One simple photo to sum up the heartless and hypocritical attitudes of many Jehovah's Witnesses

by nicolaou 94 Replies latest jw friends

  • redvip2000
    redvip2000
    I agree that it may be unfair to draw conclusions from one snap shot BUT we all know the Witnesses are taught not to give to homeless etc. ' "better in the box".
    Correct, and while we can't say that the JWs in the picture didn't go beyond that and offered help, the fact is that as a religious movement they don't help anybody but themselves, and the religion itself does not encourage the members to help anybody that is not part of the cult.
    So in summary, the image is a good depiction of the religion's hypocrisy, however not necessarily of those specific JWs.
  • flipper
    flipper

    DREARYWEATHER- Your argument doesn't hold much validity. You state that " I learned a valuable lesson from Ray Franz from Crisis of Conscience. He said that while the Governing Body was collectively wrong on many points, he greatly esteemed and admired Lyman Swingle, the GB member. Lyman was a very good man. "

    OK fine, I agree Lyman was a good man. I was good friends with the former board member Farkel ( now deceased ) who at one time dated Lyman Swingle's daughter and he said the same thing " Lyman Swingle was a good man. "

    Still, that DOES NOT excuse the majority of the WT Society Governing Body's horrific child abuse policies, no blood transfusion policies costing thousands of JW's their life, the shunning of families through disfellowshipping, and deceiving JW's into thinking any day now the shoes gonna drop and the end of the world's coming at Armageddon,another lie to keep them in fear.

    If you asked Ray Franz if he felt all the other Governing Body members that kicked him out of the organization were " good men " - I bet he'd beg to differ. For the most part my comments about Jehovah's Witnesses not being concerned for non-JW's or " worldly " people was and is TOTALLY accurate. Just look at how the WT Society is only concerned about JW's and their welfare when natural disasters occur. WT leaders couldn't give a rat's ass about what happens to non-JW's or " worldly " people in disasters. The way they have responded to these disasters in the past PROVES this.

    I agree there are the individual , rare cases of JW's like Lyman Swingle who treat other non-JW's fairly, but JW's like him were and are in the minority. They are self serving mind controlled cult members who only look out for their own people who are baptized and " approved " by the WT Society. 90 % to 95 % of the time.

    How do I know ? I lived it, breathed it, experienced the hypocrisy from birth until age 44 when I finally extricated myself from and escaped this selfish JW organization. So don't even start to think you can tell me that the negative abuse I received in the JW cult was all in my mind. Because you're wrong. It was real, not only for me but thousands others who've exited this organization. Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • geevee
    geevee

    Flipper: If the wt can wrangle money out of government or other organizations when calamity strikes they do that too! i.e getting the UN to pay for flights etc when they were NGO!

  • TTWSYF
    TTWSYF

    Bluesbrother correctly stated I agree that it may be unfair to draw conclusions from one snap shot BUT we all know the Witnesses are taught not to give to homeless etc.

    If I may add that JWs are also taught not to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, give alms to widows or orphans, not to educate the ignorant and most importantly to not love your neighbor...unless they're a JW in good standing

    TTWSYF

  • Drearyweather
    Drearyweather
    For the most part my comments about Jehovah's Witnesses not being concerned for non-JW's or " worldly " people was and is TOTALLY accurate.

    Flipper, your original comment was about what the five JW's should have done to help the homeless guy. Following was your comment -

    Realistically these JW's are invading this homeless man's personal space. I mean for the love of Christ, give this guy some space so he can sleep in peace ! Or if the J-dubs insist on standing so close to his sleeping quarters, slip him a $ 10 bill into his jacket. They should at least do SOMETHING to show they aren't the insensitive louts we've all come to realize that they are. Or show some respect for the man's space and move somewhere else to do their proselytizing ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper

    I called you out on that and said that we cannot judge the five JW's based on that single photo. That was my point.

    The hypocrisy and abuse you faced were not from those 5 JW's. They are where we were years ago - captives to a cult - possibly facing the same problems that we did. There are mates and parents of forum members here who are active JW's. What would be their reaction if a nutter clicked one of our elderly sick mother's photo or our wife's photo standing at a cart and posted it here for all to comment on? The JW's in the photo could have been of one of our family members too.

    I have faced abuse from sick JW elders in my life too. But that doesn't mean that I rant on any random JW that I see in a photo or at trolleys. You don't know what is happening in the photo and my only point throughout my comments was that you cannot judge the 5 JW's based on that photo put up by the OP.

    I hope my repetition has not gone overboard and I apologize if my comment is disrespectful in any way to you.

