Why are Witnesses so effective?

by Apognophos 32 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Phizzy

    When I was younger and "in" I used to ask people at conventions that I got chatting to, why they joined. The variety of answers I got, looking back, shows me that the reasons people joined were as varied as the reasons people leave.

    The funny thing is, not one of them ever said "Because I became convinced JW's had the Truth" which is what I wanted to hear, being full of doubts myself. Obviously indoctrination once in does its work, but getting sucked in is for some very strange reasons. I don't think anyone said to me either that the JW was so convincing in his/her "presentation" was a reason.

    I now am surprised they make any converts, but the ones I have observed locally who converted all seem to be vulnerable people, and many are of low education and low self esteem. The vast majority, 98% or so, of growth locally is from born-ins and JW's moving in from elsewhere, from the "territory", only a handfull in the last decade across four Congregations !

  • Apognophos

    Maybe I should have drawn a direct comparison to other religions in my OP to make my point clear. Imagine you're talking to anyone religious other than a JW or Mormon. They really don't have their prosyletizing act together, do they? And they don't obviously stand out as a Catholic, Buddhist, whatever when you meet them in the workplace. That's the perspective I'm speaking from.

    sd-7, you are arguing with my premises from a place of a posteriori knowledge, and as a born-in. I'm talking about why people convert (but again, maybe I should have put that in the topic title to be clearer) and what impresses someone at first glance, not whether it's true or not.

    Can't you just sidle up to a convert at the next meeting and just ask them?

    Eh, I'm not that sociable :) I'd rather ask you guys. But I knew that my question would raise some hackles, seeing as some of you are angrier about your past experiences than others, and I respect that. Nevertheless, my point was to try to be objective in understanding what attracts people. I'm not sure there's a larger point here or this is just my thinking out loud. I suppose it could be cathartic to some people who are hard on themselves about having become a Witness, or maybe educational for the rest of us.

  • jgnat

    Londo, I would add to your description of the indoctrination process, that the warnings to ignore family and friends is introduced on the second study.

    I also notice that questions outside of the programmed responses are consistently deferred. Those who stay through the whole study are acclamitized to live with indefinitely deferred questions.

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