I had an interesting conversation with a fellow ex-JW yesterday. For the sake of this post lets call her "Katie". Katie and I last met up when i first left. I had no non JW friends and so searched out other exJW's from my first congregation of the same age group as me. 90% of that age group have left. So we got in touch and met up last year. Katie is a former pioneer who suddenly stopped attending meetings and managed to be left alone by the elders. She lives a happy life outside the cult. Her mother is still very much a JW. I remember her mum from years ago when i was a kid in the KH. A very kind and genuine woman.
Katie asked me if i consider myself an apostate. I said by Watchtower standards i do. But, personally, i just regard myself as an atheist getting on with his life. She laughed and said her mum would freak if she knew she was out with an apostate. I asked how her mum would react seeing me in the street. She said "she'd still talk to you. She knows im out with you now and she said have a good time and to say hi".
Then she told me something interesting. She said "i dont know what went on last year, but my mum came back from the 2016 convention and was very on edge and worried. They'd been told to shun family members who aren't disfellowshipped but are living non JW lives."
I told her that I've seen the convention videos online and explained what i knew. Then she said:
"She asked me if i was going to ever "return to Jehovah". I said no, never. Then she visited Paul (and elder in the congregation). She asked Paul what she should do. She doesn't want to shun me and thinks its not right. Paul told her "dont worry about it". He said that announcement was wrong and doesn't expect anyone to follow it. And it'll probably be forgotten."
I told her that many are following that advice. My uncle who faded over 15 years ago was in full contact when he left with all my family. Suddenly after that announcement non of the family talk to him. She said it's so bad and scary how much control the org has. And that it's so much different from when she was in.
Then she said "I cant believe my own mother asked an elder for confirmation that it's ok to carry on having a normal mother/daughter relationship. Like, she couldn't decide on her own?"
I replied with a line i read on here a lot: "lets review... it's a CULT!"
Then we laughed and drank until 12:30am.
So it's interesting that at least one elder thinks the GB go too far. And i bet he's not the only one who thinks this. Let's hope more and more active JW's see the GB as the bumbling fools that they are.