Are Jehovah's Witnesses....
Personally i would say that other than people who just enjoy gossip, being nosey or whatever you have a group of people being mislead in the biggest way possible. What i wonder is how the average JW will react if the rugs pulled from under their feet and clear evidence is publicly displayed...it wouldn't suprise me if the WBT-Society said this is a 'sign' and the desperate people will cling on and believe!
There will always be more liberal and more conservative individuals in any group. But it seems there will always be some domineering individuals, like Ted Jaracz for example, who will crush any dissenting voices, Ray Franz style. The conservatives will always win out because the men appointed to the positions of power will nearly always be ultra loyal organisational yes-men.
Ray Franz style? Huh? Anyway...
Yadda, I know what you mean. I've studied human temperament for some years now, and have found it most illuminating. The Myers-Briggs Temperament Sorter identifies a certain temperament as "The Guardian." They are concrete cooperators described by Dr. David Keirsey this way...
...they would if they could be magistrates watching over these forms of social facilitation. They are proud of themselves in the degree they are reliable in action, respect themselves in the degree they do good deeds, and feel confident of themselves in the degree they are respectable. In search of security as they are the "Security Seeking Personality" -- trusting in legitimacy and hungering for membership... Educationally they go for commerce, avocationally for regulations, and vocationally for materiel work. They tend to be enculturating as parents, helpmates as spouses, and conformity oriented as children.
I think you'll find that in most any group, a large percentage of those who offer themselves to serve on behalf of others are Guardians. You can say that they like the power that comes with it--and that is often true--but it's also true that they are simply preoccupied with rules and regulations. They're the ones who are always reminding everyone else about those rules and regulations lest things go to heck in a handbasket. I would be willing to bet a dozen donuts that the majority of those who've served on the Governing Body of the WTS are Guardians.
And, hey, thank God for 'em! Without these people, a lot of stuff never gets done. The problem? Guardianism unfettered. Soon they can't see the forest for the trees and you can't swing a dead cat without breaking some new rule. Think Pharisees...
Imagine the GB sitting around the big table about to vote on some new restriction.
IDEALIST: Brothers, we know the friends are having a difficult time keeping their heads above water in this old system. Do we really need another set of rules on how they can and can't employ themselves?
GUARDIAN-1: Yes, Brother Idealist, I think we do. We are receiving reports that many of our brothers are seeking employment in areas that are contrary to teachings of the Faithful Slave.
GUARDIAN-2: That's true! How are we to shine as illuminators in this filthy world, if we allow our brothers to sell cigarettes in convenience stores?
GUARDIAN-3: We can't just leave it all up to the friends, can we? No telling where that'll lead!
IDEALIST: I understand, Brothers Guardian, it's just that some of the positions we've taken over the years are beginning to go beyond the things written in God's Word.
RATIONAL: He's right. Remember: "Man has dominated man to his injury." The more we try to control the friends, the more harm we'll do in the end. How can they ever use their own Christian consciences if every important decision in their lives is made by us?
GUARDIAN-1: They need us, Brother Rational. Where do you think the rank and file would be without us looking out for them?
GUARDIAN-2: The mind can only imagine! We must maintain the good order within Jehovah's organization by our persistent watchfulness.
GUARDIAN-3: Right! If we let down our guard just a tiny bit, why those little monkeys will get all sorts of ideas about how to employ themselves. Next thing you know they're all in college--and you know what happens then?!
GUARDIANS 1,2 &3: They start thinking too much!
GUARDIAN-1: Now, all in favor of upholding Jehovah's righteous standards, say "aye." Those in favor of being all loosey-goosey and allowing a place for the devil, say "nay."
So those in favor of things like "Christian freedom" and "personal responsibility" and "conscience" are squelched by the louder and more numerous Guardians who speak of "exercising caution" and "providing direction" and "shepherding the flock." And somehow it's really hard to vote against them when they are always seemingly acting in the best interest of the friends--and forever warning of danger ahead.
It's fascinating how Jesus did and said so much to counter this type of Pharisaical Guardianism, but the doggone Guardians have still found a way to sidestep his teachings and flood his religion with all sorts of unnecessarily restrictive baloney.
Wow, Confession and WillyLoman, such heartfelt honesty is touching and makes me think (for the umpty-umpth time) - what intellect and sincerity this organization has lost through neglect and dishonesty - what a shame......
Ah come on DFed. You should know better by now.
The answer is YES
Icare4u - why do you bother?
Prove it, then.
That's very interesting Confession. Reading that GB scenario is disturbingly similar to portions of Ray Franz's books wherein he recalls comments and the general direction of certain GB meetings that he kept records of. I found those the most fascinating parts of Ray's books. They were so enlightening as to the kind of group-think forces at work on the GB. For example, we learned via Ray Franz that there were always a few dominant ones at every meeting, that there were certain 'camps' of loyalty to these dominant ones, that some GB members were basically passive, silent at every meeting, offering no real input, that discussion of important issues was often, personality-based, whimsical, unstructured, desultory. Important points and facts were often entirely glossed over or ignored.
Ray Franz stood out like a shining light in his desire to see things considered in a more thorough, systematic, patient way. The lack of any real approach by the GB that incorporates proper critical reasoning and research methodology is quite staggering. The most they seem to do is to commission certain persons, (like Ray Franz for instance), to go away and do a whole pile of research on something, yet when the findings of that research are presented, basically just rationalise it away if it flies in the face of a currently accepted interpretation or policy.