Was Simplification the Downfall of the Watchtower?

by NotBlind 48 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Nicodemus


    Thanks for a most insightful post. You ask some very good questions and I believe you have identified a very real factor in the stagnancy of developed lands.

    Add to that this question that I have pondered at length: How many "faithful" brothers and sisters are now aware of at least some of the damaging information on the internet? Maybe it's the blood issue? The UN matter? The general shakiness of certain doctrine/dogma? Most, likely, would be too afraid to even bring such matters up in conversation with fellow Witnesses. Thus, at some level, they suffer in silence. Yet, for a variety of reasons, they may elect to stay with the organization. But the question is: "Is their whole heart, or whole soul in it any more?" What is even more fascinating to me is that I am convinced there is a subset that still loves Jehovah and his Son Jesus with their whole heart and whole soul (Mt 22:37; Mr 12:30-33), but is not so convinced about the organization. This subset holds that the group known as Jehovah's Witnesses is still, overall, the group that still best represents what they believe, but that they are no longer simply blindly going along with every last directive handed down from Brooklyn.

  • Tristram

    Its been duly noted here already, but a few years ago an elder friend of mine was musing about how the simplification, especially with assemblies was affecting the communal spirit. I worked in food prep for years, as well as expediting and working the food stalls. We always had a good time and met new people (especially girls, heh heh.)

    Then, overnight, that whole arrangement changed. Now we take our lunches, sit with people from our halls, stay in our seats and eat during the break. Assemblies definitely don't have the fun, friendly atmosphere that they used to. I don't think it was anything sinister on the society's part, they just wanted to save (and thus make) more money. But the fallout has been observable.

    On a side note, I had no idea that truthseeker was British. Always thought he was American.


  • Nicodemus


    Good to see you, you old devil!

    Now what's a nice boy like you doing in a nasty old place like this?


  • BabaYaga

    Good gods what a post! I'd say that you have picked a very apt sign-on, NotBlind.

    "...sucked the life out of Witness activities, there was nothing else to do but sit and listen to the program. Witnesses who had been used to using their talents... now had nothing else to do but sit down, go out in service, listen to the canned music, eat the canned food, watch the canned dramas, and read the paperback novels."

    Touche'!!! Man oh man how I used to count the hours until the drama of the day... and my heart would skip a beat when the lights went down in the auditorium. I used to feel SOOooo productive and wonderful and special when I ran the "cash" box and took in those crazy little 10 cents tickets (remember those?) for food at the end of the line!

    Gary, I hear you...

    "They not only took away the musicians who played the music of my youth, they took away the music of my youth."

    I left just after they came out with the new songbooks. I have no idea now when I hear a "Kingdom Melody" playing.

    All of this boredom and resignation compares well to a frog being boiled to death in what started as cold water. It's all just as well, I say. Let the organization dry up. I want my family back.

  • moshe

    I often wondered why there were never any Mega-KH's like the churches of Christendom. Apparently according to anthropologists Man has the ablity to have social networking with only about 150 people. Once you go beyond that number the people start becoming just aquaintances, then finally strangers. Unless the WT Society was willing to invest in a paid professional staff at a Mega-KH, their only choice was to keep them small so that a handful of elders could manage the publishers. A KH is the equivalent of a Indian clan. Same rules, too. You either follow the orders of the Chief or be banished from the tribe.

  • BabaYaga

    Woah, Moshe, very interesting observation! Makes perfect sense.

    I also saw a comment in a thread not too long ago where someone surmised that all of this splitting and re-arranging of congregations was a ball-and-cup game, to fool the senses into believing there was constant "growth" of the org...

  • jgnat

    I'll tell you the trick of the mega-churches. Small groups. Newcomers are quickly introduced to a group with similar interests, so they are NOT lost in the crowd. It's this small group that provides the sense of community for the person.

    The Barna group also noted that:

    Demographically, mid-sized and large churches attract a higher proportion of “upscale” adults – those whose education and income levels enable the church to take more risks, be more aggressive in marketing, and draw resources from deeper pockets and broader backgrounds. Barna also noted that upscale individuals are more often comfortable with leadership requirements and decision-making, and tend to be more excited about organizational growth. He pointed out that large churches, in particular, appeal to Baby Boomers – one-quarter of church-going Boomers (25%) attend churches of 500 or more adults, compared to just one-sixth of church-going Busters (17%) – and Boomers are infamous for equating success with growth and large-scale operations.


    I truly believe congregations are kept small to make it easier to maintain control. There's never a moment where a member is not being watched...if not by an elder, someone else in the congregation.

  • Confucious

    Not Blind.


    This is a very powerful post.

    I believe you are right on the money, and the posts I've read so far on this thread is right on the money.

    To ad to it, I used to love giving talks. You would get a outline and you could work around that with clever motivational arguments and illustrations.

    Then in the late 90's there was slowly a growing emphasis on "Sticking to the Outline" and using only "Illustrations that the WT used in past issues."

    It was like, all the joy of using your own creativity to was completely stifled.

    In fact, if you think of it, the greatest "honor" as a JW speaker is to read the "manuscript" talk at a District Convention.

  • greendawn

    It serves them right this dull organisation becoming even more dull, when they depend on one dozen men (some of them very old) to prepare everything, writings and administration, then having a dull organisational environment is inevitable. The natural consequence is that many dubs bored out of their minds will leave or lose all motivation though staying in.

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