My experiences are similar, I think there are many genuine people trapped in the Borg...
My experience with the people in my hall
I was told by an elder that "...no MS tells me what to do", PB
I have seen this happening to MS's a lot if they stand up to elders or expose something that might be wrong and then they are treated unfairly. It is very common.
I was raised, married and had my first child in a congregation of JW's who were very much like family. Sure, there were individuals who had problem personalities, but they were in the minority, and that was at least 40 years ago. Years later I was DF'd, and stayed out of the organization for about 15 years, and the congregation that I was reinstated into was like night and day from the one that I had grown up in. But I observed that the organization as a whole had changed...so much so that after a tour around the circuit, the CO gave a talk at the assembly blasting the "friends" for their bad attitudes and behavior. Any fond memories of being in the organization were from many years ago. I never experienced the same "love and unity" in any congregation I attended within the last 10 years---in fact, quite the opposite.
Mostly older people in my area and friendly but not completely open, when younger brothers started to be appointed elders cliques formed and secret groups gossiping. All the older ones precluded from all these groups and their goings on. Start of the end for me. I wonder how the older ones who had been associated since the war or thereabouts would cope with this modern stuff when all their lives the shunned anything worldly.
My father in law would turn in his grave to hear a current song, broadcast. I do not see how this stuff ties the brotherhood together. Yes had some pleasant years as a JW but in retrospect think how it damaged my children with all the restrictions that have no scriptural basis.
My experience: Apart from the usual nasty ones (who I stayed away from), many were nice... BUT boring! Beyond "the truth", there was nothing much I had in common with them. Once I started to fade, all was lost
Number of JW's who I keep in regular contact with (apart from family): 0
Welcome to the forum Freeandclear. I also knew some really kind people in the organisation. People who fed me when I was pioneering and one lovely family who put me up in their house for weeks when I left home while I was looking for a place to rent and a job. That sister was always the first one to visit someone who was ill too.
I think you don't find out what it's really like until you get on the 'inside'. I read your bio thread and you were in and out for years I think. My husband only lasted four years after becoming an elder. He went along to elders meetings and expected them to be arranging shepherding calls and talking about ways to help the brothers. We were naive too! Instead they were fighting one another for power and gossiping about the congregation. If someone had mental health problems they were rubbish and were a waste of time, not worth a visit.
We thought it was that particular congregation so we moved to another one. My husband continued as an elder while we waited for his letter of recommendation from the previous congregation. He had a book study group and gave public talks. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. Then the letter arrived. They didn't recommend him. They didn't say anything bad about him, there was nothing to say! They just said one or two brothers have said they don't find him as caring as he used to be. Pot, kettle, black! We did both get depressed before we left the old congregation and decided to care more for each other. But that was just nonsense saying that he didn't care.
What did our lovely friendly congregation do? They took the group off my husband because he didn't get appointed and people started cutting us dead at the Kingdom Hall. We'd done nothing wrong and there we were, shunned before we even left! My husband contacted our old congregation for some feedback which you are allowed to do. It turns out a particular elder, his former pioneer partner had been the force behind the negativity, someone he considered his best friend! After that we soon found Crisis of Conscience and realised it wasn't a local problem at all.
So you see you really have to be involved to find out about all the power struggles. On a day to day level you don't get to know this.
Welcome! Thanks for your experience.
I had a similar experience, mostly genuine JW's, trying to do the right thing. On the other hand, I know, if they know how I truly feel, things will be different.
Years ago, I had a friend that said the elders cried during the judicial committee meeting that resulted in them being disfellowshipped. I am sure they were genuine and sincere. But that's what's scary now that I'm awake.
JW's are living in a world of delusion. Their sense of reality is off. It's sad, over the last month, I've heard at least four JW's (from the platform to teens in the audience) during meeting make the comment, that "we should be ready to do whatever, even it doesn't sound reasonable from a human stand point" and many other members nodding their heads in agreement. It's starting to be a regular tag line.
on letters of recommendation for elders who have moved
I was PO I a time it rotated, Bro X moved for family reasons, a good. Teacher ,and a pioneer in good standing.
I wrote a letter recommending him and listing his qualities, had letter in pocket but just forgot to pass PO box and drop it in. At that time only PO signature required.
Got to elders meeting and Bro X who was a relative of one of the elders, his name came up, and I was about to read a copy of my letter of recommendation when almost as one the elders were vehement that we would not, could not recommend him. I was stunned but lost any argument with the I think then 6, elders. Went home rewrote letter suggesting that Bro X was in good standing g when he left it we thought a period to settle in was good. I was not going to downright diss the bro.
He obviously was shown letter with my name and signature and for the last 30 or so years he has not spoken to me. One of many starting points to m asking myself why I put myself thru this.
Lostandfound yes strange thing is I never liked this guy who my husband always referred to as the salt of the earth. My husband begged me to try and get on with him and I did try but I always wanted to say ' why, he doesn't even like you?' Sometimes I wish I was occasionally wrong about people!
I appreciate all of the replies. I agree, I was never an MS or elder, so in reality I don't know what it's like to be in those positions of "authority" and have no real clue what goes on in their "meetings" I'm sure there is a whole different side to things that I have not seen.
This site and all of the experiences you've had is very eye opening. For me though the matter is settled. There is simply too much evidence against this organization to show it is not under God's direction. This leaves me searching for the real truth, if it exists at all. I still pray but now not to Jehovah or even through Christ, I simply pray to God and I've been making my concerns known to him and have told him that I'm open to whatever he may want to share with me. Through all that I've determined to be open minded to what answers may come and that I will continue to be a good person and mostly be good to others. I think this is the crux of all human life and to be truly Godly we can do no better than to treat all other humans well with dignity and respect and kindness. Until they show us a reason not to give them respect of course, some people are just truly "bad" in my eyes. But most I can find some good in and I try to do that for the most part. I'm getting off track here.....
Again, simply, thanks for all of you. And hopefully we all will find out what the truth really is. I've been reading a lot and researching a lot of other beliefs and it's simply mind boggling......