Yes, that would create a dilemma.
Could U Please Cite Some Personal Interesting Observations About The Truth?
Based on the report that 2/3 left....how many people walked out the door, regardless of why, in 2007?
Over 800,000 smartened up.
My personal observations left me feeling saddened many times. Because whenever a person makes a lifestyle of hiding their true thoughts, it creates a psychological split that is mentally very destructive and impossible to live with without a great deal of deep inner turmoil and anxiety. The most devastating aspect of this inevitable condition is that the members, at the same time, are left without an avenue of healing, recovery, or change apart from steps they hopefully take after leaving altogether. It seems to be an ongoing and frustrating cycle of searching for comfort within the very arrangement causing the turmoil.
Thank you and welcome, Pickled. How well you described the state of confusion in which we tossed about, our becoming all the more troubled and bewildered by the "loving discipline" meted out by the Society. I found myself drowning in the "life-saving waters of truth."
Thank you, too, Minimus.
Thank you so much CoCo for sharing your thoughts. You know, in the middle of learning about this “arrangement” I happened to take a vacation, and decided to hike in the mountains. I had spent enough time around members of the WTBTS to have a clear sense of where everyone stands in terms of their relationship with one another; what it would normally and naturally be vs. their actual placement as determined by the Society.
Parents, with complete forethought, were entirely willing to abandon the relationship they had with their children should they ever exhibit behavior not keeping with the terms established by a group of individuals in Brooklyn, NY. In an effort to avoid that scenario, a great deal of effort was focused on insuring that, at all times, their child was exhibiting behavior that matched those standards. It seemed to be acceptable if the public behavior shown by the child did not match at all their inner thoughts or emotional turmoil. As long as the outward behavior aligned itself with the expectations, the private thoughts, feelings, and struggles were of no significant consequence, and an unrelenting effort was made to simply bombard the child with messages from the Society until the child began to express a willingness to abandon their doubts. I considered the authenticity of this “loving arrangement”, and since Love, to me, expresses itself in a willingness to reach out to and understand the one you love, it seemed to be an entirely different definition.
Husbands, within this “loving arrangement” seemed to view their wives as a kind of prop; someone who could be measured by her ability to appear “faithful” in terms of supporting her husband in all of his efforts on behalf of the Society. What surprised me the most was that even the husbands and wives, within their own relationship, imposed the same code on one another that they imposed on their children. A wife who expressed doubts or fears was viewed as subtracting from her husbands’ efforts to be a good Witness. The fact that she was not straying outside the marriage, supporting all of his dedication, teaching their children all of the doctrines and expectations, faithfully attending all of the meetings and participating in the door to door ministry, could all be regarded with suspicion, judgment, and frustration upon hearing anything less than total acceptance. Even within the confines of the marriage itself, the wife could easily find herself in a situation where her husband was confiding in Elders about his burdensome wife before any effort was made to actually understand her, or to draw her into a relationship with him that resembled a “loving arrangement.” I am sure that it sounds better to the WTBTS to say that the relationship between the husbands and wives is based on sound Biblical principles where everyone understands their status and is thrilled to be a part of such a “loving arrangement.” But what I observed was that there seemed to be a constant undercurrent of resentment from the wives directed at their husbands. So it seems reasonable to assume that it was based on something. If not this environment of betrayal where the husband would always place the group of men in N.Y. before his wife, then what?
I also observed in their words, body language, glances, and defensive explanations, that very little value is placed on individuals who are not adhering to the doctrines of the WTBTS. It did not matter who they were or what their relationship would normally be with those individuals who happened to be parents, brothers, sisters, co-workers, or neighbors. I suppose it is a stretch to value those who are slated for destruction in the very near future. Like knowing it’s a bad investment ahead of time.
While I was hiking in the mountains I saw an Elk with her young offspring. She sniffed and snorted in the air and every muscle in her body tensed as she looked at me. Her reaction caused her young calf to immediately run to her side in bewilderment and fear. The tiny calf knew where she needed to be in order to be safe. I am a human and the bible says that I have been given complete authority over all the animals on the earth. I was not there to hunt, but I am at the top of the food chain and made in the image of God and that should count for something. Amazingly, in her plum sized brain, she disregarded all of those facts and decided to lead her offspring as far away from me as possible, and quickly. She seemed to not trust my judgment at all and instead to rely on her own instinct for avoiding danger and distress. She seemed to believe that she alone possessed the ability to determine what kind of environment was best for her offspring; this tiny calf she gave birth to alone in the mountains. I stood there knowing that she was just an animal without an awareness of how “loving arrangements” work. She didn’t have a clue about Governing Bodies, Theocratic Arrangements, Service cards, Contribution Boxes, or Judicial Committees. Her “faithfulness” was manifested in her willingness to protect her creation, and her single minded focus on his life itself. She seemed to know in spite of her limitations that living, and not any authority I believed I had, was her highest priority.
Greetings, yet again, Pickled:
Thank you, too, for expressing with such exquisite and refreshing clarity what so many JWs must feel yet cannot verbalize (their lacking either the lingual ability or courage [a fear-based religion, surely, is the cause] to do so).
I shall continue to read and reread your essay - among the best declaration of the JW CDS (cognitive dissonance syndrome) to meet my eyes. I have already shared it with my friends outside the realm of JWD.
The illustration regarding the mother elk's (it was elk, yes?) protecting her calf above all other "considerations" swept me away by its sheer beauty and perfection of application. She is not encumbered, as we parents once were, by artificial constraints upon the normal behavior of offspring as well as our past, regrettably blind willingness to offer up our precious children to "Molech of Brooklyn."
My raised-as-JW-kids have forgiven me ...
CoCo, thank you for your thoughts about what I wrote. You said that your children have forgiven you. That must seem like such a gift to you that they did. You said that you found yourself drowning in the messages. What led up to that point? What journey did you take that went from dedicated to drowning? Was it gradual or was it one pivotal thing?
As a side note, I know what “JW” stands for, but what does the “D” in “JWD” stand for?
Happy you are wanting to share this. My experiences are not the same as those who became members and then were faced with an excruciating truth that did not match a perceived former truth. That particular pain is a long process. It is my hope that more former Witnesses can share more of who they were before the walls caved in. I think it could really help the many who are looking at this religion for the first time, and could possibly see themselves in those individuals who gave it all they had and came to the realization in genuine and unvarnished ways, that they were misled.
Thank you for your welcomed reply. JWD = our "discussion" forum, where we are presently.
Yes, my children have given me the greatest gift imaginable, that of forgiving me the mistakes of an incompetent father and the Bible-based conviction of a one-time, mildly arrogant company man. I realize the latter statement is a tad oxymoronic, but you can understand how we Bible-thumpers espoused the supposed inerrancy of God's Channel.
I understood the "simple truths" of the Bible as explained to me by numerous anointed Witnesses, with whom I spent much time. Loving this message of comfort and hope - far excelling that given me during the era of the Vietnam Experience - I found myself a constant companion of Christ's "brothers," finding life's true purpose that of grasping hold "the skirt of a Jew." I was among the last knowing and loving the old guard, i.e., the Naomi class.
Tipping point: a professor at my Conservatory declared that the god of music is a jealous god, requiring much time and devotion ... No longer could I straddle the fence; I quit the conservatory a became a soldier in Jehovah's advancing army. (I escaped Nam with an immediate conferring of 4D status from Selective Service.)
Must go; will continue later, if you wish to hear more.
Coco and Pickled, you guys can really write a paragraph!