BEARDS: Why JW men don't have them

by 00DAD 84 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • 00DAD

    I know this has been dished over before, but when I was doing some research I discovered a couple of interesting points.

    As far as I can find, there is only ONE WT article that implies that JW men should not have beards. Here it is:

    *** w75 8/15 pp. 500-501 par. 9 - Do Not Let Yourself Be Ensnared by Fads and Entertainment *** Extreme hair styles can easily lead one into a trap of the Devil also, and cause others to stumble. For example, a young man in the United States was making fine progress in his study of the Bible, and he was moved to share with an experienced Witness in preaching to others about the good things he was learning from the Bible. From early youth he had let his beard grow, and since some in the business community wore beards, he felt that his wearing one in preaching to others would be acceptable generally. But in speaking to a lady he was unable to do more than introduce himself, when she said:

    “I’m sorry, young man, I do not want to become involved in student revolt.”

    No amount of explanation after this sufficed to clear up the misimpression. After the conversation ended with the closing of the door, he asked the experienced Witness what had happened. He was invited to consider his appearance in relation to what he claimed to be, a servant of God. Not wanting to be responsible for even one person’s being stumbled so as to miss the way to everlasting life, this new Kingdom publisher shaved off his beard. Would you be willing to do the same or to make similar adjustments if your appearance gave the wrong impression in a certain community? - Emphasis added So, let me get this straight: it's all because some un-named lady sometime back in the '70s or sometime earlier from "a certain [un-named] community" in some undisclosed location somewhere in the United States had the opinion that any young man with a beard would try to persuade her "to become involved in student revolt" JWs all across the world can't have beards! Well that seems perfectly reasonable to me! I wonder whatever happened to that lady? Do you think she knew she was making Theocratic Doctrine? She must've been one of the anointed, a member of the "Faithful & Discreet Slave" class, no doubt!!! Hmmmm, ...

  • Crisis of Conscience
    Crisis of Conscience

    Wow! I never knew about that article! Thanks for sharing that nonsense 00Dad. LOL


  • blondie

    Post 33019 of 33688
    Since 5/28/2001

    1) Rutherford wanted to squash Russell's image in the organization

    *** yb74 pp. 97-98 Part 1—Germany ***But more equipment was needed. For that reason Brother Balzereit asked Brother Rutherford for permission to buy a rotary press. Brother Rutherford saw the necessity and agreed, but on one condition. He had noticed that over the years Brother Balzereit had grown a beard very similar to the one that had been worn by Brother Russell. His example soon caught on, for there were others who also wanted to look like Brother Russell. This could give rise to a tendency toward creature worship, and Brother Rutherford wanted to prevent this. So during his next visit, within hearing of all the Bible House family, he told Brother Balzereit that he could buy the rotary press but only on the condition that he shave off his beard. Brother Balzereit sadly agreed and afterward went to the barber.

    Until 1968, Jesus was depicted as beardless despite the Law code about Israelites wearing beards and not wanting to look like Romans. A subtle hint that to be Christlike was to be beardless (until 1968). Why the change?

    2) Beards = rebellion = drugs

    *** yb78 p. 13 1978 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses ***For example, in the Philippines, a brother was engaged in witnessing activity on the streets and noticed a bearded young man with a group of people. The young man looked somewhat familiar. It developed that he had formerly been associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses but had gotten in with the wrong crowd and was now on drugs.

    *** yb77 p. 239 Norway ***A Bible study was started with him. After three studies he quit smoking, and after six he resigned from his church. He also made changes as to hair, beard, and so forth.

    *** yb76 pp. 256-257 Sri Lanka ***Gradually, the power of truth could be seen. His clothing became cleaner, the ash disappeared, along with the flower, and his hair was allowed to grow normally, while the beard was completely shaved off.

    *** yb75 p. 18 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses ***The publisher did not approach the man right away as he did not look too inviting; he wore long hair and was heavily bearded. Suddenly there was no one else on the street to talk to, so he handed the individual a handbill for a public meeting.

    Then why no beards today?

    *** w68 5/1 p. 288 Questions From Readers ***Today Christian ministers, like the early Christians, are concerned with neatness and cleanness, but they strive to dress inconspicuously, so that their appearance does not in any way detract from the dignity or the effectiveness of the message they bear. (2 Cor. 6:3, 4) In recent years in many lands a beard or long hair on a man attracts immediate notice and may, in the minds of the majority, classify such a person undesirably with extremists or as rebels against society. God’s ministers want to avoid making any impression that would take attention away from their ministry or hinder anyone from listening to the truth. They know that people are watching true Christians very critically and that to a great extent they judge the entire congregation and the good news by the minister’s appearance as a representative of the congregation.

    In paradise restored on earth it would not be out of order if men returned to wearing beards, in perfect fashion, like Adam in Eden.

    So 43 years later when you see a man in a beard and a nice suit do you think EXTREMIST or REBEL?

