I'm sitting here listening to a JW try to recruit somebody

by Terry 127 Replies latest jw friends

  • neverendingjourney

    Ignorance breeds certainty. As evidenced by his anti-science comments, he doesn't understand critical thinking but what you said resonated with him enough for him to want to have a follow-up with you.

    I was baptized when I was 16 and was never more certain of my beliefs. I can't imagine how many times I argued with a much older householder about things I actually knew very little about. Every now and then someone would be in a position to provide a well-thought retort.

    Even though I never admitted defeat, those memories stayed with me. As I grew older and my thinking process matured, I was able to revisit some of the points they made. I fought against it and tried my best to repress doubts, they eventually resurfaced.

    This young man may never have a change of heart. He may enjoy the comfort that a regimented and structured belief system provides. He may be unwilling to face the real world as it actually is, but you've done your part (and more than I would have likely done). We are all accountable for our own actions, after all.

  • Terry

    There are more non-productive anti-JW conversations than productive ones.

    I think the reason why is fairly easy to understand.

    Arguing doctrine goes nowhere except in a self-enforced circle of belief.

    I've conducted plenty of those tail-chasing time-wasters myself.

    But, over the years, after hundreds of encounters, I think the only possible inroad which can be made

    is that question of AUTHENTICITY.

    Is the claim of Jehovah's Witnesses to have THE TRUTH an authentic claim?

    That is where they are most publicly vulnerable. DATES PREDICTED and DATES FAILED=Total non-credible authenticity.

    No matter how many other things they think they've got right--if they are False Prophets they are inauthentic.


    How do JW's refute their failed predictions?

    1. They say they never claimed to be prophets.

    2. They say they never taught "in the name of Jehovah" the predictions which failed.

    3. They say the dates were only taught as possibility and not certainty.

    4. They say humans make mistakes and owning those mistakes through admission of error is the best anybody could do.


    ALL FOUR OF THE ABOVE are easily demonstrated to be refutable with little effort.


    The JW who doesn't want to admit to the counterfactual demonstration of FALSE PROPHECY is not an honest person, they

    are emotionally invested rather than interested in authenticity, veracity and integrity.

    I will try to stick with this issue and let the other issues go.

  • Vidiot

    Terry - "He is emotionally invested rather than intellectually invested."

    I often think I really lucked out, compared to some.

    Even though I grew up dutiful, I'd always - first and foremost - tried to maintain an intellectual investment in my membership (hard as it was, sometimes), because emotional investments felt just a bit too "born-again" for my religious comfort zone, and - on a personal level - seemed to have a tendency to end up leaning towards the "pain" end of the emotional spectrum.

    When it got to the point where my intellectual investment had bottomed out, fading became a very easy choice for me.

    Terry - "...they are emotionally invested rather than interested in authenticity, veracity and integrity."

    Explains why the WTS never uses the words "authenticity" and "veracity", and has pretty much redefined "integrity" to mean obedience to the GB/FDS.

  • mostlydead

    Thanks for sharing this, Terry, especially how you felt during all of it. I could so relate. It's an odd sort of inverted district convention experience—only better because it's real!

  • WingCommander


    Whatever you do, don't be hard on yourself. You did great, and got this young man to think, if even temporarily. Remember, he cannot "un-hear" what he has now been told. What you said may fester and grow and blossom until his mind is forced to open up and research and see this cult for what it is. Then, hopefully, freedom at last! Your interaction with him may just be the perverbial pebble in the pond, or pebble down the mountain picking up speed and mass.

    In a few years, you may again see this young man, and he may thank you and relate to you his experience of leaving and entering college. What a fine "witness" you will receive that day! One can only hope. It was the things I heard whispered about as a young child (Russellites, measuring the pyraminds, 1975, etc) that got me researching the lunacy on the internet when I was 19 in 1998. What an awakening I had, and I find that I'm still learning on here even today old light that I had no clue about. (Blondie clued me into 1799 and Napoleon wars being sign of End of Gentile times or something and Barbour and others took that and ran with it, crazy!)

    - Wing Commander

  • Terry

    Hey, thanks to all of your for the encouragement.

    I skipped going to the Starbucks to write yesterday. The bike ride in 101 degree temperature seemed daunting.

    Today I'll leave when the temp is below 90 before it gets blazing hot.

    I did worry I had missed an opportunity, however. "What if he came by to talk and I wasn't there" . . . that sort of thing.

    I have to relax.

    I'm not a crusader retaking the Holy Land from infidels. I'm just an old has-been ex-JW.

    I'll do what can be done and probably make plenty of errors. But, at least I'm trying. My main focus needs to be on

    his mental and emotional needs and not my "repair the world" syndrome :)

    So, thanks again everybody!

  • Terry

    This is FRIDAY in the middle of the afternoon and Jordan just stopped by to say "Hello."

    He had only 15 minutes to spend with me before he went to work.

    He sat across from me telling me he looked for older publication from 1968--1975 and couldn't find any on the shelfs of the Kingdom Hall.

    He said he got "chill bumps" because I had told him that would be the case. (Score one for our side.)

    However . . .

    He talked to his Grandmother and she told him to "Trust Jehovah" and that "The Governing Body are just imperfect men Jehovah is using."

    We've all heard this speech in a hundred variations.

    In other words: Don't ask troubling questions. We have the Truth.

    I showed him four quotations from the Watch Tower and demonstrated how the Society has covered up. But, he really was uncomfortable hearing it--so, I let up.

    He told me I ought to attend one of the meetings with him to see Johnny Santa Cruz!

    I told him he may as well show up at a bank with Jesse James next to him!

    "If you want to reconcile with this religion, you don't want to be seen associating with my kind." I told him.

    I asked him if he attended meetings and "sat in the back of the bus." He flinched and nodded.

    He caught my meaning and intent and it hit its mark.

    I probably made a mistake, however.

    I had two copies of my latest book, The Monorails of Mars, sitting on the table next to me at Starbucks.

    I offered a free copy to him.

    If I had a copy of my own personal story (my last book, I WEPT BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON ) it would have been better.

    He was friendly, but edgy and a bit nervous and he left in a hurry.

    So . . . who knows?

  • problemaddict

    Terry......hes working it out. Its his own journey for one way or the other. You are a bump in it that may or may not change the direction in a minor way, that could have consequences way down the line.

  • notjustyet

    Do you think there would be any benefit to explaining cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, sunken cost fallacy etc prior or at least early on in a conversation like this to prepare them for the mind wanting to back out of the logic trail?

    I would also explain what the Mormons etc that are discovering their religion is not what they think it is are experiencing when they start to investigate.

    Here is a great link to share, IMO, with someone willing to look at the WTBTS as possibly being wrong. It is the story of a Mormon thinking his way out of his religion and he uses the jws as a proxy religion so that he could remain somewhat unbiased.



  • Vidiot

    notjustyet - "...Here is a great link to share, IMO, with someone willing to look at the WTBTS as possibly being wrong..."


    That gave me an idea for another little axiom:

    "If you feel threatened at the thought of your religion being wrong, your religion is probably wrong."

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