POP QUIZ: You're An Elder, And A Sister Has Suicidal Thoughts...

by pale.emperor 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • pale.emperor

    Here's one for you. Lets imagine you're a Jehovah's Witness elder. You have zero theological training aside from what you've read in The Watchtower and the currently still approved Watchtower publications, you have zero counseling skills, and no medical training. A recently bereaved sister approaches you in tears and tells you she just wants to die.


    a) Invite one of her trusted female friends to sit with you while you both listen to her pain.

    b) Listen to her on your own, then advise counseling and maybe the services of a mental health specialist

    c) Sit her down in a room with another elder and throw scriptures at her.

    Watch the video to find out which is the right answer.


    And once you've watched it, watch this:


    Sorry guys, but if it were that easy to cure depression we'd all be doing it.

  • sir82

    There's been lots of comments on that video thru the years on this forum.

    The main thing that is wrong (out of many) is that the sister has indicated that her suicidal thoughts have progressed to the point where she has determined the method she would use to kill herself.

    The elders throw scriptures at her, and by her acquiescence they assume she is "cured". They are happy that the sister is so "upbuilt". The implication is that they will leave after eating the cookies....

    ....leaving a suicidal woman alone in her house with access to the very "weapon" that she has threatened to use on herself.

    It never occurs to these bozos (well, to put the blame where it belongs, on the scriptwriter) that the sister may have come to the conclusion is to just smile & agree & nod along with the bozos until they leave, then go ahead with her plans.

  • LevelThePlayingField

    You know, it's funny. The JW's would never produce a live stage performance like this, ever. What a difference in religions. But yeah, just throw scriptures at people is what elders do.

  • steve2

    Chickens are hungry? Throw mash at them. Kids are hungry, throw burgers at them. Sister is suicidal? Throw scripture at her.

    No special training needed. No need for risk management plans or referral to suitably qualified persons.

    Use the three 'P's": Pep-talk, pray and preach.

  • LevelThePlayingField

    If I remember right, part of this video was shown at a service meeting (what's the new name?) a couple months back. I asked an elder, so what if that sister went ahead and killed herself that night after the brothers left? He just got wide-eye and looked at me and said, well, I guess she'll be with us in paradise.


    I looked back at him, just as wide-eyed and said, yeah, but don't you think it would have been helpful for the elders to suggest for her to get some professional help at least? He just said, that's a good point.

    But it's too late, the video is already out there.

  • Londo111

    And everyone knows more field service will solve all her problems...

    If she is pioneering already, perhaps she can find ways to do more?

  • blondie

    Depression, not just the sads, is an illness and can be treated with qualified counseling and medication.

    Now I know many jws think they have a doctor hat they put on when someone at the hall has a serious illness, but unless they have a license and are trained they are being presumptuous and putting that person in more danger.

    I would listen (I am a woman, no need to have another person). I would encourage them to contact their physician (not necessarily a psychiatrist at this point) and make sure this is not a physical problem. I offer to take them and wait and be a hearing ear. I might share scriptures to show that faithful worshippers of God were depressed as well. It is not a spiritual lack on their part.

    Prayer has never cured cancer or heart disease.

  • sparrowdown

    Any counselor or even a good friend would consider the person's situation.

    Questions like

    "What 's going in in your life right now?"

    Most JWs don't consider that's it's their religion (and if their spouse and family are in the same religion) then every emotionally influential person in their life that is inducing in them feelings of chronic invalidation and self-doubt.

    The sort of long term toxic self-doubt that erodes away a person's ability to trust their own judgement, perceptions and feelings.

    WT as a religion and belief system is the cause of many JW's depression - cause and effect.

    Especially the women who are bullied into believing they are crazy, or depressed if they feel anything other than joy at being deemed by the men in their lives as being useless (except for wifely or motherly duties) and voiceless, powerless and inacapable to make even the simplest decisions for themselves without the approval of the group.

    Of course JWs are depressed and suicidal, to be otherwise would mean you have a adjusted to very unhealthy situation. The depression is sign there is part of you that knows something is very, very wrong in your life as a JW that you need to fix.

  • Chook

    If God really held accountable these men over the years for the suicides after their window cleaner slash painter Judical decisions, if God is love and these bastards are accountable then fire and brimstone is headed to Warwick. If a human life is really worth more than a sparrow then Tony Morris and his mates are going to be struck by god for their neglect of the broken sheep.

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    (Option D )

    Have her read the book of Job (as I was advised to do ) so she can see how her current problems are really miniscule compared to what Job went through. Have her pray for an extra portion of Jehovah's holy spirit in her life.

    Tell her to find comfort when she reads how Jehovah's wise loving solution to the horror and grief job was experiencing over having his 10 children flattend all at once, during a family dinner, was to replace them with 10 new children. She will be comforted to see that Job (despite having lost his family and having his house collapse), forgot his problems as soon as his wife (mother of the original 10) spent the next decade or more being pregnant so that she could provided Job with 10 replacement children.

    Once the depressed sisters jumps off the nearest bridge or downs a bottle of pills, she won't be a problem to the elders and everyone can get back to their spiritual paradise.

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