After leaving the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses we learned even more eye-opening things about it. Then we applied the same scrutiny to the book that everything we ever believed was based on. Where did we end up? How is our life now? How will I end this last episode of my story? Listen to find out.
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[00:01:59] I’m going to break down the nearly two years since my wife and I left the call in different sections to tie up some loose ends and and report on what life has been like after the call. So let’s just jump right in. First section we’re going to talk about is what I’ve learned since leaving the cold about the cold admittedly Jehovah’s Witnesses know very little about the religion that they pledged their loyalty to. As far as history goes and they also honestly don’t know a lot about what is involved in it. Presently you see a good magician only shows you what they want you to see. They don’t slow things down and show you the sleight of hand used to make the allusion appear seamless to your naked eye. I’ve had time now to slow things down to get away from the indoctrination and to get that detailed look at things that I never even had any clue were going on. Around the time that I was coming out there were two big events that happened in the Colts. First the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Again these are the leaders of the cult. They started coming out from behind the curtain. Now when I was growing up. One of the selling points of the cult was that our leaders were unknown to us. So it couldn’t be a call right. You know these people were behind the scenes they weren’t doing it for personal glory. So it wasn’t like we were following some man. Well those men have now decided to make themselves known. And it is glorious.
[00:03:28] Now I’m just going to sit here and take shots at them unnecessarily. But if you’ve ever seen a picture of them or if you ever hear them speak the mental illness in them just drips off their words one of them looks like a caricature of Cecil the turtle from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons and speaks about like him. It is so creepy. Others have he’s really flat facts as though they are dead inside something that kind of tends to do anyway to people by robbing them of their humanity. But they are truly caricatures. Now one day around when I left there was a huge meeting that was broadcast throughout all the congregations. This was a big deal.
[00:04:11] It was a special thing and everyone flocked to their kingdom halls to watch this live stream on video screens of the governing body during a special meeting. This
[00:04:21] wasn’t something that the average Jehovah’s Witness ever got to see.
[00:04:26] There were these annual meetings that were held up at Bethel or the headquarters in New York in New York City. But this wasn’t something that the average person got to participate in. But they took the opportunity to come out pretty much to great fanfare to be seen on these video screens that each congregation would either buy or rent so that they could show the members this live stream now this is a great chance.
[00:04:58] The governing body could speak to anything they wanted anything in the world. They had their subs subjects were captive they could encourage them in any way they wanted. Would you like to know what the highlight from that meeting was Anthony Morris one of the governing body members used his 15 minutes of fame to go on a rant about tight pants tight pants.
[00:05:25] In fact he is no now as tight pants Tony he could have talked about anything he could have encouraged single parents that were going through tough times. He could have encouraged young people that had to live a messed up life in the cold. But instead he chose to harp on things like how tight the pants were that people were wearing. And if you don’t like it as he is so fond of saying take it up with God because you know that’s right there in the Bible in the book of fashion you know the chapter about how tight your pants should be. He he talked about those Spanx as he called them just to show how out of touch he is. He talked about those Spanx as he called them that women used to work out in. And how appalling it was that they would ever wear those out of the house. Then he went on to talk about how the homosexuals that design men’s pants want to see you in those tight pants the more slender dress pants as opposed to the pleated pans that looked like balloons were. Remember those as I remember when I was younger you’d wear these pleated pants a little balloons in your crotch when you sit down. Well you know these homosexuals they’re just making you wear these tight pants so they can see your bold young men. That’s what it’s about. You could see how out of touch these human beings are what their world view is like in just a few statements. It doesn’t take a lot.
[00:06:51] You don’t have to get to know these men. This man is a God. A G O D or a guardian of doctrine as they literally referred to themselves as at one point. What a shame that instead of helping people. All he did was put more burdens on them like the Pharisees in Jesus day that Jehovah’s Witnesses liked to poke fun at that talk helped to wake a lot of people up. He even went on a rant about the socks that brothers wore with crazy colors on them or designs really now also around that time was the live streaming online of the Australian Royal Commission. The FARC is investigating religions in Australia and how they deal with childhood sexual abuse in their organisations. Now it isn’t just Jehovah’s witnesses that were being investigated but it was the Jehovah’s Witnesses that got special attention not just from those of us that were watching. Ex Jacob’s but from the commission itself you see ANGUS STEWART Now a hero among us ex SJ Dubbs was not fooled by the court’s appearance and persona. He went in prepared in part because the ex Jehovah’s Witness community reached out and gave him things that helped him to prosecute the witnesses in his court. I’ll let you in on a little something regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses and child sexual abuse or honestly abuse of any kind. Let’s say that Little Susie claims that a relative molested her she tells her Jehovah’s Witness parents first her parents will go to the elders not to the police but to the elders as that is pretty much how everything is handled in the creation’s.
[00:08:38] Then once they’re little Susie would have to sit down in front of men elders and tell them what happened. Faced probing questions into it again. I think I mentioned earlier they want to know all the details. Then the elders would call the legal department at Watchtower headquarters for advice on how to proceed. Now Jehovah’s Witnesses will deny that this is the case but the case is that Jehovah’s Witnesses have always been discouraged from going to the police. As a general rule remember they’re concerned more about appearance than anything and they will avoid the courts because they don’t want the organisation to look bad publicly just like they’ll encourage people that seek psychiatric care. So then please don’t disclose that you’re one of Jehovah’s Witnesses because it reflects badly on them. So Susie has now been through this ordeal and the elders would then go confront the relative in the congregation that was accused of molesting her. Often it would come down to a judicial hearing and the little girl would have to face the person that she accused often an adult and likely a man in this scenario in front of three men in the end unless the accused confessed. There could be nothing done unless there was a second witness. Now how many times do you think someone witnesses such predatory behavior. So the relative goes free to molest others and only if another person comes forward later. Will they then have their two witnesses. They have what’s called the two witness rule. They take it from one particular verse in the Bible out of the mouth of two witnesses and they use it in this particular scenario.
[00:10:27] And because people aren’t going to the police it really causes a lot of problems and there’s a lot of behavior that has repeated There was an elder that was being shaken down by Angus Stewart that was on the stand in the course of questioning Mr. Stewart asked him what he was doing to protect the general public. Her he got all indignant and was like well you know of course we care about other kids but how could we protect everyone. Well Mr. Stewart beautifully pointed out that by keeping everything in-house and avoiding taking matters like this to the police they were at best only trying to protect those in their own cult and that even if the abuser confessed and was disfellowshipped that did nothing to protect the community at large from a predator. The elder as if thinking about this for the first time in his life thinking about other people he turned blood red and was humiliated. You see Jehovah’s Witnesses are so full of themselves that they don’t even consider outsiders. This was an eye opener. In the end over 1000 cases of pedophilia were documented and not one was ever reported to the authorities. Jehovah’s Witnesses have a policy of also destroying notes taken during such questionings of abuse cases and when questioned on the stage on the stand as to whether or not they would continue doing so. They said yeah that’s our policy because again it’s policy over people. Now people have even been threatened with disfellowshipping if they were to take these accusations of abuse to the police. Justice McClellan who was presiding over that court pointed out that Jehovah’s Witnesses were the worst organization that he had seen in dealing with this.
[00:12:22] And the quote was defiance at every turn in areas where they were expected to cooperate. They even hired an outside expert to sing their praises. That was snowed by them as to what the reality was.
[00:12:36] And then when this woman gets up on the stand she looks like a complete tool because she had to admit as their own hired expert that they were not doing what they should be doing at all.
[00:12:49] She didn’t realize what the real situation was and so she got on the stand. She had gone by what the organization had told her. All the flowery things about how wonderful they are and then when she got confronted with the reality of it she had to admit what that reality was she was absolutely taken apart on the stand.
[00:13:11] In fact it’s also funny that they have a woman up there as an expert in the first place.
[00:13:16] We all know as the Jehovah’s Witnesses at least know that only those with a male appendage know anything of use. They’re the only ones who could be an expert for them to actually put a woman up there. It’s just so counter to who Jehovah’s Witnesses are. In fact the court was hoping that the court would allow women to hold a role in these types of abuse cases particularly where girls or women were being abused so that they didn’t have to go speak to men about it. And of course the court declined to consider that I could go on and on. I could do an entire podcast about the RCC alone but I’ll leave it there. The organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses actually has a database of thousands upon thousands of such accusations of pedophilia and even known pedophiles who have confessed to what they did. They have a database of thousands upon thousands of these situations around the globe that they keep secret. The court is not co-operative and holds those databases close even redacting basically any information they want when forced to cooperate by the judicial system. Further showing how little Jehovah’s Witnesses regard outsiders was another event that happened at the time there was a massive earthquake in Nepal that killed thousands and injured tens of thousands. It was a nightmare it was all over the news well the way the witnesses react it bothered me so much as I was waking up. That actually put a post up on one of the SJW forums in a thread entitled they only care about themselves.
