NNew member...1st post

by Oh Gawd 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • Oh Gawd
    Oh Gawd

    New guy here so I thought I would make a brief introduction.

    My exposure to the JW's is indirect, as I have never been a member; however my wife of 22 years grew up in a JW household. Her dad is the Grand-pooba or whatever level of "Elder" you call it for his KH. Her mom, sister, brother, and their spouses all died in the wool witnesses. Her dad owns a construction company that only employs JW's and I work as a consultant to the company. Obviously, I have a lot of contact with JW's, which at times makes me want to shoot myself, or shoot them..haha, but to be honest to a large degree I find them fun in the same way I find going to the zoo fun.

    My situation makes me wonder whether the JW’s I know are unique or if the whole clan is corrupt. I have never been religious. I was raised by smart parents who encouraged education and answers that failed on evidence, so religion never stood a chance with me. I graduated with honors from a prestigious private college and have been in business management for 25 years. To a JW I am the poster child for "Worldly" I suppose. I make good money, I like money, I like expensive cars, houses, boats, etc. I like to have fun. I swear. I make crude comments from time to time. I can speak intelligently on topics from DNA, to Financial derivatives. I am not the guy some poor, unsuspecting JW wants to encounter on a Saturday afternoon.

    My wife actually stopped going out preaching when she was 14. She started telling her parents she thought the JW"S was a crock when she was 9. Smart girl:) Basically, she shunned the religion at a very early age and even her cruel; semi-schizophrenic, Elder of a father couldn't break her spirit. As soon as she turned 18 she left and never went back.

    So why is my situation unique? Well may be it’s not, but it appears to me my JW family is breaking a lot of rules even though they hold esteemed positions within the organization. They socialize with us for starters. That means every time they bring religion up, whether in general or some JW idea, they get a heavy dose of reality back at them from me. They haven’t shunned my wife, or our kids, even though they have strict instructions to not speak to them about religion and my son even attends a private non-denominational private grade school. They even pick him up from school sometimes and attend his sporting events. I’ve also noticed they seem to “alter” the official JW teachings to “fit” their lifestyle and their own ideas. For example, my father-in-law, drives a BMW, owns an airplane, takes expensive trips, and gives nothing to the church. In fact, he’s probably the most greedy guy I’ve ever met and that’s saying a lot.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that whenever there is a money making opportunity, a financial gain at stake or something they want or wish to do that might be in conflict with their teachings, a family meeting is called. The elders my FIL, and 2 BIL’s, then strategize how they can do what they want and how they can then justify their actions to the other members/employees. This is the fun I was talking about. I actually appreciate their creative “problem” solving skills. I’m serious.

    The bottom line is, my JW family is relatively decent people. I know “better” people, but my family members are law abiding, moral, and ethical folks. They would make pretty decent Catholics or Jews or Agnostics with respect to their daily lives. That said, from what I can tell, they are absolute frauds as JW’s, in that they “tweak” the religion to fit what they want it to be on a regular basis. I’ve even told them, because I love poking them in the eye from time to time, that if they spent as much time thinking about how illogical and unfounded the whole concept of religion is as they do trying to be good, yet naughty, JW’s their lives would be infinitely less complicated and they wouldn’t carry around so much guilt.

    So, is my JW family typical of JW’s; believing what they want?

  • jw07

    Welcome Oh Gawd!!!

  • Comatose

    Welcome! funny story. Lot's of witnesses are like that now. It's like the religion they chose and are sticking with, but its not the same as it was for JWs 20 or 30 years ago. Wish my fsmily was like that!

    Glad to have you.

  • Oubliette

    Welcome, the religion creates people that either leave or live double-lives.

    It is what it is, as you have seen.

  • ABibleStudent

    Welcome Oh Gawd, People are people no matter how hard the WTBTS trys to indoctrinate JWs to conform and use the approved JW platitudes. If you want to have more fun with your JW relatives, please read Steve Hassan's books (i.e., "Combatting Cult Mind Control", "Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves", and (his latest book) "Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs"), visit his website www.freedomofmind.com, and/or watch his videos on his website. After becoming familar with Steve Hassan's methods you can have fun either helping your JW in-laws critically think for themselves and become free of the WTBTS, or twisting them up in their in cognitive disonnance.

    According to Steve Hassan's BITE control model, members of dangerous cults develop both an authentic persona and a cult persona. I would guess that your in-laws' authentic personas likes money too and they have to figure out ways to rationalize ways to overcome their cult personas and the WTBTS's rules to satisfy their authentic personas' desires. By the way your FIL's semi-schizophrenic behavior can probably be explained by Steve Hassan's BITE model.

