Don't fall through the "cracks"
Being able to understand and identify the "cracks" (i.e. unintended consequences) in the many systems we are surrounded by had a profound influence on my ultimate decision to step away from the ORG. I mentioned in my first post there were many nuanced details that added up to help me to finally take the steps I needed to exit, and this was a fairly big one.
Most of the information I exposed myself to, like many within the organization, was limited to WT literature, or from other witnesses. I was not one to just be interested enough in what was going on in the world around me to stop and research and try to make sense of it. Why would I need to? After all what more could we expect from Satan’s wicked system? Jehovah was going to fix it all in the end anyway! This type of thinking left me wide open to the possibility of “falling through the cracks.” Let me explain…
I had always taken the stance that knowing or talking about any problems that might exist within the organization would not be upbuilding or positive, and should thus be avoided at all costs. I would downplay when other Witnesses talked about their personal problems (mentally “blaming the victim”) and would definitely not believe someone if they told me of some problems that existed within the ORG. I understand now that this blinded me to the realities that were right under my nose and exposed me to the great possibility that I could be detrimentally impacted by the ORG. How did I finally come to realize this?
My ever-patient husband tried so many different ways to get me to start thinking about things and to break out of my zombie-like state of adherence to the JW mindset. He would send me articles that he had read about anything and everything. Political systems, the financial system, the health system, education system, climate change, cognitive biases, conspiracy theories…you name it, he’d read it! I felt least threatened by information he sent me that had nothing to do with religion or JW’s in particular. I was not always interested in the topics that he sent me but I could see that my understanding it was important to him, so I read it.
We had lengthy discussions about all of these topics and what stood out was that ALL of the systems have “cracks” in them. “Holes” that real people could fall down and have their lives, at the least negatively impacted, or at worst, completely ruined. I always had the idea that there were “bad apples” that existed within these systems, but believed that all in all the institutions themselves were good. Our discussions helped me to understand that these systems had mechanisms set up to protect the institution often at the cost of human lives, livelihoods, health, and happiness. That real people “fell through the cracks.”
A couple of the systems we discussed, were very important to me (health and education) and it was at this point that I made a terrifying mental connection – What if the system of worship that I based my entire life around wasn’t what I thought it was? What if the “cracks” existed in that institution too? It was a very scary thought.
Thank you so much for this post and your previous post regarding your awakening. It has been strenghthening for me read. I wish I was where you are with things. Someday I may be able to put words to my pain and share here or more importantly with my spouse. Again thanks for your insight into your own psychology. I really do appreciate it.
Our discussions helped me to understand that these systems had mechanisms set up to protect the institution often at the cost of human lives, livelihoods, health, and happiness.
As I look back, I realize that the org took (and is still taking) many lives, livelihoods, etc. It strives to preserve and enrich itself at the expense of others. It is not in the least bit hesitant to urge young people to forgo education and take on menial work to support it - young people who will end up like me - older with a low-paying job with no possibility of ever retiring (no savings, no pension, etc.)
The org robbed me of a life, I worked and sacrificed for it in ways that most people could never comprehend unless they retraced my steps for 35 years. I suffered and was deprived and was miserable, and I got not one cent for compensation; in fact, I paid the org all that time!
mrsObfuscate - tell us how did you find out about the ARC?
My husband shared a link with me to the transcripts and ended up following the whole thing.
Thank you for that post , I found it very interesting how you responded to your husbands attempts to get you interested /involved in subjects that led you to see cracks in the "truth" .
My wife , 2 sons and D.I.L. ,are all out of the religion , none of them D.F. or D,A, all of them left about 20 years or so ago , about the same time I did , yet I am the only one who has any interest in a site like this.
My wife no longer believes in GOD or the Bible , my sons certainly do not , and as far as I can discern my D.I.L. does not believe in GOD anymore,
None of them have any interest in sites like this .
Yet I feel they are missing out on not knowing all of the information available on sites like this one that with certainty put a nail in the coffin of JW`s being nothing more than a made up American religion .
Some people just seem to accept what is fact /true whereas others want to know the ins & outs of why that is fact or true ..
The former can be misleading , whereas the latter is not deceived .
Like I said there always has to be a catalyst that takes you down that road.
Thanks for giving is your testimony sister!
This type of insight is really important to help those of us 'still in for spouses' to know how we might reach them. True, what affects one might not affect another, but it all helps somebody sometime..
Interesting observations. I can certainly understand a person who no longer believes just throwing it all in the scrap heap and getting on with their lives.
I recognised that falling through the cracks is due to a lack of awareness. There are many reasons for a lack of awareness - some external, some self imposed. How do we become more aware? Reading, listening, observing, educating ourselves. I maintain a fascination with the bible, theology, religion, etc partly informed by my years as a JW but also because the ways that humans contort themselves so that we can believe is just so incredible! My hope is that it helps me become more aware of similar patterns in other systems - political, fitness, health etc.
CT Russell had a catalyst that took him down that road, so did William Miller, John Nelson Darby, Martin Luther, etc.
They were all part of systems that worked for them...until it didn't anymore...and they changed or created their own systems. I find it fascinating that most of those named above questioned their beliefs, right up until that questioning touched the beliefs that couldn't be touched.