OnTheWayOut 3 minutes agoAs amazed as I was when I discovered TTATT, I am more of the thought, "Why not the rest of them?
Man, these are some really good thoughts. It really helps, Thanks!
Love this post. It's something I thought about a lot, in hopes of identifying what IT was that got me started in this process of waking up so I could help someone else.
I realized that we are all on different points on our journeys. We all come from such a unique upbringing it's almost impossible to see what the main factor is unless someone did a study on all of us.
I have always been cynical and was willing to cross over the line that witnesses are not willing to cross. What really gets my mind twisted is how I let myself become convinced it was legit in the first place when I was 19.
Onthewayout he rewiring of the brain is sufficient in a majority of cases to prevent members from committing thoughtcrime. "They said they joined the UN for a library card, so that's it." "They said they report these crimes committed by a few bad people who joined the organization, so they do, and they get rid of the bad people." "They have all of their chronology worked out on charts, so it is so."
It hurts that good characteristics, like trust, can be used for ill.
There is also our good friend, the ebola virus of defense mechanisms: denial.
Defenition of a defense mechanism is: any mechanism that protects (defends) us from unwanted thoughts, feelings, or drives.
If it can keep addicts in addiction and folk in abusive relationships, it can keep Witnesses in Kingdom Hall.
But yes, JohnAquilla, sometimes being right it a lonely place to be and I am sorry you are feeling down today, I send you love
Your sister D.
Critical thinking skill's........or waking up to what is not there....... play into learning TTATT.
My wife and I left in the mid 1960's it took us a couple of years to accomplish our exit. We had to reason our way out. Today it takes as little as 24 hours to two weeks to understand the history, policies, flip flops, failed predictions, the corporate culture and the pedophile issue of the WTBT$.
What keeps a person in? A shared community, fear of losing that community. emotional coercion and above all 'rational ignorance' the ability to rationally decide that it is not worth one's time to learn about something you can't apply or use (like Evolution for instance). A proud JW is the embodiment of rational ignorance. Frankly they take pride in remaining ignorant.
When you start to question the light does get brighter.
There is another possibility, John, and it may not be easy for you to swallow at this point.
I never asked the questions you are asking. One of my best friends who left has never asked them either. I have several friends who were in the Watchtower, and only 1 out of 15 ever brought this up.
This is the point where you might get mad if I say anymore, and it's a normal response. Usually when you tell a person what I am about to say you get a lot of denial, anger, hostility, and in some cases even hateful and violent responses. So take a deep breath...
What you are experiencing is called "survivor's guilt," and it's not uncommon for people who have survived traumatic events like disasters, car accidents, plane crashes, and even escaping cults. Some Holocaust survivors have it, and it was the experience of the main character in the novel and film "Ordinary People" for which Timothy Hutton won an Oscar.
"Survivor's guilt" is a symptom of post-traumatic stress syndrome. It's generally characterized by asking "why me?" Survivors often believe they were not good enough to survive and that others deserved it more. They can blame G-d for not being there to save "more worthy" people. It can be accompanied with other forms of distress like unipolar disorder.
Now I am not a psychologist or medical doctor, and I can't say for sure that you are dealing with this, but it's not uncommon. Sometimes the only symptom is anger.
The truth of the matter is that many factors play a part in why some people survive and some don't. I'm not the one to go into a full discussion about this because if there is a slight possibility you may be showing signs of PTS syndrome, you should see a medical doctor. It can be as destructive as the disaster or cult if not treated.
Not everyone feels this way. And not everybody who "wakes up" chooses or has the courage to leave. And, to be honest, not everyone is really "asleep" in cults. There's still debate about it, and probably always will be, but there may be a lot more free will and less brainwashing in systems like the Watchtower than people would like to believe. The only experience you need to worry about and can is yours.
John Aquila: So why did I wake up?
This is a great question, and one that is not so easily answered.
It's obviously not about intellect alone or any other solitary personality trait.
It does however seem to be linked in all cases to these two traits:
It takes a certain kind of personal strength to leave a cult. This does not mean that we are "better" per se than those that remain. Indeed, we often come out scarred or even broken, but in the end we overcome and do get better, or at least we become better than who and what we once were.
It's not a competition. It's an opportunity for personal growth.
John Aquila: This is what makes it hard for me to believe that God is a good person.
If there is a God--that is some sort of superior being that was involved in creation--it most certainly isn't anything like the "god" of the bible. The creature is a messed-up reflection of human frailties and shortcomings in intellect, emotional maturity and just plain balance.
Good points Caleb. Survivor's guilt plays all kinds of roles in us waking up. I always questioned myself, as a witness, why I had "the truth" and was in line for survival when there were others on this planet who were much nicer, kinder, smarter and all around better people than I. Yet 98% of those people were in line to be destroyed at Armageddon because they couldn't accept our teachings of the bible.
That bothered me to my core. Why should I survive and rebuilt a paradise over the corpses of better people, people MORE deserving of life than I was? I could never understand how witnesses could be so content to believe that this incoming genocide from heaven was just,right and rational. To me, this world is like the modern day Nineveh. The majority of humans on the planet (or actually all of them) do not know their right hand from their left in regards to what is supposed to be the ultimate spiritual truth.
I dont know if you felt the same way as a witness John, but I did. I asked, why me? as a witness and why me even now.
Cantleave - Sounds like you are waking up a second time, this is exactly the thought process I went through as I moved from believer to agnostic and then to atheist.