I Found Somewhere To Go

ContemptableWitness
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I Found Somewhere To Go

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." - John 6:67,68

 

If there is one passage that can sum up my upbringing, it is this one.  My name is Brian, and for the first twenty-six years of my life, I knocked on your door every Saturday morning to give you the chance to live forever on earth.  I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Jehovah's Witnesses aren't your typical church. Unlike most churches, you aren't allowed to leave, at least not without severe consequences. Once you are baptized into their organization, the very idea of changing your mind is repulsive, unthinkable, even evil. After all, you did all the studying you needed before you got baptized. You committed to this. Now you want to leave Jehovah? After all his organization has done for you?

You can't just leave the organization and continue worshiping the same God in their eyes. The organization is God (of course if you state it this way they will vehemently deny it), and leaving the organization is to leave God. To Jehovah's Witnesses, the above words in John ring truer than for most. For nearly all of them, there is literally nowhere else to go, at least, that is what the Watchtower organization wants them to think.

I was born into this atmosphere; constantly looking over my shoulder in a figurative sense. Armageddon is coming soon, I was told. Any year now, any day now, any hour now. It will come when you least expect it, and when it comes, you have to be ready to obey the organization's instructions COMPLETELY if you want to survive. You can't miss ANY of the three weekly meetings, or else you might miss the one where the instructions are given out. The reward for this obedience? Eternal, blissful life on a paradise earth.  Jehovah's Witnesses do believe some go to heaven, but only 144,000 of the most faithful Jehovah's Witnesses, and they are going there because they have a job to do: rule over us in paradise. No more political turmoil, wars, disease, or even old age. All instruction will come directly from heaven! Our hope wasn't heaven, but heaven on earth.  I remember driving around the neighborhoods while doing our "life-saving" door-knocking and the people in the car with me would point out a house they like and say "oooooh I got dibs on that house after Armageddon!"  If you didn't convert we were going to move in and take your stuff after God killed you. Fair is fair.

On my first day of kindergarten, my parents prepared me for the big, bad world of public school. "Don't salute the flag! They're going to try to force you, so be prepared to resist and fight as much as you can!" What kind of awful place was I going to where they would try to make me do something I didn't want to do and was wrong to do anyway?  (JWs are strictly politically neutral and do not allow their members to have any political devotions, thus displays of patriotism such as flag salutes and national anthems are punishable by expulsion and excommunication) They say your perceptions color your attitude, and I'm living proof of this.  Whenever I was sent to school, I was supposed to "stand up" for my beliefs. If I didn't do so, that meant I was ashamed, ashamed of God and Jesus, and if I was ashamed of them, they were ashamed of me! I couldn't make friends with anyone. If I did, they might invite me over to their house, and then I'd have to explain that I couldn't go because my religion says they're "bad assocation" (1 Corinthians 15:33). They might turn me away from Jehovah and ruin my chance at everlasting life! So it'd just be easier if I snubbed them all now. No sense in building their hopes up.

As the years progressed I grew more and more distant from my peers. The other kids from my congregation went to school with me, but I didn't seem to fit in with them, either. For the first few decades of my life I was completely alone.  I eventually made friends in other congregations, and was able to network state-wide, having friends all over Michigan.  My social life among the JWs exploded when I turned 14, and this prompted me to get baptized, now that I had seen what the organization was "really about."  I knew the doctrines like the back of my hand, and passed the three examinations easily. I made my life-long commitment to the Watchtower organization on May 10, 1997, when I was almost 15 years old.  Once a Jehovah's Witness hits their teen years, the pressure to get baptized increases exponentially. The questions start coming, especially when the assemblies and conventions (JWs get baptized at these events) approached. "So when are you going to take the dip?" well-meaning older folks would ask.  "Soon, soon" I assured them.

Unbaptized Witnesses are not subject to the disfellowshipping/shunning policy, even if they commit a sin that would otherwise be worthy of it.  The list of sins worthy of expulsion is a long one, and include the major sins like adultery all the way down to what you and I would consider innocuous offenses: smoking tobacco, open disagreement with the organization, or even speaking a single word to a disfellowshipped person.  Once disfellowshipped, your world is torn down before your eyes. No Jehovah's Witnesses are allowed to speak to you any more, and when you've been careful to make sure your only associates are Jehovah's Witnesses, this prospect is frightening. Even your JW family members are supposed to limit contact with you, speaking to you only when absolutely necessary (such as informing you of a death, birth, or marriage).  Thankfully, many Witnesses in practice bend this rule and have regular contact with their expelled children, parents, and siblings.

