Labeling A Person For Leaving “The Truth”

If there’s one saying used among Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) that I truly dislike, it is this: “He’s not doing anything about the Truth right now.” This is used to indicate that someone isn’t active but there’s still hope they might return. What I don’t like about this is that it makes it sound like the individual is not interested in “truth” as a concept. Yet, that’s usually what makes a person stop associating with the organization.

People are leaving the organization because they are interested in “truth” – the truth behind the policies regarding child sexual abuse, the truth about the dangers of shunning family, the truth about financial cover-ups, etc. A person may also leave to pursue a “higher truth” of spirituality, instead of the unsatisfying doctrine proposed by JWs. If anything, when one leaves the organization it’s because they ARE “doing something about the truth.”

Using this terse phrase to sum up a person’s current condition is an example of how using “loaded language” short circuits the ability to think objectively about a situation. Slapping labels and phrases on people makes it unnecessary for members to actually consider why a person has chosen a particular course. Instead of hearing the reasons why a person might have left, they hear that the individual is in a category – “apostate,” “inactive,” “worldly.” There’s no need for them to think beyond that label.

The reverse can also be true though. For those of us that have left, we often use labels and names to describe those still in. Whether we realize it or not, using these monikers to describe current members can stop us from thinking that there are reasons why people can’t seem to leave. They may be older and don’t want to think about the possibility that they’ve wasted their life. They may be younger and can’t imagine life without their current family and friends. They may simply be unaware of the problems within the organization. There are a host of reasons people stay in the imagined safety of the group. This doesn’t mean that they are all innocent. It simply means that we can’t lump them into a convenient category like they do to us.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I don’t want to be like them. I don’t want to use simplistic phrases to describe the entire life of a person when I don’t know all of the facts. I remember that I too would have fit into the category of a “sheep,” “borg,” “lemming,” etc., just a few years ago. If anything, I feel hope and compassion for those still in, knowing it is one of the most uncomfortable ways to live.

Contributed by Michael Paddock
July 31, 2018


Comments

Labeling A Person For Leaving “The Truth” — 10 Comments

  1. I have been labeled with this. In recent years, an old “friend” of the faith came a calling. I invited her and her family over for dinner many times. She declined with the excuse that her “family members are picky eaters.” I am a very accommodating chef and quite good. How does one go wrong with smoked ribs and corn? I asked her to join me for lunch at a restaurant which she also blew off. The truth came out when she told me that she “feels sexually assaulted because I told her about my sexual assault and that she really doesn’t want to hear about it and can care less how the elders treated me.” In her eyes I am “not good association because I am not doing anything with the truth, and that I never reached out to her and her family or care about them.” Oddly, she never ONCE reciprocated inviting me to her house EVER. I have never been to her house. I was the one that opened my house up to her. This only leaves me to believe that JW’s do not know how to make memories with people and maintain REAL friendships. I was just some hours on a field service card and would never be welcomed into her inner circle. I get it now! Whenever church people come around spreading their lies about a loving brotherhood, I don’t answer the door or I just politely bow out. I really do not need fair weathered people in my life. I could not imagine living forever with fake “friends” that do not care how Jehovah’s Witnesses mistreat people. It goes against my ethics. Living forever with thoughtless, and mean people would be a living hell.

  2. I don’t believe that no organization should be so corrupted as I have the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society has been. Now I am asking Jehovah God, why should Adam and Eve be blamed for what’s happening on this earth. Satan the Devil caused you to become angry with your first human couple and caused you to send Jesus to the earth….

  3. When I was growing up, the pertinent phrase was, “He went crazy and left the Truth©.” The implication was that no one sane would every leave such a Spiritual Paradise™. Now “apostates” are “mentally diseased,” and True Christians™ would never speak to them, welcome them into their homes, read their works, etc., etc. The Borg has devolved into a greedy mind-controlling cult, and it’s getting worse every day.

    • Mark Newsome, You are so right. I find it odd that EVERY SINGLE SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM in every Kingdom Hall is considered “apostate” when they never even left the “Truth,” as well as “bad association,” and demonized & shunned all because they told somebody about it or reported it to the police. JW’s are just as horrific and monstrous as the U.S.’s current administration. They are not a shelter from the storms of life and certainly not one single person will lay down their life for you even if you were a auxiliary pioneer when sexually assaulted. Now that is the truth. So much for their lies they call, “Truth!” I was told I was “mentally diseased…a slanderer” for reporting to the police, and that “I need to get spiritual help from the elders because worldly psychologists will tell me to do immoral things.” Never once did that happen. Imagine getting “help” from elders who told my only friends in the Truth to dump me until I apologized to my rapist for calling the police and not having 2 to 3 preferably male JW’s watching but not involving law enforcement!” The only help they dish out is jive talk and mental judo. Once my “best friend” in the Truth told me that the elders threatened her with being treated like I was being treated and that she had to shake me loose I knew I was in an organization like Scientology. Funny thing, the elders never came knocking on my door with all their “help!”

