Is there no hope? (daughter getting baptized)

by camicia 43 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Quandry

    I have a daughter that is twenty-three. One thing that we know is, of course, they want independence. They want to be treated as adults and be heard.The witnesses are giving her all the attention she needs, and listening to her.

    Yes, Jgnat gave great advice, and it will be hard, but please follow it. Don't allow them to use you as a means to drive her further toward baptism.

    If you stop opposing and simply ask sincere questions, it may be better. Please do alot of research on this site. Find out about the generation changes, and the flip flops, so that you will be informed. Then carefully craft your questions in a kind, inquisitive way. Do not push. Perhaps this may help her to question.

    I am thinking that after baptism, when no one will be able to count their time spent with her, she will get less attention.

    Please hang in there. Come back here and vent to us when you need to. We understand.

  • camicia

    she is a people pleaser and looks for acceptance and conflict avoidance - Witness My Fury

    Nailed it. So I can see how a high control group that promises to take you in and do all the thinking for you (and everyone else you associate with) would appeal to her. Her exact words once were "Voicing an opinion is risky." That's just one of the many sad quotes she's come out with.

    I try to stay out of her life, and while i appreciate the advice to let her make her own decisions, she's constantly making ones that lead her further down a black hole and as much as i love her, I can't keep pulling her out. I have other children, including one with a learning disability who needs more help than all my children combined (who witnesses were calling on at one point until they found out they won't be able to convert him because he doesn't understand, he's not interested, and don't expect him to tell you so.), and it's hard for me to help her when her method of dealing with her sadness and what ever misery she's experiencing in her head (pretty certain she suffers from paranoia and delusions and this idea that EVERYONE talks about her in a negative way.) is to withdraw. She didn't go to the meeting on the weekend, and hasn't had a study this week. She's already distancing herself from her new 'friends' and this behavior cost her friendships in the past. It's like she wants to belong somewhere but she won't make an effort to. The fact that her 'friendships' with JWs aren't going anywhere because of this limited association bullshit is depressing her. And the scary thing is, she'll say "I'M TRYING TO DO WHAT THEY WANT ME TO." It's just ALL ABOUT everyone else with her. What does everyone else think, what does everyone else expect of her, etc. So god knows how the hell she'll cope with the doors, she's likely to take rejection of JW's garbage doctrine, personally. Also, she's just NOT herself around witnesses, I've seen this false persona at the hall. She's not extremely immoral, or promiscuous or into drugs and drinking, but she is on the crass side, and is attracted to that kind of person and it's not found in the hall where most people are trying to be what they can't be. But she doesn't care because at this point she thinks it's all she has. I can't imagine she's having much fun around people who act holier than thou. She argues that suppressing her old personality (in other words WHO SHE IS!) is pleasing God. I've pleaded with her "How can you love God when you can't even love yourself?"

    I've been through it with her since she was 10 years old. I won't go into it too much because this isn't a self esteem/mental disorder support forum. But that's to give you an idea where I stand. A lot of people have said let her make her own decision, and if that's to get baptized, support it, but I'm tired. And i don't want her to think I'm always going to be there for her, because one day i won't be. I can't be. And i can't support her becoming a JW. I don't want to know about it. I've told her that if she does it, she's moving out, because thats her new life and NEW FAMILY. The hall we go to isn't that friendly, it's quite clique-y and it's got a reputation amongst other congregations for being that way. So she convinced me to go to the 2 day assembly (I went to one day - and never again) to show me that it wasn't all like that. Well, it was awful. 900 or something of God's people, and maybe 5 greetings all day. At lunch hour, we walked the whole place, looking like sheep without a shepherd. Her teacher's answer was "Well, no one knows you're a study, they probably think you're witnesses." Oh, right, so the deal is make the study feel welcome, but once you're a witness, and you're still on your own, tough. That contradicts the present story: "you're not one of us yet so we limit association." Funny enough, part of the next talk inside was about widening out and my daughter took this as a sign that "Jehovah" is speaking so she's convinced again that it's the right religion, and the entire day was about putting your life aside to pioneer. Had we not car-pooled, i would have taken my car and left.

