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On 2/25/2021 at 8:33 AM, TrueTomHarley said:

What would they apostasize from?

Not only to the many verses dealing with apostasy reveal the nature of apostates. They also reveal the nature of the Christian congregation.

Exactly. I was raised a Catholic, went to parochial school, altar boy...(that made me realize I didn't want to be a priest or a dentist after seeing the dental work of everyone in the parish). Of course the mass was Latin at the beginning and then it changed, and then there was that additional offering each other the sign of peace thing they stuck in, which seemed fake and nobody wanted to do it....I think I went to confession once, and that made no sense. Like it was a slide rule for sin and you had to do X number of "Our Fathers" and Y number of "Hail Mary's" to "pay off" the sin. That made no sense to me at age 8. Neither did the book "My Catholic Faith" which had anyone not a saint doing time in purgatory, which was identical to hell, but you'd get out after being on fire for a bit. Neither did that part at the end of the book which had everyone who died at the last judgment brought back to they physical bodies so if they were in hell already, they got double hell and the people in heaven got double heaven??? WTF?? (of course I didn't think those words at 8-9...but the sense of that was what I felt)...

What's funny is that I was trying to figure it all out (Mom was no help...when I told her I was afraid of dying she just said "don't worry, it won't happen for a long time"...which wasn't at all comforting...It was "Oh, yeah babe! You are sitting on a ticking time bomb, but enjoy your ice cream, trust me, you have a long fuse" Meanwhile I'm craning my neck to see the countdown timer.

Then I found this book that fascinated me "From Paradise Lost to Paradise Restored" on the shelf and I was trying to read it when my Dad told me "I don't want you reading that book!" and hid it from me. I searched the house, but all I could find was his Playboy Magazines (which Mom had no problem having me look at, but weren't that interesting at the time)...BUT that book, what I remember reading made more sense to me that anything I'd heard in church or read in "My Catholic Faith" and it was a JW publication.

I was disappointed I couldn't find it, but then I scanned one of my father's college textbooks on human civilization and ran across this part about Neanderthals and burial rituals....It was all confusing.

I began asking questions of the nuns and that went nowhere fast. I figured out that Jesus was a Jew, and that we supposedly liked him, so in 3rd grade in religion class I asked "Was Jesus a Jew" and the old sister said "Why yes he was", to which I replied "So then how come we aren't Jews?" and she loses it, grabs me by the ear and hauls me outside the class....Then the nun principal comes down and there's all this talking and class changes....(we stayed put, and nuns shifted rooms) and I had a note to take home.....When I get home and ask mom, I didn't get any good answers there either...just "Oh, she's an old nun and didn't know what to do"....(Still I thought, my question remains)....

Undeterred, I began stalking nuns on the playground to ask them why they became nuns ...Nothing like being a kid and seeing fear in the eyes of adults who are supposed to have answers to these kinds of questions, but had none.....

I eventually ditched being an altar boy along w/all the other boys in the parish because I was a little mysogynist and felt that girls shouldn't be used as altar boys, and if they were, then this clearly wasn't a place for real boys, only sissies...So no more altar boys in our parish, also no boy crossing guards for the same reason....

Anyway..we ended up moving away from Laredo to Dallas and elsewhere...We pretty much slowed up going to church at all....

When I was in 6th grade I tried to read the Bible all the way through, but it didn't make much sense to me....We had an Old Green NWT in the house....I remember the inside said "From the R. L. Hopes"....So that was the Bible I was trying to read....

...anyway...enough rambling.... Clearly Catholicism didn't answer anything from my perspective...

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I have noticed that the desire to see God's promises fulfilled (nothing wrong with that of course), drives the human spirit to "predict" or "hope for" the end always in their life time. The pattern is clear: Russell hoped for the end in 1874 then 1914, Rutherford 1925, Franz 1975, the 80's GB by the end of the 20th century, today's GB between now and aprox. 2035. Each generation would say their children aren't going to make it to school....now those  children have children of their own...and g

I don't think you're a bad example. I find your posts encouraging and I'm sure a lot of other people here do. I think some of the "complainers" may just be working out their own demons, or I hope they are. Jehovah knows we cause most of our problems just fine all by ourselves.

