Is there no hope? (daughter getting baptized)

by camicia 43 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • steve2

    For goodness sake, can't you see that your active opposition is feeding her determination to join? You have done everything the JWs have told her opposers do. You really have to get a grip on your behaviour and your emotions. She's 23 not 13. Allow her to exercise her choice. Besides, there's a saying that they quickest route to leaving the religion is to get baptized. You probably already know that a large proportion of young ones who join, don't last.

    In the meantime, cut the emotional blackmail. I laughed out loud when you said you had forbidden her from studying the religion in your house. Talk about helping her fan the flames of persecution. You mirror the intolerance JWs show to others...nice one. Not.

    Be there for her through thick and thin, but above all else, be there for her when she leaves. God knows she'll need you then when the JWs turn their backs on her.

  • pirata

    Direct opposition will likely not work. I know a guy whose parents were not happy when he quit University to get baptized and pioneer. He was not allowed to return to live at home unless he stopped being one of Jehovah's Witnesses. It seems he was struggling for a while, so they were likely hoping that this would be enough to change his mind. All it seemed to do was feed the persecution complex.

    Continue to support her and let her know that you care about her and want her to understand all sides of the subject before she makes her decision. Above all, emphasize that she's still your daughter no matter what. Emphasize that whatever decision she makes, you'll still love her and still be her mother. Contrast this with the disfellowshipping arrangement where a former JW family member is shunned when they change their beliefs.

    If she is willing, ask her to read "Crisis of Conscience", available as a PDF from ( or as a book on Offer to read it together (reserve judgement and commentary if you can, she should be able to come to a conclusion on her own). I say to offer to read it together, because if she is wishy-washy she may not have the incentive to read it on her own, but still be willing to do it with you. It is written by a former Governing Body member. The author (Raymond Franz) shows no bitterness, still loves the Bible and God, and does not try to push the reader into another belief system.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Agreed with pirata's recommendation that she read Crisis of Conscience. At the same time, you need to read Combatting Cult Mind Control by Steve Hassan.

    Knowing how the cult operates and the effects it has on your daughter will help you.

  • jgnat

    Steve2 says it tough, but I'm with him. Young adults in their mid-twenties are working out who they are - separate from their parents. You push them hard, and they will run in the other direction. Unfortunate that your non-conformist is running right in to the arms of conformity.

    There's plenty of hope, and I'll tell you why in a moment.From now on I want you to celebrate your daughter's independence and ability to make smart choices...even if it is in to the arms of the Witnesses. You are going to become her biggest fan. Sure, you are going to have to choke down your fears and cynicism. But I want you to have the long view. After their twenties comes the thirties, and real maturity. You want to keep the communication lines open for when she is ready to leave the society.

    Would you say a young woman who gets pregnant at 21 and forgoes college, that her life is over? Harder, yes. Not nearly over.

    How about a mentally ill young man who hits the streets hard and gets addicted to drugs? Hellishly hard, but he dragged his way back. With the communication lines with his mom still intact, known that he is loved, but finally admitting that his lifestyle was killing him.

    A star athlete who in a freak accident, is paralyzed from the waist down?

    As much as we want to save our children from all pain, people do suffer big setbacks. The ones who thrive are those who reframe their future on the new reality, and move on. You can help them when they are ready, not before. You might not be able to prevent some big mistakes. It is critical, though, that you do not transfer your biggest fears on them. Because they absolutely must believe that they have the inner reserves to overcome any obstacle.

    Here are some tips for what may be coming:

    • Ask to be there for the baptism. Take photos. Take her out for dinner afterwards, and be happy for her. Keep criticism at bay. [The reason I suggest this is that very often the baptism separates the cultist even farther from their family. If you are part of it, you keep the lines of communication open. You also insert a bit of reality without a word.]
    • Ask your daughter when she might be given her first speaking part. Ask to attend. Be happy for her.
    • Be random in your visits to the Kingdom Hall with big breaks in between. Don't give those pioneers any gleam in their eye.
    • When you attend a meeting, hold back on your criticism. Give non-committal answers. Your daughter is smart. What you have been saying, she has been thinking. In the past, she depended on you to voice the criticism so she could rebut it. See if you can get her to admit to the tiniest fault (i.e. boring?).
    • If your daughter ever tries to evangelize you, be very firm and direct. "You know me. Do you really want to know why I am not interested?" and "Do you really think I am under the influence of evil? How about your old friend, "xxx"? Be the reality check.
    • Invite her witness friend over for tea. Ask that it be informal, just getting to know each other, no religion please. Witnesses can be very pleasant when they take off the cult persona. This is a pre-emptive strike because very soon this friend will no longer informally visit you, because you aren't interested in a book study. The conditional friendliness will become apparent over time.

