Here is a First Aid Kit for former and thinking cult members. Please choose the appropriate option and click to read!

Disclaimer: This website and its services cannot and will not replace professional help and therapy.

  1. I am experiencing severe emotional anxiety, suffering from depression or feeling suicidal
  2. I am a minor and I need to talk to someone
  3. I am seeking long-term professional help (for example: therapy or someone to talk to)
  4. I am currently a Jehovah’s Witness and I am curious about leaving!

I am experiencing severe emotional anxiety, suffering from depression or feeling suicidal

Welcome, friend! Please do not hesitate to reach out for professional help – contact your doctor or any of the following crisis hotlines now!

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A real-time peer support network provided by Recovering From Religion (Disclaimer)

Crisis Hotlines

  • USA: 1-800-784-2433, Web: Suicide Hotlines
  • Canada: 1-800-448-1833
  • UK: 08457 90 90 90
  • France: 01 45 39 40 00, Web: Suicide Ecoute
  • Australia: 1300 13 11 14, Web: Lifeline
  • New Zealand: (9) 5222-999 within Auckland, 0800 111-777 outside Auckland, Web: Lifeline
  • Germany: 0800 – 111 0 111 (ev.) (protestant), 0800 – 111 0 222 (rk.) (roman catholic), 0800 – 111 0 333 (Kinder / Jugendliche) (for kids/teens), Web: Telefonseelsorge
  • Netherlands: 0900-1450 (workdays, 0900-1800 local (CET)), Web: Korrelatie
  • Belgium: 02 649 95 55 (24/7), Web: Zelfmoordpreventie

(kindly provided by Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses Recovery Group)


I am a minor and I need to talk to someone

If you are a child or a teen, you could try calling the following hotlines (most helplines provide anonymity and make sure their number doesn’t appear on your parent’s phone bill):

USA

  • Kid Help – 1-800-543-7283
  • National Youth Crisis Hotline – 1-800-448-4663

Canada

UK

Australia

If you have been subject to cruelty or bullying of any kind, you can get in touch with the fine people at R.I.S.E. & STAND:

Call 1-863-712-3832 or contact via Mail or Facebook

If you have encountered abuse or heard about abuse, don’t hesitate to call the authorities in your area!

You can also get in touch with the Silent Lambs organization: Tel. 1-877-WTABUSE (982-2873) or E-Mail


I am seeking long-term professional help (for example: therapy or someone to talk to)

Try these resources to find the right therapeutic approach:

USA & Canada

UK

Australia

If the help needed is not urgent and pertains to doctrinal or social issues or any issues of no pressing threat to your health or the health of others, we recommend you give the following links your careful consideration.

Community and Forums

Meet and engage with other former and thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses:

Knowledge and Recovery

The following links provide insight and an in-depth analysis of Watchtower teachings and will help you discover for yourself whether Jehovah’s Witnesses are in possession of the “truth” as claimed. This is just a sample – find more links here.

Remember: This is just a place to start. Life as an ex cult member can be rewarding. We hope, you found this information helpful!


I am currently a Jehovah’s Witness and I am curious about leaving!

Welcome, friend! A few introductory comments: 

Contrary to popular opinion among many active Jehovah’s Witnesses, former Jehovah’s Witnesses are not organized to “draw away the disciples after themselves”, “destroying their faith and leading them away from the truth” like “ravenous wolves” (The Watchtower, July 15, 2011).

  • It is and will never be our aim to have “disciples”
  • We cannot destroy a personal faith that is strong
  • Truth is relative

Every information provided on this website has been carefully put together to equip you with a solid groundwork for your personal quest. The simple fact that you have visited CULT101 and are currently reading these lines is proof enough that you are a thinking Jehovah’s Witness exercising their free will God provided you with. And as such, we trust that you will not take the information provided here at face value, but, in accordance with the example set by the Beroeans who were neither gullible nor “harshly critical” but “verified what they had learned by turning to the Scriptures”, will reach your own conclusions. By doing this, you will be staying faithful to a frame of mind exemplified by the Watchtower’s founder, Charles Taze Russell himself:

