JW family trying to compensate for us being "spiritually weak" through increased activity

by cedars 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • JW GoneBad
    JW GoneBad

    Now that you've mentioned it, I have seen some of that 'more involved activity' with my loved ones. I don't know what to make of it. It may be short lived.

    One area I especially have seen that 'more involved activity' over the years has been with the many JW parents whose children have faded or left the 'Truth' entirely. The parents way of dealing with the anxiety of loosing children to the 'world' is by auxiliary or regular pioneering, more meeting attendance, joining the Regional Building Committee or some other form of WT related acitivity. It may serve to help keep their minds off the pain and hurt of it all. It's a sort of therapy for them! More involvement may also be another way of not having to face the real truth about the truth as to their childrens' leaving!

  • Sapphy

    Yep, my parents both started pioneering a lot more (auxilary) after I said I no longer believed. I think they are trying to earn salvation for me, kind of a bargain with God. "Look how hard we work for you, please don't kill our daughter".

    Damn religion.

  • Oubliette


    As always, I am sorry you--or anyone else for that matter--is going through this. It's just as wrong as wrong can be.

    That being said, I actually believe this is a fairly common and in fact completely understandable reaction, as many of the above comments have confirmed.

    When a previously faithful person leaves a group it raises all kinds of issues: some explicit, others less so; some clearly understood by everyone; others more subtle, but nevertheless there.

    As others have commented, your family members need to reaffirm to themselves that they have "the Truth." This is cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias in action. Behold and learn!

    They also possibly hope that somehow (by some bizarre theological calculus) their zeal will lead you to return. Remember, they're told Job prayed on behalf of his errant family members. They might be trying to work a deal with God your your behalf! If that's the case, at least their motives are pure even if their actions are maddeningly illogical and frustrating.

    But I have come to see that there is in fact a more powerful, and indeed a more insidious reason, for this reaction on the part of those still in: They need to distance themselves from you in the eyes of the group.

    You well know how important appearances are in the cult of JWs. Whenever someone leaves a group, any group, those that remain need to take some positive, visible steps to prove to the group that their allegience is still to the group and NOT to the "disloyal one" that left. In the cult of JWs, increased activity is the visible proof that is expected. This is what they are doing.

    I believe that this behavior is happening at a level that is just at, or more probably just below, the conscious level of the individual.

    Are you familiar with the Asch Conformity Experiments? If not, you should familiarize yourself with them. It's an education!

    Again, you have my deepest sympathies. As you know, I utterly detest this cult for what it has done to my family and thousands of others. Our only reasoned response is to educate ourselves so that we may heal ourselves and then in turn be in a position to help as many as possible leave and live fulfilling lives free from the mind-control of the WTBTS cult.


  • steve2

    You can guarantee that any increased "devotion" to their religion will be advertised (i.e., they will find a way for you and others to know about it).

    It's intention is clearly a defensive reaction to your position.

    The important question, though, is can they sustain it over time? Given that the end is permanently "just around the corner" these pussies will run out of steam sooner rather than later.

    Truth is not on their side and nor is time.

    Quietly and silently observe these reactionary devotees -though wise not give them fuel to fan the flames of reactionary religiosity.

  • Comatose

    Happening here too. At the exact same time. It is very frustrating... I would love to tell some stories but can't give too many details.

  • Julia Orwell
    Julia Orwell

    My take is that they've thought, "if Cedars can leave the truth and fall prey to Satan it could happen to anyone! I too could be inn danger if I don't do something!"

    I think it boils down to fear of leaving and losing out on paradise and fear of Satan. At least that's how I felt a decade ago when one of my best friends, a pioneer, faded for no apparent reason. Also, some think, "if such a spiritual pillar of the cong like cedars can leave, Armageddon MUST be close!" That's what my dfd friend's never baptized Jw raised sister said when she heard I'd gone apostate, and she got scared of being killed at A and has got off the drugs and gone back to meetings.

    In these cases it boils down to fear of missing out, and that fear is shoved in their faces when they see someone like you "fall prey to the machinations of Satan."

  • trebor

    My siblings started doing the same thing after I disassociated myself from the Watchtower. I think it is in part due to the explanation you offered up as well as what Julia mentioned.

    I was seen as always the 'strong one' in the organization. Studied, prepared well, hardly missed meetings, regular in field service, auxiliary pioneered when I could, gave several public talks and conducted the book study numerous times. I worked the magazine and literature counters, mics, sound booth, and my last major assignment before leaving the Watchtower was Accounts servant.

    Hindsight is 20/20, but I still can't believe I was okay with friends and family members being shunned. Then again, I understand the Watchtower cult-like tactics and brainwashing I was under. Regardless, it does boggle the mind though; including family ramping up their activity in the organization, which I think runs in harmony with the level of cognitive dissonance that was turned up with my departure.

  • TotallyADD

    Cedar. My wife and I think our kids who have not done anything in the cult for years are now going back in and trying to get right with god. Since we told them we are no longer part of the cult. For serveral years it was OK for us to say to them it's a cult and give them reason for it but when we tole them are no longer part of the cult and are going a diffrent direction all of a sudden this appears to have pused them back into the cult. Makes no sense at all. But this is what cult thinking does to a person. Totally ADD

  • PaintedToeNail

    My husband has been doing the exact same thing, and it is maddening!

    Yet, last night, he told me I looked radiant, and was glowing (no, not pregnant!) and that I looked happier than he has ever seen me. I told him that was true, I felt happy, and useful, liberated and at peace. He never, ever said those things when I was in...then today, he races off for the convention...something he would've tried to avoid 3 years ago...

  • FirstLastName

    My feeling is that, being in the cult mentality, they perhaps do not know how to deal with your changes in belief, and the way they comfort their concerns is to fall back into deep devotion to a practice that they think will cause them relief from this anxiety?

    I think I might have done this myself when friends were DF'd growing up. Any break in the routine would cause people to fall back into habit they believe would sooth this anxiety. I recall a HUGE influx of attendees right after 9/11...

    Best of luck!

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