Honest survey question on effectiveness of 'apostacy'

by Simon 178 Replies latest jw friends

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Simon, Very well said. All these attempts to shove some truth down believers throats are counterproductive. What changed my mind? There was no magic moment. Many small things over years. Reading the Bible for class helped but if I were truly a Witness would I be reading the Bible as part of a college course. I was born-in in a family always half out. As a general sales principle, graciousness and respect go far. These attempts to dramatize how bad the Witnesses are (such as extreme sexual abuse) not factually correct. The WT never penetrated any child. Individuals did so. Shunning hurts b/c our close family does it.

    Many times I read about the worst whatever, the most egregious, OMG- never in human history and I just want to laugh. As I once stated, I've studied and participated in civil rights movements around the world. The WT is paradise compare to many.

    Soft shoe dance is more effective than clog dancing in relaxing people. We do know the pain of living in such a totalitarian society. The answer is not to throw a protest the way high school students throw a dance in all those films. I believe guerilla action works far better. Talk to friends in a quiet voice. Briefly explain why you left. The drama destroys your message. Large banners and showing disrespect to the WTBTS only show that you are now exactly the same as the WT.

    My religious views are based on reading. More importantly, though, they are based on the quiet witness and dignity of actual humans I know. Preaching to me makes me furious. Most regulars know what I mean. When I see a friend dealing with a bad situation, I might ask what the source of their strength is. To be precise, Quakers have always impressed me. I am not certain what Quakers believe. There is a genuine feeling of compassion and concern when I interact with them. If I ask, they will explain their beliefs. Fundamentalist Christians are very different. A group in PA would ask their neighbors what religion they were. People wondered why ask the question but revealed that they were Catholic or Anglican. Well, the "Christian " response was "I am a Christian." ( visions of voice hearers go thru my mind). So far all they have done is hurt people deeply. People share the humiliating experience. The whole town know to avoid their church.

    Living well is the best revenge. Do well in life. Volunteer. Listen to music. Whatever you like. Armed warfare against the WT binds you to the WT in a stronger fashion than ever before. There is no freedom. Another Band idea that is not her own. The absence of love is not hate. Hate binds you even more. Hate incapacitates you. The opposite of love is indifference.

    It is clear that a segment here wants to play 1960s radical hippie. I already did that show. Now I know how to be effective. Unless some noteable event happened on the West Coast, I was likely present on the East Coast. The lifestyle was never so glamorous. Little of our agenda was achieved by calling cops pigs. Becoming police commissioner or appointing one is the answer. A lawyer here told me I was crazy to try to explain the law to members here. I thought education would help. The person was correct in calling me crazy. Law is not the forum to win any points against the WT. The First Amendment will never be repealed. Going out and having fun is the way to redress your grievances. To battle merely to battle is crazy.

  • Simon

    The part I meant ti say but forgot to sdd was that given the audience and where they are, maybe the message can be less about the wts doctrines being wrong and more about "it's ok, we know how you feel - here's what you need to know to successfully move on and have a happy life"

    Just a thought ...

  • Laika

    Even Internet apostasy is not that effective. More Witnesses left in the 90s than the 00s. Of course, I think it's very useful, it's just not going to be the thing that brings down the Watchtower.

  • Marvin Shilmer
    Marvin Shilmer


    "What is most effective is having information available and reasoned arguments and evidence about the WTS and their beliefs and practices, things to show the person that they are not alone, that it isn't just "them" or their congregation or isolated incidents."

    I agree 100%.

    Marvin Shilmer

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Right on, Simon. JWN and other groups can function as mutual aid societies. Members here have expanded my knowledge base. We could be cheerleaders for each other. This is the reality. The WT is legal. Nevertheless, we know the emotional pain. Come out and play with us. The problems with organizing websites is that most drawn a diverse group of people. Some of us are raw, afraid to leave, and uncertain. Others have rage. I've been out for forty years. My needs are different than someone getting their first peak of information.

    This site already serves various functions. I believe it does a great job. Do I get annoyed at times? Yes.

  • steve2

    Just as JWs are well-meaning in preaching about what people need to do to "survive", so too fundamentalist Christians are well-meaning in preaching about what people need to do to be "saved".

