What did NOT get you out?
I realize this is odd, but a "how you woke up" thread and the personal stories that are told which I know we all enjoy, made me think of this.
In helping my wife and a couple others get the ball rolling, I realized the thing that resonated with me, didn't even move the needle with them. I wanted to rail on and on about blood, because that was my conduit to waking up, but for my wife it was about shunning. 2 of my friends, one still in the process......for them it was about 607 and "administrative BS".
These had no effect on me for some reason.
- Apostates with signs (the angrier, the more i felt they were just fullfilling prophecy)
- Christians with signs (they were usually rude, and talking about the Trinity......next)
- UN scandal. I didn't care.
- Old friends trying to get me to think about why I wasn't allowed to go to college or play sports
- "bad" Elders. I actually grew up around and with some really good guys. Guys I felt really believed, and tried their best to be balanced and extend mercy.
I am a firm believer that the best you can do to get through that wall in a JW's mind is to just loosen one brick. You have to do so gently. Once that brick is out, its up to them to poke around, look through to the other side, and see if there is anything that resonates with them.
Everyone has their brick. The rest of the wall could be stable.
Hmmm, interesting perspective.
I gotta' say: it ALL bugged me. Some things were obviously bigger deals than others, but eventually the cumulative effect of countless incongruities large and small brought the whole wall down--brick by imaginary brick--until there was nothing left but a large pile of psychological rubble where once an illusory "fortress of belief" had been. Now all that remains is a huge, worthless mess that needs to be carted away. Useless garbage. Trash of no value.
In fact, for most of us the personal cost to clean up this mess is huge: broken families, lost relationships, shattered faith, and countless missed opportunities for what could have and should have been ... the cost in very human terms of emotional pain and suffering is incalculable.
Ironically, it was the WTBTS's fantasy of "perfection" that made me so hypercritical of their imperfections.
If they hadn't tried so hard to paint the picture of a fantasy world I wouldn't have looked so closely for the gaps and flaws in their theology. The harder they tried, the more desperate they seemed.
I love a good story, but the internal logic must be consistent and coherent or else it just doesn't work for me.
I agree. Even though not one thing did it's thing, even the angry apostates raise honest questions such as "if the org is perfect why are people angry", "how come they aren't convinced by our suits and lack of engagement", "why don't angels protect us or silence them or strike them down"
The WTBTS indeed pretends to be perfect, the question then arises why not more people see that fact, if there were truly an org so good everyone that comes into contact should logically accept that as a fact.
The same things that didn't work on you didn't work on me. When I found out about the UN it was not that impressive to me. I had to dissect it later. I realized that it posed a neutrality issue for them and that they would disfellowship a JW for not being 100% neutral. But still, when I first found out it wasn't earth shattering. 607/1914 blew my mind. That I could be convinced of something most my life that was a complete and utter lie and never be the wiser
OMG, when I learned about the UN/NGO scandal in 2002 or 2003 it was all over for me.
Maybe what makes the house of cards collapse depends more on where we are in the process of waking up than on any one specific doctrinal issue. It's kind of like a cult game of Jenga.
What did NOT get me out?
The people who had doubts or were even awake and said nothing and did nothing.
Corruption in the elder body.
there is really only one thing that made me leave and the reason I stay out. All the rest made/makes no difference.
I think the videos make it more interesting and the words on the screen are handy and make singing easier.
I don't like looking up the scriptures on tablets instead of reading along in the Bible itself.
Everyone has their brick. The rest of the wall could be stable.
For some bizarre reason, people keep going on and on and on and on and on and on, ad nauseam trying to reason with JWs, and looking for reasons regarding doctrine and teachings that make people leave. Although it has happened, the reality is that the vast majority of JWs are brainwashed, and reasoning alone doesn't work at all. Reasoning does work when addressed properly along with what they FEEL. Experts, people who have dedicated their lives to research of cults, brainwashing and the effects of groups like the WT continue stating what the most common reasons for people to stay are:
- They continue to believe in the helper - some people do believe in Christianity, and for as long as the WT keep making them believe that they are the one and only true Christian religion, they will feel like they are being disloyal to God. This alludes to a sense of loyalty, a feeling.
- To protect their investment - A sense of safety and comfort in what they have taken years to build is not going to go away by just seeing facts and truths. If they don't find another source of comfort or safety, or otherwise if they do not admit to being in a false sense of safety and comfort, they are not going to leave. Sense of comfort and safety are feelings too.
- To hold onto family - Being shunned and accused of disrupting family relations, whether it is true or not, is not something that people want to put up with. Leaving means losing some family ties and otherwise close relationships. Loving family members is another feeling.
- Because their relationships are real and solid - Same thing but with other people outside family.A sense of camaraderie, belonging to something, being part of a community, sharing a same belief system or practices, etc, those are things that people feel, not just reason and learn.
- Pride and embarassment - Admitting that one has made the mistake of making so many important decisions, and raising your own children to do the same is no small thing to admit. Saving face out of pride and embarrassment is sometimes a very strong need, too much to handle to do otherwise, and are also feelings.
- Fear - of the WT being right, or fear of not having anything to live for if leaving, fear being shunned, fear of finding themselves alone, fear of the uncertainty and realities of the actual world and where it is going, the list of fears is almost endless, and fear is a feeling too.
Look at your list now under those things (I highlighted some things in italics):
- Apostates with signs (the angrier, the more i felt they were just fullfilling prophecy) - continue to believe in the helper
- Christians with signs (they were usually rude, and talking about the Trinity......next) - continue to believe in the helper
- UN scandal. I didn't care. - continue to believe in the helper
- Old friends trying to get me to think about why I wasn't allowed to go to college or play sports - protect their investment
- "bad" Elders. I actually grew up around and with some really good guys. Guys I felt really believed, and tried their best to be balanced and extend mercy. - relationships are real and solid
Your own reasons have nothing to do with reasoning or facts, but with feelings. I am quite sure that many of us did not leave just because of change in doctrine, but for the feeling of being fooled by their change in doctrine.
I am a strong believer that the "brick" that needs to loosen is the one that makes the feelings that made people join go away. They have to feel:
- Betrayed by the leader(ship)
- Rejected, left out, not counted due to personality differences or lack of "coolness'
- Bored (the excitement is over)
- Scandalized over something that happened that touches something that one is sensitive to
- Unable to continue rationalizing