Trotting out the JW credentials...

by Odrade 17 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Odrade


    is that because you are really anonymous?

    I'm not really that anonymous. Lots of people on here have met me in person or have exchanged information with me behind the scenes. I try and keep my ID off the board out of respect for my husband (who is out too,) because he worries about being outed publicly and his family having to choose JWs or him. Personally, it doesn't matter to me anymore if people find out I'm done participating in the WTS. But you make a good point, maybe I would be farther past the "credentialling" (is that a word?) if I weren't anonymous on here.

    Lady Lee, mostly I do the status things around other xjws. That's why I can't figure out why I'm still doing it. Yes, there's the common bond thing, but I'm beginning to suspect it's more of a personal thing. I'm so used to being dismissed in the context of JW religion that way down deep in the back of my mind I feel like I have to prove myself in the xjw community too. It's a very situational insecurity I guess.

    Thank you all for putting your thoughts in here...


  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Odrade, I quite agree with Oz; you're recriminating yourself needlessly. I thinks it's entirely proper -- and useful to your listener -- that you begin your story of progressive disaffection with the WT in the context of your spiritual journey -- never a marginal JW or one at the periphery, but right at the center and fully committed to their worldview. .

  • jgnat

    I have nobody to tell my association with the JW's except here. I do mention it here when I respond to newbie posts, to give them a point of reference. Can I speak with any authority on the matter? By explaining my association, they can understand why I can speak with authority.

    I do the same thing when I talk to single parents (I raised my children alone, twenty years a single parent), and cleaning ladies (my first job, and I was darn good at it!). I think there is no harm unless you start explaining your JW association to your milkman. the paper boy, and the chargeout clerk at your local grocery store.

    Perhaps you are feeling what my pastor described, who lived with kidney failure for over ten years. His third transplant finally took. During that time, he said people defined him based on his illness, "There goes the Pastor with no kidneys." People behaved differently around him because of that illness. Strangers gave unsolicited health advice. It was as if he did not exist as a person outside of the illness. It was burdensome. On the plus side, he obviously found a way to deal with it. And he was a very compassionate man. He saw our single parent group as more than a bunch of charity cases. We were real people to him. That was very refreshing.

  • avishai
    Lady Lee, mostly I do the status things around other xjws. That's why I can't figure out why I'm still doing it.

    Well, I look at it this way. We were all employed by a publishing company. Some of us from a very young age. If you met a fellow former Microsoft employee, It would be prfectly natural to say "Oh, I worked in R and D in building five, Did you know so-and-so?"

    I'd say it's almost exactly the same thing, perfectly natural! Just talking shop.

  • Odrade

    Thanks Avi! bet you're laughing at me right now...


  • Terry

    In religious circles the common denominator is self-worthlessness.

    Sinner? Weak? Imperfect? Need salvation? Slave?

    This dependant condition damages a person's self-worth.

    Religion gives only one path to self-value: the valuation of the "others".

    God has to approve you. Jesus has to approve you. The congregation has to see you as worthwhile by your "fruits" which you must produce.

    JW's demand that you lift yourself up when you are down.

    To be put in such a child-like dependent state is demeaning and frustrating and ultimately destroying.

    To become an adult we must take charge of our own life. What we think of ourselves has to be more important that what "others" say.

    How do we chose the group we hang out with? How do we differentiate ourselves? This is a cause and effect universe.

    If we aren't the "cause" of our value we are at the "effect" of others' value.

    The fact that you see yourself in more than one mode shows you are in charge. The fact that you can criticise yourself without collapsing in helplessness is a sign of objectivity.

    Ultimately, it is only your own opinion that matters.

  • Markfromcali
    Lady Lee, mostly I do the status things around other xjws. That's why I can't figure out why I'm still doing it. Yes, there's the common bond thing, but I'm beginning to suspect it's more of a personal thing. I'm so used to being dismissed in the context of JW religion that way down deep in the back of my mind I feel like I have to prove myself in the xjw community too. It's a very situational insecurity I guess.

    Well it sounds like you know why! I mean hey, in spite of the great bond and support that exists on here, isn't it true that a lot of people are still kind of stuck with the JW reference point, just adding an X in front of it? Nothing wrong with that, if that's where you're at that's just where you're at, but this is where it might be kind of helpful to see that people do get past that point as well.

    As far as a more general personal insecurity that's triggered by those situations, you are actually getting at something deeper than the JW stuff. That's just the situation, other people have other situations that trigger the same basic insecurity. FWIW, at this point if someone needs to judge me by some credential, I probably wouldn't waste my time with them. I mean if it's a matter of relating on a personal level and the person can't just see me right in front of them, then what basis do you have for relating anyway? I suppose that's why I don't mention my JW past anymore except in passing where it comes up and becomes relevant, I'm just being myself and the words of these posts speak for themselves. If anyone wants to read more into it by some guess about my past involvement in the JWs or lack thereof then that's their stuff.

  • Annanias

    Terry - As the Brits say, "Here, here!" You are the first person that I've run across on this site who has postulated self-accountability, but then, I haven't been here very long. I was beginning to worry, though. One thing that I finally figured out along my trek thru the land of WTs was that the "elders", the "society", the "brothers and sisters" had as much hold on me as I gave them. One of my favorite people on this planet was a brother named James (no last names please). James is now dead, having succumbed to cancer many years ago, but this guy had always impressed me because he had spent a true lifetime of service to Jehovah, but never, ever, once used it against anyone else. We were discussing filed service once and I asked him how he dealt with the "One More Door" syndrome. The syndrome being that at the end of any FS day, I could always do "one more door" until I'm doing it 24x7. His answer was so cool for as much what he didn't say as to what he did. He didn't say, "Oh, well, there's a national average in the KM", nor did he say, "Well, when you got baptised, you dedicated your body to Jehovah", nor, "Well, brother blah-blah has 16 children, 5 jobs, pancreatic cancer, and one eye tied behind his back and he still gets in ...." He just said, "You know how much you should do. That's all Jehovah expects." It took a couple of months before the full impact of what he had told me sunk in. Yeah, by golly, it is up to me! Just me and nobody else. From that time on, most of the "admonishments" that came from the platform just became a lot of noise.

    There was a study done at UC Berkeley (see how the credentials thing is pervasive) where the prisoner/prison guard psychology was studied. They took a group of students (50-60) and divided them up at random and made one group (2/3 of the students) prisoners, and the remainder were made guards. In the basement of one of the campus buildings they had built a jail and on a particular friday night the prisoners were loaded into their cells and the guards began guarding them. Now, the experiment was to run from friday night to sunday night and everybody knew this. Plus, the rules of the prison were explained to everybody: no abuse, prisoners had to obey the guards, the guards were there just to keep order and see the prisoners didn't escape, etc, etc. The entire group were given all of this info together in an auditorium before the start of the exercise. In less than 24 hours, the guard students were screaming at the prisoner students for the slightest of perceived infractions, while the prisoner students were screaming back. Some student guards were actually beating on some prisoner students. I'm not positive about this, but I think that the exercise had to be called off prematurely because things were starting to get out of hand. My point is that this is what happens to people. No matter how amiable bro. Goodguy is when he becomes an elder, unless he is a most unusual man, he is naturally going to gravitate in the direction of the student prison guards. A lot of the stress within the congs is caused not by religious intolerance or malice or ill will, but simply by humaness. The more that we tend to give of oursrselves to the other person, be it our loyalty, our love, our admiration, the greater will be the hurt when they abuse it. I call it an "emotional investment". What James had told me (and you confirmed, Terry) is that we bear some responsibility to ourselves when we give ourselves away.

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