Watchtower Survivors Library

Marc Cora

Marc & Cora Latham have come up with a brilliant idea and we hope this will help.

Please share your stories here how the Jehovah Witnesses have affected your lives.

Please do not use any vulgarities.

Thank you all and peace on your journey.

Just type in the answer to the math question below and type in your story.

73 Comments:

  1. A few years ago I began crying at nearly every meeting, and was not sure why. I quit going for the most part but felt very guilty. I was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on lots of meds and a few months later lost my job. I eventually found a few other jobs. One I worked as a traveler and coming home from that job I lost my brakes in the mountains and accidently drove my car off about a 15 foot cliff. At this time I prayed and felt something, at the time I thought it was Jehovah, however I have since come to realize that it is possible that angels might have been involved too. (This was actually the first time since baptized that I began questioning, I did have some doubts about Armageddon, etc. as a teenager when we were studying.) This is because the sheriff told my dad and I that he didn’t understand how the wreck happened, as I was actually driving with 2 wheels off the road for quite a while, and I realized later that I should have had a much worse wreck and probably been killed, as I landed in a river. I only broke a few bones, although I was care flighted out. I used this time to re-evaluate my life a little. Again, I still had a hard time going to meetings. A year or so later my dad was DF’d for reasons that were absolutely ridiculous. My sister and I refused to shun him so we did not go to meetings, anymore, and were so confused as to the lack of love that was being shown to our family. We still felt guilty about not going. I had a hard time at the years anniversary of the wreck and developed a fear of driving to the point I couldn’t drive anymore and I was taking so many meds yet, and they were getting changed a lot, I was developing side effects that were unacceptable. During this time I really couldn’t leave the house without someone with me. I cried daily, sometimes for several hours a day. At this time I found a therapist but felt somewhat guilty going to him because he was a hypnotherapist as well, although he did EFT and NLP with me, not hypnosis. He actually helped me a lot and within a few months I was off my psych meds, all of them, I was driving again, and within 6 months I was working again part-time. My dad got very ill, and I did a session with him regarding this. This session really hit hard and I began questioning some of the teachings of JW’s, still very unsure of everything. Then a few months later I did another session with him about some family members who died in a cult. Some days after that my sister was on YouTube and for some reason she watched a video about JW’s from a former elder and then she started watching others. We were so shocked about the pedophile problems within the congregations, as well as their involvement with the UN at the same time that we were reading from their literature how the UN was the beast, and on and on we discovered the cover ups and lies. We were so shocked and didn’t know what to do, and our vague feelings that something was not right was being proved. Finally we decided we could not be part of this organization anymore and DA’d ourselves. I still have my questions about things, but life is much better now. I realize now that I am sensitive and that listening to all the toxic talks were poisoning me against myself. I never felt good enough or that I was doing enough, etc. and I never allowed myself to question the religion, because, you know, the problem is that your heart is treacherous, and don’t trust it. I realize now, since working with my coach that my heart is what I need to listen to. But at the same time that I felt this way, I also thought I should be happy, because we have the truth and there aren’t any happier people on Earth! So I was really conflicted about how I should feel and how I really felt. I realize that I need to find myself now and to continue to work on myself, but in a kind and loving way, ever growing. Another thing that has happened recently is that an elder we knew, in fact the same one who gave my parents such a hard time actually went in to an elderly sisters place, took her stuff and got rid of her apartment because she was in the hospital and he thought she would be going into the nursing home when she recovered. Well, she got better and the doctor was ready to release her to her home, but she didn’t have a home to go to, thanks to the loving assistance of the congregation elders! (Sarcasm there!) That is how they treat someone who has been in “The Truth” since the 1940’s! I could not believe this! Now she is in a nursing home in another town!!! I love watching you Mike and Kim, Marc and Cora, JWStruggle, Shyla, and all the other activists out there. I have found so much support with you all on Facebook and YouTube. Jill Chandler has been great with me too. We felt so alone for so long, except for my therapist and family, I didn’t have too many, now I am coming out of my shell somewhat, and so glad to have found you all. Thank you. I have so much more support now than I ever did within that religion.

    • Thank you for sharing.

      • Hi, thank you so much for sharing your story. We’re so sorry that you have been thru so much. Please do not give up on God or Christ. It is this wicked cult that has deceived us. There are so many warnings in the bible about these wicked men and we didn’t realize that we were in Babylon the Great also. Peace on your journey sister.

    • Thank you for your comments .i have had similar situations . I agree that help from these sites has enabled me to wake up . I have been in since 60s and most family in . I am trying to fade it is difficult when we have to take wife and sit through meetings knowing what is truly behind it all . Wont write more cos im on a mobile and i nevet know if my posts get thru

    • Im very glad your ok now, and im glad i found them as well. This all takes time to digest. I only have a month or so that i stopped my bible study and meetings my dad was a elder became a alcoholic we lived two lives and now that I look back i remeber my mom say where is Jehovah and the other elders we need help never happened. My mom stopped going right after they got baptized she couldnt deal with the peddy sisters she said and their little clicks. I left at 16 because of the brothers elders. My dads drunkness went back and forth over time but got sick with panic disorder due to the dr. Said so much drama in my life. Years before they told me they told me they we surprised i did t kill myself along time ago. I guess i went back because i didnt kno where else to go. But others things happened with so e of the sister, but i let them go think forgiveness. But the last one through me for a loop and the one before started inside myself the process. I saw a couple videos and try to ignore it all even told one man he didnt know what he was saying. I feel terrible now. What to find him and appologize. So mike and kim i appreciate you and your video and cora and marc as well and this person who wrote this djp, these all make a difference when your head is going back and forth trying to what would you say decultranize detox from the rain washing. Even when your house hold is disruppted like mine was it still affects you. My grandmother died of cancer a devoted jw till death. My aunt recently told me she was on e a devoted catholic but her baby died and the priest said he baby wasnt going to heaven so she latched on to the jws i never knew this. I think a lot of us end up here because theymake it look so good at first. So non real caring ask them for some money or something. Outside of meetings and bible study i always felt alone. And more because i was exciting myself away from my children and grandchildren activities. No sorry daughter i cant come its a b day paryt nope its christmas sorry etc… All bad ty again everyone Janice

  2. I have watched your videos and e-mailed you on a few occasions. I am mostly quiet and comment on occasion. I found your website now, as well. I was thinking that maybe telling my story here might help me. I was never baptized, however, I was raised in the JW’s religion until the age of 21. I remember that my mom started going to meetings when I was around 7. I know that her mom was a witness for a big part of her life, and all the way till she died. After that, my aunts became witnesses too. I remember going to meetings in a congregation that was located on the country side of my native country. I do not have ill memories of the witnesses there. However, I do have terrible memories of abuse at the hands of my stepfather. He never became a witness, however, he did study with them. He was an extremely evil and abusive man. He was sexually, emotionally, and physically abusive to myself and my younger sister. I also have a younger half-sister, which was his daughter, but I am not sure if he abused her too. The think that has always hurt me the most, is that my mother never did anything even after she found out about the sexual abuse. I would have liked to see her go to the authorities to report what this man did. But, nope, she’s never done anything. In fact, she hardly acknowledges that the abuse even took place. Some years ago, she even tried to put it in my mind that maybe it was all a bad dream. What’s amazing to me is that all these behaviors that I have begun to recognize about the JWs, are exactly the behaviors that my own family have displayed for years. Furthermore, these are ALL the behaviors that are being discussed by apostates in all the videos that I’ve been watching on YouTube. Very recently, I have begun to understand why I feel the way that I do, and why my thought patterns have been this way for so long. I can say with honesty, that I seriously do not believe that JWs have the truth, anymore. However, now I find myself in limbo. Like I have heard in so many videos, the JWs gave you a “truth” nicely packaged and ready for you to take in. Now that’s gone from my life and, I do not know what to believe anymore. I have even began to doubt the existence of God. I pray and I receive no answers. What the JWs taught about paradise and God ending this bad world, gave me hope. Unlike other people, I do not believe that this world has more good than bad. I feel that whoever thinks that this world has something good to offer (and it does offer some good from time to time) hasn’t had a real tragedy happen to them. People that have experienced a loss, rejection of some kind, racism, or injustice, would have a hard time believing in the goodness of this world. I don’t know if it might be the environment that I am in, but I have never been able to adjust to this society that I’m living in. The weird thing is that a lot of my problems and personality traits, are described by other ex-Jws. Then, I think to myself, these are all the same symptoms that I have. So, then I begin to perceive that maybe I was affected on a higher level than what I’m realizing. Then I think that maybe it isn’t this place, maybe it was my JW upbringing. I am currently going through therapy, but I do not feel that it is helping. I especially do not feel that my therapist even understand where I am coming from. I have not been able to establish a close friendship with neither JWs nor ex-JWs. I think this is what affects me the most. I do feel alone in this battle. The lack of a support group can’t be a good thing. I wish I could find a truth of some kind. Everything is so vague now. There’s no answers and no real future. I feel that if this is all we have to live through, then that really stinks. Then, I begin to miss the JW’s teachings about paradise and a better world. Nevertheless, I do not agree with the rest of what they teach, especially not with the recent things that are coming out about the organization. I am glad I found this website. I hope others can share their experiences too and maybe can provide me with some advice. Please do not be critical as I do not take well to it, and will mostly ignore it. I am open to some tactful, loving comments though, Thanks!

    • Hi, I actually feel the same way u do although I have met some really nice EX JWs. I wanted to believe in this so much and am crushed to feel so confused now as to what to believe. A lot of their teachings to back up stuff has really good scriptures so it makes it hard. I have always felt that its certain things we don’t know about life that the bible isn’t giving us answers to. Lately I feel depressed a lot from being confused and afraid I’ll be destroyed. I have raised my 3 year old so far as a witness and she had learned so much from being there and now I don’t know what to teach her. I did however find in some answers in more spiritual beliefs but still not sure if that’s true. I found that the Governing Body has changed their doctrines so many times flip flopping ideas so how can someone put faith in an organization when they have done that so many times. They had believed that organ transplants were cannabolism and anyone who needed one couldn’t get one or that person would be disfellowshipped.

      I don’t think Gods holy spirit could be with an organization that has changed doctrines that could cost someone losing their life over. Then if u disagree with a teaching and try to examine other internet sources that doesn’t come from their site they will say u are looking up apostate information and they could easily associate u as being one. Most of them in the organization are sweet people and really feel they have truth but I think the Governing Body is corrupted now. Also the Mormons and many other religions are mind controlling. Its too much on the human mind. I know mine is a compete mess. I would love to chat sometime. I am trying to find the real meaning of life. I really can’t even believe the bible at this point right now my mind is so confused plus the teachings I have learned from them discredit so many other teachings from other Christian denominations.

      • I have been in since 60s and as most family in am trying to fade but hsve a “shepherding call” pushed on me this week ive a feeling its gona be crunch time . I also have had my mind messed up for years. Have been on medication after a breakdown in the 70s ! However im out of the mind control for around 6 months now and thimgs are getting better. I realy love kim and mikeys vids and marc and cora . As the scripture says cold water on a tired soul .and after 50 years in im a tired soul

      • Yep…Loud & Clear! For over 30 years I’ve had issues with al the Flip Flopping….. Then I watched Rolling Thunder’s video from where he recorded his Disfellowship Meeting….. He shares a Scripture with this elders and Deuteronomy 18:20….. I’ve looked at it 6 or 8 times now to try to see if it applies today. So much of the Bible was from ancient times…Some still applies and some does not. Take a look and see if that gives you any kind of relief? I was dipped 43 years ago and left there within months. I have gone back to meetings and a couple of studies over this time and always end up walking away again. This time, I felt compelled to go back and felt led there. I called a congregation, left a message to be sure they had a Bible on hand before I drove all the way out there. I got call back saying I can pick up the Bible at their house in Northern California. I left early to enjoy the drive and do some thinking. When I arrived I was invited in and we talked a while. I ended up having a study with her and started back to meeting. During one of the studies, I mentioned that I had been baptized years earlier. Everything changed at this point. There’s more to it but I won’t go there. I don’t want to chance them reading this and for her to report me to her elders. I’ve learned some things the Government Body has been doing but I want to see the actual proof before making any life changing attempts to expose them to my own brand of “New Light” Have you heard the WTS owns stock in the War Machine…Lockheed Martin, Boeing and other War Mongers? It sounds far fetched on one hand but on the other….not so much. If anyone reading this knows where I might see some kind of proof of any of this… I’d like to print copies, or web addresses and create a page of all these links and while they are inside their meetings….I’d like to put these papers in their cracked windows and under the windshield wipers. Problem with this is that one of the helpers could step out early and find them and gather them up before the people had a chance to see them for themselves. Something like this needs to be done to Blow the Whistle on them. I think there are many who have there same feelings but are too afraid to step out of line and loose their families, friends and the life they’ve lived since childhood in many cases. I’m just rambling now…. Please do look at Deuter. 18:20, it might ease your conscience a bit. It’s helped me to feel I’m doing the right thing but I still haven’t been able to let it go completely. I hold on to the New World, The Kingdom, all of that…… That’s what bothers me most of the whole mess….The promise of the New World and they hold it for Ransom at every turn….

        Best……..

    • Dear Rosa, I can tell you are struggling with your situation. I have this information for you to look at to help you to see where you are in your exit from the JW cult. It has helped me and I hope it will help you too. You are not alone. It will take time to get through the mire but you can do it. Don’t give up. http://www.exitsupportnetwork.com/recovery/leave.htm

    • Dear Rosa,

      I can tell you are struggling with your situation. Know that it gets better and as you read more and watch videos about other ex JW experiences, it will all make sense eventually. It takes time. I have been out for many years now, but I didn’t make the connection until quite recently that the Jehovah’s Witness cult is just a corporation to make a few people at the top rich while keeping the members struggle to serve the publishing company. The Watchtower uses religion and belief as a smokescreen and a control technique to keep members inside doing their will. Yes, life does not have any definite answers. All those answers to lifes big questions that the JWs wanted you to believe they alone possessed does not exist. Life and s*** happens. We are not guaranteed a second shot at this life, this is all we have and we should make the best of it. Live your best life now. Suck the joy out of life, learn, love, adventure. God wants all of us to be happy. Don’t let the JWs outlook of doom and gloom get you down. Be happy you are free to live your life as you want, on your own terms. 😀 Here is an article I found online that explains about the different stages of leaving a cult. It has helped me. I hope it will help you too. 😀 http://www.exitsupportnetwork.com/recovery/leave.htm

    • Dear Rosa! By the way my name is also Rosa. It saddened me when I read your sad story. I too felt the same way after waking up from watchtower corruption and lies etc. I felt confused and lost and without direction. I felt that the sacrifices I made for the sake of the truth was all in vain. In my total dispair I cried out to Jehovah God to help me, that I needed answers to my many questions. I firmly believe that God heard my prayer because right away I was led to this website that has given me answers as to why these horrible things are happening . It has become a haven for me and many other honest hearted people who seek answers to their questions.
      I strongly suggest that you give it a try. I promise you, you will be enlightened by the articles and videos that this brother has. His website is called: e-watchman.com
      Please listen to his podcasts as well . If it wasn’t for this website I would have become an atheist.
      If you want to chat to me you are welcome to contact me. May Jehovah bless your search for the truth.

    • Dearest Rosa, i suffer from the same things loneliness not knowing now what to do with myself, telling myself yesterday I put myself in debt to buy new clothing for the meetings. But we will be ok. Jehovah is still here he hasnt left us like they say. We have each other Im here to nelp any way that I can. It is so hard to believe and trust but Mike and Kim have proven right out of their jw books and bibles that they are a lie. We have to continue to trust Jehovah. I dont have anyone except my children my mom died two years ago who i was very close with. I too am struggling at moments I think I will just go back. Then I think why outside of the meetings and my bible study there wasnt any accosiation no one to really talk to. Then tend to cut you off when you try to talk about your feelings. Im here if you need a friend. @ janice15@email.com you can contact me there maybe we can help each other through this.

    • Rosa Hi!
      Check out E watchman Robert King on Jehovah’s Witnesses! You will be happy you did. 🙂

      Craig

  3. Hi i was reading DJ’s comments above about crying at the meeting i went through something similar about 18 months ago i had actually reported to the Elders about bullying and discrimination which they pretty much ignored i was simply told to apply Mat 5 and talk to my brother/sister unfortunately this involved more that one person that’s why i needed the elders to get involved but all they were interested in was bragging about how wonderful their congregation was and basically tried to hide it all when i finally wrote to the CO thinking i’d get some justice and understanding guess what he sided with the elders i was removed as a MS without having any say in the matter according to the secret book “Sheparding the Flock of God” they were supposed to talk with me about the issue of me being removed but they didn’t all that happened at the end of the CO’s visit on the Sunday they just took me in the back room and said you no longer a Servant i asked what Scriptural reason did they have cause i’d not been involved in wrong doing and the secret elders book clearly states you should not remove someone for menial things here was the CO telling be that i didn’t have freedom of speech how cold and callous was that? I seriously depressed about the treatment i’d been given yet none of them had any compassion or empathy for me this really did make me seriously question the Organization and what it stood for i looked at web sites such as JwFiles JwFacts, JwStuggle, Watchtowerfiles, WatchtowerDocuments, Sixscreensofthewatchtower,and of course this one its amazing the amount of research they’ve done and all of it is backed up by facts from WT articles. My only thought now is where to go to from here when i’ve always just believed everything the FDS have said never doubting all these years of course i had no idea about the false prophecy’s in 1925, The Beth Sarem house willed to Abraham and Issac in San Diego more recently about why they really stopped charging for literature and their involvement in the UN after they’d attacked the UN in the Revelation Book . Makes me now wonder who has the truth? The one and only reason i stayed in the truth so long was i was convinced that because they were the only ones preaching the “Good news” world wide it had to be the truth.

