tumblr_static_bobposter1I had brothers when I was a Jehovah’s Witness.

They were not related to me. We shared no blood. Neither did I use this term in the arbitrary “spiritual” sense, granting brotherhood simply because someone shared my religious beliefs irrespective of the content of character or the quality of their friendship.

No, they were not physical brothers, nor brothers in faith. Yet they were my brothers in every way that truly mattered.

I grew up with them. From the explosion of discovery and imagination and growth that was childhood, to the energetic teenage and early twenties where life and energy seemed infinite and glittering with potential, to the growing maturity and stability of adulthood, we shared each others triumphs, felt each others pain. We adventured across the world together, built memories that will echo inside me forever. We had each other’s backs, and we’d take a bullet for each other if we had to.

Yet we postponed our lives.

Some of us put off getting married. Sure, there were lots of great girls in the congregations, but there would be time for that later. Right now, the faith needed our time and energy. So we lived single and alone, not knowing things like the fundamental joy of sleepily holding close the person you love in bed on a lazy Sunday morning.

Some of us put off doing what we loved, delayed becoming who we wanted to become. I knew musicians, artists, scientists, lawyers, activists and writers, none of whom were doing what they loved. Their talents lay slack, fallow, as they cleaned windows, and worked mundane low-pay jobs. In the New System, we thought, we can be what we truly are. For now, we can just put what we are on hold, and become something else, something lesser. Just for a little while. Just until the New World.

Some of us put off having children. Not in this system. Not in all this chaos. After Armageddon, when the children can grow up safe in a better world. One day we would be the parents they so desperately wanted to be, but not now. Not now.

I used to think this way.

Then I was set free.

Freedom to feel the ticking clock

Against a background of increasing cognitive dissonance and disquiet about what I was seeing and hearing from he organisation that ruled my life, I was finally given the information I need to make an informed choice about allegiance to the religion I had been born into.

This information came not from Watchtower publications, nor from “apostates” screaming abuse in my face. It came from JWfacts.com. JWsurvey.org. Google. Youtube. Raymond Franz. All of these online resources provided the counterpoints to the propaganda I’d been fed since birth.

For the first time in my life, I was able to weigh up the facts, and ask hard questions of my religion. For the first time in my life, I saw how dismally the Watchtower faith responded to the challenge.

And so, like so many others who finally see behind the curtain of the high control religion we were blindly born into, I chose to leave.

Shedding doctrine and belief was easier for me than many others have found. On some level, I think I’d always rejected most of the Watchtower’s more ludicrous teachings and harmful practices. The one exception to this was giving up my idea of eternal life on a paradise earth. This loss was bitterly painful, but the resulting energy that this loss brought to my life was spectacular.

Now that I know my life is finite, I have finally begun to live it with an energy and enthusiasm that my JW self never could have conceived. The seconds tick away, and I know that life has more to see and do than I can ever achieve.

No matter how hard I try, I know now that I will die with many items on my “to-do” list unfulfilled.

This knowledge has not crippled me: it has set me free to focus on what truly fulfils me. It has empowered me to cast away the dawdling, casual wastes of time I indulged in when I felt life was infinite. The things I was putting on hold are now the core of my life, and I have lived more since I left the cult than I ever did during my imprisonment.

Yet I left my brothers behind.

Brothers in chains

1226928328176I know the potential that is chained and suppressed in the brothers I left behind.

They are musicians and artists so talented and bursting with potential it would make you weep. They are scientists and philosophers who could contribute vastly to the human condition, saving lives and minds, who instead clean windows because they are waiting for a paradise that will never come. They are wonderful parents who will never have children because they are using their time to serve a lie for a phantom reward.

Time is bleeding them, and they do not even know it. Every year that goes by is another year of wasted opportunities, where choices narrow and options shrink. I cannot bare the thought that the brothers I love will look back one day, with fading eyes and struggling breath, on a life of wasted potential and disappointment, and wish that they could have gotten out of the cult whilst there was still time to live.

I yearn to give them the same chance I had: to obtain all of the information they have previously been denied, and make an informed choice.

Yet this is hard to do.

If I were to attempt to discuss this directly with them, I know they would simply refuse to engage, and that any lingering threads of friendship still existing between us would be severed. The cult that imprisons them has driven its hooks in deep, and any rising impulse to directly engage with me on this subject would be dragged back down on a razor-blade leash.

Yet I remember my own path. Growing evermore disquieted by increasingly extreme and illogical Watchtower teachings. Reaching out in secret to online activists. JWfacts.com. JWsurvey.org. Google. Youtube. Raymond Franz. Weighing the facts they presented against Watchtower’s claims.

And finally becoming free.

That is a path my brothers can walk. It is a path I am increasingly sure many of them will. The only question is; will they do it whilst there is still time to live a real life?

