Imagine a knock at the door.
Who is there?
It is an Optometrist offering free eye exams!
Come in--come in.
Within months, you're wearing a new pair of specially prescribed glasses...and SEEING THINGS DIFFERENTLY.
Jehovah's Witnesses wear "those" glasses.
WE ALL wore them.
The lenses colored what we saw and the feedback from the Governing Body "explained" why things didn't look the same.
"Only NOW--are you seeing the Truth," they whisper.
Hang on to that analogy for a moment or two, okay?
We didn't just get glasses.
We were hypnotized and told to do something as ridiculous as
"Quack like a duck".
Except--it wasn't all in fun as entertainment.
We were hypnotized and told lies about ourselves and our entire world.
The quacking wasn't animal noises--it was propaganda messages.
We were transformed into a kind of Pizza delivery service of weaponized "Jehovah-flavored" meals.
The meals were laced with mind-altering ingredients!
Still with me?
Until we "woke up" and found our life down around our ankles, that hypnotic trance hijacked everything we are and everybody we know.
ARE WE AWAKE--really awake now?
DID WE REMOVE those glasses prescribed by the GB?
Have you ever been asleep and dreamed you were awake?
This may be the most important question you'll ever answer.
I was hypnotized at a party once--for fun. In my head--I was just "going along with the gag" and "pretending" to be hypnotized.
That tiny surrender IS hypnosis.
You give yourself a reason for quacking like a duck.
Then--you "wake up" and people are laughing. At YOU.
What just happened?
Every time you hear the word "elbow" you start quacking again!
I am NOT a believer in hypnosis but that didn't save me :)
What is the point of my story?
Here it is. Ready for it?
We don't EASILY escape!
We may still be wearing those glasses.
We may still feel an uncontrollable urge to "quack."
Is there an EXAM for that?
Here is a quick one I made for myself.
It's up to you whether you use it and how you feel about it.
1. Do you see the world in terms of Good and Evil, Friend or Foe?
Either this or that?
Or is there a whole lot of grayscale in everyday life?
Or is there a color spectrum?
2. Do you still wonder what the Bible "really means?"
Do you find yourself plunging into debates?
Are you intrigued by conspiracy theories?
Have you wandered off into fringe areas and discussions?
3. Have you substituted Political beliefs for religious obsessions?
Do you argue for your side and damn the rest?
Find yourself regarding different viewpoints as "stupid"?
4. Are you able to relax and enjoy a day to day life or do you feel compelled to pick at troubles, making complications, puzzling at mysteries
Do you Pray? Chant? Mumble? :)
5. If somebody asks you, "What do you believe?" What is the urgency of your emotional response?
Is it defensive or casual?
Are your personal opinions robust or measured and relaxed?
6. Do find yourself challenging the opinions of other people with a slightly unfriendly tone?
Or can you allow the views of others to wash over you without strong emotions...live and let live?
7. Do you find yourself asking the question:
"But what if JW's really DO have "the Truth?"
8. Have you found a new central source of information?
A guru? An expert? A spiritual advisor?
Or do you perform wide-ranging skeptical inquiry from a great many sources?
The answers you now give might be red flags.
You may still be wearing those glasses!
You may still be offering a "Quack"!
I leave you with this one thought:
The same brain that got you into a Kingdom Hall in the first place does not magically disappear with a fresh, reboot automatically.
The Jehovah's Witness way of seeing the world REMAINS until you do the work to clean out the cobwebs, dust, dirt, grime and spider's eggs.
Life doesn't come with an Owner's Manual.
Nobody has all the answers.
(Self-examination takes years of effort. After all, it is your MIND doing the inspection of...ITSELF!)