Branch Manual: How does the Society respond to negative reports? Let it die

by truthseeker 7 Replies latest jw friends

  • truthseeker

    I was reading the Branch Manual and there is a section on how the Society reacts to negative matter that is printed about them.

    Seems their own counsel didn't apply when you consider their lawsuit against Quotes.

    Others who have felt the Society lets things die hoping it will blow over, can rest assured that their thoughts are factual and correct.

    Branch Manual

    page 78


    If some organization or individuals puts out printed matter against us, even if it has libelous charges, as a general policy we do not retaliate with legal action. Neither do we publish details about it to answer such charges.

    Our basic policy is to ignore these attacks and let them die rather than give them greater publicity.

    We prefer to concentrate on the positive activity of Kingdom preaching. If the Brach Committee feels it is wise to take some steps to counteract negative reports that may adversely affect our work, they should make their recommendations to the Chairman's Committee. If approved, the Chairman's Committee will oversee the preparation of appropriate responses to false statements and negative media attacks.

  • DannyHaszard

    AKA "leave it in jehovah's hands"

  • Woodsman
    it is wise to take some steps to counteract negative reports that may adversely affect our work,

    I think this statement testifies to the affect the websites were having on the rank and file as well as prospective members. The statistics show countries with easy access to the internet have lower gains than those without.

  • Scully

    The only time the JWs have ever gotten in trouble with the courts, is when they have failed to follow their own published procedures on matters.

    I wonder if this document had been available to the court when the WTS went after Quotes, whether the court would have thrown out the suit because they failed to follow their own written procedure.

  • slimboyfat

    I have been researching the issue, and this was not always so that they would not respond. Back in the 1950s the Watchtower regularly named their critics, quoted them extensively, and Franz wrote thorough refutations to them. It is rather a recent thing that the Society seems afraid to even mention the names of their critics. Does this point to a growing insecurity/inability to present cogent/convincing refutations? I think so.

  • IronClaw
    the Chairman's Committee will oversee the preparation of appropriate responses to false statements and negative media attacks.

    In the case of Quotes, there were no false statements or negative media attacks. It was all their own quotes from their own literature.

    Go figure, they can never let a dead dog lie.

  • Leolaia

    That is true, slimboyfat....and I have some more examples here from the Awake! from the 1950s (not on the Watchtower CD). But there was also another difference....Most of the criticism they responded to came not from dissidents or former JWs but published statements in "Christendom" literature, or in the media. Today, much of the criticism is voiced by "apostates", and in their worldview, it is verbotten to refer to them, or even to read them. So when the Society gave a clear response to C. O. Jonsson in the Let Your Kingdom Come appendix, it actually tried to lump the dissident voice together with neutral academic scholars, to camoflague the fact they were really responding to an "apostate".

  • slimboyfat

    That is true Leolaia. But in yet earlier times Rutherford would even name "apostates" such as Olin Moyle in the literature, and then proceed to bad mouth them openly. Futher back still, and Russell would actually meet opponents in public debate... times, they certainly have changed.

    Contrastingly, an article in the late 80s or early 90s badmouths Jerry Bergman in terms that allowed an informed reader to identify the person they were talking about, yet they would not use his name.

    I think the 1978 article on the divine name in the NT, which is the only direct reference to Walter Matin in the WT literature, is very telling in this regard. In the wake of the Howard article in the JBL, the Society/Franz was apparently so cocky over the scholarly support he was getting for his theory that they broke their longstanding policy of ignoring their biggest evangelical critic in order to gloat. The triumphalism in that article is amazing. And when compared with the drap stuff they churn out nowadays, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the material was then produced by confident people who really believed in the case they were making, whereas now the timid and obtuse responses to vague criticisms gives the impression that the writers feel somewhat inadequate or at least less confident in making their case.

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