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Author Topic: I'm a former Jehovah's Witness, AMA!  (Read 1652 times)
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Eel Snave
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« on: August 03, 2014, 04:55:38 PM »

(Apologies for the Reddit-esque title.)

So here's the story: I've been one of Jehovah's Witnesses since I was 2. I finally just recently realized what a pile of lies it is, so I've left and am forging my own path now. It's terrifying.

Anyway, ask away. Anything you want to know about the people who knock on your door?
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2014, 05:16:40 PM »

Let's make up for lost time, then shall we?







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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 06:59:03 PM »

They were here just yesterday to tell us that they have a new website. For some reason my wife found that hilarious.

FWIW I don't think they're any weirder than any other Christian sect, just less familiar. The Scientologists and Christian Scientists have taken over the wacky ground that JWs used to occupy. I'm curious, though, about what put you over the top.
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2014, 07:18:23 PM »

For some reason, I initially read that subject line as "I'm a former Jehovah's Witness, MMA!" and wondered what the hell those two things had to do with each other.
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2014, 07:25:22 PM »

Was there a "final straw"?  Or was it more just a gradual separation?
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2014, 07:34:43 PM »

Glad to hear it.  Would be interested in hearing what caused the change.

Also, now that you're free to explore actual Christianity, get an NIV Bible and start reading in John and Matthew.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2014, 07:41:29 PM by ATB » Logged
Eel Snave
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2014, 08:14:51 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on August 03, 2014, 06:59:03 PM

They were here just yesterday to tell us that they have a new website. For some reason my wife found that hilarious.

They're really pushing it hard. They're trying to rebrand themselves, putting the logo and website EVERYWHERE.

Quote from: Gratch on August 03, 2014, 07:25:22 PM

Was there a "final straw"?  Or was it more just a gradual separation?

It started because JWs are old-earth creationists that firmly believe that man is 6000 years old because the Bible says so. I started doing research into carbon dating in order to prove it wrong, and of course I couldn't. The more research I did into it, the more airtight it was. Then, I started researching evolution, then found out some hypocritical things about the organization, and that was that.

Quote from: ATB on August 03, 2014, 07:34:43 PM

Also, now that you're free to explore actual Christianity, get an NIV Bible and start reading in John and Matthew.

It's funny: I thought I was going to be an atheist, but I don't feel that way. A lot of ex-JWs are atheists, though, just because of how they've been treated.
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2014, 08:54:36 PM »

Are there any secret things you're not supposed to tell non JWs?
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Eel Snave
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2014, 09:56:07 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on August 03, 2014, 08:54:36 PM

Are there any secret things you're not supposed to tell non JWs?

Eh, not really. It's not like Scientology that has a whole other separate set of beliefs once you achieve a certain "rank." However, there are things that they try and keep hidden until you get to know them more, like they believe that everyone who's not actively a JW will die very shortly, that they have the one true religion, and that if you become a JW and then leave, you will be ostracized by the JW community and they won't even look at you or say "Hi" to you.
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Ironrod
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2014, 10:59:24 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on August 03, 2014, 08:14:51 PM


It started because JWs are old-earth creationists that firmly believe that man is 6000 years old because the Bible says so. I started doing research into carbon dating in order to prove it wrong, and of course I couldn't. The more research I did into it, the more airtight it was. Then, I started researching evolution, then found out some hypocritical things about the organization, and that was that.


Oh yeah, that belief is impossible to defend without rejecting science almost entirely. Geology, cosmology, and most of biology all fall apart without deep time, let alone anthropology and archeology and, obviously, evolution. The entire observable cosmos would have to fit within a 6,000-light-year sphere if light could not be older than that.

Anatomically modern humans have been around for 200,000 years and cultural practices like burial rituals, music, and sophisticated tool making go back 50,000 years, but prehistory only started to yield to history much more recently. 6,000 years is a fair estimate for the beginning of anthropocene time. It was the beginning of the universe as far as human civilization is concerned.

