Assistance would be appreciated
I'm intrigued by the nature of the six troublesome items.
Why those six over what appear to be far more basic and fundamental problems in the JW faith?
The eschatology of JW's,conceived and formulated in the 1920's and 30's was never intended to last this long. In the year 1935, they identified a group known as the "great crowd" which was supposed to survive the "great tribulation."
Where are those people now? A seventeen-year-old in 1935 would be one hundred years old today. In retrospect, it is painfully obvious that these people were not the "great crowd" as JW's define the term. Yet they continue to refer to this event as a, "bright flash of light."
Worse, JW theology does not and cannot account for these people.
(And please nobody chime in with, "other sheep." With the obvious exception of premature death, JW's do not teach that "other sheep" exist apart from the "great crowd" in the Christian era, as that would constitute a third distinct class of Christians who attain neither of the two salvations JW's believe the Bible holds out for Christians.)
Or how about JW views on medical treatment? Although it might seem like a long time ago to a teenager, I can remember when they forbade IgG, which is the basis for most post-exposure vaccines and serums.
Heck, I remember when they taught that your heart (The muscle in your chest) was the source of your emotions.
To this very day, JW's forbid the acceptance of what they refer to as "primary components" of blood, even in cases of severe trauma, (e.g. accidents, gunshot wounds, etc.)
Surely a prospective medical student is aware of the implications (Ethically and medically) here (?)
Lots of people to answer, got to sleep and forgot this existed. Think I'll do it on 2 posts:
Oh yeah, it hurts because it is part of your own identity too. That threat of shunning hanging over your head is manipulation to keep you in line. That fear of getting caught, that the thought police might find you one day. It is terrifying because of that external pressure. But then you add that internal fear, that guilt or shame, and they have you stuck.
Again, you're brave for coming here at such a young age. There are other young ones here. I remember when I counted as a "young one", lol, but I guess since I turned 40 last year now I'm old.
I don't know where you are in your journey exactly. The site jwfacts.com has absolutely some of the best information, taken directly from Watchtower publications, about the religion. Sites like this are good for conversation, though it helps to go in humble and asking questions. A lot of people here have been through some rough times because of Jehovah's Witnesses, myself included.
I don't know if you ever listen to podcasts but I did one called "This JW Life" where I went through my life story. I wasn't born a JW, my family became JWs when I was 8 or 9, and then I go through my life as a JW (including as a ministerial servant and pioneer), and on to the eventual path that took me out. I also do another podcast called "shunned" where I help other people to tell their stories. So far it has been mostly ex-JWs but I also had an ex-Mennonite that was shunned. I'm interviewing an ex-FLDS member next weekend, along with some other ex-JWs too.
There is a lot to the organization that my guess is you do not know. I don't know how long you've been looking around. They were affiliated with the United Nations for some time, something that they dropped literally the same week that they got caught (if I remember correctly). They have so many flip flops on doctrines like blood. They once deemed organ transplants as cannibalism and it would get you disfellowshipped. If you go back and read about the founders of the religion like Russell and Rutherford you'll find all kinds of crazy things. It was basically born out of the Millerites (a sect of the Seventh Day Adventists). They believed that Jehovah lived on a star in the Pleiades constellation, they had properties like Beth Sarim where they bought mansions for resurrected ones to live in. This is all factual stuff. Russell even sold "miracle wheat" and other scams. If you start learning about other religions you find that JWs aren't alone in their view of the world in many ways. I had no idea until I left. You will find that they often use an ellipses (....) in a quote to manipulate the quote and hide information that wouldn't go along with the point that they are trying to make in their publications.
I could go on and on and on. I don't want to overwhelm you. It doesn't feel good to wake up one day and realize that you were tricked for so long. It feels very bad. It is hard to accept, and there is a grieving process like you might go through if you lost someone close to you. Some people are very bitter, some are compassionate but still very hurt. Many of us, like my wife and I that have now been out for just over two years, have rebuilt our lives and live free and very happy lives. Others here have spouses that are JWs because they married a JW, or maybe they are awake but their husband or wife is still very much in the religion. To a person almost all of us have had our families ripped apart by it. They absolutely destroy families. My dad died 6 months after my wife and I left the organization and were shunned. I wasn't invited to his memorial at the Kingdom Hall.
