I have talked about this for a long time, and I hope for this to be the last. Today, I cut all ties I have to the religion known as Jehovah’s Witnesses by turning in my letter of disassociation to the mailbox of the Kingdom Hall of my congregation. It was not a decision I made lightly, as I had brewed this choice at the back of my mind for years before today. I am fully aware of the consequences of this decision, and I am ready to face all of them.
I have long been passionate about my faith. This can be attested by those who have watched me grow inside the congregation. To some of those who grew up with me in the religion, it might have come as a surprise that I slowly stopped going to the meetings and participating in the ministry. But even with years of being inactive, some might still have the faith that I would come back; I won’t.
This decision is a culmination of many things that were all out of my control. In fact, they were so out of my control that the only sensible choice is to disassociate and take my freedom back.
For years, I have not been happy. When I first encountered Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was surprised to see the touching display of brotherhood among them. As a little kid—I was 7 or 8 years old at the time, with no one I could sincerely call friend—this was the main selling point of the faith for me, the idea that I can be a part of an international organization that loved one another through thick and thin regardless of their differences. But years inside the organization has not been kind to me, and soon I found out that all of that was a facade. Inside were circles of elites, groups of families that weren’t allowed into the elites, cliques of kids from families that are well-off, those with piano and violin lessons who get to play at all religious events, and those kids from poor families who never got the attention, all of which are hard to mingle with and join if you weren’t invited in. After months of going missing-in-action, no one has even reached out to me out of their own volition. And upon seeing them again, they made me believe that they missed me when it was obvious that I never once crossed their minds.
Years inside the organization has not been kind to me, and soon I found out that all of that kindness and caring was a facade. It was all fake.
I tried to reconcile this difference for years. The elders and the people who went to my congregation know how many times I returned to the meetings and the ministry. They know how many times I stopped. I tried, I really did. But every time I’m back, I am reminded of the reasons why I stopped going in the first place.
Another reason why I left is because I cannot stomach how the congregation’s politics interferes with the natural course of justice inside the religion. Women and children are being abused by the very people they were supposed to trust, and the religion not only doesn’t care but has a system in place to protect the rapists and child abusers in the organization. A rapist I personally know inside the religion has only been banned for a year and was let back in; he is now happily married scot-free because the religion prevented the victim from reporting this to the authorities. If you know me personally, you probably know what I’m talking about. And you should be disgusted; even worldly people know that these vile and disgusting people should be in jail, not on stage and podiums giving talks about compassion and God’s love.
I tried, I really did. But every time I’m back, I am reminded of the reasons why I stopped going in the first place.
The final nail to the coffin was a most sad and painful one. During the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, I tried to return to the congregation. I knew that the organization were giving out boxes of canned goods and other foodstuff, but that wasn’t what I’m after. I didn’t have a job, and I couldn’t find a new one, but I did have my savings and we were good for another two years. The only reason I came back was because I thought it was a perfect time to come back. I thought that the pandemic was all that I needed to stay in the faith, and I wanted to use that opportunity. To my sad surprise, one elder in the congregation told me that I must be back because of the help I’m going to get from the religion. We were poor, but we weren’t desperate. It was such an insult and a slap to the face that I finally awoke from the delusion that things could be better inside. It would never be better inside, for as long as I’m there, I will not be happy.
In the span of ten years as a baptized Jehovah’s Witness, the only kindness I received were from two families who I felt truly cared about me. In all honesty, disappointing them all are the only reason I have waited this long to resign from the religion officially. The first family cared for me when my mother died; they assisted me in my needs when I went to school. The second family supported me in my later years, and they were genuine friends to me. They loved me, and I know it deep in my heart. To them, I extend my apologies. I hope they know how sorry I am for how this decision will affect them. In a different world, I wish I’d meet them again independent of the our differences in faith and beliefs. They were kind-hearted, and if I choose to believe in a God, it’s only so He’d bless them with all they deserve.
In a different world, I wish I’d meet these families again independent of the our differences in faith and beliefs.
I am writing this letter as a form of closure, not just for me, but for the people who are confused and want answers as to why I left. The path we walk together ends here. Now we turn to opposite directions. The Bible says that we will all carry our own load. (Galatians 6:5) Rest assured that the load I am carrying is being carried the way I want in a way that makes me happy. I would’ve enjoyed more time with you, but this is where it ends for us. I hope that all of you make choices that make you happy, and all I hope we all find our very own best way of life.