Hey everyone. So this is what 10 years out feels like. Employed, paying bills, and watching the slow demise of planet Earth. Awesome.... (I'm kidding. I am sure we will all be ok. Look! Unicorns!!)
Been reading a few posts this week in particular. For sure GB 2.1 is in full effect. No more Gilead? No more sending white bread Americans with above average networking skills to 3rd world hotspots in order to be potentially murdered by the "WeDon'tGiveASh*tAboutYou" locals as a way to show you rock? No more book studies or Theocratic Ministry School? No more Presiding Overseer, because he is now the Coordinator and doesn't babysit? No more deep embrace of the hallucinogenic "doctrine" that was in fact, the overactive imagination of college dropout Freddie "The TypologyTypist" Franz?
Sign me up!
I recall getting in several heated debates as I exited here and on a couple of other sites that were for me. I look back and they are a personal journal of sorts. Glad you can read them too if it helps. I thought I'd share two things that popped into my head lately.
1) Jehovah's Witnesses will not die instantly. They will slowly evolve and turn into something else. That is in fact, what has happened and what will continue to happen. As with all bad ideas and movements, idiots and blinded people are hard to show the truth. I have learned the hard way that beliefs trump facts. (pun intended) It is only by having the right values, including an acknowledgment that facts are more important, can true change happen. Having said that, we live in a country where it is a Constitutional right to make bad decisions and have poor judgement. Welcome to freedom! The freedom to sign your life over to a registered cult.
2) Jehovah's Witnesses will continue to exploit young people, and I'd like to offer myself as exhibit A to get this rolling.
In 1991 for reasons I cannot specifically recall, I took advantage of the time home schooling provided me and started to "walk" my territory as an auxiliary pioneer. I was 16. I read the life stories of missionaries and circuit overseers every day and it affected me! I also did it for the approval of the elders, and because I had set goals for myself. It is how I got my good name out there and became a ministerial servant at 19.
If you saw the 19 year old version of me, you'd hate me. I was committed to my goals and every bit the @$$hole! But you would have liked the 16 year old me. I was just a kid trying to do his best, please his parents and his "church". It grew and turned into something I couldn't have possibly comprehended. And as I look back, no one pushed me to do it. I was sincerely trying to do my best. With no true guidance from anyone. No internet. I missed that by four years. Nothing but the "atta boys" and occasional honked horns of elders as they drove by me while I walked to my next return visit in the late afternoon. That's where it started for me.
I am very sensitive when I see intelligent and ambitious young people these days, of any stripe and from anywhere. They need guidance, they need wisdom. And it is not in ready supply. The fact is, programming is very real, and it happens EVERYWHERE. Not just JW's. In America. That is why marketing and the news is so important. "Can we win the battle of the message? What are the optics?" It doesn't matter if it's right or not, so long as it feels right.
The human animal runs on emotional beliefs, not cold facts. JW's are masters of this, and know it better than anyone. And who is better to influence than the young? Whatever the GB needs, you can be sure they will figure out how to suck their youth into a generation of JW's that will roll their eyes at you when you mention 1914, 1975, all of the changes to the word "generation", and those old fogies Russell, Rutherford, Knorr and Franz. And why not? They get told everything in their KH.
What is the hope for anyone young? Access to information, education, and the wisdom to tell the truth and facts from the crap. True reasoning ability, and a desire to make a difference. (so maybe college shouldn't cost so much?)
Isn't that what being young is all about? Maybe that is gone too. Maybe everyone will just turn into automatons that just listen and do what they're told.
I am lucky. I am 42, and still young enough, but have had more than a lifetimes worth of experience to know that the key to the future is to influence the young. I hope we all have the wisdom to help out when we can. And I hope more than a few young JW's stop by sites like these and read up. There is nothing like getting your critical thinking skills going for the first time.