Discussions with JW's and JW sympathizers in forums
Hello. I'm new to this site, though familiar with it for years, and glad it is here. I have never been a JW though I was almost sucked in when I was a teenager. That close call led me to study and research the JW doctrines and teachings so that if I do talk with them I may know their mentality a lot better. I did spend years in a borderline evangelical cult so I know quite familiarly how one can just turn their logical thinking off and make an idol out of a preacher or an organization. I still believe in God ,though I've learned to separate my relationship and understanding of Him from all of the garbage that may go on in His name.
My question comes from my online talks/debates that occasionally arise in certain forums. I am a Prince fan and he has been a JW now for over 10 years. Sometimes one of his JW fans will post something so full of Watchtower propaganda and paint such a false image of their organization that I just have to respond to them. I try to be tactful,polite, and just stick with the big issues. The one thing I try to get them to admit in a public forum ,where most people are not JW's, is that they believe they and they alone are the only true Christians. This seems to be a little known fact to outsiders who just see them as another branch of Christians who just happen to go door to door. Of course, as soon as I say anything remotely critical of JW's I am met with someone responding to me in an attempt to say I am totally ignorant or that I am totally wrong about them. When I reply back, assuming they are a JW, they then respond with ,"I'm not a JW" but they defend their beliefs and try to belittle mine. I have been met with this "I'm not a JW" several times now, and I'm just curious is this a tactic of some sort for a JW to lie and pretend he is just a sympathizer. What's funny though is they say everything I say is not true ,yet they never point out how its not true. As soon as I start quoting Watchtower ariticles to back up what I say, the conversation slows way down or quits altogether. This whole cult mentality is both bewildering yet sometimes you hope you may at least help one person reading to come out of the closed box they put themself in.
I don't know who first came up with the phrase, "Cognitive Dissonance", but to my mind it most accurately describes the puzzling behavior you've described... People who are supposed to be honest, flagrantly fail to be honest, especially with themselves.
I watched my [idiot] parents become JWs, beat me into the religion [slapping and hitting and kicking me when I didn't answer the 'home bible study' questions accurately or with enthusiasm], then drag my little brother and I out on cold December nights because "we' wanted to look at the Christmas lights... Cognitive Dissonance. They couldn't see their own lies....
I watched them spend too much of their sparse income on "non-Christmas" presents for my brother and I, in December, because "we" were going to 'feel left out' when the other kids bragged about their Christmas presents at school... (I was the one who - at the age of 9 or 10 - urged them to wait until January to buy the blasted presents because then they'd be ON SALE...!!! The knuckleheads didn't listen to me...) Another example of Cognitive Dissonance. They couldn't see their own lies...
We were JW kids... The other kids at school didn't even bother trying to talk to us, let alone discuss what they'd received for Christmas with us...
Actually, I think terms like "projection" and "displacement" would more accurately describe my parents' behaviors and attitudes. Whatever THEY wanted or were nostalgic for, but couldn't have due to the WTBTS' restrictions, they projected onto us and made US responsible for 'their spiritual weakness'... But their absolute blindness to their own hypocrisy?? Cognitive Dissonance... Self-Delusion...
People lie to themselves all the time. When a large section of society does it, it's often called "cultural myth"... Happens all the time, and not just in the JW cult.
I've never figured out how to shatter or dissipate that mental fog or malaise which perpetuates group lies. Wish I could. I'd love to crush those smug, "I'm always right" attitudes, whether they be of the WTBTS or of my parents. Or of other groups, too.
Good thread! Zid
Cause and Effect apply.
The only reasons a JW in good standing would deign to converse with an "apostate" would be:
1.Hubris and an inflated sense of importance. (I can shred these wretches with the sword of Truth)
2. Secret Fear (using the "apostates" as a sounding board and devil's advocate.)
3. It beats video games and Sudoku.
Good observations, Terry. However, you forgot to mention that they probably count the time they spend on the internet "witnessing" to "apostates" and considering it field service.
What's even worse is when a JW is allowed to be a moderator on a forum. Try expressing your anti-Watchtower feelings then, and see how far you get.
I am glad you have the time to go on such forums and debate, and indeed the patience ! as you point out they do not know how to debate.
The ones who defend the Dubs without proof, or refute what you say without proof, are lying Dubs, no "worldly" person would do that, 'coz their opinions are based on facts, not BS from a cult.
You may not help many out, but just one is very good, but I am sure you will help many to avoid being sucked in.
So, while you can stomach it, keep up the good work !
Thanks for sharing with me and the support. I never seek out a debate with a JW it just happens sometimes. It's like when you see people getting scammed by a professional scam artist that you know and recognize to be a scam artist but others don't. You can't help but try to help the potential victims from falling for it to avoid what we fell for many times. I truly believe the biggest evil in the world is evil disguised as being good.There is image and then there is reality.
Of course, the problem with JWs is the snake poison is taking effect.
Numbers 21:9 (English Standard Version)
9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
Let's hope they come to the Son of Man and live
John 3:14-15 (English Standard Version)
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
JW Sympathizer: See? Jesus was put on a pole the same as Moses' snake, not on a pagan cross!
Mad Sweeney: <sigh>