
I've been wracking my pitiful brain for ideas on how to "game" the system, wind up free and out, but not lose access to her family. We're fading, but that'll only work as long as the Bible Cops don't catch us. With dubs living on our very block, that seems unlikely over the long haul.
Anybody managed to get the borg to officially consider them out, but found a way to make it ok with the still-dub family? I know it's a long shot, but I gotta ask.
I was not successful at this, but some on this board have been. Perhaps someone could suggest an old thread?
IIRC, some of the key ingredients are:
-never, never never admit you are questioning
-when asked (family, elders, whatever) just say you are going through a lot of stuff and need to "take a break" and Jahoobee will understand
-if asked point blank "do you believe that Jahoobee is using this Organization to blah blah blah spiritual food blah blah blah" -- LIE!!! Say yes of course! Practice acting sincere, because it will be hard to fake this if you are not ready. If you don't want to lie, think of it as "spiritual warfare".
-if necessary, move to a new part of the city. Don't tell anyone. Do it while they are all at the assembly so they don't know.
-Optional but important last step: conspire with a friend in another city (people on this board could help with this). Phone elders and tell them you have moved to a new city (make it far enough away that they can't simply drop by to see you). Give them the name/address/phone number of your fellow conspirator as the elder to which you should send your Publishers Records. Your elders may phone to confirm, your friend will have to be prepared to fake it. Then they mail your records to "the elders in your new hall" (i.e. your friend) and Voila! You are officically out of the system. If your Publisher Records don't exist, then you don't. No one will have you on the "call once per year to encourage when the C.O. is visiting" list. (This may sound impossible, but I know that it worked for at least one person...not me though, I never tried it).
~Quotes, of the "Escaping From Alcatraz Was More Straighforward" class
If you live in a small town, I don't know how you could do it. However, if you live in a large urban centre and speak more than one language it shouldn't be too difficult. You could switch to another congregation of whatever foreign language you speak, start the fade, then switch again, say in a year or so, and complete the fade. You could even give the elders in the new hall a "fake" address to which you have moved.
I think it would be funny to scout out a different neighbourhood, for instance if there's an area in your city which is predominantly gay and lesbian, as there is here, look to see if you can find out where the cutest/raciest/most way-out-there drag queen lives, and give that as my new address. Then, when you don't show up at the meetings and the elders ever decide to give you a shepherding visit, they'd get the surprise of their little lives!
One important thing is to not tell the elders ANYTHING about why you stopped going to meetings. You actually shouldn't tell *any* JW why you stopped going (including your JW fam). If you tell a dub, the conscience of their "new personality" might cause them to report you so that you can be "helped" by the elders.
We have been out for 2 years and have so far managed to avoid getting DF'd/DA'd, but to be honest we care less and less about that as time goes on. It almost wouldn't matter if it did happen at this point.
Even though I have kept in contact with my JW family, the situation is still strained. We don't have a wonderful relationship where I feel I need to talk to them on a weekly basis or anything.
The best thing to do is a very slow fade. Don't discuss any issues with your family till you basically become inactive. I am in that position. I was babtized as a teenager then married out of the organization. We moved from Long Island up to CT about 10 years ago. I have actually been called on by Merton Campbell and tons of others from the Patterson area. My brother is an elder and my dad still a stauch JW at 84. You just can't start saying anything that would give them an idea what you now believe. That's how I started because I didn't want to lose my family. Now they don't even view me as ever being a JW. PC
I left in 1989 and I waited 13 years for Nina and the children. She knew she didn't belong, and she knew she would have to leave and I just had to wait until she was ready.
Of course if I had known it was going to be that long of a wait I probably would have shown her Crisis of Conscience or something.
To divert any question start your answer with "It is a very long story and not very interesting, but if you are interested in my story......" Say this very slow like with long pauses.... you will have never have anyone take the bate.
I have used this for 10 years and only one person wanted me to continue the conversation. In the end I think he was sorry.
If at all possible move from your congregation. Stay there for a year or so and move again. By the second move you will be forgotten.
I've been trying to fade for the longest time, but it's nearly impossible with my husband and immediate relatives still heavy into the religion.
So, I've settle for missing a whole lot of meetings, going out in service as little as possible, and just leading a double life altogether. At times is down right crazy for me!
Lucky you that got your spouse to leave this cult along with you.
I "faded out" a long time ago. My immediate family ( mother, father and 2 sisters) left with me. It was not without a fight; bordering on legalities and an aggressive confrontation where I shamelessly countered with a lawyer threatening legal action against ( not the Watchtower Society Corporation) the body of Elders; individually.
They backed off and left me alone. 22 years later they have never come after me.
The extended family shunned us all. Not one of us cared. I pursued my life and literally lived "happily ever after".
I have NEVER regretted my decision and have never looked back.
I don't know how old your son is but be careful what you tell him...in my experience, little kids aren't very good at keeping secrets! "Kids say the darndest things..."