By what age can a child be indoctrinated?

by jwfacts 38 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Robert7
    How exactly did the C.O. work up to this? Did you hear from your wife whether or not the dubs actually did it?

    The talk started with an illustration. CO asked a few kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. One said doctor, one said teacher, then he approached a 4-year old and she said "I want to be a pioneer". And the audience were all "awwe".

    Of course this was an illustration, and not a real event.

    But he apparantely was very specific about the adults asking the kids about their goals, and that the kids should answer 'pioneer' and from what I hear, they all did it.

    I'm glad my kids were not there!

  • jwfacts
    he approached a 4-year old and she said "I want to be a pioneer".

    That's shocking, a blatant attempt at indoctrination. How is a 4 year old supposed to have any comprehension of what that really means and the other life choices she will pass up to fulfill this goal. When that child is a teenager will be reminded of "remember when at 4 you said you were going to be a pioneer."

  • dinah

    This one needs to be bttt because of all the born-ins who are struggling, many of them are newbies who need us.

    Those early developmental years are crucial. Even if you were an infant, you were carried to meetings constantly. Even if you weren't paying were still hearing. The use of all the "buzz" words stick. It's like a constant subtle noise that you get used to. When the noise stops you say "WTF?"

    Born-ins spend countless time in service, often encouraged to read a scripture as soon as they learn how to freaking read. And it's all for GOD'S glory. They spend countless hours (yes it seems countless when you are small) at assemblies, meetings----always BUSY.

    They DO pressure children. If you were born in, you're first sentence was probably "I love Jehovah" which is sick. A child that age doesn't even understand they are seperate from their mother yet. Don't they just LOVE IT when a little child says "Jehovah"? Ever notice how the parents always prepare them to speak that name out loud?

    I could go on......... but rant over.............for now.

  • jwfacts
    This one needs to be bttt because of all the born-ins who are struggling

    JWs have the highest turn over of any religion in the US (probably the same elsewhere) according to PEW and other recent studies, with 2/3 leaving. So the indoctrination is not so strong that they cannot leave. Dinah, as you highlight, regardless of whether they stay or leave, a concern is the number that struggle long term due to their upbringing. Many that leave the religion seem to be unable to shake the guilt and other side effects of being raised a JW.

  • lrkr

    I have been working on innoculating my kid. I want to teach him about logical fallacies, emotional appeals, demanding evidence, the difference between fact and opinion, etc. I have no doubt that my parents will work on him when he gets older. I just want to give him the tools to defend himself.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I suppose I had all the events hit me at just the right age.

    My mother indoctrinated me and sibling when we were little. She studied the "Paradise Lost" book
    with us. She took us to several meetings where we learned little (as meetings are not designed to
    teach at a child's level). Mom got DF'ed when I was pre-teen. Meetings just stopped. Study stopped.

    Sis and I forgot about JW's. Mom went back to meetings by around 1980, but we didn't go with her,
    as we were teens and couldn't care less about JW's by then. Later in life, when Sis and I had made
    messes of our lives, I turned back to JW's but Sis did not.

    My point is that the early training made me more easily captured by the teachings, but it didn't work
    on Sis.

    My opinion- grandparents will be well-meaning, but will not honor any promise to keep from indoctrinating
    the kids. They will start in right away. I would not leave my child with a JW grandparent if I had that
    situation. Visits would be supervised- not overnight unless I was always able to debrief the child and I knew
    the complete meeting schedule, and I could verify that the child was not going to the hall. The fears implanted
    in youths can have an immediate effect on several children, while some others can let it roll off their backs.

  • jamiebowers

    I don't have children of my own, but I helped to raise two step-children and now have a close relationship with their children. There is no way I would ever let a child, any child under my care to be around jw's without my supervision. At best, the kids will have the life scared out of them about the always impending doom of Armageddon. At worst, they could be molested by one of the organization's protected pedophiles.

  • Bonnie_Clyde

    I remember a service meeting where the elder had a few children on the platform and asked them what they were going to do after they graduated. Obviously it wasn't rehearsed very well because one said he'd like to be a doctor. The elder looked a bit embarrassed, and then the child came back with, "Well I'd really like to go to Bethel."

  • dogisgod

    Of course the younger the better. I was 8 months old when my mom chose to destroy two families with her personal new path. The younger the more damage to the child. However, many become JW's later in life. It is almost ALWAYS because they are in a crises of some kind or just so bored with so many things that they get hooked on having the "Truth" over the entire history of the world.

  • R.Crusoe

    There is much educational philosophy on this - like when can a girl first get imprinted that she is a girl rather than a boy?

    It is obviously a very young age when the foundations of ones life take on role of their own!

    It's agood question because JWs are so dogmatic and concentrated in their schedules that much subliminal stuff is being put in place absent that which other children in their culture are experiencing.

    So my feeling is that the indoctrination can begin quite young but that the damag comes from the cumulative year on year follow up!

    I see a bigger problem being how to break the whole cycle and put a stop to it period - or in fact give the child an option which is treated as a positive - I know how I tried many positive options for my children but they were constantly fed subliminal expectations confounding guilt and generally negative emotions for choosing anything other than the JW dreamsnatcher!

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