What is the purpose of your content? / Why do you write about witness topics?
As a faded witness, and particularly one who carried the burden of doubt for an extended period of time, I know how difficult it can be when you have questions that you don’t feel safe asking. There are certain points that don’t strike you quite right during meetings, or a passage in the bible or a publication might raise considerable red flags but you may not have anyone to go to who will listen to you, much less help you with why these things are bothering you. In some cases, bringing these types of concerns to the attention of others can be dangerous and result in discipline by the congregation, perhaps even disfellowshipping if the elders aren’t satisfied with your acceptance of the standard answers.
It is a common thread in many stories of ex-JWs that dealing with doubts over extended amounts of time and not being able to get satisfying answers to their questions leads to frustration, depression, anxiety, guilt, fear and even serious suicidal thoughts. Often, the person will go through multiple phases of doubting, each time eventually “pushing down” their doubts and trying to “double down” in their organizational activities. The frequency with which those two expressions appear seems to show a shared pattern for many who have gone through this process.
By laying out the discussions I do on this site, I’m hoping to help give voice to some of the reasons people generally doubt or develop concern over witness and bible teachings. When I finally allowed myself to seek objective information, albeit at the time not anything specifically about JW beliefs, I finally was able to hear people speak about topics that had caused me a lot of frustration and confusion and flesh them out far more than I ever could have myself. For the first time I didn’t feel alone and isolated by my thoughts. Iwould like to provide another resource that might help some to find relief.
Another aspect of the searching process that can cause anxiety is the sense of impending loss. When one has been raised as a witness or has been in the organization for some time, all of his or her hopes for the future, system of values, sense of purpose and social network is tied to being a JW. The thought of losing any one of those things much less all of them and much more can cause very real dread. Through the Watchtower publications, witnesses are taught that those who are not also witnesses are in darkness, blind, misled, immoral, without hope, etc. It is said that the world will chew you up and spit you out. Some individuals even go to the extent of saying that if someone doesn’t believe in god, they might as well rape, steal and kill since without god there is no objective morality and, thus, no reason to act in a normal way. “Just follow your impulses” they may say. This is nonsense (see my article here to learn why) but it is just one of the many things that they use to put up a wall of fear to keep you in their system of thinking.
Another reason for my writing is to catalog my thoughts at this point in time before my ability to think like a witness fades. Being able to understand both sides is key to having a good debate. I want to get my ideas recorded before it becomes harder to do so.