Have you conquered the indoctrination?

by Frog 33 Replies latest jw friends

  • Frog

    Something I?ve wanted to ask you all for a while. Had you 100% denounced JW doctrine to yourself at the time of your leaving the org? I know many have said that specific issues prompted them to leave i.e., WT membership in the UN, Silent Lambs/child Molestation policy, Malawi political party card issues, Inconsistent changes in doctrine i.e., 1975/1914 generation not passing?new light begets old light begets new light etc. I suppose for most it?s possible that their trigger might have been an accumulation of inconsistencies over time. It is unlikely for those with strength of character that you would have continued to do time in the org after the scale had tipped against the favour of a life as a JW. So, at that time you?re still left with some remnants of a JW belief system until you make a life away from the org & overwrite them with newly rationalised beliefs.

    I should get to the point?when you?re raised as a dub from childhood, and are sheltered from the reality of the world, even if you are a reasonably intelligent person indoctrination can take hold. Even after you left the org, continuing to the present, are there some small things, which go against your rational mind, which brings back slight fear and anxiety? It?s almost a flight or fight response, you?ve not consciously reacted to say the ?News? in a particular way, but before you know it the old inputs in your brain have calculated out an old JW response. When you become aware of it, you quickly remind yourself about why you are absolutely adamant that you no longer believe that line of thought is credible for whatever reasons.

    The brain is after all a very complex machine in that it works on inputs to create an output, so with 20 years or more of JW inputs can you overwrite the old inputs with new inputs therefore change the outcome of the output? In my case, I was a reasonably devout witness for the first 22 years of my life, I am now 25. How many years away from the faith do you have to spend before the old inputs are completely overwritten by the new ones, will it take another 19years?? It bothers me that I have these occasional lapses.

    Thoughts & experiences pleasefroglett

  • Krystal

    For the first 17 years of my life I was a witness... and unlike many of you, I did not leave because I disagreed with their doctrines/teachings. I left because I chose to be with the person I love. (Sucks for me... apparently that is not part of god's plan)

    I have found it exceedingly difficult to "de-program" myself. I often find myself thinking.... "what if they are right?"

    They have an done an excellent job of planting fear in my mind. I constantly remind myself of the rational explinations of exactly why they are not right. My family are very active witnesses; extremely devout, as was I. I haven't spoken to anyone related to me in over 3 years.

    To be honest Frog, I am very releaved to hear you feeling the same thing. I also think it is normal, you cannot expect 15+ years of indoctrination to disappear overnight.

    I think the thing that pops into my head the most is my grandfather. He passed away a couple of years before I left. I love him very much and I miss him very much. When he died, I had the logical witness response "You will see him again, he is just sleeping, he will wake up to paradise" The most difficult part, is that I have had to "greive again"... not knowing for sure exactly where he is and if I will ever see him again. It is times like that, I almost want to believe their easy solution; it would hurt less.

    In answer to your question: NO. I have not conquered the indoctrination. But I am working on it.

  • bikerchic
    How many years away from the faith do you have to spend before the old inputs are completely overwritten by the new ones, will it take another 19years?? It bothers me that I have these occasional lapses.

    Thoughts & experiences pleasefroglett

    In my case I had to unlearn the things I was taught as being the truth. When I first came here to JWD I began to discover so much of what I had thought was true about the WTS was not true and yes it took time to break down those barriers and really examine for myself why they were false.

    My research has led me beyond any religious thinkings or thinking religion has any place in my life at all. I still consider myself to be spiritual, but I'm no longer looking for the holy spirit or the holy grail. I've replaced the fantasy of the new system with this is the only life I've got so live it as best as I can. It works for me, I'm saving for my retirement now instead of thinking the new system will take care of me.

    It takes time perhaps years but you can unlearn your way out. You learned to be a JW, you have to unlearn their teachings to quit thinking like one. One day and one step at a time.

    Being that you are young and have a lot of life ahead of you I rather imagine it will take you a shorter time than someone like myself who was in from age 3 to 48. Get on with living enjoying all the things you can now do without the shackles of the WTS. Replace old thoughts with new ones, it's all a process and there aren't any shortcuts you just have to go through it and experience some of the set backs. By replacing the old patterns and habits with your new ones you will unlearn your way out.

