The nature of the JW pendulum swing: length, intensity, trends over time

by Check_Your_Premises 7 Replies latest jw friends

  • Check_Your_Premises

    I have a science and math background so I naturally want to quantify things, model things, and analyze things.

    I have heard folks here frequently discuss the pendulum swing of the JW. For awhile they are full of zeal. They perform all their duties flawlessly. They really feel good about their faith and their prospects of salvation. Then after awhile they come back down and are less enthusiastic. They don't go out in service as much. They openly express their frustrations and doubts even to an unbelieving mate! Then they swing back.

    So how long do the up swings last?

    How about the down swings?

    How much time is usually between an upswing and a downswing?

    What are the trends that we should look for and what do they say about the person's overall prospects of being ready to question the JW as God's religion?

    Any thoughts, observations on this subject would be greatly appreciated.


  • cheezy

    One could probably develop a formula that gave a number value to such variables as family structure, education, current age, age of coming into the borg, past experience with religion, economic situation, etc., then put it on a graph along with the trajectory of the WTS' "present truth" and come up with some fairly accurate indicators.

    If the WTS is in a downswing, such as right after the 1975 debacle, or the child molests, etc. or in an upswing such as capitalizing on tragedies like Katrina, that would have an effect on individuals who are disposed to be swayed by such.

    Interesting notion and with enough information gathering, I do believe it is possible to make predictions for individual responses as well as trends for larger societal groups.

    It would be vital to have a thorough understanding of neuroses and the concept of cognitive dissonance, as well as algebra.

  • james_woods

    Hi both Check_ and Cheezy

    Chuck_, did you mean the "typical" individual Jdubpub or the tidal swings of the group as a whole? I agree with Cheezy that while you might be able to sort of predict "typical" behavior, it would have to be an awfully complex formula. After all, Wall Street has spent millions on our finest physicists to do this kind of predictive math on stocks, not always to any great advantage.

    As to an individual, well- IMHO there are so many different personality types in the borg (some being kind of OK, some truly delusional) that it would seem for that all bets are off. And really, for the individual R&F, isn't their mental state toward the KH meetings and service heavily influenced by whatever is the latest Governing Body screwup?

    As to the Society, they seem to telegraph their crisis moments pretty well themselves because of bad chronology and logic...(the generation?) (the memorial partaker numbers?)...unless they get found out like with the UN!


  • Check_Your_Premises

    Well maybe my appeal to science took this thread in a little different direction then I wanted it to go. I don't really think it is possible to quantify such a thing or come up with a formula. To many variables. You can always approximate in those sort of cases.... but I digress nerdily.

    What I really want to hear is some empirical data. What are your experiences as jw's. What are your experiences as to your jw loved ones.

    Just looking for any sort of insight here.

    My wife's swings appear to be driven by events. Right now I have two lows and two highs about 4 months in wavelength (time from high to high or low to low) and of significant amplitude (emotional distance from high to low).

    What bodes best for their exit. More frequent highs and lows or fewer? More time spent in the low then the high? An overall trend where the high isn't so high anymore and the lows keep getting lower?

    Every person will be different I suppose.

    Thanks for any input.


  • cheezy

    CYP - this narrows it down! Lots to say on this, but for now - "nature abhors a vaccuum" - and humans are natural creatures! As pointed out in this forum many times, so many JWs confronted with the real truth about the bOrg take the position that "if this isn't the truth, then what is?" or some such variation on that theme. Obviously, the prospect of being left with a vaccuum makes them very uncomfortable.

    It is usually more effective to fill up the jar with something else rather than dumping out the WTS contents and having an empty jar.

    Make sense?

  • Blueblades

    New releases, announcements, always had the rank and file in an upward swing. Now nothing is new, releases are just rehash of older publications, so the swing is downward. there has been a dry spell- drought, in new things learned, same old same old book study stuff, Watchtower study is beating up on the Elders and the rank and file, do more do more, Bethel is downsizing again, so, I would say that the pendulum is swinging on the downward side and may not swing upward again.


  • DannyHaszard

    Boom bust cycles just like the economy,as a lifelong home builder in construction i can identify,take the Savings and loan default 1990 usa.

    I watched bloated speculation with office buildings going up in Boston Mass with no assigned tenants to occupy the spaces during the 1980's than it all came crashing down.

  • Jourles

    Similar to what BB's already mentioned, but add in the assemblies and those are probably the highlights of the year. Especially the DC's - even more so for the younger crowd/single folks. They get to cruise the hallways once a year for three days looking for that prospective mate. Of course, sex is at the stem of this phenomenon. We all know how much sexual tension builds up in your typical single JW.

    The pheromones are spread high and low during the DC's.

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