Living in a "Spiritual Paradise" is not without its dangers. At every turn lurks those who harbor private opinions born from independant thinking. All are suspect to elders on a witch hunt.
Apostates are everywhere, hiding behind a thin veneer of the brotherhood. Over and over at the weekly Watchtower study, the topic of apostates is drilled into all who attend. Drill enough holes in a board, and what is the end result? The structural integrity of the board is weakened to the point where its strength is completely lost.
When all are constantly "Spooked" with apostate talk, is it any wonder that elders in many congregations have taken it upon themselves to be self appointed inquisitors, sanctioned by the Society.
Having an opinion in the organization today on any subject differing from "Present Truth" is having a spiritual death wish. If having personal opinions is wrong, then why did the apostle Paul have so many of them? Please read 1 Cor.7: 39-40
39 "A wife is bound during all the time her husband is alive. But if her husband should fall asleep [in death], she is free to be married to whom she wants, only in [the] Lord. 40 But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my opinion. I certainly think I also have God’s spirit."
2 Cor. 8: 8-14
10 "And in this I render an opinion: for this matter is of benefit to YOU, seeing that already a year ago YOU initiated not only the doing but also the wanting [to do]; "
1 Cor. 7: 25
25 "Now concerning virgins I have no command from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who had mercy shown him by the Lord to be faithful."
Were Paul's opinions in line with congregation approved teachings? Evidently not, because Acts 21: 20-24 show that the charge of Apostacy was leveled at him as well. Had Paul abandoned Jehovah or Jesus? No!! Had he stepped outside the Box? Yes!! Think how the gossip mill of Paul's day shifted into high gear, when the charge of apostacy was leveled at him.
Rather than address questions or issues critical of the organization, the present posture of the elders is one we have seen played out so many times in the middle ages. Those in the congregation who discuss their questions even with only one or two other persons, are vilified as "Apostates" and deceitful persons, wanting to subvert the faith of others for dishonest gain.
The WT. May 15, 1986 p 25 on the abuses of power by religious councils and their use of the charge of heresy said:
" Charges of heresy proved to be a ruthless scheme to eliminate opponents who dared to defy Christendom’s church councils. Any who expressed differing opinions or even attempted to present Scriptural proof refuting the dogmas and canons (church laws) of the councils were branded as heretics."
Fear is being used by the Society to consolidate its power and to escape any accountability for its use. The whole aim is to keep the brothers alarmed, and clamoring to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins and Apostates, most of which are imaginary.
When we feel afraid of possible attacks coming from any and all directions, we are like soldiers in a battlefield behind enemy lines, with the possibility of bullets coming from any and all directions at once. Humans in this kind of situation for long periods of time suffer from intense stress and eventually become unable to function altogether. The Society has reached this stage, and so have its followers. How could anyone in the so called "Spiritual Paradise" look at the organization and not slip into a severe state of depression? There just doesn't seem to be enough Prozac to go around.