Are JWs "mind trained" to be habitual liars?
The “loaded language” should be considered as well, at least on matters that directly impact their life as a cult member. Like all cults, they have their own lingo and the meaning of many everyday words are redefined. When you redefine the language, you govern how a person thinks.
Relative to the loaded language some untruthful things may be quite accurate in that framework, while being deceitful in the everyday sense.
For instance, “We are not a doomsday religion.” Why not? Well, they will give you their definition of doomsday and then show why they do not meet that definition. But in the everyday sense, they are definitely a doomsday religion. But a JW will not see it that way, because they cannot think that way, because the definitions of the language have been altered.
In order to be a 'real', dyed in the wool Jehovah's Witness, first and foremost you must lie to yourself that this religion is the 'truth' in it's entirety. After you have accomplished that feat, it's all downhill from there!
what sparky1 said above, that sums it up perfectly.
That was a weird double post happening above. Not sure how it doubled before I was done writing it.
Alive, and the rest who responded, thank you for helping me to understand .
The pervasive mindset of deception ( which is actually lying whether conscious or subconscious IMO) as a "tool" and the ability to rationalize it, spin it, even in serious matters, is crazymaking for those who were not raised JW, or been in the org for a long time.
I desperately want my husband to recognize this, but he may never be able to do so. He will lie about understanding the concept, because later he is back at square one as if an "enlightened" discussion of this had not taken place!
I don't know if the longer we are married it is getting worse, or the longer we are married the more I just recognize it. I used to have trust in him. Now, not so much. How does anyone have a healthy marriage when trust is removed?
In his family, I wish I knew the full dynamics. From the outside they do seem very accepting , get along with everyone, nice, generous, etc. But I didn't know him until he was in his early 40's.
He does have loads of self esteem issues, guilt due to being a teenager who dabbled in drugs ( with no normal recognition of boundaries, such as how he brought the bong to high school, and also smoked pot in class, WTF!) It's a miracle he was not jailed. His elder father was asked to leave the elder position because of my husband's behavior and him not controlling his son, likely told to leave the congregation. because he never went back since the late 70's. My husband also left, never got baptized and was physically out. even memorials, for decades. But the topic just did not get discussed. Off limits.
I do feel he had pressure on him to always do more, but his personality as a teen was not to do more in the organization. His strong work ethic had him getting a restaurant job before he could even drive, and working hard to earn money for a car. Yet he didn't care about his education ( His father did, so at least his father didn't let the org brainwash all of that out of him when he converted s an adult) But for my husband , even his father's continual attempts to teach him beyond the classroom in math, didn't impress my husband to care about it.
My husbands self esteem issue are complex. His father , now, is always showing pride in his son,. I don't know what it as like when he was a child. His mother just doesn't have a bad word to say , now, but what was it like for he and his brother growing up?
In his early 20's he jumped from living at home ( He stopped the drugs the day he graduated high school and didn't ever tell his parents, which was mean in my opinion. They found out years later) and big into tae kwon do and even taking horticulture classes at a local CC ( though made failing grades and didn't finish), and also moving in with a 10 years his senior beautiful divorcee, living next door. She had a psychology degree, working at a big company in HR, and she was highly mentally abusive to him. Extreme control over his every move, and there, he was never good enough. But he stayed with her for almost 15 years. He also got better at lying during that time I am sure. He lived in fear of her temper, but wouldn't leave. She demanded he not show affection to his little niece, and he would obey this. She demanded he not have contact with his family NEXT DOOR and he obeyed, until the last years together. She traveled for work so he would "sneak" during those times. see his family, see ( these were non jw) friends she didn't allow. Only her friends were allowed to visit.
Such a complex story of emotional abuse, self esteem issues, and I don't even know how much of the effect is from the KH teachings. He was in his early teens in 1975, so that had to be big too.
I go back and forth between what is real, what is not, what is best for me and my daughter, feeling like I have literally married a man with unsolvable, hard to manage emotional issues, that I would be abandoning, giving up on him, if I didn't keep trying to keep the marriage together.
