This may seem like a very rigid rule when you consider that information inside the book directly affects those in the congregation, and also consider that the bible, which they consider their holy book, is public and required reading. In other words, the word of their god is public, but the words of men are kept secret. According to the Shepherd book, a person can be disfellowshipped excommunicated for:.
Some might view this direction as being very strict and rigid. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not. Obedience to the elders in each congregation is also expected. The article also noted that submission was expected even if members do not agree with the elders:. That is where submission comes into play. It is easy to obey when everything is clear and we agree, but we will show that we are truly submissive if we yield even when we do not personally understand the direction provided.
The demand for obedience extends to the family, as women are expected to be submissive to their husbands in all matters, even if he is being abusive in any way. Deception: a. Deliberately withhold information b. Distort information to make it more acceptable c. Systematically lie to the cult member. This information is not common knowledge among the rank-and-file members.
The handbook used by elders, Shepherd the Flock of God, is also for their eyes only; women are not even allowed to touch the book to have it spiral-bound, and elders must oversee any other male member of the congregation who performs this work. The financial information of the organization as a whole is also kept secret from members. According to their instructions, they are to report these cases only when required by law and only after calling their branch office first.
Distortion of information and outright lies are also used to change their doctrines and teachings when a prediction of theirs has failed to come true. This practice of distorting their own information or outright lying about their own history is not uncommon, as you can see from the illustration above.
For a list of misquotes and outright deceptions in their literature, please visit this site. Minimize or discourage access to non-cult sources of information, including: a. Internet, TV, radio, books, articles, newspapers, magazines, other media b. Critical information c. Former members d. Control through cell phone with texting, calls, internet tracking.
When associating with family who were once JWs, biblical discussions are off-limits.
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Members are kept constantly busy in their preaching work, consistent study of literature written by the JWs, weekly meetings, assemblies, and the like. From the April 15, Watchtower simplified edition:. Keep praying to Jehovah and keep busy serving him. If you do these things, you can trust that Jehovah will help you to endure all your trials now and any that may come in the future.
Compartmentalize information into Outsider vs. Insider doctrines a. Ensure that information is not freely accessible b. Control information at different levels and missions within group c. Allow only leadership to decide who needs to know what and when. As an example, the handbook used by elders, Shepherd the Flock of God, is not to be shown to anyone other than elders.
Encourage spying on other members a. Impose a buddy system to monitor and control member b. Report deviant thoughts, feelings and actions to leadership c. Ensure that individual behavior is monitored by group. Extensive use of cult-generated information and propaganda, including: a. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audiotapes, videotapes, YouTube, movies and other media b.
Misquoting statements or using them out of context from non-cult sources. Their website, JW. See this website for examples. Unethical use of confession a. Withholding forgiveness or absolution c. Manipulation of memory, possible false memories. One such inquisition asked a child rape victim how far apart her legs were spread during her attack and another asked pedophile victims if they enjoyed it at all see this post and this post. Instill black and white thinking c.
Decide between good vs. Organize people into us vs. John Jones. Loaded and misleading language is also often used when talking about the positions of husbands and wives in a family. In training videos for elders, they encourage a suicidal woman to reject thoughts of suicide as she would an immoral thought:. Hypnotic techniques are used to alter mental states, undermine critical thinking and even to age regress the member. Teaching thought-stopping techniques which shut down reality testing by stopping negative thoughts and allowing only positive thoughts, including: a.
Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking b. Chanting c. Meditating d. Praying e. Speaking in tongues f.
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Singing or humming. The May 1, , Watchtower stated:. Even some Witnesses have unwittingly exposed themselves to this harmful material. Teach emotion-stopping techniques to block feelings of homesickness, anger, doubt.
If you feel similarly, how can you cultivate the forgiving attitude that Jehovah requires? Doubts are also strongly cautioned against. If we yield to it, it can eat away at our faith and cause us to sink spiritually. We need to fight back vigorously! By keeping the right focus. If we dwell on what scares us, what discourages us, what distracts us from Jehovah and his Son, we will find our doubts growing.
If we focus on Jehovah and his Son, on what they have done, are doing, and will do for those who love them, we will keep corrosive doubts at bay. She found herself, but lost her family along the way. By then, he had been an elder three times — a job that troubled him as he often found himself judging and sanctioning people who had sinned in the eyes of the church: Smokers. Drug users. But then came the day when the church judged his own children. According to Gracey, his daughter was the rebellious type growing up and suffered from mental illness.
She got into drugs and became homeless at one point, but tried to get her life in order. At 33, she got baptized and over the next four years she was disfellowshipped twice and reinstated twice. But in January , following a meeting with church elders, Laura fatally overdosed on prescription medication.
She had been living in an apartment complex with other JWs in California and had a medical marijuana card for anxiety and stress. They failed to protect her in her most vulnerable state. That same year, Gracey would suffer more heartache at the hands of his church. An investigation followed and an administrative judge and child protective services made a finding that the JWs were guilty of child maltreatment. Gracey, who considers himself agnostic now, is focused on helping all of his family escape the JW organization.
It is a cult that splits up families and separates people from life. For years, the ex-communicated JW has been afraid to speak about her fallout with the church out of fear of upsetting her family.
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She knows of four ex-JWs who attempted suicide, including herself. Two friends were successful; one girl hanged herself; the man shot himself in the head. My mother already treats me like I am dead. And to know that I am actively speaking against the organization would kill her. Tyler is not the woman's real name, but her pen name.
Woman Leaves Jehovah's Witness to Find Her Truth | Maria Shriver
She requested anonymity to avoid repercussions from relatives, though she's yearning to let the world know her story. They have two children, ages 11 and 8. Her husband has been her rock during what has been a tumultuous last seven years. Since getting disfellowshipped, she was hospitalized several times for depression and went through suicidal periods.
