The Internet: Viewed by the Governing Body and Former JW's.

by AllTimeJeff 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • AllTimeJeff

    It's sort of funny how the internet has turned into the bugaboo of the Governing Body's existence. Imagine the nerve of people masquerading as IP addresses, with no congregation Secretary to track back to!

    Of course, "apostates/former JW's" have a view of the internet that sometimes isn't all to realistic either. We have all seen the few that have tried to bring the WT down in an act of vengeful hubris.

    I don't refer to those whom I think are real stalwarts, like Randy Watters, JW facts and Barbara Anderson to name a few. Not to mention the many moderators of former JW boards (like this one) who keep these JW discussion boards from resembling Vancouver after a game 7 hockey match.

    I wonder if anyone has given thought to what the internet has actually turned out to be (aka, reality) as opposed to what the GB and former JW's view it as.

    The GB views the internet as a danger. They are correct.

    The GB thinks they can keep their flock away from the internet. They are incorrect.

    Apostates think they can bring down Jehovah's Witnesses via the internet. They are not correct.

    The GB tries to demonize almost every aspect of the internet, esp websites that promote former JW experiences and exposes.

    Some apostates use the internet to spread myth's about JW's that aren't true (ritualistic Satan worship at Bethel) instead of exposing the very real and easy facts about JW's that make them dangerous in. (protection of pedophiles, hypocritical stand on blood medicine, and their lies on false prophecies and the behavior of their leadership, past and present) Oh, and they could try and present them in a reasonable manner, but that sometimes is a swing and miss too.

    In reality, the internet and what it has become has exposed JW's and the cracks that were already there. Apostates didn't create them. The fact is, JW's and the GB were always happy to embrace any kind of new printing technology. Communication technology is dangerous however, because they instantly lost control of the message.

    The issue has always been about the control of the message. During the morse code years prior to the internet, the GB didn't have to worry about Ray Franz. Even when CoC was first printed, most JW's weren't aware of the books existence. Througout the 1980's and into the early 90's, JW grew all over the world at a rapid rate, esp in Western countries. It wasn't until the internet blew up in the mid 90's that those events of 1979-1980 became easily available for the first time. And that is when JW's stopped growing in the West, which has continued to now. While Ray Franz has passed on, it seems that the majority of the sales for CoC the past 15 years have been via the internet. That isn't an accident.

    That is why I speak out against the extreme fringe of "apostate" websites. It isn't that they aren't well meaning. Six Screens, like Six Flags, seems like a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, you only end up all wet.

    It's time to realize that the internet ISN'T bringing down JW's now, and it won't in the future. JW's are doing that all on their own by holding onto their Flintsone theology and worldview. They are doing it to themselves. The internet is merely a resource for those who start to wake up on their own and need to follow the light out of that cultish cave. Sure, some informative websites like freeminds and jwfacts absolutely help a few. But I am sure that the owners of those sites would admit that they haven't started a movement of any kind, and that their best contribution has been as a resource to those who have already taken their first steps out of the borganization.

    The internet for apostates has the same value as it does for anyone else. It brings us closer together. The biggest help it provides former JW's is access to real information. But you can lead a horse to water, you can't make him drink!

    I write this tonight because it occurs to me that it is now more apparant then ever that Jehovah's Witnesses got it wrong. 1914? A SHAM PROPHECY. Do we need to picket Brooklyn? No. They are leaving Brooklyn with their tail between their legs. We didn't do that, they did it to themselves.

    Their is no point at launching a torpedo at a ship that is taking on water. Get your life preserver on first, then help anyone who wants to float away from the wreck.

    The internet is good for hanging out, getting some facts, healing, and moving on. It's a great place for those brave JW's who WANT to think for themselves to start that journey toward freedom. The internet DOESN'T have the power to actually get people to think. And that is the great truth of it all.

    JW's and other cults like them (and they are out there, they aren't going anywhere) will always attract those that don't want to think for themselves. You can't help people like that.

    Do you want freedom and to accept responsibility for your own life? Then the GB has already lost, and you are on your way to freedom.

    Plus, you get to hang out with really cool, mostly anonymous former JW's like me! (lol) Well, if you want to I guess.....


