Thank you for your support of my wife who found this forum after she was recently arbitrarily shunned by her 73 year old lifelong witness mother. I know there are probably peaceful and humble people out there who may feel my words are harsh and you are probably correct. I know that growing up, there was only one way to effectively deal with a bully. A bully is a bully, whether the WTS or a lifelong JW.
Letter to my mother in law:
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
When you first made the arbitrary decision to shun your daughter, my immediate reaction was one of anger. How could she do this? What sort of religion would encourage this? What nerve coming from someone who has her own glaring imperfections?
I starting asking myself?. if your daughter was so bad, then why did you move 1200 miles and plop down in the middle of our lives here? Nothing was any different from the time we moved away. If your daughter was shunning material why did you wait until after she had helped you find a home, spend a year and a half helping you get settled in including landscape your yard, supported you through the illness and death of your husband, helped you after his death in practically every matter including helping to find you a new condo and get on with your life? When the years of full time attention she gave to you was shifted back to her own immediate family which was by then in disarray, you then accused her of abandoning you. Still, you continued to associate with her when it came to matters where you needed help, a listening ear and assistance. So, I guess it was OK to use your daughter as long as it benefited you, however once you no longer were receiving enough attention from her you arbitrarily decided to shun her. ?Use and Shun? is this the latest WTS dictate?
Then I reflected back to our last go around, when out of the middle of nowhere you demanded to know where I stood on the WTS. I explained to you that after a lot of research and observation, I found them to be a fallible and rather ordinary organization that had roots in the 1850?s Adventist religions and that all their doctrines were just pulled from other popular ideas of the time. Nothing new under the sun here. Then I added, that I am not associated with any organized religion, nor do I care to be.
Your response was to tell me that, if I find fault with the WTS, and you are a member, then I am insulting/sinning against you and Jehovah. I am pretty sure that out of all the religious theories and interpretations out there, only yours puts yourself, and your organization right there at the same level as Jehovah. I was unaware that you were one of the anointed and are able to speak directly for Jehovah. That is an awesome responsibility and quite a remarkable achievement for someone with a high school education. But then I really thought about it?.you at 73, having been a loyal JW your whole life, really are an accurate reflection of the WTS. The WTS believes they are the mouthpiece of Jehovah, so by inference, then a loyal JW for 73 years must also be the direct mouthpiece of Jehovah. OK, I am starting to see the reasoning?
Loyal JW=WTS mouthpiece
Therefore Loyal JW=Jehovah?s mouthpiece
So?..if I question the failed prophecy?s of the WTS 1914,1918,1925,1975, then I have sinned against Jehovah and my mother-in-law. It won?t be the first time.
Your only daughter, whom you shunned and I were sitting at the park the other day and were approached by JW?s. We politely declined their offer to talk, but they kept pushing?so we engaged in conversation. It is interesting to get a fresh perspective on the JW?s current approach.
After explaining that I had nothing against these people personally, but having been familiar with the WTS teachings and having been around your family for nearly 30 years,
I had some serious reservations about the WTS and their teachings.
One of the young witness women proceeded to talk about the great urgency of the current time of the end. I pointed to your daughter and told them that when you moved to Lode Drive in 1974, that you exclaimed to your daughter that your family soon would ?watch ARMAGEDDON out the front window.? I explained that you have been zealously preaching this message to your daughter for 47 years. FORTY SEVEN YEARS! They looked a bit taken back.
I explained that we were around in 1975?WE ALL heard and read what was said by the WTS at that time. Two of your own brothers moved their families to rural areas to await ARMAGEDDON and the WTS encouraged it. "Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end." Kingdom Ministry, May, 1974. p. 3
I said to the women that I find it extremely unsettling that you can?t question the organizations past predictions (1914,1918,1925,1975) or even express any doubts. To which she replied happily ?Oh but you can!? To which I replied ?You can at this level, when you are first approached about WTS studying, however that all ends. Once you are baptized, you cannot openly express your doubts, without fear of disfellowshipping.? Then I gave the example to them about how my brother went to your elder husband to discuss his doubts and you went running to the other elders to turn him in for being an ?apostate?. He wasn?t involving others, he was merely questioning. They looked a bit taken back. Today, I say Thank You, I have my brother back!
