Did you gain any good character traits as a result of being a dub?

by beebee 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • beebee

    I've never been a dub but I've been lurking around here on an off for about a year. I came here to gain insight into my guy and it's been quite an eye-opening education. Thanks to all of you for all I have learned. I have yet to post a question. At the urging of a friend, here is my first.

    My guy is an interesting and amazing person and while I know there are many factors that have "made" him into the person he is, I can't help but believe some of the good traits are in deed a result of his JW experience. Now mind you I am not trying to promote the cult. Not after what I've seen and learned.

    However if you believe that we are all currently the cummulative result of our histories, then it is logical to believe that things either learned from the borg or things learned after leaving, that you would have not likely learned if you hadn't been in, are certainly impacting your life and personality now. Since most of you have been both "in" and "out" you are in the position to assess this theory.

    What positive impact has your history of either being in the org, or having left the org, had on the person you are now?

    An example, the forementioned guy when he married, genuinely believed he would be married to his wife forever. I have seen in him an amazing ability to analyze and think about our differences (when we argue or disagree) and come back to me calmly, discuss the problem and offer up ideas on how to fix them. In this day and age, I am far more used to partners who sulk unless they get their way, or just run off seeking someone more "agreeable." As a result of his skill at this (and me learning from it) we have a healthy and growing relationship I genuinely enjoy. I do believe the fact that he bought into the "marriage for life" doctrine, that he developed this sound skill so that his marriage would be as good as possible (of course maybe his former wife wants to lay claim to having taught him..if this is the case..thank you.)

    I also think he has learned even more in the process of coming out and being out. It is pretty cool to stand by and watch him see things in a "virgin" light that I, a mere "worldy" mortal, take for granted. It's almost like watching a baby learn the world, except that this "baby" has the maturity and thinking processes of an adult so the understanding is far deeper.

    So that's why I pose the question as to the impact this has had on you. I enjoy seeing the world through different eyes. Tell your stories, please.

  • beebee

    Ah common..surely someone has some good traits they can attribute to either being in, or what they learned on the way out??????

  • Honesty

    I learned a lot of how not to be.

  • one

    I have never learned anything new or lets say positive after I left, many many years ago.

    For you to be consiered a really "mature" person you must have been a jw for about 10 years.

    Dealing with a "mature" jw is an experience that you rarely "experience" in the "world", it like dealing with diplomats, jw is a diplomacy school if you really pay attention, not that all jw learn the lessons, or ever graduate.

    In a KH with 100 members usually no more than 10, at the most, are considered really "mature", some of them women... it is not only biblical knowledge but temperament and social skills, there are 9 specific "skills' or fruits that jw insist you practice,.

    " 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and selfcontrol.."

  • jeanniebeanz

    Gained a very thick hide. Learned to be wary of those who say they love you on condition of your acceptance of their belief system.


  • glitter

    I don't find it difficult to stand up and argue my point of view in a crowd - even if I am the minority. I think that at least partly comes from *having* to defend my point of view (faith) at school, etc.

  • Scully

    Yes, and they have nothing to do with cultivating the Quiet and Mild Spirit? or Being In Subjection?.

    for starters:


    w63 11/15 p. 688 Execution of Divine Judgment upon False Religion ***

    It is not a form of religious persecution for anyone to say and to show that another religion is false. It is not religious persecution for an informed person to expose publicly a certain religion as being false, thus allowing persons to see the difference between false religion and true religion. But in order to make the exposure and show the wrong religions to be false, the true worshiper will have to use an authoritative means of judgment, a rule of measurement that cannot be proved faulty. To make a public exposure of false religion is certainly of more value than exposing a news report as being untrue; it is a public service instead of a religious persecution and it has to do with the eternal life and happiness of the public.


    g97 2/22 p. 17 The Truth About Lying ***

    "Those who learn that they have been lied to," says the book Lying?Moral Choice in Public and Private Life, "are wary of new overtures. And they look back on their past beliefs and actions in the new light of the discovered lies." After deception has been exposed, a relationship that once flourished with open communication and trust may be stifled by suspicion and doubt.

  • one

    At least i am not willing to consider there is no wheat and "throw away the wheat with the chafft"

  • Oroborus21

    Greetings BeeBee!

    Your question could potentially spark a whole host of responses running the usual gamut in the forum from sarcastic to glowing so it will be interesting to see what others have to say.

    It is actually one of those things that is typical of the problem of "generalization" which is to say that one really can't draw very good conclusions based upon a limited experience (including their own) and state something so generally as that being a Jehovah's Witnesses gives you this or that trait.

    People who were, are or will be Jehovah's Witnesses are just like people in any other group and have a mix of both "good" and "bad" character traits which are manifested to greater or lesser degrees in various persons and that is really all that can be concluded.

    The second problem is that we have a "chicken or egg" problem of figuring out whether someone who says they have a "positive" or good character trait, may have had this trait regardless of being a JW or not. For example, you cite your guy's patience and reasoning ability and willingness to go to you and talk to you about issues/problems. But can one say whether he would be the same way had he not been a JW or can we say positively that being a JW TAUGHT him to be this way.

