Personal Experiences

Personal Experiences

Click on any of the names below to link to their stories:

Tom Cabeen
James Penton
Rud Persson
Alan Feuerbacher
Peter Gregerson
Achille Aveta
Poul Bregninge
Nestor&Toni Kuilan
Duane Magnani
Carl Olof Jonsson
Jean Eason
Joan Cetnar
Ray Franz
Randy Watters
Richard Rawe
Max Hatton
Marilyn Marsh
Ron Frye
Ron Reed

We are happy to have received several submissions from persons who have had a lot of experience related to their research about Watch Tower doctrines, including the 1914 teaching.  In some cases these are experiences about their own reaction to their discoveries including the reaction of others when they questioned the doctrines. Where noted, we  have also accepted articles from persons who have written tributes for persons they knew personally, who are either deceased, or who are currently undergoing health issues and could not participate themselves.

5 thoughts on “Personal Experiences”

  1. Sorry if it doesnt fit what you guys are looking for… This is my personal opinion so far about jw’s. It seems that most of all who have been involved had experiences that are involved with their shunning practice and elder problems. I have been taking bible studies im no pioneer or any of such sort basically im just a beginner i guess… For the most part i admire so far their teachings of resurrection and that the world is messed up runned by mere humans … I mean i think we all know this world is messed up theres no doubt about that. Ive been to many churches and its all about money and absentance of everything bad that we do because we are all sinners and well thats our get out of jail card for everything we do. So i in a way understand the jw importance of trying to follow jesus footsteps and i mean in a way really look at what god jehovah makes him happy. If the bible and its many versions are the same besides jehovahs name in some and so many revised versions but seeing that they all are theelder yourave to agree that it is a letter or gift from God. I would say big bang and boom were here but i mean how can we not be created so intricate and how we function i give praise to jehovah at the end of day. Anyways i guess that doctrines and what not are in every religion but for the most part being a jw is the hardest i guess because their “i cant celebrate my birthday and i cant celebrate christmas and i cant fornicate or commit adultery makes me feel very pressured and guilty” i guess people cant handle that.. As being free and in any other religion where i can do anything that the bible says is wrong as many times as i want and even though god does not approve hes ok with it because we believe that his sons sacrife is are get out of jail card of everything.
    I do believe that some things are off the whole dates of the governing body. And another date of the end but really wich religion hasnt prophesied.
    The reasoning of mine is that i do believe that they have truth about resurrection, lifestyle choices, being obedient to the best of our abilities with what the bible has written. Im pretty sure jehovah loves each and everyone one of us but does he really condone what he has conveyed in the bible as immoral disgraceful and just plain wrong in the bible because we humans say so . just because he loves us all doesnt mean he is gonna accept our disobedience at the end of the day. I do have hope for the new system of things under jesus and Jehovah’s ruling. If the anointed exist i belive so 144,000 sure, but at the end of the day or the end of this system of things i dont believe from a mere humans mouth that they say they anointed. None of us will know until it comes. Many prophesies came true and many religions are aware. I get the whole view of jw from people “i cant do any sin without feeling horrible i wanna be free to sin and know that Jehovah will accept them because he wants us to sin many times and repent many many times , jehovah wants me to live life get drunk have multiple sex partners , dress inappropriately, be angry, kill, go to war, be greedy i wanna do all that and know that god will accept me even though in the bible he had destroyed nations for being that way” so god even though he destroyed nations before because of the same shameful acts hes gonba be ok with this one because now we really got it right … Most of the experiences that i have read is about how awful they feel when they sin and how horrible they feel when shunned.. I get it… Supposedly theres a method to that if you do anything that makes the congregation look bad or influence bad tendencies they give you a choice to change or not… I get it i wouldnt want my nieces or nephew with bad associations.. Reguardless of religion it applies to all dont you think… I believe they try their best to apply gods will as per the bible.. I believe many leave because while the world is having fun drinking and acting carelessly and well being forgiven by god per everyone else belief . they want to fulfill their sinful needs while also filiing their spiritual needs but is that what god wants after all he has written in the bible? ..
    Whats interesting so far about many of the stories from numerous sites is that its all about elders and shunning.. Its almost as if you are spiritually fed right but since your sins or wrong doings are not overlooked you lash out in disagreements of the truth .. Bio means i get it.. But if you cant prove it.in the bible that I’ll ll leave in jehovahs hands… For me they have truth preaching the good news, ressurection, faith loyalty to Jehovah. The governing body is anointed eh i dunno… But the spiritual food is fufilling to me. I would feel terrible being shunned of course its like being called out in school in front of all your friends, but what if your teacher accepted all the clowns and jokers dissobedient people in the class ? They mean well if its not for you i get it… I dont agree with some practices but the loving caring word of Jehovah is priceless in their hands . .. Overlook shunning and some of their shortcommings and look at what they can show from the bible they are on to something… The rules were set by god for everyone Jehovah knows are shortcomings but we are capable to apply righteous lives with bible principles.. . isnt good to fear jehovah in a good way id rather think twice or more for that matter to sin or act stupidly for jehovahs sake than to do wrong thinking jehovah is ok with everything wrong we do cuz he gave us a ransom. As of now i havent had any negative experiences like ive observed so far from reading is the practice of shunning the whole 1914 and other dates i guess but the most i see is 1914 account and the elders they’re like bosses i guess and who likes their boss when they are being reprimanded of wrongdoings, and guilt for things that well are wrong doing but they wanna do with Jehovahs ok and that cant be done with jw religion (no repentance booth, hail marys, jesus loves us all card etc.) like some of yous some things are far fetched but i overlook them at the end of the day reasoning with the bible amd meditating on the scriptures gives you gods pojnt of view wich by way jw inculcate study and reason… Its not about wt or awake they are just guides reason with the teachings…

