Eavesdropping on a home Bible Study

by doubtfull1799 10 Replies latest jw experiences

  • doubtfull1799

    My MIL held a Bible Study round to our place today and I was home so was interested to listen in from the next room to see what the quality of the study was like. And whether the new CLAM meetings are helping JW’s to be better teachers at all.


    Conductor 1 (C1) - my 84 year old MIL (who I do love by the way, not trying to pay her out because she’s my MIL)

    Conductor 2 (C2)

    Student 1 - a lady that has been studying for years and has finished the Bible Teach Book

    Student 2 - a new lady just starting her study that is friends of Student 1

    Cameo - C2’s young son

    Time: 90 mins


    First half hour - coffee and chit chat

    Prayer - neither my MIL who was conducting the study or the sister who prayed wore a head covering despite me being in the house. Apparently the headship principle doesn’t apply any more when the man is not going to meetings. Of course that’s not what the official policy is, but who cares right?

    10 mins - more general chit chat about how miserable life is, then watched video of children signing kingdom song because…. well isn’t it cute? And don’t we have a wonderful hope? And doesn’t watching children sing make you even more emotional about how all your problems are going to be solved?

    10 mins - discussing which book they’re studying and where they’re up to, getting their iPads organised

    10 mins - C1 describes her experience growing up Presbyterian and bags them out for never having taught her anything at Sunday school except to learn scriptures - so she decided to study with JW’s along with her parents. She was only 11 years old at the time but apparently this immense life experience already provided her with all the information she needed to know that “NO OTHER religion in the world teaches you how you can be God’s friend, or teach you anything for that matter - they only read scriptures, they don’t explain them.” (Not wanting to defend any religion here, but just maybe the Presbyterians are wise enough to know that children shouldn’t be indoctrinated too much before they are even a teenager and thought Gods’ word could speak for itself)

    So were more than 30 mins into the study proper and they finally read the first paragraph. They read first few paragraphs and just share more testimonials. They agree on how hard the Bible is to understand and how miserable life is again. Student 1 goes on about how her Bible study has changed her life (but not to the extent that she can give up smoking apparently - see below)

    C1 explains that she is still learning new stuff about the Bible in her 80’s (what exactly? It’s not like they’re teaching anything new at the meeting, so I’m not sure where she is learning this stuff!)

    Then they waffle on for another 10 mins about how learning about the Bible doesn’t help with problems, it just helps you cope with them. C1 explains all the trouble in her life and how the Bible helps her cope. This is a woman who pops a valium every day, and freaks out if she doesn’t get them. Medication helps her cope, not God.

    After reading paragraph 4 on how people question how a loving god permits suffering the iPad jams and they fuss over that for a while. Then more personal testimonials about how much they cried learning about the reasons for God permitting suffering, then off on a sidetrack as Student 1 expressed their struggle with cigarettes and how they feel like the worst person in the world.

    They discussed “how can we be sure that god is not responsible?” Answer: “just trust us, he isn’t, because he says he isn’t.”

    Then the study was interrupted because one of the conductors children was dropped off.

    General Comments:

    Conductors keep explaining what they like abut the scriptures read instead of asking questions to sound out the students understanding.

    Students just keep reaffirming how life changing they feel it is learning about the bible (when they haven’t learnt anything yet!) Very little of substance was actually discussed.

    Conductors asked student about illustrations used. Student doesn’t get them so conductors read them agains and explains them instead and still have no idea if student gets it.

    Student expressed what a mess their life is (JW prey on the vulnerable) and the advice? Keep praying. Though they just discussed earlier that God doesn’t actually do anything to help you.

    Other student has been studying for over 3 years and still can’t quit smoking - Is God powerless to help?

    So what did the new student learn?

    1. People ask questions

    2. People have problems (this was what they spent 90% of their time on and I’m sure the student new this before she came)

    3. Problems don’t go away just because you pray about them

    4. The Bible gives you answers and hope.

    5. Gods got a good reason for letting you suffer - just trust us on that one for now, we’ll give you the reason months from now in chapter 11 after you’re sufficiently emotionally invested to accept the reason and not question it.

