Jehovah’s Witnesses: How To Help
Lately I’ve had several people writing in to ask if there was some specific line of logic or reasoning that worked more effectively when attempting to help JW’s.
Believe me, if I had found one I would have already started using it.
The problem is that the logical aspect of what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe is merely a facade. It is what we call in business a “paper tiger”. It looks real and it looks plausible but once the “paper tiger” has been torn up to bits with logic, the belief remains.
It is because logic has nothing to do with what a JW really believes. Oh they’ll say everything is grounded in logic and reasoning. They even have a publication named “Reasoning from the Scriptures”. Yet when all of the arguments are ripped to shreds from a biblical perspective the JW adherent sticks to his or her guns doggedly even when they don’t have a leg to stand on from a biblical or even historical perspective.
The “logic” of a JW’s belief is merely a distraction from what is really going on. It is like an onion. Once you peel one layer back and expose the falsehood you find another, tougher layer embedded even deeper in the JW mind. This “logic” is designed to carry the JW through the self doubt that is always at the ready in cults. Why do you think the Watchtower is constantly publishing articles and having talks on doubt? It is because it is rampant within the Jehovah’s Witnesses! Doubt is the doorway to apostasy in the JW mind and that link has been put there by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society!
What are you really dealing with when trying to help a JW out of the cult? Four things:
Deep-seated emotions of fear and guilt.
An artificial personality that has been constructed by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. The “old” personality is either deconstructed or is held in check by the new belief system and is considered “evil” and “of the world” by the JW’s and their organization.
I know that many of you have done your best to witness to JW’s about your Christian faith. I know that you’ve taken on argument after argument with zero results.
The fact is that these are “paper tigers” that the Watchtower has set out there as “window dressing” for what has really been done.
It reminds me of the sales profession. People want to think that their decisions when purchasing an item are purely logical in scope. However, in reality, what happens is that most consumer purchases are done purely out of emotion. Logic is only used to justify the purchase. For example you may purchase a new car to get better fuel economy. However the fact is that you’ll spend far less driving your old car that is paid for than you will driving that new hybrid that gets 50 MPG. You can justify your purchase logically by dwelling on the gasoline savings but in reality, you just wanted (emotion) a new car!
I was taught in sales to sell to emotion first and then to logic.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught the same thing. They come to your door with colorful magazines emblazoned with brightly colored pictures of nuclear explosions or “paradise” on the cover. They play on your deepest fears and ask questions designed to elicit, not logic, but emotion. This carries forward into the indoctrination phase and becomes a part of who they are.
These Jehovah’s Witnesses have been so deeply programmed with fear, guilt, and self doubt that they end up having nothing left but their affiliation with the Watchtower to fall back on.
The Watchtower then systematically deconstructs the identity of their followers to such an extent that if you were to break through to the heart of the matter, in many cases, there wouldn’t be anything there but an empty shell.
What do I mean by this?
A JW is taught over time to lose “bad habits” and “worldly associations” that they once had. This process starts almost immediately when a “bible study” is started.
What are some of the things JW’s have to sacrifice to get to the level of “spirituality” that is acceptable to the Watchtower?
Hobbies: Anything that gets in the way of the meetings or putting in hours of field service is considered evil and worldly. Even if it isn’t directly condemned in the literature, it is always considered a “selfish pursuit” by the “Faithful and discreet slave.”
Associations: Friends and even family that are not affiliated with Jehovah’s Witnesses are cast aside in favor of their “new family” in the organization. In the JW mind there are two classes of people: Those who are JW’s and those who aren’t.
Opinions: Voicing one’s own opinion instead of parroting the official view of the Watchtower is considered to be truly bad form by the organization.
Reading: I was constantly lectured about things that I read. I was a Stephen King fan. I read him when all he had were short stories written under his pen name. I love his work even to this day. I was told that his books were “demonic” and that I would be inviting demons into my home and life if I kept reading them. Folks the only thing that goes “bump” in the night in my house is when I fall out of bed.
Dress: Wearing clothing that isn’t on the “approved list” is another way that you show you are “of the world” and not “in the fold”.
Grooming: Long hair and beards for men are a “no no” in the JW’s.
