Why THAT talk? Why NOW?
In another thread there's a discussion about how the show must go on and meetings weren't even slowed down by the deaths or medical emergencies of ones in the audience. It got me to thinking though, how many times were brothers given parts that were on a subject matter that was soul crushing for them or their listeners?
For instance, one young brother's unbelieving father was murdered locally. Not long afterward he's assigned a part on an assembly about the resurrection or something. Of course he got emotional and barely made it through. I've seen other elders get up and give talks about death after the loss of a loved one and barely make it through the tears to finish their talks. Why? Why give that guy that talk at that time? Is it to reinforce his beliefs and help him in some way? Is it to evoke an emotional response from the crowd that strengthens their faith as well?
On the flip side you have brothers that really struggled in areas of life assigned talks on that area of life. My dad was not a good dad. He was very emotionally abusive. The elders knew about it because even I as a kid was called into meetings with elders to report on how things were going at home. Yet the next month they'd assign him a public talk on happy family life. WTF?! My mom, myself, and my siblings would sit there in shock listening to the total bullcrap coming out of his mouth. He would even embellish or make up scenarios that we supposedly had in our own happy little family and preach them from the stage to encourage others. My mom often got up and walked out. We kids weren't allowed that luxury. Were they giving him talks on that subject matter thinking that he needed to learn that material and apply it, or are they just that stupid? Did they just want to torment the family?
I'm not expecting real answers here. It is hard to decisively know the motivation behind many things. I just find it fascinating how many times brothers were put in these horrible situations with their talks and other parts. Heck, as a teenager I had to give a talk from the YPA book on masturbation, as if I as a young male had never indulged myself. Why put a young me in that position? Man I hate those manipulative bastards.
I believe is mostly coincidence. While the talks are all outlined to strike our feelings and get to your emotional holes, They can not possibly align everything in such manner. Not denying it happens. It sure does. But given the limited number of outlines and the countless different situations that people are going thru every day, chances are that every day, somewhere, someone is given a talk about a subject that affects them directly... wether in a positive or negative way.
Sure it helps maintain the indoctrination. A close relative of my brother in law was given a talk about raising children. He is single and has no kids. He is of age to where he should have already done both things. He tried to deny the assingment on the basis that he did not feel comfortable lecturing parents when he was not a parent himself. The elders counseled him and commended him on his humbleness but also reminded him that Jehovah is the one doing the lecturing and that anyone questioning his motives would be questioning God, not him.
Maybe the question then is why do those people go through with those talks that are given at random but that happen to fall at horrific times? I know that a big part of it is that most brothers can't say the word no. Still, I've been surprised that most, if not all, go through with those incredibly difficult talks.
Oh man, this is something I DO NOT miss one bit. It seems like they are very lacking in tact when it comes to this. I can recall three very emotional talks that just tore me to the very core of my being. (You know those little 5 minute ones they give the sisters.)
The first one for me was I was 16, and had just attempted suicide. This was after years of sexual abuse by my father (not a JW by the way). Shortly after that I was given a part about a wife's duty towards keeping her husband happy. After seeing that, I nearly had a nervous break down, and my mother asked me what was wrong. I handed her the slip of paper. After reading it, she walked over to the elder, and told him that she would be doing the talk instead of me. At first the elder told her no. She told him that he would either allow her to do it, or he would have to find someone else to do the part. By the way I was not baptized at the time.
The second was this, there was a family that I was really close to, and had baby sat their children from time to time. One day the son had just bought this older car that did not have any seat belts in it. He took the car out on a dirt road, and lost control of the car. It then rolled, throwing his sister out the window, and as a result the car rolled over her and killed her. She was only 12 (I think) at the time. A little while later they had the visitation, and I went to it. A couple hours later it was time to go to the meeting. I told the elders I was in no shape to give a talk, but they wouldn't hear of it, and forced me to do it. My mom forced me to go to the meeting, and told me that I would DO my part. She didn't believe in quitters. I don't remember what that talk was about, but I can say this for sure, it was the worse talk ever given. I had it done in less than 2 minutes. When the elder who assigned me this part tried to counsel me on it, I stopped him and told him this, "I warned you that I was not in any frame of mind to be doing this, but you insisted."
The third was this. It was winter time, and this talk was not one that I was assigned, but one that was popped on me at the spur of the moment. At first I didn't want to, but again my mom insisted that I do it, so I did. I went ahead and threw something together, but I don't think anyone paid attention to what I was actually saying because for that meeting I was wearing a very large, very bright orange sweater. I couldn't take it off either, because I only had my under garments on under it. lol Oh yes, my skirt was bright blue, with bright red shoes.
That outfit really paid off, because that was the last time any one ever asked me to do something at the last moment. lol
Yep, seen that many times.
The lack of fore thought in assigning certain topics to certain ones is outstandingly stupid!
Young teenagers being assigned talks on "marriage" or "raising families" or similar.
Elders giving public talks on "family life" when they are known to be domineering emotionally abusive....
Yep, but no one questions the "direction of Holy Spirit"
One thing I know for sure. The GB does not care whether your mom just died and you were asked to give a talk the following week at an assembly on the resurrection. If they happen to find out about your delicate situation they will utilize the talk to further indoctrinate you and cement in the minds of others, especially those knowing the orators situation, that the GB and the JW's are God's one and only true organization.
It's rather sickening and revolting because as much as the brother/sister may want to pass up on it, he will be spiritually blackmailed into doing it. The alternative is to be labeled spiritually weak and unfaithful to "Jehovah's Organization."
Please allow me to go to the bathroom and vomit now.
I was assigned a part when I was an MS that I felt I could not conscientiously get up in front of the congregation and do honest job with because I didn't feel exemplary about. I spoke with one of the elders about my discomfort. He assured me that I would do fine. "It's all an act." he said. So I acted, did OK and life goes on.
He went on to become a CO, then a DO. Last I heard he was teaching one of the elder's schools.
It just shows to go you.
Tameria, those are some awful stories. I'm so sorry you faced that.
Stillin, what you said just goes to show that all they care about is the the talks are given. They just need a warm body that can stand and speak because the most important thing, as evidenced in the other thread I alluded to at the start of this, is that the show goes on.
Its the luck of the draw, plain and simple.
Back in the day, the awful koolaid drinking day, I thought that if the brother was a bad example of the talk he was giving he did not have "freeness of speech" to give that talk. (God I was naive)
Jw elders, as are many religious people, boldfaced hypocritical experts at "preaching temperance from a barstool."