Since he has stopped all KH visits and even reading the tracts his Mom occasionally gives him. Since he is actively going to therapy both alone and together for the marriage. Since he is willing to take antidepressants, and does try, I keep trying.
This pervasive lying is so extremely difficult to deal with when trying to make a marriage work. Some days i feel defeated and begin planning my life without him. He also has no ability( or is it no desire?) to see beyond the now, no ability to plan for the future. He still has not provided me with any indication that he is willing to plan. except his words, which are so many time lies to get the conversation to end...... avoidance.
He has no financial abilities whatsoever. He had me convinced he did extensive planning and research on future financial planning when we got married.
I found out the hard way, that he read a book, did make a plan with mostly taking direction from his father ( who does have financial common sense) , and got in on the real estate boom buying rental homes and flipping for a few years. After we married I eventually saw what was happening, begging him to stop buying those overpriced houses in very depressed areas. I saw the writing on the financial wall even then. He would get so angry that I questioned his knowledge and decisions. In the beginning I let this go. Of course the collapse happened.
One broker he worked with was being chased by the FBI, so my husband was involved in that ( because he didn't really research like he said he did, he just goes along, signs without reading, does what other people say). Luckily the FBI saw he was a sucker to this guy they were chasing, so let him go with a warning to stop signing contracts! My husband admitted to me he thought something was fishy going on with this guy but he never researched anything, didn't look into it, nada. Did what he was told. Rationalized everything.
Because he doesn't revisit the decisions, never adjusts for anything, arrogantly refuses to accept he needs to change financial course from time to time, it has been a hole sucking our earnings ever since. He also saw no problem at all in taking some of the earnings from his landscaping business and keeping it in a cash drawer, or depositing them into a personal account and not accounting for them taxes! When I took over the books, nightmare is not a strong enough word for it. Impossible to get it corrected, and I took it to an expert accountant to try to help. Yet, to this day, he still occasionally will cash a check and keep the cash without reporting it. The self justified lying, after previously agreeing strongly he should never do that again.... and I have ZERO tolerance for this. The IRS also has zero tolerance for this, and we are almost certainly in huge trouble if ever audited.
I have gradually taken over all the finances. I am working alone on planning how to get out of this massive debt his decisions put us in. By myself I have had to keep track of all the debt and income. I managed to get his credit card away from him. Tried to get him a personal one, but found out quickly he has no ability/desire/responsibility o keep track of what he spends, and doesn't pay the bill. That card is gone to. He gets angry frequently claiming I am controlling him, I am co dependent... he has lots of labels. I never "give" him a limit on how much cash he can take out of a deposited check. I only ask he deposit the entire check, then withdraw what he calculates he will need. But to be aware that we have other bills/expenses these checks go to, so it really can't be the whole check. In therapy, the therapist agreed with a cash method for him, my husband reluctantly agreed to do this, but every week or so gets very angry about it. He gets my CC and holds on to it insisting he needs it to buy things for the household, gas etc. Ok, that would be fine if he came home with only what is needed, and not use it without knowing the balance beforehand. His refusal to look up, or even ask me the balance, is what makes me know he is too irresponsible to use a credit card. He will tell me he looked it up and paid on it but I look up behind him immediately and see that was not true. He was evidently planning to go do it before he got "caught" then forgets to do it!. Its a yoyo...rollercoaster. His ability to look me in the face, and repeatedly lie takes a huge toll.
I ask him to write down what he spends the cash on in a bank book. Not to control, but to give him awareness. I also try to keep track of our spending. I only question him when he buys things in bulk when we are living paycheck to paycheck, taking out money from our house equity line to pay the bills sometimes. I know he feels like I am acting like a mother, but when he is behaving like an irresponsible teenager with finances, what else is there to do? I try to be careful about the subject, but there must be responsibility and accountability.
He does work, finally, at a steady job with our nephew. ( This began about 2 years ago!) Before that, the active income was a steady decline, and the passive rental income was always a negative number at the end of the year. I also took on a job, part time, under my pay grade, so I can work on this other business as well, which requires a good bit of time, plus raise our daughter, trying to be there for her.
