XJW's Converts vs. Raised-in-its - is there a difference
As an adult convert to the J-dubs I CHOSE the religion. Most of you did not. Unless you agree with Newboy that we all chose it as we cycled through this reincarnation.
When you choose something and then conclude it is seriously flawed do you lose the right of complaint? Yes, we are all victims of victims. But when you are raised in it you have an extra right of complaint.
In the very first chapter of the Live Forever book there is a paragraph or two about how Satan is going to try to keep you from "taking in knowledge".
So they start in with the "don't pay any attention to what anybody tells you about us, we are the only reliable source of infomation about our religion, Satan is out to get us" nonsense right off the bat.
So I do feel like I have a right to complain because from day one I was continually manipulated into not looking into opposing arguments.
When they told me a few years later that the Proclaimers book is a candid, truthful account of WT history, I shook my head and thought "do they really expect me to believe that?" - and I was still in. So I guess I never totally bought into it all.
I was raised in it from a young age of about 4yrs. I think that growing up in it puts one at a disadvantage for extrication. I know that i have a tendency towards the view that people who take it up as adults have only themselves to blame. Yet, not totally, for everyone is flawed, and at times weak. The wt is like a disease that preys on those people, or anyone, if their immunity to bs becomes weakened.
There are many horror stories of what happens to children of fanatic and sick JWs who aren't 'perfect.' See all the posts about being beaten in the back of the hall for not paying attention...especially liked the one about the 6-month-old being beaten with a wooden spoon for crying, oh and yeah, the one where the neighbors of the KH called Child Protective Services because of all the beatings in the parking lot.
I read a story of one young girl being beaten bloody for not studying, and having salt poured into the wounds. All this in front of her siblings, one of which was forced to beat her. Once she stopped screaming, she was dragged out into field service to "preach the good news" to others. What good news was that???
Now I know that's extreme, but it's true. In my house, my mother 'shunned' me (read: withheld affection) if I voiced any complaints about going to the BORING meetings, and I was just a little kid. To get mommy's love, I had to be a good dubbie.
Yeah, I think us 'born and raised' have a special set of complaints. I had no birthdays. I had no holidays. I was a pariah in school. I was a pariah at the KH too since my family wasn't 'theo' enough. I entered adulthood with a severe social handicap and suffered a lot because of that. Thank God I'm OK now.
That being said, I think those who chose it have their special set of complaints too. They were adults when they fell victim to brainwashing, which is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens all the time. But then they have the self-recrimination, "HOW COULD I HAVE DONE THAT???" which is a shame, because it's all too obvious how they did that. Who could resist life eternal on a paradise earth, and an awesome dose of love bombing??
We all have our baggage. I can't wait until they collapse for good.
Nice post. Thanks.
These are the thoughts I shared in animals thread on the same topic.
I dont think people who join when they are adults always have a bad motive or are on a quick fix mission, they just wanted a hope, something to believe in. With the state of the world (as projected by every JW to people on the doors) they grasped a short straw. Its easy to trust someone who stands with a Bible in their hands, who would expect them to be telling lies? They call so regular that they are bound to catch people in a vulnerable state of mind.
I knew nothing else from the age of 7 so cant really say how someone who joined as an adult would feel. But after supporting many adults who joined later in life, it seems to me their trauma is identicle.
Plus people who have never been JWs but have come out of abusive religion or relationships can identify with the exjw plight, a lot of things are exactly the same. Like we can identify with exmormons etc. I speak to people who have been in abusive marragies and trying to help them see the abuse is very similar to trying to help a JW see how the Watchtower is abusing them. Seems to me that we are all in the same boat and none of us are consistently wise throughout our lives.
Animals thread covered a lot of this. But it is a good question. I was 24. And I often wonder what the hell was I thinking? And my ex wife being a dirt bag got me to start thinking. I might have spent my whole life being abused by the GoverningBodyGod and their priests. I have no excuse! I willingly went along with most of their BS. And I believed it. All the way. Blackguard is a friend of mine,(twenty plus years) and he slowly helped me to get wise. I visited him at the end of this last year and he slapped me around and his family fed me coffee and vegamite and I slowly awoke from my stupor! I am glad my 18 year old daughter never took to the J-dud life. Her mother tries to extort her and lay guilt on her but I had custody and the girl is way too smart! Tell me, do I have a 'right' to complain. Maybe not.Can I offer comfort to the rest? Try and stop me! All I can do is offer my experience and insights, such as they are. And hope I can undo some of the harm I was a party to. Maverick
Ya.. I was curious why a second thread on the same subject came about.
I missed the other thread on this subject.
What was your take Animal? You strike me as a person who probably doesn't have too much sympathy for people who converted to JW's as adults. (Am I assuming wrongly?)
Being raised in it, I would definitely say there is a big big difference, for many of the reasons already mentioned. You are immersed in the JW culture from day one. I was in my 30's before I realized that most people made choices without the constraints I had always operated on. Oops, can't rent this movie, its rated R, someone might see me. Millions of people everyday made decisions entirely on their own. It sounds so obvious, but when you are raised in a system where everything you do relates to being a dub, how do you break that mentality...
Nope.. I have little or no sympathy for any adult, anywhere. I have found that people have the means to find themselves, and most do. Many dont, or wont, cuz it is easier to NOT fix than to FIX. Kids have no choice, adults do. Its simple.
Now, this isnt to say that I dont feel sorry for someone for whatever reason. I just refuse to act on it.