The must-read story of a ministerial servant and his wife who woke up in the last few months

Daniel and Devon Genser are now enjoying their freedom after facing some huge dilemmas over the past few months

I will never forget the feeling of liberation I felt in November 2013 when I published the story of my awakening on JWsurvey, thus revealing my identity for anyone who knew me.

I knew the article would eventuate in my disassociation from the organization. In fact it took only two months for the inevitable phonecall from my congregation coordinator. But regardless of the ramifications, being open and honest about my authentic identity was absolutely the right decision – a decision I would make again and again if necessary.

It was with feelings of nostalgia for my own “outing” that I devoured the article published a few hours ago by Daniel Genser, only recently a ministerial servant in the North-Western corner of America. The article is titled “What I Believe to Be True – and How I Have Come to Believe It,” and I would urge all JWsurvey subscribers to read a superb treatise that brims with love, empathy, humanity, and above all, intellectual honesty.

What I Believe to Be True – and How I Have Come to Believe It
By Daniel Genser

I don’t want to rehash Daniel’s story because I want you to read it yourself, and I don’t think I could possibly do it justice. But it’s worth acknowledging how incredibly recently the events described in the above article transpired.

Daniel writes of still struggling to reconcile doubts over his faith as recently as the 2014 Annual Meeting at which JW Broadcasting was announced, and the now-notorious 2014 United States branch visit at which Tony Morris unleashed his ‘wisdom’ about certain types of clothing to 1 million bewildered American Witnesses.

Fast forward only a few months, and Daniel and his wife Devon find themselves in a remote part of Italy, completely free from their Witness indoctrination and, amazingly, with their relationship in tact having awoken simultaneously.

The journey of how they reached this realization, the insurmountable problems with Watchtower dogma they wrestled with, and the dilemmas they faced are all superbly and eloquently documented in Daniel’s article, which is why I feel it is so deserving of everyone’s attention.

Daniel’s thoughts on shunning are insightful and thought-provoking, and his writing on the 607 BCE controversy is one of the best concise treatments on this complicated subject I have ever read.

Apart from anything else, it is extremely heartening to see how quickly Jehovah’s Witnesses can shed their mindless loyalty to the Governing Body when they are intellectually honest and conscientious enough. And if that isn’t a happy-ever-after in itself, you have the fact that a husband and wife have pulled off this challenging feat side-by-side.



83 thoughts on “The must-read story of a ministerial servant and his wife who woke up in the last few months

  • July 14, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Amazing. Simply amazing. Thank you for sharing this Lloyd.

  • July 15, 2015 at 2:43 am

    El Chapo
    Sorry to break it to you, but hundreds would disagree.
    You know what to do don’t you?

  • July 15, 2015 at 3:50 am

    @El Chapo Guzman, why do you say that? Could you come up with a web site where all current and former JW’s can say how they really feel about the JW religion that they belong to?

    All of us are the “silent” majority of the JW religion and have nothing to say about it or where our contributions go. We have nothing to say to the Society that they want to hear. The Society has all the say and we the “silent” majority have no say. The controlling “minority” in New York have all the say but they would have no say if it wasn’t for the “silent” majority out here sending them money every month and donating their time in placing their literature and preparing the talks and donating all their free labor to build all their buildings and donating the money and time in doing all the work at their buildings that the Society owns, which they wouldn’t own if it wasn’t for all that donated time, enerty and money.

    Do you feel that we the “silent” majority should just support anything the Society tells us to do and if we don’t go along with it, should be kicked out and shunned?

    At what point do we have the right to say “I am not going to take it anymore?” At what point can we draw a line in the sand and say that this religion is a dangerous cult? Do we have to lose a child to refusing blood? Do we not have the right to say that if our child is molested and raped that we can go to the police and turn that person in to the police without retribution from the Society? At what point in our lives can we have control over what we think? At what point can we take control over our minds and think and question our religion without being kicked out and shunned?

    Do you really feel that in order to put on the “new personality” that we have to lose our personality and become mindless, numb robots to support an organization that says that God chose it without an shred of evidence to support that concept? Are you allowed to ask how the Society got it’s appointment by God in 1919? If so, I’d like to know the answer.

    If you can’t come up with that information, then you are blowing hot air and you need to only go to and stay in your bubble.

  • July 15, 2015 at 5:39 am

    @El Guzzler Chappo. I think I spelt your name right . I think your name is more awful than this website!!

  • July 15, 2015 at 7:46 am

    & El GUZZLE CHAPPIE! Sorry to break it to you , BUT your comment is AWFUL!!
    You are disobeying the 7 HOLY Heavenly Anointed GB members by associating with Apostates on this website . You could be Disfellowshipped for that!!