[00:15:02] I said I’ve watched the reaction to the Nepal disaster for the first time with eyes open. What do I see.
[00:15:09] Lots of comments about praying for the brothers and sisters affected the official release on the Web site because the witnesses main web site they actually have kind of like a media section where they address things that happen in the world regarding them.
[00:15:26] So there is this official release on their Web site references only the sister and her two children that died along with the impact on the brothers there. That’s it for an organization that is supposed to be marked by love for all of the gum flapping about how much love for neighbor they show. They can’t even be bothered to shout out to the thousands killed and their families and friends. Would it be too much to even acknowledge that other people you know the ones that you supposedly love so much that you go and preach to them door to door even exists.
[00:16:00] I understand taking care of your own but you don’t have to ignore everyone else like calous Narcissus.
[00:16:07] So that’s the end of my post that I had made. I just couldn’t believe how they wouldn’t even acknowledge that other people were impacted. There was literally no mention of those other people. It shows again how little they care about anyone that is outside their group. Here’s some other random things that I’ve learned since being out. I came to realize that there is now no concept of grace in the Colts. They don’t use the term grace. That’s something that I heard for the first time outside of Jehovah’s Witnesses Instead they use the term undeserved kindness so that you always know that you’re not really worth anything. I also realize that they they use a lot of weasel words like the word evidently when about to make a point that requires a huge leap and has no real basis. They like to make leaps tobacco whatever ridiculous thing that they’re about to posit. So they’ll use a word a use word like evidently to get you to make that leap with them. On that. No. They often use the term present truth and the other does speak term present truth to let you know that you have to obey because whatever they’re telling you is true but that truth is subject to change.
[00:17:29] I learned that they are involved in all kinds of things that they would never allow their members to be a part of or even given the appearance of association with. The biggest example of this is the United Nations now. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not even supposed to join the local YMCA because it is a Christian organization not affiliated with the cult and thereby it is false religion because remember they and they alone have the truth. But the colt which claims that the United Nations will eventually cause the nations to turn on and shut down religion and which they see as the scarlet colored wild beast in Revelation. They Jehovah’s Witnesses actually became an associate an NGO or a non-governmental organization of the United Nations in 1992 the Guardian and the United Kingdom actually broke the news in October of 2001 that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were a member of this organization that they claim to be the scarlet colored wild beast of Revelation.
[00:18:38] And that very same month the cult withdrew and disassociated as an NGO member of the United Nations. They are hypocrites of the highest order. If you look up the company of Rand cam that’s R.A. in the space s.a.m Aranda cam if you look at their SCC or Securities and Exchange Commission information as a traded company in the United States you’ll see that the Watchtower holds a large stake Rand’s cam makes engines and is involved in the defense industry the war machine something that Jehovah’s Witnesses are opposed to.
[00:19:16] Do they think do you think that they would have let you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses do anything that even sniffs such an industry of course not years ago Jehovah’s Witnesses aligned themselves with the well-known televangelist Jimmy Swaggart and listing themselves as a quote friend of the court during his case regarding sales tax on books sold. You see Jehovah’s Witnesses used to sell their books and magazines from door to door. We would go and we would sell them we would collect money for them. Well one day we got a notice from the top at one of our meetings that we were so blessed by Jehovah that we were going to start relying on him to make this organization go.
[00:20:01] We would show our trust in him by going to a donation arrangement instead of charging for the literature we were given suggested donations and proof that Jehovah was backing us would be demonstrated as the organization would have an abundance materially under this new system of getting funding through voluntary donations instead of charging for our literature.
[00:20:22] This was God ordained right. Well what they didn’t tell us and what I found out later was that the government decided that selling books like this should be taxed and they didn’t want to pay taxes.
[00:20:34] So that is the real reason that the donation arrangement came about it wasn’t blessing from Almighty God. It was prompting by the almighty dollar. In the end it is the members of the congregation that donate the money for the literature that they then go out and give away for free. Most of the time they jilted their members into funding all of it. Well-played colt. Well played another great play is this. It used to be that every congregation was its own entity and own its own property including the building the local brothers and sisters would donate money to the upkeep of the building. They donate money to pay the mortgage or eventually save money for a down payment on a new building if needed. Well the organization often funded those mortgages and the local congregations would get a loan for their Keenum hall that they would you know them be so proud of well Watchtower headquarters decided that they were going to be nice a few years ago. They sent out a letter only part of which was read to the creation and part of which was for the elders eyes only and which they forgave all the mortgages those congregations that had a loan with the organization we’re now debt free. That’s awesome right.
[00:21:53] I mean really how can you mess that up. Well as with just about anything. Read the fine print. What they actually did was to forgive the loans to be sure but they had all of the properties turned over to them. They now owned everything including Keenum halls that were long since paid for. They scarfed up all the properties.
[00:22:17] They also told the Koreans that since they were taking care of everything now there was no use in the individual congregations having much money in the bank. So they took everything over a certain amount of basic operating costs. There are creations that had tens of thousands of dollars saved up and earmarked for a new building and all that money was just taken to sweeten the deal for the cold even more.
[00:22:42] They told the members that you know what since you’ve proven that you can pay X amount for your mortgage over these years you know whatever they had previously been paying for the mortgage you could just keep donating that amount through a pledge. And what they did is they handed out slips of paper for everyone to write down how much money they would commit to giving each month so that they knew that they would still be getting their money. In other words don’t think you can relax and not keep donating just because you don’t have a mortgage anymore. They weren’t about to take that foot off the throat of their members.
[00:23:15] This new arrangement is forever. So yeah you don’t have a loan anymore but you have a commitment in perpetuity to pay at least the same amount. And oh yeah that’s took all of your money out of the bank and they took your property too. Again well.
[00:23:32] Well played in fact one of the things that Jehovah’s Witness has always bragged about was that every month we would have this accounts report that was read from the platform. A brother would get up the account servant who took care of everything. And you know so how much money was donated he’d tell how much you know went to the electric bill the gas bill the water bill it’s maintenance on the creation. And I mean you know to be honest to you know give them props for this.
[00:23:59] They were very transparent on the local level and when they go to conventions they have a much less detailed accounts report that they go over.
[00:24:11] But has anybody ever seen an accounts report for the entire organization. Has anybody ever seen where all of that money goes. Because all they would ever say at the local level is we had X amount that was donated to the quote worldwide work a catchall for the money that was given to the organization.
[00:24:31] And you know this was beyond the money that was given to the local herniation. So there was a lot of transparency locally.
[00:24:39] But all of the funds that went to Watchtower headquarters said he didn’t know where all that money went.
[00:24:46] But not until 1961.
[00:24:51] Changing the subject. Jehovah’s Witnesses could say blood transfusions without penalty.
[00:24:57] There were brothers and sisters who you know got a blood transfusion that maybe even save their life. In 1961 it was made a disfellowshipping offense. Eventually as I stated in an earlier episode it was deemed to be an automatic disassociation so that they could put the entire blame on you for being out.
[00:25:18] If you took a blood transfusion that saved your life instead of looking bad themselves for kicking you out for taking such a life saving measure over time they have now decided that certain blood fractions are OK to say how many died or were disfellowship during their changes in beliefs. And yet no apology was offered.
[00:25:39] And if you are disfellowshipped for taking a fraction to save your life prior to their change in doctrine you would still remain disfellowshipped because ultimately the real problem is that you didn’t submit to their wishy washy doctrine. I always wondered when they would start letting sex fractions be OK. There are a lot of witnesses who question that fun fact at one point Jehovah’s Witnesses considered organ transplants to be cannibalism.
