Having been one of Jehovah's Witnesses for the better part of fourteen years and then having left the organization after having discovered the Watchtower Society's involve- ment with the United Nations has left me second guessing myself. Often times, I ask myself why?-Why? did I not listen to my "gut feelings" when I held certain doubts about the organization? How did I allow myself to be duped for such a long period of time? Many times, I would hear some negative news about the Watchtower Society and then I would just suppress it or tune it out of my mind. Anything negative would be automatically dispatched. I am a newbie to this board and I would love to hear from some of you whether or not this is quite common or just something I personally experienced. Lots of Love. The Wanderer
Hello and welcome
your feelings are common. Just wait......and look around....we are all the same ....with the same feelings
You 14 years in.....me 50 years I was duped longer than you.
Welcome The wanderer...Your feelings are entirely normal and we have all been there.
How come we missed the obvious?? I think it was just a reluctance to "Think the unthinkable", after all when you are in the middle of the forest , you cannot see the wood for the trees. When you are within the circle , it just could not all be wrong - could it ? It takes great courage to think outside the box, congratulations in making that leap... Enjoy posting here .
Thought stopping is a technique used by such groups in order to keep such a tigh grip on your powers of reason.
Think about what your answers would be to somebody who asked you this question while a JW...
Tell me three things you love about being a JW...
Now tell me three things you hate....
Since the JW mind is not able to find anything wrong with the Watchtower envorioment at all, there is nothing they can say. Their mind freezes. Of course there are all kinds of things they don't like, but they can never verbalize them and thinking them is only in the deepest part of their mind. They are taught to think that if the EVER EVER EVER think one negative thought Satan has won!
By the way, I'm glad to hear you out. Just wanted to add that there is more to the JW deception than just the UN thing. Make sure you find out about all of the other lies (especially in publications) and other stuff. I've noticed on the net there are so many who are actually getting JWs back into the fold by making them think that the one (or two) issues they left for arn't valid. There is so much else out there, it's good to find out as much as you can about it.
I don't know why it took me 35 years to start to wake up! I already felt in my heart that some of the WTS teachings could not be supported by the Bible and I seen enough instances of scandelous behaviour among elder bodies to know that holy spirit was not behind the appointment of elders,and yet I kept "waiting on Jehovah" to correct things!
Like you it was the NGO affair that told me immediately that there was something very wrong about this situation that reached right down to the very roots of the JW belief system,ie the perception of a "faithful and discreet slave" who could at the same time suport and cooperate with the "beast" that this "slave" so often condemned! At least you and I and many others were able to accept the truth of the NGO affair,while all others,so far,to whom I mentioned the NGO thingy to,were unable to see anything wrong in the WTS's actions.Frankly,if it were not for the NGO affair,I might still be in the borg "waiting on Jehovah"! Learning about the NGO affair was the catalyst that prompted me to look deeper into the history of the organization and the rest is history.
Hi wanderer & welcome!
Perhaps you weren't really ready to consider problems with the WTS earlier.
Hi wanderer, and welcome to the board.
Your experience is nothing unusual. I was the same - trying to suppress doubts about the wts until I finally had to address them, and really examine if what I believed was really the truth. It didn't stand up to examination, so I left after 25 years in the org. I would think just about every jw who leaves goes through a similar process. No jw goes to bed a faithful, committed witness and wakes up the next day out of the org, it's a gradual realisation that you've been duped, and I guess there's no "average" as to how long the process takes.
Just be happy that you did realise what a con it is, and got out. I know I am.
One reason the Watch Tower Society is such a hard group to be loyal to is because they ask members to believe the leaders and question the leaders at the same time. It's a strategy against human nature.
The Society makes statements like they are God's only channel and they are "Divinely directed". At the same time they say we are just imperfect humans studying the Bible and guessing at what it means.
There's no continuity being a Witness. The people change, the music changes, the dogma changes, the actual group purpose changes. There's nothing to give a person a feeling of permanence, nothing to give a person a feeling of security, that they can trust and be comfortable.
They can never relax, enjoy friends, and enjoy life. They're always in chaos. That chaos is designed, it's a group strategy. Who can relax in a religion that has a Gestapo, inquisitions, and secret trials where members have NO rights?
They only thing that stays the same is the requirement to be loyal to the owners of the printing company. The cherished teachings and group rules that members did prison time for and died for are dispensable. Nothing is solid, nothing!
There's no comfort in going through life believing I'm associated with the group leadership committee who has all the answers. A committee I can't trust, I can't talk to, and I can't explain what their answers are. The leadership is abstract, the teachings are fluid and ambiguous, there are no rituals a person can enjoy their whole life, and the music changes.
The problem being faithful to the Society is it's a moving target. The problem with being committed to the Society is it's a competitive environment. It's very hard to sustain a commitment to a competition.
Comfort = sustainability. The Witness group goes out of their way to make each other uncomfortable, therefore they make continuity unsustainable. They're doing it on purpose. Pressure and purges define the loyal and promotable. They need losses as proof of difficulty. Those losses elevate those who caused the losses. This is how a pyramid high control group works.
Thank you all for your advice, viewpoints and perspectives on the matter.
Admittedly, I have a long way to go regarding my former life. One thing I have noticed is that the brainwashing propaganda "sticks" with you even after you have left the organization. Many thanks, The Wanderer
Welcome, wanderer! A term that you will want to become familiar with is 'cognitive dissonance.'
Here is a brief explanation from wikipedia:Cognitions which contradict each other are said to be "dissonant," while cognitions which agree with each other are said to be "consonant." Cognitions which neither agree nor disagree with each other are said to be "irrelevant." (Festinger, 1957)
The introduction of new cognition that is dissonant with a currently held cognition creates a state of "dissonance," the magnitude of which relates to the relative importance of the involved cognitions. Dissonance can be reduced either by eliminating dissonant cognitions, or by adding new consonant cognitions. The maximum possible dissonance is equal to the resistance to change of the less resistant cognition; therefore, once dissonance reaches a level that overcomes the resistance of one of the cognitions involved, that cognition will be changed or eliminated, and dissonance will be reduced.
This leads some people who feel dissonance to seek information that will reduce dissonance and avoid information that will increase dissonance. People who are involuntarily exposed to information that increases dissonance are likely to discount that information, either by ignoring it, misinterpreting it, or denying it.