How would you explain jws to a non-jw?

by Gadget 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • Gadget

    In the past, when I've been talking about being a witness they haven't really understood just how much of an impact it has on your life unless they've been one too. Whats the best way to explain it to someone who has never been a witness and had little contact with them? I'm more thinking of how much control there is over your life, and the reason why a lot of witnesses feel down and suffer from depression, ect.


  • Confucious


    At first, I was thinking about an analogy of a bad parent.

    But that's not as an effective example.

    The better analogy would be that of a sham marriage.

    You date, you get engaged.

    Then you get married.

    But along the way, you find out that your wife never loved you.

    In fact, not only that - but she has been using you for your money all along.

    Since the begining, she married you and has been stealing your money and funneling into her boyfriend.

    See our pain now???

    See how difficult this is to accept???

    Here you gave your life and blood to this marriage - and it was a sham all along.

    The ones that stay in the borg, are no different than the ones refuse to see the truth.

    The ones that do see - are devistated.


  • TheSilence

    Do you remember when you were a kid and you were terrified of monsters in the dark? You know, the age when you were old enough to know better... but they still terrified you? And you would lay in bed afraid that they might be coming for you, afraid of what they would do to you. That's what the fear is like, the fear that God will kill you for not following the rules. You can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it makes no sense and still it terrifies you. The only difference is my dad told me that my demons were real, he didn't check under the bed and make them go away.


  • qwerty


    I was thinking about explaining my JW background to my team manager. He had been saying how we see outward appearances and see colleagues only from a work prospective, that we can be surprised at some of the thing we are involved with in our personnel lives. For example one of my team members is a Satanist!

    I decided not to try and explain, because of having the same question you asked in the subject line.


  • yxl1

    I’ve never thought this was an issue. I always make a point of explaining what life was like as a Dub. Start from the beginning. Explain what it was like as a child not to have birthdays. Explain what it was like having to watch the other kids through your bedroom window playing with their new toys on Xmas morning. Explain how you were excluded from school assemblies and had to be marched out in front of the entire school. Explain how it felt to be excluded from ANY extra-curricular activities regardless of how good or bad you were. Explain how it felt to be told you’re not allowed to represent your county in Athletics. Explain how you were forbidden to have any friends that were not JW. Explain how most of the kids that were JW would spy on you and report things back to the elders. Try and explain the mind numbing meetings. Explain how it felt to watch your friend die slowly because of his mothers refusla to allow him a blood transfusion. Explain the humiliation of door to door work. Explain how elders would interfere with intimate issues…even between married people. Explain how you were not allowed to read ANYTHING other than schoolbooks and JW literature. Explain how it felt to have all your albums,records, comics and books destroyed on the single word of an elder. Explain what it was like with no TV. Explain what it was like to live with a mother who enjoyed “using the rod” daily. Explain what it was like to be disciplined in front of 130 people for nothing more than wearing a black shirt to a meeting. Explain what it was like to be disfellowshiped. Explain how it felt to watch your older sister being dragged out of bed and kicked out of the house in the middle of the night because it was “discovered” that she had a boyfriend that wasn’t a JW. Explain how she it felt when she was diss’ed. Explain how the Elders forbade us to attend her wedding. Explain how it felt to watch your other sister run away from home, to another country because she would rather live rough in a strange land than live at home as a dub. Explain how it felt to have one of the few JWs I liked, walk into an Elders house, cover herself in petrol and set herself alight.

    Explain how it felt to grow up and not have a single friend.

    Whenever I get the chance I tell people what it was like growing up as a JW. In another thread I explained how a lady that I work with was being contacted by some JW neighbours. I took her out to lunch and explained what life would be like for her two children IF she decided to become a JW. She was shocked. She said that they seemed so nice. I explained the “honeymoon” period and that once she was hooked or baptised, she would start experiencing real JW love. After showing her a few personal stories from this site, she has since told the visiting dubs that not only is she not interested in studying with them, that they must never talk to her or her children.

    It’s worth the effort.

  • obiwan

    I have had the same issue with my wife, and when it come down to it, I don't want my wife to understand how I felt and what I was going through. No one deserves that kind of pain. Without a frame of reference there is no way that anyone besides a jw or exjw could know what it is or was like.

    I do try and explane to her the in's and out's, but the only thing she can do is shake her head and wonder why or how I could have been a part of that type of religion. My explanation is, I was raised that way and didn't know any better, I thought it was "normal".

  • Perry

    An association of mostly fearful, uneducated people who threaten the elimination of relationships between family members as a primary control tool for keeping membership.

  • Frannie Banannie
    Frannie Banannie

    Gadget, I can do it in one simple word....think "Steppford"

    Frannie B

  • concerned mama
    concerned mama

    That is an interesting question, Gadget. As a non-JW myself, it is something that I have given a lot of thought to.

    The average person thinks of JWs as kind of weird, but basically good people. JWs are outwardly nice people, who are willing to do some really barbaric things, because the leaders of their religion tell them to.

    To me, it all comes down to mind control and the fact that Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult/high control religious group. Families and friends become hostages. Disobey, and you lose them. Question, and you lose them. Think, and you lose them.

    Please, everyone, take the time to be patient and educate and "vaccinate" the general public, that JWs are not the kind and good people they like to portray themselves as.

  • badolputtytat

    I was about to post this very question. I am taking my wife this weekend to meet my parents for the first time after many years. I have tried to explain it to her, and she listens whole-heartedly....

    I try to tell her that one cannot simply read a scripture to a JW and expect that to get through to them. Nor can you simply say to a JW..."Sorry I have my own religion". I told her how they go to meetings on wed/thurs night and learn how to "comeback" to every answer you give them.

    My wife just doesnt understand the concept of living in the same house with your parents and not being allowed to talk to your little sister, or the fact that I am not welcome to actually come into my parents home.... (we are meeting in a Hotel, so I don't taint the christian home)

    But I had to have a talk with my father, about not bringing up religion on this little weekend venture. Of course I want him to approve of my wife, she is lovely... but she might eat him for breakfast if he suggests that I bring our son into this thing, or even suggests that Christmas is wrong... the wife spends about three-thousand dollars on my son every christmas... she LIVES to see the smile on his face. (yes he is a spoiled "only" child... and I for one am quite happy that he will never know the life I had to live when I was his age)

    Interesting replies here though.

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