Now, that, dozy, I would contend. I suggest it is indeed the Watchtower websites, the WTBTS doesn't want it's people to find. The "dangers of the internet" is a smoke-screen. The Tsunami example was telling. Beware of google!
The real impact of "apostate" sites
1) It is viewed as wrong and a sin.
(2) The tone , language and attitude of most sites repel most enquiring witnesses.
(3) Frankly , most JWs are almost completely disinterested in doctrine and the history of the WTS , which most "apostate" sites focus on. For them , it is a way of life and such matters are only of a vague academic interest and any objections are easily explained away.
I think you are right there dozy. When I was a committed jw, I would never have looked at sites like this one, because I knew how the wts viewed them. It was only when I started having doubts, and wanted to independent research, that I came on sites like this and freeminds. I think the main impact of the net will be that people who start to doubt what they believe will investigate on the internet, and newly - interested ones will check out what they are potentially getting into before they are in too deep. Jws that are happy where they are simply won't be affected because they simply won't look.
To a certain point I agree with the CO's and DO's. The average rank-and-file JW does not look at 'apostate' sites and is trained not to believe anything negative about the ORG no matter how much evidence is presented. Likewise with doctrinal discussion - the average JW simply believes the GB and trusts them to know what is right when they become confused. So many object to 'deep' studies and 'hard' WT articles and close off their brain if the language fails to match the average intellect of a ten-year-old.
However, they are wrong that such sites do not have a major impact. Those with doubts already are more likely to leave when they investigate the JW's on the Internet. It is unlikely they will be DF'd for apostacy. More likely they will fade away. And potential converts are given access to information the JW's used to be able to hide. I am sure many studies stop following Internet research.
I am currently preparing an 'apostacy' site. My target will not be 'blind' JW's, but those with the brain to question.
Where there has been a real effect , they all admitted, was on WT policy - the WT was much more careful in checking what was printed in the magazines because any minor error & the apostates were all over it and Bethel were deluged with letters and phone calls. One DO admitted “They have shifted the agenda on occasions.”
Now that is an eye-opening admission from a DO, that WT policy could and has been influenced to such a degree by apostates.
"Due to pressure from certain apostate groups, we have now withdrawn our registration from the UN as an NGO."
I agree with KW13 that the internet helps those who leave to stay out. At least it did in my case and my hubby's and some other people who we know in our area. As an active Witness, we would never have gone onto so-called Apostate sites. But once we knew the Org. was a bunch of baloney - we felt free to look and our eyes were opened even more. Lilly
I rememebr not that many years ago when in a pioneeer meeting the Elders leading the discussion encouraged us to shield our students from apostates by checking out the two "apostate" books (CoC and 40 Yr WT slave) from the local library and losing them. Boy just what do you say now? CounterJW material is so much more readily available. Do you tell your students to not use the internet? How paranoid would that sound?
Dozy, werent you an active JW ? It seems you that you are more open than ever ! Glad for you !
In a recent discussion with a couple of District Overseers and other “heavies” ...
Sorry, but the thought of unemployed men who wear polyester suits and shoes with tassels being called "heavies" amuses me. I don't know why, it just does.
Personally I would not give any more credence to opinions of these guys than I would to official watchtower statistics. They are proven liars.
It would be nice to have an impartial third party audit and report everything watchtower related, but we know that will never happen.
Thanks for the info Dozy.
Did anybody note the lack in a figure for Disassociation in that report? Plenty of folks lately have reported taking that step on this board. So I wonder if that category has gone up?