Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Seven Steps

How To Deprogram Yourself From JW Thinking
“If I find myself in a situation where changes seem hard to accept,” admits one longtime elder, “I reflect on Peter’s words to Jesus: ‘Lord, whom shall we go away to?’ Then I ask myself, ‘Where shall I go away to—out there into the darkness of the world?’ This helps me to hold firmly to God’s organization.” (John 6:68)

The comment above is taken from the daily text of Jehovah’s Witnesses dated August 22, 2007. This uncertainty often keeps active JWs from leaving the organization and inactive members from voicing their true opinions about how they feel.

For many when leaving the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses there is often a spiritual vacuum in trying to regain trust in spirituality. While there is not one answer, there is certain information that might help gain a broader perspective in what you have come out of, as well as how to avoid putting yourself back into a similar situation. I have found that many that leave the JWs either become atheistic or charismatic fundamentalists. Both seem to be extreme and reactionary to the indoctrination of the JW.ORG belief system. You see, as a JW you are taught to live life with answers you cannot question. If you as a JW question the answers, you are disfellowshipped. In leaving the organization you need to face a simple truth that is, learning to live life with questions you cannot answer and be at peace.

How can you do that?

The simplest explanation is learning to think for your self. You see as a Jehovah’s Witness at each meeting you were indoctrinated to think of every aspect in life as what Jehovah (JW.ORG) wants you to do.  Each hour of the day your thoughts were programmed to focus on what the organization’s rules and principles required you to do.  In that process you never measured up. Individuals find they were never good enough elders, pioneers, publishers, wives or husbands. Why? You were programmed to believe that you were always falling short of the organizations standards. As a result this kept you with low self esteem and easy to control.

So often when Jehovah’s Witnesses have doubts about the organization they have a phrase that replays in their minds over and over again, “Whom shall we go away to?” That terminology is ingrained into your brain to work as a type of fail safe to prevent you from thinking for your self. You are taught in the organization that the meetings are “education” on how to serve God.
This could not be further from the truth. Think about what happens at every single meeting of JWs?  Each meeting has questions and answers. Q and A means that you read a paragraph, and then the conductor asks a question, you look at the same paragraph and provide the answer. Is this education? When you are in school or college how does typical education work? First you do research on a topic, form conclusions based on the information, discuss this with the class and then write an essay or thesis on what your perceptions are of the material. A teacher reviews your essay and then critiques the information to make sure that now you have a learned concept of what ever the topic was.

In the JW organization questions and answers are not education but instead programming. You will find the answers are often the same over and over again with the ultimate solution, preach (distribute literature) or God kills you. This “programming” becomes deeply ingrained into your mind to the point that you react automatically without thinking on a day to day basis. The “programming” is reinforced every few days and as a result it becomes strongly entrenched much like the grooves on a recording album .

How do you break these patterns?

Using the record as an analogy, what would happen if you took a knife and scrapped back and forth across the grooves in the record? Would it ever play again the same way? So too with JW.ORG programming, by following certain exercises You can be protected to not fall back into thought patterns that are self destructive.

To understand this more completely; think of a thought stated to all JWs. It goes something like this, 

“When you come into the organization one demon leaves you but if you ever leave, seven demons enter into you.”

What does this mean?

Basically if you ever leave JW.ORG you will be seven times worse as a person than you were before you came into the organization.  Is this true? Sadly, in many cases the answer is yes. The reason is not because you are a bad person, but you have been programmed to self destruct. Remember the earlier comment, “Preach or God kills you?”  Well as part of your little record that was made when you were a JW you believe in your subconscious mind that if you are not out preaching for JW.ORG you are going to be destroyed at Armageddon.

In addition, as a “worldly” person you are part of Satan’s world and doomed to a horrible death at the hands of Jesus and his helpers.  You think Armageddon is coming at any minute; so what do you do?  Most think, “Well I might as well go out and have a good time and try all those things that WT told me not to do.”  Why?  Part of it is anger, when you realize that you were lied to on so many levels, the other is that you have a tremendous inner pain and you are trying to self medicate.

The results are often very predictable; 80% of marriages will break up within two years after leaving JW.ORG,  you will probably start smoking,  men will grow a beard or goatee,  women will get some type of piercing,  usually navel,  your taste in music will change,  you will find yourself experimenting with drugs,  alcohol,  sex and about anything else that the organization told you not to do.  For certain ones, after they get beat up a bit they then think, “I was a lot happier serving Jehovah!” Like a whipped puppy, they return to JW.ORG to once again repeat the cycle of living life with answers they cannot question.

Is this really the better way of life?

Do you really need someone or some entity to watch and tell you what to do for the rest of your life to keep you from killing your self or destroying your self esteem?

The answer is NO! 

The key is learning to think for yourself and break the internal sub conscious programming of the JWs. If you can do this, you learn to take responsibility for your life and view each day as a gift to be enjoyed instead of beating yourself up mentally.

