This site will help the ex-Jehovah's Witness understand that coming out of the organization is not an end, but rather another step in the search for truth. The information you find here is not just another attempt by yet another religion to swoop in and save you from your "cultist" (as they like to call it) Jehovah's Witness past. Such religions are just different versions of the same Bible-based, anthropomorphized God, represented by leaders who have a habit of replacing your conscience with theirs. Here you will learn to truly start at the beginning, using your own mind, common sense, and conscience–something you will discover you have never really done.
Although it is taught that Watchtower interpretations are the truth, ex-Jehovah's Witnesses know of many instances of error–even admitted to by the Society. The errors are excused by claiming that change simply demonstrates the organization's humility and submission to "new light." The point that should not be missed by an ex-Jehovah's Witness is that since the teachings were not truth then, many teachings are not true now.
More so than just about any other religion, Jehovah's Witnesses put a strong emphasis on education and mental growth. It is a studious and intellectual religion that swallows up the mind and attention. For ex-Jehovah's Witnesses, this training remains ingrained and it is very difficult to simply adopt another religion that is based primarily on faith.
For this reason, many ex-Jehovah's Witnesses become associated with off-shoot religions, or even begin their own venture by adopting different interpretations of the Bible. Understandably, some become highly skeptical of the Society, even casting it as the "evil slave."
A high number of ex-Jehovah's Witnesses become so disenchanted with religion that they even become atheistic. Such ex-Jehovah's Witnesses figure that if they studied as hard as they did and the Bible proved lacking, or if they have become disfellowshipped by those they love, then they want nothing to do with such a God. By so doing, they take an irrational step in assuming that God is the same thing as the Watchtower society.
The ex-Jehovah's Witness must come to understand that all their feelings after leaving are normal and expected. However, it is not a time for despair, but for action. No experience in life is to be wasted. Nietzsche wrote in one of his many moments of genius, "That which does not kill you, makes you a better person." The psychologist, M. Scott Peck wrote, "The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
It is by adversity that the ex-Jehovah's Witness can become introduced to him/herself. We must be moved out of our zone of comfort to be able to look back to see where we truly have been in relation to reality. The more discomfort an ex-Jehovah's Witness feels with the departure experience, the greater the incentive and opportunity to find a better road. Those who have totally surrendered their minds to the Organization have little hope of ever truly finding themselves or the truth. To totally surrender to any human organization, regardless of its claims about God, is to surrender to other humans.
That is a key to understanding and a new beginning for an ex-Jehovah's Witness. No ex-Jehovah's Witness can think of one teaching that they surrendered to during their sojourn in the Organization that was not of human origin. Every Watchtower and every word on every page in the Bible was originally written by humans. Not one Jehovah's Witness, or any other human for that matter, has ever heard the creator's voice booming from the heavens–unless they are delusional. Yes, many claim otherwise, including some in the Bible and other holy books, but there is no proof (as you will learn from the resources in this website). The ex-Jehovah's Witness must reflect on the implications of this profound truth–all messages purportedly coming from God actually come from flesh and blood humans just like you–and ask the question: should I trust myself or another human?
Let's consider for a moment the word, truth, which is so freely used in the organization. Although the ex-Jehovah's Witnesses have been taught to think of it as fixed Biblical interpretations, real truth cannot be such an endpoint. Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses know that given human four-dimensional constraints, nobody can precisely define the ultimate truth about reality because reality is not just four dimensions; to do so would require the capacity of God, which no human can (or, at least should) claim. Nevertheless, reason demands that there must be an ultimate truth.
This notion stays in our collective brain like one of those songs you hear and then can't stop humming. Nor should we. Unfortunately, we don't do well with delayed gratification. So the hunger for truth only dogs religious thought for a time. Then dogmas are settled upon, and the humming stops. Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses think they have thought when they came into the Organization, but they have only rearranged prejudices.
Just because ex-Jehovah's Witnesses have become disillusioned with a group of men who claim the truth, does not mean there is no truth. The ex-Jehovah's Witness may not yet come to know it fully, but it exists. Truth exists independent of our beliefs about it.
What we can know about truth has to do with everyday reality we experience, prove to ourselves, and which accords with reason and facts. Everything else is just so much puff. What is reality? It is truth. What are truth and reality? They can best be described as "God." Reality, truth, and God are just different words for the same thing. The process of openly and honestly searching for truth is the purest form of worship–and it has nothing to do with other people, their institutions, books, or dogmas. It is a very personal thing each of us are capable of. The ex-Jehovah's Witness must set aside the prevailing belief of religions that truth is something to find in a completed package. Truth is not an endpoint, something we can master, because truth is the essence of the creator, something no person can master and package.
