Questions we're frequently asked
(1) Do you "bash" the J.W.'s at your gatherings?
No. Our support network, as a group, is not interested in participating in retaliation against the Watchtower organization. However, there will be individual members within some chapters who, while well-meaning, speak angrily about their experiences in the organization, expressing a desire for retribution. These individuals are on the path to recovery, and are feeling and expressing anger towards the Society in the process. We have an essay on this site entitled Does ACB Bash the JWs? which such individuals would be encouraged to refer to. We endeavor to keep the emphasis of our gatherings positive, light-hearted and fun, while at the same time recognizing the seriousness of the need for encouragement, allowing members to process their feelings in a healthy way.
(2) I'm still an active Witness. Can I still come to your gatherings?
Absolutely! Some of our chapters have active Jehovah's Witnesses who regularly attend our gatherings. Keeping in mind that there will be disassociated and/or disfellowshipped individuals in attendance, the decision is yours as to whether or not to come. If you would feel more comfortable with a private meeting, we could arrange to meet you in a public place such as a coffee shop or restaurant instead. For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, please see our essay entitled I'm Still A Witness - What Now?
(3) Will anyone report my attendance at an ACB gathering to my congregation?
No one has ever reported such an incident. In that we have active JWs who attend some of our gatherings, we ask our membership to respect everyone's anonymity. No one's name or picture would ever appear on any ACB web site without the individual's express permission, and we are careful not to divulge the identities of any attendees to anyone without asking them for permission first.
(4) Do you celebrate holidays?
Some of our members do. Some do not. The choice is left up to the individual. "A Common Bond" is not interested in dictating spiritual doctrine or conduct to anyone who joins our network. We encourage everyone to find the path to which they are most comfortably suited.
(5) What age groups and backgrounds generally attend ACB gatherings?
All age ranges, from 18 through 70's. Some of our attendees are still active JWs while others left the Organization decades ago. Many are former ministerial servants, elders, pioneers - even former circuit and district overseers! Those under the age of 18 who are still living at home are a special case. We feel that it is best to put these youths in contact with organizations which are best equipped to deal with gay and lesbian issues for juveniles, such as The GLBT National Youth Talkline.
(6) Will I meet "Mr. or Ms. Right" at an ACB gathering or event?
While there have been occasional instances of dating within our membership, it should be made absolutely clear that "A Common Bond" is not a dating or matchmaking service. We are here for the express purpose of offering support and recovery to gay & lesbian current and former Jehovah's Witnesses. While we do not discourage socializing with one another, we hope that no one will attend one of our gatherings with expectations of being introduced to others for the express purpose of initiating a relationship or sexual encounter.
(7) Does ACB believe that Jehovah's Witnesses will one day accept gays and lesbians unconditionally into their fold?
No, we do not. In fact, even if the Watchtower were to make the highly unlikely turnabout and accept gays and lesbians, many of our membership have made it explicitly clear that they would not consider returning even under these circumstances.
(8) Web sites have been created for gay & lesbian Jehovah's Witnesses who want to stay in the Organization. How does ACB feel about these groups?
We do not condemn these individuals for wanting to offer support to one another. However, while their motives are in earnest, we believe that encouraging individuals to remain in an organization that blatantly condemns them is unrealistic.