  • Afterburn
    Afterburn

    Drearyweather, I understand your point. The following is offered in the spirit of a sincere caution, not just for you, but for anyone tempted to corral people's visceral reactions to what they see happening.

    I am quite certain what is happening in that photo. Five JWs are faithfully following the directions of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses rather than the explicit instructions of Jesus, while pretending to themselves and to the world that they are adhering closely to what the Bible teaches.

    Essentially, your emotional appeal is to only feel empathy for the rank and file JWs while condemning the source of the instructions they are following, and while condemning elders who wield presumptuous authority over others like a weapon.

    Humans are not required to only feel one emotion at a time. I don't like the way you attempted to constrain emotional reactions to only one segment along a specific spectrum when it is perfectly okay to feel empathy for these people while acknowledging, and emotionally responding to, their cult-dictated calloused and insensitive cruelty toward a fellow human. I'm going to credit that you may not have been fully aware you were doing that.

    Has the cult numbed them and desensitized them to the plight of the least of these? Most certainly. Is that entirely their fault? No. Do they deserve indignance along with empathy? You bet.

    We are no longer in a cult. We get to feel mixed emotions, and we have no place shaming others into our perspective on which emotions are the "correct" ones to have. Perhaps when you were in the cult you had a position to "call people out" for how they said they felt about things they saw. And you are right when you note that any of them could be family members of mine. Family members who shun one they say they love at the behest of a self-aggrandized publishing company.

    I am ashamed of my family's choices. I am indignant that they follow men's commands, derived from conjectured opinions about the Bible, while they reject the direct commandments found in the very book they claim to hold sacred. I am wistful that they will choose better. I miss them terribly. I am regretful of the wasted productivity and energy that I see them spending on nothing at all more than wishful thinking. I am empathetic with their self-destructive cycles of thought that trap them in a cult. I am furious with them for siding with a cult against their own flesh and blood. I am appalled at how callous they are toward the current dismal plight of the least among us, while acknowledging that their convictions in the truth of false promises of divinely granted future delights is the source of all of their calloused responses.

    I feel all of those things. At the same time. Which of these are the wrong ways to feel, in your opinion?

    I suspect you have also felt all of these ways, simultaneously. I believe you have overstepped because a narrow spectrum of emotion surged to the surface in you, for a moment, and you rationalized a basis for that to be regarded as the "right way" to feel. When someone else has different emotions surge to the surface, that doesn't make their resulting perspectives wrong, or deserving of any correction at all.

    Jehovah's Witnesses are doctrinally guided to become "insensitive louts."

    Do you disagree with that statement of fact? If so, I can share reams of information from their own doctrinal literature with you that can educate you otherwise. Just let me know.

    The vast majority of Jehovah's Witnesses comply with that doctrinal guidance because of fear of social ostracism; an evil punishment with many varieties. A few of them are formal and official, most of them are informal and are "felt" rather than stated.

  • Drearyweather
    Drearyweather
    I suspect you have also felt all of these ways, simultaneously. I believe you have overstepped because a narrow spectrum of emotion surged to the surface in you, for a moment, and you rationalized a basis for that to be regarded as the "right way" to feel. When someone else has different emotions surge to the surface, that doesn't make their resulting perspectives wrong, or deserving of any correction at all. – Afterburn

    Afterburn, The problem with the above logic is that by that reasoning you can excuse any behaviour that an ex-jw displays towards a JW. Because surge of emotions can get better of us. Few months ago, an ex-jw wrote a post of how he followed and yelled at two elderly JW ladies going door-to-door. There were people on the forum that supported his actions saying that since he was hurt by the Watchtower, it was fine if yelling at them made him feel better.

    Then there was a post a put up by a guy who clicked a JW sipping coffee while his cart was packed up nearby, showing he had finished his cart witnessing for the day. Instantly everyone started commenting on how that JW should have been preaching and not drinking coffee, while it was clear that he had finished his cart work and was likely waiting for someone.

    I don’t believe that my feelings are right and others are wrong. I have lived a JW life myself in all capacities within the organisation, so I know how about all the negative aspects of the organisation. In fact, when I was a teen, i was myself thrown before a committee based on what another ‘sister’ saw me doing. The entire incident had a terrible impact on me and my life then, showing the folly of assuming things that we don’t really know anything about.

    Years later, when i became an elder myself, i could see how fellow elders basically write a three page fictional story based on one photo or statement made by a witness in a case. It was like a palaeontologist constructing an entire dinosaur based on a partial jaw bone. I have seen lives wrecked because of this, and that I try to caution anyone who does it. I can understand the surge of emotion, but I feel constraining it and channelling it towards what really matters is something that we all have to learn, or else, we basically become the parallel version of the cult that we left. More worse, we become what the WT wants us to become.

