Not that I'm groveling at your feet or anything.....but thanks for the thought and effort of putting up this thread.
I was working one day, and some old sisters came by to return my m-i-l next door from service. I went out to say hello. They were so pleased - all 4 of them. They had placed approx 4 mags EACH that day!
I complimented them - they beamed. I asked if they actually had spoken to anyone in any length? "No.....but by getting the magazines into their hands, with Jehovah's spirit...who knows?" And now they have more Return Visits!
As has been brought out, 24 magazines given out, most likely paid for in advance by those little women. All monitary expenditure taken on by those little women - happily.
Good business system for the WTBTS.
ps: edited to add a civil *howdy*.
::: Was this not sometimes referred to as a “systematic” study of the Bible? :::
Quite right and it was a set up. I’m sure you remember being told to put off the student’s questions as much as possible and tell them that in time they would all be answered and to make sure to keep to the book. I think the ‘truth book’ was probably the most effective ‘study aid’ ever produced by the Society. What it did was first tear down all your beliefs by ‘exposing’ all the ‘false teachings’ you had been exposed to and then once you had no more faith in your religion you were like a dry sponge wanting something to take it’s place and voila! : “Well, here I am, sweetheart!”
A new, soft sell approach is in effect now. The ‘Knowledge’ book carefully skirts the controversial subjects and presents the information in a ‘positive’ format. Of course it’s not nearly as effective as the old, ‘truth’ book in ‘bringing people in’.
Hello, there. Thanks for stopping by and saying hello.
You said: “Good business system for the WTBTS.” Yes, it’s proven to be a very good system even with lots of publishers ‘taking advantage’ by picking up literature they would not otherwise get. Some were quick to realize that all you had to do was put ‘something’ in the box and no one would question it so they began stocking up on WT and Awake bound volumes and Insight books and large print Bibles for their home library. Some started picking up several books and began giving them out to their friends and playing Santa Claus while not contributing a dime for the material. We got a couple of letters from the Society on the matter and were told to ‘monitor’ that situation.
I laughed when I read it. Monitor? It was their stupid system set up to avoid paying taxes and now they wanted us to ‘discreetly inform the publishers that it cost money to produce the literature …’ in other words, tell them they are expected to fork out the cash! I never told anyone anything. I saw one ‘sister’ at a local supermarket that had five large print Bibles on the rear deck of the car. They had been exposed to the sun from being under the back glass and were swollen up to twice their size! Ah, well, so much for the ‘new, simplified procedure’!
I've really enjoyed your post, Frenchy. Scully, you too.
I am proud of myself in that during the 4 years I spent my last congregation (after I left home and became a starving college student) I can only remember putting a contribution in the box once!
I used to get the magazines in Spanish and English.
I must say that at least the Spanish speakers appreciated the literature. If it weren't for them, field service would have been even more EXTREMELY dull.
Nombre de Publicador: cellomould
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke
WOW, Frenchy---AWESOME post!
The WTS is nothing more than a great MLM (Network marketing scheme). If you have ever been to an MLM meeting, you will make the connection. It's the same premise. I think that is what started opening my eyes was going to one, it seemed all too familiar.
This is definitely a "must keep" post. Great job!
"I must stand up in search of the truth, if I don't, I only roll with the flow of the lie and make it stronger.
I’VE BEEN DROPPING IN ON SEVERAL OF THESE DISCUSSIONS FOR SOMETIME NOW. I FIND THEM SOMETIMES INTERESTING AND AMUSING. I WAS SO CALLED ‘BORN IN TO THE TRUTH’ SOME 45 YEARS AGO. MY MOTHER STUDIED WITH, THEN CALLED BIBLE STUDENTS, SOME 60 YEARS AGO WITH HER MOTHER AND FATHER. I WAS NEVER BABTIZED. INSTEAD I RAN OFF AS SOON AS I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO MAKE IT ON MY OWN AND MARRIED A VERY WORLDIE DIRTY OLD MAN AND LIVED LIFE IN THE FAST LANE FOR A WHILE. ANYWAY THE POINT IS I WAS ALSO VERY BITTER TWARDS THE SOCIETY REGARDING SEVERAL ISSUES THAT SEEMED RATHER CONTRADICTORY TO ME, AND IT LEFT A VERY NEGITIVE IMPRINT ON ME FOR A LONG TIME UNTIL ONE DAY I WOKE UP AND REALIZED THAT THESE ARE JUST PEOPLE. THEY ARE NOT SAINTS OR SOME HIGHER FORM OF LIFE FORCE, JUST PEOPLE. THEY MAKE MISTAKES AND SOMETIMES BIG ONES. BUT FOR THE MOST PART THEY ARE TRYING TO DO THE BEST THAT THEY CAN TO BE AS CLOSE TO WHAT THEY BELIEVE JEHOVAH WANTS AND EXPECTS OF THEM. I THINK BY CONVINCING YOUR SELF THEY ARE ONLY IN IT FOR $$$$ AND TO USE PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD TO GET IT IS RATHER PARRANOID. I HAVE; UNFORTUNATELY, SOME X-FRIENDS AND EX-INLAWS WHO ARE CRACK ADDICTS AND SOME OF THESE REPLIES SOUND AMAZINGLY LIKE THEM. BELIEVE ME I AM NOT TRYING TO BE A SMART ASS OR OFFEND ANYONE AT ALL. I CAN REMEMBER SOUNDING VERY MUCH THE SAME WAY WHEN I HAD A CHIP ON MY SHOULDER. OK, BOMBS AWAY…..