    What this is really is the age-old debate about personality and character and whether such aspects of such are the product of natural/genetic features, social-familial influences or learned from some more external source such as a religion.

    Anway, you did ask, as best as it can be asked, for us to name some positive character traits that WE developed personally, so I will try to name for you just a few things that I do think that I did learn being born and raised in a JW household (and being an active member in adult life): (this list I could probably make very long but I will just name a few for you)

    1. I do think that I am somewhat less materialistic than I might be not having been a JW. Probably, more accurately is that I don't tend to place a whole lot of value on tangible, material goods or trying to strive after these in my life. I don't subscribe to "the man with the most toys wins" philosophy.

    2. I believe that when it comes to "injustice", "revenge", "getting-even" or witnessing or receiving mal-treatment and all of these similar things, that having been reared as a Witness permits one to take a very casual and even healthy-minded view that such "evil" ones are best left in the hands of God. This is not to say that I don't intervene when I witness such things or defend myself if they occur to me others near me, because I certainly do.

    3. This one is hard to convey to the non-Witness, but I will try. There is a certain PEACE of mind and general comfort in all aspects of life that results when one understands a lot of the REALITY that is the truth contained in God's Word. (Unfortunately, often this trait can slide into and present itself as a smugness or arrogance in many a Witness.)

    It is these fundamental kernels of truth that I believe are so attractive to a person who becomes or remains one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Unfortunately, it seems to be that only a few Witnesses fully appreciate these for what they are because what occurs is that these truths get covered more and more with all of the moronic and scripturally unsound doctrines and organizational cultural artifacts as they get deeper and deeper into being a JW.

    For many ex-JWs and JWs who have managed to shed these outer layers of falsehood and unscriptural teachings and cultural practices, what often occurs is that these fundamental truths had become so fused with what was stripped that they themselves are not even present anymore and so these attractive truths are lost.

    However, if an ex-Witness, or current Witness, can come to terms with reality--and that reality includes both the truths and the lies of the Watchtower, then what can result is a very centered person, one who is often more mentally and emotionally healthy than many a non-witness or other Christian.

    4. Finally, and this is obviously very subjective, but I believe that I have many trivial traits such as not-cursing, fairly good manners, cleanliness, orderliness, a certain amount of studiousness, argumentativeness (which I consider a positive trait), outspokenness, public speaking ability, moderate in drinking, never smoked anything, never did an illicit drug of any kind, not a big gambler at all (except the occasional lottery ticket), tenderness, appreciation for the natural world (creation), Golden Rule-applicability, respect for elders, yada yada yada -- all of which significantly if not largely resulted from being one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    On the whole, JWs in a large part are very good people. If you were broken down on a lonely country road and had two houses to choose from: one a non-religous household and the other a Jehovah's Witness household, you would be safer, more welcome and taken care of at the JW house. Trust me on that one.

    Too bad they wouldn't let me in since I am Disfelloshipped :-)


    ps: you might have more FUN and/or Adventure at the other house...cue the jazz music: wow-wooo, woo-WOOOOW :-)

  • unclebruce
    it is not only biblical knowledge but temperament and social skills, there are 9 specific "skills' or fruits that jw insist you practice,.

    " 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and selfcontrol.."

    G'day one,

    Are you the one from H20?

    Biblical knowledge for a JW means reading over and again the same passages of scripture as quoted and "explained" by the Watchtower Babble and Trapped Society. Having only really read and studied the bible after a ten year break from the grip of the cult, I found it to be a very different book. JWs are often astonished when shown passages they'd never seen or thought about free of cult overlays.

    RE: Social skills: The fruits mentioned above have been a very useful control mechanism for the JW hieracy. From the moment one is first 'love-bomed' one is urged to throw off their old personality and put on the new 'christlike one'. Of course your new clean christlike personality (also refered to as 'the mark on ones forehead') no longer wants to associate with worldy people including ones family and friends.

    Thoughful coments as usual one. The 10 year thing is interesting. Kingdom Hall snobery is very powerful can keep some out of the inner circle forever and often drives people away.

    Did you gain any good character traits as a result of being a dub?

    G'day BeeBee,

    I guess a good character trait I have as a result of being raised a JW is an empathy for those fellows who went through what I went through - being caned and held to ridicule at school for not saluting the flag, singing xmas carols, god save the queen etc.. I have a lot of empathy for those who 'served jehovah in thier youth' as I did (rejecting a carreer to 'go pioneering'). I have empathy for those who have lost loved ones to suicide or lost thier wifes and children. I have empathy for those whose lives have been wrecked or sent to the edge of madness and beyond. I have empathy for every zombie JW who has walked away or been rejected and treads the earth with no family or friends, a walking timebomb. I have empathy for every headache wracked newbie who comes onto the internet seeking mental release from JW cult bondage.

    empathetic unclebruce

    I think it's wonderful that you take such interest in your guy

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