To Current and Former Elders

by Styxx 80 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AudeSapere
    styxx wrote: When I came into the organization at nineteen, I left off many kinds of unchristian behavior, and made a lot of painful changes in my life. I had to quit associating with people still living that kind of life. So it would be quite an understatement to say that I was not expecting to find individuals like you in the congregation, much less in positions of power. In fact, it was so unexpected that it made persons like me very vulnerable to your abuses.

    I don't know how long you were associated with the witnesses, or what your current status is, but you probably saw enough to know that there is a BIG difference in life outlook and self-awareness between someone who joins as an adult and someone who was 'raised-in'. With raised-in's, there is an inculcation from youth (often even pre-birth) and the indoctrination runs deep. Two- and three-year-old boys are expected to want to be elders and circuit overseers when they grow up. The personal motivations may differ but that is their goal.

    Some, like MANY here on JWN, wake up and realize that the org trivializes the needs of the individual to the point of de-humanizing them.

    Others strive for more and more control and power.

    Like others that have posted on your thread, I am interested to hear your story. The congregation must have been thrilled to have you join at 19 years of age as most congs lose so many from age 14-21.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    - Aude Sapere (meaning: Dare to Know; Dare to Have Wisdom/Understanding; Dare to Think for Yourself)

  • jwfacts

    This thread makes me recall the shepherding call I received the sparked my being disfellowshipped. One of the elders was a 20 something, single MTS, Bethelite elder. I made the comment that I felt it shocking that the Watchtower taught God would murder billions of people at Armageddon. He answered that as proved by Hitler, all worldly people are Nazi's at heart. I was consumed with rage - I did control myself but really wanted to throw him out of my house. This self righteous, pompous, young, nobody felt he knew what people were like. It really made me feel how pathetic my own sphere of knowledge was, being indoctrinated from childhood with such senseless beliefs.

  • Frank75

    It's a cult man! And even if it wasn't, the bible said that Wolves in Sheep's clothing would treat the "flock" badly. So there would be no reason for surprise on your part.....I wasn't surprised...dumfounded yes, but not surprised.

    I have to chime in to say that there is nothing extra ordinary about ATJ's ephiny and tell all. I remember reading his rant and totally understanding where he was coming from. I felt for him on the opposite end of the spectrum as I lacked ambition at his age and was corralled into serving when I was a tad older.

    After becoming an MS I Constantly sought what God wanted of me and trying to filter out WT agenda was hard at first, but it was life experience that taught me to see through much of the drama as time went on. It certainly didn't come from training or the examples of others. (although admittedly there were some good examples)

    My work and business responsibilities taught me hard lessons about judging people too harshly or getting caught up in politics, jealousy and personal vendettas. I lost good workers and employees, some who could have been life long friends, learning those lessons. So perhaps that spared me from ruining "spiritual" lives.

    Guys like Jeff did nothing wrong in my opine. Those who placed them in the JW hierarchy with its draconian values bear that blame.

    On the other hand I have to draw the line at mid life range, which is plenty of time IMHO to smell the coffee. We still need to take responsibility for our actions at some point.

    As an example of the Tomfoolery, my own father who was an elder since the inception of the JW arrangement, was one of the good guys who always seemed to be on the side of the underdog. But even so he turfed his fair share of people he wasn't ever qualified to judge. Otherwise most of the suffering caused was inadvertantly, not to mention his own family.

    However, now he has left the witnesses for over a decade, he will still argue with me that a person is not spiritually strong if they don't (didn't) do 10 hours a month!

    It always comes back to WT has been ably illustrated here.


  • AllTimeJeff

    Well, Jeff, how often do you see a Tennesse fan help an Alabama fan? Plus, I never went to college. Should have, but I was taught I was gonna die in two years cos I was a baddie.

    So your put-down for Bama fans is unwarranted. I'm just a dumb, uneducated Bama fan.

    *Dinah, who got her education from the school of hard knocks class*

    Dinah, you and I will break new ground in understanding of Tennessee and Alabama... Pray to Bear first... Btw, just to say it, I was being a bit of a kidder... Hope you got the joke... :)

  • yknot

    I am glad you have decided to join in the larger JWN conversation and hope you to see you on other threads (perhaps one of introduction).