Viewing: Any movies that are considered worldly or are rated “R” are a huge “no no” for JW’s.
A truly “die hard” JW considers being a Witness as their sole identity. Their former selves are either completely dismantled or are, at the very least, subjugated and held in check sometimes for the rest of their lives. This type of personality deconstruction has been practiced by the Red Chinese, the Nazis, the People’s Temple, the Branch Davidians, the KKK, the Moonies, and other mind control groups and cultures.
This explains a lot about what happens to a JW when they do awaken from the dream that is the Watchtower. When they finally figure out what has been done to them they will usually go into a very dark period of life.
They will tend to engage in all sorts of irrational behavior.
They may do drugs. They may become alcoholics. They may choose to live a hedonistic lifestyle and live for the day and sensual pleasure. They may quit their jobs or divorce their mates or simply disappear. They will be angry and they may trade their prior, benign JW personality for a much darker and powerful one. Depression is usually a common factor in those who has left the Watchtower organization.
What is the most effective method for helping Jehovah’s Witnesses?
One thing that does seem to work, especially when you’re dealing with someone who wasn’t actually raised in the group, is to remind them of their former life. Remind them of the love they had for certain hobbies or friends or sports that they used to enjoy. Perhaps they wanted to pursue education in a particular field or excel in a particular discipline. If you can find that passion or “juice” that they had for living before they became JW’s then perhaps you can steer them back toward their former “identity”. Remind them that they were really good at something. It is so important to tell a JW that. They don’t get it from the Watchtower. They are constantly seeking the approval of their elders and leaders but they never quite get that. It is always a little further out, much like their “new system”.
All JW’s are seeking spiritual “perfection” and validation from the Watchtower. They want to be the best they can be in the organization. This is a failed exercise on all levels and it is designed to keep them working hard for the “seven old men” in Brooklyn.
It is specifically designed to keep the JW always moving toward the horizon and always working for that next little bit of “spiritual” validation from the Watchtower. When they are working so hard and long that they have no time for anything else then they are considered “spiritually fit” by the organization. Notice the following words of a high ranking JW who just recently awakened:
I think I told you that one thing that really woke me up was my brother-in-law asking me what I was interested in, and I came up completely empty…. no clue. I was so busy 24/7 with busywork (working for the Watchtower-Ed) that I had no time for outside interests. That’s not to say I wouldn’t have had interests… I just had NO time for anything!
A good (non-JW) friend of mine spoke about this recently. He called it “the gap”. It is something that many high achievers are plagued with. They all want to be “supermen” (and women). It doesn’t matter how “good” they get they will always find some imperfection in their existence. Many high achievers commit suicide and so do many JW’s who find similar disappointment in themselves.
Yes the deck the Watchtower deals from is always stacked against JW’s. It matters not how hard or long you run to the horizon, you’ll never reach it because it simply doesn’t exist. It is an illusion. This very illusion keeps these poor people working and ever marching forward to be the best JW’s they can be. In the end they will either burn out or die.
If you can find anything that a JW loves outside of the organization you can use it to help them build a new “identity” for themselves or to rebuild the old one. It could be music, or dance, or sports, or art. It could be virtually anything that you and I take for granted.
This more than any amount of scriptural reasoning can and does work on some Jehovah’s Witnesses.
One Jehovah’s Witness that I knew many years ago, made his way out of the organization because of music. He was absolutely enamored by the piano. His parents wouldn’t buy him one because it wasn’t the “best use of his short time before Armageddon”.
Do you know what he did? He took a long sheet of paper and drew all the keys and would play his “piano” with his fingers while “hearing” the music in his head. As crazy as this sounds, he began studying music every chance he got. He got so good that he began taking music in school. He went on to study piano in college (much to his parent’s chagrin) and became a concert pianist. He gradually made his way out of the organization with his family intact. He moved away and eventually became a member of a non-JW church. Charlie was a man not to be denied his life and he lived it well on his own terms. He was an inspiration to me and I hope to you as well!
Sadly he passed away a few years ago with cancer. However his legacy is that his children are free to pursue their dreams and goals and to live their lives outside of the insidious influence of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society.
I hope this helps many of you who are working to help the JW’s in your lives.
Yours in Christ,