my being born into the witness religion is due to my mother. she was born to a poor uneducated couple who lived in abandoned houses and even a train car at one point. she was the third of 9 children. the two older sisters left as soon as they could which left my mom as the oldest child. my grandmother was not mentally fit to care for the children, so that job fell to my mother. when she was 12, witnesses called on them and told my mom of a magical place where noone is hungry and noone is sick and everyone has a place to live. she ate it up hook line and sinker. she quickly became a witness and made sure all of her younger siblings did too. when she was in her early 20s she went on tour with a pioneer sister and her family. they went around to military bases and performed shows (not sure how that happened. seems like witnesses would frown on that). my mom was given the task of watching the performer's son while the group rehearsed. at a military base in louisiana my mom met my dad who was in basic training at the time for the airforce. they started writing each other and my mom told him she wouldnt date him unless he was a witness. so he quit the airforce and became a witness.
as far back as i can remember i always had this lingering doubt about the validity of not just the religion, but the entire god idea. i buried those thoughts and told myself it was the devil tempting me. i turned down three full paid scholarships upon graduating and decided to throw my life away pioneering. still regret it to this day. i became a pioneer and ministerial servant. in 2001 my pioneer partner, clint, and i wrote the society and asked to serve where the need is great. they sent us a letter back with a list of three congregations that needed help. one in nebraska, south dakota, and north dakota. we chose the one in north dakota and moved in february 2001. this was the beginning of the end.
ive talked to clint about our move and we both agreed it was to get away from our families and friends and have freedom, but we wouldnt admit it at the time. our super spiritual attitudes didnt last long after we moved. we both served as ministerial servants until clint was disfellowshipped. i got married to a witness and moved back to atlanta. it was at that point, having lost my lifelong best friend, that i started questioning the shunning doctrine. my faith quickly crumbled as i began using my critical thinking abilities to exam my beliefs and my life. i became irregular and eventually inactive over the following two years.
ironically, it was only after i left religion that i actually studied it with an open mind. i found all of it to be laughable. i had never noticed how elementary the witness literature is. it is written like their audience is retarded.
my wife continues be active. we have had discussions about religion, but after she demanded to know why i hate the witnesses so much (she read my blogs and rants about witnesses and religion in general on various websites) i laid it out plain and simple. she stared blankly at me and had nothing to say. every objection she raised, every standard watchtower response she gave i quickly discredited. i had proven to her that her religion was complete bullshit and she knew it. she had no answers and immediately started crying. that was the last time we talked about religion or the witnesses.
she once asked elders to call on me to talk about my doubts. the points i brought out, in particular contradictions throughout the bible, both in text and theme, were met with the standard answer: "we will have to do some research and we can get back to you". they didnt come back for weeks. i finally made my wife talk to them when she went to the meeting and ask them why they didnt come back. so they returned with 'answers' which i questioned by reasoning with them from the scriptures. their (the governing body's) answers to bible contradictions didnt hold water and i made it abundantly clear to them. i could tell they were embarrassed because i had been in the same situation before. i have had the same expression on my face when someone brought up a point i couldnt refute. its a look of fear and panic. they didnt come back. i pointed out to my wife that even the elders cant answer the tough questions. its hard to argue with common sense.
so here i am fighting the fine fight pointing out the hypocrisy of the religious leaders today, making it clear to witnesses that they are part of the scribes and pharisees. they are nothing more than self righteous hypocrites.
if anyone needs conversation points for talking with a witness relative or friend i'd be happy to give you some suggestions. the key to opening a persons mind is lead them through the governing body's reasoning about many of their doctrines. they regularly condemn other religions for what they themselves do. and when they make mistakes they claim the light is getting brighter, whereas when other religions change doctrine it is solid evidence that they are not the true religion. once you help them measure jw teachings, doctrines, and practices with the same measuring stick they use to identify false religions, the answer is clear. the tough part is getting them to admit it. but when someone is willing to be truthful with themselves they are already halfway out the door.