But you've figured this all out for yourself, and that's to be applauded.
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2014, 12:53:07 AM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on August 03, 2014, 09:56:07 PM

Quote from: Teggy on August 03, 2014, 08:54:36 PM

Are there any secret things you're not supposed to tell non JWs?

Eh, not really. It's not like Scientology that has a whole other separate set of beliefs once you achieve a certain "rank." However, there are things that they try and keep hidden until you get to know them more, like they believe that everyone who's not actively a JW will die very shortly, that they have the one true religion, and that if you become a JW and then leave, you will be ostracized by the JW community and they won't even look at you or say "Hi" to you.

I was friends with a JW family as a kid and I used to talk to the mother quite a bit (I had a crush on her). She was so scared of being ostracized that it controlled her life. Almost everyone she knew was JW, she was having doubts about the religion, and if she did something to screw up they would drop her. Her cousin was caught smoking and refused to quit, so she was ostracized and my friend was really upset because she was supposed to drop contact with her cousin but didn't want to, her husband was putting pressure on her to do it as well. It really put a negative light on religion for me early on.

Congrats on getting out of it. Hopefully you didn't loose too many people in the process.
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2014, 12:38:19 PM »

Who is Jahova and what did he witness?
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2014, 01:33:40 PM »

The real reason for the ostracizing is to control people and keep them in fear of leaving the church, but do they give you another "feel good" reason to do it?

Also, is it true that JWs don't vote?
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Eel Snave
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2014, 02:04:00 PM »

Quote from: corruptrelic on August 04, 2014, 12:38:19 PM

Who is Jahova and what did he witness?

Jehovah is supposedly God's name. The "Witness" part is that JWs are witnessing about him.

Quote from: Scraper on August 04, 2014, 01:33:40 PM

The real reason for the ostracizing is to control people and keep them in fear of leaving the church, but do they give you another "feel good" reason to do it?

Oh, no doubt. But what we're taught is that it's to keep the congregation pure and that it's a "loving arrangement" for those who are kicked out. I know, when I say it that way it sounds ridiculous, but it really works as a control mechanism. Funny, though: I've reached out to several ex-Witnesses, and they were all far more understanding and non-judgmental about MY shunning them than I was while I was shunning them.

Quote from: Scraper on August 04, 2014, 01:33:40 PM

Also, is it true that JWs don't vote?

Yes, it is. They use a scripture where Jesus says that his disciples are no part of the world and apply it to any number of innocuous practices.
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Harpua3
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2014, 05:10:22 PM »

One less guy knocking on my door is always good. Tongue

And like above...

Happy bday for all those years!
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wonderpug
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hmm...


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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2014, 05:17:25 PM »

Are JWs discouraged from interacting with non-JWs?  I had a good friend for most of my K-12 life who was a JW, and when he graduated high school he moved to NYC to the JW headquarters and pretty much cut off all contact with all of his friends.
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Eel Snave
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2014, 06:37:33 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on August 04, 2014, 05:17:25 PM

Are JWs discouraged from interacting with non-JWs?  I had a good friend for most of my K-12 life who was a JW, and when he graduated high school he moved to NYC to the JW headquarters and pretty much cut off all contact with all of his friends.

Yup. That was the reason that I was starting to avoid this forum, for example. I feared I was getting too close to you bunch of heathens. We're frequently encouraged to look at non-JWs as "acquaintances" and not "friends." When I was in 2nd grade I even told a kid that I wasn't his friend because he wasn't a JW. If you have "worldly" friends you're kind of ostracized.
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hmm...


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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2014, 06:49:03 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on August 04, 2014, 06:37:33 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on August 04, 2014, 05:17:25 PM

Are JWs discouraged from interacting with non-JWs?  I had a good friend for most of my K-12 life who was a JW, and when he graduated high school he moved to NYC to the JW headquarters and pretty much cut off all contact with all of his friends.

