by Incognigo Montoya 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Incognigo Montoya
    Incognigo Montoya

    In reading through many posts over the last few months, I have started to form a viewpoint towards at least some of those witnesses/witness families, who are abusive and overzealous in their thinking.

    Arguably, many, if not all here, would say all pimi witnesses are overzealous in their thinking, but I sort of disagree with that. Without revealing too much about myself, my parents who are still in (father long time elder, mother regular pioneer), I consider stable and balanced in their views. While I was shunned to a degree, after being disfellowshipped (They didn't go out to dinner or the movies with me or socialize with me publicly or very often privately, they didn't attend my wedding) they still spoke to me on the phone every few months, as I checked in on them and let them know I was doing alright (I moved out of state in my late teens). I would stop in and see them once a year or so, when I was coming through. While at times there was a slight bit of tension in the air, they were always loving to me. We spoke at length about what was going on in my life and what was going on in theirs, as well as my siblings lives. They took a genuine interest in me and what I was doing in my life, secularly, and personally. Once, my father hugged me tightly and through misty eyes, told me how proud he was of me.

    ....anyway, getting too personal now. Point is, though I knew our relationship was strained and had boundaries. I never felt unloved, or that they wouldn't be there for me if and when I needed them. In fact I know, because they were there for me in a moment of crisis, despite my being df'd.

    My family wasnt dysfunctional. I know them to be reasonable, loving, people. Now, I also know if I were to start pointing out negative things about witnesses, and their beliefs, or saying hateful things in regard to the organization, they would most likely cease communicating with me, though, once again, I still believe if my life were in crisis, they would be there for me.

    My experience differs from many experiences that others have related here, and on podcasts/YouTube. I can understand, given those experiences, why some are very angry. I would be too, in their shoes. But I can't discount how much of their bad childhood was due to a dysfunctional family dynamic, that would've still been bad, had their parents not been witnesses. Don't get me wrong, the fundamentalist ideals of the JW seem to draw dysfunctional people to their ranks. But then again, so do other fundamentalist ideologies. Which is where I come up with Dysfunctamentalism.

    I think there are a lot of good people who were/are drawn into, or trapped (born into) the JW cult. But It would seem that there are a number of dysfunctional individuals who've used the cults idealogies to thrive and perpetuate their already maladjusted mentality. Those born into it, or juveniles pulled into it by their parents, are then sucked into a perfect storm of dysfunction and fundamentalism, coming out the other side, damaged to whatever degree that volatile mixture bore out.

    For someone like me, it was difficult to recognize that. I wasn't abused. I knew no one who was abused (though I'm aware now that I very well could have, and just never realized it). To hear these stories, they seem impossible, unbelievable. Yet, they are real. Many bad, some horrific, all inexcusable.

    So then, to what degree does dysfunction play in a familys outcome, and what degree does the cult play?

  • Xanthippe
    But I can't discount how much of their bad childhood was due to a dysfunctional family dynamic, that would'vje still been bad, had their parents not been witnesses.

    Yes I have said this myself on the forum. My family was dysfunctional because my mother lost her brother in WWll and never got over it. Her father never got over losing his son and became a violent alcoholic.

    She married too soon to get away from her dysfunctional family and then as an unhappily married woman she was vulnerable to the JWs calling and love bombing her.

    However, the point is if that cult had not existed and she hadn't been scooped up by it how would our family have continued? She went along to the KH because she was a lonely young mother who'd just moved to a new area and didn't know the people in the new Anglican Church and the JWs, she said, invited her to their church but the local vicar didn't call and invite her to his.

    Now she was raised an Anglican and was very involved in the local church. So I think if that cult hadn't existed she would eventually, possibly when her baby and toddler were older, have attended the new church and I would have been brought up in mainstream Christianity and been able to choose my future belief system as I grew up.

    My family would have still been dysfunctional, my parents were never happy but the difference is I wouldn't have had my life ruined by a cult. That's the difference.

  • Simon

    I agree and have gotten flak for saying something similar.

    People want to blame the WTS for all the dysfunction in their lives and especially in their family.

    Some people would still have dysfunctional families if they weren't JWs, just for some other reasons. They may be drawn to JWism precisely because it allows them to act out their dysfunctions. Does the WTS cause dysfunction or attract those prone to it? Probably some of each but often the people who have the most dysfunctional JW families seem to be far past what most would consider to be normal balanced JWs even.

    I've seen other people that have dysfunctional lives and families, nothing at all to do with JWs, and it's like they are drawn to drama like a candle to a flame. It seems like living a sensible stress free life would be easier to do but they manage to mess up over and over always lurching from one dramatic episode to another.

    There aren't that many families that don't have some issues, but exJWs often seem desperate to blame the WTS for any and all that they have experienced.

