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

by nicolaou 95 Replies latest jw friends

  • 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.

  • flipper

    GILES - We are not " falling prey " to discrimination as you say. I don't hold every single JW accountable for what their WT leaders do. Some who are raised up in it from birth have no choice if they are minor children in order to live, eat, and have shelter over their heads- have to capitulate to their JW parents wishes. I get that, I lived it.

    I don't have hatred individually towards JW's. I have anger and resentment, righteous indignation at the lack of justice within the JW organization, and I'd be remiss to not state a travesty of justice when I see it. You state that the picture of JW's standing there ignoring a homeless man within a few feet of them is no big deal. I strongly disagree !

    It's an evidence of the JW and WT mantra that whatever THEY are doing ( in this case the preaching work ) is MUCH more important than assisting this homeless man. Let me ask you THIS question : If any of these JW's standing there had half a conscience, or just a shred of humanity, don't you think they'd either ( A ) Help this man to his feet, offer him coffee, assist him to walk to get a warm meal in a diner or ( B ) Leave his personal space or area to allow him to sleep and carry on with whatever HE wants to do. The JW's ARE invading his personal space , it's obvious. It's not ALWAYS about what the JW's want, it's not ALWAYS about them. It's also about what's best for the homeless man. What HE wants. Contrary to popular JW organizational opinion, the JW's are really a VERY small portion of this big universe in general. It's the way I see it . You beg to differ, that's fine too. We'll just agree to disagree. Have a good day yourself. Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • Giles Gray
    Giles Gray

    Hello flipper

    Let’s start with this comment of yours:-

    “We are not “falling prey” to discrimination as you say.”

    I beg to differ. Considering what you have written, I think the evidence proves otherwise. It’s evident even in your latest post, which I will go on to reveal later.

    So… to your first comment I wish to address:-

    “I don’t have hatred individually towards JW’s. I have anger and resentment, righteous indignation at the lack of justice within the JW organization, and I’d be remiss to not state a travesty of justice when I see it.”

    I’ve only ever known you to be principled and reasonable. Admittedly, I only know of you from reading your posts on a computer, but you have posted prolifically enough over the years for one to get a reasonable flavour of the person behind the screen. This is why it was so surprising to read your scathing remarks about those random JWs in the photograph.

    You continue, making this accusation about my personal stance:-

    “You state that the picture of JW’s standing there ignoring a homeless man within a few feet of them is no big deal. I strongly disagree!”

    Where…? Where have I ‘stated’ that in any of my comments on this thread?

    I don’t believe (at this point) that you would deliberately use a ‘straw man’ fallacious argument, but you’ve made up that alleged statement yourself. I said nothing of the sort.

    You continue:-

    “It’s an evidence of the JW and WT mantra that whatever THEY are doing ( in this case the preaching work ) is MUCH more important than assisting this homeless man.”

    It is an indisputable fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses prioritise the preaching work.

    However, this fact doesn’t indicate in the least that those Jehovah’s Witnesses in that picture DON’T ALSO assist homeless people. In fact, the anecdotal evidence on page 5 of this thread suggests that there’s the likelihood they DO “regularly” assist the homeless where this picture was taken.

    Now to address your question. You asked me to answer:-

    “If any of these JW’s standing there had half a conscience, or just a shred of humanity, don’t you think they’d either (A) Help this man to his feet, offer him coffee, assist him to walk to get a warm meal in a diner or (B) Leave his personal space or area to allow him to sleep and carry on with whatever HE wants to do.”

    My answer to your question is…. Yes! If the Jehovah’s Witnesses in that photo had any decency at all they would offer that poor fellow something to eat and something to drink, and they should be considerate of his personal space because that would be the right thing to do.

    That is my direct and candid answer to your question.

    However, I take issue with your question because not only is the argument you put forward a BLACK AND WHITE FALLACY, it is also a LOADED QUESTION.

    It unjustly takes for granted the supposition that the Jehovah’s Witnesses in that picture are at fault and are guilty of misdemeanours. It also omits to consider the possibility of alternative scenarios that would have a huge bearing on the interpretation of that photo . Not only is your question (and argument) a logical fallacy, in the scenario at hand it is also a sure indication of a prejudiced and biased disposition.

    And it is that prejudiced and biased attitude that is so wrong & offensive.

