How are JWs so dumb?

How are JWs so dumb?


It's not a case of being dumb, it's: 1) Fear of shunning and losing family members that keeps many from leaving or even researching their religions origins and history. 2) indoctrination often from an early age where fear of displeasing God is so ingrained that it has a paralyzing effect where people dare not do research because of point 1). 3) sunk cost fallacy - because they have invested so much of their life in the religion they are afraid to leave just on case they might be wrong 4) because of being told that higher education is wrong many JWs don't have well paying jobs or careers. Some are even employed by other JWs in low paying cleaning jobs where they will lose their job if they were to ever leave or be DF'd/DA'd. 5) deliberate twisting of the facts/history by the org


Exactly. A host of manipulative techniques are used on us as we are developing as a person. You can't just tell a child everyday that the moon is made of cheese without them one day getting old enough and doing their own research to see that is not true. You need to also instill a deep fear of doing research, while slandering those who don't believe and convincing you that those people are the real dumb ones. Fear of losing your family/friends. Fear of an eternal punishment. Fear of losing an amazing prize (paradise/heaven). Fear of spending the rest of your life with family and friends immense disapproval. Plus growing up in a community of well respected adults that are also convinced of all this would rarely lead to you doubting it's truthfulness as a young person. You're not dumb if these tactics are used against you and you fall victim to them. In fact you'd be a strange anomaly if they didn't work at all for at least some period of time. Edit: fixed some grammar


Someone called?


Ha, took me longer than it should have to understand this comment.




The sunken cost fallacy is so true. I've heard my family members say "Even if this turns out not to have been the truth, I feel like my life has only benefited by my living this way." I really have to bite my tongue to say..."REALLY?! Not having a relationship with me has benefited you and you're ok going to your grave that way?" But I didn't want to get into it. Also, one thing I've noticed recently is that my siblings DO NOT handle death well. AT ALL. Not to say that it's easy and we don't grieve, but I've reached a point in my life where I understand death is inevitable and a part of life. It sucks and I will be absolutely devastated if / when I lose my husband, but it's going to happen. So might as well live today the best I can. With them, I feel like they can't even FUNCTION without the hope of the resurrection. JW beliefs have fucked up their ability to grieve properly. The hope of seeing a loved one again after they die is really, really hard to give up.


Think yourself lucky. I was told I would never leave school.... I'm 69 in August! ☹️


69? Nice. I am a bot lol.


Good bot


"No doubt many boys and girls who read this book will live to see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, and those other men of old, come forth in the glory of their "better resurrection," perfect in mind and body." - The Way to Paradise (1925) pp.226-227 "If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things. Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfilment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years.” -Awake! 1969 May 22 p.15


I was 14 when I read this. I didn't want to seem rebellious. Plus, in "those days" there was no WT Library CD, not a lot of bound volumes, no internet.... PLUS, I was busy... in school, super duper looonnnng meetings (they would ALWAYS go over time, Sunday Meetings even had a 15 minute break btwn the Public Talk & The WT study, so people had a smoke break) and of course.... "field service." Let's not forget, CA's were 3 days long, starting Friday evening & long days Sat & Sunday. District Conventions were up to 8 days long!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh! They started early, 9(?) and went into the NIGHT! OMG!


Reminds me of a quote I heard from another religion once: “From the universe, we emerge. Into the universe, we return. And there are infinite forms we can take in infinite universes. Well, this morning at dawn, you will take a new form. That of a fleshless, chattering skeleton when Zorp the surveyor arrives and burns your flesh off with his volcano mouth.”


Sounds kinda metal, honestly.


When my son was born, I was told he would never go to school. He is now 47.


My dad hoped the “system” will last just until he got his driver’s license. He’ll be 80 next year !!




No. He just wanted to experience driving. Back then they didn’t think there would be cars, electricity, anything we have now in the “new system “. It’s a cult.