    1. Thanks for all the work you put into your comment. Naturally I can’t speak for others who have contributed to the site, but I can at least base an answer on my own experience and what I know about many other people who have had experiences with JWs.

      You indicate that perhaps “most” of these who left had problems with shunning and elder problems.

      In my case, and in the case of many of my friends, we appreciated the same things about the religion that you appreciate. The unique set of doctrines promoted by JWs include several that are difficult to maintain in this world, but they set a good example for others to try to follow. A worldwide teaching work where everyone is involved in the ministry of evangelizers is impressive. A stance against divisive politics and against participation in war and nationalism is also a high standard to aspire to. Defending a simpler understanding of the relationship between Jehovah and his Son, Jesus is another appealing doctrine. Highlighting the Hebrew version of complete unconscious “sleep” in death is also appealing, since a God of hellfire and torment is appalling. Mutual encouragement and support and admonishment in a congregational setting to adhere to Christian principles of conduct are of absolute importance.

      In other words, I have no problem with the general teachings and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in fact, I never personally left the religion. (I actually did write a letter that might have normally been treated as a reason for disassociation, but that letter was intercepted by a friend at Bethel.)

      These doctrinal problems didn’t really bother me as much as they should have. My goal was to “wait on Jehovah.” After all, it was not my concern whether these changes would happen in 1 month or 20 years. I was happy to just avoid directly promoting doctrines that I had learned were not true.

      But there came a time when a few of my friends got in trouble for their beliefs, even if they were careful to keep them to themselves and only discuss them with close friends. Any of us who were known to have been involved in research were asked directly by various committees if we believed certain doctrines were wrong. Fortunately the brother who handled the questions for me was Brother Dan Sydlik, a member of the Governing Body, and we both knew of each other’s views. We both agreed that the best thing was to continue being careful about who we spoke to.

      I still associate with many of my friends in a local congregation, from my old congregation, and many of my JW relatives. Some who knew my personal beliefs shunned me for a few years, but I never shunned them. Things are back to normal now.

      However, over time, I have come to realize that much of what we preach is so skewed that we often do as much harm as good. So I am not as active as I am expected to be. I do feel some obligation to continue to “be always ready to make a defense” for my faith and hope, based on Peter’s words, so I do believe this site can provide a service that helps JW’s to think about these things for themselves. This is out of love for those who live in fear of thinking for themselves. There is a certain refreshing “freedom” that Paul spoke about for Christians, and I hope I can continue to do good to all by letting people know, especially to “those related to me in the faith.”

    2. [Response to og]
      I don’t mean to be overly negative but when you say “i understand…” “I understand why”.. “I get why..” then continue on with specifically negative things that humans do specifically in christianity outside JW…

      it feels very condescending and kinda seems to be mischaracterizing what christians do or practice or believe in. I don’t believe being able to ask for forgiveness and having your sins washed away is a get out of jail free card. And even if it were I don’t think true christians view it that way or use it that way.