    • Dear Brother Micah. Your story brought back many memories because I went through the same things as you. The elders don’t like honest people who want things done the right and biblical way. I was hated for being truthful and I always tried to expose falsehood and lies.
      Because of this I was never given assignments or anything. I have a video on you tube where I relate my story within the organization. Like you I also felt lost and without direction . I did a lot of research and watched many videos of ex witnesses but all they do is criticize the organization and expose their wrongs and corruption but offer no solution as to why these things are happening. Well, after having watched all their videos I felt empty and lost and thought to myself that if Jehovah’s witnesses do not have the truth then no other religion has it. The reason why I say that is, before I studied with the JWS I had been in all other religions looking for the truth. I was baptized in some of them. I even spoke inn tongues etc. In all of them I found lots of immorality and the bible seemed very contradictory until I studied with the witnesses and then all the pieces of the bible finally fit in . The bible was no more a book full of contradictions.
      Then in my dispair I cried out to Jehovah to help me find answers as to why there us so much corruption in his organization and I was miraculously led to a website that has provided all the answers as to why the organization has become corrupt. It has become to me a haven and a refuge. You will be amazed and shocked at the things you will read about in this website. I strongly suggest that you also listen to the podcasts. May Jehovah bless your search for the truth and enlighten you as you read the articles in this website.
      If you would like to chat to me please feel free to do so.
      .
      Well

    • Sorry I forgot to send you the link to the website. e-watchman.com

    • Hi Micah,
      I don’t know why you were mistreated, but I have a lot of empathy about that. I was a fatherless and most of the time motherless child in the congregation, then the brother I married stopped attending meetings and I was there alone all the time. I was left out of everything my whole life. I did find good hearted people there, but I found so many judgmental cliques within the children and later wives of elders. I’m really sorry for what you went through, I’m sure it was painful.

      I too struggle with what to believe post JW indoctrination. I have found reading the Bible very helpful. I pray for Holy Spirit to guide me and I really feel it! When I pray to God I admit that I am like Thomas, I am a doubting person by nature. I beg for light and it comes and then I forget and I beg again and it comes. I keep a journal now to document all the times He answers me.

      I wish you all the best! 🙂

    • Same her Micah i went back because I never knew the rest and I thought they were the truth.

  4. I haven’t done much on telling my story because I think there will be a lot of overly critical judgment when I do. However, I’m not going to live in fear in anymore. I’m strong yet, with such a background, I’m weak in telling it. Please forgive me if you don’t approve of my choices that I’ve made in my life, I beat myself up enough over them.
    I was born-in 3rd gen. Jehovah’s Witness that never got baptized. I’m the eldest of 8 children. Both of my parents were baptized witnesses. My parents divorced when I was just shy of turning 9 and I had 5 other siblings at that time. My father was cheating on my mother and had done so multiple times so she left him. We moved in with my aunt and uncle till we had a place of our own. My father just disassociated himself and was never disfellowshipped. My mother had all 6 of us and we didn’t see our father who lived only 45 minutes away for 2 years. At this time we were living in Palmdale, CA. and attending the west congregation with our relatives. Things were hard because our father had withheld some of our belongings from us, in hopes of getting my mother back, and was punishing us kids because she left him. I remember details differently than my siblings because I was old enough to still recall it to this day and all the pain.
    I was studying with a very old and sweet sister named Grace Mitchell. I do remember testing her patience at times because I was feeling very jaded about my life. This carried over into the hall as well. I was young, in a new school, new area, and in a new hall with a lot going on. The sister was always more understanding in her old age than anyone else in the hall. I think that’s why I knew at a young age she should’ve been an elder. None of the elders reached out to any of us kids like she did and so I always felt women were demeaned, degraded, and not cherished by the hall, as they should be.
    A few years go by and we moved from the west side of Palmdale to the east side. I believe we kept going to the west side congregation because of my study teacher and we were known there. It didn’t really matter because both congregations met at the same hall just at different hours.
    My mother became involved with a man sexually and became pregnant. She gave birth to my sister Crystal when I was 12 yrs. old. I was so happy to have my new little sister but there was so much also going on that made it feel bittersweet. My mother was disfellowshipped because of her fornicating out of wedlock. This in turn caused all of us kids to be shunned and labeled as bad association. We had seen our father maybe a few times by this point and none of the elders helped in being a father figure of sorts. So getting shunned at 12 was very hard on my already fragile esteem. To make things worse my mothers new boyfriend/father of her child was physically abusive. I had asked for help from elders, and my father but help never came. My mother being disfellowshipped meant the elders could care less what happened to me or my siblings, and my father who easily abandoned us saw it as too much trouble. Knowing what I know now, I think the elders felt that my mother had brought it upon herself and us. I should’ve known then they weren’t loving but I was naive.

    I’ll type the next part soon. I need a moment and my comment is getting awfully long. Thank you.

  5. Part 2
    I continued going to the congregation and was invited to some witness parties but only at the behest of my elderly bible teacher. Those parties were awkward for me. The other kids didn’t want to talk to me much and treated me poorly other than one girl who was home schooled. I was a shy girl myself but was labeled as “difficult” since everything I was going through. I asked too many questions and didn’t respect their authority since I was being beaten at home, asked for help and received none. By the age of 14 I was tired of the mental and emotional abuse from the hall and told Grace I was sorry but I no longer wished to attend. She was upset by it but she understood what I had been going through.
    Two years later and my mother was pregnant by her abusive boyfriend again. She claimed to have broken it off between them, but he showed up one night and insisted on staying the night while he was completely intoxicated. I was 16 and was tired of the physical abuse and my mother not standing up to him, so I took action. He had starting hitting my other younger siblings and asking questions like when was I turning 18 so I’d be considered legal. Enough was enough. He went into my mothers room to lay down and I went straight into the kitchen for the butcher knife. I got on my hands and knees and crawled around to the other side of the bed with the knife in my teeth. I came up on the side he was laying on and put the knife to his throat. I told him in a soft whisper to wake up but not to move too quickly or his throat would be cut. I told him that he was going to put his pants on and leave. That he was never going to come back again into my mothers life or I would kill him. If he wanted to see his children he would go through me and not my mother till I moved out. Mind you, there were some very graphic words spoken while expressing my demands. His eyes were wide with fright and he agreed with everything I said. I removed the knife from his throat but kept it in an attack position if he dared to lung at me. He hurried to get his pants on and screamed at me calling me crazy and other such words. However, he ran for the door and never came back. I had 4 long years of physical abuse that ended that day because I stood up for myself and my family. I took back my power and learned that men who abuse women and children are cowards. So I always stand up to bullies because of that and I’m not intimidated to get into the thick of things.
    Before my incident with my mothers boyfriend I had a moment with a friend on the swings at the apartment complex we resided. We were talking about God and if he existed. My friend Ellen told me to ask God to show me if he did exist. So with everything I had I had asked, “God if you exist show me a shooting star then!” I saw 5 just moments later. I was shocked and asked Ellen if she had seen it, she hadn’t. How could she not have seen it? It was 5 shooting stars one after the other. Now I had more questions and I was angrier then ever at God. He’s up there and does nothing to help me or my family. I stopped relying on him and that’s what gave me the determination to take control of my life and stand up for my family.
    I took Kenpo Karate for a year to help me with self defense and I always did whatever the boys did no matter how hard it was. I stopped seeing myself as a girl and saw myself as a person and demanded respect. However, my education had suffered during the abuse and so my self esteem dropped again and I got into trouble.
    I cared but my attitude was I didn’t care. I started smoking cigarettes and pot, but avoided alcohol because of the abuse. Friends got me to try crank and I did that for almost 6 months before something made me take a hard look around me and were they were going, nowhere.
    To try and get my life together I went back to school and tried to get my diploma. I encouraged my mother to do the same and so we helped each other for awhile. I worked in between going to school and I had almost gotten all my credits for my diploma when I turned 21 and felt I had to move out. So 5 credits away from my diploma I just gave up on myself. Things were just too hard living with my mother who I had felt abandoned me to an abuser for 4 years just like my father who had so easily done the same.
    So at 21 I moved to Northern California to live with my sister Andraya and her husband Eric whom we had grown up with in the apartment complex. Eric’s family were mostly witnesses as well. I started looking for work again and found a job within a month. The apartment complex was filled with witnesses. The apartment manager was a MS and his wife a pioneer. Soon I was studying the bible with his wife after much convincing. I wanted to ask questions but she had insisted that we study through the material and listen to it all and then ask questions to decide if I wanted to be baptized.
    I see this is getting long again so I’ll stop here for now. Thank you.

  6. My parents studied when I was 6. Our home life was really bad, but when we went to the meetings it was so peaceful, I thought this is was God’s organization for sure. I was zealous. I commented at meetings, gave presentations door to door and I had no problem giving up holidays.

    Mom and dad fell away and split up. I missed the meetings for 10 years until I was 16 and could take myself to the Kingdom Hall. I was baptized and pioneering by 17 and then married.

    I thought because he was baptized and we married in the Hall that I’d have the happy family life I never had as a kid. I was wrong. He was very sick and used the headship belief to abuse me for 8 years. I was so devout, I thought giving in to my husband equaled faith in Jehovah, and I’d die for my faith, so certainly I’d take a few hits and cover it up so as not to bring reproach.

    After my 3rd time in the hospital, some friends helped me get out. I’m very grateful to them and there are some really great people in the organization who were there when I needed them. To be honest, most of the friends supported me. But an elder refused to pair me with a partner one morning for field service because I’d left my husband I wasn’t fit for service. I ran to another room and cried uncontrollably. Another elder gave a local needs part on separating from one’s mate and gave embarrassing details that I had shared with the elders about why I was separating. Everyone knew that it was about my situation and he kept staring at me during the part. It was beyond humiliating. At a circuit assembly there was a very weird demonstration where a sister was made to look selfish and worldly for wanting to separate from her husband and several people came up to me afterwards and asked me if I’d seen the demonstration.

    I moved away for work and stopped going to meetings for several years. I was so sad inside and missed God, so I decided to go back to meetings. I found a Hall near me and went a few times. I cried at the meetings. The talks were weird and the constant feeling of not doing enough, not being good enough was overwhelming. I decided I didn’t believe in God anymore.

    Recently, I found the ex JW community online and it has opened my eyes. I read the Ray Franz book and all about Barbara Anderson too. I remember when the Nightline special aired and we were told not to watch it. I seem to remember a baseball game had run long and the show aired later than normal and someone told me that was Jehovah making sure that not as many people saw the show… but I thought why would he make a baseball game run long when (as God) he could just make the show not air if he wanted to. Oh the things you’ll believe when you’re in the organization are crazy!

    I’ve recently purchased a NASB study Bible and am devouring it every day. I am praying and feeling Jesus like never before. I even went to church. I researched churches in my area online. I listened to sermons and read Yelp reviews and found one I wanted to try. I drove to it one day and looked at it but didn’t go in. I drove there another Sunday and felt too scared to go in, so I ran a few errands and drove back at a later service. I prayed and turned into the parking lot and someone greeted me and helped me park and showed me where the entrance was and I was greeted and welcomed (but not overwhelmed). I stood stiff as a board while they sang. When they said lift your hands to Jesus, I held my hand up to about my rib cage. But my foot was tapping and I wanted to be there. The Pastor gave a great talk and I cried during the prayer. I begged God about something personal that was bothering me and I have felt the answer every single day since. I got invited somewhere this Sunday and I said no thank you because I’m not missing church. Not because I feel guilty, but because I want to go. I invited a co-worker and she wants to go too. I’m also in college, so there really is life after JWs.

    My mom also went back to the truth later and is active to this day. I am not ready to come forward and lose her, but maybe one day I can be open with how I really feel.

    Thank you for making a place for us to share our stories. It really is helpful.

    • Thank you so much for your story. You & so many others are so brave for sticking up for yourself and now have become Watchtower’s nemesis. It’s experiences that do the most damage.

  7. Part 3
    It didn’t take long to get through the material and I was looked at as a baptismal candidate. However, my bible study teacher didn’t answer my questions and so I was waffling on the decision. Other young ones in the hall were living a double life within the congregation. This was upsetting to me at first but soon became a way of expressive escape and it was addicting. I didn’t understand at the time that I was playing with freedom due to feeling so repressed. I was suppose to answer my questions soon for baptism and was sexually active with a non-witness.
    I still had plenty of “daddy issues” at this point in my life since my informative years were absent of any father figure I could turn to. I had thought my Uncle was the closest thing to having a father figure till he destroyed that one day. I was coming back from Karate practice and my Aunt and Uncles house was within walking distance. I hadn’t turned 17 yet and was hanging out at their house till my Mother could pick me up. My Aunt wasn’t home but some of my younger cousins were there. I was sitting on the porch talking to my Uncle alone while he was working on his car. Somehow the conversation turned into talking about intimacy. I know now that he had directed the conversation to play out what his mind was truly thinking of me. He said that we could have sex and my Aunt wouldn’t have to know and he laughed. The one person I had thought could be my father was nothing I had hoped he would be. I was disgusted and disturbed. I told my mother and explained she had to tell her sister. Nothing really came of it since he played it off as joking with me and that I was too dramatic. I stopped visiting them and avoided him at every meeting we had with my relatives. Could no man in my life just ever be good? So the “daddy issues” remained into my young adult years.
    The man I was seeing (while attending the congregation again) was older than myself by 18 years. I was his toy of sorts. He never took me seriously, but I craved the attention. I was taking birth control pills and everything was fine till I started taking herbs for stress that my mother had recommended. No one knew at the time that St. John’s Wart could counter the pill but it did and I was pregnant. I told him I was pregnant and that he was the first person I’ve told. His response was, “What are you going to do?” Not us just me. Alone again it seemed and another man that couldn’t care less. So I said I was done with him and going to have the baby.
    Going to the congregation knowing I was pregnant but not showing yet was distressing. So I told my sister about my pregnancy and she was disappointed in me but supportive. She had gotten pregnant with her first child at 17 but Eric and her got married and tried to make things work. So she understood what I was going through, only I didn’t have the biological fathers support. I later addressed my current state with 3 elders on the spot after a meeting. I simply told them we had to talk about something of a serious nature and that I wouldn’t be getting baptized anytime soon. So after balling my eyes out, and as loud as anyone could be when discussing such things, I was told they would have to consider what I told them.
    It wasn’t long till they got back to me and said I was going to be publicly reproved. I wasn’t baptized and still attending all the meetings, which at the time was meeting 3 times a week, and working full time. So being told I was going to be publicly reproved was added shame to my already distressing situation. They just wanted to make an example of me and could care less how upset I was. It was another unloving action of many by the organization but I continued attending because at that point I was already beating myself up and felt I deserved it. The childhood pain resurfaced and so I couldn’t even enjoy the wonderment and beauty of the life growing inside of me.

    • Hi Darla, I hope you are doing well and I wish you God’s blessings because he is the only one who can carry you through, despite the JWs. God never changes he is the same yesterday, today and forever, his word never changes unlike the JWs doctrine. Much Love in Jesus Christ.

  8. Hello everybody reading. I was raised as a witness and am part of a family who have been part of this organization since the early 20s. I was raised by older parents which was great as I was able to know first hand the way things went on in the early days. The other good thing is that my parents both were critical thinkers and although they towed the line they also didn’t agree on everything coming from the watchtower. Consequently I was never hindered in my progress as a child. Despite that I have suffered guilt complexes and have been hindered by the fear of dying at armageddon because of not measuring up.

    I have had my doubts as to the idea of everyone except witnesses dying at armageddon, that the people at Armageddon who die don’t get a resurrection, the claim that elders are appointed by Holy Spirit as well as a few other things. The change of the doctrine of the generations made me become leary, as well as coming up with the idea that blood fractions are a conscience matter. What really put me over the edge was that after my dad served for over 50 years as an elder he was finally succumbing to the effects of prostate cancer and dying at the age of 90. This young elder who became the coordinator decided to see my dad to tell him he was concerned with his lack of participation in the ministry. After my dad telling him he was not able to physically do it as he was too sick this joke of an elder decided my dad was to be removed as an elder. All this while my dad lied on his deathbed because this half wit felt he was not visible and being an example to the congregation. That ended it for me there as I knew that the societies lack of love clearly showed that God’s spirit is not with thus organization. I nod have my doubts as to the validity of his spirit ever being with thus organization. It has become hateful and all about making money.

    20 years ago I started doubting things and it has continued to expand since then. I have been inactive for 3 years now and have not attended meeting for quite some time. So I’m fading and would like to keep it that way. However I know that there will come a time where I will either be forced to DA myself or become DFd, either way I am prepared for it and am not afraid.

    I was never abused and with the blessing of having the parents I did shielded me from many of the things that hurt others. I’m so sorry for the many who have suffered abuse and other problems relating to bring part of the watchtower organization. I would truly like to help others who have been hurt. I would like to sooth the many who have felt the pressure and the feeling of not measuring up. I would like to help those who have been overwhelmed by the anxiety and depression from the pressures of this toxic organization. I want to help you because I know what it’s like and have suffered myself. God bless you all and know that I love you. And thank you so much for reading my small story.

  9. Dear Dara, I hope you’re okay. Are you able to continue your story? I hope you can and I’m very interested to know how you’re doing now.

    • I’m doing O.K., thank you for asking. I will continue my story soon. It’s hard to find the time to do so because of kids and my still active Witness husband. My story is getting hard to tell at this point because it gets worse. Please forgive me as I take time to reveal it.

  10. Telling my brother’s story will help me to bring to light the agony that my brother went through. Right briefly, my parents brought me into the religion during the 70’s when I was approximately 2 years old. My brother was 11 at the time and he had Turrets with slight Aspergers. I never thought my brother as different because I grew up in his environment, this gave me an upper hand on understanding how to communicate with someone on the Spectrum.

    Brothers from the congregation would aggressively encourage my mother to discipline my brother consistently, because of his behaviors and tics, my father would disagree but was pressured by my mom. This laid way for my mother to abusively beat my brother often in the shower with cold water and a belt buckle, she always seeked congregational approval. Back in the 70’s, Aspergers/Turrets were not well recognized by specialists, hence my brother’s misdiagnosis of schizophrenia, by psychiatrists. I later corrected that when I became a professional in the field. I am happy to say that I took part in that correction before my brother passed away at the age of 46, which helped him to understand himself better. After his new diagnosis, he confronted my mother and mentioned that all these years he knew something was wrong with him and that is why he himself was interested in psychology. He read many books. I picked up a few of these books and understood many facets of psychological health, which prompted me to become a professional in the field.

