Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses send their mentally ill door to door?

by life is to short 49 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • yourmomma

    back in the mid 90s the mentally ill and eldery were basicly given a pass in our hall, and they would even do things to help them like allow them to listen in via phone, or tape record the conventions. for some it was just known that field service wasent an option. and if a person was house bound and truly desired to do field service, they would make arrangements for them to do writing or phone witnessesing.

    it was really quite loving, but now its not like that. now even the most sick and mentally ill are expected to do what everyone else does. its sick and crazy. people who are house bound are expected to be at the meetings, and the phone hookup now has passwords that must be obtained in person by only the person who needs it, not by someone on their behalf, and it changes often. people who are ill are expected to go to the convention all 3 days and the first aid is not first aid anymore so people are told to be on their own. even if someone needs an ambulance you first have to go to the first aid and they have to get approval to call 911.

    i feel very sorry for the older people and mentally ill, they are treated harshly.

    this is further proof for me that while the watchtower has always been a high control group, it has gradually turned into a destructive cult and it becoming more and more like one of the bat shit crazy destructive cults like scientology.

  • LongHairGal


    What are they going to tell them? That they can't? I have observed the same thing as you and I know this is a touchy topic and I do not wish to offend or give the wrong impression. Let me state that I am perfectly well aware that many people take meds for various reasons and they are perfectly presentable and intelligent people. I even took meds myself for a very brief period of time years ago. What you are obviously referring to are people who are not in the "presentable" category. I do not know what the answer is about when somebody is in the "extreme" dangerous category, like the scary experience you related.

    But when somebody with run-of-the-mill issues came into the religion, they were under close scrutiny by the brothers and were frequently talked to. They were also talked to about how they should dress and groom themselves. As far as somebody who stinks: let me just say that nobody like this would ever make it out in service with anybody from my hall!!! There is next to nobody who would even want this person in their car!!! But, we are only talking about the usual run-of-the-mill issues here: dysfunctional home and recreational drug abuse, NOT the scary story you told.

    In general, my opinion is that the religion does not care about the rank and file JWs or what they deal with going out in service. This is one of the reasons why I always hated service and if I did not make pre-arrangements with somebody, I would have somebody inflicted on me that nobody else would want.

    Deep down inside, I suspect the religion knows that their door to door work is clown-like and next to useless anyway, so what difference does it make to them who goes door to door? This is the "front lines" work which I suspect they don't get too much involved in.

  • NewChapter

    This is one of the reasons why I always hated service and if I did not make pre-arrangements with somebody, I would have somebody inflicted on me that nobody else would want.

    This happened to me all the time. I hated it. I'm generally easy going and care a great deal for people that struggle. They took advantage of this. I never wanted to say anything, because I didn't want to hurt those that seemed to need understanding. But I saw what was happening. Drove me nuts.


  • life is to short
    life is to short


    I understand what you are saying. It is not that I am trying to put down those with problems as I too have suffered from depression. It is much better now that I am out of the religion but that aside, it is just wrong to send these people uninvited to strangers doors.

    It was true that no one wanted the guy who stuck in their cars, but they never told him NO! That he could not go out unless he showed first. They danced around the issue with him with him but he was MENTALY ILL and never got what they were talking about. They would let him met with the group and then exclude him and he would just go home looking dejected home unless some one took pity on him and took him in their car group. They always put him in the car group of anyone new in the hall. OK why would they do that? As soon as the new person realized what was going on they would never allow him in their car. It was all so stupid and unkind.

    Letting him met and then just sending him home is cruel also. He is being told at every meeting he has to preach and yet no one wants him, and he truly does not understand why.

    This is where the elders are totally untrained to deal with these people. Most of the elders shunned him or like my husband just put up with him as my husband did not know what else to do. The elders just did not have the training on how to deal with mental illness.


    I too cared about the ones who were slow but it can only go so far. I was not trained in how to deal with them and to have them with you for three or four hours in a crowed car is just too much. I would go home just wiped out. I also worked full time and the weekends were the only time I had to get things done. After spending the whole morning with someone who is hearing voices you start to wonder if the whole world is crazy. It really plays on your mind. Or at least it did me.

    It would just drive me to even more depression.

    Worldly business though they may hire those with mental problems know that they would not use them on their front lines as it would make the business look bad first, but second it also set the mentally ill person up to fail. Which goes against the reason to hire them in the first place. A successful business know that you give each employee jobs that they can do that makes them grow. Not so with the publishing company of the JW's. It is all about using people and then throwing them away or shunning them.


  • palmtree67


    Letting him met and then just sending him home is cruel also. He is being told at every meeting he has to preach and yet no one wants him, and he truly does not understand why.
    This is where the elders are totally untrained to deal with these people. Most of the elders shunned him or like my husband just put up with him as my husband did not know what else to do. The elders just did not have the training on how to deal with mental illness.

