Why So Many Young People Are Leaving The Watchtower

by Jeremy C 127 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jookbeard

    Great post, the rod of discipline in regards to spankings during a meeting if I misbehaved were thankfully never administered to me by my father elder, he used to get it over early at home before the meetings, plus we got the rod, stick,belt fist, it never was solely the rod.

    edit; why did I insert a "we" there, should have have been just "me"

  • DesirousOfChange

    Why So Many Young People Are Leaving The Watchtower

    It's because younger people have access to the flood of information on the internet AND the curiosity to seek it out. Any student considers it standard procedure to Google any and every subject. They read of something in WT publications that contradicts what they are learning at school, so they Google the topic. The WTS is not able to put a halt to this dissemination of information. In the process, the curious subject is flooded with information about every aspect of JWs and the Organization. What started as an innocent search of The Global Flood, or Abiogenesis (word used at Dist Conv), or whatever turns out to be 100s of pages of damning information of false prophecies, scientific inaccuracies, politics and injustices within the Organization, etc etc etc. All exp0eriences that EVERY JW can relate to at one time or another. The WTS can stifle the information available by ceasing the printing of older publications or by stopping any discussion on "Old Lite" and by limiting the association the typical JW has with educated "worldly" people. But they CANNOT stop the internet. That would be like trying to ban television. As usual, they are late in reacting in a reasonable way. As of now, they are still attempting to ban Facebook and "improper" use of the internet. It's like the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. But now, the whole damn has been breached and the water cannot be held back. THIS FLOOD is for real!

  • punkofnice

    With the 10 toes NO light and the apparent (weasel word I admit openly), non release of a scheduled book this summer, I wonder if they are frightened to mess around with doctrine now that they'll get critiqued into the ground if they do.

    We are in the 'information age' and young people are wise enough to smell a rat......so it's up to them to make a move or not.

  • jworld

    "The Watchtower organization simply has nothing new to offer, and no new ideas."

    Doesn't it go back to their world view? If you really believe the end is going to come soon (usually within a couple years or so) there is simply no time/no point for new ideas. In some ways it seems that the leadership as well as the R&F just believe they should tread water until the new system comes and then they can embark on new ideas.

  • Billzfan23

    Very well written and articulate post. Thank you!

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    Very nice to see Billzfan23 and Jeremy C posting again.

    Excellent post Jeremy.


  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Gread Thread!

  • simon17

    It’s not hard to figure out why so many JW children are conditioned from an early age to associate drudgery with the meetings and assemblies. There simply isn’t anything designed or built into the programs that work with the attention spans of young children. Many churches offer separate classes, services, or groups for children that are compatible with their maturity level and that get them acclimated to going to church. However, the Watchtower stubbornly sticks to a “one size fits all” program for everyone. How many schools do you know of, that stick preschoolers, high school students, and graduate students all into the same classroom together?

    Although one might argue that meetings are aimed at the intelligence level of a child, but the attention span of an adult. Too boring for the average child and too idiotic for the average adult.

  • life is to short
    life is to short

    "I think it comes down to the fact that this is a "works" based religion. Everyone is working to earn their salvation. Traveling overseers are continuously pushing the Elders to help others earn their salvation. It's like a twisted game from the Middle Ages, where everyone is trying to make it to a finish line, or else get executed if they don't. So, in their minds, they reason: "who has time for a youth group when so many people out there need to be saved from Jehovah's Day of Judgment?"

    You could not have said it better then you did here. Thanks again for such a great post.


  • Franklin Massey
    Franklin Massey

    This is the kind of post that should be sent around to JWs. It hits so close to home for so many. These kind of observations are safe enough for JWs to hear without tripping the cult mindset. It can spark a flow of personal thoughts that are normally supressed.

    It’s like a twisted game from the Middle Ages, where everyone is trying to make it to a finish line, or else get executed if they don’t

    It's not LIKE that. It IS that. You described it perfectly.

  • itscrap&theyknowit!

    @SHAMUS - I totally agree with you! Jeremy's posting is great! Beyond informative. I wished that so many could ACTUALLY see this.

    I feel for the young people. I noticed a bunch of this crap back in the 70s and 80s as a young one. But, who wants to disappoint their parents? All I had to look forward to was pioneering full time right out of high school, getting married at the age of 19. He had to be 'spiritual' and at least a ministerial servant. Preach, preach, preach and be pillars in the congregation for other young families.

    We are not taught REAL social skills for the REAL future. We are likened to "Stepford Jehovah's Witnesses".

    It's a sad, sad and pitiful life for young ones growing up in this religion. Only to find:

    1) you WILL NOT get a hold on the REAL LIFE

    2) you WILL be pestered once you realize you are in a cult

    3) you WILL grow old and die IN THIS SYSTEM.

    Please continue to give this message to the young ones in this cult. WE ARE THEIR ONLY HOPE!

  • Coffee House Girl
    Coffee House Girl

    This post also really struck a cord with me....everything you all have contributed in describing the typical JW upbringing is true and happened to me-

    Now I hear my fiance (nonJW) describe his childhood with happy church group trips and the fellowship with other young people his age....it sounded like in those trips you could really connect with others- leave the worries of school and home behind & have fun being a kid- I am jealous that I never got that....

