Bullying JW's

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    etna posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 08:15:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

    Post 116 of 321
    Joined 7/23/2009

    I've just watched a program on TV about bullying (in Australia). And my wife and I were just commenting on how much the JW's bully so many of their followers, as in shunning disfellowshiped or disassociated ones, even ones that have faded. Their bullying tactics also invove using famiky members not to talk to them. How many of us wanted to just not be around any more, because of not feeling worthy, especially after trying to fade. I'm glad to know my wife and I are not alone in our feelings and there is so many good people out there.

    Thanks for listening. Etna

    M fokyc posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 08:51:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

    Post 1230 of 1873
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    It took me many years to realize that I was being constantly bullied by the cong elders.

    After suffering severe depression in the 1970's; with a therapist we analyzed why I was so depressed,

    it was definitely 'the elders with the org'.

    They have a great deal to answer for, I could/would not step inside a KH now.

    Heaven posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 09:19:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

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    Joined 4/16/2009

    I experienced some of this. My parents tried to get us kids to be JWs but kids are not blinded by the bs of life like adults. We saw the wackness. We saw the untruths. Luckily the KH was not a big part of my growing up, however, I have spoken with and been around enough JWs to see things that didn't support their 'we're the happiest people in the world' mantra. I describe it as a seething anger just below the painted on happy face facade. I have witnessed this anger first-hand several times. It is quite bizarre.

    Once my folks got baptized, there was a period of fanaticism with them that created a rift in the family. My parents believed they were right and we kids were wrong. My Mom once told me that she knew I did 'bad things'. When I asked her what these things were, she couldn't tell me but she just knew I did them.

    The WTS creates 'disabled thinkers' and unprincipled, self-righteous people.

    M fokyc posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 09:24:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

    Post 1231 of 1873
    Joined 5/30/2006

    Heaven,

    The anger you describe is just so true; if and when you get on the wrong side of many elders, whow!!

    The wrath and anger comes out at such a high level, it would be unbelievable, unless you see it first hand.

    F Mickey mouse posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 10:08:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

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    Joined 12/11/2007
    The WTS creates 'disabled thinkers' and unprincipled, self-righteous people.

    I think that's the best one line summation of what the WTS does to people that I've ever seen.

    Heaven posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 10:36:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

    Post 1692 of 5798
    Joined 4/16/2009

    The wrath and anger comes out at such a high level

    fokyc... this is spot on. And with a suddeness that is very surprising and shocking because, in many cases, it is unwarranted and unexpected. My parents have done this to me and I have witnessed other JWs doing this as well. JWs do not use the space between stimulus and response to analyze what their end goal is. The result is that they alienate people. They create a wall between themselves and others that is destructive to the relationship. There is no longer trust and openness which are key to effective communication.

    The WTS creates 'disabled thinkers' and unprincipled, self-righteous people.

    I think that's the best one line summation of what the WTS does to people that I've ever seen.

    Thank you Mickey mouse. This is what I have observed and what I have experienced within my own family among the JWs. I have seen this in the stories I read here on JWN as well. One of my Mom's favourite lines used to be "What do you want to do THAT for?" in a slightly annoyed or ticked off tone. My comeback was always "Why wouldn't I want to do this?" or "What's wrong with me wanting to do this?" She was never able to answer me.

    I think most exiting JWs have to fight with this every day. Re-training and re-educating the mind is paramount. The more you work at enabling your thinking, the better you will feel. Seek help and education. These are key.

    nugget posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 10:56:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

    Post 535 of 3910
    Joined 11/22/2009

    I used to do research for health and safety literature and bullying comes in many forms, excluding people and sending them to coventry i.e. ignoring them and refusing to speak to them is at much bullying as beating someone up in a back alley. I was shocked to discover this and have never felt the same about shunning since.

    Heaven posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 12:06:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

    Post 1697 of 5798
    Joined 4/16/2009

    i.e. ignoring them and refusing to speak to them is at much bullying as beating someone up in a back alley.

    nugget, this is so true. Shunning is a form of emotional and psychological abuse. It does not support anything to do with the 4 human needs. It destroys human spirit, creativity, and joy. It is not principled. The WTS is so messed up with their shunning policy.

    designs posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 12:19:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

    Post 883 of 18881
    Joined 6/17/2009

    Recommended reading: The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Protestants and Catholics could be very cruel in their shunning policies. The Watchtower Society is going to have to completely reconstruct their disciplinary policies and allow modern methods of counseling in to help people who are having crises in their lives.

    'Do a little good each day'

    ataloa posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 13:20:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

    Post 311 of 363
    Joined 4/2/2008
    The WTS creates 'disabled thinkers' and unprincipled, self-righteous people.
    I think that's the best one line summation of what the WTS does to people that I've ever seen.

    And that goes for other religions as well.

    dissed posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 14:00:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

    Post 1431 of 1930
    Joined 9/1/2009

    The Ultimate Bullie - JG

    "Serve me or die"

    No wonder they are bullies, with an example like that.