    Best of wishes helping your family to critically think for themselves.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


  • jamiebowers

    Welcome to JWN! I have seen and heard about jws similar to your inlaws throughout the years. And it's much easier to get away with things when you have money, whether it's within the jws or elsewhere.

    I’ve even told them, because I love poking them in the eye from time to time, that if they spent as much time thinking about how illogical and unfounded the whole concept of religion is as they do trying to be good, yet naughty, JW’s their lives would be infinitely less complicated and they wouldn’t carry around so much guilt.

    You're correct about this in the rational sense, but something irational has a hold on them, be it brainwashing, tradition, or fear of losing the conditional relationships that being in a cult entails.

  • Julia Orwell
    Julia Orwell

    Yep, it's rotten to the core. JW's will pull the old "but individuals are imperfect" if you mention the JWs you know are corrupt, but there is a double standard there because if it were a member of any other religion they'd use it as 'proof' they're not in the true religion and are under Satan's rule.

  • troubled mind
    troubled mind

    Oh Gawd , thank you for joining you have a very entertaining way of expressing yourself ! Can't wait to hear more from you .

    I think your experience is fairly typical with JWs that are highly influential ,and wealthy . I saw it over the yrs in the congregation I was from . Ones that had a lot of family with power positions with in the hall got away with stuff the rank members could never pull off . We had several business owners that were also Elders ,and they too had creative ways around the general counsel everyone else was suppose to follow . For example there was an Elder that had a good job, and was working on his Masters degree so he could get a raise ,his wife worked as a nurse . They had nice cars a large home ,yet he brow beat me for getting a pt job so that my husband, and I could just make our regular bills that came from raising our three small kids . He warned me not to become materialistic , that if I had time to work outside the home then I had time to auxillary pioneer . While he is spending $150 a week to play golf I was making choices on whether I could afford new shoes for my kids or if I needed to go find some at garage sales .

  • Oh Gawd
    Oh Gawd

    ABible student,

    To be clear, it is not my intention to "help" my family. I don't think they could live without their little cult. For one, they are important there and that means a lot to them. Second, my FIL/MIL have been at this almost 50 years the rest their whole lives. They couldn't function in normal society. A lifetime of being JW's has essentially caused them to become retarded; functionally illiterate, but only in a JW environment. My wifes brother and sister are so pyschologically damaged from the combination of a violent father and a repressive religion that they are lost causes.

    My minor in college was in the Earth Sciences and my personal ibrary contains works ranging from Plato to Einstien to Hawkings. I am more than well equiped to handle any hair brained idea they throw out:) I'll give a recent example:

    FIL goes on some rant about people finding Shark teeth in S. Dakota. I assume this is new information to him as he tends to move for one great discovery to the next to explain his ideology. Anyway, he tells me these Shark teeth are proof of the Flood because how else could they get there. Rather than jumping into a fight, I ask him, "have you ever wondered why if there was a great flood they don't find Shark teeth everywhere? I mean they don't them in Indiana. Why not?" He glares at me and says, how do you know they don't find Shark teeth in Indiana? To which I answer, because I went to college and learned about the Cretaceous period so that later in life people couldn't fool me with BS...then I laugh, pat him on the shoulder, and walk away. Then loud enough for him to hear, in the next room I ask my 15 year old, science whiz, daugther to please teach grandpa about the Cretaceous period so he stops making a fool of himself in public:)

    These people have the minds and knowledge base of small children. I just roll with that...lol!

  • LisaRose

    Welcome. Your experience is not unusual or at odds with my experience of thirty years of being in the religion. It is virtually impossible to live life totally in harmony with the myriad number of rules and requirements. In my experience most peole makes an appearance of being faithful JWs, but have some secret sin that they justify to themselves. I actually think this is deliberate on the part of the Governing Body, people who feel guilty are easier to manipulate. It can be as minor as exceeding the speed limit, which is supposedly wrong, but everyone does it anyway, to adultery or even pedophilia. This religion brags about valuing marriage and technically dies not allow divorce, except on grounds of adultery, but the divorce rate is pretty much the same as the rest of the world.

    You wife is one smart cookie to have seen the hypocrisy and refused to be a part of it. Both my children refused to join as well, which I am grateful for, because now that I am out they need not shun me.

    Thanks for posting.

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