May I look inside your heads for a moment?

by SwampThing 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • bem

    swamp thing:

    Most of the above sounds really like what I was thinking as an answer for you.I could add that as a twenty-three year old Mom at the time,I was called on in the door -to-door work.I had two small children.I loved them so dearly and I wanted them to live forever. so I was willing to do whatever would keep them alive! My now 3rd.child is 16 years old and he was born after I heard the wt.story. interestingly he grasped the words and learned fast but he never accepted it as the "truth" he didn't influence why I left.the wt.just thought it interesting that he always questioned it.

    I appreciated Lady Lee making the comment that it's not un-like an abusive marriage. I've been married over twenty-six years almost all of them have been with an abusive husband. Why did I stay? I feel dumber for staying now that I'm doing my own thinking than I did all those years. being abused! Isuppose we get to the low point of letting someone tell us what we need we forget to do it for ourselves....

    I believed at the time what I was hearing was the truth! it seemed to make sense then. but when it started to un-ravel it fell apart fast.And it took a series of eye-openers for me. to really question and think about whether I wanted to stay. Yes I had a fear of god.

    Not sure if I answered your question, but glad I got to read the other comments thanks for the thread.It helps me to talk out my feelings.... Welcome to the board.

    bem is Dorothy.

  • SwampThing

    To all who have responded, I offer my sincere thanks. Combined, your answers to my question have put things in perspective for me. When I posed the question, I was guilty of committing my usual mistake of seeing the world as black & white. The problem with that sort of vision, as Bruce Springsteen warns, "you better watch out you don?t step on those spaces in between." You?ve all skillfully and cogently pointed out those spaces for me.

    My mother liked to beat her children into submission. By today?s standards, she would have been jailed. I have clear memories from my childhood of walking back to the house with the switch I had been ordered to cut so that I could be whipped, and praying that my mother would be dead when I got back with it. Maybe it was those times which served to forge my rebellious nature. Instead of making me see things her way, I believe my mother taught me to reject authority. As I have been reading your stories and reflecting upon my own life, I can see how my mother?s form of discipline shaped the person I am today, and why I am not energized unless I have an enemy to fight against. Wow! What an insight!

    Confucious, you may have a point when you question whether or not I have always been the pilot of my own life. Interestingly, as much as I reject others telling me what to do, I did very well while I was in the military. I was a good soldier, so to speak. I have no explanation for that aberrancy other than at that time in my life I wanted to be a soldier. There were certainly times when I did not like the fact that the DIs had control of every aspect of my life, but I could look in the mirror and see that I was becoming what I wanted to be. My ability to tolerate it may have also been that I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. I knew when my discharge date was.

    SixofNine (what a great name!), if there is anything I wrestle with in my relationship with God is my constant wondering if I am serving Him by not belonging to a Church or a group. I?ve lived the last 15 years of my life by the belief that I will never join a group, any group. If there is a group, then there is going to be a leader. At some point our views are bound to differ. This inevitability will lead to my leaving the group because I won?t let someone else chose for me. However, Jesus spoke of building His Church, and the apostles spoke of spreading the good news. Maybe I am a failure in this regard, but it is my choice. If my choice is wrong, then I will have to accept responsibility for it, and I can only blame myself.

    Lady Lee, thank you for your insightful response. Your example of women who remain with an abusive spouse is one I have used myself many times when trying to make the point to someone about taking control of their life. And you are right, mind-control takes many, many forms.

    Dan, Putemut, Nathan, and everyone else who offered an answer to my question, thank you very much. I first came to this forum to try and unravel the mystery of a friendship which had gone bad between me and a JW I have known for quite sometime. Much to my benefit, I have learned many times more than what I came here to learn, as well as meeting some really great people. I hope to continue cultivating friendships with you all.

    Have a great Fourth of July holiday, and it makes me really happy to be able to say that to this particular bunch of people...*smile*

    Most sincerely,

    Swamp Thing

  • Confucious


    You are very much welcome.

    In this forum, you will probably find the most non-judgemental people.

    But you will also find the most opinionated.

    We learned a lot through WT.

    ONE thing you will find is that just about EVERYONE in the forum has been played a sucker.

    With much Christian love,


  • bem

    SwampThing, Your welcome! Thanks again for the post.

    I had something in mind entirely different from what I am getting from this forum when I first joined.I certainly am not disapointed! I am really glad that the post is helping you. and feel good too that it is helping others.

    Abuse is something we never out-grow we may heal to an extent, But I have taken care of folks into the end of there life and in some way or other they always remember surviving abuse and that toll it takes on our lives .It's always worse when that abused person goes on and becomes an abuser them-selves that is hardest and saddest to accept.

    Surprises me! when I sometimes do not even realize a spot inside me needs healing until the process has begun. Hope things go well for you.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee


    I too came from a very abusive childhood. So it is interesting that you mentioned that. If I may...

    In my family everyone rebelled -- except me. I obeyed. I was the conformist. I was the one who learned to follow the rules to try to get the acceptance and love I needed. My 3 brothers and sister are all more like you - rebel rebel rebel. No one was going to tell any of them how to live. And they got the crap beat out of them. And I got it for being the oldest and not making them conform.

