Born Catholic [again, 2nd maybe 3rd time]. At the age of 12 it was time for confirmation and I felt something dark and sinister in that confessional and did not go and told my parents I wanted out, could not see any relavence to real life. The church seemed like a business which was selling invisible clothing to the suckers who seemed to be buying in large quanity. I told everyone I was an agnostic and had a vague idea what that meant. I was into sci-fi and could see that Jesus was possibily an alien experiment of artificial insemination or something like that... I was too young and ignorant to mount any research at that time. Age 14 [1975], change to 9th grade a new school, met my first JW. never heard of them before, though I had a "truth" book I had found in the garbage once. I was intrigued but instantly turned off by the first memorial service I attended. my friend was black and there was only ONE white family in the congregation and I got it into my mind that the reason I had never heard of them was because they were some black cult that whites may be knew better than attend... that gave me research time and ability to fend off indoctrination for a little while. I tried to have a bible study with my school friend but that turned me off too... not because of what he was trying to teach but because of the method. The truth book had idiot statements with moron questions at the bottom and perhaps I would not have taken it that way had my friend been an adult, but as my friend and peer, and someone of my own intellectual status, I could not allow him to treat me like a dolt. I read it on my own and understood well enough... it made sense to me and felt accurate, though I had little to judge it against. [1979] my friend had moved and invited me to a memorial at his new cong. He promised me that if I did not like it I would never be asked by him again. this Cong had 40%white and 60% black and felt like a real religion instead of a black cult... I stayed and studied books that I got from the literature library, but without anyone formally. several months later my friend came to me and said, I only asked you to come once, why are you still coming... which floored me, I had seen the entire objective was to make new members... but it was part of what made me believe this was "the truth?"....especially when the refused to let me get baptized at first. They wanted to make sure I understood what I was getting myself into, which seemed very different from how other churches SEEMED to operate...another indication of "the truth?" [1985-6] read SUBLIMINAL SEDUCTION and swore to myself that if I found the society using such a mind trick I would have to leave and almost immediately thought I saw some, but they were too vague to be sure and I started seeing them everywhere and in everything and new that my mind was picking out patterns which did not prove a thing... so I dropped it. [1986] the society is accused of using subliminals... they quickly deny it and blast anyone who would slander the hard working brothers in the art dept. [1990] I find unambigious evidence of subliminals and at first think to continue going to meeting, pretending I had not but my inner honesty could not allow this and I dropped out... my then wife continued to go because she had a lot of family in. I brought home a book from the library- ARMEGGEDON DELAYED, a history of JWs. and my wife and I read it together taking turns... it was not eye opening, be were familiar with most of what was in there, but something was different. we were SEEING these things in REAL WORLD CONTEXT not in JW EXCUSE MODE... and we saw the evolving cult JWs had become with a clarity we never experienced before... we sat down and discussed all our doubts about doctrine and leadership and found a mountain which suprized both of us... it seems that in JW EXCUSE mode we only saw one doubt at a time in context of the larger accepted "truth"... I was later to learn this is not different from how hypnotic mind control alters perceptions...selective focus, selective ignorance...quickly forgetting disturbing things. [1995] I had a major experience which matches what I have read in ZEN books called a SATORI. I altered my entire view of reality in a single moment and took me a full year and more to assimilate what I realized in seconds. now I see religion as an ancient con game invented by predators [sheperds] to fleece and slaughter marks [sheep]... funny how few see that sheperds fool sheep into false security... the lord is my sheperd has a whole new meaning for me... like TO SERVE MAN [Twilight zone] the bible is a con mans cook book.