I find some people here are still stuck in the JW "always have to be right and have all the answers" mentality. That's what can make it a bit hostile at times.
Is JWN an unforgiving place
I've come and gone for extended periods of time....mostly because I'm enjoying life and don't want to continue to drown in this stuff.
I'd have to say it is mixed. I've met some very friendly, helpful people ...and enjoy the more tenured members that contribute regularly here.
I can also say I've noticed some have no intention of being helpful and either ignore newbies or don't offer any direction.
To the original poster I would say take what is good, leave what isn't useful.
I am often impressed by the love and concern shown to people who ask for help. Sometimes I can't think of a single helpful thing to say but those who can answer do so with charm and intelligence.
Some people are opinionated and rude. A few are just interested in debating. They don't want to help anyone but pretend to care by drawing people out so that they can tear their ideas to pieces. Fortunately they are not fooling many of us.
As has been mentioned the experiences are really helpful. Some problems I had not realised were still impacting on my life have been solved by listening to the many varied experiences here.
The whole Cedars thing pretty much did it for me. In the past he has hurled words at me and I him but the whole thread dedicated to him that appeared to go on forever really did make me stop and think about why many of us are so angry (me included). After seeing Cedars video that was kindly posted on this forum I realized that he, despite any quirks, is pretty much the same as the rest of us and did appear to me to be quite genuine and sincere.
Since then I have taken a long look at myself and tried to make changes. In fact I believe I am making progress. The truth is, since I left the WT I had not become a better person but had become very angry and bitter to the extreme. Even friends on the outside have told me of the change in me since way back then. I still have contact with many Witnesses and there is no doubt that they are much better people than me. At least they are trying to do what they believe in which is more than I could say. I think that we very often feel that we have to disagree with JW's just for the sake of it, as if we are terrified of them being even partially right.
You know, even Stand For Pure Worship has a voice and I am sure he/she has something of interest to say to all of us. But he/she cannot say one word without being shouted down by everyone. This isn't really open discussion is it?
We are all people first.
I know that many of us have a lot to vent and that has become increasingly apparent to me and I guess it is easier to be nasty to a computer screen than to an already hurting face.
Nevertheless, of late I have been forced to stop and take stock of myself.
This post is not an invitation to another argument. Rather, it is an expression of my view on things so don't feel that you have to agree with it or disagree with it. I am fully aware that my way of thinking is way out of sync with many people but I'll live with it.
Many things posted on this forum have been of enormous help to me over the past few years and I am grateful for that.
I was once told, believe nothing of what you are told and half of what you see. This place can be a great board so long as you keep your sense of humour. Yes there are serious discussions and serious matters, for which everyone is entitled to their opinion so long as the posting guidelines are adhered to. If someone wants to get personal, or throw their toys out the pram that is their choice. It's hard to form an opinion of someone unless you actually have met them face to face.
Violia Thank you
I sure wasn't ready for that and surprised it was allowed. Despite my reaction, I was very fragile at the time due to my one and only kid whom I was very close to, began studying with the JW's and shunning me. She also became a robot....not the girl I raised....
The good news is.......she's starting to talk to me again....and not about religion...... FU WT!
I love this place and owe my mental emancipation to some of the people here.
That's because my beliefs were challenged; not forgiven.
What I can't understand is with those that say this place is no good. That it's full of people arguing and hurling insults etc etc...
THEN WHAT ARE THEY DOING HERE??!!
If I didn't like this place then I would find another website that I did like. What is the point in coming on here and saying 'I hate this place!'?
To the people that don't like it.... Go away and find somewhere else!!
Most everyone on this site has lived a good portion of their life in the JW world. A very unnatural environment, a place of fear and guarded conversation. Making the transition is difficult we have to learn what real conversation and honest exchange is so we just all need to relax and let the situation flow. This site is a training ground.
