My Apostate wife is out on service

by fade_away 32 Replies latest jw experiences

  • slimboyfat
    I think Rebel8 overstates the issue of door knocking's effectiveness. Goodness knows there have been enough threads on this forum demonstrating that the success rate of the JWs door-knocking is astonishingly low.

    It depends on what you take to be the objective of the door to door preaching. In terms of making converts then it is very ineffective. But within the Witness community, in terms of building solidarity, a sense of common pupose, and a continual affirmation of each other's faith in the organization and its enterprise, it is an extremely effective tool. What could bind people together better than coming together to present an unpopular message to an outside world that meets with overwhelming rejection?

    When I stopped going out in the ministry it was less about the remote possibility that something I said might affect a householder. It was more to do with feeling guilty about giving false encouragement to others in the congregation who will inevitably view the attendance and participation of others in the ministry as a sort of social proof that it's the right thing to be doing.

  • dozy

    Good points made by all.

    The social aspect of the ministry can't be overemphasized. We often speak about the car groups , the doughnut & Starbucks stops , the pioneers gossiping while they plod slowly from door to door etc - these are fundamental aspects of the whole activity. It is a bit like businessmen doing deals on the golf course while they stop occasionally to hit (badly) the ball. For many , especially mid week for often lonely people , it is a conduit to facilitate social interaction. The actual ministry aspect (ie speaking to "worldly" people) is often a small or even negligible element.

  • rebel8

    just like you and I did, can chose to leave

    I really find that remark invalidating and minimizing.

    I didn't have that choice until decades later, after almost dying numerous times. Most kids don't. It's nothing short of remarkable that I survived it.

    When I did "choose to leave", I had to flee in winter, homeless, with no cash or belongings other than my car and the clothes on my back. There's no "just choose" about it.

    I understand you personally didn't have these experiences but you know many have. It shocked me that you would be willing to play even (hopefully) a small role in propagating a destructive ideology because you know this.

    It's a highly manipulative religion who keeps things secret to the public, so it's not as simple as "choosing to leave". When people are finally faced with that choice, they have already given up friends, relatives, relationships; sacrificed careers, education and finances; risked health and happiness. When first becoming involved, they do not realize the heartbreak and destruction that "simply choosing to leave" later on would involve.

    I think Rebel8 overstates the issue of door knocking's effectiveness.

    The reason the cult exists is because of door to door. If its founder didn't drive around with his megaphones and book sales, it would have died with him. My mother joined because of d2d. So do others. Now there are millions of adherents. None of that is overstating the facts.

    It's obviously minimally effective in aggregate, but that does not mean all of the above are untrue.

    Going out in service and banking on the fact that 100% of all those who observe or hear about your participation are going to categorically disregard it as 100% negative is taking a gamble with people's lives.

    Sorry, I understand this person did not intend to do any of this but I would hope she reconsiders this course of action.

  • kimbo

    Dont forget to report your two hours in the field..

  • fade_away

    Seriously rebel, all she did was tag along with her friend. She didn't get on a mega phone and a billboard like some doomsday nut job. She didn't even hand any literature out. Comparing 1950s preaching to modern day service is not fair. Back then it was still new and the fact they put on a parade on the street caught a lot of attention and recruited a lot of people. Nowadays, a simple invitation by a JW is thought of as "just another religious pamphlet" and usually ends up in the trash. Today most Jws are born-ins and few are "recruited". As mentioned before, statistics show how unsuccessful door to door is today. JWs kinda blend in with other "pamphlet" religions, so a lousy two final hours on service with a friend won't kill anyone.

  • dozy

    Rebel8 raises a legitimate point and it is a point of view that I think has some legitimacy & I sympathise with to an extent.

    A relative of mine has come off as an elder , knows it "isn't the truth" yet continues to go on the ministry to the extent of servicing his "route" of about a dozen long standing magazine calls (he never does any first call). These are mainly elderly individuals that he has called on for many years & with whom he has become friends. He shares a scripture , leaves an Awake magazine ( and a public Watchtower if he deems it appropriate) and has a chat , often with a cup of tea. He says that he would never invite them to the Kingdom Hall & that there is zero chance of them ever becoming JWs.

    He also advises the London branch office & RBCs with regard to legal matters related to construction work.

    He sees these activities as a social service & as a consultant service , much like he would provide for any other client. We have had a few debates as to the validity and wisdom of his actions. He counters with the fact that I attend the Memorial every year with my still-in wife - does that action give a tacit indication that I approve or at least sympathise with the religion?

    I suppose all of us in our own ways , fading or faded , DFd or DAd , are trying to negotiate the maze of confusion caused by leaving a way of life and the inevitable reshaping of relationships with family & friends. Good luck to all.

  • PenelopePaige

    Reminds me of a book written about a mother who went undercover, got herself reinstated, with the purpose to be able to talk to her grown daughter again, and went to meetings and in service with her daughter. Now she could talk with her daughter and carefully and gently say things to help her daughter to question and think,,took over a year about I think.. I've loaned out that book recently. Guess I'll read it again. Amazing that that mother could do it and a demonstration of very much love for her daughter.

    Hey, What's the name of this book? I'd like to order it! Also, a good read is "I was a Teenage Jehovah's Witness" by Nate Merritt. Fantastic book!

  • Found Sheep
    Found Sheep

    Welcome!! You sound like a true friend! Hope she knows that!

  • Glander

    I made a feeble, humiliating attempt to get reinstated because I wanted to have free association with my aged grandparents. I got through one meeting with the very skeptical committee and realized it was impossible. If someone is able to get back in to rescue a loved one and succeeds, then they have my admiration.

    Field service? Wow. Now that takes guts.

  • rebel8

    a simple invitation by a JW is thought of as "just another religious pamphlet" and usually ends up in the trash.

    JWs kinda blend in with other "pamphlet" religions, so a lousy two final hours on service with a friend won't kill anyone.

    Do you have any evidence that those things happen every time, or even that they happened in this case?

    As mentioned before, statistics show how unsuccessful door to door is today.

    I do know that--I'm the one who mentioned it--but it's hardly relevant to my point.

    Anyone who would like to trade childhoods with me or any of the others denied lifesaving medical care and emotionally/physically abused would see things in a different light. You all know this is true and that's why it's not ok to promote the cult. It doesn't matter if it doesn't happen to most people.

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