I shunned my own brother for 14 years or so. He was disfellowshipped for something he didn't even do simply because he wanted to walk away and didn't want to talk to the elders and wanted to be left alone. I didn't know that. One of the biggest things that woke me up was studying books on emotional abuse, narcissism, love, happiness, and other psychological health books. I started seeing how manipulative things were in the religion, and how I was being used to psychologically manipulate my brother to try to get him to come back. He was a happily married man living in another state, living a good and upright life, but because he was disfellowshipped and labeled as that he would be labeled forever even if he changed his life around, all because he didn't want to be a JW anymore. I reached out to him and apologized for manipulating him in that way through shunning. He accepted me and I accepted him. I was shunned by my parents for doing so. My wife was shunned by her family for doing so. We were still JWs in good standing. Six months later, after much study and looking into the organization, with our families shunning us for one decision we made after so many years of faithful shunning, we realized that love was not the identifying mark of Jehovah's Witnesses. Rather, it was control. Control is not love. We disassociated and got the name of the organization off of us so as to be truly free to live our lives.
We've learned so much in these last two years. We were lied to in so many ways by the religion that we gave everything to.
Anyway, I need to get off to bed as it is late here and I have to work tomorrow. I envy your youth and how brave and awake you are for that age. The one thing I don't envy is that it puts you in a very tough position at an age where you still have so much maturing to do and this is something that is very hard to handle, even though you seem very intelligent and like a good person.
Later my new friend,
Mike (I can use my real name because I'm free and don't have to hide anymore. That isn't true for most.)
Thank you so much, Mike. I wish I could reveal my real name, but I feel like I shouldn't do it. I think you can understand. Btw, got the 1984 reference, amazing book. I've actually just seen a video from a protestant elder talking about 1919 and gave a bit of JW background, includying stating Millerite origin. Thanks for the extra intel, I'm truly sorry for what you been through due to the organization, though. Hope you´re doing fine so far, friend!
Hi, just wanted to say welcome to the forum. Yes I totally know what it's like to be scared to come on here. I was terrified when I first found this place, but it's filled with kind people who only want to offer help or suggestions. No matter what you choose to do you'll be supported. www.jwfacts.com for me really helped a lot. Take it slow and go at your own pace on what you're comfortable with. I now have my freedom and kind of feel a little silly that I used to be so scared just to research my own religion. That for me shows how controlled I was. Why should anyone have to be afraid to simply reach out to understand their own religion better?
Best of luck in your search, I'm sure you'll be very successful no matter what path you choose in life.
Thank you cleanideas! I've been browsing on JWfacts, definetely way better than most sources I´ve found so far. Most of the information is very easily verifiable too, I'm enjoying it quite a bunch.
Here is the key to your lack of dissatisfaction: "My dad has the incredible feat of being an elder and having a PhD." You were raised by a man who thinks for himself I am sure. He has found some intellectual satisfaction in the WT thinking. In time it will wain I am sure. He has obviously allowed you to express your feelings and to think. It seems it will work out if he continues to reason on what is really happening in the WT organization. It is crumbling with such silliness its deplorable. Once he sees through the false face of WT he will also question the pseudo-intellectualism of the "the TRUTH". Look into the Australian Royal Commission's investigation into child abuse in the WT. Even a GB member lied during testimony. Don't miss it. Look on YouTube.
There I feel I should add more to this story. So, when I was about 13-year ish, I randomly found out about Australian Royal Comission. I told my dad. He helped me get the oficial state-written report on the event. I did actually see the YT videos first, and told my dad that G. Jackson blatantly lied in some points of the interview. He said for me to read it all and then talk to him. And here I'm to be blamed, because I didn't for two reasons: 1) I
wasam a lazy bum. 2) I wasn't and really am not going through any drama due to being an Witness. Now that you reminded me about it, I should read it all and watch the YT videos too!.
Welcome Plato. You have a P.M.
