How do you talk/reason with a Jehovah's Witness?

by misspeaches 18 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • misspeaches

    Hi guys, yesterday someone asked me on how they could reason with a Jehovah's Witness. The question just stumped me!

    From my own perspective, the people I know that have left the borg have had varying triggers... Problems with flip flopping, dates, abuse, scandals, exhaustaion to name a few. There is not any one subject that works for all JWs.

    I guess what I'm looking for is something general to help make them think. What do you know works? What won't be seen as an attack? What don't they have a 'conversation stopper' for already?

    I've been thinking about it since yesterday and I realised that I should take it to the experts and seek your advice and suggestions!

    Love to you all! xx

  • misspeaches

    eerily quiet...

  • OnTheWayOut

    There is no pill to give each JW that will "wake him up." You know that, as you already state.
    Most of us came out on our own. To me, the best wake up helper is knowledge of the JW and
    expounding on their soft subjects.

    My wife loved getting an education, JW's love saying education is a waste of time. I harp on that.
    I reach her with "What do YOU think?" questions.

    For others it might be "Will they ever use more effective preaching methods than the door-to-door
    method? I don't see a command in the Bible that they must continue that exact method."

    Or it could be the injustice from the child-abuse cases.

    For many women, it could be the way that they are supposed to stay under the thumbs of men.

    Sorry there isn't a simple answer. I would imagine that anyone who agreed to read CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE
    would come out, but that is not true always, either. Perhaps, just being so convinced that you
    need to examine your own religion and that you found something lacking with JW's is enough to help

  • OnTheWayOut

    both by Steve Hassan ( or at Amazon). These really help with
    what to say and how to say it. Steve Hassan encourages you to reach the
    real personality beyond the cult personality.

  • Hortensia

    I guess I'm going to have to read his books - I've resisted it until now, mainly because I don't have any reason to reason with JWs - no family in the org., no friends in the org.

  • SirNose586

    The very first step is to either earn their trust and work on them slowly or earn their trust and discern if they aren't entirely on board with the Borg program. Then apply Hassan's counsel.

  • garybuss

    I've found trying to reason with a believing Witness much the same as trying to reason with a drunk, it doesn't help and they won't remember a thing I said in the morning. It's like putting a prom dress on a pig. It's a waste of time, nothing really is accomplished, and it pisses off the pig.

  • JosephMalik


    The reason it was so eerily quite is because if you did not know the answer then you are not ready to talk to them. General conversation will usually not work. You must know their doctrines, tactics, and the scriptures better than they do. You need to make their brains hurt with information they cannot handle or refute. They look down on outsiders and that needs to be reversed. Not everything needs to be scriptural but it helps and it should be something important that they need to change. And somehow you need to let them know that their slogan that they have the truth is wrong. Learning here on JWD is a good way to start. Only then when they know that they cannot fool you with their slogans and tactics and you can show them their errors and make them squirm. Most will be nice and run for cover. But at least that would be a start. In short you need to be tooled up for the job, Then you will know how to do it without asking.


  • darth frosty
    darth frosty

    This is a reply from Terry in his post about 1914.
    Like Garrybuss said there really is no reasoning with witlesses unless something major happens that shakes them out of there duldromes.

    I'm currently of the considered opinion that facts are only important at the beginning.

    " The beginning of what?

    Almost everything we are considering being associated with.

    Like dogs sniffing other dogs' puckers, we silly humans pause to catch a whiff before we proceed to screw with (or be screwed with) strange new enterprises.

    We vet our prospective mates only at the beginning of the relationship. We vet our religion (only if we are making a shift) with quasi-skeptical questions until our guard is dropped altogether.

    The PROOF portion of our sifting and weighing and analysis comes at the start. After that, sadly, we seem to make a transition in our own mind to DEFENDING what what chosen no-matter-what happens.

    I wish I could find the name of the study that was made about what people do what are exposed to a sudden attack on their belief system. In this study(I'll search for it and see if I can find it) any blow to confidence in one's invested beliefs is immediately followed by a strong reaction. Unexpectedly, that reaction is not disbelief or even skeptical reconsideration. Astonishingly, it is a redoubling of one's CONFIDENCE!

    This is troubling.

    If we only defend and never reconsider anew--what chance is there for us to change from shaky, ill-proved beliefs to something more substantial?

    Not much.


    When you have that argument with you parents or former friends at the Kingdom Hall and you dump all your refutations about the Society on them and all your rebuttals about the Governing Body---all you really accomplish is to make them dig down deeper into their entrenched mentality!!

    They have to hit bottom on their own with some personal experience that smacks them upside their own head!

    That is why--counter-intuitively, being disfellowshipped can only result in a temporary window of escape for your belief system to reconsider, weigh, parse, examine and come to NEW conclusions.

    If you don't do that---you'll crawl back on your belly and reattach the chains to your own ankle.


    How very sad, indeed.

  • Carmel

    JWs are like most fundamentalists in that their belief systems are based much more on emotion than on logic or reason. So reasoning with them is like chasing ones tail, just when you think you have it cornered it moves. Unless and until they experiance an emotional event that "shakes their faith" they will employ all kinds of mental methods geared to avoid confronting their ill placed faith. The three legs of fear, emotive conditioning and training reinforcing one and two, have to be dislodged before the cognative dissonance can become apparent. carmel

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