OUTLAW- Thanks. I certainly hope so. I sent the letter out today - so we shall see what happens ! I'll keep my fingers crossed ! I'll keep you informed on the progress
Sending Out a Letter to My JW Daughter - Give Me Your Thoughts Please
Mr. Flipper, I would ONLY talk j.w. stuff with her, IF she brings it up first. And even then, just ever so lightly, and in a pleasant tone. Also, if and when that does happen, don't get into a long debate with her, just a comment or two, then change the subject if you feel it is going in the wrong direction.
I like the way you are handling it. Keep doing it the Hassan way. Good luck, and glad you are making progress.
HUBERT- Good suggestions definitely ! Thanks. I will avoid witness subjects- but if she does bring it up I will tread lightly and only in a positive vein. Thanks. I will keep pursuing Steve Hassan's methods. I have a lot of confidence in that guy and his thought processes he uses in reasoning with cult members
I think your letter was great.
First of all, I think the letter was wonderful. It helps to show that you are more than another "householder" to be preached at, and the example to be used for their fantastic "demonstrations" at future conventions. It shows parental love, unconditional and untarnished. It is wonderful.
I go through this with my parents frequently. They believe if they preach at me long enough, or keep me updated, that I will feel that I have a huge void in my life that can ony be replaced by their religious doctrines. But the void is not religious. I am a Christian. I do not need to be recruited. What I need are parents. Loving and unconditional parents, such as yourselves.
SCARRED FOR LIFE- Thanks, I appreciate it.
VIKESGIRL 101 - Very true what you say- Unconditional love is the greatest gift a parent can give their children, adult or otherwise. I'm sure your parents mean well - it's just that they are cult mind controlled to think they are offering you something valuable. Hopefully your relationship with them can start being based on real family things and experiences and not religion. Good luck to you
It's a very good letter Mr. Flipper, but I semi-agree with the point that Vinny brought out: If you completely ignore what she said in the letter, it might irk her. However, at this point I would not get into why you left the Borg as it will do nothing but make the warning signs in her head go off, but I would say that you respect her choice to continue to be a Witness, as that's not something they expect to hear from an 'apostate'.
Speaking of which, this Sunday's Craptower study article compares 'apostates' with Satan and of course reiterates how you're to treat them:
15. Satan was the first creature to turn apostate. Modern-day apostates display characteristics similar to those of the Devil. Their mind may be poisoned by a critical attitude toward individuals in the congregations, Christian elders, or the Governing Body. Some apostates oppose the use of the divine name, Jehovah. They are not interested in learning about Jehovah or in serving him. Like their father, Satan, apostates target people of integrity. (John 8:44) No wonder servants of Jehovah avoid all contact with them!-2 John 10, 11.
So there you have it: Anyone who criticizes anything in the Organization is to be viewed as an 'apostate' and shunned.
MARY- Thanks , glad you liked the letter. Well, I see what you say. I did refer to what she said in the letter about me working hard and being tired when I raised her trying to do the best I could. But I haven't talked with her for a year and 3 months so I have to develop rapport and build the relationship first before I attempt discussing why I left the witnesses ( which she knows already anyway ) but yes I agree with you that I'll continue respecting her wish to be a witness. I just want to have a father/daughter relationship as I really miss her company. We used to be close when she was a teenager . She was as close to me then as I am to my son now.
I posted a thread on that article you are quoting when it first came out in April. Very true what you say- any critical talk about the WT society and the witnesses equate it with being an apostate ! Thus the necessity for caution on my part definitely when talking with my daughter
Hi again Flipper.
I agree that (generally speaking) having non JW discussions with your zealous JW daughter is usually a good idea.
But, the fact that SHE brought up the Witness religion subject, all throughout her letter, and that you did not respond to any of it will cause some kind of negative reaction from her overall. That's just my opinion. And I do hope I'm wrong.
In reply to Hubert you said this: "but if she does bring it up (the JW Religion) I will tread lightly and only in a positive vein".
**** But, you see, she already did just that; bring up the religion subject, and you personally, all throughout her letter. So then I'm curious as to why you decided to ignore all of her religious points in the letter in your reply back. I believe that may have been a mistake.
One thing though, which does make a difference in my mind, is that I thought you were already disfellowshipped of disassociated. I just read in your bio that you just faded away instead. Which is good in the sense that she can continue to have somewhat normal conversations/ relationship with you as long as you don't get too into JW things.
But then on the other hand, you say she has not spoken to you at all in over a year. And from her letter to you and Mrs Flipper it sounds like the reason she is not communicating to you is all about religion.
I do know this: Had I not shared information as to just why I no longer believed Watchtower had an exclusive monopoly on God, as food for thought to my own step daughter, I do not think she would have ever had enough of a reason to even begin to question the Watchtower Society overall. In fact, it was not until I HEARD CRITICAL INFORMATION that was the impetus for my own journey out.
Somewhere and somehow critical information needs to be presented before any thoughts of going further can possibly originate in the mind of those indoctrinated.
