I'm in the "what if they' re right after all ? " phase but I don't want my family or others to die from refusing blood etc.,
WRM: Watchtower Resistance Movement
I completely appreciate where Ekruks is coming from. I was riding home from work on Saturday a few weeks ago and discovered dozens of JWs were boarding the train at Richmond station, near the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, where they'd been having their annual three-day Re-Education Camp. The buggers started handing out flyers, including the picture of the toes on the colossus, to people on the train. One idiot kept trying to get my attention to hand me one, but I ignored him and kept reading my paper. Another gaggle of them were gathered around the flyer point at it and deeply "discussing" some point in it to try to get other passengers interested.
Next year I want to be better prepared and have a brochure I can hand back to them. "Sure, I'll read yours if you read mine."
I'm in the "what if they're right after all ? " phase but I don't want my family or others to die from refusing blood etc.,
Have you read Steve Hassan's first book? If not, I would highly recommend it.
So long as you think they 'might' be right, you'll be mentally enslaved to a number of WT phobias, including the fear of Armageddon.
Release the bonds.
I like the sentiments generally speaking but I don't like the focus on reform or the encouragement of illegal behaviors.
Even if they reformed the blood and shunning doctrines, they'd still be a cult. So you end up doing plastic surgery on a body that needs a heart transplant and brain surgery. Reform is not worth the effort to lobby for it and besides, they will NEVER reform based on the actions of apostates. They will only reform if and when THEY think it is in THEIR best interests to do so.
Before you embark on any organizing of this magnitude I think it is important to not just read Combating Cult Mind Control but to practically memorize it, as well as any other psychology books you can get your hands on. Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) is another really good book. Festinger's book When Prophecy Fails is another one. Know exactly what you're up against before running off half-cocked.
As Rebel8 points out, prevention is probably much more valuable. We all hurt over our loved ones still in but the sad fact is we can do a LOT more good and a LOT more damage to the Borg by educating people so that they don't join and helping those who leave or get DFd to adjust and adapt to the real world so that they don't return. The ones that are in are unlikely to listen to us.
That doesn't mean we can't provide information and make it available for current JWs or that we shouldn't. I have only been out a couple years but I am continually surprised at how few people leave based on cult education and a well-though-out plan of escape. The majority of those who leave are DFd because there is one specific Borg rule they don't agree with (or they break) and the majority of that group continue to believe in a large amount of the Watchtower hogwash. Educating these people so that they are FREE from the cult, not just OUT of the cult is an important task, IMO. And if some of that educational work spills over into the congregation of active ones, too, that's great.
@Mad Sweeney: My wife and I met an old friend a couple of years back; we'd been out of the org for about a year; he called us "amateurs" because he'd been gone for seven. It was great swapping old stories, and as we left, hey told us, "Hey guys, we should stay in touch. I mean, it's not as if you're disfellowshipped or anything."
We were just stunned. He'd been gone seven years, but was still prepared to let them dictate who he spoke to. He was still in their control.
Even if the WTS were to implement all the reforms ekruks is calling for, I would still never return. As Mad Sweeney put it so succinctly, this religion is still a cult and I want nothing to do with it. Their reforms will not repair the wreck families, the broken friendships, the mental illness and anguish that have been visited on others. Their reforms will not bring back those who have died or completely heal the injuries suffered because they followed WTS policies on medical practice or political ideology. Their reforms will not get the rank and file to think for themselves. The best thing to do with respect to the WTS is to get out and put ever-widening distance between you and it. Also help any and all who also want to make good their escape. At least that's the way I see it.
Well, maybe just ditch the reform idea, and instead aim to make the world aware of how bad is and also the people with, so that they will leave.
ps. The reform on child abuse, i.e. abusers can no longer be elders (except some exceptions do exist!) only arose out of the pressure from the new reports! Reform can be influenced by the outside, though that is never the given reason for it.
I'm generally anti-reformist in my outlook towards the WTBTS. I know there are lots of reformists out there (and, it would seem, on here), not least the Jehovah's Witnesses Reformation Movement - and each have their own list of "demands" that need to be met.
I'm of the school of thought that "you can't polish a turd". The WTBTS is what it is, a power-crazed despotic cult that is infatuated with its own history, and it will NEVER change substantially or yield to any such demands. No Governing Body, either now or in the future, will accept any series of demands that would serve to weaken its control or influence. They would see any conciliatory moves to appease disgruntled believers and former-witnesses as undermining their authority and representing a compromise against their core values.
That said, there is no reason to think that our actions cannot seriously undermine the authority of the Society, and potentially lead to its gradual demise. The very existence of this forum is an act of defiance against the Governing Body and a resource by which witnesses can gain access to factual information about the lies they are being fed. I haven't been on the forum for long, but I've already thought of one idea that would potentially serve to demonize and publicly humiliate the Society, and that is to produce a film about the life of Ray Franz. Some are sceptical, and some see the true potential of such an ambitious endeavor. In any case, I think it has more chance of success than sticking fliers in car windows and spraying grafiti on Kingdom Halls - that would only serve to anger and upset individual witnesses and embolden their opposition to the concept of any "apostate movement".
While I would LOVE to see a documentary film about the life of Ray Franz, I think it is pretty well-known in the ex-JW community that Ray likely would have opposed it (the guy was actually TOO humble, IMO, if there is such a thing). Knowing Ray's views on his own publicity, his closest friends aren't likely to go on film and regale us with anecdotes about the man, unfortunately.
I hope I'm wrong about that but it's kind of how I see it right now.
Mr.Monroe, those sorts of experiences like you relate are far too common. There's a big difference between OUT and FREE.
Getting in the face of JW's themselves will accomplish little. Outlaw is right . . . you need to identify the enemy.
If you want to sway individual JW's then Steve Hassans books are the blueprint for how best to achieve that.
If you want to go after the WTB&TS . . . they do provide plenty of ammunition if you look carefully for it. Set up a website which gives access to ex-members locally, who have been measurably disadvantaged by child abuse, shunning, or the blood doctrine. With numbers you can then employ items 5, 6, and 7. There are other Authorities besides the Police in item 7 that you can petition such as Human Rights Authorities when they use desciminatory language in their literature, or sack a DF'd or DA'd person for eg.
If a fuss becomes newsworthy . . . then the Media will possibly show some interest . . . but only then. It takes some tenacity and also numbers . . . the problem is most aren't motivated unless someone else takes the lead. The irony is that it doesn't take too much effort . . . much can be done from your computer. If you research the background of Politicians and prominent social commentators . . . you may even find a previous interest in a particular area say, child abuse . . . there's your huckleberry.
If you can nail them on just one clear violation . . . you can create a shitstorm of epic proportions for them. Steve Unthank is making a reasonable fist of it . . . as have the Andersons and others. You just keep hammering away until a crack appears. When you break through . . . you also have high deterent value for prospective members