Find Family Happiness ... NOT!
I think a "short burst of anger" was an understandable and appropriate response.
Standing around ranting would have just reinforced the idea of the "crazy apostates".
But an obviously angry man giving vent to his feelings then walking away? Might make them think.
I definitely remember to people when I was in field service were so angry they hardly said a word.
One was a woman who is doing some yard work. First she was relaxed and pleasant. When she realize who l was her face contorted with some really dark emotion. She stripped off her garden gloves and walked rapidly toward her house.
Another was likewise in his yard, pleasant, putting up a mailbox by the curb as l walked on an errand. So I began an informal witness after some pleasantries. When he realized who l was his face also clouded. Then he raised his arm, extended his index finger and thundered “GO!GO!!”
Both experiences stuck with me. I couldn’t shake the feeling that they had a story to tell about my religion that would trouble me.It DID trouble me.
I think that you did the perfect thing, jp1692.
I would not have been able to hold back either--- however, I would have been more calm when approaching. I would have said I love the title of their little cart, and how I wish I could agree that this was the case with JW's, but its NOT. How does shunning family create happiness... etc etc
When I was PIMO and separated from my wife at the time, a friend sent me a screenshot of my wife's instagram account. She posted a picture of herself working a JW booth set up at the county fair. The booth was decorated with JW posters claiming, "The Secret to Family Happiness." It was ironic considering I left her after 20 plus years of physical and emotional abuse. She even tagged the pictures #bestlifeever and #helpingfamiliesbehappy. It was all I could do but sit back and have a good laugh.
Thanks everyone for your thoughtful and encouraging comments. I appreciated the balance from all of you.
I don't have time to respond to all of you, but here are some select responses:
Iamallcool: you should have told them that you are very happy now because you are out of their very weird religion.
In fact, my life is really good in every respect expect the lingering damage from my past association with the JW cult. The ongoing pain and frustration of being shunned by my children simply because I no longer attend meetings at the KH is difficult. Even after almost a decade, it still hurts -- sometimes worse than others, but it never completely goes away.
LisaRose: 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 love that sentiment. Thank you very much!
Wasanelder Once: Well, you spoke your heart. It may not have been a reasoned expression but it was authentic. … I’m sure your rage will find its place and your expressions won't be so volatile in the future.
Your first comment is similar to LisaRose's. Again: thanks! Just to be clear, I am well past the rage part of leaving this cult. Although my comment to the women on the street wasn't particularly restrained or measured, I wasn't yelling in uncontrolled anger either. The anger in my voice was in response to their complete hypocrisy knowing full well the damage their religion has done to countless millions of people. It was more a reaction of frustration. In no way was I physically threatening to them.
Perry: They are masters at weaponizing family relationships. … 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 love the expression "weaponizing family relationships." I'm going to use it!
You're clearly a compassionate person to feel sorry for them, and I agree to an extent: they are pathetic. But they are also adults. They have the power to leave just as we did.
The chains that hold them are strong, but not physical. My sympathy ends at understanding. Their ongoing "victimization" is of their own choosing.
Sparrowdown: 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.
They are dishonest traps. That's exactly what upsets me about it. We KNOW they they are lies: deceptive and dishonestly designed to trap people.
It's disgusting really.
To be clear, I did fall for their trap, but it wasn't the other day. It was in the early 1980s and it took me almost two decades to escape.
Let's review: It's a cult!
Valid rant jp1692
The JWS religion has broken a part millions of families by now mostly due its shunning DFing policy.
For the WTS to say they are pro family is a point of hypocrisy.
If you research the JWS from when it started DFing people you can see that it was firstly instigated to protect the power and position by the top JWS leaders ie. J Rutherford, F Franz era, ironically Franz was notably the biggest corrupt and devious liar out of all the WTS leaders.
The WTS doctrines were contrived out of weak bible interpretation, so there were valid reasons why the WTS leaders needed to protect what was sustaining the organization as a whole.
Xanthippe: Good for you JP, reacting like a normal human being to a barefaced lie being paraded in the street to lure in innocent families.
I like the way you stated this. Thank you for putting it in perspective!
sir82: I think a "short burst of anger" was an understandable and appropriate response. Standing around ranting would have just reinforced the idea of the "crazy apostates". But an obviously angry man giving vent to his feelings then walking away? Might make them think.
Also an excellent perspective. Thanks!
humbled: Both experiences stuck with me. I couldn’t shake the feeling that they had a story to tell about my religion that would trouble me. It DID trouble me. I think that you did the perfect thing, jp1692.
I think so too. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that wondered why some people we encountered in "the ministry" were so irate. They DID have a story to tell and we never heard it. But now we are sharing ours. We will be heard!
Sliced: I would not have been able to hold back either--- however, I would have been more calm when approaching. I would have said I love the title of their little cart, and how I wish I could agree that this was the case with JW's, but its NOT. How does shunning family create happiness?
Your closing question is powerful because the conclusion is so obvious and it clearly contradicts the JWs claimed beliefs and practices concerning families.
And I would no doubt have handled this differently had I PLANNED my comments. But I did not, it was my reaction to seeing them there intruding on my day and my peace and my life.
exjwlemming: a friend sent me a screenshot of my wife's instagram account. She posted a picture of herself working a JW booth set up at the county fair. The booth was decorated with JW posters claiming, "The Secret to Family Happiness."
So you can clearly relate. The irony is palpable.
Their self-righteousness blinds them to their hypocrisy. The typical JW exemplifies everything bad that Jesus preached against yet they don't see it.
Finkelstein: Valid rant jp1692. The JWS religion has broken a part millions of families by now mostly due its shunning DFing policy.
Thanks for the historical details about JWs and the modern practice of disfellowshipping and shunning. I am well aware of these facts but I'm sure the average JW is not.
To be clear: I am NOT disfellowshipped. I merely quit going to meetings at the Kingdom Hall. While I don't pretend to be something I'm not, I also do not publicly speak out against the religion locally where I live out of consideration for my children. I know that if I became known as an "apostate" in the area where we live it would only make it that much more difficult for them to reconcile.
I'm not optimistic about that, but I haven't given up hope either.
Oh well. What can we do?
Let's review: It's a cult!
JP- I totally empathize with you. The WT Society and JW religion has split my family in two over the years where for a long while it used to be 50 % of my family were JW's ; 50 % of us were out. Now since several older JW's died these last couple years I'd say it's about 65 % of us not in it and 35 % remain JW's.
But the damage and division have been done. I have two adult JW daughters who totally shun me and my son, their brother. I have a two year old grandchild I'm not allowed to see. If I had a rocket launcher I'd shove it up some GB members ass and they'd have an enema they'd never forget.
I have confronted and spoken with JW cart people as well after my mom died and told them that my parents were " lied to by your organization that they'd live forever. After 65 years in the JW cult they died- no " paradise " , no " living forever " . " I told these JW's they were wasting their time living for a pipe dream and to live in the here and now because they are trusting in an unreality. Gave them something to think about.
I felt you did fine in venting. You made them think. I get the same agitated feeling like you do whenever I walk by these JW cart people. Makes you want to turn their carts over like Jesus did the money changers in the temple ! lol. But hey, they're blind , but you never know if something we said might sink into the cracks of seepage into their mind controlled neurotransmitters. You just never know. Good job. Take care, Peace out, Mr. Flipper
Their ongoing "victimization" is of their own choosing.
Indeed. The doors of hell are locked from the inside.
Well, they get to say what they want to say. Why shouldn't you get to say what you want to say?