exJW Psychology 102--How to Ask a Question When Questions Aren't Allowed

by Billy the Ex-Bethelite 41 Replies latest jw friends

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Now that enough time has passed and I've moved away, I think I'm overdue to share some of the stories from my fade. I've mentioned some of this before, but I think it deserves its own thread.

    We all would like to be able to freely ask questions about JW beliefs and get our family and friends to really think about certain questions. However, when you're a baptized JW, you really can't ask any good questions or you'll get the "apostate" label slapped on you! Early on when I was trying to fade, I was able to ask some tough questions with interesting results. One of the most effective ways to frame a question, I found, was to frame it as a question raised while preaching. And as long as JWs continue trying to push their beliefs and literature on others, this technique can be used.

    Back when I first came to this forum, I was still an active elder and had ignored decades worth of questions. The NBC story was the last straw for me:
    At the time, I was working around lots of nonJWs. So, rather than waving around printouts and saying, "Look what I found!", I took the printout around to some of my family, friends, and other elders, explaining that a workmate heard it on the news and knows I'm a JW. I said that he printed it out and asked me if this is standard procedure at our local KH to hide pedophiles.

    Then I asked the JWs, "What am I supposed to say to this?!?" The conversations that followed were interesting.

    Once the article was confirmed as legit on the website, some asked, "Is that person an apostate?"

    I enjoyed using maximum sarcasm addressing that question. "Apostate? They've never been a JW, but know that I am a JW. Is that how you respond when you're preaching at someone's door and they ask you a question? You respond asking, 'Are you an apostate?'"

    At the time, the CO was soon to visit. Many suggested that I ask him, and so I did, at the end of the elders meeting. That CO was not liked by any of the BoE, so I wasn't timid. I gave him the printout and explained the scenario. His response: "Oh, I don't know about that. You should write the branch and ask them." After that, I gave him a grilling about how he would respond if he had to go to work tomorrow and face the question from workmates. As far as writing the branch, I assured him that they take a year or more to answer any ordinary letter, so he should send the question along with the report to the Service Department. He fled from the conversation and didn't send the question with the report.

    I was looking forward his next visit and asking him about it. That would have been his last visit before being moved, but he didn't make it to our congregation and sent a subCO instead.

    Moving on to a different example. In conversation, a friend was telling me how he knows he's supposed to preach to his workmates, but he's not comfortable doing it. Rather than twisting his arm to preach, I gave him the perfect reason not to preach. I explained, "Well, I learned that you have to be really careful, because you have to work with them every day. And you don't want to be in front of a group of coworkers when one of them asks the 'kangaroo question.'"

    Which, of course, led him to ask, "Kangaroo question? What's that?"

    Me, playing coy, "Oh, I think I shouldn't have mentioned that." Of course, that statement just made him even more curious. So then I explained how it was not uncommon for JWs to get asked questions about the flood that we couldn't answer. 'Kangaroo question' was how kangaroos got from Australia to Noah's ark, then from Turkey back to Australia after the flood. Then he was really confounded trying to solve this riddle. I had to tell him that there was no solution to that, nor to a lot of other questions that I hope he never gets asked. Since I was the ex-bethelite, he wanted to know what to do with such a question. I explained, "Since there is nothing helpful published, if you get asked a question like that at the door, you have to say that you'll go and research the question... but you never go back to their door. If you get asked by a workmate where you can't run away, you have to say that Noah's flood is a parable and not literal."

    I've got several other stories, but it's such a beautiful day out that I'm tired of looking at a computer monitor. I'll add them another time. And besides my technique for posing questions as a field service situation, my sister has a good method for asking questions. I'll call it the "What is it we believe again?" Technique.

  • sd-7

    Oh, that is clever. You are a clever wolf-in-sheep's clothing! You really have slyly approached, cloaking disloyal inquiries in a deceptive manner designed to draw unwary ones into doubts and false reasoning. Some who have listened to you have begun doubting the means Jehovah has provided to feed his loyal servants in these last days. How tragic! --sd-7

  • PaintedToeNail

    Brilliant! I can just see this method used on a part at the Ministry School, two sisters, sitting at a tacky table, one asking the question-"Why can't we join the YMCA?"

    The other sister answering, "Let me see, I came across this NGO application from the WTBTS to the UN, what is their reasoning on this matter".

  • Simon

    Great stuff !

  • Oubliette

    BteB: ... frame it as a question raised while preaching

    Love it!

    Can't wait to hear the "What is it we believe again?" technique.

  • trujw

    I guess when I told the elders off and they sent a certified letter to my wife to meet with them I shouldn't have got a restraining order against them. For some reason she got df. If I told my real story all the way some here would call bull$&/t. It really was that bad. Back then I didn't know about the fade 1996. She was a dove and those assholes treated her like a used rag. One day I will tell the story.

  • ABibleStudent

    Kuddos Billy the Ex-Bethelite for getting around a JW's shields by making them curious!!

    Enjoy your day. You earned it.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


  • gma-tired2

    Trujw I believe how you and your wife were treated. I watched elders in action in 1988 and was so shocked and disappointed. I have only attended a handful of meetings since that experience. It wasn't even my problem they were attacking my early 20's son because his marriage wasn't working.

  • Sapphy

    Oh I do love the kangaroo question. I've used it several times. - I've had this conversation:

    How did kangaroos get from mount ararat to australia after the flood, without leaving a shred of evidence of habitation along the way?

    They hopped.

    Ok, how did the koala's do it?

    Maybe they hid in the kangaroo's pouch.

    What about the duck-billed platypus and the tasmanian devil?

    Err God magic.

  • Resistance is Futile
    Resistance is Futile

    Great thread Billy. Clearly you've spent some time in the kitchen studying some of Satan's better recipes.

    JWs have to come to the difficult yet honest realization that their religion and its many "unique" doctrines simply can't stand up to scrutiny.

    I ran into a group of JWs street witnessing recently and engaged them in conversation without letting on what I know about the Watchtower cult. Within a few minutes the lady somewhat randomly blurted out "Jehovah has always had an organization". Bear in mind I really hadn't asked anything up to that point which would have warranted that particular response. Slightly taken aback, yet willing to play, I politely asked, "What organization was Jehovah using in the 1700s"? To which I received a stunned expression of confusion and silence. These were older women that had spent decades in the religion. I was dumbfounded that this women had simply never thought about such a basic question.

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