Episode Five – Caleb is shunned by Jehovah’s Witnesses

Sometimes young people have to make very difficult decisions in order to stand up for what is right. We normally think about it terms of peer pressure, but what if it was the pressure of pretty much everyone that means anything to you? What if you woke up and realized that most of what you were taught was a lie and that by merely saying something about it everything could come crashing down on you. Would you be strong enough at 18 years old to take a stand even if it meant losing your family and all of the people that you thought were your friends, potentially forever? This is Caleb’s story.

The song that Caleb chose to represent his journey is “A Little More” by Machine Gun Kelly.  Click the song info to see the lyric video.


11 thoughts on “Episode Five – Caleb is shunned by Jehovah’s Witnesses”

    1. My dear, you are loved by God and who really wants to follow and believes in him. We don’t turn our backs on you or anyone that is wanting to spread there wings. My daughter lied to me because she wanted to believe in something i wasnt ready for it after all she was my first and a mom has big dreams that the two of them talked and grew together from very young. Then my child comes to me and said she s moving out and packs up and i don’t see her for weeks then months, then, i have to hope she calls someday. I never told her she couldnt have her own way of life. I was happy she found something she really believe in. I do know what you mean, because when i put my hands over my eyes, its besause i’m crying. You did’nt do anything wrong, my sweetheart you can be proud to have a dream and you have family, yes the other side of you that really loves you and will be there to hold your hand and always had your heart. Love you to the moon and back.

        1. I sent a long long long, text to you yesterday and i think i pushed the wrong button. I just wanted to tell you I LOVE YOU and you don’t have to feel bad about anything. I’m on facebook on my laptop but i don’t know how to bring you on it. I got my friends on it but when i got them it was from people they knew. Give me your facebook number and i will put you on mine. I’m at the Dr.s now so i better get off here. Love you

  1. Hey Caleb, I just finished listening to your interview. I want you to know that you are not alone, not by a long shot, and you are loved far more than you realize.

    I was so impressed by how well-grounded you seem to be, at the tender age of 19. That said, I am sure there are days, just like there are for all of us, when you might feel low, maybe a little confused or anxious, perhaps angry and betrayed. Please remember that this is normal – you are a normal person reacting to an abnormal situation. Those of us who have been hurt by this religion have a legitimate reason to have such strong feelings.

    Your wanting to defend your aunt was so endearing and really speaks to your decency as a human being; I just wanted to reach out and give you a great big hug when I heard it. But I am also here to tell you that you are allowed to be upset with your grandfather for the way he is treating YOU too. Always remember that it is healthy to acknowledge and validate your own feelings in any situation, just as much as it is to consider the feelings of others.

    You have a bright future ahead of you, and despite the way circumstances might make it seem right now, there are actually a lot of people who are pulling for you. Yes, losing your family members hurts, but please – don’t look back. I won’t lie to you: there is a good chance that those who are shunning you currently may never come around. As you know, the indoctrination is very strong, and sadly many of us have lived for decades without ever getting our family back. But you now have YOUR life to live, and if they choose not to be a part of it, it is to their great and enormous detriment.

    I am sure that I speak for all of us when I say that we are extremely proud of you and wish you all the best in your future endeavours. Live every day to the full, aspire to achieve your dreams, and make the best of your newfound freedom. Your story, like those of so many others, inspires each of us to continue on in our shared struggle to make this world a better place.

    If you ever need to talk, feel free to drop me a line.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words and support. I certainly hope I’m on the right path haha. There are many days when I’m lonely but they are getting fewer and far between. Fortunately I have an ever growing network of friends and support. I was fortunate enough to get out in my teens and not decades from now. Thank you again and I too wish you the best.

  2. Wow Caleb thank you for sharing your story ! I wish I had been as strong and brave as you are at such a young age . From the way you sounded in this past hour or so you should be incredibly proud of yourself . Good luck in starting your new career !

  3. Hello Caleb,

    Let me just say how impressed I was with your well spoken and articulate nature. It was a pleasure listening to you tell your story.

    I felt for you so many times, especially when you were so open and up front about dealing with the “Issue of Masturbation” and the opposite sex. It could have been me saying the exact same things you were, (albeit less cohesive and more rambling probably) but yes, that guilt that came and the constant fight of trying to quite and just feeling like you were never going to be able to concur this failing.

    Keep it up brother! I am proud of you though I’ve never met you! I envy your ability to research do the deep dive that you did for your meetings with the Elders. I would have loved to see you own that room! It sounds like the climax of some courtroom drama like Kramer vs. Kramer. I bet it was epic!

    Carry on and be safe,

    p.s. I always wanted to be a cop too, but you know the whole carry a gun thing meant most kids like us had to give up that dream. Go out there and do it for yourself of course, but also for all of us kids that gave up and missed out on that chance to serve and protect our communities in that role as officers.

    1. Thank you very much David. I’ve decided right from the beginning that I wanted to be as upfront and as honest as possible. I try not to cover over details that make me look bad, though it’s hard haha.

      The Judicial was very much like a heated trial, though in kangaroo court of course. I will be honest and say that I couldn’t counter every argument they proposed because of my inexperience and probably because there were four of them too haha. But ‘twas an epic course of events ;D

      Again thank you so much, I hope to serve my communities to the best of my ability.

  4. Hi Caleb,
    Your story for me is by far the most compelling. The level with which you are well grounded makes the majority of the worldly people I know seem naive.
    I too was raised as JW with brother & sisters. We lost our parents, but I still got baptised at 14 as you did, mainly coerced to see my parents again. What was probably depression, rebellion, growing up and seeing the world for what it really is caused me to be reproved several times. Eventually, I was disfellowshipped at 18. Same with you I had absolutely nobody. I was self employed at the time also. I literally managed to claw through years of all the uphill work, involving climbing little by little with employment & slowly making friends.
    My sisters left JW, only my younger brother stayed in. He’s an elder now and will have nothing to do with us, shunning.
    Ironically I am also a police officer and it has been a fantastic vocation and early springboard in life for me.
    More than so many that I’ve listened to and given how recently this has all occurred to you, you sound like you definitely have the tools with which climb out on top and put the messiness (and trauma) of what you have been put through behind you.
    I find the online sources, activism on YouTube and other sources on Twitter etc to be a lifeline of therapeutic support almost daily, allowing me to be reminded of what is normal against the backdrop of JW mind shaping indoctrination of my formative years.
    Thanks so much for being so damn honest, supplying so much detail, you story resonates so strongly and in reading it also makes me feel stronger to. Stories such as your help me hugely in putting into perspective the JW experiences of my upbringing.

    PS, I know I’m going to sound like I’m asking you this because your name is Caleb, but are you the Caleb that had taken part in “The Prodigal Boys” podcasts? If not, I apologise. However if you haven’t listened to their podcasts before now I would highly recommend them.
    Joel Ash

    1. Hello Joel,
      It sounds as though you’ve been through quite a bit. I’m glad you’ve made it your career to serve as a Police Officer, so few are willing to make that step it seems.

      I watch ExJW videos on YouTube constantly haha. I find they bring everything into perspective. It’s also a glimmer of hope to see the org slowly crumble. No I’m not the Caleb on that show, but you’ve got me intrigued to check it out. Best wishes Joel!


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