I don't think most of you know how much Nathan Natas has contributed to this cause. I do. My life is richer because of him.
This thread gave three choices, but it didn't give ALL the choices: pro-activitist, anti-activist (whatever THAT means) or passive.
It left out a number of other choices. Therefore the argument is a false dilemma.
One of the categories left out was this one: "Fuck you, Watchtower Society. I will do everything I can to bring you down, jerks." If you want to boil it down to something simple, then try "Watchtower Nihilism."
But I prefer the "Fuck you" part. That's just me. I never went to college and I learned my potty mouth hanging around pioneers when I was doing that. We all talked like that, except at the doors. Then we lied.
Anybody that knows me - knows I tend to fall into Farkel's 4th category definition of, " Fuck you , Watchtower Society. I will do everything to bring you down, jerks. " Good job Farkel, I'm of the same ilk and mindset. Which by the way includes me being pro-activist , but I still flip the WT society the bird as I'm doing it
I've done what I can ... put signs on KHall properties proclaiming them a pedophile paradise, written newspapers re child abuse on numerous occasions, and helped another JWNer with research.
If it weren't for the sexual abuse coverup, I would not bother, but anything for the sake of the children.
NN , thanks!
and to all who contribute to this cause, every bit matters. We do what we can.
I am an activist I guess according to the O.P definition, I would be more active if I had the chance, I do as much as I can.
I will not support ineffective methods, protests outside their Conventions etc, because I have wasted too much of my life on the WT, but anything that works I will have a crack at.
Being an Activistis is basically a selfish thing for me, I have an intense seething rage against the WT for stealing my life, ruining it. Anything I can do to damage the WT helps me to handle that anger, otherwise it would express itself elsewhere in my life, and that is not fair to other people.
I obviously consider myself an activist, but I do also consider there to be lines that must be drawn. I sometimes wrestle with what does or doesn't constitute crossing that line. I'm personally averse to picketing conventions or meetings, although I can understand and sympathize with people's motivations for doing this. I look at it from the JW perspective, and I can only see it reinforcing the seige mentality and persecution complex among the majority. However, even then, what's to say that one or two JWs won't read a sign and start thinking? So even in this aspect of activism, there is a degree of dilemma for me.
Still, I would definitely draw the line at picketing memorials as was once encouraged by a certain ex-poster on this forum. I just think it's plain crude and disrespectful, and sends entirely the wrong message. A memorial is a sacred occasion to JWs, even though we know it has no real significance whatsoever. By picketing memorials, you are effectively sending the message that apostates are insensitive and disrespectful, which is not an image I would personally wish to align myself with. That's just my opinion.
I do consider writing books and website articles a form of activism, because it takes effort (or "activity") in order to do that sort of thing, and it is with the aim of helping others to get out. If the likes of Paul Grundy, Ray Franz, Barbara Anderson, James Penton and Randy Watters (all of whom I consider "activists") had neglected to write or speak about their knowledge and experience of Jehovah's Witnesses, then I'm convinced that many thousands of people would still be JWs who are no longer indoctrinated by this damaging cult. But writing definitely takes time. Some articles I can rattle off in a few hours, but it's not uncommon for me to spend 2 or 3 days writing and researching some of my blog articles (especially the lengthier ones). It gets wearisome at times, but I allow myself to be fuelled by the positive feedback from previous articles and the notion that I might help at least one person to see things for how they really are. In my view, that makes it all worthwhile. There is also a certain therapeutic value to writing, which I won't deny.
One form of activism that I somewhat neglectfully failed to mention in my OP was that of taking legal action against the Society. Obviously, not everyone is in a position to do this - but even for those who have a legitimate case against the Society, taking them to court is no doubt an extremely intimidating and stressful experience. In this regard, Candace Conti deserves considerable recognition for her bravery and determination. It's not inconceivable that her actions may yet serve to significantly accelerate what is (in my view) the inevitable decline of the Watchtower Society into an infinitesimally small group that no longer enjoys global reach. In such an eventuality, arguably her actions will prove more damaging to the Watchtower than many hundreds of pages of books or blog articles put together. On the other hand, if I've judged her correctly, Candace would probably look on it as a team effort. In other words, her legal victory will cause untold numbers of publishers to begin to ask questions, for which the answers lie waiting for them on the internet and printed page due to the work of others.
I don't expect everyone to be an activist, and I do sympathise with those who voice disapproval when certain actions are proposed that seem crude or somehow illegal. I realize there are many who take the approach "when they're ready, they will come to us" - and I agree that you need to have doubts in the first place in order to do the research and put the effort in. Ultimately it is for each and every individual to find the truth - you can't force it upon them. However, that's not to say you can't make it a little easier for such ones by making the information freely available. I certainly don't see anything helpful in making statements that appear to paint the Society and it's accomplishments in a favorable light, under the excuse that if people are intelligent enough they will see through the positive statement and find a more balanced perspective for themselves. It doesn't always work that way, especially when you're deeply indoctrinated and wrestling with a burning sense of loyalty to friends, family, and organization. Any morsel from the mouth of an "apostate" that praises the Society can be enthusiastically swallowed and used to fuel the cognitive dissonance.
In that respect, I think it's possible for long-time apostates to become jaded and cynical, and underestimate just how difficult it can be for someone (even with doubts) to reach rational conclusions regarding what they are reading. It's still only relatively recently that I awakened, so maybe I'm more sensitive than some to just how hard it is to break free - even if you have all the facts at your disposal. That's partly why I asked this question. I wanted to know how many still see themselves as activists, and how many are more passive and expect indoctrinated ones to do all the work.
I should add that I don't plan to put this much time and energy into my activism indefinitely. I hope to eventually reach a stage where my work is on record, and I am able to move on with my life and put my JW experience well and truly behind me. However, even when I reach that stage in the future, I can't imagine that I would wish to make it difficult or needlessly complicated for people to see the real truth if I were asked for an opinion on JW-related matters. In that respect, even when I'm no longer an "activist", I'll still be "pro-activism".
I am whatever I need to be for the people I am with.
No one tactic works in all situations, so you have to be adaptable.
I'm not inclined to Advertise! Advertise! Advertise! apostasy from the rooftops, to me that is just an anti-version of spreading the good news, the quintessential apostate is trained by the organisation to become what he/she is - I want no part of that. When I'm asked my opinion however or feel a need to offer it, I don't hide my true feelings or hold back any information irrespective of the c onsequence .
It seems everyone is gifted or called in different ways at different times in life in general.
Activism seems to be the same.
The best results seem to come when we operate from within that gift or calling, as evidenced by some of the amazing talent right here on JWN.
So personally I am pro-activist.
However I firmly reject the label apostate which belongs to the WBTS, Pharisees and Sanhedrin. The ruling religious clergy class surreptitiously oppose the gospel and hence are guilty of spiritual harlotry (apostasy).