well done, I just want to vomit in that situation. I know I can't cope with it, so I have made the decision never to put myself in that position....
I'm sitting here listening to a JW try to recruit somebody
Wow wow wow!
The most amazing turn of events!
I posted about 4 hours ago.
I was not feeling so great. In fact, I felt like a total failure and a fraud.
Here I am practically a journeyman ex-JW with all the arrows in my quiver and what do I do? I crumble in the presence of a sparrow!
Well, hang on to your hats ladies and germs . . .
The last 3 hours were spent one on one with the same young man. He approached me after his companion had to leave.
He humbly apologized for being . . . what was the word he used? Either he said "rude" or "arrogant" either way--that sort of floored me.
He asked if he could ask me some questions.
After an hour he pulled up a chair, called whoever was waiting for him to leave and told them he was "deeply interested" in the
conversation he was having. He postponed his appointment/date/whatever to continue our remarkable discussion!
I can't begin to tell you how I'm feeling at this particular moment. I could use "on top of the world" or ecstatic, but--in fact, it wouldn't scratch
the surface of how elated I am.
Bottom line: By the time we finished talking he made an appointment to see me again on Sunday so he could continue our talk.
He was the one shaking. He apologized for shaking, too. He said he didn't know what was happening to him, but the things I was saying
were making so much sense he didn't know how to deal with it or how to process it.
Like I said: Wow.
I made 3 wrong surmises in my Opening Paragraph.
The young black man is 19 years old and not 28. He looks mature for his age.
The Seminary student is not a student--he graduated two years ago. He is 22.
The two of them work together and have an ongoing discussion about the Trinity.
And third, he was hard-headed and impervious because he DIDN'T WANT TO SHOW WHAT HE WAS REALLY FEELING!
After about 40 minutes, he was writing down certain phrases I was saying. He said he wanted to know them word for word because
they had a huge impact.
I said: "We can't claim to be an honest person unless we are WILLING TO BE WRONG if the evidence goes against us."
I had to repeat that about five times so he got it exactly right.
I also told him, "You can't argue beliefs and doctrines with honesty until you have investigated YOUR FOUNDATIONAL PREMISE on which everything else rests."
I told him the foundational belief is 1914 and it is based on 607 b.c. "LOOK THAT DATE UP and find it in any Text book or reference which isn't JW and see if it is true--or invented."
I enumerated 3 things he simply had to examine for himself.
1. How can he be a free person in a free country and yet not be free to think his own thoughts, have his own conscience and test his beliefs without outside information?
2. How can he quote and interpret the Bible until he answers the question : "Where are the original autograph manuscripts and how do we know they match our Scriptures today?"
3. If the Governing Body is simply "channeling the Truth directly from Jehovah" how is it even POSSIBLE to make error after error after error?
He rebutted, as best he could, each point.
1. He said he was able to think his own thoughts.
I asked him to name JUST ONE THING he believed that differed in any way from the Watch Tower Society theology.
He couldn't! I asked him if he knew of anybody in his Kingdom Hall who any OPINIONS on the Truth they could speak out loud which
differed in any way from mainline teaching.
2. I asked him why Jesus never shunned anybody, not even Peter who renounced him 3 times.
I asked him why Jesus described the good shepherd as LEAVING the 99 faithful sheep to go after and rescue the one stray to bring him back HIMSELF in an embrace? I asked him why Jesus said to forgive 70 times 7 times, but his Judicial Committee would NOT accept his plea for forgiveness when he repented of fornication.
3. I asked him why all the preaching activity for the first 60+ years carried beliefs, teachings and doctrine which are NOW CONSIDERED UNTRUE?
I asked him to investigate what 7 million JW's spent all their time preaching from 1968 to 1975. Then--when he finds out--to tell me why IT WASN'T A COMPLETE WASTE OF EVERY PERSON'S TIME. Time is something you can't refund. Time spent earning money, getting an education, etc. was totally flushed down the toilet.