I said that of more immediate concern was the absolute arbitrary decision made by you to shun your daughter. Not only did your daughter not express any negative WTS religious views in the 30 years I?ve known her, on the contrary, she has actively expressed the WTS views she was raised with. While I was actively trying to get the boys involved with sports, she did everything she could to discourage them. She was very vocal regarding a number of WTS based notions in regards to raising our children. We had many a fight over it. I would not wish it upon anyone. In the end, we did the best we could and now have raised two decent young men who are both going to college.
I think your daughter did what a great many that were raised as JW?s do when they become adults. Because of their upbringing, they don?t want to be a daily part of it or any other religion, however their views remain essentially JW. I think a typical view even 20 years later could be ?I still believe in what they teach, however I have lost confidence in the organization.? That is?until they are shunned.
Having 73 years as a JW, and essentially associating with just that crowd, and not being computer savvy, I don?t know if you are aware of how the rest of society operates in the year 2006. Nearly everyone uses computers on a regular basis, businesses, students, individuals and organizations including the WTS (which is prominently represented on the internet). The amount of information available is staggering. Basically, you have the ability to look up any subject and view most anything ever written about anything. This goes for the WTS as well. I remember thinking it odd back in the 80?s, when you removed all the prominently displayed Watchtower volumes that preceded 1980. Did you know that pretty much everything that was ever written by Russell, Rutherford and the WTS are available to view on line in their original unaltered condition. I would think that present day JW?s would find this fascinating. No more guessing about what the WTS wrote regarding 1914,1918,1925 0r 1975?..its all there in its original form, presented just how it was presented during that time. Isn?t that wonderful! And since the WTS is Jehovah?s mouthpiece, everyone living now can go back to all the previously written WTS information and see how it meshes with all of the WTS present day information. What?s so good about it is that since all the informational is available to you written in the WTS own words, you don?t have to worry about ?apostates? contaminating it.
Did you know there are actual discussion groups online where active JW?s can and do share their experiences and support each other? Isn?t that wonderful?
Did you know that there are also discussion groups online where people like your daughter who have been shunned can share experiences and support each other? We didn?t know that either until you shunned your daughter!
The only time your daughter really began examining the history of the WTS organization and testing her belief system was AFTER your shunning. It would be my guess that the heyday for shunning was probably in the Dark Ages or maybe the 1800?s when a shunned person in a closed community had little or no choice. No car, no cell phone, no one to talk to, no way to reach the outside world. Today most anybody has a real choice. For some it?s easier than others.
It?s a shame the evangelizing JW?s don?t provide full disclosure about the WTS policies from the beginning. For instance they should tell people that the WTS organization arbitrarily practices the shunning of baptized JW family members who believe the teachings, but don?t measure up in their mother?s eyes, while un-baptized siblings who think the WTS is nonsense can do as they wish without reproof.
I asked the witnesses three last questions. What would the hierarchy be in the ?New Order?. Who is going to run the show (as if Jehovah can?t) and what will be the organizational structure? The local elder with them replied that it will probably be the same as it is now.
So just like recently when your CO affirmed your desire to shun your daughter, the same arbitrary rules can be expected in the new order. It sounds like the ?Old Order? to me...something out of the 14th century.
What is the message that you really preach? FEAR, FEAR, FEAR. If you don?t do exactly what the WTS says, then you will die. WTS is Jehovah?s mouthpiece and they alone have the answer. This ultimately is your ?Good News? to be shared with everyone.
When you go out preaching these days, do you let your prospects know that you arbitrarily shunned your daughter after 47 years? Do you mention that during Rutherford?s reign ?Millions Living Today Will Never Die? was published and that he predicted ARMEGEDDEN would begin in 1925?
