Have we become what we despise so much?
The majority of members who tend to join this forum have been hurt possibly even traumatized sometimes to the point of wanting to end their lives. Upon joining the forum, new members are welcomed with open arms, welcome messages start pouring in, "likes" are freely given, a false sense of security is promoted where a member is free to speak his mind without having to worry about the WT Gestapo. Again, similar to how potential converts are welcomed and "love bombed" upon entering a KH for the first time. After the new member is extended the courtesy of a "forum honeymoon" period, which at first was very welcoming, very warm, and receptive to anything and everything said, now has to face the reality that many of those same welcoming and warm loving members are now antagonistic, condescending, intolerant, and unapologetic in their point of view. The false sense of security that member had upon reading Simon's welcome message on the home page is all but shattered. The respect and admiration for leaving or trying to leave the lion's den only to enter another hostile environment where some members are quick to bash and berate someone's belief can be equally disconcerting and psychologically damaging.
I see what your saying but at least when there is a disagreement here, no one this forum will demand that your family and lifelong friends stop talking to you, nor will they indicate that unless you change your way of thinking to their way of thinking, god is going to destroy you.
How dare you expose the human condition! I don't know if a heretic like you can be tolerated. Perhaps we should Deforumship you! Everyone joining is an unknown and once they become an opinion expressed someone is always going to take an opposite opinion to task. I think its more a matter of you can't love everyone and everyone has an opinion. After all, it is the internet. Don't let it get you down T. I've been around a number of years and they like me, they really like me!
All social groups are going to have some similarities. In any group the admission of a new member generates some excitement. The difference there is that here it seems to be genuine - I've never seen Simon or some other "leader" going around telling us we need to be more welcoming to new ones or telling us how to do that. In cults there are rules about how to live bomb people and you're judged by the group if you don't participate in the live bombing.
Furthermore, people can leave the forum without being punished by the group. I still talk to a few that have been booted from the forum for whatever reason, and I suffer no consequences for it. Others have left for years and maintained friendships with forum members or return and receive no judgement for having been absent.
Cults exist because they're fed by normal social behavior. It's how we're wired, so you should expect to see similarities everywhere. They'll just be at a much lower magnitude.
Actually, if you can step outside the box, it makes a lot of sense. The cult exit does not ensure immediate healing, and JW traits can linger for life. The need to be 'right', jamming your opinion down others' throats, condescension; all these and more are JW traits that are deeply ingrained.
So don't feel bad. It's only natural. xx : )
I'd rather debate, disagree, and sometimes argue with people here who have different views than mine, no matter how frustrating it can be, then be back in the mind control, behavior control, opinion control of a cult. Just my two cents.
Witnesses sold a lie. A lot of lies. The real world can be quite indifferent and unintentionally cruel or kind, not because of god and satan playing chess. People need to find their way through the indifferent reality and find purpose, personality and passion that is all theirs.
You have some valid points tenacious, however we generally don't love bomb people then expect to brainwash them into our own way of thinking and shun them when they don't.
There is far more difference of opinion and debate here than would ever be tolerated in any Kingdom Hall. It is true that sometimes there are strong disagreements, occasionally proper arguments and verbal fisticuffs. On the whole however, that does not prevent people coming together when needed. There is no way this would happen at the Kingdom Hall.
I guess it is fair to say that WT apologists and Creationist get short shrift however this is not because their opinions are not respected but generally because their approach is way too infantile.
One of the most refreshing things about releasing my mental shackles is being able to disagree with people yet still enjoy their company and maintain friendships.
When someone disagrees with another`s point of view on this board and very strongly disagrees at times , they don`t cut you off .On another given subject they may very well support your point of view .
Our support for each other is not conditional on everybody agreeing on the same thing.,
And there is no emotional blackmail involved either.
The short answer is NO.
Try to stick it out and work past the few antagonistic doof-balls here - Maybe the toxicity runs deep and requires specialized therapy to excise from their lives - I keep reminding myself that a few months back - when still "in" I was just like that to - "Father forgive them ......"