It's not about intelligence. I knew some incredibly smart people that were in the org. If you're born in it's about 1) what you're willing to put up to be able to keep relationships with the people you love or 2) how well you can lie to yourself about what is obviously going on around you. If you study and come in later, the org is filling some need. Either you're incredibly lonely, broken, or suffer from some complex that the propaganda speaks to. In those cases, you are love bombed until you are baptized. At some point though, the people who are supposed to be your "brothers and sisters" get sick of your issues and ignore you. Then you do something that will get you df'd because you're simply trying to cope with problems the org isn't capable of handling (even though they claim to) and you end up losing your entire social circle and you're worse off then before. Maybe that is stupidity, foolishness, or being just plain dumb.


It's nothing to do with being dumb. This is a set of beliefs people are raised to believe from being a baby. It's a very difficult thing to let go of.


Totally agreed. I was born-in and left when I was ~22. Especially when you’re born-in, it’s just something you learned growing up. It wasn’t a matter of convincing a child, I learned about “Jehovah” as I learned my name, to read, and write — it was just something that was always there. I also feel like I never truly “believed.” I kinda think of it as reciting lyrics to a song or lines from a movie — it’s just a thing you know semantically.


And even converts from Catholic background have similar brainwashing and superstitious mind set - so making a jump when they reject the pope is not a huge leap . Especially uneducated ones who never were taught the value of critical thinking and science and philosophy... comparative religious topics and such .


That is such a good way of putting it. My mom argued with me one day telling me I did make it my own and I pioneered because I wanted to. I told her I did it because it was expected of me.


My experience was kinda funny. I was born in as well, but my dad wanted me to learn Spanish, so we went to a Spanish hall for many years when I was a kid. All my friends spoke English to me though, so it wasn’t imperative that I learned Spanish. I even gave Bible readings and stuff, just never spoke or understood much. Then my dad decided I wasn’t “making the truth my own”, so we switched to English. After that for some years, my dad got antsy and we switched to a French Hall, again hoping I would pick up French. My dad spoke all these languages, so it was fine for him. Ultimately I’m very thankful for this, because I wasn’t brainwashed in my formative years, which I’ve told my dad. He’s still very much PIMI, and hopes I’ll come back someday, but I think I’ve gotten across that that’ll never happen.


Stupid beliefs can make you stupid. Both intellectually and socially. JW beliefs also make you lying and dishonest as a person.


Absolutely, I grew up being told this is the truth, everything else is a lie. I was just going through the motions of being a JW, I believed what my parents told me so there was no need to question anything, that was enough for me as a child. However as I got older I began actually listening to what was being said and seeing how things didn't seem to always match up, only then was I able to objectively look at the cult from the outside and understand it was all bullshit. Unfortunately though too many people either push out those questions and write it off as "Satan trying to plant seeds of doubt" or they sadly deal with it and hope for the best as they feel they have made it this far and it's too late to go somewhere else even if they start to questions things.


I agree it makes no sense, to claim they have the "truth" when the teachings have changed for decades is insanity! I remember my wife's dad telling me he thought the end would happen when my wife was in elementary school. Now she all grown up & married to me and we have kids and he is a grandfather now.... And he still believes in the Borg smdh.


its indoctrination and being taught to not question the teachings, authority, elders...etc.


Like others have said, intellectual ability is often a moot point. It's about fear - Fear of losing everyone they know, fear of their life being turned upside down, fear of the unknown, fear of the outside world - Lots and lots of fears! When I realized how my family members are living every day of their lives constantly filled with fear, that's when all the anger I had magically transformed into just feeling sorry for them. I just love them and wish them well from afar.


Also: Fear that you may have a chance to see your child who died, your wife, or your husband, meet your parents (who you never knew) in the resurrection...


That is a really beautiful sentiment. Thank you for sharing. In many ways our families are almost childlike. So naive and easily scared.


How were you so dumb? How did you keep getting lied to and believe it’s the truth? JWs in general are not any dumber than you were then or now. They just haven’t done the research to realize they’ve been lied to yet.


