Does JW Upbringing Result In Inferior Adults?

by minimus 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • minimus

    If a person is raised a Witness, does it mean they are inferior to everyone else? Is it necessarily better to be raised a Catholic, a Jew, or even a non religious person, in the long run? Does one's morality and quality of life suffer because of having been a Jehovah's Witness?

  • Satanus

    Seems to me that the morals that young jws learn tend to stay w them, even if they leave jws. However, their quality of life later on, is poorer than the norm. That may be for a variety of reasons: failure to take advantage of opportunities to better ther life, failure to plan long term, letting others take advantage of them, to name a few.

    For the question about superior/inferior, you would need to specify how that is defined.


  • yknot

    I am happy with the morals I was taught........

    HOWEVER .... Isolation, not being part of the 'world', and the ridicule it carries does tend to lessen many of our social skills compared to say others who have not been raised in such secular shunning sects.......and that does lower quality of our lives.

    Yknot......who rare uses but always has a current prescription of anxiety medication in her medicine cabinet and two tablets in her purse.

  • minimus

    I'm thinking some feel you're cursed if you ever were raised a JW, that you're damaged goods, inferior. I think that my upbringing pretty much grounded me. I kinda think I might've been a wild child had I not had some reins. Of course the end result is that I lived out these last couple of years, more out there. I think if I were a typical kid, I would be a bit more tranquil.....perhaps.

  • Finally-Free

    Being raised in a different faith, or no faith at all, is no guarantee that you won't have a f*cked up upbringing. There is no shortage of toxic families, both in the cult and out of it.


  • creativhoney

    probably. unless you fight back.

    Im a teacher, my son wants to be a doctor, I'm so happy that I can encourage not discourage him :D

  • zarco

    I know many well-adjusted adult witnesses, but I think they are in the minority. The “witness-way” of focusing short-term because god is going to fix everything soon is very damaging. It distorts the cost/benefit analyses that one uses to make long term decisions like buying a home, getting an education, working in a community and with environmental matters. Why make such investments if the end is just around the corner?

    For similar reasons, witnesses are sometimes not the best business owners, as any successful business must think long term and cultivate customer relationships that last a lifetime. The teachings of the WTS do not encourage such a view, rather employment or a business is to make money in the fewest hours possible so that one can pursue spiritual goals.

    I believe the consequences of short-term thinking are severe and harm the emotional and financial health of witnesses. Some are able to rise above it by deciding, some without not even realizing it, that they do not believe the end is coming and build - family, relationships, businesses - with a lifetime in view. The consequences of WTS teaching are probably unintended, but very real.


  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    If a person is raised a Witness, does it mean they are inferior to everyone else?

    Min real poor choice of word "inferior". They think they are superior to everyone else. In reality they are no different in regards to being people

    Is it necessarily better to be raised a Catholic, a Jew, or even a non religious person, in the long run?

    As far as I can tell there is no difference other than JWs believing everyone else is unworthy to live

    Does one's morality and quality of life suffer because of having been a Jehovah's Witness?

    OK Now you are getting to an interesting question. I thnk in most ways JWs are a moral bunch of people except in certain circumstances. When it comes to protecting the image all bets are off and their morality goes out the window compelling them to do things like protect JW pedophiles and sacrifice the victims while they have no problem turning in non-JW pedophiles.

    Their morality works in other strange ways. They expect fellow JWs to give them special favors like getting a JW plumber to do work in your home for free. They have no problem lying in court to make the JWs look better in custody cases.

    You could defintiely say they suffer in quality of life if they obey WT rules about medical treatments and blood. It could cost you your life. Shunning family members also affects morality and quality of life.

    Any time a rule driven belief system is adhered to there will be a negative imapct on quality of life. A person would be forced to constantly be monitoring their "correctness" in following the rules. And when they break a rule they are guilt ridden over some of the most ridiculous things like saying thatnk you when a disfellowshipped person offers their condolences on the death of a husband. (I had that one happen to me and watched this mature woman turn into a naughty child stance right before my eyes.)

    There isn't a lot they have to feel good about and the WTS continually reminds them they are not good enough. That isn't the way to encourage a moral lifestyle. It is the way to create fearful drones though.

    Other than that I don't think

  • villabolo

    Zarco took the words right out of my mouth.


  • Gayle

    It's up to the individual. The longer one remains a JW, and still grows and truly does things in goodness, it is in spite of the organization, not because of the organization.

  • flipper

    I don't think that growing up as a witness makes anyone necessarily " inferior " to anyone else. Only that witness children are a lot less informed than children brought up in other " normal " Christian religions. Witnesses aren't allowed access to important information in the outside world which would help them develop coping skills in the business world. Many times witness young people have trouble with social skills dealing with people outside the JW cult. But as Gayle mentioned if after exiting the cult - skills are developed emotionally, mentally educating oneself - then a former witness can be a very productive person in society even if having been raised up in it. Like many of us were. Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • SirNose586

    I think the main issue with me is a feeling of confidence. I felt it only at rare moments, but never allowed myself to feel good about what I knew, or what I could do. I really bought into the whole not letting oneself have pride. I never wanted to be the outstanding nail that would just get hammered down.

    I'm working on all that, though. It's just tough sometimes.

  • WTWizard

    No play time (field circus takes that away).

    No fun at the boasting sessions.

    Spankings and beating galore, usually for doing what children naturally do.

    No holidays or birthdays.

    Being isolated from others in school ("bad associations", forced witlessing).

    Getting poor grades because they are too tired after the evening boasting session the night before or because they couldn't study because of field circus.

    No college or extracurricular activities.

    Wasting all their school vacations in field circus.

    Being told that all sexual expression is wrong, until they get married (which will not magically eliminate the hangups).

    All careers pounced on except pio-sneering. Window washing and toilet scrubbing jobs are common.

    I would say that this results in inferior adults.

  • yesidid

    Great post Lady Lee

    Thank you


  • LongHairGal


    I know what you are trying to say and I am not sure the question can be answered accurately. You would have to do a survey of all JWs both active and inactive.

    You should not have used the word inferior. What you mean is below-par or underachiever. Even being an underachiever, in and of itself, doesn't make a person 'inferior' because the underachiever may have very good morals and be very kind and well liked and have a happy life.

    The question you asked if a person's quality of life suffers because of having been a JW, I would have to answer No as far as I am concerned even though I may have my issues. I think everybody - even non-JWs - have 'issues' of one sort or another. I wasn't raised in the religion but came in as a young adult. Other people may not feel the same way and I refer to those raised in the religion especially if they were abused. Some may feel they have missed out on a better education and career. So, materially Yes they may have suffered. But, they can still try to be happy IMO.

  • minimus

    I know more than a few sub-par JWs.

  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    I hope not!

  • minimus

    Just to clarify, most people think that if a person is raised a JW, the result will be that they are ill equipped to deal with normal life and situations. Their quality is diminished because of what they have become. They cannot be who they could be because they become stifled. They are less educated and quite often have emotional issues because they should not go to "worldly" experts. The result is that such ones often are considererd "lesser" thanothers who take advantage of opportunities, education, talent and abilities.

  • NanaR

    I certainly don't think so. I was raised a Witness and I don't consider myself an inferior person.

    If anything, I believe my Witness upbringing made me a stronger person in the long run. Swimming against the tide and all that.


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