for those of you who have a minute to read this, here is a report from my family trip.
I was in Florida for the holidays visiting my older sister and family, along with my parents which were also visiting.
Although i've had conversations with my mother about the organization, my sister and her family had no idea of my position in regards to the (un)truth - perhaps because we live far away from each other. I knew the day was coming...
On my second day there, the whole family was sitting around bs-ing about different stuff, and as usual my mother starts with the "world is getting worse by the day" conversation, followed by approving nods and smart remarks from the rest of the family. I then politely told them that this was not true, that in fact the world has never been better. I pointed out all of amenities and services we have today, the quality of life and health care, life expectancy, freedom of speech, the things we have at our disposal : great cars, electronics, supermarkets full of a variety of foods, planes that take us anywhere, light, water and gas services, etc etc etc.
I then asked them which time in history would they choose to trade for today. They looked at me and told me that they were not sure, but that surely things are worse because there is more crime, and tragedies which they see on the news. I told them that it's reasonable that there are more tragedies today, since there are a lot more people on the planet, but that at least today we have systems and infrastructures today that mitigate those tragedies. I also explained that media exposure is tremendous and that 100 years ago, we were not aware of many things happening in the world.
From here, the conversation spiralled into the organization and how they say "the end" is near. I was too committed to the conversation to pull back at this point. I made a point to say that the organization has zero percent accuracy in anything that they have tried to predict and that as such they have little or no credibilty at all.
At this point things got heated. It dawned on my sister and her family that i was an apostate. It then become incredibly evident how little they (as most witnesses) know about the organization. In fact they know close to nothing. As i explained that the original prediction of 1914 was to be the end of the world and that the organization claimed Jesus chose them in 1919, they looked at me in disbelief. My brother in law looked me in the eye and said "That is not true". I explained that this can be verified in the organization's literature, which i could show them at a later time. They still didn't believe me.
My sister then told me she believes the GB because they are inspired. I then explained to her that the organization itself teaches that they are NOT inspired and that this is openly admitted. Incredibly, she looked at me and told me i was wrong and that she never heard this. She insisted they are inspired. I told her that instead of simply believing me, she could carefully ask an elder about this, and that he would confirm it. She thought about it for a moment then changed the subject.
At one point as i calmly sat on my chair they were all standing around me visibly annoyed, talking over each other at me, making the usual ludicrous statements about "new light" and "increasing light" to the point where i wasn't able to engage neither of them as their blood was starting to boil.
I knew that for the sake of family sanity i could not drag this much longer, but before it ended i took the chance to engage them on the 1914 subject, since they brought it up. I asked them if they think it makes sense that a period of last days started 100 years ago. They said something like "well it shows us that it must be close to the end ".. wow.. i thought to myself "you have to be kidding"
I then asked how do you get to this date of 1914. They didn't know, but said there is a book that explains it. I then went on to explain it in detail to them (they couldn't believe i knew and they didn't)
I explained how 607 bc is a fake date - i opened an encyclopedia and invited my sister to read about the destruction of jerusalem. She refused, and told me in an annoyed tone " I only read things which are on the organization website" ... incredible. My response was to ask her if she thought communism was good. She answered "no, it's not". I then asked if someone living in Cuba would get the truth about communism by only reading the local paper in Cuba. She said "well that's different" ....sure it is
I also explained how Russell got this date and the connection to Nelson Barbour, as they looked at me wondering how a person who has no interest in going to the meetings can assume to know so much about the organization's history.
After this, they got up and decided it was a good time to go eat lunch, and so it was over. All in all we spoke for over one hour and i was able to bring up some great information, although i admit that trying to debate with several people at the same time, is hard since they are all talking to me at the same time. Many things were left to be covered, blood, UN and many other topics
Although visibly bothered, they were actually very nice to me the rest of my stay, and there were a few things which happened the following days which leads me to believe i might have planted a few seeds, but for the sake of not dragging this post much longer, i will leave them out for now.
I love my family, but i truly walked away from this conversation feeling as if when it comes to this religion, they truly leave their brain at the door. I've never heard so many nonsensical excuses and arguments - even contradicting each other at times.