Many modern JWs have actually done research and remain willingly. That was shocking to me. It's not always stupidity, it's also dishonesty, complete lack of empathy to others and thinking only of their own well-being. Just like, you know, the exact qualities they attribute to the "world" and "worldly spirit". They simply like being in the cult, it makes them feel good, so fuck everyone else. I've heard it even from your supposedly liberal kind smiling compassionate elders. The arguing with them eventually comes to the point when they simply say they like it here, they don't care and nothing bothers them at the moment. They have nothing to disagree with. When I ask them but what you are going to do when you'll face a crisis or conscience they say it won't happen or they simply change the topic. Intellectual stupidity, yes, but also conformism and dishonesty. They don't care as long as they feel good in the cult or benefit from it on some way. That is one of the reasons why I stopped caring about them, their waking up process or their feelings. They know everything, but they don't care. Former cult members deserve much more compassion than them.


I don’t believe that all cult members can be painted with the same brush. While some may realize it’s bull shit and stay anyways for various reasons, most appear to be thoroughly deceived. They continue to run on the JW Hamster wheel, never recognizing that they aren’t going anywhere and are no closer to “Paradise” than they were decades ago. But, for those who *have* done the research, your words call to mind a rather profound quote about the binary choice with which one is faced: > *When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken or cease to be honest*


Not all of them, but I actually think rather many.


Actually once what they said didn’t happen I researched and found out the religion was a scam. I’m talking about how JWs can still be pimi and believe they have the truth when every single date and deadline for Armageddon given by the Org have been lies.


Cool, and until then you believed it. You were in so you know they discourage outside sources and critical thinking, doesn't matter what you can say to them they can brush it all away as apostate lies because it's what we've been raised with since birth (if born in). They have mathematicians and scientists in - not many mind you but they are there. Would you say you're smarter than them and literally every other JW? By your question alone and final sentence I can tell that wouldn't be the case. It doesn't matter how smart you are, anybody can be indoctrinated. Especially when your family and friends and sometimes even your job are held hostage. Especially when the organization rewrites its history regularly and makes sure no one looks back. Especially when they have their followers afraid to even hear a word that goes against the JW theology. Them being in doesn't make them idiots as much as us being out doesn't make us intellectuals.


If it’s any consolation it’s not too late to get an education, if you really want to. I went to college at 29 and it was wonderful. Absolutely worth it.


I went to college in my mid-30s and am now in medical school in my 40s. It’s a joy to learn, I’ve met so many interesting, good people, and I know that even if I can only practice for 20 years by the time it’s all over, that will still be a rewarding opportunity. And if I die sooner, as we all will at some point, at least I’ve finally spent time and energy pursuing things that interest me. It is truly never too late.


Congratulations!!! I just graduated with a bachelor’s and start dental school in August and I’m so nervous! How has the workload been for you? Have you suffered imposter syndrome to any degree? Sometimes I feel like such an outsider I worry about fitting in, other times I feel like I have this great emotional advantage from going through the trauma of breaking from JW mind control and coming out on the other side with a grit other students don’t have. Any words of wisdom?


Isn’t studying biology the most liberating experience? It brought me so much healing.


I don’t think they’re being lied to necessarily. I think those at the top are also bought in and pass it on down as their entire livelihood depends on voluntary donations from a lay-class of publishers. They shoe horn doctrine into scripture and are deluded enough to believe it as they work under the all encompassing assumption that they are God’s chosen religion


It is not a case of being dumb. There are many JWs who are well educated, have leadership/ managerial positions in their secular work and you can classify as above average intelligence. The issue lies on how they believe. They really really believe that the instructions from a few white men in NY (who have the best free care and amenities that anyone can get and living the time of their life as a "rock star" kind of fame within their members) are indeed coming from God. This is even though there are borg articles and videos admitting these men are not inspired by the Holy Spirit but "champions" the truth. Some might have a case of pride. That they are not wrong on the belief that they chose. Some are narcissistic and egocentric. As they can only get the high regard, "respect" and attention if they stay in this religion.


