The year was 1985 and I had decided to go back into the Insurance Industry, I was busy preparing to take the CA. Insurance License test as well as learn the many products I would eventually sell for the company I was working for. This process took a lot of my time, long hours at the office, as well as marketing for clients, it began to eat into the time that I would usually devote as an Elder. I decided that I would ask for and received a sabbatical. Everything seemed to proceed well; By 1989 I had the opportunity to take over an Agency as well as the office that the agent occupied in the city of Westminster CA. The agency was growing, and I was writing insurance on many of my friends not only from the KH I attended but also from Witnesses I had come to know, this is typical of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they like to do business with fellow believers, and not with people of the world. That is the expression used for someone who is not a witness. So with all the success I was experiencing in my new business, and the love and respect of others within the Jehovah’s Witness community, why would I feel so unsettled? I am not sure about what contributed to my state of mind. I find it difficult to describe, for some reason I felt empty, I felt something was missing in my life. For some reason I began to pay attention about what we preached and condemned the world for and what we practiced within the J’sW community, being el elder made me more aware of these actions. as an elder I set on many judicial meetings passing judgment on the lives of people who had sinned. So I was very much aware of what was going on in the congregation, I came to the realization that like many in the “world” we were also experiencing adultery, fornication, drunkenness, gossip, slander, people not talking to each other for years, some complaining that they had not been appointed to a position of leadership in the KH. Many who were self employed not paying their taxes, cases of pedophile, bestiality and more. When I lived upstate NY myself and another elder were asked to settle a war of words that had affected and divided a congregation in Scranton PA area. Even after we had deliberated, they were not happy with our decision and a Circuit Overseer had to come in to finally settle things. I mention these actions not to be judgmental, but to tell you that we were no different than the rest of the people of the world, but our slogan was “we are Jehovah’ clean organization”. Let me make this clear, this was not acceptable behavior in the congregation, and so these people were summarily disfellowshipped, removed and shunned from the J’sW. Community. The point I am trying to make is that being a J’s.W. did not remove or made anyone immune from sinning. So these actions as well as others I did not mention were I believe the initial reason that I began to questions what the Watchtower was teaching, and where the people’s heart was. In addition I had met several individuals, old timers that had been witnesses for many years, and they had nothing complementary to say about the history of the Organization or Judge Rutherford. It was also during this time that Raymond Franz had left Bethel Headquarters and had written a book called “Crisis of Conscience” Mr. Franz a long time witness, was the nephew of the than president of the Watchtower corp. and had been a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’ Witnesses for several years. I began to wander as to why someone of his stature in the Org. would leave in this manner? He was a teacher and speaker and representative of the Watchtower Society. This was big news, but, we were instructed in no uncertain terms that we were not to read, discuss or pay attention to what Mr. Franz had written in that book. Although I did not obtain that book at the time, it was one more thing that needed an answer. I was also at a crossroad, I wanted answers, but who could I ask? There was no one that I could trust of the people I knew, that I could be open and talk about the feelings that were taking over much of my thinking. I often felt I was betraying the trust that had been given me. The same questions kept coming over me, Is it possible that what I believed for all those years was not of God, but the clever and skillful work of man? How could I be sure? I decided that looking into the History of the Organization would be a good start, but where would I get the information I needed, most libraries in the Kingdom Hall did not keep the older publications, after all we would say that is old truth. I fully understood that this investigation into the history of the Organization had to be done secretly and privately, so private that even my wife could not know. Most importantly who could I trust to get the answers I was looking for? Was I being unfaithful and disloyal in even thinking that the Org. was not telling us the truth? As I mentioned earlier it was a thought I could not even share with my own wife last I risk Annette reporting me to the other elders at the KH. That would be disastrous.
more to come