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Signs From My Brother

    DarioKehl posted Tue, 12 Jul 2011 18:56:00 GMT(7/12/2011)

    Post 65 of 357
    Joined 1/30/2011

    SIGNS: (really amped up in the last year)

    Claims to "spend hours on the internet."

    Recently became an MS after 3 yrs of reproof.

    After a few months, stepped down and relocated.

    Expresses no interest in becoming MS again, calling me saying "Count me in for paintball again."

    Shared with me that he "disturbed" a long-time JW friend by expressing doubts about the flood account.

    Relayed his flood doubts to me in confidence.

    Shared funny stories of a "weak brother" at his new hall and some of the hilarious and shocking things this guy says openly.

    While attending convention, made countless witty remarks infront of our mom and his wife criticizing everything from the parking lot traffic directors, the "toes" prophecy (saying that he "doubts it's going to be anything new but we're supposed to make a big deal about it."), hating meetings and service and the "terrible new song book."*

    *Incidentally, when HE says these things, he gets a "tsk-tsk" from wifey and momma. When I say anything remotely close to scandalous, I get sincere, audible gasps followed by teary-eyed lectures from wifey and momma.

    HOWEVER...

    He's always used "shock-and-awe" humor.

    He's married with kids.

    Both sides of our families and his wife are die-hard Dubs.

    Turned down an invitation to go camping with me and some friends in April because he was auxillary pioneering and had to "get the rest of the hours in."

    ADVICE NEEDED:

    Am I reading too much into this?

    Should I take a proactive step and open up to him about my doubts or is there too much risk involved?

    PROS:

    If he's "mentally out" like me, I'd have the closest relationship with him than I've had since we were kids and I wouldn't feel so alone in deceiving our family.

    I'd have flesh-and-blood to talk to about this for ONCE! Friends are good, but it's still a very alienating sensation and I get depressed about it often.

    CONS:

    If he's not "mentally out," I completely risk outing myself!

    If he is, what next? Sure we'd have a team dynamic, but the potential pain we will cause our families and the inevitable strain on his marriage and parenthood could spell disaster!

    Ok, lay it on me!

    Lore posted Tue, 12 Jul 2011 19:24:00 GMT(7/12/2011)

    Post 191 of 619
    Joined 11/10/2010
    Relayed his flood doubts to me in confidence.

    Shared with me that he "disturbed" a long-time JW friend by expressing doubts about the flood account.

    Excellent. Odds are if he has the tiniest doubt about the flood and he spends a lot of time on the internet I'm SURE he's googled whatever he was curious about.

    Lets say he wondered how a tree could be 5000 years old if the flood happened 4.5k years ago. If he googled THAT question then it would also lead him sites explaining how the animals wouldn't have fit, the coral reefs would have died, the geology record would prove it wrong etc.

    So if he is revealing to you that he he has doubts, he's probably hoping you'll research it as well.

    That's what I did, I had already done loads of research about the flood months before I mentioned to ANYONE that I had concerns about it. And I only brought it up because I was hoping they'd research it as well.

    Turned down an invitation to go camping with me and some friends in April because he was auxillary pioneering and had to "get the rest of the hours in."

    Maybe he doesn't really like camping. I hate camping and I'd gladly use field service as an excuse to get out of it.

    Should I take a proactive step and open up to him about my doubts or is there too much risk involved?

    Nope. It sounds VERY promising, but it's not really worth the risk. You'd finally have a buddy to share your misery with. But that's it.

    You'd be able to work together to accomplish. . . nothing. Even as a team you wouldn't be able to do anything.

    Y ou'll probably end up going out to get a few beers, talk about your problems, work each other up into a frenzy and agree that you guys just have to DO SOMETHING. Then you'd either do something, and regret it. Or not do something, and regret it.

    In my opinion, if at all possible, be a loner. Teammates aren't very useful when there's nothing to work towards.

    DarioKehl posted Tue, 12 Jul 2011 19:33:00 GMT(7/12/2011)

    Post 68 of 357
    Joined 1/30/2011

    Thanks Lore!

