Non JW and JW friendsips. I am a non JW

by ricsa 6 Replies latest jw experiences

  • ricsa

    My story is as follows. I've been friends with a guy for round 1,5 years. Always thought he is just your standard Chrsitian as that is what he stated to me when the talk arised. Either way I knew nothing about JWs until a month ago when my mate told me over another discussion that he was a JW so I was like ok, but finding it strange it as it was not mentioned 1,5 years ago.. But then I did some intensive research and was just pretty shocked at what I read.

    To add some depth, we both live in a different country and work together. He initiated the friendship and is a pretty decent dude for the most part. As such I started to disclose my normal lifestyle like I have girlfriends, sex, alcohol, sport just general guy talk. He always just entertained it never added much to it except that he was married and divorced. He would add in talk that I don't vote, or I'm pretty neutral on politics etc, but I never put anything to it.

    Anyway after he told me he is JW Idid research and decided to bring this up as to understand how he believes this. I spoke about the things I read. Turns out he is indeed a devout JW, born in raised etc.

    When I read this shunning policy i thought it is so archaic and strange. He told me once he had another guy friend who was gay. I then decided to ask him: Your gay friend, non-JW, is gay and you talk and chill on occasion. Your JW friend then comes out and is then dfd will you associate? He tells me definitely not! So I state, you will associate with a "wordly" gay dude, but wont associate with a JW gay dude. That's a double standard. So he says well my Non-JW friend is ignorant I cant hold him responsible but my JW friend should have know better. I was BLOWN away by the response. The reasoning was beyond me. He then spoke about how when he was a kid so many doors slammed in his face and it made him angry - I said so you're angry about that, but if one of your own JWs comes to you with info they discovered you would report it, df, and shun. It's the same. Its a double standard. He just doesn't see it that way

    My biggest issue was the disassociation bit, I had an argument with him on this as I felt it didn't allow anyone who was born in to have a freedom of choice to religion without a consequence. That consequence being shunning. He just says that it's a gift and the gift should be accepted if it is not accepted I will need to associate less. mind=blown. The more soild questions I ask, the more he seems to jump around the answers and not answer directly. Don't get it.

    Anyway he told me no JW is perfect and all are imperfect to which I said I just encourage you to think a little independently as this resonates with me as being a brainwashing/mind control.The "discreetslave" are human and thus can also be imperfect as you stated, please just think a little more independently. He did state on occassion why I am disrespecting his beliefs and being disrespectful, but I couldn't keep it in I just wanted him to see what I see because he is a respecting cool guy. I've decided to just say look we reason differently and we can continue to talk and maybe leave religion out.

    Any thing you can share as being JW? Will there be and depth to the friendship? What is going on in his head? He's a pretty "normal" respecting dude, I'm just blown away by the reasonings. Could you share some advice as being a JW? I do still feel pretty strange knowing what I know, I really knew absolutely nothing about them till a month ago.

    Thanks all!

  • stillin

    Nice guy. Shun him. Stay away from losers. Thanks for sharing.

  • JaniceA

    I'm amazed he's still speaking to you at all. I'd not shun him. Why should we power ourselves? All JWs need normal people so they aren't too isolated. I think asking occasional questions as they make the news isn't unkind. Ask them for info, not judgementally and he might think. Mostly stick to cars, women and whatever men talk about. He's a JW and needs to reclaim his masculinity. Or just grow a pair.

  • ricsa

    @JaniceA Yeah I'm surprised too, he did mention dude I feel like this is an interrogation. It's just my beliefs and you shouldn't keep questioning them just because they don't jive with you.I did mention you could have told me this earlier. We both live abroad away from home though.

    Definitely won't shun him over religion, he's been pretty chill the entire time hanging out outside work, however I did double think some "strange" things he would say (I'm not going to the NY party, I don't do new years) however at that time I had no idea about what I knew now. The no holiday celebrations was just the tip of the iceberg when you start reading into it extensively. I'd say 75% of the discussions were probably taboo, but I didn't know he just entertained it pretty normally.As guys we do speak about private lives, just thought he never added to any discussion, sex, partying etc. just listened and laughed it off (didn't know what I know now) - probably would have not brought the topics up had I known to be honest - I've never known another JW.

    Either way i look forward to peoples responses, I've never even heard of JWs till a month ago, go figure!

  • days of future passed
    days of future passed

    Behind the JW facade, I think many have worldly friends. Why? Because when they go to meetings (at the kingdom hall to listen to talks) or out door to door - the usual chit chat is just about surface things. How many hours do you need to get this month, experiences about householders, things they bought, what they will do later.... Then after, they go their separate ways until the next meeting etc. Not many have friendships that go beyond that. They have deeper relationships with co-workers.

    Your friend is also living vicariously through you. He could never get to do the things that you do as a JW. So it's exciting and very taboo the things you do.

    From my own experience, people who are raised as a JW (most anyway) will have as a default, a knee jerk reaction to defend their religion. Even if they haven't gone to meetings for years or actively practice it, if you touch on a subject like shunning or not obeying the elders or the Governing Body (the leaders) suddenly they will become the most staunch supporters.

    Right now, the Jehovah's Witnesses organization is being looked at in Australia, England and USA for their handling of Child sexual abuse matters. They have a rule that they quote scripture on, that there must be 2 witnesses in all matters, in order to determine whether a person is guilty. So child molesters, unless they confess, are not considered guilty by the testimony of one victim. Neither is this reported to the police. In Australia, the Royal Commission (ARC) found from the JW own files, 1,006 cases of provable molestation that was never reported to the police. There were many more cases not acted on by the Elders, nor reported to the police because there wasn't a second witness. These cases are also being investigated now by Australia.

    The organization has hid this for years. Hopefully, this will all come out soon. Until then, most JW's will not hear or believe anything like this could be true. Just like the Catholics wouldn't believe that their church would shuffle around pedophile priests.

    So be his friend, but don't expect him to suddenly think objectively about his religion. And if the time comes, you might be able to help him see that if something this bad is happening in his religion, maybe it isn't so truthful after all.

  • ricsa

    Day of future passed, really good reply especially to what you wrote in the beginning with regards to building friendships. At first we discuss surface things but slowly you share more. Probably as to why it took a long time for him to share this JW info, which I think is pretty important information. I guess maybe he was aware of "what people think". To me, it wouldn't have meant the slightest if he mentioned it at first as i was completely unaware of JWs till recently.

    It's important to note what I've read is most peoples experiences with JWs come from them knocking on doors, mine wasn't, I've never had any experience with them prior. He initiated the friendship and stayed on knowing my "wordly lifestyle". I must say that is pretty unique to what I have read and for the most part he never said anything judgemental about it to me, or try to preach to me, to which I do respect.

    Friendship is staying regardless, however it's pretty big surprise to learn once you read up. I'll keep the hanging out/debates neutral and religion free, unless if he brings it up can we discuss it nonetheless. Either way he's a good chap, irrespective of the religion/thinking process.

  • days of future passed
    days of future passed

    ricsa - When you are with other JW's, what you believe seems right and normal. But as you said, when it comes to "worldly" people, you know that it will seem weird or strange to them what you believe in. You could liken JW's to being a group like the Amish. They are isolated in a certain location and keep to themselves for the most part.

    JW's are isolated from the rest of Christianity and world, by not celebrating birthdays (or any other holidays) it used to be NO blood for transfusions but now they take fractions and other things. The most isolating is the view that all others that aren't witnesses, are bad, wicked, have a bad heart and that goes for close family members and relatives. So the religion makes it a "us" against "them"

    Growing up in the religion, I wasn't supposed to have any friends at school only those that went to the meetings. No outside activities. It's very effective in making you depend on whatever relationships you have at the hall. Now that I am out, I have no friends. So unlike those that keep in touch with childhood friends or ones they met in college, I have to make new ones. Too bad I'm not easy to get along with anymore. Makes it hard.

Share this