    My mother forced my sisters and I into baptism and stated that we would be out of the house by 18 if we were not baptized by then. So I got baptized at the age of 14, and college was out the question, as per the Witchtower. I was always a goody-two-shoes in the congregation and aspired in going to Bethel. I pioneered my bottom off and spent many a day as a filler for other brothers that didn’t do their “Parts” or assignments. Later in my life, I let go of the aspiration of going to Bethel and became discouraged by brothers that had come back in a worldly state, from Bethel. My conversation with these brothers brought light on misbehavior at Bethel.

    My brother ended up being molested by a ministerial servant when he was 14. This ministerial servant gained the respect and trust of the congregation parents; he was the head elder’s son. So this guy would invite the youth to go with him places and he ventured to invite my brother. He ended up getting these kids beer and pot and they partied together. So my brother was younger than most of these kids and he got bamboozled into drinking and smoking.

    On one of these occasions, the ministerial servant isolated my brother at his home and got him drunk and high. This man raped my brother that night. My brother told my mother and she refused to believe him. My brother went to the elders and they formed a committee involving my parents. So the results were disgraceful. My parents insisted that he was making things up, as they were preoccupied with their congregational status. The elders made my brother apologize to my parents and to the ministerial servant for slander. This destroyed who he was as he always maintained that he was raped; my parents defended the organization, instead of him.

    Now my brother suffers no more. I love him and miss him; he lived in a world that did not understand him. I always celebrated his savant qualities, he could play any song on the radio with his guitar and he perfected his art. He also became cook and was able to get a job at the space needle Seattle, and at Pikes Peak in Colorado. He loved to travel make money, but then when he had saved enough money, he went on months long binges until he ran out of money. His earlier life experiences damaged him tremendously. So His life ended on a visit to my mom’s house. My parents were in Puerto Rico when he arrived to El Paso, Tx. He took a trip on foot to a nearby store for his daily dose of alcohol. He crossed the street on the way back, and got hit by a car. I love my brother and I miss him. I will never forgive the cult for destroying my genius, loving brother. I thank him for giving me knowledge and an interest in helping people with disabilities. Only abuse victims understand what they feel, let us help them and comfort them as much as we can. Thank ya’ll

    • Dear Chaz Paris
      My family experienced the exact same thing, my poor brother endured what yours did. Except his rapist told the elders and the elders did not tell my parents so the abuse continued. It was only by chance that an elder saw the pedophiles car parked at our house as this man was my brothers babysitter for my parents! So then he told my parents. NIGHTMARE! Typical you see these stories are a drop in the bucket a few among a deep deep well of abuse and rape and torture in the watchtower cult. My heart goes out to everyone sharing I’m so glad for this unity!

  11. I hope it’s okay that I’ve also posted my story on another ex JW website.
    Thank you for taking the time to read it c:

    Honestly, my life as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses could be a novel but I’m just giving the shortened version. It began the day I was born in 1966. My parents began studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States shortly after they were married, and then were baptized in 1956.

    For as long as I can remember my father was an elder in our tiny congregation. He was very charismatic, smart, and a very good speaker from the stage. He was highly respected and was often requested to give talks at other congregations and I can’t think of a time when he wasn’t in top form. “Is This Life All There Is?” “Never Become Dull in Your Hearing,” and “Making Your Family Life Happy” were just a few of the talks he was known for. It was common for someone to approach after the meeting to congratulate us children on having such a wonderful father; “It must be wonderful to have him as a father!” they would say. I would force myself to smile, nod, and say, “Yes, it is wonderful,” when what I actually wanted to say was, “If you think he’s so wonderful, then you live with him!” because since I was six years old he had been molesting me.

    I don’t care to give any details about the abuse except to say that I endured sexual abuse from my father for about nine years, when I was finally ‘brave’ enough to stand up to him and say no. He kept me silent by telling me that if Mom ever found out about what he’d done she would leave and that I would have to live with him. That thought kept my mouth shut for many years.

    Again, I became ‘brave’ right after I got married in 1987 when I was almost 21 and told my new husband what my dad had done to me. I expected this to just be a cathartic release of information, but my husband immediately called the Presiding Overseer and told him we were on our way over. Even though I really didn’t want to I then had to repeat what I had just told my husband to this man whom I’d known all my life and who was a good friend of my father. There was one piece of information I was able to give to the Presiding Overseer that probably saved me from much of the grief I have recently learned the majority of abuse victims have had to endure. There was one incident in which I witnessed my father molesting my older sister; he thought I was asleep but I had just never remained so still in my entire life! I never found the courage to say anything to my sister. When the PO asked her about it she told him that yes he had molested her as well.

    A Judicial Committee was formed of three elders from surrounding congregations, strangers to me, with whom I had to meet and again repeat what I had said to my husband and the Presiding Overseer. Again, I was saved from an aspect of grief that the majority of abuse victims have had to endure because my father was not in the room while I repeated the story. Evidently my sister and I were considered “two witnesses” because they decided to disfellowship my father. I was not encouraged to go to the police; in reference to calling the police the elders asked me if I wanted to visit my father in jail and whether I wanted to bring that kind of attention to the congregation. After two years he was reinstated, which was the last straw for my sister and she left the “truth,” it took me much longer.

    My husband and I moved on, we pioneered together for several years, we had parts on the Assembly programs, we had two beautiful daughters, he eventually became a ministerial servant and then an elder, he started a successful cleaning business, and we built our dream house. One day, after 14 years of marriage, I became very suspicious of the way he was talking to someone on the phone and confronted him; to which he confessed that, yes, he’d been unfaithful to me and that we should divorce. He confessed to me that he was, in fact, gay and had been trying to hide it for many, many years, and he couldn’t hide who he really was anymore. That was a very traumatic time in the lives of our daughters, not because their father is gay, but because they thought they would be immune to their parents divorcing; but that is an entirely different story.

    Just slightly over a year later I turned our lives upside- down again by marrying a single brother in our congregation who was 18 years older than me; he’d been married twice before. Things were tough at first, which wasn’t really a surprise as the lives of blended families usually do start out a little bumpy. My husband lost his job and we had to move out of state; which was another trial for my girls as they had to leave all their family and friends behind, save me, but again, that is a whole other story.

    Things continued to get worse. My children would tell me that their step-father would bully them around, tell them what to do, then tell them they didn’t do it right, or they didn’t do it good enough and he would make them do it again. No matter how quietly they walked they were stomping, no matter how they closed a door they were slamming it, no matter what things they did for me they didn’t love me enough, grades were never good enough, their answers at the Kingdom Hall were not thoughtful enough. I never had occasion to see any of this mistreatment as he would only do it out of my presence. At the time I was suffering greatly from migraine headaches several times a month and would sometimes be confined to my bed for days at a time. I was, at the same time, trying (and sometimes failing) to be the submissive wife, not immediately and automatically taking up for my children, although that’s what I wanted to do. I would talk to my husband about what they were telling me, he denied everything they said, or would tell me that they said something disrespectful to him and he was just reacting to it. I would again approach my daughters with what their step-father had replied and they would tell me that he was lying. I had no choice under these circumstances but to assume that the truth lay somewhere in the middle of these two stories.

    I slowly (much, MUCH too slowly!!) began to realize that he was mentally and emotionally abusing my children. It was either worse for, or he especially picked on, my youngest. I quickly learned that sexual abuse is not the only abuse that leaves lasting emotional scars that could take years to, or could possibly never, heal.

    As the relationship between my girls and their step-father continued to deteriorate we sought assistance from the local elders. They came to our home and we shared a few things that were troubling and some things we had done to try to make the situation better. My oldest daughter elected not to participate; it was only my youngest daughter and me speaking. My husband sat back and didn’t say a word. The elders then shared some scriptures with my daughter and me, I don’t remember what they were specifically, but they touched on a child’s place in the family and the wife’s role in the family arrangement and they told us that if we knew and understood our place in the family then our lives would be better. There was nothing said to my husband at all. I came away from this visit crying and feeling completely misunderstood. My daughter hit the nail right on the head because she immediately said that she felt the elders were blaming her for everything that had happened, and that’s exactly how I was feeling! She was just plain angry and said she would have no part of another visit like that. I, on the other hand, kept thinking that the elders just didn’t understand the situation and I tried on three more occasions to explain what my husband’s actions had done to my children, and what we had done to try to make things better that had not been working. All three times I was left feeling that I was taking the blame; and all my husband had to do was stay quiet.

    I came very close to leaving him by this point. I did a trial separation after my oldest got married; spending six weeks back with my family. After a lot of praying, I eventually went back to him thinking I’m doing what Jehovah wanted me to do. I prayed and prayed and got no relief from my feelings of depression, hopelessness, and frustration. My youngest, who was still at home, was getting more and more depressed, she was self-mutilating, talked of suicide often, attempted suicide once after which she spent five days in the hospital and a year under the care of a psychiatrist.

    Through all this there was one elder who my youngest really liked. He gave her special attention, not in a bad, I-need-to-keep-my-eye-on-you way. He was a teacher secularly and had a way of drawing out children and making them feel important. So the night that my husband threw my daughter out of the house (she was 18 at the time, but without any money and without a job) this elder was the first person I called. I pretty much was laying my hopes on this man to be an advocate for my daughter and for me to the rest of the brothers. Instead, after several conversations, he told me that he had been in love with me for years, he told me how beautiful he thought I was, and that he would run away with me to the beach. I won’t say too much about him because I am deeply embarrassed by my actions in regards to him, but let’s suffice it to say that I believed him and we had an emotional affair (I’m thankful we did nothing physical!!) that lasted about three weeks. Once his wife found out about it, since she evidently was the one who got the phone bill, he blamed me for starting things up with him with that one phone call that night that my husband threw my youngest out of the house. I couldn’t and didn’t go back to that congregation.

    From that point on, though, I decided I was leaving my husband. I decided to start taking classes at the local community college with a view of getting an Associate’s Degree in Accounting so that I could get a job good enough to take care of myself and my daughter too, if she needed it. It was a long-range plan but it was my first step on my path out of the “truth!” In one of my very first classes I met my now Significant Other, my life partner; he helped me get on my feet when my now ex-husband eventually threw ME out of the house.

    After more than two years away from meetings and almost a year after the divorce was final, I got a visit from two elders; two very nice men who I respect. Since I was living with my boyfriend they felt they had no choice but to convene a judicial committee. My hope had been just to fade away since I still have JW family, but once they came to my door and realized I was living with a man I just wanted to get it over with. I didn’t argue, or put up any fuss. I told them I didn’t feel that what I was doing was wrong and that I was very happy! So now I’m disfellowshipped. I have two siblings who are still JWs who completely shun me. My father has since died, but my mom is still alive. She’s 85 years old and doing well, she’ll speak to me when I call her but she won’t call me, and if she’s not alone she won’t speak to me. My oldest daughter is still a JW, too. We have limited contact, but she will have brief text conversations with me if I start it. It’s a foot in the door, I hope. And my youngest daughter was able to successfully fade away, so she is able to have regular contact with her sister. She is as strong as a person comes, and she is so much happier now.

    I had real difficulty breaking away from the “Jehovah’s Witness” person I had been all my life. I was baptized in 1979 at the age of 13 so it was literally all I knew! Besides the fact that I moved in with my boyfriend, my first real act of rebellion came in the form of buying and reading Ray Franz’s book “Crisis of Conscience.” Every time I picked it up to read it I was picturing Jehovah and the resurrected members of the 144,000 watching me and shaking their collective heads at my bold act. I knew if there were nothing else I did that got me disfellowshipped, reading this book most certainly would! However, while reading it it’s easy to recognize the ring of truth in it. Ray Franz didn’t sensationalize anything he wrote, in fact the text was a little dry at times. He was merely reporting exactly how things happened. The first incident he mentioned that had a profound effect on me was what happened to the brothers in Malawi and in Mexico. I remember the reports from Malawi of the brutal treatment of the brother there, and I remember that in every prayer given from the platform the brothers in Malawi would be mentioned. Now I was wondering to what purpose those brothers had suffered! Then I read about Fred Franz and 1975, and subsequently did even more research online about that subject. (This is how I found Mike and Kim Brooks) I couldn’t believe it!! My parents had been telling us the exact same things. One of my older brothers left the Witnesses after 1975 when nothing happened. My parents blamed my brother, saying he misinterpreted what the Watchtower had said and what they were saying in talks; that the society had never proclaimed 1975 as a significant year beyond man being on Earth for 6,000 years. And of course, I believed my parents. I…was…livid! I now had a mission: What else had I held as truth for my entire life that is actually not true? (Even now it is hard to say, “is a lie”) The years 607 B.C.E. and 1914 C.E., the name of God, this generation, how the New World Translation was written, to name just a few things that have really thrown me for a loop. It has been tough to analyze with a neutral view so that I can get a correct understanding. I’m still working on it and it is incredibly liberating!

    My partner is very patient with me; he helps me and is comforting when I need it. And above all, he helped me to find out who I really am! He may be “worldly” but I couldn’t ask for a better person! We don’t plan to get married because we’re completely happy with our relationship exactly as it is. I have a great job that I love! I work in a church as the Business/Parish Administrator and the Youth Advisor; I have no plans to join the church and thankfully it’s not required of me. I’ll be graduating in the spring of 2016 with an Associate’s Degree in Accounting; and if I want to, I’ll go on and get a Bachelor’s Degree. My youngest daughter asked me just the other day if I was happy, and I told her that yes, despite what they tell you will happen when you leave Jehovah’s Witnesses, I am as happy as I have ever been!!

    • Just want to hug you. Thank you for sharing some of your experiences. Journeys are all unique..precious in that they lead us here

  12. From a Viewer:
    Recently I have had some of the worst luck. I ended up moving back in with my parents because of an ex-husband and child custody. Before I moved back in with them I had started going back to the kingdom hall. After a few month I had noticed things had changed, publications, the song books, the wording of the bible. (that one got to me a little bit) An incident had come up early spring this year. I use to work next to a tire shop in the town that I live in. They were doing a monster truck shop. Knowing my son loves monster trucks I took him buy that morning to make sure the truck was still there and see if they were still going to have a show that day. We had been having some nasty weather that week so the manager extended the show for a couple more days. We went a little before the show started so my so could play some of the games and win some of the prizes they were giving away. As I was standing there, saw a couple of the brothers and sisters had stopped by the show as well. They saw my son and me and came up and shook his hand. (mind you I am disfellowshipped) After that we went on with the show and went home. I was telling my mom and dad about what had happened and who all we saw. One of the brothers that we saw, my father does not like and never has. In the middle of my story he pops off, you know he has to stop and hug every woman who comes in the kingdom hall? Stunned I looked at him and asked, what does that have to do with the story I am telling about your grandson? Him ignoring the question says, well he does. I went to my room and just shook my head. I heard my mom go up stairs so I went up there and asked her, what does he have against this family? She said because he use to sexually abuse his kids. Stunned I just stood there. She goes do you remember his son who killed himself getting off the school bus? I had to think back because I was very young back then. I was like yes. She said as the bus was taking off he threw himself under the bus and it ran over him killing him. I remember his oldest daughter being abused. She also made the comment she didn’t understand why they wouldn’t let law enforcement do anything about it. After that I started digging and digging and digging. In the mean time I stopped going. I called a friend of mine who had going to the same congregation with this kid and asked him some questions. I told him what I had found out. He had no clue why he had killed himself. After I told him all of this, he started sending me links of you and Mikey and I was just amazed at what I was hearing.
    Here in the past 2 months I got laid off from my job and it has been like walking on egg shells from there on out living with them. Everyday he ask me, you found a job yet? Stress and anxiety is high. Here recently, within the past
    week, my father who is in his 80’s, told me he was going to start going back to the meetings. I was like ok. He told me I needed to go back to save my life. (Mind you I have my son with me)I told him, daddy we have talked about this. I start grabbing my back and tell my son to go get his tablet, as he is walking out of my room and I am heading towards the front door, my father in his wonderful wisdom says if you don’t go your going to loose your life and die. My son hears this and stops and looks at me. My dads says we will finish this later. I said there is nothing to talk about and I left. I had to explain to my son I’m not going to die and his grandfather is nuts. I texted my mother and told her that he is no longer allowed around my son now due to the mental damage he is causing my son with this damn religion. So needless to say I am forced to move out. All this due to me refusing to step foot back into a kingdom hall.
    I have been in therapy, I would say for at least for the past 11 years and sadly it started with the verbal, mental, physiological abuse starting from my childhood from my father.
    After I have left the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion and my parents home, it is like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel free, more than I ever have been.
    I want to say thank you for showing people out there who are lost, who are trapped in this religion and feel they have no way out, no where to go, no one to talk to about it, that they know they are not alone. There are others out there who are just like them.
    Jana

  13. My story starts at birth as I was raised as a JW…. I got baptized at the age of 16 and by the age of 18 I was a regular pioneer. I devoted my life to serving this religion even though I had my questions about certain things, the way they handled child abusers and their victims being the biggest one. But there were other questions, like why couldn’t I read the literature from other religions if we were almost forcing ours down other people’s throats? Okay so I continued to “believe” that they had the truth and that I just had to have faith and believe what they said. Now 42 years down the line, things have changed dramatically and damage has been done that cannot be overcome. I have been disfellowshipped twice, both times for smoking. At first I was very bitter and angry towards the religion for kicking me out when what I needed was help not being cast aside as a bad person. The reason I smoke? I have bipolar and borderline personality disorder… And for some reason it helps me cope, not that I’m advocating smoking, because I have tried and still try all the time to stop this terrible habit. But I did not get help or support to do so within the organization. Judgement is what I got from them. And yet the bible says that we should not judge? And so after a few years after being df I started doing my own research. I started reading the bible again, without extra JW books to explain the scriptures. And low and behold I started seeing the “truth”. Jesus did not come just to die for our sins, but also to give us an example of how his father is and how to behave as humans. His example was love and love alone. He didn’t judge the ‘bad’ people, only the religious leaders! He didn’t start another formal religion while on earth. He wasn’t a Jehovahs Witness, he was a man who would probably be disfellowshipped today for all the bad associations he kept! I could go on and on but think it more prudent to say that I have been left confused by religions and think that following God cannot be done this way. I. Have been brain washed into believing that JWs are the only ones who have the truth and Armageddon hangs over our heads as heavy as hell does in other religions! I have been out the religion now for 15 years and still can’t shake their beliefs. Who are the apostates really? Is there a true religion out there? Can I serve God without them? Can I have a relationship with God if I’m a smoker, will he listen to my prayers? Questions that roll around my head continuously …. Finding peace is not easy. I cannot go back, but at the same time how do I go forward? How do i shake the guilt of all the wrong I have done?
    You see the problem I have is not that I had some terrible thing happen to me, it’s the fact that I question and I seek answers and I was told by a pioneer once that if I continue with my questioning I will be labeled an apostate? I cannot understand how a God who gave us a brain expects us not to use it….the story Jesus told of the three men with their coins? Was not the one who buried his, punished? What if those coins represent not the ministry but our thinking abilities?
    In conclusion I would like to say this, I believe God knows the hearts of all men and women and that he makes the final judgement and whether you are in a religion or not makes no difference to him, if you live by live and follow Jesus’s example you can find happiness in a very unhappy world!