One thing I've had hammered into me over the past decades of pioneering, studying w/mentally ill people, people who were out of jail, homeless people, professors of anthropology, teachers of farsi at the local mosque, chinese buddhists from hong kong (using me to practice english), professors of astrophysics, ranchers, ex-football champs, a hip hop artist and so-called normal people is that I'm not more worthy of survival than any of these. In fact many are arguably better people personalit

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On 2/25/2021 at 11:08 AM, TrueTomHarley said:

It was a perfect job for a pioneer. I actually lived in a basement apt at the Kingdom Hall then. I would arise in the AM, drive about 1/4 mile to the bus barns, and be back in time for the text

@JW Insider

Elementary, middle, and primary school schedules are staggered so that the same bus can make three runs. The last to let out in the afternoon was the middle school. I would arrive after two runs and take my place in a line-up of 6. There usually was a 15 minute wait, during which I might read. 

Two buses up the driver was some long-hair of my approximate age that I had briefly chatted up once or twice. One day he disappeared. It got around that he had taken his life, he had been bummed by being “just a school bus driver.” 

For me, being a school bus driver was a liberation—not being a school bus driver in itself, but what it represented, a purposeful departure from the materialistic upward climbing careerist life that I wasn’t comfortable with because I had no idea where I was going. Studying the Bible with subsequent baptism brought an overwhelming sense of being where I knew I belonged. 

Often we hear that the truth is like that—that we have to be at just the turning-point moment of dissatisfaction, even crisis. We reach a moment of realizing life’s conventional goals don’t lead anywhere. We are not sure whether that is true in general or just for us. We tend to say it is true in general, but that may be just us putting a good face on our departure. It is not so terribly different from what undissuaded ex-JWs do themselves—they reinterpret reality to conform to their own actions.

One is never quite sure just how Jesus “draws us,” nor do I think it is so crucial to find out. Suffice it that we have been somehow drawn to a life of better rewards and goals.

It is the reason I think the anti-cult movement is so corrosive. Explaining himself to a too-receptive Katie Couric, the CultExpert says: “People are in vulnerable moments in their life where they’ll be more receptive to a recruitment message or recruiter. So death of a loved one, illness, dislocation, losing a job, I mean seriously, the pandemic and the economic problems are huge susceptibility factors for the public going forward. Destabilizing country groups economic status is a major technique for doing mind control on people because you want to disorient people. You want to confuse people. You want to make people search for meaning and hope outside of the existing institutional structures. So the susceptibility of people now to look to, well, who knows the solution to that problem of how to make the world a better place now.

Historically these have been turning-point moments during which a person might explore and find a deeper meaning in life. Under the anti-cult people, they are now moments of “temporary insanity” that one must brace themselves through, so as to once again acquiesce to the “reality” that is is no “meaning and hope outside of the existing institutional structures.”

The stuff is a cancer.


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8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Often we hear that the truth is like that—that we have to be at just the turning-point moment of dissatisfaction, even crisis.


8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

It is the reason I think the anti-cult movement is so corrosive. Explaining himself to a too-receptive Katie Couric, the CultExpert says: “People are in vulnerable moments in their life where they’ll be more receptive to a recruitment message or recruiter


8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

because I had no idea where I was going. Studying the Bible with subsequent baptism brought an overwhelming sense of being where I knew I belonged. 

You said 'because I had no idea where I was going.'

Then you said 'that we have to be at just the turning-point moment of dissatisfaction, even crisis.'

But then you seem to criticise this Cult expert for saying "People are in vulnerable moments in their life where they’ll be more receptive to a recruitment message or recruiter" 

So, is the Cult Expert right ?  Are most people that start studying with JWs, at a moment of dissatisfaction, in a vulnerable moment in their life ?    

Personally I think all people of working classes / lower classes are permanently in a vulnerable position. Even more so in some countries. 

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