thanks for getting it otwo you fellow perve or rather norm.....i mean recreate...procreate....synonyms right???........oompa
Oct. 15th WT - Who Should be your Friend to Associate & Recreate With ?
I always had an awkward time making this type of WT counsel fit into the Bible study arrangement.
When I was conducting Bible studies, I tried to become the person's friend, albeit with limits that I imposed. Although I knew that the point of the study was to help someone become a JW, I never wanted to be too formal and make the study seem like some kind of indoctrination process with an agenda (yeah, I know better now). So I would allow the study to get off topic, maybe hang around a bit after the service visit and chat. A phone call or email here and there. I felt like I was being friendly enough without putting myself in some sort of risky situation. In other words, any interactions beyond the actual study had to be on my terms. Now I realize that it was not friendship; it was selfishness.
I had two studies that enjoyed the sessions and wanted to create real friendships outside of the hour that we spent together each week. One asked me to come over for pizza and movies. Another wanted me to join him and a group of his friends for coffee to just hang out and talk. I was torn. I liked these guys. But they weren't JW enough yet. I also worried that if the study stopped, they might (gasp) still want to be friends on a purely social level. That would be a definite no-no. So, I would make excuses and avoid any recreation time with them. Both studies eventually stopped. They were both smart guys and they probably saw the real truth behind the JW study process before I did.
What makes me feel the worst is that, because of counsel like that found in the article above, I missed out on the chance to have a couple of good friends. When people in the hall would ask why so-and-so wasn't studying anymore, I didn't know what to say. Often, the questioner would say, "Don't worry. You did your part. Jehovah draws those who are deserving." That always made me feel sick to my stomach. They stopped studying because I wasn't being a real friend. They probably thought something weird was going on. I don't blame them one bit. Then to say that maybe they didn't deserve "The Truth..."
I've never conducted another JW study since.
I used to study with a guy who was 35 years my senior and his wife. I became extremely good friends with them, to the point of enjoying several meals together, going out for a beer with them, and meeting their family members.
It has been one of the best and most meaningful friendships I've ever had. I personally felt like a dirtbag that I had this hidden motive every time we were together, so I eventually phased religion out of the equation, and just tried to be a good friend. I learned way more from the two of them about life and faith than I could have ever taught them myself.
It began to bother me that the rest of the people in my congregation would likely have written them off as a lost cause, because their interest in the truth began to wane. I could never imagine God killing them at Armageddon because at 60 years old some 25 year old couldn't convince them to become Jehovah's Witnesses.
Unfortunately, the two of them moved away, and we are only in touch via email. He is in town visiting family in September and I am meeting up with him for dinner. I have considered expressing my new-found reality with him, and apologizing that our friendship started with a shady premise. I think it might be a little too akward though, so I might just enjoy his company and leave it alone.
dontplaceliterature: I observed this phenomenon with my, soon-to-be-former-wife and my sisters (all eagerly pioneering). They would become all friendly and warm to somebody - AS LONG AS THEY CONTINUED TO STUDY! - they would go out of their way helping these Bible studies finding jobs, moving homes, etc.
As soon as they stopped studying, they would drop them like dead horses with the black plague! Some of these people would call my ex-wife back and ask why she stopped coming to their house.....really embarrassing.
Because of policies like this I have lost good, good friends. F&%$ the WT$ and their cultish rules!!!
WATSON- Yes indeed. I get the uncanny feeling they are ushering us out the door more emphatically as faders. Suits me O.K. as long as my JW parents don't go along with it.
OOMPA- I think I said " recreate " , not " procreate " . The thread has a different meaning than you are referring to.
CYBERGUY- Good points you make. The WT society is all about control, control, control. If they can separate us from associating with our JW family by telling them how DANGEROUS we are - allegedly - then the WT society meets it's goals of dividing and conquering families, tearing them apart. And very good point you make that Jesus would be shunned by current JW's if they followed WT society's views as Jesus ate and drank with prostitutes and sinners in his day. I too feel the leaders of the WT society have a lot to answer for if there was ever such a thing as judgment .