In your reply to me above you said this:
"Yes- I realize there is a huge elephant in the room. But when I last saw my daughter and talked to her a year and three months ago - I barely started saying ANYTHING about the witnesses and she came unglued and started preaching at me about how sinful we all are and " how we don't deserve to live " and she had this real intense, serious look on her face like she was not only trying to convince me- but convince herself ! It's the fear that the JW's put into them that makes them get emotional about their beliefs !"
**** One difference between then, and now, is that you saw her face to face that last time. When I tried to speak to my own pioneer step daughter, initially face to face, I too received the same kind of response. It was very unreasonable and emotionally charged ... but not totally unexpected.
That's why I waited a little while, and then decided to send her my sincere heartfelt thoughts, but this time IN WRITING.
This way, I'd have the time needed to specifically write everything I wanted to share with her, (with the proper tone and balanced with a ton of love and support), and she'd have time to let it all digest and sink in before possibly over-reacting. Sharing in writing is much more effective than sharing face to face from all of my experience here. It allows time to sink in.
And what a difference it made for us. You could just see her guard dropping down little by little in the weeks and months that followed. I never brought any of it up again. I never needed to.
Your daughter has already given you the opportunity to share with her, in writing, whatever you choose to based on her letter to you which is all about the JW faith involving YOU, her father. Doing so after this super sweet one you already sent may be viewed as a major setback and emotional withdrawal and betrayal. Unless of course she brings it up again on her own.
While I applaud the efforts of cult experts, like Hassan, there simply is just no one size fits all approach available in helping cult victims out. Had you told Hassan that she brought up religion all throughout her letter to you , I would be willing to guess he'd give you some green light to discuss something about it in your reply. That opportunity, this time around, is now gone.
And like I said above, somewhere, somehow, at some point, there needs to be some kindof channel of information available to the one still inside the cult for the germination process to even begin. Otherwise all they will ever get is what Watchtower feeds them on a daily basis.
My wife is out and two of three kids solely because I presented the first seeds of WT doubt. From there, the rest is up to them. The one stepson (still in) never even allowed any kind of information to be shared with him in written form. He just shut us all out and continued to be brainwashed on a weekly basis.
Your daughter is allowing this opportunity for you to share the facts as they truly are, in written form right now. I just hope you really think it though if she does reply back and you get another opportunity.
Take care Flipper. My wife and I both know how you feel and how wonderful it would be to get your daughter back and out of this destructive religious institution. At least there is some hope for you both!
My best to you all,
If you were to address some issues from her letter to you and try to tread lightly, it would have to be in a positive way that doesn't just trigger her defenses to your attacks on the tower.
Something along these lines might do that:
I could never ask for a more loving daughter. (Pull on her heart) One of the greatest gifts I have gotten in recent years was to be able to see you face-to-face. Nobody knows when the last time they see a loved one might be, so I hope that, regardless of what directions we take, we can continue to have contact and focus on the positive things we have in common. Just as you say that I made time for you and that you are here for me, I hope we make time for each other before our lives have slipped away.
As far as addressing her suggestion that there is a way to come back to "Jehovah," I see no point in actually discussing it. Anything you write that is negative would be used against you. Anything you say that is positive on that, regardless of the actual meaning, would look like you are considering doing what she suggests. Such misleadings would strengthen her resolve that it's 'the truth.'
You cannot really say:
"The brothers in the local congregation don't care."
"If you want to help me come back, then let's meet."
"I don't want to come back."
"The world is not getting better but.... (arguing the point in some way)."
"I was wrong to teach you kids about Jehovah."
"My lifeboat is not in the congregation, but in my family."
It is fine to suggest that Flipper address her JW issues, but it is difficult to do so without guilting her into cutting him off entirely. Flipper has a nice friendly letter that doesn't insist on decisions. So if anyone has some way of actually making concrete suggestions, here is her letter from Flipper's previous thread on the matter.
" Dear Dad, Thank you so much for the anniversary card and gift. We really appreciate it. I hope you're doing well and in good health. I think about you a lot :) I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for the greatest gift you've ever given me. You gave me the best life possible by teaching me about our loving creator, Jehovah ! " ( Audience : Remind me next time to not do THAT good of a job. ) " I could never ask for a better Dad ! I know it must have not been easy with your busy work schedule and responsibilities but you made time for me, my brother and sister to teach us about Jehovah God. " ( Then drones on witnessing to me ).
" We can all see this world is not getting any better . There are so many today who have no hope for the future. But thanks to you Dad I know what the Bible says, and how very soon He's going to put an end to Satan's old system ! This world's like a sinking ship; like the Titanic and our only protection is Jehovah. Our lifeboat is the congregation. "
" Dad, the greatest gift I could ever receive would be to hear you want to come back to Jehovah and serve Him once again. You know Dad, Jehovah is very loving and has loyal love towards us and He is very forgiving. Now is the time to come back to Jehovah. You have very loving brothers in the congregation near where you live who will be there for you. Dad, you gave me the best in life, and I want that for you. If you want to come back to Jehovah I'm here to help you. All my love, Flipper's daughter. " ( Sigh )