Make Your Excellent Point to a JW, But- Remember, it's a Mind Control Cult.
So I am reading from many that they have an excellent thought-stopper for JW's.
(Remember REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES used "thought-stoppers?)
"If you just show them [this scripture or use this logic or expose this problem with the organization], you will shut them down."
I say this because many think this will win them brownie points, either with the strangers at the literature cart or with their family members.
Use your point if you can. It could help. I was freed from Watchtower because of a revealing that it was not really "the truth."
But don't be over-excited that your excellent point will work. Most of the things we come up with are either over a JW's head or beyond their boxed-in thinking. And when it is something they can compute (or can reach their strong sense of right-and-wrong), Watchtower has taught them to automatically reject it.
I read often, that "They have no answer for [this]." And yet, when I read it, I know the standard JW answer. Even if a current JW doesn't know how to answer, they first reject the thought and then either dismiss it or go find the standard JW answer.
I don't mean to be so negative. Points CAN work sometimes to start a JW down the path of discovering the truth about The Truth. I just know that I have commented a few times recently to those that are so sure of their doctrinal flaws that they think virtually any JW will be disturbed by it.
I would say what works for me, but my loved ones are still JW. I will say that I tend to follow the Steve Hassan recommendations to be genuine and be "there" for these people. Send a card and/or photos, give a call if they let you. Just let them know you are ready to have a proper relationship. Good day.
That's all really great, balanced advice.
One of the best take-aways that I got from Hassan's book is this: never discuss doctrine.
Why not? Because mind-control groups aren't really about doctrines or beliefs. Sure they all have this or that ideology or belief system which they tout as "the truth" but that's just the window dressing. The fact that those beliefs can change and often do change at the whim of the cult leader is proof of that.
Cults are about one thing: control.
I agree that thinking that you'll spring an amazing question on a JW that they can't answer, will get them out, probably won't work.
But from my own experience, little annoying truths might eventually make a difference. Maybe I shouldn't say annoying but disturbing.
I'm presently working on a "sister" at work. She knows that I don't believe it's the truth anymore but has that duo thinking going on. Yes it's ok to talk to me as long as I don't discuss scriptures and maybe she can help me....
When ISIS was going around destroying artifacts and buildings, she lamented over the loss of art. I said well, they think of them as pagan. The Israelites went around destroying temples and art too. Then I shrugged. ISIS is just doing the same thing I said. Deer In Headlights Stare.
ISIS throwing homosexuals off the building - Israelites gutting women and children.... Stare.... She didn't talk about ISIS after that.
It may never get her out, but there may be other incidents she'll experience that will cause her to reflect on these disturbing examples and her view of the "truth" might change.
See for me, the Dateline show from 20+ years ago and an elder saying at a bookstudy "we don't need to tell the truth" (meaning we could lie) were saved up for years until other things happened.
A poster on FB said something to the effect that they shut down JW's and they were not able to answer at all.
When I heard what the FB poster said, I had a JW answer in mind instantly. It doesn't even have to make sense to you, it just has to seem to be right to them so they can say "That was not a GOTCHA question."
It was something like this shortened version below, but to be fair to the FB poster, it was much longer and more detailed. Still, it boiled down to FB poster thinking the JW's cannot answer this.:
FB- So I asked them what good killing all the evil sinners will do, because it was already done at the flood and evil came back.
"They had no answer."
I immediately knew the JW answer.
JW- The flood had to prepare the way for Jesus. The world was too evil, not ready to receive the son.
The difference between that destruction at the flood and the next one is that inherited sin still existed in humans, but after the destruction at Armageddon, the ransom can be applied to eliminate inherited sin and evil will be eliminated for good.
Oh, there's plenty of problems with that over-simple answer, but that just doesn't matter to a JW. They know the answer to say. Maybe some are not sharp enough to come up with that right away, but they can leave a conversation and go find that answer.
jp1692, "Never discuss doctrine" is a good idea. jwfacts has nice summaries of changed doctrines.
days of future passed, I read you. I recently discussed Joel Osteen in the Houston area not opening his building to hurricane victims and I piled it on with Joel's excuses. My wife fully agreed that wasn't right for Joel to do what he did. I then switched to JW's and their Assembly Hall near there, stating that I haven't read of Watchtower opening up to anyone, even members to come there and receive aid and a place to sleep. I even got to say how, at Sept. 11th, Brooklyn Bethel made sure to close their doors as a wave of people needed a place of safety as the cloud of rubble drove them that way.
I ran into a JW at the supermarket this morning and as she was coming towards me down the aisle she was doing the "I don't see you" thing they do (we were the only two people in the aisle walking towards each other).
