A Life Lost and a Life Found


James Strait tells the story of his Witness upbringing

What if you were born in a prison camp, and enslavement and control were all you knew in life? What if all you ever worked for was secretly in vain, and the truth of your existence had been withheld from you?

Freedom would be nothing more than an abstract concept, and individuality a mere fantasy.

But what if one day you broke free from those bonds, both mental and physical, and stepped into the outside world? This is what happened to me.

I was born in 1984 as a 4th generation Jehovah’s Witness. My father had come from a rocky and tragic past, and Watchtower offered him a fresh start. The religion also provided him with a wife, my mother, who was a 3rd generation born-in.

Children of Jehovah's Witnesses are expected to follow their parents' footsteps

Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses are expected to follow in their parents’ footsteps

During my childhood my father gradually climbed the Watchtower ranks and taught me everything he learned. The Witness faith made perfect sense to him, and he preached it with fervor. I, on the other hand, questioned the premise from an early age.

The idea that I was paying for the actions of my forefathers over six thousand years ago seemed senseless. I didn’t like having to constantly beg for forgiveness for transgressions I didn’t understand nor accept responsibility for.

Yet, for the sake of peace and the approval of my peers, I buried my doubts deep within my subconscious. Little did I know that one day they would come bursting out and change my life forever.

The Prison

When I was around five years old I was a victim of child molestation.

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not typically turn to worldly resources such as child psychology. Issues such as my abuse are usually dealt with internally. This way they can keep their public image as untainted as possible, which is more conducive to their evangelism. They put total faith in Jehovah to set matters straight, which certainly did not turn out to be the case with me.

Children who are sexually abused go through a wide range of emotions, and are in dire need of professional care. I was taught that sex before marriage is a gross sin – not only something that displeases God, but something deserving of severe discipline. As a child all I knew was that I’d done something terribly wrong, and Watchtower provided no support other than intensifying their indoctrination regimen.

I couldn’t have known back then that I had been born into a prison – cut off from the outside world and any assistance it could offer. I was pretty much left to try to heal my own wounds, which only served to stunt my development as a child.

My extended family did their best to support me, but the system on which they relied was severely flawed and self-serving. I was left to traverse one of the most difficult emotional paths the human imagination can fathom.

Throughout my youth my religious regimen was intense, demanding a sizable amount of time and energy. The doctrine was centered on legalistic prohibitions, converting others, isolation and exaltation of the organization as God’s sole channel. At times it felt like I could barely keep my head above water.

I was expected to accomplish the impossible task of existing within the world while taking no part in it. Everything on the outside of the religion seemed to be forbidden: people, places, events, all manner of things. It never made sense to me, but any intellectual divergence was soon crushed by shame, fear and even (in my case) physical violence. I soon learned that whole parts of my psyche had to be repressed, as they were simply too dangerous to reveal to anyone.

I was torn between a desperate need for the approval of my peers and my individuality, which kept trying surface. It wasn’t long before I became bored by what the Watchtower had to offer.

Meetings and assemblies can be tedious and repetitive - even if you take your faith seriously

Meetings and assemblies can be tedious and repetitive – even if you take your faith seriously

It got to the point where I would find creative ways to entertain myself during meetings. I would excuse myself to the restroom, or visit the drinking fountain as much as possible to give my mind a rest from listening to something I already knew inside out. The boredom was maddening. I often found myself counting down the remaining time of the meeting, second by second.

Conventions were no less tedious. I would invent any conceivable excuse to tear my mind from the program. I have so many memories of walking aimlessly around the venue for hours. Anything would suffice, so long as I was not sitting and listening to what I had heard so many times before.

I loathed the way the crowd gulped down everything that was dished out from the platform. All the speaker had to do was change the tone of his voice and he could get his audience clapping like obedient seals.

Despite my efforts at shielding myself from the monotony, ultimately there would prove to be no escape – especially from my father, who would become infuriated if he saw that I was not taking our religion seriously.

