One suggestion might be to mention an interesting message board entitled ex-Christian.net. Many JWs might not consider visiting the site as particularly disloyal ( as they may well associate it with Christendom ), but once they start reading the site's exposure of the Bible as the man-inspired book that it is, seeds of doubt would be planted in their minds, which might ultimately lead to their realizing that they cannot remain a JW any longer. I sincerely wish that someone had recommended the site to me, a long time ago.
While much information on the net and other places put a main focus on the twisted and biased teachings of the WTS, there is another way to go about it.
I was thinking that another good way to talk to JW's can be simply telling them you don't think what they do is Bible study (which it is'nt) and that you think it's Watchtower Study. You can get into how they hop from scripture to scitpure and never take anything in context. You could also add that the only time they actually read the Bible is the smallest part of their worship. A 3 minute Bible reading out of 5 hours of JW programming each week. This way you don't even get into the teachings, instead you focus on how what they do dosn't fit what they say they do. It might be a good way to get witnesses to think without sounding like an apostate.
Regarding the comment of SirNose 586 (I hope I spelled your name correctly sir) I believe you are right about concentrating on the child abuse issues. I myself would never have looked in the direction of an apostate, let alone talked with one.
However, the issue of child abuse is something that affects many, and is generally viewed as sick by most people. Yes, talking about something that a person can get emotional about is effective. Discussing 607 or even 1914 usually isn't going to do anything but put people on the defensive and make them more stubborn in their support of the organization.
I remember a number of years ago when the abortion debates were really going strong, and many people were picketing abortion clinics. On the news you could see the different sides yelling across the street from each other. Certainly no views were changed on either side of the street. Instead, both sides got more inflamed.
However, at about the same time, a message came on T.V. There was a young woman walking in a park, past a playground. She looked at the young children swinging and began to imagine what her child would have been like had she allowed him to live. You could see the torment that she was putting herself through due to her decision to have an abortion. What an effective message!! I had no children at the time but the image of this young woman made me start crying and was more effective than any large march or picketing group could ever be.
Of course, many are probably disturbed by the changes in the 1914 doctrine and others, but the issue of child abuse is the one that is getting the most publicity such as the court cases now going on. Who is going to call these victims taking their abusers to court apostate liars? Some, maybe, but most deep down know better.
There are many others who have been emotionally abused by the elders, which is just as serious as sexual abuse due to the lifelong devastating mental scars. This is what happened to my family. It is undoubtedly happening to others. That is why they must now get on the bandwagon with the articles commanding family members not to associate with those who have been "righteously disciplied."
Be A Friend!
Most JWs are starved for friends! We have few people in the JW congregation who show genuine friendship.
When I was a Witness I had no true friends. I did when I was teen, but friends you have as a teenager seem to be different. As an adult, there was no one in the JWs I could call my close friend. Nobody really knew me. You always had to be guarded in what you said around them.
I had a "worldly" friend at work who became a true friend. We talked about many issues, but he was always a friend. He was patient and listened. He asked questions. He was respectful of my beliefs while asserting his own. I was allowed to see that people can have differing opinions and still be friends. He accepted me for who I was without judgment, but would occasionally question my beliefs and get me to think. He treated me like a person.
I think being a true friend and showing them true friendship transcends differing beliefs is an important facet of de-indoctrination. If you give them a safe environment to let them question their own beliefs, I believe they will. I did.
This is my first post. I'm new here. Inactive for a while. Tired of fence sitting. My personal unvoiced issues have been addressed in this thread. Wow. I'm glad I'm here.
As with Swan, in my experience, I also find this to be true. Lack of true, unconditional companionship is a lonely depressing existence. I have also found there to be an alarmingly high incidence of depression and mood disorder among JWs. In my 13 years in this religion, those who I felt any bond of closeness too have left. Mostly because they have given up on themselves, lacking in the ability to mold and conform to the JW clone.
I find myself exhausted with the battle. To the point where my relationship with God has been jeapordized. I have also come to terms with myself. Never have I felt more relieved and at peace not active in the 'truth'. I was proud of myself for missing my first memorial this year! I thought I'll be struck down by God or something. lol
I think for those who are culturally brought up as JW's will have the greater challenge in waking up. They have been indoctrinated from the forming of their impressionable minds. The thinking is so steeped into them. I've brought many issues up with my hubby including organ transplant, 1975, education-he's also inactive, but so DEFENSIVE about his beliefs. 3 generations witnesses in his family. It would mean losing them all if he was consciously decisive in escaping this prison.
His choice though. I know I can't do it anymore-nor will my kids. At their young ages they see through it. The pressure to comment or service so so in so will play with them-it's crap and I'm teaching my children to be true to themselves and to be real.
So for those who are searching, like me they will find a group like this to deindoctrinate themselves.
Thanks everyone! This has been penting up inside for a very long time.
I know that my opinion is probably unpopular, but I think that the process of trying to "deindoctinate" Witnesses is misguided. I think that the mind control that permeates the religion is just like an addiction. How many alcoholics are able to accept it when a family member tells them that they have a problem?
When I was a faithful JW, I met "apostates" on many occasions in service. I can honestly say that their arguements were logical, but my mind had already sounded the "apostate alarm" which shut down all of my rational thinking faculties. There were some apostates who showed me clear an unambiguous contradictions right out of the Watchtower articles but, I still completely dismissed it because it was being presented by an "evil apostate".
I sincerely believe that the process of the mind beginning to open happens from the inside. This is certainly what happened with me. I used to hate and denounce "apostates". It wasn't until I hit an emotional "rock bottom" that I finally had the denial and false pride shaken out of me. This is what it took for me to have the humility and intellectual honesty to finally scrutinize the organization and my beliefs about it. No amount of articulate reasoning or persuasion by a former Witness could have done that for me.
The truth is, I had to be ready. I had to become honest and open minded before I could even question my beliefs. No person on earth could have done this for me.
It's hard to approach the JWs with anti WTS ideas because they were mind conditioned to run away from such ideas yet each year many somehow discover the truth about the org and leave of their own accord.
They realised that leaving the WTS is not leaving God that this org is more or less the same as any other religion of Christendom.