Real Life Experiences
Life After Leaving the Jehovah’s WitnessesSubmitted by Andrew on July 6, 2012 - 1:32 pm 8 Comments
Today is a very special day if you are a Jehovah’s Witness in Cyprus. It’s the annual ‘district convention’! That’s right, three long days of being bored to death listening to drivel about how you aren’t good enough and should be doing more for the organization. Thank goodness I am no longer in the cult and have to subject myself to such torture.
And that’s what I want to talk about – life after leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses. When I was a JW, I heard so many stories about how lucky we were to be in god’s organization. It offered protection from the evils of the world, a moral barrier that stopped you getting in debt at christmas or getting some sort of sexually transmitted disease from going on an unchaperoned date. To leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses was to will unhappiness, stress and problems upon yourself.
What I am about to say may sound over the top, as if I am exaggerating, but believe me, I am not at all. I can not state this clearly enough – since I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I have never been so happy. It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. No more constant stress worrying to make sure you’re still thinking so that the demons don’t possess you, no more sleepless nights apologising in prayer for being human. I was a slave to religion and false ideas, and now I am free. To be in service to god is to wish to be an abject slave.
I imagine some Jehovah’s Witnesses will be saying, “Yes, but your happiness is only temporary,” or that I am only happy because I am part of the materialistic and evil world. My happiness is only temporary in that one day I will die. The whole idea of god allowing this ‘system of things’ to carry on as it is, is just wrong. Immoral even. I know… I know… Jehovah’s Witnesses are convinced that everyone suffering is all part of a master plan to clear god’s name because god just loves us all to little pieces. Just think about that for a minute and you see how abstract and vile the whole idea is.
I have also heard it said that people who don’t believe in god have no purpose in life or do not feel fulfilled. That simply isn’t true. My own mother in law, a Jehovah’s Witness, once told me that there has to be a god, otherwise there’d be no purpose in life. She gets irritated whenever something anti-god or anti-JW comes up, but thinks I am unreasonable if I do the same when I hear something pro-god or pro-JW – but I digress and that story is for another blog post.
The simple fact is that life without god is good, but I realise not all of you dear readers are atheists like I am. Life without the Jehovah’s Witnesses, though, is fantastic. I get to re-explore the universe as if for the first time, free from the shackles of the cult. I get to re-evaluate my life goals and priorities, and I tell you – without the promise of everlasting life and the excuse to fall back on that god will fix things, I have found myself much more pro-human. Where before I would hear things from my father-in-law like, “Doctors shouldn’t bother trying to cure cancer – they should spread gods news because he will heal cancer in the new system,” I now realise how precious human life is and that we should do everything in our power to alleviate the pain and suffering that others are in. I realise what an amazing species we are, with our ups and downs. I realise, much to the chagrin of Jehovah’s Witnesses, that life is valuable, not mere dust, and that something real has to be done to help people rather than just knocking on doors and leaving tracts. My purpose in life, then, is clear.
Guess what? The world outside the JWs isn’t all doom and gloom, wars, murders and greed. In fact, humans are doing quite well for themselves – we are living in a time with less violence than any other time, people live longer thanks to medical advances, and we’re in a golden age of scientific research where we are gaining the same amount of knowledge every single day that we have ever learned in all the years of our past. I’ll blog about that in a future article – the fact that things are getting better, not worse as the Jehovah’s Witnesses would have you believe with their ‘last days’ nonsense.
How about you? Are you happier since leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses? How have you changed?
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