Baptism is serious. According to the Witnesses, it is a public statement of commitment to God and his "visible organization" a.k.a. the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. God and the Watchtower come as a package deal, and you can't separate the two.  Abandoning the organization is abandoning God, period. I accepted this and took the plunge in the lukewarm pool.

When I moved out on my own, it became apparent that something was "wrong" with my spirituality.  Deep down, I always hated the rigormorol of three weekly meetings at church as well as door-knocking every weekend.  Once I was out of an environment that forced me to do it, I simply stopped.  I put in just enough time not to be considered "inactive," and went this way for years. 

I became involved on the internet as soon as I got my hands on it. I loved talking to people. So when the Web 2.0 revolution happened and social media sites like Digg and Reddit became available, I jumped on the bandwagon.  I never really thought about atheism or atheists until my mid 20s, when I started to run into them on those social news sites.  I had heard the standard arguments about evolution before (JWs have a somewhat famous blue book that supposedly refutes it), and thought they were irrefutable. It was in fact a big reason I remained a Witness for so long. The book "Life--How Did It Get Here?" really cemented in me the idea that this wasn't just a religious belief, but it was grounded on fact, reason, and common sense as well.  The Watchtower society to me was so smart, so wise, that even the smartest academics in the world couldn't hope to match the society's intellectual prowess.  The "Life" book was so simple, so plain, how could anyone formulate an argument against it?

Then I started to read them, and they made sense. They made MORE sense than what I believed.  Could I have made the wrong choice?  The more I looked into it, the more I started to realize that A) much of what the Watchtower was telling me about the outside world was not true, and B) my entire basis for faith was grounded on it being true.  For so many years, it was emphasized to me that we were Jehovah's Witnesses because we cared what was TRUE.  We even called our religion "the truth."  We'd ask each other "How long have you been in the truth?" "Is your family in the truth?" Were you raised in the truth?"  All that mattered was TRUTH, and we were the few people on earth who had it.  But as I started asking questions and looking into things, I realized that what Jehovah's Witnesses and most religious people mean by "the truth" is not necessarily the dictionary definition.  To Jehovah's Witnesses, the truth is what their organization teaches.  When then organization changes its teaching, it's okay because the "light gets brighter" (Proverbs 4:18), and the "truth" they taught before becomes "old truth." What they teach now is "current truth."  It became more and more apparent to me that the word doesn't mean what the Watchtower thinks it means.

As I researched topics like evolution, logical fallacies, and basic critical thinking, I came to the realization of what I was deep down for all these years: an atheist.  I remember responding to a Christian making a poor argument about atheists online, and I typed the words "I'm an atheist."  I sat there and stared at those words staring back at me in the comment box.  I went to my room to think about it.  I asked myself if I was really a Jehovah's Witness, or someone just going through the motions because I didn't want to lose my friends and family? After a few hours of deep contemplation, I realized that I could no longer pretend. I clicked the "submit" button on my comment, and from that moment forth I was out of the closet.

My parents now have limited contact with me. I survived the transition and am slowly rebuilding a social life. I married a wonderful understanding (non-JW) woman last year and my life is happier than I could have ever imagined it. I am no longer a hamster running in a wheel after a piece of cheese I'll never get.  My life is no longer ruled by a carrot-on-a-stick.  I am free, truly free, and I couldn't be happier.


robj101
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That is an essay. Mine is

That is an essay. Mine is much less complicated, I was raised a southern baptist, went to church, attended sunday school and was sent to a lutheran school during my middle school years. It just became too obvious that "god" is a myth. Watching people blindly following, and using "god did it" as an excuse for anything they didn't understand got very annoying. I'm much more comfortable saying "I don't know, but maybe we will know later"

Welcome

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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Hey, CW. Welcome. I enjoyed

Hey, CW. Welcome. I enjoyed the story of your faith. It had a happy ending.

Stick around -- I think you'll enjoy it here.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Welcome to the forums bro!

Welcome to the forums bro! Im new here too!

I know its hard being deprived of the wonderful things in life. I was too. Lets just make the most out of it now that we now know the "real truth".

Not only can water float a boat, It can sink it also.