ON THE WAY OUT- Indeed , we can't worry too much about what our JW relatives will do or not do regarding association. But it's good to be aware of what garbage is being spewed forth into our JW relatives heads so we can counteract that if brought up. We should be able to recreate with whomever we want, I agree.
AGONUS- Good point. Exactly what is " specific requirements " ? WT society is good at using curiously vague loaded language which can be interpreted different ways. A bunch of mumbo jumbo if you ask me.
FRANKLIN MASSEY- Very interesting experience you shared. Thank you for sharing. Like yourself - I always tried befriending people I studied with when I was a JW. One guy I studied with ended up being a groomsman at my 1st wedding in the late 1970's. He ended up getting baptized and we became good friends. But I know the feeling you are talking about- at first I'd feel guilty when studying with someone and we associated elsewhere because the WT society MADE us see the need for feeling guilt . By scaring us into believing we'd be influenced by " worldly " people it really put a damper on what could have been unconditional friendships - yet it stifled those relationships by making them conditional on how a Bible study was progressing- or not. Very bizarre and wrong.
DONTPLACELITERATURE- That is fantastic that you have kept a close friendship with this older man and his wife through all the changes in their life and in your life ! I admire you for that ! I'm glad you are going to see him again for dinner soon when you get together. That is awesome. Isn't it amazing what good friendships we can develop when conditions aren't put on those friendships ? I have found that as well in my 8 years out of the Witnesses.
INTEL- I have seen what you are talking about as well. If a person is progressing as a Bible study they get love bombed and coddled over- and if they stop they are dropped like a hot potato. I reconnected with an old High school buddy a couple years ago as I had lost contact with him in the early 1980's. He was so glad I called him back and rekindled our friendship. And he was very forgiving when I told him I had been trapped in a mind control cult. So some friends we have lost may understand if we try to get them back. I've rekindled 2 good friendships back this way
The question I would raise to the anonymous author of this latest Watchtower garbage is, If Jesus had such high standards for association and friendship, why did he accept the hospitality extended to him by certain Pharisees? After all, many of them strongly disagreed with his teachings. Yet, the Lord honored them by reclining at the same table and engaging them in stimulating conversation. By contrast, I can't see any of the Governing Body being so open minded.
As others have posted, this is all about control and tightening the organization's grip on the rank and file. But as a friend graphically illustrated to me yesterday, you can drink water out of two open palms placed side by side. You can't drink any water from a closed fist. It is no wonder that the WTS sees so many people leaving, growth in developed countries either stagnant or contracting, the majority of those disfellowshipped or disassociated refusing to return, and "newly baptized ones" primarily coming from the ranks of the born-in rather than the door-to-door and Bible study work. But despite these obvious signs of failure, the WTS continues to advocate its "holier than thou" attitude.
Behavior Control + Information Control + Thought Control + Emotional Control = BITE Me!
Meh..Same old Same old..
The WBT$ discourages JW`s from hanging out with Weak JW`s..
In WatchTower world your not even safe in your own Group..
The WBT$ Axe can fall on anyone,at anytime..
Everyone is Suspect..
It's all just so much WT propaganda BS. How convenient that they forget the accusations against Jesus for eating with sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes!
QUENDI- Jesus was basically a lot nicer than the GB from what I've read. The GB wouldn't stoop so low as to associate with anybody other than JW's essentially. This whole thing IS about control like you mentioned and the WT society sees they are leaking oil badly by losing members so they are resorting to much harsher measures to retain members. But like you said- it will just chase more out the door and prevent DFed ones from wanting to return.
00DAD- Yes indeed. It's definitely the BITE definition of mind control. And yes it is WT propaganda . Dangerous propaganda.
OUTLAW- Exactly. It is the same old same old stuff. And like you said it creates paranoia among active JW's because they are taught not to even trust each other ! So everybody is always looking at who they can rat out inside the org. Really weird