Liz we are all in different stages of our awakening. I was born in a JW family 65 years ago. I have for the most part set back and watched, absorbed, and saw things change that started disturbing my Bible training. I have seen Elders go from being loving, kind shepherds to many becoming power hungry . As you read something on this site don't take it as gospel but take what you hear and do your own research. For myself I have seen this religion change so many teachings I don't even recognize it as the same religion the changes have been to dramatic. Read and Think and Research and not just in JW publications, but that is a good place to start.
Introduction and a note on several posts here
Of course it's worth it. While confirmation bias always plays a role, I still believe at times it's possible to overcome that. After all, when I personally deeply studied the Bible I did it to confirm my beliefs. The outcome was the opposite however.
You are not a liar. You just have some strong opinions that I don't see and this is why I ask you to explain them to me please?
To me, the best example of deception is the massaging of the interpretation of "this generation" over the years. To manipulate people into a sense of urgency, they gradually changed that teaching over the years to always make the end seem imminent. I don't know how anyone can read through all those changes to the interpretation and not believe they weren't being manipulated. Especially after confirming that this was true in Ray Franz's book.
People who know the organization and say that the leadership is deliberately saying false things is - as I believe - dishonest. However, it's more what stillin says: The people are not delibaretely deceptive but have convinced themselves.
This distinction I am stressing here is not semantics. It's a fundamental difference to understand whether people are deliberately cruel and liars or just overconvinced (perhaps wrongly) with their own understanding of matters. I believe it's just unnecessary and objectively wrong to assign bad motives to Jehovah's Witnesses and does not lead to a helpful discussion. It makes much more sense to discuss explicit and implicit doctrines and their effects on members.
Come on now-really?
When a child does something wrong and gets caught at it they either admit to it or make excuses and blame others, right?
The Watchtower leaders have been caught out time and time again doing essentially the SAME WRONG THING, but, they always make excuses and do it again. Doesn't WILLFUL wrongdoing ever count as lying?
Pretending that what they say is FROM Jehovah is lying because they end up CHANGING what "Jehovah told them". That means they are GUESSING and just calling it "Jehovah told them." How much clearer can that be to everybody paying attention?
And while we are on the subject of men making things up and calling it "Jehovah"--the blood policies are made up--but, think about the ENFORCEMENT by disfellowship to coerce conformity and the lives that have been lost....DID THEY NEED TO FORCE IT ON PEOPLE? No. They could have been honest
and clear instead of willful and autocratic.
The MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL NEVER DIE teaching was milked for purposes of persuasion after it had utterly FAILED in 1925. The Society just kept hedging on it and squeezing every last drop out of it until they couldn't run away from it and then---CHANGED IT to the "generations" NEW LIGHT nonsense. This demonstrates how they were AWARE it was phony but too embarassed to admit it was wrong from the start.
ISN'T LYING the awareness you aren't giving all the facts?
ISN'T LYING the intention to create an impression which doesn't comport with reality?
Be honest with yourself before you make excuses for those feckless "leaders" who hold people hostage by their whims and call it DIVINE!
You are correct that I am leaving. On the other points, I don't ask for any respect or so for any of these people. I simply know that it is plain false that the majority would have improper motives. So, it's just ridiculous in my mind if people would reitarate that as fact.
I do wonder though at people I know personally like my relatives who keep sitting through meetings with all the doctrinal changes like the over-lapping generations and they still stay. You must wonder yourself as you've studied the Bible intensively. Do they stay from fear of man, cowardice, too lazy to do the research?
Regarding your statement "Firstly, I asked a question. I made no statement...". It's sad that you are putting out such questions and then you are ducking away.
Ad hominem. Sarcasm. Patronising. That's because you're better than me?
In that way, you are clearly stating and judging, but you are keeping yourself enough room to manouvre yourself again out of the issue.
It's exactly the same technique the Watchtower uses to promote certain behaviour without explicitly telling you what you have to do.
