10 episodes

Get an in depth personal look at the life of Jehovah's Witnesses through my own story. Learn how life changed when my family became Jehovah's Witnesses, and then my journey to freedom. Of course, we all know that freedom is never free, and you will learn how great the cost was to me.

This JW Life This JW Life

    • Personal Journals

Get an in depth personal look at the life of Jehovah's Witnesses through my own story. Learn how life changed when my family became Jehovah's Witnesses, and then my journey to freedom. Of course, we all know that freedom is never free, and you will learn how great the cost was to me.

    Episode 10 - Announcing "shunned"

    Episode 10 - Announcing "shunned"

    In this final episode of This JW Life I discuss where things are going after my story has been wrapped up. Click here to check out ShunnedPodcast.com

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    • 8 min
    Episode 9 - Let's Send This Thing Out Right - Where We Ended Up

    Episode 9 - Let's Send This Thing Out Right - Where We Ended Up

    After leaving the cult of Jehovah's Witnesses we learned even more eye-opening things about it. Then we applied the same scrutiny to the book that everything we ever believed was based on. Where did we end up? How is our life now? How will I end this last episode of my story? Listen to find out.

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    [expand title="Click Here To Show Transcript"] [00:01:59] I'm going to break down the nearly two years since my wife and I left the call in different sections to tie up some loose ends and and report on what life has been like after the call. So let's just jump right in. First section we're going to talk about is what I've learned since leaving the cold about the cold admittedly Jehovah's Witnesses know very little about the religion that they pledged their loyalty to. As far as history goes and they also honestly don't know a lot about what is involved in it. Presently you see a good magician only shows you what they want you to see. They don't slow things down and show you the sleight of hand used to make the allusion appear seamless to your naked eye. I've had time now to slow things down to get away from the indoctrination and to get that detailed look at things that I never even had any clue were going on. Around the time that I was coming out there were two big events that happened in the Colts. First the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses. Again these are the leaders of the cult. They started coming out from behind the curtain. Now when I was growing up. One of the selling points of the cult was that our leaders were unknown to us. So it couldn't be a call right. You know these people were behind the scenes they weren't doing it for personal glory. So it wasn't like we were following some man. Well those men have now decided to make themselves known. And it is glorious. [00:03:28] Now I'm just going to sit here and take shots at them unnecessarily. But if you've ever seen a picture of them or if you ever hear them speak the mental illness in them just drips off their words one of them looks like a caricature of Cecil the turtle from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons and speaks about like him. It is so creepy. Others have he's really flat facts as though they are dead inside something that kind of tends to do anyway to people by robbing them of their humanity. But they are truly caricatures. Now one day around when I left there was a huge meeting that was broadcast throughout all the congregations. This was a big deal. [00:04:11] It was a special thing and everyone flocked to their kingdom halls to watch this live stream on video screens of the governing body during a special meeting. This [00:04:21] wasn't something that the average Jehovah's Witness ever got to see. [00:04:26] There were these annual meetings that were held up at Bethel or the headquarters in New York in New York City. But this wasn't something that the average person got to participate in. But they took the opportunity to come out pretty much to great fanfare to be seen on these video screens that each congregation would either buy or rent so that they could show the members this live stream now this is a great chance. [00:04:58] The governing body could speak to anything they wanted anything in the world. They had their subs subjects were captive they could encourage them in any way they wanted. Would you like to know what the highlight from that meeting was Anthony Morris one of the governing body members used his 15 minutes of fame to go on a rant about tight pants tight pants. [00:05:25] In fact he is no now as tight pants Tony he could have talked about anything he could have encouraged single parents that were going through tough times. He could have encouraged young people that had to live a messed up life in the cold. But instead he chose to harp on things like how tight the pants were that people were wearing. And if you don'

    • 1 hr 41 min
    Episode 8 - Get Out Of Her, My People - It All Comes Tumbling Down

    Episode 8 - Get Out Of Her, My People - It All Comes Tumbling Down

    There comes a point in life when you know too much to ever go back to the person you once were, or to the cult that you once called home. Unfortunately there are no easy ways to leave a cult. This is my journey out and I detail the price that was paid for my freedom.