    If you feel otherwise, then more power to you.

  • Giles Gray
    Giles Gray

    @ flipper

    No one is minimising the impact and harm that has been caused by the Jehovah’s Witnesses or attempting to diminish the negative attributes that individual members have as a result of their indoctrination. Ex members such as ourselves have been there and we all know how toxic the religion is.

    However, what is of concern is the fact that the self same negative mechanisms that we ex-JWs hold against the Watchtower are overtly apparent in our own ex-JW community.

    If a believing Jehovah’s Witness, or even the Watchtower itself, made a discriminatory and presumptuous conclusion about a group of people based on nothing more than an emotive photograph, the members of this forum would be all over those Jehovah’s Witnesses like a rash. We would be quick to point out how biased and prejudiced the Jehovah’s Witnesses were acting. We would accuse them of being quick to judge and we would be correct to do so. It would be wrong.

    It’s a very unfortunate fact that the attitudes of some of the ex-JW community are displaying a similar blanket discrimination as the Watchtower. This is understandable under the circumstances, considering how poorly many ex-members have been treated. People need a place where they can vent. However, to maintain this disposition in the long term is unhealthy.

    The attitude of this thread is almost a microcosm of the mindset of the Watchtower. The Jehovah’s Witnesses in that emotively designed photograph are being judged using nothing more than INDUCTIVE REASONING, as opposed to what should be the yard stick, which is DEDUCTIVE REASONING. It amounts to nothing more than CONFIRMATION BIAS and is exactly what we all hate about the Watchtower.

    The unsavoury traits that are common amongst the members of the Watchtower are bred because of the fact that they don’t look or question beyond the confines of their own ECHO CHAMBER. The self same workings of an echo chamber can easily take root in communities like the ex-JWs on forums like these. The constant (mostly justifiable) negativity against an organisation like the Watchtower can easily lead a person to get embroiled in a biased narrative that is as equally discriminating as the one being fought against.

    This only plays into the hands of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who can rightly state that ex-JWs are biased. We become the cliché that they paint us as being, which can only work against the overall objective of someone like you who desires to open the minds of the people caught up in the organisation.

    As I have pointed out before, the poster called Kramer affirmed that…

    “The homeless people here do get talked to regularly and get brought food and drinks by the people on the trolleys”

    …yet what he said wasn’t acknowledged in the least, presumably because it didn’t fit in with the narrative of the ‘anti-Watchtower’ ex-JW echo chamber. Admittedly Kramer’s comment is anecdotal, but what is disappointing is that it wasn’t even considered.

    If what Kramer claims is correct then we would all owe the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the photograph a huge apology.

    If we are going to conduct ourselves in a similar vein to the organisation, have we truly left it behind and are we any better than they are?


  • flipper
    flipper

    DREARYWEATHER- You have your view and I have my view. Let's leave it at that. I don't feel you were disrespectful at all, just differing opinions, that's all.

    GILES GRAY- Your statements, " What is of concern is the fact that the self same negative mechanisms that we ex-JWs hold against the Watchtower are overtly apparent in our own ex-JW community " .

    Also this, " It's a very unfortunate fact that the attitudes of some of the ex-JW community are displaying a similar blanket discrimination as the Watchtower. "

    Well my friend, there's a REASON, there's a REASON that some of us come out hard against the WT Society and hold them accountable for the sick, sick mind control tactics. Not only have WE experienced it, lived it- but our daughters, siblings, some other relatives still DISPLAY the same insensitive, inhumane personality traits that WT leaders instill and indoctrinate into most every JW man, woman, and child out there.

    So it's not a " blanket " discrimination- it's just a FACT that every man, woman, and child, teenager, older person within the Jehovah's Witness organization have been, and CONTINUE to be victims of the Stockholm Syndrome where they identify with their captors - WT Society leaders and obey them about most every detail in their life. Including the ill treatment of non- JW's or in their twisted use of the word " Worldly " people.