    Therefore, I have a few questions that I would like to ask you in return, with the hope that you will also respond as candidly and honest as I have been with yours. I will number my questions so that you can specifically answer them individually.

    The following questions are the alternative perspectives that I believe have not been considered from your line of reasoning:-

    Question 1: Considering that photograph, how do you know that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have not already given (or will go on to give) the homeless person something to eat or to drink or offer to take him to a café?

    Question 2: How do you know that the homeless person was lying there asleep in that place BEFORE the Jehovah’s Witnesses set up their stand?

    Question 3: How do you reconcile kramer’s comment (on page 5 of this thread) with your assertion that these Jehovah’s Witnesses are “insensitive louts”, considering that kramer states that “the homeless people (in that part of London) do get talked to regularly and get bought food and drinks by the people on trolleys”?

    Question 4: If we assume for a moment that kramer’s anecdotal evidence is true and is applicable to the 5 JWs in that photograph, what would we make of the accusations against those JWs?

    This is how I would answer those questions:-

    My answer to question 1 is:- from looking at that picture, I have no clue if the Jehovah’s Witnesses have assisted the homeless person or not. I can neither condemn the Jehovah’s Witnesses for their alleged inaction or commend them for their alleged altruism.

    My answer to question 2:- from looking at that picture, I have no idea whether or not the Jehovah’s Witnesses encroached on the homeless person’s space or if the homeless person decided to sleep next to the Jehovah’s Witnesses after they had already set up their stand. So I wouldn’t know whether to accuse the JWs of being thoughtless or accuse the homeless person of making the Jehovah’s Witnesses look bad (according to some).

    My answer to question 3:- I have no idea if kramer’s anecdotal evidence is true or not. However, I have no reason to doubt him, although it would require further verification before I could even think about passing judgement on the Jehovah’s Witnesses in that photograph.

    My answer to question 4:- If we assume kramer’s claims are true, it would mean that the photograph in the opening post of this thread doesn’t reveal the full story and any accusations against those Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely unjustifiable.

    The ambiguous nature of that photograph only leads to the obvious conclusion that it would be wrong to make any judgement of the subjects therein. An unbiased perspective would by necessity, not promote any conclusion on the matter either way.

    However, any firm conclusion drawn from that picture would automatically be due to a biased and prejudice opinion, due to the undeniable fact that there is no way of confirming, one way or the other, what those Jehovah’s Witnesses did or didn’t do.

    I look forward to hearing your answers to the above questions.

  • flipper

    GILES- Dude, look . I usually won't go back and forth, back and forth, and back and forth like this when someone confronts me on my stand on certain issues. Life is too short. But I feel it's important to get my point across here. You're giving these JW's in the picture WAY too much benefit of the doubt. It's a fairly high percentage of a chance that these JW's were just ignoring this man, based on typical WT indoctrination of how " worldly " people are viewed. First of all, IF ( and that's a stretch saying even that ) , IF these JW's had ANY contact with this homeless man I can bet my bottom dollar that it was only to preach at him or to him. They only have one marketing angle, and that's to recruit prospective members angle for even sniffing at this guy.

    Also, you asked me 5 questions to answer . My friend, I'm not your pupil attending a class in school where I have to answer your hypothetical questions. Jeez. Are you a teacher or something ? In one of your earlier posts you asked me if I practice what I preach regarding homeless people.

    OK, at the risk of patting myself on the back, I'm going to pat myself on the back and share an experience. A pat on the back for something well done regarding real life and the real world was never given to us in the JW cult. Least of all from my JW long time elder dad.

    Yesterday morning after finishing work on an early morning office job, I came down the stairs to find a homeless man sitting on a bench near the sidewalk ( found out he was about 49 yrs.old ) Had his bags and was playing a guitar. Which I'm quite into doing as well. I sat there on the bench with him making small talk asked him what song he was playing . He said he was learning Duran Duran's " Come Undone " . I said " I know that song ! I don't know the chords but some of the words. " I said, " Why don't you play it and I'll sing along ? " A big smile came onto his face. So he played and sang, and I helped with background vocals and it was a blast ! We had a great time ! AS EQUALS. Sharing common ground. I wasn't over him, he wasn't over me. Then I asked him after he played a couple songs if I could play him a couple of my songs on his guitar. He said " yeah, great ! " So I did and he loved it .

