Witnesses really hate it when you appear to leave.
I have a certain customer, whom we will call Sally. I know Sally only by face and only through work. I am a truck driver on a local dedicated route, and I often deliver to her work. About 2 years ago, I was still hanging on, and I was out and about when I saw Sally at a JW cart. I greeted her and she recognized me and who I was. So that was nice and cordial, but then time passed, things happened, I faded, and I grew a beard.
Now whenever I go to Sally's work, she scowls at me. Like, no smile. I don't know, maybe it's because I always catch her at a bad time. It's possible. Or maybe she recognized that this guy who called himself a JW 2 years prior now has a big burly beard (thicker now than what is in my current avatar at the time of this writing). I'm still nice and cordial with all my customers, and I treat her and everybody else with the respect they deserve.
What gets me is that Witnesses really really hate it when they see someone leave. I understand, having been in, but this awkward frustration is so artificial and unnecessary. It's a free country, you're free to leave a religion, and their own website CLAIMS that people can leave at any time.
I mean, it's not a cult, now, is it?
Yes Schnell you are totally correct. They love to be able to give a label to anyone who is not a JW any more. But when someone just walks away from the religion because they realized they had been lied to for instance, they really hate it
In fact often faders are often treated like someone who has been disfellowshipped and totally shunned.
You (we) are EVIL
We are MENTALLY DISEASED
In ancient Isreal we would be STONED TO DEATH
by our own FAMILIES
If they talk to us they could lose their hope of
Everlasting life!! In Paradise
They've been made to feel scared of you
And so they act afraid
And HATE you with a Godly HATRED
Because that's what they've been taught
Sad isn't it
But when someone just walks away from the religion because they realized they had been lied to for instance, they really hate it
Indeed, I do not have "hurt feelings" or "selfish longing" other than the natural need for freedom and individuation (two things the WTBTS obviously opposes). And exactly, @tepidpoultry.
This all sounds familiar, doesn't it?
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
(John 15:19, NIV)
Now whenever I go to Sally's work, she scowls at me
Some will shun particularly if you've made it to the gossip column as being Dfed or some will love bomb you like wont to come back, Armageddon is soon and you want to be on god's path to eternal paradise and survive.
For whatever reason rest assured that JWS act according to how they've been scripted (brainwashed) to act around people who they are aware that left, DFed or otherwise.
That programming data that the WTS instilled runs 24/7 nonstop and you have to be constantly aware of that when your around JWS .
Its for that reason I personally I don't trust JWS and keep them at arms length away most of the time.
Their treatment of those who try to walk away becomes all the clearer after watching a few episodes of Leah Remini's Scientology program. The Scientologists are a few degrees more radical (IMO) than the JWs, but they all follow the same script.
I used to think calling JWs a cult was a bit over the top. But after watching this program I can see that the word fits.
The J.W.'s greatest and undeniable problem with "spiritually weak ones?"
They cannot and dare not acknowledge any statements which put the org/G.B. in a negative light - especially scriptural evidence!
Their minds are not conditioned to deal with hitherto unrecognised facts. The implications are too great to face.
The belief is the most sacred fundamental aspect of their identity; it is everything to them and the source of much struggle too. You have seen it, shared it and then rejected it. You have thus rejected all that they are. A rejection of scripture would not cause them to hate you as they do. Its the percieved personal rejection of their entire selves that does that.
@cobweb, that gets into the other component of this story: Sally and those like her are fine with other co-workers and customers. No problems there. (Actually, I must add that JWs do not tend to be the best employees as the WTBTS has claimed, but I digress.)
But the fader? The ex-JW? All frowns. Do they really think they'll convert the co-workers they've had for years? Am I somehow a threat to that notion?
And yeah, I had to face my identity as well when TTATT became undeniable. I was cracking under the pressure until I did so.
The psychosis of fear that the WTS intentionally plants into people's minds can run very deep, people who have left the Org. are also deemed possessed by Satan and are therefore dangerous to their own spiritual heath.
So when a JWS frowns or shuns people who they know have left, to them they are shunning Satan which reconfirms and protects their spiritual righteousness..
Much of this fear and guilt is carefully and skillfully indoctrinated to maintain supportive members for the organization as that relates to standing up and supporting Jehovah.