My Story- Jesse
I, like George, was indoctrinated into the Jehovah’s Witnesses from an early age. My mother was brought into the organization by my aunt when I was still in elementary school. I can even vaguely remember the day that my mother was baptized. I remember it happened at a district convention at the Hawthorne Race Track in Cicero, IL. The only thing that I remember from the day was wondering where my mother was for the first half of the convention. I remember standing by the baptism pool with my aunt, yet I had no clue why. Little did I know the profound affect that this event would have on the rest of my life.
My father never became a Jehovah’s Witness and was in and out of my life so the only parental influence I really had was my mothers. Throughout most of my life we stayed somewhat regular with spurts of irregularity due to my mother’s health. At around 15 I started “making the truth my own.”
When I was 16 and halfway through sophomore year I started homeschooling. This gave me the free time to regularly read the bible, prepare for all the meetings and exert myself in the field ministry. This combined with a large group of “spiritually-minded” youths at my kingdom hall motivated me dedicated myself to Jehovah and follow that dedication up with baptism in Dec, 2000. As soon as my head came up from that water I was ready to start pioneering. Of course I needed to wait six months first, so I spent the next six months as an Aux pioneer.
Serving as a Full-time minister
Pioneering was mixed with some of the best and worst memories that I will ever have. I remember once a month on Wednesdays, in an effort to get more people out in service we would have a lunch at the kingdom hall. This involved people bringing all kinds of delicious foods to the hall to be enjoyed after a morning in the ministry. It became very popular and resulted in groups of 30 to 40 people out on a weekday. It was during these months of pioneering that I met George my best friend, I also got to know my wife and another friend who was my first roommate who were all pioneers. My roommate and I even developed a reputation at our kingdom hall and were called “the sons of thunder” because we were always looking for battles in the field ministry. We were so arrogant and disrespectful that we would even go into churches looking for fights. It seemed like years that we all were on a spiritual high. And, that’s exactly what it was, we were “high” on religion because life was easy and problem free. Eventually real life started and things changed forever.
Real Life and my eventual inactivity
At 21 I married a pioneer sister and shortly after, I was appointed as a Ministerial Servant. My life should have been great. We were living a simple life in an attempt to serve Jehovah better. We were both extremely busy with spiritual things, work and our relationship. Unfortunately, life was quickly becoming depressing. Because I was dedicating my whole life to Jehovah I assumed to he would continue to provide for me. But, he did not. My talks were becoming a chore rather than a joy, I was starting to despise the field ministry and meetings were beginning to bore me. I was quickly becoming sick of the organization and longed for a chance to leave. I was tired of the same old talks, I was tired of the dominating judgmental personality of the elder body, I was tired of the constant gossip, and most importantly I was tired of how I was becoming just like the elders that I couldn’t stand. Meanwhile I still continued to give outstanding talks and comments. I would even occasionally conduct book studies. Then something shocking happened, something that eventually would result in the best decision I have ever made.
The Shocking event that changed everything
My close friend and former roommate was disfellowshipped. I knew why he was disfellowshipped and I knew well before the announcement that it was going to happen. This was a golden opportunity for me to leave the organization without completely isolating myself socially. So, I told the elders that I was resigning as an MS and that I was going to stop attending meetings and go inactive. For the next few weeks I was bombarded with phone calls and text messages. Some were positive and offered encouragement and some were negative and condemned me. Everyone cut me off, even the people I had known since I was 11 years old when I moved to the kingdom hall, and I wasn’t even disfellowshipped or disassociated. The next couple years were lonely and depressing. I was constantly tempted to return to the organization to reclaim my lost associates. But, I held strong and I refused to return. Eventually, I made new friends, real friends. At that point I still thought the JWs could have “the truth” but I didn’t care because I was finally, completely happy. I had no desire to ever return to the organization. In the end leaving was the greatest decision that I have ever made.
Within the past year I have started studying world religions, science, archeology, anthropology, textual criticism, psychology and the history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Now I can say with conviction and evidence that the Jehovah’s witnesses DO NOT have “the truth” and they are in fact a horrible cult that destroys families, leads to depression and have caused thousands of innocent people their lives. My purpose of this blog is to stand against this disgusting organization. Hopefully someone will be able to use what I have learned to prevent them andor their family and friends from dedicating themselves to the Watchtower Society.
A side note about my atheism
In my quest for knowledge regarding the “truth” claim of the Jehovah’s Witnesses I became an Atheist. I am not an anti-theist but I do think religious fundamentalism is slowly leading our world down a dangerous path. I plan to also devote a large portion of this blog to my belief that there is no god and why I feel that way.