How would you explain jws to a non-jw?

by Gadget 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • yxl1
    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.

    That is exactly what I do, whenever I get the chance.

  • tinkerbell82

    i've never been able to quite capture the experience of growing up as a JW to anyone who's never been a JW. it's just too foreign to anything that could be described as a normal life. i think it might be one of those things you have to experience in order to really comprehend it.

  • SixofNine

    It's like Mormons on bad steroids.

  • Frannie Banannie
    Frannie Banannie

    LOL, Son! That's even better than "Steppfords"...kudos to ya!

    Frannie B

  • anglise

    Its like having an abusive high control parent with multiple personalities. One whom you love and totally trust.

    That parent only loves you for as long as you are under their control and dont ever question or even dare to think of disobeying no matter how bizarre the rules that you have to live by.

    If you are bought up with these rules and dont ever question then you will believe they are the best way to live and even please the creator. T o step outside these rules means you come under attack from the demons. It also "proves" to your parent that you dont love them and therefore they will have nothing to do with you. You become as dead to them. Worse than that you died doing something evil beyond belief. You are never spoken about or mentioned. To all intents and purposes you never existed.

    This control is there and total no matter your age or abilities.

    This parent can appear very loving and caring to the outside world but only you from inside the emotional prison of the family circle can feel and see the abuse.

    If you come to know these rules as an adult it is learnt through gradulism.

    No one ever really tells the truth about DF or DA and its repercussions. No one tells you that you cant just change your mind and still be friends with people you have maybe learnt to know and love for 5, 10, 20 or more years. You too become as dead to them. Worse than that you died doing something evil beyond belief. You are never spoken about or mentioned. To all intents and purposes you never existed.


  • Panda

    This is a question we all need to answer. All of the replies here are terrific and actually help me form ways to explain what the jws have done to millions of people.

    Whenever a non-jw friend remarks that "If you spent as much time searching for the truth of the bible as you do debunking said book then you wouldn't be a secularist." I explain that as jws we read through the bible at least once a year. Then I explain about 5 meetings a week, personal/family watchtower study, pioneer school, assemblies, field service, etc. There is no time to make friends. There is only time to criticize your sisters and brothers for not living up to WTS rules. Heck, not enough bible study?

    Then I look at my friend and realize that my tone of voice probably told her more than my words.

  • earthdreamer

    Can we add to that the following:

    If the family and friends are still "in", they suffer the knowledge as they know it that Armageddon is coming soon and we will be destroyed.

    The parents are in total denial to all of the above statements.

    The circle just goes around and around. Who really should we feel sorry for the most? Seems to me that everyone is a victim in one way or another. Course from where I'm sitting - I feel sorry the most for me. Why? Because not only have I suffered the physical abuse from my mother, the mental abuse from all, but the heart ache from knowing that the parents I love so much will never understand how much of a victim they are as well. And I know that I am not alone in all of those things.

    Being a 4th generation JW, you can imagine the abuse that just kept being handed down. Sad part of it is that they just don't get it.

  • Baucis

    I would say that it is a totalitarian religion or a high control movement, which is very insidious. You do not begin to realize this until after you have been baptized. You slowly begin to understand that they do not tolerate a difference of opinion, that if you do not wish to participate in all of their much bragged about 5 mieetings week, engage in at least 10 hours a month of "preaching", you are ostracized, that although love is the foundation of Christianity as taught by Jesus, it is only given lip service, it is not actually practiced. You stay with them because you love God and want to do what is right but then you reach your boiling point and leave, or are disfellowshipped.


  • anglise

    Welcome to the board Baucis.

    Lots here will agree with your comments.

    You sound as though your boiling point has been reached.

    Look forward to hearing your story when you feel able to post.


  • AnnOMaly

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

    That's funny! One of my favorite movies. It particularly applies to those families where the brother has recently been appointed as an elder.

    They often become 'pod people'!

    You can't really describe it. You just have to BE there.

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