On one occasion, as a teenager, I took a stand and told my parents I was going to stop attending meetings. This enraged my father and emotionally devastated my mother. When my family left the house each meeting night my mother would be sobbing.  As she walked out the door, I could see mascara dripping down her face. From her perspective, her son was doomed to a fiery death. My only chance at salvation was through doors of the Kingdom Hall.

Needless to say, my boycott was short lived. The emotional blackmail ate away at me and eventually I relented and began attending meetings again. My stunt ended up being so emotionally traumatizing that I decided to reaffirm my dedication to Jehovah and the organization. I believed at the time that my life was taking a real shift in momentum towards faith in God.

Looking back, I now realize it was more to keep a smile on my mother’s face rather than see those tears streaming down it.

Courtship and Marriage

When I was 16 I met a girl my age named Jessica* at one of the conventions. I really wanted to get to know her better. Luckily it turned out she was the best friend of one of my cousins.

We soon started hanging out as a group, and Jessica and I came to develop strong feelings for each other. She was not baptized, but she lived her life obedient to Witness teachings. At the time I was going through an intense phase in my life where I seriously believed in Jehovah and the Watchtower. In addition to sharing many common interests, we were both committed to our faith.

I was raised to believe that any person you date must be viewed as a potential marriage mate. When a Witness goes into a romantic relationship they are supposed to have marriage in mind, otherwise they are viewed as being spiritually weak. So when things started looking serious between Jessica and I, our parents became concerned.

Dating witness couples must never go unchaperoned

Dating witness couples must never go unchaperoned

At 16 we lacked the life experience to simply get married and start a new life. This is one of the crucial flaws in the Witness way of life. So many young couples get married too early, largely due to the prohibitions on premarital sex.

One day I was dropped off at a local department store parking lot where I was supposed to meet my cousin and her best friend. My cousin was not feeling well so she decided to stay home, leaving Jessica to come and pick me up unchaperoned. After Jessica collected me we drove back to my cousin’s house where we hung out and had a great time.

Unfortunately, my cousin’s mother soon became aware that Jessica and I had driven home alone together. To non-Witnesses our actions may not sound so outrageous. But to a strict Witness like my cousin’s mother, it was a serious infraction. She took action and convinced our parents to forbid us all from associating together, since things seemed to be getting “risky.” Jessica and I did not even speak on the phone for almost a year.

After the dust settled, we were allowed to see each other again. Soon after, Jessica and I started down the rough road of Witness courtship. The rigors of this can only be truly appreciated by those who have been through it.

Suddenly all eyes in the congregation are on the two of you, watching your every move. You are banned from ever being alone, so a chaperone is always needed. The Watchtower teaches that any sexual wrongdoing can jeopardize the entire congregation’s cleanliness. It is implied that in the event a congregation becomes unclean God will remove his spirit and all the protection it offers. Such paranoia can place a huge burden on a blossoming relationship.

Jessica and I were not baptized Witnesses when we began dating. However, about halfway through our courtship, Jessica became a full Witness publisher by getting baptized at one of the assemblies.

Suddenly we lost the approval of many of our friends and family because we were an “unevenly yoked” couple, with one in the faith and the other not. Even though I was raised a Witness I was called a “man of the nations” in contrast to Jessica, who was now a member of the “great crowd” of God’s people. Some Witnesses in both our congregations feared that God would not approve of such a courtship and remove his spirit.

I chose to move out of my house when I was 17 to make preparations to marry Jessica. I first moved in with my older half-brother before eventually finding my own apartment, where I taught myself how to program websites and finally set up an internet business.

Jessica was under a lot of pressure because of her choice to stay with me. The elders in my congregation tried to convince me to leave her until I was worthy, but I refused. I promised instead that I would get baptized once Jessica and I were married. And in 2003 we married at a local rented facility, as we were not allowed to have our ceremony at the Kingdom Hall.

After Jessica and I were married I made good on my promise and underwent a bible study to get baptized as a Witness publisher. Once I was baptized the critics were silenced, and we were left alone to live our life. Many embraced us, and we were able to build up a sizable support system of friends and family.