NoMoreCrazyPeople
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   Welcome.  Finally

   Welcome.  Finally another x-Joho on here, I seem to be the only one.  I was always the "bad sheep"  I refused to get baptised, I was never into the cult.  However all my friends and family were still in the religion when I was 14.  I left my home and the cult at 15, and I understand what it's like trying to pick up the pieces of a fucked up past and make a new life in the real world.  The johos always told me that they were my only TRUE friends, that no one in "the world" could be a true friend.  Funny because as soon as I left all my "True" friends shunned me very quickly.  Apparently these true friends had one mjor condition for friendship.  My true friends came in highschool, and I am still close to them today (10 yrs later.)  They stick by me no matter what, they are true. 

   My sister did get baptised (pressure pressure) and so she is disfellowshipped.  My mother however is completely lost in the mind, she is 100% dedicated to this cult and refuses to engage me on the subject, she just shuits down as she is conditioned not to do logical battle with formittable/knowledgable opponents.  Johos are very funny, they consider themselves to be the cream of the crop on bible knowledge.  They are tought to get involoved in depate and preach to everyone, however they are also conditioned to have a quick shut down mechanism if set person is smart and knows alote about the bible.  Joho's don't last 10 seconds at my door. Why?  Not because I'm rude, becasue the second I start quoting bible verses they don't remember, point out fallacies, or question their logic they run with their tales between their legs everytime.  They are quick to shutdown and abandone discussion in the face of a real advesary. 

  All in Joho's are mostly nice people, however they walk around with a sense of superiority (This, I know the truth and Im going to paradise and your not) bullshit.  This energy they emit is easily picked up on by most, and that is why they are so easy to hate.  They're like that family up the block who puts on a show for every body, perfectly fake family, has nice things, dept up to their ears and walks around like their better than you because they financed a cadillac.  They've predicted this end about 7 or 8 times now.  My mom (and maybe your parents) were around in the 50's when people were selling their homes and giving the money to the church while preparing for the rapture predicted on a specific date.   

 

Man I could go on and on about these cooks and what they do.  For now...

 

Welcome.


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welcome

I had a spotty religious upbringing.  Most of my family is of the "I believe in god, but I don't believe in religion" school of thought.  I went to methodist church for a couple of years when I was very young.  My best friend in jr. high was a preacher's daughter, her dad was the Foursquare Gospel preacher.  Talk about nut cases.  That didn't last long after her family moved to a larger church.  They were starving to death that church was so small.  Then when I was 26-27, I was a military wife and convinced one of the base chaplins to baptize me as a Lutheran.  That didn't last long, either.  It was loneliness and a feeling that something was wrong with me that sent me to chapel, and once I realized nothing was wrong with me, I quit going.  That was over 30 years ago, I haven't been to church since except once for my grandson's baptism at a Lutheran church.

My sister converted to JW when she was 16.  Her family is very active in the church and we used to have discussions about it.  So I know a fair amount of their craziness, though not as if I had been raised in it.  We quit having discussions when I finally got tired of it and told her she was prideful and arrogant assuming her solution for her spirituality was right for everyone else.  It is a good way to shut up any proselytizer if you are bored with them.

I get bored easy. 

Have fun here on the forum.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:  

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

   Welcome.  Finally another x-Joho on here, I seem to be the only one.  I was always the "bad sheep"  I refused to get baptised, I was never into the cult.  However all my friends and family were still in the religion when I was 14.  I left my home and the cult at 15, and I understand what it's like trying to pick up the pieces of a fucked up past and make a new life in the real world.  The johos always told me that they were my only TRUE friends, that no one in "the world" could be a true friend.  Funny because as soon as I left all my "True" friends shunned me very quickly.  Apparently these true friends had one mjor condition for friendship.  My true friends came in highschool, and I am still close to them today (10 yrs later.)  They stick by me no matter what, they are true. 

   My sister did get baptised (pressure pressure) and so she is disfellowshipped.  My mother however is completely lost in the mind, she is 100% dedicated to this cult and refuses to engage me on the subject, she just shuits down as she is conditioned not to do logical battle with formittable/knowledgable opponents.  Johos are very funny, they consider themselves to be the cream of the crop on bible knowledge.  They are tought to get involoved in depate and preach to everyone, however they are also conditioned to have a quick shut down mechanism if set person is smart and knows alote about the bible.  Joho's don't last 10 seconds at my door. Why?  Not because I'm rude, becasue the second I start quoting bible verses they don't remember, point out fallacies, or question their logic they run with their tales between their legs everytime.  They are quick to shutdown and abandone discussion in the face of a real advesary. 

