How can I help my JW son?

by Maddie 25 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Hortensia

    A very small book that was a tremendous eye-opener for me is Adult Children of Alcoholics. The author's name is Woititz. It has nothing to do with JWs, and is very readable, and short, so if you leave it lying around, he might pick it up and look through it. If he asks why you have it, just tell him someone recommended it. It's written for the significant others of ACOAs, but as an adult child of an alcoholic myself, I was stunned by what I learned from that little book and I made changes I would never have made otherwise, and finally admitted to myself stuff I wouldn't admit to anyone about my life and experiences and the damage that was done.

  • Maddie

    <<<<<<<<<<A very small book that was a tremendous help for me called ADULT CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLICS..........>>>>>>>>>>>>

    That is a good idea Hortensia. I have spoken to him about Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-anon and their programme of recovery already, but if I get the book then I think there is a good chance he will at least look at it. At least I can try.

    Thank you,


  • jgnat

    Some excellent advice, here. It's true, you can't help someone until they are ready. Be ready when he falls.

    It seems any talk about the bad parts of his past puts him right back in to his "cult personality", as Steve Hassan describes in his books.

    I'd suggest rather reminding him of pleasant memories and things he did as a boy that shows off his natural personality. This will benefit him several ways. Maybe most importantly for you, you get to talk to your natural son rather than the put-on "cult" personality. These memories are also the key to showing him the way out.

    I was thinking about what another poster said, and what I've seen with spouses when one partner is ready to heal and the other isn't. Instead of forcing the partner to go, go yourself. Learn about your triggers. Make changes in yourself. Your example may be what he needs to spur changes for himself, too.

  • oompa

    Maddie, I have the same problem with my 19 year old pioneer son, so I appreciate this thread. We have discussed/argued a few things and he does not want his world rocked right now. How old is you son and is close to many boys/girls in the hall, and "worldly?"

    hand in there good parent.....oompa

  • PinTail

    How can I help my son?

    After speaking with my son (a JW) today, I realise that he has many hurt feelings that he hasn't dealt with. His childhood affected him more deeply than I realised because he hasn't really opened his heart like he did today. His father who is not a JW and never has been,was a heavy drinker and the only interest he took in our son was to torment him or put him down. I tried my best to be both parents and took him to the KH but I had problems of my own and feel that I failed him.

    I am sure that my son would benefit from counselling or some form of therapy,but when I suggested it

    he said that keeping himself busy in "Jehovah's Organisation" and talking to other JW's was the answer. I tried to say to him that keeping busy was only a way of shutting out his feelings and not a way of healing, but he believes that everything outside the Org. isn't necessary. He has totally isolated himself from everything in the " world " that I despair of ever getting through to him. My son sincerely believes everything that he has been told by the borg and doesn't seem to have any suspicions at all. I know that he doesn't read anything or look at anything he is told not to, and is therefore completely under the borgs control.

    Perhaps he was unhappy so has made a new "reality" in his life as a JW!!

    I have to ask myself ,is it right for me to try and tell him the truth about his "reality" if he is really happy there?

    Would I do more damage than good, that's if he would listen to me anyway?

    I feel so upset and confused and worried about everything right now!


    ~ ~ ~ Maddie, the question should be asked how old is your son first, if he is 18 or older or even if he is approaching his teens a son or a daughter should be given the latitude to begin choosing for themselves what their own perception of god and spirituality should be. It sounds like your son has built a strong spiritual foundation namely he is aware of his spiritual need. We may call the Witness's the Borg or Landrew (like I do) or other such catch phrases but the fact of the matter remains that to have our children involved with the Witness's or basic religion to the point of it guiding their conscious in the right way, and especially giving them hope of some kind, is one of the best ways to keep them alive in many ways that some us on this forum may forget. I lost my daughter in death from such things two years ago, now, I would much rather see her going from door to door then seeing her ash's setting on my mantle. Jehovah in essence has been your sons true father like the "fatherless boy" and by his kindness kept him away from Meth, immorality, and host of things that would bring him down utterly and possibly even his life. Don't take away from him what has been protecting him, namely his god, or you may find your self fighting god himself.