    Here's a homeless man who probably hasn't received much in the way of positive vibes or attention in awhile. ( I'm assuming that, don't jump on me- I don't know for sure ) however he said in about 20 minutes he had to go to the county building for a meetup with a representative to help him. He didn't have a pick to strum his guitar so I gave him one from my truck. It was warm that day, so I told him I'd run around the corner to the store and get him a big Gatorade drink . I got $ 20.00 extra to give him as he seemed like a genuinely deserving, really nice guy. He was there when I got back and thanked me profusely, and I told him it was really nice to meet him. We shook hands, gave each other a half man hug, and I said " hope to see you again sometime ! " We both told each other we enjoyed playing music together, and he left then I left.

    It's one thing to talk the talk, it's entirely different to walk the walk. Here's a guy who even though he remains homeless will perhaps get his faith in mankind bolstered up, even if just for that one moment, or one day- it was worth the 20 or so minutes we spent together. None of us ever know WHO we can help in a real, positive way. But we have to look for those opportunities to help. Take the blinders off of our eyes and see the circumstances of people with REALITY. Giving them WT or Awakes doesn't do jack shit for them is my main point. And THAT is what the majority of Jehovah's Witnesses do not get about helping people with what they really need. Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • Giles Gray
    Giles Gray

    Hello flipper.

    Thanks for sharing your heart-warming story. Credit to you.

    There’s so much of your comment that I would like to critique but it would be at the risk of being deemed contentious I'm sure.

    However, I need to address these few points.

    You say:-

    “… I feel it’s important to get my point across here.”

    It’s imperative to note that I have acknowledged your points in my previous posts. It’s the reason why I answered your question so candidly. I wanted to assure you that I see your point of view, and I even suspended my own perspective to accommodate your line of reasoning, which is why my answer was in keeping with what your question was alluding to. I could only answer in that manner if I understood your perspective.

    You also say:-

    “In one of your earlier posts you asked me if I practice what I preach regarding homeless people.”

    It wasn’t me who quizzed you over that matter.

    You are confusing me with Drearyweather, who asked you that question on page 4 of this thread. Easy mistake to make.

    You make the following protest:-

    “Also, you asked me 5 questions to answer. My friend, I’m not your pupil attending a class in school where I have to answer your hypothetical questions. Jeez. Are you a teacher or something ?”

    That’s a bit of a double standard considering in your previous post you say:-

    “Let me ask you THIS question…”

    … and then go on to question me about the Jehovah’s Witnesses in that photograph. Why can you ask me questions and I can’t do likewise?

    It’s interesting to note that I was more than happy to answer your “hypothetical” question. It’s disappointing you couldn’t return the compliment.

    I’ll finish with this comment of yours:-

    “… Take the blinders off of our eyes and see the circumstances of people with REALITY.”

    I suppose this is all that I am suggesting to you regarding the JWs in that photo. There is a high probability that your presupposition is correct. However, neither of us know the REALITY… only the JWs themselves and the homeless person. We are not in a position to see what the reality is with ‘our eyes’.

    This means that any firm judgement would be made with our ‘blinders’ of bias over our eyes.

    It’s much more prudent to ‘err on the side of caution’, similar to secular judicial systems. When requesting a verdict, a judge will ask the jury if the accused is either GUILTY or NOT GUILTY. Juries are not asked to determine INNOCENCE… and for good reason.

    Just because someone is found ‘not guilty’, it doesn’t mean that they are innocent. It just means that there is not sufficient evidence to bring about a conviction… that the burden of proof has not been met. This means that only people that are KNOWN to be guilty receive judgement. It awards people the “benefit of the doubt”, innocent until PROVEN guilty.

    Contrast secular judicial systems with the judicial hearings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many times they will base their verdict on what they feel, as well as arbitrary evidence. They also pass verdicts based on presuppositions, especially when it comes to cases of apostasy, where people are considered guilty until proved innocent. As a former elder, you will be all too aware of this. There have been many cases where they will disfellowship someone on evidence that is ‘more probable than not’ and don’t allow people (to quote you) “way too much the benefit of the doubt”. As a result injustice is rife.

    Out of the two judicial systems, the former is a much more ethical way to adjudicate. It would be reprehensible to pass judgement using the Watchtower’s judicial methods… particularly if we ex-JWs are judging individual Jehovah’s Witnesses (like those in this photograph). To do so would be hypocritical.

