Thirdwitness -- An Agent of the Governing Body?
This evening I was talking with an old friend about recent postings on this forum by JW defenders. We concluded that something unusual is going on. Consider that on July 28, thirdwitness posted three new topics dear to the hearts of JW critics: on the Society's involvement with the UN, on 607 and Watchtower chronology (the original poster seems to have been an igniter), and on the "faithful and discreet slave". Also, listen posted a new topic defending the Society's child abuse policy.
It occurred to us that we may be seeing the beginning of a covert effort on the part of certain Watchtower officials -- perhaps even Governing Body members -- to counter the effects that JW critics on the Internet have had in bringing to light the Watchtower Society's many failings. It may be that some 'young' bucks have been assigned or given the go-ahead to get on the Net and post defenses of various Watchtower doctrines and practices, and especially the ones that JW critics have been so successful in criticizing. Perhaps these guys are Bethel whiz-kids, perhaps passionate non-Bethelites. Whoever they are, they certainly seem to have the Society's backing.
Why do I say that they seem to have the Society's backing? First, because some of the posts contain claims that directly contradict published Watchtower doctrine, and a normal JW would never think of doing this, but one given the green light by a covert Bethel connection would not fear to do it. Second, the posts on the UN and child abuse are slick, well written and well researched -- albeit roundly dishonest in leaving out crucial information that would disprove their theses if included -- and this implies that a great deal of time had to be spent in researching them. The posts contain material that would be extremely hard to come by unless the writers were Watchtower insiders. Third, the writers' style is very reminiscent of that of Watchtower writers, who are past masters at making nonsense sound plausible on a quick reading. Fourth, because of the timing. This summer's district assemblies have loudly proclaimed that "the end is near!" -- much louder than the Society has proclaimed in the last decade or so, and it's pretty obvious that this is an extremely stupid tactical move by Watchtower leaders, because when next year rolls around and nothing has happened, how are they going to explain the great buildup of expectations? -- and this summer could be considered as a good opportunity for some 'young' JW Turks to sally forth in defense of the Mother Ship. When I say 'young', I mean in terms of the Bethel hierarchy, where anyone under 50 is considered young.
The last fifteen years have seen the death of many long time Watchtower policy makers. With their deaths, a new generation of leaders is gradually coming into power and influence, especially under the influence of that arch-conservative Ted Jaracz. Jaracz and his cronies appear to be singularly unaware that certain critical Watchtower doctrines and practices have no support in the Bible or in terms of secular arguments, and they seem to have lost a sense of history in terms of proclaiming "the end is near". It makes sense that normal people would avoid such a proclamation, but the present JW leadership is far from normal. They've lost the experience and perspective of the previous generation of JW leaders, and so it seems logical that such new leaders might attempt to defend "the faith" aggressively, and combine it with a proclamation that "the end is near".
Any such defense would have to be covert, in the sense that whatever GB member or WTS official leading the charge, or giving the green light, would have to keep all connections to those in the field secret from other JWs. This would be necessary because the Society has directly instructed JWs to avoid the Internet at all costs. It is also a WTS tradition that only those directly appointed by it are allowed to publish public defenses.
Given the above, I have a strong suspicion that thirdwitness and his collaborators are either Bethelites, or JWs with extremely close ties to Bethel, or both, all of whom have been given the green light by Watchtower officials to get on the Internet and do battle with JW critics.
Unfortunately, these defenders have bitten off more than they can chew. Having been steeped in the JW cult for a long time, they've lost the power for independent thought. They think that whatever nonsense the Society puts out should be accepted on the authority of the Society alone. They think that facts are there only to support the Society's claims, and when the facts don't fit, they follow the Society's tradition of ignoring them. They've made an extreme tactical blunder in posting their defenses on a open forum, where critics pay no attention to the Society's claims of authority, and deal with the facts. These defenders simply aren't used to getting their asses kicked in doctrinal debates, because in the JW world, debate does not occur.
What do you think?