Tell your wife that you're not going to meet with them, because the results cannot benefit anyone. If she'd like to receive a visit from them, she can.
Need help with a shepherding call!
I am not ready to "out" myself just yet.
I don't want to be dishonest.
Well...you're gonna have to pick one. You're either not going to out yourself which means some level of dishonesty... or if you're hellbent on upholding some misplaced ideal of honesty, then you'll end up outing yourself without trying.
As far as what you consider 'dishonesty'...don't think of it as being dishonest. Think of it as Theocratic warfare or strategy. You're not going to share with them anything they don't need or deserve to know. Just play the same game with them that the WTS plays.
I learned to just keep my mouth shut. I didn't say anymore than necessary. I didn't try to talk my way around, out of or into anything. If asked a direct question, I answered it directly. And if I had to lie, I lied. It's not about shedding light on the WT's sins, it's not about justifying what you know and think...it's about getting them out of your house as fast as possible without saying anymore than you have to.
It'll be tough with your wife, I know. But you can let that work in your favor as well. She's irregular, she has issues. She'll feel the need to justify everything to these "spiritual men". Let her ramble and carry on and just keep out of it. As she talks, they'll end up focusing on her so much, they may not really address you. She'll wear em out. They'll be too tired and stressed to go on. And this isn't throwing your wife under the bus...she still believes...so let her believe that they're actually there to help her...for now. This is one battle of a war. Sometimes you have to retreat and re-organize for the next battle.
I like all of your comments. I think I'd prefer to remain silent than to outright lie to them and pretend that I love the meetings and service. I WILL NOT go in service though. Ever again. That, to me, would be one of the most wrong things I could ever do. I'm not spending another second in getting people to think that this org is the "truth".
I'm not spending another second in getting people to think that this org is the "truth".
Attaboy. What's The Truth anyway? It keeps on changing. It's slipperyer than a greased pig.
Yes my brother, you may have to tell a porky, (porky pie- lie in CR slang) it is called Theocratic warfare......by them !
I found that when the two Elders came to see me it was easy to tell them things they want to hear :
"I do appreciate you spending time like this bro" etc.
let them read you scriptures and do most of the talking. I would say the odds are 14 million to one that at some point they will throw in the loyalty question "Do you still believe it is God's Organization ?" or substance thereof. (TMS trademark)
You must be ready for this, and answer as you see fit, I just let the question hang in the air, without saying a word, for an embarrassingly long time, and then one of the Elders started to waffle, I steered the conversation gently away.
I also played the depression card, despite, in reality, being deliriously happy that I had left, and they wanted to hear that too.
If you wish to continue to fade, be very very careful what you say, keep it super friendly and let them leave feeling that you will work toward getting back to what you used to be.
Good luck , I will be thinking of you.
I think I'd prefer to remain silent than to outright lie to them and pretend that I love the meetings and service.
Then, you must avoid this meeting at all costs. They are experienced interrogators. You will be forced into lying, once the questions begin.
Their concern is NOT for you. Their concern is for their own STATUS and for the "cleanliness of the congregation" [having the files in order before the Circuit Overseer arrives].
I should clarify. I would LOVE to "out" myself right now. I want NOTHING to do with this org. But with my wife's mental health, I'm not sure if now is the best time. Of course, there probably is not a "best" time. Actually the last time they were at our house, I did bring up some "doubts" that I was having regarding the dates.If you recall, I brought up 1914 and 1919. The response that I got was "The Faithful Slave figured it out for us so that we wouldn't have to. How they come to some of their conclusions, well we don't need to know. It's like a puzzle. You don't need to focus on one piece. You need to focus on the entire puzzle. When you put it all together, then it all makes sense."
To me, that was the worst defense I'd ever heard. It was enough to make me not want to bring anything else up to them. Of course now my "doubts" are much more fleshed out and detailed. So I have no need to bring them up to them. I really couldn't care less about what weak defense they would give.
"Do you still believe it is God's Organization ?"
Easy one. You should answer an enthusiastic Yes! What you don't need to tell them is that the God in the question is jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully who is admirably represented by the WTS. (with thanks to Richard Dawkins)
BrotherDan, one phrase comes to mind on how you should go about this: Theocratic Warfare™.
You know their rules, you know how they operate, use that against THEM. Keep silent, only reveal information that YOU want them to know. You are still the head of the household, the elders need to know their place in the Chain of Command. Don't let them bully you, don't let them treat you both like second rate humans. Do not show them that you are 'weak'.
It's your house, your turf, don't let them take over. You can do all of this respectfully and without showing them any 'brazen' attitudes. Call up all of your diplomatic abilities and stay sharp, don't get lulled into their monologue of encouragement. You can stand your ground while putting off a 'humble' attitude.
I've been in so many JC's and non-JC elders meetings I should write a play book!
I went through a few "Sheparding" calls when I became irregular/ inactive. Funny thing was the best one I got was from one brother who claimed to be of the anointed, he was older and wasn't an elder, but he was a pioneer. He acted like he actually cared about me. He was later disfellowshipped over something I do not know anything about. He was involved in a car wreck on his way to the meeting a few weeks later and killed.......But I digress.
I found that if you just act very troubled by doubts......like you are anguishing, they are much more empathetic than if you take on an accusatory tone.
I agree with S77. It's your house, your turf. Make sure you appear humble, but take them to task, respectfully when they bring up things that are in error......like "The Faithful and Discreet Slave has provided us with plenty of spiritual food to keep us spiritually strong, and to encourage us....blah blah blah......" Just ask them to explain the FDS arrangement......We all know they won't be able to because there are so many holes in it. Then, they will see you have legitimate reasons to be discouraged.
I know it's not very well thought out, but just putting in my $.02
Good to see you posting again, BD.