Why Jehovah's Witnesses are the "Happiest People on Earth"
Thus spake Homer Simpson:
"Those Germans!! They have a word for EVERYTHING!!"... and they're usually bang-on words for which there is no English equivalent.
Have you ever:
*driven by a person in a shiny red sports car who's been pulled over by the police for speeding, and laughed to yourself, thinking "SUCKER!!"??
*chuckled at the thought of your tyrant boss being downsized?
*secretly wished that the co-worker who was awarded the promotion you had applied for would fail miserably?
*enjoyed the ironic twists of fate in movies where the "little guy" who gets constantly dumped on by a wealthy/powerful/better-looking rival, sees their rival take an ironic beating on the stock market, or get mud on his face, or have his luxury car collide with a manure truck?
*as a JW, discussed among your car group which of the homes in an affluent neighbourhood you'd like to take possession of after Armageddon when the occupants had been served their heaping helping of God's wrath and destruction??
*as a JW, muttered a knowing "You'll be sorry you ever slammed that door on me when Armageddon comes!!" when you encounter unreceptive people in the door-to-door work??
The German people, around 1895, in their wisdom and penchant for precision gave that emotion and behaviour a name. They called it Schadenfreude, which carries the meaning of shameful joy. It refers to:
1) indulging in hatred and revenge for pleasure
2) deriving pleasure in the suffering of others
3) experiencing primal excitement (sexual gratification, for example) in viewing extreme suffering
4) finding grim satisfaction in other peoples' tragedy
Few people would admit it, but we've all experienced that emotion. Let's face it, this is the emotion that is the basis for TV shows like "America's Funniest Home Videos". When we see someone getting hit in the groin with a ricocheting golf ball as they're attempting to impress a lady, we laugh out loud, even if only we think to ourselves "Oh I'm so GLAD that's NOT ME!!"
Studies have found that Schadenfreude (it's spelled properly with the S capitalized, by the way) has its roots in envy and jealousy and covetousness. While envy is the desire to possess something that another person has, Schadenfreude is the perverse happiness experienced at another person's loss of something we want for ourselves. The person experiencing Schadenfreude perceives himself or herself as "inferior" because of a lack of that "something" they desire or feel they deserve, and often impute negative qualities to the person who has the things that they want (Smith et al., 1996).
How Schadenfreude makes Jehovah's Witnesses the "Happiest People on Earth":
First of all, the WTS strongly encourages its followers to "seek first the kingdom... and all these other [material] things will be added to you." Followers frown upon and therefore often decline the opportunities for higher education and secular advancement in order to 'keep their eye on the prize' and remain undistracted from the advancement of WTS agenda, while at the same time they consider the pursuit of financial security to be 'foolish' and 'vanity'. Many JWs spend many years in humble, hard-working professions, while their "worldly" peers advance up the ladders of material success through education and career planning. Therein lies a huge disparity between JWs and "worldly people".
Secondly, is the erosion of self that the WTS induces in its followers. The collective mentality is that 'the good of the many outweigh the good of the one [self]'. Self-sacrifice is a concept that is highly recommended among JWs, and someone within the group who looks out for their own interests rather than the collective interests of the organization is labelled as "self-sparing", and if they achieve a measure of success in life as "materialistic". The group mentality is basically summed up as JWs-versus-"the world". JWs are ‘promised’ that if they maintain a self-sacrificing life now, they will be rewarded with living forever in a paradise on earth after all wickedness [99.9% of the world’s population] is destroyed by their "loving God" at Armageddon.
Third is the doctrine that anything not purely JW is of "the world" and slated for destruction at the battle of Har-Magedon. This allows the downtrodden, lowly in the eyes of the world JWs to see the ones who 'mocked' their god by seeking out material things and personal success receive punishment for these so-called "crimes", while the ones who have put earthly ambitions aside receive a reward far greater than what their "worldly" counterparts could ever achieve.
Consider the following:
w93 3/1 7 Will You Heed God's Warning?
