GARY, Man , you are funny!
When trying to talk to a JW what is the best method?
what is reality, really?
You have to slowly teach them how to listen to you, instead of automatically assume that you are wrong and they are right, which is what all JW's are conditioned to do. To get them to listen to you, you have to get them to trust you.
It took my friend a long time to get through to me. All the while, I was thinking I could bring him back to the JW's, that I was not going to abandon him like all the rest of our friends did, just because he had gone off the deep end and left Jehovah's organization. My friend had the patience of a saint to deal with all the stupid stuff I said to him (for the record, I no longer believe he went off the deep end by leaving).
Whenever someone/anyone said something to me that was contrary to my beliefs as a Witness, instead of for one second considering that they might have a point, I was preparing a retort in my mind to prove that JW's are right and they are wrong.
And that dangerous independent thinking! If you can get your JW to start thinking for themselves, you can make progress.
I feel as though I'm stating the obvious, but I'm still going to post this nonetheless. It might serve some purpose.
Whenever Jesus did it he usually did it with parables that likened something to the curent situation but didn't generally attack full on (of course there were exceptions but these were normally for the benefit of other observers ) Sooooo JWs 'hate' LDS/BAs/Moonies/Catholics etc so talk about all the areas of similarity and get them into the groove of safely critiquing behaviours that they perceive as destructive in other groups but are actually also their own.
1/ Where does church 'x' think it gets its authority from?....isn't that tenuous..?
2/ Why does church 'y' never do any charitable service...?
3/ Such and such a movement won't let their people talk to their non-member families ..how poor is that?
4/ Why does church 'p' put so much emphasis on leader 'r' - surely they should talk about Jesus more?
5/ Look at all this stuff printed by 'q' - look at how little it talks about Jesus.
6/ I figure church 'l' must have worked out how wrong it is since it's last 'prophecy' failed..I wonder why they keep going?
I'm running out of letters and imagination....
thanks for the replys. Gary, you are funny I have to admit! Its funny this woman plays music in clubs with her non Jehovah witness husband. Another couple theyre very financially well off with a beautiful home, boat, new car, Martin guitar, etc... etc... all from waxing and cleaning floors. Jehovah's witnesses aren't suppose to be into money but they definitely are. He does a lot of the cleaning for stores in the province of New Brunswick. Very profitable! Non of these are normal JW's.
what IS a normal JW, really?
I have to say I've done some real soul searching over the years about how somebody might have reached me and gotten me to listen to reason.
I've dug into my memory and found things I don't like to admit publicly.
Number one among them is that while I was a JW I was intellectually dishonest.
Because I only pretended to listen to what others were saying. I never gave a second's consideration to possible validity. It was all a game of ping pong.
They'd ping and I'd pong.
Bottom line, of course, is that I sent it back at them.
So, that's the first thing. If I could miraculously meet myself in the past and strike up a conversation--would the me of today have any advantage whatsoever in dealing with the JW Terry of long ago?
Here is what I'd do.
ME NOW: "Terry, I'd like to talk to you about Jehovah's Witnesses-but, I want you to agree to something very reasonable before we begin--okay?"
ME THEN: "Sure, what do you have in mind?"
ME NOW: "Promise me you are willing to be wrong IF information I present warrants an evaluation that leads to you seeing error in your views. Okay?"
ME THEN: (looking for an escape hatch right away) "What exactly does THAT mean?"
ME NOW: "It is important you really listen to what I'm going to say and consider it BEFORE you react and BEFORE you form a rebuttal. In other words, while I'm presenting an idea which might disturb you--I want you to agree you aren't going to begin thinking about how to debate me UNTIL the information has sunk in and you've really looked at the possible MERIT of it."
ME THEN: (A little too quickly to be true) "Oh sure. NOT a problem."
ME NOW: "One other thing. Let's not jump around. Let's just stick to one thing and see it through to the end before bringing up side issues. If we are going to talk about 1975 being a false prophecy on the part of the Watcthtower, for instance, let's agree to stay with just that topic until we reach a conclusion."
ME THEN: " And what will that accomplish that a well-rounded conversation won't?
ME NOW: "Well-rounded is a good example! We need to define our terms before we debate any point. What is "well-rounded" to you might be "evasive and defensive" to me if we don't define our terms."
ME THEN: "Sure, let's get started. Fire away....."
I have little confidence I could get the ME THEN Terry to sit still for such a debate. You know why? Because the ME THEN would go on the offensive and answer a question with a question to tip the initiative away from the exchange of ideas. It is rebuttal thinking and knee-jerk rhetorical jousting I was indulging in back then. The object was to win and not to pursue a point toward some found truth.
This breaks my heart.
I really have to face an ugly fact. I was a person who lied to himself so that I could lie to others. It was never really about "Truth".
omerp asked, "When trying to talk to a JW what is the best method?"How about for starters you say "hello"
Is there a "best" method. Isn't that an oxymoron?
<<My friend has a dog that runs around the yard and eats shit. I asked him why the dog did that, and he said, "Because he likes the taste of shit.".>>
Holy crap!!! You know my father.