    I appreciate 3rd-party perspective. Perhaps my true motives in opening up to him are selfish. I am a loner by nature. Very introverted. But part of me doesn't want the burden of being the only JW in my family to "leave." I guess what appeals to me is the possibility that I may not have the entire load of dissapointing my family on my shoulders. Everytime he made a snide remark about JWs in front of our families during convention weekend, I felt tremendous relief, almost hoping that maybe HE would be the one to sever the ties and I could ride along on his coat tails.

    On the other hand, I'm single, in my 30's and isolated and even I get depressed and have that constant feeling that I need to "look over my shoulder" so no one finds out about my feelings and choices. IF he is doubting too, he may have tremendous depression and internal conflict because he's got a wife and family tethered to him. Ugh... if he is a doubter, he's totally STUCK.

    There are a lot of people in this situation...mentally checked out, but don't wanna pull that band-aid off the arm hair.

    M NomadSoul posted Tue, 12 Jul 2011 19:37:00 GMT(7/12/2011)

    Post 843 of 1663
    Joined 2/7/2005

    Well, go paintball shooting this weekend.

    DarioKehl posted Tue, 12 Jul 2011 19:45:00 GMT(7/12/2011)

    Post 70 of 357
    Joined 1/30/2011

    Paintball is on the agenda real soon! In fact, most of the JWs who play with us could be potential escapees because they're already doing something they're "not supposed" to do. Each time we play, more and more of out worldly friends and relatives come along (with beer) and the JW players seem to be totally fine with it!

    BTW, while at convention, my bro and I also had a nice hour-long chat about his flood doubts while soaking in the hot tub. I just sat there quietly and let him vent a little and then very subtly said, "Yeah...I find it interesting that even though the society insists it was global and not regional, the Egyptian and Chinese dynasties were totally unperturbed by the water. Maybe pagodas and pyramids float?" And he started laughing.

    Lore posted Tue, 12 Jul 2011 20:29:00 GMT(7/12/2011)

    Post 194 of 619
    Joined 11/10/2010

    Each time we play, more and more of out worldly friends and relatives come along (with beer) and the JW players seem to be totally fine with it!

    'Needs of the Circuit' talk incomming.

    They'll probably call it a 'murder simulation game'

    Sounds like fun!

    ABibleStudent posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 00:04:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 211 of 2824
    Joined 8/5/2010

    Hi Dariokehl. How about doing the following:

    1) Suggest playing paintball or other fun activities that your brother loves when FS is scheduled and/or with "Worldly" people.

    2) Suggest doing fun things with both your brother and his wife with other "Worldly" people.

    3) Ask your brother hypothetical questions. How about, "How would he feel about shunning his children as discussed in the 15 July 2011 Watchtower?"

    4) Ask your brother about going on a fun vacation when the next assembly should be scheduled.

    5) Ask your brother more about his feelings about the flood.

    6) Send your brother an anonymous email like I wrote about in http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/beliefs/211893/1/Youe28099ve-Got-Mail-TM

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,

    ABibleStudent

    M Black Sheep posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 00:40:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 7380 of 9996
    Joined 8/8/2003

    Tell him nothing about your doubts.

    Just ask questions that encourage him to express his, or help him think of some more.

    Be the last one to out yourself.

    M steve2 posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 02:41:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 3619 of 8249
    Joined 10/31/2004

    It would be great if your brother were on the way out, but don't make your own path dependent on your brother's. If he is on the way out, he's using a provocative way to do it; but as you say, he's always been that way. It's promising that he's questioning the flood. I like Black Sheep's suggestion of asking him questions

    M jwfacts posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 07:21:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 5923 of 7908
    Joined 6/25/2005

    I wouldn't tell him anything for now. Use questions to make him open up to you. If he verbalises that he has doubts, let him discuss them with you. Even doubts do not mean he is willing to admit to himself that the Watchtower is not the true religion, or the best religion to belong to. I would be pretty certain that he is over it and also will not make trouble for you before telling him too much about where you stand.

    Witness My Fury posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 11:08:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 499 of 2719
    Joined 5/11/2010

    Go paintballing, spend time with him, be his friend and brother, ...but DO NOT BRING IT UP.

    If he mentions something, then go along with it and play it by ear. There is no "do or die" just take your time and if the timing isnt right be patient, there will be other times (unless you blow it now of course).

    Franklin Massey posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 14:03:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 215 of 373
    Joined 1/5/2011

    The advice to play it cool and not say too much is good.

