Indoctrination and subordination

by Tornintwo 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Tornintwo

    There are so many gems in In Search of Christian Freedom but I thought this section in 'indoctrination and subordination' was excellent, summing things up brilliantly, worth highlighting for anyone who hasn't read the book;

    "The sum of the evidence is, then, that although no extreme physical isolation occurs, a very effective mental isolation is pro- duced by the organization’s interpretation placed on Jesus’ words about not being part of the world. The community of believers becomes quite insulated and intellectually sealed off from any source of Scriptural material other than that coming from the one voice, that of the organization. They are continually told that this is the only way to keep them from being misled. The apparent aim is to create a sterile atmosphere in which the views and interpretations of the orga- nization can circulate freely without having to confront any challenge.

    As a rule the longer one is associated with the organization the more concentrated his or her social contacts are, the more restricted friendships are to those within the organization. Even “worldly” relatives, meaning non-Witness relatives, are often gradually shunted off to a rather cool and distant relationship.

    One’s thus becoming part of an exclusive community with only limited, “necessary” contact with anyone outside is the factor that gives such enormous power to any disfellowshiping decree established by the organization. One’s whole social life resides within the organization. If associated for many years, to be disfellowshiped means to be cut off from virtually every friend- ship one has.

    Particularly for those in their elderly years of life this can present a devastatingly depressing prospect. The situation par- allels closely that of persons in apostolic times who were ‘cast out of the synagogue,’ since the synagogue was the center of all so- cial contact in a Jewish community.23

    I strongly doubt that most persons, in reading the Bible itself, would ever be led to view Jesus’ words about not being part of the world in the extreme way conveyed by the Watch Tower publications. Not that such an exclusivistic view is not found in the Bible. It is. But it is the viewpoint taken by the Pharisees, not that taught by Jesus Christ or his apostles. As already seen, the very name “Pharisee” means “separated” or “exclusive.” In their extreme views, this religious group sought to be separate from, and exclude from their associa- tion, all persons not holding to their particular traditional teach- ings and standards of holiness, viewing all such as “unclean.”24

    Jesus Christ set a very different example from such extremists and this incensed them, caused them to condemn him and the way he associated with others. In reading his words, not only in the Sermon on the Mount but in all his teachings, one finds that Jesus’ primary focus was not on an elaborate set of doctrinal interpretations but on the real goal set out in the Scriptures, their true aim and thrust, namely love of God and love of neighbor."

  • Divergent

    As a rule the longer one is associated with the organization the more concentrated his or her social contacts are, the more restricted friendships are to those within the organization. Even “worldly” relatives, meaning non-Witness relatives, are often gradually shunted off to a rather cool and distant relationship.

    This was true in my case. As a born-in, my life revolved around the organization & I didn't have much chance in establishing close friendships elsewhere. Then I learned TTATT & discovered that the people who I thought were my friends were actually NOT! Just a little while back, I had non-JW acquaintances & JW friends. NOW, I have non-JW FRIENDS & JW acquaintances!

  • TheWonderofYou
    Even “worldly” relatives, meaning non-Witness relatives, are often gradually shunted off to a rather cool and distant relationship.

    The Jesus of the gospels is not the leader of an "elitistic" group, who are snobbish and compacent with its "congregational cleaness", "group holiness", while excluding friendship or close contact with "worldly" people.

    Jesus sat down on a table with guzzlers and searched association with those that had lost faith, the discharged, lonely, heavily loaded, underdogs so he pointed to his message that god was good.

    The faithul ones of the jewish society called Jesus a glutton and drunkard. Matthew 11,19. Jesus did not fit in their picture of a religious, believing person. And if jesus had been a social worker he would not have been treated better. Jesus association with underdogs and contacts with sinners are not very exemplary for our sense, are they not?

    Yet I am not better. I avoid contact with underdogs too. I am trained to live and elitisitc way of life, I learned it from the days of my youth, later in the cong, and it remained part of my personality. I more and more avoided contacts within the underdogs in the cong at all. My contacts were with the examplary witnesses. Once I hated to go out and dance, because only worldy guys are doing that. I avoided contact with worldly people in freetime. So I became a lone wolf..And even after so many years of being away I have no Non-JW friends or not even closer contacts to people at all, no circle of friends or good mates.(without my wife and children) Fortunately my wife safed me.

    My avoiding of contact to the "world" in my youth lead to social isolation after leaving JW.

    The picture of a congregation or "church" that is elitistic detains millions of people who "have the change to live forever" from concact with the Bible or the church.

    Faith is not a matter of churches who exclude, but of the individuals.

  • jesscd

    I recently heard the term "isolationist beliefs" used in reference to JW's. The term is so poignant because it concentrates pretty much the whole JW theology into a couple of words. As a born-in who left in my early 30's I know too well how this isolation from the "world" effects one. When I was cut off from every friend and any of my family members that were JW's, it led to a time of great loneliness and a feeling of not belonging anywhere - feelings that 11 years later still linger. I had done everything I was supposed to in the JW world to an extreme. My parents homeschooled me, so I never established outside relationships as a child. Even the neighborhood kids we were never allowed to call our friends - we had to refer to them as "acquaintances". After finishing high school at age 15, I enrolled in a community college and received major backlash from the elders because I was pursuing higher education. Higher education in itself was bad, because I would be exposed to the "philosophy and empty deception of men". But also I was told that I was not thinking spiritually because I was intentionally putting myself in an unnecessary place of worldly association. I eventually yielded to pressure and quit - the guilt trip was relentless. As an adult I sought jobs in the computer industry in which I worked solo, so as to avoid unnecessary association with workmates, eventually starting my own business so I could pioneer and work out of my home - completely separate from "bad association".

    At 32, when I left, I was thrust into the "world" with no social structure, a blank sheet of a background - and very little in the way of social skills. I have gradually made friends with non-JW's, but the effort of having to start from scratch, at a time when most have long-established friendships, is quite exhausting. Interestingly enough, through some of those friends I have met and become friendly with non-JW relatives I never knew I had (I live in a very small State where everyone is about 3 degrees of separation). My grandparents became witnesses before my father was born, and cut themselves off from all there worldly relatives, almost word for word the process explained in In Search of Christian Freedom.

  • Deleteandrestart

    I have just awoken ,although still attending ,

    and i realise how wasted the 35 plus , years I've spent in the "truth" have been .

    Looking back now i look and see just how out of touch with normal people i was .

    i was invited to plenty of work related events but turned all of them down on the premise that it was all worldly and not what a true christian should be doing ,

    But now understand it was all an over the top form of mind control ,and so when i attend meetings now , anything that presents itself as that i reject at once .

  • Tornintwo
    Reading the real life examples of the effects of this isolationist, captive religion is powerful ' witness' that it isn't natural, human or christian.

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