The Elephant in the room: ExJw disunity
Fantastic new video by the lovely Susan Gaskin and friend Andrea discusses the huge variety of exjw opinions and why our supposed disunity is in reality our strength.
The Witnesses will claim we cannot agree and there are nothing but fights and a lack of harmony within our community whereas they are the most unified religion who believe the same things where ever you go. However Andrea points out that this is just an illusion, there is no unity amoung JWs. Their uniformity of views is based on fear, conformity is the norm because any dissent will get you booted out. Forvexample the sham of the kingdom hall show of hands - when anyone not voting with the BOE is promptly hauled in the back room.
"Theyre looking for ammunition not comprehension" - a great turn of phrase from Andrea, it should be the buzz phrase of anyone meeting with two or more elders.
We also need to remember that someone not agreeing with us is not a personal attack. We need to learn the art of debating because as Witnesses it's something we never do.
And Susan is happy we are now making our voices heard and whilst it's true that not all of us like the "Hall crashes" or "cart crashers", some of them have been incredibly powerful. The whole history of the JW religion began with "Picketing",picketing the churches "Religion is a snare and a racket"! Now the tables are turned and we picket them!!
Let's keep being different to each other...we're allowed to disagree and different styles of "activism"( hate that word) will awaken different people, or even people in different cults as Leah Rimmini has demonstrated. Long live exjw disunity! I've put this post in friends, Coz I'm sure that's where it belongs.
Each one of the dissenters is an expert in their own field, be it doctrine, procedure or human relations, and could single handedly deal devastating blows to their individual JW protagonists. wt has no such self trained, motivated people. . But let the lock step phalanx of the org go on, their strength is their weakness.
Interesting thoughts. Yes, the Society boasts about "UNITY" amongst all JWs.
They claim this is a good thing.
This reminds me of a talk I once gave at the Kingdom Hall as I was starting to awaken. I cant remember the topic or assigned theme, but midway through the material lent itself to what I thought was a appropriate visual aid.
I pulled out the blackboard and wrote the following words on it : UNITY or UNIFORMITY. Then discussed how a few changed letters can denote such a profound difference! UNITY is a lovely quality. But UNIFORMITY can become such an ugly term as it doesn't allow for individuality and variation from a prescribed formula. I spoke of how our unique qualities as individuals can make for a beautiful atmosphere amongst God's people. But if we all have to be exact clones of one another, it is not something to be proud of. It is something to be concerned about!
Oh, I was "counselled" firmly for this after the meeting!
You were counselled for that?! Sheesh!!!!
Very interesting and couldn’t agree more about an inevitable difficulty for a JW to debate philosophically and without closing off his or her mind. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had ended without agreement. However, the questions posed me challenged many of my convictions or perceptions and sometimes even persuaded me after weeks or months of thought. I’d hope that ex-JWs, no matter their level of extremism or tempered approach, could see that shutting people out just because they disagree is childish and, more disturbingly, an inherited tactic from WT. I do see a much warmer and tolerant attitude amongst younger ex-Dubs I’ve met. With no disrespect to those that blazed trails before us, I’ve had several conversations with peers who feel it’s time for a changing of the apostate guard. In any case, I second your motion. Long live apostate disunity! ☺️
I don’t have time to read all of that. I’m on vacation. The one unifying factor for XJW‘s is that watchtower is effing wrong! No other way to look at it. They are wrong, wrong, wrong! In fact I don’t think they have been right about anything. It’s obvious to anyone who investigates. Those who cannot see the elephant in the room are closing their eyes and their minds to the real facts!
Thanks for sharing, what a good video, fantastic it is!
Long post ahead!
The freedom to disagree with each other is one of the strenghts of science and makes it possible to reconsider and adapt "truths" with new information and insight. A consensus can be dismantled, new ones can be formed. An opinion can be confirmed or weakened by different viewpoints.