Sometimes this can be a mean place. I did not appreciate someone disagreeing with me by claiming I made them want to vomit. Disagree with my ideas, not me. Also, vomiting is a medical concern. Rather than posting that you want to vomit, I suggest standing over the toilet seat. As soon as possible, one should consult a medical doctor. Hydration is also important. I can be harsh, too. Internet forums all tend to be rude places. You can't see a face and seeing a face is important to humans. The medium dehumanizes us a bit. You are an anonymous poster to me. I don't stop to think that an actual human is posting.
Overall, though, I see a place of great compassion. Why do I stay here when I've been out for decades? I would explain how being born-in was very painful for me to normal friends. I described the isolation. There childhood was not shaped by creeps named Rutherford, Knorr, Freddie, Bro Henshel, on and on. Bethel and the factory played a huge role in my life compared to the kids in the KH. Aunts and uncles went to prison. It is a multigenerational addiction in my family and the pathology just keeps spreading. When I saw these luminaries named in threads, I could not believe my eyes. Someone else here knew the Bethel buried bodies. I never had it before in my whole life. The latest doctrine was explored. Some posters were very ignorant but others had done advanced Bible research.
It pains me to read the believers, a small tiny fraction of believers, demanding that we bend to their will. We are evil unless we bow down and worship a voice hearer. This makes no sense to me. Live and let live. Why leave the Witnesses, at such great personal cost, to have some crazy loon order you what to believe based on auditory hallucinations. Atheism exists. Respect the differences. As I've stated, no atheist has ever made fun of me for my Christian beliefs. I align with atheists more readily than some flim flam con artist declaring what I must believe. These vistiations from a whatchamacallit are so intensely personal there is no way to verify them. Details are not divulged. Some scripture is sancrosanct but, wait, scripture is invalid b/c whatchamacallit told her something else. This is crazy. People who believe it need mental examinations. Atheists do not demand that I become an atheist.
Beneath this very small band who call themselves believers but cannot tell you even the basics of mainstream Christian thought, the vast majority of us re here to interact with respect. This is Simon's forum. As long as I am a poster, I will fight anyone who seeks to impose their religion on others. If there a grand referee of right or wrong with miracle strewn garb and heavenly choirs, we could defer to the referee as to who is right and wrong. This is normal life. There is no objective right or wrong. I am happy to hear what moves other people. Hearing special voices is an illness. Sometimes I wonder if the fight is a semantic one. I feel the Holy Spirit in my life sometimes. Mystics talk about meeting God. It is a metaphor. So God speaks to me, too. Only God speaking to me would have me call for the police and a good team of mental health experts. No one can define what God is. One poster is annoyed that Einsten used the term "god." Sorry, the idea of God has been used for centuries. There is no law mandating a set definition of God. Language can fail so we use symbolic language. Abraham Lincoln used God in the same manner as did Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.
There are rational believers. If someone points out that you are not rational, it is not a vicious attack but reality. I've left this site several times b/c of rudeness. For some reason, my detractors must publicly say mean things about me. I notice it is always personal attacks b/c the rude ones cannot mount an attack on my ideas. I can attack my ideas. Many here could. They are incapable. Many people write to me how they value the content I produce through personal message. So do I leave b/c .5% are very rude with personal attacks and ignore the more than 99% who stay in the background. The loud ones here can distort the brilliance of the rest of the forum. I learn many things here. There are many sophisticated and witty posters.
A small segment of posters here are ignorant. I do not mean uneducated b/c education is only good for certain things. Class differences will exist. The Witness upbringing or something has warped the development of a small fraction here. A rational thought for the irrational: How likely is it to find blind followers who will kow tow to your beliefs on a site full of people deeply hurt by the JW totalitariansim. We are the escapees. Never again. If I were you, I would cast for followers among groups like Westboro Baptist Church. Education tends to increase skepticism. If we were devotees, we would remain Witnesses. No, we had the b....ls to leave the Witnesses. You need a better marketing plan. Research Jim Jones, David Koresh, etc.