The Secret is out....but nobody cares
Welcome Mr T. I look forward to more of your observations from the front line. It is a very different organisation from the one I left 20 years ago.
Welcome Mr. Theocratic.
I have found your observations to be exactamente correcto. I recently revealed to my two close friends why I have stopped attending meetings. They both acknowledged that my reasons were legitimate. One said that he wasn't in a hurry to leave because he had family in and he felt like even if "the truth" wasn't the truth, he viewed it as a kind of life insurance that may or may not give him a chance to survive after death. The other one also said that even if everything was a lie, at least being a part of the organization gave him a place in society. For him it's like the bar in the Cheers sitcom where "everybody knows your name". That was what was most important to him. People are in for various reasons, but not necessarily because they believe everything about what they are told.
Sooner or later I need to get around to formally introducing myself as well. I'm just not quite ready yet.
Thanks for adding your thoughts on the forum.
I agree with your observations, but also many others here.
I see hard-core Witnesses who are prepared to sacrifice anything if the G.B. tells them to - whether they agree with it or not, as directed in the November 15th 2013 WT.
These are the kind of folks the Org wants - mindless, loyal, & obedient, not people who can reason on scriptures for themselves!
When I was raised up, I was led to believe that if you weren't 100% you were as good as dead. So if the majority feel as you say Mr. T then why bother staying with the org. ? If big J reads hearts they are all dead. So much for the insurance policy.
I wish my hall was like that. Its a bunch of head nodding brain dead drones
Welcome, Mr. T. Good posts. I agree with your observations. My husband is an elder, with a big family that's all in and strong(ish) and while I know he has doubts, he's all about the idea of loyalty and not rocking the boat. He's seen the emotional turmoil I went through, learning TTAT and that scares him too. It's easier to simply maintain the status quo and not look or think about it too much.
I have to agree about your statement that the ones who really invested in the "insurance policy" are the ones who are hurt the most and who leave. That was me! I was a zealous pioneer, Bethel commuter, learned a foreign language, the whole schmear. So when the blinders fell off, it was pretty devastating. Compare that to my sister, who basically lived a "normal" life with meetings and occasional service. Now that her husband has made them fairly well-off, and she no longer has to work, she is free to pioneer in her middle age. A great example of making money in your 20s through 40's and doing the whole spiritual thing later, once you have the big house and toys. Of course, he is an elder and they are incredibly socially prominent and admired through their circuit. Funny how that is.
Welcome Mr. Theocratic
Your comments are spot on. I have too much invested to go anywhere else(some 35 years). I would say in our Hall it's 50/50 between the Hardcore and those going through the motions. Our Elders do watch the Flock closely, by phone calls and visits. You would literally have to walk away and tell them not to bother you for them to leave you alone. We have had 3 Single Sisters do that very thing this year (but not get DF).
Hope to hear more from you and your experiences.
I agree with nowwhat
I've chewed on this a little bit more since last night, and I'm still not sure about it. Maybe we're taking too small a sample or too few anecdotes and extrapolating it or them to the overall situation. I can see how a lot of you are saying what you are about JWs not believing it all and just staying in for family, for social reasons, just in case it's right, etc. But are you saying that based on only a few individuals? I hear some refer to a friend or two. But what about everybody else? My wife works with three JWs who have completely swallowed it all. So maybe at this point we need more input to really grasp the situtation. I do believe that my area is like nowwhat's - full of a bunch of "nodding brain dead drones", including all the elders (except one) in all the congregations.
I do agree and have said several times on this site that JWs in genreral aren't what they used to be in that they don't have the depth, the boldness, the ability, the zeal, etc. that those of former times did. For example, they no longer sit around by hotel pools after dist convention sessions and have deep conversations about Bible prophecy the way they once did. However, that's because of the changes in doctrine, the dumbed down situation in the org, the fact that their main end times prophecies seem to be beyond their expiration date, etc.
However, for the most part, they do seem to believe it. They do seem to almost idolize the GB. They do seem to have swallowed completely all the JWdotORG stuff and the Caleb and Sophia type stuff. As I've already said, maybe some of you are going just by anecdotal evidence in your area, and maybe I'm doing the same. But what about other anecdotal evidence such as all the videos from this summer (which I have copies of) that showed all the hype around the international conventions. I saw a whole bunch of gullible true believers.
I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm really interested in this subject. I just want to consider all angles and discuss it thoroughly and hear more input. Sir82, where are you? You're still on the inside. What's it like in your area? Stuckinarut2, same with you.
You say many of the "friends" know about the scandals and failed prophecy and just "don't care."
That's not the case where I live. If the bro's hear anything about say child abuse cases for eg, they immediately
defend the org and say the claims are lies by apostates.
But even if they believed the acusations and just "didn't care" that would be worse.
I do care!
I guess for me, what I am going by is just a "feeling" in the air. I know that sounds vague but let me try to put it in to more of a factual format.
When young people are DFd now, their "inside" friends just shrug and say "ok we'll move the wedding back 6 months cuz we want them to be in it."
Or, they dont remove them on Facebook. Im not talking the older ones here I am talking about the 20-30 yr olds.
Everyone is going to college and "pioneering" this is fake service with a bunch of young people piled in someones mini van with their Starbucks in one hand and phones in the other riding around early in the morning dropping mags off at gas stations. Their parents are FINE with this because the only other young people are g.o.n.e.
The 30- 50 yr olds seem the most "in" because they have the little children and they have to. But you can see the discontent on their faces. THEIR way around things is they both work (they have to - its this wicked sysytem ya know) and use their busy schedules to act as a governor does on a car between them and the demanding Org. They also have very "in" parents they have to mollify.
Then you have the older ones - the men seem very in to me still for some reason. The single older sisters seem more to be adapting and questioning. Recently two older relatives - both women called my DFd son and expressed a desire to re-establish contact with him. One stated time is passing and she is getting older. The other said, "the Society has gotten way off track with DF policy and she is quietly doing her own thing now.
If you saw them at the Hall you would call them them staunchly faithful but NO - not in their heads and hearts - just in their actions.
I have also noticed the category o f "I cant do more "because Im sick" has quadrupled. This was always the time honored way for a sister to back off while her husband kept his position. Instead of just one or two now, theres a club of them in every Hall.
I know one young sister who has been pioneering forever that just got "accidentally" pregnant and had a baby and her big secret confession was - "it was the only way I could stop pioneering without people judging me."
Other people who have always been what I consider more of the "thinkers" like Magnum mentioned above, are leaving the mainstream Witnesses and moving to alternate forms. Sign language is big. So is foreign language. I would say 1/4 of the used to be population of our Hall has migrated in to that. Is it because it is more grass roots in feel and therefore reminds them of the earlier days in the Org.?
These are just a few of the changes I have seen. Now that I only go to a meeting once about every 6 weeks, more and more of the "friends" are telling me about their own doubts and struggles. I wont go in to that here as that is their story to tell but apparently once you are seen as having issues (that is how I am seen) people feel more comfortable expressing their own doubts.