I used to be a JW also, was raised a witness and about 20 years ago quit going because a lot of the stuff they were teaching was not right, especially the 1914 end time prophecy. If I give my Ex husband credit for anything it would be questioning some of the JW's beliefs and it got me thinking, I would've never done it on my own, didn't want to make any waves. He wrote to Freeminds and read the Franz book 'Crisis of Conscience'.
Anyway, I didn’t think any one religion was really right so I just decided to occasionally read the Bible and follow the commandments that Jesus told his disciples when they asked what they needed to be saved, (love God with your whole heart and your neighbor as yourself) and I would leave the rest to God.
Then, a JW aunt of mine died (all my inlaws and family are JW’s) it suddenly hit me, what did I believe, what happens when we die, my parents will die soon and then me, etc and what’s really going to happen. I guess I somehow held on to the prospect that all my family and myself would live on into a new world type situation. So I was in a heap of confusion and needing to establish again what do I really believe? I wasn’t a witness, but I wasn’t anything else either. I felt like I was having a mini- breakdown. I don’t know if any particular religion is 100% right, but they're closer than the witnesses. The witnesses also said the bible said there was only one true religion, but actually it says there is only one true FAITH (Christian). Even though I distanced myself from the witnesses and told people I was no longer one, I still had some of the ‘old baggage beliefs’ and I needed to root out theirs truth, accept or reject it and move on. I have since found a couple of non denominational churches that I attend and let me tell you it was something the first time I stepped into a ‘wordly’ church. However, I found out that the people there can be loving and not judgmental as the witnesses and they were actually teaching from the Bible. My husband who was raised a catholic (and not really into being a catholic) accompanied me to these churches to help me out and I think in the process he also helped himself out. We do need fellowship, the same like mind and Christian concern fellowship. I have even gone to bible studies at these churches which were very nice. They have a lot more activities then the witnesses and my big observation was I found other churches do a lot more for people, not just for the ones going to their church but for others outside the church, the witnesses don't really help others, they have to judge them first to see if they're worthy of their help. They are too quick to determine if they are ‘weak’ or ‘strong’ in the organization before they help them. Anyway, the first step to all this was research and Freeminds helped tremendously!
I was raised a 3rd generation JW and never even thought to question the doctrines I was taught. Depression brought my life down from my mid 30s. When I needed support the most I was disfellowshipped and forced out of my family. Pretty much hit rock bottom and started to search for the real truth. Thanks to the Free Minds website I started on my road to recovery from that high control cult. Reading the experiences of others made me realise I wasn't alone and I have been healing ever since. I would recommend Free Minds to any active JW to see what their organisation is really about.
I became a JW when I was 19. I continued with it for just over 27 years, but was never truly happy and had many years on anti depressants. When I realised that I was not the only person to feel the way I did and had same concerns as many others this organisation gave me the tools and understanding to make the break with no regrets. I have four boys, two of which, still attend with their father. I do not want to become a bitter and vengeful person in attacking this cult but when opportunity comes up I do lay the facts down to anyone ready to listen. I love the Freeminds website and encourage people to check it out and evaluate the information for themselves.
I became a witness at 17 years old. My mother had been "re-instated" after being disfellowshpped when she left my father and remarried. I was a "defender of the faith" for 26 years. At 40 years old I started college; I could not support myself and my son on cleaning jobs anymore! At 42 years old I began to question the teachings I'd held dear. I found "Associated Jehovah's Witness for Reform" and in 3 months went from defending the religion to acknowledging that it is a cult (see Robert Lifton's 8 criteria). I spent many nights at the computer reading the "spiritual pornography" written by many ex-witnesses. I found that many persons who were now "out" were stuck in anger and hate and seemed to be spending as much time trying to get other witnesses out of the religion as they had formerly spend trying to get people in. I found Randy's site and saw a real difference in his approach. He is not 'preachy' or hateful; he does tell the truth about his experience at Bethel. He gives people a real platform for telling their own experience, too. Over the years I have sent many persons to his site for information and encouragement. He strives for quality and thoughtfulness versus random ranting in what he shares on the site. I really respect him for that!
When I was first struggling with the thought of leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses over 16 years ago, after having been a devout member and well respected elder and convention speaker for over 30 years, I ran across Freeminds and began reading experiences of others who had struggled with the same questions and walked a similar path. Because we were forbidden to consider any of the counterarguments while in the Jehovah's Witness religion, and were taught that they would be filled with lies and totally fictional accounts, I found myself marveling at the similarity of others' stories to my own; and realized that since my story was true, then there was cause to believe theirs was as well. Randy has consistently presented truthful, factual and balanced information. Freeminds was my first step to Freedom, and I regularly point others seeking a balance of reason and thought to www.freeminds as an important part of their journey to a healthy life and a free mind.
Freeminds helped me immensely when I was leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses and needed information and support. Coming out of a high control cult is difficult and this site really helped me.
FreeMinds is an excellent site that helped me (several years ago now) and is helping now to thousands of JWs and x-JWs to find a purpose in life. FreeMinds provides accurate information about the WTBTS and their religious system, and exposes their lies.
Freeminds provides online support for the thousands of people who are wrapped up in the Jehovah's Witness organization, searching for ways to get out. Through the experiences and support of many many exWitnesses, Freeminds provides an honest look at the Jehovah's Witness history and dogma, and empowers members to question what they are taught, freeing their minds.