Dude, using the R word is totally not cool.


That's what I said, but apparently I'm just easily offended and talk bullshit about micro agression that aren't really agressions. OP has issues and not related to the cult.


Not technically lying, its just a very long term truth... basics are we have been in the last days since 70CE, as no one knows when the end will be... something like over 1900 years. ​ Also the bible doesn't say you shouldn't work, you should and in fact God rewards those who work, its just the BORG seem to only have focused on 1 or 2 good bits that work well for them, people giving them money, which is ironic as if you dont work you dont have money


mid 50s and I would 'never go to school.' Then it was I'd 'never graduate.'


Emotional manipulation. Biggest reason, or at least one of the biggest, right there.


Their whole belief system is based on keeping people on the edge because Armageddon can come any time. If the dubs thought there was time, they could go out and get a degree, or sin and then have time to ask for forgiveness. It is only by drilling it over and over again that there is no time for that is how they keep members in line. The preaching work also is urgent because it can help to save you when the end comes any day now. The high alert is the crux of everything. They just forget to mention JW's have been on high alert forever. Yes, lives will be ruined but the GB needs to have that power and who will be there to kiss the elder's butts if everyone catches on to that it's a bunch of BS.


I think most JWs are broken people, who need therapy and or medication. If they don't get therapy, they will go after charlatans who promise great things. What I'm undecided on, is if the GB are also broken and disgruntled people who can't accept reality...or they're Machiavellian manipulators, who have figured out a way to make money from a niche group. Makes me wonder what the motivations of Russel, Rutherford, Knorr were. Any thoughts?


I wasn’t born in “ the truth” not I watched “the truth” destroy members of my family. I studied to become an unbaptized publisher. I studied from when I was 14yrs old to 17 yrs old. There are definitely differences between their Bible and other versions of the Bible.


I just realized. It’s not necessarily that *you* won’t have to worry about your education or future... it’s that our *parents* didnt have to worry about it. WT is for lazy unmotivated people who leach off the system essentially. And they sure can’t wait for the *new* system where *everything* will be free and perfect. They sound like delusional communists. That’s exactly what they are.


While I’m cringing at the R word, I’m in agreement with your sentiment.


Well a sincere person will believe a lie from a source that they trust. But with that being said, it’s not lie if the source of the info themselves also believe what they’re saying is true.


I was told this too! I’m 37 and just now training to be an EMD so I can retire in Grace


Hi mate! I’m 36 and will be graduating from University with my undergrad in less than a week! I was told the same thing and want to sue their (borg) asses for lost wealth building opportunities. But if school is something that interests you, get on it ASAP. It isn’t too late.


It’s more like being indoctrinated and complacent. It must be comforting to believe all that garbage.


You’re not dumb. You were brainwashed and manipulated. Brainwashing and manipulation can happen to anyone, including those of high intelligence.


Yes the organization has told my Grandparents they won't get old. Sadly they are no longer alive now. They told my parents the same, now they are getting close to retirement. I'm told the same thing. I decided to get a good job and get an education. I feel sorry for the ones who fell for it. I really seems stupid now but those who don't realize it are ignorant unintentionally or intentionally. Group thinking is powerful you can see that all over the world. You can show someone all the facts and info but they just won't change.


They have some vague tenuous connection to Jeh that none of the rest of us do, supposedly. They always have an excuse of why they did something wrong, or got something wrong. They barely resemble the religion they were in the beginning, and yet they want people to believe that when Jesus came into his kingdom, THEY were the ones that were found to be doing things right! So now that almost everything has changed, just what exactly were they doing that everyone else at that time wasn't doing? Not a damn thing, that's for sure. And everyone from back in the time that they said those who saw Jesus come into his kingdom would never die, are DEAD. EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM. Yeah, there's some real cognitive dissonance there.


