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My friends becoming Jahova's Witnesses...

(28 Posts)
Kione Mon 08-Apr-13 19:52:53

I am not sure if I should start this on the religion forum, as I am atheist but very respectful and wouldn't want to start a discussion there.
I am in utter shock as that is 3 of them in two years... One of them used to be a lot into partiing, she had New Years Eve, the best Halloween party ever, her teenager daughters birthdays, always at her house, she LOVED having parties. Sha was a dancing moving her ass latina! And now in a matter of months she is covered head to toe, she doesn't party (ok, partly due to an illness of her) she didn't even say happy birthday to her 19 year old, etc.
My other friend who was a catholic started reading the Bible with this woman from the Jahova's Temple, her husband used to critisize her talking to their kids about god, he liked doing meditation and stuff like that... So little by little this second friend of mine has met up with the Jahovas more, but now suddenly her husband has turned!! They told me yesterday and I was in shock, but I respect everyone's decisions.
Its just that they won't celebrate birthdays or Christmas or anything... her DD and mine adore each other, they are 3.5, and I am so sad that their lifes are going to be so different sad
I asked them if they where going to go down the "no blood trnasfusion route" to which my friend previously replied "no way!" but now that her husband has joined her they do believe its not the right treatment. I really am so sad. I still love them and they are almost the same people to me, but I find it all sacry and weird.
I am not sure if I am actually asking anything here, I am just venting because she has already one bad experience telling people about her choice so I am not going to tell other people in RL. That is for her to do.
Anyone has experience with this church? No intention to offend but I find them creepy sad

nkf Mon 08-Apr-13 19:56:19

Tricky. I guess you are missing your friend and the relationship you thought you and your family would have with her and her family. Try to find common ground and wait and see how it pans out? I have no experience with the church but I know about people getting new religions and it can be scary. As if someone else is talking through them.

ohtobecleo Mon 08-Apr-13 19:58:02

No experience of this church but just wanted to say that if I was in your shoes I'd feel the same way as you do. I hope you manage to find a happy medium where you can maintain your friendship.

saycheeeeeese Mon 08-Apr-13 20:02:40

They are Jehovahs witnesses smile

Why don't you find out a bit more of what they believe? I'm not a JW by the way but it may help make it less scary.

I think they believe very similar things to Christians but have different idea's about Jesus and the end of the world.

Lots of religions don't celebrate Christmas obviously, as for birthdays I don't see that as a big deal id love people to ignore mine

The blood transfusion thing would be the only thing that would bother me but each to their own I suppose.
JW is not a dangerous cult it's a recognised religion so I'd say just be supportive of their choices, you don't necessarily have to agree. just hide behind the sofa when they ring the doorbell grin

plaingirly Mon 08-Apr-13 20:14:57

I work with a JW and she parties! Not getting drunk or anything and she just dresses like a normal 20 something. Skirts or dresses must be worn for meetings though.

NumberOneNumpty Mon 08-Apr-13 20:24:15

I understand your feelings of uneasiness. JWs believe that the rest of us are damned. Therefore though they are encouraged to treat everybody kindly it seems many have a poor opinion of non-JWs. Also JW elders have a lot of power over the lives of members of their congregation.

They may not celebrate Christmas or birthdays but they are encouraged to give their kids presents at other times of the year to make up for this, so maybe you could do this for your DD's friend.

I hope you are able to maintain your friendship, your friend might need you to provide her with an alternative point of view in years to come.

Kione Mon 08-Apr-13 20:31:34

Sorry, in my country they are Jahova blush Ok. So Jehova then.
I don't believe in anything, so totally disagre with extreme Christians.
nkf as if someone is talking through them. Exactly!! I am just shocked at the complete change, specially the husband... and now she has become alot mor into it IYKWIM
The other one has hurt her teenage daughter no end, by not only not celebrating her birthday but not even aknowledging it...
I have asked my friend to pass on the magazine she gave her husband and joked a bit that if they saw my skirt getting magically longer to grab it off my hands grin we did have a healthy laugh about it.
But I am so so scared because they already sound different and I just don't want to loose them. The other one is already a totally different person.
Parties: They can go to parties but they don't celebrate things like us and I feel sorry for the kids. But hey each to their own. Need to say it has caused lots of arguments with their parents and in laws already.

Kione Mon 08-Apr-13 20:33:28

I have said why they don't pick a random day inthe summer and have a BBQ and it will be the lil ones day. They have another 1.6 DD. She thought it was a good idea, but then again, she tends to agree with most things I say and then has a mind of her own (or of someone else...)

NumberOneNumpty Mon 08-Apr-13 20:36:09

www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/witnesses/

This website is a good general introduction to JW.

www.bible.ca/jw.htm

This website details some of the less savoury aspects of the church.

nailak Mon 08-Apr-13 20:43:20

are they happy??

