Could You Forgive the Watchtower?

by Ms. Whip 41 Replies latest jw friends

  • Ms. Whip
    Ms. Whip

    Did that question make you feel anger? Did you automatically say "no way, never?"

    I've been reading a little bit about what anger, resentment & bitterness does to our health.

    It seems from all the talk that it is important to express your anger, talk about your bitterness, release the resentment. If you hold it all in it makes you literally sick.

    Ever wonder why you may be depressed (apart from all the other biological reasons) is that you have not expressed your anger/frustration/hurt/pain enough. Depression is often “anger turned inwards”—that is, you end up despising yourself because you let it happen or you feel guilty because you have so much hatred and want to hurt those who hurt you.

    What would be the best way to deal with the pain that the Watchtower caused us?

    My guess would be to talk about it. Like we do in this forum. Get the frustration, anger, resentment, bitterness out of our system. Allow time to heal our wounds.

    But, here is where I ask "Could You Forgive the Watchtower?"

    The reason I ask this, is that it seems although it is important/healthy/necessary to talk about the anger etc. we feel, if we dwell too long on it it can make us sick.

    Talking about the pain/hurt that the Watchtower or other people have caused us over and over and over is like ripping the scab off of a cut that is healing. Every time you rip the scabb off you bleed again. You are causing yourself more pain and the possibility of a larger scar.

    It has been proven that anger/resentment/bitterness and thier stress can and do cause heart attacks, cancer, autoimmune illnesses (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus) depression, mental health problems and death.

    If we learn to forgive those who have hurt us we no longer give them the power to keep on hurting us.

    When you forgive someone, it doesn't mean that you condone, approve or forget the hurt. Forgive the person not what they have done. It means the elder that disfellowshipped you, the witness that hurt your feelings, the man that wrote the watchtower article, the parent that forced/inforced watchtower rules and theology on you, the brother or sister or cousin or uncle who shunned you, the husband or wife who left you because of the religion, the son or daughter who turned their back on you. Forgive them.

    This will take courage. You have to make the decision to forgive. You will have to give up the grudge. You will no longer be a victim. You will have to stop "being right" and making the other person "wrong". You will have to find a new way to think about the person who wronged you. The person does not have to say sorry for you to forgive. You are forgiving them to free yourself from the pain and devastation their hurt caused you.

    If you believe in some kind of higher power. Ask for help to forgive.

    If you do not, start a journal or post on this board who you forgive.

    Realize that the anger and bitterness is a sick disgusting tumor inside you that will grow and fester. When you forgive imagine the festering ooze of pain/hurt/bitterness/anger leaving your mind/heart/body.

    I have never done this. But, since I was the one who brought it up, I suppose I will go first.

    I forgive my father for dying.

    I forgive my mother for ignoring me.

    I forgive Pam for being a hypocritical witness.

    I forgive my witness friends for leaving me when I left them.

    I know I have so many more to forgive. The person I will have to work the hardest at is forgiving myself.

  • slimboyfat

    There is nothing to forgive. We all make our own choices in life. If there were evidence that leaders in the organization don't actually believe what they are promoting, then there may be something to forgive, but I have not seen such evidence. Otherwise the Society and I were simply sometime companions in a cause we both believed in. I no longer share that belief and we beginning to part ways - "so long old friend, no hard feelings, wish you all the best."


  • moggy lover
    moggy lover


    Bugger 'em


  • DHL

    I am sure that I live to learn so every experience I make, no matter if nice or hurtful, includes a lection for me I want to learn. Seeing it that way I can be thankful even for the most hurtful parts of my past and the people playing a role in it because all of this made of me what I am today.

    So in my opinion neither forgiving nor forgetting but being thankful is the best way to handle the past. I love Christina Aguilera's song "Fighter". Here are the lyrics:

    When I, thought I knew you
    Thinking, that you were true
    I guess I, I couldn't trust
    'Cause your bluff time is up
    'Cause I've had enough
    You were, there by my side
    Always, down for the ride
    But your, joy ride just came down in flames
    'Cause your greed sold me out of shame, mmhmm

    After all of the stealing and cheating
    You probably think that I hold resentment for you
    But, uh uh, oh no, you're wrong
    'Cause if it wasn't for all that you tried to do
    I wouldn't know just how capable I am to pull through
    So I wanna say thank you

    'Cause it makes me that much stronger
    Makes me work a little bit harder
    It makes me that much wiser
    So thanks for making me a fighter
    Made me learn a little bit faster
    Made my skin a little bit thicker
    Makes me that much smarter
    So thanks for making me a fighter

