This has been a question I have asked over and over even when I was a very devout JW. Please do not get me wrong in thinking that I am trying to be mean or cruel or unkind to those who have mental illness, that is not in the least where I am going with this. What I mean is I think it is cruel to send them door to door, it puts way to much stress on them and it looks bad for the name Jehovah.
It seemed that in every hall I have ever been in there were some people who were extremely mentally ill. There have always been some in every hall who were schizophrenics or suffered major depression, or other forms of mental illness. I have fought depression myself so again I am not trying to be mean or uncaring here.
What I am talking about is how Jehovah's Witnesses are always saying we have to be so careful of not bringing reproach on the name Jehovah. So much so that they will not even report child abuse, or they will tell a women to stay with an abusive husband or even go so far as to NOT call an ambulance to the hall when one of their very own members gets sick if they can at all avoid it. All of this is done so as to not bring reproach on Jehovah's name. Yet they send extremely mentally ill people door to door with no care to how that looks to the householder or how much the stress of going door to door hurt the mentally ill person. Everyone must go door to door period no matter what. Even child molesters. It truly makes no sense.
When my husband was an elder which was for most of our marriage he always tried to be there for the mentally ill to treat them like a human. They knew the other elders did not like them, it happened in every hall we were in. The other elders made it clear they did not want many of them in their cars, etc. It broke my heart to see how some of them were treated, yet it was hard to be with them for three or four hour I admit. So being my husband was an elder when we would walk into the meeting for service they would come up to my husband before the meeting started and want to work with us. This one schizophrenic was nice I admit but it was stressful none the less. I even helped him to get a job where I worked so it was not like I did not want to help him but it was embarrassing to go door to door with him as he would sometimes hear voices in his head while out in service.
There was one mentally ill guy I never did know what was really wrong with him but he was in his mid 20's and he WOULD NOT BATHE! He stunk, and I do mean reeked. I had to carry a can of Lysol in my car to spray after we dropped him off. I mean here you are at the door and this guy who is reeking and then he would only mumble. You could not understand a word he was saying, the householder would just be looking at you ‘like why are you at my door?'
It would not be so bad if you could just take all the doors but the mentally ill that I was around would get very upset and agitated if they did not get their turn at the doors. They took to heart very strongly what they heard at the meetings to do more and more and more. They wanted to pioneer, become MS's, etc. Some of them were MS's and felt that women should know their places. Thus with me being a women they did look down on me, which made it all the harder for me being with them.
I am not trained in psychotherapy or counseling, though I have read some and have been to counseling myself I was never equipped to be with extremely mentally ill people for hours on end. When I mean extremely mentally ill I am not being flip about it I mean extremaly. One of the schizophrenic's in the hall last Halloween night attacked some children and then charged the police with a knife. Now this guy just less than a year earlier was talking of signing up to pioneer. They were using him as a MS in training in the hall. Then when he attacked the children all the JW's in the hall turned on him and said well he should have been talking his meds. He knew better and they shunned him. First of all he is SCHIZOPHRENIC hello! He was schizophrenic when he was being studied with, he was schizophrenic when he was baptized and just because he became a JW did not change the fact that he was schizophrenic!
This is where I get so furious with the elders. Especially in regard to this man as it was an elder who found him door to door and gushed all over him giving him tons of attention and tons of this elder's time even having him on a assembly part saying how Jehovah had helped him get Satan out of his life by having him burn all his book that had demons in them. Then when this man got baptized he was dropped like a hot rock. For someone without mental problems it hurts like hell to be dropped by someone who you felt was a friend to you but to someone mentally ill it goes beyond hurt. Then for the members of the congregation to get mad because a schizophrenic is not taking their meds it beyond uneducated. Sometimes the meds just quit working for them though no fault of their own and other times the voices in their heads tell them not to keep taking them. It is all part of the illness, it was all what they signed up for when they started to study with him a schizophrenic.
I just wanted to bang my head against the wall at how totally incompetent and uncaring the elders were are toward these mentally ill. I remember the PO Cobe treating the guy who smelled like he was scum on his shoes right in the middle of the hall. This guy clarly knew it as well as I did and everyone else in the hall. The PO was beyond rude to him. Another mentally ill guy was homeless, I was told by one of the elders wife. I went to the PO and said we sould call some social service and get him help, but he had been DF'ed and the PO said he did not want him to get more ticked off at us then he already was. OMG!
I was thinking of the mentally ill guy who shot congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords. The way some of the elders and "friends" teat them I often wonder why that does not happen in a KH someday. Than what about Jehovah's name?
Mary from this board wrote this when I posted last fall about the mentally ill man who attacked the children last Halloween "The problem is that elders are not trained to deal rationally with schizophrenics or those with mental problems (other than to disfellowship them) and it seems to be adding fuel to the fire. For someone who's mentally unbalanced, being recruited into what you believe is the one true religion can be a wonderful thing to happen. Then suddenly you're in and you can't keep up with all the expectations, you're always being told from the platform that you're not good enough, and pretty soon, you initial elation comes down, and you get depressed. Maybe you stop taking your meds and then things really get out of control. The elders---not having a clue how to handle the situation, do the only thing they're trained to do: disfellowship the person.
Now you've got a mentally disturbed person who has now been cut off from what they believe is 'the truth', no one will talk to them and they become unglued at the seams. Now God hates them, their former friends who lavished all the love and attention on them now hate them, they're going to die at Armageddon which could strike any day now and their mental powers snap. They grab a gun or a knife, go to the place that has caused them all this grief and they start shooting. Or stabbing, or who knows what else.
This religion is becoming scarier all the time and the recruitment of the mentally ill has got 'disaster' spelled all over it."
I loved what Mary wrote but the problem is they have been recruited, they are here in the halls right now and being guilted to go out in service and do more, more, more like all of us are.
Hearing week after week after week that we are not doing enough gets to us who do not have such extreme problems. I think we all have some form of mental problems but to those who are on the edge feeling such presser gets to be too much.
I remember right before I stopped going out in service I was with a sister who shook like a leaf when she was stressed out. Along with her I was with another sister who was supposedly normal. Well the mentally ill sister got under this little witches skin. She went off on her to me about how embarrassing it was to be at the door with her. I was telling Sister Witch with a capital B the other sister could not help it. The mentally ill sister knew the snot did not like her and she got worse with her shaking which just made the so called normal sister get more upset. It was all so crazy stressful for me much less for the poor sister who was shaking.
Just going cold calling trying to convert people we do not know is hard enough but to throw in mental illness is just too much for many of them. That is one reason why they are hot and cold in regard to the religion. And when they are cold the elders get ticked off at them demanding to know why they are not doing more.
So agin my quesrtion in all of this, where is the huge concern for Jehovah's name? It just truly makes no sense to me. Protect Jehovah's name at all cost even sacrificing the safety of children but we must send the mentally ill and pedophiles door to door.
It is all so extremely crazy that I just grasp it.