For a time life felt pretty good. My business was flourishing, and we finally had peace. But sadly all of this would soon come crashing down.


In 2004 my parents got divorced, my father was disfellowshipped and my childhood home was sold.

The way things had happened I could tell that my father would never return to the faith. Everything he had held dear for so long, as well as taught me, was thrown away almost overnight.

I didn’t take it very well and plunged into a deep depression. At the time I really had no idea what clinical depression was. All I knew was that I had suddenly lost motivation to do just about anything. The problem was that I had many clients who were in need of my services, but I neglected them.

My wife watched my free-fall in horror. She would come home from work and I’d be in the same place she’d left me in the morning. Something was terribly wrong and neither of us really understood what was going on.

Jessica suggested that I get help through my local elders, and I agreed. But none of their suggestions had any effect on my symptoms.

Eventually I was forced to seek professional help. Some of my elders saw the psychological community as competition, and became jealous. I remember a certain elder’s face turning red with anger when I told him I was getting counseling.

My therapist, a clinical psychologist, diagnosed me with PTSD and Bipolar II disorder. She knew that my problems stemmed largely from the intensity of my religious life, but she was powerless to point it out to me because I was not ready to hear it. I was in such bad shape that she referred me to the best psychiatrist in the area who confirmed my diagnosis and started me on medication.

This started some very tumultuous times, as I entered a trial and error process with anti-psychotic and bipolar medications. During this time I sold my business for a very low amount, began receiving disability payments, and my wife and I were forced to move in with my divorced mother.

Watchtower's approach to depression falls woefully short

Watchtower’s approach to depression falls woefully short

Each prescribed medication had an array of intolerable side effects, which forced me to keep changing my prescriptions.

After a span of four years I had gained over 100 pounds and was much worse off than when I started. During that time my little brother was also disfellowshipped, which did little to help my depression.

I ended up being hospitalized on four separate occasions for extreme suicidal ideations. I once spent 5 days in a crisis recovery treatment center.

Throughout this ordeal my JW family offered the only support they knew of, which felt totally empty and valueless. They didn’t know what to do even though they claimed to be instructed by the perfect creator of the universe. But Jehovah had no answers for my situation.

At least the secular community could offer some trial and error therapy, whereas my creator seemed to throw up his hands in defeat. The extreme situation I found myself in made me question just about everything, including the existence of God.

Awakening & Apostasy

By 2008 my wife and I had been through quite an ordeal.

One positive result was that I had an opportunity to compare the effectiveness of my religion to what the outside world had to offer. The world had resources and experts who tried their hardest to find solutions tailored to my unique situation. But my religion used a “one size fits all” approach – with pitiful results.

I know some people feel that the Witness approach to mental illness is effective, but in my case it was an abject failure. They had allowed me to be sexually abused and then offered no effective support – instead telling me that many of my symptoms were the work of wicked spirit creatures.

One side offered science, logic and reason; the other could summon nothing more than empty superstition.

One day all my past doubts about God and the organization came suddenly rushing into my consciousness. It was as though I was waking up from a nightmare. The floodgates within my mind opened and all my questions that I had repressed for so long came to the surface.

This time I had neither the will nor the ability to repress them, and I became extremely afraid. I knew the potential consequences of leaving my faith. All of the people I had grown to love would completely alter their view of me. They would view me as sick; on a path to eternal destruction. On top of all this there was my depression. How would I cope?

It takes bravery to wake up from religious indoctrination

It takes bravery to wake up from religious indoctrination

Despite these fears, I decided to move forward in the hope that staying true to myself would ultimately prove to be the best course. As I began to sense my true identity re-emerging, many of my symptoms improved.

Unfortunately, my family did not approve of my new-found path. I was open about my feelings, and as a result they were infuriated. Because I was a baptized member they saw my stand as nothing short of betrayal to them and their God.

Several family members with whom my wife and I were very close shunned us simply for being openly agnostic. Those who didn’t shun us suddenly became very standoffish and cautious. I was told that I was not allowed to speak about my views, or else what little association we had would be withdrawn.

