Introduction and a note on several posts here

by LizO 95 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Londo111


    When I was first realized the JW theology was ill founded, I realized that religion was false, but denied mind control was involved. It takes time and a little self-education to understand the difference between a religion and a cult, to understand what mind control is and how it is employed.

    I encourage you to read the following books:

    Combating Cult Mind Control by Steven Hassan

    Crisis of Conscience by Ray Franz

    Captives of a Concept by Don Cameron

    One you read these books, I believe you will understand where we are coming from.

    As far as motives of the Governing Body, I can only assume they are, as Ray Franz said, captives to the concept. But then…so was David Koresh and Jim Jones. However, the Watchtower publications are often filled with selected quotations and references that are very misleading. The dishonesty can be truly shocking. Sometimes I have to think they are doing this intentionally.

    Individual JWs can be nice people, but sometimes the mind control makes them do horrendous things. They can turn loving to nasty in seconds. I’ve seen it. Until you experience persecution from JWs, you might not understand.

  • LizO


    I have no problems with the heat and didn't side-step any discussion. However, I already have the feeling that this forum might not be for me.

    My feeling is that there is just too much anger and hatred in this room in contrast to calm and reasonable self-reflection on religion and life. After all, people should not forget that they once likely supported and advertized this way of living (especially true for elders, let alone people on the top of the food chain like Franz).

    I undoubtedly see where the anger is coming from as I know the substantial explicit and implicit pressure which often arises within the organization. However, rather then taking this anger and shooting it back uncontrolled (and at times perhaps unfairly) to everyone who played a role in one's former religion (which might have been oneself in the past), one could point to specific and evidence-backed aspects.

    For instance, you Giordano are mentioning a lot of things I find difficult to grasp, e.g.

    1) Russel having a teenage misstress and Rutherford having several mistresses, things I have never heard before and where I am asking myself what your sources are and why apparently you place so much trust and confidence in them that you present those things as facts (I would guess it's difficult to assess 100 years later who slept with whom).

    2) Discouraging of higher education: People in my congregation were never really discouraged. In fact, in the congregations I had been to there was a positive correlation between those going to university and those becoming ministerial servants/elders (perhaps having to do with hard working attitude)

    3) You mention the low retention rate in the context with discouraging independent thinking. Those two things are contradictory, so you shouldn't mention them together. It's inconsistent.

    I really have no interest in fights, because those things cost a lot of life energy. I am done with that. And if there is a substantial number of people here who want to express their anger and hatred by bashing everything without sound reason then have fun with that but I don't want to be part of that.

    My objective on coming here was to recapitulate and go through some kind of chatharsis. However, perhaps I can't do that here since any kind of unreasonable/untrue accusations upset me, no matter against whom, and my personal assessment is that there is some amount of that in this forum.

    @Iown Mylife

    Mind control is really no important subject for me. Anyone in this world who wants to convince you of something or wants to sell you something in media ads will use some form of methods, either consciously or not, which can be attributed to belong to "mind control", depending on how you definet that.

  • BluesBrother

    My experience , after many decades in it, was the Org was made up of predominantly decent people . Those "on the bottom" without any appointment were usually better than those taking the lead . I have known some excellent elders, though and more recently a few devious untrustworthy ones .

    I cannot say how that compares with the other churches because I have never been in one.

    Of course we cannot know personally the G B ( I met Jack Barr once and he seemed a lovely man, but???) I think personally that we must accept Ray Franz's assessment that we are "the victims of victims" , meaning that the cloistered institutional lives they lead produces inevitably a mentality that they must be right and cannot consider anything else.

  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    Hi Liz- a statement you made was rather revealing:

    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.

    "intellectual dishonesty" is lying. You can candy-coat it however you like, but the fact doesn't change. Your statement tells me you've fallen into a trap of wanting to defend the WT, so you've rationalized the situation to avoid dealing with the discomfort of the truth.

    I've heard Elders defend the lies of fellow Elders by labelling the lie as "mishandling the truth". Euphimisms are an oft-used tool by liars, and I have to wonder about someone who sees no problem with that tactic.

    At one time I was like you- I didn't think the GB/WT were liars, just unwilling to admit honest mistakes. A few subjects for you to research may change your mind:

    The Mexico/Malawi scandal

    WT's status as an NGO with the United Nations for ten years.

    The Douglas Walsh Trial

    Doctrinal flip-flops

    doctrinal misrepresentation (The WT routinely makes claims on the subject of the Cross, Trinity, blood transfusion, public preaching, etc. that are flat-out lies. There's no other way around it. They cherry-pick information to make it say things it doesn't say).

    The WT's official policy of protecting pedophiles (especially the recent Candace Conti case)

    Read Ray Franz' book "Crisis of Conscience".

