Are you better off as a worldly person or a JW?
I was having a conversation with a relative who has been inactive for several decades (part of the ‘75 generation) and he argued that a person that is a born in is better off staying in the organization rather than someone like him who lived as a “worldly” person but then became a Witness later in life. He argues that when you’re born in, all you know nothing outside of the organization, so you’re better off in than out, that’s why when born ins leave the org, they always come back. I agree that as a born in, your social circle is composed of Witnesses but I do feel that even born ins would be happier outside of the org than being in. Again my inactive relative argues that they are genuinely “happy” but they are conditioned to believe that they are happy. Thoughts?
By that reasoning, no slave born a slave would ever be better off being freed.
Shows up how warped it really is but it's not surprising they'll grasp at straws to try and keep people locked up.
Although religion is an opiate to many so they can avoid facing the issues of life, those issues still exist. Death comes to us all eventually, does pretending it won't make things better or worse? I think it carries some danger in that it prevents people planning for old age at the very least.
No matter what, it's always better to be yourself and to live an authentic life.
There is no question that people born into a cult have unique challenges upon leaving, but we all have challenges to overcome.
It isn't easy, but it's definitely better than remaining in a high-control, authoritarian cult.
According to the Pew Religious Survey 67% of born-ins no longer identify as JW's. In the Mormon Community it used to be 10% but now it's is 30%
"Perhaps the most striking trend in American religion in recent years has been the growing percentage of adults who do not identify with a religious group. And the vast majority of these religious “nones” (78%) say they were raised as a member of a particular religion before shedding their religious identity in adulthood.
As part of a new surveyconnected to our broader Religious Landscape Study, we asked these people to explain, in their own words, why they no longer identify with a religious group. This resulted in hundreds of different responses (after all, everyone’s religious experience is a bit different), but many of them shared one of a few common themes.
But there are other reasons people give for leaving behind their childhood religion. One-in-five express an opposition to organized religion in general. This share includes some who do not like the hierarchical nature of religious groups, several people who think religion is too much like a business and others who mention clergy sexual abuse scandals as reasons for their stance.
I am better off just being me. Doing what I like, when I like. Deciding what hobby to pursue, what to wear, what to study... it beats living the Watchtower way every.single.day.
I could agree that in some cases born-ins are better off within the org but I don't see the point in comparing them with born-outs. I think that the born-out's path is far healthier.
A born-in will live a life of deprivation, of social awkwardness and in many cases he will stay in just because he didn't dare to look anywhere else. And if he eventually leaves the org, he will feel that he hasn't gone through several life stages that are completely normal for a non-JW and that are indeed important for self-development.
A worldly person who later in his life joins the JWs, even though I think it's a complete lie, he would make that choice freely with far more knowledge and having previously lived all that there is to live in "the otherside".
And if we are talking about if it's better for a born-in to stay or leave, I definitely say leave. Despite the initial feeling of inadequacy or lack of life knowledge, nothing is more valuable than living your life freely. Indeed, as a person who has lived behind so many barriers, he will be able to appreciate that freedom more than a regular person.
that’s why when born ins leave the org, they always come back
I've known many ex-jws who live a happy healthy and enjoyable life outside the highly controlling JW cult.
Some born ins unfortunately get into behaviors which were forbidden being a JW and they faltered as it were but there are more who eventually realize through experience to live a true wholesome direction in their life, including myself.
The amount of people who were once JWS left and then came back is over exaggerated and misrepresented for various means and intent.
The key word in the OP question is "person". As a JW I was a brainwashed robot...now I am my own person.
JWs believe they are protected in God's organization, constantly pointing to the bad things outside while turning a blind eye to things happening inside. "We disfellowship the evil doers!" they say. That does not neglect that the evil deed was done while the person was in fact a JW in good standing. If a brother defrauded an older sister, the fact that he will be disfellowshipped did not protect the faithful sister: She still got defrauded.
The reality is that fraud, lies, alcoholism, unfaithfulness, divorces, laziness, bullying, abuse, even pedophilia, these are all things that that afflict the world and the witnesses as well. The difference is that Witnesses pretend these almost never happen inside while exaggerating the evil done outside.
The use of the term “worldly” in the OP reveals Jules’ relative is thinking within the JW mindset and seeing with a JW worldview.
Hence the question.
Once a person abandons the cult mentality and beliefs, such a question would no longer be asked because the answer is obvious. But doing so takes time and much deliberate and thoughtful effort.