Thanks to Victoria.
You asked for 10 things better about my life.... What facts does one need to choose freedom? You should demand facts for sacrificing yours. But here are a few:
FACT: "Fear and Love CANNOT co-exist. (First John 4:18).
FACT: The truth sets us free. Only fearless truthseekers can even recognize truth.
FACT: The Jehovah's Witness cult exclaims that if people don't leave "false" religions (all religions but theirs) and follow the cult, they'll share in the fate [of destruction by their god]. If anyone dares a reply to such bold assertions, the cult-leaders cry "persecution!" or an arrogant air of dismissal, never paying serious attention to anyone outside their cult, judging from their lofty perches.
FACT: I am only now beginning to understand the negative effects [of cult-psychology and repeated cult-programming] on the mind from this. It keeps believers separate and self righteously above the whole world of "bad association"-- [any friendship with any non-cult or ex-cult person. This is] the opposite of spirituality. If you were conscious spiritually, you could see this, but they keep you unconscious.
FACT[written to a dearly beloved sister]: You are in one of the highest mindcontrol cults out there today [the Jehovah's Witnesses], ]notorious] for high numbers of suicides, depression, anxiety disorders, paranoid schizophrenia, etc. A truthseeker could verify this with research.
FACT: The Jehovah's Witness cult has earned its reputation for destroying families. Innocents have been hurt. Many, many good people are justifiably angry. There are 2 sides to every story. A real truthseeker hears both sides.
FACT: The cult has grossly misrepresented itself. They harbor dark secrets. They expel anyone who would expose them! A truthseeker would look into this.
FACT: They were NGO [non-government organization] members with the DPI of the United Nations for 10 years. They ended the relationship when they got caught (2001) claiming ignorance about the requirements for membership they signed every year. A truthseeker would find this interesting.
FACT: The policies [of the Jehovah's Witness cult] on paedophilia are no different than the Catholics who they've condemned publicly for decades. They are paying out millions in settlements. Easily verified.
FACT: The same problems you attribute to "Satan's wicked world" exist right inside [the cult] among you. No one wants her world rocked; so, the [leaders and followers] ignore these realities with an [implicit] "ignorance is bliss" cop out.
FACT: You will always be my sister. I remember you fondly. I love you. And [I] want only good for you. If you can't trust that because of Jehovah's Witness brainwashing about the "evil" of ex-Witnesses [those who have abandoned the cult], we lack a basis at this time for a loving, honest relationship.
FACT: I am confident that this will change. I await [this] with open arms.
To choose freedom from a cult, what facts does one need? To give up your [religion], given [the great gift of] freedom, you really owe it to yourself to demand facts! You have not, but choose to follow the [spiritually] "blind." Therein lies the biggest fact of all. Sorry. The truth hurts.
You asked for 10 things better about my life today [after I have found liberation from the cult]. In a word, it's FREEDOM to live a truthful life in peace. I should be asking you for ten [ways in which your life is better as a cult-member[.
The cult teaches that "Believers stand ready to make a defense for their faith," claiming salvation. Freedom requires no defense; it's a basic human right to be cherished, never stifled by anyone-- certainly [not] by men who prove they're every bit as fallible as you or me.
1. Freedom to hold my head high. No more [pathetic] asking people for money to support my religion. In a separating work [, selling for the cult,] we encountered un-interested people ]whom we unlovingly labelled as "goats"] but kind souls supported our [sales-] work with their money. Embarrassing. Now, I can get involved in a community effort knowing one person at a time. We touch lives and make a difference instead of waiting for the mass destruction of all the "problems" [people who refused to convert and join the cult]. I'm part of the solution, not the problem.
2. Freedom from "divine requirements." I don't have to annoy people on Saturday mornings trying to sell them my beliefs, nor do I have to be at meetings and service [sales-work] when I'm tired or when my instinct tells me I need down time with my boys. ]And if I did spend time with my family,] I [would] be viewed/marked "spiritually immature" by my peers and elders. [They would then have an excuse to judge, avoid, and even condemn me and my whole family.] Spirituality has nothing to do with those "requirements." I don't measure myself by these works....
3. Freedom to be okay with myself. Never do I wonder whether I'm "meeting the mark." [Am I living up to the standards of the cult? They taught that the only good use of time was to spend it in the sales-work.] Am I "whole-souled" enough? [Am I] "zealous" enough? Does Jehovah find me "lukewarm"? Did I relax by the pool instead of [selling] that stranger a magazine [from the cult]? Are my priorities straight? Am I too "materialistic"? Not "meek and teachable" if I don't accept the
"new light" [of new cult-teachings] like a robot? Is my name in the "Book of Life"-- or are my efforts in vain? After all, Jehovah reads hearts; and maybe I'm not worthy? But I am whole now.