Welcome to our forum. As you've noted, most of us are x-jw's, but some still in good standing within our congregations.
Is it wrong to talk about the negative aspects of this religion? No more wrong than any jehovah's witness talks about ALL other religions. No more wrong than the Watchtower teaches all it's followers about ALL other religions. In fact, the Watchtower teach that all people (unless mental or on a deserted island) will be destroyed by Jehovah if they don't become Jehovah's Witnesses and Armageddon comes.....which it's due Any Time Now.
So that you don't think I'm just saying "they talk about others, so can I" - there's more to this. I'm just a PERSON. The WTBTS teaches their followers - and they're followers believe them - that as an organization, the WTBTS, acting as the Faithful & Discreet Slave Class, is God's Only Channel to Mankind. Thus, taking the place of Jesus Christ, who said he fulfilled this obligation.
Big Difference. Me - a publisher woman = no status, zip. WTBTS - God's Only Channel to Mankind = standing next in line to God.
As Frenchy once said, (paraphrasing) when a person or organization claims to be "just like the rest of us" - but then teaches it has the answers, it tells me I must cut off all relations with my family (if they leave WT), if it tells me that I must refuse blood/blood components which most likely could save my, or one of my beloved family life - then that person/organization better be right.
And they aren't. And what do they say when they're wrong? "Hey! We're human, just like the rest of you!" What they don't say outright is "But you still must obey us or God'll kill you."
Do I have a chip on my shoulder? Sometimes, particularly when my 80 year old mother in law comes to my husband & store, starts crying right there, and we're trying to hug her and stop the tears. Why's she crying? Because my husband's been a jw since birth (57 years) and she terrified that he'll be killed at Armageddon by Jehovah and won't be resurrected. If he's not resurrected, then he won't be there when his father is resurrected - and what will she tell her husband? You see, she wants us all to live happily everafter in earthly Paradise.
So we hug her, stop the tears till next time. I don't tell her of the things I've learned about the WTBTS. She's spent 80 yrs believe them as God's Only Organization - and that any who aren't in it are going to be killed by Jehovah, now including her son.
As for your crack friends being xjw's? There are people in the WTBTS, and there are people out of it, who make bad decisions - just like any other organization.
That would be our point - the WT is just another religion. The one difference is that we can't leave, speak out, and keep our families. We're considered the worst kind of scum - apostates.
Welcome to our world.
ps: Your posts would be a lot easier to read, and respond to, if you'd take your CAPS off. Looks like you're yelling at us. You want to communicate? Great. You want to yell? Not really interested.
Thanks for the welcome,waiting
Sorry about the caps. I do that because it is easier for me to type and not make spelling errors. Just took keyboarding class at college and didn't like it much. Anyway regarding the "not being allowed to retain relationships with non-believer family members", i've heard that alot but have not personally expierenced it. In fact i still have friends who are still in the "truth" and have no problems as far as associating with them and they associate regularly with thier family's believers or not. What if a husband is and the wife is not? or vice versa? there is quite a lot of that. Anyway some of the posts seem extreem to say the least.
Yeah, we get *extreme* in here, just like any group of walking wounded of all races, all usually adult ages, all professional backgrounds, all countries, most sexual preferences - and it get's political on top of that! We just give & take and go on.
As for the shunning, it's true. The official stance of the WTBTS is to have no contact with adult family members (except for family business) if they leave the WT either by disfellowshipping (thrown out due to alledged sin, or the action got to be known, even if the sinner is repentant) or disassociation (person saying they no longer wish to be known as a Jehovah's Witness - no sin necessary).
