Abusive Families Drawn Like Moths to a Flame or Does WTS Help Develop Abusive Attitude?

by OnTheWayOut 46 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • OnTheWayOut

    So many ex-JW's are stepping forward here and other places and relaying information about their upbringing in the JW's being an abusive one.

    We have the two types of abuse- physical and sexual.

    I thought I would give a chance to everyone to ponder on what's up with the high levels within Watchtower congregations. I know the subject has been covered before, but some fresh voices and some new readers might want to know that they are not the freak, not the problem in their family, not alone, able to relate to others.

    As far as physical abuse goes, I consider the attitude of WTS that is passed on- beat the littlest of children in order to keep them quiet during meetings. Make them sorry they cannot sit still for two hours of dull speeches. I also feel that WTS fosters the attitude of actually breaking a child's or teen's spirit in order to keep them from blooming into a normal 'worldly' person. I can imagine that beatings go on at home over such things as association with outsiders, video games, goals about extracurricular activity, maybe even not getting enough recruiting hours to help Dad make elder.

    I am at a loss on the sexual abuse. I ponder the possibility that the physical abuse can lead to sexual abuse in some cases. But I generally feel that it is the way WTS hushes everything up that further develops adults into sexual abusers of JW kids. I wonder that they stop seeing a need to suppress their disgusting desires in the environment that WTS provides them: a puritan state of never talking about sex among adults along with quiet children who don't talk back to adults.

    So, your thoughts.........

  • Medina

    My mom is abusive, but only emotionally abusive, she uses scare tactics, emotional pressure and emotional sabotage.

  • OnTheWayOut

    We can add in verbal and emotional abuse. That widens it a bit, but is probably even more common and lots of thoughts on that can come in.

    It's also not just children who are abused. Many women and a few seniors and men can be added to the list.

    I have seen much verbal abuse by husbands. I feel it goes back to WTS being a men's club.

  • Found Sheep
    Found Sheep

    I think both - It atracts those that are already abusive

    Men get this fake ultamate control

    The "we" are good and the rest of mankind is "bad" hides abuse and abusers

  • rebel8

    In my observation it's both.

    People with certain tendencies are drawn to situations and social structures that enable and support them acting on their urges. That is why we had violent corrupt cops, molesters in Boy Scouts, control freaks starting cults, con artists selling "secret cures", etc.

    OTOH when the organization itself teaches certain behaviors and beliefs (inferiority of women and children, bizarre ideas about sex, corporal punishment as a requirement), and the social norm within the group is to behave this way, viola, people behave that way.

  • undercover

    My experience growing up can't be considered abusive. Dysfunctional...but not abusive.

    But - I'm only in the last few years realizing how dysfunctional it really was. I thought we were the normal JW family...and apart from the JW specific beliefs (being separate from the world) a pretty normal American family.

    I was wrong. I guess being zombiefied in the JW cult, I just couldn't see it, but over time I've started to see how the emotional blackmail and fear mongering was used to keep us in line; not about behaving, but staying true to the JW system.

    And I've come to realize that our family was an unloving, unemotional group of people. I'm not even sure you can label us "family".

    While OTWO is entertaining the thought of "are abusive people drawn to the JWs or does the culture of the JWs create abusiveness", I think that can also be asked about the dysfunctional families, though not necessarily abusive. Was it a product of being in the cult...or are dysfunctional people just drawn to the cult?

  • No Room For George
    No Room For George

    The JW lifestyle is hard on marriages, and the children get affected as if they're collateral damage. I can't tell you how many times as a child, my father would come home from elder meetings, and the three of us kids would stay in our rooms, or at least as far as possible away from him because he was beyond grumpy. He was never physically abusive, but what he lacked in that department, he more than made up for in the way of verbal abuse. As a child and even as a teenager it didn't make total sense to me, but as an adult still actively involved with this religion I completely understand where he was coming from, not that I'm excusing his behavior. There's days I come home exhausted from work, or have things on my mind, and the last thing I want to do is be around people at the Kingdom Hall. In that respect I'm glad I'm single without a wife and crumbsnatchers, because I need quiet and solitude during those moments. There's times I've picked up people to take them to the meeting and the conversations they'd be having during the ride would make me want to spaz out on them like, "SHUT UP!!!!" Back to how this affects children and marriages, I've seen quite a few families where I believe their homelife would be a lot more peaceful if they weren't JWs.

    On the other hand as far as attracting those with abusive traits, this religion is one of the few that dignifies odd balls. Not that there's anything wrong with being an odd ball per say, but this religion will make that odd ball, a somebody. When they step into a Kingdom Hall, they're no longer that weirdo that mothers tell their children to stay away from, but now they're Brother Clarke, or Sister Jones. They're part of something, and they're somebody now too, and the congregation accepts them regardless of all the moral defects and personality flaws that the person has. Being a JW and taking the Bible seriously may correct some of the flaws, but at the same time the busy JW lifestyle will cover over some flaws, and even accentuate other flaws such as an unhealthy view towards women, children, and nonJWs.

  • soft+gentle

    abuse is part of all stratas of society not just us!

  • OnTheWayOut
    abuse is part of all stratas of society not just us!

    I agree, but your average Lutheran/Methodist/Episcopalian doesn't send kids out with Brother Weirdo door-to-door nor strongly encourage the isolationism that JW's are nurturing. I am sure there are other groups that foster the Men's Club attitude, so there's that. But typically, I don't think they first consider how to protect the group legally whenever abuse in a family occurs vs. getting help for the victim and family.

    I don't imagine there is much more sexual abuse among JW's than there is among many other religious groups. I don't know that. I just expect that it is a part of all stratas of society. But I could be wrong because of the way WTS handles these situations, covering them up, and nurtures the other types of abuse. I have no evidence that one type of abuse is a gateway to others. That's part of what I hope will come out in this thread.

  • d

    Yes I was very unhappy as a witness.

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