Something just dawned on me today as I processed my assimilation into the real world (thanks to our new poster, @Jester, giving me a major throwback to my first post).
When you're a Jehovah's Witness, you really are in some sort of la la land. Things which are perfectly normal are acts of eating from the table of the demons. Things which are horribly grotesque and extremely unjust are branded as "righteousness". And when you're in that tiny little JW bubble (which feels like the WHOLE WIDE WORLD to you), the Witnesses hold the monopoly on setting standards and it's the entire world which falls short.
Something as basic as speaking. Yes, just talking. This, in JW land is referred to as a PRIVILEGE. Your basic human right of contributing to a public discussion is something to be earned. To hold a microphone... that's another "privilege". Now that I'm out and thinking of these things from a regular person's perspective, I've realized just how demented and manipulative that truly is. The entire set up demotes us human beings as some scummy slaves who need to EARN their right to open their mouths when in the presence of others. It's packaged as a privilege to JWs to make sure they know their lowly place and be eternally grateful just to contribute verbally.
It's almost like some 18th century slavery in colonial America where the blacks were denied their basic rights and the whites perhaps chose to toss them some filthy scraps to eat and considered that a "privilege" for the oppressed.
I can't believe I never noticed this while still in. It all felt so normal and nothing to even question/raise eyebrows at! Looking in from the outside reveals a very different story. Each week that goes by and I think I'm fully awake, I come to realize there's more to uncover from all the deep-seated cult ideals that were instilled in me. No, it is not a privilege to speak or assist at functions (be it with sound equipment or taking inventory for stock). This is my right. This is my standard. This is what I do.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is still living in the vicinity of this la la dictatorship. Being given the privilege to open your mouth and utter words is as much of a "privilege" as being allowed to step out of your house wearing clothes. For those of you still in, STOP letting the WT strip you naked. It's humiliating and keeps you from noticing their own bare shame.