The JW obsession with unity, which indeed leans more towards uniformity (thanks stuckinarut2) reminds me of the misquotation in the blue 1985 "Life, how did it get here..." book, where WT gave the false impression that disagreement among evolutionists shows how weak their theory was. They left out the part where that same quote in fact praises such heated debates and rigorous disagreement because it helps to put findings and results under scrutiny in order to come to the best conclusions.
The same thing happens at this forum when someone makes a claim as fact and then is asked to back it up with a source or official letter. When someone is unable to provide such "evidence" he can lower his voice, ask others to confirm his claim, or even apologise for presenting opinion as fact or whatever...
Same with activism, isn't it the same with political parties? We have plenty of them in Holland, probably even too many for such a small country and some are really looked down upon because of their vieuwpoint but hey, at least it's democracy and usually things are getting somewhere without having to do it N.korean (or WT style). If it doens't get somewhere, parties can fall and the process starts over again.
Of course I'm not talking about social and emotional issues here, but even then different viewpoints can help to put things more in perspective or benefit from a different approach. Personally I have almost completely overcome my cognitive dissonance because this forum has "forced" me to consider all the different info and experiences coming from a spectrum as wide as full-in JW to hardcore atheist. Two years ago when I joined this forum I'd already fully embraced TTATT, but I would never have dared to challenge typical christian (core) teachings such as certain miracles, the resurrection or the ransom in the light of pagan similar stories that might have influenced bible writers. It "felt" wrong because the distance with JW was simply too far. Now, as an agnostic, I dare to doubt these deeply embedded religious/cultural "truths" because there's simply not enough empirical proof. I got rid of religious fear and wow, it feels sooo different now compared to a few years ago!
So I want to thank all the members for bringing me to the point where I can better understand people that believe or do not believe or that don't know what to believe, who don't want to leave, that are unable to leave, that have left through fade like me or chose to be df or da themselves. Same goes for activists that either choose the mild way or the more direct/confrontational approach.
No matter how often WT denies it, every way had the potential to work that way, whether we agree with that way or not.
stuckinarut2: I pulled out the blackboard and wrote the following words on it : UNITY or UNIFORMITY... Oh, I was "counselled" firmly for this after the meeting!
Counseled by who exactly??
Awake May 8, 2003
The Bible’s Viewpoint: Does Christian Unity Require Uniformity?
Religion today seems to be characterized by disunity. Even within the walls of one church, people may have a variety of conflicting beliefs in matters of doctrine and conduct. One writer put it this way: “It’s even difficult to find two people who believe in exactly the same God. These days, it seems, every human being is a theology unto himself.”
In stark contrast with this, the apostle Paul exhorted first-century Christians in Corinth to “speak in agreement” and to “be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10) Some today criticize Paul’s admonition. ‘People are different,’ they argue, ‘and it is wrong to insist that all Christians think or act in the same way.’ But was Paul really recommending robotic conformity? Does the Bible allow for personal freedom?
Unity, Not Uniformity
In another of his letters, Paul urged Christians to serve God with their “power of reason.” (Romans 12:1) Certainly, then, he would not have been trying to turn members of the Corinthian congregation into unthinking automatons. But why did he tell them to be “fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought”? Paul gave this counsel because the congregation in Corinth was experiencing a serious problem. Factions had developed, so that some viewed Apollos as their leader while others favored Paul or Peter or held only to Christ. Such disunity was no trivial matter, for it threatened the peace of the congregation.
Paul wanted the Corinthians to “observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace,” just as he later admonished the Christians at Ephesus. (Ephesians 4:3) He was encouraging the brothers to follow Jesus Christ unitedly, not to be split into disunited groups, or sects. In this way they would enjoy a peaceful harmony of purpose. (John 17:22) Paul’s counsel to the Corinthians thus served to readjust their thinking and promote unity, not uniformity.—2 Corinthians 13:9, 11.
I bought my brother an elephant for his room.
He said thanks very much,
I said don't mention it.
Uniformity is not the description I'd ever consider applying to Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide. The word which describes every aspect of JW's lives is CONFORMITY, a system whereby any independent thinking will readily stand out and can be quickly dealt with.