You are exactly like the WTS. You make arbitrary decisions and spew forth ever-changing contradictory half truths depending on what will best suit your present circumstances. (By the way, as infallible humans we all do this in one form or another, the difference is that the WTS uses the ?light grows brighter? nonsense to try and excuse it?in other words blasphemy.)You have learned from the best. The WTS puts on quite a show. From your perspective in the front row of the theater it is quite impressive and convincing, however for the rest of us, our backstage perspective reveals that like the scene in ?The Wizard of Oz? it is controlled by fallible, mortal men. It is a circus act, only instead of using the words, ?Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.?, WTS tells its followers not to pay attention to the failed prophecies 1914,1918,1925,1975, just stick to the ever-changing rules and regulations and go out and preach the ?Good News? ?.which is to join the JW?s, become a self-righteous zealot, stop thinking for yourself and if you get baptized and don?t perform as your mother wishes, then you can expect to be arbitrarily shunned?that is after you have been used and are no longer needed.
The consequences of the firestorm you started is far beyond what I imagined. When I tell anyone about how you shunned your loyal, loving daughter after all that she has done for you, they are absolutely dumbstruck. It is unfathomable. The reaction is always the same, from your grandkids to other family members, to strangers.
By arbitrarily shunning your only daughter, you have single handedly caused her to question and research the WTS history and belief system. You and I have discussed your daughter before and every single time I?ve told you the same thing. She?s got her own opinions period, and no amount of coercion will change her. Remember when she was condo president and was the target of everyone. I asked her one day, ?Why are you so bulletproof from criticism by others?? She replied, ?I had the best upbringing possible for that. I was brought up a JW. I was criticized my whole life, made to feel that I never measured up, and was discouraged from having friends outside the faith. So at 16, when I was tried by a group of hypocritical elders, publicly reproved and disfellowshipped, I had no one. If you survive that at 16, no one scares you.? So there you have it, your scare tactics don?t work! It didn?t work then and it doesn?t work now. Maybe instead of fear you should have tried LOVE! But then again that?s not the WTS way.
You and I have a long history of going back and forth. We need not pretend to hide our disdain for each other. I?ve been told everything you?ve ever said about me by your late hubby and daughter and I?ve responded by firing off letters like this to you. I?ve made it clear that I resent how you followed us to Florida, and tried to undermine the way we were raising our children. Specifically, when our son became part of the choir that traveled all the way to Japan, you took him aside (against our wishes mind you) and filled him with enough fear about the songs he was singing (not singing to Jehovah, shouldn?t give Xmas concerts or sing Xmas songs) that he started preaching to and alienating every other kid and quit. When I asked him when he looks back what does he remember? What did he say? I was afraid! Back then, my grandparents were role models and important to me, so I figured I will do anything to keep that relationship going and make them happy. Now, I realize all the physiological games that my grandmother played with me. How she skewed my views toward what a grandparent is and should be.
I am as far from perfect as anyone. I have made many mistakes as a parent. I have made many mistakes as a husband. By admitting this, I am able to discuss with my spouse and children, change ways, bring resolution and move on. When we had our last go round, you came and apologized, which I appreciated, and we discussed things.
You said that you felt alienated from our family. I said the following: our family has been through the ringer the last few years. What is most important is that there is unity and peace is in our household. Then I said to you, you are welcome anytime, if you want to set up a regular Sunday dinner, etc?I only ask one thing. When you come into our household, don?t come in and disturb it. If you can come listen and fit in, great, otherwise if your intent is to disrupt things, then you are not welcome. Know your place. Did you take me up on this? Of course not! Remember when your daughter and I had all of your extended family over for a BBQ last year? Remember that I bought the finest tenderloin steaks and all to go along with it. I knew my place. I kept my mouth shut. I didn?t disrupt the day by engaging in conversation about the WTS.
