I'd also like to add that NEGLECT can be a form of abuse, too.
Like not obtaining necessary medical/dental care for children or adults, because Thee End is coming SOON and we'll all be made perfect anyway. Why bother?
So a lot of Witnesses let themselves "go," never dreaming they'd need "worldly" healthcare benefits because no one was supposed to live this long. Many rely on snake-oil remedies doled out by other ignorant witch-doctor Witnesses because they were trained to reject "worldly," educated physicians. Not just blood, but doctors in general. And aluminum pans supposedly make you crazy!
Yet all sorts of maladies like depression and chronic fatigue lift and drift away, the farther you space yourself from Jehovah's Happy Miserable People.
More NEGLECT: Elders kept on a treadmill, so busy with Theocratic activities that their wives' and children's basic needs go unmet. This is why so many Witness ladies are forced to step up and "wear the pants" in the family: They are virtually single mothers anyway.
To be fair, how many Sisters were so busy pioneering, or greasing the congregation gossip mill, that they didn't give a damn about their kids' school grades? Those of us who were raised in it know how homework was blown off for meeting nights. Nobody cared about my A's but me, and my teachers. And a good share of them treated me like crap for being a "troublemaker" Witness kid who not only handed in homework late, but refused to participate in holidays or salute the flag. My mother cared more about her Kingdom Hall Social Club than our scholastic achievements that flew by the way.
(Of course, later she took credit for my success in the corporate world, but that's because all Witness parents are so smart it just rubs off on us kids. Or such self-discipline was beaten into us early for our own good. Or whatever excuse I was expected to be totally self-sufficient by age 17.)
How many children of elders had their dads throw a ball around with them, or take them fishing on weekends? How many Witness mothers cared to attend recitals, for us few fortunate enough to have dance or music lessons?
Too few. The Watchtower talks out of both sides of its filthy lying mouth: Do the barest scripturally minimum for your families, but TAKE CARE OF US FIRST!
Abusive Families Drawn Like Moths to a Flame or Does WTS Help Develop Abusive Attitude?
I'd also like to add that NEGLECT can be a form of abuse, too.
never dreaming they'd need "worldly" healthcare benefits
Oh yes, I forgot about this. Only remember going to the doctor (free clinic) for immunizations. And as far as dental care- my parents should be in jail.
I feel that people with abusive tendencies are drawn to groups like the JWs. The group allows them to rationalize their abusive tendencies in a context of the moral authority they claim is present in the bible. The JWs also have very strong gender roles, so any male with a desire to "lord it over" his wife and family will feel like he's "come home" within the JWs belief system. And likewise, a woman who prefer to defer all decision-making within the family to the husband, will feel as if the belief system validates her own perspective.
My parents didn't rely on physical abuse as much as they did psychological abuse. One event that I've never been able to forget was from when I was about 5 years old - close to 6, and had just been reintroduced to my paternal grandparents. I was painfully shy, and besides didn't know them, didn't remember meeting them before, and they were like strangers (and we'd just gone through a big "don't talk to strangers" thing when we moved to a new neighbourhood). So my dad expected me and my siblings to kiss grandma and grandpa (dad's parents) goodnight. I didn't want to. He took me to the room where I was to sleep that night, and hissed at me "Get out there and give grandma and grandpa a kiss good night, or I WILL NEVER SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN."
That was before the JWs were even a blip on my family's radar. But I have to wonder whether the belief system was attractive to him, in part, because it allowed him to justify potentially shunning people who didn't fit in with his worldview.
This is a great thread.
My parents were not abusive, but my grandparents were to one of my parents, the one who is a JWs (and, of course, who's parent's were).
I know of other JW parents who were rather neglectful in many ways.
I think that the Society covers it up, ignores it, and promotes it.
They advocate spanking, which is already abuse. Then parents "take it too far" and beat their kids.
Molestation is covered up.
Parents neglect because they are so busy "putting the Kingdom first" that they forget their kids.
Kids are forced to read the Bible, which can be quite tramutizing. I got nightmares from it myself.
And then there's Armegeddon...
And so much more.
Look raising kids is stressful! They have a knack of pushing you as far as you can be pushed. They are kids, it's their job. JW families live under so much pressure it's hard to describe. The meetings are endless. The kids are always rushed. The parents are always tired. No one ever has a day of if they are good dubs and work in service on Saturdays. Little ones can't sit through those meetings. It's not reasonable to expect them to do so. Then as they get older, they have to sit through a day at school, and come home to sit through a night at the meeting. The homework load gets heavier and sometimes takes hours. But not on meeting night. Homework can't trump meetings. Then the kids hit puberty and try to stretch their wings a bit. But EVERYTHING normal that they want to do is WRONG. On going tension in the house.
