Who has a harder time leaving JW's - Born Ins or those who converted?

by HeyLittleGirl 25 Replies latest jw experiences

  • HeyLittleGirl

    My freind (who is also out) and I were talking about this the other night. I was a born-in, 3rd generation JW and she converted when she was in her late 20's.

    When she left, she said that she knew the world wasn't as bad as she was told as a JW, so she knew she would be fine. Also, she still had lots of "worldly" family who welcomed her back with open arms.

    It was harder for me - I had nobody in the "world", no family or freinds. The "world" was portrayed as an unloving, evil place full of bad people, so it was scary to leave the safety of the JW's.

    We both agreed it is a bit harder for Born-Ins to leave. Although it is hard, no matter who you are.

    What do you think?

  • sparrowdown

    Yes, I tend to agree that if you had some memory of normal reverting to it is not as hard.

    But, I think generally speaking those that convert can feel more betrayed especially if they gave up worldly families and jobs and houses and romantic relationships and hobbies for the sake of the borg.

    After burning that many bridges is can be difficult to reesestablish.

    At the end of the day I don't think anyone leaving has the monopoly on suffering, it's not a competition after all.

    Those that suffered abuse that they got no justice for and were revictimized by the congregation I feel for the most.

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen

    I guess it's much harder to adapt to life outside the cult for born-ins.

    They never knew normal. They don't know how to behave socially, they have warped views of personal boundaries.

    On top of that more likely than not a good part of their family is JW, and all of their friends.

    Converts probably know how to behave outside the cult. They have non JW family. They may have retained some non-JW friends at the back burner.

    However, 66% of born-ins eventually leave the JW, vs 33% who eventually leave JW over all members (if I recall correctly).

    That would mean that almost all who leave are born-ins. Converts are apparently really really sure and blinded (maybe because the 'sunk cost' are much greater for them?).

    Basically both are screwed, because it's a cult.

  • Jules Saturn
    Jules Saturn

    Very hard as a born in and I say this as a PIMO

  • pale.emperor

    As a 2nd generation born-in with every-single-member-of-my-family a JW (yes, parents, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews etc) i'd say its definitely harder for born ins.

    Remember, us born ins have tainted memories. Those times as a kid were full of JW things that were just normal to us. Waking up on 25th Dec as a normal day, doing normal things. Going to JW parties and an elder giving a prayer even if it was at a hired venue. Looking at outsiders with distrust and a little fear. And there are happy memories we have from our childhood that, unfortunately, Watchtower invaded upon such as weddings and anniversarys, holidays with family (mine would still visit the KH on holiday!). School plays which we were excluded from because it might have been the nativity, or had a hymn in there somewhere, our non JW friends we only saw at school (never outside of school).

    I never knew normal until i left. I envied the real world for so long and now im actually in it i feel so lucky but sad for those JWs who arnt living the real life outside the Watchtower cage.

  • carla

    Tough call. Born in's will lose so much more than a convert (family, friends & possibly employment, etc..). As the above poster mentioned adapting to the outside world would be much harder for a born in.

    On the other hand, the convert who has been annoying family & friends the whole while will have to eat some serious crow in their minds. You know how hard a newbie jw tries to convert family & friends with the 'truth'! Most of us non jw's would not even bring it up and be overjoyed if our loved ones left the cult. Heck, my family gets excited when my jw skips out of fs or meeting on the rare occasion. Naturally we say nothing if he skips out, we just act as if it is any other day. You can't imagine the elation if he actually left.

  • scratchme1010

    I don;t think that that's the right approach to find out who has the harder time. I am born in, but in any way can I compare my process of leaving to those of other better families with better support.

    People's lives are different. People's positions in the congregation are different (i.e., even though we were raise the exact same way as JWs, the story of my heterosexual brother is quite different from mine and from my sister as a female; the three of those types of people are treated quite differently in the congregation).

    Also, people who have experienced life outside join the JWs for different reasons. You cannot compare a person who join to escape from abusing drugs and alcohol with a person who joins simply because they want to believe in something.

    Same thing for the process of leaving. I for once embraced my leaving and saw walking away from the Jehovah crap as the best thing that ever happened to me. Others leave full of fear of the uncertainty, sad and depressed from disappointing loved ones. Some who have something to go back to may have good things and people to return after leaving the JWs, others don't because the join looking for a better structure in their lives.

    It really is different from person to person.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Steve Hassan talks about a pre-cult personality in COMBATTING CULT MIND CONTROL.
    I prefer to talk about a non-cult personality in the case of born-ins.

    This is the true person without the cult enforcing it's way upon a person's beliefs.

    Of course the born-in may not really have had much of an opportunity to develop their non-cult personality and they never had a pre-cult experience.

    It's probably much easier to leave for a convert. Then factor in how much JW family a born-in usually has in comparison.

  • TD

    I think it depends on what you mean by "harder"

    If by "harder" you mean the difficulty in severing ties with family and/or adjusting to the normalcy of life on the outside, my guess would be born-ins. They've never known anything else.

    If by "harder" you mean the difficulty in realizing that a fair amount of the teachings are untrue, my guess would be converts. I believe there are actually formal studies suggesting a higher level of commitment among converts in general.

  • floridaborn

    Pale emperor and our "traditions" are assemblies and the memorial. We have nothing else to look forward to.

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