Don't you think that some people are just better off within the org?
Smoking is an immense source of comfort for those addicted to nicotine. Smokers describe it as a social blanket that keeps them warm when stressed by the trials of the day.
Just because a practice makes someone "feel better" doesn't mean they are better off continuing the same.
As with anything we do, if we are going to attempt to "wake up" a particular JW we should ask ourselves, will this do more good than it will harm ?
I think for example of a close relative of mine, born in 70 years ago, full time Pio for more than 50 years, all friends and close relatives (except me) are in the cult etc etc.
That person would be bereft of hope, lose all friends and relatives (except me again !) and be very alone not even in the Country of their birth.
It is better for that individual to remain as they are I am certain.
As for more generally, life is SO much better when free of the cult, that if circumstances allow, people should not remain.
The organization selling this security blanket needs exposure. It is full of holes, thread-worn, filthy. This false sense of "security" has only 'doped' individuals, taking their money, and more, all their time. It requires them to go out and get others, family and strangers to join them in this scam. They are to cut off family if necessary, they are denied any education that would free them of some of their maladies.
Some people 'need' their self-righteousness, but lets not protect it.
What you have said is very interesting, paradiseseeker. And for a fact, for many within the Organization, people think that they have found it a 'safe' environment. However in reality, their 'safety' is quite relative and may be only a illusion, depending upon the makeup of the congregation and the body of Elders who look after it.
But in reference to the person themselves, I believe that its true that many witness could not cope mentally being in the real world if they where thrust out into it, for whatever reason. And that's why many who are disfellowshiped endure the humiliation of reinstatement just to be allowed back inside their comfort zone.
And I think that the reason why this is the case, is because people's mindsets ... their frames of reference and values are so set, that they cannot think beyond the parameters that they currently live.
Is it wrong to try to wake these ones up? That question is a hard one to answer.
Many posters here in this forum have made reference the movie the Matrix and the red / blue pill moral problem. But even the movie notes, that even they (the movie characters) recognize the problem of freeing a mind that have been plugged into the Matrix too long. "They have trouble letting go" was the comment made. And so it is for real life and the question we are discussing here.
Will all witnesses be better off if we force the real truth upon them? Will everyone's quality of life improve? Or will many become overwhelmed by the cruelties of the real?
Perhaps we could take some guidance from those in end-of-life care. Is is better to remove the morphine drip out of their arms so that they can reconnected with the real world and be awake to their friends and family ... or do we just let them go peacefully, free of pain and anguish? It a hard situation that I've been in twice.
As a result, I believe that some are just better off as they are ... because many (including many whom I love) will never understand what we know ... nor appreciate our efforts to help. Most have been just plugged in too long to change and are now totally dependent on their synthetic view of the world.
Do you think that some people simply can't cope with being outside the JWs?
This 'religion' requires extraordinary investment of time and effort. Consider decades upon decades, all the while, the adherent is learning to abandon their sense of skepticism and critical thinking (if they even had such to begin with).
The WT quite intentionally renders its adherents absolutely dependent on it. I have seen relatives allow themselves to be stripped of any sense of self and self-direction. My mother wouldn't even know who she was, if she wasn't a JW.
Many (most?) of these 'lifers' are simply not equipped to embark upon a single day of life, without the imaginary 'safety net' the WT religion claims to provide.
I am currently resolving myself to give up all hope for family in the cult. I cannot pry them out if they're not ready/willing to walk out under their own power.
We have the profound benefit of living in a such a time, where all information is accessible with a few keystrokes, a modicum of courage, and the sense of integrity to NEED TO KNOW WHAT IS TRUE...despite the discomfort that may follow.
The path out of this cult is known, well-worn, and (though not without difficulty) easier to tread with each passing year.
Some will never take it, because the WT religion is successful in consuming souls.
and some people are better off in prison or a mental health facility or in North Korea.
Nice to see some new (to me) posters writing on this thread.
Wayne Dyer says "We dont see the world as IT is - we see the world as WE are."
This saying helps me to understand activists and what they choose for a "cause". Some people are passionately saving whales, others trees, you get the idea - many causes, much sincere passion from the people who pick up the banner of their particular cause.
I am not an activist. I see the world as I am - just like everybody else and my view tells me to let people be where they are and be ready to support them if they grow in a different direction.
So yes, I think some people are better off in the Org. Especially what comes to mind is elderly people. Many are widowed and draw tremendous daily comfort from the idea of seeing loved ones again soon. They like the daily structure of meetings and field service and it gives them a social group. I see that as no different than an person of any other religion that has a lot wrong with it.
I guess it boils down to the age old argument of do you want to be "right" (or in this sense, correct about the JWs) or do you want to be happy?
In addition to what I've just said, is this ... the burden of being strong; is the need to support the weak.
But how can we do that, if so many of our loved ones do not want to hear the truth about the Truth?
For me, I think of things this way.
One day, it might be this year or in ten years time, the Organization will collapse to the point that even the blindest of witness will understand that a cosmic change has occurred. And when it happens, then I'll be there to pick up the pieces of my family and friends. Helping them in any way I can to reintegrate into the real world around them.
We may be a unsung hero, but Its a cross that we must bear ... and an act of kindness that even Jesus would approve.
Here's an illustration:
Someone's got a tumor or a parasitic twin. How much is that growth attached to their vital functions? What are the risks of removing it? Is it always worth it? It's hard to say, every case is different
Beautiful thoughts, I agree.