Does "reverse psychology" work on JWs?

by kristyann 1 Replies latest jw friends

  • kristyann

    I have a question here... and some of you might think it sounds stupid or offensive or something... but I am going to ask, anyway, mainly because I am curious.

    My boyfriend's family members are all still wrapped up in the JWs, although they don't particularly follow many of the rules. Anyway, they were abusive and so we have pretty much washed our hands of them and given up. We don't talk to them and haven't had any contact with them at all for quite awhile now... and we're fine with that now, because even though my boyfriend feels it is necessary to forgive them in his heart, he does not feel it is wise or prudent or necessary to have contact with people who are not changing and will just continue to abuse him and treat him like garbage. However, we do have a couple of friends that are still in the JWs, too... and we still like them.

    These friends don't really participate in many of the activities, either. They are sort of on the fringe of the Witnesses as well. They pretty much do what they want in so many aspects of their lives, yet they still defend the JWs to the end and go to the meetings and stuff. They still allow themselves to be controlled in many other areas. We have tried to show them how ridiculous the JWs are, tried to help them out of it... my boyfriend has tried to explain why he left, but it hasn't worked, and at times, they became very offended when he was never anything but polite to them. They took great offense to what he was saying, though.

    Then a guy we talked to recently told us that he helped get some of his friends out of the Witnesses by not saying anything negative about the JWs at all. In fact, he says that he used to actually show them more and more WT articles that encouraged JWs to become even more involved in the Watchtower organization. For instance, silly articles about how people quit their secular jobs to become pioneers and stuff. Or really stupid articles about how some guy wrote to the Watchtower asking for permission to hire Jehovah's Witnesses because he knows "Jehovah's Witnesses are the only honest people anymore, and they're the only people I can trust." So basically, this guy kept showing articles to them like this... but instead of pointing them out and saying how stupid they were, he pointed them out and acted like they were GOOD articles.

    He claims that this worked... that this helped get his friends out of the Watchtower organization. He says that by showing them this stuff over and over again, they started to realize how stupid it was... but they would have only gotten defensive if he had come right out and SAID it was stupid. This way, they felt that they were coming to the conclusion on their own. He said that if you TELL them directly how dumb and evil the WTS is, they will only get defensive and want to do what you're telling them not to do even more. But if you they know you're okay with them doing it, they won't feel the need to do it so much anymore... they won't feel the need to prove you and everyone else wrong.

    I am wondering... does anyone think that this would really work? Does anyone have any similar experiences? To me, it sounded extremely risky and dangerous. I would fear that showing an article to a Jehovah's Witness that encourages people to pioneer only and to quit their secular job would ENCOURAGE the JW to go ahead and quit their secular job...or it would make them feel guilty because they do have a secular job... but he claims that in his situation, it was the exact opposite. He claims that showing them the most ridiculous articles and acting like there was nothing wrong with them helped pull his friends out of the WTS.

    Does anyone know if this works? I am not considering trying it, because I feel it sounds a little risky, a little sneaky and manipulative... plus I would just be so scared that my doing so would push someone into the WTS even further. But does anyone know if something like this DOES actually work? Or is this guy full of it? Does it maybe just depend on the people, on the specific situation? Has anyone heard of anything like this before?

  • anewme

    Kristyann, you may have offered a way to reach SOME people.

    What is that old story about a butterfly?

    Set it free and it will sometimes come back to you!

    Sometimes just telling others how happy you are with your new life apart from the oppressive WTBS and leave it at that, people compare your joy to their suffering and opt out to join you.



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