Reaching Loved Ones Stuck in a Cult: An Idea for Discussion

by 00DAD 70 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jgnat

    For movies, try the "Stepford Wives". There's another where a village is caught in the eighteenth century, terrorized to stay in town by a horrible monster stalking the woods. Forgot the name, sorry.

  • cedars

    00DAD - This is an interesting topic. I've obviously had a great deal of success in getting my wife out, but there's a big difference communicating with someone you live with and see every day, and trying to get through to indoctrinated family members (such as my Dad) who are not under the same roof, and who you only see periodically.

    I'm a firm believer that every JW of reasonable intelligence has suppressed doubts. Getting through to them is purely a matter of finding out what these doubts are and getting your relative to bring them to the surface. That's certainly how things happened with Mrs Cedars. She had doubts herself to begin with, and once I shared my doubts with her she identified with many of them, and got a few more to chew on.

    It's difficult to get a tried and tested "one size fits all" solution for everyone, because everyone is different and responds to different lines of reasoning. I do think you're on the right track though.

    When I recently visited my family I sort of had a "speech" prepared in which I would have described the difficulties that a Mormon would have in becoming a JW, because he would have been raised his whole life to believe that Mormonism is the one and only "truth". The possibility of him becoming a JW when JW literature is off-limits would be virtually impossible. I would then leave it to my family to make the connection, and hopefully see that they are in the exact same position - even if their beliefs are wrong they have no way of knowing, because information that is in any way critical of JW beliefs is off-limits. I obviously never got the opportunity to use this reasoning, because my family seem afraid to raise these issues with me.

    Is that the sort of thing you had in mind?


  • Phizzy

    Another thing to try may be to pose the question, how can I prove to a non JW that it is the truth ? make up a fictional friend perhaps who has no problem with doctrine, they don't believe any false ones, but simply cannot see what proves the claim that JW's are God's chosen channel ?

    Once started down the route of proving that claim, seperate from doctrine*, your JW family have to face the stark fact, there is no proof.

    * you have to insist they are not interested in studying the JW doctrine, they rightly say that if it is god's Org and channel, a massive claim, there must be some massive proof.

  • Giordano

    Hi Cedars. Or you could tell them this: Two JW Elders met two Mormons on the sidewalk "I don't move out of the way for Apostates!" said the Elder.

    "We Do!" said the Mormon.

  • Balaamsass

    Three years ago 1st gen (my wife) threw away Rays book COC in horror, screaming at me. (Her grandmother was a JW in the 1800s and went in service on horseback. Her Dad visited and was tight with Knorr- called him Nate, donated money and did Real Estate deals for WTBTS. He called another GB member "Son" bought him suits and gave him thousands.)

    A year and 3 months ago she read ONE story on JWN from a google search on a laptop I passed to her about the Menlo Park Kingdom hall (she knew one of the disfellowshipped Elders to be very sincere. She then followed the FUNNY threads and realized EX-Ws were NOT "apostates" they were simply "more noble minded" and frequently disfellowshipped for asking obvious questions. As a mom, the stories of abuse victims and disfellowshipped children on JWN made her cry. (She was impressed the people on JWN were kinder and more accepting than most JWs in local halls).

    A year ago she read COC in PDF. (Mostly secretly from me-lol)

    What did I do? I NEVER made a direct assault on WTBTS to her. I told her FUNNY stories about governing body members (doing bad things), FUNNY stories about elders doing bad things. FUNNY stories about elders meetings. We watched TV shows on the AMISH and I made JW comparisons and laughed (she was upset with me).

    What sealed it was the CraZy talk from the Governing body about "Apostates" in the Watchtowers... The BEGGING from the pulpit. The LIES about money, ( remodels/RBC, Assembly Halls, & theft of funds from elderly widows).

    The Governing Body will do the work for their shall know them......

  • sickandtired

    Jgnat, I think the movie you're referring to is "The Village". My husband and I saw it a few years ago and both really liked it. I don't think I made any connections to JWs as far as I can remember. I was still very much mentally in when I saw it. I don't think most JWs would see the similarities unless they were "awake". Funny you should mention that movie, because my husband and I have it on our DVR and one of these days we'll watch it. I look forward to watching it now with eyes wide open!

  • cognisonance

    For movies, The Island is good at highlighting cognitive dissonance and beliving something that isn't true. The Shunning is also really good for showing how unloving shunning is. The Matrix and Shawshank Redemption (the later for dealing with the effects of institutionalization) are good too, but not all JWs would be willing to watch those due to the rating.

  • cedars

    Great suggestion cognisonance, the premise of The Island is a great metaphor for what it means to be in a cult.

    Another great film along similar lines is The Village. If you're going to use this as a teaching tool with your family, for maximum impact I would recommend watching and discussing it immediately after the Watchtower study where Jehovah's "valley of protection" is discussed (from the Feb 15th Watchtower, page 20).


  • 00DAD

    Wow, great responses everyone!

    I just checked in quickly to see if I got any hits since last night and was I pleasantly surprised!!!

    Later, I'll try to respond to everyone Flipper-style after I get done with work, but in the meantime, KEEP THOSE GREAT COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS COMING!


    PS - What a difference a change in thread title can make.

  • Ding


    How do we identify those secret doubts?

    I know a JW who says he knows it's the truth, but he never does field service and won't say why.

    Obviously, he's not as convinced it's the truth as he professes to believe.

    But when I try to get him to open up, he won't.

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