How Did The Elders Treat You?

by minimus 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • minimus

    Did you get along with them? Did you ever incur their wrath?

    Most JWs want to be “friends “ with the elders, kind of like having a policeman that you know who might help you out if you are in need.

  • vienne

    I was a child when I attended with my mother. There are some stellar elders. The majority were under-educated, felt threatened by a 12 year old's questions; overly controlling.

    I had back in the day a skirt that came mid-knee with a two inch slit. Mind you, I was not a Witness. Two of the elders took me aside, without my mother, and yelled at me over the skirt. My mother found out and got in their face. They were somewhat afraid of my mother, a school district administrator.

    I was attracted to the religion when we first started attending. I read everything. One of the books I read was Rutherford's Riches. Eventually, as I read, I asked myself, How does he know this stuff? The answer was, He doesn't. He made it up. But I asked one of the elders, a man named Allan who had daughters my age, how he knew it was true. His answer was, Oh, don't read that old stuff. Everything has changed. I realize a person's understanding changes with further knowledge, but truth does not change. Truth is truth. If God did not bless them with truth in the past, what evidence was there that he did now. I made the mistake of asking that. The result was distressing. If a pastor must verbally abuse a child over a question of faith, then the pastor's faith is shallow, even unfounded.

    Despite some knowledgeable elders, one of them my uncle, I found and still find most elders to be controlling, rather ignorant of their own religion, and self-entitled. Needless to say, by the time I was 12 I was certain I'd never become a Witness.

    Having said that, I'm not unsympathetic. I have no problem with seeing most of them as earnest Christians. They, however, do not see me that way. They see me as, one older Witness woman said, as 'crow food.'

    Years later, when I was teaching a middle-school literature class focused on 20th Century YA books, two Witness elders complained about the content, first to me and then to the principal and finally to the school board. What was so shocking about content? Two of the books I assigned were by Anne McCaffery, the first two of her young peoples' Pern stories about a young girl who wants to become a 'Harper.' They were rebuffed by the school district, and eventually I applied for an got a no contact order from the courts. It is still in force.

    More recently there has been low level harassment from a Brazilian elder who wanted to turn my history blog to a forum for his 'Witnessing.'

  • minimus

    Vie, what an interesting read. As a kid , you were just too smart for your britches!

  • I Faded Twice
    I Faded Twice

    I didn't get along with too many of them.There were a couple that were like family growing up. But then we moved I got into trouble as a teenager and really found the elders of the new hall too just be a bunch of hypocrites! They were racist and I'm not a minority so im not playing any card here.

  • ToesUp

    There were those that were compassionate and kind and really could make a difference in someone's life. THEN there were those who should NEVER have anything to do with peoples lives. They should never interact with people.

  • TheFadingAlbatros

    100 % like men trained and brainwashed by a cult originated in the USA.

    How differently could they have treated me ?

    So happy to be 100 % out of this cult.

    Freedom is a gift of God !!!

  • minimus

    Many elders were not very bright. Every body of elders had their weirdos. There were a lot of strange elders that I knew of

  • LongHairGal


    There were one or two elders that I may have liked somewhat. The rest, forget it. They were incapable of relating to a woman who had to support herself and therefore I wasn’t interested in anything they had to say.

    I am in agreement with those that say the elders were largely uneducated and some of them had no business getting involved with people’s problems.

    As for what you say about some of them being “wrathful”: they should be humble servants and have no business being wrathful towards anybody.

  • Zoos

    There was one elder who exemplified everything an elder ought to be. Brother Kallquist,... RIP. He even told me after my reinstatement how unethical he thought the disfellowshipment/reinstatement process was. He was SO kind. SO loving. There were other brothers too, (not elders) who really were the definition of "christian servants".

    But the other 5 were most assuredly "company men". One of them was a regionally acknowledged asshole. He got up in my face a couple of times because he knew I was trying to get reinstated and knew I wouldn't fight back. Since I disassociated myself, I went up to him at the local grocer and greeted him enthusiastically.

    "HI BROTHER G****n! How you been?"

    He was horrified and walked away. I told observers he had no choice but to ignore me because his Watchtower cult demands he shun people who leave. He kept walking.

    That was a very nice day for me. (I also found out that his 2 teen/early 20's daughters left the cult shortly after I did.)

  • Tameria2001

    When I was still living at home with my parents (mom was a JW, dad had nothing to do with it), once there was this one elder to got on to me about something, don't recall what it was, but my mother saw what had happened (I was not baptized at the time, and only around 7). Under no uncertain terms does anyone get onto her children about anything, if they have a problem with her kids they were to go to her about it, then she would deal with it if need be My mother didn't take flack from anyone, elders included.

    That was the only time I remembered having any issues with the elders, but then again I was not one to cause waves.

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