San Diego, California
How long were you associated with the Watchtower Society? 36 years
How long have you been out now? (2008) 27 years
How long have you had experience WITH Jehovah's Witnesses? 14 years
Do you have any church affiliation currently? College Avenue Baptist, San Diego
What you can offer another friend: Emotional Support, information on JW false prophecies, history, scriptural explanation on correct doctrine contrasted with WT teaching, local, monthly support and group meetings for ex-JWs.
Phone: 619.583.7443 (please no calls after 8 pm PST)
UPDATE ON THE
by Carol Hartman
In July of 2007, I agreed to be the group coordinator for the San Diego Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses Support Group. We have been meeting once a month at my home since then. You may know that I was a JW for 36 years, and I have a strong passion to reach out and help JWs, as well as ex-JWs.
Our average attendance is around 7. Some people come only once, but there is a core group that comes every time. There is a warm, casual, accepting atmosphere at the meetings, a camaraderie such as exists among soldiers who have been in battle together.
The usual format is for people to share how they became a Jehovah's Witness, why and how they left, and where they are now.
Among the attendees there is a wide diversity in regard to where they now are in life's spiritual journey. Some are so disillusioned and broken because of their JW experiences that they feel unable to trust anyone and anything. God and His Word are the last things they want to talk about.
Some are past the Watchtower trauma and are ready to seek a spiritual dimension in their life again. Unfortunately, many of these are leaning toward New Age beliefs and practices. Then there are some who are now born-again Christians, actively reaching out to those in the limbo of JW experience.
I don't feel discouraged if people don't return after their first visit. They know there is a resource for help here and can come again when they're ready. In the past year, I have seen one person change from just being interested in the social interchange at the group meetings to becoming a committed Christian.
After the May meeting, one attendee stated: I am so glad this group exists. There really is a genuine concern for those who attend. The feeling that you are not alone helps you go on with your life, as well as the spiritual help if you want it. It is like a place of refuge where we can go and feel loved and cared for. It makes a world of difference.
If you know of friends,
relatives, workmates, or neighbors who have been Jehovah's Witnesses and might
be looking for encouragement and support, please refer them to me at (619)
More information and meeting notices can be found on the internet at Meetup.com.