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    [expand title="Click Here To Show Transcript"] [00:01:52] If you notice the title of this week's episode and you were never one of Jehovah's Witnesses you may be wondering what it's all about. Get out of her my people. It all comes crumbling down. Is a shout out to the scripture in Revelation 18 that Jehovah's Witnesses like to point at all the other religions of the world and Revelation 18 verse 2. We see that the subject of all these proclamations is Babylon the Great Jove's. This is believed to be the world empire of false religion as Babylon in ancient times was a hub of false religion. So they end these verses at false religion today. Jehovah's Witnesses have again the truth. They believe that it applies to everyone else. For those of us that learn the truth about the truth we can just as easily point this back at them. The Scriptures read Revelation 18 for through a and I heard another voice out of heaven say get out of her my people. If you do not want to share with her in her sins and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues for her sins of mass together clear up to heaven and God has called her acts of injustice to mind repay her in the way she treated others yes pay her back double for the things she has done in the cup she has mixed for a double portion for her to the extent that she has glorified herself. I live in Shameless luxury. [00:03:16] To that extent give her torments and mourning for SECU saying in her heart I sit as queen and I am not a widow and I will never see MORNING. [00:03:25] That is why and one day her plagues will come death and mourning and famine as she will be completely burned with fire because Jehovah God who judged her is strong so I took these verses and pointed them right back at Jehovah's Witnesses and this is my account of how it all came crumbling down for me and for my wife as well. [00:03:48] Jehovah's Witnesses like to project a lot they love to point out that straw in the eyes of others while ignoring the rafter in their own. [00:03:55] Another call back to scripture. [00:03:58] So by now you have a working understanding of how Jehovah's Witnesses think and feel about the world around them. [00:04:06] You've seen how they use their teachings to control and manipulate those that are subjected to them. You've seen how they brought me to my knees. [00:04:14] And you've also seen the information that helps to start wake me up now it's time to show you how things progressed as I was learning all this new information. You'll see how we got out of that debt that we had amassed how my relationship with my dad changed and how everything really started changing for the better. But eventually came there was a hefty price to pay for that. So let's go back a bit to where I left off with my story. I was depressed I was suicidal ideations and my life was a wreck. I started to become enlightened and I was getting deep into the realm of self-help and psychology and was realizing that this organization that I was taught to look to for everything didn't have everything that I or others needed. This was my awakening process during this process. I got healthier and decided that I wanted to be the one to right some wrongs even if I wasn't the one that started them. I wanted to help others and to have better relationships. For starters I wanted to give my youngest brother and my sister that is 20 years younger than me. A better life. So I would take them out and buy them clothes. My wife and I would help decorate my sister's room. [00:05:24] We gave them things like on our Nintendo we we bought them skat

    • 1 hr 57 min
    Episode 7 - Getting Healthy and Waking Up

    Episode 7 - Getting Healthy and Waking Up

    Learn how I went from an unhealthy and suicidal Jehovah's Witness to a happy and healthy human being. I list exact books and podcasts that helped me in my journey to overcome the toxic and dysfunctional life that I had been given from my cult upbringing. Whether you're a recovering cult member or just your average person that has been blessed to never go through my experience, you can learn from this episode. This healthy information is something that everyone can benefit from, and I hope that you find something that improves your life in this episode. Direct Download Here Resources Mentioned (in no particular order): Books- Driven To Distraction – Edward Hallowell and John Ratey Man's Search For Meaning – Viktor Frankl Necessary Endings – Henry Cloud The Power of Vulnerability – Brene Brown Brene Brown TED Talk on Vulnerability Healing the Shame That Binds You– John Bradshaw The Emotionally Abusive Relationship – Beverly Engel The Narcissistic Family – Robert Pressman and Stephanie Donaldson Pressman A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – Donald Miller Boundaries – Henry Cloud Happier – Tal Ben-shahar Last Lecture – Randy Pausch Podcasts - Mental Illness Happy Hour Dave Ramsey Show [expand title="Click Here To Show Transcript"] [00:01:52] Before we get started I'd like to give thanks for the iTunes reviews that I've received. They mean a lot to me personally and they kind of give the show credibility for those who are looking for shows like this. I had asked for some a few weeks ago and some of you responded and I really appreciate that also. Just hit a little mark. We're hitting 5000 downloads today. Just a week and a half ago to give you some idea. We hit 3000. So it seems like things are really picking up which is pretty cool and something that I really hadn't expected. This has gone far better than I could have anticipated. Now today I'd like to start with a little public service announcement something happened this week that hit me after last week's episode. The singer for the band Linkin Park Chester Bennington committed suicide. That kind of hit me hard for two reasons. One I just kind of got done reliving my own story and my own suicidal ideations and things and putting that out into the world. On the last episode to his music personally helps me on my journey. Their music ran the gamut from screaming to let out rage to these beautiful compassionate messages that mean he could sing at all different vocal ranges. They sing about things like codependents and depression and overcoming things. I could be totally frustrated with my life. Listen to one of their songs and feel like I either got the rage out or that I was understood. Sadly his own issues presented themselves in the end. Often it is those that hurt the most. [00:03:27] That kind of churn out some of the most beautiful art. If you're listening and you're hurting I mean I don't know how many people are listening I know. You know with 5000 downloads maybe there is somebody out there that's hurting. I just want to say that there are better ways out. Sometimes the disease wins as in his case and it is profoundly sad. However many do beat these thoughts and feelings. Our stories just don't make the news because shocking will triumph inspiring for ratings any day. I'm one such person and I know that there are many others. If you need help reach out with an open mind. You can find new ways of living and you can find what all of us are ultimately chasing which is happiness. The suicide prevention hotline can be called any time. 1 800 2 7 3 8 2 5 5. In fact if you google suicide prevention hotline It appears that they even have an online chat which is pretty cool. Just just reach out. Just please reach out. People do care about you and you can learn to care about yourself. [00:04:34] At the end of last week's epi

    • 49 min
    Episode 6 - Life Gets Dark As One Of Jehovah's Witnesses

    Episode 6 - Life Gets Dark As One Of Jehovah's Witnesses

    In this episode you're going to see just how dark things can get as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. You will see my life as a young person growing up, into adulthood, and into my married life. This is a very personal episode and although it will get dark, you will see where the light came from in a very unexpected way that helped us to eventually exit the cult. Resources Mentioned: Driven To Distraction - Edward Hallowell and James Ratey Direct Download Here [expand title="Click Here To Show Transcript"]   [00:01:51] So after the last two episodes you should have a good idea of the influences that were put upon me. And of course other Jehovah's Witnesses though obviously when you're young and you're in your formative years these things weigh heavily on your mind and heart. I myself was also always kind of the kid that took things very seriously. It's just the way I'm wired and I pay attention to words and words have always had a lot of meaning to me. For example when I was really little my grandpa told me that he was going to take me to the circus.   [00:02:24] He said we're going to have a ball. Well when he showed up without a ball I was crushed. I didn't know what the circus would be like but I thought that he was going to bring a ball and whether it was a baseball or basketball. When those rubber bouncy balls whatever that was always my favorite toy. So he said we'd have a ball. And then he didn't produce one. So as a tiny child I had no frame of reference for this phrase that he used and he had to buy me a ball before we could go to the circus.   [00:02:58] So you know take that child. And I guess you know I don't know maybe it was just me. Maybe it's most children that you tell something like that. When reading this propaganda that Jehovah's Witnesses produce. When I was at meetings and it was being fed to me from the platform I took it all in and took it very seriously. After all I was told that this meant my life and my happiness. I've already spoken as to how my life changed when I was eight or nine and my parents became witnesses and things changed at home and at school. And now I've laid out the fog and what I was living in as far as the teachings and the structure of what was expected of us goes. But now I'm going to kind of chart my course as a young Jehovah's Witness growing up into adulthood so that you can see the progression of things. And as promised I'm going to get to an event in 2008 something that just came out of absolutely nowhere that set my life on a different course a much healthier one. I had no clue that that was going to be the beginning of the end for a lot of things for me at that time. As a kid in the creation I took my first steps as a young Jehovah's Witness by going out in the field ministry with my parents at first just accompanying them to the doors and then later I would get a knock on the doors myself and give presentations.   [00:04:24] Kids are awesome little weapons for witnesses to use at the door because let's face it who's going to turn away a cute little kid in a suit or a dress that is offering some sort of well at the time it was cheap and now it's free literature. So when you look at it kind of like cements to this child that this door to door ministry thing is actually pretty cool and easy.   [00:04:46] People like you and they appreciate you coming to their door when you're cute and you're well-dressed you know they'll look at you and say oh you know look at how well-behaved he is and things like that. You place magazines with them and you feel good.   [00:05:05] So then I became an unbaptized publisher. This is where the organization started to get more of a grip on me because you start being able to turn in field service reports of your time and literature placements even though you aren't yet an official baptized Witness. You kind of almost feel like you're cheat

