Something I struggle with mentally. Anyone Else?
While I was entertaining the thought of "the Truth" actually all being a lie, I had fantasies of helping others out and not losing everyone I know. But as time goes on, I wonder if there are some people for whom it would be better not to know the real truth.
The first example is Bro. and Sis. Married and baptized for about a 100 years. I know they don't have much time left. I feel like a good chunk of my life has been wasted, I can't imagine being 80+ years old and learning the Truth (real truth). If the initial shock didn't kill them, living that short time left would be horribly depressing.
Second example is someone who has led a real rough life, and it seems like the only thing keeping them in line is being a Witness. Now I'm not talking about your typical "parties a little too much" kind of person. I mean in and out of jail, drug using/selling, gang related violence, amazing they're still alive kind of person. I'm not saying that being a JW is the only thing that could help them, but what if I sparked them leaving, they fell into their old ways, and end up dead a few months later? Now I know everyone makes their own decisions but that would still weigh heavily on my conscience.
Anyone else ever have these kind of thoughts?
Kind of like The Matrix, red pill versus blue pill, eh?
Another movie I think about when thinking about the witnesses is Malcolm X. Malcolm was in jail and through Islam turned his life around. Later he found out his mentor was a fraud. But he still had the Islam faith to fall back on. Witnesses are taught how horrible and disgusting every other religion is. When the veil is lifted, for many there is nothing to fall back to. I can see people being religious and using religion as a calming force in their life but anymore I view JW's as a worthless religion(cult) devoid of any benefit whatsoever. (basing what I know about Malcolm X and Islam on the movie and in no way am I endorsing becoming Islamic)
Yeah I have struggled with that one.
Fortunately I have no family left in . . . so the moral obligation on that front doesn't exist.
I do have a large number of friends still there . . . some were very long-held and close relationships. I've worked on the basis of freedom of choice. That freedom being theirs . . . if they choose to ask of me . . . they get the truth. If they don't . . . they don't.
The best way to alienate your JW family and friends (apart from leaving) is to tell them that their religion is wrong.
I have the same attitude as Sizemik - they know that if they want to talk to me, they can. But in the meantime, I'll keep things to myself. That way I can't be accused of imposing my views on anybody but if they ask, then I'm happy to tell them what I've learnt.
I also think it's important for ppl to learn the truth about "the truth" in their own way. THEY need to be convinced themselves of their findings, not simply believing what you've told them. You can guide them to relevant sites such as jwfacts or this one, but they need to do their own research in order for the information to stay with them.
My mother has been a jw since about 1972...
I do not and will not do anything to alert her at her age to the lie. It is all she has, she has sacrificed so much at the hands of the watchtower.
That said, if she was free, i see so much added happiness to her in her final years, but i fear she is no longer capable of thinking for herself anyway.
My teens being raised as...well thats a whole different ball game!
I think that most witnesses are basically "institutionalised" but none more so than the "golden-oldies" who have been doing it since goodness-knows when, and it is as much a part of their life as breathing and eating. I'm thinking of some examples from my own experience as I write this.
Since film analogies are in vogue, I would point to the elderley character in "The Shawshank Redemption" who is released from jail, gets a "normal" job in a supermarket and a place to live, and ends up hanging himself. Everything he knew and felt comfortable with was back in the prison. That's why I agree that it's good to get out when you are still at a reasonably young age when there is still something left of your life to "rebuild". Otherwise I agree that it's better for the golden-oldies to continue as they were, and die happy - even if it was all just an illusion.
It's really sad but I can't think of any other way for them. As for the argument with the ex-convict drug-addict etc - that's a tough one. I guess we've been led into thinking that the "truth" is the only medicine for these people, but there must be other ways for them to overcome their problems than to swap one addiction for another. Surely it's all down to willpower and mind over matter, etc. Some people need to be dependent on something, either substances or false doctrine.
You are describing my wife. I started working on her as to the real truth and she began to fall apart. I had to back track and now she is back to normal. For me I will just be negative once in a while and when she wants to know she will seek for herself. I figure since there is no true religion then whatever makes people happy will do. I can fake it for now so she can be happy. The day may come when I have to leave the lie and I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Waking up has helped me in many ways but for others it could be disatrous.
There is a moral obligation not to feed people a whole bunch of BS as truth too.
Those same people could have been helping people without filling them with BS about Armageddon and threatening them with killer gods to keep them in line. That was their choice and they have to live with the consequences.
You didn't put those ideas in their heads.
You are not guilty.