  All in Joho's are mostly nice people, however they walk around with a sense of superiority (This, I know the truth and Im going to paradise and your not) bullshit.  This energy they emit is easily picked up on by most, and that is why they are so easy to hate.  They're like that family up the block who puts on a show for every body, perfectly fake family, has nice things, dept up to their ears and walks around like their better than you because they financed a cadillac.  They've predicted this end about 7 or 8 times now.  My mom (and maybe your parents) were around in the 50's when people were selling their homes and giving the money to the church while preparing for the rapture predicted on a specific date.   

 

Man I could go on and on about these cooks and what they do.  For now...

 

Welcome.

 

I can relate to a lot of this. The JWs have a fascination with numbers, and love to judge you based upon them.  They claim to be your only "real" friends but their friendships are entirely contingent upon your "numbers."  How many hours a month you're going door-to-door, how many magazines, books, brochures, etc. you're placing, how many years you've been "in the truth," how many people you've brought "in the truth," how many bible studies you're conducting, how many return visits, how many years you've been baptized.  To the organization, you are nothing but a number. You are not Brother CW or Brother NMCP, you are brother 25-hours-a-month, you are brother ministerial-servant-at-17.  When I left the organization it was a breath of fresh air not to be judged on my "production" or my "spirituality."  Seriously when a Jehovah's Witness talks about someone's "spirituality," what they're actually talking about their NUMBERS. I'm surprised someone hasn't just come up with an equation for it.


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Welcome!  Glad you got

Welcome!  Glad you got out.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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ContemptableWitness

ContemptableWitness wrote:
(Story of faith)

I just watched some weird show on the history channel about the "Jesus had a sexy, prostrated, Celtic lass of a wife" theory of Gnostic Religions. I watched and immediately thought "I really hope I'm not a descendant of the Prince of Peace"

Just sayin'

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


NoMoreCrazyPeople
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ContemptableWitness

ContemptableWitness wrote:

 

I can relate to a lot of this. The JWs have a fascination with numbers, and love to judge you based upon them.  They claim to be your only "real" friends but their friendships are entirely contingent upon your "numbers."  How many hours a month you're going door-to-door, how many magazines, books, brochures, etc. you're placing, how many years you've been "in the truth," how many people you've brought "in the truth," how many bible studies you're conducting, how many return visits, how many years you've been baptized.  To the organization, you are nothing but a number. You are not Brother CW or Brother NMCP, you are brother 25-hours-a-month, you are brother ministerial-servant-at-17.  When I left the organization it was a breath of fresh air not to be judged on my "production" or my "spirituality."  Seriously when a Jehovah's Witness talks about someone's "spirituality," what they're actually talking about their NUMBERS. I'm surprised someone hasn't just come up with an equation for it.

 

This is so true.  Don't forget how many times you awnser questions on the microphone during meetings, and give talks.  They are a hierarchy based on "spirituality" which like you said is just how much time you dedicate to the church.  Families who are regarded highly in the church (with their high numbers) feel famous in a sense.  Like in highschool when a boy has fooled around with x-number of girls, or a girl is considered hot by x-number of boys and these numbers are public they feel a little fame.  The joho community from what I experienced is very snoody/pretencious/clicky and immature like that of highschoolers.  These snoody highly regarded families would keep their children (especially their daughters) away from kids in families held in low regard (divorced parents, poor, non creepy normally disobediant children) such as mine.  Sometimes we'd end up at the same highschool party and these elders kids would be drinking/smoking/getting laid just like everyone else, and then the'd just lie to their parents.  I never lied, I just said "yup I made out with that elders daughter."  Which was by the way the last thing I did before I got entirely shunned by the church.  Funny story actually she had a crush on me for a while, we were drinking at my friends house and she pulled me in his moms room and started kissing me.  So like 10 minutes later we get caught, word gets out to the church, they did a talk about it, everyone knew who they were talking about as the gossip spread quickly.   It's funny how it was this big thing because her father was one of the most highly regarded elders and his daughters were like "famous" in the church.  Infact I fooled around with alote of girls in the various congregations I belonged to, we all did, the rest of these pussy friends of mine just lied to their parents because they were terrified of the SHUN.  After that no one would hang around with me, and the girl just kind of pretended she didn't know what was going on, and she was confused, and just a widdle girwl,  haha, she was 2 years older than me.  Anyways she repented, got some "spiritual" privilidges taken away for a month or so and I was shunned fairly heavily.  I had no real intention of making amends with the elders at that point, so I just left. 