    Scott77 posted Sun, 07 Mar 2010 17:27:00 GMT(3/7/2010)

    Post 323 of 3429
    Joined 4/3/2009

    Oho, I love this thread. Its very relevant to my life story too. I was shunned for the first time in 2005 by an influential elder in my congregation during District Convection gathering. He refused to speak to me. He had to stubbornly look the other way around as I was speaking to him. Wow, due to my popularity and a high sense of sociability,being able to go along with as many JWs as possible, the shunning was certainly very hard to implement as many of those told privately to shun me, did not even know the best way to do it. When I released I was being shunned, I moved to speaking to old and new friends from other congregations at assemblies as that was the only rare occassion for 'interchange of encouragement and upbuildng' Since friends were unaware of shunning, a small hardcore Ministerial Servants and Pioneers ladies were specifically assigned to overshadow me at all meetings and 'warn' others of the shunnig enforcement rule currrently in force against me.

    The bad thing is that,you never is told that you are Being shunned but have to see it by yourself. At one time in a congregation during book/magazine order pickup after meeting, I spoke to a pioneer JW friend who had been working at Bethel a few years before. Fortunately, he was working with another pioneer JW on the counter desk. He too was my friend but he was unaware of the shunning in effect against me. (Here, shunning is a private one-to-one message spread not announced publicly in meetings). Having seen the ex-Bethelite shun me by refusing to speak to me, the other JW was concerned and asked what was wrong. The brother was ashamed for not explaining. I was also mad by telling him point blank that 'you do not love me, you hate me.' Later we were assigned in field service with him as part of a car group. You know what, I did not have cash money for some item but that brother who shunned me, gave me $20.00 amazingly, not as a loan but possibly to show that he still 'loves' me. Now I have heard from an inside source that the brother and his wife have both faded just recently from the congragation. Sigh.

    Naturely, when I realised I was being shunned, I started feeling bad,lost self esteem, started aging very fast as I even saw about three gray hairs over my head for the first time. For about a month, I developed lack of appetite and lost significant amount of weight. My own reputation, biuit over the years was at stake. Little by little, I was lossing lots of JW friends and I the matter was compounded by having very few friendly worldly peolple whom ironically, I had limited contacts as they were 'worldly' people by WTS standard.

    Fortunately, I knew as it later happened, elders would eventually visit to 'counsel' me. But I make sure, this does not happen. I started trashing all the WTS publications, joined JWN site, 'apostate site' to figure out what was going on. I also instituted my own shuning policy against any future JWs contacts especially any future visits from Elders. Amazingly, it has worked for me. I has shunned any communication with them over the years. They tried over and over again to contact me, through email, personal visits but I refused to speak to them. At one time, a car showed at my apt sametime as I was exiting the apt to drive away for work. You know what.? I just started the engine and drove away leaving the invited two quests to ponder their next move. Yes, shunning have not only to be coming from JWs, you too have a right to shun them to shock them and show that its a two-way street.

    Now after a few years, the elder who shunned me at assembly, emailed me but I refused to reply back. You see, these people have the nerve to contact us after shuning us in the first place. Later on, there were several attempts to communicate wth me using some friends who were closer to me but are from other congregations. I too refused to reply to them. Its really very effective to refuse to reply back whenever possible. It has worked for me. I do not have a JW family and probably this might be the reason why it worked best to my advantage. So some of you who still have JW families in borg certainly, may be having a hard time coping with this shunning practice. You have my support and encouragement. Please,never give up. Stand firm. We are here for you.

    Thanks

    Scott77

    Broken Promises posted Mon, 08 Mar 2010 04:21:00 GMT(3/8/2010)

    Post 2 of 5156
    Joined 3/7/2010

    When I read the title of this thread, I was thinking of bullying JWs towards fellow JWs.

    I remember one time when I had missed a Book Study due to working late. Sister Righteous comes up and pokes a finger into me accusingly, “where were YOU last Tuesday???”

    Anyone would have thought I’d stolen something from her or slept with her husband or something, the way she accused me.

    I just said I had to work and left it to that. I didn’t need to justify my actions to her or anyone else in the congregation.

    etna posted Mon, 08 Mar 2010 06:37:00 GMT(3/8/2010)

    Post 117 of 321
    Joined 7/23/2009

    Thanks for all the support, I think its good to let each other know how we feel, that way we aren't the only ones that are like that. I think its good as scott77 said about shunning them, but sometimes its difficult when there is relatives in the organization. One day things will come back to bit them.

    Etna

    MMXIV posted Mon, 08 Mar 2010 12:17:00 GMT(3/8/2010)

    Post 22 of 815
    Joined 2/16/2010

    This is a massive topic and for many different reasons...

    1) for born-in's the WTS encourages (almost polices) children to be a target for bullying at school. No xmas, b'days, religious instruction and having. Doing door to door, no bad language, having to turn the other cheek, not joining in the fun stuff (discos) and not being able to date etc etc.

    2) each KH is filled with personalities - some controlling types that bully. But all JW's are encouraged to put on the new personality which I believe is about displaying victim-like (sheep-like) qualities and therefore are open to bullying for any number of reasons.

