Hi there... as you probably knew (not), I'm no longer a publisher. However, my brother, even though he never was, and only 14 years old, stills clings to the borg. Or so I thought.
You see, only recently we went to a restaurant, and while me, my brother and 13 year old cousin were eating some good grub, our discussions fell upon *gasp* the JW's. It took a while, but my brother and cousin both admitted they didn't believe whatsoever that the JW was the "one". Religion, that is. That was already some good news, when they also said that a friend in the cong, who wasn't publisher either (13 years old too) wasn't interested either. They didn't want any proof. They didn't have any specific reasons. They just didn't give a damn. I think they didn't think dying in armageddon would be that bad. (my thoughts exactly, if there is even going to be an armageddon).
So there you go. Brother, cousin, and friend not interested whatsoever in the troof. Why do they still go to meetings and go annoy people at their homes? Because they just don't have the guts to tell their parents they're not interested. I know it personnally took 5 years for me to admit it...
I wonder how many teens out there only go to the meetings only for pleasing their parents. Kind of makes you wonder if the publisher numbers the WT publishes are really that accurate...
I agree - I think that the vast majority of young people in fact do not give two licks about the 'religous' aspects of JW-dom. They give it little to no thought and only attend meetings/FS due to family and freinds - and the fact that they know no other way of life.
The bad thing about this is, if they 'leave' due to the fact that they want to do 'bad' things, or out of simple lack of interest, the religion WILL pull them back in if they do not replace it w/ something else, or at least learn the 'truth about the truth'. And this only gives more fuel to the 'there's nothing out in the world for you' argument than when a 'wayward' youth returns to the org (lots of times due to wanting their family/freinds back).
Now is the time to plant the seeds in your brother and freinds minds that JWs are indeed full of crap. While they are yet open to it. Even if they don't care at this point.
I can totally relate to what you guys are saying.
The bad thing about this is, if they 'leave' due to the fact that they want to do 'bad' things, or out of simple lack of interest, the religion WILL pull them back in if they do not replace it w/ something else, or at least learn the 'truth about the truth'.That is sooo true. Being raised in the 'truth', I didnt really know how to relate to people outside of it. When around 14, I lost interest in going to meetings but when I stopped, I had nothing else to really do. I never was allowed to participate in sports or after school activities or have 'worldly' friends, so eventually I would go back to my normal routine of meetings and service. I remember my girlfriends and I in service hoping to meet cute guys and spending most of the time driving around listening to music pretending we were on a call. *sigh*
I definately think your brother and cousin dont have much of a choice right now.. since any sign of independance will cause their parents to drag them in front of the elders for being 'weak' and they will just be stigmatized in the congregation as 'trouble'.. like I was.
Their only real chance for doing what they want is after 18, sadly.
I totally understand. I stayed in the religion because I was scared for a while. I did not believe it was the truth any longer. I just thought it would be best to leave when I went to college...
Don't forget these are 13 year old children and it is a big step to tell their parents where to stick it. They know that if they say anything that they would be marked as bad associate and not be allowed to associate with their friends. This is a big step for young ones when peer pressure and wanting approval is a very big motivational factor at that age. It is sad and immoral that grown adults would manipulate innocent young minds like that. But when was the last time that the borg has done anything that was not immoral???
Don't forget these are 13 year old children and it is a big step to tell their parents where to stick it.
However, the one constant is cash ‘donations’ of WTBTS ‘study aid’ publications, week in and week out for the teenagers by their parents, will continue regardless of beliefs until they are mature enough to admit their actual feelings and that could take years.
By that time multiplied by countless similar families, the WTBTS will have cleaned up a tidy sum of cash because of the confessional delay. And if the WTBTS can keep ‘em on the ‘farm’ for as long as possible, the greater the financial return for the WTBTS.
That, my friends, is all the motivation that matters.
Mind you, the WTBTS Corporation has become such a financial powerhouse, literature cash ‘sales’ to Jehovah’s Witnesses may not play as an important part financially that it once has.
I'm glad to hear that you have some family members in your corner!
It's kind of cool how these young people can see the hypocrisy and total BS in the organization.
But, unfortunately, a lot of them will get sucked back in due to a very normal adolescent behaviour. They will see becoming JW as a means of gaining approval from the adults around them, particularly their parents.
I went through very similar feelings during my adolescence. I realized that the WTS was no different from any other religion. I knew that Armageddon would never happen in my lifetime, if at all. I even went so far as to tell my dad (who was a MS at the time) that I was sure the JWs were a cult. I was about 15 at the time.
Then, things started happening. I stopped getting invited to spend time with JW friends, and they wouldn't accept invitations to spend time with me. I was dragged to the meetings by my parents. I did NOT want to go, and I let it show by sitting there with my arms crossed. I would roll my eyes and shake my head and give them such looks of unfiltered disdain and repugnance. When my father would say the blessing before meals, I sat there silently mocking his unheard prayers. It went on for MONTHS. I would write poems about how I felt. I also started liking a boy at school, and one of my school friends and I started exchanging notes in class. Those notes and poems and short stories were the things that I needed to sustain me until I could get out on my own.
Then one day, after school, my mom sent my brothers outside to play. Once they were outdoors, she started screaming at me. She had gone through my room and found my "stuff". She had a note that I had exchanged back and forth with my friend at school where I had said that I wished this boy I liked would go to the graduation party with me. She had read my stories about how I felt. She was hateful, and yelled at me with such venom, that I will never forget it (she has forgotten, of course). She called me a whore. She refused to give me back my things. She put them someplace and threatened that if I didn't "smarten up" she was going to show them to my dad and the elders. She said that if I was going to be a whore, that she would make sure I ended up on the street like the filth I was. When I said something to the effect that 'the Bible says that extortioners will not inherit the Kingdom', she started hitting me over and over and over; saying the most hateful vicious things a person could possibly say to a 15 year old girl. She only stopped when I collapsed. When I regained consciousness, I stayed still and quiet for a long time, and then silently made my way to my bedroom and went to sleep. Apparently, she lied to my father and told him that I was sick. And that was the first of several beatings that I received from my mother; eventually I just went through the motions of accepting JWism quietly, submissively because I was so afraid of what my mother was capable of doing to me. Even though I hadn't done anything bad, my mother always made a point of saying how 'untrustworthy' I was because I had serious doubts about the organization. Then it became my 'mission' to regain her trust again; and I thought the best way to do that was to become a R&F JW. Although I regret not having stood by my original decision back then, I really don't think I could have done anything differently. This was way back in the 70s, and kids now are a lot more savvy than then.
You are all very lucky to have the kind of support you have here and among your friends and relatives. I wish I had had it when I was your age. If we xJW grown ups can do anything to help you guys, I for one would be happy to do that. I've often thought that a scholarship fund for xJW kids of JW parents who've disowned them would be a great thing to do.
It is not persecution for an informed person to expose a certain religion as being false. - WT 11/15/63
Hey give them time. By the time they are 20, I bet they will be long gone from the cult. That is some great news! All of you will become part of the 80% that barely ever go or are gone alltogether.
"Hand me that whiskey, I need to consult the spirit."-J.F. Rutherford
I can relate to what you are saying but I was never physically beaten although I was abused emotionally. I feel for you and respect the stand you took against what was immoral. Beating and forcing a youth to do something against their will is immoral yet these close minded fanatics think they are doing what’s right. Well it sounds like your mom is paying for what she did. Again the JW's have no concept of what unconditional love is all about. All they know is to make a person feel so low, so insignificant by telling them how worthless we really are. They try to keep us in line by guilt and I found early in life they set a standard that one can never reach. Then more guilt and low self esteem etc. I have now learned to love my self first, something that is against all JW thinking. Most JW are all self hate, have low self-esteem, dysfunctional individuals and the only way to get past this is breaking away from this cult. Good for you and all the best.