British JWs ignoring the GB.

by dmouse 40 Replies latest jw friends

  • dmouse

    When we have American JW relatives visit they are frequently shocked at the difference between how they live their lives and how JWs over here live. It’s almost as if we are from two different religions.

    That divide seems to be getting wider. I have noticed in the past two or three years a noticeable relaxation among British JWs. I have seen elders giving birthday parties for their children, I have seen JW children dressing up at Halloween, I have seen JWs openly talking to disfellowshipped ones and inviting them round for meals (even non-family). I have seen people get away with all sorts of antics that would years ago have got them disfellowshipped. Loyal JWs are sending their kids to college and University in droves.

    Even when GB bleat about it in the magazines the British JW shows no discernable proof that they have heard, and carry on as before. (Except, of course, when the CO visits then everyone is holier-than-the-next-JW). Field service rises briefly then drops back to the token amount needed to keep elders off their backs.

    Why is this happening? Have the British Bros finally wised up enough to take what the Society says with a pinch of salt? After years of disappointments I think they have.

    This doesn’t apply to the head-up-the Co’s-arse types lingering hopefully around Bethel but I really believe that the GB have lost the hearts, if not the minds, of the British JW.

  • gumby

    Wow! This is shocking! I have never heard of the witnesses in the UK acting like this before. I was wondering if any others of you out there from the UK have seen this type of JW behavior?

  • badwillie

    I think your observations are absolutlely correct.
    I can speak from experience. I am American, my wife is British, we are/were both JW's. I lived in London for almost 9 years after we were married. In 1999, we moved to the US to my home State(PA).
    My wife has commented over the past 2 years since she's lived here about how "strict" the witnesses here are. I had a thread posted in this forum on the 18 Oct about how we both have just been publicly reproved for asking too many questions about the org and the UN involvement. There is definitely more of an application of the "letter of the law" here in the good ol USA.
    - BadWillie.

  • Angharad

    I suppose it may be different in different areas, in both the halls I have been in, I don't know of anyone who celebrated holidays. I think it would have been one of those back room meetings, if they had.

    Edited for my terrible spelling

  • Mindchild

    Even in America there at least was a wide difference in tolerance between congregations. I've been in some congregations that had strict rules about dress codes, sideburn lengths, facial hair, meeting activity, masterbation, and everything else but in other congregations it was more laid back. Different parts of the country seemed to follow distinct personalites as far as congregations went as well. For instance, congregations up in Oregon seemed more strict than those in Southern California.

    Never thought about overseas differences that much and this was an interesting observation.


  • Bridgette

    Good for them!!
    I have read that Europe in general is becoming more and more secular. People are Christian or otherwise, more or less in "name only". My mother-in-law is European (Dutch) and I've noticed she is very nominal in her religious beliefs, as is the rest of the family. It's as if, she doesn't define herself by her religion. Religion is very much kept in proper perspective and viewed more or less as a belief in Santa Clause--you can pay it all the lip service in the world--doesn't make it true, or give it any hold in your life. They expect this to occur here in the USA, also, as the new renaissance, or age of reason spreads. People are just too educated now to surrender their individuality to a group. People are becoming more spiritual, or philosophical, and FAR less religious, at least in the western world.

  • Latte


    Where about's in the UK have you seen this?.......I'm packin' up and movin'....!!

    Sounds just great!


  • dmouse

    Latte, I live in the East Midlands. Don't want to be more specific at the moment because my father-in-law is the PO of the congregation, and, while he is a staunch defender of the Society, he is also a reasonable and tolerant man and I don't want to get him into trouble.

    But you are right, if it gets any more mainstream I might consider going back myself!

  • closer2fine

    Growing up in the Northeast (US) I remember comments being made by elders that the further you got from Bethel the less "theocratic" the congregations were.


  • RR

    This isn't anything new. My wife was part of the French congregation, before we married and she moved to the English. She was shocked at what she saw in the English. She told me "something must have gotten lost in the translation." She couldn't believe how blindly the E glish speaking frtiends followed and ate up everything that was served by the Society.

    I met another JW sister from Europe and she told me "The further away one is from Bethel, the freer they are."

    I Still Believe ....

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