Opinion by Beroeans Creed
We all know by now the acronym PIMO[i] for those of us who are awake to the Organization’s malfeasance and eisegetical method of scripture interpretation, yet remain in the congregation for generally one reason—the fear of loss. We cannot underestimate this fear of losing all contact with family and friends, due to the Organization’s extreme shunning policies, and suggest that this fear is not well founded and imbedded in the mind of every baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses.
That is exactly what the organization has counted on for control over the decades. We can be confidant that those who are awake (PIMO) and remain in the congregation are at the very least annoying to the Governing Body, and in their minds potentially the only real threat inside the congregation as a “wild card” they cannot predict or control.
The expression “out of the cell, but still in the prison”—and for some awaiting execution (disfellowshipping)—is apropos for PIMOs in this situation. We could make the assumption from the number of members on this site using aliases that they are probably PIMOs themselves (with exceptions, of course) and like many of us experience some of the same transitional stages no matter what was the trigger that began individual PIMO journeys.[ii]
Those who have exited the Organization either by fading or through disassociation/disfellowshipping have, for the most part, been neutralized, having little, if any, influence on active members in the congregation by being unable to expose the Organization’s dirty laundry. Thus the evil genius behind the infamous extreme shunning policies where the excuse of “keeping the congregation clean” based on 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 is overextended[iii] to silence any member who even thinks of asking questions. In the collective minds of the Governing Body, this is perceived as challenging to their self-appointed Guardians Of Doctrine[iv] status.
PIMOs therefore are a real threat, especially those that are active inside the congregation who become incognito activists.
“It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself, infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.”
Those of us who now find ourselves here as PIMOs certainly relate to Paine’s words and wrestle with this daily as we come to appreciate even more 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 4:6, and Acts 17:11 when reading Watchtower literature or attending meetings.
Many have personally experienced, are currently experiencing, or at least can relate to the following sequence of events on the journey to PIMO.
Initially cognitive dissonance kicks in. The idea that “this can’t be true it’s from APOSTATES!”
Fear of being disloyal to the Governing Body first and then to Christ and Jehovah. (That’s a sad sequence of steps.)
Shock and surprise as you dig deeper at the solid documented evidence (UN NGO alliance, child abuse scandals, etc.)
High anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide. Especially if we where devoted to the Governing Body as the Faithful and Discreet Slave; trusting them completely.
Paranoia about being exposed for even reading what is deemed as apostate material, becomes all-consuming.
Despair that you are all alone with not one friend or family member to confide in.
Constant mental anguish rules your every waking moment. (Unless one has experienced this, it is difficult to describe or comprehend.)
Extreme anger at anything and anyone connected to the Organization.
Loss of faith. Some even ditch God altogether from thoughts of how “could he have let me be so deceived?”
Searching the net and generally ending up on websites of other angry ex-witnesses that helps to feed their anger, and eventually realizing some have been posting their hate for over 20 years. NO THANKS!
Spiritual limbo. The fear of loss is intensified; cognitive dissonance kicks back in to protect sanity. The thought process goes like this: I can’t leave. But if I stay, then what I’ve discovered remains like a splinter in my mind. There’s no going back. You can’t unwring a bell.
The New reality. Silent compromises are made. The mind begins compartmentalizing everything. The PIMOs double life is now in motion. You constantly perform mental gymnastics to justify why you should do this.
Finally, there are those of us who have accepted the PIMO condition for the present, as we refuse to pay the “pound of flesh” for leaving, demanded by the organization—or could there be an additional reason?
“What then?” you say. Consider, if you will, that we could adopt a new acronym. Instead of PIMO, why not PISA: Physically In, Scripturally Awake. Those who choose to be PISA are doing it so that they can to help family and loved ones to wake up; at least until the day they can no longer tolerate it or are exposed.
You might feel that is a tall order. Well, the intension of the next article is to discuss that by developing the new PISA mindset. We can look at techniques and methods to accomplish our spiritual activism while remaining undercover. (Matt. 10:16) This will at least be a venue for PISAs to offer the opinions and experiences as part of the growing great crowd of PISAs within the organization.[v]
[i] Physically In, Mentally Out. Is should be noted that those who have successfully left the organization may view PIMOs in a negative way, reasoning that these remain in due to fear of man. They may denigrate them as supporting a cult, spreading lies, or via an assortment of other insults.
[ii] This can be difficult, if not impossible for most to accomplish. Resulting in many just tearing off the band aid, setting themselves free, whatever the cost and we should not judge them.
[iii] To clarify, even applying the JW shunning policy to the sins outlined in Corinthians is overextending the meaning of Paul’s words, and Jesus direction at Matthew 18:15-17.
[iv] Guardians of Doctrine is a term Geoffrey Jackson used during his testimony at the ARC hearings to describe the key role of the Governing Body.
