How is it that well educated and financially stable people become Jehovah's Witnesses?

by 21stcenturywoman 37 Replies latest jw friends

  • kurtbethel

    In my local area we had, what I refer to as "JW Royalty". These were the third and fourth generation JW families whose fathers and grandfathers were Bethelites and PO's and DO's and CO's, all of them financially more secure and prominent than the other JW families, who sons and daughters were missionaries and Bethelites and pioneers and ministerial servants, and elders and PO's, etc. These were the Barefoots, the Johnstons, the Jensens, and the Giffords. They were more spiritual. They were born-ins, and sort of JW aristocracy.

    That is all nonsense, PublishingCult. We all know that the society practices having no social class distinctions, for they tell us so.

  • WhatWasIThinking

    As others brought up mine was due to emotional reasons. I was at a low point in my life and dealing with what seemed like to much to handle. The JWs seemed nice and caring, the message was good, and I was rushed to baptism before I really investigated the religion. Once things settled down I opened my eyes and really started to research the org. It was at that time I realized I had been misled. I still look back on my time in and wonder how I could have been so dumb and easily misled.

  • jaguarbass

    When I was a witness, I lived in an affluent area, the people were financially stable and well off.

    I wouldnt call them well educated.

    What does well educated mean?

    I was born in the tower in the 50's.

    I work today in a jail. The economy has been so bad for the past 10 years that they hire

    people with double masters degrees to be jailers/ detention officers. Everybody they hire

    has a bachelor or masters degree. And they dont seem so smart to me. I think a 2011 bachelor

    degree is like a 1968 graduation from junior high and a 2011 masters is like a 1971 high school

    diploma. Actually a 1971 high school diploma had much more buying power.

    Some of them have degrees and believe in God and some have degrees and believe in no god.

    THe watchtower society is a business. Businesses thrive by creating a need and then filling it.

    I've been out of the tower since 83, I dont know what the Jw's are selling nowadays.

    When my mother sold my soul to the tower they were selling eternal life and a new world order starting in 1975.

    Most of those folks are dead now and 75 came and went. I dont know what the Towers selling nowadays.

    But based on the number of people on this board the societys selling something and somebodies buying it.

  • doofdaddy

    Mental illness isn't limited to the "uneducated"...

  • dozy

    This might be an American thing - I suppose in a culture where most people are religious , becoming a Christian (of whatever denomination) is fairly common amongst people of all walks of life.

    From a European (UK) perspective , things are different. In my experience , very few people get baptised ( other than children of JWs ) & those who do invariably have some family connection. People who are well educated & financially stable just don't become JWs. I remember a policeman who was baptised a few years ago (he had an affair with a married JW , who was DFd , married her & eventually became a JW) and that was a very unusual event - an adult being baptised who actually had quite a decent job. He became something of a poster boy and was interviewed at the assembly about how he became interested in the truth ( being a bit vague about the actual details.)

    Amongst JWs in the UK , there is something of a "middle class flight". Children of aspirational JWs don't take up the religion and the only people coming in are (to put it kindly) not always the best quality of people.

  • watersprout

    They target the vunerable... The ones who have come from abusive homes and are looking for that peace and love the dubbies pretend to offer. Being well educated or not doesn't matter when it comes to mind control.

    The headship rule does attract the controlling husbands and fathers.



    The only affluent people in our congo were the NON DUB husbands whose bored-as-hell-housewife spouses had joined up.

    Seemed anyone with an education or could read past a 3rd grade level was onto them!

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Cult mind control is indiscriminate. Most non-WT cults actually do most of their recruiting on college campuses. It isn't about education so much as information. How many "educated" JWs are informed about the psychology of persuasion/coercion and high control groups? A business major, an engineer, a computer scientist, might not have even taken a psych 101 class.

    Yes, lack of education is used as a tool by the WT, but for retention, not recruitment.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I started a thread about this several months ago. Growing up, I felt scummy that a lawyer, doctor, architect, MSW, was so rare. My hunch was that only converts were professional. Of course, the very few professionals we had were exalted within JW. They were almost legendary. I recall that Dritz of Dritz Sewing was a Witness. It was talked about infinitum. There was a story that someone knocked on Jackie Kennedy's door (as tho you can knock on a Fifth Ave. co op door and get past the doorman and her personal security). We were so excited that someone might even hear the name JW.

    Several people responded to my thread that all people are emotionally vulnerable. I haven't read Steve Hassan's book yet but several people recommended it to me. Mind control works on the affluent and educated, too. My brother is very bright. He headed for University of Chicago with a scholarship. It was such a victory for a working poor family. With his Witness background, he was recruited by Maoists almost immediately. He was clearly brainwashed. In the 60s, Maoism had a certain allure for those on the left. My brother was a zombie. He never saw the parallel between my fanatical JW father and his zealotry for Maoism.

    I believe education makes you more resilient but it is not foolproof. There is a thread on college income vs. high school income. My view is that income is a very important consideration. For me, however, college exposed me to a new way of thinking. Law school further refined it for me. The teaching method to learn the law is the case method. They start with a story and a court ruling. The prof changes the facts slightly to see if they make a difference in the ruling. Lectures would be useless. Now I approach everything with attention to detail. I was brainwashed in a positive way. It might ruin a creative person's mind, though. My world view changed fuindamentally. I gained confidence. Before college, I just hated JW. Now I can analyze why I hate them and put them in a historical and sociological context so their claims to infallibility are exclusivity are comical rather than terrifying.

    I have a suspicion that a more educated person might be probe to leave sooner. Affluent people are still human with vulnerabilities. My grandfather converted when his wife died in childbirth. The family Russian Orthodox priest was so upset by her death that he said he did not understand God's will. Overcome by grief, my gf was relieved when a Witness knocked and offered a 567 point explanation and solution.

  • oompa

    im pretty sure that holy spirit sees their good, sincere, pure, and wealthy hearts....and directs them to his chosen people......oompa

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