Non JW friends don't understand
It never ceases to amaze me that your personal friends have NO clue what it is like to have been one. I was speaking with a friend the other day about having been a JW. She said, Oh I have a dear friend of 30 years who is one and she is so nice! Ya, they joke about witnesses at their door, etc, etc. However, they have NO CLUE what it's all about! The deceit, the convoluted change of Policies and beliefs. The Money aspect, the grief of being disowned. Just try sending a FB friend request to some one who WAS an old JW friend and see what you get. BLOCKED! And I'm not even DF'D! There was most probably an announcement made somewhere and POOF! These so called friends are GONE! Try explaining all of this plus so much more to a friend today . Just saying.................
My step grandmother was concerned when I stopped attending. She said "This wonderful girl stops by every once in a while. They seem so nice. You really should belong to a church, and that's the one your wife belongs to."
All she knows it that this lady is nice, and that she will never stop being a member of her church even if she doesn't really attend. She has no clue and would probably say the same about any group (except those Muslims and Jews- I wish I was kidding).
Plenty of others have spoken to me about them without a clue. The JW's are insignificant in the world. People have confused them with those men in white shirts on bicycles, those people who won't go to the doctor, some strange group that doesn't believe in Jesus, YADDA YADDA.
I'm not sure exactly what you're getting at, but I'll agree that most never-a-JW people (short of those that have left a similar cult) have absolutely no conception of what its like. On the other hand, though, I've found that the friends I'm making outside the cult since leaving have been genuinely interested in me and have made a pretty good effort to understand. So while they won't get it right away, the ones that will be really good, close friends will certainly come to understand.
It depends on their own experiences. Through other things (support groups) I have discovered 4 people who had been members of groups. I recognized the pattern listening to their stories.
This does not include my therapist who group up in a high-control group and had left it when she married her husband. We were good for each other.
I agree. People who have never been JWs and have not really examined them do not understand. They will say things like, "Oh, they are nice people!" Or, "All religions do this or that." Or, "Why can't you just move on?"
Yeah, I've found the same thing. They'd have to have lived it for a while.
I've tried to relate to some old school friends how it consumed over three decades of my life - weekdays, weekends, nights. I always felt behind and could never catch up. The friends just can't comprehend it. They can only compare to things they've experienced - likei going to church for one hour a month and forgetting about it the rest of the time. They would have a hard time believing how serious it is - that my own flesh and blood would not speak to me anymore, would virtually consider me dead, if I renoucned the religion.
Londo: People who have never been JWs and have not really examined them do not understand.
And that is what is SO GREAT about you people here!
You get it! You've lived it too! You understand what it's like to learn TTATT.
One night I had some friends here at my house and they wanted to see my photo albums. I didn't realize how many pictures I had of our Kingdom Hall and Assembly Hall. They were all like ''Oooh!! What is this place, it looks so nice!'' ''Yeah it sure looks nice but don't ever go there, ever.''
One time I went to play music for a whole weekend at a new friend's house while his parents were away, and when I got there I rang the bell and shouted ''Jehovah's Witnesses! May I speak to the householder please?'' When he opened the door he said ''I have the feeling I will surprise you...'' As we made our way to the basement with the music equipment I saw a bookshelf full of WT books... I was like no way! NO WAY!!! It was a fun weekend, reminiscing about the absurdity of it all.
Kozmo, you're right. That's why I'm here. They can't understand the inhuman way former members are treated. I know they believe it but I can see by their expressions that they're not fully understanding.
Great Topic! I have expressed this myself-and find myself very frustrated-and defending Jw's position, which makes me more frustrated.
Frustrated-- I have a lot of non JW friends from my school/college. When I have explained to them that I have awoken to the fact that this is a cult-why its one- and the sadness of my parents not seeing it. They are totally clueless- "you always seemed so normal, your life wasn't so bad" regarding my parents "can't they just move away to escape?" NO- its not a physical cult- its mental- they just don't get it.
Defending JW's- The religious ones have asked "why didn't you see it sooner" "of course its not Christian-Their view of Jesus is skewed etc" Then I feel defensive explaining how things are presented growing up JW- it all seems legit. You don't have time to critically think of all these things-people you trust, your parents raised you in it etc. So, in the end I feel defensive explaining why i was fooled. As if I had a choice in the matter, being raised from infancy. I like to ask if they have questioned the faith of their family- usually their in the right one! ha
All around, I have great non JW friends, but this huge part of my life- where you can lose it all. Is beyond their realm of reality- Its just too bizarre to explain, because they can't imagine that family /loved ones would REALLY shun you.