To Jehovah’s Witnesses: Our Experiences At Our Kingdom Halls Aren’t About You

I've never seen a yellow Kingdom Hall in real life before. It just goes to show you that all Kingdom Halls are not alike.

I’ve never seen a yellow Kingdom Hall in real life before. It just goes to show you that all Kingdom Halls are not alike.

Some Jehovah’s Witnesses assume that former Witnesses like me are lying when we talk about our old Kingdom Halls. If you’re one of Jehovah’s Witnesses who has read an experience at Atheist Geek News (or any other ex-Witness site) that doesn’t agree with your experiences at your own Kingdom Hall, please try to remember the following:

Our experiences at our Kingdom Halls have nothing to do with your experiences at your Kingdom Halls. And no, believe it or not, we aren’t lying about our experiences. We don’t have to.

If it’s hard for you to believe that our bad experiences with “the truth” really happened, then consider this: some ex-Witnesses suspect that you guys are the ones who are really lying to us. That’s because many of us had it so bad at our old Hall that we can’t believe you had it so good.

Continue reading

Oompah, A Former Jehovah’s Witness, Has Died

Oompah, also known as Eric Reeder, has committed suicide.

Oompah, also known as Eric Reeder, was a regular contributor to the ex-Jehovah’s Witness community. After losing all contact with his family due to being declared an apostate, he committed suicide. He was 51 years old.

Post from Oompah at JWD just over a year ago about being disfellowshipped.

Comment at JWD about the news of his death:

***g7/09p.29 Is It Wrong to Change Your Religion?***

“No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family.”

Ironically, the religion and publisher of this statement is one of the biggest offenders with their shunning policy of its members who come to the conclusion that their form of worship is unacceptable.

For some, this severe shunning is too much to bear.

For anyone having problems leaving “the truth,” there are plenty of friends out there waiting to hear from you. Please consider reaching out to them. JWD is probably the biggest online forum for ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses out there. There’s also Ex-JW Secularists and JWR.

And in the long run, there’s no shame in talking to a secular therapist or a any kind of therapist, either.

Here’s an article about shunning for those who may have been told that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t shun former members, or that Witnesses only do it out of personal choice and not in compliance with Watchtower teaching.

For The Disfellowshipped, The Bad Associates, And The Disowned: You Really Do Have A Choice

Whether you’re a former Jehovah’s Witness who has been disfellowshipped1 or an atheist who has been disowned from a deeply religious family, take heart. This doesn’t have to be a soul tearing rejection from the only family you will ever get. Far from it.

Here’s what you need to know: no matter what you’ve been told, you can choose your family. Only your relatives are determined by genes and blood. Family is different. Because family is about relationships. If your relatives are bad news…or reject you because they think you’re bad news…you can choose another family based on any criteria you like. Realizing this can put you back in charge of your own life. Even if that means striking out on your own and leaving your old, dysfunctional family behind.

Continue reading

  1. Disfellowshipping is like being excommunicated with a huge dose of shunning iced on top. None of your Witness relatives or friends will even speak to you once you’ve been disfellowshipped. Of course, many ex-Witnesses are shunned just because they’re seen as a bad associate. But that’s another story.