So this is why I do what I do.

To help pile legal and media pressure on Watchtower, forcing it to make increasingly extreme and damaging mistakes in public that reveal its deceitful and harmful core.

To raise public awareness of those mistakes, to make them so unavoidable and exposed that my brothers cannot help but become aware of them, rusting the chains and straining the leash that the cult has placed around their minds.

To help grow the online resources available to my brothers so that when they do make their choice to reach out for the facts, in secret and trembling from fear, they have every possible chance of choosing to free themselves from their chains as soon as possible and spend whatever time they have left genuinely living, rather than being told how to live.

I seek not to drag my brothers away from their faith against their will. If they choose to remain, so be it, but let it be an informed choice.

I seek no followers. Follow no man. Question everything, then follow only your own conscience and the conclusions you draw through your own powers of reason and critical thinking. Understand that truth fears no enquiry, but that falsehood is terrified of questioning.

Choose your life. Never allow another to choose it for you. Carve out your own destiny from the time you have with your own two hands. My Brothers deserve this chance just as much as I.

Leave no man behind

Tmaxresdefaulthere is a moment in the war film Black Hawk Down that captures with simple elegance why I feel compelled to do what I do in trying to hold Watchtower to account.

In the scene I refer to, a soldier (played by actor Eric Bana) is given an opportunity to stand down from the harrowing battle and recover in the safety of his base of operations. He refuses, and instead goes back into the danger of the war-zone to try and rescue his trapped fellow soldiers. When challenged on the apparent insanity of this act, he replies.

When I go home, and people ask me, “Hey Hoot, why do you do it, man? Why? You some kind of war junkie?” I won’t say a goddamn word. Why? They won’t understand. They won’t understand why we do it.

They won’t understand it’s about the men next to you… and that’s it.

That’s all it is.

Leave no man behind.

 

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117 thoughts on “The Friday Column: Leave no man behind

  • May 6, 2016 at 7:18 am
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    Thank you for your thought-provoking article. We all have the responsibility to “leave no man behind”.

  • May 6, 2016 at 7:34 am
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    Hello Covert Fade
    I really appreciate this article and it resonates with me profoundly. Do I understand from the last bit of text that you may be going back in? I ask because I have often thought about it myself. I have a daughter and two grandchildren still in. I haven’t seen them in two years. The only way I could talk with her is if I was “back in,” and I often wonder if I were there with her, in the trenches so to speak, if I could help her out, expose her to what I know, passively of course. The thought is beyond overwhelming, and I’m not sure it would even work, but if there’s a chance . . .

    • May 6, 2016 at 9:27 am
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      Hey there.

      I don’t think I’d be able to go back in, to be honest. I simply don’t have the kind of willpower that would be required to play along and pretend to believe in things I despise. I’m in awe of those who are able to stay in for the sake of family and friends, but they have a gift of willpower I that I don’t have.

  • May 6, 2016 at 8:00 am
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    that religion cost me the woman I love,
    even tho, I didn’t get her,almost 50 years later.
    I still love her, still as strong as all those years ago,
    maybe some day, the big guy in the sky will send her to me

    • May 7, 2016 at 10:33 am
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      Same for me she was salvation army id just started study with jws.it was the blood issue
      .she could not agree..i now have friended her on facbook.we both70 now…if it wasent for WT what might have been …thats life.

  • May 6, 2016 at 8:05 am
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    Just now I was thinking back to when they threw me out, Coral and Mary drove round the corner almost crashed looking sideways so as not to have to make eye contact with me… They were on their way to Toorak to choose the mansions they were shortly to inherit… (Around 1974). Nothing to do with the great article you wrote, thought just popped into my head.

  • May 6, 2016 at 8:16 am
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    This is what I am dealing with and I appreciate you bringing it up. My brothers are people who have been there for me in ways that most wouldn’t even consider bothering themselves about. When people tell me dismissively “oh, these people aren’t your friends because they’ll leave you in the end, you should move on from them”; its insulting because it is simply not that simple or neatly-packaged as “they don’t really care and that’s that”. Yes, they are plugged in, but we care for each other because we understand each other’s true selves. Not many people you meet, really understand you, even if they care about you. If this something that we eventually have to walk away from, we will all be fighting it, and it will be the loss of a lifetime.

  • May 6, 2016 at 8:59 am
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    Thank you!

  • May 6, 2016 at 9:05 am
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    Covert Fade;

    A wonderful, thought provoking piece. Truthful as well as poignant; well done.

    Verily, this is a battle; a battle being fought worldwide for the hearts and souls of close to 8 million slaves held in bondage to a soul-sucking cult. “Yes”, they say, “serve Jehovah (the Watchtower) now. Wait for the real life to come in the New System.” The catch is after 100 years of false predictions and promises it hasn’t come and the New System is nowhere in sight. Maybe by the year 2033 A.D. after 2,000 years since the death and supposed Resurrection of Jesus, maybe then….maybe.

