Im a newbie and the first thing I have to do is apologise for not being able to make a full introduction for myself. This is because I am the only member of my family that has been able to stay out of the J.W.s. As long as I attend meetings with them and keep my opinions to myself I am allowed to stay on the outside. I know it sounds pathetic but I really love my wife (a dub of 25 years) and at 63 Im too old to start again.
Thats as much as I can say because I know of lurkers here who could identify me if I said too much and I just cant afford to lose everything. So why am I posting?
Please dont think that I am a know all but you all seem to be missing a point. Why do people become J.W.s in the first place? It would seem that if we could find some common ground that tied all (or a lot) of these people together we would be some way to finding a way to get them out. I am not talking about those who are born into it, they have no choice but over the past six years I have been doing some "personal research" and I know that I have at least identified "the missing link". I have not worked out exactly how I can use it though!
Because of my unique position of being accepted by j dubs and still being in "the world" I have been able to get away with asking questions that others might find difficult. It also helped that my questions appeared to them to have nothing whatsoever to do with religion. I started asking about seven years ago and started with my wife and immediate family and I started in the most obvious place their childhoods.
I found that in at least 70% of cases, the people that I asked about "significant people" in their childhoods, at some point came up with "the ogre". This could have been a parent of guardian or some other authority figure who dominated their early childhood with an iron fist. As very young children (2 7 years) they had not been allowed to think or make decisions for themselves in any area of their lives but had always been told what to, what not to do and when. This was even in those areas where children make decisions such as what toys, sweets, books, clothes etc they liked or wanted.
The next question that I asked was " is there any period of your past life that you now regret?". This may seem a fairly stupid question because we all have them but theirs always started in the same way with the words "I remember just before I came into the truth." and ended in the same way: "If it hadnt been for the truth I would have been dead now". (Or words to this effect).
They had been heavy drinkers, dabbled with drugs, into all sorts of sexual activity, went shoplifting and carried out other robberies etc (and that was just the women!)
Third question: "why do you think you got into this behaviour". Answers always seemed to be centred on a confession about lack of self-control e.g. "For some reason I couldnt help myself". Anyway, to cut a long story (and several other questions) short it seemed that just about all the J.Ws that I spoke too had a very similar story to tell.
Firstly a childhood where someone else always seemed to be in total control. (2) A period following early childhood, sometimes much later, when a rebellion seemed to start up against being controlled. This lead to the practice of extremes and excessiveness of mostly anti-social practices.
(3) A sudden urge to find some means of exercising self-control and returning to the childhood situation where someone else takes control and makes the decisions. (4) Finding the truth and peace at last! No thinking! No decisions! Everything controlled just as in childhood.Just as it was always meant to be.
Because (4) is to them the most natural place on earth to be you will never shake them out of it without changing the way they perceive their childhood experiences With their cooperation this is a difficult (but possible), without their knowledge it is almost impossible.
So far I have got my wife to re-examine the relationship that she had with her father as a child. This is the perfect starting point because he dominated her almost to death and is most definitely the cause of where she (and the rest of her family) is today. Hopefully, in time, she will be able to move on but this is something that has to be done so slowly that she is unaware of it, and the shift in her thinking. It seems to be working.
Anyway I will look forward to any thoughts that others might have on this.