    *** w68 5/1 p. 286 Questions From Readers ***Biblical evidence is the most reliable testimony to be found on this question, and a recent careful review of what it says indicates that Jesus did indeed have a beard.

  • 00DAD

    While we're on the subject, let me add this little tidbit:

    *** g00 1/22 p. 24 - A Close Shave ***

    "The clean-shaven look continued through the 18th century. But then, by the mid-to-late 19th century, the pendulum began to swing the other way. Hence, photographs of C. T. Russell, the first president of the Watch Tower Society, and fellow Christian W. E. Van Amburgh show both men wearing stylish, well-trimmed beards that were dignified and appropriate for their time." - Emphasis added

    Neatly trimmed

    Certainly "stylish" is subjective and changes from time-to-time, but I can't ever imagine anybody considering this beard to be "well-trimmed". That's just silly!!! And what about that hair while we're at it!!!

  • Iamallcool


  • 00DAD

    Blondie, thanks for the additional references. They didn't come up when I searched the Publications Index on the 2008 WT Library (the last one I had).

    Still, none really explicitly state: Thou Shalt Not Have a Beard!

    But the implications are obvious to anyone wanting to "please Jehovah" (READ: Please the local elders).


  • undercover

    I remember the 75 article. That was the go-to article when I was young. Only beatniks, hippies and revolutionairies had beards. Decent, fine, upstanding folk were clean shaven and had one of five haircut choices from the barber shop.

  • 00DAD

    Now this one I like:

    W. E. Van Amburgh

    W. E. Van Amburgh wearing a stylish, well-trimmed beard that is dignified

  • tornapart

    We've got a bro.. an MS in our cong who has a beard and an elder from another cong gave a public talk not long ago.. but then I guess it's a bit different in europe...

  • 00DAD

    Yes I've heard it's different in Europe!

    It's an interesting study in human psychology and manipulation that the WT can make a few statements that, although they carefully avoid explicitly prohibiting something like wearing of beards, clearly imply that anyone not getting the "hint" is not a spiritual person.

    Then, the next thing you know the local elders turn it into a law and "voila!" it's officially an "unofficial" doctrine/policy of the WTBTS!

    We humans really are strange things.

  • Zordino

    When I was going to meetings regularly I wore a Goatee. It was great cause the Elder's were scared shitless of aproaching me and I wasn't ever given any "Privilege's" Awesome

    Also I've noticed that in some WT's mags, the "Worldly Guy" who was dipicted as immoral or materialistic... whatever (basically the Bad guy) would many times be shown wearing a beard or goatee. The whole thing is just to keep mental and physical Conformity within the group. Just another example of the Borg trying to use control tactics.

  • 00DAD

    Zordino, it's good to know that the elders were scared of you because you had a goatee, although it's equally hard to figure WHY? But, whatever.

    I'll keep mine, it's my new secret weapon against JWs everywhere!

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    Their stand on beards is yet further evidence that the JW religion contains man-made rules, just like any other religion does.

    Their downer on beards is found even in countries where it is customary for all men to wear beards - such as Papua New Guinea (a country in which I recently lived for a total of eight years, and thus had ample opportunity in which to observe 1. what is local custom, and 2. what the WTS stand was.)

    This beardless culture would have more to do with Rutherford's attempts to emphasize that he was now in charge - not C.T. Russell, than it had to do with any imagined "Student Revolt."


  • Zordino

    OODAD: I'm 260 pounds 6Ft tall with a tough guy Look (I do Concrete Forming for buildings) and didn't give the Elder's the time of day. Maybe thats why they were a little intimidated by me.

  • 00DAD

    So Zordino, you're telling me that it's not JUST the goatee, that I need to grow 2 inches and add 85 lbs. (presumably of muscle) to be as intimidating as the mighty Zordino! Damn, I thought I had something there.

    I bow to your awesomeness. I think I'll go buy a Sig Sauer, it's healthier ... for me at least! .. lol


  • ssn587

    I had a goatee for some time never did shave, now don't even attend the brainwashing sessions. but no one ever said anything anyway, guess I didn't give a s**t one way or the other what they thought, i was happy with it and wore it and still do.

  • designs

    Just trimmed mine back from full ZZTop to ZTop.

  • Zordino

    OODAD, Its not just muscle. There's a Lot of Fat too LoL. Kinda Like a Big a Big Teddy Bear

  • stillstuckcruz

    Based on those articles, I keep imagining people like this:

    If they have a beard like the one below, I seriously doubt that in this day and age, people would be so repulsed by a person that they refuse to listen or acknowlege them. ...or that they are in some way "undignified".

    COME ON PEOPLE! You know it's bad when even Disney allows neat beards!!!!

  • just Ron
    just Ron

    It's simple I sold door to door insurance for a while and was told you will sell a lot more if you don't have a beard. So no matter how the spin is, it is all a marketing ploy to place more rags.

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