    Poor deluded fools, blinded by FOG (Fear, Obligation and Guilt). They should not be hated but pitied. For at one time we were just like them but we finally were helped to break free. “Free at Last, Free at Last, thank God Almighty we’re Free at Last!” MLK,Jr.

  • May 6, 2016 at 9:27 am
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    Great column. Thank you!

  • May 6, 2016 at 9:30 am
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    I grew up during 1973 -1984 era . My old KH congregation was run by an old guard of brothers who were related to each other. They dominated every congregation that used the hall. The fact that some of us were told to put off marrige came from old men who were married themselves. My congo we had few girls to the ratio of boys . Girls and boys never socialized, or were seen talking to each other. We were all watched by these old men in tight pants . If a girl found a boy friend out side of the hall , shed be called in a JC meeting quickly if word got out. The fear mongering 80s was filled with doom and gloom talks . Most of all talks about Demons to frightened us into submission. Those were my memories.

    • May 6, 2016 at 6:12 pm
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      I grew up in the org around the same time. I remember my mother reading my younger brother and I experiences out of the yearbook about the horrible things the brothers were going through in Malawi because the society wouldn’t let then buy a political card. We were told that we would eventually have to face persecution to prove our loyalty. I was a child. I was terrified all the time for fear the authorities would raid our house and take me off to a concentration camp. I can’t tell you how I long to get my childhood back and be raised normally. That can’t happen so I just concentrate on my like now and the future that lies ahead without the influences of this awful organization.

  • May 6, 2016 at 10:29 am
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    This has made me cry. So much time wasted. Yet there were many happy times, good times, fun times. But because of this organization I can no longer share them with my old friends. I wonder sometimes with my old friends when they are reminiscing, if they do say ”Do you remember when ******** did this or do you remember when ********* did that.” I hope they laugh at the memory, and not think bad thoughts about my choice to leave. I hope the ones that knew me well, and knew my dedication will one day ask me why I don’t return, and genuinely listen, and most of all hear my reply. You see I didn’t leave them behind either. But behind is where they are.

  • May 6, 2016 at 10:44 am
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    Decisions are the hardest thing to make especially when it is a choice between where you should be and where you WANT to be. It’s never too late to make the right choice.

  • May 6, 2016 at 11:40 am
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    Such a beautiful article, such poignant words. They made me feel quite tearful but not sad. It is like saying goodbye to that wicked lover who cheated and cheated and couldn’t stop themselves despite protestations of true love. The first time our lover org cheated on us we were blissfully unaware and when it dawned, boy did we hurt. Sorry my analogy is a bit off from MrC’s ie war and true brothers in arms.It is true some will have great loss when they leave the org for good but some of us never really fitted so we won’t be mourned or grieved over and that hurts on a different level because our opportunities of youth are long gone and we leave no lasting contribution to this life and we won’t be missed by even pseudo friends. So enough of this maudlin stuff ive got a life to live I’m off to see a rock band tonight and gonna rock on cheers Ruthlee.

  • May 6, 2016 at 12:32 pm
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    Very powerful article here! This is truth at its simplest form. Great job Covert Fade!

  • May 6, 2016 at 1:15 pm
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    I agree with all comments…wonderful article! Brought me to tears to…sad tears…but also happy freedom tears…tears of heartache, for all who have suffered and cont to suffer sooo much loss and sadness from such a horrible orgy, who falsely claims God’s backing. It is not easy to turn and go from family and friends, and even worse, if these are ripped from you forcefully, by heartless men,who dictate how one must feel and act. Tears of pride for those, who like yourself feel the need to…not leave a brother behind, and keep trying to get this evil and corrupt orgy to answer and suffer like they make others do…May there be a God of Justice in the end, and may He make them suffer as they have made and cont to make so many to suffer. Thanx soooo very much Covert, much” Brotherly Love.”… Keep up the good work!

  • May 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm
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    Brilliant piece of writing! And encouraging in the most practical way. Mega exposure of JW cruelty and stupidity on the internet and other media is clearly having its effect.

    A uniformly ghastly public image will make JWdom unsaleable. How many folk today would sing the praises of Hitler or Stalin? Back in the 1930s these deranged monsters had plenty of fans amongst folks who were not essentially gullible or simple minded; some of them, like Henry Williamson, a Hitler admirer, and George Bernard Shaw, a cheerleader for Stalin, were quite brilliant.

    Even us oldies might yet live to see the collapse of the Watchtower.