I'll tackle this point since it's been ignored by everyone else. I've never met an atheist who wasn't aware of the teleological argument, putting aside those who are atheists simply by apathetic default. The teleological argument has been moribund since the time of Darwin, preserved by creationist charlatans, and these days it clings on by a fingernail with hollow god of the gaps notions like fine-tuning. I think we can all see where this is going, given the past record of science vs theology.
As for the Summa Theologica, perhaps theists ought to consider reading something written more recently than the dark ages. Nothing in that text holds weight today, it's a series of bold assertions, backed up by nothing. Aquinas seems to get a free pass which no one deserves, it's about time it was revoked.
Oh, to be fair with you, most atheists I´ve known are, indeed, just apathetic by default. I don't know many atheists personally, haha. Anyway, I wouldn't really the teleological argument is moribound. Discussion around it still exists. I know many here probably joke around Intelligent Design, but it becomes more deep when you take into account the sources of the teleological argument - which is not, at least in modern context, quite synonimous to ID- as a whole, such as the 5 ways of the summa teologica.
Speaking of which, the dark ages were just between sigles V to IX, not actually the entire middle age. Aquinas was from the XIII if I'm not mistaken. But I partially agree with what you have said! So far from what I've searched, some thomists seem to be dead-certain of Aquinas infallibility. But his assertions definitely aren't something you can take lightly. Philosophy in the Middle Age in general must be studied with some salt, since its, in the end of the day, philosophy serving a religion. But still, if we look at someone like Dawkins in his God Dellusion has to say about the 5 ways, we shall discover that, like many others, he's misunderstood it all. Say, argument from motion; Dawkins, same as many many others, thinks Aquinas was talking about physical movement, when, in fact, the philosopher was talking about changing from potency to act, as described by Aristotle. Most Modern philosophers seem to have some issues on understanding the 5 ways appropriately. Kant and Hume seem to present some critique towards the first 3 ways, though, might as well look on that. Still, from what I’ve seen, Thomism seems very interesting! But then, one must remember that intersecting religious belief with philosophy may not be effective; it goes down to individual perception in the end of the day. Also, on the matter of science vs theology, Golden Age Arabs may have one thing or two to say...
Not fun! Certainly the people in the congregation have pulled away from us, so there's not much socializing. I'm pretty sure many realize I don't believe because I never comment, never talk about JW things at the kingdom hall and I'm sure give off the body language that I'd rather be anywhere else. I don't recommend it as a long term strategy. Especially if your immediate family won't shun you
That’s actually a doubt,. I’m not sure on my immediate family shunning me at all. That’s somewhat good if you think about it. Thanks for sharing your experience, though, will keep it in mind as I study :)
Answering to @Giordano -quoting on mobile is troublesome-: thanks for the valuable advice. I will keep on studying and, if I decide to keep posting here it should mean that everything is ok. I thought it would be make the topic a bit more lighthearted if I told how I started to read “apostate” content in general more recently. So, a sister needed me to print for her an image of a day-to-day study program table that she found on the internet. I google’d the image to find one with better resolution, since she wanted it to be in full-page, and the first link directed to an ex-jw forum, haha. Then I started to dig up again (not really the first time I’ve visited these sites). This is the first serious time though. Not just peeping, gotta study hard.
Knowing now what I now know from decades of real life experience as a born-in jw, if I were you i would run like hell now! I had the opportunity to go to college but turned it down to pioneer and give my life to the wtbts. What a fu*king mistake! Decades of chasing the proverbial "dangling carrot".
Get a life!
Managed to quote this time. So, I guess I can’t run as far as my context - family attached guy- goes, but I can feel you. I’m sorry for the kind of experience you went through. I don’t plan to ever be a regular pioneer, really. I would loveee to work at Betel or even get to Warwick HQs - that could represent massive opportunity for intel-, though. Even as a kid I thought like that, lol. Not like an unloyal Witness like me can get there anyway.
