Former Witnesses are banishing the Watchtower stereotype of angry, bitter apostates in a new video
Former Witnesses are banishing the Watchtower stereotype of angry, bitter apostates in a new video

This Spring saw a concerted effort on the part of Jehovah’s Witnesses to invite as many as possible to their memorial gathering on April 14, 2014.

One article in the Kingdom Ministry (a newsletter circulated among the Witnesses) even tried to frame the occasion as being potentially the final memorial before Armageddon.

Many like myself were invited but chose not to attend. Why?

Because the memorial celebration as prescribed by Watchtower is essentially a publicity exercise – a means of introducing otherwise indifferent members of the public to a controlling religion through a one-off event.*

A different campaign

But unknown to the Witnesses, during the frenzied build-up to the memorial an entirely different enterprise was underway.

Former Witnesses from six different countries with varying ages, beliefs and backgrounds were combining their efforts with one aim – to show the world how happy they are now that they are free from the confines of Watchtower with its endless rules and rituals.

They did this by dancing to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams in total contradiction to Watchtower’s stereotype of apostates as being miserable and bitter.

I was proud to be among them, as was my wife.

And so yesterday, on 16 April 2014, the resulting video was released on YouTube.

At the time of writing the video has been up for a little under 24 hours and has already attracted more than 2,100 views.

The comments show that many former Witnesses watching it can identify with the inner peace and sense of elation that comes with being free from mental servitude to an organization that has self-promotion and self-preservation as its key motivations.

A life-affirming project

Such is the interest in the video that some are already asking when the next one will be made. Though I have no immediate plans I am intrigued to see how well this video does in getting its message across.

I have already been approached by an apostate of a different cult entirely to see if I would be interested in collaborating on an inter-cult video project to the same music. I think this would be an exciting opportunity if it can be arranged.

If nothing else, I’m sure I speak for my fellow dancers in saying what a sense of achievement is to be found in unleashing your inner joy in this way, and spreading it to others. This project is the antithesis of Watchtower’s memorial event – a celebration of life and freedom rather than a call to serfdom and an obsession with death and the end of the world.

With so many organizations and individuals seemingly bent on dragging mankind backwards by exploiting people’s fears and uncertainties, it is life-affirming to fight this tide of negativity with some simple joy and happiness.

May this be the first of many opportunities to do just that.

 

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Further reading…

If you have a Google account and would like to subscribe to my YouTube channel, you can do so by clicking here.

*Many who profess to be Christians also object to the memorial event on the grounds that there is no scriptural basis for dissuading people from partaking of the emblems, namely the bread and the wine. For proof that the distinction between “anointed” and “other sheep” is entirely unfounded in scripture, please click here.

112 thoughts on “Two days after the memorial – Apostates reveal the secret of happiness

  • April 17, 2014 at 9:51 pm
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    This is a new day to start over,to sing ,to laugh to be happy again. We are wealthy,saying we are sons of God.
    Brother forgive me that I dont understand why you are not happy in this beatiful planet? that you have made a cemetery out of this earth,where the life is at,which is allways a celebration.
    You have a heart,brain,soul,spirit so how can yourself feel poor and miserable?
    At this moment you can say this is it to the fear you inherit
    because life is here and rigth now. anyways suffering is a waste of time. Translated to english from F.C
    Thank you Cedars and Thanks to all the happy people in the happy video for showing us that we can start all over again.

  • April 17, 2014 at 10:46 pm
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    @hobgoblin & Apochalypsis:

    I’ll give you guys the benefit of the doubt and say you were just teasing, but it is not kind teasing. In fact, mentioning something unflattering about someone’s appearance, especially when they have put themselves out there and are unable to defend themselves, is bullying.

    I think that after giving things a sober second thought, you will see what I mean.
    You, I, and everyone else on this blog have had enough scrutiny, bullying, and “never being good enough” to last a lifetime. Some folks, myself included, have a hard fight with food and fitness, but there is more to life than abs. Also, some of us probably have some of those extra pounds due in part to the stress of Watchtower tyranny.
    We are all of us on a journey. Let’s cheer our brothers and sisters on rather than tear them down!
    For Chrissakes, enjoy the life we have now, including food!

  • April 18, 2014 at 12:14 am
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    By the way, the rites of a black mass are too deny the cross and not to partake of the wine and bread. Is the memorial gathering a black mass? Look it up, just a thought.