  • May 6, 2016 at 2:48 pm
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    Lovely article mate. Still taking it all in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  • May 6, 2016 at 2:57 pm
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    Thanks CF!
    Emotional ,honest and touching article with relevant analogy.However I have to say that I’m sadden that I did lost another brother in faith.The scarfs this org. leave are lasting,deep and painful.In every case where the affected one lost completely the hope and faith in better world “paradise” I do feel like I left brother behind ,I lost a brother.
    Best wishes my bro & big hugs on your new journey!

  • May 6, 2016 at 3:35 pm
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    i feel so sorry for the older ones still caught in this cult, watching the flip flops, money grabs, overlapping bs. IE my mum and dad.

  • May 6, 2016 at 5:24 pm
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    Great article CF got me reminiscing about my own
    journey. I did the window cleaning stint 17 years,
    always a struggle to make a living so much bad
    weather in England.

    I left a good job in engineering because I allowed
    myself to be persuaded that working with worldly
    people was a drain on ones spirituality and that they
    were basically bad inside.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. I worked
    with some splendid men, men who were happy to pass
    on valuable skills to me a younger man, no thought of
    jealousy that I could become better than them and take
    their job. There was some barrack room language and
    good natured ribbing, but nothing evil or Satanic.

    Started studying in 58, and like every other JW I felt
    let down when after 8 years of intensive hype 1975
    fizzled out like a damp squib. Many disappointed
    people left. At a National Assembly shortly afterwards
    one speaker referred to these ones. He said, let them go
    we don’t want them, they were just opportunists.

    I persevered with the org until 1982, when after the
    witch hunt at headquarters they started to really turn the
    screw. If we had even private thoughts that did not align
    with the org, we were proud, independent, rebellious ,
    just like Satan. That was the last straw for me

    I’ve been out 34 years, In that time along with my wife I
    qualified as a professional ballroom dancer and teacher,
    It was something I was always interested in but shelved it
    for the more urgent kingdom work not to mention
    disapproving comments. Overjoyed that I woke up with
    a good few years ahead of me.
    Y life of uncertain span. Please. don’t waste it on a
    proven failure, a mirage.

    • May 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm
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      Lovely and so accurately presented comment. Exactly consistent with my general and personal experience with Watchtower. And I so love your inclusion of the Org’s favorite phrase “urgent work”

    • May 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm
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      twmack, Looks like you left about the same time we did. We had been witnesses for over 45 years. Got married, against the advice of the Society and had 4 children. Although we did not sacrifice our life for the WT, we truly believed they had the truth until we started reading just the Bible without the literature and found out we could ask for Holy Spirit. We were out in a year. We left in 1983 and were disfellowshipped for “apostasy”. We left family and friends there. I am so glad that you and your wife got out and were able to follow your dreams with the gifts that God gave you. The true God gives us dreams and gifts to follow. He is not the “Jehovah” of the Watchtower who steals our desires and substitutes false hopes. God bless you and keep you in His Will! Hugs, Gramma Velta

  • May 6, 2016 at 5:33 pm
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    Interesting article, my best friend is still indoctrinated. The last time I saw him I passively raised some questions but it didn’t really seem to be sinking in. I remember feeling so sad when we parted ways, the guy is in his 30’s and he’s throwing his life away. Its such a fine line in trying to awaken someone. I faded in my early 20’s, I can’t imagine how terrible I’d feel if I threw away my adulthood. I just hope my childhood friend can start connecting the dots

  • May 6, 2016 at 5:34 pm
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    One life of uncertain span was the intended was the
    Intended sentence.

  • May 6, 2016 at 8:00 pm
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    Nice article; a thought provoking message. When I finally left I lost all my jw friends. Fortunately, as I was fading, I came upon several non-jw friends who I found I could count on (truly discovering people like this outside of “God’s Organization” helped me realize that not all worldly people were evil as I had been raised to believe). Upon leaving, however, I was also able to reconnect with old friends who had left before me. We now had an even stronger bond than before.

    I don’t miss the old friendships at all. I think it’s because I now know they were conditional friendships, built on something that wasn’t real.

    WS

  • May 6, 2016 at 9:19 pm
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    I think you speak for so many… The thought of the time I’ve lost truly living, believing in this cult, still angers me. However, I am free now from the brainwash!!! Hallelujah!!!

  • May 6, 2016 at 9:49 pm
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    I dont understand the people watching the broadcasts, watching the gb dudes and how average and really unusual they come across, awkward and non emotional and they continue to make these peoples delusions their own delusions. I think about all the stuff Jesus would be working on and doing if he were on Earth compared to the crap they are producing. For me, the best tactic is to give a quick sincere bold statement then back off. It will grow in their minds if its honest and true.

  • May 7, 2016 at 1:35 am
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    Great article, thank you so much Convert Fade for the time and effort that you and your fellow team members have put in to this and other articles.

