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Can anyone answer a question about Jehovahs Witness?

(13 Posts)

I have recently be-friended a girl at playgroup who is a Jehovahs Witness, we don't know each other hugely well yet, but get on well have dd's of a similar age who have hit it off too.

The problem being that I have invited her round a few times for a cup of tea and a natter, the first couple of times she came and (I think) a good time was had by all, but now she keeps saying yes and looking keen, but then calling me at the last minute and cancelling, then seeming really embarrassed next time we meet.

Now maybe she just doesn't like me and I am getting on her tits, but I really don't get that impression and I am a fairly sensitive person.

I have done some googling FWIW and I have read that some Jehovahs Witnesses are not allowed to befriend people who are not in the religion, could I just be doing the wrong thing?

I know I should probably just ask her but for some reason it gives me the squirmies, I am not a religious person and I don't want to offend her.

Oh and BTW when I say recently met it was about Jan/Feb time, not last week, makes me sound super pushy.

stressedHEmum Fri 05-Aug-11 17:35:06

When I was a Witness, friendships with outsiders were actively discouraged. We weren't even supposed to mix too much with our families if they weren't JW. The rationale is that spending time with worldly people will make you more worldly and open to Satan's influence. New witnesses were, basically, told to cut ties with old friends and replace them with their new, godly, chums within the Truth.

Many times, we were kind of encouraged to appear friendly to people because it might give us a road in but, if they were clearly uninterested, we had to back off after a few meetings.

LawrieMarlow Fri 05-Aug-11 17:42:13

We used to live next door to a JW. She was always very friendly and although she knew we weren't interested (so to speak) in what she believed in that wasn't a problem for her. She did occasionally give us things for the children such as a bible but never in a pushy way. She was a bit older though so maybe felt more comfortable doing what she felt happy with.

MmeBucket Fri 05-Aug-11 17:44:15

When I was a Witness, I wasn't allowed to have any outside contact with people my age, except at school, for the exact same reason as posted above. There were a few times I was invited around to a non-Witness house to play, and my mother was very disappointed in me and punished me for actually wanting to go. Once she let me play (several times in a very short period of time) at someone's house when their mother attended a few meetings, but that quickly ended when the mother stopped attending. Anyone who isn't a witness is called "worldly" and they make a point of using scriptures about "not mixing company" to discourage making friends outside the group.

Now that I left the religion (didn't do anything other than quietly leave) none of my family and friends will have anything to do with me as they now consider me "worldly", and the few times I've run into them out and about they usually turn bright red, make a big path around me, and look away from where I'm at. HTH.

scurryfunge Fri 05-Aug-11 17:47:45

Sounds like a poisonous group. Offer her support if she needs to leave.

stressedHEmum Sat 06-Aug-11 08:30:24

Scurry, very poisonous but quite often you can't see that from the inside. They use scripture to back up everything and, because you are forbidden from reading the bible on it's own or from reading/listening to any any other interpretation but the WBTS one, it can be hard to see that you are being manipulated. When you study with JW's, much is made of worldly influence and you are told over and over again that opposition is proof that you are right and that Satan is trying to stop you finding out the truth. It's the same with all Witnesses, outsiders are basically Satan's tools to lead you astray.

As MmeBucket said, kids aren't even allowed to go to play with non JW children and even your family has to shun you if you leave. It takes over your whole life, dictates everything that you do and everyone you see. EVERYTHING, from what music you listen to (much of it is from the Devil) and what books you read to how you have sex with your husband.

Mme, I'm so sorry that you are being shunned. It is the hardest part to bear when you disassociate. Well, after you get over the fear of your children dying at Armageddon, anyway. In time, you will find new friends and a new life, but it doesn't make it any easier when people you thought loved you can just turn their backs on you.

BelleDameSansMerci Sat 06-Aug-11 08:35:06

My DD's father was brought up as a JW but left when in his early 20s... He has some contact with his family but none with those who were his friends. They really are discouraged from external friendships and relationships. Her husband may not be keen or she may be struggling with this. It's a shame, I think.

thejaffacakesareonme Sat 06-Aug-11 10:12:16

I am not a JW and so can't comment on things from that angle. It strikes me though that your friend seems nice. Would it be worth suggesting that you meet up at somewhere like a soft play centre if the kids are old enough? Or do so something like swimming together if they are babies? Maybe meeting at a neutral venue might make things easier for her.

MmeBucket Mon 08-Aug-11 00:20:38

Aw, thanks for thinking of me HEmum. Fortunately, I left 13 years ago, before I got married and had children, so I've had plenty of time to find a new life, and my kids have never had to worry incessantly about God killing them at Armageddon and been able to have normal lives from the beginning.

My family still is shunning me just as much as 13 years ago, in fact, my aunt ran someone else's shopping trolley over with hers trying to get away from me when she saw me at Costco a few months ago, but it doesn't do anything other than amuse me anymore.

Thank you all so much for your replies and for sharing your experiences.

It really sadens me that it looks like that is the case, I don't know wheather to try and bring it up with her or to just leave it.

I consider myself a pretty tolerant person, but it seems like a really shitty set of beliefs. Any religion that forbids you contact with others and relies on it's own interpretation of 'gods word' (the idea that, no the bible doesn't mean what it says, it means this) seems pretty insecure and bordering on cult to me.

stressedHEmum Mon 08-Aug-11 20:52:47

Mme, it's really good that you have found a new life and at least you can laugh at your family's foolishness. It's their loss, really, that they would rather put the word of a bunch of remote old men over family ties. I am fortunate in that none of my family were witnesses, but I still lost all my friends, which hurt at the time, now, all these years later, I just feel a bit sorry for the ones that are still trapped. AS you say, the best bit about leaving is that your kids can be free from the constant fear of judgement and destruction and can live a normal life eating birthday cake and making cards guilt free.

WTWTW, yes, it is definitely a cult, and no the bible doesn't mean what it says, it means what Jehovah tells the Governing Body it means. This is fluid and changes every time a prediction doesn't come true or begins to look ridiculous. Jehovah is kind enough to reveal new light to us that cancels out his old light. As a demonstration of how it works, when I left, JW women were still forbidden to wear their hair in a bob. Jehovah had revealed to the GB in the1920s that bobs made women go bald. As far as I know that is still current light.

stressedHEmum Mon 08-Aug-11 20:59:02

Pressed send to soon. If I were you, WTWTW, I would leave it, to be honest. If your friend is struggling with this, trying harder will just kind of confirm that you are Satan's agent trying to lead her astray. If her OH is also a JW, she would be going against him if she saw you as well Jehovah and that would get her into trouble for not being submissive enough. Even if he isn't, starting a friendship with an outsider would definitely lead to trouble for her within the congregation and it's hierarchy. She would also be kind of pushed out of her witness friendships because she would be seen as weak in her faith and therefore someone to avoid.

Best just to let sleeping dogs lie, I think.

justinhawkinsnavalfluff Thu 11-Aug-11 19:31:15

Just to add another angle I was brought up as a jw disfellowshipped at 22 my choice it was the best move I ever made BUT I could never have managed it without my very kind wordly friends that I worked with who cared enough to support me. Is it possible this women is desperate for a way out and is looking for help?

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