Are JWs "mind trained" to be habitual liars?
I don't mean overly obvious, or otherwise meaning to cause harm, but taught to lie for the purpose of avoidance. This type of lying can be pervasive in areas of life that are not just to avoid discussions with people who have questions about the JW, etc.
My husband will lie/be deceitful about the silliest, simple things. It causes me no not to trust him. His mother is constantly telling a "story" from how she sees it, I suppose, but sometimes we know the facts and know she lies about things. Not important things really, but it's like a habit.
I have zero tolerance for purposeful lying, especially lying to avoid. I will question my husband until he finally tells the truth about , whatever, then I explain to him that each time he lies, it is that much harder for me to believe what he says. I would hope he could see the damage lying does, but it's almost as if it is an ingrained personality or "training" in him.
Am I correct to believe it is the JW mindset of training people to lie/deceive , such as the way the HQ website, and a study partner lies to non Jws in order to deceive people ( even the JW members themselves ) about the realities of the organization? I know about the theocratic warfare. Is this as ingrained and pervasive in all areas of life as I think it is?
I don't think the rank-and-file JWs consciously deceive.
But they are trained to spin, whitewash, dance around or change the subject, leave certain parts out a person isn't ready for, ect... For instance, if asked, "Are JWs the only ones who will be saved?" They will not give the real answer. Or they might say, "Oh, we are not at your door to convert you, just encourage Bible reading..."
In the end, the effect is the same.
Londo, it is this effect I am speaking of. The deceitfulness is a mind training to the point they feel there isn't anything wrong with it, therefore are not fully conscious they are practicing deceitful, lying behavior. They are able to rationalize it, and believe it is something other than deceitful/lying behavior.
They might well be - the traits you describe in your are, shamefully, my own, after being raised as a JW.
Are JWs "mind trained" to be habitual liars?
They are mind trained, but I don't think that it's for that sole purpose. They are conditioned to accept, believe and therefore, do as the WT sees the suits their purpose. If that purpose is lying, then they will lie. Otherwise, they won't.
scratchme - if person successfully and frequently uses a technique such a deceiving and lying with the effect of avoidance within religious talk, do you feel this could become part of the personality in all areas?
Such as how my husband lies when there is no obvious or important reason to do so, just, avoid the topic, even benign ones.
sir82, I feel it is a subconscious, taught, mind trained, act that crosses over with ease into the conscious area when a person feels the need to avoid. At least, that is what I feel is going on with the few JWs I know personally who were raised JW from birth or young childhood.
In short, yes. I'll agree that JWs either are not consciously aware that they're lying or do mental gymnastics to excuse it. When I was a JW I once questioned a few other JWs about saying "we're not here to convert anyone" when someone answered the door stating that they had their own religion. I couldn't understand how they could say that when we were constantly told the goal of the ministry was to start bible studies and to bring people "into the truth." The answers I got were all cop-outs. I heard "no one can convert anyone, they have to convert themselves." I heard "Oh, I know we're told to help bring people into the truth, but I really do just enjoy talking to people about the bible, so that's why I'm out in service." They lie, then they'll find some excuse for why it's not a lie.
Another thing that will cause them to lie is when they just can't conceive of the truth being true. They'll refuse to acknowledge the truth of something if they realize that the implications of that truth chips away at the foundation of their cult beliefs. It's hard to say that they're lying in this case - they believe they're telling the truth because it simply has to be the truth. But that said, they have the means to realize it's not true, so it definitely feels like a lie to an outside observer.
They are systematically taught to rationalize whatever it is they want to be so.
If they are suddenly confronted by an idea or concept that is new to them or is in direct conflict with what they currently believe, they are adept at finding a way to rationalize away any facts that make them uncomfortable.
I have JW relatives who haven't met their own grandchildren because their grown children left the "truth", yet when confronted, the will tell you that JW's are free to leave the organization without consequences . In their minds, they are telling the truth.
This 'trait' of deceit was something that I noticed from early years of association with witnesses...
It started off as 'avoidance' or twisting of words and reinventing realities...all of which has been mentioned in this thread.
My own husband was not brought up as a JW, but like the OP, he absolutely cannot seem to just 'tell it as it is' - and I don't mean simply embroidering a good story for entertainment value! He chooses avoidance nearly every time, and it can be exhausting as he also has a history of lying about very serious matters.
But I know this is a family trait which developed through a dysfunctional parenting situation...and I should mention, both my husband and his family are relatively 'decent' people. Intensely law-abiding, honest in money matters....but this strange avoidance thing, keeping them 'personally' unattached and a bit of an 'island'....some of the verbal dances they perform are hilarious, if it wasn't also unsettling and uncomfortable 🤔 - one constantly had to readjust expectations when talking about things with them.
I believe JWs have a similar dysfunctional global 'family' upbringing.
So yes, this odd and unsettling deceptive behaviour is ingrained....and often done with a smile and a hug 😆
I learnt how to talk this way myself, in their company...after awhile it became second nature to not directly answer questions about the bible, witnesses etc when around the 'outside' world of people. 😞🤔
If it were always only small unimportant things it would be annoying, but almost tolerable. However, he has lied in serious natters as well, though in his mind he convinces himself those matter not to be serious ( both financial, and personal).
Only when in therapy is he able to be convinced ( but only for a time) that a matter he lied about was serious and very wrong.
That is why I think this training in deception is so very harmful, for everyone involved.