Dear Christians, There is something I wish to say. If you have ever been in the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion, and you escaped with your soul, everything religious has the potential to be a triggering event. If you have never been JW, then there are certain things you might not understand about us when we leave. Many of us come away with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and other emotional wounds. Please be careful when approaching ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses members on social media. Let me explain. When someone was raised in JW, your comment about Jesus could sound like a cruel parent berating a small child, which could be re-traumatizing.
Vulnerability of Ex-Cult Members
I know from experience that JW children are terrorized their entire life, if they were “born in”. I was. I comprehend that people who leave JWs are some of the kindest, most caring people on the planet — and deeply wounded — or they wouldn’t have left.
Assuredly, I was extremely vulnerable when I left the religion and I didn’t know how I felt about any of my beliefs anymore. My departure began in 1997, and by 2000 I was disfellowshipped, which resulted in me losing my entire family and all my JW friends in one short instant. I spent the years from 1996 to 2002 in intensive weekly therapy, with a phone number to call, if I experienced a crisis.
The reason I felt so vulnerable was because I lost my entire JW support system after one brief announcement from the kingdom hall platform. Because I was disfellowshipped. If it wasn’t for my dance community, I would have had literally no one. Thankfully, I also had an awesome therapist who understood the damage cults do on their members. I was one of the fortunate ones. Not everyone who leaves has any kind of support system to fall back on.
Dear Christians, Delicately
There is something I wish to explain. Sometimes JWs who leave feel lonely and frightened because they literally have no one to turn to. No therapist, and no dance community, either. Nobody. Besides that, we were filled with confusion over the horrid beliefs within the religion. Dear Christians, this is the part I must express in more detail. It has to do with this teaching about Jesus. As one of JWs teachings, the teachings about human blood sacrifice could sound positively archaic to some traumatized folks after leaving.
Your Jesus Philosophy
I realize that to you, Jesus is a hero, a savior, and so much more. In addition, you may think that everyone “should” think like that, with such high esteem and appreciation. I notice that you write comments reflecting your beliefs. More than that, sometimes you express incomprehensibility toward those of us who can’t subscribe to your beliefs. I understand that. Here’s an example of what I mean:
Dear Christians, There is something I wish to say about how NOT to communicate with a wounded soul. Image by Esther
Additionally, I acknowledge that Christians may have a strong belief and a zeal to accompany your conviction on a number of issues. Likely, you can’t even fathom how we don’t feel your same enthusiasm.
The image above was posted after a comment from someone who backed out of becoming a Jehovah’s Witness. By “backed out” I mean that this commenter decided not to get baptised. Baptism is the issue that apparently triggered the Christian into such a jarring narrative as you see here. I’ll be writing yet another separate blog about baptism soon.
It’s Still Light
None-the-less, to some of us who have abandoned our religion, we may see things in a different light. I might compare moonlight and firelight, both found in darkness, yet both welcome. They’re still both a kind of “light” — are they not? Both moonlight and firelight are nothing to fear.
Examining shadows is instructive. We may come from an entirely different perspective and still find enlightenment. That a father could sacrifice his beloved son — as the narrative goes — seems satanic and horrific to some of us. Is human blood sacrifice something you could do with your own son, supposing you had one?
Now, I trust that with your strong conviction, you may feel that truth can withstand scrutiny. That being the case, I welcome you to challenge me by looking deeper than what your bible or your religion teaches. In my research, I learned that human blood sacrifice is a practice that actually originated in Babylon. So I ask that you research Babylonian beliefs. Prove the truth to your Self at a deeper level. Study those shadows on the edges of belief.
Dear Christians, Here is a relief map of Molech, Babylonian god who demanded blood sacrifice of human children. Similar core belief to your "Christian" god? The need for human blood sacrifice? Image from Wikipedia.
To me, with my new knowledge that aligns more with my personal understanding of human blood sacrifice, the Jesus theology now seems more like satanic black mass — or black magic.
Stumbling the Least One
Dear Christians, I don’t doubt that you have seen how toxic religions stumble souls. As a result, people who leave JWs often turn away from religion in totality. Christians who preach to these “walking wounded” — with wounds wide open — could drive folks even further away. Drive people from your desired goal to gather souls for Jesus. When folks leave, they need time to examine all their beliefs freely. They need the freedom to choose — or reject — damaging core beliefs. These precious ones require the space to decide which core beliefs are healthy to keep and which to discard. It’s an internal search.
Time Heals All Wounds
As a result of my experience with leaving a dangerous religious cult, I would request that you kindly give people the time and space they require to sort out who they are. Allow them time to get a new more loving spiritual foundation under themselves. Please respect a person’s free will and sovereign nature to choose what is right for them and what feels natural and healthy. Time is a great healer.
I trust you understand that for some individuals, atheism may be their choice. I say that because the JWs really mess with peoples’ minds and hearts. Personally, I don’t have any biblical belief anymore, yet I feel deeply spiritual. So, to your comments, I kindly reply not to decide for folks what they may need, when they leave a religion. Especially one so cultish and satanic as JWs. Belief systems, whether religious or more secular, are still validating and life-affirming to otherwise spiritual people.
Shadows of Patriarchal Religion contains relevant points about shadows being instructive.
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