A Beloved and Compassionate Elder Trapped in a Cult Just Died , What should I do?

by TastingFreedom 41 Replies latest jw friends

  • Curtains

    hi tastingfreedom

    I'm so glad you had someone like this to talk to.

    He confided doubts about the organization, and even said, "Even if all the promises are not true (he implied that things may not be true), I still have no regrets, This life hasn't been too bad." He saw his mom and dad die while waiting for paradise, and he himself died waiting for that utopia...it never happened. Broken dreams over and over again.

    He once told me, he would rather make a mistake in being compassionate and being forgiving by not DFing someone, then the other way around it. I could see his struggle with those tough decisions he was forced to make by the rest of the body of elders. He still spared many people from being shunned, because he knew how painful it was.

    When I was going through my fading process, he confided to me that if he wasn't too old he would also take a chance at life. Being born into JWs,this is all he had known and I'm sure fear and his status made it very difficult to consider a different life. It was probably very difficult for him to start from scratch in life in his late 70s. But he was true to himself in many ways, he was never a "Yes man" type of guy, he would argue and defend his positions.

    there are many like him - men, women and children. I would go to the funeral and leave a bunch of flowers with a short note saying how much I appreciated him. But you have to do what you consider best.

  • dozy

    Sorry for your loss. There are still a (rapidly diminishing) few decent elders in the Org who stand up to the party machine and are prepared to face the consequences. I know a couple who also have been passed over for circuit or district assignments.

  • TastingFreedom

    If anybody is interested, here is an update to this thread.

    So, this last Saturday we went to the memorial talk supposedly for our friend who passed away. It was in huge complex with two kingdom hall structures. Over 800 people, most of which we knew. We got there early and remained in the car for 20 mins, prior to walking into the hall.
    We had to prepare psychologically, be ready for the shunning. We were very sharp in our own way with a clear mission: to pay respects to a beautiful human being.
    I had a sports coat, goatee, boots...definitely not complying with their rules.
    We walked in with our heads high up, looking better than ever!
    Not weak, not emotional, not pitiful, which was probably what JWS expect to see in the people that no longer belong in a congregation. The attendants avoided talking to me, since they recognized me as an ex-elder who is now being defiant. When we sat down, we could hear the whispering," so and is here, did you see them?"
    It was hilarious! Some people discreetly showed sympathy and excitement to see us. But the majority pretended like we were not there, and we also pretended like we didn't know anybody. So it worked out pretty good.
    Just like everybody had predicted, this memorial was not about him but a marketing campaign using his image to recruit new members (infomercial). His life was condensed to 15 mins and everything had to do with what he did for the watchtower.
    Then a 30 min talk about resurrection, the same crap as ever. No mention Of the things that really mattered to him personally.
    Being in there listening to this boring talk got me a headache, very sleepy and dumbed down.
    It's almost like people are being hypnotized, perfect conditions for indoctrination and programming the mind with cult propaganda. The people look like drones, no emotions, it was really strange in a sick way.
    We had enough of it after that talk, didnt wait to sing or the prayer.
    Everything had been planned down to every word, I'm sure the widow had no saying in who would give the talk. One of the elders that he really disliked was going to do the closing prayer.
    It was all a sham, a fraud for what he truly represented.

    We had to storm out of that place to show disapproval for who was doing the closing prayer.
    While everybody was still sitting down, we got up and got the hell out of there.
    All people were staring and looking.
    Anyway, I have done my part to give closure.
    We confronted our fears And overcame all those scary dragons in the shadow.

    RIP my friend RF.

    I have to admit that the shunning is painful, inhuman and unnatural. Once I made it home, I started digesting it, it just felt awkward.
    If JW's only realized how many dissenters there are, just how many of us there are around the world, they would not be so afraid to be themselves. We saw many expressions of sympathy like "finger greeting", wide-open eyes, smiles, etc... but people are fearful. It's like a dictatorship where they have tough repressive methods to abolish individual freedoms.

    If they would only lose the fear of being isolated, if they knew that they will not ostracized, that life goes on...

    If they could also apply Isa. 60:22 "The little one shall become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation; I, Jehovah, will hasten it in its time." for those that don't agree with the Watchtower hierarchy.

  • Broken Promises
    Broken Promises

    Your leaving before the song and prayer will give them even more gossip fodder.

    Condolences for your friend.

  • JRK

    I had that experience getting shuffled to to the back of the Hall when one of my best friends ever died. I got shuffled in with his best friends that were worldly, it was a good experience. I still love Mike, my brother forever! Fuck the Hall and the "Brothers." Keep on with what you gotta do.


