Honest survey question on effectiveness of 'apostacy'

by Simon 178 Replies latest jw friends

  • adamah

    Yup, the only thing more delusional that JWs believing in an eternity spent petting pandas is the apostate who thinks his rant-filled "Bring Down The WT!" campaigns will have some sway on people actually leaving, as if he's a Don Quixote who's tilting at evil dragons (when he's actually tilting at windmills). Such efforts likely only REINFORCES and VALIDATES the beliefs of those still in, which actually strengthens and serves the purposes and interests of the group they claim to be trying to "topple".

    As stated, usually people are seeking validation for whatever beliefs they already hold, in the JWs or out: in the case of joining the JWs, the immediate situation may be as outlined above (i.e. the death of a loved one, etc), but their presuppositions are going to set them up to join the JWs (eg believing in a God, the Bible, Christianity, distrust of humanity, hopelessness, poor education, etc). The preaching work of JWs is actually not spreading the message to convert, but simply locating those individuals who are, for whatever reason, likely to accept it, AKA pre-acceptors.

    The same goes for leaving the JWs: most individuals need a "push" to convince them to change from their beliefs and to seek out TTATT, be it receiving an unfair reprimand over some silly infraction (and the account of an female getting accused of 'loose conduct' on the basis of appearing in someone else's dream and doing a lap dance takes the cake, if the account is true!), all the way up to getting DFed for committing unrepentent pedophilia (!). Both individuals are likely 'licking their wounds' and seeking to rationalize their treatment, and will find consolation after being willing to actually look at the evidence that supports TTATT.

    JWfacts.com comes to mind of the kind of, "just the facts, only, Ma'am" approach that is most-likely not to be rejected or dismissed, since most believers don't need ANY ASSISTANCE looking for excuses to confirm their biases against 'apostate' thoughts; the ego of the messenger is likely only a hindrance to others accepting TTATT, since again, if they joined the JWs, the person likely already accepted the idea that someone who is calm and friendly is a more-likely source of truth (yet another permutation of the "style over substance" fallacious thinking).

    Kinda sad that it takes coming to such extreme conditions for some people to face up to reality, but it's better late than never, I suppose...


  • besty

    I left because I didn't enjoy being a JW and was tipped into action by not wanting my kids to have the same crappy paradigm.

    The action I took was:

    finding problems with JW doctrine - http://www.jwfacts.com/

    finding problems with the biblical inerrancy - http://corior.blogspot.com/

    finding people like me - http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/

    Nothing I read was rant-led if that makes sense? Although horses for courses...

  • adamah

    Vidiot said-

    I realize some may find this scenario less than satisfying, so I hope those particular individuals will be able to take comfort in the fact that - historically - when corrupt regimes go out with a whimper rather than a bang, they almost never come back.

    Sounds like you're betting against the capacity of some people to deceive and their desire to BE deceived (even fooling themselves), such that you're betting against historical precedent. JWs are simply a manifestation of the same traits that have ALWAYS existed, namely a need for one group to feel superior to others, to be 'insiders', etc. It's thinking that stems back 2,000 yrs, when the early Xian gnostics felt they were the "true" followers of Christ (and the Essenes before them for the Jews, who felt they were the only Jews following Jehovah in "pure" worship).

    PT Barnum had much to say on the topic of the birth rate of suckers, and the willingness of others to benefit from their trait of gullibility.

  • Xanthippe

    Simon I agreed with you all through your op, I was saying yes, yes, he's right. Then I remembered I was hardline JW. I was not mentally ready. We thought it was our congregation or area, as you said. We prayed, went to the library and found Crisis of Conscience. It was not what we were looking for.

    We were 100% rock solid and then BAM out. When I say we prayed and then found CoC - I'm not religious now, just telling you how it happened. It was a combination of experiences as you said, being both exhausted from years of pioneering, 25 years between us, my husband and I and being badly treated because we were having to pull back due to poor health. Then we found Ray Franz' book in our local library.

    We were almost too afraid to read it. I could barely sleep that night. I don't think we were doubting and questioning. I think we were just baffled. My husband was an elder and he knew how the elders talked about the brothers in elders meetings. In fact we still believed it was the 'Truth' but it had become corrupt for another two years after we left before we realised it was just a religion.

  • flipper

    SIMON- Good thread. Very good points you bring up. I don't believe any one person is going to " destroy " the WT Society. Not even a group of people- apostate or otherwise. In my own opinion I believe what IS important is to attempt to open up people's minds in a one on one or individual way - whether that be by exposing injustices like child abuse within the WT Society to non-Witnesses we talk to or even JW's sitting on the fence or at times our own JW relatives. I tend to raise questions about the unethical behavior of the WT Society to people I talk to- Witness or non-Witness instead of arguing doctrinal points which as Steve Hassan says is fruitless and like banging your head againt the wall.

