I've always tried to teach my kids to follow Aesop's fable of the 'Sun and the Wind', i.e. try the gentle persuasion method for achieving your goals rather than head on aggression. However as with most things in life there is a time and place for both.
Then I got to thinking about this site of mostly ex JW's. It appears to me, but I could be wrong, that most of the people here are passive faders and only a minority are what could be termed activists.
Another thought that came to me was in relation to the Nazis and the Holocaust survivors. After the war it appears that most of the ex concentration camp victims just wanted to get on with the shattered remains of their lives and not pursue any retribution against the Nazis still living. Only a minority, famously Simon Wiesenthal, actively went seeking justice for the wrongs committed and another minority via the Israeli government used their power to fight back.
Many Nazis escaped justice maybe because of this passivity of the vast majority and were obviously very glad of it. Were the majority of ex camp vistims who just wanted to get on with life partly to blame for the Nazis escaping justice?
In our case, there are many who have been victims of the blood issue, sexual abuse and other wrongs. The vast majority of us are probably doing nothing but quietly fading in the background and trying to restart our lives.
Are we partly to blame for the continuance of these wrongs?
Are our methods like the 'Sun' in the fable and are they more efficient than the aggressive 'Wind'?
Would it be better for example if instead of fading, people started disassociating?
Please accept my apologies if I have offended anyone. These are not necessarily my beliefs. I am just interested in other peoples thoughts on these matters.
Thanks Thomas Covenant
Are Faders Making It Too Easy For The WT?
Are our methods like the ‘Sun’ in the fable and are they more efficient than the aggressive ‘Wind'
I am not familiar with most fables, and have not read any in quite a number of years. I'm not sure if I would want to model any significant life decisions after the plot of any child's story, but it's an interesting concept to kick around.
most of the people here (and many more to come I feel) are passive faders and only a minority are what could be termed activists.
Fading may or may not be referred to as "passive". Many faders quietly retreat from the org simply out of a sense of necessity, because of the enormous costs that would occur if they were to openly dissent with the org. (i.e. being shunned by family) For many people, the recovery that takes place after exiting the org does not depend on picking a fight with the WTS. For many, simply seeking out other ex-JWs and discussing their experience is all that is needed in the area of recovery. Only those with legitimate legal cases are in a position to pick a legal fight. Remember that we are talking about a huge corporation. Litigation is a serious business, and is not advisable for those who have only minor grievances.
Are we partly to blame for the continuance of these wrongs?
I don’t know. That depends upon how much power the individual has, and whether or not they have a legitimate legal case to be argued. Sometimes picking a fight with a huge corporation only leaves the the "fight picker" more exhausted, more bitter, and broke.
Would it be better, for example, if instead of fading, people started disassociating?
It totally depends upon the individual. Many "faders" have family in the org. For many people, to disassociate would mean to lose their entire family. In this case, no; it would not be better. There are some circumstances that are very complex; and which contain no simple solution.
Just because a person chooses not to DA themselves, doesn't mean they are sitting back and doing nothing about issues.
I have been very active in the child abuse issues, locally and nationally. Just because my face and name have not been in the media doesn't mean I don't contact legislators and educate neighbors and others about what they can do to help. I also support groups with donations as well, help in mailings.
I have also contacted clinics, hospitals, and doctors re the dishonesty of the WTS regarding the blood issue. When possible I have even planted a seed in the minds of JWs regarding hemoglobin-based products and how a JW can use a product made from STORED blood.
And I know that I am not alone.
It shows an incorrect assumption on your part that faders are quietly fading into the background and selfishly concentrating only on their own lives.
I agree Blondie! By the way, what part of Argentina are you from?
Very funny, Outaservice. Actually, I live just outside Buenos Aires.
I could be labelled as a fader but I wouldn't say I'm not still an activist. I am a living breathing source of anti watchtower material. I have spoken to coworkers, friends, students, and professors about what they truly are about. I have written the URL to freeminds on the magazines they leave in libraries. I have protected countless people close to me and all those they know from ever falling into the trap of that religion. I have turned passive householders into informed anti-JWs. I have given advise to internet friends who have been contacted by JWs or who have fallen in love with them.
While I have not had any personal battles to fight for me or my loved ones (blood, sex abuse etc) I have not left them unaccounted for what they have done. In not being a rabid apostate I have helped a good friend to escape as well. So no I don't think I made it too easy for them by any means I have done everything within my power to help.
Generally, you are correct ... faders make it easy for the WT. The only time I recommend fading is if the person or family leaving the organization need to fade ... to protect certain family or business interests. otherwise, looking back now, I would have let it all rip loose and made as mocu noise a possible.
The WT is not getting it easy.
It has rabid apostates like Johnny and Danny on the outside, non-believers trapped on the inside, trying to get their families out and faders who ensure that their friends and co-workers don't fall for WT baits.
All bases are covered.
I consider myself a fader who is an activist. All of my family is out now but I do have friendships with some who are still in. By DA or being DF'd could put a strain on those friendships. If the time comes and evidence™ presents itself to the elders and I am asked to join them for a meeting, I will do so. I will ask many questions knowing they will not be answered. I will then demand an appeal and then I'll write to the gb. I'll make them work for it. Make them think they've wasted their time. In the end I will have planted many more seeds. We have much evidence against the elders and the congregation as well. It's nice to hold such cards.
Faders are not necessarily passive, as Blondie so eloquently described.
A poster here, JT, makes a persuasive argument that DA'ing yourself feeds in to the power structure of the organization, and that the organization uses the DA evidence as "proof" that people can freely leave. On the contrary, faders mess up the WT bureacracy and statistics gathering. There's no check-box for fader on the exit form, and the elders don't know how to mark your time. Faders bring down or render useless the national average for hours. Contributions and attendance mysteriously decline. Requests for cash by the organization become ever more blatant, and the rank-and-file privately wonder how different the organization is from any other religion?
P.S., I am very fond of the Wind and the Sun parable. I live by it. http://www.bartleby.com/17/1/60.html