Were you afraid of what they thought about you in the Kingdom Hall?

by The wanderer 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jerohobobonadad

    1.) Were you fearful about what others thought about you?

    2.) Did you hold back on how you felt about certain matters
    because you wanted to conform to the program?

    3.) What about on this discussion board, do you allow others
    to dictate the pace for you?

    Good questions.

    1) I suppose I was at times, but only fearful of what certain people thought. I went through a few stages of being quite JW serious, ususally cos I fancied a girl (it seemed that you had to be seen to be making an effort if you wanted to bag that nice witty girl) and I wanted her folks to see me as a nice young brother. So I suppose I was fearful of how others saw me. Pretty shallow reasons for wnting to be a good little witty boy with hindsight. Is it any wonder I didn't have a JW girllfriend?!

    2) Yes, for the following reason. When I was 19 we had a family debate (as we always did at lunch) I started questioning the WT sin gene theory and basically said it was a load of tripe. Queue angry scenes as they said if the WT said it must be true. I said what about 1975? Queue very angry scenes - one of my grandparents accused me of attacking their faith and threatend to "bury you in a hole in the garden". That was quite a traumatic experience really, I was very naieve then and thought you were allowed to question things. I decided not to ask any more questions after that.

    3) I'm too new to comment really, but I hope ths board is the polar opposite of the WTBTS - a place where any questions or comments can be made without threat of being burried in the garden! I am going to speak my mind on this board. I'm not a racist or a bigot so I shouldn't step on too many toes!

  • Woofer

    I was afraid of what people thought about me. I think thats what keeps most people "in line" because they don't want the mark of being d/f or being reproved.

  • shera

    I think most people worried more about ,what the cong felt ,then what God thought of us. Sad.

    I never answered much during the meetings and one of the sisters who I studied with,was upset with me because other sisters,were wondering what was
    "wrong" with me.I must not be very spiritual because I don't answer or I don't talk enough. I wasn't there to impress them or prove anything to them.

    I never changed ither.Wasn't long after I left anyways, just another notch in my belt,to why I knew this organization is crap.

  • greendawn

    I never really minded talking my mind that's why I was not so popular with the dubs, once I decided to leave (become inactive and then DA) it made no difference to me but then I wasn't in for long had no friends or family there (except a sister) and leaving was very easy.

    I never liked the idea of not criticising the FDS, who finally turned out to be just the GB and before that it was just the president of the society and his inner circle, because everything they do or not do is down to the way their jehovah directed things, a cunning catch all excuse. It sounded like an excuse for keeping in place a dictatorship and it was indeed. It was a defence for people that suffered from a dreadful sort of power lust.

  • Finally-Free

    Sure, I cared for the first few years, and even managed to keep a few of my unpopular opinions to myself for a while. It soon became obvious that while I cared about others in the hall, that feeling was not mutual. I was a convert, formerly a "worldly" person with a rough past, and no matter what I did or how many hoops I was willing to jump through, the JWs would never really accept me as one of them. I was tolerated by them, because I helped to boost their Holy Statistics, nothing more.

    Once I realized this I stopped caring. I abstained from all "votes" in the hall. When asked about it I replied that I'll vote with my wallet - If I disagree with something they don't get a cent from me. If others chose to vote in favour of a "resolution" then they can pay for it. If they don't want my input then they shouldn't expect my money either. No one tells me how my after-tax dollars are spent. The elder was shocked at my attitude, but didn't say a word. They really don't know what to do when faced with their own impotence.

    I soon learned to enjoy the negative opinion most JWs had of me. It kept most of them away from me, sparing me the pain of having to listen to much of their foolishness.