    Oh, ohh

    Never, saw it coming
    All of, your backstabbing
    Just so, you could cash in
    On a good thing before I realized your game
    I heard, you're going around
    Playing, the victim now
    But don't, even begin
    Feeling I'm the one to blame
    'Cause you dug your own grave, uh huh

    After all of the fights and the lies
    Yes you wanted to harm me but that won't work anymore
    Uh, no more, oh no, it's over
    'Cause if it wasn't for all of your torture
    I wouldn't know how to be this way now, and never back down
    So I wanna say thank you

    'Cause it makes me that much stronger
    Makes me work a little bit harder
    Makes me that much wiser
    So thanks for making me a fighter
    Made me learn a little bit faster
    Made my skin a little bit thicker
    It makes me that much smarter
    So thanks for making me a fighter

  • fullofdoubtnow

    I'm with slim here, to a degree,I don't think there's anything to forgive either. I do feel angry looking back at my 25 wasted years as a jw, but I am more angry with myself. After all, I allowed myself to be misled by other well - meaning people who were also misled.

    However, although I am not angry with the gb, I do feel they have something to answer for. They set the policy, unless you still believe all that bs about them being instructed directly by God, so they are responsible for the story that was circulated about the UN fiasco, and for the policy, or lack of one, in reporting child abiuse cases. They are also responsible for the loving practice of shunning former members, something all us ex jws really enjoy having practiced on us, and all the other somewhat dubious policies imposed on jws.

    So, whilst I don't feel there is anything they really require forgiveness by mere humans for, I wonder if God, if he exists, will forgive them for what they have done in his name? I have my doubts.

  • Narkissos

    That was a beautiful post Ms.Whip.

    Healing and forgiving go together for sure.

    Contrary to much preaching on the subject I think that forgiveness and forgetfulness go together too, to a large extent.

    There is probably room and/or time for not forgiving (and consequently not healing) as well as for forgiving (and healing). On the human stage someone has to stand up once in a while in the admittedly self-destructive role of the accuser, refusing to forgive at any personal cost. That's what memory and loyalty are about. Antigone, Job and Ivan Karamazov come to mind. "Forgive and be forgiven" (or heal) can also be construed as the ultimate tyrannical blackmail and someone has to denounce that.

    When it comes to forgiving there is no limit. As Jacques Derrida pointed out in an interesting paradox, only the unforgiveable is worth forgiving. In a sense both forgiving and not forgiving imply death as the ultimate oblivion which makes everything irreversible, real and meaningful as well as erased and meaningless.

    And I don't think any of us can really choose. We do forgive, or not forgive, when it is the only thing to do.

  • KW13

    already have, now i'm just fixing things.

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    I have no animosity towarads the Watchtower, and have forgiven much.
    For the most part I know that the vast majority of people that keep the organization moving along are doing what they feel is the best possible thing they can do. Many do it with much sincerity and humbleness. Even those who show ignorance and become judgemental (like hardline Elders) are doing so because they truely belive it is what they must do to serve God. I feel pity for the millions trapped in that state of mind. I freely forgive such ones, no matter what they may say or feel towards me.
    But there are also those who twist and distort the 'truth' inside the organization. They publish false reasonings, lie in the literature, and add to the Bible. While I will also freely forgive such ones just like those I mentioned above, I must add that those who KNOWINGLY mislead are guilty of a far greater evil than those following a leader.

  • MidwichCuckoo

    The WTBTS believes it never makes 'mistakes' and therefore never apologises, so there is nothing to forgive.

  • parakeet

    Ms. Whip,
    ***But, here is where I ask "Could You Forgive the Watchtower?"***
    ***If we learn to forgive those who have hurt us we no longer give them the power to keep on hurting us.***

    If it were a one-time injury done by one or a few individuals, I would agree--get over it and move on. But for many here, we're talking about years of abuse, even continuing after leaving the WTS through continued shunning from close family members. And the nature of the damage--indoctrination from birth, an isolated childhood, loss of higher ed opportunities--often follow the victim throughout life. A simple "I forgive you" cannot even begin to compensate for the extent of harm done by the Society. I think such an attempt trivializes what many here have undergone and continue to undergo because of the WTS.
    Attempts to restore sanity into our lives after such an experience will depend on individual personality. Posting here about past wrongs helps some. Some get into activist activities. Some write books exposing WT lies and hypocrisy. If you can forgive the WTS and JWs who have injured you, more power to you. But for many, including me, the WTS's blatant ongoing disregard for the welfare of its followers is beyond forgiveness.

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