The best thing about leaving the cult was/is.....
I went to social media and asked ex-cult members for their experiences.
Here is a compilation of what they said:
(Some remain anonymous to protect any family members they have who are still in the cult.)
Discovering that there are so many amazing people! I was told from as early as I can remember that any ‘worldly’ person was wicked. Even people that seemed nice were actually bad. Realizing how many beautiful souls there actually are has helped ease the hurt of losing everyone I left behind. I sometimes look around and think how awful it would be if I had gone my whole life not knowing these people who have become my dear family and friends!!
A chance to understand the world and faith without the prism of JW's warping it.
The freedom for sure... Taking in knowledge that they never made an attempt to give me... Saturday morning college football with a bowl of cereal.
Glen Franklin Stambaugh
Ex-Seventh Day Adventist
Was how it felt like a ton was lifted off of me. But I had to be sure I wasn't like the spring that had been compressed for a long time and then suddenly released.
Not feeling forced to go out on the ministry.
I was very aware from a young age that not all worldly people were wicked. The neighbours were Christians and well known for their generosity and committment to the neighbourhood, volunteering in so many places. They were recognized for it. Don was a devout Anglican, even my father had a hard time finding fault with him. Betty will be 95 in October and prior to Covid was still a volunteer, she did Saturdays as a bartender at the Veteran's seniors home. The only thing was when I was kicked out I was a little too trusting and had to find out who were not wicked in the world and who were good. I was a little too trusting. I had experienced wicked in the ebs so thought I should be able to recognize that in the world. Speaking of Betty, I phone her a couple days a week, she lives on her own and still drives. One amazing lady.
I’d say there’s 2 best things, for me, when it came to leaving. First: freedom of thought. I know now that I have the right to question things & to be sceptical. Whereas when I ask people within the church questions, I am made into a bad person by questioning the “true church”. Secondly, I just stopped caring what they think of me I know that may sound silly. But I was trapped in “keeping up with appearances”. It feels good to re-discover my true self.
Ex-Worldwide Church of God
The best thing for me was to feel normal n like everyone else. To do wat I wanted n to enjoy every special occasion (xmas, birthdays, easter) that I'd always been denied. To live a 'normal' life.
Amanda Jane Morgan
Same here, we were in it for 49 years me and 52 years my wife. Got out finally in 2001 and got Born Again in November 2002. Been great knowing the real Yeshua/Jesus Christ.
Waking up and realizing you never have to go out in service again.
The freedom from FEAR. Fear is rampant.
No one's judging me
My response to the above question would be the best thing that came out of leaving the SDA church was Freedom to be who I am, Freedom to think for myself, Freedom to choose my own path. Freedom to have my own friends from diverse groups, and Freedom to embrace higher level of education outside of a church perspective.
Ex-Seventh Day Adventist.
The best thing I think of leaving the cult is living a guilt free life. I was told so many guilt ridden stories of how closely Gawd was watching me. He supposedly knew my every thought so I Iiterally forced myself into thinking positive. I was always reminded to thank Gawd for every damn good thing in my life and would feel awful if I forgot. I was scared he put me in a wheelchair. Literally. So now I've been doing me. Lots of therapy but I'm happy with me and feel accepted by "the world." Not worrying about being judged, instead I stand up for myself. That is so empowering!
Ex Worldwide Church of God