    I get your take on this, really I do.....

    However the Organization insists that all (ALL) Elders are appointed by holy spirit.

    Regardless of Jeff's motivations, holy spirit approved and appointed. No one is allowed to question this as a R&F except the CO.

    Further when a man is born/raised JW, worldly gains as you have mentioned are not even a real consideration in his mind, only those theocratic goals matter because his finding a mate is not based on his income like the world but rather his spiritual credentials.

    I hope you stick around and take the time to allow interchange of opinions to widen both our and your POV.

    I honestly find you very interesting!


  • dinah

    I prayed to Bear. He said ATJeff is alright. Hey! If Bear says so, it's gotta be true.

  • Heaven

    Rest assured, may it be Jehovah or just bad Karma, you will all answer.

    Oh brother! Not another one.

    In my life of having JWs in the family, what I have observed is the following:

    There are none more holier-than-thou than God's chosen.

    Styxx has proven it yet again.

  • winstonchurchill

    I read ATJ's post and I can related to it, as it describes almost perfectly my feelings upon becoming an elder and later a CO. I tend to agree with him on his opinions. Of course not in everything.But I don't have a problem with that.

    What's interesting is the way Styxx starts his post. See, I have this rule by which, when someone starts witha desclaimer, I think that person is about to do or say the exact thing he's saying he won't: "I'm not saying that you..."; I'm not comparing you to...". He starts by saying: "But I don’t want to single him out because..."

    And then he devotes a few paragraphs precisely to doing that: single out ATJ as the cause of all suffering. Funny, because he also admits that ATJ did apologize for such behavior. So what else do you want? AH, Bad karma!

    So what's the point Styxx? You gonna go after a guy who had the guts to leave, change his point of view, admit it publicly and voluntarily? Why don't you go and say all that to elders currenty serving, who are RIGHT NOW doing what you despise so much?

    SO, to put in perspective, ATJ just said "I did this and that, should've known better, I regret it, I apologize"; Then Styxx comes and tries to beat him and wish bad karma on him. When he shows the nuts to go and tell that to a couple of active elders, then I'll listen.

    I want to add, I've read a lot of nonesense in this thread. You guys really believe someone who is younger can't give you advise?Is that your wide-open vision of life: I'm older, so I know better? Your best argument against Styxx is that at 19 he joined a cult? Last time I checked, this place is full of people who, at one point in their lives 'joined the cult'.

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro


    Really appreacite your sweaping generalizations and judgement. As others have stated, when you are a born-in male, you are told your entire life that Jehovah wants you to be an elder. I can't tell you how many times as a kid hearing in meetings the point that every male should be holding this out as a goal. It's not so much ambition as it is wanting to be used by God.

    How can being told that holy spirit picked you NOT go to your head a little? If you're a true believer, then you accept that you were chosen directly by Jesus to take care of his flock. That's what I believed and I'm sure the others felt the same way.

    You need a certain amount of ambition to get anywhere in life. I took being made an elder as validation of my previous hard work. I tried to made a difference. I certainly was a jerk at times and was judgmental. I realize now that it was because of my cult training, not because of my true personality.

    Remember that power corrupts. I've seen it all too often. The organizational structure is condusive to pushing those with the biggest egos to the top.

    In the immortal words of Ice T - don't hate the playa, hate the game.

  • besty

    hey winston - good to see you posting on here. Seeing as I'm one of the posters that asked Styxx why he joined a high control group at 19 I just thought I'd clarify that it was a question, not an argument. I'm keen to understand the motivations of someone that age that joins such a group. My Mum joined the JW's at a similar age and has been shunning me these past two years. She is in her 70's now.

    On your other point about younger people giving older people advice I think its not possible to accurately gauge every possible interaction, but a generalization would be that older people 'know more stuff'. Your mileage may vary. When I speak to 26 YO's now (I have 14 years on them) I'm aware that I'm a wee bit older.

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