A Silent Majority Of Doubters Hanging In There?

by Englishman 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • Englishman

    In the thread about racism, Ozzy said the following:

    So your point of view, if expressed in Oz, would be considered risque, not politically correct. The silly thing is that privately most would agree with you.
    To digress, it reminds me of the political correctness in the Borg which prevents elders from saying publicly i.e. in talks, what they say privately about certain WTS teachings
    So, I have been wondering, is there a silent majority in the witness religion who have grave doubts about their religion? We have seen already in the racism thread that there is a majority of people who have reservations about the wisdom of carte-blanche immigration, but they do not express their doubts publicy for fear of being branded racist. So could the same thing apply to JW’s with regard to certain witness beliefs? Is their a majority of doubters who are frightened to speak in case they are hounded by a minority of zealots?

    Going one step further, if we look at the main beliefs that cause ex’s such chagrin, these would appear to be:

    Refusal to accept a life saving blood transfusion.

    The authority of the FDS / GB.


    Now, just on a personal note, let me say that I always had a problem with these 3 tenets of faith, and so did many others in my witness circle of friends. So, if I had a problem with ALL of these things, even whilst a pioneer and MS, and so did my pioneering pals, how many other persons must there be who are struggling to accept maybe just ONE key-issue? Even dyed-in–the-wool Yadirf chooses not to associate because he has grave doubts about some JW teachings, are there other would-be Yadirfs who do not have the courage of their convictions to stay away?

    What I am really asking is this: What percentage of JW’s do you think privately reject one or more of the 3 witness core-beliefs outlined above? I’m tempted to put a figure of at least 50% of active JW’s who have a major problem in accepting ALL of the 3 items above.


  • Francois

    I couldn't put a number on it, but I think it would be a large percentage. My uncle is an elder. He has been since about 1960. I know he has doubts about a lot of things. We have discussed them many times.

    When I ask him why he stays, his response is one you've heard before; "where else would I go?" Translation: I'm so thoroughly brainwashed I couldn't even do a little research into religion."


  • Englishman

    See, I reckon that this silent majority won't stay silent much longer. I'm already detecting a certain "brittleness" in the conviction stakes, a definite desperation if you like. Who would have ever thought that long-time JW's would have to resort to saying that even the apostles made false prophesies? Who would have thought that 15 minutes preaching was countable? Who would have thought that meeting and assembly sessions would be so drastically reduced in length?

    All these things are rattling the average dubs confidence. It just doesn't tie in with the old "The end is near" stuff.

    I predict a great mass exodus!


  • dobby

    I don't know about numbers either. But I have only recently become inactive. And over the last 6 months have been astounded to find that family and friends I thought were hard core have issues and doubts.

    But again, they just hang on there. I think Sept. 11 and all of the turmoil in the Middle East is making many hang on right now because so many brothers are getting people's hopes up in their public talks-the whole King of the North/South/cry of peace and security business. And even heard the comment that the crisis in the Catholic Church could be the beginnings of the fall of Babylon the Great.

    I think every single witness has at least one doubt. Even when I was hard core brainwashed my doubts would surface only for me to repress them and tell myself I needed to "wait on Jah".

  • TheOldHippie

    Run to ElihuBooks and get yourselves Stafford's latest - it deals with exactly these points, and shows the need for everyone to separate theology from speculation / legalism / chronology / dominion etc., in order for the faith to survive.

  • ignored_one

    I believe it's a combination of shunning and "where else do I go" that causes the majority to stay.

    Personally I'm not baptized but I know that even non-baptized JWs have been shunned by their cong after they've left.

    I'm steadly making more 'worldly' friends so I have someone to hang with once it hits the fan.

    Ignored One.

  • ThiChi

    Good points/observations Englishmen........When I was a “faithful” JW, I always, in my heart, had some disbelief in many areas. Come to think of it, many of my close friends, have at one time or another, confided to me a problem with some teachings. We just rationalized the issues away....

  • Axelspeed

    Some good thoughts here. I can only say that through conversing with some, to say that there are doubts is an understatement. Especially when it comes from persons I was certain were hardcore and are considered pillars by most. Just ask about the "stinging locusts" or the "two witnesses" or similar interps. or dogma "unique" to jw that are to be strictly accepted without question as unchanging truth. (because the real truth obviously never changes...right. ;))

    Many know there are valid questions and contradictions but the question "where shall we go?" is the response, and this I believe is not always so much a "spiritual" response as was originally asked, but just as much an emotional one, having to do with life-long ties and associations (moreso when up in years and one's whole social structure is jw).

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    In my experience, and it spans more than 40 years, there have always been misgivings and doubts voiced privately among JWs. The rules of the game were not to cause undue disturbance by articulating these feelings openly, but to limit discussion among trusted friends.

    The inexorable ticking of the clock and the tightening of any freedoms of experssion have both increased these doubts and driven them further underground, where there's a veritable ocean of dissent lurking.

    Like a fermentation vat with no vent, the situation seems highly volatile and potentially quite explosive. Remember, the Centenary of the Kingdom's Birth looms not too far ahead on the horizon... i.e. just about 12 years. It's gonna be quite a birthday party in October 2014, and I hope I'm around to see it!

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