In Your Opinion Do Today's Elders Recognize That The Religion Is BS?
Spot on alanv et al and a good question Minimus.I often wonder myself but unlike Jesus, I can't read minds. I do know there is always the underlying fear to be branded as disloyal, weak in the faith or having a tendency towards apostacy. I occasionally tried to detect some elders' inner thoughts, but there always was the general "trust the slave, we don't have to understand every detail", "where else to go?", "leave it to Jehovah, he will give new light at the proper time", "we as elders must be an example in the faith" etc.
I believe that once the zombification process has been completed (never blame the GB, only yourself through FOG), they force themselves to believe that the only bullshit is outside their spiritual "paradise". Few will choose to endure in a double life of mind games and fake smiles.
Having said that...
Can you imagine the balls of steel (sorry sisters but that includes you) of all those elders, bethelites, etc. who are WT moles that are keeping websites and forums like this informed??? Nothing but respect!
I've enjoyed all your answers. And I do agree that the elders wives might be a factor in the equation. However I know many elders wives who really did not like their husbands being elders.
No ,today's elders who stay in the job believe the bullshit , they teach it ,eat it ,drink it ,spread it and live it. There is the possibility that some might persist in the job for the glory reasons but eventually the hourly demands of head office don't justify the perceived respect from the lower ranks. So the ones who realise its BS eventually walk.
The ones who KNOW it is bullshit are the ones at the top of the JW Org Scam.
The G.B itself may be comprised of guys who actually believe a little bit, but the Puppeteers who pull their strings and really control and run things, they know it is pure nonsense.
But it is, to them, an admirable Milch Cow.
I think most elders are either true believers or company men who believe it's mostly true and suppress any niggling doubts.
But there must be some who think it's BS. Perhaps this happens more among born-in JWs?
I was an elder's wife.... I did not think of myself as "special" because of it. Personally, I did not enjoy the long hours my husband spent helping others, instead of "us"... or sitting at the K Hall, waiting for the committee meetings to end, with two little kids whinining, sleeping, waiting to go to bed.
I did like that my husband was 'spiritual', we both could 'explain' all the doctrines (haha, I mean we thought we could... remember 'type/ anti-type'? the heads of the beast? 2,520? times time and half a time [hated that one, still lived with it] , neither of us like hypocrisy, we helped people, were 'real'....
That being said, I am glad that he is no longer an elder, no longer a JW and we are both out. Like I said, we both hate hypocrisy.
The elders left in the hall that we left, years ago, are either:
1. Dedicated to God, but scared to think of any reality checks that would crush their bubble of life.
2. Just in a routine.....
3. Know something is wrong, but are hoping to see a dead loved one, and don't want to give that chance up... OR
4. Very into being "the top dog", wearing cool suits, telling people what to do, being admired, and getting letters from the top brass.
I once shared some information with an elder and his wife (both who happened to work for me) of a pretty benign nature illustrating how the WT counseling methods might not be the best. I presented some Awake articles and quotes to illustrate my points. The response?
I was told to be careful, because they once knew of a person who started questioning small things and now they are out of the "truth". They even agreed with my assessment, but that was irrelevant !
For life-long elders, "the club" is all that matters. The club is their idol, their object of worship, and they are its priests.
Knowing TTATT isn't nearly as important as protecting their idol. They don't want to to see their idol fall. So, most will go along with just about anything.
That is what I saw. They are having their reward in full. Judgement is coming. They need a Savior like everyone else.
At first, I just glossed over this subject, then decided to read everyone's comments thus far. I will say from personal experience, it is a mindset. Most Elders in my opinion, have never in the secular business world, held any type of managerial position over people. They become an Elder, then they "hand out assignments", "make appointments", "Judge peoples lives(JC)", "Give Talks and Demonstrations on the stage", "Have their closed door meetings, Elder Letters, their own Elder's manual, privy for their eye's only", "Conduct Meeting Parts", you can see the process.
I was an Elder for some 20 plus years and had many "Privileges" on the Circuit and Regional level, The COBE, etc. Some Brothers were in my opinion, were jealous at these Privileges, that when my Adult son got DF, they found a loop hole to delete me( although other Elders had similar things happen, but were allowed to keep serving). The CO stood up to the rest of the Body in my behalf and was willing to take it to the Branch. And I said:" If these men do not want me to serve, then I don't want to be on a Body that doesn't want me". That whole experience damaged me "Spiritually". In fact, it got me searching the Internet, discovering TTAT, joining this site. Now, I have this void of not knowing my future, the curtain has been drawn back and I see "the guy pulling all the strings and pushing all the buttons" and saying to myself, "What am I going to do now".
I grew up with a brother who went to Bethel, came back, and was appointed as an elder at a very young age. At a Circuit Assembly he gave a talk that had the usual "Armageddon is right around the corner" message. He walked off the stage and immediately said to my friend, "Armageddon is decades away."
I always wondered that while I was in especially when I was an elder. I recognize that some people,elders included are brain-dead. But do you think that the average older today knows it's all nonsense? I know there are some elders that post here regularly and I'm sure they know that it's all BS but what about the others?
I think they do, but many don't feel like they are in the position of saying so or acting accordingly. Nothing worse that endorsing a product you know doesn't work. It's a horrible position to be in.
Additionally, and this is pretty much the case in all kinds of organizations, not just religious, there are other reasons for them to stay. Knowing that the WT is full of --it doesn't mean that it doesn't fulfill other needs that they or their families have.
Many people stay in cults and other organizations for a number of reasons, even if they don't agree or believe in everything they say or do. Those reasons have nothing to do with whether the organization lies or tells the truth.