    The general rule though is if someone treats you badly and they're more spiritual (eg elder) then you are wrong and must pray. It's easy to get a bad reputation just for standing up for yourself and JW's are counselled to hold their tongue and forgive when treated badly. That just allows the bully to get away with it and do it again.

    If you want to leave the organisation then bullying is often actively used and always involved as a threat (implied by the WTS).

    3) in the preaching work some JW's use bullying tactics albeit generally more subtle. JW's believe they are 100% right and have God's backing so - they will preach to others - ignoring and rarely even listening to other people's opinions and if they disagree - well they're damned at Armageddon. Just turning up on someone's door - (normally it's 2 vs 1) and hammering through topics without the person being able to prepare can be quite intimidating.

    I can honestly say I have never bullied in the cong - mostly due to my personality type - but seen it many times. I also was not bullied at school due to a combination of living a double life (avoided all references where possible to being a JW and what that meant) and having a set of cool friends who stood up for me.

    I am angered though at how the WTS pushes it's young to "make a stand at school" and almost wants them to be bullied so this can be blamed on Satan and then they won't have any worldly friends. Also how some JW's act in the cong. If it were in the world they'd get a fist in the face and would learn, but in the cong they just keep getting away with it because the GB will back them up. GB policy on shunning, marking ones in the cong and how it encourages the spiritual class system (DO, CO, Bethel Elder, Elder, Bethel Mini, Pioneer, Mini, Active Brother, any Sister, Child, marked one (not sure where the wives of the DO, CO etc fit)) fosters an environment of bullying.

    I have known of cases that led to some suffering depression and becoming suicidal.

    MMXIV

    dissed posted Mon, 08 Mar 2010 13:12:00 GMT(3/8/2010)

    Post 1464 of 1930
    Joined 9/1/2009

    MMXIV

    Very well said.....

    F LongHairGal posted Mon, 08 Mar 2010 19:20:00 GMT(3/8/2010)

    Post 1947 of 4034
    Joined 3/11/2005

    Scott77,

    Your post about shunning brought back memories. Many years back a certain family or 'clique' started to act 'funny' around me. I realized that a certain member of their family had some issue with me and probably told them so I perceived an arctic breeze from them. While they were never super friendly in the first place I definitely noticed a difference. Unlike you, I said nothing. I didn't give a rat's ass what anybody thought. In fact, if somebody is as unpopular as I was, how would that person even know they were being shunned? You would have had to come up to me and say 'Sister So-and-So, you are being shunned'.

    I feel that 'shunning' as practiced by the JWs or other groups is nothing more than a control tactic which didn't work on me. I had no intention of playing this game. This also plays into certain conceited people's vanity and this is an unhealthy thing to do as it would only encourage certain types to be emotionally abusive. Nobody should be THAT concerned about what anybody thinks!

    If anybody had a real issue they can be an adult and come and tell me about it. Playing infantile games and imagining I am going to come running and say: "what's wrong...." isn't my style. I have to know I DID something to somebody in order for me to go up to them and say "what's wrong". Anything else is just nonsense and if anybody wants to avoid me because they don't like something about me that's their problem.

    I am glad you are now 'shunning' them. How dare they think you are supposed to come running just because they decided THEY want to be friendly? In my case it would be a little late for that and if I didn't like somebody all those years ago, why would I want to be their friend now?

    MMXIV,

    I agree with you totally that 'putting on the new personality' sometimes means displaying victim-like qualities. This is another thing I hated about the religion. They want you to ignore your god-given instincts of self-preservation and turn yourself into a victim. But, why certain people and not others? Did you notice that some were very big on exploiting somebody who was sucker enough to display victim-like qualities? I certainly noticed this. While this may affect men I am afraid that women there are the real victims. As far as I am concerned, a woman has to be twice as careful or she will be many times more victimized.

    "Putting on the New Personality" didn't mean that I had any intention of being somebody's fool. Unfortunately, this is what the religion is really looking for.

    Scott77 posted Mon, 15 Mar 2010 08:29:00 GMT(3/15/2010)

    Post 339 of 3429
    Joined 4/3/2009

    I believe this is a hot topic and more relevant to many around this JWN site. Hmmm..., I had like to hear from you Ex JW elders. How did you implemented the shunnng policy in your congregations? How could you enforce it especially during assemblies?

    Scott77

    MMXIV posted Fri, 29 Nov 2013 00:24:13 GMT(11/29/2013)

    Post 789 of 815
    Joined 2/16/2010

    bumped as I still believe bullying to be a serious issue amongst JW's. I hope those that have been victims of bullying (especially sisters) understand this isn't about satan. This is about the environment and behaviours encouraged by WBTS. The only way to stand up to bullying in the organisation is to plan an exit and exit.

    mmxiv

    hoser posted Fri, 29 Nov 2013 00:38:13 GMT(11/29/2013)

    Post 1149 of 1473
    Joined 1/26/2010

    I am being bullied by one of the elders. One of my daughters was bullied to the point of attempted suicide by an elder and his regular pioneer wife

    Hoser

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