    It's incredibly hard to be in these places, and all the way home hear witnesses go on about how blessed they are in the truth and how wrong the rest of the world is living when i know THE TRUTH that they dismiss as "Satan." That's why if my daughter decides to commit this, i can't support it or listen to it. I know there are nice JW's (just like there are nice people ANYWHERE ELSE, TOO) and i'm sad for them.

    I've talked to her so much about why JW is false, that she's NOT studying the bible at all, just their literature, and she agrees, but then she says things like "It's all I have." I think she knows it's not real, but it's easier for her to stay in a lie than accept it IS a lie, if that makes any sense. Her fear of the world, if nothing else, will keep her in. And the religion constantly plays on that fear, as you know. The theme of the assembly WAS "Be no part of the world." Needless to say, she loved it and took 20 pages of notes. Her comment to me was "How can living for God and rejecting Satan's system be bad?" I honestly don't have an answer for that. I'm sure my silence is only convincing her more that this is the right thing to do. And i'm sure she replays back whatever criticisms i make to her teacher and other JWs who are loving the 'persecution.' that they've been long brainwashed to expect. That's why it feels hopeless.

    "she will get baptized only to leave the organisation for good in about 3 years from now, after which she will join our ranks and become an atheist. - DagothUr

    I hope not. I don't want her becoming an atheist because she has been brainwashed to believe her relationship with Jesus has anything to do with how many doors she knocks on, how many meetings she attends, etc. She tells me she's been PRAYING to go out in the field service, so even she knows thats not going to be easy for her because she avoids talking about religion with her friends because she knows they disagree with her, and in her own words "I can't even knock on a door for a cup of sugar." I'd say she's DREADING field service.

    I said to her "Has Jesus answered your prayers in the past?"

    -"Yes. That's how I know he's real. Humans haven't helped me at those times."

    -"Well have you considered that he's not answering it because the organization is not the truth, and this so called apostate material thats coming to you now is his way of answering your prayer, telling you that you don't HAVE to do this?"

    - "But, what gives the witnesses then the power to go out preaching if it's not holy spirit? Why is Jesus showing me the truth, but they're in the dark, when they pray to him as well?"

    - "Jesus doesn't command them to go out, it's the organization they're committed to. It's an obligation. Maybe it's Satan giving them the power since they're actually teaching lies about Jesus, and they don't pray TO him, but through him. All through the witnesses bible, changes have been made to make Jesus seem like less than he is."

    And thats what I personally dislike about the doctrine. "Jehovah God" wasn't crucified for our sake, Jesus was. And I know not everyone here believes in Satan, but I do, and it makes sense to me that Satan would back a religion that places decreased importance on Jesus. The bible says about the body of christ, that he who doesn't partake has no life in him, and the witnesses basically refuse it like it's a game of "pass the parcel." Since the 144,000 anointed ones is pure crap and the heads know it, WHAT is the purpose of this but to refuse Jesus? My daughter was startled enough by this, but has chosen to push it under the rug. I think the perfect world the witnesses have painted for her has a stain that she doesn't WANT to acknowledge.

    And that's where the conversation ends.

    Jgnat, THANK YOU, that's all so helpful, definitely something to print out and keep referring back to. Your last point hits home because I've been invited to dinners at friends houses who are witnesses but never pushed it on me, that seemed to be no strings attached, but when we got there, other witnesses were there and religion came up immediately.

    I talked at the hall to a young girl who had been disfellowshipped in the past. Outright asked her how much misery came with it. All she could say was she was grateful for it because she otherwise never would have acknowledged she was doing the wrong thing, if her righteous friends and family hadn't distanced themselves from her. Spare me! That's another mind lost to this bullshit. I couldn't even treat a stray dog how they treat one of their own who strayed.

    Of course i'll be there for my daughter if she was ever disfellowshipped or just chose to leave, but i fear what the aftermath will be of losing whatever friends she has in it. I can be loving, but i can't make up for the lost friendships or convince her that she hasn't LEFT God and she is still a wonderful young woman. This is why i don't want this baptism to happen. I want to avoid all the problems i believe are inevitable.