Hey Boreans Creed, I see you’re commenting over on Robert’s site. Can I ask why? I commented there and dealt with Robert for years. I can say with conviction that the fruits the regular commenters and Robert produce are not those of the holy spirit or our Lord’s disciples. If you need some proof I can send a link to the last discussion my wife and I participated in where (after years of trying to offer spiritual encouragement to commenters on the site) they all condemned us calling us names and claiming we were “the sect of Nicolaus”, and the… Read more »
Greetings Brother B Thank you for your comments and concerns, although the later I’m a little confused about as apparently you are at least a reader at E-watchman aka Robert as you stated “for years.” I am sorry if you have been mistreated by the group there, but as you know all ex-JW sites can be difficult to navigate and because most including this one invites critical thinking (contrary to the Wt. organization) people can be offended by comments wether justified or not as we offer and give our opinions and views on scriptures. I feel no obligation to defend… Read more »
You can email me anytime at email@example.com it’s not that I felt “mistreated” – Satan’s spirit was plainly manifest. Email me and I’ll send you the link to the discussion and you can judge for yourself. Robert is a self appointed prophet and leader of Jesus sheep the same as the “Governing Body.” Are you aware of his prophetic utterances that have proved false? Email me and I’ll get you the link. Have you read his recent article on the “other sheep”? He’s a false teacher that doesn’t even understand the truth about what Jesus meant on the one occasion… Read more »
Thank you for your concern brother and of course you can send over your information to my email. I am well aware of Robert King’s claims of being an anointed prophet and do not agree with many of his conclusions just as I do not always agree with what is published here as I am confident you feel likewise as we would both agree no one has it all correct.The guidance I was requesting, if you read the entire conversation, was an attempt to get him to clarify his confusing Personal situation when it comes to what he considers God’s… Read more »
In Italian they use for the term PIMO : proclamatori consapevoli, but being scriptural awake fits more in a description of the mental and spiritual condition of those ones, including myself,
Thanks for this interesting reasoning
Dear BC, thank you for your article. It is very useful and it nicely corresponds to Eric’s explanation of FDS parable – that the mission of every Christian (among other things) is to give food to our brothers and sisters at the right time, just as we receive it from them. What you wrote is important. When someone is still inside, he/she still has a chance to glow in the dark. If someone is a DA or DF, the chances drop rapidly because his/her light is covered by a pot called “shunning”. I think your article will greatly encourage all… Read more »
Hi BC. I really appreciated your understanding of the position of many of us here.. I think PISA is an excellent description, or POSA for those that have left the Organisation. It reminds us that we still wished to be guided by scripture, and might also alert us to friends of BP when we visit other sites.
As a long-faded person, I went through years of living hell as a PIMO, before making the break. My marriage was destroyed in the process and I got to start life over in my mid forties. I actually was striving to come back when my marriage broke up, but every meeting I went to frustrated me to no end, as I heard the Bible misused, with verse checking and even people “correcting” texts in order to support the Politically Correct viewpoint. I’d go to a meeting and spend the rest of the day angered by what I heard. At the… Read more »
This conveys all the stages of the reality of escaping such a duplicitous deceptive institution.
Especially when family is involved.
I long for the day that these men are exposed and crushed.
It can’t come soon enough.
Hubris is as reliable as the tides. The current crop of GBs have far overplayed their hand. Narrowing the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” to encompass only themselves strikes me as a step too far. Undoubtedly some among the active Witnesses have taken note of this change and wrinkled their brow. Now they seem to be getting very comfortable with soliciting donations and, once again, I am certain that some among the rank and file Witnesses have noted this development with skepticism. Perhaps the greatest danger is the concentration of properties ownership to one central organization. This weakens the operation of… Read more »
At the time of my baptism, the Faithful and Discreet Slave was said to be all of thue “anointed”, but apparently they were never asked for input and the writing and teaching was all handled at Bethel. In other words, their explanation was, at the very least, misleading, because they were not actually consulting anyone that claimed to be “anointed”. I had always assumed that they were, to some degree, but Ray Franz’ book somewhat exploded that myth. I don’t think that it’s any coincidence that the authority of the Watchtower began to be challenged in the late ‘70s. 1975… Read more »
Well said Chet. “ Bunker up” like Hitler in his last days.
If they truly believe what they are speaking, without reservation, I pity them. If they are the charlatans I believe them to be, I would delight in their being publicly exposed and humiliated. A good friend was personal friends with a very highly placed person within the Organization (now deceased). He told me that privately, this man was disgusted by the direction things had taken and was no longer drinking the Kool-Aid, but had nowhere else to go. He had spent his life volunteering there, and had no children, no one to take him in, so he went about his… Read more »