  • April 18, 2014 at 1:23 am
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    Glad I am out of it. Talking of “Mentally Diseased”, I think the Watchtower should be taking a long hard cold look in the mirror before calling the kettle black. Everyone (it seems) is “Mentally Diseased” but themselves. Glad to be free, to have moved away (regardless of what it costed me). Pity though for the poor people that are still enslaved to this contrivance of man which is quickly going to ground. False prophecy (over 100 years of it), New Light (New Shite for Old), Shunning…when will these people wake up and see what others on the outside and how stupid they really look? Wish everyone a great holiday.

  • April 18, 2014 at 3:02 am
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    Great video, Cedars and Co!

    Isn’t it great to be reminded that life is amazing? Isn’t it good to see people smiling and having a good time?

    When one is engaged in a long struggle, it is vital to have some time off to just kick back and realise that it is worth the effort.

    I wish everybody a great holiday.

    Best wishes to you all

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  • April 18, 2014 at 3:03 am
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    My youngest daughter who is age 32 has twin boys age 4 and is irregular in attending meetings and has had terrible guilt feelings over not getting in service also. I have tried to tell her all I have learned the last few months so she doesn’t have that guilt feeling because the Watchtower is a fraud and I have even given her both Ray Franz’s books but she was afraid to read them. Finally I convinced her to listen to a video on youtube called Peter Gregerson – Is The Watchtower God’s Only Organization. She listened to the video 2 times and she told me that she cried when she listened to the video and she even ordered The Finished Mystery from Amazon, the original one from 1917. She said it was difficult to realize how she had been lied to all her life but it gave her such a feeling of relief and happiness to have that guilt taken off her head over being irregular at meetings and service. I encourage anyone reading Cedar’s comments here to listen to that speech by Peter Gregerson. It has less than 900 views and it should have thousands of views.

  • April 18, 2014 at 3:04 am
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    Thank you, for creating this video, and sharing it, Cedars.

    More power to you ;)

  • April 18, 2014 at 4:57 am
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    Ever since I stopped praying, studying the bible and publications like a bookworm as watchtower recommends, I feel a joy that had never sensed before, especially not being afraid of execution in Armageddon.

  • April 18, 2014 at 7:59 am
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    @RayMia: agreed. Study, prayer, meetings, and service are thrown up as a panacea for all that ails you, and I, like you, was a regular book worm. The more anxious I became, the more I would study, and the more I studied, the more anxious I became (a vicious circle).
    Oddly, I pray now as much or more than I did as a Witness, and I am even sure what my thoughts are on “God” at this time. Just the same, I find praying now an even more genuine and authentic experience than I ever did.

  • April 18, 2014 at 8:03 am
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    @anonymous: Agreed. Just listening to that youtube vid reveals a man who poured out his life, soul, and heart for “the Truth,” and who finally “woke up.”
    The excerpts he reads from “The Finished Mystery” show what embarrassing and enraging bunk the Society was turning out at the time as ‘God’s one and only truth.’

  • April 18, 2014 at 10:34 am
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    @PureStrongHeart,

    If you listen to Peter Gregerson’s video on Youtube, it’s good to go to Youtube’s video Faith in Action pt. 1, from the Society and when it gets to 50 minutes in to it, it’s talking about the Finished Mystery book and in the video, the Society shows how those book were placed on the tables in front of the Bethelites etc. in 1917 and they talk about that book with such reverence like it was straight from God. After listening to Peter Gregerson’s video and watching the Society’s rendition of how that book was received and sold (placed), there is no way that the Society doesn’t know exactly what they are doing when it comes to how they are lying about Jesus inspecting all the religions and assigning to the Society that they are his one and only true organization which was supposed to feeding the sheep the proper food at the time of his inspection. They are so very bloodguilty and like Peter Gregerson says in his video, the Society has no way of defending that book which is what the whole religion is based on and which the Society claims to “own” all it’s subjects and can punish them at will for violating any of over 1,000 rules and regulations, which Ray Franz shows in his book “Crisis of Conscience”.

    PS Cedars. After being controlled by this religion for 50 years myself, I can finally feel your joy in your video.

  • April 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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    John ‘Cedars:’ Thanks for your efforts to lay bare the truths about the Watchtower’s mind control. But today something is missing in the current view of this topic: the video clip inserts now only show up as merely a black rectangle, no ‘hot spot’ or any indication of how to start the video!. — ‘yeldud’ :-)

  • April 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm
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    Bravo!
    Excellente vidéo, y-aura-t-il une suite, peut-être avec d’avantage de participant ???