    Thank you all so much, i'm overwhelmed by all the good advice and points I've overlooked. Her mind flip flops just as much as the doctrine has and i hoped by writing this that i'd be given some insight into how the JW mind works and I have a wealth of information. There's really nowhere else to turn, since none of my friends or our family (besides my brief study in which my ex-husband burned the books) have had anything to do with witnesses.

    My new fear is she'll meet a guy and THAT'LL BE IT. The perfect JW man who doesn't cheat, doesn't look at porn, doesn't masturbate! LOL. I think she might be very motivated by fear and believe strongly in it's ability to keep people in order, and what she sees in the JW's is people who won't do everything she hates about humans out of fear. She knows all about these kind of mind control techniques, she was obsessed with "1984" by George Orwell which is about this sort of thing. So she's not ignorant of it. My worst fear is that she doesn't object to being controlled, or the people around her, being controlled. From what she's said to me she believes JW's are better than the worldly people because at least they have a conscience. Combine that with talks at the hall about the witnesses being the "glow worms in the world", and young sisters telling her "Hate the world, it's all bad, the people are terrible, Satan has just blinded everyone." and her own belief of "It's all I have." and thats why i say there's no hope!

  • steve2

    camicia, you sound like a wonderful parent who so wants to do the right thing for your daughter. From your account, it looks like your daughter is settling for the JWs because she can't find anything else that meets her need for certainty in this big wide world. Like a lot of idealistic 20-somethings, she's a sucker for a never-ending fairy tale for humankind: All life's questions answered in an A5 brochure.

    The fact that she appears not to 100% believe it and dreads the thought of door-knocking bode well for her leading a less than committed life as a JW. She'll have a lot of good company because the kingdom halls around the world attract huge numbers of people who are neither in nor out. After she's gone through her idealistic 20s, she'll grow increasingly bored with the witness lifestyle. I doubt any witness men would appeal to her, if your description of her is accurate. Hope she finds an exciting non-JW man who can help her settle for romantic fairy tales which are more likely to come true than the JW variety!

    I disagree with others - and perhaps you - in that I do not think this is an emergency. From a rational point of view, as painful as it is, one's adult children are free to make their own choices and having a loving parent nearby may give her the best chance of coming through this sadder and wiser.

  • jgnat

    If your daughter has trouble keeping friends, I can see the attraction of the Witnesses. Relationships are formulaic. Complete these studies and attend all meetings, and people have to be nice to you. I know this is one of the reasons my husband keeps going.

    With the paranoia, difficulty keeping relationships, and being a little on the crass side, has your daughter ever been tested for Asperger’s or autism? My friend, a psychologist, did not realize her daughter had Asperger’s until she was within months of graduating. But once she had the diagnosis, everything fit in to place.

    About taking care of a high-maintenance child, I’ve got one, too. I keep going by setting boundaries. My son is limited to one call a day, for instance. He is not to tell me when he falls off the wagon. He’s got a Narcotics Anonymous counsellor for that. I’ve left him on a street corner on Christmas Eve because he tried to guilt me to take him back home after he failed to make other arrangements. Yet, he still loves me and knows I care for him. I just won’t be dragged down with him.

    An ultimatum might work, but it’s risky. I watched a bible study at the hall work out that way. The lady was in a wheelchair, a shut-in, and craving the social contact. The husband was opposed. The study leaders connived to arrange to pick her up secretly for her baptism. The husband, who this woman was dependent on, found out and threatened to throw the woman out if she went with the Witnesses. After some showy bluster, the study leaders backed off. The woman stopped attending meetings shortly after. It’s not like they were willing to take the woman in. They simply wanted the feather in their cap.

    I still hold that keeping the lines of communication open for when your daughter wakes up is the way to go. The witnesses encourage secular family break-ups. It makes new converts more dependent and less likely to leave.

