Look at this thread for quotes:
DON'T SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES.
These statements may seem ridiculously harsh to some more recent converts, but they are all too familar to me. Having grown up and been in during the 60's, 70's and early 80's when many of these references were taken from, I know they reflect what was pounded into our heads then. No higher education, no school activities, no competitive sports, do not play chess because of the military nature of the game (boy, I had forgotten about that one, but it brought back the memory of that!), and limited association with anyone not a JW. Even if they were good, moral, honest people, that didn't matter because they didn't love Jehovah and would all be destroyed at Armegeddon! So much more as to employment restrictions, where we could work, who we could have for clients if we owned our own business. What can be said at our own weddings or funerals and who may participate. The list goes on and on.
As a JW you feel you have never grown up, you always have to ask permission or check with the elders if something is permitted. The feeling of freedom, even after 25 years of being done with all that, is something I cherish everyday. Especially since I have family still in and see how their lives, schedules and choices are all made for them and revolve around the Kingdom Hall and what others may think. I am not bitter for the things I missed, just sad that I missed so much and sad for my family members still in because it is always a divider in what had been an extremely close knit family.
The watchtower was so hardcore back in the day.
I know their still watchtower gangsters now, but they were beyond crazy back in the day, Rutherford, Knorr, Franz n' company.
I don't know if you were a Witness back when Ray Franz left but the Assembly talks (rants) and the Watchtower articles were off the charts against any discent.
I was born in, in 1950, so I experienced what you mean dear Joliette, having no frame of reference, I thought it was normal, the Boot Camp attitude.
They even used a lot of military expressions and examples.
When I was entering my rebellious teens, I questioned the chief Nazi in our congreagation about it, for once he softened, laughed, and said "You have to make allowance for us guys, most of us served in the Army in WW2 and we tend to want to run the congregation like a military machine"
His honest assesment didn't change his attitude or methods, I think he single handedly caused more people to leave the religion than the Congo. itself brought in !
It seems they are becoming more controlling and harsh as time goes on, GOOD, they will have the same effect as Bro. Nazi above.
I was active when those articles were written. They were shocking to me. I loved nonJWs fervently. My entire life my extended JW family kept me protected and loved. There was the catch. Obedience. As I developed my own views, I would cramps worrying about their rejection if they were knew the true me. Whole chapters of my life were omitted. They lived only a few blocks away which was a blessing. I had to admit that I was at college. Next, and worse of all, my nuclear family had a lovely Christmas tree up. It was artificial so it was not taken down promptly. Unknown to all of us, my aunt had a doctor's appt across the street. She wanted to use our bathroom rather than the one at the doctor's office. So she telephoned us. Only my kid sister was at home.
My sister called me at college. I screamed to get a sheet, wrap up the tree, and hurl it over the fire escape. Broken ornaments be damn. She did not. My aunt pretended she did not see it. My bro became a Maoist and was underground with the FBI following. I worked so hard, was so dutiful. My bro came home for a short visit after decades of absence or contact. My uncle told me I had to defer to my bro's judgment b/c he had a penis. I lost it all. The prodigal son writ large. Besides, I was extremely active in the feminist movement. I proclaimed all my di'f'ed offenses. Celebrated them. Shock of shocks. Despite read this stuff and being ever so faithful, they kept it as a private family member.
They were glad when I did well. I could tell. On the other hand, I never heard praise for things my class mates were getting Triumphs and Alpha Romeos.
This is not religious doctrine. It is cult. Hassidim and Orthodox Jews have more engagement with wild Christians such as myself.
My bro became a Maoist and was underground with the FBI following.
Besides, I was extremely active in the feminist movement.
I'd love to read more about you and your brother considering those angles. So I take it you and your brother were products of the turbulent 60's?
Blondy sure saved this thread from self destructing!
Like Band on the Run, I also was active when many of those articles were written and discussed. The gist of their content which HairyHeGoat has shared in this thread is essentially correct. We were encouraged to cultivate a cold, callous attitude toward "worldlings", their activities, and their institutions and have as little to do with them as possible. Competitive games and sports were not just frowned upon but condemned in the harshest terms. I remember the article about chess that appeared in 1973. At that time the game was enjoying a tremendous surge in popularity in the United States due to Bobby Fischer winning the world chess championship in the summer of 1972. Many Witnesses wanted to learn how to play the game (I myself am a chess player and fan), but the Awake! article put the kibosh on that. I remember how it quoted chess master Shelby Lyman about the nature of the game. While I'm sure that Lyman used military analogies to explain the many nuances of chess, he certainly didn't mean that players would become blood-thirsty barbarians if they took it up. But Awake! made the reader think that was Lyman's belief.
I was disturbed by Desirous of Change's reaction to this thread because HairyHeGoat provided references for everything he cited. If someone didn't want to believe his assertions, all he had to do was look up the material. How hard is that to do? And certainly HairyHeGoat did much better in his posting that the WTS ever has in providing references and sources. How many WTS publications cite or quote material and people while never providing a reference? Or how many times is a person's identity made anonymous or a pseudonym given in place of a real name? How honest is that? Yet despite the obvious impropriety of this, the WTS has adopted it as standard operating procedure.
Thanks for posting this. It is a potent reminder for me that I never want to go back. I'm still unshackling myself from the WTS cult and clearing my mind. But I am much better off today than I was for the more than thirty-five years I associated with Jehovah's Witnesses. I consider myself going through a detoxification process now and I realize that will take some time. Still, I can tell the difference in my mental and emotional health, and I am grateful for that. Threads like this enable me to see just how far I have come.
Thanks to all who posted on this thread, and a special thanks to Blondie and all the others who backed me up. I was a born in the 1960's and my dad has all the old books etc.. from years before this, so I can remember alot of your comments having read these in my dads WT libary.
We know that these old books and mags are out of print and the WT distances themselves from them at all cost's. I am glad I posted the thread as I feel all the newer converts need to know what things were like for us back in the day. And it's now kicking off again in the UK after the district convensions spewing all the hate again for people like me and you.