  14. So many testimonials…I appreciate reading all that I have thus far, and, I very much appreciate this forum.
    So many still searching..for redemption, forgiveness, for answers..a home ..I heard someone recently say that we “miss” the strangeness of the organization,from the book bags, to the cheery messages we delivered, the hope we spoke of at the Kingdom Hall ..the brotherhood. I admit, many times my heart aches for the times when I was a much younger version of myself, believing that Jehovah sees everything ,and the brothers would be directed…this is where I wake up and realize I am not in Kansas anymore Toto…
    There’s no place like home
    What direction do those of us who have been raised as JW’s , read the entire bible,( many times) read the Aid book for fun…had ” bible parties” asked questions, not to cause problems, but to sharpen the minds of our peers, spouses, children? To be deified…I can tell you what happens to a woman in the organization who considered herself free to speak about the bible freely. She gets shut down.
    It was death by a thousand bites
    The congregation of JW’s can be a haven from many things..a fortress from the wicked elements…it can also become the loneliest place on earth.
    When one has been put in a position as the “strong” family in the congregation, it is really interesting how others begin to treat you, it’s incidious really. One day you’re a young mom, (with her own damage )just trying to do right… The next thing you’re being leaned upon by the brothers to take their kids out in service( I didn’t mind, but I had 4 of my own..maybe it was that we owned a minivan?)I was often called upon yo drive the elderly to Dr appointments, had several bible studies, often went door to door alone…although I had children, it was rare anyone offered to join us to help with my kids…(you know who you are😁)
    My husband never moved past bring a MS , he and I usually took a month each during the summer to pioneer…are you taking yet? We did have the fatherless boy and the widows in our lives, we really tried to do all things as God would have us…
    One evening, after a long day of family friends over, my daughter,who was about 5 complained that she was hurting terribly…she had something wrong with her vaginal area. As her mother, I suggested we have her take a bath..as she undressed for her bath I was horrified to see that she had a huge bruise on her chest, and the exterior of the vaginal area was very red..she responded to my shock as she really began crying, and asked me not to tell her Dad. My heart just sank…I had thought he did this to her…then she told me that a young boy(roughly 12 at the time..and built like a linebacker)from the congregation that had just spent the afternoon with our family, had held her against her will, covered her face with a pillow so no one could hear her scream and proceeded to violate her.
    The thoughts of a crazy mom
    I wanted to kill that kid. I was so angry, devastated and overwrought with fury, yet I begged God to help us handle this right…please help my girl get relief from this. We immediately contacted the congregation Elder, presiding Overseer Mancia. You know, it was kind of nice to have a listening ear…he wanted to speak with my daughter about the situation, but I said she’d already been through too much..then the elder said he would speak to the boy’s parents…not a damn thing happened!
    We inquired as to what was being done,and the Elder said that we shouldn’t leave our children unattended. It was right under our noses…he lured her into a back bedroom while we were all having a gathering!
    I digress
    We moved from that congregation as soon as we could sell our home..it took a couple of months..no one ever inquired as to whether my daughter was ok, how we were doing, and whether we needed anything. My husband had reached out for years to be a MS and suddenly he was not being included in leading, handling mice and or assisting…I hadn’t really noted that except another elder said they had an elders meeting, and he needed to speak with me. I was co mention too often at the meetings,and I was perceived as taking a leadership role…prior to this incident, they were all over what I could do for them, but now I was being looked upon as what? Too theocratic?…hey even counseled me to just comment once or twice, let others comment…I was very well prepared,and probably a pain in someone’s ass..so, I backed off…quite a bit
    This taste in my mouth won’t go away…
    I really developed a feeling that the brothers marked me …yes, I was raised a witness…I left when I was just 18… Not long after I married and started a family and started attending meetings again…this time I was going to do it the right way.
    I could tell you of the hardship I had as a kid growing up as a witness…that stuff really didn’t affect me much…I mean, missing out on holidays etc…I’d never experienced any of those things, so it’s hard to miss what you don’t remember…
    I stated I was going to do it the right way…
    All my life, as far back as I can remember I had severe distrust of people…I was horribly abused emotionally, Mentally and Physically by my Dad. I will even state that my sweet faithful Mom was a participant to his abuse, as she stood by and watched…broken bones…severe welts bruises..black eyes..lashings on bare skin with a razor strap or belt..leaving profuse marks that were extremely painful…abusive speck and belittling…ah…did I mention he was an elder? Granted, my Dad couldn’t really handle “working” with the brothers, and after 5 years or so as an elder, he stepped aside…now that Im older and wiser..and I absolutely know the character of that man, they probably booted him out of the clan…he became inactive for many many years thereafter,and eventually (after affairs and more abuse and being jailed for fights) left my Mother, divorced her and married a gal that was our neighbor, most of the years he was an elder…piece that naughty little story together …
    He and his new wife were disfellowshipped within about a month or two of getting married…this had something to do with the ruling of being married to two wives scripturally. Hmmmm..well…he never did apologize or make restitution to my Mother, but about 2 years of being DFd he and his wife were reinstated.
    The ugly ones keep photobombing your life
    My dad tried reaching out to my husband and I, as Christians, we were encouraged to forgive him if Jehovah did…no sooner had my Dad walked into our home, he started in on horrible things about my Mom…he was unjustly disfellowshipped…etc…
    It didn’t take me long to realize that I had to find a way to get this person out of my life for good. I realized that it didn’t matter if he was a JW , a Catholic or a good Protestant, he was always going to be a horrible person…which is only more interesting as time has gone by…
    So…I can’t say God ever abandoned me…I think when I finally had the courage to stand up to my Dad..tell him that if he cannot respect me as he would any other married sister in the congregation( I should have just omitted the sister comment, wasn’t fully aware he was a narcissistic woman hater too)that we would not be associating…
    Over the course of the next 7 or 8 years, my Dad reviled me, wrote letters of condemnation to me…told me that I grieved Jehovah because of the command to “honor your father and your mother”
    He called the elders in my congregation with wild allegations …that I was disobeying the congregation,and ultimately Jehovah.. I was visited twice personally by 1 elder, who was concerned..and I was very happy to inform that Elder why I had nothing to do with My Dad, and quite frankly we weren’t even in the same circuit or district…so it shouldn’t be a matter for concern to anyone..and then a second time when my Dad called a different Elder…how he knew what congregation we were attending, and who were elders there shows how bent he was.
    The posse showed up to my home, my husband was out of town for work, and my Mom was visiting from California. They began with asking if they could speak to me in private, and I said…no…my Mom is here, you can say anything in front of her…so the prayer kicked things off..they read a scripture about humility and then ElderOve pulled out a notebook…he was reading bull it points my Dad gave him…starting at when I was about 13 years of age to present…and all the difficulties I caused him…AND my Mother…well.she got her dander up..and in her very meek way said…brothers, he is not telling the truth…he is saying things that just aren’t true! Aim was there when she was growing up, and if anyone has reason to avoid him, it’s Jenny” we spoke of the traumas he caused in my life, that I had been diagnosed with panic attacks and most recently had been diagnosed with ptsd…they sort of rolled their eyes..and just stated that Jehovah’s way is to be forgiving….as they left, I felt so unheard…and it hit me that this horrible man, my Dad..abused me..maybe not sexually, but physically abused..mentally abused and spiritually abused me my whole life!! No wonder I was always striving to get approval…no wonder I tried so hard.
    Curtain call…I promise…adieu adieu..
    So…it’s not hard to imagine, no, My Dad never did get any time with me to fix our relationship…he still bashed me, my kids, my husband…I was so numb to his opinion by this point, but I did have a very uneasy feeling about the way I was being treated…like, what? Do I have toilet paper on my shoe? Feeling…
    Who put kick me on my back? Funny guys…
    They’re all a bunch of self righteous bullies…and if they’re not when they start, they are when they start having some power..the elders started ( in this new congregation) challenging me in my obligations to go out in FS…at this point, I’d pretty much just gotten to a place where I was commenting once a week, still let them use our home for book study..had a couple of interesting friends in the circuit..and only really associated in situations where it was asked if me to…helping out with a wedding,a shower with a talk..I hadn’t studied with anyone but my kids in a few years, because the elders removed 2 bible studies from me…they said it would be better if they were studied with by a pioneer, or elders wife…I really sunk into a place where no matter what I did, it just wasn’t good enough…but to who…whom?
    Worldwide there was a loud story regarding a disfellowshipped Man who fled to Oregon, killed his wife and kids at a seaside location and tried to hide their bodies…he was on the lamb…
    Not long after that shock…there was a lesser known story about a man disfellowshipped, who took his family to Oregon and killed them all and then himself…this was not long after September 11th…it’s somewhat of a blur, but it hurt me terribly…
    My father was an abusive asshole…he was just the kind who didn’t care if he ripped you away from friends and family( heck…we moved so many times growing up..the longest residence was the place where he was the elder…banging the witness neighbor..) but just knowing, if things had been that desperate…he could have killed us all…I was really looking to my brothers for done spiritual words of encouragement…
    The congregation was holding a special open mic( not the fun kind) to discuss a letter from the branch overseers regarding the recent tragedys…there was only one comment made about praying for the loved ones who lost their daughters and grandchildren, or that we should really think about reaching out to those who may have less than ideal situation at home…yup…me..they took away the mic. I sat there while they acknowledged that they’re sure something is being done, and the chairman said what our major concern was is how to give a fine witness, and not to allow this to be a stain on the organization…Elder Ove said” well…they weren’t really our brothers, as they were disfellowshipped.” I can tell you I was angry…but it all culminated, and slowly I began to just fade away…

    Wait…not so fast…you got it…I still have a narcissist father…
    My husband and I also found we were really having troubles in our relationship, sought counseling, and( it was not over night…a few years) we decided to divorce…beaten.
    Two years after I ceased all association…I received a certified letter…blah…meet at such and such time…conduct unbecoming a Christian”
    I don’t know what threw me into a tailspin the actual certified letter, when I had never so much as even received a phone call or sheparding..or was it their choice of words? Conduct unbecoming a Christian…
    Let’s suffice to finish with this…I wrote a very provocative letter to them, and refused to meet…I was disfellowshipped within a week.
    Such is the beginning of real adventures. So..I am out, have been happily remarried 4 years ago, not even a bible reader..he however has been my advocate in getting the reprogramming I can…grateful.
    As far as my kids are concerned, all four are not witnesses..all have very strong spiritual needs..and we try to discuss many ideas and hope that we one day will be comfortable laughing at the way we wore churchy clothes without feeling homesick. It’s a journey..thanks for reading

  15. I must also apologize for misspelled words…I couldn’t put the iPad down last night while I was writing this..and just let autocorrect take some liberties. Have a wonderful day

  16. Hello and thank you so much for adding my nail in to the coffin lid! What a thril to hear my name announced on your video 🙂 I am a born in and raised but in a much more messed up way than the usual born in stories. When I was toddler age my mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia so my entire childhood was basically watching her sleep her life away. My dad struggled to take my older brother and I to meetings regularly, but as time went on we became quite irregular. My father received zero help or understanding from the congregation as mental illness was hugely misunderstood in the early 80’s. We were treated as if we were the plague. I was the strange kid because my mom was sick and rarely went to meetings, so I didn’t have any friends at the hall. So basically since I wasn’t allowed to associate with kids at school and the kids at the hall left me out, I was a true loner. When I was in kindergarten my mom fell ill and had to go out of town to a hospital. A witness family was arranged to look aft my brother and I. I can’t remember how long we were there for, so I don’t quite remember when the sexual abuse started but I do remember clearly when it finally ended. This family,s teenage son had started sneaking in to the room that my brother and I shared. I remember him threatening my brother to stay quiet and not to tell and uttered several threats if he did. Then he would come over to me and abuse me. The mother finally found out one morning when she was helping me get ready for school one morning. We were in the bathroom and I was using the toilet when she noticed the blood and semen in my panties. She asked who had been doing this to me and I told her that it was her son. My brother and I did not return to their hose after school. Instead my grandmother had picked us up and we started staying with her. This family failed to report anything. The father was an elder. My parents were not notified and the authorities were not notified. I was left to deal with this alone with no therapy. I was 5 and completely uneducated as to what to do. This so called elder and his wife just swept it under the rug. They changed congregations that same year… Hmmm wonder why… As the years went on the more doped up my mom got on her meds and the less we attended meetings. Both my parents still had firm faith in the so called “truth” but were severely deflated by how invisible they were to the rest of the congregation. When I was 14 we moved to a new town and started our new life. We were regular at the meetings(my dad, brother and I) and started going out in service. Something I had very limited exposure to in the past. This congregation was good at the love bombing and seemed quite excited that we were there. It was a very small hall, maybe 30 publishers tops. One sister took me under her wing and studied with me to the point of baptism. Mind u I only got baptized because I was pressured into it. I wanted so badly to be accepted that I just went along with it. At the age of 15 I had no idea what I was getting myself into… I was doing great and was auxiliary pioneering as often as I could then I moved out at the age of 18. By age 20 I got dissfellowshiped because I had a worldly boyfriend. We eventually married and had a son. I already had doubts about the truth but still believe a lot of it. But my main reason for going back was to get my family back in my life. The town I was living in when I was re instated was nice at first. The love bombing all over again. One sister took an interest in me and seemed quite genuine at first. Then she would ask me strange questions trying to figure out what I did to get dissfellowshiped. She became very nosey and quite emotionally abusive. My very last time ever going to the hall was about 7 years ago. Yes I’ve been out for a while… I just faded. It was at the memorial and another sister that also had an unbelieving husband managed to get her husband to attend with her for the first time. Now the nosey sister had the nerve to tell me right in front of a bunch of people that my husband would have come too if I set a better example for him. I left that crying and never went back. That sisters husband used to conduct the watchtower on Sunday’s and every time I would raise my hand to comment my name was never called. Then I would get in crap from elders for not commenting at meetings…my family knows I don’t go to meetings but it feels so good to out myself and to have my nail in the coffin officially! Thank you so much for all you do, I have learned so much from your videos. I have started following several others on u tube as well 🙂 I don’t have an account so I can’t comment or like or subscribe bit I check every day to see if there are any new videos! So sorry for this long rant but I really wanted to get my story out.
    Lots of love
    Melory

    • Hello Melory. Welcome to your freedom. I am so sorry about what happened to you . It is just heart renching when we hear each other’s. experiences yet our experiences unite us because although we may not have exactly the same experience one thing we all have in comin is the abuse and suffering we fellt and still feel from a cult that lyingly tricked us into believing they were the truth. It helps me emotionally and gives me inner strength to know now that We are not alone anymore . It’s not like what the elders say all the time that if you leave you will be all alone . I understand how you felt as a young one being alone within the congragation. My family was marked so all people would basicly say is hi at the kingdom Hall and we were never invited to anyones house or out to dinner and I was advised to stay away from my worldly Mother and Sister so Me and my 2 boys were alone . It hurts to be socialy isolated .I’ve done research since leaving the cult and our brain is made in such a wag that it can’t. Tell the difference between physical pain and social rejection . Its so sad they say they have love amongst themselves but they don’t . I am very proud of you for telling your experience and I know the sound of that nail going into that coffin lid felt wonderful . I am so happy for you . again welcome to your freedom . If you are celabrating. Merry Christmas. and Happy New Year Melory

      • Thank you so much! So strange I’ve not attended meetings for many years, but only until recently have I realized how big the ex jw community really is! And how loving and supportive everyone is.

        Melory

      • Once you inner stand the truth is not the truth…it’s a beginning. So buckle up butter cup and don’t allow them access to anything your not comfortable with.