  I left all those crazies behind, sometimes I think to myself (11 years later) they're still their, acting crazy, waiting for the end of the world, a rapture only they will survive, judging eachother and the entire world.  It truly discusts me in everyway, and especially that they still have my mothers mind,  and I can't get it back.   

 

 


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A former JW, love you guys.

A former JW, love you guys.

Once my mom and I were outside smoking(I was old enough). Anywho, we were on our front porch having a smoke and a car pulled into the driveway. They got out, not even asking if they could park there, proceeded WITHOUT ASKING, to walk onto the porch. They saw we were smoking and one of them while approaching said, "You know that is bad for you".

So while he was(they were) walking to us, I had just finished one. I over exaggerated every move pulling another smoke out of my pack. I put it full length under my nose sniffing the full length in slow motion. Mind you with every move they got closer. Just as they were about face to face, I lit it and blew it right in his face. They said nothing, simply turned around and left.

What pissed me off was the total rudeness. Parking in the driveway without asking. Not stating their purpose to be on our property. Simply walking onto the porch as if they owned it.

I think you being a former JW might like the Ranting Gryphon. I cant find the specific rant where he talks about Jesus freaks and inviting them in. It's under "Religion" in this rant section.

It is all tongue and cheek humor, the "violence" he talks about is metaphorical as to say, "WILL YOU KNOCK IT OFF"

But he also talks about other topics. The hunting one is funny too.

http://www.ranting-gryphon.com/Rants.htm

It is too bad people like Robertnuts get more press than this guy. Ranting Gryphon deserves to be on Leno and Stewart and Cobert.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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that was a great story,

that was a great story, really.  i enjoyed every word.

i have more than a passing familiarity with the JWs myself.  my paternal grandmother was a JW, as were most of her sisters.  she was an interesting variety, and very shrewd.

first of all, none of her kids subscribe to any religion, except my late aunt, who succeeded in converting her husband and raised her two daughters firmly in the faith.  i wonder how my aunt came to it, honestly, since it seems my grandmother never tried to push it on her kids.  my dad and my uncles would claim to believe in god and the bible, but they make no effort to do anything with it, and they're pretty pluralistic.  my dad always says he once asked my grandmother why people go to so many different churches and she said, "because it suits their fancy," and left it at that.

my grandmother went to all of the meetings and as far as i know she was in good standing, which honestly i now find a little weird.  i spent many days with her when i was little and i have no idea when or if she ever went to knock on doors.  she lived up in the hills of eastern KY and there weren't many doors to knock on anyway, so maybe she wasn't pressured about it, or maybe her seniority allowed her to rest on her laurels. 

i got almost all of my foundational bible knowledge from grandmother, but as far as i can remember i was always the one begging her to tell me bible stories.  she never forced it on me.  i had a huge curiosity for such things as a child and she always told me very frankly what she believed, but never implied i should believe it too.  i once asked her which religion was the right one and she only said, "ours is."  i remember going to one or two services with her at the kingdom hall and once to a home bible study.  i actually used to beg her to take me but she always seemed hesitant.  i was 11 when she died so perhaps it was mostly because she was afraid i would be disruptive.  perhaps she was also afraid i would start asking questions and that the elders wouldn't tolerate my inquisitiveness as patiently as she did.  (i remember asking her on the way to the bible study if i could ask questions there and her answer was a firm "no." )

however, sometimes i wonder if it wasn't something else.  i mean, here i was begging to be taught and trained.  i was mooching JW books off her every chance i got.  i still have a whole library of them somewhere: the yellow children's bible story book, the red book about revelation with all the cool pictures, you can live forever in a paradise on earth, mankind's search for god (my first exposure to world religions), the greatest man who ever lived, reasoning from the scriptures, etc., etc.  i even had her arrange subscriptions to watchtower and awake! for me, much to my mother's (silent) unease.  anytime my parents got up the energy for a token church visit my sunday school teachers were ready to pull their hair out because i was so argumentative and i knew the bible better than they did.  i once laughed in a teacher's face because i took him to task on the issue of the trinity and the counter-argument he gave was just plain pathetic (i realized it even more years later when i became an evangelical and grew quite adept at arguing for the trinity).  i mean, i think i would have been any JW's dream.

