I would like to start by introducing myself to the brothers and sisters and friends who visit this blog and thanking many of you who have helped me in my struggle. I go by C M here on the blog they are my biological grand-fathers initials, since it was my step grand-father who claimed to be of the anointed class who introduced my father to “The Truth”. My parents have been Jehovah’s Witnesses for over 30 years my father has served as an elder on many occasions and now he and my mother have been Regular Pioneers for over 15 years. In my years growing up as a JW I saw a lot of hypocrisy and so many things I can sit down and write volumes of the terrible things I have seen growing up as a JW, it was because of these things that I became inactive for quite some time I was a gang member I did drugs, women, etc. But I needed structure so I came back to the place I always believed to be where I belonged and attended the meetings and just helped the brothers in the congregation.
One day I had a bad cold and did not go to the meeting on Wednesday night and stayed home, while flipping through the channels on Sundance I saw a movie by the title “Worlds Apart” and when I saw the small information on it, the movie was about a JW girl who is faithful and in the beginning I saw something that is true for a lot of young JWs, some listen to everything their parents tell them to do and go to all the meetings and service and etc., some are straight up two faced and live double lives, some do what they have to do but experience the “world” a bit and have fun. She eventually meets a guy through her friend and starts a relationship with him and she gets disfellowshipped and the story goes on, you can watch it in parts on YouTube with English subtitles. It made me see that the shunning we practice as JWs towards the DFD is very harsh and actually pushed people further away than help them come back and some went off the “deep end” and got lost and get into drugs and etc. as I had and so many that I know have and never again become interested in spiritual things. One week later I was named as a Ministerial Servant and that is when I got to see so much more behind the curtain of what really goes on. A cousin of mine whom I still have not had the chance to speak with had become a so-called apostate. He was never DFed but just left the organization, and it got me a little curious on looking up things that these “wicked, mentally diseased” people have to say. My thinking was that I can have a response to them and defend the truth, and comment on their blogs and YouTube videos to defend Jehovah. It was during this time that I saw for myself many of the concerns most ex-JWs had were valid and logical arguments! I kept digging in, and reading the Bible more and eventually I found TTATT. (The Truth About the Truth)
During this time I was diagnosed with a serious disease and have now finally beaten it but I fell into depression and the elders knew this was why I was not able to attend the meetings as often as before. Regardless, I was eventually deleted as a Ministerial servant over it. I was very upset initially, but as I started to reflect I truly felt free now to “test my faith” and learn more. I now try to help other JWs awaken as well. I go to the meetings less and less and in all my years I remember one thought being burned into my mind, which was: “If you leave Jehovah (the organization) then he will leave you.” One Sunday I went to the meeting with my family and they sang song 85 for the public talk. It was titled “A Full Reward From Jehovah” in part it says:
“…He knows there are times their devotion and zeal result in their loss as foretold. If you have left houses or family or friends, be sure that our God knows the sum. He makes it up now with our dear brotherhood and life in the new world to come. (CHORUS) May Jehovah, the God of comfort, see; May he provide a full reward for you. May you find refuge beneath his wings. Jehovah is faithful; Jehovah is true.”
Later we sang song 60 “He Will Make You Strong” taken from 1 Peter 5:10. And I almost got into tears as I sang along because in the chorus it says:
“With Jesus’ blood He bought you, to God you now belong. So he will make you firm, and he will make you strong. He’ll guide you and protect you, as he has all along. Yes, he will make you firm, and he will make you strong.”
In next week’s article to study titled “Let Nothing Distance You From Jehovah” those who are still members are instructed under the subtitle “Family Relationships” paragraph 16 to 20 to stay away from those who have left, no matter what circumstances; whether disfellowshipped or disassociated. As I read what it said it gave me a foretaste of what my family must follow on the day I decide to leave the organization physically. But as the songs said it made me think that even though we are abandoned by our loved ones, have been kicked out of our homes, and rejected/shunned by all the people we used to know, God does not leave us! He is just. (Psalms 34:18; Psalms 27:10) He knows what agony our consciences are going through. And He knows what those of us who still have not left will have to go through when we leave. Yet the Organization has instructed us to abandon our families and friends, and choose them over everyone, else, including Jesus and Jehovah! And they deny that they do so when it is clearly written in the magazine.
