I saw my niece last night and she told my wife, daughter and me that since she's been reinstated, she's only gone to a few meetings and part of a Special Assembly day. She complained how everyone still avoids her and how people just aren't nice in the "truth". She's totally bored at the meetings and doesn't want to go out in service ever again. When I asked WHY she was going to meetings, especially after she was being snubbed and made to feel so depressed afterward, she said she is only going every once in a while and if she doesn't have something else to do, she might attend. When I asked her again WHY she still kept going, her reply was, "I do it to make my mother and father happy". She said even her "worldly" husband thinks it's good for her to go at times to meetings so that she can sit and be with her parents (whom she loves)........So, as much as she detests going to meetings and sharing in JW activity, she'll still halfheartedly be present for all the wrong reasons........Interestingly, she made friends with another young woman at this assembly that also just got reinstated and told her that she felt that nobody liked her and everybody still avoided her! It made my niece realize that her treatment by the elders and "friends" was not unique. Other reinstated ones suffer in the exact same way........You gotta wonder is it really worth it for them
My Reinstated Niece Says She Goes To Meetings To Make Her Parents Happy
I think the vast majority of young ones who still attend these days do so for two reasons, to make their parents happy and to keep in contact with their JW circle of friends. I think the deep convictions and beliefs that witnesses once had are fast disappearing. 40 years ago people went because they truly believed it was the 'truth'. From what I've seen recently it's getting more and more a matter of token attendance to keep parents happy.
Well said, City Fan. Let's say we see the Watchtower boast more growth in the next service year, can anyone rightly think that this "growth" is genuine, real, without other motivations? The Watchtower Society and Jehovah's Witnesses have lost their punch. They may exist for another 100 years but they are around now, mostly on paper, not in hearts.
I can fully understand why someone would attend meetings to keep family happy - but it isn't right! One has a duty to oneself, to be true to oneself. I strongly believe the more people who get out and STAY out the better.
The organisation was already crumbling, but now great chunks of brick are falling to the ground. Judging by my old congregation, all the Borg will have left soon is a bunch of oldies who have nowhere else to go (or so they think), a few die-hards (especially those who like position), and some youngsters who are just waiting for their 18th birthday so that they can take control of their own lives and bid 'adios'!
I saw that kind of treatment firsthand after Dad got reinstated. Here's a guy who was an elder for 40 years, knew more about the Bible than the entire body of elders put together, and he was treated like dirt. Minimus, please give your niece a hug from me and tell her I understand.
I think I had it easier than most when I left: the only two JW relatives I had left -- my mom and dad -- were gone mentally (Alzheimer's) and disfellowshipped. By the time Dad got reinstated he was used to the idea that I wasn't going back and he was okay, even sometimes envious, of that. If Mom was still in good mental health, it would have been a lot harder for me to leave. She would have used every guilt trip in the book (and she had a BIG book) and I probably would have gone periodically just to shut her up -- um, keep her happy. As it is, no one noticed I left, which is great! My JW friends that are still around for me take me as I am -- the others weren't real friends and I don't miss them.
The Witnesses have lost their "special-ness" and are just another two-bit fundamentalist religion that will limp along, probably morph into something else in another 50 years, and eventually fade out.
So sorry to hear that. Maybe she can do a fade eventually and her parents will accept it. It will take time but she will eventually figure it all out. It is a long painstaking process, but we all eventually get away. I can't say much, though, I still go to one meeting every other week so my parents and my good friend in another city will still be happy with me. When you love somebody so much you hate to disappoint them.
I guess things are different in different areas though, because the bro and sis in our cong. run up and hug somebody after they are reinstated and take a special interest in them. It is so hypocritical. They don't speak to somebody until an announcement is made, but this person had to have straightened up their life in the first place to have the announcement made, but even though they were following the JW religion to a T for 3-6 months, no one can speak to them until the announcement is made. Bunch of friggin hypocrits. Sorry went off on a rant there.
Just let your niece know You and your family are there for her when she needs you. I hope all goes well and she is able to be happy again.
She won't be going to her meetings very long, since she has no appetite for it.
Oh, you know why I answer your questions Minimus? It's just to make you happy.
I know of one girl who only goes to meetings and remains a witness because her grandmother buys her clothes and other things. None of the other grandchildren, who are not JW's, get anything from her. (You can imagine the bitterness this has caused between the siblings) So she is essentially being bribed to be a witness. I wonder how many others are in for similar reasons.
The last few years at assembles, it seems the vast majority of people getting baptized are raised in JW families, and probably feel forced into it. I've seen so many leave once they reach 18 or so. The few I have seen reinstated never became 'zealous' witnesses. They seem to come back only to restore family ties, and then slowly become inactive again.
I think once many older witnesses die off we'll see the org decrease at a much greater rate, except perhaps in poorer countries where access to the internet and information may not be as readily accessible.
That is, unless they come up with some better lies with which to mislead people.
For many years, the society complained about how Christendom's churches were filled with "nominal" members, whereas they, as the true religion, had dedicated, devoted members.
Well, it looks like they are now a full member of Christendom.
I too have seen some who get reinstated still being avoided, unless they were hugely popular before. If it was a teenager with a big circle of friends, I have seen them back accepted. It seems to be the older crowd that tends to shun still.
I also agree that to a very large extent nowadays, that "the truth" is not in peoples hearts, they are simply going to the meetings, going through the motions. It cannot last forever that way.