    I have a feeling that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of our former brothers and sisters who have woken up to what is really going on in the organisation. Social engineering never worked in the past and all indications are that it will not work in the future, just look at what happened to Hitler, Stalin, Apartheid South Africa, Affirmative Action and countless other failed social experiments. Sorry to say to our brothers and sisters left behind – the WBTS experiment has failed as well.

    For those that feel leaving this prison is not worth the effort and it would be better to leave things as is – the comforting fact is that it is never too late to change your life or world view. How much better to focus your mind and energy on positive living and working on those things that give you a spark and love for life as mentioned in this article.

    My 81 year old mom still reads her bible every day and is still a member, she has always had the courage to speak out against abusive elders, shunning, hypocrisy of taking blood fractions, discouraged higher education, etc and I love her for it, she has however become conditioned over decades that this is the best that life gets. I feel very sad that she still has this daily fight at her age and has lived most of her life on pause – never pursuing her dreams.

    Please don’t be another victim of this experiment.

  • May 7, 2016 at 3:12 am
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    Why give up on eternal life? If WT is unfaithful by serving up their own ideas then the organization won’t survive. But there are many decent people who do not steal, lie or murder. The prophet Elijah once thought he was the only one in Israel faithful to God, but it turns out God knew of 7,000 faithful ones.
    Living with death in view gives you a sort of anxiety which makes it hard to deal with periods of boredom or having to deal with situations you don’t want to be in. It could also make us selfish – not wanting to give time to others we could use for ourselves – not that I’m saying this is the case.
    Just a thought.

    • May 7, 2016 at 4:32 am
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      Sarah,
      Not intending to open up a philosophical debate, but when we look at life on this planet, everything is finite. All things have a set time and then they are gone. This includes humans. It even appears that our sun and all the planets in our solar system may cease to exist one day.

      This knowledge doesn’t cause me any anxiety. I live each day so as to make it the best it can be. If I find myself in an unpleasant situation, I take steps to change the situation or find ways to make it work for me. And I am never bored.

      Dreaming that at some point there will be some magical change or that at some point in the future we will get a second chance at life is like taking a placebo. It may make us think we feel better, but it does not change reality. It may even do harm if it causes us to stop trying to be the very best in life, as it has done with so many JWs.

      When we die, we may go to some wonderful place of bliss, heaven if you will, but no one can say for sure as none have ever returned from such a place. And some day a divine being may step in and fix all our problems. We cannot totally rule it out. However, based on experience it won’t be any time soon. Thus we need to take responsibility for our own lives and do all that we can to leave this planet a better place once we are gone.

      That’s my thought on it.

      WS

    • May 7, 2016 at 7:07 am
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      “Living with death in view………could also make us selfish – not wanting to give time to others we could use for ourselves – not that I’m saying this is the case.”

      But is it realistic to believe that you are going to live forever? Is it true that you are going to live forever?

    • May 7, 2016 at 3:29 pm
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      Sarah,

      “Why give up on eternal life?”

      Isn’t it also selfish if one needs to have the promise of the reward of eternal life in order to be able “to give time to others we could use for ourselves”?

      It seems to me that the real test of unselfishness is if one doesn’t have the promise of the reward of eternal life yet you are able “to give time to others we could use for ourselves”.

      “Living with death in view gives you a sort of anxiety which makes it hard to deal with periods of boredom or having to deal with situations you don’t want to be in.”

      The promise of the reward of eternal life can perhaps help in these situations but what if eternal life is not real, what if it is just a phantom reward?

  • May 7, 2016 at 4:50 am
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    The problem must JWs have is that they put their faith in men. That is the governing body, elders etc…. The bible tells ua not to put our faith in men. I did what I felt was right for me. I got an education. My kids all do. I just tell them to never mention it at the KH. It’s worked pretty well. One is in law school and another is getting a master’s and no one at the hall knows.
    I would never listen to those stupid tapes, kingdom melodies etc. Years ago I had a led Zeppelin cassette on in the car and my wife changed it and put in a kingdom melody. She asked me if it was bothering me and I said it was and threw it out the window were it belonged. Never listened to one since.
    My point is do what you want. Pursue what you want. Don’t let anyone tell you what is right for you. Never go to an elder, once they drive out of the kingdom hall parking their only place where they get some sort of valadation in life goes away. Truly sad.
    The very fact that they sold Brooklyn and used all those people’s time to move to Warwick tells you to live your life to the fullest. Take care of yourself. They are taking care of themselves with other people’s money.

  • May 7, 2016 at 7:03 am
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    I was baptized in 1966 at the age of 19. I wasn’t a born-in. I came in after I left home. I fell in love with a born-in and we got married. Since he was a born-in and I wasn’t, his mother was always suspicious of me but I really loved him and I thought it would be forever. I thought we would never get old and die because that is what the Society taught and I believed it.

