The physical effects of Cognitive Dissonance

by stuckinarut2 21 Replies latest jw experiences

  • schnell
    Then came the fateful day in 1995 when they had their changed teaching on Generation. I felt like I got sucker-punched and I knew it was really OVER.....from that point forward it was in my mind that I somehow had to make my exit from the Witness religion. Once I started planning, I don't believe I ever felt sick to my stomach after that.

    I have a friend who confided with me about just that. He's an older man, been in the truth for years, and that very change among many other things almost made him leave. Now, I was 10 in 1995, but I don't think I ever heard much about this change in all the years since. So when he told me about that, it essentially was a new idea... And he just added fuel to the fire for me. That is complete BS.

    Interestingly, Bart Ehrman wrote in "Jesus, Interrupted" that as "this generation" passed, and by that he meant what the apocalyptic Christians then understood it to be, decades went by and it became necessary to reinterpret the gospels. That's why the resurrection and earthly new world morphed into the afterlife of heaven and hell. That's why mainstream Christianity doesn't discuss or believe it. It also means we're not nearly the first sect to be caught by this.

  • stuckinarut2

    Great comments!


  • Happeanna

    I was in agony sitting at meetings when I realised there was something seriously wrong, I would be screaming inside , many times I just walked out, difficult as my husband was the PO. I had migraines all my adult life until I finally left JW. completely in 2000. I went to post cult workshops and had counselling to come to terms with it all.

    often I find in my dreams / nightmares I am at an assembly or Kingdom Hall trying to get out

  • Syme

    I experienced extreme pains in the stomach for more than half a year, which would start abruptly, last for about 7 hours, and then disappear; with a rate of once in a month. The first such pain appeared before going to an assembly (that I didn't attend eventually). The problem finally disappeared with treatment.

    Another one was an autoimmune skin condition that I developed at the zenith of my cognitive dissonance period. That condition fortunately faded away when I transitioned from cognitive dissonance to acceptance of the fact that I wasn't a jw anymore. It still is lies me though, in a much milder form, and rises only when I am in a lot of stress.

  • kairos

    I still feel the effects.
    Getting physically ill over the injustices in the WT are hard to bear.
    My wife loves the ORG.

  • Vidiot

    This is a huge part of why the WT leadership is so out of touch... with both "the world" and the rank-and-file.

    They - as authoritarian leaders - don't experience cognitive dissonance.

  • stuckinarut2

    I was just thinking too, that many witnesses feel guilty, because the society keeps telling them "that God's people are the happiest on earth" etc. And yet, so many witnesses feel stressed or anxious all the time.

    So they then feel GUILTY because they are SUPPOSED to be so "happy", yet don't feel so...

    That must play havoc with the ones with low self esteem...

  • Vidiot

    @ stuckinarut...

    WT hears reports of increasing depression amongst the R&F...

    ...investigates and determines that there's actually something to it...

    ...quietly freaks out at the implications and ceases its inquiries...

    ...releases blanket "happiest people on Earth (period)" statement...

    ...causes increasing guilt and anxiety amongst said R&F for their inability to meet that expectation...

    ...leading to increased reports of further, more severe depression all over again...

    God, by now the leadership must be f**king desperate for the Big A to drop and bail them all out... :smirk:

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower

    Before I left back in the year 2000 I was going crazy with CD and was assigned a part on the new organization history distortion book new release back in mid 90's and it started me reading the Divine Purpose published in the 50 I think and then I started to see the out right lying and cherry picking of facts.

    I think it was making me physically ill. I did a bunch of ayhuasca brews in the early days 2001 to kind of quick start my healing process. I was so dumb struck to find out I was in a mind shrinking/control cult. It was a very ruff road back in those days being in my mid 40s and trying to loose all this mind shrinking thinking and reacting to life challenges. Not to mention anger issues towards the WT organization for fucking me over so cruelly to keep me from talking to my relatives who JWs making me into this evil person that needs to be shunned at all cost.

  • zeb


    you have made a very valid observation. As I have said here before jw in my experience are as a group the unhealthiest of people. I draw from that that there is a lot of CD grinding away in peoples minds

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