And he kept circling around to getting me to give just ONE GOOD REASON why I thought JW's weren't the true religion.
I simply answered: FALSE PROPHETS.
"Why does the Bible give a test for FALSE PROPHET in the first place if we can't use it to separate the liars from the real thing?"
He is a very sweet kid. His father died a year ago and he desperately loved him and the young man WANTS TO SEE HIM AGAIN in the New World.
He doesn't want to consider even for a second that he'll never see him again and that his Dad's life was all for nothing or that his grandkids won't know him.
I suggested he begin gather all the memorabilia he could find about his Dad, all the photos and all his memories to write them down and transfer them to digital files. I suggested he interview all the people who knew him and to write down what they said.
I then suggested he compile all of it AND PUBLISH IT in a book and distribute it to everybody in the family as a PREMANENT memorial to his memory.
It was a wonderful conversation and he seemed to really change right before my eyes.
I'm wrung out with happiness.
I told him how his life could take on real meaning by spending time visiting the terminally ill to find out what THEIR NEEDS were, rather than
going to people with an AGENDA serving his OWN needs to earn a trip to paradise.
I could go on and on (and I did:)
But, that's how it has turned out so far.
Watch this space!!
That is beyond awesome! And, now you have a return visit lined up!
Great story. Are you planing a return visit? lol
GT-Damn... ^ you beat me to it.
I told him I am at Starbucks every day because it is where I go to write. (Yes, I've just started my 3rd book :)
He definitely was "wired" by the time we parted.
He even offered to put my bike in the back of his truck and he'd drive me home (it was getting dark outside and I'm 5 miles from home.)
I declined, but thanked him. I thought that was very kind.
Now--I'm not silly enough to think COGNITIVE DISSONANCE won't take over in the meantime.
It always kicks in.
He WILL come back twice as self-convinced as before. That is automatic.
But--if he comes back at all--I will be in a much better emotional state than I was earlier.
I mean--I LEARNED SOMETHING IMPORTANT--which I should have already known.
JW'S pretend they aren't affected by what is said against them by Ex-JW members . . . but they are lying!!
for confronting and talking with the JW, Terrry! The WTBTS's BITE control is very powerful!!! I agree with Finkelstein about segueing into JWfacts.com to JWs and to possible recruits, instead of getting upset.
How many exJW apologist will say that the WTBTS is not a cult and has the "Truth", even if they no longer believe in God nor that the Bible is the word of God? I know of one exJW who has been out > 20 years and told me that the WTBTS is not a cult and believe it has the "Truth", if he believed that the Bible was the word of God.
Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,
This is great reading. I'm dying to talk to someone about TTATT. Keep us posted.
That's awesome Terry! If I were in the same situation, I think my mind would go blank and not be able to have a conversation at all.
I tell you, if that young man (whose name is Jordan, by the way) had not approached me the way he did afterward--
I would have been in a deep, deep depression by now.
You see, I don't know if I made it clear above . . . I was really trying to STAY OUT OF IT.
I didn't want to be THAT GUY, you know--the APOSTATE who can't wait to jump in with an evil laugh.
I tried very very hard to tune it out. I had started getting the nervous energy twitch like crazy and I couldn't
concentrate on ANYTHING but those two guys.
I felt like some kind of victim who had spotted his assailant--I mean, it was weird how my body just cut loose from me like that.
To be betrayed by my own sense of self-control was humiliating. I guess the scars go way down deep to the point you never erase them.
But, all's well that ends well, eh wot?
I'm feeling mighty chipper right now. I think I'll have myself we spot o' beer and a chocolate malt for good measure.
Thats great Terry, one thing to mention to him is that most of JW doctrine can not be proved by just looking at the scriptures. For instance 1914 no scripture in the bible can be used to prove Jesus became king then but many that say otherwise. 1919 jesus picks the GB, not one scripture, great crowd on earth, jesus mediator for only the 144k, paradise earth, and the list could go one. But really have him think about this, they the gb have to come up with long explanations to push these ideas. Maybe this will help to wake him up...