Why it's Dangerous to Associate w/ Jehovah's Witnesses-Barbara Anderson

by flipper 60 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • inbetween

    TOH: I agree with you, its similar here, in my congo are quit some with higher education, and while some elder talked with some, who attend university, it was in a very mild and friendly, non-pushing way, I guess it depends on individual elders and the set-up of a congo.

    I remember, in my case, years ago, it was more strongy discouraged to get higher education, but I would have done it anyway, I had other reasons not too in the end...

  • quietlyleaving

    old hippie my son's example is not an isolated case at all.

    A young JW recently (in the last 5 years) experienced so much pressure to pioneer and to give up university that he abandoned his studies after completing 2 years and began pioneering. He has since been forced to stop pioneering and spend longer hours working in home maintenance.

    My daughter decided to pursue a course in beauty therapy. This was described as frivolous and 2 pioneer elder would very blatantly ask when she was going to start pioneering. The pressure made her feel very very guilty until at and a low point, soon after, she signed up.

    A relative of mine who is very intelligent and has done very well at school has had insistant pressure put on him to stay clear of further education and is now pioneering and training as a plumber.

    3 female youngsters (a teenager and 2 twenty somethings) that I know personally and who have left JWS are, only after leaving, now set on a university education (no pressure or encouragement from me to do so but I was very glad to hear that once they'd released themselves from JW thinking they decided to give university a go).


    But years ago when we visited a mostly elderly Florida congregation I was quite surprised to find that a couple of youths were at university - a real eye opener to me.

    This was quite different to my own experiences (which seem to concur mostly with what Barbara says) and makes me wonder if congregations that are close to Bethels around the world and that have a few resident bethelites are more inclined to view further education suspiciously and place more pressure on youths?

  • jookbeard


  • TheOldHippie


    I did not mean isolated case in the sense that you are the only one in the world who has experienced this - but I tried to say the thing you yourself are wondering about at the end of your story. All I can say, is that here there is no pressure, my kids have followed the educational line they have wanted to, I myself have, and there have been no talks and no pressure. I find it sad that such pressure is used. By all means, a talk where one can point to the "dangers" lurking - but then let go and not perform any "quasi-shunning." I guess that is nothing more than any responsible parent would do, make sure the youngster knows whathe/she is doing. Pioneering - fine, but not everyone is geared into that. Some of us are more inclined to study, read, learn - and should be respected for that, just as the pioneers should be respected for their work, and then we should all be appreciated for the individual part we play, how we contribute to form a congregattion that is many-faceted.

    Maybe it's a cultural "thing", maybe geographical, maybe the things you are wondering about are the main obstacles. I don't know. I just know that the picture is more complex that what Anderson claim, not at all that stereotype.

  • angel eyes
    angel eyes

    Is it really that stricked in USA?? Some of it I knida thought..Hmmmm yh she has a point then some also i thought " no" not the case over here, well not to my knowledge, and i cant be the only one who's not seen these things are been told to do this or that. England truly isnt as harsh as USA, with regards to rules etc in the truth.

  • quietlyleaving

    oldhippie, I'm so glad that you and your family have been able to follow a route of your own choosing and that your congregation is different to the ones round here. We are very inner city and in addition to the bethel connection, a few prominent elders and their wives have pioneered through thick and thin, severe illness, children etc. Their experiences are always used throughout our circuit and other nearby circuits. What is kept quiet is that their children have suffered a lot of anguish - not a single child of theirs was spared

  • wobble

    T.H.O however you dress up the mind control,and it was there in the mid-sixties when my father was criticised for allowing me to take further education,they do discourage.

    I agree Barbara may be guilty of sweeping generalisations, but the underlying message of her lecture. that it is dangerous to get sucked in to the WT/JW Org. is valid.

    I think this will be a valuable tool to encourage people to examine the religion in a closer way before taking the plunge.



  • BarefootServant

    OldHippie, Barbara Anderson's version is much closer to the truth than yours. Not that long ago I had to sit through a circuit assembly talk aimed directly at the youngsters which stressed that they shouldn't be seeking 'the falsely called knowledge'. Disgusting, if only for taking that scripture completely out of context. In our (quite affluent) area almost nobody chooses to go to university - it is absolutely frowned upon. You may be lucky where you are, but the pressure to avoid advanced education is not locally originated, it comes right from the top.

  • TheOldHippie

    And just to put it straight - I think that is too bad. An organisation such as the WT surely should have a lot of scientists/scholars/researchers/university and high school students in the biblical languages/history/archaeology etc. etc. to fully explore those subjects. Of course, if anyone should want to study other things - by all means, but I feel that seen from the organisation they should urge the followers to be Beroeans, to fully explore everything connected with the Bible and its message, in stead of having to rely on the work done by Christendom's scholars and theologians.

    But again - I feel, barefooted friend, that the picture is not entirely as the one painted by Anderson, and I hope they have not fallen into the bitterness trap where exaggerations and broadly painted black and white pictures are in abundance.

  • sir82
    It IS possible to live life as you personally want to in these respects

    Sure, if you don't mind having few friends because you are considered "spiritually weak"...if you don't mind "local needs" talks about the "dangers of higher education", and the speaker staring directly at you while delivering the talk...if you don't mind shepherding calls and after-meeting counseling reminding you of the importance of "setting a good example" for other kids in the congregation....etc. etc. etc.

    It is "possible" to do lots of things that are "not outright condemned, but strongly discouraged" by the JWs.

    But what are the consequences, if one wants to remain a JW? Ostracism, semi-shunning, being left out of most social invitations due to your "spiritual weakness".

    So you can't have "worldly" friends, and at the Kingdom Hall, the "brothers" mostly ignore you.

    Yeah it's "possible". But how many JWs are emotionally strong enough to be a "lone wolf" like that?

Share this