Honest in little, Dishonest in much?

by mkr32208 9 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • mkr32208

    Ok first off I dont' want this to be a WBTS slam session there's plenty of those already this is about individual Witlesses!

    I was talking to a friend who is a business owner (hotel industry) he isn't a witness he doesn't know I used to be a witness. I just casually asked him about all the watchtower and awake's in the Magazine rack. He replied that most of his emplyees are witnesses so I asked him how that worked out, his reply really made me think. He said- (paraphrase) witnesses make the best emplyees they love to work early mornings and nights so they can go bother people during the day, they are absolutly honest in everything they see a hundred dollar bill on the table they turn it in. They are terrific! However I never ever Hire a JW contractor or do business with a witness who OWNS a business they are always the most dishonest people in the trade. They overcharge, underwork, pad the bill, do anything and everything to screw you out of every penny they can...

    This blew me away and then I started thinking about it and you know what? I think he's right! When I was a witness I worked for several brothers and they always seemed dishonest... they wouldn't dream of picking up a dollar off the street without reporting it but over charging on services didn't even phase them...

    Three theories;

    1) They figure they are so honest in every other respect that they can get away with it in business

    2) they don't consider it too be theft to pad a bill...

    3) (my personal choice) most of the people who OWN businesses are older usually elders ministerial servents and they don't feel they have to be as honest as the rank and file...


  • Happy Guy :)
    Happy Guy :)

    Well I think you will find honesty and dishonesty in all walks of life. Jehovah's Witnesses don't hold exclusive ownership to either of those two things (although they are heavy on the propoganda trying to claim they do - which is utter nonsense).

    As far as having personal comments on this matter, I don't really. They are your friends experiences and not mine but they do sound reasonable for the reason I already mentioned in my first sentence. Also it is reasonable because I have personally met many dishonest Jehovah's Witnesses. Sometimes they were being dishonest for finanacial gain, sometimes for legal advantage, sometimes to protect the image of the Watchtower and sometimes to their spouse on little things in order to get out of chores etc. Sometimes they would be dishonest with people to convert them or to guilt them into coming back to the cult.

    In other words I found many JWs that I encountered to be dishonest and for a variety of reasons. This is true in regular society although with the JWs, many (but certainly not all) of the motives would be unique.

  • Narkissos

    I think this is a very smart observation.

    I'm inclined to relate it to Nietzsche's comments about Christian morality being actually slave morality. Taking the Bible -- and especially the NT -- literally (as JWs do) will make you a better slave (obedient, scrupulous, working hard, law-abiding, not robbing anything, and so forth). But it won't help you to be a good master, for it gives no clue to the aristocratic qualities which suit the master role.

    Food for thought...

  • Happy Guy :)
    Happy Guy :)

    I think the distinction here is not so much the slave versus master because in this case the business owner is merely a contractor. He is the slave to the one who is contracting him.

    Based on my observations of JWs who would lie, steal or cheat it was usually more a matter of two criteria:

    1. Does it hurt the Watchtower or it's image

    2. Can I get away with it.

    I personally knew several witnesses who if confronted with the money on the ground scenario would turn it in but in other scenarios like padding a bill, charging for work not done or lying to potential converts it wouldn't phase them. In the money on the ground scenario they would always be concerned that they could be seen picking it up or alternatively someone had placed it there to catch them stealing. Bill padding, charging for work not done and other cheats/lies are deemed easy to get away with. I have always found this distinction to be the determining factor but htis is also true of many people. To quote Michael Jackson it's a smooth criminal.

  • Swan

    I feel that I am more honest now than I was as a JW. I don't have to pretend or worry about hiding anything in my life from the elders. I don't have to put on a veneer of niceness to give people a good impression of JWs. I don't have to pretend to love people I dislike just because they are in the "truth" because of some agape principle that I have to conform to. I never hold back when asked my opinion in fear of giving people the wrong impression of the "truth."

    I don't feel compelled to judge people by JW standards, which are far more strict than my own. In all of this I have learned to be accepting of others, diplomatic, tactful, and empathetic. I am seldom blunt. I don't believe myself to have a monopoly on truth; my opinions are just that, my opinions, formed over a lifetime of being misled, of the denial that goes along with it, and of the recovery process that I have gone through in coming out of that life changing experience. I am more honest in that I can look at other people's ideas and opinions without feeling threatened.

    Most of all, I am honest with myself now, and I don't seek to cover up or deny anything that might be outside of my comfort zone. No truer words have ever been written than the bard's "Above all else, to thy own self be true." I recognize my faults and weaknesses as part of me. I accept them, and try to do good in spite of them. I don't try to cover them over, or pray them away, or study them away by reading Wt articles. I don't try to delude myself into thinking that going from door to door will help me overcome my foibles. I accept myself for who I am, and that has brought me greater peace and joy than a thousands of hours in the field service or at the Kingdom Hall.

    When I was a child, I hated meetings, I hated field service, I hated the assemblies, and I hated being different in school. I always felt pressured into it and pressured into liking what I did not. I hated being criticized for reading a science fiction novel that someone else disapproved of. I hated being restricted from watching television shows that were really innocuous, but had some reference to something forbidden. I hated being pressured into denouncing the music and people that I admired. I hated being limited in my education. All of these things in my life I had to filter, through the JW rose-colored glasses. I had to pretend to love this and hate that in fear of the consequences. So I gave back the extra change to a shopkeeper once, and he call me honest, but in everything else in my life I was the most dishonest person, especially to myself. And now that I have left the JWs, I am finding a lot more people than just me felt the same way.


  • Elsewhere

    I believe this is a side effect of the JWs insular nature... "The world is out to get us, so we should get them before they have a chance!"

  • Narkissos

    Great post Swan.

    There is so much self-dishonesty beneath JW (or other ideologically-motivated) "honesty".

  • shotgun

    I have seen it from the other side of the coin...as a contractor doing jobs for JW's was a huge pain, they always agreed to a price and then expected a cut when the job was complete or had to be pestered to pay the bill which was an uncomfortable position to be put in, them being your christian brother or sister.

    I finally made it a policy to only do work for JW's if I had lots of spare time, they bought the materials after which I would do it for free. Essentially I stopped doing anything which required more than donating a couple hours of my time.

    As far as business owners go, I never found them to be any better or worse than non dubs...in my experience anyway.

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    1. literal and not spiritual, attending to small matters and neglecting the spirit of the law - as with belief - swallowing camels and straining out gnats
    2. Under threat (a boss) - willing to work, released from threat (own business) - a law unto themselves, aside from keeping up appearances. As with the religion, if it became too well known about practice that is dodgy "new light" would emerge and/or simply a cover up - even if law suits were required for 'righteousness'.
  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    "He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal."
    "We know that the law is spiritual"

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