[00:26:08] Here’s some other fun facts. The cult was started by Charles Taze Russell. He was associated with the millwrights and the Seventh Day Adventists and he bought into their predictions of the end of the world with specific dates. He is rumored to have had involvement with the Knights Templar Freemasons. He used pyramid ology to try to predict things like 1914 using the dimensions of pyramids. Speaking of 1914 they arrive at that date for the beginning of the end of this system of things based on calculations starting from the fall of Jerusalem in 6 0 7 BCE only do a quick Google search and you’ll see that Jerusalem wasn’t destroyed in 6 so seven BCE 587 is the accepted date. For its fall for any exodus out there that haven’t looked that one up yet. Take a look at that that dates 1914 that Jehovah’s Witnesses hold so dear as the date that Jesus took his invisible reign in heaven. Just waiting to come and crush this this world or at least the non Jaida on it. That day was based on 6 0 7 BCE and then other speculative ridiculous calculations but six so seven BCE. Pretty much according to Jehovah’s Witnesses they’re the only ones who say that that’s when Jerusalem fell. I mean it doesn’t really take much research. Anyway back to Russell. Charles says Russell is buried in a cemetery adjacent to Masonic property and there’s a large pyramid monument nearby his grave that Rutherford the second president of the call is rumored to have put their Russell was involved in something that was a scam a called Miracle Wheat as well.
[00:28:00] At one point it was said that God lived on a star in the Pleiades constellation Jehovah’s Witness has purchased two properties under the direction of Rutherford the second president one called Best Seram and one called Beth Shan. Both I believe were in San Diego. Best Seram meant the house of princes princes and these properties were supposedly purchased because they believed that the faithful men of old these princes like Abraham or Mose’s they believed that these men would be resurrected to the earth and they wanted to have a nice place for them to stay. Yes I’m serious. It is well-documented. You see photos of the place. There was rumor that Beth Shan How’s the bomb shelter some sort of bunker for the impending Armageddon. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t know anything about these matters. I never did. Another thing they don’t realize is that they are being played in the literature often the use of an ellipses.
[00:29:05] Those few dots you’ll see something said then dot dot dot and then some more things said. Usually when you see one of those ellipses those few dots indicating that part of something usually a quote we’re left out there often hiding some very real lies and manipulation of quotes for instance Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe that Jesus died on a cross. They believe it to be an upright stake like a pole. Here is a partial quote that the cult gives to support its position on this upright stake taken from the Imperial Bible Dictionary. Now first I’m going to read what Watchtower’s says in their book. Reasoning from the Scriptures on the subject and then I’m going to read what the actual dictionary says. So here’s what Watchtower’s says that this book says the Greek word for cross rose properly signified a steak and upright pole or a piece of paling on which anything might be hung or which might be reused in impaling or fencing in a piece of ground. Dot dot dot dot. Even amongst the Romans the crux from which our cross is derived appears to have been originally an upright pole. All right so if you read this. Sounds like the Greek word for cross-bow star rose. It was a stake and so that would be used in impaling right. Even the Romans appeared to have used a cross that originated from an upright pole. All right. It’s a pole. It’s not a cross Well let’s see what the quote actually says.
[00:30:42] It says the Greek word for cross star rose properly signified a stake an upright pole or a piece of paling on which anything might be hung or which might be used in impaling or fencing in a piece of ground. Now here’s the dot dot dot dot. The ellipses but a modification was introduced as the as the Dominion and usages of Rome extended themselves to Greek speaking countries even amongst the Romans. The crux from which the word crosses derived appears to have been originally an upright pole and always remained the more prominent part but from the time that it began to be used as an instrument of punishment a traverse piece of wood was commonly added. Not however always then there can be no doubt however that the later sort was more common. And that about the period of the Gospel age crucifixion was usually accomplished by suspending the criminal on a cross piece of wood. Honestly if you continue going through the dictionary there there are several places where it talks about the cross and how it was a cross. But the witnesses have manipulated the quotes to mean something else.
[00:31:53] In fact I remember one time this isn’t actually in my notes. I tried to find it but at one time there was an expert that they used. You know he was some scientist that they used to explain something.
[00:32:11] I don’t know about how you know things were really here by creation not by evolution. You know this former evolutionist or something. What they failed to mention was the person that they quoted was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses who used to be a science as that’s what it was.
[00:32:28] And then when caught on it they took the entire part about that out. So you know they have no qualms in bending the truth and claiming to have the truth if they are changing the words of others to fit what they want they will do the same in their own publications. If you were to go look at their publications today the cult keeps them online for easy access part of that easy access that they can change things in their own written word without anyone noticing. In fact if you go look at what they allow people to see now they only allow you to go back to like the year 2000. Everything before then is gone as though it didn’t happen. All the crazy things that they said are just gone.
[00:33:18] In fact they often will try to get rid of older books and try to destroy them so that the average person can’t come across them you see with all the books that they’ve produced over the years.
[00:33:32] They were caught on a lot of things that they predicted and got wrong. For example the cult said over and over and in many ways that the world would end in 1975. There was even a saying stay alive till 75 people were encouraged to give up their worldly possessions and to spend more time preaching the message of salvation. Door to door because the time was near for Armageddon the biggest increases the organization ever had were during the years leading up to this. People sold off everything. They quit their jobs they quit basic education like high school and devoted everything to the cause. I’m guessing you realize that since we’re still here they were wrong yet again. Let’s look though at how they change the past through their written word.
[00:34:22] There was a book released in 1968 around the time when they kind of started pushing the rhetoric about this 1975 thing and the book on page 88 paragraph 11 says during and after World War II widespread. Now I should say first sorry the title of this chapter.
[00:34:46] This book is called the truth that leads to eternal life. The title of this chapter is God’s Kingdom comes to power. OK. So supporting the when God’s kingdom will come in. And of course God’s Kingdom coming in means Armageddon the end of this current system of things subparagraph 11 says that during and after World War 2 widespread food shortages added to the distress.
[00:35:09] Shortly after the war look magazine observed a fourth of the world is starving today. Tomorrow will be even worse. Famine over most of the world now is more terrible than most of us can imagine.
[00:35:22] I wonder what it says there anyway. There are now more people hunting desperately for food than at any other time in history. More recently the book entitled famine in 1975 said concerning today’s food shortages. Hunger is rampant throughout country after country continent after continent around the undeveloped belt of the tropics and subtropics.
[00:35:45] Today’s crisis can move in only one direction toward catastrophe. Today Hungary Nations tomorrow starving nations by 1975 civil disorder Anarky military dictatorships runaway inflation transportation breakdown and chaotic unrest will be the order of the day in many of the hungry nations.
[00:36:08] So you see there they were already starting to point to 1975 is this time when all these bad things are going to happen right. Well and I think it was like 1980 they revised this book. So let’s look at what it said after 1975 during and after World War 2.
[00:36:31] Well I’ll just skip the first part. Shortly after the war.
[00:36:35] Look magazine observed and then it goes on about how the world is starving today. And to me it just goes. More recent reports have shown that a constant lack of adequate food resulting in chronic malnutrition has become the major world hunger problem today.
[00:36:49] The London Times reported and then it just goes off into some you know random quote having nothing to do with 1975.
[00:36:59] So the previous the original iteration there was a quote from a book entitled famine 1975. And in that book it actually pointed to 1975 as when chaos would ensue. So they will do anything they can to try to avoid admission of being wrong even changing their own written word.
[00:37:21] And now they can do it with impunity because they can do it online on their own Web site where they control everything.
[00:37:30] Now I initially they blamed the members of the organization for making up the whole 1975 thing on their own and they blame them for running with it when it was actually them the organization that mentioned it over and over suddenly putting it out there like the manipulative people that they are. Speaking of books through a crisis of conscience by Ray Franz the former Governing Body member I learned that beliefs and policies are actually voted on now. I mean he kind of makes some sense is not a huge revelation you know but let’s play that out. That means that there are members of the governing body today that don’t even believe their own teachings. If you or I believe something different and others found out it could be grounds for a ruling of apostasy and we could be disfellowshipped.
[00:38:19] However those men are voting on things that impact people’s lives their real everyday lives the decision not to allow the brothers and sisters in Malawi to purchase a party card because of their stand on political neutrality cost thousands their lives and they were brutally raped and mutilated and tortured because the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses would not allow the brothers and sisters in Malawi to purchase this party card. They said it would not be showing neutrality as it turns out. Malawi only had one party so they wouldn’t have been taking sides. And this car costs very little it was like getting an ID and the brothers pleaded with Jehovah’s Witness headquarters because the ruling made no sense. In the end a lot of people were slaughtered. Lives were ruined. People were tortured and Jehovah’s Witnesses have a lot of blood on their hands. I came to realize that that whole field service work that we always did it’s not to make converts.
[00:39:26] It’s to keep you the publisher going from door to door so that you stay in the colt.
