How much written in this Forum can be believed?

by Spectrum 47 Replies latest jw friends

  • Van Gogh
    Van Gogh

    This is certainly an interesting subject. I have always wondered about that myself as well.

    I have been in the organization all my life and have certainly met many, many great and sincere people/Christians. Most of the members do retain a great amount of innate decency and common sense. Most members will trail along content and happy for years, and will be able to build their lives around this system, like people will around any human social system. But when things (people/families) fall out of line - fall into disgrace - start asking awkward questions - that is when people start to get hurt big time.

    The organization isn't called the bOrg for nothing. The machine has left a trail of destruction and has destroyed many lives under the banner of love and truth. Unsuspecting weak ones who feel themselves protected by it, from time to time turn out to be ill prepared for its ugly consequences. They are the victims of it. They often tend to disappear out of sight as well and are shamed. "Spiritually weak ones are thus sifted".

    A simple and verifiable example might well be the Malawi account from Ray Franz's Crisis of Conscience: many poor Africans were beaten, killed and raped as the "collateral damage" of a machine, yet this was considered to be a fair and reasonable price to pay - the account is liable to make you want to vomit. Yet the decisions involved were made by respected man in a calm and composed manner, with an outward appearance of moral authority.

    It also reminds me of mechanisms observed in Nazi Germany. The famous philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote about these workings of evil and the paradoxes involved. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen also wrote about it in his "Hitler's Willing Executioners": How could German citizens of what could before 1870 be described as merely a "Kulturnation" - a nation unified only by culture - be party to such despicable consequences. During the Second World War, before the end of 1944, Bavarians lived decent, happy, loving, and proper village family lives. The Dutch people were opposed to the German invaders. But in the Netherlands for example, 110.000 Jews were quietly carted off to a horrible death, yet daily life went on as usual. I do not intend to judge here - if anyone dared to oppose, they were liable to the same fate. The point I'm trying to make is that everyday life went on as usual. The outward appearance of everyday life seemed normal under the circumstances.

    In no way would I want to equate the WTS with the NSDAP. But it could serve to illustrate the evil, dehumanizing and damaging potential that can result from the greater good of an organization-machine that claims moral truth.

    My childhood story could probably rank quite high on the "JW horror story" index. It involved suicide, death, alienation, utter despair, institutionalization and dehumanization. Yet my dad had been a respectable Presiding Overseer and my mother had been a respectable pioneer for many years during the poverty stricken years of the fifties. I have personally experienced how they were consumed by zealously serving in a religion that was able to make them sincerely believe that they would never die, yet, it turned out they were devoured by a machine that was able to contribute to their premature deaths. I have personally experienced the mechanism of keeping things behind closed doors - of keeping things quiet. The funny thing is that I was always defending the organization despite all this, and putting the blame fully on my parents. Only recently has the house of cards come tumbling down for me - and have things consequently begun falling in place. Only when I found out that the truth turned out to be a lie (inch measurements in a pyramid tunnel to justify calculating 1914 and the end of the world...?) was it that my perspective on what transpired was turned upside down. This organization tends to mess some of us up pretty badly

  • Abaddon


    I'm here on this forum to find as many truths as is possible relating to JWism. I'm not really here to stick the boot in although once in a while my emotions might get the better of me.

    What I'm asking is what are the chances that some of the posts on this site regarding JWs are just slander?

    I ask this because some of the posts I read indicate really awful behaviour that I never came across in my 9 years of association with them.

    Fair question. Even in retrospect, with hindsight and a totally different perspective to that I used to have, I also hear of things I never observed at a Witness. I am sure there are members of all sorts of religions who hear things about co-religionists they never observe in their communities.

    But 'bad things' happen in their religious communities and in communities of JW's. They happen in unreligious communities too, or mixed communities like this one.

    Sometime people lie. Catholics Jews JW's and x-JW's. Get over it

    You should realise by now that there is not a behaviour of JW's that sets them apart from other religions. They themselves build this belief that they are a people apart - less likely to be bad or criminal than the rest of us. They believe they are more perfect and complete in their love. Of course, other religions can also share this conceit. And they and JW's are wrong.

    Generally speaking, it is not a man's beliefs which set him apart, but his actions. And humans of all beliefs and nonbeliefs, theist and atheist alike are generally speaking, if born in the same street to parents of a similar social background and income, no more likely to be a bad person than any comparable person of any other possible un/belief.

    Excluding really obvious evil shit like the Thugee cult of 19th Century India, where the actions required of the belief are against any reasonable standard of good.

    And that is where the rub is.

    Sometimes beliefs make people do actions which are not good. Letting a child die for want of blood because of a sincere belief is not good. Not quite in the same leauge as killing travellers as a sacrifice to Kali, as Thugees did, but still not good. There are beliefs held by other religious groups that can lead to harmful action - not just JW's.

