What contributes to a "climate of fear" in the congregation?

by truthseeker 30 Replies latest jw friends

  • blondie
    He responded to my raised hand by calling me by my first name [not CoCo]. That was done at my hall only for interested persons who wished to participate. Even little dubs got the bro' and sis' titles.

    I knew a sister in her 60's that must have ticked off the WT conductor. She would raise her hand and he would ignore it. She went up afterwards to find out why. "I just forgot your name." Next Sunday, same scenario. After 4 weeks, I looked over and saw her pull out a piece of paper, It said "Sister Older" in 3 inch black letters. She sat in the middle of the second row where the conductor could not miss her. When she raised her hand, he could clearly see her name on the paper, the reader could clearly see her name on the paper....he called on her and from then on.

    On another occasion, a younger elder conducting the WT study called on an 80-year old sister by her first name. As she grabbed the microphone, she said, "That is Sister Frank to you, John," and then gave her answer.

    I miss those older women. They were the backbone in many congregations where there were no men or no capable men to handle the administrative duties.


  • CD

    this climate of fear is so silly & sad. the contributing factor, as mentioned earlier, is the FEAR OF MAN. Image is everything in this org..not the true essence of a person, but the IMAGE portrayed is key to the success of a JW & the ORG.

    the funny thing is most Jw(s) do take part in questionable activities, but keep quiet due to this fear. this fear helps breed a cong of hypocrites...

    there was an elder that use to not call me by last name, despite being baptized....& ppl would make excuses for him all the time. personally, i think it was b/c i did not kiss his butt..


  • hamsterbait

    Keeping things as if they are in a timewarp to the 1950s.

    Then you have the whole "Peyton Place " scenario. Read the book, saw the film. Except for them being mostly Presbytarians, it is like what you see in so many Kingdumb Hells today.

    Fear is what enabled the Soviet Government to rule for seventy years. Fear is what keeps many in line in the WTBTS. Just the creation of a fearful atmosphere, where people don't really understand what or why they are fearful causes a paralysis of the mind where it is impossible to think clearly, thus ratcheting up the fear.

    The USSR fell when the man in the street feared no longer. The WT knows that when its terror tactics no longer work, its game will be over, so it encourages paranoia.


  • hamsterbait

    Actually, Blondie - The custom of asking "Bro" or "Sis" So-and-so for the answer is interesting.

    Looking at the "Kingdumb Misery" where this was introduced, it was fear of how a visitor or others in the Cong might view it if the study conductor called another man/woman not his wife by their first name from the platform.

    They might assume he was over familiar or even be involved in an illicit relationship. It was not brought in to encourage people to view or treat each other with respect.

    In fact it makes meetings look even more phoney and scripted to an outsider. Everybody calls each other "Brother" until after the final Amen , then it is back to backbiting, nick names and shunning.


  • becca1

    So true Truthseeker! The spirit of fear is pervasive. Everything a witness does can be the object of scrutiny by others and be labeled a "stumbleing block" to someone. You always feel that someone is looking over your shoulder.

    Is my skirt to tight or short? Is my son's video game too violent? Is my new vehicle to flashy? If I have a garden wedding will they think I commited fornication and can't get married in the KH? If I put tiny lights on my back patio, will they think they are Xmas lights? On and on and on...

    Even in things that are "conscience" matters the Society prints things like: "a mature christian would... or a spirutual person wouldn't", so if you exercise your conscience and go against the flow you are still looked down upon. So, unless you do everything by the letter you will not measure up in someone's opinion, and even if you do you will be made to feel that you are not doing "enough", so your own conscience will condem you.

  • truthseeker

    Thanks all for comments, Cindy especially, sorry about your situation - hope it improves.

    I was one of those who were bound by fear of many things, not a morbid fear, but a fear of man.

    I know longer have that fear, despite attending less than half the meetings every month - the elders leave me alone now.

  • uwishufish

    Dismembered were you fearful b/c the

    350lb Pig-Faced looking "elder" who has really bad ASS breath, and wants to talk to you in the back room.

    Might threaten to sit on you instead of just plain old reproval.

  • willyloman
    This climate of fear and worry about what the congregation may or may not think

    The complete absence of this climate of fear is one of the biggest things that makes being out and free so delicious.

  • new boy
    new boy

    I got turned in to the elders for "klinking" glasses at a wedding.

    Its like being in Nazis Germany......................You never know who might be watching........or listening.......Zig HEIL!

  • steve2

    I take an alternative view on this topic:

    I think many JWs are surprisingly naive when talking about stuff they've done.

    Besides, I think many JWs have such suppressed emotions that there's more of an emotional flatness or dullness about them rather than any palpable fear.

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