    He is a well adjusted adult who can talk with strangers, be comfortable with groups, and carry himself among friends with confidence...I am totally the opposite & I feel bad because he has such a desire to be social (and why wouldn't he, he has good experiences to rely on)- I just clam up when I get into a group or social situations.

    The WT organization did nothing to make me feel like a valuable member, I was just a girl, and my dad was inactive so I was at the bottom of the food chain. Any elders that did try to take an interest in me did not carry on for long because as others have posted...elders are so busy & don't have the time to really committ to the job that a paid youth pastor would do in any church in christendom.

    I also agree with others, those dusty old men in bethel will never get it because they have locked themselves in their ivory tower willingly and wholeheartedly.

    Thanks for the great thread...


  • d

    I can relate being a young Jw is very stressful but soon after I left I truly began to evolve as a person.

  • Quandry

    the sight of that creature with its arms extended reminds me of when I was at the dinner table at Bethel, watching one of the Governing Body members reach for the bowl of creamed corn.

    Jeremy-thank you for your sense of humor!

  • Juan Viejo2
    Juan Viejo2

    Jeremy was kind enough to let me adapt it for my new site. Check it out http://insidethewatchtower.com/doctrine/why-young-people-are-leaving/ .

    Jeremy definitely has a gift and I hope he'll submit more of his wisdom and experiences here and over at ItW.com and Ex-JW.com. I'm sure he love to red your comments on this little gem of his.


  • discreetslave

    Wonderul Post Jeremy I am at a loss for words for you have said it all

  • ThomasCovenant

    This part was one of my favorites:

    "Many teenagers in the organization have issues that require a little more remedy than sitting with a notepad at the assembly and counting with tally marks the number of times the speaker says "Jehovah". Sitting through hours upon hours of talks and Watchtower studies is not going to help them with many of the emotional and social challenges they're grappling with. Is it any wonder that the turnover among the young people is so high? Is it any wonder that they would seek to fill the void in their life with sex, drugs, and alcohol? This is human nature. And, as is human nature, it is much easier for Watchtower leaders to put all of the blame for this on invisible metaphysical characters such as Satan, instead of dealing with the elephant in their own living room. "

    Wow. This leads to the next step in the path of ineptitude on the part of the WTBTS. Disfellowshipping. " Well, we have done everything we could", says the BOE. " We tried talks that explain nothing, tally marks for Jehovah(tm), more field service, raising the hours to be exemplary in the Org, guilt-trips, the TEN TOES, the threat of death at Armageddon, nothing works on these kids!"

    So, with no real training to deal with emotional issues, what's an Elder to do? A thorough knowledge of floor buffers and wax just won't help here. The only logical step is to DF the offender who is obviously under the control of Satan. When the individual needs help the most, they are cast off. No wonder most never return.


  • JakeM2012

    Data-Dog, writes, " When the individual needs help the most, they are cast off. No wonder most never return."

    Thanks for highlighting this problem with JW's. For years I have felt and have witnessed that JW's stop their "assistance" of people just when they need it the most. The problem is like a hospital's doctors and nursing staff rejecting people to only go on the street when they still have broken bones, just because this particular hospital "expertise" is in another field and they don't have anyone qualified to do the surgery to repair.

    Example, a young woman gets pregnant out of wedlock, and is consequently disfellowshipped. Now the family has pressure put upon it to further push the young woman out on the street. Instead of behaving like a normal family and welcoming the child and daughter into the family, and the (grand) parents help their daughter get back on her feet, finish school, etc. Then at a more mature age, the woman possibly marries. But a little bump in the road, is not treated with total failure, and people are not discarded if not perfect.

    Another example, I know of several men who served conscientiously as elders and really went out of their way to help people. As the years rolled on and their expectations and hopes for the end drifts into the oblivion, they find themselves on the other side of a bottle of alcohol, trying to drown their sorrows of reality fighting with false expectations.

    After all the people that they helped and spent time with they themselves are thrown to the curb. I'm not talking about time spent being in an elder meetings, I'm talking about quality time spent working with people. The brother crosses the "line" in his drinking, but, at this point it is just an a momentary indescretion. The other elders respond by having to purge this "evil" out of their midst immediately. The congregation of JW's are very capable of metting out the judgement, providing the jury, judge and punishment. After disfellowshipping the elder, he feels even lower and even further abuses alcohol.

    The fundamental issue is there's no assistance to get anyone back to a balance, there is absolutely no support structure or culture. It's like a quality control person rejecting a third or more of the product made, but there is effort to look at the manufacturing process. Witnesses are just messed up.

  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    Maybe the 60s are back - the stores are full of hippie styles - the belief in freedom of the individual might be making a big comeback too

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Topic Summary

i have been giving a lot of thought to the young people who are leaving the watchtower organization in recent years.

last night, i was reading the thread posted by jwfacts a while back in which he provided some statistics and graphs showing the rapidly declining growth in the watchtower.

one factor that was discussed at length was the high number of young people who do not stay in the organization.

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