Couldn’t properly quote you, @TD. So, definitely very good first question. I probably could’ve mentioned the most core doutrine, but I’m still (re)studying it. Surprisingly, I’m doing it calmly, so no emotions towards it as whole. Then again, I wrote the whole text in kind of a anxious mood, and “anxious” here is an euphemism. Albeit sincere, not quite precise hehe. Eschatology dealing by the WT is very interesting, as you clearly have noticed. 1919 is very damn odd, for one. It assumes Jesus AND Jehovah would take a bit more than 5 years to make a quality check on all Christendom. Surely an all knowing being alongside His Son could make than in one planck unit of time. In a 2013 Watchtower issue - if someone wants it, I can look for it!-, WT try to base that assertion with Malachi 3:1-4. Here is the fun thing: the cross-references encountered on the NT itself appoints to texts such as Matthew 3:1-3, indicating that the (quite obvious) prophetic reference that is made on Malachi is of Jesus earthly life and work. Not a heavenly quality check taken place on the XX century.
Thanks for asking on the blood issue, I clearly should’ve mentioned my view on that too. Let’s start with what is certain for me. Children. Children are not individual in any scope whatsoever capable of disposing of their own life. Not even their parents are allowed to do such a thing. As such, in life and death scenarios, they should receive a transfusion. Now, adult individuals? As a Medical Doctor, I’m not allowed to question any form of religious belief. If one says “I don’t want blood” without entering in detail as a JW would, I shall respect their will, the same way I would do otherwise. In the past, the MD role involved less persuasion than today, as you could obligate the patient to abide to the treatment. The way things are currently is healthy, ethically, juridically and in the matter of getting a good doctor-patient relationship, even though I may personal reservations with one’s believes. I strongly believe in an individual being able to have a dignified life in their own terms, as long as one doesn’t get into the way of others dignity. My opinion will probably be rather unpopular in here, but, from a medical standpoint, bloodless medicine has grown to be quite sophisticated, ranging from minimizing blood-loss technniques to even synthetic blood. Even John Hopkins commends on bloodless surgery: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/bloodless_medicine_surgery/index.html. I’m aware, however, that bloodless medicine is still not that accessible and is rather expensive. I would do the best I can to respect my patient’s will on a life&death scenario, but I think I would only know what I would do when it happens. I’ll keep studying on the matter. I wouldn’t hesitate on making blood transfusions in an emergency situation on someone I don’t know though. Seemly WT doesn’t condemn that for MD brothers and sisters anyway. Also, banning IgG is completely nuts.
Will read, The Fall Guy!
Hey plato ! Me and you are in the same boat, you could say. I'm a 17 year old teenager as well. I honestly have gotten a lot of advice from this forum. It's not "apostates" in my opinion. These are some great people and very well educated.
Hey, jdash! Nice to meet you here, so far I’ve been noticing the same.
Ah, on the 1919 subject, we are just expected to accept that “hey it happened”? I mean, there is no evidence that God approved WT? I mean, it can’t possibly be a matter of filling requirements, quality checks should come with certificates, IMO.
An update: today I talked with my father regarding a few douctrinal points from WT society and it seems that I still got work to do. Nothing too dramatic from that. There is, however, a single idea I could accept some suggestions to work around: dad insists on the matter that when one wants to leave the organization in order to embrace the “worldly” lifestyle - and, by that, he means a pretty moral deprived life for most standards - one will search for mistakes and do the wrong form of questioning. That’s a pretty good tool, thinking in retrospect now, to make one feel guilty to go and research on these sites. I didn’t say that at the time, though. You fellas got some specific argument against that?
Then, again, I probably won’t raise any sort of discussion - not this kind at least - for a while. Time to study like a mad man. I’m not even 100% sure I’m leaving anytime soon. What I do know is that I can’t fade from family, though.
I would do the best I can to respect my patient’s will on a life&death scenario, but I think I would only know what I would do when it happens.
I appreciate your point about working as a Doctor and calling for life saving treatments.
If you are talking about yourself re taking a blood transfusion........ traumatic injuries make up half the cases that need blood immediately. If you ride a bike, travel about in a car, walk where there is traffic etc. If an accident occurs you will be rushed to a hospital and you may not be conscious.
If you have a JW NO Blood card in your wallet that will interfere with the immediate treatment you need to have. Then that becomes a suicide note complements of the WTBTS, your local congregation and their Elders. No other religion Ban's Transfusions......... there is a reason for that.