You accuse your grandkids of only coming around when they want money. First of all, Dan steers clear of you completely. You call Jeffrey to do manual labor for less than the quotes you get from others. I believe the last time he pressure washed your driveway he told you it was a freebee because you are his grandma and he loves you. You rightfully insisted he take the money for doing the job. Your daughter told me 20 years ago, that after her father dies, it will be just a matter of time before you give everything to the WTS. So far you have given the WTS $200K. This is no surprise or revelation. This is your money and if you feel that the money is best used by the WTS, that is absolutely your right. The only entity actively seeking your money is?the WTS. Don?t try and demean anyone in this family by throwing us into that crowd. We are doing just fine.
Do you know what college your grandkids are attending? Do you know their major area of study? Do you know their views on the world and current events? Do you know the names of any of their friends? Ross said it best when during his last visit he said, ?I don?t feel like my grandfather (your brother) takes a real interest in me as a person. He just wants to preach to me.?
Why don?t you currently have a relationship with your daughter or grandkids? You can say it?s because of me or the world or blame your daughter or the grandkids and probably garner a great deal sympathy within the WTS. Then eventually that will fade?you will grow older as we all do?you will eventually need help?and who will be there to take care of you? The WTS old folks home? Who?s kidding whom? Your family?the daughter you shunned.
Until then, having removed yourself from our family by following the newest dictates by the WTS and arbitrarily shunning your daughter, and knowing that this policy prohibits you from sticking your nose into our business anymore, I can only say?.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I will enjoy the peace until the day comes, when having given everything to the WTS, they remind you it was a contribution and that if you are no longer able to give to them, then you need to mend ways with your shunned daughter so that she can take care of you in your ?last days?.
Your daughter?s motivation for dealing with you, despite all that you?ve put her through is love?.not your threats, not your message of FEAR. She is motivated by LOVE! Don?t worry, Jehovah will take care of her, especially after all that we have put her through.
You and I?..that?s another story.
See you in a few years!
Enjoy the peace!
To my mother in law: "Use and Shun" a new WTS dictate?
That's what you call a letter! I hope she reads and inwardly digests it. And I hope it gives her indigestion!!!
Hope to read more of your posts soon!
Welcome *** non-JW, And thanks for sharing your letter with us. I see now that my children were lucky they didn't have JW relatives or grandparents. While my ex-wife shunned me at least they had a good relationship with everyome else outside their Mom's JW home. I hope your wife's mother takes your words to heart.
Welcome mil's worst nightmare!
Whew... that took a while to read. That was good to get it out. No doubt she won't be reading the letter here. Did you send it to her? Or was it a cathartic experience writing it? Any counselor would tell you that either way - send it/or not- is good for you to bare your feelings.
As I'm sure you've read other peoples' postings, you and your wife are not alone!
I wish both of you the best as you get on with your lives.
Thanks. Yes I delivered this to her mailbox today. It was the last of three over the last two months...(the first two letters were basically...you monumental hypocrite and pompous ass...you have some nerve). You are right it's theraputic and now I can move on. Way more importantly is that through your support, my wife is doing better. She's always been stuck in the middle between her mother and me....this forum and your support have given her a real chance to express herself and in turn experience real growth. Keep up the great and noble work!
Gosh - and welcome. I like you already. The $200k rings a bell, does your other half post on here?
Yes, having been shunned for the second time in her life by her mother, she joined this forum as restrangled.
Thanks for your support!
Good for you! The JWs mistakenly believe they are the only ones entitled to righteous indignation. Your wife sounds like a treasure -- far too good for the likes of the WTS.
Hi MIL, and welcome to the forum
Wow, that was a great letter, thankyou for sharing it. I hope your mil thinks about what she has done when she reads it, but I somehow doubt it.
Welcome Non-Jw one ! Your letter is a great one. Even if you were never a JW (good for you) you see them for what they are and you seem to know a bunch of info about the WT$. Maybe you could be an Apostate by adoption lol :) ! Take care and long live to you and your familly. Joff