Oh my I believe I have been ranting. I suppose I needed to. I apologize for the novel. I do this from time to time. I greatly appreciate all those who actually read and care. It means so much to me. This outlet is a priceless gift for me.
Now it is off to work on a Saturday at the outside job, while the husband will stay in bed until his usual 2pm wake up time on Saturdays and Sundays. <sigh>
Yup, credit where credit's due.
The Org has raised the skill of verbal sneakery to a goddamned art form.
@nonjwspouse I'm the last person to give advice on successful relationships, but from reading your comment just above, I can say objectively that this man hasn't done much to earn this level of patience, love and support from you. I may be oversimplifying things here, but you seem to be expending a lot of yourself to a man who doesn't deem you worthy for the most basic transparency on his part. May I ask if there is anything about him that you DO love and view as valuable enough to continue salvaging this marriage?
wake me up- that is a particularly upsetting question for me. Scary, because the list of problems in our marriage are beginning to look like they outweigh what were once the good things. I have been through a divorce, with three kids, once in my life ( 1995) and it is a traumatic feeling to imagine ever going through that, putting a child through that, ever again. I am still close with my ex mother in law. My daughter calls her grandma too. We sit with her at church sometimes. This family used to fill the entire pew, now, it is just her, unless my daughter and I go.
It is a question of possibility that causes great depression and anxiety to think it might ever happen again. This is why I am now on antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds and lifestyle methods. I may be irrational to hang on as I am. I know my current husband, as many problems he/we/I have, still may more salvageable marriage than my previous one with a super controlling and selfish man I was married to at 20 years old for 15 years
But, I may be wrong, as each shoe drops, I get more sad. Sad that this marriage might not be salvageable. Sad to potentially put another child through the lifelong effect of the trauma of divorce.
This is why I personally see a therapist almost weekly as well. All the guns are pulled out, trying, hard. If it were not for our daughter I fully believe I would have told him years ago to move out and "figure himself out" to find out what he wants out of life, and if that is with me while taking responsibility for a family, learning how to be truthful, or not. If not, then he should do what he wants in life. That is if we did not have a child.
He needed to learn life skills he never experienced. I was ignorant of all this. How on earth could a 40 year old man, with charm, worked very hard ( not so much a money maker, but I figured at that time I would become the main income earner while he took care of the larger part of household as well as his businesses) not have life skills, was my original thought. Now, I know how stupidly naive I was. Getting pregnant at 42 during a time when I was in what I thought was menopause ( and he was told he could not have children due to low motility and count) PLUS, he had surgery weeks before, but didn't have the last test post surgery yet, was also stupidly naive. Talk about shock! I did think he would make an awesome father, and at first he was. He still can be when he tries.
But, this changed our relationship dynamics in a big way. I believe in being with my young children. I didn't earn a BS then post graduate degree, and begin working ( internships, etc., due to still being in school) until my late 30s/early 40's because I was still picking up from school, managing a one;s soccer team, a girl scout leader, school volunteer etc, and being there with three kids. My own personal integrity to keep staying with my youngest, teaching her life skills and academics like I did my others ( she goes to school as well) was so strong that it likely contributed to these financial difficulties. I allowed myself to believe him when he said he had financial things under control. ( He likely believed them in the way a JW has that wishful thinking without facts, and actions to back them up.) My daughter is testing at the gifted level, but has some difficulties accessing the discipline needed in school.
Once I really learned about the JW, when he was announcing 6+ years ago he would go back and get baptized, and "changed his personality" demanding I study with him weekly and telling our daughter she was learning lies ( one I can not ever, and will not ever, live with) I was deep into this marriage, caring for my then 6 year old with a feeling of being trapped, and deceived. I tried to stay calm but it felt like my marriage "rug" was pulled out from under my feet.