  • OnTheWayOut

    I was on the body of elders in a congregation. A matter was brought up at the elders meeting about spending

    money on the wrought-iron fence. It amounted to maybe $10,000 to replace the entire thing. It was brought

    up, but there was no discussion on it. (The PO just assumed we were all in favor of it.) After the meeting, many

    brothers felt that was a big expense, they were willing to repair the old fence on their own for the cost of materials,

    less than $1000. They did not say anything, though. On the night a vote came up, they first asked if there were

    questions. I asked several about "exploring alternatives, such as repairing the old fence." They were afraid to take the

    vote now, but they did. All the other elders were "FOR" it, and they waited until virtually the entire cong. raised their

    hands. Many looked at me, with my hand down. Next, who's "AGAINST" it? I raised my hand as did a few other

    people. The measure passed, but not unanimously. The PO later tore into me. "We need to act as a body, all in

    harmony. What were you doing? If you didn't want this, we could have discussed it at the Elders Meeting, and then

    all supported whatever decision we made." I asked the question about the meaning of the vote, and how it was NEVER

    discussed at the elders meeting, but we never really patched that up.

  • Jerohobobonadad

    I heard they spent $50,000 putting special acoustic ceiling tiles in an assembly hall once. I bet it didn't make any difference to the sound quality. I wonder who gets to vote on those issues. If that's true I would have thought that could be better spent on halls in timbuktu or buying those new fangled cell saver machines.

    Years ago, this old guy voted against buying new chairs for the hall. We were going through a quick build and were presented with three options:

    1) clean the old chairs and give them a lick of paint. cheapest

    2) buy new plastic chairs. cheap

    3) buy new comfy foam chairs. expensive

    The chap doing the announcing added that the BOE's position was to buy new comfy foam chairs (I see nought wrong with that - they had to state their position). Everyone voted for new comfy chairs. He voted for a lick of paint - he held his hand up with real style so everyone would see the dissent. He was an interesting chap, the old boy. I'll post a good story about him one day - it involves understanding that famous "generation".

  • Good Girl or Bad Girl?
    Good Girl or Bad Girl?

    Yes, I cared what others thought of me because I was taught to care ("don't stumble your brothers, put their personal interests first", etc.) but being DF'd twice and having to endure meetings for years with people basically acting like you are not there, or worse, staring at you and then whispering to each other while you try to hold your head up high and tell yourself you are doing the right thing by being there, well you learn not to care so much.

    So I guess I can say one thing good that came from being DF'd was that I learned to stand on my own two feet and not give a crap what others thought, whether that meant dying my long hair jet black (I have fair skin so this really stood out) and then going to the meeting (first DF'ing, when I was 19 and still lived at home, my mom was SHOCKED but I was like, "what are they going to do, DF me, MOM?") or wearing pants or jean skirts or flip flops to the KH - again what are they going to do, shun me???

    My mom cares so much about appearance that I think she will never turn me in to the elders for any wrongs I've committed (I could be surprised though) because she couldn't endure a third announcement to be made about me. Messed up.

    I don't think you are allowed to vote against covering the CO's expenses. It's a fake democracy, for business purposes only, because in reality it's a theocracy, right? So by voting against it, you are voting against God. Hahaha, I couldn't even write that with a straight face.

  • fullofdoubtnow

    1.) Were you fearful about what others thought about you?

    I wasn't exactly fearful, but I guess everyone likes to be popular, and if someone didn't like me, or didn't appear to, I would make an extra effort to please that person, even if I was unaware of why they had such a seemingly low opinion of me.

    2.) Did you hold back on how you felt about certain matters
    because you wanted to conform to the program?

    Yes I did. I have never been particularly outspoken, and if I disagreed with something, I would often keep my opinions to myself, in the interests of maintaining harmony in the congregation, rather than express my opinions openly. The exception to this was if the majority agreed with me, but even then I would often only express my opinion if asked for it.

    3.) What about on this discussion board, do you allow others
    to dictate the pace for you?

    No, since leaving the jws, I have become less of a shrinking violet, and more willing to express my own thoughts than go along with someone elses. Of course, that is much easier to do on here than it ever was in the wts, where you could get in serious trouble for merely expressing an opinion that the elders might consider in opposition to the org's viewpoint. We need have no such fears on here.

  • TopHat

    No, but I did obey the rules because I wanted to and thought it was right! I left because I could see that the WTS HQs was not obeying the same rules they set down for the Witnesses. The greed for more money was to much for me to believe they are guided by Holy Spirit. While at the same time asking the Witless to give up their nice home and job to live in a shack and drive a four door car full of zombies out in service at their biding.

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