  • garyneal

    good job

    good to see you back, even if only briefly

  • TotallyADD

    Thank you AllTimeJeff for a great post on the internet and the GB. My dad taught me to be a JW was to accept responsibility for oneself. The truth be told to become a JW means you no longer have to be responsible and think for yourself. And I agree their are many who want someone else to do the thinking for them. It took many years for me but I have come to be one who does not need that kind of control. I hope I live long enough to see the JW cult fall apart and be exposed to everyone what they really are. It will take more than what we see on the internet but one day I hope something new will come along and show them to be what they really are. Good job on this post. Totally ADD

  • sizemik

    Good thread AllTimeJeff . . .

    I tend to keep a more open mind as regards the internet. It's an ever-evolving thing rather than static entity. It's been interesting to see more instant public feedback in major mass media on issues of late. I think also the numbers investing in it are growing fast. Sure, it will always be a conduit for information chiefly . . . but it's future influence is not that easy to determine IMHO.

    It's a great place for those brave JW's who WANT to think for themselves to start that journey toward freedom.

    Nice comment . . . a huge number have benefitted . . . and you're right, it takes no small amount of courage . . . it's good to be reminded of that.

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    AllTimeJeff hit the nail on the head...
    The Internet in itself will not bring ANYTHING down, be it some ass-bkwds middle eastern dictatorship or an authoritarian religious sect.
    It is the PEOPLE ON THE GROUND who hurt, suffer, bleed and die who ultimately effect change, the Internet just provides the (relatively) free flow of information.

    That is why I speak out against the extreme fringe of "apostate" websites. It isn't that they aren't well meaning. Six Screens, like Six Flags,
    seems like a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, you only end up all wet.....ATJ

    Rick Fearons..

    One Man Submarine Band..

    Demons and Smurfs hide out in the Basement at Bethel..

    So I`m going to Sink the WatchTower/Cause I`m Special!..

    ........................ ...OUTLAW

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    What's the MPG on that thing, Outlaw? I could use a new commuter car!

  • thetrueone

    The inter-net today is acting as a weakening virus to the WTS.

    The Info on the Net about the JWS is revealing and damaging for inquisitive people who have a passing interest.

    People do make cumulative evaluations about organizations and what they are presenting to the public.

    Nice to see AllTimeJeff back posting comments again.......welcome back

  • VampireDCLXV

    I admit it... I generally don't get into AT Jeff's threads much. That being said, this is an excellent post which I profoundly agree with. The internet is just a tool and it in of itself won't bring down any organization. The hubris of some apostates is astounding indeed. If the WT$ is going to collapse, it will do so on its own accord considering the amount of organizational dry rot that is already there. All that needs to be done on anyone's part here in internet land is to keep spreading the word and exposing the lies instead of fabricating sensationalisms. Like any religion, though, the WT$ will never completely evaporate... at worst it'll just change form and/or downsize...



    What's the MPG on that thing, Outlaw? I could use a new commuter car!....Breakfast of champions

    The Six Screens Submarine is incredibly fuel efficient..It runs entirely on Hot Air..

    Let`s all Protest the WatchTower!..

    If we all Protest the WatchTower,the WatchTower Will Fall..And..

    Will hurt its Knee..

    The Watchtower can`t Stand with a Screwed up Knee!!..

    ........................ ...OUTLAW

  • mummatron

    Well said!

  • St George of England
    St George of England

    An excellent post AT Jeff!

    Two and a half years ago when the Congregation Book Study was abandoned we were encouraged to do more personal study. I did just that. However, the more I studied and the more I prayed, the more I realised something was seriously wrong.

    I turned to the internet, this site and jwfacts in particular and found I was not alone in my doubts.

    I am still trapped in until I can encourage my wife and family to take the same step. We are both mid sixties and raised as JW's so it will a long haul but I am sure we will exit together one day.

    I only wish the internet had been around 50 years ago!


  • willyloman
    There is no point launching a torpedo at a ship that is taking on water. Get your life preserver on first, then help anyone who wants to float away from the wreck.

    Brilliant job, ATJ. Hope all is well w you.

  • Violia

    ATJ- good post. The Borg runs people off just via it's hatefulness and backwardness. I had to really see the hateful nasty underbelly of the Borg before I would let myself look on the Internet. The net takes over then.

  • AllTimeJeff

    St George, I hope that works out for you and your family.

    Outlaw, only you can add the visual's to what many of us think.

    I appreciate and agree with all of the comments, but I think Breakfast of Champions hit it best. Like the "Arab Spring" in the middle east and what it teaches, it is only when people decide to break free of their shackles that freedom is possible. Information was always available.

