Ok, so here is my story in put a nutshell:
1. I first had "nagging doubts" about the borg some three years ago (after 6 years of being a faithful witness).
2. I stopped avoiding "apostate" internet sites some 1.5 years ago, which really helped me confirm my doubts.
3. I stepped down from being a MS in May this year (can't even remember when exactly)
4. I started fading a few months ago (I haven't gone to a single meeting for 4 months now, and I'm never going to do it again).
5. I stopped reporting service hours 3 months ago (the last 5 months I reported fake hours anyway).
6. I got a phone call from an elder some 3 weeks ago. He said he'd like to meet me and my wife to talk about our "spiritual problems". I said I didn't have any. He insisted on meeting me. I said there was absolutely nothing I wanted to discuss with them. He asked if they could meet me wife (also a witness doing the fading thing). I said I didn't like the idea of him and another guy meeting my wife in private (my wife doesn't want to meet them anyway). He was at a loss for words. He asked me again if I could consider meeting the elders. I said I knew he had honest intentions by quite simply I don't want to meet them only to tell them lies and excuses as I didn't want to tell them about my real problems at this stage either.
Now guess what. The other day my book study overseer (or whatever you call them in English) who knew about my situation called me to ask if I had a service report for him. I could guess from the tone of his voice that he really hated having to call me but I reckon it has something to do with the circuit overseer visit and the congregation statistics.
The CO we currently have is really bent on statistics and publisher files. For example my wife and I had a very difficult family situation about a year ago (father-in-law had been in a coma for 8 months before he died). The CO simply acknowledged the fact as reported by the elders. He didn't advise them to visit us. Not that we really needed their visit, but it is supposed to be a "love-driven" christian congregation, so he could have done better. During the next visit though, the CO told two elders to visit me because he noticed that I had only reported 1 return visit in 6 months. Nice display of christian love, isn't it? Well, at least it helped my wife understand that individual people don't count in this organization.
Anyway, I consider myself a successful fader. I helped my wife (although she would have joined me anyway, she said she preferred it that way). I'm an atheist/agnostic, she still believes in God and we are in perefect agreement over those issues. I also explained my reasons for leaving to my mother (also a JW), and she said she understood. She never shunned dfed witnesses anyway and she disagrees with the blood doctrine, so it wasn't so tough to inform her either.
Anyway, my question is: for those of you who left the borg gradually, was there a time when you grew really tired with fading and simply didn't care to pretend anything anymore? Was there a time when you felt the Watchtower aparatchicks (local elders) were simply a joke, even if they were 100% honest about their duties? To me they are like police officers with plastic guns.
I guess I'm at this point now. And I have evidence for it! Last week I started growing a beard!!! I don't know about other countries, but here a dub who hasn't been to a meeting for a few months, talks back to the elders and who's started growing a beard is viewed as a mad apostate :). Whoa!!! Yep. I think my mental healing has been almost completed now.
Pole of the "beginning to resemble his avatar class"
Getting fed up with fading
Ok, so here is my story in put a nutshell:
Oh I definitely got tired of faking. At one point we just stopped going to meetings entirely. We still kept up the "I don't feel like talking" when the elders tried contacting us (which was only once or twice). It has been over two years now and they have pretty much left us alone. We are not DA'd or DF'd.
I grew a goatee in the summer but shaved it off. Too much grey.
I tried fading too, but I lost patience. I managed to avoid meeting with elders for several months, but I became enraged when they came to my door one day and pounded on my door so hard it nearly broke the glass. I da'd myself within a week of that.
As for the field service report?, you can always tell them you "make your sacrifice to God in secret", and he will "reward you in secret". What's the point in "blowing your trumpet ahead of you" as the pharises did?
Yea I remember the first year we celebrated Christmas we hid the tree in our study Now we are pretty open about celebrating...I don't get in their face with it but I don't hide it anymore either. So far neither myself or my ex have been d/fed or approached for "meetings".
Last week I started growing a beard!!!
LOL... i stepped through most of the steps you mention, but having a beard already when still being a zealot.
i think the reason why he asked your report is, that after some 4 or 5 months of not giving them a report, you are considered inactive.
1 month = irregular
6 months = inactive and off the books
I got tired of it quite quickly. The way I see it, what can they do? The majority of my family now aren't JW's, and I have no long term ties to any JW's around here. I've been DF'd before, so they do it again...so what? The only ones that I would have to worry about shunning me would be my parents, but they wouldn't, because then they would have to shun my kids too, their grandchildren. I don't see that happening, yet.
no one noticed me leaving so its not been a big deal.
being invisible has its advantages
Yes, its about the time that you realize that the cage they had you in was only an illusion, that their power over you was imaginary and whatever "reprecussions" they would dole out to get you to do what they wanted were meaningless. When I ceased to care about what they did or thought then they ceased to have any power over me.
I was away from the meetings for about 2 years as i felt i was to hypocritical by going out on the town with my brother a bit to often and having more than a tipple.I was also having marital problems which was the main reason for my lack of spirituality.
It was in this time i discovered this site and others and read crisis of conscience which i would never have done if i had been at the meetings and still had my fire and brimstone attitude.But even then i decided to go back and give it a bash and put everything to the back of my mind. But i simply cant; everything i have read about the watchtower just tells me that this is not the truth even though i truly believe that the rank and file are sincere people just as i was in my faith.
In the last 2 months i have been away from the meetings and my wife almost discerns that i have made up my mind.I told her the other day that i didnt like having my life controlled by a dozen or so men from new york :you should have heard her gasp. She treats Brooklyn like the vatican which most witnesses do. She then said to me ,you are gone ,that is terrible. I didnt say any more as i wasnt in a very good mood that day.
But i have now made up my mind that this is really it ; i am just going to fade away ,try and meet some new friends and get on with my life. I am going to tell my wife any day now my position, the real reason . Also i will get round to telling my mother who is a complete zealot that i am not going back. With the elders i will just tell them that i dont feel like going as the moment or something to that effect. Yes my decision is to fade away and over the years people will get used to it, wether they like it or not. ( a lesser of 3 evils in their eyes)