Even if this were to happen I think about the times I was serving as an MS and was laid off work. I see so many active JWs who go through a lot of hardships just like any other non JW. I sure did and it did not make a difference if I was “doing good” or “bad” according to the Watchtower. I still had the same headaches and struggles. To me the Organization just adds on more burdens on our backs with all their rules and policies that have no Biblical reference to back them up. Notice what Matthew 23:4-7 says:
They bind up heavy loads and put them upon the shoulders of men, but they themselves are not willing to budge them with their finger. All the works they do they do to be viewed by men; for they broaden the [scripture-containing] cases that they wear as safeguards, and enlarge the fringes [of their garments]. They like the most prominent place at evening meals and the front seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the marketplaces and to be called Rabbi by men. (Matthew 23:4-7)
Think of the jobs we must risk losing to keep up with the routines of the meetings, those projects I was not able to finish early and stay up all night doing because I spent hours at the meetings that I could have used to do them. The Saturdays and Sundays our family spent at the Kingdom Hall and in field service that took up my “fun time”. My parents sometimes did take us out but I saw so many unhappy kids who grew up and once they had a tiny bit of liberty to go out they went wild and lived double lives until they were DFd or just stayed in for the wrong reasons to associate with family and friends. If that’s the case, then it just becomes a social club, right? The embarrassment of knocking on a door and finding your school friends who make fun of you and tell everyone at school you are a JW, or the things we were not allowed to do like play sports or go on school trips or camping or dances, or even prom, I had to sneak out for that one and got whooped when I got home, all I did was go dance and not do anything else after like everyone else did. Just a lot we missed out on and extra headaches we have to face while still in the organization.
What about the hypocrisy we see? I saw one elders wife have an affair with another elder and they DFd her since she admitted to it and the other elder kept denying it and was removed as an elder and is now serving as one again. (Note from Eric: Their own secret elder handbook, referred to internally as KS10, outlines one such loophole on page 38 paragraph 19. It states that if an appointed brother has committed a disfellowshipping offense in the past and he is repentant and still has the respect of the elders then the secret sin can be forgiven and he won’t receive any restrictions or reproof. He continues on as an elder and the congregation never knows that he committed a secret sin. This could never happen with a rank and file publisher though; when the average Joe or Jane Publisher confesses the exact same wrong then the KS10 book on page 97 paragraph 19 says that restrictions, such as not being allowed to comment, must be imposed.)
Why do certain rules that apply to all of us rank-and-file JWs but not with the favored ones or the elders? For example, my little brother threw a graduation party and we spent a lot of money and invited our JW friends. We had 400 people show up but that was 200 less than expected because one elder was bent out of shape about not being invited and spread rumors all over town and in the surrounding area that there would be worldly people attending the party and alcohol would be served, etc. It let us know who our real friends were and there were 5 elders in attendance but none from my congregation. And yet when this elder’s daughter got married his DFed son was there and so many drunk family members of his and other “worldly” people and nobody saw anything wrong with it! And even if you are active but the word has gotten around that you are bad association for some baloney someone is spreading around all those people who avoid you- and you don’t even know why. And those people with a past who either never confessed their gross sins as they are supposed to as JWs or come back are the first to judge those of us for lesser crimes or just not having the same opinion they do about certain subjects like movies or music (1 John 4:20). At the most recent circuit assembly the District Overseer was announcing all the Court Cases we had recently won. Well I live close to where the Candace Conti Case was held, and why not talk about that case huh? The Watchtower loves to print articles in the magazines involving cases other religions wrongdoing. Do you not say how the Bible is trustworthy because the men who wrote in it like Moses and Paul spoke about their faults as well and it was God who instructed them to do so? Then if you are God’s only channel here on earth then why not speak of the mistakes the organization has made as well (Romans 2:3). But no we are all left in the dark about cases like this.
