Tell us about your early life as a Jehovah’s Witness:
I was born in. My parents had a pretty rough marriage that ended in divorce. As far as belief goes, I never had much to begin with. I always felt like I was being watched, but I didn’t truly believe in God like everyone around me seemed to. While I was in high school I did a lot of things that most people would get disfellowshipped for, but I never got caught. I always had a tough time with Prayer because I never felt that warm fuzzy feeling that other people described they felt when they prayed, that didn’t exactly help me with my faith.
How would you describe your family life while you were a JW?
Pretty much every argument that I can remember my parents having, coincided with Meeting night. My father was an elder for 5 years or so and a MS for a very long time. My father tended to have outbursts and trouble controlling his anger and the additional stress of being an elder probably didn’t help with this. My mother demonizes my father and always speaks negatively about him to this day, but after talking to him as an adult, I understand that he was under an immense amount of pressure at the time and I suspect he’s a closet atheist but can’t admit it to himself.
How would you describe your level of devotion to the organization prior to waking?
I honestly have been indifferent to the Organization most of my life. I knew I didn’t truly believe but I didn’t really care. I ran mics/sound occasionally, did the prayer once, and read the Watchtower regularly for a couple of years. Other than that I was just a seat filler I guess.
If baptized, why did you decide to take that step? If not, why not?
When I was 12, right before My dad got promoted to Elder, another elder from our congregation was pressuring most of the young ones to get baptized. His daughter got baptized at 8 or 9 and he was heavily hinting to me that it would help my dad to become an elder if I took the plunge. I don’t remember much of my baptism, except that a couple of “friends” of mine that were my age got baptized at the same time. Other than that, the decision that would affect the relationship that I have with everyone I knew at the time and my parents was made at 12 years old. That doesn’t haunt me to this day at all, I swear.
If born-in, what kind of Jehovah’s Witnesses were / are your family?
On my mom’s side: My mother is devout, my uncle is an elder in his congregation, and my grandmother is just as devout.
On my dad’s side: I have no idea. I know my grandmother is devout, but other than that I don’t know enough about this side of the family.
Was your waking up journey sudden or gradual? Describe it for us.
Like I stated earlier, I never truly believed. It took me a while to finally be brave enough to prove to myself that maybe I wasn’t crazy. Maybe the fact that I wasn’t drinking the kool-aid like everyone else was for a reason and that there wasn’t something wrong with me. Once I found JWfacts.com and started reading up on the history of the Watchtower I finally, truly realized it was just another religion and there wasn’t anything special about it.
Did you ever have so-called “doubts”? If so, what were they?
I just simply could not believe the flood. Sorry, but no. Nor could I believe in Adam and Eve. They always sounded like preposterous origin myths on par with Thor and Zeus and all that other stuff to me.
Did you share your so-called “doubts” with anyone, and if so, how did it turn out?
I shared them with my wife. She was sad. She looked them up herself after a couple of months and now she’s not sad. In fact, the depression she was being medicated for is pretty much completely gone. She realized that she was just scared out of her mind the whole time that she wasn’t a good enough witness to not die at Armageddon and she was costing our daughter her life by not being better. The thing that finally pushed her over the edge into actually studying the truth was the bunker video about Negative thinking. As someone who actually suffered from depression, this hurt her enough to realize that maybe the JWs weren’t all shiny up at the top, and that maybe it wasn’t all just a few local imperfect brothers that had problems.
Are you currently being shunned / ostracized by any Jehovah’s Witnesses?
I never had many Witness friends anyway, so it hasn’t been noticeable. My mother still talks to me.
What has changed in your life since waking up?
I started just flat out refusing to go to meetings with my wife or let her guilt me into going. Eventually, after she got over the hurt feelings of being married to an evil Apostate, she started looking into stuff herself. We are now united in Devil Worship and our marriage has never been better.
What does the future hold for you now that you’re awake?
What would you like to say to doubting or questioning JWs who might be reading this?
Investigate investigate investigate. My wife believed it all fully, until she investigated all the bad things herself. There’s a reason why the GB insists that Apostates lie, the fact of the matter is, they just state the truth, and the truth doesn’t prove “The Truth” is the truth.
Do you have anything else to share?
Read the Satanic bible. It’s not about devil worshiping, but it does help with the unreasonable guilt you tend to feel as a person raised in this type of religion.
My Reddit username is Kaosbehemoth