    La grande foule est en marche, mais elle n’est plus TJ… ce pourrait être le titre de la prochaine vidéo !

    Merci
    @+

  • April 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm
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    Enjoyed the video immensely.

    Here is a thought for you John, many people expressed the desire to be a part of the next video. How about making this an annual event, with an open invitation to all apostates where all interested can submit a short dance video and then edit it as your video was (if you need help I am glad to join that cause). You will no doubt have a lot of submissions.

    The way to change your thoughts is to learn new ideas. The way to replace a movement is with a new movement. The happiness movement. Bravo! “let the good times roll”

  • April 19, 2014 at 12:15 am
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    Authority’s somewhere somehow need to take action against the Watchtower.
    If people feel the need to make videos to show how happy they are because a religion verbally abuses them & because they are no longer willing to live in servitude something is seriously wrong.
    How is the Watchtower allowed to continue to do that & as a charity?????
    ( just a side thought, How much money did the watchtower spend to get that message out, not including other people’s time?)
    No wonder people are happier once they’ve left:-) x

  • April 19, 2014 at 12:24 am
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    Wow, you all like extremely normal, functional, successful people! Could the Watchtower have been lying to us about apostates being miserable failures?

  • April 19, 2014 at 12:29 am
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    * look like!!

  • April 19, 2014 at 12:56 am
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    Could you imagine Abu Qatada being allowed to have charity status to preach a message of hate?

  • April 19, 2014 at 1:31 am
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    @anonymous

    I just wanted to thank you for referring to Gregerson’s video. I looked it up on YouTube and watched (rather listened) in its entirety.

    I had been thinking about the verses about F&DS in Matthew and a few other places. I was wondering “who said it was a prophecy, and not just a parable”. There was really no indication of a earthly organization to distribute the “food”, as we have the essential we need …

    When Gregerson said it during his speech, I had goosebumps … Anyone who has a moment of open mindedness would at least be curious about the question.

    It doesn’t require a lot of intelligence, I’m the best proof of it :-)

    Remove the blinkers when you read the Bible ! Any religious organization that impose their human doctrines upon you want you to read it with your blinkers on …

  • April 19, 2014 at 1:35 am
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    just to avoid confusion …

    The last paragraph I wrote above is intended as a more generic message – maybe more adequate for some JW’s – and not for anonymous :-)

  • April 19, 2014 at 2:13 am
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    hobgoblin,

    What? You are commenting on peoples’ weight?

    What the f@@@!!!

    You look great at 41, do you? Well, good for you! Let’s all have a parade!

    What possible benefit was your comment? How did it help our cause?

    A word of advice – next time you feel the need to tell the world your opinion on things like this, keep it to yourself. Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you have to say it.

    Let us hope that future posts from you aren’t casually offensive and actually stick to the point being discussed, shall we?

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  • April 19, 2014 at 2:46 am
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    JB. I understood what you meant. I listened to his speech again for the 4th time this morning. It’s that good. If we could tie up our relatives in a chair and force them to listen to that speech maybe 2 or 3 times, then just maybe, they’d get how they have been deceived by the Watchtower. I didn’t run across that video until just 3 days ago and I have been surfing the web for several months so that is why I am thinking a lot of ex-witnesses and people who have doubts about the Watchtower haven’t seen it either. I don’t know how anybody could possibly stick up for the Watchtower after listening to that speech.

  • April 19, 2014 at 4:55 am
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    hobglobin you talk about over weight, so many JW are that, including elders and CO’s getting up and giving talks on self control and greed.

    Perhaps you should look into the western world and the problem of obesity including JW, fat elders, fat pioneers… they are not different except they preach they are much better than most.

  • April 19, 2014 at 10:17 am
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    @Rosie,

    And who are they to teach our children how to behave?
    *** w86 1/1 p. 13 par. 12 Days Like “the Days of Noah” ***
    Shocking as it is, even some who have been prominent in Jehovah’s organization have succumbed to immoral practices, including homosexuality, wife swapping, and child molesting. It is to be noted, also, that during the past year, 36,638 individuals had to be disfellowshipped from the Christian congregation, the greater number of them for practicing immorality. Jehovah’s organization must be kept clean!

    “Jehovah’s organization” will never be clean!