    I'm just being blatantly honest about the FACT that ALL Jehovah's Witnesses whether they care to admit it- or not. Are ALL mind controlled slaves, and that does NOT let them off the hook for accountability for their own actions. It helps us to UNDERSTAND those loutish actions, but doesn't eliminate the individual responsibility they have to break free of the cult mind control that WT leaders have dominated them with in their brains. And it puts even MORE accountability on WT leaders in slyly inculcating these twisted, inhumane personality traits into each JW body that sits at the mind numbing indoctrination sessions blaring out over microphones how to think, live, and feel that each JW is a " people for special possession " , a " privileged people ", that somehow they are entitled to more of " God's protection " than a homeless man on the street , because why ? " Jehovah has touched their heart's with the 'truth ' and not worldly people or the homeless man. "

    Which is all just BS. JW's are trained to look at themselves as entitled, elite, and " privileged ". Just a filtering down of the same BS attitude that the Governing Body has of itself flows right through into most every JW . It' s sad, disgusting, and typical of mind control cults. And it's one reason I will always continue to call the WT Society and JW's a criminal organization.If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and shits like a duck, it's most probably a duck. It falls on us who have escaped out of the cult to not bury are heads in the sand about just how dangerous a mind control cult it is. Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • Giles Gray
    Giles Gray

    Hello flipper

    You say:-

    “Well my friend, there’s a REASON, there’s a REASON that some of us come out hard against the WT Society and hold them accountable for the sick, sick mind control tactics. Not only have WE experienced it, lived it- but our daughters, siblings, some other relatives still DISPLAY the same insensitive, inhuman personality traits that the WT leaders instill and indoctrinate into most every JW man, woman, and child out there.”

    To reiterate what I wrote in my previous comment, I am fully acquainted with how toxic the Watchtower is. I too have suffered greatly at the hands the Watchtower and the attitudes of the members who adhere to the authoritarian structure. I get it. You really are ‘preaching to the choir’.

    I come down as hard on the society as any other former member and I also hold the religion accountable. That is what motivates me to engage with believing Jehovah’s Witnesses and promote as much as possible how destructive the organisation really is.

    However, that being said, it is also a fact that there is a REASON why the Jehovah’s Witnesses act as they do. There is a REASON why they discriminate against former members (which is far more complex than the overly simplistic explanation that they are ‘inhuman, divinely privileged, elitist louts’). Just because there’s a REASON in no way EXCUSES their biased actions and attitudes.

    The same principle applies to ex-JWs as well.

    In fact, ex-JWs are even more accountable for being prejudice because of the fact that we are aware of how biased and prejudice the mind control of the organisation operates. Jehovah’s Witnesses have no idea they are under mind control.

    With greater knowledge (and in this case, insight) comes greater responsibility.

    We can’t point to the harmful and discriminatory actions of a group of people while we are also falling pray to the same weakness ourselves. It just means that we are as ‘hypocritical’ as we have accused/observed them of being. It is equally as wrong.

    You also say:-

    “I’m just being blatantly honest about the FACT that ALL Jehovah’s Witnesses whether they care to admit it- or not. Are ALL mind controlled slaves, and that does NOT let them off the hook for accountability for their own actions.”

    Using the same yardstick, it could also be said that ALL ex-JWs who adversely judge and scathingly condemn people using nothing more than an emotive photograph (overtly displaying confirmation bias) are as equally accountable for their own presumptuous attitudes and are equally subject to mind control due to allowing the consensus of their echo chamber to mislead them into being indiscriminate in their prejudice of people that they don’t even know.

    Every human is subject to mind control in one way or another. It’s as harmful if you are a Jehovah’s Witnesses as it is if you are an ex-Jehovah’s Witness.

    I don’t believe that the Jehovah’s Witnesses in that picture don’t have compassion for that homeless person. This position is supported by the experience of the poster Kramer who affirms that the Jehovah’s Witnesses in that part of London do indeed extend kindness to the homeless in that area. I also know of many Jehovah’s Witnesses who extend kindnesses to people outside of the religion, without the necessity of wishing to convert them. I know first hand of a die hard Jehovah’s Witness who gave a job to a man who was down and out and begging for money. Even though it never led to a conversion, the elder continued to employ the person in need until he was in a position to move on.

    None of the examples above fits into the hyperbolic rendition of what Jehovah’s Witnesses are depicted as by many ex-JWs. Most Witnesses I know are far from ‘heartless’. In fact, they are much the opposite… in spite of being subject to the mind control of their religion.

    Lastly you say:-

    “It falls on us who have escaped out of the cult to no bury are heads in the sand about just how dangerous a mind control cult it is.”

    I concur. It is equally as important for those of us who have escaped the mind control of one organisation not to close our eyes to the possibility that we could be subjecting ourselves once more to this destructive disposition.

    I understand your pain flipper. You have a big heart and have a wonderful online persona and desire to put yourself out for people. You have helped and supported many over the decade or so that I have read your posts. It would be a shame to allow the hurt and the (justifiable) anger you feel to turn into hatred and indiscriminately judge others.


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