As I reached the point where we were side by side I said "hi, how are you" to my surprise she responded strangely eagerly. I asked how her family was and she just started telling me how her husband has been suffering with bad depression and is struggling to get to meetings, he even missed the convention because he "couldn't face it."
She seemed close to tears as she was blurting all this out. I hadn't planned on saying anything re "the truth", doctrine or otherwise because it's like trying to reason with a zombie. I just let her talk herself out and thought to myself screw it these guys are hurting I 'm going to say something.
I told her that my own depression had eased considerably when "I took a break from the meetings it was like the messsage there wasn't good for my mental health."
She said "Oh that's not what's happening with my husband he still believes it's the truth."
Me: "You don't think the constant pressure to perform and reach out wouldn't be weighing on him?"
Her: " Yes he feels the pressure but the meetings don't cause those feelings they happen internally from inside the person."
Obviously in severe denial. I decide to let it slide and pivot the conversation away from him.
Me: "And how are you coping?"
Her: " It's so hard." Again, tears in her eyes.
Me: "It is ok to look after yourselves for a while you know. The meetings will still be there when you're both feeling better."
Her:" Oh we do miss you at the meetings we really do."
Me:" Oh thanks that's nice of you to say." (Never heard from them since I stopped going).
The store was beginning to get busy so I begged off at this point and I'm hoping she went home and thought about it. But at the end of it I felt I didn't need to say anymore than that. She wasn't even willing to acknowledge the "do more" message existed.
OTWO excellent thread! I often wonder how we're supposed to get these amazing points over to family when they won't even talk about their religion to us. When just the tiniest question will be seen as criticism and shut them down.
I like your point about the ransom couldn't be applied until after the flood. I think I've heard that somewhere, long ago. They've been supplied with an answer for everything, nonsensical though they sound to us.
Everyone's family is different of course and individuals usually know how far they can go with a religious discussion so if you think it's worth a try go ahead I would say.
Sparrowdown I like your post very much, just encouraging people to have a break is a good idea. As you say it's difficult if they think the pressure to do more comes from inside the person and not the Borg. Typical blaming the victim approach of course. I hope the compassion you showed her will make her think and take a break, they both sound close to burnout.
I agree, excellent Thread ! and excellent points made above.
I do try to say a little something to JW's that might have an effect, over time. I never wish to "challenge" them, until they get beyond a certain point, which is when they are being arrogant and superior because they think they are in the right religion.
Then my challenge is simply "Prove to me that you have the "truth"."
None have yet taken up the challenge.
You are right about them having a JW type answer OTWO, they have one, which may not come to their mind at the time, or, I have seen the cogs working, and they are thinking " If I say that, he will say this, and I really don't want to go down that road". So, they clam up.
I think that is an interesting thing to watch, because I think that kind of JW knows deep down that very soon they will run out of answers.
Small, incremental nagging doubts do mount up, and eventually may set the JW on the road to freedom and truth, so if we can plant one or two, very good. But deliberate, angry questions will shut the JW mind down before the question can even take root in their mind.
We have to be subtle.
otwo - Even if a current JW doesn't know how to answer, they first reject the thought and then either dismiss it or go find the standard JW answer.
I don't mean to be so negative.
I'd call it realistic. Standard jobo responses are varied but seem to hinge around - circular reasoning, wait on Jehovah(tm) or 'are you an apostate(tm)?'
sparrowdown, thanks for sharing that story. That person has come so close to a point of finding solutions, but just won't take the leap that something might be wrong with "the truth."
Xanthippe, you said "...individuals usually know how far they can go with a religious discussion so if you think it's worth a try go ahead I would say."
YES, by all means say what you can. I am not saying such talk is "useless." I just don't want to give a pass to those sure that they can defeat JW's with logic and doctrine discussions.
More on that with my comment to Punk:
punkofnice said: "I'd call it realistic. Standard jobo responses are varied but seem to hinge around - circular reasoning, wait on Jehovah(tm) or 'are you an apostate(tm)?'"
Great comment. I don't attack the doctrine very much with my JW wife or mother, mainly because I don't want to lose them to that question, "Are you an apostate?"
I would rather slowly win them over, and if that fails, maintain good relations. Good relations tends to lead them toward realizing that I am not evil, not mentally diseased, and perhaps they could examine THEIR doubts as the organization continues to take their money and deny truths and change the Doomsday calendar.
In many ways, the GB controls JWs by training them to think in soundbites -- often parts of Bible verses taken out of context.
-- "The light gets brighter and brighter."
-- "The dead know nothing"
-- "little flock"
If you try to get them to think more deeply, they often just repeat those soundbites like mantras.
I think that contributes to people's tendency to want to counter WT indoctrination with catchy zingers of their own.