I will try to post only when I have something meaningful to share or say, but I would like to introduce myself. Jeff's the name. I left JW last year after a long couple of years. I went to Gilead, was an elder, and a missionary who went to Africa, was attacked and almost killed twice, and returned to my home, the USA. The events that almost took my life caused me to finally listen to what my gut had been telling me for some time; that everyone believes they have "the truth". I couldn't in good conscience tell someone they were wrong when we both had the same reasons for beliefs. Tradition and deep indoctrination.
I am an agnostic out of necessity, for the time being that is. Many who leave a cult, or who have negative experiences in religion in general have knee-jerk reactions and immediatly try to replace one wrong belief with another one without thinking it out at all. (I continue to find that most people today have beliefs and they have no idea where they got them or why they have them) "The End of Faith" in all honesty was my official epiphany. It put into words the feelings I have always had about religion in general. (I used to joke, somewhat seriously, that if it weren't for JW I would be an agnostic.) Thus, this book will always be with me the rest of my life. I find myself more open minded, and am studying such things as evolution to educate myself. (I will be going to college soon, a no no for JW, as some of you may know….) Whatever I choose to believe in the future will be a choice based on facts and evidence and not superstition.
So hello to all. And a distinct thank you to Sam Harris for his brilliant and factual essay and for the help it gave me in my most difficult time of life.