Plato - dad insists on the matter that when one wants to leave the organization in order to embrace the “worldly” lifestyle - and, by that, he means a pretty moral deprived life for most standards - one will search for mistakes and do the wrong form of questioning.
That's nothing more than indoctrination that was planted in his mind from the cult that controls him. JWs always want to act like those of us that leave do so to lead some morally bankrupt life and it's simply not true. I live a cleaner life than most JWs that I knew that are still in good standing. It's nothing more than an excuse to devalue what someone that leaves has to say. If you can dehumanize a person before even hearing what they have to say then you don't have to be intellectually honest. Your dad is trying to discredit people in the same way that the organization does. It is unfair and they won't have honest conversations because they're incapable of it. What you're dealing with here are "thought stopping techniques" designed to give the JW a way to stop going down a path with someone that could impact their faith. They just discredit the person, and now they don't have to think about it. It is typical cult behavior, even something that abusers do. They tell their victims not to talk to anyone else about what goes on, tell them that other people won't understand, etc.
How you get around that, I'm not sure. It is prejudicial thinking that was implanted through things like the organization calling "apostates" "mentally diseased". The reality is that it is JWs that do the wrong form of questioning in that they do none and aren't allowed to do so, or fear doing so because it would cause them pain if they found out what the truth really was.
I'd be interested in knowing what the "wrong form of questioning" is. Maybe ask him that. What does he mean by the "wrong form of questioning"? Doesn't the Bible say to "make sure of the more important things"? How can one do that wrong? Or does he just mean that people are doing it wrong by looking outside of the JW's written publications? Why would anyone read only one point of view on something and accept it without hearing any other perspective?
How did he get a PhD without asking tough questions, looking over "peer reviewed" papers, etc.? He should know, if he went to college and is educated, that part of learning what is true involves testing things out to see whether they hold water or not. Would he go out on a boat in the middle of a lake that I built simply because I told him that I knew what I was doing? Or would he test it out and put it in the water first and see if water started seeping into the boat or if it was water tight? How can you do that wrong, like he claims?
I don't know, it's hard to do something like help you with specific questioning when there could be so much more around it. And there is more. There is a history of things he was taught and believed that forms the belief that people just leave and question things because they want to act out morally and then somehow they makes them question in the wrong way, which is a bad assertion on both cases.
I'm telling you man, you seem like a good kid and you value your family. Your dad is an elder. The chances that you keep your family and have open and honest discussions about this where you can question things with him are very slim. You have to know this now.
People come on here all the time and fool themselves into thinking that somehow their family will accept them if they question the religion. Everyone thinks that their family will be the one that is different. It rarely is. My wife thought that her family would be okay with us seeing my disfellowshipped brother after 14 years of shunning him. I warned her that they wouldn't. I knew mine wouldn't, and I knew that hers wouldn't either. She listened but did not truly believe me. She was willing to lose them if necessary to do the loving thing and stop psychologically manipulating my brother by shunning him, but she didn't think they'd shun her. Literally the second that they found out her sister texted her, asked if my brother was still disfellowshipped, and once my wife told her that we prayed about it and felt that it was okay to see him and that it was our decision, she called my wife an apostate and said that they could no longer speak. That sister then went and told the entire family, and friends thousands of miles away, spreading the word. The next morning my wife woke up and all of her friends on Facebook were gone. All of those Jehovah's Witnesses shunned her instantly, without any verification, without ever speaking to my wife, without giving her a chance.
You have to go into any of this knowing that you will be shunned. If you aren't shunned, then that's a pleasant surprise and a rarity, but don't go in with any other frame of mind. You're playing with fire here. Most people get burned. You have said already that you can't be okay losing your family. If that's the case, then maybe you shouldn't play with fire. I'm telling you that because I care about you. I am honestly not sure what game your father is playing with you but it is very dangerous to you. If you play a game where you are honest and are punished for being honest, then you are playing a game that is rigged. Maybe you shouldn't play that game. Your dad may be deluded and thinks that he can play the game with you because he's so sure that he has "The Truth" that you can't possibly see things any other way. He has no idea what he's doing if that's the case. Everyone will lose in this game because the JW cult rigged it.