Embracing, Not Running From, My Repressive JW Heritage, Finding A Few Things Worth Salvaging

by TMS 27 Replies latest jw experiences

  • rebel8

    I did learn public speaking skills in the TMS, but nothing I could have learned by taking a class or joining Toastmasters. Those things would have resulted in better skill sets--how to speak properly without use of coercive mind control techniques.

    Let's face the facts here. The only reason we had this learning experience is because it was a side effect of being in a dangerous evangelistic cult, not because we went into it seeking public speaking skills.

    To use an illustration(TM), it isn't as though Jonestown survivors go around thinking, "Oh well, at least I learned how to make Kool Aid like a boss. For that I'm grateful."

    Sometimes I feel like Debbie Downer on these "glass half full" threads, and maybe others think so too, but I can't help (edit) it, my jw experience was overwhelmingly negative--that's just a fact. I did not walk away from it with positives--and this is my perspective after being separated from it for 25 years.

    It is what it is. Yes, we did learn public speaking skills, but it was not done properly or with a good motive.

  • Doubtfully Yours
    Doubtfully Yours

    There are a few pet peeves I have with this 'religious' org; however, I also recognize there's much to be salvaged in living one's life in an orderly, wholesome manner.

    Once some topics are reformed, such as the shunning, baptism of minors, monthly reporting of time/activities, frowning on higher education, I'd probably be okay with all other minor quirks around these WTBTS parts.


  • Xanthippe
    I learned that it wasn't a rhythmic scanning of the audience, but speaking to one person for a moment or two, then moving on to another and another.

    This is a totally male perspective. I was not allowed to talk to the audience- ' I do not permit a woman to teach '.

    You have SOMETHING in common with everyone else on planet earth

    I agree with this. We all have more similarities than differences, but the WTS don't really believe this. Finding common ground is simply a strategy to lure people into the cult. They think the world is filled with evil, not ordinary humans just trying to live a happy life as best they can.

    Yes I agree we could have been born physically disabled or terribly poor in a developing country. There are so many ways to have a very difficult start in life. Very true. Bellyaching about a cult upbringing instead of moving forward is pointless.

  • faithnomore

    I also learned a lot about public speaking and I think the TMS gave me a lot of confidence in that area.

    I learned to love people (when "in"I took to heart that preaching was out of love) show kindness and be forgiving and that has translated nicely outside of the "truth".

    Oddly I learned acceptance as well. For example I believed with every fiber of my being that being gay was just proof we were closer to the end and these folks couldn't "help" it. I "loved" the people but "hated" the action. Once leaving it was a nice transition to just accepting people for who they are.

    I'm grateful that I learned these qualities. Most of my family are harsh uber jw so I know I learned it from being "in the truth" and not by familial environment:).

  • Dagney

    What rebel8 said.

    Having to be a non-participant in school programs, clubs etc. where you could learn even better speaking and research skills, communication skills, team work... to me held everybody back from reaching their potential.

    I too feel like a Debbie Downer, but that's how I feel about my "theocratic education." It was repressive, myopic, and held people back from development.

    Who knows what talents we all could have had if we were allowed to pursue the educational system.

  • sir82

    The one thing that many if not most agree on is that the TMS taught valuable skills if you took it seriously.

    Naturally, the TMS has been done away with.

    The same "counsel points" are used for the field service demos that are done instead, but the majority of those "counsel points" are completely irrelevant to the type of field service demonstrated there.

    It's quite amusing to watch the students try to incorporate, say, "repetition for emphasis" on a 2 minute door to door demo.

    "Hello, we're calling on you to share some good news, good news, good news, good news. Know why I'm here? To share good news. Did I mention I have good news? No? Well, good news: I have good news".

  • Londo111

    Even if there was a benefit from TMS, I believe a cost/benefits analysis would render it negligible.

    And many of the talks around the TMS was about why the householder was wrong about a belief they had.

  • TMS

    I can't deny that I'm frequently torn between my hatred for this bullshit religion and a feeble attempt to embrace my obvious influences.

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