Were You FORCED To Become a Jehovah's Witness? .... Then Why Did You Stay?

by minimus 30 Replies latest jw friends

  • tinkerbell82

    i'll contend that i was forced to be a witness. i was born in 'the truth', and my parents made it explicitly clear that leaving was not an option while i was under their care and supervision. since we live halfway across the states from any relatives that would be willing to take me in before i was able to move out on my own, i had to wait until i turned 18.

  • Perry

    Well put nilfun.

    Reminds me of the oft told college story where the students only paid attention and gave the professor aproval when he was teaching from a certain side of the room. In a very short time the college professor was "confined" to a small space in which to effectively deliver his lectures.

    The witholding of love, attention, and support from a child for most behavior not supporting the criminal enterprises of the GB, IS BEING FORCED TO BECOME A JEHOVAHS WITNESS. People asked similar questions of the German people after the fall of the third reich.

    No child and very few adults can escape the trauma caused by the all out total assault on the family by JW leadership.

  • minimus

    oz, similar but quite different....It seems some feel that if you weren't really forced to become a JW with a gun to your head, then you cannot blame any of the consequences of being a JW on anyone but yourself. Also, the thought that if you joined the Witnesses, it was because you wanted to, is being brought up in different discussions. This thread expresses that some do, indeed, feel that they were forced to be Witnesses.

  • cruzanheart
    why did you stay

    Because I didn't know that leaving was an option. The thing about abusive families and cults is that they can make a person feel totally dependent and helpless, incapable of making "right" decisions. So we stay in the abusive situation because, if we leave, NOTHING we do will succeed and we'll be labeled as "bad" and ignored by our meaningful authority figures. Oh, yeah, and we'll be toast at Armageddon.

    That's why abuse can continue. What we do on this forum, dragging out the disgusting, seedy reality of the cult, does more good than we know. Abuse can't continue if it's exposed for what it is. I venture to say that even northern girl will look at "the flock" with a slightly different viewpoint, whether she likes it or not.


  • minimus

    Nina, you must've known leaving was an option but just didn't imagine it could successfully be done, right?

  • be wise
    be wise

    Born and brainwashed true WTS style

    I had to leave because it made me feel like crap - now I don't

  • cruzanheart

    Oh, yes, I knew in my head that leaving was an option, but I didn't allow myself to think of it as an option for ME! For many years I didn't want to leave because I believed heart and soul that this was THE truth. Once I noticed it was getting toxic I wanted to leave but didn't for many years because I was conditioned to believe that leaving was wrong and if I wanted to leave then the problem was with me and not the organization -- typical victim-think. I eventually did leave, but I felt that by leaving I was condemning my children and me to death. It was very unsettling and scary, and took some therapy to get past that. And I had it relatively easy because I didn't have family hassling me to stay in -- rather, I had a husband waiting for me with open arms on the other side.


  • Swan
    Is being forced, the same as being coereced?

    I don't know. Is being hit with a board considered forced or coerced?


  • minimus

    I wonder how many have needed therapy to realize that they were in a destructive religion and needed to get out. For those that stayed out of fear or confusion, I can understand the fear that must be felt.

  • Candlestick02

    I too went to counseling. I didn't initially go because I was torn about the religion. Yeah I had issues with it, but moreso I had issues w/ my controlling mom. She was physically FORCING me to dump my "unbelieving" boyfriend, and at 23 I said 'enough is enough.' If you're gonna lose your mind and hit me because of it, then so be it...but I'm outta here. Fortunately for me, my extended family (also "raised" in the troof but ALL inactive) were ready and more than willing to help me out.

    But, because I had SO much on my plate , even my very understanding boyfriend couldn't help me and insisted I go to talk to someone. Thankfully, I did. I went to a free counselor at the school I was going to and that helped me see things from an outsiders perspective. I cried the ENTIRE first two or three sessions. It was bad! But, I was still holding on. I was still IN the religion and was sugar-coating some of their very direct answers; but after a few more sessions it felt really good just ti talk and be heard, and not have to "cover" for the organization and keep their image 'clean and pure.' It was very much needed and I was later (about a year later) able to finally free myself from the guilt of leaving the borg.


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