I’m 30 aswell and left when I was 17 (but wasn’t attending any meetings or service field since 15). I asked the elders why couldn’t I be a model, why couldn’t I get a bachelors degree in design...I loved the idea of exploring my love for fashion and enjoy that career and its perks. Had the whole thing demonized and asked why I wanted to have earthly possessions if my faith was strong and my goal was to live forever in paradise. well that opened the gates because I understood I wanted to have a meaningful and lovely life now, not in a future that wasn’t even mine for sure, had no wish to live forever with lions and shit. A decade later I am a model, applying for my masters degree, am not dead or addicted to drugs or have aids because i’m not married or straight. Fuck those assholes for trying to win me over with fear. I don’t believe is about being dumb, there’s just so much fear and emotional blackmail. I have always been skeptical of the whole thing but leaving was yhe hardest thing I’ve ever done. I lost all my friends and family. my only pain is watching my mother still believe in all their bullshit but whatever makes her happy as long as she never allows them to affect our relationship. also really miss my first crush and have dreams here and there that we married, he still in. Hahah


Intelligence has nothing to do with being brainwashed. It’s hard to logically reason your way out of a situation that’s toxic but you’re emotionally and spiritually connected to something that manipulated you using love and fear. We have scientists that are still JWs. Doesn’t matter how smart or dumb you are or whether or not you were raised or brought into the religion/cult


I used to feel the same way but as I've gotten older, I realize intelligence has nothing to do with it and I feel more empathy now with those who have stayed in than I used to. With that said, I do think some people lack a certain trait of curiosity and critical thinking. If you haven't yet watched it, I highly recommend the HBO documentary "Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cults." You'll see that even among intelligent, accomplished people how easy it is to get swept up in the manipulation tactics and the feelings of belonging that make up a cult. It shows how easy it is for beliefs to break up families and isolate people. What's fascinating is that even the members they interviewed who left and didn't kill themselves, some are still not fully convinced that this was a dangerous cult. When someone is looking for something in their life and missing direction, that feeling of a unified belief that you share with others, that feeling of belonging is SO powerful. (Look at all the Q Conspiracy folks, too!) And once you're raised in it, and it's been in your family for generations - it's not that easy to get out.


It takes courage to legitimately *look* at what you've been told, to *see* not just that the lies exist but how that has affected one's life, and to then *take action* to change things. And real change. Mental, *emotional*, spiritual and physical. Most people feel overwhelmed (understandably) but also - and here's the kicker - they must take personal responsibility for change in their lives. YES - it was the org that lied to them, told them how to think and behave and they did it. It can be easy to put blame for a current set of circumstances brought on the by the org., and forget the individuals own responsibility to fix that in their life. It's a very difficult transition from being a robot to being consciously present and tuned in to your thoughts and emotions, and to then make your own decisions on what actions to take in life. *They* have to now be the ones consciously telling themselves what's right for them in their individual lives, and to actively take on reconnecting with themselves. Honestly, a lot people (not just dubs) simply don't want to accept things like that, or put in the work to fix them.


Their strongest move was to tell us we were actually incredibly well-educated and possess powerful reasoning abilities thanks to the org WHILE being devoid of objective analysis. Whoever dreamt that one up was a genius.


I feel like they’re mostly sheep, but there’s a handful I’ve known that make me wonder, because I can see that they’re smart. I don’t even consider myself exceptionally smart, just smart enough to see that this is bullshit. These people are far more intelligent than I, but can’t. My dad is one of them. But like someone else said, it’s not a matter of intelligence.