      One big difference between JWs and your average “christianity” is that JWs are very strict and you really only become one through commitment, and you will be part of a group of peers where your actions are closely monitored, but typical christianity is sort of like being a catholic, anyone can call themselves one and often times they know nothing about the bible or its teachings, and don’t really follow any of the rules, and are really only motivated by a fear of dieing and going to hell or something like that… and think as long as they ask for forgiveness every now and then they’ll be ok.. whether they are is debatable, but this isn’t how true christians are.. true christians hold themselves accountable the same as JWs do… the difference being with JWs they hold each other accountable to… but with christians its between you and God only for the most part.

      I can appreciate that your taking from JW what works for you, and your not allowing yourself to be pressured into believing everything because they say so, your going into it with your eyes open, and your able to disagree with some things and keep your own mind which is very good.

      I could be off about this but I kinda feel like a motivating factor in your life is that you try and live your life by the rules in the bible, you try and do the right things and you think your a good person… but you see some people living unrighteously and seemingly getting away with it and them thinking that its fine they can just ask for forgiveness and all is fine… and I think this really bothers you, and this has motivated you to find an ideology that rewards your efforts and doesn’t reward the person taking the easy path… which seems like JW to you.

      I could be wrong its only my opinion but thats the impression I got.

      But it was good to read your comment and learn about different peoples perspective on things.

      PS if you break your posts into paragraphs instead of it all together it helps the readability of it, I do apologize if it sounds like I’m being overly critical absolutely not my intention I wish you the best!

    3. i think you should understand multi-layer nature of JWism (or of any other worldview as well):

      1, Unitarian theology, psychopannychia, second-chancism, preaching, moral values… – those are basic JW teaching. In case this was the credo of JW in the same manner as other denominations have their credos, it would be much more easier to be a JW. Unfortunately this is not case and there are many additional layers in JWism. I feel you are focusing on this part when saying they are right.

      2, Special and extravagant teachings of JW. This is a big issue – in contrast to a standard denomination, JWs are asking to blindly obey not just the basic stuff (core teachings), but they ask to obey and accept everything. Some of those extravagant teachings are relatively harmless (7 trumpets, 1390 days, etc.), other can destroy your life (refusal of an alternative service was enforced through disfellowshiping, organ transplant ban in 1970s, Malawi cards, insane teaching on blood fractions). this is important part of JWism too and you can be DF’d if you do not comply.

      3, manipulative methods. Rewriting of history: try to check how the Society talks about what the bible students taught about 1914 and compare it with reality (Studies of Scriptures, old WTs…) Lies or half-lies to the public and new potential converts: for example compare FAQ on jw.org , topics on shunning with reality and articles in WT, compare G. Jackson’s testimony before the ARC with real facts. Constant pressure and guilt trips: do more, do more, do more, many pioneers ending in psychiatric care, … Non universal logic: for example saying to other people ‘investigate your religion’ not applying it to themselves.

      So you are talking about the point 1 about core teaching and gross sins, but you should focus also on 2 and 3. Additionally, you view of of nonJW is somehow caricature the JW are presenting – other people do not want to be JWs because they want to fornicate every day, misuse drugs, kill, steal. On the contrary, there are many people that do not want to misbehave, even many many atheist do not fornicate or steal or lie. When we are criticizing the Society it is not because the GB is not permissive toward gross sins, it is mainly because points 2 and 3. (although personally i do not agree with JW theology completely)

  2. It is obvious to me, that the LOVE of the greater number is cooling off. I have seen things in the Truth you folks cannot even imagine. I was at Bethel when HALF of the grave yard shift got disfellowshipped. I got all my privileges taken away after admitting my sin —- 14 months later. There were elders who were having sex with those under age, one was my sister. I could go on and on. Are you hurt ? You blame the organization? Or Jehovah? Or rightly, on imperfect people. Stop looking for excuses, for your weak faith! So the WT has some doctrines wrong, how many do they have right? Compared to the other 20,000+ religions in the world. Get off your butts and start doing the right things before its too late. Remember– abundant peace belongs to those loving your law and for them there is no stumbling block. Oh, and for those of you who think I am self-righteous, I have committed almost every sick sin you can think of. No I am not proud of it. I am ashamed. I tell Jehovah every day that I am the lowest of the low. But, I ask for his help to do his will from henceforth. May Jehovah’s spirit return to you, instead of me, and I do not want to see you lose out on the real life.

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