    No need to answer but how are your siblings in this area? What impact did the abuse have on them.? It isn't quite the same when we are raised with it. Spiritual abuse is more like the woman who marries the abuser. He starts it slowly. After a while the demands get greater. Before long the victim has handed over autonomy. They don't even notice it happening. Some never realize what they have given up. Not until they are out and free. And some never do.

    And they are told those who rebel are condemned - like most of us here lol

  • Corvin
    There is a part of me that feels like I shouldn?t be reading your posts. It is as though I am an outsider looking in on a group of people with whom I share no common bond, and therefore should not be privy to their pain. Another part of me realizes that you are posting here in an open forum so that your stories will be read by others, and that we will take that knowledge into the real world so as not to be deceived by the cults of the world. For that, I thank you all.


    It is amazing how much the Mexican people appreciate it when you go to their country to visit and have taken the time and trouble to learn their language. In much the same way, many of us here appreciate that you are taking the time to learn ours. JW's and X-jw's are very difficult to understand unless you have "walked a mile in their shoes" from door to door, or understand their language.

    I was born and raised in the cult so I cannot say precisely why any other person would fall for it. I will say, based on my mother's life and what lead her to study with the JW's and get baptized, that the religion preys on weak, uneducated, abused, lost and vulerable people (my mother was all of those things btw) looking for answers to basic questions they could have or should have learned by simply getting an education.

    Yes, this is a public forum to help others and educate them about the organization of JW's and everyone is welcome. It also serves as a means of therapy and recovery for many of us. Sharing our stories and experiences is very useful in getting over the troubling and absurd time we wasted in the cult.

    Best Regards,


  • Englishman
    I am not trying to belittle any of you, please believe me. I just don?t understand how someone can allow another person, or group of people, to dictate how you should live your lives. I began to rebel at a very young age, somewhere around 4 or 5 years old. Throughout my life I have always told people where they could get off the train if they didn?t like how I was living my life

    I've always tended to confront a person or a situation if I have felt that a change needs to be made. I can do this without rancour normally.

    However, my parents started to attend the KH when I was 7 years old. I absolutely loathed the meetings. I hated that KH smell, the sitting still while these people talked in what seemed to me to be a foreign language, watching my father sitting riveted by every word, wondering when I was ever going to get back the parents on whom I had so trustinly depended.

    Every Sunday I would kick up a fuss about being dragged to the KH. A real fuss, where I would argue that I could go somewhere else while they went along without me. The person who taking their BS would call as regular as clockwork to take them to the meetings. If he was a few minutes late my spirits would soar at the prospect of not having to attend, only to be brought down with a bump when the knock came at the door.

    Eventually, on one occasion when he called to take us to the meeting, I was really protesting hard against another infringement upon my weekend when something happened that terrified me. He pointed a finger at me and informed my parents that this was the work of Satan the Devil and that it was Satan inside me that was doing the talking.

    Now this did worry me considerably, and it was the onset of the beginnings of my fear of demons which most JW's know all about only to well.

    I only confronted those fears about 15 years ago and was able to accept just how farcical those fears were. But, that suggestion of Satan working through me was the onset of much childish anxiety, which sullied what would have been an almost idyllic childhood.


  • Carmel

    Please realize that all people have a "reference group" or an "ideal idea" that they bend their knee to. Some are God-intoxicated while others are on the other end of the spectrum being "happy accident intoxicated". Both ends seem to be consumed with their certainty that the other is suffering under a "myth" while they are the true "knowers". I personally find them both arrogant pseudo-intellectual snobs.


  • Deleted

    Well, ST, that includes me and I have wondered that myself. I was supposed to be well educated too, got a decent job ( and for all you Brits I have O levels in Greek and Latin - go figure! I even read anti-witness stuff when I was studying: Jehova (sic) of the Watchtower and Why I left the Jehovah's Witnesses by an XJW called Ted Dencher - I dug my heels in - this was before CofC. And I Still Became One!! For 18 years!! We had two keys to the Kingdom Hall!! What the hell happened??!

    1. I had read some end-of-time books (eg Hal Lindsey around 1977) and I was certain these were the end times (so studying with the dubs became a confirmation)

    2. I really liked the No Hell doctrine (I'd get to see my Dad again - extremely important to me!)

    3. Remember the illustration: If you put a frog into a boiling pan it will jump out again; put it in cold water and bring it to the boil and you've got frog soup? All the Orwellian WTS techniques are spoon fed to you over the years, you don't know it's happening til you're committed

    4. I am afraid I had some "issues" that allowed me to be easily part of The Collective - it seemed I needed that kind of structure; somewhere I'd be safe from God's wrath; a place to bring up children; something on the edge; rebellion against the family - stuff like that. I am fine now.

    5. I really liked the people, the ones we studied with, met in the US and the UK - even the wife of a school friend from Essex became a JW. I didn't know that synchronicity happended everywhere, I thought it was God's direction.

    I could go on.


  • HappyDad

    I'm no longer a part of the WT society that I gave most of my life to but I still love God and still worship him.......Only now I go to a Christian church and tomorrow morning will be there for the service.

    For me personally.........I want this relationship with Jesus Christ. There are many different opinions on this board and I respect what each one believes today. The WT brainwashing has done a lot to our minds and we are all on a journey.

    But my soapbox statement is..................."get to KNOW the real Jesus........not just know about him the WT way.


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