A couple of weeks ago I started an irritable thread about the girl at work who gave out my home phone number -- from the firm's confidential internal phone list -- to an old friend I hadn't talked to in about 20 years. I smelled a set-up and made a stink at work about it. As far as I know, she was "talked to" and the subject was briefly mentioned at a staff meeting that I missed due to being out of town.
Well, I thought about it for a few days and decided to give the old friend a call anyway. I decided I had nothing to fear or hide from, and I also decided that I would tell her EVERYTHING that had happened that made me stop going to meetings. That's exactly what I did, and it blew her away. Not once in the conversation did I get an admonition to go back to meetings and, to give her credit, very few canned responses. In fact, I think it took her about 2/3 of the conversation before she realized that I wasn't going to meetings anymore. When she asked me, in tones of great concern, after I told her why we weren't going to meetings anymore, "And how are you and the family doing now?" I said with pride, "Absolutely wonderful. We have less stress, more time for each other, and a sense of happiness that our best is good enough for Jehovah."
I think I gave her a headache, but I also hope that I gave her something to think about. I've decided to do that with every old friend or other Witness who comes my way and wants to "encourage" me back to meetings. After all, if I can't give a friend the benefit of my experiences, then I wouldn't be a very good friend to them.
Also, yesterday I received a beautiful, 4-page letter from Ray Franz in answer to a letter I sent to him. I was curious about a few things that took place down in the Caribbean when I lived there, and I thought he might be familiar with them. (He was.) I also enclosed a copy of the letter I sent to the elders about my dad's suicide. All I can say is, if I'd received a letter like his from the Society, I'd have thought twice about leaving the Borg. It was warm, encouraging, extremely intelligent, and very caring.
I thought about posting the letter, but I didn't want to do that without his permission. However, I'll quote what he did from the book "The Myth of Certainty" by university professor Daniel Taylor, because I found it really interesting:
The primary goal of all institutions and subcultures is self-preservation. Preserving the faith is central to God's plan foir human history; preserving particular religious institutions is not. Do not expect those who run the institutions to be sensitive to the difference. God needs no particular person, church, denomination, creed or organization to accomplish his purpose. He wil make use of those, in all their diversity, who are ready to be used, but will leave to themselves those who labor for their own ends.
Nonetheless, questioning the institutions is synonymous, for many, with attacking God -- something not long to be tolerated. Supposedly they are protecting God . . . . Actually, they are protecting themselves, their view of the world, and their sense of security. The religious institution has given them meaning, a sense of purpose, and, in some cases, careers. Anyone perceived as a threat to these things is a threat indeed.
This threat is often met, or suppressed even before it arises, with power . . . . Institutions express their power most clearly by enunciating, interpreting and enforcing the rules of the subculture.
So let's get out there and be a threat, people! Tell it like it is! Obviously we will never succeed in "destroying" the Borg because there will always be people willing and eager to support a rule-driven institution. But we can tell our stories to whoever will listen -- we can TELL THE TRUTH -- and just maybe help a few people along the way.