Bad experiences in waking someone up?

by Fred Flintstone 17 Replies latest jw experiences

  • jwfacts

    That is a dilemma I have faced having a website. I am of the opinion that it is better someone has access to the truth, and then choose how they react. It is actually very difficult for a person to wake up, our minds are good at protecting ourselves, so JWs are very skilled at knowing the issues with the religion and justifying them. They won’t wake up until they are ready.

    There is the chance some people leaving will end up worse off, but overall most are grateful not to be wasting their lives on a lie The greater good is served by more people leaving, particularly as most that have the strength to leave are already struggling as JWs.

  • jwfacts

    As already noted, if you take it upon yourself to undermine a friend’s belief, be aware they will go through a difficult time and need you to be there to support them through the process.

  • scratchme1010
    I mean, is it advisable to try to wake a friend up? What about the risk of he/she falling into depression? Anger? Fury? Any bad experiences?

    The professional cult interventionists that I know say that an important part of their assessment when/if they decide to approach a person in a cult, is to evaluate the lives that they had before (family, friends, relationships, etc), as well as what awaits them outside if they leave.

    I was surprised to find out that there have been cases when after having a session with relatives and the family of the person "lost to a cult", the psychologist's recommendation has been to keep the person in the cult. There are instances where the lives that people run from that makes them fall into the hands of a high demand, controlling group, are not that great. There are other instances when the person's mental health or state is not appropriate for intervening in their lives about what they believe, and without asking their permission (at the end of the day, that's what we are doing if we attempt to wake up another person).

    People join organizations for a number of reasons, and sometimes those reasons have to do with sheltering themselves from difficult families or other elements in their lives. They feel safe, physically and mentally, in the cult.

    Another aspect is mental health. I am not a psychologist, and I cannot assess when/if a person is in the right mental health condition to handle TTATT, especially if I myself have nothing to offer that person to replace what the cult gives them.

    Personally, I don't attempt to help people out because (a) I cannot be responsible of messing with whatever happens after that person leave, and most importantly (b) I'm quite done with convincing people to change what they believe; that was kind of the point of me leaving the JWs.

  • nowwhat?

    The grand pooba would like to have a word with you

  • snugglebunny

    Those in Abu Dhabi do.

  • NewYork44M

    I have a general policy of not trying to prove to those embedded in the organization that they are living a lie.

    That being said, I have a very active presence on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. Anyone will see that I have a happy and productive life and career after leaving the cult. I think it is important for those considering an exit strategy to see that a person can be successful after leaving.

  • Chook

    I find the best approach is to ask jws has anyone lost their lives following a jw policy that they later changed. Then remind them of blood fractions and organ transplants. Then ask did they die for god or man. Ask who is responsible. All who leave go through a grieving process and an embarrassment at being gullible. Every effort to wake someone is a noble cause.

  • deegee

    What scratchme1010 wrote.

    It has been said that people join religions to meet psychological needs (most times unbeknownst to themselves).

    Nine factors have been associated with recruitment into cults - SOURCE: Factors related to susceptibility and recruitment by cults by Curtis JM, Curtis MJ. Psychol Rep 1993 Oct;73(2):451-60:

    a) generalized ego-weakness and emotional vulnerability

    b) propensities toward dissociative states

    c) tenuous, deteriorated, or nonexistent family relations and support systems

    d) inadequate means of dealing with exigencies of survival

    e) history of severe child abuse or neglect

    f) exposure to idiosyncratic or eccentric family patterns

    g) proclivities toward or abuse of controlled substances

    h) unmanageable and debilitating situational stress and crises

    i) intolerable socioeconomic conditions.

    Mental health issues can be involved in a person's turning to religion. For example, persons on the schizophrenic, Axis I or Axis II spectrum tend to exhibit religious intensification.

    Also, intensification may be one of the coping mechanisms used to deal with distress/trauma, and is associated with the need to find meaning in the distressing event in order to avoid a breakdown of identity [1] or find relief from whatever is overwhelming them.

    [1] Van der Lons, J. (1991). What is psychology of religion about? Psychology of religion. H. Malony. Grand Rapids, MI, Baker



    It provides a list of DOs & DON'Ts.

    It also provides some simple questions you can ask a loved one to get them to start thinking for themselves – which is always a good first step:

    - What attracted you to your group in the first place?

    - When you first joined, what did you expect to achieve as a member of the group?

    - What have you achieved?

    - What do you hope to achieve in the future?

    - What have you personally witnessed others achieve?

    - How long do you expect it will take for you to achieve your goals?


    People have been raised to believe that God cares for them, he solves problems and difficulties and he is watching over them every hour, every minute of every day. This gives them a sense of security.

    Trying to wake someone up can feel like an attack on their sense of security.

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