    Don’t worry, be happy!

  • Crazyguy

    Typical female chit chat when your in the Borg.

  • zeb

    and chit chat with the magnitude of a snow fake and the depth of paint.

  • Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho
    Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho

    You know, I've also listened in to my parents chat with their Bible studies and it has made my skin crawl; the use of manipulation and constant push, push, push to come to the meetings in order to make "real" friends...

    You can almost see it happening - these study conductors are nothing but tiny cogs in the Watchtower machine, greasing up these new nuts and bolts with fake love, so as to make the GB's machination run more smoothly.

    More bums in seats = more potential converts = more donations = more families destroyed.

  • Phoebe

    I got invited to sit in on a study a couple of years ago and every time the student raised an issue she didn't understand for example: 'I don't believe there is a devil.' She was told to 'put it on a shelf in her mind and we'll come back to it.'

    I don't think they ever went back to that shelf.

  • Giordano

    Lets face it.....this is a Tupperware religion. It's a life time sales pitch and recruiting pyramid scheme that this religion can really help with all of your problems.

    Lets review: The JW god really wants to help you stop smoking. This is a god that has the time and inclination to count every hair on your head. He, She or It is always close by ready to step in and help out........that twenty dollar bill you find......... just when you needed it the most (so you can buy a few more packs of smokes) to finding your lost keys so you can drive to the store to buy said smokes.

    The JW's have in fact reduced their god Jehovah to a backyard God or Dog for those people who are dyslexic. Always happy to see you but unable to speak or tell time. So nothing ever gets done. God's silence allows for a vast pantheon of bad translations and chronic misinformation.

  • steve2

    “...reduced to a Tupperware religion...”

    well said, Giordano! 👏👏👏👏👏

    I personally couldn’t bear to eavesdrop on a JW Bible study - I’d end up tearing my hair out and the urge to comment/question would be overwhelming.

    BTW, the OP beautifully illustrates how your rank and file JWs are actively complicit in cult-methods of indoctrination. Little wonder that JWs cannot “See” theirs is a cult because they are so enmeshed in its methods.

  • Alive!

    I would warn any person who is studying with JWs to be aware and on guard.

    There is no doubt that there are kind-hearted, well meaning folk who are groomed as Jehovah's Witnesses....and this can be quite disarming.

    JWs are trained to look interested in 'you', and in many ways they are....but 'you' are actually a target, a desirable target....a JW will easily lose sight of 'you' as 'you' become a 'study' ....and please be aware, they will not be truthful in a 100% transparent way. Not in the way you'd expect when examining matters of such extraordinary significance and importance.

    I don't say this to be unkind, but witnesses don't even realise they are actually fudging the 'truth' - every nerve in their being is bent towards making 'you' a Jehovahs Witness.

    The faithful JW DOES love Jehovah, as they would prefer to call the Father, but the call to be shaped as a JW styled believer and be part of that community trumps all other considerations or realities.

    So, just tread carefully, if you are reading.

    If you seek God, please be aware, that surely if He exists, He is more then capable of being found without the use of half truths and silly and misleading interpretations of ancient writings.

    I'm just writing this for those who want God, but may be walking towards a entrapped situation which they could later find painful and life endangering, emotionally and materially.

  • sparrowdown

    Jws are deceived deceivers.

  • stuckinarut2

    Wow! Great post Doubtful1799! How sad...

    I also heard an interesting thing a few days back from my VERY IN father. He has been studying with a man for several years now who according to my father "Is not rightly disposed, and is not progressing in his study because he asks too many questions".

    So I asked "will you still keep studying with him?"

    The response?

    "Well, bro____ who accompanies me on the study is short on hours at the moment, so we will keep the study going for now"

    I couldn't believe what I heard!

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