All religious leaders share the same sin: They come to you in sheep's fleeces, but beneath that disguise they are ravenous wolves." (Mathew 7:15) Difference is only in degree. They all have the impression of feeding whereas in reality they are fleecing.
Jehovah's Witnesses: shame and domination
@john.prestor Some seriously astute observations you've been making. I'd really like to see your finished research! Will you be posting it on this forum?
This was lifted by one of our forum contributors, @pale.emperor, from an approved JWs-only forum:
I also received these words in an email a couple of months ago by an old JW acquaintance who has cottoned on to my external research activities of the Septuagint:
"You owe Jehovah humility and honesty. He doesn't favour the intellectual ones who are proud and showy with their academic knowledge. He sees your loving heart [WHAM!] and has tried to help you on numerous occasions. Now it's time to walk the walk, no more talk. Get to work in proclaiming the kingdom blessings to the lost souls in this dying world... Ignore the occasional hypocrite and just PUT YOUR NOSE TO THE GROUND PLEASING JEHOVAH."
Earlier this year, I had a brief stint with a Jehovah's Witness who conducted a Bible study with me while I feigned interest as a worldly person. Here are some excerpts from some email exchanges we had between studies (all quotes belong to the study conductor):
"These are very complicated arguments you present me with. I remember Jesus words in Matthew 11:25 where Jesus said that Jehovah reveals things not to the wise and intellectual ones but to young children.I am of the latter. Jehovah does the revealing."
"I am prepared to just study the simple truths of the bible with you, but you need to decide what motivates you to want to talk to us. We are looking for people who are looking for the truth. We are delighted to help them find the simple truth of the bible. I hope you are one of these people."
"Jehovah does not want us to be ignorant either. But when it comes to wisdom I feel I need to be humble and recognise that human wisdom pales into insignificance when it comes to Jehovah’s wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:19."
"I’m willing to discuss with you what I have learned is the truth, but I’m not willing to debate about words or dates. Times are urgent, we need to get on with the job Jesus gave us Matt 28:19-20. Matt 24:14 Matt 10-7. If you still want me to come on those terms I will be happy to."
"Really, the truth is very simple, paradise lost, paradise regained. Even uneducated simple people can grasp it because it is Jehovah who reveals it."
"I have decided that I will not be discussing things any more, I feel that you have formed very firm ideas about jw. Nothing I could say would change your mind."
Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho: Thank you for your kind words. Thats also a fascinating exchange of emails, and I appreciate you posting those. That certainly reinforce my conclusions at the Bible study is partially about establishing domination and quite frankly comes across as insulting and condescending on the study's part.
Another thought I had is that a Bible study is also about accepting the non-elite role eventually during Watchtower Studies. Your study reads the question, you answer. That's exactly what happens at the Kingdom Hall. You don't like that method, you find it pedantic or tiresome, as I did, you're not fit for the Watchtower Study, a major part of the service.
Whatever I get published as an article I I won't be able to post here, and I'll be honest, it will be expensive to gain access to it online. When you get something published in an academic journal you have to sign over the copyright However, I'm also preparing a book manuscript and if I get that published (that's a longer-term goal and may take a number of years) I may receive free copies of the book. I'll hold some kind of raffle on here and send them out!
@john.prestor Happy to support that venture :).
You mentioned the tedious ping-ponging of reading paragraphs/asking questions, then answering from the paragraph (and lather, rinse, repeat).
Study conductors simply cannot cope when the student goes of script or asks additional questions. Usually, the conductor will instruct the student to "put that thought on hold," or "shelve that question for later...", and I think this is, in large part, to do with the utter chaos Jehovah's Witnesses are conditioned to anticipate should things go slightly out of the order predicated by the Watchtower - both studiously, and off duty in the real world.
They are under the strong impression that the Governing Body has provided them with the ONLY formula to navigate through existence. Anything that slightly deviates from the prescribed margins is a landslide to hell. And you see this in the Witnesses' absolute terror to ad lib during a Bible study.
john.prestor - I think they were really searching for gullible/weak/submissive ones early 80s -- I was chatting/visiting (they called it a study, I guess) for about a month with couple of JWs and accepting literature. I asked them if they were a cult and one seemed to handle it ok -- the other not so good and they didn't like my question whether Jesus really existed outside of the Bible - no evidence. The decent one told me whether it was truth or not it had helped her life -- marriage wise, abstaining from drugs, alcohol, you name it. Both of their husbands were young elders and were successful climbing the pecking ladder. No calls, no nothing, and never heard from them again! I was tad confused and felt rejected because I'd been reading the WT/Awake they'd leave and had a lot of questions.
A bethelite in the early 90s told me the WT had so many people coming into the "truth" in the 1980s that WT had to start being selective choosing their associates (WOW! that's Christianity!) plus really study with them before baptism -- well, that didn't sound Christ-like to me or like the stories in the Bible I read about in the Baptist religion as a child. By this time I was clearly too brain-washed from the literature -- maybe not so brainwashed just wanted the fantasies of the pandas, whales.
The one hard liner that came along with the decent gal would come into my home and point at an object (like the Cuisinart food processor and ask why I needed it -- why I needed art objects, etc.) or this or that. They were clearly recruiting ones they could control. I couldn't believe -- rudest, ill-mannered, people, I'd ever been around! Also, admit, eventually met couple of the most decent humans I've ever met.
Great observations John. And great input from all here. I especially appreciated Wake Me's insights.
Yes, for Jehovah's Witnesses, FOG is very much in play : Fear Obligation Guilt
Would love to see your finished work John!
john.prestor - "Jehovah's Witnesses: shame and domination..."
"Brother Grey will see you now."
Good thread. All mind control cults like the JW's and WT Society use fear and guilt to shame their members and give them extremely low self esteem whereby JW's or other cult members are put down for ANY personal accomplishments that are not benefiting the WT organization or cult itself. It's criminal how these organizations steal away any self worth in individuals. Peace out, Mr. Flipper
@Vidiot: "Brother Grey will see you now."
Sheep can actually be quite nasty when cornered. Keep pushing them GB and eventually they will snap!