Because my family could no longer offer any lasting support I reached out to an EXJW online support group. My family suspected I was an apostate and was keeping tabs on my internet activities. A few of them compiled a dossier of selected online quotes. One copy was given to my elders, while others were circulated throughout my friends and family. This effectively ended what few relationships my wife and I still had, leaving us to start a completely new life.

I had to speak to two elders who investigated my apostasy, but fortunately I was never officially disfellowshipped. The two men in question knew me very well and took my diagnoses into account. They decided to simply label me as stumbled rather than put me through more grief. But they implored me to consider returning to the faith, and claimed that my experience was not a true representation of what being a Witness was all about. As long as I didn’t seek out opportunities to preach my dissidence to other Witnesses, I would be left alone.

As I did research online I found out that over the decades many others had been through experiences eerily similar to mine. I discovered that my tears and anguish were just a small part of Watchtower’s painful legacy.

Contrary to what the two elders had told me, I saw that the problem was systemic. It was at this point that I decided to become an Ex-JW activist. I realized that I had inside knowledge of a destructive cult that was actively shielding its true nature from the public and its own members. Only through lies and deceit were they able to continue growing as a pseudo-religion. I felt a strong urge to warn as many as possible.

I started a YouTube Channel and began writing online about my experiences, as well as the doubts that had been suppressed for many years. I found many people as I clawed my way out of the Watchtower prison who I now consider dear friends.

The life I had before in the organization was lost, but every ending offers a new beginning. I am left with just one thing to say to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses: “Your time left is reduced.”

I am excited to offer my support as a JWsurvey writer to those like me whose lives have been negatively impacted by Watchtower. I sincerely believe that together we can make a valuable contribution to the world. My hope is that eventually high control groups such as Watchtower will be unable to flourish due to proper societal education.

In the end, the truth is what is most important.










*Name has been changed.

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92 Responses to A Life Lost and a Life Found

  1. Excelsior says:


    What do you think is coming?

    Notice how I use capital letters for proper nouns and full stops and other punctuation. Why is it that whenever someone like you writes a comment, they are unable to follow even the most basic rules of punctuation and grammar?

    Are you in such a rush to pronounce judgement on John Cedars (notice the use of capital letters, because these words are proper nouns) that you forget how to write like an adult? Or is it that your education is so slipshod that you don’t know how to write?

    I will tell you exactly what is coming! The justice sorely needed for the endless victims of your frankly insane religion.

    The brave gentleman who wrote this article is not a fictitious character. He is a real victim of the laws and strictures of your religion. Have you no pity for his plight?

    I long for the day when your religion is forced to recognise and recompense its crimes against so many people.

    I would suggest that you learn how to write, then go and read up on your religion. Maybe you will then show the compassion of Christ, rather than post ill written and ill conceived posts on this site.

    You have contributed nothing to the glory of God with your post. You have not convinced me that you have the Truth.

    Peace be with you


  2. Excelsior says:

    James Strait,

    Thank you for your brave and moving article. I am so glad that you have regained your health and that you have the decency to post here.

    I have seen some of your videos on YouTube, and I reccomend others to view them too.

    You have friends here, and we welcome you to our little outpost of sanity and honour.

    Peace be with you


  3. ricki pretend steele says:

    this is actually quite funny you are all desperate losers trying to prove the wbts are wrong lol im not in but even i can see what you are lol ,why not just invent your own religion and leave the jehovahs witnesses alone ?
    john cedars i know all about you and your current demise as i am from the uk as well ,i believe stockport was your address why be such a coward ? why not come out and let the uneducated see you for what you are ?
    death becomes you and all that oppose Jehovah God ,reply to me if you wish my email address is leeelvin@hotmail.co.uk i am not scared of anyone except JEHOVAH my God , i am waiting John ~?

