Some Jehovah’s Witnesses assume that former Witnesses like me are lying when we talk about our old Kingdom Halls. If you’re one of Jehovah’s Witnesses who has read an experience at Atheist Geek News (or any other ex-Witness site) that doesn’t agree with your experiences at your own Kingdom Hall, please try to remember the following:
Our experiences at our Kingdom Halls have nothing to do with your experiences at your Kingdom Halls. And no, believe it or not, we aren’t lying about our experiences. We don’t have to.
If it’s hard for you to believe that our bad experiences with “the truth” really happened, then consider this: some ex-Witnesses suspect that you guys are the ones who are really lying to us. That’s because many of us had it so bad at our old Hall that we can’t believe you had it so good.
If you’re one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, try to remember that “the truth” is a fairly big place to live in. The religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses may not be as large as many other denominations, but there are Kingdom Halls throughout the United States and abroad. Is it really so hard to believe that some of us … well, a lot of us … have had very different experiences with “the truth” than you have? It really shouldn’t be. Especially when you consider the range of experiences people have had working for the same place of business or even other churches. As Witnesses, you meet lots of people who are happy with their religion and who don’t want to change, despite the fact that others do and are willing to convert.
Is this really such a strange concept? I just don’t see how it could be.
I think some of the sensitivity may have something to do with an aversion to criticism. But not all of the Society’s critics are out to demonize the organization or want to hurt Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some of us just wish it could be a better place to live than it already is. Maybe our idea of what’s better doesn’t work for you, but that doesn’t say anything about our motives. And yes, some ex-Witnesses really have an axe to grind and want to hurt the thing that hurt them. But that doesn’t mean we’re all alike anymore than all Jehovah’s Witnesses are alike. To assume otherwise is prejudice. Not to mention an unbalanced view of fellow human beings who once believed as you do.
Getting angry at ex-Witnesses who share their experiences at their Kingdom Halls because those experiences were very different from your own makes about as much sense to me as getting mad at someone because they’ve never seen a Kingdom Hall that looks like yours. What does your Kingdom Hall have to do with someone elses Kingdom Hall? Is it so impossible that one Kingdom Hall could be made from brick while every Kingdom Hall you’ve ever seen had siding on it?
Does the anger even make sense? Why take it personally?
Guys, it isn’t personal until you make it personal. Try to be better than that and you’ll make a better impression on ex-Witnesses. Why remind us of the very behaviors we wanted to get away from when we left your organization in the first place? If you feel a need to make an impression (and you are every time you talk to us or leave comments) why not make it a good one?