JW family indoctrination is harming my daughter

by uk_ex_jw 15 Replies latest jw experiences

  • uk_ex_jw

    Hi all,

    I will cut to the chase quite quickly.

    I was a JW up until 2007 when I officially cut my ties, although I was a regular visitor to this site for 3-4 years beforehand.

    I married a JW in 2004, had a child, and in 2007 we separated and divorced. My daughter went to live with her Mother.

    My ex-wife also left the JW's in 2007 following the breakdown of our marriage.

    My daughter is six now and I speak to her every week on the phone - she lives 100+ miles away from me with her Mother, her step-father and two younger siblings.

    I live with my partner and my two-year-old son.

    During school holidays, my daughter comes to stay with me for sometimes a week or on occasions longer.

    Her maternal, great-grandmother and great auntie are STAUNCH/STRICT JW's and I know they have been trying to fill my daughters head with Watchtower teachings for the past couple of years.

    I have contacted her Mother and made it clear that I am not happy with this approach. My daughter celebrates Christmas/Birthdays etc and any JW teaching is going to be contradictory to this. She has agreed and told me that it is up to our daughter if she wants to become a JW or not when she is older.

    Anyway, yesterday I spoke to her on the phone. It was her birthday a week ago and two weeks before she was telling me how she was having a party and all her school friends were going to be there.

    Last week she told me that she was going to the cinema with her friend from school, not having a party afterall.

    Last night she told me that she didn't go to the cinema and NO LONGER celebrates Birthdays, Christmas, or Halloween. I asked her why and she said 'I don't know' and that she didn't want to talk about it.

    She has always been very well liked and had lots of friends. But over recent months she has been telling me how she has started falling out with people at school, not liking certain children, how a lot of her friends have pulled away from her, and so forth.

    She was also very miserable on the phone last night and said that she couldn't wait to come and see me on Saturday.

    I have sent an e-mail to the school today outlining my concerns.

  • cantleave

    Have you spoken to her mother about this?

  • cantleave

    You have a PM

  • 00DAD

    uk_ex_jw: I asked her why and she said 'I don't know' and that she didn't want to talk about it.

    That's the JW way, "Listen, Obey and Be Blessed". Reasons don't matter, obedience does.

    You need to have a firm talk with your JW in-laws and set some FIRM, NON-NEGOTIABLE BOUNDARIES. If they can respect them, great. If not, then they will not be allowed to see your daughter. Get your ex on board with this.

    Best wishes,


  • uk_ex_jw

    Can't Leave - I will check the PM and come back to you.

    00DAD - I have made my feelings quite clear to the ex-in-laws, yet they still seem to keep pushing the boundaries. I have sent them a letter previously that went unanswered, numerous conversations with the ex who seems half-hearted on the issue, and now I am greeted with this news.

    I haven't contacted the ex today - I needed time to think. I have contacted the school via e-mail. Then I had to pop out and I missed their call. I rang back but the person I need to speak to is busy, so not sure I will hear anything back today.

    Just imagine the great grandmother - an old JW who is the matriarch of the family. She rules with an iron fist, often quoting scriptures to justify her actions.

    The Auntie is a carbon copy of the Grandmother.

    Because of my anti-JW stance, they view me as an apostate and will not communicate with me.

    Instead they are playing games with my daughter's mind by stating such things that I am going to die at Armageddon - my daughter was distressed over this and kept telling me that she didn't want me to die.

    What I don't understand is that my daughter lives with her Mother/Mother's partner and two siblings - none of them are practising JW's and the great grandmother lives 120 miles away.

    I need to get to the bottom of this.

  • 00DAD

    uk_ex_jw, yes you do need to get to the bottom of this and fast.

    It is just outrageous the way JWs disrespect natural parental boundaries. They overstep parental authority when it suits their twisted agenda insinuating themselves into relationships where they don't belong and then draw artificial boundaries excluding people they don't like (YOU) and demonizing them by labeling them "apostates".

    The fact that they are indoctrinating your daughter with fear is horrible and needs to be stopped.

    Please keep us posted and let us know how we can help, offer support or anything else you need.

    Best wishes,


  • Yan Bibiyan
    Yan Bibiyan

    Listen dude,

    You have to get there in person and put the zealos extended family in their place.

    Forget about letters, forget about the phone. Show up in person ths weekend and flat out tell them to stop. You are the parent. The law gives no footing to grandmas and aunts.

    If her mom is not fully onboard, you have to get her onboard to be with you on this. It is the future and wellbeing of your child at stake here.

    Use whatever means (even legal) to restrict contact with them. Not sure how child protection/social services function in the UK, but there has to be something that gives you an advantage as a parent.

  • nugget

    It sounds like her mum is being sucked back in. If she was fully out then she would want her daughter to have normal childhood experiences. She probably has difficulty standing up to her relatives. This is your child spiralling the drain so you need to be there for her. At her visit take her out for a birthday meal and have a cake with candles. Tell her you love her and want to celebrate the day she came into your life. See if you can get her to open up and talk about what has happened at home. When you know then you can work out the best approach.

    I agree that a personal visit and face to face chat may be required and certainly it may be worth approaching a solicitor to see if you can place any restrictions on contact by jw relatives. They won't stop but it will give you leverage if you also want to have greater custody. If her mother won't allow her to have holidays ask to have custody at these times.

  • ssn587

    maybe you can get a cease and desist against the inlaws as they are harming her mentally. worth a try anyway, and that failing beat them up verbally and put the fear of their god in them. Jdubs have no respect for anyones wishes, or on another note get total custody of your daughter as she is too young to be making up her mind about holidays and birthdays and the inlaws are brain washing her. go to court see what you can do.

  • ABibleStudent

    Hi uk_ex_jw, I'm sorry that your ex-in-laws are trying to indoctrinate your daughter.

    Your ex-wife might need some help standing up to her mother and aunt. If you cannot get your ex-wife to fully support your position to not let her family try to indoctrinate your daughter, your daughter will have a rough time. If your ex-wife's partner was not a JW, maybe you need to educate him about JWs so that he can help your wife. Have you thought about visiting your ex-wife and her partner to give them books by Steve Hassan (i.e., "Combatting Cult Mind Control" and "Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves"), Raymond Franz (i.e., "Crisis of Conscience" and "In Search of Christian Freedom"), and Don Cameron (i.e., "Captives of a Concept")?

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


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