Ad hominem. Sarcasm. 'Clearly' = weasel word.
I'm not promoting behaviour.
On Warwick I told you, I don't see any connection to enjoyment of funds. They are moving the Bethel out of Brooklyn, most likely because with half the money they get from that they can build Warwick and the other half they can use for other activities. So, am I wrong?
I saw no answer to my question unless I missed one of your posts.
In your own mind no, you are not wrong. In the minds of others you are wrong.
Please stop patronising me.
I was an elder, I pioneered, I have most of my family in the 'truth(R)'. I am shunned by the 'lovely people' in the 'truth(R)' but I bear them no malice.
I really don't see the lying point. Leadership might be accused of intellectual dishonesty. But I can't see that they would be delibireately lying. Also, it would be extremely difficult to maintain that lifestyle and constant challenge if they really thought what they preach is a lie. I don't believe any person would (be able to) sustain that lifestlye if it didn't believe in it.
You ask for an answer to your question. I thought I answered all questions. Which question do you mean?
I have been in for 33 years and baptised since my sixteenth ... I was always a black sheep. It did not matter how much I did... I was never really accepted. Shurely there are a lot of good people in the organisation and this community is not crucading against these people in person. It is the beliefsystem that is Evil since it keeps people in captivity and obidience to people that (without a certain remorse) CLAIM they are a FAITHFULL slave.
The funny part is that they:
- can not prove the claim... so they bombarded themselves as a Slave who is the Boss in town. I do not think the Master would bombard someone to a slave without telling the OTHER slaves that there is a superior slave in their midst...
Many people have been crushed by the wts under the guidance of the GB, some are angry and some of those who are angry may well at times write things in an angry way, that's life, that's what happens when people abuse power and crush people's lives.
Also, when I first learned that jw's were completely wrong I started looking at things on the Internet, in doing so I saw some videos from people who were saying things like 'brother so and so said this about me so I left and I hate them all now' - there's always people with chips on their shoulders.
I'd say on the whole that this site is a good place to get info and meet like minded people. Sure at times you'll see and read things and think that's just silly but you learn to ignore that, but don't let silly little things like that stop you from seeing value of this site and the people here, some who would bend over backwards to help you.
For many years I worked (free of charge of course) at the circuit and district convention in accounting, I can absolutely assure you the money was the number one priority, I've watched district overseers script their notes and laughing about guilting the bros/sis into giving more money. 'Brothers, have you any idea how much it costs to hire these halls, really? Do you really?' Well yes, I did, I also new how much it cost me, a self employed regular pioneer, to take time from my part time crap job to go to an assembly and not earn any money to feed my family and then feel guilty that I wasn't giving even more.
Of course there are many, many honest and good people in the jw, there's a number I miss dearly, but that will never excuse the crystal clear fact that the GB have just their power to tell the org the 'truth' from Jehovah, only to change that truth later when 'the truth' turned out to be an untruth. So yes, people are angry. People here also want to help others escape from that nightmare.
i hope you can see past the things you don't like and see the value of this site and also contribute to it to make it even better :)
Thanks for expressing your viewpoint LizO. The nice thing about forums like JWN is that thousands of active Jehovah's Witnesses view this site - who come to realize that they are not alone in the Org. with questions, doubts and fears.
You bring up valid points and you question the point of view of others. During this process the thread opens up lively discussions and and even more questions. This dialogue is VERY important to the thousands that are questioning their faith in this religion.
I suspect that many echo your feelings. They are struggling with trying to reconcile how good, honest-hearted people (their families and closest friends) are able to support a theology that causes intellectual and emotional conflict.
One fact remains constant in the structure. People in the congregations and elders follow the direction of the leaders. All too often, when trying to reconcile their internal conflicts, it's easier to blame the local person as a being a bad guy (imperfect).
When, in reality, he is just following orders (theocratic direction from the faithful slave).