    I understand the dread of becoming your daughter’s only confidant again, once the Witness dream is over. Perhaps you can start compiling a list of social groups and activities in your neighbourhood that you suggest she look up, when she is ready to make new friends? With her interest in writing, perhaps you could suggest a local writer’s guild? Have a list, because it sounds from her personality, she may burn through a few before she finds a match.

    Your observation of the convention behaviour is spot-on. You have a sharp eye and a wonderful sensitivity.

  • ziddina

    I'm so sorry to hear about this situation...

    [edited] Never mind. I just came to your comment about your belief in Satan...

    I sincerely hope that your daughter wakes up before she's baptised...


  • PSacramento

    There is something missing in your daughters life and the JW's have sezied upon that and are "filling" that void with themselves.

    Your opposition against ALL religions ( at least it sems that way from your writting) is only making it worse.

    You need to find out what void the JW's are filling.

    The JW's and religions of their nature are great for people that want to be "told" they truth and to be "told" how to live and that don't want the responsibility and effort of having to "do it" themselves.

    The JW's have answer to ANY problem, sure it may not be right, but they have an answer and for many that is a very attractive thing.

    Want to be saved? No problem - belong to OUR organization and put in these hours and voila.

    Not sure what to read? or if evolution is real? or anything like that? No problem ! the WTBTS has the answer for you.

    The JW's are great in filling in the void and it doesn't matter wha void it is because they will show you that the void is a lack of God and that there is only one way to fill it and that is to "fill your time with jehovha".

    And for some, even if only in the beginning, that is what they THINK they need and after, when they realise that it hasn't filled it, it's too late.

  • diamondiiz

    "Well, no one knows you're a study, they probably think you're witnesses."
    - BINGO!!! Love bombing can only occur from those who know you're studying, otherwise she's just another sheeple amongst the crowd where there is no point of being extra friendly to. Assembly breaks are for "friends" to hand out, and for young ones to chase around for a future mate. There is no spirituality there as there is no spiritual talk after congregational meetings.

    "But, what gives the witnesses then the power to go out preaching if it's not holy spirit?"
    - another BS argument. If wts didn't tell witness to go out they wouldn't. Mormans go out only as much as their cult demands similar to witnesses. As you can see most don't pioneer because wts doesn't demand it so most witnesses do the least amount they can just to fit into the wts mold of being a good active witness.

    "My new fear is she'll meet a guy and THAT'LL BE IT"
    - exactly why getting baptized is not a good idea for her. Once she's in, she's fair game as it were. If she marries, she'll be stuck with a man who's entire family may be witnesses and you will be distanced off as you're the opposer and such. Kids in the picture may keep her in the cult longer because now you don't want the kids dying at armageddon.

    I fear what the aftermath will be of losing whatever friends she has in it.
    - they are conditional friends. You can tell her that too, that if she decided to stop the study she'll shortly lose the so called friends she met at the kh. Those are not real friends but are an illusion and won't be there for her if she decides to leave wts later in life or if she decides to accept blood in case of emergency or she does something that wts doesn't approve of.

    She's not ready for baptism yet so you have time, while I personally don't think it's ok to give your blessing so she goes and get's baptized I don't think total opposition is correct one either but somewheres in the middle where she has to think and find answers to the odd beliefs that don't make sense. Just because witnesses paint everyone on the outside from the devil how does she know that witnesses aren't from the devil with all their false and failed dates as just one example? This evil world has done so much that helps witnesses be it through invention of medical procedures or welfare system or charities that help even witnesses while witnesses are like leeches who don't contribute anything to the human race. They can take fractions of blood but can't donate blood, they can accept charitable donation when it applies to them but they can't donate their time or resources to religious charities or are discouraged from doing so to non-religious ones. Schooling is frown upon and it's these basics that build the human society that witness don't encourage. Maybe when you talk to her and reason with her, try to stick to one topic and don't go off track. Don't change topic until you get a researched answer from her. Unfortunately the final decision is hers and like others said, you should tell her you love her and your love is not conditional unlike witnesses who will abandon her if she leaves and will shun her once she decides to leave if she is baptized.

  • camicia

    Hi again, came across some rather interesting quotes she made on facebook, which I'll get to in a minute.