but my grandmother was always reticent.  maybe because she had come to the faith through hard study and wanted me to reason it out for myself as well.  i'm currently teaching a short unit on different world religions in my english conversation course at the high school in slovakia where i teach.  as i reached the end of a lesson on buddhism, i told my students that one thing that makes buddhism, as well as judaism, different from religions like christianity and islam is that if you tell your christian friend, "i want to become a christian," the first thing he'll say is "wow!  that's GREAT!  let's go see my pastor RIGHT NOW!  welcome to the true faith!"  on the other hand, if you tell a buddhist monk, "i want to become a buddhist," or a rabbi, "i want to become a jew," the first thing you're likely to hear is "why?"  as i made this point, i immediately thought of my grandmother.  as far as i can remember, i never took the plunge and told her, "i want to become a jehovah's witness," but had i, i suspect her answer may have been the same.

perhaps her silence went even deeper.  the appalachian people, despite being surrounded by the bible belt, are historically very independent-minded and stubborn and are distrustful of organized religion (organized anything really, except unions).  consequently, she might have had cognitive dissonance issues about the level of indoctrination going on and, consciously or otherwise, didn't want to see me mixed up in it.  either way, i'm grateful to her, for both satisfying my curiosity and thus paving the way for me to become a religion scholar who at long last is free of religion, and for, in her own way, protecting me.  she might very well be the biggest reason why i can honestly say that i have never been brainwashed: every intellectual and philosophical step in my life has been entirely my own, arrived at with the best logical tools i had at the time, and whenever i was deceived, it was by my own emotions and nothing else.

JW or not, i have yet to meet another woman, of any faith or no faith, who measures up to her. 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


BobSpence
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My maternal grandfather was

My maternal grandfather was a JW, never converted anyone in his family. He occasionally asked me some questions which seemed to be trying to hint that I might want to consider a different point of view, but he never tried to make a big thing about it. He may have tried harder, way back before I was around, but it seemed like he had pretty much given up on that front, and the family just treated it as one of personal 'quirks', humoring him when he made the occasional remark that sounded like it was inspired by his beliefs.

He had this thing about watching all the news on TV, and making notes. He even taught himself shorthand to be able to record it all in his notebooks. He would complain if any of us went to switch to another channel while the news was on. (No remote controls back then).

Maybe watching for hints of the end-times approaching.

I presume he did the same with radio before TV arrived.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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latincanuck
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Welcome to the forumI

Welcome to the forum

I remember in High School an acquaintance tried to get me to join the JW....but after one meeting and about 30 plus questions that they couldn't answer with satisfaction, hell they even told me that I didn't understand the bible and that I was blinded to the truth because I believe evolution to be true and that science had far better answers to the questions of how life began, how we go to here at this point in time, etc, etc, etc. Even asks how can they be 100 percent positive that their interpretation of the bible is the correct one? Of course I got so many answers that made no sense or were just purely responding on an emotional level that I just keeping thinking to myself, are these people for real?. Of course I got the "what if your wrong" or "you better be right if you going to live like god doesn't exist" as a response as well, I simply reminded them that it isn't just no god or god, but no god, or god, or one of 100's of thousands of gods. So we both could be wrong. But since god throughout the ages has always been a human creation to explain the unknown, I like to lean on the far better chance that their version of god doesn't exist.

I wasn't asked to come back after that. But man I have had some fun with JW over the years that come knocking on my door.....what's with having clothes on? Are you guys embarrassed about your god's creation? (of course you have to be naked to pull this one off). So many fond memories about this.

However glad things have worked out for you, and there are always more people to become friends with, however I can understand how hard it is to let go of that world and have to reinvent yourself per se. I was never really a believer, my father is an atheist my mom a deist and really we never went to church except for wedding, funerals, and the occasional christmas (lived in a small town always good for business to attend as my father said). But it is hard to have to change yourself and those you associate with in a drastic way that you did.

 


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Pleased to meet you

 

contemptible. Great piece of writing. I'm the only atheist in my extended family of fundy evangelists so I have some idea of where you're at. I get the feeling from reading your story that you never quite believed - or is it that over time as your mind opened you changed your position? As I read your words about the 'the truth' I couldn't help thinking about our David Henson (a former JW) and his intense rightness conviction.

