Musings on Children, Ex-JW Wars, & Truth

by Perry 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • Perry

    Musings on Children, Ex-JW Wars, & Truth Seeking

    I think that children represent a real and credible threat to the WT. Children by nature are inquisitive and require explanations, which requires two way communication.

    We all know how much as JW's we loved two-way communication...not.

    Children are exposed to peers, differing perspectives, and at least a mild dose of critical thinking in school. This is not good for the WT and so it must be addressed as a potential threat.

    Now, if I were to try and design a social system that would shut kids inquisitive minds down and get them to not state their grievances, nor express individuality, but rather, tow the party line...I would:

    1. Create a sense of isolation

    - no birthdays, depreciating self

    - no non-JW friends

    - no other holidays, depreciating significant others by not celebrating normal family bonding times of the year.

    2. Define their enemies for them

    - everyone who is not a JW

    - the government

    - all other religions

    3. Make them feel superior

    - they will live forever

    - they are very smart and lucky to have the truth

    - be indifferent to the plight of worldlings

    4. Threaten love deprivation.

    - they might get marked if they disobey

    - if baptized, they might lose all family by being disfellowshipped

    - God will no longer love them

    5. Create phobias

    - be fearful of independent thinking

    - fearful of worldly things (left open to taunt the young critical mind as to what is exactly worldly)

    - Satan is constantly out to get them

    6. Make them feel less important than the group

    - thought stopping phrases like:

    - running ahead of the organization

    - guard against independent thinking

    - do not think more of oneself than one ought to

    - dont bring reproach on the org interpreted as SHUT UP

    - God saves people in classes, not individually

    7. Make God out to be a very dangerous blood thirsty authority figure

    - constant reference to old testament violence at the hand of an angry God

    - God will kill everyone at Armageddon, including children who are not JWs in good standing meaning selling books and giving money

    8. Make them feel they are fundamentally flawed

    - the org. is the only way to achieve happiness

    - the heart is treacherous.who can know it blah, blah, blah

    - impossible to think without guidance from WT

    9. Give them a sense of mission and accomplishment

    - Field service

    - raising hand and saying Jehovah

    - counting time

    - successfully condemning peers and teachers with endless doctrinal arguments

    10. Make them absolutely not trust their own perceptions

    - Only the WT can determine the mind of Christ through the F&DS

    - always check publications before making a decision

    Even a cursory review of WT policies reveals how effectively the WT has addressed the potential threat of developing young minds. While some may reason that it is no different for adults than for children; there is a fundamental difference. Adults have prior experience...children do not. They are like wet clay and very impressionable. They have no choice in the matter.

    In my opinion, the goal of the JW experience for children is to create psychic trauma so that the subject is truly motivated to achieve some sort of relief from the profound cognitive dissonance. This stasis is achieved in the way that is presented to them, an emotional and psychological escape route.

    The escape route is the permeating and profound belief that the subject is in most ways superior to his peer both in character and in position to God. In this way children are implanted with both an inferiority complex and a superiority complex at the same time. The expression of each is entirely dependent on the contextual placement of WT edicts in juxtaposition to a given acivity. In other words, Jehovahs Witnesses have the uncanny ability to be both silent lambs (term used loosely) and roaring lions at the same time, depending on the WT's definition of the scenario.

    It only takes a sizable fracture in one of the complexes to allow room for reason to be planted. As a result, many people keep one or the other complex when entering post JW life, but rarely both. For example, if a person loses his inferiority complex, ie. they no longer feel the WT is qualified to be their master, there is a likelihood that the superiority complex, having not yet been abandoned, will follow them into ex-jw life.

    On the other hand, if a person loses their superiority complex first, ie. they no longer find it acceptable to view their neighbors as living corpses waiting to die, or as bad associates, they may very well carry the inferiority complex with them into ex-jw life.

    The two exit paths are very different and create very different experiences and perceptions. A person on one path may find it difficult to accept an ex- jw on an opposing path as sincere or balanced. In my opinion, this is due to the filters that we carry with us from the indoctrination.

