JWs, ex-JWs and Non-JWs
The weather's turned cold today, eh?
If anyone wants to know about Cults maybe I would have some information from a different perspective.
And you know what? The board is much better for the presence of posters from all different backgrounds. They (nonJWs) add that certain 'flavor' and we're all the better for them being here.
Its better than that 39 you had in Sydney the other day is it Global warming or what? these erratic patterns.
Good day all,
First, I would like to make my apologies for not contributing to the discussions for some time now. I do continue to read this board on a daily basis, but mostly I just sit quietly over here in my swamp and observe. I continue to gain a great deal of insight from the contributors here, the born-ins, converts, ex-dubs, never-beens, married-to?s, thinking-abouts, and, of course, dating-ones. There, did I cover them all?
This topic struck a special interest in me because it is so typical of human behavior. People seem to have an innate need to stick everyone in box and label them so that our minds can make sense of what they are dealing with. Are you a Republican? No? Then you must be a Democrat. If one can be pigeon-holed, then we can filter what they say through our opinions of that particular group instead of listing to what is being said, analyzing the content, then weighing it against what we currently understand.
In reading this thread two things really stuck out to me;
1) until we listen to the questions and experiences of those who have not walked in our shoes, we will never learn new things, and
2) certain things will never be the same no matter what label we stick on them, i.e., Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A woman who is raped has not shared the same experience as a soldier in Vietnam, but both can be labeled with PTSD. Get my point?
I have always been treated quite friendly by those on this board who have responded to my posts. As many of you know, I have never been a JW, nor have I dated one, or been married to one. In fact, until I discovered this forum, I knew very little of the cult, and believed the lies I had been told about what I did know regarding Jws. This makes my perspective very unique for those of you who fit into the categories listed in the opening paragraph of this post. I have the ability to share with you what the cult looks like from the outside, not knowing anything about how the WTS controls your minds and manipulates your lives. And, if you care to expand your universe, you will ponder my questions and listen to my experiences, weigh them, and if anything resonates with you, add it to your life. However, if your mind remains closed, then you will continue to stagnate wherever you are in your recovery.
Jdubs, whether born-ins or converts, don?t seem to get the way in which the world views them whenever there is a knock on our door early on a Saturday morning. It has been my experience, both in real life and from reading this forum, that they believe the devil is moving us to slam the door in their collective faces, thus providing them with their self-righteous view that they are indeed doing the Lord?s work. In fact, at least for me, it has everything to do with my privacy, and nothing to do with Satan. If I want to hear their message, I will invite them to come by for a chat. When the UPS guy knocks at the door, it is because I bought something. When a Jdub knocks, it is because they are either trying to fill out their time sheet for the month, or they believe that I am too stupid to have worked out my own salvation, and need to hear their tripe.
For what it?s worth, I believe we all can offer a unique perspective to the conversations on this board. Someone stated that it is only when people [outside of that poster?s own personal experience] start telling her what she should or shouldn?t do that she gets upset. I understand and agree with that statement. However, that thought process works in reverse as well. I am quite thankful that I have not given my mind over to another for the purpose of controlling me. For those who have, there is a lesson in there if you are willing to open your mind and ask questions. You just may learn something about your personality which could help you in the future. A good example of this would be a person who finds themselves in one bad relationship after another, yet continues to wonder why they just can?t find the right partner. Maybe the question they should be asking is "why is it that I keep being drawn to this sort of person, and what can I do to change that aspect of my personality?"
One last observation I would like to make is regarding a 13 or 14 year old who takes the decision to be baptized, and whether or not that decision is an informed one. There is not a teenager alive that I would trust a decision to, regardless of the consequences. The older I get, the more I realize that the age of consent should be moved higher and higher. A 13 year old in that position is doing nothing more than regurgitating whatever their parents want them to say or do. Regardless of their intellect, they do not have the life experiences necessary to help them form cogent opinions at that age. They are performing for their parent, seeking approval and acceptance. I am appalled to think that a religion would foster such a climate where the born-ins would feel superior to the converts. On second thought, no, I?m not surprised at all. This is exactly what I have come to learn with regard to the arrogant and sanctimonious attitude which seems to permeate the Jdub cult. Now, if there are current Jdubs reading this post, there is a lesson in that statement if you would open your mind enough to look for it. Here?s a hint....(is this the way I am perceived by the worldly people?)
Your friend from the swamp....
Hello to all
Let me first say that (((Jgnat))) is an amazing gal. My first face to face. I admire her patience and compassion. Something that I am truly lacking and keep at the top of my list of daily goals.
Next, this board would not be what is to all who visit if it were not for ALL the opinions expressed. Each individual person has a unique situation that forms their opinions and views. The more opinions that are shared, the wider the view, the more tolerant we become the more we learn about each other, the more knowledge and acceptance we can apply to our daily lives.
A JW or exjw might know what it feels like to have their family shun them, understands too well the theories behind it, has taught the mantra, maybe has even shunned others themselves ? all in the name of god ? but would they know how someone feels that has never known this discipline? How it feels to all of a sudden have conditions put on love when the whole idea of such a situation is so foreign?. And incomprehendable?
It took me years to understand the manipulation that occurs. Now it is all I see. I am very angry at the WT for the ugliness they spew that has permanently stained my brain.
This board has taught me so much about the human lives that have been affected by this dangerous high control group. Just knowing that I?m not imagining this crap does wonders, but also drives me to not accept certain behaviour in my home or around my kids.
Thank you all
You have summed the whole thing up nicely.
Here's my analogy: this board can be likened to JW soup. All the posters on here are all the different 'ingredients'. This is what gives it the flavour and makes it appetising, just like the 'soup' you would serve to eat. If the ingredients were all the same, then the end result would be both bland and unappealing, therefore, only one type of poster = uninspiring board.
I have found it invaluable to read about different JW experiences to my own - it has really given me a much better insight and made me aware of practices etc. that I would probably never have discovered. We have all been affected by the JWs in one form or another - that's what unites us and brings us here, although I do think it is unfortunate if somehow people's experiences become graded as to 'worthiness' or level of importance.
We all have much to learn from each other - IMO this should be the most important foundation of this board.