of Former Jehovah's Witnesses
I have read hundreds of experiences and letters from former Jehovah's Witnesses.
That so many people suffered similar treatment, including myself and my close friends, shows that the behaviour of Jehovah's Witnesses is prescribed by the leaders. Some of the following experiences will break your heart. Failed prophecy, changed doctrine and doctrinal irregularities aside, these stories are proof enough that the Watchtower Society is damaging and unchristian. (Most of the names that follow are Internet nicknames.)
Paul Grundy is the story of the author of jwfacts.com. It includes an overview of my life as a Witness, my judicial committee meetings, the letter I wrote requesting my baptism be annulled and how I obtained my personal files from bethel.
Barbara Anderson writes about her experiences as
researcher and writer for the Bethel Writing Department in Brooklyn, particularly in regards to the Proclaimer's Book and on to topic of pedophilia. Her conscience no longer allowed her to be associated with the Watchtower Society, due to the Governing Body's resistance to changing Watchtower policy that protects pedophiles. For a overview on Watchtower policy on pedophiles and the damage this has caused, see Paedophilia
FreeGirl2006 is an experience of the treatment meted out to a pedophile victim.
EFFECT OF SHUNNING
One of the most destructive aspects of high control religions and cults is that they almost universally insist on followers
limiting contact with 'worldly people' and shunning former members. These invariably includes family.
Family are the foundation of society and I can only hope governments start to outlaw religions enforcing such behaviour.
For a detailed look at why shunning family is not scriptural please see Disfellowshipping. A number of short experiences showing shunning in action are at Shunning Experiences.
Merry This story is devastating but beautifully sums up the evil of a religion to impose strict shunning on its followers.
Crumpet Witness children are strongly encourage to be baptised as teenagers. Often they are disfellowshipped whilst still teenagers, at the time in their lives that they most require love. I came across Crumpet on the Internet. She lives in the UK and was enquiring after her uncle in Australia, a brother from my old congregation. I contacted him in an effort to have him contact her.
Moanzy This experience shows how a Witness parent will put the organization ahead of their own children, equating the Watchtower with God.
Sundawn Regardless of their age a accomplishments a shunned child will feel that their parents consider them a disappointment and failure. The intimate questions the elders asked Sundawn at her judicial committee are attested to by many people I know, and are highly traumatic for a teenage girl confronted by three older men.
BETHELITES & GILEAD GRADUATES
People from every level of the organization come to realise that the Watchtower Society does not preach truth. This includes Governing Body members such as Ray Franz, Bethelites and Circuit Overseers. Here are experiences from Gilead Graduates.
All Time Jeff Jeff graduated from the 119th, 2005 class.
Awakened at Gilead Lance was in the 2003 class and has published a series of YouTube clips about his experience.
Moyle vs. Rutherford contains the letter Moyle wrote to Rutherford regarding his unjust, alcohol fueled management of Bethel and discusses the subsequent legal action.
Former worked at Bethel in 2009 producing educational videos and writes about his disillusionment at the whitewash the Watchtower does of its history.
Jake is the fifth generation of a family that joined the Watchtower in the early 1900's. He was part of the International Volunteer Construction Work before coming to the realisation the religion does not teach the truth. His family story is an amazing history of the organisation.
DISASSOCIATION LETTERS & JUDICIAL COMMITTEES
People that disassociate themselves generally have done so after considerable research and thought. Disassociation letters are full of valuable information about what is wrong with the Watchtower Society, and show the heartfelt desire of the person to do what they know is right.
AK Jeff A very well written letter describing the double standard of the Watchtower Society and its political involvements.
Littletoe was an elder that disassociated himself whilst delivering a public talk on mercy. This is the transcript of a recording of his talk.
LeavingWT's PDF disassociation letter. LeavingWT was a former Bethelite. His letter explains his reason to leave due to the Watchtower doctrine on blood transfusions and other changing medical standards.
ConradWest This is the transcript from a judicial appeal committee. It is unusual because the original committee was formed for charges of apostasy, but as there was no concrete evidence of apostasy this was changed to 'loose conduct', on the grounds that he was disrespectful to the elders in the meeting. The appeal supported the 'loose conduct' charge by bringing up prior patterns of conduct. The end is most interesting.
Brant Jones letter to the Governing Body regarding the United Nations scandal, and the Watchtower Society Response.
Twinkletoes Letter to the elders discussing the UN, blood, false prophecies and paedophilia.
LETTERS FROM WITNESSES TO THEIR FAMILY
When active Jehovah's Witnesses write to family members that leave the Organization their letters contain none of the careful phrasing of Watchtower articles. These letters gives great insight into reality as understood by the Witness mind.
Morwen Inactive publishers can be treated as though they are disfellowshipped, such as being experienced by Morwen.
HadEnuf disfellowships her family for shunning her.
Coolhand Luke - A beautifully written letter saying goodbye to family.
Crimsonbleu - Witnesses can be so convinced their opinion alone is correct that they cannot accept members that leave will not return one day. An email from a Witness that is revealing in its dogmatism and an equally strong response showing why many that leave would never consider being a Witness again.
Family of Newly Converted describes the havoc caused on families when a member becomes a Jehovah's Witness. Rather than being considered a personal improvement, the Witness rules and behaviour are seen as unchristian, unloving and hypocritical.
Random Short Experiences is a list of comments I have taken from emails and jehovahs-witness.net. It shows the similarity of fear, guilt or suffering that many Witnesses have experienced.
Michael Jackson An article quoting biographies that outline Michael's experiences being raised as a Jehovah's Witness and the time during which he disassociated.
Parent's Objection to the Baptism of a Minor includes correspondence between an unbelieving father and a body of elders after they went behind his back and baptised his 14 year old son. The father had rightfully requested his son not be baptised until at least 16 years of age.
Darklighter Short and to the point, this article answers the questions common to many Jehovah's Witnesses, identifying the fears they have of leaving, the process that occurs and the affect afterward.
CoffeeBlack The sad story from Debbie Shard regarding Arvid Einar Moody's death on refusing a kidney transplant whilst prohibited by the Watchtower Society.
Disfellowshipped Wife This experience highlights the injustice of disfellowshipping, and how it forces people that do not believe in the Watchtower Society to get reinstated for the sake of family.
Mother of Disfellowshipped Children The guilt of a mother for shunning her own children.
M0nk3y Growing up as a Gay Jehovah's Witness.
Just As I Am feared Armageddon for 20 years after leaving. Guilt and Fear can stay with a former Witness for life. It is important on leaving to spend time researching the history and doctrine to prove to yourself that Jehovah is not using the Watchtower Society and is not going to destroy you at Armageddon.
Chaka The only way to ever clear Watchtower thinking is to research the religion, otherwise moving on will leave chards of wrong thinking that continue to eat away at you for life
NanaR NanaR relates an experience regarding blood transfusions and the changes in doctrine over the decades.
Enlightened Mind A typical story of how growing as a Witness, being disfellowshipped and then shunned by family opens ones eyes to it being a cult.
Nonamegiven A sad story of a family that lost their child.
Sk8erboi The thoughts of a 17 year old coming to the realisation the power of indoctrination does not make it truth.
Paul Grundy 2005 - 2013