Honestly, Did Jehovah's Witnesses Do Anything POSITIVE For You?
I guess the many marriage break ups, children lost to lives of prostitution and drug addiction, plus life long abandonment of support by their 'parents' and the suicides ( four amongst four different families) all in our KH would make my personal list of "positives" seem somewhat superficial in the face of so much personal tragedy.....
Lack of love. That was the problem.
I encountered many brothers that looked down at me because my father was not as active as they desired. My mother forced him to baptize while he doubted many things. My father never opened up to the brothers about his doubts, until we were all grown up and out of the house. So I seemed to never be good enough, and by the time I was being considered for Ministerial Servitude, I realized that many things were man made bullshit. I developed a lower self esteem but eventually grew to give a shit and started believing in myself. I knew that I wanted to get a higher education and not be a slave like many of these older men in the congregation. The only brothers that were nice to me were brothers that were obviously gay in suppression or hiding. So the only thing I took away is to be aware and cautious of all people, including witnesses. I will say, there are many good natured followers in there, so sad many of these did not get a higher education.
Yes. I'm the best excuse maker in the world. I can justify just about anything. I can twist logic and facts to suit my needs. I can lie like the best of them (Is Hillary Clinton a JW?) I can smile in your face and stab you in your back (a JW specialty!) You know, useful things like that. Thank you Jehovah!
I learned to hate in an unhealthy way.
All very insightful.👍
I would not have met my spouse and had 2 great kids together. Only thing I can think of.
My story growing up in this cult has made me a not very trusting person. I can make friends but I always expect people to let me down. I am working on that one.
I feel like this question is the equivalent of being kidnapped and reasoning, "well, all of those months spent chained in that basement did teach me to be OK with being all alone."
Or saying "well, my captor did give me water to drink and food to eat, so that was nice, right?"
The organization gets no credit whatsoever for any positives that might have coincidentally resulted from their abusive, narcissistic environment.
Any positives one can derive came, not from the organization, but from our fellow captives. Sadly, many of the negatives come from the Stockholm syndrome mentalities of our fellow captives as well.
What DubStepped said.
It was a deterrent that probably protected me from getting involved in some dangerous/risky/unwise behaviors.
I did enough of that kind of thing even with the deterrent.
As others have mentioned, there's a lot more to this type of question than might meet the eye.
"Did being in prison do anything positive for you?" "Yes, it provided me three square meals a day."
Obviously, there's more to it than that.
There were some positive aspects of being raised a JW. My family fit the demographic profile of most recently-converted JWs in Texas: recent immigrants, lonely, poorly-educated, naive. We lived in a gang-infested area of town. My mom took the JW teachings to heart and became a Nazi about my not having friendships with "worldly" kids.
It's possible I would have otherwise gotten caught up in the wrong crowd and made some mistakes that would have permanently affected the trajectory of my life (criminal activity, getting a girl pregnant in my teens, etc.). It's impossible to know for certain.
Better questions to ask, though, are: On balance was the JW experience a positive one or a negative one? Might my parents have found more productive ways to insulate me from the dangers of growing up poor?
The fact that there might have been some positive aspects to JW life doesn't tell us much in and of itself.