Many of my ex-Jehovah’s Witness readers know that I have written some articles for Austin Cline’s About Atheism & Agnosticism web site. One of the more popular ones is called Jehovah’s Witness To Atheist: How Doubting Witnesses Can Fade, Avoid Shunning – Advice for Jehovah’s Witnesses on Fading from the Watchtower Society. That article was good (thanks, me!) but now I’ve got a bigger, better version for you right here on Atheist Geek News. So if you want to fade from your local Kingdom Hall to avoid being disfellowshipped without going all “The Fugitive” on your family and friends, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s the new list of tips for anyone who wants to fade peacefully into the night.
You glance down at those fresh chocolate covered doughnuts in the Bakery isle and begin to lick your lips. Then you feel something tug at your arm and you turn around in surprise. “You know those are no good for you,” the man tells you with a chuckle. Your heart sinks at his words. You aren’t disappointed because of the bad news. You already knew those doughnuts would ruin your delicate, apple-shaped figure. You recognize the man from your days as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. You know his smile is just a way of getting you to drop your guard in his presence. It isn’t working. “So,” he continues nonchalantly, “I haven’t heard from you in quite a while. Glad I caught you here today. You know, Jehovah loves you and…” Yeah, this isn’t a good day to be an ex-Jehovah’s Witness in the grocery store. That’s because Elder Overbearing here is about to get Medieval on your a*s and embarrass you in front of all of these shoppers. If you let him.
By now, most ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses (or Exxers) have noticed the Watchtower Society’s talent for hyperbole. The Society often depicts “worldly people” as bad associates who choose to dwell in a Satanic world of robbery, lies, and murder. While Jehovah’s Witnesses are portrayed as good, steadfast, and honest to a fault, always struggling to save an unappreciative world from itself. Rarely does the Society show us the middle ground where both sides actually dwell. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses really do take this point of view seriously. They may even start to wonder about the sort of person who would leave the Watchtower Society’s perfect world for the one that’s just outside their Kingdom Halls. In my experience, their conclusions about Exxers aren’t very pretty. To many Jehovah’s Witnesses, we’re all just a bunch of miserable apostates out to ruin their chance for eternal life in a paradise Earth. Are the Witnesses right about us? Even more importantly, are we doing more to prove them right than prove them wrong?
Most ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses know how hard it is to stand up for themselves when Witness friends and family come a-calling. Our brains seem to shut down and go all blinky when the questions and accusations fly. So we just stand there and wait for the Witnesses to leave us alone. Then, as we watch them back out of our driveway, the responses we wanted come flooding back. We feel like fools because the answers weren’t there when we needed them!
So where the hell did they go?! Continue reading