Are JWs "mind trained" to be habitual liars?
It's a horrible thing.....my husband has lied in the past on terribly serious matters.
It has impacted on our 35 year old marraige and relationship in so many ways.
In the end it changes you. Living with a partner who lies so easily can make you feel somewhat insane. Believe me!
They don't understand or know the difference I think. Ingrained from child hood There seems to be no conscience involved.
My mother in law ( not a witness) is a shocking example of verbal deceit....I love her anyway, she really tries hard to be a good person. But it's this incredibly childish lying and avoidance....ugh.
And the JWs are immersed in a world of not telling it straight, avoidance, verbal dancing etc.
It's a strange thing.
Yes, they are trained to re-frame situations, articles, rules, bible accounts, their own motives and intentions to the point that to a non-indoctrinated mind it would appear they are either very stupid or very dishonest, when they are actually programmed, programmed to re-frame.
Freedom to have and express thoughts and feelings are not allowed as a witness so what do you do with those normal human functions? You pretend they don't exist and lie if someone catches you with an unapproved thought or feeling.
So much so, that it eventually becomes natural to do so even about stuff that doesn't matter.
Survival as a JW relies upon your ability to suppress and/or reframe any undersirable unapproved thought such as doubt
Because as we all know doubt is the gateway sin to the worst sin ever -apostatsy!
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.I don't see my husband's mother being deceptive on anything but trivial things. His father I doubt would ever deceive. He is aware of and rejects deceptive speak, ( even though he was an adult convert who was an elder for a time) he is out and has stayed out for decades.
When my jw first joined up he lied about the stupidest things!!!!!!! drove me & the kids absolutely crazy. He didn't consider it 'lies', just re-remembering (is that even a thing?) it differently. One of the kids actually started keeping a journal of his lies all to no avail, deny, deny, deny. It was usually about things he said but later claimed he would never say something like that. Don't have those 'jw discussions' and they don't need to lie or as much anyway.
How jw's perceive themselves as the most 'honest' people is beyond me. I don't know anybody outside of jw's that think they are honest especially at the doors when they will flat out lie to your face.
I agree with this 1000%. Once lying is normalised it becomes pervasive in other areas of life, and hard to shake. Even the jw "story telling" that you mentioned often leads other types of more concrete lies - since these " stories" like jw urban legends, they know are not really true yet they continue to peddle them.
As to lying to the General public it's endemic. Even Antony Morris 3rd, when cornered by a reporter asking about the ARC stated he could not talk since he was going to preach the ' good news of the kingdom' *As* he ducked inside a building. A silly lie because it was so obviously untrue. Yet he couldn't help himself. Lying to non jw's is A OK.
This trait of deceit is such a strange thing to find amongst 'the most honest people' in the world....
I do think there is a critical honesty regarding things like stolen goods, finding money etc, being given too much change! most JWs I know would be very honest over these things, avoiding being caught up with anything that smacked of taking something etc.
But when it comes to communication, it's like the JW culture overall fails to act in a truly generous nature of respect where other human beings are deserving of respectful treatment....if that makes sense...in that there are smoke screens, things held back....
And then you see this permeating into the JW population. It's really noticeable.
But then, individuals and groups behave like this everywhere......its just particularly weird amongst people who spend hours studying words and scriptures on being truthful!
Think of the response if someone asks is it a cult , then you will know what qualifies as a lie.
Just rewatch the whole Australian Royal Commission, and see a masterclass in avoidance, mistruths, lies and distraction....
nonjwsoupse - "Are JWs 'mind trained' to be habitual liars?"
To the point where they don't even think they're lying.
Even to themselves.