Actually, da'ing is the heavier burden for those who leave, imo, because they've done nothing wrong - and are now considered as one of Satan's seed, worst than imperfect sinners. We may still love God, our families, our friends, but all jw's are taught that God will kill us at Armageddon with no hope of a resurrection.
As with my m-i-l, she feels her only hope for her son is that he dies BEFORE Armageddon, so that God might resurrect him. But IF her son dies with an "unrepentant" attitude (i.e. - he doesn't want to be part of the WT), then she believes he will never be resurrected. That's called the Second Death, burning in the Lake of Fire (not actually Hell - no flames).
So, we understand her pain. Our choice is to be complete hypocrites and go to the meetings where we strongly feel that the WT is lying, and misguiding people......or remain quiet around the local jw's. If we remain quiet, and never go into another church, remain non-political, take no blood, don't tell anybody about the things we've learned by researching the jw history, IF we do all that - then the local elders might leave us alone.
If we slip up? Then we'll be da'd......and his mother will be crushed, as then she feels we'll experience the Second Death. And that's The Worst Thing Which Can Happen to a Jehovah's Witness.
Would she talk to us if we're da'd? To a limited degree if no one knew about it, probably. Would her other son, the elder, talk to him? No, he's made that plain to us. They have a son who's been df'd for 10 yrs. They speak within limits to him, allow him to sit in their house. But they refuse to share a meal with him or allow him to sleep over when he, his wife & kids visit. Not even coffee. The last trip home, the young family drove 15 hours to see them - and ate at McDonald's.
Different areas enforce da'ing & df'ing differently. Depends upon the elders primarily. But it's always enforced, the only difference is to what degree.
I hope I've been able to show you why we come across bitter sometimes. Some of us have lost everything and everyone we ever loved. We've lost jobs, education, homes, retirement funds, even the lives of our loved ones.
I was fortunate --- my kids walked away before me. Independent suckers. And I'm soooooooo thankful now. But when I was in, and they were out.....I was almost as bad as my m-i-l.
You really cut to the chase. Thank you for taking the time to share your insights about the so-called Jehovah's "spirit" directed organization.
I'm glad you shared your opinion.
Yes, it is true that many people that participate in this forum are very bitter towards WTS and witnesses themselves. Sometimes they have difficulty separating the two. I struggle with this myself sometimes. When family cut you off for 20+ years because you don't share their devotion to the Society, the line becomes blurry as to where the organization ends and the people themselves begin.
In this thread, I certainly did not see where anyone was bashing witnesses themselves. From the perspective of being EX's, many here see the absurdity of how they believed that they were actually preaching the good news. Now, how cystal clear it is to them that they were merely supporting a publishing empire.
Thank you all again.
Welcome to the board and thank you for your observations and for taking the time and effort to reply to this post. To a person who was never baptized into ‘the truth’ I suppose that a lot of what goes on here may seem strange. It may even appear as if we have a chip on our shoulder and are unduly bitter about what is after all, just a religion. But…that is only to a person who has never talked the talk and walked the walk.
What makes ex-JW’s so bitter when other people leave their religion and move on with no apparent ill feelings toward it at all? The answers to that question could very well fill a book. I would ask that you consider just one of those reasons, one that waiting explained very well in her post.
When I was a young man, virtually all of the adult witnesses were converts from other religions. I’m very well known in my area and, in turn, I know a great many people, yet, I do not know of a single individual who, after leaving his/her religion, became embittered about it. I find that very significant and so I have pondered over this for a long time. The following is a very common example of what oftentimes happens to persons who are drawn into ‘the organization’.
Imagine being approached by a kindly old man or lady with Bible in hand and being told that God has a marvelous purpose and that this purpose includes you. After being ‘shown’ all the errors of your religion and being told how you have been maliciously lied to and purposefully deceived by the satanic clergy which are your church’s leadership you are left hollow, confused, hurt, scared, and without purpose in life. Long before you can become bitter you are given a marvelous hope, a hope of everlasting life in a beautiful paradise where all your troubles will be gone, where you will see your dead loved ones again…your father, mother, or perhaps that child of yours who’s untimely death still tears at your heart.
