Cygnus & Scully, Wow, is this overkill or what? Some really heavy posting here!
Yes of course you're right Englishman. My intention originally with the A-Z thing was an attempt at humour and seeing the foibles of the belief system. Obviously it was not received in the same spirit.
I apologize for that.
Dave and Skipper: Thanks for the pats on the back. For some reason, I needed them today more than I usually do.
It is not persecution for an informed person to expose a certain religion as being false. - WT 11/15/63
You are a good example of an unbalanced JW basher. You apparently have been out of the organization for quite some time.
You're right that when push comes to shove (read: when the JW dissident starts pushing and shoving) the elders will take a rigid stance against the individual causing a disturbance. Some elders definitely take judicial matters too far. Some elders are complete idiots and give very poor advice to the friends.
However, I refuse to believe that in their heart of hearts, JWs as a whole are wicked, manipulative people. They believe strongly in Jehovah, his kingdom purposes, and his organization. They do NOT rejoice or take pleasure in a child being abused and the circumstance being covered over/someone dying from lack of blood/a person being disfellowshipped. A few might because they are overly self-righteous. But as another commenter pointed out, the organization is much different than it was 10/20 years ago. Case in point: Most JWs could not even name three people on the Governing Body. You say that when a GB member gives a speech everyone pays such close attention. LOL. The more elderly GB members simply embarrass themselves on the platform, and the younger ones are certainly met with suspiscion and do not carry nearly the same prestige Schroeder and Franz did in their day.
And if you really and truly think that JWs believe and practice everything the Watchtower says (especially those from 50 years ago!), then you are REALLY out of touch.
Stupid - in retrospect yes...sigh and I was one of them...
Hateful - well it can feel that way sometimes
Evil - I am sure some of them are...the child molesters...the ones that know about sexual abuse and yet keep silent....course the Catholic church has some of the same problems in this area.
Maybe my scope is limited. Maybe I don't know everything that goes on and if I did I would feel differently. But in my PERSONAL experience with JW's I would have to agree with Cygnus. I don't always like the way they act (to say the least) but I do feel that most of them are well meaning good people. I even understand the way my sisters feel, I don't like the way they are acting, but I understand where they are coming from. To them this shunning of me is "tough love"...they love me and want me to come back to the "truth" so that I and my daughter will get eternal live and see my parents again in the new system and this is their way of acomplishing their mission. They are wrong of course...and it certainly feels stupid and hateful to me...I wouldn't call them evil though.
lol Cy I know I couldn't name even one member of the Gov. body and neither can any of the JW's I know. And I still hang around with my niece and nephew who are JW's and I agree that the "new" JW tends to take most of what comes down the line with a grain of salt. It is my hope that this means further down the road we will see a kinder gentler JW....hey I can hope right?
Cygnus; Let's quit with the apologetics, answer a simple question please...
Would you describe the JW's as;
a/ Just another religion b/ A high-control group transforming itself into a mainstream religion, and undergoing decades-long painful reform in the process c/ A high-control group full of innocent dupes run by people who are also dupes d/ A high-control group full of innocent dupes run by evil scheming cult overlords
Where are you actually coming from?
People living in glass paradigms shouldn't throw stones...