Beards are evil, but do you know why?

by free2beme 62 Replies latest jw friends

  • watson

    Has anyone else heard this backwards reasoning?

    Yes,and after putting up with that comment for years, I finally started counciling the Elders that they should take that offended one aside and explain to them that they shouldn't be so sensitive, and that there is nothing wrong with a man "not shaving his beard off." After all, were they looking for something to stumble by?!? As long as it was well kept, and didn't bring reproach on Jah......

    I figure that the military nationalism of the 30's, 40's and 50's had some bearing on grooming of men in society. Many of the "leaders" in the hall had military backgrounds. They were the best organizers, you know.

  • watson


    Your Dad sounds pretty balanced. (cool). Unusual.

  • ontarget

    When I was a witness I wanted to grow a beard but you know it was bad. I grew a goatee before I left and one elder questioned me about it. I told him that Jesus had a beard, he asked if I was going to start wearing a robe too. Beards are very common in Nebraska, especially in the winter time even among the business men. It seemed to me that it was always based on displaying a rebelious atitude. I have a beard now.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Ok I have to hunt down this info but it was Rutherford who banned beards.

    Russell was known to wear a large beard. And many of his followers wore beards. After Russell died Rutherford put his take-over actions into effect and he did as much as he possibly could to move people's affections away from Russell.

    In the book 30 years a Watchtower Slave Schnell says that in 1925 Rutherford went to Magdeburg to visit the Bethel office there.

    An amusing incident took place at the time of the Judge's visit. The Director of our German branch, as had many before him, had grown a large beard, patterned after Charles T. Russell's beard. The Judge did not want anything at all to remain which might remind him of Russell--not even the cultivation of a beard. So, sitting at the table for dinner one night within my earshot, the Director asked the Judge for one more large rotary press. The Judge said nothing for a while, merey ate. Suddenly he looked up, his eyes pinned severely on the Director's huge beard and said, "I will buy you the press if you take that thing off," pointing to the beard. It surely shocked the Director's sensibilities, but he meekly heeded the warning and soon shamefacedly appeared minus his beard. p.51-52

    I know in the last cong I was in (late 70s-early 80s) there was a MS in the cong who had to get special permission to have a beard due to a skin problem. My elder husband tried growing a mustache for a couple of weeks. The other elders made him take it off.

  • Euphemism

    Lady Lee... oddly enough, the WTS actually published that anecdote. Of course, they justify it (along with other parts of Rutherford's purge) by claiming that people were engaging in 'creature worship' of Russell:

    yb74 97-8 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.

    Balzereit is, if memory serves, the same man whom the WTS attempted to scape-goat for the early attempts to make nice with Hitler.

  • Forscher

    Yes, I already knew about the Rutherford connection. I didn't know that there may have been a relaxation of the standard after his death. When I came, beards were definately verboten!
    My wife talked me into growing a mustache, I remember that did cause a little stir. At the time, we were social lepers anyway, so what were they going to do? I got a few snide little comments. but that was about it.


  • atypical

    In my area, it is quite popular even for elders to have moustaches. Some of the black brothers even get away with a small soul patch under their bottom lip if they also have a moustache. Long sideburns, goatees, and beards, though, are extremely taboo here. Anybody who has the nerve to grow them is viewed in a very negative light.

  • Oroborus21

    I knew it. - Ed

  • Jourles
    I told him that Jesus had a beard, he asked if I was going to start wearing a robe too.

    And I would have replied:

    "Well, if society in general didn't think it was weird to wear a robe, I would."

    The Mennonites and Amish do not wear a full beard(no facial hair above the lip) due to its association with the military years back.

  • daniel-p

    I had my priveleges taken away from me when I got a buzz - not even completely shaved head, just a buzz. In cases like this, it's always some patriarchal figure in the congregation that just can't bear the thought of losing absolute control over the rest. They use rationales like saying it's too worldly or "gives the wrong impression" or they take the slippery slope approach and say if you do it all the other kids will do it too. Yeah, and then what? Will the world explode or something?... The point is, fads (with good taste) are not inherently wrong. We all participate in fads to a certain degree.

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