Any of you that had been in the organization for decades are welcome to answer. Really, who started this craziness?
When did jws start viewing the "worldly" as bad associates?
Didn’t they always? At least since the early 60’s
Well...back in the 30's in the US it was okay for a witness female to marry a "worldly" person..so long as he wasn't Catholic. Catholic was the pen ultimate bad. Then by the 50s there were enough so it got to be only in the Lord....only date and wed fellow dubs. Then that morphed into all relationships someime in the 50s I think....I grew up in the 50s and it was okay for me to have friends outside the cong...but no birthday parties, holiday stuff etc... Then it all tightened up radically....by late 50s in my experience it got very isolationistic.
I don't know who started this, but I remember back in the late 1980s I would constantly hear this. They really aimed this at the teens, or at least it seemed that way to me. There was one time down in southern Oklahoma, there was a congregation that I attended, had some real issues with cliques, and I was not part of the group. There were pretty close to 15 other teens there, but none of them would have anything to do with me. So I made friends at school, and none of them were "good association" aka JWs. Most of the time they didn't give me any mind, other than doing a total avoidance of me. But one time I decided to hang out with a girl from school who was a smoker, and there was a designated smoking area for the teens at school (1984). At the very next meeting I attended, all of a sudden I had several people asking me why I was hanging out in the area with bad association and a bunch of other crap. When I was a teen I had no desire to smoke, drink, or do drugs, and not because I was a JW, just because it never interested me. I told them point blank, that their good little JW children would avoid me, so what did they expect me to do. I wasn't baptized at the time, and no desire to become one, so there wasn't much they could do to me. It was funny because at the next meeting I got a huge "love bombing" from those snotty @SS JW brats with the next meeting, then the next meeting after that it was back to the normal avoidance.
Tameria2001 - your last sentence said it all!
From the forthcoming volume 2 of our Separate Identity:
Russell wrote a commentary on the First Psalm, saying said that the “righteous man” pictured “those … justified by faith … new creatures, walking in their Master’s footsteps.” They were “sometimes imperfect” through fleshly weakness. The Psalm says the righteous should avoid: “(1) the ungodly – literally, the wicked, (2) sinners or transgressors, and (3) scorners or the conceited and unteachable.” “The proper course is to have no fellowship (sympathy and common interest) with people of any of these classes.” Russell wrote that this did “not mean that we are to treat them unkindly or discourteously, nor that we are never to be seen walking, standing or sitting with such; but it does imply that our company should, as far as possible, be select, and of those who reverence our God, and that other fellowships should not be encouraged.”
Russell felt most believers would avoid common sinners and the unquestionably wicked. But most were “in danger of getting into fellowship with the scorners or unteachable.” Association with them would lead “to the same spirit, and that leads gradually to violation of the covenant with God; and that leads to open wickedness and willful sin.” The safe way was to have “no fellowship with darkness: it is never profitable.” This affected church affiliation:
"In all the nominal churches there are many who have a form of godliness, but who are really ungodly – far from being in harmony with God and his plan. In the nominal churches are also many sinners, living in known violation of their covenant with God. And there, too, may be found, alas! sometimes even in the pulpits, those who are of an unteachable, haughty spirit, who even scoff at God’s Word and make it void through their traditions. Come out from among them; and neither sit, nor stand, nor walk in fellowship with such. (Rev. 18:4; Isa. 52:11.) Stand with God, even if that should seem to imply standing alone. The Lord knoweth them that are his, and he has yet more than seven thousand who bow not to the idol of sectarianism."
Obedience to the principals of good fellowship brought happiness rather than social isolation:
"Some might suppose that one thus isolated would have an unhappy lot; but no, he is truly said to have a delightful experience. He delights day and night in meditating upon God’s will and plan. In this he finds a joy and a peace which the world and a worldly church can neither give nor take away. One thus consecrated and full of the spirit of the Lord finds that God’s laws of righteousness are not restraints which he would fain be freed from; but, like the Master, he can say, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: thy law is engraven in my heart.”"
It is an integral part of High Control Groups methods to create a Tribalistic " us and them" attitude.
Russell did it in a more gentle way than the Org has gone in the last half-century or so, but he too wanted his followers to separate themselves as much as possible.
In recent times the Org has become paranoid about "worldly influence", and there fore has institiuted as much rigid control as they can get away with, which has made the members of the Org frightened even to be seen speaking too long to a non J.W !
Of course, the fear the Org leaders have is that J.W's will soon learn TTATT with just a minimal contact with informed "worldly" people, whether face to face or via the Internet. The G.B are now scared about the level of "defections" in Countries that contribute to their coffers. Expect continuing and probably more extreme control over your " bad" associates J.W's !
At a guess I'd say it started with Rutherford. He ruled with an iron fist and seemed to love telling JWs what and what not to do.
CT Russell seemed to be much gentler, as Phizzy points out.
I believe that Bible Students during Russell's time were allowed to attend other Christian services/meetings, do I have that right?
I agree. Rutherford was bit of a dictator. Russell was a little loony, but I think jws had it better when he was around. He just said not to associate with the truly wicked ones, in which I agree. Rutherford really screwed this up and made it culty.
My parents became JWs in the early 70s. It was drilled into me to avoid getting close to Worldly People™, and to only have Friends™ In The Truth™. Because of our lack of JW pedigree (2nd or 3rd generation), we weren't readily accepted by those who were Born In™ or had a decades-long history with the cult. It seemed like we were always inviting people over for dinner or driving people around for Service™ or a to do shit jobs around the KH that nobody else wanted, and it was very rarely reciprocated. It was like we had to go through some kind of probationary period - for how long was anyone's guess.
It was a very isolating, and it's no wonder I suffered from depression and anxiety from all these emotional rollercoaster rides.