  17. Hello to all who are reading!
    I was raised as JW, born into it as they say. I was baptized the far too young age of 10 years old. I had no idea what I was doing. I did not want to dedicate my life to God. I just wanted to make my parents and all of the surrogate parents I had at the Kingdom Hall proud of me. And like most children who are raised as JW’s, I had been told all my life that if I got baptized I would make Jehovah happy too.
    Well, the years moved on and I began to suffer from clinical depression at the age of 16. At the time I began suffering with the crippling effects of this disorder, little was actually known about mental illness, especially in the JW community. All the encouragement that was given at the time by the Society was to go out in the field ministry and attend meetings and pray more and I would feel better. Well, being the good JW I was raised to be, I tried doing those things, even becoming a regular pioneer. But because of the mental issues I was battling, I failed to even finish out a year as a regular pioneer. I came off the list and was left feeling even more worthless than depression had already made me feel. I felt like a failure to Jehovah and to the people I loved. Thanks Watchtower for that timely and sage advice! I honestly don’t know why I stuck around as long as I did after that. It was more fear of losing my parents favor and hurting them than anything else. I just sat on the fringes and went with the flow for many, many years. Even spending some time in a mental ward at a hospital because I had become suicidal.
    But one day 3 years ago, something changed. I noticed that I was very, very angry and for no definable reason. I started seeing a therapist and talking about what I was feeling. At first, there was no possible way I was going to talk badly about the Witnesses. There was not even a question that maybe the reason I was so angry and unhappy was because of the lie I was living. But finally, I got honest with myself and realized I was so very unhappy because I didn’t believe what I was being taught. I honestly don’t think I ever had. But the more I heard about the tweaks and changes that were being made to certain beliefs from the Governing Body, I thought that it was becoming ridiculous. The Bible states that God does not Change. So why is the organization saying that they represent him changing their beliefs which they say come from God? It all seemed very strange to me and I just couldn’t make the pieces fit anymore. I quit attending meetings and going out in the ministry and became inactive.
    I had been living a quiet life up until now, not having contact with Witnesses outside of my family. I began dating a guy who I met on a dating site who ironically, was raised as JW but left at a young age. Earlier this month, someone who is still a Witness decided to snoop on my Facebook page despite the fact I had privacy settings in place. They saw pics of me celebrating the holidays with family members who are not JW and pics of me celebrating Halloween and Valentines Day. This person decided to take it upon themselves to take this information to the elders at my former Congregation. So I got a phone call and was told I had to meet with two Elders to talk about what they had seen on my Facebook page. I told them I knew that I didn’t have to talk to anyone and that I wasn’t willing to meet with any elders and for them to leave me alone. A few days passed and my cell phone rang on Sunday afternoon with a phone call from an unknown number. It was two of the elders. My first instinct was to hang up the phone but I knew they wouldn’t stop. I knew I would continue to be hounded. So I was backed into a corner by them and they kept repeating the phrase: Do you no longer wish to be identified as a Jehovah’s Witness? until I finally gave in and said yes so that they would leave me alone. I was told that with my verbal concession, they could close the case and disfellowship/disassociate me. While I was ok with that part, I was devistated because I knew that I had just lost my parents and an aunt that I have always been very close to as well as an older sister and brother in law. I am still struggling with losing them and it’s so hard. I feel like Jehovah and his org have taken my family away from me. I hate that I was made to feel as if I had something to be ashamed of when I did nothing wrong. All I ever wanted was to be left alone and allowed to live my life. But because I was baptized, and someone felt the need to stick their nose into my business, that was not to be. I hope everyday that my family will wake up and realize what the truth is about “the truth”. But I am truly happy to be free. To know that that org no longer has a say in what I do is truly liberating. My heart goes out to anyone who is wanting to leave but is afraid of losing their family and the only way of life they have ever known. It is so scary but your freedom is worth everything. Being allowed to think for yourself and make your own decisions is a precious gift. Never anything to feel ashamed or guilty about and definitely never to be taken for granted. My love and best wishes go out to everyone. Keep Smiling and be happy! 🙂

  18. Trevor Ursulescu

    Hello Mike and Kim,

    I hope you can read this next letter of mine and possibly devote a separate video to it as it should help anyone who is a Jehovah’s Witness, or who is thinking of becoming a Jehovah’s Witness to know of an experience of one who left long ago and why it is crucial to examine this organization for yourself. I don’t have an EX-JW You-tube channel of my own, so I hope you can share it on yours, word for word.

    Thank you so much for putting the old rusty nail in the WT Coffin Lid for me. However, when I wrote to you, I was more curious to see if you would actually get my message on your site since you don’t really answer the comments on the videos as much. But I see that you did read it for me in the last video on the 15th of May 2016.

    When you read my letter to the you-tube audience, I got to thinking that if a current Jehovah’s Witness was watching that video, my thoughts might have come across that I left the organization because I was rushing ahead of Jehovah by trying to advance my position in the Kingdom Hall or that I was trying to find a marriage mate too soon, or something like that. I didn’t want to come across like I left for a selfish motive. I did not want to make that Witness think I was impatient or lacking faith, something that they are taught that “Spiritually Weak” Witnesses do.

    Therefore, I would like Mikey to pull my rusty nail up for a moment and let me explain my decision in more detail.

    When I entered “The Truth” back in 1990, I came in from “The World”. This means that I did not have prior knowledge of the Jehovah’s Witness Organization, for those not familiar with the terminology. To a Witness born in “The Truth, this might not seem like a big deal because their faith and way of life are established and they know nothing but what WT told them to think. But keep in mind that a “Worldly Person” has no prior knowledge of Jehovah and what His organization requires. There is a lot that a “Worldly Person” has to surrender or sacrifice to the Organization, such as all the friends they knew from “The World”, the holidays they use to spend with their families, the career path they wanted to follow, the education they would have taken, as well as many other things.

    When my fellow classmate, a Jehovah’s Witness, showed me the red Revelation book in 1990 and talked to me with conviction about the “Times of the End” and “Paradise to Come”, well, that was my “Special Hook” and I accepted the teachings right away and gladly surrendered the previously mentioned things of the world to pursue “Righteousness”.

    Now here’s a warning to the wise : That first year that I studied with the Organization was fantastic. The people in the congregation were wonderful, spiritually strong and helped me to leave all my worldly friends while also helping me on my way to Baptism. When I was Baptized and going under the water, I had a strong feeling in my heart and mind that I was doing the right thing and that life would be wonderful like it was in that first year associating with my new “friends”. I felt like “This is it! I found The Truth!” and with that thought, I wanted to do everything I could for Jehovah and that is when things slowly changed for the worse.

    Over the course of the seven years I was a Jehovah’s Witness, my new “friends” showed me a different side of their personalities. Truthfully, I did have a good group of well intending friends who helped me through things, but there was more that were a hindrance and harmfull.

    The Scriptures say “Bad Associations spoil useful habits.” and when you are a Jehovah’s Witness youth attending Public School, you tend to think that this applies only to your worldly classmates. So for this reason, JW parents will arrange JW Only functions for their youth to be together in a chaperoned environment full of these “Useful Habits”. As a result, these Witness Youth form their own groups where they mock anyone who is outside of it.

    Now, when I was 18, I graduated High School and my Parents, who never were JW’s, encouraged me to take a trade in automotive when the school was handing out scholarships. I originally wasn’t going to, but looking back, thankfully I did. Anyway, my Dad and i went to a used car lot and bought a two door car so I could drive to school. I also used this car in the field service, which I wanted to do, but I often heard remarks from elders and so on that “We should use another brother’s car that has a four door.” This always made me feel like my car, which should have been viewed as a blessing from Jehovah was a bad decision, or invalid.

    However, when the youth of my age group found out that I had a car, they used me as a taxi to go to these JW Only functions. Most of the time, they would have me drop them off and not even tell me they were going to a function or invite me along for the association. One time they did invite me in to the party, but then humiliated me when I danced with one of the sisters for 2 dances and then further insulted me when I played an Aerosmith song on their stereo when prior to that, they were playing much worse. – the parent of the house who was watching us called me out on it. This was suppose to be a “Stay the night” deal, but I ended up driving home late at night for 2 hours distance. After that, these “friends” would approach me a week after a party and tell me that “I should have been there” when they knew I was at home alone on that night. What they didn’t realize is the torment they put me through by doing that. This is why I called it “An emotional meat grinder” I mentioned before. – Leaving Worldly friends to be “No part of this world” and exchanging them for “Friends” who wanted no part of me because I was formerly “worldly”. Didn’t I wash that off at Baptism?

    At this point, I tried to put these friends behind me and do more for Jehovah, so I strived harder in the Theocratic Ministry school, studied my magazines and gave more comments as well as devoted more time in the field ministry including the two hours on street corner before the 9 am group.

    Eventually, my “Good Work” in the Kingdom Hall got noticed and I was helping with microphones and at the magazine counter. I was in my early 20’s and wanted to move ahead in the service to Jehovah, so I thought prayerfully about applying to Bethel or to serve where the need was greater.

    I was also going to other Kindgom Halls in the area and across town to try and make new friends my age that also wanted to pioneer or just to have better friends than the ones who were using me. At this point i was also learning Vietnamese to “Share Jehovah” with the local immigrants downtown as well as telephone witnessing. I think your daughter can relate to this kind of effort.

    So one day i get a “Shepherding Call” from the elders about my request to go to Bethel. It goes poorly for me when they council me using 1st Timothy Ch.3. After reading these scriptures to me the elders council me on a few points : 1.) Why was i going to other Kingdom Halls and not serving theirs? 2.)Was I honest in reporting my times? 3.) Why was I living at home with my parents when I was 21 years old?

    I was hit hard by the last question the most for a few reasons. First off, in the 1990’s where I lived, finding a job in autobody collision repair was tough. The industry was flooded with people 10 years away from retiring and no one was really looking for apprentices. If i got a job, it was gone in 3-4 months due to me either getting laid off, fired, the business going under, or me quitting due to payment disputes or bad business practices. I held over 40 jobs in 2 years, sometimes working two jobs.

    Working for brothers was also a joke because they would promise me hours, but had none, promised me payment, but didn’t pay out, didn’t report certain taxes, or outright refused to hire me while they hired all the other “Favourite” “Hard Working” brothers. Sometimes they hired, not on a person’s qualifications, but because they were brothers. I also took some “Get rich Pyramid Scheme” jobs because the brothers there recommended that I work minimal hours and get enough money to cover Field Service.

    My non-witness parents saw my struggles, understood my spiritual desires and gave me some temporary money so that I could Pioneer while I lived at home until the economy improved and I could go out on my own, find work and get established. They did this out of true kindness even though they didn’t understand why I joined in the first place.

    When I told this to the Elders on that shepherding call, one of them related how the other congregation Pioneers were working crummy part time jobs and living in cheep apartments and that “I should be thrown out of my house to teach me a good lesson!”.

    This same Elder was the son of another Elder who started a pharmaceutical company back in the 1940’s and was in the process of handing it over to his two sons, one of them being Elder “Throw you out”. Brother “Throw you out” had 2 children, no older than 10 years old, and when he said this, I thought “You got your future all handed to you on a silver spoon, and there’s no way you would throw your own kids out! Why should my parents be so cruel?” Hypocrite! He could not see himself as an example or that perhaps my parents helping me might have been a blessing from Jehovah.

    So this shepherding call crushed my spiritual desire to do more for Jehovah, so I wanted to do the second best thing, find a marriage mate, have an understanding life partner to treat with respect and get respect back as well as have an honourable “Jehovah Approved” family life with JW children.

    So i tried meeting women of my age and arranging to work in field service with them, which is the Organization Approved” way to do things. However, this was sabotaged by the 25-35 year old Ministerial Servants and they ended up intimidating my service partner at the field service meeting to break up our previous arrangements. Instead, I ended up working with the 60+ year old Witnesses. I didn’t mind the older ones, but the young MS were devious and always stepping in.

    |What people who are not JW’s don’t understand is that the JW’s encourage people to get married in The Watchtower, The Awake, and from talks given on the platform. The people giving these talks range from 6 year old children right up to 70 year old men. All of them talk about how a husband and wife should live and how they should raise children. So you get it in your mind that getting married is a great thing. However, the elders hold on to a secret rule that says “Single brothers should not date single Sisters in case it leads to fornication.” The elders start to “Lean in” and interfere on the people who are trying to get to know one another, and it doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 60. Therefore, if a brother talks to a sister for more than 5 minutes, be sure that an elder will either break it up somehow, or an older sister, brother or another married couple will hover near by to intimidate the two so that they stop talking to one another.

    This kept getting worse for me until there came a time where I couldn’t even look a sister in the eye, not because I was shy, but for fear of the Elders. How wicked is that? In the last two years of my 7 years as a Witness, I crushed emotionally, mentally, and spiritualy. It was like i had a heart of lead, logical like Mr. Spock, but completely unemotional. Yet, the Ministerial servants and Elder’s children were totally free from this “Persecution”. Another Double Standard!

    What finally got me out of the JW’s was one of the nicer elders in there suggested i read the old “Rusty Sword” cover to cover. I’m glad he did, because the total hypocrisy of their teachings became apparent to me. It was as if “The Rusty Sword” was saying “No matter what you do, and how much you do for Jehovah, there is a very high chance Jehovah will kill you for falling short of his rules.” Did “The Rusty Sword” actually say that? Well, to me at the time it did! – I left! I just faded out! 20 years ago.

    Recently, I started watching all the Ex-Jw videos from Sustenance and Covering, Marc and Cora, you guys, JW Fantasy, John Ceders, Fateful Slave, the Great Apostate, EX JW Critical Thinker, and many more. These have helped me realize that WT is a corrupt joke and a lie – a Magazine Publishing Company.

    But the JW’s have changed. They’re worse, less disciplined than we were (especially with Kingdom Hall hoe-downs) and i think this is because they have no “Armageddon Hope” anymore. In order to discover the changes, I got a copy of the new “Silver Sword” in March and I am reading that one cover to cover. I’m currently going to start the book of James. I am doing this so I can see what the JW’s new “authority” is like. I find it is a more expectational Bible than the Rusty Sword ever was, however, I still know it’s a mistranslation, and don’t worry Mikey, I am cross referencing it to test it out on Bible Hub, even comparing the English words to Hebrew and Greek.

    I also discovered that “Jehovah” is an anglicized mistranslation of YHWH by a Catholic Monk back in the 1600’s and used by Watchtower because “It’s Popular”. In the Silver Sword, they acknowledge this in Genesis 2:4, but then use Jehovah instead. I read his name as YHWH in my head. Instead, By using Jehovah, I find the Organization to be like 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12, which is sad because there are many good people in the organization who are being blindly lead to slaughter. We all know it because we were on that path too, until we woke up.

    Looking back, I am thankful that I never did go to Bethel, the temple of Vipers, never married (Or Dated) a distressed, emotional basket case JW female, or become a nut-job myself from mental anguish, or raised JW children to be in constant fear of facing the blood issue or used as pawns for the magazine publishing company that was founded by a disassociated Adventist Free Mason and posing as “Guardians Of Doctrine, or “GOD” when clearly they are not.

    So for all you people considering this faith or still in it, please read your Bible cover to cover, seek out the real Truth and keep in mind the scripture that says “And in that time many will stand up and say “Here is Christ” and “Look! There He is!” when He is not there. – Amen Watchtower!

    So now Mikey, please take that old, rusty nail out of my brain where it has been rusting away in my thoughts for 20 years and give it a double strike with that hammer for all of the double standards I had to face because I am 20 years over- due!

    Thank you again for reading this on your web site and wishing you all the best – Trevor.

    • Thanks Trevor…better 20 smuckin’ years over due then never. And may the force be with you and that you never feel an urge to listen to an asshole like jehovah again.

  19. I am Walt Whitman

    I was raised a witness. I came to understand the WTBS was false when I fell in love with a girl in high school. Why would God not want me to be happy? Why would love cause so much pain? From then i knew I couldn’t do this any more. This was almost 20 years ago and at the time there was no web or support like we do have now. I had turned to drugs and alcohol to cope and now I am blessed to have a son, career and faith in God. I remember sitting in the hall one day and the word MERCY came from my mouth over and over again and I started breathing heavy. I believe i was having a panic attack and God revealed his MERCY to me. Once i realized that God’s love for me was based on MERCY no works the whole wall crumbled. Thank you God for my life and bless those who struggle to come to terms with being in a cult. Just remember what ever you have felt and are going through is because you are NORMAL which in my book equates to perfect not “imperfect” as we have been taught we are. We are all perfect in he eyes of God and he gave us his Son because of his MERCY. Thank you Mike and Kim as you are my brother and sister. God bless you all and never give up on yourself and God. Ttys 🙂

  20. I was dissfellowshipped for smoking cigarrettes in 2000.I am glad to say that i have finnally stopped smoking on 3-31-16, without going back to the religion. I have tried many times over the years to go back to the meetings- but usually after about a month i would stop attending because something just did not seem right. Even now i have to fight the thought to go back.Watching your videos helps me to realize that i have nothing to fear-and that i don’t need to go back to the witnesses.

    -shane, –(raised a wittness, born into the religion in 1978).

    • Thank you so much for sharing and we’re glad that you have your freedom from both. 🙂

      • I just wanted to mention that the reason i have had thoughts about going back to the witnesses, is because, now that i have quit smoking, the feelings of being a witness are coming back-(because when i was a witness, i did not smoke), and i feel that i am under a grace period where god is helping me, but if i don’t go back to jehovah soon–the grace period will end and i might smoke again. Even in watching your videos and communicating with you, i feel that god is mad at me.(This is to let you know the power the witnesses can have on someone).I am working at removing the power of control that the witnesses still have on me, even after 16 years.

  21. Hi, I’ve been free from this cult for almost 18 months now after spending 10 years in it. I would like to write my disassociation letter here to help those who never want a jw to knock on their door again, thats right no one has come to annoy me for 18 months! here it is-

    To Brother(blank) (blank)North congregation.
    I (blank) no longer want to be known as a Jehovahs Witness. I want to be disassociated. I no longer believe that this organisation is blessed by God or that Jesus is the head of the congregation. I have done a lot of research on the jehovahs witness in recent times and i am greatly shocked by what i have found. I do not want to have a meeting with the elders. Take this letter as the last correspondence with you or the organisation.