    IMO it's better to have JWs take "The Truth" lightly than to encourage them to have an anti-Watchtower attitude. Focus on the positive. Keep it light. Be patient until you know they are ready to fully let go and then just be there to catch them and comfort them.

    The Society is always trying to tighten the reigns. JWs have two options: submit and obey, or make up their own minds. If a JW has a more laid back attitude, they'll be able to ignore or laugh off trivial counsel and crazy doctrine. This is a comfortable way for them to slowly slip from the tight grasp of the Society's leadership. They'll be in a better state to entertain more doubts and questions. They'll feel at ease forming their own opinions and testing their own ideas. This builds confidence in the self and lessens dependence on the Society. Slowly, their minds become more open.

    On the other hand, if a negative tone is taken as to the Organization and it's teachings, a JW will instinctually feel guilty, uncomfortable and defensive. The mental blocks go up and they are more inclined to doubt themselves and run back to the presumed "safety" of the Society, which they equate with God. Any progress they made in opening their minds is reversed. They'll also remember who made them feel uncomfortable and either avoid you, or be less likely to discuss JW issues freely.

    M tenyearsafter posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 14:13:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 1058 of 1593
    Joined 6/9/2007

    I agree...don't push too hard. He obviously has let some doubts creep in to his thinking. If anything, you might innocently ask what about the flood account doesn't ring true for him. Let him lead the discussion...you can learn a lot by being a good listener.

    M agent zero posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 15:57:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 180 of 287
    Joined 7/3/2008

    well, between him openly expressing doubts about the flood, spending lots of time on the net, and having no intention to return to MS-ing.. i'd say it's pretty clear that he's mentally exiting, it's just not clear exactly how far along yet.

    Auxiliar pioneering in April seems like the piece that doesn't fit, but he could be doing it out of pressure from his wife and family, it is quite likely actually. if his goal at the moment is to keep face with the family and the congregation, and he had the circumstances to do it, doing the aux-pio would make sense since with the low 30hrs and increased participation, anyone who can but doesn't would look at least somewhat suspicious.

    in the meantime, keep alot of communication with him. I, feeling very comparable to how you describe yourself, can definitely see the benefit of opening up to eachother and being united in your dissent. perhaps laying it all bare on the table is too risky at the moment, but you could drop clues similar to what he is doing - expressing doubt about just one particular teaching (try overlapping generation), in a casual way, and see how he responds. if he appears too shocked, you could always tone it down by saying "oh, i'm just confused by it a bit, i'm trying to understand it better".

    by the way, i really like the way you put your points in order in the opening post.

    F Kudra posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 16:12:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 2334 of 2490
    Joined 10/18/2005

    Well, I really don't have any advice to give but I do have to compliment you on your lovely, clear posting style.

    Mad Sweeney posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 16:20:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 6114 of 6963
    Joined 11/2/2009

    Stay optimistic. But be very patient.

    M Billy the Ex-Bethelite posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 18:31:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 3588 of 7253
    Joined 11/29/2007

    DK,

    Neither of my siblings were particularly strong in "the truth". Your situation most reminds me of my sister that has certainly tried to be a good JW. She had never really expressed any doubts, but I took the first step simply because I was the one that had been "spiritually mature" and served at bethel. It was about a year and a half ago that I explained why Jews take blood based on the Bible and that JWs need to change. It was a one-on-one conversation. We had many more since then. This year we rode home together on Sunday and I could speak more openly to a group of family about the flaws of the convention. But enough about me...

    As a suggestion, if the convention is fresh on your minds, look for a one-on-one opportunity. You might try bringing up that although the feet were supposed to indicate that the end is "near", they said nothing about the King of the North or about the destruction of Babylon the Great. Those are two huge prophecies that more clearly indicate that the end is not near. As my sister pointed out, people are more religious today than they were when we were kids. We're in a town with both conservative and liberal churches. There is no way that they're going away anytime soon.

    PM me if you want help with any specific "topics for conversation".

    cantleave posted Wed, 13 Jul 2011 18:47:00 GMT(7/13/2011)

    Post 6563 of 13168
    Joined 6/25/2009

    Maybe he's here - thinking "Mmmmm I wonder if that's my Bro. talkin?"

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