    Very common advice on this board is to delay baptism for children of Witnesses, because the consequences will be so dramatic if they get disfellowshipped. That marvellous independence in the twenties is stifled, forestalled. Your daughter is a convert, with different rules. When she leaves, she runs in to the welcoming arms of her family. Make sure she knows that you are there for her always.

  • steve2

    My hat off to jgnat who said it far more compellingly and compassionately than me! Keep an eye on the long term picture and what you can reasonably do to stay in the picture as a supporter, not a critic, of your daughter.

  • nugget

    Human beings are complicated often the more we try to stop them making mistakes the more they resist our efforts seeing loving concern as control and interference. You are just one woman fighting against a congregation to gain loyalty of your daughter.

    Witnesses are good at cutting off everything that could be a negative influence, worldly relations, worldly friends, internet, non witness material. By controlling information they get to dictate what is truthful and what its not. Everything that questions or resists the study comes from Satan so the study is involved in a glorious battle against the forces of evil. The congregation becomes the sole source of validation and approval.

    In this early stage your daughter keeps getting messages of approval and validation. By using the trick of worldly influences like the painting and the negative spirit, your daughter is told her lack of progress is to do with Satan not that there may be anything dodgey about the religion. When she fights against these forces God is pleased and her study conductor gives her validation.

    They have had decades of practice. But time is on your side. They are preaching the end is near but it is not even close so there is time. There is no quick fix. Rather than resisting your daughter try a different tack, as a first step give her motherly validation, love and approval. Tell her how much you love her and how her talants make you so proud. Encourage her writing by holding out the idea that she could submit articles to the Awake magazine. How proud that would make you to see her things in print. Remind her that you will love her no matter what that you will always be there for her. She is old enough to make her own choices even bad ones. But no choice is forever, all you can do is keep the alternative in view and get her to think about this religion that claims to be the truth. When she says that apostates are bitter people you could ask why then are witnesses so afraid of them. If witnesses tell the truth and preach the truth nothing anyone says can change that. Truth doesn't become a lie the more questions you ask. The only people that fear questions are those with something to hide.

    Be a mum she will need someone in her corner in future.

    Other people have offered excellent advice on critical thinking they know what they are talking about.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Time is running out. Although I agree with JGNAT, I would still want to spare her the ordeal of the mind-control cult if possible.

    Desparate times call for desparate measures that still might not work. I recommend contacting Steve Hassan or his people at and asking experts how to intervene.

    There are many excellent ways here and on YOUTUBE to question Jehovah's Witnesses. But I imagine you have tried many from what I read and she lumps you in with Satan's world, so call in the experts.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    There is always hope. There are no guarantees. If you have the $20K, a professional intervention is your best bet. Short of that, just be a good mom and be there for her. Don't support her cult habit but don't paint yourself as an opposer either. It's a fine line. If she's willing to listen to you still, the internet is full of stuff you can show her. If she already believes it's all from "Satan" then they already have her mind. Satan isn't real, by the way.

  • sizemik

    My hat off to jgnat who said it far more compellingly and compassionately

    LOL Steve . . . you're wearing your kick-ass boots today mate. It's all a good call though . . . and Jgnats post is worth reading several times to get your head around where you will best fit into the equation.

    She is still wavering in some areas it would appear, so OTWO's recommendation is one I would encourage you to follow up . . . but you're going to have to be subtle . . . and smart . . . you will need to do your homework very well if you're going to have success in prevention at this stage.

    Just take your time and don't present anything in such a way as to reflect negatively on her personally . . . Staying close and being her "Mum" is something you can do, as JGnat showed, and will prove to be vital to her whatever way it works out.

  • diamondiiz

    One point I like to add is that since she hasn't gone out recruiting yet means that she can't get baptized just yet. She needs to start knocking on doors before the elders allow her to get baptized. So you still have time. I agree that total opposition doesn't work as it didn't work with me, but you need to ask questions that will require answers and she needs to do research to satisfy your questions that you bring up. 607BC vs 586/7BC for the fall of Jerusalem is a good starting point because if wts is wrong with that what are the chances they are wrong about paradise earth since Jesus never preached this concept.

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