At this point you’re told that you will meet some resistance from your family for your new found faith. You are told to expect persecutions and ridicule from ‘those that do not understand’. The truth of the matter (although you cannot recognize this) is that it’s your attitude (your new feeling of superiority at ‘knowing’ things that your family does not) that is doing most of the alienating in the first place, that along with your family’s gut feeling that there is something wrong here. And they are right. Soon you will be taken from them in ways that neither you nor they can full appreciate at the time.
You are pulled into the group and you begin making new friends and gradually you are weaned away from any and all who do not subscribe to your new religious ideals. You are warned that ‘bad associations spoil useful habits’ and then the term ‘bad associations’ is given a new definition, one that replaces any and all others. You are told that ‘bad associations’ are anyone who ‘does not serve Jehovah’. That means your mother and father, your brother and sisters, well the list goes on to include every human on earth that is not a witness.
You are encouraged to ‘witness’ to everyone you come in contact with. This serves two purposes. One is the possibility of converting yet someone else (slim chance but possible) and the other is to alienate your friends and family. The latter is what happens for the most part. After all, your family does not like being told that their priest or minister is an agent of the devil and that their religion is viewed by God as a drunken, disgusting, murdering whore that is sitting atop the governments of the world and using them for her own, devilish desires. They don’t like being told that they will die at Armageddon because they don’t have the ‘truth’. They don’t like your not putting your head down at the table when your father is saying grace. They don’t like your not letting your children accept birthday presents from their grandparents. You mother doesn’t like not getting a mother’s day card from you anymore. Your family misses you around Christmas time. They worry that if you’re in an accident that you will refuse blood and die. They worry that this could happen to your children. They have to be careful what they say around you now because you’re likely to get on your soap box and start preaching to them.
Now you have virtually no friends and your family is very uneasy around you. You are reminded of how you were told at the beginning that once people saw that you were a worshipper of the true God that they would have nothing to do with you. You see them as right and you turn to the only source of human companionship now available to you…the brotherhood.
One day after having been told for decades not to plan for the future because ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ has said that the end is imminent, you realize that you are at an age where you brothers and sisters, cousins, past acquaintances are all retiring and you find yourself with nothing and still there is no end in sight. You begin to question that after which you are promptly told that it’s not proper to question the Society. You wake up one day and realize that some of the things you were taught from the beginning have been changed. You are told that this is all proper and as it should be and that you are not to question that either. Now you’re getting a little nervous, you cautiously start looking around and you begin to see many, many things that are not right and not as they were represented to you. You question again and again you are told that questioning the Society is tantamount to questioning God. You are warned about independent thinking.
Soon your conscience kicks in and you can no longer accept what you are being taught. You approach one of the elders and you tell your spiritual brother, your shepherd, that while you love him and all the members of the congregation, you can no longer participate in what you no longer believe in. He calls another elder over and he asks you: “Are you telling us that you no longer want to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?” And you frankly and openly tell him yes. You have just disassociated yourself and will now and forevermore (unless you repent and ask forgiveness for this vile act) be shunned by every witness on the face of the earth, including your grown children and aging parents, your brothers and sisters, and all your friends who are witnesses. They will also keep your grandchildren away from you as well. You will be treated the same way a fornicator, murderer, or thief would be treated. All because now that things you were once told were ‘the truth from God’ have now been discarded and you cannot accept this.
I hope you can see how this can and does embitter people. And this is just ONE aspect and ONE example of how easily, how quickly a person’s world can come tumbling down around him.
If you take careful note you will come to realize that most posters do not have bitter feelings toward those individuals that are still ‘in’. Their anger is at the organization’s leadership’s tactics, antics, and deceptions. I have several friends and many acquaintances that are still in. I harbor no ill will toward them for they are victims as I am. Yes, I’m still suffering from my association and like Waiting, my friend on this board, I have to swallow a lot of anger and resentment and smile when I want to scream out so that I can be with those that I love. I have to stoop to hypocrisy to be with family and friends. And what is my crime? Only one. I do not agree with all of the Society’s teachings. Note, please, that I said: “not all” for I do agree with much of what is taught. But for my not accepting those things of which I am convinced are not right, I would be disfellowshipped or disassociated (same thing, just different words for public relations reasons) and summarily ignored and viewed as unfit for association and no witness would even be allowed to conduct funeral services when I die. My wife would be punished as well. While not shunned outright, she would be ignored for the most part and no one would ever visit her at home for fear I might be there and it would be too awkward.
I know this is long but I felt that I should present this to you in an effort to give you a small glimpse of what it is that ex-witnesses face and are forced to endure. Allow some of them to tell you their stories and your heart will go out to some of them for the injustices they have suffered.