Yep, there were cliques in every congregation that I've ever been in! And there was usually one, clustered around the Elders' families, that was the "in" clique. I was usually on the "out."
Cliques - of course there are. I am sad to say I didn't realise this when I was in but as soon as I stepped down as being an elder (not removed mind), I suddenly found myself out in the cold.
Again, cliques and the associated hierarchy are part of the control mechanism of high control organizations.
I did experience that, since my dad was "unbelieving". However, in my teens, I was forced to go to pioneer school and was enrolled as a reg pioneer. I became an instant "in girl", but it changed nothing. In fact, seeing how people acted on both sides of the coin just made me realize even more how whacked and wrong that "religion" is.
FYI, It is interesting how the "in group" is allowed to do many things the "out group" is not allowed to do. I got drunk several times in front of many JWs. I swore. As a pioneer, I NEVER put in the hours required, and only reported what I actually put in. I usually reported only 15-20 hours per month, yet continued to stay on the rolls as a regular pioneer. It was only until I hadn't been going to meetings for a year, told the elders I didn't plan to come back, and turned in my pioneer ID card that I was finally removed from the rank of pioneer.
you said JW's fall from Grace....
They don't believe in Grace to begin with, the word has been removed from their bible.
The ex made sure we were included with the more mature ones in the cong. It broke her hypocritical brown nosing ass when I refused to be involved with a group of pathetic losers who always gossiped about the less forunate ones (trans. - poor folks). However, i did manage to talk the talk and walk the walk another 3 or 4 years until I found out the troof about the troof and told the body (that's another fricking joke of a word) that they could all stay faithful to the borg but I was going to find the God of the bible not the paranoid, freaked out one of the WT. That effectively ended being included with the mature ones who never farted or smelled bad.
rebel8- it is amazing how the "in" and "out" crowds could get away with different things. For example in my experience the "in's" could go to college (to support their pioneering of course) and could party (with other "in's") and break all kinds of rules because usually "daddy" elder would take care of them.
The "out's" on the other hand, especially the children of single mothers, didn't have a chance. They were damned if they did and damned if they didn't. It crushes me to think of how many lonely "outcast" Dub youths there are out there. Or whose lives were ruined completely.
You know what I'm talking about... the kid who is never included in anything, is poor (so can't "dress" to the standard), can't go out to eat with the others or go to the amusement parks, his mom struggles just to make ends meet, has no dad to help him be socially adjusted as a young man (goes for females too). Is gossiped about, maligned and laughed at... Then the kid finally says f*ck you! and they all gasp and say "We were right, we always KNEW he was BAD ASSOC!- goat!"
I hope they all have their weeping and gnashing of teeth with interest. "God" know they DESERVE it!
Like several others mentioned, cliques are a part of human society. JWs have them but this is not a valid criticism of the religion, as you?ll find cliques everywhere.
You're VERy right. They are found everywhere. No more or less at the Kingdom Hall than anywhere else.
HOWEVER it is a valid critiscm because they make a big deal of how LOVE for one another being one of the biggest things that sets them apart from other religions. Remember, that's how you'd know Jesus people? Thus is a valid complaint.
For my part, I've never had many friend. But the hall I grew up in, I had a few, simply by wrote of having lived there my entire life. People had seen me grow up, and I'd grown up with a lot of people my age who had sort of been FORCED to associate with me.
When I moved out on my own, got married, etc. I never made another friend at another hall, and the ones I knew grewing up were never very close friends anyway.
Why? I'm a frickin geek that's why. Out in the REAL world geeks band together with geeks. So even if they're getting the shit kicked out of them by others they at least are getting the shit kicked together. Well, no geeks at the kingdom hall. Geek pursuits are worldly, playing video games, reading comics, watching movies... no no, you should be out in service. The organization only favors socially outgoing people... and if you aren't one of those poeple you're just pushed to the side.
So there I am, the fat, ugly, poor nerd. I can't hang out with the rich brothers and sisters, because I don't have any money and drive a crappy car. The good looking brothers and sisters don't want me because I'm definitely not good looking. The spiritual ones don't want me because I'm not outgoing. I'm painfully shy and thus I dont' run around spouting off about the truth to everyone I bump into.
That's just the way it is. You have to fit a specific category to be a part of the congregation, otherwise you're just expected to be at every meeting, show up in service (where no one will want to go in service with you) and be quiet. You'd think that the social losers would band together to form their own group, but it doesn't work that way since you're supposed to be striving to be one of the social winners. ANd you can't do that by hanging around other losers, now can you?
I hope I don't get "shunned" by anyone here for telling this, but I happened to be in the "in" crowd as a JW. It is so very true that the "in" crowd does revolve around the elders families, and especially if your family has money. My dad was an elder (not anymore tho, inactive--haha), and I can tell you this, it's not it's all cracked up to be. So, here's what you missed out on by not being in the "in" crowd, a major "fashion show" competition at every meeting and service (and I can tell you that it was very stressful),not being allowed to be friends with some of the other kids at the hall, because they and their family weren't good enough(even tho I really wanted to be friends with them, I wasn't allowed), same goes for liking boys who weren't spiritual enough (and it was already pretty limited to chose from), having your father and the other elders in the "pack" cover up your wrongdoing (you would be amazed what I could get away with), and this one I mention because I got myself in some pretty bad situations as a result, which could have been prevented had they taken the proper action, having a mother who thinks that her s*!&%t don't stink, having a father who thinks hes gods gift to the world, (they are very stuck on themselves), having a terrible family life, but putting on an act in front of the rest of the world, especially the congregation, like having a family fight in the car on the way to the meeting, and putting on huge smiles when you get in the parking lot, feeling pressured to do "cool" things like smoke and drink with the other "cool" kids, having to go out in service all the time, and all summer vacation to impress people. I can't really think of all the other stuff, but there is lots more. The main point is this: don't think you missed out on much, because all you really missed out on was putting on a very fake act. and I feel horrible now to know how others felt at the time, I didn't realize I was treaing them this way. The JW's sure have a way of turning a person into an evil bitch. btw, I am happy to say that I no longer am that person I once was.
It varied from congregation to congregation.
One I was with in the early eighties was very cliquey.
The one I ended up with wasn't