  • April 19, 2014 at 4:48 pm
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    Great fun,thanks Cedars.Did I spot Marc and Cora in there? They made a beautiful video with their family in response to the mentally diseased literature and talks.Would love to see it shown here.Any chance? I think it was called “happy and free”.After 30 years my family are all free,thanks to my sons perseverance and finally persuading me to read “Crisis of Conscience.”We are all free now to be happy, to be part of the human race, not condemning and judging but looking for the good in others and finding it everywhere.My one regret,I wish I had found out many years ago or better still had never been taken in by “the nice folk “who knocked at our door.Hopefully this site will help others from making the same tragic mistake and wasting their precious lives. Happy days to all of you.!!

  • April 20, 2014 at 4:41 am
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    This made me so happy! I did my own little dance while watching the video. Cedars I loved your dancing! :-) You guys are all amazing, thanks for making a difficult transition out of this cult easier. Love to you all

  • April 20, 2014 at 10:50 am
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    Did everyone see that crotch-grabbing maniac? What a hoot! 
    I’m still smiling. Love the song.

    @ jb and anonymous
    Just finished watching Gregerson’s excellent video. I had no idea The Finished Mystery was so silly.  No wonder the Watchtower wants to distance itself from this book. Might be worth ordering a copy.

  • April 20, 2014 at 10:52 am
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    Did everyone see that crotch-grabbing maniac? What a hoot! 
    I’m still smiling. Love the song.

    @ jb and anonymous
    Just finished watching Gregerson’s excellent video. I had no idea The Finished Mystery was so silly.  No wonder the Watchtower wants to distance itself from this book. Might be worth obtaining a copy.

    • April 20, 2014 at 11:45 am
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      Mandelay, anonymous,

      Even after reading and watching countless blogs and videos, this video still sounds like an “eye opener” for me.

      One thing that JW friends should know about the “apostates” is that quite a number of them were JW’s for a very long time and many of them seem like they were peaceful as well within the organization as after getting out of it. Many were very much engaged and quite active people in the organization. Quite a lot of people I could read and watch show a lot of symphaty for JW’s, despite the fact that the feeling is not mutual.

      Gregerson sure gave such an image, another example which really struck me was Raymond Franz. All they wanted to do was to have different opinions and to be respected for this. Not creating divisions, starting a new religion, or become bitter and aggressive.

  • April 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm
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    @jb
    I totally agree.  The Watchtower better beware of these former elders who are dynamos at public speaking….Interesting how we all ‘awaken’ in different ways.  For me, my epithany was after one unbroken reading of the Matthew 24. I saw that it was contextually impossible to extend that prophecy beyond the first century and that there was no facet of it that did not already have fulfillment.  I understood that the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ was a parable. That is why the governing body has strayed so very far away from understanding this prophecy and in their predictions of the end.

  • April 20, 2014 at 1:22 pm
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    @jb
    I totally agree.  The Watchtower better beware of these former elders who are dynamos at public speaking and who exhibit genuine humility. Interesting how we all ‘awaken’ in different ways.  For me, my epithany was after one unbroken reading of the Matthew 24. I saw that it was contextually impossible to extend that prophecy beyond the first century and that there was no facet of it that did not already have fulfillment.  I understood that the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ was a parable. That is why the governing body has strayed so very far away from understanding this prophecy and in their predictions of the end.

    • April 20, 2014 at 10:58 pm
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      Mandelay, Matthew 24 has been quite a confusion for me too, as well for F&DS point as for the “last days”. In Luke 21 (I think) which recounts the same detail doesn’t include the detail about the apostles asking about the “signs of the last days”. They only inquire about the destruction of the temple because Jesus himself triggered the question.

      That addition of “last days” question in Matthew 24 doesn’t only make the reading much more confuse and difficult but – in my humble opinion – feels “out of place” in the context. The apostles should be intrigued by Jesus saying that the temple they see will be destroyed but while they are asking the question they also consider appropriate binding the question about the last days. And Jesus gives details you might interpret for two questions, in a single answer. It quite looks odd to me in the first place.

  • April 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm
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    @ JB
    Everyone should listen to that video. Like Peter Gregerson said in his video if a person is half way out of the Watchtower, it still has it’s evil hold on you and that is my case. I can’t disassociate myself because of family so it still has it’s evil hold on me but like Mr. Gregerson said “sooner or later, they (Governing Body) will have to answer to God for how they have arrogantly and cruelly treated their brothers and sisters and are responsible for uncounted blood transfusion deaths and stunted lives” and I am so hoping that time comes sooner than later before it destroys anymore innocent lives or at least I hope I live long enough to see it.

