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

by 00DAD 70 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Balaamsass

    What about setting up a fake gmail or Facebook account, and EMAILING links to your loved ones ?

    They might read these.

    When I was a kid some current and ex JWs put letters, underlined Watchtowers, or photocopies of Watchtower publications in/on peoples peoples cars or mailed them without a return address. Make sure you use an out of area postmark. "look sweete a oh my ...WHO do you think sent this to look at it...........tell me what YOU think.....

  • leavingwt

    If the blood issue had not arisen with my unborn son, I'm afraid I would have never mentally escaped. That is a scary thought, yet there it is. Only when faced with a decision that could have meant the life of my son, was I really shaken to the point of allowing myself to indulge my doubts about the religion, and to examine with an open mind, “apostate” literature. (Then, as fate would have it, my former Bethel roommate suggested that I read Crisis of Conscience. He was ahead of me, mentally, in his exit.)

    One thing that Steve Hassan candidly admits, is that if a person is truly happy as a member of a high-control group, they are probably not going to exit. In my own case, I wasn't really that happy (most of the time), so perhaps I would have found my way out, even without the blood situation with my son.

    On the one hand, I truly believe (as Hassan does) that at their core, people want to be free. On the other hand, it's very true that learning TTATT can set into motion a chain of events that not everyone is prepared to handle. Further, some of them (seemingly) cannot make the transition. It is quite possible that a person’s life can take a serious turn for the worse, especially if their financial security is tied up other JWs. I would also guess that severely introverted persons with little real-world life experience would quickly be placed into a severely disadvantaged state, if they were to find themselves being shunned by the local congregation.

    Rescuing a loved one from the WT, and having your family restored is one of the greatest joys of my life. When it happened, it almost didn't seem real, at first. It is definitely a worthwhile goal. I got incredibly lucky, with another perfect storm of circumstances allowing my older (never baptized) brother to have repeated and direct interactions with our JW parents and with our younger JW brother. He followed the suggestions put forth by Steve Hassan in these interactions. By necessity, these interactions usually included what some would label as deception. For example when speaking to my mother, she would constantly ask him whether or not he still believed certain doctrines, such as the 144,000. He would reply, “Yes, of course.” This would allow the conversation to continue, on whatever topic he was trying to discuss. Telling the truth would have immediately ended the conversation. JWs will ask these types of questions, because they need a mental excuse to tune you out, to stop listening. You must deflect these questions. I mention this, because many mistakenly believe that being brutally honest is an effective method, or perhaps they believe it’s the Christian method. I can speak from experience when I say you’re most likely going to have to use deception to reach your loved ones. If and when they exit, they’ll be glad you did. It will be a non-issue. It will be self-evident to them that you were using the method that worked.

    The exit begins in the mind, IMHO. A person must answer 'Yes' to this question: "Can you see yourself as being happy, yet no longer a JW?"

    When you can mentally (and even secretly) get to 'Yes' on this question, you're beginning your exit.

    Membership and status within the WT organization is not like a pair of glasses though which the JW sees the world. The organization is his very eyes themselves. Every aspect of his thinking is affected by the indoctrination. The entire worldview centers on all things WT.

    The video above was very clever and it does indeed demonstrate how "perspective" is so important. This is why I agree with Don Cameron, when he asserts that nobody has ever joined the JWs, after having undertaken a study of the history of the WT organization. Viewed through history, from the beginning until the modern day, most people will conclude that the WT religion is ridiculous, and even fanatical.

    Just a few thoughts.

  • Lozhasleft

    Torn apart - it must be so hard honey. Many of us probably don't appreciate how hard. You have my respect and admiration for holding it all together for your family and still maintaining your inner integrity. I believe it will pay off for you in the end. Keep going. The WTBS is a phenomenal enemy but you have sincerity on your side. Oh and God himself, for sure.

    Loz x

  • Ding

    It's sad when I think of all the JWs who constantly feel unworthy, often to the point of feeling totally worthless and completely alone.

    Yet they won't or can't bring themselves to question the system that makes them feel that way.

    They have completely bought into the WTS' propaganda that there's nowhere else for them to go.

    If you try to help them find a more hopeful future, they reject you as evil...

  • cedars


    Reaching loved ones to quit the KH is a noble cause, but , IMHO, it won't work out very well.

