Have I made a mistake?
So I've been out since my mid teens. Never baptised and consider myself among the lucky ones as it meant I could still have a normal(?) relationship with my parents who are both still in.
Jump forward 14 years or so to last night. I'd always thought the witnesses were a bit daft but basically harmless. That is until I decided to take a look during a period of depression last year, I was thinking 'maybe I was wrong to leave' and decided to research it myself.
Of course, being a normal human being for over a decade, I approached it critically and, of course, what I came across was not a new-found love of the WT. No, what I found was scandal, cover up, contradiction, deceit and death.
This made me angry, very angry, I don't really do angry usually. Nevertheless whilst I stopped defending the WT when colleagues who knew I'd once been a witness asked questions, I didn't speak to my parents about my concerns.
Until last night.
I've thought for a while that my father might be PIMO, so I decided to test the water and texted an innocuous question about whether it was true that the generation of 1914 had now become an 'overlapping generation.'
This resulted in a phone call, lasting almost an hour. My hope was to raise a little bit of doubt in his mind, I figured I'd question the UN relationship and leave it at that. Unfortunately I was ill-prepared and whilst he's admitted having questions of his own I ended up going all scatter-gun and asking about almost all of the things I'd found on JWfacts that I agreed with (some things I countered in my own mind when I was doing my research and so didn't mention them, I like to have a balanced debate with myself).
My concern is that I might have done too much too fast, and that having viable (if incorrect) responses to some of my attacks may have mentally given him the ability to doubt everything I said. He's said he's going to ask the elders about the UN and I'm very worried that that might put him in the position of being told he has to cut ties with whoever raised it with him.
I get on very well with my parents, as does my brother who is also out (also never baptised) and I fear I've put him in a very precarious position. We still have a family dinner every week and whilst my brother and I don't join in the prayer, we will remain respectfully silent. As to the WT, as a family we simply avoid the subject, they don't try and bring us back and we don't criticise the Org (until now) My mother is definitely PIMI although I doubt this would make her cut ties (unless instructed to by the Elders, possibly).
Have I jeopardised this carefully balanced relationship?
Sorry for the wall of text, this is my first time posting although I've read a lot of other peoples threads!
Short answer: i would say no. Your fine. You never know what question or what point will open the door for someone to see the real truth. I wouldnt push it until hes ready for more but i wouldnt worry that you said too much. Its a process, not a one time event :)
Hello Calashan and welcome to the forum.
As I´ve had children become adults and only two of five were ever baptized - I feel it is quite likely that your parents are extremely happy with your status as beloved but not trapped by the same stultifying judgemental fog they are.
Likely your dad enjoys a freeness of speech he can exercise with you as you cannot be condemned nor manipulated like JWs would like.
Your parents will be fully aware that you are thoughtful, loving and intelligent in your concerns for them ... go slow, and keep up the research.
Welcome here on board.
Everything you told your father could happen to him also in field service.
Never ever would the elders forbid your father to speak to this person again.
Thanks for the replies, they've taken some of the edge off my initial worries! I'm kind of interested to see how it all pans out now.
Incidentally I got a text from another witness the other day who's giving the 'special talk' shortly, asking me to come, I replied saying I'd considered going back to meetings until I read about the UN link. He replied saying he'd heard something about it and would come back to me with an answer. That could be interesting.
Nevertheless whilst I stopped defending the WT when colleagues who knew I'd once been a witness asked questions
That is your solution. A colleague at work raised all of those issues with you and you were unable to defend The Troof(™). When you did some research in an effort to give a defense, everything you discovered made it all seem to be true.Is it possible that apostate(s) have infiltrated the upper echelon of WTS/GB as happened in the 1980s?
Now, STFU and let you father try to prove it all wrong.
Oh! That tightrope we walk when interacting with our JW family members!!
We *all* know that constriction in the chest.
Maybe call your dad and just say something like "I've been thinking about our conversation from yesterday. I really hope I didn't say anything that could get you in trouble with the elders. I sorry if I over-spoke or did anything to cause you distress."
And just leave it at that.
I think those exact years are effective because it could put your dad back in the mindframe of being a grown man just speaking honestly with his son. If the elders try to interfere in the discussion/relationship, he is more likely to feel that *they* are overstepping the line, not you.
And welcome to JWN. It's nice to have a place to meet with people who know where you are coming from.
-AudeSapere (meaning: Dare to Know; Dare to Have Wisdom/Understanding; Dare to Think for Yourself)
Its always best to plant an idea or two, then just calmly let it sit with them.
Remember that you do not need to prove anything - those that believe in the odd teachings need to prove their "truths"
The burden of proof is on them. Not you.
Keep us posted! Love and best wishes!
Have I jeopardised this carefully balanced relationship?
I don't think so. At least not on your part. Every single thing that you mention is a perfectly normal reaction and action. If your relationship gets strained because of it, it's not because of you. You are only responsible for your side of the relationship. They are as responsible of maintaining a relationship with you, the way you are, the way you think, and the way you react (within reason).
I think that at some point this issue will continue coming up. Prepare yourself for when they have to face that you are your own person with your own believes in your own right to do so.