About Doc Bob

 

The Doc Bob Screen Name

First, let me dispel a longstanding misconception – I am not really a doctor. Years ago, when I first got on the internet, I figured that I needed a good screen name. Even more years ago, my nephew used to call me “Doctor Bob” after the character in the “Doctor’s Hospital” sketch on “The Muppet Show.” So, I figured that would be a good screen name.

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The Witness Years

I first became involved with Jehovah’s Witnesses the 1973 when a workmate gave me a copy of the book The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life. I read the book in one night and started studying that same week.  My wife and I were baptized at the “Divine Purpose” district convention at the old Narragansett Park in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

In September of 1975, I was appointed as a ministerial servant and then I was appointed as a regular pioneer and an elder during the same month of January 1985. During the time I was a Jehovah’s Witness, I served as Literature Servant, Accounts Servant, Service Overseer and Watchtower Study Conductor in my local congregation. I was also a regular public speaker. I worked as a sound and video tech at circuit assemblies and district conventions early on and then worked in finance at the circuit assemblies and as an attendant at the district conventions in the later years.

For most of the years I was a Witness, I thoroughly loved it and enjoyed it. I was convinced that it was Jehovah’s visible, spirit-directed organization. I learned a lot of good things as a JW. I got to know a lot of good people (along with some not-so-good ones), I learned a lot about the Bible, I learned to teach and to speak effectively in public – skills which certainly stand me in good stead today.

Especially during the 5 years I was serving as both a regular pioneer and as an elder, did I really feel that I was doing what Jehovah wanted me to be doing. We had a good group of pioneers that included two of the other elders. Our elder body worked together well and the congregation seemed to be doing well.

But as I served as a pioneer and as an elder, I began to realize things about the organization that were troublesome. I began to see that we were not raising up spiritual people, but organizational people. It also began to dawn on me that much of the training I was receiving as an elder had more to do with protecting the considerable assets of the Watchtower corporations than it did with helping my brothers and sisters.

For a while, I tried to teach around the things I realized had no basis in scripture or were wrong. But, as time went on, I was left with less and less that I could teach with a clear conscience. At that point, I stepped down from being an elder. Then, over the next couple of years, I attended fewer and fewer meetings. My last meeting was the Memorial of 1997.

The Present

At this point, I have found that there is not only life after being a Jehovah’s Witness, but there is “abundant life” in Christ. While I was a Witness, I was sure that we had a spiritual paradise that people in Christendom could not appreciate. But since leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses I have realized that it is not about religion, but it’s about relationship. I now enjoy a relationship with God that I could not have as a Jehovah’s Witness. In fact, when I sent out letters that told my old Witness friends of my new relationship with God, the elders wanted me to face charges of apostasy. For more on that story, please read the letter that I wrote to my Witness friends at Letter 1

I wish I could convey to my old Jehovah’s Witness friends how wonderful that relationship is. I wish I could get across to them the shallowness of what we thought was so deep, the insignificance of what we thought was so profound. I wish I could help them see that the Holy Spirit is not confined to one organization headquartered in Brooklyn or Patterson, New York. I wish they could see how applicable Revelation 3:17 is to the Watchtower organization:

Because you say: “I am rich and have acquired riches and do not need anything at all,” but you do not know you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked, … “.

  6 Responses to “About Doc Bob”

  1. I…..think i would like to talk to u more about something (thinking about leaving jw) but awfully confused :( could u contact me?

  2. Hi Bob,

    Been many years since we met in Washougal, WA. You were on a work trip to Intel in Portland, OR as I recall and stopped by our place in Washougal on B Street for a visit after meeting on the discussion forums.. Now attending Saint John’s Presbyterian Church in nearby Camas. Getting ready to retire from electrical planner job at local paper mill in August – finally…!

    Shalom,

    Richard & Jackie Anderson

  3. My story is somewhat similar to yours. In fact, I attended that assembly in Pawtucket too. Remember the thunderstorm that blew in just as they finished that long drama about the life of Paul?

    I, too, was wholehearted in my dedication and loyalty to the organization until I learned about child sexual abuse being hushed up in the congregations and the Society not doing anything to protect children. My conscience would not allow me to continue to associate with such a group. I disassociated myself in 2004.

    It was a struggle to “deprogram” myself after 30+ years of constant programming. Finding my own spiritual path was even more difficult, but I’m getting there now.

    For a long time I had a “live and let live” attitude about JWs, but now it is my goal to help others to leave.

  4. Let me start by saying your site has blown me away. I can’t even tell you how much time I have spent on here this evening. Your letters to the elders regarding the judicial commitee were tremendously well written. I am a former JW myself and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior in 2009. You really hit the nail on the head when you said that JW’s are more organizational than spiritual. My relationship with Him is beyond anything I knew when I was practicing the JW faith. I have felt a strong calling to help people searching for answers regarding JW’s and started a blog a few months ago. I am really struggling with what to do next and I thought maybe you could help me out? It looks like you haven’t posted here in a while, but if you do read this message, I would love for you to check it out. My site is http://www.thetruthunveiled.net. Thanks for spreading the truth of the gospel. Blessings, Nicole

  5. Hi Doc bob
    Can I apologise now for my brief statements, it’s just the way I communicate.
    I was a Jehovah’s witness for some 25 years, and like yourself was quite involved in “theocratic activities” with just over 10 years as a elder, but gradually the doubts set in, and finally drifted away just over 5 years ago, by the way this is the first time I have passed on my feelings like this. anyway, I always felt that it was the truth and if things changed I would start attending meetings again, but I started to look up information about Jehovah’s witnesses to try and justify my reasons for leaving, was it me or the truth….I have read both Raymond Franz books along with several others, and web sites like yours and have felt that the decision I made was the right one and have not looked back since.
    But my reason for sending this message was that for me it didn’t end there, Jesus gave the parable of the” Man who finds a pearl and goes off and sells all that he had because he has found the real pearl”, which is as I think you will agree is what you believe as a Jehovah’s witness, but my point is are any of the pearl real.
    I have continued studying about Witnesses and part of my research, as you no doubt are aware, asks the question of Gods existence etc, I mention this in that i was looking for answers, and I am in no way critical of peoples decisions about faith whatever road that takes, But was it leave the “truth” but there must be a God, or was it let’s start with a clean slate and see what happens, I see in your articles are well researched and written, but have you done the same unbiased research on religion as a whole.
    Many thanks
    Dave

  6. How long does it take to moderate a comment?, or is it just a case of selecting uploads or comments that support your now new views.

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