4. Freedom to be in peace. The cult continually reminds us constantly about the urgency of the times: [They say,] "Do not tire out, don't lose the zeal you had at first, "stay busy, busy, busy in the "work of the Lord" [every act of Love is the true "work of the Lord"]. [They teach that we should] "always have plenty to do." [I am expected to] "save myself and those who listen to me." Jehovah is a god "exacting exclusive devotion" and it's a heavy burden to "please him well" doing these many things whole-souled, (while caring for families, jobs, homes, and health) all to "probably be concealed in the day of his anger." [This is when god murders all the "unbelievers."] That's pressure! There is no peace in that mindset. Today, I breathe easier.
5. Freedom to think for myself, and actually trust my mind and heart to lead me well. I don't answer to an exacting god who sees "the thoughts of man are bad all the time." I don't have to hide my reservations. I have a much better ability to think, process info, and study, free to accept whatever I find to be true or positive no matter the source....
6. Freedom from guilt about what someone else supposedly did centuries ago. I get to decide if I did something I think wasn't right, AND I decide what to do to make it right. Adam's and Eve's errors don't make me a sinner who needs redemption. God's perfect justice? No. I see things logically and fairly. No guilt here.
7. Freedom from the fear of death. It is the natural [end to the] cycle of life. Truth: 100% of all known living things do in fact die in the physical sense. [Only a few claim to] know what happens after that. Perhaps it's better than our physical existence? I'm not afraid that if I die tomorrow I won't have every "t" crossed and every "i" dotted in some arcane rulebook that I need to follow. [I need not follow all these rules] "just so" as to avoid consequences from an exacting god. Cult-members try to pass their Jehovah off as a "God of Love," free of fear.
8. Freedom from pretending to like people. Churches don't approve of conflict between members (though it happens all the time); if I don't like someone, I am free to tell her so and avoid her. It keeps me honest. Faking is an energy drainer. I remember elders who gave talks where they clearly missed the point of the outlined material, but we "owed them respect" simply because they were male. Many didn't have
wives or children yet they were in positions of authority, often misdirecting families. It's an arcaic idea that males are better leaders and should be in charge. I see people for who and what they are, no more, no less.
9. Freedom of choice about how I will think, dress, talk, act, do, who I like and associate with, as a unique person not trying to keep status quo with others. Conformity is not unity. People don't have to be clones, identical. Following human beings is a demeaning idea. [We are all] free to reject it.
10. Freedom to use my faculties intelligently. I don't have to twist logic trying to support absurd claims that violate known science and natural laws. Jesus died and is still dead. The earth was never covered 100% by floodwaters. No one ever lived in the belly of a fish. The list is long....Free to speak truth, it sets you free. Spirituality is about embracing interconnectedness. We all have the same questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Thousands of religions proceed to give people "the answers." "Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need." (QUESTIONS ARE GREAT!)
I posed the same scenario to my Sandy and also Mom. -What are the 10 best
things about your current life/minsdset? They both chimed in below.
Real love, including love for ourselves is unconditional. Jesus said you'll know them by their fruits. I'm sure this was his careful way of saying, "Check your religion." What are the fruits of yours? Fear? Divisiveness? Making sure to keep
2. Mental Health
Every mental/emotional illness known to the human race can be traced back to low self-esteem; and when you have to share head space with a critical God who considers the thoughts of man to be "only bad all the time," who deems it appropriate to annihilate human beings in droves throughout the old testament and reserves the bulk of them for destruction in the new testament, you're never okay.
Since God is good and "God is Love," these killings must be good and right since they are called for by God. [Actually, God has nothing to do with the support of violence and murder; that was not God, but the local deity "Jehovah."] That makes us fear our fellow man, but specifically and especially those we have been taught by the cult to label "unbelievers" or worse yet, apostates! This explains why, according to Wikepedia, ""Jehovah's witnesses are more likely to be admitted to psychiatric hospitals than the general population. Three times more likely to be suffering from schizophrenia"
3. Physical Health
God promises to "vomit you out" of his mouth if you are "lukewarm." (Rev. 3:16) When it comes to pleasing God, there's no room for doubting (Heb 11:6). In fact, James 1:6-7 bring out that anyone "doubting at all" should not "suppose that he will receive anything from Jehovah." If we bury the question mark, [ignoring these important questions,] we live with internal conflict. That conflict keeps us from having peace and that discord robs us of our physical health through its affect on our nervous systems.