    In contrast, I am not hostile toward you or anyone in the congregation. I have made some good friendships over the last 10 years and will miss those friends. But i must stand for what is right.
    Yours sincerely (blank)

  22. After about 25yrs. of meetings and ministry I thought I was walking the narrow road to life. Then I questioned something that the GB believed was true. So I answered up about it in the Watchtower study. It would be the last time I ever answered up at the kingdom Hall. I sat there for about 8 months like the naughty boy in the corner not allowed to say anything. Everyone seemed to be on the elders side even though they did not feel strongly or even know much about the subject. I think it’s a form of mental abuse when a crowd of people insist that they are correct on a matter and that if you want their friendship you have to admit you are wrong. My heart goes out to those who have been abused by JWs. When I was a JW I thought that because most or all of us were trying hard to improve on our Christ-like personality then, obviously, there would be very little sexual abuse in the Organization. How wrong I was! So because I “knew” the GB were wrong about this subject I had answered up about I wondered, “what else are they wrong about”? After looking into it I was shocked to learn how they deal with child and sexual abuse. You could be sitting there at the kingdom Hall rubbing shoulders with a child molester! Obviously, if the child molester is being devious there’s not much you can do. But, Holy of Holies ! if the elders knew about the “ALLEGED” child molester they would never inform you!
    I thought that the elders would “keep the congregation clean” by removing “the wicked men from among us”. It’s ironic that one of their magazines is called the AWAKE ! JWs are the ones who are asleep!
    END OF PART ONE

  23. I’m not so sure on how to start this story but it starts out as I come from a family that wasn’t extreme when it comes to being a strict JW household despite the fact that my father was an elder and so is my grandfather(whom people practically feared in our circuit LOL). My parents didn’t force me to comment, give talks(still never gave one to this day), or even give presentations at the door. I was very lucky in that aspect but it came with a heavy price of judgement, disappointment and zero association with other kids in my hall or surrounding halls. I might as well have walked into the hall wearing a pentagram necklace and 666 written across my forehead. The way me and my sister were treated as kids for not participating was something that effected me negatively at a very, very young age. Many people (mostly elders) would try getting onto my father for not making me participate and that I wasn’t maturing spiritually… my father quite honestly, didn’t give a shit, my mother on the other hand would get upset and attempt to bribe me to comment to maintain a clean spiritual family image. At 6-8 years old, who would say no to a new toy in exchange for spewing words into a microphone that had no value to me. Commenting eventually got old because the older I got along with the other kids, I was never doing the most spiritually I was doing the least. This concerned the elders more and they continued to talk to my dad and about my family but again… no shits were given from him but this hurt my mom. My mom is the type that wanted everyone to like her and would imitate an image that would look clean and ideal to others. I didn’t quite understood the logic behind her wanting to please everyone when I was younger which caused me to become angry at people in the hall since they were influencing my mom to try to change me when I didn’t want to. I began to question the religion around age 11, my father taught me to think for myself and think critically so I always questioned everything when it came to Jehovah’s Witnesses. As soon as I got a cell phone around age 12, I began researching because a friend of mine that I had met on a video game was making fun of JW’s(as did I) and he had mentioned that it’s a cult. I can’t remember all the websites I had searched but I found information on pedophiles and cases of abuse. After reading just a few articles, I had the “fuck this” mentality. I started disassociating myself even further (if that was even possible i had maybe two or three friends in the hall) and when I turned 13 I finally got the nerve up to tell my dad I didn’t believe in the religion and I questioned the existence of God. He took it quite well but he still wanted me to attend meetings, which I was fine with…. Then my mom overheard this conversation and hit the roof. My mom had never hit me in my life, she wouldn’t even spank me as a child. She threw me off the bed in an instant and wanted me to go live with my grandparents. She was seething with anger at this point and started to blame herself for not forcing me to participate and she didn’t study the bible enough with me. My father saw she was upset and ended up taking all electronics away just to keep her from becoming violent. My dad never raised his voice at me, although I knew he was hurt by what I said, he didn’t want to push me away especially only being 13 at the time. That week my mom and my grandparents sobbed quite a lot and didn’t understand why I didn’t want to be a JW(they still don’t) A few months pass by and in March 2013 my dad passed away from a heart attack (caused by heart failure) and the person that defended me was gone. I was quite a wreck when this happened and I remember all the people that showed up at the hospital were the same ones talking badly about my father and how my parents raised me and my sister. I found it absurd but my mom felt comforted by all these people. I turned very bitter that year and so did my mom, we fought almost every day. There was a lot of talk going around about me because I was 14 and had no interest in meetings at all I would bring a notepad and draw, or get on my phone. My mom would take me out of the hall many times, as if I was a toddler awaiting a spanking. This went on for months, which made me question even more things because the elders were encouraging her to be more forceful. Around mid 2014 I gave up and tried to at least pay attention at meetings and I started hanging around more kids my age (which everyone of them were committing more sins than any worldly person i knew). There was extreme amounts of drama with these people and i tried to push through it and ignore it since I had finally found some friends. I started getting close to one guy my age that was 19 at the time and I was 15. Everyone encouraged this relationship because he got baptized at the international convention we had in my state(Georgia) and it looked “good”. Deciding to date a grown ass man at the naive age of 14, I got took advantage of and was emotionally abused by him. After coming to my senses and realizing what the hell was going on, I broke it off and never looked back. But this is when I knew just because a person is in good standing, doesn’t make them a good person which in my mind, meant this religion is complete and utter bullshit it served no “protection” to me and I sure as hell didn’t want to end up in the new system with all of these freaks. Early 2015 I began researching more and more (I came across your channel and John Cedars/Lloyds channel) the things I was finding was sickening and I started resenting my mother for raising a child in this religion. I brought many things (still do) to my moms attention and she never understood and constantly called me an apostate. I finally came out as an atheist to my mother, she took it better than I thought but she still tried guilting me into the religion for the next year which led to many arguments but I started to get her to understand me and see why certain things disgusted me but we still didn’t have a healthy relationship there were many times we would be screaming at the top of our lungs at eachother but would end in her crying and me trying to apologize. Anywho last June I met my boyfriend who is worldly but my mother never had a problem with that with any of my “boyfriends” i just had to keep it a secret. Him and I ended up having *Tony Morris voice* sexual intercourse and my mother found out…. Wew boy was she pissed but this led her to say “You don’t have to attend meetings anymore if you stop hating me” this was a major breakthrough and this wouldnt have happened if it weren’t for my boyfriend trying to get her to ease up on me. For some odd reason she likes him quite a lot and trusts him more than she trusts me. But now people are treating her like she’s a demon amongst angels in the hall. It’s very sad and I have a tough time comforting her because all this does is make me angry that these “loving” people are treating her like this. I am thinking about attending a few sundays this year with my boyfriend just so things can ease up on her. My mom and I have gotten very close since I stopped attending and I know if I went regularly it will just make me cut her out again. I believe things will get better eventually and I am very lucky that I was raised by “weak” JW’s. I do question if my father was questioning the religion as well but kept quiet about it since he was extremely laid back when it came to me. I hope one day my mother wakes up because I know she is miserable. She’s so set in her own ways about the religion and it’s destroying her. The new shunning talks have hurt her a lot and people are looking down upon her for raising such a demonic child. My grandparents have been supportive of me, however, it’s not always been like that. My grandpa was hurt when I stopped attending meetings but he understood I was tired of the hypocrisy and lies. Him and my mother are just stuck on this “well we can look beyond the imperfectness and see this religion is beneficial” shit. I’m hoping they will wake up one day and realize they are in a cult. But until that day, I have to keep on sneaking in some “apostate” articles

    • You are very brave and courageous. I was born in 1966 and at the age of 14 I ran away from an abusive JW mother. Accused at the age of 16 of being an apostate though never baptised. I wish you sanctuary and love. Hang in there. You may enjoy music by Eliza Gilkyson. And she’s been around for a very long time..you tube has some of her stuff. Man of God is a good one. I don’t know,just trying to help.

  24. Wow. Thanks Steven. If you have not heard of Java Art? I like his music. Issac Newton….big fig newton..lol. Thanks again for sharing.

  25. Started in late 80, Baptized late 90.confused..

  26. Karl.

    What a brilliant letter !

    Beth Sarim -. wasn’t that about Judge Rutherford predicting 1925 as the year when

    the ressurection would take place ?

    So the Watchtower built this posh house called Beth Sarim so that from 1925

    Abraham, Isaac and Jacob could live there.

    When Abraham, Isaac and Jacob failed to turn up Rutherford lived in it in the

    Late 20’s 30’s.

  27. Steven, why are you clogging up our website with all your stuff? Please go get your own website.
    Kimmy

  28. I was cheated out of my childhood and healthy teenage years thanks to the WT. My parents were already studying when I was a baby and were baptised when I was 2years old. My mum was an immigrant who came to UK to be a nurse and my dad left his family in Scotland to move to London and so they were completely isolated from family and friends and my dad became suicidal planning how to end his life and how to provide for his wife and kids after the fact, when the JWs knocked on the door to give him some ‘good news’. Thats the only thing I am grateful to them for because my dad is the kind of person that once he says he is going to do something then he does. Like after 30 years of smoking weed and tobacco he said: ‘I’m giving up today’ and he never smoked again after that.

    My parents fell in love with WT and as soon as they were baptised they could not wait to pioneer and were regular pioneers until I was a teenager (and my dad was bullied by elders for showing the up, falsely DFd for fake charges and had to stop pioneering). It was the only thing that interested them. As small children we lost the attention of our parents as they became wrapped up in serving Jehovah. Dont get me wrong we were fed more than adequately despite being poor, we were clothed and we were clean, but my parents had no interest in us unless we were doing or saying something about JW stuff.So we learned very quickly to be the best little JWs we could to get attention. Anything to do with school or our likes and hobbies were very much ignored and did not exist. My parents did not read us bedtime stories my older sister occasionally did. The only time my mum would read to me and my little brother it would be experiences out of the Awake but I loved her doing that because it meant being close to her and having her attention.
    My dad had a terrible upbringing with an abusive, alcoholic, gambling wifebeater and child beater for a father and 6 siblings his emotional needs were never met and he has mental health issues as a result. Well thanks to WT encouraging corporal punishment towards kids, me and my siblings were frequently beaten for misdemeaners and things that kids do (for eg once me and my brother aged around 4 and 5 or less at the time, were playing on my dads bed and we caused the duvet to come out of the cover and my dad errupted in terrifying anger and took his belt off and beat us both), but also for things that were imagined realities in my dads head. He would get ideas that we had done or said certain things that we hadnt and he would explode with anger on regular basis hitting us and interrogating us until we said what we thought it was he wanted us to say, often we got it wrong many times because we had no idea of what he was getting at, that we would be interrogated and hit for many hours, after that it would begin agin when we would have to apologise and he would say what are you sorry for? and we didnt know so the whole process would begin again. Sometimes it would go on for days it would carry on again after we came home from school. I was terrifed of him. The Wt way of bringing up children definitely fed into his mental health problems the way they say parents are always right children are basically nothing, never let your children ‘win’ amongst other things he felt that children are sly creatures that are prone to lies and cannot be trusted. I know I was being slapped around my face leaving hand marks from 2 years old possibly younger. It was the frequency of it the length of interrogations and the uncertainty of what would drive him over the edge that made home life horrible and stressful for us as kids. On top of that all the meetings, studyings, field sevice and the ‘no’ to everything that made childhood so bleak. Don’t get me wrong, there were good times in it we went on holidays and played outside we had icecream and played board games with our parents and we always had witnesses over for food,, it wasnt all bad but the majority of it was.
    Something I realised recently I cannot bare the sound of my son crying (he is 5 now) I have a daughter too but it doesnt affect me the way it hurts my soul when he cries. I wondered why and I suddenly realised its because it takes me straight back to my little brother regularly crying because he would have been hit so hard and I was powerless to do anything about it. He is only a year younger than me but sometimes he used to say it was him that had done something when it was me so that I wouldnt get hit by my dad so his crying is unbearable to me.

    Nobody from the JWs did anything about the physical, emotional and verbal abuse from my dad,he would scream at us so much. a little word from the elders giving him another way would have helped because HE DIDNT KNOW ANY DIFFERENT, I dont blame my dad because he was raised by a monster and so he thought he was actually doing right by us. They could have encouraged him to read parenting books or go to classes because it wasnt a secret the way he treated us. The thing about my dad was he did not care who was listening or who was standing there or in our house, because he thought he was right so he wasnt intimidated by anyone. so he would go off in public. one of his sayings was ‘I’ll break your jaw’. I’ve been slapped out on the ministry! Even once when I was 14 or so I was so frustrated that I was on the ministry forced to be there when I hated it, that after 2 or 3 hours I started to show my annoyance and said I was bored or made a face or something and my dad came running at me about to slap my face but I quickly put a smile on and said I was worried that I had knocked on the same door twice and avoided another public humiliation. My dad would often every week get into the religious rantings at the dinner table or at family study etc that would go on and on and he would get himself more and more worked up until he was screaming at us did we believe it was the truth? because if we didnt we would be out the door. We could get out! This is from when I was a toddler. i honestly thought I would be made homeless, everything felt so temperamental to me and so unstable and unpredicatable that I was depressed even as a child.we would be trying to convince him that we did believe it all the time to stop it escalating to him hitting us all which often happened anyway despite our efforts. These rants were very frequent and stressful in addition to the interrogations which all included us being hit a lot and hit hard. It was most demoralising having to see my siblings being humiliated we were lined up and hit until we were all crying, but seeing your sibling crying esp my older brother 7 years older than me who was so strong in my opinion, being brought to nothing in front of us all is just painful because I was helpless to help them. I used to enjoy hearing children crying when I was a kid because it meant that I wasnt the only one who was sad, but as I grew older it just becomes unbearable. I cannot stand the sound of children crying it stabs me in the heart and if someone is nasty to a kid in the street I will go up to them and speak angrily to such bullies, I hate bullies of any kind and I will not stand for it. I had no balls as a child and was ashamed of that but I grew them as an adult and I don’t care how bigger than me a person is, if they are bullying someone I will stop it. I once stopped this big woman bullying a small asian lady at the park gym, she was much bigger than me and could have easily squashed me but I did not care, the asian lady remnded me of my mother and I coulkdnt bare to see her being humilated in public. The big woman started on me but I stood my ground and she ended up walking away the lady and her friends still wave hello to me, one of them even saw me in the street and gave me all her shopping as a thank you.

    The worst thing about my parents conversion is that they were the most zealous JWs in the whole district they were strict even for JWs and we were not allowed a TV for many years until I was 12 and my dad said no to everything, he would even listen to our phone conversations he had to be in control of everything. Eventually I learned not to ask to do things because I was mostly told no. I was not allowed on the 5 day trips that school goes on even though I could have gone for free, I was not allowed to draw a flag for sports day, I was not allowed to buy a helium balloon for 20p to raise money for charity in case it was a church charity, just so many things that made me on my own because sometimes other witness kids would be allowed. Ive always not fitted in anywhere, we dont fit into our families because we were the only JWs the rest are Catholic or Church of England on my dads side and Buddhist on my mums side, I never fitted into the JWs because I always felt the odd one out or not good enough and I was hurt many times by JW girls who I thought were good or best friends who would be nasty or laugh about me behind me back so I learned I couldnt trust girls, even now I prefer to hang with boys than girls and I only have 2 really close friends who are girls (and exJW too) then I was the odd one out at school and really bullied and laughed at for being a JW and knocking on their doors at the weekend and holidays. I dont fit in anywhere, sometimes even now as a grown woman in my own household I can feel ganged up on and alone by my own partner and little children.
    I remember having to go on service every sat and sun without fail, we never missed a meeting (I had croup cough when I was 6 and was very ill and my mum asked if i wanted to stay home from the district assembly and to please her I said no! and I went) even wen we went on holiday we would find the local hall and go to meetings and on field service with them. In the school holidays we would go out on service 6 days out of 7 and it was soul destroying. Even still I succumbed to pressure to get baptised when i was 11 years old because I wanted to please my parents so badly and that was the way to do it. also my sister was baptised when she was 11 and she was miss perfect and I wanted to be like her. I also wanted to go on the service with my friends instead of with an adult which is THE ONLY benefit of getting baptised of you are a female. I was a VERY devout JW I studied for every meeting, I read every scripture that was listed, I studied for my family study, I went to all meetings and service all the time I answered up all the time, I knew my NWT bible, I wrote detailed notes at all meetings and assemblies, I witnessed at school to my friends and to teachers, it was my whole life.

    Studying the WT so much meant less brain space and energy for school work and I know I could have done so much better on my exams and I wouldnt have quit Uni if I wasnt so bogged down with JW duties. Even at school I was stunted from my learning with WT doctrine and dogma clogging up my brain and clouding my perspective such as in Science (evolution) and I would have an extra GCSE if I hadnt had left RE to sit in the library by myself every week.
    I was cheated out of a relationship with my cousins I had some living in the next town 15 minutes drive away when I was a teenager, because they were against the JWs so would meet people at school who knew my cousins and I had never met them. my dad was very paranoid of people and we could only have friend sthat he chose for us or that he was in agreement with. The friends I liked and trusted most were the couple I had at school who were not witnesses but I was not allowed to hang with them outside school so I had no friends apart from my sister who was my best friend, who now shuns me because I left.
    Growing up JW we were told we would never grow old and die, we would never even get to high school. We would never need to get a job etc, these teaching have messed with my brain! I cannot get a decent job and struggle for money every day, its so depressing. I began to get depression as a teen, I was suicidal and wanted to be dead, I became anorexic and numb and would be most comfortable in my room by myself not having to talk to anyone or go out anywhere (and its the same even now). I would bunk off school a lot because I couldnt cope with all the pressure. (I still cannot cope with the slightest pressure or stress. My first thought is i want to kill myself! It sounds so teenage angst that its laughable but its true).Being a JW teen was unbearable. I remember sometimes I would be out on the ministry and my eyes would start crying by themselves and I couldnt stop them and it was so embarassing being on someones door crying whilst the other person is doing the presentation and not being able to stop the tears running down my face for the next hour or so. Or some days I would be crying for many hours in the same place on my floor, it was either I felt nothing and was numb or I felt SO MUCH that it was uncontrollable overwhelming and too much. All or nothing I guess. ALso my dad was still the same crazy temperament at home losing his rag at any given time, we were still being slapped about the face even until I was 15 YO and threatened to call childline. One time I remember my dad hit me so hard that my glasses flew from off my face from one side of the room clear to the other about 4 meters away. this was for something stupid as well like making a face at him. After seeing what he had done instead of being shocked and stopping, I would have to take my glasses off so he could hit me, which was very humiliating because it felt like I was accomodating him to hurt me easier.

    In the meantime my parents were showing up the elders in our hall by their (over)zealousness and actions, they were truly devoted to Jehovah,they had many studies and RVs, brought many people into the JWs (I refuse to say Truth!) and the elders had none, my dad was pretty well known in our territory everybody knew him and said hello he would do anything for anyone JW or non JW alike, he has a generous heart. he was known as the man with the red scarf and walking stick (he is disabled) and he would call them out when they were doing something wrong and they hated it. He hated liars and would call them out for habitually lying, one for smoking, another going into a church for a wedding and whilst they loved to preach to others their wrongdoings they hated their own being brought to light so all this went onto our files and stopped my dad from being promoted further than MS, the elders bullied our family and we moved halls 4 or 5 times but our records went with us so the elders in the new halls would treat us the same way getting people to avoid us not include us in stuff even though we were in good standing, culminating in them dfing my dad for some ridiculous reason and to get reinstated he would have to apologise and my dad is so stubborn and hates lies that he could not bring himself to apologise for something he hadnt done so he was out for 4 whole years and the Society did nothing to help, knowing how much my dad did for them and gave to them thats when I knew that the gb was not from God. My dad waited it out and feels like I abandoned HIM when I left because he was still DFd but actually my dad kicked me out of the house because I began a relationship with a non JW and it was quit or leave. I left that day and never went back and stopped meetings the same day. If my dad had allowed me to have a boyfriend then I probably wouldnt have left. at age 20 I still was not allowed to have a boyfriend and when I started dating a couple of JW boys age 18 and 19 my dad stopped it very quickly. This made me feel unlovable and unwanted and a freak. literally having hardly any boyfriends at age 20 and I would have been able to have that support that was missing and self esteem that had been broken down. Because my older sister (5yolder than me) had been allowed boyfriends from the age of 15 and my dad had allowed that, and she had had many many JW boys after her, she constantly had a boyfriends from the age of 15- she got married at 20, so go figure, also my older brother was very handsome and constantly had girlfriends from that age until he married at age 22.
    Since my sister and her family started shunning me and now my parents are pretty much shunning me, (they will answer the phone if I ring but they hardly ring me our visits have pretty much dried up and they hardly see my children anymore) it hurts so much esp because my children are being shunned. they are innocent only 5 and 8 YO. They are not allowed to see their cousins and the whole cycle starts again. I wish I could die many days, in fact I think about it every day. If I didnt have children I would have no trouble in dying.

