JW's believe they are 'in the truth'. However you know they are not. How can you help your dear JW friends understand the truth about the truth?
Do you want to help a JW leave the Watchtower and understand a healthier, more truthful perspective?
This is a question we get asked a lot. We'll answer it here.
Here is a typical email from a Christian who is trying to help JW's understand Bible truths.
'I have been meeting with the JW's for a few weeks now and plan on having them visit until the end of summer. They look so tired and miserable behind the happy facade they present.'
'What I want to know is what exactly I should be doing to help them realize the deity of Christ and some red flags I can show them lovingly that may open their eyes to the truth.'
'God has put quite a few JW's in my path and I do not want to shut the door on them.'
This is a very good question. If you want to help the JW's, I would avoid talking about the deity of Christ, life after death, and other Bible debates at this point.
The real problem is Watchtower control. The Watchtower has become their God. If the Watchtower says it's the truth, then it's the truth. And visa versa. JW's don't trust anyone other than the organization.
Even if Jehovah told them something, they would need to contact the Watchtower first to make sure that's what God really said.
They don't trust non believers and they don't trust other JW's. Why? because JW's feel obligated to report fellow JW's to the Elders, if someone questions the organization, doctrines, or says something negative about their religion. Even family members and closest friends will betray confidence.
That's why you noticed happy faces but know deep down they're 'tired and miserable'. Perhaps they already know their religion is not the truth and are merely going through the motions because they don't see any way out.
What to do? The best thing is to gently erode confidence in the Watchtower by asking reasonable questions as if you're interested in becoming a JW.
Once you're a JW, their job is done. Until then they will continue their 'life saving' mission to make everyone a JW so they can survive 'armageddon'. (A time when all people are destroyed by Jehovah. Only JW's survive.) Watchtower Sept 1989
Since they will instantly shut their minds down as soon as they hear criticism of the Watchtower or about what the Watchtower teaches, it's best to ask innocent and reasonable questions that will make them think about how to answer you.
In order to help them, it's important to know exactly what's wrong with their religion. The way to do that is read every article on thejehovahswitnesses.org and make notes. This might take 3-5 hours, but without doing this, you won't be able to help.
After you clearly see why there's a problem with the Watchtower religion, you can begin to formulate simple but powerful questions, presented in an innocent, loving and light hearted way that will get them to think along a different path.
All you need to do is ask questions no one has asked them before. These questions will plant seeds of doubt because as they research the answers for you, they will accidentally stumble upon information that was previously hidden.
It's important that they like you and believe you are sincere. If they see you're trying to turn them against the Watchtower, they will stop visiting you.
Even after JW's are convinced the Watchtower has deceived them, it may take months, - even years for them to leave. They will continue to go through the motions of supporting the Watchtower, because they're afraid of losing their family, friends, and belief system that's kept them secure and protected from 'Satan's organization' (everyone outside their religion). They will become more and more tired and miserable because of this inner conflict. They will ask, 'Shall I choose God and lose everything? Or should I continue to support the Watchtower and ignore what I know?'
Eventually some JW's reach a breaking point. i.e. the pain of staying in the organization is greater than the pain of leaving.' This is when they 'rebel' and get disfellowshipped or they try to slowly drift away without being noticed. Others have been known to write formal letters of resignation.
Some will no longer go to meetings, go door to door, or be involved but they will be afraid to join another religion or openly question the Watchtower. They are afraid of the stigma of being disfellowshipped and shunned. But there's more to it than that.
In the movies, the strong are afraid of nothing. The thought of dying or torture does not enter their mind. Nothing can stop them. But threaten to harm a loved one and they'll give up without a fight. The same is true in the Watchtower religion. By getting disfellowshipped, loyal Watchtower members get punished. They cannot associate with loved ones who leave. This pressures JW's into staying or attempting to leave quietly in order to protect the ones they love.
That's why there are 7 million active JW's world wide and 19 million still attend their annual memorial celebration. 12 million inactive JW's feel they need to keep their foot in the door and give the Watchtower token lip service.
Most of the time JW's cannot slowly wander away from the Watchtower without being noticed. Once a JW is disfellowshipped and shunned, they are very upset. Even though they might hate the Watchtower, they ironically take Watchtower teachings with them and on a subconscious level they continue to believe it's 'the truth'.
Some disfellowshipped JW's disagree with virtually everything the Watchtower teaches but because of religious programming, they believe it's 'the best one out there'. Without giving it any thought, they will say, 'I left the truth' instead of 'I left my religion'.
Religious programming, brainwashing, and mind control traps JW's even if they physically leave the organization. It limits their ability to think logically and consider new perspectives with an open mind. Fortunately there are things you can do to help.
You can help disfellowshipped JW's if you're patient, loving, consistent, and persistent.
They've lost everything that's important. They lost their family and all their friends. You can give them what they really need, - true friends. They need close friends who love and accept them just the way they are without judgment or trying to change their beliefs.
This is a good time to introduce them to as many Christ-like friends as possible. Invite them to your home for social events. Invite them to your church and social functions there.
People don't care about what you know until they know how much you care. Once they feel loved, secure, and safe, they'll understand what it means to be a Christian.
Once they have a support system, they will be more open to accepting Bible truths that they previously rejected. And there is very little work you need to do at this point other than to encourage, love, and accept unconditionally.
As they attend your church and study the Bible, they will gradually see that what they previously believed wasn't true at all.
There is a page on this site that lists questions to ask JW's, but it's only a partial list. It's better to formulate your own questions based on a study of all the articles on this site.
As you understand the important issues that are invisible to JW's, you won't need to memorize questions or manipulate them in any way. Just let them talk and explain 'the truth' as they see it. When the timing is right, the questions will come to your mind automatically in response to what they say.