Yup. That was the reason that I was starting to avoid this forum, for example. I feared I was getting too close to you bunch of heathens. We're frequently encouraged to look at non-JWs as "acquaintances" and not "friends." When I was in 2nd grade I even told a kid that I wasn't his friend because he wasn't a JW. If you have "worldly" friends you're kind of ostracized.

Is there a switch at age 18 or something? For his school years, he made friends like any other kid. The no birthday party thing was pretty much the only thing that made him stand out a bit. His JW parents were also super friendly and welcoming to all us non-JW friends.
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hitbyambulance
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2014, 08:40:14 PM »

one of my aunts was super JW and sent my brother and i identical illustrated Bible Story kid's books (the ones with the painted illustrations... you know what i mean.) also forbid my cousin from playing Dungeons & Dragons with us, but we did it anyways. no judgement of JHWH came upon him for that crime, as far as i can tell. for a much later holiday, we received identical "Evolution... Let's Talk About It"-kinda books (which went unread, forever).
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Harpua3
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2014, 09:33:26 AM »

Quote from: hitbyambulance on August 04, 2014, 08:40:14 PM

one of my aunts was super JW and sent my brother and i identical illustrated Bible Story kid's books (the ones with the painted illustrations... you know what i mean.) also forbid my cousin from playing Dungeons & Dragons with us, but we did it anyways. no judgement of JHWH came upon him for that crime, as far as i can tell. for a much later holiday, we received identical "Evolution... Let's Talk About It"-kinda books (which went unread, forever).

Something about the usage of "super JW" was surprisingly entertaining .
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Eel Snave
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« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2014, 01:18:17 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on August 04, 2014, 06:49:03 PM

Is there a switch at age 18 or something? For his school years, he made friends like any other kid. The no birthday party thing was pretty much the only thing that made him stand out a bit. His JW parents were also super friendly and welcoming to all us non-JW friends.

Not really. In school, you're forced to be friends with other people. I was fairly normal in high school myself, but once school was over, I did nothing but preaching. Probably that's what happened to him too. That's my best guess, not sure.

Quote from: hitbyambulance on August 04, 2014, 08:40:14 PM

one of my aunts was super JW and sent my brother and i identical illustrated Bible Story kid's books (the ones with the painted illustrations... you know what i mean.) also forbid my cousin from playing Dungeons & Dragons with us, but we did it anyways. no judgement of JHWH came upon him for that crime, as far as i can tell. for a much later holiday, we received identical "Evolution... Let's Talk About It"-kinda books (which went unread, forever).

Oh yeah. Before this all went down, I started reading my son the Bible Story book, and then I realized: These stories are NOT appropriate for toddlers! That stopped that. Also, the evolution book is full of misquotes and misrepresentations, even making Carl Sagan look like a creationist at one point.
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« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2014, 03:01:32 AM »

Quote from: ATB on August 03, 2014, 07:34:43 PM

Glad to hear it.  Would be interested in hearing what caused the change.

Also, now that you're free to explore actual Christianity, get an NIV Bible and start reading in John and Matthew.

I would recommend an NRSV with the Apocrypha. If you're getting a Bible, might as well get a complete one. smile

Eel, I'm sorry that your religion tried to lock you away from the world like that. That's certainly not the sort of religion that Jesus founded. There are plenty of Christian denominations that focus on Jesus' actual teachings, and don't expect you to see such crazy things as literal creationism. To put a plug in for my own religion, the Episcopal Church would definitely welcome you, and there's almost certainly one near you.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 03:07:54 AM by Fireball » Logged

hepcat
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« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2014, 02:06:12 PM »

What exactly DID Jesus teach, though?  All we have are the written words of so many people...most with agendas...that it's become impossible to know what Christianity really stands for.