    There are so many things wrong with a JW upbringing I cant even list them all. But I know I have been ruined by WT emotionally, I have PTSD, anxiety, ongoing depression, and suicidal thoughts. My family have been taken from me, my career has been stolen from me, the normal wiring of my brain, creativity and thinkiig abilities has been taken from me. my childhood was stolen from me, my parents attention was diverted from me and my siblings, normal teenage years social life and dating was stolen from me, even a healthy view towards sex. It cannot be replaced! I feel such rage and disgust at WT. I hate that they still have my nieces who are 1, 9 and 12 beautiful little girls who are being ruined like I was.
    I wish I could SUE them for a ruined life. I am only in my early 30s and am stuck.

    If anyone has any advice for me I would welcome that. Thank you

  29. Mike and Kim,
    I was exposed to JW’s as a kid. m`My mom came in when I was eight and is still an active JW. I am now 53. I have been out for 20 years now. So I spent a total of 25 years as a JW. I served as an MS an Elder and can say that I have held several positions in the congregation as well as several on the district and circuit level.
    My son is renting an apartment from his grandmother ( my ex mother in law) who is a JW, so at this time I am reluctant to offer more details in fear of the assured retaliation against him should I be discovered. He is not attending meetings and was never baptized.
    He will be moving into a multifamily I am buying soon, so i will contact you with my story at that time.

    We live about 30 miles from Patterson NY.

    Please add me as a “Nail in the coffin”

    • If you click on the ‘Contact’ button above, you can send us a private email. We would be happy to add you to the nail in coffin. Have a great week

  30. I haven’t the emotional energy to yet share my full story, but one thing that sticks out ot me was when I fell in love with my husband (who has never been a JW) and I had a “shepherding visiting” where I was told I was disobedient, like Eve, because I was marrying outside the “truth” and therefore, unless I dumped him, I may as well not bother trying as I would get destroyed at Armageddon anyway. Yet it still took me a few years to start to wake up.

  31. Here is my story of being in the Jehovah’s witness religion.
    I was brought up in the early 70s in Ireland and moved to England with my English mother and Irish father who was let’s just say not having his heart in being a “’responsible father’” We had lived in a caravan or mobile home for those first few years and it was not uncommon for my mother to have to take the gas canister to her bed to stop it freezing. Tough times. I was initially schooled in a Irish convent and the nuns were not really that fond of me due to being from a protestant mother. Lots of beatings. Well after several years of my father not coming home for several days she saved up some money and we left to return to the UK.
    Upon arrival in the UK we had to rough it for a while, however after some time my father talked his way back to being with my mother and we were a family again albeit a dysfunctional one. By now I had a brother and sister. After several years my father seemed to have got his act together and got a real job and we purchased a real home in a decent place. As kids we settled in and we lived on a pleasant street where everyone played together and we as kids were popular and as you know in those days of the 70s you could go out all day and get up to all sorts of things but the community was close and we were part of it.
    This is where everything all changed. One day when my mother came home from work my father casually said that he had invited an old lady in who spoke about the bible. My father an Irish catholic was having a chat about the trinity and was quite impressed. The lady who called was of the ‘” remnant”’ and did a good job on my father who was a good catholic and knew nothing about the bible. My mother went ballistic and said she didn’t want them in the house. She determined to herself that she would pull the religion apart upon her return. She answered everything. Now unbeknown to me my mother and father’s marriage wasn’t the best and the usual no arrival home routine was soon established, so upon reflection my mother was ripe for indoctrination. I remember those early days when an elderly man use to come on Monday evening. He was like something out of an Orson Welles movie and was always dressed like he was to get on a steam train in an early 30/s 40s movie.
    This is where it all changed for us. We had always had a pretty relaxed childhood with probably too much freedom. Suddenly we were not allowed to play with our friends on the street as they were bad association. I still remember them all peering in over our wall as if we had become a zoo like spectacle. All the questions, why can’t you play out, what are you getting for Christmas, we always had a Christmas tree so that was now all in the past.
    As some may know in 1977 in the UK it was the queens silver Jubilee and every street had a street party. Each driveway was to serve as a games area for the kids you know hoops, whack amole etc. Well my mother had to go to the organizer an elder Ette type (it always is) to tell her that not only would we be not attending but that they were not allowed to put the flags between our house and the neighboring one, this went down like a lead balloon. I remember the early morning that July day as we drove slowly by the driveways all set up for a fun day, the kids stood staring at us as if we were from the planet Pluto. So pretty soon we were labelled as the odd ones on the street, however my brother and I were pretty good at disproving any accusation of being wimps and being in the ”’ godsquad’”
    A really funny thing happened at school because as many will know we had to start walking out of the morning school assembly, some teachers did enjoy making a spectacle of us. Afterwards in the school yard one kid kept bugging me so I dealt with it as I usually did with all my issues , I dutifully bloodied his nose and thought nothing about it. That evening I attends kingdom hall and who is sat next to me, the same kid, that was uncomfortable. However, he got his own back. When we attended a music lesson we were asked to sing along to a song from a book, this was all about cavemen and I refused to sing it as I was now fully indoctrinated. The
    teacher screamed at me and beat me several times because I wouldn’t take part and she screamed why is
    your fellow witness singing it then, I looked across and he was stood there sniggering having absolutely no
    issue with singing this what I viewed as a “’song from Satan”’ oh well the conscience is a funny thing.
    It was tough being different. Shortly after this time my mother made friends with another family at the
    kingdom hall. Another weird family, the father a Presbyterian type elder who bullied his wife and demanded
    total attention. We were often left there to be looked after whilst my mother went out and pioneered. This
    elder wouldn’t allow any electrical items only a radio which was turned on when he was at home. No
    newspapers were allowed. It was like being in a wartime home. They just used to sit there and sew. This was a
    total reversal of what I was used to. Pretty soon I was witness to this elder view of loving discipline. One day
    his son was back chatting to him, the elder grabbed him by both arms took him into the front drawing room,
    stood an iron bed mattress on its end tied his wrists to it and began to beat him with a stick all the while
    singing kingdom melodies. This is the same family my father decided he would like to get to know the family
    better, the elder’s wife a was pretty woman with several young children, you guessed it, no not the pretty
    wife, no, no my father decided he was interested in the 13 year old daughter.!
    Well the fallout from this was big. Two families were devastated. The girl I used to walk to school with was
    now seeing my father, on top of this when my mother was at work one day a friend said we are really sorry to
    hear about you losing your home, my mother asked what she meant, oh it’s in the paper its being auctioned in
    a weeks’ time. My father hadn’t been paying the mortgage for several months, it had now caught up with him.
    Well the child my father had an affair with was taken to her grandmothers, my mother was a mess and we had
    elders around week after week. They of course tried to prevent the family from contacting the police with
    threats of consequences if the lords name was dragged through the mud. Of which they all complied.
    However, they did not think that the Grandmother and a worldly one at that would tell the police and she did.
    My father now has a conviction for child abuse but I don’t know if it’s still relevant and counted today. He is a
    serving elder and regularly takes the Watchtower.
    A week later we are dumped by my father in a neighborhood where let’s just say the faint hearted would
    choose to go there. We had no money no food anything. These are the days when if you say you had nothing it
    means nothing. No or little heating, damp walls, outside toilet which was challenging to say the least in an
    English 70s winter.
    My mother though threw herself into the truth pioneered, fed the pioneers often to the detriment of us the
    kids, oh Jehovah will provide. She used to say. She really went for it and regrets much to this day.
    This is where I started to go off the rails. I did need a father, some manage without, but I needed one.
    I rebelled all the way through school and even though I was known as a witness was known to be difficult and
    my mother repeatedly had to attend the school due my real lack of comprehending why I was there. I was on
    a mission to disrupt. Through school I started smoking, and then went onto drugs, upon leaving school at 15 I
    was an addict. I use to vanish for days only to return home not knowing where I had been. I was too much for
    my mother and so my grandmother took me in as we were close from being young. I did stop drugs for a short
    while but was soon doing anything I could get my hands on. Eventually I was hospitalized and I remember one
    day when the doctor came around with his juniors in tow, he didn’t even look at me and just read my notes
    out loud, he paraphrased, druggie, 6 months left with current use, I never forgot that and it shocked me off
    the drugs, for a while.
    Shortly after this I discovered drink. And I really grew to love it to much. Not an Alcoholic b ut enough not to
    be able to hold down a job. With the drinking lifestyle came violence, I really enjoyed it, it was an adrenalin
    boost. I got involved with soccer violence saw many friends jailed, stabbed to death for their soccer team. It
    was a lifestyle and a drunken haze for several years. I was arrested several times a week, if anything went
    down the cops came looking for me. They were usually right. After a huge fight with the hells angels and my
    friend being put into a coma I had to lie low for a while. The Police were after me and so I went on the run
    moving to another part of the country for a while.
    It was while working on a holiday camp I started to grow up and I thought about sorting things out with the
    Law, I was young and had enough of being on the run. The last judge who saw me said if he saw me again it
    was bye bye for a long time. I travelled back homewards, living here and there. I got a cheap flat to live in and
    began to sort out my life. This is when I went to my grandmother’s house and the magazines were they’re on
    the side board. On the back was the memorial, I never stopped believing so I thought it’s a good time to go the
    memorial.
    So, on the night I was love bombed as we all know, many looked warningly at me as I was viewed as bad
    association. However, one of the local brothers a guy who was a little casual in the truth and liked a drink
    asked me for a study. I promptly took him up on it, within two weeks I was having 2 studies a week. Soon The
    elders were around and asked me why I wasn’t baptized, I had to admit I was still wanted by the police. So,
    after handing myself in and expecting a custodial sentence I was surprisingly released, blessed by Jehovah as it
    were, I had however been down to the police station the week before and paid some court fines prior to me
    being in court, lol. I remember one of the first studies I was taken on by a pioneer, after the guy answered his
    door the pioneer said he noticed that there was a really bad atmosphere and wondered what was wrong. Well
    after the study I revealed to him that I had only just recently had a huge fight with him in a local bar and the
    guy didn’t do to well. Oh dear. By September only 5 months later I was a regular auxiliary pioneer. Always
    used on the platform as an example, look what the truth did here, pretty soon word got around and I was
    asked to appear on the district assembly with a fellow friend who had witnessed his mother being stabbed to
    death by his father! They love a drama. The part in the programme was so successful that they recorded it and
    sent a copy to the London Bethel.
    After settling in the “truth”’ I found it really hard to deal with brothers. Totally lacking in discernment and how
    to read body language, who were used to saying whatever they wanted, being rude, and never taken to task.
    You see in the world everyone has a line of respect they don’t cross or you deal with it accordingly. Well it
    took me several years to bring my personality in line with theocratic arrangement. One night after the midweek
    meeting we went for a couple of beers I was driving so I just had a couple, on the way home a pioneer
    brother decided he wanted to argue with me about nothing, I warned him to reflect on the Christian
    personality. After a while it was too much. I Pulled over asked him to leave my car, He jumped out and came
    around to my side, this was a threat I got out and beat him. I remember being sat astride him beating him and
    then looking to my right, this was right outside the home where we were having field service the very next
    morning. I went home. Well the meeting on Sunday was interesting as this pioneer turned up with bandaged
    arms and fingers. I had nearly bitten one off. I was happy to forget it but he got the elders around and I
    explained to them what happened, they nodded and agree he was argumentative, I think they enjoyed it.
    Several years later an ex special pioneer bethelite and a trouble shooter for the society moved in as it was his
    new assigned congregation. He was also a professor of engineering, a smart guy as they say all brains and no
    common sense, He fell out with everyone. Of course we clashed. After a disagreement he threatened to sue
    me, that was his way and he was the type that did. I went to his house with the genuine intention of resolving
    out little issue, He starts screaming about trespassing, I laid him out. I just saw the soles of his shoes. Next day
    there ia m again body of elders, This where its quite amusing, The elders made no secret of the fact they were
    really glad someone took him to task, I felt bad but quickly moved on.
    Well I became a pioneer which was awful, I was a martyr why isn’t everyone a pioneer I would moan. I soon
    quit that but I had auxiliaries before that for several years. Meantime I had married a wonderful girl who by
    coincidence my mother had brought into the truth when I was young. I knew her from being 6 years old.
    We had a quick courtship and were smitten with each other, she was 19 I was 26. Soon into our marriage I
    began to be a bit verbally abusive to her, I had my own demons which I never dealt with and now I look back
    and hate myself for how I behaved. She has been the most loyal wife you could ever want, she stuck with me.
    My waking up and where I am now
    I began to smell a rat in about 1995. The generation teaching was changed again. I knew they would but the
    most annoying thing was how they told us.it was like the 1975 post talks where they blamed the brothers for
    reading too much inti it. This is what they said at the convention. I was annoyed and told the elders. After a
    few weeks on the C. Os visit an elder told me that he had arranged a visit from the CO to encourage me. I told
    the circuit overseer what my gripe was and he just smiled and said keep going. i also told him I wasn’t
    impressed at how the leaflet release was done. If anyone remembers the kingdom news tract on the end of
    false religion is near, at the kingdom hall they sat the boxes on the floor at the end of each isle with a brother
    stood their arms folded guarding them. Only to be released at a certain time, seriously I said it was like being
    at school.
    I should have gone then but no wait on Jehovah…. The thing that really did it was the Silver bible…no cross
    references. No topics for discussion, and I thought if we were so needy of money as they always say. Why go
    to the expense of releasing that!! I was never the same after that. When the royal commission was shown on
    TV and I saw Jeffrey Jackson lying under oath and refusing to apologize to victims, whilst the catholic church
    did, I was gone. I quickly sent a link to my mother who is a 40-year pioneer. She researched too and after
    finding out about the UN link she sent in her letter of Disassociation.
    My wife of 23 years is still in the org but she misses lots of meetings and has maybe broken some of the
    indoctrination. She has been one all her life and has listened to what I have said. I asked her if she thought the
    elders were appointed by holy spirit, because if so how could they be appointed whilst committing abuse, she
    said oh I don’t think they are. I said well then you are an apostate because the watch tower says they are
    appointed by holy spirit…. stunned silence. I am fortunate because she is a lover of justice and its so hard to
    try to get someone to see what is going on as they have the shutters that come up as trained by the
    corporation. My two sons 18 and 13 respectively are basically out as they both see through it all with ease.
    The young ones do. My wife commented that she has her mother and sister in it and would find it hard so
    sadly she is a captive. The bullying act of shunning makes her stay. I trust and hope she is free from this cult
    soon, but my Kids are out and hopefully they will have real freedom, freedom from mind control and careers
    as they should have.
    Yes the real truth about the truth really does set you free.
    Regards J