I became obsessed with learning everything I could about the JW, and at first did the stupid, but common thing of wanting to show him what I found. he went into full cult mode for a while, then, he stopped this journey pretty fast after that event. ( Maybe just for now, maybe he will never go back , but I live in limbo with this.) There is some hope. But the additional issues going on are growing, and don't seem to be getting better. They do get better for a short time, then roll back.
My depression is in how I am beginning to plan my life, without planning that he will be a part of it. I grieve what I thought we had. I grieve being alone in my life journey when I thought I had a partner. I sometimes think this is what it must be like for a caretaker of a marriage partner that is incapable due to mental or physical illness. ( he does have some illnesses, lung disease and narcolepsy w/o cataplexy, but not the kind to require this level of "caretaking", at least not at this point.)
Because of our beautiful, inside and out daughter, our gift, the gift my father had of a grandchild that gave him incredible joy in the suffering years before he died, the gift my mother has of a granddaughter who loves to spend time with her, and do what she likes to do. Her siblings adore her. This amazing pr- teen daughter deserves her father in her home. She loves him. He loves her.
So I continue to try. I try to get back in him what I saw originally. The person he was in the beginning must still be in there. He was generous, kind, thoughtful, helpful, highly complimentary( So much so it actually bothered me, now I know why he overdid such things. ) He is intelligent but refuses to recognize it. I see his untapped potential, but it may never be tapped, and that gets to me so bad! He adored me and always wanted to take care of my needs. I would get home from a school day, or work day and he would have cleaned and made dinner. I never dreamed i\I could find such a man. he would do things for me all the time. ( This has all but stopped for many years now. But occasionally it will shine through, enough for me to get my hopes up) He would talk as if he did have life plans. He learned a foreign language in two years, talked to our daughter exclusively in Spanish to the point she was speaking Spanish with some Guatemalan tenants at age 3. He even learned the accent to the level some people would ask where he was from. He made a high score on a general contractor exam when my father wanted him to help him build houses. ( That flopped, obviously, the market was beginning to dive) He seemed interested in intelligent discussions, though not saying a whole lot ( love blinds huh) . I personally thrive on a relationship with intelligent discussions. I need them. He now avoids them all together.
I also need to accept some things I thought were true, but are not. That, too, is hard, but life is hard. I will have to be the financial head of this family. I will have to treat him financially as a irresponsible teenager, without it seeming like that. Talk about difficult! OMG. Vidiot- the JW mental gymnastics art of deception would be helpful for me to learn to be able to actually handle him as a irresponsible teen, but get around the part of his brain that thinks he is being "disrespected" or "degraded" when I am doing so, since he amazingly believes he is a financially responsible man. sheesh.
Well, I wrote another novel. hmmm maybe my thyroid is high again. Or maybe I'm all filled up and just need to get it out to people who get the added issues of the JW mindset on all this. The therapist does have some working knowledge of the JW, but not even close to the level of this forum. It makes me feel batter just to get it out.
Wow you all who read my posts, especially the novel type like these! Thank you. You will never know how much you help me just by being here.
Simon, you have helped save my sanity so many times just because you take the time and energy to run this amazing site. I seriously don't know what I would have done with out this site and the old YUKU site, with the amazing, helping people in them.
To be a real member of the Jehovah's Witness you have to be in avoidance of the truth, consciously or unconsciously.
Not only doctrinal wise (1914) but in observation of the organization in its entirety.
ie . covering up pedophilia for example
dating doctrines created to purposely enhance literature proliferation and circulation.
The phrase smoke and mirrors could really apply to the JWS for they are very deceptive through psychological intimidation and exploitation toward creating something special and unique with their own involving organization.
Are JWs "mind trained" to be habitual liars?
They were a fairly reasonable bunch until 1975 didn't happen.
Since then they have slowly changed into a lying bunch of B******S.
I now believe elders etc. are trained at their so called schools to - lie, lie and lie about everything that doesn't suit them at the moment.
In reading about this man, I do wonder how much is just him as an individual and how much be attributed to him being in the cult. The organization, while a toxic influence, cannot take all the blame for this.