It really stands out to me just how phoney the bonds of forced brotherhood are. The smiles are paper thin when they see each other in hotels. The laughs forced. The conversation shallow and cult approved. Its easy to see how people end up feeling alone in groups of 100's. When your "in" it dosent always stand out.... But seeing it from an objective distance is startling.
At a regional convention today....
Yup. I don't miss the "cult approved" lifestyle. You need too much medication to live that way. It's so easy to make insta-friends with people in that organization. The trouble is, friends that are easy to make are easily discarded. Don't make your 10-hour a month quota and you might as well be the dog poop that they annoyingly scrape off their heels.
The fact that you call yourself Nobody Special shows that you need to rip off the tentacles that this sect is using to suffocate your self esteem. YOU ARE special man/ma'am.
You are spot on. It's amazing how one can truly see how the cult is once awakened,
Next, if you are in the fading process, the meetings will become like cinder blocks weighing your mind down, and each word uttered from the platform will feel like a sharp nail being tapped slowly into your ear canals.
Field service will begin to make you physically ill as you know in your heart of hearts what you are selling to the householder is a sack of hazardous waste.
So true. During my last years in, the "cult-approved lifestyle" lead to severe-recurrent clinical depression, panic attacks and loneliness surrounded by "friends".
I remember when I was in the cancer, sitting at the boasting sessions or going out in field circus used to hurt my back. I could lift heavy weights with my back, including in "awkward" positions, with impunity. But, sitting there at the boasting session or going out in field circus would make it ache. Oddly enough, if I had to work that night, I would have to be careful about jerky movements with my back but I could still lift with my back (in fact, it would gradually make it better).
And no, I didn't have a very heavy book bag or duties that involved heavy lifting. Just sitting through a boasting session was worse than lifting all night, with my back. And going from door to door was worse than regular walking--I could walk several kilometers without problems, but a couple of hours getting into and out of cars and walking to doors would make a problem. Again, heavy lifting with my back would improve it (though careful not to go too fast).
Not to mention the headache I got after big, great, or grand boasting sessions. This was worse than what I would get from working all evening, including in areas adjacent to smoking (and no, I never smoked). I would only hate to think what would have happened to me physically, in the absence of plane crashes or terror attacks or other similar incidents, had I went to Israel to do that two-week mission in the spring of 2015.
I guess a small bit of preface would give more context, bonsai (and all who replied)
I am a semi successful fader. So successful they didnt even me a badge this year! The pain lol....
i decided to indentify myself as "nobody special" for many reasons but mostly because I used to serve as an elder. I hated the idea, even as an elder, that it accorded some special status. It didnt seem right to me that, in line with bible principles, that elder were put on a pedestal. Even more so given some douche bag elders i knew. Im very happy to be "nobody special" in that regard.
My dog loves me though :)
That reminds me, there's probably a convention going on where I live right now since it's the July 4th weekend.
One of these years, I need somebody to scan me a convention badge in early June so I can make a fake badge.
Yes, the "friends" one has within the society are conditional on being a clone, and not stepping an inch out of line.
They are NOT real friends...
Witnesses would not know what a REAL FRIEND is!
All their "friends" will drop them in a heartbeat based on just gossip and slander about someone not being "spiritual"
To be honest, to the OP, isn't this kind of the way with any forced association? I used to work for a big fortune 500 company with thousands of people at it's headquarters. It was very much like what you described. Very small smiles when you saw somebody you knew. Associations, not friendships, etc. I heard plenty of forced laughs. And mostly it was small talk. Or I'd go to professional conventions and see peers from around the country. Some I've met before. Same thing though. Small talk, polite smiles, laughing at jokes that aren't funny.
I get it. It's certainly not the love they claim. They're strangers put together, but not any better or worse, IMO, than many such groups.
Welcome and Hi! nobody special - I understand completely. When I was an elder I hated the power trips some of my fellow elders went on.
How many baptised at your convention and what was the attendance? We get great satisfaction seeing the massive increases. (sarcasm)
We've seen a marked drop in baptisms to assembly attendance ratio since late 2014 and wonder if it is worldwide or just North America and Europe.