[00:39:33] You see human beings have a need for internal consistency we need our thoughts and our actions to align or or we’ll start going a different path because they don’t match up. But if they can get us to go knock on doors investing so much time and energy when they’re teaching can’t come up in our head that maybe it makes sense or or the cold asks us to do something ridiculous. We were more inclined to just brush it aside because we were investing so much into this. In fact the Jehovah’s Witnesses and I looked this up. I forgot about it just now come to mind. But there’s a quote in a recent magazine where essentially the governing body has written that there’s going to likely come a time in the future when the governing body is going to ask Jehovah’s Witnesses to do something that may not seem prudent or may not seem to be the smartest decision given the circumstances. But it’s a matter of obedience and salvation to go ahead and follow that direction.
[00:40:46] They they basically have set them up to tell their people anything they want and people can’t question it. They’re supposed to just go along with it. I mean how sick is that. Additionally there are a lot of people that leave the cold that end up going Buchwald. Why.
[00:41:09] Well you might think it’s because they’ve been pent up for so long in a restrictive call and you know you’d be at least partially right in some cases.
[00:41:16] However if you think about it the cult tells people that those on the outside are basically having sex with anything that moves taking every drug getting drunk constantly just leaving and living the the life of every sort all the time so when a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses leave the Colts they think that’s what’s expected of them to fit in. They often go far wilder than anyone around them because they’ve been told that’s how it is and they’re just trying to fit in and they’ve been given a false vision of what that means. The hope is that yeah they’ll go wild and ultimately they’ll implode and come back to the Colts. So coming and going they’ve got you brainwashed. They then use those people on convention parts as examples of of the person that went out into the evil world and found that there was nothing good out there for them. Well it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy inserted into the consciousness of members that is then played out when they leave. If you want to know what it’s like to live in a cult I would encourage you to read the book 1984 by George Orwell.
[00:42:29] I’m not going to spoil it for you but there are so many phrases that are used in daily life like Big Brother is watching those phrases come from this book. If you are an ex Jehovah’s Witness you have to read this book. It is a very dystopian novel.
[00:42:45] And honestly once I was done reading it I felt dirty like I needed a shower.
[00:42:51] Realizing that it was largely the life that I had lived didn’t quite help that feeling a whole lot. It’s just gross. The manipulation of human beings all right now we’re going to move on to Section 2. This is something that that people actually often ask me and that’s all you know where are you now spiritually or you know what do you believe now. So I’m going to talk about where I am spiritually and how I got there. In fact if you think about it just the end of last episode when I came out I was seeing God’s praises I even said that I was closer to Jehovah then than I’d ever been in my entire life.
[00:43:34] I saw I thought I saw God’s hand in so much of what was changing my life for the better. I thought I was being blessed and it blew my mind that I was doing things differently than what I had been told I needed to do in order to be blessed. The coach said that I could be blessed for things that I was doing that were now turning out in my favor as my life was changing dramatically for the better.
[00:43:58] Jehovah’s Witness who can quote quote scripture the scriptures as they’ve been shown and the narrative that has been woven through disparate verses is something that they’re very good at.
[00:44:08] However they don’t know much about the book itself or at least I didn’t and I know a lot more now than I ever did as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Just like with with the cold itself. I have gone deep on a lot of things after leaving. So after taking apart the cult that I pledged my allegiance to for so long I realized that my faith was all built upon the Bible which you know makes sense.
[00:44:35] But the same thing that was true of my religious faith was true of this book that it was all founded upon.
[00:44:42] I never really examined the book itself. And so I sat down and looked at it with fresh eyes. Now while I woke up in large part because of how the cult was so unloving and harsh and how it was mentally and emotionally unhealthy my wife if she was telling her own story right now she would tell you that it was actually the Bible itself that woke her up while I was diving deep into the side of things.
[00:45:07] She was trying to double down on her Bible reading so that she could prove the truth to herself and God’s word. We really approach things differently. But there’s a saying that atheists are atheists because they’ve never read the Bible. They are atheists because they actually did.
[00:45:24] Now this is where I’m going to relate a part of my journey that could be somewhat uncomfortable for some of you. It’s not my goal to attack anyone’s faith.
[00:45:34] You have a right to feel or believe anything that you want to believe or look at the evidence however you want to look at it.
[00:45:47] I’m going to keep this somewhat brief because my goal isn’t just to tear down the beliefs your beliefs but this is a part of my journey. This is my story. This is real and I’m going to share it. This is this is the progression of everything for me.
[00:46:02] For those of you who are out there that feel a need to save me through your faith I will respectfully tell you that although I appreciate where you’re coming from and your intent because we’ve had many people since we left to have something else that they want us to get in I’m not really interested unless you can come to me with evidence.
[00:46:20] You see I lived a faith based life for three decades and then it was actually different facts that started waking me up to things that I actually had faith in so it was now time for me to really take a look at this book and the facts of what it contained and the facts surrounding its composition. These were things I never really looked.
[00:46:42] I just kind of accepted on faith that the Bible was true from day one. I mean that was a foundation that was something that was given to me. And I mean I never even had a chance to look at that.
[00:46:55] So I’m going to be blunt. I’m going to be quick here and then we’ll move on to my life after the cold and what my life afterward has been been like including some key events that happened there.
[00:47:06] So these are the things that my faith in the Bible the way first of all in Genesis the plants are created before the light sources. That’s bass ackwards God. That’s kind of the wrong way. There is a literal talking snake but the creative days were supposed to be figurative. When Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden there was an angel placed to guard it with a flaming sword swords weren’t even invented back then if you take Bible History is written if all of the scientific evidence is right and man has been here much longer than 5000 years. Then there was no Adam and Eve according to Bible chronology and thus no original sin and no real need for a redeemer. And the whole narrative falls apart. The Marians also had very similar stories before the Bible was written and the Bible is very similar to many of those because I was curious as to how I had always been told basically that the Bible was the original not necessarily the facts Noah’s Ark. I mean come on.
[00:48:15] There are too many species of animals to take them all and not only to but to you. But if you read on some were taken by sevens it depended on clean versus unclean.
[00:48:25] Really they all fit on that ark. What about the dinosaurs. Where were they in any of this. How did all of the aquatic life not die.
[00:48:36] Because if the waters really rose above the entire surface of the earth as stated then the mixing of salt and fresh waters would have killed everything in the sea and destroyed their habitat.
[00:48:49] Afterward where did all that water go. So they had to go somewhere and the last time I checked I’m not living in Atlantis underwater. Why did God kill all of his creation that wouldn’t fit on the ark. Isn’t that cruel. Why are we supposed to respect his creation when he doesn’t. Why is there no fossil record of kangaroos anywhere but Australia to know a swing by there and drop them off at some point.
[00:49:14] Or how did they get there.
[00:49:17] Another thing that woke me was that Scripture were 40 something kids make fun of a Lycia was saying go up you baldhead.
[00:49:24] And then God sends two she bears out of the woods to tear the kids to pieces. Really God really was that really necessary it let’s face it. The old testament god wasn’t very kind. He ordered his people to dash the children of a conquered nation on the rocks they would conquer and take the virgins as their own. I’m pretty sure they weren’t taking them just because they wanted to give them a better life. Women were concubines and those with God’s favor that led his nation. Lot of the Kings had lots of concubines violence. Massage any infanticide all at God’s direction. It has been pointed out that God kills way more people in the Bible and say it never did.
[00:50:11] The Messiah was supposed to come through the line of David. Joseph was indeed in that line but Mary wasn’t and apparently old Joseph had no hand in the matter as far as the pregnancy with wit and for that matter Mary was a virgin. So how was Jesus through that lineage. I mean if it was so important and would prove that he was the Messiah shouldn’t God make sure that Joseph was involved in some way if you know what I mean. I mean like that’s one of the main prophecies.
[00:50:41] How can it not be straightforward. Read the accounts of the resurrection of Jesus in Matthew 28 1 through 10 and open another Bible and read the account of the resurrection of Jesus and John 20 1 through 18.
[00:50:59] Read those two accounts together side by side and compare them. They aren’t quite the same. There are scriptures in the Bible with clear direction on everything from not mixing certain materials and fabric to how long a woman was ceremonially unclean with the flow of blood to warnings against beast reality in very specific language. Yet I’ve never found any scriptures specifically protecting children the most vulnerable human beings against sexual abuse and this kind of hit me one day and it kind of seems like a big oversight there God. I mean where is it.
