Question / Comment - A former JW likes the site
As a former Jehovah's Witness of over 40 years I have to say that your website is one of the best I have seen and has some great points to help current JW's (if you can get them to listen!). Can you tell me if you have a newsletter that I can subscribe to? Many thanks.
thanks for the email. I doubt there are many JW's reading the site but pleased to see that you think it has good info if they did. I just try to focus on our awesome Savior and God, Jesus Christ.
I don't have a newsletter sorry. I just put what I write on the site.
I'm interested in your story. If you were in the JW's for 40 years how did you see the truth and get out? Did someone help you? Did you see something in God's word about who Jesus is? If you have time let me know : )
Readers Reply - Testimony from an Ex-Jehovah Witness
Many thanks for your reply and interest in my previous life as a JW.
You asked a couple of questions re my exiting from the JW’s. It’s a long story as these things usually are but I’ll be extremely brief.
I was extremely busy in the JW organisation as I was a Ministerial Servant and was close to being appointed as an Elder. I was looking after a number of “privileges” within the congregation here in Scarborough. I was looking after literature and then given the position as the Public Talk coordinator. Shortly after that I was visiting congregations and giving public talks. Life as a JW was busy in many other ways but thankfully my wife is extremely supportive to me and certainly was when it came to Congregation matters.
Something personal happened that caused my wife and I to question the methods used by a certain elder in relation to what had happened to us. Sorry to be vague but, as mentioned, it is a long story. I have an enquiring mind and I was not one to just accept what I was being told by the elders, especially due to the fact that what I was being told did not fall in line with the scriptures. I approached the London Bethel with my concerns. The reply was that, basically, my wife and I should just rely on Jehovah.
I started to look into the problem more and more using the internet and finding things that shocked me. In the past as a Jehovah’s Witness I never looked at internet material that was negative about JW’s. You can perhaps imagine my surprise when I learned about child abuse within the organisation and how it was never reported to the police. I learned about misquoting other literature to suit their own doctrines. I saw quite clearly that their doctrines (in many cases) were obtained from carefully cherry picked scriptures. I then started to read the bible on it’s own without the aid of Watchtower material and for the first time scriptures were making sense. It was like reading the bible for the first time!
Sometime passed and I obtained a book called “Crisis of Conscience” by ex JW and Governing Body member, Ray Franz. He was disfellowshipped (Excommunicated) about 1980 if I remember right. It fully opened my eyes, and that of my wife. There is an elderly JW near to where we live. I lent her the book. A few weeks passed when out of the blue we had elders knocking on our door. They were basically investigating the fact that I had lent this book to the person mentioned and why I had been speaking to another person about things that were seen as apostasy. My wife was feeling under tremendous pressure and she was of the opinion that we should disassociate from the JW’s. A case of jumping before we could be pushed.
As we were “good JW’s” we never had friends in the “world” and all our children were JW’s. Because we came out we lost everyone. Whenever we see a local JW they will not speak to us, we are shunned. The worst of all this is that our children will not speak to us and we are not allowed contact with any of our six grandchildren. We came away from that organisation into a world that was alien to us. A world that we thought was going to be destroyed at any minute. A world where we could trust no one.
My wife suffered two mini strokes (TIA) and her health (as with myself) is not good. At the start of this year my wife had to be rushed to hospital. I went against her will and tried to reach out to our children to tell them the situation. They did not bother. But we are reaping what we have sown. I would have acted this way to a large extent when I was a JW. When our daughter was disfellowshipped many years ago I would not give her away. This is how JW’s react even to their own family!
Sorry to ramble on but hopefully this as answered some of your questions.
The good news is that we have one or two ex JW friends further down the coast and we now have Jesus (the real Jesus) in our lives. We are now children of God and are slowly but surely getting over the trauma of the things we left behind. Obviously we have the day to day sorrows of losing our close family. My wife and I are in torment most days. We keep relying on Christ and reading the scriptures.
Thanks again for your interest and thank you for what you are doing.
Kind regards and blessings.
Thanks so much for sharing Paul. It was really encouraging to see your courageous stand in the face of adversity and sad at the same time in terms of losing your family (at the moment at least - God is likely not finished there!) and the toll it has taken on you and your wife. I can only imagine how hard it would have been to break away knowing the cost it would be. You have really had to live verses such as:
Mat 10:37-39 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; (38) and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (39) Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
I really liked how you said:
"I then started to read the bible on it’s own without the aid of Watchtower material and for the first time scriptures were making sense. It was like reading the bible for the first time!"
That is so true. God speaks through His word and all the more without others like the Watchtower confusing things!
I won't take up much more of your time but was curious how long you have been out for? And whether you have tried to find a Bible believing Church in your area? Apart from the ex-JW's you spoke of have you met other true believers? I hope so. We need one another in the body.
God Bless, thanks once again for sharing your encouraging testimony!
Readers Reply - Testimony from an Ex-Jehovah Witness
Thanks for your reply and kind words.
In answer to you questions. We stopped going to meetings 5 years ago but didn’t officially come out (disassociate) until November 2019. We went to a local church called Trinity church (quite ironic as the Trinity is a teaching that I said back in the 70s I could never ever accept – I think our Father had other ideas!). Our problem is that my hearing is not good and it is somewhat arduous to attend. Also our health is not good and so this is an added burden. We hope to go occasionally if possible. We have fellowship with some other ex JW’s in Kingston upon Hull.
The stress in coming out it affects one physically, mentally and emotionally. In my experience I have heard and have seen that there is quite a wide spectrum of ex JW’s and how they deal with their new life. The vast majority, at least here in the UK, come out and become agnostic or at worst, atheist. Over the last few years I guess there are around a dozen in Scarborough that have stopped attending the Witness meetings or who are disfellowshipped. There is only three of us that have retained out faith. Due to the pressures of being shunned and not knowing what they believe some have taken their life. When we have spoken to ones at the church we find they are sympathetic but do not understand the fact that ex JW’s have basically come out of a cult! Obviously, they cannot do much but pray. We try to emphasise that they must be extremely patient with ex JW’s. Sometimes it can take years. We have an ex JW friend some 50 miles from us. He came out over 20 years ago and is still affected When we came out but kept faith in God and then came to the real Jesus we still did not comprehend or accept many of the differences we saw and heard. This included matters such as the Trinity, Politics and religion, female roles in the church, praying for politicians, birthdays, Christmas, Mothers and Fathers day etc, etc. I think the majority just expect a JW to adapt. It really is not that simple.
Maybe others might want to know more or how to approach JW’s with the real Good News. I welcome any help I can give to others – maybe I see it as a form of penitence for knocking on peoples doors for all those years 😊
Happy to help in any way I can.