Many ex-Witnesses have to deal with Witness relatives or friends who go all preachy on them from time to time. The evangelist may not notice it, but these little “conversations” (their word) tend to get ugly and abusive pretty quickly. They always seem to deteriorate from, “I want to convince you to come back to us,” into something more like, “I hope you feel ashamed of yourself for making me and Jesus cry!” I’ve never been able to figure out if the Witnesses pulling this kind of stuff are simply unaware of how much personal anger they’re dumping on people or if they actually think it’s justified. I suspect it’s a combination of both.
Is it my imagination, or do most Jehovah’s Witnesses seem determined to bring ex-Witnesses back to the Kingdom Hall by shaming us to death? A lot of their standard “attacks” are mostly emotional, and one that I’ve heard from a lot of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses is the lovable old chestnut you see in the title. Here it is worded another way: “Hey, Jehovah’s organization has gotten us this far. How can you turn your back on it after all the Watchtower Society has done for you?” I suppose they could have added something like, “You dirty, rotten traitor!” to really make your eyes water. But that would be too obvious. It’s hardly necessary since that’s pretty much what they’re implying any way.
Things have been strained between you and your mom lately, haven’t they? (Just nod, okay?) Yeah, after years of skulking around and trying not to doze off at the meetings, you finally did it. You, a once loyal Jehovah’s Witness, stopped going to the Kingdom Hall and haven’t shown your face there since. Weeks have passed and everyone wants to know where you’ve been and what’s wrong…<b>with you,</b> actually. “Don’t you like the Watchtower Society any more??” they seem to be asking. You’re not expecting that lunch date to go so well with your mom this afternoon, either. (Good call.) But you try smiling anyway as you take the seat across from her. Problem is she isn’t really smiling back at you. It’s more of a grimace. Could you use some advice?
Or As I Like To Call It, “Guilt Much?”
Few former Jehovah’s Witnesses have managed to sneak out of their Kingdom Halls (or even stomped out biting and scratching all the way!) without being asked a question like this several hundred times–give or take. It’s one of those guilt-inducing questions, the kind that bullies and other controlling people like to fling your way every now and then. All ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses know that any answer we give–no matter how justified–will sound something like “a dog ate my homework, teach!” And that ain’t good enough. So your brain just sorta locks up. Suddenly, the best thing you can come up with is a few mumbled words about Elders or the Creation Book or whatever. Then they’ll just rake you over the coals for being a total lame-o before marching off in an indignant huff of superiority.
Then, two minutes after they drive away, the answers come flooding back. You know exactly what to say–but they’re gone. Well, you’ll show’em the next time they pretend to care about your feelings! Won’t you? Then it just happens all over again anyway.