The Price of Free Thought

 

Dear Randy,

I was born into this cult, and as most Jay Dub (JW) kids I had the usual life, getting teased at school, going out in the field every Saturday and Sunday, mixing only with JW kids. My dad was an elder and quite respected and mum went pioneering bout 3 times a year and was quite a 'mother figure' to many weird young dysfunctional new JWs. In fact I even pioneered once. Around 18 I started to rebel a bit. I had a "worldly girlfriend" that no one knew about for a few months, and I still went to meetings, always feeling VERY GUILTY. I mean, there was absolutely NO life for me outside in the world, but Randy, my first girlfriend was so hot and beautiful I just gave in to her. I eventually ended up sleeping with her. It was after this I stopped going to meetings, I just couldn't be in "Jehovah's organization" anymore.

I was baptized at 13, of course I didn't know why, everyone else was doing it, so my 4 closest friends all got baptized at once. We felt a bit of pressure from our parents, but at least we got it out the way at a young age - we thought. Luckily, I never confessed to the elders about committing the "serious sin" I committed, it would of broken my family up for sure. My mum was crying everyday, as I was the only one out of the seven of my friends who left the truth. My dad even stepped down from being an elder - all because I just refused to come to meetings. Things got really HOT in our house for a while. I had to break up with my first love as she was putting pressure on me to meet my parents (a normal thing to do after going out with her for 5 months). I kept on giving excuses, so I had to regretfully break up with her, since if my parents found out, I would be kicked out of the house for sure.

So I was in bondage and chains for 19 years of my life, Randy. Anyway, this April I bought a new PC with modem and finally hooked up to the net. After surfing quite regularly for a few weeks, I decided to type in "Jehovah's Witnesses" in Alta Vista and was horrified (at the time) at all the apostate sites. I knew that Satan had led me to them to weaken my faith even more, so I kept well away, not knowing what was ahead in the coming months.

So it was about June this year that I had a chance meeting with an ex-JW on the net via e-mail. We got to talking and it was about this time I had actually prayed to Jehovah to give the truth back to me. You see Randy, I was never ever interested in any doctrinal matters as a kid, it was all too heavy for me, I just accepted it, like all my friends as undisputed truth. So there I was, ready to make my big comeback and make everyone so happy again, when I looked up (accidentally) my first apostate site. I just couldn't believe what I was reading, I never knew about the false prophecies or any history - I double checked everything in Dad's library (we have a very extensive library of old JW books, my parents have been JW for 46 years!), and it was all true. They convict themselves, their old literature is their worst enemy!

I related to everything. I looked up ALL the ex-JW sites and found heaps and heaps of information. I cried, like a little boy for days. I was sick, vomiting - what had I found? Could the truth actually be false?

I just could not believe it. For two weeks I was still convinced that Satan was behind this, and that's why I read it - I actually convinced myself that it was a coincidence that I was ready to make a comeback then I read this, so despite all the information I read I WAS STILL CONVINCED I WAS IN THE TRUTH! This was partly dad's fault. I had brought up some issues with him about false prophecy, and 1975 definitely touched a nerve with him. He called me an apostate and told me the Internet was satanic, but then sat me down and told me that the light was getting brighter, that the Israelites endured for 40 years, Jesus prophesied about apostates etc, etc.

The more I read, my mind was being deprogrammed and debrainwashed. I began to look up Mormon sites, Adventist sites, and other religions in the "opposing views" section on Yahoo and slowly realized I was seriously in a CULT for 20 years of my life and I wasn't the only one who had been scammed!

I just can't believe that I was actually going to break up with my current girlfriend when I was going to make a comeback in the truth - losing the best thing that has ever happened to me, all because deep down I knew I just had to marry a good JW girl to be accepted. I dared not tell anyone the information I knew. I still kept in contact with my friends (they were all half-in half-out), so they visited me lots and we went out to town, nightclubs etc. They never talked about any JW stuff around my wonderful girlfriend (it half-embarrassed them, too). Randy, these guys were my friends for 20 years, good friends, lots of holidays, parties, sleepovers, you know all young JW stuff. So after a few months of reading JW sites nearly every day (I was and still am SO SHOCKED to what I know and 5.4 million people don't), I began to get a little bit bitter. I had lost my childhood. I was teased at school for nothing (even BEAT UP ONCE). How else am I expected to feel?

I sent some literature to everyone in the congregation, about 40 people all at once, pleading with them to read the material and study it carefully (it was all anonymous of course). I spent $380 doing this!

My JW friends are also on the net, so one day I just had to tell them what I know. I sent them a message saying I was feeling very sick and upset because I had found out lots of true things about the Watchtower that I related to. I URL'd them your site under "Kids in the Watchtower" and asked them what they thought.

I just cant believe what happened. They investigated your whole site. My BEST friends for 20 years called me an apostate and condemned me for even clicking on your site, let alone reading it all. One of my friends (I thought, the bloody backstabber), told his elder father, and they both checked out your site, then compared it with the literature they were sent anonymously a few weeks before (most of it was from your site).

I got called in for a judicial committee (even though I hadn't been to a meeting for 3 years besides the memorials). My parents made me go, they were so ashamed of me. I could just tell they wanted to spit on me and they also wanted me out of the house. The committee was bad, real bad, they told me I was gone for sure at Armageddon if I had done this - these were elders I had grown up with for 20 years. They were all so ashamed of me, so I had to VIGOUROUSLY DENY IT ALL. Meanwhile, while I was out, my dad turned on my computer and looked in my "bookmarks" on Netscape Communicator to find about the 15 ex-JW sites bookmarked (THE ELDERS MADE HIM, YES, THEY MADE HIM, I REPEAT, MADE HIM DO THIS!) He confessed to them what he had found, and even though I was denying I had done it - THEY DISFELLOWSHIPPED ME FOR APOSTASY!

PUBLICLY HUMILIATED THE FOLLOWING SUNDAY IN FRONT OF OVER 140 PEOPLE I HAD KNOWN FOR 20 years ... any my poor, poor parents were there.

My parents are outcasts now in the congregation. They brought up a satanic son. My mum has got real sick over this, really sick. She has got really bad stomach ulcers, and angina (a mild form of heart disease). She got rushed off to hospital the other night and when I went to visit her, she told me that this was all my fault and she just couldn't believe her son was disfellowshipped. My dad refuses to look at me, let alone talk to me, Randy. I tell you we were a normal family once! How do you think this makes me feel? They have even told me they refuse to come to my wedding - how silly am I going to look!

I hear there is so much gossip about me in the congregation, my friends have abandoned me, some friends. I know that they are not allowed to talk to me at all, but we grew up together for 20 years!

Thanks for reading this Randy. I'm a lost little soul at the moment. I have read a few stories similar to mine, but I never thought I would ever have such a story! I am a practicing Christian now, and have accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. I cannot go to any churches, I have been stung really bad by all this - maybe one day I will. My girlfriend's parents are Anglican and are very religious. Why was I so unlucky to be born into a CULT!

I feel a bit better after writing this, you are the first person to know my side of the story.


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