Compare the difference when referring to people who want to join Jehovah's Witnesses, with those that leave:
“No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family.” Awake! 2009 Jul p.29
“Do not look for excuses to associate with a disfellowshipped family member, for example, through e-mail.” Watchtower Study Edition 2013 Jan 15 p.16
Awake Says Shunning is BAD; Watchtower Says Shunning is GOOD
From the Awake June 2013 pp. 4-5, article for married couples, “How to End the Silent Treatment”:
Manipulation. Some use the silent treatment as a means to get what they want. For example, imagine that a husband and wife plan a trip and the wife would like to take her parents along. The husband objects. “You’re married to me, not to your parents,” he says. He then gives his wife the silent treatment, shunning her in the hope that she will break down and concede to his wishes.
Of course, a temporary time-out can give a couple the opportunity to let emotions cool when an argument is getting out of hand. That type of silence can be beneficial. The Bible says that there is “a time to keep quiet.” (Ecclesiastes 3:7) But when it is used as a means to retaliate or manipulate, the silent treatment not only prolongs conflict but also erodes the respect the couple have for each other. How can you prevent that from happening to you?
From the Watchtower 2012 Apr 15 p.12
A young man had been disfellowshipped for over ten years, during which time his father, mother, and four brothers “quit mixing in company” with him. At times, he tried to involve himself in their activities, but to their credit, each member of the family was steadfast in not having any contact with him. After he was reinstated, he said that he always missed the association with his family, especially at night when he was alone. But, he admitted, had the family associated with him even a little, that small dose would have satisfied him. However, because he did not receive even the slightest communication from any of his family, the burning desire to be with them became one motivating factor in his restoring his relationship with Jehovah.“
So the Awake magazine said that shunning a person to manipulate them into conforming to your wishes is BAD.
But the Watchtower magazine says that shunning a disfellowshipped person (or, as in my case, a disassociated person) to manipulate them into conforming to your wishes is GOOD.
I have recently read the 2014 yearbook (Again)!! Reading through those stories of all those faithful brothers and sisters has got me thinking… My hours are lazy. These brothers and sisters manage to pioneer despite physical hardships and I am healthy and just plain lazy.
A discussion with my husband followed and resulted in us both deciding to auxiliary pioneer next month!! :D My fellow brothers and sisters, we can all do it despite our circumstances.
Lets make it our goal to pioneer at least one month before this year finishes. And please, let me know of any experiences you have in the ministry.
Growing up as a jw you’re told on almost a daily basis that no one that leaves the bOrg will ever truly be happy. It’s total bullshit, and I know that. But honestly, their voices saying those words are just echoing in my head lately. It’s been a struggle getting on my feet since I ran away years ago and although I’ve made a lot of progress and am almost there…things are just really hard right now. So to all of my fellow exjws struggling right now, stay strong. You’re not alone.
Thought Control: the group’s doctrine is TRUTH; black and white, good vs. evil, us vs. them mentality; use of “loaded language” and “thought-terminating cliches”; no critical thinking about leaders or doctrines; all belief systems other than this one are wrong.
My comments: The watchtower conditions jehovah’s witnesses to accept that they are the ONLY group of people in the world who have “truth” and who know “what the bible really teaches.” They refer to the religion as “the truth” and they call all other religions “false religion.” They strictly shun any form of interfaith, saying that all worship outside of their parameters is tainted by Satan.
They use “loaded language” and “thought-terminating cliches” to quell any forms of thinking that might lead to doubt. For example, if a doctrine (or a doctrinal change) is confusing to a witness, he is told to “wait on jehovah” rather than spend time and energy contemplating what he feels is problematic. The watchtower and individual jehovah’s witnesses often use the term “wrong thinking” to describe thoughts that are not strictly in line with watchtower doctrine. Witnesses who don’t “wait on jehovah” and spend too much time in “wrong thinking” may be said to be “running ahead of jehovah’s organization.” All of these terms and phrases are not-so-subtle ways of reminding everyone to stop thinking independently. Other labels and terms are used to push people to do more. For instance, if a person is spending a lot of time in the ministry, he may be labelled “spiritually strong”; however, if he slows down his ministry he could be labelled as “sprititually weak”; thus, by these simple labels, witnesses feel compelled to spend as much time in the ministry as they can. In my post above discussing Lifton’s 8 points, I discussed more ways in which the watchtower has created a vocabulary that subtly controls the witnesses’ thought processes.
They forbid critical thinking about the governing body or any of their teachings. Anyone who puts forth an opinion that is contrary to a current watchtower teaching, or even openly questions a doctrine, is in danger of being disfellowshipped for apostasy.
They have a long history of discouraging young people from pursuing college or any form of higher education. Not only does this have the obvious effect of leaving witness young people ill-equipped to find higer-paying jobs, but it also has the effect of keeping young people from being exposed to the types of thinking that are encouraged in most college classrooms: independent thinking, where the student is encouraged to find his own answers to questions rather than have everything spoon-fed to him.
Even the watchtower’s question-and-answer sessions (such as the Sunday watchtower study and the midweek congregation bible study) are strictly regulated thought-control sessions. The congregation has an article with a question on each paragraph. However, when the congregation members raise their hands and answer the questions, they are not permitted to bring in their own thoughts, viewpoints, or feelings. They are instructed to give the answer from the paragraph, “in their own words.” These meetings are far from being true question-and-answer discussions with a free flow of ideas. They are scripted sessions, with the audience simply parroting back exactly what the printed material tells them, only expounding on points that are directly in line with the article.
All other belief systems are wrong: this is a very clear and oft-repeated mantra among jehovah’s witnesses. Only they have “The Truth.” All other religions are false and will be destroyed by jehovah.
Hey Watchtower, Just Knock It Off With The Guilt, Okay?
Knock it off with the guilt trips. I know that guilt is very useful to your cause because it is the glue that keeps members coming back for forgiveness. But enough is enough. No more shaming all of your pubescent teens because they discovered that if they rub themselves this certain way it feels really good. If god hadn’t intended for us to masturbate then he would have put our genitals somewhere out of reach of our hands. Like in the middle of our backs.
Stop with the guilt about being in the same car as a member of the opposite sex. If a man and a woman are going to fornicate, it will be because they want to fornicate… not because they were the only two people who met for field service and so they got in a car together and couldn’t keep their hands off of each other. Trust that people might actually have a tiny bit of self control without you forcibly separating them.
Stop with the guilt over dating, and stop with the crap of “Dating is only for two people who are planning to get married” and “All dates must be strictly chaperoned with several older couples tagging along and a mom in a dress and apron offering everyone a plate of cookies and some freshly squeezed lemonade.” Just let the kids date. And while you’re at it, encourage them to have sex with as many partners as possible so that when they finally do settle down with a life partner, they’ll know how to be good in bed. Virgin brides are boring.
Stop with the guilt over how many hours people are spending in door knocking. In fact, stop counting everything. Jesus didn’t count hours and placements and return visits and bible studies. He didn’t even count the attendance at his meetings, otherwise he wouldn’t have provided so much fish and bread that there were 12 baskets of leftovers.
Just cut it out with all the guilt, it’s really getting old.