    Thanks steve for noticing that i just write this out of love and concern. you're right; she's young and idealistic, and looking for quick fixes and fairytales at this point is to be expected. I never went through it because in my time, you just grew up, forced out into the world, and there was no time to think about it. So i cant relate. Society is raising of generation of dreamers, maybe. Then along come the witnesses with their promise that you don't have to work hard. the world is ending, this paradise is coming, and you can be there if you join us, AND all you have to do is witness a few days in the week and surf the others. (which is what the young and even older brothers do here.) But anyway...

    it looks like your daughter is settling for the JWs because she can't find anything else that meets her need for certainty in this big wide world. I think so. I think thats what it is, exactly. From her recent quotes, she doesn't believe it's God's will, which leaves "well it's all i have." and it's not. But i don't know how to make her see that either. And the more meetings she attends, she'll probably fall further into the trap of the world being a scary place of scary people. Thing is, if i could see she was entirely happy with this JW lifestyle, i'd let her be. But i know she's not. The fact she goes from wanting to talk about it with me one day then not wanting to talk to me, period, about anything at all, let alone religion, the next, tells me she's confused and angry and god knows what. Her teacher has said to her that she can call her TO go out together, (because the congregation "approves!") and my daughter never does that, either.

    With the paranoia, difficulty keeping relationships, and being a little on the crass side, has your daughter ever been tested for Asperger’s or autism? - jgnat

    You're not the first person to mention that, so it might be worth looking into. I've always had a different idea of autism, unaware of the different kinds. I know she's always been a content loner. Waste paper bin full of declined invitations all through her youth. Wanted to stay in her roomwhen we had visitors. Her father and I rarely saw her, she could stay in there all day like she couldn't have cared less to have human contact. We thought we'd been blessed! we didn't think that the more time she spent alone the more time she had to think and turns out they were thoughts of doom and gloom. She's made comments like "I don't know how to be human." I don't know what kind of mental disorder leads to that thinking but it can't be normal. She's never had drugs, doesn't drink, so that has nothing to do with it. She doesn't want drugs as a fix for it either. It's hard because whatever developed, we don't know the source of it. But i think at the core of it is idealism. And the further removed from reality that she gets, the harder reality becomes for her. I don't know if thats autism, but as i said, it's worth looking into it because it's come up before.

    Thanks for the brief story about your son, it helps to know other parents struggle. Sometimes we forget and it's all about our misery. As for ultimatums... i have threatened to kick her out, using the "your new family will be there for you." line. Her teacher called it "hot air." Sometimes I just want to dump her on this girl's doorstep with the suitcase just to see what happens next.

    You need to find out what void the JW's are filling.

    The JW's and religions of their nature are great for people that want to be "told" they truth and to be "told" how to live and that don't want the responsibility and effort of having to "do it" themselves. - PSacramento

    I think you just answered the question. She wants answers, without having to rely on her own thinking because as i mentioned even though she's smart, she says "voicing an opinion is risky", so she has a fear of people obviously, and a very poor self image, and mostly she wants to be liked. Belonging to a group of like minded people is a quick way to get that. She's comfortable with the conformity because it means she'll be LIKE everyone else, too. I think that will ultimately keep her in. I know she's all about people pleasing since her views change to suit who she's with. So does her personality. I don't think SHE even knows who she is. Everything she says or writes (as you'll see shortly) contradicts itself.

    diamondiiz, i figured there's a reason they're extra nice to studies. How disgraceful, plus it contradicts the whole "you're not one of us yet!" bullshit they're currently feeding her. I just want to scream "WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF THIS ENVIRONMENT!?" it sounds vile. The world isn't perfect, but it isn't as vicious as being limited to a group of people who don't even have to acknowledge you or who place conditions on friendship.