4. Freedom from Fear
The cult would have us stay on guard and be constantly afraid. [In psychology, this state of continuous tension is called "hypervigilance," and is a mental illness.] If that weren't bad enough, you're told not to "lean upon your own understanding." [You are encouraged actively to mistrust your own mind, and everyone else; all "truth" comes from the cult-leaders alone.] "It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step," and "He that is trusting in his own heart is stupid." Stupid? (Prov. 3:5, Jer 10:23, Prov. 28:26)
Don't trust your head, don't trust your heart, and be wary of your internal guidance system! We shouldn't even meditate because if we sit in quiet stillness allowing our thoughts to enter without judging them, its a way for "Satan" to "get into our heads"!
Don't meditate, Don't isolate, Don't trust your head, Don't trust your heart and never be alone with our thoughts! (The "wisdom from within" could just as easily be the "devil"!) In the presence of fear, love is paralyzed. ("There is no fear in love, but perfect love throws fear outside, because fear exercises a restraint.
Indeed, he that is under fear has not been made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)
5. Free Will.
We think of the bible as this book that keeps us on some kind of moral track. [it can more likely move us] off a moral path. Solomon could have 700 wives. But don't touch or hold that Ark [an ancient Israeli sacred object[ wrong or it's curtains for you! [These ancient people had a superstition that to touch this wooden box would result in death, for it was too sacred to touch.] Once you no longer look to this book for your answers, you will be free to have peace extraordinaire!
TIME is LIFE.
Always staying "busy in the work of the Lord [defined as the sales-work of the cult]," is a waste. That way, we stay unconscious. That way, we seek to confirm what we already believe. A belief is nothing more than a thought we practice. Your beliefs have been practiced because the cult makes sure of it! "That which you put your attention on grows in your Life." (Napoleon Hill) Think of that when you turn in your time! [Cult-members must fill out a form, once a week, to report how much time that they have spennt in the sales-work; this is called "turning in your time."]
7. Freedom from Guilt, Freedom from Shame. Freedom to Heal
Witnesses go through life like a kid covering it's ears screaming "La la la la la la la, I'm not listening!" You have no idea how beautiful the world really is until you can one day open your eyes, your mind and your heart to this "Truth" (with a capital
"T"!) These translate into moments of Joy and true Bliss, something you can only appreciate from outside of the fear you live under in the cult.
8. Free to Be Conscious
When you have your first taste of it you'll know what it really means. Jesus said it was the way to happiness and boy is he right! When I first got out of the headspace I had been in all those years, I was deliriously giddy. I went around thinking "Pinch me" just like in the movies. When something's that good, you just can't believe its real! I hope for you to experience this one day.
Peace that excels all thought can only be had under the proper mindset. Everything is in the mind. Perception is everything. Where's the peace in knowing your God might destroy your loved ones? How is there peace in knowing He can read hearts, He could end suffering this minute but chooses to keep Satan around longer for more testing so He can see who's really with Him. Where's the peace without security? NO safety! You hope to "probably be concealed" when His anger blazes. Fear based living
cannot result in peace.
I know God, if God is Love, doesn't want me in a box limiting my mind and heart from natural interaction. I am not stuck in a bad situation, for example, a bad marriage, because it would please Him. I believe we all have what we need to be truly happy, It's only our self-imposed limitations which might block joy. There's happiness in giving. There's happiness in being conscious of our spirit, etc. It's all around us for the taking. We take it.
Free to love animals as unique living beings deserving of our compassion, love and respect.
Free to be a voice for them, without so called "spiritual" people looking down their noses.
Free to view the furry friends as God's creation, be responsible for them, it brings me joy.
Free to use my time as I see fit. Busy, busy was killing me. I enjoy my free time now so much.
Free to buy something I want for me or a stranger in need instead of donating to the [Kingdom] hall. [Meeting-places or "churches" in the cult are never called "churches," for the cult is against all other religions; these buildings are called "halls," or "Kingdom Halls."]
Free to like a wide variety of people with no urge to judge them. I am losing the urge to judge.
Free to pick my own friends. I have more in common with animal loversthan with pioneer gossipers. [A "pioneer" is a full-time worker in the sales-activity of the cult.]
Free to speak my mind, say what I really think to a man or anyone. I'm not subservient.
Free to be heard, My opinion is worth as much as anyone's out there.
Free to like myself for who I am, rather than being measured/compared to another living soul.
Free to feel pride for taking personal responsibility for my life and happiness. No more waiting.
Free from fear of Armageddon thinking my kids would be destroyed by Jehovah.
Free of this and all fear based teachings designed to control the flock.
Free to make personal choices; who I live with, my friends or a lifelong mate.
Free to call a spade a spade. Recognize wrong and not wait on Jehovah but make a wrong right!
Free of being labeled by my "friends and brothers." ("let him who is without sin cast the first stone")
Free to find my personal fulfillment and happiness. Alas, it has always alluded me as you know.
More than 10 but here you have it.