1. To help for those who have doubts to understand where they come from and why they won’t go away.
By laying out the discussions that I do on this site, I’m hoping to help give voice to some of the reasons that people may develop doubt or concern over JW teachings and/or bible content. 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. To hear them flesh out those topics far more fully than I could have on my own was an absolute relief! For the first time I didn’t feel alone and isolated by my thoughts. I would like to provide just one more resource that might help some to find this same relief.
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 because it could cause them to question the strength of your belief and become wary of you. They may even tell the elders which could lead to unwanted attention being paid you, congregational discipline, and even disfellowshipping if things go awry.
2. To help those with doubts to understand that they DO NOT need to be afraid or feel guilty. There is a lot of good to be done and to be found outside of the organization.
It is a common thread in many exiting stories told by ex-JWs that dealing with doubts over extended amounts of time and not being able to get satisfying answers to their questions lead them to frustration, guilt, depression, anxiety, fear, suicidal thoughts, and in some cases even attempted suicide. 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.
A particular 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 dread. Through the Watchtower publications, witnesses are taught that non-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 real and objective morality and, thus, no reason to act in a “moral” way. “Just follow your impulses, then” 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 inside of their system of thinking.
3. To catalog my own thoughts and keep a journal of what I’m thinking about for the benefit of others and my future self.
A third 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.