    What i observed and found interesting was the young guys and girls were separated, mostly. Saw alot of guys with guys or guys with their family of 30 on a picnic blanket. I remember it clearly because i felt sorry for them. As for the girls without husbands? They were re-doing their hair and makeup in the PACKED bathroom. No part of the world, huh? Looked like a nightclub bathroom to me! I found the whole thing strange. Like a world away from the world (with little kids in suits for crying out loud in 90 degree weather) and very cold. I couldn't help myself, kept telling my daughter "THIS IS YOUR NEW FAMILY!" I throw that out so much because she's attacked me with it so often. She first heard it from an elder who told her that we didn't matter once you find Jehovah, and in the new system, she wouldn't miss us at all.

    another BS argument. If wts didn't tell witness to go out they wouldn't.
    Thank you! My point, exactly. Regardless of what the scripture they use to support the witnessing work, if the WTS issued a statement tomorrow saying "No more field service." there wouldn't be. Where would the holy spirit be then? Also, I've heard a JW say they were the RIGHT religion over the Mormons because "we do the witnessing work, only missionaries do it in the Mormon religion."

    If she marries, she'll be stuck with a man who's entire family may be witnesses
    Ha, I've told her this. I said "You'll be marrying his family and the entire congregation, too." She has a JW friend who married outside it and they split. He was sick of the elders showing up every second night at the house. I think my daughter goes to the hall and judges people from the picture and it's where her idealistic beliefs about marrying "in the truth" developed.' Pretty young girl married to handsome young husband all dressed up nicely, how wonderful.' But are they really happy? She wouldn't know that. I can't imagine my daughter meeting someone the JW way, dating with a chaperone, she can't be herself unless it's one on one. He wouldn't know who she really is if the third wheel is along for the ride. Then there's the nightmare of only ever sleeping and living with this person once you've made the biggest commitment there is and there's no way out. Might work for some people, (or they HAVE to MAKE it work or else) but surely enough young JW marriages have ended up in ruins that i could argue my daughter when she says "Ohh, they're just so blessed." Just because she hasn't seen it...

    Now, here's her own words. Sounds like she's not leaning towards baptism judging by this, but who knows, she's like the wind. Keep in mind it's worldly friends opposed to JW who she's talking to here. I don't anymore what to believe. One minute she wants to use her brain and the next she'll stay in this just for the sake of not using it. One thing is for sure: she doesn't believe it 100%. Meanwhile she's still going to the meeting tonight!

    I have to go collect these quotes to post, so I'll be back...

  • camicia

    " I had fallen in love w/ the 'truth' & the people & was praying to go out in the field service & it was all for nothing. I couldn't see that happening in my world and apparently neither can Jesus. "

    " The bible can be interpreted - and misinterpreted in a thousand different ways and you can’t prove it wrong. What’s right is that Jesus died for our sins and through him we all have the hope of everlasting life. Implying that one religion offers salvation is as asinine as saying one pill cures all illness."

    " Although these doubts and criticisms of the religion could get me labelled an apostate, (which is basically another word for “independent thinker.”) I’m entitled to voice them. Had I not seen another side of the religion, I never would have investigated it and unveiled some unappealing revelations. As it stands, I still attend their meetings and have a bible study because I’m not convinced becoming a Jehovah’s Witness is the worst course to take. If nothing else, I’m amongst people who share my morals. The majority are good people who do a good thing."

    " I'm really upset.I believed it, fell in love w/the people, was eager to teach more. But turns out we really only see what we want to."

    " I was so bothered by my findings i went to an elder who said "If you want to learn how to make a cake, you'd go to the baker."

    " It all makes sense now. You need faith to swallow this religion's doctrine because facts have never & will never be there."

    " I believe before you join any sort of group, talk to anyone who left it. some things never change but the names in the story."

    " I look at the Watchtowers and cry because it was all so easy when I believed it. I lost sleep over “where to? What now? Who else?”

    " I can't even knock on doors for a cup of sugar!I feel like unless a horde of zombies are chasing me no one believes I'm saving them. You KNOW me. I don't talk politics or religion. It doesn't come naturally to me to convince someone I'm right & they're wrong."

  • Judge Dread
    Judge Dread

    Convince her to continue pursuing her writing career, and then............................................LEAVE HER ALONE!!!!!!!!


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