Thoughts on JW funerals

by Syme 30 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Syme

    I recently had the sad opportunity to attend 2 JW funerals. The first was a few months ago and the second today. The first was my grandfather's and the second of an old friend back from my jw days. I attended the first funeral in person, while I watched via zoom the second one; however, I wasn't able to finish watching -I had to sign out.

    I'll explain why.

    In both cases, I would love to hear some things about these people. Some things about their lives, about their characteristics that made them loved to their loved ones, some anecdotes from their life, some thigs they used to say or to do. I am SO enraged, that I have to say, nothing of the sort was heard. Only a line of introductory plain comments like "His name was [], he was born in [], he was married to [] and had [] children, and he was baptized in []". This only takes around 60 seconds. The rest of the whole 45' minute talk is a typical propaganda JW speech talking about ransom, resurrection and, of course, how to join and stay in the Org if you wanna avoid getting fried and see again your deceased loved one. And this is not because of an elder that does the talk. That's a script there for every jw funeral, like a public talk. I've seen this script, the elders are supposed to be VERY brief about the deceased's life, and concentrate on the indoctrination message.

    They don't allow a shred of dignity to anyone inside their group, not even at death.

    Even at death, one is not allowed to have a talk dedicated to their person. Even at death, one is only a tool to bring in recruits (and even that, doesn't happen; most of the attendees are already in, and the rest are not going to convert because of a funeral talk.) The more I think about it, the more I realize this is one of the worst aspects of that CULT.

    This thought has stuck with me since the first funeral, resurfaced today, and is making me sick.

    If you are wavering in your doubts about this group, think about that. Let that fact sink in.

    I'm dreading the day when my jw parents are going to be gone from this earth, and an elder will use the instance to make a jw talk according to borg guidelines.

  • Drearyweather

    That was sad.

    I recently attended a JW funeral on zoom where after the 30 min talk, song and prayer, a memorial program was arranged by the elders, with a video clip with pictures of the deceased, some clips of the deceased, and some personal interviews of friends and relatives about him. The zoom program was streamed on youtube.

    Was different from the usual JW funeral.

  • StephaneLaliberte

    I've seen the script and you are correct in saying that it is much more geared towards the JWs teachings than "celebrating" the deceased's life. However, the experience I've had has not been consistent. The script does leave room for personal stories and I've seen elders take advantage of this. But, like you, I have also seen the horrible scenario where they barely uttered two sentences about the deceased and carried on with the "weekly meeting". I believe it largely depends on the brother. If you're parents are in, I advise trying to identify a "cool" brother who knew your parents well for the talk and ask them directly for their help.

    I know that for my own parents... we'll likely have two ceremonies, the first with the JW immediately followed by a second, with the close friends and family where we'll eat, drink, share stories and watch photos.

  • DesirousOfChange

    It sounds like the used the "old" funeral outline at your friends funeral. Recent JW funerals that I've attended have had more of an eulogy of the deceased. I think the WT has read of all the complaints about their former infomercial and have changed things up a little.

  • mickbobcat

    Typical JW bull shit. The last JW funeral I went to they did the same BS. You know that JWs don't do funerals on a one by one basis. They have a outline for funerals. Insert name of deceased here, age here then the rest is all outlined. This is just one example of what makes the JWs a cult.

  •  The Bethelite
    The Bethelite

    Yes so true...some lucky JWs might get a whole 5 minutes of eulogy...but not usually.

    Only 5 minutes for their 80 years of life on this planet... how sad.

    But the vast majority get only a minute or two and then its "let me tell you about what Bob really believed in, as a Jehovah's Witness" Their segue into to propaganda.

    We all know the individual means nothing in the organization. That is one of the first things they teach you at Bethel.

    P.S. You know the speaker gets to "count his time"

  • dozy

    It seems to vary but I have noticed a change in more recent times that funeral talks tend not to follow quite so tightly the Society's script. This is especially true if there are likely to be a number of "wordly" people , especially close relatives , at the service.

  • mickbobcat

    Dozy I don't buy what you are saying. You may have hit one or two that diverge from the script but that is more of an individual doing so not the cult. The cult is not moving away from using funerals as a propaganda tool

  • slimboyfat

    I agree with dozy’s observation, funerals tend to follow the outline less slavishly these days, I’d say about 50/50 in terms of focus on the person compared with focus on scriptures.

  • Drearyweather

    The latest outline dated 10/20 states this in the notes:

    Adapt the material to match the circumstances of the deceased and the needs of grieving ones. While not overpraising the deceased, you may use events from his life throughout the talk to show how those in attendance can benefit from his example.

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