    I used to be a rock solid JW years ago , but over 10 years ago I exited due to injustices committed against me and others by elders in various congregations. I always had a justice streak so when I saw the abuse of justice by elders or any other JW it sent me into a private, quiet rage within myself in my own thoughts until I reached my breaking point one day and just left suddenly cold turkey picking my books off my seat before the meeting and walking out of the kingdom hall- never to return. I knew the elders were NOT appinted by " holy spirit " and were full of excrement.

    But to get to that point it took years of experiencing and seeing and suffering unjust behavior towards myself and others- then boom- one day it hit me and I wondered to myself " what in the hell am I doing here " ? After getting reinstated in 2002 I experienced ill treatment and aked myself this question, " Did I stay DFed for 4 years with my own parents not talking to me that long just to come back to vicious and judgmental treatment from elders and people who I thought were my friends in the congregation " ? My answer was clear- I had to leave for my own sanity and freedom of mind.

    So I agree with your point that although we can put up little signposts and give people certain things to ponder on- inevitably it comes down to a person seeing the falsehoods or WT injustices themselves by what THEY have personally gone through or seeing others they care about punished unjustly. Until that point comes a JW will not advance beyond the point of staying in the organization for family or any other made up reasons. Just some of my observations


    Good Morning Simon!...


    Your right..

    Video`s,protests,call in talk shows,none of it means a thing to a Loyal WBT$ JW..

    They don`t want to hear it..Their not interested..

    In their mind,everyone is out to get the WBT$ and JW`s..It`s all lies!!..


    Most JW`s need a Rude Awakening..

    A Negative Impact on Their Life,as a Direct Result of the WBT$..

    .............................. photo mutley-ani1.gif ...OUTLAW

  • will-be-apostate

    I had my own "let's make this org dissappear from history" post. I didn't give up my plans, just have got more important things to do. But i would happily help if anyone is starting a big project

  • Ding

    1. I don't think the existence of resources is going to bring down the Watchtower. Many JWs are thoroughly indoctrinated and won't consider anything negative about the WT religion no matter how it's presented or by whom.

    2. That said, some JWs who don't have doubts can develop doubts on learning facts they didn't know (UN NGO, false prophecies, doctrinal changes, etc.). They usually have to check these things out themselves, but they won't know to check something out unless someone gives them the initial information.
    3. Each individual has his or her own limits on how much they can process at any given time. Trying to force things beyond that limit is ineffective and often counterproductive. So, for example, a video detailing listing and documenting the many false prophecies may be just what one person needs but way too much for someone else.

    4. If the JW is willing to look at evidence, I think it helps to have someone tell him or her what some of these resources contain and offer to guide them through the process. It also helps to assure them that if at any point they find themselves being overwhelmed or that it's fine to stop. One time a JW who had doubts about the WT asked me about going with me to a church I now attend. I talked with them about all the guilt and fear the WT has programmed into them regarding doing such a thing and asked if they wanted to attend anyway. They said yes. When we went, I suggested sitting near the door so they could leave if they got too freaked out. I sat next to them and offered to leave with them if they decided to bail. I also asked them to discuss their experience with me afterward and tell me what was going on inside them -- guilt, fear, anger, etc. My point is that if the JW knows what the resource is about, consents to looking into it, understands that they can stop at any time, and has a trusted friend to be there for them, there is a much greater chance that they will be helped than if they stumble unaided across a book, video, meeting, or other resource.

  • 144001

    <<<< I believe that people can only free themselves and usually only wake up in response to things happening in their own lives or those of their friends and family. -- Simon >>>>

    I agree, with a caveat. In the early days of the computer information age, when "on-line"meant using a dial-up modem to contact a bulletin board (BBS) like compuserve, etc., and the internet was not generally available, I found it easier to communicate and instill doubts in others about the Watchtower cult. Information was not easily accessible and any news about the org was big news. I had a couple of "book studies" back then who ultimately achieved freedom from the JWs, and I felt very pleased that I had been able to provide some assistance to them in their quest to learn TTATT.

    We have reached a point now where we have the opposite situation: information overload. Folks have become desensitized to information because there is just too much of it out there. Additionally, some well-meaning folks have published anti-Watchtower information that is fraught with false claims and other problems that the Watchtower and its apologists use to discredit those who have left the org. There is nothing novel about the internet any more, and information discovered there does not garner the same enthusiasm it did when the technology was new.

    I agree with Simon. nothing I, or anyone else, posts, here, or anywhere else, is going to change anyone's minds about religion. You either need it in your life, or you don't.

    A childhood of forced servitude to the WTBTS organization proved to me, without any doubt whatsoever, that I don't need or want religion in my life. But everyone must choose their own path . . .

  • Oubliette

    I'd second what Besty said, although in a somewhat different order. The idea is that same, just with slightly different details.

    That being said, Simon I have a question for you. I recall reading in one of your posts that you mentioned your father made attempts to reconcile with you and/or reach you after he left the religion but that you didn't respond. (Sorry if I have the details wrong).

    At any rate, my question is this: was there anything your father could have done that would have gotten you to respond positively?

    I ask because I am trying to reach my own children still stuck in this cult.

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