For Hillary_Step: Passive vs Active

by COMF 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • COMF

    Hello, Step. As the original thread has taken on a life of its own, I'm moving our discussion to a separate one.

    So you first accuse me of being someone I am not. Note that there is no question mark after your statement.

    COMF: "You're 'Friend', aren't you."

    I said this because your personality, style and views as conveyed in your initial post are noticably similar to Friend's. I believe Friend is honest enough, on a superficial level, to admit it when pinned down that way, so when you answered "no" that was the end of the matter in my mind. As to the declarative structure, I chose it in order to convey my skepticism. It was spoken in the same declarative way someone would say, "You're pulling my leg, aren't you."

    Then you make a gigantic issue over the use of the word 'nothing' instead of 'no person' although it is quite clear reading the following paragraphs what I actually meant

    "Gigantic" is a poor choice of word to describe what I said. Please, let's avoid exaggeration for effect. In order to show you the impression your words conveyed, it was necessary to point out to you that you were discussing two different things: at one point, actions and their consequences and at another point, the people behind those actions. The two are not the same, and cannot be used interchangeably.

    I apologise for misquoting you.

    Thanks. I wasn't concerned about being misquoted; I was concerned about the fact that your misquote changed the meaning of my statements. It was the point of my post that I wanted set straight, not the misquoted word.

    Originally I wrote that I was still attached to the WTS and therefore by definition supporting its arrangement though well aware of its theological flaws.

    I believe here is where we have the heart of the issue you and I are addressing, and what seems, by your words here, to be a miscommunication. Please realize that on this forum, you and I have only each other's written words to go by, in understanding each other's intended thought. There are no facial expressions, no vocal inflections, no body language to give nuances of understanding. Therefore our words need to be chosen with care so as to avoid any potential miscommunication to the reader.

    I also mentioned that as time progressed I my reasons as to why I have not as yet detached myself from the WTS would become apparent. I have since made them known.

    You spoke of your wife being still in. Having family in and not wanting to experience the society's wrath and vengeance upon your relationships is certainly a common reason for staying in the organization; it is what holds many of those here on this board who are still witnesses. Notice that I say, "still in." This is the usual terminology when referring to one who reluctantly stays in for the sake of family while actually wishing to be out due to knowing the facts and not wanting to live a lie or uphold and promulgate a destructive, deceitful sect. Please consider how you presented your position, though. Here are the words again:

    I appreciate that it may puzzle most of you as to how I have been able to be part of and indeed support an arrangement for so long when I have been well aware of its theological and social flaws.

    Note that you draw a distinct line between being passively "in" the organization ("be part of") and giving it your approval and sustaining effort ("indeed support"). Your choice to use these two terms as separate and distinct conveys quite forcefully to the reader the understanding that you not only are "in," but you like it that way, you approve of the society in spite of its flaws, you do what you can to further its interests, and you're self-satisfied in doing so.

    It was this concept that came to me from your words, as you clearly did not want your reader to think that you were merely passively "part of" the organization; no, you wanted to emphasize the point ("indeed") that you support this arrangement! And this, while knowing full well that it is all a huge con game suckering people into throwing their lives away for the benefit of the printing corporation.

    If this is not the impression you wanted to give, then I suggest you explain, because it certainly is what your words said.

    You said:

    As I have been more than open about my own circumstances, let me ask you about yours. Were you ever a JW? If you were did you suddenly wake up one day rub the sleep from your eyes and realise that the WTS was not all you had thought it to be or did you go through a process of gradual realisation?

    Baptized at the age of 23 in January, 1976, I stayed in for 12 years, raising my two children in it. One is disfellowshipped; the other is still active. When I disassociated myself it was not because I had grasped the truth about the organization; it was because I couldn't endure the levels of cognitive dissonance that had built up in me. I continued to believe it was the true religion until I found H2O on the internet. Even then, it took me several months to admit that the org was not what it claimed to be, and even longer to understand that this was not merely a sincere misconception, but was a deliberate and longstanding deception known and perpetuated throughout the ranks at all levels.

    If you spent one month in the WTS having realised its errors you to share in its complicity by your own definition.

    As you see, I do not. However, you need to realize that your words, which I have discussed above, did not speak of you having a gradual awakening awareness. In fact, you hammered the point of your conscious awareness home. One more time, look:

    support an arrangement for so long when I have been well aware of its theological and social flaws.

    Does "for so long I have been well aware" equate in your book to "I am having a process of gradual realization?" In mine, it does not.

    I presume that you are married as a single person would not have the confidence and life experience to attack the motives of a married person who has to think for two people in these situations not just one. How did your wife react to your great awakening Comf?

    I have been single since about 1988, although I've been in a couple of live-in relationships since then. I was married at the time I left. My wife didn't like it, but our relationship wasn't doing very well for a number of reasons. She left me in an attempt to force my hand. About three weeks later she came back, saying she had acted hastily and wanted to come home. I said, no, let's just leave it the way it is, and that's how it stayed.

    It is the people I have an attachment to not the doctrines. I had hoped that the sense of this would come through in my original posting but I obviously failed miserably.

    For me, your statements discussed above (supporting vs being "in") overrode your other comments, as I will explain shortly.

    This one really takes the cake. On a few written notes posted on a bulletin board you have such a piercing understanding of my nature and motives!

    Careful what you say. Just a little way farther down your post, you do the same thing to me. I know about you exactly what you make known about yourself with your words. As I've already explained, those words conveyed quite emphatically your nature and motives as I have reacted to them. I always leave open the possibility of a misunderstanding, but in our subsequent exchanges your choices of points of focus only served to reinforce my initial impressions.

    Cold-hearted indeed! A young man speaks.

    I'm 47. I've experienced a few things.

    Now I wonder where you learned to selectively quote with such alacrity! Why not include the rest of the thought?

    I quoted the entire thought. Your subsequent words were simply a rationalization. You were trying to wriggle out of a valid point by focusing attention back on me rather than addressing the point (as you are doing again now). I just showed what you were doing. It wasn't necessary to quote anything else.

    I would ask that you try to be a little less judgmental and a little more understanding in dealing with those whose lives you have little, if any familiarity with.

    I call them as I see them, Step. If I later realize that I called them wrongly, I acknowledge that and correct the call. Often we have to make great leaps of assumption to get from the printed word to the concept in the author's mind. But if we fear to reach conclusions because of the possibility of misunderstanding, we might as well shut down this and all forums and give up trying to communicate at all.

    I now ask that you reply, when you have time, discussing in detail your view of the organization and why in your introduction you chose to distinguish yourself as not merely "part of" the org but indeed an active supporter of it. That was what set this whole thing off.


  • trevor

    I'm still reading your posts,

    I continue to be impressed.
    Darn good effort!

  • COMF

    I thought he should get another chance. Of course, he did deliberately pass it up before, while posting in the other thread. But, we do what we can.


  • COMF

    I have received an email from Step. He explains that he is quite busy right now with secular matters, and intends to respond to this post when there is time for it.

    I know how that goes. I seldom have time for answering posts, myself. I wanted to let the board know, for the sake of his reputation, that apparently Step is not ignoring the post after all.


  • Norm

    Hi Comf,

    Only want to say that I fully agree with your observations so far.


  • COMF

    I have heard from Step by email, a long letter discussing things that would give away his identity to the wrong people if they read those things on here. He says that he will write again to continue his response to my initial post above. When he's finished, if he doesn't post anything here then I'll ask if he minds if I do, culling the obviously personal details.

    I haven't yet formed an opinion of what he says. It's thought-provoking stuff; I'm waiting until I have more.


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