  32. Wotiknownow
    July 23, 2017 at 9:55 am
    Here is my story of being in the Jehovah’s witness religion.
    I was brought up in the early 70s in Ireland and moved to England with my English mother and Irish father who was let’s just say not having his heart in being a “’responsible father’” We had lived in a caravan or mobile home for those first few years and it was not uncommon for my mother to have to take the gas canister to her bed to stop it freezing. Tough times. I was initially schooled in a Irish convent and the nuns were not really that fond of me due to being from a protestant mother. Lots of beatings. Well after several years of my father not coming home for several days she saved up some money and we left to return to the UK.
    Upon arrival in the UK we had to rough it for a while, however after some time my father talked his way back to being with my mother and we were a family again albeit a dysfunctional one. By now I had a brother and sister. After several years my father seemed to have got his act together and got a real job and we purchased a real home in a decent place. As kids we settled in and we lived on a pleasant street where everyone played together and we as kids were popular and as you know in those days of the 70s you could go out all day and get up to all sorts of things but the community was close and we were part of it.
    This is where everything all changed. One day when my mother came home from work my father casually said that he had invited an old lady in who spoke about the bible. My father an Irish catholic was having a chat about the trinity and was quite impressed. The lady who called was of the ‘” remnant”’ and did a good job on my father who was a good catholic and knew nothing about the bible. My mother went ballistic and said she didn’t want them in the house. She determined to herself that she would pull the religion apart upon her return. She answered everything. Now unbeknown to me my mother and father’s marriage wasn’t the best and the usual no arrival home routine was soon established, so upon reflection my mother was ripe for indoctrination. I remember those early days when an elderly man use to come on Monday evening. He was like something out of an Orson Welles movie and was always dressed like he was to get on a steam train in an early 30/s 40s movie.
    This is where it all changed for us. We had always had a pretty relaxed childhood with probably too much freedom. Suddenly we were not allowed to play with our friends on the street as they were bad association. I still remember them all peering in over our wall as if we had become a zoo like spectacle. All the questions, why can’t you play out, what are you getting for Christmas, we always had a Christmas tree so that was now all in the past.
    As some may know in 1977 in the UK it was the queens silver Jubilee and every street had a street party. Each driveway was to serve as a games area for the kids you know hoops, whack amole etc. Well my mother had to go to the organizer an elder Ette type (it always is) to tell her that not only would we be not attending but that they were not allowed to put the flags between our house and the neighboring one, this went down like a lead balloon. I remember the early morning that July day as we drove slowly by the driveways all set up for a fun day, the kids stood staring at us as if we were from the planet Pluto. So pretty soon we were labelled as the odd ones on the street, however my brother and I were pretty good at disproving any accusation of being wimps and being in the ”’ godsquad’”
    A really funny thing happened at school because as many will know we had to start walking out of the morning school assembly, some teachers did enjoy making a spectacle of us. Afterwards in the school yard one kid kept bugging me so I dealt with it as I usually did with all my issues , I dutifully bloodied his nose and thought nothing about it. That evening I attends kingdom hall and who is sat next to me, the same kid, that was uncomfortable. However, he got his own back. When we attended a music lesson we were asked to sing along to a song from a book, this was all about cavemen and I refused to sing it as I was now fully indoctrinated. The
    teacher screamed at me and beat me several times because I wouldn’t take part and she screamed why is
    your fellow witness singing it then, I looked across and he was stood there sniggering having absolutely no
    issue with singing this what I viewed as a “’song from Satan”’ oh well the conscience is a funny thing.
    It was tough being different. Shortly after this time my mother made friends with another family at the
    kingdom hall. Another weird family, the father a Presbyterian type elder who bullied his wife and demanded
    total attention. We were often left there to be looked after whilst my mother went out and pioneered. This
    elder wouldn’t allow any electrical items only a radio which was turned on when he was at home. No
    newspapers were allowed. It was like being in a wartime home. They just used to sit there and sew. This was a
    total reversal of what I was used to. Pretty soon I was witness to this elder view of loving discipline. One day
    his son was back chatting to him, the elder grabbed him by both arms took him into the front drawing room,
    stood an iron bed mattress on its end tied his wrists to it and began to beat him with a stick all the while
    singing kingdom melodies. This is the same family my father decided he would like to get to know the family
    better, the elder’s wife a was pretty woman with several young children, you guessed it, no not the pretty
    wife, no, no my father decided he was interested in the 13 year old daughter.!
    Well the fallout from this was big. Two families were devastated. The girl I used to walk to school with was
    now seeing my father, on top of this when my mother was at work one day a friend said we are really sorry to
    hear about you losing your home, my mother asked what she meant, oh it’s in the paper its being auctioned in
    a weeks’ time. My father hadn’t been paying the mortgage for several months, it had now caught up with him.
    Well the child my father had an affair with was taken to her grandmothers, my mother was a mess and we had
    elders around week after week. They of course tried to prevent the family from contacting the police with
    threats of consequences if the lords name was dragged through the mud. Of which they all complied.
    However, they did not think that the Grandmother and a worldly one at that would tell the police and she did.
    My father now has a conviction for child abuse but I don’t know if it’s still relevant and counted today. He is a
    serving elder and regularly takes the Watchtower.
    A week later we are dumped by my father in a neighborhood where let’s just say the faint hearted would
    choose to go there. We had no money no food anything. These are the days when if you say you had nothing it
    means nothing. No or little heating, damp walls, outside toilet which was challenging to say the least in an
    English 70s winter.
    My mother though threw herself into the truth pioneered, fed the pioneers often to the detriment of us the
    kids, oh Jehovah will provide. She used to say. She really went for it and regrets much to this day.
    This is where I started to go off the rails. I did need a father, some manage without, but I needed one.
    I rebelled all the way through school and even though I was known as a witness was known to be difficult and
    my mother repeatedly had to attend the school due my real lack of comprehending why I was there. I was on
    a mission to disrupt. Through school I started smoking, and then went onto drugs, upon leaving school at 15 I
    was an addict. I use to vanish for days only to return home not knowing where I had been. I was too much for
    my mother and so my grandmother took me in as we were close from being young. I did stop drugs for a short
    while but was soon doing anything I could get my hands on. Eventually I was hospitalized and I remember one
    day when the doctor came around with his juniors in tow, he didn’t even look at me and just read my notes
    out loud, he paraphrased, druggie, 6 months left with current use, I never forgot that and it shocked me off
    the drugs, for a while.
    Shortly after this I discovered drink. And I really grew to love it to much. Not an Alcoholic b ut enough not to
    be able to hold down a job. With the drinking lifestyle came violence, I really enjoyed it, it was an adrenalin
    boost. I got involved with soccer violence saw many friends jailed, stabbed to death for their soccer team. It
    was a lifestyle and a drunken haze for several years. I was arrested several times a week, if anything went
    down the cops came looking for me. They were usually right. After a huge fight with the hells angels and my
    friend being put into a coma I had to lie low for a while. The Police were after me and so I went on the run
    moving to another part of the country for a while.
    It was while working on a holiday camp I started to grow up and I thought about sorting things out with the
    Law, I was young and had enough of being on the run. The last judge who saw me said if he saw me again it
    was bye bye for a long time. I travelled back homewards, living here and there. I got a cheap flat to live in and
    began to sort out my life. This is when I went to my grandmother’s house and the magazines were they’re on
    the side board. On the back was the memorial, I never stopped believing so I thought it’s a good time to go the
    memorial.
    So, on the night I was love bombed as we all know, many looked warningly at me as I was viewed as bad
    association. However, one of the local brothers a guy who was a little casual in the truth and liked a drink
    asked me for a study. I promptly took him up on it, within two weeks I was having 2 studies a week. Soon The
    elders were around and asked me why I wasn’t baptized, I had to admit I was still wanted by the police. So,
    after handing myself in and expecting a custodial sentence I was surprisingly released, blessed by Jehovah as it
    were, I had however been down to the police station the week before and paid some court fines prior to me
    being in court, lol. I remember one of the first studies I was taken on by a pioneer, after the guy answered his
    door the pioneer said he noticed that there was a really bad atmosphere and wondered what was wrong. Well
    after the study I revealed to him that I had only just recently had a huge fight with him in a local bar and the
    guy didn’t do to well. Oh dear. By September only 5 months later I was a regular auxiliary pioneer. Always
    used on the platform as an example, look what the truth did here, pretty soon word got around and I was
    asked to appear on the district assembly with a fellow friend who had witnessed his mother being stabbed to
    death by his father! They love a drama. The part in the programme was so successful that they recorded it and
    sent a copy to the London Bethel.
    After settling in the “truth”’ I found it really hard to deal with brothers. Totally lacking in discernment and how
    to read body language, who were used to saying whatever they wanted, being rude, and never taken to task.
    You see in the world everyone has a line of respect they don’t cross or you deal with it accordingly. Well it
    took me several years to bring my personality in line with theocratic arrangement. One night after the midweek
    meeting we went for a couple of beers I was driving so I just had a couple, on the way home a pioneer
    brother decided he wanted to argue with me about nothing, I warned him to reflect on the Christian
    personality. After a while it was too much. I Pulled over asked him to leave my car, He jumped out and came
    around to my side, this was a threat I got out and beat him. I remember being sat astride him beating him and
    then looking to my right, this was right outside the home where we were having field service the very next
    morning. I went home. Well the meeting on Sunday was interesting as this pioneer turned up with bandaged
    arms and fingers. I had nearly bitten one off. I was happy to forget it but he got the elders around and I
    explained to them what happened, they nodded and agree he was argumentative, I think they enjoyed it.
    Several years later an ex special pioneer bethelite and a trouble shooter for the society moved in as it was his
    new assigned congregation. He was also a professor of engineering, a smart guy as they say all brains and no
    common sense, He fell out with everyone. Of course we clashed. After a disagreement he threatened to sue
    me, that was his way and he was the type that did. I went to his house with the genuine intention of resolving
    out little issue, He starts screaming about trespassing, I laid him out. I just saw the soles of his shoes. Next day
    there ia m again body of elders, This where its quite amusing, The elders made no secret of the fact they were
    really glad someone took him to task, I felt bad but quickly moved on.
    Well I became a pioneer which was awful, I was a martyr why isn’t everyone a pioneer I would moan. I soon
    quit that but I had auxiliaries before that for several years. Meantime I had married a wonderful girl who by
    coincidence my mother had brought into the truth when I was young. I knew her from being 6 years old.
    We had a quick courtship and were smitten with each other, she was 19 I was 26. Soon into our marriage I
    began to be a bit verbally abusive to her, I had my own demons which I never dealt with and now I look back
    and hate myself for how I behaved. She has been the most loyal wife you could ever want, she stuck with me.
    My waking up and where I am now
    I began to smell a rat in about 1995. The generation teaching was changed again. I knew they would but the
    most annoying thing was how they told us.it was like the 1975 post talks where they blamed the brothers for
    reading too much inti it. This is what they said at the convention. I was annoyed and told the elders. After a
    few weeks on the C. Os visit an elder told me that he had arranged a visit from the CO to encourage me. I told
    the circuit overseer what my gripe was and he just smiled and said keep going. i also told him I wasn’t
    impressed at how the leaflet release was done. If anyone remembers the kingdom news tract on the end of
    false religion is near, at the kingdom hall they sat the boxes on the floor at the end of each isle with a brother
    stood their arms folded guarding them. Only to be released at a certain time, seriously I said it was like being
    at school.
    I should have gone then but no wait on Jehovah…. The thing that really did it was the Silver bible…no cross
    references. No topics for discussion, and I thought if we were so needy of money as they always say. Why go
    to the expense of releasing that!! I was never the same after that. When the royal commission was shown on
    TV and I saw Jeffrey Jackson lying under oath and refusing to apologize to victims, whilst the catholic church
    did, I was gone. I quickly sent a link to my mother who is a 40-year pioneer. She researched too and after
    finding out about the UN link she sent in her letter of Disassociation.
    My wife of 23 years is still in the org but she misses lots of meetings and has maybe broken some of the
    indoctrination. She has been one all her life and has listened to what I have said. I asked her if she thought the
    elders were appointed by holy spirit, because if so how could they be appointed whilst committing abuse, she
    said oh I don’t think they are. I said well then you are an apostate because the watch tower says they are
    appointed by holy spirit…. stunned silence. I am fortunate because she is a lover of justice and its so hard to
    try to get someone to see what is going on as they have the shutters that come up as trained by the
    corporation. My two sons 18 and 13 respectively are basically out as they both see through it all with ease.
    The young ones do. My wife commented that she has her mother and sister in it and would find it hard so
    sadly she is a captive. The bullying act of shunning makes her stay. I trust and hope she is free from this cult
    soon, but my Kids are out and hopefully they will have real freedom, freedom from mind control and careers
    as they should have.
    Yes the real truth about the truth really does set you free.
    Regards J

  33. Ty’s Story from the 9-24-2017 Nail in Coffin:
    Dear Kim and Mike,

    First off, my family for 4 generations have been JWs. Besides their devote loyalty to the organization they have always prided themselves in their intellect. Despite that, only my great grandmother ever attended college. Early on I was encouraged only to do the minimum in school. Never to exceed average. This was so I could develop my ministry. 3 times I was pulled out of school to homeschool. But even then my parents never put in the effort to make sure my studies were done. I missed a grand total of 5 years of education, 2 during high school. I was pushed to get my GED but after talking with a teacher, I decided my diploma was the more logical route. This caused a massive fight in my family about how I was putting my own wants before the needs of God. My stepfather from the time I was 8 constantly told me that I would never amount to anything, and I was not good enough to be baptized. Those are direct quotes, those words shaped a lot of my life later on. My mother, being the spineless person the organization requires of its women, never said anything to oppose that idea. I grew up with very low self esteem and worth. As far as my education, I eventually graduated. It wasn’t easy, I had to catch up all my high school credits in my senior year. Of course, the elders didn’t like that I had spent so much time devoted to secular pursuits. My family grew up in a rural area. So the congregation was small. Even though I was unbaptized, I was utilized regularly to handle the mics, run the sound equipment and even adjust the platform and mic stand for the brothers giving the talks. I even remember thinking to myself that it wouldnt be long for me to be baptized because the brothers obviously trusted me enough to have responsiblities. After I graduated I approached the brothers to again consider me for baptism. They brought up my drive for a diploma instead of getting my GED or simply abandoning my education altogether. They told me it was clear where my prioties lay and refused to consider me for at least another year. During that time I was to prove my devotion by putting in 50 hours a week in service. Mind you I wasnt allowed to apply for auxiliary pioneering because that privelege was reserved for members who clearly put god first. I was beyond angry after that meeting with the elders. And my family supported their requirements without question. Being 18, I moved away to live with a very dear friend of mine. I also met with the elders there to consider me for baptism. Again I was told I needed to prove my devotion to God. I was informed they had been in contact with my prior congration and had been made aware of my “lack of faith”. I blew my top right there in the hall. I unleashed it all, every doubt I had ever had, the hypocrisy I had witnessed from elders and men of god, the countless hours I had spent since I was a child in the ministry. Just to be told i wasnt good enough again by the men who were suppose to be my shepards. I literally tore my jacket and shirt off and threw at their feet yelling that was the last thing they would ever get from me. My friend who was waiting for me outside heard everything. He was heartbroken. He told me he was mad that they refused me again. I said I no longer care. When he asked me if I still intended to serve God I said, if God wants me to serve him he knows where to find me. Until then, I’m doing my own thing. He said he understood but he asked that I move out if that was the case. I was so angry I didnt even say anything to him. I immediately threw everything in my truck and left. On my way out the driveway he came up to me and asked if we could pray for my safe journey wherever I was going. There were tears in his eyes. To my undying shame, the last words I ever said to him were “You didn’t care enough about me this morning, why should you care now”. Those words will forever haunt me.

    Upon returning home my family held a family meeting in which I was informed that unless I came back to the organization, I was not allowed to have any contact with them. That has held true ever since. Losing my entire family and friends in a single day tore me apart. I turned to alcohol. I still struggle with that even today. A few months later I ran into a recruiter from the army. Since I had never taken an ASVAB in high school that was the first thing we did to prepare me for enlistment. Mind you, despite all my work I only graduated high school with a 2.1 GPA. My recruiter was anxious that I wouldn’t even pass. You should have seen his face when I not only passed but all my line scores were above 110. This basically meant I could do anything I wanted in the army. Army Intelligence even called me trying to give me a job as an interrogator. I couldn’t believe it, after so long of being told I would never be good enough, I had concrete proof that I was. I turned this down however, and joined the infantry. Even though I had left the organization, I continued to having that nagging doubt we all do. What if they were right? While I was deployed to Iraq I even kept up with my bible readings, even though I was sure to die at Armageddon for my sins. I even justified to myself that because Jehovah was sure to kill me anyways, I’d be better off dying in combat. At least my death would mean something. My buddies often told me I was obsessed with dying for my country. The truth was that at that time, I didn’t care if I lived or died. But I made it home.

    During my last year in the army I met my wife through a friend of mine. It was at that moment my entire view of the world changed. She and her two sons showed me a love I had never encountered before. My whole life had been centered around serving. Whether it was god or my family or my country. All my love had been wrapped up in devotion. I’d had brotherhood and comraderie. But they showed me they power of unconditional love and my heart nestled in to this cozy nest of family. I can’t describe with words how she changed my life but I have never needed more than she gave me. She saved my life. I left the military 3 years ago, I quit drinking, and I came to realize that I had worth as a simple man that I never needed to prove to anyone by deeds or actions. Be he god or man. She already saw it. I will love her for what she has done for me forever.

    Here is where my request comes in. 6 months ago I came across your channel. It opened my eyes to all of the fabrications of the organization and quelled that nugget in the back of my mind that asked what if the JWs are right. I started reaching out, subtly, to old friends to help them see ttatt too. The first one I tried to contact was Daniel, the friend who asked me to move out when I left the society. When I finally got a number and I called, his wife answered. She asked how I knew him and I told her. She started crying. After some time she told me what had happened after I left.

    My dear friend Daniel, this is for you. He was baptized shortly before I moved in with him, but not long after I left he started questioning the organization. He was upset that his closet friend was now considered bad assosiation especially after he learned I joined the military. Apparently it never set right with him that all I wanted was a diploma and to be baptized but I was cast out for lack of faith. He then decided to research the organization for himself. Especially the discouragement of higher education. What he found eventually led to his own disassociation. A year after my departure he left as well. His family and friends shunned him and he spent a month trying to put his life back together. That’s when he met his wife. Her own experiences with the Mormon belief and her rejection of it led them to find kindred spirits in each other. They married and she was pregnant soon afterward. With no college degree and a low paying job he sought out options to make a better life for his family. He joined the military. While his wife was terrified of that prospect that he would die overseas and never even meet his little girl, he was confident that it was his best option. He even told her that if the military was good enough for his friend then it was good enough for him. I think he was hoping that our paths would cross and I would forgive him for his actions the day we last saw each other. Daniel was killed in a car bomb attack his first month in Iraq. I never knew that the attack that had happened a few miles from my own F.O.B. was the same that would claim my friends life. My heart aches at the thought of the last thing I ever said to him. I will never forgive myself for allowing my anger at that bastardization of a religion move me to say such a horrible thing to the person I loved more then my own brother. He gave his life for his own brothers overseas and I will always remember the scripture that there is no greater love, then those who would give their lives for their brothers. If Mike could find and read that scripture, I would appreciate it. Not only did he give his life to provide for his family, and protect his brothers overseas but his sacrifice has produced the greatest of fruits.

    The happy ending I promised Kim. After Daniel died his father, his mother, his aunt, and both of his sisters were not only detroyed by it but the elders told them they could not attend his military funeral! They told his father that this was what became of men who left Jehovah, that the wages sin pays was death. They could all remember in their hearts who he was before he left the truth. His father could not believe what they said and this prompted his own departure from the society. Daniel’s mother, sisters and aunt all left shortly after. I guess they couldnt understand how a religion who could profess to being the most loving of all, couldnt find it in themselves to provide comfort to those of a dead family member. Now his entire family are out of the truth and his mother and sister are both certified spiritual counselors for wounded and disabled veterans. His younger sister whose now 18 is looking at applying to law school to become a lawyer. They all miss Daniel very much, but they are determined to live, as they see it, how he would have wanted them to in his memory. As for myself, I will always hold him dear to my heart and to my soul. I left him behind but I like to think he never left me. My wife constantly reminds me that I’m a good man and a good husband. I don’t always believe her, but I think about Daniel and I know what he would have wanted me to do. So, a little more each day, I strive to be the good man he thought I was.

    So please knock on the cross for the old timers for me, but for my friend Daniel, and all the men and women who served their country after leaving the watchtower society, giving their lives selflessly so men like the governing body can have the freedom they take for granted so blythely, please tack up a little hanging flag. The stars of the flag are to be on the left when it hangs. Thank you both for everything you do, and never stop the fight.

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