Not my experience. Ain't no lonely wolf. Doesn't mean that I don't get your point, though - but again, I think that circumstances differ from area to area. I do not doubt things are like you state - but they are not like that worldwide. My experiences are different - but I have met with attitudes like the ones you state, and have then chosen to avoid those people later, and have not met with any problems from others because of that.
Why it's Dangerous to Associate w/ Jehovah's Witnesses-Barbara Anderson
Agreed. I do know that attitudes are much different in other parts of the world. In the USA, "higher education" is routinely and regularly criticized, often very harshly. There is no doubt that a "good" JW simply does not attend a university.
But Barbara's essay was written primarily for, I suspect, an American audience. It would have little or no meaning, for example, in Liberia or Mozambique or [pick any 3rd world country], where education beyond elementary school level is hard enough for anyone & everyone to acquire, let alone even thinking about a university.
I'm glad your experience is different - as a US citizen who attended a university as a (at the time) strong JW, my experience is different than yours, and far from unique.
Old Hippie, thanks for your view on things. It's always good to hear a wide variety of views rather than just one.
It's been my experience that local elders do have much influence on how Watchtower policy/advice is applied. In my last congregation there were 3 young adults attending college, 2 pioneered while doing so. In the congregation I attended before that one they probably would have been ridiculed for going to college.
There are more liberal congregations and the ultra controlling ones as well.
I appreciate your comments, thank you.
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
The Jehovah's Witnesses are the least educated of religions.
In 1993, researchers published the result of a massive survey of trends within major religious groups. Barry A. Kosmin and Seymour P. Lachman conducted a National Survey of Religious Identification. The survey had a sample size of 113,000 people. Of the thirty religious groups included in the survey, Jehovah's Witnesses had the lowest percentage of their members graduate from college. (Kosmin BA, Lachman SP. "One Nation Under God," p. 258)
Educational Rank - Religion - Percentage of members that are college grads:
1. Unitarian Universalist: 49.5%
2. Hindu: 47%
3. Jewish: 46.7%
7. Agnostic: 36.3%
18. Catholic: 20%
20. Lutheran: 18%
21. Seventh Day Adventist: 17.9%
27. Baptist: 10.4%
28. Pentecostal: 6.9%
30. Jehovah's Witnesses: 4.7%
The November 1, 2009 Watchtower article discourages learning Biblical languages (Greek, Hebrew, Latin)
In the US, elders are looked down upon if they have a child who attends college. It is viewed as a weakness. This past Summer's assemblies contained "anti-college" rhetoric, meant to discourage college attendance.
A historical analysis of the Jehovah's Witnesses on college is at http://www.religioustolerance.org/anon03.htm
Hi Barbara & Joe
Having enjoyed your company recently in Edinburgh, along with several other Scottish ex-JWs around the meal table, I wish you both well in your on-going expose of all things JW. Your far-flung European travels and expended energy exerted to counteract the JW lies outwith the USA will surely shed 'real' light to those who are not too deeply involved in the nasty, bedarkened world of the JW cult to see sense and reason. Hopefully, these fortunate ones will see a way out - albeit that they'll suffer shunning in the exit process. Remember, it is not just about how many victims you can help free themselves and their loved ones - doing the right thing, is, in my opinion, paramount. I know that both of you hold these values dear to your heart.
lifelonghumanist, aka John or Giovanni
Interesting discussions going on here. Wanted to bump this up for some who had not seen it
While I was a JW from 84-97, we were discouraged from going to college, discouraged from having children, discouraged from taking jobs that would make us have to miss meetings, were ENCOURAGED to go into trades so that we could be more prepared for post armageddon rebuilding, and particularly be self employed so we could take time out of work any time to go to conventions. We were encouraged as employers to take on JWs who were pioneering and so would "understand" when they had to go to meetings, conventions and pioneer.
The people were mostly NOT educated, NOT confident outside the confines of the hall, had low self esteem and were on every homeopathic medicine on the planet trying to fight their depression.
Generalizations or not, most of what Barbara described was in the three congregations I belonged to.
Brilliant, Dear Barbara!
Thank you so much... for all you do.
OldHippie, I applaud your call for balance, but when it comes to Lies that life is black and white, don't forget that it's the Watchtower Society that insists on seeing life in vivid monochrome. I've just read through Barbara's article again and, bitter or not, I find very little in there that is exaggerated although it is certainly critical. Maybe shining a light on 'the truth' is just too painful.
If it were too painful, friend without shoes, I would not have been here. But I manage - at least much of the time - to recognise articles with solid points when I see them, and also to detect articles where personal bitterness buries what valid points might have been there at the beginning. Anderson's crusade has left the first group and entered the latter, in my eyes. Greg Stafford made good reading - but then he found out he had better start a church of his own, and then I start wondering a bit. Anderson has made good points, but the last couple of articles are vast exaggerations in my eyes. And that means people will find faults i nthem,. And that means people will stop reading. And that means discredit. And that means one is forgotten. A sad path to enter.