Are JWs "mind trained" to be habitual liars?
It was my observation that JW's relationship with honesty and truthfulness is a little bent......Their religion tells them that lying is withholding the truth from somebody "who is entitled to know"..So, you're on a bad footing right there.
They also spend a lot of time defending the religion when someone made a derogatory remark or an observation that showed it in a bad light. I remember being embarrassed and having to defend it and make excuses. If Witnesses were honest with themselves they would admit the amount of time they spend defending the religion and its beliefs.
I also feel this twisted definition of honesty and truthfulness has turned many JWs into very adept users who wouldn't think twice about defrauding their so-called brothers. They think they are owed a freebie and that nobody would dare sue them. I saw this mentality and wanted nothing to do with them, and this was back when I was a "believer"! Now, I'd run from them.
Remember the born in JWs were raised looking over their shoulders. Even perceptions of misdeeds could result in a JC , reproof, disfellowshiping, marking, humiliation or reflect badly on JWs or your family.
Appearances were the most important thing, not the reality. Most JWs grew up with the "no reproach on Jehovahs or his Org. name"mantra. Can you imagine the pressure it puts on a child? You learn what is appropriate and when. You learn to lead a double life and justify what you do.
You have watched adults all around you say one thing and do another in private.
It becomes second nature, instinctual to always keep good appearances .If you look good, God looks good and your family looks good. Everyone is judging you.
My elder dad, was physically ,emotionly, and sexually abusing us. The worse beating of my life was because he thought i lied to him because i didnt say what he wanted to hear. It didnt matter that we were living a lie. Or that he was having us lie for him.
Most JWs are living some sort of lie. You just caught your JW and refuse to accept his lies. Most of us usually expect it in some way. Iying is the only way to survive
I am curious as to what kind of home life he had. I bet he had to jump hoops to get approval from his parents and everything he did was never good enough.
Most of us have a one time lied about being on this forum , the religion has a word for this theocratic warfare. Get a public debate with the magic seven then you would see the patriarchal top of WT preform the magical art of lying.
They have been trained to lie as a way of making their religion seem less extreme and more moderate. Their trainers have deceived them into thinking that such lying doesn't count as lying but is just the art of being tactful and not giving others the "wrong impression" about JWs.
Their trainers have given them the green light to lie by defining lying as
"withholding truthful information from those who are entitled to it.".
Their very definition of lying is itself a lie designed to justify lying! So JWs will lie to your very face without a twinge of guilt if they tell themselves that you're not entitled to know the ugly truth about some of their controversial practices and teachings like shunning persons who disassociate from the religion.
Depends on how long you were in I guess, but if you're born-in, like me or my brother and I see the same think reflecting in my child that lives with her JW mother, yes, you're told to lie from the beginning, you go to school and surely you don't want to be an outcast so you make up lies why you can't do birthdays and holidays even though you want to do them and that carries over rather quickly in children to all aspects of life.
I'm having huge trouble with my daughter lying about everything, partially because she is forced to lie about EVERYTHING that goes on in KH, JW-life, she isn't allowed to say how she really feels about going to the meetings or field circus even though she absolutely hates it and she can't tell her mother how she would love to do Christmas and Birthdays so she lies and then she goes to school and she is once again excluded so she makes up lies to her friends about why she can't do holidays because she can't quite consolidate or explain her belief system yet.
And myself, I turned out to have psychopathic tendencies. Not that I go murdering people at night but I have all the hallmarks and trying to get rid of them after living a lie for nearly 30 years is really hard.
Remember the " truth is only for those deserving to hear it" They were giving the cult followers the go ahead to lie if it helped the cult.
my ex was a notorious liar in almost everything , you know the old saying "how can you tell if a jw is lying?" their lips move!
Great thread - very informative! Don't have much to add except to agree that lying comes very easily to them in my experience. I've seen it hundreds of times over the 30 years I've had jws in my life. Sometimes at the same time I know they're lying about something, they are commenting on how they always strive to be truthful! The lies and half-truths are so common I don't even know for sure if they realize they're doing it.
Most of the counsel given in the Theocratic Ministry School (which teaches Witnesses how to conduct themselves during house-to-house encounters) has this undertone:
I think as a born-in you get used to "spinning" the truth so that it fits your idea of reality. For example, people saying how they are really trying to live a simple, non-materialistic life as if it was their "option" when in reality they can't find better jobs because of lack of education and are barely making ends meet. I agree with everyone, that they believe their own lies so they don't see it as being dishonest.
Another example: Xmas is so commercial (something alot of people complain about) so I'm so progressive about not celebrating- you get used to "normalizing" crazy ideas. I think someone else mentioned always justifying crazy behavior. I think born-ins are adept at making things look good/sound less crazy then they actually are.
I'm sure deep down we all knew we weren't fooling anyone.