    He died two months ago after a year long battle in pain, fighting cancer and instead of looking back at fond memories, all I have is painful memories of both of our lives wasted.

    I expected him to be perfect because the Society makes it look like if you marry a JW, that they will be the perfect husband and father. He expected me to be perfect as well because the Society makes people think that jw women are the perfect wife and mother. We went through our 49 years of marriage always being disappointed in each other.

    Most of the time we got along okay but three years ago, I saw that he was doing porn on the internet and I turned him into the elders and he got publicly reproved. I thought he was sinning against Jehovah and so Jehovah was withholding his holy spirit from the congregation and I actually wanted him disfellowshipped but instead they “only” publicly reproved him and then shortly afterwards, they told him that if he went in service more and attended more meetings that he’d be able to answer again at the meetings and even that made me angry.

    That was so upsetting to me that I went online for support and that’s when I came across jwsurvey and jwfacts etc. and Ray Franz’s books and I actually was glad that what happened to my husband was the thing that sent me searching and I found out that the Society is not and never has been appointed by Jehovah and Jehovah’s spirit was never on the organization in the first place and the elders had no business being in my husband’s and my business.

    I told my husband that if I had it to do over again that I would never have involved the elders and reading Ray Franz’s books is why I would never have done that to him but it was too late and I do believe the public humiliation of being publicly reproved led to him being so depressed that he got cancer and I have to live with that for the rest of my life now.

    My husband didn’t agree with me about Ray Franz but at least I tried to make him feel better, even though, right up until he died, he thought that it really was the Society was the “truth” and he died with the hope of being resurrected on a paradise earth.

    When I knew he was going to die, I shut up about what I had learned about the “truth” because at least he had that to keep his mind off of being dead forever and I didn’t want to take that away from him then.

    The point of my story is that the Society has never been appointed by God and no matter what they say, they don’t know any more about the Bible or life than any one of us. They are just egomaniacs who think they know it all and Witnesses (me included) believed that they were being talked to by God. They have no authority over us and they never did.

    Please don’t get involved in that religion. It will ruin your life, your children’s life, your parent’s life, your husband’s life or your wife’s life, your grandparents life and anybody who works with you. It will ruin your personality and make you an egomaniac too, thinking that only you have a good relationship with God and you don’t. It’s all in Witnesses’ minds. They are all being led along like a bull with a ring in it’s nose and don’t even know it. They don’t know they are wasting such a precious thing called life.

    It’s so sad.

    • May 7, 2016 at 7:57 am
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      So sorry Caroline.

    • May 7, 2016 at 8:37 am
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      Hi Caroline,
      Sorry to hear about the death of your husband. Death, though a reality of this life is never pleasant to deal with.

      Hope you will be able to find support during your time of grief as you say goodbye to what was, and get ready for that which is yet to come.

      I have always enjoyed your comments in this forum.

      Best regards.

    • May 7, 2016 at 8:43 am
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      I have always said, if you want to make your problem worse, go to the elders. I am sure the brothers on his committee all gazed at Internet porn themselves.

    • May 7, 2016 at 9:48 am
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      My sincerest condolences on the loss of your husband, Caroline. Don’t blame yourself for his depression and subsequent cancer. His depression was a result of the egomaniacs in the Watchtower organization and their litany of rules and regulations.

      And don’t feel that your life was wasted because of the JW influence. Sure, they had a harmful influence, but they never had total control over you. That you eventually woke up once you had the resources available to you is a key indicator of this. And I am sure if you look back with an honest assessment of your life you will see both triumphs and disappointments. That’s true for everyone whether they were in this cult or not.

      When you have lost someone so close to you for so long, it’s hard to see that your life isn’t over. You still have a lot of potential for the future, and although it might be hard to see right now, there is a bright future ahead of you. When you are ready it will be waiting for you.

      WS

    • May 7, 2016 at 10:43 am
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      Sorry Caroline, you are a loving and caring person, please don’t blame yourself, you can be forced to do very irrational things when your mind is being played with, you have had the courage and strength to realize this, all the best to you for your future!

    • May 7, 2016 at 1:42 pm
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      Caroline I am so sorry to hear your husband has died. My thoughts and love are with you. xxx

    • May 7, 2016 at 5:57 pm
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      Hard to agree that the depression caused his cancer! Remember- “Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all”!!!

      • May 8, 2016 at 5:17 pm
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        Dear Caroline,

        Thank you for opening your heart up to us. We must have woken up around the same time. I have known you back when you were “Anonymous” & always looked forward to your comments. I feel like we’re friends. I had been wondering lately where you have been & now I know.

        Please don’t blame yourself as everyone has said. I have spent the last 20 years battling that myself for my daughter.

        Love
        Grace.