    It would be naive to not appreciate that human nature and personality is complex and there are without doubt many overlaps and exceptions to my proposition. However, I submit that one can hardly dispute the inferiority/superiority filters that our previous indoctrination has left us with.

    Perhaps the goal of a happy, meaningful, deliberate post JW life is to actively shed both erroneous perceptions and build a life that is both competent and sincere. I perceive that many have already done that.

    The WT requires active members to hold both complexes simultaneously. For most of us, the demolition of just one of the complexes provided enough light to allow a post JW life to ensue. However, the work is not yet complete. What do we replace both of them with? For many , the goal is truth.

    When a person is a real student of truth they are not normally overly concerned with what others think. When they see spin, they call bullshit when they see it. When they are angry, they examine if it is from suppression or if it is founded in reality. They are able to hold two opposing thoughts at the same time and be comfortable with not knowing everything.

    The way things are revealed or packaged is simply irrelevant to the seeker of truth and competence. Our own pet theories are simply not important nor necessarily useful to others. This does not mean that inquiry should stop nor that our critical thinking should be based on what is popular or unpopular. Nor should it be based on how the information is presented or by whom; or whether or not it has current substantiation. Hunches have provided the direction for many scientific discoveries prior to obtaining evidence. We are not computers; thank god some people have intuition. Rather, competence demands that we shed such devices of social demarcation and examine things for the potential veracity of content.

    It is disheartening to see legitimate discussions and probes get bogged down or outright stopped by those who refuse to give up their superiority complex. It is even more disheartening to see the idiocy of those who still seek a master to measure their worth by.

    By the same token, things really could be no other way. It is only through struggle and conflict that we see the reflection of truth in our lives. The raging wars, the self serving posters, the irrational anger conduits are all part of post JW life. I say god speed to Bill Bowen, I say thank you Ray Franz, and I say well done to the contributions of those I dont necessarily understand or maybe feel slighted by. I say lets go have a beer to those I feel most connected to.

    But, I will never again allow anything or anyone to stand in my way of seeking truth regardless of cost. I know that people are a mixed bag. Just because a person has done some good in the past, doesnt mean that they are without the ability to self-deceive and outright lie in the present. The reverse is also true. I have accepted post JW life for what it is...a journey.

    Perhaps this essay will prompt thought along the lines of where we all come from, the baggage we all still carry, and the journey of truth that is incumbent on each of us to follow.

    Edited by - Perry on 12 October 2002 11:24:49

    Edited by - Perry on 12 October 2002 12:5:56

    Edited by - Perry on 12 October 2002 12:9:32

    Edited by - Perry on 12 October 2002 15:21:37

  • HoChiMin


    Well done, this is a keeper,


  • pettygrudger

    Total agreement HoChi - a keeper

    Thanks Perry!


    Wow...That is so right on Perry. Thanks. It means so much to those of us who only know the Dub Way and were born into it. Did you mean "thanks" to "Fred" or Ray Franz?


  • Perry

    Thanks all. And thanks for pointing that out Bonezz. I edited it to say Ray as I originally intended.

  • BeautifulGarbage

    Thank you, Perry for this well presented essay. You have provided a new vantage point from which we can view the various exchanges on this board and in our "real" life encounters with XJWs. After reading this, I know I have certainly been furnished with another perspective to consider.


    Edited by - BeautifulGarbage on 12 October 2002 12:11:28

  • DannyBear



    *** The escape route is the permeating and profound belief that the subject is in most ways superior to his peer both in character and in position to God. In this way children are implanted with both an inferiority complex and a superiority complex at the same time***

    This little jem is packed with truth. I have never seen anyone put just like you have, it is oh so true. Could this be the reason why, so many jw youth, find themselves turning to prozac? Trying to keep both complexs in check is a real balancing act. Something has to give.

    Dr Bergman may want to review your comments. I think you have just created a masterpiece.


  • LovesDubs

    very concise...I will print that out for the next time my JW husband starts telling me how GOOD being a Jw would be for my children!! NOT

  • Perry

    Andee, Danny Bear, Loves Dubs,

    I'm glad you guys found it useful.

    Hugs to all.


  • dannyboy


    I'd like to add my "well done". You expressed things very well.


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