Welcome to the forums. You'll enjoy yourself here. I hope your parents grow up in time to avoid wasting their chance at an honest relationship with their brave son.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Wow I struggle to find a

Wow I struggle to find a description of hell that is worse than having to grow up in the JW environment. Thank God my parents are only catholic fundies and nothing worse. I have not been able to "come out of the closet" as an atheist to my parents (I don't think i'll be able to until i move out) and i definitely feel a huge emotional barrier between us because they don't know the "true"me but at least they don't shun me.

Just curious, I live in ny and i have never had a JW come knock on my door and i am interested to know where these cults operate and how often they show up? I feel like i could have some fun screwing with the occasional JW unfortunate enough to choose my door.

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NoMoreCrazyPeople
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liberatedatheist wrote:Wow I

liberatedatheist wrote:

Wow I struggle to find a description of hell that is worse than having to grow up in the JW environment. Thank God my parents are only catholic fundies and nothing worse. I have not been able to "come out of the closet" as an atheist to my parents (I don't think i'll be able to until i move out) and i definitely feel a huge emotional barrier between us because they don't know the "true"me but at least they don't shun me.

Just curious, I live in ny and i have never had a JW come knock on my door and i am interested to know where these cults operate and how often they show up? I feel like i could have some fun screwing with the occasional JW unfortunate enough to choose my door.

Well the JW headquarters are in brooklyn, you could crash the party.  Johos are fairly organized if you stay in the same home for a while your territory will come back up and they should come by every few years. 


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

contemptible. Great piece of writing. I'm the only atheist in my extended family of fundy evangelists so I have some idea of where you're at. I get the feeling from reading your story that you never quite believed - or is it that over time as your mind opened you changed your position? As I read your words about the 'the truth' I couldn't help thinking about our David Henson (a former JW) and his intense rightness conviction.

Welcome to the forums. You'll enjoy yourself here. I hope your parents grow up in time to avoid wasting their chance at an honest relationship with their brave son.

 

As far as never quite believing, yes and no. When a person is in a cult, they develop two personalities: the real personality and the cult personality. My early life was a constant struggle between these two personalities. I think my real personality was always an atheist, which is probably why I gravitated towards it so quick without really looking into any other religious beliefs.  My cult personality is what kept me in line, and made sure that I thought what I was SUPPOSED to be thinking. The end is nigh, gays are evil people, etc. Once I was able to shed my religion my cult personality died. It was literally a matter of minutes to become a completely different person with completely different values. That part was almost scary.  My parents were quite flabbergasted by this, but my only explanation is that somehow my real personality was able to develop independently from the cult. The cult personality just kept it under wraps until I booted it for good.


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liberatedatheist wrote:Wow I

liberatedatheist wrote:

Wow I struggle to find a description of hell that is worse than having to grow up in the JW environment. Thank God my parents are only catholic fundies and nothing worse. I have not been able to "come out of the closet" as an atheist to my parents (I don't think i'll be able to until i move out) and i definitely feel a huge emotional barrier between us because they don't know the "true"me but at least they don't shun me.

Just curious, I live in ny and i have never had a JW come knock on my door and i am interested to know where these cults operate and how often they show up? I feel like i could have some fun screwing with the occasional JW unfortunate enough to choose my door.

 

Every JW congregation has a "territory" they ideally should cover once every six months, according to the headquarters. This doesn't always happen since some congregations have HUGE territories and hardly any active members.  So every few years they actually bus people in to these areas "where the need is greater" to help the local congregation complete their task.  So the short answer here is anywhere from six months to five years.  I live in a city and have lived in my house for 9 months. We have gotten at least 3 visits from the JWs already (they don't know my house since I moved after my exit), and one encounter at a gas station.  I say at least 3 because they've left literature that many times, which they don't always do.  Now only one of those visits was their actual territory work (where they're trying to convert you by leaving you their literature), the other two were just invitations to their annual convention and their "memorial" (it's communion, but the JWs only do it once a year instead of every Sunday, and only those who are of the "anointed" class actually eat and drink the bread and wine).


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ContemptableWitness

ContemptableWitness wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

contemptible. Great piece of writing. I'm the only atheist in my extended family of fundy evangelists so I have some idea of where you're at. I get the feeling from reading your story that you never quite believed - or is it that over time as your mind opened you changed your position? As I read your words about the 'the truth' I couldn't help thinking about our David Henson (a former JW) and his intense rightness conviction.

