The thoughts entered here are really group thoughts, but mgm put it rightly - how do we know unless we talk to each other.
To me, that is one of the damning evidences against the Society - we are afraid to talk about what is on our minds.
Being a woman, I will never speak from the stage, however, I was very active during the WT studies, etc. I was very careful to quote the par, line and words, because when most of the friends speak, they speak unrealisticly. For instance, the Society says: Maybe we'll see the end by 1975. When the para. is answered, someone will invaribly say: God's Word says the end will be in 1975.
Now if it's a brother, at least down South, I've got to be able to quote from the WT article to even try to say what the Society is saying. I've been hauled to the back for correcting a brother (even if it is a stupid comment). But sometimes, I would look in amazement at the elder conducting the study - he will not correct any person - so ignorant or plainly wrong perceptions will be allowed.
I got to wondering if that's not the agenda -the Society carefully words things to keep themselves straight, but surely they realize that the vast majority of brothers will "read" into their words definitives. At that point, are we really learning from the scriptures or is it really doubletalk? I personally started taking a couple of WT magazines with me to the meetings and read them just to keep my mind off the odd comments from the friends.
The paradox is that the friends are good people, and some are smart, some are dumb - just like the world at large. But we try. But if we're being fed like farm animals instead of cherished house pets - well, what happens to farm animals, particularily when their usefullness is done?
We are cast aside for greener pastures, better milking cows, etc. To me, it seems like the Society has set their specs on the Third World with gusto. We've given our best milk - and we're tired of being milked (some of us).
Back to the discussion of the new, improved literature arrangement and the Third World. Here in the South, and it is in the KM which established the donation system, I have recently reread it, when you pick up your literature, you are to make a donation to cover the cost of printing. Then if you get a donation for the World Wide Preaching Work, that, all of it, is to be placed in the appropriate box in KH.
Double payment for literature, and the publisher absorbs all printing cost, which according to Randy Watters, is highly profitable. According to
figures from England's financial reports - he's right.
The publishers in Third World countries are already poor, much worse off than us, are they to absorb the "printing costs" for the Society? I know the argument can be made, and will be, "Well, that's why those who have more should give more."
That's not the underlying issue - are the publishers paying for the literature and collecting donations for the Society? If so, the Society is doing us a grave injustice - not in the money aspect alone - but in our implicite trust in their rightness as to their business actions. And money is business, my husband and & found that out the hard way, and it hurts to find out that the Society was a big business. And we're so proud of what the Society's lawyers accomplish in the Courts for freedom of rights. But if you ever have the misfortune to have their lawyers attention drawn to you because you question their businsess ethics - well, they'll treat you no different than any other business - and they act just like we all assume lawyers act when not on good behavior.
So if this is business - I really don't want to lay down my life or give my heart to the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society CORPORATION. I believe, Biblically, we're to give our hearts to Jehovah and Jesus.
Such big decisions, but perhaps we needed be in a big hurry. After all, "this generation" seems like it might last a bit longer than planned.