Wednesday, I think the Misfit Witness deserves a type all their own. It's another I did not appreciate until you explained. Where in the list does it belong? How is the order I have listed them? Do I have it inverted? Can you add to my descriptions? I'm looking for ideas with this. Thanks! GaryB
Types Of Witnesses
i believe the misfits could be put near either the "religiously addicted witness" or actually they are closer to "the Real witness", b/c most of them truly believe. they hope for so much, they know they are lower then the real witness but i believe than qualify more or less as a real witness.They want to believe in the "new world" as we used to call it, b/c it will cure them of their problmes.
U have done an outstanding job of describing the jws class system.I did not see too many religius witness b/c they usually did not stay too long; a few years and they leave. They are the ones that have so many religious sites that oppose jws. and argue doctrine and usally go straight form the jws to another religious org.( jesus witness comes to mind.)
i can tell from all your writings that u are well aquainted with the inner workings of jws. Some of the first and second generation jws do not understand about all this, but i do, b/c being a third generation jw, i have heard it all.Some of thme can leave without too much trouble, but not the third/fourth generation jw. Your entire life is involved with them.I am not a fourth generation b/c none of my children accepted jws, and hate them intensely.
Btw, i have read all your okies stories and , well, i believe iknow some of those people.
I fell in the No 12 category A REAL WITNESS
These types can come out too. I did.
Wednesday, I have added the Misfit type. I would appreciate your opinion on how it could be improved. Thanks GaryB
Types of Witnesses. There is the:
1. Religious Witness.
These are usually converts and seldom stay. They believe The Bible over the Society. They do not belong to the hate club mentality. They do not focus on the date setting nor do they believe only the Witness group members will survive the apocalypse. They seldom practice shunning and they do not see themselves accountable to the elders. They understand honesty and justice and they do not accept the mistreatment of other members or family very well.
2. Religious Addict Witness.
They are running from something, fear of death, mourning a loss, something that needs medicating. They usually switch addictions and many get disfellowshipped. They look like a Real Witness when they are on top of a cycle. More than a few advance in the ranks since they appear so zealous.
3. Social Witness.
They are usually second generation and most do not understand doctrine and changes do not affect them. They are sensitive to social treatment and if they are mistreated, they usually eventually leave after an internal struggle. Most go to this step as a resting place and many end up here after a disconfirmation or a setback inside the group hierarchy. This is not a place the Society will normally let a person stay, once noticed, without challenge. This is usually the last step for a person making an unconscious exit. It is also a place where conscientious objectors hide from the elders. The Society knows this.
4. Hostage Witness.
They are trapped by circumstance, financial, marital, or commitment to a real Witness. They are not believers and would exit if not for the shunning doctrine. They are first cousins to the Social Witness but they are consciously aware of their situation and are here by design. They are clever and very hard for the elders to spot. More than a few live their whole lives here.
5. Reformer Witness.
They see the error and the abuses and stay and work for reform from within, seeing some value in the group. Some have some success but most give up and slip into the Hostage or Social type. More than a few are discovered, tried and shunned.
6. Power Witness.
They have recognition, position, power and prestige. All their personal ego needs are met by the group. They work for the corporation in a position, as a worker or as an elder or pioneer. They work to keep the status quo because that is where their security is. Many of this class are not religious or very honest and their business dealings are not ethical. They belong to the insider club and relish the prestige and attention. They know the system, they have no qualms about following directions from the Society. This is the only class able to advance in the hierarchy of the group.
7. Reinstated Witness.
These are in a class by themselves. They have burn scars and they usually stay on the fringe. Few seek positions of responsibility. They are found with the Hostage or Social types but they really do not fit in there either. They are wary and restless.
8. New Witnesses.
This is the most interesting class of all. They almost all come in as Social Witnesses and settle on some groove between Social and Real. They have ideals and expectations and they often know history and doctrine the best of all. Most were courted and won and then honeymooned. Often a year after they are baptized they begin to notice the complacent attitude towards them and they begin to feel neglected.
9. Children of Witnesses.
They are counted by the corporation as full members but they are treated as property and often they are abused and their wants and needs are neglected. They secretly plan their next life. Some move into the Social type or the Power class. The majority eventually leave.
