Personally. Though I understand the frustration involved given the individual experiences, think the polish ex JW activism is quite effective and dignified. From what I've seen of Rick ferrons activism, he is quite similiar. Can learn something from this when organising protest for future.
Exjw activists protesting inside a Kingdom Hall today!
The post by the guy who says he attended is quite conflicted. First he says it was amateurish and unorganized, but that the organizers were acting like "elders". Calling someone an elder is a loaded word in this community, don't you think? An "elder" would be someone barking orders at people to get assembled, not two guys supposedly in charge of an amateurish and disorganized protest. How exactly did they act like elders besides being stand-offish? One even handed out his books for free. What was he to do, charge for them? It's offered for free, you can either accept or decline. It was a kind gesture and something he paid for out of his own money.
If I went to a protest which was originated with and was extensively hyped by a group calling themselves "The Vast Apostate Army", I certainly wouldn't have hoped for or expected the attendees to dress like JWs. Has anyone ever been to a protest here? There's always an element of chaos to the thing, and most aren't "organized" along a conventional sense. Having apostates dressed up like they are ready for field service has the same result in the mind of a JW, only to perhaps make them even more paranoid should any stranger come up to them. I can see arguments both for or against dressing up, but it really isn't much of an issue especially since it becomes obvious from the get-go who's who.
Interesting that activism against WT should be so organised in Poland. JWs have been declining in Poland for years. The Catholic Church is still strong in Poland and the public, like most of Eastern Europe, is very hostile to JWs and other sects.
@Nacho Sanchez I’m that guy and I don’t see any conflict in my comments. I took great care to be clear. Some of the organizers are former elders, by their own disclosure. Calling them elders is not loaded. Anyone who’s ever been in a foreign language group or congregation knows that the body is often “two [or three] guys supposedly in charge of an amateurish and disorganized” congregation. I think perhaps the term is more loaded to you.
I guess my subtle attempts at humor by mentioning a pseudo symposium and what felt like a meeting for field service (which included scriptural application) perhaps failed to provide a better mental picture of the event. Also, many of the mannerisms and idiosyncrasies were ones I’ve seen in many an active elder. This is not a criticism. I myself am still uprooting JW traits; it was just amusing to see others in the same boat.
Regarding the dress for the protest, you can go through all the effort of flying out here (as was the case for many), making signs, putting on a theatrical display, but you refuse to put on anything besides sweatpants or a costume? You’ve instantly closed the door to most JWs before even knocking and it’ll be difficult for media to take someone dressed like a Sith Lord seriously. It’s the reason why we had to dress up in the first place as JWs. Apostates can have a powerful message, but it’s all for naught if they can’t package it well.
And, as slim boy fat pointed out, other ex-JWs have been able to attract international attention to their organized and dignified protests.
Also, plugging your own FICTIONAL quasi-sci-fi novel for an event that’s supposed to be about helping former and current cult members doesn’t smack of narcissism at all, to you? Would it help if a mixtape was part of the bundle? That’s not sarcasm. There was literally a book and CD up for grabs. That he couldn’t charge for them goes without saying, I don’t think that’s really an argument.
what do we have against people being prominent or seeking prominence? seeking prominence is part of building self esteem and status. This is a necessary part of human self respect and is part of living in a competitive society. would we say that an athlete who seeks to win gold is seeking prominence and that this is something to be criticised?
I watched the Polish video and agree that this recent protest was very similar. If someone had made an independent video that captured things that the group did not necessarily wish to share then we may have seen people passing the time with jokes and things as well.
Also if we look at successful protests - the vietnam protests come to mind - those protests were pretty colourful and didn't look terribly organised.
why shouldn't he plug his own work - it shows that he is living a productive life and has taken time out of his schedule to protest.
thebrokenkite - there are lots of ways of protesting and of reading protests. sorry that you were disappointed but perhaps your disappointment came from the feeling that nothing seemed to come of it?
the brokenkite - You said "some" of the organizers are former elders. Do you know which ones? What makes it unclear is that you use the word "elders" (guess it is loaded more for me than for you, thanks for noticing) while making the reference that some were former elders and then you brought up some by name (Joel, Parker) saying they were acting like elders. My question is were they elders? Does it make a difference whether they were or not, after all we are discussing recent behavior at the Warwick HQ, not past behavior in the Kingdom Hall. Please do elaborate and explain more about how they came across as elders. Mannerisms and idiosyncrasies do need to be further explored if we are going to travel along your elder tangent.
I saw the video and I didn't see a Sith Lord in there. I did see some dressed casually, others more respectfully such as a collared shirt. Still, apostate standing in drizzling weather wearing suits and ties makes for an awkward optic from my POV. JWs are going to have the same disdain for them regardless of what they are wearing. As for the news media, they interview antifa and civil rights protesters all the time while they are wearing their regular street clothes. Why would JWs be any different? Did you dress up in a suit?
It sounds like you have a personal beef with Parker. I'm going to stay out of it. I would think that the book being free and given at the writer's expense would certainly make for a counter-point, but as you seem to have an issue with him, you have already shut the door for any debate on the matter. You don't like him and I can respect that.
Here's another take as I'm playing the Devil's advocate here. One of the protesters on the video mentioned seeing some JW lady crying in the kingdom hall , perhaps a couple JW's crying. O.K. So which one of us here is a mind reader who knows EXACTLY what these JW ladies were thinking as they were crying. None of us know EXACTLY what they were thinking- and that's the truth. It may have been these weeping JW's were experiencing cognizant dissonance and doubt and fear due to their indoctrination as JW's. Perhaps they were feeling a combination of ALL those emotions at one time. Which, yes - that can happen. Once again we don't know. It's not a case of " oh, these JW's were either feeling ALL this way, or ALL that way. " Perhaps some JW's who may have had doubts already got those doubts confirmed by these ex-JWs speaking out. And for those JW's who are still fanatic, deeply entrenched in their WT beliefs, it drove them deeper into their belief systems.
Hey, you can't please everybody. Even if these Ex-JW's had pulled off a " perfect " protest - some here would still be bitching and disagreeing with tactics, motives, and effectiveness just purely based on the fact that they are " know it all's " in other aspects of their lives. O.K. End of my playing the Devil for now. Carry on , have a blast
@Ruby456 Others seeking out prominence and control is kind of how we all ended up here, so I’m not sure what I’m missing. I’m a lot less susceptible to self-proclaimed leadership and want to know what’s in it for them. I question the motives of everyone leading any movement before I decided to jump in head first. The last time I didn’t do that, I ended up a Witness for 25 years. I think this is a reasonable approach for someone recently delivered from the chains of a cult he worshipped all his life.
I do understand that when you become an "ex-anything", whether you've been fired from your job, barred from you local pub, or been disfellowshiped or left the Org, you might need to have a bitch about it from time to time - and that's largely what happens here 24/7 - but entering a Kingdom Hall full of the young, the old, families and just normal people, exercising their right to free assembly and worship, to disrupt and protest is just plain wrong. What on earth gives these people the right to think this is in any shape or form appropriate behavior? For crying out loud - move on and get a new hobby....