Jerry Bergman, Ph.D. (psy) - JW insights

by AhHah 54 Replies latest jw friends

  • AhHah

    For those who are not familiar with Jerry Bergman, Ph.D., he was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses and later earned a doctorate in psychology. He has written much that provides insights on the effects of being raised in the religion, as well as many other JW research articles.

    Here are a few links for those who are interested. This site also contains articles by Ken Raines, who seems to have developed the site.


    url (Ken Raines)

    url (J. Bergman)

    url (J. Bergman)

    url (J. Bergman)

    Edited by - AhHah on 31 October 2000 16:56:58

  • AhHah

    Another interesting link:

    Edited by - AhHah on 31 October 2000 16:58:55

  • TR


    Very good info. At least XJW's and JW's have resources in these professional fields.


    Edited by - TR on 30 October 2000 11:8:37

  • Seven

    AhHah, Thanks for the links. You might want to take a look at the Cult
    Database(600 links)

  • waiting

    Hey AhHah,

    Thanks for the clicks. However, Jerry Bergman sometimes comes across much more as a disgruntled x-jw, rather than a professional.

    I know that the line would be hard to tow, but it's not much different than the WTBTS choosing professionals that they know will back them up, instead of getting impartial opinions.

    Jerry Bergman is a highly opinionated professional.

    Of course, I'm not even that, so go figure......


  • AhHah


    I hear what you are saying. If I were contemplating joining the JW religion then I would want a more impartial opinion.

    However, as an ex-JW, I can verify that many of his statements are accurate. I have not tried to verify his sources for the objective research results he references. I can say that his articles do not seem to indicate angry or malicious motivation. He seems to maintain a professional perspective.

    I cannot say that I was surprised by his research in the article about Jehovah's Witnesses and Mental Health. It is a very sad and sobering, but interesting read.


    Edited by - AhHah on 31 October 2000 17:0:34

  • Pathofthorns
    However, Jerry Bergman sometimes comes across much more as a disgruntled x-jw, rather than a professional.

    This is the impression that I got as well. I don't find him to be objective and I find his statements to be somewhat extreme and perhaps inaccurate.

    I mean, just because someone has letters after their name, doesn't mean they are right or entirely accurate about what they say.


  • Frenchy

    I find myself in agreement with Path and waiting. I did not read the links, only the summary presented here. I hardly think that enough data has been gathered about the witnesses to make such an assessment. I think that Jerry's bias against the society prevents him from making any impartial assessment.

    Admittedly, this retrospective assessment is somewhat distorted by the resentment many ex-members usually feel.

    Yes sometimes this is a BIG distortion.

    Nonetheless, (nonetheless? Is that factor now being dismissed? Shouldn't that read: "With due consideration to that factor...") an examination of the many available( many?) case histories reveals a clear pattern of progressive mental health deterioration caused by the teachings, practices, and the environment (too much generalization here.) that the Watchtower produces.

    I think the man is guilty (perhaps unkowingly so) of manipulation of limited data and of taking some rather creative liberties with that data.
    But to mirror waiting's comment: "Hey,that's just me. I have no degree!"

    -Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it-

  • AhHah

    Path and Frenchy,

    I actually have read many of his articles, not just the couple of summary quotes that I pasted here. I have to disagree with both of you. His arguments and conclusions do not seem to be extreme, inaccurate, or manipulative at all. Any conclusion may of course be somewhat subjective, and his conclusions are certainly influenced by his negative experiences as one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    I am a little surprised by your seeming need to quickly dismiss his arguments, especially if (as in Frenchy's case) you have not actually read the basis for his conclusions. What are your motives for doing so?

    His arguments do not imply that everyone who has been a JW is mental. If that were the case then there would be no need for any research, it would be more than obvious. He also allows for the very likely possibility that persons with mental problems are attracted to join the JW org in the first place -- often because of the acceptance that they cannot find elsewhere.

    Just for the record, I am not saying that I necessarily believe or accept every word that this man has written. I did find many of his articles informative and insightful, however. They might help some ex-JWs to understand how the religion has affected them. Also, he writes about other subjects, not just mental health.

  • Peter

    I have to agree with some of the others who posted about the tone of Bergman's articles. I, too, detect more than a hint of bias. That's just fine if you are simply a disgruntled ex-JW.

    On the other hand, if you are trying to present your ideas as research to help others make a decision, and if you add your professional credentials to the story, you should try to maintain your objectivity. If you do not, you lose credibility.

    I think a good example of someone who comes across as unbiased, or at least fair, is Ray Franz. I found his book to be interesting and fair. His tone was not heavy handed.

    If someone asked me what source to research for information on JWs, I would without hesitation point to Ray's book and not Jerry's research.

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