    Finally, you'll be denying yourself a real educational experience if your approach to this forum is biased towards concluding the members are dishonest and on a personal vendetta. If something seems questionable to you, either ask the poster to clarify the point or do some research. The most shocking news items usually are the most factual. There's a "search" feature at the top of the page. Look up things that you question.

  • Sammy Jenkis
    Sammy Jenkis

    Welcome Liz, I cannot speak to the tune of defending everything said or commented on this thread or even forum but I will add my two cents to some things.

    The fact of the matter is that many of us maybe even you have felt deceived by the JW's- now does that mean that every Witness is a liar, thief, or deceptive on purpose? Obviously not, you're right in that many are well intentioned and sincerely believe that they are correct.

    What my gripe is with the organization is that instead of letting us know there have been mistakes or even huge errors we find out about them doing research on the internet. It's devastating to find out about something horrible through a third-party when we supposedly have access to loving bros and sisters that have the info. And especially when we're taught that God guides us, but can God make mistakes?

    The money- as I do not agree with everything claimed about the money take a look at the info available about the Tacoma convention center and parking, that might give a small inkling as to why so many people on these threads talk about them as "money hungry."

    Please if you have not already done so- research the Candace Conti case, 1975, UN NGO, and even try Mexico/Malawi. I know that when I looked at the info from the publications themselves I was shattered to see how much faith I'd placed in men. I appreciate your viewpoint and look forward to reading more of your posts.

    UN info:


    The UN is actually a blasphemous counterfeit of God’s Messianic Kingdom by his Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ—to whose princely rule there will be no end. (Isaiah 9:6, 7) Even if the UN were to patch up some temporary peace, wars would soon erupt again. This is in the nature of sinful men. “Their names have not been written upon the scroll of life from the founding of the world.”

    Sex abuse:

    “Never lay your hands hastily upon any man; neither be a sharer in the sins of others.” (1 Timothy 5:22) For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation. Moreover, he cannot be a pioneer or serve in any other special, full-time service.—Compare the principle at Exodus 21:28, 29.

    In your research you'll see how many "responsible" men have been/are molesters.

    I'll leave the rest for you to find and compare so you can understand why some of us are angry and in that anger we express ouselves negatively against the WT and JW's.

    Best wishes,

  • LizO


    On Ray Franz' book, I read it, but couldnt find anything significant in there other than the fact that the witness operations are not as smoothly running as one would expect after reading the shiny magazines.

    Besides that, I think it's kind of ridiculous

    - if someone thinks he is one of the annointed and has received Gods spirit,

    - then goes through the ranks and heavily supports the religion for decades (if I remember well he himself wrote articles which later he and others heavily criticised)

    but then all of a sudden - after being kicked-out - writes a book full of criticism. Either he supported a religion he believed was wrong and cruel (his description in the entire book). Or he is heavily overstating his critisicm. In any case, best case is he is incapable of sound judgement, worst case is he is bitter and dishonest.

  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    However, perhaps I can't do that here since any kind of unreasonable/untrue accusations upset me, no matter against whom, and my personal assessment is that there is some amount of that in this forum.

    If this is the filter you run information through then I agree with you-this forum is probably not the place for you.

    Liz, you disagreed with the various points Giordano listed, and it appears you've immediately dismissed them as having no basis, yet, what raises a big red flag for me haven't even investigated them yet! That appears to be someone who has a biased/closed mindset and is simply uninterested in considering information that conflicts with her current understanding.

    Most people here make the claims they do based on evidence and personal research. Statements are not made off-the-cuff just to exact some kind of angry revenge on the WT. People's views are based on knowledge, not emotions,

  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    On Ray Franz' book, I read it, but couldnt find anything significant in there

    That speaks volumes.

  • Simon
    but then all of a sudden - after being kicked-out - writes a book full of criticism. Either he supported a religion he believed was wrong and cruel (his description in the entire book). Or he is heavily overstating his critisicm. In any case, best case is he is incapable of sound judgement, worst case is he is bitter and dishonest.

    Where does this leave the notion that the oganization and it's leaders are hand-picked and chosen by god / his holy spirit?

    Is god loosing his touch with his Jedi mind-reading tricks or is the simpler answer that it's *just* a bunch of men, nothing special, no special god-directed spirit ... just a printing organisation with internal politics like every other big corporation.

  • Londo111

    The thing about Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom was that it was not a book of bitterness and hatred, but rather calm, but frank assessments of the Org. Ray Franz was under the mind control when he was in. When you are on the Writing Committee, you just can’t write whatever you want…a person is a cog in the machine.

    However, even Ray Franz aside, I encourage you to reading Steven Hassan’s book about mind control. One of the fallacies he mentions in one of his books is that, “Everything is mind control.” However, what we are talking about is a system of undue influence that uses the BITE model and Lifton’s Eight Points of Thought Reform.

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