My teenage son has announced to his JW mother that he does not believe her religion and no longer wants to accompany her to the meetings. After speaking to her about this and reminding her that I have legal right to choose his religious training, she set up a secret meeting with a pair of elders. Despite my son…
Because, in their eyes, a parent who isn’t a Jehovah’s Witness is completely unimportant. They think that they are right and have the authority of God. So whatever a human does – even if it’s a parent with legal rights – is meaningless.
If it were me, I would cut out the middle man and give them a call myself. By the time I was done, they wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole. They have no rights here. They’re nobody.
Your ex wife, like me when I was a JW, believes that he will die if he is not a Jehovah’s Witness. The elders believe that, too. They have no respect for you as a parent and weren’t interested in anything you have to say because no reasoning on your part would have made one iota of difference to them. They used him for their own purposes. He can tell them, no, I will not meet with you again. I would tell him he has the authority to say that without fear, because there’s nothing they can do to him.
What a bunch of assholes. A disagreement between two divorced parents over religion is one thing; the elders have no business in this what so ever and have some nerve.
Wrong wrong wrong.
People become Jehovah’s Witnesses for the following reasons: 1. Born into it 2. Jehovah’s Witnesses instill fear into the weak hearted 3. JWs make non members feel guilty- “It is your fault if you don’t obey “Jehovah” (Elders), you will spend all of eternity into the grave. No Paradise Earth for you” 4. Peer pressure Why do some quit the JW faith: 1. Tired of the controlling tactics 2. Wanting to be free without the fear and guilt. 3. The contraditions become obvious after a number of years. Of course the JWs will tell you they have the real truth while the Ex JWs will point out the totally opposite. What it comes down to is this my friend :DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND interview the JWs for yourself. I have studied this religion for many years and came up with my own unbias conclusion so you must do the same if you really want to know the REAL answer.
Tough situation, Chuck. I can tell from the comments that most of us are pulling for you and wishing you the best.
You probably already know that JW’s don’t take it well when their faith is rejected. They argue fiercely. They argue because they are proud and stubborn, and they argue because they are afraid of losing a spiritual battle, and they argue because they think they are right and everyone else needs to see that. But you probably also know that their tactics are not always on the up and up. I think that is what happened here.
So when your ex- is blabbing to the the congregation, including these elders, and spewing her one-sided lies about how you are “ruining” the future salvation of the son, their pride and anger kicks in and they are not going to allow it.
If they had the decency to talk to you, which they don’t because they are not decent people at their core, they know you would have said “leave the kid alone.” Therefore, they avoided the conflict with you and went after the kid without your knowledge. Your son was essentially cornered and mugged by these religion thugs.
The motives were pride (the bad kind of pride), spiritual greed, anger, plus a perverse sense of empathy toward your ex- and her babbling gossip. For all we know, maybe she’s flirting with the elders and one of them has affection for her.
Unfortunately, their tactics and motives aren’t going to change. Your best response is to teach your son to say “no” and get away, just like when we try to teach our kids what to do if someone tries to lure them into a van or touch them inappropriately. Tell him the kingdom hall is not safe for him right now and he should never feel pressured or guilted into attending or meeting with them.
You may go thru a legal process. But love your son as if there is NO tomorrow.
I think your speculation is right. They do want to know where this teaching against them is coming from. They may be building up evidence against you in case you do formally leave and then later want to come back. When you come back, if you do as some have before, they will pull out this thick file, as you have seen before, and then review all the things against you that could possibly be damaging to their followers. The letter you intend to write to them will be included in these things, the attorney, the son’s mother’s comments, the son’s words and actions (behaviors against them) and so on. This will also determine if they catch someone talking to you after you formally leave what action they take against such member for talking to you. Then that will also cause the ones on the inside to hate you more for getting one of their own to fall out of the good sight of God. It’s all in how they try to keep the congregation clean.
I hope I said more in detail than just “they want to control people”. Everyone who said this is right but they left out these reasons as to why and what they believe they are doing.
They tried to corner my son too. It didn’t work. I didn’t get mad or give them a call about it. I made sure that my son knew he was allowed to tell someone no if he felt uncomfortable about anything. Drugs, religion, alcohol, anything whether it be harmful or not. He’s allowed to go to a picnic with them since his dad is one of them. He is not allowed to spend the night with any of them since they do not allow me to call to speak to him. I also informed his dad that if at a picnic and I want to call to see how he is doing and possibly come and get him if he wants to leave, it better be ok. If the cell phone of his dad’s only rings and nobody will answer and I know they are with JWs, then that will be the last time I allow a social visit with them. It is very understood. They can drop me out of their lives but they cannot keep me from my son’s life. I don’t know what happened the last time his dad took him on a JW picnic, but he did say no to the last outing. He doesn’t have to give me details if he doesn’t want to (in case I get upset), but his actions about not wanting to go says enough to me and they all know not to push it. So keep this in mind so it gives you peace of mind with your son.
Best wishes and prayers to you and your son.
Chuck, I assume that you are the primary custodial parent since he is living with you. Individual States have different laws but most give the Custodial parent the rights to the child’s moral or religious teachings. If this is the case, then you need to make it clear to your ex-wife and the elders, that it is your wishes that he not be part or associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses in any form. I would also advise them in any case that your wishes are not upheld, a suit of invasion of privacy will be brought against them in a Court of Law.
As for them secretly grilling him, I think they are setting you up to be disfellowshipped and getting ahold of you to force you and your son back into this congregation or cult.
You are in a tough situation and need prayer, God’s Spirit be with you.
Chuck, this is one of the hardest things to endure. Having you child manipulated by the elders and his own mother. I would draft a letter forbidding them to contact your son again. As his father you have more authority than they do. It may get ugly and cost some cash but you may need a lawyer. Depending on his age, a judge will listen to his desires. Put faith in God and his judges in the court system.
Or, you could email me the city and congo name and I can figure out something to undermine them from within the ranks of the elder body. I am meeting with 3 other elders and QiA for the next couple of weeks. If in California we might be able to do more than some might think possible.
The motive and attitude they show is ‘Either you are with us or you are against us’…
I have the suspicion that they feel they are ‘sifting the chaff from the wheat’.
It only shows those who are privileged to be on the outside of this fear driven,controlling organization,how fortunate we are,to know the truth about what God really desires for his people…it sure ain’t about control over man.
You have to wonder…if it is God’s chosen organization….why the fear of what you are thinking….or why the fear of what your son may want to do with his life?
The tactics they use could be to stir you up and ultimately lead you to a confrontation with them,which may lead to your disfellowshipping.They may feel this would show the congregation that they are always in control…no matter how long you’ve been out.
The whole structure of this group is about controlling people. They seem to have a fixation on control. I know of elders who left and then had years of being cut off from family members.
The beliefs are false in some areas but the organization is the issue in that it like many others try to control people and what they do and think.
Get into something tamer.
When you look back on all this years from now, it will all be as clear as crystal. Keep looking forward and know that your son’s eyes have been opened to an alternative. He must choose and walk his own life path.