i had a really nice chat with a jw lady on a bus once. she sat right next to me, so i said 'hi' and i could see she had some 'too colourful' leaflets, so i thought she must be jw. i listened politely for a while and then started to explain Christology - why Jesus is divine. i explained about the early church councils and the orthodox church etc. and we had quite a nice chat before she got off at her stop.
but when i was younger, i used to find it difficult to talk to them. so i think if you are not sure what to say, just have a polite 5 minute conversation on the door step and then say you are busy. they are good at confusing people, so i think you should check with an older Christian or priest to get advice whether or not you should talk to them a lot.
The part of my life as a kid that was spent in absurd poverty in subsidized housing, I used to really enjoy finding the Watchtower pamphlets as a young kid in the laundry facilities room. The stupid and garish "art" I found interesting and I liked reading the material. Granted I was 5-7 years of age.
Also they were really nice to us and visited the kids not infrequently. Mind you this was a place, where I saw numerous people get killed, once right in front of my eyes, drug use, prostitution was rampant, etc. Yet these people came and spent time with us.
I don't know what their endgame was, as they never asked us to go to Sunday school or anything.
Oh, as an adult I dated a "disfellowshipped" JW. Her parents had all the Watchtowers hardbound by year back through the early 70s. I was able to find some of those Watchtowers I had read as a kid. Her family thought it was fantastic.
Now listen to that. I wasn't JW. Their daughter was disfellowshipped. And we both were allowed around them and all their JW friends. And not allowed, welcomed. Her mother thought I was the greatest thing and wanted to adopt me.
And these people were serious, like all time not spent working was spent doing "Bible study".
orthonorm, I don't think there are anybody here who doubts what you are telling us is true, but that doesn't make the negative stories false. Jehovah's Witnesses are humans, just like the rest of us and they react to situations in different ways.
Except, when you delve into those stories you have a lot of people like the woman who I was dating who were compounding their problem by being overly defiant about being "brainwashed".
Most of the problems stem from closed knit communities with radically different normative measures for behavior having adolescents go full on secular and get really defiant.
It would probably be very similar for Christians, if Christians expected their children to act like Christians and towed the line with them. I mean YiM would throw out his own child for being gay.
I had a stern and ridiculous upbringing and had enough sense or not enough courage to change my situation till I could, about 16. And I was willing to deal with the fallout. And I was not naive enough to color my experience as a function of cultic behavior or "brainwashing".
Sorry, when threads come along here which play on typical stereotypes which bear almost no resemblance to the world I've seen, I gotta say something.
And if you are not uptight like myself and have lived a relatively colorful life free of parental responsibility, you are going to have come across many sorts of different people. I know nonsense when I hear it and will say so.
Did the woman I dated go through some unfortunate stuff? Yes. Was it all her parents' fault? No.
If YiM's son came to me and told me he was gay and he was going to out himself, I would counsel him to wait to live how he thinks he must after he gets away from a place where doing so would cause him undue harm. But I understand teenage angst as much as anyone else. But I also understand sucking it in till you can jump ship.