I have been there. I left in 1991 at the age of 26 and trust me all I did for the first couple of years was sit in fear of being destroyed at "Armaggeddon". I was a basket case for years because I thought maybe the JW's were right after all and maybe I should go back and beg the elders for forgiveness and ask to be Reinstated. Well when I went to the elders a couple of years ago and talked about Reinstatment they gave me such a horrible look that I walk away and never went back to the Kingdom Hall again. That was in 2000. One year before 9-11. After 9-11 I realized as Mulan so perfectly put it that it is all a mind game that religions instill in people to keep them in controll. The word is "fear" religions use "fear" as a gun at a member's head. If you live in fear you will always be jumping at a new date or some new war or some terrorist attack etc; I no longer dance to the "fear and tremble" song. I hold my head up high and just smile at how brainwashed I was.
Depressed and doubting...
One thing I would like to add, sort of a pet peeve of mine :)
"Peace and Security" per 1 Thess comes from the BIBLE, not the JWs. Those of us who have come out of the WTS have difficulty making the differentiation sometimes, but when you stop and think about it, why should talk of peace and security send anyone to the JWs? They didn't write the verse. If anything it should perhaps make one consider scripture or maybe Christian religion in general. No need to run to a petty little religion that latches onto every doomsday verse they can find...
Just my two cents,
PS - For what it is worth, I have been out for 4 years or so; studied the WTS and Christianity *extensively*. In the past four years of my life I have doubted every aspect of my existence EXCEPT the validity of the Watchtower Society. They are a fraud, plain and simple.
It's so strange. Of course, I know the Jehovah's Witnesses philosophy is just idiotic and illogical, but when you're raised with something it just sticks with you. I guess 22 years of steady brainwashing takes more than just 8 years to disappear entirely.
awwww, Dura-Luxe ((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))) I know how you feel honey. I always say that if they hadn't gotten me as a zygote I never would have bought into their belief system. But they did. And they also had every other member of my family except literally 2 for four generations now going on the fifth one.
The biggest counter measure I have to the fear-mongering is this: they warned my parents that only those who were spiritually weak got married. My parents were then told that it was 'no time to be having children with the end so close'.
My mother is now a grandmother. Think about that. She was a teenager. They said the end was so near that she should not marry let alone have children. She now has a grandchild who is almost a decade old.
They've been turning that corner for years. Think of this. This is from the new brochure; I know that Ozzie is doing a great job of analyzing it on other threads but I think this might help you now and so I quote:
Would it make a difference if you knew?
If you knew for sure that the impending execution of divine judgement would not come for a few more years, would that change how you are using your life? If in the end of this old system is already later than you expected, have you allowed this to slow you down in Jehovah's service? -Hebrews 10:36-38
Our not knowing the exact time gives us opportunity to show that we serve God out of pure motives. Those who know Jehovah realize that a last-minute display of zeal will not impress God, who sees what the heart is- Jeremiah 17:10;Hebrews 4:13
For those who truly love Jehovah, he always comes first. Like other people, true Christians may do secular work. However, their goal is, not to get rich, but to have sufficient material goods and a little to share (Ephesians 4:28; 1Timothy 6:7-12) They also enjoy wholesome recreation and a change of pace, but their desire is to be refreshed, not simply to do what everyone else is doing. (Mark 6:31; Romans 12:2) Like Jesus Christ, they delight in doing God's will - Psalm 37:4; 40:8)
True Christians want to live and serve Jehovah forever. That prospect is not less precious because they must wait for certain blessings a little longer than some have expected.
Really think about what they are saying there. People are starting to really get restless because the end that was promised to be coming so imminently is still not here.
THAT is why they use the fear tactics they do. That is why they shun people. This is why they control their members.
If fear of dying a gruesome death at Armageddon or of losing your whole family to shunning doesn't keep a person 'in line' with their thinking, what would? What cheaper tactics could anyone use besides fear of death and destruction not only of yourself but those who are dearest to you?
If they suddenly said "You know what, we have no idea when its coming, it could be years and years." do you think people would stay?
Thinking of you, and sending you good thoughts and strength. I know how it feels to have days like that, and I hope that you feel better reading the good posts in this thread. My other advice is to read as many experiences of people who were born/raised in as you can and got out, there are definite patterns there. Even if you still believe in the Bible (I do not personally) doesn't it say that by their works you will know those who are truly following Christ? The proof is in the pudding and the JW's are failing, miserably.
I have to agree... I remember in the early '80s, listening ever so intently to the news because of the middle east stuff. I remember in 1983 I actually told many of my (JW) friends, "I give it two years". Of course everyone agreed with me.
It's always around the corner!
I've been out for about 10 years now. I look back at myself and some of my writing and wonder how I could've been so stupid!