I could see the cracks as a child, lead a double life as a teen, didn't homeschool when all my siblings did and stayed in public school so I could go to college. I never for one second bought that armageddon was going to come, but I reasoned with my parents at least that it would be good for me to train in something useful for the "new system" or bethel, right? So they allowed me to go to college for Computer Science, and because my mom had regrets for not going to college and being told that the new system would come and she wouldn't need it. My mother is not dumb, but she did place her entire life and livelihood into a religion that continually lies, she bought it, but she also isn't beholden in some ways. That being said, when I went to college and lead a more openly "worldly" life, my entire family stopped talking to me through college, 4 years. I wasn't even baptized (because I avoided it...because I knew it wasn't "the truth" and that it was just a religion and it didn't define me) and my elder father always had a "what would others think?" mentality. My father is also not stupid. He joined the army to escape an abusive father, and then joined the JWs after he was wounded, in a VA hospital, and recovering from a heroin addiction. They got him at a vulnerable time and took advantage of a kind and just man. This was 1974 btw. The ones at the top manipulate their literature and erase history to cover their tracks. Are JWs gullible? Yes. And vulnerable ones are targeted. I won't victim blame.


It's a cult that shuns education and you expect them NOT to be dumb?


Just a correction there - it's overlapping generations that have been lied to.


If you were raised a JW then you should understand it’s not about intelligence. The reason everyone didn’t just walk out the door after the first wrong prediction is because they didn’t feel they were lied to. The organization definitely lies, but when it comes to doctrinal stuff, even now I don’t feel like it’s a con. The GB are a product of the same indoctrination that we fell for. They’re so far up their own asses that I honestly think they believe it.


Any day now! the world is ending! just keep making those donations! annnnny day now!


I agree With you. I left at 16 years old. I was an exception to what I find in this community. I was lucky to get a job and move out of the house then I got a scholarship and went to school. I never believed in the JWs my family has always treated me extremely poorly and I haven’t had a real family my whole life. I don’t speak to one of my 5 siblings or either of my parents. But I’ve lived my life and I am grateful to know the truth about the truth even though I live with ptsd and am still working hard to grow as a person. Keep moving along and grow everyone!


Liars. Too stupid to believe their own lies. Google will fix this.


R word isn't an insult.


I think the current, better-accepted version is "smoothbrain", lol.


it is an insult and it is not a word that is used in most settings these days.


It's not used in most settings because it's considered a slur genius. Intellectual Disability is not an insult and it's not that hard to respect those who have the condition. You just don't use it.


aren't you a little ball of sunshine there genius. you said pretty much what I said, no crap that Intellectual Disability is not an insult, the R word is. We don't call those with I.D. the R word anymore like we once did.


So make 2+2, what do you think the R word refers to? Intellectual Disability. Same thing. It's a slur for a reason, don't throw a tantrum over being told to not use a derogatory term, you have lots of other not-harmful words you can use.


no use in having any type of conversation with you considering you can't even see that I am agreeing with you that it is a derogatory word that should not be used. seriously, you have some anger issues to work on.


I actually thought you were the OP, and I don't speak English btw, but we do know that using a condition as an insult isn't ok in Spanish too


Save your breath man. In my experience, anyone offended by the word “retard” can’t be reasoned with. On the unlikely chance that they can they’re not much fun to be around, as they’re usually talking about micro aggressions and other such nonsense. Seriously, an adult just told you to choose “non harmful words”. Jesus christ, I’d love to see the reactions if these folks ever hung out with engineers on a midwatch at sea. They’d have a meltdown in the first 30 seconds.


One of my children has special needs. But I always tell my children that if they waste their time being offended by what others say, then their whole life will be very hard. Recently I taught him to respond very calmly with "Bold of you to assume I care what you think." He liked that one a lot!


Solid parenting! When my son was being picked on at school I told him he had 3 options: fight, hurl insults back, or refuse to show any reaction. He chose option 3, and was soon left alone. Each situation and person is different, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it is a waste of time being offended by what others say.


I agree. I'm glad my parents didnt know i had a learning disability and put me on drugs at an early age. Doctors are always surprised I've made it this far without them


I agree. It was in medical books 20 years ago. So what changed? Oh yeah, woke culture.


First off, your least sentence gave me blazing saddles vibes. Secondly, that’s part of the reason they don’t want you going to college for an education. They keep you dumb. No arguments from me. I’m 40 and in college. I know it’s the right move but man I’m bitter and I’m a dweeb.


They make you feel smart by giving you 95% info. 5% witheld to control.