[00:51:40] You point to a scripture about fornication or something like that. But I mean if that’s the case and it’s just about how not having sex with some one you’re not married to the while the Scriptures on reality. I don’t think you’re married to your dog or whatever.
[00:51:54] Where are the verses to specifically condemn child sexual abuse when so much else is spoken about.
[00:52:09] The Bible was voted on to see what books would be included. It was written by men and the accounts of Jesus were written well after the fact Mark was written first and the original copies did not contain mentions of the virgin birth or anyone seeing Jesus after his death. Though it appears the latter was added and some translations later it is as though other things were added by later writers to make the story more appealing. Romans Chapter 9 talks of God as a potter and starting at verse 20 it says. But who are you O man to be answering back to God. Does the thing molded say to it’s older. Why did you make me this way. What does not the potter have authority over that collates to make from the same Lumpe one vessel for an honorable use another for a dishonorable use. Just think about those words. It kind of sounds a lot like that whole free will thing. Was it quite so free. If you can’t you know God can make you this person a vessel for honorable use this one for dishonorable use. How is that fair. And then you know another thing that always caught me was the book of Revelation.
[00:53:25] But that doesn’t mean all the book of Revelation I mean come on. If our salvation is Shearman’s hangs in the balance of understanding the Bible. Why put such insane riddles in it. God has been described as a loving father. The superlative example and the bible is supposed to be his love letter to us. If that’s the case then why couldn’t he make it more clear. Shouldn’t any good father understand what his kids need in order to understand something. Shouldn’t he know our abilities and limitations as humans if he created us.
[00:53:58] And what good father gives his book gives his kids a book of riddles and then if they can’t figure it out to his liking destroys them.
[00:54:09] The final thing that I’ll say is there’s a lot of circular logic used when discussing the Bible like well we know the Bible is true. Just read this scripture here at well that’s not a basis for belief. You can’t use the bible to prove the Bible that that’s that’s bad logic is circular logic. That doesn’t mean it’s true just because it says it is. So where am I now own I guess pretty much my wife too though I guess I got let her speak for herself. As far as myself I simply can’t have faith in the Bible or the God of it. I just can’t. Now does that mean there is no God. Well not necessarily though. It absolutely could mean that there is no God. And you know at this point I’m not seeing a lot of evidence of it. But you know I don’t claim to know everything anymore. See I I spent my entire life thinking I had the truth about my entire life thinking that I didn’t know at all that I didn’t know that there was a God that this book was his word too was. But as I’ve gotten to examine those things with fresh eyes it just doesn’t add up. Now there might be a God that loves us and wants to offer us everything we’ve ever dreamed of on this earth or maybe in heaven or some other planet. I don’t know. Maybe I can believe in possibilities. I can believe that I don’t know everything and maybe there is something else there also might be a god that just walked away and is indifferent.
[00:55:47] Or there could be a god that’s malevolent and hates us and wants bad things for us. We look around there’s a lot of bad stuff that goes on. You know it’s always funny. Always look that you know what I called creation for evidence of this loving god. You know I would talk about the beauty of creation. It shows there must be this god of love.
[00:56:08] But what I never bothered to look at was the absolute cruelty of the animal kingdom and the parasites and diseases the critters that get an utter critters and eat them from the inside out that are just as much a part of that creation.
[00:56:25] There’s there’s a yin and yang to a lot of life. There’s there’s you know these different extremes.
[00:56:34] Now at this point I guess I’d have to say that I’m basically an atheist. Some might call it an agnostic atheist I mean I’m open to possibilities and I’m open if there is a god out there and you can open my eyes and I can have some evidence not faith. Not just the faith that I have my entire life where I have to make leaps. But if he if I could find any easy evidence that there is truly this god I’m open to that. But there just has to be more proof for me to ever put my belief in something again.
[00:57:16] I just can’t do it.
[00:57:18] Now you might say. But what about all those blessings that you just said. You know in the last episode you said you experienced all those blessings firsthand while you were exiting the coal the van that was running the you know the things that happened as you made yourself available to get more work and all that.
[00:57:35] Well here’s what I’ll say. I learned better things I did better things and better things happened in my life. It would be just like if I played a game of basketball but didn’t know how to play the game would be pretty ugly for me wouldn’t it. But if I concentrated on my handles I’d learned how to dribble. Then I worked on my form I learned how to shoot if I figured out how to position my body on defense so as to limit the mobility of the player in front of me. I’d have a much easier time on the court. Now God didn’t help me I help to me. I finally reached out for better tools. I worked on my life. I did better things and therefore I got better results. Just like if I worked out or anything else if God was helping me and I have left God and basically become an atheist why hasn’t my life spiraled again. It hasn’t because it wasn’t God in the first place or at least that’s my take on it. You’re you know you’re welcome to have your own. And I can appreciate that now. We don’t all have to think of field together. I’m no longer the same. I’m no longer in a Colts so we can have those differences and that’s fine. We’re part of the beauty of this world is that we don’t all have to be the same and we aren’t all the same. In fact I now appreciate the beauty of each day. I still appreciate the life around me.
[00:59:06] In fact I can look at my life today as the miracle that I was waiting for my whole life to happen to me at some point in the future after death or when the world ended or whatever. I’m so much more in tune with life now around me. I realize it just for me to be here today doing this podcast there was such a statistically improbable scenario that the sperm and egg that made that happen made it happen that time. Just the fact that I survived two full term birth that I was born without complications that nothing catastrophic happened in my childhood that I learned to drive and drove like an idiot as a teenager without disaster that I didn’t take my own life in my darkest moments and that I made it out of a cult. I am in heaven now. I mean I’m not really you know I don’t believe in a heaven but so to speak. I’m in heaven now I’ve experienced hell. I made it out. I’m not going to spend my time now dedicated to things that have no real proof attached to them. I can’t. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t marvel at the complexity of everything. I was listening to a podcast or something. I believe it was Adams but it was said that scientists could put an atom in one room and another atom in another room. They can stimulate the one add them to vibrate at a certain frequency and the other one in the other isolated room were spawned by very vibrating at the same frequency. That is amazing stuff there. I can still marvel at things bigger than me.
[01:00:50] Like the universe and I don’t claim to know everything but a lack of answers doesn’t mean that the answer is God.
[01:01:00] I live a beautiful life now.
[01:01:02] Now speaking of that let’s go ahead now. We’re going to go to section three and I’m going to talk about my life after the colt. All right. So when we first left the coke it was like my wife and I were aliens being dropped in this planet and we had to figure out a lot of things we are still doing that at times. For instance someone gave me a birthday card and a present the other day because this Saturday August 12th I turned 40 years old and it was so cool and unexpected. I thanked the person personally while I was there very sincerely Oh am I supposed to send a thank you card as well. I don’t know. I don’t know if you bring presents to a birthday party for an adult. I mean people did to ours but like or from our wives. But it was you know her for her first birthday. I’ve heard different things. There are so many things that we have to figure out. We decided this year to celebrate the Fourth of July here. You know here in America I don’t know where everybody is listening from. And we want work walked into a a large fireworks superstore and we had absolutely no clue what anything was in that store other than sparklies those labels might as well been in a foreign language to us. We didn’t know what a jumping this was or a fountain or whatever it was we had no clue.
[01:02:24] Though you know we experimented and we know a few things now but there are so many things that I think other people take for granted that we just don’t know. I can still remember going to our first cocktail party.
[01:02:37] I didn’t know how we should dress or what we should expect to do. We don’t drink so I didn’t know what.
[01:02:45] You know how we were going to fit in but we ended up having a great sob. We’ve had to do so many new things and it’s scary. Like when you go just to do you know do anything for the first time. But as we do more and more new things and they continue to work out we’ve had greater comfort as we’ve done other new things. I want to say this what we called worldly people those people outside of the call there are nothing like what we were told. I just want to take this moment right now to thank all of the beautiful people that have helped us that have been on this journey with us not just watching but actually taking an active interest in helping us. Thank you so much. We have the best friends and you know we would call many people family.
[01:03:36] We disassociated from the call in September of 2015 and that November we celebrated our first Thanksgiving one amazing family that we work with invited us to their Thanksgiving to be a part of their family. And that was huge for us. In fact we now have two families that we visit on Thanksgiving that we’ve been adopted by. I can’t tell you what that means when you’ve lost everyone that meant anything to you.
[01:04:02] We’ve had people take us on trips like pay for our meals and drive us to places and share their lives with us. These were people that we cleaned for just another amazing worldly family.
[01:04:17] You know I hate that term but I’m using it just to show the contrast.