    • April 20, 2014 at 11:06 pm
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      I agree anonymous, and it’s pretty much my situation as well. Also, the influence of the WT shouldn’t be underestimated, although I like to think otherwise, some influence still persists, after many years of indoctrination.

      Years after my being DF’ed I remember having nightmares with a setup similar to the illustrations about the Armagueddon and me being in the middle of it, with collapsing buildings and crashing planes. If God really intends making an end to this system, I doubt He wants me to feel this way, I doubt if God needs fear to convince. On the other hand the fear has been the best currency for human agendas for centuries.

  • April 21, 2014 at 2:44 am
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    Can I be happy without the Watchtower ? Let me re phrase : I’m happy because I have no Watctower in my life. One thing though for all those leaving Watchtower ,don’t through the baby along with the bath water .If you still believe in God make sure you engage yourself in projects that will help you mature further as a Christian .For me starting the http://www.jwdoctrine.com has been a way to help me focus on matters the most. By the way if you have any articles or idead about the “great crowd” let me know as I’m writing a series of articles on this subject .

  • April 21, 2014 at 4:12 am
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    @jb
    Well I supposed “conclusion of the system” could be translated as “last days” or “end of an age” or ” end times.”

    Only Matthew bundles the destruction and Jesus’ presence into one simultaneous event. This is typical apocalypic writing. See Isaiah 19:1. Same thingie–God’s invisible presence (clouds) accompanies vengeful judgment. 

  • April 21, 2014 at 4:13 am
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    @jb
    Well I supposed “conclusion of the system” could be translated as “last days” or “end of an age” or ” end times.”

    Only Matthew bundles the destruction and Jesus’ presence into one simultaneous event. This is typicsl apocalypic writing. See Isaiah 19:1. Same thingie–God’s invisible presence (clouds) accompanies vengeful judgment. 

  • April 21, 2014 at 4:16 am
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    Sorry. I meant ‘typical apocalyptic writing.’

  • April 21, 2014 at 5:14 am
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    This video has made my week, I think I have shared it with everyone I know…Phenomenal Job to John Cedars and all in it…I respectfully am submitting an early request for your next “happy/dance” video…. would love to represent Ex Jws in NY… and be in the video..btw I have “moves like Jagar! :) and Thanks Again for making many hearts happy with this video! Perfect timing!

  • April 21, 2014 at 5:32 am
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    The information on the site below is an interesting development in the scheme of things.

    http://ilynca.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/unforgettable-memorial.html?spref=fb

    Granted the situation in this part of Africa , is very serious in regards to the Ebola outbreak, but still with the right precautions they still could have used the emblems for the Lord’s evening meal.

    How many would be partaking anyway or are they afraid that this year a few more could partake of the emblems and perhaps potentially spread this disease?

    That is my perspective on this anyway.

  • April 21, 2014 at 5:42 am
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    Just to continue on from my previous comment so that I am not viewed as being ignorant, if they had kept the groups very small and provided hygiene gloves to each member of the group and also separate glasses to pour the wine into from the one glass and a brother pass the bread personally around, this would not spread the disease would it if a member or members were infected with Ebola?

  • April 21, 2014 at 1:32 pm
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    Enjoyed the video!

    Apostate dance and tight pance dance this year, next year gundum style, move over for “Apostate Style”. Maybe we can all pretend to ride a Watchtower and awake while fake roping GB members and hog tying them. Let the good times roll!

  • April 21, 2014 at 2:43 pm
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    I live only 13 miles from Red Rocks, where Ms. Lee danced. Would love to meet up with her for lunch or something sometime! And Cedars, if you ever want or can afford a vacation in Colorado, you’re welcome to stay at Ladybug Lodge, the place in the mountains that I run! Love the site! It’s truly helped my sanity and my long-overdue and much needed transition out of the org! I’d been widowed twice (I’m only 43) and had expected the congregation to be emotionally supportive and be my “family”… One day I was in my car in the parking lot crying over yet another insensitive Watchtower study article and praying hard, and I just felt the answer radiate throughout my entire being, that I did not have to keep putting myself through this, I did not have to do it anymore… I felt an almost tangible weight lift off of me. That was only last May, and I have found such happiness since then, and true friends who are genuinely supportive of me when I need it!

    Come visit sometime, if you can! I’ve loved meeting great people from all around the world with my little vacation rental business! The people I’ve met, whose lives I’ve had tiny glimpses into, have all been reaffirming to me that they are more genuinely happy than JWs can ever be!

    [Links removed for violation of posting guidelines]

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