I feel an obligation to tell what I can and be supportive. Of course, my Jehovah's Witness experience, especially the last 3 years of it leading up to Gilead, going to Africa, coming back and resigning from the group, has absolutely drained me to the point that I contribute when I can, but it isn't very much. It is very tiring for me, but also cathartic at the same time to come here and share what I can.
It is in that spirit that I write this now, a desire to demystify Jehovah's Witnesses, those who leave, and the current doctrine that this group teaches, especially for those who are newly investigating this group for their own reasons.
I was in the 119th class of Gilead in 2005. From the time I graduated, it was another year or so before I resigned. In that time, all the pieces came together.
Jehovah's Witnesses are taught and conditioned to respect their visible leaders, even though they pay lip service to Jesus as their leader. I got to see the 'pecking' order, and after I graduated, briefly joined it. My status shot up to an all time high. I was respected, even loved, because I went to Gilead and went to Africa. I thought that would be nice, although when I actually went through it, it really offended me.
Sorry for the above rambling/prelude. The whole point of this is how Jehovah's Witnesses use and understand the bible. You see, on a very fundamental, foundational level, the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses don't use the bible the way Jehovah's Witnesses teach it at the door. I learned at Gilead that for the "mature" ones who "dine on solid spiritual food" (i.e. the highly indoctrinated zealots), the bible is all about "Christs brothers". Please note that when the Watchtower says "Christs brothers" they mean the Governing Body. They mean the leadership. They mean, be obediant to us, or you will be diobediant to Jehovah... and his son, whats his name?? Jesus!
It is little wonder that this is the last thing one learns as they start studying with Jehovah's Witnesses. It starts with paradise, living forever, Jehovah, Jesus, living a moral life, loving the congregation, replacing your family with the congregation, THEN, after you have developed some level of infatuation with this group and have undergone a sufficient amount of love bombing, you are introduced to the highly doubtable concepts of congregation authority, how Jehovah mysteriously rules through Jesus and this group of men Jesus inspected in 1918 and found them superior to every other Christian group on the planet.
If you buy it, you want in, you get baptized. But remember, you are still new, still a babe, still "immature". All of this is code for: One who is not ready to really study and accept how the leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses use the bible to their own self serving means.
It means you are still a babe to the fact that Jehovah's Witnesses really teach that practically ALL "faithful" Old Testament charecters from Noah and Abraham through Elijah and Elishah and David to Hezekiah are prophetic of the Presidents of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. The one I refer to the most is as an answer to one of the questions on a Gilead test, Elijah prophetically pointed to Judge Rutherford, Elisha pointed to N H Knorr. That is my favorite, that is when I realized I was mislead. But to be fair, Jehovah's Witnesses teach that most all of these characters refer to the leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses, the Governing Body. )
"Mature" Jehovah's Witnesses is a misnomer. It has nothing to do with maturity. That is code for "willingness to believe whatever you are taught, and to follow whatever the Governing Body says, even if they change back and forth on doctrine in a god-dishonering fasion." Mature ones are impatient with the immature for questioning what they are taught. "Mature" ones become elders, ministerial servants and pioneers more quickly because they blindly obey. To question, especially after any period of time elapsing after baptism, means you are "immature".
Of course, this is all so self serving within the group. Another layer of indoctrination and peer pressure to keep everyone in line. Gilead "taught" me this. I learned that within the Governing Body world view, it is scriptural to simply accept about anything the Watchtower says, but to leave your brother cold and miserable and naked if they disagree with a teaching or doctrine.
I know that there are some who don't and won't believe what I just said. That is their right. There will always be some people who are susceptible to high control groups and cults. But to those who were raised as Jehovah's Witnesses, to those who for some reason accepted and bought a bill of goods that they found wasn't real, they should know the truth about "the truth". They should know how cynically the Bible is used by the leadership of this group to their own ends.
They should know that to the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, the Bible isn't about you. It isn't about Jehovah. It isn't about Jesus. Its all about them, the Governing Body, "Christs brothers", the Faithful and Discreet Slave. It's all about them, for them, and it is a sham. They are as prophetic as dead skin. THAT is what I learned at Gilead. THAT is what the Bible is all about to the leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses.