The disappointed look on a Jehovah's Witness face - that you're living a good and fulfilling life
You're absolutely right, jambon. All the wars and tragedies are "evidence" that these are the last days.
The first thing JWs ask if there is a disaster or earthquake, flood, etc., is: "Were any JWs hurt or affected?" as if JWs are the only people who matter. All other people are worldly, destined for destruction anyway, and all the better for them if they die now, on "this" side of Armageddon. So JWs are supposed to feel relieved, even happy, at large losses of human life - it means those people will get a chance to live forever, to be resurrected after Armageddon.
I never realized, as a JW, just how skewed and messed up is this mental reasoning or viewpoint -- it makes one have no compassion for humanity or suffering. They erect such a wall between "them and us" - cruel stuff indeed.
And you are so right about their interrogations, they have to know your "spiritual status", they will probe to see how much you are one of them or not.
I agree with everything you wrote. They seem to be thriving on bad news and in need of torture stakes in order to fulfill prophecy, but bad news already was so bad before 1914 that Russell believed the last days started in 1799! Held hostage since 1879, sad but true...
I'll say it again just for emphasis;
9/11 - "sad, but exciting"
'Mentally diseased' is how I'd describe that particular viewpoint of a disaster that claimed thousands of lives and affected thousands more.
This is probably true, and you don't have to be bragging either!
I would have to say that JWs are more likely to be annoyed that people who leave the religion are doing well, rather than ex-Witnesses being "happy" about what is happening in the religion with bethelites who are being let go.
I wish these bethelites good luck and I hope brothers with businesses find them jobs! That's more of a well-wish than what an ex-JW would ever get!
They are so out of touch with life and living. They think their demented way of thinking about life and living puts them in some secret club with special perks...as they have been told.
I like the quizzical looks...like, "shouldn't you be shooting heroin and dying from AIDS" kind of look.
(and Muddy Waters, your comments were spot on!)
We have had the same experiences since fading. It is like those still trapped just cant comprehend that we are actually a HAPPIER and CLOSER family since fading.
They are just looking for "the catch", or a reason to justify that our lives must actually be miserable.
As has often been said on this forum, "The best revenge is to live a happy and successful life"
I meant to write about this, too. (but the op did it MUCH better than I would have~!!)
About two months ago, I was at a local restaurant for lunch. I was alone and had brought a few trade journals to read while I ate. Minding my own business, I did not notice the people at the table next to me. Shortly before I finished, the woman leaned toward to me and said 'Excuse me... Is your name [Aude]?'. I responded 'yes'. The sun was in my eyes and I could not see her face very well.
She said "[Aude Sapere], right?"
"Yes! That's right. Do I know you?"
"I'm D*** H*******", was her reply.
"Oh! Hi~!! I'm sorry, I did not recognize you"
"No problem. It's been a very long time~!! How are you??" she asked.
"I'm doing good. Really good!"
"You are? Really???" she asked almost incredulously.
So I told her a few things that I've been doing lately. She come over and gave me a hug as I was leaving and I wished her 'all the best' as I happily paid my bill and left the restaurant.
It just baffles the JWs when exJWs are happy and can tell about a few fun things that they have been doing since leaving the org.
My old friends and acquaintences have aged, as we all have, but their hearts seem heavy and their conversations are so negative. Unless it's about all the 'exciting things' [*yawn*] that are happening within the [re-branded] organization.
I sort of feel sorry for them. But it's a life and attitude that they choose to embrace.
Oh! Another thought...
My hardcore JW sister tries to 'out-happy' me. It's pretty funny when you *know* what's going on.
She the only living JW in my family now.
I try to encourage her to take advantage of the education reimbursement that her company offers. She somewhat agrees. But when I push a little harder, she side steps the discussion. She smiles and tells me that her primary education is the Theocratic Ministry School and she has no need for further secular education.
I encourage her to apply for career opportunities within her company - sales in particular. She gives credit for her skills to the org and cheerfully tells me that companies probably developed their sales strategies directly from the Watchtower Society, the BEST sales team in the world. But she does not want to even apply for a sales job because even though it would double her income, it might take away from meeting attendance.
I advise her to max-out her 401k contribution. But she cannot. Because her rent keeps going up and she has not much savings. When she has money, she spends it on travel.
Me? I travel when I can. Take classes that interest me. Own my home (bought my first at age 27) and my monthly payments have gone DOWN due to refinancing and are now locked-in at 3.2% interest. My monthly finances are now very manageable and much less than my sister who keeps her 'eyes on the [mythical, non-existant] prize'.
She keeps trying to show me how happy she is and hopes that I will 'Return to Jehovah'.
I keep doing what I'm doing and let her see how happy my life is [away from all things 'Jehovah'].
I think it's funny that we try to out-happy each other - without coming right out and telling each other what we are doing.
Such is the life of fleshly sisters when one is still a very active JW.
I think some of the points made in the OP were quite accurate. Often, I would end up talking to this particular Sister in our hall and I would come away from her feeling like a grey cloud was following me. I would however say that happiness depends on each individual whether in or out of Watchtower. Yes, there are the doom and gloom witnesses that thrive on every bad thing that happens in this world; and yes the general R & F who tow the WT line and frown on those who leave. In fact I heard a few stories about some who left and usually it was only the negatives things that had come upon them that were ever mentioned. It's like, the witnesses have to reassure themselves that being in the truth is worth it. I joined WT believing my spiritual needs were being met. I was happy until I realised that instead of a faith group helping me to meet my spiritual needs, I was part of an Organisation controlling my life. I am now taking control of my life and treat every individual as they come, whether inside or outside WT. So for me personally, I don't get a feeling of disappointment at seeing an ex witness living a fulfilled life; but can understand why some witnesses would have that look of disappointment.
I look forward to seeing that look on their face... first all I need to do is establish a good fulfilling life.