Slightly different approach - JW my tradition
Closed, it sounds as if your family are all in the cult and you have too much invested to leave it. That's not too much different than many here. I think the difference is you may not have experienced some of the things others have which make them aggressive, ie: family being cruel, blood sacrifice of children or family or financial ruin because of some criminal "brother". Worst of all you haven't experienced the sexual abuse of your child or self by "the most loving people on earth". I don't know though, 20 years is a long time not to be screwed by some loving brother. Its your choice and it sounds as if you won't take any BS from these guys. Without any intellectual tie to the doctrines of the WT you will eventually drop out I am sure. Stay safe and don't bleed to death!
MAGNUM: Life is short and unpredictable so...I am not going to waste it on harboring bad feelings.I actually feel that you will waste far more of your life being a JW and following the empty, time-wasting routine than any of us will by harboring bad feelings. How can you go to the meetings and sit through them? Think how much time it takes (how much you're wasting).
I haven't read thru all the posts yet, but I gotta go with Magnum on this one.
My best JW friend is "faking it" just as you describe to keep peace with his wife and to maintain their social network of "friends". It works for him, too. I though of trying it, but I really don't think I could sit through many BS sessions before I was caught rolling my eyes or worse, LOL at the total BS that is being shoveled out these days. WTF and the R&F thinking? Obviously braindead more than ever in JW history. (Or, maybe not -- Miracle Wheat comes to mind.)
Good luck to you and don't worry about what I or others think of your methods. It's not "one size fits all". "Take what you like and leave the rest" is my attitude about this place and most things.
Welcome. Before I comment, please go back and read carefully what LisaRose said on page 2. Here's the highlights I want you to catch:
LisaRose on page 2:
You and your family may be suffering in ways you don't realize, just because you are so used to it. .........
.............Many have been abused and are suffering due to hidden child sex abuse, abusive marriages, depression, missing out on educational opportunities, etc. The person sitting next to you in the Kingdom Hall may want to leave, but they look at you and think "brother Closed keeps going and he is a nice person, so it must be the right thing to do".................
Your being a part of this organization, even if it's to a lesser degree than before, validates it and gives it power and authority. You are helping to maintain the status quo of an organization you know to be corrupt, because it suits you to stay at this time.
You see the elders abusing their privileged status (and denying they even have status). I mean, it's great if you can see that and not let it bother you personally. What about your family, especially the children? Will they surely know the religion is not to be taken so seriously, or will they fall into the trap of becoming zealous adults for Jehovah, or maybe will they just suffer the ostracizing caused by JW's?
There's really no reason to stay with a corrupt organization because you like the moral standards. You can establish moral standards and try to pass them on to your family without Jehovah's Witnesses.
Now that I said that, I am a faded JW- meaning I don't attend meetings anymore and I don't disassociate. I do this simply to keep contact with JW loved ones. If I had children being raised in the lies, I would disassociate and help them see how important it is to find a better path, and how they can decide whether or not to celebrate a friend's birthday or go to college or play high school sports or YADDA YADDA!!!
Some think that even a faded JW should take a stand and "get out of her." So I get that you may make unpopular decisions with others in this group. You are free to do as you please, but you should know why so many disagree with you. Anyway, I hope the best for you.
I don't know how anyone can sit through those meetings knowing that none of it makes sense. I think the reason I lasted as long as I did is because I used to sit with friends and talk through most of the meetings instead of listening.
My whole life, now over 70 yrs., focused on this religion. I came to understand that it was built on "sand". I was doing research on my own to reinforce the religious views i had been taught and endorsing since childhood. The sand started to shift. I wasn't on solid ground anymore. Some of the research was just plain history, and i would enjoy sharing that with others. Unfortunately, some of it didn't blend well with Wt. doctrine, and I made the mistake of suggesting that some things will probably have to change. King of the north became the first issue, and it grew from there. I eventually had to resign as a long time elder. I just couldn't teach it to others. My activity was in time greatly reduced. Then came the shepherding visits. Then a marking talk. I can go to meetings if I want, but no social activities. Long time intimate friends (hundreds) and even my siblings and all their families (very large) will only speak to me and my wife if we bump into them and usually they'll head the other way if they see us first. Isn't that just great?
Besides having that experience, I cannot support an organization that is dishonest and misleads others...(and I'm no angel), but my conscience just won't let me . Ex. I just recently sold a car that was 10 years old. It was in good shape, but had some problems but not serious. I told the buyer everything I knew about it, because I couldn't conscientiously conceal what i knew. That's how I would want to be treated when buying a used vehicle. By my tacit approval of teachings that are wrong, would I not also be an accomplice to promoting falsehood? So even after almost 70 yrs.(lifer) I just couldn't be a part of it anymore. But that's just me.
I gotta say though...it ain't easy.
Do you believe the JWs are a mind control cult? Or do you belive they are a just a misguided religion?
good for you. i couldn't. but i think it is better for some. in a way.
Hello Magnum, I read your comments and I can tell you that I was like you for a full decade. I was not in agreement with various teachings and could not get myself to teach or enforce these. Thus, I never became a ministerial servant or elder. Still, I believed that the bulk of the principles were good ones and that the organization helped me lead a clean Christian life.
That is, up until I had kids. It is then that I understood that I could not safely teach my views to my own kids as some of these contradicted the WT theology. Up until then, I didn’t agree with some teachings and while “waiting on Jehovah”, I overlooked these trivial matters. However, when I started studying with my kids, I wanted to pass along the alternative views on some topics and realized that I could not. What if my kids talked about these contradicting views to others? I could end up disfellowshiped! But how could such a situation ever happen with teachings that are trivial? Well, with time, I came to understand that it is the way that the society reacts to question that is not a trivial matter. They call for absolute unity and basically treat disagreements on details as cause for division. And yet, who is making a big deal out of it? The one that voiced an opinion or the one judging, organizing JCs and enforcing absolute unity? Who lacks humility? The one willing to call his brother an anti-christ, an apostate, based on small matters, are the one expressing a simple opinion?
Read the Sermon on the Mount and tell me what is more important: To show love to your brothers or to know biblical history? Read the story about the Samaritan and tell me what is more important: Helping his fellow human being or having a clear understanding of the Abrahamic dependence? The JWs have fallen into the same trap: They believe that knowledge while save them, all the while forgetting about love which is more important. And yet, most will priorities their meetings and field service over giving love to those around them. Most JW know a close friend or family member that they are now shunning while Jesus, on the other hand, helped the sinners. He didn’t come for those who were well, he came for the sick. Their view is: We’ll help the sick get better. But don’t get sick again, you’ll be shunned. How is this love? Knowing the names of the various Israelite kings will not save you. It is how you treat your neighbor that will.
I left because I wanted to spare my kids from this distorted view of love and Christianism.
"stirred but not broken's"
......experience above is just heartbreaking. Imagine, being in your while life like him and his family, only to be tossed aside like human trash, and treated worse than dirt. Truly, "by their fruits you will know them." JW's are a group of total poseurs. I'm so glad to be out and away from them, that I could do backflips down the street.
It is very happifying to see that so many just left when they had kids. If you are a born in the "wait on jehovah" cancer is bad but at least it only affects oneself. If having kids in this cult does not wake you up then you might as well be in coma... which is what many of the "adults" in my kingdom hall were in.