Will I ever see my mother again? Maybe three years ago? Tyler said she was moved to go public with her story following the recent murder-suicide in Keego Harbor. With no one to turn to, they said, her world went dark. For Californian Kerry Kaye, the Keego Harbor killings triggered a host of emotions: anger, pain, frustration. She, too, is part of the ex-JW community and lost a very good friend to suicide more than 20 years ago. Kaye was in her early 20s when her friend committed suicide after being disfellowshipped for getting pregnant out of wedlock.
I think Quirky is quite right in suggesting that you need to concentrate on your health and try to avoid such negativity.
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Personally, I haven't had much experience in regard to interacting with people of the JW faith. I must say, your current experience sounds very challenging indeed.
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It sounds like the true challenge could be in your conflict of thoughts: 'People should support each other and show love toward each other' vs 'People do not support me and show love toward me to a degree '. Do not let this conflict lead you to choose the idea that you do not deserve both support and love. Of course, you do. I was raised Catholic and although I have shifted away from the faith and more toward general spiritualism, I still value some of the teachings I received in my earlier years - the ones that promote love and support.
For a community, religious or not, to support the semi-rejection or full rejection of one of its members in a time of need, this judgement remains questionable I do not believe this is something Jesus would endorse in any way. On more of a medical note, much research has been done over recent years in regard to healing. Experts say that healing takes place much faster and more successfully when we are surrounded by people who help promote it with positivity, laughter, love, guidance and support.
When the mind, body and spirit are fed the things they truly need, they grow strong promoting our overall well-being. You mention the other churches you grew up in. Wondering if you feel drawn to revisit one of them, in order to find the love and support you desire at this time. If this is a consideration, perhaps you could sit in prayer whilst asking for guidance. As a member of the Christian faith, perhaps you could consider asking, within prayer 'What practice is most Christ-like, in order to feel closer to Christ and his teachings of love and support?
IreneM, I pray for your healing and I pray that enlightening soulful guidance is sent your way, to illuminate the path ahead. I agree with you that everyone is entitled to their own views and that everyone should respect everyone else's views and accept that. But when it comes to putting their beliefs into practice Jehovah's Witnesses don't seem to have any love. I have decided as you say to move on - I was just interested if anyone else has had similar experiences.
Everyone talks about each other. Jehovah's Witnesses seem to have lots of negative views and gossip behind my back which I know is false. I'm a strong believer that actions speak louder than words and with JWs that is extremely obvious. Their actions mean that they don't have love towards those related to them in the faith. Yes, as you will see in my story next month, I have moved on and am now a key figure in the Kidney Community. These people are going to be my new family by the looks of things, since JWs don't want anything to do with me anymore.
It's nice to hear from someone with spiritual interests. I don't think it matters which religion or faith you are in - as long as you have a personal relationship with your Creator Heavenly Father - Jehovah , and receive support to keep you going in critical times that are hard to deal with. Your point on love and consideration towards me vs all talk and no do is a very good one. But no it is not one of conflict but it has forced me to choose who I associate with so that I can be accepted for who I am which JWs do not do.
Thank you for your encouragement regarding the gift of life from Jehovah God via my deceased donor in WA. I was extremely fortunate to get a really good match. Jehovah God, our Heavenly Father values this so much - which leads to many religions believing in Jesus who paved the way for the gift of life. We will be fortunate enough to one day not worry about these things and live in the New Earth as the bible says.
I echo the blessing that ' therising ' mentioned above re your kidney! I am very happy for your wellness. I was brought up COE and non practicing. I do understand that the JW are not pro medical procedures Can I mention that I have a dedicated elderly JW that knocks on my door every few weeks He has a sound respect for what I do here as a volunteer with Beyond Blue and we have a mutual respect for eachother even though we agree to disagree You mentioned " This has made all of the other Jehovah's Witnesses JWs in my congregation frown upon me, talk down to me, and judge me, telling me to stop my medical treatment ".
With all respect to your faith IreneM I found this sad as a spiritual person. Its only my humble point of view if thats okay. You have had a great gift with your kidney transplant. I agree with you totally. They are very dedicated with the work of preaching the good news; but I find that that is about all that they do, which is good. But their actions and attitudes seem to be more judgemental than loving and as a spiritual person I have to totally agree. I find this difficult too! So I just live my own quiet humble spiritual life now. Just a Christian woman who believes in and makes every effort to do what the bible says without any religious groups or churches to clash with, and a personal relationship with my Father, God and Friend.
I'm glad you came back and talked again, you sound a lot more settled and self-reliant now. As you rightly say it is you conduct, you have found a spiritual place, and by the sound of it you are at peace with it and no longer hear the unkind cries of others. I hope you transplant is working well and trouble free. I also hope for their stakes those that gave you such a hard time come to see their error in doing so.
I didn't post this in a state of distress, I was just curious as to whether others were also hurt by religious people. On your point of the local JWs seeing the error of their ways. I have my doubts. It will take them a very long time. This week I had a few people call in and see me. I was extremely open and blunt about how everyone is treating me, and why I have left them and it's unlikely that anything will make me go back, unless they do start to see their errors. But I like to think that it is their loss not mine. I have several new families now, this forum being one of them.
So the loss of JWs is nothing. Whenever I go to the shops or anything like that and if they are around I get this awful look from them. Which is why I still get distressed at times. My only way of coping is to move on as if they do not exist. I think you may be right that those that were cruel are not going to change or realize they are not even living up to their own precepts - however maybe in time one or too will see what they have done.