  • Scotty

    Pintail, that's some very profound and moving advice.

  • jgnat

    Pintail, the society touts itself as a "protection" from the world, but it's method, I find, makes weak people. One does not learn to be strong by hiding away. I do agree in the short term, the society provides structure to the vulnerable. In the long term, it does more damage than good. I think of garybuss's son, who has a serious mental illness. The elders advised this young man to avoid doctors, his own father, and the "worldly" medicines. Because of this horrible advice, that young man was cut-off from valuable supports in his life (the mentally ill have so few), and has had a much more chaotic life. No thanks to the elders.

    The point I would agree with you on is that we should not remove a person's hope without providing an adequate substitute. I do my best to add to my JW husband's life. I add new friendships and experiences, basically showing him there is abundant life outside of the Watchtower.

    An old preacher-man once said, "Don't try and take the dirty old bone away from the dog. He'll just fight you harder. Throw a big, juicy meaty bone in front of him and he'll drop the old bone."

  • Vernon Williams
    Vernon Williams


    I have not read the whole thread....gotta sign off.

    The comments I read that recommended loving concern and communication: I agree. He will reach a time when he will voice some concerns. The key is to listen and not get excited and give just a bit of information..something you have noticed. Be ready and be calm: I have always failed in this area, however, I am doing better.

    Love will overcome. He IS talking to you. Your compassion and care, over time, will win out over the control and manipulation of the WT.

    I wish you endurance,


  • lesterd

    The question is: Is a false happiness, enough? I say it is not. One needs to have some fulfillment in their life, and everything the borg offers is a half filled glass, half filled with polluted waterdown "truths", and the other half, emptiness. They hold their captives with lightswitch love, they judge ou at ever meeting, you dont attend, every field service opportunity you miss, every independent thought ou express, every false step you take, flip on flip off. The one mark that Christ said you would know his follows by was? publishers record card? meeting participation? field service? how you look up to an org or men who take titles on themselves? That one identifing mark...LOVE.

    Let your love, your natural, real, spiritual love guild you in how you deal with your son, sometimes hard hitting truths are not the answer, these only help to change perspective. The ablity to percieve the hidden agenda of any org religion is what needs to be developed. The borg has honed that perspection to a fine edge, and directed it in the minds of the rank and file at all other religions, thing is when one begins to think, to reason, and they turn that double edged sword, that light of discovery on the borg, well it has been witnessed here a thousand times and as many reactions.

    The only person you are responsible for is you and I wish you peace and some light in you sons life.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I need to severely agree with PinTail and severely disagree at the same time.

    One could say that JW's helped me when I was at my lowest point. They scraped me
    off the bottom that I had fallen to, and picked me up. One could say that it was better
    to be one of them than to be dead. For years, I had a purpose and understood why
    there was so much suffering and anguish. One could say all that.

    But years later when I realized how they held me from real progress just so they could
    sell more magazines, it was inexcusable. I am starting to realize what my problem is
    now. I had some serious problems that were never addressed, and I carried baggage for
    close to 2 decades. If JW's had not scraped me off the bottom, I almost certainly
    would have sought real help. They transformed themselves into my angel of light and
    prevented me from finding the real light.

    If your son is not ready to hear the truth, do as already suggested. Prepare yourself to
    help him. Read, learn. When appropriate, try to discuss issues not directly related to
    JW's with him. Don't do absolutely nothing and don't do so much that he pushes you

    I came into the JW's and put aside my baggage (so I thought) and told myself that I was
    happy. All I did (as your son is doing) was kept myself busy in "Jehovah's" service.
    I didn't address my real problems, and recently have noticed that I still carry the baggage.
    The fact that WTS took advantage of me at my low point only makes me more bitter.

    Enough about me. Educate yourself and be ready to help. Offer a push here and there
    in the right direction.

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