    Growing up is learning to blame outside influences less and look at yourself and your own choices more.

  • OneGenTwoGroups

    Becoming a JW many times just adds insult to injury.

    I know a single (long time) pioneer that became a Witness while finishing up her bachelor's degree at Berkley.

    She's been miserable ever since.

    It appears that she thinks she's happy, but she exudes misery and loneliness.

  • Vidiot
    Simon - "...They may be drawn to JWism precisely because it allows them to act out their dysfunctions..."


  • kh_pri

    I used to think like you (v similar circumstances, including degree of communication after disfellowshipping). I don’t think that any more. I can now see in retrospect just how much dysfunction there was. Just how much there has to be for them even to stop going to the movies with you! I realised I was still mentally in, emotionally rather, even though I didn’t believe their doctrines any more. I don’t know how long you’ve been out but maybe take out a Watchtower and look at that title and logo - how does it make you feel? I did that recently for the first time in 18 yrs and it was instructive to say the least... A good pychotherapist was also really helpful for me. She could see patterns in my thoughts and behaviour (common to other ex-cult members) that I hadn’t noticed. Anyway, good luck and I hope your situation gets clearer for you.

  • stillin

    Good thinking, kh_pri. And nice to hear your voice. Welcome!

    I hope that the "balance" that can be found in some of the Witness families will eventually become the prevailing thing. Just when it seems like there is more of a wholesome feel, that they have become slightly less judgemental or rabid, wham! the cult thinking kicks back in on them with some article or broadcast statement. And I realize that they are being led around like a bunch of zombies.

    Some people have boundaries, though, and I hope that their reasonableness will be contagious.

    I mean, there's nothing actually WRONG with petting tigers.

  • Incognigo Montoya
    Incognigo Montoya

    I appreciate your input and thoughts, kh_pri. Dont get me wrong, I agree, it's not a normal thing to shun a child. Not attending my wedding hurt, even though I played it off and moved on. I am not one to harbor resentment. Shit happens, I move on. A great many out there in the world have had it far, far worse than me.

    My parents have my respect though, because of the people they are. Even though they are faithful witnesses, they are also independent, pro active, and logical. My father found a way to not only provide for his family, but also planned for a future, in case the end didn't come before retirement. He and my mother live comfortably well on his income since his retirement. He did this while working a part time job, so he had time to devote to us, his family, and to his responsibilities as a jw. We never had a lot, but we never were without. We took family vacations at least once a year (and quite often more than once or even twice a year) that weren't tied into a convention, or other JW activities, (though on sundays we would consider the wt together). We always had plenty. It wasnt usually new, or the latest thing, but it was always good. Their love, balanced view. and frugality gave us a great upbringing that as an adult, I can appreciate. I dont want to say much more, or get too specific, but compared to some of the things I've seen and heard, my folks were as balanced as a witness in good standing could be.

    Now, that said, after having gotten reinstated, and attending some conventions, saw changes, and the org tightening their grasp on the r&f. I was at the 2016 convention and saw the drama where the mother tearfully ignored her disfellowshipped daughters texts and phone calls. My immediate thoughts were, how horrible that mother would feel if that text was her daughters last plea for help. It wasnt loving, and was in fact horrible to think about. I knew I could never do that to my own children, FOR ANY REASON. As much as I loved my parents, and as balanced as I knew them to be, I know there is a line, if crossed, where they would completely shun me. This is exactly why I use my alias, and am careful about what i say, even here. I get disagreeing with your child, even disapproving of their actions or lifestyle. I can even understand a parent being disgusted by their childs actions, and hating who their child has become. But I cannot understand not being there for them. Not showing them love, regardless of their actions. It might have to be tough love, but attention is love, none the less. To deprive ones own child of love and attention is inhuman.

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    What is the standard we must use to measure dysfunctional? I'm not being cheeky here. Every family has its quirks, even the most functional. I assume functional goes beyond providing food, clothing and housing for a family. There are emotional needs. In as much as all people have emotional scars, there is always emotional dysfunction on some level. A lack of demonstrable love, an excess of the same, can destroy an ability to function in society. By that measure we don't need WT rules to act as a magnifier of said personal flaws. I agree that WT attracts such instabilities by offering a framework for emotional sterility.

  • Xanthippe

    It's a deeper subject than it appears. My post asks the question what if that cult didn't exist? What if they hadn't scooped up my mother and love bombed her when she was vulnerable because of her dysfunctional family?

    Why do cults exist and attract dysfunctional people? There's always religion where there is poverty. There was a lot of poverty in the nineteenth century. It's arguably what led up to WWl. That's when Russell got going and he used the war to fit it into his nonsense prophecies.

    The whole fundamentalist cult thing, IMO, is often tied in with poverty, war and misery. That will make anyone dysfunctional.

Share this