TooYappy Mon 08-Apr-13 20:44:17

My in laws are Jehovah Witnesses, they are a bit different, FIL is an Elder right prick I just grin and nod nicely, they know I have no interest in their beliefs and mentioned everytime a DS has a birthday that they have a saving account for whatever DC.

They are OK. Nice enough people, mean well but they live in a weird bubble imho, I had to recycle a bible of DS last week as he asked me about 'living forever' hmm

Have to say my in laws are total hypocrites (faith wise) so I wouldn't worry about your friends changing too much.

Kione Mon 08-Apr-13 20:45:45

Thank you for the links, I had a quick glance, and i am not sure if they are supposed to help, but they didnt... reinforced in my doubts, if that is possible...

Kione Mon 08-Apr-13 20:48:48

nailak I guess... I mean, they where not unhappy before! I think they are the resame regarding hapiness, plus more arguments with family!
TooHappy one of them has already changed completely! She is now in a trip away with the congregation.
The other friends husband said he felt he had a spiritual nned, had tried bhuddism and didn't find it, so he read that magazine and "found it"?? I was puzzled.

saycheeeeeese Mon 08-Apr-13 20:52:01

It's hard to understand other people's faith when you are an atheist.
Everything seems daft/far fetched/unbelievable but if they are happy and have 'found' what they were looking for I doubt anything you could say or do would matter.

Kione Mon 08-Apr-13 20:54:12

But the two women already had a faith! that is what I find most strange in all this. I am not going to say anything, I respect them as I respect my catholic grandma and my protestan MIL. But I found it odd how the three of them have changed, specially the firts one

Kione Mon 08-Apr-13 20:55:42

Plus, believe me, specially because of my job I have to be extra-non judmental. But its sad to see them as someone said as if someone was talking through them. They can't do anything before checking with the bible and th eother readers if its the right thing to do...

TooYappy Mon 08-Apr-13 20:58:57

Ah yes you will notice their lives are quickly filled with meetings.

STBXH life consisted of

Monday - door knocking with leaflets
Tuesday - meeting at hall 7-9pm
Wednesday - door knocking
Thursday - Meeting with few members at home 7-9pm
Friday - Free night
Saturday - Sometimes meetings during day
Sunday - Morning meeting

His parents bought him a property at 15. He was shunned by the members for not believing and no doubt other bad things.

They still annoy me with comments to DC, DS said something about 'good luck' only to be told they don't believe in luck?? Meh....

They live very boring shadowed/sheltered lives tbh

lowercase Mon 08-Apr-13 21:17:55

I know a lapsed catholic who turned JW, she says the fellowship is better.

Fwiw, the only way to have a friend is to be one.

Kione Mon 08-Apr-13 21:18:57

Well if they tell him things like that I suppose you can tell your kids that what they say its not true... Another thing is, us atheists seem to have to respect other peoples beliefs but get bombarded by JW in our door, or other godbotherers, as DP puts them, and be quiet and respect. Well I won't be quiet if they start telling things to my DD...

Kione Mon 08-Apr-13 21:20:51

But I guess that is a different argument altogether and I wasn't meaning to argue.

aurynne Mon 08-Apr-13 21:31:50

Go to their house at 7 am on a Sunday carrying a copy of Darwin - The Origin of Species and tell them about the nothingness that there is after dying... they'll love it! :P

saycheeeeeese Mon 08-Apr-13 21:32:08

Yes you are making assumptions they will try and impose it on you and your kids. Just make it clear thar you still love them but you are not interested in being converted.

New converts to any religion are always very zealous, they may eventually go back to being like they were.

Kione Mon 08-Apr-13 21:38:34

I only said that as TooYappy said that her in laws say things to their kids. They know I don't want to be converted. My DP would leave me!
aurynne friend 2 was actually very open minded before and we used to have interesting religious discussions. When she started "studying the Bible" which this lady (JW) she said I should go and ask her things as it would be very interesting. Yesterday I said I would still like to do that, for genuine curiosity of what her answers would be, but she didn't say anything.

saycheeeeeese Mon 08-Apr-13 21:47:16

Maybe she's scared you will try and talk her out of it?

It's a difficult situation I don't envy you, we recently lost a few good friends to a hardcore evangelical happy clappy stylee church. We just weren't good enough anymore because I wasn't willing to go along and be brainwashed converted too.

nailak Mon 08-Apr-13 21:55:42

"Another thing is, us atheists seem to have to respect other peoples beliefs but get bombarded by JW in our door, or other godbotherers, as DP puts them, and be quiet and respect."

God botherers and JW don't only pick on atheists! as made apparent by your friends conversions confused

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