Welcome to the forums. You'll enjoy yourself here. I hope your parents grow up in time to avoid wasting their chance at an honest relationship with their brave son.

 

As far as never quite believing, yes and no. When a person is in a cult, they develop two personalities: the real personality and the cult personality. My early life was a constant struggle between these two personalities. I think my real personality was always an atheist, which is probably why I gravitated towards it so quick without really looking into any other religious beliefs.  My cult personality is what kept me in line, and made sure that I thought what I was SUPPOSED to be thinking. The end is nigh, gays are evil people, etc. Once I was able to shed my religion my cult personality died. It was literally a matter of minutes to become a completely different person with completely different values. That part was almost scary.  My parents were quite flabbergasted by this, but my only explanation is that somehow my real personality was able to develop independently from the cult. The cult personality just kept it under wraps until I booted it for good.

 

It doesn't even have to be a 'cult'.  I know exactly what you are talking about even with 'mainstream' theists.  I was raised as a fundamentalist Christian and I saw it all the time, like someone throws a swtich and turns off their real self.

You see it quite often on this board.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


latincanuck
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ContemptableWitness wrote:As

ContemptableWitness wrote:

As far as never quite believing, yes and no. When a person is in a cult, they develop two personalities: the real personality and the cult personality. My early life was a constant struggle between these two personalities. I think my real personality was always an atheist, which is probably why I gravitated towards it so quick without really looking into any other religious beliefs.  My cult personality is what kept me in line, and made sure that I thought what I was SUPPOSED to be thinking. The end is nigh, gays are evil people, etc. Once I was able to shed my religion my cult personality died. It was literally a matter of minutes to become a completely different person with completely different values. That part was almost scary.  My parents were quite flabbergasted by this, but my only explanation is that somehow my real personality was able to develop independently from the cult. The cult personality just kept it under wraps until I booted it for good.

People usually do have 2 different personalities, well at least in my line of work I encounter it more often than not. The one they present to the world and the one they present to their family and friends. I deal more with the criminal element and it's quite odd to see a family man at one moment and a criminal thinking of ways to make a quick buck the next moment. Even more so in cases in which there is a community of sorts, such as in a gang, religion, even sports teams. I play indoor soccer and we have played against teams that outside of the field nice guys calm and cool headed, on the field aggressive assholes that find any excuse to play dirty or to start a fight. I think it has more to do with one being what we want to be and the other what we have to be.


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ContemptableWitness

ContemptableWitness wrote:

Every JW congregation has a "territory" they ideally should cover once every six months, according to the headquarters. This doesn't always happen since some congregations have HUGE territories and hardly any active members.  So every few years they actually bus people in to these areas "where the need is greater" to help the local congregation complete their task.  So the short answer here is anywhere from six months to five years.  I live in a city and have lived in my house for 9 months. We have gotten at least 3 visits from the JWs already (they don't know my house since I moved after my exit), and one encounter at a gas station.  I say at least 3 because they've left literature that many times, which they don't always do.  Now only one of those visits was their actual territory work (where they're trying to convert you by leaving you their literature), the other two were just invitations to their annual convention and their "memorial" (it's communion, but the JWs only do it once a year instead of every Sunday, and only those who are of the "anointed" class actually eat and drink the bread and wine).

When I was 9-11 years old, we lived 1/2 block from the JW hall.  And the funniest part was my dad despised them.  I don't know why, he never told.  But if he was home when they came by - whoo, boy.  And they never seemed to tell the newbies.  We never had repeat visitors. 

Here in Portland (OR), I've been accosted in the airport a couple of times (what happened to the Hari's?) and they hit my neighborhood about every six months.  If at home, we let the dogs out in the front yard.  They never open the gate.  If I'm out and about, I tell them to fuck off.  I won't argue with them anymore.  No patience, life is too short.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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Welcome and please remember

Welcome and please remember cool guys don't look at explosions

 


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Sorry to hear the horror story

As a person raised without religion, I always feel sorry for those who had it shoved down their throats. It's good to hear you have freed yourself their mental shackles, hope to see more of your posts on the forum.
WELCOME!

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
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dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
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That, is a really

That, is a really interesting and informative first post.

Welcome to The Rational Response Squad.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Good read welcome! A lot of

Good read welcome!

 

A lot of JW reminds me of my wife's LDS past...*shudders.