What a great thread!
Longhairedgal, you made some outstanding points along with AS and AlanF on this thread. In your last post, your reasonable questions to know HOW and WHEN and WHO in regards to the choosing of the GB (and even of the Bible Students in 1918) are sharp. The answer from Frederick Franz in the Douglas Walsh trial in Scotland was along the line of, "Anyone can look to see that what the WT teaches is Biblical or not, simply by opening a Bible. That we are Biblical is proof."
A (Franz). These [Watchtower Society] books give an exposition on the whole Scriptures.
Q. (Lawyer) But an authoritative exposition?
A. They submit the Bible or the statements that are therein made, and the individual examines the statement and then the Scripture to see that the statement is Scripturally supported.
Q. He what?
A. He examines the Scripture to see whether the statement is supported by the Scripture. As the Apostle says: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good".
Q. I understood the position to be - do please correct me if I am wrong - that a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses must accept as a true Scripture and interpretation what is given in the books I referred you to?
A. But he does not compulsorily do so, he is given his Christian right of examining the Scriptures to confirm that this is Scripturally sustained.
Q. And if he finds that the Scripture is not sustained by the books, or vice versa, what does he do?
A. The Scripture is there in support of the statement, that is why it is put there.
Q. What does a man do if he finds a disharmony between the Scripture and those books?
A. You will have to produce me a man who does find that, then I can answer, or he will answer.
So, we need to verify their teachings for ourselves against the Bible. Yet, WTS teaches that men cannot understand the meaning of the Bible right, unless they study it via the WT:
Watchtower 73 7/1
?Consider, too, the fact that Jehovah?s organization alone, in all the earth, is directed by God?s holy spirit or active force. (Zech. 4:6) Only this organization functions for Jehovah?s purpose and to his praise. To it alone God?s Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book. Many persons of the world are very intelligent, capable of understanding complex matters. They can read the Holy Scriptures, but they cannot understand their deep meaning. Yet God?s people can comprehend such spiritual things?How very much true Christians appreciate associating with the only organization on earth that understands the ?deep things of God?!?
Catch 22: How could a person be able to verify, using a book that is 'sealed to them' and having deep meaning boyond their comprehension, that the WTS is actually interpreting it correctly? If we are so incapable of understanding the Bible, how could it ever be a reference for us? They demand to have their cake and to eat it, too.
Anyway, this sleight of hand is a lot easier to pass off than trying to explain HOW and WHO and WHERE the GB got their authority.
PS to the newbies and lurkers: The Douglas Walsh trial has the WTS leaders of its day admitting some very unbiblical points of view re false prophecy. You may never have heard about them before. (You were not intended to!)