Finding Neverland

Prodigal One

Active member
I have to start off this post by saying I am not intending to insult or offend. These are just our observations over our entire lives in the org. It’s been discussed on here before that being in the truth in the 70s, 80s, and up to mid 90s seemed good! We had great friends, zeal for the ministry, and most importantly we were gonna be in paradise soon! No need for higher education, buying a house, or even braces - Jehovah will fix those crooked teeth soon! Our congregation had “October Frank” reminding us every October “This is it! The GT is gonna happen in October“! BTW Frank has been dead for over 10 years.

We were all determined to pioneer and not have children because “who would have children in this system?“. I recall the stir it caused in the late 80s at the SF convention when the brother‘s talk praised couples who remained childless for the sake of the good news! I’m from a very large family and the discussions after that were unanimous. I can see now that thinking deprived me and my siblings from having children and my parents from the grandchildren they never had. But that was all gonna be fixed in the new world so don’t think about it and just get back out in service.

Things started changing somewhere around the mid 90s. We live in a very affluent part of CA (born and raised here so it’s normal to us) and there are a lot of “pretty people” here. Think lots of cosmetic surgeries, fake lips, fake tans, hair extensions, etc. This began creeping into the congregation and by 2000s was the norm. About that time there was a flood of divorces and families rearranging. The double KH we attended became a child swapping fest with the divorced parents at the meeting in the two different halls and the kids running back and forth between them. There were also the childless couples who pretended to go on need greater preaching trips but were actually just exotic vacations and they took one token photo in front of the local KH. They were the rock stars and everyone wanted to be like them. It was not unusual to see the KH parking lot filled with mostly BMWs, Mercedes, and several Ferraris on Sunday. The crash of 2008 hit hard here. Many were losing their over financed homes and moving in with family. One assembly a couple we were close with were interviewed on stage and praised how they had decided to “simplify their lives“ by getting rid of their large expensive home to pioneer. That was a flat out lie! Their home was foreclosed on and they tried to hang on to it tooth and nail! Only after there was no saving it did they begin to spin the story all the way to the stage and their “good example“. 🙄

Through out the years we’ve noticed a significant amount of mental and emotional “issues” within the congregation. Almost as if a group arrested development is necessary to stay in the org and keep living in the last of the last days. As our group of friends are getting older and our parents are elderly and dying in this system and none of this was supposed to happen. It’s like everyone is living in two different worlds. Now the reality of no savings, no retirement plan, never bought a house. no children to care for them when they get older, and the years keep clipping away. For years the discussions always circled back around to the system can’t last much longer because the GB are getting older and the generation - right?

We now see many sisters in their 40s desperately trying IVF. Hardly ever do I work with a sister in my business and they’re not on some kind of anti anxiety or depression med. I know that’s a sensitive topic for many on here. I have worked with the public for years and it’s a disproportionate amount of witnesses vs non witnesses on these meds and many for decades. I had a sister in yesterday dealing with crippling anxiety and the depression of being in her 40s and still single. She could not stop crying at the thought of going back D2D but then the huge guilt of “not doing enough in the ministry”. She would even drive hours away into SF to get CBD so no one would see her and she begged me not to tell anyone. Trust me - not gonna say anything.

The arrested development we see among the sisters has been going on for many years and they encourage each other to stay in the childlike mindset. Many of the sisters have not only an obsession but an outright emotional dependence on all things Disneyland. 😳 Now I know a lot of people enjoy Disneyland and I’m not talking about the family vacation. I’m talking groups of adult, childless sisters that lived for Disney. They would plan multiple trips together per year without their husbands. They would sob and go into deep depression if they couldn’t go for any reason. Even going into debt or fighting with their husband about the expense. They wore the mouse ears like a crown for days and posted bizarre pictures of them hugging the Disney characters like they were friends. Their homes were covered in glass Disney figurines and they wore all the Mini Mouse clothing they could get away with. We have lived in multiple states on both coasts and this happened in many congregations.

In the car groups sisters would spend the morning singing the latest “original songs” from the broadcast often breaking into tears when they sang “Just around the corner” 🙄 and sometimes talk to each other in children’s voices. They couldn’t wait for the next Caleb video. I always assumed I was the one not trying hard enough to be close with them but I just couldn’t play along with their fantasy worlds. For the brothers it seems the org has focused for years on softening them down. The brothers have become so passive about everything except defending the GB. The men in the congregation are not allowed to have any real alpha qualities, perhaps that’s why we still have a no beard attitude. Can’t have strong males and maybe that’s why no elders pushed back on the v@x roll out. My husband has been so disappointed with his fellow elders and the men he looked up to. Not one would stand up to protect the congregation or even question what was happening. His talking with the other elders and the CO obviously has caused problems but we don’t care. He has often been counseled on being “too aggressive“ sorry, he’s not a house cat 🐈.

The real cherry on top happened this summer for us and the cruel reality of what the org does to peoples lives. Our long time friend died from the v, she’s the one that woke up paralyzed and died soon after. She had pioneered for close to 60 years, it’s literally all she lived for. I don’t have hardly a picture of her without a book bag in her hand. Her and I would be out till dark in service. Their only son left the truth decades before and they completely cut him off, they never got to know him of his family. When they got too old and sick he was called upon to come care for them, the parents he didn’t know now needed him. As we sat on her Zoom funeral watching the video of her life nonstop in the ministry while her old husband sobbed and the song “Just around the corner“ played over and over again like a cruel, final joke.
I know this is a long post. Just trying to make sense of a lifetime of weirdness that we just accepted as normal. Sorry if I struck a nerve for anyone. Maybe writing it out is a little therapeutic.
Your account really resonated with me - the whole concept of “last days” really has prevented so many of have ANY kind of life - surely some balance of happiness must be included


Well-known member
It’s good that Citrines post has been reignited. The mental stresses of watchtower life she speaks of are still very resonant today. Like the Holocaust they should not be forgotten - the lesson that is - to keep the bitterness is only self destructive. I do not think I have ever read such an eloquent denunciation of watchtower such as citrine wrote. Were the bible written today, I’m sure Jehovah would have had it included as a prophesy of warning to us all. Having said that, I think if the apostasy had not already begun, it certainly would have with Winder and his “no apology from us- it’s Jehovahs fault“, talk.” I think he is worthy of a page to himself in the new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. I’m going to post off a submission to the Editors suggesting the term: “Winderpostacy“ - The state of supreme accomplishment in the art of affronting the One True God, Jehovah. The Act of Calling Jehovah a liar to His Face. To Invite or demand Supreme Destruction upon one’s self as an example of the highest personification of smugness available to the human state of existence.” I think the entry stands a good chance of acceptance. Quite an honour - for winder.