    I was reminded of my grandfather when you wrote this. He was an elder for many years. There was a stinky brother in the cong no one wanted to work with. My grandfather always took him, but *first* he would take him home and help him get cleaned up.

    My grandfather was one of the good guys.

    Later, an arrogant PR**K of an elder moved in, took an immediate dislike to my grandfather and didn't rest until he got him removed on some sort of trumped up charges.

    But, I digress......

  • life is to short
    life is to short

    I am sorry Palmtree that happened to your grandfather. See that is the thing with the elders they want the title but they do not know what in the heck they are doing. I wish my husband had taken him home and asked him to shower then came back to pick him up and I suggested that but my husband just did not know how to do it so he just tried to reason with him and clearly that did not work.

    But it was not just his guy, there were just so many. Like there is this women in the hall who is so mentally ill and the PO COBE has shoved her off on this well to do older couple in the hall. In reality is a good fit as this couple's kids are grown and it gives them someone to help and to be invovled with and they have done a great job. She is clean now and does not sleep through the meetings. Now mind you she is in her late 50's but so slow mentally. She has a son who still lives at home and this older couple have helped him so much also but they are not trained either. The son who is in his late 20's is truly not being helped to have a life of his own, he is being brainwashed by this couple to pioneer and he is a little slow himself. If he could be truly helped I think he could have a shot at a real life, but he is traped with a mentally ill mom and a crazy cult.

    In all of this I blame the GB at the top and then it trickles down to the elders. But if those at the top set decent standards there would not be this problem.

    OH I am sorry I forgot recruiting is the most important thing silly me way more important than people.


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    It is interesting b/c this thread reflects all the tensions inherent with mental illness. Only a small few can not be helped if they take medication. Of course, if you believe demons are the cause and you are studying the Bible, why take nasty stuff? Jesus would suffer them to come to him. Of course, I believe Jesus is God and his creative design could have precluded brain disorders.

    Before Mayor Guilianni, things were so bad I woke up to Calcutta. Mentally ill homeless are not dummies. They moved in droves to the choicest locations, dragging mattresses. I saw most neighborhood merchants help in so many ways. You could not walk three ft in my area without being accosted. In freezing cold weather, the police dragged a homeless woman in against her will to save her life. Rich people felt sorry and would give her large bills, which she immediately burned. The ACLU saw an issue and they won. I volunteered in a ministry. Churches were crawling with homeless in the pews, smelling awful. It was their home. Alas, it was my home, too.

    I had no idea this was taking place. What could be the possible motive? Do the elders counsel them to stop meds and just pray? Most are so eager to please it makes my heart ache. My doctor said that schizophrenics are perfectly accepted in China and Cuba. You do what you can do. The West made it a big deal. I don't know how that works in real life. The New York Times had an excellent article about how we've exported a medical model of mental illness. Since I only know this culture, I can't imagine how it works. The door to door stuff is the creepy stuff. It seems ridiculous yet almost everyone on this thread had similar experiences. Weird. Sad.

  • flipper

    LITS- Actually Outlaw is technically correct as well as right on the money - " they're ALL nuts. " Jehovah's Witnesses have what's called " dissociative disorder " according to Steve Hassan and it's actually listed as a mental illness in medical journals.

    Dissociative disorder enables people to totally separate from their authentic personality into a cult robotlike, unemotional perfunctory personality which makes people have NO empathy - like many JW's have. So elders and other authority figures in the JW cult suffering from dissociative disorder could easily send a disabled person - mentally and physically to the door in service for the " kingdom's sake " and not bat an eye or feel guilt sending them because it's for " Jehovah " , I mean the WT society.

    Many JW's have ways of justifying child abuse, spousal abuse - so it's no stretch they'd justify abuse of mentally dysfunctional adults or physically handicapped as well. It's a cruel, uncaring cult. Glad I'm out of it

  • palmtree67

    My son just started a new job a couple weeks ago and he said there is a "brother" there - a young man who has only been in a couple of years. He clearly has mental issues and CONSTANTLY is telling his co-workers they are going to die at Armageddon.

    My son says it is not a good "witness" and everyone avoids him.

    My son also commented that the religion seems to prey on these ones.......


    My grandfather retired to a warmer climate a couple years after he was forcibly removed as an elder. His new cong wanted to appoint him right away, but he declined and never served again.

  • Red Piller
    Red Piller

    Good thread LITS. I've seen it in my congregation too. Its so embarassing for me and them when we go to door to door.

    I think the org can't afford to make any exceptions. As soon as they do, the floodgates will open and a lot of people will claim mental issues as a reason for not going out in service.

    Sad truth is that most of the claims would be legitimate.

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