The Glorious Aftermath
The destruction of Pompeii brought death and misery. However, the end of this present system will clear the way for eternal life on a beautiful paradise earth. (Revelation 21:3,4) . . . At that time every person alive will be a lover of righteousness and a true friend, completely obedient to the rule of the Kingdom. (Psalm 37:10, 11
w85 6/15 18
Sustaining Ourselves on the Fulfillment of Jehovah’s Utterances
Yet another divine utterance will bring the destruction of Gog's [Satan's] Hordes. (Ezekiel 39:1-6) This will mean "the war of the great day of God the Almighty" at Har-Mageddon. (Revelation 16:14, 16; 19:11-21) How thrilling it will be for Jehovah's faithful people to observe the fulfillment of these divine utterances . . . How marvelous it will be for the survivors of the "great tribulation" and the resurrected dead to gain instruction and guidance from these further instructions as set forth on these unrolled "scrolls" of Jehovah and to carry them out delightfully
w83 2/1 19 Evangelism - Its Place in True Worship
Evangelizing Includes Warning
The message of God's Kingdom is not good news for everyone for it includes a warning of destruction. The present corrupt system and all its supporters must go if the good news is to have any lasting benefit. (Proverbs 21:18) Honest-hearted worshipers of Jehovah cannot transform this earth into a paradise if streaks of wickedness [people who are not worshipers of Jehovah] remain to stain its beauty.
w99 12/1 17 Be Happy Readers of the Book of Revelation
Joyful submission to Jehovah's sovereignty is the basis for happiness on a personal level and on a universal level. Soon a symbolic great earthquake will shake Satan's world system to its very foundations and destroy it. There will be no place of refuge for humans who refuse to submit to Christ's heavenly Kingdom government, representing God's legitimate domination.
w84 11/15 22 "The Time Left is Reduced"
Happily, the Creator of planet Earth and mankind will soon destroy this wicked, suicidal system. . . . Yet, how comforting to know that during that rapidly approaching day of reckoning, 'Jehovah will guard all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate'! - Psalm 145:20.
w82 11/1 16 We Can "Rejoice During All Our Days"
. . . we are told: "Because of the goodness of the righteous ones a town is elated, but when the wicked ones perish there is a joyful cry." (Proverbs 11:10) How is this to be understood? Well, righteous people generally are beloved and they make their neighbors happy. [When were you last woken up on a Saturday morning by JWs? Did it make you and your neighbours “happy”??] But no one is fond of "wicked ones." A cruel person brings ostracism upon himself. [Is it “cruel” to have a successful career, or a nice home, or a good education??] (Proverbs 11:17) Additionally when the wicked [i.e., the 99.9% of the world's population who are not Jehovah's Witnesses] die they are not mourned by people in general, and certainly there would be no sorrow when Jehovah destroys these wrongdoers [even the infant children of non-JWs are considered to be wicked wrongdoers]. Rather, there would be joy because they had been removed from the scene. Are we conducting ourselves in a way that contributes to the joy or 'elation' of others?
w89 3/1 29 Justice Soon for All Nations
God's justice demands that this wicked system soon be destroyed. When it is, may we be found among those who have responded to the gladsome call: "Be glad you nations, with his people." Yes, may we be among those happy ones who have seen that justice marks all of God's ways!
w75 6/15 378 Looking to the Future with Confidence
What cause for confidence in Jehovah God as a fulfiller of his promises it will be when Babylon lies powerless, her ability to control world affairs reduced to nothing! No wonder God's servants are told to exult at her overthrow, the cry going forth: "Be glad over her, O heaven, also you holy ones and you apostles and you prophets, because God has judicially exacted punishment for you from her!" (Rev. 18:20)
Ezekiel chapter 9 refers to the linen-clothed man with the secretary's inkhorn marking people for salvation. Jehovah's Witnesses consider their preaching work to be the fulfillment of this "marking" work. Verse 5 continues: "And to these [others] he said in my ears: 'Pass through the city after him and strike. Let not your eye feel sorry, and do not feel any compassion. Old man, young man and virgin and little child and women you should kill off--to a ruination.'"
Yes, Jehovah's Witnesses are commanded to rejoice at the destruction of anyone whom they perceive as wicked, which encompasses the 99.9% of the world's population who are not Jehovah's Witnesses. They are cautioned against feeling compassion for anyone against whom their god metes out destruction on pain of punishment, just as Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt for ignoring the warning against "looking back" at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah out of sadness and grief.
It's one thing for a "loving God" to wipe out murderers and rapists and drug dealers and pedophiles and armed robbers and terrorists, but how "loving" is it for anyone to believe that a person who does not accept JW's version of reality as Truth™ is a gross sinner deserving of eternal damnation?? How "loving" is it to condemn someone for having a successful business or career or an education beyond high school?? What kind of "God" murders a newborn infant because his or her parents are not Jehovah's Witnesses?? What kind of "God" destroys a person who has never had contact with Jehovah's Witnesses, and therefore was never duly warned?? The kind of god who is Jehovah, the god of Schadenfreude!! And here on earth, he has a shamefully joyful people for his name..... Jehovah's Witnesses!