Why do ex-JW's talk so much about being ex-JW's?

by Sour Grapes 28 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Sour Grapes
    Sour Grapes

    Is it because we were in the cult Watchtower Compound that we talk about being ex-JW's when we stop being active? I have never heard anyone say that I was an ex-Catholic or an ex-Lutheran or an ex-Baptist. They just stop going to their church and don't talk about it.

    Years after not stepping inside a Kingdom Hell, many of us still have to talk about being ex-JW's. Were we so damaged that we just can't help ourselves or is it because we lost so many years of our lives that we are still pissed off about it?

    Sour Grapes

  • Drearyweather
    we lost so many years of our lives that we are still pissed off about it?

    Most are pissed at the WT. But deep inside, many are angry that we ourselves agreed to to become a JW and told yes to whether we would follow the 'spirit directed organization and from now would be called as Jehovah's Witnesses".

    Angry that we walked ourselves to the baptism pool.

  • stuckinarut2

    I guess that unlike ex-other faiths, witnesses cant walk away without experiencing damaging and slanderous repercussions from those still in.

    Unlike ex-other faiths, who can simply move on with life, ex-witnesses can often lose all social, family and community ties...

  • smiddy3

    I think stuck has hit the nail on the head ,with mainstream religions their are no repercussions for stop attending their church ,not so with the JW`s.they have to destroy all relationships you had with family and friends .

    Their not happy unless they victimize you .

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    It is a natural result of having been in a controlling cult which took our futures and turned them to shit for so many years. It is not simply stating a former affiliation, it is a confession of having been abused.

    Example: "I went to college in my forties because I am an xjw".

    Similar to: "I have trouble walking because I was held captive in a box for 40 years".

    You get the idea.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Even though there are ex-Catholics, ex-Protestants and the like, they are able to drift away from church. Most churches don't pile up rules for everyday life upon members and they certainly don't shun members who don't live up to a certain standard. But even though their former religion isn't quite like the cults of the Mormons or JW's, I have heard former Catholics and the like call themselves exes.

    Jews don't typically stop calling themselves Jews because they are ethnic Jews when they stop being religious Jews. I have seen Jews saying they are "ethnic Jews only" when I saw them eating a ham sandwich.

  • Good JW
    Good JW

    Not all ex's talk about being an ex - some prefer to just block that part of their lives out completely (pretend it never happened).

    Other than the obvious (something in common to talk about, being on the same page with others), it's likely to do with ones commitment to it. If you dedicate your life to something, then discover it's all been a big scam/farce, you'll want to talk about it....for some time. Most people don't realise what it means to "sell your soul to an org", so when you talk about it with them they're like "meh", but those who've been through it understand.

    The most dedication and betrayal the average person has to put up with is their cable service overcharging them for a basic TV package while Joe blogs down the street is getting the full lot for half price. Or religiously following a diet (with promises of 20lbs weight loss) for a whopping 6 weeks, only to find out it wasn't for them.


    (ok, maybe a bit of oversimplification/exaggeration there)

  • Good JW
    Good JW

    On a slightly more serious note, I do think that ex JWs are damaged (not beyond repair though, just need the right direction). A JW is taught to see things very externally, always judging "the others", and rarely looking internally other than to feel guilt/shame. There are countless negative psychological traits of WT indoctrination, but the top of the lot is probably making the average adherent (and many who leave) feel powerless. This damaging mindset is often taken with you! Ironically, you can go from feeling like a persecuted JW, to a persecuted ex JW.

    "Woe is me"

    That's one of the most damaging aspects. The feeling that everyone is against you (them against me), or that you're stuck, unable to do something positive about your situation.

  • Ruby456

    There are path dependencies and lock ins everywhere in the outside world just as much as amongst jws. So there is no need to feel as hard done by as some of us feel and it is better to cut our losses and move on.

    make our own elephant paths in life so to speak Outside of jws (and within too) people do this all the time. There is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from doing so.

    otoh there is a saying that if the moon was asked why it clings to the earth it would tell you that this was its mission in life. For myself I prefer to think that I am like a rainbow in that I have no other purpose than to be a beautiiful colourful effect of something else

  • Annon

    Very few religions tell you what medical treatment a parent can give their child, or that you may not speak to your own daughter because she now believes something different from you, or what kind of education you can get, etc etc.

    The greater the control the greater the rebellion when you realize you have been conned, and maybe when people complain it is just because they have a desire to help others avoid being conned too.

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