Not sure of what to do

by Girlie 15 Replies latest jw friends

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    I find this an interesting discourse. One that has or will affect 99.99% of all Jw's who ever leave the cult.

    Previous posters have hit one of the nails clearly on the head. You must know what you want your relationships to BE.

    It probably goes without saying that this relationship will never be quite the same no matter what direction you take it. My experience has been that most 'center core' Jw's [or those moving back toward center as your friend seems to be doing at the moment] have very little to talk about outside bOrg ideology. So the friendship might whither no matter what you try to do if you refuse her evangelical advances.

    On the other hand, she is opening doors that you might use to plant seeds that may further open her mind over time. I would be tempted to think about [even jot down notes for quick reference] various things you expect she will say, and find clever and well thought out parries to her thrusts. This might be possible without invoking any of the standard cult defenses, since you two were, as you stated, pretty liberal in your thinking, had investigated outside the Watchtower box in the past.

    The unfortunate side of this is clearly that her emotions [the one thing that is very tough to combat with logic of course] are deeply involved now with her son's return to the Watchtower fold. Since you two are distant now, both in terms of physical geography and ideology, she might find it relatively easier to throw you under the bus and to forge a solid with her son.

    I am not you. But if I were you - I would simply ask her where she wants this to go? Then temper my response over time with her reply. She may be willing to be unconditional, in which case you can be yourselves and stay in touch, though I would imagine the friendship will never be what it was. She might just retract into her JW world, finding it easier to shut you out. In which case, as painful as this is, you would be better off over time. Since who can maintain any relationship based on 'mutual beliefs' if you don't have them anymore. {I know from where I speak with this, as I lost my absolute best friend, who happened to be my cousin, I was 'unconditional', he was all cult all the time.}

    I wish you well. None of this is easy. Good luck.



  • Girlie

    Thanks for your comment, AKJeff. You are right. Either direction I take on this matter will affect the the outcome of the relationship that it will not remain the same and seeing that we really are two worlds apart, it will eventually fizzle out.

    Thank you for the suggestions. While she is still making conversation with me, I will be more attentive to the things she say and see how I can engage her outside of JWism.

  • outsmartthesystem

    I've come to the point that I agree with the masses. Debating doctrine is never a good idea. But what worked for me was a simple and friendly challenge from a good friend that had faded. He knew that the reason I trusted the society and followed every teaching change without question was because they were chosen in 1919 by Christ himself. It wasn't until I reasoned on what was being taught by the witnesses back in 1919 when Jesus supposedly chose the society that I realized there is no way Jesus could have chosen them. Jehovah's Witnesses claim that in 1919, we were the only ones teaching true things at the proper time.....which is why Jesus chose them. Don Cameron's book "Captives of a Concept" is amazing. It identifies that illusionary concept that holds all witnesses captive (that Jesus selected the society as God's organization in 1919).

    You don't want to bombard her and you don't want to offer an "apostate" book to her. But it sounds like 1) you are close enough to her to have a heart to heart and 2) she has in the past displayed characteristics that indicate that she IS able to think for herself. If this is true...I'd consider picking a point or two out of the book (regarding what was being taught in 1919) and asking her to sincerely help you understand why Jesus would have picked the society as his faithful slave...given all the WRONG things they were teaching at the WRONG time.

    If it doesn't go well....don't push it. YOu don't want to lose a friend forever. If she has come to the conclusion that she wants to know the truth....then you'll know. If she doesn't then a million words spoken by you will fall upon deaf ears

  • DesirousOfChange

    If you are worried about maintaining a successful fade, be cautious what you text to her. Texts can be stored forever. She could get into a self-righteous or guilty spell and "spill the beans" about YOU.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Don't bring anything up yourself.

    Wait for her to throw you a bait.

    If there is a very good question you can ask, go ahead and ask it. If not, ignor it and wait for a tastier bait. Don't squander your chance of making an impact by nit picking or asking questions that they have long drawn out confusing 'answers' for. Your question should be aimed at getting her to admit she is wrong.

    Try to work with what she tells you and literature that she quotes, so that you can't be seen as bringing 'apostate' material into any discussion.

    Once started, control the topic. They always have a bucketful of red herrings ready for you. Don't touch any of them.

    I have totally given up discussing anything to do with the Bible as, when it comes to the crunch, none of my relatives actually believe it.

  • Girlie

    outsmartthesystem: I have Captive of a Concept and plan to read soon. Thanks for the suggestions. I won't bombard her and I won't suggest an "apostate" read to her until she is truly ready to know the truth. So far, I don't see that happening no time soon.

    DesirousofChange: She usually initiates the texts. I know not to incriminate myself that way and most times will just respond with short statements or not reply.

    Blacksheep: Thanks for your advice. That's what I really want to work on: being able to control the conversation and maneuver any attempts from her or any JW I encounter when they try to throw their guilt-induced spiel at you.

    Thank you all for your wonderful advice.

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