All these things really make you think, I am not saying we necessarily will have better lives when we do leave but we really are much better off worrying about the normal things in life like paying bills or going to the Doctor, going to school, etc. I have yet to find proof that Jehovah God has left me because I have left the organization. Spiritually my problems are no worse because of it and as a matter of fact I have less problems since I do not agree with the policies and procedures and ideas the Watchtower has fed us, all the lies and the hypocrisy. I have found truer Christians in non-denominational churches than most JWs I know, I see them reading and praying together and talk about a lot of the things we talk about as JWs, even using most of the same bible texts, etc. And they are real about their stuff, they are not two faced and don’t feel stressed because of rules imposed on them at church or the schedule they must keep up with like we do with the meetings and field service. I see other churches doing greater good than I ever saw JWs doing like volunteering at homeless shelters and that money they give at church is used when a member needs an operation, or can’t make rent that month.
Sad to say but we have been led to believe a lie, the “love” we are shown is conditional. So as I write to you I am still doing research and have awakened to TTATT and try to do my part in helping others close to me like my significant other and my family members but it is difficult to speak with them since they automatically have that JW mindset and label me as an Apostate. Even some ex-JWs I talk to are still holding on to the belief that the organization is the Truth and the way to Salvation. Why do I attend the meetings? Honestly I am not fully ready to leave physically just yet and I want to help my loved ones wake up as well to the lies that we are fed in the KH. I like to listen to anything they talk about that is biblical and true but the 50% of Bible truth we learn at the kingdom hall is soiled with 50% of lies and it’s like I heard in a public talk once when referencing to the “worldly pleasures” LOL, “You can drink a glass of water with a little bit of poison and it will not kill you, but if you keep drinking that water with that little bit of poison it will make you sick and can kill you eventually.” And that goes for the way I feel when I go to the meetings now that I know TTATT… I feel physically ill when they are talking about some good spiritual food then you start feeling that little bit of poison, the lies and things that are not Biblical. I cannot keep drinking water mixed with poison.
There are so many of us ex-JWs who are here to help and I mean all over as well. I have made new friends and have hung out with old friends who were once witnesses as well who live near me and we go out together and we all have fun and have made non-JW friends as well. Our biggest fear is to not be able to make friends on the outside but I have found more true friends on the outside than I ever had while I was still actively serving in the organization. And you know what? I read the bible much more, I am no longer getting drunk all the time or taking Zoloft because I was depressed and stressed due to the headaches of being a JW and believing I would not survive Armageddon, so why even bother. But now that I am free and soon will leave this man made organization I pray and trust that even if all my loved ones do abandon me, Jehovah will not ever leave me, he knows I am formed from the dust. I have made friends and they do not judge me and my ex-JW friends totally understand me and we go through the struggles together. I want to help my loved ones awaken but if I am unsuccessful I will leave without them. We really all are better off not being in the organization full of poison and lies. I would rather live my life and enjoy it and serve God in the way I see fit.
Thank You to all of you who have helped me in my struggle and I encourage all of you who have not left yet to “test your faith” and you too will see that our lives are a lot more difficult being in the organization because of the non-biblical policies and the fake people in them (though I do not speak for all of them because I have met sincere JWs who show true love and are real Christians and do judge others), the sacrifices we make to stay active. Life is a lot fuller when you leave, you have better friends and are free to make the choices you want to about holidays and church and movies etc. The best part is, that God and Christ do not leave us, they are with us all the way and we do not need an organization to follow and to tell us what to do so that we have his approval. By grace he gave his son to sacrifice his life so that we can all attain forgiveness and salvation. (Ephesians 2:8,9)
Respectfully and in Love