Yes when I was young JWs talked a lot about demons invading your life. Not so much now. I wonder what made the difference. Maybe it's just part of the wider trend of secularization of society, from which JWs are not entirely immune.
where have the demons gone?
I love these kind of topics, the title just says it all!
I have a demon story that I personally experienced. True story.
I was about 18 and I bought an electric typewriter. It was super fancy because it had a slot for a floppy disks, so it was almost like a computer! This was at the beginning of the PC revolution and they were still wildly expensive.
Anyway, I used it to type talks and stuff on it (and my original idea for a Star Trek book that I still think would have been awesome!) One night, when I was sound asleep, I was awakened by a loud clacking racket, like demons were throwing my TV around the room. I was too afraid even to open my eyes, because if I saw some red humanoid outline hovering over me, I don't know what I would have done. I don't even remember if I had the presence of mind to utter a coherent prayer. "Please, Jehovah, I'll stop making out with Sister Loose if you make this demon go away. Uh, in Jesus name. Amen." More likely I was just saying "Oh Jehovah, Oh Jehovah" over and over again.
So the demons left me alone pretty much by the time I was fully awake. The next morning I was surprisingly calm, I guess since the demons hadn't probed my nether regions or anything. I turned on my electric typewriter to work on my masterpiece, but when I flipped the switch, it turned it off. So I flipped it again to turn it on and it started this loud clacking racket as it centered the print head and all that stuff that modern printers do, except this was much louder.
The clock on my VCR (you kids don't know what those are... kind of like Blue Ray where you have to be very quick with the pause button if you want to catch the nip slip) was blinking. The power had gone out the night before, and when it came back on the typewriter started up.
Perhaps Armageddon is so very near that the demons have become more subtle in their evildoing...and they aren't showing up on ceilings or on music albums as that sort of thing is just too obvious.
I think you're right SBF. To go on about demons throwing plates around now would just make you sound like a nut case. The only time it's really mentioned now is in relation to scenarios more appropriate to Africa.
aboveusonlysky - "where have the demons gone?"
drivenexplained them away.
I associated with the Witnesses while growing up and left in the 1980s. I remember many of these tales.
While I am not sure if you are saying that these types of tales have dropped off these days as I can't imagine what the Witnesses are like today. But I can offer a hypothesis.
There was a great influx of people that became Jehovah's Witnesses in the 1980s due to the release of the "Live Forever" book. Baptisms at conventions and assemblies were made up of hundreds and hundreds of people, the majority being previous members of other religions and from the world in general. I have asked an old JW companion just recently and he mentions that they are lucky to have 20 baptized a year, and almost 100% are "born-ins," at least in the United States.
While not commenting on whether "ghosts" are real or they are "spirits of the dead," etc., the claimed experience or claimed phenomenon is not uncommon. I have worked for two different religious organizations, a Protestant and Catholic group. Apparently a few situations occur that do get investigated and handled by specialists in both groups. (Interestingly, when things prove too hard for any of the Protestant groups, the Catholic Church's specialists were sometimes called.) I can't say what the stories were or how many there were exactly as these things are kept quite confidential, but apparently the majority of churchgoers do believe they happen. The few that are supposed to be "real" don't make it into the general public's immediate knowledge, and these ones that experience such things and help from their clergy don't tend to leave their church to join other groups.
Regardless if they are real or not, people don't shed off all their beliefs overnight. So when large numbers were coming in from the world, the JWs were filled with ghost stories, probably no more than the average church. Because the Witnesses attribute all such phenomenon to demons, the stories got repeated with this "Watchtower demon twist," and they circulated with the rest of the gossip. From my personal recollection, the Witnesses were as gossip-filled as, if not more than, the average church.
There are a large number of what we called in one church office as "haunted wanna-be's." Apparently some people were well known for calling their pastors and priests repeatedly with claims of ghosts. The same were heavy into the ghost culture and read books on hauntings, etc. These types easily got sucked into groups like the JWs.
My hypothesis? The numbers are down. These people are not coming in to the JW religion anymore. Kingdom Halls are filled with 2nd and 3rd generations of born-ins who don't know of anything else. Those who started the stories either left, died, or are too old and have stopped passing them on. No new people from the general public, no new ghost stories. No ghost stories, then no "demons," because to Witnesses all ghosts are "demons."
Not watching Vampire Movies - Lord of the Rings - Smurfs - Zombie movies - as instructed over and over and over and over again at Assemblies HAS PAID OFF!
We are free from the demons now!
Now all we have to do is Exorcise the GB and we are good:)
Hiemere - "...Interestingly, when things prove too hard for any of the Protestant groups, the Catholic Church's specialists were sometimes called..."
That gave me a chuckle.
Frankly, the concept of exorcism has been so fundamentally cemented in Catholicism (in the public mind) that it's actually weird to think of a "Protestant exorcist".
Hiemere, I think your hypothesis is upside down. The JWs have never needed demons stories and such to come in from the 'outside'. They have had plenty of material concerning demons and such right from the Mother's mouth - years and years of it
People who want to serve Jehovah need to get rid of everything related to spiritism. That includes books, magazines, movies, posters, and music recordings that encourage the practice of spiritism and make it seem appealing and exciting. Included, too, are amulets or other items worn for protection against evil.