I think we should start our own care bear style church.  Keep out the evil PvP'ers and just be content with PvE.
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« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2014, 11:44:01 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on August 07, 2014, 02:06:12 PM

What exactly DID Jesus teach, though?  All we have are the written words of so many people...most with agendas...that it's become impossible to know what Christianity really stands for.

I think we should start our own care bear style church.  Keep out the evil PvP'ers and just be content with PvE.

I would burn that church down to the ground, then collect my xp
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« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2014, 02:57:17 AM »

Quote from: hepcat on August 07, 2014, 02:06:12 PM

What exactly DID Jesus teach, though?  All we have are the written words of so many people...most with agendas...that it's become impossible to know what Christianity really stands for.
I was raised catholic, but this became my problem with all religion... Everything has been handed down by people... You are really putting your faith in the various people of various religions who put their faith in people that have been dead for centuries... Plus, assuming there is a god (or gods), the various books,scrolls, etc were written by people.. How re they supposed to interpret what an almighty being really means?
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2014, 03:28:50 AM »



Which one has it right?
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« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2014, 12:59:35 PM »

Man, if only I'd spent my skill points differently I could've gone with the Assyrian Orthodox tree instead of going full Methodist.  Now my character is just gimped.   icon_frown
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« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2014, 09:03:25 PM »

Thanks for the kind words, Fireball! I'm not looking for anything different right now. All of the wounds are a little too fresh for me to be into religion, so I'm just digging in to science and philosophy for a while, reading a ton.
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« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2014, 08:27:39 AM »

Quote from: hepcat on August 08, 2014, 12:59:35 PM

Man, if only I'd spent my skill points differently I could've gone with the Assyrian Orthodox tree instead of going full Methodist.  Now my character is just gimped.   icon_frown

Lutheran is the way to go, cuz then you get the felt wall hangings
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hepcat
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« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2014, 02:24:56 PM »

Yes, but can they dual wield?
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« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2014, 04:04:46 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on August 08, 2014, 12:59:35 PM

Man, if only I'd spent my skill points differently I could've gone with the Assyrian Orthodox tree instead of going full Methodist.  Now my character is just gimped.   icon_frown

But dude, the Pentacostal capstone ability is pure awesome.
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hepcat
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« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2014, 05:03:13 PM »

What kind of DPS are we talking about?
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« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2014, 07:03:41 PM »

It's more of a support ability. Speaking in tongues while handling snakes.
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« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2014, 02:22:10 AM »

The Salvation Army is a denomination?
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« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2014, 03:48:47 AM »

Yes
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« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2014, 04:31:49 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on August 03, 2014, 08:14:51 PM



It's funny: I thought I was going to be an atheist, but I don't feel that way. A lot of ex-JWs are atheists, though, just because of how they've been treated.

Come on over. The atheist waters great!  icon_wink

I still love you ATB smile
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« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2014, 08:15:24 PM »

Quote from: Roman on August 14, 2014, 04:31:49 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on August 03, 2014, 08:14:51 PM



It's funny: I thought I was going to be an atheist, but I don't feel that way. A lot of ex-JWs are atheists, though, just because of how they've been treated.

Come on over. The atheist waters great!  icon_wink

My brain says that atheism is correct, my heart says no. Either way, when God stuff comes up against science stuff, science stuff wins from now on.
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« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2014, 09:25:13 PM »

Certainly a different tack from some local boys:  Dallas researchers are out to scientifically prove the biblical version of creation

I've been on your current road.  It's an interesting journey with a lot of steps in between.
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« Reply #38 on: August 15, 2014, 11:09:17 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on August 15, 2014, 09:25:13 PM


Starting with a conclusion and cherry-picking evidence to support it is neither science nor research, no matter how many letters you can string after your name. But I assume we all know that just as well as the ICR "researchers" do not.
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« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2014, 12:44:03 PM »

Is it true that JW's believe only 144,000 souls get to go to heaven?

If so, didn't they hit that number a long time ago?
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