I think the main the is how my beliving mother reation whenever my dad expressed a veiw that differed from hers and her complete lack of respect or even kindness towards him when he decided to "Stick his nose in" that and one of OUR SISTERS tellling me dad was going to die in the bigA
When did a lightbulb first go off in your head that something didn't seem right???
What a great thread, cognac. Lots of things didn't sit right and thinking just wait on Jehovah. I was even ds and then reinstated and still thought that maybe it was ok. But once the lightbulb goes off in your head then there is no looking back at how many distorted things there are, and all the comments on this thread has brought them all back.
Hello homeschool, the KM was Sept 2007. I remember being at the meeting that night and I remember the utter disbelief I felt at what I was hearing. This was one of the things which really caused me to doubt. I have been writing a research project about my life in the Witnesses and this is one of the incidents I recount. I have cut and pasted a portion of the text below.
The assertion that people should simply put their doubts aside and “wait on Jehovah” to correct the organisations mistakes goes against every inclination of the inquisitive human mind. Although the scriptures condemn pride and lack of humility, they certainly do not frown upon genuine inquisitiveness with regard to theological matters. The scriptures in fact commend deep study of the Bible and the Jews in Beroea were even called noble-minded for engaging in such deep study:
“ Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.”—Acts 17:11 .
In light of this scripture the words of the September 2007 Kingdom Ministry were even more disturbing to me than they would normally have been. The “Question Box” on page 3 carries the title “Does ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate?” (the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to themselves and the rest of the anointed as the “faithful and discreet slave” (see Appendix 2)). The first paragraph read in part:
“ No, it does not. And yet, in various parts of the world, a few associates of our organization have formed groups to do independent research on Bible-related subjects. Some have pursued an independent group study of Biblical Hebrew and Greek so as to analyze the accuracy of the New World Translation. Others explore scientific subjects related to the Bible.”
The setting up of websites and chat rooms to present and discuss these views was also strongly discouraged. The article then proceeds to quote Titus 3:9 to encourage readers to “shun foolish questionings and genealogies and strife and fights over the Law, for they are unprofitable and futile.” I vividly remember this article being discussed at the meeting and was awoken from my usual auto-pilot mode by the fact that such brazen discouragement of mental development was being propounded. I was then utterly astounded when one of the audience members gave an answer to the question “do we need to be doing this brothers?” saying “no, the Society has done all the hard work for us and if we needed anything else then the ‘faithful and discreet slave would already be giving it to us.” I remember thinking that if the Jehovah’s Witnesses were in a “false religion” then none of those people would have even stood a chance of breaking free from it because they did not even see the need for intellectual inquiry and independent verification of their beliefs.
The first part of the final paragraph then said:
“ For those who wish to do extra Bible study and research, we recommend that they explore InsightontheScriptures,“AllScriptureIsInspiredofGodandBeneficial,” and our other publications, such as those that discuss the prophecies found in the Bible books of Daniel, Isaiah, and Revelation. These provide abundant material for Bible study and meditation.”
As someone who valued learning I was alarmed at that statement, and the whole article, as the Society was essentially telling the Witnesses to read only the Watchtower’s publications if they wanted to understand scripture. I could see clearly that reading one set of viewpoints was futile in any field of knowledge and I had for some time been reading commentaries on scripture written by non-Witnesses. Something gave way in my mind on that Thursday night and I was filled with sadness at what I had heard. I felt that this article was filled with a rabid paranoia of learning: after all if the NWT was correct, why worry about people learning Biblical languages to check it out?; if the organisation’s interpretations were correct, why worry about open debate? My discontentment had been growing steadily for many years and the growth of this unease had accelerated during my university studies. This meeting was essentially the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
I decided that I would examine my beliefs and my religious organisation from all angles and not just through the rose-tinted lens provided by the Watchtower Society. My quest would lead me to uncover some disturbing issues.
Wow, great writing. Who were you turning that in to? college? You should submit that into the local paper! Thanks again for posting that.
Excellent synopsis of the KM article and its ramifications. You are a gifted writer. I would be very interested to read any further portions of your research project that you make available.
I'm ashamed to admit that at the time this article came out I was still a true believer and it didn't disturb me in the least. In fact, I remember feeling upset that this article had to be published, because we clearly know all we need is WTS literature!
If only I'd listened to my childhood intuition
A few of the things that I remember bothering me about witness doctrine, as a child:
- The first five books of the bible were written by one man, thousands of years after the fact? And in a time before bic-pens or number2 pencils for note-taking? Seriously?
- Abraham was gonna kill Isaac, and that's a good thing? Seriously? (does that not mess with a kid's head?)
- Every other person on earth was bad, but it just so happened that all of Noah's immediate family were good? Seriously? And the earth's entire population were that bad? Seriously? They all, even little kids, deserved the death penalty? And I couldn't help, as a child, to compare that story to my own circumstance; ie: I just happened to be born into a JW family, so now I get to be in "the modern day ark"?
- From the days of the New Testement onward, for almost two thousand years, there were no true Christians on earth, or at least not enough to make up the 144K number? Seriously? (And what was going on all that time, biblically speaking? Oh that's right, the "gentile times".... do they even get into the whole "gentile times" thing anymore?)
- An oldy but goody: Who made God? Oh, He's just always existed? Seriously?
I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones that come to mind. It makes me realize just how Stockholm syndromed I had to be to have put all those question aside, or worse, accepted their lame answers. But hey, losing the love and respect and companionship of everyone you respect and love is a pretty big gun to hold to a kid's head.
Homeschool and SuspiciousMinds:
I have been writing about my life as therapy but have come to a bit of a halt temporarily due to difficult circumstances all round. I have thought of publishing eventually (under a pseudonym as I am fading) but would be a little apprehensive as in a couple of chapters I quote a fair bit of WT material (similar layout as found in CoC) and I don't really fancy being taken to court. The parts already written come to about 70,000 words (and I suppose this constitutes an estimated 2/3 of the final work). I will probably post bits and pieces here and there on relevant threads (when proof read).
Sorry for going off topic.
The expressed truths of the WTS. change constantly, this contradicted the proclamation that the organization was the only one on earth
guided by god's own holy spirit. Marketing this to the public seemed indulgently wrong to me and it came apparent that the organization
wasn't being guided by anything but itself in seeking power, money and control.
Yes the WTS. is indeed a powerful force but had only been devised by men alone, without any spiritual intervention.
This man made business of religion continues to this day.
What really irritated me and finally got me out was the pathological self worship of the Society.
The worship of the Society bothered me a lot. It seemed that every article, every book, and every prayer had to mention the 'Faithful Slave' to the point it felt like worship.
The Society even said if you give undue attention to something (like sports) it's idolatry. This Society worship was probably the last straw that caused me to open my eyes...
At a very young age it suddenly dawned on me that it was very strange that a "spirit directed" organization had so many truly ignorant or nasty dispositioned people in positions of authority.