        • May 8, 2016 at 6:38 pm
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          Hi Grace. Thank you too so much for your kind comment. Being all alone now after all those years is going to take me time and I do feel as if I have “family” here with you and so many others that come here and comment and it helps a lot.

  • May 7, 2016 at 7:04 am
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    I sat with my granddaughter this weekend and she asked me why I no longer go to the hall. I don’t often see her as she lives a long way a way with her mother. My ex daughter in law, who’s family are all in JW’s. He Uncle is an elder in my hall. I could have told my granddaughter all sorts of things but in the end I asked her some questions. I found out she had no idea that there was a hierarchy within the WT. She didn’t really understand who the CO was let alone there was a GB. I I asked her ‘if someone does something really, really naughty what should you do?’ She said go to the Police. At that point I was able to tell her, in a way a 7 year old could understand, that the GB, even when they knew something very naughty was going on, didn’t tell the Police. She saw straight away that, that was wrong. “The police are there to help us Grandma! How can they stop bad things happening if we don’t tell them?’ Out of the mouths of babes eh.
    She asked about the fires in Alberta…. we are in Canada. She said that in the Paradise there would be no more fires… I think it was then that I started to sob inside. Yes, she is slowly being indoctrinated. I asked her if she understood Baptism. ‘No, not really’. So I said to her that it is something that I want her to promise me she won’t do until she is a grown up and until she has spoken to other people and not just JW’s. I asked her to ask questions of her own. Hopefully, she will see that her non witness family do fun stuff with other people who are not JW’s. That just because she is told it is bad and evil to ‘celebrate’ as she puts it, we are not bad people. She is the only one behind… I will not leave her there. I will hang on till the bitter end to bring her out. If I fail, then I can but only say ‘I tried’.

    • May 7, 2016 at 10:40 am
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      I brought up my two sons in the org .one baptised one not i made them wait till 16 before they decided ..ive got grandchildren in the jws .i worry they will be pushed into baptism…im out mentaly trying to fade as im hanging in for family. But its becoming harder and harder to sit thru the nonsense that is now being pumped out at especialy the mid week meeting .its a struggle

      • May 7, 2016 at 11:35 am
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        John ship
        I can relate to your feelings. I remember just trying to make it through the meetings and keep quiet about things I knew were just total BS. Eventually something has got to give. For me I just slowly stopped going until I was totally gone. It’s hard when you have family. But once you’ve woken up, it’s just too hard to keep listening to the rhetoric. I haven’t been to a meeting (other than a couple memorials that I gave in and went to in order to appease family) for almost 3 years and I am happier for it. When I was first fading, I confided in an old friend who had faded years before. She told me “at some point, you will wake up on a Sunday morning and realize you have no where you have to go, just your whole day to yourself; It will be great.” I am finally there and you know what? My friend was right.

        WS

  • May 7, 2016 at 12:06 pm
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    Caroline, Your comments have always been an
    inspiration to me and I’m sure to many others.

    I can tell you are a strong intelligent woman who is
    more than capable of resolving any issues in your
    life without any help from me.

    What I can say though, is that we all screw up,
    sometimes badly and it’s too painful to keep
    scourging ourselves by replaying these things
    over and over in the mind. I’m trying not to do it
    anymore.

    So sorry about the loss of your husband, my thoughts
    are with you, as I’m sure are those of many others
    on this site, who have been encouraged by your
    comments.

  • May 7, 2016 at 12:34 pm
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    Thank you all for your comments. It’s a certain kind of hell former Jehovah’s Witnesses or active Jehovah’s Witnesses go through when we lose someone close to us, especially if we feel responsible for either getting them disfellowshipped and they committed suicide or they get cancer and die from being publicly reproved or they die because of blood. There are no words to describe that kind of hell and you wonder if you will ever be happy again.

    There is so much blood guilt on the head of the governing Body of the Watchtower Society of New York because of the millions of lives that they have destroyed.

    Nobody can appreciate how horrible it is until we go through it ourselves and now I know how others like me have suffered in similar situations.

  • May 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm
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    45 members of my JW family shun us, following the April 2012 Watchtower where the stronger rules came into play. We are considered “apostates worthy of death”…….after being in the organization for 30 years, and marrying a 3rd generation JW who has also left, it is difficult to re-enter society and make friends. But I am glad to be free of mind control.

  • May 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm
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    A thought provoking article Covert, and one that must touch the heart of every ex JW out there.
    I was one of those from the ‘world’, who along with my partner, took hold of the JW carrot at the age of 29. I spent the next 30 years striving to do Watchtower bidding until the wake-up call in 2013. Reading Ray Franz book opened my eyes – his words were saying just how I felt. Further research confirmed that this one time love affair with Watchtower had been a waste of my time and my life. It was a lie!
    I still feel bitterness towards the GB and have to stop myself from kicking over those dreaded trolleys, but as they say, time is a great healer. We can’t undo the past, we can only change our future. Unfortunately, the scars remain.

