I wanted to go to bethel pretty bad. I fell in love. I married. Maybe THAT was an answered prayer.
JWStruggle post: Bethel Layoffs Reveal a Kingdom without Clothes
I don't know if it's been mentioned, but what do other churches do? I know the Catholics have aged care for their retired priests, and nun orders take care of their aged.
Their ignorance due to the BITE model should heighten our empathy toward them.
By that reasoning, we should empathically accept the way the rank and file shun former members because the poor dears have been brainwashed, have no choice other than to shun and - sniff, sniff - know not what they do. Come on, man!
Why rob people of responsibility for their behaviour and choices? Why blame a big, bad religion? Are you happy to divest yourself of responsibility for your behaviour and dump it on your upbringing, or parents or congenital heart disease or religion? If the brainwashing in the organization is as potent as you imply it is, how come you got out? how come it's the religion with the largest reported drop-out rate? Brainwashed membership, my foot!
Besides, what's that old saying about being fooled: 'You can fool me once and get away with it, maybe twice, but to try to fool me three or more times will be in vain because by then I'll know your game and be wise to it.'
If, as you say, the plight of these older "victims" from Bethel is so obvious in the various congregations to which they are assigned, it will not escape the eyes of those younger ones who will not have such a rose-tinted view of what Bethel has to offer.
The detritus of Bethel is there for all to observe. It reflects very poorly on Bethel to be sure, but also wises up those who have never been there: Don't go - because there is no pot of spiritual gold at the end.
The astonishing thing to me is not the appearance of these sad, dejected rejects from Bethel. The astonishing thing is the number born and raised in the religion who do wake up to the organizational drivel whilst still relatively young, get their butts out of the organization and rebuild their lives. That is a marvel worth celebrating.
Empathy does not necessarily mean acceptance or non-action, but in can motivate us in our approach to win hearts and minds. The line between responsibility and undue influence (mind control) is a very tough call. I don’t believe it’s all or nothing. Under undue influence, a person cannot truly take responsibility until they have been freed from it. Those who have given their lives to Bethel have reaped the consequences of their actions, but why did they choose this course? This could have easily been any of us.
Not everybody is recruited into a cult and not all indoctrination sticks. But to those it sticks too, it really sticks. When you talk to a JW, if something triggers their internal alarm, you can see their cult persona come to the fore. Their eyes may turn glassy. Their gestures become rigid. Their rationality and compassion go out the window. It’s the result of years and years of undue influence…it’s not an easy thing for a person to break on their own free will.
Each of our paths to freedom was different. Often it is not easy. Some of us leave the cult kicking and screaming.
"Bethelites have most of this done for them and it's all free. No wonder it's such a shock to them when they have to live in the real world made up of rent, groceries, clothing, bills, work, etc. because they haven't a clue what the real world is actually like. "
That how most communes succeed. Fre room and board and rotating jobs.
For some reason I just do not feel sorry for bethellites.
I remember people were suppose to go but not for life maybe four years or something. When did it become a life long cop out career. I think some just found an easy way out of not working and coping with life struggles on the job.
The younger adults who went to bethel here were not admired they were flakes who did not want to work, yet came back years expecting ers to like them.
Here the organization picked these young people who lived with mommy and daddy who never worked and did not strive to do so. Basically they just went out in service and cleaned someones house once a week. KimI
Bethelites were and always will be a big joke and who cares if they joined a commune and the commune is closing doors.
Steve2 said it all. LOL. These people should have left a long time ago but waited until they got layed off. By the way how do you get layed off when it is NOT a real job?
So why the lay-offs? It's not like they have to pay them, just food and shelter. And the Watchtower is swimming in funds from all the real estate deals.
All those legal battles take a lot of money. The Wt's probably in bad shape financially and to keep the guys at the top in their accustomed life style the guys at the bottom have to go. Same happened in North Korea after the Soviet Union fell and left their economy for dead. Same when our state's government inherited a huge debt and laid off over 10 000 public servants to keep business going as usual (I was one of the 10 000). When times get tough, bloated bureaucracies triage to keep those up top looked after.
Londo111, you make so many good points. Mine are not so much at odds with yours but rather not as inclined to emphasize the power of group-think as much as you do. To me, the aspects that interest me are the resilience and flexibility of significant numbers who leave the organization. Long gone are those earlier days when to leave the Watchtower was overwhelmingly a negative experience in which ex-members often remained within the orbit of their former religion. Now what stands out is the robust departures that inspire hope for a life after the organization. I do acknowledge how broup-influence can be a burden to many who try to leave; but I'd suggest this is true of any close-knit group that defines members' reality. Stories of difficulty leaving any number of strict-minded groups are not confined to agreed-upon "cults" .
They work for a publishing company which no longer needs them. Like many everywhere they thought the company would look after them but it never intended to. They misunderstood their relationship or were misled. Sad, but plenty of people in the wide world experience the same thing don't they? Everyone has some skill they can use. They must have had some role at Bethel requiring some skill - cleaning, admin etc. most folks don't have a degree and find some way to survive.