[01:04:22] We’ve also reconnected with extra witnesses that we knew back in the day.
[01:04:26] And it’s so great to have those links to our past as everything was stolen from us by the Kalt other groups of friends that you know maybe weren’t people we cleaned for links to our past as Jehovah’s Witnesses have become friends too. It’s really cool to look at our friends list and see people that we made friends with that we didn’t already have some sort of connection to now with that said among others there is a struggle that my wife and I both face and it seems to hurt my wife the most.
[01:05:00] And that is that we just don’t have roots anymore those people like your family that you know that you could just go talk to and reminisce about the past with just relax with be transported back in time for my wife and I.
[01:05:15] There is no back in time. Well I guess this podcast is a version of back in and I’m sharing it with you but I can’t share it with the people who were there. They’re all gone.
[01:05:27] There’s like this it’s like the foundation to our lives that just disappeared one day. It’s like waking up one day and everyone you knew was killed in a car accident only They’re still actually out there. But they’re unwilling to even say hi to you. Imagine that all of your friends from high school or college and your family was gone tomorrow who would be your friends.
[01:05:51] Who would you talk to who would you go for who would you go to for things. It’s so strange and it’s it’s hard to convey what that feels like. Unfortunately because we had a family in the coal it will always be a part of us if nothing else. I once heard that leaving a coal and de-programming. It’s kind of like if you have an image on your computer and you delete it well you may have deleted it or sent it to the trash bin or whatever but it isn’t really gone. It’s somewhere in the background and on your hard drive and new data is written over it bit by bit little by little but it’s still there and it’s retrievable. If you have the right software the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses will always be a part of us. It will always be with us.
[01:06:44] We’re linked through family that is still in. And you can’t have your formative years co-opted by a cult without certain neural pathways being built in and emotional pathways.
[01:06:56] The one major struggle for me since being out is the thought of death. Honestly a lot of times before I go to bed at night when my my mind is quiet I think about dying.
[01:07:13] It’s not the thought of being dead that is the big deal or at least the way I see it. I think it was like a man I’m blanking on who wrote it Tom Sawyer or something. We’ve all been dead already before we were ever born. So I like that thought but the thought of there being an end to all of this that I might not wake up tomorrow at some point. That’s that’s pretty hard to swallow. Realizing that I wasted so much time probably half my life in a cold. You know assuming my life continues to go well physically you know the fact that I wasted so much time in a hole with time being you know the real precious commodity of life that’s pretty hard to swallow. The fear that we had when we were Jehovah’s Witnesses It was never of a fiery hell. The fear we actually had was of dying and just being dead forever. That was the punishment. Either you become a good Jehovah’s Witness and live forever on this paradise earth or you die forever and there is nothing else which was always a terrifying thought to me. And honestly now I know that the only evidence there is out there is that’s what it is. One day I’ll die I’ll be worm food and that’s it. There’s there’s no do overs there’s no to be continued. There’s there’s nothing there still you know these feelings while real they’re not enough for me to reach out.
[01:08:52] You know for faith in something that you know just to me feels unsubstantiated just to make myself feel better or give myself some sort of prospects for the future. The Buddhists actually teach impermanence from the start. And
[01:09:07] I was actually taught the complete opposite I was taught absolute permanence that I wouldn’t ever have to die that I will walk right into a paradise earth where I could live forever and I was taught this since I was a child. I wish I had been taught impermanence it would have would have been so much more healthy for where I am today. It’s so hard to shake that fear of nothingness when that was always the fear that I had above all others and now I’m about to turn the big 4 0 this weekend something that I never really ascribed a lot to because age didn’t mean anything to us. We didn’t even celebrate birthdays so we didn’t even pay that much attention.
[01:09:49] And you know now I realize that yeah I’m about to be 40 and you know if I if I can stay healthy you know maybe I make it to 80 or so.
[01:10:02] You know that would be cool. So at least I’ve got to have a life to do it over. But it’s still just a tough thing to to face it’s like for the first time I’m facing my mortality. It’s like I left the call and I found out I was going to die. You know I mean how would you feel if you found out you were going to die in X amount of time. Well that’s that’s kind of what I found out which seems so odd. I’m sure that the average normal person out there. But when you’ve been taught your whole life something else it is tough to contend with still.
[01:10:39] You know despite all that you know we do have struggles from it but our lives are beautiful. We’ve heard so many beautiful lessons. My wife and I still work together we still clean for amazing human beings every day. We try to start out every day in the van by doing two things. First we discuss where we are that day you know kind of like what our moods like what side of the bed we woke up on how we’re feeling. Things like that so that we know where each other is coming from for the day.
[01:11:08] It kind of helps to head off misunderstandings when you work together every day.
[01:11:12] And you know you’re married to after that we do our Happy’s what we do is you know in our happiness we just go back and forth trying to name things that we’re happy for. Whether it’s you know big or general things like you know I’m happy we’re out of a cold to small things like I’m glad I can fill up my gas tank now and not have to look at the amount of worry that I can’t pay it. Or it might be something you know just around us like man I’m so glad the sun is out this morning or or we’re going over the river to work and there’s a fog over the river just trying to be present and appreciate life around us in that moment. It’s a really great way to start the day. Now people were there to support me in April of 2016.
[01:12:04] That was a rough little rough patch for me after we we’d gotten out of the call just seven months after we left it.
[01:12:11] I got a call from my mom that my dad was in hospice care. I was cleaning a house and I mean the phone rang. I was shocked to hear from her in the first place. In fact not 100 percent sure I knew it was her. But nobody ever calls me.
[01:12:26] So I just let it go to voicemail. Figured it was just a telemarketer. But she left a message and told me that I was able to come up if I wanted to to see my dad one last time. I have to admit that that was a very difficult decision by that point I’d been officially shunned for seven months.
[01:12:48] But unofficially I’ve been Shaun for I don’t know probably about a year or so. My wife called my mom to get the details. My head spun with the possibilities.
[01:12:58] And what I should do. I appreciate the opportunity. There are many ex Jehovah’s Witnesses that never even get that. Some actual witnesses actually find out after the fact that a parent is that often you know from someone else because that’s how cruel the cult is. But I really wasn’t sure what to do with this opportunity. I really thought about it a lot. And in the end I decided that you know this is a new path I was on was one of being authentic. So I decided to be me. I didn’t want to let external things like the Colts or whatever dictate my reaction or my family than what I wanted to react to in a way that was just purely me. So I decided to go.
[01:13:50] I wanted to be a good person. I wanted to show love where it hadn’t been shown to me. I wanted to end on a better note than that horrible conversation where my dad yelled at me for defending the gays.
[01:14:03] So my wife and I went to a hospice and there were some Jehovah’s Witnesses there already. Mom had told us on the phone that they had said that they wouldn’t be there if we were there.
[01:14:16] What a horrible thing to do to leave like that. So we arrived on the floor. My dad was on and my mom kind of seemed to try to get my wife and I to go around the corner from the elevator to talk you know the one elevator everybody goes up and down. Well I didn’t quite move where she wanted me to and there I saw a brother and sister leaving down the elevator away from my dad.
[01:14:41] These people that wouldn’t be there if I was present that wouldn’t be there if I was in the room with my dying father where people when I was a kid would buy me clothes at times because we were poor so I would have something cool to wear.
[01:14:57] They were friends and now they wouldn’t even look at me. And in this time even in a hospice. Jehovah’s Witnesses are enforcing their rules and can’t be human.
[01:15:09] In fact that my mom caught a bunch of crap from those people over letting me come up in the first place.
[01:15:15] She later told me that she might have even lost a friend over it. So props to my mom for letting her humanity went out even if only temporarily and oh screw those other people to say it was awkward to go in and see my dad is the biggest understatement ever.
[01:15:34] I mean come on what were we going to talk about. They didn’t want to know what we were up to. It was not like we were up to anything they would or even THEY would you an object to. We didn’t leave the coat and go off and you know like that spring that I think I mentioned in one of the first episodes where you crush the spring you let it off. It just bounces all while we didn’t go wild when we left. We just weren’t in the cold anymore. That’s it. We’re still up. Actually we’re a better version of us with much more kindness and humanity and love. But anyway so we stood there in the room with my dad.
[01:16:13] We we watched TV game shows a bit. We caught up on the fact that my dad had to go into the hospital. I don’t remember a couple of months earlier for a heart attack.
[01:16:25] Apparently he had actually had many heart attacks but because of the neuropathy from his diabetes. My dad never felt any of them.
