Watchtower forgets that “Content is King”

Adapted from a post by “LostGeneration”

“Content is King” is a popular guideline to follow for those who run websites and mass communication outlets. It makes perfect sense, as demonstrated by sites like Jehovahs-Witness.net (and this one) that provide entertaining content for their targeted audiences. Even better, when content is added daily, users return repeatedly. Popular TV shows and movies are loved because they entertain customers with new content provided free or at low cost.

On the other hand, you have the content provided by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, delivered though the pages of the Watchtower and Awake! magazines and during their weekly meetings. Several recent threads on Jehovahs-Witness.net have discussed meetings and what value (or lack thereof) they offer to their audience. A recent thread by forum member “Flipper” discussed how the Watchtower Society constantly hammers meeting attendance on their “sheep.” It’s obvious that the leadership feels that too many Witnesses are skipping out on their spiritual food by missing meetings. However, there is a good reason for a lack of enthusiasm on the part of Jehovah’s Witnesses to show up for meetings at their local Kingdom Halls.

It’s the content of those meetings.

For years it’s been getting progressively worse. Those who actually attend are not learning anything new – only a constant rehash of everything they’ve already heard before. This is further complicated by the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses are specifically told not to research the Bible without using Watchtower Society publications – meaning they only absorb the material they read through the rose-colored glasses of the Governing Body.

When they comment during the Watchtower or book study meetings, they are told that they should stick to the paragraph being read, not to add anything to the material, and not take up too much time. Even the Watchtower Study conductor (who used to have a little leeway in adding his own thoughts) has been reined in lately. They are told to “walk the line and keep your own input to a minimum.”

Sitting through a typical Watchtower Study…
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeidZmxHLiY

Adding to the problem is the business-like nature of the meetings. People going to church are looking for a “spiritual” experience, a connection with their God. During the 30-something years I went to meetings, I never once felt anything approaching a “spiritual connection” to a higher power. I felt like I was attending an annual corporate shareholders meeting, just with different people getting up on stage trying to explain God and His message – with very little passion in their minds or hearts.

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Watchtower’s Pecking Order

Adapted from a post by “Mad Sweeney”

Let’s face it: The Watchtower Society is really just a big publishing corporation that happens to print and distribute religious literature. Like any corporation, it has an “organization chart” that outlines its structure, showing the various levels and what they are supposed to do. Each level supervises the level below and reports to the level above. By looking at the organization chart, you can tell “who does what to whom.” The Watchtower Society calls each of its organizational levels “classes.”

Over the history of the Watchtower, the leaders have defined so many levels and rankings that now they’ve given up trying to use the word “classes” to describe them anymore. Let me help you understand how the organization is supposed to work.

Heavenly Headquarters

At the very top you have, of course, JEHOVAH. Being “Almighty God,” He is nominally in charge of everything but doesn’t actually do anything.

Reporting only to Jehovah and in second position, you have “The Now Reigning King,” JESUS CHRIST – who, like Jehovah, is supposedly in charge of everything – but also doesn’t actually do anything.

Next in line are those of the 144,000 ANOINTED who have already died and been resurrected to heaven. They are in place and waiting to rule as “kings and priests” for a thousand years. Like their brother Jesus, and Father Jehovah, these ANOINTED also have nothing to do at present.

Earthly Headquarters

Down here on Earth, the leaders of the organization are the legal CORPORATE OFFICERS and ATTORNEYS for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Besides being visible, this group is the first that actually does anything as you head down the Kingdom’s corporate ladder. These are the guys who decide what the “Governing Body” can and will tell the all other Jehovah’s Witnesses what they are supposed to do. Although these guys are human and therefore “visible,” for the most part they try to hide in the background and remain “invisible” as much as possible.

Supposedly “in charge” is the GOVERNING BODY. These seven men sort of do some things. For example, every Wednesday morning they meet for a couple of hours. They talk about the work their committees are doing and then decide to agree that the status quo is treating them all pretty well. If they’re feeling saucy (or mischievous), they may discuss some “new light” to spring on rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses later in the year. They will then commission someone in the “Service Department” to put this “new light” into a talk outline – or have the “Writing Department” include it in a Watchtower or Awake! magazine article. Otherwise, the members of the Governing Body spend their time rubber-stamping orders from the corporate types above them or suggestions from the Department Heads below.

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Disfellowshipping – who’s at fault?

By Len Miller

The announcement, “John (or Mary) Doe is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” is repeated some 70,000 times each year in Kingdom Halls throughout the world. The Watchtower Society wants its followers to believe that these individuals became so unrepentantly contaminated with evil that it became necessary to remove them from association with faithful members.

I suggest that nothing can be further from the truth. I think these former members lost their trance-like acceptance of Watchtower teachings long before those formal announcements.

When I was a faithful adherent, I felt that if the Watchtower had asked me to stand on my head and stack greased BB’s, I would have given that task a valiant effort. That’s the way it is with hypnotized folks. It doesn’t matter what the suggestion might be, they’ll try to do it. From Wiki, James Randi, a famed professional magician and skeptic, offers the following definition of hypnosis:

“. . . [It’s] a mutual agreement of the operator and the subject that the subject will cooperate in following suggestions.”

Enter credibility. Nothing destroys confidence between parties more than when one of them sees chinks in the armor of the other. Husbands and wives encounter this all too frequently, often resulting in divorce. “Familiarity breeds contempt,” goes the expression – and that is displayed daily among couples. One spouse fails to hold up his end of the bargain by exhibiting unfaithful behavior, poor hygiene, or a general lack of respect and attention – and the other sees it. Even behavior that was viewed as “humorous” before marriage is soon seen as contemptible – after the “knot is tied.”

In the Watchtower structure, many folks are finally seeing chinks in the Society’s armor. The Watchtower’s contradictions and flip-flops in doctrinal matters are among the major issues. And yet it’s not surprising when the leaders of the Watchtower say there are no problems with what they teach. “Wait on Jehovah,” is their usual defense to these issues. “Simply put it on the back burner,” is another suggestion frequently used by those in authority. Many of the JW old timers have learned to just accept these responses.

The problem here is that back burners have only so much room. In my opinion, an individual’s sense of propriety becomes the overwhelming control factor. The old saw, “the Society makes mistakes because they’re human”, no longer cuts it with many JWs. Why?

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