As it happens I'm moored up next to the cutest little village. It has cobbled streets and a bubbling entertaining river. A local butchers, many coffee shops (I've visited a few) and several churches. I love looking at all of these things, the one thing that jars me whenever I walk into town is the just outside my favourite bakery. The JW have a magazine stand there. Two people stand by magazines- that at the moment proclaim something or other about family life- I don't even know where to look because of that irony. The magnets in my bones want to walk over to them, but the electricity in my mind stays away. I'm aware of what Hassan says about only engaging in authentic moments and I play out in my head just how imprisoned our interaction would be. At best I might start someone doubting and at worst I'd reaffirm the persecution phobia. So I walk past, holding hands extra tight with my wife. I have no desire to 'ruin' their day. I have less desire to fuel their religious vigour. I just wish I had a sentence to say because by not stopping I feel like I participate anyway. Has anyone approached a vendor with success? What did you say? What would you say?
Post by Thehotone4u2 on Dec 6, 2018 19:49:46 GMT -7
I've never approached them with success on the merits of their argument. However, they had a stand outside of the local DMV and the post office. Those are government offices, who don't allow any advertisement on the premises. So I complained and turned them in to my local politician. Both had JW's as managers. Those are gone now. One of them was fired. From a government job. Karma? Lol.
Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to god!-Lenny Bruce (1925-1966)
The few times I participated in the cart work, the places had a small area we had to remain in, and they had rules about what we could do. We’d been given permission in front of the library, for instance, but it was off to the side and could only speak to people if they approached us. They can’t go there anymore, so no doubt someone complained. They are having a hard time finding places to be. I can tell you I hated doing it. It felt boring and lazy and embarrassing to me.
Funny you should ask, Amie. A few weeks ago I was on my way into the city and passed 3 JWs at their stand, and I called out to them that my JW mother no longer speaks to me. (I've already written a little about this under a different heading here somewhere). So the upshot of their offering to send someone around to talk with me, which I accepted and gave them my phone number - I did get a message from JW lady.
And we made a time to meet up - I chose a cafe rather than have her come to our home cos we're renovating at the moment, the place looks like a bomb's hit it.
Said to partner I wonder if she'll bring an elder with her. Yep she did - her husband. Doesn't matter to me, but she had every opportunity to let me know she would bring someone and she never did. Probably thought I'd cancel.
Damn - have to go. Will get back later an tell the story of how things went.
We'll call them Mr S and Mrs S. We greeted each other warmly. I told them about leaving the org when I was 21 and ran wild, did a lot of things. They never asked if I'd been D'fd - maybe they didn't want to know because by not knowing it leaves them free to talk to me?
They insist life as a JW is much easier now than it once was, meetings are shorter, don't have to go door-to-door.
Mr S brought his iPad and showed me family photos of them at various assemblies around the world and of them at the new NY HQ; their grown up JW kids, nieces and nephews, uncles etc. They obviously have a bit of money to get around so often. Were they looking for an adverse reaction? for me to recoil? Don't know. I engaged with them cordially - that's a good word.
They mentioned the Melbourne 2014 international assembly and that another one's coming here next November. That was my cue. I told them how my JW family left our 86 year old, frail mother on her own in the countryside while they all came to Melbourne for 4 days. On the last day mum had some kind of turn and was on the kitchen floor most of the day, (at some stage she dragged herself up onto a chair), couldn't talk, couldn't get herself to the toilet. They found her Sunday night dehydrated and unable to talk or move. She spent a week in hospital and did recover eventually.
I said to Mr&Mrs S I was fuming that they put their religion as top priority; even if mum had told them to go, they shouldn't have listened to her; they should have had someone stay with her. Told Mr&Mrs S I had to keep my mouth shut, after all what could I say? because they would have said to me where have you been all these years?
I explained to them how I had been harshly spoken to by an old JW friend (one of the 'anointed') not long after I left the org; how I had phoned her in tears for a shoulder to cry on, only to be told I'm selfish and causing so much trouble and heartache to my family. Told them I made my own way in life without proper education and made good friends in the world most of whom are still good friends, that they are salt of the earth and how we have always been there for each other no matter what.
I made them laugh though, about the time dad told me even some JWs wouldn't talk to mum because she's so opinionated and stubborn.
I reminded MrS who is my age of the great expectation we all had in the lead-up to 1975 and how the Kingdom Ministry and Watchtower had told school kids not to bother with higher education for a career because it wouldn't be needed. I reminded them of how, if anyone did by chance get to go to university during the 1970s they were looked down on as spiritually weak. Mr S agreed that was the case. Yet both Mr&Mrs S said they have known quite a few JW kids go to university, and that it's not forbidden. I said yes I know later some leniency occurred because one of my JW nieces is a university graduate, and I was so upset that she'd been allowed to go and I wasn't.
And this is how they tried to talk their way around it: Having a university degree and earning big money doesn't mean you'll be happy. I said I know that; that's not the point. The point is we weren't allowed to go - we weren't given freedom of choice. We were told we'd never need higher education.
They were quite open about changes the Society has made over the years, using the old imperfect men. I wasn't going down that track because then things would have gotten filthy and I'd like the option to keep lines of communication open for another meeting down the track - maybe. Mrs S said about the apostles asking Jesus where else would they go? I just said over the years I've found that by being kind and thoughtful to others, to look after each other in the wider community, volunteering in various capacities, that I'd found a lot of spiritual growth within myself. I said the way my mother has treated me does not encourage me to want to go back to the JWs. They agreed. I laughed and suggested they call mum on my behalf to soften her up.
Overall the common denominator from them was Well that was then and this is now, and you've done very well for yourself so things aren't that bad are they? Each time they said that, I'd tell them just a little of what I thought of that attitude - I'd say things like I've known other JWs whose lives have not turned out well at all; or I'd say if only we'd been allowed choices in life without a big stick being wielded over our heads; or I'd say that kind of reasoning isn't coming from kindness.
I was amazed only once did they say anything about putting Jehovah first - which I ignored seeing as I'd already told them my thoughts about that at that fateful 2014 assembly with its consequences to my mother.
We parted on amicable terms, leaving open the option of another coffee session. I'm amazed at that too and wonder if they'll keep their word on that.
Ah - and the main reason for this meeting was because I wanted someone to explain to me the overlapping generations doctrine, which we eventually got to.
Mrs S said the GB's research led them to a better understanding of what a generation entails. They found the answer in Exodus about Jacob's 12 sons, so a family's generation could span over 100 years depending on the age differences between the eldest and the youngest.
My response was Oh yeah, like the creation of Adam and counting 7 thousand years, then when nothing happened after 1975 they reckoned because they didn't know how many years later it took for Eve to be created, and we're still waiting. A little bit of an award silence then they trotted out the old line about when the apostles asked Jesus where else will we go?
Do they realise they've just admitted to not knowing anything about what truth means? that they're blindly following something that doesn't make sense?
willow: Still hanging in there! Life is always changing! A bit of a rollercoaster. Ha ha My daughter had twins! I’m getting ready to go on a once in a lifetime trip! My husband and I doing so much better, thank goodness, since it feels like the two of us against
May 21, 2019 14:38:08 GMT -7
willow: ... the world sometimes!
May 21, 2019 14:38:42 GMT -7
Shimmerjet: Oh twins how cool, boys, girls, one of each? Great to hear you and hubby doing well, enjoy the trip.
May 21, 2019 21:40:40 GMT -7
willow: A boy and a girl, and doing really well!
May 22, 2019 7:17:37 GMT -7