Poll: Successful Reactivations by Elders?

by Room 215 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Hi all,

    All my experience is that once a JW begins to question the organization, a irreversible progression sets in that leads inexorably to a total disaffection with the organization that no amount of ``shepherding'' can change.

    So my question to you all is: Can we document one single case in which a disgruntled ex-JW was successfully reactivated/restored to loyal dubdom? (My impression is that the efficacy of elders' ``shepherding calls'' is a myth, a total waste of time).

  • ThiChi

    Good observation. As an Elder, I was told that Apostates never come back, once they are gone, they are gone. However, I have seen some come back because of family pressures to return. They just stay low, do the least to stay in good favor.

    “Cancel my subscription to the resurrection. Send my credentials to the House of Detention, I got some friends inside.....” The Doors

  • JT

    Thi chi

    i agree- i know of two and i recall they were often refered to as having "Apostate Leanings"

    i have no idea how much they really knew other than they felt that the Org made to many changes and called it NEW LIGHT.

    I often tell my wife that if a jw leaves because of issues with the friends- they are not loving, they talk behind your back, i don't like the elders they are more likely to return than someone who leaves for Doctrinal reason and the reason is simple

    congo to congo are all different some are more family based will some are more Corp based so if the person moves to a hall where they love bomb them and allow them to join the INNER CIRCLE they are in-

    but IF it is for doctrinal reasons like myself it is very unlikely and if so it will be as mentioned low keyed

  • NameWithheld

    That's about all I could see happening, is people returning for family/freinds. In those cases I would bet they only go enough to 'get back in' then slack off. Slackers get away with it MUCH easier now than in the past since 99% of JWs are slackers now anyway.

  • ThiChi

    ""they are more likely to return than someone who leaves for Doctrinal reason""

    JT: sooo true.

    “Cancel my subscription to the resurrection. Send my credentials to the House of Detention, I got some friends inside.....” The Doors

  • LB

    I certainly don't have personal experience with that. When I stopped attending I never got a single shepherding call. Instead they all went up to my wife and just asked her what my problem was. Why had I forsaken the truth and turned my back on Jehovah.

    Eventually that drove her away too.

    Never Squat With Yer Spurs On

  • BluesBrother

    Good point. I recall Peter, whom I spent a lot of time with "Helping him to recapture the joy of the Truth"- but it didnt work and he finally left. And there were a few others over the years.

    Incidentally the quality of the "shepherding " often leaves much to be desired. There were times when I cringed at some of the stuff the other elder said ,when I was out on the usual 2 man visits.. if the truth were known I probably dropped a few bloomers myself. well intended of course.

    The previous poster is right though . no one wants to come and talk to me although I have been inactive for 3years now . So much for care and attention.

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Hi BB, LB This Chi.

    Besides apathy, I think in many cases, elders avoid making those ``shepherding calls'' on known doubters/dissidents out of fear--fear that they'll open a door into a room the elder would rather not peer into -- his very own privately harbored doubts and misgivings.

  • RipVanWinkle

    Based on my experiences, the vast majority of the elders simply don't know how to shepherd. Most simply fill a slot in the machinery. Some are on a glory trip and bask in being platform elders. They do not get sufficient training to shepherd and do not know the flock well enough to care. Do they know the names of the children and what they are doing in school etc? Do they even talk to them with meaningful conversation? Are they aware of the feelings of the infirm or do they even acknowledge them? Does each elder know where all the pubs live? When they make shepherding calls (and a few do) do they make it a point to bring their whole library to impress the sheep how much they know? After all each home does have its' own Bibles. If the elder does not personally know the appearance of the flock during good times, if a pub. has a problem he/she does not want to air the problem to a complete stranger - since an elder you do not know is really a stranger. THAT is not the time to get to know the sheep.

    Are they prancing around the KH with a clip board looking important or do they have time to greet and converse with those attending?

    I don't believe that most of the elders actually care for the flock. As long as they maintain status quo that keeps them in the light they are content. Not to say that there aren't some good ones but they are sparse.

    Kids in their early teens may be able to have babies but that doesn't mean they can care for them responsibly. They need time (age) and experience and desire to be good parents. In some ways this is true of people who become elders before their time. However, it is the system that has been developed that is responsible for this inadequacy. Years ago we would get the CO who was the eyes and ears for the society and we would see changes and improvments in the congo. Each publisher was given the opportunity to express his/her grievances and be heard and all parties would benefit positively from mature counsel. Today the CO says he's not here to help with problems - this is the job of the elders. So the opportunity to see wrongs righted or matters cleared up is gone. It used to be the CO would come through and stay at any humble home that would accomodate him. He would carry a couple of luggages, had an older vehicle but he was full of wisdom and had a lot of lifes experience to share. He would eat what we ate and never make us feel inferior if we had a lack. We anticipated the visit and were built up to face lifes' problems.

    Today some come through with the finest of everything. Expect the best of everything and when they leave we are let down because there was no spiritual buildup. They ( as examples) are seldom concerned about reactivating publishers. The vists are often on some sister whose husband has died or some such thing. For people who are having problems or are struggling with their faith, the PO makes sure such ones are not called on.

    So the short of it is that - I don't think the majority have learned to care. I really hate to see those words on paper, but that's what I've observed.


  • Simon

    I read something about this in Steve Hussain's (I think) book about Cults and cult behaviour.

    Basically, once someone has wisened up to the fact that it's all smoke and mirrors, very little time is spent trying to stop them going as it's a waste of the cults time - they will never be as productive to the cult again or put as much effort in.

    Most cult effort goes into always trying to gain new recruits and 'used' members are just cast aside.

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