    Both JWs and fundamentalist Christians share a common approach to the topic, with their respective well-oiled arguments and a low-preparedness to consider alternatives.

    To those who are doubting the Watchtower, the preaching by Christians is fraught with negative deja vu.

    I guess the more empathic-hearted people "out there" get this and don't try to foister one belief system on top of another.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I don't feel I overreact. Most people become angered by conversion attempts. We are human. God is God. If he wants converts, God can get them. I am curious whether other feel the same way. My brother in law is very much like my father. The iron fist. If you don't agree with me, you are no good. Religion is intensley personal. I don't discuss my sex life with strangers. In many ways, my religious feelings are even more personal. They are mine. Your approval is not sought.

    For every convert, JWs or fundies find, they lose a thousand more people through bad manners. We used to visit Bethel fairly frequently. Cecil B. DeMille's played at Radio City. I never saw the obvious sparke and majesty at Bethel that DeMille conveyed.

    This concept of the elect or voice hearers triggers me b/c I find it so unlike Jesus or Paul. Jesus and Paul were clear about inclusion. Jgnat wrote of a feeling of community. It is exactly what I seek. These voice hearers or born-agains become aristocratic special classes. The focus is off Jesus or God and on them. Paul himself commented that speaking in tongues was the least useful of all Holy Spirit gifts b/ it tended to be selfish.

    I was at Woodstock. It was not so spiritual for me. Many scary things were happening. I had to flee for safety. As someone who was there, there was an incredible sense of community. I was active in the peace movement. It seemed as tho I kept running into the same three hundred rock/peace people in the NY area. Words are insufficient to describe the feeling that so many people were in the counterculture. There was not enough food. Conditions were unsanitary. Most people were peace loving but there were also roaming motorcycle gangs. The weather was the main problem. No security existed. A thunderstorm could have started a crowd crush where thousands died. I am not exagerrating. The film is not the way it was. Pete Townshend had the right idea. I chose life - reluctantly. The DJ on the stage who kept the crowds calm during the storm should have been awarded a Nobel Award.

    I forgot to mention that I meditated for a long while. Pulling together various traditions, I decided to do the Relaxation Response and pray the Anglican lectionary. It was too awkward a first. For some reason, I wanted to do it very much. I kept focusing on my breathing. Practice makes the difference. Soon I could feel changes in my brain waves that were caused by altering my breath. I am most skeptical. The difference was demonstrable. It seemed to make more creative. So I have my experience with the spiritual. Was it the Holy Spirit? Some could call it that. It never spoke to me. My rational brain was present. If at any point, the Spirit or changed brain waves started conversing with me, I would have run screaming for help. The police would be called to take me to the er. Perhaps b.c of the Witnesses, I love my rational brain. If I came from a different background, I could interpet what I felt as God or whatchamacallit. No, I am human and content. If Jesus ever talks to me, I will be furious with Jesus.

    God gave me brain. Society taught me how to read. These are sufficient gits for me. People on the streets hearing voices do not look very happy. We were created to use our rational brains.

  • ILoveTTATT

    Hey Simon, how about "loving picketing"? I loved the idea of the clowns making light fun of the KKK. You would really throw a wrench into the WT if apostates are seen as loving and happy people.

    "If you see ANGRY, HATEFUL people outside... that's the apostates"....

    and they come and see HAPPY, LOVING people... they will be like WHAT THE!?!?!?

    Has anyone ever tried this?

  • rebel8

    Prevention is more effective in reducing cult activity.

    People who helped me wake up were not ex-jws or apostates of any sort, just thinking non-jws.

  • Suraj Khan
    Suraj Khan

    Shouting matches don't work. Living a life of quiet example might, but Witnesses are trained to be blind to the world - especially the goodness in it. How many times did we hear stories how crime and violence are increasing in 'this wicked world' (hint: both are decreasing)? On the other hand, how many times were stories of non-JWs human compassion held up as a positive example? Rarely if ever. The Organization depends on a black vs. white, us vs. them, evil vs. good polarization and has no compunctions whatsoever about misrepresenting the outside world. To say nothing of refusing to participate in Jesus Christ's mandate to aid those in need regardless of their faith...

    "Let us then try what Love will do." - William Penn

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