[01:16:33] They had done tests on his heart and it was operating very minimally. Now my dad was alert and honestly he was pretty much himself when we visited him. He was pretty much just what you would expect but well. I guess I should say he was himself in public. He wasn’t the other version of himself. But anyway he had fallen and broken his thumb while he was in rehab for the hard stuff.
[01:17:04] And my dad had basically just decided to go ahead and give up. He said he didn’t want to do dialysis anymore.
[01:17:12] Dialysis is very hard on your heart anyway. And he just he was just done. So he chose to go off dialysis and end his life. Now while we were in the room in hospice joking about some things and you know we were all doing our best version of acting I guess trying to keep the mood light. You know painful and just then I don’t know.
[01:17:39] An awkward situation to be in a hospice room with somebody you know whether no matter how you feel about the person or if you had to go into hospice and talk to a complete stranger it’s just not it’s not easy.
[01:17:53] So we were trying to keep it light.
[01:17:57] I’m not sure why but the nurses walked in to go over some of life stuff. It’s almost like we were purposely included in that somehow. It’s very strange. I really don’t know why. Anyway one of the nurses spoke up and said that she just could feel the unity and love in the room because we have been laughing and joking and I guess she had heard us when she came in or maybe she says that to everybody I don’t know. But you know if I had been drinking water at that time I could have done an amazing spit take because when she said that I just it just struck me in the moment in this awkward uncomfortable horrible moment.
[01:18:39] And I just literally snickered aloud. I was caught off guard and I ended up getting dirty looks from the family. Come on. Like there is no unity there and there was very little love. You know I was I felt like at least I was the only one trying to come out of love.
[01:18:59] I’m not I don’t know I’m not even 100 percent sure. Why they left me up there. I was actually talking to a client about it and a friend. Not long after that and she said you know it kind of shows that they know shunning is wrong because if they didn’t why let you back in at that moment in time if if shunning was the right thing to do then she should be the right thing to do.
[01:19:33] Even in a moment like that even in this moment where my dad is in hospice they’re shunning is the thing that I should have been shouldn’t I shouldn’t have been asked to come up there.
[01:19:44] But I think it’s just again just that little glimpse of humanity that lays beyond or behind the cult personality.
[01:19:54] So after they left the nurses left I asked my mom and sister to leave as well. My wife stayed in the room. I told my dad that we had to go but that I respected his decision to go ahead and accept his fate. I told him that we all had our choices to make in life some that weren’t easy. Obviously referring to my own choices that I had to make and that all we could do was respect each other’s autonomy and free will. I told them I was sorry it had to end the way it did for him and me. It for the first time probably ever. I gave him a hug told him I loved him.
[01:20:31] I left the room and I was in with him went back to work.
[01:20:38] I felt good that you know I had been authentically me and that I try to take the high road in this situation. However I kind of alluded to the possibility of coming back again.
[01:20:49] You know when I was there in that room and I thought you know you know maybe maybe if I had another day and he was still around in a hospice you know maybe maybe tomorrow I could go by as a thought about things.
[01:21:02] I realized that I pretty much left this the best possible way and that going back couldn’t really serve any good. I left it pretty much perfectly and I should just leave it alone. So I texted my mom to let her know that we probably wouldn’t come back only to be told that basically nobody expected me to do so anyway and it seemed like I wasn’t welcome back. So basically I was accepted back for that 30 minutes to an hour and then it was back to being shunned. In hindsight that really messed with me emotionally.
[01:21:38] I mean not like it wasn’t bad enough that you know my dad was dying. No matter how I felt about him he was my dad. And you know I had quite a history with them. And you know to have this in and out shunning thing going on as well this is really messed up while I am glad that I went on the one hand. I’m not 100 percent sure that I’d do it again if given the chance. On April 11th 2016 my dad died.
[01:22:10] I was not invited to my dad’s memorial service. My mom called me rather than inviting me to the service. She called me to ask if the speaker could use my name and that of my wife. In the talk where they you know kind of go over who he was survived by and I said well yeah I mean that is factual you know kind of in the tone of yeah. Like it or not I am your son and she is your daughter in law. But anyway so yeah they could use my name it was an odd request. Now my mom was never a very direct person.
[01:22:45] Very. A lot of passive aggression. But she made it clear that we talk again sometime probably soon. And that was it. She didn’t tell us anything about the memorial. And it was pretty clear she didn’t want us there and look I could have gone.
[01:23:02] It’s a public place. I’m sure I could have shown up. However all eyes would have been on me if I had gone. It would have been remarkably uncomfortable the first. Mom didn’t seem to want me there. She’d invited all kinds of people but she didn’t speak a word to me about the time or date of location. Though I knew where it would be. Jehovah’s Witnesses have a penchant for for saying the ugliest thing to people like me in situations like this I’m sure to have heard what a disappointment I was to my dad how I needed to return to Jehovah. How they they thought I was better than that. That wouldn’t have gone over well especially with the emotions of the circumstance. I also didn’t want to go back to the Keenum hall where it all started to hear the service which is nothing more than a sales pitch for the call usually with very little personal information about the deceased. And there were a few elders there that would have caused me to lose it if they spoke to me because they were just awful human beings and all that would have taken with a quip from the wrong one.
[01:24:16] One or two and something very probably would have happened.
[01:24:20] So on the flip side of this treatment though so you know. That’s Jehovah’s Witnesses. There you go. There you have them again in a nutshell. That’s what they do to people. On the flip side we have been invited to go camping with some friends that said that Sunday when my dad’s memorial service was going on and my wife and I decided let’s go you know let’s just let’s just go we hung out. We made a new friend who came along to it got our minds off the things that were going on back home with our family my dad’s death service all that. It was still on my mind. But at least I wasn’t alone. The next day Monday you know we went to work as per usual that week two clients though really did things that I’ll never forget.
[01:25:11] One family texted us on a Wednesday and where we cleaned three houses their house is the middle house. The day they texted us and told us to keep the check for the week. They have theirs sent automatically from the bank. But they told us just keep the check and take the time off. Just don’t come clean. They did not want me to come clean. They wanted me to take some time now now it only gave us you know it gave us a couple hours off in the middle of the day and I was like well you know I don’t know maybe I’d just rather work because you know kind of keeps my mind off things.
[01:25:48] But boy did I need that. A couple hours off. I had no clue what I needed at that time. I didn’t know that I even what to do with that time off but my wife and I just drove to a restaurant that I’d always wanted to try. We ate we just relax.
[01:26:06] I couldn’t believe that they had done that for me and I made sure I didn’t waste that opportunity. Later that week on Friday a lady stayed home at the last house just to give me some once talked to. In fact she was under the weather that day. She had some errands to run that day but this kind soul stayed home just to give me an outlet again. I didn’t know that I needed it but I did. She’s dealt with a lot of death in her family and also her friends throughout the years and she gave me the listening ear that I needed maybe more importantly she asked questions. She drew me out which I needed and she let me talk. I had no clue what to do with everything that was inside. The fact she she would later give us a rosebush as a gift and to commemorate you know everything in my dad’s. So I planted that rosebush at the corner of our house and you know it’s something that I see every day. And and I remember where that rosebush came from. It has been well over a year since that time. Honestly you know not believe me I’m not living in denial. I wouldn’t. I hate that. And so I wouldn’t do that. I am truly moved on very well from all of it. I’ve never heard from my family again other than seeing my brother at the concert that I had mentioned him being shunned by them.
[01:27:45] When my mom called me one time she actually did call me one more time to let me know that she needed some paper signed for the estate. So legal documents. So that was nice. And you know I signed those papers and sent them on in. My wife has never heard one word from her family since we went to see my brother in May of 2015. They never had the guts to say anything to her. They never tried to to you know tell her that they loved her. They never tried to save her. Nothing. She’s never heard anything from her family even before we disassociated.
[01:28:33] But you know again life moves on. My wife has been able to connect with some of her extended family that you know maybe she had lost contact with aunts uncles grandparents whatever that has been awesome. I know. I’ve enjoyed getting to connect with those people too. I’ve also been able to reconnect with with some of my family and that’s helped in July of 2016 my wife had her first ever birthday. We were out a space and together we threw her the best birthday party we could as two people that had never thrown a birthday party in our lives.
[01:29:09] We invited everyone we could and we had about 70 people show up. I was so happy that people brought gifts because everyone should get to open presents at least once in their life and I wanted to see my wife get to experience that I had that as a kid.
