JWs and the fear of death

by greendawn 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • greendawn

    There was a recent thread on whether the WTS attracts emotionally disturbed individuals which is unlikely to be the case since so many JWs do not fit that description.

    Later I thought perhaps the WTS appeals to people that deep inside have a fear of death which is scientifically called thanatophobia (from the Greek word thanatos which means death) an excessive and abnormal fear of death.

    What do you think, many JWs find it very difficult to come to terms with the inevitability of their (and everyone else's) death and the WTS plays with this fear and makes them believe that the end of this world and immortality for the dubs are very near.

    It's comfortable to know that death has been put at a distance. But if the end is near all the urgency that facilitates the control of the WTS over them remains in place.

  • KW13

    i dont know about before, but i do know that right now i have a fear of death, the thought crossed my mind weekly if not almost daily.

  • Gopher

    I'm with KW13 on this one. While a JW, I really didn't have a fear of death. Their teachings that you could live forever if Armageddon came soon, or could get resurrected it if Armageddon delayed, brought about a sort of ignorant euphoria.

    However after leaving JW's and leaving behind that euphoria, the fact of my mortality met me head-on.

    I think that JW's attract people who feel something is missing in their life, be that discipline, hope, fellowship or whatever. Maybe the false hope they offer attracts people who are struggling with the fact of mortality.

  • Mum

    Isn't it strange how different we can be. I feared death much more as a JW than I do now. Demons, too.

    Now my biggest concerns are overeating and being punctuality challenged.



  • collegegirl21

    I don't think my parents would have went into the religion has it not have been for my grandma dying. My parents had studied for a couple of years before my grandma died and they made no progress, but I think when she died, their bible study conductor used that fact to lure them in. My dad got baptized within a year of my grandma dying and my mom quit smoking and began seriously studying when that happened.

    I don't think it was their fear of dying, but it took someone close to them dying and the hope of seeing her in the "resurrection" to make them believe.

  • greendawn

    That's the point I try to make that once someone becomes a JW the fear of death is soothed due to the JW ideology and once someone leaves it can return. Some of the JWs I knew seemed to have had a deep fear of mortality that the org counterbalanced. They needed an illusion to free them from the reality of being mortal and transient on this earth.

  • Gopher
    They needed an illusion to free them from the reality of being mortal and transient on this earth.

    This fear is what holds people to a lot of religions, IMHO -- not just JW's.

  • sass_my_frass

    Yeah I'm trying to work out a similar thing. I have thought about telling my JW siblings, in their thirties, that they're going to grow old and die, but maybe they're not very much different from non-JWs in their thirties. That's a long way away for anybody. By your thirties you have an understanding that it will eventually happen and that you're not invincible, but to JWs it's such a foreign concept, and armageddon is so obviously close, that it won't be anything you'll ever have to face. The older ones in their congregations who are dying are to be respected and honoured for their lifetime sacrifice, but that won't be happening to them.

  • ARoarer

    Kind of like what Satan said to Eve, " you positively will not die" WT is saying the same thing to

    their gullible followers. If you partake of thier spirtitual food you positively will not die, but live forever just like God.

  • flipper

    Greendawn- I think gophers point was good in that their "alledged" hope of a resurrection keeps them in this false plastic hope for the future , banking on promises which you and I know won't materialize. It's what makes them weirdly " Stepford Wiveish" at funerals where they don't show any real emotion or sadness, just a giddy plastic little smile and the statement to the bereaving family," Oh brother or sister so and so, he or she is just resting now waiting for the resurrection. Won't it be grand to welcome him or her back?!" Gawd, that creeps me out . It hinders them showing real grief at funerals, which in my opinion my friend shows real mental illness. So I feel you can tie the two points together. Having an unrealistic view of death warps proper emotional comforting of others when they obviously need it of the can't stand witness funerals class!

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