I know the feeling, when I was 14 I contemplated the idea of suicide because the pressure to be a good witness from my dad was too much. Good thing I was able to make the right decision and I chose life over death, now I am in my early 30’s and know TTATT. Just a few more steps before breaking free!!!
They continue to drop like flies
I wish I had been that brave at their age.
JWism has NOTHING to offer anyone, especially the young. Think of it! You are not allowed birthdays, any holidays, school sports, clubs, or activities, you are denied a college education, non-JW friends, hobbies and on top of it all you have to shun others, are subject to being shunned and are to be willing to die over the nonsensical blood doctrine. You are an outcast at school, and have to go through everyday standing out as "different" You are not allowed to date, and if you do, only from a extermely limited pool of JWs. Even then, you are hounded to get married the minute you display any interest, since you should not "date for fun".
You are encouraged to go in FS weekly, 2 meetings a week, pioneer etc. Its all give give give. What do the youth get in return? Nothing. Nothing tangible that is. The only thing they get in return is the false hopes of one day being reunited with dead relatives, and getting to live in a vegan petting zoo while you build houses. Many young ones conciously or subconciously know they do not want to spend their entire lives peddling literature for this stale cult. There are no real friends, no fun, no personal enrichment. Just guilt and works. The GB takes everything away and replaces it with nothing. No wonder so many leave. Even if they still believe it to be the truth, which sadly, many do, they know they would rather live a good life now than slave for the WT.
Isnt It ironic how many are mentally awakened who still feel compelled for family to attend, and conversely how many do not attend, are living "worldly" lives, yet they are still mentally slaves of the WT. They still defend it when challenged. They are not truly free. A sad situation indeed.
It is good to see the young ones leaving, however let us hope they make a success of themselves to prove the WT wrong. Where I live, most who leave end up in jail, loads of kids they dont want fathered by abusive felons, drug addicts and so on. This just solidifies in the JWs minds how right the counsel is that if you leave "Jehovah" all sorts of bad things happen. We need more successful, happy examples to prove that you can have a good life after WT.
My Mum got disfellowshipped when I was 15. She went to visit relatives when I was 17. Went away for a year. I grew up real quick. Doing A Levels and keeping house. She just went crazy, I guess.
My son and his friends are 18 - 19 years old, of his friends:
One is DF and attending University
One is No longer a publisher and attending University
One is No longer a publisher and living with significant other
One is a regular pioneer not working or going to school
One is a regular pioneer and gay, but not sure what to do at this point in his life
And then there's my son, a bit of a conundrum. He is close to all his friends. My son is in his 2nd year at the University, works 20 hours a week, and practices Muay Thai. He isn't interested in being an MS, but helps out around the KH. The first few kids I mentioned above had strict JW upbringings and it pushed them away. Which makes me wonder about my approach with my kids. When I was an elder and my wife and I pioneered we had a laid back approach. After I quit, all of the family studies, meetings and regular FS stopped for my family, but they still go to the KH mostly for friends and family.
Born-ins are interesting for me to think about. My mom is a JW. She raised my siblings and me in a strict manner (Mom is a black lady from the south and she "don't play"). All of my siblings except one are out. Many of the born-ins I know who had laid back parents are still JWs. I know a lot of born-in JWs in the Midwest, South, and East coast U.S. and most of them are JWs socially.
In my experience the born-ins (my age and younger) who are still JWs tend to be "weaker" than the converts from my mom and grandmother's generations. I have relatives (Bethel heavies, Sub CO) who are nowhere near as staunch as some of the old school brothers from back in the day. We went on a cruise earlier this year with CO & wife, Bethel heavy & wife, and several other family members. We had a good time like regular (i.e. worldly) people. Perhaps it was because we're all related, but whenever we get together during the year and no one is proselytizing the JW world is forgotten for a moment. I don't know anyone in Legal, but I think the .org will weaken through gradualism and morph due to legalism. Some leave and the ones that stay tend to water the whole thing down.
Some leave and the ones that stay tend to water the whole thing down.
Which has got to annoy the GB to no end.
More than one person on this site has speculated that the GB would prefer 2 or 3 million hard-core loyalists instead of 8 million followers, over half of whom are lukewarm at best and affecting morale.