  • July 16, 2015 at 2:05 am

    Daniel, I noticed you mentioned you are type one? I have a young child with type one…I was at the same convention in Seattle. I sure wish we could communicate somehow… We have more than one thing in common…

  • July 17, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Excellent article. 607 was the starting point for me too, after reading ‘The Greatness That Was Babylon”, can’t remember the name of the author at the moment. It is just a straightforward history of the Babylonian empire, with no religious axe to grind, and it explains very clearly how the dates for key events are calculated. I think it is still available.

  • July 17, 2015 at 12:30 am

    HWF Saggs was the author.

  • July 18, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Thank you for publishing Daniel and Devon’s story. We are thrilled that they are enjoying their freedom and wish them every blessing for the future.

  • July 21, 2015 at 8:22 am

    I was one of the lucky ones, too; my wife and kids faded with me.

  • July 23, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Daniel’s story was well researched and I am going to speak to my dad about this. He is an elder. Specifically, the old Watchtowers and the comments the organization made about the Catholics shunning and now they do it, much to my disappointment. I believe it is a controlling factor. I personally do not believe God approves of such behavior. The GB scares me after reading Daniel’s story. It reminded me of the Wizard of Oz. The man hiding behind the curtain controlling the head of the fake wizard. It’s appalling and frankly, acts of deceit. Unbelievable.

  • July 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    607 was a big deal for me too. I chose to ignore it, and at times, regret ignoring it. I have 2 kids now, and if I didn’t become a witness, they wouldn’t be alive today, so I try to look at my “mistake” as a learning process. I haven’t been to the meetings in a year and the story resonates with me because on many issues, I agree with him. If someone were to asked me if I still love Jehovah, I would say, “I don’t even like him.”

  • July 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    “Perhaps most importantly, I believe that our beliefs should always be subject to change. As we learn more about our Universe, our world, and ourselves we should always have the humility to abandon beliefs that are no longer valid or healthy.” I love what he said. Great story.

  • August 8, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    I am interested as to whether this writing/ letter has helped any of the writers former friends to come out?

  • August 28, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Until last May 3, 2015 I was a ministeral servant who get baptized at 15, just like Daniel, and I was born and raised in a JW family, my sin was that i start to think and to look for answers, I was Depress and feeling terrible, I spoke with the elders and told them how i was feeling but instead of helping or showing any kind of love, they forgot about me, i was still attending to the meetings and still doing my ministerial servant activities (in a spanish congregation, i was the only MS), one day the elders were doing everything and when i asked if i could do what i was assigned to, he told me no, later on at the end of the watchtower study he said we did well and we did it by ourselves with no other help, that trigered my negative feelings of depression even more. I stop attending the meetings for about three weeks, when i came back (trying to keep on with the congregation) the elders called me to the back room (I’m not familiar with the english terms in the congregation since English is my second language) they start interrogating me about apostasy because if i was depress is because i didn’t have Jehovah’s Spirit. After that I stoped attending until the memorial, and it happened again all the questionning . The last week of April the CO was visiting the congregation and that man called me to let me know that they had take the decision and i was desfelloshiped for apostacy, i asked for a meeting with them because it wasn’t fair that they just let you know of such decision without giving you the chance to defend yourself, but I realized that it wasn’t worth it to fight back so i just asked them why, i used the scriptures and their own publications and i asked them if they still in the same position, they just told me that it had been a misunderstanding but since they already had make the decision i should be humble and accepted and apply in 6 months for reinstallment, i gave my letter to them saying that my decision was to don’t have nothing to do with an antichristian, fariseic, demoniac, apostate religion. They accepted and since May 3rd, 2015 I am out of that false religion. It hadn’t been easy, there were 30 years of life living in a bubble, in a sand castle that is destroyed now, but I’m also happy of been free of their control, their lies and the hate that they teach towards the rest of the humanity and even more to the people like us who dare to think different. – Please excuse my typo errors, i’m trying to improve but it’s taking time.

    Josue Guerrero ( (

  • August 31, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    After 55 years finally free!!

    Cost: 1 wife of 30 years, who several congregations refused to welcome, … now deceased; and a daughter of 43 years that saw the hipocracy; and possibly 2 grand children… which I hope I can rescue.

    My lovely wife n best friend; elder’s daughter, also lost a daughter, son, son in law, 8 grand children, 2 parents, and M.S. brother, plus aunts and uncles, and cousins.

    “N we are still in “Good Standing”….. albeit fading.

    Many of the male family members are elders, or M. S.

    The grand children are being told by the JW brothers, n sisters that their parent/grand parents/uncles and aunts;(including parents who have 1/2 legal custody); in addition to grand parents; will all die soon at the final hour.

    These kids have been hearing this since age 4. The oldest is 15 the youngest is 6.

    Seems to lack a bit of compassion…………….ya think !!

    Hope all will forgive, and realize that all who call on the Father and Son are heard and blessed.

    Mr. Cedars,

    Thx for this forum.

  • February 2, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Amazing. Simply amazing. Thank you for sharing this Lloyd.

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