  • Dagney

    So proud of you guys. It's good for them to see you, and also good for them to talk...keeps you in their mind, wondering. And leaving before the prayer, bravo!

    The memorial talks are horrible aren't they? They were always bad, but now that we are out, they are pathetic infomercials. Sitting in the front row of the KH about a year ago next to my brother, the COBOE, listening to the pathetic talk about my mother's passing was awful. The "brother" actually said after he named the surviving family, "but more important to xxxxx was her 'spiritual' family." Can you imagine!!! It got even worse. Grrrrrr.

    But as we have said many times to each other, the cost is dear... this leaving. But we are free...and no value can be placed on this feeling. The shunning is inhuman and unnatural. Who knows what the future brings. In the mean time, we'll just hold hands and stick together. xx

  • VIII

    Your descriptions of your friend and the funeral were incredible. You showed tremendous strength in going. Entering the KH like that was brave!

    Being in there listening to this boring talk got me a headache, very sleepy and dumbed down.
    It's almost like people are being hypnotized, perfect conditions for indoctrination and programming the mind with cult propaganda. The people look like drones, no emotions, it was really strange in a sick way.

  • Scully

    If you can afford it, make a donation on his behalf to a cause that he would have enjoyed supporting - something like the SPCA or medical research or youth services or to a local tree-planting group to spruce up neighbourhoods. They'll send a card to the family. You can make it anonymous so you won't be a target of gossip. Send your condolences to the family as well, so they know you haven't ignored his passing, without mentioning your donation. When the weather is nicer and you have a garden, plant a perennial in his memory. (I started a similar memory garden for family members who passed away.)

  • TastingFreedom

    Thank you my dear friends for your kind words of sympathy and support!

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Did it go kind of like this?


    REMARKS REGARDING THE DECEASED (Use any that apply and are appropriate.)

    Details regarding age, birth, when married, and so forth
    By whom the deceased is survived
    Dedication record, including privileges of service
    Exemplary qualities displayed by the deceased (Eccl. 7:1)


    Worshiped Jehovah, the God of wisdom, justice, love, power
    Had faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12)
    Appreciated God's purpose regarding earth (Gen. 1:28)
    Sure to be realized (Isa. 11:9; 55:10, 11; Rev. 21:4) Why good people die
    Disobedience of Adam (-Gen. 3:19; contrast with Genesis 2:7.) Offspring inherited deat6 (Rom. 5:12) Condition of the dead
    Soul is mortal (Ezek 18:4, 20)
    Dead are unconscious (Ps. 146:4; Eccl. 3:19; 9:5, 10)
    The resurrection hope
    Made possible by sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Matt. 20:28)
    Christ's resurrection a guarantee (1 Cor. 15:22, 23)
    God uses Jesus to raise the dead (John 5:28, 29)
    For the anointed, resurrection is to heavenly life (1 Cor. 15:51-54; Rev. 20:4, 6)
    "Other sheep" resurrected to life in earthly Paradise (Luke 23:43; John 10:16)
    Armageddon survivors can hope to see the deceased one again soon
    Others too are in line for resurrection (Ads 24:15)


    Can comfort the bereaved; loss is mutual
    Take to heart uncertainty of life (Ps. 90:12; Eccl. 7:2)
    Makes us think about how we are using our life


    While living, make good name with Jehovah God (Eccl. 7:1)
    Lay up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:19-21)
    One way is to take zealous part in witness work, if qualified (Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20)
    In this way and by godly conduct, we contribute to sanctification of Jehovah's name
    (Prov. 27:11)
    Resurrection hope an incentive to learn and do divine will(l Cor. 15:58)

    (Note: Instead of eulogizing the deceased, use the material in this outline to give a fine witness concerning the truth. Good balance should be observed in this regard. Doctrinal points can be presented as beliefs of the deceased, which served as motivation for him. Purpose of talk is to uphold Jehovah God as a God of love and mercy and at the same time bring comfort to the bereaved. Use of a song such as No. 102 (53) or 187 (93) is optional. A brief prayer at the close is fitting When arrangement is made to go to the grave, it is well to consider quite briefly the hope through the Kingdom, reading one or two scriptures, such as Job 14:14, 15 and 1 Corinthians 15:5413-57. This service may also be closed with prayer, thanking Jehovah for the resurrection hope, which is of great comfort. The talk need not exceed 30 minutes.)

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