As GB leader Lett just said at our convention ...."Jehovah is not a god of numbers after all only 8 made onto the ark"
Can't argue with that logic...nope.
he kept telling us to pray for the governing body members too since there was so few of them now.
i heard on Sunday he admitted that the religion is losing all the kids...
The GB takes everything away and replaces it with nothing
As WC Stevenson expressed it in his 1975 - Year of Doom? "no other religious group would demand so much from its followers, in return for so little."
For the most part, those that have remained with the JW religion seem to pay lip service to its more extreme requirements, but in private keep their own counsel. Which begs the question, why bother at all?
I agree, the leadership at the top does not care. It cares only about maintaining an Anglo-European image.
In the KH I belonged to, African American youth could not wait to get away from their JW parents. Why? Because they saw nothing in the publications that they could identify with.
They see portrayals of Adam, Eve, Angels, Jesus, the Prophets, The Apostles and others in the publications portrayed as persons of European descent. As a mature African American adult I had problems with it and I can see why African American youth (or just people of color) having a problem with it. They ask why and they get brush off answers.
The religion is - in practice and in image - a White man's religion. It is not comfortable with persons of color identifying with their ancestry. It needs to turn Black people into White people (in a mental sense) in order to feel comfortable with them.
Any JW who says that the leadership cares has their heads in the sand. They are being selfish and blind.
Because you see a few Black faces in their publications is not evidence that it is a color-blind religion. I submit to anyone to look at the racial composition of the Governing Body. It has been a traditionally all White mans club. Yes, Sam Herd is their now but that is a relatively recent occurrence and he is a token. That body is still predominately a White man's club and it will remain that way. It does not racially reflect the 8 million or so JW membership. God is not partial, men are.
Black youths are essentially being told they cannot be Black. They must be White (mentally). They must dress and act White. This is a shame and shows how drunk with control the organization is.
Black people are just wired differently from White people. It is easy for White youths to grow up in a "European Conceived" universe. It is natural for them to see Adam, Eve, Angels, Jesus, etc in the publications portrayed as White persons; persons that look like them. It is quite another story for thinking Black persons. Black youths are bothered by this and they know something is not right.
I had a 16 year old African American female (who was not baptized but who attended the meetings because her parents made her attend) say to me, "If this is what God's household looks like, then I do not want to live forever and be in it."
She was referring to the "squeaky-clean" White images and portrayals found in the publications.
I am grateful that I never lost touch with my African ancestry (I live in West Africa now). When I was a JW I never had a problem starting Bible studies (and could get one any time I desired) because I never pretended to be anything other than the way God made me: Black.
I actually explained to by Black Bible studies that the images they say in the publications are inaccurate. Truth is truth. I would tell them that no one has seen Adam, Eve, Jesus and definitely no angel to portray them as White people. They appreciated that.
However, the "Brother" accompanying me on the study turned me in to the Elders and it got me in hot water. I did not care because no one has seen those persons to portray them in the likeness of any race among the human family.
BTW, the "Brother" who snitched and turned me in was a "Black man." This shows the power and influence the White power structure the organization has over its memberhip.
It seeks to keep its members is a box. Keep them kindergarten-level. If one thinks, questions or believes outside that box, they are beaten back or DF'd.
The organization dares not study why it is losing people of color and in particular it's youth and more specifically its Black youth.
It does not want to deal with it.
Those videos one commenter mentioned are for the White youths and it is a clever ploy to get Black youths to be White (mentally).
This organization could do much better if it actually spoke with its youth and youths of color.
If the so-called anointed remnant are to be kings and priest with Christ, why do we not hear their inputs? There are eight men - all White but one - who make policy the decisions. There is something wrong here.
Why aren't the future kings in the mix?
If they are truly "chosen" then it is what they say is what should carry more weight than an 8-member Governing Body.
Really a great thing that these young people are escaping from such a destructive cult at a young age. I wish I had left at age 18 instead of age 44 over 10 years ago- but it is what it is at least I left- better late than never ! At our Tahoe fest this last weekend there were at least 3 people there who had exited the JW cult in the last year- some in their 30's , one in her 50's, another in her 20's I believe. So the WT Society IS leaking oil and losing members of ALL ages right now- and that's a good thing. But it's especially good when people realize it at a young age like 18 years old like my son did back in 2003 when he left, then a person won't waste their life as much