  4. ricki pretend steele says:

    why not block my ip address as simon did at jw.net 🙂

  5. Gramma Velta says:

    Dearest James,
    I relate to your experience on many levels. I was sexually abused in the organization, I was bored at the meetings as a child and repressed in many ways.
    Although I married a wonderful man inside the organization and had children who we raised as JW, now we are all out and living our life as we desire. I found that the “Jehovah” of the Watchtower is the the real God of the Bible. Check it out for yourself.
    I am happy that you and your wife are free from the bondage that can suck away your life.
    Gramma Velta

  6. Gramma Velta says:

    Sorry, I meant to say: The Jehovah of the Watchtower is NOT the God of the Bible!

  7. mouchette says:

    Rikki I know that WTS discourage education but a little education would improve your writing skills and thinking ability. If you could spell, use grammar and punctuation it would help enormously in posting a comment.

    After learning these basic skills you could move on to presenting an intelligent argument.

    You would do well to read some of John Cedar’s articles which are beautifully and thoughtfully expressed with much to say that is relevant and helpful.

    Without some basic education you can’t hope to speak to people in your house to house calls or presume to teach them anything at all. Much less to expect a reply from some-one of the calibre of John Cedars. I hope I am not too late for you to receive this.

  8. Eddie Te Pas says:

    Thanks for writting your experience. I left the organisation 8 years ago. I was a witness for 45 years. I do not blame my parents for bringing me up as a JW. They also had the task from the organisation to teach us children daily. So did I taught my child 16 years. Fortunately he did not agree with the teachings. Clever boy!! My thanks to Cedar..

  9. Excelsior says:


    You do a lot of laughing out loud, don’t you? What is so funny about the systematic cover ups of child abuse on the WTBTS?

    I have no desire to create my own religion, but if I did, it would not allow paedophiles to abuse children with impunity. It would not use family members as weapons, by having them shun their loved ones. Need I go on?

    You are morally bankrupt. You have no beneficial comments to add.

    Peace be with you


  10. B3 says:

    Yes, Cedars does deserve what is coming, which is a life lived to the full with the knowledge that he is not being misled by a destructive cult. I only hope and pray that one day you can get the same. I speak as one who served as an elder for almost 10 years. I have begged for forgiveness for that, many times. I was strongly misled, but now I am awake. I no longer have to wonder why it is that I feel that my life does not belong to me. I know that it was stolen from me, as was so well pointed out in the above article. My heart goes out to James Strait, as the level of abuse he faced was enormous, yet he had the courage to share his story. I can only hope you are posting here, ricki, because you are beginning the considerably painful process of waking up and throwing off the shackles.

  11. b3 says:

    Sorry, the above was supposed to be a reply to one of ricki’s earlier posts. It seems to have ended up somewhere entirely different.

  12. Patrice says:

    Hi. Thankyou for your wonderful article. I too have escaped but I am not free. I am held prisoner by having to still live my life to please my still active mother. She blames me that my children and therefore her grandchildren and great grandchildren will lose their lives. It my fault it would seem. But when I ask her if she would choose to go to a doctor who could make her well, but he needs more time so more people can watch him do it, she gets the point and gets angry. She says Jehovah is being patient with me. I don’t want him to be patient with me, I want him to just do the right thing and stop waiting for a huge audience. But what I really want to show her is Revelation seven and ask her to tell me exactly where in that scripture it says that the great crowd will be on the earth, because this is the scripture that was my lightbulb moment. I no longer go to meeting but it is breaking my heart to see the hope in my mum that I may return. At 85 years old I know I will lose her soon and this is going to leave me with deep regret, and wondering should I go back for her sake. Thank you for listening.

  13. sally patterson says:

    Very nice article. I left of my own accord, in 1992 as a conscientious objector. I too, have this very strong urge to reach out to others, so their eyes might be opened. I too, have inside information. What can I do to help others??

  14. Eddie says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I was a witness 45 years. I recognize a few similar things. My parents were JW. I do not blame my parents for anything as they were also instructed by the organisation. I am very very happy we all left the JW organisation as a family. No need to say more I think..
    Lots of Christian love to all…

  15. Excelsior says:


    I would not recommend going back. Do. to give those ratbags in the WTBTS any leverage over you and your children whatsoever.

    Your mum will cope. She still loves you, you are still her daughter.