    I hope that makes sense, lol


  • Frog

    Thanks for your post Krystal:-))...it is nice to know there are comparable others that's for sure. You have my full sympathies over the passing of your grandfather, I can fully understand why you felt the need to grieve all over again. You're so young too, and so strong and brave, it will get easier for us I'm sure of it:-) I think you're leaving the org to be with the "worldly" man you loved, was an expression that you needed something more for yourself out of life. I mentioned my thoughts on a similar thread yesterday, but I think perhaps in the case of leaving the org for someone you love it is a sign that you must have opened your mind up to alternative forms of thought, in order to be able to open your heart up to someone who was not a JW. It is understandable that you would want to cushion the fall of leaving the org, therefore it makes sense to seek someone who will continue to love you when your family and friends all vanish. I had a similar experience when I was 17, but couldn't take the heat so went crawling back. All the best, and PM me anytime froglett

  • Krystal


    Daniel (the "worldly" man) was the first non-witness I ever loved. The more I loved him, the more I could not bear the thought of my life without him. Would I enjoy paradise if he wasn't there? Why didn't he deserve to be there too? Could I bear to let him get "destroyed"?

    As an imperfect human, I could not bear to see him hurt... so how could a perfect, loving God destroy him?

    This are the questions that started my journey. From there it just all fell apart.

    It definetly hasn't been easy since I am so young. I moved out of my parents house and ceased all communication with them at 17. (at which time I was pregnent!!) I could have really used a mom to talk to for the past three years...

    But you know, even having lost my biological/"spiritual" parents/family, I have gained others. Witnesses like to make you think that if you leave the nest that you will not find companionship like you will within the organization. Personally, I think it is the exact opposite...

    The friends I have now are my friends because they like me NOT because they have the same beliefs and it is convient...or because the elders told them they have to be nice to me.

    I just feel bad I couldn't bring my three sisters with me.

    Of course, I think about all my family and friends often, but despite the hardship, I really believe I am better off out of the organization. (even if that makes me an orphan)

    Besides... I love sleeping in on the weekends!!!

  • ivy

    The indoctrination is exactly why I joined this forum. I have spent over 10 years out of the religion but still believing. (I swear I am a fairly intellegent person) After spending some time reading posts I think that the time it takes to get it out of your brain may be related to why you left in the first place. Some people left because they learned enough about the inner workings of the borg that it made them realize that they could not be the one true followers of the one true god. (I envy you). I think that must make it a little easier to discount many of the teachings.
    I left because I disagreed, not with the JW's, but with god. Which can really make that stuff stick in your head.
    Krystal's story does bring some memories back. I know what it is like to be in love with the worldly boy and get pregnant at 17. It does take a lot of courage to stand up to the JW family and say, this is who I choose. After that, college (in my case, the boy ended up not really being what I wanted) single motherhood, and a family of friends that are some of the best people I know, despite what god may think about them.
    But the indoctrination stays. I was busy over the past 12-15 years. I'm ready to start working on that now.

  • googlemagoogle

    been raised and baptized a JW, have not left (yet), but i don't believe anything of their teachings (and christianity in general) anymore. some time ago (last year? or even before?) i checked the list on www.watchtower.org about what jws believe. i made a checklist of how many points i can agree with. by then i didn't believe even half of them anymore. now i disagree with all of them.

    though, there are some times, really rare times, when the thought comes to mind, what if there's a god that judges this and that. but then i quickly remind myself of why there is no jehovah, and if there would be (an)other god(s), he/she/it/they can't judge me, because he/she/it/they didn't make it clear what he/she/it/they want(s).

  • googlemagoogle
  • googlemagoogle

    here's the link: What do JWs believe?

    compare for yourself, how much of this do you believe. if you want we can help you refute every single point or show why this is nonsense.

    [edited:] WOW, my first double post! yeah.

  • Frog

    Ta, gmg...for me it's not so much a problem with my needing further convincing that JW doctrine isn't credible...but you're right a little reminder every now and again certainly might help:-)

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