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Episode 5 - Enter The FOG - The Culture Of Jehovah's Witnesses

    Episode 5 - Enter The FOG - The Culture Of Jehovah's Witnesses

    The most damaging part of Jehovah's Witnesses is their culture that keeps people held captive to a concept. You will learn about the FOG and BITE models of control in this episode, and how JWs use it specifically. Direct Download Here [expand title="Click Here To Show Transcript"] [00:01:51] Last week I went over some of the structure of Jehovah's Witnesses and the general narrative. However that's just a fraction of the story and like I said that isn't even the most damaging part. The culture of Jehovah's Witnesses is where the real story lies. Because what you believe is one thing what you live on a daily basis is an entire different level.   [00:02:13] So now I'm going to discuss the call through to cold models that are often used in abusive relationships of any type. First let's dive into the fog fear obligation and guilt if you can get people into the fog. They tend to find it hard to ever see their way out. I'll take this one by one and break down how Jehovah's Witnesses use the fog. With some examples. So let's start with if or fear now. I've already discussed in previous episodes the fear of demons. And obviously that's one pretty big fear. Another fear is the almost paranoia that you are constantly being watched. Jehovah is watching you judging your every move. And he can read your heart and innermost thoughts. So are openly exposed at all times. Satan is watching you. Roving about like a roaring lion seeking to devour someone as they like to quote from scripture.   [00:03:15] Now according to them beliefs he can't read your thoughts but he is watching your actions and always studying you looking for a chink in your spiritual armor to exploit every time you go knocking on doors to the grocery school work or anywhere in the world people are watching you.   [00:03:35] And we were told that someone likely has seen us before and knows that we are one of Jehovah's Witnesses.   [00:03:40] Are you being a good ambassador for Jehovah could whatever you're doing right now bring reproach upon Jehovah's name members of the congregation are watching you to making sure that you stay in line. Your family is watching you.   [00:03:58] And of course probably the most damaging of all you are watching you are relentless internal struggle that can be worse than anything.   [00:04:08] So this gets us to crime and punishment and the congregation. What if you do slip up what's going to happen. Well it depends on who finds out and how bad it was having sex with someone's wife is different than getting caught watching porn or a movie with some violence in it. So there's a spectrum first. Whatever happened will be reported to the elders through which everything in life has funneled you will then be talked to by two elders. Usually after a meeting in a private room in the back of the Kingdom Hall It's never a good feeling when someone comes up to you and says hey could you come back here I'd like to talk to you about something.   [00:04:50] Doesn't matter how big or how small. It's just never a good feeling. I guess it's it's kind of reminiscent of going to the principal's office let's say in school. It's not a good feeling. They're not usually calling you back to tell you how great you are. So when you go back into this room it's usually going to be a fact finding mission. A preliminary investigation of sorts. It might be that what you did was a minor offense and you'll just receive some counsel right then and there. They'll rageous some scriptures and make a big deal out of a minor offense but tell you to do better and how you've disappointed Jehovah right now. If it's a bit major There may be more meetings with those same elders and you could be reproved. This can be done either publicly or privately. Private reproof means that there's no announcement made to the congregation through a talk but maybe you can't do something anym

    • 57 min

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