    You take care Mr flipper.

  • flipper

    GILES- Sins of omission are rampant within the Jehovah's Witness cult. Things JW's should have done which they won't do because of having real human compassion and humanity indoctrinated OUT of them through training. My own JW mom was a perfect example of being a victim from my own older family, i.e. my elder dad. She was warehoused needlessly the final 3 years of her life in a care facility when in fact, there was lots of money ( through her own inheritance from her father ) to let her receive care at her home. My dad refused to do that for her , naming my older brother as the executor, then dad refused to let her move back home . And guess who got all of mom's money ? Certainly not her for her needs.

    So don't even talk to me about prejudging JW's or them watching out for the " ethical " needs of loved ones and family. I've seen enough crap go down for two lifetimes inside this evil cult. My last statement on the matter. The rest of our conversation will just be verbal masturbation between us. I'm not gonna change your views, and you're sure as hell not gonna change my views. Have a great day and a good life. I will continue to agree to disagree with you. Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • flipper

    One more thing : silver lining to the cloud ? My mom stopped believing in the WT organization during her time spent in the care facility. Certainly understandable. Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • LV101

    I'm so sorry, flipper - it's sad and heart wrenching for the elderly but seems to be reality. I hope she received adequate care and kindness in the facility - often times it's a positive as family can't/won't provide.

  • flipper

    LV101- Thanks my friend, I appreciate the kind thoughts regarding my mom. She did really receive good care at the facility, better care than she would have received at her home from just her relatives who were trying to warehouse her. Best scenario would have been a full time nurse in her home to help her, but that decision was taken away from her by my elder dad. Even though she had the money to pay for such care.

    When she died, I was the only one there by her side from my family holding her hand when she expired. All the rest of my JW family had driven back home only an hour away to where they live and chose not to be with her.

    My thoughts on this ? They probably felt that because she didn't believe in the WT Society's concepts at the end, that she wouldn't receive the " privilege " ( in their warped minds ) of their presence at her death. I don't know WTF they thought, but in my opinion it was hateful and unnecessary . Many people need someone to care for them when they die. Especially our own mother's who brought us into the world. I don't think that was too much to ask for. But for my JW family, it was. Very sad. It's their loss. Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • Afterburn
    I have seen lives wrecked because of this, and that I try to caution anyone who does it.


    I have been investigated by two elders for someone claiming that I was a spy for the Federal Government, sent in to monitor the activity of Jehovah's Witnesses, I have been formally counseled by an elder (with another elder present) for making comments that were over the heads of some (him, in that case), I have been investigated by two elders for a report they'd received about me not correcting a 19 year old who claimed he'd been given a foregleam of what life would be like in paradise, and all manner of other stupid and petty ridiculousness.

    I'm not surprised that you were an elder.

    Please, explain your statement above. Whose life have you seen ruined over claiming, on a social media site, that they knew what was happening in a scene from a picture?

    I strongly suspect you have overstated your case. I invite you to explain why I should accept that you have not done so.

    More worse, we become what the WT wants us to become.

    We became that the moment we left their cult, Drearyweather. A worldly person. They do not need us to be anything other than that to shun us for the sin of having once been a JW.

    I do not do or avoid doing any thing at all based on how the WT would perceive it, nor based on how any of Jehovah's Witnesses or former Jehovah's Witnesses would perceive it.

    If you feel otherwise, then more power to you.

    Maybe I was unclear in the comment you responded to, but I thought I made it extremely clear that I feel otherwise, and think otherwise, and that I don't appreciate anyone (especially, former or current JW elders) condescendingly preening authority they don't have over others.

    I do not need your permission to feel otherwise, and that was my point. Your offered perspective is that judging opinions offered about a picture is a valid thing to do based on the Slippery Slope Fallacy:

    ... 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.

    No, Drearyweather, by my reasoning you have no position from which to judge the opinions or emotions of others. No one "wronged" any person shown in that picture by making a personal observation of their own perspective on what the picture depicts. Get down off that high horse you're still riding on, you're still running roughshod over people, pressing them into your personal mold of "ethical behaviour."

    I lived daily in fear of "what if" while in that cult. I will not silently tolerate people seeking to create that same vibe out here, where worldly people live. This isn't the cult.

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