  • May 7, 2016 at 5:09 pm
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    This web site reminds me of a self help group I once attended called The Compassionate Friends. It’s a group that meets together to help parents who have lost their children to death. I went to this group for a year after my ten year old son died. The majority of the parents who attended had lost their children to drowning in swimming pool accidents. A doctor started the group when he realized that parents who had lost their children to death were the best for helping other parents going through the same experience. This sort of help is going on here. The people who come to this website are going through different stages in their own personal dealings with the JW religion. I’ve been through all of the stages. First denial. I thought I could bluff my family into thinking I was still a JW. Then came anger. I couldn’t hide my true feelings towards the JW religion from my family as I woke up more and more… Now I’m going through acceptance of my family situation. They are indoctrinated. I’m not. I understand they’re indoctrinated so I love them, I understand them, I forgive them, I’m ready to let go. And I have moved on. I no longer have to look over my shoulder. I tired of being a hypocrite but I wanted to be with my family at the time. My anxiety is gone. I’m very calm. I was ready to let go. Good for me. But I understand what people are going through. I went through it. Thank you

    • May 7, 2016 at 11:33 pm
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      I want to add there will never be closure for me when it comes to losing my ten year old son. He was my only child. For many on this website there will never be closure because they have family and loved ones who are still indoctrinated. It doesn’t matter what someone else feels about your own situation. It’s hard when people say the wrong thing. I hate it when people say Ah, get over it. When they say that to me it makes me feel like I want to slap them, oh, so hard.. Many people remember someone who loved them and then is gone. For many people it takes time for things to fall in place in their minds. Ridicule doesn’t help. I hate ridicule because the person who ridicules someone shows the kind of person they are and it’s not good. I think I’m staying away from you. Your no good. Ridicule causes a negative reaction. It doesn’t help because even if a ridiculer might be correct. When he says it the wrong way people wont listen.

      • May 8, 2016 at 5:32 pm
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        Alice,

        Your comment resonates so deeply with me. I just spent the weekend with my sister talking about this very thing. Losing a child is the most painful thing anyone can go through. Our daughter was our only child as well & we weren’t able to have more children.

        20 years ago the offer for me was there to join a support group as the one you mention but I chose the JW’s instead. Now I feel ready to find one again. Thank you for making the comment because I have been contemplating that for a couple of months now but held off. Still shaking off the shackles, I guess.

        Also, what a beautifully written article. There are many wonderful people & things to pursue, we just have to find the courage now to pursue them & let go of the fear that WT induced into us.

        • May 8, 2016 at 10:45 pm
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          Thank you. When my husband and I went to the Compassionate Friends group we were mad at each other because I wanted to talk about it but my husband didn’t. After we joined the group, people in the group told us we were being normal and what we were doing was very common. That helped my husband and I. We became very close. My husband died in 2010. This website helps me the same way that group helped me. All of us here are going through feelings of loss because of the JW religion and are trying to get the poison out of our mn Dos and to be unindoctrinated

  • May 8, 2016 at 2:21 am
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    This cult has spoiled many people. this was written before they came in my country…
    *** km 5/74 p. 3 How Are You Using Your Life? ***
    Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end.—1 John 2:17

    It seems “the short time remaining” is worse than “(Genesis 3:15) . . .I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.”

  • May 8, 2016 at 7:35 am
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    Thanks to Covert Fade !!!

    The orgs kangaroo court justice system opened our eyes. Repeatedly they refused to even hear factual evidence of innocence. Then used the excuse of an unrepentant attitude to convict and DF our innocent brothers.

    Shortly after we discovered Crisis of Conscience and JW Survey. A new brotherhood.

  • May 8, 2016 at 9:34 pm
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    I’ve been reading everyone’s comments on here and decided to check on JW.Borg to see what they had to say about this years regional assembly. David Simoneon said : “Our convention this year features content that will help people develop stronger bonds with friends, family members and, above all, with God. We are confident that all who attend will enjoy this program.”

    To say this with a straight face shows the level of delusion. You can feel people’s pain just reading the comments on this sight. Families are shattered because of an ideology that is the equivalent of a child’s fairytale.

    David Simoneon and I had speaking parts in the same convention in 2009. I remember he said of Christendom ” she is that dog!” Considering watchtowers history he had no room to talk. I wish I had known then what I know now. He deserves a well placed pop on the nose and so does the gb.

    We all know the stronger bonds spoken of are mental and emotional chains meant to bind their already dutiful slaves. A God of Justice would have nothing to do with this organization.

  • May 8, 2016 at 11:43 pm
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    Well written article Covert Fade. The only reason to identify ourselves as Ex-JW is to help the people left behind in the organization.

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