Thoughts on how to approach (or NOT approach) our loved ones.

by Londo111 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • Londo111

    I’m sure this has been reiterated over the years again and again.

    But how we approach our JW loved ones may either free them…or drive them further into the organization and away from us. Of course, I saw this hypocritically, because I’ve made the same mistakes. It’s easier said than done.

    But I believe the absolutely worst mistake is to tell a JW: You are in a cult. It didn’t work for me when I was a believing JW. And after I was out, it took me six months to finally look on the Internet and start researching, another three months before I could admit this was a cult. Steven Hassan’s timing was much the same from the time he awakened to the time he could admit to himself that his former religion was a cult.

    One of the best things is to ask a loved one, “What would you do if you were in my shoes?” If you can get them to imagine things from a different viewpoint.

    I think this video of Steven Hassan's lecture, though 40 minutes, might be an important investment of time in formulating whatever approach we take.

  • irondork


  • Ding

    In the video, Steve Hassan suggested asking the cult member to tell you about the group, what attracted them to it, etc.

    This puzzles me.

    Wouldn't that just trigger the cult mindset and get them to go into their mantra about why they are in the truth?

    How do we help them break free of that mantra?

  • Londo111

    Wow…good question. I definitely need to reread Steven Hassan’s books now that I’ve been humbled by my mistakes.

    This seems to be covered in Releasing the Bonds, Chapter 11 under the subheading, “Find out what attracted your loved one to the cult.” In my book, it is on page 270.

    He says these questions for the cult member will be ‘illuminating and therapeutic.’

    ‘People join for personal reasons. Realizing this can help them see their involvement from a new perspective.'

    'Most “don’t think they are making a lifetime commitement.” They say to themselves, “I’m going to check this out for a little while. I’ll see if this fits.'

    'It helps them do a reality test. What was he promised would happen when he joined the group? How does it compare with what he is doing in the group today?'

    Eventually one can ask such questions as, ‘Did you ever dream that you would be discouraged from seeing your family and friends?’

    Of course, with that question, the challenge with JWs is that a good percentage of them are born-ins, second and third generation. Thus they may have never had been encouraged to trickle off in their “worldly” friendships because they are “bad association”. By this time, a gulf is already formed between JW family and non-JW family.

    It is not one-size-fits-all, because each person is drawn for different reasons--and if they are born in they have never known anything else.

  • Tater-T

    marking for later

  • Ding

    I remember talking to a JW sister who was in her late 20s -- raised in the borg.

    She came across as 100% sold on the organization.

    Everything she said could have been written by Fred Franz.

    I couldn't find any non-WT personality there at all.

  • trujw

    I think some just believe it really doesn't matter what we say or do. We cant release them because they want to stay captive. It is a known sense of security and I dont care if you hit them over the head with real truth THEY want to believe enough said.

  • Phizzy

    I have family just like that, they want to believe whatever. Some of the older ones I do not think it would be a kindness to release them, they could not handle reality, like facing their mortality etc, and facing the fact they have spent a wasted lifetime working for a Property dealing SCAM posing as a religion.

    I think with some of the yoiunger ones I am able to plant a seed or two, and to show them that life can be such fun outside of the WT. I think some of the youngest are well aware of TTATT, but stay in because of marriage ties and the social scene, which in this area is particularly vibrant, one of the few things I missed for a while after leaving !

    Baby steps are good, with whoever you are dealing with, one little question, leave it with them, wait for an answer that may not come, if it doesn't then leave another little question later. Evntually we may, by this gentle method , help them reach a tipping point.

    Always use what they themselves find disturbing, which is often the behaviour of other JW's, but sometimes it is a teaching, latch on, leave a question for them to answer, getting their mind working is the first aim, then getting it working along "Critical Thinking" lines of logically considering matters comes next.

    Realise it is a long road, and one which may not free them whatever, let them realise that when (if ever) they are ready, you are there for them.

  • FingersCrossed


  • Hermano

    Yeah, marking...

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