    I have great sympathy for you. My dear old Mum is never going to be able to leave the WTBTS. We just have to keep on keeping on, and take every opportunity to show kindness and respect to our mums.

    Peace be with you


  16. Excelsior says:


    I noticed that you posted a desire to see a paedophile lynched. And yet you support a religion that covers up child abuse.

    Do you have your noose ready? I am certain that there is a long list of Elders that you need to kill.

    Your hypocrisy amazes me! You call Cedars a coward, and try to threaten him with exposure of his real name – and yet you want to see that man murdered, who was protected by your religion.

    You seriously need to decide what is right and what is wrong here. I suggest that you do your research and be ready to apologise to all of us.

    Peace be with you


  17. BU2B says:

    I truly resonated with your story and I admire your courage to stand up for what you believe and not play this conscious class/fading game that I am. You are an example I will use in my journey.. Thank you for sharing and wish you the best of Luck-BU2B

  18. Holy Conolli says:

    Hi James

    Not much difference that the WT predicting Armageddon over and over and when it doesn’t happen blame the publishers and the cong for being over anxious and not “waiting” on Jehovah? You are to young to remember the 1975 predictions but I am sure you heard about it and many other dates. I was married and raising my family as JW’s and I kept getting depressed over the same things you talked about even though I was doing everything required of e and more in the WT world. I also got Extremely bored hearing he same things over and over and over again. It was like I was a ZOMBIE just sitting there and not using my own mind that God gave me to use. Glad U R doing better now. I think most of the depression in the JW world comes from the repression and the inability to think for ourselves? If we do start to think openly and normally we are trained to feel bad about it and tell ourselves that the Devil is invading our thoughts? This leads to isolation and depression. As humans we need to be able to talk openly without fear of punishmentt about our thoughts if we cannot do that we become mentally unstable. Sometimes today I will call my brother or friend and just have an open discussion with them about something that bothers me. I feel much better getting gsomething off my chest.

  19. Holy Conolli says:

    I guess John Cedars could star his own religion just like Charles Taze Russell did and Joseph Rutherford did right? Since there teachings were quite different from one another.Of course what would that accomplish? Just another man-made religion? He could make predictions that never come true, he could change doctrines every few years,he could claim ONLY he has th truth and all other religions are from The devil? He could build himself a home for the Dead Biblical princes to return to but live in it until he dies? He could tell everyone he is the F&DS and then change his mind and add a few more as a class of annoitned ones, then change it only the gov body memebers all the time claiming he is receiving the “TRUTH” from the creator of the universe. Then if you ever dare to disagree with him shun you and have your family shun you for eternity. Now What religion does that sound like?

    • Cedars says:

      That would be a fantastic hypothesis if only I was touting some new form of religion. As it is, I am agnostic and my own personal beliefs centre on the premise that nothing in life is certain, what cannot be proven must immediately be discarded, and we are all constantly learning. This immediately rules out any form of dogma or prophetic assertions.

      Nice try at casting me as the villain though. You have a very active imagination, I’ll give you that.

      • Brian says:

        Bravo, Cedars! I’m not even sure what that other comment was driving at, really…BUT…your vigorous defense of yourself and the logic used was refreshing.

  20. Holy Conolli says:


    I wasn’t referring to you. I was being sarcastic to Ricki when he said for you to go “START” your own religion? Also when he said you will get “everything” coming to you? That is the same old threat and scare tactic if you dare think differently. I have had many JW’s say the same thing to me
    when I challenged them on several of their main teachings.I said why do I even need to start my own religion? What would be the purpose of me doing that? I can believe in God without joining a religion.

    I was just showing the same scenario that Ricki mentions bc that is exactly what Russell an Rutherford did.

  21. Artruro Parra says:

    I have been touched in the heart with their experience, wich l have just read.l suffered in meat own my own agony that not much different from yours.l know how you feel now that we are free.