In my personal journey I have been approached by thousands of former and current JWs that all asked the same question, “Where do we go from here?”  In defining the answer to that question I developed a program called, “The Seven Steps”.  The information does not use anything that speaks negatively about the organization. The reason is learning to think for your self does not require someone to tell you how bad the organization is. I feel that is once again allowing someone to give you answers that they have developed and as a result you are playing the same mind games with different leaders.

The Seven Steps is an email program that asks you to do seven different exercises and write an essay about your conclusions. You then send in your essay and it is reviewed to see if you were able to grasp the full picture of the information provided. You might be provided with previous essays that were submitted to help you see how others that completed the steps came to their conclusions.  Once each step is completed you then move on to the next.

I have personally worked with several hundred people doing the “Seven Steps”; each and every person has stated that it forever changed their life for the better.  So many find that they are in a form of paralysis mentally after leaving the organization.  After doing the steps they discover they can now move on with their lives.  Many start college, have healthy relationships, become stronger emotionally and find new paths to spirituality. Understand that the steps do not point to any one conclusion, if we did that, what would be the point in learning to think for yourself?

So the question is, are you ready to move on with your life? 

Do you really want to learn to think for yourself? 

Do you really want to know, “Where do we go from here?”

If so, then you might be a good candidate for the “Seven Steps”.

The program costs you $700 for all Seven Steps, you can send payment by check, money order or pay pal at this link.

After you complete the Steps if you at that point feel it was not worth every penny and more you will be given a full refund no questions asked. Certain steps may require an additional purchase of material that is inexpensive. In the end what would it cost you to find a therapist that understands JW issues to basically produce a similar result?

Finally the “Seven Steps” is not a pass-fail program: you get out of it what you put in. This is your opportunity to stop being paralyzed and break free from WT programming. What you choose to do with the opportunity is your responsibility.

For information on starting the Seven Steps you can email me at: Just say how do I get started on the “Steps”? We will be glad to help you from there.
Also if you find you are in legal matters involving the JW organization, this could include child custody or any type of litigation, please see our website at:

It is our purpose to help you to seek closure from JW beliefs while offering healing by gaining perspective. Hopefully in reviewing the material it can help you to see the past does not equal the future and give you the freedom to choose the spirituality that helps you to move forward in a positive way with your life.

William H. Bowen


TSS said...

The little girl stands for your family within the organization all the attempts they will make to encourage you to come back and have their approval if you will just submit. The best friend represents all those that you grew up with in the organization, people you have known all your life, those who you may see once a year at the District Convention who rush up to you and are so happy to see you, they make you feel secure and a part of something. The government agent symbolizes the organization that has desperate need of your services. They make you feel you are apart of accomplishing the greater good for the saving of mankind and without your contribution it could mean the end of everything. These three characters absolutely control your thoughts your very life and everything you do is generated to obtain their favor. Then one day you discover they do not exist but only in your mind. The security of having everything together is destroyed in facing the fact you are a mentally deranged schizophrenic. When you discover this reality what are your options? Take drugs and live in a stupor for the rest of your life? Utilize more severe therapy that could lobotomize your brain into a simpleton state where you function as little more than a vegetable day to day. Perhaps the third alternative is to fight the visions before your eyes, to simply ignore them no matter how they beg to have interaction with you. Fight to live a semi-normal existence for the purpose of sharing life with your mate who believes in you enough to stick through the hard times. The love you have for this person gives you the will and purpose to never quite, to never stop fighting the psychosis that never relents. What does the mate symbolize? The freedom to think, to live, to love, to assist, and to have the chance a normal life offers.

The little girl, the friend, the government agent, are always there, waiting for you to give in, to lose it, and go back to what you were before. They act like you have really let them down and are desperately wrong to not come back to their world. But the love of freedom will not let you give in and you know you must fight it till the day you die to not let “them” win, to not let “them” destroy the reality of accomplishing something meaningful in life, to not let “them” take over your mind so that you would spend a lifetime in a delusional stupor of accomplishing nothing.

Will you go back to being a Jehovah’s Witness?

The metaphors described above are what came to me as I watched the move: “A Beautiful Mind.” If you happen to see it perhaps it will move you the same way.

Anonymous said...

Great Idea!!!
I have never been a member however I was married to a Jehovah's Witness person. The relationship fell apart, with the JW member having an affair and leaving. To this day I have had a struggle dealing with this, since I still have feelings for my former partner. I wish all who are wrestling with all the problems of everyday life and this over demanding religion will find some recovery and healing as they move forward.

(Victim and surviver)

Lee Bozarth said...

I was scared, I was afraid of loosing God's favor and dieing because of my decisions. I was afraid of loosing everything in my life, all of my family a friends that I had ever known. Because they would have nothing to do with me if I took a stand and took the path that I wanted to take.
I went through the seven steps, they saved my life. It was the first time that I was able to think for myself, to except questions that I could not answer. And because of those 2 simple abilities I have found a freedom and happiness that I never thought that I would experience. Thank you for showing me how to think rather then to just except what I have been told by self-appointed leaders.