I think your post was brilliant.
And what pathofthorns said…
But I have more commentary to add [this is L-O-N-G, folks!]
An elder can always give up his position and still remain a Witness, but something stops most from doing this.
I think what stops most from doing this is that the elder will no longer exercise CONTROL in the congregation. JW men are taught that they must take
in control, and that exercising
headship (control) over everything is their God-given right.
Humility and integrity are lacking. Just like in life when one becomes accustomed to the same 4 P's, it is hard to give up and go back to being the "common people".
Precisely. Corporate CEOs do not willingly go back to being grunts. Even middle managers do not willingly give up their lesser status. Humans like to be ‘special.’ But when an elder KNOWS in his heart that he is no longer serving God, but rather the WT Corporation, integrity of the kind taught and proclaimed as a necessary quality
in said corporation demands that he step down. Or leave entirely. His choice. A difficult one.
Englishman said of Amazing:
IMO, this is a very gifted man who has a streak of vanity. It came through in his posts…
There were a lot of good parts too. I for one will miss him.
I concur. I had the honor of meeting Amazing (by the way, waiting
, I got the impression that his screen name was not a reference to himself, but rather the response he felt --“Amazing!!!” -- when the scales began to fall from his eyes about the WT’s duplicity. A rather typical response, I dare say.) and know that he is not pompous or condescending in person, but quiet, thoughtful, serious, and in severe distress over the hurts that WT policy has caused for many of its members.
I do, however, think that some residual JW-elder-ness comes through in his posts (and, as he said, he’s working on it).
teejay brought up the following:
I forget in which thread she said it was,
[this one, teejay “To: Ex-JW Women - Your Side”
but I was a little unnerved by AMNESIAN's accounting of the comments of some here in cyberspace only after Amazing asked for their comments, to wit:
Thanks for asking!...
Thank you Amazing for asking that question...
Thanks for letting me share....
Amazing, this is a great topic!...
Amazing, great idea...
Thanks for starting this thread Amazing...
What an excellent topic. It is so healing to be able to say how we really feel and felt...
I love this thread...
There is something about this topic that usually causes a burning desire for our voice to be heard...
Thank you Amazing for starting this thread...
This is an excellent thread because so many JW women are oppressed...
If these comments weren't so tragically sad they would be downright sickening. It reminds me of the exact same inability to speak up for the distress women feel within the brotherhood (emphasis on "brother") that is the Spiritual Paradise. So much pain and misery not allowed to surface and men walking around acting as they have all the answers but knowing all the while that they don't.
I know that some JWD women seized the opportunity presented them by Amazing
to express their opinions on that thread. I know that my personal
reaction was much like dung
’s. To wit -- that there was already sufficient information and feedback on the board for Amazing and other ex-brothers to form an idea of what it must’ve been like for the sisters to live (and chafe) under ‘theocratic direction.’
Especially when those directing were clearly less intelligent, educated, erudite or mature – both literally and spiritually (who mentioned 12 year olds directing meetings for field service!!!). For this reason, I declined to participate in that particular thread, to which, as AMNESIAN
pointed out, Amazing
tyydyy took exception to Amnesian’s contention in a previous thread
Elders who remain such for the WTS, no matter how well-intentioned and decent they perceive themselves to be, are as guilty of perpetuating egregious abuse and inflicting monstrous damage on others--- no matter how thoughtfully they claim to execute such--- as the wicked elder who feels no need absolution for his rotteness.”
my position and argument are regarding elders who K-N-O-W---they don’t suspect, they don’t doubt, they don’t wonder, they don’t question, imagine, believe, think, divine or guess---, they have reached the point of K-N-O-W-I-N-G, by whatever means, that they are not serving their brothers, as they’d first believed and desired, but that they are serving the WT Enterprise. There are many, many men who fall into this category---elders who lie to themselves and others as to their true motives for not resigning in conscientious objection. They just keep flogging, albeit, possibly, with fewer or less forceful strokes, but still thereby colluding in and sanctioning the continued abuse by other elders and the organization.”
and so tyydyy states:
Sorry. I don't agree that those who stay in are causing any harm or responsible for the actions of the whole body of elders. No more than a US spy working in Pakistan as a government agent would be responsible for the actions of the Pakistani Government.
But is painfully obvious (and he admitted he hadn’t read everything) that tyydyy
had not seen this example posted by AMNESIAN
and taken from the “Amazing – Exposing Elders” thread:
“Once an elder decides to become a ‘Silentlambs’ or ‘Lee Elder,’ he recognizes that that will be life-altering, his last kamikaze mission as an elder and likely a JW. It also means that he’s got the hormones most elders lack, no matter how conscientious and honorable they perceive themselves to be. They don’t remain elders with some vague notion of making things better for the relative few they happen to personally know. They remain for a specific time with a specific plan in the works that can help many. These are not the men one considers to be remaining as elders.
“You see, if every good and conscientious man who decided to remain an elder did so only until he pulled off his one big covert operation that will likely reap huge benefits for lots more JWs worldwide than merely a couple of troubled teen-agers and one elderly and ill sister or two in his own congregation, I’d be in their cheering section. You and I both know that is not only rarely the case, it is virtually never the case, which is why “Silentlambs” and “Lee Elder” are receiving well-deserved backslaps.”
The U.S. spy’s mission would eventually come to an end, hopefully reaping benefits for the U.S. govt. and not for the Pakistani Govt. the spy TEMPORARILY supported. If the mission became too dangerous, or compromised, however, it would be aborted. And the spy would be expected to end the mission and get out -- unscathed, if possible.
GinnyT surprised me by writing:
I understand that you have been trying to make a distinction between elders who “know” and those who do not. As I mentioned in the other thread, there are many nuances of knowing and awareness, which is why I posted this link:
If you want to have an objective discussion of elders who “know,” please define your term. In what exact sense do you mean “to know”?
I thought AMNESIAN explained quite well what she meant by "K-N-O-W" and took into account that one could be troubled, doubting, wondering, etc. during an extended time period before one could be said to "K-N-O-W."
Since so much of this discussion has bled into considering the actions of all elders, I am ignoring your distinction and will consider all elders, not just those who “know.”[bold mine]
I thank you for the link, but ignoring AMNESIAN’S
distinction, to my mind, makes the rest of your argument flawed.
In closing, I really wish that Amazing had not taken AMNESIAN’S previous comments so personally and that other ex-JW elders on this board had not done so as well.
I, for one, was not trying to judgmentally blame a-n-y-o-n-e for his/her past course of behavior as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses – elder or non-elder. We have all promoted the religion and practiced its sometime heinous tenets to one degree or another.
I must ultimately agree that there are certainly degrees of culpability and that elders have more power OVER the other publishers (just as COs and DOs have even more power and influence). Thus, once convinced IN THEIR OWN MINDS that they are not ‘special, spirit-appointed instruments of God’ but rather ‘mundane, human organizationally-appointed instruments of the WT Publishing Corporation’, said elders have an obligation not to perpetuate the false notion that they are any better qualified than each publisher’s own conscience to convict, reprimand or judge. They should give up the control, and the perks, and STEP DOWN as soon as reasonably possible given personal circumstances. Just as the non-elders among us became increasingly inactive, unable to go in the ministry or comment at meetings, because we could no longer support the lies.
Seems to me EVERY ex-JW had some sphere of influence s/he needed to decrease upon exiting for the greater good of all.
If Witnesses keep becoming EX-Witnesses, good is served.
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts -- John Wooden