  4. Another thing that JW teachings short circuits is compassion and empathy for other people. That’s why they can treat others, including family members, so coldly. Nothing is as important as “saving your skin”, your own salvation. They would run their own grandmother down in the parking lot if the Watchtower told them to. Other religions are often appalled at the cold-heartedness of the Watchtower and its members.

    • My daughter cut me off and I am no longer allowed to be around my grandchildren after leaving JW’s. It is the most heartless thing I could ever imagine. The convention this year is titled Love Never Fails. But I guess that there is no love or compassion for me or my poor grandchildren who are now denied a grandmothers love.

  5. I am personally so depressed and confused what to believe any more since being disfellowshipped 2 years ago. Jehovah was my best friend and my life revolved around him. I am still unsure if I should try to return or not. No one is perfect, nor any christian organisation or the witnesses, but when you learn origins of pagan customs, and the lack of accuracy in so called “false christianity” it isolates you and when you leave, you dont know where you belong.
    I am truly lost now.

    • Tracey, I feel your pain and I often have those feelings around holidays and birthdays. However, where in the Bible does it say that if you celebrate your birthday you are to be disfellowshipped? The truth is it doesn’t. They have taken the whole account of John the Baptist getting his head cut off at a birthday party and put the spin on it that immoral things are going to happen if one celebrates birthdays. They apply this doctrine* to holidays. In the Bible it also says to stone a rape victim to death, as well as if they report it they must have two to three preferably male witnesses, and further disturbing…not to talk about it. We all know that to murder a victim of a crime against humanity is psychotic, low class and uneducated. Before forensics and DNA, it covered up millions of crimes. Also, if two to three witnesses are watching a crime being committed and do not call the police they are guilty of the crime and can serve time in prison for it. Let us not forget not allowing a victim to talk about what happened to them is psychologically and legally abusive. I don’t know what happened in your life to get you disfellowshipped but with me I was not formally disfellowshipped but secretly shunned, and it was for reporting a rapist in my Hall to the police without having two to three witnesses even though 99% of rapes are committed in secret. It is a fact that the elders told this sex offender where I lived and he shot off a shotgun in front of my house at 4 AM, and the elders were rummaging through my yard the very next morning for the shell casing and told me “not to tell the police what they had found if I knew what was best for me.” I was never disfellowshipped in person but Jehovah’s Witnesses will not talk to me because they stand behind elders instructions to not associate with me. They pity the rapist that attacked another brother’s wife, his now ex wife who he hog tied and sodomized, and their two preteen daughters. The Kingdom Hall was told “he has been slandered by crazy, apostate females.” God knows who else have been human punching bags but those are the ones I know of. We were all treated like lepers. I hear the elders call upon the rapist and encourage him to come to the Kingdom Hall. Not his victims. I have come to the conclusion that Kingdom Halls are a smorgasbord of future silent victims for a garden variety of sex offenders/felons due to their get the pervert out of trouble rules. My worldly husband calls it, “a men’s club where women are dutiful silent sperm receptacles and children are beaten into submission.” I have learned to respect people’s right to celebrate and if I am invited to their celebrations I attend even if I don’t believe in it. I look at it as being a true friend or family member and celebrating their life with them. They will be there for you through the storms of life, not Jehovah’s Witnesses. You will find that the “friends” you made at the Kingdom Hall are really just associates…much like coworkers who are scratching and clawing to get to the top and WILL stab you in the back on their way up the social ladder for some kind of recognition or raise. Ask yourself, did what I do really warrant being disfellowshipped when there are admitted sex offenders that the elders are hiding from the congregation and putting women and children in harm’s way? If you suffer from addiction get specialized counseling from a mental health professional/doctor. The elders are ill equipped and it is non of their business. Don’t talk about any of your problems with the prigs at any church. If you fell in love with someone and did the wild thing with them, who did that really hurt? It should be none of their business since the GB told the elders who told the rapist’s wife in my Kingdom Hall after she reported spousal rape and incest to them that, “We cannot police your bedrooms.” If you go back, keep your life private and trust nobody. They are not your friends and they certainly are not your family.

  6. I have been inactive primarily due to failing health. There was a time I was gung ho for “the truth”. Due to a series of events that began in the late 1980’s I have been “soft shunned” on the basis of circumstances that I had no control over. Having friends within the JW community has been an illusion for me. Love is preached from the platform and in print but if anything causes a state of inactivity you become a marked individual. No one associates with you outside of formal meetings. You are routinely excluded from social gatherings only to find out after the fact that you weren’t invited in the first place. I received a text message from an elder in October of 2018 inviting me to attend the circuit overseer talk. No phone call or visit, just a text. This after being absent due to recovery from a serious heart attack, for which I received no visits or calls. To date, no elder has made an effort to encourage me in any way. This only reinforces my view that love is conditional. The more I research, the more I realize that I’ve been lied to. This hurts because I once believed that JWs were the bastion of truth. Now I battle with feelings of guilt and disloyalty, a weapon widely used by WT. I have a way to go in becoming completely disconnected with WT. I need time to prove to myself with absolute certainty that WT is a dangerous mind control group.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *