Find Family Happiness ... NOT!
The other day my wife and I were in Sonoma. We were just walking around enjoying the pleasant afternoon in the quaint, old downtown area when I saw two JW women standing by their “witnessing cart.”
Normally, I just ignore them whenever I see JWs standing by a cart, but I gotta admit it: this time it really bugged me because of the title on the cart: Find Family Happiness.
I was just going to walk on by, but when one of the women made eye contact I just couldn't help myself. I spontaneously blurted out, "You're messed up religion destroyed my family. You should be ashamed of yourself claiming to help people 'find family happiness'!"
Not too surprisingly, she immediately looked away and the other woman suddenly became very preoccupied with something on her cell phone.
I have to admit that I had some mixed feelings about the whole encounter. I am well aware that my behavior likely just invoked their pre-programmed response of the "angry apostate" stereotype. But I also remember that there were more than a few times when I was in the "field ministry" and I encountered angry people. Rarely could any of them articulate their reasons for being angry. Several were so upset they could barely speak. One young man even became violent and physically attacked the other person I was with requiring me to restrain him.
After every one of those times I always walked away wondering, "Why are they so upset? Why are they so upset they can't even explain it?"
Now of course I know.
And so I'm not in the least sorry that I said what I said to these two women. In fact, I'm glad that I was able to say specifically and clearly that it is their religion that directly caused the breakup of my family.
Their. Religion. Destroyed. My. Family.
Perhaps the cognitive dissonance I created within them will resonate for a while. Maybe it will even help one or both of them wake up before their family becomes yet another casualty of this cult.
Well maybe you should have reacted differently. Maybe you should have told them that you are very happy now because you are out of their very weird religion.
I wouldn't feel bad about that at all. It may not have been what you would have planned to say, but it was your truth, given from your heart, and that can be far more powerful than any prepared speech. I imagine those women will be thinking about this for a long time.
I love Sonoma, one of my favorite wine country towns, we visit frequently.
Well, you spoke your heart. It may not have been a reasoned expression but it was authentic. I'm sure they won't give it more than the crazy apostate consideration, but the people around heard it as well. Perhaps that is the saving grace in this situation. The innocent people around may have been adequately forewarned. Don't kick yourself over it JP. I'm sure your rage will find its place and your expressions won't be so volatile in the future.
Oh my! Divorce has been rampant in JW land since the late 80's. And, they are masters at weaponizing family relationships. It takes a lot of nerve to stand on the corner with that message. I wonder how many others spoke something similar to them?
I feel sorry for them, trapped like that - taking the heat due the WT. They end up getting victimized twice. I probably would not have been able to just keep walking either.
I have to admit that I wouldn't mind a little reverse cowgirl with the gal with the shades on...
You just fell for their baity hook sign that's all. When I think back to all the titles of the books mags and brochures they're all misleading intellectual honey trap to lure in all sorts of people. I saw a recent cart asking something about the bible and trusting it or something along those lines and I thought an athiest could mistakenly assume they were anti-bible from the way the question was worded. So deceptive so JWborg!
Good for you JP, reacting like a normal human being to a barefaced lie being paraded in the street to lure in innocent families.
Is that Katey Sagal with the shades on?