  22. Nancy says:

    Holy Conolly, I recognized it was sarcasm 🙂

    Grandma Velta, I knew that is what you meant. Thanks for fixing it! It might have bothered me for the day. 🙁
    It’s true they do not worship The God of the Bible YHVH. It’s also true, wonderful and amazing that they do an excellant job worshipping the god of mischeif “Jehovah”.

    I knew the young man who wrote this artical. He is real and the story is real, and well written, I might add. How do I know this? No one would keep up a false front for nothing. What would he gain? What would Cedars gain?

    I want to share what someone who calls herself a Jehovah’s Witness wrote on forum. It’s probably against the internet rules to do it but do I care? Haha

    quote”With regard to whether or not christianity will last, I know it will last because Christ established it and individuals are submitting to it. But what will not last is the form of christianity which is not based on Christs teachings. The bible tells us that all forms of religion that are out of harmony with Gods truth and his Son will be brought down. There are religions claiming to represent Christ who clearly dont represent him….God will not tolerate such ones indefinitely.” unquote

    Please notice that she wrote “God” and that she did not write ‘Jehovah”. Jehovah the god of mischief will, of course, tolerate mischief forever…..and ever……and ever…..and ever……just as he is really doing.

  23. Nancy says:

    Holy Conolly, I recognized it was sarcasm 🙂

    Grandma Velta, I knew that is what you meant. Thanks for fixing it! It might have bothered me for the day. 🙁
    It’s true they do not worship The God of the Bible YHVH. It’s also true, wonderful and amazing that they do an excellant job worshipping the god of mischeif “Jehovah”.

    I knew the young man who wrote this artical. He is real and the story is real, and well written, I might add. How do I know this? No one would keep up a false front for nothing. What would he gain? What would Cedars gain?

    Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they are “in the truth”. They teach Jesus rules them. They teach the Holy Spirit directs them. But when a person who once wanted to believe those three things discovers, on his or her own, that truth does not rule in it, then the sane and responsible thing to do is to leave it. Is it not what the angel has said? “Get out of her!”

  24. Nancy says:

    I think Ricki is a girl. Someone called her him. I do doubt sometimes that it/she/he is human though. On occasion I wonder if he/she/it is someone’s automated troll machine. I mean really!

    I apologize for my spelling mistake. I meant to write mischief not mischeif.

  25. Gypsy Sam says:

    Thanks for having so much courage and submitting your story.
    It’s such an inner feeling of happiness to see another one escape and make a success out of their life, free from JW mind control and judgmental attitudes depsite all the wrong done to you.

  26. Kaitlyn says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was born-in too, though my experience is quite different from yours. I have never met anyone who has actually experienced abuse in the congregation (though I suppose I may have and yet not known it). I am so sorry for all that you have been through, but I’m also glad that you are now awake. Isn’t it great to be free?! It’s like this giant weight has been lifted off. I do have a couple questions if that’s ok…Did your wife leave with you? Are y’all still together?
    Anyway, greetings from Texas and thanks again for sharing. Sending hugs and happy thoughts your way.

  27. Tatiana says:

    James, thank you for sharing! I think i can understand what do you feel, as long as my mother became JW when i was 6. My father never supported all that mess, so i grew up in “divided by religion” family. Looking back to my childhood i can say that i never had one… Luckily, i “became free” from all of this when i was 17, so it was just in time for having back my life and starting a new one. It was not easy and took me about 3 years more to finally get my mother and others stop trying to pull me back. But, fortunately, i won this battle and now i am 27, i have the education i want, the family i want, and i live the life i want. Wish you to have everything you want in your life and be happy!

  28. AveSatani says:

    “I have never met anyone who has actually experienced abuse in the congregation (though I suppose I may have and yet not known it)” Kaitlin, that is the most disturbing thing I have read today, I’m not going to ask you anything about your parents or caretakers, but I sincerely hope that your doubts are unfounded.

  29. imacountrygirl2 says:

    HUH???? Was that a joke? Or, are you having a bad day, AveSatani?

    If I am mistaken, I humbly apologize. Your comment makes absolutely no sense to me.

  30. Damaris says:

    James you are a good person. A lot of people are very ignorant. JW is a joke. I’m glad to be out too.

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