10. Witness Women.
Some are in the Power class. They marry elders and Bethel workers and some Pioneer and become gurus, with their own followings. Others accept their inferior status and stay in their profiles without complaint. Others resist and leave the group, demonstrating their intelligence and competency in business and as vocal former members.
11. Old Witnesses.
They have been faithful through it all. Many see they will not be immortal after all and they mourn in silence, often ignored and usually forgotten. This group must put up a defense against their own experiences and against their adult children who do not appreciate their course. They have little to stay in the group for and nothing to leave for. Seldom will they leave the group.
12. Misfit Witnesses
Misfits are anyone that does not fit into the joyful scheme of things, weak people, sick people, addicted people, abused people, poor people, and mentally ill people. Most of them truly believe. They hope for so much, they know they are lower than the Real Witness but they believe as a Real Witness. They want to believe in the "new world" because it will cure them of their problems. Eventually they are rejected and shunned. Witnesses will only put up with the Misfit's problems for so long, after that, they expect a "faith " healing.
13. Real Witness.
They believe the Society is writing for God. They believe everything always, and gladly sacrifice security and comfort for the group. They shun their parents and their children without even thinking. Change in doctrine or failed predictions will have absolutely no effect on this class. Few of this class ever leave the group.
Gary, I didn't see it...maybe I missed it, but you didn't have a spot for the fanatic witness. They are the ones, who are similar to the "religious witness" but many times with other factors. These immerse their whole lives into their religion. If JW's had suicide bombers, these would be the ones standing in line to strap on those C-4 vests. These folks are so out there that even the "real witnesses" hold them at arm's length, though citing their zeal when it meets their ends. The fanatic also usually has a skewed vision of reality and of their JW teachings, thus the reason for being kept at arms length. They usually are of poor means and poorer education. They almost always have serious mental health issues in their lives and leave a trail of hurt in their wake. They take the shunning to such an extreme that the next step for them is to stand on the street corner screaming at passing cars to "repent for the end is near." These ones long for the good ol' days of the in your face religion of Russell and Ruthorford when you could call a serpent a serpent and whacked ideas like pyramidology and Beth Sarem were looked upon with favor by the elite.
Dawg, Do you mean those who take the hard line even when the softer line is in their best interest? They shun quicker and meaner? They seem to like the idea of Armageddon and seeing 6 billion dead people? They are critical of the Power Witness because they are not tough enough?
I am fascinated by this type. Can you add more? Thanks, GaryB
I think that this type falls somewhere between the Real Witness, the Religious Addict, and the Misfit. I see elements of all 3 in this class. Many of them believe all the way down the line the whole ball of malarky. These are the "brown shirts" for the rise of power of the WTS. It was this class that came to assemblies with axe handles to handle the Catholic action groups that were sent to oppose and attack the witnesses in the early days. I think that those who are religious addicts, those bright burning stars...though short lived...if they have staying power, become these zealots. Many of these also fall into the misfit category. They cause too many waves for very many to be comfortable around them. They ususally have very odd personality quirks. If one of these is DF'd they will do all they can to come back, but not as your typical "reinstated". They bang their head against the wall repeatedly. If they get kicked out, they are more likely to be the type to go start their own group, closely modeled on the whole JW scheme, but with tougher rules. They are the ones who will be booted for "running ahead of the organization" They feel that they know better than the FDS and aren't afraid to spout their personal opinions either. If this sort goes away, is booted, or just plain die...people go through the motions, talking about how zealous they were, but secretly, they are glad this one is gone.
I fall into the 9/4 category, started as a child witness and was a hostage all my teenage years, until I broke free at 20.
How about the "it has to be true witness", this is where my family falls into, they see the problems, agree with me, but have wasted there whole life in it (i'm the youngest), and couldn't leave if they wanted to, because "it has to be true." Live in denial, and can't accept that maybe, just maybe they made a mistake. So instead they will go to their grave believing "it has to be true!"
And then the "obligated witness", who goes just to keep family peace, doesn't want to rock the boat,doesn't really pay attention, picks up a few points each year, but really has no interest.
oh btw gary, great post!
and the "can't function witness", they know deep in their heart, that if they left, they could not function in the real world. So they stay and do all they can regardless of right or wrong.