I go to a women's discussion group on SL, Second Life, which is a virtual community where you do all sorts of things, including entertainment, discussion groups, media, and just socializing through the use of animated avatars which can be quite realistically human or whatever you want them to be, really, aliens, elves, dragons, vampires, etc.
Anyway, a woman there brought to the discussion a situation where she had her Real Life husband wants to divorce her for a Witness woman he had met..and get this...she had come to his door after the couple separated and offered him a Bible study, and apparently instead, it turned into a romance and then, according to the woman, her husband and this woman are hitting the sheets. (You're not supposed to call on the opposite sex alone, and do doubt this is one reason...too many lonely Witness women who'd jump on the first piece of dude they meet! LOL)
Anyway, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity for me to discuss the whole Witness thing, about what they teach and such. I might add, as it's important, that the group is run by a woman who in RL is a psychologist and a relationship counselor.
Okay, so I'm explaining that this lady won't be a Witness for much longer if her congo finds out, since premarital sex is a no no, and I explained disfellowshipping.
Turns out the counselor has had more than a little experience with Ex Witnesses, and their psychological problems, so everyone was curious and we talked about the cult aspects and such and it's a very interesting discussion and everyone is naturally appalled at how and why Witnesses disfellowship individuals. I'm chuckling evilly at this point..anything to keep anyone from ever talking to a Witness at their door ever again, you know?
Anyway, someone in the group who hadn't spoken up to this point pops in with, "Well...I'm a Jehovah's Witness and nothing you're saying is true."
I pan my viewer over to the speaker, and she's (her avatar, rather but you pick and dress them how you like) dressed like...well...a HO. Seriously...half her huge tits hanging out of a very tight low cut bustier, and a skirt so short it's more of a belt. Half her virtual buttocks are exposed.
I start to crack up. "Oh, I see you're a JeHOvah's Witness." I'm being a total snark, but since when to Witnesses dress like this even virtually?
Lots of people dress like this on SL, to be sure, but it's because it's a fantasy land and a lot of women want to be sexy and whatever. I dress my avatar pretty sexy at times, but then again, I don't claim to be a Witness anymore, either! And, I'm usually out "clubbing" (virtually) with my husband, anyway, we go dancing and to listen to the music we like. I'm mainly doing it for him, because hey, we're 50, but we're not dead yet, you know?
Anyway, everyone is cracking up, because I've just described how "Amish" Witnesses can be, and all, and how they are pretty Puritanical sexually speaking, no sex without marriage, no homosexuality, and how extreme modesty is proscribed for Witness women.
The counselor turns to the Witness and says, "Is it your fantasy to dress so provacatively because you can't do that in RL?" and the woman admits, that yes, she can't dress like this in RL, but she wants to be sexy and attractive who doesn't? She also admitted that she's on SL to have "virtual romance" which some people on SL do...it's a romance confined to the SL world. Sometimes, as in any internet encounter, this bleeds over into RL if the people desire it, but there are many people who have a RL relationship and then another virtual one on SL, including virtual "partnership"which amounts to virtually acting out living together or marriage...sex included by means of fairly realistic bodily parts (avatars can be made anatomically correct, including working genitalia) and animations.
I ask her a few very specific questions about DF that she can't really come up with a good defense, everyone else tells her to "give up, you're defending an ancient tribal practice from the Stone Age that's barbaric and has no place in a world that professes to be civilized" (my Pagan friend who was there added that, which I love!) and we went on with the discussion. I also compared DF to "emotional prison" as it's purpose is the same as the reason we imprison criminals...to isolate them from the rest of society and to punish them for a "misdeed". We then discussed it fro that point of view, whether prison is merely repression of behavior, control or actual change or rehabilitation. Are Witnesses really changing people with DFing or just punishing them enough that they'll do anything to end the very real punishment of shunning, isolation?
I'm going to continue to go there every morning I can and continue the discussions and see what happens.
But, I'd like to think that we gave the JeHOvah's Witness something to think about.