An ex-Jehovah's Witness may say to this, how will I know what is right or wrong without God telling me in a book, or a person telling me what a book ostensibly written by God says? The simple answer is that right and wrong is written on our hearts. We discover it when we listen to our conscience. Try to think of one valid moral lesson from any religion or holy book that you could not come up with on your own. Do you really need somebody to tell you not to steal, murder, lie, or not love others as you love yourself? The only "moral" rules one could not concoct by themselves are those that benefit an organization and insure the flock's subservience to it: what to wear, what to eat, when to go to church, how much time to spend proselytizing, who to marry, how to have sex, how much money to tithe, and so on.
If ex-Jehovah's Witnesses are to be better people and make a better world, they must carefully craft their lives using reason and evidence, and then critically examine where they are in the light of new evidence as it emerges. Ex Jehovah's Witnesses need to make a commitment to the process of truth seeking, not the subservient implementation of given beliefs. That leaves out beliefs we were born into, faiths that were hammered into us by parents, schools, other authority figures, or organizations such as the Watchtower.
The thousands of religions humans have devised are a testament to our desire to be sure, etch our sureness in stone, and then move on with life. These efforts are well intended and may help us discover aspects of the truth. But too easily "truth" becomes just a place to go when people get tired of thinking.
Once a religion codifies a belief and demands faith, it must repudiate its own founding principles. Doubt, challenge, and criticism begin every religion. But religion, to save its institutional structure, must forbid doubt, challenge, and criticism.
Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses know that human advance owes nothing to those who agree, only to those who differ. After all, were not Jesus and the modern founders of Jehovah's Witnesses, such as Russell and Rutherford, rebels, heretics, and skeptics of the "truths" of their day? If anything, the Watchtower organization or any other claming to value truth, should encourage, doubt, criticism, and challenge. Anyone who discourages the pursuit of truth, is anti-God, since truth is the same thing as God.
The skepticism that can result from failed attempts by religions to speak for God, and our inability to access all truth, should not discourage the pursuit. The ex-Jehovah's Witness can be comforted by the fact that doubt, not faith, is what educates. Skepticism only means we should not deny the possibility of anything. That would include the notions that we can gain truths, that there may be intelligence greater than ours, that matter does not define reality, and that we may be immortal beings in a temporary material shell. As Einstein warned, "If at first the idea is not absurd, there is not hope for it." Unfortunately some prize doubt so much that they will not believe some things even if they are true. We must be open minded, but not so much that we let our brains fall out.
But, as ex-Jehovah's Witnesses well know, the Organization does not encourage such criticism, skepticism, or rebellion. Instead it demands a form of paper idolatry, i.e., the veneration of the Bible and Society publications, paper and ink products of humans.
The ex-Jehovah's Witness should step back and think about what egomania it is to speak for the creator of the Universe by attributing to Him words that humans wrote.
Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses do well to understand that religions deny the obvious:
- God and truth are the same thing. They are just spelled differently.
- Truth–to the degree humans can know it–is an unfolding phenomenon, not an end point.
- Therefore, no religious truth can fully explain God.
To search for truth means that the ex-Jehovah's Witness must at some point wipe the slate clean, use conscience, reasoning faculties, and the evidence that exists in reality to begin to shape a new view of truth. This process must precede belief. A priori belief should not be used to twist reasoning or shoehorn facts.
You must prove to yourself the things you may think you have proven but really have not. An ex-Jehovah's Witness must understand that "proof" within the Organization simply means to filter logic and evidence so that it accords with what the Watchtower presents. True exploration and truth seeking does not occur within the confines of an obedient Jehovah's Witness. That is why being an ex-Jehovah's Witness provides such an advantage to you in truth seeking.
The open minded pursuit of truth seems simple and obvious enough, but almost nobody does it. To have even a moment with no belief–to wipe the slate clean–is too terrifying. The brutal honesty required for that moment requires far too much courage. It's so much safer to remain swaddled in the arms of our surrogate mommies and daddies: our beliefs and faiths. But rather than myopically plod along content with comfy, safe, and secure beliefs and faiths, thinking ex-Jehovah's Witnesses must fearlessly test all the givens, and build anew a mind grounded in reality. When we have doubt, we should take it as a compliment, not a reason to grab a convenient faith.
I hope ex-Jehovah's Witnesses find this site helpful in finding the honesty and courage to wipe the slate clean and start anew with a mind, heart, and conscience that you truly own. It will help you find answers that can transform your life and the world.
For whatever reason you as an ex-Jehovah's Witness are discouraged with religion, it would not be wise to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Rather look at truth anew, as something you can discover on your own.
The resources provided here will help ex-Jehovah's Witnesses prove–using only an open mind, reason, and facts–that we are indeed the creation of a higher intelligence, that we have purpose, that conscience is not following the rules set forth by others, that adversity is necessary if we are to have free will and grow, that any book being promoted as the word of the creator of the universe must accord with facts, be non-contradictory, and be ethical, that we are immortal beings, and that the ultimate religion–truth seeking and love–resides within, not in any human organization.