[01:29:28] My wife never ever got that chance. My wife got all kinds of cards for 1 year olds.
[01:29:36] She got you know gifts ranging from things for little kids to like you know strawberry shortcake dolls practical gifts. You know she would like and it was just so cool to get to see my wife enjoy herself like that. She had a huge cake that she picked out. We had a photo set up where people could use mass and and take photos and we had some games out there as well. People seemed to have fun and it was the first ever party that we had ever thrown of any type.
[01:30:08] Beyond that we had my birthday and then we did our first ever Halloween and Christmas celebrations all in 2016. We made lots of friends.
[01:30:18] And honestly we just had a great time. I mean life is amazing when you’re not living in what is basically the dystopian society of the book 1984 that I mentioned earlier. Just yesterday my wife and I went to our first ever a pasta fest. It took place near Indianapolis and it was a gathering of Jehovah’s witnesses from all over. We had people from Pennsylvania Ohio Florida Georgia Indiana just a good group of people. And it was a diverse group of people. I mean we had people of different races social statuses sexual orientations. It was just the icing on the cake.
[01:30:55] This journey to sit with people that understood where we had been I would take the second will give a shout out to Alex as he was asking if he kept asking if if know this was going to be mentioned on the podcast so you’ve made it on this J.W. life podcast. Alex you are a star. I look forward to going again next year maybe meeting new people.
[01:31:20] You know it’s just cool too. One of the really cool things about leaving a call is seeing other people who have left the call that are also having these happy lives.
[01:31:31] And you know it’s it’s not like everything I’m mentioning here is just about you know Jehovah’s Witnesses or actual witnesses again remember you know most of our friends are not actually witnesses. You can get out in this world and make friends of all types and people want to know your story.
[01:31:55] You know as I implored you before please tell your story. You can you can connect with other human beings when you’re vulnerable like that. And I don’t know. I just I just want what I have had and what my wife has had I want that for everyone.
[01:32:17] You know I am going to take a minute though I’ve got to speak to my ex Jaida peeps out there. I think it was two episodes ago when I was telling you to share your story.
[01:32:27] I just told you to share your story you know with others who were never x Jehovah’s Witnesses.
[01:32:36] But what I also want to do is take a second. And I really I just want to tell you do meet with other extra witnesses as well.
[01:32:47] My first year that we were out of the coal I tried to do something for my first official show on a nursery in September of 2016.
[01:32:55] I tried to have a get together for that and only one person came and I have to say that you know honestly it kind of hurt.
[01:33:05] I was hoping for some support and I kind of felt like I needed it from the show was what this community but as I’ve been in this community I’ve seen a lot of people just try to walk away and they don’t really deal with their stuff. They just want to forget it. Move along. Live their new life. If that is you I just want to tell you that you can run but you can’t hide.
[01:33:32] You went through something that was awful. And of course you want to run from it. It’s traumatic but it’s not healthy to run from that trauma. Now I can’t speak for you know for anyone you know who’s out there. Everyone has their own circumstances. But if there is a group like an apostrophe in your area or if you just sign up on Meet up dot com and try to get a group together. And if enough x Jehovah’s Witnesses who are listening to me right now would go and experience something like that and share their stories it can help you to walk away and leave some of that behind. Don’t try to carry the burden yourself. Don’t try to live in denial like I watched my family do. That is still in the cold.
[01:34:22] That’s what that’s what I’ll do. It’ll get you in a coal.
[01:34:26] Now whatever you are carrying. Start to look at it. And as you look at it you can gain the strength to put it down. Reach out online at various ex-state of sites or are Facebook groups that cater to Jehovah’s Witnesses or get reach out to me. I’ll be there. Just don’t try to go it alone.
[01:34:50] I know that it might not seem like a big deal at times because it was just your life and what you went through. It probably felt you know it felt normal to you probably while you were going through it. It was just your life. I get it.
[01:35:03] It doesn’t seem special but it is special. It was messed up from any normal human standpoint. And once you can see that and you can start tearing down those foundations that were so messed up you can start to put new and healthy foundations in and those foundations will help serve you for your new life. You know it’s hard.
[01:35:26] Oh I hate to do this because you know it’s reminiscent I feel like I’m preaching from the Bible and being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But you know it’s the illustration of the house that’s built on the different foundations. You know you build it on it on sand and it’s not going to do real well. You have to build it on you know a firm foundation.
[01:35:47] That’s honestly the way life is. You’ve got to get healthy tools. You’ve got to get healthy ways of being healthy perspectives.
[01:35:57] And then when you put those things in and you start rooting out all of the garbage that was fed to us as Jehovah’s Witnesses you can find happiness. You can find beauty in this life and you can even accept it. You know if it’s how you choose to see things that this is all we’ve got. So go make the most of it. I hate to stop talking here but I guess it’s time. I’m never going to feel like I said everything that I had to say. There’s always going to be some other point that I want to bring out or some other way I want to help. Today when I dropped this last episode of my story there are more than eight thousand two hundred downloads this podcast. I am so thankful that so many of you have taken the time to drop me a note on everywhere from Reddit to Facebook Instagram Twitter even you know my own site of your life dotcom or the Jehovah’s Witness dotcom forum that I’m a member of.
[01:36:53] Everywhere I’ve posted and shared this to try to reach people I really hope that this has helped you specifically in some way.
[01:37:01] Even if I never hear from you I won’t be taking this podcast down. This is here to stay. This is my story and it can help people and I will pay to keep it hosted an up on the various podcast sites so that more people can find it. Share this with others that it can help. Please please give this positive reviews on iTunes so that others can find it if the algorithms hit and notice that I’m getting some momentum and that will help it spread. Because you know I can only do so much to spread the word and so many people need to hear this.
[01:37:37] And you know once I quit producing podcasts under this name then you know I just don’t want to see it just completely die out.
[01:37:48] If we continue to spread the word I will continue to share it on various sites over the you know over the coming years so that new visitors can can you know find it enjoy it. Be helped by it. In fact stay subscribed to this podcast. I know I said this is the last episode but not quite. There’s going to be one more episode.
[01:38:11] It’s not going to be about my story anymore but in this 10th episode that will come out I’m going to let you know about where I’m taking this. I’ve had so many people reach out hoping that I’ll continue.
[01:38:24] And you know obviously I can’t keep going with my own story.
[01:38:30] But I do have an idea for another podcast that I’m going to spin off of this where I’ll help other people to tell their stories again. Details will come in episode 10 of this although episodes about my story you know maybe kind of done for now. My story certainly isn’t done so stay subscribed. Maybe I’ll also release updates as time goes by as something happens you know my life goes on and it’s great already. I can’t wait to see where it goes. I’ve learned so much I’ve grown so much and I have such a beautiful life now with beautiful people and it on this coming Saturday August 12th I will turn 40 my wife and I are going to go backpacking the Adirondack Mountains of New York for the first time ever to have a little adventure. We picked that area because afterward we’re going to swing by Manhattan to see my brother and his wife for the first time since we’ve been out of the cold. Last time had just got to shun this it can be a celebration. I had a shirt made that says on the back it says eight million people shun me. My story at and then uttered it has the logo for this podcast with Dot dotcom under it. New York was the home of the headquarters for Jehovah’s Witnesses for a century or so until they recently moved away. They still have their literature cards littering the city everywhere and I am looking forward to walking around with my shirt on and New York City the former headquarters of Jehovah’s witnesses maybe visiting a quarter to and seeing what attention it draws.
[01:40:04] Remember I’m not a guy that likes attention normally but I don’t know there’s just something bigger going on here. This whole podcast has opened up things to me. I’ve made so many new friends and if you are in New York and you see a bald 40 year old walking around in a T-shirt with a logo on it that says this Jaida of your life that’s me. Come up and say hi. Now for the like the last week or two. I’ve been trying to figure out you know how am I going to send this podcast out. How am I going to end it. This should have an obvious. I want to thank my wife for being by my side through this whole ordeal from my depressed state where I’m sure I wasn’t the absolute joy that I am today to live with to where we are now. I want to thank her for trusting in me when I brought up my doubts and knowing that I wouldn’t have done so without good reason and for being willing to be open enough to start dissecting our lives and to go for this bumpy ride with me. I want to thank her for taking the leap to find herself because I know that is a scary process when everything you thought you were is taken away.
[01:41:15] I now get to experience her as her true self not the cold version just like she does with me. Life is beautiful and I’m glad I get to finish this right out with you Jenny and our newfound freedom and that we can finish this thing out. However we decide.