Let's not even start on conventions and assemblies.
I did not abuse my daughter. Yet there were times I had to close myself up alone in my bedroom. There was just ALWAYS so much pressure. I missed meetings. I was tired. My daughter was tired. Then I'd look at families that never missed, whose kids always behaved, and I'd wonder what was wrong with me. I didn't have a study with my daughter. School was stressful for her and she needed tutoring in her early years to help her read. She was tired. Asking her to read more when she was working so hard was cruel. She loves to read today. I would take her out of the main hall and let her rest from the crowd and play. GOD I just couldn't bring myself to force her to be a little robot.
This org is enough to drive a non-abusive parent to abuse. That light yoke they carry is very very heavy. If I had done everything they told me I SHOULD do---who knows. I like to think I never would have been too harsh, hit to hard, or used threats. But who really knows?
I have posted on earlier threads about the physically abussive upbringing I had, but there were others who were far worse and they would compare notes on the punishment they had meted out to their children. I remember my mother pulling down my 3 year old brother's pants to show another "sister" the welts she had left on his behind hours earlier.
I am convinced that every society in history has imitated the gods they worshipped. Since their god is an angry, jealous, bloodthirsty god you cannot expect any other behavior from his worshipers.
Betterdaze u really nailed it. My ex had that same issue with her family. I remember one night when we thought her dad, (Then the PO), was having a stroke. I called 911 and the paramedics arrived. Well her Dad seemed to come out of whtever funk he was in but the paramedics wanted to ck him over and they recomended taking him to the hospital. "NOPE NOPE NOPE all they are going to do is poke him with needles." Straight out of my ex mother in laws mouth. The paeamedics asked for a release to be signed and they left. I sat there shocked.
Also my ex recieved the absolute minimal preventative care. She had horrible teeth and it took some time & $$ to fix them.
My back is crooked b/c my parents did nothing. My brother has cp and had a private orthopedic doctor. Try as I did, exercising for hours, bleeding from posture braces I bought with my own money, I could not stand up. Repeated entreaties to my mom for help were to no avail. Finally, I was persuasive. We saw my bro's doctor. He screamed at her at the top of his lungs, saying she knew better b/c of my brother. It was too late for meaningful treatment. My bones were complete. I had a body cast to stabilize, not strengthen, my back. Public school d octors said I was just lazy but they all ended up in the federal pen for graft.
I was in utter agony with my first menstrual period. Besides screeching from pain, I would have chills and sweats, then vomit. Every month. It governed my life. Their attitude was that I was a woman and women must suffer. My pain was toughening me up for childbirth. I hated God for creating periods. We saw a general practicioner who was Roman Catholic. I sneaked out to see him and took three buses, with a gf. Another gf told me about hormones helping. He blatantly lied to my face. He could not examine me without my hubbie's consent, even if hubbie were also underage, or my mother. My mom ran late for work and was furious for me. I should shut up and suffer. Mr. Catholic said birth control pills did not exist. I was so young. Taking thee buses with a friend was more than enough. I was driving to Boston to check out colleges when I had to pull over b/c pain was out of my mind.
I was wearing a funky raccoon coat, love beads with a peace symbol, grape boycott and antiwar bumperstickers. No problem in NY or Cambridge. They refused to call an ambulance until I confessed my drug usage. I was so desperate I would have told them if I knew anything about drugs. My girlfriend became hysterical beyond belief. Finally, they called an ambulance. They could not examine me without mom.--or my underage hubbie. Surgery revealed I had a multitude of ruptured overian cysts. The gp bragged how fast he could the surgery. My monthly torment continued. During college orientation, I became ill with bad pain. My mom had to pick me up. The college gyn prescribed birth control pills and my world changed.
Malpractice was a common theme with the Witnesses. The deferential attitude meant we did not begin to question. I don't know if this is the religion or the class. Heck, if I had a medical practice, I would want JWs who would never sue me.
My mother was extremely abusive and I was repeating the cycle, to a lesser extent but still being abusive.
As an Elder I was told that my family, my children had to set a "fine example". My son is autistic, I was tryimg to make him do the impossible.
I feel so guilty.
I fucking hate the WTS!!
abuse is as you say part of all stratas of society. This has been an eye opener for me. And then we also have our own propensity for abuse when we adhere too closely to our own individuality. But the thing about the WTS (perhaps you have come across this yourself) is that they discourage exploring outside help when one finds oneself in a difficult situation or when one's intuition suggests that there may be kinder, gentler ways of bringing up children, or in dealing with disabled members of one's family for example. Short sessions of counselling may enable a family to gain some insight that is beyond the scope of busy imperfect elders to provide.
you have a nice name btw