    An interesting if rather sweeping generalization.

    It's a good job I didn't think along those lines a year ago, because my wife is now living proof that loved ones can be reached. I recognize she is the exception rather than the rule (I count myself VERY lucky to have pulled her out), but I'm not sure that insisting that NO family members can be influenced is either an accurate or productive assertion to be making. It sounds needlessly defeatest.


  • blondie

    I was stuck in a cult for almost 45 years; I realized something was not quite right but I did not see it as a cult. It wasn't till I moved out of the alcoholism of my mother and the sexual abuse of my father, that finally had tools to examine my life.

    I had to learn the hard way to identify abuse of any kind. I could see the spiritual abuse in my life; it was not my fault; and I knew I was s trong enough to leave, I had succeed in leaving my family of abuse.

    There are no secret words...each person is different, affected by different actions and words, whether by people at the KH or the words in their official publications.

    Also, it is important to stay positive about these individuals when you can. Be positive about your own life where you can. Don't flood them with responses to doctrine. Concentrate on what they have experienced and suffered. Ask questions to make them think safely about what they think the solutions are. Give they space to think and grow.

    More importantly, realize leaving means leaving everyone they ever knew; be a support and a friend, help them find new friends; help them realize that the life of an ex-jw does not have to be a life of constant anger.

    Concentrate on the individual not the organization.

  • moshe

    cedars, you haven't officially quit the KH , yet.

    I am glad your wife has ditched the WT dogma and I hope you find a path out from under the thumb of WT oppression. You have gotten your wife out, bravo, I wish others the success you had with their spouse. - When it comes to a large JW family, getting them out without exposing yourself is a secretive operation needing the skills of James bond to pull it off.

  • tornapart

    Thanks Loz. xx Yes it is hard and it helps to know there are others on here that are in the same boat. Being able to share tips and thoughts with them really helps.

    Another thing I've found is that you have to use 'Jw speak'... it's no good using terms picked up on JWN, it won't work. Even if talking JW language grates, it makes them think you're on 'their side' and you can get further in making them think about things.

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    Instead, what if, bit by bit, we could encourage them to consider things from a slightly different perspective, to get them to look at reality from a different point of view? If we could do that, then they would begin to see what a flat illusion JW "theology" really is. Once they see it for themselves we wouldn't have to explain anything to them.

    And this is where the conversation usually ends. Dubs are taught what to consider, and how to think on it. Anything outside that comfort zone and the wall goes up. Sad to say, that the few who do figure it out, do so on thier own, on their own schedule, at their own pace. And even so, fear keeps them from considering anything except the party line

  • sd-7

    I think, in my own experience, and it seems that others have had similar experiences, that it's clear that the intellectual reasons for leaving the JWs will have no impact at all at first glance. The fear associated with the possibility of the entire belief system being wrong is a huge defense mechanism. The consequences of that possibility are unthinkable, especially when a person has come to depend on the cult for their entire sense of self-worth and being. Especially if that person feels they have little to look forward to in the rest of their life, though of course that can change once they are fully awakened.

    One thing that has surprised me in particular with my wife, for instance, is the fact that she has genuinely been bothered by how my mother makes certain remarks to me about my leaving the JWs. You see, the average person may not get propaganda techniques or destructive influence or the need for academic honesty in research, but they know when someone is being mistreated on a basic level, even if they've been indoctrinated to not feel anything. It's those emotional cues that are often the beginning of opening a person's mind to reality.

    Again it calls to mind so much of what Steve Hassan has written--the need to avoid criticizing the cult's beliefs or leadership, but to create scenarios where you indirectly undermine the blind trust in an absolute, corrupt authority. Movies are often a great way to engage the person's mind without their defenses being up. They may not immediately form the correlation, but it's a gradual process. Grains of sand eventually become a beach.

    The other thing that's particularly important is to show tolerance. You don't have to agree with what they believe in order to respect them. Going with the 'You're an idiot, you're in a cult, WAKE UP' approach is doomed. Sometimes I've had opportunity to openly discuss changes in doctrine in a non-critical manner, just lay it on the table, don't judge it one way or the other, be subtle about it. It may not matter today, but you just never know how the wheels inside that person's head are turning. There's always hope.


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