We should learn to love and value truth for its own sake; to respect and honor it by owning and acknowledging it wherever we find it and by whomsoever presented. A truth presented by Satan himself is just as true as a truth stated by God. Perhaps no class of people are more apt to overlook this fact than the Christian. How often do they in controversy overlook and ignore truth presented by their opponents. […] Accept truth wherever you find it, no matter what it contradicts, and rely for ability to afterwards harmonize it with others upon ‘The Spirit of truth, which shall guide you into all truth’, as Jesus promised. – Zion’s Watch Tower And “Herald of Christ’s Presence”, Juli 1, 1879

Please ask yourself the following questions and consider the answers:

 

“Am I willing to get a second opinion on the interpretations of the ‘faithful and discreet slave’?”

If your answer is yes, we applaud your open-mindedness. You should visit JWFacts.com, a thoroughly-researched website dedicated to analyzing the biblical interpretations put forward by the Governing Body. It is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most valuable resources you can find on the internet. You will find it to be of great aid to your personal studies. For example, you can start with these essays on

Visit JWFacts.com for more information!

Another site you could consider visiting is Jehovah’s Witnesses Blog. This blog tries to take a humorous approach to Watchtower teachings. It could be disconcerting at first glance but there are loads of interesting, in-depth articles you would be sorry to miss. You may not agree with everything you read there, but it sure will broaden your mind. Why not give these a try:

“Am I getting a 360° view of organizational developments through the channels the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ provides?”

Ask yourself: Is it feasible for you to know everything? In every multi-million dollar corporation with a top-down hierarchy, there will always be numerous levels of secrecy. It goes without saying that a corporation using a stack ranking leadership construct like the Watchtower Society will have different disclosure levels. Naturally, not every member needs to know every little decision made in every department.

So, the question is not whether you should know everything from a management perspective but rather if there is something you should know that you are not being told. And if something is being withheld, ask: Why?

Take a recent example: A letter dated March 29, 2014 was supposed to be read to all congregations. The letter was four pages long – but only the first page was read publicly. The other three pages were not meant to be read by normal publishers. Why? Find out for yourself: JWSurvey.org has a pretty good run-down of the letter in question.

By the way: Lloyd Evans’ JWSurvey.org is a good place to continue your quest. A former Ministerial Servant, he devotes a huge part of his time to examining all things Watchtower and publishes regular articles on the world of Jehovah’s Witnesses. For example, you could take a look at

“Although I am unhappy in the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses and am thinking of leaving, I still believe Jehovah is the one true God and many teachings of JW are right. Do I qualify to be a JW Alumni?”

We are frequently asked what it takes to be a JW Alumni. Technically speaking, JW Alumni are former baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses who have since been disfellowshipped, have disassociated themselves, been marked as apostates or otherwise no longer identify as Jehovah’s Witness. Not always is so-called apostasy involved when someone leaves or is shunned by Jehovah’s Witnesses. We know of many Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who unofficially still believe in many of the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some are shunned because of a so-called sin they committed, others are shunned because they disagree with developments in the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why don’t you have a quick look at this life experience related by a brother: If We Leave The Organization, Does Jehovah Leave Us? JWStruggle is a site that offers clarity and help for fellow Witnesses. You should visit them.

“I would like to exchange thoughts with former Jehovah’s Witnesses. Where can I find them?”

Thankfully, we live in the age of the internet. There are countless groups, forums and websites dedicated to connecting former and thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses. Here are a few to get you started:

“Which books would you recommend for somebody who was in a cult?”

Personally, these five books helped me most in freeing myself from the shackles of a cult. You should give’em a try.

I sincerely hope this First Aid Kit for thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses was of help.

I wish you all the best regardless of the decision you will make. Remember: Admitting that we do have doubts in something we believed strongly is a difficult step to take. And it is the most important one. Congratulations, you’re halfway where life will take you.


“As leaving is extremely traumatic, it is also important to be there to support to person at this time. Ex-Witnesses can feel like aliens for quite a lengthy period, looking in but unable to fit in with normal society. Meeting with some former Witnesses can make a great difference in understanding that what they are experiencing is normal. Professional help may also need to be recommended. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, covered by Medicare in countries like Australia, can make a great difference in as few as 8 weeks.”

– Paul Grundy, JWFacts