were you STRESSED when you joined the dubs?

by refiners fire 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • DB

    Even the jws acknowledge that many who come in do so during some stressful period in their lives. Also, the sad condition of the world in general (wars, crime, etc) are always kept to the fore in jw publications, which gets people thinking that there must be something better.

    A few years back, my niece made an interesting statement on why she had not felt inclined to look into the jw faith more deeply - she said "my life is pretty good right now". Feeling good about her life and her prospects, she saw no reason to study with the jws.

  • Yadirf

    Lauralisa says,

    When I think back now on the HUGE amount of effort it took to abstain from just about everything 'normal' and routine in everyday culture, it scares me.... there were SO MANY things we just couldn't participate in in the neighborhood, or at school, or at work, or anywhere... and that leaves you with no social life other than - well, field service? Barf...

    Actually her disparaging remark is ever so telling, as it attests to the multiplicity of things which worldlings (the nations) have found to do with their lives simply for the sake of trying to make life meaningful -- all the while not truly taking the Bible or the God of the Bible seriously. Yes, if it's not Christmas here it's Halloween there, etc. And so it is with them, around the calendar they go year-in and year-out practicing those things which dispel what would otherwise be a much less meaningful way of life.

    The true scenario is that the nations of today compare to the ancient Philistine or Canaanite peoples -- a wayward bunch. The Israelites, God's chosen people, stood out in stark contrast to the nations around them. The Hebrew way of life perpetually showed an acknowledgment that mankind was estranged from the Creator, and that it needed to be delivered from the death that originated with Adam's disobedience. Undoubtedly the nations then were much like the nations of today -- busily engaging in their particular form of festivities, celebrating their holidays, and glorifying one another.

    When that "test" of which Revelation 3:10 speaks comes "upon the whole inhabited earth", as will be brought about by the yet future 8th King requiring that each person have the "mark", not even Christendom's peoples will be prepared to meet the challenge. Even the so-called "Church of Christ" is too worldly to know the difference between true and false worship -- far too worldly to be able to resist the temptation to buy into the promise of "peace and security" that the 8th King will claim capable of delivering.


    Daniel 11:35 ... a KEY prophecy that must be fulfilled before the "time of the end" gets underway.

  • lauralisa

    Hello, Yardif:

    It's interesting that you remarked specifically about holidays in reference to my quote. Actually, I did not find it difficult to give those things up. I continue now as I did then to avoid becoming immersed in the crass commercialism of them.

    There are so many other situations actually that give me pause when I recall the limitations and social ostracism of the jw lifestyle:

    - Having your children's school teachers LOATHE you because you object to virtually every assignment given (especially in grade school, where "worldly" themes permeate most teaching methods).

    - Having to meddle constantly in your children's school routines so as to protect them from accidental encounters with "math bingo" or voting for class president or gift-exchanges or kleenex "ghosts" - no wonder most jw parents would rather homeschool and keep their kids "separate" from others?

    - Avoiding participation or volunteering for any neighborhood activity as it is usually oriented around holiday themes; to your neighbors, you are something unfathomable and strange and "friendship" with them is forbidden anyway - how insular is that?

    In the workplace, there are dozens of scenarios I recall where in order to explain my unwillingness to do something EVERYONE ELSE was doing, my religious beliefs had to be delineated for them at length; again, a simple babyshower or celebration for someone's promotion was off-limits. It was VERY socially stigmatizing and disrupted (for everyone) the momentum that "team work" builds in a small office.

    I don't have time to go into this further, but hope it briefly illustrates that jw's DO live a socially-restrictive, oppressive and anxiety-ridden life that is tantamount to living in a cult-ranch.

    If the jw lifestyle was shown to be of long-term benefit to families and individuals, then I'd still be one, and I'd be grateful to God for providing me with a safe haven. Most of the jw's I have known are NOT happy, do NOT have happy family lives, DO suffer from incredible mental anguish and can barely trust their own spouse with the smallest confidential matter.... It was the preponderance of depression and betrayal I experienced AS a jw that caused me to doubt that Jehovah could have ANYTHING to do with that organization.

    By the way, Friday, what makes your life meaningful? I ask this with all due respect and genuine curiosity. If you flame me, I will not respond further.



  • refiners fire
    refiners fire

    Massive applause.
    Great response!

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    rf stated
    They use active techniques of "mind manipulation" in the conversion process. The Mormons do. The Moonies do. The pentecostals do.
    Yet the Witnesses dont.

    I think they do but just my opinion.Home bible studies are a perfect example of mind manipulation. Here read the paragraph and see if you can read the answer back to me and then we move on to the next paragraph - over and over. No real thought required. I will teach you to be a zombie and well if you can't read then I will even teach you that so you can read the answers back to me. I would say that qualifies as "mind manipulation"

    They strongly encourage people to give up friends and family that do not want to listen to "the good news" and this not only isolates them but makes them more susceptible to the manipulations of the org.

    I know that everyone in my family who became a JW as an adult (8 of them not raised in it) did so after a stressful period in their lives. In all those cases every single one suffered from PTSD as a result of years of abuse. Many of them suffer from other mental health issues as well.

    My ex-husband studied with many people and some he brought to the point of baptism. In every one of those cases there was some type of stress, birth of new baby, loss of job, move away from family.

    Interesting topic

    Rejoice in the healing and not in the pain.
    Rejoice in the challenge overcome and not in the past hurts.
    Rejoice in the present - full of love and joy.
    Rejoice in the future for it is filled with new horizons yet to be explored. - Lee Marsh 2002

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