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?