Did You Know “Weird JWs” When You Were In The Organization?
The observed pervasiveness of "oddball" JWs and JWs with clearly below average mental capacity was probably the very first troubling fact that I noticed about the cult - I remember asking my parents about this when I was about 12 years old: "Why does it seem that there are fewer smart people that have found the truth than ones like so-and-so." Of course I was given the expected nonsense about how god requires humility and he called those that were unlettered and ordinary, but even at that age I knew that was bullshit because "unlettered" was a status had by the vast majority in Jesus' time and besides other prominent figures like Paul and Moses were quite well educated, among other examples. The tone in my parent's voice and the look on their faces made it clear that this was not a question I should be asking, though, and the resumption of our family study shortly thereafter also seemed clearly connected. It didn't take me long to learn the lesson - suppress my doubts and any negative feelings about the cult or face consequences. That's a survival mechanism that's caused a ton of damage to my relationships and well being and I've only just begun to make progress resolving it in the last year or so.
Anyway, specific examples of oddball JWs:
The elder that did some of my baptism questions claimed to be anointed (and he claimed to be so before the removal of the 1935 doctrine, and he wasn't old enough to have qualified...) but most in the congregation couldn't see how he could possibly be anointed. During my baptism questions he went on a looooong rant about how his previous wife had cheated on him multiple times but he'd stuck by her because that's what jehovah wanted and it wasn't until she left him that they were divorced.
An MS of clearly diminished mental capacity once gave a prayer in which he apologized to Jehovah for "all the shit...errr...stuff that we do."
There were a number of MSes that clearly struggled to read, not just on the platform but in casual settings as well.
I knew at least 3 sisters that seemed to see god's hand in literally every aspect of their lives and weren't shy about sharing the details of these interventions in casual conversation as well as in 4-5 minute comments on an unrelated paragraph of the watchtower study. Experiences included deciding to go out in service instead of going to the store to buy toilet paper when, wouldn't you know it - she found a roll of toilet paper in the street.
Honestly, I think nearly all the eminently normal people I knew in the cult (or, at least, they would've been normal had they not been in the cult) were from the pre-1975 era when the cult literature at least had something that exercised the mind (even if said exercise was mental gymnastics) and the few exceptions to this rule were the children of these ones. It seems any new converts that came in after 1975 were all a bit loony....I guess they'd have to be.
Tsk...obviously there are going to be more weirdos in Jehovah's loving organisation than anywhere else because that's the only place that nutters can get any compassion..
Lot's of misfits!
I'm sure many JWs thought I was weird. I was always excluded.
I hope I was weird, I really do.
Having said that, dahlings. I remeber my Dad (RIP), uber dub elder, was in the coach car park at Norwich or Twickenham or some awful post apocalyptic place when the jobos started getting off a coach. Dad said something like, 'They all look mental.'
Oh, how I lolled.
When i was a JW i used to openly say "this religion attracts nutters".
Here we go:
- The never-married old sister who hated absolutely everyone and would answer the rhetorical questions the speaker would ask with a sarcastic answer. She never sat down. Always stood at the back of the hall with a HUGE magnifying glass because she refused to wear glasses and "it's the society, they're printing the words too small". Also refused to wear a hearing aid so she'd constantly shout at the sound desk brother during the meeting to turn the sound up.
- The elder (COBE) who demanded every speaker on the platform to wear a white shirt. And kept a spare white shirt in the 2nd school in case, horror of horrors, a visiting speaker turned up in another coloured shirt. One visiting speaker refused to change his shirt and was actually told he couldn't give his talk. Only the CO was given leeway, and even then that was because we had a hard-ball ex-military CO one time that told him where to go.
- The old lady that was disfellowshipped that wore WAY to much make up, had no teeth and would turn up to the KH with a broken old pram with a black plastic bag of rubbish (trash) in it. One time she turned up with two smashed porcelain dolls wrapped in rags.
- The brother who was "anointed" even before the changes that came in that would have qualified him. He took his platform mic duties so seriously that one time he was in the toilet and a new speaker got up onto the platform, the speaker asked me if i could adjust his mic so i did. This brother stormed all the way up to me and said "dont you ever touch my microphone again!"
- My ex girlfriends dad believed he was anointed. But sometimes he wasnt sure if he was. So sometimes he didnt partake of the emblems and other times he did. He also suffered from that illusive illness a lot of JW's seem to have... "M.S.". Yet still played cricket every Saturday evening and football with the brothers every Sunday as well as fulltime pioneering.
The sister™ that stole coats from the cloakroom if they fitted her and said that they were a gift from Jehovah™. The elders™ took no action to stop her. She moved congregations each time she was challenged.
The sister™ that pretended she'd had sex with a 'boyfriend' just to attention seek. Face like a bag full of spanners. Hair that looked like she'd washed it in a deep fat fryer and combed it with a beefburger. She got reproved. If you knew her, you'd know she was making it up to get attention.
"Did You Know Weird JWs When You Were In The Organization"?
How could you not !!!!
If you didn't you were probably one of the most inactive publishers in the Congregation.
One of the biggest benefits of leaving the JWs is that I was able to rid myself of association with toxic people.
I can more or less filter unstable people out of my life now. Don't get me wrong, from time to time I'm forced to deal with difficult people, for instance at work, but unlike when I was a JW, I don't have any obligation to "love" them and view them as my brothers.
The religion is a haven for the unstable. There's a chicken-or-the-egg question there in that I'm not sure whether the religion makes people unstable or whether it attracts the unstable. Probably a bit of both.
I was closely associating with a Brother who would even murder apostates, if the WT says so. I thought it was zeal but now realize its a serious mental issue.
Happy I am away from him now.