    In additon to a faith causing harmful action you have an organisational structure that causes harm. Look at the RC Church and child abuse, the JW's and child abuse. Whether due to heirachal structures (RC) or religious law (JW's 'two witness rule' and 'do not be a stumbling') BOTH those religions are liable to give a greater risk of child abuse continuing unchecked than many others.

    It doesn't mean the religion is evil, just that doctine and wanting to appear unbismirched to the world came before children.


    • JW's are just as likely to do bad things as any comparable person with different beliefs.
    • Any religion can have beliefs which cause harmful action - not just JW's and blood and RC's and contraception.
    • Any religion can have an organisational structure that might foster criminal activity - such as child abuse with RC's and JW's.

    Therefore, examine each case on its merits Spectrum. I read stuff sometimes which makes me go 'ummmmm...'. Most of the time the internal consistancy and lack of tangible gain in deceit, plus the person's character (as much as can be determined in an online environment) makes me end up deciding it's a true story. Mostly people here tell the truth. It is very often obvious when they don't. I rarely feel someone is lying about any 'big' thing. You must decide for yourself. It's one of the fun bits.

    And the ones in between we either have to thank the dear Lord, or Mr. Darwin , or Lord Krishna, or Allah, for this wonderful brain we have to figure out if someone is taking the piss.

    I'm here on this forum to find as many truths as is possible relating to JWism.
    You must realise that some of those 'truths' will show that the JW's aren't (the truth). The way you phrase this makes me wonder if you really want to accept it's just another religion. Maybe I misread you.
  • Legolas

    I know what you mean!

    If you would have told me before I left the borg that the elders could treat people in a bad way I would have never have believed it, UNTIL it happened to me!

  • Rooster

    What do you believe that the Witchtower publishes?

  • Van Gogh
    Van Gogh

    Welcome to the board Rooster!

    (BTW, you look great for your age!)

  • Honesty
    How much written in this Forum can be believed?

    Too much for comfort.

  • greendawn

    From my experience what I see written here about the JWs is perfectly believable, they do destroy families, drive people into a stressed life and depression, have little brotherly love and concern, and there are rivalries and jealousies among the elders.

  • Rabbit

    That's very good & honest question.

    I have a similar one: How much of the WT & Awake ! can you believe ? With them, think about everytime you read an experience -- "a brother in Argentina, a sister in Russia, a leading scientist recently said..., a prominent Doctor, "etc, etc. In almost all cases they will NEVER name names or give references -- because of that I suspect they are 'made up' stories. Just like 'Questions from Readers' or 'Young people ask'.

    I spent 30 years as a JW, I never knew the particulars of certain situations, because of the extreme secrecy of this org. If I had been an elder, I might have known a LOT more of the dirty secrets.

    As a good dub, I just saw people come in and when they 'left' *poof* they were never heard of again! There were rumors of course and they were always bad...'so & so' went off the deep end, demonized, drunkards, etc. I never knew 'where' all those JW's went when they left the Truth ™. UNTIL, I came here and found 10's of thousands on XJW boards. Then I started finding people who lived near me and by going to a few "ApostaFests" I started re-meeting people I knew.

    And that may be your answer, too.

    1st, you'll have to think for yourself about what people say. (I don't believe a few posters at all)

    2nd, read the sheer numbers of 'newbies' that come here with a terrible problem that they are begging for help with (like me about 2 years ago) convinced it's a unique one-of-a-kind issue for a JW to be faced with. They get help & advice -- and find maybe 100's of others have already been-there-done-that. They are in a panic, usually they've just lost family and/or friends, that has a ring of truth to it.

    3rd, Get passed our secret alias and get to know some of us -- look us in the eye. See if we're "lying".

    4th, Get to know folks 'local' to you. Talk to them, look them in their eyes. You'll figure it out.

    We've been taught to accept everything -- without question. I'm damned proud of you for becoming someone who 'questions' things.

    You'll fit in fine. Most people here have "Show me!" as their middle names. Haven't you seen some of the heated arguements here ? I doubt if WE here agree on much, except that we don't have much use for the WT anymore.

    Rabbit (of the Show me & I'll Show you class)

  • stillajwexelder

    I ask this because some of the posts I read indicate really awful behaviour that I never came across in my 9 years of association with them.

    Experiences differ from congregation to congregation. I have personally seen women who are suicidal because of covered up sexual abuse. There has been a Panorama and other programs about it. Ex Bethelites like Barbara Anderson confirm it. A presiding overseer from Paducah KY resigns over the matter.

    So if the WTBTS can stoop this low , why should they not lie etc over other matters. What would convince you ? How much evidence do you need?

  • Oroborus21


    Take everything with a grain of salt

    Make of the forum what you will, contribute

    Use your own judgement and choose your own path


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