    Dictators and despots, whether political or religious, are not looking to build anything on anything of quality that takes time. Fear is the mortar that mixes most quickly.

    There are so many lessons to learn, but the biggest and best is the simplest, the one that I think is actually the biggest lesson of all of us being here.

    We think that the information found on the internet caused us to leave. Sure, it helped me, and it helped you. I used to think that writing and exposing was key.

    But could I do better than Randy Watters? Barbara Anderson? Ray freakin Franz?

    Can you?

    No, it really is a case of leading a horse to water, but not being able to make it drink.

    The Arab Spring, imperfect as it is, demonstrates that information alone means nothing without the desire to be free.

    If YOU want to waste your time in fantasies of bringing down the WT, you might as well try to write blogs in the hopes that you can bring democracy to Syria all on your own. Or maybe with a website dripping with blood....

    If you want to get your family or loved ones out, you shouldn't be trying to forcefeed them information.

    You should really test to see if they WANT to be free. That is really the only way out. And to be honest, most people don't want to be free and can't handle thinking for themselves. That is not exclusive of JW's either.

    The internet didn't bring down JW's in the 90's and it won't in the future. It only freed those that wanted to be free, when they wanted to be free, when they were ready. That won't change.

    No one leaves without being ready. Looking at it from that lens, the GB shouldn't really be as worried as they are. Sure, they can't give up the over 100 year old lie they protect. But no one will be interested in learning about those lies till they want to free anyway.

  • flipper

    ALL TIME JEFF- Your statement " But no one will be interested in learning about those lies till they want to be free anyway . " Very true. And the catalyst or breaking point situation that motivates exiting JW's to leave can be many and varied as well. For some like myself, initially it was experiencing injustices personally from authority figures in the organization, then after being out - I began researching the skewed teachings. Some leave due to disagreeing with the teachings from the get-go. Some just implode due to the stresses of being in a high control organization which won't let a person breathe on their own at all.

    But the WT society has a tiger by the tail with the Internet . Very true my friend. I'm sure it drives WT leaders nuts that they can't control what's written about them on the Internet. They can't stand not being in control. We all know that. But it's all good. The more access to information exiting JW's have then those sitting on the fence may very well fall on the non-Witness side of the fence. And that's a good thing as well. A free mind is a terrible thing to waste. Once their minds are freed - anything is possible ! They can start living in reality again. Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • s0rt3d

    Great post!

  • wobble

    Thanks ATJeff, good post, I agree that the GB need not screech out their fear of the Internet as shrilly as they do, but it is a different world now than before the web.

    I had doubts all my life, but little access to info. that would confirm my worries.

    It is so different now, take the example of poster Cantleave,active JW Elder, does a little research on the Net to try to make the Memorial talk less mind and bum numbingly boring, and within a few hours his whole belief system had changed.

    The house of cards that is JW/WT doctrine and history tumbled down.

    I think the GB fear that many, many more will follow those like Cantleave, I do hope so.

  • BluesBrother

    Communication between the masses has always scared the hell out of authority...because they lose control. When the Bible was laboriously hand copied in Latin by monks, the Catholic Church had it all to themselves...but then somebody invented printing and all of a sudden things changed . Worse still, somebody else translated bibles into common languages and distributed shed loads of them. Horror ! The Catholic Church had no control any more. They reacted as any dictator would, with violence and persecution...

    Today the 'net has transformed communication and made information freely available in a way that we as young men could not have dreamed of. It has also evolved from a geeky amateur network to the mainstream of business and government. The WTS cannot ignore it or demand that its members abstain from it, they themselves have to use it ...Three Cheers For Information Freedom !

    But you are right about people needing to be willing to face the truth. Most of the older ones that I know are so programmed that it would not matter (for example) if the G B admitted being corrupt with their money . They like being where they are . They are in a comfort zone that they do not want to leave "If we are wrong, So What?"

    A gradual drying up of youth and converts though would result in long-term but steady downsizing, until eventually....they fade away.......

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Great post, Jeff! The Internet can make either truth or lies more accessible. Watchtower is most afraid of sheeples reading "the truth" on the Internet, so they have to paint the web as being full of porn and vampires.

    I have to admit that I found porn first, since they made it sound so hot. Later I found the truth about "the truth."

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