Stratigies to get a loved one out
I don't think there's any "one right way" to go about trying to show friends and family that the religion is both false and harmful. But I do think there are a couple of things we should keep in mind.
1.) The religion is a social network
If we are going to get someone out it would be helpful if they have friends and family outside of the organization to whom they could gravitate. Getting them to spend quality time with non-JWs may be the best thing we can do. Building relationships with people outside of the religion gives them not only a safety net - but also cements the notion that non-JWs can be good people too.
2.) The religion controls information
Putting "apostate" material in front of trapped friend or family member probably isn't a good idea. However, giving them the tools to do research on their own can be highly effective. For example, showing them something benign like a link to the interlinear Bible
or, if their into science, maybe an article on ancestry showing that humanity has been around much longer than 6,000 years
The point here isn't to pursue any one line of evidence. But rather to give them the tools to access information outside the JW bubble.
3.) It's best to ask simple questions - and follow up.
You don't have to get into the teachings of 607BC. It can be something as simple as "Why do animals suffer and die?"
Ask the question - let them answer. And then leave it alone. Wait until the next time you see them bring it up, "Hey, you know how I asked you about animal suffering and you said x, y, and z? Do you really think that's true?" And let them answer again. And then leave it alone.
We have to remember that it's not about winning any particular argument. Rather, it's about getting them to think outside of the JW box. To get them questioning their own beliefs.
. . .
Just some ideas I've been kicking around. I've had success getting two friends out - but they were kind of already on their own path if you know what I mean. Anyways, I'd love to hear what your guys think. Anything else you've found has been / might be effective?
I've had success getting two friends out - but they were kind of already on their own path if you know what I mean.
I think that is the "key" -- the individual has to be "ready" to exit. Most seem to have longtime doubts that required some time to "fester" and grow. Our CD keeps putting such things on the "back burner" until they boil over and we're forced to take action.
Almost always there seems to have to be something that affects an individual personally.
Being there for that person when it happens to be their "time" is the greatest thing you can offer.
I find using compatitive religions. For example " Did you know the internet was having such a hugh impact on the Mormon church that it forced them to publish articles on there Web sight about joseph smith and the churches less than unsavory past. Can you imagine that in the past the church had so heavily sanitized and white washed their history that anybody who tried to mention it was excommunicated. What a totally false religion".
Then just let them respond.
Thank you for sharing this. I'd add PATIENCE. You never know how long will it take for all that to finally sink in. You never know what of what we say or do creates the desired effect of opening their eyes.
In the end, by doing that we really intervening in people's personal decisions without their permission, so having patience is appropriate.
Once again, thank you for sharing.
Ask the question - let them answer. And then leave it alone.
I think this is key. Rather than coming at them with information that could shock them back into their safe JW rabbit hole, I think it's best to casually ask them to explain their own beliefs to you.
Once I stopped going to meetings myself, I used to ask my wife to remind me what the scriptural reasoning was behind a certain basic JW doctrines. In the process of her telling me the answer, she'd see how flawed the reasonings were. I didn't have to do anything, just let her explain her own beliefs.
Sometimes I'd ask her what her take was on something I wondered about. For example:
Me: I was thinking about how God sent his angel in to kill off all of the firstborn babies in Egypt because Pharaoh wouldn't let the Israelites go.
Her: Yeah, what about it?
Me: I was wondering why he had the Israelites organize an army and do battle for him on many occasions when he could have simply sent in his angels to get rid of his enemies, such as the Cananites. Especially since one of the 10 commandments he gave to them specifically said, "Thou shall not kill" ?
I'd leave it at that, not make her feel obligated to answer or defend anything. I'd just let her think about it.
I started to notice that when I attended a Sunday meeting on occasion, she'd look up the scriptures that were sighted in the talk but would begin reading the surrounding verses and would notice that the speaker was applying the scripture out of context.
Finally one day, she went by herself to the District Assembly but came home at the intermission disgusted by what she was hearing them say about "higher education". She hasn't been to a meeting or Assembly in about 7 years now. She quit on her own...cold turkey and unlike me, doesn't feel the need to discuss it with her JW family, hasn't felt the need to visit a site like this and couldn't care less what's going on with the JW religion now.